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

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

  • Acts: The Book of Mission

    Acts: The Book of Mission

  • Join Cell Groups!

    Join Cell Groups!

Blog

  • 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.

  • May 14 / 2017
  • Comments Off on The Power of Prayer (Matthew 7:7-8)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Power of Prayer (Matthew 7:7-8)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Power of Prayer

Matthew 7:7-8 (Dr. Merv Weerasekera)

7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


We have a special speaker from the US today: Dr. Merv Weerasekera on The Power of Prayer.

International church: Korea, Uganda, Indonesia, Ghana, US, etc…

I was born in Singapore – a merchant sailor. My dream was to see the world at 12, so at 17, I joined a ship and started sailing. When I became 21, I had circled the globe many times – been to almost every country represented by this church. At around that age, I became very disillusioned because my dream had already come true. I asked myself, “If you died tonight, where would your soul go?” I’d been in a war zone, shot at, almost got washed out to sea in the Atlantic Ocean, many terrible accidents as well. And I asked that question. I had to answer: “I don’t know.”

Youth with a Mission (Intl Mission Org) put tracts on that ship and I read one and heard the story of being born again. Every time I read that tract, I cried. On the third night, I read “4 Spiritual Laws” and it’s as though Jesus was standing right there in front of me. I asked him into my heart at 2:30am outside Singapore. There was fear and anger in my heart and at that exact moment, the fear and anger left and peace and joy entered my heart. I’ve been this way for 35 years. After that, I joined that same Mission Org (Youth with a Mission) – and ever since then I’ve worked on telling the next guy the story of Jesus.

Once I had a revelation about Jesus. I was mopping the floor, admiring my clean floor, and the Lord spoke to me and said, “You’ve always wanted to feed your fellow man – how about I use you to give them eternal life?” WOAH! I was totally transformed!

You know, if I could give every person I met $1 million, but after death, who knows where they would go? But, if God asked me to give that person eternal life, there is NO job higher than that.

That is the epitome of life. God using you to give others eternal life!


After that, I started preaching the gospel to the people on that merchant ship – and I met Pastor Jingu Park. Later, I married an American woman in Singapore – she was deported 6 months later – so I ended up in the US not knowing WHAT I would do. I didn’t even have a high school diploma at that time. I had a hard time reading Newsweek Magazine. I thought I would be mopping the floor for the Lord.

I was in the US, didn’t know how to drive – always walked or took the bus/subway – and I had to start absolutely from scratch. But I remember praying all night with Pastor Park – from 12am to 6am. That’s what I did in the US. I became a waiter in a Chinese restaurant and was washing dishes at night. I tried to save money to go “home” to Singapore. But God had different plans.

I joined a church and we started praying all night. God started opening doors and opening my eyes. “Son, you’re not going home. I have plans for you here.”

This Scripture here says, “If you’re in a bind and you don’t know where to go, get down on your knees and cry out to the Lord.”

Ask -> Seek -> Knock

Ask God in a place of prayer – make that place of prayer in your life.

You know, life is NOT in a straight line. You know the “Prosperity Gospel”? (Give to God, he’ll make you rich). But I don’t see that in the Scriptures. I see a loving, powerful, all-knowing God who has a PLAN of LOVE for each and every person. God wants to SHOW you himself. THIS is the gospel.

So, here I am in the US, trying to save to go home to Singapore, and praying on Friday nights and asking, “What am I doing here? YOU are out of your mind!” (Oh, no! Please, sorry, I must have made you angry! Please forgive me! Forgive even my temptations!)

God said, “I want you to go to school and start studying.” God opened the door and let me take my GED (High school diploma equivalent).

I prayed, prayed, prayed.

My life, suddenly, (no family in the US at all) is ONLY consisting of GOD.

God will PUT you in those kinds of places.

Don’t expect Christianity to be all flowers and roses and an easy life. Yes, in church, we worship the Lord, we dance and praise and sing and dance and love one another. When we come to church, we must come to KNOW him.

I’m trying to put my story together, but God won’t tell me. Type A personalities want to know the WHOLE plan right NOW. We all in a HURRY!

But the Scripture doesn’t say that. You aren’t in it to GET something from God. God isn’t your credit card, he’s not Santa Claus. You want to KNOW Him, really KNOW Him.

Before Youth with a Mission, I was also running 2 businesses – I wanted to be rich. But when I joined YWAM, I didn’t want that any more. I said, “God, just let me tell others about you.” God said, “No, I want you to walk with me – and I will provide for you.”

Jesus wants YOU to come to HIM and ask Him. Don’t ask for THINGS. NO!

Ask God that whatever you do, each step you take, you will get to know HIM. You want to know the character of God.

If I preach to you anything other than Christ and him crucified, I’m not preaching the gospel!

So, in the US, I’m working my butt off, got my GED, in church, praying, and started going to college. By the time it’s all over, I have 4 college degrees and 1 doctorate degree.

Merchant sailor -> Missionary -> washing dishes -> 4 college degrees -> Doctorate = WOW! That’s God.

When I studied Algebra, I thought, “What does this have to do with serving God?”

You know what he said to me?

“Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

So, now, here I stand. I have my wife (American – surgery nurse), 3 children (one with a Master’s, one with a Bachelor’s, and my son, 19, will be a second year in college). I’m taking my son with me – we are going to China and then Singapore.

This faith in my life is just a journey.

But let me share this Scripture about prayer.

You think, “Yeah, you tell us all these fantastic stories, and think Wow! But let me tell you, God puts me in places where He’s all I’ve got – I have to hold on to Him alone. I want to tell you that this Scripture is TRUE.”

I spent 3 years in Seminary – and one of my professors told me, “Anything you lean on outside of Christ is a bruised reed.”

Looking at this Scripture and seeing what he said, I remember sitting in that class, lecture after lecture, and he really touched me. Everything he lectured on, at the end of the lecture, he ALWAYS pointed you to Jesus Christ. I said, “Lord, I want to be like that man. When I teach, I want to point them to the Lord. Help me, in anything I say or do, that it will point them or move them to You.”

If you can bring someone to the knowledge of Christ and they can receive his power, what have you NOT done for them? This is the epitomy of life!

Remember, Jesus is GOD! – He can do anything he wants. He can take a Merchant Sailor from a ship to the US and change his life and change his mind. Is that not the God you want to worship, serve, learn from, KNOW?

But there’s something you must have that every Christian must have: a revelation of who he is.

When you go to God and pray, this Scripture is saying, “Ask, seek, knock.”

I want to leave this with you.

  1. GO TO GOD (empty) – Today –
  2. Empty your mind, your desires, (this takes a lot of thinking) – surrender your ambitions, dreams, everything.
  3. Say, “Lord, I want to come to you. I want to KNOW you.”

You know, many people see this Scripture as a license to ask for “things.” NO. Every Christian must do this – this is the message I must preach, I always preach.

Every Christian must go to God and SEEK him, and ASK him, and KNOCK and say, “Jesus, I want to KNOW YOU.” (The King of Kings, Maker of Heaven and Earth – He said “Let there be LIGHT!”)

You know how I have faith? When I go out into the sun, I say, “WOW! My God SPOKE that sun into existence!! Wooo!~” You cannot stand still!

That’s the God I pray to, the Jesus I worship~!

  1. Ask, seek, knock = “I want to KNOW You.”
  2. Then, when you know him, ask, “NOW, lead me.”
  3. And watch Him lead you.

My story:

  • “God, which college do you want me to go to?” I had no money.
  • “Go to that one.” (Lee University – Cleveland, TN)
  • I drove over there, to O’Cobey Street – and I drove my truck into a spiritual curtain – they gave me full scholarships – every semester. God provides! Ask Him to show you who he is!
  • So, in my church now in the US, I run a prayer ministry.

Let me tell you about the US. The church is very powerful in the world. It is very strong in the Word of God – I’ve studied much good literature from the West. The worship is also very good – good music. Lacking in Prayer.

  1. Word is good.
  2. Worship is good.
  3. Lacking in Prayer.

What I’m trying to do in my local church – I learned from Pastor Daniel Park (Koreans are a very strong praying culture) – we cut off the TV, go to work, go to church, fast on Tuesdays, pray from 7pm-10pm on Fridays.

I’m trying to cultivate the spirituality in my life that we don’t have.

You know, when you are in a comfortable place in your lives, you forget to pray to God. At first, when life is HARD, you pray A LOT. But as God starts to bless you, you forget to pray.

So, I’m trying to cultivate fasting and prayer. I want to do an altar call (come forward and pray for you). I want to leave the core of prayer to be IN YOUR LIFE.

When you are in a difficult situation (being from another culture is very difficult, very scary), just find a place where you can GO and PRAY and ASK God.

  • Don’t ask, “God, get me out of here!”
  • Rather, ask, “God, what are you doing? Speak to me!”

Before I became a Christian, I was living in Asia.

Buddhists pray to idols, Catholics pray to Mary.

A Christian brother once told me, “Merv, YOU can hear the voice of God!” What? God speaks? Wow! I did not KNOW that! I thought it was a one-sided conversation. No! It’s a relationship. He’s not an idol! He’s a person! He loves me, He loves YOU! He wants you to come to Him.

When I’m in prayer, God shows me a little bit of his holiness. I had to turn off the cable. (And God sent me $150 – the cable fee).

When God says, “I don’t want you to be there” listen! When you start to SEEK God, to KNOW God, you stand there, stay focused on Him, and depend on Him to lead you and get you out of there.

There was a time when I was so angry at church. Mad at a brother in church. My professor said, “Merv, take your eyes off the situation, and shift your focus to Jesus.” (Wow, after my 30 minute complaint).

Now, I tell everybody, ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, and FOCUS on Jesus. He knows the plan! Why do you worry?

When God wants to open a door, he can do it in a second. He can do anything for you. You don’t serve a lame duck God. No! He is the Maker of Heaven and Earth! If you say, “Merv, or James” the devil says, “Who cares?” But if you say, “Jesus”, the devil must go.

  • But do you KNOW the Jesus you talk about?
  • Do you KNOW his character? Do you KNOW Him (not just ABOUT Him)?
  • If you say, “Come, let me show you Jesus” that’s what you want.

If you want to come up here and ask this one question to the Lord, “Lord, I want to know you, and I want the annointing and hunger to PRAY to you.” A praying person is a powerful person. A praying Christian is a powerful Christian. I want to cultivate that in my life.

Let’s have the musicians come up and I’ll pray. Let me ask the Lord to give you a personal touch for prayer in your life. Come up to the front.

Let’s pray.

  • May 07 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1) – Romans 4:1-25
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1)

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.


Last Sunday, we made “justification” clear (i.e. how to have a right relationship with God). In the second half of chp 3: It is only by:

  1. The grace of God (the root)
  2. The blood of Christ (the power of the death and resurrection – the foundation, ground)
  3. Faith (condition – not method – for justification)

In chp 4, this is Abraham’s story. Why? What relationship do we have with Abraham in this matter of justification? At least there are more than 6x repeated “Abraham is our father.”

  • v. 1 “…Abraham, our forefather…”
  • v. 11 “…he, Abraham, is the father of all…”
  • v. 12 “…he, Abraham, is also the father of the circumcised…”
  • v. 16 “…he, Abraham, is the father of us all…”
  • v. 17 “…he, Abraham, is our father in the sight of God…”
  • v. 18 “…against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and became the father of many nations…”

Abraham is the “father of the faith.”

What does this mean when we call Abraham “our father”?

If you are Christian, you have 4 fathers:

  1. Physical (biological) father
  2. Father God (our Creator)
  3. Adam (the first man)
  4. Abraham (father of the faith)

The fact that Abraham is our father means at least 2 things (let’s focus on one):

#1: Abram (Abraham) was an example, chosen by God, and shown in history HOW to have a right relationship with God.

Abraham’s story of how he was justified is the SAME as our own experience to be justified. Every single, individual person can be justified by the same God, the same grace, power, and faith.

Abraham = “the father of faith” = he was justified in the same way we are justified today.

#2: Abraham is the promise, the covenant, of how this is being fulfilled today.

In chp 4, HOW was Abraham justified? His story is the same as ours.

  1. Negatively: by what he was NOT justified (today)
  2. Positively: by what he WAS justified (next week – very important to attend)

Four things that DID NOT justify Abraham

#1: Not by his good works / character

v. 1-2 “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.”

Yes, Abraham was not perfect before God. He told many lies about his wife (“she’s my sister”). What would you think? He said that many times before kings (in fear of losing his physical life by pagan labors). “Wherever we go, tell them ‘this is my brother'”.

  • Abraham’s character is NOT perfect (don’t idolize him).
  • Abraham’s justification has NOTHING to do with his justification.

#2: Not by circumcision

v. 9-10 “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!”

Abraham was circumcised at the age of 99. The Jews (at that time) gloried in circumcision because they thought it was the method of justification (they thought it was one way to have a right relationship with God). In fact, they looked down on Gentiles as “dogs” who were not circumcised.

Actually, Abraham was justified 14 years earlier in Genesis 15. So, actually, from a Jewish point of view, Abraham was a Gentile by the time he was justified.

Actually,

  • In Genesis 12 (24 years before circumcision), God called him to bless all nations.
  • In Genesis 15 (14 years before circumcision), he was declared righteous because he believed God.
  • In Genesis 17, he was circumcised.

#3: Not by observing the Law

v. 13-15 “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.”

It is clear that Abraham was not justified by observing the Law. Abraham was the man of Genesis – but the Law was given through Moses (Exodus). This was much later.

At the time of Abraham’s justification, there WAS no Law.

#4: Not by his own power

v. 19-20 “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,”

Abraham has an only son (Isaac). Spiritually, this was the son of the Promise, the covenant, through whom all nations will be blessed. The spiritual truth of this is – HOW Abraham received this promise is a symbol of how he was justified by God.

The method by which Abraham received his Promised Son is symbolic of how he was justified by God.

He received this son at the age of 100. Wow! His wife was 90. Double wow!

This is IMPOSSIBLE!~

What does this mean? This is a symbol of spiritual truth. He was NEVER justified by his own power. He was totally powerless, helpless, when God started to operate his power in their bodies.

How was he NOT justified?

  1. Not by character
  2. Not by circumcision
  3. Not by keeping the Law
  4. Not by his own Power

Also, we are the same. Can you say “my character justifies me”? Not by communion, baptism, circumcision. Not by keeping the Law. Not by our own strength.

So then, HOW WAS Abraham justified? Next week….

Let’s pray.

  • May 01 / 2017
  • Comments Off on How Can I have a Righteous Relationship with God? (Romans 3:20-31)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

How Can I have a Righteous Relationship with God? (Romans 3:20-31)

Download notes in a .MD file

How can I have a Righteous Relationship with God?

Romans 3:21-30 (Pastor Heo)

20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.


I recommend you read and reread today’s passage more than 100 times.

  • In Romans, chp 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against men who suppress the truth by their wickedness…”
  • Chp 3:19 “All mouths will shut before God for no one understands nor seeks God. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

After a LOOOOOONG journey about our sinfulness, wickedness, total depravity, now, today, finally, we see WONDERFUL news about how to be declared “not guilty” by trusting in Jesus Christ as our Savior – to forgive our sins, empower us to live the lives God wants us to live. This solution is available to ALL of us regardless of our background or past behaviors.

v. 21 “But now!”

This is a signal of HOPE. A big turning point.

The theme of Romans is the Righteousness of God. (or from God)

In today’s passage, can you see how many times this keyword is repeated? (x10 in 12 verses)

  • v. 20 “righteous”
  • v. 21 “righteousness”
  • v. 22 “righteousness”
  • v. 24 “justified”
  • v. 25 “justice”
  • v. 26 “justice, just, justified”
  • v. 28 “justified”
  • v. 30 “justified”

As we know, in the sermon of sermons of Jesus (Beatitudes) – Jesus mentions this word also several times (Matthew 5-7)

  • “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled” –
  • “Blessed are those that are persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” –
  • “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven” –
  • “so seek **first** his Kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

There are 2 types of Righteousness of God

  1. Attributed righteousness of God
  2. Declarative righteousness of God

Attributed righteousness = his ABSOLUTE unconditional righteousness = He is the FINAL standard of what is “right” – so whatever he does is “right” – this is applied in his dealing with all Creation. (Ex: punishing the wicked, forgiving the penitent, fulfilling his Promise given to his children, his governing/ruling all Creation)

Declarative Righteousness = as righteous judge, supreme judge, his judgment on a person (“you are not guilty”, “you are innocent”) – this is his declarative righteousness to us

Whether Attributed or Declarative, this righteousness is revealed on the cross.

Today’s definition involves both meanings. Today’s topic gives an answer to this question: How can we be justified? (declared righteous, receive righteousness)

This is the Act of God where God declares a sinner “you are righteous” – this is not from the works IN us, but something declared OF us.

As I mentioned, regardless of who you are, your background, past behaviors, TODAY we can be justified, declared righteous, have a right relationship with God, receive righteousness from God. HOW?

#1 Negatively: We CANNOT be justified by our actions, the works of the Law

  • v. 20 “Therefore, no one (including me) will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the Law.”
  • v. 24 “But now a righteousness from God apart from the Law”
  • v. 27 “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. On that of observing the Law? No.”
  • v. 28 “For we maintain that a man is justified apart from observing the Law.”

This is repeated 4 times.

NO ONE can have a righteous relationship with God by your works, effort, power.

There are 3 Positive Points.

#1 Positive: We CAN be justified only by God’s grace

“Only by grace” do not forget.

If you are a real Christian, we must say all the time, “It is only by the grace of God that I am what I am today.”

  • v. 24 “and are justified freely by His grace”

Justification = ONLY by the grace of God

It originates in the heart of God – realizing not only our lack of righteousness and our powerlessness to attain it, God decided to provide a righteousness FOR us. It was by his own grace and thoughts that he provided this for us. He is under no obligation to give us grace.

Obligation is not grace.

That’s why “grace” is called “grace” – because it is “gracious” – not under obligation.

God has his attributes (who he is) and characteristics (how he relates to his Creation). “God is love” – and when he acts in His love and mercy, it becomes grace.

  • He does not give what we deserve to receive. (mercy)
  • He gives what we do not deserve to receive. (grace)
  1. Mercy = no wrath, no punishment for our sins, no hell
  2. Grace = life, eternal life, righteousness, forgiveness of sins

“It is only by the grace of God that I am who I am, I am what I am.”

#2 Positive: It is by the blood of Christ

Blood means not only “death” but also “resurrection”. Blood is symbolic of not only death, but also life.

  • v. 24 “redemption” – “and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption”
  • v. 25 “God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement” (propitiation = atoning sacrifice)
  1. Redemption
  2. Sacrifice of atonement (propitiation)
  3. Blood
  • Q: “How much did you PAY to receive this salvation / justification?”
  • A: Nothing.

It is FREE, but not CHEAP.

Why FREE? It is TOO EXPENSIVE to receive. We can never pay the full price of justification. It is literally price-less.

These three words:

  1. Redemption
  2. Propitiation
  3. Blood

shows the price that God has paid.

  • Propitiation = appeasing someone who is angry by giving a gift. (We may appease a crying baby with candy – but this is not the same as the biblical term – propitiation satisfies God’s wrath.)
  • Blood = Jesus had to die on the cross in order to satisfy the righteous demand of God and rescue the sinner

Leviticus 16 : this is a symbol / type / shadow of this (The Day of Atonement)

This was one of the biggest national festival days in Israel. There were two goats presented at the altar.

  1. 1. Chosen by lot to be sacrificed as a sin offering. It was killed and its blood was taken into the Most Holy place and sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant and covered the two tablets – this meant that the blood (temporarily) satisfied the righteous demand of God.
  2. 2. The second goat – the priest placed his hands on the goat and confessed the sins of the WHOLE people. Then, the goat was sent out into the desert – symbolically carrying AWAY the sins of the people.

“As far as the east is from the west, so God has removed our sins from us.”

Actually, the blood of animals cannot TAKE AWAY the sins of the people, but it TEMPORARILY covered the sins of the people – until the Day when Jesus Christ came into the world and took away the sin of the world – perfectly, completely, eternally – once for all – and purchased FINISHED salvation. This is a miracle.

  • v. 25 “God presented Him as the propitiation for our sins because in his forbearance (long patience), he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (the OT sins).”

God “passed over” or overlooked the sins of the Old Testament time until Jesus came in the flesh to finish the task. That’s why Jesus said on the cross: “It is finished.”

Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, there is redemption (the purchase of the sinner and setting him free).

We have nothing to do for our justification because we have no power and Jesus has already done ALL things necessary for our salvation and justification. So, we can say, “The blood of Jesus and his death and resurrection is the foundation for our justification.” This means, the blood of Jesus is the foundation for ALL blessings we enjoy in this world and the world to come.

Are you enjoying some blessing? Any kind of blessing = the basis for this foundation of blessing is the blood of Jesus Christ.

#3: Positive: Justification is by faith

We can see this repeated x9

  • v. 22 “this righteousness comes through *faith* in Jesus Christ to all who *believe*”
  • v. 25 “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement through *faith*”
  • v. 26 “those who have *faith*”
  • v. 27 “No, but on that of *faith*”
  • v. 28 “a man is justified by *faith*”
  • v. 30 “since there is only one God who will justify the circumcised by *faith* and the uncircumcised through that same *faith*”
  • v. 31 “do we nullify the word by *faith*? No.”
  1. Romans 5:1 “since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God”
  2. Romans 10:10 “it is with your heart you believe and are justified”
  3. Gal 2:16 “Know that a man is justified only by faith in Jesus Christ, not by observing the Law…”

Remember: Faith is only a condition of justification – it is not a meritorious (merit) ground for justification.

  • Faith is not the PRICE for justification.
  • Faith is the METHOD for justification.

“It is by grace you have been saved, not of yourselves, but a gift of God, so that no one can boast.”

  • Faith is only RECEIVING. This does not mean we understand everything Jesus has done, but it means we BELIEVE Jesus has done everything necessary.
  • Faith also removes the pride of human action.
  • Faith is not something we DO.
  • Faith extols what Jesus has done for us, not what we have done.
  • Faith admits we need God’s help.
  • Faith in Christ is based on our relationship with God, not on our performance nor achievements.

v. 29-30 “Is God the God of Jews only? … of Gentiles too! Since there is only one God” (Deut 6:4) “Hear O Israel, your God is only one God, so love him with all your heart, soul, strength.” (This is Trinity monotheism) – if you believe in two Gods, this means you don’t believe in God.

There is no difference in the matter of condemnation, salvation, justification – because there is only ONE God – a universal, global God, the Creator of all things.

“God is a missionary God.”

If this is true, it means we also have a mission.

Last verse: “we uphold the Law by faith”

I need some time to explain the meaning of this sentence, so I will explain more next time.

May God bless all of us with this wonderful justification. How can we be declared righteous and justified? How can we have a righteous, right relationship with God? How can we receive the righteousness by God?

  1. By God’s grace
  2. By the blood of Christ
  3. Through faith

“Not FOR faith, but by/through faith.”

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 23 / 2017
  • Comments Off on What is the Remedy for the Total Depravity of Man? (Romans 3:9-19)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

What is the Remedy for the Total Depravity of Man? (Romans 3:9-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

What is the Remedy…?

Romans 3:9-19 (Pastor Heo)

No One Is Righteous

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”“The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.


Today’s conclusion: The whole world is guilty – including you and me. Every mouth must be shut up before God.

  • This is Total Depravity (inability).
  • This is Total Depravity on Parade since Romans 1.

v.9 “What shall we conclude? Are we any better, by nature? Not at all! All are under sin.”

  • Mind, heart, will, mouth, feet, hands, eyes, etc = ALL under sin / affected by sin / we are all sinful. We are not as sinful as we COULD be, but we are totally affected by sin.
  • Man’s heart, by nature, is evil and sick, unable, incapable, corrupt. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things. Who can understand it?”

v. 10 “As it is written…” – this is the OT scriptures that underscore the charge that all men are guilty and under the power of sin.

v. 10-18 = Spiritual x-ray

Have you ever had an x-ray? You can see ALL that is inside a person. These verses are a spiritual x-ray from top to bottom – head to feet. The general state = mind and heart under sin.

  • v. 10-11 = mind and heart part
  • v. 12 = willpower part
  • v. 13-14 = mouth part
  • v. 15-16 = feet part
  • v. 17 = no way of peace
  • v. 18 = WHY? no fear of God in their eyes (eye part)

Notice the power of these single negative words: “No one, no, none, all”, v. 10, 11, 12, 17, 18

v. 10 “No one righteous” (healthy, sound, perfect, sinless, blameless)

all are unrighteous, unjust, unfair (Ecc 7:20 “There’s not a righteous man who does what is right and never sins.”)

  • 2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Do you need this?

The main theme of this book = the Righteousness of God

v. 11 The mind: “no one understands”

Spiritual things can be understood only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit – we cannot understand by human minds and ideas (unspiritual minds). 1 Cor 2:14 “The man who is not of the Spirit does not understand the things of the Spirit.”

Whenever we stand before the Word of God, our minds must be illuminated by the guidance of the HS.

v. 11 The heart: “no one who seeks God”

A sinner has no heart, no courage to seek God. That’s why God must seek the sinner first.

  1. In Genesis, after the Fall of Man (chp 3), the first thing Adam did was HIDE and God SOUGHT him out. “I hid in the garden because I was naked and afraid.”
  2. The lost sheep could never seek the shepherd, but the shepherd pursues the lost sheep earnestly.
  3. Prodigal Son: On the way home, before the son saw the Father, the Father recognized his son and ran to him and threw his arms around him.

Can you imagine? Before the Creation of the world, God knew YOU, individually, personally, perfectly.

  • That’s why Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit.”
  • To Jeremiah, “Before you were born, I appointed you, I set you apart…”
  • Romans “Those he knew, he predestined, called, justified, glorified.”

In this, God pursues first, he takes the initiative and has the power to pursue first. We have no power, no heart to seek God first.

v. 12 The will: “no one does good”

Sinners have no will, power, willpower to be good / do good before God.

  • Jesus says, “There is only ONE who is good: God.”
  • Also: “I’m the Good Shepherd, and the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.'”

Remember:

  1. A man is not a sinner because he sins.
  2. A man sins because he is a sinner.

Also:

  1. God is not good because he is doing something good.
  2. God is good because he is the standard of what is good.

From a sinner, nothing good comes. So, how can we be/do good before our Father God?

Prodigal Son: In this story, a son – as long as he is away from his father, no matter what he is doing, he cannot be a good son for his father, nor do good for his father. The starting point for the son to do good for his father is to return to his father.

Like this, the starting point for us to be good to Father God is to return to Him by becoming his child by accepting Christ as our Savior and Lord.

  • John 1:12 “To those who believed in him, to those who called upon his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Are you a man/woman of Christ? Make it CLEAR.

  • Not to be in Christ and try to live a “good” life before God is contradictory and impossible.

v. 13-14 The mouth: – God bless our mouths – our MOUTHS must be saved

  1. “Throat = open graves”
  2. “tongues = deceitful”
  3. “lips = poison of vipers”
  4. “mouths = cursing & bitterness”

Continual emphasis = throat, tongue, lips, mouth – the WHOLE section is infected

A sinner is dead spiritually: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”

  • From death, what comes out? More death.
  • From life, what comes out? More life.
  1. The mouth is the expression of what is INSIDE YOU. What does your mouth say?
  2. The mouth is also the evidence of what you believe.

Jesus says, “You evil vipers – how can you who are evil say something good? The good man brings up good from what is stored up in him. The evil man brings up evil from what is stored up in him. On the day of judgment, everyone must give account of every careless word he has ever spoken. You will be acquitted or condemned based on your words.”

Our mouths can be acquitted by confessing with them “Jesus is Lord.”

  1. Condemned mouths can be converted
  2. Unsaved mouths can be saved
  3. Confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”
  • Romans 9:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your hearts that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved.”

v. 15 The feet: “swift to shed blood, ruin and misery”

Do you have enough feet? 2 is enough.

Just as a sinner’s mouth and words are deceitful, so their ways are destructive. Lost sinners bring death, destruction, misery, ruin, wherever they go. This afternoon, where will you go?

Whatever I touch with my finger, there is my fingerprint. Like this, wherever we go, we leave a mark of our footprints. We may not see with our naked eyes, but there are many finger/foot prints covering everything.

The lost sinners bring death, destruction, ruin, and misery wherever he goes. These tragedies may not happen immediately, but they will happen gradually, step-by-step, finally, inevitably, because the lost sinner is on the broad road that leads to destruction.

  • “Wide is the gate and road that leads to destruction, but narrow is the road and gate that leads to life and only a few find it.”
  • Isaiah “How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news.” (also repeated in Romans)

Our feet (like our mouths) must be converted / saved. Condemned feet can become converted by delivering the good news of salvation of Jesus Christ.

  • “How beautiful are the feet of those who deliver the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.”

v. 17 No peace

This is the original condition of sinners. Do you have peace? Do you know this way?

When we do something illegal, we have no peace in our minds. Like this, when we do something against the will of God, we have no peace.

  • Peace comes from doing the will of God.
  • Jesus is the King/Prince of Peace. Jesus, himself, IS our peace.
  • So, only He can say, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives.”
  • This peace can only be attained through Jesus Christ.

“He himself is my peace.”

Why do sinners not know this way? There is no fear of God in their eyes.

v. 18 The eyes: “no fear of God in their eyes”

This is one of the most clear signs of the Last Days – this is the Last part of the Last Days – “no fear of God in their eyes.” The result of this is: “Fear of all but God.”

“No fear of God is fear of all BUT God.”

Around us, do you have something to fear? Spiders? Cancer? Death? Natural disaster? Boss? Spouse? Why do we fear these things? Because they do not fear God.

  • Ecc conclusion (chp 12) “Fear God and keep his commandments. This is the WHOLE duty and responsibility of Man.”

Do you want FREEDOM from all fears in this world?

  • Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The fear of God is the spring of life – the beginning of wisdom.

v. 19 Conclusion

In total depravity on parade, the whole world is guilty, so EVERY mouth must be stopped (closed) before God. There is no debate/defense.

As long as we defend ourselves, command ourselves, we cannot be saved through Jesus Christ – his death and resurrection.

  1. In a Christ-less state, we are totally sinful, under the power of sin – hopeless, powerless, helpless.
  2. In a Christ-less state, we are indifferent, corrupt, helpless.
  3. In a Christ-less state, our tongues, mouths, language are deceitful, miserable.
  4. In a Christ-less state, our conduct is ruin, destruction, injurious, totally nothing.
  5. In a Christ-less state, our end is destruction, ruin, and eternal death / separation from God in hell.

Please be serious in this matter.

By nature, Man is a GREAT sinner, but our Messiah is a GREAT Savior.

The Remedy:

Only Jesus

Jesus died for your sin / my sin and rose again for our salvation. Do you believe? Jesus died for your / my sin, and man is a GREAT sinner, but our Messiah is a GREAT Savior.

  • Do not overrate the sin of man, and do not underrate the saving power of Christ.

Only Jesus is our answer, our life, our salvation.

  • “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.'”

God bless us. Let’s pray.

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