:::: MENU ::::

Posts Tagged / fruit

  • Jan 21 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:8-14)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:8-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 13:8-14 (Pastor Heo)

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


Let me tell my experience.

About 30 years ago, I had the opportunity to join a helping ministry on a small island (Mango-do?) – my church planted a small church on that island (population < 150 – only about 40 families). There was no clinic, hospital, post office, etc. There was only one elementary school – with only 5 students. In 2000, that school closed. One of the students was the pastor’s daughter.

I helped with cleaning and evangelism.

The people were surrounded by water. In ALL directions, they could only see a horizontal line. There was nothing to see except water.

Can you imagine? The most difficult thing was that there was NO water to drink, cook with, shower with, etc. There was NO way to GET water. There was only ONE way to get water: from heaven. It was called “heavenly water” by the people. So, every time it rained, the whole population came out to receive as much water as they could – even 2am. Water seemed to be a savior to them.

I stayed there for 6 days but did not take a shower even though I sweat so much. Through this experience, I think this generation is like this spiritually.

Our generation is FULL of love, but LACK *real* love.

Music, books, movies use the word love so easily.

2 Tim 3 “Mark this, there will be terrible times at the last days. They will be lovers of self, money, physical pleasure.” (sinful, sensual love – but little love of God and neighbors and enemies)

That’s why Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the greatest commandment and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commands.”

“A new commandment I give you: love one another. By this, all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

“Whoever does not love, does not know God.”

This means – “whoever does not love proves he is not saved – or does not know he is saved” – because God’s saving power is motivated by his unconditional love.

If we are saved, we have already experienced his unconditional love. To experience this love and then NOT show it to others is to not have experienced this love at all.

“I should love.”

But I have no power to show this agape love.

Today gives us the KEY to this love.

Yes, there are many many reasons for us to love if we are really born again Christians. But there are three reasons here in this passage why we should love: God, our neighbors, our enemies.

3 Reasons WHY we should love

#1 Because we are debtors

v. 8

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Our duty to love one another is called “continual debt.”

v. 7 says “give everyone what you owe him. If taxes, then tax, if revenue, then revenue, if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor.” This means that ALL kinds of debt must be repaid.

If you have debt, you must pay – without paying, you will go to prison.

In this life, there is only one debt that cannot be paid fully: God’s love.

Apostle Paul confessed: “I’m a debtor – both to the Greeks and Jews – Christ demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, he died for us.”

John 3:16

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us first and gave his son as the propitiation for our sins.”

“Try to grasp how wide, how long, how deep, how far is the love of Christ.” (wider, higher, farther, longer than eternity).

This love remains with us permanently and never leaves us. No matter how much we try to repay this love, we can never repay it because God continually pours his love into us.

This is agape (godly, unconditional, sacrificial) love.

If we are Christians, we are debtors to God’s love.

#2 Because love is the fulfillment of the Law

v. 9-10

“The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Love is the fulfillment (basis) of the Law.

Yes, as children of God, we are not under Law, but under Grace. We are living under the grace of God, by the grace of God. But this does not mean we are free to live a lawless life.

When we are living by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit enables us to meet the requirements of the Law.

If you practice true agape love, there is no reason for another Law. Our motivation is the love of God in our hearts.

If your WHOLE life is motivated and operated by love for God and your neighbors, we do not need any other Law.

Last time, we studied about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible there are two ministries of the Holy Spirit:

  • the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
  • the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

These are NOT the same.

  • Gifts (9 in 1 Cor 12): Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Power, Tongues, Distinguishing spirits, Interpretation, Healing, Teaching, Serving, Prophecy
  • Fruit (Gal 5:22): Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control
  • Gift: related to skill, for a purpose
  • Fruit: related to character, personality, spirituality

LOVE is BOTH gift and fruit.

  • Love is means and end.
  • Love is method and purpose.
  • Love is the gift of gifts.
  • Love is the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 13 “If I speak in the tongues of angels, but have not love, I’m a resounding gong. If I’m a super genius, with massive mountain moving faith, but have not love, I’m nothing. If I give all I have and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

“Do everything in love.”

#3 Because our salvation is near(er) than when we first believed

v. 11-13

“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

We can see terms related to time here:

  • Present time,
  • the hour has come,
  • nearer,
  • now,
  • night,
  • nearly over,
  • day,
  • almost here,

Yes, as long as time is flying on, one day, our Lord Jesus Christ will come in his body.

Everyday we are nearer to the fulfillment of our salvation (one day). Tomorrow we will be nearer by one day than today.

And ONE DAY will be our LAST DAY on this earth. Everybody has his own LAST DAY. But nobody knows when this day will be.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for nobody knows what it may bring forth. You are but a mist and disappear after a little while.”

But THIS one day is not a normal day – it is the FINAL DAY – to receive our reward, blessing, or judgment from Christ. “Christ will bring ALL things into judgment – including the hidden things. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

  • Spiritually “slumber” means disregard or ignorance and indifference in activity of good work.
  • “Night” = unbelief
  • “Day”= faith
  • “Put on the armor of light” – the first thing God created was light.

Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world” – and then challenges us, “you are the Light of the world”. So what is darkness? The first thing God asked Adam after he sinned was, “Where are you?” even though he knew. This means “Do you not know where you are?” Trying to hide yourself from the sight of God = you are in darkness.

  • Test yourself. If you have something you are trying to hide from the sight of God, you are in darkness.

1 John “Whoever claims to be in the light but hates his brother is in darkness.”

There is nothing to hide because all will be exposed in the light (Jesus).

Up to now, we have seen 3 reasons WHY we must love: God, our neighbors, our enemies:

  1. We are debtors to love
  2. It is the fulfillment of the Law
  3. We are nearer our salvation now than when we first believed

Do you agree?

  1. I must love God with all my heart, mind, soul, strength.
  2. I must love my neighbor as myself.

BUT, I have no power to do so myself.

That’s why we need the Last verse.

  1. “I need Jesus Christ absolutely.”
  2. “Jesus is my clothes, my dress.”
  3. 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

#Conclusion

v. 14

“14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

“Jesus is my dress.” 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

No one is naked here.

What are the functions of our dress?

Here are 4 functions of our dress (spiritually):

#1 Protection

  • from cold, hurt, danger, shame
  • from the attack of Satan
  • the temptation and shame of sin

Even as a pastor, if I’m totally naked before you, I’m so shameful. But Jesus is my protection from all the evil things in this world.

#2 Clothes reveal our status / identity

Especially at that time, clothes showed social rank (king, noble, middle-class, poor)

Even today, we can see this: police, doctors, nurses, uniforms, etc.

Our identity as a Christian is revealed in this world – as a light of the world, aroma of Christ. Can you *smell* Jesus on your neighbor?? ^^

#3 It influences your attitude, tongue, character

  • For example, if I put on loose fitting clothes, my actions become loose – and my tongue as well – then my thinking and my language will be loose. Then my head, character, personality will become loose. If everything is loose, my whole life is loose.
  • If I wear noble dress, my tongue, thinking, habits, character, etc, will be noble.
  • If I put on Jesus Christ, he will continually affect and impact my attitude and character and personality.

#4 They are my company wherever I go

Clothes go together with me all the time. When you see me, you see my clothes first.

If I put on Jesus, people will see Jesus FIRST – wherever you go.

Conclusion: The best way to do and show this kind of agape love (to win souls to Christ) is to clothe yourselves with Christ.

  1. Love = greatest commandment
  2. Evangelism = greatest commission

These two pillars go together hand-in-hand, like two sides of the same coin. They can never be separated.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 23 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We also died to the Law (Romans 7:1-6)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We also died to the Law (Romans 7:1-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We also died to the Law

Romans 7:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.


  • Chp 6 = Our new relationship to sin due to our union with Christ (“We died to sin”)
  • Chp 7 = Our new relationship to the Law due to our union with Christ (“We died to the Law”)

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law…”

Topic: We also died to the Law

Just as we died to sin, so we died to the Law. If we died to sin, it is natural that we died to the Law, because Law and sin go together. The power of sin = the Law.

  • Without Law, sin is not sin.
  • Without sin, the Law is not needed.

Chp 6 = “You died to sin, alive to God”

  1. KNOW this is a historical fact,
  2. COUNT it to be true,
  3. OFFER your life to God

So, serve Christ in the New way according to the Holy Spirit.

We also died to the Law.

I want to share 3 things:

  1. What is the Law?
  2. How is it possible to die to the Law?
  3. What does it mean when we say, “We died to the Law”?

#1 What is the Law?

This word is repeated 23 times here (many times throughout the whole Bible). So, according to the given context, there are many meanings.

  • Romans 8:2 “Because through Jesus, the Law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the Law of sin and death.”
    • In this sentence, LAW means “governing power/principle” (like the Law of Gravity)
  • Ps 1:2 “Blessed is the man who delights in the Law of the Lord, blessed is the one who meditates on the Law of the Lord day and night.”
    • LAW = “Word of God” (synonyms) Do you believe they are the same?

So, be careful when you say “We died to the LAW” – this does not mean “We died to the Word of God”

This word “LAW” means written code/regulations that have authority over those outside Jesus Christ.

#2 How is is possible to die to the Law?

Interesting illustration to explain this:

Romans 7:2 “2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.”

  • Chp 6 uses the illustration of Master and Slave to explain HOW we should Offer ourselves to God.
  • Chp 7 uses the illustration of Husband and Wife to show our NEW relationship to the Law due to our union with Christ.

This illustration is simple (not “sinful”) but has profound application.

When a man and woman are married, they are united for their whole lives – this is a physical union (Gen 2 “they will be one body”). So, as long as they live, they are under the authority of marriage. So, if someone marries another while still under that Law (authority), they sin. But, if the other dies, and the first marries again, there is no Law (authority) under which they are bound.

But we must understand the POINT.

  • Wife = us
  • Husband who died = the Law
  • New husband = Christ

POINT: If the wife died, the only one way she could marry again is if she rose again from the dead to life. THIS is the POINT.

  • Wife (us) DIED in Christ – so the Husband (Law) lost authority to rule over us
  • Christ died and we died in Christ
  • He rose and we were born again in Him
  • We remarried Christ (thus, he is called our “Bridegroom”)

#3 What does it mean when we say that?

6 points here:

1. It does NOT mean – the Law died

(Sin did not die) it is still very near to us and it has authority, dominion, power to condemn and punish those who are outside Christ. (We also were once under its authority and condemnation and penalty – but now, IN CHRIST, we are not under the Law but under Grace) – The Law LIVES.

(“I died to the Law”) – this is true – do you believe it?

2. This does NOT mean – I’m FREE to do whatever I want, nor to live a Lawless life.

Even amongst Christians, some say, “Dude, I’m saved – once for all” – but you do not have a license to live lawlessly. (Extreme of License)

3. We died to the Law, so we also died to “legalism”.

There’s another opposite extreme we must be cautious of (Extreme of Legalism)

We are no longer legalists.

  • This is the belief that we can become holy and pleasing to God by keeping the Law.
  • This problem = sees SINS (plural) but not SIN (singular) –
  • It judges outwardly, but does not consider the heart.
  • Legalism can make us unloving, unforgiving, judgmental toward other people.

So, we died to the Law = we are no longer legalists.

4. Our motivation is not from the Law – it comes from God’s grace through our union with Christ

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”

We serve Christ, not by trying hard to keep the Law, but out of hearts and minds that overflow with love for Him. Total commitment to Christ cannot co-exist with total commitment to the Law – this would be spiritual idolatry. (We fully belong to Christ).

Still we must serve, we have a holy responsibility to live a holy life, but the motivation is not prompted by the LAW, but by our LOVE for him. (God looks at the heart)

5. It MEANS – we are to bear fruit

Fruit to God, for God, by God. Are you producing fruit? What is your fruit?

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Here the word “fruit” is repeated twice.

NOW we bear fruit for God – THEN we bore fruit for death.

Yes, in physical marriage, we also have fruit (kids) – when we were in sin, we also produced fruit that made us ashamed – when we were under the Law, we produced fruit by our own effort and power that turned out to be fruitless – (the only fruit under the Law is sin and death – because sinful passions work against the Law).

Remember #1: The Law is still alive.

  • It had authority, but it did not effectively control human passions.
  • It restrains us and teaches us, but also stimulates our sinful nature.
  • It identifies sin, but also generates sin.

That’s why there’s fighting between the Old nature and the New nature.

Those who do not follow Christ, have only their own self-determination to follow. But, in Christ, “A new life begins.” That’s why we are born again. God is at the center of the Christian life. God provides, God supplies the power for Christian daily living. Our way of looking at this world changes totally through Christ.

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit – fruit that will last forever.”

In Christ, we are to produce fruit that glorifies God.

  • Yes, in physical marriage, our fruit is physical children.
  • So, in our spiritual marriage with Christ, our spiritual fruit is Children of God.

6. It MEANS – we are released from the Law.

We are released (free). So what does this mean?

v. 6 “6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

This means, we are released from

  • the authority of the Law –
  • the penalty of the Law –
  • the external regulations of the Law in order to be “righteous” –
  • the ceremonial regulations that point at Christ (because Christ himself has fulfilled them).
  • We are released to serve in the new way of the Holy Spirit – who teaches us how to please God.
  • We are set free through the blood of Christ and counted righteous before God.

Let me close with this point.

(DEEP THINKING coming up)

“We died to the Law” means we are:

  • “not to break the Law, but to fulfill it” –
  • “not to cancel the Law, but to uphold it.”

What does this mean? How is it possible?

Matt 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, rather I have come to fulfill them. Until heaven and earth disappear, not a single stroke of the pen will disappear from the Law until it is all fulfilled.”

Christ fulfilled these requirements perfectly through his life, work, death, resurrection.

Romans 10:4 “Jesus Christ is the END of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

We are not to nullify the Law, but to fulfill it.

How is this possible?

Conclusion (secret / mystery (신비))

Only by remaining in Christ – belonging to Christ – are we accepted and counted as fulfilling ALL the demands of the Law.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are IN Christ – because in Christ, the Law of the Spirit set you free from the Law of sin and death.”

God condemned sin in sinful man by sending his Son in order that all the requirements of the Law be fulfilled through life in the Holy Spirit.

v. 6 “6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

God bless us, God bless you. YOU died to the Law.

Please apply this to your life.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on If you KNOW it, COUNT it as True, and OFFER yourself to Christ (Romans 6:11-23)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

If you KNOW it, COUNT it as True, and OFFER yourself to Christ (Romans 6:11-23)

Download Notes in a .MD file

If you KNOW it, COUNT it as true, and OFFER Yourselves to God

Romans 6:11-23 (Pastor Heo)

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (memorize it)


Important words: Know, Count, Offer

Water baptism is an outward symbol of our inward experience in which we are united/ID’d with Christ in his death, burial, resurrection. If we are ID’d with Christ in his death, all things that happened to him, will happen to us because we are united in his body when he died. Therefore, automatically, his resurrection, life, victory, glory, seat in heaven, is ours as well.

“If you are children of God, you are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” – Christ is our eldest brother (Romans 8:29?) – “Those he foreknew he also predestined… that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

This union is the STRONGEST union.

This connection with Christ is much stronger than any other physical union in this world.

This union is stronger than:

  • the vine and its branch,
  • husband and wife,
  • this building and the ground,
  • head and body.

This union is authored by the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 6:17 “He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.”

This is a VITAL union (vitamin).

The life of Christ is the life of a true believer. He is living his life through you and me. We are a channel of Jesus Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live….”

This union is PERFECT / COMPLETE.

There are many parts in our bodies (ears, nose, eyes, etc) – each part in one body is both a means and an end.

  • Hands exist for the feet.
  • Eyes exist for the ears.
  • Ears exist for the nose.
  • Everything exists for the head.
  • Head exists for each part of the body.

“You are the body of Christ. Christ is the head. Each one of you is part of the body.”

This union is INSEPARABLE.

How long is eternal life?

Our union with Christ makes our relationship to sin totally different from before. Last time, we heard many times “Know this: you are dead to sin and alive to God.” So, are you dead to sin?

What does this mean?

  1. What is sin?
    1. A: State/action against the will of God. The greatest sin is not to believe in Jesus.

In our old lives, we were alive to sin, but now we are “dead” to sin. What is the difference?

  • “Alive to sin” = dead to the sense of sin (We did not know the will of God and we did not recognize sin as sin)
  • “Dead to sin” = alive to the sense (understanding / knowledge) of sin (Now, we recognize sin as sin and we understand the will of God)

Make sense?

  1. “Dead to sin” = free FROM sin (in the past, we were free TO sin) – we are FREE from the power, presence of sin
    1. The moment we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we were completely saved once for all time from the power of sin.
    2. NOW, we are being saved from the power, presence, temptation, challenge of sin.
    3. In the future, we WILL be saved totally from the entire presence of sin when we go to heaven to be with Christ forever and ever.

“Dead to sin” = sin is no longer our Master. (We once were followers of sin, now we are FIGHTERS against sin.)

“I’m a fighter of sin!”

v. 11 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (very important)

This is the second important word in this chapter (to count – account – or believe what God says is true)

Important words: Know, Count, Offer

Bible does not tell us to “feel” that you are dead to sin, but ACT upon it and claim it for yourselves. This is a matter of FAITH that issues itself in ACTION. (Have you ever endorsed a check? If you really believe the money is in the checking account, you will sign your name and claim the money.)

“Counting” is:

  • NOT “claim a promise”
    • but “ACT on a promise” –
  • this is NOT “try to be dead to sin”
    • but ACT on the FACT that you are dead to sin.

Q: Even if we do not ACT on a FACT, is it TRUE? Yes!

This is reality. So, receive this reality as real and the truth as true and act on this fact.

  1. 3rd important word: “Offer”
  • 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.
  • 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
  • 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies to God as pleasing sacrifices. This is your spiritual act of worship.”

  • The OT sacrifices were dead (animal) sacrifices.
  • But the NT sacrifices, God asks for LIVING sacrifices. Yes, God may ask SOME people to die for him (can you?), but God asks ALL of us to LIVE for Him.

Q: How – if we must offer our bodies to God, HOW can we do so?

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

This is an act of the WILL. Based on the knowledge of what Christ has done for us, this is an intelligent act, not an emotional reaction to a moving moment. Look at the verb tenses (시제).

These are imperative verbs yes?

The literal translation of v. 13 =

“Do not constantly allow sin to reign in your mortal body so that you are constantly obeying its laws. Also do not constantly offer your members of your body as tools and instruments of sin, but ONCE AND FOR ALL, offer yourself to God.” (This ONCE AND FOR ALL is also described in Romans 12:1)

In our lives, (are you Christian?) – there must be a final and complete surrender of our body to God. It does not mean there will not be further steps of surrender – because the longer we walk with God, the further/deeper we walk with/surrender to Him.

Yes, we daily surrender to Christ, but even this is based on the FIRST, ONCE AND FOR ALL, surrender. This is the tense of Romans 12:1 and this 6:13.

Q: WHY does God want our bodies?

God eagerly, earnestly wants to use your body.

  1. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because it is the temple of God, he wants to use your body/my body for his glory and holiness.
  2. At the same time, it is God’s tool, weapon, workmanship.
    1. He wants to build his kingdom in this world (tool).
    2. He wants to use us to fight against his enemies (weapon).
  • God used Moses to conquer Egypt.
  • God used David to conquer the Philistines.
  • God used the mouths of the prophets to spread his message and
  • God used the feet of Paul to spread the gospel.
  • He used five pieces of bread and fish to feed 5000 adult men (+ women/children).
  • God wants to use our bodies to defeat the power of our enemy Satan.

Q: So, WHY are we to OFFER our bodies?

3 words are keywords (reasons for this surrender):

1. Grace 은혜

“Sin shall not be your master because we are not under Law but under Grace” – we are not saved by the Law, we do not live/stand under the Law. But, though we are saved by Grace, this is no reason to sin, but rather, reason to OBEY.

Sin and Law go together all the time. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.” Since we are dead to sin and alive to God, sin is robbed of its power and strength. Have you ever experienced God’s abundant grace? If so, you cannot sin continually.

2. Freedom

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

Practical translation of v. 19

“We must be AS enthusiastic/zealous in offering our bodies to Christ as we WERE enthusiastic/zealous in offering our bodies to sin.”

The illustration of Master/slave is easy to understand. Whatever we allow to become our Master – we are slaves to this. But now that we are slaves to Christ, we are free from Sin.

The message = REAL FREEDOM can be found only by being a Slave to Christ.

We know the story of the Prodigal son very well. This is a clear example of this truth.

  1. First he was a slave of wrong desires, then wrong actions, then a literal slave when he took care of pigs.
  2. He wanted to find himself but he lost himself.
  3. What he THOUGHT was freedom, turned out to became the WORST kind of slavery.
  4. It was only when he returned home to the father that he found real, true freedom.

3. Fruit (Do you like fruit?)

If you work, you expect payment. If you serve a master, you expect a salary. This is fruit.

21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we serve a boss or master, we can expect some form of payment.

Sin is also a Master and God is a Master.

  • If we serve Sin, our salary = death.
  • If we serve God, our salary = holiness, eternal life.
  1. In our old selves, we produced the fruit that made us ashamed. (Have you experienced this?)
  2. In our new lives now, we produce fruit that glorifies God.

v. 23

“The wages of sin is death…” – this is usually applied to the lost (non-Christians) – that’s true, but it ALSO applies to US. This is a warning for the saved as well because this truth is applied not only in the spiritual world, but also in the physical world.

  • In the spiritual world, if we sin by not accepting Jesus Christ, the penalty is not receiving eternal life.
  • In the physical world, if we sin habitually, by doing something against the will of God, our physical life can also be taken away earlier.

Samson

Samson’s story is a clear example of this truth. I believe Samson was saved in his spirit, but lost his life earlier because of his lust and sin with Delilah who cut off his hair.

“but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”

These three words need to be heeded daily.

  1. KNOW – you have been crucified with Christ, dead to sin, alive to God
  2. COUNT – this to be true and act on the fact in your life
  3. OFFER – yourselves to God to be used by him in his story, for his glory

God bless us with his living and powerful message.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 05 / 2017
  • Comments Off on That is why I’m so eager to Preach the Gospel (Romans 1:8-15)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

That is why I’m so eager to Preach the Gospel (Romans 1:8-15)

Download Notes in a .MD file

That is why I am so eager to preach…

Romans 1:8-15 (Pastor Heo)

Welcome to new people, especially students. And welcome to Korea.

Acts 17:26 “From one man, God made all the nations that they should inherit the whole earth and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands…”

Today, the population of the world is around 7 billion (did you count?). From one man, God created all men.

Welcome in the name of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. 11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. 14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 **That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel** also to you who are in Rome [Jeonju].


Today is the third time to study Romans.

  1. Our identity in Christ (slaves of Christ) – this means “apostles sent by Christ into this world as his ambassadors with a great commission = we are set apart, sanctified, and ordained to preach the gospel”
  2. The core message of the gospel = Jesus’ substitutionary death and resurrection – Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again for our lives – to forgive our sins and grant us eternal life
  3. Today: 5 keywords that are related to the gospel – for/because of the gospel
    1. Thanksgiving (thankfulness)
    2. Prayer
    3. Love
    4. Fruit
    5. Debt (I don’t like this – so it’s difficult to pronounce)

All these 5 words are related to the gospel.

#1 Thankfulness (v. 8)

8 First, I **thank** my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

This is a vital characteristic in the Christian life. It measures the degree of our spiritual and mental development.

  • 1 Thess 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
  • Psalm 104 “Enter the gate of God with thanksgiving and praise”

Yes, we know this is actually very easy to give thanks for what we WANT: success, health, money. But the Bible says, “Give thanks in ALL circumstances” (i.e. even the HARD things). How is this possible?

2 Keys:

  1. Assurance of salvation – if we have this, we can definitely give thanks in ALL situations. Salvation means “guarantee of the best” – even the worst of this world = the entrance to the BEST of God in the world to come.
  2. If we trust God and believe in his attributes: “good all the time, faithfulness to heaven” – then, yes, we can give thanks in all circumstances (“We know that in all things, God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes” – Romans 8).

Paul gives thanks to God simply because he hears the news that is scattered, that the gospel is working among them. Actually, at that time, Paul had never been to Rome, and the church had not been planted. Most of the Christians were unknown to him in Rome. Personally, he had NO relationship with them personally. But he gave thanks to God because the gospel was working among them. This thankfulness is pure and acceptable to God.

May God bless all of us to be people of thanksgiving to the good / benefit of others.

#2: Prayer

If you pray? For what do you pray? (For ALL = correct answer)

9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

They did not know of Paul’s prayer support – but God knew it and honored it. I wonder how many of us know of the people who pray for us. I wonder how many of us pray for others who do not know we pray for them.

Personally, I do not know how many pray for me. But I know there are some or many who pray for me. Honestly, I need your prayer support and we need each other’s prayer support.

Then, for what do we pray? 2 Supporters:

  1. Holy Spirit
  2. Jesus Christ

Romans 8:26 “In this way, the HS helps us in our weaknesses, and though we don’t know what to pray for, the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Also, at the same time, Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of God.

Romans 8:40? “Yes, Jesus is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us. So, Christ is able to save completely all those who come to him…”

Paul’s prayer request #1 is “to preach the gospel”.

You have prayer requests, right? What is your #1 request? These can change. For example: “I pray for a better job.” If answered, then I will change my request.

Yet, in the Christian life, there is ONE overarching prayer request: “to preach the gospel.”

Yes, we may pray for daily things in our lives: bread to eat, clothes to wear, success, etc.

But ONE thing we should NOT miss = to pray for World Salvation, World Evangelization, World Mission.

We know how Paul suffered, simply because of the gospel, Paul received much suffering (40 lashes minus 1 twice), he was stoned, shipwrecked, danger from Jews, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, mountain, country, desert, many sleepless nights, days without food, without clothes, etc. Why? The gospel.

Simply because of the gospel, he was imprisoned. Imagine this. If I write a prayer letter with requests to my brothers and sisters outside of prison, I would write: “Please, pray for my release as soon as possible.” But Paul wrote: “Please, pray for me to ALWAYS preach the gospel fearlessly.”

Amazing Prayer request:

Ephesians 6:19-20 (personal prayer request)

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Wow. What a prayer request. Remember, prayer is not merely preparation for some great work. This is also a great work. Remember, when we pray, GOD WORKS. Yes, talking to man is a great job, but also, talking to God FOR OTHERS is a great job.

God bless us all to be great people of prayer for others’ salvation.

#3: Love

Do you love?

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Paul says: “I long to see you. I long to preach to you, to make you strong, to be blessed by blessing you. I long to bless you.” This is the loving heart (pastoral heart) of the Lord in Paul. It is an affectionate heart.

Yes, LOVE is the Greatest commandment.

  • Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength. And love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Is this possible?
  • Jesus says: “Love your neighbor as yourself?” Is this possible? Amen. If so, you are great.

Paul says, (1 Cor 13):

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

This love is agape love, unfailing love, sacrificial love. No one can love their neighbor like this, yet the Bible demands it.

  • Love is sharing
  • Love is giving

Bible asks us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we have no power. God has provided one solution in which we can fulfill this divine love: By preaching the gospel. Why? Because in the gospel message is the FULL love of God. In this gospel, we can get the Best of the Best, salvation, eternal life, heirs / children of God, reconciliation with God, real joy/peace/freedom/victory, final glory.

All of this is found in the gospel. That’s why sharing the gospel is the great commission.

  • Love is the greatest commandment.
  • Gospel is the greatest commission.

These two ALWAYS go hand-in-hand. They are inseparable.

#4: Fruit

Do you have fruit?

13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

The fruit Paul desires to bear = winning souls to Christ by preaching the gospel. Yes, fruit is very important.

  1. Do you have fruit as a Christian?
  2. If we have fruit, what kind of fruit do you have as a Christian?

Fruit is essential to SHOW that “I’m alive” and “I’m growing” and to show who I am (what kind of person), also necessary to receive reward – also that “I’m producing seed for the next generation without stop”. If there is no fruit for the next generation, then that is the end.

Non-living things have no fruit, no matter how huge and fantastic they look. If we have life (Jesus’ life), then it is very natural for us to produce fruit. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit” (Jesus). “By their fruit, you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit… good trees cannot bear bad fruit… every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Also we are to be recognized by our fruit. So, what fruit should we bear?

There is only one kind.

Yes, we can produce much fruit, but there is only ONE kind on a tree.

  • Apple trees only produce apples.
  • Banana trees only produce bananas.
  • Mango trees = mangoes.
  • Coconut trees = coconuts.
  • Cats = cats.
  • Dogs = dogs.
  • Tigers = tigers.
  • Lions = lions.
  • Humans = humans.
  • Christians = Christians. New Christians. Another Christian who also has the ability to reproduce another Christian.
  • Fruit of non-Christian = non-Christians.

That’s why Paul says, “13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.”

#5: Debt

Do you have experience with debt? If you do not pay it back, you must go to jail.

14 I am obligated [a debtor] both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

If we are born again Christians, we are debtors of the gospel. – We owe a debt we cannot pay back. – But Christ paid the debt he did not owe.

Are you Christians?

  • We are debtors of the gospel to the Father God who so loved us he sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.
  • We are debtors to Christ who died for us and rose again to pay the penalty for our sin
  • We are debtors to the Holy Spirit who touched our hearts and opened our eyes to see and receive Jesus as our Savior
  • We are debtors to the people who helped lead us to Christ

So, HOW can we repay these large debts?

Only by preaching the gospel to others.

Paul says, “When I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, because I am compelled to preach the gospel. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.”

On our part, preaching the gospel = repayment. But God counts this as a GREAT reward – the greatest reward in this life.

Conclusion:

God bless all of us so that we may become:

  1. People of thanksgiving for the gospel
  2. People of prayer through the message of the gospel
  3. People of love through preaching the gospel
  4. People of fruit through preaching the gospel
  5. People of (repayment of) debt by preaching the gospel

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 22 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Four Kinds of Soil (Matthew 13:1-23)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Four Kinds of Soil (Matthew 13:1-23)

06.22

06.22.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Four Kinds of Soil
Matthew 13:1-23 (Pastor Heo)

The Parable of the Sower
13:1-15pp — Mk 4:1-12; Lk 8:4-10 13:16,17pp — Lk 10:23,24 13:18-23pp — Mk 4:13-20; Lk 8:11-15

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”


God bless you with his Word. Your family, community, schools, offices, through you.

First two verses: “That same day, Jesus went out and sat by the seashore…

He went out in a boat to preach.

This is a very important chapter in the gospels. It shows a definite turning point in Jesus’ ministry.

At first, he was teaching in the synagogues. But now, he is teaching outside. This shows that the synagogues were closed/opposed to him – doing their best to find a charge against him – to turn anything he said or did into an accusation.

This is a supreme tragedy that Jesus was banished from the church of his day. John: “He was in this world, but the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1)

Maybe even today this could happen.

But that didn’t stop him from bringing his message of salvation to the people. He preached in the temple of Open Air, on the street, on the beach. A man with a real message – a real heart to deliver it – he will always find a way to deliver it.

The Kingdom of God is the focus here (and the focus of the book of Matthew). In this whole chapter (13) there are 7 parables about the Kingdom of God. Today, just one – the sower and seed. Next time, 3 more about weeds, then the mustard seed, then yeast and leaven, then the end time prophecies about the field and treasure, etc. So this chapter is the chapter of prophecy of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Parables: very important. What are they? Why did he teach in parables? What are the characteristics?

  • WHAT: Greek: parabole = to place aside, to cast alongside – a story/comparison/illustration. Biblically, a short earthly story with a heavenly meaning – using everyday objects to explain heavenly truth.
  • WHY: the laziness of the people at that time. Also because of the Psalm 78:2 prophecy “I will open my mouth and utter things that are hidden – things of old…” – it was written and prophecied that he would teach in prophesies.
  • CHARACTERISTICS: Makes abstract ideas concrete. Most people think in visible pictures. For example, who can explain beauty or goodness without a story? But if we SHOW something with those characteristics, we can clearly understand.

All great lessons start from the Here and Now to get to the There and Then. Jesus wanted to speak spiritual fact directly, but humans would never understand – because we have no experience of these things in real life (no one died and lived to tell of it…). So, Jesus uses what we KNOW, the world and earthly things to teach of heavenly truths.

Parables help us think over these things. We must discover the truth for ourselves. Unless we discover it for ourselves, we will forget it quickly and it will be useless.

That’s why Jesus teaches heavenly truth through material things.

Today: A farmer

Four kinds of soil:

  1. Roadside (hard – can’t get under the ground – birds come and eat it)
  2. Rocks (shallow – no root – easy to spring up, but also dies quickly)
  3. Thorns (choke out the plants as they grow up together)
  4. Good soil (100x, 60x, 30x what was sown – produced abundantly)

Jesus then explains the direct meaning of each: (18-23)

  1. Road – hear but don’t understand – Satan snatches it away
  2. Rocks – received the Word with joy BUT lacking a root, he falls away
  3. Thorns – hears but worries about money and life so that he loses focus
  4. Good soil – hears and understands – becomes fruitful

In this story, the seed = the Word of God. Like the seed, the Word of God has life and power in it = transforming, creating power, and future fruit.

The soil = our hearts in front of the Word of God.

4 soils = 4 hearts

Outwardly, we all look the same, but even among us in this room today, there may be 4 kinds of hearts today. Please, be honest before God, personally, privately. What kind of heart do I have?

4 hearts, 4 hearers, 4 listeners = which are you?

During listening, examine yourselves – don’t ask your neighbor. Even though we worship God together, we also are worshipping God personally, individually.

#1: Hearer with a shut/closed mind.

If both doors in this room are closed, no one can enter this room. If the mind is closed (prejudice, pride, arrogance, sinful lifestyle, immoral character), anything we do not like to receive make us blind and shut. The Word of God may condemn what we like, and reveal what we do as sinful.

If we reject/refuse to receive the Word/Truth of God, it means our hearts are shut. If you shut your heart, even Jesus cannot enter into our hearts. He’s a gentleman. “Here I am, I stand at the door and knock…” Revelation 3?

#2: Shallow Mind.

He fails to think things out and think them through. Some people just follow blindly along with all the trends – new fashion, new electronics. They are constantly STARTING but never FINISHING. When they meet problems and hardships, they quickly give up. Even if they start new things with JOY they never finish them… It is good to receive God’s Word with emotion and action – but remember, we cannot live with God’s Word on EMOTION alone – you also need ACTION and COMMITMENT POWER. Christianity has demands that must be faced before it can truly be received. Yes, it’s a great blessing, but before that, also a great responsibility.

#3: The divided/distracted mind. 

He has so many interests so that he misses out on the most important thing. Yes, these days everything is faster and more distracting: travel, food, information, results. Are you too busy to pray? Too busy to study the Word of God? Yes, we may not do bad things, we may do good things – but remember one of Satan’s biggest strategies is to keep us distracted with the 2nd and 3rd best. Remember, the 2nd best is the worst enemy of the BEST.

In your personal priorities, where is Jesus? If he is #2~ it means Jesus is not in you. In each person’s life, Jesus is either #1 or #0 (gone). Why? He’s the Lord, God, King, Creator.

#4: Good heart.

This soil/heart is open, soft, clean, deep.

In the reception of the Word of God, there are 4 stages.

#1: Open:

He is willing to receive the Word – ready and prepared to hear and understand. He has sought many things and knows how this applies. He hears and understands and produces fruit.

  1. Hear
  2. Understand
  3. Practice
  4. Produce fruit

Without PRACTICE…no fruit.

I know about the piano, I know the history, I know the keys, but I cannot play because I never practiced. Without practice, no fruit. This is not theory, but practice. “Everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…” Matthew 7?

Fruit is the test of true salvation. “A tree will be recognized by its fruit. A good tree will bear good fruit, a bad tree will bear bad fruit.” Fruit is winning others to Christ, sharing with others, the evidence of remaining in Christ. “If a man remains in me, he will bear much fruit…”

This parable has a double-impact/meaning for us.

  1. Before the Word of God, we are hearers.
  2. Before the world outside, we are preachers (sowers).

Remember, it is impossible to be a bad hearer and a good preacher. Only a good hearer can be a good hearer.

No farmer/sower expects every single seed he sows to germinate and bear fruit. Yes, he knows very well that some seeds will be lost, blown away. Yet, he never stops sowing – he keeps going. Even though some is wasted, yet, harvest is coming.

We must be sure: The harvest is certain.

To sow is our job. To make it grow is God’s job, not our job. Paul (a great farmer): “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (Col? Eph?)

When sowing, we must not look for a quick result. This is not natural. We must WAIT for the harvest. WAIT for the seed to take root.

In nature, it takes a HUGE time for an acorn to take root and produce a huge tree. It may also take much time for the Word of God to take root in man – even if the seed was sown in his heart in childhood, it may not take root until long into his adulthood when it saves him.

This generation looks for a quick result, but we must sow (preach) with assurance, confidence, patience, perseverance – knowing that the Harvest is coming – the End is coming soon. This End is not the end, this End is the new starting point for all eternity.

God bless us with his Word. We are not only hearers, but also preachers (sowers) of the Word.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 27 / 2013
  • Comments Off on We Must Choose Only One, Not Two! (Matthew 7:13-29)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We Must Choose Only One, Not Two! (Matthew 7:13-29)

10.27

10.27.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 

26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.


This is the Sermon on the Mount – of our Lord Jesus Christ directly. This is a wonderful, yet shocking sermon.

This morning, we are in the closing time of the Sermon on the Mount. In this chapter 7, in finishing, Jesus discusses JUDGMENT. (Also, last time we saw judgment in verse 1).

  1. Our judgment of ourselves
  2. Our judgment of others
  3. God’s judgment of us

In every action of life, we have a choice. We cannot escape choice. We cannot stand still. 

In daily lives, from waking to sleeping, we continually choose one thing out of multiple things. What to do, not to do, where to go, who to meet, what to eat. We continually choose one. So, we must take only one way. We cannot take two ways at once.

One common thing this morning – all of us have CHOSEN to attend this service. Those not with us have CHOSEN other things.

Deuteronomy = the farewell sermon of Moses to the people (30:15) “Now, see, I put before you life and prosperity and death and destruction. Choose one. If you follow the Lord, you will live and increase. But, if you turn away, you will surely be ruined. This is the time you must choose. Choose life so that you and your children may live.”

Joshua also gave a similar challenge when his time was near (24:15) “Now, choose for yourselves whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

In today’s story, there are two very contrasting things. 

  1. Two different gates/ways
  2. Two different trees
  3. Two different builders/houses

These are 3 different (and yet the same) stories (from different angles).

#1: The Two Gates (v. 13-14)

To our sadness, only a few find the narrow gate toward eternal life. 

  • The broad gate = attractive, well-known, popular – many walk through this gate. But the final terminal destination of this subway line = hell, distress, regret, sadness.
  • The narrow gate = difficult, lonely, long – only a few find this way. But the final terminal destination of this subway line = heaven, God’s glory, eternal life/happiness.

There is no third way. Only two ways. Choose one. You cannot go both ways at the same time. Can you right foot go to Seoul and left foot to Busan? Impossible. Check yourselves. Which way are you walking on? Be honest (not before men, but before God), which way am I walking?

On Earth, democracy, the majority decision is a very wonderful, powerful thing. It looks right while the minority looks wrong. But, remember, IF truth depends on a minority or a majority, it is not an ORIGINAL truth. TRUE truth must be true regardless of popular opinion. 

If there is a hell and everyone thinks there isn’t, there is. 

Listen carefully to this way to eternal life. I cannot force your choice, the choice is yours. Just listen carefully and choose.

3 Things about this way to eternal life:

#1: Narrow and small = no space, no room

Last year, I and my wife moved. We moved much furniture and gave away much furniture – not because I was generous, but because I had no space, no extra room.

This way to heaven is so small and narrow that there is no extra space to carry other things.

We CANNOT carry the baggage of worldliness, sins, etc. We cannot carry the things that heaven does not like. 

If I want to visit Philip’s house, I cannot bring something he doesn’t like. Remember, we cannot bring the baggage/luggage of sins and worldliness.

  • Hebrews 12:1 “Let us throw off everything that hinders and so easily entangles. But let us run with perseverance the race before us.”
  • 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 

Are you walking this way? We must remove and drop the baggage of sin and worldliness.

#2: Narrow and small = it’s hard, difficult, lonely

The test is = Did your profession of faith in Christ cost you anything? 

Last Sunday, we dedicated baby Tristan. At that time, I learned much from his story. We are still now expecting many babies.

All babies actually pay NOTHING to parents to get life. No baby paid the price to get his life because life’s price = priceless. Tristan got a beautiful life because of the lovely job of his parents. But sometime later, when he recognizes his parents – who they are, what they’ve done for him – he will do something GREAT for them. 

Likewise, this is salvation. To be born again, we paid NOTHING. Jesus Paid It All. Eternal life’s price = doubly priceless. But if we are truly saved, we will pay all we have for that salvation.

Luke 9:23 “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow me.”

  • “The kingdom of heaven is like a field – a man sold all he had and purchased it.”
  • “The kingdom of heaven is like a fine purse – a man sold all he had and purchased it.”

Likewise, this is salvation and eternal life.

But true discipleship demands servanthood, sacrifice. Sometimes true Christians must give up a lot – ALL we have – to follow Christ. Sometimes we receive harsh treatment, suffering, torture, even death. But through all of it, we have Christ – he is with us hour by hour through all of it. (This is the secret of the Christian’s joy in adversity.)

If you have Christ, what did you pay for Christ?

#3: Narrow and small = only ONE way

There are no two options, this is entirely exclusive. This way is Jesus Christ alone. 

  • “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • “I am the Gate for the sheep. Those who came before me were robbers and the sheep didn’t listen to them. Whoever comes to me will come in and go out and find pasture.”

If you believe Jesus is “A” way to eternal life – as well as some other ways – you will not find the path to life. Jesus is the ONLY way.

Next, fruit and builders.

(v. 15-20)

The next test/question = Did your decision for Christ change your life? Your attitudes, actions, values? 

The two trees show the true faith in Christ and produce fruit for the glory of God. In nature, everything reproduces according to its kind.

John _:9 “I am the Vine and you are the Branches…if anyone remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit…but if anyone does not remain in me…those branches are picked up and thrown into the fire…You didn’t choose me, I chose you – to go and bear much fruit.”

  • Fruit of apple trees = apples.
  • Fruit of Christians = other Christians.
  • The fruit of the Spirit = love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control

About the two builders. 

We are builders of our own house:

(v. 21-29)

“Practice” (v.26) makes perfect.

In this story, Jesus shows us the truth (spiritually) with these pictures.

  1. Two ways = the start of the life of faith
  2. Two trees = the growth of faith (in here)
  3. Two builders = the END of the life of faith when God calls everyone to the final judgment. 

Remember, in this final judgment, what is REALLY important is not (1) what we think of us, nor (2) what others think of us, BUT (3) What GOD thinks of us. 

What should we prepare?

Answer is simple: DO/OBEY God’s Word

  • The doing is not simple.
  • The test (at the end) is not oral, not written, not multiple-choice, not essay, not memorizing Bible verses or songs. 
  • The test is to OBEY the Word of God.

If we are truly saved, we have the Spirit of God living IN us – he enables and empowers us to know his will, do his will, and serve others.

  • We are definitely saved by FAITH, not works. 
  • BUT having a saving faith WITHOUT works is impossible. 

James “So a body without (breath) is dead, so is faith without works DEAD.”

DOING stuff for God is great and can be divinely inspired, but that’s not enough. We cannot stop with just hearing the Word of God, “be doers” “don’t deceive yourselves” (James).

There are two houses built on the rock and built on the sand. Both look fine outwardly. BUT, when the judgment of the heavy rain – typhoon – comes, the house built on sand will be destroyed totally with a great crash. But the house built on the rock will stand firmly. 

What is the difference? 

It’s not the exterior. It’s the foundation. Under the ground. This is the obedience to the will of God through the Word of Jesus Christ. This is the stone upon which we must build our house.

(v. 28-29)

“The crowds were amazed!”

Are you amazed?

After his resurrection, “All authority and on earth has been given to me.” 

  • Human preachers preach FROM divine authority.
  • Jesus preaches WITH divine authority.

If you hear the voice of Jesus who is holding ALL authority, we should submit, surrender, bow down and obey him and his will – otherwise we will be destroyed.

He is the Gate, He is the Way to life, He is the Tree to cling to, He is the Rock to build on. 

Acts 2:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

That name is Jesus Christ. 

Let’s pray.

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