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  • Apr 05 / 2020
  • Comments Off on A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

A real child needs discipline for growth (Hebrews 12:5-11)

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A real child needs discipline for growth

Hebrews 12:5-11 (Pastor Heo)

12:5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Today’s message is a little solid food for adult children of God. God bless us with this solid food.


Here’s one simple question: very important. Are you a child of God? Are you a daughter / son of God?

Before receiving this passage, we must be clear in this matter – because today’s passage is for the children of God.

If you are sure of your sonship / daughtership of God, then today’s passage is just for you. One keyword: “children / son” this word is repeated 7x.

v. 5 “The word of encouragement that addresses you as sons…”

We must be children of God to receive today’s passage. How can we become children of God. It is very simple, but only in one way. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord can we become children of God.

John 1:12-13 “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to be call children of God…”

Only Jesus is the source of our faith – the ground, object, foundation, author, perfecter, pioneer, finisher of our faith. If we are really children of God, he will provide what we need – both in this world and the world that comes next.

However, we must also realize that discipline is essential.

Another keyword: “discipline.” In these 7 verses, the word “discipline” is repeated. The root of “discipline” and “disciple” are the same etymologically. This may have many meanings: punish, rebuke, train, teach, instruct. If we are really children of God, then discipline is essential for our growth and maturity.

Think about your personal experience between father / son, parents / children. Once, we were all children to our fathers and mothers. Today we may be fathers or mothers to our own children today.

v. 9 “moreover we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it… “

If our human fathers are normal and faithful to their human children, they will discipline them. Without discipline, our children may become tyrants. If I let my son do whatever he wants all the time, with no rules, he will become a bad boy, and I will be a bad father.

Sometimes we may feel like spanking our neighbor’s children, and they may feel like spanking our children, but we do not do that. Human fathers only discipline their own children, this shows that the children are their own.

Yes, sometimes human parents discipline children when they should not, or in the wrong way. And sometimes they do not discipline when they should. No human fathers are perfect but they do their best in the time the have with their children. And this human imperfection reminds us of the perfection of our heavenly father.

v. 8 “If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”

At that time: “illegitimate children” were from slave girls or concubines. They received no recognition from their fathers, no discipline, no inheritance.

So, if we are disciplined by God, we can be encouraged that we really are children of God. “…if indeed we share in his sufferings that we may share in his glory. We know that our current sufferings cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed in us.” (Romans)

God disciplines only adult children, those he loves.

Also, as parents, we do not discipline infants – we only care for them.

And so if we are disciplined by God, it shows that we are growing and maturing and given adult standing in God’s family.

In our personal experience, there are many kinds of discipline, but let me say according to the Bible, roughly speaking, there are three kinds of discipline:

1. Corrective discipline

When we sin or do wrong we can receive corrective discipline – because he is our father and loves us.

When he disciplines us, he is not happy, he doesn’t enjoy it, he feels pain. But he disciplines us when we do wrong, when we sin, because he wants us to grow and mature.

King David is a good example of this. We know some of his stories.

He committed adultery with Bathsheba, then had her husband Uriah killed in the battlefield to hide his sin. But God knew, and like this we can hide nothing from God.

Then, his son Amnon raped his half sister. Absolom killed him, then rebelled against David to become king.

This was STEEP correction – but through this, David learned much and grew in grace. He confessed, “My God, my God, have mercy on me according to your unfailing love, and cleanse me from my sin. I know my sin. I was sinful at birth from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Yes, through this terrible experience, David grew in knowing God more. God disciplined David because he loved him so much, he was a son to God.

2. Preventative discipline

The apostle Paul is a good example of this. We know he was very dedicated and committed for his whole life to preaching the gospel. He was humble. Nevertheless, God gave him a thorn in his body to keep him from becoming conceited due to the great revelations he had from God. God allowed him to have weakness and sickness to keep him humble. Paul prayed 3 times to remove this weakness, but God answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul confessed, “For Christ’s sake, I rejoice in my weakness, in my difficulties, in my persecutions, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Through his physical weakness, he experienced the power of Jesus Christ manifested and demonstrated through his weakness.

3. Educational discipline

Job is a good example of this. God gave him to us as a good example of patience, perseverance, and endurance. Recently, today, we need these more than ever.

Job was blameless, upright, feared God, worshiped God sincerely, shunned evil. God was so proud of him even before Satan. But Satan challenged this, “Does Job fear you for nothing? If you take away all the blessings you’ve given him, then he will stop worshiping you.”

God said, “OK, strike him, but spare his life.” So Satan afflicted him.

Usually, discipline comes because we are doing poorly. But also sometimes, discipline can come because we are doing so well.

Job was a spiritual athlete. Because of his excellence, God brought a greater challenge to him so that he might rise to higher levels of spirituality.

In the later chapters of Job, “God knows the levels he is testing me, and when I come out of the fire, I will come out as gold.”

When God disciplines us, Satan tempts us to believe, “God doesn’t care for me, he has left me.” Actually, the very opposite is true. He disciplines us because he is with us, loves us, cares for us, and he wants us to grow and grow and grow until we are like Jesus in our character and attitude.

What are the benefits of discipline? There are many, but we should remember God’s right discipline in the right time, in the right way.

God’s discipline is always for our good, for our highest good. “God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good.”

God’s discipline is always to our advantage. Here are some advantages to our discipline, sufferings, and difficulties, and problems. In this world, we cannot escape these things, but we must be able to respond positively by faith.

1. Helps us to look upward and forward instead of inward

God provides patience, endurance, good character, hope, love in our suffering.

Romans “Therefore, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have gained access to this grace in which we now stand. We rejoice in the glory of God and also in our sufferings, which produces patience, endurance, character, and hope, which does not disappoint us because God has poured his love into our hearts.”

2. We can trust in God’s sovereignty for our lives

Romans 8:28 “In all things, God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.”

3. Sufferings enable us to help others who are suffering

2 Cor 1:4 “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we may comfort others in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

For children, remember, discipline is essential. But discipline is not the purpose, it is only the means.

What is the purpose of God? Let’s see the last two verses:

v. 10-12 “but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

God’s plan for us is righteousness, peace, joy and holiness, sharing in his nature.

So, what about this world around us? Why do we need discipline? To live a righteous life in this unrighteous world; to live peaceful; to live holy; to live godly life in this ungodly world. So, we must continually focus our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

Let us continue running with patience this race set before us. God loves you so much and desires we grow and grow and grow without stop until we become like our example, Jesus Christ.

God bless you to be victorious in living a Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ in the Old Testament
Pastor Brian, Sermons, Subject Studies

Christ in the Old Testament

Luke 24:25-27 (Pastor Brian)

24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”

27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.


Context, two people were going to Emmaus and discussing the previous week’s events (quite depressing). Jesus met them along the way and spoke with them. They told him all about the events of the previous week – that Jesus had been crucified and they had expected the Messiah to be him and to save the people. They said that some women had gone to the tomb and seen he was not there.

Jesus then rebuked them with the words of Luke 24:25-27.

The disciples had only concentrated on the GLORY of the Messiah and not the suffering. But Jesus pointed out in the OT how the Messiah had to suffer FIRST before he could be glorified.

He went into the OT prophets, from Moses, and explained to them all these things. From redemption, to suffering, and so on.

“There’s no shadow you won’t light up” – from the music – there are many shadows and types in the OT, and Jesus, the Living Word was here revealing the Written Word. He was revealing that the Scriptures spoke of him.

Dr. Stephen Lawson says,

  • The OT says he’s coming,
  • The NT says he’s here,
  • The Acts proclaim him,
  • The Epistles explain him,
  • Revelation says He’s coming again.

Genesis “In the Beginning, God created…”

John 1:3 “Everything that was made was made by him. There is nothing that is made that was not made by him.”

Col 1:16 “All things are by him, and in him, and for him”

Rev 21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

The Bible is really a “Him” Book (hymn book) – it’s all about him.

We see the perfect unity in the OT here as affirmed by the Lord – there is only one Creation, only one entrance into original sin, only one design for the family, only one judgment, only one redemption, only one final eternal state.

  • In the OT, the books are written more precisely.
  • In the NT, the books provide greater clarity and light on the books.

There were many “types” scattered throughout the OT – but they were all flawed – only Jesus is the perfect “anti-type.”

Adam

Adam – the first man – fell – the head

Jesus = the last Adam – a new race, those who believe in him and become part of his body

Noah

Later, due to the wickedness in the world, God judged the world with the flood. Only Noah and 8 in the ark were spared. “Noah” means “rest” and they were spared the judgment.

Jesus is “rest” – “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I’ll give you rest.”

Jesus bore the judgment that was due us on the cross and gave us his own righteousness to be accepted in him.

Samson

Samson – a mighty judge – but in his death, he destroyed more of the enemies than in his lifetime. In his typology of his death and conquering the enemies of Israel, this is a picture of Jesus in crushing the serpant’s head – victorious over death and all the demons were brought under subjection to him.

Samson’s death mirrors Jesus’ death in the conquering of enemies.

Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the prophecy God had given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between your seed and hers… you will strike his heel, but he will crush your head.” That’s what happened on the cross – it looked like a defeat, but it was a great victory.

David

The shepherd and his victory over Goliath – David just used the sling and stones. He was a shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

David suffered under persecution from King Saul for a while before finally ascending to be king of Israel.

In him, we can see a shadow of Jesus.

Solomon

For most of his reign, it was a peaceful reign – until the end when he unfortunately succumbed to the lusts and idolatry that plagued the latter part of his life.

These men all seem to have lust / women troubles – so their typology only goes so far. Jesus was without sin.

These people are types / shadows of Jesus.

Joseph

Son of Isaac, sold by his brothers, falsely accused, suffered much – before he was raised to rule in Egypt.

Jesus likewise was betrayed, sold, suffered, and eventually rose to glory on the third day.

Job

An upright, wealthy man, but challenged by Satan – “God, Job only loves you because of what you’ve given him – but take it away and he will curse you.” God gave him access and Satan took it – Job suffered much – but in the end it was all restored doubly.

Jesus likewise was tempted by Satan and suffered greatly, but was more than wholly restored on the third day.

Melchizedek

king / priest was a picture of the King / Priest Jesus would become.

Joshua

a savior of his people into the Promised Land – leader into Canaan – name means “savior.”

There were also other types and shadows in sacrifices and feasts that showed Jesus.

The Passover Lamb

The Passover lamb, the scape goat, the Day of Atonement. One goat was sacrificed, another goat was laid upon with the sins of the people and sent out into the wilderness.

This symbolized how Jesus would also take on the sins of all humanity and go into the darkness, but emerge victorious.

Leprosy

  • destroys the body, but is also a picture of sin – how it destroys the soul.

Two birds for sacrifice

  • one dipped in blood (death), one released into heaven (his resurrection).

Guilt offering, sin offering, thankfulness offering

  • all are pictures of Jesus.

In the very places they were offered are also symbols and types of Jesus.

Tabernacle and temple

The tabernacle, the temple, he is our bread of life (they had show bread in the temple). “Man doesn’t live by bread alone but on every word proceeding from the mouth of God.”

The ark of the covenant

  • with the 10 commandments – was also a picture of Jesus bearing the wrath of God so that we don’t need to.

When Jesus had to die, it shows the terrible nature of sin – and how the holiness of God disallows him to look upon sin – so a sacrifice had to be made.

Dr. Lawson points out as well:

Emmaus was 7 miles NW of Jerusalem. The average person takes 17 min to walk one mile – so this walk should take 119 min (less than 2 hours). So Jesus couldn’t go into every detail in Scripture – so he probably just hit the “highlights” as we have here.

But in v 26 he asks them, “Was it not necessary for Christ to suffer?”

The disciples had only focused on his glory, not his suffering, but the 5 major prophets including Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc, clearly depicted this.

The Prophets

We read of Jesus’ birth in Isaiah and Micah. Isaiah (the 5th gospel some say) also shows so many aspects of Christ’s ministry, life, and suffering – including his birth. Isaiah 53 in particular depicts his crucifixion. “…by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Primarily, we are healed spiritually through his suffering.

The return of Christ in Ezekiel and Daniel.

Jeremiah also promises that God will not remember our sins. Jer 31:34 “And they shall teach no more – every man his neighbor – for they shall all know me. And I shall remember their sins no more.”

Isaiah “I am he who blots out your transgressions and remembers your sins…NO MORE.”

Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah show the return of Christ.

You can see that we’ve only covered a handful of Scriptures that would cover the suffering of Christ as depicted in the OT.

The disciples said, “our hearts burned within us” and they invited him in to eat with them – and in the breaking of bread, he was recognized. This is also symbolic – when we break bread, we recognize he is present.

They returned and told the others. He’d also appeared to Simon (Peter) who’d denied Christ 3 times. He had wept and probably thought “It’s all over for me.” But the fact that Jesus appeared personally to him must have been incredibly meaningful to Simon.

Jesus spoke to them, “It was necessary for all that was written in the Prophets, and the Psalms to be fulfilled.” And he opened their understanding. We also need to ask the Lord to open up our own understanding.

“Thus it is written and necessary for the Christ to suffer and die and be raised on the third day. And repentance and remission must be preached to all nations in his name.”

This is still necessary today.

You know, there’s been a teaching in the church these days call “hyper grace” saying “we don’t need to confess because Jesus died for our sins yesterday, today, and forever.” But this is not true. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Repentance is a life-long process – even in Revelation, Jesus rebukes some churches for not repenting. We also must confess to each other, but we need to keep a place of humility, and repent as Scriptures say.

This is just a short overview of some of the things Jesus would have highlighted as the necessity of his suffering.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 31 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Job: Acknowledge the Sovereignty of God over ALL Creation (1:1-22, 13:15, 37:23-24)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Job: Acknowledge the Sovereignty of God over ALL Creation (1:1-22, 13:15, 37:23-24)

01.31

01.31.2016-PHeo

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  • May 10 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The “No More’s” of Jesus (John 5:14)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The “No More’s” of Jesus (John 5:14)

05.10.2015

05.10.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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The ‘No Mores’ of Jesus

John 5:14 (Pastor Brian)

Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’”


 

  1. Isaiah 43:25 “For my own sake”
  2. Jeremiah 31:34 “No more”
  3. Hebrews 8:12 “No more”
  4. Hebrews 10:17 “No more”
  5. John 5:14 (also John 8)

Writer to the Hebrews is saying, “Hey! Don’t go back! Keep on keepin’ on! Keep on trusting in Jesus. He’s FINISHED it. You can’t go back.” There are many severe warnings about going back (apostatizing).

What was done in type and shadow in the Old Testament is now FULLY fulfilled in Christ. Don’t go back to Moses, Abraham -> they all spoke of Jesus’ coming.

Jesus is the ULTIMATE hope.

  1. The Law doesn’t offer forgiveness, it merely opens our eyes to our sins so that we can see more clearly. We know there are consequences for our wrongdoing and sin – he is just, he will punish, but he is also merciful.
  2. By our own experience and observation, we can also see that SIN HAS CONSEQUENCES.
  3. Satan, the accuser of the brethren piles it on. “Call yourself a Christian? Ha~~~ Look what you just did ‘Christian’!” But by the blood of the Lamb, we overcame him.

There is a way of victory – through Christ.

Through various demonstrations, God wanted to show his mercy – he gave LIFE where death was threatened – even in the Garden of Eden when they ate of the tree. He spoke of the coming of his Son – he promised salvation at the birth of humanity. LIFE was promised despite the act that brought about the deserved death of humanity.

Where there’s LIFE, there’s HOPE.

Throughout the Old Testament, there were examples of life and hope and the forgiveness of sins.

  1. The shedding of animal blood, the provision of the Tabernacle and the temple, the priesthood, the atonement, the sin offering. The Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement was the day that God expressed his desire to forgive sins and the people expressed their desire to be forgiven.
  2. There was also the example of the cleansing of the leper. Two birds were there – one killed, the other dipped in its blood and released – signifying Jesus’ blood sacrifice to free us from our sins.
  3. There was the type and shadow of the scapegoat – one goat was taken out into the wilderness “carrying the sins and the guilt” of the people and it was killed or pushed off a cliff or otherwise not allowed to come back into camp.

There is no approach to God without the shedding of blood. This ALL points to Jesus (Jesus IS in EVERY book of the Bible).

So, we can see throughout the Old Testament Laws and rituals, God’s willingness and want to forgive sins.

In fact, why repent if there is no forgiveness of sins? One goes along with the other. Repentance leads forgiveness and forgiveness grants repentance – one leads into the other. God prompts repentance, grants forgiveness, then grants greater repentance.

Jonah – the reluctant prophet.

He didn’t want to go to Ninevah – yet, God “persuaded” him with a “big” messenger (whale) – he was coughed up on shore and went to Ninevah and the king and the people and the animals repented, prayed, and left off sinning.

Jonah waited under a tree (with popcorn) awaiting the fiery destruction of Ninevah – which never came…

God chooses NOT to fulfill his just judgment when there is genuine repentance.

JOB: Elihu –

“He looks upon sin and if any man says, ‘I have sinned and it profited me not’ – he (God) shall save the man from the pit and carry him into the light.”

CHRONICLES: God –

“If my people, called by me, turn from their sins, and call on my name, I will heal their land.” (IF my people – God identifies with his people – “humble themselves” – “pray” – “I will hear from heaven” – “pardon their sin” – “heal their land”) Beginning with a conditional, this single verse walks through the entire process of repentance and forgiveness.

Throughout the Bible, we have Psalms and stories and the church (later) who prove and show that God WANTS to forgive his people.

“He who believes in Jesus is justified from all things that he could not be justified by in the Law of Moses.”

After OUR forgiveness…

We must FORGIVE.

Spurgeon: Was talking with a man, he left. The next man came up and told him of a previous misdeed of the former man. But Spurgeon said, “I’d totally forgotten – so it was a wonderful thing to be totally unbegrudging toward him.”

If you forgive someone, do it from the HEART – again and again and again (forgiveness often isn’t a ONE time thing – especially if you were painfully offended or hurt).

These things were seen in the Old Testament and reiterated in the New Testament – particularly Hebrews.

Here, today, let’s look at when and how JESUS says “No more.”

God in Christ (the 3 Fs)

  1. Faced up to sin
  2. Forgave our sins
  3. Forgot our sins (did not call to remembrance – remember that forgetfulness is an infirmity – but CHOOSING to not recall something is gracious)
  4. (Today) FORSAKE our sins – Jesus advocates this in John 5:14

Sometimes, when we forsake our sins (so long as we continue to LOOK to the Lord), he continues to forgive us and guide us, empower us.

  1. John 5: (a man’s story)
  2. John 8:1-15 (a woman’s story)

But Jesus went to the Mt. of Olives. At dawn, he appeared again and sat down among the people to teach them. The teachers brought a woman into the midst of the crowd who’d been caught in adultery – they were trying to trap Jesus by accusing her. But he bent down to write in the sand. They kept at it, but he said, “OK, whoever is without sin – you start the stoning.” Eventually, they all started to leave, until she remained alone.

“Go now and sin NO MORE.”

John 5:1-15 The healing at the pool of Bethesda

Some time later, Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda – there were a great number of disabled people lying there. When Jesus saw the sick man lying there, he asked, “Do you want to get well?” The man said, “No one can help me” Jesus said, “Pick up your mat and walk.” He did so. The Jews said to him, “Hey man, it’s the Sabbath – you can’t DO that.” But he said, “The man who made me well told me to.” But they couldn’t find Jesus as he’d slipped off into the crowd.

Later…

“Sin no more, or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There were many major feasts in Jerusalem – (but this was probably the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles – to remember the duration of the pilgrimage through the desert for 40 years).

Jesus went up to the Sheep Gate, there was a pool (Bethesda) – surrounded by 5 large covered areas. They were waiting for the waters to be “stirred” by an angel of the Lord to be healed. The healing mineral waters likely helped them get well – it may have been like a spa.

This man had been sick – very incapacitated – for 38 years. Jesus saw him and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” This might seem strange – he’d obviously wanted to get well for 38 years, right? Well, sometimes people who are ill give up hope – especially if they are getting a state pension for example – some people get a lot of attention – ego boost. There are various reasons WHY a person might NOT want to get well.

And actually, the man doesn’t give a straight answer. Jesus just cut through all of that and said, “GET UP!” Boom! He did. And he walked. Imagine that after 38 years.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath. The Jews said to the man, “It’s the Sabbath, buddy! That’s illegal!” He replied, “The man who healed me said, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” They said, “Who is he?” The man didn’t know because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd. The man later met Jesus at the temple – probably to offer thanks to God for his healing. Jesus said to him, “See, you are well again. Go and sin no more, or something worse may happen to you.”

Jesus obviously knew that the cause of his suffering was sin. Perhaps sexual sin, or something else that had caused him to suffer in his body. (There is no CLEAR source of his suffering here, but this is a pretty good guess.)

That’s a pretty severe warning – he was lost, diseased, hopeless, helpless – until Jesus came along and healed him and then gave him a very solemn warning.

Peter, Jude, and others write of this “returning to sin” after receiving the blessing of forgiveness in such a way:

“A dog returning to its vomit.”

Peter knew well the meaning of sinning and repentance and forgiveness – what was actually the difference between Peter and Judas? Both sinned against Christ – only Peter went back to Christ for forgiveness.

Peter: “Be diligent, sober, watchful because your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” RESIST and be steadfast in the faith.

That’s what sin is in God’s sight: vomit. Would you be a dog who returns to it?

“Go and SIN NO MORE.”

Sometimes when people return to the original sin – it becomes WORSE than it was before. Some people think that they cannot go back to God again.

Hopefully the man took heed, certainly he was very grateful for the grace and mercy of Jesus. He went on and demonstrated that it was Jesus who’d healed him.

John Piper’s thoughts on John 8: this section is either in italics, or footnotes.

Most NT scholars DON’T think this was a part of the gospel of John but was added centuries later.

“Despite the best efforts to prove this was part of the original version, the evidence is against them and the modern versions of the Bible are right to keep it separate.”

The conclusion: It wasn’t originally in John’s gospel, but was added later.

Piper agrees. Part of the conclusions are:

  1. The stories are missing from all the Greek scrolls before the 5th century
  2. All the scholars pass over this portion in their writings
  3. The story flows well from the previous story to chapter 9
  4. The Eastern scholars didn’t use it until the 10th century
  5. This shows up in DIFFERENT places in different manuscripts
  6. This story, in style and vocabulary is more unlike John’s gospel than any other part.
  7. Saying all that assumes a lot of facts – part of “textual criticism”

So, what’s a preacher to do?

Don Carson and Bruce Metsger think this event REALLY happened and that the story circulated and was later put into the gospel of John – it has all the earmarks of historical truth. It’s just the way it was juxtaposed and put into the gospel at a later point.

Yet, this doesn’t have the authority of Scripture – because it wasn’t in there originally – so, I’ll prove it’s points from OTHER Scriptures. Let THOSE be the authority.

  1. Jesus exalts himself above the Law
  2. He re-establishes the story of Grace over Justice

This is an effective echo of the WHOLE of the New Testament.

  1. The woman is caught in adultery
  2. The Pharisees put Jesus to the test (we’ve seen this more than once already) – will Jesus contradict Moses’ Law? Deut & Lev. say “if a couple is caught in adultery, BOTH of them must die.” – so…… how committed to the Law are they really?
  3. The were USING the Law to get rid of the woman and get rid of Jesus (bring a charge against him)
  4. Jesus says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” – this is no way to work justice, right? even judges are sinful. Yet, here is Jesus standing against the Pharisees’ understanding of justice and showing grace.
  5. Go and understand this: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
  6. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” – Jesus exposes their own misuse of the Law.

The point is: Righteousness and Justice should be founded on a gracious spirit. Otherwise, there is no mercy – and no mercy for the one who shows no mercy.

When they leave, Jesus says, “No one condemns you? Neither do I. GO AND SIN NO MORE.” – She’s received grace and mercy and now she must walk in that grace and mercy and cease the sins she’s been walking in. He’s talking about a change in LIFESTYLE – a lifestyle CHOICE here – because people continually sin and stumble. No one is perfect.

“You’ve met God and been saved by his grace.”

This is the pervasive message of the New Testament: Jesus exalted himself ABOVE the Law

John shows that – and re-establishes the forgiveness of God based on Grace

Thus, John Newton, a slave trader, could write “Amazing Grace” based on his own personal testimony.

We must be holy if you want to see God – he hates sins – he knows what its done to his Son, he knows what it does to us. We may have that way before, but Jesus says, “I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Justice in life, in place of grace – makes us cruel and unmerciful.

Jesus came into this world to give grace and mercy and forgiveness. His appeal is “Come to me, all you weary and heavy-laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

  1. Come to Christ for grace, set your face to SIN NO MORE.
  2. His grace is accompanied by his direction: SIN NO MORE.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 08 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Love Covers (James 5:9-20)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Love Covers (James 5:9-20)

02.08

02.08.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Love Covers

James 5:9-20 (Pastor Brian)

9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.

The Prayer of Faith

13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.


 

Last week, we saw the first 8 verses of James 5 where he wrote a blistering condemnation of those who use money for their own selfish gain – covetousness, building up meaningless wealth, etc…

Following this he wrote to the rest of the Christians who were scattered abroad. They are exhorted to be patient and know that the Lord is coming “soon”. ( “Soon”? – that was 2,000 years ago… but don’t forget in 1/2 Peter “a day with the Lord is a thousand years” so “technically” it’s only been two DAYS…)

Just remember, always the Lord is at hand – ready to return. We have the ability and privilege to praise him.

And don’t forget that the Lord will render to us according to our works.

James 5:7-8 = “be patient” until the coming of the Lord like the farmer is patient waiting for his harvest.

Remember from last time the Psalmist Asaph? He was envious of the wicked as they didn’t seem to receive the same punishment for their sins that normal people would. Yet, he didn’t want to share that with the people of the congregation or they might stumble. But, then he went into the sanctuary and saw “their end” which was completely wasted when they died.

So James exhorts us to be patient.

The harvest doesn’t come straight away, but eventually, it DOES come.

Also, James says, “don’t grumble, don’t complain.” The problem with patience, you see, is that it doesn’t come naturally to those of us who are impatient. If we listen to ourselves truly, we may say, “I’m waiting” but truly we are grumbling. “They are too fast/slow/dumb/pig-headed…” James says, “no no”.

James 4:11-12 “Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against his brother speaks against the Law and judges the Law. This makes you no longer a DOER of the Law but a judge of it. There is only ONE Judge, and it isn’t you. Who are you to judge your neighbor?”

  • “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul. But rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs

This isn’t a phobia (spiders = arachnophobia). The “fear of the Lord” = a healthy reverence for the Lord, awe of the Lord.

Like when we raise our children, we teach them things to keep them out of danger. Look both ways when you cross the road. This is a healthy kind of fear – it’s common sense.

Yet, many people don’t even have this kind of “common sense” fear of the Lord and they don’t walk in wisdom.

My story:

Don’t pray for patience… or you just might get it. (loads of troubles, struggles, etc to MAKE you patient) – this isn’t necessarily totally true, HOWEVER, once we accept Jesus as Savior, we ARE living in “enemy territory.” The world lies in the lap of Satan.

But nevertheless, “count it all joy whenever you encounter various trials and struggles…” (James) Pray that you’ll grow in patience and grace. Whether we pray for it or not, Lord knows we NEED it. We ought also to pray for wisdom. The wisdom that comes from above is peaceloving, generous, etc.

“Patience is a virtue. Possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman. Never in a man.” (– Irish? proverb)

Look at the prophets as an example of patient suffering. Good thing they didn’t just keep “waiting” for it, but they spoke boldly before kings and rulers and put them right by speaking the word of the Lord before them.

  • Those who listened, were blessed.
  • Those who didn’t, were often not long on the throne – replaced, invaded, etc.

Remember Stephen, he just spoke it out (Acts 7:52) “Which one of the prophets did your fathers NOT persecute?” Those guys (the Sanhedrin) used to boast of their lineage as God’s “chosen people.” But Stephen was pointing out the truth to them – and they stoned him – yet he was emulating the spirit of Christ when he said, “Lord, don’t lay this sin to their charge…(forgive them).”

All throughout the Bible, we see men and women of God who SUFFERED. And yet, they were faithful, and God was faithful to them. As they endured, God was compassionate and merciful to them.

Consider Job.

Probably no greater example of suffering besides Christ himself, but about Job:

He had EVERYTHING a man could want, 10 grown kids and grandkids, riches, loads of servants, etc.

But… one day (in the SAME day) – everything was stolen, killed, burned, destroyed – even his own children were ALL killed instantly by a tornado.

Oh yeah, and THEN he got painful boils covering over his whole body…

And what was his response? Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell to the ground and worshiped, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away…”

If you go outside and see the sign outside it says “nude” – naked – remember as you go in and out that you brought nothing and shall take nothing.

Satan got mad that Job didn’t curse God.

The book of Job is kind of a contest between God and Satan – Satan came into God’s presence at one point (God allowed it) and said, “Well, of course Job loves you, you’ve blessed him immeasurably…”

Satan took:

  1. his wealth
  2. his health

Inflamed, ulcerous, itching sores, insomnia, worms, hardened, running sick, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, putrid (stinky) breath (no breath mints…), unending internal pain, fever, blackened skin. Wow. Sounds like some really bad medicinal side effects.

Anyone else would have (should have?) cursed God. Even his own wife said, “Come on man, curse God and just die!”

But he was a righteous man – he blessed others, prayed for his family – and he was trying to figure out why these things were happening.

Then Elihu (who observed the whole thing until around chapter 37) says, “I’ve heard all of this, but listen Job, you’ve been justifying yourself by your own righteousness. Humble yourself and trust only in God for your salvation.”

When Job humbled himself, God reversed (and doubled) all that he’d previously had.

But Job had to go through that suffering in order to LEARN those lessons (he couldn’t just be TOLD those things – he had to EXPERIENCE them).

James goes on to say, “Do not swear. Do not make oaths.”

There are times when we may release oaths from our mouths that we may later regret, “I swear I’ll kill/never forgive… that person….”

But that kind of thing brings judgment upon us, and we need to repent of them and ask for a better spirit/attitude toward events and people.

Matthew 5:33-37 “Again you have heard that the ancients have said, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say, make NO vows, not by heaven, nor earth, nor Jerusalem, nor by your head (which are all owned by God), for you cannot make even one hair white nor black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes’ yes, and ‘No’ no. Anything beyond this is evil.”

Yes and No is enough.

v. 13-18

Prayer for the sick:

  1. We aren’t always called to endure suffering for as long as Job was. There are some that the Lord would be more glorified through by healing than by our perseverance.
  2. We can pray about this – call for the elders of the church. (Ask, seek, knock)

Because we live in a fallen world, there are times when we’ll become sick. If anyone IS sick, let them pray for him, anointing with oil.

Depending on your church background denomination, this is still a common practice in places. God is often glorified and faithful when we pray earnestly for our sickness.

James also says, “Confess your faults one to another that you may be healed.”

There are different causes for sin:

  1. World – outside influence
  2. Flesh – internal bitterness, unforgiveness, temptation, etc.

Sometimes, our spiritual illnesses are reflected in a physical way. Sometimes when a person repents of their sin, they become physically healed. (Not ALL the time, but this is often the case). God brings healing to spirit, soul, and body when we humble ourselves, confess, repent, and turn from those things.

This kind of humility is remarkable and God answers it in a remarkable way – with healing of one kind or another.

Don’t just confess to anyone – but think of someone who will have compassion on you and encourage you. Recognize as well that “we all sin in many ways.”

Also, remember the prophet Elijah – “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much…”

When you read through 1/2 Kings, we can see that Elijah had times of great faith and times of failure. He had times of selflessness and times of selfishness. He was a man like us, but when he prayed that rain would not fall on the land for 3.5 years and then prayed again later that it would rain, God heard his prayer.

Elijah himself was NOT powerful, but he had faith in the God who IS powerful.

God honored his servant by answering his prayer.

v. 19-20

James speaks about being aware/concerned for the lives of others. When we pray for others, those who have strayed from the truth ( “prone to wander, Lord I feel it…” ) and turn them back to the faith, that will cover over a multitude of sins.

When God forgives, he forgets (He removes your sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalms)). He COULD remember, but he CHOOSES not to.

Spurgeon:

Struggling with lack of receiving forgiveness?

“God’s non-remembrance of sin”

spurgeongems.org

Well worth the effort to read it.

Quotes 4 Scriptures – God gives 4 witnesses in Scripture:

  1. Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake and will not remember your sins.”
  2. Jeremiah 31:34 “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin NO MORE.”
  3. (Let those words NO MORE echo in the chambers of your heart and get its point across)
  4. Hebrews 8:12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities I will remember NO MORE.” (Satan would omit that NO MORE)
  5. Hebrews 10:17 “And their sins I will remember NO MORE.”

When we counsel someone to come back to the Lord, we don’t remind them of their sins, but remind them of these verses that God would remember their sins NO MORE.

This is a good place to conclude today’s sermon and the Book of James.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 05 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 13-15 (Bible-365.5): Rethinking Abram
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 13-15 (Bible-365.5): Rethinking Abram

Abram’s story actually begins in Genesis 12. This is also the major dividing line between the two halves of Genesis. From Genesis 1-11, the story is of Creation and God’s first dealings with mankind. From Genesis 12 and on, the story becomes about Abraham and the covenant God made with his descendants.

Additionally, the Chronological Bible reading plan places the entire book of Job between Genesis 11 and 12. This is because in Job, while there is mention of God, there is no mention of Law or the Abrahamic covenant that is so crucial to the remainder of the Bible. Continue Reading

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