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  • Sep 16 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit Witnesses for Christ Through the Word of God from Your Mouth to the Lost World! (John 16:1-15)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Holy Spirit Witnesses for Christ Through the Word of God from Your Mouth to the Lost World! (John 16:1-15)

9.16

Bulletin_09.16.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

John 15 = Jesus’ last teaching
John 16 = Jesus’ last sermon
John 17 = Jesus’ last prayer
John 18 = Arrested
John 19 = Crucified
John 20 = Resurrection
John 21 = Appearances

Even on the cross, Jesus asked God to “forgive them.”
How do you want to finish your earthly life with a prayer?

Last time, Jesus reminded them that the world would hate and persecute them because they (you) are not of this world.
Hating can be persecuting.
Persecuting can be killing.

From Jesus time up to now, there has been persecution of the children of God even in the name of God – they think they know God even when they don’t know God.

A clear example = Saul of Tarsus = he was a champion in persecuting God’s children. He thought that he was doing that for God, to glorify God, but after his sudden conversion on the way to Damascus, once again he became a champion for BEING persecuted for Christ.

He confessed, “I was once a blasphemer, violent man – I acted that way in unbelief.”

Jesus mentioned also his departure, and the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ substitute on earth for his continuing ministry for the salvation of the whole earth.

At that time, the disciples were so sorrowful because they thought that their hope would soon be gone – their Hope would depart.

But they didn’t understand that it would be a great blessing to all mankind. If Jesus’ did not depart, he would not be able to completely fulfill ALL prophecies about him, including his death (Isaiah 53), his resurrection (Psalms), his seating at the right hand of God, and his Second Coming.

If he didn’t depart, he also couldn’t send the Holy Spirit. This Age now is called the Church Age, the Age of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time of the HS.

v.8-15 = The ministry of the HS.
Since we are living in the Age of the HS, we must be careful to understand what the HS IS DOING through you and me and the church today.

There are many ministries of the HS today, but in these verses, the keyword is “convict”
This is one of the main ministries of the HS. At that time, convict = legal (court) term, which means, to bring to light, convince, reprove, announce, proclaim the verdict.

At times this world may think that they are judging the church, but actually it is the church that is passing judgment on the world. Believers are witnesses in this court. The HS is the prosecuting attorney. The lost world are criminals.
However, the purpose of this trial is not to condemn, but to save.

3 Areas in which the HS convicts:

v.9,11,
#1 v.9 = sin
HS convicts in regard to sin. Which sin is the greatest sin? Actually the sin in Greek is hamatia = “missing the target”
In shooting, there is only ONE target.
Sin means, literally missing ONE target point.
For sin to be sin, there must be community, society. There must be mutual relationship, at least two parts – one part to judge, the other to be judged. Subject and Object.

Government vs. Civilian
To the govt, what is the greatest sin against govt? Rebellion, coup, denial of the govt.

Parents vs. Children
Which is the greatest sin from parents against children? Which is the greatest sin from children against parents?
I’m always father to my son – I do not want my son to sin, I want him to be perfect, if possible – but I’m ready to ALWAYS receive him as my son, even if he has grievous sin.

But, if he does not recognize me as his father, if he denies me as his father, does not believe me as father, says, “You are NOT my father!”

At that time, the relationship father and son is broken.

Similarly, God is our maker, our father, our creator. To God, the greatest sin is not to recognize him, not to believe in Jesus Christ, the image of God, the true God.

Do you agree?

If you agree from your hearts, the biggest sin is not to believe in Jesus Christ, then you are convicted and you are spiritual.
But, if you do not agree in your heart, “no, no there are greater sins than that” then you are not convicted by the HS and you are a natural person.

#2 v.10 = righteousness
Who’s righteousness? Jesus’!
When Jesus was here on this earth, he was often misunderstood, and accused by man as a law-breaker, blasphemer, demon.
But today the HS reveals the Savior of the World and glorifies Jesus in this way.

At the same time, the HS reveals Jesus as Savior in the lives of believers.

We know this world cannot receive, cannot see the HS. But this world CAN see the result of what the HS is doing in us, through us.
The world CAN see the work of the HS through the lives of dedicated believers.

We must be right, righteous enough to have a right relationship with God. We must be good to have a good relationship with a good God. We must be holy, we must be right, to have this kind of relationship with God because he is righteous all the time. 
However, we can NEVER reach the standard of God’s righteousness. Romans 3 “No one will be declared righteous by good works. But a new righteousness from God – by which the Law and Prophets testify, has been made known and comes through belief in Jesus Christ.”

Before his earthly ministry, Jesus came to John to be baptized – John said, “no, no let me be baptized by you.” But Jesus said, “no, no, do this for me to fulfill all righteousness.”

After returning to the Father, through his death, suffering, resurrection, teaching, preaching, healing, proves he IS righteousness, the righteousness of God, OUR righteousness.

So the HS empowers us to proclaim that he is the only way to God, and the HS makes us righteous before God.

#3 v.11 = judgment
The HS is convicting, the judgment of the prince of this world (Satan).
Genesis 3:15 is the first curse in the Bible – cursing the serpent – emnity between your offspring and hers (the woman) and he will crush your head and you will strike his heal.

In this verse, the offspring of woman = Jesus Christ Messiah. 
“When the time had come fully, God sent his Son, born of a woman”
serpent = Satan (Revelation)
“That ancient dragon was cast down who leads the whole world astray”

Jesus crushed his head on the cross. That’s why Jesus said, “It is finished.” GAME OVER

Finally (Revelation), Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, Satan and his followers will be troubled and tormented day and night forever and ever.

Have you ever crushed the head of a serpent?
What happens?
At the same time, the body and tail continue to flip and shake, writhe and wriggle. It looks dangerous, scary, but it is DEAD.
Likewise, the activity of Satan from the cross until the Second Coming is like this!
Satan knows his time is very short!

Satan’s ministry = 2 parts
1. Holding the lost to remain the lost
2. Attacking God’s children to NOT preach the word to the lost.

2 Cor. 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that they cannot see the glory of God in Jesus Christ.”

Satan’s purpose = this
Jesus’ purpose = to destroy the works of Satan (1 John)
Therefore, OUR own purpose to remain in this world for a short time is to destroy the work of Satan.

So, we must be convicted, convinced, by the HS in us, the best way to experience the best, most blessed life = to live a life of witnessing to the lost.

Very serious verse…
Witnessing is a great privilege, but also a great responsibility.

Ezekiel 3:17-19
“Son of Man, I’ve made you a watchman, so hear the word I speak and heed me. When I say, ‘you will surely die’ and you do not warn him, and he dies, I will hold you accountable for his sin. But if you warn him and he does not turn from his sin and he dies, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.”

If you do not warn your neighbor for his sin – and he goes to hell for his sin, YOU are responsible for his sin.

But if you warn him, and he goes to hell for his sin, you are NOT responsible.

Very serious verse = warn the lost of their sin

With great privilege comes great responsibility.

v.12-15
I have MUCH to say.

Listen carefully.
Jesus = The Truth
The Word of God = The Truth
The HS = the Spirit of Truth
The HS works, ministers for Christ through the Word of God ALL THE TIME.
The HS does not speak to the lost world directly. But he DOES speak to US through the Word, so that WE can speak to the world.

In Chapter 2, Acts, after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, and the HS came down to Jerusalem, and so many people from other countries gathered together who needed salvation. But the HS did not speak directly. The HS empowered the previously timid Peter to preach the Word, and the HS convicted them and made something wonderful happen among them.

The HS witnesses for Christ through the Word of God from your (my) mouth to the lost world.

The HS is very active in saving the lost world, but if we keep silent, if we do not open our mouths to speak the gospel, then the HS has NOTHING to do with us in saving the lost world.

Please do not make the HS in you jobless.
Make the HS active through your mouth in your witness to the lost world!

God bless us, and especially our mouths!

As long as we are in this world, we have mouths, not only to eat (second priority), but also to preach (first priority).

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 09 / 2012
  • Comments Off on On the Run Again! (Acts 17:1-15)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

On the Run Again! (Acts 17:1-15)

9.9

Bulletin_09.09.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Paul, Silas and Timothy continuing their missionary journeys. Spread the good news of the gospel.

At this point, on the run from Philippi, went through some smaller towns, Luke writes more of Thessalonica – capital of the province of Macedonia – biggest and most prosperous city – pop. 200,000

In Luke’s day, this was an important link between the rich interior and sea trade routes. Paul sees this as a strategic place to preach the gospel (he won’t have to preach in every town – the believers themselves will spread the word in the neighboring towns).

1 Thessalonians 1:5 – Your faith in God has become known everywhere (they evangelized the other towns).

Paul’s strategy was to teach in the largest cities of the Roman world – Corinth, Ephesus, etc, many sea ports on busy trade routes – word would carry fast.

As was Paul’s custom, he went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews for 3 Sabbaths. This was a wonderful teaching opportunity for Paul – the devout would gather to read and interpret the Scriptures (OT), and hope for the Messiah. Paul taught that Jesus was the Messiah – the one they were waiting for.

The 3 Sabbaths was just a portion of a larger campaign in Thessalonica.
1 Thess. (Laboring night and day, we taught you the word of God)
Paul was also a tent-maker – to help support himself. Sometimes churches supported him, but other times he labored and supported himself.

Later, after the first 3 Sabbaths – people started believing – success! After the first 3, he likely wasn’t allowed to teach anymore. So, as his custom was he likely went to the Gentiles next. His first converts were likely pagans and idol worshipers.

1 Thess 1:9 – they declare what manner of entry we have to you and how you turned from idols to serve the living and true God.

This is in contrast to Paul’s experience in the synagogues – background in theology and God study. In synagogues, he opened the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit enlightened them, and he taught Jesus was the Messiah and MUST rise from the dead.

He reasons, persuades, IF they would be persuaded. Many Jews would not believe that the Messiah must suffer – “he must be a glorious king and conqueror!”

There was a belief among some Jews that ONE Messiah must suffer, and the OTHER Messiah would conquer. They failed to realize that Jesus was the same one – suffered in his first coming, conquering in his second coming.

v.4 – Some were persuaded, many devout Greeks, etc.
v.5 – Unbelieving Jews grew envious! That church is stealing members from OUR church! So, they acted in a hostile manner toward Paul and his group. So, they got some low-lifes to stir up trouble, riot, and attacked Jason (a convert)’s house.

They didn’t find Paul, so they dragged Jason out and accused him. “They caused trouble ALL OVER the WHOLE world!!!” Jason harbored them, and this is in opposition to the decrees of Caesar that there is another king – Jesus – pah!

That kind of thing COULD result in execution – and the Thessalonica leaders were likely aware of the trouble that had recently taken place in Rome.
There was continuous tumult when Claudius rules – edict of 49-50 – sought to exile ALL the Jews from Rome.

So, these Jews are obviously playing on the fear of similar riots taking place in that city. They also put a political twist on it “another king” – not literally, but technically. The Jews were just trying to put a political slant on this so that they would have more leverage.

The leaders are thrown into confusion, they don’t want riots – like in Rome – but they likely also see through the plot of the Jews (probably recognize the trouble-makers, and the “leaders” Paul and Silas aren’t anywhere to be seen).

So, they gave a moderate punishment – just made them post bond. Paul and Silas should leave, and not come back during the term of those magistrates.

After that, at night, the disciples hurry Paul out to Berea. Hasty and humiliating departure.
Damascus, Jerusalem, …, Listra (Acts 9-13)

Takes Paul 3 days to reach the town.
Berea is an “out-of-the-way” place, no real politic significance.
But this time, when teaching, he receives an unusually warm reception. They were of noble character, they received the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Double checking the minister’s preaching)

Many Jews in Berea believed the gospel. The converted Gentiles were prominent, high-class, not rabble. But guess what? Those same Jews from before, came back, stirring up crowds in a different city. Awesome.

So, Paul headed out to the coast. He ended up in Athens. Silas and Timothy remain in Berea – Paul gives instructions that they should rejoin him ASAP.

Paul 1 Thess 3:1 – Therefore, when we could no longer endure it (absence, lack of communication), we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and send Timothy, our brother, minister, believer, to establish and encourage you concerning your faith. (Remember Timothy is a half-Jew).

Important to read 1, 2 Thess along with this portion of Acts in order to see Paul’s love and concern for the Thessalonians.

The thing that got him in trouble was the idea that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise from the dead. That Jesus, a “common criminal” was crucified in an ugly way – was supposed to be their Messiah, was a scandal to the Jews.

Remember Paul WAS of that same mindset before he MET Jesus.

So, what were some Scriptures that Paul used as he reasoned with the synagogue?
“This Jesus is the Christ.”

Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 – prophecies about the death. Psalm 22, predicts numerous SEPARATE elements – written 1000 years earlier
22:16 – hands and feet pierced
John 20:25 – Jesus has appeared, explaining to Thomas about the Messiah – hands and feet – holes and imprints

Ps.22:17, 34:20 – his bones will not be broken
Usually, someone’s bones would be broken (legs) to speed up his death
John 19:32-33 – soldiers broke ALL the legs EXCEPT Jesus’ – hmmm… curious

Numbers 9:12 – Passover, leave none of it until morning, nor break a bone of it
Prophecy, and foreshadowing of Jesus
Because of the death of the lamb (Lamb of God) God’s judgment would pass over those who believed

Ps. 22:18 – they would cast lots for his clothes
Matt. 27:5 – when they crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots

Isa.53 – CLASSIC Messianic prophecy – the suffering servant – details his death for his people
Isa. 53:3 – despised and rejected by men, we hid our faces from Him
Luke 13:34 – Jesus, laments the fact that he was not well received – “Oh, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets, how often I wanted to gather your children together, but you wouldn’t have it. Your house is desolate and you won’t see me again until the second coming.”

Isa. 53:5-9: He was wounded, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our sins, the punishment of ours fell on his and by his stripes we are healed.
He is the substitute for us, he bore our sin, our punishment so that we could be forgiven

Paul “He made Jesus, who knew no sin, to BE sin, so that when God sees us he sees us IN Jesus – we are included in him”

The Messiah will be silent in front of his accusers.
Isa 53 – “Like a lamb led to slaughter, and a sheep that is silent before is shearers, he didn’t utter a sound
1 Peter – While being reviled, he did not revile, while suffered, he uttered no threat, but TRUSTED himself to the one who judges justly.

Resurrection
Ps. “You will not abandon me to the grave or allow your Holy One to see decay”
In Peter’s first sermon, he boldly (quite a transition from his earlier timidity) proclaimed that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Acts 2

Acts 16:10 – referencing “Holy One = no corruption” – Paul

Isa 53:10 – Lord was pleased to crush him, putting himself to grief,…prolong his days, see his offspring (resurrection)
Hebrews 12:2 – why go through the suffering? “Who for the JOY set before him, despising the shame, set down at the right hand of God.” He is continuing His ministry as our great High Priest. The resurrection makes ALL the difference between a mere martyr dying for a cause and the God man, dying for his people’s eternal life.

Have we accepted Jesus as the Messiah?

Illustration: Ediborough? in Scotland – many windows display art paintings attracting the eye of people passing by. Gazed extensively at a crucifixion picture – he hadn’t thought thoughts like that in a VERY long time, but the artist’s portrayal brought back the long forgotten truths.

Suddenly, he became aware of a small boy by his side
Boy “That’s Jesus, they nailed him with thorns, killed him, he was good, died for us, that’s his mother, looking at what they did to him…Died for our sins, buried him yonder.”

Man – it was too real, turned away.
Boy followed him, “I forgot to tell you!! He ROSE AGAIN!”

AMEN

Maybe you haven’t come to know that REAL hope, maybe some things in life have rendered that hope vain. But the gospel is good news for everyone, backsliders, sinners, devout holy men.

St. Paul’s Cathedral was built on a site of an earlier cathedral that was burned in the great fire of London
As the architect wandered among the debris, he found a stone that said in Latin “I will rise again.”

If we fail, God gives us the opportunity to rise again.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 02 / 2012
  • Comments Off on You Also Must Testify (John 15:18-27)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Also Must Testify (John 15:18-27)

9.2

Bulletin_09.02.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Last time, we knew that Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, God is the gardener, and Jesus is our best friend.

In the previous part of this chapter, Jesus has talked about love. (v.12 – My command is “love each other as I have loved you” v.17 – “Love each other” – Love is the greatest command).

Today, Jesus is talking about hatred – the opposite of love.

Do you like hatred?

In this passage, the word “hate” is found 7 times, and “persecute” is found 2 times.

v. 18 – the world hates you? hated me first.
v. 19 – I have chosen you, so it hates you
v. 23 – hate me? Then you hate my Father
v. 25 – why? no reason. “To fulfill the scriptures”

In John, many times we see the word “world” – Greek cosmo

It is used in 3 different ways:
1. The creation, created things, (John 1:10)
2. Humanity, world of humans (John 3:16)
3. Worldly pattern, earthly system, culture, standard, organizations, apart from God, opposed to God, run by Satan the (small letter) god of this age.

1 John 2
Friendship with the world = hatred to this world
Do not love the world, or anything in this world. Everything in this world, cravings, lusts, boasting comes from the world, NOT God – this world and desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lasts forever.

Romans 12:1 – Don’t conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, then you can test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Remember: This world HATES us.
The more we love the objects (Jesus) we should love, the more hated we are.
The less we love the objects we should love, the more accepted by the world we are.

Matthew – to us, all believers, all men will hate you because of me, but whoever stands firm to the end will be saved.

2 Timothy – anyone who wants to live a godly life will be persecuted.

If Black/White = World/Church
There are two great entities – there is no fellowship between them. A man is either of the world, or of Christ.

Perhaps this is why some Christians are hesitant to act like Christians – because they are afraid of being hated, persecuted.

“If anyone would follow me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

v. 25 – “they hated me without reason”

Jesus did nothing wrong, but from the beginning, he was hated, even as a BABY – he was hated – King Herod hated him and tried to kill him – so he escaped to Egypt until Herod died.

He was hated as he grew, by his own brothers, the crowds he fed and healed, the religious leaders.

On this earth, totally, Jesus was HATED for no reason – for nothing.

Think, imagine, Jesus is the Lord, our Savior, our King, our Best Friend, the Vine, the Head – we are the extension of Jesus Christ (the branches, the body) – therefore, we must be treated the same way by the same people.

Imagine, someone says, “I love your head, but I hate your body. I love your left hand, but I hate your right hand.”
Unthinkable, no?

If he is the vine and we are the branches, then we must be treated in the same way by the same people. So, if we confess Jesus and we are embraced openly by this world, we must reexamine our lifestyles and attitudes.

If we are accepted and loved by this world, we are making cowardly compromises, bad negotiations with this world.

May God bless all of us.
We can do it, because the Holy Spirit is in us, enabling us, encouraging us, empowering us, to withstand the power and the persecution of this world.

v. 26 – When the Counselor comes, he will testify about me (the Spirit of Truth)

Jesus also mentioned the HS in chp 14:26
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

In chp 14:26, Jesus mentioned HS
In chp 15:26, Jesus mentioned HS again

14:26 – Father God will send the HS
15:26 – I will send the HS

In church history, there was a time when they debated about “who sent the HS?”
One group said “God the Father”
One group said “Jesus the Son”
Who is right? BOTH are right. There is no contradiction, they compliment each other.
Through these two verses, we can see that Father and Son God sent the third person of the Trinity, HS God. HS is a person, has a mind, will.

The HS testifies with us that we are God’s children, he intercedes for the saints in accordance with the will of God, helps us in our weakness – many times we don’t know what we pray for, but the HS intercedes with groans we cannot express (Abba Prayer like this)

We can stand and withstand the middle of the hatred and persecution of this world because of the ministries of the HS.

Still now, the HS testifies about Jesus Christ, so the first ministry of the HS is testifying about Jesus in us.

The doctrine of the Trinity God is the mystery of mysteries: “He who would try to understand fully the doctrine of the Trinity would lose his mind, but he who would deny the doctrine of the Trinity would lose his soul.”

Even though we don’t understand fully the doctrine of the HS and Trinity, we can get many principles.

HS enables eternal love – love needs an object – love is flowing in the persons of the Trinity God – love was from everlasting to everlasting – He is teaching us, leading us, guiding us to put his word into practice. 
If he testifies for us, he also enables us to testify. (Acts 1:8 – When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power and by my witnesses to all the ends of the earth.)

v. 27 – As the HS testifies about Jesus, so we must also testify. Why? “Because you have been with me from the beginning.”

How long have you been with Jesus as your Lord?
Usually we say, “10 years, 20 years”
Sometimes, “When I was 5 years old, etc”
If we are really with God, saved by God, ALL of us have been with Jesus from the beginning – “You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear much fruit” – “I have chosen you out of the world” – Eph 5:1? – “God chose us from before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight – predestined us to be adopted as his sons in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

So, no matter how you became Christian, or when, you became Christians BEFORE the Creation of the World in God’s mind, redemptive project.

So, we can testify.

In closing – 3 points:
1. Our witness of Christ comes from a LONG fellowship with Christ, because we have been with him for a LONG time. A witness says, “Oh, this is true, I know this.”
Without personal experience, being a witness is wrong. Also, WITH personal experience, NOT to be a witness is wrong – a sin, cowardly conduct – if we hesitate to witness, he will be ashamed of us.

2. Our witness comes from inner conviction, power. If we REALLY believe in Hell/Kingdom – why can we not talk about that? If we REALLY believe Jesus is our Lord, why can we not say that to those who are controlled by Satan? If we REALLY believe that Jesus is “the Answer to the Question” – every question, why can we not say that to others?

3. A witness is prepared to say the truth. Likewise, we WANT others to know the truth – it is our privilege and holy duty to be a witness for Christ in this evil world.

We cannot be a witness without:
1. relationship, personal experience
2. inner conviction
3. outward testimony, expression

Every single Christian IS already a witness for Christ. Question is: are you a good witness or bad witness? Are you cowardly, fearful, or convicted and passionate?

That is why we stay in this world only a short time, even though our citizenship is in heaven.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 26 / 2012
  • Comments Off on What Must I Do to Be Saved? (Acts 16:16-34)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

What Must I Do to Be Saved? (Acts 16:16-34)

8.26

Bulletin_08.26.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

When it was daylight…the jailer told Paul “The magistrate ordered the jailer to release Paul and Silas…”when they heard Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed…after they came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house where they met and encouraged the brothers. Then they left.

At this point in history, the group has arrived in Europe, they had been in Troas, now onward to Macedonia (Europe). Paul = apostle, Silas = prophet, Timothy = Paul’s mentee, Luke = physician.

This is one of the “we” sections of Acts.

Phillippi was a Roman colony, usually there was a synagogue, but perhaps there wasn’t one here, so they went to the place of prayer by the riverside. Paul preached to them, and Lydia’s heart was opened. She became a Christian. She asked the group to lodge at her place, and they did (she was fairly well-off, a seller of expensive purple cloth).
Now, here we are.

Acts 16:16 – Luke says, “when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl with a (python) spirit.” Apollo spirit – python was slain by Apollo in mythology.

She had a spirit of divination, fortune-telling, and made a LOT of money for her masters. She followed them around prophesying about them “they preach THE way to salvation.” Even so, she wasn’t condoning or encouraging them, likely mocking them.
Same thing happened to Jesus in Capernaum – a spirit cried out, “We know who you are, the holy one of God.” Jesus rebuked it and it came out.

Paul tolerated it for a few days, but eventually, cast it out. Oops…angry masters…

The HS (Holy Spirit) was working through Paul as the enemy tried to destroy this spreading of the gospel.

Interesting – the Occult, any form, is emnity against God and his will.
Fortune telling is forbidden in Deuteronomy 8:13?
Any Israelite who sacrifices his son to pagan gods must be killed, no one can be a wizard, do black magic, etc – it’s disgusting to God.

Isaiah 8:19, “so why are you trying to find out the future by consulting wizards…can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God.”

Warnings of the Occult.
Perhaps even we have read horoscopes, played with a Ouiji Board – it seems harmless, but God says, “it’s not.” It may be a stumbling block to grow in grace with the Lord – maybe it’s time to renounce the works of the enemy, even if you haven’t done it for years – renounce the works of the enemy.

So, now the demon was gone, and so was all the MONEY! So, the masters were upset, grabbed the two and took them to the authorities.

Acts 5 – Ananias and Sapphiara,
Acts 8
Also, BarJesus, Paul gets involved with spiritual warfare and exorcises demons, and claims more territory for the Lord.

Many MANY instances in which people were interested in financial gain, but their motives were uncovered by the truth of the gospel. Luke uses the same word for “leaving” when the spirit leaves the girl, and as the girl leaves her master.

But why only grab Paul and Silas? Probably pretty obvious who were Jews. Timothy was half-Jew (on his mother’s side), and Luke was a Gentile doctor.

So the slave masters are using anti-Semitism to get Paul and Silas in prison. There was already some anger toward the Jews, general prejudices.

Acts 16:10
“We know what kind of trouble makers these are because of what’s been going on in Rome.”

So, they appeal to the anti-Semitism and patriotism in Phillippi, so the mob rises against them and beat them with rods, then throw them into prison. The magistrates instruct the jailer to guard the prison securely. So, he put them in the back room, with ankle shackles – solitary confinement in the deepest part of the dungeon.

Luke emphasizes this imprisonment to show how miraculous the rescue will be.

Then, at midnight, through prayers and singing, despite physical discomfort, their souls were at peace, even joyful – likely this had a profound effect upon the other prisoners. This is similar to Acts 5, when Peter is imprisoned and an angel rescues him.

Gamaliel – a Pharisee, Paul had studied at his feet. He had said, “You know, other religions have come up before. If this is of man, it will come to nothing. But, if it’s from God, it will succeed anyway, and we will be fighting against God.” So, he said, just let them be.
Then, the apostles were beaten and told to leave. And they rejoiced that they had been counted worthy to be persecuted for his name.

Here is a similar situation, their spirits were free, though their bodies were imprisoned.

“And can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior’s blood?” Charles Wesley
“my chains fell off, my heart went free, I went and followed Thee.”

Acts 16:26, The Lord’s response to their prayers and praises, an earthquake shakes all the locks open – doors and chains. The jailer awakes, and thinks they’ve all fled.

In Roman law, if a guard lost his prisoner, he would be subject to the punishment of his lost prisoners. He thought he would die.

“We are all here.”

So, why didn’t the other prisoners run off? Perhaps there was a sense of the presence of God. Perhaps they were awestruck by Paul and Silas thinking they were magicians.

The jailer came, brought a light, brought them out. “What must I do to be saved?”

His physical life had already been saved because Paul prevented his suicide. So, what did he mean, and what prompted this question? Had the presence and power of the Holy Spirit simply convicted the man of his sins? Jesus said, “When the HS comes, he will convict man of sin and unrighteousness and judgment.” Where the HS is, there is a conviction of the need of a Savior.

This is a question everyone needs to ask.

Our, and everyone’s eternal destiny hinges on the correct answer. Paul has the correct answer.

“Believe in JESUS – and you and your household will be saved (a personal decision from each person in the house, not just the head of the household can save everyone).”

Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to his whole household, and they believed.

It was customary for Roman prison guards to be veterans of the Roman army – they were non-Jews, Gentiles, pagans. So, Paul would have directed his teaching to reveal God as the Creator of all, and Jesus as his son and the way to salvation. He couldn’t preach ONLY the Old Testament, because the man couldn’t relate. Preach to them where they are at. Address an atheist from an atheist’s point of view. Address a Buddhist from that direction, and so on. Not everyone is familiar with Christian doctrine.

So then God gives a change of heart in this Roman veteran, and he wants to demonstrate that, so he got baptized, he and his whole family. He set food before them in his house, and rejoiced. He was a new creation.

It’s important to see that ALL the members made their own decisions to believe in God.

God’s design is household salvation.
Roman centurion Cornelius, Acts 10, also he and his whole family were saved.

This is encouraging to note. If there are members of our own families who are not saved, or not following closely, we should continue to hold them up in prayer and trust that God ALSO desires for them to be saved.

Later, Paul said, “no no, you can’t just let us go sneakily – we’re Romans.”
“OOPS!….”
“Please…Please….just go….”
Paul, “we’ll go, on our own time.”
So, they went back to Lydia’s house to encourage the brothers there and they went on about their own time.

We can look to the Lord for our own salvation and the salvation of the members of our families.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 19 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Union and Communion with Christ (John 15:1-17)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Union and Communion with Christ (John 15:1-17)

8.19

Bulletin_08.19.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Book of John is simple in sentences, vocabulary, and grammar. But, very profound in meaning, truth, practice.

Today’s story is like that.

2 Times Jesus repeats, “I Am the Vine.”

These are the 10th and last statements of Jesus’ “I AM” statements in the book of John.

(bread of life, resurrection, life, way, truth, etc).
Now, “I AM the vine.”
We are his branches and friends (v 1-11)
We are his branches (1-11)
We are his friends (12-17)

Branches and friends reveal our union and communion with Christ.
We have the privilege of sharing his life, but the responsibility of remaining in him.
We have the privilege of knowing his will, but the responsibility of obeying.

“I am a branch.”
“Jesus is my vine.”

We can see 4 elements (helpful) for us to get many blessings from his teaching.
1. The vine
2. The branches
3. The gardener
4. The fruit

#1 The Vine
“I AM the vine.” (v 1,5)
In the Bible, there are 3 vines. Past, future, present vines.
Past = the nation of Israel (OT – Psalm, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea – Israel is pictured as a vine – Hosea 10:1 – Israel was a spreading vine – God transplanted them into Canaan, and gave them all kinds of blessings – but, they produced bad fruit, wild grapes, not righteousness but wickedness – so God had to deal with the past vine, and chasten/discipline them – they did not produce a lasting result. Finally, when Jesus came into the vineyard, they cast him out and killed him).

Future vine (Revelation 14:14-20)
Vine of the Earth – the unsaved people – the pagan, Gentile world system, ripening for God’s final wrath and judgment. The believers are the branches in the vine of heaven, but the unsaved people are the branches in the vine of the Earth. So, the unsaved will be cut down, and destroyed finally when Jesus returns. They depend on this world for their sustainance and satisfaction, but we depend on Jesus.)

Present vine – Jesus Christ, v.1 = “I AM the TRUE vine” (all other vines are just copies).

The symbolism of the vine and branches is similar to that of the head and the body. This is our union and communion. – Living relationship with Christ who is our vine, and we belong to him, we can share his life. It is also loving union, so we can enjoy him. It is lasting union so we do not need to fear.

Secondly,
#2 The branches
v.5 What ideas can you get from the statement that you are the branches?
Branches by themselves are powerless, useless, worthless.

Branches are only useful for bearing (fruit) or burning (in the fire). Branches cannot produce their own life, they must draw it from the source, the vine.

The many images of Christ and us in the Bible emphasize this important concept of union and communion with Christ.
Head and body, husband and wife, shepherd and sheep, body and members, bride and bridegroom.

Marriage creates union, but it takes daily love and devotion to maintain communion (true that).

Even though the sheep bring the sheep into the flock (union), the sheep must follow the shepherd to maintain protection (communion).

A member in the body must remain connected to the body, or die – if you cut off your arm, it dies immediately.

Key word: REMAIN (in Christ)
The sooner we discover we are only branches, the better we will relate to our Savior.

As a vine, the key word is REMAIN, ABIDE, cling to, stick to. If separated from the vine, immediately death.

Remain is repeated 11 times (so it’s pretty important) in this passage.

What does it mean to remain? To keep fellowship with Jesus, continually, in our whole lives – believing in Christ as God, accepting him as personal Savior and Lord, doing what he says, continually believing the power of the gospel, remaining in love in the community of believers.

Each of these activities begins at some point in our lives, but long-term practice = “remaining”

Union and communion, relating and remaining, natural and essential to the branches and the vine. But this remaining relationship must be CULTIVATED – not automatic, we must PAY something to keep this relationship. We need worship, prayer, dedication, the Word of God, sacrifice, service, continual witnessing of Christ to the lost. What a joyful experience it is.

Once we’ve begun to cultivate this kind of life, we have no desire to return to the careless life of careless Christians.

#3 The Gardener
Vine dresser, (v 1-2) – “My Father”
Do you bear fruit? He PRUNES those who do, so that they will be even more fruitful. 
He CUTS OFF those who don’t…

Around us today, there are many Christians who pray for more growth, more fruit, but don’t enjoy pruning (pruning also means cutting, cleaning – it can be painful).

The gardener cuts off branches in 3 ways.
1. Cut off the dead parts – may be diseased or contain bugs.
2. Cut off some living parts for better growth.
3. Cut off the WHOLE fruit, to produce a better crop.

If the branches could speak, branches would admit, “pruning is painful!”

The greatest wrath that God could ever bring to a believer would be to just let him alone. If God just let a believer go his own way and didn’t prune or correct him, that is the greatest wrath that God could express.

Sometimes even God comes off the good part – even the better part – so that we may enjoy the BEST.

Gardeners must be specially trained or they could destroy the entire crop. Gardeners know where, when, how much, what angle to cut for the BEST fruit. God is the same. Sometimes he uses the Word to change us, but sometimes he uses painful ways.

If your own son and a stranger do something bad, who do you first correct?
If your own son and a stranger do something wonderful, who do you first encourage?

Hebrews 12:5b – “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves and He punishes everyone he accepts as a son…God is treating you as sons, for what son is not disciplined by his father?…Everyone undergoes discipline, if not you, you are illegitimate children…Our fathers disciplined us for evil as they thought best, but God disciplines us for good…No discipline feels good at the time, but produces a harvest of righteousness and peace…”

Pruning may be painful, but it helps.
We may not enjoy it, but we need it for growth.

Do you want to grow? Produce fruit? Pruning is essential. God bless all of us with his holy pruning, because God loves us.

#4 The Fruit
Key word: REMAIN (11 times)
Key word 2: FRUIT (9 times)

Yes, we know a machine can produce a product, or outcome, but only living organisms can produce more life. Fruit is essential to show that we have life. Good branches bear good fruit, bad bear bad fruit, weak branches bear no fruit, apple branches bear apples, cats bear cats, dogs bear dogs. So, what fruit should we produce?

Producing fruit needs time, cultivation, it does not come overnight. Also, quality and quantity are important.

Also, the branches that bear fruit do not eat their own fruit. Other people eat those fruits. We are producing fruit not to please ourselves, but to please and serve others.

The more we remain in Christ, the more we bear fruit, the more fruit, the more we are pruned, so that the more quality and quantity we produce, so that God is glorified by what we produce.

Finally, Jesus accepts us not only as branches but also as friends. (v 12-17)

Command: Love each other as I have loved you.
Command: Love each other.

We may have many acquaintances in our lives, but how many friends do we have? True friends? Friends should be friendly. Unfriendly friends are a contradiction in terms, but many of us have unfriendly friends around us. 

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Jesus gives his life when we are in need of life. He gives his peace when we are in need of peace. He gives his joy when we are in need of joy. That’s why Jesus is individually, personally, the best friend to each of us.

Ephesians 1:4-5 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

If Jesus is the best friend to each of us, then we each should be best friends among us. There are no secrets, no hidden things among true friends.

“Love each other”
How can we show best love to this world? The best love we can show to the lost is to introduce Jesus, because only in Him, eternal life is found. Love is called the greatest command. Evangelism is the greatest commission.

Finally, we are totally pessimistic in that we can do nothing apart from Christ, the vine.
Finally, we are totally optimistic in that we can do anything through Jesus our Lord, the vine.

May God bless all of us in our union and communion with our vine and our best friend.

  • Aug 12 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:1-15)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:1-15)

8.12

Bulletin_08.12.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Previously, there was a split between Paul and Barnabas.

Paul wanted them to return to previously evangelized churches and strengthen them.
Barnabas wanted to take Mark, but Paul didn’t. Paul thought he had abandoned them earlier. The disagreement became so heated, that the two split.

Paul took Silas.
So, rather than one missionary journey, there were two. God made the best of the bad situation. (lemonade from lemons)

Later, Paul changed his attitude toward Mark and they did eventually minister together again. There was no bitter root that took hold, they did eventually reconcile.

———-
So, Paul and Silas visited Syria and Silicia, then Derbe (on the first journey – with Barnabas – they’d won many converts). Luke doesn’t give details about their activities there, but in Lystra (where Paul had healed a man lame from birth) all the men treated the two as gods – but they insisted they were men, not gods.

Jews came from other cities and stoned Paul and dragged him out, but then Paul rose up, returned, and went on to Derbe (the first time).

Now, Paul is coming back to Derbe and Lystra – and this is the first mention of Timothy in the NT. Son of Eunice – woman, father was probably Greek. Paul saw good potential in him, but there was a problem. Timothy was not circumcised…

The father had not allowed circumcision, but had allowed his mother to teach the Jewish Scriptures. So, in the eyes of the Jews, he would be considered a Jew by birth (mother), but an apostate (someone who has turned from the faith) because he was uncircumcised.

So to overcome this dilemma, Paul had Timothy circumcised, not for salvation purposes, but for expediency. Circumcision is of no matter to Paul (he writes elsewhere in Romans, it is circumcision of the heart that matters), but this will allow Timothy to join Paul without tons of disputes from the orthodox Jews.

Paul calls Timothy, “my son, whom I love” and recognizes that Timothy’s thinking is very much like his own. “I have no one else like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.”

Eventually, Timothy is ordained in the ministry, he has a special spiritual gift, given through divine revelation and in 1 Timothy 4 he says “do not neglect your gift.”

Timothy remains close to Paul, as a successor, up to his death (almost his adopted son).

Having Timothy circumcised was a simple public relations ploy to force the Jews to accept him.

Paul accepted and brought Greeks, uncircumcised people, and anyone into the temple to worship. So, the Jews – the legalistic or non-Christian ones – hated him and spoke against him and prayed against him.

So, he circumcised Timothy to avoid problems with the others.

Now, the two of them travel from town to town delivering decrees that say “you need not be circumcised.” Ironic that Timothy was circumcised and now delivering these messages. But, if Timothy had not been circumcised, he could not have had access to the towns and people.

Previously, the 4 provisions, no strangled meat, no blood, no idol meat, no sexual immorality, were imposed upon the new believers (instead of circumcision). These were the messages they were delivering.

The towns they traveled to were all along a long highway. Perhaps Paul intended to continue along to Ephesus, the capital of Rome in Asia. However, in verse 6, they were prevented from continuing along.

Paul’s missionary journeys were coupled with keen planning and sensitivity to the Spirit of God. At that time, they were moved to not go on.

God has his own timing and his own ways of dealing with these towns, spreading the gospel and so on. So, the next logical decision was to head to the coast – Troas – an important port, connecting Europe and Asia Minor.

Paul has a vision, “Come to Macedonia and help us.” Now, the prompting of the Spirit makes sense, God was directing them this way.

This is the first of the “we” sections of Acts – Luke writes “We got ready at once… concluding that God had called us…”

Luke apparently joined Paul there at Troas, as they prepared to set out.

There’s no indication that Paul preached anywhere along the way, but Luke writes next of Philippi – named after Philip II of Macedonia (the father of Alexander the Great). It became part of Rome in 167 BC. When Mark Anthony defeated Brutus and Cassius (Shakespeare – based on history), many Roman veterans were settled in Philippi – so it became a Roman colony.

Luke writes of the conversion of Lydia.

Paul usually went to a synagogue and preached and taught there, but today, they went to a river where they thought there would be a prayer meeting. Perhaps there was no synagogue in town, needed at least 10 Jewish men – heads of the family – to establish a synagogue.

Here is Lydia, a trader of purple clothes.
She might have been a Jew, or might have been a proselyte (convert).

Luke 16:19, there was a certain rich man clothed in purple.

Likely, Lydia herself was rich. Either single, or a widow. She owns her own home, provides hospitality to the travelers, indicates that she is well off (rich).

God opened her heart to receive their message. Luke 24:31, Luke writes of God opening other hearts on the road to Emmaus after Jesus’ death and resurrection. “Their eyes” were opened – and they recognized Jesus as he broke bread with them – and he vanished.
Luke 24:32 – “Were not our hearts burning…as he OPENED up the Scriptures…”

Luke 24:44-45 “These are my words which I spoke to you…that all things which are written about me (in the Bible) must be fulfilled, then He opened their minds to understand.”

Jesus enlightens their understanding of the Scriptures. Everything points to Jesus.

Every Story Whispers His Name (Jesus Storybook Bible)

Jesus opens minds to understand.
Luke follows Paul and says “People cannot understand the gospel because the devil blinds their eyes.”
Interesting. People CANNOT believe or understand the gospel because they are blinded – by Satan. Only Jesus can bring understanding and enlightening. The Holy Spirit works through the preaching, the testimony of the word of God, to open eyes and minds. Yet, still, even after understanding, there must be a response.

We must confess, repent, forsake our sins. Turn from our old lives, our evils, our sins, turn to Jesus for salvation, forgiveness, and cleansing. There is no other way to salvation.

Lydia’s baptism takes place quickly afterward. She and her household become the first converts in Europe – as far as we know.

Verse 15 – This was a favorable beginning to their ministry in Philippi, but later they run into problems…

The Philippi church generously supported Paul in his ministry – he writes in Philippians that that church was the most generous and even gave when no others gave.

“He who began a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 05 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-31)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Council at Jerusalem (Acts 15:1-31)

8.5

Bulletin_08.05.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Verse 1 – some men came from Judea to Antioch – teaching circumcision is necessary to salvation.

Gentiles would have to obey circumcision and other aspects of Jewish law (i.e. basically convert to Judaism) in order to be considered part of the church.

Different cultural backgrounds.

Some traditional Jews continue to obey all the laws (or try to) and worship at the temple as they had since Moses. Some of these things (circumcision) identified them as the people of God and set them apart.

God said, “This is my covenant you shall keep for your generations – circumcision.”

So, Abraham took Ishmael, and all his servants and everyone in his estate and circumcised them all in the same day.

Later on, Moses reinforced circumcision – Exodus 12:33-34 – “This is the ordinance of the Passover – no foreigner may eat of it, but all your slaves – after circumcision – may eat.”
Joshua also reinforced it – all those born in the wilderness – a new generation of Israelites – hadn’t been circumcised. So, God commanded them to be circumcised with flint knives.

This was an important mark of the covenant with God.

On the other hand, ex-pagans were continually becoming saved and entering the church.

They had been worshiping idols, they had no desire for circumcision since there was no cultural value for them.

The Jews were afraid that the ex-pagans would change the nature of the church. They weren’t so concerned with some who kept the Jewish laws, worshiped at the temple, and so on. But, IF ex-pagans entered the church and DIDN’T keep the Jewish laws, it might encourage Jews to not be so zealous about keeping the laws themselves.

Something had to be done.

So, Paul and company traveled around and preached about how the Gentiles were turning to God – and accepting Jesus as the Way, Truth, Life.

At Jerusalem, they are welcomed by the elders and reported everything that God had done through them (verse 4).

But then, some with a legalistic background (Pharisee-order Christians), decided that circumcision must be enforced even upon the Gentiles.
They are leaders, teachers, a powerful force (and legalistic). They said Gentiles must basically convert to Judaism before they can be called Christians.

MUCH discussion took place…

Genesis 17 likely referenced to make the case for circumcision.

Then Peter stood up and gave a strong testimony to accept the Gentiles into the church on the basis of “faith alone” and according to the basic Christian creed.

God had already (possibly 10 years earlier – Acts 9) made an example of bringing Gentiles into the church by faith alone.

Peter: “God, who knows the heart, showed he accepted them, he purified their hearts by faith, and gave them the Holy Spirit.”

Peter said that the Pharisee Christians were testing God, placing a yoke around the neck of the Gentiles that Jews themselves had been unable to fully bear.

Yoke – metaphor for political, social oppression (1 Timothy 1? – yoke on slaves)

The gospel came at a time when slavery was rampant. It took many, many years before God – through many Christian men – helped change the world’s views of slavery.

=====
When Jews (or anyone) set up rules to prevent others from entering the body, they are testing God and burdening others.

Jesus himself said, “my yoke is easy, my burden is light…come to me all you who are burdened and heavy-laden and I will give you rest…take my yoke and find rest.”

Peter ends the speech by echoing the thoughts of Paul, “We believe it is by grace we are saved, just as they are.”

Next, Barnabas and Paul rise to defend their views on circumcision – the whole assembly became silent.

Barnabas spoke first, they trusted him, he was originally from Jerusalem, sent to Antioch. So, he and Paul both told the story of the Gentile conversion as it happened. Told of how they went to Cyprus, and how God through Paul had stricken the sorcerer with blindness because He wouldn’t put up with the obstruction to his gospel. Told of other miracles and wonders they witnessed.

This shows that God is blessing their work.

The next person to speak is James, the leader (head pastor) of the church in Jerusalem. He was highly respected all around, probably because he keeps all the Jewish laws.

He agrees with Peter and Paul that faith is the basis for salvation, but the Judaism-advocates misunderstand him. He said that “Just because I keep these laws doesn’t obligate Gentiles to do so.”

Amos 9:11-12 is quoted – prophecy.
He verifies and vindicates the Word of God. By quoting this, he is saying that the Gentile mission is the method by which the Gentiles are becoming part of David’s new tent (the new Israel) – verse 16)

He says, don’t obligate the Gentiles to follow our laws.

However, he has a public relations problem, he doesn’t want to alienate pious Jews – so he sets up 4 prohibitions.

3 of them are about food –
idolatrous worship foods – especially meat (but later Paul in 1 Corinthians says “eat” so long as it doesn’t cause another to sin),
flesh of animals that are improperly killed,
don’t eat blood – an extension on the previous one

The final prohibition = pornea (pornography origin)

No sexual immorality – 1 Corinthians – “He who sins sexually sins against his own body (all other sins are outside his own body)….each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband….I will be grieved over many who have sinned and not repented over their sexual sins in which they have indulged.”

Corinth was very perverse (Vegas?) and known for sexual immorality – in fact, immoral people were often referred to as “Corinthians”

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. DO NOT BE DECEIVED. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, prostitutes, homosexual offenders, drunkards, swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. AND that is what some of you WERE. BUT, you were purified, sanctified, washed, cleansed, made righteous.

But thank God for his grace.”

1 Corinthians – Paul recommended marriage BECAUSE of rampant immorality. If he were alive today, he would definitely encourage it.

Today, taboo things of the past have become commonplace. The Internet can bring any of these things with the click of a mouse.

Paul says “FLEE”
Many do struggle with sexual sin and temptation.

www.settingcaptivesfree.com
Porn, wine, cigarettes, finances, diet, homosexuality, etc.

www.purepassion.com?

Billy Graham? Do you know him?
Ruth Graham (his daughter) had been through 3 broken marriages.
First husband brought porn in, messed her up, divorced, raped before second marriage, second marriage broke up, third marriage.

Book “There’s a Broken Heart in Every Pew”

Everyone comes to church smiling, dressed in their best. “How are you?” “Fine!…..” She wasn’t, she was abused by first and second husbands. She finally found peace in her third.

God brought her through that, now she can minister to others with the same struggles. All these other online ministries are similar.

C.S. Lewis – The Great Divorce
Slay Sexual Sin in our own lives.

“Busload of people who travel to heaven on a tour before getting to their new home – heaven. Once in heaven, many flee back to the comfort of their bus. One ghost, with a talkative Lust Demon pestering him, wanders out and meets an angel. The angel asks, “Would you like me to make him quiet?” “Of course” “then I will kill him” “Oh, ouch!…You’re burning me.” “Don’t you want him killed?” “Nothing so drastic please” “It’s the only way, shall I kill it?” “no, no, he’s asleep now.” “May I kill it?” “no, no, some other day?” “No other day. You’ll kill me!” “Not kill you” “You’ll hurt me” “I never said it wouldn’t hurt you, just it wouldn’t kill you.”
Lizard, “I promise I’ll be good”
Angel “May I?” Man “You’re right, it would be better to be dead than live with this. God, help me”

The man screamed in agony, the angel squeezed the lizard, killed it and threw it.

Then the man (ghost) became solid – not a ghost anymore but a man.

The lizard grew bigger and bigger and changed. It became a stallion (horse), beautiful golden hair.

The man (not ghost) climbed upon his stallion that had been his sin and rode toward his Savior.

The only remedy for sexual sin is DEATH to that sin. But after that death, there is a beauty to the new creation life.

Let us prepare for communion, and if there are any lizards in our lives, let’s kill them.

Amen.

  • Jun 17 / 2012
  • Comments Off on If Christ is Your Savior and Lord, He is Your Example (John 13:1-17)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

If Christ is Your Savior and Lord, He is Your Example (John 13:1-17)

6.17

Bulletin_06.17.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Verse 15 is the KEY verse.

Please memorize this verse.

In the Bible, there are 4 farewell messages:
Deut 31-33 – Moses
Joshua 23-24 – Joshua
Acts 20 – Paul
John 13-17 – Jesus

Jesus style is unique compared to other 3.
Jesus began with the action of washing (chp 13)
Chp 14 – Let not your hearts be troubled.
15 – I am the true vine, you are branches.
16 – I have told all these things to you, so that you may have peace in me. I have overcome this world.
17 – Closed with prayer (himself, disciples, ALL believers in the future – including YOU! Jesus prayed for YOU!)
(14-17 = messages)

Jesus washed 24 feet.
God washed 24 ugly, dirty, stinky feet.

All power and authority are in his hand, but he took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist and poured water into the basin and began to wash their feet.

Can you imagine it?

In Palestine at that time, no paved roads – only dirt, also, very thin sandals. So in the dry season, tons of (yellow?) dust. In the rainy season, tons of mud.

At that time, washing feet = a slave’s job.

Verse 12-15 When he finished
Do you understand? I am Teacher and Lord, I am your Example. No servant is greater than his master.

Jesus is our example. The greatest example!

Is Jesus really, truly your personal Savior. Be honest before God, not before me.

IF he is, then there is no question that he is our example. One of his main purposes in coming into this world was to be our example – our role-model – he modeled the behavior we should follow.

Phil. 2:15 –
Hebrews – Fix your eyes
Eph – Fix your eyes on Jesus
“Jesus suffered for us, leaving an example for us.”

Who is your example?
In the Bible, there are many “good” people. Of course we can learn from them. But NOBODY is our final example – besides Jesus. Who suffered for you, gave his life for you? ONLY Jesus.

Make sure ONLY Jesus is your final, true example. Not even other human mentors. ONLY Jesus is the final example.

Share 5 Characteristics of Jesus: hoping, praying for us to be like Jesus more and more.

#1: Jesus is a person of absolute holiness.
(v 10). Cleanliness = godliness.
(v 11).
Jesus washing their feet symbolizes Jesus cleansing, purifying, and making them holy. He is holy, and holy person maker.
He is the ONLY absolute holy one.
“Holy and Righteous One.”
Jesus has also been tempted in every way, but is without sin (Hebrews 4?)
He was holy in nature and conduct.
Only Jesus is sample of holiness.

If you like Jesus, you will be like Jesus.
If you behold Jesus, you will be holy like Jesus.

Moses in Exodus, his face shown (shining) after meeting God – he was transformed and becoming holy more and more as he spent time with God.

Christians = Saints = “Holy Ones”

Because we are justified and saved, we must “work our your salvation with fear and trembling” – work out your holiness in your conduct, your personality, your MOUTH.

#2: Jesus is a person of genuine love.
(v. 1 second sentence)
Can you understand this picture?

Many times we notice the word “knew”
He is original God, omnipotent. He knew and knows now and the future.
Also in this time, Jesus KNEW:
1. Judas would betray
2. Peter would betray
3. Disciples would scatter – lack of trust, laziness, fear of Man.
4. The gravity of his own situation, about to die.

In this time, what did disciples do? They argued…
They never deserved Jesus’ love, but he loved them to the end, to the full.

By nature, we are not better than the disciples, than Peter, than Judas.
We were dead, and Christ died for us.
Romans 8:35? What can separate us from the love of Christ – nothing in ALL creation!

Remember the ground, the foundation of our salvation, our assurance = the love of Christ in death for us.

“A new command I give you, ‘Love one another’ as I have loved you.”
Paul: “The love of Christ compels me.”

Love of Christ should be the strong, forcing drive for each of us.
1 Corinthians 13 – “If I speak with the tongues of angels, but have not love, I am a [meaningless noise]. If I have faith that can move mountains, but not love, I have nothing. If I give all I have, even my body to the fire, but not love, I give nothing.”

We must be serious about this.
EVERYTHING done without love = NOTHING in God’s eyes.

1 John 1 “Perfect love casts out fear.”
Do you have fear in your life?

Love is the power to drive out all fears.
May God bless us all to be a person of love. God can do even if we cannot do.

#3: Jesus is a person of true humility and meekness (not weakness)

Jesus is very true GOD, yet he kneeled down and served and washed their feet.

In his earthly life, he did not quarrel, did not shout on the street, did not have a place to lay his head. He emptied himself totally, humbled himself totally. “He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…”

The same Peter here (proud), later in 1 Peter admonishes us to “clothe yourselves with humility, for God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.”

Humility is going down to the bottom to SUPPORT others.
We become poor of our own accord to MAKE others rich.

Meekness is NOT weakness.
See the ball pen – hear the sound.
The podium is not meek.
The cloth is meek. (no sound)

Meekness is the power to accept, maturity not to be hurt, state of being tamed all the time, completely in being used by the Lord.

Would Jesus feel comfortable, convenient in using you? If Jesus would feel that way, you are meek. If Jesus would not feel comfortable, convenient to use you, you are not meek. Consider.
God bless us to be meek.

#4: Jesus is a person of the Father’s job.
For one person to prepare water and wash 12 men’s dirty feet and dry them with a towel at one time is not a small job – it’s a BIG job.

He was a faithful, hard, passionate worker. But his job was not his, but his Father’s
John 5:17
John 9:4 – As long as it is day, do the work of the Father.

Yes, Jesus saved the lost, preached, healed, opened eyes, raised the dead, calmed storms, fed the hungry, trained workers. Sometimes he didn’t even eat or rest because he was so busy. But ALL that work was the Father’s work.

Romans 12:11 – “Never be lacking in zeal. Continue in spiritual passion.”

1 Corinthians 15 – Therefore my brothers, let nothing move you,

Colossians 3 – Do all you do with your whole heart as working for God, not for men.

Teaching English is not YOUR work, it is the Lord’s work! If you think it’s YOUR work, then it is a source of stress and tiredness. If you think it’s GOD’S work, it is a source of rest and peace.

To the slave, there is not his own work, it is all his master’s work.

#5: Jesus is a person of full prayer

He closes this goodbye message with prayer in chp. 17. He prayed often, for everyone, habitually, regularly.

In Luke, there are at least 11 occasions that Jesus prayed. Sometimes ALL night, sometimes dawn prayer (dawn prayer started with Jesus), prayed before mission, prayed before Calvary, even after his greatest successes.

Jesus prayed for killers, for enemies, earnestly, honestly, patiently, believingly, submissively.

Luke – Jesus prayed SO honestly, he sweat drops of blood
Hebrews 5:7 – He offered up LOUD cries and tears

On the cross, he finished his life on earth with prayers for his killers. “Forgive them.”

Still now, Jesus is STILL praying for us.
Romans – “He is at the right hand of God and INTERCEDING for us!”
In heaven.

He is in his nature GOD.
If he needed to pray, how much more do we need to pray?

Not to pray = arrogance, unbelief, against God. “God, you do your thing, I’ll do mine.”

The more we surrender before God, kneel before God, the more we can stand in this world.

“Get on your knees and fight like a man!”

God is very happy to hear your living voice. “God, help me, make me a person of holiness, love, humility, your work, a person of prayer.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 10 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Parting is NOT Such Sweet Sorrow (Acts 13:13)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Parting is NOT Such Sweet Sorrow (Acts 13:13)

6.10

Bulletin_06.10.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

In Pisidian Antioch : 13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John (Mark) left them to return to Jerusalem.

*Oops, bulletin picture is apostle John ^^;

Previously, Barnabas was mentioned first.
Acts 11:30 – Prophecy of famine coming into the world, the saints in Antioch agreed to send supplies to Judea. They sent it in charge of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 12:25 – Returned from Jerusalem, “and Barnabas and Saul” returned, and they took on John (Mark) and a relative (nephew or cousin?) of Barnabas.

Acts 13:2 – While the leaders in Antioch were ministering and fasting, the Holy Spirit (HS) said, “set aside Barnabas and Saul.”

Three times, Barnabas was named first, then Saul.

Now, Acts 13:13 we read, “Paul and his companions” = (those around Paul) – Paul becomes center stage, and the others become satellites around him. He is the leader, dominant partner in the missionary team.

There is no specific indication WHY Paul becomes the leader here, perhaps due to the HS’s direction during the period when Paul called a mist of darkness to come upon a magician they met (Elymas). When the proconsul saw this power of God, he believed and the activities of Satan were frustrated through Paul.

Perhaps the HS is clearly at work in Paul at this point, so he becomes the leader.

Also, at this point John (Mark) returns to Jerusalem. No reason given here.

Perhaps Mark didn’t like that Barnabas is no longer the leader (perhaps the same has happened in some churches).
Or he may be in disagreement over some parts of the presentation of the gospel to the Gentiles.
Or he may have been homesick.
Or he may have been afraid of the next part of their journey – they would have to cross high mountains, endure floods, avoid robber crowds. It may have seemed a daunting future.

Whatever the reason, he returned.

Paul didn’t like it. Acts 15:38, he said, “desertion.”

Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:36~) returned to some of the churches they’d planted to see how they were.

Barnabas wanted to take (this same) John (Mark) with them. Paul didn’t want to since he’d deserted them previously.

They had such a sharp disagreement, they separated. Paul chose Silas, Barnabas took John Mark. Paul returned and strengthened the churches. Barnabas continued on.

Who was right? Paul or Barnabas, or both?

Here are two men – crashing into each other verbally, angrily perhaps – and separated.

Paul was task-oriented. He wanted to accomplish his mission (the Lord’s mission).
Barnabas was people-oriented. He wanted to restore John Mark.

They separated, yet, now there were two missionary teams. So, God directed the two, he overruled their argument and sent them separately.

Toward the end of his life, (2 Timothy 4:11), Paul asked Timothy to bring him Mark – he changed his mind about Mark.

“All’s well that end’s well.”
“Let bygones be bygones.”
“Put the past behind you.”

Scottish Preacher, Samuel Rutherford, was reflecting on his youth – the debt he owed to God. “Pray that bygones between me and my Lord, may be bygones.”

The Lord CANNOT forget sins – he is omniscient (all-knowing).
But he CHOOSES not to remember – not to hold past sins against us.

When we repent (turn away from the sin), God forgives us and remembers them no more.

“Forgiving is not an emotion, it’s a decision. It’s tearing up the I.O.U.”
– Derick Prince

(I.O.U.) = I owe you, I must repay you.

“Many wives who’ve suffered from their husbands STILL suffer, because they’ve never torn up the I.O.U.’s. They have I.O.U.’s – “you owe me love, you owe me respect, you owe me…” Yet, God holds MANY MORE I.O.U.’s against you. God says, “if you tear up yours, I’ll tear up mine, but if you hold onto yours, I’ll hold onto mine.””

One lady forgave $30,000 in I.O.U’s immediately after this sermon.

Husbands/wives, friends, co-workers, even YOURSELF – have you forgiven these?
Have you forgiven yourself?

If you say, “how could I do this (sin)?”
The answer, “you’re still human, and not yet glorified – you are not perfect, so don’t hold yourself to the standard of perfection.”

Sample dialog:

  • Barnabas: Mark has potential!
  • Paul: He’s your relative…
  • B: Not true, I help others as well – he has great potential!
  • P: We need a tight, close, reliable team – able to endure beatings and scorn. How can we take him? He failed us before.
  • B: I’ve talked to him about this, I’m sure he wouldn’t do it again, to refuse him might do damage to his spirit at the moment of repentance.
  • P: It’s too soon to trust him.
  • B: Remember how soon after your conversion, I trusted you…I’d rather not keep him (Mark) waiting.

A.T. Robertson
“No one can blame Barnabas for giving Mark a second chance, nor Paul for fearing to risk a second chance.”

P & B parted in anger and sorrow.
Paul owed more to Barnabas than anyone.
Barnabas was parting from the greatest spirit of the time.

Who was right?
Most people think Barnabas. Swindoll is tempted to agree. Yet, Proverbs 25:19, “Like a bad tooth and unsteady foot is confidence in a faithless man in times of trouble.”

Have you ever loaned money to someone who never paid it back? Is it still outstanding? Would you loan that person money again?…Probably not. (This is Paul’s viewpoint.)
He hasn’t paid you back once, he’s more likely to do so again.

What if it has an impact on those we minister to? What if his actions roll over to others in the church and others leave as well?

If you see only Barnabas’ side, you’ve likely never been betrayed or failed by a partner in ministry.

Neither vote for Paul or Barnabas. Both sides have validity.

Yet, in the sovereignty of God, missionaries doubled.

Mark eventually wrote the gospel of Mark, Paul spoke well of him later.

This same thing has happened in churches since then. Church splits, yet God gives grace.

Whitefield (once saved always saved) vs. Wesley (give away salvation – fall from grace)

Q: What happens when you get to heaven?
Whitefield: “Wesley will be so close to God’s throne, I won’t even see him.”

That’s GRACE. Let’s pray we each can show the same kind of grace.

  • Jun 03 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Summary of Jesus’ Public Ministry (John 12:27-50)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Summary of Jesus’ Public Ministry (John 12:27-50)

6.3

Bulletin_06.03.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.”

This world is full of many kinds of troubles.
We can never flee these troubles.
We can only trust fully, really in God from our deep hearts.

The same God, who says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” also says, “My heart is troubled.” (v. 27).

We can see three things from this confession:

#1: He is fully man
No one wants to die at 33.
No one wants to die on the cross.

Hebrews – “He himself suffered while he was tempted”
He had sleepless nights. He was tired, exhausted, misunderstood, forsaken, persecuted, delivered unto death.

He experienced all things humans experience, except sin.

#2 Now we know courage DOESN’T mean “no fear” BUT rather “can be very afraid, and still do what must be done.”

Isaiah = “Our Savior took up our infirmities, troubles, weaknesses, sicknesses, worries…”

#3 There are worldly troubles and godly troubles
2 Corinthians: “Godly sorrow = life, worldly sorrow (troubles) = death”

Matthew 10, “Whoever finds his life loses it, but whoever loses his life for me saves it.”

Do our troubles come from God?
Or from this world?

Do we think, “how can I live an easy life for my pleasure, myself?” = death
If we think, “how can I live my life for Christ, for others?” = life

Jesus is now facing suffering and death.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.”
Romans 8:29 “Those he foreknew he also predestined…”

Jesus is our first brother, eldest brother.

If we are looking for a comfortable life, conforming to the comforts of this world, we will suffer.

If we are looking for Jesus, to be transformed by him, we will never be alone, we will experience full joy.

Jesus never said, “What shall I do?” but here, “What shall I say?”

Only 2 prayers we can pray:
“Father, save me” OR
“Father, glorify your name” (v. 28)

God spoke to his son directly, and his prayer received an answer from heaven with DOUBLE assurance.
“I HAVE glorified it (Jesus’ past life and ministry) and WILL glorify it (Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension, coming again).”

God spoke to Jesus 3 times at very important points:

#1 Jesus’ Baptism: “This is my son, whom I love, in him I am well pleased.”

#2 Transfiguration: “This is my son, whom I love, in him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

#3 NOW – entering Jerusalem in the last days before the cross: “I HAVE and I WILL glorify my name through your ministry.”

Now, Jesus openly speaks about his cross.

v. 31-33

“Now is the time (the cross) for judgment on this world…”

Jesus death brings:
1. Judgment on this world
2. Defeat of Satan
3. Salvation for ALL who would believe

Who is Satan?
The prince of this world. (mentioned thus, 3 times in the book of John)

2 Corinthians?
Satan is mentioned as the “god” of this age.
He was an angel – REAL – not symbolic.
Deceiver, divider, but finally, defeated one.

Jesus through his death, brings total defeat to Satan.
Yet, today Satan is allowed to go around this earth and destroy, yet one day soon, he will be condemned, and sent to hell forever.

v. 32
“But when I am lifted up, will draw ALL men to myself.”

Jesus death = for men, defeating Satan.
Jesus’ death is not for nature, animals, angels, but for men, ALL men.

1 John 3:8, “The reason the Son of Man appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

So, our lifestyles should be very simple.

For man, against Satan.
Jesus death is “for man, against Satan.”
Also, as followers, our lifestyles should be “for man, against Satan.”

If we fight against man, we fight against Jesus. If we do something pleasing to Satan, we fight against Satan.

Ephesians – “Our fight is not against man, but against [Satan]”

v. 36
“Put your trust in the light while you have it…Jesus hid himself from them (the crowd – v. 29, 34)”

This marks the end of Jesus’ public ministry in front of the crowd. After chapter 12, Jesus does not appear in front of the crowd again.

From chapter 14 to his arrest in chapter 18, he does his ministry only in front of his disciples.

The rest of this chapter is the epilogue, the summary, review of Jesus’ public ministry. This is the last chance for the crowd to listen to the living voice of Jesus.

So, for the crowd, he summarized again what he taught them.

#1 Light
v. 35-36, 46
“light” repeated 5 times
From the 6th-9th hour during his crucifixion, darkness covered the land.

Chap. 1:4 – “In Him was light…the true light…the darkness has not understood it.”
Jesus = the light of the world, whoever follows will never walk in darkness.

Later, Jesus says, “YOU are the light of the world…Let your light shine so that the world may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.”

Earth goes round the sun, we always receive the light of the sun, doesn’t show favoritism, gives light equally to all men. On the other side of the world – they do not have the light just now. The sun gives the light to them, but they do not receive the light. Why? Because they have turned from the sun.

The sun gives light to ALL, but some do not receive because they are turned away from the light.

The same way, Jesus gives light and life and salvation to ALL people, but some do not receive because they are turned away from the light (reject it).

Like this, we too are the light of the world.
What does this mean?

Our message, our gospel, our testimony can be accepted by some, or rejected by some, but on our parts, we MUST shine to ALL people. We are the light of the world!
Acceptance or rejection is THEIR job.
Shining is OUR job.
(Don’t be shy)

Hallelujah!

#2 Faith
v. 37-46, key word = believe = repeated 8 times

John explains the unbelief of the people (v. 37-38) WOULD NOT believe
(v. 39) COULD NOT believe
(v. 41~) SHOULD NOT believe

Despite all the clear evidence, they would not, could not, should not believe. They closed their eyes to the truth, though they received clear signs and miracles from God throughout the ages.

This was already prophesied in Isaiah 6:10

They would not believe, or they would not confess their faith, even though they believed.

This is important to us if we believe in Christ. v. 42-43

Fear of Man
They would not confess, they hid their faith, for fear that they would be banished from their community.

Even today, many Christians hide their faith out of fear of rejection, bullying, etc.

They seek the praise of man, they fear man.

Fear of God, fear of man, can never go together.
Praise of man, praise of God, can never go together.

Hidden faith, hidden belief, can NEVER please God.

“Whoever disowns me before man, I will disown before God in heaven. Do not fear man, but fear the one who can destroy body and soul in heaven…”

It is much better to BE right for eternity,
than to LOOK right for mortality.

Please do not be deceived.

#3 Relationship with God
v. 44-50
“Then, Jesus cried out.” Why?
This message is SO important, SO urgent, and this is the LAST chance for the crowd to hear his living voice before his cross (also there is no microphone…^^)

To believe in Jesus, see Jesus, love Jesus = to believe in God, see God, love God

To hate one = to hate the other.

Jesus is the visible representation of the invisible God (Colossians 1?)

Jesus = real, true, eternal God.

That God came here, became as one of us, and died (physically) to save us (eternally, spiritually).

You are very special, important, God’s VIP.

What is your value? The blood of His son. The life of God.

May God bless us all continually with his life, eternal life.

  • May 27 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Good News for the Gentiles (Acts 13:1-12)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Good News for the Gentiles (Acts 13:1-12)

5.27

Bulletin_05.27.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

In Acts 12, 13, Paul is taking center stage.

Previously, Peter had been the center.

Now, the gospel is taking a different direction.

Acts 12:25 – Saul and Barnabas go to Jerusalem during the famine. The saints had gathered food and money to take to those in Jerusalem.

After Saul (Paul) and Barnabas did this, they returned to Antioch.

There were prophets and teachers there.

Luke, the writer of Acts points out the offices and roles of people in the ministry. (Acts 13)
Also, Paul writes of the roles and offices in the church in Romans 12.

To each who is a member of the body of Christ, gifts, anointing, functions are given by the Holy Spirit.

What is our place?
What is our ministry?
What are our gifts?
Where can we serve?
We should pursue these things to serve the Lord and edify one another within the church.

Start somewhere, and the Holy Spirit will make it clear where you belong.

1 Corinthians 12:28 – God has appointed apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, administration, tongues.

Ephesians also mentions evangelist between prophet and teacher (Eph. 4:11)

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers.

These gifts are given to help others in the church grow up to serve others – to build up the body of Christ, ultimately.

Luke, in Acts, names 5 prophets and teachers in Antioch.

These different names show they come from a variety of social and ethnic backgrounds – they aren’t all Jews from the same small town.

Barnabas was instrumental in introducing Saul to the other apostles.
Barnabas was then sent from Jerusalem to Antioch (Acts 11:23) to witness the many who became Christians there. He encouraged them and was overjoyed to see the gospel spread to the Gentiles.

Barnabas (real name Joseph), means “son of encouragement” – that was his nickname given by the other apostles.
(v. 24) – He was a good man.

Acts 4:36-37 – He was a Levite, real name Joseph, who owned a tract of land and sold it, and laid the money at the apostles feet.

He was good, encourager, generous.

2. Simeon – Latin name “Niger” = dark skin, may have been given the nickname to distinguish him from others.

3. Lucius from Cyrene in North Africa. He may have first preached at Antioch.

4. Manaen – brought up with the Herod of the gospels (Jesus called him “that fox”) – in Mark 6, he captured John the Baptist and killed him. Manaen may have been brought up in the court of Herod.
Two foster brothers (Herod and Manaen) brought up together, one brought honor upon himself by becoming a Christian, the other brought disgrace by killing John the Baptist and the trial of Jesus.

5. Paul is last mentioned.

After introducing us to the leaders, Luke tells us the church is worshiping and fasting, and considering a missionary venture.

The HS says, “set apart Barnabas and Saul.”

How does the HS speak?
Clearly through a prophetic utterance – from one of the prophets present there.

Here, there are echoes of the OT prophets, bringing the message of God.
Ex: Johosephat – king, his people were fasting, crying out to God – the spirit of the Lord came upon a prophet “Do not fear or be dismayed, the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Now at Antioch, God is showing again his will about a different concern – spreading the gospel around the Roman empire.

Missions are not the will of man, not accomplished through man’s efforts. The HS is the source and guide of these initiatives.

In Acts, Luke shows how the HS is the leader and guide of the church.

Acts 4, when the church prayed together, they were filled with the HS, preached boldly the word of God, even against the command of the govt.

Acts 8, after the revival in Samaria, HS led Philip to Ethiopia (8:29) – the HS said to Philip, “Go to the chariot” – the man was reading Isaiah but couldn’t understand it – so Philip preached Christ to him, he believed, and went on to preach in his home.

Acts 10, Peter preaches to Cornelius, a Gentile, the HS convicts and converts him. Peter acknowledges that it is the whole work of the HS.

All through Acts, there is a sensitivity to the leading and guiding of the HS.

So, through the spirit, Barnabas and Saul are separated for the task of evangelism and sent (v.4). The church “sent” them, but the HS “SENT” them truly.

Paul is not a lone ranger, but in constant contact with the sending church.

This is the beginning of the story of Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13-14). Took 3 years in total.

They set out for Cyprus (journey by boat = 130 miles). Cyprus is 140miles x 60 miles. It was a Roman island.

It made sense to start the ministry here, because Barnabas is from here – his native land.

Some Christian communitees probably existed, so they could support their efforts a bit.

The first place they land at is Salamis.

John Mark (writer of Mark’s gospel, mother Mary had the house church that Peter went to after escaping prison) accompanied them.

There Barnabas and Paul proclaimed the gospel in the synagogues (where the Jews would learn about the Law of Moses). So, here is where the apostles proclaimed the Law of Moses all pointed to Jesus.

At Paphos, the island’s leader, requests a meeting with the apostles (actually orders it).

(v. 6) – They met Bar-Jesus – problem.
Bar-Jesus = “son of Jesus”
Bar – Jesus = Elymas (translated)
Elymas = “the magician” was opposing them and trying to keep the island’s leader away from the apostles and belief in Christ.

Paul, filled with the HS – stared him down and powerfully spoke against him. “You are not the son of Jesus but the son of the devil!…”
Paul prophecies that he will be blinded – and he is immediately.

These are echoes of Paul’s own experience. Paul also was blinded, literally, because of his opposition to the gospel.

Elymas’ physical judgment was the same as his spiritual predicament – blind.

Also, we all were blind to the gospel before meeting Jesus. We were dead in our sins, lost. But God, because of his love, in his great mercy, saved us.

It would be interesting to see the after-story. Was Elymas convicted? Did he become a Christian?

Similar story, when Philip went to Samaria, met a sorcerer there as well.

Similar story, in Egypt, sorcerers and magicians tried to outdo Moses with magic.

Similar story, Elijah and the prophets and magicians of Baal.

But, every time, the Lord God is shown to be the most powerful.

So, Paul and Barnabas eventually preached to the island leader, and he was amazed. – There was power in the gospel, it was effective, bad people became good, people were healed, lives changed.

The island leader saw it, and believed. It would be interesting to see what happened in the after-story.

So, in Paul’s preaching, we see not only blessing (to seekers), but also blasting (to the wolves – those who oppose the gospel). In Romans 1, we see God gives people over to their sins. When spiritually blind, God increases their blindness.

Yet, even in judgment, there is mercy.

I once was lost, I now am found.
Amazing Grace Hymn

Jesus comes in to our lives and cleanses us and saves us.

How to be saved?
Acknowledge your sin, confess, repent, turn to Christ, ask him to set you free, come into your life, lead you, guide you, change you.

Let’s pray.

  • May 20 / 2012
  • Comments Off on What Shall a Seed Do to Bear Many Seeds? (John 12:12-26)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What Shall a Seed Do to Bear Many Seeds? (John 12:12-26)

5.20

Bulletin_05.20.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The previous day, was a small, quiet dinner with Lazarus’ family.

TODAY, it is switched to a huge crowd, big feast – Passover – in Jerusalem.

Passover = first & greatest feast of all feasts. Jews from all over the earth, came to Jerusalem. A Jew’s dream for his life was to observe the Passover in Jerusalem.

This is Passover season – Jesus will be crucified on Passover.

Jesus enters Jerusalem on a young donkey – small, not a horse.

The four gospels all tell this story. Their accounts should be compared. This event is very important.

Jesus sent disciples to the village, told them to untie the donkey they would find there. If someone says something, say, “The Lord needs it.” and we will return it.
This donkey was borrowed.

Jesus wanted to fulfill OT prophecy, it was the one (announcement) event he allowed during his ministry.

Jesus was announcing at this time that he was the Savior, the promised Messiah.

This is the “Triumphal Entry”

What does this mean for Jesus?
1. It is part of his obedience to his Father – fulfilling the prophecy in Zech 9:9.

What does this mean for the Romans?
2. There is no record about their viewpoint, but surely they kept a close watch on that event – the Passover. It was not uncommon for a Jewish nationalist to try to arouse the people.
So, the Romans undoubtedly thought this was that kind of event.
Afterward, they must have laughed.

Compared to the Roman triumphs and celebrations and parades in Rome, this event was nothing.

Whenever a Roman general was victorious, killed 5000 enemies, gained new land, he received “triumph” in Rome – a HUGE parade, like today’s car parades (tic or take parade?)

Compared to that triumph, Jesus’ “triumph” was nothing.

What does this mean to the people of Israel (pilgrims)?
3. Pilgrims welcomed Jesus, and shouted “Hosanna!” Psalm 118:26 – Messianic Psalm. Luke – they shouted “Peace in heaven!” They wanted Jesus to bring them the peace they needed.

While they were doing this, Jesus was weeping. (Luke) When Jesus saw Jerusalem, he wept over Jerusalem.

Jerusalem = “City of Peace” but Jesus saw already what lay ahead for the city, so he wept (war, scattering, troubles, etc).

At his birth, angels declared “Peace on Earth!”
During his ministry, Jesus declared, “War on Earth! Do you think I came to bring peace? No, division.”

There is only peace in heaven.

How can we find such peace on earth? Only found in Jesus.

What does this event mean to Pharisees?
(v. 19)
4. “The whole world has gone after him.” This is exaggeration and prophecy – because one day, the whole world WILL stand before Jesus to be judged for their deeds. They were anticipating some kind of revolt during this season. They feared Jesus would perform some miracles and capture the hearts of the restless people.

How little they understood the heart of Jesus.

Jesus, the Passover Lamb must be sacrificed
1 Cor 11:5? – Jesus our Passover Lamb
Exodus – the Passover meant death, judgment to those who opposed God, but life to those who were with God
1 Cor 1:18 – cross = foolishness to those who are perishing

People today can realize that they worked their whole lives to accomplish nothing – there is still the final judgment.

The heart of truth (v. 20-22)
Greeks = Gentiles

These Gentiles wanted to hear the truth.

No other gospel tells of this incident. It is very fitting to find it only in the book of John, because it is the book written to show the truth of Christianity in a way that even Gentiles can appreciate and understand.

John, theme = Jesus is the Savior of the WORLD – not only Jews. (John 3:16)

So, the Samaritans had already recognized him as the Savior. So, Jesus gives life to the world, and gives his life for the world.

The first people who visited and worshiped Jesus with gold, incense, and myrrh were Gentiles (the Magi from the east). And now, Gentiles come to hear from Jesus before his death.

Next verses are the heart of the truth. He reveals it before Gentiles – and to you and me.

v. 23
Jesus did not say, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed, rather glorified. He saw BEYOND the cross to the glory. Hebrews 12:2 – Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…who for the glory set before him…scorned the shame of the cross, and sat down at the right hand of God.

Main point of this message = the GLORY OF GOD.

How can you glorify God?

v.24
If a wheat seed dies, it produces many seeds. Can you count them?

v. 25
Please be honest with this verse.
If you love your life, you will lose it.
If you hate your life in this world, you will keep it.
My Father honors the one who serves him.

Jesus uses a seed to illustrate great truth.

There is no glory without suffering, victory without surrender, greatness without humility, honor without service, life without death.

We know the secret of the seed.

Can you see the seed? (Apple seed, illustration)

We know the seed itself is very small, very weak, useless, powerless.

If you keep this seed in a beautiful box for safety, security, comfort, what can this seed do? NOTHING. Ten years later, one hundred, NOTHING.

But, this same seed, when it is spread outside and planted, and buried – like in a tomb – on the cold, hard, dark, soil and trampled on by men, this seed starts to penetrate up and down, making roots, branches, leaves, more and more seeds, colors, tastes, fruit, flowers.

This is a miracle! Everybody knows it, but who can explain how?

Kid, “How?”
Mom, “Just because. God makes it, God makes it grow. It’s just the natural order of things.”

Spiritual truth is exactly like this – more than this.

Jesus’ death is the only way we can have life. This is truly true.

One death of one person is the only one way to life for all peoples who believe. (He is the seed).

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, also to show his power over death.

He can give eternal life because he proved he has power over death.

Also, Bible is the seed to you and us.

If this word of God is on the table, nothing happens.

If this word is planted in my heart, this word becomes alive, powerful, active, and this word can do something great, wonderful in us and through us.

We are God’s children.

WE are seeds to this world, in this world.

We look weak, small. We are dependent. We have life in us (Jesus’ life). This life can NEVER be accomplished unless we surrender to God and allow him to plant us.

We should die to ourselves so that we may live to him and his glory.

We must remake our priorities.

If we love our lives, we will lose the life we want to maintain.
If we are true disciples, we must be willing to suffer and experience rejection.

How much do we reject rejection? How much do we compromise?

To follow Jesus = radical lifestyle change.
= to go where Jesus went, not the way of earthly power and honor, but through humility, suffering, even death.

Where’s your passion?

What are your goals, interests, career choices? Changed? Or same as before.

v. 25
Love your life = lose it
Hate your life = keep it

Everything Jesus did was for the glory of God. We likewise should do everything we do to the glory of God.

Do you want real joy? Real peace?
Put Jesus FIRST in your life.

Do you call “My Savior! My Lord!”
That MEANS you’ve decided to put him #1. If you put him #2, it’s cheating him and cheating yourself.

If you do not want to put him #1,
DO NOT call him “Lord” just “Friend”
Not “king, God” just “Good teacher”

v. 26
“My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Real peace, real joy, real security is found in serving the Lord.

This honor from God will only PARTLY be experienced in this life. It will only be fulfilled in heaven. This is our final hope.

We can derive real peace, security, encouragement by understanding and remembering that our God judges and remembers each service we do in His name.

1 Cor 15:58
“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the service of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Our service is never in vain.

Bless us so that his final honor may be his, not ours.

Matthew 25? – “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Come! Share your Master’s joy!”

No matter how much we do in this world for God, those are just a FEW things in God’s eyes. In heaven, God will bless us to do many more things for him.

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