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  • May 09 / 2021
  • Comments Off on How Will You Respond to Your Own Red Sea Incident? (Exodus 14:13-14)
Pastor Kang, Sermons

How Will You Respond to Your Own Red Sea Incident? (Exodus 14:13-14)

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

How will you respond to your own Red Sea Incident?

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 14:13-14

People often say that life is a continuation of problems and crises. If I ask, ‘Do any of you have a problem at the moment? Please raise your hand,’ then everyone will lift their hands.

The only difference is whether the problems are big or small, but everyone is living with their own problems. We can define this situation as:

“The Universal Nature of Problems”

This reality helps us to realize a very important truth. The truth is that in our lifetimes, problems will never completely disappear for us. In other words, we are destined to live with various problems throughout our lives.

In this troubled reality, a person who does not realize the origin of all problems, that is sin, will lose his or her life, body, and spirit, as well as his or her soul.

Then, how should we observe problems from the perspective of our identity as God’s child and Christ’s disciple? Why do some people grow and mature through their problems and others become frustrated and spiral downward through their problems?

The Israelites, precursors to modern day Christians, endured many problems living as slaves in Egypt. But when the time of God’s salvation came, Israel faced a crisis of desperation at the Red Sea that was at the crossroads between life and death.

In fact, the difference in perspective we may have when looking at our problems depends on our relationship with God. In today’s sermon, let me introduce three different perspectives that three different types of people have when considering their problems. 

  1. First, “A person who is God’s enemy responds to His will with contempt or indifference.”
  2. Second, “A person who is distant from God responds to His will with uncertainty or fear.” 
  3. Third, “A person who is intimate with God responds to His will in faith and trust.”

We can find these three types of people in our passage from Exodus today. Each type of person’s response to the Red Sea Incident depends on their relationship with God.

First, let us consider the response of God’s enemy.


“A person who is God’s enemy responds to His will with contempt or indifference.”

A perfect example of this type of person is the King of Egypt.

When Moses and Aaron stood before the king of Egypt before He freed them from slavery, the king of Egypt looked upon them with contempt and asked, “Who is this Lord? I will not let Israel go because I do not know Him.”

For the Egyptian king and his people who did not recognize God’s existence and did not heed His word, nor regard His will, everything that followed ended in utter destruction and catastrophe for them. God sent ten plagues upon them that devastated their land, their food supply, their livestock, their economy, their health, their wealth, their gods, and their families. The Red Sea Incident was the culmination of their destruction when the Sea that had been open and dry for the Israelites to cross over swallowed the entire legion of Egyptian warriors who pursued them. This included the king, whose hard heart had brought about their calamity.

God’s judgment was delivered swiftly upon the army of Egypt in the form of walls of water that crushed the mighty soldiers and their horses. Even their swift chariots and drivers could do nothing to escape the judgement of the Lord. He had hardened their hearts in arrogance and confused them, and the King of Egypt and his people completely lost control over their own lives and destinies.

For those who have antagonized God, their problems will extend beyond mere damage to their circumstances or bank account to a massive calamity that will ultimately take their lives. When they ignore the sovereignty of God, the master of the world, and sit upon the throne as kings or queens of their own lives, they may feel like they are able to solve all their own problems by themselves and feel fulfillment and satisfaction. However, in the time of God’s judgment, they will lose any illusion of control they still grasp at and come to a miserable end.

What is the result responding to God’s will as an enemy, with contempt or indifference? Such a response ultimately results in destruction.

Let us turn now to the second type of person.

“A person who is far from God responds to His will with uncertainty or fear.”

The best example of this type of person are the Israelites, as they fled Egypt in fear.

Exodus 14:11-12

11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?

12 Didn`t we say to you in Egypt, `Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians`? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Take a look at these reactions of these people who were suddenly in crisis. Most of the people became resentful and impatient. As time went on, they poured out their resentment as a protest to Moses in order to rationalize their fear and uncertainty in the face of their problem.

They forgot that Moses was their leader appointed by God, so they rebuked Moses when his leadership was perceived to be a failure. By doing so, they were able to rationalize the crisis they were experiencing, and were able to justify any negative actions or attitudes they had.

But there is no true peace in the hearts of those who are not fully convinced of God’s will. This is because their hearts are divided; they are a broken people, holding within themselves two conflicting and opposing identities. On the one hand, they carry the identity of God’s chosen people within themselves, but at the same time, they also carry the idea that they want to live in a moderate compromise with the world.

They think, ‘One day in the future, I will worship God properly’, ‘One day in the future, I will evangelize my family’, ‘One day in the future, I will stand before God and devote myself fully to the church and community.’

But they also have the opposite idea at the same time, adding a ‘But not yet…’ to the end of every good thought they’ve had. 

‘One day, I will worship God properly, but not yet because it is difficult to go before God due to my situation right now.’ ‘One day, I will evangelize my family, but not yet because first I must extinguish an urgent fire that has occurred in my life. I will pray later when I have the time’, ‘One day, I will devote myself to God, but not yet because I want to have fun in the world right now. I will go to God later when it is time.’

In fact, this type of thing happened to me when I was a full-time evangelist in Australia. One day, when I had a break from church work, I was introduced to a part-time cleaning job by an acquaintance. After cleaning the offices and bathrooms for five hours, I got paid reasonably well for work that was relatively easy. It also was economically helpful for me.

After that, I regularly worked at that part-time cleaning job when I was not in church in order to help earn more living expenses. As I worked more and more, my life became a little tough, but my economic situation improved significantly. However, despite the noticeable improvement in my financial situation, deep down in my heart, I was uncomfortable.

At first, I thought, ‘Let me work hard in the church and also work hard to clean the offices.’ At first, it seemed to work as I did my best. But as time went on, I suffered burnout, and nothing in my life could be done passionately. After this realization, I came back to Korea to concentrate full-time on the pastoral vocation given to me by God.

Life in Australia had been relaxing and satisfying for me personally because there was a lot of time to think alone. However, with these two identities at conflict within me, in which I both desired to be filled with passion for church work and also to become economically wealthy, I struggled. The struggle between these two identities was never completely resolved, and the fire of conflict between them could not be extinguished from my mind.

The Israelites would have found themselves in a similar situation. They coexisted with both the ideas of ​​serving God well, and at the same time desiring to live prosperously in Egypt. Therefore, they were unable to make a big impact for God because they did not have complete faith in Him, but they were also unable to make a big impact in the world because they weren’t fully devoted to it either. 

However, the biggest problem is that if this ambiguous relationship with God persists, the flame of inner conflict will grow within us and we will eventually destroy ourselves. Problems that come upon a person who is unsure of God’s will are going to frustrate their inner conflict and make it self-destructive. It becomes like a sting that slowly spreads poison throughout the body.

What is the result responding to God’s will with a divided heart, in uncertainty or fear? Such a response ultimately results in self-destruction.

Finally, let us consider the third type of person.

“A person who is intimate with God responds to his will in faith and trust.”

A good example of this type of person is Moses.

Exodus 14:30-31

30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.

31 And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Moses trusted God fully. Therefore, he was able to encourage the Israelites to also put their complete trust in God, even as their greatest problem pursued them. But it was only after witnessing his miraculous salvation through the destruction of the Egyptian army in the depths of the Red Sea that the people fully trusted God. The Israelites who experienced God’s salvation remained in the camp and became witnesses to God’s fighting for them.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-2

1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.

2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

According to 1 Corinthians, Israel’s passing through the Red Sea is described as a symbol of baptism. In baptism, a person passes into and out of the water as a way to express their salvation from the power of sin which leads to death. When they enter the water, they enter as a sinful person, condemned to death for their sins, which is their old identity. When they exit the water, they exit as clean and righteous, redeemed to life by God’s great mercy, and they take on their new identity as children of God. 

This is what had happened to Israel at that moment. They entered the opening in the Red Sea as former slaves of Egypt, and slaves to sin, and they exited on the other side as a free people, chosen and set apart by God for good works. This reality fully sank in when they witnessed the destruction of their former slave masters, the owners of their old lives.

Before the parting of the Red Sea, Moses had ordered the people to stand firm and not be afraid even in the face of their greatest problem. He commanded them to look and wait upon the salvation that the Lord would bring about for them that day… “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

This is the characteristic of a person who fully trusts God. He stands in awe of the Lord and has no shaking of his faith, even in the face of his greatest problem. In fact, in the face of your greatest problems, those who fully trust God may actually find their faith strengthened in response to the trial as they wait upon the Lord.

In other words, when your identity is not in conflict, and your heart fully trusts God, your spirit will remain peaceful no matter what happens outside your body.

What is the result responding to God’s will as his child, in faith and trust? Such a response ultimately results in our salvation, and his glorification, as we become witnesses of his grace to us.

Today we have seen three different responses to the same Red Sea Incident from three different perspectives. But what if some of us do not fit easily into any of these three types of responses? Perhaps we find ourselves being able to relate to multiple responses. That is, in fact, our reality as Christians.

The ups and downs of faith

Think about it. What type of relationship with God do you have?

  • Are you like the king of Egypt who is hostile to God?
  • Are you like the Israelites who are struggling with a commitment between God and the world?
  • Or are you like Moses who trusted God completely?

In fact, we have all three types of characters inside each of us.

We are all fragile sinners, though we want to be perfect. So, even if we trust God completely, sometimes we will not be sure of our commitment to Him, and sometimes we will antagonize God’s will. We will come and go from the boundary of faith, at times in perfect harmony with God’s will, at times confused about it, and at times at odds with Him.

Then how did Moses, a fragile and sinful man like the rest of us, lead the Israelites through the Red Sea and take up the ministry of God?

Moses was one who listened to God. He was always in the place where a believer should be, at God’s side. God was the best commander and strategist for Moses and gave him detailed information about what would happen and how to deal with it.

Yet, we also know Moses was not an excellent speaker. As a leader who had to lead the people, to be bad at public speaking would have been a fatal weakness for him. But Moses did not get frustrated with his weaknesses. Rather, he went to the place where God was present and listened to God every day. In this way, God’s words became his own words and he was able to overcome his greatest weakness through God’s strength.

We must not be frustrated by our shortcomings and weaknesses. Rather, we need to approach the throne of God in the position of a believer, and God will give us wisdom and strength to solve the problem. This is why the place of worship is precious.

The End Result of the Red Sea Incident is the Glorification of God

Whenever a crisis arises due to a big or small problem in life, the person who accompanies God and trusts him fully will turn the problem into a gift. This event will be an honor to God, and we will be delighted with God’s salvation. In the end, these people can confess their own Red Sea Incident as a Red Sea Miracle.

In contrast, this crisis will become a curse for those who do not believe in God. They will learn that their own lives depend entirely on God’s sovereignty. They will also suffer from unhappiness and conflicts because they can not harmonize with God, but will be judged by Him for their sin. This type of person will confess the Red Sea Incident as a Red Sea Calamity.

Do you want to solve your problems and crises? Do you hope to see God’s salvation in your life as the Israelites did? Then do as Moses commanded them: “13 Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today…. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

In your problems and crises, turn first to God in prayer and rely on His sovereignty. Moses, in faith, did that. When he lifted his cane and raised it up toward the sea, he was powerless, but filled with faith. It was God who actually divided the sea and dried the land in the middle to make the Israelites pass over it.

And just as the Israelites stood still and looked upon God’s salvation for them, we also must look to Jesus, our savior, without being disturbed by the many problems that may confront us. Moses was powerless when he held his cane out over the sea. God did everything. Likewise, we are powerless in our sin, but when we fold our hands together and pray, Jesus will do everything. He is our savior who bled and died on the cross for us, paying the price for our slavery to sin, and he was resurrected for our new life of freedom in His kingdom.

The Red Sea, which confronted the Israelites in today’s Scripture, became a powerful tool to display the glory of God. For the people of Israel, the bottom of the sea appeared as God’s miracle. It was the path to their salvation. But for the people of Egypt, the bottom of the sea became a grave of death and destruction.

When you have trouble, focus on God, who is bigger than your trouble. Don’t focus on your trouble. In intimacy with God, in faith and trust in His will, and through the power of Jesus Christ, your problem will become God glorifying according to His perfect plan.

I hope we will accompany our Lord, Jesus this week.


<홍해 사건의 의미>

13 모세가 백성에게 이르되 너희는 두려워하지 말고 가만히 서서 여호와께서 오늘 너희를 위하여 행하시는 구원을 보라 너희가 오늘 본 애굽 사람을 영원히 다시 보지 아니하리라

14 여호와께서 너희를 위하여 싸우시리니 너희는 가만히 있을지니라

출애굽기 14:13-14

0. 예화 “문제의 보편성”

 오늘은 <홍해 사건의 의미>라는 제목으로 출애굽기 14장 하반절의 내용을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

인생은 문제와 위기의 연속이라고 말합니다. 만약 제가 ‘현재 문제가 있는 분 한번 손 들어 보십시오’라고 묻는다면, 아마 모든 분들이 손을 들것입니다. 

 크고 작음의 차이가 있을 뿐, 모든 사람들은 저마다의 문제를 가지고 살아가고 있는 것입니다. 

이로써 우리는 한 가지를 깨달을 수 있는데, 그것은 우리가 사는 평생 동안, 우리에게 문제가 사라지는 일은 결코 없을 것이라는 사실입니다. 

즉, 우리는 평생 여러 가지 문제들을 안고 살아가야 할 운명을 지닌 존재들이라는 것입니다.

문제투성이인 현실에서 문제의 본래 의미를 깨닫지 못하는 사람은 그의 육신과 정신은 물론, 그의 영혼까지 생명을 잃어가게 될 것입니다.

 그렇다면 하나님의 자녀이며, 그리스도의 제자 된 우리는 어떠한 시각으로 문제를 바라보아야 할까요?

 왜 어떤 사람은 문제를 통해 성장하고, 또 어떤 사람은 문제로 인해 넘어지게 되는 것일까요?

 우리 그리스도인의 표본이 되는 이스라엘 백성들은 애굽에서 노예로 살면서 많은 문제를 겪었습니다. 그러나 하나님의 구원의 때가 되자 이스라엘은 생사의 갈림길에 서게 되는 절체절명의 위기를 맞이하게 되었습니다.

 사실 문제를 바라보는 시각의 차이는 하나님과의 관계에 따라 달라집니다.

  1. “하나님과 친밀하여 온전히 하나님의 뜻을 신뢰하는 사람”, 
  2. “하나님과 사이가 멀어 하나님의 뜻에 대해 확신을 갖지 못하는 사람”, 
  3. “하나님을 대적하여 하나님의 뜻을 가볍게 여기는 사람”.

 오늘 우리가 나눌 출애굽기 14장 하반절에는 이러한 세 가지 유형의 사람들이 나타납니다. 그리고 그들이 하나님과 맺고 있는 관계에 따라, 홍해 사건에 대한 의미도 제각각으로 나타나게 됩니다.

 이스라엘 백성은 어떤 유형의 사람들이었을까요?

1. 하나님의 뜻에 대해 확신을 갖지 못하는 사람

출애굽기 14:11-12

11 그들이 또 모세에게 이르되 애굽에 매장지가 없어서 당신이 우리를 이끌어 내어 이 광야에서 죽게 하느냐 어찌하여 당신이 우리를 애굽에서 이끌어 내어 우리에게 이같이 하느냐

12 우리가 애굽에서 당신에게 이른 말이 이것이 아니냐 이르기를 우리를 내버려 두라 우리가 애굽 사람을 섬길 것이라 하지 아니하더냐 애굽 사람을 섬기는 것이 광야에서 죽는 것보다 낫겠노라

 이스라엘 백성은 “하나님과 사이가 멀어 하나님의 뜻에 대해 확신을 갖지 못하는 사람”의 유형에 속하였습니다.

 갑작스럽게 위기를 맞은 사람들의 반응은 어떻습니까? 

대부분은 당황해하며, 조급해 합니다. 그리고 시간이 좀 더 지나게 되면, 위기가 일어난 이유를 합리화시킬 대상을 찾아 원망과 항의를 쏟아냅니다. 

 이스라엘 백성들 또한 이와 다르지 않았습니다. 

그들은 모세가 하나님이 세우신 지도자라는 사실을 망각하고, 그저 하나의 미련한 인간 지도자로 여기며 모세의 정책에 대한 실패를 마구 나무라고 있는 것입니다.

 그렇게 해야 자신들이 겪게 된 위기를 합리화 할 수 있으며, 자신들의 행위와 마음이 정당화될 수 있기 때문입니다.

 하나님의 뜻에 대해 확신을 갖지 못하는 사람들의 마음속에는 진정한 평화가 없습니다. 그 이유는 그들이 두 가지 생각을 가지고 있기 때문입니다.

 즉, 하나님의 사람이라는 정체성을 가지고 있지만, 세상에서도 적당히 타협하며 살아가고 싶은 생각이 있는 것입니다.

 그래서 ‘언젠가는 내가 예배를 제대로 드려야지’, ‘언젠가는 우리 가족 모두를 전도해야지’, ‘언젠가는 내가 하나님 앞에 제대로 서서 교회와 지역사회를 위해 헌신해야지’ 하고 생각합니다.

 하지만 동시에 이와 반대되는 생각도 가지고 있습니다.

‘지금은 나의 상황 때문에 하나님 앞에 나아가기 어려워’ ‘지금은 내 삶에 일어난 급한 불부터 꺼야해, 여유가 생기면 그때 기도할거야’, ‘지금은 세상에서 좀 즐기고 싶어 때가 되면 하나님 앞에 나아갈 거야’

 제가 호주에서 전임 전도사로 사역했을 때의 일입니다. 

쉬는 날 지인의 소개로 청소 아르바이트를 하게 되었습니다. 혼자서 다섯 시간 동안 사무실과 화장실을 청소하는 일이었는데, 비교적 일이 쉽고 경제적으로도 도움이 되는 정도의 시급을 받을 수 있었습니다.

 저는 생활비를 좀 더 벌기 위해, 교회에서 사역을 하지 않는 시간에 청소 아르바이트를 고정적으로 하였습니다. 

 몸은 피곤했지만 생활 형편은 전보다 넉넉해 졌습니다. 그런데 형편이 넉넉해 졌음에도 불구하고 제 마음은 어딘가 모르게 불편하였습니다.

 처음에는 ‘목회도 열심히, 청소도 열심히 하여서 나의 주체성을 키워나가자’ 라는 생각을 하였습니다. 하지만 시간이 갈수록 목회에도 청소에도 매진할 수 없게 되었습니다. 이러한 깨달음 뒤에는 하나님께서 주신 소명인, 목회에 집중하기 위해 전임 사역자 과정을 마친 후 한국으로 귀국하게 되었습니다.

 호주에서의 삶은 혼자서 사색할 수 있는 시간이 많아 개인적으로는 여유롭고 만족스러웠습니다. 하지만 목회도 열정적으로 하고 싶고, 경제적으로도 풍요롭고 싶다는 이 두 가지 마음이 사라지지 않아 항상 제 마음 속에는 갈등의 불씨가 꺼지지 않았습니다.

 이스라엘도 하나님을 잘 섬기고 싶은 생각과 동시에 애굽에서 풍요롭게 잘 살고 싶다는 생각이 공존하였을 것입니다. 그래서 하나님께도 순수한 신앙이 아니고 세상에서도 큰 결단을 하지 못하는 갈팡질팡하는 모습을 보이고 있는 것입니다.

 문제는 이러한 하나님과의 애매한 관계가 지속된다면, 내면의 갈등의 불꽃이 커져 결국 스스로를 파괴하게 된다는 사실입니다.

 이렇게 하나님의 뜻에 확신이 없는 사람에게 다가오는 문제의 의미는 내면의 갈등을 부추겨서 자멸하게 만드는, 서서히 독이 퍼지는 독침과도 같은 것입니다.

 그렇다면 하나님을 온전히 신뢰하는 사람은 누구일까요?

2. 하나님을 온전히 신뢰하는 사람

출애굽기 14:30-31

30 그 날에 여호와께서 이같이 이스라엘을 애굽 사람의 손에서 구원하시매 이스라엘이 바닷가에서 애굽 사람들이 죽어 있는 것을 보았더라

31 이스라엘이 여호와께서 애굽 사람들에게 행하신 그 큰 능력을 보았으므로 백성이 여호와를 경외하며 여호와와 그의 종 모세를 믿었더라

 하나님을 온전히 신뢰한 사람은 하나님의 종 모세였습니다. 그리고 하나님의 구원 사건을 경험한 뒤의 이스라엘 백성이었습니다. 

 이스라엘 사람들은 진에 머물러 있으면서 하나님이 그들을 위해 어떻게 싸우시는지 보고 들은 증인이 되었습니다. 

고린도전서 10:1-2

1 형제들아 나는 너희가 알지 못하기를 원하지 아니하노니 우리 조상들이 다 구름 아래에 있고 바다 가운데로 지나며

2 모세에게 속하여 다 구름과 바다에서 세례를 받고

신약성경 고린도전서에 따르면 이스라엘이 홍해 가운데로 지나 구원받은 사건이 세례의 상징으로 묘사됩니다. 그 이유는 이스라엘 백성들이 물을 통과함으로써 죽음으로 이끄는 죄의 권세에서 구원 받았음을 표현하는 예식이 세례이기 때문입니다. 

홍해 사건이 일어나기 전, 모세는 하나님께 이 일에 개입하라는 명령을 받았습니다. 이에 대한 모세의 반응은 출애굽기 14장 13절과 14절에 나타나 있습니다.

이에 따르면 모세는 백성들에게 ‘두려워하지 말고 가만히 서서 여호와께서 오늘 너희를 위하여 행하시는 구원을 보라… 여호와께서 너희를 위하여 싸우시리니 너희는 가만히 있을지니라’ 라고 명령하였습니다.

하나님을 온전히 신뢰하는 사람의 특징은 여호와를 경외하며 그 믿음의 흔들림이 없다라는 것입니다. 즉, 하나님을 온전히 신뢰하는 한 가지 마음만 있기 때문에, 외부에 어떤 풍파가 몰아치더라도 그 내면이 평안한 것입니다.

하나님을 온전히 신뢰하는 사람에게 다가오는 문제의 의미는 하나님의 영광을 나타내며. 우리를 위한 하나님의 일하심과 싸우심을 목격하게 되는 것입니다.

다음은 “하나님을 대적하여 하나님의 뜻을 가벼이 여기는 사람”에 대해서 나누어 보고자 합니다.

3. 하나님을 대적하여 하나님의 뜻을 가벼이 여기는 사람

 모세와 아론이 하나님의 구원 사역을 시작하기에 앞서 바로 앞에 섰을 때의 일입니다.

바로는 그들에게 ‘여호와가 누구이기에 내가 그의 목소리를 듣고 이스라엘을 보내겠느냐 나는 여호와를 알지 못하니 이스라엘을 보내지 아니하리라’ 하고 말하였습니다.

 하나님의 존재를 인정하지 않고, 하나님의 뜻을 가벼이 여기는 바로와 애굽백성들에게 홍해 사건은 그들의 생명을 통째로 집어 삼키는 대재앙으로 다가왔습니다.

 하나님의 심판 아래 애굽의 군사들과 말, 병거와 마병들은 아무것도 할 수 없었습니다. 하나님은 그들의 마음을 완악하게 또 어지럽게 하셨기 때문에 바로와 애굽 사람들은 자기 통제력을 상실했습니다. 

 하나님을 대적하는 사람들에게 문제는 단순한 피해를 넘어 생명을 앗아가는 거대한 재앙으로 확대됩니다. 이들은 세상의 주인이신 하나님의 주권을 무시한 채 스스로 인생의 주인이 되어 자신의 문제를 해결하면서 성취감과 만족감을 느끼며 삽니다. 그러나 정작 하나님의 심판의 때에는 자기 통제력을 상실한 채, 허망한 최후를 맞게 되는 것입니다.

4. 신앙의 기복

이제 한번 생각해 봅시다. 나의 하나님의 관계는 어떤 사람과 닮았습니까?

하나님을 온전히 신뢰하는 모세입니까? 하나님과 세상 사이에서 번민하는 이스라엘 백성입니까? 아니면 하나님을 대적하는 바로입니까?

사실 우리 안에는 이 세 가지 유형이 모두 들어있습니다.

우리는 온전하고자 하나 연약한 죄인이기 때문입니다.

그래서 하나님을 온전히 신뢰하다가도 확신이 없어지기도 하고, 때로는 하나님의 뜻에 대적하며 신앙의 경계를 왔다 갔다 하곤 합니다.

우리와 같은 연약한 사람인 모세는 어떻게 이스라엘 백성을 이끌고 하나님의 사역을 감당하였을까요?

모세는 하나님의 말씀을 듣는 사람이었습니다. 그는 신앙인이 있어야할 자리에 언제나 있었던 사람입니다. 

하나님은 말씀을 들을 준비가 되어있는 모세에게 최고의 지휘관으로서 또 책략가로서 앞으로 일어난 일과 또 대처하는 방법을 상세하게 알려주셨습니다.

우리는 지도자 모세가 언변에 능통하지 못했다는 사실을 알고 있습니다. 

사람들을 이끌어나가야 하는 지도자가 말을 잘 하지 못한다는 것은 모세에게 치명적인 약점이 되었을 것입니다.

하지만 모세는 자신의 약점에 좌절하지 않고, 오늘 하나님께 나아가야 할 자리에 나가 하나님의 말씀을 경청하였습니다. 우리 또한 우리의 부족함과 약점에 좌절하지 않아야 합니다. 

오히려 우리가 신앙인으로서 있어야할 자리에 있을 때, 하나님께서는 우리에게 지혜를 주시고 문제를 해결해 주실 것입니다.

우리에게 허락하신 이 예배의 자리가 소중한 이유가 바로 이것 입니다.

5. 홍해 사건의 의미

오늘 말씀은 홍해사건의 의미가 무엇인지 우리에게 알려주고 있습니다.

인생의 크고 작은 문제로 인해 위기가 생겼을 때 하나님과 동행하는 사람은 그것이 오히려 선물이 되어 하나님께 영광이 되고, 하나님의 구원하심으로 기쁨을 누리게 됩니다. 

이러한 사람은 홍해사건을 홍해기적으로 고백하게 되는 것입니다.

이와는 대조적으로 하나님을 믿지 않는 사람은 이 위기가 저주로 나타나게 되어, 세상을 이끌어 가는 힘이 하나님의 주권에 있음을 보게 될 것입니다. 

또한 불순종으로 인해 하나님의 심판을 받아 하나님과 화합하지 못해 불안과 갈등이 끊이질 않는 고통을 겪게 될 것입니다. 이러한 사람은 홍해사건을 홍해재앙으로 고백하게 되는 것입니다.

문제와 위기를 해결하는 가장 쉬운 방법은 하나님께 기도로 여쭈어보고 하나님의 주권에 의지하는 것입니다. 모세가 할 수 있었던 것은 고작 지팡이를 들고 손을 바다 위로 내밀었던 것이 전부였습니다. 

실제로 바다를 가르고, 바다 한가운데 땅을 말려 이스라엘 백성을 그곳으로 지나가게 하신 것은 하나님께서 하신 것입니다.

이스라엘 백성들이 가만히 서서 하나님의 구원을 지켜보았던 것처럼, 우리도 문제 앞에서 동요하지 않고 구원자이신 예수님을 바라보아야 합니다.

모세가 지팡이를 들고 바다 위를 내밀었을 때, 하나님이 모든 일을 행하셨습니다. 마찬가지로 우리가 손을 모으고 기도할 때에, 예수님이 모든 일을 행하실 것입니다.

예수님이 이미 우리의 죄의 문제를 해결하신 우리의 구원자이기 때문입니다.

오늘 이스라엘 백성들 앞에 나타난 홍해는 하나님의 영광을 나타내는 도구가 되었습니다.

하나님의 일하심으로 드러난 바다의 바닥은 이스라엘에게는 구원의 길이 되었지만 애굽사람들에게는 멸망의 길이 되었습니다. 문제에 집중하기보다 문제보다 크신 하나님을 바라보십시오. 예수님을 통해 문제가 하나님께 영광이요 구원으로 나타나는 기적을 경험하시길 주님의 이름으로 소망합니다.

  • Jan 13 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Keep on Speaking (Acts 18:1-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Keep on Speaking (Acts 18:1-22)

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Keep on Speaking!

Acts 18:1-22 (Pastor Heo)

In Corinth

1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”

14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to the Jews, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law–settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he had them ejected from the court. 17 Then they all turned on Sosthenes the synagogue ruler and beat him in front of the court. But Gallio showed no concern whatever.

Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos

18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.


Corinth was 80km SW from Berea.

At that time, Corinth’s reputation for wickedness was well-known at that time. It was a center for trade, business, and travel. It was very notorious for its immorality.

  • “To Corinthianize” = “to practice sexual immorality”.
  • A prostitute was often referred to as “a Corinthian girl.”

This was not (seemingly) an ideal place to launch a ministry. But Paul saw it as both a great challenge AND opportunity.

In challenge, there is opportunity.

In opportunity, there is challenge.

v. 1-3

“1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.”

By the providence / guidance of God, Paul met this couple. They were “tentmakers” – they made canopies and other leather goods. They had lived in Rome, but had been expelled by the Emperor Claudius – the (fourth) emperor of the Roman Empire. His successor was Nero (fifth).

At that time, all Jewish boys were expected to learn a hand-skill. Paul was a tentmaker as his secular job. Rabbis said, “A man who does not teach his man to work, teaches him to steal.”

So, from this story, self-supporting missionaries are still called “tentmaker missionaries” today.

This couple was a wonderful role-model for modern Christian couples who wanted to make an eternal difference in the world. Their names appear here 4 times, and Paul mentions them 3 times in his letters. 2 Corinthians, 1 Timothy, Romans. “Aquila and Priscilla, my fellow workers in Christ.”

At least 4 timeless qualities enabled them to have the ability to minister with Paul.

4 Qualities of this Christian couple

1. Lives were steeped in the Word of God

They spent much time with Paul, heard him preach and teach many times, so they knew and understood the Scriptures very well.

2. They had spiritual eyes toward eternity

Even though tentmakers by trade, they were focused on something far more important and significant. They were investing in people, seeking to build Christ’s church.

3. They were always available

They were willing to go and move where needed, their house was always open.

4. They were radically committed to ministry with Paul.

They were very stable, very committed, and God worked powerfully through them.

How much does God work in your marriage? God bless your marriage.

v. 4-10

“4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

5 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” “

As usual, there was still opposition against Paul and his ministry. But we must remember that to walk by faith, this means “to see opportunities in the midst of opposition.”

  • Pessimist = opposition all the time
  • Optimist = opportunities all the time

Which are you?

  • Realist? = opportunities IN opposition

Even though Paul confronts many oppositions and abuses here, he did not close his eyes to these dangers and difficulties – but he did look at them from a divine, godly point of view. To “obey” means to follow and do the will of God regardless of our circumstances.

There is NO easy place in this world. If there is, there may be something wrong.

Timothy 3:12 “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in this world will be persecuted.”

What matters is NOT our circumstances but our ATTITUDE about our circumstances.

“Our attitudes should be the same as Christ Jesus.”


Story

There was a big shoe company. They sent workers to an undeveloped country to figure out a marketing strategy.

  • One man said, “Impossible! We cannot sell shoes because they are all barefoot!”
  • Another man, “Oh yeah! So exciting! We can sell MANY because all of them NEED shoes!”

This is the same in the Bible:

12 men of Israel when spying out Canaan experienced the same thing.

  • 10 said, “We are too few, and too small. We will die.”
  • 2 (Joshua and Caleb): “No! We can go forward and conquer them! Let’s go!”

What made them different?

  • The 10 saw only what is VISIBLE.
    • But the 2 saw what is INvisible in the visible.
  • 10 did not see the unseen God who was with them.
    • 2 saw the unseen God who was with them.

Yes, even today, with real faith in Christ, we must be able to SEE what is unseen. We must see the unseen God who is with us all the time. This is the vision.

Paul’s European mission started with a vision of the Man of Macedonia (chp 16). “Come to Macedonia and help us.” His vision ended with a vision of the Lord.

v. 9-10

“9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.””

In this vision, the first word God said to Paul was “Do not be afraid.” (The same word he spoke to Joshua in Canaan – the same word he speaks to US when we are in trouble.)

“Do not be afraid.” can calm the storms in our lives when everything looks chaotic.

  • To Abraham: “Do not be afraid. I’m your shield, your very great reward.”
  • To Isaac: “Do not be afraid. I’m with you.”
  • To Jacob: “Do not be afraid to go to Egypt. I’m with you and will make you into a great nation.”
  • Isaiah 10:41 “Do not be afraid. I’m with you and will uphold you and strengthen you with my mighty right hand.”
  • John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled…”

Can you not hear his voice today calling to you as well?


“Do not be afraid.”

Why? “I am with you.”


Do you recognize that God is with you?

God is a spirit, within all things, out of all things, above all things, below all things, holy, presiding, supporting, sustaining, filling, he is here with us, over, under, inside us, but not confined – not shut in.

His name is “EMMANUEL” (God with us). He lives up to his name.


Story

One Sunday school teacher read to his class: Matthew 28:20 “I am with you to the very end of the age!”

  • He said, “What a wonderful promise! Isn’t it?”
  • One small student said, “Teacher? This is not a promise. It’s a fact…”

We can enjoy and feel this now and here.

So, as long as we remember and feel that God is with us – through his Holy Spirit, we can be sure that nothing can (ultimately) attack or harm us. (v. 10)

  • But we know that Paul experienced so many kinds of hardships and sufferings.
  • But God said, “No one can harm you.” Hmm. Contradictory? No.

From an eternal perspective, we are not living only 100 years on this earth. From ETERNITY, this is true.

Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes, no one can harm you.”

Remember, Jesus FIRST concern is on his witness and witnesses.

“All authority on heaven and earth has been given to me; therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.”

This means that WHEN we go and preach of him, HIS authority will be shown through us.

Jesus’ first concern is on his witness. This is logical.

Also, “Do not be silent. Keep on speaking. Because I have many people in this city.”

This sentence implies: the doctrine of divine election because God KNOWS who will be saved. He knows those who are his.

John 10:16 “I have other sheep.”

We are Jesus’ sheep; he is our shepherd.

Jesus says, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them to this sheep pen and they must listen to my voice. They shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

However,

God’s sovereignty in Divine Election does not negate Man’s responsibility. Actually, quite the opposite. We should remember that BECAUSE God has some set aside for himself, we must obey his commission.

  1. His job is to “save sinners.” That’s not OUR job.
  2. You know, if others’ salvation depended on OUR work, voices, skill, it would be hopeless.
  3. But because others’ salvation is dependent wholly on God, we can depend and trust him that when we preach the Word, (scatter seed), he will do the rest.

“God desires all men to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

“Here is a trustworthy saying, that Christ came to save sinners.”

God says, “I have many people in THIS city” today! (Jeonju)

I have MANY people to save, and to BE saved in THIS city (Jeonju).

So, we have more than enough reason to keep on preaching and not be silent.

v. 18-22

“18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea [seaport of Corinth] because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church [Jerusalem church] and then went down to Antioch [church].”

Paul completed his mission at Corinth and then before sailing to Ephesus, cut off his hair as a sign of a vow.

Would you do this? Cut your hair for a vow? We do not know this vow nor this reason, but it is a special dedication to God and a special expression to God for all the things he’d done through Paul’s missionary journey until now.

He then sailed for Ephesus (returning to Asia Minor – part of Turkey today). In Ephesus, the people asked Paul to stay more with them, but he said, “No, sorry, I must hurry on. But, if it is God’s will, I will return later.”

Why? According to Jewish Law, the Nazarite vow had to be completed AT Jerusalem with offerings of proper sacrifices. That’s why Paul was in a hurry to go to Jerusalem and complete his vow. Then, he went to his home church Antioch to report to his missionary team.

Still today, God is working through his workers. He says,

  • “Do not be afraid!
  • Keep on speaking!
  • Do not be silent!
  • I have many people (to save) in this city!”

That is the main reason to keep on speaking and not be silent.

God bless us all as his missionaries in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • May 31 / 2015
  • Comments Off on And Then THE END Will Come (Matthew 24:14)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

And Then THE END Will Come (Matthew 24:14)

05.31.2015

05.31.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

And then THE END will come!

Download Notes in an .RTF file

Matthew 24:14 (Pastor Heo)

And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then THE END will come.


 

This verse is the KEY verse of this whole chapter. I challenge you to memorize this verse in your mind, heart, and actions.

“And then THE END will come” = “And then I will come” – someday Jesus will come back bodily so that every eye can see him.

Last time, we studied about the “Last Days” – from the Fall of Adam (Genesis 3) was the Beginning of the Last Days and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the End of the Last Days. There were many horrors in the Last Days: love of money, self, pleasure, false Christs and prophets, wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, droughts, famines, etc.

This verse is the sign of all signs of the Last Days. The End is not yet – all the other signs.

This sign = the End is coming.

Jesus says, “Watch out that no one deceives you.” The only way is to FOCUS our eyes and thoughts on Jesus Christ. There is no Savior outside the Bible. Whenever we look for signs outside the Bible, we become very susceptible to deception.

Another only sure way to prepare the Last Days is to preach the gospel to all nations.

Here is one question for us all to ponder: What is the most rewarding, best thing, we can do in this world but cannot do in the next world any longer? What is the most important thing we cannot do in heaven? Do you want to live a truly meaningful life?

The answer is: I cannot be an evangelist in heaven.

You may have not thought of this answer before, but to share our faith, our testimony with non-believers is the #1 thing we can do on earth that we will not be able to do in heaven. How are you doing? When was the last time you told someone about Christ?

The truth is, God has chosen us to preach the gospel in this world. Is it any wonder why more people are NOT becoming Christians? If we do not do our best, if we neglect to make the most of every opportunity to share our faith with others, they have no chance to hear the gospel, nor make a decision for Christ, they will die in their sins, and be separated from God in eternity in a very real place of torment: Hell.

Maybe you think: I have no gift of evangelism, so isn’t it OK for me to defer this task of evangelism to those who do?

Yes, some are gifted in evangelism, but this doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook. The Great Commission is to “go and make disciples of all nations.”

The first step in this is to make a decision that Jesus is our Savior, the Creator, and God.

In this short verse: 14 – the keywords are plentiful.

EACH word is a keyword.

“This gospel of the kingdom…”

The term gospel = “good news” – we are familiar with this – but the full meaning of this is “good news of great joy for all people for all time.” This gospel word is used in various ways. The first four books of the New Testament are called “Gospels according to…” – and of course the whole Bible is God’s gospel to humanity – all the revelation of God to his Creation is “gospel” – human history, revelation, human consciousness, etc. This is a very broad definition.

More narrowly, the death and resurrection of Christ is the more focused gospel “good news” message.

Yes, there are many ways to the United Kingdom, but only ONE way to the Heavenly Kingdom. Only through Christ.

Yes, there are many remedies for physical sicknesses, but the only remedy for sin is Jesus Christ.

  • 1 John 1:7 “The blood of Christ covers us.”
  • 1 John 2:2 “Jesus is our atoning sacrifice – for the whole world.”
  • John 3:16 “God so loved the world…”
  • John “God demonstrated his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…”
  • “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved.”

This is the gospel message of Heaven.

What is your decision for Christ? This is the most serious and vital question we must solve. Our decision for Christ decides our eternity.

Hebrews 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

No matter how beautiful a bridge may look, we do not build our house on that bridge. Bridges are for us to pass by. Don’t build your house on that bridge – this is life in this world.

James 4:14 “Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day may bring.”

Your life in this world is an opportunity to make a decision for Christ – your decision in this life determines how you will be in the next world. This is the heart of the gospel message of heaven.

“…all nations…”

  • Mark 16:14 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all Creation because God wants ALL to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.”
  • “God is not slow in delivering on his promises, but he wants ALL to come to repentance in Jesus Christ.”

In this sentence, “nation” does not count “countries” divided politically by lines. I did not count, but I heard there are 206 countries divided on this earth. Within these countries, there are the same people groups sharing ethnic culture and languages.

… Winter – from US – mysiologically? Indonesia has more than 780 nations. China has over 500 nations. Bangaladesh, Pakistan 400, Nepal 350?

Why is it so difficult to be an evangelist?

Yes, there are many obstacles that get in the way – but here are TWO and how to overcome these obstacles:

#1: Lack of knowledge barrier

This is when we THINK we do not know enough about the Bible or theology to effectively answer people’s questions.

Answer: FOCUS our witnessing opportunities on JESUS and his divinity.

How many times did you hear someone say: “OK I believe Jesus lived 2000 years ago. I know he was a good man, a good moral teacher, a good prophet. But I NEVER believe he was God, NOR that he said he was God.”?

But the truth is that Jesus DID claim to be God – there are many examples in the Book of John – one day he asked the Jews why they were about to stone him – “for which of these miracles from heaven do you stone me?” – “Not for these miracles, but because you, a mere man, claim to be God – blasphemy!” We can see how the Bible uses Jesus’ personal testimony as a tool for evangelism.

When a person is faced with evidence of Jesus divine stature and sees it with their own eyes, they MUST make a decision.

This is the quickest, shortest means for getting to the heart of the gospel message.

  • 2 Cor 4:5 “We do not preach, but Christ in us preaches.”
  • 1 Tim 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

#2: Fear barrier

Are you afraid of rejection? And persecution? Please remember, if you receive persecution because of your evangelism activity, BE JOYFUL! because Jesus says (Matthew 5) “Blessed are you when people persecute you because of me, for great is your reward in heaven.”

Actually, how can we NOT receive ANY persecution in this world because of Christ?

Remember, our job is NOT conversion.

Our job is just to SCATTER seed – the seed of truth that reveals the character and deity of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us on the cross.

Bible says,

  1. “God is pleased through the foolishness of what was preaching for the harvest?”
  2. “One sows, another reaps.”

Even Paul (the greatest evangelist in history) did NOT say, “Yup, that was me. I did that. I converted that guy.” Rather he said, “I just planted the seed. Neither he who plants, nor he who waters is anything. It is only God who makes something grow.” (Eph?)

The foolishness of God is more powerful than the strength of human beings.

Remember, an evangelist’s life can NEVER be fruitless. It can NEVER be a failure. But, a fruitless evangelist’s life is MORE fruitful than a fruitful businessman’s life in the eternal perspective.

If you fail as an evangelist, you are more fruitful (eternally) than a successful businessman.

This is not to say “don’t go into business” but the point is, if we are truly born again Christians, no matter what secular job we have in this world, we REMAIN in this world as an evangelist.

Are you a businessman? You are businessman evangelist. Are you a teacher? You are a teacher evangelist….

  1. Evangelists are the world’s history leading heroes.
  2. Evangelists are the world’s leading heroes throughout history.

The Bible closes with a last verse: Rev. 22:25 “He who testifies to these things, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ ‘AMEN.’”

Jesus Christ, the author of history is tuning, arranging his Second Coming’s schedule based on the activity of his evangelists.

Let us shout and proclaim this verse together:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then THE END will come.

Do you believe this?

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 01 / 2013
  • Comments Off on All About This New Life (Acts 5:12-29)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

All About This New Life (Acts 5:12-29)

12.01

12.01.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Apostles Heal Many

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.

The Apostles Persecuted

17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees,were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. 20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.” 21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin–the full assembly of the elders of Israel–and sent to the jail for the apostles. 22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this. 25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” 26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them. 27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”


Previously, Ananias and Sapphira died after lying to the community of believers by falsifying the amount of money they’d received and given after the sale of their property.

Before that, Peter and John had been released from prison by God, and they’d prayed for signs and wonders from God for healing. There were some.

The church agreed to sell and give their money at times to give to the poor among them so that no one would be in need. Barnabas was a good example of this. He sold a field and gave all the money to the apostles.

Ananias and Sapphira also sold a field and tried to give the impression that they were giving ALL the money, BUT, that was a lie. Peter said, “Why has Satan filled your heart with these things?” Ananias fell down dead and three hours later, his wife arrived and lied as well – she also fell down dead.

Great fear came upon the church.

Later in Acts, we read that “great grace was upon them all.”

We’ve all been guilty of hypocrisy, but it was likely the intensity of the power and Spirit of God there that their attitude was taken and dealt with more harshly. It had to be cut out. (I believe they were “promoted to heaven” early before they could do anything else.)

We can’t just emphasize the LOVE of God without also emphasizing his HOLINESS. He has a HOLY love. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, the beginning of wisdom.

Jesus delighted in that – in Isaiah we read that he was filled with and walked in the fear of the Lord. Is this enslaving fear? No, perfect love casts out all fear. There is, however, a reverence for God. A fear of grieving Him, of walking outside of His will, it keeps us from evil.

Ananias and Sapphira ignored that fear and paid the price ultimately.

The atmosphere of the early church was charged with grace and now also with this kind of fear.

In v 12, the apostles performed many signs and wonders.

A&S didn’t repent, Peter gave them a chance, so they were killed. There was a holy fear, holy awe both in and OUT of the church after this.

Luke, the writer of Acts uses “ecclesia” for the first time in the book – this is the Greek word for “church.” He uses it to describe both the local and the universal church. This is a different word from “synagogue.” It actually means, a citizen’s assembly. These are the citizen’s of heaven – so it is appropriate here.

Church sometimes has bad meanings that ecclesia doesn’t.

  1. Do we “go” to church? We are the church. We GO.
  2. Is the church the building? We are the church.

Luke writes that the apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. Earlier they’d prayed that God would do this. A&S’s deaths were also examples of supernatural powers (this was a negative example among many positive examples). In fact, the supernatural powers of God were so great that if people merely lay under Peter’s shadow, there were ALL healed. Imagine that. People lining the sides of the street…

It was in this atmosphere that people were healed.

Jesus had also said that the apostles would do greater works than he had. In fact, even just the amount of the converts on Pentecost was greater than Jesus’ work previously. But, it was Jesus’ spirit in them that enabled that.

When a woman came asking Jesus for help for her daughter, Jesus tested her faith. “It’s not fit to give the children’s bread to the dogs.” She responded well, “But it’s OK for the dogs to eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” She wasn’t a Jew, she wanted the crumbs from the Master’s table – Jesus was pleased with her faith and said, “Go, the demon is out of your daughter.” This was an instance of a distance healing.

In Acts 19:11, through Paul, God did extraordinary miracles through Paul – just by touching a handkerchief he touched, people were healed.

The church now regularly meets in Solomon’s Colonnade – a part of the temple. And they are held in such awe and reverence that “no one dared join them.” (v. 13). No one was willing to pretend to believe unless they actually did. They’d seen what had happened to others.

Yet, more and more DID believe and were added to their numbers. There were some whose minds and hearts were opened and who joined the community.

William Barclay: “Of the others, no one dared to meddle with them – interfere without invitation.”

v. 16 – Gospel is spreading to the towns around Jerusalem and is advancing into all of Judea. But the effectiveness of the words and deeds of the apostles causes the religious leaders to become jealous and take action.

The High Priests and the “Sad You Sees” arrested the apostles – ALL of them and put them in the public jail. Essentially, they are being punished for the (Counsel’s) order to not preach in Jesus’ name. Yet, another miracle happens – the doors are opened by angels – and they tell them to go BACK to the temple and continue preaching about this “New Life”.

The new life has a present and a future tense.

  • Future: resurrection – some to eternal life (great for those who believe) some to eternal condemnation (not so hot).
  • Present: those who believe begin a literal NEW life RIGHT NOW. They grow in faith, the fruit of the Spirit, try to go away from sin and toward God.

1 Corinthians 15: “Now brothers I want to remind you of the gospel which I preached and on which you’ve believed…if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you, and haven’t believed in vain.”

The new life also means the “after-conversion” life. They are buried with Jesus in his death (in baptism) but are also raised with Christ in his resurrection (Romans 6:4). “We too may live a new life.”

Do we have that new life? How do we get it?

By believing that Jesus was the Son of God, came to earth to die for our sins, to be a substitutionary attonement for our sins, to grant us forgiveness for our sins, reconciliation with God, and eternal life forever after. And to continue believing that.

We begin the life of faith by believing, we live the life of faith by belief, and we end the life of faith by belief.

In the Counsel, someone rushes in and says “Hey guys! Those guys! Preaching to other guys!”

An angel set them free and they are back making more trouble in the temple. So, the religious guys go from the temple, to the jail, back to the temple, back to jail – they aren’t there, back to the temple, arrest them AGAIN (they don’t resist) and the religious leaders are concerned that they are being singled-out for the death of Jesus “The apostles are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” Apostles, “No, no, no, it’s all about repentance man!” They say, “we should obey God rather than men.”

Communion next. Let’s prepare our hearts. Examine your hearts so that we can partake worthily of the elements that represent the body and blood of Christ.

  • Jan 11 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 31-33 (Bible-365.11): Esau’s Christ-likeness
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 31-33 (Bible-365.11): Esau’s Christ-likeness

Observation

In Genesis 31, Jacob flees from Laban his uncle with all his possessions and family. But first, he spoke to his wives about it to convince them of his “truth” and set their hearts against their father and for him. The daughters agreed with him – “Our father treats us like foreigners! So, everything he has is rightfully ours!” And they all set off secretly, while Rachel stole her father’s gods (so Laban is not a God follower then? Is Rachel? Is Jacob even?). Laban pursued them, caught them, and searched for his gods, which his daughter Rachel lied about and deceived him again. Then Jacob and Laban set up a marker to forever divide their lands and families.

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