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  • Oct 18 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God, Who Remembers Me (Genesis 8:1-5)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

God, Who Remembers Me (Genesis 8:1-5)

Tithes and Offerings

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

God who remembers me

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. 2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

Genesis 8:1~5

0. A story

There once was a bird coming to the window of a house at the same time every day.

But everyday as the bird flew toward the window, it always bashed its head on the window.

This behavior continued repeatedly, day after day. People looking outside wondered why the bird did that. The other windows were open, so it didn’t seem like the bird was trying to get into the house.

So, eventually, people just concluded that the bird was stupid.

But then one day, someone began to closely observe the bird’s strange behavior.

After a while, he went home laughing loudly.

Under the window were scores of dead worms and bugs!!

The reason for the bird’s head bashing? It was after the bugs under the window. It was eating them day after day, and enjoying a feast!

As you can see from this story, there are times when we also do not see or understand certain phenomena properly. Sometimes we can’t even understand our own lives. Whenever that happens to you, dig into the Bible, closely observe God’s word as the man closely observed the bird, and pray sincerely. Then God, who created us, will open our eyes and our hearts to help solve our questions and problems at the right time, in his time.

I hope that we will all meet God through the Bible today.

1. Self-consciousness (Perception of God)

Everyone thinks of themselves as special.

People want to discover their talents and live independently.

In fact, the adage “know thyself” is widely circulated in the world today and has inspired countless philosophers over the centuries. 

<It was originally engraved on the front of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece, and was later adopted by both philosophers Socrates and Plato, who grappled with the mysterious nature of knowledge and identity.> – (maybe not necessary, but interesting)

So, we try various things to find our “true selves.”

We meditate, take aptitude tests, or challenge ourselves to do new things.

But what is truly the best way to find “my true self”?

[Sally Anne Test]

The following is a psychological test that is often used in developmental psychology to measure a person’s cognitive ability to assign false beliefs to others. This is called the “Sally-Anne Test”.

Situation: Two girls, named Sally and Anne are in a room together. Sally has a basket, and Anne has a box. They are playing with a ball together.

At one point, Sally needs to go to the bathroom, so she leaves the room and puts the ball in her basket.

After Sally has left the room, Anne pulls the ball from Sally’s basket and puts it in her box.

After a while, Sally returns to the room.

Question: Where will Sally first look for the ball?           … In her basket? or Anne’s box?

The answer is, of course, her own basket, where she left it!

But to solve this problem, you need the ability to think from someone else’s point of view.

This is the amazing ability that God has given to people.

We hear this story and know that the ball actually sits in Anne’s box.

But the correct answer to the question can only be given if we understand Sally’s point of view. “She’ll look in her basket to find the ball.”

Usually, young children under the age of four, and up to 80% of autistic adults don’t have the ability to distinguish between their own point of view and Sally’s. They say, ‘Sally will look in the box’ (Anne’s box) when they answer this question because they know that the ball is in fact in the box.

What’s interesting to note is that when children turn five years old, they begin developing the ability to understand the perspectives of others. That’s when the child begins to have a clear sense of self.

In fact, when we have a clear sense of self, other people and I become like two sides of the same coin. On one side, “You are separate from me,” and on the other, “I am separate from you.” Psychologically speaking, when we understand the perspectives of others, we begin to realize who we truly are.

But biblically speaking, if you really want to know who you are, then you have to read the Bible.

You see, there are many other people in the Bible that are different from me, and their stories are about how they lived with God. When we read their stories, we can try to see things from their perspectives to understand their feelings and experiences. By doing so, we can try to understand the heart of God toward them in their various situations. Then, when we can see how God provides for, interacts with, disciplines, and blesses the people in the Bible, and when we can understand why and how they respond to God, we will better understand our true selves.

2. Dark Night of the Soul (The time God is working)

A dark night of the soul comes at one point or another to everyone in life, whether you are a Christian or not.

Noah provides an example of this. He lived in the darkness of the ark, while overhead dark skies rained a seemingly endless torrent of rain, and outside, dark waters raged and swept the ark from side to side over a vast sea that spanned the whole earth. In the midst of such external darkness, and the uncertainty of how long it would last and when it might end, he certainly experienced a darkness in his soul as well.

Just like the flood that Noah had to endure, sometimes we also must endure huge problems in our lives that we can not solve on our own.

When these problems overwhelm us with darkness and threaten to swallow us and steal our confidence, we may shrink and lose the courage to go out into the world.

Sometimes, the darkness we experience may seem endless. Sometimes the darkness we experience may cause us to lose all hope, motivation, and meaning in life. Sometimes, the darkness we experience may threaten to swallow and erase all our good memories from our previous life. In this eternal darkness, how can we endure? How can we survive? How can we overcome? How can we even return to the land of the living again? In the same way that Noah did, with a word from God.

Noah was able to endure through his dark days, by believing in the promise that God had made to him <in Genesis 6:17-18>, where he promised to establish his covenant with Noah and save his life and the lives of his whole family. Noah held onto this promise of God and believed, even though the frustrating ark life seemed to be without end.

Genesis 8:1-2

1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.

God remembered Noah’s faithfulness every day he endured life on the ark.

But because Noah remained at all times inside the ark, he was unable to feel any change in his situation that might overcome his darkness.

So, every day of Noah’s life during this period was the same. Each day became a repeat of the day before – a day in darkness, without sunlight, without hope, in a raging sea with no end in sight. <Perhaps his emotional state also deteriorated, spiraling further and further downward into mental despair and distress.>

But then! God remembered Noah and began working to solve his problem! The rain stopped falling day and night, the sea calmed down, the sun came out, and the waters began receding! Noah’s endless night had finally turned to dawn as God’s glorious day arrived!

Do you believe God works for us like this?

In fact, God is still working for us like this!!

3. The prime of life (the moment of accompanying God)

Everyone has a dark time in life.

But on the other hand, everyone also lives with the hope that they will one day experience the prime of their lives. The prime of life can be considered the pinnacle, or peak of one’s existence – the time of the greatest success or achievement.

So when is the prime of one’s life?

In the ark, Noah believed that God was working for him, and lived faithfully doing what he could. When the time of God’s judgment was over, Noah escaped from the ark and offered God a great sacrifice of joy.

Was not the prime of Noah’s life when he escaped from the ark? Was not this exit from his confinement and subsequent new life his pinnacle achievement?

What do you think?

You see, when we think of Noah, his exit from the ark is not the most important image that comes to mind. In fact, we remember Noah for many more deeds that provide us with much more powerful images.

The image of Noah working hard to make an ark, obeying God’s command.

The Image of Noah taking countless animals into the ark to escape floods.

The Image of Noah sending pigeons out of the ark to look at the outside situation…

That’s right! The times when Noah obeyed God’s commands and accompanied God were truly the pinnacle and prime of his life!

But when Noah looked back on his life, he would probably not consider life in a dark ark to be his prime. In fact, he would probably remember it as stifling and depressing. But when he accompanied God, especially into the ark, his story became one of the best, most powerful, and impressive stories in the whole Bible! It certainly was the pinnacle story of his life!

Consider J.K. Rowling, the famed Harry Potter novelist. When was the pinnacle of her life?

Was it when Harry Potter was published and made her a huge fortune as a bestseller?

No!

It was when she was sitting down every day at a small desk, in a quiet room, where no one paid her any mind, writing the Harry Potter series manuscript. That was the pinnacle of her life, when she was able to maximize her imagination!

So now, is your life drowning in darkness? Does it feel halted completely? Or are you feeling desperate?

<Jesus>

Consider Jesus. The end of his life was also drowning in darkness. His 3-year ministry was seemingly halted completely, and his disciples were feeling truly desperate. 

At the end of his life, Jesus was sentenced to die the most horrible, excruciating death ever invented by mankind. He was wrongfully accused, an innocent man, and the people laughed at him and mocked him. The guards spit upon him, beat him, and nailed him to the cross.

From outward appearances, this dark time should have been the greatest failure in Jesus’ life, a disgraceful humiliation to end his ministry. But it was not. In fact, this dark time was his greatest triumph, the pinnacle of his life!

It was on the cross that Jesus’ completely fulfilled the mission that God had called him to. He died on the cross for sin, our sins, an innocent man taking our place in death. But God raised him to life again, restoring his relationship to God. And if we put our faith in him, he will do the same for us, forgiving our sin and restoring us to a right relationship with God as well. 

</Jesus>

Believe in God who always remembers you, even in your darkest times and still works for you! Just as God did not forget Noah in the ark, nor Jesus on the cross, God has never forgotten you, nor will he ever forget! The attention of God, the master and creator of the whole world, is focused on you! Because you are his precious child that he loves. He loved you enough to send his own son to die in your place, exchanging your sin for his righteousness.

The prime of your life will begin from the moment you begin to accompany God!

It is a great blessing to be able to meet God through our problems, in the middle of our troubles and darkness.

I hope we become people who don’t miss that blessing!!


<나를 기억하시는 하나님>

창세기 8장 1~5절

0. 이야기

어떤 집의 창가에 날마다 같은 시간에 찾아 오는 새 한 마리가 있었습니다. 

그런데 그 새는 끊임 없이 유리창에 자신의 머리를 부딪치는 것을 반복했습니다.

그 새는 매일 날아와서 같은 행동을 반복했습니다.

사람들은 그 새가 왜 그런 행동을 하는지 궁금했습니다.

다른 창문들은 열려 있었기 때문에, 새가 집에 들어가려고 하는 것 같지는 않았습니다.

결국 사람들은 그 새가 멍청하다는 결론을 내렸습니다.

그러던 어느 날이었습니다.

그 새의 그런 행동을 이상하게 여긴 누군가가 그를 자세히 관찰하기 시작했습니다.

얼마 후, 그는 크게 웃으며 집으로 돌아갔습니다.

그 창문 아래에는 죽은 벌레가 가득 붙어 있었습니다.

이 새는 매일매일 벌레를 맛있게 먹었던 것 입니다.

이 이야기에서 알 수 있듯이, 우리 또한 현상을 바르게 보지 못할 때가 있습니다.

우리가 때로는 우리의 삶을 이해할 수 없을 수도 있습니다.

그럴 때 마다 성경을 보고 기도하십시오.

우리를 창조하신 하나님께서 가장 좋은 시기에 우리의 궁금증을 해결해 주실 것입니다.

그가 우리의 문제를 해결해 주실 것입니다.

오늘도 우리가 말씀을 통해 하나님을 만나기를 소망합니다.

  1. 자아 의식(하나님 의식)

사람은 누구나 자신을 특별하게 생각합니다.

사람은 자신이 가진 재능을 발견하여, 주체적으로 살아가기를 원합니다.

사람들은 스스로의 진정한 모습을 찾기 위해 다양한 것들을 시도합니다.

그들은 명상을 하거나, 적성 검사를 받거나, 새로운 일에 도전해 보기도 합니다.

나의 진정한 모습을 찾는 가장 좋은 방법은 무엇일까요?

여기에 도움이 되는 “샐리 앤 테스트”가 있습니다.

1. 샐리와 앤이 방에서 공을 가지고 놀고 있었습니다

2. 샐리는 화장실에 가고 싶어서, 공을 바구니에 넣고 방을 나갔습니다

3. 샐리가 방을 나가자, 앤은 바구니 속에 있던 공을 꺼내 옆에 있는 상자에 넣었습니다

4. 잠시 후, 샐리가 다시 방에 들어왔습니다.

샐리는 공을 찾기 위해 어디를 먼저 찾아봤을까요?

답은 물론 바구니 입니다.

그러나 이 문제를 풀기 위해서는 다른 사람의 입장에서 생각하는 능력이 필요합니다.

이것이 바로 하나님이 사람에게 주신 놀라운 능력입니다.

이 이야기를 들은 우리는 상자에 공이 있다는 사실을 알고 있습니다.

그래서 ‘샐리는 공을 찾기 위해 바구니를 살펴 볼것이다’라는 답은, 우리가 샐리의 입장에서 생각할 수 있어야만 가능한 것입니다.

보통 네 살 이하의 어린 아이들이 이 문제에 대해 ‘샐리는 상자를 살펴 볼 것이다’ 라고 대답합니다.

공이 상자에 있다는 사실을 자신이 알고 있기 때문입니다.

즉, 어린 아이에게는 자신의 관점과 샐리의 관점을 구별할 능력이 없는 것 입니다.

어린 아이 뿐만 아니라, 어른 중에서도 자폐증에 걸린 사람 중 80% 가량이 이 테스트에 제대로 답을 할 수 없습니다.

흥미로운 사실은 어린 아이가 다섯 살이 되면 다른 사람의 입장을 헤아릴 수 있는 능력이 생긴다는 것이다.

바로 이 때, 아이가 분명한 자아 의식을 갖게 된다는 것 입니다.

사실 다른 사람과 나는 동전의 양쪽 면과 같습니다.

“나와 구분되는 너”, “너와 구분되는 나”

다른 사람의 관점을 이해하는 순간, 우리는 진정한 나의 모습을 바라볼 수 있는 것입니다.

진정 내가 어떤 사람인지 알고 싶다면 성경을 읽어야 합니다.

성경에는 나와 다른 수 많은 사람들이 등장합니다.

그리고 그 사람들이 어떻게 하나님과 살아가는지에 대한 이야기들이 있습니다.

다른 사람들을 이해해 보려고 노력해 보십시요.

하나님의 마음을 이해해 보려고 노력해 보십시요.

그러면 당신이 그토록 찾고 싶었던, 진정한 당신의 모습을 깨닫게 될 것입니다.

  1. 인생의 암흑기(하나님이 일하시는 시기)

당신이 그리스도인이든 아니든 누구에게나 인생에서 어두운 시기가 찾아옵니다.

언제 끝날 지 모르는 홍수 때문에, 방주 안에서 살았던 노아처럼 말입니다.

노아가 만난 홍수처럼, 우리 인생에도 우리가 해결할 수 없는 거대한 문제가 찾아옵니다.

이 문제가 나와 내 자신감까지 삼켜버릴 때, 우리는 위축되어서 세상 밖으로 나갈 용기가 사라질 수도 있습니다.

이렇게 끝이 보이지 않는 어둠 속에서, 사람은 살아가는 의미를 잃어버리거나 아무런 의욕없이 살아갈 수도 있습니다.

노아는 시간이 지나도 줄어들지 않는 거대한 홍수 가운데서 어떻게 살아갈 수가 있었을까요? 

노아에게는 하나님의 말씀이 있었습니다. 

노아는 끝이 보이지 않는 답답한 방주 안 생활 속에서도, 하나님이 생명을 살리신다는 약속의 말씀을 믿으며 하루하루를 살아갈 수 있었던 것 입니다.

창세기 8장 1-2절 입니다.

하나님은 방주 안에서 하루하루를 성실히 살아가는 노아의 모습을 기억하고 계셨습니다.

노아는 방주 안에서만 살았기 때문에, 문제가 해결될 만한 어떠한 변화도 느끼지 못했습니다.

 그래서 노아의 하루는 큰 변화 없이 매일 매일이 비슷했습니다.

그러나 그때! 하나님께서는 노아를 기억하시고 그의 문제를 해결하고 계셨던 것입니다.

우리를 위해 일하고 계신 하나님을 믿으십니까?

하나님은 지금도 우리를 위해 일하고 계십니다!

  1. 인생의 전성기(하나님과 동행하는 순간)

사람은 누구나 인생의 어두운 때가 있습니다.

하지만 누구나 한편으로는, ‘언젠가는 나의 전성기가 올거야’라는 희망을 가지고 살아갑니다.

그렇다면 나의 인생의 전성기는 언제일까요?

노아는 방주 안 에서, 하나님이 자신을 위해 일하고 계시다는 것을 믿고, 자신이 할 수 있는 일을 하며 성실히 살았습니다.

하나님이 약속하신 때가 되자, 노아는 방주에서 벗어나 하나님께 기쁨의 제사를 드립니다.

노아가 방주 안에서 탈출한 지금이 노아의 전성기가 아닐까요?

그러나 우리가 노아를 생각했을 때, 가장 강력하게 떠오르는 이미지는 따로 있습니다.

‘하나님의 말씀을 듣고 노아가 땀을 흘리며 열심히 방주를 만드는 모습’

‘노아가 홍수를 피해 수 많은 동물들을 데리고 방주로 들어가는 모습’

‘밖을 확인하기 위해, 노아가 비둘기를 밖으로 날려보내는 모습’ 일 것 입니다.

그렇습니다. 

하나님의 말씀에 순종하며 하나님과 동행했던 그 때가, 바로 노아 인생의 전성기 였습니다!

노아가 스스로의 삶을 되돌아 보았을 때, 조용하고 평범했던 방주 안에서의 삶은 그의 전성기라 여기기 어려울 것입니다.

그러나 그가 하나님과 동행하였더니, 그의 이야기가 성경을 통해 우리에게 전해지고 감동을 주는 그의 최고의 전성기가 되어버린 것 입니다!

유명한 소설가, 조앤 롤링의 전성기는 언제였을까요?

해리포터가 출판되고 베스트 셀러가 되어 엄청난 돈을 벌었을 때?

아닙니다. 

그것은 아무도 그녀에게 관심을 갖지 않는 조용한 방 작은 책상에서, 그녀가 해리포터 시리즈 원고를 쓰고 있었을 때였습니다.

그 때가 그녀의 상상력을 최대로 발휘 할 수 있었던 그녀의 전성기 였습니다.

지금 당신의 삶이 어둡거나, 멈춰있거나, 절망적인가요?

나를 기억하시고 나를 위해 지금도 일하시는 하나님을 믿으십시요!

하나님은 한번도 당신을 잊으신 적이 없습니다.

온 세상의 주인이신 하나님의 관심은 오직 당신에게 집중되어 있습니다!

당신이 바로 하나님이 사랑하시는 소중한 자녀이기 때문입니다.

하나님과 동행하는 그 때부터 당신의 전성기가 시작될 것 입니다!

문제를 통해 하나님을 만날 수 있다는 것은 너무 큰 축복입니다.

그 축복을 놓치지 않는, 저와 여러분이 되길 소망합니다.

  • Oct 14 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Day 3/80 – Jacob builds an altar at Bethel
80 Day Bible Reading Plan, Grow

Day 3/80 – Jacob builds an altar at Bethel

As a ministry of Jeonju Antioch Church, AICF is following along with the main church’s 80-day Bible Reading Plan to close out 2020. Every day, follow along with the reading plan, a daily reflection, and meditation (writing in a spiritual journal) here on our website. We will be translating and using the main church’s plan from Korean to English here.

About the Reading

As most audio Bibles are an average of 75-hours in length, expect each daily reading to take between 45-60 minutes. For busy people who may not have time to sit down and read for that long, we will also provide links to audio versions, either on YouTube or elsewhere, that you can listen to throughout the day.


Day 3
Wednesday, October 14

Genesis 30-41

Jacob builds an altar at Bethel

1. Pray

Do not let us wander between faith and unbelief, but with strong and courageous faith, let us live by following the way, truth, and example of our faith.

2. Key verses

  • Genesis 35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”

3. Scripture Reading

Genesis 30-41

4. Reflection

The first step to returning to God is to change the direction of one’s life toward Him. The Bible calls this ‘conversion‘, or ‘repentance‘. In Hebrew, it is called ‘shuv‘ and it means ‘change of direction‘. In other words, ‘repentance‘ is changing the direction of your mind and heart. It means a holistic change that changes not only your direction but also your way of thinking. The direction of such change is a return to God, and it must include actions as well as consciousness.

5. Writing a spiritual journal

After reading today’s text, write down the will of God that you came to realize, the passage that moved you, or what you decided to do and how you want to put it into practice.

6. Check off today’s reading on the reading table

  • Oct 13 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Day 2/80 – God met Jacob at Bethel
80 Day Bible Reading Plan, Grow

Day 2/80 – God met Jacob at Bethel

As a ministry of Jeonju Antioch Church, AICF is following along with the main church’s 80-day Bible Reading Plan to close out 2020. Every day, follow along with the reading plan, a daily reflection, and meditation (writing in a spiritual journal) here on our website. We will be translating and using the main church’s plan from Korean to English here.

About the Reading

As most audio Bibles are an average of 75-hours in length, expect each daily reading to take between 45-60 minutes. For busy people who may not have time to sit down and read for that long, we will also provide links to audio versions, either on YouTube or elsewhere, that you can listen to throughout the day.


Day 2
Tuesday, October 13

Genesis 19-29

God met Jacob at Bethel

1. Pray

Let me yearn for you every day, O Lord, and meet you anew as you lead me in the Word and through prayer.

2. Key Verses

  • Genesis: 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

3. Scripture Reading

Genesis 19-29

4. Reflection

Jacob was an ordinary person with conditional faith. Despite God’s promise to protect him in Genesis 28:15, he accepted God’s promise conditionally in verse 21. He declared that “God will be my God if he protects me on my journey and I return to my father’s house in peace.” Jacob, who lived a self-centered life like this, is tried and tested through his life as that of a fugitive, or one on the run. Later, as a result of wrestling with God, he received a new name from God: ‘Israel’. Getting a new name in the Bible means that a person’s spiritual identity has changed.

5. Writing a spiritual journal

After reading today’s text, write down the will of God that you came to realize, the passage that moved you, or what you decided to do and how you want to put it into practice.

6. Check off today’s reading on the reading table

  • Oct 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Day 1/80 – God, Creator of Heaven and Earth
80 Day Bible Reading Plan, Grow

Day 1/80 – God, Creator of Heaven and Earth

As a ministry of Jeonju Antioch Church, AICF is following along with the main church’s 80-day Bible Reading Plan to close out 2020. Every day, follow along with the reading plan, a daily reflection, and meditation (writing in a spiritual journal) here on our website. We will be translating and using the main church’s plan from Korean to English here.

About the Reading

As most audio Bibles are an average of 75-hours in length, expect each daily reading to take between 45-60 minutes. For busy people who may not have time to sit down and read for that long, we will also provide links to audio versions, either on YouTube or elsewhere, that you can listen to throughout the day.


Day 1
Monday, October 12

Genesis 1-18

God, Creator of Heaven and Earth

1. Prayer

Almighty God, Master of life, who, in the beginning, created all things in the universe by hand, help us to live each day by exalting your name in the whole earth.

2. Key verses

  • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  • Genesis 1:27-28 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

3. Scripture Reading

Genesis 1-18

There are also MANY other options and translations available for listening if you do a quick Google Search.

4. Reflection

Are you convinced that you never evolved by chance? Many people believe in the theory of evolution as a scientifically proven absolute truth. We Christians must realize that the culture of this world is shaped by these evolutionary values, and we must firmly believe that the creation of ourselves and the universe were not a product of evolution, but by the design and providence of God. It leads us to the belief that the Master of life is God and that we exist in this world by God’s design and purpose.

5. Writing a spiritual journal

After reading today’s text, write down the will of God that you came to realize, the passage that moved you, or what you decided to do and how you want to put it into practice.

6. Check off today’s reading on the reading table

  • Sep 13 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Exodus: The Book of Redemption and Mission (1:1-22, 6:6, 19:5-6)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Exodus: The Book of Redemption and Mission (1:1-22, 6:6, 19:5-6)

09.13.2015-PHeo

Download Notes in a .RTF file (Korean notes below 한국어 밑에)

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  • Feb 15 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness (Matthew 19:1-12)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness (Matthew 19:1-12)

02.15

02.15.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, & Singleness

Matthew 19:1-12 (Pastor Heo)

Divorce

19:1-9pp — Mk 10:1-12

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”


 

Today’s topic is a very controversial issue.

Already, some time ago, the religious leaders, Jesus’ public enemies had attacked him with some Qs to ensnare Jesus. “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? Show us a sign from heaven.” But Jesus always prevailed.

Today, once again, they tried with the most controversial issue: Marriage and Divorce.

John the B had been in prison and killed because of his public opinion on this topic.

Even today, divorce continues to increase – the rate continues to climb. This even attacks the homes of Christian leaders.

“Today the couples are married ‘for better or for worse, but not for long.’”

This was a hot issue between 2 schools of rabbis.

  1. Rabbi Hilem? “A man could divorce his wife for ANY reason, even finding a younger, prettier woman.”
  2. “A man could divorce ONLY if his wife had been unfaithful to him.”

With this background, they attacked Jesus to ensnare him.

They are attacking Jesus based on the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 24:1-4: “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her, and sends her from his house. And if, after she is gone, she remarries, but her second husband also divorces her, or if he dies, then her first husband is not allowed to marry her again after she is defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord.”

Here’s the situation:

  1. If Jesus supports divorce, he upholds the Pharisee’s procedures – they doubted he would.
  2. If Jesus supports one of their positions, the other group would hate and attack him.
  3. If Jesus opposes divorce, they would accuse him of being against the Law of Moses.

Like this, we must seek to serve GOD and not our own wicked desires.

Jesus’ answer (v. 4-6) “Haven’t you read…?”

This implies that they haven’t read their own Scriptures with any understanding. They started their attack with Deuteronomy, but Jesus started his argument with Genesis – BEFORE their argument has any relevance.

Jesus revealed the original design and principle of God from Genesis 1, 2.

As you know, each day of Creation, there is the same comment: “God saw that it was good.” In the last part, it is repeated 7 times. And finally, “God saw that it was VERY good.”

In this story of Creation, there is only ONE time that God said, “hmm, it is NOT good.” This was when God saw that man was alone and he said, “Let me make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:25)

He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, he took a rib, and made a woman and he brought her to the man. He said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh – she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man. For this reason…” (Jesus’ reference).

The only thing that wasn’t good about Creation was the fact that man was alone. The woman was created to meet this need. The man needed a companion who was equal to him with whom he could find fulfillment.

Marriage makes possible the continuation of the race. God FIRST commandment was “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.” From the Beginning, it was God’s command that sex be practiced in the commitment of marriage. Outside of marriage, sex is a destructive force – more than any other sins.

1 Cor “Flee from sexual immorality – all other sins a man commits are outside his body, but a man who sins sexually, sins AGAINST his OWN body.”

  • Marriage is one way to escape sexual sins – fornication and adultery.
  • Marriage = a dedicated partnership between one man and one woman.

God’s work was not PERFECT until he made woman along with the rest of Creation.

Are you willing to keep this commitment that makes the two of you one? The goal in marriage should be more than friendship, more than fellowship, more than sex, more than kids, more than success, more than a partnership. The goal = ONENESS.

Marriage is a gift from God.

God gave Adam and Eve marriage as a gift. Marriage is not made by any human institutions. But as you know, a happy marriage is not automatic, not easy. It is the result of mutual commitment, sacrifice, understanding, patience.

At that time, Adam and Eve had no idea of divorce. Who else should they remarry?…

In this way, Jesus makes it clear: Once married = lifetime marriage.

But the Pharisees pushed him “Then why did Moses allow divorce?”

v. 7-9

Because human’s sinful nature made divorce inevitable, the Mosaic Law was given as a way to help/protect its victims – especially women and to minimize the abuses of divorce.

  • The Pharisees here say, “Moses COMMANDED divorce.”
  • Jesus says, “Moses PERMITTED divorce because of your stubbornness, hard-heartedness, stubbornness.”

In that day and in our day, marriage has fallen very far from God’s original intention.

Divorce is not good, but it is better than open adultery.

Then, the Pharisees were amazed and silenced and the disciples asked about singleness “Isn’t it much better not to marry?”

v. 10-12

In verse 12, Jesus makes it clear that each man and woman must consider God’s will about marriage. Some should not get married because of physical and emotional problems from birth. And some should not get married because of social responsibilities (in history, some people were castrated to serve the king and his harem – without any sexual desire or ability to produce offspring). Also, in church history, there are some who voluntarily give up marriage because they feel they can serve God more (Paul, Jesus).

Marriage is designed by God for all human beings GENERALLY.

But God does not make marriage a prerequisite for a fulfilled life for all people.

The decision to be single must not be forced by man – even parents, pastors, friends (consider Martin Luther). Singleness must be a choice only between the individual and God.

Marriage is used as an illustration of the intimate relationship between God and the church. Eph 5:32? “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about the church.”

Just as Eve was taken out of the side of Adam, so the church was born out of the death of Christ. Christ cares for the church just as husbands are to care for, nourish, encourage, build up, grow their wives.

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

Jesus is the author of this relationship between man and God. This is a life union. Col “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live…”

  • Col 3:3-4 “You died but your life is hidden with Jesus Christ in God. Jesus Christ who is your life appears and at that time we also will appear with him in glory.”

The union/life of Christ is the life of believers.

Also the union is a lifetime union – marriage is this way. But the union with Christ is eternal union – even in the afterlife. Marriage union = only for this lifetime.

Jesus says, “Our Father who has given you to me is greater than all. No one can snatch you out of my hand.”

In addition to this, Jesus is holding us all in his hand – his Almighty hand – which assures us that NO ONE (Satan, demons, death, life, depth, future, nor present, angels, height, nor any powers, nor anything else in all Creation can separate us from the love of Christ, our bridegroom (Romans 8:28-38?~)

Let us pray together.

  • Jan 03 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 7-9 (Bible-365.3): Rethinking Noah
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 7-9 (Bible-365.3): Rethinking Noah

Everybody knows the story of Noah and the ark and the flood. And everybody thinks they’ve got it down pat. It’s a story about a single good dude in a world filled with terrible, horrible, rotten bad dudes that saves the day for humanity and all of Creation. Right? Or is it? Let’s back-track a bit before jumping straight to the “lesson.”

The story of Noah actually begins in Genesis 6 and continues through the end of chapter 9. In the pre-story to Noah we learn that: Continue Reading

  • Jan 02 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 4-6 (Bible-365.2): Rethinking Cain
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 4-6 (Bible-365.2): Rethinking Cain

Genesis 4-6 introduces Cain and Abel, Noah, and Noah’s family tree back to Adam. These are the firsts we find in Genesis 4-6:

  1. The first live birth of a human child (Cain – 4:1)
  2. The first sacrifice/offering (4:3-4)
  3. The first murder (4:8)
  4. The first city (4:17)
  5. The first job specialization (4:19-22)
  6. The first family tree(s) (4:17-26 (Cain’s), 5:1-32 (Seth’s))

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  • Jan 01 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 1-3 (Bible-365.1): Rethinking Original Sin
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 1-3 (Bible-365.1): Rethinking Original Sin

I’ll use the following listing conventions for the daily Bible reading plan:
Book Chapters (Bible-365.Day#).

Genesis 1-3

This area is Scripture is a literal theological goldmine. Whole sermons, series, and books have been written on just these three chapters alone. Therefore, there is far too much to briefly mention in a short post below, so I’ll just pull out the most relevant bits that I’ve discovered over the years.

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  • Jan 01 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis – Book Overview
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis – Book Overview

Author: Moses
Date: 1450-1410 B.C. 

Genesis – in English – comes from the Greek word for “beginnings” or “origins.” The Hebrew name of this book is bere’ shit from the first words in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning…”

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