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  • Apr 29 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Gentiles Receive the Gospel (Acts 11)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Gentiles Receive the Gospel (Acts 11)

4.29

Bulletin_04.29.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Barnabas brought Saul to Antioch.

The disciples were first called “Christians” at Antioch.

Last time, Acts 10 – conversion of Cornelius, the Gentile = a milestone in the church’s history.
Cornelius was first fruit of Gentiles receiving Christ.

Peter, very Jewish, had to be convinced by a vision to receive Cornelius and go to his house.

In Acts 11, Peter recounts his vision and actions.

The angel said, Peter will give them a message by which their whole household will be saved.

The Holy Spirit fell on them, and the same manifestations of the Spirit appeared on them as had appeared at Pentecost on the Jews.

How does Cornelius conversion affect Gentile standing with Jews?
It doesn’t fix or set the proper relationship, Jews and Gentiles.

v.2-3
The circumcised believers (Jews) criticized Peter “You ate with uncircumcised! (Gentiles)”

The emphasis of circumcised believers shows that some in the church insisted that ALL people should be circumcised in order to REALLY be saved (fundamentalist?)

They didn’t really care that Peter had baptized a Gentile. They only cared that Peter went into their home, fellowshipped with them and ate food together.

Sharing food symbolizes sharing spiritual life.

Gentiles often offered their food to idols (problem in the early church – even Paul addresses it in Corinthians).

So, the circumcised Jews felt that Peter had “tainted” the fellowship by joining with the Gentiles in eating.

So, Peter had to explain himself “precisely.”

He describes Acts 10 with some new info. (v.14) “He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.”

Peter also talks about the 6 other believers who ALSO entered the house with him (v.12). This suggests that he expected to be challenged (these are witnesses, maybe bodyguards?). So these 6 also had been converted and their testimony would be important, and hold weight for the other Jews.

So, God has put his stamp of approval on this event – Peter PLUS 6 other religious Jews are all in this together.

Peter can point to God as the one who arranged the whole thing.
Cornelius prayed, the angel visited Peter, he saw a vision of animals in the sheet, he was reluctant, but the Spirit of God encouraged him to continue, to greet the “unclean” Gentiles, to share the good news.

It was all a God thing.

Peter figured, if God gave them the same gift, how could I oppose God?

This argument was so convincing that even the hard-core circumcised believers were OK with it (v.18). “So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life.”

Interesting: Peter spoke a message to save Cornelius and his family.
Cornelius was a leader, a good man, generous giver, religious, seeker of God, went to church, feared God, was respected by other church-goers.

And yet…
Something was lacking. The knowledge of salvation of Jesus Christ alone.

Going to church isn’t enough.
Being a good person isn’t enough.

But, these things drew Cornelius to God.

It is clear that Peter is sharing the good news with Cornelius. It was clear that Cornelius had heard of some of these things.

In Luke, the author mentions 5 centurions like Cornelius – and has good words for each in their dealings with Jesus. So, Cornelius had likely heard many stories of Jesus and other centurions (like himself).

Cornelius, good man, church-goer, still needed Jesus, needed to be born again, needed the Holy Spirit.

This story Peter told, appears to be the end of the controversy with the Gentiles, but it isn’t. This is a huge transition – a whole paradigm of a whole population of people that would need to change.

It would take much convincing that God wanted Gentiles just as much as Jews.

The believers in Jerusalem would be concerned with LOTS of Gentile believers. How would that affect the Jewish church in Jerusalem?
These problems will linger until Acts 15, where a council is formed to establish some rules.

Now, Luke is ready to write about the main theme of his book, the expansion of the church, the spread of Christianity to the Gentiles. The stage is set, so Luke will continue his book with Paul – the missionary to the Gentiles.

Antioch became the headquarters (2nd) for missions. Jerusalem was the headquarters of the church.

Antioch was large, but sinful.
Luke begins his story of Antioch with the story of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, killed for Jesus.
Saul (hardcore Jew) had witnessed this and saw Stephen as a threat to his own beliefs. He agreed and watched the killing.

The same day that Stephen was killed, a great persecution of Christians started, so they scattered – preached the gospel as they left, in Samaria, Ethiopia, Acts 10 (Roman centurion), Cyprus, Antioch, etc..

They had preached mostly only to Jews, but by Acts 11, 12, and on, they started preaching to the Gentiles, the Greeks in Antioch, etc.

The hand of the Lord was with them, and many turned to the Lord. The church in Jerusalem heard these things, so they sent a delegation down to Antioch to see what was happening (same as what happened with Samaria). So, they sent Barnabas.

Barnabas, from Cyprus, a good man, man of faith. He would be a good bridge between Jerusalem and Antioch (different peoples, different cultures).

He encouraged the believers in Antioch.

He was instrumental in introducing Saul (Paul) to the believers in Jerusalem. After Paul’s conversion, the Jews were hesitant to receive him. But Barnabas saw his true conversion and testified to it and introduced Paul to the Jews, who received him largely on Barnabas testimony.

Barnabas realizes that the ministry in Antioch is too much for him, so he goes to Paul (in Tarsus) and brings him. They preached and built up the Antioch church for a year.

Many of those who shared the gospel are nameless in the Bible. They simply received salvation, and wanted to spread the good news.

A great awakening, revival began with nameless people.

If you think, what can God do with insignificant me? Think about them. God did much!

  • Apr 22 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead! (John 11:1-44)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead! (John 11:1-44)

4.22

Bulletin_04.22.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Today’s story = Jesus raised a dead man after 4 days!

Lazarus, brother, Mary & Martha, sisters.
Lazarus = a KEY person in John’s book.

Key people
Lazarus, Jesus, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus.

His family stories are repeated many times (10-15?)

This was not the last miracle before Jesus’ cross, but it was the one that aroused the MOST anger from his enemies.
This is the MOST climactic miracle in his earthly ministry.
Lazarus has been in the tomb 4 days. This miracle could not be denied.

If Jesus cannot do anything about death, then whatever else (miracles) he can do, amount to nothing.
If we only have hope in Jesus in this life, we are to be pitied above all men (1 Cor. 15).

The story does not start with Lazarus’ death, but his sickness.

v.1 He was sick.

Sisters sent a short, urgent message to Jesus. This is enough for Jesus to understand fully.

They, the sisters, expected IMMEDIATE action to spare them grief. Jesus should have done something quickly, on their expectation because they loved each other so much. They were Jesus’ close friends. Plus, Lazarus was nearby.

Jesus did nothing, only said, “This sickness is for God’s glory.”

4 days, he was in the tomb.
Day 1 – Messenger arrived with message, same day, Lazarus died, lay dead in the tomb.
Day 2 – returned to Bethany, Jesus stayed.
Day 3 – Jesus stayed.
Day 4 – Jesus departed and arrived.

Martha saw him, “IF you had been here, he would not have died!” (v. 21)
Mary (v. 33) “IF you had been here, he would not have died!”

WHY?

Why did you come so late? Why not earlier?

Because you came late, my brother died. This is mixed and complicated feeling of two sisters. Complaining, despair, still trusting, hope, lots of emotion.

Sickness – even death – does not indicate that God has rejected you.

Remind ourselves that we are not exempt from the pain, sufferings, and difficulties in this world.
We do not have a different life in this world. But, we can experience life differently – through our hope in Jesus.

Our hope does not isolate us from this world’s difficulties.
But, our hope does provide us a way through these difficulties to make us more humble, compassionate, strong, for others.

First lesson – Wait.

Jesus’ delay had a specific purpose. This was God’s timing.

Sometimes we think, He is not listening, He is not answering, He is not doing what we want.

But, God meets all our needs according to HIS plan and purpose, for HIS glory.
Phil 4:19

Second lesson – Timing.

Sometimes, we offer passionate prayer of need and God answers quickly, and we are excited! Our faith is strengthened!

Other times, it seems God may never answer…Even in our whole lifetimes…

Sometimes we “waste” many, many years only to see God answer our prayers in a different way.

Sometimes, God’s answer is “no.”

In whatever case, God’s timing and answer is perfect and best!
Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding…
Romans 8:28
In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Man plans his way in his heart, but God directs his paths.

Jesus, “IF you believe, you would see the glory of God.”

Key word – Faith
Key word – Glory

Worldly principle – “Seeing is believing.”
Spiritual principle – “Believing is seeing.”

How can we glorify God in our sufferings, trials?
Whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (Col?)

Sufferings, trials, give us patience, perseverance, develops our Christian character (hope).
Romans 5:2 – we rejoice in our sufferings…

James 1:2 – Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds…
Perseverance must finish its work so that we will be complete.

Suffering provides the encouragement of dependence on God to others. It helps us be free from worldly things when we focus our eyes on God for help. Sometimes it makes our desire for God, for eternity with him, stronger.

Lesson three – Jesus = person, God = person

A person’s treatment of another person is PERSONAL.

Jesus’ response to YOU is personal.

Matthew 8 – Centurion asked Jesus for help for his servant. Jesus said, “I will go.” Centurion said, “Not necessary, just say the word.” Jesus, “OK.”

John 4 – Royal official came to Jesus and said, “My son is sick.”
Jesus did not say, “I will go” but rather, “YOU may go, he is alive.”

John 11 – Lazarus died. Jesus waited.

Different way of handling each person, but it produced the BEST result for each person. Because Jesus’ response to YOU is personal.

“My testimony” will not be standard, the same, as other people’s.

v.35 – Jesus wept…(shortest verse in the Bible – possibly the most powerful, deepest…)

WHY weep? He KNEW He would raise Lazarus soon. He KNEW he would die on the cross as well as shed his tears.

Jesus wept – shows the humanity of our Savior. He entered ALL of human experience. He knew, He knows exactly how we feel. He has experienced ALL things we do, in a deeper way.

Jesus
Isaiah 53:3? Jesus is a man of sorrow.
Hebrews 5:7 – summary of Jesus earthly life.

During his life, he offered up loud prayers and tears to God. He was heard because of reverent submission.

Nowhere, “Jesus laughed.”
Many times, “Jesus wept.” Luke – “Jesus wept” over Jerusalem

“Blessed are you who weep now, you will laugh later. But cursed are you who laugh now, you will weep.”

Did Jesus weep to make us laugh?
So, we also must weep to make someone laugh. Also, to make Jesus laugh.

Are you ready to weep to make Jesus laugh?

Your family, husband, wife, children, parents, can you weep for them?

A good example of this = Paul.
Whenever he saw Christ, he was full of joy – NO MATTER the circumstances – even in prison – and death. “I will rejoice in the Lord.”

Rejoicing is not emotion – but a matter of will.
“Rejoice, rejoice, I saw again rejoice.”

Romans 9:2
Whenever he saw the lost, he wept. “I have unceasing anguish in my heart…”

If we have joy in our own salvation, we can weep for others’ salvation.

v. 41 – 44
Key verses, v. 25, 26

Lazarus is not on earth, but in heaven. So why raise Lazarus? To proclaim v. 25, 26 for us.

Key verses – memorize them – v. 25,26 All day today, meditate on these verses.

“I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…Do you believe this?”

Do you believe? Can you draw this picture in your mind?

Lazarus body was already smelly, decaying, but Jesus called in a LOUD voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And the dead man came out in his grave clothes (mummy?)

New flesh, new body, new bone – all restored. Even the dead hears Jesus’ voice. IF Jesus said, “The dead! Come out!” Then ALL would be resurrected.

Jesus voice is living, powerful, absolute, even the dead hear it.

1 Thess 4:16-17 – Key verses
Very important connection to these verses.
“On that day, the Lord Jesus will come down with a loud trumpet, loud voice, and the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who are alive will be caught up in the clouds to meet them, and we will be with the Lord forever.”

v. 25 – “I am the resurrection and the life”
1 Thess “On that day…”
Jesus = resurrection for the dead
Jesus = life for the living

But, we need not only concern ourselves with THAT day, but also THIS day.

Natural death is sleeping before God – waiting for our bodies to be raised. Even, our natural sleeping is a kind of death – a death exercise before God. Nobody can get up unless God provides the power to get up.

Who got up this morning?

Every morning you get up. Even though we get up, it’s not by accident. We got up this morning by the grace of God, by the power of Jesus’ resurrection.

Jesus says, “Apart from me, you can do NOTHING.”
Our hearts beat not by accident, because God makes them beat.

If God stops his working for making our hearts beating, our hearts will stop. Everyday is a new GIFT from God. Every morning we start with new mercies (Lamentations 3?)

If we start every morning with Jesus’ resurrection power and life joy, why not live the WHOLE day with this power and joy?

“I am the resurrection and the LIFE!”

  • Apr 15 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit and the Gentiles (Acts 10)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Holy Spirit and the Gentiles (Acts 10)

4.15

Bulletin_04.15.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Alpha Program – Nicki Gumbel “How to be filled with the Holy Spirit”

5 Categories of People who were/are present where the Scripture is spoken.

1. Thirsty (Acts 2) Disciples waited expectantly for the Holy Spirit
waiting, in prayer, didn’t know what to expect, just waiting for Jesus’ promise.

As they gathered, the HS came, like a mighty wind, filled the place, tongues of fire appeared on their heads. They praised God in other tongues (languages).

Many gathered in Jerusalem at that time for Pentecost. They heard these disciples speaking in their own languages, they were shocked.

“What does this mean?”

Peter preached. “They aren’t drunk. But this was spoken by the prophet Joel – there will be signs and wonders. This is a fulfillment of prophecy…”

Peter also said, “This is because Jesus, whom you crucified, has been raised from the dead, and is reigning in heaven.”

Many were cut to the heart, they realized Jesus was the Messiah.

Peter said, repent, and you will also receive the promises.

3000+ added to the church IN ONE DAY.
(Acts 2 – Longing – thirsty)

2. Receptive (Acts 8) Philip evangelist was preaching, signs, wonders, healing. Many turned to the Lord. Simon the sorcerer wanted to buy the power with money…

Demonstration of power in Philip’s word to the people of Samaria. Peter and John came down, prayed for them, they were filled with the HS.

3. Hostile (Acts 9) – the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, Jew, Pharisee, ardent worshiper, perfect in keeping every law…
Yet, something must have troubled him.

He saw the first martyr, Steven – it must have touched his heart.

Yet, he still took Christians to prison. He was hostile to the move of God – didn’t believe it was of God.

On his way to Damascus, he met Jesus. “Why do you persecute me?” said Jesus. “Who are you?” It was Jesus.

He was blinded, led into Damascus, humbled, prayed for by Ananias, healed, changed completely.

From the biggest enemy of Christianity, to the biggest (evangelist) apostle to the Gentiles of Christianity.

4. Uninformed (not taught about the HS)
Disciples encountered many who were baptized by John’s baptism (water), they informed them of the baptism of the HS.

5. Unlikely ones (Gentiles)
First followers of Jesus were Jews. After Pentecost, preached to Jews. Yet, some in Samaria also believed.
Samaritans were like half-Jews, but probably fellowshiped in their own communities.
An Ethiopian also believed.

The first Jews worshiped in the temple. They didn’t really know what to do with the Gentiles who were being converted to Christianity.

How could the mix with them?

This (Acts 10) is the first real “test case” where God led them to mix with the Gentiles. Without this, the barriers, prejudices, and so on would be much more difficult to break down.

Cornelius was a good man, noble. He was accepted by the Jews, recommended by them.

Caesarea.

He was not one who fully accepted the laws of the Jews (probably didn’t conform to all their laws) but he did go to their congregation, worship with them, was accepted by them. He had a vision.

He was afraid. The angel told him to go to Joppa to meet Peter and Simon the tanner – or send for him.

He sent for his devout servants. (God is orchestrating all of this).

Noon the following day, they were on their journey.
At the SAME TIME, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He was hungry, had a vision of a sheet coming down from heaven with ALL bunches of animals coming down from heaven.

“Rise Peter, kill, and eat.”
Is it kosher?…That’s a bit weird.
“Not so, Lord.”
Didn’t want to break his traditions.
“What I have cleansed, don’t call ‘unclean’”
This happened 3 times.

At the same time, the messengers from Cornelius are at the gate looking for him.

He went down to the gate to meet them. Probably surprised to see they are Gentiles: two servants and a soldier.

They told him “we were sent by a godly man to bring you back to Caesarea – you have a word for us.”

Here are 3 people…
The sheet had come down 3 times…
Connect the dots…

“Hmm, OK, come on in.”
The next day, they set out for Caesarea.

Cornelius fell down before him when he arrived – an angel had told him to get the guy, after all.

Cornelius had gathered everyone to hear from Peter.

Peter admits that, as a Jew, it wasn’t even lawful for him to GO IN to Cornelius’ house.

Jews hated Gentiles.
Gentiles hated Jews.

The Book of Common Jewish Prayer at that time:
“Thanks God I’m not a slave, not a woman, not a Gentile…”

That was a big step for Peter to go into that house.

Said, “Well, you probably know about Jesus, right? He was crucified, rose from the dead, commanded us to be witnesses to the fact that He is Lord of All.”

John 3:16 – think about that…

As he’s preaching, they are believing. The Spirit of God comes upon them. Wow! A Gentile Pentecost?

Peter had also brought Jews with him. When they saw and heard these Gentiles praising God IN THE SAME WAY that they had at Pentecost, they KNEW it was the same!

Peter said, “How can we refuse water to baptize these whom God has also saved?”

v. 44-48

Cornelius then disappears from the Story. But this incident is repeated in Acts 11. The elders had heard that Peter had gone in to these Gentiles. They wanted to know what was up.

Peter let them know. Who was I to stop what God was doing?

Still took some decades for all the differences to be ironed out between the Jews and Gentiles.

Acts 15, controversy at Antioch.
How do we live together, worship together? No impositions should be put on Gentiles except those that would hinder their ability to fellowship together.

With this sheet, God shows that everyone is acceptable to Him.

So, what category are you in?
Longing, Receptive, Hostile, Uninformed, Unlikely?

Graveheart, Ontario, at a Rotary Club at breakfast, last time he preached on this.

Rotary Club was good, like Cornelius – helped people, gave to the poor, religious, but lacked SOMETHING essential.

“So even though you’re doing really good works…You still need Jesus.”

We are all somewhere in one of these categories.

Eph. 5:18 – Be continually filled with the HS.

Even for those who have it, leakage can occur, we need to be filled and refilled.

  • Apr 08 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Fact that Three Bad News is Swallowed by Three Good News is the One and Only Best News! (Luke 2:10) – Easter 2012
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Fact that Three Bad News is Swallowed by Three Good News is the One and Only Best News! (Luke 2:10) – Easter 2012

4.8

Bulletin_04.08.2012-easter2

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Everyday we have news.
But what news can we say is Good News for ALL men of ALL time?

Today, I want to announce this Good News for all people forever and ever!

Before that, we must know about 3 bad news, 3 good news, and 1 BEST news – of ALL news!

3 Bad news!

1. All men are sinners…

Me, you, everyone. We are born sinners. Bible says, “All have sinned, no one righteous…” Romans 3:23?
We are sinners because we sin.
Actually, we sin because we are sinners.

Sin of ALL sins is turning away from God – the Father, Creator of all beings.

Sin is the root of all problems.

2. All sinners must die…

Bible says, “The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23?
“Sin entered this world through one man” (Adam) In this way, death came to all men, because all have sinned.

Sins wages = death, death = separation.

  • spiritual death = separation from God
  • physical death = separation from body

3. All sinners must go to hell…

Physical death = NOT the end.
Just separation, spirit from body.
After death = Judgment

Bible says, “All men are destined to die ONCE, and after that face judgment…”

Hell is endless agony of fire…

But God wants you and me NOT to die – NOT to go to hell – NOT to be separated from Him, because God loves us so much.

So, God has provided the only remedy for these 3 bad news.

3 Good News!!

1. Jesus died for the sins of the world.

Jesus came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Me, You, Everyone.
AMEN

Bible says, “God demonstrated his own love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2. Jesus ROSE again! And IS alive! NOW! In you, in me, to give us eternal life and salvation!

The last enemy to be defeated is death…Jesus DEFEATED Death! Through his resurrection!

Jesus IS Risen!

That’s why we can face now and tomorrow with hope!

AMEN!

3. Jesus is coming SOON to take us to heaven!

Jesus says, “Do not be afraid, do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. And I go to heaven to prepare a place for you. And I will come back to take you to heaven, so that you may be in the place that I am.”

Revelation – last book, last chapter, 3 times repeated.
“Behold! I am coming SOON!”
“YES! Blessed is he who keeps the word of prophecy in this
Book.”

  • (v.12) “Behold! I am coming soon, my reward is with me. I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
  • (v.20) “Behold! I am coming soon!”
“Yes! Come, Lord Jesus!”

THIS IS THE BEST NEWS.

  • Jesus is coming soon!
  • Jesus is the hope for this world!
  • Jesus is the King of peace!
  • Jesus is the joy of the world!
  • Sharing Jesus passion is the fountain of our joy!
  • Endless, abundant joy!
  • Jesus Christ is the salvation of the whole world!

Today, Jesus saves you, me, my family, yours, all the world!

And finally, Jesus is perfect, complete, end solution to ALL questions in this world and the world to come!

May God bless us with this BEST news!

  • Shout!
  • Jesus is my Savior!
  • Jesus is my Lord!
  • Jesus is my King!
  • Jesus is everything to me!
  • Jesus Christ is my passion!
  • Jesus Christ is my dream!
  • Jesus Christ is my joy!
  • Jesus Christ is my salvation and eternal life!

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 01 / 2012
  • Comments Off on His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)

4.1

Bulletin_04.01.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Blessing v.28-30

This story tells us when and where:
Feast of Dedication
– not one of 7 official festivals
– was est. by Judas Macadius 165BC to commemorate the cleaning of the temple, after king of Syria defiled it by sacrificing pigs. 3 years of pollution. everything was cleaned.

– Hanuka – feast of lights

Where? Solomon’s Colonnade
– roofed porches with tall columns, facing inward with long walkways.
– believed to rest on part of original temple
– common place for meeting and teaching

very clear historical fact
(In God’s providence, we also cleaned “the temple” yesterday…)

It was winter, Jesus was there, Jews gathered.
“Tell us plainly – are you the Christ?”
“The miracles I do in His name speak for me.”

Jews challenged him for the wrong reasons.
Wanted clear, direct, plain, immediate explanation.
Jesus never plainly told Jews in Jerusalem.

Why?
– for religious leaders, “Christ” meant military/political leader/liberator – was thought to est. earthly kingdom
– also, they wanted to arrest him for blaspheming.
– if they arrested him, it would ruin them, not Jesus
– so Jesus wisely chose not to

But, though he didn’t show directly, he constantly showed himself indirectly, through miracles, lifestyle, prophecy fulfillment, teaching.

When man recognized him as Christ, he also said “True.” (Ex: Chp 4 – Samaritan woman)

Another time, Jesus asked, “who am I to you?” Peter: “You are the Christ.” Jesus: “Blessed are you! Father God revealed this to you. I will build MY church on you.”

Not YOUR church, but HIS church, JESUS’ church

This is the unity of Christ’s church.

v. 26-7 “You are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice.”

Are you listening to Jesus’ voice all the time?

v. 26 – one short sentence has MANY messages

#1 Children of God because we believe in Jesus?
OR
#2 We believe in Jesus because we are children of God?

BOTH are right.
From God’s standpoint #2
From man’s standpoint #1

Grace is before faith.

We are saved BY grace (Jesus on the cross) THROUGH faith.
Grace = ground
Faith = root

Our faith is rootless without grace.

Christian life =
we go forward by faith
everytime we look backward, we stepped by grace

We woke up by faith, came to church by faith, worship by faith

But now, looking back, every step we took was by grace (looking back we see we were blessed by grace the whole way)

ALL we have done by faith
has been done by God’s grace.

We can show we are Jesus’ sheep by listening to his voice, his word.

This is like a math formula:
How can we believe in God = believe in Jesus = believe his word
Obey? obey Jesus? obey Word
Walk with God? Walk with Jesus? Walk in the Word.

How can I __(x)__ God?
by __(x)___ Jesus.
How can I __(x)___ Jesus?
by __(x)___ His Word.

This word was given to you, is near you, is IN you.

“Let the word of God dwell in you RICHLY…”

Joshua 1:8 “Do not let (the word of God) depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Story:
Super soccer star interview:
Interviewer: “What’s your secret?”
Star: “My life is soccer.”
I: “What’s meaning?”
S: “I play, exercise, think, speak, listen, watch, learn, teach, dream, ALL about soccer!”

…How’s our passion for God’s word?

God, let it be MORE than the Star’s passion for soccer.
Star’s passion is finite.

Our passion WILL BE eternal.

v. 28-30
Blessing with Jesus’ promise.

“I and the Father are one.” = UNITY, not identity

(Sermon Illustration)

…But ALWAYS remain in Jesus’ hand, in the Father’s hand.

We are VERY safe in Him,
because of HIS power, not ours
because of HIS faithfulness, not ours,
because of HIS holding, not ours,
because of HIS good works, not ours.

Jesus = “I GIVE you eternal life. NO ONE can snatch you out of my hand. NO ONE can snatch you out of my Father’s hand. We are in unity in keeping you, in holding you.”

This is the PROMISE.

Listen to His voice, believe His voice, trust His voice.
He will NEVER disappoint you.

  • Mar 25 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Standing in Freedom! (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom Sermons, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Standing in Freedom! (Galatians 5:1)

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Galatians = great chart of Christian’s liberty (freedom)

Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll

Isn’t Grace Risky?
The Killing Fields movie – quite a movie
True story of NY Times report in Cambodia – closest asst. was Cambodian captured by regime (torturous cruelty).
Endured unbelievable suffering while escaping.

Continue Reading

  • Mar 18 / 2012
  • Comments Off on One Shepherd and One Flock! (John 10:1-18)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

One Shepherd and One Flock! (John 10:1-18)

3.18

Bulletin_03.18.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

OT – God often is shown as shepherd, His people as flock. Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd…”

Why? Background – at that time OT, NT, main part of Judea, was central plateau, 35 miles up and down 15 miles left and right. Majority of land was rocky, stony.
Jew was pastural, not agricultural.
(Sheep rather than farming).

Not much grass, so sheep were bound to scatter. No protecting walls or fences, sheep were liable to wander. Had to be watched continually.

On either side of the plateau, there was a cliff. Shepherds task was dangerous and constant. Shepherds watched against wild animals – esp. wolves, also thieves and robbers.

Shepherds were cold at night, hot during the day.

Self-sacrifice, fearless courage, constant vigilance, patience – these were characteristics of shepherds – God is the same.

“I tell you the truth.”
“I am the gate for the sheep.”
“I am the good shepherd.”
Jesus says each twice.

We are his sheep.

v.10 – One key, great verse of the Bible.
(John 3:16 is main key verse we use)
This verse is also a key for whole Bible.

Very clear sentence to show purpose of Satan’s coming, and Jesus’ coming.
Satan = thief, Jesus = life
Satan steals what God has given us.

1 John 3:8 – Jesus appeared to destroy devil’s work.

2 Tim – Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

Not a spirit of despair, worry, defeat – these are lies of Satan.
God gives life, peace, joy, assurance of salvation.

Jesus came.
1. to confirm God’s promises
2. to remove sin
3. to destroy Satan
4. become our high priest forever
5. show a perfect example of holy life
6. prepare His second coming
7. to give us LIFE

Life is most important in this world, more than job, money, etc.
This life can only be found in Jesus.
John 1:1

John 3:16 – “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
This is God’s purpose for sending Jesus.
John 10:10 = Jesus’ voluntary purpose for coming into the world.

1 John (5?)= “The life appeared, we have seen it, we testify to it, we proclaim to you…”

In John, Jesus 10 “I AM”
1. I am the bread
2. I am the light
3. I am the gate
4. I am the good shepherd
5. I am before Abraham
6. I am the resurrection
7. I am the life
8. I am the way,
9. the truth, and the life
10. I am the true vine (source of life)

Eternal life is living fellowship with Father God, now, and forever. This is found only by trusting in Jesus Christ.

When is your true birthday? When you believed in Christ – this is the start of your true life.

Colossians 3 – we died, our lives are hidden with Christ

LIFE

v.16 – One flock and one shepherd

I have other sheep outside of AICF, outside this church, outside this pen.

The growth and unity of the kingdom of God. This is the vision, dream, purpose, of Jesus.

1 Tim 2:4 – God wants all men to be saved…

2 Peter 3:9 – God is not “slow” in keeping his promise…He is patient…He wants no one to perish…Jesus suffered death for ALL men…

Salvation = unlimited limited atonement
Available for ALL men
Effective only for believers

Worldly world = explosiveness and division – wars, arguments, parties, genders, cultures, – competition, contest
World = division
This world cannot truly become united.

Only one possible unity = in our common sonship with God through Jesus.

Ultimate dream of Christ = whole world united for God – but only possible through unity in Christ.

Church?
The one family of God, one body of Christ, one organism of Holy Spirit, multi-national missional community, to evangelize the whole world as one flock, with one shepherd.

NT = two voices on one topic
Evangelism (Matt 10)
“Do not go to the Gentiles – go to lost sheep of Israel”
Not exclusiveness of salvation only for Jews – this is for effectiveness – the fruit of ministry.

After resurrection, Jesus said “Go into the whole world…”
Effectiveness of ministry, and universality of the gospel must go together.

In war, to get final victory, we must start with limited objectives.
Try to attack on all fronts? Divide your efforts, be defeated.
If Jesus sent missionaries at first everywhere…success would be limited – nothing would have been achieved.
So, Jesus fixed one limited area for them to focus on and target.

So, for us, our target is Jeonju, through AICF.

Pastor Heo – Philippines = mission field, but not the whole country – just a limited area – to maximize the effectiveness and fruit of the ministry.

Our actions and efforts must focus on Jeonju, though we include the whole world in our prayers.

HS student – Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream”
“I have a dream…one day white boys and black boys will play together hand-in-hand. White boy, black girls will sing together.”

AICF “I have a dream…one day soon, 200+ people THIS year!”

So, where do we focus our efforts? Jeonju!

Jesus “I have other sheep outside”
AICF – we have MUCH room

But remember, for world evangelization, there is not ONE Christian in the world who can do EVERYTHING.
But, there is also not ONE Christian who has NOTHING to do…

No one in AICF can do everything.
Also, no one in AICF can do nothing.

Where can you serve?

Do not be satisfied to only “come” and “worship”
The fact that you are here means – you HAVE a task from God to do for the growth and unity of AICF!

The church of God is the House of Prayer for all nations.

We must mention all nations in our prayers, not only Korea, not only Jeonju, not only AICF.
In our actions, we focus on AICF, Jeonju.
For the effectiveness of the ministry – fruit.

v.17-18 – Lay down my life – take it up again – lay it down of my own accord

We can see 3 points:

1) Jesus saw whole life as an act of obedience to Father God – Jesus received a task from God – he always was ready and prepared to carry it out to the end – even if it meant death

2) Jesus saw all the time, the cross and the glory together. He never doubted he must die. He never doubted he would rise again. His perfect confidence in God.

3) His death was wholly voluntary. He stressed it again and again. Jesus didn’t lose his life – he GAVE it willingly. The cross was not forced upon him. He CHOSE to take it – to give us his new life.

The cross was his greatest work. It was his definite choice. It accomplished atonement for his sheep. Through his resurrection, ALL authority on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus.
Happy Easter!

Satan has NO authority any longer.
Only Jesus has authority over anyone.
Therefore, GO!
And make disciples of all nations.

When you proclaim Jesus’ story, Jesus’ authority will be revealed through you!

Let us experience and enjoy this authority in Jesus’ name!

  • Mar 13 / 2012
  • 1
Freedom Sermons, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Christian – You are Freed! Don’t return to your Chains (Romans 6)

Sermon Notes from Romans 6:1-2, 15

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Here, Paul asks two questions. The first question (v.2) is answered with second: How shall we live in sin when we are dead to it?

Chuck Swindoll says we should recall in our memories – recall our misery, that we couldn’t control our desires – perhaps the victim of a habit? lust, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, drugs, alcohol, food. Recall the feeling you had no hope. This is slavery = addiction at its worst. Shame increased, and overwhelmed you.

Some people, live in freedom in grace, but have forgotten their slavery.

Gordon Seagrave has said: “It is my earnest conviction that everyone should be in prison at least once. Should be in on suspicion, not proof, he should be sick most of the time, at least 4 months. Only then will he realize the value of freedom.”

Ex: Nelson Mandela, John Bunyan

When imprisoned, freedom is much sweeter.

Imagine, wrongfully imprisoned…

Who would volunteer to return to prison?

We are dead to sin, why return? We are freed slaves, freed from sin and shame. Why return?

“Emancipate” means to release from slavery.

In the US, the Civil War broke slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was killed for the cause. The 13th Amendment legally abolished slavery, black slaves emancipated (freed). The President had earlier stated his anti-slavery convictions.

New Year’s Day 1863 the Emancipation was proclaimed but it took until December 18, 1865 for it to be enacted. The newspapers declared: “Slavery: Legally Abolished” It was Good news!

But, the majority of slaves – now legally freed, continued to live as slaves…Former slaves lived virtually unchanged lives.

Shelby Foot in his 3-volume “Civil War” wrote: “The Negro was locked in a caste system of grace etiquette.” All slaves would likely say – “I don’t know nothing ’bout Abe Lincoln, ‘cept he set us free – and I don’t know nothing ’bout that neither.”

Slaves were ignorant of freedom. And that was TRAGIC…There was a war, assassination, amendment, they were emancipated, freed, but- still lived in poverty, fear, and old lives…They often chose to keep serving the same master, until they died.

Would you even know that slavery was abolished?

Plantation owners wanted to“Keep them ignorant, keep them in the field.” What else could they do?

Israelite slaves had an advantage – God was with them – signs and wonders. Exodus. Red sea, manna, pillar of cloud and fire. Manifestations of God.

Not so in America…Tragic?

Here is one WORSE. Christian slaves…

Jesus paid it all! But many Christians act as though held in bondage…Most prefer the security of slavery, to the risks of liberty. Strange, no? But Satan loves it! “Great! Keep it up!” Satan KNOWS we are free – but hates it. He does everything in his power to keep us pinned down in guilt, shame, intimidation, fear.

Romans 3 – this is us before Jesus.

3:10-20…
10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

(POINT 1) We had no way of escape. We were unable to change our enslavement to sin.

(POINT 2) Glorious release – Christ has set us free!

Sinners – everyone on Earth – has been set free! The first Easter – is our redemption.

Romans 3:21-22
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

To qualify, you need no special requirements. Not culture, not skin, not language, ONLY faith in Christ. We were all slaves to sin, to Satan (our master).

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

We were spiritually useless, could not escape. Jesus, paid our price to free us. His own blood = price. He said to us all “You don’t have to live under your former master any longer! You’re free! Free to serve me for the rest of your life!”

We were changed from rebels to servants of God.

President Grace freed us from Satan – our master, and his wife Shame.

  • Theoretically, we were freed at Jesus death.
  • Practically, legalism, old habits, attempt to keep us in bondage – to keep us ignorant, afraid, thinking like a slave.

(POINT 3) Many Christians still live AS SLAVES.

It’s like saying, “I don’t know anything about Grace, cept maybe it set us free, and I don’t know bout that neither…”

We have a Sin-oriented mentality…

  • “I just can’t help myself.”
  • “I’m only human”
  • “I’m not a great guy”

We speak self-defeating references – we look like insecure religious slaves.

We rationalize our sins – hypocrites…

We lie, cheat, steal.

We say “Nobody’s perfect.”But that basically means “I’m still enslaved…”

Chuck Swindoll says: Nonsense! Live like you’re free! Where sin abounded, grace SUPER abounded! Once you were enslaved, now you are freed. Live ABOVE your old habit – old sin. Grace helps us to say “no” to sin and conquer it.

Here’s a Maverick thought:

Once we grasp true freedom of grace, we can spend lengthy periods of time sinless, shameless. Why should sin master us? How un-biblical to say we can’t help but let sin master us. We have been trained to expect and handle sin – rather than freedom. But that reinforces our slave mentality. Wake up, confess, go to bed, confess, anything I missed? confess… Where is the abundant life Christ promised? Are free people to live in such fear of sin?

Let’s live like we’re free!

Your old master doesn’t want you to think like this. He wants to keep you ignorant and in shame, and afraid of him and his whip (sin). Wants you to think you “gotta get beat” every now and then – to keep you in line.

HERESY! Jesus set us free! Satan has no right to put a whip to your back! You are free!

This is Grace Awakening.

We are freed from sin, Satan, shame, old selves…

Old man, new man

McGee tells a story to illustrate the concept of old man and new man:

A lady lived in the deep South – had a close relationship with former boyfriend – ultimately married him, had a rewarding life, though not perfect.

But one day, heart attack took him from her. She didn’t want to let him go – embalmed him, put in a chair, sealed in a glass case, in front of her home. Whenever she walked in, she said, “Hi, John” – walked upstairs, carried on.

One year later, took a trip to EU. Met an American who fell in love with her – married in EU, honeymooned, etc.

What a surprise for the new husband…He picked her up, knocked the door open…And almost dropped her!

She said, “That’s my old man John” – So he buried John. It was finally OVER.

That’s what Christ has done for us.

We died with Christ, raised to new life with him. The revelation of Holy Spirit reminds us of our freedom – Ephesians. We need the spirit of knowing our own death and rebirth with Christ.

Chuck Swindoll – closing part 2.

There are many high passes up mountains. It can be quite dangerous. The Govt. could put EMT at the bottom of hill to be ready for the injured. (This is like 1 John 1:9 for Christians.)

OR they could put warning signs up the road, preparing people for what is ahead. (This is like Romans 6 for Christians – it is our warning, and explains our freedom in Christ). Don’t spend time in guilt, confession, guilt, confession. Our inheritance is freedom! We are not under law – it only magnifies and explains sin. Rather, we are under grace.

We are freed in Jesus name!

  • Mar 04 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Christ Opens the Spiritual Eyes of the Blind (John 9:1-41)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Opens the Spiritual Eyes of the Blind (John 9:1-41)

3.4

Bulletin_03.04.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .DOCX file>

The man in this passage went home like he was going home from work. He should have found Jesus and worshiped him, but just went home – he was not overjoyed.

What is your response to Jesus – who provides daily life/peace/joy/power – who makes our eyes to see?

This man received spiritual eyes. v. 38 (“Lord, I believe…”)

  • LAST TIME’s Sermon – was about opening our physical eyes
  • THIS TIME’s Sermon – is about opening our spiritual eyes
  • We can see 4 things if our spiritual eyes are opened (from passage):

See the Work of God (v.3) – Can you see? Do you know?

  1. God is very active, a diligent doer.
  2. This church can do social justice, missions work, weddings, etc – but govt. and orgs. can also do these things.
  3. The only thing church can do that orgs and gov can’t = saving souls
  4. Work of God = to believe in ME (Jesus)
  5. You can see personal change – before and after (v. 25)
    1. Final standard of before/after = Jesus
    1. Redemptive history (Old Testament = before / New Testament = after)
    2. Secular history (BC = before / AD = after)
    3. Personal history (Old creation = before / New creation = after)
    1. Dead → alive / meaninglessness → fullness / child of Satan → child of God
    2. Murder, envy, strife, wrath, sin → love, joy, peace, patience, kindness
    3. This is your personal testimony

See Jesus as Lord and God (v. 38)

  1. When Peter and Paul (men) did miracles, people worshiped them = But they stopped them, “no, no, we are men.”
  2. When Jesus did miracles, people worshiped him = He never stopped them – because he IS God
  3. Jesus = Lord of all history – HIS Story (Jesus = the hero (hero never dies in movies))
  4. Luke 3 – John the Baptist – written in Isaiah – preached gospel of repentance + baptism
  1.  From man’s eyes, John was crazy
  2. From God’s eyes, John was hero – at that time
  3.  Jesus’ schedule was being tuned to John’s ministry (preparing the way)
  4.  When Jesus comes again – HIS story / drama = THE END

When ALL nations have heard, THEN the end will come

  1. From man’s eyes, G7, G20, seem to be leaders of history.
  2. From God’s eyes, gospel preachers, are heroes, leading history.
  3. Jesus’ Second Coming schedule is being set by gospel preachers

See our jobs (v. 4-5)

  1. So many jobs in this physical world…
  2. But spiritually, only TWO jobs
  1. Fisher of fish (originally – this is our job)
  2. Fisher of men (if we are IN Jesus Christ – this is our job)
  1. Both of these jobs need power (muscle vs. Jesus / killing pwr vs. saving pwr)
  2. Fishers of fish – catch something living, and kill it
  3. Fishers of men – catch something dead, make it alive in Christ

Bride of Christ, You Are Pregnant

So, IF we are fishers of men, we all must be pregnant / conceive. After marriage – normal for bride to do so – deliver new life/child. Spiritually, we are married to Jesus – church = bride / he = bridegroom. Be pregnant, conceive someone, give NEW life.

Genesis 1st command = Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it – with the Word of God

God’s double pain =

  1. Lost sons outside the house, never come home.
  2. Home sons never go out to find his brothers.

Let us make him happy. Let us seek and save the lost. Jesus is never satisfied with our own worship alone. He wants MORE and MORE worship in oneness – ALL human beings.

So, invite someone to our Easter “Happy Day” Service on April 8, 2012!

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