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  • Jul 11 / 2021
  • Comments Off on How to Meet God (Exodus 40:1a-2)
Pastor Kang, Sermons

How to Meet God (Exodus 40:1a-2)

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How to Meet God

1 Then the LORD said to Moses:

2 “Set up the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the first month.

 Exodus 40:1a-2

● How to Get From Seoul to Busan through city buses

I hope God’s grace and peace will fill our hearts today through the message God’s given us.

There are many ways to get from Seoul to Busan. But, one day a young man made a very interesting challenge called “Going to Busan from Seoul with only city buses”. In the morning, this young man took his first bus at the ‘Shin-non-hyun Station bus stop’ early in the morning.

Now, before we go any further, do you think this young man’s challenge was successful?

At the next stop, there was no no bus on the move, so he ran on to the following bus stop. After getting on the bus there, he was so tired that he fell asleep on the bus and got off at the wrong next bus stop. Eventually, although he endured several such crises, fortunately his challenge ended successfully. He finally arrived at Busan Jong-hap Bus Terminal even though the process he had taken was never simple.

The total number of city buses used to go from Seoul to Busan was nineteen. And the total time was twenty-three hours.

So, after such a long struggle, why did this young man not give up on his challenge?

It was because he had set his mind firmly on his purpose to go to Busan.

Likely, in today’s text, Moses and the Israelites had set their hearts firmly on their purpose to meet God. Actually, at that time, the process of meeting God was almost as complicated as ‘going to Busan from Seoul with only city buses’ because the Israelites needed the “tabernacle” to meet God. But it was not simple or easy to set up this tabernacle and to sacrifice there.

● How to Meet God through the Tabernacle

Exodus 40:1-2

1 Then the LORD said to Moses:

2 “Set up the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the first month.

God had taught Moses how to set up the tabernacle because that was the designated location for the Israelites to meet him. The tabernacle was also called the Tent of Meeting, and it was “A moving worship place”. At that time, Israel had escaped from Egypt with the help of God and was actively moving to the promised land. But the Israelites had to worship during their movement because they had not yet arrived in the land where they were to settle. So they needed “a moving worship place” which was the tabernacle, a large tent for meeting God.

In modern terms, the tabernacle can be understood as a church building where we worship. But imagine that as a church we needed to move to another place over a course of many months or years. We also would probably bring a tent, or a tarp to a campground, in which to worship God.

What is interesting is that God ordered the tabernacle to be set up on the first day of the first month. In fact, the Israelites had fled from Egypt on the fourteenth day of the first month the previous year. They arrived at Mt. Sinai in the third month, and Moses’ two trips up the mountain took a few months each. It is generally accepted that the Israelites began work on the tabernacle in the sixth month of their exodus, and it took almost six months to complete. So, the first day of the first month, which is New Year’s Day was fast approaching, and just as all things are “new” in the New Year, so the tabernacle was to symbolize Israel’s “being made new.”

God wanted Israelites to remember that God was the one who saved them by making them set up the tabernacle on the first day of the month. And God wanted the Israelites to worship Him with a new identity of God’s people, not slaves of Egypt, slaves of sin.

In this regard, we can imagine the worship service on the first morning of each month. Just as the Israelites set up the tabernacle on the first day of each month and worshiped God, we also worship God in the church at the earliest time of the first day of each week. But in Korea, we also have a special worship time at the earliest time of the first day of each month called “월삭기도회.”

All early morning worship services are precious, but the first worship service every month has an even more special meaning. This is because when we start a new month, we can remember that God is the one who saved us from sin. It also makes us realize that sinners though we are, we are also now new children in God’s family. I hope we will be Christians who rely on God for a new beginning at the beginning of each month by attending the first early morning worship service of the month.

Now, in order for the Israelites to worship God on the first day of the month, God had to teach Moses how to lead the people in setting up the tabernacle. But the process of setting up this tabernacle was not simple.

For starters, the tabernacle was divided into the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. In the Most Holy Place, the Ark of the Covenant which contained the two stone tablets with the 10 commandments that God had given to Moses was placed. There was a veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, so that they were physically separated from each other.

In the Holy Place, there was a table of the bread of the Presence of God on the north side, a lampstand and lamps on the south side, a golden altar for incense on the west side, and the door of the tabernacle made of another veil on the east side.

Outside the tabernacle was the main court where a basin and the altar for burnt offerings was placed. These were in the center of the court of the tabernacle before the main entrance.

When I was reading the Bible, I was particularly interested in the veils of the tabernacle. A veil is ‘a curtain used to cover something’. Interestingly, three veils were used in the tabernacle design. One veil was used to distinguish between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, another was used as a material to make the gates of the tabernacle, and a final veil was used to represent the boundary of the court of the tabernacle.

That means there were three veils between the Israelites and the ark of the Covenant. Why?

These veils signified that God is holy, and that the Israelites, who are unholy sinners, can not meet the holy God directly.

Therefore, God appointed a priest to take charge of the tabernacle rituals, on behalf of all human beings as sinners. Exodus 40:9-16 shows us how God made the priest and the tabernacle holy so that the priest could perform his duty for the people:

9 “Take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and everything in it; consecrate it and all its furnishings, and it will be holy.10 Then anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils; consecrate the altar, and it will be most holy.11 Anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate them. 12 “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water.13 Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest.14 Bring his sons and dress them in tunics.15 Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come.”16 Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him.

So Moses poured oil onto the priest, the tabernacle, and everything in the court of the tabernacle as God commanded him, and everything that touched the oil became holy. This allowed the priest, now made holy, to move on to the holy God.

This is probably the simplest explanation for the tabernacle. If we were to read all of Exodus chapters 34 to 40 which detail every little thing about the tabernacle, how it was created, the artifacts it contained, and how the priest was to be dressed, we would find that setting up the tabernacle, and giving sacrifices there was never simple or easy.

What we can see through this is that God is holy, and it is never easy for a sinner to meet a holy God. So the Israelites had to go through a lot of processes to meet God. Is there any other way than this series of formalities to meet God?

● How to Meet God through Jesus Christ

In the Old Testament, people needed a tabernacle, a priest, and sacrifices to meet God. However, everything changed with Jesus in the New Testament. How did Jesus make meeting God possible?

Hebrews 10:12

12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

Jesus is our better High Priest, who acted in accordance with the tradition of the Old Testament sacrificial rites that God ordered Israel.

First, Jesus has become our eternal high priest. His title “Christ” is the Helaian transliteration of the Hebrew word ‘Mashmach’, (Messiah?) which means ‘anointed with oil’. In the Old Testament, in order to meet the Holy God, the priest must have been anointed with holy oil, but Christ Jesus was already holy because he is the only son of the holy God, and lived a perfect and sinless life on earth.

Second, Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins. In the Old Testament, the priest sacrificed animals to God so that the blood of the animals would absolve the sins of man. Because the punishment for sin is death, God accepted the death of the animals in place of the death and blood of the people. But Jesus took our sins upon himself and died as a sacrifice of his own accord. His blood has absolved our sins and bestowed his righteousness and holiness to us.

Finally, Jesus became the head of the church.

Colossians 1:18

And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites needed to meet God in the tabernacle. But today, we can meet God through the church community that Jesus is the head of. He is our leader, the head of the church, and we are the body of the church.

● God’s grace through Jesus Christ

Now let’s turn our attention to God’s grace as it was displayed through the tabernacle in the Old Testament and Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

God ordered the people of Israel to set up the tabernacle and to make the priest and the tabernacle holy with oil and to complete all kinds of necessary preparations to consecrate themselves to God. Sometimes, we may feel that God’s orders are too cumbersome and that many of these requirements are burdensome.

But this was not a one-sided order from God, but rather a big display of his grace because God had provided an opportunity to forgive sin through the tabernacle. In fact, the Israelites were only able to live as a holy people of God by confessing their sins and offering sacrifices to him.

So why did God change the way we meet him from the tabernacle to Jesus Christ?

When God first gave people the covenant, the people came to the tabernacle every time they broke his covenant and sinned, in order to meet God and repent of their sins. But human sin increased day by day, and in the end could not be absolved only through the sacrifice offered at the tabernacle. Even the priests who should have been holy were not holy before God.

Also, the people used the laws and commandments given by God in order to boast about themselves, or elevate their own status, and did not love their neighbors. So God abolished the sacrifice at the tabernacle and absolved all sins with only one sacrifice, once for all, through Jesus.

If there was a way for a sinner to come to God through the tabernacle in the past, now God has come to us, who are sinners, directly through Jesus Christ. This is because Jesus has now become our eternal high priest, the eternal sacrifice for our sins, and the head of the eternal church for us. This is God’s good and wonderful gift of grace for us, unholy, unforgivable sinners.

Recall the challenge of “Going to Busan from Seoul by only city buses.” This kind of situation is almost as trying as offering a sacrifice at the tabernacle would have been in Old Testament times. The reason is that we have to go through too many obligatory steps to meet God, who is our final destination.

But what if we took a flight from Seoul to Busan? Surprisingly, it would take less than one hour. We wouldn’t have to transfer along the way, and we would just be able to sit comfortably in one seat for the entire journey. This scenario is like the grace of Jesus Christ that God has given us. He is our fast, one-way ticket, with no layovers, on a comfortable plane to go to God, our final destination. And the flight’s name is “My Savior, Jesus Christ”.

John 14:6

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

The important thing to note in this passage is that there is only ONE way to God, and that way is through Jesus Christ. There is no other way! There are no transfer stops or indirect routes, or different transit methods but Jesus Christ alone.

Remember the three veils between the Israelites and the ark of the Covenant? These were walls that blocked sinners from the holy God. The people of Israel had to ask a mediator, the high priest, to go to God and perform sacrifices for them on their behalf.

We also are sinners and blocked, as if with the veils of the tabernacle, from the holy God. But Jesus’ death changed that completely.

Luke 23:44-46

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,

45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The veil of the temple was torn in half with Jesus’ death, and this symbolizes the disappearance of the veils between us and God through Jesus. His death and sacrifice on the cross for our sins makes it possible to go directly to God and meet God right away through Him. This is the love of God, and the great, marvelous, unimaginable grace of him who saved us from death through Jesus.

I hope you will spend today meditating on the amazing grace of God that came most intimately through Jesus. And I hope you will spend today basking in the mercy of God, who came to us through Jesus Christ and now considers us holy and righteous, and sons and daughters in his own family through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. God bless you!


하나님을 만나는 방법

1 여호와께서 모세에게 말씀하여 이르시되

2 너는 첫째 달 초하루에 회막 곧 회막을 세우고

출애굽기 40:1-2

● 서울에서 부산가기

오늘도 하나님이 주신 말씀을 통해, 우리에게 주님의 은혜와 평강이 가득하길 소망합니다.

서울에서 부산까지 가기 위해 여러가지 방법들이 있습니다.

그런데 한 청년이 아주 흥미로운 도전을 하였습니다.

그 도전의 이름은 “시내버스로 서울에서 부산가기”입니다.

이 청년은 이른 새벽에 신논현역 버스 정류장에서 첫 버스를 탔습니다.

과연 이 청년의 도전은 성공했을까요?

가는 길에 버스 노선이 없어서 다음 버스 정류장까지 뛰거나, 버스 안에서 졸다가 엉뚱한 정류장에 내리는 등 몇 번의 위기가 있었지만, 다행히 이 도전은 성공적으로 끝났습니다.

이 청년이 탄 마지막 버스가 부산 종합 버스 터미널에 도착했기 때문입니다.

그러나 이 도전을 성공하기 위해 그가 거쳐야 했던 과정은 결코 간단하지 않았습니다.

서울에서 부산까지 가기 위해 이용한 총 시내버스의 수, 열아홉 대.

서울에서 부산까지 가는데 걸린 총 시간, 스물 세 시간.

이 청년이 이런 힘든 과정에도 도전을 포기하지 않은 이유는 무엇일까요?

그것은 그에게 부산까지 가야한다는 목적이 있었기 때문입니다.

오늘 본문에 나타나는 모세와 이스라엘 백성에게도 한 가지 목적이 있었습니다.

그 목적은 하나님을 만나는 것이었습니다.

하나님을 만나는 과정은 시내버스로 서울에서 부산가기 처럼 간단하지 않았습니다.

그 이유는 이스라엘 백성이 하나님을 만나기 위해서 “회막” 이라는 것이 필요했는데, 회막을 세우는 것과 회막에서 제사를 드리는 것이 간단하거나 쉬운 일이 아니었기 때문입니다.

● 하나님을 만나는 방법 : 회막

출애굽기 40장 1절에서 2절입니다.

1 여호와께서 모세에게 말씀하여 이르시되

2 너는 첫째 달 초하루에 회막 곧 회막을 세우고

하나님은 모세를 통해 “회막”을 세우는 방법을 알려주셨습니다.

회막이 있어야 이스라엘 백성들이 그 곳에서 하나님을 만날 수 있었기 때문입니다.

회막은 성막으로도 불렸는데 이것은 “이동식 예배소” 입니다.

이때 당시 이스라엘은 하나님의 도움으로 애굽에서 탈출해서, 약속의 땅으로 이동하는 상황이었습니다.

이스라엘은 아직 정착할 땅이 없어 이동하면서 예배를 드려야 했는데, 이 이동식 예배소가 바로 회막인 것입니다.

오늘날로 말하면 회막은 우리가 예배를 드리는 교회라 할 수 있습니다.

흥미로운 점은 하나님께서 첫째 달 초하루에 회막을 세울 것을 명령 하셨다는 것입니다.

첫째 달 초하루는 이스라엘이 출애굽 한 이후, 처음 맞이하는 새해 첫날로서, 새로운 한 달을 시작하는 ‘월삭’을 의미합니다. 

월삭의 원뜻은 ‘새로워 지다’ 입니다.

하나님은 이스라엘이 매달 첫째 날에 회막을 세우게 함으로써, 그들을 구원하신 분이 하나님임을 기억하길 바라셨습니다. 

하나님은 이스라엘이 더 이상 애굽의 노예, 죄의 노예가 아닌 하나님의 백성이라는 새로운 정체성을 가지고 하나님을 예배하길 원하셨던 것입니다.

이와 관련하여 우리는 매달 첫째 날 새벽에 드리는 월삭 예배를 떠올려 볼 수 있습니다.

이스라엘 백성들이 매달 첫째 날, 회막을 세워 하나님께 예배했듯이 우리도 매달 첫째 날 가장 이른 시간에 교회에 나와 하나님께 예배하는 것입니다.

모든 새벽 예배가 귀하지만, 월삭 예배는 더욱 특별한 의미가 있습니다.

새로운 한 달을 시작하면서 우리를 죄에서 구원하신 분이 하나님이라는 것을 기억하고, 죄인이었던 우리가 이제는 하나님의 자녀라는 새로운 존재임을 다시금 깨닫게 되는 예배이기 때문입니다. 

월삭 예배를 잘 지키셔서 새로운 한 달을 하나님께 맡겨드리는, 귀한 순종의 예배를 드리시기를 주님의 이름으로 소망합니다.

하나님은 지도자 모세를 통해 회막을 세우는 방법에 대해 알려주셨습니다.

이 회막을 세우는 방법은 과정은 간단하지 않았습니다.

회막은 크게 지성소와 성소로 나누어져 있었습니다.

지성소는 하나님이 모세에게 주신 언약궤가 있어 가장 거룩한 장소였습니다.

지성소와 성소 사이에는 휘장이 있어 서로 구분되어 있었습니다.

성소의 북쪽에는 진설병 상이, 남쪽에는 등잔대가, 서쪽에는 금향제단이 있고, 마지막 동쪽에는 휘장으로 만든 회막의 문이 있었습니다.

회막의 바깥으로는 회막의 뜰이 있었습니다.

회막의 뜰에는 물두멍과 번제단이 있는데 이것들을 회막 입구와 회막 뜰의 입구 사이에 자리하고 있었습니다.

저는 성경을 읽던 중에, 특별히 휘장이라는 것에 대해 주목하게 되었습니다.

휘장은 ‘무엇인가를 가리기 위해 사용하는 장막’을 의미합니다.

흥미로운 점은 지성소와 성소를 구분하기 위해 휘장이 사용되었고, 회막의 문을 위해 휘장이 사용되었으며, 회막 뜰의 경계를 나타내기 위해 또한 휘장이 사용되었다는 것입니다.

이로써 이스라엘 백성과 언약궤 사이에는 총 세 개의 휘장이 가로 막고 있었습니다.

그 이유는 무엇이었을까요? 

이 세 개의 휘장이 나타내는 의미는 하나님은 거룩하시다는 것입니다.

그러므로 죄인인 이스라엘 백성이 거룩하신 하나님을 곧바로 만날 수 없다는 것을 의미합니다.

하나님은 모든 인간이 죄인이기 때문에 특별히 그들을 대표하여 회막 의식을 담당할 제사장을 택하셨습니다.

그리고 기름을 부어 제사장과 회막, 회막 뜰 안에 있는 모든 것을 거룩하게 하셨습니다.

이로써 기름 부음 받은 거룩한 제사장은 거룩한 하나님께 나아갈 수 있게 된 것입니다.

이렇게 이야기하는 것이 회막에 대한 가장 단순한 설명일 것입니다.

만약 회막과 관련된 모든 내용을 구체적으로 말한다면 우리는 회막을 세우는 것, 회막에서 봉헌하는 과정이 결코 간단하거나 쉬운 일이 아니라는 것을 알게 될 것입니다.

이를 통해 우리가 알 수 있는 것은 하나님은 거룩하신 분이라는 것과, 죄인이 거룩하신 하나님을 만나는 것이 결코 쉽지 않다는 것입니다.

그래서 이스라엘이 하나님을 만나기 위해서는 많은 과정을 거쳐야만 했습니다.

그렇다면 이 방법 외에 하나님을 만날 수 있는 다른 방법은 없을까요?

● 하나님을 만나는 방법 : 예수 그리스도

구약시대에는 하나님을 만나기 위해 회막과, 제사장, 그리고 제물이 필요했습니다.

그러나 신약시대부터 하나님을 만나기 위해서는 예수님 한 분만이 필요하게 되었습니다.

예수님이 오신 이후로, 하나님을 만나는 방법이 단순해 진 것입니다.

어떻게 예수님은 이 일을 가능하게 만드신 걸까요?

히브리서 10장 12절 말씀입니다.

오직 그리스도는 죄를 위하여 한 영원한 제사를 드리시고 하나님 우편에 앉으사

예수님은 하나님이 이스라엘에게 명령하셨던 구약의 제사 전통에 따라 행하셨습니다.

첫째로, 예수님은 우리의 영원한 제사장이 되셨습니다.

예수님이 제사장이라는 것은 “예수 그리스도” 라는 이름의 뜻을 통해 알 수 있습니다.

‘그리스도’는 ‘기름 부음을 받은 자’란 뜻의 히브리어 단어 ‘마쉬마흐’의 헬라어 음역입니다.

거룩한 하나님을 만나기 위해선 제사장이 기름 부음을 받아 거룩해 져야 하는데, 이미 그리스도 예수께서는 그 자체로 기름 부음을 받아 거룩하신 분이었습니다.

예수님은 거룩하신 하나님의 독생자이기 때문입니다.

둘째로, 예수님은 스스로 희생 제물이 되셨습니다.

구약 시대에 제사장은 사람이 지은 죄를 해결하기 위해 하나님께 제물을 드렸습니다.

그럼 하나님께서 사람이 지은 죄를 제물로 옮기시고, 희생 제물의 피 흘림으로 그 죄가 사라지게 되었습니다.

예수님은 스스로 희생 제물이 되셨습니다. 

예수님은 십자가에서 피 흘림으로 사람들이 지은 죄를 담당하셨습니다.

마지막으로, 예수님은 교회의 머리가 되셨습니다.

골로새서 1장 18절입니다.

그는 몸인 교회의 머리시라 그가 근본이시요 죽은 자들 가운데서 먼저 나신 이시니 이는 친히 만물의 으뜸이 되려 하심이요

구약 시대에 이스라엘 사람들이 하나님을 만나기 위해서는 회막이 필요했습니다.

그러나 우리는 예수님이 함께 하시는 교회 공동체를 통해 하나님을 만날 수 있습니다.

그 이유는 예수님이 교회의 머리이시고, 우리는 교회의 몸이기 때문입니다.

● 하나님의 은혜 : 예수 그리스도

구약의 회막과 신약의 예수 그리스도를 통해 하나님의 은혜를 알아봅시다.

하나님은 이스라엘 백성에게 회막을 세우고, 거룩한 기름을 통해 제사장과 회막을 거룩하게 하여 하나님께 봉헌할 모든 준비를 마치라고 명령하셨습니다.

우리는 하나님의 명령이 너무 번거롭다고, 또 많은 요구 사항들이 부담스럽다고 느낄 수도 있습니다.

하지만 이것은 하나님의 일방적인 명령이 아닌, 오히려 큰 은혜의 사건이었습니다.

하나님은 회막을 통해 죄를 용서 받을 수 있는 기회를 제공해주셨기 때문입니다.

실제로 이스라엘은 회막에 나가 자신의 죄를 고백하고, 희생 제물을 드림으로써 하나님의 거룩한 백성으로 살아갈 수 있습니다.

그렇다면 하나님께서 하나님을 만나는 방법을 회막에서 예수 그리스도로 바꾸신 이유는 무엇일까요?

처음 하나님께서 사람들에게 언약을 주셨을 때, 사람들은 하나님의 언약을 지키며 죄를 지을 때 마다 회막으로 나아와 하나님을 찾았습니다.

그러나 나날이 인간의 죄는 늘어났고, 회막의 제사로도 감당이 안되는 지경에 이르렀습니다. 

심지어 거룩해야 할 제사장들도 하나님 앞에서 거룩하지 못했습니다.

또한 하나님이 서로 사랑하라고 주신 율법과 말씀이 도리어 사람들의 의를 높이고, 그들을 교만에 빠지게 했습니다.

이에 하나님께서는 회막의 제사를 폐하시고, 예수님을 통한 단 한 번의 제사로 모든 죄를 해결하신 것입니다.

과거에 회막을 통해 죄인인 사람이 하나님께 찾아 올 수 있는 길이 있었다면, 이제는 하나님께서 예수 그리스도를 통해 친히 죄인인 우리에게 찾아오신 것입니다.

예수님이 우리를 위해 친히 영원한 제사장이 되셨고, 영원한 희생 제물이 되셨고, 영원한 교회의 머리가 되셨기 때문입니다.

이것이 용서 받을 수 없는 우리를 위한 하나님의 선하시고 놀라운 은혜인 것입니다.

구약의 회막의 제사는 마치 시내버스로 서울에서 부산을 가는 것과 같습니다.

목적지인 하나님을 만나기 위해서 죄인인 사람이 너무 많은 과정을 거쳐야 하기 때문입니다.

만약 서울에서 부산까지 비행기로 이동한다면 어떨까요?

놀랍게도 오십분 밖에 걸리지 않는다고 합니다. 

그것도 중간에 갈아탈 필요도 없이, 그저 편하게 앉아있기만 하면 됩니다.

이것이 하나님께서 우리에게 주신 예수 그리스도의 은혜입니다.

우리는 목적지인 하나님께 가기위해 그저 빠르고 편한 비행기만 타면 됩니다.

그 비행기의 이름이 바로 “우리 구주 예수 그리스도”입니다.

요한복음 14:6

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

중요한 것은 하나님께로 가는 빠르고 편한 비행기가 단 한 대 밖에 없다는 것입니다.

성경은 오직 예수 그리스도를 통해서만 하나님께로 갈 수 있다고 말합니다.

예수 그리스도 말고 다른 길은 없는 것입니다.

이스라엘 백성들과 하나님의 언약궤 사이에는 세 개의 휘장이 있었습니다.

죄인인 이스라엘과 거룩하신 하나님 사이를 가로 막는 벽이었습니다.

이스라엘 백성은 하나님께 나아가기 위해 그들의 제사장에게 제사를 요청해야만 했습니다.

죄인인 우리와 거룩하신 하나님 사이에도 휘장이 있었습니다.

누가복음 23장 44절부터 46절입니다.

44 때가 제육시쯤 되어 해가 빛을 잃고 온 땅에 어둠이 임하여 제구시까지 계속하며

45 성소의 휘장이 한가운데가 찢어지더라

46 예수께서 큰 소리로 불러 이르시되 아버지 내 영혼을 아버지 손에 부탁하나이다 하고 이 말씀을 하신 후 숨지시니라

예수님은 그의 죽으심으로 성소의 휘장을 찢으셨습니다.

그로 인해 하나님과 우리 사이에 가로 막힌 휘장이 사라지게 되었습니다.

우리는 예수 그리스도를 통해 하나님을 바로 만날 수 있게 된 것입니다.

이것이 예수님을 통해 죽기까지 우리를 사랑하신 하나님의 은혜입니다.

오늘 예수님을 통해 가장 친밀하게 다가오신 하나님의 은혜를 기억하는 하루 보내시길 소망합니다.

예수님을 통해 우리를 친히 찾아오셔서 우리를 의롭다 여겨주시는 하나님의 자비를 온 몸으로 느끼는 하루 보내시길 소망합니다.

  • Dec 27 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Circumcision: The Identity of God’s People (Genesis 17:9-10)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

Circumcision: The Identity of God’s People (Genesis 17:9-10)

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< Circumcision: the identity of God’s people >

9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

Genesis 17:9-10

0. Do you know your identity? 

Laurell K. Hamilton, an American fantasy and romance writer said.

“The only true happiness lies in knowing who you are … and making peace with it”

Many people think that happiness is outside, but as this writer said, true happiness is knowing yourself on the inside, specifically, it is knowing your true identity.

  • A chef once said.
    • “I’m a cook.” “I give people joy by cooking.”
  • A singer said.
    • “I’m a pop star.” “I impress people with songs.”

Because these people know their identity well, they know where their happiness lies.

But Do you know your true identity?

Who are you, deep down, at the very core of your being?

What is your life’s purpose?

1. Circumcision = Obedience

Today’s keyword is circumcision

Circumcision has a very important meaning to the identity of God’s people.

Genesis 17:1-2

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

First, circumcision means obedience.

Abram, who was older at this time, has not yet had a single heir born to him.

But God has promised Abram that he would give him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, or the sand on the seashore.

In the absence of external changes, God continues to pay attention to Abram’s faith.

At this time, God demanded the circumcision of Abram as proof of his faith in God’s promise. And at this time, Abram did not ask God for any guarantee of his promise.

He simply obeyed.

Circumcision means obedience.

The obedient person becomes a person of God.

2. Circumcision shows God’s sovereignty

Genesis 17:3-4

3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

The promise made between God and his people was entirely up to God’s will.

God wanted his people to be distinguished, or at apart, from other peoples on earth through circumcision.

Genesis 17:10; 14

10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

The Covenant of God demanded duty from Abram and his descendants.

This demand was imperative, without compromise.

In other words, circumcision shows God’s full sovereignty.

3. Circumcision is a privilege of the people of God

 As we have seen, circumcision shows both God’s sovereignty and the obedience of his people. But often times, when we think about circumcision, we may have negative opinions of it.

  • ‘why is circumcision is imperative?’ or
  • ‘Circumcision is a dreadful and burdensome thing’

But, in fact, when the practice was begun by Abram through the command of God, not everyone could be circumcised. This is because circumcision was a unique privilege of the people of God.

Genesis 17:17-19

17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” 19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.

Abraham couldn’t believe God’s amazing promise, the huge covenant that would change the world.

So he put forward Ishmael as a more realistic alternative.

But God overcame Abraham’s distrust through his sovereignty.

In fact, man’s distrust of God can never prevent him from fulfilling his promise.

This is the privilege of the people that God has chosen.

Even if the faith of God’s people is weakened or becomes changed, God himself remains faithful always to lead them to the path of salvation.

And at that time, a representative act that demonstrated God’s people responding to his grace was a circumcision ceremony.

For other people, circumcision was an act of unknown meaning, but circumcision was a proud and sacred ceremony for the Israelites who knew God.

This act was a unique privilege of God’s chosen people, and a response to his grace.

The person chosen by God must obey God’s command in response to his grace because obedience itself is the privilege of his people.

4. Circumcision represents The identity of God’s people

Genesis 17:26-27

26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that same day. 27 And every male in Abraham`s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

circumcision represents the identity of God’s people

Remember the questions we asked about identity in the first part of this message?

Do you know your true identity?

Who are you, deep down, at the very core of your being?

What is your life’s purpose?

What God wants most of all is for us to be identified as his people.

Through the priority of circumcision, we can see how important it is to have the identity of the people of God.

Let me give you some details about this regarding cases where the circumcision ceremony overlapped with the Israeli calendar.

What if a circumcision fell on the same day as the Sabbath?

Even if it was on a Sabbath, the circumcision was enforced and called out, even though by the Law of Moses, no work should be performed on that day.

The meaning of Sabbath is for the rest and recovery of one’s life and remembering that God is the one who gives rest.

However, circumcision is an act of marking a person and identifying them as set apart for God, so it takes precedence over Sabbath Day regulations.

What about Yom Kippur, which is more strictly celebrated than the Sabbath?

Yom Kippur is the biggest Jewish holiday, meaning the atonement day. On this day,

All the Jews fast and repent to God of their sins in order to practice forgiveness and reconciliation.

And even if a circumcision was to be performed on Yom Kippur, it would be carried out because this act outwardly identifies a person’s body as a child of God, and this engraving of the new identity onto their person takes precedence over the ceremonial practices of Yom Kippur. 

5. Circumcision is a foreshadowing of Baptism

circumcision was a mark of the covenant between God and his people, identifying them as his own with an inscription on their bodies.

The mark of circumcision declared, “I am your God and you are my people!”

This was almost like a certificate of God’s people in the Old Testament, clearly identifying them and seeing them apart from other nations. In other words, it was a little like a resident registration card.

But what is the true meaning behind circumcision? 

John 3:5-6

5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Jesus, the perfection of the covenant of circumcision, told Nicodemus that he would only enter heaven if he was born again with the Holy Spirit.

In the Exodus, Israeli descendants who escaped from Egypt circumcised their bodies, but only Joshua and Caleb, who gave a favorable report of the land God was sending them into, were able to enter the land of Canaan, while all other leaders died in the wilderness. Circumcision alone was not what saved them and allowed them to enter God’s promised land, for all the Israelites were physically circumcised. Rather, it was their trust in God alone, to fulfill his promises and be forever true to his word that caused God to favor Joshua and Caleb above the others. 

In the same way for us today, it is not a circumcision of the body that will save us, but a circumcision of our hearts and minds. Just as the Israelites demonstrated that they were set apart from the other nations by performing an outward sign on their bodies, so we too can demonstrate that we also are children of God with the outward sign of baptism.

1 Peter 3:21

21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also — not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Baptism is an outward sign of an inner reality. It indicates that our hearts have been circumcised by God, and our lives fully changed, that we have been reborn by the Spirit of God, and have received a new identity as the children of God.

Baptism is an outward confession that Jesus Christ is my savior, and a declaration that he is Lord of my life. 

And to practice that confession, we have to live a life that follows Jesus every day, through reading the Bible and prayer.

This is the true meaning of circumcision, which identifies us as the people of God.

Circumcision alone did not save the Israelites in the wilderness and baptism alone does not save us from sin and death – only Jesus does that. But both practices have been used to identify God’s people as his chosen people. And once you know and embrace your true identity in Christ as a child of God, you will experience a deeper happiness and satisfaction than anything else in life can give. 

(because that isn’t just you making peace with your identity, it’s God making peace with you.)


< 할례, 하나님의 백성의 정체성 >

9 하나님이 또 아브라함에게 이르시되 그런즉 너는 내 언약을 지키고 네 후손도 대대로 지키라 10 너희 중 남자는 다 할례를 받으라 이것이 나와 너희와 너희 후손 사이에 지킬 내 언약이니라

창세기 17:9-10

0. 당신의 정체성을 알고 있습니까?

 미국의 판타지 및 로맨스 작가인 로렐 해밀턴은 말했습니다.

“유일한 행복은 무엇일까? 그것은 자신을 아는 것이지. 그리고 그것으로 평화를 만들어 가는 것이지.”

Laurell K. Hamilton, an American fantasy and romance writer said.

“The only true happiness lies in knowing who you are … and making peace with it”

 많은 사람들은 행복이 외부에 있다고 생각하지만, 이 작가가 말했듯이 행복은 자신을 아는 것입니다. 좀 더 자세하게 말하면 그것은 자신의 정체성을 아는 것입니다.

한 요리사가 말했습니다. “나는 요리하는 사람이야” “나는 요리로 사람들에게 기쁨을 주지”

한 가수가 말했습니다. “나는 노래하는 사람이야” “나는 노래로 사람들에게 감동을 주지”

이 사람들은 자신의 정체성을 잘 알고 있기 때문에, 그들은 행복이 무엇인지 알고 있었습니다.

당신의 당신의 정체성을 알고 있습니까?

당신은 누구입니까? 당신은 목적은 무엇입니까?

1. 할례 : 순종

 오늘의 핵심 단어는 “할례” 입니다. 

“할례”는 하나님의 백성이라는 정체성에서 아주 중요한 의미를 가지고 있습니다.

창 17:1-2

1 아브람이 구십구 세 때에 여호와께서 아브람에게 나타나서 그에게 이르시되 나는 전능한 하나님이라 너는 내 앞에서 행하여 완전하라 2 내가 내 언약을 나와 너 사이에 두어 너를 크게 번성하게 하리라 하시니

첫 번째 할례의 의미는 “순종”입니다.

나이가 많이 든 아브람은 아직 그에게 단 한 사람의 상속자도 없었습니다.

그러나 하나님은 아브람에게 반복해서 많은 후손을 주시겠다고 약속하셨습니다.

외부적인 환경의 변화가 없는 상황에서 하나님은 아브람의 믿음을 주목하고 계셨습니다.

하나님은 이 약속의 증거로 삼기 위해 아브람에게 할례를 요구하셨습니다.

아브람은 하나님께 이 약속에 대한 어떤 보증도 요구하지 않았습니다.

그는 그저 하나님께 순종하였습니다.

할례의 의미는 순종입니다. 

순종하는 사람이 하나님의 백성이 되는 것입니다.

2. 할례 : 하나님의 주권

창 17:3-4

3 아브람이 엎드렸더니 하나님이 또 그에게 말씀하여 이르시되 4 보라 내 언약이 너와 함께 있으니 너는 여러 민족의 아버지가 될지라

하나님과 그의 백성들 사이에 맺어진 약속은 전적으로 하나님의 선택에 달려있었습니다.

하나님은 할례를 통해 하나님의 백성이 다른 민족들과 구별되기를 원하셨습니다.

창 17:10; 14

10 너희 중 남자는 다 할례를 받으라 이것이 나와 너희와 너희 후손 사이에 지킬 내 언약이니라

14 할례를 받지 아니한 남자 곧 그 포피를 베지 아니한 자는 백성 중에서 끊어지리니 그가 내 언약을 배반하였음이니라

하나님의 언약은 아브람과 그의 자손에게 의무를 요구하였습니다.

이 요구는 타협이 없는 강압적인 것이었습니다.

다시 말해, 할례는 하나님의 주권을 의미합니다.

3. 할례 : 하나님 백성의 특권

 앞서 살펴보았듯이 할례는 “하나님의 주권”과 “순종”을 의미합니다.

이로 인해 우리는 할례에 대해 부정적인 것이라 생각 할 수도 있습니다.

  • ‘할례는 너무 강압적이다.’
  • ‘할례는 두렵고 부담스러운 것이다’

하지만 누구나 “할례”를 받을 수는 없습니다.

할례는 하나님 백성의 특권이기 때문입니다.

창 17:17-19

17 아브라함이 엎드려 웃으며 마음속으로 이르되 백 세 된 사람이 어찌 자식을 낳을까 사라는 구십 세니 어찌 출산하리요 하고 18 아브라함이 이에 하나님께 아뢰되 이스마엘이나 하나님 앞에 살기를 원하나이다 19 하나님이 이르시되 아니라 네 아내 사라가 네게 아들을 낳으리니 너는 그 이름을 이삭이라 하라 내가 그와 내 언약을 세우리니 그의 후손에게 영원한 언약이 되리라

아브라함은 이 엄청난 약속을 믿을 수 없었습니다.

그래서 그는 좀더 현실적인 대안으로 이스마엘을 내세웠습니다.

하지만 하나님은 그분의 주권을 통해 아브라함의 불신앙도 극복하셨습니다.

하나님이 약속을 이루시는 것을 사람의 불신앙이 막지 못한다는 것입니다.

이것은 하나님께서 선택하신 백성에 대한 특권입니다.

하나님 백성의 믿음이 약해지거나 심지어 변한다고 하더라도 하나님께서는 그들을 구원의 길로 인도하시는 것입니다.

이러한 하나님의 은혜에 대한 응답의 대표적인 행위가 할례 예식입니다.

다른 민족들에게 할례 예식은 의미를 알 수 없는 행위였지만, 하나님을 아는 이스라엘 백성들에게 할례는 자랑스럽고 성스러운 의식이었습니다. 

할례는 하나님께 선택 받은 민족의 특권이었기 때문입니다.

하나님께 선택 받은 사람은 하나님의 은혜에 응답하여 하나님의 명령에 순종해야 합니다.

그 순종이 하나님 백성의 특권이기 때문입니다.

4. 할례 : 하나님 백성의 정체성

창 17:26-27

26 그 날에 아브라함과 그 아들 이스마엘이 할례를 받았고 27 그 집의 모든 남자 곧 집에서 태어난 자와 돈으로 이방 사람에게서 사온 자가 다 그와 함께 할례를 받았더라

할례는 하나님 백성의 정체성을 나타냅니다.

우리는 앞서 정체성에 대한 질문을 나누었습니다.

당신의 정체성을 알고 있습니까?

당신은 누구입니까? 당신은 목적은 무엇입니까?

하나님이 우리에게 가장 원하시는 것은 우리가 하나님의 사람으로 정체성을 가지는 것입니다.

우리는 “할례 의식”의 중요성을 통해 하나님 백성으로서 정체성을 갖는 것이 얼마나 중요한 것인 것 알 수 있습니다.

“할례 의식”이 이스라엘 절기와 겹칠 경우가 있습니다.

만약 “할례 의식”이 “안식일”과 같은 날이라면 어떻게 해야 할까요?

비록 그날이 안식일이라고 할지라도 할례를 시행합니다.

안식일의 의미는 “생명의 회복”이며 안식을 주시는 분이 하나님이라는 것을 기억하는 것입니다.

그러나 할례 의식은 스스로 하나님의 사람이라는 정체성을 새기는 행위 임으로 안식일 규정보다 우선하게 되는 것입니다.

안식일보다 더 엄격하게 지켜지는 “대속죄일”은 어떨까요?

대속죄일은 ‘속죄의 날’이라는 뜻으로 유대교 최대의 명절입니다. 

모든 유대인들은 이날 금식하며 하나님께 죄를 회개하여 용서와 화해를 실천합니다.

비록 그날이 대속죄일이라고 할지라도 할례를 시행합니다.

이것은 할례가 하나님의 자녀라는 정체성을 몸에 새기는 행위이기 때문입니다.

5. 할례의 진정한 의미 : 세례

할례는 하나님의 백성이 되었다는 언약의 표시로 이스라엘 백성의 몸에 새겨진 흔적이었습니다. 할례는 “나는 네 하나님이 되고 너는 내 백성이라!”는 표시(mark)였습니다. 이것은 구약 시대에 하나님의 백성이라는 증명서, 즉 주민등록증과 같은 것이었습니다.

할례의 진정한 의미는 무엇일가요?

요 3:5-6

5 예수께서 대답하시되 진실로 진실로 네게 이르노니 사람이 물과 성령으로 나지 아니하면 하나님의 나라에 들어갈 수 없느니라 6 육으로 난 것은 육이요 영으로 난 것은 영이니

할례의 실상인 예수님은 니고데모에게 육체의 할례로는 천국에 들어가지 못하고 영이 물(말씀)과 성령으로 거듭나야 천국에 들어간다고 말씀하셨습니다.

출애굽한 이스라엘 자손이 육체의 할례를 다 행하였으나 가나안땅에 들어간 자는 오직 여호수아와 갈렙뿐이었고 나머지는 다 멸망하였습니다. 마찬가지로 천국은 마음의 할례를 해야 가는 것이지 육체의 할례로는 갈수 없습니다.

벧전 3:21

21 물은 예수 그리스도께서 부활하심으로 말미암아 이제 너희를 구원하는 표니 곧 세례라 이는 육체의 더러운 것을 제하여 버림이 아니요 하나님을 향한 선한 양심의 간구니라

세례는 마음의 할례를 드러내는 의식입니다.

세례는 예수 그리스도를 나의 구원자로 믿는 믿음을 고백하는 것입니다.

그리고 그 고백에 따라 성경을 통해 계속해서 거듭난 삶을 살아가는 것입니다.

이것이 하나님 백성으로 정체성을 나타내는 할례의 진정한 의미입니다.

  • Dec 06 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Be a person who understands the heart of God (Genesis 15:12-16)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

Be a person who understands the heart of God (Genesis 15:12-16)

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

< Be a person who understands the heart of God >

12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. 13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

Genesis 15:12~16

0. A Story in Australia

Three years ago, I was living in Canberra, the capital of Australia, serving the Uniting Church of Australia. At that time, everything was unfamiliar to me because I had just settled in Australia.

One day when I was having difficulty adapting to my new life, someone smiled brightly and asked me how I was feeling. She was an Indian woman, she asked me:

How are you?

Her greeting sounded very friendly to me, so I told her honestly about my present mood.

Well… I’m a little depressed right now… because… I’m new here and… Blah Blah Blah…

The Indian woman suddenly looked embarrassed because she was actually a cashier working at a convenience store, and it was probably a question she asked everyone who came in. She replied with less confidence.

Okay… then… How can I help you?

I answered: It’s okay now. You made me feel better.

Embarrassed, she asked me: Did you want to buy anything?

I raised my eyes thinking that something was wrong: Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll pay for two chocolate bars here.

At that time, I had misunderstood the greeting. I had thought she was truly asking about my feelings.

Why was the cashier embarrassed?

I was just a customer and someone she didn’t know well. If I was her close friend, we might have spent a lot of time talking. In the same way, we usually do not share the fullness of our feelings with everyone.

As human beings, we want to share our hearts with someone who is close to us. Parents, brothers and sisters, friends, teachers, close co-workers, even the paster (I hope for that someday)

God is like that as well. He also shares his plans with people who are close to Him. And at this time in Genesis 15, who was God’s closest human friend? It was Abram.

1. God Became Abram’s inheritance

Lot chose the value of the world, but Abram chose God as his inheritance.

Because of Abram’s faith, God truly became his inheritance.

Genesis 15:1

1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”

God, as Abram’s inheritance, appeared in a vision to Abram as his shield.

Genesis 15:15

15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.

God became a shield to Abram to protect his entire life.

God, as Abram’s inheritance, also appeared as his ‘very great reward’ which would be a blessing in the form of ‘his offspring’ and ‘the land’ he would give to Abram’s descendants.

2. God’s First Promise: Abram’s Offspring

Genesis 15:2-3

2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

God appeared to Abram as his “very great reward”, but Abram was rather discouraged because he had no son to carry on his family line. This means that he had no one to inherit his “very great reward”. But God’s promises far exceeded Abram’s expectations.

Genesis 15:4-5

4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars — if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

God showed Abram countless stars in the sky, then specifically explained the blessing of his offspring to Abram through this visual analogy. This was a delicate consideration of God to help Abram understand. You see, God wanted Abram to understand God’s plan in detail because of the intimate fellowship they shared together.

3. God’s Second Promise : The Land for Abram’s Descendants

Genesis 15:7-8

7 He also said to him, “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.” 8 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

God then revealed to Abram that his further inheritance from God would be the land. Abram then asked God for a sign to confirm this promise without a doubt, and God graciously answered him.

Genesis 15:9-10

9 So the LORD said to him, “Bring me a heifer, a goat and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half.

God instructed Abram to prepare sacrifices for clear evidence of the certainty of his promise.

In the ancient Near East, people accepted the animals as the basis of a contract and cut them into two pieces, laying them out in two lines of meat pieces. Then the parties who were to be contractually bound to each other walked hand in hand between the meat pieces. This was a symbolic act that signified that a person who did not keep his promise could be slaughtered in a similar manner as the sacrifice meat.

We can see another example of this in Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 34:18-20

18 The men who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will hand over to their enemies who seek their lives. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.

God swore to his promise by fulfilling the contractual obligation of passing through the offerings made by Abram.

Genesis 15:17-18

17 When the sun had set and darkness had fallen, a smoking firepot with a blazing torch appeared and passed between the pieces. 18 On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates —

What’s amazing about this story is that Abram himself did NOT walk between the meat pieces. Rather, it was only God’s blazing torch that passed through them.

In other words, Abram was not contractually bound by the sacrifice he made, but only God was. This was not just a promise between God and Abram, but it meant that God unilaterally and voluntarily vowed to fulfill his obligations to the contract, or covenant, he made with Abram – even if Abram failed to live up to his end of the deal. This kind of one-sided contractual agreement was unheard of, and truly only God himself could ever enter into it in this way, where he would take 100% of the price of the contract upon himself in order to fulfill 100% of his promise. Contractually, Abram was not bound to God, but God bound himself to Abram. This means that Abram would be able to receive 100% of the benefit from this contract with 0% of the price. And in this way, God more than fully guaranteed his promise to Abram.

4. God who wants to share his heart

Why would God make such an arrangement with Abram that would give him all the benefits at none of the cost? Why did God like Abram so much?

Genesis 15:10-12

10 Abram brought all these to him, cut them in two and arranged the halves opposite each other; the birds, however, he did not cut in half. 11 Then birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.

Sometimes we have the illusion that a life accompanying God will be miraculous and mysterious.

But take a look at Abram’s actions! He was diligently running around to keep the birds of prey away from the sacrifices until the sun set in order to protect the offerings to God. As the sun set, he found himself quite exhausted and quickly passed into a deep sleep.

Notice that Abram did not do any trickery when he was doing God’s work. He acted honestly and sincerely before God. He did his best all day to protect the offerings to God by dedicating his time, energy, mind, and sincerity fully to God.

Therefore, God could not help but rejoice at Abram, who worked so faithfully. This obedience of Abram touched the heart of God, and in the end, God decided to share his own heart and plan with Abram.

Genesis 15:13-16

13 Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”

God seems to have been excited when he told Abram too much about his offspring because it would actually be a few hundred years later that any of this would happen to his descendants, and everything God promised would take place after Abram’s death. The vision God showed Abram was a vision of the distant future which he could never personally experience. And at that time Abram was without even a single son, so he initially found it difficult to trust God.

Abram must have been overwhelmed and thought God was giving him TMI (too much information). Do you ever share TMI with other people? Who do you share TMI with? Maybe … you’d tell TMI to your best friend or to the people you love and are closest too. When people share their deepest thoughts and feelings with people they have an intimate connection with, they increase their mutual bonds and happiness. Likewise, God wanted to share a lot of intimate details with Abram in order to increase their intimacy.

5. Eternal righteousness : Jesus Christ

So what can we do to become more intimate with God?

Genesis 15:6

6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Abram relied on the Word of God and God regarded his faith as his righteousness.

Then we also should rely on the Word of God like Abram, right? That’s right, but it’s not enough by itself. The reason for this is that Abram’s time and the time we live in are different. God made a covenant with Abram using the sacrifice of animals, but he has made a covenant with us using the sacrifice of his son “Jesus Christ”.

John 1:14

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Before Jesus came, the standard of faith in the Old Testament was “God’s Word” or also “God’s Commandments”. The man who lived well by law was recognized as a righteous person before God. But after Jesus came, the standard of faith changed from “the Word of God” to “the Word of God that became flesh”, that is, “Jesus Christ”. We now must confess Jesus as our personal Savior to be recognized as righteous people before God.

Romans 4:3

3 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

In writing Romans, Paul believed that Abram was an example of unconditional belief. But this kind of belief is not a necessary condition for eternal salvation because in this case, belief means the right attitude of man toward God.

Belief in God’s promises is the first correct response we must have as Christians. In other words, believing in and obeying the Word of God is a basic condition for becoming a Christian. But the most important response to God is to confess Jesus, whom God has sent, as our savior in order to truly become intimate with God. This is because the only way God communicates directly with us, who are sinners, is through the sacrifice of his son, “Jesus Christ”.

It is impossible to be intimate with God without going through Jesus! 

Jesus is the channel of conversation that God has allowed us to have with him!

God wants to communicate with us through Jesus!

God wants to share his deep heart and intimate plans with us through Jesus!

I hope that this week we will spend a lot of time with God through Jesus!


<하나님의 마음을 헤아리는 사람이 되라>

12 해 질 때에 아브람에게 깊은 잠이 임하고 큰 흑암과 두려움이 그에게 임하였더니 13 여호와께서 아브람에게 이르시되 너는 반드시 알라 네 자손이 이방에서 객이 되어 그들을 섬기겠고 그들은 사백 년 동안 네 자손을 괴롭히리니 14 그들이 섬기는 나라를 내가 징벌할지며 그 후에 네 자손이 큰 재물을 이끌고 나오리라 15 너는 장수하다가 평안히 조상에게로 돌아가 장사될 것이요 16 네 자손은 사대 만에 이 땅으로 돌아오리니 이는 아모리 족속의 죄악이 아직 가득 차지 아니함이니라 하시더니

창세기 15:12~16

0. 호주 이야기

 3년 전, 저는 호주연합교회를 섬기며 호주의 수도 캔버라에 살고 있었습니다.

그때 저는 호주에 온지 얼마 안되어 모든 것이 낯설었습니다.

그렇게 적응하는 데 어려움을 겪고 있는 저에게 누군가 환하게 웃으며 안부를 물었습니다.

그녀는 인도 청년이었습니다. 그녀가 말했습니다.

인도 청년 : 잘 지내나요?

저는 그 말이 친근하게 들려서 솔직하게 나의 기분을 이야기 했습니다.

나 : 음… 저는 지금 좀 우울해요. 왜냐하면…..블라블라

그 인도 청년은 당황하였습니다.

그녀는 편의점에서 일하고 있는 계산원이었기 때문입니다.

그녀가 손님인 제게 말했습니다.

인도 청년 : 네… 무엇을 도와드릴까요?

제가 대답했습니다.

나 : 이제는 괜찮아요. 덕분에 기분이 좀 나아졌어요.

그녀가 황당해하면서 제게 다시 물어보았습니다.

인도 청년 : 혹시 구입하신 것이 있으신가요?

저는 무엇인가 잘못 되었다는 생각을 하였습니다.

나 : 아… 미안해요. 여기 초코바 두 개 계산할게요.

그 때 저는 인사말에 대한 오해가 있었습니다.

저는 그녀가 저에 대한 안부를 묻는 것으로 생각했습니다.

왜 그 점원은 당황 했을까요?

그 이유는 내가 고객이었고 그녀가 처음 보는 사람이었기 때문입니다.

만약 내가 그녀의 친한 친구였다면, 우리는 많은 시간을 보내며 이야기했을 것입니다.

이렇듯 우리는 보통 아무에게나 나의 마음을 나누지 않습니다.

(나의 경우는 제외… 그 때 나는 좀 이상했습니다)

우리는 나와 친밀한 사람에게 나의 마음을 나눕니다.

우리의 부모님, 형제와 자매, 친구들… 또는 강 목사님?

하나님도 그렇습니다.

하나님은 친밀한 사람에게 하나님의 계획을 공유하십니다.

하나님의 가장 친한 친구는 누구였을까요?

그는 아브람이었습니다.

1. 아브람의 기업이 되신 하나님

롯은 세상의 가치를 선택하였지만, 아브람은 그의 기업으로 하나님을 선택하였습니다.

아브람의 믿음으로 인해 하나님께서는 아브람의 기업이 되셨습니다.

창 15:1

1 이 후에 여호와의 말씀이 환상 중에 아브람에게 임하여 이르시되 아브람아 두려워하지 말라 나는 네 방패요 너의 지극히 큰 상급이니라

아브람의 기업이 되신 하나님은 그의 방패로 나타나셨습니다.

창 15:15

15 너는 장수하다가 평안히 조상에게로 돌아가 장사될 것이요

하나님은 아브람의 인생 전체를 보호하시는 방패가 되셨습니다.

아브람의 기업이 되신 하나님은 그의 ‘지극히 큰 상급’으로 나타나셨습니다.

그것은 바로 ‘자손’과 ‘땅’에 대한 축복이었습니다.

2. 하나님의 약속Ⅰ : 자손

창 15:2-3

2 아브람이 이르되 주 여호와여 무엇을 내게 주시려 하나이까 나는 자식이 없사오니 나의 상속자는 이 다메섹 사람 엘리에셀이니이다

3 아브람이 또 이르되 주께서 내게 씨를 주지 아니하셨으니 내 집에서 길린 자가 내 상속자가 될 것이니이다

하나님은 아브람에게 ‘지극히 큰 상급’으로 나타나셨지만, 아브람은 아들이 없기 때문에 오히려 한탄하였습니다.

그 이유는 그에게는 ‘지극히 큰 상급’을 상속할 아들이 없었기 때문입니다.

그러나 하나님의 약속은 아브람의 기대를 훨씬 더 넘어섰습니다.

창 15:4-5

4 여호와의 말씀이 그에게 임하여 이르시되 그 사람이 네 상속자가 아니라 네 몸에서 날 자가 네 상속자가 되리라 하시고

5 그를 이끌고 밖으로 나가 이르시되 하늘을 우러러 뭇별을 셀 수 있나 보라 또 그에게 이르시되 네 자손이 이와 같으리라

하나님은 아브람에게 하늘의 셀 수 없이 많은 별들을 보게 하셨습니다.

하나님은 이 별들을 통해 아브람에게 자손의 축복을 구체적으로 설명하셨습니다.

이것은 하나님이 아브람의 이해를 돕기 위한 섬세한 배려입니다.

하나님은 아브람이 하나님의 계획을 구체적으로 이해하기를 원하셨습니다.

하나님이 아브람을 그의 동역자로 여기셨기 때문입니다.

3. 하나님의 약속Ⅱ : 땅

창 15:7-8

7 또 그에게 이르시되 나는 이 땅을 네게 주어 소유를 삼게 하려고 너를 갈대아인의 우르에서 이끌어 낸 여호와니라

8 그가 이르되 주 여호와여 내가 이 땅을 소유로 받을 것을 무엇으로 알리이까

하나님은 아브람의 기업이 되셨습니다. 그리고 그 기업은 땅으로 나타났습니다.

아브람은 의심하지 않고 하나님께 징표를 요구하였습니다.

하나님은 징표를 요구하는 아브람에게 대답하셨습니다.

창 15:9-10

9 여호와께서 그에게 이르시되 나를 위하여 삼 년 된 암소와 삼 년 된 암염소와 삼 년 된 숫양과 산비둘기와 집비둘기 새끼를 가져올지니라

10 아브람이 그 모든 것을 가져다가 그 중간을 쪼개고 그 쪼갠 것을 마주 대하여 놓고 그 새는 쪼개지 아니하였으며

하나님은 약속의 확실한 증거를 위해 아브람이 제물을 준비하게 하셨습니다.

고대 근동에서는 계약의 근거로 짐승을 잡아 둘로 나눈 뒤 고기 조각들을 두 줄로 늘어놓았습니다. 그런 후에 계약을 맺은 당사자들이 그 쪼개진 고기 사이로 손을 잡고 걸어갔습니다.

이것은 약속을 지키지 않았을 때 쪼개진 제물처럼 죽음을 당하겠다는 상징적인 행위였습니다.

이는 예레미야를 통해 알 수 있습니다.

예레미야 34:18-20

18 송아지를 둘로 쪼개고 그 두 조각 사이로 지나매 내 앞에 언약을 맺었으나 그 말을 실행하지 아니하여 내 계약을 어긴 그들을

19 곧 송아지 두 조각 사이로 지난 유다 고관들과 예루살렘 고관들과 내시들과 제사장들과 이 땅 모든 백성을

20 내가 그들의 원수의 손과 그들의 생명을 찾는 자의 손에 넘기리니 그들의 시체가 공중의 새와 땅의 짐승의 먹이가 될 것이며

하나님은 아브람이 준비한 제물을 통해 약속에 대해 맹세 하셨습니다.

창 15:17-18

17 해가 져서 어두울 때에 연기 나는 화로가 보이며 타는 횃불이 쪼갠 고기 사이로 지나더라

18 그 날에 여호와께서 아브람과 더불어 언약을 세워 이르시되 내가 이 땅을 애굽 강에서부터 그 큰 강 유브라데까지 네 자손에게 주노니

놀라운 것은 쪼개진 고기 사이로 아브람이 걸어가지 않았다는 것입니다.

오히려 하나님의 횃불이 그 위를 지나갔습니다.

이것은 하나님과 아브람 사이의 단순한 약속이 아니었습니다.

이것은 하나님이 일방적으로 또 자발적으로 이 약속의 의무를 지시겠다는 의미입니다.

4. 마음을 나누길 원하시는 하나님

왜 하나님은 아브람에게만 유리한 약속을 하셨을까요?

왜 하나님은 아브람을 좋아하셨을까요?

창 15:10-12

10 아브람이 그 모든 것을 가져다가 그 중간을 쪼개고 그 쪼갠 것을 마주 대하여 놓고 그 새는 쪼개지 아니하였으며

11 솔개가 그 사체 위에 내릴 때에는 아브람이 쫓았더라

12 해 질 때에 아브람에게 깊은 잠이 임하고 큰 흑암과 두려움이 그에게 임하였더니

우리는 하나님과 동행하는 삶은 기적적이고 신비로울 것이라는 환상을 가지고 있습니다.

그러나 아브람의 행동을 보십시요!

그는 해가 지기 전까지 솔개를 쫓으며 부지런히 이리저리 뛰어 다녔습니다.

그 이유는 하나님께 드릴 제물을 보호하기 위함이었습니다.

해가 지자 아브람은 결국 고단하여 깊게 잠들게 되었습니다.

아브람은 하나님의 일을 할 때 요령을 피우지 않았습니다.

그는 하나님 앞에서 정직하고 성실하게 행동하였습니다.

그는 하나님께 드릴 제물을 지키기 위해 하루 종일 최선을 다했습니다.

그는 그의 시간과 에너지, 마음과 정성을 온전히 하나님께 바쳤습니다.

하나님은 이렇게 충성하며 일하는 아브람을 기뻐하지 않을 수가 없었습니다.

이러한 아브람의 순종은 하나님의 마음을 감동시켰습니다.

결국 하나님은 그에게 하나님의 마음과 계획을 나누시기로 결심하십니다.

창 15:13-16

13 여호와께서 아브람에게 이르시되 너는 반드시 알라 네 자손이 이방에서 객이 되어 그들을 섬기겠고 그들은 사백 년 동안 네 자손을 괴롭히리니

14 그들이 섬기는 나라를 내가 징벌할지며 그 후에 네 자손이 큰 재물을 이끌고 나오리라

15 너는 장수하다가 평안히 조상에게로 돌아가 장사될 것이요

16 네 자손은 사대 만에 이 땅으로 돌아오리니 이는 아모리 족속의 죄악이 아직 가득 차지 아니함이니라 하시더니

하나님은 아브람에게 그의 자손에 대해서 너무 많은 이야기를 하셨습니다.

왜냐하면 그것은 아브람이 경험할 수 없는, 그가 죽은 이후, 일어날 몇 백 년 후의 일들이기 때문입니다.

심지어 아브람은 그때 아들도 없는 상태였습니다.

즉 요즘 언어로 하나님은 아브람에게 TMI를 말씀하신 것입니다.

(TMI means Too Much Information)

우리는 누구에게 TMI를 말할까요?

아마도… 나와 가장 친한 친구나 내가 사랑하는 배우자에게 TMI를 말할 것 입니다.

왜냐하면 내가 알고 있는 것들을 나와 친밀한 사람과 나눌 때, 깊은 유대감과 행복을 느끼기 때문입니다.

하나님은 하나님과 친밀한 아브람과 많은 것을 공유하고 싶으셨던 것입니다.

5. 영원한 의 (예수 그리스도)

그렇다면 하나님과 친밀해지기 위해 우리는 무엇을 해야할까요?

창 15:6

6 아브람이 여호와를 믿으니 여호와께서 이를 그의 의로 여기시고

아브람은 하나님의 말씀을 의지하였습니다.

하나님은 아브람의 믿음을 그의 의로 여기셨습니다.

우리도 아브람처럼 하나님의 말씀을 의지해야 할까요?

맞습니다 그러나 그것 만으로는 부족합니다.

그 이유는 아브람의 시대와 우리가 사는 시대가 다르기 때문입니다.

그리고 그 기준은 “예수 그리스도”입니다.

요 1:14

14 말씀이 육신이 되어 우리 가운데 거하시매 우리가 그의 영광을 보니 아버지의 독생자의 영광이요 은혜와 진리가 충만하더라

예수님이 오시기 전, 구약 시대의 믿음의 기준은 “하나님의 말씀”, 즉 “율법”이었습니다.

이 율법을 잘 지키며 사는 사람은 하나님께 의인으로 인정 받았습니다.

예수님이 오신 후, 믿음의 기준은 “육신으로 오신 말씀” 즉 “예수님”입니다.

우리가 예수님을 우리의 구원자로 고백해야 하나님께 의인으로 인정 받는 것입니다.

롬 4:3

3 성경이 무엇을 말하느냐 아브라함이 하나님을 믿으매 그것이 그에게 의로 여겨진 바 되었느니라

바울에게 아브람은 조건 없는 믿음의 모범이 되었습니다.

하지만 이 믿음은 영원한 구원의 조건이 아닙니다.

이 믿음은 하나님에 대한 인간의 바른 태도를 뜻합니다.

하나님의 약속을 믿는 마음은 그리스도인에게 유일하고 올바른 응답입니다.

즉, 하나님의 말씀에 순종하는 것은 그리스도인이 되기 위한 기본 조건입니다.

중요한 것은 하나님과 친밀해지기 위해, 하나님이 우리에게 보내주신 예수님을 우리의 구원자로 고백하는 것입니다. 하나님이 죄인인 우리와 소통하시기 위해 유일하게 허락하신 길이 바로 “예수 그리스도” 이기 때문입니다.

예수님을 통하지 않고 하나님과 친밀해지는 것은 불가능합니다!

예수님은 하나님께서 우리에게 허락하신 대화의 통로입니다!

하나님은 예수님을 통해 우리와 소통하길 원하십니다!

하나님은 예수님을 통해 우리에게 하나님의 마음과 계획을 나누길 원하십니다!

이번 한주도 우리가 예수님을 통해 하나님과 많은 시간을 보내길 소망합니다!

  • Dec 01 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Better Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15-28)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Better Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:15-28)

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The Better Sacrifice

Hebrews 9:15-28 (Pastor Heo)

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.


v 15

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant…”

Jesus has died as a ransom for us. As mediator, he gave his life as a ransom for us.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 “There is one God and one mediator between God and man. That is the man Jesus Christ.”

  • Let me share what is Ransom,
  • who paid the Ransom,
  • what is the result of the Ransom

Meaning of the Ransom:

Leviticus 25 – If my relative or loved one was sold to someone else because of slavery or poverty, I could buy him back by paying a price. That price is called a “ransom.” This system was already common in the OT time – so they knew it very well.

In this background, it says “Jesus is our ransom.”

Sin (we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) – is like a slave market, and our souls are sold. Jesus buys us, sinners, out of this market – thereby delivering us from this slave market. Jesus paid the price and sets us free. The price: his own life.

Another question: If Jesus’ death is our price for deliverance, then TO WHOM was this ransom paid? We must know that this ransom was NOT paid to Satan, but to God. Satan has no authority, no legal claims on sinners. God is absolutely holy and the Law Giver.

Jesus’ ransom frees us from God’s Justice (we all have sinned).

Another question: What is the result of this ransom?

As a result, we are redeemed, delivered through the death of Christ through the penalty of Law and the curse of the Law. We are now not under the Law but under Grace.

Also we are redeemed from Sin as a power. So we no longer need to submit to its power.

We are redeemed from Satan, and we are redeemed from all evil – physical and moral. Including our present mortal bodies.

Gal “Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for you and me, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone hanged on a tree.'”

v. 16-18

“16 In the case of a *will*, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.”

  • v. 15 = Jesus is our mediator
  • v. 16, 17 = Jesus is our will (유언)
  • v. 15 = “covenant” x2
  • v. 16, 17 = “will” x2

These are the SAME word in the Greek Bible “diasecae”

This word has two meanings: “covenant” or “will”. v. 15 the translation = “covenant”, in v. 16, 17 = “will” WHY?

  • “Covenant” = religious translation
  • “Will” = legal translation

This means Jesus Christ made a new covenant as his will, and then he died for his will to be effective – to be operative for us. We know what the will is like.

If someone makes a will for the next generation, he must die for his will to be made effective.

Imagine, if you hold in your hands a will document which includes “one BILLION dollars…” – only when the person who made this will dies will all these things become yours in reality. So you must wait for his death earnestly! This is what a will is.

Jesus made a will to make us rich, then he died for his will to be effective.

2 Cor 8:9? “Jesus Christ who was rich became poor and died so that you might become rich.”

Think about the benefits we receive from his death.

Peace, joy, purpose, eternal life, forgiveness, salvation, etc

All of these are activated by his death. All these things are activated in v. 16, 17 as legal terms.

v. 19-21

“19 When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies.”

This passage looks back to Exodus 24. In Exodus 21, 22, 23, Moses received the Law from God directly on the Mtn of Sinai. After that, he made a ceremony as a covenant. In this ceremony, the animal would be killed and its blood sprinkled on the altar and to the people of Israel.

When Moses proclaimed all the commandments to the people, he sealed this covenant with the blood of an animal and this ratified the covenant. In this ceremony, Moses sprinkled half of the blood on the altar to show that sinners could once again approach God because something died as a substitution for them.

Moses then sprinkled the other half of the blood to the people (their faces) to show the penalty they SHOULD HAVE received had been paid – because something living had died.

This is a copy to show the Better Sacrifice of Christ.

The reality of this Better Sacrifice:

v. 22-23

“22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. “

In the same way, we have a connection with the OT and the NT covenants. We can connect them. In the same way that Moses sprinkled the blood of the animal, Jesus also shed (sprinkled) his blood on the cross to inaugurate the New Covenant. Christ’s blood initiated the New Covenant.

Consider the symbol of the cross: Shed / sprinkled blood means something has died. If there is blood, we can know that something living has died just now. In the OT time, an animal, carefully selected. In the NT time, Jesus on the cross, supremely and for all time, satisfying God’s requirements for justice for all time.

  • No death = no forgiveness
  • No forgiveness = no hope

v. 22-23

“22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and *without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.*”

What is forgiveness?

It is a COSTLY thing.

Human forgiveness is also costly. A son or daughter may go wrong, and father or mother may forgive, but this forgiveness brings tears, lines to the eyes, white hair, aches in our hearts. Forgiveness is not free. SOMEONE pays the price, either the instigator or the forgiver – but SOMEONE must pay.

God is righteousness and justice, so God, least of all can break the moral laws on which the universe is built. So SIN must have its punishment. This is an unchangeable principle. Sin must have its penalty. Only God can pay this price in full before man can be forgiven.

Forgiveness is the most costly thing in this world.

Because without the shedding of the heart’s blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. For the satisfaction of justice, someone sinless must be crucified / killed on the cross.

Who was sinless? You / me? Only Jesus Christ.

There is the cross, whenever we see it, we have no choice but to give thanks to God for this assurance, this freedom, and this hope worn by Christ on the real cross.

This small cross symbolizes that “I’m forgiven, I’m redeemed, I’m free.” This is the symbol of the church, the symbol of Christianity. When you see this cross, can you say,

“I’m forgiven! I’m free!”

The HS knows, God knows if you can. That’s why we must focus on Christ.

v. 24-28

“24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin *by the sacrifice of himself.* [But remember, Judgment is waiting] 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

The Better Sacrifice:

Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient – his blood is sufficient “once for all!”

One story:

In a rural village lived a medical doctor who was very famous for his professional skill and devotion to Christ. After he died, his books were found again – and several entries had written in red ink “FORGIVEN! Too poor to pay.”

Unfortunately, his wife was different. She wanted these debts to be paid back to her. When the judge heard the case, he asked, “Is this your husband’s handwriting in red?” “Yes.”

The judge: “A court in this land can never touch those who have already been forgiven.”

Christ’s blood likewise forgives us. Romans: “Who can bring any charge against those who are forgiven? Who is it that condemns?… But Christ is seated at the right hand of God and interceding for us.”

v. 27 “Just as Mankind is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

Today, we know that the word “Judgment” is not popular, but just as surely as physical death is coming, so surely is judgment.

So, the important question is not “whether” but “how”? What does this judgment mean to me? Encouragement? Threat?

  • This Judgment = Final Condemnation for those who do not believe in Christ.
  • But = Final Hope, and Greatest Reward for those who do.

In this passage, we can see three appearances of Christ:

  1. v. 24 “…He entered heaven itself now to appear…”
  2. v. 26 “…now he has appeared once for all…”
  3. v. 28 “…he will appear a second time…”
  • He appeared; // to take our sins
  • He is appearing; // to intercede for us
  • He will appear // to take us home in heaven

1 John “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. In my father’s house there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I come back, I will take you to be with me where I am.”

Do you feel Jesus with you now, step by step, moment-by-moment?

God bless you.

v. 28

“so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 17 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ (Hebrews 9:1-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Enjoy a Clean Conscience in Christ

Hebrews 9:1-14 (Pastor Heo)

Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle

1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

The Blood of Christ

11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!


Only the blood of Christ can clean our consciences.

God instructed the Israelites to build a structure – the tabernacle – which could be disassembled and travel with the people to the Promised Land, Canaan. This became the place that God lived among them.

At that time, the people had to travel to the temple – in Jerusalem – but before that temple was built, this tabernacle traveled with the people – as a representation of God’s presence and availability.

This building was the CENTER of their moving, living, working, breathing – likewise, Christ is the CENTER of our lives.

v. 1-5 explanation of the tabernacle – it is a symbol of the reality that is in heaven (Christ)

“1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.”

This tabernacle is a symbol of the reality of Christ. ALL parts point to Jesus Christ.

In the study of this tabernacle:

A. Size

100 cubits long x 50 cubits wide = 1 cubit (50 cm) – from elbow to the end of the second finger in an adult man – my cubit is 48 cm.

So about 50m x 25m.

There was only ONE gate – only one way in to see God. This was a symbol of the entrance of salvation / life. Jesus says, “I am the Gate. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but I’m the Gate; I’ve come to give you eternal life.”

“Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name under heaven, given to men by which we may be saved.”

John “I am the Gate” x2

1. Bronze altar =

Burnt sacrifice – burnt offerings of killed animals.

Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins who takes away the sins of the world.

2. Bronze Laver =

Wash basin – the priests cleanse their hands and feet before their duty. It symbolized their need for spiritual purity.

We also need daily purification / sanctification.

“If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you. But if you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:7-9

“The blood of Jesus purifies me from all sin.”

B. Outer Room =

Only priests could enter, and there are 3 things present there.

  1. Table of showbread
  2. Aaron’s staff
  3. Pot of manna

3. Table of Showbread =

All the time, 12 loaves of bread displayed on the table – each one representing one tribe of Israel. Once a week on the Sabbath, that bread was changed to new bread, and the old bread was eaten by the priests on duty.

This is a symbol of spiritual nourishment: God provides for his people.

Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry / will never go thirsty.”

4. Golden Lampstand =

7 candles symbolizing “perfection” spiritually

Morning and evening, the priests burned candles. It’s a symbol of enlightenment, light, guidance in the world.

Jesus, “I’m the Light of the World. Whoever comes to me shall never walk in darkness.”

John’s gospel “In the beginning was the light, the light of men, it shined in darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

5. Altar of Incense =

Burned incense continually

Symbol of acceptable prayer of believers and continual access to God. How can we access God now? Through prayer.

We can approach the throne of grace with confidence because this symbolizes Jesus interceding for us as mediator.

Timothy “There is one mediator between God and man – the man Jesus Christ who gave his life as a ransom for all men.”

Incense = vapor going to heaven, like this our faithful prayers go to heaven.

C. Second Room =

The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) – only the High Priest could enter that place ONCE per year on the Day of Atonement

In this room there is only ONE thing: The Ark of the Covenant

6. The Ark of the Covenant =

A symbol of God’s promise with his people (법궤).

It was overlaid with pure gold, and inside were three things:

  1. The Ten Commandments
  2. Aaron’s budded staff
  3. Pot (gold jar) of manna

The cover (called “The Mercy Seat”) was covered with cherubim (angels).

  1. Mercy Seat
  2. Atoning Sacrifice
  3. Propitiation (for our sins)

In that box: the most important thing: The Ten Commandments.

Before the Ten Commandments, everyone was recognized as sinners. The Commandments were like a spiritual mirror. With these Commandments, all people were recognized as sinners – and so the sins of the people were IN that box, and covered with the Mercy Seat.

The High Priest entered that place only ONE time per year ONLY with blood of lambs or goats, and sprinkled that blood on the top of the Mercy Seat (thus its name).

Through the sprinkling of blood on top of the Mercy Seat, God did not see the sins that were contained inside that box. This is a symbol of Christ.

  • 1 John “Jesus Christ is our atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.”
  • Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  • Romans 3:24 “But all can be justified freely through his grace through Jesus Christ.”

God gives the forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus, by his grace.

v. 6-10

“6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings–external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”

“…the time of the new order” = Jesus Christ – the better covenant

You know in this tabernacle, there is always a barrier to God.

  1. Ordinary people = to the Gate (not inside)
  2. Levites = into the courtyard
  3. Priests = into the Holy Place
  4. High Priest (one person) = the Most Holy Place

Jesus took ALL these barriers away and became our peace and reconciliation – between Jews and Gentiles, man and woman, slave and free, high and low.

Gal 3:28 “There are no Jews, Gentiles, no slave, free, no male, female in Christ. Jesus has made the TWO to become ONE and has destroyed all barriers between God and man.”

Conclusion: We can apply and enjoy this in our own lives – we must believe, accept, enjoy.

Conclusion: Only the BLOOD of Christ can make our consciences clear.

Is your conscience clear?

v. 9 “This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.”

v. 11-14

“11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Conclusion verse: “how much more!”

This is the contrast between v. 13 & 14

“How much more, then , will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus himself never changes, so he is able to change everything.

  • He didn’t enter the earthly sanctuary, but the heavenly one.
  • He didn’t enter with the blood of animals, but his own.
  • He didn’t sacrifice for his own sins, but all our sins.
  • He didn’t enter the sanctuary repeatedly, but dwelt there repeatedly – where he IS, is the sanctuary.

In 4 ways, Jesus sacrifice of himself is totally different from the ceremonial system of the first covenant.

  1. Voluntary (animals lives were taken from them) – He laid his life down for his friends – now he calls you “friend”
  2. Spontaneous (animals were the product of LAW) – Jesus’ sacrifice was the product of LOVE
  3. Rational (animal victims did not know what it was doing – why it was there, what was happening to it) – Jesus, from first to last KNEW what / why he was doing it – and he died with his eyes wide open – he knew everything (rational)
  4. Spiritual / moral / loving (animals = mechanical sacrifice, like an assembly line, robots, etc) – but for Christ, all things at Calvary were not ceremonially prescribed, not mechanical – but his sacrifice was made through the Holy Spirit (eternal Spirit)

v. 14 “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to od, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

Jesus’ sacrifice was not the mechanism of Law, but all three members of the Trinity were involved.

  1. Jesus the Son offered himself
  2. through the eternal Spirit
  3. to the Father God
    • to the surpassing greatness of God compared to the blood of animals.
  • v. 13 = Did the blood of animals have an effect? Yes, some effect – outwardly, temporarily, ceremonially, they were cleansed.
  • The point? IF the blood of animals had SOME effect, then HOW MUCH MORE the blood of Christ, who is God?

If you understand and accept this, you should respond “Amen!” (Do not check my English)

If you understand this message from the movement and touch of the Holy Spirit, you should respond “Amen! I have a clean conscience!”

Forgiveness: has two sides:

  1. God’s side: his demand for holiness is satisfied fully by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross
  2. Man’s side: our guilty consciences are scrubbed clean – there is no reason to feel defeated by guilty consciences – because he satisfies his requirements for holiness and wipes our “criminal record” (sins) clean – they are “NO MORE.”

If, let me give you one serious, practical question: Are you bothered by guilt today? At least there are two reasons:

  1. You have not understood that God can make your conscience clean – you must accept, believe, and enjoy this fact as real. God can make our consciences clean simply because of what Jesus did on the cross
  2. You have not yet received the gift of God through Christ because you have not asked. Accept your own inability to clean your own conscience and ask him to come in and do it for you.

Do you have any bad record in your history? He can cleanse ALL your conscience – there is no sin too great that he cannot forgive.

When Jesus comes into your life, he will change it.

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone; the new has come.”

Jesus changes everything in our lives.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)

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Again, a Better Covenant

Hebrews 8:1-13, Jeremiah 31:31-34

The High Priest of a New Covenant

1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.


Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD ,

“when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

32 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they broke my covenant,

though I was a husband to them, “

declares the LORD .

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time,” declares the LORD .

“I will put my law in their minds

and write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD ,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest,”

declares the LORD .

“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”


“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

Amen – this is God’s promise given to us.

We do have such a High Priest – what kind?

v. 1-2

“1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.”

The point is: we do have such a high priest. The summary of the message is: Our Lord, High Priest, is superior to everything in the OT priesthood.

Last week = he is holy, blameless, sinless, stainless, 100% pure. Then, he never needs to offer sacrifice day after day, year after year for his own sins – and then for the sins of others. But Jesus sacrificed directly for our sins once for all with his own blood on the cross.

  • That’s why he’s the last and lasting High Priest;
  • the last and lasting sacrifice for our sins.

Question: He is sitting down at the right hand of God – then what is he doing there in heaven? 4 things.

1. He is being with us

(working with us, sharing what we are doing). He is happy, ready, available all the time to share in our sufferings, difficulties, hardships in this world. He is READY.

“Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.” He promised this. “I’m in you, with you, beside you.”

Because he’s in heaven it is possible.

2. He is interceding (praying) for us

Romans 8:34 “Christ Jesus, who died, more than that who was raised again from the dead sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.”

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for you.”

3. He is an architect

He was once a carpenter, and son of a carpenter. In heaven, he is building our beautiful mansions for us in heaven.

John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I finish, I will return to take you with me to be where I am.”

He’s still “under construction” – and when he finishes, he will come back and take us with him.

His sitting in heaven is a guarantee of us also sitting together with him in heaven with the Father

Where is your body now? On earth? But your reality is that you are already in heaven with him.

Eph 2:6 “God raised you with Jesus Christ and seated you with Jesus in the heavenly kingdom.”

Verb tense: not future, but past – it is DONE – our spiritual reality is already in heaven with Jesus Christ.

v. 3-5

“3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.””

During his 33 years of life on earth, Jesus was never called a “priest.” He never did the function of a priest in an earthly tabernacle or synagogue – because there were already priests. And, he was not a Levite, but from the tribe of Judah. Also, the earthly temple is only a copy and shadow of the real one – in heaven. A priest needs a sanctuary in which he ministers – but Jesus’ sanctuary is in heaven.

Moses in the OT, made a sanctuary according to the commands of God. (v. 5 ‘Moses was warned to make everything according to the pattern shown on the mountain.’)

Did you see the OT tabernacle? Inside, there were no chairs – what does this mean? It means, the work of the priest was never finished, complete, perfect.

Yet, all the time it says, “Jesus sat down.” This is spiritually symbolic – it means that his ministry on earth is finished. He shouted “It is finished!” His work on earth as a public ministry is totally complete – sufficient, more than enough.

But in the OT covenant and tabernacle, there were no chairs, so the work of the human priests was never complete. Each completed sacrifice was only a reminder that animal sacrifice never completely washed away and cleansed human sins. This act had to be repeated day-by-day, year-by-year, until Jesus died on the cross THAT DAY.

J the Baptist declared, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’

v. 6-7

“6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.”

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better”

  • Better Hope
  • Better Covenant
  • Better High Priest
  • Better Sacrifice
  • Better Promises
  • Better Possessions
  • Better Country
  • Better Resurrection

We read 13 verses and the word “covenant” appears 7 times. “Better covenant” = “new covenant.”

In the old covenant, God forgave sins when people brought animals to the priests. The agreement between God and man was sealed with the blood of the animals, but the sins could only be forgiven by God. This is why they were repeated day-by-day, year-by-year. But Jesus established a new covenant – and under this new covenant, he should die in the place of sinners.

One day, while they were eating, Jesus established this covenant with his disciples:

He took the bread, thanked God, gave it to them and said, “Eat this is my body.” He took the cup and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood, poured out on the cross for many for the forgiveness of sins. This is a new covenant.” He established a new covenant (better covenant).

We read Jeremiah 31 – and we can see that the prophets of the OT looked forward to this new covenant that would fulfill the OT covenant. And J the Baptist said, “This is the Lamb of God…” So we never need to struggle with the guilt of past sins because we have complete forgiveness in Christ.

God’s presence is much more real to us – the emotional quality of our lives is better, and the mission from God for our lives is much better (greater) than before. Whatever you job is, if you are IN Christ, your job is a calling from God – that God uses to advance his work in this world. Everything shows the need for redemption and salvation. Everywhere, God displays the possibility. We are a part of this great movement of the new covenant.

v. 8-12 are a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – this is the longest quotation of the OT in the NT. It contains the prophetic announcement and definition of the new covenant which was to be totally different from the Mosaic covenant.

v. 8-12

“8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.””

Last verse: v. 13

“13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

v. 8-12 = quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – the longest in the whole Bible.

We know what a covenant is like. For example, old covenant and new covenant. Also between human beings there are covenants: marriage for example. The basic idea = agreement – dependence on conditions upon which they mutually agree.

David’s covenant with Jonathan for example.

If either party breaks the covenant, that covenant becomes null and void. But this new covenant is totally different. In the new covenant, the basic idea is not an agreement between God and man, but God’s absolute will motivated by his love for the forgiveness of sins and redemption of human beings.

The whole approach in this new covenant comes from God – man and God cannot meet on equal terms. Man cannot bargain, cannot compromise, cannot argue about this covenant with God – because it is absolute providence / offering from God. So, all we can do is just to receive or reject it. These are are two options:

  1. Receive
  2. Reject
  • If you receive, you receive forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, salvation.
  • If you reject it you reject forgiveness, salvation, eternal life.

From v. 8-12, there are 5 characteristics of this new covenant. Let’s see them briefly.

1. It is not revolutionary – it was set in Jeremiah.

It is TRUE that God planned a new covenant BEFORE the old covenant. In God’s plan, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant – this is a mystery. In God’s heart / mind, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant. God planned to send his one and only son to the cross from the Beginning – even from the foundation of the world.

Eph 1:7 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In his love, God predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters in Jesus Christ.”

2. The New Covenant is OLDER than the Old Covenant.

In Greek: “new” = two words: neos (“new” in the point of time (order)), kainos (“new” in time AND quality – and totally different) – it looks the same, but totally different.

This “new” is kainos, not neos.

When we are in this new covenant, we are TOTALLY different people – yes, you look the same, who were once an unbeliever – but you are totally NEW – new nature, new status.

1 Cor 5:17? “If you are in Christ, you are a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

In Christ, you are not a changed person, you are a DIFFERENT person. That’s why it’s called “born again.”

3. New in scope and universality

v. 8 “”The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.”

“11No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.”

4. This new covenant involves ALL people in this world – not only Israel.

We know, in history, Israel was split into two kingdoms – 10 in the north (Israel), 2 in the south (Judah). Before this, the tribes had never come together, but with the new covenant, the two would be reunited.

Eph 2:14 “Jesus is peace of all human beings and has made the two one, and has destroyed all barriers between men.”

Symbolically, when Jesus was crucified, the curtain separating the holy place from the most holy place was torn in two and the two rooms became one room.

In the new covenant, we can be reconciled with anyone. Two enemies can be one.

Let’s continue next time.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 03 / 2019
  • Comments Off on A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

A Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:20-28 (Pastor Heo)

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect _forever_.


This is the continuation of the comparison between OT and NT priesthood.

Differences:

1. Oath: without / with oath

OT priests – from the children of Aaron (Levites), men with no physical defects could become priests before God with no oath – their appointment was based on the Law with no divine intervention.

In the case of Jesus, he became a High Priest WITH an oath.

Ps. 110:4 “4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””

This was written 600 years? before Christ – about a person / priesthood 1000 years prior.

God never lies like we do. He is Almighty God, omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with God – then why did God take an oath? This shows DOUBLE guarantee, importance, significance. This is the revelation of God’s radical plan for our salvation – this is the ultimate sovereign will of God – his last will. So, the ultimate sovereign will of God for the salvation of man = “A better covenant.”

This is another keyword in Hebrews. To understand this word, we must understand the background.

There are two testaments, two covenants in the Bible. New Testament = Better Covenant.

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better Covenant.”

This book has the word “better” the most of any other books in the New Testament – at least 11 times.

  • Last week: Better Hope
  • This week: Better Covenant

Later, Better Promise, sacrifice, possessions, country, resurrection.

This word “Covenant” is also repeated at least 16 times (the most in the NT). If we are IN Christ, our lives will become better and better – our future will become better and better IN Jesus. This is a better covenant – because the best is not yet come, the best is coming. Believe your future will become better. We can be convinced in Jesus Christ.

The background is from the Last Supper with his disciples. In the upper room, while eating, Jesus took bread and gave thanks to the Father and gave it to them and said, “Take and eat, this is my body.” Also, Jesus took the cup and gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood. This is the NEW covenant, poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.”

Originally, “covenant” = agreement between two parties – if either side failed, that covenant is broken.

  • Old Covenant was based on the Law, Justice, obedience.
    • New Covenant is based on Love, and Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross.
  • O.C. based on man’s performance before God.
    • N.C. based on God’s (Jesus’) performance on the cross.

In this better covenant, Jesus did all that God had to do to save us, and all that we must do to be saved.

In this better covenant, we have nothing to do for our salvation, except believe in Christ for our salvation, look to him, follow Him – he is available to all of us, just trust him for the forgiveness of sin – for joyful, satisfactory life. That is all – just believe in Christ. That’s all we can do for our salvation and forgiveness of sins in the better covenant. That’s why this is called the better covenant, the New Testament.

God bless you all with the Better Covenant.

2. Another difference: Length of service

v. 23-24

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.”

Wow.

Difference of duration between OT and NT Priests.

I don’t know the number of High Priests in human history, but a historian Josephus estimated there were 83 HP from Aaron to the destruction of the second temple in 70AD. Each served in their office, job, and should be replaced by their successor. Why? They died.

But N.C. High Priest (Jesus) lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. This means Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

What does this mean, practically in our daily lives?

The application: He is available in helping us in every area.

In our culture today, sometimes we need human lawyers, counselors, financial advisers, physicians, insurance agents, tour guides, for better life, hope, security. That is not bad, but Jesus is always available to us to become our helper, lawyer, counselor, guide, agent, in every area of life. HOW? How can we acknowledge his permanent priesthood in our daily lives? By acknowledging his Lordship, Leadership, Guidance in each and every situation. Let us do that. Because he is our permanent High Priest.

v. 25 (Memorize)

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

This means, the basis, foundation, ground (without which we cannot stand) for this complete salvation is heavenly intercession of our high priest Jesus.

Intercede: To approach, appeal, make a petition. Jesus now is making petition for us before the Father God continually.

We should not imagine that Father God is angry with us – and THAT’S why he must appeal to God to not judge us. NO. Father God, and Son Jesus are in complete agreement about our salvation.

“…no one can snatch you out of my hand. My father is greater than all, … no one can snatch you out of my father’s hand… The Father and I are ONE.” (One in giving you eternal life.)

The Trinity God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are completely united in agreement for our salvation.

Romans 5:16 “The Spirit testifies with our spirits that you are children of God.”

In the same way, the Spirit intercedes with us – sometimes we don’t know what is right, what to pray, but the Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express.

Jesus is continually interceding for us. The Trinity God is one in essence, in agreement, in sovereignty. This is a mystery of mysteries.

Once more:

v. 25

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

How can we come to God?

Draw near to Jesus = draw near to God – because Jesus is the incarnation of the invisible God. No one can add to what Jesus already did to save us. Our past, present, and future sins are completely forgiven in Christ.

Jesus has paid the price for sins “once for all.”

3. More differences: Sacrifice

v. 26-28

“26 Such a high priest _meets our need_ [Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”]–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

In the OC, a priest was merely a sinful human being – so he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins first before offering sacrifices for the people. This had to be done continually, day by day because animal sacrifice could not remove the stain of sin permanently.

In the OT, when animals were offered as sacrifices, there were 5 steps (at least):

  1. Cut into pieces
  2. Each piece washed
  3. The fat was burned
  4. The meat was boiled
  5. The blood was sprinkled

The blood is the key point in the sacrifice offering. At that time, as a shadow of Christ, God accepted the blood of animals temporarily to teach of the reality that without the shedding of blood, forgiveness of sins is impossible.

Essentials:

  1. High Priest
  2. Offering (blood)

Jesus was holy, blameless, pure, sinless, – so he never needed to offer sacrifices for himself. But he offered the sacrifice for the sins of others first, directly.

Also, he did not offer animal’s blood, but his own blood – as a sacrifice on the cross. He gave his own blood for you. He allowed his own blood to be sprinkled on the cross for the forgiveness of all sins – yours and mine.

When Jesus offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, he obliterated the penalty, price of sin. There was no more sacrifice needed for sin.

  • Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.
  • Jesus is the last and lasting sacrifice.

That’s why he has a permanent priesthood. Such a priest meets our need. This is available in every step to us today.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want… He leads me in quiet waters, he restores my soul… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… Your rod, your staff, they comfort me…”

Even though we are walking with Jesus, sometimes we Walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It doesn’t say, “I will NEVER walk through the valley” – no – it says, “EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley.”

“No fear!”

(But practically, much fear sometimes. Only IN Jesus Christ is it possible to have no fear, anxiety.)

So what should we do in this?

We say,

“I trust in Jesus alone.”

That is all we can do.

“Forgive my sins through Jesus Christ, give me eternal life through Jesus Christ.”

And we can shout “Hallelujah!”

God bless you with our permanent high priest, Jesus.

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.

  • Nov 26 / 2017
  • Comments Off on There is a Future for Israel (Romans 11:11-24)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

There is a Future for Israel (Romans 11:11-24)

Download Notes in a .MD file

There is a Future for Israel

Romans 11:11-24 (Pastor Heo)

Ingrafted Branches

11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!


Romans 9, 10, 11 as one unit = the Vindication of God’s Righteousness through Israel’s full history

  1. Past election
  2. present rejection
  3. future restoration

This is full of the story of Israel.

Each chapter starts with a great concern about Israel.

  • chp 9: I speak the truth, my conscience confirms it, I have unceasing sorrow and anguish in my heart for the salvation of Israel.
  • chp 10: My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
  • chp 11: Did God reject them? By no means, I’m an Israelite myself.

Jesus: “Blessed is the one who cries, for he will laugh.”

If you have joy/peace/laughing in your heart because of your salvation, you must have great sorrow/pain/weeping for the salvation of others.

For whom do you cry?

Last Sunday, we saw 2 of 5 proofs for the restoration of Israel.

In chp 11, there are 5 proofs that God is not yet finished with Israel.

Proofs

  1. Paul himself – his own conversion is an illustration of the future restoration of Israel
  2. Elijah – he lived in the worst era of Israel’s history – God said, “I have reserved 7000 for myself who don’t bow down to Baal”

What does this mean?

  1. There has never been, nor never will be a time in history when the WHOLE nation has been faithful to God
  2. NOR is there a time when the WHOLE nation has been unfaithful.
  3. There is a remnant in every country.

This morning. Let us see proofs #3, 4

#3. Gentiles

v. 11-15

“11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring! 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”

In chp 2:1-3, Paul used the Gentiles to prove the Jews guilty of sin. “You, Jews, have no excuse – you who pass judgment on others – because you are doing the same things.”

Here, again, Paul uses the Gentiles to assure the Jews’ future restoration.

When the Jews rejected this gospel, God sent it to the Gentiles, and they accepted and believed and were saved. At least three tragedies happened to the Jews.

  • v. 11 – the nation fell
  • v. 12 – the nation diminished
  • v. 15 – the nation was rejected

But none of these three things suggest a “final judgment” on Israel. The amazing thing is that through the fall of Israel, salvation came to the Gentiles.

Hosea 2:23 “God says, ‘I will show my love to the one I call not my loved one, and I will call them my people who are not my people, and they will call me their God.'”

These OT promises to the Gentiles were connected to Israel’s rise. Isaiah 60 make it clear that the Gentiles will share in the kingdom and life of the Gentiles. But… Israel did not rise, they fell. So, what did God do to the Gentiles? He introduced a new factor: the church. This church is called a “mystery.” (Eph 3) This was not revealed in the OT. But this does not mean that God has abandoned his kingdom project for Israel. They are only set aside until the appropriate time.

Now, the Gentiles have a vital ministry to Israel. They provoke Israel to jealousy because of their spiritual blessings in Christ.

Today, Israel is spiritually bankrupt, and have fallen away. When Jesus comes again, they will be accepted again. This is called “full inclusion” (v 12) and “acceptance” (v 15).

Yes, God wanted to rule over Israel in their history – but they didn’t allow God to rule over them. So, God will OVERrule them. This is God’s plan for them.

#4 Patriarchs – founders of Israel

Today’s lesson is Hard Food, not soft.

Review the 4 proofs up to now:

  1. Paul
  2. Elijah
  3. Gentiles
  4. Patriarchs

Paul looks to the past to show this. He used two illustrations to prove that God is not finished with Israel.

  1. Lump of dough (for baking bread)
  2. Olive tree

v. 16a “16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy;” (reference: Numbers 15, Leviticus 23)

1. Lump of Dough

The first part of the dough had to be offered to God as a symbol that the whole lump belonged to God (tithes & firstfruits). This also happens in the Feast of the Firstfruits. The priest offered the first sheaf of the harvest as a symbol that the whole harvest belonged to God – by God’s mercy and grace.

The principle: If God receives part, he sanctifies the whole.

God received the founder of the nation of Israel (Abraham) and so set apart the whole nation as holy. He also received the other patriarchs – Isaac, Jacob, etc – despite their flaws and sins. This is another proof that God has set the whole nation apart as holy and has a plan for them.

In our personal lifestyles, we also offer tithes.

We recognize that “all I have and earn” belong to God. “I’m a steward” and all I have belongs to God. This is the starting point, the beginning of the true Christian life – practically and spiritually. Offering tithes is the beginning point of the Christian lifestyle.

If the first part is holy, the whole batch is holy.

2. Olive tree

This is a symbol of the nation Israel. (Jeremiah)

v. 16b-24 “if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”

To understand this passage clearly: keywords

  1. Olive tree
  2. Root
  3. Grafted in (접목하다)

Paul is not discussing the relationship of individual believers to God. But he is discussing the place of Israel in the plan of God.

  1. Jeremiah / Hosea declare the olive tree as a symbol of the nation Israel.
  2. The Root is a symbol of patriarchs who founded the nation. God made his covenant with the patriarchs. He never denied them nor changed them. Thus, his promise to Abraham sustains the nation of Israel even today.
  3. Many Jews do not believe in Christ even today. They are pictured as the branches that are broken off the tree.
  4. Other branches are grafted onto the tree and share the life of that tree. These other branches are the Gentiles (collectively).

But there is one strange thing (v. 24) – Paul says that this grafting in is “contrary to nature” – going against the natural principles of this world.

  • Usually, cultivated branches must be grafted into wild trees to share the tree’s life.
  • But in this case, wild branches were grafted into a cultivated tree.

This is because “Salvation is from the Jews.”

No matter how far the nation of Israel (branches) stray, the root (patriarchs & God’s covenant to them) is still good. God will never neglect his covenant with them. That means that some day, the nation of Israel will flourish again in God’s kingdom.

Some of us may ask today:

“So what does this matter to me?”

Even through three chapters – in one of the most important books in the NT – the #1 epistle of Paul’s – we cover the story of Israel. Why is this so important?

Application to our lives (4 things):

#1 Physically, Christ came as a Jew

Salvation is from the Jews. The Bible is the story of the Jews (past, present, future)

  • PAST: Elected by God’s grace/mercy – not because of their faithfulness or merit
  • PRESENT: Rejected because of their faithlessness

If this rejection lasts forever, then our own salvation is completely unstable. It would mean that our salvation also depends on our faithfulness.

BUT – we can say that our salvation is due to God’s grace, not our own merit.

So, we must be humble and thankful to God through our study of Israel. Our own salvation is due to God’s covenant and promise to the patriarchs of the Jewish nation (through whom the Messiah, Jesus, came).

#2 We are debtors of the gospel

The message of the gospel came to us through the rejection of Israel.

So, we enjoy the gospel today, but it must go back to Israel through our preaching.

  • Because of Israel’s rejection, we received the gospel.
  • This gospel must return to Israel through our preaching.

#3 God’s covenant with Abraham is still alive

We are “children of Abraham”

The first covenant is in Genesis 12:1-3 “I will make you into a great nation. I’ll bless you and make your name great. I’ll bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you. All people on earth will be blessed through you.”

This is through God’s “WILL”

This covenant is being fulfilled spiritually through us (Gentiles) – and in secular, physical history, it is already fulfilled through the Jews as well.

In history, no nations that remain against the Jews, remain prosperous.

  • BC 721, Assyria conquered Israel. There is no more Assyria.
  • BC 586, Babylon conquered Israel. There is no more Babylon.
  • Amalites, Moabites, Edomites, Hittites, etc, no longer exist anywhere on earth.
  • But there exists the nation of Israel.

This is the physical fulfillment of God’s covenant.

And spiritually, all nations will be blessed through you (through us) – is happening now.

#4 God’s final plan: to unite in Christ

No more Jew and Gentile, no more male and female, no more slave and free, etc.

Eph 2:11-18

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Getniles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human nhands )- 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foriengers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

In Christ, we are ONE. Brothers and sisters. We are members of one eternal family.

Conclusion: Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female. We are all ONE in Christ.”

In the eyes of God, there are only 2 kinds of people:

  1. IN Christ (saved)
  2. OUTSIDE Christ (lost)
  • If you are outside Christ, you must come to Christ to be saved.
  • If you are in Christ, you must go to the lost and say to them, “Come!”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you life, rest, salvation, peace for your souls.”

Let’s pray individually now.

In the beginning of my sermon I said, “If we have joy for our salvation, we must have sorrow for others. If we laugh for our salvation, we must cry for the salvation of others.” Your brothers, sisters, family, loved ones, parents, children, neighbors, etc.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 11 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Deuteronomy: Remember – Obedience Brings Blessings & Disobedience Brings Punishment (1:1-46, 10:12-13, 30:19-20)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Deuteronomy: Remember – Obedience Brings Blessings & Disobedience Brings Punishment (1:1-46, 10:12-13, 30:19-20)


10.14.2015

10.11.2015-PHeo-update

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