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  • Aug 13 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Ministries of the Law (Romans 7:7-13)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

The Ministries of the Law (Romans 7:7-13)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Ministries of the Law

Romans 7:7-13 (Pastor Heo)

The Law and Sin

7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.


Sin is utterly sinful.

Last time in the first part of this chapter (v. 1-6) we saw our new relationship to the Law due to our union with Jesus in his death / resurrection. If we are united with him in these things, surely our relationship with the Law is that we are dead to the Law, and under Christ (under Grace).

Somebody might argue saying, “What good is the Law if we do not need it any longer?”

A: (v. 7-13) – this is the ministries of the Law (why we need the Law)

The ministries (businesses/jobs) of the Law = 4.

These ministries function even today.

#1. Law reveals sin

The Law defines sin as sin – it exposes it as what it is.

(v. 7) “7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.””

Romans 3:20 “Through the Law we become conscious of sin – the knowledge of sin.” Without Law, there is lawlessness. This reveals to us the inner man and shows us how dirty/sinful we are.

Paul doesn’t use “obvious sins” (killing, adultery, stealing) is sin. This is not difficult to understand. But rather, he uses “coveting” (I want what you’ve got). This is not an outward action, but an inward attitude – and almost every human has covetousness in their heart (this is the last of the 10 Commandments in Exodus).

Covetousness = leads to the breaking of the other 9 Commandments – it is an insidious sin that most people do not recognize in their own lives, but God reveals it.

Mark 10 – the Young Rich Ruler –

This is an example of revealing sin to show his need for a Savior.

“One day, a young man came to Jesus and knelt down and said, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

Jesus, ‘No one is good except God alone. You know the Commandments.’

Man, ‘I have done all this since I was a boy.’

Jesus loved him and said, ‘One thing you lack. Go and sell all you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Come again, and follow me.’

At this, the young man’s face fell, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”

No question, outwardly, this man was moral. It may be certain that he’d never broken the Commandments as he said. But when Jesus said, ‘Go and sell your possessions, and give to the poor.’ the Commandment to not covet revealed just how sinful he was. He did not realize that coveting was sin. But the Law revealed to him how covetous he was.

Jesus didn’t tell him the Law to save him, but to reveal to him his inward sinfulness.

This world says, Develop yourself, your greed, your wealth. But the Bible says, Covetousness is sin. Also “Put to death whatever is in your nature: greed, selfish desires, covetousness.”

Coveting, greed is idolatry.

  • “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs….
  • Be content with what you have…
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
  • Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus, then you will be able to know and approve his good, pleasing, perfect will.”

Our standard (as a Christian) is NOT the world.

Our standard is what God says in his Word.

First ministry: it reveals sin.

#2. Law arouses Man’s sinful nature to sin

What does this mean?

Is the Law itself good or bad? (Good)

(v. 12) “12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”

Because the Law is from God, who is all of the above.

How does the Law provoke us to sin?

There is no problem in the Law itself. The problem is human nature. Sin has evil power.

Sin uses our sinful nature to rebel against the Law. (We know the story of the Fall of Man in Genesis 3 – the serpent used the Word of God to make Man fall – “Did God really say, ‘Don’t eat from these trees?’ No, no, no, eat, and you will become like God.” Eve thought it looked good – and from Adam all Men have received this same inclination – to do that which is prohibited.)

There’s a saying, “Stolen apples are sweeter.”

Forbidden things look more appealing.

  • Mom says, “Children, do not open this box. NEVER open this box! NEVER EVER EVER!”
  • So, what do children want to do? Open it quickly, just once, then close it forever.

Phil “The strength/power of the Law is sin.”

Genesis 1-3, at first, Adam lived in perfect surroundings – a commandment was given to him to NOT eat ONE fruit. It was given for his benefit. But the serpent turned this into his temptation. The mere fact that it was forbidden made it tempting.

Biblical scholar:

  • Serpent = a symbol of pleasure.
  • Eve = senses (emotion).
  • Adam = reason (logic).

Which is stronger? Sense or reason?

Follow your heart, or follow your mind?

Pleasure attacked through emotion – through the senses, then reason was led astray and sinned. Even a man with reasoning may say, “Look, other people are doing the same thing! If I do this small thing only once, it will make no difference.” In this way, emotion can lead Mankind away from his reasoning.

Strong passions, desires, feelings, reasoning, knowledge, understanding, etc – must all be put under control of the Holy Spirit.

#3. Law kills

If you are outside Christ, the Law kills you. Thus, we must be INSIDE Christ. “There is no more condemnation (of Law) for those who are in Christ.”

(v. 10-11) “10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.”

Gal 3:24 says the final ultimate job of the Law is: “The Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ…”

Let’s read and memorize this verse. It’s a key verse to understanding this.

Gal 3:24 “24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.”

The Law is our tutor – in leading us to Christ.

Romans says, “Christ is the END of the Law.” This has many meanings, but one meaning is: The Law is the sign board pointing to Jesus (an arrow). If you go to Seoul, follow the sign boards. If you go in the opposite direction, you go to Busan. The Law is the final sign board pointing to Jesus Christ – to have life. Because only IN Jesus Christ, there is eternal, abundant, heavenly life.

John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my voice and believes in me shall not be condemned. The thief Satan comes to kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

“I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.” (I am the WAY to LIFE, and that is TRUTH.) This is the reason why the book of God is written. “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have eternal life.”

John 5 “Whoever has the Son of God has life, whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

We are studying the Law, but is it not the same as the gospel?

There is a book called Gospel/Law.

  • OT = Book of Law.
  • NT = Book of Gospel.

Outwardly, this looks true, but inwardly, they are the SAME.

  • Gospel is “If you believe in and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, you will have eternal life.”
  • Law says, “If you reject Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, you will die.”

This is the same. Like two sides of one coin.

  • Gospel: “Believe in Christ as your Savior, and live forever.”
  • Law: “Reject Christ as your Savior, and die forever.”

#4. Law shows sinfulness of sin

Do you hate sin? (or sinners?)

We heard many times, “God hates sin, but loves sinners.”

(v. 12-13) “12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.”

Sin might become utterly (exceedingly) sinful.

The Law shows the sinfulness of sin.

Even unsaved, unbelievers know there is such a thing as sin – murder, stealing, lying, adultery, all sins. But, they do not realize the sinfulness (seriousness, true nature)of sin. Even today, some Christians may excuse their sin with words like “My mistake, human nature, instinct, bad habits…”

God condemns our sins. Yes, there is no penalty for condemnation for those who are IN Christ, but he still condemns our sins and tries to get us to see that they are utterly sinful. Until we realize how wicked sin really is, we will never want to oppose it and live in victory and holiness.

Ps. 19:12 “Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.”

The root of ALL problems: SIN

Do you have any kind of problems? The ROOT: SIN.

Then we have hope, and we can rejoice that the answer is JESUS – the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Problems?

  1. ROOT: SIN
  2. SOLUTION: JESUS
  • 1 John 2:2 “Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world.”
  • 1 John 3:5 “Jesus appeared in this world that he might take away our sins – because in him there is no sin.”

In Him: no sin.

 

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 30 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Lord, Our Shepherd (Psalm 23)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Lord, Our Shepherd (Psalm 23)

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The Lord, Our Shepherd

Psalm 23 (Pastor Abraham Kim)

1 The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Introductory Questions

This is a very famous passage in the Bible. It’s such a beautiful and pastoral Psalm, many believers and even non-believers like it, use it(for example, in funerals), and can even memorize the whole chapter. So, many people are very familiar with it and even many songs are written about it. But I have one question: Do people understand the true meaning of this passage? Do people enjoy this Psalm because it is very pastoral and peaceful and provides a wonderful atmosphere? Do they only recite it from their lips or do they understand its depth within their soul?

1. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

This Psalm was written through King David by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We don’t know exactly when it was written, but we do know the whole life of David was not consistently smooth. As a youth, when he was a little shepherd, he was isolated from family in the field. After his anointing by the prophet Samuel, his father-in-law, King Saul, pursued and hunted him. In his later years, as King, his son Absalom betrayed against him and tried to become king. So, we can see that David’s life was never quite good enough. It was very turbulent and he endured many evil circumstances. Yet, still, he confessed and proclaimed “the LORD is my shepherd.”

So, how can David say this: “I shall not be in want?” This is NOT because all situations and conditions are favorable, but rather it because he recognized that his shepherd is Jehovah. He was very satisfied in God alone. This is how he can proclaim, “I shall not be in want.” We don’t have much personal knowledge about the life of a shepherd, but in Israel at that time, ALL Israelites were very familiar with this kind of lifestyle and profession. This is especially true of David, because he worked as a shepherd for the early years of his life. This was an example of a typical “3D job”: it was

  1. dirty,
  2. dangerous, and
  3. difficult.

Nobody wanted to do 1 this job. So then, why did David make this confession of God? It’s because he fully understood through his experience how much love the shepherd has for his sheep.

In verse 1, what is God revealed as? Verse 1’s subject is Jehovah. The sheep do not choose the shepherd. But the shepherd, particularly in Israel at that time, would look after other shepherd’s sheep and work hard when he was young to earn money to buy his own sheep. He chose these sheep himself, bought and paid for them with his hard-earned money, marked their ears with a tag, and cared for them with deep love. This is a reflection of God’s great grace and unconditional love for us in that he chooses his own sheep. To the sheep, the shepherd is their absolute LIFE. Without a shepherd, the sheep always perish.

We need to understand the 2 characteristics of sheep:

  1. They are powerless: The are vulnerable to attacks from external forces, for example: wolves, lions, bears, thieves, or even sheep flies and poisonous herbs
  2. They are foolish: They have many internal problems, for example, their eyesight is weak, they easily lose the way, they are stubborn. Foolish AND stubborn? Wow, this is NO 답 (totally hopeless). They even eat grass and the whole roots and foolishly destroy the fields.

These two characteristics of sheep are also just like humanity (me and you). Humans think that we can do everything by ourselves, even that we can save ourselves. But just like “cast sheep” – which cannot get back up after falling down – humanity also cannot save ourselves without the grace of God.

2. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

God provides for his sheep. In Palestine, for more than half of the year, the land becomes a harsh wilderness. So, the shepherd must prepare a place for his sheep before leading his sheep there to feed them. Shepherds need not only consider “green pastures” and “quiet waters”, but also shade and most importantly pens for their sheep. So, many shepherds used the same stone pens in many places every year. In Korea, these day is summer holiday season(휴가철). It’s The peak season. 2 This is a joy and same time one of the big burdens for many parents: If you go to the beach, children only expect the fun of playing in the water, but parents must prepare everything else: food, the shade, the place to stay, the place to wash, the place to lie down, etc.

Do you know when sheep can lie down? There are 4 conditions that need to be satisfied for this:

  1. Nothing to fear (because sheep cowardly, they are easily scared and run, lifting their heads and looking around) – so they need a sense of security
  2. There must be no conflict with other sheep
  3. They need to be free from flies, mosquitoes, or other bugs or discomforts
  4. After their bellies are fully satisfied with enough grass, they can lie down

David was a young shepherd so he understands these conditions much more deeply than the others. He also very sincerely protected his sheep, in the same way that he recognized that God abundantly loved and protected him as a Good Shepherd. In Gospel of John 10:11 Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” so, for the sake of his sheep, he can lay down his life for the sheep. And just as he said, he did.

3. he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

“He restores” means “gives life.” Recall the “cast sheep” – when they fall down they absolutely can’t get back up by their own power. In the same way, we also need God’s saving power to help us “get back up” – out of our sin and into a right relationship with Him.

When God love us, and save us? Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” and Ephesians 2:1 says “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins”.

God saved us and gave us life. He promised us that he would never leave us nor 3 forsake us. But Deists say that God created the world and abandoned it. That he gave us life and left. We believe that God is alive and with us and always faithful and leads us into “paths of righteousness.”

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

In the life of a shepherd, there were times when all the fields had been visited by the sheep, the grass destroyed, and the fields left bare. There was nothing left for the sheep to eat. The only place left was a swamp, or wetland, but the path into the swamp was very dangerous. This is what is referred to as the “valley of the shadow of death.”

There was no other choice but to brave the dangerous path to the only available field that remained, so the shepherd led his sheep down into the swamp. Like this, there are many times in our Christian lives that are filled with troubles, doubts, and dangers.

This is not always a result of sin or bad karma, but is the will of God. It is the will of our Shepherd. This is the “path of righteousness.” God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us, so we can confess, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

What are the rod and staff of God?

  1. The rod is used to direct the sheep, or to hit the sheep to discipline them or alarm them when they lose the way. The shepherd needs to be very close to his sheep to keep them on the proper path and guide their feet. The rod is also used to count the sheep and check the quality of their skin – this means the shepherd uses the rod to check their health.
  2. The staff is used as a weapon to protect the sheep from their enemies.

When the shepherd leads his sheep through the “valley of the shadow of death” this is to grow and mature the sheep. In the same way, our Shepherd, God leads his people through the “valley of the shadow of death” and wants all his people to grow and mature in Christ. But when we walk through this difficult and dangerous path, there are two things we must remember:

  1. This is not the easiest path
  2. But, God is with us

So, when we walk through this “valley of the shadow of death”, we cannot fully understand God’s purpose or plan. Even though we may doubt or lose faith, we must draw close to our shepherd through the Word of his promise and our prayer.

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Verses 5-6 show us that God is not only leading us in the past nor present time, but also until the the end of time. David proclaimed the Lord “prepared a table before him in the presence of his enemies.” What does this mean? There are 2 meanings.

First, that God resolved David’s conflict with Saul, even Absalom, and through those events, God let them recognize that he was with David during his life. However, this is not the full realization of this promise.

Secondly, in the Day of the Lord (Jesus’ Second Coming), God will completely and absolutely prepare a table before his children before his enemy, Satan, and we will feast together with Jesus in all his heavenly glory, and be declared righteous and free from all sin and death.

The first question in the Heidelberg Catechism says:

“What is your only comfort in life and death?”

The answer is:

That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil.

He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.

Therefore, by his Holy Spirit he also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Human beings have no power to save anyone – even ourselves. The only one who can save us is our Savior and Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Our Good Shepherd Jesus Christ paid all the penalty for our sin with his precious blood.

In verse 6, the verb “follow” is “רדף ” râdaph[raw-daf]” in Hebrew and it is used in 1 the same way that a guard pursues or diligently follows an enemy. It’s just like as The Highway Patrolman, John piper says, “God is not only our good shepherd, nor only our lavish host; he is also a highway patrolman pursuing you with goodness and mercy every day of your life, and he is fast.” Originally this verb has a negative meaning. But here, it is used to strongly emphasize just how closely God’s grace and love and goodness will pursue us throughout our lives.

As Revelation 7:16-17 says, “16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Therefore, let us focus our eyes on our Good Shepherd, Jesus. For the sheep, the Shepherd alone is more than enough to provide for all our needs. We don’t need to worry about pasture, or pens, or shade, or enemies. If you are a true Christian, God alone, our Good Shepherd alone, is more than enough to satisfy all our needs. The Christians who can deeply proclaim and love this Psalm are truly the sheep of the Good Shepherd.

  • Jul 23 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We also died to the Law (Romans 7:1-6)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We also died to the Law (Romans 7:1-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We also died to the Law

Romans 7:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.


  • Chp 6 = Our new relationship to sin due to our union with Christ (“We died to sin”)
  • Chp 7 = Our new relationship to the Law due to our union with Christ (“We died to the Law”)

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law…”

Topic: We also died to the Law

Just as we died to sin, so we died to the Law. If we died to sin, it is natural that we died to the Law, because Law and sin go together. The power of sin = the Law.

  • Without Law, sin is not sin.
  • Without sin, the Law is not needed.

Chp 6 = “You died to sin, alive to God”

  1. KNOW this is a historical fact,
  2. COUNT it to be true,
  3. OFFER your life to God

So, serve Christ in the New way according to the Holy Spirit.

We also died to the Law.

I want to share 3 things:

  1. What is the Law?
  2. How is it possible to die to the Law?
  3. What does it mean when we say, “We died to the Law”?

#1 What is the Law?

This word is repeated 23 times here (many times throughout the whole Bible). So, according to the given context, there are many meanings.

  • Romans 8:2 “Because through Jesus, the Law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the Law of sin and death.”
    • In this sentence, LAW means “governing power/principle” (like the Law of Gravity)
  • Ps 1:2 “Blessed is the man who delights in the Law of the Lord, blessed is the one who meditates on the Law of the Lord day and night.”
    • LAW = “Word of God” (synonyms) Do you believe they are the same?

So, be careful when you say “We died to the LAW” – this does not mean “We died to the Word of God”

This word “LAW” means written code/regulations that have authority over those outside Jesus Christ.

#2 How is is possible to die to the Law?

Interesting illustration to explain this:

Romans 7:2 “2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.”

  • Chp 6 uses the illustration of Master and Slave to explain HOW we should Offer ourselves to God.
  • Chp 7 uses the illustration of Husband and Wife to show our NEW relationship to the Law due to our union with Christ.

This illustration is simple (not “sinful”) but has profound application.

When a man and woman are married, they are united for their whole lives – this is a physical union (Gen 2 “they will be one body”). So, as long as they live, they are under the authority of marriage. So, if someone marries another while still under that Law (authority), they sin. But, if the other dies, and the first marries again, there is no Law (authority) under which they are bound.

But we must understand the POINT.

  • Wife = us
  • Husband who died = the Law
  • New husband = Christ

POINT: If the wife died, the only one way she could marry again is if she rose again from the dead to life. THIS is the POINT.

  • Wife (us) DIED in Christ – so the Husband (Law) lost authority to rule over us
  • Christ died and we died in Christ
  • He rose and we were born again in Him
  • We remarried Christ (thus, he is called our “Bridegroom”)

#3 What does it mean when we say that?

6 points here:

1. It does NOT mean – the Law died

(Sin did not die) it is still very near to us and it has authority, dominion, power to condemn and punish those who are outside Christ. (We also were once under its authority and condemnation and penalty – but now, IN CHRIST, we are not under the Law but under Grace) – The Law LIVES.

(“I died to the Law”) – this is true – do you believe it?

2. This does NOT mean – I’m FREE to do whatever I want, nor to live a Lawless life.

Even amongst Christians, some say, “Dude, I’m saved – once for all” – but you do not have a license to live lawlessly. (Extreme of License)

3. We died to the Law, so we also died to “legalism”.

There’s another opposite extreme we must be cautious of (Extreme of Legalism)

We are no longer legalists.

  • This is the belief that we can become holy and pleasing to God by keeping the Law.
  • This problem = sees SINS (plural) but not SIN (singular) –
  • It judges outwardly, but does not consider the heart.
  • Legalism can make us unloving, unforgiving, judgmental toward other people.

So, we died to the Law = we are no longer legalists.

4. Our motivation is not from the Law – it comes from God’s grace through our union with Christ

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”

We serve Christ, not by trying hard to keep the Law, but out of hearts and minds that overflow with love for Him. Total commitment to Christ cannot co-exist with total commitment to the Law – this would be spiritual idolatry. (We fully belong to Christ).

Still we must serve, we have a holy responsibility to live a holy life, but the motivation is not prompted by the LAW, but by our LOVE for him. (God looks at the heart)

5. It MEANS – we are to bear fruit

Fruit to God, for God, by God. Are you producing fruit? What is your fruit?

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Here the word “fruit” is repeated twice.

NOW we bear fruit for God – THEN we bore fruit for death.

Yes, in physical marriage, we also have fruit (kids) – when we were in sin, we also produced fruit that made us ashamed – when we were under the Law, we produced fruit by our own effort and power that turned out to be fruitless – (the only fruit under the Law is sin and death – because sinful passions work against the Law).

Remember #1: The Law is still alive.

  • It had authority, but it did not effectively control human passions.
  • It restrains us and teaches us, but also stimulates our sinful nature.
  • It identifies sin, but also generates sin.

That’s why there’s fighting between the Old nature and the New nature.

Those who do not follow Christ, have only their own self-determination to follow. But, in Christ, “A new life begins.” That’s why we are born again. God is at the center of the Christian life. God provides, God supplies the power for Christian daily living. Our way of looking at this world changes totally through Christ.

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit – fruit that will last forever.”

In Christ, we are to produce fruit that glorifies God.

  • Yes, in physical marriage, our fruit is physical children.
  • So, in our spiritual marriage with Christ, our spiritual fruit is Children of God.

6. It MEANS – we are released from the Law.

We are released (free). So what does this mean?

v. 6 “6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

This means, we are released from

  • the authority of the Law –
  • the penalty of the Law –
  • the external regulations of the Law in order to be “righteous” –
  • the ceremonial regulations that point at Christ (because Christ himself has fulfilled them).
  • We are released to serve in the new way of the Holy Spirit – who teaches us how to please God.
  • We are set free through the blood of Christ and counted righteous before God.

Let me close with this point.

(DEEP THINKING coming up)

“We died to the Law” means we are:

  • “not to break the Law, but to fulfill it” –
  • “not to cancel the Law, but to uphold it.”

What does this mean? How is it possible?

Matt 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, rather I have come to fulfill them. Until heaven and earth disappear, not a single stroke of the pen will disappear from the Law until it is all fulfilled.”

Christ fulfilled these requirements perfectly through his life, work, death, resurrection.

Romans 10:4 “Jesus Christ is the END of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

We are not to nullify the Law, but to fulfill it.

How is this possible?

Conclusion (secret / mystery (신비))

Only by remaining in Christ – belonging to Christ – are we accepted and counted as fulfilling ALL the demands of the Law.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are IN Christ – because in Christ, the Law of the Spirit set you free from the Law of sin and death.”

God condemned sin in sinful man by sending his Son in order that all the requirements of the Law be fulfilled through life in the Holy Spirit.

v. 6 “6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

God bless us, God bless you. YOU died to the Law.

Please apply this to your life.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on If you KNOW it, COUNT it as True, and OFFER yourself to Christ (Romans 6:11-23)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

If you KNOW it, COUNT it as True, and OFFER yourself to Christ (Romans 6:11-23)

Download Notes in a .MD file

If you KNOW it, COUNT it as true, and OFFER Yourselves to God

Romans 6:11-23 (Pastor Heo)

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (memorize it)


Important words: Know, Count, Offer

Water baptism is an outward symbol of our inward experience in which we are united/ID’d with Christ in his death, burial, resurrection. If we are ID’d with Christ in his death, all things that happened to him, will happen to us because we are united in his body when he died. Therefore, automatically, his resurrection, life, victory, glory, seat in heaven, is ours as well.

“If you are children of God, you are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” – Christ is our eldest brother (Romans 8:29?) – “Those he foreknew he also predestined… that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

This union is the STRONGEST union.

This connection with Christ is much stronger than any other physical union in this world.

This union is stronger than:

  • the vine and its branch,
  • husband and wife,
  • this building and the ground,
  • head and body.

This union is authored by the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 6:17 “He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”

This is a VITAL union (vitamin).

The life of Christ is the life of a true believer. He is living his life through you and me. We are a channel of Jesus Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live….”

This union is PERFECT / COMPLETE.

There are many parts in our bodies (ears, nose, eyes, etc) – each part in one body is both a means and an end.

  • Hands exist for the feet.
  • Eyes exist for the ears.
  • Ears exist for the nose.
  • Everything exists for the head.
  • Head exists for each part of the body.

“You are the body of Christ. Christ is the head. Each one of you is part of the body.”

This union is INSEPARABLE.

How long is eternal life?

Our union with Christ makes our relationship to sin totally different from before. Last time, we heard many times “Know this: you are dead to sin and alive to God.” So, are you dead to sin?

What does this mean?

  1. What is sin?
    1. A: State/action against the will of God. The greatest sin is not to believe in Jesus.

In our old lives, we were alive to sin, but now we are “dead” to sin. What is the difference?

  • “Alive to sin” = dead to the sense of sin (We did not know the will of God and we did not recognize sin as sin)
  • “Dead to sin” = alive to the sense (understanding / knowledge) of sin (Now, we recognize sin as sin and we understand the will of God)

Make sense?

  1. “Dead to sin” = free FROM sin (in the past, we were free TO sin) – we are FREE from the power, presence of sin
    1. The moment we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we were completely saved once for all time from the power of sin.
    2. NOW, we are being saved from the power, presence, temptation, challenge of sin.
    3. In the future, we WILL be saved totally from the entire presence of sin when we go to heaven to be with Christ forever and ever.

“Dead to sin” = sin is no longer our Master. (We once were followers of sin, now we are FIGHTERS against sin.)

“I’m a fighter of sin!”

v. 11 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (very important)

This is the second important word in this chapter (to count – account – or believe what God says is true)

Important words: Know, Count, Offer

Bible does not tell us to “feel” that you are dead to sin, but ACT upon it and claim it for yourselves. This is a matter of FAITH that issues itself in ACTION. (Have you ever endorsed a check? If you really believe the money is in the checking account, you will sign your name and claim the money.)

“Counting” is:

  • NOT “claim a promise”
    • but “ACT on a promise” –
  • this is NOT “try to be dead to sin”
    • but ACT on the FACT that you are dead to sin.

Q: Even if we do not ACT on a FACT, is it TRUE? Yes!

This is reality. So, receive this reality as real and the truth as true and act on this fact.

  1. 3rd important word: “Offer”
  • 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
  • 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
  • 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies to God as pleasing sacrifices. This is your spiritual act of worship.”

  • The OT sacrifices were dead (animal) sacrifices.
  • But the NT sacrifices, God asks for LIVING sacrifices. Yes, God may ask SOME people to die for him (can you?), but God asks ALL of us to LIVE for Him.

Q: How – if we must offer our bodies to God, HOW can we do so?

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

This is an act of the WILL. Based on the knowledge of what Christ has done for us, this is an intelligent act, not an emotional reaction to a moving moment. Look at the verb tenses (시제).

These are imperative verbs yes?

The literal translation of v. 13 =

“Do not constantly allow sin to reign in your mortal body so that you are constantly obeying its laws. Also do not constantly offer your members of your body as tools and instruments of sin, but ONCE AND FOR ALL, offer yourself to God.” (This ONCE AND FOR ALL is also described in Romans 12:1)

In our lives, (are you Christian?) – there must be a final and complete surrender of our body to God. It does not mean there will not be further steps of surrender – because the longer we walk with God, the further/deeper we walk with/surrender to Him.

Yes, we daily surrender to Christ, but even this is based on the FIRST, ONCE AND FOR ALL, surrender. This is the tense of Romans 12:1 and this 6:13.

Q: WHY does God want our bodies?

God eagerly, earnestly wants to use your body.

  1. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because it is the temple of God, he wants to use your body/my body for his glory and holiness.
  2. At the same time, it is God’s tool, weapon, workmanship.
    1. He wants to build his kingdom in this world (tool).
    2. He wants to use us to fight against his enemies (weapon).
  • God used Moses to conquer Egypt.
  • God used David to conquer the Philistines.
  • God used the mouths of the prophets to spread his message and
  • God used the feet of Paul to spread the gospel.
  • He used five pieces of bread and fish to feed 5000 adult men (+ women/children).
  • God wants to use our bodies to defeat the power of our enemy Satan.

Q: So, WHY are we to OFFER our bodies?

3 words are keywords (reasons for this surrender):

1. Grace 은혜

“Sin shall not be your master because we are not under Law but under Grace” – we are not saved by the Law, we do not live/stand under the Law. But, though we are saved by Grace, this is no reason to sin, but rather, reason to OBEY.

Sin and Law go together all the time. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.” Since we are dead to sin and alive to God, sin is robbed of its power and strength. Have you ever experienced God’s abundant grace? If so, you cannot sin continually.

2. Freedom

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

Practical translation of v. 19

“We must be AS enthusiastic/zealous in offering our bodies to Christ as we WERE enthusiastic/zealous in offering our bodies to sin.”

The illustration of Master/slave is easy to understand. Whatever we allow to become our Master – we are slaves to this. But now that we are slaves to Christ, we are free from Sin.

The message = REAL FREEDOM can be found only by being a Slave to Christ.

We know the story of the Prodigal son very well. This is a clear example of this truth.

  1. First he was a slave of wrong desires, then wrong actions, then a literal slave when he took care of pigs.
  2. He wanted to find himself but he lost himself.
  3. What he THOUGHT was freedom, turned out to became the WORST kind of slavery.
  4. It was only when he returned home to the father that he found real, true freedom.

3. Fruit (Do you like fruit?)

If you work, you expect payment. If you serve a master, you expect a salary. This is fruit.

21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we serve a boss or master, we can expect some form of payment.

Sin is also a Master and God is a Master.

  • If we serve Sin, our salary = death.
  • If we serve God, our salary = holiness, eternal life.
  1. In our old selves, we produced the fruit that made us ashamed. (Have you experienced this?)
  2. In our new lives now, we produce fruit that glorifies God.

v. 23

“The wages of sin is death…” – this is usually applied to the lost (non-Christians) – that’s true, but it ALSO applies to US. This is a warning for the saved as well because this truth is applied not only in the spiritual world, but also in the physical world.

  • In the spiritual world, if we sin by not accepting Jesus Christ, the penalty is not receiving eternal life.
  • In the physical world, if we sin habitually, by doing something against the will of God, our physical life can also be taken away earlier.

Samson

Samson’s story is a clear example of this truth. I believe Samson was saved in his spirit, but lost his life earlier because of his lust and sin with Delilah who cut off his hair.

“but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

These three words need to be heeded daily.

  1. KNOW – you have been crucified with Christ, dead to sin, alive to God
  2. COUNT – this to be true and act on the fact in your life
  3. OFFER – yourselves to God to be used by him in his story, for his glory

God bless us with his living and powerful message.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 09 / 2017
  • Comments Off on You died to sin, are alive to God (2) (Romans 6:1-10)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

You died to sin, are alive to God (2) (Romans 6:1-10)

Download Notes in a .MD file

You died to sin, now alive to God (2)

Romans 6:1-10 (Pastor Heo)

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.


Another “how much more”: “Where sin increased (abounded), grace increased (abounded) much more”

  • There is no sin that cannot be forgiven,
  • no sinner that Jesus Christ cannot save.

If sin is powerful, grace is SOO much more powerful.

  • Q: IF this is true: “where sin increased, grace increased much more”, then (v. 1) “shall we sin more and more to receive more and more grace”?
  • A: NO! We are dead to sin, alive to God!

What does this mean? How is it possible?

Meaning: We are united in Jesus in his death, burial, resurrection. ID’d with Jesus in these things. Not only Jesus died for your sins, he died TO sin. Therefore, we are also DEAD TO SIN – because we are IN CHRIST. Whatever has happened to Christ, has happened to us. When he died to sin, so did we. When he rose to heaven, so did we.

What does this mean? Now, we must be able to see the reality of the invisible. Of course, everyone can believe in the visible. But, FAITH is the power to believe in the invisible.

2 Cor 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, because what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

There are 2 worlds:

  1. Visible (Physical) World,
  2. Unseen (Spiritual) World.

Phys world:

  • Jesus came 2,000 years ago.
  • Abraham lived 4,000 years ago.
  • John the Baptist was months older than Jesus.

Spiritual world:

  • But, John B said, “Jesus is greater than me, for he was before me.”
  • And Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
  • Paul said, “In Him, ALL things hold together and have their being.”

You can say, “how old are you? When did you become a Christian?”

  1. You can answer in the Physical world “When I was 10.”
  2. But in the spiritual world, “where were you 2,000 years ago at Calvary?” I WAS THERE WITH CHRIST ON THE CROSS. Your parents, your children, your descendants, yet to be born, were there.

This is a mystery, but historical (spiritual) reality. Do you believe this?

We read 10 verses, and in each verse (almost), we can see the word “death” or “died.”

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

  • “I died with Christ and no longer live. The life I live in the body I live to Christ….”

Our ID with Christ in his death, anything and everything that happened to Jesus in / after his death, the same will happen (has happened) to us.

  • His death is my death
  • His life is my life,
  • His glory is my glory

We are coheirs with Christ.

v. 3-4 “baptism” – Did you receive water baptism? This is a physical/outward appearance of a spiritual/inward reality. Water baptism itself does not save us, nor ID us with Christ in his death and resurrection. Rather it is an outward signal of our inward reality – that we have been crucified with Christ and raised to new life in him.

There are 2 meanings of “baptism” in Greek.

  1. “To sink deep underwater”
  2. “To be ID’d with”

Baptism is a public announcement that “I AM UNITED WITH CHRIST” – are you baptized? This is very very meaningful. This means that you publicly declare “I’m Christian! – united with Christ in his death, burial, resurrection.”

And because of this new relationship with Christ, we also have a new relationship with sin.

v. 1-2 “1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Where sin increases, God’s grace increases much more.

Because of this, can you sin? Never. It’s impossible.

Ex: from the Bible.

1. Robber on the cross beside Christ

At that time, crucifixion was the worst penalty given to the worst criminals – we can assume he had lived a terrible, evil, wicked life.

  • Powerless, he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
  • This one short sentence says MANY things – “Jesus I’m a sinner. I need your help. You are my Savior. You are my Lord.”

Jesus answered only one sentence.

  • “Today (now), you will be with me in paradise.”
  • “All your sins are forgiven.”

What grace! He experienced that God’s grace is Soooo much greater than all his sin.

Where sin increased, grace increased much more.

But imagine, if he had lived longer on this earth AFTER that, would it be possible for him to GO BACK to his life of sin in order to receive this grace from Jesus on the cross again? NO!

2. Prodigal son

(bad, evil, wicked son) – left his father for his own life/freedom. He spent, lost all he had. He wanted freedom, but became a literal slave and beggar.

  • When he came to his senses, he returned to his father. “I’m no longer worthy to be your son. Make my like one of your servants.”
  • His father never mentioned his sin, nor past life, just filled with compassion, threw himself around him, kissed him, and said, “Quick! Bring the BEST robe and put it on him and a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Kill the fattened calf and let’s celebrate with a feast!”

Immediately, fully, his sonship was restored. This son experienced GREAT grace – where sin increased, God’s grace increased more.

But is it possible to leave his father AGAIN and go back to his old lifestyle in order to return and experience this grace again? NO!

He died to his old self! He cannot go backward to restoring faith/grace, but must go forward to developing faith/grace.

3. Apostle Paul

He was the biggest persecutor of Christians, and one day on the road to Damascus, Christ appeared to him and changed his life completely.

  • “Saul, why do you persecute me?”
  • “Lord, who are you?”
  • “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

He experienced this great sin and greater grace.

But is it possible for him now to go back to his old life – hating and persecuting Christians again – in order to come back and experience this great grace from God on the road to Damascus again? NO!

So he writes, “I press on to the goal for which Christ has called me. I am what I am.” He cannot go backward for restoring grace, but must go forward for developing grace.

4. Lazarus

This story is a picture of our own salvation procedure – John 11-12 –

  • Lazarus has been in the tomb for 4 days (and there’s a terrible smell). There’s no question about his death.
    • Like this, we also were once totally DEAD in our sins.
  • Yet, one day, Jesus came to the tomb – Lazarus did not come to Jesus, but Jesus came to the tomb.
    • Like this, we did not come to Jesus, but Jesus came to us – for we were dead spiritually.
  • Jesus said, “Lazarus, COME OUT!” He heard the voice of Christ and CAME OUT!

Immediately, unconditionally, this grace saved Lazarus.

But is it possible for Lazarus to kill himself again and go back into the tomb in order to experience this wonderful power of God again? NO! Of course not!

Instead, Lazarus was seated at the table with Jesus.

The process:

  1. Death
  2. Raised from the dead
  3. Set free to work in the newness of life
  4. Seated in heaven with Jesus

Ephesians 2:3, 6 “You were dead in your sins…. God raised you up and seated you in the heavenly realms with Christ.”

So, we do not want to go back into our sin any more than Lazarus wanted to go back into the tomb dressed in grave rags.

“If anyone is in Christ, the old has gone, the new has come.” Sin and death have no more dominion over Jesus Christ. Because we are in Christ, sin and death also no longer have dominion over us.

Please remember, if we are in Christ,

  • We cannot go backward
  • We must only go forward

We died to sin. How can we live in it any longer?

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on You died to sin, are alive to God (Romans 6:1-10)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

You died to sin, are alive to God (Romans 6:1-10)

Download Notes in a .MD file

You died to sin, are alive to God

Romans 6:1-10 (Pastor Heo)

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.


Conclusion: we died to sin, we are alive to God.

In chp 5, we saw 4 “how much more“s

(Actually, there are FIVE)

  1. If God so loved us that he gave his one and only Son to die on the cross for us when we were ENEMIES, “how much more” does he love us NOW that we are his children?
  2. If our Lord Jesus Christ did something great for us through his death, “how much more” is he NOW doing for us that he is alive?
  3. If one man (Adam) brought physical / spiritual death to all human beings, “how much more” is Jesus ENOUGH to bring LIFE to all human beings? Adam being a living being, Jesus became a life-giving being.
  4. If just one action of disobedience of one person is enough to condemn and judge ALL mankind, “how much more” is just one action of obedience of one person (Jesus) enough to bring righteousness, redemption, glorification, justification, kingdom, heaven, to all men?
  5. LAST: (chp 5:20) “20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased (all the more) [how much more],”

KJV “Where sin abounded, grace abounded [so] much more.”

So…. how much do you sin in your daily life?

No matter how much it is, God’s grace is greater. This is common sense. God did not create sin. The root of sin is Satan. The root of grace is God.

  • If something from Satan is powerful,
  • “how much more” powerful is something from God?

There is no sin that is unforgivable. There is no sinner that Jesus Christ cannot save.

1 Tim 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners, of whom I’m the worst.” Jesus can save even the WORST sinner.

By nature, I’m a terrible sinner, but honestly speaking, I don’t think I’m THE WORST sinner in this world.

Another meaning: “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

  • The more grace we experience, the more we will recognize how sinful we are before God.
  • The more holiness of God, power of God in my life, the more I see my own unholiness, powerlessness, weakness, smallness.

We are under grace.

“Where sin increased, God’s grace increased all the more.” – this is true – a basic truth – don’t doubt – believe it as truth – do you believe this?

But, we should not misunderstand. We must understand the true meaning of this sentence.

Somebody can say, “WOW! Sin increases, and so grace increases? Dude! Let’s sin continually! Sin is awesome! Because it gives me more of God’s grace!” The Bible says, “If you say this… you are not really a born again Christian, or you do not understand the fundamental basics about Christianity you should know.”

  • 6:1-2 “1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? “
  1. If you died to smoking, you cannot smell it any longer.
  2. If you died to alcohol, you cannot taste it any longer.

We read only 10 verses, but a very STRONG verb is repeated multiple times: “KNOW”

  • v. 3, 6, 9 – this expresses that this is a basic, fundamental, Christian doctrine.

Imagine, if Satan can keep us away from this knowledge, Satan can keep us impotent (powerless).

This verse is a believer’s identification with Jesus Christ.

Last week we saw our identification with Adam and Jesus:

  1. By our first, physical birth, we are IDed with Adam
  2. By our second, spiritual birth, we are IDed with Jesus

“To all who believed in him, he gave the right to become children of God. Children not born of natural descent, or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

This is just ONE message, our ID with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection. Our union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.

  • When we are IDed with Adam, it is in his sin, condemnation, judgment, penalty, eternal death.
  • When we are IDed (united) with Christ, it is in his death, burial, resurrection, eternal life.

Let us continue this study next time.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 25 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Adam vs. Christ (2) – Romans 5:9-21
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Adam vs. Christ (2) – Romans 5:9-21

Download Notes in a .MD file

Adam vs. Christ (2)

Romans 5:9-21 (Pastor Heo)

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Conclusion: eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Last Sunday: x4 = “how much more” (v. 9, 10, 15, 17) – last Sunday, we saw only 2 of them

  1. Human logic = no one dies for a bad man, but IF God loved us so much that he gave his only Son to die on the cross for us while we were enemies, How much MORE is he loving us now that we are his loving children?
  2. Human logic = we can do nothing for others through our death (end of everything) – this is the state of powerlessness – IF Jesus did something greater (greatest) through his death than ALL things humans can do together through their lives, How much MORE is he NOW doing for us that he is ALIVE?
  • v. 9 “God demo’ed his love for us in this – while still sinners, he died for us'”
  • v. 10 “If, while God’s enemies, we were reconciled to God, how much more shall we be saved through his life?'”

The next 2 – we need to focus on ONE keyword.

“ONE”

One = enough

  • The more the better (materials), right?
  • But, in terms of what is REALLY important, ONE is more than enough.

Hana-nim = ONE nim

  • One God, one Savior, one husband, one wife,

v. 12-19 “ONE” = x12

There are TWO “ONE man” (Adam vs. Christ)

  • Adam = man (literal meaning = “from the dust”)
  • Christ = God incarnated (God became man) “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”
  • Adam = no physical father, the first man made by God directly
  • Christ = no physical father
  • Adam – the first physical father, affects ALL human beings by what he has done (sin)
  • Christ – also affects ALL human beings by what he has been doing (salvation)
  • Adam = ONE in negative sense
  • Christ = ONE in positive sense
  • Adam = given dominion over all Creation, through disobedience (sin), he lost his kingdom
  • Christ = came as king over NEW Creation “the old has gone, the new has come” – through his obedience, he brought in righteousness and justification

Christ has done SO MUCH MORE than Adam

Some unbelievers challenge with this question: “Was it fair for God to judge the WHOLE world by ONE man’s disobedience?”

Answer: “Of course, not only fair, also wise, and gracious.” If God has tested EACH individually, the result would have been the same anyway (guilty) – by condemning ALL human beings through ONE man, God was also then able to SAVE all human beings through ONE man (Jesus Christ)

We are ALL racially connected (genetically, physically) through Adam. Fallen angels cannot be saved – they sinned individually, and were judged, condemned individually. There is no substitute to take their condemnation. But because we were lost in Adam, we can also be saved through Jesus Christ. For human redemption and salvation – God’s plan is wise, gracious, merciful, fair.

  • Adam (first man) is the representative of ALL humans.
  • Jesus is not only our representative, but also our substitute.

v. 12-14 (Fundamental theology)

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (in Adam)— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, *who is a pattern of the one to come*.

  • The one to come = Jesus Christ

Human logic = every general effect has its own general cause (Cause – Effect).

  • The wages of sin = death.
    • Sin = cause (root, work), = breaking the Law
    • death = effect (fruit, salary)

Without Law, sin is not sin. Of course, there is sin around us, but without Law, sin is not taken into account as sin (loophole).

Those who lived between Adam and Moses, people did not receive the Law to keep or break – so legally, logically, these few generations (Adam to Moses) did not “sin” because they had no Law. So, they should not have “died” right? But they did die – because of Adam’s sin – not their own sin.

Still today, men die – but not for their own sin (otherwise, babies would not die – they have not yet sinned). So, like this ALL men will/must die because of Adam’s “Original Sin”

Nobody can escape the Original Sin because we all have a birthday, place, nationality, and inheritance of Sin (death). We did not choose these ourselves (nor our skin color, physical parents, etc) – all are given to us regardless of our choice. Like this, all human beings are under the influence of the first physical father, Adam. That’s why all human beings need Jesus Christ – because only he defeated the power of death and one day he will raise the bodies of those who died in him.

If Adam is enough to bring death to all humans,…
#3 How much more is Jesus able to bring LIFE to all humans?

(heavenly, spiritual, meaningful, purposeful, ALL life – even unbelievers enjoy physical life through Jesus Christ (general grace – as opportunity to receive Christ as personal Savior and Lord and live eternally)) – only Christ is the Author of Life

  • “I am the Resurrection and the Life – he who believes in me will live even though he dies…”
  • “I have come in this world to give you life – that you would have it to the full – no one can snatch you out of my hand”
  • 1 John 5:11-12 “He who has the Son has life, but he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

This is another “how much more”.

  • Adam = death
  • HOW MUCH MORE Christ = life

1 Cor 15:22 “In Adam, all died. So, in Christ, all will be made alive.”


v. 15-19

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the ONE man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the ONE man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of ONE man’s sin: The judgment followed ONE sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the ONE man, death reigned through that ONE man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the ONE man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as ONE  trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also ONE righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the ONE man *the many* were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the ONE man the many will be made righteous.

“the many” = all human beings (using a definite article)

  • ONE act of disobedience (Adam) brought death to ALL
  • ONE act of obedience (Christ) brought life to ALL

In human history – since the Creation, who committed sin first? Eve

Practically, really, in human history, Adam was not the first person who committed sin, Eve was FIRST (congratulations). And she made her husband eat the fruit with her. Also, Adam’s son Cain committed the first murder (his own blood brother Able). In the Bible, nowhere is it said that Eve’s sin brought death to all men. Nor, Cain’s sin brought death to all. Why is Adam the guy?

Because he was responsible – the first responsibility before God. Adam was enough – only one person – to bring sin, condemnation, penalty, and hell to ALL men, how many times did he need to commit sin to bring this? ONE time. ONE bite. – that was enough.

The point: If this is true, just ONE action of ONE man was enough to bring death to ALL men,
#4 How much more does ONE action of ONE man (Jesus on the cross) bring righteousness, victory, justification, eternal life, kingdom of heaven to ALL?

  • “I am The Way, The Truth, The Life – no one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • 1 Cor 15:22 “As in Adam all died, so in Christ, all will be made alive.”
  1. The first Adam = death
  2. The LAST Adam (Christ) = life
  3. The first Adam was tested in a beautiful garden surrounded by love and beauty.
  4. The last Adam was tempted in the wilderness, desert, died on the cruel cross.
  5. First Adam lost his paradise – driven out.
  6. Last Adam turned to the neighbor on the cross and gave his paradise to the thief.
  • OT = the book of the genealogy of Adam (Genesis 5) – it ends with a CURSE
  • NT = the book of the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1) – ends with “NO MORE CURSE” (New Heaven and New Earth)

Remember, we cannot help being in Adam – this came with our first birth over which we had no control, but we CAN experience a SECOND BIRTH in Christ – which will put us in him and remove the curse from us and give us life.

Scripture gives us no option.

Jesus says, “Do not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.'”

You must be REALLY born again – not just a nominal Christian. Is Christ really IN YOU?

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Adam vs. Christ (Romans 5:9-21)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Adam vs. Christ (Romans 5:9-21)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Adam vs. Christ

Romans 5:9-21 (Pastor Heo)

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


This book, Romans, is a book of logic and “therefores” – this one short word is scattered throughout the book in many places.

  • “Therefore” of condemnation in chp 3:1
  • “Therefore” of justification in chp 5:1 “Therefore we have been justified, we have peace with God”
  • “Therefore” NO condemnation in chp 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Christ”
  • “Therefore” of true worship in chp 12:1 “Therefore, offer your bodies as living sacrifices”

Last time, we saw the biblical defn of the death of Christ with 6 points:

  1. Substitute for our sins
  2. Ransom (redemption) price paid to deliver us from slavery of sin to perfect freedom
  3. Atoning sacrifice (propitiation) to remove the wrath of God from us
  4. Reconciliation – restoration of friendship between God and man
  5. Satisfaction of God’s justice and demand of Holy Law of God
  6. Our death = his death – united with Christ in his death and resurrection

Q: How is it possible to save sinners only in the person of Jesus Christ? How is such substitution possible? This chp 5 gives a very clear answer to this possibility.

Many keywords here:

“how much more” x4

  • v 9
  • v 10
  • v 15
  • v 17

I want all of us to be blessed with this “how much more” – I prepared 4 blessings, but this time will only share 1 & 2.

#1: How much more will he love us NOW as his children?

It is not easy to die for a human man (human logic). It is difficult to die even for a righteous man. No one dies for bad men.

Truth: God loved us so much when we were bad men – enemies of God – v 9 “God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

If this is true, that God sent his one and only Son to die for us on the cross – “How much more” – will he love us now and here that we are his loving children

  • “Who / what can separate us from the love of Christ? Trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine, etc? Nothing.”
  • Matt 7:9-11 “Which of you, if you son asks for bread will give him a stone, if a fish will give him a snake. If you, though evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your Father in heaven give you?”

#2: How much more is he now doing for us?

As long as we are here, death is very close to us (it can come at any moment).

  • Consider death: human logic = human death is the saddest, tragic news – people become very angry and sad
  • But Jesus’ death = ‘Good news’? But he’s a good guy

Why is this good?

  • Human death = the END of work, END of life, END of opportunity
  • Jesus’ death = a job, a great work – it did not come to him unaware, but it was a definite choice on his part – when he could have avoided it – plus it was a great work in that it accomplished such a great thing
  • Human life = we can do something that benefits others through our lives, but can do NOTHING that benefits others through our death.
  • Jesus = he did something GREAT that benefits others through his death.

Jesus did much more through his death than all human history can do together through their lives.

If this is true, “how much more” is he DOING NOW that he is ALIVE!? – this is the story of verse 9 and 10 (repetition = emphasis)

v. 9-10

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

  • Romans 8:34 “Who is it who condemns us? Jesus who died for us, is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us.”
  • Hebrews 7:25 “Jesus is able to completely save those who come to him because he is able to completely intercede for us.”

Let us see 3 & 4 “how much more” next time.

But now, let’s see another small key word: “one”

  • One is enough
  • One is more than enough
  • One is repeated 12x

“One man” Adam vs. Christ

  • v. 16 “one man’s sin” = Adam
  • v. 17 “one man’s trespass”
  • v. 18 “one man’s trespass” – “one act of righteousness”
  • v. 19 “one man”

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Keyword = our identity, unification with (1) Adam and (2) Jesus (if born again)

  • Through your first birth – you are ID’d with Adam
  • If you are born again – you are ID’d with Jesus

That’s why we must be born again. “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘you must be born again”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 11 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Force of Forgiveness (Luke 23:34)
Pastor Brian, Sermons, Subject Studies

The Force of Forgiveness (Luke 23:34)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Force of Forgiveness

Luke 23:34 (Pastor Brian)

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “ ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ 31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.


Key verse = 34 “Father forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.”

Some thoughts from a book I picked up in England in Feb. The ministry is very helpful at helping people be restored. “Forgiveness: God’s Master Key” – focusing on this Scripture. “Pray the most powerful prayer on earth” (Father, forgive them).

Forgiveness is a master key.

As I came by SongCheon-Dong (where I work), I saw a phrase “I am the Key” on a building. Hmmm, what kind of building was this? It was on a nurse’s home (or educational center for nurses). That’s probably their motto. This was confirmation for my message today.

Jesus is the Way, Truth, Life, Door, also the Key.

Peter Horrobin points out that there are many rooms in a large house, with many doors and many locks and many keys. But a Master Key unlocks any of the doors in the building.

  • The life we live (have lived so far) is like this building.
    1. Each room contains the memories of important events in life (like the marriage of Pastor Heo’s son and other similar events). Those doors are wide open. We go in, enjoy them, walk out again.
    2. But other doors are closed – yet we can open them whenever we wish (because there is no pain associated with them).
    3. Other doors are closed and LOCKED. What’s behind them is too painful to open and look at. Here are some of their names: Rejection, Accidents, Divorce, Betrayal, Abuse, Pain, Trauma, etc.

Many people go through life with unresolved pain in their lives – caused by others or also by ourselves, our own sins. Sometimes, we don’t know how to resolve these situations. But as the years go by, it gets harder and harder to live with this pain. Some people have so many locked doors that there is very little space left in which to live.

  • They close the doors and expect that this will help them to live, but sometimes, there is so much hidden trauma, anger, and pain, that they become less and less like the people God intends them to be.
  • Sometimes the mess seeps out from under the door – everyone else can see the mess (esp those we are in relationships with), but people may ignore it, or try to clean it up from the outside only.

The only efficient way to deal with this problem is to unlock the door, go in, clean up the mess. Sometimes, this is too much for them alone. But Jesus is the Master Key. He can open even the most stubborn locked door. But he does require our help to unlock it. He wants to go in and clean it up with us. He wants us to cooperate with him.

This golden key is the most powerful prayer on earth – it’s life transforming.

There are many examples of people who were hurt severely but dared to pray this prayer and were miraculously changed.

Example 1

Frieda from Rwanda – she + 15 of her family members were killed. Given the choice of how to die. Do you want a bullet? But, they couldn’t afford the bullet. So, they chose a machete, and Frieda chose a blow to the back of the head. Yet, she wasn’t dead. Someone came along later and rescued her.

Following that trauma, she became a Christian and saw that Jesus said we must forgive them that persecute us. She went to prison and found the man who killed her father and forgave him. This gave tremendous relief.

Yet, even though she’d done this, she still had pain in her head and neck and terrible nightmares. So, at a Christian conference, she prayed to forgive them all and release them. God granted her this and released her also from the pain and the nightmares.

This kind of freedom is also available for us.

Even though we don’t go through these kinds of circumstances every day, we also need this kind of forgiveness. We need to let go. The letting go is through forgiveness.

Example 2

Hanna – almost suicide – but prayed the prayer and forgave her sexually abusive family. There was a struggle to forgive, but when she came through, she was set free.

You see, when we cannot or do not forgive, we are still UNDER THE CONTROL of THAT other person who hurt us. But when we forgive, we release that person and become free from the pain.

Example 3

Jesus is another example of this.

In Luke 23, we can see the different agents of persecution that were happening in Jesus’ life.

  1. Religious leaders – jealous and threatened by his popularity, power, authority (the common people heard Jesus gladly)
  2. Judas – thought 30 pieces of silver was enough to betray him
  3. Pilate – weak-willed governor of Judea – tried to wash his hands of it all – but gave in to the insistence of the Jewish leaders
  4. Herod – powerless Jewish king – second opinion, but ridiculed and mocked him
  5. Teachers of the Law and Preachers – mocked him
  6. The crowds – visiting for a holiday, egged on to crucify him
  7. Barabbas – released instead of Jesus (though he was a murderer)
  8. Roman soldiers – obeying orders – drove the nails through his hands and feet into the cross, divided his clothes, mocked him, etc
  9. You and I – alongside all men from all time, because we’re all responsible (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”)
  10. Two common criminals also were beside him

In the Beginning, Mankind turned its back on God – so death entered into history. It was our sin that caused the Father to put the only possible rescue plan into action to restore our broken relationship. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

Jesus bore the penalty for our sin – to the full. “It is finished” (the work he’d come to accomplish). His love for us kept him on the cross to death though he could have come down.

No one else on earth has ever suffered more terrible injustice – no one else has greater excuse to cry out “not fair” – but he prayed “Father, forgive them” – and this was the most powerful prayer ever prayed.

He forgave and asked God to forgive. To do this in circumstances like this, was extraordinary. “Bless those who curse you”

Jesus was asking God to allow those who hurt him to enter into the blessings that God has prepared – joy, peace, restored relationship with God.

It’s impossible to ask God to forgive if we also have not forgiven from the heart. “If you do not forgive, God your Father will not forgive you.”

Yes, God wants to forgive US, but also that we meet the condition to forgive others as well.

As difficult as it can be sometimes, we need to come to that place to forgive others. The example of Frieda’s suffering is a valuable object lesson for this. Certainly we can forgive lesser offenses.

When we cooperate with God’s grace, we can forgive and find relief and walk in freedom. But if we choose not to forgive, we attach ourselves to the other people with a chain of unforgiveness and remain under their control.

  • Song “You always hurt the one you love, the one you should not hurt at all”

We are all still sinners – though redeemed – we have a proneness to wander, so we must continually forgive and ask forgiveness. “How often must I forgive my brother if he offends me? Seven times? No, no, seventy times seven.” (Stop counting, keep forgiving) – You continually sin, you continually need forgiveness, so continually forgive others. Even sometimes, we must forgive the SAME event up to seventy times seven times.

Parable

A servant owed a master a tremendous debt (impossible to pay in a lifetime), but he forgave it. The same servant went out and found a lesser servant who owed a much lesser payment and threw him in prison. The master heard of this and removed the second man, scolded the first, and threw him also into prison.

Jesus forgives, and we must follow his example.

There is constantly a need to forgive – in all kinds of relationships. And we may need to ask God for his grace to help forgive.

What does this do for us?

  1. Transforms our relationship with God – remember Stephen, the first martyr? He forgave them as they stoned him (this must have had a major impact on the future apostle Paul)
  2. Releases the power of the Holy Spirit into our lives
  3. Restores our soul – God is a God of restoration (as well as salvation) – God restored David after his sin and others as well
  4. Opens the door to God’s healing – there are many examples of Christians who’ve suffered physically and emotionally
    1. Linda – Australia – gone on a midnight hike with some others – she fell off a cliff and broke her back in many places – on a lifetime disability pension – heard this teaching – she forgave the guide, and was released.
    2. Another man, Michael’s wife fell for his best friend and left him – as he prayed forgiveness, he was released and able to rebuild his life.

There are some extreme examples – also examples in your and my life – but we need to forgive and our hearts will be transformed – this also releases others into the freedom of our forgiveness as well.

We can begin the process by saying:

“Lord, you know what happened. I’m hurt. Help me to be willing to want to forgive them.”

Let’s take a moment to pray for these others and release them into the freedom of forgiveness.

  • Jun 04 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Christ died for you, yes you! (Romans 5:6-8)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Christ died for you, yes you! (Romans 5:6-8)

Download notes in a .MD file

Christ died for you, yes you!

Romans 5:6-8 (Pastor Heo)

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


v. 6 Christ died for us.

Christ died for you. Christ died for me.

If you believe the fact that God became man (Jesus is God – the Incarnation), and died for you and me, you can NOT make TOO MUCH a sacrifice for Jesus… – anything you do will not be too much.

These verses are spiritual, timeless truths.

v. 6, 8 “Christ died for us”

These two verses, show a timeless spiritual truth.

v. 7 is not a timeless spiritual truth. It is a relative human argument – to compare Jesus’ death with a human’s death.

First, let’s see the human logic (v. 7)

7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

In human-to-human relationships, there are three kinds of people:

  1. righteous people
  2. good people
  3. bad people

Who is righteous, good, or bad to you.

  1. Righteous = well known for his great job to the public (national heroes, etc) – not necessarily in personal, private lives – (yes, we honor righteous people, but who would die for these people? It’s very rare – not never, but 99% not)
  2. Good = good to you personally (family members, loved ones, someone who helps you) – yes, we like “good” people, but it is still not easy to die for these “good” men (someone might possibly dare to die)
  3. Bad = the one who is bad, harmful to you, hurts, opposes you. In a human argument, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to die FOR someone who is bad to me, against me.

But, the spiritual truth (v. 6, 8) – “Jesus died for the ungodly.”

If this is the truth, the important question is WHEN did Jesus die for me?

Truth: Jesus did not die for you when you were righteous. Jesus did not die for you when you were good. Jesus DID die for you when you were totally bad (evil). “While you were still sinners, wicked, ungodly, unholy, enemies to God.”

What an amazing story – amazing grace.

Today’s topic focuses on Jesus’ death. What is Jesus’ death to you? What’s the meaning of this to you? We say this all the time in personal evangelism. So, what is the meaning of this?

Definition (biblical): 6 points

#1: Substitution

In sports, we are familiar with this – we switch out for a substitute when injured or tired. Jesus is our substitute in carrying our sins to the cross. He is the substitute for all sins. He died for the sins of others. The sufferings of Jesus Christ were NOT the sympathetic sufferings of a friend, but substitionary sufferings of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

  • OT: Isaiah 53 (the fifth gospel) – the Messiah chapter (53:5-6) “He was pierced, crushed for us. The punishment that brings us peace was upon him – each of us has turned to his own way, the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
  • 1 Cor 15:3 “What I received I passed on to you as of first importance…”
  • 2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin become sin for us…”
  • 1 Peter 2:24 “Jesus Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross… by his wounds we are healed…”
  • 1 Peter 3:18 “Jesus Christ died for sins once for all – the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

Jesus died for me.

He did not die by force, or under compulsion, but by choice “I am the Good Shepherd, I lay down my life for my sheep.”

#2: Ransom (Redemption)

If my child is kidnapped, I must pay a price to take him home again – this is called “ransom.”

Jesus death on the cross is a ransom – to by us from the slavery to sin.

  • Matt 2:28 “I did not come to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom…”
  • 1 Tim 2:6 “Jesus Christ gave his life as a ransom…”
  • Gal 3:13(16?) “Jesus redeemed us from slavery…”

Redemption = freedom, liberation, release

We are free from bondage, slavery, captivity, death – by a payment of our ransom.

There are two significances –

  1. Payment
  2. Deliverance

From death to life, sin to righteousness, Old to New, Hell to Heaven, child of Satan to child of God, condemnation to forgiveness, slavery to freedom

To buy back a person or thing by paying the price for which it is held = redemption through ransom payment. Sin is a slave market. Our souls are under the slavery of sin and death. Jesus paid our ransom to deliver us from this to eternal life and freedom.

The death of Christ = a price which is the ransom for our deliverance. Price = Jesus’ life.

  • 1 Cor 6:19-20 “You are not your own, you were bought at a price – so honor God with your body.”

I’m not my own, we were bought by the price Jesus paid as a ransom (his blood).

The price of our salvation, justification, redemption = priceless.

#3. Atoning sacrifice

KJV “Jesus Christ is the propitiation of our sins.” (1 John 2:2) “Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

Romans 3:25 “God presented his one and only son as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” because Jesus Christ is our sacrifice.

God had left the sins that were committed beforehand unpunished – and he justified those who have faith in Christ.

OT: Propitiation means “mercy seat” or covering. In the tabernacle, there were two places – the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (in there is the Arc of the Covenant – its covering = “Mercy seat” – or propitiation – because of this cover, God overlooks the sins and forgives the sins of his people).

Yes, I’m a pastor (outwardly), but inwardly, by nature, I’m full of sin (please forgive me), but the Mercy Seat covers this – so God does not see my sin. This is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice). Without this, no one can enter the most holy place and presence of God. Without this, how can we get to God? Only through the blood of Christ. Thus, it’s called the New and Living Way. He is the One and Only Way to heaven and God.

  1. Substitution
  2. Ransom (redemption)
  3. Atoning sacrifice (propitiation)
  4. Reconciliation

#4. Reconciliation

Reconciliation = restoration of relationship with joy and peace with each other.

  • v. 10 “For if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ his son. Through him we have now received reconciliation.”

This (reconciliation) = the restoration of relationship between God and man

  • 2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come… All this is from God. God reconciled us through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

God is reconciling the WHOLE WORLD to himself. Not only human beings, but also all Creation. This is the permanent (Master) plan of God for reconciliation.

There are two meanings to reconciliation:

  1. Active: The death of Christ REMOVES the enmity between God and man.
  2. Passive: There is a change of attitude on the part of man toward God.

The idea:

  • At first, Genesis 1, 2, God and man stood face to face with each other in perfect harmony, fellowship, communication, etc.
  • In Genesis 3, man turned his back on God (sin). Because God is holy (cannot be friends with sin), so God also turned his back on man (this produced enmity (enemies) between God and man.)
  • Only the death of Christ satisfied the demands of the holy God. Through Christ, God has turned his face again toward man and waits with long suffering, patience, and perseverance to receive man again – by only one condition (accepting Christ as personal Savior and Lord).

Man is encouraged, entreated, challenged to be reconciled to God.

“Be reconciled to God by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.”

Be reconciled to God!

“Preach the Word of God in and out of season.”

#5. Satisfaction

Since the holiness of God (“holy, holy, holy”) – this is a basic attribute of God. So, it is only logical that God should be given some satisfaction to remove the outrage of sin. So, this is what the death of Christ does.

  1. Satisfies the Justice of God (man has sinned against God and brought on condemnation and displeasure) God cannot free sinners until the demands of justice are satisfied because he is righteous and just – his justice must be maintained and satisfied. This is made possible through the death of Christ – God remains righteous.
  2. Satisfies the Law of God – this is grounded in the very nature of God (it is perfect, good, spiritual, holy) – the transgression of this Law brings penalty/punishment – and no one can meet the demands of this Law. Only Christ did. By his obedience and suffering and finally, death, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the full demands of the Law.

Romans 10:4 “Jesus Christ is the end of the Law.”

  1. Substitute
  2. Ransom
  3. Atoning Sacrifice
  4. Reconciliation
  5. Satisfaction
  6. … we must reach this point …

#6. My Death

“The death of Christ is MY death.”

What does this mean?

We were dead in sin and alive in Christ in his resurrection.

  • “If we are dead to sin in his death, we will be alive in Christ through his resurrection.”
  • “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. The life I live I live by faith in Christ.”

Our union with Jesus in his death and resurrection is our life.

Conclusion: there are three kinds of people.

  1. Non-Christian:
  2. Baby Christian:
  3. Real, mature Christian:

One sentence clears this all up.

  1. Non-Christians say (in heart and lifestyle), ‘Jesus did not die for me.’
  2. Baby Christians say “Jesus died for me, OK.”
  3. Real, mature Christians say, “Jesus died for me, and his death / life are my death / life.”

God bless you to reach more and more maturity in Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • May 28 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Abundant Blessings of Justification – Romans 5:1-5
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Abundant Blessings of Justification – Romans 5:1-5

Download Notes in a .MD file

Abundant Blessings of Justification

Romans 5:1-5 (Pastor Heo)

Peace and Hope

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.


In chp 4, we saw 2 things:

  1. By what Abraham was NOT justified
  2. By what Abraham WAS justified

Chp 5 is the explanation of the end of Chp 4.

Our justification is not just a promise of heaven, but also a tremendous source of blessings we can enjoy now and here. “Abundant blessings of justification.”

As we know, we have nothing to boast about in our faith – but we have much more to boast about in Christ – because faith means we depend on Christ for our salvation. Christ has more than enough for our salvation and justification.

By faith in Christ, we are saved. Do you agree and believe?

By faith we are:

  1. justified,
  2. sanctified,
  3. overcome this world,
  4. defeat the power of Satan and sin,
  5. receive the answers of our prayers,
  6. experience miracles,
  7. experience healing,
  8. experience the power of God (making the impossible possible),
  9. do good,
  10. please God,
  11. make God happy. Do you make God happy?

By faith we can do everything God wants us to do.

Today, we read Chp 5:1-5, which are full of abundant blessings which we can enjoy now and here.

Let me share 5 blessings we can enjoy now and here.

#1 Peace with God through Christ

v. 1 “1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

  • Condemnation = God declares us sinners (war)
  • Justification = God declares us righteous (peace)

Peace is more than the absence of war. It is the perfect restoration of relationship without the rending of any hearts.

Without peace with God, there is no peace. No peace of self, spirit, heart, mind, with others, with Creation, etc. Peace with God is the root / source for us to have / enjoy all peace in this world. This peace can only be found through Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus is called “Prince of Peace” (King of Peace) – even 700 years before he came to earth.
  • Eph: “Jesus Christ is our peace.” – He preached peace to us.
  • Jesus IS peace and a man of peace. His greeting is “Go in peace; My peace I leave with you.”

One time, Jesus said something strange. “Do not think I have come to bring peace, but a sword.” (huh?) What does this mean?

It means, in this world, there are many false peaces – sometimes we heard of fake news – also there are many fake peaces. These must be destroyed first in order to have real, true peace and allow it to be built up.

  1. Carnal peace must give way to spiritual peace.
  2. World peace to heavenly peace.
  3. Temporal peace to eternal peace.

Yes, everyone wants peace – all kinds of peace – then, the root of peace is “Peace with God”. Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.” How is this possible?

Who is a peacemaker? I want to bless you all to be peacemakers in this world.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.” How?

Peacemakers are not entertainers, recreational leaders. No, they are gospel preachers. They tell the story of Jesus – who is the King of Peace.

We can enjoy this peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

#2. Access to God in Christ

We are worshiping God – we are now in the presence of God.

v. 2 “2 through *whom* we have gained access by faith into _this grace_ (the presence of God) in which we now stand. And we boast (rejoice) in the hope of the glory of God. “

In ancient times, ordinary people were not allowed to enter the presence of the king – also the same was true of God. Only the High Priest, the rep of all the people was able to enter the Most Holy Place (the symbol of the presence of God) with the blood offering and bells and string tied around his waist (just in case – if he had something wrong against God in the Most High place, he was to die immediately – but nobody could enter to take his dead body, so they had to pull his dead body from outside by pulling on the rope).

When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain separating the Holy and Most Holy place was torn completely in half – indicating that we would now have access to God directly through Christ.

Gentiles originally were kept out of the temple by a wall – a veil – but when Christ was crucified, it was broken in half. This means that Jesus is the new way for us to enter the presence of God.

Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way open for us through the curtain that is torn. And since we have a great Priest over the House of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and assurance of faith – having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy to help us in our time of need.”

“…in which we now stand…”

Justification has to do with our position – our standing.

In the OT time, nobody called God “Father” in a personal relationship. Question: “Can you call God, ‘Father’ in a personal relationship with him?”

Even Moses, David, nobody was allowed to call God “Father” in a personal relationship. But we are. How blessed we are. This means we received a new position / standing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “You can pray like this, ‘Our Father in heaven…'”

Isaiah “…Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…”

Today, we do not call Jesus “Everlasting Father” – so this means, only IN Jesus, we are allowed to call God “Father.” We have access anytime, every time for the help we need. God is very happy to hear your voice. You know that?

#3. Hope of the glory of God

“…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

  1. Peace
  2. Access
  3. Hope of the glory of God

We can come to God anytime.

The hope of the glory of God takes care of our future.

Originally, mankind was created for God’s glory. – But because of sin, we “fall short of the glory of God.”

Therefore, God wants to recreate his glory in us. So, we look forward to the time in which we will share his glory. So, this helps us to overcome our frustrations when we are not all we want to be, nor all God wants us to be. So, when we have THIS hope, we can rejoice in any situation.

If you hold THIS hope, you can rejoice in any and all situations (even suffering).

#4. Rejoice in suffering

v. 3-4 “3 Not only so, but we also glory (rejoice) in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

If you really agree and believe this, you are a mature Christian. If not, you are a baby Christian. Check yourself through reading these two verses.

This begins with HOPE -> suffering -> perseverance (patience) -> character -> HOPE

We are not FREE from suffering, but we can rejoice in suffering.

Remember, justification does not free us from suffering, but it gives us the power to rejoice in suffering. We don’t rejoice in suffering because we like pain, but because we know that our Father God is using these life difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build up our character.

All our suffering, problems in this world:

  1. develop our perseverance (patience), and
  2. develops our character, which
  3. increases our hope and glory in the future.

It is likely that your patience will be tested in some way EVERY day.

Do you serve the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to serve our Lord Jesus Christ?

Remember, if you serve the Lord Jesus Christ, suffering is unavoidable. You cannot escape suffering if you serve the Lord in this world. Remember, he suffered for us first.

  • 1 Peter “To this you are called because Christ suffered for you first and leaving you an example to follow in his footsteps.”
  • Phil “I want to know the power of Christ and his suffering….”
  • 1 Peter 4:1 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.”
  • Romans “Our present suffering is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Christianity is the story of a life a suffering.

“Blessed are the persecuted because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven. They persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Tribulation is a kind of suffering.

John 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble (tribulation) but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

“Tribulation” = from Latin “Tribulum” = flail

Flail (도리깨) = a threshing tool with a long handle to hit the wheat and separate the wheat from the chaff. How painful! How much suffering for the wheat! But through this suffering, the pure wheat is separated from the chaff (garbage).

Like this, through our own suffering, we are purified and our spiritual “wheat” is separated from our worldly “chaff”.

Like this, through our suffering, we can get to know “how I am” and how my heart is constituted. Sometimes, I don’t even know who I am before God, but through this suffering, I can know who I am before God.

Moses vs. Pharaoh

  • Moses = man of God
  • Pharaoh = man of this world

Both experienced the same miracles from God.

  1. Through this, Moses became closer and closer to God through patience, perseverance, character, hope.
  2. But, Pharaoh, through the same miracles, became harder, more stubborn, farther and farther from God, immature temper / disposition, disappointment, failure.

Remember, all the time, God is good.

  • “God is good – all the time.”
  • “All the time – God is good.”

But, in your daily life, in your suffering and trials, can you say THAT?

Imagine: I lost my job, got divorced, lost great money, someone I loved died, I’m suffering painfully in body, soul, spirit, emotions….BUT “God is good, all the time. God is in control of all things…”

Can you say THAT?

#5: We are not disappointed

v. 5 “5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

God has put his love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who he’s given to us. We will study more of the love of God, but for now:

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love

Imagine, before we were saved,

God showed his love by sending his Son – surely he will love us more and more NOW – he is pouring it out more and more.

Faith, Hope, Love combine to give us patience in the suffering of this world. This patience makes it possible for us to grow in character and become a child of God.

Romans “I’m strongly persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor anything else in all this world will be able to separate us from the love of God.”

What can separate us from the love of God?

  • “No condemnation in Jesus Christ”
  • “No separation in Jesus Christ”

Let’s pray.

  • May 21 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (2) – Romans 4:1-25
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (2) – Romans 4:1-25

Download notes in a .MD file

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (2)

Romans 4:1-25 (Pastor Heo)

Abraham Justified by Faith

1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


We are not justified by works, but by the grace of God based on the power of God – through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This chapter is the same justification illustrated through the experience of Abraham. In the matter of salvation and justification, Abraham and we are the same. (Same experience, same testimony).

Last time, we saw (negatively) by what Abraham was NOT saved.

  1. His character
  2. Circumcision (religious rituals – baptism, communion, local church membership)
  3. Observing the Law
  4. His own power

Today, let’s look at (positively) by what Abraham WAS justified.

#1: He was justified by Faith

v. 1-3

“1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” – (this is quoted from Genesis 15:6)

  • In Genesis 14, Abraham was involved in fighting to rescue his nephew Lot and possessions and many other people.
  • In Genesis 15, maybe Abraham might be in fear wondering if they might return to fight against him. It was then that God appeared to him and said,
    • “Abraham, do not be afraid. I am your great shield and very great reward.”
    • Abraham said, “Oh, Lord, what have you given me? I have no heir.”
    • God said, “No, not your servant, but your own son from your own body will be your heir. Look up at the heavens and count the stars – your children will be more numerous than all these or all the sand on the seashore.”
    • This promise is the one that Abraham believed and God honored his faith and said, “Your faith will be credited to you as righteousness.”

Thus, BY FAITH, he was declared righteous.

#2: He was justified by the Grace of God

v. 16

“16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. (are you included or excluded? if saved, you are included in the salvation / justification of God)

Literal meaning of “Abraham” = “Father of many nations”

This promise was given by Grace.

This means God was not under any duty or obligation to do this for Abraham. Abraham did NOTHING to earn this, nor to merit this promise. It was freely given. It was given totally by God’s will and grace. This is a gift without cause.

In Greek, there are two words for “promise”:

  1. huposchesis? = conditional, relative promise (like a contract or agreement by mutual consent – there are conditions that must be met)
    1. If you… then I’ll… – most promises between human beings are these.
    2. The word “Promise” in these verses is NOT this one.
  2. epangelia? = unconditional, absolute promise (this is to be fulfilled regardless of any factors) – Abraham’s age, character, etc did not matter.
    1. Thus, our salvation (likewise) is never to be lost nor changed.
    2. Once justified, it never changes.

If we are saved, justified, by our own works, then this salvation may be lose-able (think if you failed to live up to your previous works). But this promise is absolute and unconditional.

  1. by faith
  2. by grace

#3: He was justified by the power of Jesus Christ

v. 22-25

“22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Yes, Abraham was not justified by HIS own power. Now, imagine, when God gave this promise, “You will be the father of many nations…” Abraham was childless. He was 85 years old at that time. (That’s not young.) We can expect that God would give Abraham a child IMMEDIATELY after that promise, but…………………. 15 years later….

There are many reasons for this, but ONE reason why God delayed in giving them a son was to wait until their “natural” reproductive power reduced and disappeared completely.

When they were totally powerless, as good as dead from a reproductive point of view, THEN God (through the power of the resurrection of Jesus) began to work in their bodies.

This was an outward symbol of how they were justified.

Also, we have done nothing for our own salvation and justification, because we were spiritually dead when we were saved. Also, we need to do nothing for our salvation because our Lord Jesus Christ has done ALL for our salvation and justification.

In this chapter, Abraham is listed as the “father of faith” (not the father of character). This means, even today, we are saved by the same faith by which Abraham was saved and justified 4,000 years ago. By that same faith, we can learn and see what this saving faith is like.

Here are 3 things that saving faith is like.

Do you have saving faith?

  1. Basis = Word of God (covenant of God, promise of God – not our own thinking)
    1. Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the Word of God…”
  2. Object = Jesus Christ
    1. Even Abraham (from God’s perspective) was saved and justified by believing in Jesus Christ. “Before Abraham was born, I AM.”
    2. Jesus came in body 2,000 years ago, Abraham lived 4,000 years ago. “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” (not “had been”) “Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day.”
    3. Hebrews 12:2 “Fix your eyes on Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

2 key words / key points

If you get these points in your daily lives, you will be so blessed.

Before this, let us think about Abraham’s faith. We are also justified by this same faith.

On Abraham’s part, he had NOTHING to boast about his faith. But God honored Abraham’s faith and declared “you are righteous”. Also today, we need to honor his faith.

Under what circumstances did Abraham believe God’s promise (4,000 years ago)?

  1. He had no Bible, no written Word of God, no local churches, no fellowship with other believers. He was surrounded by unbelieving pagans (he was the only one at that time)
  2. He also was childless at age 85 – yet he believed God’s promise for “many children” and even up to 15 years later…. NO.

If you were Abraham in THAT situation, would you continue to believe God’s promise absolutely without doubting, shaking, wavering?

  • The visible circumstances are becoming worse and worse,
  • but Abraham’s faith is getting stronger and stronger.
  • THIS is saving faith.

v. 18-20

“18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, “

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

You must check your faith all the time. If (this is a serious sentence)…

  • If your faith is affected by circumstances….
  • – stronger when circumstances are favorable,
  • – weaker when circumstances are out of control
  • This is NOT saving faith.

That’s why, even Saving Faith is the Gift of God.

This is not given by our own payment, but by God’s grace.

2 keywords

  1. Credit (x10 repeated in this chapter)
    1. v. 3
    2. v. 4
    3. v. 5
    4. v. 6
    5. v. 9
    6. v. 10
    7. v. 11
    8. v. 22
    9. v. 23
    10. v. 24
    11. This short word = 10x
  2. Righteousness (x12)
    1. – sometimes “justified”
    2. – last word in this chapter = “justification” – this means “declared righteousness”

2 keywords:

  1. Credit (x10)
  2. Righteousness (x12)

At that time, “credit” = banking term.

Do you have a credit card? Probably most of you have more than one. Do you have your own bank book?

“Credit” = to deposit into one’s account (increase) – count, reckon

If someone puts $1 billion into my account, whose money will that be? Mine. It’s available for me – regardless of my character, weight, appearance, education, career, background, etc.

Credit = emphasized in Romans 4 to show us “this is TRUE!” – the moment I put my real trust (faith) in Jesus Christ – at that exact moment, all of my sins from first to last, are ALL transferred to the “bank account” of Jesus Christ. That’s why he is called the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins for the whole world.

That’s why, at the cross, he was totally filled from head to toe with ALL the sins of the world – even Abraham’s sins, even my sins, even a man who lives to the end of the world’s sins.

Because of this, God abandoned him and Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Isaiah 56 “We all like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way, and God has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.”

Then God transferred ALL those sins to Jesus and declares us righteous, because he also transfers Jesus’ righteousness to us.

“God made Christ who had no sin to become sin so that we might be justified and made righteous for everyone who believes.”

Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, sanctification.”

This is the imputation of unrighteousness and righteousness.

God bless you. This chapter starts with the story of Abraham, and ends with the story of Jesus Christ.

v. 25 “25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

  • Jesus was delivered over to be a full Man from full God
  • delivered to this dirty earth from beautiful heaven for our sins
  • delivered over to all kinds of sins and temptations to experience what we experience
  • delivered over to the priests and Pharisees
  • delivered over to Pilate to be judged wrongly for our sins
  • delivered over to Roman soldiers to be powerless for our sins
  • delivered over to the cross, the place of the greatest humiliation and shame for our sins
  • delivered over to death and burial and hell for our sins and rose again from death from hell from all sins.

It is only Jesus Christ who defeats the last enemy. And now he is alive and interceding for us. He did this all for us, and all by his own choice (not by force) – he did this all because he loves us.

John 10:18 “No one takes my life from me, I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay my life down and to take it up again.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

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