Galatians = great chart of Christian’s liberty (freedom)
Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll
Isn’t Grace Risky?
The Killing Fields movie – quite a movie
True story of NY Times report in Cambodia – closest asst. was Cambodian captured by regime (torturous cruelty).
Endured unbelievable suffering while escaping.
OT – God often is shown as shepherd, His people as flock. Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd…”
Why? Background – at that time OT, NT, main part of Judea, was central plateau, 35 miles up and down 15 miles left and right. Majority of land was rocky, stony. Jew was pastural, not agricultural. (Sheep rather than farming).
Not much grass, so sheep were bound to scatter. No protecting walls or fences, sheep were liable to wander. Had to be watched continually.
On either side of the plateau, there was a cliff. Shepherds task was dangerous and constant. Shepherds watched against wild animals – esp. wolves, also thieves and robbers.
Shepherds were cold at night, hot during the day.
Self-sacrifice, fearless courage, constant vigilance, patience – these were characteristics of shepherds – God is the same.
“I tell you the truth.” “I am the gate for the sheep.” “I am the good shepherd.” Jesus says each twice.
We are his sheep.
v.10 – One key, great verse of the Bible. (John 3:16 is main key verse we use) This verse is also a key for whole Bible.
Very clear sentence to show purpose of Satan’s coming, and Jesus’ coming. Satan = thief, Jesus = life Satan steals what God has given us.
1 John 3:8 – Jesus appeared to destroy devil’s work.
2 Tim – Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.
Not a spirit of despair, worry, defeat – these are lies of Satan. God gives life, peace, joy, assurance of salvation.
Jesus came. 1. to confirm God’s promises 2. to remove sin 3. to destroy Satan 4. become our high priest forever 5. show a perfect example of holy life 6. prepare His second coming 7. to give us LIFE
Life is most important in this world, more than job, money, etc. This life can only be found in Jesus. John 1:1
John 3:16 – “God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This is God’s purpose for sending Jesus. John 10:10 = Jesus’ voluntary purpose for coming into the world.
1 John (5?)= “The life appeared, we have seen it, we testify to it, we proclaim to you…”
In John, Jesus 10 “I AM” 1. I am the bread 2. I am the light 3. I am the gate 4. I am the good shepherd 5. I am before Abraham 6. I am the resurrection 7. I am the life 8. I am the way, 9. the truth, and the life 10. I am the true vine (source of life)
Eternal life is living fellowship with Father God, now, and forever. This is found only by trusting in Jesus Christ.
When is your true birthday? When you believed in Christ – this is the start of your true life.
Colossians 3 – we died, our lives are hidden with Christ
v.16 – One flock and one shepherd
I have other sheep outside of AICF, outside this church, outside this pen.
The growth and unity of the kingdom of God. This is the vision, dream, purpose, of Jesus.
1 Tim 2:4 – God wants all men to be saved…
2 Peter 3:9 – God is not “slow” in keeping his promise…He is patient…He wants no one to perish…Jesus suffered death for ALL men…
Salvation = unlimited limited atonement Available for ALL men Effective only for believers
Worldly world = explosiveness and division – wars, arguments, parties, genders, cultures, – competition, contest World = division This world cannot truly become united.
Only one possible unity = in our common sonship with God through Jesus.
Ultimate dream of Christ = whole world united for God – but only possible through unity in Christ.
Church? The one family of God, one body of Christ, one organism of Holy Spirit, multi-national missional community, to evangelize the whole world as one flock, with one shepherd.
NT = two voices on one topic Evangelism (Matt 10) “Do not go to the Gentiles – go to lost sheep of Israel” Not exclusiveness of salvation only for Jews – this is for effectiveness – the fruit of ministry.
After resurrection, Jesus said “Go into the whole world…” Effectiveness of ministry, and universality of the gospel must go together.
In war, to get final victory, we must start with limited objectives. Try to attack on all fronts? Divide your efforts, be defeated. If Jesus sent missionaries at first everywhere…success would be limited – nothing would have been achieved. So, Jesus fixed one limited area for them to focus on and target.
So, for us, our target is Jeonju, through AICF.
Pastor Heo – Philippines = mission field, but not the whole country – just a limited area – to maximize the effectiveness and fruit of the ministry.
Our actions and efforts must focus on Jeonju, though we include the whole world in our prayers.
HS student – Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” “I have a dream…one day white boys and black boys will play together hand-in-hand. White boy, black girls will sing together.”
AICF “I have a dream…one day soon, 200+ people THIS year!”
So, where do we focus our efforts? Jeonju!
Jesus “I have other sheep outside” AICF – we have MUCH room
But remember, for world evangelization, there is not ONE Christian in the world who can do EVERYTHING. But, there is also not ONE Christian who has NOTHING to do…
No one in AICF can do everything. Also, no one in AICF can do nothing.
Where can you serve?
Do not be satisfied to only “come” and “worship” The fact that you are here means – you HAVE a task from God to do for the growth and unity of AICF!
The church of God is the House of Prayer for all nations.
We must mention all nations in our prayers, not only Korea, not only Jeonju, not only AICF. In our actions, we focus on AICF, Jeonju. For the effectiveness of the ministry – fruit.
v.17-18 – Lay down my life – take it up again – lay it down of my own accord
We can see 3 points:
1) Jesus saw whole life as an act of obedience to Father God – Jesus received a task from God – he always was ready and prepared to carry it out to the end – even if it meant death
2) Jesus saw all the time, the cross and the glory together. He never doubted he must die. He never doubted he would rise again. His perfect confidence in God.
3) His death was wholly voluntary. He stressed it again and again. Jesus didn’t lose his life – he GAVE it willingly. The cross was not forced upon him. He CHOSE to take it – to give us his new life.
The cross was his greatest work. It was his definite choice. It accomplished atonement for his sheep. Through his resurrection, ALL authority on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. Happy Easter!
Satan has NO authority any longer. Only Jesus has authority over anyone. Therefore, GO! And make disciples of all nations.
When you proclaim Jesus’ story, Jesus’ authority will be revealed through you!
Let us experience and enjoy this authority in Jesus’ name!
Here, Paul asks two questions. The first question (v.2) is answered with second: How shall we live in sin when we are dead to it?
Chuck Swindoll says we should recall in our memories – recall our misery, that we couldn’t control our desires – perhaps the victim of a habit? lust, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, drugs, alcohol, food. Recall the feeling you had no hope. This is slavery = addiction at its worst. Shame increased, and overwhelmed you.
Some people, live in freedom in grace, but have forgotten their slavery.
Gordon Seagrave has said: “It is my earnest conviction that everyone should be in prison at least once. Should be in on suspicion, not proof, he should be sick most of the time, at least 4 months. Only then will he realize the value of freedom.”
Ex: Nelson Mandela, John Bunyan
When imprisoned, freedom is much sweeter.
Imagine, wrongfully imprisoned…
Who would volunteer to return to prison?
We are dead to sin, why return? We are freed slaves, freed from sin and shame. Why return?
“Emancipate” means to release from slavery.
In the US, the Civil War broke slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was killed for the cause. The 13th Amendment legally abolished slavery, black slaves emancipated (freed). The President had earlier stated his anti-slavery convictions.
New Year’s Day 1863 the Emancipation was proclaimed but it took until December 18, 1865 for it to be enacted. The newspapers declared: “Slavery: Legally Abolished” It was Good news!
But, the majority of slaves – now legally freed, continued to live as slaves…Former slaves lived virtually unchanged lives.
Shelby Foot in his 3-volume “Civil War” wrote: “The Negro was locked in a caste system of grace etiquette.” All slaves would likely say – “I don’t know nothing ’bout Abe Lincoln, ‘cept he set us free – and I don’t know nothing ’bout that neither.”
Slaves were ignorant of freedom. And that was TRAGIC…There was a war, assassination, amendment, they were emancipated, freed, but- still lived in poverty, fear, and old lives…They often chose to keep serving the same master, until they died.
Would you even know that slavery was abolished?
Plantation owners wanted to“Keep them ignorant, keep them in the field.” What else could they do?
Israelite slaves had an advantage – God was with them – signs and wonders. Exodus. Red sea, manna, pillar of cloud and fire. Manifestations of God.
Not so in America…Tragic?
Here is one WORSE. Christian slaves…
Jesus paid it all! But many Christians act as though held in bondage…Most prefer the security of slavery, to the risks of liberty. Strange, no? But Satan loves it! “Great! Keep it up!” Satan KNOWS we are free – but hates it. He does everything in his power to keep us pinned down in guilt, shame, intimidation, fear.
Romans 3 – this is us before Jesus.
3:10-20… 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
(POINT 1) We had no way of escape. We were unable to change our enslavement to sin.
(POINT 2) Glorious release – Christ has set us free!
Sinners – everyone on Earth – has been set free! The first Easter – is our redemption.
Romans 3:21-22 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
To qualify, you need no special requirements. Not culture, not skin, not language, ONLY faith in Christ. We were all slaves to sin, to Satan (our master).
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
We were spiritually useless, could not escape. Jesus, paid our price to free us. His own blood = price. He said to us all “You don’t have to live under your former master any longer! You’re free! Free to serve me for the rest of your life!”
We were changed from rebels to servants of God.
President Grace freed us from Satan – our master, and his wife Shame.
Theoretically, we were freed at Jesus death.
Practically, legalism, old habits, attempt to keep us in bondage – to keep us ignorant, afraid, thinking like a slave.
(POINT 3) Many Christians still live AS SLAVES.
It’s like saying, “I don’t know anything about Grace, cept maybe it set us free, and I don’t know bout that neither…”
We have a Sin-oriented mentality…
“I just can’t help myself.”
“I’m only human”
“I’m not a great guy”
We speak self-defeating references – we look like insecure religious slaves.
We rationalize our sins – hypocrites…
We lie, cheat, steal.
We say “Nobody’s perfect.”But that basically means “I’m still enslaved…”
Chuck Swindoll says: Nonsense! Live like you’re free! Where sin abounded, grace SUPER abounded! Once you were enslaved, now you are freed. Live ABOVE your old habit – old sin. Grace helps us to say “no” to sin and conquer it.
Here’s a Maverick thought:
Once we grasp true freedom of grace, we can spend lengthy periods of time sinless, shameless. Why should sin master us? How un-biblical to say we can’t help but let sin master us. We have been trained to expect and handle sin – rather than freedom. But that reinforces our slave mentality. Wake up, confess, go to bed, confess, anything I missed? confess… Where is the abundant life Christ promised? Are free people to live in such fear of sin?
Let’s live like we’re free!
Your old master doesn’t want you to think like this. He wants to keep you ignorant and in shame, and afraid of him and his whip (sin). Wants you to think you “gotta get beat” every now and then – to keep you in line.
HERESY! Jesus set us free! Satan has no right to put a whip to your back! You are free!
McGee tells a story to illustrate the concept of old man and new man:
A lady lived in the deep South – had a close relationship with former boyfriend – ultimately married him, had a rewarding life, though not perfect.
But one day, heart attack took him from her. She didn’t want to let him go – embalmed him, put in a chair, sealed in a glass case, in front of her home. Whenever she walked in, she said, “Hi, John” – walked upstairs, carried on.
One year later, took a trip to EU. Met an American who fell in love with her – married in EU, honeymooned, etc.
What a surprise for the new husband…He picked her up, knocked the door open…And almost dropped her!
She said, “That’s my old man John” – So he buried John. It was finally OVER.
That’s what Christ has done for us.
We died with Christ, raised to new life with him. The revelation of Holy Spirit reminds us of our freedom – Ephesians. We need the spirit of knowing our own death and rebirth with Christ.
Chuck Swindoll – closing part 2.
There are many high passes up mountains. It can be quite dangerous. The Govt. could put EMT at the bottom of hill to be ready for the injured. (This is like 1 John 1:9 for Christians.)
OR they could put warning signs up the road, preparing people for what is ahead. (This is like Romans 6 for Christians – it is our warning, and explains our freedom in Christ). Don’t spend time in guilt, confession, guilt, confession. Our inheritance is freedom! We are not under law – it only magnifies and explains sin. Rather, we are under grace.
We are freed in Jesus name!
Mar 04 / 2012
Comments Off on Christ Opens the Spiritual Eyes of the Blind (John 9:1-41)
When Peter and Paul (men) did miracles, people worshiped them = But they stopped them, “no, no, we are men.”
When Jesus did miracles, people worshiped him = He never stopped them – because he IS God
Jesus = Lord of all history – HIS Story (Jesus = the hero (hero never dies in movies))
Luke 3 – John the Baptist – written in Isaiah – preached gospel of repentance + baptism
From man’s eyes, John was crazy
From God’s eyes, John was hero – at that time
Jesus’ schedule was being tuned to John’s ministry (preparing the way)
When Jesus comes again – HIS story / drama = THE END
When ALL nations have heard, THEN the end will come
From man’s eyes, G7, G20, seem to be leaders of history.
From God’s eyes, gospel preachers, are heroes, leading history.
Jesus’ Second Coming schedule is being set by gospel preachers
See our jobs (v. 4-5)
So many jobs in this physical world…
But spiritually, only TWO jobs
Fisher of fish (originally – this is our job)
Fisher of men (if we are IN Jesus Christ – this is our job)
Both of these jobs need power (muscle vs. Jesus / killing pwr vs. saving pwr)
Fishers of fish – catch something living, and kill it
Fishers of men – catch something dead, make it alive in Christ
Bride of Christ, You Are Pregnant
So, IF we are fishers of men, we all must be pregnant / conceive. After marriage – normal for bride to do so – deliver new life/child. Spiritually, we are married to Jesus – church = bride / he = bridegroom. Be pregnant, conceive someone, give NEW life.
Genesis 1st command = Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it – with the Word of God
God’s double pain =
Lost sons outside the house, never come home.
Home sons never go out to find his brothers.
Let us make him happy. Let us seek and save the lost. Jesus is never satisfied with our own worship alone. He wants MORE and MORE worship in oneness – ALL human beings.
So, invite someone to our Easter “Happy Day” Service on April 8, 2012!
Jan 23 / 2012
Comments Off on Exodus 19-21 (Bible-365.23): The 10 Commandments Should Really Just be TWO
In these chapters, Moses begins to receive the Law from God. After the fatherly advice he’s received from Jethro about teaching the people the laws and ways of God, now is a pretty good time for those laws to be set in stone – and they are – well, 10 of them at least.
In these chapters, the Lord proves himself to be Jehovah Jireh, the Great Provider for his people. Beginning in chapter 15, there is a series of grumbling from the Israelites, followed by provision from God. These are as follows: Continue Reading
Jan 21 / 2012
Comments Off on Exodus 13-15 (Bible-365.21): The Lord Will Fight for You; You Need only to Be Still
Actually, we’ll start this post with the foreshadowing of Jesus in the Passover Lamb from Exodus chapter 12. God gave a few requirements for the Passover Lamb, and also there were some reasons and benefits for Israel. These are as follows: Continue Reading
These four chapters are quite possibly the most famous in the whole book of Exodus because it is here that God demonstrates his mighty power by sending 10 plagues to Egypt in order to get the Pharaoh to let His people go. Most theologians seem to agree that the 10 plagues God sent weren’t merely chosen at random or as only an invasive inconvenience for the Egyptians. Rather, the 10 plagues were chosen by God to destroy the main idols in Egypt at that time. So, following will be a table describing the plague and the idol it was intended to tear down: Continue Reading
Jan 19 / 2012
Comments Off on Exodus 7-9 (Bible-365.19): God Blesses the Second-Born
Is it just me, or does God seem to always pick the non-eldest son for great things? That seems totally counter-intuitive to the way the world actually works. Most people put all their hopes and expectations in the first-born son. Most people give all the rights, privileges, and inheritance to the first-born son. Most people expect their first-born son to take care of them when they are old. But, here in Exodus, we know that Moses, the one chosen by God to lead His people out of Egypt, is NOT the first-born son. In fact, his brother Aaron was three years older than him when they went to Pharaoh (Aaron, 83, Moses, 80 – neither of them young).
The first three chapters of Exodus are absolutely packed with stuff, just as the first three chapters of Genesis are. In these chapters, Joseph and all his immediate family have died, a new Pharaoh begins oppressing the Israelites, Moses is born, grown, kills a man, flees the country, gets married, and meets God in a burning bush. That’s possibly close to 50 years of story packed into a mere three chapters. Let’s dive in.
“Exodus” comes from a Greek translation of this book. “Exodus” literally means “way out” and is a principal theme of the book as the Hebrews leave Egypt. Evidence within the book lead to the conclusion that the author was a highly educated man who had been a long-time resident of Egypt and was an eyewitness of the Exodus – i.e. Moses. He was familiar with the crop sequence in Lower Egypt (Ex. 9:31-32); his descriptions accurately conform to known conditions (2:3, 12); and he includes details suitable only to an eyewitness account (15:27).