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  • Jan 21 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:8-14)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:8-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 13:8-14 (Pastor Heo)

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


Let me tell my experience.

About 30 years ago, I had the opportunity to join a helping ministry on a small island (Mango-do?) – my church planted a small church on that island (population < 150 – only about 40 families). There was no clinic, hospital, post office, etc. There was only one elementary school – with only 5 students. In 2000, that school closed. One of the students was the pastor’s daughter.

I helped with cleaning and evangelism.

The people were surrounded by water. In ALL directions, they could only see a horizontal line. There was nothing to see except water.

Can you imagine? The most difficult thing was that there was NO water to drink, cook with, shower with, etc. There was NO way to GET water. There was only ONE way to get water: from heaven. It was called “heavenly water” by the people. So, every time it rained, the whole population came out to receive as much water as they could – even 2am. Water seemed to be a savior to them.

I stayed there for 6 days but did not take a shower even though I sweat so much. Through this experience, I think this generation is like this spiritually.

Our generation is FULL of love, but LACK *real* love.

Music, books, movies use the word love so easily.

2 Tim 3 “Mark this, there will be terrible times at the last days. They will be lovers of self, money, physical pleasure.” (sinful, sensual love – but little love of God and neighbors and enemies)

That’s why Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the greatest commandment and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commands.”

“A new commandment I give you: love one another. By this, all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

“Whoever does not love, does not know God.”

This means – “whoever does not love proves he is not saved – or does not know he is saved” – because God’s saving power is motivated by his unconditional love.

If we are saved, we have already experienced his unconditional love. To experience this love and then NOT show it to others is to not have experienced this love at all.

“I should love.”

But I have no power to show this agape love.

Today gives us the KEY to this love.

Yes, there are many many reasons for us to love if we are really born again Christians. But there are three reasons here in this passage why we should love: God, our neighbors, our enemies.

3 Reasons WHY we should love

#1 Because we are debtors

v. 8

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Our duty to love one another is called “continual debt.”

v. 7 says “give everyone what you owe him. If taxes, then tax, if revenue, then revenue, if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor.” This means that ALL kinds of debt must be repaid.

If you have debt, you must pay – without paying, you will go to prison.

In this life, there is only one debt that cannot be paid fully: God’s love.

Apostle Paul confessed: “I’m a debtor – both to the Greeks and Jews – Christ demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, he died for us.”

John 3:16

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us first and gave his son as the propitiation for our sins.”

“Try to grasp how wide, how long, how deep, how far is the love of Christ.” (wider, higher, farther, longer than eternity).

This love remains with us permanently and never leaves us. No matter how much we try to repay this love, we can never repay it because God continually pours his love into us.

This is agape (godly, unconditional, sacrificial) love.

If we are Christians, we are debtors to God’s love.

#2 Because love is the fulfillment of the Law

v. 9-10

“The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Love is the fulfillment (basis) of the Law.

Yes, as children of God, we are not under Law, but under Grace. We are living under the grace of God, by the grace of God. But this does not mean we are free to live a lawless life.

When we are living by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit enables us to meet the requirements of the Law.

If you practice true agape love, there is no reason for another Law. Our motivation is the love of God in our hearts.

If your WHOLE life is motivated and operated by love for God and your neighbors, we do not need any other Law.

Last time, we studied about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible there are two ministries of the Holy Spirit:

  • the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
  • the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

These are NOT the same.

  • Gifts (9 in 1 Cor 12): Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Power, Tongues, Distinguishing spirits, Interpretation, Healing, Teaching, Serving, Prophecy
  • Fruit (Gal 5:22): Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control
  • Gift: related to skill, for a purpose
  • Fruit: related to character, personality, spirituality

LOVE is BOTH gift and fruit.

  • Love is means and end.
  • Love is method and purpose.
  • Love is the gift of gifts.
  • Love is the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 13 “If I speak in the tongues of angels, but have not love, I’m a resounding gong. If I’m a super genius, with massive mountain moving faith, but have not love, I’m nothing. If I give all I have and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

“Do everything in love.”

#3 Because our salvation is near(er) than when we first believed

v. 11-13

“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

We can see terms related to time here:

  • Present time,
  • the hour has come,
  • nearer,
  • now,
  • night,
  • nearly over,
  • day,
  • almost here,

Yes, as long as time is flying on, one day, our Lord Jesus Christ will come in his body.

Everyday we are nearer to the fulfillment of our salvation (one day). Tomorrow we will be nearer by one day than today.

And ONE DAY will be our LAST DAY on this earth. Everybody has his own LAST DAY. But nobody knows when this day will be.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for nobody knows what it may bring forth. You are but a mist and disappear after a little while.”

But THIS one day is not a normal day – it is the FINAL DAY – to receive our reward, blessing, or judgment from Christ. “Christ will bring ALL things into judgment – including the hidden things. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

  • Spiritually “slumber” means disregard or ignorance and indifference in activity of good work.
  • “Night” = unbelief
  • “Day”= faith
  • “Put on the armor of light” – the first thing God created was light.

Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world” – and then challenges us, “you are the Light of the world”. So what is darkness? The first thing God asked Adam after he sinned was, “Where are you?” even though he knew. This means “Do you not know where you are?” Trying to hide yourself from the sight of God = you are in darkness.

  • Test yourself. If you have something you are trying to hide from the sight of God, you are in darkness.

1 John “Whoever claims to be in the light but hates his brother is in darkness.”

There is nothing to hide because all will be exposed in the light (Jesus).

Up to now, we have seen 3 reasons WHY we must love: God, our neighbors, our enemies:

  1. We are debtors to love
  2. It is the fulfillment of the Law
  3. We are nearer our salvation now than when we first believed

Do you agree?

  1. I must love God with all my heart, mind, soul, strength.
  2. I must love my neighbor as myself.

BUT, I have no power to do so myself.

That’s why we need the Last verse.

  1. “I need Jesus Christ absolutely.”
  2. “Jesus is my clothes, my dress.”
  3. 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

#Conclusion

v. 14

“14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

“Jesus is my dress.” 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

No one is naked here.

What are the functions of our dress?

Here are 4 functions of our dress (spiritually):

#1 Protection

  • from cold, hurt, danger, shame
  • from the attack of Satan
  • the temptation and shame of sin

Even as a pastor, if I’m totally naked before you, I’m so shameful. But Jesus is my protection from all the evil things in this world.

#2 Clothes reveal our status / identity

Especially at that time, clothes showed social rank (king, noble, middle-class, poor)

Even today, we can see this: police, doctors, nurses, uniforms, etc.

Our identity as a Christian is revealed in this world – as a light of the world, aroma of Christ. Can you *smell* Jesus on your neighbor?? ^^

#3 It influences your attitude, tongue, character

  • For example, if I put on loose fitting clothes, my actions become loose – and my tongue as well – then my thinking and my language will be loose. Then my head, character, personality will become loose. If everything is loose, my whole life is loose.
  • If I wear noble dress, my tongue, thinking, habits, character, etc, will be noble.
  • If I put on Jesus Christ, he will continually affect and impact my attitude and character and personality.

#4 They are my company wherever I go

Clothes go together with me all the time. When you see me, you see my clothes first.

If I put on Jesus, people will see Jesus FIRST – wherever you go.

Conclusion: The best way to do and show this kind of agape love (to win souls to Christ) is to clothe yourselves with Christ.

  1. Love = greatest commandment
  2. Evangelism = greatest commission

These two pillars go together hand-in-hand, like two sides of the same coin. They can never be separated.

Let’s pray.

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

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1)

Romans 4:1-25 (Pastor Heo)

Abraham Justified by Faith

1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


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

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

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

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

Abraham is the “father of the faith.”

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

If you are Christian, you have 4 fathers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Four things that DID NOT justify Abraham

#1: Not by his good works / character

v. 1-2 “1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.”

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

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

#2: Not by circumcision

v. 9-10 “9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!”

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

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

Actually,

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

#3: Not by observing the Law

v. 13-15 “13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.”

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

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

#4: Not by his own power

v. 19-20 “19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,”

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

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

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

This is IMPOSSIBLE!~

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

How was he NOT justified?

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 26 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Character of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Character of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56)

07.26.2015

07.26.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

The Character of Jesus

Matthew 26:47-56 (Pastor Heo)

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

55 At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.


Last time, we saw how Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. This time, he rose to go out to the battle of life. He knew that the officers and Judas was near, so he awakened his disciples to prepare them for what was coming.

The fact that the Roman soldiers and temple guards carried weapons in a large crowd showed that Judas didn’t really understand the character of Christ. Actually, Judas didn’t really have to betray him with a kiss – Jesus came to them. It’s sad to note that Judas cheapened everything he touched.

At that time, students kissed their teachers out of respect. But, this time it was betrayal.

Even today, no one likes to name their children Judas – (actually, the name means “praise God”) – but understand that you are responsible for the meaning of your personal name.

Last time, I showed the passion of Jesus as FULL man – agony, trust, patience, prayer. Now, he’s almost at the end of his earthly life – so it’s a good time to MEMORIZE the character of Jesus Christ to understand the IDEAL Christian life.

One reason for the incarnation (Matt 11:29) was for Jesus to show an EXAMPLE to us (also 1 Pet 2:21, 1 John 2:6). If Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and King, then NO QUESTION, he must be our Example as well. What kind of man/woman must we be in this life?

Summarize: What is the character of a “true” human as characterized by Christ?

#1: Absolute holiness as a man

He was absolutely holy in his nature and in his conduct/character. He was without sin. Heb 4:15 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but he was tempted in every way just as we are, but was without sin.”

When so many people hurled insults at him, he didn’t retaliate. When he suffered, he endured. He did nothing. He bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might live for righteousness and die to sin. By his wounds, we have been cured.

We are to be holy, because he is holy.

However far we may fall away from being like Christ, we have no excuse for choosing a LOWER example than Christ – who the Scriptures hold up for us as a perfect example.

Since the Creation of the world, among human beings, ONLY Jesus was the one who was/is infallible completely and totally in his teaching and character. It is necessary to have this illustration of what God wants us to be.

  • Bible says to the unsaved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and live.”
  • Bible says to the saved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and follow in his steps.”

When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, his face shown (brightly) – just as we should be transformed into the same image as Christ by beholding him and following him.

We must try, do our best to be holy, because he is our example.

#2: Humility

Even though he was the Original God, the True God, God in flesh, yet he emptied himself willingly and was made/found in the likeness of sinful men. He took on the form of a servant. He went to the place of shameful death on the cross.

  1. He was very rich – became poor – to make us rich.
  2. He was born in a manger in a stable (the animal’s food box) – who ELSE was born there? Nobody. There was no room in the inn.
  3. He had no place to put his head when he was teaching and preaching. He lived as a homeless person. Anyone ELSE is homeless?
  4. He washed the feet of his disciples as a servant – even the feet of Judas, his betrayer.
  • Yes, his is our Lord, he wants to be our servant.
  • He is our King, wants to be our friend.
  • He is our Savior, wants to be our co-heir.
  • He is our God, wants to be a man, to experience what we experience.

God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.

God wants us to be humble as Christ was humble.

#3: Meek and Gentle

He himself said, “I’m gentle and humble in heart. Come to me and find rest/peace for your souls.”

Paul – to the Corinthians “by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you.” He did not smother the weak, and did not bruise the strong.

When Judas came to betray him, Jesus called him, “Friend” even though he knew what was happening. His gentleness is seen more clearly in his dealing with Judas who would betray him. He was also so gentle to those who crucified him because he prayed for them, “Father, forgive them (intercede for them) because they do not know what they are doing.”

“The workers of the Lord must not be quarrelsome.”

Jesus never quarreled, he never cried out. No one ever heard his voice on the street.

Should we cry out on the street? Did Jesus?

This is a good example we should follow. 

  1. 1. In prayer, Jesus cried out to GOD.
  2. 2. On the street, he never cried out to MAN.

We should follow this good example.

#4: Balanced

  • He was very serious without being gloomy.
  • He was not depressed/melancholy – but he was serious and grave.

Was his life joyful or sorrowful?

Isaiah “He was despised and forsaken by men, a man of sorrows, very acquainted with grief. He bore our sorrows, carried our sorrows.”

But, in another sense, he was a man of JOY. Before the crucifixion he said, “I have told this to you so that MY joy may be in you, and YOUR joy may be complete.” In his FINAL prayer, he prayed for ALL believers for ALL time, “may they have the FULL measure of my joy in them.”

Jesus had

  1. the FULL sorrow of life and
  2. the FULL joy of life.
  • He sorrowed totally over those who rejected his free gift of eternal life. He bore ALL griefs and sorrows.
  • His joy was the joy of anticipation, the huge multitude of souls saved with him forever in his glory.

So, how should we live? (Phil 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE!”)

(i.e. don’t rejoice outside the Lord)

1 Thes 5:16 “Be joyful always, this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

God wants us to be joyful all the time.

But the same Bible ALSO says, “blessed are you who weep, who mourn and you shall laugh… woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.”

  1. Yes, when we look at the Lord, we rejoice.
  2. When we look at the lost, we must be able to be sorrowful spiritually.

#5: Diligent worker

“Because my Father God is working, so I am working up to now.” We must work the works he’s sent us while it is day – but night is coming when no one can work.

As long as it is daytime in your life, we must work the work of him who sent us.

No matter how young you are, when night comes (soon), you cannot work any longer.

He forgot his own pain of hunger, sleep, and even on the cross in order to heal and save the souls of others. This is the kind of work we should do in this world.

#6: Love

“Here is Love” – no love is higher, no love is wider, no love is longer, no love is deeper, no love is truer – the love of God is unconditional, unfailing, unending, unselfish, incomparable love. 

While we were still sinners (yes, before we were “good”), he DIED on the cross for us. This is the love of Christ.

Therefore, (Romans 8:38~) “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? … None, no in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.” We can be sure, confident, convinced that neither angels/demons, height/depth, NOTHING in all Creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, in conclusion, we are totally FREE.

But the important question is “from what?”

From condemnation, from judgment, from defeat (he is living in us now, we are sharing his life now), from discouragement (he is coming soon, we will share his glory), from fear (he is praying/interceding for us and we cannot be separated from his love).

  1. No condemnation in Jesus Christ.
  2. No separation from the love of Jesus Christ.

From his earthly ministry up to his crucifixion, this is our conclusion, our testimony, our song, our victory, our proclamation.

May God bless all of us in this assurance.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 14 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Purify and Get Ready for Tomorrow (Joshua 7:6-15)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Purify and Get Ready for Tomorrow (Joshua 7:6-15)

12.14

12.14.2014-R.Ahn

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Purify and Get Ready for Tomorrow

Joshua 7:6-15 (Rev. Ahn Choongsik)

6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.7 And Joshua said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?” 10 The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymoreunless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. 13 “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it. 14 ” ‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD takes shall come forward clan by clan; the clan that the LORD takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the LORD takes shall come forward man by man. 15 He who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel!’ “


 

This is the third week/day of Advent. This Scripture we read isn’t really related. So, why did I choose it? Here’s the reason:

One day the Lord said to Moses, “Go up the Abraham’s mountain and look over the land I’m giving to the Israelites. After you’ve seen it, you’ll die. Take Joshua and place your hand on his head – he will be your successor.”

Joshua was a great man in many ways.

  1. A field commander in the battle against the Ammonites
  2. Moses’ helper, they went to the Mt. to get the 10 Commandments
  3. Joshua stayed in a tent for leadership service all the time
  4. He was one of 4 spies sent to explore the land of Canaan
  5. He was one of 2 spies that said, “Don ‘t be afraid of the people over there. The Lord is with us and has defended us – so don’t be afraid.”

Joshua was the right person to lead the people to the Promised Land. He was a man of responsibility and faithful to obey God’s commands, and a faithful person to keep his own promises at the risk of his own life.

But he was in danger here by the battle with the Ammonites. He sent some men from Jericho to explore the land. They reported back to him, “There is no need for everyone to attack – send only about 2-3,000 people. It is not a large city.” So he did, but the outcome was totally unexpected. They were driven away and chased away by the people.

36 people were killed and the Israelites lost their courage.

Joshua and the Israelites tore their clothes in grief and laid before the ark of the covenant until evening, praying, “Lord, why did we even come across the Jordan? Are you handing us over to the enemies? Why did we not stay there? What can I say Lord, we’ve retreated and everyone else in the country will hear about this. They will surround us and kill us all. And what will you do to protect your honor?”

This is a prayer of extreme heartbreak and sadness. This is (he’s worried) the cause of God’s dishonor. He’s worried that the people might back down from God’s given Promised Land.

God said, “UP! Why are you lying down?”

Here’s the cause:

  • God didn ‘t leave them alone, rather the people broke the agreement with the Lord that God ordered them to keep. The cause of defeat = Israel has sin.
  • God told Joshua the sins in detail: thievery, lies, put the possessions in their own houses.

Why did God rebuke Israel with such strong language? Go back to the story of Jericho. On the 7th day, they marched around the city 7 times and the men shouted and the trumpets blasted and Joshua said, “EVERYTHING must be destroyed in the city as an offering to the Lord. Do not take anything from the city or you will bring destruction upon Israel. All bronze, silver, gold, and iron is the Lord’s to be put into his treasury.”

The Lord knew that the Israelites (who had nothing in the wilderness – houses, suits, silverware, etc – after 40 YEARS of this) would eye the decorations and keep them…

Jericho was a once great city and it means “City of Gardens”? It’s a very rich city.

According to Luke, there was a chief tax collector named Zaccheus – he stood up and said to the Lord, “Listen, I will give half of my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay him back 4x as much.”

He made so much money because this city he worked in was an important city on a trade route that joined east and west. Many merchants were passing through the route and he collected money from not only store owners, but also the foreign traders.

The Lord wanted his people to stay away from that kind of way of life – cheating and greed. If they were involved in that kind of life, they would be unable to live the kind of life that God had called them to. This is why the Lord spoke so strongly to the Israelites.

The next morning, Joshua called ALL of the Israelites out and found out Achan. He said, “Confess before the Lord – don’t hide what you’ve done.” Achan answered “It’s true, I’ve sinned. I took a beautiful coat, 2kg of silver, and 1/2kg of gold.” Joshua sent some men to the tent and found that stuff under the tent. The men of Israel seized Achan, the stuff, all his possessions, and his family and told him, “Why have you brought such trouble upon us? Now the Lord will bring trouble upon you.” The people then stoned and burned him and his whole family and all his possessions.

What’s the meaning today? Why so cruel to Achan and his family?

This is a relationship between the individual and the community in which that individual belongs. For example, Achan’s greed doesn’t just affect HIM, but also the ENTIRE community.

  • The Lord said to Joshua very clearly, “I will not stay with you any longer unless you destroy all the things you were ordered not to take.” The Lord chose the community as a whole and not just the individual.
  • The Lord said to the NATION, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you, and through you I’ll bless all nations.”

In the spring of this year, remember the Sewol sinking? The captain’s mistake became a national disaster – grief, anger, distrust, are a national wound. Individuals within the community cannot be separated from the community. The greed, sin of an individual affects the WHOLE community.

The Lord wanted to get the whole community of Israel ready and pure before him to meet him tomorrow. He said, “You have some things in your possession which I told you not to take. You cannot stand before your enemies before you deal with your sin.”

Remember the Beatitudes?

  1. Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth.
  2. Blessed are the hungry and thirsty for righteousness, they will be filled.
  3. Blessed are the merciful, they’ll get mercy.
  4. Blessed are the pure in heart, they’ll see God.

That the Lord demanded purity is related to these things. The Lord said, “I won’t stay any longer unless you purify yourself from your sins.”

The way of purity for ourselves is cutting off our desire and self. Cut off the one who sees greed and is not truly a community member.

Zaccheus – after he spoke his promise and confession, Jesus said, “Salvation has come to this house today for he is also a descendant of Abraham.” The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.

How does a hunter capture a monkey?

  1. Make an iron box
  2. Put many fruits into the box
  3. Monkeys see the fruit and stick their hands into the box to get the fruit
  4. The hole in the box is just the size of his fist
  5. Because of his character, the monkey cannot take out the fruit one by one – he uses the monkey’s character of greed to catch the monkey

(Same way they used to catch racoons in America)

Do you want Jesus to stay in our hearts and minds and remain in our families and work places and homes? Purify your hearts and your homes. Repent and confess like John the Baptist declares.

The shopping malls and music and decorations are out there waiting for shoppers, not for Jesus. Let us purify ourselves and wait for Jesus. Let’s cut off all our material greed and consumerism and prepare for his coming.

Let’s pray.

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