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  • Jan 31 / 2021
  • Comments Off on What does God want from us? (Genesis 22:1-2)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

What does God want from us? (Genesis 22:1-2)

Tithes and Offerings

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

What does God want from us?

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

Genesis 22:1-2

0. Introduction (A rich friend)

I want to share a story about the title of the sermon today.

I have a friend who has been very close since childhood.

One day, his business really took off.

With his success, he said he wanted to give me a big gift. You see, I had helped him out with his business until the day it began to become successful.

My friend asked me what I wanted to have, and as a joke, I told him I needed a new car.

But my friend took my joke seriously and really gave me a new car!

I was extremely grateful to my friend and sold my old car.

The shiny new car became my most treasured possession, and I was in high spirits.

Then one day, my friend suddenly called me out of the blue.

Embarrassed, he said,

“Say, listen. I’m so sorry, but you have to give me back the car I gave you. I need funds for my business right away.”

“What?” I was shocked. 

But eventually, I gave my friend the new car back.

So, how was my mood then?

Did I still thank my friend who had tried to give me a new car? or

Did I blame my friend for giving me a new car and then taking it back?

Today’s message is titled “What does God want from us?”, and it is taken out of Genesis chapter 22.

1. The command of God

Genesis 22:1-2

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied. 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

In the beginning of this chapter, God asks Abraham to return his most precious treasure, the child of Promise.

This child was the most precious thing in the world to Abraham.

Isaac was the son promised by God, given to him at age 100, the heir to all his possessions, and supposed to be the beginning of the great nation that God had also promised.

Isaac was his everything.

But God wondered if Abraham would dedicate his most precious possession to God.

So God guided him to a test that was difficult for him to bear, in order to confirm Abraham’s faith.

God’s demand to start off for an unknown mountain to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering to God may remind us of the command God had previously given Abraham to leave his homeland and go settle in unknown lands.

God once again asked Abraham to give up what was most precious in his life.

So, what do you suppose were Abraham’s feelings about God’s command to return that son to God?

2. Abraham’s obedience

Genesis 22:3

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

Surprisingly, Abraham did not resent God.

Instead, he began to solve this difficult test by obeying God.

But how was Abraham able to obey God’s difficult demands immediately?

In the past, Abraham had tried to solve his problems on his own.

But all the problems were not resolved according to his own will.

Over time, Abraham began to realize that the notion that he was his own master was wrong.

Abraham confessed that God was the only master and problem solver who could solve his problems. He finally recognized God’s sovereignty over his life.

Through his experiences with God, Abraham eventually grew in awe of him, the master of his life.

We need to take note of this word “awe”.

It means “holy fear and respect for” God, and is true of the man who acknowledges God’s sovereignty and glory.

In the past, Abraham had originally regarded God merely as a tool who could help solve his problems. But as his faith grew, he realized that he belonged under the sovereignty of God.

So at this point in Abraham’s life, after all his previous experiences with God, he could not help but obey the demands of his master. His amazing obedience was possible because he had been with God for a long time.

Let’s just think about our own faith for a moment.

Please don’t worry if you feel your faith is small. Remember, even Abraham was also a beginner in faith at first. The important thing we should focus on is constant fellowship with God.

Read the Bible every single day!

Pray to God every day!

Make a short meeting with God of even 5 or 10 minutes your daily habit!

And with each small exercise of faith you do like this, God will grow your faith.

From faith to faith we grow. From smaller faith, through the exercise and practice of our faith, we grow on to greater faith in God when he remains the center of our lives.

3. Obedience result

Genesis 22:11-18

11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Look here. God gave two gifts to Abraham after seeing his obedience.

The first gift was a ram, to be used in place of his son as a burnt offering sacrifice to God.

The second gift was a further blessing on Abraham’s descendants.

Actually, in this test, what God really wanted was not what he asked for, the son Isaac, but rather it was the heart of the owner, Abraham.

God wanted Abraham’s full obedience.

God demanded Isaac as evidence of complete obedience.

So, what does God really want from me?

God wants my full obedience.

God receives our offerings as evidence of complete obedience.

He may not ever ask us to give him the life of our first born child as he did to Abraham, but

what’s amazing is that even when we give God a part of our treasured possessions,

God acknowledges that we have dedicated them all to him. (This is also why the tithe in the Old Testament was a tenth of what was brought in.)

Why is this so?

It’s because God knows that people are fragile

And God knows better than we do about what people need to live.

This is God’s amazing calculation and grace.

Abraham regained his son through full obedience, and received a greater blessing from God than before.

What we should remember is that Abraham’s blessing was not granted based on his actions alone, but rather that through God’s sovereignty and mercy, and Abraham’s heart and obedience, he chose to bless him.

4. God is the hardest worker

Genesis 22:20-23

20 Some time later Abraham was told, “Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor:

21 Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham`s brother Nahor.

After God confirmed Abraham’s obedience, he worked quickly on the blessing of his descendants.

The Bible specifically mentions the birth of Rebekah here, who would be Isaac’s wife in the future.

And we can also see that the blessing of numerous descendants, which was Abraham’s long-awaited desire, proceeded rapidly through the work of God.

If you obey God as Abraham did, he will eventually lead you to the fastest, smoothest, safest, easiest, or best path. Getting there may not be easy, but God is faithful, and he will eventually fulfill his promises to those whose hearts are his and who obey him fully.

The solution to our problems depends on obeying God fully because he is always the hardest worker in the world for us.

5. The foundation of obedience (Jesus Christ)

Mark 10:45

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Let’s assume that God gave you this command. 

“Take your son or daughter, whom you love dearly, and go to sacrifice him or her as a burnt offering on that far away mountain that I will tell you about.”

Could you obey this command of God?

We may answer ‘‘Please, no, Lord. Rather kill me in the place of my son or daughter and spare their life’ or ‘No, father God, That command is too terrible for me. Why would you give me such an evil commandment when you are supposed to be good and just? I’m sorry but I can’t understand you at all!’

So how could Abraham obey such a difficult command?

After Abraham had accompanied God for a long time, and eventually recognized God as his master. It was through this realization that Abraham was able to confess that his life, as well as everything he had, came only from God. His son Isaac was no exception.

Abraham felt more fear of God’s command, his master, than fear of losing his only son, whom God had also already promised, and delivered to him in his old age.

He knew that his life depended entirely on God’s sovereignty and grace, and that if God gave, he could also take away. But additionally, that if God promised, he would always deliver. So, even if God were to take Isaac away, it was fully within God’s power, and promise, to return Isaac to him again.

Therefore, he had to obey God’s orders.

He could no longer live by his human thinking alone before God, his master, the Creator of the universe and giver of all things. (Human thinking is so small and limited compared to the unmatched awesomeness of God. So, then why do we so often assume we know better, or have better answers than him who created all things?)

Moving on, what is the true meaning of God’s command to sacrifice his son?

In fact, God’s command to Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, is a foreshadowing of God’s own sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ, for us on the cross. And just as Abraham led Isaac up the mountain to be sacrificed, and Isaac followed his father willingly to the end, so also God led Jesus through his ministry on earth and along the path of death to the cross, with Jesus following willingly in order to obey God’s command. 

This is how God has granted us eternal life.

Because all have sinned, we’ve inherited a sin nature from birth, and from our first parents, Adam and Eve. And all sin, whether big or small, requires a penalty to be paid – that penalty is death. But Jesus, by following God’s command, sacrificed his own life in place of ours. He took our death penalty for sin upon himself so that whoever believes in him is no longer under the curse of the death penalty for sin, but has gained eternal life through him.

As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God stopped him quickly because he was testing his obedience. But he did not do so with Jesus’ sacrifice because Jesus was sent on a mission, to save the whole world through his sacrifice, and fully obedient to the end, he succeeded. This is God’s true heart for us. He loves his people, his creation enough, to give up his own most precious treasure for us.

Sometimes God may demand the most precious thing we have. He is checking our willingness to obey our master, God. But never forget that God has already sacrificed the most precious thing he had, for you.

So, don’t blame God for asking for your possessions. Rather, thank God for all that you have already, and that he is asking so little of you. He has already given you the greatest gift.

In fact, nothing you have now is actually yours.

Your life, your time, your family, your property, your health, your power …

All these came from God.

Express your gratitude to God for giving us all these great gifts!

Express your gratitude to God for sending Jesus to you, and giving up his greatest possession, for your eternal life!

Give God back just a portion of what he has already given you!

Obedience to our God is the best way to practice our faith, worship him, show that we love him, and be rewarded by his hand!


< 하나님이 우리에게 원하시는 것은? >

1 그 일 후에 하나님이 아브라함을 시험하시려고 그를 부르시되 아브라함아 하시니 그가 이르되 내가 여기 있나이다 2 여호와께서 이르시되 네 아들 네 사랑하는 독자 이삭을 데리고 모리아 땅으로 가서 내가 네게 일러 준 한 산 거기서 그를 번제로 드리라

창세기 22:1-2

0. 예화(부자 친구 이야기)

오늘 주제와 관련하여 하나의 이야기를 나누겠습니다.

나에게는 어린 시절부터 아주 친하게 지내던 한 친구가 있습니다.

그러던 어느 날 친구의 사업이 엄청난 대박이 났습니다.

친구는 그 동안 힘들 때 자신을 도와주었던 나에게 갖고 싶은 것을 선물해 주겠다고 말했습니다.

나는 친구의 말에 농담으로 나는 새 자동차가 필요하다고 말했습니다.

그런데 친구는 나의 제안을 받아들여 정말로 나에게 새 자동차를 선물해 주었습니다.

나는 친구에게 큰 고마움을 느꼈고, 내 오래된 차를 팔았습니다.

형편이 넉넉하지 못했던 나에게 친구가 선물해 준 새 자동차는 나에게 가장 소중한 보물이 되었습니다.

그러던 어느 날, 친구에게 전화가 왔습니다.

그는 당황스러워 하면서 나에게 이렇게 말했습니다.

‘너무 미안하지만, 내가 준 자동차를 돌려 주어야겠어. 지금 내 사업을 위한 자금이 필요하거든.’

결국 나는 친구에게 새 자동차를 돌려주었습니다.

이때 내 기분은 어땠을까요?

나에게 새 자동차를 선물해 준 친구에게 여전히 고마움을 느낄까요? 아니면

새 자동차를 선물해주었다가 다시 빼앗은 친구를 원망하는 마음이 들까요?

오늘은 <하나님이 우리에게 원하시는 것은?>이라는 제목으로 창세기 22장의 말씀을 나누겠습니다.

1. 하나님의 명령

창세기 22:1-2

1 그 일 후에 하나님이 아브라함을 시험하시려고 그를 부르시되 아브라함아 하시니 그가 이르되 내가 여기 있나이다 2 여호와께서 이르시되 네 아들 네 사랑하는 독자 이삭을 데리고 모리아 땅으로 가서 내가 네게 일러 준 한 산 거기서 그를 번제로 드리라

하나님은 아브라함에게 그의 가장 소중한 보물을 다시 돌려달라고 하셨습니다.

아브라함에게 세상에서 가장 소중한 것은 약속의 아들, 이삭이었습니다.

아브라함에게 이삭은 그의 인생에 중요한 의미였습니다. 이삭은 그의 모든 것이었습니다.

하나님은 아브라함이 그의 가장 소중한 것을 하나님께 바치는지 궁금하셨습니다.

그래서 하나님은 아브라함의 믿음을 시험하기 위해, 그를 사람이 감당하기 어려운 시험으로 인도하셨습니다.

이삭을 바치기 위해 확정되지 않은 산으로 출발하라는 하나님의 요구는 

하나님께서 아브라함에게 그의 고향을 떠나 확정되지 않은 땅으로 가라고 하신 명령을 생각나게 합니다.

하나님은 아브라함에게 다시 한번 그가 가진 가장 소중한 것을 포기하라고 요구하시는 것입니다.

가장 소중한 아들을 다시 돌려달라는 하나님께 아브라함은 어떤 마음을 가졌을까요?

2. 아브라함의 순종

창세기 22:3

3 아브라함이 아침에 일찍이 일어나 나귀에 안장을 지우고 두 종과 그의 아들 이삭을 데리고 번제에 쓸 나무를 쪼개어 가지고 떠나 하나님이 자기에게 일러 주신 곳으로 가더니

아브라함은 하나님을 원망하지 않았습니다.

아브라함은 하나님께 순종함으로써 이 어려운 시험을 풀기 시작하였습니다.

아브라함이 하나님의 어려운 요구에도 즉시 순종할 수 있었던 이유는 무엇이었을까요?

아브라함은 지금까지 자신의 문제를 스스로 해결하려고 노력하였습니다.

그러나 그는 모든 문제들이 그의 뜻대로 해결되지 않았습니다.

아브라함은 그가 그의 인생의 주인이라는 생각이 잘못 되었음을 깨달았습니다.

아브라함은 하나님이 그의 문제를 해결할 수 있는 유일한 해결사 라는 사실을 알게 되었습니다.

그가 비로소 그의 인생에 대한 하나님의 주권을 인정하게 된 것입니다.

아브라함은 그와 그의 인생의 주인이신 하나님을 경외하게 된 것입니다.

우리는 이 ‘경외’라는 단어를 주목해야 할 필요가 있습니다.

경외란 하나님의 주권과 영광을 인정하는 사람이 가지는 거룩한 두려움과 공경심을 의미합니다.

과거의 아브라함은 하나님을 그저 그의 문제를 해결해주는 해결사로만 여겼습니다.

그러나 신앙이 성장한 아브라함은 그가 하나님의 주권 아래 속해있는 존재라는 것을 깨달았습니다.

그래서 아브라함은 그의 주인이신 하나님의 요구에 순종하지 않을 수가 없었습니다.

그의 놀라운 순종은 그가 오랜 시간 동안 하나님과의 동행하였기 때문에 가능한 것이었습니다.

잠시 나의 믿음이 어떤지 살펴봅시다.

나의 믿음의 수준이 높은 수준이 아닐지라도 걱정할 필요가 없습니다.

아브라함도 처음에는 믿음의 초보자였기 때문입니다.

중요한 것은 하나님과의 지속적인 교제 입니다.

매일 단 한 줄이라도 성경을 읽으십시요!

매일 단 10초라도 하나님께 기도하십시요!

하나님과의 짧은 만남을 매일의 습관으로 만드십시요!

내가 할 수 있는 작은 실천 뒤에, 하나님께서 당신의 믿음을 성장시키실 것입니다.

3. 순종의 결과

창세기 22:11-18

11 여호와의 사자가 하늘에서부터 그를 불러 이르시되 아브라함아 아브라함아 하시는지라 아브라함이 이르되 내가 여기 있나이다 하매

12 사자가 이르시되 그 아이에게 네 손을 대지 말라 그에게 아무 일도 하지 말라 네가 네 아들 네 독자까지도 내게 아끼지 아니하였으니 내가 이제야 네가 하나님을 경외하는 줄을 아노라

13 아브라함이 눈을 들어 살펴본즉 한 숫양이 뒤에 있는데 뿔이 수풀에 걸려 있는지라 아브라함이 가서 그 숫양을 가져다가 아들을 대신하여 번제로 드렸더라

14 아브라함이 그 땅 이름을 여호와 이레라 하였으므로 오늘날까지 사람들이 이르기를 여호와의 산에서 준비되리라 하더라

15 여호와의 사자가 하늘에서부터 두 번째 아브라함을 불러

16 이르시되 여호와께서 이르시기를 내가 나를 가리켜 맹세하노니 네가 이같이 행하여 네 아들 네 독자도 아끼지 아니하였은즉

17 내가 네게 큰 복을 주고 네 씨가 크게 번성하여 하늘의 별과 같고 바닷가의 모래와 같게 하리니 네 씨가 그 대적의 성문을 차지하리라

18 또 네 씨로 말미암아 천하 만민이 복을 받으리니 이는 네가 나의 말을 준행하였음이니라 하셨다 하니라

하나님은 아브라함의 순종 이후에 그에게 두 가지 선물을 주셨습니다.

첫번째 선물은 이삭을 대신하여 번제로 드릴 숫양이었습니다.

두번째 선물은 아브라함의 자손에 대한 축복이었습니다.

하나님이 진정으로 원하셨던 것은 예물로 드린 ‘이삭’이 아니라 ‘아브라함’이었습니다.

하나님은 아브라함의 완전한 순종을 원하셨던 것입니다.

하나님은 완전한 순종의 근거로써 예물을 요구하신 것입니다.

하나님이 나에게 진정으로 원하는 것은 무엇일까요?

하나님은 나의 완전한 순종을 원하십니다.

하나님은 완전한 순종의 근거로써 우리의 예물을 받으십니다.

놀라운 사실은 우리가 가진 것의 일부를 하나님께 드렸을 때,

하나님은 우리가 모든 것을 하나님께 드린 것으로 여기신다는 것입니다.

이러한 원리가 적용되는 이유는 무엇일까요?

하나님은 사람이 연약한 존재라는 것을 아시기 때문입니다

또 하나님은 사람이 살아가기 위해 필요한 것들을 우리보다 더 잘 알고 계시기 때문입니다.

이것이 하나님의 놀라운 계산법이요 은혜인 것입니다.

아브라함은 완전한 순종을 통해 그의 아들을 되찾았고, 전보다 더 큰 축복을 하나님께 받았습니다. 

우리가 기억해야 할 것은 아브라함의 축복은 그의 행동이 그 원인이 아니라는 것입니다.

하나님의 주권과 자비가 아브라함의 축복의 근거가 되었습니다.

4. 하나님은 가장 열심히 일하시는 분

창세기 22:20-23

20 이 일 후에 어떤 사람이 아브라함에게 알리어 이르기를 밀가가 당신의 형제 나홀에게 자녀를 낳았다 하였더라

21 그의 맏아들은 우스요 우스의 형제는 부스와 아람의 아버지 그므엘과 22 게셋과 하소와 빌다스와 이들랍과 브두엘이라 23 이 여덟 사람은 아브라함의 형제 나홀의 아내 밀가의 소생이며 브두엘은 리브가를 낳았고

하나님은 아브라함의 순종을 확인하시고 그의 자손의 축복을 위해 신속하게 일하셨습니다.

본문은 장차 이삭의 아내가 될 리브가의 탄생을 언급하고 있습니다.

아브라함의 오랜 소망이었던 자손의 축복이 급속도로 진행되는 것입니다.

하나님께 순종하면 하나님께서 가장 빠른 길로 인도하십니다.

우리의 문제의 해결은 하나님께 순종하는 것에 달려 있습니다.

하나님은 나를 위해 가장 열심히 일하시는 분이기 때문입니다.

5. 순종의 근거(예수 그리스도)

마가복음 10:45

45 인자가 온 것은 섬김을 받으려 함이 아니라 도리어 섬기려 하고 자기 목숨을 많은 사람의 대속물로 주려 함이니라

하나님께서 나에게 명령하십니다.

‘너의 아들 또는 딸을 나에게 제물로 바쳐라’

당신은 이 하나님의 명령에 순종할 수 있습니까?

우리는 이에 대해 이렇게 대답할 것입니다.

‘하나님 차라리 나를 죽이시고 내 아들과 딸을 살려주세요’ 또는

‘하나님 그 명령은 나에게 너무 끔찍합니다. 하나님은 선하시고 정의로우신 분인데 왜 이런 악한 명령을 하십니까?’

아브라함은 어떻게 이렇게 어려운 하나님의 명령에 순종할 수 있었을까요?

아브라함은 하나님과 오랜 시간 동행하였고, 결국 하나님을 자신의 주인으로 인정하였습니다.

아브라함은 자신의 생명은 물론, 자신이 가진 모든 것이 하나님께로부터 왔음을 깨달았습니다.

그의 아들 이삭도 예외는 아니었습니다.

아브라함은 아들을 잃는 두려움보다 그의 주인이신 하나님의 말씀에 대해서 더 큰 두려움을 느꼈습니다. 

그는 그의 삶이 주권이 하나님께 달려있음을 알고 있었습니다.

그래서 그는 하나님의 명령 앞에서 순종할 수 밖에 없었습니다.

그는 더 이상 주인이신 하나님 앞에서 자신을 주장할 수 없었습니다.

아들을 제물로 바치라는 하나님의 명령의 진정한 의미는 무엇일까요?

하나님은 아들을 제물로 바치라는 이 끔찍한 명령을 스스로에게 하셨습니다.

그 아들이 바로 예수 그리스도입니다.

예수님은 하나님의 말씀에 순종하기 위해 스스로 죽음의 길로 걸어가셨습니다.

그것이 우리에게 영원한 생명을 줄 수 있는 하나님의 유일한 방법이었기 때문입니다.

하나님은 아브라함이 그의 아들, 이삭을 희생시키려 할 때, 다급하게 그의 행동을 막으셨습니다.

그러나 하나님은 그의 아들, 예수님의 희생을 막지 않으셨습니다.

하나님은 그의 아들의 생명보다 우리의 생명이 더 소중했기 때문입니다.

이것이 우리를 위한 하나님의 진정한 마음이었습니다.

때때로 하나님은 우리에게 우리가 가진 가장 소중한 것을 요구하십니다.

그 요구의 의미는 나의 주인이신 하나님께 순종하라는 것입니다.

그의 아들 보다 우리를 더 사랑하신 하나님께 순종하라는 것입니다.

내가 가진 소중한 것을 원하시는 하나님을 원망하지 마십시요.

오히려 하나님께 드릴 수 있음에 감사하십시요.

사실 나의 것은 아무것도 없습니다.

나의 생명, 나의 시간, 나의 가족, 나의 재산, 나의 건강, 나의 능력… 이 모든 것은 하나님께로부터 온 것입니다.

이 모든 것을 선물로 주신 하나님께 감사하십시요.

하나님께 받은 것의 일부를 하나님께 믿음으로 드리십시요.

하나님께 순종하는 길이 우리의 소망이 이루어지는 가장 빠른 길입니다.

  • Jun 21 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is the Center of our Unity

1 Cor 1:10-17 (Pastor Heo)

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


1 Cor was written by Paul. He planted a local church at Corinth during his 2nd missionary journey. At this time, he is at Ephesus during his 3rd missionary journey. He heard a bad report about Corinth. From whom did he hear the report? From the servant of Chloe.

v. 11

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. “

Maybe Chloe was a rich business woman living in Ephesus or Corinth with her servants handling business between Ephesus and Corinth. Anyway, what is clear is that these first-hand observers told Paul what was happening at Corinth.

Paul wrote this letter to help them with their problems.

Problem #1: Disunity, division

In church history, division has always been a problem among the people of God. In this case, it was quarreling over who they “follow”. Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ? (v. 12)

v. 12

“What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.””

This caused a big division and disunity among them. Why? Actually, Paul, Apollos, and Peter (Cephas) had nothing to do with these divisions. They didn’t try to make their own fan clubs, but they focused on Christ in their messages. So, why was there division? It was a human, personal thing.

  • Paul founded the church there, and was the missionary to the Gentiles. Perhaps he attracted the Gentile believers.
  • Apollos was an eloquent and famous speaker who had once had a famous ministry at Corinth. At that time, oratory eloquence was highly valued. He likely attracted highly educated and philosophical believers.
  • Peter (Cephas) was a Jew of Jews, the main minister for the Jewish people. He was the leader of the first 12 apostles. He likely attracted the Jewish people, especially those who doubted Paul’s apostleship.
  • Christ – maybe we also decide to follow “Christ only” and not human leaders.

This disunity makes the church powerless and weak. Disunity, fighting with each other, these things make our enemy Satan happy. Satan is a spirit of disunity. In Genesis, Satan brought disunity between God and man, man and man, man and Creation. Even today he is bringing disunity into our churches, homes, workplaces, countries. So we must be in prayer all the time for these things.

The Holy Spirit, however, is a spirit of unity.

Eph “Make every effort to keep the unity in the bond of peace. There is one Lord, one baptism, one Spirit, one Father of all – who is above all and in all and through all.”

Eph 2:14 “Jesus has made the two one and broken the barrier of disunity.”

Gal 3:28 “There is no Greek nor Jew, no slave nor free, no male nor female, but all are equal in Christ.”

Even today Jesus is praying for our unity. “Make them one as we are one.”

v. 10

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Paul does not command them by his authority, but approaches them in a kind, appealing manner. This means Jesus is the answer, the solution. Only Jesus brings unity.

Gal 3:28 “There is no slave nor free… We are all one in Jesus Christ.”

What does this mean? Unity does not mean uniformity. We are not all the same in our culture, background, interests, color, favorite foods, etc. We can enjoy variety – like the colors of a rainbow. It is beautiful because it has many different colors, but the colors are all united. If these colors are separated, there is no longer a rainbow.

We should be united. How? In what way should we be made one? At least there are Three areas in which we must be united.

God bless us with holy, spiritual unity.

#1 Identity

Our sense of belonging to one family.

Yes, this is our second time in 1 Cor. In the first time, we recognized that we are a church, we are saints, we are one in Christ. This is our identity – we are ONE family, united in Christ. We belong to one family.

In v. 10, 11, Paul addresses us as “brothers [and sisters].” It means, we all Christians are part of God’s family. We share unity that runs even deeper than blood brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God is organized as a family system.

God, the Son, the Spirit are three separate entities, but organized as ONE family system.

  • God = Father
  • Jesus = Son
  • Holy Spirit = Helper

Romans “Those God foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the likeness of Christ so that he might become the first brother…”

We are one in one family. This is our real, eternal identity.

#2 Faith doctrine

What do you believe in your heart?

If you are Christian, you have a faith doctrine. This is called “christology”. The doctrine of salvation is called “soltariology.”

v. 13

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”

Everyone knows the answers to these questions. Paul uses rhetorical questions to make what is known crystal clear. It is very simple. Even baby Christians know this. Who died for you? Paul? No. Apollos? No. Peter? No. Only Christ. Who can save us, who can give us real freedom, who can give us deliverance from hell, who can give us real peace and joy, who can give us eternal life? Absolutely, finally, Jesus.

We are one in this faith doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Yes, even I agree that Paul, Apollos, and Peter are greater men than me. I honor them, but they are the same in that they were humans, sinners, and need forgiveness, and salvation. For them, Jesus Christ died.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name given to men under heaven by which we must be saved.”

We are one in the doctrine of Christ.

#3 Priority Mission

This is practically important.

If we are Christians, we all have a mission. Check what you mission is.

A “mission” is a task given to you by God. It is not something you choose for yourself, but something given to you by God because we are servants of God. Check all the time what is your priority #1 mission.

Sometimes you feel tired, bored? Ask and check, what is your mission?

We are different in many areas – our tastes, favorite colors, height, weight, etc. We are individual people, but we must be ONE in our priority #1 mission. We can be different in our talents and gifts, but we are ONE in our priority #1 mission. What is it?

v. 10

“…perfectly united in mind and thought.” (in purpose – #1 mission)

What is it?

v. 14-17

“14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Do not misunderstand this story, but we should understand the background of this story.

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, we are baptized in the name of Christ.

But what IS important in baptism is that we are baptized INTO one family.

But the Corinthian church misunderstood. Some said, “Paul baptized me.” Others, “No, Peter did me – he’s better.” Others, “Apollos did me – he’s the best.”

It does not matter by which pastor you were baptized. Billy Graham? Pastor Park? It does not matter. We were baptized by one faith into one family.

This also involves the Great Commission of Christ. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality – trusting in Christ as your personal Savior. So, by baptism, we publicly declare our faith in Christ to this world. So, baptism is a unifying factor in the church.

v. 17 (final answer – priority #1 mission)

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

“Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…”

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, it is important, but our primary mission is to preach the gospel.

No matter how important baptism is, preaching the gospel must be first. Baptism cannot substitute for preaching the gospel.

In our daily lives, remember, no matter how important a thing you do, not preaching the gospel cannot be justified by doing that very important thing.

In 1 Cor later, Paul says, “When preaching the gospel I cannot boast because I am compelled to do so. Woe to me if I do not preach…” He doesn’t say, “Woe to me if I don’t baptize.” Rather, “Woe to me if I don’t preach.”

We are one in:

  1. Identity
  2. Doctrine
  3. Mission

God bless us to be united in Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 29 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)

2020.03.29 Full Online service

Tithes and Offerings

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The conclusion of Chapter 11: Faith

Hebrews 12:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

God Disciplines His Sons

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.


We finished chp 11’s study last time: the chapter of Faith. Through this study, we have seen heroes of faith in the OT. These are just a few, so the author says, “What more shall I say? I don’t have enough time to tell more.”

This first part of chp 12 is the conclusion of chp 11.

“Because..” we have seen faith, the demonstration and power of faith, … these 4 verses are actually the conclusion of chp 11.

In this conclusion, we can see a strong word: “Let us”

  1. Let us throw off
  2. Let us run
  3. Let us fix our eyes

This is not a suggestion, but a strong, absolute encouragement.

1. Altogether, we must do it together.

We must edify, minister, serve together because we are linked together as one body of Christ, we are affected and affecting each other. So, in verse 1, we can see the summary of the Christian life. What is it in this world?

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance [endurance, determination] the race marked out for us.”

We are like runners, athletes, marathon runners.

First, we have a purpose, a goal, a finishing line. We have a finishing line in our lives – a purpose, a goal, a final destination.

Yes, as Christians, we are travelers, foreigners, pilgrims, but we are not tourists. Our lives are leading somewhere. We must lead goal-driven, purpose-driven lives. What is the purpose of your lives? What is driving your life? What is the driving force?

We have purpose, a finishing line, but like runners, every athlete has his own running course and finishing line. But the running course / finishing line is just offered to them – they have no right to decide their own course or finishing line. This running course and finishing line was offered to them by the host of the race.

Like this we have a course and a finish line, but we have no right to choose our own course nor finish line – because we are not the hosts. Our maker, God, Creator, Father, is the host.

Romans 8:28 “God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.”

2. We have witnesses / inspiration

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,…”

This cloud of witnesses was introduced in the previous chapter, 11. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Joseph. Also, my father and mother are acting as witnesses for me / to me.

They are witnesses in a double sense – they witnesses about their confession to Christ, and are now witnessing to us, but not as spectators.

Martyr comes from the Greek word translated for “witness.” They are not merely observing us, but they are witnessing to us, and God is witnessing to us. From this truth, we can know that this is a hard time, but whatever sufferings we are going through, there are many witnesses and people of faith before us who suffered much more than us, but endured to the end and won the race. They are cheering us on: “I did it! So can you! Endure to the end!”

We do not struggle alone – we are not the first people who are experiencing suffering and difficulties, and we have witnesses.

3. We have handicaps / weaknesses

We are surrounded by the greatness of the past, but are also surrounded by our handicaps / weaknesses / hindrances.

v. 1

“…let us throw off [remove] everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,…”

We must know that yes, we are human, so we are surrounded by sin and temptation to sin as long as we stay in this world. But we must know that with sin, it is impossible to run and finish this race well.

What is sin that so easily entangles you or me? Disbelief, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, lust, envy, jealousy, self-indulgence? What is the sin holding us back from running this race? Whatever it is, it must be stripped off and left behind.

Jesus “If you eye / hand / foot causes you to sin, gouge it out because it is better for you to enter heaven with only one, than go to hell with both.”

This shows that we cannot finish this race without radical determination and fighting. We must fight continually – not only sin, but also hindrances – they must be removed.

What are hindrances? Maybe not sin, but if it hinders your running, it must be removed.

“…let us throw off every [weight]…”

For example: my necktie, nice? Yes, wearing a necktie and these clothes are not a sin, but if I participate in a running race, I must remove these things – I must change my clothes because these make me heavy, weighty, and slow, preventing me from running well in this race.

This about this sincerely. What is holding you back from this faith race? We must be very sincere and honest in this question.

4. We have means / method to endure

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

– endurance, perseverance

We know in a marathon, endurance, perseverance, stamina, energy are essential. Like this, in the Christian race, endurance is very essential. But we must know that biblical endurance is not merely sitting down and receiving things, rather it means refusing to give up without the loss of hope. Biblical perseverance = nothing can stop us from going our course until we reach our final destination and touch the final finishing line.

How is this possible? How can we do it in this world?

Today’s sermon is : the conclusion of chp 11. So, what is the conclusion of this message?

The conclusion: Jesus Christ

The answer to all the questions: Jesus Christ

v. 2-4

“2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” [the point of death]

Remember in chp 11, there is one sentence I repeated almost every time? “by faith…” we are saved, justified, being sanctified, will be glorified, can please God, can overcome this world.

This was purposeful – to make something clear. We can see what is clear in this sentence: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, faith helps us to be positive in our thinking, and optimistic in our perspective, strong in our self / mind control. But we must be clear that positive thinking itself is not faith, an optimisitic attitude is not faith.

Faith = believing in Christ as Savior and Lord – accepting and confessing him, committing my whole life to him as Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the source, the ground, the foundation, the reason, object, goal, of our faith, the author and perfecter of our faith.

This means, he is the founder, originator, pioneer, finisher of our faith. So, I said in the first sentence, in the Christian life we have 4 things – and the answer is found only in Christ.

  1. Goal / Purpose (Christ is our goal – if he is your Savior and Lord) – our worship, service, ministry, everything we are doing must be Christ-centric because he is the measure of all things
  2. Witness / inspiration (Jesus is the inspiration of all inspirations) – we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, but Jesus must be the whole sky – the center of our sight.
  3. Handicaps / temptations (the only way to find freedom, cleansing, sanctification from all these things is Jesus – 1 John “the blood of Christ purifies us from all sins”)
  4. Means / endurance / patience (through the study of chp 11, we have seen how much they endured in their lives, but Jesus endured far more than any hero of faith in chp 11)

Jesus endured the cross. It means = shame, suffering, opposition, contradiction, the most terrible / horrible / painful / shameful death.

v. 4

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

None of us endured to the point of death – but he did. On the cross, he suffered for all the sins of all the people all over the world. Only Jesus is a perfect example for us to follow – a perfect example of patience and endurance.

1 Peter 2 “To this you were called, because Jesus suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow.”

He is an example and an enabler.

v. 3

“Consider him..” This is the greatest power – as long as we consider what he did and how he did it, there is nothing in this world we cannot endure. He is the greatest power in this world to overcome all things, temptations, challenges, hardships.

Why / how could he do that and for what?

v. 2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This event happened 2000 years ago, but due to that joy, he is now rejoicing. We can know pain is short, but joy is long, eternal.

What joy was he expecting? He endured the cross expecting the joy set before him in advance. What was that joy? It enabled him to endure even the cross, even to the point of death.

We can see at least 3 kinds of joys he was expecting

  1. Joy of the reunion with his Father in heaven (his homecoming day)
  2. Joy of being crowned with honor and glory and making everything put under his feet (after resurrection “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me”)
  3. Joy of salvation of his believers (your salvation is Jesus’ joy – he endured for our salvation)

If Jesus did not endure the cross, then your and my salvation would be impossible. Due to his sacrifice on the cross, our salvation has become possible.

So, today, what is our joy?

Today Jesus invites us to share in his joy together. If we can see that joy set before us by faith in advance, then we can endure any situation and difficulty even joyfully.

God bless us that Jesus’ joy make be ours. Still his joy is available to us if we live by faith in Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 22 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith let us stand firm to the end (Hebrews 11:35-40)

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By faith let us stand firm to the end

Hebrews 11:35-40 (Pastor Heo)

35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.


Let us trust God fully and wholly in this time. God bless his church in this time.

This is the last part of this great chapter on faith, but we will see the conclusion of this chapter next time in the first part of chp 12. Let’s open our Bibles and read together.


Faith, what is faith? Being sure of what we hope for – assurance, conviction, confidence in the unseen. By faith we are saved, justified, being sanctified, and one day we will be glorified. By faith we please God, give glory to God, overcome the world. Today, according to the text, let me share some characteristics of real faith.

Faith has the power of balance.

Faith is unconditional.

Relative faith is not faith. Conditional faith is not faith. What does it mean, “Faith has the power of balance”?

Last time: By faith, they experienced wonderful victory in war, marvelous deliverance and escape from lions and fury of fire, experienced the rising of the dead. This is the power of great faith.

Today, the story looks the opposite.

By the same faith, some experienced empowerment to persevere, endure in suffering to the end even to the point of death – without losing their hope of the better and eternal resurrection.

Faith provides empowerment.

To persevere and endure in suffering.

Something true can be proved as true. This can be proven as true only by enduring to the end.

If we have “true” faith in Christ, how can we prove it? We can reveal it as true only by remaining faithful to Christ to the end.

Jesus “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Something that is revealed, exposed as not true in the end was not true from the beginning.

So, steadfast faith in Christ does not guarantee a problemless life in this world. Actually true faith almost always guarantees some form of abuse in this world.

v. 36-37

“36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–“

From the world’s view, they are miserable losers – terrible losers. From the temporary and material, they lost everything. But in God’s view, they are great winners and great victors. From the eternal values, they gained everything.

What is faith? The power to see something from God’s view, not from the world’s view – from an eternal value, not a temporary value.

Sometimes to endure and persevere takes more faith than to escape. If God is glorified by delivering his people, yes, he will do that – deliver them from suffering, from difficulties, from any hardships. God is almighty God.

But if it is better to suffer and persevere for some time even to the end (from his eternal perspective) then God will allow us to suffer. But he will provide us with power to endure and persevere.

So, do not conclude that the absence of immediate deliverance is a lack of love for his children.

Faith looks to the future – to eternity

For that is where the greatest rewards are found. Faith empowers us to turn from the approval of this world and seek the approval of God.

Some baby Christians may think that pain and suffering are an exception in the Christian life. So when this happens, they may ask, “Why me?” and they may feel that God deserted them – and is not as dependable as they thought.

But mature Christians ask, “Why NOT me?” If we expect pain or suffering, we will not be surprised when suffering comes.

John 16:33 “In this world, you will have troubles, but take heart: I have overcome the world.”

We can overcome the world, any kinds of suffering, pain, difficulty, hardship, by faith in Christ.

v. 38

“38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”

The world was not worthy of them…

This sentence is very short, but VERY powerful.

It means this world was not worthy of those who live by faith. The evaluation of this world and that of God are totally different.

Paul: a good illustration of this.

  • The world evaluated Paul: “You are out of your mind! You are insane! Not fit to live!”
  • God said, “You are my chosen vessel, my chosen instrument – for my purpose.”

This is very different. If you live by faith in Christ, God will be very proud to be called your father. If you live by faith in Christ, this world does not deserve to contain you as its own possession.

Example:

A container + a thing

If the container is so dirty, but the thing is so pure and clean and precious, then this container is not worthy of this thing.

Like this, the world is sinful and selfish and only material, temporary.

If we are really people of faith, it means we are fighting the good fight against sin and selfishness.

Yes, we are a body, but also spirit and made to live eternally with God in heaven. Thus, this world does not deserve to contain us as its own possession.

1 John 2:17 “This world and its desires and passions pass away, but the man who does the will of God [lives by faith] lives forever.”

Even though we live in this world, remember, the world is not worthy of us because we are living by faith in Christ.

v. 39-40

“39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

For several times we have studied this great chapter of faith. Do you remember the opening verse?

v 39 and v 2 are similar:

  • v 39 “These were all commended for their faith, “
  • v 2 “This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Those who persevered in suffering were commended for their faith. It means that God never forgets those who love him and serve him.

v 39 “yet none of them received what had been promised.”

This means: God had planned something better for you and me.

Hebrews is the book of better:

  • Better hope,
  • better sacrifice,
  • and so on.

God has planned “something better” – what is it? A new and better covenant, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

The faithful of OT times died before the Messiah appeared, so they entered heaven by faith – with the Promise unfulfilled. Only IN Jesus Christ (the new covenant), their salvation, our salvation, and the salvation of future believers – will be made perfect and complete.

One day, all the OT believers, NT believers, and future believers will share the promised blessing in Jesus Christ.

Faith is personal, individual, and private.

We know that faith is personal, individual, and private. I’m saved by MY faith – not my parents’. This means it is personal, individual and private. At the same time, faith involves the entire community of all believers. So how can we get connected? To the local church, through a small group, sharing with each other. To the Christian overseas, through the support of missions.

Also, all believers in Christ are connected vertically and horizontally – with one Savior, one Father, one hope.

Faith is also social.

Our salvation / faith is personal, but also social. It concerns the whole children and family of God.

As I mentioned, all believers are called a “family of God” with one hope, one Savior, one Father.

God is in control of everything. He is so faithful in keeping his word and fulfilling his promise. The Bible encourages us: “Do not be afraid, do not fear, do not let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus’ saying looks likes opposites.

  • He says, “In this world you will have trouble.”
  • and also, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

If we have faith, we can live without fear.

Q: Is Jesus really your Lord and Savior? If that is true, that is enough. Jesus encourages us and promises “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me shall never die.” Do you believe this?

Jesus challenges us in this.

Promise: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted [to suffer] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor 10:13 – Jesus himself suffered for us, and is now sitting in heaven and interceding for us.

Hebrews “Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Romans 8:38 “In all things, [including what is happening all around us today], God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Amen

Let us stand firm to the end by faith. Let us love God and Christ more and more with our hearts, minds, souls, and strength because he is working for our good, for our benefit from an eternal perspective.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 15 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By faith we can experience Victory! (Hebrews 11:32-34)

Full Service online

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Hallelujah!

God is looking for true worshipers to worship in spirit and truth. If you are worshiping God in truth and spirit, God is with you there. But I miss you. I long to see you again in this room together. So let us continue to worship and pray believing his wonderful promise. In all things, God is working together to bless those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Hebrews 11:32-34

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

And what more shall I say? ….

Gideon, Barack, Samson, David, Samuel, the prophets…


We are still in the great chapter of faith. We know and agree totally by faith we are saved, we are justified, sanctified, we can overcome any problem in this world, please God, we can see the glory of God, the presence of God, the unseen. By faith we can experience victory.

“By faith, we can experience victory!”

I bless you to experience wonderful victory in life by faith through Jesus Christ.

The OT records the lives of many people who experienced wonderful victory by faith. As we know, faith is a dynamic certainty. A visual certainty, and future certainty. The role call of the heroes of faith continues here.

v. 32

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets,

Only a few are mentioned here, but none of them are perfect in their character. Many of their sins are recorded in the OT but these people were among those who believed in God. These people lived by faith in their whole lives. It means faith can operate in the lives of any person who surrenders to the will of God.

David, Samuel, the prophets and so on. Faith can operate in the lives of anyone who surrenders their whole lives to God. Let us see each of them one by one.

Gideon

One of the judges in the OT in Judges. Gideon was a timid farmer at first, but God had a great vision for him to become a great and mighty warrior. One day the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” Though he was a timid farmer, the Lord called him a “mighty warrior.”

As we know, he conquered the Midianite army with a group of only 300 men armed with trumpets and torches, no swords. This is the victory by faith.

Barak

At first he refused to go forward, but at the prompting of Deborah, he assembled 10,000 men and faced the army before them and won a tremendous victory by faith in God.

Samson

We know this story well. In his story, he was always fighting alone. He was also a judge in the book of Judges. He was a Nazarite – devoted to God from birth. He never cut his hair, never drank alcohol, etc. But usually we don’t think of Samson as a man of faith – a godly man – because of his love life with an ungodly woman. But finally, Samson trusted God wholly and was willing to give his life to serve God and destroy his enemies.

David

We know his story – he had once been just a shepherd boy. But to his own and everyone else’s astonishment, he was anointed king over all his brothers. He defeated all his enemies and brought peace to Israel.

One day, in his battle against Goliath, he showed great faith by shouting against his enemy. He was just a teenager at that time. “You came against me with sword, javelin, and spear, but I come against you in the name of the Lord, whom you have defied today. Today, the Lord will hand you over to my hand so that all Israel will know that you are the Lord God.”

Samuel

Samuel was the last judge and a prophet. He was the founder of the kings of Israel – he anointed both Saul and David.

Samuel had lived a life of faith since he was a boy. By faith, he delivered the word of God to anyone at any time by faith, boldly – even to the sinning King Saul. “Does the Lord delight in the sacrifices and burnt offerings as much as to obey the voice of the Lord. To obey is better than sacrifice. To heed the voice of God is better than the fat of lambs.” This faithful proclamation became a mark of true prophets.

The Prophets

They were faithful and isolated witnesses to God. They demonstrated that faith will accomplish much and has the power to overcome enemies and gain victory.

Who is our enemy today? Satan, sin, unspiritual world.

There is a demonstration of what happened by faith in their practical lives.

v. 32-34 – this is the example of demonstration by faith

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

In this passage, we see 8 examples:

  1. conquered kingdoms (OT history) – Joshua, Judges, King David conquered kingdoms and enemies
  2. administered justice – Judges, Nehemiah, other national leaders administered justice and righteousness to the people
  3. gained what was promised – some people in the OT did see the fulfillment of God’s promise (Possession of the Promised Land)
  4. shut the mouth of lions (Daniel) – saved from the mouths of lions but not only him – it could also refer to David and Samson
  5. quenched the fury of the flames (Daniel) – Shadrach, Mishach, Abednego – saved and delivered from the fire, from the burning furnace “Even though we are thrown into the fire, we believe our God is able to save us; yet even if he doesn’t we will continue to serve our God” (this is absolute faith in God)
  6. escaped the edge of the sword – David, Elijah, Elisha
  7. whose weakness was turned to strength – King Hezekiah – experienced tremendous recovery and wonderful healing and strength after his sickness
  8. became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies

Joshua experienced this wonderful victory and power against their enemies.

We believe God is alive. Do you believe this? God is still the same in his power.

Heb 13:8 “Our Lord Jesus is the same yesterday (OT), today, and forever.”

From this story, we get three lessons to apply and enjoy:

1. Victories against enemies

We also can experience this by faith in Christ

We may have a similar experience to those of OT saints, but more likely those victories will be more related to the role God wants us to play. These may not include such dramatic events as these, but surely includes the moment our faith is tested. At that moment, we must be able to give our testimony publicly, honestly, and encourage the faith of others.

We agree that even though our bodies deteriorate, and will die some day, but we will live forever in eternity in Jesus Christ, simply because we believe in him.

Our physical death will be defeated and conquered. His victory will be made perfect and complete.

Romans 8:33-39 “In all these things… (including what is happening today)… we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…neither death nor life… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in us in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There is no longer any condemnation through Christ.

1. Victory through faith

2. God can deliver the faithful man

Who is the faithful One? If you are the faithful One today, then God can deliver you and me ANYTIME he wants.

  1. Noah, for example, were saved from a flood that drowned all the rest of the human race at that time.
  2. Moses and the people walked through the Red Sea as on dry land.
  3. Joshua crossed the flooded Jordan river.
  4. Rahab survived the fallen walls of Jericho.
  5. Gideon prevailed 1000:1 against an army.

Like this, God also can deliver us TODAY, victoriously, triumphantly – and he can save us at any time from difficulties, persecutions, coronavirus, oppression of the culture today – God is doing this job again and again.

Salvation is God’s job. But we must remember: All the time, it is only by faith in Jesus Christ.

3. If you have faith in Christ, God has a wonderful plan for your life

God has a mission / task for your life. It is impossible to live by faith without mission. It is impossible to live by faith without a God-given task. We can do nothing apart from Christ, but at the same time, IN Jesus Christ, by faith in him, we CAN do. We can do great things that are only possible by faith.

So if we are to do great things, we must accept these things by faith willingly, confidently, because he was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised again to life for our sanctification and glorification.

By faith, we can experience victory!

1 John 5:4 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world – even our faith in Jesus Christ.”

God bless all of us for his glory, for his kingdom, for our victory in this world, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • 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.

  • Mar 01 / 2020
  • Comments Off on By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

By Faith, Today’s Jerichos will fall down (Hebrews 11:30, Joshua 6:1, 20)

March 1, 2020 Full online service

Download Notes in a .MD file

Let us shout: “Hallelujah!”

Hebrews 11

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.

Joshua 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. 


“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Christianity = hope for a better future. The best is yet to come because we are made to live eternally. By faith we see God who is in control of everything – working for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.

Last Sunday, Moses’ faith.
Today, Joshua’s faith (Moses successor).

The people of Israel came out of Egypt for the Promised Land, and Moses led them in the wilderness for 40 years up to the entrance of the Promised Land. At that moment, Moses was succeeded by Joshua. And at last, the people entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. But the Promised Land was not a furnished apartment, nor an empty land. Even though they received it, they had to fight to take and occupy it.

How about in our story? We are saved: salvation guarantees eternal, exciting, heavenly life, but salvation does not mean “easy life” nor a jobless life. Rather, we are entrusted with a task, a great mission to fight for and fulfill in this world.

In this world, the first enemy they fought against was Jericho city – a fortified stronghold. At that time, most of the Israelites had never even seen a fortified city. So, to take that fortified city, it seemed impossible. It was impossible to conquer. But Joshua 6:1 says, “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.”

At this moment, God said to Joshua, “I have given this city into your hands” – and he gave clear, explicit instructions to follow. Just, they had to MARCH. Today is the first day of March.

They had to circle the walls of the city once per day for 6 days, and on the 7th day, to circle it 7 times.

The order:

  • Line 1: Soldiers
  • Line 2: 7 priests with trumpets
  • Line 3: Priests carrying the ark of the Covenant
  • Line 4: Representatives of each tribe
  • Last line: Rear guard of soldiers
  • Middle: Ark of the Covenant
  • The 7 priests blew trumpets occasionally.

Very important: They had to keep silent. They had to remain absolutely silent during the march and circling. But on the 7th day, they had to march 7 circles – 6 of which were to be silent. During the final, 7th circle, all priests blared the trumpets and Joshua commanded the people to SHOUT!! “God has given this city into our hands!” They all shouted together.

At that moment, the walls of Jericho collapsed completely and the people charged straight in and took that city.

This is today’s story.

Also still, God is alive and working for the good of those that love him.

From this story, what messages can we get to get REAL victory for his glory and kingdom? Let me share 3 lessons in our daily lives for victory like this story.

1. SILENCE

During their circling, they had to keep absolute silence. They took 13 circles in all (you can calculate it). Once a day for 6 days and after that on the 7th day, 7 circles. 6 + 7 = 13 circles. Then, during 12 circles, they had to keep perfect silence.

Imagine this situation. To keep silent in this situation was VERY difficult. During their circling, there was no change. No reaction, no stone falling, no cracks in the wall. Nothing happened in their visual situation. Imagine, why were they not allowed to speak to each other. If they spoke during the march, probably they would speak only negative words. “Nothing is happening. What are we doing? I don’t know, Joshua said to… This is absurd, ridiculous. Maybe we need a new leader…”

Negative words have a VERY strong power to make other people negative. Negative words are very contagious – like corona virus today.

This time not to speak to people was the time to meditate on the promise of God and the word of God. It was the time to speak to God deeply, earnestly, silently. It was the time to think MORE of what God can do with his power than what I can do with my power.

The secret to a victorious Christian life?
To face God more than facing man.

2. Consider the influence of ONE person’s faith

Do you have faith? Yes, we have faith. The taking of Jericho is the result of an act of faith – of Joshua and also the people.

Heb 11:30 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.”

Joshua’s dynamic sureness enabled him to lead the people to victory. One person’s faith can make all the difference for God’s people.

Joshua’s faith communicated and elevated the whole nation’s faith. Likewise today, if you live by faith, you can energize others. You can mobilize others by faith in Christ. Because God is in control of everything. God used Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua.

  • God promised “I am with you” to Moses
  • to Joshua, “Like I was with Moses, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • and Jesus today says, “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

We can mobilize and energize through our faith for the whole church to be energized in their faith.

3. SHOUT!

“Hallelujah~!”

Yes, in this story, they were silent when they needed to be silent, but they shouted when they had to shout. This was the shouting of faith – the outward expression of people’s inward assurance and confidence in God. Conquering faith declares itself. Do you have faith?

But understand that the faith that does not shout when it must shout is not faith. Romans 10:10 “If you confess [shout] with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.”

“If you acknowledge me before men, I will also acknowledge you before my Father in heaven. If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven.”

  • True faith obeys even when it seems strange or unusual.
  • True faith focuses on Jesus.
  • True faith sees the unseen. It sees that “he is with me – and working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”
  • True faith allows us to achieve victory in the Lord.

Even today, God will make impossible looking Jerichos fall down by faith.

What are your Jerichos today? If we live by faith, God will make all Jerichos fall down.

Last sentence: I want to encourage all of us strongly:

“Let us take much silent time faithfully before God, and let us shout boldly before this world.”

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God bless us for his glory, for our good.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 23 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Demo of Faith thru Moses

Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Exodus 2:1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.


Faith is conviction, assurance of what is unseen. By faith in Christ, we can have hope in this kind of situation. We can have hope in glory, heaven, eternal life. Also, by faith, we can live a heavenly life on this earth.

Last Sunday, we saw the demonstration of faith by Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

We know Genesis finishes with the story of Joseph. And the story of Moses begins in Exodus. In the time of Joseph, there was still great famine in Canaan, and he invited his whole family from Canaan to Egypt – where he was Prime Minister. So, all Jacob’s children and grandchildren (70 in all) settled in Egypt. But Joseph knew that a day would come when they would leave Egypt. They knew their settlement was not permanent, but temporary. “One day, God will come and take you out of this land to the Promised Land. At that time, take my bones with you.” From the death of Joseph to the beginning of Exodus was 400 years.

They ended Genesis with 70 people, and became 1-2 million by the start of Exodus (400 years later).

A new king, who did not know Joseph became king and became afraid of the people becoming bigger and bigger. So he ordered that the boy babies be killed. In this terrible, dangerous time, Moses was born.

Now in Hebrews, we saw “by faith” x5.

1. Moses’ parents’ faith (and his preservation)

v. 23 “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

  • Moses’ father: Amram
  • Moses’ mother: Jocebeth?

They disobeyed the king by faith. They knew that God had a special plan and purpose for Moses. So “by faith” they hid him for 3 months. But after 3 months, they could no longer hide him because of his crying. They had nothing to do for their child. But we must remember that it was at the very moment that they had something great to do for their loving child – to entrust him to the hand of God – by faith, with prayer. In this terrible, dangerous situation, they made a box of papyrus and tar and pitch, and they put it outside among the reeds along the Nile river.

It is not difficult to imagine what they did after they put that box outside. They knew that God had a special plan upon that child. Is it possible, after putting that box outside to say, “Goodbye, good luck”? No. We can be easily sure what they did after putting that baby box outside. They cried out continually to God, “LORD! Help us!”

If you were in the place of Moses’ mother and father, you would continually cry out also for God’s providence upon that box.

We know that Christian parents can suddenly create an atmosphere of faith at home. This should be the first school of faith – at home.

“They knew he was no ordinary child.” (In a sense, every child is like this to their parents – maybe even geniuses to their parents.) If you are Christian parents, remember, the BEST thing you can do for your son or daughter is to entrust them into the hand of God with constant prayer support. God bless Christian parents.

2. Moses’ identity

v. 24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Yes, after putting that basket outside, his parents prayed continuously. His sister Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to that box.

At that moment, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile river to swim? She saw it and her slave girl opened it. She saw a beautiful baby crying. (We also should cry out before God to receive his mercy – Jer 30:33 “Cry out to me and I will show you unmeasurable things”). Seeing that crying baby the princess had compassion. Immediately, Miriam approached her and said, “May I get a Hebrew woman to nurse this baby for you?” “Yes, OK.” Immediately, she brought the baby’s real mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Please nurse this baby for me and I’ll pay you.”

Imagine this situation. God did something so amazing and so exciting! Sometimes we need to understand that God is doing SO MUCH MORE than we understand and imagine and expect.

This baby was saved from death, adopted by the princess, given the best education and food, raised by his real mother’s milk and love.

In this situation, our lesson is: If Moses wanted, he could identify himself with the Egyptians – as the royal family, an heir of Pharaoh. He could have chosen the easiest, most comfortable life. He could have chosen the pleasures of sin. But in this situation, Moses rejected – refused all of them. Why? How? “By faith…” This is the real power of faith. He chose to be mistreated by the people of God – he chose to suffer “for the sake of Christ.” But wait – Moses lived 1500 years before Jesus was even born. Yet v 26 “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ…”

Even Christ himself says, “Moses wrote about me, Moses testified about me.” (John’s gospel)

This means that God’s history of salvation and redemption continued through until the birth of Christ. And Christ gave up all his glory for our sake, our salvation, our redemption.

We must know: Are you Christian? If you believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, then you have no choice but to live for Christ.

“Believing in Christ as real Savior and Lord and NOT living for him is impossible.”

  • “Believe” = “Be” and “live”
    • “Be” for Christ
    • “Live” for Christ

So, we must choose careers and life paths that please God.

Therefore, our identity as Christians is so important.

3. Moses’ separation

v 27 “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

The background – found in Exodus 2. One day, when he was grown, he went out to see how the fellow Hebrews were. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, so he killed him. The king heard of that and tried to kill Moses – so Moses fled to Midian. In this same situation, there is a little difference in the Exodus and the Hebrews explanation.

  • Exodus: “Moses feared, so he fled.”
  • Hebrews: “Moses left ‘by faith’.”

This is a different perspective – they seem contradictory – but there is no real contradiction.

  • Exodus = viewing the outward situation
  • Hebrews = seeing more deeply into this story

Yes, Moses did not choose this situation by himself at first. But, when he was confronted by this situation to leave, he didn’t accepted it willingly, with courage. Moses knew that then was not the time for him to take action for his people. He knew he had to wait for God to say, “NOW is the time to go to Pharaoh and take action for my people.”

Sometimes, when our fighting instincts say, “Go on and fight!” But it takes a big and brave man to WAIT. It is human to fear to miss the chance. But it is great to wait for the timing of God. So, by faith, we can see God in all situations.

Today, our situation is good or bad? Bad, they say. But even in this situation, we must see God who is unseen, and we must understand that he is in control of everything. This is the real power of faith.

4. Moses’ salvation

v 28 “By faith by kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”

Background: Exodus 12

We know the Passover, the biggest feast in Hebrew history. Spiritually and symbolically, this is also the most significant. It was the 10th and final judgment on Egypt.

Unleavened bread had to be made, and a Passover lamb killed, and every door post smeared with the blood of the lamb. Then, the angel of death would see this blood and “pass over” those houses.

Not only this Passover lamb, but also on that night, as they were leaving Egypt, Moses wrote down that they must keep the Passover forever. In other words, he never doubted that they would leave Egypt and reach and conquer the Promised Land – at some point.

Imagine: Here is a population of 1-2 million slaves – untrained, unorganized, about to start on a dangerous journey through a wilderness, into an unknown land. At the same time, here is a massive, trained, armed force pursuing them.

Yet, Moses never doubted that God would bring them safely through to the Promised Land. This is the power of faith. Are you living by faith.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been crucified for our sins.” Thus, John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Even though we are very weak and do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, our situation, corona virus, whatever, nevertheless, our situation is VERY certain in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the real power of faith.

5. Moses’ Deliverance

v. 29 “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

Exodus: They were confronted with their first barrier. Yes, we know that our salvation is very safe, but nevertheless, there are many barriers we may face. This is the first: The Red Sea – they needed a way to continue but there was no way – because the soldiers of Egypt were pursuing them very rapidly behind.

In this situation (Exodus 14) Moses proclaimed, “Do not be afraid!” (Front: sea, Back: soldiers) “Stand firm! You will see the deliverance and salvation God will bring you today. The soldiers you see today, you will NEVER see again because God is fighting for us.”

Romans 8 “God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

The real source, the source of real faith – what is the greatest barrier? It is NO barrier if God is there to help us pass over it because God is Almighty. Do you agree? Then, accept it and enjoy it. This is a fact.

The source of real faith is close intimacy in our relationship with God. For Moses, the source of real faith = close intimacy in his relationship with God. Bible says, “Moses spoke to God face to face.”

Also for us:

Source of Faith = Real intimacy with God

Hebrews conclusion? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Remember, the source of real faith is closeness, intimacy in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Chp 12:2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our [my] faith.”

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

You Are to Live for Eternity (Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26)

Download Notes in a .MD file

You are to live for Eternity

Hebrews 11:20-22; Genesis 50:22-26 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

Genesis 50

The Death of Joseph

22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Hebrews 11

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.

When Isaac went to give the blessing to Esau, he was tricked by his wife and son Jacob. When he blessed Jacob the first time, in the trick, he knew that his future blessing would go through Jacob, so later, he blessed Jacob again with full knowledge of this. (This is v. 20)

Jacob had 12 sons and these sons became the Father of the 12 tribes of Israel. So, when his death was near, he blessed them with prophecies and blessings. He also blessed Joseph’s two sons. These were his grandsons.

Manasseh was the first – so he was put on the right hand of Jacob. Ephraim was on the left side because he was the second son.

At that time, Jacob could not see because he was dying, yet he crossed his arms to bless them. His right hand on Ephraim’s head, his left hand on Manasseh’s head. Joseph said, “No father! This is the first son!”

Jacob: “I know. He will be a great nation, but the second will be greater.” By knew (by faith) and blessed them (by faith) according to the will of God.

v. 22

“22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

Joseph was the last patriarch and lived a great life of faith. He remembered God’s purpose and plan for him and his descendants. His story:

  1. Sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt (at age 17)
  2. Sold again to an official in Egypt (and thrown in jail)
  3. Because of his fear of God, he was eventually promoted to Prime Minister.
  4. He lived until 110.

This means he lived in Egypt 90 years – and he became Prime Minister at age 30 (so he was in the highest position – with power – for about 80 years in Egypt). If he had wanted to, he could have set up his own empire in Egypt as his home. But, amazingly, during his stay, he never considered Egypt as his home. He always considered himself a stranger / foreigner / not a citizen in Egypt – because he remembered God’s promise to his great grandfather Abraham.

He made his children swear to carry his bones out of Egypt when God delivered them. So, these descendants passed his will down generation to generation for 400 years until they were delivered. And finally, Joseph’s mummy (embalmed) was carried out to Canaan where Joshua conquered the land.

What we can learn:

1. To bless others is very important.

  • Jacob blessed his children and grandchildren by faith.
  • Joseph blessed his children and brothers by faith.
  • Parents are given the responsibility / blessing to bless their own children.

In this passage, each person’s life is summarized not by how they lived, but by how they died. Someday, our lives also will be characterized by how we finish this life.

Are you living by faith?

Living by faith is very important. But dieing by faith is MORE important. To die by faith requires us to live by faith.

Say to yourself: “I’m not an accident.”

Your birth is no mistake, no mishap. Perhaps your parents did not plan your birth, but GOD DID. That is why we are here, now, today.

God was not surprised by your birth nor my birth. Long before you were conceived, you were chosen and thought of by God.

Eph “You were chosen before the foundation of the world by Jesus Christ to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

God thought of you before anyone else (he thought of you first). God deliberately designed and decided our days, our times, our birthplaces, the times of our birth and death. He planned where we would be born and where we would live.

This life is very SHORT. At most – less than 100 years. But remember, we will spend eternity in heaven. More than anything else, we were created to live for eternity. We have an inborn instinct to live for eternity. This is because God designed us to live for eternity.

Ecc 3:11 “God has made everything beautiful in its time. And he has set eternity in the minds / hearts of Man.”

But we don’t fully understand what he is doing from beginning to end.

You know, someday, your heart, my heart, will stop beating. This is the end of this body on earth, but it is not the end of you and me. It is just a transition into eternity.

Are you not happy about physical death? But today’s passage mentions Isaac’s death, Jacob’s death, and Jacob’s death. You know the last verse in Genesis is “Joseph died…”

We must be serious about the matter of life and death. The Bible calls our physical body a “tent.”

2 Cor “Now we know that if our tents (physical bodies) are destroyed, we have a house in heaven not built by human hands.”

So, in all this we must live in the light of eternity. We were created to live for eternity.

The main point of this story:

Isaac, Jacob, Joseph received the promise from God, but they never entered the Promised Land in their lifetimes. They never received the promise – Israel never became a great nation, they all lived as strangers in this world. But they didn’t die in despair, but in hope.

Their thoughts and beliefs / faith were like this: God’s promise and plan is VERY SURE and he never breaks his promise. I, personally, may never see that promise fulfilled, but I’m a link in the chain to its fulfillment. So, whether or not that promise comes, depends on me.

We must take the same lesson:

Do you have hope?

Maybe they will NEVER be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but we must live in such a way as to hasten their coming for future generations. And our FINAL HOPE is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Matt 24? “This gospel will be preached in the whole world, and THEN the end will come.” Great Commission: Matt 28 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And surely I’m with you to the very end of the age.”

This Great Commission may not be fulfilled in our lifetimes, but it WILL be fulfilled. Do you believe this? Therefore, we must be a LINK – we must be connected for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We must live from the perspective of eternity.

Faith makes us able to see beyond the temporary, into eternity. It allows us to see beyond what is seen and into unseen.

If we fully comprehend that there is more to life than the here and now, and that our physical life is only preparation for eternity, then we will begin to live differently.

If we really understand that, then many goals, problems, and plans will seem so small and not worthy of our attention. We must use our Time, Talent, and Treasure more wisely, for eternity. WHO I AM is more important than what I have.

Our attitudes and character is much more important than fame, money, possessions, power. Paul: “What was for my gain, I consider loss compared to the greatness of Christ. I consider all things rubbish so that I might be found in Christ.”

We experienced pregnancy in our mother’s womb. This 9-10 months was not an end in itself, but a preparation for life in this world. Likewise, our 90-100 years on earth is preparation for the next life.

“God has a plan. God has a purpose for my life on earth.”

If you believe God has a purpose and plan for your life on earth, you must know that his plan for you doesn’t end in this world. This is very important.

My physical life will end someday, but God’s plan for me doesn’t end even though I pass away at some point. This is a very important lesson for us.

Ps 33:1 “God’s plans / purposes last forever.”

Heb 13:14 “Here we do not have an enduring city, so we are looking forward to the city that is to come.” This world is not our home, so we are looking forward to our everlasting city in heaven.

So, to make the most of our lives in this world, we must keep the value of eternity in our hearts. Measured against eternity, this life is too short – shorter than the blink of an eye. We must know that even though our lives here are very short, the consequences of our actions on earth are eternal – they decide our relationship to God in eternity.

There are many countries, jobs, hobbies, but eternity offers only two options: heaven vs. hell.

If you accept Jesus Christ, if you believe and trust in Christ as your Savior and Lord on this earth, then you will be invited to spend eternity with God in heaven. But if you reject God’s grace through Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity separated from God. That’s why our lives on earth are so important though they are so short.

We are not living yesterday’s life, nor tomorrow’s. “I’m living TODAY’S life.”

Why is “today” so important?

Because “today” is the first day of the rest of our lives (including eternity). And someday – in the future (which will be called “today” on that day) will be our last day, and it is so important.

v. 20-22

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”

We are living for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all creation and THEN the end will come.

We may see the fulfillment of this Great Commission in our lives, or we may not. But what is important is that it WILL be fulfilled in God’s time, in God’s way, by those who live BY FAITH. And we must be connected to this.

God bless you.

  • Feb 09 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-19)

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The Demonstration of Faith through Abraham

Hebrews 11:8-19 (Pastor Heo)

8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.


Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not seen (not yet seen).

By faith in Christ, we can “see” God and heaven and eternal life – we can live heavenly life on earth and overcome any problems on this earth. By faith we can please God, and make him happy by our faith.

  • Today’s story is the demonstration of faith through Abraham.
  • Last Sunday: Noah

Abram = 12th generation from Noah. He was born in BC 2000 in Mesopotamia (maybe somewhere in Iraq). God’s calling of Abram is a great turning point in Genesis, human, Jewish history.

Genesis has 50 chapters – and can be divided into 2 parts.

  • Chp 1-11 = Primeval history
  • Chp 12-50 = Patriarchal history

Primeval history =

Creation, flood, spread of language and culture (tower of Babel)

Patriarchal history =

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

God promised Abram a son, but they waited 25 years for the fulfillment of that promise.

Abram -> Isaac -> Esau / Jacob

Jacob built the nation of Israel through the birth of his 12 sons, and Joseph saved them from a great famine at that time. Many years later, Moses delivered the people from Egypt in the Exodus.

Faith & obedience go together.

Service and action is outward evidence of inward trust and loving hearts.

Today, let us see some characteristics of REAL faith. But first, let me ask: are you living by faith?

#1 Abraham obeyed God even when he didn’t know WHERE he was going.

v. 8-10

“8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

In Genesis, the background (chp 12) God called Abram and said, “Leave your country – leave your father’s house and go to the land I’ll show you. I’ll make you into a great nation. I’ll make you a blessing, and all nations on earth will be blessed through you.” So… Abram left everything.

Imagine this situation: in this world, in the time of our great grandparents, most people lived in their home village and died there. It was much better to live in your home village than in a foreign land.

4000 years ago, the life of a stranger in a strange land was VERY dangerous. They were met with scorn, discrimination, and hatred.

But Abram left for a foreign land. “Where to?” “I don’t know.”

Can you move to an unknown country? But this faith of Abraham was faith that was ready for adventure.

Most of us live a cautious life on the principle of safety first. But as a Christian, we must have a certain type of wreckless willingness to accept and follow the voice of God who is calling us. Sometimes, we must accept and follow even when we don’t know where we are going.

If you can see EVERY step of the journey, that is not faith – it is sight.

Abram was living in tents, in a foreign land because he had to be ready to move again anytime God called him.

Also, 1 Pet 2:11 says “My dear friends, I urge you as aliens, strangers, and foreigners in this world to abstain from your sinful desires.” We also are strangers and aliens in this world. We must recognize that this world is a bridge to the next world. As Christians, therefore, we should not build our homes on the bridge.

“I’m a pilgrim for eternity.”

v. 10 “He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (heaven)

1. By faith, obedience without knowing where he was going.

#2 Abram obeyed even when he didn’t know HOW the promise would be fulfilled.

v. 11-12

“11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.”

In Genesis 17, Abram was almost 100 years old and Sarai was 90 years old. God appeared again and made the same promise of a son. When Abram heard this, he fell down and laughed. He said, “Will a son be born to a 100 year old man?” Sarai also laughed and said, “Will I now have this kind of pleasure?”

This means, they did NOT believe at first – because they were believing with human logic (it was too late; this promise was too great). But finally, they believed.

Romans 4:18-20 “Against all hope, Abram in hope believed. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that he was as good as dead, but he did not waver in his faith, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. He knew nothing is impossible with God.”

In our lives, we can see that there are MANY impossible things. But we must believe that there is NOTHING impossible with God.

This will happen by the power of God, not by the power of Abram nor Sarai. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a 100 year old man to get a son through the womb of his 90 year old wife. From a reproductive point of view, they were “as good as dead.”

But living by faith means believing there is NOTHING impossible with God.

Also with our own salvation, this is the same as how they got a son by the power of God.

Actually, many people do not believe the good news of the gospel. Why not? The message of the gospel is so simple, powerful and clear: Jesus died for your sin and mine, and rose again from the dead. If you believe in him and confess with your mouth he is Lord, you will be saved eternally, once for all.

This is all.

We have nothing to do – because God did everything for our salvation.

But many people don’t believe. Why not? It’s TOO good, too simple, too easy. But, please believe. If you open your hearts and your mouth and confess, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But many people do not believe this good news because the good news is far TOO good to believe.

2. Abram obeyed without knowing HOW the promise would be fulfilled.

#3 Abram obeyed even though he didn’t know WHEN the promise would be fulfilled.

v. 13-16

“13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

The “better country” is heaven. Yes, we know God promised Abram land (and children) as an inheritance (also for his children). What land is that? Canaan. It is called the Promised Land.

As we know, in the whole time / life of Abram, that promise was not fulfilled. So, all the time he lived in tents. He never settled in Canaan.

Also, his son Isaac, and grandson Jacob, and great grandson Joseph – never settled in Canaan. They all lived as foreigners in this world. They did not see the fulfillment of that promise before they died. But Abram’s faith had PATIENCE.

To wait is harder than to adventure.

The hardest time is the time in between.

At the moment of decision, there is excitement. At the moment of success, there is satisfaction. But in the in between time… it is necessary to wait… to walk… to watch…

But the “man” (Person) of faith is one whose hope is flaming bright and effort is strenuous – even when there is nothing to do but to wait.

Abram’s faith was faith that was looking beyond this world.

Yes, to be patient is not easy, but the secret: to look BEYOND this world. Also, the conviction / assurance that God WILL keep his promise: either instantly or eternally. Our prayer WILL be answered – but will it be instantly? Or distantly?

Obviously, we all like instant (instant food) – but the answer for them, was distant – distant in heaven.

Despite everything, the Person of faith never loses their vision, nor their hope.

Faith is certain of what we do not see. Faith and hope go together.

And in spite of everything, they never wished to return to their old hometown. This is very important. That’s why God was not ashamed to be called their God.

“I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back~”

They left and never turned back to Mesopotamia. This is also like us in our Christian lives – we must never wish to “go back” to our lives when we were unbelievers.

From this event, 4-500 years later, God introduced himself to Moses as “I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

God constantly introduced himself as that. Can you imagine today God introduces himself as “I AM the God of [your name]”? He was not ashamed of them.

“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your minds on things above – not on earthly things.” Jesus challenges us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. When I come again, I come to take you with me.”

3. Obeyed without knowing WHEN

#4 (Climax) Abram obeyed even when he didn’t know WHY God was working in unreasonable ways

(This was the supreme test on Abram’s life. Sacrificing Isaac as a burnt offering.)

v. 17-19

“17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.”

The background of this story is Genesis 22. God called and said, “Abram! Sacrifice your son Isaac. Your only son, whom you love. Sacrifice him as a burnt offering on the Mount of Moriah.” Immediately, Abram got up and took Isaac and two servants and a donkey and traveled for 3 days.

On the third day, Abram saw the top of the mountain and said to the servants to wait at the bottom with the donkey. “Isaac and I will go up there to worship and WE will come back.”

Then, there were two.

Isaac asked, “Dad, we have wood and fire, but where is the lamb?”

Abram, “God himself will provide.”

Abram got up there, built the altar, and tied up his son (who obeyed like a lamb). Abram reached out his hand with a knife from his pocket and went to kill his son.

But God called from heaven: “Abram! No! Now I know that you love me and fear me. Do not do anything to that boy.” Abram looked around and found a ram and sacrificed the ram instead of Isaac. He called that place: Jehovah Jireh (The Lord will Provide).

And God swore on himself: “I’ll bless you and your descendants and all nations on earth will be blessed through you.” He confirmed his Genesis 12 promise here again.

This was the ultimate, final, supreme test upon Abram.

From this story, we can learn and apply 3 lessons:

Are you Christian?

1. We must be ready to sacrifice what is dearest to me for the sake of loyalty to God.

(What is dearest to you? Money? Kids? Job? Car? House?)

In early church history and also today, this happens.

In a home, one person becomes a Christian, and another does not – and a sword (persecution) came on that home. Unless those people put Christ before all else, there would be NO Christians at all today.

Hundreds of years ago, the light of Christ came to Korea by those who put Christ first. Still today, the message of Christ is being delivered and spread by those who put Christ first. So even today, Christ must come first, or else he comes nowhere in our lives.

Matt “Anyone who loves father, or sister, or brother, or sister, or son, or daughter, or houses, or lands more than me, is not worthy of me.”

In a Christian life, Jesus can ONLY be FIRST. Not second, third, or fourth best. He can be ONLY BEST – or nothing in our lives.

2. We must be ready to accept by faith what is very difficult to understand.

This commandment is very difficult to understand. It looks unreasonable and illogical. God promised to build a great nation THROUGH Isaac. So, to fulfill this promise, Isaac must be alive. Yet, God asked Abram to kill Isaac even when there were no grandchildren from Isaac. God seemed to contradict himself. The will of God fought the promise of God. In such situations, there is only ONE thing to do: OBEY.

We must obey and say, “God, you are good, you are faithful. Even though I don’t know why, but you know why.”

And we must build our faith on that truth.

3. God is faithful

When we are tested and tempted, God will provide a way out so that we can stand up under it. We know that God is working for the good of those who love him and trust him and are called according to his purpose. Phil 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to his riches in Jesus Christ.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 02 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)

Download Notes in a .MD file.

Faith is Lifetime Obedience

Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22 (Pastor Heo)

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Genesis 6:5-13, 22

5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD .

9 This is the account of Noah.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

22 [your name] Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


Put your name in the place of Noah and read again.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for…” – the power to see what is unseen. God, heaven, eternity, salvation – all are unseen. But by faith, we can see them and enjoy them. By faith, we can see the future as present. By faith, we can make the future as a matter of the present – so we can give thanks under any circumstances and rejoice under any circumstances (by faith).

Last Sunday, we saw Enoch’s faith – a demonstration. He walked with God over 300 years (how? we don’t know exactly). But he walked toward the same destination, in the same direction, at the same pace. Then, God took him to heaven and he was on earth no more.

Today: Noah walked with God.

Through this, we can know that the life of faith is not a life of flying up to heaven with wings – but rather a life of continuous walking, step-by-step, in love with, in step with the One who is leading us.

Today: Noah’s demonstration of faith.

Noah: Genesis 6-9 – Noah is well-known for the flood. He is the 10th generation from Adam and the great grandson of Enoch.

We know Adam had at least three sons: Cain, Abel, Seth. Noah is from the line of Seth.

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, Japheth. Later, David and Jesus from the line of Shem.

Noah lived 950 years. He was one of those who lived the longest years on this earth. His grandfather Methusela lived 969 years (the longest according to the record of the Bible).

According to this account, at that time, the earth was flooded with violence and corruption. God was sorry and grieving that he made anything. He was going to show his judgment and destroy everything with a great flood. Only Noah, his family, and the representatives of each animal species would be saved.

But it took Noah 120 years to finish this ark. Meaning? God gave the people 120 years LONG last chance to repent and turn from their wicked ways. But no one repented.

This is a great turning point in human history.

  • Adam was the first father of all human beings.
  • Noah was second first father of all human beings.
    • We are children of Adam, and we are children of Noah.

Before the flood, the living conditions were ideal for living creations. So they had longer lives. But afterward, the ecology, environment, etc were changed. Before the flood, we were in a “womb” of earth – the earth was covered with an expanse of water (kept safe from the UV rays of the sun)- but at the flood, all that water came to earth. And afterward, human lifespan reduced rapidly.

Abram was twelfth generation from Adam and lived less.

David lived only 70 years (500 years later).

Psalm 90:10 says, “The length of our days on earth is 70 years.” (If you are healthy – you may live 80 years).

Let’s look at Noah’s faith:

  • Heart (moved with fear and sorrow and reverence to God),
  • mind (focused on God),
  • willpower (acted on what God said to him).

We can see 4 characteristics of faith and learn a lesson for our own lives.

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

#1 Noah took God at his word

He believed the message God sent – even though it might have seemed foolish at that time. Yet, he believed and staked everything (also his reputation) on it.

Noah, after receiving that command, he laid aside his normal activities and focused on what God said to him to do. His life was a continuous concentration of effort toward God’s will. And so he was saved from the flood.

Also today, God’s word comes to us through many ways: our conscience, directly from the Bible, the message at church, the advice or rebuke of godly people around us, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, we must be sensitive and awakened to the Word and Will and moving of God through the Holy Spirit. How? By believing his Word. How can we trust Jesus? By trusting his Word.

“Have faith in God, also in me.” – Jesus

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.”

We can take God at his word. God is speaking to us through his word.

#2 Noah was not deterred / hindered from mockery / scorn / rebuke of others

Imagine the context at that time. At that time, there had NEVER been a flood like this. They had never seen an ark like that, especially not in the middle of the land.

It looked like a huge 3-story coffin / box. They were very FAR from the sea. The sun was shining every day. Noah’s neighbors might ask him: Hey, Noah, what are you doing? What are you making? Noah: A ship. B: What? Why? Noah: God said. There will be heavy rain. All will be covered and destroyed. If you want to live, you must come in with me! B: Are you crazy? You’re out of your mind! (Movie: Evan Almighty is good representation of this)

Obedience = not ONE time obedience but a lifetime of obedience – full-time commitment to the will of God even in the face of scorn and ridicule of others.

Also, think of the church at Jesus’ time: 2000 years ago.

  • A: I’ve decided to become Christian.
  • B: They are outlawed! In prison! Thrown to the lions, burned, persecuted, crucified!
  • A: Yes, I know.
  • B: Are you crazy?

Jesus was also misunderstood as a crazy man. Many people said of him, “He is raving mad! Demon possessed!”

Paul also was misunderstood as a crazy man. He preached the gospel at his trial and some shouted at him, “Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

Also, we are followers of Christ. He is misunderstood as a crazy man to save us. How about you? Have you ever been misunderstood as a crazy person in this life? As a Christian?

This is one of the hardest challenges of Christianity – that we must sometimes be prepared to look like a fool in the eyes of those who don’t believe.

Noah was called “strange” by his neighbors who didn’t know God.

Noah obeyed this command to build a boat in the middle of the land even though it seemed strange. This obedience makes him “different”.

Like this, if you obey God and other people call you “strange” do not be surprised. Our obedience makes their disobedience stand out.

When God asks us to do something, he gives us the necessary strength and power to do it.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to those of us who are being saved, it is the wisdom and power of God. For they didn’t know him.”

“The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.” (Is it possible that God is foolish?)

“The weakness of God is stronger than the strength of man.” (Is it possible that God is weak?)

Yet, so often, the wisdom of God appears to be foolishness to the people of this world.

#3 Noah’s faith was a judgment on others

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. *By his faith he condemned the world* and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Actually, Noah did not condemn the world. But his faith was a condemnation on others and a judgment on others. That is why in one sense it is DANGEROUS to be Christian.

In a sense, in this world, to be Christian is a dangerous thing. By being a Christian, your faith is pointing out others’ sin.

It is not that we are self-righteous, not that we say, “I told you so”, not that we go about finding fault with them.

Actually, Noah DID NOT judge others, he didn’t condemn them. But his faith, his trust in God became judgment and condemnation on their unbelief.

Ex: We Christians should be blessing in this world. But if they do not receive the gospel we preach, as Christians, our presence itself is a judgment on them.

If they receive the word we preach, they become blessed through us, and we a blessing to them.

But if they reject it, we become a condemnation to them.

1 John: “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already…”

Man hates the Light – because Man loves the Darkness.

Light comes – and simply by coming, the Darkness is condemned. The Darkness hates the Light because its evil deeds will be exposed.

Jesus says, “You are the Light of the World.” (I’m the Light of the World) “So let your light shine before men so that they may see and praise your Father in heaven.”

Christians’ presence is a big challenge: We are either a blessing or a condemnation to others.

#4 Noah was righteous through faith

Genesis 6:9 “This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”

He was NOT actually blameless (he made a big mistake after coming off the ark). He is the first person in the Bible who is called “righteous.” This doesn’t mean he was sinless, but that he wholeheartedly served God.

Gen 6:8 “But Noah found favor / grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

Noah was declared righteous by the GRACE of God through faith in God.

Romans: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

But justification by faith has power – it makes us take action to do the will of God. If we are really declared righteous by faith, this non-condemnation leads us to live a righteous life.

Noah: When all others broke the commandments, Noah kept them. When they were deaf to God’s word, Noah heard and obeyed. When they laughed at God, Noah respected, honored, worshiped God.

The first thing he did off the ark: worship God.

Our story: Jesus uses Noah’s experience as a warning to us.

Matt 24 “Heaven and earth will pass away but my Word will remain forever.” (This is just like the flood of Noah) “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the day of the Coming of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They never knew what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”

In the warning of Christ, he mentions eating, drinking, and marrying – very negatively. Are these sins? Bad or good? They are good! We must eat! We must drink! Marriage is good! So, why did he mention these things so negatively? Because we must remember, they can never be our final purpose / mission / why we should exist in this world.

They ate, drank, married – as a final purpose in their lives – without trusting God.

Anything we do WITHOUT God in our lives – is a terrible thing. But anything we do WITH God is a holy, acceptable thing.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (this is the conclusion – this is our final purpose / mission / why we exist in this world).

God bless you with this final sentence (memorize it).

Whether you eat or drink, marry or not marry, do it all for the glory of God.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 26 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Walk by Faith (Hebrews 11:5-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Walk by Faith (Hebrews 11:5-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Walk by Faith

Hebrews 11:5-6 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Do you please God in your life? Do you want to? How can we do this? According to this verse, only by faith.


Genesis 5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Enoch’s lived years = the same number of days in the calendar.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

  1. v 1-4 = Description of faith
  2. v 5-end = Demonstration of faith
  • Last week: Abel
  • This week: Enoch

Enoch is one of the mysterious figures in the Bible. In the Bible, there were two Enochs. Cain’s first son’s name was also Enoch. But this Enoch is a different Enoch.

Last week, we saw that because of Abel’s faith, he was killed / murdered.

As for Enoch today, because of faith, he did not experience physical death. What does this mean?

But we cannot say that this means that God shows favoritism, but that he has a different plan for each one of us. God has a plan for each one of us, but because of faith in Christ, we must suffer difficulties, sometimes even persecution for Christ. But in ALL THINGS – we must believe Romans 8 – that “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

This Enoch was a long-living man before the Great Flood. But about this story, he was most famous for the incredible thing that happened to him. He lived over 3.5 centuries on earth – can you imagine it? If his life had ended this year in 2020, he would have been born in 1655 – even before George Washington (1732). This is amazing. He is one who lived one of the longest lives – and yet did not experience physical death. He walked with God and God took him up, translated him to himself without physical death. We don’t know HOW that happened though. Whirlwind? Like Elijah? Spiral of a strong tornado.

In the Bible there are only 2 people who did not experience physical death: Enoch and Elijah (2 Kings 2?)

In the twinkling of an eye, his earthly body became a spiritual body. His weak body became a strong, eternal body. This is just a picture / type / shadow of how we will be in Christ one day.

1 Thess 4:16-17 “The Lord will come down with a trumpet sound and the dead in Christ will rise first, and those who still live will be caught up second in the air and we will be together with the Lord forever.”

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. Do you believe this?”

His Rapture is his closer and nearer working with God.

By faith he walked with God, he was taken up, and he was not here.

v. 5 “…before he was taken, he was commended as one who walked with / pleased God.” (walking more clearly reveals HOW he pleased God)

What does this mean?

Have you ever walked with somebody from first to last? Husbands, are you walking with your wives? Wives, are you walking with your husbands? Are you all walking with God in your whole life?

Enoch walked with God for at least 300 years. What does this mean? “walking with God”

We know what this means physically with another person through our experience. Walking with another person suggests a mutual agreement of souls.

If I go right, and you go left, we are not walking together. To walk together, we must:

  1. walk in the same direction and
  2. have the same destination.
  3. We must also be the same in stride, speed, pace. If someone is too fast, and someone is too slow, they cannot walk together.
  4. This also means having continual fellowship and communication on the same path.

Enoch “walked with God” = he was on the same path, at the same speed, communicating, with the same destination. How is this possible? By faith.

So, v. 6 is the conclusion here: (memorize and try to put this verse into practice into your own life – meditate on it – can you?)

v. 6

“6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

  • This verse doesn’t say, “without faith it is VERY DIFFICULT to please God.”
  • Also it doesn’t say, “without faith, you need EXTRA work to please God.”
  • Actually, “it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith.”

Without faith, no matter how much we try, we are under the wrath of God, the curse of sin. Romans 14 “Everything that comes without faith is sin.”

Without faith, the more we try to do something, the more sinful we become. Why? Without faith, everything all human beings are doing is motivated by selfishness. Without God, without faith, without Christ in me, I’m selfish. I struggle with my own selfishness and my old nature. Without faith, all things humans are doing is driven by selfishness.

So, without faith it is impossible to please / walk with God.

To please God, we need two things:

  1. to believe that he exists (he IS)
    • “I believe that God IS”
  2. and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him
    • Jesus is not only our rewarder, but also our reward, himself

v. 6

“6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

#1 God IS

What does this mean? “I believe God IS.”

In my personal evangelism, I meet some people who are not Christian, but even they say, “Yes, an absolute being, an absolute, original cause must exist.”

Even James 2:19 “Even demons believe God IS…” (but the meaning is different).

Belief that “God IS” has 3 levels of belief. Let me ask once more: Do you believe “God IS”?

3 levels of belief in the existence of God:

Level 1: God IS (literally) – “there must be someone / something”

The Bible does not seek to prove the existence of God. Rather, it opens with the first sentence as a FACT that assumes “God exists” already.

I’m speaking to you now, so I don’t need to prove my existence to you, right?

The Bible says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.'” (Psalm 14:1)

Believing in the existence of God = only the beginning (Level 1)

In this Hebrews, it doesn’t mean Level 1.

Level 2: (Belief as in the Old Testament) – God Exists and reveals himself through what he does.

God created: God is Creator (Genesis 1, God spoke all Creation into existence)

Job 38:7 “When the morning stars sang together, all the sons of God shouted for joy.”

God is the Creator of all Creation, yes? Psalms: “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

We believe in this Creator, but we must not stop there.

We must believe he is a Personal God

Do you believe you were made by the hands of God?

Psalm 139:13-14 “God created my inmost being; he knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise God, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

We must believe in a personal Creator of my whole being. We must believe that the personal God is in my life.

We must also believe in God’s miracle working power – that he saved his people by the miraculous works of his almighty hand. We know he saved Israel from Egypt – he sent plagues, he opened the Red Sea, the Jordan River, he sent manna and quail for 40 years, he destroyed the walls of Jericho.

We must believe this miraculous power is still available today?

But this is not all.

Level 3 (belief of God as New Testament belief) – The God of the New Testament is revealed in Jesus Christ – the Son of God.

Hebrews 1:1-3

“1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

John 1:1-3

“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

This sentence, in Hebrews = we must believe in the New Testament revelation of God (Jesus Christ).

We believe in the Creator God

“…all things were created by him and for him…” (Colossians?)

Jesus made all things – every crevice in every celestial body. Every color, every plant, every animal, every mite that crawls on the ground. Jesus is creator God. We must believe that to please God.

Jesus is Sustainer God. Not only Creator, but also Sustainer.

Col 1:17 “Jesus Christ is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”

He is supporting and sustaining ALL things. He is holding the moon, the stars, the sun, the sky in place. How is this possible?

Yes, we try to prove scientifically, but basically, they are there because Jesus created them and sustains them. Hebrews: “He sustains all things by his powerful word.” This is the word of the Bible.

We believe all things were created by God for a special purpose. Do you believe this? I believe that God has a special mission / purpose in my life / for my life.

This mic has a mission, the stars, the sun, the moon have their own mission. How much more, we who are created in his likeness?

Col 1:16 “All things were created by Him and for Him.” (for = toward – pointing at him as the final goal / destination). All things have been created and pointing toward him.

Everything is moving – nothing is eternal in this world. All Creation is moving toward its goal in Jesus Christ. This is the purpose why God created his creation. Everything in Creation, in history, in spiritual reality is moving for Jesus Christ, toward Jesus Christ.

Jesus is also the Lover of our Souls. How? Jesus is Creator, Sustainer and the Goal of all Creation. How? How does he love us? Why does he love us?

1 Cor 1 “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus Christ to reconcile all Creation to him by making peace through his shed blood on the cross.”

Jesus loves us as Father. The cross is the measure of this love. If you want to know how much he loves you, we need to meditate on the cross.

John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus is the Rewarder of those who seek him earnestly.

But wait, there’s a condition. Yes, he’s rewarded and reward, but the condition: “to those who seek him earnestly…” Are you seeking him earnestly? All the time?

Rev “Behold, I’m coming soon, and my reward is with me. So I’ll give to everyone according to what he has done… Be faithful even to the point of death and I’ll give you the crown of life.”

We know his invitation: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest. Take my yoke upon me and learn from me.”

1 Cor 15:58 “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm and let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

This is the guarantee, the promise of reward. Please, do not receive the grace of God in vain. NOW is the time of God’s favor, the time of God’s grace because we are in the presence of God.

v. 6

“6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Let’s pray.

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