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  • 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)

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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.

  • Apr 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)
Easter, Sermons

Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus Christ is Risen!

1 Cor 15:1-8 (Pastor Heo)

The Resurrection of Christ

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.


Is Jesus Christ risen to you?

Jesus died for our sins and rose for our salvation and lives now and forever in his risen and same body and will come again in his same body.

Behold, he is coming again soon and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.

What a Savior, Lord, King, God!

  • v.1 = I want to remind you of the gospel.
  • v. 2 = By this gospel we are saved.
  • v. 3-4 = The message of the gospel is that Christ died, he was buried, raised on the third day (according to the Scriptures).

According to the Scriptures = “according to the WHOLE Bible” = this is the key message of the WHOLE Bible – that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation

Summary of the WHOLE Bible

  1. OT: Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
  2. M, M, L, J (gospels): The Literal fulfillment of these prophesies (thus, gospel books)
  3. Acts: Historical fruit of the death and resurrection of Jesus (the church)
    1. From Jesus’ Ascension to his Second Coming is the Mission of the Church
  4. Epistles: The meanings / responsibilities of the blessings of the church
  5. Revelation: The same Jesus will come in the same body and destroy all who are against him and establish his perfect kingdom

Crucifixion and resurrection go together all the time, inseparably.

  1. Without the cross, no resurrection.
  2. Without death, no life.
  3. Without resurrection, his death is a failure.
  • Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and raised for our justification.”
  • “God demonstrated his own love for us in this. That while we were still sinners, he died for us.”
  • Hebrews “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him.”
  • Bible says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, and become like him…”
  • v. 5-8 = Many appearances of Jesus as Lord (the argument for his resurrection from the testimony of many witnesses)

Three things are necessary to make a testimony trustworthy.

  1. Witnesses = able, competent, first-hand
  2. Witnesses = sufficient in number
  3. Witnesses = good reputation

The apostles are all of these, they did not just base their teaching on the witness of others.

  • There are more than 500 confirmed witnesses of Jesus as Lord.
  • The OT requires only 2-3 witnesses to establish a case.

And their character? No scholar has ever attacked them on ethical grounds. They could not have had an ulterior motive for claiming this stupendous effect.

The 12 followed Jesus for more than 3 years and learned from Jesus as his disciples. But when he was killed, they all ran away. But they were totally reversed in their attitudes and characters after they saw him alive again. They became un-silence-able witnesses after this.

In the following order, events of Jesus’ resurrection occurred:

Events after the Resurrection

  1. Early in the morning, 3 women came to the tomb and saw the angels
  2. They separated there – Mary Magdalene went to tell Peter and John, the other two went to tell the others (in Bethlehem)
  3. Peter and John ran to the tomb, but returned to their place without seeing the Lord

After this, 12 appearances of Jesus:

  1. Mary – at the tomb after Peter and John had left
  2. The other women on the street
  3. 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus
  4. Peter – personally
  5. 10 disciples without Judas and Thomas
  6. 11 disciples (including Thomas)
  7. Apostles at the Sea of Tiberius
  8. Apostles on the Mt. of Galilee
  9. More than 500 brothers at the same time
  10. James – his half brother
  11. Disciples on the Mt. of Ascension
  12. Paul – on the way to Damascus
  13. And even still today, Jesus is continuing to appear to believers on and on – because he promised “Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the Age.”

Do you recognize this? How?

Through the gospel preached to you by somebody.

  • v.1, 2 = “I preached to you”
  • v.3 = “preached to me, pass on to you”
  1. Gospel is “news”
  2. News is “news” when it is made known

Gospel is like a river, it must run and run to remain a river. If it stops running, no more river.

Can you check yourself, if this gospel was preached / passed on to you?

If preached to you and passed to you, this gospel will continue to be preached by you and will continue to be passed by you.

“…as of FIRST IMPORTANCE…” (v. 3)

This will continue until He comes again. Nobody can stop it. God bless you to be involved in this wonderful gospel news for all the people – all the time, forever.

Let us pray.

  • Apr 09 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Five Rhetorical Questions (Romans 3:1-9)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Five Rhetorical Questions (Romans 3:1-9)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Five Rhetorical Questions

Romans 3:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Faithfulness

3:1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” 5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

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.*


Last Sunday, we saw in the last part “A man is not a Jew if he is merely one outwardly; a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly.” This means “true Jewishness is not a matter of physical reality, but one’s relationship with God.” This is the same for Christianity.

True Christianity is not a matter of outward membership with any one church, but with inward, daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

God looks at our hearts and our actions (which come out of our hearts).

Chp 3:1-9, Paul continues to use a diatrophy – to illustrate his point. Now, he poses rhetorical questions to reflect on his point.

Here are the five questions and answers. (These are very practical – even today, many people question and challenge these.)

v. 1-2

#1 What advantage in being a Jew / circumcised?

A: Much in every way. They have the very Words of God.

No question, in history, in his goodness, God has blessed the Jews much spiritually and physically (The Promised Land, the Word of God – to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Samuel, etc.)

Also, even the Promised Messiah, Jesus who takes the sin of the world came into this world in the appearance of a Jewish man (not Korean). Also, Jesus’ 12 disciples were all Jewish men.

The OT is the Word of God. Also, humanly speaking, the OT is the history of Israel. This advantage of having the very Word of God = duty / responsibility – to share this Word of God with other peoples and nations to return them to God and be reconciled with God (but they failed).

For us:

What advantage in being a Christian?

Much! We have been entrusted with the very Word of God (last Sunday, we studied the name and title “Christian” – the most beautiful and influential name/title in this world) – this shows what our identity, nature, standing is in this world. We are not followers, but leaders. We are not conformers, but transformers. So, we have so many advantages and privileges so there are 2 things we must remember and practice:

  1. This must not make us proud and arrogant but humble (God did not give his Word to the strong and powerful in the world, but to a small, weak tribal nation – to show his greatness and make all men humble)
    1. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy people, a people belonging to God – so that you may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his glorious light.” (Peter)
    2. Also “God chose the lowly, despised, weak to nullify the things that are strong – so that no one may boast before God.”
  2. We are chosen, saved, to SHARE this salvation with others. (Paul) “When I preach, I cannot boast. I am compelled to preach the gospel.”

Do you have the Word of God? If you have this Word, how do you use this very Word of God in your practical life?

This is a big privilege and challenge and responsibility.

Next questions show a BIG contrast between men’s attributes and God’s attributes.

v. 3

#2 What if some are unfaithful? Will this nullify God’s faithfulness?

A: Not at all!

By nature, all human beings are faithless (unfaithful). Only God is faithful.

  • This unfaithfulness of man cannot nullify the faithfulness of God – rather it ENHANCES the faithfulness of God.
  • The faithlessness of man cannot be justified though it enhances God’s faithfulness.

What is God’s faithfulness? God will always do what he says / promises.

This verse referenced here is from Numbers “let every man be a liar.” also “God is not a man that he would lie. Does God promise and not fulfill?” Also “because of the Lord’s great love, compassions that never fail, we are not consumed.”

  • Great is his faithfulness.
  • Great is God’s faithfulness.

This is our only hope. We can worship, exalt, praise him simply because his faithfulness is great. This is the central theme of the spiritual growth of the church.

We must remember all the time that our first, basic faith was God’s loving faithfulness. “God shows his own love for us in this that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

First contrast:

Man’s unfaithfulness vs. God’s faithfulness

v. 5-6

#3 If our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, is God unjust to judge us?

A: Certainly not! If so, how could God judge the world?

Just like man’s faithlessness, by nature, man is unjust, unfair, unrighteous. Only God is righteous, just, and fair. Also, this of man cannot nullify that of God. Rather it (also) enhances that of God.

So, what is the righteousness of God? This means God always acts in accordance with what is right. At the same time, he himself is the final standard of what is right.

God himself is right, just, and he is the initial and final standard of what is right.

God is not right because he is doing something right, BUT whatever God is doing is right, because he is always right – and is the standard of what is right.

In the Bible, the righteousness of God is revealed in 5 areas:

  1. punishing the wicked
  2. rewarding the faithful
  3. rewarding / vindicating his people against evil
  4. forgiving the penitent for their sins

Our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly. How so?

5 ways:

  1. Our awareness of sin causes us to repent – resulting in salvation
  2. Our repeated failures – results in a new consciousness of sin
  3. Our deepened understanding of sin – results in confirmation of truth that victory and spiritual growth come only from God
  4. God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9) – this is a big blessing to us – it becomes a big part of our testimony to others (we can share this if we experience God’s forgiveness)
  5. In the light of God’s righteousness, our unrighteousness makes us humble and dependent on God’s forgiveness – there is no hope without this

Contrast:

Man’s unrighteousness vs. God’s righteousness

v. 7-8

#4 If my falseness increases God’s truthfulness, why am I still condemned?

Q: Do evil that good may result? Can you say this?

A: Their condemnation is deserved.

By nature, all humans are false, God only is true. This is the big and final contrast between God and man.

Man’s falsehood does not nullify God’s truthfulness. But also this falsehood cannot be justified just because it enhances the truthfulness of God.

What is the truthfulness of God? He is True, and the source of all truth, and the final standard of all truth (his Word, etc all conform to eternity).

We must not say:

God is true because he is doing something true, rather, whatever God is doing is true because God himself is True. He is the initial and final standard of truth.

Jesus also says, “I am the Truth” – so outside Christ, nothing True can be found. Outside Christ, anything truthful, righteous, faithful cannot exist. Only in Christ, truth, righteousness, and faithfulness can be found.

Contrast:

Man’s falsehood vs. God’s truthfulness

v. 9

#5 Conclusion: Are we any better?

A: Not at all. Jews and Gentiles are all under the power of sin.

Are you saved? When we were saved, we were sinners. We were not saved because we were better, but we were saved by his own grace through our faith in Christ.

Thus, even though we are Christians, with many advantages and privileges, we are not “better.” We are all still sinners. What is your attitude toward sin? If you are truly born again, you must be serious in your attitude against sin.

Yes, we are all under sin, but if we are all born again Christians, by his grace and mercy and love, what should our attitude be against sin?

  • Because Satan came into this world to tempt us and challenge us to sin.
  • But Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of Satan (remove sin).

Satan always whispers (“If you feel like this….yes”) –

Satan says, “Yes, we’re all sinners, this is totally normal, don’t worry about this, keep in touch with the culture around you – you will get more experience and lessons from sin – you will experience more grace from God.”

Jesus says, “I came into this world to destroy the works of the devil and remove sin.”

God loves sinners, but hates sin.

God is too holy to be friends with sin. This is the challenge to us in this final conclusion.

Next study in Romans: “There is no one righteous, not even one – for all have fallen short of the glory of God. The final remedy for sin can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

The remedy = to not believe in Jesus and remain faithful, righteous, or truthful = an absolute impossibility, a contradiction.

The works of God for us to do =

  1. to believe in Christ,
  2. to trust in him,
  3. and to obey him (follow him).
  • A Christian is a follower of Christ.
  • Christians are not followers of this world, but followers of Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on If you call yourself Christian, live a Christian life (Romans 2:17-29)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

If you call yourself Christian, live a Christian life (Romans 2:17-29)

Download notes in a .MD file

If you call yourself Christian, live a Christian life

Romans 2:17-29 (Pastor Heo)

The Jews and the Law

2:17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” 25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. 28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.


With this “if” – there are many in this passage – Paul is directly addressing the Jews (this is clear from verse 22, 24, 28, 29).

Do you remember last week’s “part two”? We saw that ALL human beings are sinners – including you and me. We saw a terrible list of sins. At that time, the Jews did not agree that they were involved in this picture – they thought they were “special” and this only applied to the Gentiles. That’s why chapter 2 is needed to point out their error.

That’s also why WE need this chapter 2. If we think “this only applied to the Jews in the 1st century”, then we are also the “Jews” about whom this is written. We need to see ourselves in this passage – as in a mirror. “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that we might have encouragement and hope.”

With this story, we need to reread it with US in the middle – as a reminder of who we are, and must be.

Part 1 = our identity and status

17 Now you, if you call yourself a [Christian]; if you rely on the [Word of God] and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the [Word of God];

At that time, 2000 years ago there were only 2 kinds of human beings: Jews / Gentiles – there was no between. Jews = not Gentiles and vice versa. Gentile literally means “non-Jew.”

Today, there is no division between Jews and Gentiles (Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all free in Christ.”). So, what is the division in the eyes of God today? Again, 2 kinds of humans: Christian / non-Christian

Which are you?

If you are Christian, you are not non-Christian, and vice versa. If you claim to be Christian, why don’t you live up to this name and title?

  • Christ + ian = Christ + “belonging to”
  • Music + ian = Music + “belonging to”

So, Christian = Christ follower, slave, servant, ambassador, etc. So, this person puts Christ FIRST in all areas of his/her life.

  1. The word “Christian” is a public name, a common noun – all believers are given this name publicly and equally. This is a public name and common noun.
  2. Yet, at the same time, this is also a personal name and a proper noun. That’s why it’s always written with a Capital C.

At least we have 2 personal names: Heo Jaebum, Christian or Aaron, Christian

At the same time, this is a title that shows our identity and purpose in this world. Remember that “Christian” is the most beautiful and influential name / title in this world.

If you claim yourself to be Christian, you must live a Christian life. A Christian is someone who puts Christ FIRST in all areas of his life.

Part 2 = a reminder of our position and mission

19 *if* you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—

  • 2 Cor 4:4 “Satan is the god of this age – he has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel and the glory of Christ.”
  • Ps 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”
  • Jesus (to those who don’t believe in him): “You belong to your father, the devil.”
  1. So the blind = those who don’t know Christ,
  2. the foolish = those who try to deny what is undeniable (the existence of God) – because they don’t want to be accountable before God

This means we have a mission (there is only one mission – from generation to generation) – continually, God calls his people, but the mission is only ONE:

  1. Genesis – Abraham: “I will bless you, so that you’ll be a blessing – and all people on earth will be blessed through you”
  2. Exodus 19:5-6 – God rescued Israel from Egypt “If you obey me fully, you will be my treasured possession and a holy nation” – but they disobeyed, so have failed up to now, but one day they will rise up again (Romans: “All Israel will be saved”)
  3. Today – 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a holy and chosen nation, a royal priesthood, so that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his glorious light.”

If you are a Christian, you are called to call others, blessed to bless others, saved to help save others.

Part 3 = reminder of our privilege and responsibility

21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?

Remember: “With great privilege comes great responsibility”

We have privilege to teach the blind, foolish, and infant, so we also have more responsibility to do so.

Yes, Jesus, our teacher, bore all punishment on his body and he is calling us as teachers in this world.

“I’m a teacher in this world.”

  • James 3:1 “Teachers will be judged more strictly.”
  • KJV “Teachers shall receive the greater condemnation.”

In the eyes of man, we may not “steal” or “commit adultery” or “rob temples” or “dishonor God”, but what about in the eyes of God?

What is stealing, adultery, robbing temples, dishonoring God in HIS eyes?

  • Stealing = using anything provided by God against the will of God (we brought nothing into this world, so we also will take nothing out – so we have no ownership, only stewardship (managership))
  • Adultery = look lustfully = adultery in your heart. I cannot see you heart, just your outward appearance. But God can see all – the outer and the inner
  • Robbing God = not giving tithes and offerings – Malachi “Bring the WHOLE tithe into the house of God, or you are robbing me.”
  • Dishonoring God = disobeying the Word of God

Part 4 = reminder of our challenge and warning

24 As it is written: “God’s name is *blasphemed* among the Gentiles because of you.” [Isaiah, Ezekiel quoted]

Those who glory in God’s Law and brag about their relationship with God, but then go out and break that Law, they bring God’s name into disrepute (dishonor) before the Gentiles.

They were chosen to be a blessing to other nations, but they misunderstood this, so they were divided into 2 nations (North/South) – one was conquered by the Assyrians, one conquered by the Babylonians, and both cursed and dishonored God’s name because of the Jews.

Remember, “Christian” is the most beautiful title in the world. Remember the name “God” is never cursed among unbelievers because of other unbelievers. BUT it will be cursed among unbelievers because of Christians.

Look at the Presidents of the world. When the President does something wrong, people curse that President (CEO/professor/etc) only. But when a Christian does something wrong, people condemn not only that Christian, but also GOD.

From God’s perspective, from the eternal perspective, the term “Christian” is more important and influential than even “President” – either positively or negatively.

If you are Christian, please BE Christian all the time.

Part 5 = reminder of symbol and the meaning it represents

(inner attitude/reality)

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised [water baptism]. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 **The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who**, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. 

In Genesis 15, Abraham was declared righteous by his faith at 87 years old – then at the age of 99, he was circumcised. This is clear that his circumcision had NOTHING to do with his salvation. So, then why circumcise? This was a sign, a seal, that Abraham belonged to God, and a reminder that God had given him a promise and he would KEEP it.

In church today, we have only 2 outward sacraments:

  1. Water baptism,
  2. and communion.

Both of these are very meaningful.

  1. Water baptism = an outward symbol of an inward reality (that we have salvation in Christ)
  2. Communion = a reminder of the promise that God made and will keep (Christ died on the cross for my sin, and rose again from the grave for my sin, and future life and glorification)

So, remember these as reminders of an inward reality.

Part 6 = final encouragement and challenge

28 A person is not a [Christian] who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a [Christian] who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Confess one lifestyle, but live a different one, claiming a symbol, but violating its reality and meaning – these are unacceptable by God. God is not deceived by our outward “performance” – he is not moved, touched, by our outward “show.” Rather, he looks at your INWARD attitude.

Please SHOW you inward reality by putting Christ first in all aspects of your life.

If you claim to be Christian, prove it by you life.

“I’m Christian!” – Then BE Christian

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 26 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Let God Alone Judge! (Romans 2:1-16)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Let God Alone Judge! (Romans 2:1-16)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let God alone judge!

Romans 2:1-16 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Righteous Judgment

2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. 12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


Remember last week, a bad story? Idolatry, etc. This is the continuation of that story.

Let me ask a question: difficult/easy:

  • When you stand before a mirror, what is the first thing you see? (Myself) Is that right?

Likewise, whenever we stand before the Word of God, the first thing we MUST see is Myself (in God). We can, of course, see the world, others, the future, and many other things. But the FIRST thing we must see is MYSELF. This is a spiritual mirror:

James 3:23-24 “Anyone who listens to the WOG, but doesn’t do what it says is like a man who looks in the mirror but goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Couples:

2 couples heard the same message in the same place in the same seminar.

  • One became stronger, happier, and more faithful to God.
  • Another became worse, fighting more, and complaining more.

What is the difference?

  • One couple SAW THEMSELVES (“I must love my wife more. I must respect my husband more.”)
  • The other couple SAW THEIR PARTNER. (“THAT person must love/respect ME more!!!”)

This is the difference.

Jesus said this, “Once, two men went to the temple to pray. One man said, ‘Thanks, God, I’m not like THAT MAN!’ The other man said, ‘God, have mercy on me, I’m a sinner!’

  • The first man saw the other man and justified himself, and returned home condemned.
  • The other man saw himself, repented, and walked home justified.

In this passage, we can see the word “YOU” 15 times.

First, Paul is addressing the Jews.

Previously, we saw a terrible, grim, ugly picture of humanity (last Sunday). This world was under condemnation by God. At that time, the Jews totally agreed with that condemnation – but they never dreamed that THEY ALSO were under such condemnation. They always thought that they were privileged before God. They thought God only judged the Gentiles, but protected them. They thought that Abraham sat at the gates of hell and would not allow even evil Israelites to go to hell.

Actually, God loves ALL nations. But they believed at that time that God judged all nations except their own. That’s why we need chapter 2.

Also, last Sunday, if you thought “Oh, this is not MY story, but someone else’s story” then we NEED chapter 2. Who cannot find in himself at least ONE terrible sin (of 24 listed there)?

v. 1-4

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Today’s topic: Let God alone judge!

What shall we do?

If we say, “Let God judge” then we also must be ready/prepared to be judged by God. Are you ready?

Let me tell you WHY we cannot judge others. There are at least 4 reasons.

#1: We have no authority to judge

This is common sense. The Creator judges his creation. Creation does not judge its Creator. The Master judges his servants, not vice versa.

Please remember, we have no right to judge others.

#2: We have no power to judge

In order to judge without shame, I must be PERFECT, sinless, faultless, errorless, stainless, blameless in my character, personality, actions, ideas, thoughts. I must be PERFECT 100% to judge without shame. Who can say “I am perfect 100%”?

#3: We have no knowledge to judge

In order to judge RIGHTLY, correctly, I must have 100% knowledge about his background, ideas, motivation, hidden history, etc. I must know WHY he did it. Nobody can say, “I’m omniscient (all-knowing).”

#4: We have no permission to judge

We are not permitted by God to judge. Yes, Jesus says directly, “Do not judge or you will be judged. In this same way, you will be judged. With the same measure you use, you will be judged. He has a speck of sawdust in his eye. You have a plank in your eye.”

Of course, I can see my neighbor’s eyes, but I cannot see my own eyes. Therefore, we cannot judge others.

God hates judgment because judgment belongs to GOD ALONE. He has the right, privilege, power, and permission to judge all.

  • “Nothing is hidden before the eyes of God, everything is revealed, made bear before him.”
  • Ecclesiastes conclusion: “God will bring ALL THINGS into judgment – including all hidden things, whether good or evil.”

In this passage, God alone judges.

Let me share 3 items regarding this:

God judges according to:

  1. Truth (v. 2)
  2. Our actions – what we have done/been doing (v. 6)
  3. Our secrets (v. 16)

#1: Truth

v. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is **based on truth.**

This means, God has ONLY ONE standard. There is only ONE principle. There are no double standards for differing people. God is the God of ALL. He does not show favoritism – he is a universal God.

God judges according to Truth = “inward reality as a foundation of outward phenomena”

So, before God, the invisible, spirit God, looking at some woman lustfully = committing adultery with her in his heart.

  • Greed = idolatry
  • Hate = murder
  • Everything not of faith = sin

God judges according to the inward reality of a person.

God judges according to Truth = our attitude toward Christ (Jesus IS the Truth – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life – and no one comes to the Father except through me.”) Rejecting Jesus = the original sin, the root of sin, the sin of sins. What is your attitude toward Christ? Why? Because THIS ATTITUDE determines how we will be in eternity.

This is the basic principle “God judges”. Also, God judges according to Truth = the Bible. This is the Standard (B.I.B.L.E = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth…)

“Heaven and earth will disappear, but the WOG will remain forever.”

#2: Our actions / deeds

v. 6 God “will repay each person according to **what they have done.**”

God judges according to deeds DOES NOT mean “we are saved by deeds.” No, we are justified and saved by FAITH alone. But remember, TRUE SAVING FAITH results in obedience and godly living (deeds).

True faith = godly works (deeds)

God says, “Be holy as I am holy.”

God does not judge based on our heritage, but on the lives we live – the total impact of our character and actions – even though there may be occasional faults.

  • David = not perfect = murderer, stole another man’s wife – BUT, the TOTAL impact = “a man after God’s own heart”
  • Judas = did some good things working with Jesus – BUT, the TOTAL impact = sinful
  1. Consider agriculture: if we do not keep the laws of farming, we starve.
  2. Or health: if we do not follow the laws of health, our bodies suffer.
  3. Like this, we must keep the laws of God to not suffer – to prosper.

13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Yes, right now, we have a big blessing to have and possess and hear the Word of God. BUT, this wonderful privilege and blessing makes our responsibility and accountability even GREATER to obey his Word. That’s why God judges according to what we have done.

#3: Our secrets

v. 16 This will take place on the day when God judges **my secrets** through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

What does this mean?

This is a serious issue.

Yes, God is holy, and commands us to be holy like him (like Father, like son). God is not holy sometimes, but is holy ALWAYS. Like this God does not want “sometimes” but wants “all the time.” God does not want sometimes holy things, sometimes worldly things. Actually, God wants us to do spiritual things in this unspiritual world ALL THE TIME. He wants us to be holy in this unholy place ALL THE TIME.

Question: What is heavenly/divine, and what is worldly? How can we distinguish between these two?

  • Pray, study the Bible, etc = spiritual?
  • Working, shopping, computer, KakaoTalk = worldly?

Is this true? Then we are holy/unholy/holy/unholy all day all the time.

How can we be holy all the time? God judges us according to “secrets” = according to our motivation, final purpose, etc.

  • Yes, now, I’m preaching. Do you think I’m doing holy things? Actually, only God knows. If I’m preaching the Word of God without love for you and the glory of God, but rather for MY GLORY, then this is an UNholy thing.
  • Likewise, if YOU work, shop, clean the house, etc, with love and for the glory of God, then YOU are doing HOLY things.

“Do everything with love.”

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD.” – This is a holy thing. We will do this (holy thing) after service today.

God judges according to our secrets = “our methods” or how we handle the truth.

In this passage, “…my gospel” = Paul’s gospel. But honestly, before God, are you able to call this gospel also “my gospel”? Who can call this gospel “my gospel”? God bless us all to be able to call this gospel “my gospel.”

Yes, the gospel is of God, from God, not the message of men but of God. This is the gospel message of God. Also, the gospel is the message of Jesus Christ, especially his death and resurrection. Also, the gospel is the message of the Holy Spirit in that only the HS is able to regenerate a sinner into a child of God.

Gospel = the gospel of

  1. God
  2. Jesus
  3. Holy Spirit

So, WHO can call this gospel “my gospel”?

There are 2 qualifications.

  1. experience
  2. commitment

Do you have experience? Have you experienced the power of the gospel in your life? Creating, transforming, life-giving, life-changing power. Have you experienced this? Has the gospel changed even your hobbies? Hallelujah~

Only those who EXPERIENCE the power of the gospel in their own lives can call this gospel “my gospel.”

Commitment: Are you committed? Have you dedicated your WHOLE life to this gospel message?

“The Gospel is GOOD News (of great joy for all the people at the same time forever and ever)!”

News that is not told, announced, is not news.

If you have this gospel, this news in you, is it being declared?

Only those who share the good news can call the gospel “my gospel.”

God bless us to live like this.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 19 / 2017
  • Comments Off on This World Needs Evangelists (Romans 1:18-32)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

This World Needs Evangelists (Romans 1:18-32)

Download Notes in a .MD file

This world needs Evangelists

Romans 1:18-32 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.


These verses are very sad – but the reality of human beings. These sound like a list of charges in court.

v. 18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the unrighteousness of men…” – this is the doorway that leads us into the courtroom of God. All people, everywhere, deserve condemnation for their sin.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart of a man is deceitful above all things. Who can understand it?”

This is human nature – even today.

The theme of this book = The Righteousness of God

Then, why, here, there is SO MUCH unrighteousness exposed? Because, until a sinner realizes he is a sinner, he cannot appreciate the graciousness that God grants through Christ. To enjoy his salvation fully, the first thing we must do is recognize our full sinfulness. To receive God’s forgiveness and be cleansed by the blood of Christ, we must know and recognize our own uncleanness.

Ex: If a patient goes to a doctor in a hospital, the first thing the patient must do is be honest – and fully reveal his sickness.

  • Doc: “How are you?”
  • P: “I’m fine, thank you and you?”

This doctor cannot help.

This is the same with God. If we say, “I’m fine, thank you, and you?” Then we cannot receive God’s forgiveness. Thus, we must recognize how wicked and sinful we actually are, and acknowledge it before God.

4 Parts:

1. Intelligence (v. 18-20)

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

We say to each other, “excuse me” very frequently – but we cannot say this to God on the Last Day.

Even today, we are constantly challenged by atheists and hecklers to PROVE the existence of God. Actually, the Bible does not try to prove God’s existence. It opens and immediately assumes God’s existence. “In the beginning, GOD created the heavens and the earth…”

So, to look up to the heavens and say, “There is no God” is MORE STUPID than looking up to an airplane and saying, “There is no pilot because I cannot see him.”

Also, to look at this earth and say, “This earth has come into being spontaneously” is STUPIDER than to say, “This building has spontaneously come into existence because I do not see its maker.”

  • Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies declare the work of his hands.”
  • Hebrews 5:4? “Every house is built by somebody – and like this God is the builder of all things.”
  • Bible says continuously, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” If you believe in God, you believe that God is THERE and God is HERE. Neither distance, nor darkness can hide you from his sight.
  • Psalm “Where can I go and flee from your presence? If I go to the heights of the mountains, or the depths of the sea, you are THERE.”

Please remember, we cannot escape from the presence of God.

  • Hebrews 4:13 “Nothing in all Creation is hidden from the sight of God. Everything is laid bare and revealed totally naked and we must give account to God.”

Even unbelievers know there IS a God – because to some people, this is a big burden. For some, it is a big blessing.

Yes, God being with me can be a big power, comfort, blessing, but sometimes it can be a big warning, burden.

2. Ignorance (we know there IS a God, but we do not want to KNOW God)

If we do not worship and know the true God, then we will worship and know a fake God – an idol. This is idolatry. The first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me.”

v. 21-25

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. **25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.**

Amen.

They “know” God but do not want to KNOW God.

If we do not worship the true God, then we WILL worship something else. We are created to worship something or somebody. The MOST IMPORTANT question is: WHOM (or what) do I worship?

If I do not worship the true God, I will worship something made by man. How foolish.

We exchange truth for a lie, immortality for mortality. If we are not slaves of Christ, we are to be slaves of something / somebody else. This is idol worship.

Here is an Idolatry Check: 12 Questions:

Check your attitude:

Idolatry Checklist

  1. Who created you?
  2. Whom do you ultimately trust?
  3. To whom do you look for ultimate truth?
  4. To whom do you look for security and happiness (and eternal life)?
  5. Who is in charge of your future?
  6. Who / what do you think you cannot live without?
  7. What priority in your life is greater than God?
  8. What dream would you sacrifice EVERYTHING to realize (accomplish)?
  9. Does God have first place in your life?
  10. Have you done the basic commitments of attending worship services regularly, every Sunday, to worship God? (this is very basic)
  11. Do you show that you are not a slave of money? (You do not worship money / material as your small God, by giving regular tithe to God)
  12. Are you Christian ALL THE TIME – both in private and in public?

Through these questions (some hard, some easy) we can check whether or not we have an attitude of idolatry before God. God cannot be deceived nor mocked. He is omnipotent (all-knowing).

3. Self-indulgence (from idolatry to self-idolatry – immorality – this is a small step)

v. 26-28

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

From idolatry to immorality is a small step. If a man becomes God in his own life – his own small god – then he can do whatever he wants. The result of self-deification is self-indulgence. (Homosexuality is one of the climactic results of fighting against God’s principles. This sin is called: shameful, unnatural (against nature, the Law of God), indecent, vile.)

Do you have a sense of shame? This was a rampant sin in that day in Rome – and this day is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. Even in Korea, this is a hot issue. But be aware that the Bible, from first to last, condemns this sin. And history proves that this kind of sin will only be a matter of time until destruction within society.

4. Final stage = unrepentance

v. 29-32

29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree (in conscience) that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

  • The bad thing = to sin.
  • The worse thing = to sin and not repent. – Rather to invent another way of doing evil.
  • The VERY worst thing = to sin, not repent, and then convince others to follow in with the same sin, and applaud this great sin in others.

How far men fall.

That’s why the wrath of God is being revealed against the godlessness and wickedness of mankind.

So, what is the wrath of God?

This is totally different from the anger of men.

Do you believe, “God is love”?

We say, “God is good all the time, all the time God is good.”

Yes, God loves us. But, if we reject this love of God, then this rejected love becomes the wrath of God.

  • Blessing is God’s natural job.
  • Punishment is God’s unnatural job.

Ex: Parents love their children and love to bless them. But, if the children disobey and reject their parents’ love, this love sometimes becomes YELLING LOVE (punishing, disciplining, striking love). God’s love is like this.

What is the final wrath of God? Giving up.

Ex: Imagine your child, whom you love, continually goes against what is right. NOT PUNISHING is the greatest punishment. Parents must discipline their children. Giving up is the greatest punishment. (Ask any grown-up child who’s experienced this.)

  • v. 24 “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts…”
  • v. 26 “God gave them over to shameful lusts…”
  • v. 28 “God gave them over to a depraved mind…”

This is the biggest punishment, the biggest wrath of God, this is the curse of God.

Ex: Imagine a pig traveling in a nice car, loads of food, very healthy and fat, he has no problems… but what is his final destination? The slaughter house. Who can say that pig is “blessed”?

This is a very serious problem.

“Not believing in Jesus through his whole life until physical death – but enjoying a luxurious, idolatrous life – is like that pig – but worse. For the pig’s suffering ends when his life ends. But man’s suffering will endure forever.”

This is the meaning of James 5:5 “You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.”

That’s why this world has a desperate need for evangelists (to carry the Word of God to all men) – because this is the ONE way we can be saved.

  • Romans 1:17 “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed”

God makes his free salvation available and possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • 2 Cor 5 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that through him, we might become the righteousness of God.”
  • “If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to purify our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

This world needs evangelists.

There are many reasons, but according to today’s picture, let me just say 5 reasons:

  1. People know there is a God, but they suppress the truth and deny it. Evangelists can point out their error, mistake, sins.
  2. People may believe there IS a God, but they refuse to commit themselves to him. Evangelists can help persuade them.
  3. Evangelists can convince those who reject Jesus Christ, of the dangerous/terrible result of their choice.
  4. All people “know” there is God – through the Creation – all of it reveals there IS God. But this is not enough, they need to be told of Jesus Christ and how through him, they can have a personal relationship with Christ. These people are “evangelists.”
  5. Evangelists can help the church fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all nations, and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

That’s why this world needs Evangelists. CEOs can’t do this, Presidents can’t do this, only Evangelists can do this.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 17 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Malachi: Warning to the Backsliders (1:1-14, 2:17, 3:1, 4:5-6)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Malachi: Warning to the Backsliders (1:1-14, 2:17, 3:1, 4:5-6)

07.17.2016

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  • Jul 10 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Zechariah: Give Yourself to Christ as a Living Sacrifice (1:1-21, 8:3, 9:9)
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Zechariah: Give Yourself to Christ as a Living Sacrifice (1:1-21, 8:3, 9:9)

07.10.2016

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  • Jul 03 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Haggai: Give Careful Thought to Your Ways (1:1-15, 2:7-9)
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Haggai: Give Careful Thought to Your Ways (1:1-15, 2:7-9)

07.03.2016

07.03.2016-PHeo

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