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  • Aug 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Signs of Believers (Mark 16:15-20)
Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Signs of Believers (Mark 16:15-20)

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The Signs of Believers

Mark 16:15-20 (Pastor Heo)

16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.


This is the Great Commission from Christ.

  • In Matthew: “Go and make disciples of all nations…baptizing, teaching… I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
  • Mark “Go and preach the good news to all Creation…”
  • Luke “You are witnesses of all these things…”
  • John “Feed my sheep, feed my lambs…”
  • Acts “You will be my witnesses in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

When Jesus meets people, he says, “Come and I will give you rest.”

Jesus’ invitation is always:

  • “Come” and
  • Go”
  • “Come to me”, to church, to God
  • “Go to the world”
  • Come = attractive force
  • Go = repelling force

Mark is the shortest gospel among the 4. Why? Mark is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus.

The first message of Christ in his earthly ministry

  • Matthew: “The Kingdom of God is near, repent.”
  • Mark: “The Kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the gospel.” (1:15)

16:15 says (conclusion) “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all Creation… Whoever believes will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

If we really believe, we are really saved. If we are really saved, we are called to preach the good news (evangelism).

Let’s focus on v. 17-18

Signs:

“In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

This is truth. Jesus always tells the truth, never a lie.

Jesus does not say: “These miracles /wonders will accompany believers.” (these signs)

So, we must understand the word “sign.” It is so familiar to us. What is it? Evidence / truth of something that has happened.

Ex:

  • If you eat much, your stomach will expand and be filled.
  • If you buy something and pay with cash or card, you will receive a receipt. (sign of purchase)

A sign must be followed as proof / evidence of something that has been done.

“These signs will accompany believers…”

So, let us ask ourselves if these signs have happened in our lives. Let’s read again thoughtfully, prayerfully.

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

So… are these things happening in your life? If you are a true believer, they should happen, right? Are you a true believer? If these signs do not happen in your / my life, then something is terribly wrong.

So, let me make it clear about this passage IN CONTEXT. (Every passage must be read and understood in context.)

In this context, if we believe in Christ, we will be saved – there is no exception. If we are really, really saved and have assurance of salvation, our conclusion is to commit our whole lives to preach the gospel in evangelism.

So, in this context, these signs are signs of evangelism, preaching the good news of salvation.

How many signs? (5)

When you read these verses, you must understand all the time that these are signs of evangelism (preaching the good news).

Signs of Evangelism

Signs of Preaching the Good News of Salvation in Jesus’ Name

If we approach these signs with this understanding, it will be very clear.

“These signs will accompany those who believe [and preach the good news]”

1. Drive out Demons (in Jesus’ name)

Evangelism itself is driving out demons in Jesus’ name. The act of preaching the gospel is in itself driving out demons in Jesus’ name.

On what grounds?

What kinds of humans are on this earth? Man / woman, rich / poor, Asian / African, etc.

Gal 8:23 “There is neither male nor female, you are ONE in Christ…”

So this means that all divisions of humanity are TEMPORARY in this world. Spiritually there are only two kinds of division between humans:

  1. Child of God
  2. Child of Demons

John 8:44 (to those who reject him) “You belong to your father the Devil because you do not accept me.”

If I say this to someone, he will want to fight or kill me. But Jesus said it.

So, what is preaching the good news?

The activity in which we are making Children of the Devil to Children of God. From eternal destruction to eternal life.

So, preaching the good news IS driving out demons in Jesus’ name.

2. Speak in new tongues

Evangelism itself is speaking in a new tongue. Do you speak in a new tongue? (language)

When we pray, we do it with our tongue (language).

At first, there was only one tongue in the whole world. Genesis 11 “The whole world had one tongue, one language, one common tongue and they tried to build a tower to reach God with their own merit and power. So God confused their tongues.” (Tower of Babel).

Now, we have many: English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, etc

At the Ascension of Christ, the early church prayed and prayed and prayed, and on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them and their hearts burned with holy fire. So they came out (fire) and preached the gospel.

Many people came from other countries and they heard the gospel in their own native language.

In the physical world, there are several thousand tongues, but in the spiritual world, there are 3.

  1. Devil’s tongue
  2. Old tongue
  3. New tongue

“…they shall speak in new tongues…”

When I speak Korean, I may speak in any of the three, devil’s tongue, old / new tongue.

You can know what kind of tongue you are speaking in.

  1. Devil’s tongue: LIE (doesn’t matter the language) – if you speak a lie, this is spiritually the Devil’s tongue “The devil is a liar and when he lies, he speaks his native language. The devil is the creator of lies.”
  2. Old tongue (earthly language) – speaking about the physical / material world – no matter how wonderful and beautiful, before salvation from Christ, this is the Old tongue
  3. New tongue – speech about heavenly things, truth, mysteries about heaven, the will of God

What is the will of wills of God? For all humanity to be saved. The work of the Holy Spirit + evangelism is to make people believers in Christ.

So, evangelism itself, the sermon, encouraging each other in faith – this is the New Tongue.

In Christ, our identity is a New Creation, with a New Covenant, keeping New Commands, speaking a New Tongue, for a New Heaven and New Earth.

3. Pick up snakes (by hand)

Have you ever done that?

If you are a true believer, you should do that, right?

Should we go to the mountain this afternoon and pick up snakes?

Genesis 3: Satan = the snake – and he lied.

To the woman Eve, “You can eat the fruit, and you will never die. You will be like God.”

You know, all animals were created NOT to speak. Only humans were created to speak. But that snake spoke. What does that mean? It is not a real snake – it was a hidden identity controlling that snake.

LONG time later, the Word of God reveals the identity of that snake.

Rev 12:9 “The Great Dragon was hurled down; the Ancient Snake, who is called the Devil / Satan who leads the whole world astray.” 20:2

Snake = Satan

Luke 10 – Jesus sent 72 evangelists to preach the good news and when they returned, they reported back with great joy. “Lord! Even the demons obey us in your name.” “Yes, I saw Satan fall from heaven and I have given you authority to trample snakes and scorpions, and nothing will harm you.”

So this means: Destroying the power of Satan

This world is still under control of the Devil and so our lives are constant spiritual warfare. The stronghold of Satan will be destroyed and the Kingdom of God will be built in the end.

This is the sign of “picking up snakes”

4. Ingested deadly poison will not harm

BUT, do NOT drink poison – this is testing the Lord and the Bible says, “Do not put the Lord to the test.”

Yes, our lives are under complete control of our Lord Jesus Christ – yet when we are preaching the gospel, we are VERY protected.

Human beings are so easily hurt – do you agree? Have you ever been hurt? I’m so easily hurt (by my wife – she is too close to me).

Husband / wife, children, co-workers, we are so easily dismayed and depressed. More than the animals and the mountains. We are so easily hurt.

BUT, this is the secret (if you agree, you will be so blessed in your future life): The best way to NOT be hurt in this life is to serve others, preach the good news to others.

Stephen is a good example: He was the first martyr in the NT. He drank deadly poison but was not hurt. He did nothing wrong against them, but they were so angry with him, furious with him, and they gnashed their teeth, yelling, and stoned him to death.

If you were in the place of Stephen, how would you react to them?

In this terrible situation, spiritually, he was drinking such deadly poison, but he was not hurt: he did not hate them, he did not curse them, he prayed for them, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” He was just like Christ on the cross who prayed for those who crucified him.

His face was shining like an angel and he was standing with the angels at the throne of God.

He was never hurt by drinking this deadly poison.

What made it possible? Was it his own character / patience / morality / self-control / self-training? No, that is the power of Christ, the power of evangelism.

At that moment, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and preaching the good news of the gospel to them.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and if you preach the good news, nothing can hurt you.

Matthew “Do not fear the one who can kill your body but not your soul; fear rather the one who can kill both body and soul in hell.”

5. Heal the sick (place hands on them)

This can be applied literally as well. Pray for sick people around you because the answer is God’s job. Do not be afraid of the result. Praying is our job, the result is God’s job.

Rev “He will wipe every tear from your eyes.”

Is there a tear in your eyes? At the final day, Jesus promises to remove all tears from your eyes. If there is a tear in your eyes, we will stand before Christ and he will wipe the tears from our eyes one by one. If there is no tear in your eye, no problem – but were you really never hurt in this world?

There will be no more disease, no more sickness, no more crying, no more problems, no more tears, no more danger of coronavirus, no more aging, no more death. This is perfect.

Evangelism is offering this perfect, eternal wellness (well-being) to others.

Do you want eternal wellness?

“They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well.”

Perfect wellness is available in heaven. Evangelism is offering this perfect wellness to others.

These are the signs of evangelism.

  • No preaching, no signs.
  • Preaching = signs.

I will show you this is true, and how right / truthful I will show you here.

v. 20

“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

In the previous verse, where is Jesus? In heaven already. In v. 20, he worked WITH them.

This sign is the work of Christ, it is not our own.

  • No preaching, no signs.
  • How long have you been a Christian? 5 years, 10 years, 20? Remember, no preaching, no signs.
  • But if you became a Christian yesterday, remember, preaching = signs.

Please, continue to preach the good news of salvation in YOUR place, and I will continue in my place. And someday again let us meet again as fellow workers and family members.

God bless you.

God bless AICF.

Let’s pray.


2020년 8월 16일 허재범 목사님 고별 설교

믿는 사람들에게 따르는 표적(마가복음16:15~20)

그동안 함께 해준 여러분께 감사드립니다. 이제 저는 새로운 사역지인 광주 광산교회로 갑니다. 저는 외롭지 않습니다. 아버지 하나님, 예수님, 성령님 그리고 아내와 함께 동역하기 때문입니다. 우리는 여전히 기도로 함께하는 하나님의 영광을 위해 동역하는 형제자매들입니다. 저는 오늘 예수님께서 우리들에게 지상에서 남기신 마지막 명령을 가지고 은혜를 나누고자 합니다.

마가복음(16장 15~20절)

15.또 가라사대 너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민에게 복음을 전파하라.

16.믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 얻을 것이요, 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라.

17.믿는 자들에게는 이런 표적이 따르리니 곧 저희가 내 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내며 새 방언을 말하며

18.뱀을 집으며 무슨 독을 마실찌라도 해를 받지 아니 하며 병든 사람에게 손을 얹은 즉 나으리라 하시더라.

19.주 예수께서 말씀을 마치신 후에 하늘로 올리우사 하나님 우편에 앉으시니라.

20.제자들이 나가 두루 전파할 쌔 주께서 함께 역사하사 그 따르는 표적으로 말씀을 확실히 증거하시니라.

이 말씀은 예수께서 부활하시고 승천하기 전에 세상에 계시면서 마지막으로 제자들에게 명령한 것입니다. 마태복음28장 19절에도 예수님의 지상명령이 있습니다. 그러므로 너희는 가서 모든 족속으로 제자를 삼아 아버지와 아들과 성령의 이름으로 세례를 주고 내가 너희에게 분부한 모든 것을 가르쳐 지키게 하라. 볼찌어다. 내가 세상 끝날까지 너희와 항상 함께 있으리라 하시니라.

  • 오늘의 말씀인 마가복음 16장 15절에서도 또 가라사대 너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민에게 복음을 전파하라 믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 얻을 것이요 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라.
  • 누가복음 24장 48절에도 너희는 이 모든 일의 증인이라. 볼찌어다. 내가 내 아버지의 약속하신 것을 너희에게 보내리니 너희는 위로부터 능력을 입히울 때까지 이 성에 유하라 하시니라.
  • 또 요한복음 21장에는 베드로에게 내 양을 먹이라. 내 양을 치라. 내 양을 먹이라 라고 거듭 말씀하셨습니다.
  • 사도행전 1장 8절에서는 오직 성령이 너희에게 임하시면 너희가 권능을 받고 예루살렘과 온 유대와 사마리아와 땅 끝까지 이르러 내 증인이 되리라 하시니라.

예수님께서 처음에 이 땅에서 사역하실 때 수고하고 무거운 짐진 자들아 다 내게로 오라 그러면 내가 너희를 쉬게 하리라. 내게로 오라 너희에게 평안을 주겠노라 생명을 주겠노라 하고 말씀하셨습니다. 그리고 마지막으로 세상을 떠나실 때는 너희는 세상으로 가서 만민에게 복음을 전파하라 라고 말씀하셨습니다. 요약하면 내게로 와서 복을 받고 세상에 나가서 복음을 전파하라 라는 내용입니다. 우리는 성도로서 두 가지의 권능을 갖고 있습니다.

  1. 하나는 사람들을 끌어들이는 힘입니다. 이것은 구심력입니다.
  2. 또 다른 하나는 퍼져나가고 침입해 들어가는 힘입니다. 원심력입니다.

마가복음은 복음서 중에서 가장 짧습니다. 복음서의 모든 핵심은 복음입니다. 그러나 마가복음은 오직 복음에만 집중하고 있기 때문에 예수님의 탄생과 족보와 같은 내용은 생략했습니다. 마가복음은 처음부터 본론으로 들어갑니다. 복음으로부터 시작합니다. 마가복음의 첫 문장은 하나님의 아들 예수 그리스도 복음의 시작이라 하고 시작됩니다. 예수님의 첫 번째 사역은 복음을 선포하는 것입니다. 그러나 마태복음에서는 예수님의 첫 번째 메시지는 천국이 가까웠으니 회개하라 그러나 마가복음은 천국이 가까웠으니 회개하고 복음을 믿으라. 입니다.

마가복음 1장 15절에는 가라 때가 찾고 하나님의 나라가 가까웠으니 회개하고 복음을 믿으라 하시더라. 그리고 마지막 16장 15절에서는 또 가라사대 너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민에게 복음을 전파하라. 믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 얻을 것이요, 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라. 복음에는 예외가 없습니다. 누구든지 믿고 세례를 받으면 구원을 받고 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받는다는 것입니다. 우리가 정말로 믿고 구원을 받았다면 결론은 구원의 복음을 전해야만 하는 것입니다. 이것이 바로 전도입니다.

17절과 18절은 오늘 설교의 핵심 내용인데요, 믿는 자들에게는 이런 표적이 따르리니 곧 저희가 내 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내며 새 방언을 말하며 뱀을 집으며 무슨 독을 마실찌라도 해를 받지 아니하며 병든 사람에게 손을 얹은즉 나으리라 하시더라. 오늘 여러분들은 진지하게 이 두 구절을 받아들일 수 있기를 소망합니다.

여러분은 신자입니까? 저도 신자입니다. 여러분도 모두 예수님의 신자이기를 원합니다. 그러나 여기에는 큰 도전이 따릅니다. 물론 예수님은 결코 거짓말을 하시지 않습니다. 그분의 말씀은 진실이고 진리입니다. 거짓은 없습니다. 우리는 우선 시작하는 말에 주의해야 합니다. 예수님은 이러한 기적이라고 하지 않고 믿는 자들에게는 이러한 표적이 따른다고 했습니다. 우리는 우선 표적이라는 말을 이해해야만 합니다. 표적이란 무엇인가요? 표적은 증거이고 우리가 한 일의 성과입니다.

쉬운 예를 들겠습니다. 여러분이 무언가를 먹으면 여러분은 배가 부를 것입니다. 여러분이 많이 먹은 결과 배가 튀어나오는 표적이 나타난 것입니다. 이렇게 표적은 분명합니다. 우리가 무엇인가를 하면 그 결과가 어떤 식으로든 표적으로 나타납니다. 예수께서 신자의 삶에도 이렇게 분명한 표적이 나타난다고 말씀하신 것입니다.

다시 17절과 18절을 읽어 봅시다. 믿는 자들에게는 이런 표적이 따르리니 곧 저희가 내 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내며 새 방언을 말하며 뱀을 집으며 무슨 독을 마실찌라도 해를 받지 아니하며 병든 사람에게 손을 얹은즉 나으리라 하시더라. 이러한 표적이 여러분에게도 나타납니까? 이것은 매우 구체적인 질문입니다. 이것이 바로 믿는 자들에게 나타나는 표적이니까요. 우리가 신자로서 이러한 표적이 삶에서 나타나지 않는다면 이것은 무엇인가 잘못된 것입니다. 정말 끔찍하게 잘못된 것입니다. 이 시간에 저는 이 말씀의 의미를 확실히 해 두고자 합니다. 모든 성경의 구절은 분명한 의미가 있으니까요.

15절의 의미는 너희는 세상에 가서 모든 족속에게 복음을 전하라. 16절은 믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 받을 것이요 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라. 그런 다음에 예수님께서 말씀하시기를 믿는 자들에게는 이러한 표적이 나타난다고 하셨습니다. 그 의미는 우리가 예수를 믿으면 아무도 예외 없이 구원을 받으며 우리가 또 구원을 받았다면 우리의 삶은 전력을 다해 복음을 전파해야 하는 것입니다. 따라서 이 표적은 복음전도에 따르는 표적입니다.

우리가 예수의 이름으로 복음을 전할 때 나타나는 다섯 가지의 표적입니다.

첫 번째 표적은 예수의 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내는 것입니다. 이것의 근거가 어디에 있을까요? 이러한 일을 하는 부류의 사람들은 어디에 있을까요? 생물학적으로는 남자와 여자, 늙은이와 젊은이, 경제적으로는 부자와 가난한 자, 피부색으로는 황인종 백인종 흑인종 등이 있습니다.

갈라디아서 3장 28절에서는 유대인도 로마인도 종도 자유인도 남자도 여자도 모두 다 예수 안에서는 하나입니다. 이러한 인간적인 구분은 일시적이고 변하는 것입니다. 그러나 영적으로는 인간의 부류는 두 가지밖에 없습니다. 하나님의 자녀인가 또는 마귀의 자녀인가 하는 두 가지뿐입니다.

예수님께서 요한복음 8장 44절에서 예수님을 거부하는 사람은 모두 마귀에게 속한 자라고 말씀하셨습니다. 예수를 믿지 않고 거부하는 자들은 그들의 아비가 사탄이고 마귀에게 속한 자들입니다. 이렇기 때문에 예수님께서 십자가에서 죽으신 것입니다. 그러면 복음은 무엇이고 복음을 전한다는 것은 무엇입니까? 복음을 전하는 것은 바로 마귀의 자녀를 하나님의 자녀로 만드는 행동입니다. 옛 사람을 새 사람으로 거듭 태어나도록 하는 것입니다. 지옥에서 천국으로 인도하는 것입니다. 영원한 멸망에서 영원한 생명으로 인도하는 것입니다. 따라서 복음을 전하는 것은 마귀를 쫓아내는 일입니다.

두 번째 표적은 새로운 방언을 말하는 것입니다. 여기서 혀(TONGUE)은 언어를 말합니다. 우리가 기도할 때 혀를 사용합니다. 원래 인간에게는 한 가지 언어만 있었습니다. 우리는 말을 할 때도 혀를 사용합니다. 창세기 11장 1절에는 온 땅의 구음이 하나이요 언어가 하나이었더라.

그 때 사람들은 도시를 건설하고 큰 탑을 쌓기로 했습니다. 바벨탑입니다. 그들은 탑을 하늘에 있는 하나님이 계신 곳까지 높게 쌓아 하나님께 도전하려고 하였습니다. 그래서 하나님께서 인간의 언어를 혼잡하게 만들어버렸습니다. 그들의 언어는 그들의 죄와 하나님께 도전하려는 교만 때문에 수많은 언어로 나뉘었습니다. 사도행전에서는 예수님이 부활하고 승천하셨을 때 성도들이 적어도 열흘 이상 성령을 받기 위해 기도했습니다. 그래서 오순절에 성령이 임했습니다. 그들이 성령에 충만하여 그들은 성령의 불길 때문에 뜨거워서 밖으로 뛰쳐나갔습니다. 그들은 성령의 불길에 데어서 밖으로 뛰쳐나가서 복음을 전했습니다.

그 때 당시 그곳에는 많은 나라에서 온 사람들이 모여 있었습니다. 그들은 모두 각자 자신의 언어로 성도들이 전하는 복음을 통역 없이 들을 수 있었습니다. 그 때는 인간의 언어가 성령의 힘으로 하나로 통일되었습니다. 실제로 영적 세계에는 세 가지의 언어가 있습니다. 그러나 인간 세상에는 수천 개의 언어가 있습니다. 영적인 언어는 마귀의 언어, 옛 언어, 새 언어 이 세 가지뿐입니다. 오순절에 성령에 충만했던 성도들이 했던 언어는 새 언어입니다. 저의 모국어는 한국어입니다. 저는 한국어로 말합니다. 이 언어는 영적인 언어 중 어떤 종류의 언어입니까? 우리는 우리가 하는 언어가 영적으로 어떤 언어인지 알아야 합니다. 마귀의 언어는 거짓말입니다.

여러분이 어떤 언어를 사용하고 있더라도 거짓말은 마귀의 언어입니다. 예수께서 요한복음 8장 44절에서 마귀는 거짓말쟁이다. 마귀가 말을 한다면 그것은 거짓말이다. 거짓말은 마귀의 모국어이고 마귀는 거짓의 아비이고 거짓말의 창조자입니다. 옛 언어는 세속적인 언어입니다. 이 물질 세계, 죄악 세상이 아무리 아름답고 기가 막힐지라도 이곳에서 하는 언어는 모두 세상적이고 구원받기 이전의 언어이기 때문에 세속적인 언어입니다.

그러면 새 언어는 무엇입니까? 새 언어는 천국의 세계에 관한 언어입니다. 이것은 진실과 진리의 언어이고 복음이고 천국의 비밀을 이야기하고 있습니다. 이것은 또한 하나님의 뜻을 이야기합니다.

그러면 하나님의 뜻은 무엇입니까? 하나님은 모든 인간이 하나님의 말씀을 통해서 하나님의 뜻을 알기를 원합니다. 하나님의 뜻 중의 뜻은 바로 모든 사람이 구원을 받아서 진리의 지식을 알기를 원합니다.

그러면 복음 전도란 무엇입니까? 그것은 사람들이 하나님의 자녀가 되게 하고 하나님의 진리를 알도록 하는 것입니다. 그래서 복음 전도는 하나님의 뜻 중의 뜻을 선포하는 것입니다. 복음은 구원의 기쁜 소식입니다. 복음전도야말로 새 언어입니다.

예를 들면 우리가 하나님을 찬양하고 노래하고 기도하고 서로를 격려하면서 믿음을 키워주는 이러한 설교가 복음전도이고 새 언어입니다. 예수 안에서 우리의 신분은 새로운 피조물입니다. 우리는 새로운 약속과 새로운 명령을 간직한 새로운 피조물입니다. 우리는 새 하늘과 새 땅을 새 언어로 전하는 새 사람입니다. 이것이 예수 안에서 우리의 새로운 신분입니다.

세 번째 표적은 무엇입니까? 18절에서 너희는 뱀을 집으며…. 여러분은 뱀을 잡아본 적이 있습니까? 이것이 신자의 표적입니다. 여러분이 신자라면 뱀을 집어야 합니다. 뱀을 잡으러 산으로 가야 할까요? 이것은 무슨 의미일까요? 창세기 3장에서 우리는 이 이야기를 알 수 있습니다.

창세기 3장에서 말하는 그 뱀이 거짓말하는 마귀입니다. 뱀이 여자에게 나타나서 네가 선악과를 따먹을 수 있다. 그렇게 해도 결코 죽지 않는다. 너는 하나님처럼 될 수 있다. 이것이 마귀의 첫 번째 거짓말이었습니다. 모든 동물들은 말을 못하게 창조되었습니다. 오직 사람만이 말을 할 수 있습니다. 동물들은 말할 수 없습니다. 그러나 그 뱀은 말을 할 수 있습니다.

그것은 무엇을 의미할까요? 그 뱀이 말을 할 수 있다는 것은 그것이 실제로 뱀이 아니라는 것입니다. 그 뱀은 어떤 다른 존재가 변장한 것입니다. 뱀의 뒤에서 신분을 숨기고 뱀을 조정하는 마귀입니다. 그 사건 이후 긴 세월이 흘러서 요한계시록 12장 9절과 20장 2절에서 그 뱀이 창세기 3장에서 나오는 뱀이라고 숨은 정체를 밝히고 있습니다. 그 뱀은 마귀 또는 사탄입니다.

이 마귀가 온 세상을 미혹하고 어지럽히는 영입니다. 얼마나 분명합니까? 예수께서 누가복음 10장에서 더 분명하게 말하고 있습니다. 예수님께서 72명의 제자들을 선교사로서 파송하시면서 구원의 복음을 전하라고 하셨습니다. 그들이 나중에 돌아와서 그들의 선교보고를 할 때 마귀들도 예수님의 이름으로 명령할 때 복종했습니다. 라고 말했습니다.

이 때 예수님께서 나도 사탄이 하늘에서 번개가 떨어지듯이 여기저기에서 떨어지는 것을 보았노라고 말했습니다. 내가 너희들에게 뱀과 전갈을 밟는 권세를 주었다. 대적들의 권세를 멸하는 능력을 주었다. 그러니 아무도 너희를 해치지 못할 것이다. 이것의 의미는 마귀의 권세를 멸하는 능력입니다. 이 세상에서 성도의 삶은 마귀를 제압하고 마귀들과 싸우는 일입니다. 이것이 영적인 전쟁입니다.

복음전도는 세상에서 구원의 기쁜 소식을 전하는 가장 격렬한 영적 전쟁입니다. 세상에서 마귀의 지배를 무너뜨리고 하나님의 나라를 건설하고 전파하는 것입니다. 이러한 복음전도의 표적이 뱀을 맨손으로 잡는다는 의미입니다.

네 번째 복음전도의 표적은 무슨 독을 마실지라도 전혀 해를 입지 않을 것이며….. 그러나 성도라도 절대로 일부러 독을 마시지 말기 바랍니다. 여러분이 일부러 독을 마시는 것은 스스로 하나님을 시험하는 죄를 범하는 것입니다. 성경에는 너희 하나님을 시험하지 말라고 가르칩니다. 이것의 의미는 완벽한 보호와 보장을 의미합니다. 성도의 삶은 예수 그리스도의 보호 아래 있습니다.

우리가 복음전도의 일을 하고 있다면 우리는 가장 강력하게 예수님의 보호를 받을 것입니다. 인간은 아주 쉽게 상처를 받습니다. 우리는 가장 가까운 사람에게서도 자주 상처를 받습니다. 우리는 자주 실망하고 좌절하고 의기소침하고 당황하기 쉽습니다. 우리는 때론 동물이나 무생물보다도 더 상처받기 쉽습니다. 그러나 기억하십시오. 이것은 비밀입니다만, 여러분에게 엄청난 축복이라는 것을 알아야 합니다. 아무에게나 상처를 받지 않는 가장 좋은 방법은 우리의 삶을 바쳐서 복음전도하는 일입니다. 이것은 만고불변의 진리입니다.

예를 들어 보겠습니다. 스데반을 보십시오. 사도행전 7장에서 스데반이 이것을 증명하고 있습니다. 스데반은 기독교 교회사에서 최초로 순교한 사람입니다. 그는 매우 치명적인 독을 먹었습니다. 그러나 상처를 입지 않았습니다. 그는 아무 잘못도 하지 않았습니다. 그러나 성난 군중들은 그에게 이를 갈면서 목청껏 소리치면서 스데반을 위협하고 그가 죽을 때까지 그에게 돌을 던졌습니다.

여러분이 스데반의 입장이었다면 어떻게 반응했을까요? 그러나 스데반은 이러한 끔직한 상황에서도 그는 영적으로 전혀 상처를 입지 않았습니다. 그는 그들을 미워하지 않았고 저주하지도 않았습니다. 오히려 그는 그들을 위해서 기도했습니다. 그들에게 죄를 돌리지 말아주십시오 그는 죽어가면서도 예수님께서 십자가에서 하셨던 것과 같은 기도를 했습니다. 예수님은 십자가에 못 박혀서 숨을 거두시면서도 아버지 저들을 용서하여 주시옵소서 그들은 자기들이 무엇을 하는지 모르나이다. 스데반 역시 주여 그들에게 죄를 돌리지 마시옵소서.

이 때 스데반의 얼굴은 해같이 빛나고 그는 하늘의 문이 열리고 하나님의 영광이 나타나고 예수님께서 하늘의 보좌에서 일어나는 것을 보았습니다. 그는 결코 치명적인 독 때문에 해를 입지 않았습니다.

  • 어떻게 이런 일이 가능할까요?
  • 무엇이 그렇게 만들었을까요?
  • 그의 인격일까요, 그의 인내심일까요, 그의 도덕심일까요, 그의 자제력일까요, 그의 자기 훈련의 결과일까요? 아닙니다. 그것은 바로 복음전도의 능력입니다.
  • 그 때 당시 스데반은 무엇을 하고 있었습니까?

그 순간에 스데반은 예수의 이름으로 구원의 복음을 전하고 있었습니다. 그는 성령에 충만해 있었습니다. 예수님은 어제나 오늘이나 언제나 동일하십니다. 여러분이 성령에 충만해서 복음전도할 때 구원의 기쁜 소식을 전할 때 아무도 여러분을 해치지 못합니다.

마태복음 10장 28절에서 두려워 말라 너희의 몸을 죽이고 영을 죽이지 못하는 것을 두려워 말고 몸과 영을 죽여서 지옥에 보내는 하나님을 두려워하라. 항상 명심하시기 바랍니다. 상처를 입지 않는 최선의 방법은 내 전 생애를 바쳐서 복음전도하는 일입니다.

마지막으로다섯 번째 복음전도의 표적은 18절 후반부에 나오는 그들이 아픈 사람에게 손을 얹은즉 나으리라. 문자 그대로 아픈 사람을 위해서 기도하면 그것을 낫게 하시는 분은 하나님이십니다.

여러분도 주변에 있는 사람들을 위해 기도하십시오. 다만 기도하는 것은 우리의 본분입니다. 응답하시는 것은 하나님의 일입니다. 절대로 결과에 대해 두려워하면서 움츠리지 말기를 바랍니다. 내가 말하는 것은 영적인 의미로는 계시록 21장 4절에서 우리 주 예수님은 우리의 눈의 모든 눈물을 닦아주신다고 말씀하십니다.

여러분 눈에 눈물이 있을 때 어떤가요? 마지막 날에 예수님께서 약속하시기를 내가 너의 눈에 있는 모든 눈물을 닦아주겠다. 우리가 눈물을 머금고 예수 앞에서 줄을 섰을 때 예수님은 우리 한 사람 한사람을 차례로 눈물을 닦아주실 것입니다. 그곳에는 더 이상 죽음이 없습니다. 고통과 눈물과 통곡하는 일은 없습니다. 아무런 질병도 없습니다. 코로나도 없습니다. 어떠한 곤란한 문제도 없습니다. 늙음도 없습니다. 그곳에서는 완벽한 웰빙이 될 것입니다.

복음전도 즉 구원의 기쁜 소식을 전하는 사람에게 예수님께서 완벽한 천국의 웰빙을 선물할 것입니다. 영원한 천국의 복된 삶입니다. 아픈 사람에게 손을 얹고 기도하면 나으리라는 의미는 우리가 복음전도하면, 예수 안에서 천국에서 영원한 복락을 누리게 될 것이라는 의미입니다. 복음전도는 그 자체가 우리에게 완벽하고 영원한 천국의 축복된 삶에 대한 보장입니다. 위의 모든 표적들은 바로 복음전도의 표적입니다. 복음전도하지 않으면 이러한 표적도 일어나지 않습니다. 전도가 없으면 표적도 없다. 전도하면 표적이 있다.

이제 20절을 다시 천천히 읽어봅시다. 제자들이 두루 전파할 쌔 주께서 함께 역사하사 그 따르는 표적으로 말씀을 확실히 증거하시니라. 19절에서 예수님은 하늘나라로 이미 올라가셨고 하나님의 우편에 앉으셨다. 그리고 20절에서는 제자들이 어디에서든지 누구에게든지 복음을 전할 때 예수님께서 그들과 함께 하셨고 그의 말씀을 입증하기 위해서 표적이 함께 일어났다라고 말씀하고 있습니다.

이 표적은 모두 우리 주 예수 그리스도께서 행하신 것이고 우리가 무슨 능력이 있어서 행한 것은 아닙니다. 우리가 어떻게 신앙생활을 하고 얼마나 오랫동안 신앙생활을 한 것과는 상관없이 복음전도하지 않으면 어떠한 표적도 나타나지 않고, 복음전도를 한다면 반드시 표적이 나타난다는 것입니다.

여러분이 과거에 복음전도를 했다면 표적이 나타났을 것이고 앞으로도 복음전도만 한다면 계속해서 표적은 나타날 것입니다. 여러분의 삶에서 어디에서 있든지 누구를 만나시든지 복음전도하면서 예수님의 표적도 함께하시기를 축원합니다.

저도 제가 있는 곳에서 전도할 것입니다. 제가 비록 떠날지라도 다음에 지구상에서 어딘가에서 또는 하늘나라에서 여러분을 만나면 한 때 하나님의 동역자로서 그리스도의 가족으로서 세상에 함께 살면서 예수님의 이름으로 전도하면서 승리했다는 기쁨을 나눌 수 있기를 바랍니다.

하나님이 여러분을 축복하시길 바랍니다.

감사합니다.

  • Apr 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Easter, Sermons

Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

2020 Easter Service

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

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Resurrection power is available for us in our daily lives.

1 Corinthians 15
The Resurrection of Christ

1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,


Christ is Risen! Amen!

Christ is alive in your life all the time? Yes, Christ is risen. He died for our sins, rose for our salvation, and is still alive now forever and ever.

Rev “That Jesus is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.”

Yes, Jesus is the reason we celebrate. What power! What love! What victory! What triumph!

v. 1 “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you,”

Every Sunday, I preach the gospel to you, but let me now remind you of the gospel message. It is “Good News” of great joy for all the people, eternally. Yes, every day we need good news, especially nowadays especially in these not good looking situations thanks to corona virus.

Imagine, if a perfect vaccine for corona virus is made and all patients are cured immediately, what good news! Yes, I pray and hope for peace for the suffering of those people with the virus.

But the gospel is so much BETTER news than even that kind of good news.

v. 2 “By this gospel you are saved.”

Gospel is the perfect vaccine for life.

v. 3-4 is clear in the message of the gospel.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

This is very clear. This is the core message of the gospel. Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation.

Here, we can see twice “according to the Scriptures” (v. 3, 4).

From Genesis to Revelation, this phrase appears only 2 times, here. So what does this mean?

You may think it means, “as prophesied in the OT”, and that is not wrong, but it means so much more than that. It is the summary of the whole Bible – the message, the theme, the main topic of the whole Bible:

  • Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our salvation.

This is what “according to the Scriptures” means.

Now, let me summarize the gospel message.

  • OT: The prophecy of the coming Messiah, his death, and resurrection.
  • Gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John): The literal fulfillment of this – and Jesus’ death is a substitutionary death for us. That is why these books are called gospels.
  • Acts: The fruit of the resurrection of Christ: the church (called the body of Christ) – He is the “head” of the church.
    • So the period of time between his resurrection and second coming = the period of Mission – the growth of the church.
  • Revelation: the future, the coming king, the lord of lords, the final God.

There is no gospel message without the death and resurrection of Christ. This is the heart, the core of everything we believe, receive and experience both on earth and in heaven later.

Jesus said, “It is finished.”

He was pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah)

God made him who was without sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter: Jesus himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and rise to righteousness.

1 Peter 3:18 Jesus died for the sins of this world, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you and me to God.

Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been reconciled, how much more shall we be saved through his resurrection.” The cross and the resurrection go together all the time, they are inseparable.

Without the resurrection, the cross is a complete failure.

“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised for our life. Who is it that condemns? … He is able to save completely those who come to him.” (Romans?)

Remember, by his resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies, and Satan. He defeated the source of sin, all worry, anxiety, bitterness, the past, the shame, all problems which come from sin. Satan was defeated and conquered and under the feet of Christ. This means, Satan is not “going to” be defeated at some point in the future, but he “was” defeated in the past already. Jesus sealed Satan’s defeat by his resurrection. So we must know that Satan has no power over you and me unless you give power to him. He has no authority unless you give it to him.

Col 2:15 “Jesus Christ has disarmed all powers, authorities, principalities, and has made a public spectal of them, triumphing over them by his cross.”

His resurrection power sets us free from all enemies, from Satan, from sin, from worries, from anxieties, shame, the past, bitterness.

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because he lives in you.”

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available in you.

Resurrection power does not come from heaven tomorrow, but is in you now.

Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me shall live even though he dies.”

This is the resurrection power.

Then, how is it possible to enjoy this resurrection power in our practical lives?

How can we enjoy this?

Let me share HOW we can enjoy this power practically and really this power in our daily lives. Let me share 4 things about this power in our lives.

1. By believing

– By faith we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord, we can experience and enjoy his resurrection power.

We know that resurrection power / life is available for us. Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. He rose for our salvation. But we must believe it, we must accept it by faith. When you believe it, the truth becomes a reality. We must recognize the reality of God’s spirit living in us and making our mortal lives immortal.

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

2. By confessing

– With our words, our mouths, our tongues we can enjoy this power.

Speak with your words what you believe in your heart. Your word has power. “My word has power.”

Romans 10:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your tongue that you confess and are saved.”

Please, every morning when you wake up, declare, “Jesus’ resurrection power is living in me! It is available for me! It is living and working through me today.”

3. By applying

– The name of Jesus Christ, the blood of Christ, the resurrection power to every situation, we can enjoy resurrection power practically.

Yes we know Satan is defeated already. If any challenge or trial comes to you, for example, fears, worries, shame, bitterness, temptation to sin, etc, apply the name of Jesus and declare, “The curse is OVER in my life!” Declare it and act on it.

The enemy is defeated, we know that. He was sealed, we know that. But we must still act on it.

Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, he will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who lives in you.”

Practically, this means that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available for you and me, by faith. So, every day, we must apply the blood and name of Christ.

4. By preaching the gospel

– (very important)

Let’s return to the text:

v. 1 “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you”
v. 3 “what I received I passed on to you as of first importance”

Please remember all the time, the gospel is Good News of great joy for the salvation of everyone who believes.

If we accept this, and believe it, we are to preach it to others as well.

If you are saved, the gospel message is passed on to you by somebody.

Why was it passed on to you? In order to BE passed on to others.

Gospel: “Good news” News should be announced. News is news when it is announced and shared with others. That’s why after his resurrection, there was one comment and commission he left for us to do as his followers as of first importance.

Mark: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

Amen.

By believing in Christ,
by confessing with our mouth,
by applying the name of Christ, the blood of Christ,
by preaching the good news of Christ,
we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥ 허목사님 설교 완역(200412)

▸제목: 「여러분의 일상적인 삶에서 부활의 능력을 즐기십시오(Enjoy the Resurrection Power in Your Daily Life)」

▸본문: 고린도전서 15: 1-4)

『설교 전문』

예배당에 오심을 환영합니다. 행복한 부활절(Easter)이시길 빕니다. 하나님께서 우리 모두를 자기 권능, 특히 부활의 권능(resurrection power)으로 축복하시기를 빕니다. 하나님의 부활의 권능은 믿음에 의해 저와 우리 모두에게 주어져(available) 있습니다. 그의 은혜와 자비로 우리의 일상생활에서 부활의 권능을 즐깁시다. 아멘. 갓 블레스 유!
이제 하나님의 말씀을 열어 보시겠습니다. 고린도전서 15장 1절에서 4절까지입니다. 사실상 고린도전서 15장은 부활의 장입니다. 1-4절 같이 읽겠습니다. 성경을 가지고 계신 분은 저와 함께 1절에서 4절까지 읽으시겠습니다. 제 1절입니다. (이어서 2-4절입니다.)

1: “(그리스도 안에서) 형제들(그리고 자매들)아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음이 너희에게 기억되기를 원하노니, 이는 너희가 받은 것이요 또 너희가 그 위에 서있는 것이라.”

2: “너희가 만일 내가 전한 그 말을 굳게 지키면 이 복음에 의해 너희는 구원을 받으리라. 그렇지 않으면 너희는 헛되이 믿은 것이니라.”

3: “내가 받은 것을 제일 중요한 것으로서 너희에게 전하였으니, 이는 성경대로 그리스도께서 우리 죄를 인하여 죽으시고,”

4: “장사되셨다가 성경대로 사흘 만에 다시 살아나셔서,”

아멘. 그리스도는 정말로 살아나셨습니다. 아멘? 여러분은 어떻습니까? 그리스도는 살아나셔서 늘 여러분의 삶에서도 살아계십니까? 예, 그리스도는 살아나셨습니다.
그리스도는 우리의 죄를 위해 죽으셨으며 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다(rise again). 그리고 지금도 영원히, 영원히 살아 계십니다.
요한계시록 1:7은 이렇게 말합니다.

“보라, 다시 살아나신 그가 구름을 타고 오시리라. 모든 눈이 그를 볼 것이며, 그를 찌른 자들도 그를 볼 것이니라.”

얼마나 놀라운 구원자이시고, 주님이시고, 왕이시고, 하나님이신지요! 그렇습니다. 예수님은 살아나셨습니다. 얼마나 특별한 날을 우리는 축하하고 있습니까. 얼마나 놀라운 사랑의 힘입니까. 얼마나 대단한 승리(triumph)입니까!
1절은 말합니다.

“형제자매들아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음을 너희에게 기억하게 하노니,”

저에게도 또한 1절과 마찬가지로 여러분이 아시다시피 매주 주일마다 저는 제 설교시간에 복음을 전하고(preach) 있습니다. 그러나 지금 이 순간 저는 제가 주일마다 여러분에게 전해드리고 있는 복음을 여러분에게 기억시키기(remind of)를 원합니다.
복음이란 무엇입니까? 문자 그대로(literally)의 복음은 구원(salvation)의 기쁨을 뜻합니다. 우리는 복음(福音)을 간단히 ‘좋은 소식’(good news)이라 부르는데, 이는 영원토록 모든 사람에게 기쁨을 주는 좋은 소식이라는 말입니다.
예, 구원은 정말 좋은 소식이죠. 우리는 매일 좋은 소식을 원합니다. 모든 사람은 좋은 소식을 필요로 합니다.
특별히 요즘은 코로나 바이러스로 인해 좋아 보이지 않는 상황에서 우리는 지금 좋은 소식이 필요합니다. 저도 그렇고 여러분도 그렇고 좋은 소식이 필요한 거죠. 상상해 봅시다. 만약 코로나 바이러스에 대한 완벽한 백신이 개발된다면 이 세상의 모든 환자들이 완전히, 지금 바로(immediately) 처치되고 치유되어 이 세상에 더 이상 코로나 바이러스가 없어진다면, 얼마나 좋은 소식입니까? 저는 코로나 바이러스로 인해 고통 받고 있는 이 세상 모든 자들에게 위로와 평강과 회복(recovery)이 임하기를 기도합니다. 저는 기도하고 소망합니다.
그러나 복음은 이 세상의 어떤 것보다 더 좋은 소식입니다. 왜일까요? 이는 오직 복음에 의해 우리는 구원을 받기 때문입니다. 2절은 말합니다.

“오직 복음에 의해서만 너희가 구원을 받으리라”

복음은 죄에 대한, 지옥에서의 영원한 죽음에 대한 백신입니다. 이것이 모두가 복음을 필요로 하는 이유인 것입니다. 우리는 또한 매일 우리의 실제 삶에서 복음을 필요로 합니다.
그렇다면 복음의 메시지는 무엇일까요? 3절과 4절에는 무엇이 복음의 메시지인가가 명료하게 나타나 있습니다. 3절은 말합니다. (4절이 이어집니다)

3-4: “내가 받은 것(복음을 의미함)을 제일 중요한 것으로서(as of the first importance) 너희에게 전하였으니(pass on to), (복음의 메시지는) ‘이는 성경대로 그리스도께서 우리 죄를 인하여 죽으시고, 장사되셨다가 성경대로 사흘 만에 다시 살아나셨다(입니다)”

매우 명료합니다. 복음의 핵심(core) 메시지는 “예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨다(rose again)”입니다.
이 본문에서 우리는 ‘성경대로(according to the scriptures)’라는 표현이 두 번 반복됨을 알 수 있습니다. 3절에서 ‘성경대로’, 4절에서 ‘성경대로’… 창세기에서 요한계시록에 이르기까지 성경 전체에서 ‘성경대로’라는 구절(phrase)은 여기서만 딱 두 번 등장합니다. 오직 여기서만 ‘성경대로’라는 구절이 나타나는 것이죠.
그러면 이 구절 ‘성경대로’가 의미하는 바는 무엇일까요?
여러분은 이것이 구약 성경에 따라 예언되었고 그래서 이것이 신약에서 이루어졌다는 뜻으로 받아들이리라 생각합니다. 예, 그렇습니다. 옳은 말씀입니다. 그러나 ‘성경대로’가 의미하는 바는 훨씬 그이상인 것입니다.
‘성경대로’는 성경 전체의 요약, 전체 성경의 핵심적 메시지라는 의미입니다. 이는 성경 전체의 내용에 대한 요약이고 핵심적 메시지이자 주제입니다. 전체 성경의 핵심 적 화두는 ‘예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 사셨다’입니다. ‘성경대로’라는 것을 이것을 의미하는 것이죠.
지금 이 시간 저는 성경 전체의 메시지를 요약해 보기로 하겠습니다.

구약은 메시아의 오심과 그의 죽음과 그의 부활(resurrection)에 대한 예언(prophecy)입니다. 그리고 신약의 처음 4권 마태, 마가, 누가 및 요한은 메시아의 오심, 우리 죄로 인한 그의 죽음 및 우리의 구원을 위한 그의 부활을 문서로 이루어낸 것(literal fulfillment)입니다. 그러므로 우리는 예수님의 죽음과 부활을 대용적 죽음 (substitutionary death), 승리적 부활이라 부릅니다. 이 네 권의 책을 복음서(gospel books)라고 부르는 이유가 여기에 있습니다. 마태복음, 마가복음, 누가복음, 요한복음 이렇게요.
그리고 사도행전(Acts)은 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활에 대한 역사적 열매입니다. 이는 ‘교회’, 교회의 탄생을 말합니다. 이것이 교회는 그리스도의 몸이고 그리스도는 교회의 머리라 불리는 이유인 것입니다.
이로 인해 우리는 예수님의 부활 및 승천(ascension to heaven)과 그의 재림(second advent, second coming) 사이의 기간을 세계의 구원, 세계의 복음화(evangelization)를 위한 그리스도의 몸으로서의 교회 사역의 시대(era of church mission)라 부릅니다. 그리고 성경의 마지막 책 요한계시록(Revelation)은 우리 죄를 인해 죽으시고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셔서 영원토록 살아계시다가 곧 왕 중의 왕, 주인 중의 주인으로서, 최후의 심판관이요 최후의 하나님으로 영원토록 자기 나라를 세우고자 다시 오시는 예수님에 관한 책입니다.
이것이 성경 전체의 이야기입니다. 그러므로 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활이 없이는 기독교도, 교회도, 크리스천도, 복음 메시지도, 구원도 없는 것입니다. 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활은 우리가 이 세상에서, 또한 장차 천국에서 믿고 받아들이고 경험하는 모든 것들의 핵심(core)입니다.
예수 그리스도는 십자가 위에서 “다 이루었다(It is finished)”고 말씀하십니다. 이사야 57: 4-5에는 이렇게 기록되어 있습니다.

4: “그(메시아)는 실로 우리의 질고(infirmity)를 지고 우리의 슬픔을 당하였거늘(carry),…”
5: “그러나 그가 찔림(pierce)은 우리의 허물(transgression)을 인함이요, 그가 상함(crush)은 우리의 죄악(iniquity)을 인함이라. 그가 징계(punishment)를 받음으로 우리가 평화를 누리고 그가 채찍에 맞음(wound)으로 우리가 나음을 입었도다.”
………………………………………………………………………..
*역자 주: 제 개인적으로는 이 부분이 영어 원전과 우리말 번역의 어휘에 약간의 뉘앙스 차이가 있는 듯해서, 참고로 몇몇 어휘를 영어에 충실해서 정리해 드립니다.

infirmity: 허약함, 질병 infirm(허약한)의 명사형.
transgression 범죄, 범법 crush 짓누르다, 망가뜨리다
iniquity 사악함, 불의 wound 상처, 상처를 입히다 )
………………………………………………………………………..

아멘? 또 고린도후서 5:21에서는 말합니다.

“하나님이 우리를 위해 죄가 없는 자(예수 그리스도)를 죄가 있는 것으로 만드셨으니, 이는 그의 안에서 우리가 하나님의 의가 되게 하려 하심이니라”

베드로전서 2: 24에는 이렇게 쓰여 있습니다.

“그(예수 그리스도)는 친히 나무(십자가)에 달려 그의 몸으로 우리 죄를 감당하셨으니(bear), 이는 우리로 죄에 대하여 죽고(die to sins) 의에 대하여 살게 하려 하심이라. 저가 채찍으로 맞음으로 너희는 나음을 얻었나니”

마찬가지로 같은 책 베드로전서 3: 18에서는 말합니다.

“그리스도께서도 (이 세상을 위해) 단 한번에(once for all) 죄를 위하여 죽으사 의인으로서 불의한 자를 대신하셨으니, 이는 우리(여러분과 저)를 하나님 앞으로 인도하려 하심이라”

로마서 5: 8-9에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

8: “우리가 아직 죄인 되었을 때에 그리스도께서 우리를 위하여 죽으심으로 하나님께서 우리에게 대한 자기의 사랑을 확증하셨느니라(demonstrate)”

9: “우리가 그의 피로 인해 의롭다 여김을(하나님과의 화해를) 받았으니, 그(의 부활)를 통해 하나님의 진노(wrath)로부터 우리가 얼마나 더 구원을 받겠는가!”

이러한 내용들은 성경에서는 언제나 십자가와 부활은 떨어지지 않고(inseparably) 함께 감을 의미합니다. 십자가 없는 부활은 없고, 또한 부활이 없으면 십자가 죽음은 온전한 실패라는 이야기입니다. 이것이 로마서 4:25에서 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“예수 그리스도는 우리의 죄를 위해 십자가에서 죽음으로 건네어짐이 되었고, 그는 우리의 의롭다 여김을 위하여 죽음에서 다시 사셨느니라.”

누가 정죄합니까(condemn)? 죽으셨을 뿐만 아니라, 더욱이 다시 살아 나사 지금 하나님 우편에 앉아계시면서 우리를 위해 중보하고 계시는 예수 그리스도입니다. 예수 그리스도는 그에게 오는 자들을 자기를 통해 온전히 구원하실 수 있습니다. 왜냐하면 그는 살아계셔서 우리 모두를 위해 중보하시기 때문입니다. 아멘?
여러분 기억하십시오! 실질적으로 말하면, 예수님은 부활을 통해 모든 원수들을 물리치시고 정복하셨습니다. 특히 그는 부활을 통해 사탄을 물리치셨죠. 그는 죄의 근원을 물리치시고 모든 두려움, 걱정, 근심, 과거의 부끄러움과 또한 과거의 쓰라림 및 죄악에서 오는 모든 문제를 극복하셨습니다.
여러분이 알아두셔야 할 것은 사탄은 예수 그리스도의 발 아래에서 패하고 정복되었다는 사실입니다. 이는 사탄은 이제 앞으로는 언제든 패배하지 않을 것임을 의미합니다. 왜냐하면 사탄은 과거 2천 년 전에 이미 패배하였기 때문입니다. 아멘? 그러므로 사탄은 우리의 정복된 원수인 것입니다. 예수 그리스도는 자기 부활을 통해 이미 사탄의 패배를 인치셨기(seal) 때문이죠. 사탄은 그의 부활로 인해 패배한 것입니다.
그러므로 우리는 사탄은 여러분이 그에게 권능(power)을 주지 않는 한 여러분과 저에 대한 아무런 권능이 없음을 아셔야 합니다. 또한 사탄은 여러분이 그에게 권세(authority)를 주지 않는 한 우리에 대한 권세가 없습니다.
골로새서 2: 15에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“예수 그리스도는 정사(power)와 권세와 주권(principality)을 벗겨내어(disarm) 이들을 밝히 드러내시고 자기 십자가와 부활로 이들을 이겨냈느니라.”

이는 모든 적들에 대해 승리하셨음(triumph)을 의미합니다. 아멘? 이는 예수님의 부활 권능이 우리를 모든 원수들로부터, 사탄으로부터, 죄악으로부터, 두려움으로부터, 걱정으로부터, 근심으로부터, 과거 속에서 사는 것으로부터, 과거의 부끄러움으로부터, 또한 과거의 쓰라림으로부터 자유케 하신다(set free)는 뜻입니다.
로마서 8: 11에서 말합니다.

“예수를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이의 영이 너희 안에 거하시면 그리스도 예수를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이가 너희 안에 거하시는 그의 영으로 말미암아 너희의 죽을(mortal) 몸도 살리시리라”

이것이 무엇을 의미할까요? 이는 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 그분과 똑 같은 권능이 여러분 안에도 작용할 수 있음을 의미합니다. 아멘?
이는 놀라운 소식, 즉 “부활의 권능은 내일 하늘에서 오는 것이 아니라 부활의 권능은 지금 여러분 안에 있다”는 놀라운 소식인 것입니다. 아멘? 이것이 갈라디아서 2: 20에서 (바울이) 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“나는 그리스도와 함께 십자가에 못 박혔으니, 그러므로 이제는 내가 사는 것이 아니요 오직 그리스도가 내 안에 사시는 것이라. 이제 내가 육신 가운데 사는 삶은 나를 사랑하사 나를 위해 자기 자신을 주신 하나님 아들에 대한 믿음 안에서 사는 것이라.”

이것이 예수 그리스도가 다음과 같이 선포하신(declare) 이유입니다.

“나는 부활이요 생명이니, 나를 믿는 자는 비록 죽을지라도 살 것이요, 살아서 나를 믿는 자마다 결코 죽지 않으리라. 너희는 이를 믿느냐?”

이것이 부활의 생명이요 부활의 권능(resurrection power)입니다. 우리는 우리의 실제 삶에서 이 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있습니다. 그렇다면 우리가 어떻게 우리의 일상생활에서 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있을까요?
저는 이제 여러분과 실제로, 정말로 이런 종류의 권능을 우리의 일상생활에서 누릴 수 있는 방법에 대해 나누고자 합니다. 이런 종류의 삶, 이런 종류의 권능을 우리의 일상적인 삶에서 향유할 수 있는 네 가지 방법을 여러분과 나누도록 하겠습니다.

첫째, 믿음으로써 믿음을 통해 우리는 일상생활에서 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있습니다.
예수님을 우리 개인의 구원자이자 주인으로 믿음으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있습니다. 이는 믿음에 의해 예수 그리스도를 우리의 개인적 구원자이자 주인으로 받아들임으로써 우리는 우리 삶에서 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있다는 말입니다.
예, 우리는 압니다. 우리는 이미 인정합니다. 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능은 우리 앞에 부여되어 있습니다. 예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨습니다. 예수님은 우리의 칭의(justification)를 위해, 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다.
그러나 우리가 이를 반드시 믿어야만 하는 것입니다. 아멘? 믿음에 의해 이를 받아들여야만 합니다. 우리가 이것을 받아들일 때 그 진리가 여러분과 저에 대한 현실이 되는 것입니다.
우리는 우리 안에 거하시면서 우리를 살게 하시고 죽어야 할(mortal) 우리에게 삶을 주시는 하나님의 생명을 나날이 깨닫고 그것을 껴안을(embrace) 수 있어야 합니다.
그렇기 때문에 예수님께서는 우리에게 “나는 너희에게 생명을, 영원한 생명을, 부요한 생명을 주기 위해 왔노라”고 격려하십니다.
고린도후서 5: 17을 보시죠.

“그러므로 누구든지 그리스도 안에 있으면 새로운 피조물(새로운 남자, 새로운 여자)이라. 보라(behold), 옛 것은 지나가고 새것이 왔도다!”

아멘! 예수 그리스도를 개인적인 구세주로 믿음으로써 우리는 일상적인 삶에서 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있습니다. 매우 간단하면서도 아주 확실한 단 한 가지 방법인 거죠.

둘째, 우리의 말로, 우리의 입으로, 우리의 혀로 고백함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 누릴 수 있습니다. 즉, 우리가 우리 마음으로 믿는 것을 우리의 입으로 말함으로써 말입니다.
여러분은 여러분의 말이 능력이 있음을 아십니까? 여러분 스스로에게 말해 보십시오.

“내 말은 권능이 있다. 내 말은 권능이 잇다”

이것이 로마서 10: 9에서 이렇게 말하는 이유입니다.

“네가 만일 네 입으로(네 말로) 예수를 주로 시인하며 또 하나님께서 그를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 것을 네 마음에 믿으면 구원을 얻으리라.”

아멘! 여러분이 믿고 의롭다 여김을 받는 것은 여러분의 마음으로입니다. 또한 여러분이 고백하고 구원을 받는 것은 여러분의 입, 여러분의 혀를 통해서입니다.
바라건대 매일 아침 여러분이 잠에서 깨어 침대에서 일어날 때마다 이렇게 선포하십시오.

“부활의 권능이 내안에 살고 있다.”

여러분이 아침에 잠에서 깨어 일어날 때마다 여러분의 입으로 선포하십시오.

“그래 오늘도 부활의 권능이 내 앞에 놓여있다.”
“부활의 권능이 오늘 내 안에 살면서 나를 통해 일을 하고 있다.”

아멘!

셋째, 예수 그리스도의 이름, 예수 그리스도의 보혈, 부활의 권능을 모든 상황에 적용함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 실제로 그리고 진정으로 향유할 수 있습니다.
예, 우리는 사탄이 이미 십자가로 인해, 부활로 인해 패배했음을 압니다. 그렇다면 우리의 일상적인 삶에서 어떤 도전이 여러분에게 다가오고자 하면, 예로서 만약 두려움, 걱정, 근심, 과거의 부끄러움, 과거의 쓰라림, 혹은 죄의 유혹, 혹은 심장 한가운데의 고통이 여러분에게 닥쳐올 듯하면, 예수님의 이름을 받들어 선포하십시오.

“내 삶에 저주는 끝났다.”
“내 삶 가운데 원수는 패배하였다.”
“전에는 받아들였던 원수가 이제는 패배하였다”

이를 적용하고 그에 따라 행동하십시오! 예, 우리는 원수가 이미 패배했음을 압니다. 원수의 패배는 예수님의 부활의 권능으로 인침되었습니다(sealed). 우리는 이를 알고 있습니다. 그러나 우리는 이를 실행에 옮겨야(enforce) 합니다. 그것을 바탕으로 행동해야 합니다. 늘 로마서 8:11을 기억하면서 절대 실수하지 마십시오! 이는 앞에서 이미 언급되었습니다만, 한 번 더 반복하겠습니다.

“예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이의 영이 너희 안에 거하시면 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이가 너희 안에 거하시는 그의 영으로 말미암아 너희 죽을 몸도 살리시리라”

이것이 뜻하는 실질적인 의미는 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 것과 똑 같은 권능이 정확하게 여러분과 제 앞에 놓여 있다는 것입니다. 믿음에 의해 똑 같이 적용되는 것이죠. 그러므로 우리는 매일 예수님의 이름을, 특히 예수 그리스도의 보혈을 적용해야 하는 것입니다. 아멘?

마지막으로, 이는 매우 중요한 포인트입니다만, 복음을 전함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 향유할 수 있습니다.
다시 본문으로 돌아가서 1절을 보시죠.

1: “형제들아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음이 너희에게 기억되기를 원하노니,”

3절에서 이렇게 이어집니다.
3: “내가 받은 것(복음을 의미함)을 제일 중요한 것으로(우선순위 1번으로) 너희에게 전하였으니,…”

그렇습니다. 복음을 전파함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 가장 잘 누릴 수 있는 것입니다. 절대 잊지 마시고 꼭 기억하십시오! 복음은 큰 기쁨을 주는 구원에 관한 좋은 소식입니다. 복음은 모든 믿는 자의 구원을 위한 하나님의 권능입니다.
여기서 만약 우리가 구원을 위한 좋은 소식인 복음을 받아들인다면 우리는 또한 똑같은 구원, 똑 같은 부활의 권능, 그리고 또한 우리를 통해 하나님의 격려를 필요로 하는 다른 사람들에게 다시 이 소식을 전해주어야만 합니다.
만약 여러분이 구원을 받는다면 이는 복음 메시지가 어떤 사람에 의해 여러분에게 전해졌음(pass on to)을 뜻합니다. 왜 복음이 여러분에게 전해졌습니까? 여러분에게 복음이 전해지는 목적은 여러분을 통해 다른 사람들에게 전해지기 위함이라는 것을 기억하시기 바랍니다.
또한 복음은 뉴스입니다. 우리는 복음을 좋은 소식이라 부릅니다. 뉴스는 무엇입니까? 뉴스는 발표되어야 합니다. 뉴스는 발표되어야만 뉴스인 것이죠. 뉴스는 발표되기 위해서, 다른 사람들과 공유되기 위해서 존재하는 것입니다.
이것이 그의 부활 이후 예수님이 자기 제자들로서, 자기 추종자들로서 우리가 이행하도록 남기신, 가장 중요한 것으로서의 하나의 명령(Command), 하나의 사역(Commission)입니다. 마가복음 16: 15이 곧 이것입니다.

“너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민(all creation)에게 복음을 전파하라”

그가 부활 후 승천(ascension)하시기 남기신 단 하나의 문장은 “온 천하에 다니며 모든 사람들에게 좋은 소식을 전하라”입니다. 아멘!

(요약하면) 예수 그리스도를 믿음으로써, 우리의 말로 고백함으로써, 예수 그리스도의 이름을, 예수 그리스도의 보혈을 실제의 삶에 적용함으로써, 그리고 마지막으로 이 소식, 이 복음을 다른 사람들과 나누고 전파함으로써 우리는 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능을 누릴 수 있습니다. 아멘!

하나님께서 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능으로 우리 모두를 축복하시기를 빕니다. 갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도드립시다.

                  - 아 멘 - 
  • May 12 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Paul’s Defense before King Agrippa (Acts 26:1-32)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Paul’s Defense before King Agrippa (Acts 26:1-32)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 26:1-32 (Pastor Heo)

1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: 2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.

12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

16 ” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen– 23 that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29 Paul replied, “Short time or long–I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”


Felix kept Paul in prison for 2 years – not because Paul was guilty, but because he wanted bribes from Paul and favor from the Jewish people. He was not courageous to release him.

Festus, the next governor, also did not release him – as a favor to the Jews.

  • He said, “Do you want to stand trial before me in Jerusalem?”
  • Paul, “No, I’ve done nothing wrong. I appeal to Caesar!”

He decided to send Paul to Rome, but needed an “official” reason and documentation to send him.

At this moment, King Agrippa and Bernice (his sister) visited. He was great grandson of Herod who was afraid of baby Jesus a long time ago. Festus explained the situation and Agrippa expressed interest in hearing Paul. So, once again, Paul stood on trial.

Paul’s defense before King Agrippa

In this chapter, this is the longest of Paul’s speeches found in the book of Acts. He had to stop his speech because governor Festus stopped him. If Festus had not interrupted him, he may have gone on speaking more.

This chp is much more than a defense of himself and a review of his own personal religious experience. It is a statement of the Christian experience, and it explains his experience of conversion on the way to Damascus. (repeated also in chp 9, 22, 26 – here).

Paul received permission to speak for himself, but he spoke for Christ. v 2-23 = Paul’s defense. v. 24 = Festus’ interruption

5 Part Summary

of Paul’s defense

  1. v. 2-3 = Introductory remarks
  2. v. 4-11 = His early life (who / what he was before Christ)
  3. v. 12-18 = His conversion and call by Christ (main body)
  4. v. 19-21 = His confession of obedience to the vision and ministry
  5. v. 22-23 = Key message of the gospel (Jesus’ death and resurrection)

When Paul preached the key message of the gospel, Festus hindered him from going on.

1. Introductory remarks

v. 2-3

“2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.”

He hinted that his speech would be long and that he would appreciate patience.

2. His early life

(I also used to be anti-Christian.)

v. 4-11

“4 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.”

3. His conversion & call

“I saw a light (from heaven)! I heard a voice (from heaven). Christ called me and spoke to me from heaven.”

v. 12-18

“12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

16 ” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “

Once Paul considered himself an “enlightened” man. He was a Jew, Pharisee, doctor, scholar – with great enthusiasm for God. He thought he was in the light when he was totally in darkness. But he saw the light on the road to Damascus. What / who is this light? Jesus

  • Jesus: “I am the Light of the World…”
  • Also, the Bible says “God is light; in him there is no darkness.”
  • (Eph 5:8) “Once you were in darkness, now you are in the light of the Lord, so live in the light.”
  • Genesis 1 “In the beginning, there was God… and God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light. He saw that it was good. And he separated the Light from the darkness.”
    • This light that God created first was not the sun and stars (he created that on the 4th day). This Light was Life – the energy of life – all coming from God, from Jesus Christ.
  • John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God… all things were made by him and through him… In him was Light, the light of Man. The light has shined in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

All kinds of light comes from God.

Paul saw the light, and heard a voice, “Paul!” (he heard his own name)

Paul was shocked.

  • He thought Jesus was dead! – but here he was alive!
  • He also knew Paul BY NAME

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever – and he knows your name and he is calling you (by name).

Jesus called Paul, then sent him again. (v. 17 “…I am sending you…”)

We must know that Jesus’ calling and sending go hand-in-hand.

  • Jesus calls us from this world toward SALVATION.
  • But at the same time, he is sending us for SERVICE.

Outside Christ, people are in darkness.

2 Cor 4:4 “Our enemy Satan has blinded the mind of unbelievers so that they cannot see the Light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”

Jesus sends us to help them, to open their eyes.

1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation belonging to God – so that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.”

The same Jesus who says, “I am the light of the world” also says to us, “YOU are the light of the world.” What does this mean? Are we the same as Jesus?

No, we are the reflection of the real light in this world. Outsiders can find real light through us because we are the reflection of real light.

  • “I’m the light of the world.”
  • “I’m a reflection of the REAL light.”
  • “A city on a hill, a lamp on a stand… gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men so that they may glorify God in heaven.”
v. 17-18 The Perfect Summary of what God has done for us

“17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “

This is a perfect summary of what Jesus has done for you. If you believe, it will be yours, if you don’t believe, it will not. Jesus says, “It will be done to you as you believe.”

What Christ does for us

  1. He opens our eyes to things we’ve never seen before
  2. He turns us from darkness to Light (He himself is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”)
  3. Transforms us from the power of Satan to the power of God
  4. Gives us forgiveness of sins
  5. Sanctifies us

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation; the old has gone, the New has come.”

4. His confession to obedience of Christ’s calling

v. 19-21

“19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me.”

I call Jesus my Lord.

Do you call him your Lord?

How can you prove it?

By obedience.

God does not make us obey him (like robots) – but he wants us to obey him willingly, joyfully, thankfully. God is a person, we are persons – so God wants a personal relationship. God created us as people with personalities – he also has a personality – so he wants a personal, intimate relationship. God bless us all to prove his lordship over our lives through obedience.

5. Key message of the gospel

This is the highlight of the defense

v. 22-23

“22 But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen– 23 that the Christ would suffer [die] and, as the first to rise from the dead [resurrect], would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” “

He introduced Jesus as the first person to rise from the dead. But actually, Jesus was NOT the first person to rise from the dead. There were at least 5 more before him.

  1. OT – Elijah – one boy
  2. OT – Elisha – one boy
  3. Paul raised one
  4. Jesus raised a boy (Lazarus)
  5. and girl (Tabitha)

But all of them died again. Yet, Jesus STILL lives. He exists still in the same body. And some day he will come again – in the same body. Believe this now to enjoy abundant, eternal, heavenly life in Christ. If you wait, it may be too late.

At this point, the governor STOPPED Paul.

Shall I stop? Soon. But let us finish.

v. 24-25

“24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.”

Yes, Jesus was once called insane. People pointed at him and said, “He is out of his mind and demon-possessed.”

What is the purpose of Jesus in this world? To destroy the works of the devil. Yet, they called him “demon-possessed.”

We are followers of Christ.

Have you ever been called “crazy” because of Jesus? “Jesus freak.”

What is your answer?

Don’t ask me, I’m asking you.

Today, it’s the same. Think about it honestly. Which is more important? Football or salvation? Climbing mountain or salvation? Your name in lights or in the Book of Life? Temporary physical pleasure or eternal joy? Temporary reputation and popularity or glory, reward crown from God in eternity?

Be honest in giving answers to these simple, basic questions.

IF you risk your life for football, or mountains, or pop songs, this world will respect you and honor you and call you, “hero” and “icon.”

But if you risk your life for Jesus, this world will call you “crazy.”

If this is true, I want to be called “crazy” in this world. I want to challenge you with this.

v. 26-32

“26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29 Paul replied, “Short time or long–I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” “

At this last part, Paul became the judge, and the King became the defendant. He witnessed about the difference Jesus makes in someone’s life. Can you witness even in court like this? Yes, with Christ, you can.

Rather than complain about your present circumstances, look for ways to use EVERY circumstance to share God with others.

Unfortunately, all of them rejected the message of the gospel – Felix, Festus, Agrippa. “No thank you.” They all had excuses.

  • Felix: “I’m too busy.”
  • Festus: “I’m too smart.”
  • Agrippa: “I’m too important.”

Today, these excuses (and many more) are still common. What excuses do you use to avoid Jesus’ word, ministry, mission, evangelism?

On THAT day, when we stand before God face-to-face, you are without excuse.

Please, say to God, “Forgive me” but never say, “Excuse me.”

On THAT day, you have no excuse.

What a wonderful thing is the opportunity to trust Christ and be saved. But what a terrible thing is missing that opportunity and not getting another.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 24 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Same and Different
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Same and Different

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 22:1-21 (Pastor Heo)

[Background from last week (chp 21). After Paul was arrested and being carried to the barracks, he decided: NOW was the time to share his story.]

1 “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.” 2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.

3 Then Paul said: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as also the high priest and all the Council can testify. I even obtained letters from them to their brothers in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.

6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’

8 ” ‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.

9 ” ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.

10 ” ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.

11 ” ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.

12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.

14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick!’ he said to me. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’

19 ” ‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these men know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’

21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.'”


In the Bible, Paul is the only person whose conversion experience is repeated more than once. (Here, chp 22, and chp 26).

Paul is calling the people who arrested him, beat him, and tried to kill him as, “brothers and fathers.” How is this possible? He was filled with the HS. The HS makes us gentle, kind, meek, etc.

“Listen to my defense” – in Greek (apollo gia) – from this Greek word “apologize / apologetics.” In seminary, there is the “study of reasonable, logical Christian faith and doctrine” – Apologetics – and we are all apologists (defenders of the Christian doctrine).

Paul’s defense is paradoxical. It emphasizes two different things.

1. Stresses his Identification

(and commonality with those he wishes to evangelize)

v. 2-5 (He identifies himself with the crowd)

For example: “Yes, my practical language is Aramaic, I’m a Jew, I grew up here, I was educated under Gamaliel – whom you all respect (one of the greatest scholars of that time), and I was once zealous for God as you are today – but wrongly. I persecuted Christians once as you are now persecuting me. I arrested them, as you are arresting me. I was like you at one time.”

2. Emphasized the difference between himself and the crowd

“I met Jesus. I was converted and the conversion was not an issue of defection, but divine intervention. I met Christ, the God of the Jews and the Gentiles, the God of all people.”

“Even though I’m in this world, Jesus has set me apart and consecrated me for a special purpose.”

I’m the same as you, but I’m different from you.

  • This is also our identification
    • without loss of our identity.
  • Also Christ was identified with us
    • without loss of his identity.

This is the key point, main idea, given to us in this text.

“Jesus is like me” – born as a full man, lived in a particular part of history, with a birthday and birth place – born as a boy baby in a real time, way, through a real human mother. He grew up in wisdom and stature as human beings do. He was subject to the ordinary laws of human development in body and soul. He possessed a human nature, was subject to human weakness and infirmaries (he had to eat, sleep, rest – experienced hunger, sickness, pain, etc). He exposed himself to all kinds of temptations we experience today.

  • Hebrews 2:18 “Jesus suffered when he was tempted, so he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
  • “We do not have a High Priest with is unable to sympathize with us – he was tempted as we are in every way, yet was without sin.”

That’s why he can empathize with us fully because he experienced these things.

  • “Jesus is different from me.” – fully God.
  • “Jesus is God.”
  • “Jesus is full God.”

There are 5 things to share as evidence of Jesus’ divinity.

1. Divine titles are given to Christ

He’s called “Son of God”, Savior, Lord, Alpha and Omega, First and Last. But more importantly, he is called directly “God.”

The English word “Lord” is translated from Greek “cureos” is translated from Hebrew “adonai” which means “God.”

“Jesus Christ is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)

2. Divine worship is ascribed to him

Who are you worshiping now?

Jesus himself says, “Worship belongs to God alone.”

  • In the temptation of Christ, Satan tempted him, “If you bow down and worship me, I’ll give you all these things.”
  • Jesus refused and quoted Scripture: “Go away from me, it is written, ‘Worship God alone.'”

“At the name of Christ, all knees should bow and all tongues confess that Christ is Lord.”

All creation, all angels, spiritual beings, all humans will worship Christ. This means, he is “God.”

3. He possesses qualities and properties of divinity

1. Pre-existence

Before Creation of the world, he IS. “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Before the foundation of the universe, I AM.

John 1:1 “In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

2. He has self-existence and life-giving power

John 1:1 “In him was Light and the light was life giving.”

Jesus says, “I’m Life.” – this means he is self-existent outside our life. All life has its source in Christ.

3. He possesses immutability

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

All Creation changes – the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, you and me. Only God is unchangeable, immutable in his character, power, wisdom, etc. Only God is unchangeable. And Jesus is unchangeable. “He is…” God.

The fullness of diety dwells in Christ

The very essence and nature of God are in Christ.

4. Divine jobs are ascribed to Christ

  • What is your job? Everybody has a job.
  • Man has man’s job, God has God’s job.
  • What is the business of God?
    • Creating

Can you create something out of nothing? No. Only God is creator. Jesus is Creator of the universe.

John “Through Christ, all things were created. All that has been made has been made through him and finds its being in him.”

The Creation is the revelation of Christ’s mind, wisdom, power, and might.

He is sustainer of all things, keeper of all things, before all Creation, and in him, all things hold together.

Hebrews: “Christ is the exact representation of God’s glory and sustaining all things through his powerful word.”

Jesus’ powerful word causes all things to hold together.

The pulse (in your heart) of life is regulated and controlled by the throbbing of the mighty heart of Christ – creator, sustainer, forgiver.

He alone has the right and authority to forgive sins. But forgiveness of sin is the right of only God.

He does not merely say, “You’re forgiven” but he actually, actively forgives our sins.

“The blood of Christ purifies our sins.”

5. He raises the dead

This is the job of God. But Jesus repeats this several times in the book of John, “I am the resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live though he die… And I will raise them up in the final day.”

6. He is the judge over all Creation

These are the jobs of God:

  1. Creator
  2. Sustainer
  3. Forgiver
  4. Raiser of the Dead
  5. Judge

Through these jobs, we can know that Jesus is God.

Divine Attributes

1. Omnipotent (All powerful)

“All authority, all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” – Jesus

We know the storm (typhoon) obeyed Christ. All Creation obeys Christ – this means he has all power and authority on earth – also in heaven, and also in hell – even Satan obeys Christ.

2. Omniscience (all-knowing)

He knows all and sees all – past, present, and future.

He does not learn this knowledge by study – he simply knows everything through immediate perception.

Jesus knows all realities, possibilities, all potential, all happenings, all motives, all thoughts, all secrets, all mysteries. He knows what you are thinking – he knows our hidden motives. He knows, and we have nothing to hide from the sight of God.

3. Omnipresence (everywhere at once)

He fills all things at all times – he is in all men, all evangelists, all missionaries, all Creation.

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me, so go and make disciples of all nations. And behold, I am with you always until the end of the Age.” (Great Commission)

Jesus is the same as us, but also different.

Also, Paul is explaining this to the men in Jerusalem.

Also, we are the same as this.

We have certain similarities with others, non-believers – membership cards, skills, passions, workplaces, age, children, life status, life situation. Take these things and use them as a springboard for the gospel.

Jesus also did this for the Samaritan woman at the well.

What was her immediate concern? Water.

She came to the well for water. So, Jesus approached her through the matter of water. “Will you also give me something to drink?” Because her first concern was water, Jesus approached her with water.

But soon, Jesus shifted from physical water to spiritual water. “Whoever drinks this water, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. The water I give them will be a spring of water welling up in them to eternal life.”

Soon, she was evangelized by Christ and immediately she also became a powerful evangelist (running into the town to tell everyone).

Her life up to that point had been very shameful – she’d had 5 husbands up to that time, and she didn’t like to speak in public. But in leaving her water, she ran into town, shouting and proclaiming, “Come and see!”

Question:

Is Jesus your Lord?

IF Jesus is really really your Lord (my Lord), we should say to him (every day, every moment), “What shall I do, Lord?”

If he is your Lord, this means, you are his servant / slave. So, you must be ready ALL THE TIME to obey the command of the Lord.

Paul saw Jesus as Lord, and his FIRST response was, “What shall I do, Lord?”

This means he was READY to obey the command of Christ.

So, if Jesus is really your Lord, you should be prepared ALL THE TIME to say, “Lord, what shall I do?”

Then, when we ask this, we must LISTEN.

LISTEN….

If you do like this, “Lord, what must I do?” and immediately go do your own thing, then this sentence is useless. You must be ready to LISTEN.

Jesus spoke to Saul from heaven, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Jesus spoke to Paul through Ananias.

He spoke to Paul through his friends, and through circumstances, and through visions / dreams.

Jesus spoke to Paul in several ways.

Like this, today, because Jesus is alive and the same yesterday, today, and forever, IF we ask, “Lord, what shall I do?”, then he will speak to us in various ways – but most of all through:

Bible, meditation, circumstances, friends, prayer,

And we must make it our goal to LISTEN to what he’s saying to us.

  • The right question is NOT: “Is Christ speaking to me?” (He IS)
  • The right question is rather: “Am I listening to Christ?” (Are you?)

Last verse: “Go, I will send you far away to the Gentiles.”

Here there is a very strong commandment.

  • v. 10: “get up!”
  • v. 16 “get up!”
  • v. 18 “quick!”
  • v. 21 “go!”

Jesus calling today is the same, in only two words:

  1. “COME” (to me)
  2. “GO” (into the world)

Get up! Get up! Quick! Go!

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:13-22

Exorcism used to be a more common practice. Even in Korea, we once could see this happening on the street.

Some people tried to call on the name of a stronger demon to cast out a weaker demon. (Often this meant “more money”).

But when these people saw extraordinary miracles happening with Paul’s aprons and handkerchiefs, they thought “Wow, this Jesus must be the most powerful evil spirit!” So they started to use his name in their own exorcisms.

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

Acts 19:13

These people thought that they could use God’s power (Christ’s power) for bad practices. They realized they couldn’t use his name like a magic charm – they were calling on his name without knowing him personally.

Even today, we must be careful not to misuse this name. This is the most powerful, strongest, purest, holiest name.

One of the 10 Commandments says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” (Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain).

Jesus says, “Many will come to me and say, ‘Lord, did we not drive out demons, perform miracles, preach in your name?’ But I will tell them, ‘I never knew you! Away from me evil doers!'”

Yes, we may use his name, but we must not misuse his name.

Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

Acts 19:15-16

These men were overpowered and received a beating.

  • The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent.
  • Satan is NOT everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful. But he KNOWS Jesus.

In the gospels (Luke 4:34), when a man encountered Jesus he cried out, “What do you want from me Jesus? Have you come to destroy me?” Yes, demons KNOW about Jesus, but they don’t KNOW him.

John 17:3 “This is eternal life: that they know God and him he sent.”

Knowing about Jesus is totally different from knowing him personally. This includes having a personal relationship, fellowship with him.

Do you know the US President? I know about him, but since he doesn’t know about me, then I can’t say I know him. Knowing Jesus saves us – not knowing about him.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.

Acts 19:17

8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11

Please remember, God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that all would bow and worship him.

18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Acts 19:18-19

The lesson from this story is: we should do our best to avoid all kinds of evil.

1 Thes 5:22 “Avoid every kind of evil.”

  • sorcery
  • black magic
  • magic arts
  • fortune telling
  • idolatry

These are all Satanic, demonic, evil jobs. We must keep ourselves clean from these things. You know, making a clean break from sin can be costly. How much was the cost here? 50,000 drachmas – consisting of fortune telling scrolls and books. They burned them publicly.

NLT (New Living Translation) says, 50,000 drachmas = several million dollars. (Drachmas were silver coins at that time).

This means that a person CANNOT believe in Christ and hold onto the magic, demonic arts. It is too easy to become obsessed with these things. Satan is VERY powerful, but God’s power is even greater. That’s why we have hope.

1 John 4:4 “You, children of God, can overcome all these things because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in this world.”

Satan’s nickname is “god of this Age.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Remember that one of the main purposes of Jesus’ appearance in this world was to destroy the work of the devil.

  • save us
  • make us children of God
  • give us eternal life
  • destroy the works of the devil

1 John 1:8 “Whoever does what is sinful belongs to the devil for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The purpose of the Son of God in this world is to destroy the works of the devil.”

Yes, we know the Holy Spirit has many ministries, but the KEY ministry is to “testify about Christ.” To encourage us that we have eternal life. If we know this ministry, then we can also understand the ministry of demons. Also, they have many jobs, but their key job is to “prevent us from believing in Christ.”

2 Cor “Satan has blinded the eyes so they cannot see the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”

One of Jesus’ main purposes: remove sin + undo the work of Satan

His coming brought defeat to Satan (already). So, do not be afraid, for Satan is already a vanquished foe. He has lost his hold on his subjects. Someday (soon), he will be cast out into the lake of fire, and all things he has worked through sin will be undone.

If this is true, Jesus’ purpose is to remove sin, then we must also NOT compromise with sin in the purposes of the devil – or we will find ourselves fighting against Christ! Do you prefer to serve Christ or fight Christ? If you sin, you fight Christ. We should not fight him, but worship him.

20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Acts 19:20

This is another progress report in Ephesus. Events demonstrate that the gospel was spreading. Christ was building his church (“I will build my church,” he says, “On this rock [this confession of faith], I will build my church, and the power of hell cannot overcome it. I give you the keys to heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Did you know you were so powerful, holding these keys? So, we have a mission.

Paul’s final resolution

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:21-22

Paul’s resolution: to visit Rome

Do you have also New Year’s resolutions?

Let us follow Paul’s resolution – he is a good example, a good martyr. His resolution: to go to Jerusalem, and then to Rome. Why?

  • Why go to Jerusalem?
  • Why go to Rome?

Jerusalem

It was very poor financially, materially. So, he wanted to take a collection through all the churches he planted in Macedonia – as a contribution to the Jerusalem church. The references to these collections are in his epistles: Corinthians, Romans

25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.

Romans 15:25-26

His first purpose for going to Jerusalem was to collect money for the church – he had two reasons:

  1. To emphasize the unity of the church, the ONE body of Christ
  2. Also to take them away from a single church focus and give them a vision of a universal church

You know, Antioch church is a complete unit, a church, but itself is also just a part of the universal body of Christ.

“Let us love not only in our words, but also in action and truth.”

Rome

This was his final mission place. Where is your Rome?

“I must visit Rome also.” He had a sense of divine conviction to go. Everywhere he looked, he could see the influence of Rome. So, he wanted to take the eternal truth of God to the “eternal city” of Rome – the center of influence at that time. How old was he at that time? Mid 50s (older than me). At that time, this was very old.

We know that Paul had already finished his two fruitful, but difficult missionary journeys. And now, he was at the end of the third missionary journey. But, he never thought of retiring from ministry.

When he wrote Romans, he wrote, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers. I pray, now, at last, the door may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you to give you a spiritual gift to make you strong. I planned to come to you so many times. I’m a debtor to the gospel, to the Jews and Greeks, and all, that’s why I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome.” This is not the eagerness of a sightseer, but an evangelist.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation for all who believe.”

Yes, after this, we also must go OUT into this world.

Jesus says, “As my Father sent me into this world, so I’m sending you out to the world.” (not into the church) – even twice he repeated this.

We cannot sit back. That is the example we have in Christ. Before man came to Christ, Christ came to man. This is the story throughout the Bible. Before we called him “Lord, Lord” he called us. Before we chose him, he chose us (even before the foundation of the world) to be holy and blameless in his sight – to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Christ.

Do you want to be happy? (Raise your hand)

Also I want to be happy. Our Lord Jesus says, “He who wants to save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” What does this mean practically?

In our application – to be happy – do not live for happiness. That is the secret. I know this secret, so I am standing here.

  • If you want to be happy, do not live for happiness.
  • If you want to be happy, live for the mission given you from God, then you will be happy as a bonus.

If I want to be happy, do not live for happiness.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 30 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Let’s Turn the World Upside Down! (Acts 16:31-17:15)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Let’s Turn the World Upside Down! (Acts 16:31-17:15)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let’s Turn the World Upside Down!

Acts 16:31-17:15 (Pastor Heo)

16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.

35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.

[Ministry in Philippi is complete – they move on to Thessalonica next.]

17:1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, ” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women. 5 But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

[Now on to the next mission field, Berea.]

10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. 13 When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 The men who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.


Proverbs 16:9: “A man plans his steps, but God determines the way…”

Philippi

Paul planned his path, but God led him to Macedonia. In his first mission field, his first convert was a woman named Lydia and she opened her house to the missionaries as a mission base.

They were then thrown in prison for casting a demon out of a slave girl who made her masters lots of money. In prison, they did not complain, but rather worshiped God with prayer and songs. Why? 4 reasons:

  1. God was with them
    • With God there is freedom
    • With God, there is light
  2. God is in control of all things
  3. They believed Jesus would reward them
  4. They believed the END would be fine

Yes, in Christian life, we believe there is no “end” because we have everlasting life – but at the END of the long road, everything would be fine.

“If I live, I live to the Lord; if I die, I die to the Lord. Whether I live or die, I do it for the Lord.”

At that time, God shook the foundations of the prison and opened the doors, and shook off the shackles. The jailer ran in and became their prisoner: “What must I do to be saved?” (This is the cry of all lost people in this world. He realized his need – he was lost. He realized his greatest need was salvation – this is the greatest need of all people on earth.)

  • To this, Paul answered: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved – you and your whole household.”
  • Yes, we know “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. It is with your heart you are justified and by your mouth you confess and are saved.”
  • “Salvation is the gift of God; by faith alone through grace alone – so that no one can boast.”

In this time, the jailer trusted in Christ + nothing and received his salvation.

One minute earlier, they had a jailer / prisoner relationship, but now they sat down together for breakfast – brothers in Christ, children of God together.

At that moment, the authorities sent a message to release them.

v. 32-40

“32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God – he and his whole family.

35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” 38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.”

Paul and Silas could have just left. But Paul said, “No! We are Roman citizens! Let them come and escort us out!” i.e. He didn’t reveal this information when he was being beaten and thrown in prison, but only afterward.

Like this, Jesus was fully divine, but did not use his divinity for his own benefit (as Paul also did not in this case). Paul likewise didn’t use his birth and Roman citizenship for his own privilege, but rather for the new Christians.

If he had left quietly, it would have been under a cloud of doubt: “Who were those men? Maybe they did something wrong…”

Rather, Paul wanted to leave behind the strong witness of his own integrity as a good witness for the baby Christians in Philippi. They went to Lydia’s house.

Can you imagine what must have happened there? Imagine the JOY as Paul and Silas recounted the events of the previous night. There was undoubtedly tears and laughter. Maybe they sang a few prison songs again and reenacted the earthquake. Whatever the agenda, it culminated in praise and worship again.

Also imagine the church in Philippi: Lydia and her household, maybe ex-slave girl, Philippian jailer and household, some ex-prisoners, etc. Rich, poor, slave, free, male, female – all are united in Christ Jesus. What a gospel!

Paul confessed: “I’m not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe.”

What is the gospel?

  • A gospel that cannot save a dying man is no gospel.
  • A gospel that requires MORE than faith in Christ is no gospel.
  • Salvation comes through ONLY faith in Christ + nothing.
  • This is the story of the good news of Jesus Christ, the gospel.

But, we must remember that Jesus requires of us – ALL we are and have.

— Then they left —

Thessalonica

v. 1-3

“1 When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ, ” he said.”

Key verse = v. 6

” 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,”

Paul and Silas were accused of:

TURNING THE WHOLE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!

In a sense the Christians were ones who were Turning the World upside down.

“I will turn the world upside down.”

In Paul’s day, Turkey was called: “Asia Minor” and Macedonia was probably over in that area.

  1. After he saw the vision of Macedonia, the first place he went was Philippi (in Greece).
  2. Next, he went to Thessalonica (farther east in Greece). 100 miles southwest of Philippi – he wrote two epistles. Thessalonica today is the second largest city in Greece.
  3. After this, he went to Berea – about 45 miles southwest from Thessalonica.
  4. Next (next Sunday), they went to Athens – the largest city in Greece (capital) and on the far southern end of the peninsula.
  5. Next, he went to Corinth (west of Athens).

Philippi > Thessalonica > Berea > Athens > Corinth

At that time, there were no country divisions. God said, “Go to Macedonia” and so he went. At that time, all of Greece was inside the province of Macedonia. (There is still a small country north of Greece called Macedonia). And at that time, Turkey was called “Asia Minor.”

Greece is the “cradle of Western civilization” – the birthplace of Western drama, literature, democracy, math, science, the Olympics, and so on. You know, the first mission field was in Greece 2,000 years ago…

Paul wrote two letters to the Thessalonians from there.

His practice was to go to the synagogue first. In Philippi, there was no synagogue, but in Thessalonica there was one, so he went on three consecutive Sabbath days.

Synagogues could be established wherever there were at least 10 Jewish males – and each had its own “hadongja” (leader) – and they were decide who would speak and give the sermon (it was customary to invite visiting rabbis – so this was Paul’s opportunity to share the gospel at the synagogue.) But usually, whenever he spoke the name “Jesus Christ”, the door was slammed to him and he was cast out.

But here is Paul, 3 Sabbaths in Thessalonica to preach about Jesus. We must remember, there is no greater word to be spoken than that of Christ – new life in Christ, forgiveness of sins.

When you have the opportunity to speak of Christ, SPEAK! Because the story of Christ is the Greatest word of encouragement.

To Paul’s preaching, some believed and were saved, but others opposed and persecuted him – but God continued to use the opposition and persecution to spread the good news of Christ.

There was an uproar in Thessalonica that forced them to travel to Berea (small town). In Berea, Paul and Silas met a very teachable Gentile audience, but bad (hostile) Jews came to Berea from Thessalonica to attack Paul’s work again. They succeeded only in getting Paul and Silas to Athens – the great capital city of Greece.

Paul and Silas were accused of turning the world upside down.

v. 6

“6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men **who have caused trouble all over the world** have now come here,”

KJV = “who have turned the world upside down

The doors of the prison were thrown open, people began to love each other deeply and serve and worship God.

This means the gospel is about TRANSFORMING lives. Let us ask God how he can transform our own lives and boundaries.

Even today (especially today), our world NEEDS to be “turned upside down.”

In a sense, Christ came into this world TO turn it upside down.

Yes, Christ was kind, and meek, and gentle, but he also came to turn this world upside down. Christ came to give us eternal, abundant life, salvation, peace. Jesus came here to give us peace. Do you have peace? He is the PRINCE of Peace. He is OUR Peace. He has made the two into One, and has torn down all barriers.

“My peace I leave with you; do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Matt 10:34 “Do not suppose I have come to bring peace. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

There is no question, Jesus is OUR peace, but he turns the WORLD upside down.

He has come to make the world right – to destroy the building of false peace in order to make real heavenly, lasting peace.

When God spoke in the Bible, he used human language.

When God spoke through Jesus Christ, he assumed human flesh, not that of an angel. i.e. in order to reveal himself to us, he emptied himself, humbled himself.

This is the essence of evangelism today. There is an essential emptying, humbling in any witness today. “Your attitude must be the same as Christ Jesus.”

Like Christ, we must be humble, and kind in our evangelism – we must be generous. We must not be culture-proud, nor culture-blind. We are not culture-Christianity peddlers. We must respect others lives, art, culture, habits, patterns. BUT at the same time, remember this key: “Jesus came to turn the world upside down.”

“Jesus challenges EVERY culture.”

Whenever we preach the gospel to non-Christians (Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, etc), Christ confronts them with his demands – “remove whatever has taken your allegiance and loyalty and replace it with me.” Christ is the Lord of every human culture and every human. This confrontation cannot be escaped, it is necessary.

But at the same time, our gospel invitation is the greatest invitation, blessing, encouragement for salvation.

And yet, at the same time, our gospel message is also the greatest challenge in this world because our message “Believe in Christ, receive him as your Lord” means “Change your God; change your Master; change your life; change your life view; change your values; change your pattern.”

This is the message of the gospel and this is why it is the greatest challenge to this world.

Phil 2:10-11 “At the name of Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Jesus is the Lord of every person, every culture, every thing in this world. So, the gospel is the greatest blessing and encouragement, and also greatest threat and confrontation in this world.

Let us go on to “turn the world upside down” in the name of Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 05 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Everyday Evangelism (Acts 8:14-40)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Everyday Evangelism (Acts 8:14-40)

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Everyday Evangelism

Acts 8:14-40 (Pastor Heo)

8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” 25 When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture [Isaiah 53:7-8]: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 37 Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


After the death of Stephen, a great persecution broke out against all the church – so they all (except the apostles) were scattered like seed.

Philip went to Samaria and preached there. There was a sorcerer named Simon – he drew attention to himself with his magic skill.

When Philip arrived in Samaria, it was filled with something bad spiritually. He preached powerfully and effectively. So many people were healed spiritually and physically. “There was great joy” in that city.

The apostles in Jerusalem heard this report and sent two apostles to Samaria – Peter and John. They came and prayed for them and laid their hands on the believers there and they received the HS. (v. 16 “because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”)

You may wonder.

  1. They received the Word of God,
  2. they had believed in Christ,
  3. they had been baptized into his name –
  4. but WHY didn’t the HS come?

Actually, without the HS, nobody can believe in Christ. So in this text, receiving the HS was receiving the “gift” of the HS – in some visible phenomenon.

God wanted to unite the Samaritan believers with the church in Jerusalem. God did not want a division of two churches.

We are given the keys of the kingdom of heaven if we believe in Christ. But Peter is the initial person who received these keys.

  • Jesus asked, “How about you? Who do you say I am?”
  • Peter: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
  • Jesus was pleased and said, “You are blessed, this information was not given you by man – but by my Father in heaven. On this rock [your confession of faith], I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

In church history, Peter had the privilege of opening the door of faith to:

  • Jews (chp 3 in Jerusalem),
  • Samaritans (chp 8 here), and
  • Gentiles (chp 10 later).

John

We can see the change in John’s life here also. During his earthly ministry, one day, Jesus had to go to Jerusalem, and had to pass through Samaria. But they didn’t welcome them. John (with his brother) asked Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy them?”

  • Just a few years ago, John wanted Samaria to be consumed by fire.
  • But now, a few years later, after the resurrection of Christ, John is laying his hands on the believers to give a different kind of fire (the HS).

Look how differently Christ can change our minds and hearts about others.

Simon

Also we can see the story of Simon (v. 18-19)

“8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.””

  • Simony = (term) = from this person
    • Just like Sodomy came from Sodom
  • Simony = “unworthy selling or buying of church offices” (성직매매)

This term came from THIS Simon. He thought he could buy the power of the HS with money. But Peter rebuked him sharply. We must know that the only way to receive the power of the HS is to:

  1. repent from our sins,
  2. turn from them,
  3. ask God for forgiveness,
  4. accept Christ as Savior and Lord, and
  5. be filled with the HS.

No amount of money can buy this.

So what is wrong with Simon?

v. 13 “Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.”

Simon believed and followed Philip wherever he went. What does this mean, “Simon believed”?

We can answer this with another question. What was the basis of Simon’s faith? Do you believe? In the case of Simon, his faith was not based on the Word of God but on miracles he saw Philip perform. He followed Philip, not to believe in Christ, but to learn the skill for making miracles like Philip had. His faith was not saving faith.

Thus, we must check ourselves to see what kind of faith we have. God is not mocked, not deceived.

In John 2, almost the same thing happened. Many people saw the miracles Jesus was performing, and believed in his name, but he would not entrust himself to them. Their believing was not saving faith.

Of course, they believed SOMETHING about Christ, but did not believe IN Christ. “Even demons believe about Christ” – but there believing is not saving faith.

This event of Simon only shows how close a person can come to salvation without being converted. This Simon heard the message of the gospel, saw the miracles, gave a profession of faith, was baptized, but he was never saved, never born again.

Please, do not be just a church comer / goer. Do not be an “almost” Christian (this is a “non”- Christian). But we must be genuine Christians by believing in Christ as our Savior and Lord.

Philip’s evangelism to the Ethiopian eunuch

v. 26-40

“8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 37 Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”


Isaiah 53 (The Suffering Messiah)

(Summary of Jesus’ life from birth to resurrection)

Jesus’ birth

53: 1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

Jesus’ life and ministry

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus’ substitutionary death

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Jesus’ victorious resurrection

10 Yet it was the Lord ‘s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


The angel of the Lord said to Philip in a vision, “go to the desert road on the way to Gaza.” There, he saw a chariot, and inside an Ethiopian eunuch. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home. He was in charge of the treasury of “Candace” (the public title – not personal name) of the queen of Ethiopia.

God told Philip to approach the chariot. The eunuch was reading out loud.

Can you imagine this picture? The chariot was running and Philip was running beside it.

  • “Hey, do you understand that?”
  • “How can I unless someone explains it? Get in.”
  • He got in.
  • “Who is this prophet talking about? Himself or someone else?”
  • Philip preached Christ from this very passage. (v. 35 “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”)

v. 25 “When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

Yes, there was still persecution in Jerusalem, but they returned – even knowing there was persecution. This means that evangelism was a lifestyle to them.

v. 40 “Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”

20 years later, Philip was still there preaching the gospel.

The idea of substitutionary death of Christ is one that is found throughout the entire Bible.

  • Genesis 3 – God killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve
  • Genesis 22 – God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice for Isaac
  • Exodus – So many animals died for the people at Passover

All the sacrifices of the OT symbolize the death of Christ. These are substitutionary deaths for the sins of the people.

So, John the Baptist proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of his people.”

This eunuch became a full man in Christ – and wanted everyone to know what happened to his life – when he became baptized.

We can learn principles of evangelism from this story:

The angel of the Lord sent Philip to preach to somebody – angels are wiser than us – they could guide Philip, but angels do not have this great commission for evangelism. This commission is given to God’s people.

This Ethiopian man was so religious and sincere – he was a seeker of the truth and reading the Scriptures, but he was lost and not saved. So, he needed somebody to show the Way to him.

Jesus, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Principles of effective evangelism:

  1. Be where God wants you. God set up the appointment and time with this man
  2. Be watching the people around you. See carefully the people around you and God will help us to perceive who will be receptive and responsive to the message of the gospel.
  3. Be ready to adapt yourself to where others are. In this story, Philip began where that person was, and immediately, clearly, took him where he needed to go.
    • Listening first
    • Meeting the person there and taking him where he needs to go.
  4. Be bold in preaching the gospel.

Let me tell a final story in evangelism history. It is simple, but meaningful to us.

In October 1857, Hudson Taylor (English missionary to China) began his ministry in Ningpo village. He preached the gospel in that village and won many souls to Christ. One of them, Mr. Ni received the message of the gospel was saved and overjoyed and wanted to share his faith with others.

One day, he asked Hudson Taylor, “How long have you had this wonderful news of great joy in England?”

HT: “England has known this message for centuries.”

Ni: “Why didn’t you come sooner? My father died seeking the truth.”

HT: Could not answer this penetrating question.

We can also ask ourselves today.

  • How long have you had / known this gospel? In your personal life.
  • How far have you shared it with others?
  • Up to now, with how many people have you shared this gospel?

This is a serious question given to us in v. 25 “When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

v. 40 “Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”

Peter, John, and Philip eagerly shared the message of the gospel with others wherever they went. They did not see evangelism as a “scheduled” event to do only at scheduled times and carefully designated places. Why? Because Jesus was LIFE to them. Their personal lives completely changed after being filled with the HS.

Evangelism is a lifestyle to them – because Jesus is life to them.

Is this true for you?

Let’s pray.

  • May 20 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Fourfold embodiment of the Gospel (Acts 2:41-47)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Fourfold embodiment of the Gospel (Acts 2:41-47)

 

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Fourfold embodiment of the gospel

Acts 2:41-47 (Pastor Heo)

2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.


Yes, we know a baby MUST grow up.

Imagine, in your home, 10 babies are born in ONE day. What does this mean to your home / family / parents? Maybe = full of joy! But also: lots of work! Positive troubles, difficulties: cleaning, feeding, changing, etc. You need many hands, and lots of money. Babies require lots of responsibility and lots of work.

Today, in this passage, 3000 (spiritual) babies were added to the family (church) in a single day.

Last time, we saw that Peter’s sermon in Acts is the first sermon after the coming of the HS. It is full of:

  1. The HS
  2. The Word of God
  3. Jesus Christ

His sermon is a good model for how a sermon SHOULD be.

Today we see the first community / church life after the coming of the HS. So, today’s passage also is a good model of what Christian community / church life should be like today.

Fourfold embodiment of the gospel (four pillars of the church / four characteristics of Christian individual life – check yourself individually)

  1. Teaching (Bible study)
  2. Fellowship
  3. Worship
  4. Evangelism

Are these four pillars in your life? These four pillars must be done WITH Prayer (v. 42)

#1 Teaching (Bible study)

v. 42

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching…”

For growth, food is essential, and spiritual food is the Word of God.

1 Peter 2:2 “Like newborns crave pure spiritual milk that is the Word of God so that you may grow up in your salvation.”

At this time, there was no New Testament – it was in the process of being written – and was not written. So, the Old Testament was like a NT book. And the apostles were eyewitnesses of all that Jesus had done and said.

Jesus “The HS that the Father will send in my name will teach you and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Filling with the HS and hunger for the Word of God go together hand in hand. If you are filled with the Spirit, you will love the Word of God.

  • “Be filled with the Spirit.”
  • Col “Let your hearts be filled with the Word of God.”
  • The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit.

Are you a Bible-reading / Bible-studying / Bible-believing / Bible-loving / Bible-living Christian?

The first essential pillar in Christian community is the study of the Word of God.

#2 Fellowship

v. 42-46

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching **and to the fellowship**, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything **in common**. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,”

Family, home, community without fellowship is totally unthinkable. The church is the family and community of God – so fellowship is essential.

For a Christian community to BE a Christian community, there must be fellowship. But this is totally different from the world’s fellowship. In Greek: “koinonia” (means “togetherness“). In Christian community, this means sharing and giving and offering.

Christian fellowship is sharing in common and giving. This does not take place simply because we are sitting in the same building. Christian fellowship = giving. It COSTS something.

As we know, even today, many people just visit the church for their own needs and go home the same. There is no fellowship there.

If there is no fellowship, no love in a church, it means you are only hear to BE loved, not to love.

Our koinonia (“fellowship”) is with God and his Son and the HS.

  • God is a fellowship God.
  • God is a koinonia God.

“… The grace of Christ, the love of God, and the koinonia (fellowship) of the HS be with you forever…”

God is ONE – but three persons. In God himself, there is enough, perfect fellowship. Therefore, without fellowship with God, and without giving, there is no Christian fellowship.

Long ago, the people gave a fellowship offering (the middle of 5 offerings) for fellowship (also KJV = “peace offering”). In the early church, they sold their goods for fellowship. In the OT, they gave a fellowship offering. How about today? What are we doing for church fellowship? Tithe offering. So in a sense, this is our fellowship offering.

What is the biblical meaning of tithes? (There are 4 – at least.)

1. Tithes = Obedience to the Word of God

Malachi 3:8-9 – not giving tithe offerings is robbing / cheating God

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.”

Someone will say, “No, this is the OT, we are NT, so we are under grace, not Law.”

But Jesus says in Matt 23 “Woe to you – yes you give tithes, but you ignore more of the Law.” (i.e. giving tithes is basic – so don’t think you are obedient to the Law fully)

2. Tithes = Acknowledgment of our stewardship

We are not owners, but managers in this world.

1 Tim 6:7 “We brought nothing into this world and can take nothing out.”

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and traps that plunge men into ruin and destruction. The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.

We cannot serve God AND money, but we can serve God WITH money.

How many Masters do you serve? Money is BOTH a Test and a Trust from God. God is watching HOW we spend and use money to see how trustworthy we are.

Luke “If you are untrustworthy with money, then God will not trust you with spiritual things.”

3. Tithes = Investment and storage of our treasures in heaven

Matt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moths and rust destroy… But store up your treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

God encourages us to TEST him.

But the Bible always says, “Do not put the Lord your God to the TEST.”

But here, God challenges us to TEST him with our tithes. This is the ONLY area in which God allows us to test him.

This is storing our treasures in heaven.

4. Tithes = Contribution for church fellowship and ministry

A real Christian cannot possess TOO much when fellow Christians possess TOO little. Eating together is very important – whether spiritual or secular fellowship. Can you imagine fellowship without eating together? That’s why in his last fellowship with his disciples, Jesus ate the Last Supper with them.

Rev 3:20 “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat and fellowship with him.”

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.

But practically, we need money to eat.

Koinonia = togetherness, sharing, and includes “money shared.”

#3 Worship (pillar)

Are you Christians?

They are the ones who praise God and receive praise from others with persecution.

Worship is our first responsibility and first privilege. We worship God by enjoying God. He wants our worship to be motivated by love and thanksgiving, joy, delight, gladness – but not duty.

Worship is more than praising, singing, praying to God. Worship is a lifestyle. When we use our lives for his glory, then EVERYTHING we do can become an act of worship.

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

This means: worship is our lifestyle.

#4 Evangelism

v. 47

“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Yes, the HS came and they were filled. This means, where the HS reigns:

  1. we relate to the Word of God (teaching),
  2. we relate to each other (fellowship),
  3. we relate to God (worship),
  4. we relate to the world (evangelism)

This passage does not say, “Peter’s preaching added to their number” nor “the community of believers” nor “the apostles’ wisdom” – no, it is GOD HIMSELF who saves those who are being saved.

1 Cor 3:6, Paul, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but GOD made it grow.”

Yes, we must plant the seed, we must water the planted seeds, but GOD makes it grow. So, we must have faith when we do this and great expectation that GOD will save.

All 4 of these things must be done together with PRAYER.

  1. Teaching with prayer
  2. Fellowship with prayer
  3. Worship with prayer
  4. Evangelism with prayer

The church is not OF the world, but it must remain IN the world for the purpose of evangelism. We are not OF this world, but IN this world for the mission of evangelism.

  • Church is called the “house of God”
  • Church is the “house of prayer for all nations”

What does this mean? (2 meanings)

  1. The place widely open to anyone who wants to pray to God
  2. The place whose members must pray for the salvation of all nations

Are you praying for the salvation of somebody in your heart?

1 Cor “Don’t you know that you yourselves are a temple and God’s spirit lives in you… Don’t you know that God’s spirit lives in you and you are not your own? Worship God and honor God with your body.”

God bless you.

4 pillars of Christian life

  1. Teaching (Bible study)
  2. Fellowship (including tithes)
  3. Worship
  4. Evangelism

Without evangelism, we have no reason to stay in this world. If we finish our mission of evangelism, we should go to heaven.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 29 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit came and filled the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Holy Spirit came and filled the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)

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The Holy Spirit Came and filled the Church at Pentecost

Acts 2:1-13 (Pastor Heo)

2:1 When the day of Pentecost came,they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine. “


The early church had no money, no beautiful building, political influence, educational degree, etc. The founding members of the early church (120 people) were a minority – maybe like you and me. But they were a huge multitude to Christ, and they saw a huge amount of churches established and Christians born again. What was their secret? A: The Power of the Holy Spirit.

The better we understand the power of the HS at Pentacost, the better. The more we will then be able to relate to him and understand him and believe. The power of the HS is still available today.

The main ministry of the HS is to glorify Jesus Christ. “The HS will bring glory to me.” John 15:26 “When the HS comes, he will testify about me.”

Another keyword: Holy Spirit

Keywords:

  1. Witness / testify
  2. One accord
  3. Prayer
  4. Holy Spirit

How many times does this appear in the NIV? 55 times (I counted yesterday).

The HS is the spirit of Christ, the spirit of God. He first came and spoke from human to human. This is very meaningful.

v. 1

“When the day of Pentecost came,they were all together in one place.”

Pentecost = 50 (Penta = 5) – this is the Feast of the First Fruits.

In Levitucus, Passover (Jesus’ crucifixion)is first, then the Feast of the First Fruits (Pentecost). Pentecost is 50 days after Passover – or 50 days after the crucifixion.

After Jesus was crucified, he was resurrected 3 days later. He stayed with them for 40 days. Then, 10 days later, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.

  • 1 Cor 7:5 “Christ, our lamb of Passover has been sacrificed.”
  • 1 Cor 15 = Jesus’ resurrection = the First Fruit

Pentecost pictures the formation of the body of Christ – that is the church. In the OT, the Jews at Pentecost celebrated the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. But these days, we Christians celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

At that time, there were 3 great feasts:

  1. Passover (Feast of the First Fruits)
  2. Pentecost
  3. Feast of Tabernacles
  • Passover = crucifixion including resurrection
  • Pentecost = coming of the HS as another Counselor
  • Tabernacles = Jesus’ Second Coming (heaven)

During these three greatest feasts, all Jews and others gathered in Jerusalem. This is the historical situation. (This is God’s plan and timing for world evangelism.)

v. 2-3

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”

“The Holy Spirit came down – to dwell in believers forever!”

The HS is one person of the Trinity God.

This means, we believe in ONE God in essence – with three persons:

  1. Father God
  2. Son (Jesus)
  3. Holy Spirit God (another Counselor)

The HS dwelling in us means that Jesus Christ still dwells in us through his Spirit.

  • Gen 1:1 “In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
  • Gen 1:2 “It was formless and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

The HS came down forever and ever – permanently. The HS could not have come sooner. Why not? It was essential that Jesus die and rise again from the dead – and go up to heaven – before the HS could be given.

John 7:37 “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Streams of living water will flow from within him. (Holy Spirit)” Up to that time, the HS could not have been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified (taken up to heaven).

John 16:7 “It is for your benefit that I am going to heaven. Unless I go, the HS will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.”

So, Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension is ESSENTIAL for the HS to come and dwell among us and in us. This is a basic Christian doctrine.

There were 2 startling signs that accompanied this:

  1. wind
  2. fire

Jesus says, “You should not be surprised at my saying ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but cannot tell where it is coming nor going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Interesting vocab (Greek):

penuma / pnuma

Literal meaning = “breath” or “wind”

Like wind, the HS is invisible, but SO powerful, like a hurricane. The HS is a life-giving Spirit.

“Fire” pictures the powerful witness of the church to the world. All throughout the Bible, fire is a sign of God – from the burning bush with Moses to the consuming fire on the mountain.

The HS is so holy – he cannot be together with unholy, dirty things. So the “fire” burns away our uncleanliness, bitterness, etc, and “wind” brings to us the presence and sign of God.

After the fire burns away our uncleanliness, we are filled with the HS.

Eph “Do not get DRUNK on wine which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the HS.”

v. 4

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

The filling of the HS has to do with power, witness, service, victorious Christian life. If we are really Christians, we no longer need to be baptized by the HS, but we need to be FILLED by the HS constantly – if we are to serve God effectively and truthfully.

“In a few days, you will receive the baptism of the HS.”

We must not be confused between the:

  1. Baptism of the HS
  2. The fullness of the HS
  • Baptism = the HS identifies us with the head of the church (Jesus) – this happens whenever a sinner trusts in Jesus Christ and is born again. “I belong to the body of Christ.”
  • Filling = “My body belongs to Jesus Christ.”

Once more:

  • Baptism: “I belong to Christ’s body.”
  • Fullness: “My body belongs to Christ.”
  1. Baptism = final, once and for all, one time event.
    1. Fullness = daily, repeated as we trust him in earnest prayer and earnest devotion – for more effective service
  2. Baptism: We are ONE in the baptism of the HS – we are the same. (Eph. 4 “One body, one Lord, one God, one baptism…”) – this unites us.
    1. Fullness: This is a personal experience. Yesterday’s filling with the HS does not guarantee today’s filling with the HS.

So, what happens when we are really filled with the HS?

Spiritual medical check-up

v. 5-13

“5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.””

What does this mean?

There were at least 15 geographical locations represented here. And surely the citizens of each heard Peter and the others declare the wonderful works of God in their own languages. Why did God do this? There are 2 lessons we can apply in our daily lives – because the HS power is still available.

#1 Reverse of God’s Judgment at Tower of Babel

Gen 11:1 “At that time, the whole world had 1 language.” (Many languages today is the fruit of human sin.) “Come let us build a tower that reaches to heaven to make a name for Man.” (So, God came and scattered them all over the whole world.)

  1. “Babel” = “confused”
  2. “Babylon” = “rebellion against God”
  • Babel: God’s judgment scattered the people
    • Pentecost: God’s blessing brought them together
  • Babel: unable to understand what was said
    • Pentecost: able to understand in the own language
  • Babel: scheme to make a name for man
    • Pentecost: make a name for God
  • Babel: rebellion against God
    • Pentecost: ministry of humble submission to God

What a contrast.

“The HS is the spirit of perfect communication.”

Yes, the basic tool for communication is language – but for perfect communication, we need more than language. If we are angry, look at cell phones while talking, etc, we have bad communication – even if we speak the same language.

But, if we have the HS, even if we don’t speak the same language, we can overcome the barrier of language and have communication.

  1. The HS is the spirit of perfect communication – between friends, coworkers, spouses, etc.

#2 Let the people know the gospel is for ALL people

The emphasis of this book is worldwide evangelization. (Acts 1:8)

HS is the Spirit of:

  1. evangelization
  2. world mission
  3. perfect communication

How far or near are you to Christ now? Remember, the nearer you come to Christ, the farther you will go OUT to reach the people.

Once more:

“The nearer you are to Christ,
The farther you will go out to reach the lost.”

What was the spirit of the people?

  1. Bewilderment
  2. Amazed
  3. Confused
  4. Perplexed
  5. Mocked / ridiculed (“They have had too much wine.”)

Actually, they were filled with the HS.

But those who didn’t understand thought they were filled with strong drink. Interesting?

Still today, if we are really filled with the HS, we can be misunderstood. If someone misunderstands you, please understand their misunderstanding.

Eph 5:18 “Do not get drunk on soju (wine) which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the HS.”

Why does the Word of God compare filling with the HS and filling with strong drink?

  • Drink: We lose control of ourselves and end up being ashamed.
    • HS: We have self-control and glorify God.
  • Drink: Can give a high spirit.
    • HS: Gives deep satisfaction and lasting joy.
  • Drink: Makes us brave, fearless to do something sinful.
    • HS: Makes us brave, fearless to do something holy.
  • Drink: Gives us degeneration.
    • HS: Gives us regeneration.
  • Drink: Practically, strong drink destroys families, homes, relationships.
    • HS: Builds up, edifies families, homes, relationships.
  • Drink: Makes self, family, home like hell on earth.
    • HS: Makes self, family, home like heaven on earth.

We can foretaste heaven on earth by being filled with the HS.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 08 / 2018
  • Comments Off on You will be my Witness (Acts 1:4-11)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You will be my Witness (Acts 1:4-11)

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You Will be my Witness

Acts 1:4-11 (Pastor Heo)

1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”


  • In the 4 gospels, we see Jesus’ ministry, death, burial, and resurrection.
  • In Acts, we see Jesus’ ministry from heaven – through his church.

This book shows the spread of the church from predominantly Jewish to predominantly Gentile. It shows the spread of the gospel – beginning in Jerusalem and spreading throughout the Roman Empire.

Key verse: 1:8

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Jerusalem = city evangelization
  • Judea and Samaria = home missions
  • The ends of the earth = world missions

Every Christian has 2 jobs:

  1. Ministry
  2. Mission
  • What is your ministry?
  • What is your mission?
  • What is “ministry”?
  • What is “mission”?

As a born again Christian, ask yourselves:

  • What is MY ministry? 사역
  • What is MY mission? 사명

Let’s make it clear what is ministry and what is mission. Let’s compare and contrast: what’s the same / what’s different?

  • Ministry: We can be different in ministry just as our body parts are all different and each part of the body has its own function.
  • Mission: ONE (Eph “There is one hope, one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one God – one MISSION”)

We can enjoy variety in our various ministries, but we must keep unity in our collective mission.

Not everyone is called to be a pastor, choir member, Sunday school teacher, etc.

  • Ministry = service for members INSIDE the church
  • Mission = service for the lost OUTSIDE the church so that they may come in to worship together and confess Jesus as Lord together.

1:8 – This is the final written statement of Christ before his ascension.

“You will be my witnesses.” – this is our mission.

Are you really Jesus’ witnesses in this world? This is our mission.

In this sentence, Jesus doesn’t say, “You will be evangelists, you will be gospel preachers.” Rather, to be a witness = evangelist + something more. This is gospel preaching + something more. This is more than just evangelizing, more than gospel preaching, more than soul winning. WHY?

What is “witnessing” like?

1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

5 Characteristics of Witnessing

#1 WHO can be a witness?

Only the one who personally saw, heard, or experienced. This is one who can say, “I KNOW this is true.” This is not one who says his own feelings or guessing or thinking. He doesn’t say, “maybe, probably, perhaps, hopefully”

No, he says, from his own personal experience, “This is true.”

A witness in court does not give a witness a carried word. The message of a witness is a marvel of simplicity. This is the key message of Christ in this world.

“Jesus is God come in the flesh. He died to pay for our sins. He was resurrected. He lives now in heaven. He calls us to call him Savior and Lord and so receive the forgiveness of sin.”

There is nothing to gain, no system to climb, just a person to accept to receive eternal life.

Do you have this message?

Yes, we witness through our mouths.

#2 Not only WORD, but also DEED

The witness of a witness’ life is irresistible. Our witness should be supported by our subjective testimony. But this witness should also be lived out in our lives: our characteristics, actions, deeds, interactions with others, etc.

Sometimes we can see “before / after” pictures in magazines. Do you have this?

Before Christ / After Christ?

Our testimony of our mouth must be characterized by our lives. It must be satisfied and edified by the Holy Spirit – not only through word but also our deeds. Even though this witness, message, is very simple, it requires a costly commitment from its carriers.

Yes, not only we must witness through our worth, but we must also attract a magnificent compliment. We must be praised by God AND men – in our character, especially as Christians.

#3 The tongue

Legal, court tongue.

Yes, witness = sharing the gospel of Christ – the communication of the gospel message to our neighbors and family members and co-workers. Yes, that is good – we should do it. But, remember, the key word of this book is “witness” – repeated in this book 29 times. The reference to “witness” and “witnessing” are almost ALL in a PUBLIC setting.

This shows a public display.

  • Stephen witnessed before the Sanhedrin.
  • Peter before the people in Jerusalem
  • Paul before the government officials and kings in court

Are you really ready to be a witness for Christ in an open and public place? Yes, they witnessed in a public square. Are you ready to witness in public to your co-workers? Even the President in the blue/white house?

The tongue – the word witness – is basically set in a PUBLIC setting (not private).

#4 Paradox of Shame and Honor

When you witness for Christ, do you feel shamed or honored? (It depends)

What we witness for Christ in this world is not a matter of material / earthly / worldly things. What we witness is a matter of heavenly / spiritual things. So, what we witness for Christ can be rejected, misunderstood, shamed, persecuted.

Yes, Christ willingly took the cross upon him. This was the symbol of the greatest shame. He took this dishonor to give us honor. He took shame and insults to give us grace. He took death to give us life.

So our witnessing can be a shame to us, but our receipt of shame may bring glory to God. Yes, in our own experience of witnessing to the lost of this world, we know it can be very shameful – but in heaven, this is very honorable. It can be stressful, but also exciting.

Witnessing for Christ is a great privilege but also a great responsibility.

The apostles, after witnessing before the Sanhedrin, left rejoicing. Why? Did they receive praise from men? No, they received shame from men for the glory of Christ.

Can you also receive shame in this world for the glory of Christ? If you are a true Christian, you can, but not of your power. You need the Holy Spirit.

#5 (Conclusion) Be ready to die

Witness (in English) = from Greek “martus

From this word, we also have the word “martyr” 순교자

In this sense, “witness” and “martyr” are the same in the root of the language.

Witnesses should be ready to DIE – to be killed for Christ. If we are not ready to be killed for Christ, then we are not witnesses.

In court, if I give a false witness, they may kill me (or jail). Even though I give a right witness in court, if they THINK it’s wrong, they still may kill me (or jail).

We know one day, we ALL must die. There is no exception.

“Once a man is destined to die, and after that to face the judgment.” (Bible)

We all must die one day. So, think of this matter wisely. _IF_ we are to die _once_ – is being a martyr a blessing or a curse? We will _all_ die one day.

  • Starting well is important.
  • Finishing well is _more_ important.
  1. Well-being is important.
  2. Well-dying is _more_ important.

What is a better way to die?

By a car accident, gun man, cancer, natural disaster, suicide, old age, or as a martyr?

Martyr (from the light of eternity) – finishing our lives as a martyr is the best blessing and privilege we can enjoy.

But don’t worry, if we cannot endure this, God does not allow us to become one. But if this will happen, God will provide a super power at that time to die as a martyr. (I also want at the age of 92 – because I need time to support my wife.)

God bless you. Witness is like that.

That’s why I said, “witness is more than evangelizing, more than gospel preaching, more than soul winning.” Because witnessing is like that, we need MORE than human power – the power of the Holy Spirit.

1:8 “You will receive *power* when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”

The key mission of the Holy Spirit:

  • Witnessing for Christ
  • Testifying about Christ

John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, he will testify about me.”

1 Cor 12:3 “Nobody can confess ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

Yes, we need power of the Holy Spirit – this includes wisdom, courage, fearlessness, patience, kindness, miracles if need be. It means, we must pray.

“Praying and witnessing go together.”

v. 4 says “Do not leave Jerusalem. Wait for the gift my Father promised.”

  • Witness without prayer has no power.
  • Prayer without witness has no purpose.

Why did Jesus not say, “Leave immediately for the world mission movement”? Rather, he said, “Do not leave. Wait.” WHY?

If we look at this carefully, this is a very big challenge to them.

In v. 11, the angel called them “Men of Galilee” – this means they were not from Jerusalem – they were from Galilee. They were countrymen. But Jerusalem was the capital city for Jews. They were low-class, uneducated. But the most elite Jews lived in Jerusalem.

Humanly speaking, they were not comfortable in Jerusalem. It was the most dangerous place for them in the early church.

v. 8 “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the ends of the earth” – this is NOT in order of events, but rather simultaneous movements.

Missionary movements should happen at the same time on earth, all over the earth.

One more thing we should make clear. Sometimes we thing: start at home (easy places) and going to far places (hard places) – no this is not true. Actually for them, Jerusalem (their own back yard) was the most dangerous and the most difficult place to evangelize for them.

  • Jerusalem: Jesus had been crucified in that city and buried. Most people would know this and that he’d been buried very recently. Also, Jerusalem was very strong in their own religion. They thought Christianity was the FIRST enemy against Judaism.
  • Samaria? It was soaked with half Judaism and half paganism.
  • The ends of the earth? They had no idea even where this was. They thought the earth was flat. They had never traveled anywhere even by car.

In their situation, EVERY place was very, very difficult. Also for us today, EVERY place is very, very difficult.

“The god of this age, Satan, has blinded the mind of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ.”

Remember, even today, there is NO easy place to witness for Christ. But, WE CAN, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • There is nothing impossible with God.
  • Much is impossible with man, but nothing is impossible with God.

v. 9-11

“9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Yes, Christ will come soon – someday – to fulfill his full redemption and to remain in a personal bodily, tangible form in a specific place in this world, for all people to see. But what is to fill the gap before he comes? World-wide mission and evangelism of the church.

What is the “body of Christ”? It is multi-national, international community for witnessing for Christ.

Remember, this is the last sentence. This is a comfort, but also a challenge.

Individual Christians and local churches who are NOT committed to world evangelization, are CONTRARY to their identity and purpose as Christians – as witnesses of Christ.

“I’m a witness of Christ.”

“I’m a witness for Christ.”

“I’m a witness by Christ.”

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 25 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Introduction of Acts (Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-3)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Introduction of Acts (Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-3)

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The Introduction to Acts

Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

Luke 1:1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Acts 1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.


Acts 1:8 = key verse

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

From today, we will study Acts.

Acts = actions = activity = mission.

God bless all of us to become “people of acts” / “people of action” more than before through the study of this book.

Who can say, “I’m too old to be more active…”

Nobody can say that.

God said to Abram (at age 99), “Be perfect before me.” This means = you must grow, learn, increase continually. There is MUCH room and space for you to grow.

I bless you in the name of Christ that we may become people of “acts” through the study of this book.

Introduction

Let me share 6 things.

  1. Intro, the background
  2. The human author (Luke)
  3. The receiver (Theophilus)
  4. The title
  5. The characteristics and importance
  6. The purpose of this book

In this book, two main characters are Peter (chp 1-12) and Paul (13-28).

Background

The reason we read the first part of Luke and Acts is to show that the two are written by the same person.

Acts is the 2nd volume of the gospel of Luke.

  • Luke 1:3 “..most excellent Theophilus..”
  • Acts 1:1 “In my former book, Theophilus…”

These are written in the same fashion, style, with the same language.

Yes, we know the gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus: his birth, life, miracles, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension.

  • Luke: The story of Jesus’ ministry on earth in a physical body
  • Acts: The story of Jesus’ ministry from heaven

Acts begins where Luke leaves off. The two sometimes overlap.

  • Luke closes with the story of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension.
    • Acts opens with the story of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension.
  • Luke 24:48 ends with a Great Commission: “you are witnesses of these things.”
    • Acts begins with a Great Commission: “You will receive power…”
  • Luke 24:49 ends with the promise of the Holy Spirit. “…stay in the city until you receive power from on high…”
    • Acts begins with the promise and gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is the background of Acts.

The author (Luke)

His name, Luke, appears only 3 times in the New Testament (in the letters of Paul).

  1. Colossians
  2. Phileman 24
  3. 2 Timothy 4:11

He was mentioned by Paul 3 times – introduced as his dear friend, a doctor.

What we know about Luke clearly is that he was a medical doctor, one of Paul’s most valued helpers and most loyal friends. (He was the only person who was with Paul in his last prison – Paul said, “Only Luke is with me…”) He is also the ONLY Gentile author of the New Testament.

The recipient (Theophilus)

These two books were written to “Theophilus”. We don’t know who this is exactly – and his name ONLY appears here at the beginning of Luke and Acts. We only know much about him from church tradition / history.

There are 3 possibilities:

  1. Perhaps not a real name, just a nickname – it might have been very dangerous (persecution) to become a Christian at that time. Actually, this name comes from 2 Greek words:
    • “Theo” = “God”,
    • “Philus” = “Love”
    • So, perhaps Luke wrote to “Love of God” instead of a real name.
  2. Perhaps this IS actually a real name. If so, he may have been a HIGH government official. Luke writes, “most excellent Theophilus” – and this is only reserved for high officials (governors, kings, etc). Perhaps Luke is trying to show him “Christians are nice people, please do not persecute them.”
  3. Third, is more “romantic”. This is based on the fact that Luke is a medical doctor. Doctors once were “low class” in Korea, and also at that time, they were also considered slaves. So, Luke may have been a personal “slave” doctor to Theophilus.
    1. Story goes: Theophilus was very sick, but thanks to Luke’s dedication, he regained health. Theophilus set him free in thanks, and Luke wanted to give him the MOST precious gift he knew: Eternal life in Christ.

Title of the Book

  • “Acts”
  • “Acts of the Apostles”

But this book does not claim to give an exhaustive account of the Acts of the apostles. Only 4 apostles appear in here.

  1. John – but he doesn’t speak.
  2. James – in one sentence was killed by Herod.
  3. Peter – one of the main characters (chp 1-12)
  4. Paul – the other main character (chp 13-28)

This book ACTUALLY should be called:

“The Acts of the Spirit of Christ working in and through his witnesses”

Peter and Paul were not used because they were apostles, but because they were witnesses. God today is not using apostles, but using his witnesses. That’s why Jesus did not say, “You will be my apostles…” rather he said, “You will be my witnesses…”

The importance and characteristics

This book is so important.

As we know, the New Testament has 27 books.

  • There are 4 gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.
  • And 1 historical book,
  • 21 epistles, and
  • 1 book of prophecy / revelation.

Jesus’ key concern in his ministry was:

To establish His church in this world.

Matt: “On this rock, I will build my church…” (the “rock” = the faith of his believers)

The church is called the “body of Christ.”

Acts is the ONLY book that gives us actual historical information about where and how the church began. If we did not have this book, we would not KNOW how the church began – we would only be able to guess through the reading of Paul’s letters. So, in a sense, this is the MOST IMPORTANT book in the New Testament.

There are two ways to write history:

  1. Day to day, week to week (journal)
  2. Giving glimpses into significant periods and events (this is the style of Acts)

This is the central book of transitions.

  • In history – from gospels to epistles.
  • From primarily Jews to predominantly Gentiles
  • From the program / kingdom of God to Church

So this book was written to show the development of the church – from primarily Jewish to predominantly Gentile membership.

The purpose

The key verse = Acts 1:8

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We may study this book EVERY week until we finish the study of this book. We will FOCUS on 1:8 until the conclusion.

At least, we can say 3 things about the purpose of this book:

  1. To commend Christianity to the Roman government at that time
  2. To show that Christianity is for ALL people of every country (not only for Jews – but also for Jews and Gentiles) –
    • At that time, Jews had their own belief that ONLY THEY were God’s chosen people and that God had no use for other nations – but this was a BIG misunderstanding.
      • In chp 7, Stephen made Christianity universal and was killed.
      • Chp 8, preached in Samaria,
      • Chp 10, Cornelius accepted into the church,
      • Chp 11, preached in Antioch,
      • Chp 15, the church made the great decision to receive Gentiles into the church on the same terms as the Jews, Finally, Paul went far and wide to win all kinds of people to Christ.
  3. Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Actually, with this ONE verse, there is MUCH to say. But this time, let me just say ONE point about this key verse.

This conjunction “and” is repeated 3x, and in Greek it means “kai.”

In Greek, this is not in order of procedure. It means: “happening at the same time” (concurrently, simultaneously). This does not mean “Jerusalem first, THEN Judea, THEN…” No, it means “ALL places at the same time.”

Imagine, if this were the last word of Christ on earth. If they had to try to go beyond Jerusalem AFTER they finished FULL evangelization, then they NEVER would have had an opportunity to leave Jerusalem even up to today.

You know in Korea, Western missionaries came over 100 years ago. Imagine, if they had tried to come to Korea AFTER they had finished the full evangelization of their own country, they never would have come.

You know, in Jerusalem today, there are a few Christians, but they still need missionaries to be sent – and we send some.

In Seoul, years ago, I saw a big banner in a church:

“Today Seoul, tomorrow Korea, the next day Asia, after that ALL the world!”

Sounds good? ONLY sounds good. Sounds ambitious, but in actuality, “today” will take forever. If they are faithful to this banner, they will never have an opportunity to go beyond Seoul.

Each day is ONLY today. We cannot meet tomorrow. We can only face today. The coming Monday is “tomorrow” but when we meet it, it becomes “today.”

Please remember, one day, our Lord Jesus will come again in his body to fulfill full redemption and salvation and reign over the world. Question: What will fill the gap between his ascension and second coming? Answer: The worldwide mission of the church. The evangelism activity of individual Christians.

Luke is the story of Jesus’ ministry on earth – the beginning.

3 Kinds of Immortality

  • There is the immortality of “fame” – Jesus has this. His name will never be forgotten.
  • Immortality of “influence” – Jesus (and some others) leave an effect on the world for a long time – Jesus’ influence can never die
  • Immortality of “presence and power” – Jesus left his fame and influence on this earth – but still he is alive and powerful and active on this earth.

Only Christ has immortality of “presence and power.” He is not the one who WAS once in the past. He is the one who IS always, all the time.

  • Therefore, in Matt he says, “And surely I am with you forever, to the very end of the age.”
  • Heb 10:13 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Are you a Christian? Just as this hand cannot be a real hand without being a part of this body, so a real Christian cannot be a real Christian without being a part of church – because “church” is the body of Christ.

Are you a member of the Church?

If you are a member of the body of Christ, then you are called “witnesses of Jesus Christ in this world.”

God bless you to become MORE active: people of “acts” through the study of Acts.

Let’s pray.

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

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

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Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 13:8-14 (Pastor Heo)

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


Let me tell my experience.

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

I helped with cleaning and evangelism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I should love.”

But I have no power to show this agape love.

Today gives us the KEY to this love.

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

3 Reasons WHY we should love

#1 Because we are debtors

v. 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 3:16

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

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

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

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

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

#2 Because love is the fulfillment of the Law

v. 9-10

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

Love is the fulfillment (basis) of the Law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are NOT the same.

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

LOVE is BOTH gift and fruit.

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

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

“Do everything in love.”

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

v. 11-13

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

We can see terms related to time here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you agree?

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

BUT, I have no power to do so myself.

That’s why we need the Last verse.

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

#Conclusion

v. 14

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

“Jesus is my dress.” 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

No one is naked here.

What are the functions of our dress?

Here are 4 functions of our dress (spiritually):

#1 Protection

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

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

#2 Clothes reveal our status / identity

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

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

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

#3 It influences your attitude, tongue, character

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

#4 They are my company wherever I go

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s pray.

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