:::: MENU ::::
  • Current Series: The Bible - It's ALL About Jesus (Pastor Heo)

    Current Series: The Bible - It's ALL About Jesus (Pastor Heo)

  • Acts: The Book of Mission

    Acts: The Book of Mission

  • Join Cell Groups!

    Join Cell Groups!

Blog

  • Mar 01 / 2013
  • 2
Cell Peace

Love & Respect Small Group Study

What are the top causes of martial strife and martial fights leading to divorce in a marriage? Lack of connection; lack of commitment; lack of communication. Don’t let your marriage become lacking – make it fulfilling! Join us as we learn how to better communicate with our spouses during the Love & Respect Small Group Study based on materials produced by Emerson (Ph.D.) and Sarah Eggerichs. This material is based off of Ephesians 5:33:

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Study Schedule

The Crazy Cycle

4/6Session 1:The Secret to a Better Marriage
4/13Session 2:To Communicate, Decipher the Code
4/20Session 3:Why She Won't Respect Him; Why He Won't Love Her
What Men Fear Most Can Keep the Crazy Cycle Spinning
4/27Session 4:She Fears Being a Doormat; He's Tired of "Just Not Getting It"
She Worries About Being a Hypocrite; He Complains, "I Get No Respect!"
She Thinks She Can't Forgive Him; He Says, "Nobody Can Love That Woman!"

The Energizing Cycle

Especially For Husbands

5/4Session 5:How to Spell Love to Your Wife (C-O-U-P-L-E)
C - Closeness: She Wants You to Be Close
5/11Session 6:O - Openness: She Wants You to "Open Up" to Her
U - Understanding: Don't Try to "Fix" Her, Just Listen
5/18Session 7:P - Peacemaking: She Wants You to Say, "I'm Sorry"
5/25Session 8:L - Loyalty: She Needs to Know You're Committed
E - Esteem: She Wants You to Honor and Cherish Her

Especially For Wives

6/1Session 9:How to Spell Respect to Your Husband (C-H-A-I-R-S)
C - Conquest: Appreciate His Desire to Work and Achieve
6/8Session 10:H - Hierarchy: Appreciate His Desire to Protect and Provide
A - Authority: Appreciate His Desire to Serve and to Lead
6/15Session 11:I - Insight: Appreciate His Desire to Analyze and Counsel
6/22Session 12:R - Relationship: Appreciate His Desire for Shoulder-to-Shoulder Friendship
S - Sex: Appreciate His Desire for Sexual Intimacy
The Energizing Cycle Will Work If You Do

The Rewarded Cycle

6/29Session 13:The Real Reason to Love and Respect
7/6Session 14:The Truth Can Make You Free, Indeed
Conclusion: Pink and Blue Can Make God's Purple
  • Feb 24 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Reality of Christ’s Resurrection (John 21:1-14)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Reality of Christ’s Resurrection (John 21:1-14)

02.24

02.24.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

According to verse 14, this is Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples – this time at the Sea/Lake of Tiberias/Galilee.

After his resurrection, Jesus had made at least 6 appearances in or around Jerusalem. After those, the disciples returned to Galilee. In this region, Jesus also appeared several times (to 500 brothers, to James’ brother, to 7 disciples – Peter, Didymus, Nathanael, sons of Zebedee, 2 others). First, he appeared in Jerusalem, then in Galilee. 

Before his death, he told them that he’d meet them at an appointed place in Galilee, but they had remained in Jerusalem out of fear. So, he appeared to the in Jerusalem first to encourage them.

Think about the emotions of the previous few weeks. The Triumphal entry into Jerusalem as a king, the Last Supper with strange actions and words, the disappearance of Judas (one of them), the appearance of hundreds of soldiers in the Garden on that night, and all of them scattered, and Peter denied Christ three times, Jesus was crucified like a common criminal, then buried, then AMAZING resurrection. ALL of this happened over the course of just a FEW weeks.

What were they supposed to do?
They did return to Galilee, but they didn’t know what to do next. So they decided to return to their old jobs, their old lifestyles – fishing. 

v. 1-3 They went fishing, but caught nothing.

Until 3 years ago, when they met Jesus, they were fishermen – and Jesus had called them and said, “I’ll make you fishers of men.”

Then when they met Christ, they were transformed from fishermen to fishers of men. Now, even in this short time, when they were far away from Jesus in spirit and in body, they returned to their old lives and occupations. Fishing is not bad, not sin. But spiritually, there are at least 2 important lessons.

#1 – Whatever your job was before you met Christ, you were a “fisherman/woman.”

NOW, after meeting Christ, you are a “fisher OF men/women.” So, when we were outside of Christ, our main target was STUFF – titles, TVs, praise, etc. NOW, IN Christ, our target is SOULS of men, spiritual beings.

There is a difference between the jobs (actions) of the two. Fishermen catch living things from the water, pull them out and kill them. Fishers of men catch dead spirits and pull them into Christ’s kingdom and he makes them alive forever. 

#2 – We must be very careful not to return to our OLD selves and lives.

True, justification is once for all, eternal life can never be lost – the moment you accepted Jesus as personal Savior and Lord, we were saved from the penalty and punishment of sin. But, now as we are in these bodies, we are CONTINUALLY being saved (from temptation, sin, etc). Therefore, the Bible encourages us who are saved, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Paul’s letter to…) Be alert, be self-controlled, pray continually (Thess), do not give your enemy a foothold, for the enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (Peter’s epistle?).

To continue walking with Christ, we must be focused. To fall into sin, it takes only a moment. 

Illustration: To drive to Seoul safely, it takes 3 hours – continual focus and carefulness, but a car accident takes only a moment of carelessness.

Jesus is so faithful in keeping his promises. 

He chose them (chose us).

v. 4-6

The good news is, Jesus never criticized them for going fishing. They worked hard, all night, together, but the result = NOTHING. Their nets were empty.

Luke 5 – similar story – when they met Jesus for the first time, they experienced a similar experience. Jesus was standing on the shore (the same place, by the sea of Galilee). So many people were crowded around him listening to him, and Jesus noticed two boats around him, and got into Peter’s boat and asked him to set out from the shore. From there, he taught to the people on the shore. After that, he said to Simon Peter, put out your net into the deep water and catch something. Peter said, “All night we worked, and caught nothing, but because you said to, we will again.” They did, and the catch was so huge, that the nets began to break and they called the other boat. The two boats began to sink. Peter knelt down, “Oh, Lord, go away from me, I’m a sinful man.” (Christ is too holy, Peter is too unholy) Christ said, “Do not be afraid, from this time on you will catch men.” And they left everything and followed him.

Now, here there’s the similar story.

Jesus was not a fisherman, but they were PROS from that area, – they knew the best when, where, what, how in the Lake of Galilee, but their efforts produced nothing.

Have you ever experienced TOTAL FAILURE in your work, ministry, parenting, relationship, marriage? If you FAIL on your own, we can experience great SUCCESS in Jesus. If we feel EMPTY, he is ABUNDANT. If we are WEAK, he is SUPER-POWERFUL.

The condition is Absolute, Unconditional Obedience. This alone produces miracles.

The action of throwing nets into the water, on the right side of the boat was NOT what caused the blessing, but it was OBEDIENCE to Christ’s words that caused the blessing.

We can experience miracles like this as well if we obey Jesus – because we understand his words. If we do so because we think his words are reasonable, that’s not true (full of faith) obedience. We obey because of who He IS, not because of how reasonable His words sound.

v 7-14

(153 fish? What’s the significance? Some sort of secret spiritual thing? NO. It just provides evidence that this is an ACTUAL historical event)

First, to our sadness, they didn’t know that it was Jesus. They didn’t recognize him as Lord. We don’t know why, but we can guess. (Possibly because of the distance – 90m, or because of the lack of light, mist on the water, their strong concentration on fishing, doubt about Jesus resurrection, no expectation of his appearance there). At first, they didn’t recognize him.

How about us?

Sometimes, are you involved in some things that you think Jesus appearance or presence would be unlikely?

Jesus appeared to them at very unlikely times, in very unlikely places – while walking, in a locked room, morning, lunch, evening – in anything and everything they were doing. 

The last verse in Matthew “Behold, I am always with you even to the very end of the age.” 

Be honest before God now. In your daily steps and walking, when in your bed, bathroom, office, school, fights, do you feel, do you recognize Jesus appearance in that situation? Recognition of Jesus’ appearance as King of Kings, Lord of Lords – a realization of Jesus appearance = the Christian life in this world.

If you have no recognition of Jesus in your daily life (though you claim to be Christian) then you are a Practical Unbeliever.

At this time, the tired, frustrated, hungry disciples, needed encouragement and direction – so Jesus came to them and made his appearance known to them. 

So Jesus provided them with everything that they needed. 

  • He provided a fire – they were cold from fishing all night on the sea.
  • He provided food – they were hungry and tired.
  • He provided a warm heart and welcome invitation – they were frustrated and discouraged.

Still now, Jesus is available and ready and prepared for us. He has a gracious and welcome invitation to us.

Sometimes, are you discouraged in your work (even ministry)? Jesus wants to provide to us sustenance and comfort and fellowship like this – He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He wants to provide peace, eternal life. Still now, He says, “Come to me, all who are burdened and heavy-laden…Peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you…”

Galatians “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. So do not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

His job to appear to us and provide for us, and welcome us is still going on today.

May God bless us all with Jesus appearance.

  • Feb 17 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Temple and the Turmoil (Acts 21:20-40)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Temple and the Turmoil (Acts 21:20-40)

02.17

02.17.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Previously, the Christians had heard that the Christians here (in Jerusalem) were in dire straits and needed money, so he’d gone to the churches and collected an offering for them. Now, they’ve returned with the money.

Paul had been received by the Christians in other cities with joy, he’d given his testimony of God’s grace and guidance, he’d told them of the signs and wonders and Holy Spirit working during the Gentiles, and they were amazed.

While Paul had been away from Jerusalem, there arose a public relations problem. The Jews accepted that God had blessed Paul in his ministry, but there arose many rumors (that most believed) that Paul was preaching against the Jews and their heritage. So, a solution was agreed upon to help Paul “keep face” in front of the Jews. There were 4 Christians who had taken a Nazarite vow (described in the OT). So, to make things easier to be received by the Jews and the Christians, they asked Paul to partake in a “cleansing ceremony.” Since, he’d been living with the Gentiles, he was technically considered “dirty.” Also, he would pay the expenses of these 4 Christians who’d taken the Nazarite vow. This was supposed to prove and demonstrate that he hadn’t turned from his Jewish faith.

He hadn’t preached against circumsicion (for example), he’d had Timothy circumcised in order to let him enter the temples they went to (Timothy was a half-Jew). Paul was not against keeping the Jewish feasts, he’d also taken a Nazarite vow. He’d kept all the laws of the Jews, but did not impose them on the Gentiles. He understood that all this “ceremony” and “religiosity” was not enough to save you – it’s what’s in the heart that matters. So, he didn’t want to impose these things against the Gentiles.

Previously in Acts 15, the Jews had agreed (as a public relations thing) to hold the Gentiles to only 5 requirements – including no sexual immorality, not eating meat with blood in it, etc. If the Gentiles followed these things, the Jews were free to have fellowship with them. And now here, they are trying to reinforce these things in Jerusalem to show that Paul is remaining consistent with his vows and heritage.

Here also, they want to affirm a connection with Paul and the mission to the Gentiles, and they want to show that Paul is still 100% Jew. So, they began the process and Paul headed off to the temple to take care of all these things. But…it backfired.

The Jews from Asia (up for Pentecost) saw Paul in the temple (they were probably from Ephesus) – where he’d received a negative reaction to his teaching. And they said, “Hey, this is the dude who’s hating on us!” And they accused him of (even *gasp*) bringing a Gentile into the inner temple – super un-holy and sinful action. This was punishable by death. And this is one of the things the Romans allowed the Sanhedrin to carry out on anyone who did it.

So, here they accuse Paul of doing that.

“He’s a hater! He’s defiled the temple!”

The police (temple) shut the door and put him out. He was an apostle, now considered an apostate (someone who turns from sound doctrine of faith). And they started beating him.

But, word came to the Roman centurion who was stationed near there – the Romans had set this up on purpose because there were TONS of riots there, especially during their holy feasts (ironic isn’t it?). So, immediately the commander went down and arrested the obvious center of attention.

They bound him with two chains, he was spared from being beaten to death (but was probably bloodied and black-eyed). Now, though, they wonder why he’s been beaten.

The commander thought he was an Egyptian terrorist (who led 4,000 revolutionaries into the desert – the revolution had been put down, but the leader had escaped). So, he was surprised to hear him speak in Greek (a “smart-guy” language) and not in Egyptian (a lower language). Now, Paul tells where he’s from (a reputable city) and that he’s a reputable citizen. Then, he asks permission to address the raving mob that tried to kill him.

So, in order to prevent the mob from killing him, they lift him up and carry him to the stairs. Now, he will address the crowd in Aramaic (the common tongue). Wow! Surprising! This guy’s smart!

Now, he gets his chance to explain why he is a missionary to the Jews and Gentiles (next time).

But, here we can see how God has kept his hand on Paul, throughout.

When we think about the roots of our own (Gentile) Christianity, we can only thank God for his provision. This man had originally fought against the Christians, but through his encounter with Jesus, he realized that the LAW was only a tool to point to Jesus and the LAW doesn’t save ultimately. Jesus is the embodiment and fulfillment of the LAW.

We can only be very thankful for Paul and his beatings, sufferings, willingness to suffer for Christ

Next, in Acts 22, the commander will command that Paul be beaten (similar to Jesus’ experience it seems) because that was just “the thing to do” to calm the crowd.

Paul asks, “Are you sure you want to do that? I’m one of you guys! A Roman!”
“Whaaaaaaa? Really?”

They send word to the commander about it.

Paul’s father had been a Roman citizen, so he’d inherited Roman citizenship naturally. And actually, the commander himself was probably originally Greek – he had NOT gained citizenship through heritage…

The lesson there:
While in England, there was a terrible tragedy in India – there was a time of feast, and 1000s of people had gone to the river Gangez to be cleansed of their sins – but there were so many that went, they trampled others. These people were trying to “buy” salvation – these false teachings from the Hindu leaders were leading them into a frenzy and leading them astray. There are many others who try to “buy” or “earn” their ways into salvation (as this Roman commander had “bought” his citizenship). But, ultimately, we must all be “BORN” into our citizenship and salvation (as Paul was “born” into his Roman citizenship). As Jesus says, “You must be born again.”

Q: Have you been born again? As a citizen of heaven?

How can we? We hear the gospel. John 3:16 – Faith comes by hearing the Word (Romans) – and then we look to Jesus (not to our works and deeds, not to the River Gangez).

Have you been born again?

Here’s a short prayer – not sure? Examine yourself to see if you’re in the faith. In sincerity, repent of your sins, ask Jesus to come and live in your life and heart. And strive to follow him wholeheartedly and obey his commands “Whoever loves me keeps my commands.” And all heaven rejoices.

Lord,

I repent, cleanse me, come into my life, I receive you, hold me until eternity, justify me, sanctify me. Amen.

  • Feb 10 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Transforming Power of Christ’s Resurrection! (John 20:19-31)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Transforming Power of Christ’s Resurrection! (John 20:19-31)

02.10

02.10.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Challenge: Memorize verse 31

Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead

actually, really, historically.

This is not the story of recovering from fainting (as Muslims believe).

This was actual, real, true death. So, it is actual, real, true resurrection. 

The word that he rose began to spread among his disciples – first hesitantly, then enthusiastically.

At first, they didn’t believe the first reports, but as they were continually confronted with the evidence, they believed, and there was very evident and powerful change in their lives. Still today, we can personally experience the same kinds of transformation and powerful change.

So, ask yourself, “Have I personally met the Risen Lord? Has He changed my life personally? and powerfully?”

At least 5 appearances recorded here.

  1. 1. First to Mary Magdalene on the day,
  2. 2. Then to other women
  3. 3. Then to Peter
  4. 4. Then to other disciples on the way to Emmaus (”what are you talking about?” “Dont’ you know, haven’t you heard? Jesus – there is talk he rose from the dead.” Then, their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared.)
  5. 5. This now is the fifth appearance after his resurrection (”On that day…” there were 10 disciples (no Thomas and no Judas Iscariot)).

This is Jesus’ fifth appearance on that day of his resurrection. 10 disciples were in one room, in fear of the Jews, so they locked the doors. Why were they afraid? 

After his resurrection, the Jews, elders, leaders, gathered together and made a bad plan – they gave lots of money to the soldiers to tell an untrue story about the theft of Jesus body. 

At that time, there was NEWS that Jesus rose from the dead, and RUMOR that his disciples stole the body. If they were caught, they would be arrested.

Jesus appeared to them and they were overjoyed. Jesus transformed them from fear to overjoyed, from cowardice to courage.

Some things prove that Jesus rose bodily. “I have flesh and bones.” Also, the women touched his feet. The tomb was empty and the grave clothes in order. Many things prove that he rose in a BODY. (Jehovah’s Witnesses believe he DIDN’T have a body, but a spiritual resurrection)

He rose with an eternal, immortal body – this body is NOT like our bodies. This body is still inhabited by him 2,000 years later – it has not decayed. 

Romans 6:9 “We know that since he was raised from the dead, he cannot die again. Death no longer has mastery over him.”

So, HOW did he transform their lives from fear to joy, from cowardice to courage?

1. Jesus came to them.

His appearance alone made them overjoyed.

2. Then, he greeted and blessed them.

“Peace be with you.” (Shalom) He did not rebuke them for their unfaithfulness and cowardice from the previous week (when he was crucified). “Peace be with you.” is repeated 3 times here.

“Peace be with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives…”

He first gives PEACE. He himself is our peace.

3. He reassured them. (v. 20)

He showed them his hands and his side. He reassured them. They let them discover that this was the REAL Savior, the REAL Jesus. His wounds were more than just his identification, but also evidence of the price he paid for us. “By his wounds we are healed.”

We must know that the basis for ALL our peace is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection. Still, he comes to us in grace, and reassures us with his Words. 

Even though the door was locked, we must realize that there is NO safe place – without Jesus. Only IN Christ, there is perfect safety and peace (physically and spiritually).

4. He commissioned them (v. 21).

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

What grace! What amazing grace! What an amazing privilege and great responsibility! 

Can you imagine? They had deserted him and fled as he died, but now immediately after his resurrection, he sends them out into this world. 

In his intercessory prayer in chapter 17, “As you have sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.”

This is the dedication, commitment, of real Christians to the task of world evangelism.

Jesus reconciled us to himself through his death and resurrection, and then gives us his ministry to be ambassadors to the world. 

(Corinthians)

5. Jesus empowered (enabled, anointed) them with the Holy Spirit.

He breathed on them (reminds me of God breathing on Adam – Genesis 2:7 – this was the breath of Life) and gave them the Holy Spirit.

  • In his first Creation, the breath of God = physical life.
  • In his new Creation, the breath of God = spiritual life. 

They would then receive the baptism of the HS at Pentecost. Without the HS, we cannot go out and fulfill his commission. “When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power…”

The HS is essential for us to do God’s job in this world.

6. Jesus gave them the authority of forgiveness. (reminds me of Catholic confessionals)

Jesus says, “if you forgive anyone their sins, they are forgiven, if not, they are not forgiven.” 

Jesus gives us the message of forgiveness, real forgiveness can only be found by accepting Jesus as personal Lord. Imagine if we do not preach this message of forgiveness, they cannot hear it, if they don’t hear it, they cannot believe, if they don’t believe, God cannot forgive them. 

We have received the MESSAGE of forgiveness, but NOT God’s own authority to forgive.

If we preach this message and they receive Christ and God’s forgiveness through him, THEN we can authoritatively declare them ARE forgiven.

God transforms them in 6 steps.

  1. He came
  2. He greeted and blessed
  3. He reassured
  4. He commissioned
  5. He gave authority of message of forgiveness…

We can see his next appearance one week later. 

We don’t know what happened between the weeks, but we know what happened one week later. (Thomas wasn’t there the first week, they told him “We saw Him!” but he said, “I won’t believe unless my eyes also witness this.” A week later, Thomas was with them, and Jesus came, transforming power again. “Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas believed, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet have believed.”)

One week later, the disciples were meeting (was this their worship time? or just meeting?)

Jesus said again, “Peace be with you.”

Main character here is Thomas.

One week previously, he was not there. Maybe one week ago, he was busy, far away, didn’t know about the disciples’ meeting, maybe discouraged or disappointed to join. 

Thomas missed much blessing – because of only one week.

He missed seeing the Lord and receiving the blessing, the gift of HS, the commission, the message of forgiveness. 

He missed this blessing for one full week.

The others received this one week ago.

So, Thomas had to suffer for one week of doubting, skepticism. 

But Jesus transformed him from hiding to confession, from doubting to belief, from skepticism to faith. 

“Didymus” means “twin.”

Spiritual meaning today = there are many twins of Thomas today.

Today’s Christians ask not to miss Christian community and fellowship, especially on the Lord’s day.

If we miss Christian community, we never know what kinds of special blessings we might miss.

If we miss this community, this day, today, we will miss it for at least one week. So, we should come every week. ^^

If we are alone, separated, isolated from fellowship, we are weak and weaker, but when we are together, we get strong and stronger. Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing. But let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

  • Ephesians 2:20 “because we know that in Christ we are being renewed and built together to dwell in the house of God.”
  • Ephesians (we are being built together to live as a dwelling for God and his Spirit)
  • Eph 2:20 “In Him you too are being built to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

We must do all we can to build together, edify together, fellowship together.

In AICF, our lives are very movable. We are pilgrims in this world. But if you move, the FIRST thing you should do is pray to God for faithful guidance to find a faithful community.

To worship God is our basic blessing (and basic burden). Not only right, also duty. Privilege and responsibility.

Conclusion:

The disciples had seen the Lord and believed. They were not saved by seeing. They were saved by believing. They saw, but we cannot see. We have the record, the message. “Faith comes from hearing.” (Romans?)

The main purpose this book is written is so that we may have life. 

What kind of life? ALL kinds

abundant, heavenly, glorious, wonderful, spiritual, life.

The whole Bible is full of life which can be found in Jesus.

  • Jesus said, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you believe that by them you possess eternal life. But these are the Scriptures that testify about me.”
  • John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…the darkness has not understood it.”
  • “I am the way the truth and the life.”
  • “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
  • 1 John 5:11 (Conclusion)
  • “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What does this mean? It means that this Jesus 2,000 years ago, who transformed the men from fear to joy, from death to life, from cowardice to courage, is STILL transforming US in this way today – from frustration to peace, etc. And uses us to deliver his message of transforming power to others.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 03 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Where is Jesus Now Who is Alive? (John 20:1-18)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Where is Jesus Now Who is Alive? (John 20:1-18)

02.03

02.03.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Early on the first day of the week (Sunday)

Actually, Sunday worship began BECAUSE of this event. Previously, Jewish worship was on Saturday (the Sabbath).

This is GOOD NEWS! That’s why this is one of the gospels. Gospel = “good news.”

Mary Magdalene was one woman who followed Jesus to the cross, and saw him die, and watched where he was buried.

She was from Magdala (town name) near Galilee. She was a woman from whom Jesus had cast out 7 demons. So, she was obviously quite thankful to Jesus for that.

She followed him to Jerusalem, and helped him in his earthly ministry, and provided some financial help. 

Now, because of the short interim between Jesus’ death and the coming of the Sabbath, the women at the cross didn’t have enough time to anoint his body with spices. So, because of the Sabbath, they had to go home to rest (from Friday sunset – Jesus’ death, to Saturday sunset – end of the Sabbath). Then, the next day, Sunday, they came early to the tomb to anoint his body – they couldn’t wait any longer to anoint him for death (but they were good Jews following the Sabbath, so they couldn’t go Saturday).

When they arrived, there was a violent earthquake and the stone rolled away from the tomb. They were obviously alarmed. But a young man (angel) said, “Do not be afraid. Jesus is gone. Go to Galilee and meet Jesus!” But, the women couldn’t understand fully this testimony, so they went to Peter and John and said, “They took away our Lord, we don’t know where they put him.” This caused sudden and intense action from the disciples. They raced to the tomb (John was younger, he won). John did not enter the tomb, just bent over and looked inside. He saw the cloths lying there. He was likely thinking logically and reasonably. 

Then, when Peter arrived, he suddenly, unthinkingly entered the tomb (he’s a man of action). And he noticed the cloths were folded up nicely and neatly.

  • In this story, Mary was “feeler”
  • Peter was “doer”
  • John was “thinker”

Mary was too sorrowful to think and believe.

Peter was too busy to think and believe.

But, finally, John went inside, he saw and believed. (He thought deeply, logically, systematically). 

  1. There was a violent earthquake.
  2. The tomb opened.
  3. Jesus was not there.
  4. The cloths were there.
  5. The cloths were folded in order, nicely and neatly. (Did you fold your blanket this morning?)

If we think about this logically, this event CANNOT be logically explained WITHOUT the resurrection of Jesus. 

So, Peter and John returned to their homes, but Mary stayed, crying, she bent over and looked in again. Two angels appeared again, one at the head, one at the feet. “Woman, why are you crying?”

Then, at that time, Jesus, who rose from the dead appeared to Mary, but Mary didn’t realize it was Jesus because her continual crying blinded her – so she couldn’t recognize him.

He said, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She thought he was the gardener, so asked for Jesus’ body if he’d carried him away. 

At that time, Jesus called her by name, “Mary.”

At that moment, she was so surprised that this man knew her name, so she turned and recognized him and called him, “My Master! (Rabboni)” 

Her immediate reaction was to grab him and hug him. 

He said, “Wait, I’m busy, I must return to God my Father. So, you have a mission, to go to the disciples and tell them.”

So, she went to the disciples and told them “I have seen the Lord.”
This is the very first preaching of the gospel, the good news.

In the matter of Jesus, Mary had at least 3 Guiness World Records.

  1. The FIRST person at the tomb
  2. The FIRST person who saw him AND the FIRST person Jesus called by name
  3. The FIRST person who delivered the gospel message to the apostles. (She was sent as an apostle to the apostles)

Jesus’ death and resurrection is of paramount importance for several reasons.

#1: This is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity

(if you don’t believe this ONE thing AT LEAST, you aren’t a Christian). The whole Bible, the whole faith, the whole Christian life stands or falls on this one point. If it’s not true, everything is vain, a lie, futile. Also, we are still in our sins, all Christians are lost, and most to be pitied of ALL men in the world. (1 Corinthians 15).

The heart message of the gospel is Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

Have you ever been in another religion before? Or do you know of the big differences between other religions and Christianity?

Other religions keep silent about the death of their founders (plus, ALL the founders have MASSIVE tombs that are visited every year by millions of followers on pilgrimage).

But, Christianity ALWAYS preaches about our founder’s death! We boldly BOAST in his death! Why? Because he IS NOT dead! He is Risen!

#2: This is an essential part in the application of our salvation.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

“Since we have been justified in his death, how much more will we be saved in his life?”

Salvation is provided, offered to ALL humans unconditionally in his death.

But it is applied in his death ONLY to those who believe in him.

(Unlimited Limited Atonement)

It was necessary that he must die and rise again in order to 1. Be a King, 2. give us forgiveness, 3. give us the Holy Spirit

#3: This is a manifestation of divine power

  • In OT, the standard for divine power was the Exodus, the power in which God brought Israel out of Egypt.
  • In NT, the standard for divine power was the resurrection of Jesus – it demonstrated his holiness.

Also, this divine power is available for us if we belong to Jesus. 

Romans 8:11 “And If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Him to life will give eternal life to our mortal bodies.”

Jesus goal, vision, dream is to raise us in the Last Day – those who believe in him.

So, if we summarize the whole story of the Bible in the very shortest sentence…

OT: (John 5:39) “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by the Scriptures, you receive eternal life. But these Scriptures are the Scriptures that testify about ME.” From Genesis to Revelation, ALL testify to Jesus.

So, OT from Genesis to Malachi, this is the Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

  • NT from Matthew to John = the Historical Facts of the Death and Resurrection
  • Acts = The Fruit of the Death and Resurrection
  • Epistles (Letters) = Spiritual meaning, blessing, interpretation of Death and Resurrection
  • Revelation = the Prophecy of the Returning King
  1. Historical Fact = Jesus died and rose again
  2. Historical Faith = Jesus is still alive now
  3. Saving Faith = Jesus is still alive now IN ME (as my Savior, as my Lord, as my King)

God has given Jesus the name that is above all names so that at his name, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Revelation?)

This vision of God will be fulfilled absolutely, unconditionally.

Do you kneel down and confess that Jesus is Lord? If we do this now, here, in this lifetime, we will experience eternal blessing and life.

But, if we do NOT do that and do not confess, then we have to do that in the world to come, in Hell, eternally. 

Let me close with that vision of God.

This is God’s absolute vision in the matter of Jesus’ Lordship – it will be fulfilled absolutely

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names, that at his name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, on the Earth, above the Earth, below the Earth, that Jesus is Lord. 

Do you believe that there is the glory of God even in Hell? There is.

  • If we do this on Earth, we will forever in heaven as well.
  • If we do not do this on Earth, we will forever in hell anyway.

God bless us all with this word.

  • Jan 27 / 2013
  • Comments Off on It Is Finished! (John 19:28-42)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

It Is Finished! (John 19:28-42)

01.27

01.27.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do you like Jesus’ death?

As a Christian, what do you believe, or what can you say about the death of Jesus Christ?

If you are a Sunday school teacher / evangelist / missionary, what will you teach/preach about the death of Christ?

For humans, usually death is sorrowful news, there is no more work to be done.

But, in the case of Jesus, it is “good news of great joy for all the people, for all time.”

Good news of the gospel is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the death and resurrection, the gospel cannot be gospel.

Jesus’ death is a great work, the greatest work.

It didn’t come unavoidably, but by his definite choice according to his own purpose. 

  • “It is finished.” in Greek is only one word.
  • “It is accomplished. All is paid.” etc.

This is one of 7 sentences he spoke at the cross.

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
  2. “I tell you the truth, today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Even at the point of death can you also preach to save souls as he did?)
  3. “Dear woman, this is your son.” To John, “This is your mother.”
  4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
  5. “I’m thirsty.” (literal thirst)
  6. “It is finished.” (all is done)
  7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

It is finished = with my death, I do all things I’ve wanted to do for all eternity for all men (in the past, in the future)

Actually, our whole lives are not long enough to fully meditate on the death and meaning of Jesus’ death.

6 Spiritual Meanings.

#1: Substitution 

He did not bear his own sins, but substituted himself for our sins. Numerous scriptures say, “Jesus died for you…for others…for us.”

  • Isaiah 53:5-6 “Christ was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities…by his wounds we are healed…we all like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way, but God laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his great love for us in this…”
  • 1 Corinthians 15 “What I received, I passed on to you as of first importance.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5 “God made him without sin to become sin for us.”
  • 1 Peter “God made him on the tree for us.”
  • 1 Peter 3 “Jesus died for us all to bring us to God (once for all).”

There is no question Jesus died as our SUBSTITUTION – for our sins.

#2: Ransom (Redemption)

Literal meaning = an amount of money paid to set someone free (prisoner, kidnapped)

Redemption = deliverance of that prisoner to freedom.

Jesus death is our ransom price for deliverance from death to life, from child of Satan to child of God, from hell to heaven, from condemnation to forgiveness, from bondage of sin to freedom of truth, from Old Creation to New Creation. 

Jesus already paid the whole price to get us as a child of God.

“You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore, honor God with your bodies.” (Romans?)

If we try to please ourselves, we are bad men, because we were already bought.

What must we pay to buy salvation? You cannot because it is too late. Already 2000 years ago, Jesus paid the full price. 

How much must we pay? You cannot because it is too expensive, far beyond your ability to pay. 

The price of salvation is priceless.

“The value of one soul is more valuable than the whole universe.”
“I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for all.”

Galation 3 “Christ became a curse for us to destroy the curse, for everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.”
“It is not from gold or silver we are bought but with the precious blood of the Lamb of God.”

  • Ransom (cause)
  • Redemption (effect) 

#3: Propitiation (atoning sacrifice)

Literal meaning = covering or mercy seat or appeasing.

In the OT, the cover of the Ark of the Covenant (with 10 Commandments) was called the Mercy Seat (propitiation).

If there is something bad, dirty, etc, and I cover it, then I can no longer see it. 

The covering over us is Jesus’ death, is the propitiation for our sins so that God no longer sees the sins.

Appeasement = if someone is angry at me, and I relieve that anger by giving a gift, that is my propitiation. 

Propitiation removes God’s wrath from us.

How can God declare the unrighteous righteous? Are you righteous before God? Can you say you are a perfect man?

If you are, then God is no longer righteous.

Propitiation is when God declares the unrighteous righteous because he believes in Jesus and his death for our sins.

Romans 3:25-26 “God presented Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins.” (KJV)

“God presented Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (NIV)

“because in his long suffering, he had left sins before Christ unpunished. He did this to be just and to justify the one who believes in Christ.”

1 John 2:2 “Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world.”

#4: Reconciliation

The Bible encourages us and challenges us to be reconciled to God. 

First, enmity (enemies) and then reconciliation (friends again).

2 Corithians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”

God reconciled all human beings through Christ. If we are reconciled, then we are given the message and ministry of reconciliation. 

The story of reconciliation goes like this:

At first, God and man stood face to face in fellowship with original koinonia (Genesis 1-2)

If God judged immediately because of human sin, there would be no more Bible because we fell in Genesis 3. So, the rest of the Bible is God’s pursuit of us to reconcile us and save us from condemnation.

  • At first, Adam and God could talk face to face, and listen to each other. 
  • Usually, sinful man does not like holy God. So, man turned away from God and walked away.
  • Also, holy God could not see sin, so turned away from man.

“The sinful mind is hostile to God, but Jesus Christ has fully satisfied the commands of God and has reconciled us to him.”

Still now, man is entreated, encouraged to be reconciled to God by believing in Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:3 “Be reconciled to God.”

Without reconciliation with God, there is no reconciliation with yourself, with others, with your parents, children, spouse, friends.

The key to all reconciliation with anyone is first reconciliation with God.

“Jesus Christ is our peace who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier between God and man.”

#5: Fulfillment (Satisfaction)

“It is finished.” “All is done.”

Jesus’ death is the fulfillment and satisfaction. His death is the fulfillment of God’s law, God’s justice, God’s holiness, God’s love, God’s prophecy, God’s covenant. 

  • In God’s law, sin must be paid by death. 
  • In God’s justice, must be punished.
  • In holiness, must be removed.
  • In love, must be forgiven and all things given up.
  • In prophecy, nothing must be left undone.
  • In covenant, all requirements must be met.

All these are met in death – perfectly in Jesus’ death.

“Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the Prophets, I have come to fulfill them.”

Romans “Jesus is the end of the law, the fulfillment of the law.”

#6: Our Story

  • Substitution
  • Ransom
  • Propitiation
  • Reconciliation
  • Fulfillment

All this mental agreement and mental knowledge is NOT enough to save us.

Even Satan knows and believes this and shudders. He knows and believes but is not saved, why? He does not commit his life to Christ.

Mental agreement is not enough.

#6 is our personal story, personal belief, personal relationship

Jesus’ death is MY death (personally).

Can you personally confess this? 

“Jesus’ death is MY death.”

Can you be united with Christ in his death, really, truly? This is the full truth of Jesus’ death from the text this morning.

Visible things are temporary, but invisible things are eternal. If we really have faith, we must be able to see things that are invisible.

  • Today, visibly, it looked like THEY killed him.
  • Invisibly, Jesus killed death, the final enemy.

Yes, we say, “Jesus died for me.”

This is the first step (confession).

Unbelievers never say this because they don’t believe – so they don’t confess the real meaning, effect, blessing. For them, this is resolved until they believe.

  • It looks (visibly) that Jesus died for me.
  • In reality (invisibly) we died with Christ 2000 years ago.

Where Were You When Jesus Was On the Cross? (last sermon)

Galatians “The life I live in the body I live by faith…”

Romans 6:6 “I was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin was done away with… 

This morning, did you see the sun in the sky?

It rises in the morning and sets at night – even the Bible expresses this. 

But in the invisible world, the sun is constant, and the EARTH is moving. But we do not feel it, do not see it.

Visibility doesn’t always equal reality.

The Christian life is union with Christ (first) in his death. Then, if you are really united with him in his death, then you can be (second) united with him in his resurrection. 

If you are not united with him in death, you cannot be united with him in resurrection, and nothing else that happens after (life, glory, etc).

But, if you are united with him in death, then you are also united with him in all things that come after.

Romans 6:4-5 “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that just as Christ was raised from the dead for the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will also certainly be united with him in his resurrection.”

Let’s stand and confess and proclaim.

  • If you do not believe, keep silent.
  • If you believe, open you heart and mouth.
  • Jan 20 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Where Were You When Christ Was on the Cross? (John 19:1-27)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Where Were You When Christ Was on the Cross? (John 19:1-27)

01.20

01.20.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Where were you spiritually when they crucified Christ?

We should be able to see not only Jesus on the cross, but also ourselves, our old selves.

Galatians “I was crucified with Christ…”

Romans 6:6 “We know that our old self was crucified with Jesus Christ that our old body of sin might be done away with so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”

We should see not only Jesus, but also our own selves.

Romans 6:6 once more:

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

  • Jan 13 / 2013
  • Comments Off on God’s Plan for You is to Save You and Save Others Through You! (Romans 10:9-15)
New Year, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God’s Plan for You is to Save You and Save Others Through You! (Romans 10:9-15)

01.13

01.13.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last Sunday, I shared THAT God has plans for you – a plan for salvation, eternity, prosperity, etc.

God’s plan of salvation is for us and through us.

Before this, here is a basic question about salvation:

First, are you clear about this? Are you saved? Really? Are you assured of this?

  • If your answer is “no”, is there any reason you reject this offer of salvation?
  • If your answer is “yes”, how much and in what way does that salvation affect your daily life and lifestyle and attitudes and worldview and purpose and interests?

This morning, about this basic plan of God, I hope and pray that all of us may become very clear about this matter of salvation. It is very basic, but the final goal.

  • Acts 16:31 -”Believe in the Lord and you will be saved.”
  • Phil. – “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”
  • 1 Peter? “Continue to work out your salvation…”

The whole purpose of this life is salvation. 

It is a new birth, becoming a child of God, it is becoming a new creation. Regeneration, rebirth, union with Christ, justification, sanctification, glorification.

Characteristics of salvation and how to do it is very simple, not hard, eternal, not temporary.

  • “If you confess with your mouth” 
  • “Jesus is Lord” with your mouth. very simple.
  • “And believe in your heart”

3 times repeated.

If we have a mouth and a heart, we can be saved. If you have these things, it’s enough to be saved. There are no other conditions. It is so easy and free.

This is the paradox of salvation.

Here are 6 reasons and grounds why it is so easy and so free:

Some people cannot understand or rejects the gift of salvation because it’s too easy and too free – they want something hard, something to pay for salvation – thing there must be a price or a catch.

#1 – The Love of God (is greater far…)

  1. God IS love.
  2. God is Spirit.
  3. God is light.

Everything God has IS love and is FROM love. 

God wants all of us whom he loves to be free and love him.

  • John 3:16 “For God…”
  • John 3:17 “God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

He wants anybody and everybody to come to repentance through him.

#2 – The Power of God (He is Creator)

God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. He can do anything, anywhere, anytime he wants.

It is not you and I who save ourselves, but God who saves us.

In the matter of salvation, we are passive…God is active.

In the job of salvation, if God has 80% of all powers to save us, then God needs to ask us 20% of our powers to save us. If He has 99.99% power, he needs to ask us 0.01% from us. But, since God has 100% of power, he does not need to ask us – he is Almighty God – able to save all of us with no input from us.

#3 – The Price Jesus paid is sufficient (once for all)

“It is finished” = “salvation is finished, all you need is complete”

Not only for our sins, but for the sins of the whole world. 

Jesus already paid the price for our salvation. 

  • Salvation is free, it’s free, it’s free.
  • But…not cheap.

It’s so very precious.

Why is it free? Because it is priceless.

Example – Isaac

He enjoys food, clothes, house – for free. 

He does not pay Daddy…

Somebody pays for everything for him.

If we go to Lotte Department store, how much do we pay for the elevator? Free.

But the owner of that building paid very much to install it.

Like this, it doesn’t cost you and me anything for our salvation, but it costs the provider, God, the price of the blood of His one and only Son.

It’s free for us, but super expensive for God. 

If we need to pay something to get salvation, that means that Jesus’ death is not enough. But it is really MORE than enough.

It is all already paid on the cross.

#4 – Absolute need of Salvation of all Humans

Every person on Earth needs salvation, forgiveness of sins – is there any person on Earth who cannot say “No, I don’t need that.” 

The sick needs healing, the lonely needs a friend, the sinner needs forgiveness.

  • Romans 3:23
  • Romans 6:23

Also, “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that face the judgment…”

All human beings need salvation, absolutely.

No one can escape the needs.

#5 – Before salvation, at that time we were completely dead.

Ephesians 2:21? “At that time, you were dead in your sins…”

Following the kingdom of the air, the kingdom of wrath. 

At that time, we were dead.

“At that time, I was dead.”
Not almost dead, not nearly dead, but totally dead.

As long as you think you can do something to save yourself, you can actually never be saved by the power of God. 

At that time, we were totally powerless. 

That’s why God is providing salvation so easily and free.

#6 – To make all humans unable to say “Excuse me…” and unable to boast about our salvation

In evangelism, many people say, “Excuse me…I’m too busy for that…the church is full of hypocrites…some Christian hurt me…”

There are many excuses…

The DNA of “Excuse me” is running in our veins – Adam and Eve started it. 

  • In the Garden, God said, “Why did you eat?”
  • Adam said, “The woman made me do it.”
  • Eve said, “The snake made me do it.”

(Adam basically blamed God – “the woman YOU gave me…” i.e. “if you never gave me that woman…”)

All excuses.

On that day, the final day, nobody can say before God, “Excuse me.” All of them will be speechless.

Romans 1:18,19,20

“Since the creation of the world, all of God’s qualities, his divine nature,…have been clearly seen, so that men are without excuse.”

“It is by grace, through faith that you have been saved, so that no one can boast.” 

  • For the unsaved, they cannot say “Excuse me”
  • For the saved, they cannot say “I can boast of my salvation”

God made salvation so easy and free.

v. 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Let us call “Jesus is my Lord”

Toward the outside, for somebody to hear.

Also do you believe in your heart?

Jesus died for my sins, and rose again and is alive in Spirit?

We can see again 4-5 times “how”

  1. “How can they call on the one they have not believed in?”
  2. “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?”
  3. “How can they hear without someone preaching to them?”
  4. “How can they preach unless they are sent?”
  5. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

This is the paradox of salvation.

It is so free and easy, but after we receive the easy, free gift of it, asks ALL we have – to commit all we have for Jesus, to take the gift to others. This is the mystery, the attraction, of salvation. 

We are saved so easily, so freely.  

But that salvation demands not optionally, but absolutely to commit all we have to Jesus Christ for the salvation of others.

Matt 13:44-45 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field – when a man found that treasure in the field, he went and sold all he had and bought the field in his great joy!”

When a merchant found a great pearl, he went and sold all he had to buy that pearl. 

When saved, you commit, sell, give away, your whole life for that gift.

Jesus sent his only son Jesus to preach the message of salvation so that people could accept the gift of salvation, and that person is then sent to preach that gift to others, then the next is sent to preach to be saved, and he is sent, preaches, saves, he is sent, preaches, saves, etc, etc.

1 -> 2 -> 4 -> 8 -> 16 ->32 -> 64 -> 128 -> 256 -> 512 -> 1024 -> etc

This is the chain of salvation. 

It does not mean that baptism is not important – it is, to follow Jesus, to show your new life – but God did not send Paul to baptize but to preach. 

If we go to the office to work, to make money, to study, to teach, – but inwardly, before God, to yourself, to God, we must say all the time, “Christ did not send me to teach English, to make money, but to preach the gospel of salvation.”

Can you say that before God, to yourself, honestly, definitely?

This is a sign that you are truly saved. 

Paul confessed, “if I preach the gospel of salvation, I cannot boast, because I MUST preach. If I don’t, woe is me…I consider my physical life worth nothing to me if only I can finish the race and complete the task given to me, – to preach and save others.”

This is God’s plan of salvation for you and from you to others.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 06 / 2013
  • Comments Off on God Has Plans for You! (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
New Year, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Has Plans for You! (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

01.06

01.06.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

At the time of this writing, Israel was divided into north and south, the people were exiled, it was a generally terrible time. 

And from this, God spoke these words.

Even today, the world is a mess. Can we be certain that anything is meaningful? Or is everything meaningless? 

God has a plan for you!

The Bible illustrates this.

Long before our physical mothers had us in their minds, God has us in his mind.

In this season, our resolutions should start with God, not with ourselves. 

  • Psalm 139:13-14 “God knit me together in my mother’s womb – that’s why I praise God, because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.”
  • Jeremiah 1:9 “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to all nations.”
  • Ephesians 1:4 “God chose us before the creation of the world to be holy, to be blameless in his sight.”

God has plans for you!

We must remember that without the purpose of God, life is meaningless activity, a directionless path.

The will and plan of God is the biggest purpose that we should know. John: “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.” Therefore, God’s plan is that we have life to the full! God who is creator, maker, designer of all things should be interested in our small lives. He who hung the stars in the sky should have a plan/hope for us.

Can you imagine parents with no hopes for their children? Can you imagine a man with no special plan for a woman he accepts as wife? Can you imagine a head coach with no plan for his players? A captain with no plan for his soldiers? A king with no plan for his country? A boss with no plan for his workers? Absolutely not.

How much more, God, who created us in his likeness?

There are 4 reasons why God’s plan is not only the best, but also the ONE AND ONLY best plan for our lives.

Only when we discover God’s plan can we find true meaning and purpose for our lives.

#1. Only God knows the future – so we must learn about God’s plan.

There is a great interest into looking into the future. Daily horoscopes, fortune tellers, end-of-the-world predictions, are everywhere.

In the Old Testament, diviners, fortune tellers, should be killed immediately. It is very foolish to look into the future.
Proverbs: Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what lies ahead. 

Job 23:10 “Only he knows the way I will take. After he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

You do not know about tomorrow – not even one single minute later. 

It is only God who can lead us through the uncertainties of tomorrow. 

No matter how dark the storms of life may appear, God can lead us through them.

That’s why God’s plan/purpose/will is so important.

#2: Only God knows what is the best.

One of the biggest mysteries of our lives is…we all know what we “like” but we don’t all know what we really “need”

Sometimes we want God’s stamp of approval in our desires, even selfish desires. But God wants to lead us in HIS purposes.

That doesn’t mean that God wants to make us suffer under his plan – he is our father, and like a father wants us to enjoy our lives. But he also knows, like a father, our inabilities, our incapabilities of planning our own lives.

We cannot be in two places at once, or do two things at once, or go two ways at once. So, God knows which way is the best way.

Romans 8, 16? “In this same way, the HS helps us in our weaknesses. Many times, we do not know what we should pray for so the HS intercedes for us with groans.”

#3: Only God has a plan for blessing /hope /prosperity.

Is your life all that you want it to be? Are you experiencing the best you can? We can, through Christ. We can confess like David, “We are created fearfully, wonderfully.” We are a special and precious creation of God – who cares.

Even though we’ve sinned, even though we’ve defaced God’s creation, salvation is still readily available for us.

The message of the gospel is that God has a plan for us that reaches from eternity past to eternity future.

Eph. 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship made in his likeness and created to do good works he has set aside for us to do from the beginning of time.”

#4: We want to do God’s work?

Jonah is a classic example of a man who wouldn’t follow God’s plan – he disobeyed.

God’s plan was that he be an instrument to reach a people for Him – but Jonah disobeyed and sailed away. So, God had to judge Jonah. He had to put him in a place where he would listen to God’s voice and be willing to hear God’s voice.

Eph 5:17 “Do not be foolish. Understand what God’s plan is, what the Lord’s will is.”

How? We discussed the WHY – now, HOW can we discover and find God’s plan?

There are prerequisites.

#1. Salvation – without this it is impossible to know God’s plan.

Without salvation, we are spiritually dead. Is it possible for the dead to know something? No, therefore, the first step for us to know God’s plan is: to be alive – spiritually alive – get salvation – only through Jesus Christ, dead, resurrected, coming soon. 

John “To those who received him, to all those who called on his name, he gave the right to be called children of God.”

#2: Surrender, Submission

Without an attitude of surrender, submission, it is impossible to enter further, to see further the plan of God. Why do we want to see the plan? To obey. Knowing and not doing is double disobedience. God never is cheated, he is wise. His foolishness is wiser than our wisdom.
Conclusion of Sermon on the Mount: “Whoever hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The winds came, the rains beat on the house, but the house stood. But he who hears and does not do is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. In the storm, the house fell and was destroyed.” 

#3: Separation

It is the plan of God that the believers live separated, holy lives – set apart from the world, set apart from sin.

Romans 2:10 “Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world. But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and aprove what God’s will is, his good and pleasing and perfect will.”

We should be free from sexual immorality, and all other kinds of immorality.

John – “Do not love the world, or anything in the world, because anyone who loves the world, the love of God is not in him…this world and its desires pass away soon, but only the man who lives according to the will of God will live.”

Separation WITH holiness is imperative.

If we are not separated, not holy, we cannot see into God’s plan for our lives.

#4: Sincerity

To see the plan of God, deeper, higher, wider, there must be more than head desire, there must be heart desire – passion, zeal, yearning, faithfulness before God.

God does not show us his plan to let us toy with him.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.”

Especially this year, may God bless all of us.

I don’t know your situation, your background. But regardless, God has a plan and a purpose for you.

At the same time, God has a plan and a purpose for AICF. Because AICF is the body of Christ, it is the congregation of God’s servants, God’s children.

2013 AICF Prayers:

Definitely God has a plan, purpose, desire for AICF so that his name may be glorified fully.

We are not here by accident – I want to ask you individually, personally – do not be here MERELY as observers, onlookers. We all have a part, if we are members, we ALL have something to do here.

Jer. 29:12 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

  • CALL, COME, PRAY.
  • ASK, SEEK, KNOCK.
  • PRAY, PRAY, PRAY.

29:13 “Call to me, and I will answer you, so greatly that you will not understand.”

All the time, God is ready to listen to our cries. Without praying, it is impossible for God’s will to be fulfilled and realized. 

He will accomplish his plan when we pray and call on him. Whenever we get together, let us pray for AICF for His glory.

1. Unity and Growth of AICF is very important

Eph. 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace – there is one body, one baptism, one Spirit, one father of all who is above all and in all and through all.”

Gal 3 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, in Christ…”

  • We are different in visible details.
  • But in invisible details, we are ONE.
  • Visible things are temporary.
  • Invisible things are eternal.
  • What is unseen is more important.
  • If we can see the unseen, we are spiritual.

2. 200+ worship together

This is not the final goal, just the middle. This is not about numbers, but about more people meeting Jesus. 

Can you see outside? As long as there are the lost on the street, God is never happy or satisfied with all the people in the church.
What is the first and original plan of God?

  1. Be fruitful
  2. Increase in number
  3. fill the earth
  4. subdue it
  5. rule over all creation.

The original plan/blessing of God.

The story of the father in the book of Luke (prodigal) – one son (us, church people) were always at home helping Daddy. The other son (those people on the street) went off to enjoy himself. But Daddy always watched and waited at the window for the lost son to return home. This is the heart of God.

We should increase in quality and also number.

3. Our own space – we are very crowded, busy.

This year the main church has a 30 year anniversary – we expect and pray for action for a new building this year. If you want this, pray for it. 

4. Active koinonia in cell groups – we will start with 5.

We will have cell activity this year. Our body (church) has many cells and increases in size and maturity by the division of cells – so we hope and pray for more and more cells.
Koinonia – Greek – difficult to translate in a single word – very visible in Acts – fellowship, relationship, holy intimacy, service, sharing, helping, building, in many ways this word was translated in Acts.

5. More mission – we are living at the last time of last times.

Matthew 24:14 “The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and THEN the end will come.” To mens’ eyes, there are many many local churches. But to God’s eyes, there is only one global church – so we must pray for AICF, for Antioch Church, for Jeonju’s churches, for Korea’s churches, for all the churches and missionaries of the world.

Shall we pray?

Communion

John: “Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you…For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.”

  • Dec 30 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-19)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-19)

12.30

Bulletin_12.30.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes as .RTF file>

This all happens after Paul preached his “farewell” sermon to the other Christians – so this time is very emotional.

Luke uses the first person “we” so he is obviously with them at this time.

He is the travel guide at this time, and describes the port-by-port journey of the group.

Here we see Luke’s attention to detail, as he describes the ship traveling port to port along the shoreline.

In that day, whenever someone wanted to travel by ship, they had to find an outbound one with cargo. At every port, they would have to unload cargo and reload cargo. So, over the course of those days, Paul and his group would go into town and find some disciples.

Some of those Jews were probably Helenistic – who had fled after Stephen was stoned.

v. 11 – Was this a genuine prophecy?

We do read up to this point many times that the Holy Spirit was warning Paul about Jerusalem.

Perhaps now, their own nature and consciences kicked in to warn him away – the people strongly urged him (with their own emotions) to stay away.

Yet, Paul had the inner conviction that he should go to Jerusalem and face whatever consequences.

After a week, Paul and his group were ready to continue their journey. This scene is reminiscent of his departure from Ephesus – the whole church went with him to the port and prayed with him and saw him and the group off.

Caesarea served as the main port for Jerusalem, and the Roman capital of Judea. Here, they stayed at the house of Philip – the evangelist – he was last mentioned in Acts 8:40.

Here’s an overview of Acts 8 (about 20 years earlier):

This follows the events of Acts 7 – where Stephen was stoned to death.

The Jews were so enraged at him for preaching this that they stoned him, then they laid their cloaks at the feet of Saul of Tarsus – who was in hearty agreement with the stoning. They all saw Stephen as a blasphemer and heretic – someone who taught wrong doctrine of the Law.

In Acts 8, the church was persecuted badly, the disciples were scattered and Saul (soon-to-be Paul) was arresting the Christians.

Philip went down to Samaria and preached Christ to the city, and the Spirit gave him the ability to preach with power, with miracles, with healing. Many were being saved, delivered, healed, there was great rejoicing in that city.

At the same time, there had been a magician in the city named Simon – he could do SOME magic tricks and feats, but even HE believed after witnessing these signs – he was baptized, then followed Philip around to see how he did it.

While all this was going on in Samaria (off limits to the religious Jews, and probably even the new Christians at this time – when Jesus went to the town in John 4? and spoke to the woman and revealed himself to her as the Messiah, she was absolutely surprised by his visit).

Another visit to Samaria was James and John preparing for Jesus to go to Jerusalem. They were forbidden to go through the towns, and asked Jesus to allow them to bring down fire and brimstone from heaven to destroy the towns. Jesus rebuked them and had to show them that the gospel was for all people.

Now, after all this, Philip is preaching to the despised people and God had blessed it.

In Jerusalem, they heard that the Samaritans had received the gospel, and been baptized in the name of Jesus, so they sent Peter and John down to lay hands on the believers, and pray for them, and they received the Holy Spirit with signs (as before). Simon saw this happening and offered to pay for the same “talent.” Peter rebuked him and said, “Ha, to think the gift of God could be bought with money.” Simon then asked them to pray for his forgiveness.

After this, the apostles traveled back to Jerusalem.

The Spirit spoke to Philip, said, “come to the road between Gaza and ….” There he met an Ethiopian returning home via carriage or chariot – after he had worshiped at the temple in Jerusalem. Philip noticed he was reading from the Scriptures, and offered to help him understand the Scriptures. He was reading Isaiah 53:7 – about a Lamb led silently before its shearers.

Philip, from that verse, preached Jesus to him – foreshadowing prophecies and fulfillments of those prophecies in Jesus.

The eunich then saw a body of water, and they agreed “Hey, wow, let’s get baptized.”

There they go – immersion baptism. The man looked around and didn’t find Philip anywhere, “the Spirit of God had snatched him away.” The Ethiopian was happy and went away nevertheless. Later, Philip was found in a different town.

Nowadays, 20 years later, after married with 4 daughters (with the gift of prophecy) – Paul and his group are coming to stay with him.

Philip was also mentioned as one of the Seven Deacons appointed to take care of elderly women. He’d also been faithful as an evangelist.

The Greek word for evangelist only appears 2 other times:

Eph 4:11 – this is one of the spiritual gifts.

The Body of Christ is a “BODY ministry” – it’s not just about the pastor. Evangelist is also a gift.

2 Timothy 4:5 – “Keep your head in all situations, … do the work of an evangelist…”

So, here they (Paul and co.) are at Philip’s house. There was a prophet there as well Aggabus – he had earlier prophesied about a severe famine that would happen over much of that part of the world.

Now, he came down and tied up his own hands and feet and prophesied about Paul’s imprisonment.

The prophecy was fulfilled in principle, but not in every detail. The Jews didn’t bind him, they didn’t hand him over, but rather, the Romans rescued Paul from a Jewish mob. But he was imprisoned.

Jesus “Journey to Jerusalem” and Paul’s “Journey to Jerusalem” were very similar.

Prophecies at that time were similar to the Old Testament prophecies – actions and words were prophecies. The prophets tore clothes, shattered pots, built models to show how kingdoms would be torn and destroyed and besieged.

So, the disciples pleaded with Paul not to go to Jerusalem, but his inner conviction was stronger than theirs and he went. He said he was perfectly ready to be “bound” for the sake of Christ.

It was important to preach to the Gentiles – even Peter who’d had the vision to do so, later wavered and Paul had to preach to him to not be so legalistic. So, Paul wanted to go to Jerusalem to cement the relationships between the Jewish churches and the Gentile churches.

Eventually, they gave up and said, “God’s will be done.”

Next, Luke starts a pinnacle chapter in Paul’s life with the words, “When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly.” (v. 17)

Again, Luke is talked in “us” and “we” terms – this is the last time he will use these pronouns, though he does join Paul on his dangerous sea voyage later.

They met with James and the elders as he’d done earlier – when they decided that SOME things needed to be followed by the Gentiles in order to have fellowship with Jewish Christians as well.

Here, James and the elders recognize that God had guided Paul in his ministry to the Gentiles, and Luke wants to emphasize this.

In Acts 11, after Peter first preached to the Gentiles, they rejoiced and spoke to these same elders, and now here is Paul again speaking with them. This delegation is also welcomed by the brothers, and relates what GOD has done. In both instances we see the brothers giving glory to what God has done. In both cases, they welcomed Paul – they and Paul are in fundamental agreement.

He had earlier had concerns about his relationship with the church in Jerusalem – he had asked them to pray for him “that my service to the saints in Jerusalem would be acceptable.”

And here, the Jewish and Gentile portions of the church had remained united and they welcomed and accepted Paul.

The next portion of Acts is a new saga.

We’re coming up to the New Year.

“It’s a brand new day that’s dawning…”

It’s a brand New Year that’s coming – wouldn’t it be good to have assurance of salvation? If you believe with all your heart that Jesus is Lord and confess with your mouth that God raised him from the dead, you’ll be saved.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 23 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Peace to You – Christmas 2012 (Luke 2:14)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Peace to You – Christmas 2012 (Luke 2:14)

12.23

Bulletin_12.23.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

christmas-bg-2012

Jesus came to give us peace – eternal peace, heavenly, earthly, peace.

Do you have peace now?

  • Chinese greeting is “Ni hao ma?”
  • Tagalog is “Como esta…?”
  • Tanzania is “….”
  • English is “How are you?”
  • Korean is “Annyonhasayo?”

Secular greetings ask questions with uncertainty.

Christian greeting is a blessing, proclaiming with certainty.

“Peace to you!”

After Genesis 3, the Fall, sin, all men became peaceless, restless wanderers.
Apart from God, anyone, everyone, is peaceless and a wanderer, true peace cannot be found in this world.

True peace, heavenly peace can only be found in Jesus Christ.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, I do not give as the world gives, do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” – Jesus

Ephesians 2:14 ‘Jesus Christ himself is our peace, he has made the two one…’

  • This world says, “If you want peace…prepare for war!”
  • The Bible says, “If you want peace…proclaim for Christ!”

#1 Now, I bless that you and I may have peace with God.

Romans “Therefore since we have been justified by grace through faith into this peace in which we now stand…we have peace with God…”

2 Corinthians 5:25 “Be reconciled to God.”

How can we have peace with God?
There is only one way, only one condition. By believing Christ as our Lord, proclaiming that he is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, we can have peace with God.

By turning away from sin, and TO God in Christ in our deep hearts, we can have peace with God.

And then, possessing this true peace with God, Proverbs says, “peace of mind, heart, conscience.”

#2 Bless that you may have peace with others – with our neighbors.

How can we have peace with our co-workers, brothers, neighbors, people on the street?

We can have peace with others by blessing others with peace.

Matthew 10:12 “As you enter the home, speak your peace. If that home is deserving, leave your peace there, if not, let it return to you.”

And we can have peace with other by forgiving them and accepting them as Jesus did with us.

Matthew 6:14 “If you forgive man when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you your sins. BUT, if you do not forgive, your Heavenly Father will NEVER forgive your sins.”

In the Lord’s prayer, “Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
So, we must remember that even very difficult people for us to forgive are the very people for whom Jesus came to die.

Also, we can have peace with others by remembering that judgment and avenging are God’s job, not our job.
Please remember humans, our neighbors, are not objects to fight against, but to live together with in peace.

Romans 12:18-19, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with EVERYONE, but leave room for God’s wrath, for as it is written: ‘I will repay’ says the Lord God.”

#3 Bless that we may become peacemakers (peace creators)

Jesus says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God in this world.”

How can we become peace makers in this world?

We can become peace makers by making Christ, the Prince of Peace, known to this world, by proclaiming the Gospel of Peace.

2 Cor 5:18 “God reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

“Peace to you!”
So, like this, when we have peace with God, peace of heart, conscience, mind, peace with others, it will be glory to God.

Glory to God!
Peace to you and us!

God bless you in Jesus name.

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen