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  • Jun 21 / 2020
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1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is the Center of our Unity

1 Cor 1:10-17 (Pastor Heo)

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


1 Cor was written by Paul. He planted a local church at Corinth during his 2nd missionary journey. At this time, he is at Ephesus during his 3rd missionary journey. He heard a bad report about Corinth. From whom did he hear the report? From the servant of Chloe.

v. 11

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. “

Maybe Chloe was a rich business woman living in Ephesus or Corinth with her servants handling business between Ephesus and Corinth. Anyway, what is clear is that these first-hand observers told Paul what was happening at Corinth.

Paul wrote this letter to help them with their problems.

Problem #1: Disunity, division

In church history, division has always been a problem among the people of God. In this case, it was quarreling over who they “follow”. Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ? (v. 12)

v. 12

“What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.””

This caused a big division and disunity among them. Why? Actually, Paul, Apollos, and Peter (Cephas) had nothing to do with these divisions. They didn’t try to make their own fan clubs, but they focused on Christ in their messages. So, why was there division? It was a human, personal thing.

  • Paul founded the church there, and was the missionary to the Gentiles. Perhaps he attracted the Gentile believers.
  • Apollos was an eloquent and famous speaker who had once had a famous ministry at Corinth. At that time, oratory eloquence was highly valued. He likely attracted highly educated and philosophical believers.
  • Peter (Cephas) was a Jew of Jews, the main minister for the Jewish people. He was the leader of the first 12 apostles. He likely attracted the Jewish people, especially those who doubted Paul’s apostleship.
  • Christ – maybe we also decide to follow “Christ only” and not human leaders.

This disunity makes the church powerless and weak. Disunity, fighting with each other, these things make our enemy Satan happy. Satan is a spirit of disunity. In Genesis, Satan brought disunity between God and man, man and man, man and Creation. Even today he is bringing disunity into our churches, homes, workplaces, countries. So we must be in prayer all the time for these things.

The Holy Spirit, however, is a spirit of unity.

Eph “Make every effort to keep the unity in the bond of peace. There is one Lord, one baptism, one Spirit, one Father of all – who is above all and in all and through all.”

Eph 2:14 “Jesus has made the two one and broken the barrier of disunity.”

Gal 3:28 “There is no Greek nor Jew, no slave nor free, no male nor female, but all are equal in Christ.”

Even today Jesus is praying for our unity. “Make them one as we are one.”

v. 10

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Paul does not command them by his authority, but approaches them in a kind, appealing manner. This means Jesus is the answer, the solution. Only Jesus brings unity.

Gal 3:28 “There is no slave nor free… We are all one in Jesus Christ.”

What does this mean? Unity does not mean uniformity. We are not all the same in our culture, background, interests, color, favorite foods, etc. We can enjoy variety – like the colors of a rainbow. It is beautiful because it has many different colors, but the colors are all united. If these colors are separated, there is no longer a rainbow.

We should be united. How? In what way should we be made one? At least there are Three areas in which we must be united.

God bless us with holy, spiritual unity.

#1 Identity

Our sense of belonging to one family.

Yes, this is our second time in 1 Cor. In the first time, we recognized that we are a church, we are saints, we are one in Christ. This is our identity – we are ONE family, united in Christ. We belong to one family.

In v. 10, 11, Paul addresses us as “brothers [and sisters].” It means, we all Christians are part of God’s family. We share unity that runs even deeper than blood brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God is organized as a family system.

God, the Son, the Spirit are three separate entities, but organized as ONE family system.

  • God = Father
  • Jesus = Son
  • Holy Spirit = Helper

Romans “Those God foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the likeness of Christ so that he might become the first brother…”

We are one in one family. This is our real, eternal identity.

#2 Faith doctrine

What do you believe in your heart?

If you are Christian, you have a faith doctrine. This is called “christology”. The doctrine of salvation is called “soltariology.”

v. 13

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”

Everyone knows the answers to these questions. Paul uses rhetorical questions to make what is known crystal clear. It is very simple. Even baby Christians know this. Who died for you? Paul? No. Apollos? No. Peter? No. Only Christ. Who can save us, who can give us real freedom, who can give us deliverance from hell, who can give us real peace and joy, who can give us eternal life? Absolutely, finally, Jesus.

We are one in this faith doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Yes, even I agree that Paul, Apollos, and Peter are greater men than me. I honor them, but they are the same in that they were humans, sinners, and need forgiveness, and salvation. For them, Jesus Christ died.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name given to men under heaven by which we must be saved.”

We are one in the doctrine of Christ.

#3 Priority Mission

This is practically important.

If we are Christians, we all have a mission. Check what you mission is.

A “mission” is a task given to you by God. It is not something you choose for yourself, but something given to you by God because we are servants of God. Check all the time what is your priority #1 mission.

Sometimes you feel tired, bored? Ask and check, what is your mission?

We are different in many areas – our tastes, favorite colors, height, weight, etc. We are individual people, but we must be ONE in our priority #1 mission. We can be different in our talents and gifts, but we are ONE in our priority #1 mission. What is it?

v. 10

“…perfectly united in mind and thought.” (in purpose – #1 mission)

What is it?

v. 14-17

“14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Do not misunderstand this story, but we should understand the background of this story.

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, we are baptized in the name of Christ.

But what IS important in baptism is that we are baptized INTO one family.

But the Corinthian church misunderstood. Some said, “Paul baptized me.” Others, “No, Peter did me – he’s better.” Others, “Apollos did me – he’s the best.”

It does not matter by which pastor you were baptized. Billy Graham? Pastor Park? It does not matter. We were baptized by one faith into one family.

This also involves the Great Commission of Christ. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality – trusting in Christ as your personal Savior. So, by baptism, we publicly declare our faith in Christ to this world. So, baptism is a unifying factor in the church.

v. 17 (final answer – priority #1 mission)

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

“Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…”

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, it is important, but our primary mission is to preach the gospel.

No matter how important baptism is, preaching the gospel must be first. Baptism cannot substitute for preaching the gospel.

In our daily lives, remember, no matter how important a thing you do, not preaching the gospel cannot be justified by doing that very important thing.

In 1 Cor later, Paul says, “When preaching the gospel I cannot boast because I am compelled to do so. Woe to me if I do not preach…” He doesn’t say, “Woe to me if I don’t baptize.” Rather, “Woe to me if I don’t preach.”

We are one in:

  1. Identity
  2. Doctrine
  3. Mission

God bless us to be united in Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 23 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Demonstration of Faith through Moses (Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Demo of Faith thru Moses

Hebrews 11:23-29, Exodus 2:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

Exodus 2:1 Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months.


Faith is conviction, assurance of what is unseen. By faith in Christ, we can have hope in this kind of situation. We can have hope in glory, heaven, eternal life. Also, by faith, we can live a heavenly life on this earth.

Last Sunday, we saw the demonstration of faith by Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

We know Genesis finishes with the story of Joseph. And the story of Moses begins in Exodus. In the time of Joseph, there was still great famine in Canaan, and he invited his whole family from Canaan to Egypt – where he was Prime Minister. So, all Jacob’s children and grandchildren (70 in all) settled in Egypt. But Joseph knew that a day would come when they would leave Egypt. They knew their settlement was not permanent, but temporary. “One day, God will come and take you out of this land to the Promised Land. At that time, take my bones with you.” From the death of Joseph to the beginning of Exodus was 400 years.

They ended Genesis with 70 people, and became 1-2 million by the start of Exodus (400 years later).

A new king, who did not know Joseph became king and became afraid of the people becoming bigger and bigger. So he ordered that the boy babies be killed. In this terrible, dangerous time, Moses was born.

Now in Hebrews, we saw “by faith” x5.

1. Moses’ parents’ faith (and his preservation)

v. 23 “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

  • Moses’ father: Amram
  • Moses’ mother: Jocebeth?

They disobeyed the king by faith. They knew that God had a special plan and purpose for Moses. So “by faith” they hid him for 3 months. But after 3 months, they could no longer hide him because of his crying. They had nothing to do for their child. But we must remember that it was at the very moment that they had something great to do for their loving child – to entrust him to the hand of God – by faith, with prayer. In this terrible, dangerous situation, they made a box of papyrus and tar and pitch, and they put it outside among the reeds along the Nile river.

It is not difficult to imagine what they did after they put that box outside. They knew that God had a special plan upon that child. Is it possible, after putting that box outside to say, “Goodbye, good luck”? No. We can be easily sure what they did after putting that baby box outside. They cried out continually to God, “LORD! Help us!”

If you were in the place of Moses’ mother and father, you would continually cry out also for God’s providence upon that box.

We know that Christian parents can suddenly create an atmosphere of faith at home. This should be the first school of faith – at home.

“They knew he was no ordinary child.” (In a sense, every child is like this to their parents – maybe even geniuses to their parents.) If you are Christian parents, remember, the BEST thing you can do for your son or daughter is to entrust them into the hand of God with constant prayer support. God bless Christian parents.

2. Moses’ identity

v. 24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Yes, after putting that basket outside, his parents prayed continuously. His sister Miriam stood at a distance to see what would happen to that box.

At that moment, Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile river to swim? She saw it and her slave girl opened it. She saw a beautiful baby crying. (We also should cry out before God to receive his mercy – Jer 30:33 “Cry out to me and I will show you unmeasurable things”). Seeing that crying baby the princess had compassion. Immediately, Miriam approached her and said, “May I get a Hebrew woman to nurse this baby for you?” “Yes, OK.” Immediately, she brought the baby’s real mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Please nurse this baby for me and I’ll pay you.”

Imagine this situation. God did something so amazing and so exciting! Sometimes we need to understand that God is doing SO MUCH MORE than we understand and imagine and expect.

This baby was saved from death, adopted by the princess, given the best education and food, raised by his real mother’s milk and love.

In this situation, our lesson is: If Moses wanted, he could identify himself with the Egyptians – as the royal family, an heir of Pharaoh. He could have chosen the easiest, most comfortable life. He could have chosen the pleasures of sin. But in this situation, Moses rejected – refused all of them. Why? How? “By faith…” This is the real power of faith. He chose to be mistreated by the people of God – he chose to suffer “for the sake of Christ.” But wait – Moses lived 1500 years before Jesus was even born. Yet v 26 “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ…”

Even Christ himself says, “Moses wrote about me, Moses testified about me.” (John’s gospel)

This means that God’s history of salvation and redemption continued through until the birth of Christ. And Christ gave up all his glory for our sake, our salvation, our redemption.

We must know: Are you Christian? If you believe in Christ as Savior and Lord, then you have no choice but to live for Christ.

“Believing in Christ as real Savior and Lord and NOT living for him is impossible.”

  • “Believe” = “Be” and “live”
    • “Be” for Christ
    • “Live” for Christ

So, we must choose careers and life paths that please God.

Therefore, our identity as Christians is so important.

3. Moses’ separation

v 27 “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.”

The background – found in Exodus 2. One day, when he was grown, he went out to see how the fellow Hebrews were. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, so he killed him. The king heard of that and tried to kill Moses – so Moses fled to Midian. In this same situation, there is a little difference in the Exodus and the Hebrews explanation.

  • Exodus: “Moses feared, so he fled.”
  • Hebrews: “Moses left ‘by faith’.”

This is a different perspective – they seem contradictory – but there is no real contradiction.

  • Exodus = viewing the outward situation
  • Hebrews = seeing more deeply into this story

Yes, Moses did not choose this situation by himself at first. But, when he was confronted by this situation to leave, he didn’t accepted it willingly, with courage. Moses knew that then was not the time for him to take action for his people. He knew he had to wait for God to say, “NOW is the time to go to Pharaoh and take action for my people.”

Sometimes, when our fighting instincts say, “Go on and fight!” But it takes a big and brave man to WAIT. It is human to fear to miss the chance. But it is great to wait for the timing of God. So, by faith, we can see God in all situations.

Today, our situation is good or bad? Bad, they say. But even in this situation, we must see God who is unseen, and we must understand that he is in control of everything. This is the real power of faith.

4. Moses’ salvation

v 28 “By faith by kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”

Background: Exodus 12

We know the Passover, the biggest feast in Hebrew history. Spiritually and symbolically, this is also the most significant. It was the 10th and final judgment on Egypt.

Unleavened bread had to be made, and a Passover lamb killed, and every door post smeared with the blood of the lamb. Then, the angel of death would see this blood and “pass over” those houses.

Not only this Passover lamb, but also on that night, as they were leaving Egypt, Moses wrote down that they must keep the Passover forever. In other words, he never doubted that they would leave Egypt and reach and conquer the Promised Land – at some point.

Imagine: Here is a population of 1-2 million slaves – untrained, unorganized, about to start on a dangerous journey through a wilderness, into an unknown land. At the same time, here is a massive, trained, armed force pursuing them.

Yet, Moses never doubted that God would bring them safely through to the Promised Land. This is the power of faith. Are you living by faith.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been crucified for our sins.” Thus, John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

Even though we are very weak and do not know what will happen to us tomorrow, our situation, corona virus, whatever, nevertheless, our situation is VERY certain in the hands of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the real power of faith.

5. Moses’ Deliverance

v. 29 “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.”

Exodus: They were confronted with their first barrier. Yes, we know that our salvation is very safe, but nevertheless, there are many barriers we may face. This is the first: The Red Sea – they needed a way to continue but there was no way – because the soldiers of Egypt were pursuing them very rapidly behind.

In this situation (Exodus 14) Moses proclaimed, “Do not be afraid!” (Front: sea, Back: soldiers) “Stand firm! You will see the deliverance and salvation God will bring you today. The soldiers you see today, you will NEVER see again because God is fighting for us.”

Romans 8 “God is working all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

The real source, the source of real faith – what is the greatest barrier? It is NO barrier if God is there to help us pass over it because God is Almighty. Do you agree? Then, accept it and enjoy it. This is a fact.

The source of real faith is close intimacy in our relationship with God. For Moses, the source of real faith = close intimacy in his relationship with God. Bible says, “Moses spoke to God face to face.”

Also for us:

Source of Faith = Real intimacy with God

Hebrews conclusion? “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Remember, the source of real faith is closeness, intimacy in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Chp 12:2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, who is the author and perfecter of our [my] faith.”

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 19 / 2018
  • Comments Off on What a Transformation! (2) (Acts 9:19-31)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What a Transformation! (2) (Acts 9:19-31)

Download Notes in a .MD file

What a Transformation! (2)

Acts 9:19-31

Galatians 1:15-21

Acts 9:19-31

18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. 20 Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

23 After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.


Galatians 1:15-21

15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles–only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.


What a transformation!

  • The leader became a follower.
  • Persecutor became persecuted.
  • He was a hunter of the saved, but became a hunter of the lost.
  • His physical eyes were closed for three days, but spiritual eyes were opened for eternity.
  • He was a wild bull, but became like a docile lamb to preach the gospel as far as possible.
  • He started to Damascus breathing out murderous threats, but surrendered in humility in Damascus.
  • Paul’s mindset / belief set were turned completely 180 degrees upside-down.
  • Up to then he had been doing what he wanted, what his own will commanded. But from then on, he must do what Christ commanded.

We must understand, if we’re living a Christian life, it means doing what Christ wants us to do. A Christian is a man who stops doing what he wants and does what Christ wants.

v. 19-22

“19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. 20 Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.”

If we want to know the chronology of the whole period of Paul’s whole conversion, we must also read Paul’s own account of the matter.

Galatians 1:15-21

When we put these two accounts together, the chain of events runs like this:

  1. Paul is converted on the Damascus road.
  2. He preaches immediately in Damascus.
  3. He goes away to Arabia, the desert.
  4. He returns to Damascus and preaches there again.
  5. After three years, he goes to Jerusalem.
  6. He escapes to Caesarea.
  7. He returns to Syria and Cilicia. (southern Turkey)

We can see Paul began with 2 important things:

1. Immediately witnessed for Christ in Damascus.

At that time, there were many Jews in Damascus – so many synagogues there. It was in those very synagogues where Paul raised up his voice for Christ.

This was boldness, fearless, moral courage. The same synagogues he preached the gospel – were the same synagogues where he had been going to persecute the believers. It would have been much easier to start his Christian life somewhere he wasn’t well known.

“I’m a changed man!”

Those who know me / you best should know that.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”

2. Commune alone with God

Not mentioned in Acts, but let me share with you. We can get a hint from Galatians. After that, he went to Arabia (the lonely, isolated desert).

Into Paul’s life had come a life-shattering change, so he had to be alone with God for a time. Before him stretched a new life, so he needed:

  1. Guidance
  2. Strength

For these things, he went to Arabia to be alone with God. Also, he needed time to know three things (we can check ourselves on these as well – are we clear on these?)

  1. Who is Jesus Christ?
  2. Who am I?
  3. What shall I do then?

These are the very basic, fundamental questions.

  1. Who is Christ (to me)?
  2. Who am I (in Christ)?
  3. What shall I do about it then?

#1: Who is Christ?

Remember, on the way to Damascus, Saul heard a voice and saw a bright light:

  • “Saul, why do you persecute me?”
    • “Who are you, Lord?”
  • “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
    • “What shall I do?”
  • “You will be told what to do.”

So, Paul went to Arabia to learn these three things.

Do you know Christ?

  • Jesus says, “This is eternal life, that you may know God and Jesus whom he sent.”
  • Jesus asked two disciples: “Who am I to you?”
  • Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
  • Jesus: “You are very blessed, but this was revealed to you by my Father in heaven. On this confession, I’ll build my church.”

Those who know Christ have power to open the gates of heaven – to salvation, and also power to bind the workers of Satan.

Phil 3 “Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything in this world a loss for the sake of Christ. I consider everything as rubbish so that I may be found in Christ and know Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.”

Remember, if you know Christ, you will want to know him more.

Do you know Christ?

#2 Who Am I?

Whenever we see Christ truly, we truly see ourselves. This is like when we see our reflection in a mirror.

Isaiah did when he saw the Holy God (chp 6): “Holy, holy, holy, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. The train of his robe filled with the temple.” Immediately he cried in response: “Woe to me, I’m ruined for I’m a man of unclean lips!”

Are your lips clean?

He saw himself as he was – as God saw him.

Paul also needed this same experience – he needed to get over being Saul.

Actually, Saul had two names from the beginning.

Some people think he was Saul in the beginning, then converted, and he changed his name to Paul.

False.

  • Saul is a Hebrew name – after Israel’s first king, Saul.
  • Paul is his Roman name.

Until his conversion, he preferred the name Saul – after Israel’s first king. He was very proud of being a Benjamite (one of the 12 tribes of Israel) – these went into battle in the front lines in history. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee of Pharisees.

  • “Saul” means “asked” – it’s very high.
  • But after his conversion, he preferred the name “Paul” – which means “small.”

He was now yoked to Christ for his service.

Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, I’m gentle and humble in heart.”

Are you holding Jesus’ yoke on your shoulders?

When God wants us to do an impossible task, God asks an impossible man and crushes him.

God always uses, takes, ourselves to the end of ourselves before he uses us.

But Paul learned who he was in Christ.

Not knowing who Jesus is makes it impossible to know who I am.

#3 What shall I do?

What should you do?

He was chosen – a chosen instrument of God to be a mighty hunter, missionary, apologist. But – he would not only climb mountains, but also endure pain. When Christ called him, he said to him (through Ananias), “I will show you how much you must suffer for my name.”

  • When Jesus called Paul, he did not say, “You must know how blessed you are.”
  • Rather, he said, “I will show you how much you must suffer for my name.”

Paul was prepared for powerful, effective service through the time he spent alone with God in Arabia.

Also, today is the same.

If we want to serve Christ, we need some time to be alone with him. God may not ask us to seclude ourselves for several years, nor even several months, but we need time with Christ – one on one.

Moses also spent 40 years learning to think he was “somebody” – but then spent another 40 years learning who he REALLY was. Only after that, could he serve Christ effectively.

Even Christ spent at least 18 years preparing for the 3 years of his ministry.

  • Also, at the beginning of his ministry, he spent 40 days and nights alone in the desert with God.
  • Moses was also alone with God in the desert.
  • Paul also went to the desert to be with God.

We need to retreat to be with God daily – to have communication with him, to be prepared by him, to have his purposes in us.

We can, yes, immediately be saved, but preparation for ministry never happens overnight. God is never in a hurry. He is building us for eternity.

Remember:

  1. Damascus
  2. Desert (Arabia)
  3. Damascus (3 years) – but the response of the Jews was not good

v. 23-25

“23 After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.”

The Jews even set a guard on the gate lest Paul should escape them. At that time, the Asian cities were walled cities. Those walls were open wide enough for chariots to be driven around the top of them. On the walls there were houses whose windows opened over the walls. And in the dead of night, Paul was taken into one of those houses and let down with a rope in a basket – and smuggled out of Damascus. Then, he began his journey to Jerusalem.

This is only the gateway of his adventures for Christ – but he is already escaping by the skin of his teeth. This is a witness of his courage.

He must have seen the great gatherings against him in the synagogues. He had also seen what had happened to Stephen years ago. And he knew what he himself had intended to do to the Christians. So, he knew well that the Christian life is not a “safe” life in this world.

He knew through his own observations and experiences that a Christian’s life is not easy, not “safe.”

A wolf will never attack a painted sheep.

What idea can you get from this sentence?

Don’t be fake. Counterfeit Christianity is always “safe” in this world, but real Christianity is in danger in this world.

To suffer for Christ is certain proof that others think we really matter.

v. 26-31

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

From Damascus, he went to Jerusalem. When he arrived, he found himself regarded with grave doubt and suspicion. How could it be otherwise? They did not believe that Paul became a real Christian. This is natural – from a human perspective.

In this same city, several years ago, Saul had dragged men and women from the church here to prison.

But, we can see how certain people help Paul at certain points in his ministry.

Yes, we also were saved by grace through faith in Christ, but through our faith journey, whether we know it or not, there were several people who helped us grow in faith. Also, we can help others grow in faith.

  1. Stephen helped Paul grow in faith. When Saul was an enemy of the church, Stephen helped with his message and loving, interceding prayer, and death. He gave a great impact to Saul.
  2. Ananias also helped Paul very much when he was in great confusion and bewilderment. He came kindly and said, “Brother Paul, the Lord has sent me to you.”
  3. Barnabas helped with encouragement and confidence. When everyone else was afraid of Paul – doubting him – Barnabas took him by the hand and stood before the apostles with him. How beautiful is the ministry of Barnabas?
    • Giving a word of encouragement,
    • reconciling believers with other believers,
    • taking a risk for Christ in relationships,
    • promoting the ministry of others,
    • giving encouragement,
    • rejoicing in others’ successes.

Even today, God mightily uses men and women like you, like us. We need men and women like Barnabas today.

Barnabas insisted on believing the best of others. When others suspected Paul of being a spy, Barnabas insisted on believing he was a real Christian. Even today, there are two kinds of men.

  1. Those who think the best of others
  2. Those who think the worst of others

Which side are you?

Do you think the best / worst of others?

1 Cor 13 “Love keeps no record of wrongs.”

Nobody is perfect. Yes, including me, we have failed, made mistakes, sinned. If God held our past against us, nobody could come to God. Who could come to God.

“If you confess you sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Are you Christian?

Please, do not condemn others – NEVER condemn others due to their past failures or mistakes.

God receives us as we are today. We can approach him at any time due to what Christ has done for us on the cross.

v. 31

“31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.”

This was a time of peace, not complacency. They grew spiritually and numerically.

Acts 1:8

  • The door of faith opened to the Jews in chp 2,
  • opened to Samaritans in chp 8, and
  • will open to the Gentiles in chp 10.

Saul has moved out of the scene, and in chp 10, 15, Peter will appear again. Then, Paul will fill the rest of the pages of Acts.

God changes his workmen.

20 years ago, I was not a pastor in AICF. God changes his workmen, but his work goes on and on continually. Today, you and I are blessed and privileged to be a part of that work.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Adam vs. Christ (Romans 5:9-21)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Adam vs. Christ (Romans 5:9-21)

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Adam vs. Christ

Romans 5:9-21 (Pastor Heo)

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


This book, Romans, is a book of logic and “therefores” – this one short word is scattered throughout the book in many places.

  • “Therefore” of condemnation in chp 3:1
  • “Therefore” of justification in chp 5:1 “Therefore we have been justified, we have peace with God”
  • “Therefore” NO condemnation in chp 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Christ”
  • “Therefore” of true worship in chp 12:1 “Therefore, offer your bodies as living sacrifices”

Last time, we saw the biblical defn of the death of Christ with 6 points:

  1. Substitute for our sins
  2. Ransom (redemption) price paid to deliver us from slavery of sin to perfect freedom
  3. Atoning sacrifice (propitiation) to remove the wrath of God from us
  4. Reconciliation – restoration of friendship between God and man
  5. Satisfaction of God’s justice and demand of Holy Law of God
  6. Our death = his death – united with Christ in his death and resurrection

Q: How is it possible to save sinners only in the person of Jesus Christ? How is such substitution possible? This chp 5 gives a very clear answer to this possibility.

Many keywords here:

“how much more” x4

  • v 9
  • v 10
  • v 15
  • v 17

I want all of us to be blessed with this “how much more” – I prepared 4 blessings, but this time will only share 1 & 2.

#1: How much more will he love us NOW as his children?

It is not easy to die for a human man (human logic). It is difficult to die even for a righteous man. No one dies for bad men.

Truth: God loved us so much when we were bad men – enemies of God – v 9 “God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

If this is true, that God sent his one and only Son to die for us on the cross – “How much more” – will he love us now and here that we are his loving children

  • “Who / what can separate us from the love of Christ? Trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine, etc? Nothing.”
  • Matt 7:9-11 “Which of you, if you son asks for bread will give him a stone, if a fish will give him a snake. If you, though evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your Father in heaven give you?”

#2: How much more is he now doing for us?

As long as we are here, death is very close to us (it can come at any moment).

  • Consider death: human logic = human death is the saddest, tragic news – people become very angry and sad
  • But Jesus’ death = ‘Good news’? But he’s a good guy

Why is this good?

  • Human death = the END of work, END of life, END of opportunity
  • Jesus’ death = a job, a great work – it did not come to him unaware, but it was a definite choice on his part – when he could have avoided it – plus it was a great work in that it accomplished such a great thing
  • Human life = we can do something that benefits others through our lives, but can do NOTHING that benefits others through our death.
  • Jesus = he did something GREAT that benefits others through his death.

Jesus did much more through his death than all human history can do together through their lives.

If this is true, “how much more” is he DOING NOW that he is ALIVE!? – this is the story of verse 9 and 10 (repetition = emphasis)

v. 9-10

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

  • Romans 8:34 “Who is it who condemns us? Jesus who died for us, is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us.”
  • Hebrews 7:25 “Jesus is able to completely save those who come to him because he is able to completely intercede for us.”

Let us see 3 & 4 “how much more” next time.

But now, let’s see another small key word: “one”

  • One is enough
  • One is more than enough
  • One is repeated 12x

“One man” Adam vs. Christ

  • v. 16 “one man’s sin” = Adam
  • v. 17 “one man’s trespass”
  • v. 18 “one man’s trespass” – “one act of righteousness”
  • v. 19 “one man”

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Keyword = our identity, unification with (1) Adam and (2) Jesus (if born again)

  • Through your first birth – you are ID’d with Adam
  • If you are born again – you are ID’d with Jesus

That’s why we must be born again. “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘you must be born again”

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on If you call yourself Christian, live a Christian life (Romans 2:17-29)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

If you call yourself Christian, live a Christian life (Romans 2:17-29)

Download notes in a .MD file

If you call yourself Christian, live a Christian life

Romans 2:17-29 (Pastor Heo)

The Jews and the Law

2:17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” 25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. 28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.


With this “if” – there are many in this passage – Paul is directly addressing the Jews (this is clear from verse 22, 24, 28, 29).

Do you remember last week’s “part two”? We saw that ALL human beings are sinners – including you and me. We saw a terrible list of sins. At that time, the Jews did not agree that they were involved in this picture – they thought they were “special” and this only applied to the Gentiles. That’s why chapter 2 is needed to point out their error.

That’s also why WE need this chapter 2. If we think “this only applied to the Jews in the 1st century”, then we are also the “Jews” about whom this is written. We need to see ourselves in this passage – as in a mirror. “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that we might have encouragement and hope.”

With this story, we need to reread it with US in the middle – as a reminder of who we are, and must be.

Part 1 = our identity and status

17 Now you, if you call yourself a [Christian]; if you rely on the [Word of God] and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the [Word of God];

At that time, 2000 years ago there were only 2 kinds of human beings: Jews / Gentiles – there was no between. Jews = not Gentiles and vice versa. Gentile literally means “non-Jew.”

Today, there is no division between Jews and Gentiles (Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all free in Christ.”). So, what is the division in the eyes of God today? Again, 2 kinds of humans: Christian / non-Christian

Which are you?

If you are Christian, you are not non-Christian, and vice versa. If you claim to be Christian, why don’t you live up to this name and title?

  • Christ + ian = Christ + “belonging to”
  • Music + ian = Music + “belonging to”

So, Christian = Christ follower, slave, servant, ambassador, etc. So, this person puts Christ FIRST in all areas of his/her life.

  1. The word “Christian” is a public name, a common noun – all believers are given this name publicly and equally. This is a public name and common noun.
  2. Yet, at the same time, this is also a personal name and a proper noun. That’s why it’s always written with a Capital C.

At least we have 2 personal names: Heo Jaebum, Christian or Aaron, Christian

At the same time, this is a title that shows our identity and purpose in this world. Remember that “Christian” is the most beautiful and influential name / title in this world.

If you claim yourself to be Christian, you must live a Christian life. A Christian is someone who puts Christ FIRST in all areas of his life.

Part 2 = a reminder of our position and mission

19 *if* you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—

  • 2 Cor 4:4 “Satan is the god of this age – he has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel and the glory of Christ.”
  • Ps 14:1 “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”
  • Jesus (to those who don’t believe in him): “You belong to your father, the devil.”
  1. So the blind = those who don’t know Christ,
  2. the foolish = those who try to deny what is undeniable (the existence of God) – because they don’t want to be accountable before God

This means we have a mission (there is only one mission – from generation to generation) – continually, God calls his people, but the mission is only ONE:

  1. Genesis – Abraham: “I will bless you, so that you’ll be a blessing – and all people on earth will be blessed through you”
  2. Exodus 19:5-6 – God rescued Israel from Egypt “If you obey me fully, you will be my treasured possession and a holy nation” – but they disobeyed, so have failed up to now, but one day they will rise up again (Romans: “All Israel will be saved”)
  3. Today – 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a holy and chosen nation, a royal priesthood, so that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his glorious light.”

If you are a Christian, you are called to call others, blessed to bless others, saved to help save others.

Part 3 = reminder of our privilege and responsibility

21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?

Remember: “With great privilege comes great responsibility”

We have privilege to teach the blind, foolish, and infant, so we also have more responsibility to do so.

Yes, Jesus, our teacher, bore all punishment on his body and he is calling us as teachers in this world.

“I’m a teacher in this world.”

  • James 3:1 “Teachers will be judged more strictly.”
  • KJV “Teachers shall receive the greater condemnation.”

In the eyes of man, we may not “steal” or “commit adultery” or “rob temples” or “dishonor God”, but what about in the eyes of God?

What is stealing, adultery, robbing temples, dishonoring God in HIS eyes?

  • Stealing = using anything provided by God against the will of God (we brought nothing into this world, so we also will take nothing out – so we have no ownership, only stewardship (managership))
  • Adultery = look lustfully = adultery in your heart. I cannot see you heart, just your outward appearance. But God can see all – the outer and the inner
  • Robbing God = not giving tithes and offerings – Malachi “Bring the WHOLE tithe into the house of God, or you are robbing me.”
  • Dishonoring God = disobeying the Word of God

Part 4 = reminder of our challenge and warning

24 As it is written: “God’s name is *blasphemed* among the Gentiles because of you.” [Isaiah, Ezekiel quoted]

Those who glory in God’s Law and brag about their relationship with God, but then go out and break that Law, they bring God’s name into disrepute (dishonor) before the Gentiles.

They were chosen to be a blessing to other nations, but they misunderstood this, so they were divided into 2 nations (North/South) – one was conquered by the Assyrians, one conquered by the Babylonians, and both cursed and dishonored God’s name because of the Jews.

Remember, “Christian” is the most beautiful title in the world. Remember the name “God” is never cursed among unbelievers because of other unbelievers. BUT it will be cursed among unbelievers because of Christians.

Look at the Presidents of the world. When the President does something wrong, people curse that President (CEO/professor/etc) only. But when a Christian does something wrong, people condemn not only that Christian, but also GOD.

From God’s perspective, from the eternal perspective, the term “Christian” is more important and influential than even “President” – either positively or negatively.

If you are Christian, please BE Christian all the time.

Part 5 = reminder of symbol and the meaning it represents

(inner attitude/reality)

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised [water baptism]. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 **The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who**, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker. 

In Genesis 15, Abraham was declared righteous by his faith at 87 years old – then at the age of 99, he was circumcised. This is clear that his circumcision had NOTHING to do with his salvation. So, then why circumcise? This was a sign, a seal, that Abraham belonged to God, and a reminder that God had given him a promise and he would KEEP it.

In church today, we have only 2 outward sacraments:

  1. Water baptism,
  2. and communion.

Both of these are very meaningful.

  1. Water baptism = an outward symbol of an inward reality (that we have salvation in Christ)
  2. Communion = a reminder of the promise that God made and will keep (Christ died on the cross for my sin, and rose again from the grave for my sin, and future life and glorification)

So, remember these as reminders of an inward reality.

Part 6 = final encouragement and challenge

28 A person is not a [Christian] who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a [Christian] who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Confess one lifestyle, but live a different one, claiming a symbol, but violating its reality and meaning – these are unacceptable by God. God is not deceived by our outward “performance” – he is not moved, touched, by our outward “show.” Rather, he looks at your INWARD attitude.

Please SHOW you inward reality by putting Christ first in all aspects of your life.

If you claim to be Christian, prove it by you life.

“I’m Christian!” – Then BE Christian

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 06 / 2015
  • Comments Off on 1 Chronicles: Who Is Your First Father? (1:1-31, 17:11-14, 29:11)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

1 Chronicles: Who Is Your First Father? (1:1-31, 17:11-14, 29:11)


12.06.2015

12.06.2015-PHeo

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