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  • May 23 / 2021
  • Comments Off on The Heart of Worship: 6 Right Attitudes to Worship God Properly
Pastor Kang

The Heart of Worship: 6 Right Attitudes to Worship God Properly

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The Heart of Worship: 6 Right Attitudes to Worship God Properly

22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: `You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

24 “`Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.`

Exodus 20:22-26

The Heart of Worship

Today’s message is titled “The Heart of Worship: 6 right attitudes to worship God properly.”

It is taken out of Exodus chapter 20.

Do you think that the attitudes of worshipers today are better than those in the past? Of course, some people personally experience God’s amazing grace through worship. However, the church community seems to have weakened in its love of worship compared to the past.

This idea is based on what elder Christians said in my childhood. They always instructed children and young Christians in this way:

  • ‘Don’t run or play on the pulpit’
  • ‘Don’t place other objects on top of the Bible’
  • ‘Always prepare your offering in advance with new paper money.’

This may sound a bit old-fashioned to someone living in modern times. But I think the attitudes of elder Christians in the past toward worship was excellent.

Elder Christians taught us, the next generation, about the importance of worship and living a holy life. As a result, we have been able to take over their faith and carry on in worship to God.

In the same way, God orders us today to teach the next generation about the importance of worship and living a holy life. But without the right attitude toward worship, we can not serve God, our master.

If you remember from my last preaching on Exodus, God caused the Israelites to reach the Desert of Sinai through the miracle of the Red Sea. Their arrival in the desert was three months after they left the land of Egypt. Yet even then, the Israelites were forgetting their gratitude for God’s salvation.

God delivered the Law, including the Ten Commandments through Moses, making the Israelites his people. And after this, God informed the Israelites through Moses about the law of the altar, which represented worship. The words God said tells us what the worshiper’s right attitude is.

First, Fear God

Proverbs 9:10 says: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” And it is from here that we must begin.

A worshiper’s first right attitude must be “a heart that fears God, or is in awe of God”.

In Exodus 19:12, God said `Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death’.

When Moses ascended Mount Sinai and God gave him the Ten Commandment, various supernatural phenomena like thunder, lightning, trumpet sounds and smoke occurred. These unusual signs in the mountain made the Israelites fear and serve God.

This tells us that people must worship God, but must not treat God with discourteousness. To properly hear and receive the Word of God, we must have this heart of worship. We must approach God, our master, the creator and the judge, with fear and admiration.

Second, Don’t make idols

Exodus 20:22-23

22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: `You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

A worshiper’s second right attitude is to “not make idols”. 

In fact, verses 22 and 23 are considered to be the subject heading for various commandments and laws that were gathered in this book until Exodus 23:19. For this reason, the commandment “Do not make idols” is so important that it is located in the second place in the Ten Commandments.

What is the connection between crafting idols and the attitude of a worshiper? In fact, we may consider idols to be physical creations, like the golden calf the Israelites made before Moses came down from the mountain. However, Ezekiel 14:3 makes note of “idols of the heart” in which something in life has become more important in someone’s heart than God has. Whenever something apart from God takes God’s place in our hearts, this is an idol of the heart.

Think about when we’re late for worship or even not going to church. Yes, we may be busy, but in reality, we all prioritize the things we most value.

The sweet sleep of the holiday, the TV program or sports game that you enjoy, the family trip that you have wanted, the promise with your best friend, and on and on. If these things overlap with our worship time too often, they may become idols that prevent us from worshiping God truthfully.

Third, worship with sincerity

Exodus 20:24

24 “`Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.

A worshiper’s third right attitude is to “worship with sincerity”.

The first form of worship in the Old Testament was to give sacrifices to God, and even if there was only one altar under the sky, people could still sacrifice to God. However, this method was changed to a way of offering sacrifices only in one central sanctuary, housed in the temple of God after Deuteronomy 12. The reason for this is that the worship of Israel had become degenerated by the influence of foreign religious customs that were popular in the land of Canaan. Typically, in the Old Testament, due to the fact that the altar of God was placed in the temple, in order for anyone to worship God, they had to travel to the temple.

However, in John 4 verses 20-24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman by the well that “an hour is coming” when they will not worship God on the mountain or in Jerusalem, but will instead worship God “in spirit and in truth.” And in John 2:19, Jesus says, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days,” referring to his body.

In fact, while the Old Testament worshipers worshiped God through the altar in the temple, the truth is that we New Testament Christians still do so. But Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has become the new temple for us through whom we are to worship. 

In other words, wherever people believe in Jesus and can pray to God with praise and gratitude and call on his name, God has allowed them to worship him through his Son, Jesus Christ, everywhere and anywhere.

As we can see from the first form of worship where we could worship anywhere with only one altar, to the offering of sacrifices only in the particular central sanctuary in God’s temple, to our current method of offering our bodies as living sacrifices through Jesus Christ, our Savior, we can clearly see that all of these contain a message that we must worship in earnest before God.

Fourth, remember that the master of worship is God

Exodus 20:25

25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

A worshiper’s fourth right attitude is to remember that “The master of worship is God”.

An altar to sacrifice to God was typically made of soil, but in some cases it was made using uncut stones. When the stones were trimmed with a tool, the altar became purely a man-made structure, no longer natural or made from completely natural materials, and became defiled.

For this reason, when Solomon built the temple, he refined it right from the place where the stone was excavated, so that the stone remained as close to its natural form as possible and so that the sound of the stone excavation was not heard in the place where the temple was built.

According to human understanding, when building altars or temples, we want to refine stones beautifully. But the Bible continually insists that what appears good to man, beautiful altars and perfect appearing worship in the eyes of man, are actually negatives in God’s eyes. God wants worship where people rely entirely on his sovereignty and serve Him as their master.

Fifth, Prepare worship chastely

Exodus 20:26

26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.`

A worshiper’s fifth right attitude is to “prepare worship chastely”.

Garments at that time were robes, worn almost like skirts or dresses. Our reading of this verse presupposes that people of that era did not wear clothing such as underwear or pants.

In fact, Canaan’s religious rituals were combined with sexual indulgence. But in Israel, there was to be no sexual object near God. This is because the worshiper must be consecrated, or made clean, before he goes before God.

For this reason, Moses taught the people some basic rules of chastity before God came to him on Mount Sinai. These were things such as: ‘Wash your clothes.” “Prepare yourselves on the third day that God will come to us.” and “Abstain from sexual relations” before God.

Our good God gave us free will and pleasure to enjoy all his Creation. But we must be able to limit our pleasure in the presence of worship that is offered to God. In a way, it is how we can stand in awe of our master, God, and fear and respect and worship him properly.

Sixth and finally, remember that Worship is really wholesome for us

So far we have looked at the right attitudes of a worshiper. “Fear God.” “Don’t make idols” “Worship with sincerity” “The master of worship is God” and “Prepare worship chastely” Now, let us consider the last key point: that Worship is really wholesome for us.

Why should we adhere to so many of these demands in order to worship God?

The answer is shown in

Exodus 19:4-6

4 `You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles` wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.` These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

In Egypt, God responded to the sounds of the Israelites’ suffering. God himself destroyed the Egypt forces and gave them the grace of making the Israelites his chosen people. And the only thing God asked for in return was for the Israelites to obey His Word.

Therefore, God gave them the “Ten Commandments” and engraved his words on the stone tablets. And God informed his people about the law of the altar in order that they might express their obedience to and love for Him in that manner.

In fact, Compared to the wonderful work of salvation God has done, Israel’s worship of God was only a small, simple, and easy act of sacrificing properly on altars built of soil or stone.

Now let’s consider our own worship.

  • Are you coming to worship with a fear and admiration of God?
  • Are you making idols in the world or in your hearts that you treasure more than meeting God?
  • Are you truly worshipping every moment?
  • Are you offering worship to serve God as your master?
  • Are you preparing for worship in advance? Eagerly?
  • Are you preparing for worship chastely?

If you cannot answer one or more of these questions confidently, remember the amazing grace of God that has been given to you so far. Remember the love of God who sent Jesus Christ, his Son, down to this land to die on the cross for your sins.

God doesn’t want much from us. He just wants our heart. He wants us to remember our master, God, and worship him properly. God wishes for us to honor him with praise and appreciation for all his good grace through our worship.

Worship is wholesome for us. It is really wholesome for us. Because it is through proper worship of God our Creator and Jesus Christ our Lord that we can become truly whole and filled with love for him and those around us.

And in our great love for God, I hope we will run happily to the place of worship where God is the master.

Let’s pray together.


예배자의 바른 태도

22 여호와께서 모세에게 이르시되 너는 이스라엘 자손에게 이같이 이르라 내가 하늘로부터 너희에게 말하는 것을 너희 스스로 보았으니 23 너희는 나를 비겨서 은으로나 금으로나 너희를 위하여 신상을 만들지 말고

24 내게 토단을 쌓고 그 위에 네 양과 소로 네 번제와 화목제를 드리라 내가 내 이름을 기념하게 하는 모든 곳에서 네게 임하여 복을 주리라 25 네가 내게 돌로 제단을 쌓거든 다듬은 돌로 쌓지 말라 네가 정으로 그것을 쪼면 부정하게 함이니라 26 너는 층계로 내 제단에 오르지 말라 네 하체가 그 위에서 드러날까 함이니라

출애굽기 20:22-26

0. 예화: 예배 태도

 오늘은 “예배자의 바른 태도”라는 제목으로 출애굽기 20장 하반절의 말씀을 나누겠습니다.

오늘 말씀을 나누기 앞 서, 저는 예배를 사모하는 마음이 과거에 비해 나아졌는지에 대해 생각해 보았습니다. 

각 개인적으로는 현재 예배를 사모하고 예배를 통해 놀라운 은혜를 경험하고 계신 분이 있을 것입니다. 하지만 교회 공동체적으로는 과거에 비해 예배를 사모하는 마음이 예전만 못하지 않은가 하는 생각이 들었습니다.

이러한 생각은 제 어린 시절, 옛 교회 어른들이 하셨던 말씀들에 근거를 두고 있습니다.

교회의 어른들은 저를 비롯한 어린이와 청년들에게 늘 이와 같은 말씀을 하셨습니다.

  • ‘설교단 위에서 뛰어다니고 장난쳐서는 안 된다’
  • ‘성경책 위에 다른 물건을 올려두어서는 안 된다’
  • ‘헌금은 꼭 새 지폐로 미리 준비해서 드려야 한다’

현대를 살아가는 누군가에게는 다소 고지식한 말로 들릴 수도 있겠지만, 저는 이 말씀을 하셨던 옛 어른들의 예배를 향한 마음이 얼마나 소중하게 느껴지는지 모릅니다.

옛 신앙의 선배들은 다음 세대였던 우리에게, 예배의 중요성과 바른 신앙생활에 대해 강조하며 교육 하였습니다. 그 결과 우리가 그 신앙을 이어받아 하나님을 섬기는 귀한 예배에 자리에 있는 것입니다.

오늘 하나님은 마찬가지로 우리에게 다음 세대에게 예배의 중요성과 바른 신앙생활에 대해 가르칠 것을 명령하십니다.

예배를 향한 바른 태도 없이는 우리 주인이신 하나님을 제대로 섬길 수 없기 때문입니다.

하나님이 행하신 홍해의 기적을 통해 이스라엘이 시내 광야에 도착했습니다.

이때는 그들이 애굽 땅을 떠난 지 삼 개월이 지난 때로, 하나님의 구원에 대한 감격이 점점 사라져가는 시기였습니다.

하나님은 이스라엘을 그의 백성으로 삼으시기 위해, 모세를 통해 하나님의 명령이 담긴 십계명을 전달하셨습니다.

이후 하나님은 모세를 통해 제단에 관한 법을 이야기 하시는데, 이 말씀이 오늘을 살아가는 우리에게 예배자의 바른 태도는 무엇인지에 대해 알려주는 것입니다.

1. 하나님을 경외하라

예배자의 바른 태도 첫 번째는 “하나님을 경외하는 마음”입니다.

출애굽기 19장 12절에서 하나님은 ‘시내산을 침범하는 사람은 반드시 죽을 것이다!’라고 말씀 하셨습니다. 

또한 하나님이 십계명을 모세에게 주실 때, 시내산에서 발생한 우레와 번개, 나발 소리와 산의 연기와 같은 초자연적인 현상들은, 이스라엘 백성들이 하나님을 두려워하며 섬기도록 만들었습니다.

이는 하나님은 우리가 섬겨야할 대상이시지만, 사람이 함부로 대할 수 없는 경외의 대상이라는 것을 알려주십니다. 하나님의 말씀을 듣기 위해 예배의 자리에 나오는 우리의 마음이 이와 같아야 한다는 것입니다. 온 세상의 주인이시며 창조자이자 심판자인 하나님 앞에서, 두려움과 공경의 마음을 가지고 나아가야 한다는 것입니다.

2-1. 우상을 만들지 말라

출애굽기 20장 22절과 23절입니다.

“여호와께서 모세에게 이르시되 너는 이스라엘 자손에게 이같이 이르라 내가 하늘로부터 너희에게 말하는 것을 너희 스스로 보았으니

너희는 나를 비겨서 은으로나 금으로나 너희를 위하여 신상을 만들지 말고“

예배자의 바른 태도 두 번째는 “우상을 만들지 말라”는 것입니다.

방금 읽은 22-23절은 출애굽기 23장 19절까지 모아둔 여러 가지 계명과 법규의 머리말로 여겨집니다. 머리말의 규정인 만큼 이 “우상을 만들지 말라”는 계명은 십계명에서도 두 번째 자리에 위치할 정도로 그 중요성이 대단히 큰 것입니다.

우상을 만드는 것과 예배자의 태도와 어떤 관련이 있을까요?

우리가 예배 시간에 늦거나 예배를 드리지 못할 때를 생각해 보십시오.

이러한 상황은 하나님을 예배하고 싶은 마음이 아닌, 다른 것에 마음을 더 빼앗길 때 일어납니다.

휴일의 달콤한 늦잠이, 즐겨보는 TV 프로그램이, 오랜만에 가지는 가족여행이, 친한 친구와의 약속이 예배 시간과 겹치게 된다면 그것들이 우리에게는 하나님을 진실되게 예배하지 못하게 방해하는 우상이 되는 것입니다.

2-2. 진정성 있게 예배하라

출애굽기 20장 24절입니다.

“내게 토단을 쌓고 그 위에 네 양과 소로 네 번제와 화목제를 드리라 내가 내 이름을 기념하게 하는 모든 곳에서 네게 임하여 복을 주리라”

예배자의 바른 태도 세 번째는 “진정성 있게 예배하라”는 것입니다.

최초의 예배 형태는 제물을 바치는 것으로, 하늘 아래 제단 하나만 있으면 하나님께 제사를 드릴 수 있었습니다. 

곧 찬송과 찬양과 감사로 하나님께 기도드리며 하나님의 이름을 부를 수 있는 곳이면 하나님께서 어디서나 제단을 세워 하나님을 예배할 수 있게 해주셨습니다.

이러한 방식은 신명기 12장 이후에 하나의 중앙 성소에서만 제사 드리는 방식으로 변경되었는데, 그 이유가 가나안 땅에서 성행했던 다산 종교의식과 같은 풍습들의 영향으로 이스라엘의 예배가 변질되었기 때문이라는 주장이 있습니다.

하늘 아래 제단 하나만 있으면 어디서든 예배할 수 있었던 최초의 예배 형태에서부터, 특정된 하나의 중앙 성소에서만 제사를 드릴 수 있게 된 것 까지, 이 모두가 하나님 앞에 진정성 있게 예배하라는 메시지를 담고 있습니다.

2-3. 예배의 주인은 하나님

출애굽기 20장 25절입니다.

“네가 내게 돌로 제단을 쌓거든 다듬은 돌로 쌓지 말라 네가 정으로 그것을 쪼면 부정하게 함이니라”

예배자의 바른 태도 네 번째는 “예배의 주인은 하나님”임을 기억하는 것입니다.

하나님께 제사를 드릴 제단은 토단으로도 충분하지만 경우에 따라서는 다듬지 않은 돌을 쓸 수 있는데, 이때 연장을 사용하여 돌을 다듬게 되면 그 제단은 사람이 만든 것이 되어 부정하게 됩니다.

이 때문에 솔로몬도 성전을 건축할 때에, 돌을 발굴한 장소에서 다듬어서 성전 속에서는 돌을 다듬는 소리가 들리지 않게 한 것입니다.

사람의 생각으로는, 제단이나 성전을 쌓을 때 돌을 다듬어 아름답게 만들고 싶은 것입니다.

하지만 성경은 사람이 보기에 좋은 제단과 예배가, 하나님 보시기에는 부정하다고 이야기 하는 것입니다.

하나님은 사람의 눈에 좋아 보이는 예배가 아닌, 온전히 하나님의 주권에 의지하여 하나님이 주인 되시는 예배가 되길 원하시는 것입니다.

2-4. 정결함으로 예배 준비

출애굽기 20장 26절입니다.

“너는 층계로 내 제단에 오르지 말라 네 하체가 그 위에서 드러날까 함이니라”

예배자의 바른 태도 다섯 번째는 “정결함으로 예배를 준비”하는 것입니다.

이때의 의복은 치마와 같은 형태로, 속옷이나 바지와 같은 의복을 입지 않았다는 것을 전제로 합니다.

가나안의 다산 종교의식은 성적인 방종과 결합되어 있었지만, 이스라엘의 경우 하나님 가까이에서는 성적인 것을 조금도 찾아볼 수가 없었습니다.

즉, 예배자는 하나님 앞에 나아가기 전에 성결해야 한다는 것입니다.

모세는 이러한 이유로 여호와 하나님이 시내산에 강림하시기 전, 백성들에게 몇 가지 정결 사항을 말해주었습니다.

옷을 빨아 의복을 깨끗하게 할 것, 여호와 하나님이 오실 셋째 날을 준비하며 기다릴 것, 여인을 가까이 하지 말 것.

좋으신 하나님은 우리에게 자유의지와 누릴 수 있는 즐거움을 선물로 주셨습니다.

그러나 우리는 하나님께 나아가는 예배 앞에서 우리의 즐거움을 제한 할 수 있어야 합니다.

그것이 우리의 주인이신 하나님을 경외하는 방법이기 때문입니다.

3. 예배는 우리의 유익이다

지금까지 우리는 하나님 앞에 나아가기 위한 예배자의 바른 태도로서

하나님을 경외할 것, 우상을 만들지 않을 것, 진정성 있는 예배를 드릴 것, 하나님이 주인이신 예배를 드릴 것, 예배를 위해 정결함으로 준비하는 것들이 필요함을 알게 되었습니다. 

우리가 이렇게 많은 요구사항을 지키며 하나님께 예배를 드려야 하는 이유는 무엇일까요?

이에 관한 답이 출애굽기 19장 4절에서 6절에 나타나있습니다.

“내가 애굽 사람에게 어떻게 행하였음과 내가 어떻게 독수리 날개로 너희를 업어 내게로 인도하였음을 너희가 보았느니라 세계가 다 내게 속하였나니 너희가 내 말을 잘 듣고 내 언약을 지키면 너희는 모든 민족 중에서 내 소유가 되겠고 너희가 내게 대하여 제사장 나라가 되며 거룩한 백성이 되리라 너는 이 말을 이스라엘 자손에게 전할지니라”

여호와 하나님은 이스라엘의 고통의 소리에 응답하셨습니다. 하나님은 친히 애굽 군대를 멸하셨으며 이스라엘을 하나님의 백성으로 삼아주시는 은혜를 베푸셨습니다.

이렇게 놀라운 일을 행하신 하나님이 이스라엘에게 바라신 것은 단 하나, 말씀에 대한 ‘순종’이었습니다.

그래서 하나님은 그의 말씀을 돌 판에 새긴 “십계명”을 주셨고, 하나님께 순종을 표현하는 제단에 관한 법에 대해 그의 백성들에게 알려주신 것입니다.

하나님이 행하신 놀라운 구원의 사역에 비하면, 이스라엘이 하나님께 드리는 예배는 토단을 쌓거나, 돌로 제단을 쌓는 아주 단순하고 쉬운 행위에 불과했습니다.

이제 우리의 예배를 돌아봅시다.

  • 하나님을 두려워하며 공경하는 마음으로 예배 자리에 나오고 계십니까?
  • 하나님을 만나는 것 보다 더 관심이 가는 세상의 우상들을 만들고 있지는 않으십니까?
  • 매순간 신령과 진정으로 예배를 드리고 있으십니까?
  • 내가 주인이 아닌 하나님이 주인이신 예배를 드리고 있습니까?
  • 예배 전 날부터 예배를 사모함으로 기다리며, 정결함으로 하나님을 만날 준비를 하고 계십니까?

만약 그렇지 않다면 지금까지 나에게 베푸신 하나님의 놀라운 은혜들을 기억하십시오.

예수님으로 이 땅에 내려오셔서, 죄인 중의 괴수 같은 나를 위해, 십자가에서 죽음을 감당하신 하나님의 사랑을 기억하십시오.

하나님은 우리에게 많은 것을 바라지 않으십니다.

우리의 주인이신 하나님을 기억하며, 그가 허락하신 귀한 예배의 자리를 통해, 하나님의 은혜에 감사와 찬양으로 영광돌리기를 바라시는 것입니다.

예배는 우리의 유익입니다. 예배는 참으로 우리에게 유익입니다.

우리가 사랑에 빚진 자로서, 하나님이 주인이신 예배의 자리로 기쁘게 달려 나가는, 저와 여러분 되길 주님의 이름으로 소망합니다.

우리 함께 이 시간 기도하겠습니다.

  • Dec 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Five “Let us”s

Hebrews 10:19-25 (Pastor Heo)

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Here we come to the shift in the book:

  • Creed -> Conduct
  • Doctrine -> Duty
  • Precept -> Practice
  • Getting Blessing -> Giving Blessing

If we are Christians, we must be sincere in our agenda: HOW to live as Christians.

v. 19 “Therefore…”

Therefore, because of what we saw last Sunday (and in the previous reading in Hebrews), “once for all…”

This is a continuation: “once for all… therefore…”

Brief review “once of all”:

  • the sacrifice was made ONCE
  • effective for ALL people, for ALL time, for ALL places
  • Animal sacrifices had previously been repeatedly offered, with no REAL effect
  • Jesus’ ONCE sacrifice is “more than enough” forevermore for all time and places and people
  • Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross shows God’s perfect righteousness and justice, and Jesus’ perfect obedience and humility
  • When we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, all our sin is forgiven and forgotten and the matter is settled forever and ever

“Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ… what shall we say then: If God is for us [in this matter], who shall be against us?”

If God is for me, who can be against me? This is very simple and easy in English, but it has such GREAT power. “He who did not spare his own Son, … how will he not also graciously give us all things? … It is God who justifies.”

The Bible proclaims and shouts (Romans 8) “Who / what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine? Nothing / nobody can separate us from the love of Christ.”

v. 19-21

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, “

Here we can see at least 3 things about Christ:

1. He’s the New and Living Way to the presence of God

“I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This way is “new” because it had never existed before.

Also this way is a living way – not dead – because Jesus is alive all the time. Still he is alive.

In human history, since the Creation of the world, many philosophers and teachers and prophets have tried to find a way to heaven – but nobody has ever said, nor has the right to say, “I AM the way.”

The presence and the closeness to God is available to us simply because of Christ. All life shows God, but the love of God was truly revealed on the cross – when Jesus’ body was torn on the cross and his life sacrificed, God tore the curtain in the temple. This symbolized the new and living way – open and available for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

2. He is High Priest

This is the topic of this book – he is the same yesterday, today, and forever in being our High Priest.

We know the function of a priest is to build a bridge between God and man. This means, Jesus not only shows the way to heaven, but also introduces us to his very presence.

Christmas is coming – Jesus became man to become qualified to act as High Priest for us – to share our hardships, our experience, apart from sin, so that he might be qualified as our High Priest. Think about his earthly life, 2000 years ago. He felt hunger, want of sympathy from others, he had all temptations, many sleepless nights, was tired, exhausted, misunderstood, forsaken, persecuted, delivered to death on the cross. All this way preparation for his present priestly ministry in heaven, interceding for us.

Jesus is the only one person who can cleanse us.

In the OT, the human high priests washed their hands and feet and sprinkled the blood of animals to remove sins – but these things were not enough, only external. But Jesus, through his sacrifice, cleanses our innermost thoughts and desires until we are REALLY clean. God never gives up on us in this matter.

So, this is the great turning point of Hebrews. From GETTING blessing to GIVING blessing.

“Let us!” x5

Hebrews is a book of exhortation, encouragement, that encourages us to persevere.

  • If you are blessed…
  • you need to bless others!

We are the channel / the pipe of God’s heavenly blessing in this world.

If you are blessed, BLESS others!

v. 22

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

1. “Let us draw near to God”

(Let us never forget the duty of worship)

God is spirit, so we can draw near to God at any time, in any place – driving, in bed, at school, at work, while brushing your teeth, he’s always available through prayer, praise, crying, whispering, meditation on his word, thanksgiving, worship.

“through worship”

It is given to everybody to live in 2 worlds: whether you recognize it or not – this world of time & space + the world of eternity.

Our danger = to become SO involved in this material world, we forget the other world – the eternal world.

As the day begins, in the middle of our activities, at the end of the day, we must turn aside – if only for a moment – and draw near to the presence of God.

v. 22

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

What about our attitude? Here are 3:

  1. with a sincere heart – God looks at our heart because he is spirit (not hard heartedly, not with pretenses – sincere worship)
  2. in full assurance of faith (not half faith, but FULL assurance of faith – “assuraance” = doubtlessness – he WILL hear us because of the work of Christ)
  3. with clear conscience (cleansed from guilty consciences) – with BOLDNESS – why? how? Based on the work of Christ on the cross – not based on what we have done for God.

“Let us draw near to God.”

3. He is Faithful

v. 23

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Let us never lose our grip on what we believe and hope.

Our visible situation may try to take our faith and hope away – our situation may take our hope, our money, our reputation, – it may try to make us forget God. The happenings of life may conspire to shape our faith and hope – so we MUST keep a STRONG grip on our faith and hope that NEVER fails (Jesus).

“Faith, hope, love”

These go together as one – just like each side in an equilateral triangle.

  • Faith = “our trust in Jesus Christ based on what he has done for us”
  • Hope = “trust in Jesus based on what he IS doing and will do”
  • Love = “trust in Jesus based on who he is”

chp 11 = “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Romans “We rejoice in the glory of God – we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, patience, Christian mature character, and hope and this hope DOES NOT disappoint us – because he has poured out his hope in our spirits.”

1 Cor 13 – the Love chapter

“Love is patient, love is kind…”

1 Cor 13:7 “Love ALWAYS believes, love ALWAYS hopes, love ALWAYS perseveres, love ALWAYS protects…”

v. 23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

We must put our hope IN God.

In you put your hope in your money, your material, your hope will be hopeless.

#3 Let Us

v. 24

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Let us put our minds to the task of taking care of others.

Are you Christian?

Let us remember this not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of others.

  • Selfish saved Christians = impossible
  • Selfish Christianity = a contradiction of terms because we are saved for service to others

We must spur one another on toward noble living. We can do that by setting fine examples, by reminding others of their traditions, privileges, and duties when they are likely to forget them.

We are “revealers” – showers of Christ. If we are really Christians, we show to others who Christ is and what he is like. Christians are the ones in whom Christ is revealed in this world.

  • Christian = revealer of Christ. We are the visible representation of the invisible Christ.
  • Christ = visible representation of the invisible God.

God bless you!

#4 Let Us

(more practical)

v. 25a

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,”

Let us worship together.

Together (in community) is very important.

There are some who give up meeting together in the community of God. Some think they are Christians, but do not go to church services. It’s possible that some say “I’m Christian” but give up meeting together with God’s people, in God’s house, on God’s day.

  • Very clearly: isolated Christians = impossible
  • Hidden disciples, secret Christianity = impossible

To go to church = to demonstrate where our loyalty lies. This shows others what side we are on. Do you need Christ? Yes! If you need Christ, you need church because church (the community of believers) is his body.

We cannot live a Christian life while neglecting the fellowship of believers. This is a valuable time for our spiritual nourishment. God did not design Christians to be completely independent, but rather to be interdependent – to depend on one another to encourage them.

If you skip church, you skip seven days.

Church cannot be substituted with our personal study, nor with only watching it on TV or the Internet.

The church is the body of Christ, the community of believers, and it is imperative that we continue meeting together.

#5 Let Us

v. 25b

“but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Let us encourage one another.

One of the highest human privileges and duties and responsibilities = encouragement.

This world is FULL of discouragement and discouragers.

Many times, a word of thanks, praise, or cheer, has kept a man on his feet.

Remember Jesus’ 8 blessings in Matthew chp 8 “Blessed are the…”

Let me add another blessing:

“Blessed is the one who encourages others, for theirs is encouragement.”

We need encouragement together.

Finally, our duty as Christians together = “all the more” pressing because the time is short and the Day is approaching.

If we are saved, we live (how long?) do you know? You must know. We live eternal life.

“I live eternally”

Jesus “I give you eternal life, you shall never perish, no one shall snatch you out of my hand.”

Eternal life started the moment we accepted Christ as Savior.

But also we must remember that our physical life in this world is very short.

“Your physical life is like a mist that appears quickly and soon disappears; like a flower that blooms and soon withers.”

If we live eternally,

we must live in light of eternity.

We must walk WITH God, before God, and one day we will stand before God to do an audit of our lives on earth. So the closer we live to Christ, the smaller everything else in this world appears.

Conclusion: 5 “Let us”

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

God bless us all with 5 let us.

God bless you.

Let us pray.

  • Sep 16 / 2018
  • Comments Off on We need the gospel every day (Acts 10:34-43)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We need the gospel every day (Acts 10:34-43)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We need the gospel every day

Acts 10:34-43 (Pastor Heo)

10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen–by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”


Chapter 10 is the story of the conversion of the Gentiles.

Through the ministry of the HS, Peter was used for these things. This is a turning point for the church. This is when God reveals his salvation plan for the WHOLE WORLD. There is no longer Jew nor Gentile, black nor white, slave nor free. We are all ONE in Christ.

In this story, there are two main human characters:

  1. Gentile: Cornelius (Roman soldier)
  2. Jew: Peter

Humanly speaking, Cornelius was a man of devotion, high quality, generosity, regular prayer, but not yet saved – simply because he didn’t yet have a relationship with Jesus Christ. He did not yet accept Christ as his Savior and Lord.

As a truth-seeker, one day he was praying earnestly – and one day an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Send for Peter in Joppa.” Immediately, he sent his three servants to Joppa.

The next day, Peter was praying at noon. During his prayer, suddenly, something huge like a sheet from heaven came down to earth in front of Peter. It contained all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles. It was unclean to Peter’s eyes.

  • But a voice from heaven said, “Peter, get up, kill and eat.”
  • Peter: “No! I’ve never eaten anything unclean.”
  • God: “Do not call anything unclean that I’ve made clean.”

According to Jewish law, clean becomes unclean by contact with the unclean. If a clean thing touches an unclean thing, ALL become unclean.

This happened three times (the sheet dropping and voice from heaven).

Are you Christian? You/we have contact with non-Christians in our daily lives.

Question:

  • Are you influencing or being influenced by them?
  • Are you affecting them or being affected by them?

This is a serious question today.

Peter was still trying to understand what this vision meant.

At that moment, three men from Cornelius arrived for Peter, and the voice said, “I have sent men, do not hesitate to go with them.”

Maybe they talked much that night, and the next morning they started out for Caesarea to meet Cornelius.

Cornelius was waiting for Peter with his household and friends. We don’t know how many gathered – maybe AICF size? But we can say that this was the FIRST non-Jewish church, the first Gentile church, in church history. Thus, this is the turning point in church history.

Cornelius received him by bowing down before him. Peter said, “No, I’m a man as well!” Then Peter said, “You Gentiles know that we Jews do not associate with Gentiles, but my Lord said, ‘Do not call any unclean that I have made clean.’ Why did you send for me?” Cornelius explained his vision and said, “We are all here to listen to God’s voice through you.”

Are you also ready to listen to the Word of God through my poor English? Look to God.

Whenever the sermon is spoken, focus on Jesus Christ, not my English.

The text we read today is Peter’s 4th sermon in the book of Acts. Actually, Peter speaks 6 sermons:

  1. chp 2: Crowd at Pentecost
  2. chp 3: Crowd at temple
  3. chp 4: Sanhedrin
  4. chp 10: Cornelius and family

v. 34-35

“10:34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

God is no respecter of persons as far as nationality and race are. All men have the SAME Creator. All men are sinners. All men need the same ONE Savior. In these facts, we are all ONE. Thus, we believe in the universality of salvation. But, we must not believe in the Universalism of salvation.

  • Universalism: Everybody will be saved at last whether or not they trust Christ – because God is TOO good to allow anyone to perish. (This is a tool of Satan to blind people’s eyes to the message of the gospel.) Evangelical Christians reject this doctrine.
  • Universality: God does not show any favoritism nor partiality to anyone who believes in Christ. The only determinant factor is ONLY faith in Christ.

If you believe in Christ, you are saved.

The universal application of Christ’s work on the cross and universal offer of the gospel and salvation are inclusive.

Also we need to be optimistic about what the gospel will do. But we also must (occasionally) be aggressive in preaching the gospel of Christ.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel, for the gospel is the power of God for EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES in Jesus Christ.”

v. 36

“10:36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.”

The gospel is the message of peace. It is “good news” of “great joy” – “peace” for all the people – eternally, at the same time. This news is news of peace.

Only in Christ can this kind of peace be found. That’s why Jesus is called the Prince of Peace – this means “Future King” of Peace. Already 700 years before his coming, he was prophesied to be born.

When he was born in this world, the first sign and expression of his birth was this telling of the angels, “Glory to God and Peace on Earth to men~”

Jesus says, “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

True peace cannot be found in this world. We cannot find true peace through riches, popularity, possessions, etc.

The Bible says, ‘Let the peace of God rule in your hearts. ‘

Christ has made the TWO, ONE. Jesus’ coming in this world was to create a NEW people out of the two – through his crucifixion. By his crucifixion, Christ killed all hostility between human beings. He preached peace to those who were far away (Gentiles) and those who are near (Jews). There is now no longer any division between Jews and Gentiles in Christ.

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by Christ, we have peace with God. Through him we gain access to his grace in which we now stand.”

“I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

The main message we must be familiar with is the contents of the gospel. The message of the gospel is JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus’ life, His Word, His work, His death, His resurrection, His coming again as judge of living and dead.

From v. 37-42 is the message of the gospel that Peter preached to Cornelius. “We are witnesses of this gospel message.”

v. 37-42

“10:37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen–by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.”

This is the core message – the heart of the gospel.

  1. v. 37-38, Jesus’ life
  2. v. 39 Crucifixion
  3. v. 40 Resurrection
  4. v. 41-42 Coming again – and we are witnesses of this message.

We are commanded / ordered to preach this message – because salvation can be found in no one else.

This is very clear. It is very evident that Jesus did not die for his own sins. From Genesis to Revelation, it is said that Christ died for the sins of others – not the sins of a friend, but as a substitutionary offering (propitiation) for the sins of the whole world.

Let me know show SOME of the verses for this.

  • Romans 5:8 “God showed his love for us in this, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • 1 Cor “Jesus died, and rose again according to the Scriptures.”
  • 2 Cor “God made him who had no sin, become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.”
  • 1 Peter “He bore our sins on the tree so that by his wounds we have been healed.”
  • 1 Peter 3:18 “Jesus Christ died for sins, once for ALL.”
  • Jesus himself says, “I did not come to BE served, but to serve.” – not to be ministered to but to minister and “to give my life as a ransom.”
  • Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

Only Christ can say this. “and the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

Only in Christ can salvation be found.

v. 43 (Memorize)

“10:43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.””

Amazing! Wow!

This is an amazing declaration. ALL the prophets (including the OT, Moses, Adam, Elijah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Malachi, ) testify about Christ.

Yes, not only the preachers of the NT, but also all the prophets of the OT focus on Jesus Christ. Their message is “everyone who believes in Christ receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Forgiveness of sin can only be obtained in Jesus’ name.

You know “SIN” is the root of all human problems – “for the wages of sin is death.”

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is not one righteous, not even one.”

To repent and believe in Christ are the same thing – with a different expression. You cannot repent without believing in Christ and you cannot believe in Christ without repenting.

Of course, nobody is happy if I say “You’re a sinner” – but we must be very clear in solving the matter of SIN.

Fundamentally, there are FOUR dimensions regarding sin. I hope all of us are very clear in the matter of sin. To be healed, we must know our own secrets. Here are the FOUR dimensions: (worldly judges can only see the first dimension)

Four Dimensions of Sin

1. Behavioral sin

(humans can see and judge this sin) – outward sin – in action – this is related to human morality and ethics: murder, rape, breaking a law, doing something illegal (VISIBLE SIN IN ACTION)

2. Attitudinal sin (invisible)

This is in our hearts, minds, motives. This world cannot judge this kind of sin. We don’t go to prison for our selfishness and pride, greed, envy, jealousy. “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” God judges according to our

  1. actions and
  2. motivations / attitudes.

This motivation is very important: Before God, hate is like killing, lust is like adultery (in your heart).

3. Relational sin

This is more crucial – more important than the other two kinds. For example, there are many relationships –

  • Creator / Created,
  • Parent / Child,
  • Boss / Employee,
  • Teacher / Student,
  • Landlord / Tenant,
  • Father / Son –

For me, as father, the BIGGEST sin my son can commit is to DENY me as his father. Likewise, the biggest sin toward God is to deny Christ – God’s one and only Son for us in whom to believe. John 16:9 (in regard to sin) “They do not believe in me.” Do you agree, not to believe in Christ is the BIGGEST sin in this world? If you do not agree, you are wondering if you are saved. If you are really saved, we have no choice but to totally agree. This is indeed the BIGGEST sin before the eyes of God in relational sins.

4. Ontological sin

Existential sin – (Original Sin) – we were BORN as sinners – we’ve inherited it. Since WHEN was I a sinner? From BIRTH. We were born sinners.

I’m Korean. I did nothing to be Korean. I did not choose this. I was born this way simply because my father and mother are Korean. We were born sinners simply because our first physical parents were sinners. This is ontological (original) sin.

How can we solve this matter of original sin? There is only ONE way to resolve it. We must be BORN AGAIN. We should die to our first birth and be regenerated. Jesus, “Do not be surprised by my saying, ‘You must be born again.'” Birth from below is original birth, birth from above is from God. Romans: “Just as death came into the world through one man…”

How can we be born again? Regenerated? ONLY ONE WAY – believing in Christ.

1 Cor “As in Adam, all die, so in one man, Christ, all live.”

All these sins:

  1. Behavioral
  2. Attitudinal
  3. Relational
  4. Ontological

Can ALL be forgiven through Christ.

If you believe, shall we proclaim together:

“The blood of Jesus Christ purifies me from ALL kinds of sins: Past, Present, even Future.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 15 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Your Countenance is Your Living Testimony (Acts 6:1-15)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Your Countenance is Your Living Testimony (Acts 6:1-15)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/your-countenance-is-your-living-testimony

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Your Countenance is your Living Testimony

Acts 6:1-15 (Pastor Heo)

6:1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)–Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.


In Greek, angel = “angelos” = messenger

Have you ever seen the face of an angel?

If you become a full messenger of God, your face will be like the face of an angel.

Two parts

  1. v. 1-7 Selection of 7 men
  2. v. 8-15 Arrest of Stephen before the Sanhedrin

When we read of the early church, the fellowship, breaking of bread, ministry, etc, we think they were perfect. But NO. The early church had problems just as we do today. Know that there is no perfect church. No church has ever been, nor will be perfect until Christ returns.

Today, some Christians are wandering from church to church looking for a “perfect” church. If a church were “perfect” – then it should not accept you and me as members in order to remain “perfect.” But if a church did not accept imperfect members, it would not be a biblical church.

A church does not have to be “perfect” to be a powerful witness for Christ.

Early church grew 120 -> 3,000 -> 5,000 – more and more added each day. “So the Word of God spread and ” (v. 7)

“So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”

This growth created logistical problems that would have consumed all the apostles’ time. So, in order to take care of this, they commissioned 7 men who would spend their whole lives to take care of this (deacons of the early church). In the Korean Bible, Philip is mentioned as an evangelist and one of the 7 deacons.

v. 1

“In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.”

At that time, almost all the early church members were Jews. There were two kinds:

  1. Hebraic Jews = Hebrew speaking (native, local) Jews (spoke Aramaic – the Semitic language)
  2. Grecian Jews = Spoke Greek, couldn’t speak Aramaic because they lived outside Israel

At that time, there was a long tradition of care for the poor in the synagogue – and the early church continued this practice. The Greek speaking Jews complained that their widows were being discriminated against.

At that time, there were many MORE widows than usual because many Jews from Greek-speaking nations had returned home to be buried with their ancestors. But, all their money was gone – because property was passed on from father to son. So widows often needed help. They had no property of their own.

In my parents’ generation, in Korea, they said, “Whole life depends on man – father in childhood, husband in marriage, son in old age.” But today is not exactly like that. But 2,000 years ago in that society, widows were totally dependent on others. But discrimination occurred because of language and class barriers.

v. 2-7

“6:2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”

So the 12 apostles called a meeting of the church and suggested the selection of 7 delegates. They chose 7 workers for this ministry of distribution and management. But there is no record about HOW they did it – but they solved this issue and the church grew, became more mature, and they experienced revival once more (growth in quality and quantity).

From this story, we can apply 3 lessons to our daily lives.

#1 Grow from problems

There is no “perfect” church – there is no “perfect” Christian

Jesus: “In this world, you will have troubles of many kinds, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” (Matthew?)

In this earth, we live with problems – so many. But what is important is our ATTITUDE when confronting problems.

  • If we receive problems negatively, then that problem will be negative to us.
  • If we receive problems positively, then it will be positive for us and help us to grow and mature.

Met a problem? “Good.” Grow.

From Exodus, on the way to the land of promise, Moses’ father-in-law was a Gentile priest named Jethro. He’d heard of all the news that God had done for Moses and the people of Israel – so he visited them. He saw Moses doing all things alone for all the people – from early morning until evening.

Jethro said, “What are you doing? Why are you alone as judge? Why all the people come to you from early morning to evening? You will be burned out soon. You cannot handle this job alone. Choose capable men who fear God and do not like dishonest gain, to delegate this job to, and appoint them as leaders over 1000s, 100s, 50s, and 10s.”

Yes, Moses had a big problem, but Moses received that problem with an open mind and solved it positively – so the nation grew in maturity and unity.

  • If we receive problems negatively, those problems will be negative to us.
  • If we receive problems positively, those problems will be positive to us.
  1. In school, a student can grow and learn through many problems.
  2. Also a church, or a Christian can grow through many problems.

Met a problem? “Good.” Grow.

#2 Be clear in your priorities

In your life, in your home, in church, what is your priority?

We must be careful not to miss our priority #1 because of secondary jobs.

Both spiritual and physical needs are important and must be met. But, church’s priority #1 is spiritual needs. Jesus, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Administrative burdens (like the distribution of food for widows) is very important, but is NOT the #1 priority for the apostles.

v. 4

“[We] will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

In the local church, pastors are called to focus on the preaching of the Word. “I cannot do all things in AICF. I need your hands to help me. Please pray for me to pray for you. We need to pray for each other.”

So, in this story we must be very clear in our priorities – in ALL our jobs and lives.

#3 Every believer can be a minister

  • Are you a member of AICF?
  • Are you a believer in Christ?
  • Then, are you a minister of Christ in this church?

God wants every member to be a believer, and every believer to be a minister.

Requirements:

  • Believer: Believe in Christ as Savior and Lord
  • Minister: (3 things)
    1. Good reputation (integrity, faithfulness, obedience)
    2. Full of the Holy Spirit (no matter what we are doing in the local church, the guidance of the HS is essential – a Spirit-led life, focusing on Christ)
    3. Full of wisdom (“The fear of God is the foundation of wisdom” – Wisdom in Greek = “sophias” – demonstrating
      • the ability to apply God’s truth appropriately to life situations
      • the ability to get to the best ends through the best means
      • ability to put our knowledge into practice for the best outcome)

To be a minister of the local church:

  1. Good reputation
  2. Full of the HS
  3. Full of wisdom

Here are the 7 who were chosen:

v. 5

“5This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.”

  1. Stephen
  2. Philip
  3. Procorus
  4. Nicanor
  5. Timon
  6. Parmenas
  7. Nicolas

From these 7, we can learn at least 2 things.

  1. ALL 7 of their names are Greek (they are Grecian Jews) – this would lay a good foundation for the future spread of the gospel to the Greek world
  2. Stephen and Philip’s names are put first because their ministries will be explained later (Stephen in chp 7 – the longest chapter in this book, Philip in chp 8) – even though they were chosen as ministers inside the local church, outside they were also very powerful evangelists.

Remember, no matter what ministry you’re chosen to do inside the church, you are also an evangelist outside the church.

In this record, we can see, there is NO record of what they did INSIDE the church – there is only the record of what they did OUTSIDE the church.

At that time, the Word of God spread like ripples on a pond, wider and farther over time. Like this, the Word of God spreads today. So, you do not have to change the world single-handedly. It is enough to be a part of this wave, touching the next person, until ALL have felt this wave. How important is your part.

Next, we see Stephen’s arrest.

v. 8-15

“6:8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)–Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”

Stephen is one of the 7 deacons of the early church. He is said to be “full of” 5 qualities:

  1. Holy Spirit
  2. wisdom
  3. faith
  4. grace
  5. power

Stephen provides an ideal model for us to develop in our lives and ministry. It is not Peter (apostle) but Stephen for today’s Christian to develop in our character and ministry.

He was also a skilled debater, minister, and preacher. He is a record holder.

  • In church history, since the resurrection of Christ, Stephen is the first non-apostle to whom miracles are ascribed.
  • The first non-apostle who was arrested and tried before the Sanhedrin.
  • The first non-apostle whose sermon is recorded in the Bible (the longest in the NT).
  • The first martyr in church history.

They could not match Stephen’s wisdom and power – so their only choice was to destroy him. The Sanhedrin’s treatment of him parallels the way they treated Jesus.

  1. Hired false witnesses
  2. Stirred up the people saying he was attacking Moses, the Law, the temple
  3. Executed Stephen

As he stood before the Sanhedrin, his face glowed like the face of an angel. In Exodus, when Moses talked to God on Mt. Sinai, his face shone. Also, Jesus’ face shone at the Transfiguration. And here, Stephen’s face shone.

Very important lesson:

We face this lost world (and others) with our face. Our face is a living testimony – our countenance – should exude rightness and warmth. Our face should reflect unearthly peace and joy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Are you a walking advertisement for Christ? Can others look at your face and see something different? Something attractive?

This is a big challenge from Stephen.

  • God bless our face.
  • God bless our countenance – because we can be witnesses to the lost world through our word, breathing, character, face, and faith.

We can be strong witnesses to the lost world through our countenance. Shining?

“My face is evangelizing. My countenance is evangelizing.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 14 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Four Questions (Matthew 25:14-30)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Four Questions (Matthew 25:14-30)

06.14.2015

06.14.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

Four Questions

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Matthew 25:14-30 (Pastor Heo)

The Parable of the Talents

25:14-30Ref — Lk 19:12-27

14 “Again, it will be [Secondly, the Kingdom of God will be] like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 

16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 

22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 

24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 

28 ” ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’


 

Today’s story is known well by most people as the parable of the Talents (today that means special ability or skill – but the English word came from Greek “talento” that means BIG money.) Talents at that time were the BIGGEST unit of money. One talent = 6,000 denarii / 1 denarius = daily wage of an ordinary man, SO… 1 talent = 20 years wages of an ordinary man. (So 5 talents = 100 years wages…)

Previously, we saw in the other parable we must keep watch because we don’t know the day nor hour that Jesus will come back.

  • Last week: foolish or wise.
  • This week: diligent or lazy / faithful or unfaithful

Are you diligent for the KOH? Or lazy?

The KOH is like a master going on a long journey, who gave talents to his servants before he left – each according to their ability.

  1. The one with 5 worked hard and gained 5 more.
  2. The one with 2 worked hard and gained 2 more.
  3. The one with 1 buried it – no gain, no loss.

After a LONG time, the master returns and calls his servants to see what they did with the money he gave them.

  1. 5 + 5 = “Good, well done – you’ve been faithful with a little, prepare for more jobs”
  2. 2 + 2 = “Good, well done – you’ve been faithful with a little, prepare for more jobs”
  3. 1 ~~ “I did nothing. Here is your talent.”
    “WHAT!? So wicked, evil, and lazy! Give this to the one with 10, throw this one into the darkness!”

From this story, here are 4 lessons/questions.

(Today’s sermon title is “4 Questions”)

1. Talents = Do you have talents? Gifts?

Ex: The salvation God gives by his grace on the death and resurrection of Christ is the SAME. The salvation that Abraham received is the same as the one the mature Christian receives, the same a baby Christian receives, the same a pastor receives. But, in the matter of gifts, there is a difference.

  • 1 Cor 12 “There are different kinds of gifts, but the one same Spirit, different services, different working, but the same God works in all of them.”
  • Romans 12 “We all have different gifts according to the grace given to us. Whatever the gift, let him use it in proportion to his faith. Whether giving, leadership, showing mercy, etc.”

Imagine,

  1. If ONE talent were given to a man who had much ability, he would be disgraced.
  2. If FIVE talents were given to one with minimal ability, he would be destroyed by the heavy burden.

So,

  1. FIVE were given to the one with the most ability –
  2. TWO to the one with average ability –
  3. ONE to the one with minimal ability.

God knows us all and knows which gifts are best for his glory and our benefit.

The fact that God gives different gifts does not mean he shows favoritism. Rather, he recognizes all human beings as unique individuals and gives talents in proportion to their ability.

Q 1: What has God given to you as a gift?

Think over this for a while. Do you have salvation? Yes, generally speaking, salvation is the gift of gifts – given by his grace freely. Do you have the love of God? This is a gift given to you. Do you have assurance of salvation, assurance of forgiveness? Family? Children? Time? Material? What a treasure – these are all talents! Money? Money is a gift from God as well.

Q 1: What has God given you and me?

Can you count the number of items God has given you?

2. Lesson from the two faithful servants

  1. One = 5 talents + 5 talents = 10 total
  2. Second = 2 talents + 2 talents = 4 total

In the final account with their master, they received exactly the same commendation and reward “Well done, good and faithful servant~”

“I will put you in charge of (make you ruler over) many things.”

God never demands from us what we do not have. BUT, he does require us to use to the FULL what we do have.

  • We can be different in talents, but equal in effort.
  • We can be different in talents, but equal in the eyes of God.

What does not matter is the PORTION of our talents, but the PROPORTION of how we use what we have.

The reward they received was even greater responsibility – more jobs – more work.

Responsibility = reward = blessing.

Do you want rest? Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.”

Rest is NOT joblessness – but rather doing something diligently with joy and happiness. Doing something for the glory of God for the benefit of others. Do you have a sense of responsibility for others?

If you feel responsibility, this is a REWARD for your faith.

Q 2: What are you DOING with what God has given to you?

Do you have salvation as the gift of gifts? If so… what are you doing with it? Do you experience the love of God in your heart? Then what are you doing with it? Do you have peace? Then what are you doing with it? What are you doing with your life? Time? Car? Good relationships? Money?

Q 2: What am I doing with what God has given me as a gift?

3: From the third (bad, wicked – do you think so?) servant

In a sense, it seems he was half OK – no gain, but no loss. He did keep that ONE talent VERY safely – he didn’t waste it for a bad purpose, for his sinful pleasure – for gambling or drinking. He saved it – just buried it.

At that time, in Jesus’ time, the best way to keep something valuable safely for a long time was to bury it under the ground. (For us today, put it in the bank?)

OK – no gain, no loss. But Jesus was SO angry, so sad – the master said, “You are wicked and lazy!”

What was it that made the Lord so angry, so sad? What do you think was the problem with this servant?

Was his problem just receiving the ONE talent? No, if he’d worked hard and gained just ONE more, he’d have received the SAME reward.

The problem was the third servant’s misunderstanding about his master.

He thought his master was a hard man (yes, Jesus, our Lord is our master – do you think he is harsh? unmerciful? stern?) and exploited the labor of others – reaping where he has not sown seed. He misunderstood about his master. This misunderstanding made him fearful and afraid of his master – because he was so afraid that he might FAIL, he never even tried to SUCCEED. He hoped to play it safe and protect himself from his “bad” master.

Maybe he wanted a vacation, a holiday because his master went far away. Because his master entrusted him with one talent to do work, he thought his master was harsh.

Yes, even us today, some Christians think, “Oh no, IF I commit my life to Christ more and more, maybe he’ll want me to go to some harsh tribe in another country and die a martyr….” We think “the more dedication to Christ, the more suffering in this life.” This is thinking that Christ is a harsh master. (Actually, the opposite is true – Christ is SO good that he died on the cross for our lives to give us wonderful abundant life.)

We sing songs, “God is good all the time” yes, he is the ultimate standard of goodness – so ALL he does is GOOD whether we understand it or not, whether we like it or not.

  1. If we think and believe that Christ is GOOD – then his goodness will be GOOD to us – through our experience.
  2. But, if we think that he is HARSH, then his goodness will be HARSH in our eyes.

Q 3: What do you think/believe of your Lord Jesus Christ?

What do you believe in your heart? How does your experience look?

4: How we should be in our attitude in our Christian life.

It LOOKS like a Christian inside is thrown outside when the Judgment comes. Yes, we need assurance of salvation – but ultimately speaking, salvation depends on God alone. Once salvation, it can never be lost if it is TRUE salvation – but we are not “safe.” There is no security apart from Christ (”Apart from me, you can do nothing.”)

Only Christ saves us. So we must depend on him alone, rest on him alone. But remember, this security we enjoy in God’s promises should not make us presumptuous / proud – please don’t become “cocky” with God – don’t ASSUME that God MUST let us in. We have no right to demand that he let us in.

We must live each day in our lives believing in his promises and dedicating our time and talents and wisdom and money to his work – and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, witnessing to the lost, being generous to the poor and needy.

We must make choices that please God.

  • Remember, everything we have, not only visible but also invisible – is not really ours.
  • “You are not your own, you were bought at a price – therefore honor God with your body.”
  • We are not OWNERS, we are just CARETAKERS (stewards).

Q 4: What will Jesus say to you and me when we stand before him face to face in the Final Judgment?

What will he say to us personally, individually?

There are two categories:

  1. Well done, good and faithful servant! You’ve been good with small things, now I’ll give you more. Come and share your master’s happiness.”
  2. Well then, you wicked and lazy servant! Go into the darkness!”

“Well done, good and faithful!”

May God bless all of us with this final reward and commendation that it may fall on each of us in the Last Day.

Let’s pray.

  • May 03 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Lessons from Seven Woes (Matthew 23:1-39)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Lessons from Seven Woes (Matthew 23:1-39)

05.03.2015

05.03.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

Download Notes in a .RTF file

Lessons from Seven Woes

Matthew 23:1-39 (Pastor Heo)

(One of my (Aaron’s) favorite chapters~)

Seven Woes

23:1-7pp — Mk 12:38,39; Lk 20:45,46 23:37-39pp — Lk 13:34,35

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 

5 “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ 

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (14?)

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. 

16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. 

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. 

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. 

29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! 

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. 

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ “


 

This is a hard message to take and receive, but we must take and receive it. This is Jesus’ LAST public message – a VERY critical take-down of false religion that operated under the guise of truth.

These Pharisees are legal copiers and scribes of the Law.

They believed that God gave the Law to Moses, he passed it to Joshua, he passed it to the elders, they passed it to the Pharisees – so they believed they were sitting on the seat of Moses. But they were hypocrites because to teach one thing and do another is wrong.

  1. Must do’s and Must Not do’s – this is what they preached, but Jesus came to make our burdens light.
  2. They had a false concept of greatness – recognition, praise from men. They loved to be called “Rabbi” and “Master”.

Through this LONG chapter, we saw 7 Woes.

Woe = a warning of judgment but a feeling of regret as well, mixture of judgment, sorrow, painful love – because the listeners don’t repent.

Let’s look at these seven briefly. But let’s not look to condemn THEM, rather to test OURSELVES.

  • Romans – “Everything written in the past was written to teach us.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:12? “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training so that the man of God may be equipped for EVERY good work.”
  • “Examine yourselves to be 

What is the meaning of Christian? “Saint” = separated from sin to sacredness.

WOE ONE: v. 13

  • Blessed is the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5)
  • Cursed are the proud in spirit for they keep themselves and others out of the KOH (opposite)

It’s bad enough to keep ourselves out, but WORSE to stand in the way of others trying to enter the KOH.

We have NOTHING to DO – except believe in Christ as Savior and Lord – to enter the KOH. There’s no other way.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

WOE TWO: v. 15

Traveling over sea and land reminds us of missionary work – BUT what’s wrong here? They traveled to win souls to their Legalism – NOT to the living God – to their Phariseeism – not to God.

Our mission is to win souls to CHRIST. NOT to win souls to MY church or denomination.

Imagine how tragic it is when people believe that they are going to heaven, when they are really going to hell. Double conviction when they are wrong only produces double condemnation.

All religions are just made by man – these cannot lead us to heaven. “Salvation is found in no one else – except Christ” (Acts 3?)

WOE THREE: v.16-22

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5

  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
  • Cursed are those who hunger and thirst for greedy gain, for they will be empty. (Opposite)

They wanted gold and gifts – why? To make money. But, they didn’t want the temple and the altar – no concern for it – because they couldn’t turn them into their own private property. They confused the externals for the eternals.

Yes, even today, people can confuse majors with minors. “What is your major?” (Science, ed, computer, bio) – but in your LIFE – “What is your major?” (Jesus) If not, Jesus, then you are “majoring” in the “minors” – only Christ can make your whole life perfect (eternally).

WOE FOUR: v. 23

Matthew 5

  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Cursed are the unmerciful (oppressors) for they will NOT be shown mercy.

Here, Jesus doesn’t condemn the practice of tithing, but he did condemn their ATTITUDE without justice, mercy, and faith.

Tithe is NOT tax. It is a sign of faith in God who gives us all that we have.

  • Leviticus 27: “A tithe belongs to the Lord.”
  • Malachi 3:8 “Not tithing is ROBBING God.”

What we must remember = we must offer sacrifices to God with our HEARTS – not reluctantly, but willingly, for God loves a cheerful giver. Tithe alone cannot stand in for no justice, no mercy, no love, no faith, etc.

God’s all about the heart.

WOE FIVE: v. 25

Matthew 5

  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Cursed are the defiled/dirty inside, for they will NEVER see God.

Imagine dirty bowls – whatever we put into it becomes unclean as well. Humans can be deceived, but God cannot be deceived.

WOE SIX: v. 27

At that time, Jews were VERY careful not to touch dead things or dead bodies – it would make them unclean (ceremonially). So they painted the outside of tombs WHITE – especially at Passover lest somebody accidentally defiled.

This is a graphic depiction of hypocrisy – outside is white and beautiful, but inside is dead and decaying.

WOE SEVEN: v. 29

Yes, Jesus will be crucified and killed shortly after this.

Jesus charged the history of Israel as a history of murder – killing the men of God. The Jews martyred the men of God throughout history.

Abel + Zechariah = the two examples here.

  1. Abel = Genesis 4
  2. Zechariah = Chronicles 24 – son of a priest, touched by the Holy Spirit, warned the people against their plans – king Joash ordered him to be killed so they stoned him to death.

Why Jesus calls him the last martyr in the Old Testament?

  1. In our Bible, the last book is Malachi.
  2. But in that time, the last book in their Bible was 2 Chronicles.
  3. There were 24 books in their Bible at that time.
  4. This means “from the first (Abel) to the last (Zechariah) – the history of Israel is murder”

Yes, Jesus knows that he will be one of these martyred/murdered and his disciples will be among them as well.

Here is a tragedy. Imagine how tragic this is that the nation that God chose and loved have turned their hands against God. Imagine, the day of Reckoning is coming.

Every person, every individual must answer this question.

CONCLUSION: v. 37

Yes, Jesus is coming soon.

But we cannot read this severe denunciation, this critical condemnation without wonder – marvel – at the patience, goodness, and love of our Father God.

We know that throughout history, no nation has been blessed like Israel, but no nation has sinned against the patience, mercy of God like Israel.

Yes, they’ve been a GREAT channel of God’s blessing to the world. And at the same time, they SUFFER greatly.

  • Jesus was also born a Jew. So, we must thank God for the Jews – they gave us the Bible, God sent his Son through them.
  • Yes, we are Gentiles – we must love not only other Gentiles, but also the Jews. Because Jesus today is stretching out for the lost – not only for the Jews, but also the Gentiles.

This is the heart of God who wants all human beings to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ.”

May God bless us with this kind of attitude.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 04 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Be a baby to enter the kingdom of heaven and then be a servant in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Be a baby to enter the kingdom of heaven and then be a servant in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:1-4)

Unfortunately, because my computer(s) crashed this Sunday, I was unable to record the sermon message or make the same kind of bulletin as previous weeks. But, here’s the Bible text nevertheless:

Be a baby to enter the kingdom of heaven and then be a servant in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

18:1-5pp — Mk 9:33-37; Lk 9:46-48

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

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