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  • Aug 05 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Everyday Evangelism (Acts 8:14-40)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Everyday Evangelism (Acts 8:14-40)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Everyday Evangelism

Acts 8:14-40 (Pastor Heo)

8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” 25 When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture [Isaiah 53:7-8]: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 37 Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


After the death of Stephen, a great persecution broke out against all the church – so they all (except the apostles) were scattered like seed.

Philip went to Samaria and preached there. There was a sorcerer named Simon – he drew attention to himself with his magic skill.

When Philip arrived in Samaria, it was filled with something bad spiritually. He preached powerfully and effectively. So many people were healed spiritually and physically. “There was great joy” in that city.

The apostles in Jerusalem heard this report and sent two apostles to Samaria – Peter and John. They came and prayed for them and laid their hands on the believers there and they received the HS. (v. 16 “because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”)

You may wonder.

  1. They received the Word of God,
  2. they had believed in Christ,
  3. they had been baptized into his name –
  4. but WHY didn’t the HS come?

Actually, without the HS, nobody can believe in Christ. So in this text, receiving the HS was receiving the “gift” of the HS – in some visible phenomenon.

God wanted to unite the Samaritan believers with the church in Jerusalem. God did not want a division of two churches.

We are given the keys of the kingdom of heaven if we believe in Christ. But Peter is the initial person who received these keys.

  • Jesus asked, “How about you? Who do you say I am?”
  • Peter: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
  • Jesus was pleased and said, “You are blessed, this information was not given you by man – but by my Father in heaven. On this rock [your confession of faith], I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

In church history, Peter had the privilege of opening the door of faith to:

  • Jews (chp 3 in Jerusalem),
  • Samaritans (chp 8 here), and
  • Gentiles (chp 10 later).

John

We can see the change in John’s life here also. During his earthly ministry, one day, Jesus had to go to Jerusalem, and had to pass through Samaria. But they didn’t welcome them. John (with his brother) asked Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy them?”

  • Just a few years ago, John wanted Samaria to be consumed by fire.
  • But now, a few years later, after the resurrection of Christ, John is laying his hands on the believers to give a different kind of fire (the HS).

Look how differently Christ can change our minds and hearts about others.

Simon

Also we can see the story of Simon (v. 18-19)

“8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.””

  • Simony = (term) = from this person
    • Just like Sodomy came from Sodom
  • Simony = “unworthy selling or buying of church offices” (성직매매)

This term came from THIS Simon. He thought he could buy the power of the HS with money. But Peter rebuked him sharply. We must know that the only way to receive the power of the HS is to:

  1. repent from our sins,
  2. turn from them,
  3. ask God for forgiveness,
  4. accept Christ as Savior and Lord, and
  5. be filled with the HS.

No amount of money can buy this.

So what is wrong with Simon?

v. 13 “Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.”

Simon believed and followed Philip wherever he went. What does this mean, “Simon believed”?

We can answer this with another question. What was the basis of Simon’s faith? Do you believe? In the case of Simon, his faith was not based on the Word of God but on miracles he saw Philip perform. He followed Philip, not to believe in Christ, but to learn the skill for making miracles like Philip had. His faith was not saving faith.

Thus, we must check ourselves to see what kind of faith we have. God is not mocked, not deceived.

In John 2, almost the same thing happened. Many people saw the miracles Jesus was performing, and believed in his name, but he would not entrust himself to them. Their believing was not saving faith.

Of course, they believed SOMETHING about Christ, but did not believe IN Christ. “Even demons believe about Christ” – but there believing is not saving faith.

This event of Simon only shows how close a person can come to salvation without being converted. This Simon heard the message of the gospel, saw the miracles, gave a profession of faith, was baptized, but he was never saved, never born again.

Please, do not be just a church comer / goer. Do not be an “almost” Christian (this is a “non”- Christian). But we must be genuine Christians by believing in Christ as our Savior and Lord.

Philip’s evangelism to the Ethiopian eunuch

v. 26-40

“8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 37 Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”


Isaiah 53 (The Suffering Messiah)

(Summary of Jesus’ life from birth to resurrection)

Jesus’ birth

53: 1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

Jesus’ life and ministry

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus’ substitutionary death

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Jesus’ victorious resurrection

10 Yet it was the Lord ‘s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


The angel of the Lord said to Philip in a vision, “go to the desert road on the way to Gaza.” There, he saw a chariot, and inside an Ethiopian eunuch. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home. He was in charge of the treasury of “Candace” (the public title – not personal name) of the queen of Ethiopia.

God told Philip to approach the chariot. The eunuch was reading out loud.

Can you imagine this picture? The chariot was running and Philip was running beside it.

  • “Hey, do you understand that?”
  • “How can I unless someone explains it? Get in.”
  • He got in.
  • “Who is this prophet talking about? Himself or someone else?”
  • Philip preached Christ from this very passage. (v. 35 “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”)

v. 25 “When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

Yes, there was still persecution in Jerusalem, but they returned – even knowing there was persecution. This means that evangelism was a lifestyle to them.

v. 40 “Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”

20 years later, Philip was still there preaching the gospel.

The idea of substitutionary death of Christ is one that is found throughout the entire Bible.

  • Genesis 3 – God killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve
  • Genesis 22 – God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice for Isaac
  • Exodus – So many animals died for the people at Passover

All the sacrifices of the OT symbolize the death of Christ. These are substitutionary deaths for the sins of the people.

So, John the Baptist proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of his people.”

This eunuch became a full man in Christ – and wanted everyone to know what happened to his life – when he became baptized.

We can learn principles of evangelism from this story:

The angel of the Lord sent Philip to preach to somebody – angels are wiser than us – they could guide Philip, but angels do not have this great commission for evangelism. This commission is given to God’s people.

This Ethiopian man was so religious and sincere – he was a seeker of the truth and reading the Scriptures, but he was lost and not saved. So, he needed somebody to show the Way to him.

Jesus, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Principles of effective evangelism:

  1. Be where God wants you. God set up the appointment and time with this man
  2. Be watching the people around you. See carefully the people around you and God will help us to perceive who will be receptive and responsive to the message of the gospel.
  3. Be ready to adapt yourself to where others are. In this story, Philip began where that person was, and immediately, clearly, took him where he needed to go.
    • Listening first
    • Meeting the person there and taking him where he needs to go.
  4. Be bold in preaching the gospel.

Let me tell a final story in evangelism history. It is simple, but meaningful to us.

In October 1857, Hudson Taylor (English missionary to China) began his ministry in Ningpo village. He preached the gospel in that village and won many souls to Christ. One of them, Mr. Ni received the message of the gospel was saved and overjoyed and wanted to share his faith with others.

One day, he asked Hudson Taylor, “How long have you had this wonderful news of great joy in England?”

HT: “England has known this message for centuries.”

Ni: “Why didn’t you come sooner? My father died seeking the truth.”

HT: Could not answer this penetrating question.

We can also ask ourselves today.

  • How long have you had / known this gospel? In your personal life.
  • How far have you shared it with others?
  • Up to now, with how many people have you shared this gospel?

This is a serious question given to us in v. 25 “When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

v. 40 “Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”

Peter, John, and Philip eagerly shared the message of the gospel with others wherever they went. They did not see evangelism as a “scheduled” event to do only at scheduled times and carefully designated places. Why? Because Jesus was LIFE to them. Their personal lives completely changed after being filled with the HS.

Evangelism is a lifestyle to them – because Jesus is life to them.

Is this true for you?

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 12 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Saving Faith leads to “God Sent” Faith (Romans 10:13-21)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Saving Faith leads to “God Sent” Faith (Romans 10:13-21)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Saving Faith leads to “God sent” Faith

Romans 10:13-21 (Pastor Heo)

13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” 19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” 20 And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” 21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”


Salvation is easy, simple, free, open, available – but there is a cost. It is not cheap.

Why is salvation FREE, yet so expensive? It’s actually too expensive to pay – it’s priceless. The price for our salvation that God paid = the life of his One and Only Son, Jesus.

Imagine, if you have only one child – son or daughter. For what in this world could you put your only child in the place of death? Nothing. Yet, our Father God put his only child – Jesus – in our place to die on the cross for our sins. And Jesus says, “salvation is like a treasure found in a field, and when a man found it – he sold ALL he had and bought that field.” Or also, “like a merchant looking for a good purse, and when he found one of great value, he sold everything he had and bought that purse.”

This Bible is the same book –

  • yet in one place, it says, “salvation is FREE – you pay nothing for it.”
  • yet, in another place it says, “You must pay ALL you have for salvation.”

So, how can we combine these two seemingly contradictory verses?

  • Free vs. Expensive.
  • Nothing vs. Everything.

I hope we are very clear in this matter – don’t be confused. Yes, salvation is FREE – God paid the price for us already through Jesus on the cross. We have nothing to pay, buy, to receive salvation.

But the Christian life in this world is a holy journey, a pilgrimage – to know, more and more, the true value of salvation.

Which is more valuable? Salvation or ALL your possessions? The Christian life is “the more we understand the value of salvation, the more we want to give and dedicate ourselves to Christ who died on the cross for our sins.”

Yes, I’m convinced I’m saved by the blood of Christ, yet everyday – though I read the Bible and pray everyday, I can’t say I fully know the true value of salvation. But, the more we know, the more we want to dedicate ourselves to it.

v. 13-15

“13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” “

This “good news” is good news of peace and salvation (Isaiah 52:7).

Yes, we are saved and justified only by believing in Christ and confessing with our mouths before men. We retain righteousness through no work, no power, not our own honor, etc.

Many people want to be recognized as “righteous” because they give, serve, read, study MORE. No, no, this is only self-righteousness. Rather, we receive faith, Christ-righteousness only by believing in Christ.

In these verses we see the word “how” repeated 5x.

v. 13 “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

  1. How can they call if they don’t believe?
  2. How can they believe if they don’t hear?
  3. How can they hear without someone preaching?
  4. How can someone preach without being sent?
  5. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Topic today: Saving Faith leads to “God Sent” Faith

If you have saving faith, you are to have “God sent” faith. God sent his Son to this world. And in his intercessory prayer, Jesus repeats two times, “Father, as you sent me, I’m sending them.” At his resurrection, “Peace be with you as the Father sent me.”

Story of Joseph

You are familiar with his story. He was hated by his 10 older brothers because of his dream.

Also Christ was hated by his people, the Jews, for nothing.

One day, his brothers sold Joseph to slave traders from Egypt. Joseph had so many hardships and injustices – even in prison. Yet, through God’s provision and providence, Joseph became the Prime Minister of Egypt (second most powerful man in the most powerful country on earth at that time) – at the age of 30. Can you do this on your own power? No, impossible.

There were 7 years of abundance – so Joseph had the people save enough food for the following 7 years of famine (even neighboring countries suffered). Even Joseph’s father Jacob suffered, so he sent the 10 brothers to Egypt to buy food. And who did they stand before? Their brother Joseph. He recognized them, but they did not recognize him.

The first deal was done, but later they came a second time – and then he revealed himself to them. Can you imagine this? “I’m Joseph! Your brother! The one you sold into slavery!” Imagine, they must have been so fearful. But Joseph said, “Do not fear, do not be distressed. You sold me, but God sent me – to save many lives.” This is the Christian life.

  • Yes, they SOLD Joseph. This is his earthly life story.
  • Yet, his interpretation of this fact was opposite.
  • “God SENT me.” This is his heavenly life story.

Are you Christian? Then you are writing two stories at the same time. You are writing your heavenly life story THROUGH you earthly life story.

  • If we ask, “Why are you here, in Korea, in Jeonju, in AICF?”
  • We can answer, “I got married here / I’m studying here / I’m working here / etc.”

Yes, this is true, but this is our earthly life story. Our heavenly life story is, “Through this earthly life story, I’m here because God SENT me.”

We are living invisible life through visible life, spiritual life through physical life. Only our earthly life is meaningful when it is connected to our heavenly life. Our earthly life is meaningless, vanity, unless it’s connected to the heavenly story.

  • “You sold me, but God SENT me.”
  • “I’m here because God SENT me.”
  • This is the Christian’s heavenly life story.

v. 16-17

“16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

Even in the OT, they had heard the good news, but few received it. (quoted from Isaiah 53:1). This is the gospel of the OT. Chp 53 is the “Suffering Messiah” chapter.

Isaiah 53:1-8
“1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. “

  • “by his wounds we are healed”
  • “he did not open his mouth”
  • “he was led by God”
  • John the Baptist called him the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”

These are all fulfilled in the NT

Summary of the fulfillment of these things:

1 Peter 2:21-24
“21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” “

Let us come back to Romans 10:17 (key verse)

“17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. “

  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
  • “Let us fix our eyes on Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Within 10 min I will summarize the WHOLE story of the Bible. Please, pray for me. Genesis to Revelation – focusing on THIS verse (Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing”)

There are 12 main characters in the Bible:
But the key mission / ministry is the same:
“To bear witness to Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Ready? Ok, go!

12 main characters have the same mission: “to testify about Christ.”

Yes, there are many jobs in this world, but we must be clear about our #1 job. (This is the conclusion – in advance.)

#1 Bible (first character) –

It says many things about life, society, politics, music, family, etc, but the key mission is to testify about Christ

  • John 20:31 “The Bible is written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ and that you may have life in his name.”
  • Jesus says, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them, you have life, but these are the Scriptures that testify about me.”

#2 Father God

His main ministry is to testify about his son

  • When Jesus was baptized, heaven opened and he said, “This is my Son with whom I am well pleased.”
  • On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus was with Moses and Abraham and after they left, heaven opened and God spoke, “This is my Son, in whom I’m well pleased. Listen to him.”
  • Jesus also says, “My Father who sent me into this world testifies about me. To see me is to see him.”

#3 Holy Spirit

The key mission is to witness about Christ.

  • “Nobody can call Jesus ‘Lord’ except by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Can you do this? Then you are doing so with the HS power.
  • John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I’ll send to you from the Father, the HS will testify about me.”

#4 Abraham

He had many jobs, but Jesus says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day. He saw it and was glad.” (John)

  • Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

#5 Moses

The first 5 books of the OT are the books of the Law – written by Moses. Even Moses’ key mission is to testify about Christ.

John – Jesus says, “If you believe Moses, you would believe in me because Moses wrote / testified about me.” Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy are written about Jesus – to show, bear witness, testify about Christ.

#6 David

He is the greatest king in Israel’s history. He is a symbol of Christ. That’s why Jesus came through the family line of David.

  • Matthew 1:1 “The book of the genealogy of Abraham, David, and Jesus.”
  • Psalm 110:1 “1 The LORD says to my lord:“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.””
    • Lord is repeated twice – but the letters are different.
    • The first LORD is all capital, the second, all lowercase. What is the difference?
      1. Father God is the first – but at that time, they were afraid to call the personal name of God “Jehovah Jireh”
      2. Messiah is the second

That’s why this is repeated in Matt 22:33-34.

  • Jesus quotes this verse and asks, “What do you think about Christ?”
  • They answered, “Son of David” Jesus said, “If so, how does David call Christ ‘Lord’?”

This means that even the key mission of David was to testify about Christ.

#7 All prophets

From Isaiah to Malachi – ALL prophets’ key mission was to testify about Christ.

Acts 10:43 “All prophets in the OT testify about Jesus Christ that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sins through his name.”

This is the end of the summary of the OT.

#8 (NT) John the Baptist

His key mission was very important because he was a forerunner for Christ. He pointed at Christ and proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! He must become greater and I lesser.”

John 1:4 “In him was life and this life was the light of man. It has shone in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. A man came, sent from God, his name was John. He came as a witness to testify about Christ – that all men might believe in him.”

#9 All apostles (representative: Peter)

Acts 3:15 “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are the witnesses of this.”

After his resurrection, before ascension, Christ said, “You are my witnesses.”

#10 Paul

There is no doubt about Paul as a witness of Christ. 1 Cor 2:4 “I resolved to know NOTHING except Christ and him crucified. I have nothing to boast of except the cross of Christ through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. If I live, I live for Christ, if I die, I die for Christ – so to die is GAIN.”

#11 The Church

No question – the church is the body of Christ.

The church is not a building, it is the PEOPLE of God who confess Christ, “You are Christ, the Son of God.” We are a holy gathering of God’s people who proclaim the same.

  • Jesus says, “On this confession, I will build my church. The gates of hell will never overcome this church. I give the keys of heaven to the church. Whatever is bound by the church will be bound in hell, whatever is loosed by the church will be loosed in heaven.”

This church is in the world, but the world must not be in the church.

#12 YOU (Holy-spirit filled believers)

Your key mission (“be filled with the HS” Eph 5:18 “be wise, do not follow the pattern of this world – be filled with the HS” – check yourselves)

You can check yourself to see if you are pregnant or not. Like this, you can check if you are filled with the HS or not.

  • If you #1 job is to testify about Christ – then you are definitely filled with the HS.
  • But, if it’s not priority #1, you need to be filled with the HS.

Acts 1:8 “When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

This is evidence of being filled with the HS.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 08 / 2017
  • Comments Off on God is the Potter, We are the Clay (Romans 9:19-29)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

God is the Potter, We are the Clay (Romans 9:19-29)

Download Notes in a .MD file

God is the Potter, We are the Clay

Romans 9:19-29 (Pastor Heo)

19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”


God has absolute sovereignty. Last week we saw that God chose Isaac, not Ishmael. He chose Jacob, not Esau. This is not a matter of the actions of the person, but a matter of the grace of God.

This is a matter of his divine mercy and grace according to his Sovereignty.

God’s sovereign will seems to create a problem.

If God is sovereign, who can resist him? And if someone resists, what right has God to judge him?

  1. God had mercy on Moses, but condemned Pharaoh. Is this just?
  2. God elected Israel, but rejected Egypt. Is this just?

YES. (but why? – because it is GOD who did it.) God is not righteous because he is DOING something righteous. Rather, God is righteous always, SO whatever he is doing is righteous.

To this question, we must note three things. Let me go into detail about these THREE things next time.

#1 God is the potter, I’m the clay in his hands

v. 19-21 “19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”

A potter was a very common and necessary vocation in ancient times – since most cooking was done in various types of clay pots. Yes, the potter has every right to take one large lump of clay and use some part to make a delicate vase (for noble use) and some part of the same clay to make a pot just for common cooking and ordinary use. Neither vase nor pot has a right to complain and ask why the potter did this. The potter has every right to do what he wants. Like this, God has every right to do with us what he wants. So, we are stupid to question his will.

Isaiah 45:9 “Woe to him who quarrels against his maker… does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you thinking?'”

The clay has no right – it is absolutely passive in the hands of the potter. Nobody chose their own parents, blood type, DNA, birthday, race, birth place, etc. We should believe that these matters are in the hands of God. But these do not excuse our responsibility. So, even though we are the clay in the hands of God, we can resist him if we choose.

Pharaoh had great opportunities to know about the true God, but chose to rebel. God is absolutely sovereign, so we are privileged to have ANY relationship with him at all. So, we must remember all the time, God is the potter, we are the clay. But also, God is much wiser than we are. So no one has the right to complain and ask God, “WHY ME?”

#2 God has a purpose for you!

v. 22-24 “22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?”

God has a purpose. We can even see two times in this passage, “What if?”

God endured Pharaoh for a long time, with long suffering. In Exodus, “Yes, I have seen my people in misery in Egypt – I have heard them crying out.” The fact that God waited a LONG time indicates that God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to be saved.

1 Tim 2:4? “God wants all men to be saved and come to a saving knowledge of him.”

God wants ALL men (including KJE) to know him.

  • “God is not slow in keeping his promise as some understand slowness.”
  • “God wants no one to perish but all to come to repentance.”

Yes, God prepares men for glory, but sinners prepare themselves for judgment.

  1. In Moses, God revealed his mercy.
  2. In Pharaoh, God revealed his power.

But since neither DESERVED mercy, God cannot be said to be unfair.

Yes, Moses and Pharaoh experienced the same things:

  • Moses & Pharaoh:
    • but Moses came nearer and nearer to God because of the wonders, signs, and miracles of God he experienced.
    • But Pharaoh went farther and farther away from God because of the SAME signs and wonders and miracles.
  • Sunlight:
    • We can see some things grow well in direct sunlight.
    • But other things die quickly in direct sunlight.
  • Weather:
    • Some people thank God for the sunshine, rain, snow.
    • Other people complain to God for the SAME sunshine, rain, and snow.
  • Sermons:
    • Even today, in the same church, some people are blessed and thank God for this sermon.
    • Others may be bored, complain to God, and watch his watch during the SAME sermon.

The very important point is – God has a purpose for us. Yes, we are weak in many ways, but we are all created in the image of God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are not meaningless accidents who have been thrust into this place at this time.

Still salvation is at hand – the news of the gospel is that God has for YOU a plan of blessing that began in eternity past.

Eph 2:10 “We are God’s workmanship, created in Jesus Christ, to do good works, which he determined in advance for us to do.'”

Yes, we may wonder why we were chosen while others were rejected. The answer is that God is absolutely sovereign, and no one has any claim on his mercy. God prepared us in advance by his gift of salvation. God will show his glory in us when we are with him in eternity.

Yes, God has no obligation, duty, responsibility to show his mercy and grace to us. But he loves to do this.

We are all students before God. The main job of a student is to get knowledge and information. Remember, the best knowledge we can get in this world is to know God’s will for all of us.

#3 God is fulfilling prophecy

25 As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” 26 and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’ ” 27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved. 28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.” 29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

  • Verse 25 is a quotation of Hosea 2:23.
    • This is a statement that says God will turn from the Jews and call the Gentiles as his loved ones.
  • Verse 26 is a quotation of Hosea 1:10.
    • It proves that God’s called people will be called “Children of God.”

As we know, Hosea was a faithful, merciful, gentle husband to a woman named Gomer. She was a faithless, adulteress woman. He named their first child Jezreel “God judges”. The next two children were not his own (they were from another man). But he named them Lo-Ruhamah “Not my people” and Lo-Ammi “Not my loved one”.

Hosea was faithful and long suffering with Gomer. This shows how long suffering and faithful God is with us.

The idea in the OT is the idea of the Remnant – to prove only a remnant of the Jews would be saved while the greater part would be judged.

Yes, we also should be found to be a part of the Remnant when Jesus returns. “I’m a Remnant.'”

  • 9:28 For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality.”

This probably refers to the Tribulation in Revelation – when only a Remnant will remain in Christ during this time of trial.

The application today = only a Remnant of the Jews remain with Christ today.

Last verse (conclusion):

“29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.””

To emphasize this verse is to emphasize the unconditional grace of God in sparing the Remnant. This proves that God was not unjust in saving some and rejecting others. God was just fulfilling the OT prophecies given centuries ago. God would be unjust if he did not keep his word.

This also makes possible the salvation of the Gentiles – including you and me.

  • The last verse is quoted from Isaiah 1:9.

These two cities were destroyed by heavenly fire. If this had happened to us, we would still have nothing to complain to God. By nature,

  • “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23?)
  • “We were dead in our sins and transgressions”
  • “everyone is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

We are all destined to go to Hell.

“Unless…” (in the verse) – without the unconditional grace and mercy of God – we would be like Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • If I were lost, I would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, I’m saved by the grace of God.
  • If I were to go to hell, I would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, I’m guaranteed safety in Christ by the grace of God.
  • If we had nothing to eat, drink, no shelter, we would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, we have enough by the grace of God.
  • If I had been killed years ago by sickness, typhoon, car accident, guns, I would have nothing to complain to God.
    • But thankfully, we are still alive and breathing by the grace of God.

“Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord.”

As long as we live, we have nothing to complain to God – we only must praise him. “Give thanks in ALL circumstances.” As long as we are breathing, we should praise him and give thanks to him. He is God all the time, good all the time, merciful, faithful, righteous.

  • “I think, therefore I am.” (Descartes?)
  • “I thank (God), therefore I am.” (Christian motto)

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 20 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) – Christmas 2015
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) – Christmas 2015


12.20.2015

12.20.2015-PHeo

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  • May 11 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Pardonable Sins vs. Unpardonable Sin (Matthew 12:15-32)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pardonable Sins vs. Unpardonable Sin (Matthew 12:15-32)

05.11

05.11.2014

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Matthew 12:15-32 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Chosen Servant
15 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him, and he healed all their sick,16 warning them not to tell who he was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19 He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Jesus and Beelzebub
12:25-29pp — Mk 3:23-27; Lk 11:17-22
22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub,the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house. 30 “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.


This is the Word of God in human language for our understanding.

v. 15 – Jesus knew…

Remember the last part of the last story? Jesus healed a man with a paralyzed hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Simply because he “worked” and healed on the Sabbath, the Pharisees tried to kill him. So, he withdrew from them. Why?

He was not afraid of them. He was not afraid of death. His purpose to come was to die for the sins of the world. So, why did he escape? Now was not the time. He still had many things to teach and do.

In spite of his withdrawal, many followed him – crowds and more Pharisees. After healing the people in the crowd, he told people not to tell others about him.

Jesus:

  1. didn’t fight his enemies
  2. didn’t want people to come before him with wrong motives
  3. didn’t want to become a worldly powerful person

Isaiah’s prophecy (v. 17-21)

“This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:…”

This is the longest OT quotation in Matthew, so let us see how Jesus fulfilled this beautifully.

4 points:

#1: He will tell the nations what justice is

He shows us how to live in such a way that God and man receive their proper places in our lives. He shows us how to behave toward God and man.

#2: He will never fight, quarrel, cry out in the street

No one will hear his voice in the street. He’s a man of meekness and humility.

1 Peter “To this we are called – because Jesus suffered for us – and we should follow in his steps. Jesus committed no sin, no deceit was found in his mouth – when he suffered he made no threats, instead he entrusted himself to Him who judges rightly…by his wounds we have been healed.”

#3: He will never break the bruised, crushed weed. He will never distinguish a smoldering wick.

A reed may be bruised and hardly able to stand. A wick may be smoldering. A man’s witness, faith may be a flicker, not a flame. But Jesus didn’t come to discourage nor treat with contempt. He came to encourage and treat with compassion and mercy. He didn’t come to put out your flame, but to coax it back to a full flame.

#4: In Him the nations will put their hope

An invitation is present for ALL nations to put their hope in him. In Jesus, there is an offer of peace, and mercy.

But, the Pharisees here say, “He’s a devil himself!” How terrible of them to say!

v. 22-32

Jesus said, “If Satan drives out Satan, how can his kingdom stand?…”

Again, a blind mute man was brought to Jesus. He was blind and mute because of demon possession.

But because of this event, the Pharisees said, “This is the power of Beelzebub!” (Beelzebub = Lord of the flies (poop))

At this moment, Jesus pointed out that their statement was illogical and impractical because Satan has his OWN kingdom. (The god of this age, the ruler of the air, the king of this world).

One of the reasons Jesus came (1 John 3:8) into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. The business of Satan is:

  1. to sin
  2. to cause men to sin
  3. to hold/blind unbelievers in their unbelief

That’s why Jesus came to destroy this business of Satan. One day, Jesus said to them (John 8:44) “You belong to your father the devil! He was a murderer from the beginning. There is no truth in him.” When he speaks lies, he speaks in his native language. This is his mother tongue. He is the father of lies.

We must remember that we must not compromise with the devil by sinning, or we will find ourselves fighting against our Lord Jesus. But:

  1. we must not underestimate the devil – he is very wise and cunning. He never gives up his business until his VISA period is expired in this earth.
  2. we must not overestimate the devil – he is NOT omniscient (all-knowing), not omnipotent (all-powerful), not omnipresent (everywhere at once). He is limited in his power by God and can only do what God allows him to do.

Because of this fighting between Satan and God, there is no neutrality. (v. 30) “He who is not with me is against me. And he who does not gather with me, scatters.”

What does this mean?

Jesus is a victor over Satan. If we believe this without a doubt, we must decide on who’s side we will stand. There is no “between” sides. No middle ground. We are either for God, or against God.

  1. It is impossible to know God and remain “neutral” indefinitely.
  2. It is impossible to know Jesus and not serve him as Lord.
  3. It is impossible to serve Jesus and not witness.
  4. It is impossible to love Jesus and do nothing to serve the church (the body of God).

Here is one thing to make this CLEAR:

Mark 9:40, Luke 9:50 – the verse is reversed

“He who is not against me is for me.”

Very contradictory looking. How can we apply these two verses? On what context does Jesus say these things? Every verse must be read and understood based on its appropriate context.

The above verse, one man cast out demons in Jesus’ name – but he wasn’t one of the “special” 12 disciples. Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! No one who does a miracle in my name can say something negative against me in the next moment.”

  1. The one who is not with me is against me. = a test to apply to ourselves.
  2. The one who is not against me is with me. = a test to apply to others.
  • Judge ourselves with a closed mind.
  • Judge others with an open mind.
  • Judge ourselves with sternness.
  • Judge others with patience, tolerance, and kindness.

The pardonable sins vs. the unpardonable sin (v. 31-32)

  • Pardonable? ALL sins – even saying something against the Son of Man.
  • Unpardonable? Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Does this mean the Holy Spirit is more important than Jesus? No. (They are ONE, they are EQUAL.) There is no difference in their divinity. So, then, what does this mean?

Jesus = God from eternity to eternity forever, definitely.

Jesus did not say, “the sin against the Son of GOD can be forgiven” but “the sin against the Son of MAN can be forgiven.” Jesus was a MAN for 33 years on this earth. He was a man, a son of man. To speak against Jesus while he was the son of Man could be forgiven. So, those who spoke against him on earth could be forgiven.

For example: his brothers – James, Judas = Jude, Simon

  • They didn’t believe in him while he was on earth.
  • But, they believed in him AS GOD after he ascended to heaven.
  1. James wrote “James” in the Bible and became the head of the church in Jerusalem.
  2. Jude wrote “Jude” and also said, “A servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Both of them sinned against Jesus while he was a man – by not believing. But both believed after he was resurrected, and were forgiven.

“If I drive out the demons by the power of the Holy Spirit, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.” What does this mean? The Holy Spirit is testifying to Jesus’ divinity on earth. The most important business of the Holy Spirit is to testify about Jesus (John 15:26) as Messiah – the Truth, the Way, the Life.

After resurrection before ascension – for 40 days, the main topic he talked about was the Holy Spirit “don’t leave Jerusalem until you receive the Holy Spirit.” The last word of Jesus before his ascension is our 2014 verse (Acts 1:8).

1 Corinthians 12:3 “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”

The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (who reveals Jesus as Lord) = the whole lifetime rejection of Jesus Christ.

It is contradictory to believe in Jesus and doubt forgiveness. How can you get forgiveness (assurance of forgiveness) without believing in Jesus as Lord?

God cannot forgive sin JUST based on your repentance. He will forgive only when the penalty is first paid. Jesus PAID it all, first. When we believe in him and repent, we will be forgiven.

May God bless us with the assurance of forgiveness, because without that we cannot have assurance of salvation – based on what Jesus did on the cross.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 23 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Good News About Jesus (Acts 8:26-40)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Good News About Jesus (Acts 8:26-40)

03.23

03.22.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Philip and the Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road–that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


Verse 37? Where are you?

Some late manuscripts: Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

A lot of commentators believe this was an addition (interpolation) – the scribe copying it felt it should be in there. It was not explicit, rather implicit, so the scribe may have added it explicitly. (Thus, it’s a footnote.)

So, in Acts 8, after the persecution in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered through Judea, some to Samaria. We saw some of the history of the conflict between Jerusalem and Samaria – and that this spread of the gospel is the first of the world-wide spread of the gospel.

Samaria was a hybrid branch of Judaism – not totally pagan, not totally Jewish. So the Jews didn’t want to deal with them and the Samaritans liked it that way. But it was their time to receive the good news. So, thanks to the persecution of the believers in Jerusalem, the gospel came to Samaria.

Philip came to Samaria and the people saw the signs and wonders, and heard the gospel. It was like Jesus walking around again doing the same works – it was Philip empowered by the Spirit walking around continuing Jesus’ work.

There was Stephen and Philip also – wherever there is true belief in Christ, unclean spirits will be cast out, healings will happen, etc. What was, will be. What happened, will happen. There surely will be some signs of the gospel – Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Some (Cessationists) believe that these kinds of miracles have since ceased to exist.

There was in Jerusalem at that time a magician – Simon the sorcerer – who had tapped into the occult (like the magicians in Exodus with Moses). But GOD is all powerful and all knowing – and where his power is/was, people were healed, spirits cast out, there was great joy in the city. Why? Well, why wouldn’t there be?

If someone is troubled by unclean spirits and suddenly set free… If Grandma hears the gospel and believes and is spiritually restored…

Even Simon was impressed and believed.

This was even without the baptism and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We know that the Jerusalem church had heard of the receipt of the gospel – so they sent people down (like Philip) to lay hands on the people and pray for receipt of the Holy Spirit.

At Pentecost, there were great signs and wonders and speaking in tongues. And when Peter preached to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house, it was the same. And here in Samaria, we can safely assume it would have been the same.

Simon wanted to buy this power from the disciples, but Philip said, “God save you from your bitterness.” Hopefully he repented of his sin but we aren’t sure.

Here Samaria is in a bit of a revival! Philip may have been tempted to stay, but it wasn’t to be. There were many believers and even house churches begun there, so a Spirit of the Lord came and told Philip to go down another road. The road led to the final settlement before the barren desert of Egypt.

Now, Philip is brought out of this publicity and heads out alone toward Gaza.

There was an Ethiopian eunuch driving down in a “chariot” – but it was probably more like a cart and ox. Philip ran to catch up to him.

Eunuch – he’s no longer a “man” – physical deformity prevents him from having kids. But, some commentators thought it was just a term for an “official.” However, he’s called a eunuch official – so it would be redundant to repeat that. These eunuchs would be prevented from going into the temple.

He was a servant of Candace (Kan-dake – a title like Pharaoh) – The queen served in place of the Son. The Son was so “holy” that he didn’t dirty his hands with issues of state. So the queen was the actual ruler.

So, this eunuch – was a Gentile (strike 1), a eunuch (strike 2) – he would have been prevented from even entering the court of the Gentiles. Yet, here he is reading from Isaiah – he probably bought a scroll (very expensive – a scroll of Isaiah would take about a YEAR to reproduce). If he’d bought one it would have not been cheap.

Isaiah 53 – he’s reading. Philip hears from the Spirit “go to him.” Philip says, “Do you understand?” Eunuch, “How can I? No one taught me.” He’s reading the portion of Isaiah about the Suffering Servant (Jesus). He’s asks Philip, “Who is this? Himself? Someone else?” Wow, great opportunity to share the gospel right there. And Philip doesn’t waste the opportunity. In fact, Jesus had quoted this same Scripture before his death and said, “This must be fulfilled.”

He was like a Lamb, a sheep before the slaughter. He didn’t open his mouth. Jesus was (is) a King – the King of Kings.

Philip takes this great opportunity to detail the historical reality of Jesus’ suffering, trial before Pilate (who tried three times to clear his name), the egging on of the religious leaders (”If you don’t you’re no friend of Caesar!” – Pilate was worried about his politics – so he did it), his death and resurrection.

We know that Jesus’ death would be our own salvation – it was ordained (predestined, appointed) for him to die. Just because this was ordained, doesn’t mean he didn’t have a choice – he DID have a choice (remember his stress in Gethsemane). The Spirit of God can be resisted. But he chose to go and die.

Jesus also had preached to two disciples on the road to Emmaus and opened their eyes about him – using all the Scriptures to show them him.

Jesus says, “You search the Scriptures, thinking that in them you have life. But you don’t realize that they are all about me and you refuse to come to me so that you may have life.” (Seriously, Jesus is in EVERY book of the Bible.)

Now, Philip had probably spoken about baptism to the eunuch. He’d talked about Pentecost and Peter’s preaching of the meaning of the signs and wonders (prophecy from Joel). Peter had shown that Jesus was their Messiah.

Now, all these people were not liars, murderers, cheaters, they were “religious people.” But Peter showed them that they’d actually murdered God. They’d murdered their Messiah. This burdened them heavily and they said, “What should we do?” Peter said, “Repent – primarily of that murder and also your sins – and be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.”

Clearly, Philip had been preaching this to the eunuch.

Also, remember that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. And when he came up from the water, the Spirit of God had come upon him.

And so, along the way, they came upon some water and the eunuch said, “Hey hey, here’s some water! Let’s do it!” And Philip said, “OK.”

There’s no need for a gap to exist between belief in Christ and baptism. Here, it happens immediately. Also, in jail with Peter, the jailer was baptized immediately.

These are the steps of obedience:

  1. Repentance
  2. Belief
  3. Baptism
  4. Receipt of the Holy Spirit

All of these things go together.

Clearly this was a baptism by immersion for the eunuch – the eunuch went down under water (died to his old self – buried under water), and came back up (rose to new life in Christ). Then Philip was taken away – the eunuch was probably shocked initially, but then went on rejoicing and probably became a good missionary where he went.

Philip later got married and had 4 daughters who prophesied. He settled in Caesarea.

This is the account of the further progression of the gospel – not a full-on “mission” to the Gentiles – but clearly an indication of God’s full desire to preach the gospel to all the world. The eunuch went on with the joy of the Lord and was able to proclaim the good news to the people back home.

It’s interesting that Philip could be brought away from this HUGE revival and on to ONE guy. God may also want you to speak to ONE person – who they themselves might go on to preach to millions.

Nicky Gumble “Everybody knows Billy Graham. But nobody knows the name of the one who preached to Billy Graham. Just think about how important THAT guy is.”

Richard Wurmbrand: a Jewish convert who spent many years in Romanian prisons and was a great witness. Previously another man had prayed sincerely to reach one man who would reach others for God. This was Richard – who had previously been a playboy.

Starfish Story.

There was a young boy walking along the shore throwing starfish back one by one. (A freak of nature had washed millions onto the beach).

A man said, “This is impossible – what difference does this make?” The boy threw another back “It made a difference to THAT one.”

What difference can me make?

Who is ONE that you can reach?

Pastor – “I was a slave to drugs, lust, sin. I had been brought up a Christian. ‘Do this, do that. Sin, confess, repent, sin, confess, repent.’ But someone had reached me.”

Michael Brown: Some friends had invited “anti-Christ” to church once – he was open to Christ, received him, and as a Jew started conversing with rabbis. He tried to persuade them and convince them. Even today, in some Jewish areas Isaiah is not even read because it is so obviously about Jesus. Even Christianity has not been good to the Jews. Even Martin Luther said terrible things about them – he had hoped that they would be converted in his lifetime but they weren’t. We know that in these days, finally, many Jews are recognizing Jesus as the Messiah. These days, Michael Brown has become one of the foremost experts on Messianic Christianity – one of the leading preachers and teachers to the Jews about Christ.

“When we don’t consider the END of something (like a hole in my coat – whenever I pass people, they think I’m crazy) – there is a consequence for DOING or NOT doing things.”

Consequences:

Hyper grace = Grace that is too far, it’s not grace but license (People don’t want to repent of sin – gay Christianity is a prime example. This is not to put them down but to show that if people continually live IN sin and don’t repent, there is no change, there is no grace. Jesus came to save us FROM our sins – not IN our sins as we continue IN them.) There will ALWAYS be a struggle of spirit vs. flesh because we aren’t perfect yet.

We can’t say, “Eh, God loves me. I can do what I want.” No. It doesn’t work like that. We struggle against sin, even if we lose – we don’t embrace it.

There is a story of a pastor – depressed, got drunk, had a homosexual one-night stand, went home, his wife got AIDS, his baby got AIDS, they all died.

Where there is life, there is hope, where there is hope there is life. This is not a message of condemnation – Timothy “Take heed to your faith, and your doctrine, because by it you will save yourselves and save others.”

Thank you God for grace. Forgive us when we fall.

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