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  • Aug 23 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Jesus’ Healing Word (Matthew 8:5-13)
Pastor Brian, Sermons, Subject Studies

Jesus’ Healing Word (Matthew 8:5-13)

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Jesus Healing Word

Matthew 8:5-13 (Pastor Brian)

The Faith of the Centurion

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Jesus entered Capernaum Matthew 4:13 – that was where Jesus dwelt.

A Centurion (officer in the Roman army – leader of 100 men, part of the occupation of Israel – a Gentile, probably not very popular (many Jews hated the Romans for occupying Jerusalem)) – this man came to Jesus (a Jewish teacher and rabbi) for his servant (not himself).

Whenever the NT mentions a centurion, there is something to admire.


This one came to seek the help of Christ for his slave and uttered the remarks we see here.


At the crucifixion, another centurion observed the death of Jesus and said, “Truly this was the son of God.” Many had mocked him, but the centurion saw him utter his last words “Forgive them, for they don’t know what they do” and realized he was the Son of God.


Cornelius, another centurion, was a good man, able to minister to the poor, friendly with the Jews, and had a visitation from an angel and said, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up before God.”

We know that God also orchestrated things so that Peter was instructed to go to his house and show him more fully the way to salvation. He was the first Gentile to be baptized into the church at that time.


Another, involved with Paul – after he was arrested (falsely) for taking Greeks into the tabernacle. He was ordered to be flogged, but Paul confronted the centurion there about it, “Is it lawful to flog a Roman citizen?” The centurion stood up for him and those who were to flog him stepped back. So, Paul was spared due to his citizenship and the advice and counsel given by the centurion.


Acts 23, there are two centurions taking Paul (and protecting him) to the Governor Felix.


Another, Julius, in Acts 27:1-28 was responsible to take Paul to Rome. He acted capably and was interested in what Paul had to say, and he saved Paul from the hands of the soldiers in the hour of the shipwreck. They had planned to kill the prisoners, but the centurion had wanted to spare Paul.

So the centurions mentioned in the NT seem to be honorable and good men.

This one, came pleading for his servant who was very sick. It is interesting that he was so concerned for his slave. Under Roman law, the master could kill his slave, and it was expected that he would esp if the man could no longer work.

However, this centurion came entreating Jesus (pleading) for his slave.

Jesus immediately said, “I will go.”

This was against Jewish custom, for a Jew to enter a Gentile house (not against God’s law, but against custom). The centurion sensed this and said, “I’m not worthy.”

He realized it might have been awkward for Jesus – a Jew – to not want to enter a Gentile home (but of course, Jesus, wouldn’t feel that way). The centurion said, “Speak a word, and he will be healed.” He recognized the authority of Christ – believing that he could heal with his word, just as easily as with his touch (last time we looked at Jesus healing the leper with a touch – Matthew 8:1-4). In the case of the leper, he touched the untouchable. In this case, he speaks a word.

“Because I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me.”

He understood the military chain of command, the orders from above were to be obeyed without question. Jesus remarked elsewhere, “I do nothing of my own will, I do the will of my Father.” He also was obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So, the centurion recognized that Jesus was under authority, but also that Jesus HAD authority over nature, disease, sin.

The authority of God of disease, demons, and all else would flow through Christ.

v. 10-13, Jesus praised the centurion’s faith and healed the servant. He “marveled” (filled with wonder and astonishment) and said, “Truly, I have not found such great faith, even in Israel. Many will sit with Abraham and Isaac in the kingdom,… but the sons will be cast out…”

Jesus said, “Go, and it will be done as you have believed” and it was done that very hour.

This great faith, worthy of praise from Jesus was from the centurion – even more so than among the people of Israel.

“many from east to west” – this was a radical idea to the Jews – they thought that all Jews would be there, but no Gentiles. But Jesus corrects this misunderstanding. The Jews who didn’t believe (the “sons”) would be cast out into the darkness with “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” and the Gentiles (those who believed) would be allowed in.

“Gnashing of teeth” = only in great pain and agony – in hell there is ALWAYS gnashing of teeth.

We see Jesus was unafraid to speak of hell and did so more than any others in the Bible. Some ministers never mention hell. Some say, “If you don’t believe in Christ, you’ll be sent to THAT place that we shouldn’t speak of.”

Jesus used plain words, and there was no mistaking what he meant. “If you don’t believe I AM, you’ll be lost in your sins.”

He came from heaven to show the people the way to heaven.

He was the healer of bodies (leper, centurion’s servant), but also the saver or our souls. After we die, our souls will live on in one place or another – heaven or hell.

The centurion at the cross, for example, must have truly recognized what was going on.


1. Faced our guilt


Rationalized guilt

A man sped down the highway, stopped by a police officer, and said, “Well, there are so many accidents, I was rushing to get out of here…” – he rationalized his guilt.

Denied guilt

A man had his machine fixed, but never received a bill. He sent a letter saying, “where’s my bill for the repairs?” but the company said, “We have no record of anything needed repairs.” (denial of guilt)

Postponed guilt

A man stole a watch, and later gave some money to repay it. He tried to postpone his guilt.

But for us, our guilt, our judgment, our time is coming, and Jesus faced our guilt for us, he erased the litany of things that caused us to be guilty. He took it away from us. He faced it, born our sin, because leprous, our substitute, taking our place on the cross in death.

“Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.”

He faced our sin.

2. Forgave our sin.

“Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”

3. Forgot our sins.

By the erasure of the statutes that were against us, God would also forget our sins.

  1. Jesus faced our guilt
  2. Forgave our sins
  3. God forgot our sins

“I will remember them … NO MORE.”

That’s what makes salvation so precious. That the omniscient God can choose to forget (or not remember) our sins.

Q: Have we believed that Jesus has faced, forgiven, forgotten our guilt?
That’s what the good news is.

We have put our trust in the living God. “that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

I was brought up in a very liturgical church, and we were taught something similar to what we’ve heard. “I’m not worthy for you to enter my house, just say the word and I’ll be healed.”

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 16 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Signs of Believers (Mark 16:15-20)
Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Signs of Believers (Mark 16:15-20)

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

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The Signs of Believers

Mark 16:15-20 (Pastor Heo)

16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

This is the Great Commission from Christ.

  • In Matthew: “Go and make disciples of all nations…baptizing, teaching… I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
  • Mark “Go and preach the good news to all Creation…”
  • Luke “You are witnesses of all these things…”
  • John “Feed my sheep, feed my lambs…”
  • Acts “You will be my witnesses in Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

When Jesus meets people, he says, “Come and I will give you rest.”

Jesus’ invitation is always:

  • “Come” and
  • Go”
  • “Come to me”, to church, to God
  • “Go to the world”
  • Come = attractive force
  • Go = repelling force

Mark is the shortest gospel among the 4. Why? Mark is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus.

The first message of Christ in his earthly ministry

  • Matthew: “The Kingdom of God is near, repent.”
  • Mark: “The Kingdom of God is near, repent and believe the gospel.” (1:15)

16:15 says (conclusion) “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all Creation… Whoever believes will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

If we really believe, we are really saved. If we are really saved, we are called to preach the good news (evangelism).

Let’s focus on v. 17-18


“In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

This is truth. Jesus always tells the truth, never a lie.

Jesus does not say: “These miracles /wonders will accompany believers.” (these signs)

So, we must understand the word “sign.” It is so familiar to us. What is it? Evidence / truth of something that has happened.


  • If you eat much, your stomach will expand and be filled.
  • If you buy something and pay with cash or card, you will receive a receipt. (sign of purchase)

A sign must be followed as proof / evidence of something that has been done.

“These signs will accompany believers…”

So, let us ask ourselves if these signs have happened in our lives. Let’s read again thoughtfully, prayerfully.

17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

So… are these things happening in your life? If you are a true believer, they should happen, right? Are you a true believer? If these signs do not happen in your / my life, then something is terribly wrong.

So, let me make it clear about this passage IN CONTEXT. (Every passage must be read and understood in context.)

In this context, if we believe in Christ, we will be saved – there is no exception. If we are really, really saved and have assurance of salvation, our conclusion is to commit our whole lives to preach the gospel in evangelism.

So, in this context, these signs are signs of evangelism, preaching the good news of salvation.

How many signs? (5)

When you read these verses, you must understand all the time that these are signs of evangelism (preaching the good news).

Signs of Evangelism

Signs of Preaching the Good News of Salvation in Jesus’ Name

If we approach these signs with this understanding, it will be very clear.

“These signs will accompany those who believe [and preach the good news]”

1. Drive out Demons (in Jesus’ name)

Evangelism itself is driving out demons in Jesus’ name. The act of preaching the gospel is in itself driving out demons in Jesus’ name.

On what grounds?

What kinds of humans are on this earth? Man / woman, rich / poor, Asian / African, etc.

Gal 8:23 “There is neither male nor female, you are ONE in Christ…”

So this means that all divisions of humanity are TEMPORARY in this world. Spiritually there are only two kinds of division between humans:

  1. Child of God
  2. Child of Demons

John 8:44 (to those who reject him) “You belong to your father the Devil because you do not accept me.”

If I say this to someone, he will want to fight or kill me. But Jesus said it.

So, what is preaching the good news?

The activity in which we are making Children of the Devil to Children of God. From eternal destruction to eternal life.

So, preaching the good news IS driving out demons in Jesus’ name.

2. Speak in new tongues

Evangelism itself is speaking in a new tongue. Do you speak in a new tongue? (language)

When we pray, we do it with our tongue (language).

At first, there was only one tongue in the whole world. Genesis 11 “The whole world had one tongue, one language, one common tongue and they tried to build a tower to reach God with their own merit and power. So God confused their tongues.” (Tower of Babel).

Now, we have many: English, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, etc

At the Ascension of Christ, the early church prayed and prayed and prayed, and on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them and their hearts burned with holy fire. So they came out (fire) and preached the gospel.

Many people came from other countries and they heard the gospel in their own native language.

In the physical world, there are several thousand tongues, but in the spiritual world, there are 3.

  1. Devil’s tongue
  2. Old tongue
  3. New tongue

“…they shall speak in new tongues…”

When I speak Korean, I may speak in any of the three, devil’s tongue, old / new tongue.

You can know what kind of tongue you are speaking in.

  1. Devil’s tongue: LIE (doesn’t matter the language) – if you speak a lie, this is spiritually the Devil’s tongue “The devil is a liar and when he lies, he speaks his native language. The devil is the creator of lies.”
  2. Old tongue (earthly language) – speaking about the physical / material world – no matter how wonderful and beautiful, before salvation from Christ, this is the Old tongue
  3. New tongue – speech about heavenly things, truth, mysteries about heaven, the will of God

What is the will of wills of God? For all humanity to be saved. The work of the Holy Spirit + evangelism is to make people believers in Christ.

So, evangelism itself, the sermon, encouraging each other in faith – this is the New Tongue.

In Christ, our identity is a New Creation, with a New Covenant, keeping New Commands, speaking a New Tongue, for a New Heaven and New Earth.

3. Pick up snakes (by hand)

Have you ever done that?

If you are a true believer, you should do that, right?

Should we go to the mountain this afternoon and pick up snakes?

Genesis 3: Satan = the snake – and he lied.

To the woman Eve, “You can eat the fruit, and you will never die. You will be like God.”

You know, all animals were created NOT to speak. Only humans were created to speak. But that snake spoke. What does that mean? It is not a real snake – it was a hidden identity controlling that snake.

LONG time later, the Word of God reveals the identity of that snake.

Rev 12:9 “The Great Dragon was hurled down; the Ancient Snake, who is called the Devil / Satan who leads the whole world astray.” 20:2

Snake = Satan

Luke 10 – Jesus sent 72 evangelists to preach the good news and when they returned, they reported back with great joy. “Lord! Even the demons obey us in your name.” “Yes, I saw Satan fall from heaven and I have given you authority to trample snakes and scorpions, and nothing will harm you.”

So this means: Destroying the power of Satan

This world is still under control of the Devil and so our lives are constant spiritual warfare. The stronghold of Satan will be destroyed and the Kingdom of God will be built in the end.

This is the sign of “picking up snakes”

4. Ingested deadly poison will not harm

BUT, do NOT drink poison – this is testing the Lord and the Bible says, “Do not put the Lord to the test.”

Yes, our lives are under complete control of our Lord Jesus Christ – yet when we are preaching the gospel, we are VERY protected.

Human beings are so easily hurt – do you agree? Have you ever been hurt? I’m so easily hurt (by my wife – she is too close to me).

Husband / wife, children, co-workers, we are so easily dismayed and depressed. More than the animals and the mountains. We are so easily hurt.

BUT, this is the secret (if you agree, you will be so blessed in your future life): The best way to NOT be hurt in this life is to serve others, preach the good news to others.

Stephen is a good example: He was the first martyr in the NT. He drank deadly poison but was not hurt. He did nothing wrong against them, but they were so angry with him, furious with him, and they gnashed their teeth, yelling, and stoned him to death.

If you were in the place of Stephen, how would you react to them?

In this terrible situation, spiritually, he was drinking such deadly poison, but he was not hurt: he did not hate them, he did not curse them, he prayed for them, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” He was just like Christ on the cross who prayed for those who crucified him.

His face was shining like an angel and he was standing with the angels at the throne of God.

He was never hurt by drinking this deadly poison.

What made it possible? Was it his own character / patience / morality / self-control / self-training? No, that is the power of Christ, the power of evangelism.

At that moment, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and preaching the good news of the gospel to them.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and if you preach the good news, nothing can hurt you.

Matthew “Do not fear the one who can kill your body but not your soul; fear rather the one who can kill both body and soul in hell.”

5. Heal the sick (place hands on them)

This can be applied literally as well. Pray for sick people around you because the answer is God’s job. Do not be afraid of the result. Praying is our job, the result is God’s job.

Rev “He will wipe every tear from your eyes.”

Is there a tear in your eyes? At the final day, Jesus promises to remove all tears from your eyes. If there is a tear in your eyes, we will stand before Christ and he will wipe the tears from our eyes one by one. If there is no tear in your eye, no problem – but were you really never hurt in this world?

There will be no more disease, no more sickness, no more crying, no more problems, no more tears, no more danger of coronavirus, no more aging, no more death. This is perfect.

Evangelism is offering this perfect, eternal wellness (well-being) to others.

Do you want eternal wellness?

“They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well.”

Perfect wellness is available in heaven. Evangelism is offering this perfect wellness to others.

These are the signs of evangelism.

  • No preaching, no signs.
  • Preaching = signs.

I will show you this is true, and how right / truthful I will show you here.

v. 20

“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”

In the previous verse, where is Jesus? In heaven already. In v. 20, he worked WITH them.

This sign is the work of Christ, it is not our own.

  • No preaching, no signs.
  • How long have you been a Christian? 5 years, 10 years, 20? Remember, no preaching, no signs.
  • But if you became a Christian yesterday, remember, preaching = signs.

Please, continue to preach the good news of salvation in YOUR place, and I will continue in my place. And someday again let us meet again as fellow workers and family members.

God bless you.

God bless AICF.

Let’s pray.

2020년 8월 16일 허재범 목사님 고별 설교

믿는 사람들에게 따르는 표적(마가복음16:15~20)

그동안 함께 해준 여러분께 감사드립니다. 이제 저는 새로운 사역지인 광주 광산교회로 갑니다. 저는 외롭지 않습니다. 아버지 하나님, 예수님, 성령님 그리고 아내와 함께 동역하기 때문입니다. 우리는 여전히 기도로 함께하는 하나님의 영광을 위해 동역하는 형제자매들입니다. 저는 오늘 예수님께서 우리들에게 지상에서 남기신 마지막 명령을 가지고 은혜를 나누고자 합니다.

마가복음(16장 15~20절)

15.또 가라사대 너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민에게 복음을 전파하라.

16.믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 얻을 것이요, 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라.

17.믿는 자들에게는 이런 표적이 따르리니 곧 저희가 내 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내며 새 방언을 말하며

18.뱀을 집으며 무슨 독을 마실찌라도 해를 받지 아니 하며 병든 사람에게 손을 얹은 즉 나으리라 하시더라.

19.주 예수께서 말씀을 마치신 후에 하늘로 올리우사 하나님 우편에 앉으시니라.

20.제자들이 나가 두루 전파할 쌔 주께서 함께 역사하사 그 따르는 표적으로 말씀을 확실히 증거하시니라.

이 말씀은 예수께서 부활하시고 승천하기 전에 세상에 계시면서 마지막으로 제자들에게 명령한 것입니다. 마태복음28장 19절에도 예수님의 지상명령이 있습니다. 그러므로 너희는 가서 모든 족속으로 제자를 삼아 아버지와 아들과 성령의 이름으로 세례를 주고 내가 너희에게 분부한 모든 것을 가르쳐 지키게 하라. 볼찌어다. 내가 세상 끝날까지 너희와 항상 함께 있으리라 하시니라.

  • 오늘의 말씀인 마가복음 16장 15절에서도 또 가라사대 너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민에게 복음을 전파하라 믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 얻을 것이요 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라.
  • 누가복음 24장 48절에도 너희는 이 모든 일의 증인이라. 볼찌어다. 내가 내 아버지의 약속하신 것을 너희에게 보내리니 너희는 위로부터 능력을 입히울 때까지 이 성에 유하라 하시니라.
  • 또 요한복음 21장에는 베드로에게 내 양을 먹이라. 내 양을 치라. 내 양을 먹이라 라고 거듭 말씀하셨습니다.
  • 사도행전 1장 8절에서는 오직 성령이 너희에게 임하시면 너희가 권능을 받고 예루살렘과 온 유대와 사마리아와 땅 끝까지 이르러 내 증인이 되리라 하시니라.

예수님께서 처음에 이 땅에서 사역하실 때 수고하고 무거운 짐진 자들아 다 내게로 오라 그러면 내가 너희를 쉬게 하리라. 내게로 오라 너희에게 평안을 주겠노라 생명을 주겠노라 하고 말씀하셨습니다. 그리고 마지막으로 세상을 떠나실 때는 너희는 세상으로 가서 만민에게 복음을 전파하라 라고 말씀하셨습니다. 요약하면 내게로 와서 복을 받고 세상에 나가서 복음을 전파하라 라는 내용입니다. 우리는 성도로서 두 가지의 권능을 갖고 있습니다.

  1. 하나는 사람들을 끌어들이는 힘입니다. 이것은 구심력입니다.
  2. 또 다른 하나는 퍼져나가고 침입해 들어가는 힘입니다. 원심력입니다.

마가복음은 복음서 중에서 가장 짧습니다. 복음서의 모든 핵심은 복음입니다. 그러나 마가복음은 오직 복음에만 집중하고 있기 때문에 예수님의 탄생과 족보와 같은 내용은 생략했습니다. 마가복음은 처음부터 본론으로 들어갑니다. 복음으로부터 시작합니다. 마가복음의 첫 문장은 하나님의 아들 예수 그리스도 복음의 시작이라 하고 시작됩니다. 예수님의 첫 번째 사역은 복음을 선포하는 것입니다. 그러나 마태복음에서는 예수님의 첫 번째 메시지는 천국이 가까웠으니 회개하라 그러나 마가복음은 천국이 가까웠으니 회개하고 복음을 믿으라. 입니다.

마가복음 1장 15절에는 가라 때가 찾고 하나님의 나라가 가까웠으니 회개하고 복음을 믿으라 하시더라. 그리고 마지막 16장 15절에서는 또 가라사대 너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민에게 복음을 전파하라. 믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 얻을 것이요, 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라. 복음에는 예외가 없습니다. 누구든지 믿고 세례를 받으면 구원을 받고 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받는다는 것입니다. 우리가 정말로 믿고 구원을 받았다면 결론은 구원의 복음을 전해야만 하는 것입니다. 이것이 바로 전도입니다.

17절과 18절은 오늘 설교의 핵심 내용인데요, 믿는 자들에게는 이런 표적이 따르리니 곧 저희가 내 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내며 새 방언을 말하며 뱀을 집으며 무슨 독을 마실찌라도 해를 받지 아니하며 병든 사람에게 손을 얹은즉 나으리라 하시더라. 오늘 여러분들은 진지하게 이 두 구절을 받아들일 수 있기를 소망합니다.

여러분은 신자입니까? 저도 신자입니다. 여러분도 모두 예수님의 신자이기를 원합니다. 그러나 여기에는 큰 도전이 따릅니다. 물론 예수님은 결코 거짓말을 하시지 않습니다. 그분의 말씀은 진실이고 진리입니다. 거짓은 없습니다. 우리는 우선 시작하는 말에 주의해야 합니다. 예수님은 이러한 기적이라고 하지 않고 믿는 자들에게는 이러한 표적이 따른다고 했습니다. 우리는 우선 표적이라는 말을 이해해야만 합니다. 표적이란 무엇인가요? 표적은 증거이고 우리가 한 일의 성과입니다.

쉬운 예를 들겠습니다. 여러분이 무언가를 먹으면 여러분은 배가 부를 것입니다. 여러분이 많이 먹은 결과 배가 튀어나오는 표적이 나타난 것입니다. 이렇게 표적은 분명합니다. 우리가 무엇인가를 하면 그 결과가 어떤 식으로든 표적으로 나타납니다. 예수께서 신자의 삶에도 이렇게 분명한 표적이 나타난다고 말씀하신 것입니다.

다시 17절과 18절을 읽어 봅시다. 믿는 자들에게는 이런 표적이 따르리니 곧 저희가 내 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내며 새 방언을 말하며 뱀을 집으며 무슨 독을 마실찌라도 해를 받지 아니하며 병든 사람에게 손을 얹은즉 나으리라 하시더라. 이러한 표적이 여러분에게도 나타납니까? 이것은 매우 구체적인 질문입니다. 이것이 바로 믿는 자들에게 나타나는 표적이니까요. 우리가 신자로서 이러한 표적이 삶에서 나타나지 않는다면 이것은 무엇인가 잘못된 것입니다. 정말 끔찍하게 잘못된 것입니다. 이 시간에 저는 이 말씀의 의미를 확실히 해 두고자 합니다. 모든 성경의 구절은 분명한 의미가 있으니까요.

15절의 의미는 너희는 세상에 가서 모든 족속에게 복음을 전하라. 16절은 믿고 세례를 받는 사람은 구원을 받을 것이요 믿지 않는 사람은 정죄를 받으리라. 그런 다음에 예수님께서 말씀하시기를 믿는 자들에게는 이러한 표적이 나타난다고 하셨습니다. 그 의미는 우리가 예수를 믿으면 아무도 예외 없이 구원을 받으며 우리가 또 구원을 받았다면 우리의 삶은 전력을 다해 복음을 전파해야 하는 것입니다. 따라서 이 표적은 복음전도에 따르는 표적입니다.

우리가 예수의 이름으로 복음을 전할 때 나타나는 다섯 가지의 표적입니다.

첫 번째 표적은 예수의 이름으로 귀신을 쫓아내는 것입니다. 이것의 근거가 어디에 있을까요? 이러한 일을 하는 부류의 사람들은 어디에 있을까요? 생물학적으로는 남자와 여자, 늙은이와 젊은이, 경제적으로는 부자와 가난한 자, 피부색으로는 황인종 백인종 흑인종 등이 있습니다.

갈라디아서 3장 28절에서는 유대인도 로마인도 종도 자유인도 남자도 여자도 모두 다 예수 안에서는 하나입니다. 이러한 인간적인 구분은 일시적이고 변하는 것입니다. 그러나 영적으로는 인간의 부류는 두 가지밖에 없습니다. 하나님의 자녀인가 또는 마귀의 자녀인가 하는 두 가지뿐입니다.

예수님께서 요한복음 8장 44절에서 예수님을 거부하는 사람은 모두 마귀에게 속한 자라고 말씀하셨습니다. 예수를 믿지 않고 거부하는 자들은 그들의 아비가 사탄이고 마귀에게 속한 자들입니다. 이렇기 때문에 예수님께서 십자가에서 죽으신 것입니다. 그러면 복음은 무엇이고 복음을 전한다는 것은 무엇입니까? 복음을 전하는 것은 바로 마귀의 자녀를 하나님의 자녀로 만드는 행동입니다. 옛 사람을 새 사람으로 거듭 태어나도록 하는 것입니다. 지옥에서 천국으로 인도하는 것입니다. 영원한 멸망에서 영원한 생명으로 인도하는 것입니다. 따라서 복음을 전하는 것은 마귀를 쫓아내는 일입니다.

두 번째 표적은 새로운 방언을 말하는 것입니다. 여기서 혀(TONGUE)은 언어를 말합니다. 우리가 기도할 때 혀를 사용합니다. 원래 인간에게는 한 가지 언어만 있었습니다. 우리는 말을 할 때도 혀를 사용합니다. 창세기 11장 1절에는 온 땅의 구음이 하나이요 언어가 하나이었더라.

그 때 사람들은 도시를 건설하고 큰 탑을 쌓기로 했습니다. 바벨탑입니다. 그들은 탑을 하늘에 있는 하나님이 계신 곳까지 높게 쌓아 하나님께 도전하려고 하였습니다. 그래서 하나님께서 인간의 언어를 혼잡하게 만들어버렸습니다. 그들의 언어는 그들의 죄와 하나님께 도전하려는 교만 때문에 수많은 언어로 나뉘었습니다. 사도행전에서는 예수님이 부활하고 승천하셨을 때 성도들이 적어도 열흘 이상 성령을 받기 위해 기도했습니다. 그래서 오순절에 성령이 임했습니다. 그들이 성령에 충만하여 그들은 성령의 불길 때문에 뜨거워서 밖으로 뛰쳐나갔습니다. 그들은 성령의 불길에 데어서 밖으로 뛰쳐나가서 복음을 전했습니다.

그 때 당시 그곳에는 많은 나라에서 온 사람들이 모여 있었습니다. 그들은 모두 각자 자신의 언어로 성도들이 전하는 복음을 통역 없이 들을 수 있었습니다. 그 때는 인간의 언어가 성령의 힘으로 하나로 통일되었습니다. 실제로 영적 세계에는 세 가지의 언어가 있습니다. 그러나 인간 세상에는 수천 개의 언어가 있습니다. 영적인 언어는 마귀의 언어, 옛 언어, 새 언어 이 세 가지뿐입니다. 오순절에 성령에 충만했던 성도들이 했던 언어는 새 언어입니다. 저의 모국어는 한국어입니다. 저는 한국어로 말합니다. 이 언어는 영적인 언어 중 어떤 종류의 언어입니까? 우리는 우리가 하는 언어가 영적으로 어떤 언어인지 알아야 합니다. 마귀의 언어는 거짓말입니다.

여러분이 어떤 언어를 사용하고 있더라도 거짓말은 마귀의 언어입니다. 예수께서 요한복음 8장 44절에서 마귀는 거짓말쟁이다. 마귀가 말을 한다면 그것은 거짓말이다. 거짓말은 마귀의 모국어이고 마귀는 거짓의 아비이고 거짓말의 창조자입니다. 옛 언어는 세속적인 언어입니다. 이 물질 세계, 죄악 세상이 아무리 아름답고 기가 막힐지라도 이곳에서 하는 언어는 모두 세상적이고 구원받기 이전의 언어이기 때문에 세속적인 언어입니다.

그러면 새 언어는 무엇입니까? 새 언어는 천국의 세계에 관한 언어입니다. 이것은 진실과 진리의 언어이고 복음이고 천국의 비밀을 이야기하고 있습니다. 이것은 또한 하나님의 뜻을 이야기합니다.

그러면 하나님의 뜻은 무엇입니까? 하나님은 모든 인간이 하나님의 말씀을 통해서 하나님의 뜻을 알기를 원합니다. 하나님의 뜻 중의 뜻은 바로 모든 사람이 구원을 받아서 진리의 지식을 알기를 원합니다.

그러면 복음 전도란 무엇입니까? 그것은 사람들이 하나님의 자녀가 되게 하고 하나님의 진리를 알도록 하는 것입니다. 그래서 복음 전도는 하나님의 뜻 중의 뜻을 선포하는 것입니다. 복음은 구원의 기쁜 소식입니다. 복음전도야말로 새 언어입니다.

예를 들면 우리가 하나님을 찬양하고 노래하고 기도하고 서로를 격려하면서 믿음을 키워주는 이러한 설교가 복음전도이고 새 언어입니다. 예수 안에서 우리의 신분은 새로운 피조물입니다. 우리는 새로운 약속과 새로운 명령을 간직한 새로운 피조물입니다. 우리는 새 하늘과 새 땅을 새 언어로 전하는 새 사람입니다. 이것이 예수 안에서 우리의 새로운 신분입니다.

세 번째 표적은 무엇입니까? 18절에서 너희는 뱀을 집으며…. 여러분은 뱀을 잡아본 적이 있습니까? 이것이 신자의 표적입니다. 여러분이 신자라면 뱀을 집어야 합니다. 뱀을 잡으러 산으로 가야 할까요? 이것은 무슨 의미일까요? 창세기 3장에서 우리는 이 이야기를 알 수 있습니다.

창세기 3장에서 말하는 그 뱀이 거짓말하는 마귀입니다. 뱀이 여자에게 나타나서 네가 선악과를 따먹을 수 있다. 그렇게 해도 결코 죽지 않는다. 너는 하나님처럼 될 수 있다. 이것이 마귀의 첫 번째 거짓말이었습니다. 모든 동물들은 말을 못하게 창조되었습니다. 오직 사람만이 말을 할 수 있습니다. 동물들은 말할 수 없습니다. 그러나 그 뱀은 말을 할 수 있습니다.

그것은 무엇을 의미할까요? 그 뱀이 말을 할 수 있다는 것은 그것이 실제로 뱀이 아니라는 것입니다. 그 뱀은 어떤 다른 존재가 변장한 것입니다. 뱀의 뒤에서 신분을 숨기고 뱀을 조정하는 마귀입니다. 그 사건 이후 긴 세월이 흘러서 요한계시록 12장 9절과 20장 2절에서 그 뱀이 창세기 3장에서 나오는 뱀이라고 숨은 정체를 밝히고 있습니다. 그 뱀은 마귀 또는 사탄입니다.

이 마귀가 온 세상을 미혹하고 어지럽히는 영입니다. 얼마나 분명합니까? 예수께서 누가복음 10장에서 더 분명하게 말하고 있습니다. 예수님께서 72명의 제자들을 선교사로서 파송하시면서 구원의 복음을 전하라고 하셨습니다. 그들이 나중에 돌아와서 그들의 선교보고를 할 때 마귀들도 예수님의 이름으로 명령할 때 복종했습니다. 라고 말했습니다.

이 때 예수님께서 나도 사탄이 하늘에서 번개가 떨어지듯이 여기저기에서 떨어지는 것을 보았노라고 말했습니다. 내가 너희들에게 뱀과 전갈을 밟는 권세를 주었다. 대적들의 권세를 멸하는 능력을 주었다. 그러니 아무도 너희를 해치지 못할 것이다. 이것의 의미는 마귀의 권세를 멸하는 능력입니다. 이 세상에서 성도의 삶은 마귀를 제압하고 마귀들과 싸우는 일입니다. 이것이 영적인 전쟁입니다.

복음전도는 세상에서 구원의 기쁜 소식을 전하는 가장 격렬한 영적 전쟁입니다. 세상에서 마귀의 지배를 무너뜨리고 하나님의 나라를 건설하고 전파하는 것입니다. 이러한 복음전도의 표적이 뱀을 맨손으로 잡는다는 의미입니다.

네 번째 복음전도의 표적은 무슨 독을 마실지라도 전혀 해를 입지 않을 것이며….. 그러나 성도라도 절대로 일부러 독을 마시지 말기 바랍니다. 여러분이 일부러 독을 마시는 것은 스스로 하나님을 시험하는 죄를 범하는 것입니다. 성경에는 너희 하나님을 시험하지 말라고 가르칩니다. 이것의 의미는 완벽한 보호와 보장을 의미합니다. 성도의 삶은 예수 그리스도의 보호 아래 있습니다.

우리가 복음전도의 일을 하고 있다면 우리는 가장 강력하게 예수님의 보호를 받을 것입니다. 인간은 아주 쉽게 상처를 받습니다. 우리는 가장 가까운 사람에게서도 자주 상처를 받습니다. 우리는 자주 실망하고 좌절하고 의기소침하고 당황하기 쉽습니다. 우리는 때론 동물이나 무생물보다도 더 상처받기 쉽습니다. 그러나 기억하십시오. 이것은 비밀입니다만, 여러분에게 엄청난 축복이라는 것을 알아야 합니다. 아무에게나 상처를 받지 않는 가장 좋은 방법은 우리의 삶을 바쳐서 복음전도하는 일입니다. 이것은 만고불변의 진리입니다.

예를 들어 보겠습니다. 스데반을 보십시오. 사도행전 7장에서 스데반이 이것을 증명하고 있습니다. 스데반은 기독교 교회사에서 최초로 순교한 사람입니다. 그는 매우 치명적인 독을 먹었습니다. 그러나 상처를 입지 않았습니다. 그는 아무 잘못도 하지 않았습니다. 그러나 성난 군중들은 그에게 이를 갈면서 목청껏 소리치면서 스데반을 위협하고 그가 죽을 때까지 그에게 돌을 던졌습니다.

여러분이 스데반의 입장이었다면 어떻게 반응했을까요? 그러나 스데반은 이러한 끔직한 상황에서도 그는 영적으로 전혀 상처를 입지 않았습니다. 그는 그들을 미워하지 않았고 저주하지도 않았습니다. 오히려 그는 그들을 위해서 기도했습니다. 그들에게 죄를 돌리지 말아주십시오 그는 죽어가면서도 예수님께서 십자가에서 하셨던 것과 같은 기도를 했습니다. 예수님은 십자가에 못 박혀서 숨을 거두시면서도 아버지 저들을 용서하여 주시옵소서 그들은 자기들이 무엇을 하는지 모르나이다. 스데반 역시 주여 그들에게 죄를 돌리지 마시옵소서.

이 때 스데반의 얼굴은 해같이 빛나고 그는 하늘의 문이 열리고 하나님의 영광이 나타나고 예수님께서 하늘의 보좌에서 일어나는 것을 보았습니다. 그는 결코 치명적인 독 때문에 해를 입지 않았습니다.

  • 어떻게 이런 일이 가능할까요?
  • 무엇이 그렇게 만들었을까요?
  • 그의 인격일까요, 그의 인내심일까요, 그의 도덕심일까요, 그의 자제력일까요, 그의 자기 훈련의 결과일까요? 아닙니다. 그것은 바로 복음전도의 능력입니다.
  • 그 때 당시 스데반은 무엇을 하고 있었습니까?

그 순간에 스데반은 예수의 이름으로 구원의 복음을 전하고 있었습니다. 그는 성령에 충만해 있었습니다. 예수님은 어제나 오늘이나 언제나 동일하십니다. 여러분이 성령에 충만해서 복음전도할 때 구원의 기쁜 소식을 전할 때 아무도 여러분을 해치지 못합니다.

마태복음 10장 28절에서 두려워 말라 너희의 몸을 죽이고 영을 죽이지 못하는 것을 두려워 말고 몸과 영을 죽여서 지옥에 보내는 하나님을 두려워하라. 항상 명심하시기 바랍니다. 상처를 입지 않는 최선의 방법은 내 전 생애를 바쳐서 복음전도하는 일입니다.

마지막으로다섯 번째 복음전도의 표적은 18절 후반부에 나오는 그들이 아픈 사람에게 손을 얹은즉 나으리라. 문자 그대로 아픈 사람을 위해서 기도하면 그것을 낫게 하시는 분은 하나님이십니다.

여러분도 주변에 있는 사람들을 위해 기도하십시오. 다만 기도하는 것은 우리의 본분입니다. 응답하시는 것은 하나님의 일입니다. 절대로 결과에 대해 두려워하면서 움츠리지 말기를 바랍니다. 내가 말하는 것은 영적인 의미로는 계시록 21장 4절에서 우리 주 예수님은 우리의 눈의 모든 눈물을 닦아주신다고 말씀하십니다.

여러분 눈에 눈물이 있을 때 어떤가요? 마지막 날에 예수님께서 약속하시기를 내가 너의 눈에 있는 모든 눈물을 닦아주겠다. 우리가 눈물을 머금고 예수 앞에서 줄을 섰을 때 예수님은 우리 한 사람 한사람을 차례로 눈물을 닦아주실 것입니다. 그곳에는 더 이상 죽음이 없습니다. 고통과 눈물과 통곡하는 일은 없습니다. 아무런 질병도 없습니다. 코로나도 없습니다. 어떠한 곤란한 문제도 없습니다. 늙음도 없습니다. 그곳에서는 완벽한 웰빙이 될 것입니다.

복음전도 즉 구원의 기쁜 소식을 전하는 사람에게 예수님께서 완벽한 천국의 웰빙을 선물할 것입니다. 영원한 천국의 복된 삶입니다. 아픈 사람에게 손을 얹고 기도하면 나으리라는 의미는 우리가 복음전도하면, 예수 안에서 천국에서 영원한 복락을 누리게 될 것이라는 의미입니다. 복음전도는 그 자체가 우리에게 완벽하고 영원한 천국의 축복된 삶에 대한 보장입니다. 위의 모든 표적들은 바로 복음전도의 표적입니다. 복음전도하지 않으면 이러한 표적도 일어나지 않습니다. 전도가 없으면 표적도 없다. 전도하면 표적이 있다.

이제 20절을 다시 천천히 읽어봅시다. 제자들이 두루 전파할 쌔 주께서 함께 역사하사 그 따르는 표적으로 말씀을 확실히 증거하시니라. 19절에서 예수님은 하늘나라로 이미 올라가셨고 하나님의 우편에 앉으셨다. 그리고 20절에서는 제자들이 어디에서든지 누구에게든지 복음을 전할 때 예수님께서 그들과 함께 하셨고 그의 말씀을 입증하기 위해서 표적이 함께 일어났다라고 말씀하고 있습니다.

이 표적은 모두 우리 주 예수 그리스도께서 행하신 것이고 우리가 무슨 능력이 있어서 행한 것은 아닙니다. 우리가 어떻게 신앙생활을 하고 얼마나 오랫동안 신앙생활을 한 것과는 상관없이 복음전도하지 않으면 어떠한 표적도 나타나지 않고, 복음전도를 한다면 반드시 표적이 나타난다는 것입니다.

여러분이 과거에 복음전도를 했다면 표적이 나타났을 것이고 앞으로도 복음전도만 한다면 계속해서 표적은 나타날 것입니다. 여러분의 삶에서 어디에서 있든지 누구를 만나시든지 복음전도하면서 예수님의 표적도 함께하시기를 축원합니다.

저도 제가 있는 곳에서 전도할 것입니다. 제가 비록 떠날지라도 다음에 지구상에서 어딘가에서 또는 하늘나라에서 여러분을 만나면 한 때 하나님의 동역자로서 그리스도의 가족으로서 세상에 함께 살면서 예수님의 이름으로 전도하면서 승리했다는 기쁨을 나눌 수 있기를 바랍니다.

하나님이 여러분을 축복하시길 바랍니다.


  • Aug 09 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Willingness of Jesus (Matthew 8:1-4)
Pastor Brian, Sermons, Subject Studies

The Willingness of Jesus (Matthew 8:1-4)

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The Willingness of Jesus

Matthew 8:1-4 (Pastor Brian)

The Man With Leprosy

1 When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

This is the first personal miracle that’s recorded in Matthew (also recorded in Mark and Luke). It shows how important this was to God that it was recorded in the three synoptic gospels.

Mark: “The man was covered in leprosy.” (There are different stages)

It was regarded as “living death” – losing nerve sensation, fingers falling off, toes falling off, stop blinking (become blind) – it’s a degenerative disease. Thankfully today, there are cures although many people still contract it. Now it is controllable – you can’t back up what’s already happened, but it can be controlled.

This disease is often a picture of sin in our lives. It starts small, but increases, increases, increases, and eventually brings death.

Luke knew that this person was in the last stages of leprosy (covered with leprosy).

Jesus had just taught the Sermon on the Mount (Beatitudes “Blessed are the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart, …”). He’d been teaching up there, coming down and the multitudes followed him. One of the gospel writers wrote, “Behold, a man with leprosy came to him and worshiped him saying, ‘If you are willing, make me clean.'”

This must have been surprising – this guy should have been socially distanced from the crowd. He was not supposed to have been in that environment, near other people. He should have been in isolation (quarantine), desperation, adoration (later).

This wasn’t the only person who came to Jesus who wasn’t supposed to. Remember the woman who was bleeding for 12 years? Ceremonially unclean, but she pressed into Jesus, and touched him garment. “Your faith has made you well.”

This is now the masculine version of that story. The man pressed in and said, “If you are willing, make me clean.”

It was forbidden to even touch lepers, it was like touching a dead person. Yet, he said, “I am willing.”

But this is not the only instance where he was “willing” – sometimes, he did miracles even from a distance. But to show compassion to the leper, he reached out and touched him. And “immediately” the leprosy left him.

This also is a kind of new birth – being born again. “I’m no longer a slave to fear; I am a child of God.” (How do you know?)

Paul “We are also his offspring, his children” (God as Creator). We are all born and exist because God exists and gives life. But there’s a spiritual death that’s attached to that. There’s a need to be “born again” – “born from above.”

To do so, we need to recognize our sin nature, and receive a new birth.

That song, “I’m no longer a slave to fear” reminds me of John Wesley. He was brought up religiously, went to the US, taught people, tried to do good to lots of people, was on his way back from America and the ship was in trouble. He was very fearful.

He noticed Moravians – they were praying, they weren’t concerned with death / destruction. He was amazed that they were so calm. As he spoke to them, he realized he was lacking. He needed Christ and the new birth.

He changed, his heart was “strangely warmed” and was experiencing the “new birth.” It was changing him and would change his ministry. Have you experienced this new birth? Are you a child of God?

Jesus challenged the religious leader, Nicodemus, and said, “It is necessary to be born from above” (by the spirit of God).

The picture of the leper is the picture of us before we encounter Christ. John Wesley experienced that and changed history in England (during the French Revolution). It is said that due to the preaching of Charles and John Wesley to be “born again” that there was not so much destruction in England during that period as there was in France.

This leper now was in isolation, and therefore (on the point of death) in desperation. He came to Jesus and called him “Lord (Yhwh)” for the first time. He knew that Jesus had the power, but…was he willing?

“If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

For Jesus to touch the man, that would have made Jesus ceremonially unclean – but he wasn’t an ordinary man – and he wanted to show his willingness to cleanse him, so he touched him.

“Go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifice that Moses commanded.”

In Mark, he didn’t obey this command, but rather went around and told everyone of his healing.

He went and told when Jesus had told him not to. But WE do the opposite. Jesus says, “Go and tell” but we don’t.

So we should be ready to let our light shine and go and tell.

Leprosy was a terrible disease. In the OT, Naman was a great general, had great victories, had such wonderful things going for him, but “was a leper.” He sent to the Israeli king who said, “How can I do this thing?” So then he sent a servant to Elisha the prophet.

He expected Elisha to come out and pray and lay hands on him, but he didn’t. He said, “Go and bathe in the (dirty) river 7 times” (via messenger).

Naman was upset! What? But his servant said, “if he’d told you to do something hard, you’d have done it without question, so why question something so easy?” He “ate humble pie” and went and did it.

Now, in church, it’s not enough to just observe and show the outward signs of “religion.” Have you truly acknowledged your leprosy? Have you humbled yourself? Have you experienced the new birth?

Miram – sister of Moses – on the way out of Jesus, she (and her brother Aaron) spoke out against their brother (also upset about his marriage to an outsider). God came to them in the Tabernacle and honored him. “With Moses I speak face-to-face.” When the cloud went up, Miram had leprosy on her. Aaron cried out “Pray that this will be taken away!” Moses did and it was healed. It is said of Moses he was the most humble person on earth (generally).

The leper is on his way to see the priest and the problem was that the priest had to get out his manual to see what to do (he didn’t know offhand because cleansing from leprosy was so rare – maybe he checked Leviticus 14).

In Leviticus 14, we read about what happens when a person is cleansed from leprosy. It doesn’t say HOW he is cleansed, but if a person HAD leprosy, they were to be isolated outside the camp (so as not to be contagious). If, while outside, he saw that the leprosy had gone, he would have to tell the priest, who would have to go out to examine him. Now, the ordinances / rituals to consider him clean in the eyes of God / people involved some symbolism in the sacrifices:

  1. Two living birds were taken,
  2. one killed in a clay pot over running water (living water – taken from a stream – not from a well),
  3. this bird was sacrificed over the pot, the blood going into the water.
  4. The other bird was dipped into the blood of the dead bird,
  5. with cedar wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop

Hyssop was a herb used to paint blood of the lamb on the posts in Egypt during the Exodus – remember the last plague was death of the first born – and this causes the Pharaoh to release the Israelites – this also is a picture of God’s judgment and mercy,

Hyssop was also used at the cross. He said 7 statements, one of which, “I thirst.” They put sour wine on a clump of hyssop and he drank of it

Also David – in his Psalm of Penitence after committing adultery and murder (he paid for it), acknowledging his sin. The prophet said his sin was forgiven, but that the sword would never pass from his house. He wrote, “Cleanse me with hyssop and I’ll be white as snow.”

  1. Cedar wood
  2. Scarlet yarn
  3. Live bird
  4. Hyssop

Dipped into the blood of the killed bird.

This is a picture of Jesus. He died, and shed his blood. The second bird, dipped, and released.

  • Dead bird = Jesus’ death
  • Live bird = Jesus’ resurrection

This is a good picture of the foreshadowing of the coming of Christ – that those who believe in him would be declared righteous before a holy God.

Leprosy: The priest would go out, inspect, declare him clean, perform the sacrifice, the person would come back but stay outside his tent for 7 days. On the 8th day, lamb sacrifice:

Guilt offering, to the Lord

Then, the priest (usually did the same when set apart for ministry), applied blood from the lamb to the earlobe (hear the word of God), the thumb (do the will of God), and the big toe (go, work for the will of God).

There was also a drop of oil, that would be smeared over the blood on the three locations. This is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

  • Cleansed by the blood,
  • Filled / led by the Spirit

These things are very symbolic of Jesus and his ministry. The disciples walked with Jesus, were cleansed by him, but also told to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit after he rose again.

Even after Jesus’ Resurrection, they didn’t quite have the whole picture. They thought that Israel would be restored as a great kingdom, but Jesus told them to wait for Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came, filled them, and they were emboldened to speak the Word – they had yet been slaves to fear, but the Holy Spirit gave them courage and power.

Peter, denied Christ 3 times in fear, yet after receiving the Holy Spirit, he preached in the public square and thousands came to Christ in one day.

Sometimes getting “born again” isn’t easy.

Philip Yancy became friends with Dr. Paul Brand who did tremendous things in finding healing for leprosy. He was able to recover parts of the body that had been destroyed. Yancy spent about 10 years with him and was amazed.

In India, the lowest of the low castes were those with leprosy. But these were the people that he ministered to. Yancy said once, “Pain is a gift” because lepers lose their sense of pain. Much of their trouble comes from doing dangerous things and not feeling it (fire, nails, knives, etc).

“Pain is a gift” – if you feel hurt, you know to avoid it or fix it. But a leper can’t feel the pain. This increases the problem, the hurt, etc.

In the spiritual realm too, there is an application. “When the HS comes, he’ll convict the world of sin, righteousness, judgment.”

CS Lewis also wrote that during the process of his coming to Christ, he was probably the most reluctant person in England. There was a wrestling “Will I really receive Christ? Am I really in need of forgiveness?” There can be pain in spiritual things and the new birth, it’s not easy, but it’s important to recognize our own leprosy “I need to get cleansed” and not let it back into our lives.

If you die in your sins, that’ll be a lot more pain that the pain you’re currently experiencing or the pain of acknowledging Christ as Savior. Receive that pain as a gift. Become a part of the family of God.

The priest, later, after the man was cleansed would speak of his healing, and the man would become a child of God.

Once we acknowledge that Jesus takes our sins away, this is a gift. Have you received this gift? Are you appreciating it?

Keep on keeping on – appreciate it, we need constant reminders.

Some Christian leaders are now abandoning their faith – why? There’s a need for continuance. “Make your calling sure; persevere.”

Remember the 10 lepers who were healed? They weren’t as daring as this one. They stood far off and cried out to him. Jesus said to show themselves to the priest – and on the way they were cured. ONE came back and praised and thanked him, “Where are the other nine?” (He was a Samaritan – despised). “Go, your faith has saved you.”

Remember to be thankful for what God has done for you.

“Once you were dead in your trespasses and sins, but now you are alive in the Lord.”

During Jesus’ ministry, lepers were looked down on. Even rabbis would throw stones at lepers and not even walk down the street where one was.

Yet, Jesus was willing to put his hand out and touch the leper and heal him. He’s willing to touch and heal us.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 03 / 2019
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Use what is in your Hands (Acts 19:6-12)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Use what is in your Hands (Acts 19:6-12)

19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:6-12

When Paul arrived in Ephesus, he asked the 12 men he met, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” “No, we have received only John’s baptism.” Paul realized they needed the good news of salvation – so he told them about Jesus’ death, resurrection, saving power of the Holy Spirit in his name, and so they believed and were baptized. Then the Holy Spirit came upon them. They spoke in tongues and preached the gospel message in other languages.

For by one Spirit we were baptized…

1 Cor 12:13

This event was a mini-Pentecost.

In Acts, this is the final event of tongue speaking recorded. So, in order to remember the work of the Holy Spirit, we must remember several things.

  1. The book of transitions
  2. The starting of the New Covenant age
  3. The new History book

So, about speaking in tongues, we must remember, these instances are erratic, not very often.

Yes, this is ONE of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but is NOT evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not evidence of the fullness of the Spirit.

“Do all speak in tongues?” No.

So, remember, the key point of the book of Acts = the Spread of the Gospel and its inclusiveness. The key verse is Acts 1:8:

When the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 1:8

We must seek to share our faith through the power of the Holy Spirit in this way. Nowhere are we admonished to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit nor to speak in tongues, but we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s ministry lasted 3 years and was marked by the movement of the Holy Spirit. “The name of Christ was held in high honor through transformed lives…”

6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.

Acts 19:6-8

Paul was asked to stay in Ephesus on his first missionary journey, but he declined their offer. Still, he promised to return later if God allowed. Now, he’s kept his promise by entering the same synagogue and speaking boldly about Christ for three months – until encountering opposition.

In Christian life, keeping your word is very important. This is not just for good intentions. One of the commonest promises we Christians make to each other is: “I’ll pray for you.”

I will….

I’ll pray for you.

This promise, from a Christian mouth is a VERY serious promise – with God as witness before you. So, whenever we make this promise, we must keep this promise at least more than one time. This is a promise we make not only before the other person, but also before God – because we pray TO God.

9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:9-10

This means that the whole province of Asia Minor was evangelized.

When the door of the synagogue was closed, God opened the Way much wider through the whole province of Asia.

At that time, synagogues were usually schools for Jews. But this lecture hall of Tyrannus was larger and more available for Gentiles.

Tyrannus may have been a Greek philosopher or just the owner of that building at that time. Such buildings were often used in the mornings to teach Greek philosophy, but they were often empty during the middle of the day – due to the heat (the hot part of the day).

In Ephesus, the work day ran:

  • From at 7am,
  • Break at 11am – 4pm.
  • Work again until 9:30pm

Paul worked all morning and evening at his secular job. But during the break period, he preached the gospel daily for two years. Can you calculate how many hours he preached the gospel? 10,000+ hours?

  • 5 hours * 2 years =
  • 3, 120 hours of lecturing =
  • 130 days of lecturing without stop at 24 hours per day

Paul kept a “killer” schedule. Why? Because at that time, religion was a “big business” in Ephesus. So, he WORKED hard to keep himself free from appearing that he was “in” this “business” for money.

You remember my toil and hardship, working night and day, to not be a burden to anyone while I preached the gospel of God to you.

1 Thess 2:9

10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

Acts 19:10

It was during this time of year that the churches mentioned in Revelation came into being.

  • Paul taught and preached,
  • admonished the believers,
  • went and evangelized house to house,
  • planted many churches,
  • directed a great missionary enterprise.

In today’s age of “meism” and selfishness, “hedonism” and self-pleasure, we need “tough” Christians like Paul.

We can learn three lessons we can apply to our own lives today.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.

Acts 19:11-12

It was not Paul who did miracles, but God. They had a three-fold purpose:

  1. To demonstrate God’s power and authority
  2. To authenticate Paul as the spokesman for the true God
  3. To demonstrate God’s compassion, mercy, and grace to those in great need

From these miracles, we can find three lessons for our own Christian lives today.

3 Lessons

#1 God wants us to be holy

As our Father is holy, we must be holy. You know, at that time, aprons and handkerchiefs were dirty, sweatbands, used from making tents, they were not special.

But the ultimate purpose of Paul’s tentmaking was to preach the gospel more effectively. That’s why God blessed his secular job.

How about us?

God does not want us to do sometimes what is holy and sometimes what is not holy. He doesn’t want holiness only in the church, and unholiness out of the church. He wants holiness everywhere.

Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:31

In your office, your hagwon, your school, are you doing a “holy” job or a “secular” job? At the time of Noah: “They were eating, drinking, giving in marriage” – but it was unholy, secular, because their motivation for doing so was only for their own physical pleasure.

Even though we are eating, drinking, making money – if we do this for his glory, it will be accepted as holy. Thus, this is our mission field given by God. He wants us to do what is holy all the time, not just sometimes.

#2 God wants to use what is in your hand

In serving and saving others, God wants to use what you’ve got in your hands.

  • God used what was in Moses’ hands to save Israel from Egypt.
  • He used the sling in David’s hand to kill the giant and save Israel.
  • He used the loaves and fishes in the boy’s hand to feed 5,000.
  • He used the clothes in Paul’s hand to save and heal others.

These things were merely symbols of dignity of heart, sincerity, humility, and God used them to release his power.

Yes, today, we may not be able to do these kinds of miracles, but we are able to give him our hands – and through our hands, he is able.

#3 Healing is still possible and available today

Physical, bodily, spiritual, mental, psychological healing, all are possible through Jehovah Rafar.

He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our sins. By his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

He himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. By his death, we have been healed.

1 Peter 2:24

He took up our iniquities; he carried our diseases.

Matthew 8:17

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This kind of miracle is still available for those who have faith and trust in Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 26 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Greatest Miracle (Acts 9:32-43)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Greatest Miracle (Acts 9:32-43)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Greatest Miracle~!

Acts 9:32-43 (Pastor Heo)

32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

Basic question: what is the greatest miracle God can do for us?

  • Healing the body? Of course, it’s pretty great.
  • Raising the dead? That’s amazing.

But the GREATEST miracle is the salvation of a lost sinner. Winning lost sinners is the greatest miracle that God can do for us – in this or the next world.

  1. Because salvation cost the most expensive price (the blood of Christ).
  2. Because salvation produces the greatest result (eternal life).
  3. Because salvation brings the greatest glory to God (by acknowledging Christ’s kingship, lordship, divinity).

Have you experienced this greatest miracle in your life? Praise the Lord.

Today we are continuing in the study of the book of Acts. After Paul’s amazing conversion story, today the ministry of Peter appears again – specifically the performing of miraculous signs.

There are two stories:

  1. Healing Aeneas (a paralytic)
  2. Raising Dorcas back to life
  3. There is also mention of him staying in Lydda with Simon the tanner

This passage really follows after chp 8:25 “25 When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

Peter began an itinerant ministry intended to encourage and strengthen the Christians scattered throughout the land. Lydda is Lod today (modern day) – at the site of the Tel Aviv airport.

Peter continually preached and encouraged the believers at that time. But Lydda was primarily a Gentile city.

So, how did the message come to them?

  • Mass conversion at Pentecost?
  • Those who fled persecution in chp 8?

Peter came to visit them in Lydda.

In this place, he came and healed a crippled man named Aeneas.

#1 Miracle: Healing a paralytic

v. 33-34

“33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.”

This man’s name appears only here in the whole Bible. We don’t know much about him (Jew or Gentile?) but what we know is that he was paralyzed for eight years. He was bedridden and crippled. He was helpless, hopeless, powerless, a burden for himself and others, no prospect for his recovery.

But Peter healed him by the power of Christ. (This was also Peter’s first miracle in chp 3 – healing a crippled man. Also in John 5, Jesus healed a crippled man – paralyzed for 38 years.)

  • In John 5, Jesus said, “Take up your mat and walk.” Immediately, he walked.
  • In chp 3, Peter said, “Silver or gold I have not, but what I have I give you. In the name of Christ, walk.” Immediately, he walked.
  • In chp 9, Peter says, “Jesus Christ heals you.” Immediately he got up and walked.

The authority of Jesus’ name brought full soundness, wholeness to this man.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

Col 2:3 “In Christ are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

This power, raising physically, spiritually, healing, is possible only by the power of Jesus Christ.

Do you believe Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever?

Do you experience this same power that is working in your life?

Additional Ministry Work

v. 35

“35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.”

This miracle was not an end in itself, but just a confirmation of the gospel. He did much more than just healing Aeneas, he continually preached and taught and encouraged.

Remember, the “greatest” miracle we can experience is salvation of a lost sinner. There was great salvation in that area.

Salvation = eternal, glorious, heavenly life – in salvation, all we need is there already – spiritually and physically. Salvation = life eternally.

Think about it. Is it possible to live eternally without being healthy? Impossible. Salvation = perfect health, physical / spiritual. We should be in perfect health to live eternally.

#2 Miracle: Raising the Dead

v. 36-37

“36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.”

Today Joppa is called Jaffa – about 16km from Lydda, which is 60km from Jerusalem. Jaffa is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This place is very important in Bible history as the place from where the prophet Jonah embarked when he tried to flee from God.

Jonah’s story

God called and said, “Go and preach to the sinful city of Ninevah.” He fled. He went to Joppa to take a ship to Tarsis?

Tabitha = “little girl / young deer / gazelle” – her name was Dorcas

She made a great difference in her community – by helping the poor, spiritually and physically. She made robes and other clothing for the poor. She became sick and died and the room was filled with mourners – most probably received big help from Tabitha.

Yes, God uses the Pauls and Peters of the church, but he also uses those who show kindness and helpfulness like this woman, Dorcas.

v. 38-41

“38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.”

The believers in Joppa heard that Peter was in nearby Lydda. To go and find Peter and bring him back would take several hours by two young men. Peter got up and went with them to Joppa. This text indicates the haste with which he moved, {…immediately} – when he arrived, he met the mourners – especially widows who had received much help from Tabitha.

This scene bears a striking resemblance to Jesus’ raising of the daughter of Darius (ruler of the synagogue) in Mark chp 5. Jesus raised 3 people during his ministry.

They called Jesus to their home. Immediately he went, and when he arrived, he met many mourners. He put everyone outside except Peter, James, and John. And he said to her, “Talitha, koum.” Peter was an eyewitness of THAT miracle. So, in this case he followed that example.

  • In Aramaic, “Talitha, koum” = “little deer, get up.”
  • Peter said, “Tabitha, koum” = “little dear, get up.”

There is only ONE difference, the letter “l” or “b”. This means, in both instances, the power of the raising of the dead came from the power of Christ.

As we know, the dead certainly cannot exercise faith.

  • We received salvation by faith,
  • we receive answers to prayer by faith,
  • we experience miracles by faith,
  • we can be healed by faith.

But the dead person cannot exercise faith – they cannot react to Jesus by faith. This means that our salvation is entirely by the grace of God – even our own faith that is working in our salvation is a gift of God.

Eph 2 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, raised us from the dead in Christ. He raised us in Christ and seated us with him in heaven. It is by grace through faith we have been saved, not by works… so that no one can boast.”

Yes, in the healing of Aeneas, we found that the source of the power of healing is only in Jesus.

And in this story, we find that the source of faith, the source of life is also only Christ.

The source of our life / faith is only Christ.

  • Heb 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”
  • Jesus, “I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son will have eternal life and I will raise him up at the Last Day.”

We may often think of the many things we can do, but the little that Christ can do.

We ought to do the opposite. Think very little of what we can do ourselves, but think much of what we can do through Christ.

Are you believers? Saints?

If we are really born-again Christians, we must think little of what we can do, but much more of what Christ can do in us, because “apart from [him], we can do nothing.”


v. 42-43

“42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.”

Remember the conclusion of the first miracle?

v. 35

“35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.”

Many new believers were added to the church. But the problem – they were new believers. They needed follow-up, discipleship, maturity. So, Peter stayed “for some time” (a considerable time).

Read again the last verse, it’s very meaningful.

v. 43

“43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some [considerable] time with a tanner named Simon.”

It is very significant that Peter stayed with Simon. His job was as a tanner (making leather). This job has contact with dead animals – so this job was very smelly, not honorable by Jewish tradition (unclean). So, a tanner had to live some distance out of the town. According to traditional law at that time, if an engaged woman discovered that her finance was involved with tanning, she could break the engagement. But Peter stayed for a long time with this tanner.

This means, Peter is already beginning to break down his prejudice against those who are not of his kind, traditions, customs.

We can see “saints” two times here.

  • “Saints” = “holy” – this means “different” or “set apart for a purpose”

We are different, set apart for a purpose. But for what purpose?

Yes, we are different, but not for greater honor in this world. We are different for greater service in this world. We are saved for service – to glorify God by preaching for the salvation of others.

“I’m saved to serve others.”

“I’m saved for greater service.”

Can you approach the tanner of today (the social outcast) for the benefit of his salvation? If we are truly saved, there is no one we cannot approach to serve and preach salvation to.

Remember, the GREATEST miracle we can experience in this world is the salvation of a lost sinner.

Let’s pray.

  • May 27 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Power of the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:1-16)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Power of the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:1-16)

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The power of the name of Jesus Christ

Acts 3:1-16 (Pastor Heo)

3:1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon. 2 Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. 9 When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

The Jews had 3 times to pray (set times).

Daniel prayed 3 times per day – even in Babylon, opening his windows toward Jerusalem.

Do you also have your own fixed time(s) to pray during the day?

Our lives should be one long and running conversation with Christ through prayer. Eph 6:8-10 “Pray in the HS in all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Be alert and pray for all the saints.”

1 Thess “Pray unceasingly.”

The secret to success for endless prayer = to set times during the day to practice it.

Today’s story is a miracle: the healing of a lame man (crippled man).

There was a crippled man lying down by the temple gate and he asked Peter and John for some money. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” He looked straight at him with John. Usually when we help a beggar, we just give a coin and he doesn’t look at us.

Peter said, “Look at us!” – so maybe he expected big money. But Peter said, “Sorry, no money.” He was probably disappointed / angry. “BUT what I have, I’ll give you.” Peter said, “Rise up and walk” and immediately, his feet and ankles became strong. He stood – walking, jumping, leaping, praising God and he entered the temple with Peter and John and worshiped God. He praised God.

What is important is that he didn’t praise Peter, but he praised God. He knew that the source of the healing power was from God. Even in this exciting and emotional moment, he praised God who’d given him a new lease on life.

Yes, we should also thank our neighbors. “Thank you very much.” But we must praise and worship only God – because he is behind every “good and perfect gift” (James 1:17).

Yes, this miracle is our story today as well. Don’t you know that we have already experienced such a miracle as this? Stand up please. Wow! You can stand! You can walk! You can jump!

Please know that if you can stand, walk, jump, then you have reason enough to praise God.

Yes, today, our standing, walking, jumping is a miracle. We should praise God MORE than this guy – because he began all these things at age 40. But we began all these things at the age of 1 or 2.

If I say, “Stand up please” and you are the only one who is able – you will feel this is a miracle – a special grace from God. But you don’t think this because all of us can do it.

Please remember, miracles are ABSOLUTE experiences, not RELATIVE experiences.

If my salvation is a miracle, it is a miracle regardless of other people’s salvation. If you can stand and walk and jump, it is a miracle regardless of other people’s ability to do so.

  • The wrong question: Why is this a miracle?
  • No, we must know what a miracle is.

Yes, a doctor or surgeon today can do the things that were understood as miracles long ago. It means that God has revealed new truths about medicine. One doctor has said, “I bandaged the wound, but God healed it.” Even today, miracles are available in the hands of many people – because God is alive and unchangeable in his power and attributes – and he is the one who performs miracles through our hands.

The question is “What can we give to this world?” We can give only what we have, not what we do not have. We cannot give what we pretend to have. We can only give what we HAVE.

This man’s crippled condition is a picture of the powerless, hopeless condition of the sinner. Romans “While we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”

What God can do for this man is an illustration of what God can do in our lives today.

Are you saved?

Yes, salvation is very basic. The first step in the Christian life. So my first prayer request for all AICF members is that all members have Assurance of Salvation. This is the miracle of miracles. If we have this, we have all we need.

Let me share 8 points (similarities) between this man’s story of healing and our own salvation.

8 similarities between the Beggar and Ourselves

#1 Born Lame

  • This man was born like this.
  • We also were born unable – even unable to walk – but unable to please God.

Adam passed on his lameness (inability to please God) to all his descendants (including us).

#2 Beggar

  • This man was a beggar.
  • We also were beggars before God – unable to pay the tremendous debt we owed God.

#3 Separated from God

  • He was also outside the temple gate (he was put there every day).

At that time, there were 9 gates that led from the Court of Gentiles to the temple itself.

This gate, Gate Beautiful, was probably the western gate.

  • Like this, all sinners are separated (outside) from God – no matter how good they look, nor how near to the gate they may be.

#4 Wholly Healed by the Grace of God through the Power of the Name of Christ

Next time, we also will study MORE about how powerful the name of Christ is. Is this name in you? Are you using it practically in your daily lives?

He was saved by the grace of God through the name of Christ.

We also are saved like this.

Eph “You are saved by grace, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

#5 Instant Healing

v. 7

“Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.”

How long do YOU need to be saved? One month, year, day?

No, our salvation is also IMMEDIATE.

This is instant healing because HE did nothing to be healed. It is only by the grace of God that he was healed.

Also, we can do nothing to be saved. If we try, we need almost an infinite number of years to do so. But, our salvation happened immediately – because Christ did all things necessary for our salvation, justification, glorification. How amazing!

#6 Evidence

Are you saved? Let me see the evidence.

This man showed the evidence of what God had done for him – by standing, jumping, walking, praising God. He showed the evidence of what God had done in public, in the sight of many eyes.

If we are really saved, we can show the evidence of what Jesus has done by saying, “Jesus is my Lord” and witnessing before others in public. This is our witness (evidence) before others. Are you showing this evidence every day in public? That is why there is always persecution found in the Christian life – because our witness should be done in public.

In the book of Acts (Mission), all witnessing and preaching is done in public.

#7 People could see the change

The change in this man’s life was amazing and gave people wonder and amazement. Actually, it is natural that the Christian life is wonderful – full of wonder.

Even today, Jesus is the same – he has changed our lives totally. He can, has, is, changing us physically, mentally, relationally, spiritually. Remember – the internal changes are just as miraculous as external healings.

Important question: The people who knew you before you became Christian must be able to see amazing changes in your life. They must be able to recognize the difference between your “how I was” and “how I am.” They must also see that we are continually growing and changing.

Tim “Let the see / know your progress.”

In what ways has God changed your life? Can others see changes in your life? Can outsiders see changes in my life? “yes”

We can worship God, praise God for all he has done in our lives.

#8 He didn’t get what he asked for, but what he needed

  • He asked for money, but God gave him something MUCH better – the use of his legs.
  • In our own lives, we often ask God to solve our small problems – but God wants to give us a NEW life and help ALL the problems.

Yes, you may ask God for what you WANT.

But do not be surprised when God gives you what you really NEED.

We do not know what we really need – we do not know what to pray – we do not know what is best for our future. Our wisdom and knowledge is not perfect, but God’s is. That’s why the HS helps us in our weakness. We do not know what to pray – but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

  • Eph “Our God is able to do immeasurably more than we think or imagine.”
  • Romans 8:28 “In all these things, God works all things together for good, for those who love him.”

The outside world is looking and waiting earnestly for a solution to their problems. Our task is to give – only what you HAVE – not what you pretend to have.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 16 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Perils of Partiality (James 2:1-13)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Perils of Partiality (James 2:1-13)



Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Perils of Partiality

James 2:1-13 (Pastor Brian)

Favoritism Forbidden

1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!


In James, remember where we’ve been.

James is writing to Christians, scattered abroad, discussing how important it is to practice what we preach “Walk the walk, and talk the talk.” Be DOERS of the Word, not just readers.

  1. Keep a bridle on your tongue.
  2. Show love to those in need.
  3. Keep yourself unstained by the world.

Things that are outright temptations in the world are obviously to be avoided, BUT ALSO, the attitudes and philosophies of the world show be avoided. (Romans 12:2 also “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – This is a process. Take in the Word, walk in the light of it, see the value of it.)

  • Here, James shows how conformity to the world’s standards can compromise God’s standards.
  • Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould (mold).
  • Don’t show favoritism (partiality) – the state of being biased against or for one certain group or person over another group or person.

We are all likely guilty of this in some degree.

The Jews exonerated Jesus of being this (but this was hypocritical of them). Luke 20? The leaders came to Jesus and used his impartiality as their weapon. “Teacher, we know you teach correctly, and you don’t show favoritism to any, but teach the Word of God in truth…” But they tried to use this as a weapon “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?”

(If YES, the Jews wouldn’t find it very pleasing – he’d become unpopular. If NO, the Romans would see him as a rebel – he’d get in trouble. But you can’t outwit Jesus. “Who’s face is on this coin? Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.”)

They recognized that Jesus didn’t show partiality – even though they were enemies.

Partiality = undue favoritism

When he says “favoritism” he’s using a term in the Greek that means “lift up the countenance of somebody” (show a favor, encourage, lift up, etc). Think of Cain after he murdered Able – his countenance had fallen. And God saw that and said, “Why has it fallen?”

When your countenance is up, you are receiving favor, encouragement, etc. Originally, this was a pleasant term, but eventually, it became negative – when there is overt (too much) favoritism it’s no good.

For example, when the church was expanding, the Greek ajummas were not receiving the proper portion of the food and they had to resolve this issue so that there was no favoritism of Israel’s ajummas over the Greek ajummas.

Personal favoritism = lifting up or putting down someone else (you lift up one, you put down someone else)

Think of celebrities and the successful in their career/profession. We show tremendous respect to them, and to the “nobodies” we don’t care. God doesn’t do that – he looks at the heart.

Philip Yancy has interviewed many celebrities and has found that many have shallow hearts and depend wholly on the praise of others, not God.

The Lord looks at the heart.

Abe Lincoln “God must love the common man because he made so many of them.”

Even men of God – 1 Samuel 16 (after the failure of Saul – God was to choose a new king) verse 1 “So the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul? Fill you horn with oil and head to Jesse – I’ve chosen one of his sons to be king.’ Samuel ‘Saul will kill me.’ God ‘Take a lamb and say you’re going to sacrifice and invite Jesse. I will show you then.’ So Samuel went and the elders in the town shook in fear of him worrying he didn’t come in peace. When the sons of Jesse came, he saw the tallest, biggest, best and thought, ‘I bet this guy is who the Lord wants.’ But God said, ‘Nah, nah, nah – don’t look at his physique, I look at the heart.’ None of the young (7) sons that Jesse brought to Samuel were the ones that God had chosen. The youngest (David) was just a boy and was tending the sheep. So he was brought in – he was ruddy and handsome and the Lord said, ‘Bingo! He’s the guy!’ Samuel rose and anointed him with oil, then went on to Rama.”

Samuel even thought differently, but was sensitive enough to the Spirit of God that he knew there was another son and asked for him particularly.

There is a tendency (even among the prophets) to look at the outward appearance. Even Jesus said, “Do not judge by the outward appearance.” Romans 2:11 “There is no partiality with God.” Proverbs “To show partiality is not good.”

But we all have a tendency (from childhood) to show favoritism.

Still, James warns against this. So, he provides a common, practical example. Even in churches throughout the ages this is a big problem. The BIG givers usually get the best spots, the most preferential treatment, and the poor are told “Sit in the back.” Still, the Lord spoke strongly against this (Leviticus “Do not be partial to the poor…judge your neighbor fairly.” – we may even sometimes treat the poor better to the neglect of the rich. Don’t do this either.)

Use righteous judgment in whatever you do.

One pastor had been preaching on this and meditating for about a week. On Friday, a homeless man came in, he was almost getting sent to jail – he’d gone to every agency in town and didn’t get any help. He passed the office door and came in. We got him a Grey Hound (bus) ticket to Denver. He came back and said that his shoes were too small to walk – he asked for a ride. I obliged, nervously, but he was a good conversationalist and spoke of Jesus. He said, “Thank you, Father.” The preacher said, “Although I’d been meditating on this all week, it hadn’t yet touched my actions. I hope that I’ve learned this lesson.”

My experience:

In Canada, people often passed through, and people ask for money, a ride, etc. After a time, your heart can become hard. But the Lord says, “Repent of those attitudes. You have the means to help, so help.”

In Acts, the Jews had no dealings with the Gentiles, and yet God called Cornelius to know about Jesus and receive salvation through him. He was a centurion and tithed in the synagogue and prayed daily. An angel told him to go to Joppa and find Simon Peter and bring him to them – to their household – to tell them words by which they’d be saved. So he did it.

At the same time, the Lord was preparing Peter’s heart. The Lord gave him a (hungry) vision on the top of the roof of his building. A sheet came down from heaven with “unclean” animals and the Lord said, “Rise and kill and eat.” Peter said, “No, surely not.” God said, “Do not call unclean that which I’ve cleansed.” At that time the messengers from Cornelius arrived and called on Peter. The Lord said, “Go with them.” So he did, and he witnessed to them.

As he was speaking and explaining the ministry and life and salvation of Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles – and then Simon and the other Jews (witnesses) were able to testify to this to the greater Jewish church.

Then, Peter realized that God is not partial and that even Gentiles whose hearts are turned toward him can be saved.

Yet, even later, Peter still showed partiality to the Jews – separated himself from the Gentiles. Paul corrected him. “Old habits die hard.” You know that and I know that. We have to crucify the flesh daily. Peter subjected himself to Paul’s correction. We also must do that.

Remind ourselves: “That wasn’t right of me to judge him/her in that way. Just because he smelled, had bad hair, etc.”

Sex trafficking – in India – girls as young as 10 or 12 have no hope except through Christ. They are often enslaved by the government of the pimps. The pimps usually give loans with ENORMOUS interest which can NEVER be paid back.

Often these women may be saved and go right back into the prostitution. There’s not an immediate actual break from this kind of trauma. There takes time for the layers of brokenness to be healed.

“Over the mountains and the sea, your river runs with love for me, and I will open up my heart and let the Healer set me free.” But the healing takes time.

We should open our hearts to our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world – don’t show partiality to any. Where there’s a need, try to meet it.

Ceneka – Greek philosopher – said, “They love to put rings on their fingers.” Just to show off how wealthy they were (even if they weren’t) – they just wanted to give the IMPRESSION that they were wealthy (how many of us do that today?)

These people were often given special treatment in the church.

Another person comes in who hasn’t showered in a few days and is told, “sit in the back… or at least not too close to the rich because their noses are sensitive…”

Yet, it’s the RICH who drag you to court and sue. The RICH oppress you. The RICH blaspheme the name of the Lord.

In Antioch they were called “Christians” first (in mockery) – but they took that name and ran with it – making it a badge of honor.

James concludes and says, “Show mercy TO EVERYONE.” No one can CHOOSE who is worthy or not worthy of salvation. Then you are becoming judges with evil thoughts.

Remember: Mercy TRIUMPHS over judgment.

The picture of the Roman general with all his treasures from the war would come out and honor the general – he’d come back with MORE than he’d gone out with. This is TRIUMPH. This is a good picture of what Mercy over Judgment means.

Even as Christians, we will face the Judgment at the Bema Seat – “what have you done with the life you’ve been given?” – this is not to enslave us with fear, and this is not the judgment of condemnation. But when we are merciful, we also will receive mercy.

“Love covers over a multitude of sins.”

May the Lord bless the Word to our hearts and enable us to put it into practice this week.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 27 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Encouraged by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:26-42)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Encouraged by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:26-42)


04.27.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

Aeneas and Dorcas
32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

Acts 9 = The tremendous event of Saul’s conversion – while on the way to Damascus to take Christians prisoners. He was authorized to take any Christians there captive and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.

On the way, Jesus met him in a blinding light – and he realized what he’d been doing. He was told to go into Damascus and wait. Ananias was then told to go and pray for Saul – but he was hesitant due to the words he’d heard of Saul. But God told him that Saul was chosen by God to take the word of the Lord before the Gentiles – even kings and rulers.

Ananias prayed for Saul, he was healed, and Saul immediately went out to preach the good news of Jesus in the places he used to persecute Christians. The Christian leaders didn’t recognize him at first – because of what he’d previously done.

Saul preached of the murder of God – but also the resurrection (as we saw last week at Easter) – and it is due to the resurrection and as evidenced by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the believers – that Jesus is the son of God, Messiah, Savior of the world.

Saul had previously been ignorant of all these things because he was only book-learned, and it took an encounter with Jesus (the living, risen Jesus himself) to change his mind and be able to finally understand and piece together the Scriptures that spoke OF Jesus. Then he was able to preach effectively in the synagogues and many were converted.

There are two images of Jesus in the Bible:

  1. The Suffering Servant
  2. The Glorious King

The Jews were focused on the second and many missed the first. We are now living between the former time and the latter.

“A time is coming when people will worship in spirit and in truth” when we receive Jesus as Savior. Saul finally realized this and preached it in the synagogues – in Damascus first. Then he went to Silicea and preached for 3 years. Then he came back – and there was a plot by the Jews and the governors of that area to kill Saul – so his followers let him down in a basket from the wall.

This updates us to today.

The disciples in Jerusalem had probably heard of Saul’s conversion (it’s been over 3 years). But they were still wary of him because of his long, hard reputation.

At this time, Barnabas (the Son of Encouragement) lived up to his namesake (nick-namesake) and blessed Saul before them.

Barnabas has been mentioned before in Acts 4 – his generosity noted – and he helped many people who were in need at that time. He “had a heart of gold.” Later, when the Antioch Gentiles received the gospel, Barnabas is sent down as one of the delegates to meet them and check out this move of the Spirit. He found that it was a genuine move of the Spirit and he encouraged them there.

Acts 13, Barnabas is chosen with Paul (Saul) to go on their first missionary journey.

Acts 15, Barnabas went with Paul to Jerusalem to help settle the controversy of Gentiles entering the church (did they need to keep all the Jewish Law? circumsicion? diet?) It was decided they didn’t need to keep all the rites and rituals that were part of the Old Covenant.

Later, Barnabas shows this same kind of “take a chance generosity” with Mark. Mark had let them down previously, and though Paul refused to accept him back into their missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to. This eventually split the two of them, but later Paul praised Mark and wanted him back – in a letter he wrote.

We all fail in different ways – but God is able to help and restore and strengthen us.

Barnabas brought Paul to the apostles (probably before Peter and James (Jesus’ brother)). Probably the others were busy elsewhere.

Paul doesn’t meet with the disciples around the churches in Judea, and some of the believers were probably not too eager to meet with him – suspecting him of being a secret spy. There was an air of suspicion about him, until Barnabas vouched for him.

v. 28-29

Paul speaks boldly in the name of the Lord – he’s debating with the Helenistic/Grecian Jews who’d been hostile to Stephen and stoned him to death. Quite a turn of events – because he’d held their coats while they had stoned Stephen. And eventually, these same guys tried to kill Paul. But they sent him away, back to his home in Tarsus.

The disciples were concerned with Paul’s safety and the safety of the church members with good reason (Acts 22). Paul (in Acts 22) mentions this time – he was in the temple in Jerusalem praying and the Lord appeared to him and said, “Quick! Leave Jerusalem immediately! The people here won’t accept your testimony!” Paul tried to argue saying his testimony is so amazing that people will have to believe. But God is firm and says, No, I will send you to the Gentiles. So, Paul agrees to go and the disciples send him off to Tarsus.

So this departure is really based on God’s will.

This whole portion of Scripture (Acts) reads as if it’s one event after the other, but there may have been much time that passes between events. For example, Paul may have stayed in Tarsus for up to 10 years.

Paul was a Roman citizen (received from his father – probably who did some service for Rome, got the citizenship and passed it on to Paul). So, Paul was learned in the popular culture as well – and was able to quote from poetry and other sources that the non-Christians would be familiar with. Paul eventually becomes the central focus of Acts.

Acts 9:31

There was a time of peace, encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the church grew (and possibly spread to Galilee).

People are being healed, saved, meeting the reality of the good news.

Acts 6:7

“So the Word of God spread.” Many in Jerusalem, including priests, believed.

This is a fulfillment of the Word of Jesus before his ascension – that the gospel would spread throughout Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 9:32-35

Peter evangelizes the countryside in Judea.

Philip has passed through, preaching the gospel there after his encounter with the Ethiopian. Peter is backing up that missionary tour – going the same route, preaching and confirming the disciples as he goes.

He comes to Lydda to visit the saints (believers). Lydda = 25 miles NW of Jerusalem – at the crossroads of two major highways. Here, he meets Aeneas – bedridden for 8 years. He heals him and word of it spreads. Luke writes “all those who lived in Lydda saw him and turned to the Lord.” (Probably not ALL, but this is emphasis to show that this was a pretty major event.)

Peter next goes to Joppa – modern Jaffa (Tel-Abib?) Here there is a much-loved disciple “Tabitha” Aramaic = “Dorcas” Greek = Gazelle in English. She was doing well and loved by all the people and she suddenly dies. The whole church is mourning her, hear that Peter is nearby, so send for him.

What could he do? She’s dead. She’s lying in preparation for burial. And Peter goes upstairs, sends everyone out, kneels and prays, then tells her to “get up.” He takes up by the hand, helps her up, and presents her alive to the others. WOW. Lots of joy there.

There are many similarities between this story and Jesus’ story of raising Talitha? daughter of Jarius.

  1. The sending of messengers
  2. The mourners around the room
  3. The kicking everyone out of the room
  4. The calling for her to wake up
  5. The taking of her hand

Here, Peter is recreating the miracle that Jesus’ did earlier.

  • Jesus said, “Talitha, get up.”
  • Peter said, “Tabitha, get up.”
  • There is only one letter difference there.

Jesus had said, “What I have done, you will do.” Here is evidence of that. Peter obviously has an open line with God, and so he can speak with authority.

Luke 5 – the healing of the paralytic (through the roof) and Jesus had encouraged the man “your sins are forgiven.” When people get sick, we often self-examine. (What have I done? What have I not done with my life?) And Jesus spoke to that heart and said, “You’re forgiven.” But to prove he has authority to say that, he also healed his body.

Elijah (and Jesus?) also raised a widow’s son to life.

Throughout the Scriptures, there are similar accounts of raising people.

  • Elijah raised a widow’s son.
  • Elisha also raised someone.

Jesus is willing to use these servants – even you and me – if we recognizes him for who he is and what he’s done. He has promised to not bring the same diseases upon his people (in the Old Testament) as those who didn’t believe in him in other lands. He’s able to heal today as well.

Physical, Spiritual healing – related to forgiveness. When we ask for forgiveness, God expects us to forgive others. Many people find that healing takes place only AFTER they forgive other people. Many times we harm ourselves and prevent God’s healing power to come through us because of our own unforgiveness. If we hold a grudge, unforgiveness against people – even close relatives – we are not free, we are not healed. Release them from the grudge, forgive them, and find healing for your own spirits.

We’ve all been touched and healed by the Lord. Let’s be prepared to share this with others.

Healing from death, physical, emotional, spiritual healing is available in Christ.

Acts 9 finishes with Peter at the house of Simon the tanner. The rabbis thought that tanning was unclean (because the animals might be unclean). But they also wrote the Scriptures on the hides of animals that were clean. Peter doesn’t seem to mind so much.

Later we see in Acts 10 that Peter learns to eat even unclean animals.

Interesting that Luke records strange details that don’t really help his story. BUT it does prove that Luke was an accurate historian – this is not myth, it’s history, it happened, it’s real. These little details demonstrate that.

In the final short section, Luke shows that the gospel has been preached in the whole province by now. And the Christian mission in the Jewish nation has now widened. The reader of Acts is now prepared for the next leap that the gospel message must take. That’s where Acts 10 begins the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles – to Cornelius and his household.

The good news is still good. Jesus heals, saves, He is Lord. Is he YOUR healer, Savior, Lord? If not, perhaps today is the day for you to be healed. We’ve been studying the resurrection, perhaps today is your day to be restored to life in your spirit.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 16 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and I (Matthew 11:1-15)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus Christ, John the Baptist and I (Matthew 11:1-15)


03.16.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee. 2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.”

7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

10 “This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears, let him hear.

Do you have ears? God bless us with our hands, ears, eyes, feet, mouth. 

As we know, in Chp 10, we studied 3 times – Jesus called his 12 disciples (apostles) and gave them authority and power to go on mission. After that, he didn’t take a rest – he went on to do his mission continually: Preaching, Teaching, & Healing.

At that time, JB was in prison by Herod – because he’d publicly rejected Herod’s adulterous relationship and marriage. JB was very active, he was sent as the forerunner of God to testify to Jesus so that through him all men might believe in Christ. Now, in prison, he cannot speak outside publicly anymore. He thought more and more about Jesus, and the more and more he thought, the more and more he was convinced that YES Jesus was the Messiah. So he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask him – and he put all his hope in this one question. “Are you the One who was to come?”

This question may look like a doubtful question – but it can also be seen as a question through which the light of hope is shining. 

Jesus’ answer = v.4-6

This answer of Jesus is a quotation from Isaiah 29, and 35:4-6. In two places in Isaiah, these same words can be found. So, Jesus reminded him of the OT prophecies about the works of the Messiah. He pointed him toward his acts of healing, his preaching, and his teaching. YES! With so much evidence, Jesus’ identity should have been obvious. In this answer, we hear the accent of confidence. He didn’t say, “Tell John what I’m talking about.” He said, “Tell John what you SEE.”

Jesus’ answer is the same today. SEE what I can do for you. SEE what I have done for others. 

The very things Jesus did 2000 years ago in Galilee, he is doing still today.

  • The truth about God and his works can only be seen (eyes opened) when you have faith in Christ.
  • Feet that are not strong, can be strengthened in Jesus.
  • Those contaminated by the disease of sin can only be purified by Jesus Christ.
  • Those who are deaf to the voice of God can only hear in Christ.
  • Those who are dead in sin can be raised to the newness and liveliness of life in Jesus.
  • Those who are poor in spirit can receive the richness of the love of God only in Christ. 

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

His invitation is, was, and will be the same. Give your life to me and see and experience what I can do with your life. 

The supreme argument for Christ is not intellectual debate, but the experience of his life-changing power.

v. 7-10

After this, Jesus talks about JB.

This is a quotation from Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger ahead of you…”

Jesus asks and answers 3 questions about JB:

What did you go out to see in the desert?

  1. A reed swayed in the wind? NO. – A reed was a kind of grass on the banks of the Jordan River – symbolizing the most COMMON of things to see. Another meaning = a weak vacillator – he never takes a stand on anything – always tossed about by various opinions (flip-flopper). We know they did NOT go to see this – JB’s fiery preaching was not like a reed.
  2. A man with fine clothes? NO – John’s clothes = camel’s hair. If they wanted to see a rich man, they should have gone to a palace. Such a man would be a courtier. He was not a courtier. He was an ambassador of God – not a courtier of King Herod.
  3. A prophet? YES – The prophet is a foreteller of the truth of God. He had confidence in God and the wisdom of God in his mind, the truth of God in his mouth, the courage of God in his heart. The job of the prophet was to show the true Messiah to man. JB was the LAST of the OT prophets – and he saw the Son of Man with his own two eyes. This made him more than a prophet.

Today, what do you come to church to see in Jesus Christ? Yes, we worship God, but what do you come to SEE in Jesus? Entertainment? No. Luxurious clothes? No. 

Why do you come to church? What do you come to see? “I come to see my personal Lord, Savior, God, in Jesus Christ and to worship him together with my brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Jesus continues to talk about JB in v. 11 (much meaning).

“I tell you the truth” = “listen well, this is SUPER important…”

First Jesus exalts JB to the highest place among all human beings “He is THE greatest among all born of women.” Yes, he is the greatest, biggest man in the history of the world. 

But then, Jesus lowers JB to the lowest place in the kingdom of heaven. How can these two opposites both be true? 

Yes, JB is THE greatest in human history. Before sharing this, let’s have one question: Who is greater, JB or you? Before God? (Silently)

Your personal answer to this question is the correct answer…to you.

Yes, he was the GREATEST in history – the only one who baptized Jesus in the Jordan, the only prophet to see and point people DIRECTLY to Jesus. In this sense, JB is the greatest in all of history. Yes, in this world.

BUT, in the kingdom of heaven, the least is greater than JB. It means, if we are truly in the kingdom of heaven by believing in Jesus, we are greater than JB. What did John lack? It’s simple and fundamental. He’d never seen the cross. Therefore, he never understood the FULL revelation of the love of God manifested through the cross.

The love of God, the holiness, the judgment, the warning, the penalty of God he preached, but he never FULLY understood the love of God because he died before Jesus died (and rose again to inaugurate his kingdom). 

No one ever fulfilled his God-given purpose better than JB, but he never saw the cross with his eyes.

It is an amazing thing for us to know more about God than the greatest of the great OT prophets. 

Yes, in his coming kingdom, we have a greater spiritual heritage than JB, because we have known and seen the FINISHED work of Christ on the cross. We can have greater privilege than JB.

Yes, JB is great, greater, the greatest – in that his FIRST message was the same as that of Jesus Christ “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near!” And Jesus came as the king of his kingdom. It means, Jesus is the REALITY of the kingdom of heaven – this is Jesus’ dominion as king. Wherever Jesus is in control as King, that is the kingdom of heaven. How can we receive this? 

ONE WAY: by believing in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sin and rose again for my salvation – and accept him as my personal Lord, King, Savior, and God. We receive by believing in the truth of Jesus’ substitutionary attonement. This is the gospel message. 

JB did preach a powerful and wonderful message, BUT it wasn’t the gospel – because there was no story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

We can be greater than JB in this sense. He had no opportunity to preach the message of the cross – the message of the gospel. But we have this wonderful blessing to preach and share this very message of the cross. 

IF you and I preach and share the message of the gospel – the death and resurrection of Jesus – then we are greater than JB in God’s redemptive history. 

That’s why this passage says “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

v. 12-15

Jesus continues to talk about JB. 

Let’s see two verses:

  1. Malachi 4:5 (last book, last chapter, almost last verse of OT) “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day when the Lord comes.”
  2. Matthew 24:14 (prophecy of the last day of the last days) “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and THEN the end will come.” (This is the prophecy of the last day of the last days.)

v. 12 “Forcefully advancing – forceful men” 

Yes, the kingdom of heaven was started with the death and resurrection of Jesus, but the consummation of the kingdom of heaven is YET to come. The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of this world now stand AGAINST each other – because Satan is the king/prince of this world/age. So, until the consummation of the kingdom of heaven is finished, there is fighting between these two kingdoms. 

From when JB was imprisoned wrongly, the kingdom of heaven has experienced violence and persecution. So, if we accept the kingdom of heaven, we need violent devotion – forceful attitude, assertive action – to keep the kingdom of heaven safely and peacefully. 

“John is like Elijah”

JB came in spirit and power of Elijah – he also dressed like Elijah and ministered like him – and had a message of judgment for the apostate nation of Israel. 

The last book, chp, almost verse – it prophesied the coming of Elijah again before the last day. Jesus regarded the coming of JB as the fulfillment of that prophecy. 

How about us? Yes, we can be greater than JB IF we are used in fulfilling the prophecy of the last days in Matthew 24:14. “This gospel will be preached to all nations and then the end will come.” (And then I will come.)

If we are used in fulfilling this prophecy, we will be counted, regarded by God as greater than JB in God’s redemptive history. 

“He who has ears, let him hear. She who has ears, let her hear.”

God bless us with our hands, feet, ears, and mouth. 

Let’s pray. 

  • Jan 12 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Missionary Chapter: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give! (Matthew 10:1-8)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Missionary Chapter: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give! (Matthew 10:1-8)


01.12.2014 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 

Have you received something freely? Undeserved?

Last time, Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them. He looked outside and said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Few = almost none

“Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus is the same then and now, so he also has compassion today on man, sinners, the lost. It is the dream/hope of Jesus Christ that every single Christian = a missionary/reaper. Why? Because there is somebody that every one of us must bring to God.

He asks us to see what he saw, do what he’s done, feel what he’s felt.

  • Matthew 10: The Missionary Chapter
  • The King’s Ambassador’s Chapter
  • 1 Cor 13 = Love
  • 1 Cor 15 = Resurrection
  • Hebrews 11 = Faith
  • Matthew 10 = Missionary
  1. Who is the Lord/King of the missionaries?
  2. Who are the missionaries?
  3. Where is their mission field?
  4. What is the main target?
  5. What is the main message?
  6. What are the main tasks?

1: Who is the Lord of the missionary?

This is the Missionary chapter. The key subject = HE (Jesus Christ). The Lord = Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Lord of Salvation.

v. 1 = “HE…”

The work of salvation can only be accomplished by Jesus Christ, but the witness of salvation can only be accomplished by his workers. That’s why Jesus needs (needs) these messengers.

In Isaiah, the prophet was before the throne of God in his vision, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty.” God said, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? (Trinity)” Isaiah, “Here am I, send me!”

Like this, if we really experience salvation, we must respond to the calling of Jesus Christ. Who shall go for us (Trinity)?

Chp 9 did say, “Pray for workers.” But that is not enough. We must also make ourselves available to serve him.

2. Who can be missionaries? Called and sent?

There are two steps in the calling:

1. Jesus calls a sinner to be saved (to be his disciple/learner/follower).

Yes, Jesus had MANY disciples – some only hangers-on, but some were truly converted. In his first calling, Jesus calls a sinner to be saved = salvation.

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.

Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to salvation.

2. Calling for OTHER’S salvation.

From this large group of disciples, Jesus selected a smaller group of disciples (called apostles). In church today, we have no name “apostles” – but the most suitable name = “missionaries.”

v. 2-4 Can you memorize the 12 apostles?

  1. Simon (Peter)
  2. Andrew
  3. James (Zebedee)
  4. John
  5. Philip
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Thomas
  8. Matthew (this guy)
  9. James (Alphaeus)
  10. Thaddeus
  11. Simon (Zealot)
  12. Judas Iscariot

These guys are TOTALLY AVERAGE. Not rich, not academically gifted or learned, not high status, etc, etc.

They were very mixed – fishers, tax collectors (the most hated of the Jews), Simon the Zealot (very religious).

Zealots = the most nationalist of all nationalists – prepared to die for their country’s independence.

They had a strong resolution to undergo ANY suffering for their country – they were also ready to kill anyone who was against their country – with assassination or murder.

Imagine, if Simon the Zealot had met Matthew in another place (not with Jesus), he might have killed him.

The wonderful truth – 2-3 men who HATE each other can LOVE each other in Christ.

Who is God? He is the God who created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He can do something EXTRAORDINARY with ordinary people. Jesus sees not only who we ARE, but also what he CAN MAKE us.

  • Yes, we are ordinary – not great.
  • But Jesus can make us extraordinary – to do something great through us.

Why? Because Jesus is a great king.

Are you called for salvation? (#1). Are you assured of your salvation? Then you should give thanks in ALL circumstances.

“It is by grace you have been saved, not by works so that no one may boast.”

Are you called as a missionary (#2)? Then also give thanks in all circumstances – because we have nothing to boast.

1 Cor ?:27-29 “God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. God chose the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast.”

If you have a strong calling, and realize that you are also called as a missionary, and you have a heart to truly win people to Christ, then you are TRUE apostles – you are TRULY his ambassadors.

3. Where is the mission field?

If we are missionaries, where is our mission field? Who are the main target people?

v.5-6 Lost sheep of Israel. 

Jesus gave them very specific instructions regarding their ministry.

  • Not Gentiles
  • Not Samaria
  • Only lost sheep of Israel

Does this mean he opposed the others? Didn’t love them? Was a nationalist?

No, he’d already encountered the Gentiles in Matthew 8 and healed them, and in John 4, the Samaritan woman.

What does this mean? 

Jesus came not to the Jews ONLY, but to the Jews FIRST.

Why are the Jews called the “Chosen People?” Because they were chosen FIRST – to give the message of salvation to other nations.

In that time, the Gentile territory lay to the North and Samaritan territory to the South. This is the very FIRST evangelism activity for the apostles – it was not long-term, but short-term. They must come back soon and report to Jesus. Now is also before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

So, this time is for maximizing efficiency and effect – not for exclusivity, not for partiality, but for FRUIT, concentration of limited energy for a specific target.

After his crucifixion and resurrection, THEN Jesus commands, “Go into ALL nations, ALL Creation and proclaim the Good News!”

So, how can we apply this principle in our own mission fields? If we are truly missionaries, we need to have 2 attitudes:

  1. Personal evangelist – be ready at all times to preach the Word of God, in season and out of season
  2. Specific target – we are limited in time and place, and wisdom, so we need a specific target for maximizing the fruit of our ministries.

3. What Was Their Message?

v. 7 “As you go…”

The message: short, simple, clear

“The kingdom of heaven is near.”

Jesus himself is the kingdom of heaven – kingdom = the king’s domain, country.

John the Baptist’s message was also the same.

It means, “The King is hear, the King is near, receive him!”

Now, we are after his crucifixion and before his Second Coming – so now what is our key message?

  1. Jesus DIED for your sins
  2. He was RAISED for your salvation
  3. He is COMING again soon

4. What were their tasks?

  1. Heal the sick
  2. Raise the dead
  3. Cleanse those with leprosy
  4. Drive out demons

Can you do these things?

We cannot. But Jesus can do them through us.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever in his power and authority. Yes, these things can happen literally if Jesus wills. But, more importantly is the SPIRITUAL ministry.

Basically, fundamentally, the ministry of the missionaries is these things:

  1. The lost are sick – unable, invalid, hopeless, powerless. If he accepts Jesus, he is healed perfectly, immediately.
  2. The lost are dead (Eph 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your sins and transgressions…”). If he accepts Jesus, he is ALIVE immediately. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, though he dies.” Accepting Jesus Christ means rising from the dead immediately, physically, spiritually, eternally.
  3. The lost are lepers – without sense of spiritual things – unclean and ugly. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately cleansed, purified, forgiven, restored in fellowship. Accepting Christ = purification.
  4. The lost are under the control of devils spiritually. Do you believe? “You belong to your father, the devil” – Jesus says to those who reject him. Whether we understand or agree or not, this is the spiritual truth. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately freed to serve Jesus.

Accepting Jesus =

  1. Healing
  2. Resurrection
  3. Purification
  4. Freedom

Freely we have received. Freely we are to give.

John 10:10 “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”

If we are in Christ, we have eternal life. But God wants us to enjoy this life abundantly, fully. How? The secret = by giving freely. Give THIS life freely to others and you will experience THIS life more abundantly.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 29 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead (Matthew 9:14-26)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Raiser of the Dead (Matthew 9:14-26)


12.29.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. 16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his clock, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. 23 When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, 24 he said, “Go away…

Remember, fasting must be done at the right time, for the right reason, with the right motivation.

  • Pharisees fasted very often, but with the wrong reason at the wrong time.
  • John’s disciples fasted to prepare themselves to receive the coming Messiah, but he’d already come, so they should have been feasting with him, not fasting. John’s disciples fasted with ignorance.
  • Pharisees fasted for “show.” They wanted to show others that they were Super Holy Dudes. The fasted with pride and self-righteousness.

A wedding is a time of celebration and feasting. Likewise, Jesus’ coming is a time of celebration and feasting.

There is a time coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them (John 16) – the crucifixion and death and burial of Jesus. You will weep and mourn while this world rejoices. – Jesus told them.

But their sorrow turned into joy when they saw their risen resurrected Lord.

To be with Jesus Christ is a sign of celebration.

Someday, we must die, all relationships must end someday. Only Jesus remains forever the same. Only the joy of heaven lasts forever and ever. Nobody can take the joy of heaven from our hearts.

New wine and wineskins (v.16-17)

At that time, they stored wine in wineskins.

The illustration of the cross shows that Jesus came to give wholeness, not just patch us up. Also, the wineskins show that Jesus is giving completeness. The old Judaism is the old wineskins – the Law. He didn’t come to repair or mix with the old religion. He came with a new covenant, the covenant of Grace, a new way to express personal faith – the newness of the gospel could not be combined with the legalism of the Pharisees.

Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them. He is the END, the FULFILLMENT of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

He didn’t come to repair and fix up the old Judaism. His purpose is to bring something totally new. The message that the Son of God offers to all people the forgiveness of sins – the reconciliation of God and Man and life everlasting. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW creation. The old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Cor) “There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts)

There are 2 miracles that follow here – restoration of broken hope, broken families, broken homes. (Also in Luke and John)


This ruler’s name is Jarius. Mark 5, Luke 8, also show this story in more detail. He is a synagogue ruler. When he came to Jesus first, his daughter was CLOSE to death, not dead. “My daughter is DYING” he said. But the delay caused by the healing of the next woman gave death the opportunity to do its work. Jarius’ friends came after the healing and said, “Your daughter has died.” But Jesus quickly reassured him.


Just then, a woman who’d been bleeding for 12 years touched his cloak.

Her bleeding made her ceremonially unclean. So even everybody and everything she touched became unclean. She was cut of from the synagogue and other men and women. She did EVERYTHING possible to be saved from this terrible life of isolation. She actually should not have even been in this crowd surrounding Jesus. Because if they had known it, she was infecting many people with her uncleanness. So, she came quietly, secretly and touched Jesus’ garment with her hand. Jesus said, “who did that?”

Jesus actually knew and his disciples knew he knew, but he kept looking around for her anyway. She eventually came out and trembling with fear, kneeled down before him. “Take heart, daughter. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Jesus not only gave her physical healing, but also PEACE – heavenly healing. He gave her more than she wanted. Eph “God is able to do immeasureably MORE than we ask.”

Yesterday, today, and forever, he is living with us in his Spirit. He can do more and more than we ask, than we wish. 

While he was talking with this woman, Jarius’ friends came and said, “Your daughter is dead.”

Jesus said, “Do not be afraid. Just believe.” Jesus went to his house with only 3 disciples – Peter, James, and John?

There was a funeral procession there – loud weeping and crying and a large crowd. He said, “Go out” but they laughed at him. Mark: Jesus said, “Talitha, get up.”

A lack of crying was disrespectful, a disgrace. Jarius was a synagogue ruler/leader at that time, so lots of people came and expressed their sorrow with loud cries and weeping. Maybe Jarius was angry with the first healed woman because they delayed to arrive before they arrived. The problem wasn’t the woman, but his faith, his attitude.

God is NEVER late in answering us.

If you see a dead person, what do you see? A dead person? An unbeliever’s death = death to God’s eyes AND people’s eyes. A believer’s death = death to people’s eyes BUT sleep to God’s eyes.

We may also be laughed at because of our faith in Christ. 2 Cor “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But to those who believe it is life.”

Have you ever been laughed at for your faith in Christianity? Do not lose heart. Take heart. The most dramatic of all, Jesus, rose again from the dead. ONLY Jesus has the authority and power to say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live even though he dies. Whoever believes in me will never die because I will raise him up at the last day.” (John’s gospel).

Soon, this is the last day.

The last day of 2013, the last day of school, last day of work, last day of friendship, the last day of life, the last day of the material world.

But in heaven, there is NO MORE last day. This is our hope, our faith in Jesus’ Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 15 / 2013
  • Comments Off on The Futile Fight Against God (Acts 5:27-42)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Futile Fight Against God (Acts 5:27-42)


12.15.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

27 Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead–whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” 33 When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.35 Then he addressed them: “Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. 37After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” 40 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

At the beginning of Acts 5, there was a lot of consternation because of the sudden death of Ananias and Sapphaira – deceivers of the HS and other disciples. They didn’t have the fear of the Lord they should have. And they paid the ultimate price because of it. That brought a great fear on the church.

Also, there was great grace during that time. They prayed in the evenings for those who were troubled and afflicted by spirits or diseases.

So, in this great grace and great fear, many more joined the apostles, and many also stayed farther and farther away.

Many people benefited from the outpouring of the Spirit. The apostles were preaching and teaching and the church was growing, and the Pharisees and Sadducees started to become jealous and had them arrested. They wanted to punish them so they put them in jail – but at night an angel came and freed them and sent them back to preach some more. So, they did. At daybreak, the members of the Council sent for the disciples – who weren’t there. They went back to report, and at the same time someone else reported “Hey! Those dudes are back!” So, they sent someone to arrest them AGAIN. Then they appeared before the Council.

The Pharisees said, “Didn’t we tell you not to preach in THAT name?” (Couldn’t even say the name “Jesus”).

All the apostles agreed that it was their duty to obey God rather than men and to continue preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus.

Now the Council members get quite angry, because Peter had pretty much showed that they were responsible for Jesus’ death – but he wasn’t out to BLAME them for it. They said, “You put the guilt of this on us!” He said, “Jesus was raised by God as a man, from the dead, in his ascension.” (3 steps). Because he was glorified, he was therefore also called out on the Pentecost (the HS – his Spirit). He was also sent to be the Savior of the world.

Jesus was raised as the Savior of the world (the WHOLE world) – first to the Jew, then the Gentile.

Even though Peter presents his case in this manner, the Pharisees were angry. Peter says, “You hung him on a tree.” In Greek (zulon) = something made of wood.

In Deuteronomy, anyone who was guilty of a capital was hung up on a tree or a pole during the day, but the body had to be taken down at nightfall because it was believed to be condemned by God.

  • Peter is basically saying, “You thought of him as a curse (probably still do). YET, this was God’s plan from the Beginning anyway. This was to be God’s plan for restoration.”
  • Paul: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having been cursed for us – because it is written ‘cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree.’”

Remember the Old Covenant under Abraham. If the people obeyed God, they would be blessed in every way. But if the disobeyed God, they would receive the curses of God – disease, hurt, trouble.

Even though they said, “We will obey” they didn’t understand their own inability to do so. So, God made a way for them to be cleansed regardless – the spotless lamb that was sacrificed. Paul says that this was just a “warm-up.” The true sacrifice, the eternal sacrifice is Jesus. Paul points everything to Jesus. Even the Centurion who guarded Jesus’ body at his death said, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”

Romans “There’s not one righteous, no not one. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Derick Prince (theologian) “Everything is provided in the cross.” – He suffered our hell for us, he took our punishment, he was wounded for us – so that we would be made whole, we would be healed, we could have eternal life.

What we all need = spiritual healing. Physical, mental, emotional healing is all appropriate as well and Christ (ultimately) has provided all these.

Prince was very sick (after WWII) and read and meditated on the Scriptures and became well. His wife as well – after meditating on the Scriptures.

We can do so as well – but must also get rid of any barriers that might prevent healing – such as unforgiveness or hidden sins.

The scapegoat (in the Old Testament) was given all the sins of the people, then led off into the wilderness and was destroyed. Jesus was OUR scapegoat – he bore the penalty for our sins. He exchanged his righteousness for our sins, and we have received his righteousness in place of our sins. What a cost.

He was punished, wounded for us. He was made SIN for us. He died. We all die. Why do we die? Sin brings death. (Genesis 2 “You may eat of any tree in the Garden except that one. If you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 3 Snake “You won’t die…” – but that sin brings death – not instantly, but inevitably).

If we receive Christ, his spirit is an eternal Spirit, so that we might have life. Jesus says, “I’ve come that they might have life and have it abundantly.” (Gospel of John).

Jesus also became poor for us. If the OT Law was broken, then poverty, a loss of all things was the consequence. Jesus didn’t even have a grave – a different guy – a rich guy – donated one for him. Even the presence of his Father in Heaven was taken away “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He died in poverty, but rose again in splendor and glory.

When people receive Jesus, they are blessed – inevitably.

Example: Alcohol, sexual addictions, drugs – when you receive Christ and know that he is enough (and you don’t need your old crutches) – you become blessed. You get cleaned up, help others get cleaned up. Jesus takes away the barriers to your blessing.

Jesus bore our shame. When we sin or even are sinned against – violence, abuse, sexual abuse – even if it’s not your fault – sometimes you experience guilt and shame. But Jesus KNOWS that same shame – he bore it – he TOOK it. He was naked and abused, hanging and dying on that cross. Shame is eliminated in the cross.

  • He bore our shame that we might share in his glory (not his intrinsic God glory) – but his heavenly, resurrected glory. He is the first of our family in heaven.
  • He also took our rejection as he bore the consequence of our sin. He = our rejection. We = now accepted by God.
  • He bore the curse of the broken law.

(Gap for spent battery)

Let’s pray…

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