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  • Mar 22 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)

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By faith let us stand firm to the end

Hebrews 11:35-40 (Pastor Heo)

35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

39 These 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.


Let us trust God fully and wholly in this time. God bless his church in this time.

This is the last part of this great chapter on faith, but we will see the conclusion of this chapter next time in the first part of chp 12. Let’s open our Bibles and read together.


Faith, what is faith? Being sure of what we hope for – assurance, conviction, confidence in the unseen. By faith we are saved, justified, being sanctified, and one day we will be glorified. By faith we please God, give glory to God, overcome the world. Today, according to the text, let me share some characteristics of real faith.

Faith has the power of balance.

Faith is unconditional.

Relative faith is not faith. Conditional faith is not faith. What does it mean, “Faith has the power of balance”?

Last time: By faith, they experienced wonderful victory in war, marvelous deliverance and escape from lions and fury of fire, experienced the rising of the dead. This is the power of great faith.

Today, the story looks the opposite.

By the same faith, some experienced empowerment to persevere, endure in suffering to the end even to the point of death – without losing their hope of the better and eternal resurrection.

Faith provides empowerment.

To persevere and endure in suffering.

Something true can be proved as true. This can be proven as true only by enduring to the end.

If we have “true” faith in Christ, how can we prove it? We can reveal it as true only by remaining faithful to Christ to the end.

Jesus “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Something that is revealed, exposed as not true in the end was not true from the beginning.

So, steadfast faith in Christ does not guarantee a problemless life in this world. Actually true faith almost always guarantees some form of abuse in this world.

v. 36-37

“36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–“

From the world’s view, they are miserable losers – terrible losers. From the temporary and material, they lost everything. But in God’s view, they are great winners and great victors. From the eternal values, they gained everything.

What is faith? The power to see something from God’s view, not from the world’s view – from an eternal value, not a temporary value.

Sometimes to endure and persevere takes more faith than to escape. If God is glorified by delivering his people, yes, he will do that – deliver them from suffering, from difficulties, from any hardships. God is almighty God.

But if it is better to suffer and persevere for some time even to the end (from his eternal perspective) then God will allow us to suffer. But he will provide us with power to endure and persevere.

So, do not conclude that the absence of immediate deliverance is a lack of love for his children.

Faith looks to the future – to eternity

For that is where the greatest rewards are found. Faith empowers us to turn from the approval of this world and seek the approval of God.

Some baby Christians may think that pain and suffering are an exception in the Christian life. So when this happens, they may ask, “Why me?” and they may feel that God deserted them – and is not as dependable as they thought.

But mature Christians ask, “Why NOT me?” If we expect pain or suffering, we will not be surprised when suffering comes.

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

We can overcome the world, any kinds of suffering, pain, difficulty, hardship, by faith in Christ.

v. 38

“38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”

The world was not worthy of them…

This sentence is very short, but VERY powerful.

It means this world was not worthy of those who live by faith. The evaluation of this world and that of God are totally different.

Paul: a good illustration of this.

  • The world evaluated Paul: “You are out of your mind! You are insane! Not fit to live!”
  • God said, “You are my chosen vessel, my chosen instrument – for my purpose.”

This is very different. If you live by faith in Christ, God will be very proud to be called your father. If you live by faith in Christ, this world does not deserve to contain you as its own possession.

Example:

A container + a thing

If the container is so dirty, but the thing is so pure and clean and precious, then this container is not worthy of this thing.

Like this, the world is sinful and selfish and only material, temporary.

If we are really people of faith, it means we are fighting the good fight against sin and selfishness.

Yes, we are a body, but also spirit and made to live eternally with God in heaven. Thus, this world does not deserve to contain us as its own possession.

1 John 2:17 “This world and its desires and passions pass away, but the man who does the will of God [lives by faith] lives forever.”

Even though we live in this world, remember, the world is not worthy of us because we are living by faith in Christ.

v. 39-40

“39 These 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.”

For several times we have studied this great chapter of faith. Do you remember the opening verse?

v 39 and v 2 are similar:

  • v 39 “These were all commended for their faith, “
  • v 2 “This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Those who persevered in suffering were commended for their faith. It means that God never forgets those who love him and serve him.

v 39 “yet none of them received what had been promised.”

This means: God had planned something better for you and me.

Hebrews is the book of better:

  • Better hope,
  • better sacrifice,
  • and so on.

God has planned “something better” – what is it? A new and better covenant, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The faithful of OT times died before the Messiah appeared, so they entered heaven by faith – with the Promise unfulfilled. Only IN Jesus Christ (the new covenant), their salvation, our salvation, and the salvation of future believers – will be made perfect and complete.

One day, all the OT believers, NT believers, and future believers will share the promised blessing in Jesus Christ.

Faith is personal, individual, and private.

We know that faith is personal, individual, and private. I’m saved by MY faith – not my parents’. This means it is personal, individual and private. At the same time, faith involves the entire community of all believers. So how can we get connected? To the local church, through a small group, sharing with each other. To the Christian overseas, through the support of missions.

Also, all believers in Christ are connected vertically and horizontally – with one Savior, one Father, one hope.

Faith is also social.

Our salvation / faith is personal, but also social. It concerns the whole children and family of God.

As I mentioned, all believers are called a “family of God” with one hope, one Savior, one Father.

God is in control of everything. He is so faithful in keeping his word and fulfilling his promise. The Bible encourages us: “Do not be afraid, do not fear, do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus’ saying looks likes opposites.

  • He says, “In this world you will have trouble.”
  • and also, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

If we have faith, we can live without fear.

Q: Is Jesus really your Lord and Savior? If that is true, that is enough. Jesus encourages us and promises “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me shall never die.” Do you believe this?

Jesus challenges us in this.

Promise: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted [to suffer] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor 10:13 – Jesus himself suffered for us, and is now sitting in heaven and interceding for us.

Hebrews “Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Romans 8:38 “In all things, [including what is happening all around us today], God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Amen

Let us stand firm to the end by faith. Let us love God and Christ more and more with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength because he is working for our good, for our benefit from an eternal perspective.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 23 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)

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The Demo of Faith thru Moses

Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Exodus 2:1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.


Faith is conviction, assurance of what is unseen. By faith in Christ, we can have hope in this kind of situation. We can have hope in glory, heaven, eternal life. Also, by faith, we can live a heavenly life on this earth.

Last Sunday, we saw the demonstration of faith by Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

We know Genesis finishes with the story of Joseph. And the story of Moses begins in Exodus. In the time of Joseph, there was still great famine in Canaan, and he invited his whole family from Canaan to Egypt – where he was Prime Minister. So, all Jacob’s children and grandchildren (70 in all) settled in Egypt. But Joseph knew that a day would come when they would leave Egypt. They knew their settlement was not permanent, but temporary. “One day, God will come and take you out of this land to the Promised Land. At that time, take my bones with you.” From the death of Joseph to the beginning of Exodus was 400 years.

They ended Genesis with 70 people, and became 1-2 million by the start of Exodus (400 years later).

A new king, who did not know Joseph became king and became afraid of the people becoming bigger and bigger. So he ordered that the boy babies be killed. In this terrible, dangerous time, Moses was born.

Now in Hebrews, we saw “by faith” x5.

1. Moses’ parents’ faith (and his preservation)

v. 23 “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

  • Moses’ father: Amram
  • Moses’ mother: Jocebeth?

They disobeyed the king by faith. They knew that God had a special plan and purpose for Moses. So “by faith” they hid him for 3 months. But after 3 months, they could no longer hide him because of his crying. They had nothing to do for their child. But we must remember that it was at the very moment that they had something great to do for their loving child – to entrust him to the hand of God – by faith, with prayer. In this terrible, dangerous situation, they made a box of papyrus and tar and pitch, and they put it outside among the reeds along the Nile river.

It is not difficult to imagine what they did after they put that box outside. They knew that God had a special plan upon that child. Is it possible, after putting that box outside to say, “Goodbye, good luck”? No. We can be easily sure what they did after putting that baby box outside. They cried out continually to God, “LORD! Help us!”

If you were in the place of Moses’ mother and father, you would continually cry out also for God’s providence upon that box.

We know that Christian parents can suddenly create an atmosphere of faith at home. This should be the first school of faith – at home.

“They knew he was no ordinary child.” (In a sense, every child is like this to their parents – maybe even geniuses to their parents.) If you are Christian parents, remember, the BEST thing you can do for your son or daughter is to entrust them into the hand of God with constant prayer support. God bless Christian parents.

2. Moses’ identity

v. 24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Yes, after putting that basket outside, his parents prayed continuously. His sister Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to that box.

At that moment, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile river to swim? She saw it and her slave girl opened it. She saw a beautiful baby crying. (We also should cry out before God to receive his mercy – Jer 30:33 “Cry out to me and I will show you unmeasurable things”). Seeing that crying baby the princess had compassion. Immediately, Miriam approached her and said, “May I get a Hebrew woman to nurse this baby for you?” “Yes, OK.” Immediately, she brought the baby’s real mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Please nurse this baby for me and I’ll pay you.”

Imagine this situation. God did something so amazing and so exciting! Sometimes we need to understand that God is doing SO MUCH MORE than we understand and imagine and expect.

This baby was saved from death, adopted by the princess, given the best education and food, raised by his real mother’s milk and love.

In this situation, our lesson is: If Moses wanted, he could identify himself with the Egyptians – as the royal family, an heir of Pharaoh. He could have chosen the easiest, most comfortable life. He could have chosen the pleasures of sin. But in this situation, Moses rejected – refused all of them. Why? How? “By faith…” This is the real power of faith. He chose to be mistreated by the people of God – he chose to suffer “for the sake of Christ.” But wait – Moses lived 1500 years before Jesus was even born. Yet v 26 “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ…”

Even Christ himself says, “Moses wrote about me, Moses testified about me.” (John’s gospel)

This means that God’s history of salvation and redemption continued through until the birth of Christ. And Christ gave up all his glory for our sake, our salvation, our redemption.

We must know: Are you Christian? If you believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, then you have no choice but to live for Christ.

“Believing in Christ as real Savior and Lord and NOT living for him is impossible.”

  • “Believe” = “Be” and “live”
    • “Be” for Christ
    • “Live” for Christ

So, we must choose careers and life paths that please God.

Therefore, our identity as Christians is so important.

3. Moses’ separation

v 27 “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

The background – found in Exodus 2. One day, when he was grown, he went out to see how the fellow Hebrews were. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, so he killed him. The king heard of that and tried to kill Moses – so Moses fled to Midian. In this same situation, there is a little difference in the Exodus and the Hebrews explanation.

  • Exodus: “Moses feared, so he fled.”
  • Hebrews: “Moses left ‘by faith’.”

This is a different perspective – they seem contradictory – but there is no real contradiction.

  • Exodus = viewing the outward situation
  • Hebrews = seeing more deeply into this story

Yes, Moses did not choose this situation by himself at first. But, when he was confronted by this situation to leave, he didn’t accepted it willingly, with courage. Moses knew that then was not the time for him to take action for his people. He knew he had to wait for God to say, “NOW is the time to go to Pharaoh and take action for my people.”

Sometimes, when our fighting instincts say, “Go on and fight!” But it takes a big and brave man to WAIT. It is human to fear to miss the chance. But it is great to wait for the timing of God. So, by faith, we can see God in all situations.

Today, our situation is good or bad? Bad, they say. But even in this situation, we must see God who is unseen, and we must understand that he is in control of everything. This is the real power of faith.

4. Moses’ salvation

v 28 “By faith by kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”

Background: Exodus 12

We know the Passover, the biggest feast in Hebrew history. Spiritually and symbolically, this is also the most significant. It was the 10th and final judgment on Egypt.

Unleavened bread had to be made, and a Passover lamb killed, and every door post smeared with the blood of the lamb. Then, the angel of death would see this blood and “pass over” those houses.

Not only this Passover lamb, but also on that night, as they were leaving Egypt, Moses wrote down that they must keep the Passover forever. In other words, he never doubted that they would leave Egypt and reach and conquer the Promised Land – at some point.

Imagine: Here is a population of 1-2 million slaves – untrained, unorganized, about to start on a dangerous journey through a wilderness, into an unknown land. At the same time, here is a massive, trained, armed force pursuing them.

Yet, Moses never doubted that God would bring them safely through to the Promised Land. This is the power of faith. Are you living by faith.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been crucified for our sins.” Thus, John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Even though we are very weak and do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, our situation, corona virus, whatever, nevertheless, our situation is VERY certain in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the real power of faith.

5. Moses’ Deliverance

v. 29 “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

Exodus: They were confronted with their first barrier. Yes, we know that our salvation is very safe, but nevertheless, there are many barriers we may face. This is the first: The Red Sea – they needed a way to continue but there was no way – because the soldiers of Egypt were pursuing them very rapidly behind.

In this situation (Exodus 14) Moses proclaimed, “Do not be afraid!” (Front: sea, Back: soldiers) “Stand firm! You will see the deliverance and salvation God will bring you today. The soldiers you see today, you will NEVER see again because God is fighting for us.”

Romans 8 “God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

The real source, the source of real faith – what is the greatest barrier? It is NO barrier if God is there to help us pass over it because God is Almighty. Do you agree? Then, accept it and enjoy it. This is a fact.

The source of real faith is close intimacy in our relationship with God. For Moses, the source of real faith = close intimacy in his relationship with God. Bible says, “Moses spoke to God face to face.”

Also for us:

Source of Faith = Real intimacy with God

Hebrews conclusion? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Remember, the source of real faith is closeness, intimacy in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Chp 12:2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our [my] faith.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 19 / 2020
  • Comments Off on True Faith Produces Authentic Worship (Hebrews 11:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

True Faith Produces Authentic Worship (Hebrews 11:1-4)

Download Notes in a .MD file

True Faith produces Authentic Worship

Hebrews 11:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.


  • v. 1 – Faith’s character
  • v. 2 – Faith’s activism
  • v. 3 – Faith understanding
  • v. 4 – Faith reality / truth

v. 1 Future / visible certainty (Faith’s character)

v 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

This is a dynamic certainty about what God has promised. Faith is not just a feeling, not just optimism / positive thinking, but it is a solid conviction / certainty, resting on the Word of God which makes the future present and invisible visible. This makes up the objective contents of our Christian hope. It gives the force of present realities. It enables us / empowers us to enjoy the full conviction / certainty that these realities will be experienced.

If we live an earthly life on earth and a heavenly life in heaven, that is normal. But by faith, we can live the life of heaven on earth, in advance (by faith).

Gen 28 shows the story of Jacob and how he fled from his brother Esau on that terrible night – sad, forlorn, he laid his weary head on a rock to sleep. He had a dream and saw a stairway to heaven – angels ascending and descending. He saw what had been around him all along. When he woke, he said, “Surely, God is here. I didn’t know that. How awesome is this place?” He built an altar and worshiped God there, naming it Bethel (“the house of God”).

Faith helps us under and empowers us to do what others cannot do. So v.1 = strong character of faith

v. 2 Faith’s activism

Faith makes us do something very powerful and active. Do you have faith in Christ? Faith makes us take action against Satan and for the glory of God.

v. 2 “1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Even ancients praised God and received a good reputation because they put their trust in God. People with faith please God very much – but this is not something we must do to earn salvation. If it were, then faith would be just another merit / deed. But we are human beings. Actually, God gives us faith – in his mercy and grace. Because he saves us, he gives us faith. Yet faith is what saves us. This is a paradox.

By faith we are saved.

But we are not saved by OUR OWN faith.

If you believe you are saved by your own faith, then you do not have saving faith.

But if you believe you are saved only by God’s grace through the death and resurrection of Christ on the cross for our sins, then you have saving faith.

  • I think, “My faith saves me.” (not faith)
  • I think, “God’s grace saves me.” (saving faith)

Last Sunday, we saw the story of Daniel – Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego. The King of Babylon said to them, “If you fall down and worship the image I made, you will be saved. If you do not, you will be thrown into the blazing furnace.”

They knew the results very clearly, yet they declared to the king of the greatest country of that time, “Oh, Babylon, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this manner. God is able to rescue us from your hand. And even if he doesn’t, we want you to know that we will never serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you’ve set up.”

“Even if” does not mean their faith is 90% and doubt is 10%. No, this means their faith is ABSOLUTE trust in God. It doesn’t depend on outward, visible things. They had absolute faith / belief in God. Even today, if we have saving faith, that saving faith makes us a witness of Jesus Christ.

So, Nebuchadnezzar became very angry and ordered the furnace 7 times hotter than usual. They tied up the men and threw them into the fire (even the guards holding them died from the heat). Yet, a while later, he saw 4 men in the fire, “Wait! We threw in 3 men! But there are 4 now, unbound and unharmed! The 4th looks like a son of the gods.” (Jesus? angel? we don’t know).

He shouted, “Come out you three! You are servants of the most high God!”

So, their faith made an unbeliever declare, “You are servants of the most high God.” This is the power of faith in our lives. And “this is what the ancients were commended for.”

v. 3 Faith’s understanding

“1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

What is seen is from what is unseen. Do you know that? Not only in the spiritual world, but also the physical world. Practical faith is to see what is unseen behind or beyond what is seen.

Illustration: Faith allows us to understand that God created the whole universe from nothing with his creative word alone. v. 3 reminds us that all of Creation was NEW at that time (not made from pre-existing materials). God called the universe into being out of nothing. If anything existed before that, that material would be eternal and at the same level as God. But God called all things out of nothing. Simply, “Let there be…” and what he wanted came into being. How can we know that? By faith, not by science nor scientific evidence. Not because we saw it happen, but because we understand what we read in the Scriptures and what we understand of our loving father. We are part of that purpose.

Gen 1 = Creation chapter

Amazingly, almost in every verse, the subject is God. “God said, God called, God blessed…”

  1. God created
  2. The Spirit of God was hovering
  3. God said
  4. God saw
  5. God called
  6. God said
  7. God made
  8. God called
  9. God said
  10. God called
  11. God said
  12. God saw
  13. God said
  14. God made
  15. God set
  16. God saw
  17. God said,
  18. God created
  19. God blessed
  20. God said
  21. God made
  22. God said
  23. God created
  24. God blessed
  25. God said
  26. God gave (“I give”)
  27. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

We are Christians and the main subject in Christianity are all invisible. God, spirit, Holy Spirit, angels, Satan, demons, heaven, hell. All of them are invisible.

Imagine, if there is visible God, sitting here to receive worship from us. If we could see him, there would be much different change in our actions and attitude. v. 28 “Moses saw God who is unseen. Because he was able to see him who is unseen, he could persevere and do everything he had to do.”

If we could see God, who is unseen, there would be much change / difference in our actions / attitudes / worship. How can we be changed in our actions and attitudes?

v. 4 Faith’s Reality / Truth

“1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”

“by faith” is repeated 3x

The background of Cain and Abel = Genesis chp 4

They were brothers, the first two sons from the same parents Adam and Eve. One was a farmer, one was a shepherd. They had to offer sacrifices – Cain offered fruit, but Abel offered the firstborn lamb from his flock. God accepted Abel’s offering in worship, but not Cain’s. Do you think your offering is also accepted?

“by faith he still speaks even though he is dead”

God accepted Abel’s worship and rejected Cain’s. Cain became very angry and God asked him, “Why is your face darkened? If you do what is right, your worship will be accepted; but if you do not, sin is crouching at your door. Sin wants to have you and master you, but you must master it.”

Cain should have repented. But he took Abel out and killed him.

Again God approached him, “Where is your brother?” “Am I my brother’s keeper?” “What have you done? You are cursed and your brother’s blood is crying out to me against you. You are cursed and will be a restless wanderer on this earth.”

What message is given to us from this story?

  • They worshiped together: same time, same place.
  • But they were totally different in offering, attitude, motive, purpose.
    • Cain offered vegetables and fruits, but Abel offered blood of an animal.

Cain’s offering was natural as a farmer. He may have argued: “My offering is much more beautiful! His is bloody and smelly. Also I worked harder to raise mine. Mine also has a greater market value!” At that time, they didn’t eat animals. So he could argue: “Mine is better.”

But we know in the book of Hebrews that the theme “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.” This is a timeless truth. They parents and Adam and Eve knew this.

When they sinned against God, God himself killed an animal to cover their sin and shame. When they made this offering, Cain was 129 years old.

This story in Genesis 4:3 begins with “in the course of time” (at the end of the days) – this indicates the end of a period of days – possibly a time God had designated for regular worship. They must have known already that blood was essential for their forgiveness.

Also, they were totally different in their attitude, motive and purpose. When his worship was rejected, God said to him, “Why is your face darkened?” This was his chance to repent and confess his sin – but he became angry and jealous – then he killed his brother. He missed many chances and opportunities to repent.

Even after the murder, God approached him and asked “where is your brother” – here is a SECOND chance to repent. But he told a lie to God.

This means, his attitude was bad from the first.

From this story, what can we learn to apply to our practical lives?

It is very significant that this chapter begins with worship – because worship is fundamental to everything else we do as Christians. Even in heaven, our worship will be continued (Revelation). There will be no more evangelism there, but there will be worship.

I mentioned last Sunday, at that time Cain looked strong and a winner; Abel looked weak and a loser. But in the long run, Cain became the first murderer and the best example of what we must NOT follow. 1 John “Do not be like Cain…”

In the long run, Abel becomes the first martyr in the history of heaven’s kingdom and still he speaks to us about the kind of worship we must bring to God.

Three points about worship:

Do not forget these in your whole life – remember them.

1. As Christians, we have many activities we must do, but worship is Priority #1

We have Bible study, fellowship, activities, outings, activities. We should do them, but worship is much more important than anything else we are doing as Christians. Remember: Worship must be Priority #1 because our worship will be continued without stop even into heaven.

2. Worship is a kind of meeting God, entering the presence of God.

John 4:24 “God is spirit and looking for true worshipers who will worship in spirit and truth.”

We worship God God’s way, not “my” way. Cain worshiped God “Cain’s way” but Abel worshiped God “God’s way.” We worship God’s way because we worship God.

If I worship Buddha, I must worship Buddha’s way.

If I want to go to Seoul, I must use the Seoul way, not my own “romantic, beautiful, smooth way.” If I use “my way” I cannot approach. John 4:24 “…in spirit and truth.”

“I must worship God God’s way; not my way.”

What is the way to worship God? Jesus Christ.

True worshipers must worship God in spirit and truth. Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Jesus is the way to worship God, the truth of how we worship God.

Jesus is the way and truth to enter the presence of God.

3. The main spirit of worship is to give, not to receive; to serve, not to be served. That’s why it’s called a “worship service.”

In Korean culture, at the entrance of the church, we say, “Receive much blessing, much grace.” This morning I also received this greeting.

Receiving much grace from worship is good, not bad, but the main spirit of worship is to GIVE, not to receive. To give = first, to receive = second.

“God loves a cheerful giver.”

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

In true worship, I must DO my best to GIVE my best.

In the context of Cain and Abel, Cain gave 2, 3, 4th best quality vegetables. But Abel gave the fat portion from the first born. He willingly gave the best of the best.

God knows our hearts, our unseen motivations, our hidden attitudes and purposes. “God loves a cheerful giver.”

Still today, God longs for those who worship him with complete hearts.

May God bless us all so that every worship may be accepted by God (not by the pastor, nor the congregation). What is important is whether or not God accepts their worship.

We also, like Cain and Abel are worshiping together with the same songs, same sermon, etc. But we must know that our worship is evaluated by God individually, personally.

So, it is possible that some in this room, are having their worship accepted, and others are having their worship rejected.

God bless you to have your worship accepted.

Let’s pray.

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

Abundant Blessings of Justification – Romans 5:1-5

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Abundant Blessings of Justification

Romans 5:1-5 (Pastor Heo)

Peace and Hope

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


In chp 4, we saw 2 things:

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

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

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

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

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

By faith we are:

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

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

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

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

#1 Peace with God through Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2. Access to God in Christ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…in which we now stand…”

Justification has to do with our position – our standing.

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

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

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

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

#3. Hope of the glory of God

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

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

We can come to God anytime.

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

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

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

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

#4. Rejoice in suffering

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

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

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

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

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

All our suffering, problems in this world:

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

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

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

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

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

Christianity is the story of a life a suffering.

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

Tribulation is a kind of suffering.

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

“Tribulation” = from Latin “Tribulum” = flail

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

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

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

Moses vs. Pharaoh

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

Both experienced the same miracles from God.

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

Remember, all the time, God is good.

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

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

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

Can you say THAT?

#5: We are not disappointed

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

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

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love

Imagine, before we were saved,

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

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

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

What can separate us from the love of God?

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

Let’s pray.

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