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  • 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)

Download Notes in a .MD file

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.

  • Feb 11 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Christ is our Model of what Christian Acceptance means (Romans 15:1-7)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Christ is our Model of what Christian Acceptance means (Romans 15:1-7)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is our model of what Christian Acceptance means

Romans 15:1-7 (Pastor Heo)

15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.


Chp 14:1 “Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment.”

The Roman church at that time was a hybrid community:

  • Jews + Gentiles,
  • free + slave,
  • conservative + liberal,
  • rich + poor,
  • strong + weak

So, at that time, in the church, it was very difficult to accept one another. But we must remember, mutual acceptance in church is not optional but necessary because we are the body of Christ. Acceptance means taking people into our homes and hearts. We must avoid racism, discrimination, favoritism, differences. We must seek common ground for fellowship and relationship.

Are you strong or weak? Do you want to be stronger or remain weak?

In every area of this world, there are the strong and the weak: physically, financially, mentally, spiritually, socially, etc.

  • Strong believers = understand their freedom in Christ and are sensitive to the differences of others.
  • Strong believers can function in a variety of circumstances and be an influence for good.
  • Weak believers = not yet mature in faith so as to be free from some rituals or traditions.
  • Weak believers find that they need to stay far away from some situations in order to maintain a clear conscience.

But we must remember that the Word of God and the message of salvation is unchangeable. But human habits and traditions and cultures and thinking are very changeable. So, we must be clear in this matter:

  • Fixable to Christ
  • Flexible to culture
  • Faithful to the Word of God
  • Flexible to the world

For me, when I went to the Philippines and Tanzania, I had to learn all about their language, history, culture, lifestyle, etc. I must become one of them, be identified with them. But at the same time, I must keep my own identity as a child of God and Christian missionary.

Identification without loss of identity is called contextualization.

Paul confessed as a missionary: “I’m free. I belong to nobody, but I make myself a slave to all men. To the Jews, I became like a Jew to win the Jews. To those under the Law, I became like a man under the Law though I’m not under the Law, to win them to Christ. To those without the Law, I became like one without the Law, though I myself am not, in order to save some. I became all things to all men so that I might save some of them.”

This was Paul’s identification.

1 Cor 2:2 “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

This is Paul’s identity.

Identification and Identity go together.

In this life, Jesus was the most powerful person who ever lived, but he did not please himself (v. 3). He did the Father’s will. Finally, death on the cross was not the path he would have chosen to please himself, but he chose to please God in heaven.

Acceptance is not independence from God, but total dependence on God – esp. power / strength in church does not come from independence, but from mutual dependencies.

“Christ is our model for what Christian acceptance means.”

“Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus because to this you were called. Jesus Christ left us an example.”

  1. Jesus (in heaven) came down to the lowest place – to raise us from the dead and put us into heaven.
  2. Jesus (very rich) became poor and naked to make us rich (heirs of the kingdom of heaven).
  3. Jesus (the strongest) became weak to make us strong.

Today, according to v. 7, “Accept one another”

v. 3-7

“3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

Verse 7 means:

When (if) we realize truly that God accepted us as unlovely, wicked, sinful, immature when we came to him, THEN we can be able to accept our brothers and sisters (esp our weak brothers and sisters).

Let me share Jesus’ character as a human being.

We know Jesus is fully God and fully man (not half).

During his stay for 33 years on this earth, how was his character, esp. in accepting others from his deep heart. Let me share 5 characteristics of Jesus as fully man.

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.”

5 Characteristics of Jesus as a Man

#1 Absolute Holiness

Jesus lived a holy life – he was absolutely separated from all sins. He was separated in his mind and conduct – he was sinless – totally and completely.

So the Bible challenges us to “be holy as Christ is holy” in all that you do. Can you do this?

We can – as long as we belong to Christ.

No matter how far we may fall from being like Christ, we have no lower standard that the perfection of Christ.

Christ is our model and example of sinless perfection. This is nothing short of absolute perfection. He has shown how to be holy.

This means, the holier we are, the further from sin we are.

Holiness is power. Holiness is strength. Fighting against sin is our power / strength.

#2 Genuine Love (agape)

Unlimited, divine, unending, agape love – Jesus loved all human beings – even his enemies. Jesus loved his own to the last – even his betrayer, even the ones who spit on his face. Can you follow his example? No. But, Jesus IN YOU can do that.

So, we must remember that Jesus is always IN US. I cannot do that, but Jesus IN ME can do that.

Jesus loved those his beat him, persecuted him, nailed him on the cross. That’s why the Bible challenges us to imagine “how wide, how far, how long, how deep is the love of Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall famine or sword or hardship? No, nothing. I’m convinced neither death nor life, angels nor demons, nor any power, height nor depth will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.”

And then Jesus challenges us: “A new command I give you. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this they will know you are my disciples: if you love one another.”

Love is power. Love is my strength.

#3 True Humility

He became willingly humiliated by his own accord.

Phil 2:5 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who being the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being found in human likeness. He humbled (emptied himself) and became obedient to death, even death on the cross.”

His life – 33 years on earth – can be summarized as a life of humility (being humble).

  1. He was born in a stable, an animal’s food box
  2. During his ministry, he had no house – no place to rest his head
  3. He associated with the lowly, called the “Friend of Sinners” and tax collectors and prostitutes
  4. Most of his followers were of lowly origin, but he revealed the secret mystery of the kingdom of heaven to them
  5. He was crucified on a cross
  6. He was buried in a borrowed tomb

Jesus says, “I did not come to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom.”

Service is power. Service is strength.

  • This world says “Power is the ability to rule over others under them.”
  • But in church, “Power is the ability to build others up under them.”
  • Service is power. If you are strong spiritually, you are here to serve. If you are not strong, you cannot serve.
  • Service is power.

#4 Meek and Gentle

Meekness sometimes looks like weakness outwardly.

Jesus says in Matt 11:28-29 “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn from you and you will find rest for your souls. I am gentle and humble, my burden is light.”

He did not fight, quarrel, even cry out for his own benefit. “Nobody heard his voice on the streets.” Even a smoldering reed he did not put out.

  • He was very meek in dealing with Judas Iscariot – he knew, but was meek.
  • He was meek in dealing with Thomas who doubted his resurrection.
  • He was meek in restoring and reinstating Peter who denied him 3 times.
  • He was meek before his crucifiers.

“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.”

We can get lessons from the animal world.

Strong animals.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” This is true in the spiritual world and the physical world and the animal world.

Consider the lion, tiger, and bear. They lost their land, their earth. Many of them are put in prison (zoos). But see the meekest animals, hens, sheep, goats, ducks. They are very meek, but they can be seen all over the earth.

This principle can be applied in our Christian life.

If you are too strong – so strong in your own position in non-essential areas, then the room for your welcome will become smaller and smaller, narrower and narrower.

Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” This is a true mystery.

  • Meekness is power.
  • Weakness is power.
  • Weakness can be strength.

#5 Perfect Balance

Especially in his emotions.

  • He was very grave (sad) without being gloomy.
  • He was very joyful, but not vigorously.
  • He took earthly life very seriously.

Isa 53 “Jesus Christ was despised, rejected by men, he was a Man of Sorrows. He wept over Jerusalem.” Do you weep over Jeonju, Korea, the world?

Jesus wept over Jerusalem, over the death of his friend Lazarus.

Jesus sorrowed over those who willingly rejected his free salvation. He bore our griefs and sorrows. But at the same time, he was a man of joy.

John “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and so that your joy may be complete. I have said these things while you are in this world so that you may have the full measure of my joy.”

He was a Man of Sorrow and a Man of Joy.

His Joy was largely anticipation (seeing the large multitude of the church worshiping him in glory)

Paul also was a strong man. Even in prison he was filled with joy, “Rejoice! I will say it again, rejoice!”

Are you joyful? Yes!

Paul suffered so so much because of Christ, but he was full of joy. Yet, at the same time, he was filled with sorrow, “I have unceasing grief in my heart for the sake of my brothers.”

What does this mean?

  • When we see Christ, we are filled with joy.
  • When we see Christ in us, we are filled with joy.
  • When we see the lost, we are filled with grief.

May God bless us to be strong Christians.

Let us take some time to follow and imitate the characteristics of Christ:

  1. Holiness
  2. Love
  3. Humility
  4. Meekness / Gentleness
  5. Balance

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 26 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Character of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Character of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56)

07.26.2015

07.26.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

The Character of Jesus

Matthew 26:47-56 (Pastor Heo)

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

55 At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.


Last time, we saw how Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. This time, he rose to go out to the battle of life. He knew that the officers and Judas was near, so he awakened his disciples to prepare them for what was coming.

The fact that the Roman soldiers and temple guards carried weapons in a large crowd showed that Judas didn’t really understand the character of Christ. Actually, Judas didn’t really have to betray him with a kiss – Jesus came to them. It’s sad to note that Judas cheapened everything he touched.

At that time, students kissed their teachers out of respect. But, this time it was betrayal.

Even today, no one likes to name their children Judas – (actually, the name means “praise God”) – but understand that you are responsible for the meaning of your personal name.

Last time, I showed the passion of Jesus as FULL man – agony, trust, patience, prayer. Now, he’s almost at the end of his earthly life – so it’s a good time to MEMORIZE the character of Jesus Christ to understand the IDEAL Christian life.

One reason for the incarnation (Matt 11:29) was for Jesus to show an EXAMPLE to us (also 1 Pet 2:21, 1 John 2:6). If Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and King, then NO QUESTION, he must be our Example as well. What kind of man/woman must we be in this life?

Summarize: What is the character of a “true” human as characterized by Christ?

#1: Absolute holiness as a man

He was absolutely holy in his nature and in his conduct/character. He was without sin. Heb 4:15 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but he was tempted in every way just as we are, but was without sin.”

When so many people hurled insults at him, he didn’t retaliate. When he suffered, he endured. He did nothing. He bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might live for righteousness and die to sin. By his wounds, we have been cured.

We are to be holy, because he is holy.

However far we may fall away from being like Christ, we have no excuse for choosing a LOWER example than Christ – who the Scriptures hold up for us as a perfect example.

Since the Creation of the world, among human beings, ONLY Jesus was the one who was/is infallible completely and totally in his teaching and character. It is necessary to have this illustration of what God wants us to be.

  • Bible says to the unsaved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and live.”
  • Bible says to the saved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and follow in his steps.”

When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, his face shown (brightly) – just as we should be transformed into the same image as Christ by beholding him and following him.

We must try, do our best to be holy, because he is our example.

#2: Humility

Even though he was the Original God, the True God, God in flesh, yet he emptied himself willingly and was made/found in the likeness of sinful men. He took on the form of a servant. He went to the place of shameful death on the cross.

  1. He was very rich – became poor – to make us rich.
  2. He was born in a manger in a stable (the animal’s food box) – who ELSE was born there? Nobody. There was no room in the inn.
  3. He had no place to put his head when he was teaching and preaching. He lived as a homeless person. Anyone ELSE is homeless?
  4. He washed the feet of his disciples as a servant – even the feet of Judas, his betrayer.
  • Yes, his is our Lord, he wants to be our servant.
  • He is our King, wants to be our friend.
  • He is our Savior, wants to be our co-heir.
  • He is our God, wants to be a man, to experience what we experience.

God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.

God wants us to be humble as Christ was humble.

#3: Meek and Gentle

He himself said, “I’m gentle and humble in heart. Come to me and find rest/peace for your souls.”

Paul – to the Corinthians “by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you.” He did not smother the weak, and did not bruise the strong.

When Judas came to betray him, Jesus called him, “Friend” even though he knew what was happening. His gentleness is seen more clearly in his dealing with Judas who would betray him. He was also so gentle to those who crucified him because he prayed for them, “Father, forgive them (intercede for them) because they do not know what they are doing.”

“The workers of the Lord must not be quarrelsome.”

Jesus never quarreled, he never cried out. No one ever heard his voice on the street.

Should we cry out on the street? Did Jesus?

This is a good example we should follow. 

  1. 1. In prayer, Jesus cried out to GOD.
  2. 2. On the street, he never cried out to MAN.

We should follow this good example.

#4: Balanced

  • He was very serious without being gloomy.
  • He was not depressed/melancholy – but he was serious and grave.

Was his life joyful or sorrowful?

Isaiah “He was despised and forsaken by men, a man of sorrows, very acquainted with grief. He bore our sorrows, carried our sorrows.”

But, in another sense, he was a man of JOY. Before the crucifixion he said, “I have told this to you so that MY joy may be in you, and YOUR joy may be complete.” In his FINAL prayer, he prayed for ALL believers for ALL time, “may they have the FULL measure of my joy in them.”

Jesus had

  1. the FULL sorrow of life and
  2. the FULL joy of life.
  • He sorrowed totally over those who rejected his free gift of eternal life. He bore ALL griefs and sorrows.
  • His joy was the joy of anticipation, the huge multitude of souls saved with him forever in his glory.

So, how should we live? (Phil 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE!”)

(i.e. don’t rejoice outside the Lord)

1 Thes 5:16 “Be joyful always, this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

God wants us to be joyful all the time.

But the same Bible ALSO says, “blessed are you who weep, who mourn and you shall laugh… woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.”

  1. Yes, when we look at the Lord, we rejoice.
  2. When we look at the lost, we must be able to be sorrowful spiritually.

#5: Diligent worker

“Because my Father God is working, so I am working up to now.” We must work the works he’s sent us while it is day – but night is coming when no one can work.

As long as it is daytime in your life, we must work the work of him who sent us.

No matter how young you are, when night comes (soon), you cannot work any longer.

He forgot his own pain of hunger, sleep, and even on the cross in order to heal and save the souls of others. This is the kind of work we should do in this world.

#6: Love

“Here is Love” – no love is higher, no love is wider, no love is longer, no love is deeper, no love is truer – the love of God is unconditional, unfailing, unending, unselfish, incomparable love. 

While we were still sinners (yes, before we were “good”), he DIED on the cross for us. This is the love of Christ.

Therefore, (Romans 8:38~) “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? … None, no in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.” We can be sure, confident, convinced that neither angels/demons, height/depth, NOTHING in all Creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, in conclusion, we are totally FREE.

But the important question is “from what?”

From condemnation, from judgment, from defeat (he is living in us now, we are sharing his life now), from discouragement (he is coming soon, we will share his glory), from fear (he is praying/interceding for us and we cannot be separated from his love).

  1. No condemnation in Jesus Christ.
  2. No separation from the love of Jesus Christ.

From his earthly ministry up to his crucifixion, this is our conclusion, our testimony, our song, our victory, our proclamation.

May God bless all of us in this assurance.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 12 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Bear Good Fruit (John 15:1-8)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Bear Good Fruit (John 15:1-8)

07.12.2015

07.12.2015

Download Sermon Notes

Bear Good Fruit

Matthew 15:1-8 (Johannes K)

The Vine and the Branches

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


 

  • My first message here was based on John 3.
  • My second message was based on John 10 “We can have eternal life.”
  • Today, is from John 15 – so all are from the book of John.

On Jesus’ last night, when he finished the Last Supper, he taught to his disciples. This was his last opportunity to teach his disciples. Only about 6 hours from the time they finished dinner until his arrest – yet in this short time, he delivered a LONG message (John 13, 14, 15, 16).

So, this message is a very important last message from Christ. He gave many instructions.

He gave the commandment: Love one another; serve one another (he washed their feet). 

If you love me, keep my commandments.

In John 15, he expects us to bear good fruit. He wants us to bear good fruit.

What kind of fruit is your favorite? Delicious ones, right? Beautiful fruit. Our God expects this beautiful, tasty fruit out of us. Why should we bear fruit?

#1: God works hard to help us bear fruit

Because the farmer works hard so that he may bear fruit. The farmer loaded himself with two heavy pails of fertilizer and spreading it over the crops. Why do they work so hard?

Jesus said, “My Father is working hard until now, so I’m working.” Do you think our God is resting? No. He is working now from the Beginning, so I’m working. God is like a farmer who works hard to help us bear fruit.

#2: Jesus said, “I’m the true vine.” (agro ami – it is only I who are the vine)

If you are attached to this true vine, you can bear true fruit.

If the branches are connected to the tree, the branch automatically bears fruit. So, if you remain in me and I remain in you, you’ll bear fruit. Stay connected to Christ and bear fruit – he’s the True Vine.

#3: If we don’t bear fruit, God will cut down (trim/prune) the branches that don’t bear fruit.

This is a warning. God will cut down and throw away what doesn’t bear fruit (v. 2). Therefore it is necessary for the children of God to bear fruit.

v. 6 “If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch that is withered and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Branches without fruit = rubbish – cast in the fire and burned.

God says he will send these “useless, worthless” people into the fire – no fruit? no use.

Matthew 3:10 “Even now, the axe is at the root of the tree and the trees that doesn’t bear fruit will be cut down.” (Matthew 7:19 also?)

#4: Only those who bear fruit in keeping with the Kingdom of God can ENTER into the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 21:43 “ Therefore, the KOG will be taken from you and given to the people who bear the fruit of the kingdom.”

Only those who produce fruit for the kingdom will enter the kingdom (be a PRODUCER, not a CONSUMER).

The parable of the Sower: 4 types of soil (this is like our heart)

Bad, Good, Rocky, Hard, Weedy soil

Some people’s hearts are soft, some hearts are hard, some hearts are full of thorns, some hearts are rocky. The first THREE types of soil failed to produce a crop.

  1. The hard path = eaten by birds – no buds even.
  2. The rocky soil = sprouted, but scorched by the heat – failed to grow.
  3. The thorny soil = sprouted, grew up with the weeds, but the weeds choked the good plant – it didn’t bear fruit.
  4. The GOOD soil = bore good fruit (callos = good outsides / appearance)

Matthew 13:23 “He who received the soil on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it and bears good fruit – he bears 100-fold, some 60-fold, some 30-fold.”

Matthew 8:13? “The good soil = a noble and good heart who hear the Word and retain it and by perseverance produce good fruit.”

Only these kinds of people are proper (qualified) for the Kingdom of God.

#5: Jesus Christ chose us (appointed us) so that we may go and bear much fruit.
John 15:10?

When we bear fruit, our God is glorified. We should bear fruit to glorify God.

Jesus wants us to bear good fruit. But he never really clarified (explained) what kind of fruit that is – not in detail – so I thought about it.

  1. Thanksgiving + Praise (Did you thank God this morning? Did you praise God? We should START our worship, prayer, etc with praise and thanksgiving. Did you do that? Everyday? So, sometimes, as I’m walking along, I think, ‘did I bear this fruit of thanksgiving today?’”)
  2. Submission, humility and love (There are many conflicts in the church – and in families, etc – we need submission! We live in the Age of Rebellion! Children rebel against parents; students rebel against teachers; citizens rebel against governments. We need submission, love, harmony.)
  3. Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23 “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.”) Do you have this kind of fruit?
  4. Fruit of Light (Eph 5:9 “The fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” Good deeds, kindness, righteous things, right things, – don’t do wrong things – no immorality, no deceit.) “Whoever does not practice righteousness is not from God.” This is the right thing to do. The fruit of the light = truth (in the moral sense – you should be trustworthy, reliable, etc). Sometimes it’s difficult to meet these kinds of people – but Christians should be this kind of person. ____11:1 “When we bear the fruit of righteousness, God is glorified.” Col 1:10? “That you may be fruitful in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.” You see the tangible, concrete, grapes?  God also wants the tangible, concrete, visible results of our faith! If we do not have such fruit, we will be cut off and thrown into the fire.
  5. Fruit of Souls – preach the gospel, lead people to the Lord. There are many people in my mission field who do not know Christ (less than 0.1%). I passed by many villages and my pastor said, “There is not even ONE SINGLE believer in this village.” It’s very terrible. We should bear this fruit of salvation. Romans 1:13 “I do not want you to be unaware, my brothers, of my plan to come to Rome, that I might have some fruit among you, just as among the others.”

He wants the fruit of souls.

Romans 16:5 “Greet ___ who is the first fruit of ____ to Christ.”

He preached the gospel and got the person saved. This is the first fruit after he preached the gospel. God wants this kind of fruit.

  1. 1. Thanksgiving + Praise
  2. 2. Submission, humility, love
  3. 3. Fruit of the Holy Spirit
  4. 4. Fruit of Light
  5. 5. Fruit of Souls

Today’s verse shows the conditions needed to bear fruit:

1. To be clean

(God cleanses us to be clean and bear much fruit) We should be holy, clean, pure. Jesus said, “Our God is purifying us so that we may bear more fruit.” “You are ALREADY clean because of the Word I spoke to you.” (John 15:3)

If you have the Word of God, you become holy – it makes our behaviors, thoughts, actions holy, lives holy, souls holy. It makes us clean and holy – it removes dirtiness.

  • 7 deadly sins: Wrath, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, pride, sloth

We should remove, purge this kind of dirtiness and then we will be clean to bear fruit (God’s Word does this). Also “if anyone cleanses himself, he is a clean vessel, appropriate for the Master, and can bear good fruit.”

2. Jesus: “You must remain in me and you will bear much fruit.”

“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, neither can you unless you abide in me. Without me, you can do nothing. If you do not abide in you, you are cast out into the fire and burned.”

What is the meaning of “remain in me”?

Totally depend on Christ – the branch cannot survive without the tree – so we must be attached to the vine which is Christ. We must totally depend on Christ. The grace of God flows freely from the Lord.

Sometimes this is blocked by rubbish – treasures of lust, immorality, sinfulness, wickedness, etc.

We should totally depend on Christ: Matthew 18:3 “Truly, truly, unless you are converted and become little children, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” I’m 55 years old, how can I be transformed into this little child? What is Jesus teaching by these Scriptures? We should be powerless, ignorant, weak, except by Jesus’ power. “Please, help me! I cannot do this without you!” You should be like a child. “Father, help me!”

I’m helpless, I have many problems. God help me. Be like a child, totally depend on our Lord. This is to “abide in Christ.”

If you want to get into Christ, leave all the earthly, secular things behind. You want to enter into a relationship with Christ and “remain with him”? You cannot do so with earthly, dirty things and thoughts. Leave them all behind to stay in Christ. You cannot get into a relationship with Christ with sinfulness, wickedness, etc.

Luke 14:33 “If you do not forsake all that you have, you cannot be my disciples.”

Another condition for bearing fruit?

#3: If you abide in me and MY WORD abides in you, you will bear much fruit.

We should always, ever have the Words of God in our hearts – meditate on it everyday. And obey his Words.

We have learned much of the Bible, we know much of the Scriptures, but still, few people keep the words of God.

“If you love me, keep my commands.”

This is not my word, it comes from God above, it comes from heaven. How can you dare disobey the words from heaven? These words I speak to you are from my Father in heaven, so you should keep these words from heaven.

#4: Ask whatever in my name

Pray – God works through our prayer. We should ask through our faith to God and he will reply. We should pray. Whenever I have a big task, I ask my family of believers to pray for me. If they do not pray for me, it is very hard for me to work – but if they pray, GOD works – I feel it. He works through me.

So, we should pray to bear much fruit.

Conclusion: v. 8

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing youselves to be my disciples.” This proves that you are truly my disciples.

No fruit? No disciple.

The visible, tangible, beautiful fruit from us is what God really seeks. Yes, your activities and programs in church are good, but God wants to see FRUIT.

God is a powerful God and he will use us so that we may bear much fruit.

How many grapes does the vine bear? So many.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 05 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Holy Communion (Matthew 26:14-30)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Holy Communion (Matthew 26:14-30)

07.05.2015

07.05.2015-PHeo

Download Notes in a .RTF file

Sermon Notes

4 Things to remember about God

  1. God is alive
  2. God is good
  3. God is great all the time
  4. There is nothing impossible without God

The Holy Communion

Matthew 26:17-30 (Pastor Heo)

17 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’”

19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out from many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


 

Today we will take communion. I’m just following the series of Matthew.

In this chapter, we are moving toward a crisis – Jesus is preparing and getting ready to suffer and die – willingly and of his own accord to save all believers.

  • Last week: worship vs. waste (anointing by Mary)
  • Today: faithfulness vs. betrayal (upper room)

This story is told in all the other 3 gospels.

3 section today:

1. v17-19 (preparation for Passover)

It was necessary to purchase materials for the feast, and necessary to find a good place to hold the feast.

(According to Luke 22 – Jesus sent Peter and John to take care of this – “a man carrying a jar? will be there and follow him to the place – he will show you a large upper room fully furnished” – they went and found exactly these things. At that time, it was very unusual for a man to carry a jug of water – usually women did that.)

Also the men would need to get bread, bitter herbs, lamb, wine and prepare everything for the feast to be ready.

2. v20-25 (announcement of betrayal)

“Surely not I, Lord?”

They lived at least 3 years together with Jesus Christ – but even up to the end the disciples didn’t know that one of them was a betrayer. They didn’t feel any difference in the method that Jesus treated Judas. This is an outstanding testimony to Jesus patience and love.

They were eating and suddenly shocked – looking amongst themselves – wondering who the betrayer might be. They asked Jesus, “not me, right?”

Jesus gave the bread to Judas – Judas received it, knowing full well that he would betray him.

Psalm 41:9 “My close, intimate friend, whom I trusted, with whom I shared my bread, has lifted up his heal against him.”

Jesus holding the bread was a gracious act of kindness, for Judas to receive it was a wicked act of betrayal.

“Woe to that man – it would be better for him if he had not been born…” the worst of curses.

This shows human and divine points of view.

  1. God’s point of view: this treachery was predicted and prophesied in the OT and part of God’s plan
  2. Human’s point of view: Judas was fully responsible for his actions the whole time.

God’s design + human action = not in conflict.

God is 100% in control at the same time that we are fully 100% responsible for our own choices. Paradox.

Then Judas went out, and the others thought he went to buy something, help the poor, etc. For Judas, all the time, night – no day for Judas.

3. v. 26-30 (institution of Communion)

“Do this in remembrance of me”

Because of that word, we are doing this continually (Korean: “나를 기념하라”)

It was after Judas ate the food with Christ – but AFTER he left the room, Jesus established something NEW – the Lord’s Supper.

This is one of the TWO sacraments established by Christ himself.

  • Lord’s Supper, Lord’s Table = commemorates the Passover meal Jesus ate with his disciples at the end
  • Last Supper, Breaking of the Bread = symbol of Jesus broken body and blood (as a symbol)
  • Communion = through this we have fellowship with Jesus and with others
  • Eucharist = we give thanks to God for what Jesus has done on the cross (comes from eucharisteo = thanksgiving in Greek)

What is the meaning/purpose of the Lord’s Supper? We do it at least once per month. Today even the Korean church already did it five times in the morning services.

There are 7 points (why):

  1. It is in obedience to the commands of the Lord – whatever blessing are derived from the keeping of his ordinances are kept out of obedience by the church ( “Do this in remembrance of me” – to obey him)
  2. It is in memorial of his atoning death and shed blood on the cross for us – why did he die on the cross for us? Substitutionary death for us – only by his death do we receive redemption, salvation, and reconciliation with God. – All were made possible by Christ’s death on the cross.
  3. It is a proclamation, declaration of Jesus’ atoning work – 1 Cor 11:26 “Whenever you eat this and drink this, you proclaim the Lord’s death until his Second Coming”
  4. It is a statement of the anticipation of the return of Christ to FINISH his redeeming work (1 Cor 11:26 – this must be done until his Second Coming – we are anticipating, looking for his coming again. Are you yearning for it? Are you looking forward to it?)
  5. Communion = fellowship, relationship, sharing with our Lord Jesus Christ – we receive faith, blessing, strength in fellowship with our Lord (1 Cor 10:16 “Is not the cup, the bread, participation in the body of Christ?”) We receive his blessing, strength, encouragement by faith
  6. This communion = also a communion of the body of Christ – it shows the unity of the body of Christ – we are all saved by the same faith, serving the same Lord, sharing the same vision (Gal 3:23 “There is neither male nor female, slave nor free, for all are one, so make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”)
  7. We must also have two different minds when participating in communion:
    1. Humility = admit you are unworthy of this. No one sits in pride at this table – it is only of God’s grace that we have been born into the family of God
    2. Boldness = if we are true children of God, we can come to him BOLDLY – not because of what WE have done, but because of what HE has done for us
      1. Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, since you have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus – we have gained access to God through Christ.”
      2. Heb 4:15 “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may find help in our time of need.”

Who can participate in the communion?

Only those who have been “born again” into the family of God have the right to sit at this table in fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. The time is short, but we have MUCH to do:

We must do TWO things:

1. Pray, meditate, examine yourselves

1 Cor 11:28-29 “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of this bread and drinks of this cup. Anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”

What should we examine of ourselves?

4 things:

  1. Do I really, truly, believe in Christ as my Savior and Lord? This is simple, but serious (fundamental) question
  2. Am I truly, really born again into the family of God as a son/daughter of God?
  3. Do I really, heartily REPENT (not only confess) of my sins (confession without repentance = a mockery)
  4. See around you – is there anyone around me whom I hate? Whom I did not forgive? “If you give your offering at the altar and remember your brother has something against you, leave you offering at the altar and first go and be reconciled to your brother. Then come back and continue your worship.” – “If you forgive your brothers and sisters when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you (and vice versa).”

2. “Do this in remembrance of me”

During Communion, meditate and ponder over

  1. Who Jesus is
  2. What Jesus has done
  3. What he is continually doing for me – His miracles, teachings, sufferings, trials, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, Second Coming, glorification.

Time is short, but please:

  1. Examine yourselves
  2. Meditate on Jesus (all he is, does, has done, will do, will be)

Let’s pray.

  • May 24 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Who is My Neighbor? (Luke 10:25-37)
Pastor Brian, Sermons, Subject Studies

Who is My Neighbor? (Luke 10:25-37)

05.24.2015

05.24.2015-PBrian

Who is My Neighbor? Sermon Notes

Luke 10:25-37 (Pastor Brian)

Download notes in a .RTF file

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

10:25-28pp — Mt 22:34-40; Mk 12:28-31

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

“Go and do likewise…”

This is a very familiar Scripture, but it’s interesting that Jesus said the final statement in the Continuous Present tense – this is something we should be doing continually – it’s not easy.

When I grew up, we used to go to Saturday matinees (movie – jo-jo ticket price). “When you’ve got friends and neighbors, all the world is a happier place…If you’ve not a penny, and your house may be tumbling down, with your friends and neighbors, you’re the richest man in town.” (song from one movie) Express your troubles to your friends and neighbors and it makes it easier.

In Canada, there was a show about a man (Mr. Rodgers) who always ended the show with the question, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

This Pharisee here was trying to discredit Jesus – testing him with difficult questions. He didn’t care about the law, justice, morality, truth, etc, they (Pharisees) just wanted to trap him. (Remember the woman caught in adultery from last week? – Jesus bent down and started writing – their sins? commandments? – on the ground – and they all left – “neither do I condemn you, go and sin NO MORE.”)

This kind of thing is also happening here with this lawyer who is questioning Jesus. “What should I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Love God – love others” – the entire commandments are summed up in these two.

“You are right” said Jesus “you know it, now DO it and you will live.”

Remember James 1:22? “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.”

Jesus says, “Do this and you will live.” Is this salvation by works? No. Then what? Ray Steadman “he was merely pointing out that if you TRULY loved God and others PERFECTLY, you’d have eternal life – God demands perfection – every second of every day – from the moment you’re born until your final breath – and also loving others all the time, perfectly.”

Jesus is really telling the man, “Heaven bound? Be perfect and you’ll make it.”

Yet, we’re all sinners, and God doesn’t “grade on the curve.”

Here, the lawyer wants to change the debate, he wanted to “justify himself” so he asked, “so then… who is my neighbor?” To “justify” himself, he’s seeking to declare himself righteous. (God makes righteous those he justifies – but it’s only in HIM that we have eternal life). Here, it’s slightly different – he wants to show that he’s RIGHT in doing what he’s doing.

“Who IS my neighbor?” was the question, not “What can I do for him?” or “How can I love him?” He’s a lawyer, so he’s looking for a loophole – to love SOME people and not others.

Spurgeon: “He meant to say, ‘Actually, I have no neighbors – my family is all dead and gone away, and no one is close to me. So, I must be excused from ‘loving’ my neighbors.’”

Think of parents: “Pick up your toys.” “Which?” “ALL.”

Here’s the parable: A man was going down to Jerusalem and was attacked by robbers, who stripped him and beat him half to death and robbed him. A priest and Levite both found him and just passed him by – but a Samaritan found him and took pity on him and took him to an inn to be cared for and paid for it all – including the promise for reimbursement.

Here, we don’t know what man this was who was walking here – Jew? Gentile? Actually, doesn’t matter. He could have been anybody. This, in the first sentence is the beginning of the answer to the question: “Who is my neighbor?” A: “Anybody.”

The priest (like a pastor), and the Levite (perhaps like a deacon) – if ANYBODY would stop and help, it SHOULD be these “church people” yet they just cross the road to the opposite side and pass him by as if they don’t even “see” him.

They may have had good excuses – perhaps they would be “defiled” if they were on the way the temple. Sometimes people could pretend to be injured on the road and waiting in ambush to attack another passersby. But the fact is, they just passed him by.

The Samaritan stopped?? Ewwww~ Jews and Samaritans had no dealings with one another. Remember John 4, Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink – she was shocked “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?” Samaritans were “impure blood” – Jews had intermarried with Gentiles and created the Samaritans. This would have provoked troublesome thoughts among his audience – to hear that the Samaritan stopped for him. Even James and John wanted to call down fire on Samaria when they didn’t let them through the place.

When Jesus revealed that the “hero” was a Samaritan, the people would be shocked. We might say “Shinchonji” went to him and helped him – nevertheless, he went and helped the person. There’s some real meaning here.

If he was taking a chance (is this a trick?) anyway, he took it. And then he ministered first aid. He helped him, bandaged up his wounds and poured him oil and wine and gave him his ride – he inconvenienced himself to help this man. He didn’t even just drop him off at a police station or a hospital, but he took him to an inn to REALLY help him – gave about 2 days wages to care for him and even promised to reimburse the rest.

After giving this story, shocking the audience, Jesus turned to the lawyer and asked, “so, who do YOU think was the ‘neighbor’?” Now, the lawyer is in the trap he’d been setting. The words likely stuck in his own throat as he said them (couldn’t even say “Samaritan”) – “the one who showed mercy.”

Jesus said, “Right, no go and do likewise.”

Now, why would one who’s been given mercy show further mercy? Eph 4:10 “Because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in transgressions. It is by grace you have been saved and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in order that in the coming Ages, he might show us his incredible grace – expressed in Christ – for it is by grace you have been saved and this not of yourselves, this is not works so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in his likeness, to do good works that he’s determined for us to do.”

We are not striving to become worthy of God’s gift, he wants to demonstrate God’s kindness and mercy – he is showing something beautiful so that he might show this further in the history of humanity.

Ex: a grandfather is looking and showing his grandchild a trophy case with lots of trophies. See, in the ages to come, God will “show off” these similar kinds of “trophies” of his grace. “This one was a robber, now he’s mine. This one was a prostitute, now she’s with me. That’s what they used to be, look what they are now.” – because of God’s mercy and grace.

Now YOU go and show mercy.

Memorable poem from the Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare) – the lawyer in that one was pleading for the one who has been in need: “The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven on the earth beneath. It blesses him that gives and him that takes.”

God’s mercy is likewise – mercy is not strained, stretched, it’s poured out like spring rain so that we can be SOAKED in it. It blesses he who receives it and the one who gives it.

What is the takeaway?

“It all depends on your outlook.”

  • To thieves: the traveler was a victim to be exploited
  • To the priests: a nuisance to avoid
  • To the Samaritan: a neighbor to help

What Jesus said to the lawyer, he says to us, “From the overflow of the love and mercy of God in you, go and do likewise.” Love God with your whole being and love others as much as you love yourself – actually this “high standard” is really a “mission impossible” because you can’t do this without God’s love and mercy in you.

Yesterday, we noticed loads of “terrible drivers” who’d done “stupid things” and we realized “oops, wait, we aren’t being very ‘neighborly’” – where did all our love go? It was there just a minute ago. This happens throughout life.

Revelation – the Ephesians had been overflowing with love and joy and mercy and Paul praised them for their overflow to their neighbors and everyone else around them. In Revelation, they needed a wakeup call. Rev. 2: 1-7 – the message to the church in Ephesus had unique challenges to follow Christ – it was the home of the emperor’s cult and the worship of the deity Diana. Actually, Paul had gotten in trouble for preaching this there at that time.

Demetrius protested against Paul and he and his followers were dragged into the town hall and everything was in an uproar – but the town clerk calmed them and they were saved from a worse fate by the providence of God and Paul was able to continue his journey.

From the writings in Acts and others, when Jesus speaks to the church in Ephesus, “they had great discernment against false teachers and heresy, but are faulted for having lost their first love” (their zeal and ardor for their salvation – the love of Christ had made them alive in Christ – they’d been so overjoyed and that joy overflowed to the culture around them). Jesus (through John) commends them for their ability to detect heresy, but reprimands them for their love for him that’s cooled into “religion” – Jesus warns them that they’re in danger of falling away – “return to me and rekindle the love that’s begun to cool.”

We face the same kinds of difficulties in this modern world. The first love we have been given is love for Christ and others – speaking the truth in love, we will grow up into the head who is Christ.

We must take warning from the letter to the Ephesians concerning Christ from the letter in Revelation to not let that love grow cold.

If you look back to when you first met Christ, there’s nothing you wouldn’t have done to help others and make him known. So, this statement that Jesus said to the lawyer must be in the Present Continual tense – continually help those in need around you.

“He that does my Will will know the truth of my doctrine.” (Christ) – when you DO what he wants, you will KNOW that his truth is true.

This is a lesson that is constantly needed to be heeded by us.

If we see someone in need this week, HELP.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 03 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Good Examples (Philippians 2)
Pastor Brian, Philippians: A Study in Contentment, Sermons

Good Examples (Philippians 2)

08.03

08.03.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Good Examples

Philippians 2 (Pastor Brian)

Imitating Christ’s Humility

1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Shining as Stars

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. 25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.


Recap:

Paul is writing to the believers in Philippi from house-arrest in Rome (chained to the guards). He still teaches and preaches to those that come. He continually looks on the bright side of things regardless of his situation. He realized that the guards and the others around him were hearing and understanding his situation and story.

Philippi – named after Philip (the father of Alexander the Great). He founded the city of Philippi 356 BC. Also the site of (after Julius Caesar’s assassination) where Cassius and Brutus and Octavius and Marc Anthony met and fought. Octavius and Marc Anthony won, then they fought, and Marc Anthony won, and he became Caesar Augustus. The Lord moved on Augustus to make the decree to send all men back to their hometowns – and this allowed Jesus to be born in Bethlehem according to prophecy.

Philippi was a Roman colony (they were Roman citizens) – so they didn’t need to pay taxes. They likely had pride in their status as citizens. Paul likely felt the need to remind them of their place through the example of Jesus.

Paul also exhorts for speediness of forgiveness. We should be quick to be reconciled. There is need for that in the church here as well.

There is a very friendly relationship between Paul and the Philippian believers. Even when Paul was in Rome, they sent money AND a helper to care for him.

So, Paul continues his letter to them by reminding them of the blessings of Christ.

“Be like-minded” = to be like Christ, not to try to be more and more like each other. This is the sure way to be united with one another. The more united with Christ they are, the more united with one another they will be.

The bottom line: “Do nothing out of self ambition, or vain conceit, or pride – they destroy unity and are the essence of sin.” (Remember Satan in the beginning was PROUD – the first sin – and that led him to fight against God and be thrown from heaven).

Christian unity should be about considering others as better and more important than ourselves. This is the way of Christ. “He, the best of humans, didn’t put himself first, but considered others better.” Even Christ said, “I didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for the many.” (Remember he washed their feet: “I’ve done this as an example, so that you will do likewise.”)

Your attitude/disposition should be the same as that of Christ. “He didn’t consider equality with God something to be grasped.”

“Being God” = not the normal “being” but expresses the “essence” – the “very nature” or “exact representation/form”

Morphe, Schema

  1. Morphe = essence – we are all humans – this is morphe
  2. Schema = we are all babies, then adolescents, then old, – the outward appearance

Jesus’ Schema changed as he grew, but his Morphe/essence/nature WAS God.

He still didn’t consider this “something to be grasped.”

Careful Jehovah’s Witnesses… this doesn’t mean “Jesus didn’t want to be God.” It means rather, that “Jesus in his humility, didn’t exercise his power and privilege AS God.”

Knowing who he was and where he came from, he took a towel and bathed and dried the feet of his disciples.

This is the self-forgetting, self-forsaking, humble essence of God. We, humans, were created in God’s image, but that image has been marred and broken through sin, so he came to redeem and save us.

Actually, this humility of God is not reducing his awesomeness, but rather increasing and emphasizing his power and awesomeness.

All the hymns we’ve sung this morning are praise for Christ – similar to what Paul is using here to call the Philippian church to follow and obey and be humble as Jesus was.

Jesus willingly set his rights aside to serve our needs and humbled himself to death for us.

The 7-fold humbling of Jesus

  1. Nothing
  2. Servant
  3. Human likeness
  4. As a man
  5. Humbled himself
  6. Obedient to death
  7. Death of the cross

The 7-fold exhalation of Jesus

  1. Exalted him
  2. Gave him a name
  3. On earth will bow
  4. In heaven will bow
  5. Under the earth will bow
  6. Every tongue confess
  7. To the glory of God
  • 7-downward steps from God to death.

  • 7-upward steps from death to glory.

“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” APPLY the humility of Christ to your relationships with one another.

We all need forgiveness (quickly) – especially in marriages and friendships.

You don’t need to work to GET IN to salvation.

But rather work OUT the implications of salvation in your own lives so that you may become blameless and pure in this wicked and crooked generation.

Conduct (cultivating character) needs to go together with your assurance of salvation.

Timothy (for example) looks to the interests of others. “You know he’s proved himself – as a son and father – he’s served the gospel with me. I look forward to sending him as soon as I find out what happens with me.”

Paul sent this letter on with Epaphroditus – a leader in Philippi who’d come to visit Paul in prison. “He longs for all of you, and is distressed because you’d heard he was ill.” He doesn’t want you to worry – he was ill and almost died – but God had mercy on us all to spare us all greater sorrow.

“Honor men like them.” If you honor people like this, more people will follow their example and serve.

The believers in Philippi couldn’t be there with Paul, so they sent a representative who Paul is now sending back.

3 examples of humility and service

  1. Jesus
  2. Timothy
  3. Epaphroditus

Let’s all follow these examples so that we can grow in humility and service to one another, and grow in greater unity with Christ and each other.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 10 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Jesus is the Healer of All Diseases (Matthew 8:1-17)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is the Healer of All Diseases (Matthew 8:1-17)

11.10

11.10.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Man With Leprosy
8:2-4pp — Mk 1:40-44; Lk 5:12-14

1 When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosycame 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.”

The Faith of the Centurion
8:5-13pp — Lk 7:1-10

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.” 13Then 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 Heals Many
8:14-16pp — Mk 1:29-34; Lk 4:38-41

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. 16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”


Matthew is the book of the King.

Up to now, we have seen the PERSON of this King.

  • Chp 1: Genealogy
  • Chp 2: Birth
  • Chp 3: Baptism
  • Chp 4: Temptation
  • Chp 5-7: His Principles
  • Chp 8-9: His Power (here we can see 10 miracles of Jesus – mostly healings – physical/spiritual)

It is very natural – what good are his credentials/principles – if he doesn’t have the power to accomplish his will.

Why did Jesus perform miracles?

  1. Jesus wants to meet human needs. God is good. He is conscious about our temporal well-being – not only our eternal joy/happiness/peace.
  2. He wanted to prove his claim as Messiah.
  3. He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecies. Isaiah 53:4 “He took up our iniquities and carried our sorrows.”
  4. He was revealing the saving truth. These miracles are sermons IN ACTION.

Today, in the reading, he healed many.

  1. Leper
  2. Gentile’s servant
  3. A woman (mother-in-law of Peter)

All of these are “outcasts” according to the Pharisees. (Many prayed at that time, “I give thanks to God that I’m a MAN, I’m a JEW, I’m FREE – and not those others.”)

v. 1-4

Healed the leper

  • In Chapter 5, when he saw many crowds, he taught them on the mountain side.
  • In Chapter 8, he came down from that same mountain – still large crowds followed him.

In that situation, a leper came and said, “Lord, heal me.” Jesus touched him and healed him.

In the ancient world, leprosy was the most terrible disease of that time (kind of like skin cancer – it decays all parts of the body progressively – every part loses feeling, parts fall off, eyes become staring eyes, the voice becomes hoarse).

Long ago, Korea had lepers. There was a saying, “If a leper eats a baby, he will be healed.” So, if a leper appeared in a village, all the people cursed him, closed their doors and windows, and watched carefully. They treated lepers worse than animals, as if they were dead. They were completely separated and banished from ALL society. They could never participate in any social or religious activities. And if they walked on the street, they had to yell, “I’m unclean! Don’t come near me!”

From this story, we need to note that the leper approached Jesus.

1. This man came to Jesus will courage, passion, enthusiasm, zeal, desperation.

There were MANY people there – he was FORBIDDEN to go. It was possible for the people to riot against him and kill him. But he wanted to become a person again so badly, to be reunited with his family/home, he needed to approach Jesus.

Also, in this sinful, adulterous generation, we need passion and courage to approach Jesus.

2. This man came with confidence, assurance, faith, trusting.

IF Jesus willed, he could make him clean. He had confidence that Jesus would accept him as he was, even though his own family members cast him out. Jesus could do something no one else could do.

In our lives, there is no uncurable, unforgivable thing before Jesus.

3. He came in humility, with a broken heart.

He didn’t ask directly, he said, “IF you are willing…” This means, “I have no right to ask you, but have pity on me.” In your divine condescension, you will give me your grace.

Even today, God gives grace to the humble, but rejects the proud and arrogant.

4. He came with reverence and worship in his heart.

He knelt before Jesus. Note that word. KNELT. Greek = proscunane (prostrate) – translated as “kneeling” and “worship”. In the NIV, and ESV, this is “knelt” but KJV, NASB translate as “worship”. Living Bible = “knelt AND worshiped”. In this translation, Living Bible is the best. He felt that he was in the presence of God.

Do you feel you are in the presence of God?

  1. Jesus reached out and TOUCHED him, and cleansed him. He could have done it without touching him. We know everyone shunned him, but Jesus touched him in unclean robes.
  2. Jesus BECAME unclean willingly (Leviticus…)
  3. Jesus took the uncleanness from his body into himself. This is Jesus’ sermon in action. Leprosy = sin, sin is deeper than leprosy. Both spread, defile, isolate. Both bring death in the end.
  4. Jesus came down from heaven to earth and became a man and touched our sinful souls and took our sin upon him. Isaiah 53:6? “We all have gone astray…”
  • 2 Corithians 5:21? “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us….”
  • 1 Peter 4:22? “Jesus Christ bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and live to him…”

When Jesus touched him, whole, perfect, healing happened. Salvation is like this. If we are saved really, truly, we must obviously continually work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. But the INITIAL salvation happens only by his power, immediately, wholly, perfectly.

v. 5-13

Question to yourself: Do you believe, think that even today, Jesus is touched, moved, or impressed by our great faith? I hope so.

Centurion is an officer of 100 soldiers in the Roman army at that time. From a human perspective, it was very difficult for him to come to Jesus. He was a fighter, a Gentile. Jesus was a man of peace, a Jew. At that time, the Jews hated the Romans, and thought of them as unclean.

This man came, not for himself, nor family members, but for his servant – maybe his slave.

Jesus said, “Yes, I’ll go.”

Centurion was probably shocked by his quick response. He knew the principle of authority through experience – so he knew Jesus had authority to heal with a word.

Jesus honored his faith and praised his faith highly. “Many will come to the feast in the kingdom of heaven, but the subjects will be cast out into hell.”

This means “I am for EVERYBODY.” There is no difference from Jews and Gentiles. Jews with NO faith will be rejected. Gentiles WITH faith will be accepted.

From this story we can see many lessons, but the most important lesson = we must understand and apply the principle of authority and the chain of command.

TRUE authority = nothing to do with physical distance, nor physical presence.

In the world, Brazil is the farthest country from Korea – but the Korean ambassador is under the authority of the Korean President. If the President wants something, she need only call. This is true in the physical world, but in the spiritual world, it is MORE.

The greater the leader, the less necessary his presence to fulfill his will. (Good for Twitter)

True authority comes out from authority. Authority comes from “author”. Jesus is the author of authority.

God created the heavens and the earth with just a word. God made something out of nothing. Man makes nothing out of nothing. Only God has the authority.

When God created Adam, he gave Adam ALL authority over Creation. When Adam disobeyed the authority of God, immediately he lost all authority over Creation.

Do you want authority over your children, students, etc? The more we obey the authority of Jesus, the more authority we will be given. The less we obey the authority of Jesus, the less authority we will be given.

If you obey the authority of Jesus, you will obey his word and act on it.

This is true faith by which Jesus will be astonished and surprised.

v. 14-17

Peter’s mother-in-law probably had a type of malaria at that time.

If we are healed by Jesus, we must wait on him.

That is why church is called a “worship SERVICE”.

From this passage, Jesus has healed all kinds of diseases and all kinds of humans. He is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. Even still today, his authority and power over all diseases, disabilities, mentalities is available. Do you believe? It will be done as you believe.

Put your trust in Jesus and act on his word, and Jesus will do his work in us.

May God bless us with his word.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 07 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Christ in Corinth (Acts 18:1-18)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Christ in Corinth (Acts 18:1-18)

10.7

Bulletin_10.07.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Sometime after Paul’s defense before the council in Athens, he left and Luke doesn’t say how long he was there, but Luke was interested in his encounters with the pagan philosophers of the day. They’d evaluated, scorned, ridiculed, dismissed him.

On the whole, there was no consensus on whether or not Paul could/should continue preaching, so he moved on to Corinth.

These were trying times, he’d been prevented from preaching in Asia, he’d been directed by God to go to Macedonia – he had some successes, but many disappointments, including fleeing from the Jews.

If he wanted to go to Rome (many scholars think he did), he was prevented from doing so by political reasons.

He was often dismissed and ridiculed.
He was concerned about the converts (in danger from angry Jews) in Thessalonica.
1 Thess. 2:3-7 – here is his concern for them.

In the meantime he has received good news from Timothy and Silas who allay his concerns for the Thessalonian believers.

“When we were torn away from you (in person, not thought), we wanted to come to you, made every effort, but Satan stopped us. But what is our hope, joy, glory? Is it not you? Indeed, you are. So, when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to stay in Athens, we sent Timothy – our brother – to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so no one would be unsettled by these trials. In fact, we kept telling you we’d be persecuted, and we were. So, when I could stand it no longer, I wanted to find out about your faith, I feared Satan would tempt you beyond your control, but Timothy has told us of your faith and love, and how you long to see us as we also long to see you. So, we were encouraged about you because of your faith.”

Paul was encouraged by the good news Timothy brought back.

When Paul was there, there were riots, chaos, Jason was beaten, they had to make a quick escape.

Now, Paul is traveling to Corinth and doesn’t know what to expect. He was leaving the university city of Athens, for a fast-moving commercial district of Corinth.

It had been destroyed, but rebuilt by Rome. Became the capital of the Roman province Acea?

It was a very strategic, major commercial center – over 200,000 people, 2 ports, metropolis, and “Sin City” (as many port cities) – did a lot of trade in the pleasures of the flesh.

“Play the Corinthian” or “Corinthianize” = you are lustful and live on your lusts.

It had many cults throughout the years – Aphrodite – goddess of love (lust) – temple housed 1,000 prostitute priestesses.

It had a big, bad reputation for sexual sin.

That was reflected in the church that Paul started – shown in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“Neither lusters, theives, drunkards, men who have sex with men, etc, etc…will inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you. BUT, you’ve been justified, sanctified, washed, and cleansed and made pure and holy.”

Paul warned them that Christians can’t continue in immorality.

1 Cor. 5:1-2 “It is reported that there is sexual immorality and such that is not even named among the Gentiles. That a man has his father’s wife. And you are proud and have not mourned that he who has done this is not taken away from you.”

Even this terrible sin was present in the church in Corinth – pagans didn’t do that.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be controlled by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will destroy them both. The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

“All things are lawful” = an idiom of the time
(maybe like “freedom” in other nations)

These things aren’t “illegal” per se, but they aren’t helpful to other Christians.

Example: It isn’t illegal to say “I prefer THAT pastor” but it also isn’t helpful. One pastor planted, one pastor watered, but GOD made you grow. We want to point to Jesus, find our hope and life in him, build each other up.

Ex: not illegal to sue a Christian brother, but totally not helpful and didn’t do the Christian testimony any good. “Why not suffer wrong? Better that than bring the whole church under disrepute.”

Ex: Not illegal to eat meat, but if you do so in front of a vegetarian brother, you may tempt him, cause him to sin, hurt him – and it just isn’t helpful.

Ex: in Corinth, prostitutes, one-night-stands, etc probably wasn’t illegal, BUT it also wasn’t helpful.

The word for “lawful” and “power” had similar meanings.

Paul is saying “I have the power to do these things, but I will not be brought under the power of these things.”

“Your body is not your own! You were bought at a price! Therefore, honor God with your bodies!”

This isn’t easy, especially given the cultural background, and their many failures. But Paul emphasizes, “With God’s help, it is possible, and through repentance, cleansing is possible.”

And those who repented found favor with the Lord – “he who confesses his sins finds favor with the Lord” those who refuse to repent are chastened (disciplined) by the Lord.

2 Cor 12:20-21
In defense of his own apostleship – from the accusations of false teachers

“For I fear, when I come, I shall not find you as I wish, and you will find me as you don’t want. There may be selfishness, gossip, conceit, fights, etc. Or, when I come again, God will humble me among you, and you have not repented of your lewdness, lust, etc.”

Many problems in the church there.
But it was despite these problems, the gospel took root here, and in the majority, the HS triumphed over the lusts of the flesh.

Intellectual Athens showed much less interest in the message of salvation, than in the flesh-bought Corinth. It was here that God’s word worked mightily, and Paul rejoiced here in his greatest successes.

So, against this background, we can see Paul’s work and understand it better.

Aquila and Priscilla – had recently come (deported) from Rome (AD 49 – Claudius’ reign) – the Jews at that time had been in many riots because of the Christians (opposing them). So, the emperor tried to solve that problem, by banishing all the Jews from Rome.

Eventually, the Jews did return (possibly the edict was not enforced). It’s certain that Priscilla and Aquila did return.
Romans 16:3 – Paul sends greetings to them.
“Greet them, they risked their own necks for me, and the whole church rejoices for them.”

The couple did eventually return to Rome.
But Paul stayed with them in Corinth for a while because they (and he) were tent-makers (like leather work). So, Paul joined them.

But he also continued preaching in the synagogues on Sundays, and Timothy and Silas rejoined him, and they brought good news about the Thessalonians.

1 Thess 3:6-7 “But now that Timothy has come from you and that you always have faith and love and remember us and desire to see us, therefore, in all our distress we were comforted by your faith.”

Timothy also brought money from Philippi.
These two things greatly encouraged Paul, so he began to exclusively preach the gospel.

As usual, some Jews opposed him, so he couldn’t preach in the synagogue, and he shook out his clothes, and said “I will go to the Gentiles.”

Shaking off the dust = breaking fellowship.

Paul also shook the dust from his feet in Antioch (Acts 13:51).

And he used a Jewish phrase “your blood be on your own heads” showing he’d done his responsibility of preaching to them.

Paul was saying that he’d been a faithful messenger and was not accountable for their rejection of his message (Ezekiel 36).

In other places, Paul went to the synagogues, but because he was often rejected, he would go next door.

The next door was Justus, and Crispus was baptized and believed (v. 8).

Paul may have anticipated more opposition from the Jews, maybe he’s getting tired of this. So, the Lord appeared to him in a vision to encourage him “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not keep silent, for I am with you and no one will attack you to hurt you, for I have many people in this city.”

So, Paul remained for 18 months in the city.

There was further opposition, but Paul was protected. The Jews accused him before the government, but their plot failed, and the government protected the Christian church and set a precedent for Christian churches elsewhere.

The Jews probably thought they could influence him, test him, against Paul and his religion. But when the Jews brought him forward, Gallio wasn’t impressed.

As Paul was about to testify in his own defense, but Gallio said, “There’s no crime here. If it’s about words and names in your own holy books, I won’t judge.” So their plans backfired, and became an advantage to the church. So the people beat up the synagogue leader (Antisemitism), and Gallio ignored it.

Then he left.
At Cenchrea, Paul had his hair cut. He never held other Jews to do what he did himself.

The elite poo-pooed the gospel (in Athens).
But the fleshly pagans accepted the gospel readily.

Humble yourselves before God and he will lift you up.

Paul would be at home here today, there are many sexual problems in the culture (and in the church) today. And just as in that day, in Corinth, if we humble ourselves, God will give us grace, forgiveness, and lift us up.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 17 / 2012
  • Comments Off on If Christ is Your Savior and Lord, He is Your Example (John 13:1-17)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

If Christ is Your Savior and Lord, He is Your Example (John 13:1-17)

6.17

Bulletin_06.17.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Verse 15 is the KEY verse.

Please memorize this verse.

In the Bible, there are 4 farewell messages:
Deut 31-33 – Moses
Joshua 23-24 – Joshua
Acts 20 – Paul
John 13-17 – Jesus

Jesus style is unique compared to other 3.
Jesus began with the action of washing (chp 13)
Chp 14 – Let not your hearts be troubled.
15 – I am the true vine, you are branches.
16 – I have told all these things to you, so that you may have peace in me. I have overcome this world.
17 – Closed with prayer (himself, disciples, ALL believers in the future – including YOU! Jesus prayed for YOU!)
(14-17 = messages)

Jesus washed 24 feet.
God washed 24 ugly, dirty, stinky feet.

All power and authority are in his hand, but he took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist and poured water into the basin and began to wash their feet.

Can you imagine it?

In Palestine at that time, no paved roads – only dirt, also, very thin sandals. So in the dry season, tons of (yellow?) dust. In the rainy season, tons of mud.

At that time, washing feet = a slave’s job.

Verse 12-15 When he finished
Do you understand? I am Teacher and Lord, I am your Example. No servant is greater than his master.

Jesus is our example. The greatest example!

Is Jesus really, truly your personal Savior. Be honest before God, not before me.

IF he is, then there is no question that he is our example. One of his main purposes in coming into this world was to be our example – our role-model – he modeled the behavior we should follow.

Phil. 2:15 –
Hebrews – Fix your eyes
Eph – Fix your eyes on Jesus
“Jesus suffered for us, leaving an example for us.”

Who is your example?
In the Bible, there are many “good” people. Of course we can learn from them. But NOBODY is our final example – besides Jesus. Who suffered for you, gave his life for you? ONLY Jesus.

Make sure ONLY Jesus is your final, true example. Not even other human mentors. ONLY Jesus is the final example.

Share 5 Characteristics of Jesus: hoping, praying for us to be like Jesus more and more.

#1: Jesus is a person of absolute holiness.
(v 10). Cleanliness = godliness.
(v 11).
Jesus washing their feet symbolizes Jesus cleansing, purifying, and making them holy. He is holy, and holy person maker.
He is the ONLY absolute holy one.
“Holy and Righteous One.”
Jesus has also been tempted in every way, but is without sin (Hebrews 4?)
He was holy in nature and conduct.
Only Jesus is sample of holiness.

If you like Jesus, you will be like Jesus.
If you behold Jesus, you will be holy like Jesus.

Moses in Exodus, his face shown (shining) after meeting God – he was transformed and becoming holy more and more as he spent time with God.

Christians = Saints = “Holy Ones”

Because we are justified and saved, we must “work our your salvation with fear and trembling” – work out your holiness in your conduct, your personality, your MOUTH.

#2: Jesus is a person of genuine love.
(v. 1 second sentence)
Can you understand this picture?

Many times we notice the word “knew”
He is original God, omnipotent. He knew and knows now and the future.
Also in this time, Jesus KNEW:
1. Judas would betray
2. Peter would betray
3. Disciples would scatter – lack of trust, laziness, fear of Man.
4. The gravity of his own situation, about to die.

In this time, what did disciples do? They argued…
They never deserved Jesus’ love, but he loved them to the end, to the full.

By nature, we are not better than the disciples, than Peter, than Judas.
We were dead, and Christ died for us.
Romans 8:35? What can separate us from the love of Christ – nothing in ALL creation!

Remember the ground, the foundation of our salvation, our assurance = the love of Christ in death for us.

“A new command I give you, ‘Love one another’ as I have loved you.”
Paul: “The love of Christ compels me.”

Love of Christ should be the strong, forcing drive for each of us.
1 Corinthians 13 – “If I speak with the tongues of angels, but have not love, I am a [meaningless noise]. If I have faith that can move mountains, but not love, I have nothing. If I give all I have, even my body to the fire, but not love, I give nothing.”

We must be serious about this.
EVERYTHING done without love = NOTHING in God’s eyes.

1 John 1 “Perfect love casts out fear.”
Do you have fear in your life?

Love is the power to drive out all fears.
May God bless us all to be a person of love. God can do even if we cannot do.

#3: Jesus is a person of true humility and meekness (not weakness)

Jesus is very true GOD, yet he kneeled down and served and washed their feet.

In his earthly life, he did not quarrel, did not shout on the street, did not have a place to lay his head. He emptied himself totally, humbled himself totally. “He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…”

The same Peter here (proud), later in 1 Peter admonishes us to “clothe yourselves with humility, for God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.”

Humility is going down to the bottom to SUPPORT others.
We become poor of our own accord to MAKE others rich.

Meekness is NOT weakness.
See the ball pen – hear the sound.
The podium is not meek.
The cloth is meek. (no sound)

Meekness is the power to accept, maturity not to be hurt, state of being tamed all the time, completely in being used by the Lord.

Would Jesus feel comfortable, convenient in using you? If Jesus would feel that way, you are meek. If Jesus would not feel comfortable, convenient to use you, you are not meek. Consider.
God bless us to be meek.

#4: Jesus is a person of the Father’s job.
For one person to prepare water and wash 12 men’s dirty feet and dry them with a towel at one time is not a small job – it’s a BIG job.

He was a faithful, hard, passionate worker. But his job was not his, but his Father’s
John 5:17
John 9:4 – As long as it is day, do the work of the Father.

Yes, Jesus saved the lost, preached, healed, opened eyes, raised the dead, calmed storms, fed the hungry, trained workers. Sometimes he didn’t even eat or rest because he was so busy. But ALL that work was the Father’s work.

Romans 12:11 – “Never be lacking in zeal. Continue in spiritual passion.”

1 Corinthians 15 – Therefore my brothers, let nothing move you,

Colossians 3 – Do all you do with your whole heart as working for God, not for men.

Teaching English is not YOUR work, it is the Lord’s work! If you think it’s YOUR work, then it is a source of stress and tiredness. If you think it’s GOD’S work, it is a source of rest and peace.

To the slave, there is not his own work, it is all his master’s work.

#5: Jesus is a person of full prayer

He closes this goodbye message with prayer in chp. 17. He prayed often, for everyone, habitually, regularly.

In Luke, there are at least 11 occasions that Jesus prayed. Sometimes ALL night, sometimes dawn prayer (dawn prayer started with Jesus), prayed before mission, prayed before Calvary, even after his greatest successes.

Jesus prayed for killers, for enemies, earnestly, honestly, patiently, believingly, submissively.

Luke – Jesus prayed SO honestly, he sweat drops of blood
Hebrews 5:7 – He offered up LOUD cries and tears

On the cross, he finished his life on earth with prayers for his killers. “Forgive them.”

Still now, Jesus is STILL praying for us.
Romans – “He is at the right hand of God and INTERCEDING for us!”
In heaven.

He is in his nature GOD.
If he needed to pray, how much more do we need to pray?

Not to pray = arrogance, unbelief, against God. “God, you do your thing, I’ll do mine.”

The more we surrender before God, kneel before God, the more we can stand in this world.

“Get on your knees and fight like a man!”

God is very happy to hear your living voice. “God, help me, make me a person of holiness, love, humility, your work, a person of prayer.”

Let’s pray.

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