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  • May 10 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (Hebrews 13:1-3)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (Hebrews 13:1-3)

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Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy

Hebrews 13:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

Concluding Exhortations

1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.


This is the last chapter of Hebrews. In the Bible, there is no division between:

  • Doctrine / Duty
  • Revelation / Responsibility
  • Theology / Application
  • Believing / Behaving

These two always go together.

In the last section, the emphasis is on living by faith – as we studied in:

  • chp 11 – the examples of faith,
  • chp 12 – encouragement to faith,
  • chp 13 – evidence of faith that should appear in our lives if we are really living by faith, not by sight.

Last week, “our God is a consuming fire” and also “consuming love.”

From fire to function, from vertical to horizontal, from love for God to love for human beings. It is clear: what we think about God determines how we think / act toward human beings in this world.

The relationship with God will be acted out in our relationships with other human beings, strangers, the lost.

Last week, our God is “consuming fire” of Mt. Sinai, and also “consuming love” of Mt. Zion. So, the relationship we have with God is revealed in the relationship we have with human beings.

10 commandments

  • 1-4 = vertical relationship, between God and man,
  • 5-10 = horizontal and ethical, the relationship we must have with our brothers and neighbors.

In chp 13, we read only 3 verses, but we can see three keywords of evidence of living by faith.

These three keywords: Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (empathy).

As we know, we worship such a God. We saw last week that worship is our lifestyle, so our worship must be done in our practical relationship with our brothers and sisters in this world.

Let us see these keywords one by one.

Love

v. 1

“1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.”

Early Christians faced hatred and persecution from the world so they should be able to find love and encouragement in the church.

The commandment to love is a very Old commandment (Leviticus 18:19 “Love your neighbor as yourself”)

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: love one another as I have loved you. In this way, people will know that you are my disciples.”

This old command is called “new” by Jesus – this means, “to love each other in the same way that Jesus loves us.” We are to love based on Jesus’ sacrificial love on the cross. Such love brings people to Christ and makes us strong and united in this world.

Jesus is the living example of God’s love. Like this, we are to be living examples of Jesus’ love in this world.

Romans “Christ demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 “God so loved the world…”

1 John 3:14 “He laid down his life for us…”

Bible says, “Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and truth.”

“God loved us first and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

“No one has ever seen God, but if anyone is in God …”

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear. Fear has to do with punishment…”

How? How can we love as Jesus loves? It is more than warm feelings, but it reveals itself in actions.

How can we love our brothers and sisters? By helping when not convenient, by giving when it hurts, by devoting energy to others without complaining or fighting back.

This love is very difficult – so people notice when we do it and they can know that we are his disciples when we do this.

We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ. These terms are not merely sentimental, but facts. No matter how many Christians there are, we all share one father.

We know how happy parents are when children love each other, likewise God is pleased when we live together in unity.

Psalm “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.”

God bless us to dwell in his love and love each other with his love.

Hospitality

v. 2

“2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Ex: Genesis 18, Abram and his wife Sarai received 3 strangers and entertained them without knowing they were angels.

Widely speaking, messengers sent by God are angels – because “angel” means “messenger.”

“Hospitality much be practiced.”

1 Peter 1:9 “Offer hospitality to each other without grumbling.”

1 John 1:8 “Show hospitality to others…”

Why is teaching on hospitality needed so much even 2000 years later.

In the ancient world, hotels, inns, were dangerous, dirty places, often pagan and even criminal activities were done there. Also many Christians suffered deportation by society or their own families. Wandering preachers and evangelists were always on the road. Slaves had no home of their own to go to. Businessmen also had travels and journeys to make. All of them needed hospitality.

Even today, we have homeless people, emotionally, spiritually. They need a homelike place.

Yes, Jesus lived his earthly life like a homeless person. He spent many nights on the mountain to pray. “Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but I have no place to put my head.”

On the last day, the Judgment Day, he will say,

“When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, thirsty, something to drink, stranger, you welcomed me in.”

“When? How?”

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Hospitality: to make someone feel welcome and at home

It is much better to practice hospitality than miss the chance to entertain angels.

Still today, they need hospitality to show that God is in this world.

Sympathy (empathy)

v. 3

“3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Jesus became flesh – he identified with us in our humanity, our weaknesses, our temptations.

Hebrews 2:18 “Because he suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

“We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He has been tempted in every way as we are, yet was without sin. So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence to help us in our times of need.”

Sin is like a slave market in which a sinner is sold to sin. Sin is like a prison in which a sinner is bound under the sentence of death. Jesus bought us from this market – indicating complete deliverance and freedom from this market. Jesus loosens bonds and sets us free by paying a price, the price of his blood.

He redeems us from the curse of death under the Law by becoming a curse for us.

He frees us completely from the prison of sin, death, hell.

Gal 5:1 “It is for freedom that Jesus has set you free. So stand firm, do not let yourselves be burdened again with a yoke of slavery.”

All kinds of real freedom can be found in Jesus Christ.

“I’m the truth. Know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

On the last day, the Judgment Day, Jesus will say,

“When I was in prison you came to see me.”

“When? How?” “

Whatever you did for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did for me.”

We have power, authority, privilege, blessing, to share this kind of real freedom in Christ with those who need freedom in Christ.

v. 3 “Remember”

At least this week, let us not forget these three keywords:

  1. Love
  2. Hospitality
  3. Sympathy

God bless us with these so that we may share these with others who need it.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥허목사님 설교완역(200510)

► 제목: 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심(Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy)

► 본문: 히브리서 13: 1-3

「설교 전문」
하나님 계신 곳에 오심을 환영합니다. 하나님께서 그의 자비와 은혜와 기쁨으로 여러분을 축복해 주시기를 바랍니다. 하나님의 축복이 여러분과 이 교회에 임하시길 축원합니다. 아멘.
이제 하나님의 거룩한 말씀을 보시겠습니다. 히브리서 13장 첫 3절입니다. 1절에서 3절까지입니다. 히브리서 13: 1-3. 같이 읽으시기 바랍니다.

1: 서로 형제와 같이 사랑하기를 계속하라(Keep on loving each other as brothers).

2: 나그네 대접하기를 잊지 말지니, 그렇게 함으로써 자기도 모르게 천사들을 대접한 이들도 있었느니라(Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it).

3: 마치 너희도 함께 갇힌 죄수인 것처럼 옥에 갇힌 자들을 기억하고, 마치 너희 자신이 고난을 받고 있는 것처럼 학대받는 자들을 기억하라(Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering).

아멘.
우리는 히브리서의 마지막 장을 시작하고 있습니다.
성경에는 교리(doctrine)와 의무 사이, 계시와 책임 사이, 논리적 지침(logical instruction)과 실제적 적용(practical application) 사이, 믿음과 행위 사이에는 구분(division)이 없습니다. 이들 두 가지는 늘 같이 다니는 것들이죠.
히브리서의 마지막 부분에서는 믿음에 의한 삶(living by faith)에 강조점(emphasis)이 주어져 있습니다. 이는 우리가 앞서 이미 확인한 바와 같습니다.
가령 11장에서는 믿음의 본보기(example)에, 12장에서는 믿음에 대한 격려(encouragement)에, 그리고 13장에서는 우리가 정말로 보이는 것(sight)에 의해 살며 일하지 않고 믿음에 의해 살며 일하고 있을 때 우리 삶에 나타나야 할 믿음의 증거들(evidence)에 초점이 주어져 있습니다.
우리가 지난 주일에 확인한 바와 같이 전 장 12장의 마지막 절은

“우리 하나님은 소멸하시는 불(consuming fire)이다”

입니다. 또한 그는 다 쓰시는 사랑(consuming love)이십니다.

이제 마지막 장인 이 장 13장에서는 초점이 불에서 기능(function)으로, 수직(vertical)에서 수평(horizontal)으로, 하나님에 대한 사랑에서 인간에 대한 사랑으로 옮겨 갑니다. 그 의미(implication)는 매우 명료합니다.
우리가 하나님에 대해 생각하는 것은 우리가 우리 교회 안에서, 그리고 이 세상에서 사람들과 어떠한 관계를 가지고 있는가와 전적인 관계를 가지고 있습니다. 우리가 하나님과 어떤 관계를 가지고 있는가는 우리가 사람들과, 그리스도 안에서 우리 형제자매들과, 낯선 사람들과, 또한 길 잃은 자들과 어떤 관계를 가지고 있는가에 의해 나타나고 증명될 것입니다.
지난 주일에 보았듯이 우리 하나님은 시내산의 소멸시키는 불이시고 동시에 시온산의 다 쓰시는 사랑이십니다. 이는 우리가 하나님과 가지는 관계는 우리가 인간들과 가지는 관계에 의해 드러나게 될 것임을 의미합니다.

이러한 논리(logic)는 바로 10계명의 구조(structure)에 그대로 반영되어 있습니다. 10계명을 보면 처음 4계명은 하나님과 인간, 하나님과 우리 사이의 수직적이고 신학적인(theological) 메시지로서, 하나님과 인간의 관계, 즉 하나님과 우리의 관계를 강렬하게(intensely) 다루고 있습니다. 그리고 다음 6계명은 우리의 형제자매들과, 우리의 이웃들과 가져야 할 수평적이고 윤리적인(ethical) 관계를 역시 강렬하게 다루고 있습니다.
그러므로 이 마지막 장 13장에서 우리는 단 3절, 처음 3절만을 읽었습니다. 이 3절에서 우리는 믿음에 의한 삶의 증거로서 세 가지 키워드를 볼 수 있습니다. 저는 이 세 가지 키워드는 사랑, 후덕(hospitality) 및 동정심(sympathy) 혹은 공감(empathy)이라고 말하고자 합니다.
우리가 알고 있듯이 우리는 그와 같은 하나님을 섬깁니다. 우리는 지난주에 예배가 무엇인지 확인하였습니다. 그렇습니다. 예배는 우리의 삶, 우리의 라이프 스타일입니다. 그렇다면 실제로 우리가 이 세상에서 우리의 형제자매들과 맺는 관계에서도 우리의 섬김이 이루어져야만 합니다.
키워드인 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심 혹은 공감에 대해 하나씩 살펴보도록 하겠습니다.

자, 첫 번 째 절을 보십시다. 이 절은 매우 짧으면서도 우리에게 매우 강력한 메시지를 전달하고 있습니다. 제1절은 말합니다.

“서로 형제와 같이 사랑하기를 계속하라”

예, 우리가 알고 있듯이 초기의 크리스천들은 이 세상으로부터 박해(persecution)와 미움(hatred)에 직면했습니다(face). 그래서 소망하건대 교회 안에서, 신앙인들 사이의 교제에 있어 사랑과 격려가 있어야 했습니다. ‘우리가 서로 사랑해야 한다’는 계명은 매우 오래 된 계명입니다. 구약 레위기 19: 18에서 이렇게 말합니다.

“네 이웃을 네 몸과 같이 사랑하라. 나는 여호와이니라.”

네 이웃을 네 몸과 같이 사랑하라! 그러나 우리의 주님이신 예수 그리스도는 십자가에서 죽으시기 전 이렇게 말씀하셨습니다.

“새로운 계명을 너희에게 주나니, 서로 사랑하라. 내가 너희를 사랑한 것처럼 너희도 서로 사랑하라! 이것에 의해 모든 사람들이 너희가 내 제자들임을 알게 될 것이니라.”

이것이 무엇을 의미할까요? 우리가 서로 사랑해야 한다는 계명은 매우 오래된 계명입니다. 그러나 예수님은 “내가 너희에게 새로운 계명을 주겠노라”고 말씀하십니다. 새로운 계명이란 무엇을 말합니까?
이는 크리스천 형제자매들을 사랑하는 것은 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시는 것과 똑 같이 서로 사랑하는 것임을 의미합니다. 우리는 예수님이 보여 주신 십자가상에서의 희생적 사랑(sacrificial love)처럼 서로를 사랑해야만 합니다. 그러한 사랑은 사람들을 그리스도에게로 데려와 우리를 강하게 만들고 하나님께 적대적인(hostile) 이 세상에서 우리를 하나로 합치게(unite) 만드는 것입니다.

예, 예수님은 하나님의 사랑에 대한 살아계신 본보기입니다. 마찬가지로 우리는 이 세상에서 예수님의 사랑에 대한 살아 있는 본보기가 되어야 합니다.
로마서 5:8에서 말합니다.

“우리가 아직 죄인이었을 때, 그리스도께서 우리를 위해 죽으신 가운데 하나님께서 우리를 위한 자기 자신의 사랑을 보여주시느니라(demonstrate).”

요한복음 3: 16을 통해 우리는 알고 있습니다.

“하나님이 세상을 이처럼 사랑하사 독생자(one and only son)를 주셨으니 이는 그를 믿는 자마다 멸망하지(perish) 않고 영생을 얻게 하려 하심이라”

요한일서 3: 14에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“우리는 (왜?) 우리 형제들을 사랑하기 때문에 사망으로부터 생명으로 옮겨진 것을 아느니라.”

우리는 바로 이를 통해 사랑이 무엇인지 알 수 있게 됩니다. 예수 그리스도는 우리를 위해 자기 생명을 내려놓으셨습니다. 그러므로 우리는 우리 형제자매들을 위해 우리의 생명을 내려놓아야 합니다. 이게 가능할까요? 쉽겠어요, 어렵겠어요?
성경은 계속해서(continually) 말씀하십니다.

“혀나 말로써 사랑하지 말고 행동과 진심으로 사랑하자!”

이것이 사랑인 것입니다. 우리가 하나님을 사랑한 것이 아니고, 하나님께서 먼저 우리를 사랑하셔서 우리의 죄를 인해 자기 아들을 속죄의 제물(atoning sacrifice)로 보내신 것입니다. 하나님께서 우리를 사랑하셨으므로 우리도 서로를 사랑해야만 합니다. 아무도 하나님을 본 사람은 없지만 우리가 만약 서로를 사랑한다면 하나님은 우리 안에 거하셔서 그의 사랑이 우리 안에서 온전케 이루어지는 것입니다.
사랑 안에서는 두려움이 없어집니다. 두려움은 징계(punishment)와 관계가 있습니다(have something to do with). 두려워하는 사람은 사랑 안에서 온전하거나 완벽해질 수 없습니다. 이게 가능할까요?

어떻게 우리는 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시듯이 다른 사람을 사랑할 수 있을까요?
그러한 사랑은 단지 어떤 감정 이상의 것입니다. 그것은 스스로 행동을 유발하는 하나의 태도(attitude)입니다. 어떻게 우리는 다른 사람들, 우리 형제자매들을 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시는 것처럼 사랑할 수 있을까요?
쉽지 않은(not convenient) 상황에서 그들을 도움으로써 가능합니다. 아플 때 부조함으로써, 내 자신보다는 다른 사람의 복리(welfare)를 위해 정력을 바침으로써, 불평하거나 저항하지 않고 다른 사람들의 상처만을 쳐다봄으로써 이것이 가능합니다.

우리는 이런 종류의 사랑은 실천하기가 매우 어렵다는 것을 압니다. 이것이 우리가 그런 일을 할 때 사람들이 우리가 예수님의 제자임을 알아보게(notice) 되는 이유인 것입니다. 우리는 초자연적인(supernatural) 근원으로부터 권능을 부여받게 됩니다.
예, 우리는 정말로, 진정으로 그리스도 안에서 형제자매들입니다. 형제자매들이라는 이 어휘는 단지 정서적인(sentimental) 표현에 그치는 것이 아니라 객관적(objective)으로 나타나는 사실을 말합니다. 왜냐하면 아무리 많은 크리스천들이 있다 하더라도 우리는 오직 한 분의 하나님만을 공유하기 때문입니다.

예, 우리는 우리 세상적인 부모님은 자기 자녀들이 형제자매로서 서로 사랑할 때 매우 행복해 하게 됨을 압니다. 마찬가지로 우리 아버지 하나님께서도 형제자매들이 하나가 되어(in unity) 함께 살아갈 때 기뻐하실 것입니다. 이것이 시편 133편 1절에서 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“형제들이 하나가 되어 함께 살면 얼마나 선하고 즐거운 일인가!”

하나님께서 자기 사랑으로 우리를 축복하셔서 예수 그리스도의 권능으로 우리가 서로 사랑할 수 있기를 축원합니다.

다음 두 번째 키워드는 후덕(厚德)입니다. 제 2절을 읽으실까요?

2절: “나그네 대접하기(entertain)를 잊지 말지니, 그렇게 함으로써 자기도 모르게(without knowing it) 천사들을 대접한 이들도 있었느니라.”

(이와 관련하여) 여러분은 성경에 있는 어떤 사람을 아십니까? 예로서, 구약 창세기 18장에서 아브라함과 그 아내 사라는 그들이 모르는 세 나그네를 영접하고(receive) 그들이 천사인 줄을 모른 채 이들을 대접했습니다.
그렇습니다. 좁은 의미로 말하면(narrowly speaking) 천사들은 천사들, 즉 영적인 존재들입니다. 그러나 넓은 의미로 말하면 우리는 하나님이 보내신 사자(messenger)를 천사라 부를 수 있습니다. 문자 그대로(literally)의 천사는 사자 혹은 전령(herald)을 의미하기 때문입니다.
로마서 12: 13은 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“후덕이 실천되어야 한다. 후덕을 실천하라!(Practice hospitality)”

또한 베드로전서 4: 9에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“원망(grumbling)하지 않고 서로 후덕을 베풀라!”

요한 3서 1: 8에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“하나님 일을 하는 자들에게 후덕함을 보임으로써 우리가 진리를 위해 동역할(work together) 수 있도록 하라”

우리는 후덕에 관한 가르침이 2천 년 전에까지도 왜 그토록 매우 필요했던가에 대해 의아하게 생각할 수 있습니다. 우리는 2천 년 전의 그러한 상황에 대한 배경을 알 필요가 있습니다. 제가 당시의 시대적 상황을 일부 소개해드리겠습니다.

첫째로, 당시에는 고대의 호텔인 여인숙(inn)은 그 환경이 매우 열악(miserable)했습니다. 불결하고 위험한 곳이었던 거죠. 때로는 여인숙 안에서 이교도적 활동과 범죄행위들이 저질러지곤 했죠. 따라서 여인숙, 즉 호텔은 크리스천들에게는 마음에 내키거나(congenial) 건전한 곳이 아니었습니다.

둘째로, 당시에는 많은 크리스천들이 믿음 때문에 그 사회와 심지어는 그 가족으로부터 추방(deportation)당하는 고초를 겪었습니다. 또한 바울이나 그 동역자들처럼 여행을 다니며 사역하는 선교사들, 떠돌아다니는 교역자와 복음전파자들은 언제나 방랑길에 있었습니다. 노예들은 갈 수 있는 자기 집이 없었습니다. 소규모의 사업자들 또한 여행과 떠돌이 생활을 해야 했습니다.
이들 모두가 대접을 필요로 하는 사람들이었죠.

오늘의 경우는 어떻습니까? 예, 오늘도 우리에게는 집 없는 사람들(homeless people)이 있습니다. 말 그대로 뿐 아니라 정서 상으로(emotionally), 영적으로 집이 없어 거처를 필요로 하는 사람들이 많습니다.

예, 우리 주님, 우리 구원자이신 예수 그리스도는 이 땅에서의 자기 삶을 집 없는 사람들처럼 사셨습니다. 여러분은 이를 아십니까? 예수님께서는 수많은 밤을 산에서 기도하며 지내셨습니다. 예수님께서는 친히 말씀하셨습니다.

“여우들도 구멍이 있고, 공중의 새들도 보금자리가 있거늘 나는 내 머리를 둘 곳이 없도다.”

예수님은 자신을 홈리스(homeless)와, 나그네들과, 가난한 자들과, 약한 자들과 동일시한(identify) 것이죠. 마지막 날, 심판(judgment)의 날에 예수님은 그가 이미 보여주신 대로 이렇게 말씀하실 것입니다. 그는 자기의 진정한 추종자(follower)들에게 말씀하셨습니다.

“내가 굶주렸을 때 너희가 내게 먹을 것을 주었노라. 내가 목말랐을(thirsty) 때 너희가 내게 마실 것을 주었노라. 내가 나그네(stranger)이었을 때 너희가 나를 영접하였노라.”

이들이 놀라서 이렇게 물을 수 있습니다.

“주님, 제가 언제, 어떻게요?”

그러자 예수님이 말씀하십니다.

“내 형제들 중 가장 작은 단 한명을 위해 무엇을 하든 너희는 나를 위해 한 것이니라.”

그렇습니다. 후덕이란 무엇입니까? 후덕이란 단순히 다른 사람들이 안락하고(comfortable) 편안하게 느끼도록(feel at home) 해주는 것을 의미합니다. 천사들을 대접할 기회를 필요로 하는 것보다는 더 관대하게 후덕을 실천하는 것이 훨씬 더 낫습니다.
시대를 초월해서 기독교는 열린 문, 열린 마음의 종교임을 기억하십시오. 오늘도 그들은 이 세상에서 하나님이 누구이고 예수님이 누구인지 알 수 있도록 우리에게서 후덕을 필요로 하고 있습니다.

셋째로, 마지막 키워드는 동정심 혹은 공감(共感)입니다. 마지막 절인 3절을 읽으실까요?

3절: “마치 너희도 함께 갇힌 죄수인 것처럼 옥에 갇힌 자들을 기억하고, 마치 너희자신이 고난을 받고 있는 것처럼 학대받는(mistreat) 자들을 기억하라.”

예수님은 육신(flesh)이 되셨습니다. 이것이 의미하는 바는 무엇일까요?
그렇습니다. 예수님은 인간이 되었습니다. 예수님이 인간이 되었다는 것은 그가 우리의 인간성(humanity), 우리의 허약성(weakness), 우리의 시험 들기(temptation)에 있어 우리들, 여러분과 저와 동일하게 되셨음을 의미합니다.
히브리서 2: 18에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“그가 시험을 당해 고난을 겪으셨으니, 그는 시험 당하는 자들을 도우실 수 있느니라.”

계속해서 이 책은 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“우리에게는 우리의 연약함을 동정하실(sympathize) 수 있는 제사장(high priest)이 계십니다.”

우리가 시험을 당하듯이 그도 모든 방법으로, 그러나 죄를 범하지 않으시고, 시험을 당하실 수 있으십니다. 그러므로 확신을 가지고 자신 있게 은혜의 면류관에 다가가 긍휼을 받고 은혜를 받아 필요할 때 도움을 받으십시다.

우리는 옥에 갇힌 사람들(the imprisoned), 학대받는 사람들(the mistreated)과 마음을 같이 할 의지가 있어야 합니다.

죄는 죄인들이 죄 아래에서 팔리는 노예시장과 같습니다.
죄는 감옥과 같습니다. 죄는 죄인이 사형선고(sentence of death) 하에 묶여 있는 감옥과 마찬가지입니다. 그래서 예수님은 십자가에 죽으심으로 이 시장에서, 이 감옥에서 우리를 사 오신 것이며, 이는 죄의 사역으로부터의 온전한 구제(deliverance), 온전한 석방(freedom)을 의미하는 것입니다.
예수님은 보혈(precious blood)이라는 대가를 지불하시고 우리가 메인 죄의 사슬(chain, bond)을 푸심으로써(loosen) 우리를 자유케 하셨습니다. 예수님은 친히 우리를 위해 깨어진 율법의 저주가 되어 우리를 구속하셨습니다(redeem). 이는 예수님의 죽으심이 죄의 감옥, 죽음의 감옥, 지옥의 감옥으로부터의 우리의 온전한 구제, 우리의 온전한 자유를 위해 지불된 속죄 제물(ransom)이 되셨음을 의미합니다.
갈라디아서 5: 1에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“그리스도가 우리를 자유케 하신(set free) 것은 자유를 위함이라. 그러므로 굳건하게 서서(stand firm) 다시는 너희 스스로 종의 멍에(yoke)를 지지 말라”

오늘날 우리 주위에는 진정한 자유를 필요로 하는 사람이 많습니다. 여러분이 아시듯이 모든 종류의 자유는 오직 예수 그리스도 안에서만 가능합니다. 예수님께서는 친히 말씀하십니다.

“나는 진리이다. 진리를 알지어다. 진리가 너희를 자유케 하리라.”

이는 자유는 오직 진리 안에서 찾을 수 있고 즐길 수 있음을 의미합니다. 그러므로 예수께서는 말씀하십니다.

“나는 진리이다.”

또한 마지막 날, 심판의 날에 예수님께서는 자기의 진정한 추종자들에게, 진정한 제자들에게 이렇게 말씀하실 것입니다.

“내가 감옥에 있을 때 너희가 나를 보러 왔었노라.”

그 때 그들은 놀래서 이렇게 묻습니다.

“주님이시여, 언제, 어떻게 그렇게 했습니까?”

그러자 예수님이 말씀하십니다.

“내 형제들 중 가장 작은 자들 중 한 사람이라도 위해서 무슨 일을 하든 나를 위해 한 것이니라.”

예, 우리는 능력이 있고 권세(authority)가 있으며 우리는 특권(privilege)이 있고 우리는 축복이 있어 예수 그리스도 안에서 예수 그리스도의 권능에 의해 진정으로 자유를 필요로 하는 사람들과 이런 종류의 자유를 나눌 수 있습니다. 꼭 기억하십시오.
2절에서는 잊지 말라고 말하고, 3절에서는 기억하라고 말합니다. 적어도 이 주일동안 만큼은 이 세 가지 키워드를 잊지 마시고 꼭 기억하십시다. 이 키워드들을 여러분은 기억하십니까? 세 가지 키워드는

i) 사랑
ii) 후덕
iii) 동정심

입니다.

하나님께서 자기의 사랑으로, 자기의 후덕으로, 그리고 자기의 동정심으로 우리를 축복하셔서 우리가 이 세상에서 이 놀라운 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심(공감)을 이와 같은 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심을 필요로 하는 사람들과 더불어 나눌 수 있기를 축원합니다. 아멘.
갓 블레스 유, 갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도합시다.

             - 아 멘 -
  • Jan 20 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Point is: Jesus is the Christ! (Acts 18:22-28)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Point is: Jesus is the Christ! (Acts 18:22-28)

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The point is: Jesus is the Christ!

Acts 18:22-28 (Pastor Heo)

22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the [Jerusalem] church and then went down to Antioch [his mother church].

— Second missionary journey END —

— This missionary journey START (18:23 – 21:16)—

23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. [tour of Galatia and Phrygia]

24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. [move to Ephesus, Thessalonia, Macedonia, Troas, etc and back to Jerusalem] He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


The point is: Jesus is the Christ. This is the conclusion.

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (18:23 – 21:16) ends at Jerusalem. He has no chance to go back to his home church (Antioch) because he will be arrested in Jerusalem and sent to Rome.

In the second part of his Second journey, he went to Ephesus and reasoned with the people. So, they asked him to stay with them a little more, but he hurried on to Jerusalem – to complete his Nazarite vow with his shaved hair in the Jerusalem temple. “But I will return if the Lord wills.” (Aquila and Priscilla remained there.)

In his Third Journey, he returned. It was a 4-year journey, and he spent 3 years in Ephesus. This is his main target of the third journey. “Be on your guard. Don’t forget that for three years I warned you with tears.”

Now, what happened in Ephesus BEFORE Paul arrived there?

v. 24

“24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.”

Still today, Alexandria exists in Egypt. This is the second largest city along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. At that time, it was the second largest in the Roman world – after Rome – and it boasted a huge university and library (with 700,000 books). At that time, this was the LARGEST library.

Also, at that time Athens and Alexandria were rivals – fighting each other for reputation of philosophy and education.

This city was named for Alexander the Great. From this city, Apollos came to Ephesus.

Who is Apollos?

A great scholar, learned man, thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, fervor, passion, zeal in the Spirit, a man of courage and boldness. He vigorously defended the Scriptures (energy, vitality, etc).

1 Cor 3 “Who is Apollos? Who am I? Only servants of Christ. I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But only God made it grow.”

He had one weakness though.

v. 25

“25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.”

At that time, Christianity was “The Way.”

This is one of the commonest titles for Christianity in the book of Acts. At that time, there was no name “Christianity.”

But this word shows us not only believing in certain things but also putting them into practice. Christianity is “The act of putting Christ’s words into practice.”

v. 28 “Jesus was the Christ” – the Anointed Messiah

Jesus says, “I am THE Way… therefore everyone who hears this word of mine and puts it into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…”

Apollos was a good man, a scholar, full of spiritual knowledge and passion, courage, stamina, energy. He was elegant, a talented speaker. But his one problem was:

  • He knew ONLY the baptism of John.
  • He did NOT know of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

He knew of Christ, very clearly and accurately. He knew the human and historic Christ. He knew of the task Jesus gave men to do. But he did NOT know of the Helping power Jesus gave them to do it. He did not know of the salvation of Jesus and the coming of the HS in power.

What is the MAIN ministry of the HS?

To witness / testify about Jesus Christ.

“Nobody can call Jesus ‘Lord’ without the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, if you can say this, then you have already received the baptism of the HS.

The fact that he didn’t know this means that he didn’t yet know of Jesus’ Kingship, Lordship, Divinity fully, and the coming of the HS in power. He needed to know this one point.

v. 26

“26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God [Christianity = the doctrine of Christ] more adequately.”

We saw the story of this beautiful couple last Sunday.

Who were they?

A couple and business-couple (tentmakers).

Why were they here in Ephesus?

Paul first met them in Corinth. They were expelled from Rome at that time. Immediately they became partners (tentmakers + missionaries) – so they traveled together from Corinth to Ephesus.

Paul left Ephesus for Jerusalem – leaving them behind at Ephesus to carry on the ministry and prepare for his return.

This couple were steeped in the truth and the Word of God. They worked with Paul so long and so much, they heard his message so deeply, they knew his message well. And their eyes were focused on eternity – something more significant – PEOPLE over things, investing in the kingdom of God, their home was always open to others.

When they heard Apollos preaching, they found one deficiency: He did not know about the baptism of the HS and Jesus becoming the Messiah and eternal life.

But this couple did not correct him at once in a public place, but they invited him to their home (with delicious food) and explained to him about “The Way” more adequately.

Apollos’ message was accurate and sincere, but incomplete. But with the help of this couple, the message became complete – focusing on Christ – his Messiahship, Kingship, Lordship.

  • From this couple we can learn wisdom and hospitality.
  • From Apollos we can learn humility.

P&A were simple laymen workers. But Apollos was a professional scholar. P&A’s hospitality and Apollos’ humility worked together to open the door for more people’s salvation.

We should be humble. Humility is not a weakness; but power, courage, possibility for growth, a channel through which we receive God’s grace.

“God gives grace to the humble.”

If I’m humble, I can learn more from anyone, then I can grow, then I can be used by God more, then I can be more of a blessing, through this is gives greater glory to God.

Also, the Christian home is one of the BEST tools for spreading the gospel. Do others see and find Jesus through your home? God bless our home as a mission home.

v. 27

“27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.”

Achaia was a part of southern Greece – the capital city of this province was Corinth. Thus, Apollos went to Corinth. Believers at Ephesus encouraged and helped him by writing a letter to the believers there asking them to welcome him.

There, he was used as a greater tool for the salvation of many people. How is this possible? Because his message, his conclusion, finally focuses on JESUS as the Christ. (This is the point.)

Remember, the point of the message: Jesus is the Christ – can save and change others. Our own message and words cannot change others, but THIS message can.

v. 28

“28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures [Old Testament] that Jesus was the Christ. “

With his strong argument, he defeated the Jews in public debate – proving that Jesus was the anointed Messiah.

Yes, even today, we need to be “on fire” for God. Do you have “holy fire” for God?

How can we capture and maintain enthusiasm for God?

“The key is conviction.”

I have beliefs, we all have faith. But the problem is, when beliefs move from our heads down into our hearts. Also, when we are overpowered by truth and become a thing is TRUE and MATTERS, it gives us passion.

Yes, we must do the things that increase our passion for God:

  • Worship,
  • witness,
  • prayer,
  • testimony,
  • service,
  • ministry.

From a gospel perspective, there are only two kinds of human beings:

  1. The Lost – in need of being saved
  2. Christians – in need of encouragement, edification, and being equipped for more mission

I like this word: “enthusiasm.”

This English word came from Greek:

“en-thus-iasumos “

  • en = “in”
  • thus = “Theos” = “God”
  1. Enthusiasm = “inspired”
  2. Root of this word = “in God”

An enthusiastic person = inspiring because he is IN God.

Jesus asked one day, “Who do people say I am?” John the B, Elijah, one of the prophets?

Peter: “You are the Christ!”

Jesus was surprised and happy, satisfied. “You are blessed. This was revealed to you by heavenly revelation. On this rock [this faith], I will build my church and the gates of hell will never overcome it.”

Yes, knowledge of the Scriptures is necessary.

Passion / Enthusiasm in the Spirit…

  • Fluency in speech is necessary
  • Boldness
  • Accuracy
  • Logic

But remember, none of them, and all of them together cannot give us salvation.

Christ alone can.

  • “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
  • “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved…”

The point is: Jesus is the Christ.

2,000 years ago, and today, and 2,000 years later, and until Jesus’ Second Coming, this truth is the same. This is a timeless truth.

Jesus is THE WAY, the Truth, the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by him.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 09 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Story of the First Christian in Europe (Acts 16:11-15)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Story of the First Christian in Europe (Acts 16:11-15)

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The story of the first Christian in Europe

Acts 16:11-15 (Pastor Heo)

Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi

16:11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.


15:36-18:32 = Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

The original plan was to revisit the churches he’d previously established already in Asian Minor. But the area of his journey was unexpectedly widened.

First part: revisited Derbe, Lystra, Iconium – and tried to preach in neighboring areas. But he was prevented from preaching the gospel by the HS. So, he tried to go near the Black Sea, but he wasn’t allowed. God closed the door twice. So, he went to Troas – the west end of Asia Minor. Here, God opened the door through a vision.

Yes, God closes some doors and opens others. Even today, all our steps and all our stops should be led and guided by God.

In this story, God closed the familiar, easy, known doors, but opened the difficult, impossible, farther doors. We can see 4 wonderful openings in this chapter.

  1. Opened the doors for Europe mission
  2. Opened the heart of Lydia
  3. Opened the doors of the prison (earthquake) – next Sunday
  4. Opened the doors of the Philippian jailors – next Sunday

Practical lesson:

  • Some doors we want to be opened may be closed (job seeking, children’s education, dreams, ambitions, family, etc).
  • But what is important is that though some doors are closed DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED – because God can open unexpected doors.
  • Never give up expecting the unexpected guidance of God.

Chp 16 highlights 3 individuals who became believers by Paul’s ministry in Macedonia:

  1. Lydia – business woman
  2. Demon-possessed girl
  3. Philippian jailor

Even today, the gospel reaches old and young, rich and poor, male and female, because it is unchangeable and immutable. “The gospel is the POWER of God for everyone who believes.”

v. 11-12

“11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. 12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. “

We know Troas was the place where Paul saw the vision of the man of Macedonia. In response to this, Paul and his team immediately boarded the ship and sailed across the Aegean Sea. They traveled 10 miles inland to Philippi from there. This is a significant location for European mission.

The city name = named after Philip II of Macedon – the father of Alexander the Great. This city became a Roman colony in 42 BC. This place is the FIRST place the gospel was preached in Europe. It was Paul’s first mission in Europe as well. He wrote a letter called: “Philippians” to this church – it is very tender, showing his relationship with this first church he planted.

Remember: Philippi is the FIRST place the gospel was preached in Europe and the first mission of Paul in Europe.

v. 13

“13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. “

Are you also looking for a “place of prayer” in your life?

Remember, Paul always went to the synagogue first in a new city. This is where the truth-seekers went – the Jews and the Gentiles who liked the Jewish traditions.

Actually, there was no synagogue in Philippi – there were very few Jews. In Jewish traditions, at least 10 Jewish men needed to be present for their to be a synagogue. In this situation, the Jewish people would often go outside the city near the riverbank or seaside for prayer. That’s why Paul went out there – also to pray for guidance in his ministry and to find the people who were praying.

Paul knew personally that God had called him there – but he still needed to pray.

  • Yes, when we do NOT know God’s will, we must pray. We know this.
  • But, when we DO know God’s will, we ALSO must pray.

Someone said, “We don’t need to pray because ‘God knows your needs before you ask.'” But actually the OPPOSITE is true. If we believe this, then we absolutely MUST pray! Because God will meet our need through our prayer. It is not enough to know WHAT and WHERE God wants us to work, but we must also learn WHEN and HOW he wants us to work.

In this place, Paul’s first contact was with a group of women (even though he’d seen a man in his vision). He presented the gospel to these women.

God led Paul to a Roman colony and a Christian flag was “unfurled” in Rome that day. This area became the beginning of the mission.

v. 14

“14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”

One woman responded to his message – a woman from Thyatira (referenced in Revelation later) named Lydia.

This woman Lydia, like Cornelius, was very religious and sincere – a worshiper of God – a woman of high character, but not yet saved (so she needed salvation). She needed Christ. “Salvation is found in no one else.” (this is a basic pillar of Christianity).

We need to notice that God opened her heart to respond to the message of the gospel. God opened her heart. This woman listened earnestly, positively, attentively, to the Word of God. It is the Word of God that brings the hearer to Christ (Rom 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing”)

  • Phil 2:12 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”
  • Jesus: “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my words and obeys them … has crossed over from death to life.”

Paul’s witness of Christ and Lydia’s attentive listening was opened and orchestrated by God. God is opening and closing the doors.

  • Proverbs 13:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord establishes his footsteps.”
  • “Trust in God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength; in all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

v. 15

“15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. “

As Lydia placed her trust in Christ, she experienced the joy of all her sins being forgiven, and her joy overflowed into her whole household – and they were all saved and baptized together. This is “household salvation”. In Acts, there are at least 4 instances of this occurring.

  1. Chp 10: Cornelius and family
  2. Chp 16: Lydia and family
  3. Chp 16: Jailor and family (next week)
  4. Chp 18: Crispus and family

They were all converted together and baptized together (not necessary for salvation). Baptism is an OUTWARD sign of an INWARD reality – that you now belong to Christ.

She then invited the missionaries to use her house as their home base while in Philippi.

The fruit of her conversion: hospitality

Actually, this is so important: the ministry of hospitality.

  • Romans 12:13 “Share with those who are in need, practice hospitality.”
  • 1 Peter 4:9 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Hospitality is related to “hospital” and “hospice.” We practice this when we generously and cordially throw open the doors of our house to care for, strengthen, edify, build up others.

The result? Others find emotional, mental, physical help – they leave us as healthier, happier, more whole people than when they came to us.

Is this your hospitality? Is this your practice?

Our house should be a hospital and hospice.

We are saved by grace alone through faith alone (plus nothing). But remember, salvation has POWER and generates FRUIT.

  • “Salvation has POWER”
  • “Salvation is new Life”
  • “Salvation is new Creation”

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation. Behold! The Old has gone, the New has come!”

So, if we are TRULY saved, then we will be changed, and there will be transformation in our lives as evidence of this change.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 11 / 2018
  • Comments Off on We are God’s Co-workers (Romans 16:1-23)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We are God’s Co-workers (Romans 16:1-23)

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We are God’s co-workers

Romans 16:1-23 (Pastor Heo)

16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8 Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. 17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives. 22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.


There were three workers, doing the same thing at the same time, in the same place. But there was a big difference in their attitude / interpretation of what they were doing. Like this : What is YOUR approaching attitude / interpretation of what you’re doing today? What is your interpretation of your job?

Remember: Your own interpretation of your job can make it more meaningful and exciting, or more boring and meaningless to you.

We all have jobs, but what is important = what your own interpretation of your job.

Today is almost the last part of Romans.

Yes, we know Rome was the capital of the empire at that time, just like Jerusalem was the religious center, Rome was the political and economic center of the world. Therefore, it was filled with many internationals – and had potential for great things, or great conflict.

Here, Paul has greeted 26 people by name – and 2 unnamed people. He greeted churches and closed his greetings with the names of 9 people who were with him in Corinth.

These people were varied in their background – male / female, educated / uneducated, rich / poor. So, what is the similarity? They were all Paul’s friends – he was a soul-winner as well as a friend-maker. They were all important to his ministry. Let’s look at a few of them today.

#1 Phoebe (fee – bee)

v. 1-2

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.”

She was a member and deaconess in Cenchrea. According to Acts 18:18, Cenchrea was the place where Paul had his hair cut off as part of a vow he had taken. She delivered this letter to the saints in Rome.

Yes, we know at that time, the Bible was not published in one single volume as we have today. At that time, they were collected in scrolls. This book Romans was probably a very large scroll. So, we must thank Phoebe for her help and prayer and financial support. That’s why her name is first.

#2 Priscilla and Aquila

v. 3-4

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.”

Maybe we are familiar with these names. They were a married couple (maybe the lady’s name is first here). Their names appear in the Bible 7 times:

  • Acts 4x
  • Romans 1x
  • 1 Corinthians 1x
  • 1 Timothy 1x

All the time, their names appear together. Even today, this couple are used sometimes (many times) as a good model of a good Christian couple. They were a business couple – tent-makers like Paul. We can guess they were rich.

At first, they were living in Rome (the center of the world at that time). But because of the order of Emperor Claudius, they were expelled from Rome, so they moved to Corinth. There, they met Paul while he was on his second missionary journey. They invited Paul to live with them for a long time, and they became very faithful co-workers with Paul for a long time.

They moved several times after that: Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, etc

Wherever they went, their home became a center of Christian fellowship and service. They opened their home and hearts as a mission base.

Yes, we know in this world there are many institutes – but you know, there are only 2 institutes that GOD himself established.

  1. Home
  2. Church

God’s ideal plan for these is:

  1. Home = small church
  2. Church = big home

Do you believe your home is a church? (Big encouragement).

Home should be like church. Church should be like a home.

  • Church is the place where Jesus dwells as Savior, Lord, Master, King, and God.

Here is a list of 5 questions to determine the state of your home (is it a church?):

  1. Is your home a place where Jesus Christ is recognized, confessed, and proclaimed as Head, Savior, Lord, King, and God?
  2. Are all members of your home Christians? (At least the couple – husband and wife)
  3. Is there regular worship, prayer, Bible reading and study together in your home?
  4. Is your home full of partnership, fellowship, friendship and sharing in / by / for Christ?
  5. Is your home open to others – even the lost – for sharing, offering, providing, evangelizing?

If your answer is “YES” to these questions, then God bless your home as a church. And, if not, God bless your home to BECOME a church.

Let’s see 2 lessons from this greeting story of Paul.

Lesson #1 We must be IN Christ Jesus

“I must be in Christ Jesus.”

“I am in Christ Jesus.”

In this text, there are 11x repeated “in Christ” or “in the Lord.”

  1. v. 2 “…receive her in the Lord…”
  2. v. 3 “…in Christ Jesus.”
  3. v. 7 “…they were in Christ before I was.”
  4. v. 8 “… whom I love in the Lord”
  5. v. 9 “…our fellow worker in Christ”
  6. v. 10 “… approved in Christ”
  7. v. 11 ” who are in the Lord”
  8. v. 12 ” who work hard in the Lord” (x 2)
  9. v. 13 “…chosen in the Lord…”
  10. v. 22 “…greet you in the Lord.”

“In the Lord” is the HEART of Paul’s theology.

So:

  1. What is NOT in Christ?
  2. What IS in Christ?

IN Christ

  • there is no condemnation, no obligation, no fear, no judgment, no penalty, no punishment, no wrath of God
  • there is forgiveness of sins, redemption, deliverance, salvation, freedom, peace, joy, justification, righteousness, holiness, victory, glorification, glory

(2 Cor 5:7 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come.”)

“In Christ, everything is NEW.”

New position, standing, faith, life.

Practically, what does “in Christ” mean?

4 Points

  1. Meeting Jesus Christ personally, individually, accepting him as Savior and Lord, being united with him in his death and resurrection “Jesus death is mine, his resurrection is mine.” (Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ…”)
  2. Dwelling, staying, remaining IN him and having continual relationship and fellowship with him through prayer, commitment, and full obedience to him (is there this in your life?)
  3. Knowing Jesus more and making him known by testifying and witnessing to others (is there this in your life?)
  4. Becoming more and more continually like Christ in our character, attitudes, purpose, mindset, lifestyle (“Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.” – 2 Cor 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see whether you are IN Christ Jesus…”)

Students are very familiar with examinations. EXAMINE yourself – test yourself. “Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you, unless you fail the test?”

Lesson #2: If we are IN Christ, we should be God’s workers

We should do God’s work.

Yes, we work and do something all the time. The question is, are you doing your work or God’s work?

Several times we can see “work” or “workers” repeated:

  1. v. 3 “my fellow workers”
  2. v. 6 “worked”
  3. v. 9 “fellow worker”
  4. v. 12 “work hard, work very hard”
  5. v. 21 “Timothy, my fellow worker”
  6. v. 23 “public works”

If we are in Christ, we should do God’s work. We must be God’s workers (co-workers with each other). God is doing his work through his workers – through all ages. In OT, NT time, and until now, God is doing his work through his workers.

Matt 9 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the Harvest to send workers out into his harvest field.”

Since the beginning of the world, in redemptive history, God did his work through his workers.

  1. The ark – Noah
  2. Feeding the world – Joseph
  3. Delivering people from Egypt – Moses
  4. Felling down the enemy, Goliath – David
  5. Speaking his word – Prophets
  6. Saving the lost – you (and other evangelists)

Yes, Paul was a great man of faith – but he wasn’t a “super man” who did everything himself. He needed co-workers – to provide prayer, financial, emotional support.

He was a friend-maker in the Lord, and partner-maker in the Lord.

Also repeated is “greet” 18x (nearly every verse) and “greeting” 4x.

Church is the body of God, community of believers. It is not simply an organization of people – but it is an organism – with many cells in one body. We need partnership, friendship, loving, support for each other.

  • I need your prayer support, friendship.
  • We all need support from each other.

I’m sure there is SOMETHING you can do – you can make some kind of contribution to make the church the house of God – for maturity and growth and fellowship.

Christian greeting is much more than “hi” and shaking hands. It is welcoming, sharing, and blessing. Especially BLESSING – and feeling and sharing others’ problems and sadness and failure and success, as my own. (Empathy)

Greeting is BLESSING.

Bless as many as possible, as long as you live in this world – greet and bless as many as possible.

Let us take individual time to pray.

Examine yourselves whether you are in Christ or not.

Let’s pray.

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