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  • Mar 18 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Glory to God through the Gospel (Romans 16:25-27)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Glory to God through the Gospel (Romans 16:25-27)

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Glory to God through the Gospel

Romans 16:25-27 (Pastor Heo)

16:25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him– 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.


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  • Dec 03 / 2017
  • Comments Off on To God be the Glory Forever, Amen (Romans 11:25-36)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

To God be the Glory Forever, Amen (Romans 11:25-36)

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To God be the Glory Forever, Amen

Romans 11:25-36 (Pastor Heo)

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.


We saw four witnesses as proof that God has a plan for Israel:

  1. Paul himself
  2. Elijah
  3. The Gentiles
  4. The Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc)
  • The dough – the first part – is the symbol of the patriarchs.
  • The root of the tree (from last week) – is the symbol of Israel.

Last word of v. 28 = “patriarchs”

“28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,”

Today, we have the final witness / proof. This is the last and best witness: God himself – the very character and work of God.

God is dealing with his people Israel. Who is God? How is God? What are his characteristics? Here I’ll share 6 things with you about God.

6 Characteristics of God

#1: God’s Timing

In this world, everything that happens, happens according to God’s time: Ecc 3:1 “There is a time for everything; a season for everything under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to love, a time to hate, a time to eat, a time to speak, etc..”

v. 25

“25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part _until_ the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”

All that has happened to Israel is a part of the plan for Israel. God knows what he is doing and what is happening.

The “hardness” in the middle here is spiritual blindness of Israel – but this is not total, nor final. It is partial and temporary. Until “the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” v. 12 – there is a fullness for Israel and also for the Gentiles.

Today, individual Jewish people are being saved, but this present era is primarily a time when God is visiting the Gentiles and building his church. When this present age has run its course and the full number of the Gentiles has come in – then at that time, God will take action and deal with Israel again.

This verse is one of several “until” verses in the Bible (this means God’s timing).

  • Ps 110:10 “The Lord says to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies…”
  • Matt “You cannot see me until you say ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord'”
  • Luke “Israel will be trampled on until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.”
  • Matt 24:14 “The gospel will be preached in ALL nations and THEN the end will come.” (This is God’s timing)

#2: God’s Promise

This is very important.

v. 26

“26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (Isaiah 59:20-21 – last two verses)

Jacob is the old name of “Israel” – this means a descendant from the nation of Israel. Jesus Christ comes as deliverer, redeemer, Savior.

This is the first and only mention of Jesus’ coming in the book of Romans.

  • “so, all Israel will be saved.” (so = “in this way / by this method”)
  • “all Israel” doesn’t mean ALL Jews who’ve ever lived, but it means, the majority of Israel who are alive when Jesus comes again.
  1. 2,000 years ago, when Jesus came, the majority of Israel did NOT recognize nor receive Jesus. Only a few did.
  2. Next, when Jesus comes again, the OPPOSITE will happen. The majority of Israel will finally recognize and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.

John 1:10 “He was in the world even though the world was made through him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.”

#3: God’s Covenant

v. 27

“27 And this is my _covenant_ with them when I take away their sins. 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as _election_ is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs,”

This is a continuation of Isaiah 59, but we need to read Isaiah 60 to get the full picture of the glory of Zion. Isaiah 60:1 “Arise and shine!”

Keywords:

  • Covenant
    • The emphasis in this sentence is God’s covenant (absolute, unbreakable promise).
  • Election
    • This does not mean elite – ism, nor perfection, but it means sovereign grace. God did not choose them for their goodness.
  1. If Israel was not chosen by God based on their merit,
  2. likewise, they cannot be rejected by God based on their sinfulness.

v. 28 means the Jewish people are now “enemies” toward believing Gentiles due to their attitude toward the gospel. But, in the eyes of God, they are loved due to God’s covenant with the patriarchs.

#4 God’s Nature

What is God like? What are his qualities and attributes?

v. 29

“29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

(this is the shortest verse in this section but the most important)

  • Irrevocable = conclusive, final, cannot be broken / revoked
  • God’s gifts = salvation (the gift of gifts)

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace you have been saved, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Good News Bible = “God does not change his mind about whom he chooses and blesses.”

  • Malachi 3 “I am the Lord, I never change.”
  • Numbers “God is not a man that he should lie.” (God is not a son of man that he should repent. Does he speak and not act? No. Does he promise and not keep his promise? No.)
  • Romans 3:3 “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith cancel God’s faithfulness? Certainly not! Let God be true!”

If you know and understand who God is, he is unchangeable and we can be certain of our salvation.

#5: God’s Mercy

v. 30

“30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience,”

We need God’s mercy. That’s why chp 12 begins with “I urge you brothers, in the view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. Do not follow the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

“I need God’s mercy.” x4

v. 30-32

“30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received _mercy_ (x1) as a result of their disobedience,31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive _mercy_ (x2) as a result of God’s _mercy_ (x3) to you.32 For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have _mercy_ (x4) on them all.”

Final purpose: That God may have mercy on them all.

Yes, we are also one of this “all.”

  • Through the disobedience of Israel, salvation came to the Gentiles.
  • Likewise, through the salvation of the Gentiles, Israel will come to know and love Jesus.
    • This is an obligation of the Gentiles – to provoke Israel to jealousy.

God has included all human beings (Jews and Gentiles) in being able to experience the mercy of God. There is no difference in salvation.

  • When Adam sinned, all humanity (including us) sinned in Adam.

Romans “There is no one righteous, not even one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

  1. If you say, “I’m not a sinner” then you don’t need mercy from God.
  2. That’s why we must confess “I’m a sinner” – so that we may repent and receive mercy.

In God’s original plan, the Jews would be the source of blessing to the Gentiles. God chose the Jews that the Gentiles might be saved. What is the first covenant given to Abraham? Genesis 12:3 “All people on earth will be blessed through you.”

The tragedy was that Israel became exclusive and failed to share this truth with the Gentiles (their mission). But God did not fail in his plan.

In a large crowd, it is humbling to look around and think, “Everyone needs a Savior.” But until we truly experience God’s mercy in our lives, it is unlikely we’ll feel that others need to experience it as well.

  1. God’s timing
  2. God’s promise
  3. God’s covenant
  4. God’s nature
  5. God’s mercy
  6. God’s wisdom

#6 God’s wisdom & knowledge

v. 33-36

“33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Having contemplated God’s great plan of salvation for Jews and Gentiles, the only thing Paul could do is sing a song of rejoicing.

  • Theology becomes Doxology
  • Theology becomes Worship

God is too wise to make plans that will not be fulfilled. This has two meanings – applied literally to all Israel, and applied spiritually to all people.

When Israel comes into their fullness, they will recognize him, receive him, be reconciled, be received, it will look like a resurrection.

In our story, God’s purpose for the salvation of the world is beyond our understanding. This is beyond our tracing out.

Who can say, “I’m God’s counselor”? Who gave to God before he gave to us? All we have came from him originally. (Doxology)

Col 1:15-17 “By Jesus Christ all things were created – things on heaven and earth – visible, invisible, thrones, rulers, powers, authorities – all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together.”

God has a purpose for your/my life. What is this purpose? Remember, a life without a purpose given by God is like a ship without a rudder – it’s a directionless activity.

The purpose of God’s salvation through his mercy and grace:

That we may share this blessing of salvation with others, making Jesus Lord, to the glory of God.

Let’s pray

  • Sep 07 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4)
Pastor Brian, Philippians: A Study in Contentment, Sermons

Rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4)

09.07

09.07.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Rejoice in the Lord!

Philippians 4:1-23 (Pastor Brian)

1 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

Exhortations

2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Thanks for Their Gifts

10 I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. 17 Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

21 Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. 22 All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.


 

In chp 3, Paul had warned against the legalists (Judaizers) who took the focus off of Jesus and tried to put it back on the OT Laws as qualifications for salvation. Paul tried to say, “Look, fellows, if anyone is qualified – I’m SUPER qualified – but that stuff is worthless in the face of the glory and mercy and grace of Christ.” Christ had died for his (our) sins – and Paul continually warned against falling into the trap of legalism. However, they should still keep their eyes on the prize. It was the grace of God to allow him to do the things that God himself had set out for him to do from the beginning of time.

In the early days of the church, they were expecting the quick return of the Lord. In fact, every generation SHOULD have that kind of expectation. During one’s lifetime, an expectation of prophesies fulfilled and events come to pass to advance the progress of his coming.

Phil 4. “Therefore my brothers,…

v. 1-4 “in the Lord” 3 times:

  1. Stand firm in the Lord
  2. Agree in the Lord
  3. Rejoice in the Lord

Clearly Paul has a great affection for the believers in Philippi (Lydia, the slave woman, the jailer, etc) – they had a good relationship between them. They are his “crown” – diadema (diadem = kingly crown), stephanos (crown of achievement – that Olympic athletes coveted – leaves that encircled one’s head. This is the word that Paul uses for the Philippians). Paul is also envisioning them at the great wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus) with these crowns adorning their heads as well.

They give him joy, honor, he can appeal to them as friends. So his closing words are very positive. (Lyrics: Mr. In-between?)

Paul mentions two women by name: Euodia, Syntyche – apparently this disagreement was not merely a private matter but had caused problems among the fellowship. He didn’t order one or the other to do something – he didn’t assign blame but treated each the same and just “pleaded” with them to “agree together in the Lord.” (no churches like that today, eh?)

Regardless of the disagreement – we can agree together in the Lord.

He also agreed with the assignment of the “yokefellow” mediator between the two women. He said, “their names are in the book of life” and he praises them for their service to the Lord and the sharing of the gospel.

Some people may be good gospel witnesses, but have weaknesses in other areas of their lives.

These women needed some help to patch things up and so the yokefellow was called upon to help mediate. Since their names are in the Book of Life, they really ought to try to get along NOW.

Rejoice in the Lord! Again, I will say it, rejoice!

Yet, at this time, Paul is chained, under house arrest in Rome. “I can do all things in Christ” he says. Yes, it can be hard to rejoice when there are personal disagreements, or persecution. How would you fare in such circumstances? Keeping your eye on the prize in these circumstances is much more difficult. We need to pray for ourselves and for others in this situation to continue to be faithful and grow in faith in the Lord.

10,000 Reasons is not enough for Paul to rejoice in the Lord.

We have a salvation that no one can take away from us.

Let your “gentleness” be evident to the Lord. (”gentleness” = untranslatable, really – “moderation” in King James). The Greeks defined this word as “justice and BETTER than justice.”

William Barclay: “As teachers, if you have two students: one with 80%, one with 50%, perhaps the 80% student has all the right circumstances in his LIFE to acquire that. The one with 50% may have horrible life circumstances that dragged him down. The 80/50 would be justice. But the teacher may take things into consideration and assign 80/>50. This is mercy, and “gentleness” as defined here.

“Don’t be anxious about anything…”

Be CONFIDENT that God will take care of ALL your needs. Paul is helping the Philippians concentrate on the positive.

William Barclay:

In prayer:

  1. God’s love desires what is best for us.
  2. God’s wisdom knows what is best for us.
  3. God’s power brings to pass what is best for us.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy …think on such things.” This is a challenge (especially with world news… or interpersonal relationships) – even to memorize this verse in order is a challenge.

If you have a problem with someone, do that (above) and you will find peace (which surpasses understanding) that will guard (a military word) your heart and mind (this is a gift from God) in Christ Jesus.

“Whatever you have learned, received, heard from, or seen in me, put into practice.”

How many of us could say this with confidence? Paul has “walked the walk” as well as “talking the talk.” If you do that, the God of Peace will be with you. These are both tremendous promises.

The God of Peace, Love, Comfort. The Great Shalom – not just the absence of conflict, but Well-Being (Korean word there) when we imitate godly people.

Paul then thanks the church for the help they sent him while he was in prison. He is thankful for the physical gift, but he uses this as an opportunity to point them away from focusing on the physical – spiritual is so much more important.

“I can do everything through him who infuses his strength in me… I’ve had times of plenty, and times of poverty – and have ALWAYS looked to Christ in EVERY situation.” Christ gives strength to endure when times are tough. Not all of us can live the lives of prosperity and comfort we wish to – Christ enables us to endure all circumstances (this is NOT “Christ will help me DO ANYTHING I want!” – consider the context – a text taken out of context is a pretext – untrue).

Yet, it was good of you to share in my troubles. In the early days, not one church shared with giving and receiving except for you. (In Corinth, the Philippians supported him – a strange turn of events since the Philippians were quite poor, but the Corinthians quite wealthy.)

The stoic philosophers used to say, “the desire to not have desires” – Paul used this to say, “I’ve been (become) content in all circumstances.”

The giving of the Philippians = the equivalent of a bank account accruing interest. When we serve God physically, we reap in spiritual rewards.

The sacrifice pleases God – whether offerings to poor or missionaries, and “my God will meet all your needs in Christ Jesus.” He is no one’s debtor. The reason we can be generous is because God will meet all our needs.

The End
Doxology

Post script – personal greetings to the saints in Philippi (especially those who belong to Caesar’s household – civil service members). Paul drops a hint that the gospel is bearing fruit in significant places and significant ways. About 300 years later, Christianity in fact, will become the “national” faith.

What better way to conclude than by receiving the Lord’s grace? Let’s remember the Lord in his death and resurrection and coming again with the Lord’s supper.

Remember, on the night he was betrayed, Jesus took the bread and said, “This is my body, broken for you, do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same manner, he took the cup saying, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, drink ye all of it.”

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