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  • Nov 10 / 2019
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Again, the Better Covenant (Hebrews 8:1-13; Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Again, a Better Covenant

Hebrews 8:1-13, Jeremiah 31:31-34

The High Priest of a New Covenant

1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.

3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” 6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.


Jeremiah 31:31-34

31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD ,

“when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

32 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they broke my covenant,

though I was a husband to them, “

declares the LORD .

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time,” declares the LORD .

“I will put my law in their minds

and write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD ,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest,”

declares the LORD .

“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”


“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.”

Amen – this is God’s promise given to us.

We do have such a High Priest – what kind?

v. 1-2

“1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man.”

The point is: we do have such a high priest. The summary of the message is: Our Lord, High Priest, is superior to everything in the OT priesthood.

Last week = he is holy, blameless, sinless, stainless, 100% pure. Then, he never needs to offer sacrifice day after day, year after year for his own sins – and then for the sins of others. But Jesus sacrificed directly for our sins once for all with his own blood on the cross.

  • That’s why he’s the last and lasting High Priest;
  • the last and lasting sacrifice for our sins.

Question: He is sitting down at the right hand of God – then what is he doing there in heaven? 4 things.

1. He is being with us

(working with us, sharing what we are doing). He is happy, ready, available all the time to share in our sufferings, difficulties, hardships in this world. He is READY.

“Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.” He promised this. “I’m in you, with you, beside you.”

Because he’s in heaven it is possible.

2. He is interceding (praying) for us

Romans 8:34 “Christ Jesus, who died, more than that who was raised again from the dead sits at the right hand of God and is interceding for us.”

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for you.”

3. He is an architect

He was once a carpenter, and son of a carpenter. In heaven, he is building our beautiful mansions for us in heaven.

John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many rooms. I go there to prepare a place for you. When I finish, I will return to take you with me to be where I am.”

He’s still “under construction” – and when he finishes, he will come back and take us with him.

His sitting in heaven is a guarantee of us also sitting together with him in heaven with the Father

Where is your body now? On earth? But your reality is that you are already in heaven with him.

Eph 2:6 “God raised you with Jesus Christ and seated you with Jesus in the heavenly kingdom.”

Verb tense: not future, but past – it is DONE – our spiritual reality is already in heaven with Jesus Christ.

v. 3-5

“3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. 5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.””

During his 33 years of life on earth, Jesus was never called a “priest.” He never did the function of a priest in an earthly tabernacle or synagogue – because there were already priests. And, he was not a Levite, but from the tribe of Judah. Also, the earthly temple is only a copy and shadow of the real one – in heaven. A priest needs a sanctuary in which he ministers – but Jesus’ sanctuary is in heaven.

Moses in the OT, made a sanctuary according to the commands of God. (v. 5 ‘Moses was warned to make everything according to the pattern shown on the mountain.’)

Did you see the OT tabernacle? Inside, there were no chairs – what does this mean? It means, the work of the priest was never finished, complete, perfect.

Yet, all the time it says, “Jesus sat down.” This is spiritually symbolic – it means that his ministry on earth is finished. He shouted “It is finished!” His work on earth as a public ministry is totally complete – sufficient, more than enough.

But in the OT covenant and tabernacle, there were no chairs, so the work of the human priests was never complete. Each completed sacrifice was only a reminder that animal sacrifice never completely washed away and cleansed human sins. This act had to be repeated day-by-day, year-by-year, until Jesus died on the cross THAT DAY.

J the Baptist declared, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’

v. 6-7

“6 But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises.

7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.”

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better”

  • Better Hope
  • Better Covenant
  • Better High Priest
  • Better Sacrifice
  • Better Promises
  • Better Possessions
  • Better Country
  • Better Resurrection

We read 13 verses and the word “covenant” appears 7 times. “Better covenant” = “new covenant.”

In the old covenant, God forgave sins when people brought animals to the priests. The agreement between God and man was sealed with the blood of the animals, but the sins could only be forgiven by God. This is why they were repeated day-by-day, year-by-year. But Jesus established a new covenant – and under this new covenant, he should die in the place of sinners.

One day, while they were eating, Jesus established this covenant with his disciples:

He took the bread, thanked God, gave it to them and said, “Eat this is my body.” He took the cup and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood, poured out on the cross for many for the forgiveness of sins. This is a new covenant.” He established a new covenant (better covenant).

We read Jeremiah 31 – and we can see that the prophets of the OT looked forward to this new covenant that would fulfill the OT covenant. And J the Baptist said, “This is the Lamb of God…” So we never need to struggle with the guilt of past sins because we have complete forgiveness in Christ.

God’s presence is much more real to us – the emotional quality of our lives is better, and the mission from God for our lives is much better (greater) than before. Whatever you job is, if you are IN Christ, your job is a calling from God – that God uses to advance his work in this world. Everything shows the need for redemption and salvation. Everywhere, God displays the possibility. We are a part of this great movement of the new covenant.

v. 8-12 are a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – this is the longest quotation of the OT in the NT. It contains the prophetic announcement and definition of the new covenant which was to be totally different from the Mosaic covenant.

v. 8-12

“8 But God found fault with the people and said:

“The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.

9 It will not be like the covenant

I made with their forefathers

when I took them by the hand

to lead them out of Egypt,

because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,

and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel

after that time, declares the Lord.

I will put my laws in their minds

and write them on their hearts.

I will be their God,

and they will be my people.

11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12 For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no more.””

Last verse: v. 13

“13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

v. 8-12 = quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 – the longest in the whole Bible.

We know what a covenant is like. For example, old covenant and new covenant. Also between human beings there are covenants: marriage for example. The basic idea = agreement – dependence on conditions upon which they mutually agree.

David’s covenant with Jonathan for example.

If either party breaks the covenant, that covenant becomes null and void. But this new covenant is totally different. In the new covenant, the basic idea is not an agreement between God and man, but God’s absolute will motivated by his love for the forgiveness of sins and redemption of human beings.

The whole approach in this new covenant comes from God – man and God cannot meet on equal terms. Man cannot bargain, cannot compromise, cannot argue about this covenant with God – because it is absolute providence / offering from God. So, all we can do is just to receive or reject it. These are are two options:

  1. Receive
  2. Reject
  • If you receive, you receive forgiveness, redemption, eternal life, salvation.
  • If you reject it you reject forgiveness, salvation, eternal life.

From v. 8-12, there are 5 characteristics of this new covenant. Let’s see them briefly.

1. It is not revolutionary – it was set in Jeremiah.

It is TRUE that God planned a new covenant BEFORE the old covenant. In God’s plan, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant – this is a mystery. In God’s heart / mind, this new covenant is OLDER than the old covenant. God planned to send his one and only son to the cross from the Beginning – even from the foundation of the world.

Eph 1:7 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In his love, God predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters in Jesus Christ.”

2. The New Covenant is OLDER than the Old Covenant.

In Greek: “new” = two words: neos (“new” in the point of time (order)), kainos (“new” in time AND quality – and totally different) – it looks the same, but totally different.

This “new” is kainos, not neos.

When we are in this new covenant, we are TOTALLY different people – yes, you look the same, who were once an unbeliever – but you are totally NEW – new nature, new status.

1 Cor 5:17? “If you are in Christ, you are a new Creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

In Christ, you are not a changed person, you are a DIFFERENT person. That’s why it’s called “born again.”

3. New in scope and universality

v. 8 “”The time is coming, declares the Lord,

when I will make a new covenant

with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah.”

“11No longer will a man teach his neighbor,

or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.”

4. This new covenant involves ALL people in this world – not only Israel.

We know, in history, Israel was split into two kingdoms – 10 in the north (Israel), 2 in the south (Judah). Before this, the tribes had never come together, but with the new covenant, the two would be reunited.

Eph 2:14 “Jesus is peace of all human beings and has made the two one, and has destroyed all barriers between men.”

Symbolically, when Jesus was crucified, the curtain separating the holy place from the most holy place was torn in two and the two rooms became one room.

In the new covenant, we can be reconciled with anyone. Two enemies can be one.

Let’s continue next time.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 03 / 2019
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A Better Covenant (Hebrews 7:20-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

A Better Covenant

Hebrews 7:20-28 (Pastor Heo)

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind:

‘You are a priest forever.’ ” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect _forever_.


This is the continuation of the comparison between OT and NT priesthood.

Differences:

1. Oath: without / with oath

OT priests – from the children of Aaron (Levites), men with no physical defects could become priests before God with no oath – their appointment was based on the Law with no divine intervention.

In the case of Jesus, he became a High Priest WITH an oath.

Ps. 110:4 “4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””

This was written 600 years? before Christ – about a person / priesthood 1000 years prior.

God never lies like we do. He is Almighty God, omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with God – then why did God take an oath? This shows DOUBLE guarantee, importance, significance. This is the revelation of God’s radical plan for our salvation – this is the ultimate sovereign will of God – his last will. So, the ultimate sovereign will of God for the salvation of man = “A better covenant.”

This is another keyword in Hebrews. To understand this word, we must understand the background.

There are two testaments, two covenants in the Bible. New Testament = Better Covenant.

This book Hebrews is a book of “Better Covenant.”

This book has the word “better” the most of any other books in the New Testament – at least 11 times.

  • Last week: Better Hope
  • This week: Better Covenant

Later, Better Promise, sacrifice, possessions, country, resurrection.

This word “Covenant” is also repeated at least 16 times (the most in the NT). If we are IN Christ, our lives will become better and better – our future will become better and better IN Jesus. This is a better covenant – because the best is not yet come, the best is coming. Believe your future will become better. We can be convinced in Jesus Christ.

The background is from the Last Supper with his disciples. In the upper room, while eating, Jesus took bread and gave thanks to the Father and gave it to them and said, “Take and eat, this is my body.” Also, Jesus took the cup and gave it to them and said, “Drink from it, this is my blood. This is the NEW covenant, poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins.”

Originally, “covenant” = agreement between two parties – if either side failed, that covenant is broken.

  • Old Covenant was based on the Law, Justice, obedience.
    • New Covenant is based on Love, and Jesus’ perfect sacrifice on the cross.
  • O.C. based on man’s performance before God.
    • N.C. based on God’s (Jesus’) performance on the cross.

In this better covenant, Jesus did all that God had to do to save us, and all that we must do to be saved.

In this better covenant, we have nothing to do for our salvation, except believe in Christ for our salvation, look to him, follow Him – he is available to all of us, just trust him for the forgiveness of sin – for joyful, satisfactory life. That is all – just believe in Christ. That’s all we can do for our salvation and forgiveness of sins in the better covenant. That’s why this is called the better covenant, the New Testament.

God bless you all with the Better Covenant.

2. Another difference: Length of service

v. 23-24

“23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.”

Wow.

Difference of duration between OT and NT Priests.

I don’t know the number of High Priests in human history, but a historian Josephus estimated there were 83 HP from Aaron to the destruction of the second temple in 70AD. Each served in their office, job, and should be replaced by their successor. Why? They died.

But N.C. High Priest (Jesus) lives forever and has a permanent priesthood. This means Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.

What does this mean, practically in our daily lives?

The application: He is available in helping us in every area.

In our culture today, sometimes we need human lawyers, counselors, financial advisers, physicians, insurance agents, tour guides, for better life, hope, security. That is not bad, but Jesus is always available to us to become our helper, lawyer, counselor, guide, agent, in every area of life. HOW? How can we acknowledge his permanent priesthood in our daily lives? By acknowledging his Lordship, Leadership, Guidance in each and every situation. Let us do that. Because he is our permanent High Priest.

v. 25 (Memorize)

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

This means, the basis, foundation, ground (without which we cannot stand) for this complete salvation is heavenly intercession of our high priest Jesus.

Intercede: To approach, appeal, make a petition. Jesus now is making petition for us before the Father God continually.

We should not imagine that Father God is angry with us – and THAT’S why he must appeal to God to not judge us. NO. Father God, and Son Jesus are in complete agreement about our salvation.

“…no one can snatch you out of my hand. My father is greater than all, … no one can snatch you out of my father’s hand… The Father and I are ONE.” (One in giving you eternal life.)

The Trinity God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are completely united in agreement for our salvation.

Romans 5:16 “The Spirit testifies with our spirits that you are children of God.”

In the same way, the Spirit intercedes with us – sometimes we don’t know what is right, what to pray, but the Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express.

Jesus is continually interceding for us. The Trinity God is one in essence, in agreement, in sovereignty. This is a mystery of mysteries.

Once more:

v. 25

“25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

How can we come to God?

Draw near to Jesus = draw near to God – because Jesus is the incarnation of the invisible God. No one can add to what Jesus already did to save us. Our past, present, and future sins are completely forgiven in Christ.

Jesus has paid the price for sins “once for all.”

3. More differences: Sacrifice

v. 26-28

“26 Such a high priest _meets our need_ [Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”]–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins _once for all_ when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

In the OC, a priest was merely a sinful human being – so he had to offer sacrifices for his own sins first before offering sacrifices for the people. This had to be done continually, day by day because animal sacrifice could not remove the stain of sin permanently.

In the OT, when animals were offered as sacrifices, there were 5 steps (at least):

  1. Cut into pieces
  2. Each piece washed
  3. The fat was burned
  4. The meat was boiled
  5. The blood was sprinkled

The blood is the key point in the sacrifice offering. At that time, as a shadow of Christ, God accepted the blood of animals temporarily to teach of the reality that without the shedding of blood, forgiveness of sins is impossible.

Essentials:

  1. High Priest
  2. Offering (blood)

Jesus was holy, blameless, pure, sinless, – so he never needed to offer sacrifices for himself. But he offered the sacrifice for the sins of others first, directly.

Also, he did not offer animal’s blood, but his own blood – as a sacrifice on the cross. He gave his own blood for you. He allowed his own blood to be sprinkled on the cross for the forgiveness of all sins – yours and mine.

When Jesus offered himself as a perfect sacrifice, he obliterated the penalty, price of sin. There was no more sacrifice needed for sin.

  • Jesus is the last and lasting high priest.
  • Jesus is the last and lasting sacrifice.

That’s why he has a permanent priesthood. Such a priest meets our need. This is available in every step to us today.

Psalm 23

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want… He leads me in quiet waters, he restores my soul… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil… Your rod, your staff, they comfort me…”

Even though we are walking with Jesus, sometimes we Walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It doesn’t say, “I will NEVER walk through the valley” – no – it says, “EVEN THOUGH I walk through the valley.”

“No fear!”

(But practically, much fear sometimes. Only IN Jesus Christ is it possible to have no fear, anxiety.)

So what should we do in this?

We say,

“I trust in Jesus alone.”

That is all we can do.

“Forgive my sins through Jesus Christ, give me eternal life through Jesus Christ.”

And we can shout “Hallelujah!”

God bless you with our permanent high priest, Jesus.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 27 / 2019
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Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Better Hope (Hebrews 7:11-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Better Hope

Hebrews 7:11-19 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Like Melchizedek

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.


What is worship? Access to God’s throne, enjoying his presence.

The main function of a priest: to help people to have access to God as mediator.

This passage has 2 sections.

  1. This section shows the temporariness of the Levitical priesthood –
  2. The second section shows the eternality and perfection of the Messianic (Jesus) priesthood.

“There is one mediator between God and man (Jesus Christ).”

Briefly:

  1. The insufficiency of the old priesthood +
  2. the sufficiency of the new priesthood.

“Insufficiency” of Aaron’s priesthood

v. 11-14

“11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.”

The old priesthood was insufficient and replaced because it could not bring people to perfection (completeness) in access to God.

In the Old Testament, what were the qualifications to become priests?

  1. Tribe of Levi (100% pure descendant of Aaron)
  2. There are MANY qualifications – but they all have to do with physical, external, outward characteristics (142 types of physical blemishes that might disqualify him – Leviticus 21:17-21)

v. 17-21

“17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the LORD. He has a defect; he must not _come near to_ offer the food of his God.”

We draw near to God – this gate now is WIDELY open to anybody at anytime. But at that time, the gate to draw near to God was very narrow and limited.

Several times repeated here: “He must NOT…”

There were 142 physical blemishes that could cause someone to be disqualified from the Levitical priesthood. Even in the ordination ceremony, he must be bathed in special water, clothed in special priestly clothes, anointed in oil, pierced through his right ear and right big toe.

Once ordained, he had to keep so many oils, cut his hair in a special style. Maybe if I were in the OT, I could not become pastor because of my hair.

The qualifications were dependent on only physical characteristics at that time. Character, ability, spirituality were not even considered. This shows that the OT priesthood was NOT sufficient – until the priesthood of Christ came.

Jesus’ priesthood

v. 15-19

“15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an _indestructible life_. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a _better hope_ is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

What is our “Better Hope” – by which we can draw near to God at any and every time.

This new high priest has one great qualification – which is not external, and not outward, not physical – but it is inward (the power of an indestructible life).

This does not mean that Jesus didn’t die – but that he died a death that could not hold him. Death had no power over him. His death was followed by resurrection – that’s why he is eternal.

“Jesus is a High Priest” on the basis of an indestructible life = on the basis of resurrection.

He is risen! He is the alpha and omega – the first and last – our high priest forever and ever.

Still today, do you recognize that he is praying for us earnestly?

He lived 33 years in human form, experiencing everything, even death through the exercise of his own life.

John 17 “I lay my life down of my own volition (will), nobody takes my life from me. I have authority to lay my life down and authority to take it up again.” This means he is eternal, perfect, experientially, morally, spiritually – his priesthood is perfect. So he is efficient to impart life to everybody – and make access to God possible.

Jesus himself bore his body on the cross so that we might be declared righteous. “By his wounds, we are healed.” (Isaiah)

He also gives us eternal, abundant life through his resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the Life – he who believes in me will live even though he dies.”

Jesus is the bridge between God and man. There was a big valley between God and man – and Jesus became that bridge.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

How is it possible?

We are allowed to draw near to God at any time.

Here’s a story:

On one occasion, there was debate / discussion between local priests (not in the Bible) of the Catholic church and a pastor of a Protestant church (like me) – in the matter of access to God.

Catholic Priest vs. Protestant Minister

  • CP: “Why do you not pray to the saints?”
    • PM: “Why should we?”
  • CP: “Example: If you want to see the President of your country, we need many steps – the minister of the dept, cabinet, secretary, etc – and get permission, and that person may open the door of the President and you may see him.” (True.)
    • PM: “That may be true. There are many steps to see the President. But, imagine the child of that President. They are living together in the same house, eating at the same table, kiss each other goodbye, and eat together at dinner, sleep under the same roof. This is a child. Like this, I’m a child of God – a co-heir with Christ. I’m saved through the death of Christ and have been adopted into the family of Christ. Yes, he is God, much higher than a human President.”

How is this possible?

We must know:

In the OT, God was revealed as King and Creator – but NEVER revealed as Father to any individual person. No one called God “Father.” Not Abraham, not Moses, not David. David enjoyed a wonderful position before God (a man after God’s own heart) – but he never confessed “God is my Father.”

Only IN Christ, BY Christ, THROUGH Christ, God revealed himself and gave himself to us as our “Father.”

That’s why 700 years before Jesus’ coming, it was prophesied, “To us a child is given, the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Even 700 years before Jesus’ coming, “he will be called Everlasting Father” – this sounds strange if you consider the context and that time.

Usually, people do not call God “Father” but Jesus reveals God as “Father”. John says, “Nobody has ever seen God, but Jesus has made him known.” Only through Christ we are allowed to call him Father.

  • God loves us as a Father loves his children.
  • God knows what we need as his children.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect) and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

The practical application: If we believe Jesus is eternal and perfect and sufficient priest in our lives, it means whatever problems you have, Jesus is the answer.

  • Whatever my problem: Jesus is the answer.
  • One million problems, one answer. Jesus is the answer.

“In this world, you will have problems, but take heart, for I have overcome the world (the problems).”

So problems are not problems. Problems prove you are still alive. To be overcome by a problem is a real problem. But all problems will be overcome by Christ (Romans 8: “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”)

Practically, we are allowed to draw near to God – HOW?

Spiritual tips:

  1. Church (the house of God) – although according to the Bible, we ourselves ARE the church
    • Church comes from ecclesia (Greek) “called out of the world” – an assembly of God’s people. “Where two or three are gathered, there I am.”
  2. Our bodies are the temple of God – the church of God – if we recognize this already, we are in the presence of God – drawing near to God is possible anywhere and anytime.
    • We are spiritual beings – and like our physical bodies crave physical food, our spiritual bodies also crave intimacy with God (access with God), sanctification, maturity, the grace of God – this is our spiritual food. “This hope does not disappoint us.”
    • Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access to this grace through the hope in which we now stand.”
    • We also can rejoice in our sufferings, trials, and problems. For this suffering produces patience, maturity, character, hope – and this hope does not disappoint us – because God is pouring out his love into our hearts.
  3. Prayer – dialogue with God – we need MORE prayer if you want to draw close to God. MORE prayer, less worry (less TV). MORE talking with God, less talking with people – because through this we draw near to God.
  4. Worship
  5. Bible meditation – verse memory, songs, personal reading. The Bible is the Word of God as our “daily bread.” This is the daily bread of our spiritual growth.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduce, by which we draw near to God.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 20 / 2019
  • 0
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Greatness of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-10)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/the-greatness-of-melchizedek

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The Greatness of Melchizedek

Hebrews 7:1-10

Melchizedek the Priest

1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people–that is, their brothers–even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.


Genesis 14:18-20

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.


Psalm 110:4

4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”


Title: The Greatness of Melchizedek (but this is just a shadow) – I really want to show you “The Greatness of Jesus Christ”

But let me tell you the background of Melchizedek.

Genesis 12 is a big turning point in church mission and redemptive history. In this chapter, God called Abram. He said, “Leave your country / people / father’s house and go to the land I’ll show you. I’ll bless you and make your name great – I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. And all people on earth will be blessed through you.”

Abram left and his nephew Lot followed him. He was 75 years old when he left Haram (Mesopotamia) for Canaan.

In Canaan, Abram became rich materially, and Lot also became rich, so he they agreed together not to have any fighting together. “If you go left, I’ll go right – if you go right, I’ll go left.” Actually Lot should have said, “No, you are first, my uncle, you go first.”

But he chose first, Sodom. It looked rich – maybe like Las Vegas.

Later there was a war between 4 kings and they defeated Sodom and her neighbors. They carried off many hostages including Lot and his family and all his possessions. Abram heard that news and recruited 318 trained soldiers (from his household) and pursued the kings to return his nephew Lot.

He’s a hero, right?

All of a sudden, he met Melchizedek on the way. They were strangers to each other but Melchizedek prepared bread and wine for Abram and his company (looks like communion) – and he blessed Abram in the name of God Most High – and Abram gave him a tithe, a tenth of everything he plundered from the 4 kings.

This was very strange and mysterious.

After this, Melchizedek vanished from the stage of history. He appeared suddenly and disappeared suddenly. From this short story, there is no more mention of Melchizedek for at least 1000 years.

This story was about 2000 BC, but around 1000 BC, when David was king of Israel, the Holy Spirit inspired David to write these prophetic words in

Psalm 110:4

“4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.””

After that, there is no more mention for another 1000 years.

Then, over 1000 years later, in the book of Hebrews, he is mentioned at least 10 times.

The key sentence is: “Jesus Christ is our High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (this is repeated 5 times, chp 5 x2, chp 6, chp 7:11, 17).

Melchizedek is just a shadow to show how GREAT Jesus is.

So, on what grounds is Melchizedek a shadow of Christ? Actually this sermon is not about Melchizedek at all, but the Greatness of Christ through the shadow / type of Melchizedek.

I want to share 5 things, but let’s start with 3 verses.

v. 1-3

“1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

Let me share 5 things:

1. Melchizedek was King AND Priest – the only person in the OT like this

At that time, the order of King and of Priest were separated.

  • Aaron was the first Great High Priest, but not king.
  • David was a great king, but not a prophet.
  • Moses was a great prophet, but not king.

God punished some kings who tried to become or act like priests – examples: King Saul, King Uzziah

  • Spiritually, ONLY Christ is Priest and King in the order of Melchizedek.
  • Messiah / Christ literally means “the anointed one”.

He has THREE functions combined in ONE person: Prophet, Priest, King

When we confess Christ – we confess he is eternal Prophet, Priest, King. He is our Deliverer, Redeemer, Liberator, from all unrighteousness, dangers, Satan’s attacks, and finally hell.

As our High Priest, Jesus is the ONLY way through which we can have access to God. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”

Jesus is the visible representation of God. Col 2:9 “In Christ, the fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form.”

2. His family history was different and unique

Melchizedek was a real man, not an angel, nor a ghost. He was a real man / king / priest, in a real time in human history. But there is no record of his genealogy.

As a man, he must have had a physical mother and father – but these are not recorded nor known.

v. 3

“3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

Also Jesus IS before Melchizedek WAS. He is from eternity to eternity – always with us.

3. Melchizedek had authority to receive tithes from Abram

The background story of the Levites:

Abram originally was the founder / father of the of nation Israel. His grandson, Jacob, had 12 sons. When they entered the Promised Land, Joshua gave each tribe a land allotment, but one tribe, the Levites, were not given a land inheritance. Instead of this, two tribes were divided into two areas.

The Levites had to live scattered all over the land of Israel, because they were chosen to serve in worship services in the tabernacle. And each tribe should give a tithe to the Levites. Also, the rabbis should have a tithe of the tithe to the priests.

The logic of this book is: Jacob’s grandfather already gave tithes to Melchizedek. At that time, Israel, and Jacob, the 12 tribes, were not yet born. At that time, Melchizedek was a symbol of Christ.

The application is very clear: we must give to Christ what we are, what we have, because he is our Savior. This is the only way to make our lives meaningful in the eyes of God.

4. His name has significance

“Righteousness and Peace” to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the OT times, names were very meaningful and important. Sometimes, God had them change their names:

  • Abram -> Abraham,
  • Sarai -> Sarah,
  • Jacob -> Israel

This shows their spiritual truth about them.

Melchizedek was king of Salem (from this comes “Shalom”) – and his name means “righteousness and peace” – these go together all the time.

Psalm 85:10 “Righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

Righteousness means “having a right relationship with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ”.

  • Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
  • Romans “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness and peace…”
  • 1 Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
  • 1 Peter “Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might receive his righteousness”
  • 1 Cor “… we might receive the righteousness of God…”
  1. Jehovah Rapha
  2. Jehovah Jireh
  3. Jehovah *tsidkenu (sidcam)(Tsikem?) – “The Lord is my Righteousness”

Jesus is Righteousness incarnate – the essence, source, son, bestower, giver, priestly mediator of righteousness.

We can be declared righteous only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Nobody has peace without Christ. Even non-believers want peace. We ask, “why are you fighting?” They say, “for peace.” Yet, without being declared righteous (through Christ) there is no peace.

We know 700 years before, his birth was prophesied as the “king of peace.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”

“Peace be with you.”

Jesus still is praying and interceding for us – for our holiness and wellbeing.

Do you like well being? Jesus also is praying for this right now.

Finally,

5. Melchizedek blessed Abram

This is an amazing story, if we understand the background. What a stupendous act on Abram’s part.

Melchizedek prepared bread and wine (like communion today). Jesus also offers the same thing for his children, his church – his life. His flesh and blood have secured our righteousness and peace – and we need our daily bread.

We needed bread yesterday, but we also need bread today.

Jesus says, “I’m the bread of Life.”

The lesser is blessed by the better – the superior blesses the inferior. The fact that Melchizedek blessed Abram means that he was superior to Abram.

We saw already that Genesis 12 is the calling of Abram – this is very important. What is the blessing of God to Abram?

“I’ll bless you; I’ll make you into a great nation; I’ll make your name great. And ALL people on earth will BE blessed through you.”

God promised that ALL people would BE blessed through him. This means he was a “supreme blesser.” ALL everyone else would be blessed through him – yet in this story, Melchizedek blessed him.

This is symbolic of Jesus Christ.

Yes, we can be a blessing, we are called to be a blessing in this world – how? By BEING blessed through Christ, we can become a channel of heavenly blessing to others.

This means that practically, ALL blessings we enjoy (physical, financial, etc – uncountable blessings) are made possible in / through Christ.

  • Phil 4:19 “God will meet all your needs (not desires) according to his glory through Jesus Christ.”
  • Matt “First seek his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things (you need) will be given to you as well.”
  • Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”
  • Matt “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to me and you as well.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 06 / 2019
  • Comments Off on From Abraham to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

From Abraham to Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:13-20)

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From Abraham to Christ Jesus! (Hebrews 6:13-20)

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.


Hebrews is a book of warning AND encouragement. There is a warning not to discourage nor threaten us, but to give us hope in patient faith, continually. Remember the end of last Sunday’s sermon? This book encourages us not to be lazy, but diligent with hope and patience in faith. After giving this encouragement, this passage gives us a sample to imitate: Abraham.

One of the key words here is “promise.” God gave this word continually to Abraham.

Actually God does not need to swear to speak an oath – because he never lies. There is no one greater than God. So what does this mean, God taking an oath by himself? This means this is DOUBLE emphasis of importance.

Also today, Jesus says, “Truly, truly I tell you…” – Jesus doesn’t need to say this actually, because all things he speaks are truth. “I’m the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” So what does this mean? this is Jesus vow / oath to give us double certainty.

This passage is from Abraham to Jesus. Also in Matthew 1 – the genealogy of Jesus, it begins with Abraham and ends with Jesus. So this passage gives us an example to imitate Abraham.

Several times, the Bible mentions:

  • “Abraham is the father of all who believe.”
  • Galatians 3:7 “Those who believe in Jesus are children of Abraham.”
  • Romans “Abraham is the father of all who believe.”

What does this mean?

Abraham is not perfect in his character – he told several lies about his wife “she’s my sister” to keep his life. Also, he was NOT the first person to be saved by faith – who believed in God. MANY people believed and were saved before Abraham. So then, why does the Bible introduce us to Abraham as the “father of faith” so often?

What does this mean to you / me personally? “Abraham is my father.” – this means there should be a very close relationship, right?

This passage wants to make it clear, all who believe are children of Abraham, and children of God.

Abraham is the Father of all who believe (2 points):

#1 God gives

(promise is a keyword)

  • First, Abraham is the first public example of how we can be saved and declared righteous / justified. In this fact, he is our father, we are his children.

Second, we are heirs of Abraham’s promise. Still today, if we believe in Christ, we are sharing Abraham’s ultimate mission / inheritance.

v. 15

“so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

Not only this sentence, but also another promise that Abraham did not receive. (Make a note beside this sentence.)

The OTHER promise (he did NOT receive) – even until today, we are receiving and sharing that promise. That promise is BEING fulfilled through those who believe in Christ.

#2 God saves

  • Abraham is our public, official sample of how to be saved (there is a gap of 4000 years between him and us – but we are saved by the same faith by which he was saved).

Let me share HOW he was saved and declared righteous. Listening to this, we must continually remember we are saved in the same way.

His salvation story is the SAME as ours (3 points)

1. By faith

(Genesis 14 – today’s message is “solid food”) – Abraham was saved by faith, not works

In Genesis 14, he defeated allied kings to save his nephew Lot – and he was wondering if they would return to fight him again.

At that time, his name was Abram – and called him, “Do not be afraid. I’m your shield and your very great reward.” At that time, the thing Abram wanted most of all was a son. God gave him a promise – took him outside to see the stars and said, “So shall your offspring be.” He was 85.

Abram believed this promise. “Amen.” (“It is true.”)

So, saying Amen is SO important – God receives glory simply when we say, “Amen.” “I believe” means “Amen.”

“Abraham believed God and God credited it to him as righteousness.” (credited = imputed / like a credit card – banking term – to put to his account). For example, a man works, earns money, and the money is credited to his account.

But, Abraham did NOT work for his promise. God spoke, Abraham believed, and THAT FAITH was counted as righteousness and justification to his account.

It was Jesus Christ who did work for him on his account. And it was the work of Jesus on the cross that was credited to his account.

Like this, we also do nothing for our salvation. When we believe / accept Jesus as Savior, his righteousness is transferred to my account. His righteousness becomes my righteousness. Like whenever someone transfers money to my account, that money becomes my money.

  • “…in him we might become the righteousness of God…”
  • “…Jesus Christ is our righteousness…” (Corinthians)

#2 By Grace

Not by circumcision, not by keeping the Law.

When he believed and God credited it to him as righteousness, he was 85 years old – in Genesis 15.

In Genesis 17, when he was 99 years old, he became circumcised.

This circumcision happened 14 years AFTER he believed in the promise of God – so it is clear that his circumcision did NOT affect his salvation. And also, the Law was given through Moses – who lived 500 years later.

So circumcision, observing the Law, had nothing to do with Abraham’s salvation. God only gave him a promise, and he responded with “Amen.”

  • Why did God give him a promise?
  • Was Abraham worthy of it?
  • Did he deserve it? Did he earn it?
    • NO

God gave him a promise for a son BY GRACE – for nothing – this was a gift.

Eph 2:8-9 “It is by grace you have been saved, not by works, so that no one can boast. This is not of yourselves…”

3. By the power of Jesus’ Resurrection

Not by his own power.

We know God appeared to Abraham and said, “I’ll give you a son” when he was already 85 years old in Genesis 15. So…. maybe he would expect a son, pretty soon…. Seems a bit old….

He knew God was so faithful and capable of keeping his promise. “Your children will be like the stars.” So, he should expect to receive this promise immediately. Yet, God delayed and delayed and delayed until Abraham became 100, and his wife was 90 years old. Humanly speaking, this is unimaginable – impossible.

In chp 17, when he was still Abram, and 99 years old, he came to him again and said, “I am God Almighty. Walk blamelessly before me. I *have made* you the father of many nations.”

*have made* = present perfect (already)

Yet… no son.

God said, “No longer will your name be Abram – change it to Abraham.” (This name means “exalted father.”)

Abraham did not walk by sight but walked by faith. One reason God delayed and delayed (we know he is good, so faithful, and NOTHING is impossible)… So WHY delay? To wait. To commit ALL their physical strength and natural energy to decrease and disappear completely. Then, at age 100, he had a son. Then he had a rejuvenation of his body – this is a symbol of the resurrection power of Christ.

Abraham believed God’s promise, and it was credited to him as righteousness. The application is very clear.

As long as a sinner believes he has SOME power to save himself, he cannot be saved by grace. ONLY when we admit and confess: I’m totally helpless on my own – Only then, can God’s holy, helping, saving power help us.

We can see the situation of Abraham in Genesis, 4000 years ago.

There was no Bible; no church history books; no devotional books; no witnesses; no fellowship with other believers – he was almost completely ALONE – surrounded by unbelieving pagans. And yet, in this hard, terrible situation, he believed God’s promise. So, God honored and rewarded his faith.

Abraham’s faith in God’s promise did not diminish as time passed.

If we have true saving faith – it becomes stronger and stronger and stronger as time passes, regardless of our surrounding circumstances.

If you have faith, what is the basis of your faith?

If your faith is based on WHAT Jesus has done on the cross, it will become stronger and stronger over time. But if your faith is based on your own performance – your own work for God, it becomes weaker and weaker over time.

  • If your faith is based on GOD’S promise, it grows stronger and stronger.
  • If your faith is based on your feelings or circumstances, it becomes weaker and weaker as time passes.

Hallelujah~ One example.

If your lover is now far away in Africa or America, and he gave you a promise: I will return to you within 10 years. Our initial faith can be very strong: YES – I believe this. You will be full of expectation to see him.

One year, two years, three years, four years, five years, he does not come.

In this situation, your initial faith will become stronger? Or weaker? Depends on your heart / attitude.

If our initial faith becomes weaker and weaker – it means that our faith is based on our feelings – not on believing his promise. If we believe the PROMISE, then as the time passes, we believe stronger and stronger.

So, after one year passes, the probability of his return is 1/10. In the second year, 2/10 probability or returning. In the 3rd year: 3/10. In the 9th year: 9/10. In the 10th year: the probability of returning is 100% (10/10). So, as time passes, our faith becomes stronger and stronger with patience and hope.

Hope is a symbol of an anchor – an absolute standard.

Jesus also promised: “I am coming soon.” at the end of Revelation (3x). He gave this promise already 2000 years ago – and although we do not know the limitation of the period of time in which he will return, there IS a limit. So if we believe in his PROMISE, our initial faith will become stronger or weaker? Stronger. Because the period of time left is smaller and smaller and the probability of his return becomes bigger and bigger.

Still today, Jesus gives us a promise with an oath. “Truly, truly, I tell you…”

“Whoever hears my voice and believes in him who sent me will not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.”

“To all who received him, … he gave the right to become children of God.”

“If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth, you will be saved.”

The meaning of “Abraham as father”

v 15

“so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”

This is why one of the 9 spiritual gifts is patience.

There is yet another promise which he did not yet receive. WE are receiving that promise given to Abraham.

This is very important – this is very close to the end.

God’s promise was for a son – but this was not the only promise.

Abraham received his one son, Isaac, but this was not God’s only promise: “You will be the father of many nations.”

Genesis 12 – the Calling of Abram

God called Abram and said, “Leave you house and your hometown and go to the land I will show you.”

v 2-3

“I will make you into a great nation; I will bless you. I’ll make your name great. I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and ALL people on earth will be blessed through you.”

This promise is the gospel.

The ultimate promise of God given to Abram is “ALL nations will be blessed through you.” (saved through you)

Gal 3:9 “God preached the gospel in advance to Abraham.” There was no gospel preacher at that time – God preached to Abram in advance: “All nations will be blessed / saved through you.”

We know God is so faithful and almighty. God gave his promise to Abram 4000 years ago. This promise has been fulfilled through Abram in his lifetime? NO.

Since that promise was given, 4000 years have passed – and this promise is BEING fulfilled.

Conclusion:

This promise: “All nations will be blessed / saved through you.” – only by Jesus Christ.

Title: From Abraham to Jesus Christ.

We are now between Abraham and Jesus Christ. This ultimate promise / mission given 4000 years ago is now being fulfilled through those who believe in Christ. That’s why we are called his children – because we are sharing in this promise and his inheritance as his heirs.

Hebrews 11: Faith chapter (more than 20x “by faith”)

v. 39-40

“39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

Remember, today, through us, that ultimate purpose given 4000 years ago is being fulfilled.

You are given the same mission: “World blessing / mission / evangelisation.”

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 11 / 2019
  • Comments Off on REST (Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

REST (Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30)

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REST

Hebrews 3:19-4:11, Matthew 11:28-30 (Pastor Heo)

3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter [the rest of God], because of their unbelief.

A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.


Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


Matt 11:28-30 = the direct voice of Christ. Maybe many of you already memorized these verses – they are so familiar. Please memorize, meditate, and put them into practice.

As we know, the first generation of Exodus began their migration from Egypt to Canaan with great success – because of the great power and help of God. But they finished in great disaster because of their own unbelief and disobedience.

All of the first generation died in the desert during their 40 year wandering. Only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land because they believed in God.

The story of 12 spies – they explored Canaan for 40 days – spending the same time together – but they had very different reports. What was the difference?

10 people with a bad report – saw only what they saw with their eyes.

Joshua and Caleb saw what they saw through their faith in God.

  • 10 = what is seen
  • 2 = what is unseen (faith)

This is the background.

v. 3:19-4:1

“3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.”

Romans: “Everything that was written was written to give us a lesson so that we may have hope.”

Several thousand years ago, the Israelites lost the rest of God because of their unbelief. But this same rest is still available today. So, the Bible is warning us: “Today if you hear the Word of God, do not harden your hearts.” This is a challenge and encouragement.

Keyword: REST

(How many times do we see it?)

  • 12x

We read 11 verses (in chp 4) and the word “rest” is repeated 11x – in every verse.

In this text, Hebrews is using “rest” in 3 senses:

  1. Peace of God
  2. Entering the Promised Land
  3. God’s rest from work (on the 7th day)

Today, God invites us into his rest.

Enjoy these verses:

Matthew 11:28-30

“28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” “

This is the invitation of God to all human beings to come to him and receive rest. Can you imagine? If you receive this invitation – what an exciting thing!

Imagine if the human President (the blue house in Korea, the white house in US) – if he invites you and calls you to come and have dinner in his house – what an exciting thing! This is the invitation of God – the Maker and Creator of All Things.

Rev 3:23 “Here I am. I stand and knock. If anyone hears my voice, I will come in and eat with you and you with me.” This is not only one meal – but your whole life. This is the invitation of God. “Come to me – let us dine together eternally.”

Are you weary [tired, burned out, exhausted] and burdened? All humans are tired in some ways. Even a kindergarten boy said, “I’m so tired.”

All human beings without God are restless wanderers.

In Genesis – Cain is the first son of Adam – he committed sin against God and went away – but no matter where he tried to go nor what he tried to do, he became a “restless wanderer.” This is a symbol of all humanity without God.

If there is no God in you, you are also a restless wanderer. A life without God is just motion without meaning; activity without direction; events without reason. We need rest.

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened…”

Everyone has his own burden to bear. What’s yours? At least there are 4 common burdens everyone is carrying. Nobody is free from these:

Common Burdens

  1. Sin – the guilt of sin, regrets, shame, bad memories, the past you cannot remove
    • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… there is no one righteous, not one… the wages of sin is death.” (Romans)
    • After sin, punishment = hell
    • Whether you know or not, conscious or not, SIN is the heaviest burden. It is heavier than the whole universe.
  2. Problems – difficulties, hardships, pains.
    • As long as we live in this world, we cannot escape from problems.
    • From birth – this is a kind of problem – to death – life is filled with problems – physical, spiritual, mental, social, financial, career, emotional, psychological, school, work, relationship – PROBLEMS…
    • We are all carrying the burden of problems.
  3. Worry – anxiety, fear.
    • Many people miss GREAT opportunities because of fear. Fear is a self-imposed prison that prevents us from becoming what God wants us to be.
    • Worry about job, marriage, life, house, children…
  4. Death – “just as a man is destined to die once and after that face the Judgment…”
    • Physical death is NOT annihilation, not the end. This is just a separation – body from spirit. Spiritual death is separation from God.
    • We have some young men.
    • Do you think you will never die because you are young? No, even children instinctively know they must die someday.
    • I also know. You also know.
    • Everybody knows.
    • But, nobody knows HOW and WHEN.
    • And nobody HAS the experience of death. This is the worry / burden of death.

I know I must die, but I have no experience of this thing – directly nor indirectly.

Q: Have you ever died?

Have you ever tasted death?

Have you heard a first-hand eyewitness account of death from someone who has once died?

NO.

We have no knowledge of this – but we all know we must die someday.

Jesus knows this perfectly and says, “Come to me, and I’ll give you rest.”

Real rest:

Found only in Jesus Christ.

Sometimes we say to each other, “Take a rest” – but we must know that REAL rest is only found in Christ. And we must know the definition / meaning of “what IS rest?”

What is REST?

What is the REAL meaning of REST?

In preparation for this sermon, I looked in the English dictionary.

“rest” = to stop / cease working or movement in order to sleep or recover strength

Many people think rest = not working, sitting down.

But we must know the biblical meaning is VERY different. Let me show you HOW different this meaning is.

I said already first: for the people of Israel, “rest” was the Promised Land. But do you know that when they entered there, they had MUCH MORE to do? They had to fight and conquer enemies, establish a new kingdom to be ruled by God. They had a HUGE assignment / task to do in Canaan. Yet, entering Canaan is called “rest.”

So, rest does not mean “no work” but rather “obtaining promised inheritance.”

Genesis: God rested on the 7th day. This does not mean that God has no more job.

John 5:17 “My Father is always at his work – since the Creation of this world – to this very day, so I too am working for you.”

God rested: “full satisfaction in his mission / job”

Biblical meaning of rest: FREEDOM

Jesus “I’m truth. If you know the truth, the truth will set you free.”

Galatians “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, so do not allow yourselves to be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Biblical rest

  • Freedom

Remember the 4 common burdens?

  1. Sin
  2. Problems
  3. Worry
  4. Death

Matthew 11:28-30

According to the context here, rest = freedom from these 4 burdens.

REST = Freedom from

  1. Sin = freedom is found only in Jesus Christ – he came into the world as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We all need forgiveness of sin. This can be found only in the blood of Christ.
    • 1 John 2 “Christ is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”
  2. Problems = freedom from difficulties, hardships, pains.
    • Jesus “In this world, you will have trials of many kinds, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
    • As long as we live in this world, we cannot escape problems, but we can overcome and conquer problems. How? In Christ.
    • “You are more than conquerors through Christ” (Romans?)
    • “Apart from me, you can do nothing.”
    • “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians?)
  3. Worries = freedom through Christ
    • “Cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you.”
    • “I will guide you and strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah)
    • “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” (Jesus)
    • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends ALL understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ.”
  4. Death = freedom from Death
    1. Who can be free from THIS burden? Who can set us free? This is common sense, think about it. Only Jesus. He is the only one with power over life and death.
    2. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live though he die.”
    3. “I have come to give you eternal life… No one can snatch you out of my hand.”
    4. “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my voice and believes him who sent me will have eternal life. He shall not be condemned, but has crossed over from death to life.”

Biblical rest

  1. Salvation rest
  2. Submission rest
  3. Sharing rest of inheritance
  4. Peace rest
  5. Joy rest
  6. Inheritance rest
  7. Eternal glory rest

This is the real biblical meaning of rest.

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

How to enjoy this kind of REAL rest?

“Come to me…”

This is very easy – this is part of reading comprehension.

“Come to me…”

We know now what is real biblical rest, and we know we need it. To receive it: “Come to Christ.”

Q: How can we come to Christ?

Walking over?

Conclusion: (3 points)

this is not literally, but biblically, practically.

  1. A = Accept Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord
  2. B = Believe that he died on the cross for my sin
  3. C = Confess with my mouth that he is Lord

“I can…”

1. Accept / Believe / Confess

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. With your heart you believe and are justified; with your mouth you confess and are saved.”

“To all those who believed in his name, God gave the right to become children of God.”

“Salvation is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Accept / Believe / Confess (publicly – this is not to be a hidden thing, but a public thing)

You must confess publicly before people.

2. Learn from Jesus

v. 29

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me… and you will find rest.”

Even Christians may think “believing in Jesus is enough.” Quick prayer, “Jesus, I love you, I confess, be my Savior. Finished!”

Yes, while making a confession in Christ is so simple, but truly living with faith in Christ is a WHOLE life practice of discipleship – fighting sin, old self, Satan.

Learn from me – Jesus encourages us.

We know to learn anything, we need time – we cannot learn quickly.

“Learn from me” = follow me / walk with me daily.

If we believe in Christ truly, we know that each day requires full effort.

3. This is the most important. If you catch it and put it into practice, you will be so blessed. Are you ready to be blessed?


  1. A-B-C
  2. Learn from Jesus
  3. Mission rest

3. Take the yoke of Christ and carry his burden.

v. 29

“Take my yoke upon you…”

Nobody likes a yoke

v. 30

“… my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This is Mission rest.

It means “take Jesus’ burden as my burden.” Replace my burden with Jesus’ burden. Jesus’ job becomes my job. His task is mine, his burden is mine.

What is his burden? Salvation of the world.

This is a mystery – a secret.

  • If you carry your own burden, you will be exhausted, tired out.
    • But if you carry the burden of Christ, you will be energized.
  • To take the burden of Christ is the best way to be free from my own burden in this world.
    • The more we carry the burden of Christ, the more rest we will enjoy.

The principle is very simple:

“The more trust, the more rest.”

Jesus “If anyone would come to me, he must deny himself daily and take up his cross and follow me.”

v. 11

“11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

Let us stand up.

Let’s pray – you may pray following me.

If you want / need real rest, follow me in this prayer.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 28 / 2019
  • Comments Off on When you hear the Word of God, don’t harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

When you hear the Word of God, don’t harden your heart (Hebrews 3:7-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

When you hear the Word of God…

Hebrews 3:7-19 (Pastor Heo)

Warning Against Unbelief

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’

11 So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.


Can you say “Amen” to today’s word? The Word of God is food.

Our physical body needs food, also our spiritual body needs food.

Jesus: “I am the bread of life… Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Today’s food is not milk, but meat. Not soft, but solid.

For us to grow and mature and be stronger, sometimes we need hard, solid food and meat. Today’s food is very solid. Do you want to eat it?

Hebrews is a book of warning (yellow card). There are at least 5 exhortations and warnings.

chp 2:1 “Give more attention to what you have heard to not drift away.” (Warning: Neglect) – Don’t drift away without a target / purpose.

Today: second warning: (Warning: Doubt) – danger of mistrust. This is a very simple sentence, but a serious warning in our lives. No one can say, “I’m totally free from this warning.” Not even me.

It is possible to start well and end terribly.

In school, career, marriage, office, church life, etc – it is possible to start well (big celebration) and end poorly, shamefully. Even in the pastoral ministry, this is possible. I know this as well. So I must be careful all the time.

Starting well is good, but finishing well is MORE important.

Paul: “Be careful not to fall, when you think you are standing.”

Romans 15:4 “Everything written in the past was written to give us a lesson.” So that through endurance, patience, encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope.

Today’s example is Israel in the OT.

We are familiar with the story of Israel in the OT – esp. Exodus. The reason that story was written was to give us a lesson. We must learn from history.

In the whole history of earth, no migration of people has started so well – with such a great expectation. They’d experienced 10 great signs and wonders through Moses already. And on that final night, all Israelites were safe in their homes, but the Angel of Destruction struck down the first born of every household – man and animal. There was not a house in Egypt without someone dead. The bad king of Egypt called Moses and yelled, “GO! You are too much for us.”

Can you imagine this migration? 600,000 (about the population of Jeonju) men + women + children. This would be closer to 1.5 – 2 million (Gwangju?).

All these people and animals began this exodus by tribal divisions and they plundered the Egyptians. Many other people also joined in this exodus.

But in the desert, the day is so hot and the night so cold. So, God led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire. This was symbolic of “God with us” and also protection from heat and darkness and cold. Soon, they encountered the Red Sea.

Then, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued Israel with his best chariots and army. Moses said, “Do not be afraid. God is fighting for us. The Egyptians we see now, we will never see again. We need only be still, and God will deliver us.”

Moses raised his staff and stretched his arm over the Red Sea. The sea parted in two and 2 million people, animals, and belongings all passed safely over on dry land. The Egyptians pursued them. Moses again stretched out his hand and the Red Sea returned to its original state. All the chariots and army were buried in the sea.

What a fabulous beginning! Soon, they would be in their Promised Land, Canaan. But then…

They began so well, but finished so shamefully – because of their doubt and rebellion against God continually.

When they arrived at the BORDER of Canaan, God said to Moses, “Send some men to research and explore that land.” This would be like a short-term vision / mission trip today.

Moses chose 12 assistant pastors (kind of) – one from each tribe, and sent them into the land with a mission: “To see” the land, towns, soil, people.

They explored for 40 days and returned to Moses and reported back. 10/12 gave a bad report of the place (negative). In front of God, negative word is bad, evil, wicked. “We cannot attack them, they are too strong for us. We look like grasshoppers compared to them.”

2/12 (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report. “No, we can! If God is with us, who can be against us? That land was promised by God. God never breaks his promise. We can take that land.”

But, sorry to say, the bad report prevailed over the entire community of Israel. The entire community raised their voices and cried aloud and complained against Moses and against God – and tried to stone Joshua and Caleb. “Why did God bring us here?!” So, we must be careful with our speaking. “If only we had to die, is it better to die in this desert, or die in Egypt?”

God heard and said, “OK. I will do to you the very things you said.” They had explored for 40 days, but God let them wander for 40 years in the desert (1 year / day). They wandered until they all died – and their children wandered and suffered for their sins.

Remember, at departure 600,000 men departed? All of them died in the desert, except Joshua and Caleb.

This is a serious story. So the great lesson we must receive is: It is possible to start well and end terribly.

v. 7-10

“7 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

9 where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

10 That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’ “

God was angry. Yes, he is good all the time, and he loves us, but he can become angry because he is a person and he is holy.

One warning: TODAY (x3) do not harden your hearts.

  • v. 7 “Today…”
  • v. 13 “encourage one another daily as long as it is called today…”
  • v. 15 “Today…”

Today = while there is yet time.

While we can speak of “today” we must give our trust and obedience to God. For individuals, “today” means “while life lasts”. In Hebrew: “While you have the opportunity, give God full submission that you must give.”

Someday, my life will end. The sun will set on my life…

But we still have hope. There are great warnings here.

1. God makes man an offer (gift)

just like he offered the people of Israel the blessings of the Promised Land, so he offers us today the blessings of a life that is far beyond a life we can live without him.

But to receive the blessings of God, two things are necessary:

  1. Trust in Christ (“Do not let your hearts be troubled; trust in God, trust also in me.”)
    • We must believe that what he says is true.
  2. Obedience: absolutely necessary. Are you obeying the Word of God? All the time?
    • Imagine, a medical doctor says to a patient, “I can cure you if you obey my instructions…”
    • Or a teacher says to a student, “I’ll make you a scholar if you follow my instructions…”
    • A trainer says to an athlete, “I’ll make you a champion if you do not deviate from the instructions I lay down.”

In this world, success depends on obedience to the word of an expert.

God is THE Expert of the world, and provides joy with full obedience to his Word.

2. There is a limit

“There is a limit to my life.” (The duration of your life) – and we do not know when that duration will end.

We often speak so easily about tomorrow. “I’ll go there tomorrow…” but for us individually, someday “tomorrow” will never come – and nobody knows when and how that will happen. That’s why this is a warning and encouragement.

  • The blessing of God must be accepted TODAY!
  • And full trust and obedience to God must be given TODAY!
  • 2 Corinth “Now is the time of God’s favor; Now is the time of God’s grace…”

v. 11-19

“11 So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “

12 See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter [the Promised Land], because of their unbelief. “

Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

  • Christ is superior to Moses
  • Jesus is much greater than Moses

The message is: If this is true, that Jesus is much greater than Moses, the loss in rejecting Christ is much greater than rejecting Moses’ word.

  • The loss of rebellion against Moses = 40 years wandering in the desert – not entering the Promised Land.
  • The loss of rebellion against Jesus = the loss of eternal life in heaven.

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so I must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in me may have eternal life.” (Jesus)

Jesus is our Passover Lamb.

John the Baptist introduced him as “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

The people of Israel in Egypt were delivered by the blood of the lamb during the Passover. This is a symbol of the believer in Christ – delivered from the slavery to sin through the blood of Christ.

“The blood of Christ purifies us from all unrighteousness.”

Because of their rebellion and distrust, they failed to enter God’s rest, but we (who believe in Christ) are able to enter his rest.

We are living “today”, not “tomorrow”.

Jesus “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.” This is the invitation of Christ. This is real rest, eternal, heavenly rest in Christ.

God bless us to enjoy his rest and peace.

Romans 15:4 “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us a lesson so that through the endurance, patience, and encouragement of the Scriptures, we may have hope.”

  • “Jesus is our hope!”
  • “Jesus is my hope!”

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ is Superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is Superior to Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is Superior to Moses

Hebrews 3:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, *fix your thoughts on Jesus*, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.


Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

We have studied:

  • Jesus over angels
  • Jesus over Moses (today)

Jesus is much superior to Moses – we all agree, I think. If this is true, we may think, “Why we need to review and study this topic. This point is so obvious and natural. We don’t need to study this I guess.”

We know Jesus is God, Savior, Lord, Creator. Moses is a creation – a servant of God (one of the great ones, but not worthy to be compared to Christ).

Then, why do we need to study this topic?

To understand this, we need to understand the background – esp Jewish background. If we are unfamiliar with Jewish history, it is difficult to appreciate Moses’ high standing in their culture.

At that time he was the GREATEST of all men. At that time, some thought he was superior to Jesus, in fact.

In John 9, one day Jesus healed a man born blind. He spit on the ground and made mud with his saliva and put it on his eyes and told him to go wash. He did, and immediately, he could see.

After doing this, the people around him asked, “Who opened your eyes?” He said, “The man they called Jesus.” They asked again and again. He said again, “I answered clearly. Do you want to become his disciple?” They then insulted him. “YOU! You are the disciple of that fellow! But we are disciples of Moses!” (They thought Moses was superior to Jesus.)

According to Jewish history, there are 6 reasons why Moses is so highly exalted.

(But this is not the main topic – only to understand the background.)

  1. He was an inconquerable deliverable
    • (divinely chosen for his task – his life was miraculously preserved even under the sentence of death as a baby – plucked from the Nile river. God ordained him at the burning bush.)
  2. He performed the most miracles
    • (at least 10 plagues over Egypt – Nile -> blood, frogs & gnats, flies, the death of livestock, boils, hail, darkness over Egypt, death of the firstborn – after the plagues, he parted the Red Sea with his staff and passed through on foot – he smote the rock and released mineral water in the desert. In the battle against the Amalakites, when his hands were up, the Jews were winning).
  3. He was the greatest prophet
    • (God communicated to other prophets through visions, dreams, symbols, revelation – but to Moses directly. God said, “Listen to my words” (Numbers 6:12) “with Moses, I speak face to face.”)
  4. He was the Law Giver
    • (The Law was the greatest thing in all the world at that time – 10 commandments, etc – When he received the 10 commandments, his face shown and radiated. He received laws about the tabernacle, the levitical law, etc. The first 5 books of the Bible are the Law of Moses).
  5. He was the greatest historian
    • (The Pentatuch – the first 5 books in the OT – these are still the most important historical and religious books to the Jews today. Moses wrote them all.)
  6. Moses was meeker and gentler than all others
    • (God said, “My servant Moses is meeker than all others on the face of the earth.” He was the MOST “gentle”man.)

The first recipients of the book of Hebrews were the Jews. So, it was important to make it clear that Jesus is superior to Moses.

How about today? Yes, we still need to know that Jesus is much MORE important than the most important thing or person you have in your mind. Are you clear in this matter?

Challenge: If Jesus is NOT #1 in your life, Jesus is not your Lord / Savior.

Please take this and think on it seriously.

Today, who is Moses to you? What is your “Moses”? (The most important other thing / person in your life.) Jesus is much more superior to this.

v. 1

“1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”

Holiness:

  • Set apart FROM something
    • TO something
  • From Satan, sin, the world
    • To God, holiness, service

“I’m holy.”

We are set apart to service to God. Salvation is a heavenly calling. Someday, God will bring us to his home – heaven – and go to live with Christ forever and ever. If we are called, we must fix our thoughts on Jesus. This is the key message.

“Fix our thoughts on Jesus.”

Hebrews 12:2 “Fix your eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith.” (repeated idea)

Are you doing this?

Let me ask this question: What / who are you becoming?

Consciously or unconsciously, we are BECOMING whatever we are looking at and looking for. We are becoming what we are focusing on and seeking and worshiping. What / who are you worshiping? We are becoming what we are worshiping.

Yes, no we are worshiping Christ – but “to fix on” means to “give diligent and continual observation and mind to”. Continually contemplate on these things.

What do we need to fixate on Christ? Let me share 4 things.

#1 Desire (zeal / passion / enthusiasm)

This is the beginning point. No desire? No fixation.

David showed his desire to see God. Ps 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.”

Ps 42:1 “As the deer pants for the water, so my soul thirsts for God. My tears have been my food day and night.”

NT: Apostle Paul in Phi 3:8-10 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing my Lord Jesus – for whose sake I’ve lost all things – I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. I want to know Christ and his resurrection, becoming like him in his death.”

Do you have desire?

Without desire, it is impossible.

If you have no desire, pray for it. “God, give me passion to know you and make you known to others.”

#2 Concentration

We must put Jesus first in our lives and keep him before us at all times in order to fix our thoughts and minds on him.

Concentration is power.

#3 Discipline

This comes from “disciple” – we want to be disciples and disciple-makers.

Without discipline, disciples cannot be made fully.

Discipline = “self-training”

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw of everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…”

I need discipline. I know that. And so do you.

#4 Time

This worship service is 11-12:20 or so. “We need time.”

But we know today that people are losing patience – becoming more and more impatient. They like “microwave – culture”. Quick service, “Rocket delivery”, fast food.

But, especially in the spiritual life, we need patience, perseverance, endurance. We need time to meditate, to think, to grow, to heal, to recover, to fix our thoughts on Christ. We need MORE time.

For example: We cannot enjoy the beauty of this country without time.

Please spend more time, much time with him in your devotional time.


Who is Jesus in this verse one?

“…the apostle and high priest…”

This is very interesting. This is the ONLY place in the whole 66-book Bible where he is referred to as this “apostle.”

As “high priest” he is introduced about 12 times. This is one of the themes of Hebrews.

What does this mean?

  • “Apostle” = “the one who is sent”
  • Apostolos = Greek = he who is sent

Jesus explained that he was “sent” by his Father God – more than 10 times in John. This means that Jesus is the FIRST, greatest apostle. He is the source and foundational of ALL following apostles. His apostleship means “Mission Accomplished.” (He shouted this on the cross ‘it is finished.’)

He is also the High Priest (par excellence) – he was fully God and fully Man.

Jesus is the ONLY person through whom God speaks to man; and man can approach God (Jesus is the bridge / mediator).

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him because he is always interceding for them.”

Jesus is the representative of the Trinity God in meeting man. Also, he is the representative of ALL human beings in meeting God.

He is the bridge between God and man.

v. 2-6

“2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, *testifying* [this is the real reason Moses was considered a great man before God] to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”

The logic:

  • Moses is a house? Jesus is the builder.
  • Moses is a servant? Jesus is the son.

What a difference.

The real spiritual, eternal reason why Moses was accepted by God as “great” was that he was faithful to his task – given by God.

The reality of Moses was that he was faithful in his mission – to testify about Jesus. What a great secret / mystery from the perspective of God.

In John, Jesus evangelized a man named Philip and when he met him he said, “Follow me.” After being evangelized, the first thing Philip did was to evangelize others. Immediately, he met his friend Nathaniel and said, “Come and see! I have found the One whom Moses wrote about in the Law! He is Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.”

That’s why Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me.” – because Moses wrote about Jesus.

Jesus himself testified that Moses wrote the 5 books about him.

That’s why, whenever I preach, I should focus on Jesus. If you believe my sermon, you will believe in Christ as Savior and Lord because I focus on Christ.

We are called as heavenly, holy people and someday we will leave this world and live with him.

The greatest and eternal legacy we can leave behind on earth is to testify about Christ.

Last sentence: are you saved?

Remember, very practically,

To BE saved, yet NOT to proclaim Christ as Savior is impossible – because salvation has such a powerful power.

God bless your thoughts, mouth, hands, feet, interests, purpose in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 23 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ’s Superiority over Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ’s Superiority over Angels (Hebrews 1:4-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Superiority of Christ over Angels

Hebrews 1:4-14 (Pastor Heo)

4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”7 In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

by anointing you with the oil of joy.”10 He also says,

“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

like a garment they will be changed.

But you remain the same,

and your years will never end.” 13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?


  • Theme: The superiority of Christ Jesus
  • Message: Live by Faith! Be assured!

Last part of verse 3: Jesus sat down at the right hand of God, so is superior to everyone – including angels.

What do we need to study about angels? Who are they? What is their function?

Why do we need to be reminded of the superiority of Christ?

Angels – the word is mentioned 100+ times in the OT, and 160+ times in the NT. The doctrine of angels is “angelology”

Let us study briefly about angels. (Actually, I have not much interest in angels, but to know more about Jesus, we need to know about the nature of angels.)

Angels:

  1. Created beings (not creator)
  2. Spiritual beings (not visible)
    1. But sometimes can appear in visible form – like people (Genesis 18, 19 – visited Abram and Lot)
    2. Sometimes they shine like glorious light
    3. Sometimes appear with wings (cherubim, seraphim)
  3. There are several ranks and orders of angels
    1. Archangel, herald, etc.

When were they created? The timeline is indicated nowhere in the Bible – but we can assume it happened before the creation of the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…” – we can assume God created these beings before creating the physical world.

In Genesis 3, Satan (fallen angel) was already there.

In Job, “The angels shouted for joy at the foundations of the earth…”

How many angels?

“Many”

Rev 11:5 “Many angels numbering thousands upon thousands, ten thousand times ten thousand…”

What is their main function? They have their own ministry, mission, job.

Greek “angelos” = English “angels” = “messenger / herald”

There main purpose is to deliver God’s message to men.

Four main functions:

  1. Continual worship and praise to God
  2. Communicate God’s message to Mankind
    1. Angel Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus
    2. When Joseph heard Mary was pregnant, he was going to quietly divorce her – but an angel appeared to him and convinced him otherwise
    3. When Jesus was born, angels appeared and visited the shepherds in an open field at night and announced the “Good News of Great Joy!” (the gospel) – the first person who preached the gospel was an angel
    4. Angels rolled the stone back from Jesus’ tomb and said, “Do not be afraid, he is not here – he has Risen!”
  3. Angels minister to believers (serving and helping us by the order of God)
    1. Angels dramatically delivered Paul and Peter from prison
    2. Angels are present with the church
      1. rejoice at the conversion of sinners
      2. watch believers lives with interest
      3. carry believers spirits away at death
  4. In the future, they will be God’s agents in the final judgment and second coming of Christ – they will execute the judgment against Satan and his demons.

Rev “At the last day, the angels will open the seals and blow the trumpets and pour out the bowl of wrath.”

Wow! Angels are great! So great!

Question: Why do we need to be reminded of the superiority of Christ over all angels?

2 reasons:

  1. Angels are SO great and awesome that some thought (and still think) that Jesus is an angel, or just the “boss” of angels. But this is terribly wrong.
    1. No matter how great angels are, Jesus is not A superior angel but superior TO angels.
  2. Some people thought angels bring believers’ requests to God and intercede on our behalf to God – this is also terribly wrong.
    1. There is only one mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ.
    2. We do not need any other mediator.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life – no one comes to the Father except by me.”

Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and gain access to this grace through him.”

5 Superiorities of Christ over Angels

Even today, this is our faith statement

#1 Jesus’ Superior Name

v. 4-5

“4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;

today I have become your Father”? Or again,

“I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son”?”

You have your own name. This is a Proper Noun. In Bible times, a name reveals a person’s nature, rank, dignity. So, from eternity to eternity, Jesus has a Proper Noun Name: SON. This is not a common noun.

In the water baptism from John the Baptist, he came out and heaven opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him, I’m well pleased.”

A similar thing happened during Jesus’ transfiguration – with three disciples on top of the mountain. His face and clothes shone like the sun, and a voice from the clouds came, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him.”

God wants all human beings to focus on Christ.

“Listen to him!” Are you listening?

His name – from eternity to eternity – is SON. He is the Prince, the future King, the future Ruler, and the Son God.

There is only ONE God – in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

This is called the “Triune God or Trinity God.”

#2 Superior Honor

v. 6

” 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.””

Worship belongs to God alone.

Yes, we must encourage and build up and edify each other, but worship ONLY God. If you idolize anything else – put in in the place of God in your life, this is sinful.

In Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4, Satan said, “Bow down and worship me and I will give all the kingdom of this world and its splendor.” Jesus announced strongly (angrily?), “Get away from me Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God alone.'”

Jesus himself is God.

Rev 5:11 “Many thousands upon thousands of angels gathered together and encircled the throne [Where Jesus sat down] and in a loud voice they worshiped singing, ‘worthy is he who was slain to receive power, and wealth, and wisdom, and honor, and glory, and praise.'”

Can you imagine this today? All the angels in heaven kneeling down and worshiping. So who is higher? Jesus. You can never compare them. But, sadly, some people still make this mistake.

#3 Superior Status

v. 7-9

“7 In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

his servants flames of fire.” 8 But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,

and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions

by anointing you with the oil of joy.””

The angels are servants, but the Son rules the universe. His throne, scepter, annointing, give us the dimensions of his sovereignty. And he established his righteousness by becoming the sacrifice for our sins. “The oil of joy” is heavenly joy – and he is eternally enthroned, annointed, sceptered, sovereign – in control of everything – past, present, future.

Do you recognize this? Believe this? He is sustainer of all things.

#4 Superior Existence

v. 10-12

“10 He also says,

“In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe;

like a garment they will be changed.

But you remain the same,

and your years will never end.””

Already I said, angels are created beings – they are very temporal, changeable, dependent. But Christ is unchangeable in his power, authority, design.

Heb 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Listen to the message of Christ.

#5 Superior Vocation

  • His vocation is “Sovereign King”
  • “Sovereign Ruler”
  • “King of Kings; Lord of Lords”

v. 13-14

“13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand

until *I make your enemies

a footstool for your feet*”? 14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? “

Who are Jesus’ enemies? Those who do not confess him as Lord nor accept him as Savior. God considers them his enemies.

In his first coming, Jesus didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for the multitudes.

His leadership is shown here. At that time, it was human custom that the defeated king should prostrate himself and kiss the feet of the victorious king – and the victorious king put his feet on that king’s neck so that he became his footstool.

Like this, all people will fall down and worship him as Lord.

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that at his name every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

Jesus is superior to ALL – because he is creator and God.

We must trust in Christ with all we are and all we have.

God bless us all through Christ’s superiority.

Let us fix our thoughts and eyes on Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 16 / 2019
  • Comments Off on God Bless You Through Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-3)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Bless You Through Hebrews (Hebrews 1:1-3)

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God bless you through Hebrews

Hebrews 1:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.


“Better, better, more, superior” – this is the repeated theme throughout Hebrews. He is BETTER than all created things.

Theme: The superiority of Christ Jesus

Be assured + Live by Faith

In the sight of God, how can I be accepted by God? If I live by faith. If you put your faith in Christ, you will be accepted by God as righteous.

“The righteous will live by faith”

  • Habakkuk,
  • Romans,
  • Galatians,
  • Hebrews

In the NT, Hebrews is the only book whose human authorship is unknown. There are many suspicions: Paul, Apollos, Barnabas, Aquilla – but the name of the author is not given in the text itself.

Because the author’s name is unknown, also the time it was written is unknown. It is assumed it was written in AD 60s because that is before the temple was destroyed in AD 70. There are religious ceremonies and traditions mentioned, but no mention of the destruction of the temple.

v. 1-3

“1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways (OT), 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (NT) 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Think about it: by nature, God is creator; we are his creations. God is infinite; we are finite. God is in heaven; we are on earth. God is spirit; we are material (from dust).

By nature, God is unapproachable, unknowable, hidden.

Q: How is knowing God possible? How is the study of God possible? What makes it possible to know God and something about him? This is a basic question for entrance into the study of Hebrews.

Do you have an answer?

We can say several things, but in one phrase: God’s self-revelation

The self-revelation of God makes it possible to know something of him.

For example, you know your birthday / place / mother / father. But HOW do you know these things? Someone told you. Like this, God reveals himself – and still is revealing himself. That’s why / how it’s possible to know him.

Revelation of God: The action of God by which he discloses himself, or communicates himself to his creation. He makes known about himself what could not be known in any other way.

2 forms:

  1. General
  2. Special

General revelation (3 areas):

  1. Nature
  2. Human history
  3. Your Conscience

1. Nature

Look at the created world – this is God’s handiwork. When we see this, we can know there is a creator, with wisdom, power, glory, and goodness.

Ps 90:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God…”

Also, as all buildings have a builder, so does this world

Romans 1:19-20 “Since what may be known about God, since the creation of the world – his divine power – has been clearly displayed so that no one has an excuse.”

Through Creation, we can know his power and glory.

2. Human History

The Bible speaks of God’s dealings with many nations: Greece, Rome, Israel, Macedonia, etc – more than anything else, he reveals himself through Israel.

By nature, Israel is weak and small – but when they obeyed, God empowered them to drive our 7 nations from Canaan who were greater than they were. But, when they disobeyed, God made them defeated and enslaved. But when they cried out to him, he sent them a deliverer and empowered them again.

Throughout history, we must know that God used more wicked nations or men to punish less wicked nations or men.

It is possible for God to use unbelievers to discipline disbelieving believers.

“From one man, God made every nation of man that they should inhabit the whole earth. God determined the exact times and places they should live.”

3. Human conscience

Conscience is in human beings – and the conscience tells us what is right / wrong. It tells us strongly “Do right ; abstain from wrong.” It also tells us “Every wicked deed must be punished.”

These 3 general revelation of God is ENOUGH to know there is a God who created all things – and know he is powerful, wise, and holy. But even this general revelation of God has limitations.

  • This is not enough to meet and know him.
  • It is not enough for us to have a personal relationship with him.
  • It cannot lead us to salvation (which is only found in Christ).
  • That’s why we need “special revelation” of God.

Special Revelation: God speaks

The action of God by which God makes himself known at specific times and places in specific ways, for specific purposes.

  1. Speaking
  2. Miracles
  3. Prophecy (in the Bible)
  4. Climax: Person, work, word of Jesus Christ

This is the entrance point of Hebrews.

The perfection of God’s special revelation = the purpose, work, word of Jesus Christ.

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

The same God who spoke: “Let there be light” is still speaking to us. He spoke to Adam, Noah, Moses, Joseph, and is still speaking to us.

OT: (v 1): “In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways.”

  • Isaiah = vision
  • Jacob = dream
  • Abraham, Moses = personally
  • Jeremiah = object lessons
  • Hosea = marriage experience
  • NT (v 2): “But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…”
  • Before Christ: “In the past…”
  • After Christ: “In these last days…”
  • OT = Covenant, promise, message, prediction
  • NT = New covenant, new promise, new message, new prophecy

In the OT, God spoke through human prophets, but now, no more human prophets. Now, he is speaking to us through Christ: “God’s special revelation” – which is progressing and changeable.

  • God’s revelation is changeable.
  • But GOD is unchangeable.

We are very changeable. Do you like this word? Do you want change? Of course.

The word change = to the better or to the worse. So, change has two meanings, positive and negative.

God is unchangeable. He is immutable, he never changes, because he is God. God can never be better because he is now perfect. God can never be worse or he would not be God.

God cannot be more holy nor more righteous, nor wiser than yesterday – because he is already perfect.

In this sense, God is absolutely unchangeable. That’s why we can trust him and put our faith in him. Are you sure of this?

But, God’s unchangeability does not mean “immobility.” God is a person, he has emotions – he can be sorrowful, happy, angry. He is active, a speaking God. So, he is very changeable. What does this mean?

God wants a personal friendship and partnership with us – who are very changeable – for better or worse. So, in these relationships with changeable man, it is necessary to change his dealings with changeable man to remain unchangeable in his purpose.

God does not show partiality, nor choose favorites – BUT he deals with us each individually very differently according to our obedience or disobedience. But now, we are living in the last days. That’s why Hebrews encourages us very strongly to “focus” on Christ – the author and perfector of our faith.

We know the transfiguration story of Jesus. Let me say it again briefly. This is important to understand the special revelation of God.


One day, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him to a high mountain. Before them, he was transfigured – his face shining like the sun; his clothes white like light. Then, two great men appeared before him.

A voice came from heaven, “This is my Son, listen to him.”

We know that Moses and Elijah were the two greatest prophets in the OT. Moses represented the Law; Elijah the prophets. No matter how great a man, Jesus is greater.


Q: Why are there so many human prophets in the OT? And why Jesus is written in the NT? What is the difference? Why were they all recorded in the Bible? We must be clear in this matter – or we will be confused in our Christian life.

Yes, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, great men of faith.

Then, what is the difference between these men and Jesus? Why were they recorded in the Bible? Still today, God is speaking through Jesus.

The reason all human prophets – including great prophets – are recorded in the Bible so that we may see how they heard, obeyed, and were used by God.

Why Jesus? So we may hear him, obey him, and worship him as Lord and Savior.

There is a BIG difference.

Repeat (next time).

So, who is Christ?

In these short verses, we can see many titles and status’ of Jesus (at least 7).

v. 1-3

1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

  1. Jesus is heir of all things – ruler; king; highest position
  2. Jesus is creator
    • 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being,
  3. Jesus is visible God – the exact representation of God – the visible expression of the invisible God
    • John “No one has seen God; but God has made him known.”
    • sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
  4. Jesus is sustainer, supporter of all things – including living creation. Even today, God can sustain you in times of stress and hardship. Jesus is sustaining and supporting us always. Also, you are here today by Jesus’ sustaining grace and mercy.
  5. Jesus is provider of all things we need
    • Phil 4:19 “God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.”
    • Jehovah Jireh (Provider) – this is who Jesus is to us today. What do you need spiritually, mentally, relationally? Jesus will provide – do not be worried.
  6. Jesus is the purifier of sin. He provides also forgiveness. You know, my sins are so dirty. If I’m not purified, I cannot stand here to preach.
    • 1 John 1:9? “The blood of Christ purifies us from all unrighteousness.”
    • The blood of Jesus has power and authority. He is creator and sacrificed himself for us. No sacrifice for our sin could be greater than that offered by the creator himself.
    • Christ cleansed this whole world and took the penalty for our individual sins with his death on the cross.
    • “…he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”
  7. His work was complete.
    • In your own job, if you do not finish your job, you cannot sit down.
    • Jesus sat down because his sacrifice was final and complete. “It is finished” on the cross.
    • At the right hand of the Majesty of heaven = he is equal with God – one person (second) of the Trinity God.

Do you need advice? Go first to Jesus. We must go FIRST to Christ for advice, wisdom, faith, love. No human counselor knows more about our ultimate security and well being than our Lord Jesus does.

Conclusion:

Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

Only when you fix you eyes on Jesus can you grow spiritually.

“Fix your eyes on Jesus.”

God bless you through Hebrews.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 09 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Acts 29 Vision
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Acts 29 Vision

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Acts 28:30-31 (Pastor Heo)

This is the last study for Acts, but we know that Acts is not yet complete. If you open your spiritual eyes, you can see that Acts is STILL BEING WRITTEN. Today, let us put these words into practice so that we also may be the co-authors of Acts 29. God bless you.

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.


As we know, Paul had been in prison for 2 years just before going to Rome. Now, he’s in house arrest in Rome for another full 2 years.

Through this story, we can learn a very important lesson from Paul about HOW to make the most of a very bad situation.

He remained under house arrest – this great missionary, apostle of Christ – unable to minister as he desired. So, he simply did WHAT HE COULD. He welcomed all who came to him, he taught, preached, counseled, persuaded, prayed, wrote books of the Bible. He wrote 4 letters (Paul’s Prison Epistles) = Eph, Phil, Col, Philemon.

These remember our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, Jesus succeeded in his mission completely, in the wilderness and his cross. The first man, Adam, failed his mission completely in the most beautiful circumstances (The Garden of Eden).

So, who can say to God, “I cannot serve you because of my bad situation”? No one. If you find yourself in a bad situation, look for ways to serve God and glorify God.

Eph 5:15 “Make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” (Within your time, save your time, because the days are evil (KJV))

v. 30-31

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

This book of Acts has a SUDDEN ending. Why? How? This shows the spread of the gospel going to Rome and the world continually as the Great Commission had directed. Why does Acts stop HERE? Because it’s not about the life of the person Paul, but about the process of the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Acts 1:8 is the key verse:

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

  • Chp 1-7 = Spread of the gospel in Jerusalem
  • Chp 8-11 = Spread of the gospel in Judea and Samaria
  • Chp 12-28 = Spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth (Rome)

Among 66 books in the Bible, Acts is the ONLY book which is not yet over – in its mission.

In the Greek Bible, *acolotos* is the last word in this book. The meaning? “Without stop; without hindrance; continually.” This makes the final word in Acts very meaningful.

Today’s Christians are the ones who are to do the continual writing of Acts in the NEXT chapter (Acts chapter 29).

You all have your own personal history, right? This is simple and easy to understand, but meaningful and important.

Everyone – Christian or non – has his own (good or bad) life story and personal history. Then, every Christian is to have TWO life stories (before / after; earthly / spiritual) Every Christian has this life story.

  • Earthy = temporary; on earth
  • Heavenly = eternal; on earth and in heaven

Check your own life story.

“One life; two stories.”

I have one LIFE, but two stories.

All Christians throughout the Bible and throughout history, all have this one life; two stories. Let me show you 3 examples:

#1: Joseph

He was hated / envied by his elder 10 brothers. They sold him into slavery to Egypt. He was Potifer’s slave (one of the king’s officials). He was wrongly accused by the wife and thrown into prison. 2 years later, he interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh – and through this, he became the Prime Minister of Egypt (the greatest country of that time). One day, years later, in a great famine, his brothers came to buy food from him twice. In the second coming, he revealed himself to them. “I’m your brother Joseph who you sold into slavery.”

This is Joseph’s earthly life story, but he also interpreted this into two stories.

“Brothers, do not be distressed, because God sent me here ahead of you to save your lives. You intended harm for me, but God intended it for good – the saving of many lives.” This is Joseph’s spiritual life story.

  • Earthly life: “you sold me”
  • Heavenly life: “God sent me”

We are made to have meaning. If your life has meaning, you can bear almost anything. “With a strong enough WHY, you can bear almost any HOW.”

Giving our lives spiritual meaning is important.

#2 Jesus

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, 2,000 years ago through the womb of the virgin Mary. Like Joseph, he was hated and misunderstood by his fellow Jews. They delivered him to the Roman guards. Pontias Pilate was a profession in finding someone’s faults, but could not find anything wrong with Jesus. He knew he was innocent, but had no courage to set him free – so he handed him over to be executed. He was crucified, dead and buried, and rose again. This is Jesus’ life story (earthly).

Heavenly: God became man in Jesus to come to earth to save us, to die for us, and save us. He was not killed unwillingly, but chose by his own accord to be killed for the salvation of all. “Nobody takes my life from me. I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay down my life and take it up again, for I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

Jesus died and rose again and ascended into heaven and is STILL interceding for us on the right hand of God. And one day he will come to complete it all.

  • Earthly: he was killed
  • Heavenly: he sacrificed himself

#3: Paul

Like Joseph and Jesus, he was hated and misunderstood by his Jewish brothers. They arrested him and handed him over to the Romans. Felix, Festus, and Agrippa heard his story, but none set him free. So he appealed to Caesar. He came to Rome to stand on trial before Caesar. This is Paul’s earthly life story.

Heavenly: Paul’s coming to Rome is the sovereign will of God. Some time before, Jesus appeared to him and said, “You will testify about me in Rome.” Also going to Rome and preaching the gospel was Paul’s vision. In Romans: “God, whom I serve with my whole heart is my witness about how constantly I pray for you. I long to see you and impart some spiritual gift to make you strong. I’m eager to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome. I’m not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for all who believe.”

  • Earthly: sent to Rome as a prisoner
  • Heavenly: lead to Rome as a missionary

You also have your own life story.

v. 31

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts finishes not with Paul’s earthly life (and end) but with his spiritual life (and continuation). Earthly life is temporary, heavenly life is eternal.

Who are the ones who are continuing the book of Acts?

Acts 29 Vision

The book is like a relay race (계주/경주).

Do you have experience with this?

In the relay, the ending of the first runner becomes the starting point of the second runner – and the baton is passed on. Those who begin running at the end of Acts 28, continue into Acts 29.

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who focus on preaching the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ are the ones who are writing the continuation of Acts.

At the end, I want to focus on:

  • the kingdom of God
  • the Lord Jesus Christ

Kingdom of God

Do you have interest in the Kingdom of God? This is our country.

Phil 3:20 “Your citizenship is in heaven.”

So, we must be very interested in this country – this is our country (kingdom).

What / why / when / where / how is the Kingdom of God?

  • Who: You / us / Christians
  • What: Jesus’ first message is about the kingdom of God. John the Baptist’s first message was the same: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near.”

The key teaching of Jesus in his ministry was the Kingdom of God – the Beatitudes’ first and last sentences are about the KOG. “Blessed … for theirs is the KOG.”

Especially in Matthew, we can see Jesus say so many times, “The KOG is like….”

Also, our daily and first prayer is about the KOG.

“This is how you should pray: Our father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Jesus also teaches that your first priority must be about the KOG: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and then all these things will be added to you.”

The fulfillment of the KOG and the end of this age will happen at the same time – they coincide with each other. Jesus says, Matthew 24:14 “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached to ALL nations, and THEN then end will come.”

The fulfillment of the gospel and the end of the world will coincide.

After his resurrection, Christ stayed on earth for 40 days and spoke about the Kingdom of God. In a sense, we can say, Acts starts with the Kingdom of God and closes with the KOG.

What is it?

Kingdom of God === Kingdom of Heaven === Kingdom of Christ

It is a country. Essential elements of a state in the physical world = population, territory, government. In the spiritual world, in the KOG, the most basic idea is = rule / reign / sovereignty.

So, the KOG is the rule / reign of Christ (sovereignty of Christ). This is the rule / reign of God over ALL Creation.

But more narrowly speaking, it is about Christ’s spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who submit and obey willingly the will of God by confessing Christ as Savior and Lord and King.

His Lordship / Kingship / Sovereign governance – if your are really ruled by Christ, then you are a part of the KOG.

When: Now and here

It has been established already,

but not yet made complete (at the age that has yet to happen)

With Jesus’ first coming, the KOG began. “Repent, the KOG is near.” It is present, but also future. With his Second Coming, his Kingdom will be established perfectly and completely.

Where?

It is a country so it can be in a particular place, but it is not limited by space. It transcends time and space. It is in you.

How?

31 Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you know your position in this world? We are ambassadors of Christ. We are sent from our country to this world to establish his kingdom in this world.

“My kingdom is not of this world.” (Jesus)

This world belongs to Satan (temporarily) – “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (Next verse) “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ crucified.”

Our mission is to spread and establish his kingdom in this world: by confessing and preaching Jesus as Lord and Savior, and inviting others in.

Phil 2:10-11 “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

This is the fulfillment of the KOG.

We are now between the first and second coming. (Between the cross and the crown).

Our mission is very simple and clear: to profess and preach Jesus as Lord and Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and to invite others in – to make the population of the KOG larger and larger.

If we do this, we also are writing Acts 29 with God in heaven.

Let us pray together.

  • May 19 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Four Things we can do in a Storm (Acts 27:1-44)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Four Things we can do in a Storm (Acts 27:1-44)

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Acts 27:1-44 (Pastor Heo)

Paul Sails for Rome

1 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.

3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.

9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.

The Storm

13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure. 17 When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

21 After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”

The Shipwreck

27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.

33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food–you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.

39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.

42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.


Today’s sermon may take 1 hour. If you cannot stay, you may go, but I will finish what I have to say.

Today, Paul starts from Caesarea, and he was in the care of a nice Roman centurion named Julius~~ He was accompanied by his close friends: Luke and his friend from Thessalonica.

In his first step, he was treated well. The next day, when they arrived in Sidon, Paul was allowed to go out from the ship to visit his friends there.

Caesarea to Sidon – so far so good.

From Sidon, things rapidly got worse. They didn’t sail the shorter way through the Sea because of the wind. So they sailed around Cyprus to Myra. Julius found an Alexandria ship to Italy, and he put Paul and the jailors on that ship. It was a grain ship – huge – to carry 276 people. Egyptian grain was a staple food in that day and Myra was a hub for this.

They sailed for many days to Cnidus.

This story is v. 1-6

“1 When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.

3 The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4 From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5 When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.”

From Myra to Fair Havens = v. 7-13

They arrived at Fair Havens Port – the day of the Fast had passed. The “Fast” is the Day of Atonement (Sept / Oct) – so when they arrived at Fair Havens, sailing was very dangerous and difficult during that time period. Sailing was impossible from mid-Nov – Feb. During the winter, they could not sail.

So when they arrived at Fair Havens, “Winter is Coming.” So, they would have to wait until after winter. But the captain, pilot, the majority of passengers wanted to continue sailing up to Phoenix (for three reasons):

  1. Fair Havens – Phoenix = not far, only 40 miles
  2. Phoenix was more comfortable and beautiful to spend winter
  3. An enticing south wind began to blow – so they thought they could approach it without difficulty.

Most of them wanted to winter in Phoenix.

Only Paul said, “No, we should winter here. If we sail continually, there will be great loss – even to our lives and cargo.” The final decision was Julius’ – the centurion.

We know Paul has much experience traveling in the sea – 1, 2, 3 missionary journeys. Only Paul said, “Let’s stay.” But the centurion followed the advice of the majority. After that, something terrible happened.

v. 7-13

“7 We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8 We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.

9 Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. [“Winter is coming.”] So Paul warned them, 10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” 11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12 Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.

The Storm

13 When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete.”

They sailed for Phoenix, but couldn’t reach it.

v. 14

“14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island.”

“Northeaster” = euraquilo in their language

From this point, the beginning of the shipwreck happened. They threw much of the ship’s cargo and tackle into the sea. They saw no stars for many days and did not eat for 14 days. Eventually, they gave up ALL hope of being saved. They became powerless, hopeless, helpless.

We know there are many kinds of wrecks – cars, airplanes, trains, ships. The most terrifying of all is a shipwreck because it is a LONG agony for the passengers, sailors, and crew. This shipwreck is one of the most famous shipwrecks in history. This shipwreck is also one of the best told, most famous, and most profitable to the hearer.

We know, 2 years ago, Jesus appeared to Paul and stood beside him and promised, “You wil go to Rome.” God is faithful in keeping his promise, but we must remember, even when we serve God in this life, there will be storms. But, at the same time, we can experience peace and the presence of God.

This life is like a storm on the sea.

v. 14-20 = the terror of the storm on the sea

“14 Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the “northeaster,” swept down from the island. 15 The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16 As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure. 17 When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18 We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19 On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. “

In this terrible storm, we must focus on what Paul did. There are at least 4 things Paul did that we also can do in our daily lives.

First, what is Paul’s status? A prisoner. But in this terrible situation – he became

  1. Comforter,
  2. Counselor,
  3. Commander,
  4. Savior.

This is the power of a Christian in a storm.

“I can imitate Paul.”

Paul says, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”

#1 Paul shared the Word of God (Comforter)

v. 21-26

“21 After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26 Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.” “

First, Paul gently rebuked them, but then encouraged them. – He comforted them.

Yes, today also, our lives are like voyages on the sea – so we sometimes use metaphors to describe our lives.

  • “smooth sailing”
  • “don’t make waves”
  • “sink or swim”

This world needs comfort

It needs the good news of salvation, promise of safety, guarantee for security. We can give encouragement, the good news of salvation, the promise of security, the guarantee for safety. HOW? We cannot give encouragement with our own words, but with the Words and promise of God.

Paul did not encourage them with his own word and thinking – but with the word / promise of God.

v. 23 “Last night, an angel of the Lord whose I am and whom I serve, said, …”

He said, “I have faith in God, so believe in God!” We can encourage them with the Word of God, and not our own power – so we must be filled with the Word of God.

Col 3:16 “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…”

#2 Paul warned them (Commander)

“I can warn unbelievers.” HOW?

Yes, we can, we have a right.

v. 27-32

“27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away. “

Paul warned them in v. 31.

In this situation, some sailors tried to escape in lifeboats pretending they were lowering anchors. This was an act of selfishness (“Save yourself”), revolt, negligence of duty, unbelief (because Paul had already told them God’s promise – but they didn’t believe the word / promise of God and tried to save themselves by their own method).

“Unless you stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”

Today the situation is the same. We have the Word / promise of God. Do you believe the Word / promise of God? God promised “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved.” This is the promise of God.

Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”

“If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, you will be saved.”

This is very simple, very clear. But still today, around us, there are many who do not believe the Word / promise of God and try to save themselves by their own work / effort / power / religion. To them, we must warn, “Repent!”

The first message of John the Baptist and Jesus, “Repent! The Kingdom of God is near.”

Repent = turn from your ways.

We can warn them. Do you believe the Word / promise of God? Remember, when you warn unbelievers, do so with love. Warning without love just hardens their hearts more.

“Do everything in love. Anything done without love is nothing.”

#3 Paul showed a good example to them (Counselor)

You also are showing examples today – what kind of example are you showing?

v. 33-38

“33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food–you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea. “

Paul did a kind of communion now.

They lost all things, their property, their business, almost their lives. Still they were fearful, disappointed, afraid, depressed.

From human perspective, they had NOTHING to give thanks to God for. They could not say, “Thank you, God” but Paul still took some food and prayed openly and gave thanks in public.

What a difference just ONE person can make who has faith and trust in God.

Remember, this gives a powerful impact to others. Giving thanks to God in public is powerful – it has a great impact on others.

“Give thanks to God under all circumstances. Pray continuously.”

If we are still breathing and really saved, then we have ENOUGH reason to give thanks to God regardless of our current situation.

“In everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God – and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts in Christ Jesus.”

Yes, in our daily lives, we pray in public. This is powerful. Do not be ashamed of this. It is a simple, easy job, but powerful.

#4: Climax: Paul Saved all of them (Savior)

v. 39-44

“39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.

42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety. “

Hallelujah~ They breathed a sigh of relief.

They arrived on the island of Malta.

Finally, that ship was stuck to a sandbar. Can you imagine? The front of the ship was stuck on the bottom – and the back of the ship was broken into two pieces by the wind and waves. In this situation, the ONLY thing they could all do was jump into the sea and make for the land.

The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners because that was their job – if a prisoner ran away, the soldier could be killed for neglecting his duty. But the centurion rescued all the people just for the sake of Paul. – For the sake of Paul, all 276 people were saved.

In this game of the storm, God was the super head coach and Paul was the MVP (Most Valuable Person).

Yes, then, and also at another time in history, God saved the lives of ALL people through the life of ONE person. Joseph – in the famine in Egypt, now in the life of Paul.

You know, God still wants to save the lives of ALL people through the life of ONE person: Jesus.

Imagine when you go to heaven someday, guess how many people will rush to you and say, “I’m here safe, thanks to you!”

How many? God bless you.

I want to close my sermon with this question: Are you in a storm in your life today? Does it look like your ship is going down and down? If so, you need some anchors.

  1. God’s presence (God is there / here in your storm)
  2. God’s ownership (you are God’s possession and creation and child)
  3. Serving Christ by saving others (you have a mission, I have a mission)
  4. Faith / Trust in Christ (he died for you and me and rose again from the dead and is alive with us today)

We are very safe in him. We can stand safe and true and for real IN Him – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God bless us to be victorious in living life in this world.

Let’s pray.

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