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  • Oct 18 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Day 7/80 – Israel’s golden calf idol
80 Day Bible Reading Plan, Grow

Day 7/80 – Israel’s golden calf idol

As a ministry of Jeonju Antioch Church, AICF is following along with the main church’s 80-day Bible Reading Plan to close out 2020. Every day, follow along with the reading plan, a daily reflection, and meditation (writing in a spiritual journal) here on our website. We will be translating and using the main church’s plan from Korean to English here.

About the Reading

As most audio Bibles are an average of 75-hours in length, expect each daily reading to take between 45-60 minutes. For busy people who may not have time to sit down and read for that long, we will also provide links to audio versions, either on YouTube or elsewhere, that you can listen to throughout the day.


Day 7
Sunday, October 18

Exodus 30 – Leviticus 1

Israel’s golden calf idol

1. Pray

Let us not approach the steep cliffs of sin and come into jeopardy. Rather, let us always stand honestly before God who forgives our sins and transgressions.

2. Key verses

  • Exodus 32:2-4 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

3. Scripture Reading

Exodus 30-Leviticus 1

4. Reflection

The Hebrew word ‘eggel‘, translated as calf, is a word that was used indirectly in the ancient world as a derogatory term. At the same time, cows were seen as a footrest for ancient gods. So, the created golden calf is evidence of a deliberate denunciation of God as being “very trivial and trampled upon.” In other words, the case of the golden calf is a situation in which the people declared war on God saying that they would rather sacrifice to it and be satisfied with it, and not allow God to interfere or intervene in how they lived.

5. Writing a spiritual journal

After reading today’s text, write down the will of God that you came to realize, the passage that moved you, or what you decided to do and how you want to put it into practice.

6. Check off today’s reading on the reading table

  • Oct 17 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Day 6/80 – God makes a covenant with Israel
80 Day Bible Reading Plan, Grow

Day 6/80 – God makes a covenant with Israel

As a ministry of Jeonju Antioch Church, AICF is following along with the main church’s 80-day Bible Reading Plan to close out 2020. Every day, follow along with the reading plan, a daily reflection, and meditation (writing in a spiritual journal) here on our website. We will be translating and using the main church’s plan from Korean to English here.

About the Reading

As most audio Bibles are an average of 75-hours in length, expect each daily reading to take between 45-60 minutes. For busy people who may not have time to sit down and read for that long, we will also provide links to audio versions, either on YouTube or elsewhere, that you can listen to throughout the day.


Day 6
Saturday, October 17

Exodus 16-29

God makes a covenant with Israel

1. Pray

O God, help us to always follow your great providence and plans in obedience with all our hearts, minds, and strength.

2. Key verses

  • Exodus 19:5-6Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

3. Scripture Reading

Exodus 16-29

4. Reflection

The Ten Commandments are the essence of the law that God first proclaimed to Moses. The Ten Commandments consist of love for God (1st-4th commandments) and love for neighbors (5th-10th commandments). Even in the Hebrew Scriptures, the 6th-10th commandments are closely linked a conjunction which means ‘and also’. Together, these commandments clearly set out the values ​​that form and sustain the covenant community.

5. Writing a spiritual journal

After reading today’s text, write down the will of God that you came to realize, the passage that moved you, or what you decided to do and how you want to put it into practice.

6. Check off today’s reading on the reading table

  • Oct 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Day 5/80 – God protecting Israel
80 Day Bible Reading Plan, Grow

Day 5/80 – God protecting Israel

As a ministry of Jeonju Antioch Church, AICF is following along with the main church’s 80-day Bible Reading Plan to close out 2020. Every day, follow along with the reading plan, a daily reflection, and meditation (writing in a spiritual journal) here on our website. We will be translating and using the main church’s plan from Korean to English here.

About the Reading

As most audio Bibles are an average of 75-hours in length, expect each daily reading to take between 45-60 minutes. For busy people who may not have time to sit down and read for that long, we will also provide links to audio versions, either on YouTube or elsewhere, that you can listen to throughout the day.


Day 5
Friday, October 16

Exodus 4-15

God protecting Israel

1. Pray

Lord! Always deliver me whenever and wherever. All the life I have lived is only by your grace, your love, and your blessings. Lead me whenever and wherever.

2. Key verses

  • Exodus 13:21-22 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

3. Scripture Reading

Exodus 4-15

4. Reflection

The low, suffocating heat wave in the wilderness and resulting dizziness make you wander and lose your way. The temperature drops suddenly at night, causing unbearable cold weather. Due to the extremely dry nature of the wilderness, God’s pillar of clouds during the day helped the Israelites feel cool as soon as it blocked out the sunlight. The pillar of the fire at night was like a bonfire, so it was a heating device that prevented freezing. The pillar of cloud and pillar of fire was an active intervention of God in the wilderness and a great helping hand.

5. Writing a spiritual journal

After reading today’s text, write down the will of God that you came to realize, the passage that moved you, or what you decided to do and how you want to put it into practice.

6. Check off today’s reading on the reading table

  • Mar 08 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)

Full 2020.03.08 Worship Service online

Download Notes in a .MD file

God wants to save someone through you

Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:1, 6:25 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


We have faith in Jesus – the power to see the unseen. God is spirit – this means he is a person, alive, eternal, but not material. God is anywhere, everywhere at the same time.

If you can see God by faith, where you are, then God is there because he is the most holy God. God bless us all with his peace and joy.


Last Sunday we saw the demonstration of faith by Joshua and his people. They entered Jericho and circled it 13 times. The last time, they shouted the shout of faith – crying the cry of faith to God. With the shouting and trumpet blast, the wall of Jericho collapsed totally by the power of God.

In this complete destruction, there was one person, saved from this destruction – Rahab (and her family).

Her background is in Joshua 2.

We know Exodus – in the early stages:

  1. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.
  2. Then 40 years passed and they entered the entrance of the Promised Land, Canaan.
  3. They needed to spy it out again because the whole older generation was gone and Moses was no longer with them.
  4. So the new leader, Joshua – one of the original 12 spies, sent out 2 new spies to investigate the fortifications of Jericho.
  5. Only 2 men went Jericho and entered a hotel – the house of Rahab. The king there heard this and sent soldiers to arrest the spies.

Rahab hid the spies on her roof and later said to them, “I know God has given this land to you – the whole land is in fear because of you. Your God is the real God of heaven and earth.” This means Rahab saw the unseen.

Rahab asked them, “Swear to me to show me and my family kindness because I have shown you kindness.” They said, “OK, put a scarlet cord on the window of your house. When we destroy the city, we will spare you and your family when we see the scarlet cord. But remember, if anyone goes outside your house, we will not be responsible for their destruction. But anyone inside your house, we will be responsible for their deliverance.”

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

This means, Rahab saw the unseen – she demonstrated her faith in God by welcoming the spies. She trusted herself and her family to God when Jericho was destroyed completely. We don’t know how many nor who exactly were inside the house of Rahab, but what is sure is that everybody who was inside the house of Rahab was spared from total destruction – due to the scarlet cord hanging over her window.

Scarlet = blood color

This scarlet cord reminds us of the blood of the Passover Lamb which had happened 40 years earlier when they left Egypt. Also, that night, anyone inside the house with the blood of the Passover Lamb was saved from the destruction of the first born.

This means, what happened with Rahab compares with the Passover Lamb. This is a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ – shed on the cross for us – who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for our sin, justification, salvation.”

This means, through the story and action of Rahab, we can know that true faith must always show itself in good works.

Remember the book of James – this book makes it clear that true faith produces works. It uses 2 people as examples of true faith: Abraham and Rahab. This is amazing.

This means that Abraham and Rahab are presented as parallels in the same level of faith.

“Abraham was justified by works when he offered up his son on the altar. Like this, Rahab was justified by faith when she received the spies and sent them away safely.”

The point: Abraham’s faith was costly – Rahab’s faith was costly. True faith shows up in action – even when it costs.

Simple question: Is our faith real? Can it be seen in our action? Are we willing to let it cost us something? We can, we will if our faith is real.

Also true faith helps us to turn around and do what is right regardless of our past or what others may think.

Yes, we are now studying the great chapter of faith. Until now, we have seen individual persons “by faith…” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab…

Among all of them, Rahab is the ONLY woman: a Gentile, pagan, prostitute. She is the LAST listed “by faith.”

This means that God’s works are not limited by people’s limitations. He can do GREAT things through people who are not great. He is doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He uses all kinds of people to accomplish his job, his purpose, his design. He wants to use you and me because God is great.

Through this story of Rahab, remember: nobody can give an excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ.

Yes, in this story we can know who was Rahab, so we must know the sentence, “I don’t know very much about the Bible can NOT be an excuse for not knowing Christ. She knew very little spiritual truth, but she acted on what she knew.”

Romans “From the beginning of the world, God’s divine powers and eternal attributes can be seen, so that no one can boast.”

In my experience, I’ve met so many people who said, “I’m too bad to be saved.” But no one is too bad. This woman was a prostitute, but delivered by her faith through God.

1 Tim “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinner, of whom I’m the worst.”

“The son of God did not come into the world for the healthy, but for the sick.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he saved his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish.”

There is no one in this world who cannot be saved. God wants everyone to come to him and be saved.

Also, we can get a great lesson from this story to enjoy and apply in our lives.

Rahab received not only salvation from this destruction, but also glorification.

You know, Joshua 6:25 “…She lives [present tense] among the Israelites to this day.” What does this mean? In the church history, Rahab became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She married an Israelite named Salmon – the father of Boaz, father of Obed, father of Jesse, father of David. This means, she is the great great grandmother of King David.

In Matthew 1, we can also see her name in the genealogy of Jesus.

Imagine, a prostitute becoming an ancestor of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. That’s what faith can do.

In our story, sin, just like Rahab’s story – if we have faith, it will be rewarded in glory.

Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits.”

Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Cols 3 “When Jesus Christ appears, you also will appear will him in Jesus Christ….”

God is working his purposes through his people, but he does not expect perfection from us because he knows how weak we are. He gives grace, mercy, wisdom, compassion, even faith. But he does expect us to take action because of our faith. He expects us to hang a scarlet cord over our windows in faith. Still today, he wants to save our families.

Acts “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Still today, God wants to save our family, our household, our neighbors, our friends, through us.

God bless us as a heavenly channel of salvation, justification, and glorification.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 18 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Characteristics of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:11-13)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Characteristics of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:11-13)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Characteristics of the Word Of God

Hebrews 4:11-13 (Pastor Heo)

11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


As I mentioned already, last Sunday, we saw an invitation of REAL rest by Jesus, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest…”

This is “freedom, salvation, inheritance, peace, joy” rest.

Hebrews 4:11 “Therefore, make every effort… “ (work hard) – wait, this is a paradox. Last Sunday, “Rest” – but now, “work hard”?

Actually, rest does not mean “not working” – rather through hard work we can find rest. We must work hard to find and enjoy real rest – this is a paradox.

Also, we know, Jesus saves us, but we must work hard for our salvation.

Phil 2:12 “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Do you have faith? This is the gift of God, from hearing the Word of God. This is a gift, but we must work out our faith hard – day-by-day and drawing close to God in our daily practice.

Hebrews 4:12 “The Word of God is living and active…”

How can we “work out” our faith? Through and by the Word of God. This is a living power – a timeless truth.

Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and the earth.. with his Word” – he made something out of nothing – only his Word.

  1. “God said, ‘Let there be light'” and there was light (Day 1)
  2. “Let there be an expanse between the waters and the water” (Day 2)
  3. “Let the water be gathered in one place and the land as well – and the land produce vegetation” (Day 3)
  4. “Let there be lights in the sky – sun, moon, stars” (Day 4)
  5. “Let the water have creatures and the sky as well, the land be filled with all kinds of living creatures” (Day 5)
  6. “Let us make Man in our own image” (Day 6)

This is the story of Creation – “God said, it happened” – still today, God’s Word is living and active and powerful and effective. Do you believe this?

Isaiah 55:11 “My Word which goes out from my mouth will never return empty but will accomplish what I desire and the purpose for which I sent it…”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This is a classic text of God’s Word in its power. This text has broad positive application, but even though this is true, this text (in context) is negative – as a warning to those who disregard and disbelieve the Word.

That’s why 11b says, “….so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

It means, we must be careful not to also be disobedient – like the Israelites in Exodus.

Repeat: We know the story of the Exodus. After the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites journeyed to Canaan and arrived at the border. At the border, Moses sent 12 spies into the land to explore and bring back a report. Their task was only to SEE, not to decide about going in or not – but after 40 days of exploration, 10 of them said, “Oh no! we can’t go in there!” That night, all Israel raised their voices and shouted, “Oh geez! If only we had died in this desert or in Egypt!” God, “Say again? Then I will do to you exactly as you said.”

Today also, God is listening to what we are speaking.

God said, “You asked for it, you got it.”

So… please, don’t say negative things like this to God.

The 10 who gave a bad report were struck down by a plague and God told the people, “OK, go back into the desert tomorrow morning – just to wander until you die.” (It was 40 years – one year for each day of exploration).

Interestingly, the next morning, some said, “We have sinned. We will go up to Canaan and enter it.” Moses said, “No, you will never succeed because God will never go with you.” But nevertheless, in their presumption, they went and tried to enter (disregarding and disobeying God twice). They tried to enter without God, his blessing, God’s promise, Moses, the Ark of the Covenant (a symbol of God’s presence) – and what happened? They were completely destroyed.

With this background (historical example), verse 11b says, “so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. ” Why? Because v12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Remember, whatever we are doing, God’s Word is still alive. Regardless of what we do, the Word of God is piercing us and judging us negatively (if we act negatively) – and doing it positively to us (if we act positively).

Timothy “The Word of God is God-breathed and useful for training in righteousness so that the Man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So, let me share the characteristics and functions of the Word of God. (3 points) – and verse 13 is the conclusion.

Characteristics of the Word of God

#1 Living

“For the Word of God is living and active.”

It is active and effectual. The point: the Word of God has come to Man so that it cannot be disregarded. The Word of God has something that every person (you and me) must face. We must accept or reject it. That is our decision. But we cannot escape a confrontation with the Word of God. We can choose to accept it or reject it.

This is one of the facts of human history. Whenever, wherever a person has taken God’s Word SERIOUSLY, things begin to happen.

Once we take it seriously, we realize that the Word of God is not merely something to read about, but something to be done and fulfilled.

The Word of God gives us life.

Also it can change your life / my life. It is so powerful and active, it can change your life regardless of your age or your past.

Please remember, parents: You cannot change your own children. Only the Word of God can change them. 10, 12, 15 years old? Only the Word of God can change their lives. So, we must allow the Word of God to change their lives and our lives. If we trust the Word of God, God allows it to change our lives and claim his promise.

This is very effective.

#2 Penetrating

“…Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…”

If someone puts something sharp in your side? It hurts.

Also, the Word of God can do this in positive and negative ways (cleaving, cutting, piercing, performing surgery).

Please do not focus on “what are these nouns?” – the focus of the verse = the holistic physical being (Greek: pushke)

Also in Greek: pneuma = spirit – a characteristic of Mankind (it is by the spirit that we think and reason and look beyond the visible world to that which is invisible – God)

  • The Word of God can cut through anything and bring conviction.
  • It cleaves through our hard souls like a hot knife through warm butter.
  • There are sections of the Word of God that cut through all hypocrisy and religious intention and leaves us convicted.
  • The Word of God convicts us (if we receive it seriously, sincerely).

The Word of God is called “The Sword of the Holy Spirit” (Eph 6:17 “The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit…”) – so it convicts us.

What kind of conviction?

  1. I’m a sinner – I need salvation
  2. Jesus is God (John 1:1 “In the beginning there was the Word (logos) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And all things were made through that word. Nothing that has been made was made without him…”)

The Word of God gives us conviction that Jesus is the true and eternal God. We are saved only by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that he rose from the dead for your salvation, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth you confess and are saved.”

Continually, the Word of God says, “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved “ (and not put to shame).

John 1:12 “To all who accepted his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Are you children of God? By grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.

This is the conviction the Word of God is working through us.

  1. Living & Active
  2. Penetrating & Dividing (conviction)
  3. Judging & Discerning

#3 Judging

“…it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This can be both positive and negative – just as the other 2.

  • If I’m “in Christ” and trust him – I’ll welcome his judgment
  • But if I’m “in sin” and reject him – I’ll fear it

The Word of God tests our physical lives and spiritual existence. It scrutinizes our thoughts and attitudes of the hearts (and desires and intentions).

  • Desire = our emotional part
  • Intentions = our intellectual part

So, our emotional AND intellectual parts are exposed to the scrutiny of God’s Word.

What is the heart?

  • It’s the center of human personality.
  • It is hidden from ALL. This is the biblical meaning.

Only the Word of God will tell us what is in our hearts. This is the message of the Word of God.

If we really want to know and understand ourselves, we must fill our hearts with the Word of God.

All human hearts are hidden from all creation, and only the Word of God reveals what is in our hearts, so if we REALLY want to know what is truly in our hearts, you must fill it with the Word of God.

Colossians “Let the Word of God dwell in your richly.”

Read, study, meditate, prayerfully apply it – gives us discernment and deep self-knowledge.

Only the Word of God reveals this.

“The Word of God is like a mirror that reveals who we are really in front of God.”

We cannot escape our passions, dreams, intentions in front of God (we cannot keep secrets from God).

Conclusion

v. 13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

“…we must give account.”

Are you happy with this sentence? Someday, maybe soon, we must stand before God face-to-face to give account. Are you OK with that?

We have been speaking of God’s Word in its Living, Penetrating, Judging powers – but in v.13 the focus switches from the Word of God to God himself. God and his Word are inseperable.

God knows and sees all. Yes, I “know” this, but practically, this fact that God SEES and KNOWS all, this is either a:

  1. Great comfort – when we have nothing to hide from him OR
  2. Great discomfort – when we have something to hide

Remember Adam? After the first sin, his next sin was attempting to hide himself from God. He thought God would not see him because God was not “there.” But actually, when he ate the fruit, God saw it and was there. When he hid, God saw it and was there. He knew where he was and how he was, so God said, “Where are you?”

In our practical lives, even if we are unaware of God’s presence, we must remember: “God is there.”

No creation is hidden from God’s sight. All are totally naked and exposed before the eyes of him before whom we must give account.

God knows instantly, effortlessly, all minds, all beings, all spirits, all thoughts, all motivations, all purposes, all pluralities, all hidden motivations, all dreams – visible, invisible, time, life, death, space, heaven, hell.

ALL THINGS God knows.

We cannot deceive him and cannot fool him. We cannot give excuses. We cannot rationalize. We are totally naked and exposed before God. We are powerless and defenseless before God. He is the final judge. Someday, we will stand before him to give an account and be judged.

Remember this.

Conclusion: John 1:1 “In the beginning, the Word (Jesus Christ)…”

So, we will give an account according to how we treat Jesus Christ in this world.

This is:

  1. A promise
  2. A warning

Especially the book of Hebrews always does this: promise/warning, encouraging/discouraging, challenge/trial.

Someday, we will stand before God to give account according to how we treat Jesus in this world.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 24 / 2017
  • Comments Off on God has Absolute Sovereignty (Romans 9:1-18)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

God has Absolute Sovereignty (Romans 9:1-18)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God has Absolute Sovereignty

Romans 9:1-18 (Pastor Heo)

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

God’s Sovereign Choice

6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.


Romans consists of 3 parts. Last week, we finished the first part. Today, we start the second part. The theme of this book: the Righteousness of God.

  1. Part 1: chp 1-8 (Revelation / Manifestation of God’s Righteousness)
  2. Part 2: chp 9-11 (Vindication of God’s Righteousness)
  3. Part 3: chp 12-16 (Application / Practice of God’s Righteousness)

In the 3 chapters, 9, 10, 11, Paul is revealing the vindication of God’s righteousness using the story of Israel. In these three chapters, the main material used to reveal the attributes of God = Israel. This is the story of Israel (literal, historic, Israel – located in the Middle East).

So, why is this necessary for us to study the story of Israel at this moment? A careful study of these chapters is necessary to reveal and vindicate God’s righteousness.

Yes, from chp 1-8, we have been strongly persuaded that Once Justification, Once Salvation = Always (it never fails).

Last time, chp 8 closes with great joy and shouting about “no condemnation in Christ and no separation from the love of Christ.”

8:37-39

“37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Someone might challenge this. “Hmm, IF this is true, then, what about the Jews? Israel?” The OT is the story of Israel – the Chosen people in God’s redemptive history. They are set apart from the love of God and God is building his church with a new people – the Gentiles. It seems that the Jews were abandoned and rejected by the love of God. So, did God’s plan fail with regard to Israel?

(This is a very serious question – because the character of God is at stake. If God were unfaithful to the Jews, how can we be sure he will be faithful to us?)

So, through these next 3 chapters, God’s righteousness is vindicated.

  • Chp 9: Israel’s past election
  • Chp 10: Israel’s present rejection (human responsibility)
  • Chp 11: Israel’s future redemption (God’s faithfulness despite human unfaithfulness)

Israel is very small geologically. But spiritually speaking, Israel is the ONLY country that has a history with God – past, present, future.

“All Israel will be saved” – just before the Second Coming of Christ. (not individually, but generally, and nationally returning to Christ)

First, we see Paul’s concern for the spiritual well being of his brothers (Israel):

Paul’s concern for Israel

v. 1-3

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race,” (Jews)

At that time, Paul was considered a traitor to the Jewish nation – because he was a minister for the Gentiles, not Jews – and he preached of Freedom from the Law of Moses. He preached in many synagogues and “caused trouble” for the Jewish religion.

So at this point, Paul wants to show his love for his brothers and sisters, and his desire for their spiritual well being.

Remember chp 8?

“I’m convinced NOTHING can separate me from the love of Christ.”

Now, chp 9

“I wish that I COULD be cut off from Christ – for the sake of my brothers.”

There is a similar prayer in Exodus 32 –

While Moses was on the top of the mountain receiving the 10 Commandments. At the bottom of the same mountain – the people made idols and ran wild. When Moses came down and saw that sin, God was very ANGRY.

  • God said, “I will destroy / kill all Israel – and I will start again to build a great nation with you – Moses.”
  • But Moses did not say, “Amen.” He said, “No, God, please, forgive them. Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – forgive them. If you do not, remove me from the Book of Life.” (Send me to hell if you don’t forgive them.)

Of course, God forgave all of them, and did not remove Moses’ name from the Book of Life.

Yes, parents here, maybe you have this experience. When your child is sick, sometimes you say, “I wish it was ME who was sick, not this child. I would take your place.”

This is a true heart of love.

If you are really a born-again Christian, we have two opposing attitudes.

  1. 1. When we see Christ, we abound in love and joy at his salvation
  2. 2. When we see the lost, we abound in unceasing anguish for their spiritual loss

May God bless us to be true Christians in the eyes of God.

Next, we see the election of Israel. We have no right to ask God, “Why did you choose Israel?” This is God’s will.

The Election of Israel

v. 4-5

“4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

God gave the people of Israel a divine promise and also the Tabernacle. God gave the Law to Moses. He gave the Promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, David, etc (these are the Patriarchs). What is the purpose of all these blessings?

Key Point:

  • v. 5b “from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”

Jesus, the Messiah, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, was to come through Israel. This is why all the blessings are given to Israel. They were to receive Christ, and then introduce him to all other nations – so that all nations might be saved together.

But unfortunately, when the Messiah they had waited for eagerly, finally appeared on Earth, they did not recognize him, and crucified him.

chp 3 “What is the advantage to being a Jew? Much! They have been entrusted the very Word of God.”

But even the failure of humans is inconsequential to God – who is always faithful.

Question today:

  • What is the advantage to being a Christian today – in this unbelieving world?

Ans:

  • Much in every way. We are entrusted with the very word of God – the gospel message.

This is a very simple message, but has life-giving power. “Believe in Christ and you will be saved – live forever in the presence of Christ.” But who can preach this message except the children of God? (You and me.)

God’s absolute sovereignty / redemptive will in choosing man

v. 6-10

“6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 8 In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.” 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children were conceived at the same time by our father Isaac.”

What does this mean?

In chp 2, remember that a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly. No, he must be one inwardly.

There is a difference between:

  • natural, physical seed of Abraham, and
  • the spiritual children of God.

As we know, in the OT, Abraham had 2 sons. Ishmael and Isaac. According to principle, Ishmael was the first-born, so he should have been chosen. But it was Isaac who God chose.

Also, Isaac had 2 sons: Esau and Jacob. Esau should have been chosen, because he was first. But God chose Jacob. These two shared the same father AND mother (unlike Ishmael and Isaac).

This shows that God did not choose based on physical condition (blood first-born), but by God’s absolute sovereignty.

If we are saved, it is not because of our physical condition, but because of God’s will and purpose.

Also, we can see that God’s election was not based on the character of the person. Is your character good? Good enough to be saved?

God’s purpose in Election

v. 11-13

“11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” “

Please do not misunderstand the meaning of this sentence, esp v. 13 “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”. Actually, God chose Jacob before he was born. They had done NOTHING before that. God’s choice is sovereign – and based on nothing from the people themselves.

Malachi wrote this “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What does this mean?

This does not mean Individual Choice, but National Election for World Mission.

  • “Jacob I loved” = I chose Israel as the mission country for world mission and evangelism
  • “Esau I hated” = Not personally, but he did not choose to use Edom for world mission

This means, even though our character and actions are sometimes evil, God remains faithful. He chooses not based on human merit, but on his own will and for his own purposes.

“God has absolute sovereignty” He is God.

v. 14-18

“14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

Why? Because he is God.

Nobody has the right to say to God, “Why me?”

God is God.

Is God unjust or unrighteous? No, not at all.

The fact that God chose one and not the other seems to indicate that God is UNrighteous. Do not misunderstand.

If we think, “God chose this person, but not that person” we might this “God is not holy.” But, actually, if God acted only on the basis of his own righteousness, NOBODY would be saved at all. All people should go to hell immediately – if God treated each person “fairly, equally, and according to what he has done.”

God’s election is not about personal righteousness, but about God’s mercy.

Paul quoted Exodus 33.

Actually, all the people of Israel committed a terrible sin – idol worship. If God had judged them according to his righteousness, ALL of them should be killed. Rather he just killed 3000 of them – not because some were “better” than others, but simply because he was merciful to the others.

In this passage, Paul is using two examples:

  • Pharaoh and Moses.
    • Actually, before God, they were equal – both murderers.
  1. God raised Pharaoh up to show his power through him.
  2. God used Moses to show his mercy and redemption through him.

Pharaoh was a king, Moses was a slave – but Moses is the one who received God’s mercy. Why? Because God chose this way. God acted according to his absolute sovereignty.

The hardening of Pharaoh:

v. 18 “Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.”

This “hardening” is reference 14? times in Exodus. Sometimes “Pharaoh hardened his heart” and sometimes “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart”. Actually God gave Pharaoh a chance (many) to repent, but he did not.

That’s why the Bible says, “When you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts.”

Please, whenever you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts. Make your heart soft when you receive the Word of God.

God’s faithfulness is still unchangeable.

Let’s pray.

 

  • Sep 13 / 2015
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It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Exodus: The Book of Redemption and Mission (1:1-22, 6:6, 19:5-6)

09.13.2015-PHeo

Download Notes in a .RTF file (Korean notes below 한국어 밑에)

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  • Jan 20 / 2012
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Exodus 10-12 (Bible-365.20): Where’s Your Idol?

Exodus 8, 9, 10, 11

These four chapters are quite possibly the most famous in the whole book of Exodus because it is here that God demonstrates his mighty power by sending 10 plagues to Egypt in order to get the Pharaoh to let His people go. Most theologians seem to agree that the 10 plagues God sent weren’t merely chosen at random or as only an invasive inconvenience for the Egyptians. Rather, the 10 plagues were chosen by God to destroy the main idols in Egypt at that time. So, following will be a table describing the plague and the idol it was intended to tear down: Continue Reading

  • Jan 19 / 2012
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Exodus 7-9 (Bible-365.19): God Blesses the Second-Born

Chapter 7

Is it just me, or does God seem to always pick the non-eldest son for great things? That seems totally counter-intuitive to the way the world actually works. Most people put all their hopes and expectations in the first-born son. Most people give all the rights, privileges, and inheritance to the first-born son. Most people expect their first-born son to take care of them when they are old. But, here in Exodus, we know that Moses, the one chosen by God to lead His people out of Egypt, is NOT the first-born son. In fact, his brother Aaron was three years older than him when they went to Pharaoh (Aaron, 83, Moses, 80 – neither of them young). 

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  • Jan 17 / 2012
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Exodus 1-3 (Bible-365.17): Does God Forget His Promises?

The first three chapters of Exodus are absolutely packed with stuff, just as the first three chapters of Genesis are. In these chapters, Joseph and all his immediate family have died, a new Pharaoh begins oppressing the Israelites, Moses is born, grown, kills a man, flees the country, gets married, and meets God in a burning bush. That’s possibly close to 50 years of story packed into a mere three chapters. Let’s dive in.

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  • Jan 17 / 2012
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Exodus – Book Overview

Author: Moses
Date: 1450-1410 B.C.

“Exodus” comes from a Greek translation of this book. “Exodus” literally means “way out” and is a principal theme of the book as the Hebrews leave Egypt. Evidence within the book lead to the conclusion that the author was a highly educated man who had been a long-time resident of Egypt and was an eyewitness of the Exodus – i.e. Moses. He was familiar with the crop sequence in Lower Egypt (Ex. 9:31-32); his descriptions accurately conform to known conditions (2:3, 12); and he includes details suitable only to an eyewitness account (15:27).

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