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  • May 23 / 2021
  • Comments Off on The Heart of Worship: 6 Right Attitudes to Worship God Properly
Pastor Kang

The Heart of Worship: 6 Right Attitudes to Worship God Properly

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The Heart of Worship: 6 Right Attitudes to Worship God Properly

22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: `You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

24 “`Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.`

Exodus 20:22-26

The Heart of Worship

Today’s message is titled “The Heart of Worship: 6 right attitudes to worship God properly.”

It is taken out of Exodus chapter 20.

Do you think that the attitudes of worshipers today are better than those in the past? Of course, some people personally experience God’s amazing grace through worship. However, the church community seems to have weakened in its love of worship compared to the past.

This idea is based on what elder Christians said in my childhood. They always instructed children and young Christians in this way:

  • ‘Don’t run or play on the pulpit’
  • ‘Don’t place other objects on top of the Bible’
  • ‘Always prepare your offering in advance with new paper money.’

This may sound a bit old-fashioned to someone living in modern times. But I think the attitudes of elder Christians in the past toward worship was excellent.

Elder Christians taught us, the next generation, about the importance of worship and living a holy life. As a result, we have been able to take over their faith and carry on in worship to God.

In the same way, God orders us today to teach the next generation about the importance of worship and living a holy life. But without the right attitude toward worship, we can not serve God, our master.

If you remember from my last preaching on Exodus, God caused the Israelites to reach the Desert of Sinai through the miracle of the Red Sea. Their arrival in the desert was three months after they left the land of Egypt. Yet even then, the Israelites were forgetting their gratitude for God’s salvation.

God delivered the Law, including the Ten Commandments through Moses, making the Israelites his people. And after this, God informed the Israelites through Moses about the law of the altar, which represented worship. The words God said tells us what the worshiper’s right attitude is.

First, Fear God

Proverbs 9:10 says: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” And it is from here that we must begin.

A worshiper’s first right attitude must be “a heart that fears God, or is in awe of God”.

In Exodus 19:12, God said `Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death’.

When Moses ascended Mount Sinai and God gave him the Ten Commandment, various supernatural phenomena like thunder, lightning, trumpet sounds and smoke occurred. These unusual signs in the mountain made the Israelites fear and serve God.

This tells us that people must worship God, but must not treat God with discourteousness. To properly hear and receive the Word of God, we must have this heart of worship. We must approach God, our master, the creator and the judge, with fear and admiration.

Second, Don’t make idols

Exodus 20:22-23

22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: `You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

A worshiper’s second right attitude is to “not make idols”. 

In fact, verses 22 and 23 are considered to be the subject heading for various commandments and laws that were gathered in this book until Exodus 23:19. For this reason, the commandment “Do not make idols” is so important that it is located in the second place in the Ten Commandments.

What is the connection between crafting idols and the attitude of a worshiper? In fact, we may consider idols to be physical creations, like the golden calf the Israelites made before Moses came down from the mountain. However, Ezekiel 14:3 makes note of “idols of the heart” in which something in life has become more important in someone’s heart than God has. Whenever something apart from God takes God’s place in our hearts, this is an idol of the heart.

Think about when we’re late for worship or even not going to church. Yes, we may be busy, but in reality, we all prioritize the things we most value.

The sweet sleep of the holiday, the TV program or sports game that you enjoy, the family trip that you have wanted, the promise with your best friend, and on and on. If these things overlap with our worship time too often, they may become idols that prevent us from worshiping God truthfully.

Third, worship with sincerity

Exodus 20:24

24 “`Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.

A worshiper’s third right attitude is to “worship with sincerity”.

The first form of worship in the Old Testament was to give sacrifices to God, and even if there was only one altar under the sky, people could still sacrifice to God. However, this method was changed to a way of offering sacrifices only in one central sanctuary, housed in the temple of God after Deuteronomy 12. The reason for this is that the worship of Israel had become degenerated by the influence of foreign religious customs that were popular in the land of Canaan. Typically, in the Old Testament, due to the fact that the altar of God was placed in the temple, in order for anyone to worship God, they had to travel to the temple.

However, in John 4 verses 20-24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman by the well that “an hour is coming” when they will not worship God on the mountain or in Jerusalem, but will instead worship God “in spirit and in truth.” And in John 2:19, Jesus says, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days,” referring to his body.

In fact, while the Old Testament worshipers worshiped God through the altar in the temple, the truth is that we New Testament Christians still do so. But Jesus, through his death and resurrection, has become the new temple for us through whom we are to worship. 

In other words, wherever people believe in Jesus and can pray to God with praise and gratitude and call on his name, God has allowed them to worship him through his Son, Jesus Christ, everywhere and anywhere.

As we can see from the first form of worship where we could worship anywhere with only one altar, to the offering of sacrifices only in the particular central sanctuary in God’s temple, to our current method of offering our bodies as living sacrifices through Jesus Christ, our Savior, we can clearly see that all of these contain a message that we must worship in earnest before God.

Fourth, remember that the master of worship is God

Exodus 20:25

25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

A worshiper’s fourth right attitude is to remember that “The master of worship is God”.

An altar to sacrifice to God was typically made of soil, but in some cases it was made using uncut stones. When the stones were trimmed with a tool, the altar became purely a man-made structure, no longer natural or made from completely natural materials, and became defiled.

For this reason, when Solomon built the temple, he refined it right from the place where the stone was excavated, so that the stone remained as close to its natural form as possible and so that the sound of the stone excavation was not heard in the place where the temple was built.

According to human understanding, when building altars or temples, we want to refine stones beautifully. But the Bible continually insists that what appears good to man, beautiful altars and perfect appearing worship in the eyes of man, are actually negatives in God’s eyes. God wants worship where people rely entirely on his sovereignty and serve Him as their master.

Fifth, Prepare worship chastely

Exodus 20:26

26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.`

A worshiper’s fifth right attitude is to “prepare worship chastely”.

Garments at that time were robes, worn almost like skirts or dresses. Our reading of this verse presupposes that people of that era did not wear clothing such as underwear or pants.

In fact, Canaan’s religious rituals were combined with sexual indulgence. But in Israel, there was to be no sexual object near God. This is because the worshiper must be consecrated, or made clean, before he goes before God.

For this reason, Moses taught the people some basic rules of chastity before God came to him on Mount Sinai. These were things such as: ‘Wash your clothes.” “Prepare yourselves on the third day that God will come to us.” and “Abstain from sexual relations” before God.

Our good God gave us free will and pleasure to enjoy all his Creation. But we must be able to limit our pleasure in the presence of worship that is offered to God. In a way, it is how we can stand in awe of our master, God, and fear and respect and worship him properly.

Sixth and finally, remember that Worship is really wholesome for us

So far we have looked at the right attitudes of a worshiper. “Fear God.” “Don’t make idols” “Worship with sincerity” “The master of worship is God” and “Prepare worship chastely” Now, let us consider the last key point: that Worship is really wholesome for us.

Why should we adhere to so many of these demands in order to worship God?

The answer is shown in

Exodus 19:4-6

4 `You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles` wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.` These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

In Egypt, God responded to the sounds of the Israelites’ suffering. God himself destroyed the Egypt forces and gave them the grace of making the Israelites his chosen people. And the only thing God asked for in return was for the Israelites to obey His Word.

Therefore, God gave them the “Ten Commandments” and engraved his words on the stone tablets. And God informed his people about the law of the altar in order that they might express their obedience to and love for Him in that manner.

In fact, Compared to the wonderful work of salvation God has done, Israel’s worship of God was only a small, simple, and easy act of sacrificing properly on altars built of soil or stone.

Now let’s consider our own worship.

  • Are you coming to worship with a fear and admiration of God?
  • Are you making idols in the world or in your hearts that you treasure more than meeting God?
  • Are you truly worshipping every moment?
  • Are you offering worship to serve God as your master?
  • Are you preparing for worship in advance? Eagerly?
  • Are you preparing for worship chastely?

If you cannot answer one or more of these questions confidently, remember the amazing grace of God that has been given to you so far. Remember the love of God who sent Jesus Christ, his Son, down to this land to die on the cross for your sins.

God doesn’t want much from us. He just wants our heart. He wants us to remember our master, God, and worship him properly. God wishes for us to honor him with praise and appreciation for all his good grace through our worship.

Worship is wholesome for us. It is really wholesome for us. Because it is through proper worship of God our Creator and Jesus Christ our Lord that we can become truly whole and filled with love for him and those around us.

And in our great love for God, I hope we will run happily to the place of worship where God is the master.

Let’s pray together.


예배자의 바른 태도

22 여호와께서 모세에게 이르시되 너는 이스라엘 자손에게 이같이 이르라 내가 하늘로부터 너희에게 말하는 것을 너희 스스로 보았으니 23 너희는 나를 비겨서 은으로나 금으로나 너희를 위하여 신상을 만들지 말고

24 내게 토단을 쌓고 그 위에 네 양과 소로 네 번제와 화목제를 드리라 내가 내 이름을 기념하게 하는 모든 곳에서 네게 임하여 복을 주리라 25 네가 내게 돌로 제단을 쌓거든 다듬은 돌로 쌓지 말라 네가 정으로 그것을 쪼면 부정하게 함이니라 26 너는 층계로 내 제단에 오르지 말라 네 하체가 그 위에서 드러날까 함이니라

출애굽기 20:22-26

0. 예화: 예배 태도

 오늘은 “예배자의 바른 태도”라는 제목으로 출애굽기 20장 하반절의 말씀을 나누겠습니다.

오늘 말씀을 나누기 앞 서, 저는 예배를 사모하는 마음이 과거에 비해 나아졌는지에 대해 생각해 보았습니다. 

각 개인적으로는 현재 예배를 사모하고 예배를 통해 놀라운 은혜를 경험하고 계신 분이 있을 것입니다. 하지만 교회 공동체적으로는 과거에 비해 예배를 사모하는 마음이 예전만 못하지 않은가 하는 생각이 들었습니다.

이러한 생각은 제 어린 시절, 옛 교회 어른들이 하셨던 말씀들에 근거를 두고 있습니다.

교회의 어른들은 저를 비롯한 어린이와 청년들에게 늘 이와 같은 말씀을 하셨습니다.

  • ‘설교단 위에서 뛰어다니고 장난쳐서는 안 된다’
  • ‘성경책 위에 다른 물건을 올려두어서는 안 된다’
  • ‘헌금은 꼭 새 지폐로 미리 준비해서 드려야 한다’

현대를 살아가는 누군가에게는 다소 고지식한 말로 들릴 수도 있겠지만, 저는 이 말씀을 하셨던 옛 어른들의 예배를 향한 마음이 얼마나 소중하게 느껴지는지 모릅니다.

옛 신앙의 선배들은 다음 세대였던 우리에게, 예배의 중요성과 바른 신앙생활에 대해 강조하며 교육 하였습니다. 그 결과 우리가 그 신앙을 이어받아 하나님을 섬기는 귀한 예배에 자리에 있는 것입니다.

오늘 하나님은 마찬가지로 우리에게 다음 세대에게 예배의 중요성과 바른 신앙생활에 대해 가르칠 것을 명령하십니다.

예배를 향한 바른 태도 없이는 우리 주인이신 하나님을 제대로 섬길 수 없기 때문입니다.

하나님이 행하신 홍해의 기적을 통해 이스라엘이 시내 광야에 도착했습니다.

이때는 그들이 애굽 땅을 떠난 지 삼 개월이 지난 때로, 하나님의 구원에 대한 감격이 점점 사라져가는 시기였습니다.

하나님은 이스라엘을 그의 백성으로 삼으시기 위해, 모세를 통해 하나님의 명령이 담긴 십계명을 전달하셨습니다.

이후 하나님은 모세를 통해 제단에 관한 법을 이야기 하시는데, 이 말씀이 오늘을 살아가는 우리에게 예배자의 바른 태도는 무엇인지에 대해 알려주는 것입니다.

1. 하나님을 경외하라

예배자의 바른 태도 첫 번째는 “하나님을 경외하는 마음”입니다.

출애굽기 19장 12절에서 하나님은 ‘시내산을 침범하는 사람은 반드시 죽을 것이다!’라고 말씀 하셨습니다. 

또한 하나님이 십계명을 모세에게 주실 때, 시내산에서 발생한 우레와 번개, 나발 소리와 산의 연기와 같은 초자연적인 현상들은, 이스라엘 백성들이 하나님을 두려워하며 섬기도록 만들었습니다.

이는 하나님은 우리가 섬겨야할 대상이시지만, 사람이 함부로 대할 수 없는 경외의 대상이라는 것을 알려주십니다. 하나님의 말씀을 듣기 위해 예배의 자리에 나오는 우리의 마음이 이와 같아야 한다는 것입니다. 온 세상의 주인이시며 창조자이자 심판자인 하나님 앞에서, 두려움과 공경의 마음을 가지고 나아가야 한다는 것입니다.

2-1. 우상을 만들지 말라

출애굽기 20장 22절과 23절입니다.

“여호와께서 모세에게 이르시되 너는 이스라엘 자손에게 이같이 이르라 내가 하늘로부터 너희에게 말하는 것을 너희 스스로 보았으니

너희는 나를 비겨서 은으로나 금으로나 너희를 위하여 신상을 만들지 말고“

예배자의 바른 태도 두 번째는 “우상을 만들지 말라”는 것입니다.

방금 읽은 22-23절은 출애굽기 23장 19절까지 모아둔 여러 가지 계명과 법규의 머리말로 여겨집니다. 머리말의 규정인 만큼 이 “우상을 만들지 말라”는 계명은 십계명에서도 두 번째 자리에 위치할 정도로 그 중요성이 대단히 큰 것입니다.

우상을 만드는 것과 예배자의 태도와 어떤 관련이 있을까요?

우리가 예배 시간에 늦거나 예배를 드리지 못할 때를 생각해 보십시오.

이러한 상황은 하나님을 예배하고 싶은 마음이 아닌, 다른 것에 마음을 더 빼앗길 때 일어납니다.

휴일의 달콤한 늦잠이, 즐겨보는 TV 프로그램이, 오랜만에 가지는 가족여행이, 친한 친구와의 약속이 예배 시간과 겹치게 된다면 그것들이 우리에게는 하나님을 진실되게 예배하지 못하게 방해하는 우상이 되는 것입니다.

2-2. 진정성 있게 예배하라

출애굽기 20장 24절입니다.

“내게 토단을 쌓고 그 위에 네 양과 소로 네 번제와 화목제를 드리라 내가 내 이름을 기념하게 하는 모든 곳에서 네게 임하여 복을 주리라”

예배자의 바른 태도 세 번째는 “진정성 있게 예배하라”는 것입니다.

최초의 예배 형태는 제물을 바치는 것으로, 하늘 아래 제단 하나만 있으면 하나님께 제사를 드릴 수 있었습니다. 

곧 찬송과 찬양과 감사로 하나님께 기도드리며 하나님의 이름을 부를 수 있는 곳이면 하나님께서 어디서나 제단을 세워 하나님을 예배할 수 있게 해주셨습니다.

이러한 방식은 신명기 12장 이후에 하나의 중앙 성소에서만 제사 드리는 방식으로 변경되었는데, 그 이유가 가나안 땅에서 성행했던 다산 종교의식과 같은 풍습들의 영향으로 이스라엘의 예배가 변질되었기 때문이라는 주장이 있습니다.

하늘 아래 제단 하나만 있으면 어디서든 예배할 수 있었던 최초의 예배 형태에서부터, 특정된 하나의 중앙 성소에서만 제사를 드릴 수 있게 된 것 까지, 이 모두가 하나님 앞에 진정성 있게 예배하라는 메시지를 담고 있습니다.

2-3. 예배의 주인은 하나님

출애굽기 20장 25절입니다.

“네가 내게 돌로 제단을 쌓거든 다듬은 돌로 쌓지 말라 네가 정으로 그것을 쪼면 부정하게 함이니라”

예배자의 바른 태도 네 번째는 “예배의 주인은 하나님”임을 기억하는 것입니다.

하나님께 제사를 드릴 제단은 토단으로도 충분하지만 경우에 따라서는 다듬지 않은 돌을 쓸 수 있는데, 이때 연장을 사용하여 돌을 다듬게 되면 그 제단은 사람이 만든 것이 되어 부정하게 됩니다.

이 때문에 솔로몬도 성전을 건축할 때에, 돌을 발굴한 장소에서 다듬어서 성전 속에서는 돌을 다듬는 소리가 들리지 않게 한 것입니다.

사람의 생각으로는, 제단이나 성전을 쌓을 때 돌을 다듬어 아름답게 만들고 싶은 것입니다.

하지만 성경은 사람이 보기에 좋은 제단과 예배가, 하나님 보시기에는 부정하다고 이야기 하는 것입니다.

하나님은 사람의 눈에 좋아 보이는 예배가 아닌, 온전히 하나님의 주권에 의지하여 하나님이 주인 되시는 예배가 되길 원하시는 것입니다.

2-4. 정결함으로 예배 준비

출애굽기 20장 26절입니다.

“너는 층계로 내 제단에 오르지 말라 네 하체가 그 위에서 드러날까 함이니라”

예배자의 바른 태도 다섯 번째는 “정결함으로 예배를 준비”하는 것입니다.

이때의 의복은 치마와 같은 형태로, 속옷이나 바지와 같은 의복을 입지 않았다는 것을 전제로 합니다.

가나안의 다산 종교의식은 성적인 방종과 결합되어 있었지만, 이스라엘의 경우 하나님 가까이에서는 성적인 것을 조금도 찾아볼 수가 없었습니다.

즉, 예배자는 하나님 앞에 나아가기 전에 성결해야 한다는 것입니다.

모세는 이러한 이유로 여호와 하나님이 시내산에 강림하시기 전, 백성들에게 몇 가지 정결 사항을 말해주었습니다.

옷을 빨아 의복을 깨끗하게 할 것, 여호와 하나님이 오실 셋째 날을 준비하며 기다릴 것, 여인을 가까이 하지 말 것.

좋으신 하나님은 우리에게 자유의지와 누릴 수 있는 즐거움을 선물로 주셨습니다.

그러나 우리는 하나님께 나아가는 예배 앞에서 우리의 즐거움을 제한 할 수 있어야 합니다.

그것이 우리의 주인이신 하나님을 경외하는 방법이기 때문입니다.

3. 예배는 우리의 유익이다

지금까지 우리는 하나님 앞에 나아가기 위한 예배자의 바른 태도로서

하나님을 경외할 것, 우상을 만들지 않을 것, 진정성 있는 예배를 드릴 것, 하나님이 주인이신 예배를 드릴 것, 예배를 위해 정결함으로 준비하는 것들이 필요함을 알게 되었습니다. 

우리가 이렇게 많은 요구사항을 지키며 하나님께 예배를 드려야 하는 이유는 무엇일까요?

이에 관한 답이 출애굽기 19장 4절에서 6절에 나타나있습니다.

“내가 애굽 사람에게 어떻게 행하였음과 내가 어떻게 독수리 날개로 너희를 업어 내게로 인도하였음을 너희가 보았느니라 세계가 다 내게 속하였나니 너희가 내 말을 잘 듣고 내 언약을 지키면 너희는 모든 민족 중에서 내 소유가 되겠고 너희가 내게 대하여 제사장 나라가 되며 거룩한 백성이 되리라 너는 이 말을 이스라엘 자손에게 전할지니라”

여호와 하나님은 이스라엘의 고통의 소리에 응답하셨습니다. 하나님은 친히 애굽 군대를 멸하셨으며 이스라엘을 하나님의 백성으로 삼아주시는 은혜를 베푸셨습니다.

이렇게 놀라운 일을 행하신 하나님이 이스라엘에게 바라신 것은 단 하나, 말씀에 대한 ‘순종’이었습니다.

그래서 하나님은 그의 말씀을 돌 판에 새긴 “십계명”을 주셨고, 하나님께 순종을 표현하는 제단에 관한 법에 대해 그의 백성들에게 알려주신 것입니다.

하나님이 행하신 놀라운 구원의 사역에 비하면, 이스라엘이 하나님께 드리는 예배는 토단을 쌓거나, 돌로 제단을 쌓는 아주 단순하고 쉬운 행위에 불과했습니다.

이제 우리의 예배를 돌아봅시다.

  • 하나님을 두려워하며 공경하는 마음으로 예배 자리에 나오고 계십니까?
  • 하나님을 만나는 것 보다 더 관심이 가는 세상의 우상들을 만들고 있지는 않으십니까?
  • 매순간 신령과 진정으로 예배를 드리고 있으십니까?
  • 내가 주인이 아닌 하나님이 주인이신 예배를 드리고 있습니까?
  • 예배 전 날부터 예배를 사모함으로 기다리며, 정결함으로 하나님을 만날 준비를 하고 계십니까?

만약 그렇지 않다면 지금까지 나에게 베푸신 하나님의 놀라운 은혜들을 기억하십시오.

예수님으로 이 땅에 내려오셔서, 죄인 중의 괴수 같은 나를 위해, 십자가에서 죽음을 감당하신 하나님의 사랑을 기억하십시오.

하나님은 우리에게 많은 것을 바라지 않으십니다.

우리의 주인이신 하나님을 기억하며, 그가 허락하신 귀한 예배의 자리를 통해, 하나님의 은혜에 감사와 찬양으로 영광돌리기를 바라시는 것입니다.

예배는 우리의 유익입니다. 예배는 참으로 우리에게 유익입니다.

우리가 사랑에 빚진 자로서, 하나님이 주인이신 예배의 자리로 기쁘게 달려 나가는, 저와 여러분 되길 주님의 이름으로 소망합니다.

우리 함께 이 시간 기도하겠습니다.

  • Jul 01 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Church must be kept Pure and Holy (Acts 5:1-16)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Church must be kept Pure and Holy (Acts 5:1-16)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Church must be kept pure and holy

Acts 5:1-16 (Pastor Heo)

5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. 12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.


Satan is our enemy – and we must understand that he is alive. He had failed completely in his attempt to silence the witness of the church in chp 3-4, but he never gives up, he just changes his tactics.

As we know, according to chp 3, his first approach was to attack the church from outside – hoping that the threats would frighten the leaders and apostles. But when that failed, Satan attacked from the inside – using people who belonged to the fellowship of the church. Yes, we must know that Satan is very clever. He is a murderer and a liar. When he doesn’t succeed as a liar, he attacks as a deceiving serpent or an angel of light.

  • “Be self controlled and alert because your enemy the Devil is like a roaring lion, prowling around looking for someone to devour.” (Peter)
  • “Our enemy masquerades as an angel of light…”
  • John “You belong to your father the devil, he is a murderer from the beginning. When he lies, he speaks his native language.”

We also have our own native languages – what is yours? But remember, when you speak a lie, you are speaking Satan’s native language.

Today’s story is a very heavy one to accept.

Ananias & Sapphira

Ananias + Sapphira – sold a piece of their own property, and kept some of the money for themselves, but LIED and said, “This is the FULL amount of money we received for this property” when they presented the money to the church (Peter).

Ananias lied to Peter about offering the FULL money, and he fell down and died.

Sapphira came three hours later, lied about the FULL amount of the money they offered, and she also fell down and died.

v. 1-11

“5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events. 12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.”

Yes, this is terrible and terrifying, but we must accept it. We can learn 3 lessons from this story.

Background

v. 1

“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, **also** sold a piece of property.”

“Also” is connected with some happening in the church at that time. We can look to the last verse of the previous chapter about Barnabas to see what this was about.

4:36-37

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”

This act apparently filled Ananias and Sapphira with envy and they wanted to get praise and glory before the church by doing a similar thing.

#1 God hates hypocrisy

  • Hypocrisy = “wearing a mask and playing an actor”
  • Hypocrisy = deliberate deception – trying to make others think we are more spiritual, more generous than we really are

This sin, hypocrisy was the sin of this couple.

Ananias means “God is gracious” – good name – but he learned “God is holy”

Sapphira means “Beautiful” but her heart was “ugly” with sin

Yes, no doubt, some people are shocked because they read that some people lied about a business transaction and their church giving.

But, when we read further into this, we can see that God was justified and right in judging them. All throughout the Bible, especially at the beginning of a NEW period of salvation, God judges sin severely.

  • Ex: In Exodus, after the temple was built, God killed the sons of the priest because they tried to give God false fire.
  • Ex: In the land of Canaan, after a battle, God killed Achan because of his disobedience regarding money.

These examples were warnings to God’s people – and also to us.

“These things happened as examples for us… so, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall.”

Even today, Satan never gives up in his attacking and attempt to push us – his main purpose in coming is to lie, steal, and kill (destroy).

This is the first lesson we can get from this terrible story.

To begin with the sin of Ananias and Sapphira was energized by Satan (v. 3) “Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?”

If Satan cannot defeat the church from attacks outside, then he will attempt to go INSIDE and use the members of the church – even generous Christians. So, remember that we are always very close to the attack of Satan – always enduring spiritual warfare.

Eph “Be strong in the Lord’s mighty power and put on the full armor of God – because our struggling is not against physical powers, but against the powers of the spiritual realm. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that in the day of evil you may be able to stand your ground, and when you have done everything, to stand.”

This warning is given to Christians, not non-Christians – so we must remember that we are who Satan wants to use to attack the church from the inside. Satan knows how to lie well – and he spoke a lie to Ananias and Sapphira and that lie led to death. So, when God judged Ananias and Sapphira, he was judging Satan.

#2 Their actions were motivated by the sin of Pride

God hates Pride and judges it.

Pr 8:13 “To fear the Lord is to hate evil… God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.”

Yes, already Christ made it very clear that we must be very careful about how we give lest the glory to be given to God is given to us.

“Be careful not to do your giving before man… Do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do. They have received their reward in full. When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” How is this possible? We must be filled with the HS. “Then you Father, who sees what is done in heaven will reward you.”

The Pharisees were adept at giving in public so that they might receive the praises of man. But, that is ALL they received.

Remember, we are merely STEWARDS of what God has given us, so we must use what he has given us for his glory. How can we remember God if we seek praise from man? If we seek praise from man, it is very difficult to believe in God. But we should not apply glory and praise to ourselves. We only praise our Father God, and not expect praise from men.

This is the second lesson from this story. Yes, pride is also always very near us. Are you riding pride?

Pride is the sin that opens the door to all other sins – it is the original, the gateway sin. So, if we are only interested in our own character, then their is no limit to what we might do to look good in the eyes of others.

#3 God loves the church and the sin was directed against the church

We cannot know how much God loves the church. The church was purchased by the blood of God’s only Son.

Imagine, if you bought something with the blood of your son, how much could you love that thing?

So, God loves the church so much. But at the same time, Satan wants to destroy the church all the time. So, he seeks to use those who are INSIDE the church to destroy it.

Imagine, if Peter had not been discerning, then Ananias and Sapphira would have become influential people in the early church and Satan would have been using them to do his own work from within.

  • Church is God’s temple in which God dwells, but Satan also wants to move in and dwell there with us.
  • Church is also God’s army, and Satan seeks to get as many spies and traitors into its ranks as possible.

So, church is VERY SAFE when Satan is attacking from OUTSIDE, but it is in danger when Satan can get inside and attack from within.

So, at this moment, we need to examine ourselves. Do we really mean everything we pray about in public? Do we sing hymns and gospel songs faithfully and sincerely, or routinely?

“These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” (Jesus)

Imagine, if God still killed religious deceivers today, how many church members would be left?

In this story, Ananias was dead and buried, but his wife did not know what had happened. This also shows that:

  • Satan keeps his servants always in the dark, but
  • Jesus guides his servants in the light.

Their sin was NOT in holding some money back, but rather it was in lying to the church, to the HS. They were not required to give all the money, but their evil desire and lust to receive praise from men led to their downfall.

James 1:15 “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and the sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.”

What is the result of this event? GREAT FEAR (x2) – this means “godly fear” or the “fear of God”. Actually, the “fear of God” is the secret to be free from ALL other fears in this world.

Yes, in the previous chapter, we saw there was great power and great grace. Now, there is great fear. All of these should be present in the church:

  1. Godly power
  2. Godly grace
  3. Godly fear

“God is a consuming fire.”

Remember 3 lessons:

  1. No hypocrisy
  2. No pride
  3. Not against the church

Opposites (we must do these things):

  1. Honesty, integrity, sincerity
  2. Humility
  3. For the church

We must do our best to keep the church pure and holy.

#Conclusion

v. 12-16

“And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.”

We can be encouraged by the last words: “all of them were healed.”

  • Yes, our enemy Satan always wants to divide the church, disgrace, decrease, destroy the church.
  • But the church filled with the HS is unified, magnified, multiplied.
  1. Yes, the early church began with only 120 in the upper room, and
  2. in the second stage to 3,000,
  3. in the third stage to 5,000 (excluding women and children).
  4. “Nevertheless, more and more people believed and were added to their number.”

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This means that miracles are still possible. If you believe, miracles are possible. The problem is whether or not you believe.

This is especially possible for the miracle of healing – not only physical, but emotional, mental, spiritual, psychological. Remember, only eternal, everlasting healing can be found in Jesus Christ our Lord – because only by believing in him, we are to live in heaven completely freed from all kinds of diseases and sickness.

The greatest miracle of all is the transformation (complete change) of a lost sinner into a child of God based on the power of the resurrection of Christ. That is the greatest miracle, the greatest need of all humans, lasts the longest, and cost the greatest price (the blood of Christ). This is one (the greatest) miracle that we can all participate in as members of the church.

We can share this miracle when we share the message of the gospel.

God bless us all.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 17 / 2018
  • Comments Off on I cannot stop speaking of what I should speak (Acts 4:13-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

I cannot stop speaking of what I should speak (Acts 4:13-22)

Download Notes in a .MD file

I cannot stop speaking of what I should speak

Acts 4:13-22 (Pastor Heo)

4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. 20 For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21 After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.


Persecution starts. The Sanhedrin had put Peter and John in jail, and the next day questioned them. The Sanhedrin was like the Supreme Court of that day.

  • And they questioned them, “By what name do you do what you did?”
  • Peter and John said, “by the name of Jesus whom you crucified.”
  • Then the Sanhedrin conferred together to decide what to do with them. They came to them again and said, “Anyway, do not preach or perform miracles in this name again.”
  • Peter, “If you are judges, judge for yourselves. Which is right? To obey you or to obey God?”

In everything, we are judges – we must choose one of two ways.

  • Peter said, “We cannot stop preaching what we have heard, what we have seen.”

Actually, the Sanhedrin wanted to kill Peter and John, but they couldn’t do anything to them – because outside (over 5,000) people were praising God because of their work and preaching.

  • They threatened them again, “If you do this again, you will be killed.”

Last verse says the man’s age was over 40. Let’s read once more.


v. 13

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were *astonished* and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Peter and John had great courage. Do you? Even today, we need courage. Yes, we know how cowardly Peter was only a few months before, but now he’s become such a courageous and fearless man. They were shocked.

This courage is possible because they were filled with the HS. Today to be powerful and effective witnesses for Christ, we need courage. Even in the secular world, to be successful, we need courage.

There are 3 kinds of courage.

1. Reckless courage –

we don’t know what will happen, we are unaware of the consequences.

2. Fearless courage (convinced) –

Yes, we are aware of the possible difficulties and dangers, but we also know there is something else beyond those dangers.

3. Decisive courage (resolute) –

Sometimes, courage does not mean “fearlessness” – actually, it may include GREAT fear, but a decision to DO what must be done and do it.

The courage of Peter and John now was “fearless courage”. How can we have courage? Do you want to be powerful effective witnesses for Christ? Then we need courage.

The best courage is fearless courage because we know there is something greater, beyond earth, heavenly reward. So, to have this courage, we need 4 things.

4 Necessities for courage

1. Pray – and your courage will increase

Phil 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything. But in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds.”

2. Proclaim God’s promises to yourself

“Whoever acknowledges me, I will acknowledge, whoever disowns me, I will disown.” Jesus

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear. I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I will strengthen you, I will uplift you with my righteous right hand.”

Yes, we need to proclaim the Word of God to others, but we also need to apply it and proclaim it to ourselves.

3. Fear God

Fear God to fear nothing.

If you fear God fully, you will never fear anything in this world.

“The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.” – Proverbs

“Do not fear those who can kill the body, but not the soul. Rather, fear the one who can throw both soul and body into hell.”

The secret to be free from fears is to fear God – because he is maker and creator of all things.

4. Believe what Jesus has been doing and that there will be a reward from him

If we believe what he has been doing, past, present, future, then we will be free from all kinds of fears.

Yes, he died for our sins and was raised for our justification.

“God demonstrated his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

“… Christ died for the ungodly”

Romans “Therefore, there is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ.” (in Christ theology)

If we are Christians, children of God, then we are heirs with God and co-heirs with Christ. If we share in his sufferings, we may share in his glory. The present sufferings are nothing compared with the glory that will be revealed.

Rev “Behold I am coming soon.” – Jesus said 3 times. “My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

If it is true that Jesus is God become man and died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead for our salvation and justification, then, no matter how much we do for him, we cannot do too much for him.

In this story, we can see Enemies attack, Christians defend. We also experience this in spiritual war. In this case, we should have our defense. What kind of defense?

Enemies’ attack: 2 characteristics

1. Contempt

v. 13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and **realized that they were unschooled [ignorant], ordinary men [laymen without special professional qualifications], they were astonished** and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

They had no learning in the regulation of the Law.

i.e. The Sanhedrin regarded Peter and John with contempt: as ignorant and non-professional – no certifications or fancy letters at the end of their names.

But “in Christ” provides a certain (real and holy) dignity that no special qualifications or titles can give.

2. Threats

v. 21 “After **further threats** they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.”

We must remember that what men do to us are only temporal – but the things of God are eternal.

The things of Man are temporal, but the things of God are eternal.

In the face of these attacks from the enemies, Peter and John had 3 defenses.

3 Defenses against enemy attacks

1. The defense of unanswerable fact

The man who was lame was healed. They couldn’t deny it.

The most unanswerable fact of Christianity is a Christian man or woman – the changed life of a Christian.

2. Total loyalty to Christ

If they had to choose between obeying man or God, Peter and John would have no question which path to take.

“The trouble with so many people today is that the voice of their neighbor sounds so much louder than the voice of God.”

Yes, we have 2-3 voices in our lives:

  1. The voice of God
  2. The voice of Satan

[also, the voice of neighbors – and our own voice]

  • The voice of God in Genesis: “If you eat this fruit, you will surely die.”
  • The voice of Satan in Genesis: “God is a liar. If you eat this, you will be like God. God wants you to be unhappy.”

Yes, even today, the voice of God (or Satan) can come through the voice of our neighbors. That’s why we need to be wise, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

  • Satan: “Do what seems safe, easy, comfortable, gives glory to yourself.”
  • God: “Do what is right, true, good, glorious to Christ.”

3. (Greatest defense): Personal experience of Jesus Christ

Peter and John’s story of Christ: they knew first hand that it was true and sure – and they were willing to stake their lives on it.

5 Points as real lessons for application in our lives

1. God is LONG-suffering with lost sinners

The religious leaders had rejected:

  1. John the Baptist
  2. Jesus

So, God gave them another opportunity to repent and be saved. So, we must also give thanks to God for his patience and long-suffering with us. We need patience when we witness to this world.

2. True witness involves bad news of sin and guilt as well as the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ

Remember, there can be no true faith in Christ if there is not first repentance of sin. We are preaching the good news of salvation, but when we preach this wonderful good news, we must also preach the bad news of sin and guilt so that they may truly receive the good news.

Without the bad news, they cannot truly experience the good news.

3. Whenever God blesses, Satan appears.

Are you blessed? Satan appears to oppose the work, to silence the witness. Even today, sometimes Satan uses religious people to do his job.

In this story, the same crowd who opposed the ministry of Christ is also opposing the ministry of the apostles, and Satan today is trying to oppose our own ministry. Expect the attack of Satan, but do not let it stop your ministry.

The important thing is not that we’re comfortable, but that the name of Christ is glorified through our message.

4. God has also promised to bless and use his Word,

so let us be faithful continuously. Even today, Christ is praying earnestly for us so that our witness may be successful. So, we have every reason to be encouraged because there is power in the name of Christ. We need not fear witnessing and calling others to repent.

5. The name of Christ has power and authority.

Even today, we can give somebody a cup of cold / hot water, or receive a child / baby in the name of Christ. Still these ministries are important. We can ask in the name of Christ – and when we do it is as though Christ himself is asking it.

Do you know what “In Jesus’ name” means? “In the name of Jesus Christ”

This means: It is like Jesus himself is asking what we are asking. If we remember this, it will help us ask only something worthy of the name of Christ.

Let us go forth in the name of Christ as conquerors – he gave his life for our salvation and justification.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 02 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Fear Not! Because… (Matthew 10:17-33)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Fear Not! Because… (Matthew 10:17-33)

02.02

02.02.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

21 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 

24 “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebub, how much more the members of his household! 

26 “So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.


In this section, there are many terrible words, but in conclusion (in advance) “Don’t worry.”

The atmosphere of this section is different from that of the previous section.

  1. He speaks of persecution, suffering, arrest.
  2. In the opening (the first section), he said, “Do not go to the Gentiles.” But here he talks about the ministry to the Gentiles (v. 18).
  3. Also, the HS had not been given at that time, but here he mentions it (v. 20).
  4. And he also talks about his Second Coming (v. 23). 

So this is not instructions only to those at that time, but to ALL missionaries at ALL times. 

#1: Persecution (v. 17-18)

We can be deeply impressed with Jesus’ honesty. He never hesitated to tell us what we may expect if we follow him. As for human Presidents (election campaigns), they all promise GOOD things for us if we follow them. They never say bad things, the weak points if we accept them as President.  

  • Imperfect Presidents speak as though they are Perfect in their campaigns.
  • But our perfectly Perfect President (Jesus) speaks as though he is Imperfect.

So, he is humble, and totally worthy of our trust.

In the next verse, Jesus says persecution presents MORE opportunities to present the gospel. History has shown that the church has grown larger and stronger through persecution. Even Jesus was given the opportunity to preach before Pilate. And Paul was given great opportunities to stand before the Sanhedrin, governors Felix and Festus, King Agrippa, and even King Herod. 

In the face of so much persecution, we don’t need to worry. (v. 19-20)

WHEN they arrest you (not “if”), “do not worry.”

Do you worry about persecution for your faith in Christ? Don’t worry. Because Jesus said, “don’t worry” that’s enough reason to not worry. Also, persecution for Christ makes:

  • Faith stronger
  • Ministry bigger
  • Influence deeper

In Matthew, there are only 2 mentions of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Jesus’ water baptism in chapter 3 – when the HS came down and rested on him.
  2. HERE – “it will be the Spirit speaking through you.”

BUT do not use this as an excuse to NOT study the Scriptures, to not prepare. We must prepare, but in the case of persecution, the HS will do his job through us supernaturally. Why? Because witnessing about Jesus Christ is THE main ministry of the HS. 

v. 21-23

How many men will hate you? ALL.

  • Brother kills brother. 
  • Parents kill children.
  • Children kill parents. 

This is most true spiritually. TRUE death, eternal death, results from the rejection of Jesus Christ. Think about it. If you’ve ever been forced/compelled not to believe in Jesus, WHO usually does it? Not strangers. It’s usually people who know us.

All men will hate us because of Jesus. All men who hate Jesus, also hate us – the announcers and evangelists for Jesus. Want to know if it’s true? Proclaim Jesus on Facebook… I’ve done so… It’s true…

He who stands firm to the end will be saved. We know we are saved by grace, not by perseverance, not by patience, not by works. If we are really saved by grace, THEN, we should work out our own salvation by perseverance, patience, and works.

You will never finish your mission in this world before Jesus comes back (v. 23). We will finish the mission given to us from God when Jesus returns, or when we go to God.  

But, Jesus encouragement is “fear not. Do not be afraid.”

3 times he repeats it. 

  1. v. 26 “So do not be afraid of them.”
  2. v. 28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body…”
  3. v. 31 “So don’t be afraid.”

But be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (v. 28)

But whoever acknowledges me, I will acknowledge. But whoever disowns me, I will disown.

Do you fear confessing Jesus Christ before men?

Outside (not inside this church building).

Do you fear? Before big strong men?

Here are several reasons why we should not fear: 

#1: FEAR NOT! Because suffering is to be expected.

It is natural, not unnatural. (v. 24-25)

In his earthly ministry, outsiders called Jesus “Beezlebub (The Lord of Ddong)! Demon! Devil!” We are his servants, he is our Master. Then, he was persecuted first for us, now is our turn. The disciple doesn’t outrank the Master. 

They called our King, “The King of Ddong!”

Will we escape such accusations? No. But we should count it as a privilege to suffer for him. 1 Peter says, “He was an example and you should follow in his steps…”

#2: FEAR NOT! Because God will bring all things to light someday. (v. 26-27)

Our secrets, our motivations – everything one day will be made known. If we believe this, then we should have no fear before Christ.

The enemies of Christ use secret and deceptive means to oppose the gospel. But the true children of God are very open and courageous in their ministries, lifestyles, etc. We have nothing to hide. At that time, there were many lies and accusations against the believers and against Christ, but God knows the truth. Someday, all things will be revealed and God will judge them.

If we are true Christians, PRESENT judgment from Men should not make us afraid, because we are already standing in the FUTURE judgment of God.

#3: FEAR NOT! Because we fear God alone! (v. 28)

Who is the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell? God. 

We know that all humans can do is kill the body. No problem. True believers go to their eternal homes to be with God.

But God can destroy soul, spirit, and body in hell. But God never condemns one of his own children. Romans 8:1 “Therefore there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.” 

  • Ecclesiastes begins “everything is useless, vanity – totally useless in the life without God.”
  • Ecclesiastes ends “fear God and keep his commands – for this is the full duty of man.”

The person who fears God and keeps his commands has no fear. The fear of God overcomes, and destroys ALL other fears. If we fear God truly, there is nothing in this world that we fear. 

#4: FEAR NOT! Because God cares for his own (v. 29-31)

Can you count the number of hairs on your head?

Luke 12:6 “5 sparrows are sold for 2 pennies.”

We can get 2 for 1 penny, or 5 for 2. Sparrows are so cheap, we can buy 4+1.

Imagine, if God cares for sparrows in such a marvelous, wonderful way that he knows when a single one dies – how much more he cares for us! He is concerned about ALL the details of our lives! – Even all your hairs are counted! Numbered individually – not just in total. 

If God cares about sparrows in such a way that he knows when one dies, then he also knows and watches when one single hair from my head falls off. 

God cares about the big stuff in our lives, but also the smallest – even your haircuts.

Why don’t you acknowledge God in all your ways? Then he will make all your paths straight (Proverbs).

There is one more reason why we should not fear, but we will see that next time. 

May God bless us all with his living Word.

Let’s pray.

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