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

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

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

What does God want from us?

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

Genesis 22:1-2

0. Introduction (A rich friend)

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

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

One day, his business really took off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Embarrassed, he said,

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

“What?” I was shocked. 

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

So, how was my mood then?

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

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

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

1. The command of God

Genesis 22:1-2

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

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

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

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

Isaac was his everything.

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

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

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

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

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

2. Abraham’s obedience

Genesis 22:3

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

Surprisingly, Abraham did not resent God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the Bible every single day!

Pray to God every day!

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

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

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

3. Obedience result

Genesis 22:11-18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God wanted Abraham’s full obedience.

God demanded Isaac as evidence of complete obedience.

So, what does God really want from me?

God wants my full obedience.

God receives our offerings as evidence of complete obedience.

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

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

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

Why is this so?

It’s because God knows that people are fragile

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

This is God’s amazing calculation and grace.

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

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

4. God is the hardest worker

Genesis 22:20-23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. The foundation of obedience (Jesus Christ)

Mark 10:45

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

Let’s assume that God gave you this command. 

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

Could you obey this command of God?

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

So how could Abraham obey such a difficult command?

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

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

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

Therefore, he had to obey God’s orders.

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

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

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

This is how God has granted us eternal life.

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

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

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

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

In fact, nothing you have now is actually yours.

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

All these came from God.

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

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

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

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


< 하나님이 우리에게 원하시는 것은? >

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

창세기 22:1-2

0. 예화(부자 친구 이야기)

오늘 주제와 관련하여 하나의 이야기를 나누겠습니다.

나에게는 어린 시절부터 아주 친하게 지내던 한 친구가 있습니다.

그러던 어느 날 친구의 사업이 엄청난 대박이 났습니다.

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

나는 친구의 말에 농담으로 나는 새 자동차가 필요하다고 말했습니다.

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

나는 친구에게 큰 고마움을 느꼈고, 내 오래된 차를 팔았습니다.

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

그러던 어느 날, 친구에게 전화가 왔습니다.

그는 당황스러워 하면서 나에게 이렇게 말했습니다.

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

결국 나는 친구에게 새 자동차를 돌려주었습니다.

이때 내 기분은 어땠을까요?

나에게 새 자동차를 선물해 준 친구에게 여전히 고마움을 느낄까요? 아니면

새 자동차를 선물해주었다가 다시 빼앗은 친구를 원망하는 마음이 들까요?

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

1. 하나님의 명령

창세기 22:1-2

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

하나님은 아브라함에게 그의 가장 소중한 보물을 다시 돌려달라고 하셨습니다.

아브라함에게 세상에서 가장 소중한 것은 약속의 아들, 이삭이었습니다.

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

하나님은 아브라함이 그의 가장 소중한 것을 하나님께 바치는지 궁금하셨습니다.

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

이삭을 바치기 위해 확정되지 않은 산으로 출발하라는 하나님의 요구는 

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

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

가장 소중한 아들을 다시 돌려달라는 하나님께 아브라함은 어떤 마음을 가졌을까요?

2. 아브라함의 순종

창세기 22:3

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

아브라함은 하나님을 원망하지 않았습니다.

아브라함은 하나님께 순종함으로써 이 어려운 시험을 풀기 시작하였습니다.

아브라함이 하나님의 어려운 요구에도 즉시 순종할 수 있었던 이유는 무엇이었을까요?

아브라함은 지금까지 자신의 문제를 스스로 해결하려고 노력하였습니다.

그러나 그는 모든 문제들이 그의 뜻대로 해결되지 않았습니다.

아브라함은 그가 그의 인생의 주인이라는 생각이 잘못 되었음을 깨달았습니다.

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

그가 비로소 그의 인생에 대한 하나님의 주권을 인정하게 된 것입니다.

아브라함은 그와 그의 인생의 주인이신 하나님을 경외하게 된 것입니다.

우리는 이 ‘경외’라는 단어를 주목해야 할 필요가 있습니다.

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

과거의 아브라함은 하나님을 그저 그의 문제를 해결해주는 해결사로만 여겼습니다.

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

그래서 아브라함은 그의 주인이신 하나님의 요구에 순종하지 않을 수가 없었습니다.

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

잠시 나의 믿음이 어떤지 살펴봅시다.

나의 믿음의 수준이 높은 수준이 아닐지라도 걱정할 필요가 없습니다.

아브라함도 처음에는 믿음의 초보자였기 때문입니다.

중요한 것은 하나님과의 지속적인 교제 입니다.

매일 단 한 줄이라도 성경을 읽으십시요!

매일 단 10초라도 하나님께 기도하십시요!

하나님과의 짧은 만남을 매일의 습관으로 만드십시요!

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

3. 순종의 결과

창세기 22:11-18

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

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

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

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

15 여호와의 사자가 하늘에서부터 두 번째 아브라함을 불러

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

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

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

하나님은 아브라함의 순종 이후에 그에게 두 가지 선물을 주셨습니다.

첫번째 선물은 이삭을 대신하여 번제로 드릴 숫양이었습니다.

두번째 선물은 아브라함의 자손에 대한 축복이었습니다.

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

하나님은 아브라함의 완전한 순종을 원하셨던 것입니다.

하나님은 완전한 순종의 근거로써 예물을 요구하신 것입니다.

하나님이 나에게 진정으로 원하는 것은 무엇일까요?

하나님은 나의 완전한 순종을 원하십니다.

하나님은 완전한 순종의 근거로써 우리의 예물을 받으십니다.

놀라운 사실은 우리가 가진 것의 일부를 하나님께 드렸을 때,

하나님은 우리가 모든 것을 하나님께 드린 것으로 여기신다는 것입니다.

이러한 원리가 적용되는 이유는 무엇일까요?

하나님은 사람이 연약한 존재라는 것을 아시기 때문입니다

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

이것이 하나님의 놀라운 계산법이요 은혜인 것입니다.

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

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

하나님의 주권과 자비가 아브라함의 축복의 근거가 되었습니다.

4. 하나님은 가장 열심히 일하시는 분

창세기 22:20-23

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

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

하나님은 아브라함의 순종을 확인하시고 그의 자손의 축복을 위해 신속하게 일하셨습니다.

본문은 장차 이삭의 아내가 될 리브가의 탄생을 언급하고 있습니다.

아브라함의 오랜 소망이었던 자손의 축복이 급속도로 진행되는 것입니다.

하나님께 순종하면 하나님께서 가장 빠른 길로 인도하십니다.

우리의 문제의 해결은 하나님께 순종하는 것에 달려 있습니다.

하나님은 나를 위해 가장 열심히 일하시는 분이기 때문입니다.

5. 순종의 근거(예수 그리스도)

마가복음 10:45

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

하나님께서 나에게 명령하십니다.

‘너의 아들 또는 딸을 나에게 제물로 바쳐라’

당신은 이 하나님의 명령에 순종할 수 있습니까?

우리는 이에 대해 이렇게 대답할 것입니다.

‘하나님 차라리 나를 죽이시고 내 아들과 딸을 살려주세요’ 또는

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

아브라함은 어떻게 이렇게 어려운 하나님의 명령에 순종할 수 있었을까요?

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

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

그의 아들 이삭도 예외는 아니었습니다.

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

그는 그의 삶이 주권이 하나님께 달려있음을 알고 있었습니다.

그래서 그는 하나님의 명령 앞에서 순종할 수 밖에 없었습니다.

그는 더 이상 주인이신 하나님 앞에서 자신을 주장할 수 없었습니다.

아들을 제물로 바치라는 하나님의 명령의 진정한 의미는 무엇일까요?

하나님은 아들을 제물로 바치라는 이 끔찍한 명령을 스스로에게 하셨습니다.

그 아들이 바로 예수 그리스도입니다.

예수님은 하나님의 말씀에 순종하기 위해 스스로 죽음의 길로 걸어가셨습니다.

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

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

그러나 하나님은 그의 아들, 예수님의 희생을 막지 않으셨습니다.

하나님은 그의 아들의 생명보다 우리의 생명이 더 소중했기 때문입니다.

이것이 우리를 위한 하나님의 진정한 마음이었습니다.

때때로 하나님은 우리에게 우리가 가진 가장 소중한 것을 요구하십니다.

그 요구의 의미는 나의 주인이신 하나님께 순종하라는 것입니다.

그의 아들 보다 우리를 더 사랑하신 하나님께 순종하라는 것입니다.

내가 가진 소중한 것을 원하시는 하나님을 원망하지 마십시요.

오히려 하나님께 드릴 수 있음에 감사하십시요.

사실 나의 것은 아무것도 없습니다.

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

이 모든 것을 선물로 주신 하나님께 감사하십시요.

하나님께 받은 것의 일부를 하나님께 믿음으로 드리십시요.

하나님께 순종하는 길이 우리의 소망이 이루어지는 가장 빠른 길입니다.

  • Oct 11 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Deuteronomy: Remember – Obedience Brings Blessings & Disobedience Brings Punishment (1:1-46, 10:12-13, 30:19-20)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Deuteronomy: Remember – Obedience Brings Blessings & Disobedience Brings Punishment (1:1-46, 10:12-13, 30:19-20)


10.14.2015

10.11.2015-PHeo-update

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  • Apr 12 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Remembering God’s Forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Remembering God’s Forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34)

04.12.2015

04.12.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Remembering God’s Forgetfulness

Jeremiah 31:34 (Pastor Brian)

“No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins NO MORE!”


 

Remember last week Isaiah 43:53? God was giving his people encouragement that he would blot out their sins and CHOOSE not to remember them. God is a God of mercy, grace, and compassion. If only they turn from their sins, they would receive an outpouring of grace and forgiveness.

Here, in Jeremiah, God declares what he will do for his people when they call out to him.

Here is another blanket proposal from the Lord to blot out their sins and not even keep them in his remembrance.

Charles Spurgeon + Harbor = two preachers who were meditating on God’s truth from these Scriptures.

  • Spurgeon = “The Non-Remembrance of God” – says God blots out the ledger of our debts so that he will no longer remember them.
  • Harbor = Jesus “faced our sins” to take them and bear away the iniquity and shame in his own body on the cross and blot out the ledger of indebtedness (sin) that we owe.

God faced up to the reality of our sins, he wants us to face up to them as well and look to the source of our forgiveness – his Son Christ on the cross.

God not only forgives sins, but forgets. The forgiveness is KEY. “How truly do we believe this?” – the unrepentant man isn’t bothered by it – until the Holy Spirit gets a hold of him and converts him – and he realizes that there is an eternity to be enjoyed with God in heaven (either that, or torment for eternity away from God).

These are the truths that Jesus came to reveal. Jesus spoke of Hell more than any of the other apostles and teachers. He came to save souls from Hell and bring them to heaven.

Here are some thoughts from the two preachers that have been blessed with a deeper understanding of these things to pass on to us.

  • Jeremiah – “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Just last week in Communion in Jungbu’s joint service, I mentioned how sometimes we try to find relief in different ways (like the Law) and they always fall short (it doesn’t forgive sins, just brings knowledge and condemnation of sin). To look to the Law doesn’t bring any hope.

  1. Our conscience agrees with the Law that we all deserve God’s justice and death. By our own experience, we all know we’ve sinned, and God would not be the God of justice if he didn’t mete out justice for our sins – we all know this.
  2. We have experience in our lives and can see it in the lives of others. We witness sin and scandal, murder, adultery, unforgiveness, grudge-bearing, and all of these have their own “fruit” that we reap. Sin has consequences.
  3. Satan also condemns us and accuses us. He “craftily cooperates with the Law, conscience, and observation” and where these 3 would drive a person to despair, Satan takes this further and says, “OH yeah! You’re totally worthless – no hope for you.” and can lead us to utter despair.

However, Jesus is our advocate, our “lawyer” who stands up for us against the accusation of Satan.

All of these things lead us to dependence on someone else – Jesus – who was able to fulfill ALL the demands of the Law. “Which of you convicts me of sin?” – No one could – even the centurion at the cross said, “Surely this man was the Son of God” – he knew how Jesus forgave sins and went “as a sheep before the shearers” to his crucifixion – mildly and humbly.

The apostle Paul depicts Jesus as a very righteous husband, always right and perfect – and we, the church, are imperfect and married to him. The only thing we can do – the bride – is DIE. We recognize Christ’s death, die in identification with the Lord, are buried with him, and rise again to a newness of life (symbolized in baptism).

The Law is not going to die. So the only option is for the people UNDER the Law to die and rise again under a NEW covenant – under Christ, in Christ, we have forgiveness and hope.

Yesterday, we saw the marriage of Joshua and Jade and the Scriptures we read were from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps NO RECORD OF WRONGS (like God says he won’t)…”

Here, Paul says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs” – it rubs out the record so that in God’s sight, it is no longer there. This is a HARD truth to realize and appropriate. Men disbelieve it for themselves and doubt it where others are concerned. We keep records of wrongs, we aren’t speedily ready to forgive. Sometimes we require time to release offenses. But (Psalms?) we are encouraged to “not let the sun go down on your anger.” ACT like true children of God – FORGIVE as you’ve BEEN forgiven.

  • Hebrews 8:10? “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
  • (Also Hebrews 10:17)
  • Colossians “God has taken those things away and nailed them to the cross.”
  • Micah “The Lord delights in mercy and will not keep our sins forever but will bury them in the sea (of forgetfulness).”

We need to meditate on these truths: YES – I am forgiven.

Remember that God has LET THEM GO – and wants us to have that same attitude in our own lives.

  • Hebrews 10:1 “The Law has a shadow of things to come, but not the very substance/reality…”
  • Leviticus 14 – the “Law of the Leper” is another picture of the atonement of Jesus in taking away our sins.

The cleansing of the Leper:

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘These are the regulations for the unclean person at the time of his cleansing when he is brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside and examine him, if he’s been healed, the priest will order 2 live clean birds and scarlet wood and hissop to be brought to the water. One bird shall be killed over the water, and dipped with the other things into the blood of the bird over water. 7 times he should sprinkle the diseased one and declare him clean. Then, release the live bird into the open field.”

This is a type/shadowing of Jesus. Two birds, one killed over running water (Jesus’ crucifixion), the Live bird is dipped into the blood of the dead bird and released into the open heaven (Jesus’ resurrection).

Again, speaking of the atonement of Jesus, it also speaks of OUR lives and deaths (spiritual) and rebirths – we’ve died to sin and been reborn into newness of life in Christ.

“…The man must stay outside for 7 days, then shave EVERYTHING, wash his clothes and himself and he’ll be clean.”

This man was “unclean” and outside the camp previously (this is a picture of sin) – it was a terrible existence. And yet, sometimes, God healed a leper – he had to go and prove that it was gone. When the examination took place and it was found to be gone, he had to go through this ceremonial cleansing. This is all a type/shadowing of Christ.

“…The priest takes one of the male lambs and offers it as a guilt offering – slaughter it in the Holy Place – like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest. Take some blood and put it on the right ear and the thumb of the right hand and the big toe of the right foot. (This symbolizes cleansing).”

  • Ear = what we listen to
  • Thumb = what we work on
  • Toe = where we walk

“…The priest will take some oil, dip it on his hand and sprinkle it on the man 7 times, put the oil on the ear, the thumb, the toe, ON TOP of the blood offering.”

The blood is CLEANSING – before we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The oil then, is symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit we receive after we are cleansed.

All of this speaks elegantly and symbolically about what Jesus ACTUALLY, LITERALLY accomplished on the cross and through his resurrection.

All these types were given to show God’s mercy. The Law itself was given to show mercy to those who’d broken the Law in different ways. This is the first point.

#2: God shows his mercy by giving Life.

Genesis “On the day you eat of the fruit, you shall surely die.” Satan tempted them, they ate, their eyes were opened, and the damage was done. But God in his mercy didn’t immediately kill them. He COULD have, for he is just and requires justice. But in mercy, he set them out on the earth (not without consequences – thorn and thistles for the man’s work, terrible pain for women in child birth). He also set out a prophecy that the seed of the woman (Jesus) would crush the head of the serpent (Satan). This was a reference to the coming of the Messiah.

Right from the beginning, God showed his mercy, gave them life, gave them promise.

What he did with Adam and Eve, he does with us. Are you alive? Then you have HOPE. “A living dog is better than a dead lion.” (Proverb) But life needs to be practiced by receiving Christ for eternal life.

Right at the beginning, God promised that one would come and grant eternal life – and throughout the Old Testament, he gave further proofs that he was willing to show mercy. Not only did they have the Mosaic Law (condemning), but also the Ceremonial Law (allowing cleansing). This allowed the people to have fellowship with him – he showed his mercy and grace through this.

And Paul writes, “In the fullness of time, God sent his Son to redeem them…”

God did indeed send his Savior in the right time and the right place in order to fulfill his will.

All of these clues, hints, shadows, pointed to the substance that is Christ.

Remember the healing of the 10 lepers, and that of the 1 leper who said to Jesus, “Lord, if your are willing, you can cleanse me.”

Thinking about this, there weren’t many healing recorded for leprosy in the Old Testament (Miriam got it for about a week for rebellion at one point). Interestingly, this “Law for cleansing the leper” may not have been used much in the Old Testament – it isn’t recorded, and Jesus told this guy to go and get cleansed (he didn’t, he ran out and told everyone).

Of the 10, Jesus sent them to do this ceremonial cleansing and only 1 came back.

If these lepers had gone to the priests, they probably wouldn’t actually know what to do – because it was so uncommon. This is why Jesus wanted the leper to go back and show himself to the priest – it might have opened their eyes to the truth about Jesus as well.

Jesus made a point of telling that the Samaritan leper came back and said “Thanks” – yet he was the recipient of God’s mercy and showed his gratitude.

We see here that this was an act of God’s mercy. This is a tremendous picture of sin – it rots the body from the inside and limbs may even fall off. But God was willing to heal of his physical disease (and spiritually healed him/forgave him as well).

Now, as we close, let’s meditate upon Christ, who took our sins upon himself and faced up to our sins. He’s forgiven them and forgotten them – to be remembered “NO MORE!”

This is what we need to remember when we are tempted to accuse ourselves or listen to the accusations of others.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 07 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Faith and Deeds (James 2:14-26)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Faith and Deeds (James 2:14-26)

12.07

12.07.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Faith and Deeds

James 2:14-26 (Pastor Brian)

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.


 

James is giving practical advice to his readers. In the beginning of the chapter, he warns against favoritism – showing undo favor to the “rich” of this world. “Oh, sit here in this nice place!”

  • All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans) and when you look at some of these lives (any lives actually), you’ll notice that they aren’t amazing.
  • Favoritism = giving undo favor where it is not due, and not giving favor where it is due.
  • James is bringing our identity back to Christ – we ought to keep the royal law = “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • If we keep only ONE part of the commandments and break ONLY ONE part, we have broken ALL the law. To break 1/10 = to break 10/10.
  • We must love others and show mercy (because we’ve received both from God himself).  Mercy triumphs over judgment.

“What good is it my brothers if a man has faith but no deeds? Can such faith save him?”

Paul writes “By grace you have been saved through faith…not as a result of works so that no one can boast…FOR we are his workmanship that he has created FOR good works.”

We aren’t saved BY works, but we are saved TO DO works.

Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees and did everything in his zeal to keep the law – and he even persecuted the church at first. But after meeting Christ, he realized that ALL his works and deeds were FILTHY rags before God.

1 Cor 15 Paul rehearses how God’s mercy has been shown to him “But by God’s grace, I am what I am – and I labored MORE than all the other apostles (yet not I, but the grace of God working in me).”

God’s power gave him the power and the anointing to do what God called him to do.

James also asserts that we SHOW our faith BY our good works. We must demonstrate our faith by our actions.

When we come to believe in Jesus, we become a different person ( “A New Creation” ).

Testimony:

A pastor talked of how he became a Christian – he was a teenager in a band who HATED people. He looked for fights, insulted anyone, make fun of the homeless, and yell curses. God saved both of us in the same year and our hearts were absolutely changed.

When Matt saw a homeless man, instead of yelling at him, he pulled over and gave him a blanket and a lunch he’d made for himself.

What would James say if we’d become Christians and CONTINUED to yell at the homeless. If there was no heart change, no ACTION change, there is no EVIDENCE that your heart has changed.

It’s easy for a “pure” person to said, “Yes, I believe in God – and I’m a good person.” Well, the demons ALSO believe in God – shall they also go to heaven?

In the gospels, there was a man in the synagogue who cried out (with a demon), “Ya! What have we to do with you? Jesus, Son of God?” – Jesus didn’t say, “Oh, bless you, you know who I am.” Jesus cast him OUT of the man.

James goes on to show that faith without works is dead – using the Scriptures.

  • Abraham – sacrificing Isaac (Genesis 22): God tested Abraham (remember “count it all joy as you meet various testings in the world”?). He was instructed to take his ONLY son Isaac and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. He did it. It took 3 days to get to Moriah. On the 3rd day, Abraham raised his eyes and left the servants to “worship” God. (This is an obvious act of faith on Abraham’s part). Abraham laid the wood on Isaac and carried the fire and the knife.
  • Isaac: “Father?”
  • Abe: “Yes, son?”
  • Isaac: “We have all the stuff except the offering itself.”
    Abe: “The Lord will provide, my son.”
  • Abraham built the altar and bound Isaac and laid him on the altar and stretched out his hand to KILL his son – but an angel of the Lord stopped him. Test PASSED.
  • Then Abraham raised his eyes and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its thorns. So Abraham used the ram in place of Isaac. He called that place, “The Lord will provide.”

Up to this point in his life, Abraham had at times shown a bit of a shaky faith. He lied about his wife ( “she’s my sister, actually” ) and brought trouble on himself and the people around him (TWICE).

Now, even after he’s been given promises from God:

  1. You’ll have a son
  2. I’ll bless you through Isaac
  3. I’ll make your descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore

But still, he takes his son Isaac to sacrifice him. He had such faith that God would do as he said to fulfill the promise, that even if he were to kill Isaac, God could raise him back up!

He’s taken it soooo far that he’s laid the wood on Isaac (remember Jesus also carried the wood of the cross). Isaac was NOT a young child – he was at least in his 20s. If Isaac had wanted to, he could have overpowered Abraham and said, “No way, daddy!” But he submitted himself to Abraham, laid down his own life – (remember, Jesus did this same thing for us as well – in complete agreement with God the Father).

“God will provide himself a (THE) lamb” – this is also a picture of Jesus – the ram caught in a thornbush – Jesus wore a crown of thorns for us to the cross.

Then, Abraham was told to NOT kill Isaac. In a sense, he received Isaac back from the dead – he was already sacrificed in his mind/heart. This is similar to Jesus’ resurrection as well.

James’ second example:

Rahab the prostitute protected Joshua and the spies when they investigated Jericho.

The prostitutes at that time also kept a boarding house – the spies went there for the night. The king heard about it and sent the guards to capture them. Rahab said, “No, they’ve gone.” But she’d hidden them. She’d also made a deal with them that when the men invade the city, they’d be protected from the destruction of the God of Israel.  So the men agreed – “put a scarlet rope from the window” – and they wouldn’t go in to kill the people.

After the walls of Jericho collapsed and the Israelites invaded, she was saved and assimilated into the nation of Israel.

This scarlet rope is symbolic of Jesus’ blood. In His blood, there is LIFE.

As we come around the table of the Lord for communion – as yourself, “Am I a part of this family? Is Jesus my Savior? Am I WALKING and ACTING in his will and his way?”

From the Daily bread – (hasn’t gone stale):

Feb 5, 2014: The Telltale Heart

We want to keep short accounts, not keep unforgiveness or sin in our hearts.

Recently, I read about a PI in the US who would knock on a door, show his badge and say “I guess we don’t have to tell you why we’re here.” And many times the person would look stunned and say “How did you find out?” And then go on to explain an unknown criminal act long ago.

This was an unconscious act of a telltale heart. We all know secret things about ourselves and our sins. The secret things we keep in our hearts may come back to us again and again.

  • John “By this we will know that we are before him. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than us.”
  • James “Don’t just say, ‘We’ll pray for you.’ If you can actually help them.”

Have you done the things despite your failures? Then find rest. Even if your heart condemns you, know that God is greater. God abides in us by the Spirit whom he’s given us. God is greater than our self-condemnation.

Remember James’ words to be practical in our faith. Remember John’s words to DO the works before men that God would have us do – so that they will glorify God through what they see us doing through his power.

Where we can, ACT. (Maybe even a random act of kindness – don’t procrastinate – it won’t happen) If you have occasion to help someone, HELP.

Let’s pray.

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