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  • Mar 21 / 2021
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Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

A Man Looking for God (Genesis 28:20-22)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

A man looking for God

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father`s house, then the LORD will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God`s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Genesis 28:20-22

0. Introduction : Those who wish to be blessed

 Here are two terms that capture people’s desires.

The first is “Bucket List.”

This is a list of things that a person hopes to do before he or she dies.

For example… traveling around the world, learning a foreign language, obtaining a skin scuba license, traveling with their parents, publishing a book, or visiting 5-star Michelin restaurants.

What’s on your bucket list?

The second is “Wishlist.”

This is a list of the items that someone wants to buy or possess.

For example… the latest mobile phone, luxury cosmetics, a new car, a fancy bag, a favorite singer’s autographed album, expensive perfume, or tickets to a championship sporting event.

What’s on your wishlist?

What do the terms bucket list and wishlist indicate?

These terms indicate that most people have aspirations.

In other words, they want to be blessed in some way in their lives.

What should we do to be blessed?

There are two choices to consider.

First, we may ask God and seek blessings from him.

Second, we may turn to other people, and seek blessings from them.

1. Seeking blessings from God 

Genesis 27:46-28:5

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I`m disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, from Hittite women like these, my life will not be worth living.”

1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: “Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother`s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother`s brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham.”

5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.

Why did Jacob go to Paddan Aram? 

Usually we think this is because Jacob had to run away from his brother.

But the Bible says that’s not the main reason.

Jacob didn’t just go there just to protect his life.

Rather, God’s plan was to pass Abraham’s blessing on to Jacob through his father, Isaac, so God sent him there. The will of God is expressed through the words of Jacob’s parents.

His mother, Rebekah, said she was sick of Esau’s foreign wives, Hittite women.

So, Jacob’s father Isaac directed him to seek his wife from among Laban’s daughters, who were not Canaanite women.

Actually, an important opportunity in which to receive God’s blessing is the religious environment of the family. In particular, it is important to form a family of faith whenever possible.

Jacob agreed with his parents and pursued God to receive the blessing he sought.

God would have been pleased with Jacob’s choice.

Isn’t it interesting that Isaac’s actions here mirror his father’s actions to find him a wife?

Abraham sent his servant to Paddan Aram to find Isaac’s wife.

Likewise, Isaac sent Jacob to Paddan Aram to find his wife.

But in this case, Jacob had to go on his own due to the incident in which he had stolen his brother’s birthright.

God provided Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with a similar path, and made them each realize that God was the one who led them.

2. Seeking blessings from people

Genesis 28:6-9

6 Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, “Do not marry a Canaanite woman,” 7 and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. 8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; 9 so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.

Why did Esau marry Ishmael’s daughter, Mahalath? 

Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him off to find a different type of woman for his wife. It was then that he realized his parents did not like his foregin wives.

Esau thought that he was disadvantaged in being blessed for that reason.

He thought of his father Isaac as the ultimate source of blessing.

So, to overcome his deficiency, Esau married Mahalath, a descendant of Abraham.

However, Esau did not realize that God was actually the ultimate source of blessing.

So, he pursued blessings without God, trying only to gain his father’s favor.

He did not pursue God, so God did not accompany him because of this attitude.

3. God leads

Jacob pursued God as a way of seeking blessings.

But his choice was not perfect, not the final level of complete obedience.

In any case, God was delighted with Jacob’s choice, and prepared some steps in which to meet Jacob personally.

3-1. God led Jacob

Genesis 28:10-15

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.

11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Jacob did not know that the place where he set up camp and lay down was a holy place.

In this text, the stairway connects earth to heaven.

This indicates that God is accompanying Jacob on earth.

You see, God did not condemn Jacob for committing a sin against his father and running away.

Rather, God once again spoke to Jacob about the promise he had made to Abraham.

God’s promise is not hindered by any human weakness or negligence.

But this does not mean that we may allow human wrongdoing unconditionally.

The key point is that the person who is walking in God’s plan will be blessed by God regardless of his or her conditions.

If God wanted perfect people, we would never be able to approach him. But God’s grace is such that he works through even the vulnerable and sinners to accomplish his purpose.

3-2. God appeared to Jacob

Genesis 28:16-19

16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

Jacob woke up and was very surprised because the holy God was so close to him without him knowing. God had appeared to Jacob in this holy place, Bethel, in a special way.

Then, God invited Jacob to his house as a special guest.

3-3. God began a relationship with Jacob

Genesis 28:20-22

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father`s house, then the LORD will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God`s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”

Jacob met the same God who his father and grandfather had confessed as their master.

He started to wonder if God could fulfill his wishlist and bucket list, so he decided to test God’s abilities. He declared that he would conditionally follow God – IF God solved his problems.

Jacob’s proposal to test God’s ability might seem rude.

But God knew that this was just a beginner stage for all believers.

So, God blessed his first step on his journey of faith.

We must live in awe and fear of God.

But first, we must seek God. At the moment when we realize that God is necessary in our lives, it is then that our journey of faith finally begins.

4. An unlimited channel to meet God : Jesus Christ

Jacob was able to meet God in the holy place known as Bethel.

So then, what should we do to meet God?

Should we also seek a holy place like this in which to meet God?

John 4:19-22

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

The woman in the text told Jesus that she had heard that there was a place in Jerusalem where she could worship God. But Jesus said she no longer needed a special place or method in which to worship because he, Jesus, the Messiah, had come into the world. Jesus changed the level at which people could previously experience God to a completely different level.

Through Jesus, people may have an amazing experience to approach and meet God at any time.

In other words, God, the master of everything, came to us directly through Jesus. Jesus is always with us. He’s always close to us.

What God expects is not that we always maintain a high level of faith.

Rather, God wants us to acknowledge our frailty and enjoy meeting him through Jesus.

Everyone lives with their own problems and anxiety because no one knows the future.

Jacob pursued God for his future, and God led him, delighted with Jacob’s choice, and eventually Jacob was able to walk in God’s wonderful plan.

Jacob’s attitude is a good role model for beginners. We also must pursue Jesus.

If we pursue Jesus, he will lead our way, save us, and lead us to the path of eternal life.

Chase after Jesus!

God will be happy with your choice, and will make you able to walk in his amazing plan!


하나님을 추구하라!

20 야곱이 서원하여 이르되 하나님이 나와 함께 계셔서 내가 가는 이 길에서 나를 지키시고 먹을 떡과 입을 옷을 주시어

21 내가 평안히 아버지 집으로 돌아가게 하시오면 여호와께서 나의 하나님이 되실 것이요

22 내가 기둥으로 세운 이 돌이 하나님의 집이 될 것이요 하나님께서 내게 주신 모든 것에서 십분의 일을 내가 반드시 하나님께 드리겠나이다 하였더라

창세기 28:20-22

0. 예화 : 축복 받기 원하는 사람들

 여기에 사람들의 열망을 담은 두 가지 단어가 있습니다.

첫번째 단어는 “버킷 리스트”입니다.

이것의 의미는 한 사람이 죽기 전에 꼭 해야 할 일을 적어 놓은 목록입니다.

예를 들면… 세계 일주하기, 외국어 배우기, 스킨스쿠버 자격증 취득, 부모님과 여행하기, 내가 쓴 책 출판하기, 미슐랭 레스토랑 방문 등이 있습니다.

여러분의 버킷 리스트는 무엇입니까?

두번째 단어는 “위시 리스트”입니다.

이것의 의미는 사거나 얻고자 하는 물품의 이름을 적어 놓은 목록입니다.

예를 들면… 최신 휴대폰, 고급 화장품, 새 자동차, 멋진 가방, 좋아하는 가수의 앨범, 향수, 스포츠 관람 티켓 등이 있습니다.

여러분의 위시 리스트는 무엇입니까?

이 버킷 리스트와 위시 리스트가 의미하는 것은 무엇입니까?

그것은 대부분의 사람들이 열망이 있다는 사실입니다.

다른 말로는 그들이 축복 받기를 원한다는 것입니다.

축복을 받기 위해서는 어떻게 해야 할까요?

우리가 두 가지 선택에 대해 고려할 수 있습니다.

첫째, 하나님께 축복을 구하는 방법입니다.

둘째, 사람에게 축복을 구하는 방법입니다.

1. 하나님을 추구하는 사람 

창세기 27:46-28:5

46 리브가가 이삭에게 이르되 내가 헷 사람의 딸들로 말미암아 내 삶이 싫어졌거늘 야곱이 만일 이 땅의 딸들 곧 그들과 같은 헷 사람의 딸들 중에서 아내를 맞이하면 내 삶이 내게 무슨 재미가 있으리이까

1 이삭이 야곱을 불러 그에게 축복하고 또 당부하여 이르되 너는 가나안 사람의 딸들 중에서 아내를 맞이하지 말고

2 일어나 밧단아람으로 가서 네 외조부 브두엘의 집에 이르러 거기서 네 외삼촌 라반의 딸 중에서 아내를 맞이하라

3 전능하신 하나님이 네게 복을 주시어 네가 생육하고 번성하게 하여 네가 여러 족속을 이루게 하시고

4 아브라함에게 허락하신 복을 네게 주시되 너와 너와 함께 네 자손에게도 주사 하나님이 아브라함에게 주신 땅 곧 네가 거류하는 땅을 네가 차지하게 하시기를 원하노라

5 이에 이삭이 야곱을 보내매 그가 밧단아람으로 가서 라반에게 이르렀으니 라반은 아람 사람 브두엘의 아들이요 야곱과 에서의 어머니 리브가의 오라비더라

야곱이 밧단아람으로 가게 된 이유는 무엇일까요?

보통 우리는 그 이유를 야곱이 형 에서를 피해 도망가야 했기 때문이라고 생각합니다.

하지만 성경은 그것이 주된 이유가 아니라고 말합니다.

야곱은 단순히 자신의 생명을 지키기 위해 그곳으로 간 것이 아니었습니다.

야곱이 삼촌 라반의 집이 있는 밧단아람으로 가게 된 이유는 아브라함의 축복이 이삭을 거쳐 야곱에게 전해지기를 원하셨던 하나님의 계획이 있었기 때문입니다.

이러한 하나님의 뜻은 야곱의 부모의 말을 통해 나타납니다.

그의 어머니 리브가는 에서의 아내들인 헷 사람의 딸들로 인해 근심이 크다고 말하였습니다.

그의 아버지 이삭은 가나안 사람의 딸이 아닌 외삼촌 라반의 딸 중에서 아내를 맞이하라고 말하였습니다.

하나님의 축복을 받기 위해 중요한 것은 신앙적 환경입니다.

특히, 믿음의 가정을 이루는 것이 중요합니다.

야곱은 부모님의 의견에 동의하며 자신이 원하는 축복을 받기 위해 하나님을 추구하였습니다. 

하나님은 야곱의 이러한 선택에 대해 기뻐하셨을 것입니다.

흥미로운 점은 야곱을 보내는 이삭의 행동이, 그의 아버지 아브라함과 동일하게 나타난다는 것입니다. 

아브라함이 이삭의 아내를 찾기 위해 그의 종을 밧단아람으로 보냈듯이, 이삭은 야곱의 아내를 찾기 위해 야곱을 밧단아람으로 보냈습니다.

다만, 야곱은 그가 에서의 장자권을 훔쳤던 사건으로 인해, 그의 신부 후보를 스스로 찾아야만 했습니다.

하나님은 아브라함, 이삭, 야곱에게 공통적인 과정을 제공하시며, 그들을 인도하는 하나님이 한 분이라는 사실을 깨닫게 하셨습니다.

2. 사람을 추구하는 사람

창세기 28:6-9

6 에서가 본즉 이삭이 야곱에게 축복하고 그를 밧단아람으로 보내어 거기서 아내를 맞이하게 하였고 또 그에게 축복하고 명하기를 너는 가나안 사람의 딸들 중에서 아내를 맞이하지 말라 하였고

7 또 야곱이 부모의 명을 따라 밧단아람으로 갔으며

8 에서가 또 본즉 가나안 사람의 딸들이 그의 아버지 이삭을 기쁘게 하지 못하는지라

9 이에 에서가 이스마엘에게 가서 그 본처들 외에 아브라함의 아들 이스마엘의 딸이요 느바욧의 누이인 마할랏을 아내로 맞이하였더라

에서가 이스마엘의 딸, 마할랏을 아내로 맞이한 이유는 무엇일까요?

에서는 그의 아버지 이삭이 야곱에게 한 축복과 당부의 말을 듣게 되었습니다.

그는 이를 통해 그의 부모가 자신의 이방 아내들에 대해 좋지 않게 여긴다는 사실을 깨닫게 되었습니다.

에서는 이것이 자신이 복을 받는 데 불리하게 작용한다고 생각하였습니다.

그 이유는 그가 그의 아버지 이삭을 복의 근원으로 생각했기 때문입니다.

에서는 자신의 약점을 극복하기 위해 아브라함의 가문의 딸, 마할랏을 아내로 맞이하였습니다.

그는 하나님이 축복의 근원이라는 사실을 깨닫지 못했습니다.

그래서 에서는 하나님 없이 축복을 추구하였고, 오직 자신의 아버지의 마음을 얻기 위해 노력하였다는 것을 볼 수 있습니다.

에서는 하나님을 추구하지 않았습니다. 

하나님은 그의 이러한 태도에 그와 동행하지 않으셨습니다.

3. 인도하시는 하나님

야곱은 축복을 구하는 방법으로 하나님을 추구하였습니다.

그의 이러한 선택은 최종적인 완전한 순종의 단계는 아니었습니다.

하지만 하나님은 야곱의 선택을 기뻐하셨고, 그가 하나님을 만날 수 있도록 몇 가지 단계를 준비하셨습니다.

3-1. 야곱의 길을 인도하신 하나님

창세기 28:10-15

10 야곱이 브엘세바에서 떠나 하란으로 향하여 가더니

11 한 곳에 이르러는 해가 진지라 거기서 유숙하려고 그 곳의 한 돌을 가져다가 베개로 삼고 거기 누워 자더니

12 꿈에 본즉 사닥다리가 땅 위에 서 있는데 그 꼭대기가 하늘에 닿았고 또 본즉 하나님의 사자들이 그 위에서 오르락내리락 하고

13 또 본즉 여호와께서 그 위에 서서 이르시되 나는 여호와니 너의 조부 아브라함의 하나님이요 이삭의 하나님이라 네가 누워 있는 땅을 내가 너와 네 자손에게 주리니

14 네 자손이 땅의 티끌 같이 되어 네가 서쪽과 동쪽과 북쪽과 남쪽으로 퍼져나갈지며 땅의 모든 족속이 너와 네 자손으로 말미암아 복을 받으리라

15 내가 너와 함께 있어 네가 어디로 가든지 너를 지키며 너를 이끌어 이 땅으로 돌아오게 할지라 내가 네게 허락한 것을 다 이루기까지 너를 떠나지 아니하리라 하신지라

야곱은 자기가 잠자리로 정하고 누운 곳이 특별한 장소라는 것을 알지 못했습니다.

사닥다리는 히브리 말로 계단을 의미합니다.

여기서 사닥다리는 하늘과 땅을 이어준다는 뜻을 가지고 있습니다.

이 말은 하나님이 땅에 있는 야곱과 동행하신다는 의미입니다.

하나님께서는 잘못을 저지르고 도망가는 야곱에게 그 책임을 묻지 않았습니다.

오히려 그에게 아브라함에게 말씀하셨던 약속에 대해 다시 한번 말씀하셨습니다.

하나님의 약속은 그 어떤 인간적인 연약함 또는 과실과 결합되어 있지 않습니다.

그러나 이것이 인간의 잘못을 허용해야 한다는 뜻이 아닙니다.

하나님의 계획 안에 서 있는 사람은 그의 조건들과 상관없이 하나님께 은혜를 얻게 되는 것입니다.

만약 하나님께서 온전한 사람들만 원하신다면 우리는 하나님께 나아갈 수 없을 것입니다.

하나님의 은혜는 연약하고 죄인인 사람들을 통해 하나님의 일을 하게 만드시는 것입니다.

3-2. 야곱에게 나타나신 하나님

창세기 28:16-19

16 야곱이 잠이 깨어 이르되 여호와께서 과연 여기 계시거늘 내가 알지 못하였도다

17 이에 두려워하여 이르되 두렵도다 이 곳이여 이것은 다름 아닌 하나님의 집이요 이는 하늘의 문이로다 하고

18 야곱이 아침에 일찍이 일어나 베개로 삼았던 돌을 가져다가 기둥으로 세우고 그 위에 기름을 붓고

19 그 곳 이름을 벧엘이라 하였더라 이 성의 옛 이름은 루스더라

잠에서 깬 야곱은 깜짝 놀랐습니다.

그 이유는 야곱이 모르는 사이에 거룩하신 하나님이 그와 아주 가깝게 계셨기 때문입니다.

하나님은 벧엘이라는 특별한 장소에서, 특별한 방식으로 야곱에게 나타나셨습니다.

하나님은 야곱을 하나님의 집에 특별한 손님으로 초대하셨습니다.

3-3. 야곱과 친밀한 관계를 시작하신 하나님 

창세기 28:20-22

20 야곱이 서원하여 이르되 하나님이 나와 함께 계셔서 내가 가는 이 길에서 나를 지키시고 먹을 떡과 입을 옷을 주시어

21 내가 평안히 아버지 집으로 돌아가게 하시오면 여호와께서 나의 하나님이 되실 것이요

22 내가 기둥으로 세운 이 돌이 하나님의 집이 될 것이요 하나님께서 내게 주신 모든 것에서 십분의 일을 내가 반드시 하나님께 드리겠나이다 하였더라

야곱은 자신의 할아버지와 아버지가 주인으로 고백하던 하나님을 만났습니다.

그는 자신의 소원을 성취하기 위해 하나님의 능력을 시험하였습니다.

하나님이 자신의 문제를 해결해 주신다면 야곱도 하나님을 자신의 주인으로 섬길 것이라고 조건을 걸었습니다.

하나님의 능력을 시험하는 야곱의 제안은 무례하게 보일 수도 있는 제안이었습니다.

하나님께서는 야곱의 제안이 신앙인들이라면 누구나 거쳐가는 초급 단계라는 사실을 알고 계셨습니다.

하나님은 야곱의 신앙의 발전을 위한 그의 첫번째 발걸음을 축복해 주셨습니다.

우리는 하나님을 경외해야 합니다.

하지만 그보다 먼저 이루어야 할 것은 하나님을 찾는 것입니다.

하나님이 내 삶에서 꼭 필요한 분이라는 것을 깨달을 때, 우리의 신앙의 여정이 시작됩니다.

4. 24시간 하나님을 만날 수 있는 통로 : 예수 그리스도

요한복음 4:19-22

19 여자가 이르되 주여 내가 보니 선지자로소이다

20 우리 조상들은 이 산에서 예배하였는데 당신들의 말은 예배할 곳이 예루살렘에 있다 하더이다

21 예수께서 이르시되 여자여 내 말을 믿으라 이 산에서도 말고 예루살렘에서도 말고 너희가 아버지께 예배할 때가 이르리라

22 너희는 알지 못하는 것을 예배하고 우리는 아는 것을 예배하노니 이는 구원이 유대인에게서 남이라

야곱은 벧엘이라는 특별한 장소에서 하나님을 만날 수 있었습니다.

우리가 하나님을 만나기 위해서는 어떻게 해야 할까요?

우리도 야곱처럼 하나님을 뵙기 위해 특별한 장소를 찾아가야 할까요?

요한복음에 등장하는 여자는 예수님께 하나님을 예배할 수 있는 곳이 예루살렘에 있다는 것을 들었다고 말하였습니다.

그러나 예수님은 그가 세상에 오심으로 이전 사람들이 경험했던 하나님 경험의 수준을 훨씬 뛰어 넘으셨습니다.

예수님을 통해 사람들은 언제든지 하나님을 만날 수 있는 놀라운 경험을 하게 된 것입니다.

모든 것의 주인이신 하나님이 직접 우리를 찾아오신 것입니다.

예수님은 언제나 우리와 함께 계십니다. 그는 언제나 우리 가까이에 계십니다.

하나님이 궁극적으로 원하시는 것은 우리가 높은 신앙 수준을 갖는 것이 아닙니다. 오히려 우리가 우리의 연약함을 인정하고 예수님을 통해 하나님을 만나는 것을 즐거워하기를 바라십니다.

사람은 누구나 자신만의 문제와 불안을 가지고 살아갑니다.

그 이유는 사람은 미래를 알 수 없기 때문입니다.

야곱은 자신의 미래를 위해 하나님을 추구하였습니다.

하나님께서는 야곱의 선택에 기뻐하시며 그를 인도하셨고, 결국 그를 하나님의 계획 안에 세우셨습니다.

야곱의 태도는 초보 신앙인에게 좋은 롤모델이 됩니다.

그러므로 우리는 예수님을 추구해야 합니다.

예수님을 추구하면 그가 우리의 길을 인도하시고, 우리를 구원하시고, 우리를 생명의 길로 반드시 인도하실 것이기 때문입니다.

예수님을 추구하십시요!

하나님이 당신의 선택을 기뻐하시고, 당신이 놀라운 고백을 하도록 도우실 것입니다.

  • Mar 14 / 2021
  • Comments Off on The Timing of God’s Blessing (Genesis 27:30)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

The Timing of God’s Blessing (Genesis 27:30)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

 The timing of God’s blessing

30 After Isaac finished blessing him and Jacob had scarcely left his father`s presence, his brother Esau came in from hunting.

Genesis 27:30

0. Introduction : Concert tickets

In life, there are times when we have to complete some kind of task in a limited window of time. A typical example is buying a famous pop star’s concert tickets.

In order to participate in a world-class pop star performance, we must consider not only the ticket cost, but also the timing in which we access the ticketing website in order to purchase the seats we seek.

This is because the best seats are always limited.

So usually the best seats are sold out quickly on a first come, first served basis.

Mega fans are usually the first to jump at a chance for the best seats because going to their favorite singer’s concert holds great significance in their lives because it may be only once in their lifetimes that they will have a chance to be so close to their favorite star. So their attention is constantly focused on the date of the concert, and the opening time of the ticketing website.

In the Bible story we will share today, we can see another kind of special, once-in-a-lifetime event that God arranged. This was a most important time for Isaac, the father, to convey his best blessing, the “Birthright” upon his first-born son.

1. The time of blessing declared

Genesis 27:1-4

1 When Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he could no longer see, he called for Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.”  “Here I am,” he answered.

2 Isaac said, “I am now an old man and don`t know the day of my death. 3 Now then, get your weapons — your quiver and bow — and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me. 4 Prepare me the kind of tasty food I like and bring it to me to eat, so that I may give you my blessing before I die.”

In fact, Esau waited in great anticipation of the blessing of the firstborn.

As the first-born twin, it was he who should have been given the “Birthright” at the ceremony.

And before his death, Isaac, a good father, did try to give this blessing to his first son, Esau.

As this blessing was closely related to the vitality giver of the blessing, Isaac asked his son to make delicious food for him in preparation to receive the blessing.

So, Esau went out hunting so as to obey his father’s request before the ceremony where he would receive his blessing. But, it seems that he had forgotten that he had carelessly sold his Birthright to Jacob in the past for a bowl of lentil stew. This incident will have a huge impact on what’s about to happen.

2. A man who longs for the blessing of God

Genesis 27:18-20

18 He went to his father and said, “My father.”  “Yes, my son,” he answered. “Who is it?”

19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing.”

20 Isaac asked his son, “How did you find it so quickly, my son?”  “The LORD your God gave me success,” he replied.

Esau was the planned recipient of God’s blessing through Isaac.

But, his younger brother Jacob yearned for God’s blessing much more than Esau.

So, he set up a scheme by which to receive God’s blessing.

First, he bought the Birthright from his hungry brother Esau, with lentil stew.

Then, he received help from his mother to bypass the tradition of blessing the firstborn, and instead trick his father into blessing him, the second-born, instead. Rebekah, by deceiving her own husband and pushing Jacob to do likewise, has even more guilt in the matter.

Genesis 25:21-23

21 Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

22 The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

23 The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.”

Perhaps she lied to her husband in order to fulfill the prophecy God had given her.

But whatever her own motivation, Jacob did likewise, lying to his old father by pretending to be Esau, and telling him that God had accompanied him on the hunt. By pulling God into his trick, he hoped to make it seem more plausible and convincing. With this last set of lies to his father’s face, Jacob became increasingly bold about covering over his lies with more lies.

We can see through this event that Jacob desperately desired to be blessed by God through any means necessary (much as a K-pop fan may desperately seek tickets to a concert regardless of the cost).

3. A man of little interest in God’s blessings

Genesis 27:34-37

34 When Esau heard his father`s words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me — me too, my father!”

35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”

36 Esau said, “Isn`t he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he`s taken my blessing!” Then he asked, “Haven`t you reserved any blessing for me?”

37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?”

After a while, Esau returned with the meal he had prepared, according to his father’s request, in order to receive his blessing. But he hadn’t realized that he’d had a competitor. And even worse, he also hadn’t known that the window of opportunity in which to receive God’s blessing was finite.

In the end, Esau was late, and deprived of God’s blessing by his brother Jacob, who had lain in wait for it and pounced at the first opportunity. In fact, his younger brother’s desire for the blessing had far surpassed his own.

In distress, his father Isaac informed Esau that ‘Jacob’s blessing is so final, complete, and effective, that it can not be reversed, exchanged, or refunded.’

The Bible text very realistically portrays the process of the delivery of God’s blessings as if it were a legally binding contract, or non-refundable, non-exchangeable ticket purchase.

4. God’s Amazing Grace

Genesis 27:38-40

38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” Then Esau wept aloud.

39 His father Isaac answered him, “Your dwelling will be away from the earth`s richness, away from the dew of heaven above.

40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”

Therefore, Esau’s blessing was greatly watered down. He left in humility and disgust, but at least he left with a blessing, and not a curse.

The decisive promise his father gave him was ‘You will live by the sword’.

because all the blessings he received would be manifested as promises in his life.

The last sentence in verse 40 suggests that the Edomites, who will be the descendants of Esau, will one day escape from Israeli control. In other words, this means that God will one day allow Esau and his descendants to finally be free of Jacob and his descendants. This was the grace of God who responded to Esau’s desperate plea.

You see, because Esau did not value God’s blessing, he did not pay much attention to God’s timing.

Then, after his brother deprived him of his blessing, he reflected on his previous actions and desired to receive whatever blessing remained.

If we pay attention, we can see ourselves in this behavior of Esau.

We often live without much interest in God’s blessings in daily life as Esau did.

But when we do so, we may often miss the opportunity to receive God’s blessing.

Don’t we often assume that we can always be blessed by God?

We foolishly think that we should be able to receive unlimited blessings from God.

But this is a totally wrong misunderstanding.

God’s blessing to us is only available to us at the time and in the amount that God allows.

God’s blessing is only passed on to us by his sovereignty and grace, and there is nothing we can do for ourselves to receive or deserve more than he will give, or change the timing in which he will bless us. We must only wait for him and always be ready to receive whatever good gifts he gives.

So, when can we expect to receive the blessings God has prepared for us?

5. The timing of God’s blessing (Jesus Christ)

Romans 5:6-11

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God`s wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God`s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

  • Question: When can we be blessed in the way that God has allowed us?
  • Answer: In  the time when God has sent Jesus Christ to us.

Jesus gives us the greatest blessing, salvation, as a gift.

Jesus came to this land for we who are powerless and ungodly.

His death brings us peace with God.

His resurrection gives us eternal life.

The important fact is that although it is true that the gates of heaven and salvation were thrown wide open by Jesus Christ, the timing in which we may acquire salvation is not eternal.

In fact, we have a limited amount of time in which to acquire salvation. This is the time set for us by God’s sovereignty, and it is only as long as the time we have on this earth.

If we really stop to consider the weight of this truth, it will make us look back and contemplate on our complacent faith.

In fact, an average, typical, ordinary day, in which we are not interested in the blessing of salvation through Jesus, may be the last day, and the last chance we have to acquire salvation.

Don’t miss the blessing of eternal life like Esau missed the blessing of the firstborn!

Let us wake and pray so that we can realize God’s sovereignty!

Let us crave Jesus as the blessing of salvation more than anything else!

Let’s live for the glory of God in this special, finite period of time that God has given us!

We cannot determine our last day on earth for ourselves. We have no control over the time availability of God’s blessing of eternal life. Therefore, the only alternative is to consider today as potentially the last day of your life and live your life in obedience to God.

Let’s accompany Jesus Christ every day!

Let’s confess Jesus as our salvation every day!

Let’s praise God’s grace and mercy every day!

And may God grant you salvation on your last day.


 하나님의 축복의 때

30 이삭이 야곱에게 축복하기를 마치매 야곱이 그의 아버지 이삭 앞에서 나가자 곧 그의 형 에서가 사냥하여 돌아온지라

창세기 27:30

0. 예화 : 인기 가수 콘서트 티켓팅

우리가 살다 보면 제한된 시간 안에 무엇인가를 완료해야 할 때가 있습니다.

대표적으로는 인기 가수의 콘서트의 티켓을 구입하는 것입니다.

세계 적인 팝 가수의 공연을 보기 위해서는 티켓을 살 비용 뿐만이 아니라, 좋은 자리를 빠르게 구입할 수 있는 순발력과 상황판단력이 필요합니다.

그 이유는 콘서트를 즐길 수 있는 최고의 자리는 한정적이기 때문입니다.

그렇다면 어떤 사람이 가장 좋은 자리를 차지할까요?

그 사람은 평상시에도 콘서트에 대해 많은 관심을 가지고 있는 사람입니다.

우리는 그런 사람을 빅 팬 이라고도 부릅니다.

그 사람은 좋아하는 가수의 콘서트가 그의 인생에서 큰 의미를 차지 하기 때문에, 그가 무엇을 하든지 그의 관심은 언제나 콘서트가 열리는 날짜에 집중되어 있습니다.

오늘 성경에서도 월드 스타의 콘서트처럼, 하나님이 계획하신 축제가 열리게 되었습니다.

그 축제에서 가장 중요한 순서는, 최고의 축복인 “장자의 권리”를 전달하는 시간이었습니다.

1. 선포된 축복의 때

창세기 27:1-4

1 이삭이 나이가 많아 눈이 어두워 잘 보지 못하더니 맏아들 에서를 불러 이르되 내 아들아 하매 그가 이르되 내가 여기 있나이다 하니

2 이삭이 이르되 내가 이제 늙어 어느 날 죽을는지 알지 못하니

3 그런즉 네 기구 곧 화살통과 활을 가지고 들에 가서 나를 위하여 사냥하여

4 내가 즐기는 별미를 만들어 내게로 가져와서 먹게 하여 내가 죽기 전에 내 마음껏 네게 축복하게 하라

하나님의 축제가 열리기를 기다렸던 사람은 에서 였습니다.

그 이유는 이 축제에서 그가 “장자의 권리”를 전달 받을 사람이었기 때문이었습니다.

이삭은 죽기 전에 그가 가진 축복을 첫째 아들 에서에게 넘겨주려고 하였습니다.

여기서 복은 축복하는 사람의 생명력과 밀접하게 관련된 것이었습니다.

그래서 이삭은 에서를 축복하기 위해 먼저 자기가 즐기는 별미를 먹고 힘을 돋우는 것이 중요했습니다.

에서는 축복을 받기 위해 아버지의 명령에 따라 사냥을 하러 나갔습니다.

그렇지만 에서는 과거에 자기의 장자의 권리를 야곱에게 팔았다는 사실을 잊고 있었습니다.

이 사건은 앞으로의 일어날 일들에 대해 큰 영향을 끼치게 되었습니다.

2. 하나님을 축복을 갈망하는 사람

창세기 27:18-19

18 야곱이 아버지에게 나아가서 내 아버지여 하고 부르니 이르되 내가 여기 있노라 내 아들아 네가 누구냐

19 야곱이 아버지에게 대답하되 나는 아버지의 맏아들 에서로소이다 아버지께서 내게 명하신 대로 내가 하였사오니 원하건대 일어나 앉아서 내가 사냥한 고기를 잡수시고 아버지 마음껏 내게 축복하소서

20 이삭이 그의 아들에게 이르되 내 아들아 네가 어떻게 이같이 속히 잡았느냐 그가 이르되 아버지의 하나님 여호와께서 나로 순조롭게 만나게 하셨음이니이다

하나님의 축복의 원래 대상자는 에서 였습니다.

그러나 에서 보다 더 하나님의 축복을 갈망했던 사람은 그의 동생 야곱이었습니다.

야곱은 하나님의 축복을 받기 위해, 과거에 하나의 계략을 세웠습니다.

그것은 팥죽을 이용하여, 배고픈 에서에게서 장자의 권리를 사는 것이었습니다.

하나님의 축복에 대한 야곱의 갈망은 아주 강했습니다.

이러한 그의 갈망은 그의 어머니가 그를 전적으로 돕도록 만들었습니다.

리브가는 자신이 사랑하는 아들, 야곱이 축복을 받을 수 있도록 수상한 수단까지 동원하였습니다.

창세기 25:21-23

21 이삭이 그의 아내가 임신하지 못하므로 그를 위하여 여호와께 간구하매 여호와께서 그의 간구를 들으셨으므로 그의 아내 리브가가 임신하였더니

22 그 아들들이 그의 태 속에서 서로 싸우는지라 그가 이르되 이럴 경우에는 내가 어찌할꼬 하고 가서 여호와께 묻자온대

23 여호와께서 그에게 이르시되 두 국민이 네 태중에 있구나 두 민족이 네 복중에서부터 나누이리라 이 족속이 저 족속보다 강하겠고 큰 자가 어린 자를 섬기리라 하셨더라

어쩌면 그녀는 하나님께서 말씀하셨던 예언을 성취하기 위해서 이런 일을 했는지도 모릅니다.

한편, 야곱은 자신의 속임수가 그럴듯하게 보이도록, 그의 아버지에게 하나님이 자신과 동행하셨다고 이야기 합니다.

한 번 거짓말을 하면 다음에는 더 엄청난 거짓말을 하게 되는 것입니다.

우리는 이 사건을 통해 야곱이 어떤 수단을 사용해서라도, 하나님의 축복을 얻고 싶어 했다는 사실을 알 수 있습니다.

3. 하나님의 축복에 관심이 적은 사람

창세기 27:34-37

34 에서가 그의 아버지의 말을 듣고 소리 내어 울며 아버지에게 이르되 내 아버지여 내게 축복하소서 내게도 그리하소서

35 이삭이 이르되 네 아우가 와서 속여 네 복을 빼앗았도다

36 에서가 이르되 그의 이름을 야곱이라 함이 합당하지 아니하니이까 그가 나를 속임이 이것이 두 번째니이다 전에는 나의 장자의 명분을 빼앗고 이제는 내 복을 빼앗았나이다 또 이르되 아버지께서 나를 위하여 빌 복을 남기지 아니하셨나이까

37 이삭이 에서에게 대답하여 이르되 내가 그를 너의 주로 세우고 그의 모든 형제를 내가 그에게 종으로 주었으며 곡식과 포도주를 그에게 주었으니 내 아들아 내가 네게 무엇을 할 수 있으랴

에서는 아버지의 명령에 따라, 축복을 받을 준비를 하였습니다.

그러나 그는 경쟁자가 있다는 사실을 깨닫지 못했습니다.

그는 또한 하나님의 축복을 받을 수 있는 기회가 유한 하다는 사실을 알지 못했습니다.

결국 그는 하나님의 축복을 동생 야곱에게 빼앗기게 되었습니다.

그 이유는 동생 야곱의 갈망이 그의 갈망보다 더 컸기 때문입니다.

에서는 장자의 축복을 받을 수 있는 기회가 유한하다는 사실을 알지 못했습니다.

그의 아버지 이삭은 ‘야곱이 받은 축복은 효력이 있기 때문에, 다시 거두어 들일 수 없다.’ 고 에서에게 통보하였습니다.

성경 본문은 하나님의 축복이 전달되는 과정을 이처럼 현실적으로 보여줍니다.

이것은 마치 법적인 효력이 발생하는 것과 같습니다.

4. 하나님의 은혜

창세기 27:38-40

38 에서가 아버지에게 이르되 내 아버지여 아버지가 빌 복이 이 하나 뿐이리이까 내 아버지여 내게 축복하소서 내게도 그리하소서 하고 소리를 높여 우니

39 그 아버지 이삭이 그에게 대답하여 이르되 네 주소는 땅의 기름짐에서 멀고 내리는 하늘 이슬에서 멀 것이며

40 너는 칼을 믿고 생활하겠고 네 아우를 섬길 것이며 네가 매임을 벗을 때에는 그 멍에를 네 목에서 떨쳐버리리라 하였더라

에서에게는 다만 보잘것없는 축복 만 남았습니다.

그래도 이것은 축복이지 저주가 아니었습니다.

결정적인 약속은 ‘너는 칼을 믿고 생활하겠고’ 입니다.

모든 축복은 삶의 약속으로 나타납니다.

특히 40절 마지막 문장은 에서의 후손인 에돔 사람들이 이스라엘의 지배에서 벗어나는 것을 미리 암시하고 있습니다.

즉, 하나님께서 에서의 후손들에게 자유를 허락하신다는 뜻입니다.

이것은 에서의 간절한 청원에 응답하신 하나님의 은혜입니다.

에서는 하나님의 축복을 가치 있게 여기지 않았습니다.

그래서 그는 하나님의 축복을 받을 수 있는 때에 대해서 깊은 관심을 갖지 못했습니다.

자신의 축복을 빼앗긴 에서는 뒤늦게 자신의 행동에 대해 반성하며, 남은 축복이라도 받기를 원하였습니다.

우리는 에서의 이러한 행동을 통해 우리의 모습을 발견할 수 있습니다.

우리는 에서 처럼 평상 시에 하나님의 축복에 대해서 큰 관심이 없이 살아갑니다.

그러다가 우리는 하나님의 축복을 받을 수 있는 때를 놓치는 것입니다.

그 이유는 우리가 언제나 하나님의 축복을 받을 수 있을 것이라고 생각하기 때문입니다.

하나님의 축복을 받을 수 있는 때는 무제한 적이라고 생각하기 때문입니다.

하지만 이것은 미련하고 잘못된 생각입니다.

하나님의 축복은 하나님이 허락하신 때에만 우리가 받을 수 있기 때문입니다.

하나님의 축복은 하나님의 주권을 통해 우리에게 전해지기 때문입니다.

하나님이 우리에게 허락하신 축복의 때는 언제 일까요?

5. 하나님의 축복의 때 (예수 그리스도)

로마서 5:6-11

6 우리가 아직 연약할 때에 기약대로 그리스도께서 경건하지 않은 자를 위하여 죽으셨도다

7 의인을 위하여 죽는 자가 쉽지 않고 선인을 위하여 용감히 죽는 자가 혹 있거니와

8 우리가 아직 죄인 되었을 때에 그리스도께서 우리를 위하여 죽으심으로 하나님께서 우리에 대한 자기의 사랑을 확증하셨느니라

9 그러면 이제 우리가 그의 피로 말미암아 의롭다 하심을 받았으니 더욱 그로 말미암아 진노하심에서 구원을 받을 것이니

10 곧 우리가 원수 되었을 때에 그의 아들의 죽으심으로 말미암아 하나님과 화목하게 되었은즉 화목하게 된 자로서는 더욱 그의 살아나심으로 말미암아 구원을 받을 것이니라

11 그뿐 아니라 이제 우리로 화목하게 하신 우리 주 예수 그리스도로 말미암아 하나님 안에서 또한 즐거워하느니라

하나님의 축복의 때는 언제 일까요?

그것은 하나님께서 우리에게 예수 그리스도를 보내주신 때 입니다.

예수님은 우리에게 가장 큰 축복인 구원을 선물로 주셨기 때문입니다.

예수님은 연약하고 경건하지 않은 우리들을 위하여 이 땅에 오셨습니다.

그의 죽음으로 인해 우리는 하나님과 화목하게 되었습니다.

그의 부활하심으로 인해 우리는 영원한 생명을 얻게 되었습니다.

중요한 사실은 모든 구원의 문이 예수 그리스도로 인해 열렸지만, 구원의 때는 영원하지 않다는 것입니다.

하나님의 주권 안에 우리에게 정해진 시간 안에서만 우리가 구원을 얻을 수 있다는 사실입니다.

이것은 우리의 안일한 신앙을 되돌아보게 합니다.

예수님을 통한 구원의 축복에 대해 관심 없었던 오늘이, 누군가에게는 구원의 마지막 날일 수도 있다는 것입니다.

이것은 에서가 장자의 권리를 얻을 수 있었던 마지막 기회를 놓친 것과도 같습니다.

하나님의 주권을 깨달을 수 있도록 깨어서 기도하십시요!

구원의 선물로 오신 예수님을 그 누구보다도 갈망하십시요!

오늘 나에게 허락하신 특별한 시간을 하나님의 영광을 위해 살아가십시요!

우리는 우리의 마지막 날을 정할 수 없습니다.

우리가 할 수 있는 유일한 방법은 오늘을 내 삶의 마지막 날로 여기며 하나님께 순종하는 삶을 사는 것입니다.

매일 예수 그리스도와 동행하십시요!

매일 예수님을 나의 구원자로 고백하십시요!

매일 하나님을 찬양하십시요!

하나님께서 당신의 마지막 때에 은혜를 베푸실 것입니다!

  • Mar 07 / 2021
  • Comments Off on God’s School of Faith (Genesis 26:1-5)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

God’s School of Faith (Genesis 26:1-5)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

God’s School of Faith

1 Now there was a famine in the land — besides the earlier famine of Abraham`s time — and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.”

Genesis 26:1-5

0. Introduction : What is important for a successful class?

In life, there are times when we need to learn something.

In those times, we often seek out a school or academy to help us learn.

If you want to learn art composition, you may enter an art school.

If you want to learn cooking, you might register for a cooking academy.

But first, you will search out the school information, or the academy’s reputation in order to save your precious time and money. So what are the main factors that people consider in order to find the best school?

Is it the choice of good textbooks? The amount of homework you can expect?

Perhaps it’s whether or not the academy can provide actual field experience? Or the kind of educational environment the place has?

But in truth, most people seek out the most excellent teachers who can provide the most effective classes. Excellent teachers not only teach students the most effectively, but they also motivate their students to learn. In the end, they can provide the most effective results that students want.

Christians must study the Word of God their whole life through in order to live as disciples of Jesus. And who gives us the most effective lessons in faith? Of course, the best teacher is God.

1. God’s Second School of Faith

Genesis 26:1-5

1 Now there was a famine in the land — besides the earlier famine of Abraham`s time — and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.”

God’s first student in the school of faith was Abraham.

Abraham was faithful to his teacher, and eventually he was able to complete all the lessons of faith that God taught with a high score.

Then, God prepared his second school of faith, the second student being Abraham’s son, Isaac. The contents of God’s second course were the same again.

God demanded obedience from Isaac as he had from Abraham.

When considering education, we sometimes assume that the students who are learning will have a harder time than the teachers who teach. But that is not true.

Teachers must invest more time and effort into preparing effective classes than students who receive the lessons. Teachers must re-study the contents of the class they are preparing as well as study effective teaching methods to deliver the lessons. They should also pay close attention to their students in order to help improve their academic achievement.

And of course, teachers have to constantly repeat this process because new students participate in their classes every semester.

God prepared the best faith lessons for Isaac, his new student.

And even though it may seem like a boring task for God because he had to repeat the same lessons he had already provided to Isaac’s father, Abraham, God still prepared the best lessons to grow Isaac’s faith.

2. A student with difficulty in the School of Faith

Genesis 26:7-11

7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.”

8 When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, `She is my sister`?”  Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.”

10 Then Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.”11 So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”

The level of the lessons God offered Isaac was never easy.

In fact, God provided the same test to Isaac that he had to Abraham, and Isaac found the same solution to the problem that his father had. But that was not the answer that God wanted.

But unfortunately, Isaac failed to solve this problem correctly, because he was first concerned with his own safety.

After that, a chain of events followed. But the original intention of the Bible is to show that the mistakes of the father are still repeated by his son.

What do you think? If new students in a class every semester can not follow the progress of the class, how does the teacher feel? No matter how patient he is, he may end up getting tired because of the repeated patterns and same mistakes.

But the Bible focuses on the fact that God guides and protects. It places less focus on Isaac’s distrust and mistakes.

How do you think God feels about a student who can’t properly solve the test he gives?

3. God’s pedagogy: Accompaniment

Genesis 26:12-16

12 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father`s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth. 16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”

Why did Isaac’s possession increase so much?

This is because the blessing that God gave to Abraham was passed on to Isaac.

But Isaac was at odds with Abimelech because of this blessing.

The main subject of their conflict were the wells dug by Abraham’s servants that had helped make him rich. This was God’s second test for Isaac.

Isaac did not claim his rights in this test, and did not respond to Abimelech’s actions.

Rather, he solved this problem in a different way than had in the first test.

Genesis 26:23-25

23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”

25 Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.

In fact, God had always accompanied Isaac.

But he revealed himself to Isaac when he opened his heart and was able to hear the Word of God. God explained to Isaac the purpose of this faith lesson and gave him courage.

Isaac, who was taught by God, had an amazing experience after that.

Genesis 26:26-31

26 Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”

28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, `There ought to be a sworn agreement between us` — between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”

30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.

Isaac’s faith grew as he solved God’s faith lessons and tests.

In particular, the meeting with God in Beersheba held important significance for Isaac because it was there that he had placed his full trust in God who was preparing him for the tests of his faith.

Isaac believed in the Word of God and obeyed, and he experienced considerable growth.

Isaac realized that Abimelech’s attitude toward him had changed completely.

Abimelech, who had been hostile to Isaac, was now asking for favors.

This proves that Isaac’s faith has grown differently than before.

It is difficult to notice the growth of a person on his own, but people around him notice the growth.

Abimelech noticed Isaac’s religious growth.

And he knew clearly that Isaac’s growth had occurred through God’s lessons.

In fact, Isaac’s growth and change was impossible without God’s blessing.

Therefore, Abimelech wanted peace with Isaac, who was blessed by God.

King Abimelech wanted to sign a contract with Isaac to prevent war from occurring between them. The contract was confirmed with an oath and a feast.

What is surprising is that in this contract, Isaac appeared to be someone who was equal to or higher than Abimelech.

Isaac, who was completely obedient to God, experienced tremendous growth through God’s lessons. The growth of his faith helped him solve his problems more skillfully than he previously had.

4. A student who refused the School of Faith

Genesis 26:34-35

34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah.

Genesis 26 is primarily about Isaac, but the last part briefly mentions Esau. 

Why did Esau’s parents get worried about his foreign wives?

This is because of the lifestyle of his wives, who were separated from Israeli customs and faith.

The Bible negatively refers to Esau’s marriages, suggesting that God would instead bless his younger brother Jacob in the future.

In other words, the student who would register for God’s third school of faith would be Jacob, not Esau.

Esau showed that he was not willing to participate in God’s school of faith by marrying Gentiles, after previously selling Jacob his birthright.

5. The secret of students who complete God’s School of Faith : Jesus Christ

John 14:6

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

What is the secret of students who have successfully completed God’s school of faith?

The great students had full confidence in the lessons God prepared.

They also obeyed God’s teachings and were changed by God from the inside out.

What is the best faith lesson from God?

It is to believe in Jesus Christ as your savior and put your faith in him.

Only Jesus is the only way to God!

Only through Jesus will you realize the truth that God has given you!

Only through Jesus can we gain eternal life from God!

In fact, we are already attending the next school of faith that God is conducting.

The lessons are being lived and learned throughout our lives.

Someone is learning to obey God.

Someone is taking a test given by God.

Someone may be enjoying the fruits of a good evaluation from God.

God’s faith lessons are sometimes offered to us at high levels, but that’s because God knows you can find the right answer through the process of learning to put your faith in him.

More precisely, when you meet a problem that you can not solve, you should seek out Jesus Christ.

What God really wants from us is not to solve the problems by ourselves, but rather that through our problems, we learn to depend on Jesus Christ and obey God’s sovereignty.

This is the ultimate purpose of God’s school of faith.

God, the best teacher, still offers us the best lessons.

Our ancestors in faith have successfully completed God’s school of faith through Jesus Christ.

Those who have successfully completed God’s school of faith will have the honor of having their names be recorded in the Book of Life. They will also gain the truth and eternal life, and eventually enjoy the privilege of being with God forever.

Trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior. He is the one who made all this possible!

I hope that we all may complete God’s school of faith successfully.


하나님의 신앙 수업

1 아브라함 때에 첫 흉년이 들었더니 그 땅에 또 흉년이 들매 이삭이 그랄로 가서 블레셋 왕 아비멜렉에게 이르렀더니

2 여호와께서 이삭에게 나타나 이르시되 애굽으로 내려가지 말고 내가 네게 지시하는 땅에 거주하라

3 이 땅에 거류하면 내가 너와 함께 있어 네게 복을 주고 내가 이 모든 땅을 너와 네 자손에게 주리라 내가 네 아버지 아브라함에게 맹세한 것을 이루어

4 네 자손을 하늘의 별과 같이 번성하게 하며 이 모든 땅을 네 자손에게 주리니 네 자손으로 말미암아 천하 만민이 복을 받으리라

5 이는 아브라함이 내 말을 순종하고 내 명령과 내 계명과 내 율례와 내 법도를 지켰음이라 하시니라

창세기 26:1-5

0. 예화 : 성공적인 수업을 위해 중요한 것은?

 우리가 인생을 살다보면, 무엇인가를 배워야 할 경우가 있습니다.

그럴 때 우리가 찾는 곳은 학교나 학원입니다.

만약 당신이 작곡을 배우고 싶다면, 예술 학교에 입학할 것입니다. 

만약 당신이 요리를 배우고 싶다면, 요리 학원을 등록할 것입니다.

당신은 당신의 소중한 시간과 돈을 아끼기 위해, 수업에 대한 다양한 정보를 찾을 것입니다.

가장 좋은 수업을 찾기 위해, 사람들이 고려하는 요소는 무엇일까요?

좋은 교재를 사용하는가? 숙제를 많이 제공하는가?

현장 경험을 제공하는가? 쾌적한 교육 환경이 제공되는가?

대부분의 사람들은 효과적인 수업을 제공하는 뛰어난 선생님을 찾습니다.

뛰어난 선생님은 학생들을 가장 잘 가르치고 학습 흥미를 유발시킵니다.

결론적으로는 학생들이 원하는 결과를 가장 효과적으로 제공해줍니다.

그리스도인은 예수님의 제자로 살아가기 위해, 하나님의 말씀을 평생 공부해야 합니다.

우리에게 가장 효과적인 신앙 수업을 제공해주시는 분은 누구일까요?

가장 뛰어난 선생님은 하나님입니다.

1. 하나님의 두번째 신앙 수업

창세기 26:1-5

1 아브라함 때에 첫 흉년이 들었더니 그 땅에 또 흉년이 들매 이삭이 그랄로 가서 블레셋 왕 아비멜렉에게 이르렀더니

2 여호와께서 이삭에게 나타나 이르시되 애굽으로 내려가지 말고 내가 네게 지시하는 땅에 거주하라

3 이 땅에 거류하면 내가 너와 함께 있어 네게 복을 주고 내가 이 모든 땅을 너와 네 자손에게 주리라 내가 네 아버지 아브라함에게 맹세한 것을 이루어

4 네 자손을 하늘의 별과 같이 번성하게 하며 이 모든 땅을 네 자손에게 주리니 네 자손으로 말미암아 천하 만민이 복을 받으리라

5 이는 아브라함이 내 말을 순종하고 내 명령과 내 계명과 내 율례와 내 법도를 지켰음이라 하시니라

하나님의 신앙 수업을 들었던 첫번째 학생 아브라함이었습니다.

아브라함은 수업에 충실히 참여하였고, 결국 하나님께 높은 점수를 받아 수업의 모든 과정을 수료할 수 있었습니다.

하나님은 두 번째 신앙 수업을 준비하셨습니다.

두번째로 수업에 참여하는 학생은 아브라함의 아들, 이삭이었습니다.

하나님의 교육법은 언제나 동일 하였습니다.

하나님은 아브라함에게 요구했던 순종을 이삭 에게도 요구하셨습니다.

우리는 가르치는 선생님보다 배우는 학생들이 더 힘들 것이라고 생각합니다.

그러나 이것은 사실이 아닙니다.

선생님은 효과적인 수업을 진행하기 위해, 학생들이 노력보다 더 많은 노력을 기울여야 합니다.

선생님은 수업에 대한 내용을 다시 공부해야 하고, 효과적인 교수법을 연구해야 합니다.

또한 학생의 학업 성취도를 높이기 위해, 학생에 대해 세밀히 관찰하고 관심을 가져야 합니다.

마지막으로 이 모든 과정을 끊임 없이 반복해야 합니다.

매 학기마다 새로운 학생들이 수업에 참여하기 때문입니다.

하나님은 새로운 학생인 이삭을 위한 신앙 수업을 준비하셨습니다.

이것은 하나님이 이미 아브라함에게 제공하셨던 수업을 반복해야 하는 지루한 작업이었습니다.

하지만 하나님은 이삭의 신앙을 성장시키기 위해 최고의 수업을 그에게 제공하셨습니다.

2. 신앙 수업을 어려워하는 학생

창세기 26:7-11

7 그 곳 사람들이 그의 아내에 대하여 물으매 그가 말하기를 그는 내 누이라 하였으니 리브가는 보기에 아리따우므로 그 곳 백성이 리브가로 말미암아 자기를 죽일까 하여 그는 내 아내라 하기를 두려워함이었더라

8 이삭이 거기 오래 거주하였더니 이삭이 그 아내 리브가를 껴안은 것을 블레셋 왕 아비멜렉이 창으로 내다본지라

9 이에 아비멜렉이 이삭을 불러 이르되 그가 분명히 네 아내거늘 어찌 네 누이라 하였느냐 이삭이 그에게 대답하되 내 생각에 그로 말미암아 내가 죽게 될까 두려워하였음이로라

10 아비멜렉이 이르되 네가 어찌 우리에게 이렇게 행하였느냐 백성 중 하나가 네 아내와 동침할 뻔하였도다 네가 죄를 우리에게 입혔으리라

11 아비멜렉이 이에 모든 백성에게 명하여 이르되 이 사람이나 그의 아내를 범하는 자는 죽이리라 하였더라

하나님이 제공하는 수업의 난이도는 이삭에게 결코 쉽지 않았습니다. 

하나님은 아브라함에게 제공했던 시험을, 이삭 에게도 똑같이 제공하셨습니다.

이삭은 이 문제를 풀기 위해 그의 아버지와 같은 해결책을 찾았습니다.

그러나 그것은 하나님이 원하시는 정답이 아니었습니다.

이삭이 자신을 지키는 것이 중요했기 때문에, 이 문제에 대한 답을 적을 수 없었습니다.

이후로 몇 가지 새로운 사건들이 거듭해서 발생하였습니다.

그러나 성경에서 말하고자 하는 본래 의도는, 하나님이 제공한 문제에 대해 정답을 찾지 못한 아버지의 행동이, 그의 아들에게도 여전히 반복되고 있음을 보여주는 것입니다.

매년마다 수업에 참여하는 새로운 학생들이 수업 진도를 따라가지 못한다면, 선생님의 마음은 어떨까요?

아무리 인내심을 가진다고 하여도 반복되는 현상 때문에 결국 지쳐버릴 지도 모릅니다.

하지만 본문은 이삭의 불신과 허물에 관한 것 보다는, 하나님께서 인도하시고 지켜 주신다는 사실을 대해 주목하고 있습니다.

문제를 제대로 해결하지 못하는 학생을 바라보는 하나님의 마음은 어떤 것 일까요?

3. 하나님의 교육법 : 동행

창세기 26:12-16

12 이삭이 그 땅에서 농사하여 그 해에 백 배나 얻었고 여호와께서 복을 주시므로

13 그 사람이 창대하고 왕성하여 마침내 거부가 되어

14 양과 소가 떼를 이루고 종이 심히 많으므로 블레셋 사람이 그를 시기하여

15 그 아버지 아브라함 때에 그 아버지의 종들이 판 모든 우물을 막고 흙으로 메웠더라

16 아비멜렉이 이삭에게 이르되 네가 우리보다 크게 강성한즉 우리를 떠나라

이삭의 재산이 엄청나게 증가한 이유는 무엇일까요?

그 이유는 하나님이 아브라함에게 주신 축복이 이삭에게 이어졌기 때문입니다.

하지만 이삭은 이 축복으로 인해 아비멜렉과 갈등을 겪게 되었습니다.

그리고 그 갈등의 대상은 우물이었습니다.

이것은 이삭을 위한 하나님의 두 번째 시험이었습니다.

이삭은 이 시험에서 자신의 권리를 주장하지 않고, 아비멜렉의 행동에 대해 대응하지 않았습니다.

이삭은 첫번째 시험과는 다른 방식으로 이 문제를 풀어나갔습니다.

창세기 26:23-25

23 이삭이 거기서부터 브엘세바로 올라갔더니

24 그 밤에 여호와께서 그에게 나타나 이르시되 나는 네 아버지 아브라함의 하나님이니 두려워하지 말라 내 종 아브라함을 위하여 내가 너와 함께 있어 네게 복을 주어 네 자손이 번성하게 하리라 하신지라

25 이삭이 그 곳에 제단을 쌓고, 여호와의 이름을 부르며 거기 장막을 쳤더니 이삭의 종들이 거기서도 우물을 팠더라

사실 하나님은 항상 이삭과 동행하셨습니다. 

하나님은 이삭이 하나님의 말씀을 들을 때가 되었을 때 그에게 나타나셨습니다.

하나님은 이삭에게 이 신앙 수업의 목적에 대해서 설명하시고, 그에게 용기를 주셨습니다.

하나님의 지도를 받은 이삭은 그 후로 놀라운 경험을 하게 되었습니다.

창세기 26:26-31

26 아비멜렉이 그 친구 아훗삿과 군대 장관 비골과 더불어 그랄에서부터 이삭에게로 온지라

27 이삭이 그들에게 이르되 너희가 나를 미워하여 나에게 너희를 떠나게 하였거늘 어찌하여 내게 왔느냐

28 그들이 이르되 여호와께서 너와 함께 계심을 우리가 분명히 보았으므로 우리의 사이 곧 우리와 너 사이에 맹세하여 너와 계약을 맺으리라 말하였노라

29 너는 우리를 해하지 말라 이는 우리가 너를 범하지 아니하고 선한 일만 네게 행하여 네가 평안히 가게 하였음이니라 이제 너는 여호와께 복을 받은 자니라

30 이삭이 그들을 위하여 잔치를 베풀매 그들이 먹고 마시고

31 아침에 일찍이 일어나 서로 맹세한 후에 이삭이 그들을 보내매 그들이 평안히 갔더라

이삭의 신앙은 하나님의 신앙 수업과 몇 가지 과제들을 해결해 나가면서 성장하였습니다.

특히, 브엘세바에서 있었던 하나님과의 만남은 이삭에게 중요한 의미가 되었습니다.

그가 이 시간을 통해 자신을 위해 성실히 수업을 준비하시는 하나님을 신뢰하게 되었기 때문입니다.

이삭이 하나님의 말씀을 믿고 순종하였는데, 그에게 상당한 성장이 일어나게 된 것입니다.

이삭은 자신을 대하는 아비멜렉의 태도가 완전히 달라진 것을 목격하게 되었습니다.

이삭에게 적대적이었던 아비멜렉이 이제는 이삭에게 호의를 요청하였습니다.

이것은 이삭의 신앙이 이전과는 다르게 성장했다는 사실을 증명해 주는 것입니다.

한 사람의 성장은 스스로는 알아차리기 어렵지만, 주위 사람들이 그 성장을 알아차리게 되는 것입니다.

블레셋 왕은 이삭의 신앙적 성장을 알아 차리게 되었습니다.

그리고 그는 이 성장이 하나님의 수업을 통해 이루어 진 것임을 알고 있었습니다.

그래서 그는 하나님으로부터 복을 받은 이삭과 평화롭게 지내기를 원했습니다.

블레셋 왕은 서로 간에 전쟁이 발생하지 않도록 이삭과 계약을 맺기를 원합니다.

그리고 이 계약은 잔치와 맹세로 확증 되었습니다.

놀라운 사실은 이삭은 블레셋 왕과 같거나 더 높은 지위를 가진 계약 체결 상대로 나타난다는 사실입니다.

하나님께 온전히 순종한 이삭은, 하나님의 수업을 통해 엄청난 성장을 경험하였습니다.

그의 신앙의 성장은 그가 이전에 겪었던 문제들을 탁월하게 해결하였습니다.

4. 신앙 수업을 거부하는 학생

창세기 26:34-35

34 에서가 사십 세에 헷 족속 브에리의 딸 유딧과 헷 족속 엘론의 딸 바스맛을 아내로 맞이하였더니

35 그들이 이삭과 리브가의 마음에 근심이 되었더라

창세기 26장은 전반적으로 이삭에 대해서 서술하다가, 마지막 일부분에서 에서에 대해 언급합니다.

에서의 여러 이방 아내가 이삭과 리브가의 마음에 근심이 된 것은 이스라엘의 풍습과 신앙에서 동떨어진 그들의 생활 방식 때문이었습니다.

성경은 에서의 결혼을 부정적으로 언급하며, 앞으로 하나님이 축복이 야곱에게 전달될 것임을 암시하고 있습니다.

즉, 하나님의 세번째 수업에 등록할 학생은 에서가 아닌 야곱이 될 것입니다.

에서는 전에 야곱에게 맏아들의 권리를 팔았던 것처럼, 이방 여인들과 결혼함으로써 스스로 하나님의 수업에 참가할 의사가 없음을 나타내었습니다.

5. 신앙 수업을 수료하는 학생들의 비밀 : 예수 그리스도

요한복음 14:6

6 예수께서 이르시되 내가 곧 길이요 진리요 생명이니 나로 말미암지 않고는 아버지께로 올 자가 없느니라

하나님의 신앙 수업을 성공적으로 이수한 학생들의 비밀은 무엇일까요?

훌륭한 학생들은 하나님이 준비하신 수업에 대해서 전적인 신뢰를 가지고 있었습니다.

또한 그들은 하나님이 가르침에 순종하며 자신을 변화시켜 나갔습니다.

하나님에 대한 최고의 믿음은 무엇일까요?

그것은 예수 그리스도 입니다.

오직 예수님을 통해서만 하나님께로 가는 길이 열립니다!

오직 예수님을 통해서만 하나님이 주시는 진리를 깨닫게 됩니다!

오직 예수님을 통해서만 하나님으로부터 영원한 생명을 얻을 수 있습니다!

사실 우리는 이미 하나님이 진행하시는 신앙 수업에 참석하고 있습니다.

그 수업은 우리 인생의 전반에 걸쳐서 이루어지고 있습니다.

누군가는 하나님으로부터 순종하는 법을 배우고 있는 중입니다.

누군가는 하나님이 주신 시험을 치루고 있는 중 입니다.

누군가는 하나님께로부터 좋은 평가를 받아 기쁨을 누리고 있는 중일 수도 있습니다.

하나님의 신앙 수업은 때로는 높은 수준으로 진행되어 우리에게 제공됩니다.

그 이유는 하나님께서 당신이 그 과정을 능히 감당할 수 있다고 여기시기 때문입니다.

더 정확하게 말하자면, 당신이 해결할 수 없는 문제를 만났을 때 예수 그리스도를 찾으라는 것입니다.

하나님이 진정으로 바라시는 것은 우리가 스스로 문제를 해결하는 것이 아닙니다.

그 문제로 인해 예수 그리스도께 순종하고, 예수님의 능력을 의지하라는 것입니다.

이것이 하나님이 운영하시는 신앙 수업의 최종 목적입니다.

최고의 선생님이신 하나님은 지금도 우리에게 최고의 수업을 제공해 주십니다.

우리 믿음의 조상들은 예수 그리스도를 통해서 하나님의 수업을 성공적으로 수료하였습니다.

하나님의 수업을 성공적으로 수료한 사람들은, 생명책에 기록되는 영광을 얻게 될 것입니다.

또한 부상으로 진리와 생명을 얻고, 결국 하나님과 영원히 함께하는 특권을 누리게 될 것입니다.

이 모든 것을 가능케 하신 예수 그리스도를 당신의 주인으로 믿으십시요.

그리하여 우리 모두가 하나님의 신앙 수업을 좋은 성적으로 수료하기를 소망합니다.

  • Jan 10 / 2021
  • Comments Off on What is the Final Goal of a Person? (Genesis 19)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

What is the Final Goal of a Person? (Genesis 19)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

What is the final goal of a person?

29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

Genesis 19:29

0. Introduction : Quiz

Today’s message is titled < What is the final goal of a person? > and comes out of Genesis chapter 19. Let me ask you two questions that will provide clues as to the conclusion of the message.

  1. Number one) What is the fastest way to get from Jeonju to Seoul?
    • Answer) Go with a loved one

Because going alone is boring but you lose track of time when you go with someone you love.

  1. Number two) What is the most delicious way to eat ramen and kimbap?
    • Answer) Eat with someone you love

Because eating with someone you love is much more enjoyable than eating alone.

The answers to these questions are not realistic. But we can easily empathize with both of them. In life, doing anything with someone you love is a joy. You pass the time quickly, and get more enjoyment out of every little moment than you would if you did it alone. However, no one wants to move around with or eat with people who make them uncomfortable.

So how do you suppose Abraham and Lot would have answered these questions?

1. The different lives of two men (Abraham vs Lot)

Abraham’s life and Lot’s life were completely different.

They both knew God, and they were even close relatives.

But their lives were completely different.

1-1. About each individual person (Authority)

The first difference we can note has to do with their individual personalities.

Genesis 14:14-16

14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

Genesis 17:23

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.

Abraham was not afraid of people, even his enemies.

He fought and defeated the Allies of the Five Kings to save his nephew Lot.

And when God commanded him to circumcise his whole family and all his servants, all the men in his house obeyed Abraham’s direction to do so.

Abraham had the power and charisma to move people.

What about Lot?

Genesis 14:11-12

11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12 They also carried off Abram`s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

Genesis 19:6; 7; 9

6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don`t do this wicked thing.

9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. And they said, “This fellow came here as an alien, and now he wants to play the judge! We`ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

Lot was afraid of people, even those who were supposed to be his friends and neighbors.

Lot was taken prisoner during the war and waited for someone to save him.

He was also ignored by the people in Sodom because he did not command any kind of authority among them.

1-2. About each of their wives (Life)

The second difference between the two men that we can note is that of the lives of their wives.

Genesis 23:1;17-19

1 Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old.

17 So Ephron`s field in Machpelah near Mamre — both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field — was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan.

Abraham’s wife Sarah lived in peace, a long life to the age of 127.

Her husband Abraham buried her in a cave in the beautiful and spacious field of Machpelah.

This was Sarah’s last beautiful scene.

What about Lot’s wife?

Genesis 19:24-26

24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah — from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities — and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot`s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

The last scene of Lot’s wife was disastrous.

She did not obey God’s orders, so she became a pillar of salt.

Lot couldn’t even find his wife’s body.

1-3. Their descendants (the way)

Finally, the third difference we can note is between Abraham’s descendants and Lot’s descendants.

Genesis 21:6-7

6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Abraham’s descendants were led by his son Isaac, who was born of his wife Sarah.

This was Abraham and Sarah’s long-awaited gift and a promise from God.

Through Isaac’s life they were able to happily confess that God had fulfilled his promise.

What about Lot’s descendants?

Genesis 19:36-38

36 So both of Lot`s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

Lot’s descendants were not born from his wife, but from his daughters in sinful manner.

For that reason, the Israelites were ashamed of their neighbors the Moabites and Ammonites, and they became bitter enemies for much of their history.

The Moabites and Ammonites may be relatives of Israel, but they have a shameful past.

2. Lot’s final goal (the Blessing Abraham has received)

Why did Lot’s family have to suffer this?

What was the final goal of Lot’s life?

Surprisingly, it was to receive the blessing that Abraham had: a son of promise, the health of his family, a broad and beautiful land, a richly blessed life…

So why didn’t Lot achieve his goal?

And why did Abraham succeed where Lot failed?

3. Abraham’s final goal (to obey God)

Abraham’s final goal was never what Lot envied.

His final goal was not to live a blessed life, to become rich and powerful, to see his family live healthy and happy lives, to acquire spacious land. Rather, Abraham’s final goal was much simpler, and much more important: it was to obey God.

His gaze was always on God because Abraham recognized God as the master of his life.

Abraham’s blessing was a gift from God.

But it’s also important to note that his relationship with God was not dependent on the gift he received from God. Abraham obeyed God at any time, whether happy or sad, rich or poor. The fact that God blessed him did not cause Abraham to love and obey God, rather, it was because Abraham loved and obeyed God – first and foremost – that God blessed him in the first place.

Abraham did not allow his feelings to shake his faith.

His identity had always been as a servant of God.

4. Our final goal (to obey Jesus, the true God)

So, what is your final goal in life?

Is your goal to receive a blessing like Abraham had, or is your goal to love and obey God as master? We can clearly see which value is most important through the test Jesus received in the desert before beginning his earthly ministry.

Matthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.`”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “`He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.`”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.`”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: `Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.`” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Jesus is the perfect role model for Christians.

He did not pursue the values of the world, but rather loved and obeyed God’s word, even to the point of death. This is because obedience to God is the ultimate final goal, and Jesus embodied it perfectly for us. 

At that time, people would have thought that Jesus lived a failed life.

But Jesus was resurrected from death and gloriously seated at the right hand of God.

Jesus has become our eternal savior, and He has restored all his lost things!

That is the result of his obedience.

Therefore, following Jesus’ example, the final goal of a person should be to live a life of obedience to God. God will remember and bless those who obey him.

Please accompany our master, God on a daily basis.

This should be your ultimate final goal and it will be the wisest choice of your life.

Now, once more, let’s review the questions we discussed at the beginning of this message again.

  1. Number one) What is the fastest way to go from Jeonju to Seoul?
    • Answer) Go with Jesus. Pray for safety.
  2. Number two) What is the most delicious way to eat ramen and kimbap?
    • Answer) Eat with Jesus. Give thanks to him who provided such delicious food.

If you accompany Jesus, wherever you are becomes heaven!

If you accompany Jesus, you can overcome the values of the world!

I hope you will take this message to heart and believe it strongly!


< 사람의 최종 목표는 무엇인가? >

29 하나님이 그 지역의 성을 멸하실 때 곧 롯이 거주하는 성을 엎으실 때에 하나님이 아브라함을 생각하사 롯을 그 엎으시는 중에서 내보내셨더라

창세기 19:29

0. 예화

오늘은 <사람의 최종 목표는 무엇인가>라는 제목으로 창세기 19장의 말씀을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

오늘 말씀에 결론에 대한 단서를 찾을 수 있는 두 가지 질문이 있습니다.

  1. Q1) 전주에서 서울까지 가장 빨리 가는 방법은?
    • A1) 사랑하는 사람(또는 친구)과 함께 간다.

이유 : 혼자 가면 지루하지만 사랑하는 사람과 함께 가면 가는 길이 즐겁기 때문에

  1. Q2) 음식을 가장 맛있게 먹는 방법은?
    • A1) 사랑하는 사람(또는 친구)와 함께 먹는다.

이유 : 혼자 먹는 것보다 사랑하는 사람과 함께 먹는 것이 더 즐겁기 때문에

이 질문들의 답은 사실적이지는 않습니다.

그러나 우리는 이 답에 대한 의미를 공감할 수 있습니다.

누구도 불편한 사람과 함께 이동하거나 식사를 하고 싶어하지 않기 때문입니다.

아브라함과 롯은 이 질문들에 대해 올바른 답을 말했을까요?

1. 두 사람의 다른 삶(아브라함 vs 롯)

흥미로운 점은 아브라함과 롯의 삶의 모습이 완전히 달랐다는 것입니다.

그들이 하나님을 알고있는 사람들이었고, 삼촌과 조카 사이였는데도 말입니다.

1-1. 본인(권위)

먼저 개인적인 부분에서 차이점이 있습니다.

창세기 14:14-16

14 아브람이 그의 조카가 사로잡혔음을 듣고 집에서 길리고 훈련된 자 삼백십팔 명을 거느리고 단까지 쫓아가서 15 그와 그의 가신들이 나뉘어 밤에 그들을 쳐부수고 다메섹 왼편 호바까지 쫓아가 16 모든 빼앗겼던 재물과 자기의 조카 롯과 그의 재물과 또 부녀와 친척을 다 찾아왔더라

창세기 17:23

23 이에 아브라함이 하나님이 자기에게 말씀하신 대로 이 날에 그 아들 이스마엘과 집에서 태어난 모든 자와 돈으로 산 모든 자 곧 아브라함의 집 사람 중 모든 남자를 데려다가 그 포피를 베었으니

아브라함은 사람을 두려워하지 않았습니다.

아브라함은 조카 롯을 구하기 위해 다섯 왕의 연합군과 싸워 이겼습니다.

또한 그가 하나님의 말씀대로 할례를 행할 때 그 집의 모든 남자들이 아브라함에게 순종하였습니다.

아브라함에게는 사람들을 움직이는 힘과 카리스마가 있었습니다.

롯은 어땠을까요?

창세기 14:11-12

11 네 왕이 소돔과 고모라의 모든 재물과 양식을 빼앗아 가고 12 소돔에 거주하는 아브람의 조카 롯도 사로잡고 그 재물까지 노략하여 갔더라

창세기 19:6;7;9

6 롯이 문 밖의 무리에게로 나가서 뒤로 문을 닫고 7 이르되 청하노니 내 형제들아 이런 악을 행하지 말라

9 그들이 이르되 너는 물러나라 또 이르되 이 자가 들어와서 거류하면서 우리의 법관이 되려 하는도다 이제 우리가 그들보다 너를 더 해하리라 하고 롯을 밀치며 가까이 가서 그 문을 부수려고 하는지라

롯은 사람을 두려워하였습니다.

롯은 전쟁 중에 포로가 되어서 아브라함이 구원해주기만 기다렸습니다.

또한 그의 말에는 권위가 없어 소돔 사람들에게 무시를 당하였습니다.

1-2. 아내(생명)

그들의 아내들의 삶에도 차이가 있습니다.

창세기 23:1;17-19

1 사라가 백이십칠 세를 살았으니 이것이 곧 사라가 누린 햇수라

17 마므레 앞 막벨라에 있는 에브론의 밭 곧 그 밭과 거기에 속한 굴과 그 밭과 그 주위에 둘린 모든 나무가 18 성 문에 들어온 모든 헷 족속이 보는 데서 아브라함의 소유로 확정된지라 19 그 후에 아브라함이 그 아내 사라를 가나안 땅 마므레 앞 막벨라 밭 굴에 장사하였더라 (마므레는 곧 헤브론이라)

아브라함의 아내 사라는 127세까지 평안하게 살다가 아브라함이 에브론에게 얻은 막벨라 밭 굴에 장사 되었습니다. 이것은 아름다운 사라의 마지막 모습이었습니다.

롯의 아내는 어땠을까요?

창세기 19:24-26

24 여호와께서 하늘 곧 여호와께로부터 유황과 불을 소돔과 고모라에 비같이 내리사 25 그 성들과 온 들과 성에 거주하는 모든 백성과 땅에 난 것을 다 엎어 멸하셨더라 26 롯의 아내는 뒤를 돌아보았으므로 소금 기둥이 되었더라

롯의 아내의 마지막은 참담하였습니다.

그녀는 하나님의 명령에 순종하지 않아서 소금 기둥이 되어버렸습니다.

롯은 자신의 아내의 시신조차 찾을 수 없었습니다.

1-3. 후손(방식)

아브라함과 롯의 후손에 대해서 차이가 있습니다.

창세기 21:6-7

6 사라가 이르되 하나님이 나를 웃게 하시니 듣는 자가 다 나와 함께 웃으리로다 7 또 이르되 사라가 자식들을 젖먹이겠다고 누가 아브라함에게 말하였으리요마는 아브라함의 노경에 내가 아들을 낳았도다 하니라

아브라함의 후손은 아내 사라의 아들을 통해서 이어지게 되었습니다.

이것은 아브라함과 사라의 오랜 소원이었고 하나님의 선물이었습니다.

그들은 이삭을 통해 약속을 이루어 주신 하나님을 기쁘게 고백할 수 있었습니다.

롯의 후손은 어땠을까요?

창19:36-38

36 롯의 두 딸이 아버지로 말미암아 임신하고 37 큰 딸은 아들을 낳아 이름을 모압이라 하였으니 오늘날 모압의 조상이요 38 작은 딸도 아들을 낳아 이름을 벤암미라 하였으니 오늘날 암몬 자손의 조상이었더라

롯의 후손은 윤리적으로 옳지 않은 방식으로 탄생하였습니다.

그 이유로 이스라엘 사람들은 이웃 민족인 모압과 암몬을 부끄러운 민족으로 여겼습니다.

모압과 암몬은 이스라엘과 친척이지만 그들은 부끄러운 과거를 가지고 있었습니다.

2. 롯의 최종 목표(아브라함의 축복)

롯의 가족은 왜 이런 고통을 겪어야 했을까요?

롯이 바랬던 인생의 최종 목표는 무엇이었을까요?

그것은 놀랍게도 아브라함이 가지고 있는 축복이었습니다.

약속의 아들, 가족의 건강, 넓은 땅, 부유한 삶…

그런데 왜 롯은 목표를 이루지 못했을까요?

아브라함은 어떻게 이렇게 많은 성공을 할 수 있었을까요?

3. 아브라함의 최종 목표(하나님께 순종)

아브라함의 목표는 롯이 부러워하는 것들이 아니었습니다.

아브라함의 최종 목표는 하나님께 순종하는 삶이었습니다.

그의 시선은 언제나 하나님께 머물러 있었습니다.

하나님이 아브라함의 주인이셨기 때문입니다.

아브라함의 축복은 하나님께서 아브라함에게 주신 선물입니다.

아브라함은 하나님께 받은 선물로 인해 하나님과의 관계가 멀어지지 않았습니다.

그는 기쁠 때나 슬플 때나 언제나 하나님께 순종하였습니다.

그는 그의 감정이 그의 믿음을 흔들리게 하는 것을 허용하지 않았습니다.

아브라함의 정체성은 언제나 하나님의 종이었습니다.

4. 우리의 최종 목표(참 하나님, 예수님께 순종)

당신의 인생의 최종 목표는 무엇입니까?

아브라함의 축복입니까? 아니면 나의 주인이신 하나님께 순종하는 것입니까?

우리는 어떤 가치가 가장 중요한 것인지 예수님이 받으신 시험 통해 알 수 있습니다.

마태복음 4:1-11

1 그 때에 예수께서 성령에게 이끌리어 마귀에게 시험을 받으러 광야로 가사 2 사십 일을 밤낮으로 금식하신 후에 주리신지라 3 시험하는 자가 예수께 나아와서 이르되 네가 만일 하나님의 아들이어든 명하여 이 돌들로 떡덩이가 되게 하라

4 예수께서 대답하여 이르시되 기록되었으되 사람이 떡으로만 살 것이 아니요 하나님의 입으로부터 나오는 모든 말씀으로 살 것이라 하였느니라 하시니

5 이에 마귀가 예수를 거룩한 성으로 데려다가 성전 꼭대기에 세우고 6 이르되 네가 만일 하나님의 아들이어든 뛰어내리라 기록되었으되 그가 너를 위하여 그의 사자들을 명하시리니 그들이 손으로 너를 받들어 발이 돌에 부딪치지 않게 하리로다 하였느니라

7 예수께서 이르시되 또 기록되었으되 주 너의 하나님을 시험하지 말라 하였느니라 하시니

8 마귀가 또 그를 데리고 지극히 높은 산으로 가서 천하 만국과 그 영광을 보여 9 이르되 만일 내게 엎드려 경배하면 이 모든 것을 네게 주리라

10 이에 예수께서 말씀하시되 사탄아 물러가라 기록되었으되 주 너의 하나님께 경배하고 다만 그를 섬기라 하였느니라 11 이에 마귀는 예수를 떠나고 천사들이 나아와서 수종드니라

예수님은 그리스도인의 완벽한 롤모델이십니다.

예수님은 세상의 가치를 추구하지 않았습니다. 오히려 세상의 가치와는 다른 죽음의 길로 걸어가셨습니다. 그 이유는 그것이 하나님께 순종하는 것이었기 때문입니다.

그 당시 사람들이 보기에 예수님은 실패한 인생을 살았다고 평가했을 것입니다.

하지만 예수님은 죽음에서 부활하셔서 영광스러운 하나님의 오른편에 앉게 되셨습니다.

예수님은 우리의 영원한 구원자가 되셨습니다.

예수님은 잃어버린 모든 것을 회복하셨습니다.

그것이 순종의 결과였습니다.

사람의 최종 목표는 예수님처럼 하나님께 순종하는 삶을 살아가는 것입니다.

하나님께서는 순종하는 자들을 기억하고 축복하실 것입니다.

주인이신 하나님께 동행하십시요. 그것이 당신의 인생의 목표이자 최고의 선택입니다.

마지막으로 앞에 했던 질문에 다시 답해보겠습니다.

  1. Q1) 전주에서 서울까지 가장 빨리 가는 방법은?
    • A1) 예수님과 함께 간다. 안전을 위해 예수님께 기도한다.
  2. Q2) 음식을 가장 맛있게 먹는 방법은?
    • A1) 예수님과 함께 먹는다. 예수님께 감사의 기도를 한다.

예수님과 동행하면 그 어디나 천국이 됩니다!

예수님과 동행하면 세상의 가치를 이기게 됩니다!

이것을 강력하게 믿기를 바랍니다!

  • May 31 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Obedience and Prayer (Hebrews 13:17-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Obedience and Prayer (Hebrews 13:17-19)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

Download notes in a .MD file

Obedience and Prayer

Hebrews 13:17-19 (Pastor Heo)

17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.


Why does God bless us? We know from the example of Abraham – he blesses some to bless others. Through Abraham, all people on earth will be blessed. Also today, we are channels of heavenly blessing.

So, our relationship with God is revealed through our relationship with man.

  • We pray like this in the Lord’s Prayer “forgive our debts as we also forgive our debtors…”
  • Bible says, “If you forgive others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, if not, then not…”
  • and also “If you say you love God but do not love others, you are a liar.”

All of these things make it clear about our relationship with God – we can see through our relationship to others.

Today’s two keywords = Obedience and Prayer

Obedience: surrendering to God + submission

Also, our obedience to God can be seen as a reflection of our obedience to man. And we must pray for our coworkers and leaders.

Obedience

Do you like surrendering, submission? This is not a popular word, it looks like “loser.” But these days in the modern culture, we like the words, “overcoming, fighting, winning, etc” – but we must know that obedience is essential to a Christian life. Christ says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

3 Reasons to surrender to God:

1. Surrendering is the heart of worship

Worship is our lifestyle – the heart of our lifestyles, and the heart of worship is obedience

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

The word: to worship and, to surrender are the same in root.

From Greek: proscunero

English = prostrate (throwing our bodies flat on the ground with faces touching the ground in full submission and surrender) so full worship = to surrender

You will not surrender to God unless you trust him. You cannot trust him until you know him better.

If you say “I know God” but do not obey you are a liar.

2. We are humans and he is God – we are created beings with limitations

Yes, we accept our limitations mentally, but sometimes we do not accept them emotionally – we react with anger, resentment. We want to be stronger, healthier, more talented, taller, more beautiful. We want to do it all, have it all, and when we can’t, we become upset. When we see others have what we want and we do not have, we react with envy, anger, self-pity.

Yet, we must accept our limitations by surrending.

3. Humans are designed to surrender

We are designed to surrender to God – if not God, it will be something else: money, pride, our ego, sinful nature, etc

We are designed to worship God, but if we fail, then we will create other things to give our lives to – this is called idolatry.

What is surrendering to God?

This is not passive resignation, nor an excuse for laziness. This means a positive attitude to fulfill God’s will on me – a holy enthusiasm to please God for his glory.

When we live a surrendered life, that decision will be tested. This means sometimes doing a difficult or unpopular job – doing a dangerous job, or doing the opposite of what we FEEL like doing.

Paul: “I die every day.” What does this mean? There is a moment of surrender.

Also, the practice of surrender is moment by moment and life-long. We must make this a daily habit. That is why Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Let me share the blessings of obedience and surrender. Can you imagine how blessed you are in surrendering to God?

3 blessings in surrendering to God

1. This makes our life meaningful.

Is your life meaningful or meaningless?

For example, this microphone is meaningful because it is used by me. It is useful as long as it is being used. But if no one is using it, it is meaningless.

Like this, we are made by God – he is our maker – so our life is meaningful only when he is using us, because he is our creator and maker.

God can use anybody and everybody. He can use tall, short, rich, poor, black, white, educated, uneducated. But he cannot use the disobedient.

Being obedient is an essential element to being used by God.

We know the story of the virgin Mary. God used her to be the mother of Jesus Christ, not because of her status, but because of her surrender – even though she could not understand fully. Yet, she obeyed fully, saying, “I’m a servant of the Lord, let it be done to me as you have said.”

2. We can receive peace and blessing

God is love. Surrendering to him brings peace, not bondage, and freedom. When we surrender to Christ, we can discover he is a friend and brother, not a dictator.

When we accept Christ as our Lord, he accepts us as his friend. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Surrender to him and you will find real peace and freedom.

3. Surrendering brings power and victory

Surrendering to bring us power is a paradox.

The more we surrender to God, the more powerful we become. The importance of a surrendered life is in the hands of God. Nothing is more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God.

If you surrender to God, there is nothing to fear in this world.

The faith displayed in chp 11 shows many experienced great power and victory – but only when they surrendered fully, immediately to God.

This is the secret to be powerful and victorious in this life.

How, practically, can we obey God and surrender our whole lives to God?

1. First of all, we should surrender to Jesus Christ and accept him as our personal Savior.

This is the command of all commands in the Bible.

“One day they came to him and asked, ‘what must we do to do the work of God?’ Jesus answered, ‘Believe in me.'”

Phil 2 “At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every mouth confess that Jesus is Lord.”

The first thing we must do to surrender to God is accept Christ as Savior and Lord.

2. Obey human beings and human leadership – especially church leadership

We show our obedience to God by obeying man, also we must obey man in order to obey God.

v. 17

“17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

Romans 13 “Everyone must submit himself to the human (governing) authorities because all authorities that exist have been established by God.” So, he who rebels against the human establishment rebels against God.

1 Peter 2:18 “Servants, submit yourselves to your human masters, not only good and considerate masters, but also harsh masters.”

Obeying human leaders is not easy, but obeying harsh masters is even more difficult.

We obey human leaders in order to obey God, but this is not an easy job – so we need his help.

Even to surrender to him, we need his help, his power. That’s why we need to pray.

v. 18-19

“18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.”

Jesus is our example and we are to be like him. He is the supreme example in the Bible.

We know his example: In the garden before his crucifixion, he prayed until his sweat became as drops of blood on the ground, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup from me, but not my will but yours be done.”

Hebrews summarizes his whole life: “While on earth, he offered up prayers with loud cries and he was heard and accepted because of his obedience.”

Even still, Jesus is sitting on the right hand of God and praying for us. So, if he is still praying for us, we also must pray for others.

If the Son of God needed to pray, how much MORE do we need to pray.

Please meditate on these two keywords: Obedience and Prayer.

Let us be obedient to God and pray for his grace and mercy.

God bless his church, his children.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)

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You are to live for Eternity

Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

Genesis 50

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

When Isaac went to give the blessing to Esau, he was tricked by his wife and son Jacob. When he blessed Jacob the first time, in the trick, he knew that his future blessing would go through Jacob, so later, he blessed Jacob again with full knowledge of this. (This is v. 20)

Jacob had 12 sons and these sons became the Father of the 12 tribes of Israel. So, when his death was near, he blessed them with prophecies and blessings. He also blessed Joseph’s two sons. These were his grandsons.

Manasseh was the first – so he was put on the right hand of Jacob. Ephraim was on the left side because he was the second son.

At that time, Jacob could not see because he was dying, yet he crossed his arms to bless them. His right hand on Ephraim’s head, his left hand on Manasseh’s head. Joseph said, “No father! This is the first son!”

Jacob: “I know. He will be a great nation, but the second will be greater.” By knew (by faith) and blessed them (by faith) according to the will of God.

v. 22

“22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

Joseph was the last patriarch and lived a great life of faith. He remembered God’s purpose and plan for him and his descendants. His story:

  1. Sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt (at age 17)
  2. Sold again to an official in Egypt (and thrown in jail)
  3. Because of his fear of God, he was eventually promoted to Prime Minister.
  4. He lived until 110.

This means he lived in Egypt 90 years – and he became Prime Minister at age 30 (so he was in the highest position – with power – for about 80 years in Egypt). If he had wanted to, he could have set up his own empire in Egypt as his home. But, amazingly, during his stay, he never considered Egypt as his home. He always considered himself a stranger / foreigner / not a citizen in Egypt – because he remembered God’s promise to his great grandfather Abraham.

He made his children swear to carry his bones out of Egypt when God delivered them. So, these descendants passed his will down generation to generation for 400 years until they were delivered. And finally, Joseph’s mummy (embalmed) was carried out to Canaan where Joshua conquered the land.

What we can learn:

1. To bless others is very important.

  • Jacob blessed his children and grandchildren by faith.
  • Joseph blessed his children and brothers by faith.
  • Parents are given the responsibility / blessing to bless their own children.

In this passage, each person’s life is summarized not by how they lived, but by how they died. Someday, our lives also will be characterized by how we finish this life.

Are you living by faith?

Living by faith is very important. But dieing by faith is MORE important. To die by faith requires us to live by faith.

Say to yourself: “I’m not an accident.”

Your birth is no mistake, no mishap. Perhaps your parents did not plan your birth, but GOD DID. That is why we are here, now, today.

God was not surprised by your birth nor my birth. Long before you were conceived, you were chosen and thought of by God.

Eph “You were chosen before the foundation of the world by Jesus Christ to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

God thought of you before anyone else (he thought of you first). God deliberately designed and decided our days, our times, our birthplaces, the times of our birth and death. He planned where we would be born and where we would live.

This life is very SHORT. At most – less than 100 years. But remember, we will spend eternity in heaven. More than anything else, we were created to live for eternity. We have an inborn instinct to live for eternity. This is because God designed us to live for eternity.

Ecc 3:11 “God has made everything beautiful in its time. And he has set eternity in the minds / hearts of Man.”

But we don’t fully understand what he is doing from beginning to end.

You know, someday, your heart, my heart, will stop beating. This is the end of this body on earth, but it is not the end of you and me. It is just a transition into eternity.

Are you not happy about physical death? But today’s passage mentions Isaac’s death, Jacob’s death, and Jacob’s death. You know the last verse in Genesis is “Joseph died…”

We must be serious about the matter of life and death. The Bible calls our physical body a “tent.”

2 Cor “Now we know that if our tents (physical bodies) are destroyed, we have a house in heaven not built by human hands.”

So, in all this we must live in the light of eternity. We were created to live for eternity.

The main point of this story:

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph received the promise from God, but they never entered the Promised Land in their lifetimes. They never received the promise – Israel never became a great nation, they all lived as strangers in this world. But they didn’t die in despair, but in hope.

Their thoughts and beliefs / faith were like this: God’s promise and plan is VERY SURE and he never breaks his promise. I, personally, may never see that promise fulfilled, but I’m a link in the chain to its fulfillment. So, whether or not that promise comes, depends on me.

We must take the same lesson:

Do you have hope?

Maybe they will NEVER be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but we must live in such a way as to hasten their coming for future generations. And our FINAL HOPE is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Matt 24? “This gospel will be preached in the whole world, and THEN the end will come.” Great Commission: Matt 28 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And surely I’m with you to the very end of the age.”

This Great Commission may not be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but it WILL be fulfilled. Do you believe this? Therefore, we must be a LINK – we must be connected for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We must live from the perspective of eternity.

Faith makes us able to see beyond the temporary, into eternity. It allows us to see beyond what is seen and into unseen.

If we fully comprehend that there is more to life than the here and now, and that our physical life is only preparation for eternity, then we will begin to live differently.

If we really understand that, then many goals, problems, and plans will seem so small and not worthy of our attention. We must use our Time, Talent, and Treasure more wisely, for eternity. WHO I AM is more important than what I have.

Our attitudes and character is much more important than fame, money, possessions, power. Paul: “What was for my gain, I consider loss compared to the greatness of Christ. I consider all things rubbish so that I might be found in Christ.”

We experienced pregnancy in our mother’s womb. This 9-10 months was not an end in itself, but a preparation for life in this world. Likewise, our 90-100 years on earth is preparation for the next life.

“God has a plan. God has a purpose for my life on earth.”

If you believe God has a purpose and plan for your life on earth, you must know that his plan for you doesn’t end in this world. This is very important.

My physical life will end someday, but God’s plan for me doesn’t end even though I pass away at some point. This is a very important lesson for us.

Ps 33:1 “God’s plans / purposes last forever.”

Heb 13:14 “Here we do not have an enduring city, so we are looking forward to the city that is to come.” This world is not our home, so we are looking forward to our everlasting city in heaven.

So, to make the most of our lives in this world, we must keep the value of eternity in our hearts. Measured against eternity, this life is too short – shorter than the blink of an eye. We must know that even though our lives here are very short, the consequences of our actions on earth are eternal – they decide our relationship to God in eternity.

There are many countries, jobs, hobbies, but eternity offers only two options: heaven vs. hell.

If you accept Jesus Christ, if you believe and trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord on this earth, then you will be invited to spend eternity with God in heaven. But if you reject God’s grace through Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity separated from God. That’s why our lives on earth are so important though they are so short.

We are not living yesterday’s life, nor tomorrow’s. “I’m living TODAY’S life.”

Why is “today” so important?

Because “today” is the first day of the rest of our lives (including eternity). And someday – in the future (which will be called “today” on that day) will be our last day, and it is so important.

v. 20-22

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

We are living for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all creation and THEN the end will come.

We may see the fulfillment of this Great Commission in our lives, or we may not. But what is important is that it WILL be fulfilled in God’s time, in God’s way, by those who live BY FAITH. And we must be connected to this.

God bless you.

  • Feb 02 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)

Download Notes in a .MD file.

Faith is Lifetime Obedience

Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22 (Pastor Heo)

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Genesis 6:5-13, 22

5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD .

9 This is the account of Noah.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

22 [your name] Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


Put your name in the place of Noah and read again.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for…” – the power to see what is unseen. God, heaven, eternity, salvation – all are unseen. But by faith, we can see them and enjoy them. By faith, we can see the future as present. By faith, we can make the future as a matter of the present – so we can give thanks under any circumstances and rejoice under any circumstances (by faith).

Last Sunday, we saw Enoch’s faith – a demonstration. He walked with God over 300 years (how? we don’t know exactly). But he walked toward the same destination, in the same direction, at the same pace. Then, God took him to heaven and he was on earth no more.

Today: Noah walked with God.

Through this, we can know that the life of faith is not a life of flying up to heaven with wings – but rather a life of continuous walking, step-by-step, in love with, in step with the One who is leading us.

Today: Noah’s demonstration of faith.

Noah: Genesis 6-9 – Noah is well-known for the flood. He is the 10th generation from Adam and the great grandson of Enoch.

We know Adam had at least three sons: Cain, Abel, Seth. Noah is from the line of Seth.

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, Japheth. Later, David and Jesus from the line of Shem.

Noah lived 950 years. He was one of those who lived the longest years on this earth. His grandfather Methusela lived 969 years (the longest according to the record of the Bible).

According to this account, at that time, the earth was flooded with violence and corruption. God was sorry and grieving that he made anything. He was going to show his judgment and destroy everything with a great flood. Only Noah, his family, and the representatives of each animal species would be saved.

But it took Noah 120 years to finish this ark. Meaning? God gave the people 120 years LONG last chance to repent and turn from their wicked ways. But no one repented.

This is a great turning point in human history.

  • Adam was the first father of all human beings.
  • Noah was second first father of all human beings.
    • We are children of Adam, and we are children of Noah.

Before the flood, the living conditions were ideal for living creations. So they had longer lives. But afterward, the ecology, environment, etc were changed. Before the flood, we were in a “womb” of earth – the earth was covered with an expanse of water (kept safe from the UV rays of the sun)- but at the flood, all that water came to earth. And afterward, human lifespan reduced rapidly.

Abram was twelfth generation from Adam and lived less.

David lived only 70 years (500 years later).

Psalm 90:10 says, “The length of our days on earth is 70 years.” (If you are healthy – you may live 80 years).

Let’s look at Noah’s faith:

  • Heart (moved with fear and sorrow and reverence to God),
  • mind (focused on God),
  • willpower (acted on what God said to him).

We can see 4 characteristics of faith and learn a lesson for our own lives.

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

#1 Noah took God at his word

He believed the message God sent – even though it might have seemed foolish at that time. Yet, he believed and staked everything (also his reputation) on it.

Noah, after receiving that command, he laid aside his normal activities and focused on what God said to him to do. His life was a continuous concentration of effort toward God’s will. And so he was saved from the flood.

Also today, God’s word comes to us through many ways: our conscience, directly from the Bible, the message at church, the advice or rebuke of godly people around us, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, we must be sensitive and awakened to the Word and Will and moving of God through the Holy Spirit. How? By believing his Word. How can we trust Jesus? By trusting his Word.

“Have faith in God, also in me.” – Jesus

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.”

We can take God at his word. God is speaking to us through his word.

#2 Noah was not deterred / hindered from mockery / scorn / rebuke of others

Imagine the context at that time. At that time, there had NEVER been a flood like this. They had never seen an ark like that, especially not in the middle of the land.

It looked like a huge 3-story coffin / box. They were very FAR from the sea. The sun was shining every day. Noah’s neighbors might ask him: Hey, Noah, what are you doing? What are you making? Noah: A ship. B: What? Why? Noah: God said. There will be heavy rain. All will be covered and destroyed. If you want to live, you must come in with me! B: Are you crazy? You’re out of your mind! (Movie: Evan Almighty is good representation of this)

Obedience = not ONE time obedience but a lifetime of obedience – full-time commitment to the will of God even in the face of scorn and ridicule of others.

Also, think of the church at Jesus’ time: 2000 years ago.

  • A: I’ve decided to become Christian.
  • B: They are outlawed! In prison! Thrown to the lions, burned, persecuted, crucified!
  • A: Yes, I know.
  • B: Are you crazy?

Jesus was also misunderstood as a crazy man. Many people said of him, “He is raving mad! Demon possessed!”

Paul also was misunderstood as a crazy man. He preached the gospel at his trial and some shouted at him, “Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

Also, we are followers of Christ. He is misunderstood as a crazy man to save us. How about you? Have you ever been misunderstood as a crazy person in this life? As a Christian?

This is one of the hardest challenges of Christianity – that we must sometimes be prepared to look like a fool in the eyes of those who don’t believe.

Noah was called “strange” by his neighbors who didn’t know God.

Noah obeyed this command to build a boat in the middle of the land even though it seemed strange. This obedience makes him “different”.

Like this, if you obey God and other people call you “strange” do not be surprised. Our obedience makes their disobedience stand out.

When God asks us to do something, he gives us the necessary strength and power to do it.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to those of us who are being saved, it is the wisdom and power of God. For they didn’t know him.”

“The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.” (Is it possible that God is foolish?)

“The weakness of God is stronger than the strength of man.” (Is it possible that God is weak?)

Yet, so often, the wisdom of God appears to be foolishness to the people of this world.

#3 Noah’s faith was a judgment on others

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. *By his faith he condemned the world* and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Actually, Noah did not condemn the world. But his faith was a condemnation on others and a judgment on others. That is why in one sense it is DANGEROUS to be Christian.

In a sense, in this world, to be Christian is a dangerous thing. By being a Christian, your faith is pointing out others’ sin.

It is not that we are self-righteous, not that we say, “I told you so”, not that we go about finding fault with them.

Actually, Noah DID NOT judge others, he didn’t condemn them. But his faith, his trust in God became judgment and condemnation on their unbelief.

Ex: We Christians should be blessing in this world. But if they do not receive the gospel we preach, as Christians, our presence itself is a judgment on them.

If they receive the word we preach, they become blessed through us, and we a blessing to them.

But if they reject it, we become a condemnation to them.

1 John: “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already…”

Man hates the Light – because Man loves the Darkness.

Light comes – and simply by coming, the Darkness is condemned. The Darkness hates the Light because its evil deeds will be exposed.

Jesus says, “You are the Light of the World.” (I’m the Light of the World) “So let your light shine before men so that they may see and praise your Father in heaven.”

Christians’ presence is a big challenge: We are either a blessing or a condemnation to others.

#4 Noah was righteous through faith

Genesis 6:9 “This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”

He was NOT actually blameless (he made a big mistake after coming off the ark). He is the first person in the Bible who is called “righteous.” This doesn’t mean he was sinless, but that he wholeheartedly served God.

Gen 6:8 “But Noah found favor / grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

Noah was declared righteous by the GRACE of God through faith in God.

Romans: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

But justification by faith has power – it makes us take action to do the will of God. If we are really declared righteous by faith, this non-condemnation leads us to live a righteous life.

Noah: When all others broke the commandments, Noah kept them. When they were deaf to God’s word, Noah heard and obeyed. When they laughed at God, Noah respected, honored, worshiped God.

The first thing he did off the ark: worship God.

Our story: Jesus uses Noah’s experience as a warning to us.

Matt 24 “Heaven and earth will pass away but my Word will remain forever.” (This is just like the flood of Noah) “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the day of the Coming of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They never knew what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”

In the warning of Christ, he mentions eating, drinking, and marrying – very negatively. Are these sins? Bad or good? They are good! We must eat! We must drink! Marriage is good! So, why did he mention these things so negatively? Because we must remember, they can never be our final purpose / mission / why we should exist in this world.

They ate, drank, married – as a final purpose in their lives – without trusting God.

Anything we do WITHOUT God in our lives – is a terrible thing. But anything we do WITH God is a holy, acceptable thing.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (this is the conclusion – this is our final purpose / mission / why we exist in this world).

God bless you with this final sentence (memorize it).

Whether you eat or drink, marry or not marry, do it all for the glory of God.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 06 / 2019
  • Comments Off on From Abraham to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

From Abraham to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20)

Download Notes in a .MD file

From Abraham to Christ Jesus! (Hebrews 6:13-20)

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.


Hebrews is a book of warning AND encouragement. There is a warning not to discourage nor threaten us, but to give us hope in patient faith, continually. Remember the end of last Sunday’s sermon? This book encourages us not to be lazy, but diligent with hope and patience in faith. After giving this encouragement, this passage gives us a sample to imitate: Abraham.

One of the key words here is “promise.” God gave this word continually to Abraham.

Actually God does not need to swear to speak an oath – because he never lies. There is no one greater than God. So what does this mean, God taking an oath by himself? This means this is DOUBLE emphasis of importance.

Also today, Jesus says, “Truly, truly I tell you…” – Jesus doesn’t need to say this actually, because all things he speaks are truth. “I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So what does this mean? this is Jesus vow / oath to give us double certainty.

This passage is from Abraham to Jesus. Also in Matthew 1 – the genealogy of Jesus, it begins with Abraham and ends with Jesus. So this passage gives us an example to imitate Abraham.

Several times, the Bible mentions:

  • “Abraham is the father of all who believe.”
  • Galatians 3:7 “Those who believe in Jesus are children of Abraham.”
  • Romans “Abraham is the father of all who believe.”

What does this mean?

Abraham is not perfect in his character – he told several lies about his wife “she’s my sister” to keep his life. Also, he was NOT the first person to be saved by faith – who believed in God. MANY people believed and were saved before Abraham. So then, why does the Bible introduce us to Abraham as the “father of faith” so often?

What does this mean to you / me personally? “Abraham is my father.” – this means there should be a very close relationship, right?

This passage wants to make it clear, all who believe are children of Abraham, and children of God.

Abraham is the Father of all who believe (2 points):

#1 God gives

(promise is a keyword)

  • First, Abraham is the first public example of how we can be saved and declared righteous / justified. In this fact, he is our father, we are his children.

Second, we are heirs of Abraham’s promise. Still today, if we believe in Christ, we are sharing Abraham’s ultimate mission / inheritance.

v. 15

“so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

Not only this sentence, but also another promise that Abraham did not receive. (Make a note beside this sentence.)

The OTHER promise (he did NOT receive) – even until today, we are receiving and sharing that promise. That promise is BEING fulfilled through those who believe in Christ.

#2 God saves

  • Abraham is our public, official sample of how to be saved (there is a gap of 4000 years between him and us – but we are saved by the same faith by which he was saved).

Let me share HOW he was saved and declared righteous. Listening to this, we must continually remember we are saved in the same way.

His salvation story is the SAME as ours (3 points)

1. By faith

(Genesis 14 – today’s message is “solid food”) – Abraham was saved by faith, not works

In Genesis 14, he defeated allied kings to save his nephew Lot – and he was wondering if they would return to fight him again.

At that time, his name was Abram – and called him, “Do not be afraid. I’m your shield and your very great reward.” At that time, the thing Abram wanted most of all was a son. God gave him a promise – took him outside to see the stars and said, “So shall your offspring be.” He was 85.

Abram believed this promise. “Amen.” (“It is true.”)

So, saying Amen is SO important – God receives glory simply when we say, “Amen.” “I believe” means “Amen.”

“Abraham believed God and God credited it to him as righteousness.” (credited = imputed / like a credit card – banking term – to put to his account). For example, a man works, earns money, and the money is credited to his account.

But, Abraham did NOT work for his promise. God spoke, Abraham believed, and THAT FAITH was counted as righteousness and justification to his account.

It was Jesus Christ who did work for him on his account. And it was the work of Jesus on the cross that was credited to his account.

Like this, we also do nothing for our salvation. When we believe / accept Jesus as Savior, his righteousness is transferred to my account. His righteousness becomes my righteousness. Like whenever someone transfers money to my account, that money becomes my money.

  • “…in him we might become the righteousness of God…”
  • “…Jesus Christ is our righteousness…” (Corinthians)

#2 By Grace

Not by circumcision, not by keeping the Law.

When he believed and God credited it to him as righteousness, he was 85 years old – in Genesis 15.

In Genesis 17, when he was 99 years old, he became circumcised.

This circumcision happened 14 years AFTER he believed in the promise of God – so it is clear that his circumcision did NOT affect his salvation. And also, the Law was given through Moses – who lived 500 years later.

So circumcision, observing the Law, had nothing to do with Abraham’s salvation. God only gave him a promise, and he responded with “Amen.”

  • Why did God give him a promise?
  • Was Abraham worthy of it?
  • Did he deserve it? Did he earn it?
    • NO

God gave him a promise for a son BY GRACE – for nothing – this was a gift.

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace you have been saved, not by works, so that no one can boast. This is not of yourselves…”

3. By the power of Jesus’ Resurrection

Not by his own power.

We know God appeared to Abraham and said, “I’ll give you a son” when he was already 85 years old in Genesis 15. So…. maybe he would expect a son, pretty soon…. Seems a bit old….

He knew God was so faithful and capable of keeping his promise. “Your children will be like the stars.” So, he should expect to receive this promise immediately. Yet, God delayed and delayed and delayed until Abraham became 100, and his wife was 90 years old. Humanly speaking, this is unimaginable – impossible.

In chp 17, when he was still Abram, and 99 years old, he came to him again and said, “I am God Almighty. Walk blamelessly before me. I *have made* you the father of many nations.”

*have made* = present perfect (already)

Yet… no son.

God said, “No longer will your name be Abram – change it to Abraham.” (This name means “exalted father.”)

Abraham did not walk by sight but walked by faith. One reason God delayed and delayed (we know he is good, so faithful, and NOTHING is impossible)… So WHY delay? To wait. To commit ALL their physical strength and natural energy to decrease and disappear completely. Then, at age 100, he had a son. Then he had a rejuvenation of his body – this is a symbol of the resurrection power of Christ.

Abraham believed God’s promise, and it was credited to him as righteousness. The application is very clear.

As long as a sinner believes he has SOME power to save himself, he cannot be saved by grace. ONLY when we admit and confess: I’m totally helpless on my own – Only then, can God’s holy, helping, saving power help us.

We can see the situation of Abraham in Genesis, 4000 years ago.

There was no Bible; no church history books; no devotional books; no witnesses; no fellowship with other believers – he was almost completely ALONE – surrounded by unbelieving pagans. And yet, in this hard, terrible situation, he believed God’s promise. So, God honored and rewarded his faith.

Abraham’s faith in God’s promise did not diminish as time passed.

If we have true saving faith – it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger as time passes, regardless of our surrounding circumstances.

If you have faith, what is the basis of your faith?

If your faith is based on WHAT Jesus has done on the cross, it will become stronger and stronger over time. But if your faith is based on your own performance – your own work for God, it becomes weaker and weaker over time.

  • If your faith is based on GOD’S promise, it grows stronger and stronger.
  • If your faith is based on your feelings or circumstances, it becomes weaker and weaker as time passes.

Hallelujah~ One example.

If your lover is now far away in Africa or America, and he gave you a promise: I will return to you within 10 years. Our initial faith can be very strong: YES – I believe this. You will be full of expectation to see him.

One year, two years, three years, four years, five years, he does not come.

In this situation, your initial faith will become stronger? Or weaker? Depends on your heart / attitude.

If our initial faith becomes weaker and weaker – it means that our faith is based on our feelings – not on believing his promise. If we believe the PROMISE, then as the time passes, we believe stronger and stronger.

So, after one year passes, the probability of his return is 1/10. In the second year, 2/10 probability or returning. In the 3rd year: 3/10. In the 9th year: 9/10. In the 10th year: the probability of returning is 100% (10/10). So, as time passes, our faith becomes stronger and stronger with patience and hope.

Hope is a symbol of an anchor – an absolute standard.

Jesus also promised: “I am coming soon.” at the end of Revelation (3x). He gave this promise already 2000 years ago – and although we do not know the limitation of the period of time in which he will return, there IS a limit. So if we believe in his PROMISE, our initial faith will become stronger or weaker? Stronger. Because the period of time left is smaller and smaller and the probability of his return becomes bigger and bigger.

Still today, Jesus gives us a promise with an oath. “Truly, truly, I tell you…”

“Whoever hears my voice and believes in him who sent me will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.”

“To all who received him, … he gave the right to become children of God.”

“If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth, you will be saved.”

The meaning of “Abraham as father”

v 15

“so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

This is why one of the 9 spiritual gifts is patience.

There is yet another promise which he did not yet receive. WE are receiving that promise given to Abraham.

This is very important – this is very close to the end.

God’s promise was for a son – but this was not the only promise.

Abraham received his one son, Isaac, but this was not God’s only promise: “You will be the father of many nations.”

Genesis 12 – the Calling of Abram

God called Abram and said, “Leave you house and your hometown and go to the land I will show you.”

v 2-3

“I will make you into a great nation; I will bless you. I’ll make your name great. I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and ALL people on earth will be blessed through you.”

This promise is the gospel.

The ultimate promise of God given to Abram is “ALL nations will be blessed through you.” (saved through you)

Gal 3:9 “God preached the gospel in advance to Abraham.” There was no gospel preacher at that time – God preached to Abram in advance: “All nations will be blessed / saved through you.”

We know God is so faithful and almighty. God gave his promise to Abram 4000 years ago. This promise has been fulfilled through Abram in his lifetime? NO.

Since that promise was given, 4000 years have passed – and this promise is BEING fulfilled.

Conclusion:

This promise: “All nations will be blessed / saved through you.” – only by Jesus Christ.

Title: From Abraham to Jesus Christ.

We are now between Abraham and Jesus Christ. This ultimate promise / mission given 4000 years ago is now being fulfilled through those who believe in Christ. That’s why we are called his children – because we are sharing in this promise and his inheritance as his heirs.

Hebrews 11: Faith chapter (more than 20x “by faith”)

v. 39-40

“39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

Remember, today, through us, that ultimate purpose given 4000 years ago is being fulfilled.

You are given the same mission: “World blessing / mission / evangelisation.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 28 / 2019
  • Comments Off on When you hear the Word of God, don’t harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

When you hear the Word of God, don’t harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

When you hear the Word of God…

Hebrews 3:7-19 (Pastor Heo)

Warning Against Unbelief

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’

11 So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.


Can you say “Amen” to today’s word? The Word of God is food.

Our physical body needs food, also our spiritual body needs food.

Jesus: “I am the bread of life… Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Today’s food is not milk, but meat. Not soft, but solid.

For us to grow and mature and be stronger, sometimes we need hard, solid food and meat. Today’s food is very solid. Do you want to eat it?

Hebrews is a book of warning (yellow card). There are at least 5 exhortations and warnings.

chp 2:1 “Give more attention to what you have heard to not drift away.” (Warning: Neglect) – Don’t drift away without a target / purpose.

Today: second warning: (Warning: Doubt) – danger of mistrust. This is a very simple sentence, but a serious warning in our lives. No one can say, “I’m totally free from this warning.” Not even me.

It is possible to start well and end terribly.

In school, career, marriage, office, church life, etc – it is possible to start well (big celebration) and end poorly, shamefully. Even in the pastoral ministry, this is possible. I know this as well. So I must be careful all the time.

Starting well is good, but finishing well is MORE important.

Paul: “Be careful not to fall, when you think you are standing.”

Romans 15:4 “Everything written in the past was written to give us a lesson.” So that through endurance, patience, encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope.

Today’s example is Israel in the OT.

We are familiar with the story of Israel in the OT – esp. Exodus. The reason that story was written was to give us a lesson. We must learn from history.

In the whole history of earth, no migration of people has started so well – with such a great expectation. They’d experienced 10 great signs and wonders through Moses already. And on that final night, all Israelites were safe in their homes, but the Angel of Destruction struck down the first born of every household – man and animal. There was not a house in Egypt without someone dead. The bad king of Egypt called Moses and yelled, “GO! You are too much for us.”

Can you imagine this migration? 600,000 (about the population of Jeonju) men + women + children. This would be closer to 1.5 – 2 million (Gwangju?).

All these people and animals began this exodus by tribal divisions and they plundered the Egyptians. Many other people also joined in this exodus.

But in the desert, the day is so hot and the night so cold. So, God led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire. This was symbolic of “God with us” and also protection from heat and darkness and cold. Soon, they encountered the Red Sea.

Then, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued Israel with his best chariots and army. Moses said, “Do not be afraid. God is fighting for us. The Egyptians we see now, we will never see again. We need only be still, and God will deliver us.”

Moses raised his staff and stretched his arm over the Red Sea. The sea parted in two and 2 million people, animals, and belongings all passed safely over on dry land. The Egyptians pursued them. Moses again stretched out his hand and the Red Sea returned to its original state. All the chariots and army were buried in the sea.

What a fabulous beginning! Soon, they would be in their Promised Land, Canaan. But then…

They began so well, but finished so shamefully – because of their doubt and rebellion against God continually.

When they arrived at the BORDER of Canaan, God said to Moses, “Send some men to research and explore that land.” This would be like a short-term vision / mission trip today.

Moses chose 12 assistant pastors (kind of) – one from each tribe, and sent them into the land with a mission: “To see” the land, towns, soil, people.

They explored for 40 days and returned to Moses and reported back. 10/12 gave a bad report of the place (negative). In front of God, negative word is bad, evil, wicked. “We cannot attack them, they are too strong for us. We look like grasshoppers compared to them.”

2/12 (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report. “No, we can! If God is with us, who can be against us? That land was promised by God. God never breaks his promise. We can take that land.”

But, sorry to say, the bad report prevailed over the entire community of Israel. The entire community raised their voices and cried aloud and complained against Moses and against God – and tried to stone Joshua and Caleb. “Why did God bring us here?!” So, we must be careful with our speaking. “If only we had to die, is it better to die in this desert, or die in Egypt?”

God heard and said, “OK. I will do to you the very things you said.” They had explored for 40 days, but God let them wander for 40 years in the desert (1 year / day). They wandered until they all died – and their children wandered and suffered for their sins.

Remember, at departure 600,000 men departed? All of them died in the desert, except Joshua and Caleb.

This is a serious story. So the great lesson we must receive is: It is possible to start well and end terribly.

v. 7-10

“7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’ “

God was angry. Yes, he is good all the time, and he loves us, but he can become angry because he is a person and he is holy.

One warning: TODAY (x3) do not harden your hearts.

  • v. 7 “Today…”
  • v. 13 “encourage one another daily as long as it is called today…”
  • v. 15 “Today…”

Today = while there is yet time.

While we can speak of “today” we must give our trust and obedience to God. For individuals, “today” means “while life lasts”. In Hebrew: “While you have the opportunity, give God full submission that you must give.”

Someday, my life will end. The sun will set on my life…

But we still have hope. There are great warnings here.

1. God makes man an offer (gift)

just like he offered the people of Israel the blessings of the Promised Land, so he offers us today the blessings of a life that is far beyond a life we can live without him.

But to receive the blessings of God, two things are necessary:

  1. Trust in Christ (“Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me.”)
    • We must believe that what he says is true.
  2. Obedience: absolutely necessary. Are you obeying the Word of God? All the time?
    • Imagine, a medical doctor says to a patient, “I can cure you if you obey my instructions…”
    • Or a teacher says to a student, “I’ll make you a scholar if you follow my instructions…”
    • A trainer says to an athlete, “I’ll make you a champion if you do not deviate from the instructions I lay down.”

In this world, success depends on obedience to the word of an expert.

God is THE Expert of the world, and provides joy with full obedience to his Word.

2. There is a limit

“There is a limit to my life.” (The duration of your life) – and we do not know when that duration will end.

We often speak so easily about tomorrow. “I’ll go there tomorrow…” but for us individually, someday “tomorrow” will never come – and nobody knows when and how that will happen. That’s why this is a warning and encouragement.

  • The blessing of God must be accepted TODAY!
  • And full trust and obedience to God must be given TODAY!
  • 2 Corinth “Now is the time of God’s favor; Now is the time of God’s grace…”

v. 11-19

“11 So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter [the Promised Land], because of their unbelief. “

Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

  • Christ is superior to Moses
  • Jesus is much greater than Moses

The message is: If this is true, that Jesus is much greater than Moses, the loss in rejecting Christ is much greater than rejecting Moses’ word.

  • The loss of rebellion against Moses = 40 years wandering in the desert – not entering the Promised Land.
  • The loss of rebellion against Jesus = the loss of eternal life in heaven.

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so I must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in me may have eternal life.” (Jesus)

Jesus is our Passover Lamb.

John the Baptist introduced him as “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

The people of Israel in Egypt were delivered by the blood of the lamb during the Passover. This is a symbol of the believer in Christ – delivered from the slavery to sin through the blood of Christ.

“The blood of Christ purifies us from all unrighteousness.”

Because of their rebellion and distrust, they failed to enter God’s rest, but we (who believe in Christ) are able to enter his rest.

We are living “today”, not “tomorrow”.

Jesus “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.” This is the invitation of Christ. This is real rest, eternal, heavenly rest in Christ.

God bless us to enjoy his rest and peace.

Romans 15:4 “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us a lesson so that through the endurance, patience, and encouragement of the Scriptures, we may have hope.”

  • “Jesus is our hope!”
  • “Jesus is my hope!”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 30 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Pay More Attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pay More Attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Download Notes in a .MD file (No recording this week)

Pay more attention!

Hebrews 2:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4 God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.


Jesus is the creator, sustainer, purifier, sitting down at the right hand of God in heaven. He is the brightness of God’s glory and exact representation of his being. He is the visible representation of the invisible God.

Last week, we saw Jesus’ superiority over all angels. He is NOT a superior angel but is superior TO angels.

  1. Superior name
  2. honor/worship
  3. status
  4. existence
  5. duration

We are much more blessed than the OT believers who received the Word of God through angels and prophets only – but we are receiving God’s Word through Christ’s mouth and actions. This is why we have the Bible. The Word is near you – in your mouths, hearts.

Faith comes from hearing the message – and the message from the Word of Christ.

The fact that we are much more blessed means that we also have much more responsibility.

Today’s message is SERIOUS.

Maybe some of us may dislike today’s message, but I hope and wish that all of us will be blessed through today’s message.

Hebrews is a book of warnings.

Do you like warnings? When you drive on the highway, you may encounter warning signs.

This part is the first warning in Hebrews – the warning of neglect. All warnings SHOUT “danger!”

Yes, our Christian life is a pilgrimage – we are foreigners on this earth. As our journey through this world, it will be dangerous.

Warnings in Hebrews

  1. Danger of Neglect
  2. Danger of Unbelief (chp 3)
  3. Danger of Not growing (chp 5)
  4. Danger of Drawing back – old life (chp 10)
  5. Danger of Refusing God (chp 12)

One of the ancient symbols in Christianity is a boat.

Matthew 15 – after Jesus fed 5,000 men, he made the disciples go in a boat across the water to the other side. He sent the crowd home, and went up onto a mountain to pray. He remained up there until night.

After midnight, the boat was far out in the lake, and buffeted by strong winds and waves. Jesus walked out to them.

They said, “It’s a ghost!”

Jesus said, “Do not worry. It is I.”

Peter said, “Lord, if it is you, call me to you.”

Jesus said, “Come.”

Peter walked out on the water toward Jesus – but when he saw the wind and waves, he began to sink into the water, and cried, “Lord! Save me!”

Jesus did so, but said, “You of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

They climbed into the boat and the wind and waves died down. They all knelt before him and worshiped him and called him “Son of God.”

Peter – when he fixed his eyes on Jesus, he could walk on the water. But when he saw the wind and waves, he sank.

Hebrews: “Fix your eyes on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, our lives in this world are also like a boat – and a journey – we are constantly on the move. Paul also confessed this. We cannot be fixed in the same position and status all the time – whether or not we recognize this, we are constantly on the move and changing.

The fact that we are changing means – we are changing:

  • to the better (good)
  • to the worse (bad)

If we are not becoming BETTER, we are becoming WORSE.

Today’s warning: Pay more careful attention to change to the better.

v. 1

“We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. “

[recording?]

“Drift away” = nautical term = a boat term

This means that a boat on the sea is just moving passively, aimlessly, by wind or waves with no set direction or purpose.

How can we drift away? Very easily: Do nothing.

If you do nothing – the wind, the stream, the waves, life’s circumstances – will make you drift away.

In our Christian life, drifting away is very easy. This does not mean rejecting salvation but neglecting salvation. It’s not a non-Christian, but a service-less Christian.

We may become careless or complacent in our devotion to Christ. We may backslide into sin that we formerly rejected. We may compromise our morals and disobey Christ’s teaching. We may neglect Christian service and become inactive, indifferent Christians.

At this moment, I want to ask very practical questions – also to me – for checking our lives and know whether we are drifting away or not.

In these questions, our answers should be “YES!” (should be, hopefully) – to make it clear that we are not drifting away.

“You must pay. more. careful. attention.”

  1. Pay more attention to the Word of Christ than the words of man?
  2. Pay more attention to your ministry in church than your own hobby, taste, dress?
  3. Pay more attention to your mission from God than your career and salary? (Well…)
  4. Pay more attention to the GOOD news of salvation than the BAD news on channel 9?
  5. Pay more attention to attending worship on Sunday than doing your own schedule on Sunday?
  6. Pay more attention to winning the lost to Christ than pleasing yourself?

0/6

For most of us, the threat is not that we plunge into disaster, but that we drift into sin.

FEW Christians suddenly turn their backs on God, but MANY Christians drift away slowly.

Few Christians commit some drastic, terrible sin at once, but many drift into small sins, slowly, gradually, and one day find they are far off course.

That’s why we must be aware all the time – careful of where we are going.

The REASON to pay attention

v. 2-3

This is the REASON why we must pay more careful attention.

“2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”

Yes, Jesus is much more superior to angels. IF he surpasses angels, then his message must surpass the message of angels.

We know angels are the messengers of God.

“If” is not “maybe” but “because” in this sentence – repeated twice.

“If” angel’s messages are to bring blessing and be obeyed, or if the messages brought punishment, HOW MUCH MORE in the case of Christ?

Christ’s word = much MORE blessing; or greater punishment and judgment.

This is the message of v. 2

This is why we have much more responsibility. “”Ability to respond”

To WHAT we should pay attention

v. 3

“3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.”

That’s why salvation is called “Great Salvation.”

You know, this IS great. It is the miracle of miracles; the sign of signs; the wonder of life.

Q: Are you living a Christian life in this world?

This life is ALL about salvation. Our Christian life begins with salvation. If you are not saved, no matter how long you’ve attended church, you are not a Christian.

  • Also, the journey, pilgrimage of a Christian life is salvation.
  • Also, the final destination of a Christian life is salvation.

Eph 2:12 ‘Continue to work out your salvation with humility, fear, and trembling.’

This is the journey of salvation.

1 Peter 2:9 “The final goal of your journey is salvation.”

“Salvation can be found in no one else; there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 2:12)

“What a Beautiful Name it is.” – the name of Jesus Christ – it is beautiful because salvation is found only in this name.

1 Tim 1:15 “Trustworthy saying – Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners.”

We all need salvation.

“It is by grace, through faith, you have been saved. It is the GIFT of God so that no one can boast.”

We must remain humble.

Yes, even Father God, Son God, the Holy Spirit God (the Triune God). The HS testifies about the Son because salvation is only available through him.

How to APPLY this lesson

v. 4

This is our job – our practical lessons – how to apply this lesson.

“God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”

Even the Father testified to “it” – what is “it”? “It” is “Great Salvation” which can be found only in Jesus Christ.

Signs, wonders, miracles are not the END – they are just the MEANS (method).

There should be no differentiation made between them because God’s work encompasses them all. God’s work = “wonderfully miraculous signs” – and through these, God is testifying to “Great Salvation” through Jesus Christ. Also – the gifts of the HS testify to him – and are distributed according to his will.

John 5:37 “The Father who sent me has testified concerning me…”

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes whom I’ll send to you from the Father, he will testify about me…”

What are the “gifts” of the HS? This word is used in various ways and has various meanings depending on context:

  • salvation, grace, favor, faith, present, talent for ministry, ability for service…

Usually we consider this word to mean talent / ability for service in church. But in this context it means “special ability to help save others.”

The HS empowers every believer with one or more gifts – distributed according to his will. To use these gifts effectively, we must realize that all these gifts come from God and not everyone has the same gifts. The HS decides which gift each believer should have. The gifts are various, but the purpose is one in the same – to testify about Christ, build the church, and spread the kingdom of Christ in this world.

Do you have gifts?

What am I doing with these gifts? With this gift for the salvation of others?

We have a privilege, responsibility, to use and sharpen our gifts.

v. 1 “You must PAY ATTENTION…”

We are given a special task / purpose.

Without purpose, our lives in this world are meaningless motion, directionless activity, reasonless events.

God has given us a “purpose driven life.”

“I must live by God’s given purpose driven life.”

God bless your tongue, your words, that they may be fruitful in this world for his glory.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:13-38)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:13-38)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 20:13-38 (Pastor Heo)

Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders

13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot. 14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene. 15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Kios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus. 16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.

17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

36 When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship.


We said goodbye to our Ugandan friends last week. We must continually say goodbye throughout this life. And sometimes, this may discourage us, thinking, “Frequent goodbyes prevent the church from growing in numbers and strength.”

From one point of view, this is correct. But we must be able to see the other side of the story as well.

The church is very important to God. It is important to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So, the church is called the House of God, the body of Christ, temple of the Holy Spirit.

So at the same time, goodbyes can encourage us to spread our ministry beyond our building – as part of the universal church.

  • Yes, in any job, starting well is very important, but finishing well is more important.
  • In church, meeting well is important, but good farewells are more important.

So, we must be careful not to fall into mannerism. We must remain brand new in our hearts in serving God and serving others.

Today’s sermon is about Paul’s farewell to the church in Ephesus. Goodbyes are an regular thing in the church and also occupy much of history.

Paul set out to celebrate the Passover in Jerusalem, but in Corinth (on the way), there was a plot to kill him, so he had to stay there for a few weeks.

  • His first plan was to arrive before Passover.
  • His second plan was to arrive before Pentecost (50 days later).

He had to return through Philippi, then Troas (where he’d had his vision of the Man of Macedonia) – and he had a farewell service with the believers there. One man, Eutychus fell asleep and fell down to his death – but Paul raised him to life.

The next early morning, Paul and his team started out for Assos – Paul, Luke, Timothy and other members. They sailed from Europe to Asia (30km+).

From Troas to Assos, other team members went by ship, but only Paul went on foot. Can you imagine this?

At Assos they joined together again. We have no reason written down as to why. He probably walked more than 10 hours. We can only guess.

  • To be alone with God?
  • To meet more non-Christians on the road?

Probably, he prepared his farewell sermon and pondered his ministry at Ephesus – because he was to give his farewell address there very soon. Another possibility – he wanted time alone to talk with the Lord about going to Jerusalem.

His resolution to go there was similar with that of Christ’s – in a sense.

In the case of Christ, he said several times, strongly, I must go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed, and raised to life. “For the time for him to be taken up to heaven, he resolutely started for Jerusalem.”

Like this, Paul felt strongly that something difficult was waiting for him in Jerusalem.

  • v. 16 “Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost.”
  • v. 22 “”And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.” (no matter what happens – hard or difficult).
  • v. 23 “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.”

In the next chapter, a prophet prophesied that Paul would be arrested in Jerusalem. His team plead with him NOT to go – but he resolutely said, “Why are you breaking my heart? I’m ready to die for the Lord Jesus Christ!”

Act 21:12-13 “When we heard this, we and the people there pleaded with Paul not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” “

Are you ready?

From Assos, they went to Miletus. (v 15)

There were not many days left for the feast, so Paul did not go to Ephesus, but to Miletus – a port where the ships loaded and unloaded cargo and people. Paul invited the Ephesian elders to come there to meet him. This was also about 30 miles away.

The elders came there, and had a goodbye meeting – where Paul shared his message.

Paul’s Goodbye Message (v. 18-35)

“18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.

25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” “

There are three parts: Past (18-21), Present (22-27), Future (28-35)

Past

v. 20-21

“20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must **turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.**”

We need this kind of boldness today to tell others. We have one message to tell others – the gospel message. “Faith in Christ, following repentance from sin, turning to God.”

  1. Repent from sin
  2. Turn to God
  3. Believe in Christ

Great summary of the gospel message.

In this day of growing complexity, sometimes the church falls into the temptation to be “sophisticated” and “complicated” to fit in the world’s culture. But we must never let our gospel message get lost in our busy-ness – calendars, events, classes, seminars, etc.

This message must not be exclusive, not optional, not overly complicated. There is only one message we should declare in this world.

  1. Repent
  2. Turn
  3. Believe

That’s all – 2,000 years ago – and today.

Repent! Turn to God! Believe in Christ!

Confess with your mouth Christ is Lord and Savior.

Present

v. 24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. “

As workers of Christ – are you workers / ministers today? If we are, we must know 3 points about our identities.

  1. We are runners
  2. We are witnesses
  3. We are heralds

Runners

Our lives are a race that should be finished some day. Our single-minded desire should be to finish this race well. Our most important goal should be to tell others about Christ – this is the message of freedom, salvation, eternal life.

Witnesses

The main job of a witness is to testify (tell) about what has happened to him / her. Tell what you saw / heard / experienced. Witnessing is not “teaching” any skill or knowledge. This is simply testifying.

We must be clear about what is the #1 priority in our lives. This is Paul’s. “I consider my life worth *nothing* to me…”

Life is important – we cannot exchange it for anything else in this universe.

“…if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. “

Paul’s mission is “Mission”.

Are you clear about your #1 priority in your life? We have so many jobs to do, but what is #1?

Also, we are not only witnesses, we are also heralds.

Heralds

Heralds tell what the king tells him to tell. Heralds convey the message of the king – they are sent.

As Heralds, we should not change that message in any way. Whenever you preach the gospel in this world, you are SENT by the King. That’s why we are called ambassadors – from heaven to earth.

As workers in Christ, we must increase humility, passion, compassion, tenderness, empathy, sympathy, affection with tears – Paul showed this.

As workers we must avoid bad attitudes against Christ – covetousness, laziness, shallowness, carelessness, (most of all) selfishness.

Paul’s Last Sentence

v. 35

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “”

This is very meaningful. His last sentence is a quotation from Christ. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Remember, our ministry is basically GIVING – not Getting – this means following the example of Christ.

Somebody calls this verse a supreme beatitude. “Blessed are the meek…” (8 blessings). Unlike the other verses in Matthew 5, this verse instructs us how to be MORE blessed.

This however, does not mean that those who receive are LESS blessed. Blessing does not come from accumulating wealth but from sharing with others.

But, this sentence itself is not found in any of the 4 gospels. Obviously, not ALL of Jesus’ words were written in the gospels. This sentence must have been passed on orally through the apostles. The theology of this sentence is the HEART of Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus himself says, “I did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for the many.”

Also, Paul’s life and ministry was giving. He gave his life, his work, his everything to the preaching of the Word.

Remember, selfish people can of course be saved – Jesus died for ALL people – but selfish people cannot be Christian workers. Thus, Paul summarizes everything Jesus and he himself did and said in this last sentence.

Farewell message finished.

How did they part?

v. 36-38

“When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. 37 They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. 38 What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. “

Paul closed this memorable occasion by kneeling down and praying – with and for them – and they all wept and embraced. What a beautiful Christian fellowship. Also, what a sorrowful scene. But at the same time, what a wonderful Christian farewell and meeting – because they were united in the same God and faith in Christ and hope that they’d see each other again in heaven.

Yes, it is difficult to say “goodbye” when we know we will never see our Christian friends again, but we have blessed assurance that we WILL see them again in heaven when Christ returns.

No doubt all of them stood without moving when they accompanied him to the ship. They likely cried, waving hands until the ship disappeared over the horizon. Only then would they return to Ephesus with great resolution to give themselves to the service of Christ – with the zeal they saw in Paul.

Like this, all believers can build a fellowship with others by sharing, and caring. There is no exception to this.

One day, we must say “goodbye” to each other – even parents and children, husband and wife. But we don’t know when and where. So, as long as the opportunity is given to us in this life, let us encourage, edify, and bless each other.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 30 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Let’s Turn the World Upside Down! (Acts 16:31-17:15)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Let’s Turn the World Upside Down! (Acts 16:31-17:15)

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Let’s Turn the World Upside Down!

Acts 16:31-17:15 (Pastor Heo)

16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.

35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.

[Ministry in Philippi is complete – they move on to Thessalonica next.]

17:1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, ” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. 5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

[Now on to the next mission field, Berea.]

10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.


Proverbs 16:9: “A man plans his steps, but God determines the way…”

Philippi

Paul planned his path, but God led him to Macedonia. In his first mission field, his first convert was a woman named Lydia and she opened her house to the missionaries as a mission base.

They were then thrown in prison for casting a demon out of a slave girl who made her masters lots of money. In prison, they did not complain, but rather worshiped God with prayer and songs. Why? 4 reasons:

  1. God was with them
    • With God there is freedom
    • With God, there is light
  2. God is in control of all things
  3. They believed Jesus would reward them
  4. They believed the END would be fine

Yes, in Christian life, we believe there is no “end” because we have everlasting life – but at the END of the long road, everything would be fine.

“If I live, I live to the Lord; if I die, I die to the Lord. Whether I live or die, I do it for the Lord.”

At that time, God shook the foundations of the prison and opened the doors, and shook off the shackles. The jailer ran in and became their prisoner: “What must I do to be saved?” (This is the cry of all lost people in this world. He realized his need – he was lost. He realized his greatest need was salvation – this is the greatest need of all people on earth.)

  • To this, Paul answered: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved – you and your whole household.”
  • Yes, we know “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. It is with your heart you are justified and by your mouth you confess and are saved.”
  • “Salvation is the gift of God; by faith alone through grace alone – so that no one can boast.”

In this time, the jailer trusted in Christ + nothing and received his salvation.

One minute earlier, they had a jailer / prisoner relationship, but now they sat down together for breakfast – brothers in Christ, children of God together.

At that moment, the authorities sent a message to release them.

v. 32-40

“32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.

35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.”

Paul and Silas could have just left. But Paul said, “No! We are Roman citizens! Let them come and escort us out!” i.e. He didn’t reveal this information when he was being beaten and thrown in prison, but only afterward.

Like this, Jesus was fully divine, but did not use his divinity for his own benefit (as Paul also did not in this case). Paul likewise didn’t use his birth and Roman citizenship for his own privilege, but rather for the new Christians.

If he had left quietly, it would have been under a cloud of doubt: “Who were those men? Maybe they did something wrong…”

Rather, Paul wanted to leave behind the strong witness of his own integrity as a good witness for the baby Christians in Philippi. They went to Lydia’s house.

Can you imagine what must have happened there? Imagine the JOY as Paul and Silas recounted the events of the previous night. There was undoubtedly tears and laughter. Maybe they sang a few prison songs again and reenacted the earthquake. Whatever the agenda, it culminated in praise and worship again.

Also imagine the church in Philippi: Lydia and her household, maybe ex-slave girl, Philippian jailer and household, some ex-prisoners, etc. Rich, poor, slave, free, male, female – all are united in Christ Jesus. What a gospel!

Paul confessed: “I’m not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe.”

What is the gospel?

  • A gospel that cannot save a dying man is no gospel.
  • A gospel that requires MORE than faith in Christ is no gospel.
  • Salvation comes through ONLY faith in Christ + nothing.
  • This is the story of the good news of Jesus Christ, the gospel.

But, we must remember that Jesus requires of us – ALL we are and have.

— Then they left —

Thessalonica

v. 1-3

“1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, ” he said.”

Key verse = v. 6

” 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,”

Paul and Silas were accused of:

TURNING THE WHOLE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!

In a sense the Christians were ones who were Turning the World upside down.

“I will turn the world upside down.”

In Paul’s day, Turkey was called: “Asia Minor” and Macedonia was probably over in that area.

  1. After he saw the vision of Macedonia, the first place he went was Philippi (in Greece).
  2. Next, he went to Thessalonica (farther east in Greece). 100 miles southwest of Philippi – he wrote two epistles. Thessalonica today is the second largest city in Greece.
  3. After this, he went to Berea – about 45 miles southwest from Thessalonica.
  4. Next (next Sunday), they went to Athens – the largest city in Greece (capital) and on the far southern end of the peninsula.
  5. Next, he went to Corinth (west of Athens).

Philippi > Thessalonica > Berea > Athens > Corinth

At that time, there were no country divisions. God said, “Go to Macedonia” and so he went. At that time, all of Greece was inside the province of Macedonia. (There is still a small country north of Greece called Macedonia). And at that time, Turkey was called “Asia Minor.”

Greece is the “cradle of Western civilization” – the birthplace of Western drama, literature, democracy, math, science, the Olympics, and so on. You know, the first mission field was in Greece 2,000 years ago…

Paul wrote two letters to the Thessalonians from there.

His practice was to go to the synagogue first. In Philippi, there was no synagogue, but in Thessalonica there was one, so he went on three consecutive Sabbath days.

Synagogues could be established wherever there were at least 10 Jewish males – and each had its own “hadongja” (leader) – and they were decide who would speak and give the sermon (it was customary to invite visiting rabbis – so this was Paul’s opportunity to share the gospel at the synagogue.) But usually, whenever he spoke the name “Jesus Christ”, the door was slammed to him and he was cast out.

But here is Paul, 3 Sabbaths in Thessalonica to preach about Jesus. We must remember, there is no greater word to be spoken than that of Christ – new life in Christ, forgiveness of sins.

When you have the opportunity to speak of Christ, SPEAK! Because the story of Christ is the Greatest word of encouragement.

To Paul’s preaching, some believed and were saved, but others opposed and persecuted him – but God continued to use the opposition and persecution to spread the good news of Christ.

There was an uproar in Thessalonica that forced them to travel to Berea (small town). In Berea, Paul and Silas met a very teachable Gentile audience, but bad (hostile) Jews came to Berea from Thessalonica to attack Paul’s work again. They succeeded only in getting Paul and Silas to Athens – the great capital city of Greece.

Paul and Silas were accused of turning the world upside down.

v. 6

“6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men **who have caused trouble all over the world** have now come here,”

KJV = “who have turned the world upside down

The doors of the prison were thrown open, people began to love each other deeply and serve and worship God.

This means the gospel is about TRANSFORMING lives. Let us ask God how he can transform our own lives and boundaries.

Even today (especially today), our world NEEDS to be “turned upside down.”

In a sense, Christ came into this world TO turn it upside down.

Yes, Christ was kind, and meek, and gentle, but he also came to turn this world upside down. Christ came to give us eternal, abundant life, salvation, peace. Jesus came here to give us peace. Do you have peace? He is the PRINCE of Peace. He is OUR Peace. He has made the two into One, and has torn down all barriers.

“My peace I leave with you; do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Matt 10:34 “Do not suppose I have come to bring peace. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

There is no question, Jesus is OUR peace, but he turns the WORLD upside down.

He has come to make the world right – to destroy the building of false peace in order to make real heavenly, lasting peace.

When God spoke in the Bible, he used human language.

When God spoke through Jesus Christ, he assumed human flesh, not that of an angel. i.e. in order to reveal himself to us, he emptied himself, humbled himself.

This is the essence of evangelism today. There is an essential emptying, humbling in any witness today. “Your attitude must be the same as Christ Jesus.”

Like Christ, we must be humble, and kind in our evangelism – we must be generous. We must not be culture-proud, nor culture-blind. We are not culture-Christianity peddlers. We must respect others lives, art, culture, habits, patterns. BUT at the same time, remember this key: “Jesus came to turn the world upside down.”

“Jesus challenges EVERY culture.”

Whenever we preach the gospel to non-Christians (Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, etc), Christ confronts them with his demands – “remove whatever has taken your allegiance and loyalty and replace it with me.” Christ is the Lord of every human culture and every human. This confrontation cannot be escaped, it is necessary.

But at the same time, our gospel invitation is the greatest invitation, blessing, encouragement for salvation.

And yet, at the same time, our gospel message is also the greatest challenge in this world because our message “Believe in Christ, receive him as your Lord” means “Change your God; change your Master; change your life; change your life view; change your values; change your pattern.”

This is the message of the gospel and this is why it is the greatest challenge to this world.

Phil 2:10-11 “At the name of Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Jesus is the Lord of every person, every culture, every thing in this world. So, the gospel is the greatest blessing and encouragement, and also greatest threat and confrontation in this world.

Let us go on to “turn the world upside down” in the name of Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

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