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  • Sep 13 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil that God gave us (Genesis 3:8-11)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil that God gave us (Genesis 3:8-11)

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<The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil that God gave us>

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?“

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.“

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

Genesis 3:8-11

0. The reason for existence with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil

Today’s sermon title is “The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil that God gave us.”

I’m going to share from the Bible, Genesis Chapter 3 to understand the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. But “the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil” is too long a name. So from now on, Let’s just call this “The fruit”.

Why did God create The fruit?

If he did not create it, people could have lived a happy life forever without sin, right?

There are two main questions about The fruit. These two questions reveal a contradiction about God.

  1. The First question is: Is God almighty (and all knowing) but not good?
    • If God is almighty (and all knowing), he must already know that humans would eat The fruit someday. According to this assumption, God must have created The fruit in order to make humans commit a sin, right?
  2. The Second question is: Is God rather good but not almighty (and all knowing)?
    • Because God is good, he might have expected that human beings would always obey God. But if he is not almighty (and all knowing), he couldn’t have known that humans would commit a sin, right?

Actually, in order To know God and ourselves exactly, we have to know the true meaning of The fruit.

1. Serpent (Trouble maker, clever one)

Suddenly, A serpent appeared in front of the woman, Eve. He was a very clever trouble maker. He altered and manipulated the words of God to create a big problem.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, `You must not eat from any tree in the garden`?“ Amen.

Genesis Chapter 3 verse 1

The serpent never talked about The fruit from the beginning.

He didn’t want to reveal his true purpose.

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3 but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.`“

4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.

5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.“ Amen.

Genesis Chapter 3 verses 2 to 5

The crafty serpent tempted her and stimulated her desires. So Eve gave in to temptation, indulged her desires, and forgot that God is her Creator. Since she thought that she could be the master of her own life, she thought first of her own benefits. Therefore, in that moment, she chose to turn away from God. She might have thought that God was acting like a person who interfered with her interests.

In the end, together with her husband, Adam, they both indulged in their desires. Thus, They didn’t obey God, but gave in to temptation and to their own desires.

2. Human Beings

What is a human being?

If God didn’t create The fruit, could the first people have obeyed God forever? Would they have obeyed forever?

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,

3 but God did say, `You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.`” Amen.

Genesis Chapter 3 verses 2 to 3

Human beings usually live their lives for their own benefit and comfort. The first people didn’t eat The fruit. But that was not out of obedience to God. Rather, They couldn’t eat The fruit because they were afraid of death.

Even if there was not The fruit that led to the Original Sin, People who live their lives for their benefit eventually will not obey God someday.

Why did the serpent visit a woman who was alone?

This is because human beings easily fall into temptation when they are alone.

  • After meeting the serpent, Eve’s desire was stimulated and she told her husband about her desire.
  • After meeting Eve, Adam’s desire that he had not known before was also stimulated.

This is not something that happened only in ancient times. The same situation also happens to us still today in modern times.

  • Before mass media and social media was developed, it was easier for people to live with more satisfaction and gratitude for what they had.
  • But as the media and the Internet developed, it became easier to see people who lived better lives than themselves, and people’s jealousy and desires became more stimulated.

Companies advertised that we should have beautiful clothes, fancy cars and big houses for a good life. People could no longer be satisfied with what they had anymore. And so People no longer lived their lives with gratitude. This is Because one man’s desire quickly spreads to all the people.

There are good desires and bad desires.

  • It is a good desire if we live our lives to glorify God above all other things.
  • On the other hand, If we live our lives to glorify ourselves above all other things, this is a bad desire.

More specifically, this desire to glorify ourselves above all other things is a desire to become like God who already IS above all other things and has and controls everything.

3. Sin (Selfish desires)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Genesis Chapter 3 verses 6 to 7

Those who hold onto bad desires are no longer looking at the Word of God. These arrogant people sinned by eating The fruit. And they really did gain knowledge like God. They were able to distinguish good from evil. But it was not a blessing, it was a curse.

Only God has the ultimate power to judge. But when people take the ability to judge, they attack themselves and others with their judgement.

This story is not just about Genesis. Think about the world we live in now. The world we live in is steeped in Materialism, Mammonism. Everyone here, whether you’re a winner or a loser, is anxious about something. There is no peace in God. And there is no peace with God.

However, when we leave judgment up to God, we feel at peace because God takes care of our hearts.

4. The meaning of The fruit (Obedience)

It’s time to finally unravel the secrets of The fruit.

What’s the real meaning of fruit of the knowledge of good and evil?

Let me share two key messages about the Fruit.

4-1 First, The fruit lets us know who we are

The fruit separates us from God. God is free from the fruit, but we have limitations from it. This makes us realize that God is the creator, and we are creations. The fruit makes us remember that our master is God.

So God planted The fruit tree in the center of the garden of Eden so that human beings could see it well, and therefore remember that God is our creator.

So how can we solve the initial two questions that we asked.

  1. First, either God is almighty but not good.
  2. Or Second, God is good but not almighty.

Actually, These two questions are both wrong.

1. First, It is not that God is not good, but rather, God, by his very nature, is perfectly good.

When we look at the Bible as a moral standard, sometimes it can be difficult to understand what God has done. But think about it. God is greater than moral standards. His very nature and character are higher than any moral standard.

2. Second, The reason we have free will and can choose to obey or to sin is because God is almighty and he has the power to judge or forgive.

God wants us to come to him sincerely. So God waits for us to choose the right path again, even when we make the wrong choice. This is God’s perfect personality. God is both a parent and a teacher who loves us and corrects us, and ultimately wants good for us.

4-2 Second, The fruit lets us know that Only God can judge.

When arrogant people take the power to judge, it becomes a curse for them.

People judged themselves and each other and forgot that they were precious children of God. So they calculated their value ​​by the standards of the world, and they became jealous, arrogant, and depressed. They also judge others by their own standards, hurting them, and making their lives hard.

So what we need to do is return the fruit to God and leave judgment up to God. Then the peace of God’s Garden of Eden will return to us.

5. Amazing Grace (The tree of life)

Let’s think about the history of the world for a moment. What happens when a rebel who attempts to establish himself as king fails? He is executed for treason. So were Adam and Eve, in a sense.

They were people who tried to rebel against God to become gods. But our God did not kill them immediately. Rather, He gave them the punishment they could afford, and gave them the opportunity to reflect and repent.

God changed the clothes they made out of fig leaves into good leather clothes. And That is not the only grace of God.

Remember, There were two trees in the center of the garden.

  1. One was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  2. The other was the Tree of Life.

In Genesis chapter 3, God said this when the people sinned:

22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”

Genesis Chapter 3 verse 22

Therefore, God expelled the people from the Garden of Eden, where there was a tree of Life that gives eternal life. But God, who loves his Creations so deeply, eventually sent the Tree of Life back to us.

This is Jesus Christ!

The man who believes in Jesus is saved from the judgment of God. Because they remember and believe that God is their master. And God acknowledges their faith. This is the grace of God, which is truly amazing grace!

To not eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden, and To believe in Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. These have the same meaning.  This is because I confess God as my master, and commit my life to wholeheartedly serve and glorify him above all other things.

To us who tried to kill God, to kill Jesus, for our benefit, to become our own gods and masters of our own lives. God has paid us back with everlasting love through his son, Jesus Christ.

Remember, The reason we are likely to leave God and fall into temptation and sin is because we are sinners by birth who act in our own interests, much like the serpent.

So, then Why should we overcome the temptation of Satan and choose God?

Satan always comes to us with temptations that appear to be for our own benefit at first. But when the end comes, they take not only our own interests, but our very lives as well.

However, God is completely different from Satan. God gives us his eternal life Through the death of Jesus Christ because God is the one who created us and is responsible for us to the end.

Let’s say this together!

Let us abandon our sinful desires, and obey our master God!
Let us abandon our sinful desires, and obey our master God!
Let us abandon our sinful desires, and obey our master God!

Our Wonderful God will prepare for the best life for us.

Let’s pray.


2020년 9월 13일 강석권 준목님 설교
하나님께서 우리에게 주신 선악과의 의미
창세기(3장 8~11절)
8.그들이 날이 서늘할 떼에 동산에 거니시는 여호와 하나님의 음성을 듣고 아담과 그 아내가 여호와 하나님의 낯을 피하여 동산 나무 사이에 숨는지라.
9.여호와 하나님이 아담을 부르시며 그에게 이르시되 네가 어디 있느냐?
10.가로되 내가 동산에서 하나님의 소리를 듣고 내가 벗었으므로 두려워하여 숨었나이다.
11.가라사대 누가 너의 벗었음을 네게 고하였느냐 내가 너더러 먹지 말라 명한 그 나무 실과를 네가 먹었느냐?

◉ 에덴동산에 선악과가 존재한 이유는 무엇 때문인가?
오늘 저는 성경 창세기 3장에 나오는 선악과에 대한 것을 함께 나누고자 합니다.

  • 왜 하나님은 선악과를 만들어 놓았을까요?
    만일 하나님께서 선악과를 만들지 않았다면 인간은 죄도 짓지 않고 영원히 행복하게 살 수 있었는데…. 정말 그럴까요?
    ◉ 선악과에 관해서는 아래와 같이 두 가지의 질문을 할 수 있는데, 이 두 가지 질문은 서로 자기 모순적인 질문입니다.
  • 하나님은 전지전능하시지만, 좋으신 하나님은 아니다?
    하나님이 전지전능하시다면 하나님께서는 언젠가 인간이 선악과를 따 먹을 것이라는 것을 당연히 알았을 것이다. 그렇다면, 하나님은 인간이 죄를 짓도록 하기 위해서 선악과를 만들어 놓았음에 틀림없다. 그런가???
  • 하나님은 좋으신 하나님이지만, 결코 전지전능하신 분은 아니다?
    좋으신 하나님이기 때문에 인간이 항상 하나님께 순종할 것이라는 기대를 갖고 있었다. 그러나 그가 전지전능하시지 않기 때문에 인간이 설마 죄를 범할 것이라는 것을 몰랐을 수도 있다. 정말 그런가???
    실제로 하나님과 우리 인간을 정확히 알기 위해서는 먼저 선악과의 진정한 의미를 알아야만 한다.
  1. 뱀(사고뭉치, 교활한 놈)
    어느 날 갑자기 뱀이 하와 앞에 등장한다. 그는 매우 교활한 골치 덩어리이다. 그가 큰 말썽을 부리기 위해서 하나님의 말씀을 조금 바꾸고 수작을 부려 놓았다.
    여호와 하나님이 지으신 들짐승 중에 뱀이 가장 간교하더라 뱀이 여자에게 물어 가로되 하나님이 참으로 너희더러 동산 모든 나무 실과를 먹지 말라 하시더냐? -창세기 3:1
    뱀은 처음부터 선악과의 이야기를 꺼내지 않았다. 그는 자기의 진짜 의도를 여자가 알아차리기를 원치 않았다.
    여자가 뱀에게 말하되 동산 나무의 실과를 우리가 먹을 수 있으나 동산 중앙에 있는 나무의 실과는 하나님의 말씀에 너희는 먹지도 말고 만지지도 말라 너희가 죽을까 하노라 하셨느니라. 뱀이 여자에게 이르되 너희가 결코 죽지 아니하리라. 너희가 그것을 먹는 날에는 너희 눈이 밝아 하나님과 같이 되어 선악을 알줄을 하나님이 아심이라. -창세기 3:2~5
    교활한 뱀은 여자를 유혹하고 여자의 욕망을 자극하였다. 그래서 하와는 유혹에 못 이겨 욕망에 빠져서 하나님이 자기의 창조자라는 것을 잊고 말았다. 그 순간 그는 자기의 인생의 주인이 자기 자신이며 따라서, 자기의 이익을 최우선으로 생각했다. 그래서 그는 하나님으로부터 멀어지는 선택을 하고 말았다. 그 순간 하나님도 인간처럼 자신의 이익을 위해 자기를 침범할 것이라고 생각했다. 결국 자기 남편인 아담과 함께 욕망에 지고 말았다. 그래서 유혹에 넘어지고 욕망에 빠져서 하나님께 불순종하고 말았다.
  2. 인간이란 무엇인가?
    하나님이 선악과를 만들지 않았다면 첫 사람은 영원히 하나님께 순종하였을까? 그들이 과연 영원이 순종했을까?
    여자가 뱀에게 말하되 동산 나무의 실과를 우리가 먹을 수 있으나 동산 중앙에 있는 나무의 실과는 하나님의 말씀에 너희는 먹지도 말고 만지지도 말라 너희가 죽을까 하노라 하셨느니라. -창세기 3:2,3
    인간은 보통 자신의 이익과 안위를 위해 산다. 첫 사람은 선악과를 먹지 않았다. 그렇지만 하나님께 불순종하지도 않았다. 그들은 다만 죽음이 두려워서 선악과를 따먹을 수 없었다. 그들을 원죄로 이끄는 선악과가 없었다고 하더라도 자기의 이익만 추구하는 삶을 사는 인간은 결국 언젠가는 하나님께 불순종하게 될 것이다.
    ◉ 왜 뱀은 혼자 있는 여자에게 찾아왔을까?
    인간은 혼자 있을 때 유혹에 빠지기 쉽기 때문이다.
  • 뱀을 만난 후, 하와의 욕망이 자극되었고 자기 남편에게도 자기의 욕망을 이야기했다.
  • 하와를 만난 후, 아담도 전에는 알지 못했던 욕망에 자극되었다.
    이러한 연쇄반응은 옛날에만 일어나는 일이 아니다. 오늘날에도 여전히 이러한 상황이 일어나고 있다.
  • 대중매체와 개인매체가 발전하기 전에도 사람들은 자기가 가진 것에 만족하지 않고 더 많은 만족을 얻으려고 했었다.
  • 미디어와 인터넷이 발전함에 따라 자기보다 더 잘 사는 사람을 쉽게 접하게 됨으로써 사람들의 질투심과 욕망이 더욱 자극을 받게 되었다. 회사는 좋은 삶을 위해서 더 좋은 옷과 멋진 차와 큰 집을 가져야 한다고 광고하고 있다. 사람들은 더 이상 자기가 가진 것에 만족할 수가 없다. 그래서 사람들은 더 이상 감사하는 삶을 살지 않고 있다. 이렇게 한 사람의 욕망이 빠르게 모든 사람에게 퍼져나가고 있다.
    ◉ 좋은 욕망과 나쁜 욕망이 존재하는가?
  • 사람이 다른 무엇보다도 하나님의 영광을 위한 삶을 산다면 그것은 좋은 욕망이다.
  • 그러나 다른 무엇보다도 자신의 영광을 위한 삶을 산다면 그것은 나쁜 욕망이다.
    더 구체적으로 이야기하면, 다른 무엇보다도 자신의 영광을 위한 이러한 욕망은 이미 자기가 하나님과 같이 되어서 모든 것 위에서 있으면서 모든 것을 통제하겠다는 것이다.
  1. 죄(이기적인 욕망)
    여자가 그 나무를 본즉 먹음직도 하고 보암직도 하고 지혜롭게 할 만큼 탐스럽기도 한 나무인지라 여자가 그 실과를 따먹고 자기와 함께한 남편에게도 주매 그도 먹은지라 이에 그들의 눈이 밝아 자기들의 몸이 벗은 줄을 알고 무화과나무 잎을 엮어 치마를 하였더라. – 창세기 3:6,7
    나쁜 욕망에 사로잡힌 사람들은 더 이상 하나님의 말씀을 듣지 않습니다. 이러한 무례한 사람들은 선악과를 따먹는 죄를 짓게 되었습니다. 그리고 실제로 하나님처럼 지식을 얻게 되었습니다. 그들은 선과 악을 구별할 수 있었습니다. 그러나 그것은 축복이 아니라, 저주였습니다.
    ◉ 하나님만이 심판을 할 수 있는 궁극적인 능력을 갖고 있습니다. 사람이 심판하는 능력을 갖게 되면, 그것은 그들 자신과 다른 사람들을 공격하게 됩니다. 이 이야기는 단지 창세기에만 국한되지 않습니다. 현재 우리가 살고 있는 세상을 생각해 봅시다. 이 세상은 물질만능주의 금전만능주의에 심각하게 빠져있습니다. 여기에 있는 모든 사람들 승리자이거나 패배자이거나 모두 무엇인가를 걱정하면서 살고 있습니다. 하나님이 있을 곳은 없습니다. 하나님과 함께 평안을 누릴 수 있는 곳은 아무데도 없습니다. 그러나 우리가 우리의 심판을 하나님께 맡기면 하나님이 우리의 마음을 어루만져 주시기 때문에 평안을 느끼게 됩니다.
  2. 선악과의 의미(순종)
    드디어 선악과의 비밀을 풀 시간이 왔습니다. 선악과의 진정한 의미는 무엇일까요? 선악과에 관한 두 가지 핵심 의미를 함께 나누어 봅시다.
    4-1 첫 째로 선악과는 우리가 누구인지를 알게 해 줍니다.
    선악과는 하나님과 인간을 구별시켜 줍니다. 하나님은 선악과로부터 자유롭지만, 인간은 선악과로부터 자유롭지 않습니다. 선악과는 하나님이 창조주이고 인간은 피조물임을 깨닫게 합니다. 선악과는 하나님이 우리의 주인이라는 것을 상기시켜 줍니다. 그래서 하나님은 에덴동산 중앙에 선악과를 심었고 사람들이 잘 볼 수 있도록 해 두었습니다. 그럼, 어떻게 우리의 처음에 이야기했던 두 가지 질문을 풀 수 있을까요?
  • 첫 번째 질문, 하나님은 전지전능하지만, 좋으신 분은 아니다.
  • 두 번째 질문, 하나님은 좋으신 분이지만, 전지전능하지 않다.
    사실, 두 가지 모두 다 잘못된 질문입니다.
    첫 번째, 하나님은 좋으신 분이 아닌 것이 아니고 오히려 하나님 본체로서 완벽하게 좋으신 분입니다. 우리가 성경을 읽으면서 도덕적인 기준으로 보면, 하나님이 행하신 일을 이해하기가 어려울 수 있습니다. 그러나 생각해 봅시다. 하나님은 도덕적인 기준보다 더 크십니다. 그분의 본체가 어떤 도덕적인 기준보다 높으신 분입니다.
    두 번째, 우리가 자유 의지를 가지고 순종할 것인가 죄를 지을 것인가를 선택하는 이유는 하나님이 전지전능하기 때문이고 그분만이 심판과 용서를 하시기 때문입니다. 하나님은 우리가 진심으로 그분께 다가오기를 바라십니다. 그래서 하나님은 잘못된 선택을 할 때에도 우리가 바른 길을 선택할 때까지 기다리십니다. 이것이 하나님의 완벽한 인격입니다. 하나님은 우리 부모님이나 선생님처럼 우리를 사랑하고 우리를 바르게 가르쳐서 궁극적으로 우리가 좋은 길을 가기를 원하십니다.
    4-2 두 번째로 선악과는 하나님만이 심판할 수 있다는 것을 우리에게 가르쳐 줍니다.
    무례한 인간이 심판하는 능력을 갖게 된다면 그것은 인간에게 저주가 될 것입니다. 사람들이 자기 자신을 심판하고 다른 사람들을 심판한다면, 그들이 귀중한 하나님의 자녀라는 것을 잊어버립니다. 그래서 사람들이 세상의 기준으로 사람을 판단하고 질투하고 무례를 행하고 남을 억압하게 됩니다. 사람들이 다른 사람들을 자기의 기준으로 판단하면, 사람에게 상처를 주고 그들의 삶을 힘들게 합니다. 따라서, 우리에게 필요한 것은 선악과는 하나님께 돌려드리고 심판도 하나님께 맡겨야 합니다. 그러면 하나님의 에덴동산의 평화를 찾을 수 있을 것입니다.
  1. 놀라운 은혜(생명나무)
    잠시 세계의 역사에 관해 생각해 봅시다. 왕이 실패를 해서 신하가 왕이 되려고 반란을 시도하면 무슨 일이 일어났습니까? 그는 반역죄로 처형됩니다. 아담과 하와도 마찬가집니다. 그들도 하나님이 되려고 하나님께 반란을 시도했습니다. 그러나 하나님은 그들을 즉시 처형하지 않았습니다. 오히려 하나님은 그들이 견딜 수 있는 형벌을 주고 반성하고 회개할 기회를 주었습니다. 하나님은 아담과 하와에게 무화가 이파리로 만든 옷 대신에 가죽 옷을 만들어 입혔습니다. 그것 말고도 또 하나의 하나님의 은혜가 더 있습니다. 에덴동산 중앙에 두 가지 나무가 있었다는 것을 기억해 보십시오.
  • 하나는 선악과입니다.
  • 또 하나는 생명나무입니다.
    창세기3장 22절에서 여호와 하나님이 가라사대 보라 이 사람이 선악을 아는 일에 우리 중 하나 같이 되었으니 그가 그 손을 들어 생명나무 실과도 따먹고 영생할까 하노라 하시고….
    그래서 하나님이 사람들을 영생을 주는 생명나무가 있는 에덴동산에서 추방해 버렸습니다. 그렇지만 피조물을 깊이 사랑하시는 하나님이 결국 우리 인간에게 생명나무를 보내주셨다.
    ◉ 생명나무는 예수 그리스도!
    예수를 믿는 인간은 하나님의 심판으로부터 구원을 받습니다. 왜냐하면 그들은 하나님이 그들의 주인임을 기억하고 믿기 때문입니다. 그리고 하나님은 그들의 믿음을 아십니다. 이것이 하나님의 은혜이고 이것이 바로 하나님의 놀라운 은혜입니다. 에덴동산의 선악과를 먹지 않기 위해서는 내 자신의 주인이고 구원자이신 예수님을 믿는 것입니다. 선악과를 따먹지 않는 것과 예수를 믿는 것은 같은 의미입니다. 이것이 바로 내가 하나님을 나의 주인으로 고백하고 온 마음을 바쳐 하나님을 섬기고 다른 어떤 것보다도 하나님의 영광을 위하여 살아야 하는 이유입니다. 하나님을 죽이고 예수님을 죽이고 우리 자신만의 이익을 위해서 우리가 스스로 하나님이 되고 우리가 자기 인생의 주인이 되어 살려고 했습니다. 그러나 하나님은 영원한 사랑을 가지고 자기의 아들이신 예수 그리스도를 통해서 우리의 죄악을 모두 청산해 주셨습니다. 명심하십시오. 우리가 쉽게 하나님을 떠나서 유혹에 빠져 죄를 짓는 이유는 뱀처럼 우리 자신만의 이익을 위해서 살기 때문입니다.
  • 그럼, 어째서 우리가 사탄의 유혹을 극복하고 하나님을 선택해야만 합니까?
    사탄이 항상 우리에게 찾아와서 유혹할 때는 처음에는 우리 자신의 이익을 가지고 나타납니다. 그러나 결국에는 사탄이 우리 자신의 이익뿐 아니라 우리 생명까지도 빼앗아 갑니다.
    그러나 하나님은 사탄과 완전히 다릅니다. 하나님은 예수 그리스도의 죽음을 통해서 우리에게 영생을 주십니다. 하나님이 우리를 만드셨기 때문에 우리를 끝까지 책임을 지십니다.
    함께 세 번 외쳐봅시다!!!!
    우리의 죄스런 욕망을 버리고 주인이신 하나님께 순종합시다!!!!
    우리의 죄스런 욕망을 버리고 주인이신 하나님께 순종합시다!!!!
    우리의 죄스런 욕망을 버리고 주인이신 하나님께 순종합시다!!!!
    감사합니다.
  • Feb 02 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Faith is Lifetime Obedience (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22)

Download Notes in a .MD file.

Faith is Lifetime Obedience

Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 6:5-13, 22 (Pastor Heo)

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Genesis 6:5-13, 22

5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD .

9 This is the account of Noah.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

22 [your name] Noah did everything just as God commanded him.


Put your name in the place of Noah and read again.

“Faith is being sure of what we hope for…” – the power to see what is unseen. God, heaven, eternity, salvation – all are unseen. But by faith, we can see them and enjoy them. By faith, we can see the future as present. By faith, we can make the future as a matter of the present – so we can give thanks under any circumstances and rejoice under any circumstances (by faith).

Last Sunday, we saw Enoch’s faith – a demonstration. He walked with God over 300 years (how? we don’t know exactly). But he walked toward the same destination, in the same direction, at the same pace. Then, God took him to heaven and he was on earth no more.

Today: Noah walked with God.

Through this, we can know that the life of faith is not a life of flying up to heaven with wings – but rather a life of continuous walking, step-by-step, in love with, in step with the One who is leading us.

Today: Noah’s demonstration of faith.

Noah: Genesis 6-9 – Noah is well-known for the flood. He is the 10th generation from Adam and the great grandson of Enoch.

We know Adam had at least three sons: Cain, Abel, Seth. Noah is from the line of Seth.

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, Japheth. Later, David and Jesus from the line of Shem.

Noah lived 950 years. He was one of those who lived the longest years on this earth. His grandfather Methusela lived 969 years (the longest according to the record of the Bible).

According to this account, at that time, the earth was flooded with violence and corruption. God was sorry and grieving that he made anything. He was going to show his judgment and destroy everything with a great flood. Only Noah, his family, and the representatives of each animal species would be saved.

But it took Noah 120 years to finish this ark. Meaning? God gave the people 120 years LONG last chance to repent and turn from their wicked ways. But no one repented.

This is a great turning point in human history.

  • Adam was the first father of all human beings.
  • Noah was second first father of all human beings.
    • We are children of Adam, and we are children of Noah.

Before the flood, the living conditions were ideal for living creations. So they had longer lives. But afterward, the ecology, environment, etc were changed. Before the flood, we were in a “womb” of earth – the earth was covered with an expanse of water (kept safe from the UV rays of the sun)- but at the flood, all that water came to earth. And afterward, human lifespan reduced rapidly.

Abram was twelfth generation from Adam and lived less.

David lived only 70 years (500 years later).

Psalm 90:10 says, “The length of our days on earth is 70 years.” (If you are healthy – you may live 80 years).

Let’s look at Noah’s faith:

  • Heart (moved with fear and sorrow and reverence to God),
  • mind (focused on God),
  • willpower (acted on what God said to him).

We can see 4 characteristics of faith and learn a lesson for our own lives.

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

#1 Noah took God at his word

He believed the message God sent – even though it might have seemed foolish at that time. Yet, he believed and staked everything (also his reputation) on it.

Noah, after receiving that command, he laid aside his normal activities and focused on what God said to him to do. His life was a continuous concentration of effort toward God’s will. And so he was saved from the flood.

Also today, God’s word comes to us through many ways: our conscience, directly from the Bible, the message at church, the advice or rebuke of godly people around us, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So, we must be sensitive and awakened to the Word and Will and moving of God through the Holy Spirit. How? By believing his Word. How can we trust Jesus? By trusting his Word.

“Have faith in God, also in me.” – Jesus

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.”

We can take God at his word. God is speaking to us through his word.

#2 Noah was not deterred / hindered from mockery / scorn / rebuke of others

Imagine the context at that time. At that time, there had NEVER been a flood like this. They had never seen an ark like that, especially not in the middle of the land.

It looked like a huge 3-story coffin / box. They were very FAR from the sea. The sun was shining every day. Noah’s neighbors might ask him: Hey, Noah, what are you doing? What are you making? Noah: A ship. B: What? Why? Noah: God said. There will be heavy rain. All will be covered and destroyed. If you want to live, you must come in with me! B: Are you crazy? You’re out of your mind! (Movie: Evan Almighty is good representation of this)

Obedience = not ONE time obedience but a lifetime of obedience – full-time commitment to the will of God even in the face of scorn and ridicule of others.

Also, think of the church at Jesus’ time: 2000 years ago.

  • A: I’ve decided to become Christian.
  • B: They are outlawed! In prison! Thrown to the lions, burned, persecuted, crucified!
  • A: Yes, I know.
  • B: Are you crazy?

Jesus was also misunderstood as a crazy man. Many people said of him, “He is raving mad! Demon possessed!”

Paul also was misunderstood as a crazy man. He preached the gospel at his trial and some shouted at him, “Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

Also, we are followers of Christ. He is misunderstood as a crazy man to save us. How about you? Have you ever been misunderstood as a crazy person in this life? As a Christian?

This is one of the hardest challenges of Christianity – that we must sometimes be prepared to look like a fool in the eyes of those who don’t believe.

Noah was called “strange” by his neighbors who didn’t know God.

Noah obeyed this command to build a boat in the middle of the land even though it seemed strange. This obedience makes him “different”.

Like this, if you obey God and other people call you “strange” do not be surprised. Our obedience makes their disobedience stand out.

When God asks us to do something, he gives us the necessary strength and power to do it.

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing; but to those of us who are being saved, it is the wisdom and power of God. For they didn’t know him.”

“The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.” (Is it possible that God is foolish?)

“The weakness of God is stronger than the strength of man.” (Is it possible that God is weak?)

Yet, so often, the wisdom of God appears to be foolishness to the people of this world.

#3 Noah’s faith was a judgment on others

Heb 11:7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. *By his faith he condemned the world* and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”

Actually, Noah did not condemn the world. But his faith was a condemnation on others and a judgment on others. That is why in one sense it is DANGEROUS to be Christian.

In a sense, in this world, to be Christian is a dangerous thing. By being a Christian, your faith is pointing out others’ sin.

It is not that we are self-righteous, not that we say, “I told you so”, not that we go about finding fault with them.

Actually, Noah DID NOT judge others, he didn’t condemn them. But his faith, his trust in God became judgment and condemnation on their unbelief.

Ex: We Christians should be blessing in this world. But if they do not receive the gospel we preach, as Christians, our presence itself is a judgment on them.

If they receive the word we preach, they become blessed through us, and we a blessing to them.

But if they reject it, we become a condemnation to them.

1 John: “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already…”

Man hates the Light – because Man loves the Darkness.

Light comes – and simply by coming, the Darkness is condemned. The Darkness hates the Light because its evil deeds will be exposed.

Jesus says, “You are the Light of the World.” (I’m the Light of the World) “So let your light shine before men so that they may see and praise your Father in heaven.”

Christians’ presence is a big challenge: We are either a blessing or a condemnation to others.

#4 Noah was righteous through faith

Genesis 6:9 “This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.”

He was NOT actually blameless (he made a big mistake after coming off the ark). He is the first person in the Bible who is called “righteous.” This doesn’t mean he was sinless, but that he wholeheartedly served God.

Gen 6:8 “But Noah found favor / grace in the eyes of the LORD.”

Noah was declared righteous by the GRACE of God through faith in God.

Romans: “There is no one righteous, not even one.”

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

But justification by faith has power – it makes us take action to do the will of God. If we are really declared righteous by faith, this non-condemnation leads us to live a righteous life.

Noah: When all others broke the commandments, Noah kept them. When they were deaf to God’s word, Noah heard and obeyed. When they laughed at God, Noah respected, honored, worshiped God.

The first thing he did off the ark: worship God.

Our story: Jesus uses Noah’s experience as a warning to us.

Matt 24 “Heaven and earth will pass away but my Word will remain forever.” (This is just like the flood of Noah) “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the day of the Coming of the Son of Man. They were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They never knew what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.”

In the warning of Christ, he mentions eating, drinking, and marrying – very negatively. Are these sins? Bad or good? They are good! We must eat! We must drink! Marriage is good! So, why did he mention these things so negatively? Because we must remember, they can never be our final purpose / mission / why we should exist in this world.

They ate, drank, married – as a final purpose in their lives – without trusting God.

Anything we do WITHOUT God in our lives – is a terrible thing. But anything we do WITH God is a holy, acceptable thing.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (this is the conclusion – this is our final purpose / mission / why we exist in this world).

God bless you with this final sentence (memorize it).

Whether you eat or drink, marry or not marry, do it all for the glory of God.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Grow up in Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Grow up in Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Grow up in Christ!

Hebrews 6:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.


Why do we like babies? We like to see them grow. I also love to see these children in our service grow up.

John 1:12 “To all those who accepted him; to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

We are God’s children, so he loves to see us grow. If we do not grow, he is unhappy. This is sad because he is our Father.

Where there is life, there is growth.

To go to HS, we must leave elementary school. To go to college, we must leave HS. But, we do not leave what we learned in elementary school even though we move on. In elementary school, we learn the fundamentals, foundational knowledge of reading, writing, speaking, math. In HS, we can learn more difficult subjects, and read heavier books. In university, we use fundamental mathematics in our classes.

“Elementary” means “fundamental” or “foundational”.

In these 3 verses of Hebrews, there are 6 elementary teachings of Christian doctrine. This is the foundation on which we must stand, so we must be sure, unshakeable in this elementary foundation. But we must not stop here, we should continue on, continue learning. So we should practice these 6 foundational doctrines in our lives, but we must also continue on and on to build our higher progress.

We must practice these daily and on and on:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptism
  4. Laying on of hands
  5. Resurrection
  6. Judgment

v. 1-3

“1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.”

Christian life begins with salvation – conversion, justification, regeneration, union with Christ, adoption, all take place at the same time, but logically, there is an order.

Logically, the first we experience is conversion. There are two elements: repentance and faith. So, the first elementary teachings about Christ are these two.

1 Repentance

The first is repentance.

Without repentance, there is no start to the Christian life. That’s why the first preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus was the same, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

Luke 15:7 “There will be more rejoicing over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who do not need to repent.”

This is the fundamental of fundamentals.

Essentially, repentance = a change of heart, but it has 3 elements:

  1. Intellectual
  2. Emotional
  3. Volitional
  • Repentance = change of viewpoint with regard to sin, Christ, and yourself.
  • Sin = anything against the will of God. The biggest sin = not to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord.
  • Jesus = the Savior and Lord of the world and God who became man to die on the cross for our sin and save the world through his blood shed on the cross.
  • Self = now I recognize that I’m a sinner – powerless, helpless, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior.

But we must know that true repentance cannot exist apart from faith – for we cannot turn AWAY from sin without at the same time turning TOWARD God in faith.

Also, true faith never exists without repentance. These two are inseparably bound together.

  • Emotional: sorrow for sin, desire for forgiveness = evidence of repentance.
  • Volitional: change of will, purpose, disposition. This is the inward turning from sin. Surrender for forgiveness – to seek cleansing. This is repentance in volition (will).

2 Faith

Practically, repentance and faith go together. We must practice them everyday.

We know we are saved by faith.

Everyone’s life is governed by what we believe – in what we have faith. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are driven by what you believe.

We are saved by faith.

  • “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
  • “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
  • Eph “It is by faith you have been saved. It is not of yourselves so that no one may boast.”
  • 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.”

How can we get a saving faith? Can you get it through your own effort?

There are two sides to this coin.

  • God’s side: It is his gift – we have nothing to do to receive it.
  • Human side: we must practice our faith to grow in faith.

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word.”

Please remember, saving faith is much more than intellectual agreement or acceptance. It is total surrender to Christ as Lord and Savior.

3 Baptism

Did you receive water baptism? This is just a symbol of cleansing and identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. This is an outward symbol of an inward experience.

Did you receive baptism by the Holy Spirit? The HS testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.

“I’m a child of God.” This is the spiritual meaning of baptism.

4 Laying on of hands (안수)

This also means the sharing of some blessing from God.

If we have received a blessing, it is our responsibility to share it with others. Also, this laying on of hands shows a setting apart for good works.

We are saved by faith + nothing. (Good works cannot DO anything for our salvation – but we are saved TO DO good works.)

Eph “We are God’s workmanship, made in his image, to do good works which he has prepared for us to do in advance.”

Matt 5:16 “In this same way, let your light shine before men so that everyone who sees your good deeds will praise your father in heaven.”

If we are really saved by faith, we have a responsibility to do good works – ministry IN church, mission OUTSIDE church.

5 Resurrection

If there is no resurrection, there is no hope in Christianity.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life, whoever believes in me will never die.” Jesus “Do you believe this?”

We all experienced remaining in our mother’s womb. Do you remember this? 40 weeks.
West: end of 9 months
Korea: beginning of 10 months
same – same

Just as staying in our mother’s womb was preparation to live in THIS world, so also our lives in this world are only preparation to live in the NEXT world. We can live up to 100 or so years, but no matter how long we live in this world, the next life has no end. Our lives in this world are as short as a blink of an eye – but the consequences are eternal.

One day, our hearts will stop beating. This will be the end of our bodies (physical) – but it will not be the end of YOU. Our physical bodies are a “tent” – and our next bodies are a “house”.

1 Cor “If our physical tent is destroyed, we have a house from God built in heaven – not built by human hands.”

So, as long as we live a short time in this world, we must live in light of eternity. We will use our time, treasure, talents more wisely. Our priorities will be reordered.

Remember: physical death is not annihilation but transition into eternity. We are looking forward to our eternal home.

Secular people say: “When he died, he left home.”
Christians say: “When we die, we go home.”

6 Judgment

Are you expecting this? Anticipating it? Or dreading it?

Hebrews 9:7 “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

Someday, we will stand before God face-to-face. Nobody can escape this fate.

Many people spend their physical lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth, but we must remember that what matters most is not what other people say about my life, but what God says about my life. We are not put here for others only, but to prepare for the next life. God will do an audit and in this final judgment seat, he will ask only two questions:

What is the most important question in your life?

God asks only two:

  1. “What did you do with Jesus?” (Did you receive him? Learn to love and trust in him?)
  2. “What did you do with all things I gave you?” (Your time, treasure, talents. What did you do with it all? Did you spend it on yourself alone? Or use it for the purposes I made it for?)

Are you ready to give a correct answer to these two questions? That’s why we must practice these 6 elements daily:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptism
  4. Laying on of Hands
  5. Resurrection
  6. Judgment

“For his kingdom! For his glory!”

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Righteousness, Self-control, and the Judgment to Come (Acts 24:1-27)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Righteousness, Self-control, and the Judgment to Come (Acts 24:1-27)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 24:1-27 (Pastor Heo)

The Trial Before Felix

1 Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor. 2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. 3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude. 4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.

5 “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect 6 and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”

9 The Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true.

10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin– 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’ ”

22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.

24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.


In Jerusalem, 40 men? took a vow to never eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. Paul’s nephew heard of this and told the commander. The commander sent him to his higher-up Felix, the governor, guided by 470 soldiers. Felix received Paul and said, “I will hear you when your accusers come here” and put him under guard. Five days later, the accusers (the high priest and some elders) arrived. This is the same high priest who ordered Paul to be stricken on the mouth in the Sanhedrin. They also employed a professional lawyer (Tertullus).

Three parts in today’s sermon:

  1. Paul’s accusers’ (false) accusations (v. 1-9)
  2. Paul’s (faithful) answers to his charges (v. 10-21)
  3. The governor Felix’s (foolish) response to this case (v. 22-27)

Tertullus begins (v. 2-3) with nauseating flattery.

v. 2-3

“2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. 3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.”

This is untrue – blatant flattery.

v. 4-9 = Accusations

“4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.

5 “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect 6 and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”

9 The Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true. “

Tertullus declared Paul a man of evil character, guilty of three things:

  1. Troublemaker (sedition)
  2. Ringleader of the Nazarene sect (heresy)
  3. Desecrate the temple

v. 10-21 Paul’s answer

“10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that *no more than twelve days ago* [Paul had been in Jerusalem less than 7 days] I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin– 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’ ” “

In his speech, Paul did not flattery Felix, he merely recognized his experience and knowledge. Then he began his defense in the order in which the charges had been made.

  1. Troublemaker (sedition)
    • “I had been there less than 7 days. I gathered no assembly nor crowd.”
  2. Ringleader of a cult (heresy)
    • “I believe in the same God they do. I’m a Christian, but accept the whole Old Testament. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I worship a different God. I worship the same God in a new, living, acceptable way (through Christ).”
  3. Desecrator / defiler of the temple
    • “I came to Jerusalem with 2 purposes: to bring alms to the poor; to offer sacrifices in the temple (to honor my Nazarite vow).”

In the temple, he was performing this Nazarite offering to God, but he was falsely arrested and accused by the crowd. But no one from that crowd is present now. So those who are there now had no right / privilege to accuse Paul now. None of them were there at that moment.

After listening to Paul’s answer, his accusers could not refute Paul anymore, so court was adjourned.

v. 22-23

“22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. “

Felix said he would wait for the commander who sent him to come. But the commander never came – so Paul remained in prison for 2 years.

v. 24

“24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.”

  • Druscilla was Felix’s 3rd wife.
  • She was Herod’s daughter
  • Her grandfather tried to kill Jesus in Bethlehem);
  • her great uncle killed John the Baptist;
  • her father Herod Agrippa I killed the apostle James.

Now we can see the foolish attitude of this couple.

v. 25-27

“25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. 27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. “

In the next chapter, 25, Paul will stand before Festus.

Felix put Paul in prison for at least 2 years until he finished his governorship, then handed Paul over to his successor.

There are two reasons for this:

(Felix knew Paul was not guilty – he should have been set free)

  1. To get a bribe from Paul (wait, he’s rich enough – but he still wants dirty money from the poor prisoner)
  2. To gain popularity from the Jews

He was a judge, but his concern was not justice, it was fame and popularity and money. So, Paul preached the gospel to this couple in three points – and it made them uncomfortable:

  1. Righteousness
  2. Self-control
  3. Judgment to come

These three points are so relevant to this couple. Not only to them, but also to us today in this church building – these three topics are so important and necessary.

Today’s sermon topic:

Righteousness, Self-control, the Judgment to Come

Let us ponder these things again under the guidance and illumination of the HS.

Righteousness

  • We must do something about yesterday’s sin.

God is righteous and holy. Because he is, he demands righteousness / holiness from us.

“Be holy; be righteous” – the Bible commands this. But it is impossible. But the good news: the same God who demands this provides his own righteousness for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

  • Romans 3 “Therefore, no one will become declared righteous through observing the Law. Rather, we will become aware of sin. But a new righteousness has been made known and comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe in him.” There is no different “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
  • “God gave his one and only Son as a sacrifice of atonement to give his own blood as atonement.” (John) We are only made righteous through his righteousness.
  • “There is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

We are not sinless, but we are free from the power of sin when we trust Christ as personal Savior and Lord. This is good news!

Self-Control

  • We must do something about today’s temptation / challenge.

Mankind can control almost EVERYTHING in nature – except themselves.

Christian messages are not merely platitudes, but they contain hard-hitting behaviors. That’s why one of the fruit of the HS is self-control.

  • Others: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control – against these things there is no Law. (Gal 5)

The Christian life is not an easy life – it is a fighting life against temptation and against the sinful nature. You (me) are fighting against our old selves.

  • Gal 5:24-26 “Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Self-control is so important in the Christian life.

Judgment

  • We must do something about the future’s judgment.
  • 2 Cor 5:1 “We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, not built by human hands.”

Our physical lives in this world are like tents – so our lives after this world are like buildings. While in our earthly lives, we are offered so many choices (jobs, careers, hobbies, countries); but eternity offers only two options (heaven, hell).

In this earth, so many countries, but in eternity, only two. Our relationship with God on earth will determine our relationship with him in eternity.

So we must live in light of eternity.

When we live like this, so many of our problems and worries will appear small and trivial; our values will change; our priorities will be rearranged. The more precious Jesus becomes to us, the less precious everything else becomes.

  • Paul “I consider everything LOSS compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I consider all things rubbish so that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”

“Hosanna” = “You are my Savior”

Is Jesus your Savior? Even kindergarteners can answer. But we must remember –

  • He MUST be our Savior,
    • otherwise he will be our Judge.
  • He must be Lord and King,
    • otherwise we will become slaves to something that will become nothing.
  • He must be our God,
    • otherwise we will worship something else as god = idolatry.

v. 25

“25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, *Felix was afraid* [Holy Spirit conviction – but he rejected / delayed] and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient [delay], I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently [with wrong motives] and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. “

Yes, we know Paul was a champion in sharing the message of the gospel. Felix had 2 years opportunity to be saved through the message of Paul – but he missed it because he continuously delayed. “When I find it convenient…”

Procrastination = a thief of time / our souls

  • Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow because you do not know what a day may bring forth…”

Past is past; present is present (gift); tomorrow is not ours – it belongs to God.

— Story —

One day in Hell, there was a meeting of Satan and his living demons. He commanded them to think up a good lie to bring more souls to Hell. (Satan is the Father of Lies). The demons gathered and tried to create lies to bring more souls to Hell.

  1. “People of earth! There’s no God!” Satan said, “It will never work – everyone will look around at Creation and know there is a God.”
  2. “There’s no heaven!” – Satan “No good. Everybody knows there is life after physical death. And they all want to go to heaven.”
  3. “There’s no Hell!” – Satan “No good. Their conscience knows their sins will be judged. Their spirits already know there is Hell, that’s why they are afraid of death.”
  4. “There’s no hurry!” – Satan “Good idea!”
  • Prov “Do not boast about tomorrow”
  • 2 Cor 2:6 “NOW (x5) is the time of God’s grace! Now is the day of salvation!”
  • The best time to believe in Christ is NOW!
  • The best time to trust him is NOW!
  • The best time to confess him as King and Savior and Lord is NOW!
  • The best time to tell others the gospel message is NOW!

NOW is the time of God’s favor / grace / mercy / salvation.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 28 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Accept the One Whom our Lord Accepted (Romans 14:1-12)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Accept the One Whom our Lord Accepted (Romans 14:1-12)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Accept the Ones Whom Our Lord Accepted

Romans 14:1-12 (Pastor Heo)

14:1 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.


Bible says, “be completely humble, gentle, patient, very accepting of one another in love. Do you best to keep the unity of the Spirit of the bond of peace, because there is ONE body, ONE spirit, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God, who is the Father of all – who is above all and in all and through all.” (Eph?)

Disunity is one of the greatest weapons Satan uses to destroy the body of Christ. This is one of the most common devices in church history. Almost EVERY church mentioned in the Bible had disunity. For example:

The Corinthian church

  • “I follow Peter”,
  • others, “I follow Paul”,
  • others “I follow Apollos”,
  • others, “I follow Christ” –
  • some were even suing each other.

Galatians – some were biting each other.

Even today we have some areas in our church that are not clearly defined in the Bible.

Antioch Church

A few years ago we know that Antioch Church experienced BIG disunity over the location of the main sanctuary (here or Chonbuk Uni). Some members left – but thankfully now, all matters all solved and we are growing.

Other examples:

Some people in church fight each other over small, simple things:

  • curtain color,
  • size of the pulpit,
  • position of the piano

Yes, just as fighting among children makes their parents sad, so fighting among church members makes God unhappy and Satan happy.

Today’s topic: “Accept the Ones whom our Lord Accepted”

It handles small topics:

  • food,
  • diet,
  • daily activities

Food sacrificed to idols

At that time, some members had very strong convictions about meat sacrificed to idols:

  • “I must stay away from this ‘dirty’ food.”

But others had the opposite conviction,

  • “No, idols are meaningless to this food. I can eat all things through Christ…”

Day of worship

Also some people thought certain days were more holy than other days

  • “Sunday is the most holy because Christ rose from the dead” –

others

  • “No, Saturday is the most holy because it’s the Sabbath and God rested” –

others

  • “No, Friday, because Christ was crucified for our sins on that day.”

Do you eat only veggies? Snake? Lion? Horse? Cow? Lamb?

Whatever your conviction – you are free to follow your own conviction – because this is NOT a matter of:

  • salvation
  • spirituality
  • maturity

This is just a collective, personal, cultural custom – or has its roots in these things. This is not about justification, salvation, sanctification.

Therefore, we should NOT despise others who have different opinions and convictions (about these small things) than we do.

There are 4 reasons why we should not judge other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Also, 4 reasons to accept our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • Negatively: 4 reasons NOT to judge
  • Positively: 4 reasons TO accept our brothers & sisters in Christ
  1. To self: “Do not judge others.”
  2. To neighbor: “I accept you.”

Why NOT to judge

#1 We have NO PERMISSION from God to judge

“Do not judge” is not a suggestion from God, but a command of God. To judge others is to go against the command of our Lord.

Matt 7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. In the same way you will be judged, with the same measure you will be judged. Don’t look at the speck in his eye, but ignore the plank in your eye. How can you say, ‘Let me help you with that’ and ignore the plank in your own eye?”

What is a plank? The judgmental eye. If you have this kind of eye, you are carrying a plank in your eye.

Remember, we have no permission to judge others

#2 We have NO ABILITY / POWER to judge

What does this mean? To judge correctly, I must know perfectly and completely

  1. the MOTIVE someone is doing something –
  2. the REASON and
  3. also the PURPOSE –
  4. as well as the INFLUENCE
  5. and IMPACT his action has on others,
  6. including HOW his behavior will be JUDGED by GOD.

In order to judge fully and completely, we must be omniscient. Perfect in knowledge, understanding, insight, and wisdom. Only GOD is this.

We are limited in our understanding, time, space, knowledge, wisdom, etc.

Therefore, no one has the ability to judge.

#3 We have NO RIGHT to judge

To be qualified, we must be perfect, infallible, faultless, blameless, esp in our character – particularly in the area we judge others.

For example, if I want to judge others in the area of HONESTY, I must be perfectly honest – throughout the course of my life.

If I want to judge others in PRIDE, I must have been humble throughout the whole course of my life.

We must be perfect in our character and personality. But nobody is perfect.

Therefore, we have no RIGHT to judge others.

#4 We have NO AUTHORITY to judge

The authority to judge belongs to a judge (God is the ultimate judge).

To judge is a judge’s job – no one else carries this authority nor title. Raise you hand if there is a judge among us.

In the matter of spiritual things, nobody is a judge. We are all to be judged by God – the only, ultimate authority and judge over human life.

The title “judge” belongs to God alone.

Romans 2:1 “YOU therefore have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else. For wherever you pass judgment, you condemn yourself because you do the same things.”

James 4:11 “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him is speaking against the Law and judges him. When you judge the Law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment only. There is only one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge your neighbors?” (네가 뭔데?)

4 reasons to accept our brothers and sisters in Christ

Say one more time to your neighbor: “I accept you.”

  • Really? Do you really accept me?
  • Yes, I really accept you.

#1 BECAUSE GOD accepted him

v. 1-3

“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.”

Conclusion in this passage:

  • Starting word: “Accept him”
  • Finishing word: “God has accepted him”

This is VERY, VERY clear.

We are Christians, true? What does this mean? Christian = “Children of God” – those who accepted his grace – and are accepted BY his grace and mercy.

If we are Christians, this means that:

  1. GOD accepted us AS WE WERE (as we still are).
  2. God accepted us WHEN WE WERE children of the devil.
  3. God accepted us WHEN WE WERE sinners.
  4. We were the object of wrath, but he accepted us as the object of blessing.
  5. We were his enemies, but he accepted us as his children.

We have and enjoy and experience this kind of wonderful acceptance by God – so HOW can we refuse those others whom God has also accepted?

  • Please, do not reject the one who God rejected.
    • If we reject this person, we reject GOD who accepted this person.
  • Please, do not despise the one God loves.
  • Please, do not reject the one God accepted.

Christian = “group of people accepted by God unconditionally by his mercy and grace simply because we have put our faith in him”

#2 BECAUSE GOD makes him/her stand/not fall

v. 4

“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

Once justified by faith – NEVER changes.

Once real salvation is granted/experienced – it never changes, this is eternal.

If it is possible for salvation to be lost, then it CANNOT be called “eternal life.” But in the Bible, salvation and eternal life are synonyms.

Jesus “I give you eternal life. You shall never perish, and no one can snatch you out of my hand.” (John)

No matter how someone looks right now, if he has salvation, he will not fall, he will stand. God will make him/her stand, not fall. So, how can we reject the one God makes stand in the final situation in his/her life? So, we must accept this person as well – because FINAL victory, life, salvation is guaranteed by the grace of God.

#3 BECAUSE his Lord is my Lord, my Lord is his Lord

We worship the SAME God. So how can we reject him whose Lord is my Lord? curios “Lord” is repeated 8 times in this passage.

Key verse is verse 8:

v. 5-9

“One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”

Conclusion: Jesus Christ is the Lord of ALL – both Christians and non-Christians. The only difference?

  • Christians KNOW he’s our Lord.
  • Non-Christians DO NOT KNOW he’s their Lord.

He is the Lord of

  • Christians,
  • non-Christians,
  • the living,
  • the dead,
  • all creation,
  • even non-living things.
  • “God is sustaining all things by his powerful Word.”

The moon, stars, sun, planets, etc. ALL things in the universe and on earth are THERE and sustained / supported by Christ. (Heb 1)

This means – if you reject somebody (yes, you are free to do so) – it means you are rejecting the one for whom Jesus died and returned to life to be his Lord.

v. 9 “9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”

How can we reject somebody for the very person that Jesus died and returned to life for to become his Lord.

Key verse:

v. 8 “8 If [I] live, [I] live to the Lord; and if [I] die, [I] die to the Lord. So, whether [I] live or die, [I] belong to the Lord.”

Jesus is forever a living presence – and all life is lived in his eyes. We do not need to speak of living as if he doesn’t see us. We can no more escape from the risen Christ than we can escape from his shadow.

In this world, we are living in his unseen presence.

In the next world, we will be living in his physical, visible presence. Even physical death cannot break this presence.

Physical death is the gateway / entrance that leads to Christ. Therefore, whether we live in this world or the next, we live in the presence of Christ.

#4 BECAUSE we are brothers and sisters in Christ – and our judge is only Christ

We are to be judged TOGETHER – by the same Judge. Your judge is my judge, my judge is your judge. All human beings are judged by this ONE judge.

v. 10-12

“10 You, then, why do you judge your brother [and sister]? Or why do you look down on your brother [and sister]? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: ” ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

In Christ, through the same faith, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Do you believe this? Amen.

By faith in Christ, if we are brothers and sisters – by the same faith in Christ – the question is: FOR HOW LONG will we be brothers and sisters in Christ? (Forever.)

We have no choice / no option to accept each other together because we are to live as brothers and sisters together forever. Are you bored? Tired of this? You actually have no choice in the matter.

v. 10 “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Are you happy or worried about this final judgment seat?

“The Bema Seat”

This is the final judgment seat – but we do not need to be afraid of this seat.

  • To the Lost / unsaved = the Final Judgment = final entrance into Hell
  • To the Christians = the Bema Seat = final place to receive the reward “Behold, I am coming soon, and I will give to each according to what he has done.”

The Bema Seat has nothing to do with our sin – because Jesus has already paid our WHOLE sin on the cross. “Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.” Romans 8:4 “Blessed is the man whose sins are not counted against him.”

BUT – even though we have this Bema Seat – it should not give us license to sin again.

So, how can we prepare for this? We must recognize and acknowledge Christ as Lord and God in our lives and in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

v. 11 “Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 26 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Let God Alone Judge! (Romans 2:1-16)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Let God Alone Judge! (Romans 2:1-16)

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Let God alone judge!

Romans 2:1-16 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Righteous Judgment

2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. 12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.


Remember last week, a bad story? Idolatry, etc. This is the continuation of that story.

Let me ask a question: difficult/easy:

  • When you stand before a mirror, what is the first thing you see? (Myself) Is that right?

Likewise, whenever we stand before the Word of God, the first thing we MUST see is Myself (in God). We can, of course, see the world, others, the future, and many other things. But the FIRST thing we must see is MYSELF. This is a spiritual mirror:

James 3:23-24 “Anyone who listens to the WOG, but doesn’t do what it says is like a man who looks in the mirror but goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

Couples:

2 couples heard the same message in the same place in the same seminar.

  • One became stronger, happier, and more faithful to God.
  • Another became worse, fighting more, and complaining more.

What is the difference?

  • One couple SAW THEMSELVES (“I must love my wife more. I must respect my husband more.”)
  • The other couple SAW THEIR PARTNER. (“THAT person must love/respect ME more!!!”)

This is the difference.

Jesus said this, “Once, two men went to the temple to pray. One man said, ‘Thanks, God, I’m not like THAT MAN!’ The other man said, ‘God, have mercy on me, I’m a sinner!’

  • The first man saw the other man and justified himself, and returned home condemned.
  • The other man saw himself, repented, and walked home justified.

In this passage, we can see the word “YOU” 15 times.

First, Paul is addressing the Jews.

Previously, we saw a terrible, grim, ugly picture of humanity (last Sunday). This world was under condemnation by God. At that time, the Jews totally agreed with that condemnation – but they never dreamed that THEY ALSO were under such condemnation. They always thought that they were privileged before God. They thought God only judged the Gentiles, but protected them. They thought that Abraham sat at the gates of hell and would not allow even evil Israelites to go to hell.

Actually, God loves ALL nations. But they believed at that time that God judged all nations except their own. That’s why we need chapter 2.

Also, last Sunday, if you thought “Oh, this is not MY story, but someone else’s story” then we NEED chapter 2. Who cannot find in himself at least ONE terrible sin (of 24 listed there)?

v. 1-4

1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Today’s topic: Let God alone judge!

What shall we do?

If we say, “Let God judge” then we also must be ready/prepared to be judged by God. Are you ready?

Let me tell you WHY we cannot judge others. There are at least 4 reasons.

#1: We have no authority to judge

This is common sense. The Creator judges his creation. Creation does not judge its Creator. The Master judges his servants, not vice versa.

Please remember, we have no right to judge others.

#2: We have no power to judge

In order to judge without shame, I must be PERFECT, sinless, faultless, errorless, stainless, blameless in my character, personality, actions, ideas, thoughts. I must be PERFECT 100% to judge without shame. Who can say “I am perfect 100%”?

#3: We have no knowledge to judge

In order to judge RIGHTLY, correctly, I must have 100% knowledge about his background, ideas, motivation, hidden history, etc. I must know WHY he did it. Nobody can say, “I’m omniscient (all-knowing).”

#4: We have no permission to judge

We are not permitted by God to judge. Yes, Jesus says directly, “Do not judge or you will be judged. In this same way, you will be judged. With the same measure you use, you will be judged. He has a speck of sawdust in his eye. You have a plank in your eye.”

Of course, I can see my neighbor’s eyes, but I cannot see my own eyes. Therefore, we cannot judge others.

God hates judgment because judgment belongs to GOD ALONE. He has the right, privilege, power, and permission to judge all.

  • “Nothing is hidden before the eyes of God, everything is revealed, made bear before him.”
  • Ecclesiastes conclusion: “God will bring ALL THINGS into judgment – including all hidden things, whether good or evil.”

In this passage, God alone judges.

Let me share 3 items regarding this:

God judges according to:

  1. Truth (v. 2)
  2. Our actions – what we have done/been doing (v. 6)
  3. Our secrets (v. 16)

#1: Truth

v. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is **based on truth.**

This means, God has ONLY ONE standard. There is only ONE principle. There are no double standards for differing people. God is the God of ALL. He does not show favoritism – he is a universal God.

God judges according to Truth = “inward reality as a foundation of outward phenomena”

So, before God, the invisible, spirit God, looking at some woman lustfully = committing adultery with her in his heart.

  • Greed = idolatry
  • Hate = murder
  • Everything not of faith = sin

God judges according to the inward reality of a person.

God judges according to Truth = our attitude toward Christ (Jesus IS the Truth – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life – and no one comes to the Father except through me.”) Rejecting Jesus = the original sin, the root of sin, the sin of sins. What is your attitude toward Christ? Why? Because THIS ATTITUDE determines how we will be in eternity.

This is the basic principle “God judges”. Also, God judges according to Truth = the Bible. This is the Standard (B.I.B.L.E = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth…)

“Heaven and earth will disappear, but the WOG will remain forever.”

#2: Our actions / deeds

v. 6 God “will repay each person according to **what they have done.**”

God judges according to deeds DOES NOT mean “we are saved by deeds.” No, we are justified and saved by FAITH alone. But remember, TRUE SAVING FAITH results in obedience and godly living (deeds).

True faith = godly works (deeds)

God says, “Be holy as I am holy.”

God does not judge based on our heritage, but on the lives we live – the total impact of our character and actions – even though there may be occasional faults.

  • David = not perfect = murderer, stole another man’s wife – BUT, the TOTAL impact = “a man after God’s own heart”
  • Judas = did some good things working with Jesus – BUT, the TOTAL impact = sinful
  1. Consider agriculture: if we do not keep the laws of farming, we starve.
  2. Or health: if we do not follow the laws of health, our bodies suffer.
  3. Like this, we must keep the laws of God to not suffer – to prosper.

13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Yes, right now, we have a big blessing to have and possess and hear the Word of God. BUT, this wonderful privilege and blessing makes our responsibility and accountability even GREATER to obey his Word. That’s why God judges according to what we have done.

#3: Our secrets

v. 16 This will take place on the day when God judges **my secrets** through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

What does this mean?

This is a serious issue.

Yes, God is holy, and commands us to be holy like him (like Father, like son). God is not holy sometimes, but is holy ALWAYS. Like this God does not want “sometimes” but wants “all the time.” God does not want sometimes holy things, sometimes worldly things. Actually, God wants us to do spiritual things in this unspiritual world ALL THE TIME. He wants us to be holy in this unholy place ALL THE TIME.

Question: What is heavenly/divine, and what is worldly? How can we distinguish between these two?

  • Pray, study the Bible, etc = spiritual?
  • Working, shopping, computer, KakaoTalk = worldly?

Is this true? Then we are holy/unholy/holy/unholy all day all the time.

How can we be holy all the time? God judges us according to “secrets” = according to our motivation, final purpose, etc.

  • Yes, now, I’m preaching. Do you think I’m doing holy things? Actually, only God knows. If I’m preaching the Word of God without love for you and the glory of God, but rather for MY GLORY, then this is an UNholy thing.
  • Likewise, if YOU work, shop, clean the house, etc, with love and for the glory of God, then YOU are doing HOLY things.

“Do everything with love.”

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD.” – This is a holy thing. We will do this (holy thing) after service today.

God judges according to our secrets = “our methods” or how we handle the truth.

In this passage, “…my gospel” = Paul’s gospel. But honestly, before God, are you able to call this gospel also “my gospel”? Who can call this gospel “my gospel”? God bless us all to be able to call this gospel “my gospel.”

Yes, the gospel is of God, from God, not the message of men but of God. This is the gospel message of God. Also, the gospel is the message of Jesus Christ, especially his death and resurrection. Also, the gospel is the message of the Holy Spirit in that only the HS is able to regenerate a sinner into a child of God.

Gospel = the gospel of

  1. God
  2. Jesus
  3. Holy Spirit

So, WHO can call this gospel “my gospel”?

There are 2 qualifications.

  1. experience
  2. commitment

Do you have experience? Have you experienced the power of the gospel in your life? Creating, transforming, life-giving, life-changing power. Have you experienced this? Has the gospel changed even your hobbies? Hallelujah~

Only those who EXPERIENCE the power of the gospel in their own lives can call this gospel “my gospel.”

Commitment: Are you committed? Have you dedicated your WHOLE life to this gospel message?

“The Gospel is GOOD News (of great joy for all the people at the same time forever and ever)!”

News that is not told, announced, is not news.

If you have this gospel, this news in you, is it being declared?

Only those who share the good news can call the gospel “my gospel.”

God bless us to live like this.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 26 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Zephaniah: The Principle of Prohibition against Double Judgment (1:1-18, 2:3)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Zephaniah: The Principle of Prohibition against Double Judgment (1:1-18, 2:3)

06.26

06.26.2016-PHeo

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  • Feb 21 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Ecclesiastes: From Meaninglessness to Meaningfulness (1:1-18, 12:13-14)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Ecclesiastes: From Meaninglessness to Meaningfulness (1:1-18, 12:13-14)

02.21.2016

02.21.2016-PHeo

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  • Feb 22 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Story of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-30)

02.22.2015

02.22.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

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The Rich Young Ruler

Matthew 19:16-30 (Pastor Heo)

The Rich Young Man

19:16-29pp — Mk 10:17-30; Lk 18:18-30

16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples,”I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.


 

We cannot receive Jesus as Savior without following him as King. He went to the cross, to the point of death (and beyond) to save us. So, do we have the right to escape suffering?

Here Christ shows the rightful demands he makes on his disciples.

This event is written in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Usually this is the “Story of the Rich Young Ruler.”

  • Only Matthew calls him Young,
  • Only Luke calls him Ruler,
  • But all call him Wealthy.

One good thing about this young man in this matter is that he had a big concern about eternal life – yes, this is the biggest concern we all must consider. Now, let me ask all of us: what is your first concern/interest/consideration.

Another good thing = he came to the right person in this matter of eternal life. He came to Jesus – the only giver of eternal life. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

But, there are two wrong things as well:

#1: He came with the wrong question: “What ‘good’ thing must I do…?” This is the wrong question in the matter of eternal life. He is thinking in terms of actions – in terms of keeping the rules and regulations – by keeping the works of the Law. He thought he could get eternal life by DOING something that looks good – therefore it shows he knows NOTHING of the religion of grace. Romans “Therefore, no one will be declared righteous through the works of the Law, but it is by the Law that we are made conscious of how sinful we are.”

As long as we think we can be saved by doing something good, we can never be saved by the grace of God.

Jesus tries to lead him on to the right answer according to his own words that he’s spoken.

He lists the commandments.

Jesus did not introduce these commandments to show HOW to be saved, but to that THAT he needed to be saved (because keeping all these are impossible). Actually, at this point, he should have confessed his inadequacy – but sadly he said, “All these I have kept.”

The Law is a mirror that reveals what we are.

Even he is standing before the perfect mirror of the Law, he still did not understand who/what he was. After this (in Mark), Jesus “loved” this young man and continued to help him.

“What do I still lack?” i.e. “I lack nothing – I think I’m perfect.”

Jesus says, “OK, then, GO sell your stuff and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven – then COME follow me.” Wow.

Can you do like this?

In the Bible, nowhere are we told that a sinner can be saved by selling his possessions and goods and giving his money away. Jesus knew he was covetous and greedy and that he loved material wealth. By asking him to sell his material goods and give to the poor, Jesus was forcing him to examine his own heart and determine his own priorities.

This challenge exposed the barrier that could keep this young man out of the kingdom: his LOVE of money. (”The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”) To this young man, money represented his pride, the root of his accomplishments – the very basis of his respect and security and identity.

Actually this young man did not love God truly, to him the material possessions were his god – that’s why he was unable to obey this commandment.

“When he heard this, he went away sad.”

Yes, he could have gone in great joy and pleasure. It is good to have the things money CAN buy IF we do not lose the things money CANNOT buy.

To him: money is god.

v. 23-26

Eye of the needle

“With man this is impossible – but with God all things are possible.”

How tragic to be possessed by possessions and miss the most important – eternal life in Christ. He lost what was eternal to keep what was temporary.

This is the real question we must consider: Who then can be saved?

Yes, some people that have EVERYTHING on this earth still lack the one thing that is eternal.

  • At that time, the Jews believed that material possessions were evidence of God’s blessing (Deut 26,27,28). Certainly, God gave the promise of blessing for man’s obedience and loss for man’s disobedience.
  • At that time (in man’s infancy), the only way that God could teach men was through visible rewards.

But the highest obedience is not dependent upon the promise of reward or the threat of punishment.

In Christ’s love, the material things of this world can give us no lasting joy or salvation.

v. 24

Eye of the needle

Jesus does not say “it is impossible” just “hard” – very hard, very very hard.

At that time, the camel was the largest animal in Palestine – so that means that salvation is absolutely impossible with man, but absolutely possible with God.

Salvation is the response of God toward man’s faith in Christ – it cannot be earned, it is a gift. There is nothing for us to do except receive it through faith in Christ.

Abraham was a very rich man materially, but also a man of great faith. This means it is good to possess wealth IF wealth does not possess us. We cannot follow our King Jesus and follow worldly wealth at the same time. We cannot serve God AND money, but we can serve God WITH money.

Money is not inherently bad, but 1 Timothy 6:10 “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil – some people have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

God bless us to possess much money – BUT DON’T let money use you, possess you, nor your heart.

v. 27-30

The last will be first, the first will be last.

At this moment, Peter was very quick to notice the contrast between the rich and themselves (the poor). “We have left EVERYTHING!” (well, not his wife) “What shall we have?”

This is Jesus wonderful promise of reward: Those who follow him to the end will share his glory, his victory, his throne together.

From this story, at least we can know 3 lessons:

  1. If we share his campaign on Earth, we will share his glory and throne.
  2. We will receive much more than we give up for Christ. What are you giving up now for Christ? (v. 29) These are not new material possessions, but new fellowship with men and God. A true Christian is never friendless, homeless. Are you really sacrificing yourself for Christ? You cannot say that because you WILL receive much much more than you are giving. You are not making a sacrifice, but rather an INVESTMENT. But still, we must always check our motivation in the service of God. (The first will be last, the last will be first) – In the world to come, the values of this world will be reversed. Those who seek status on earth will have nothing.
  3. Finally, there will be a big surprise in the final judgment. There is eternity to adjust the misjudgments of time.

This last verse will be amplified in the following chapter in the story of the workers in the vineyard.

From this verse we can know that it is possible for those on earth to be humbled in heaven and many who are humble now to be exalted in heaven.

The first will be last, the last will be first.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 16 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Perils of Partiality (James 2:1-13)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Perils of Partiality (James 2:1-13)

11.16

11.16.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Perils of Partiality

James 2:1-13 (Pastor Brian)

Favoritism Forbidden

1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!


 

In James, remember where we’ve been.

James is writing to Christians, scattered abroad, discussing how important it is to practice what we preach “Walk the walk, and talk the talk.” Be DOERS of the Word, not just readers.

  1. Keep a bridle on your tongue.
  2. Show love to those in need.
  3. Keep yourself unstained by the world.

Things that are outright temptations in the world are obviously to be avoided, BUT ALSO, the attitudes and philosophies of the world show be avoided. (Romans 12:2 also “Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – This is a process. Take in the Word, walk in the light of it, see the value of it.)

  • Here, James shows how conformity to the world’s standards can compromise God’s standards.
  • Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mould (mold).
  • Don’t show favoritism (partiality) – the state of being biased against or for one certain group or person over another group or person.

We are all likely guilty of this in some degree.

The Jews exonerated Jesus of being this (but this was hypocritical of them). Luke 20? The leaders came to Jesus and used his impartiality as their weapon. “Teacher, we know you teach correctly, and you don’t show favoritism to any, but teach the Word of God in truth…” But they tried to use this as a weapon “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar?”

(If YES, the Jews wouldn’t find it very pleasing – he’d become unpopular. If NO, the Romans would see him as a rebel – he’d get in trouble. But you can’t outwit Jesus. “Who’s face is on this coin? Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s.”)

They recognized that Jesus didn’t show partiality – even though they were enemies.

Partiality = undue favoritism

When he says “favoritism” he’s using a term in the Greek that means “lift up the countenance of somebody” (show a favor, encourage, lift up, etc). Think of Cain after he murdered Able – his countenance had fallen. And God saw that and said, “Why has it fallen?”

When your countenance is up, you are receiving favor, encouragement, etc. Originally, this was a pleasant term, but eventually, it became negative – when there is overt (too much) favoritism it’s no good.

For example, when the church was expanding, the Greek ajummas were not receiving the proper portion of the food and they had to resolve this issue so that there was no favoritism of Israel’s ajummas over the Greek ajummas.

Personal favoritism = lifting up or putting down someone else (you lift up one, you put down someone else)

Think of celebrities and the successful in their career/profession. We show tremendous respect to them, and to the “nobodies” we don’t care. God doesn’t do that – he looks at the heart.

Philip Yancy has interviewed many celebrities and has found that many have shallow hearts and depend wholly on the praise of others, not God.

The Lord looks at the heart.

Abe Lincoln “God must love the common man because he made so many of them.”

Even men of God – 1 Samuel 16 (after the failure of Saul – God was to choose a new king) verse 1 “So the Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul? Fill you horn with oil and head to Jesse – I’ve chosen one of his sons to be king.’ Samuel ‘Saul will kill me.’ God ‘Take a lamb and say you’re going to sacrifice and invite Jesse. I will show you then.’ So Samuel went and the elders in the town shook in fear of him worrying he didn’t come in peace. When the sons of Jesse came, he saw the tallest, biggest, best and thought, ‘I bet this guy is who the Lord wants.’ But God said, ‘Nah, nah, nah – don’t look at his physique, I look at the heart.’ None of the young (7) sons that Jesse brought to Samuel were the ones that God had chosen. The youngest (David) was just a boy and was tending the sheep. So he was brought in – he was ruddy and handsome and the Lord said, ‘Bingo! He’s the guy!’ Samuel rose and anointed him with oil, then went on to Rama.”

Samuel even thought differently, but was sensitive enough to the Spirit of God that he knew there was another son and asked for him particularly.

There is a tendency (even among the prophets) to look at the outward appearance. Even Jesus said, “Do not judge by the outward appearance.” Romans 2:11 “There is no partiality with God.” Proverbs “To show partiality is not good.”

But we all have a tendency (from childhood) to show favoritism.

Still, James warns against this. So, he provides a common, practical example. Even in churches throughout the ages this is a big problem. The BIG givers usually get the best spots, the most preferential treatment, and the poor are told “Sit in the back.” Still, the Lord spoke strongly against this (Leviticus “Do not be partial to the poor…judge your neighbor fairly.” – we may even sometimes treat the poor better to the neglect of the rich. Don’t do this either.)

Use righteous judgment in whatever you do.

One pastor had been preaching on this and meditating for about a week. On Friday, a homeless man came in, he was almost getting sent to jail – he’d gone to every agency in town and didn’t get any help. He passed the office door and came in. We got him a Grey Hound (bus) ticket to Denver. He came back and said that his shoes were too small to walk – he asked for a ride. I obliged, nervously, but he was a good conversationalist and spoke of Jesus. He said, “Thank you, Father.” The preacher said, “Although I’d been meditating on this all week, it hadn’t yet touched my actions. I hope that I’ve learned this lesson.”

My experience:

In Canada, people often passed through, and people ask for money, a ride, etc. After a time, your heart can become hard. But the Lord says, “Repent of those attitudes. You have the means to help, so help.”

In Acts, the Jews had no dealings with the Gentiles, and yet God called Cornelius to know about Jesus and receive salvation through him. He was a centurion and tithed in the synagogue and prayed daily. An angel told him to go to Joppa and find Simon Peter and bring him to them – to their household – to tell them words by which they’d be saved. So he did it.

At the same time, the Lord was preparing Peter’s heart. The Lord gave him a (hungry) vision on the top of the roof of his building. A sheet came down from heaven with “unclean” animals and the Lord said, “Rise and kill and eat.” Peter said, “No, surely not.” God said, “Do not call unclean that which I’ve cleansed.” At that time the messengers from Cornelius arrived and called on Peter. The Lord said, “Go with them.” So he did, and he witnessed to them.

As he was speaking and explaining the ministry and life and salvation of Jesus, the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles – and then Simon and the other Jews (witnesses) were able to testify to this to the greater Jewish church.

Then, Peter realized that God is not partial and that even Gentiles whose hearts are turned toward him can be saved.

Yet, even later, Peter still showed partiality to the Jews – separated himself from the Gentiles. Paul corrected him. “Old habits die hard.” You know that and I know that. We have to crucify the flesh daily. Peter subjected himself to Paul’s correction. We also must do that.

Remind ourselves: “That wasn’t right of me to judge him/her in that way. Just because he smelled, had bad hair, etc.”

Sex trafficking – in India – girls as young as 10 or 12 have no hope except through Christ. They are often enslaved by the government of the pimps. The pimps usually give loans with ENORMOUS interest which can NEVER be paid back.

Often these women may be saved and go right back into the prostitution. There’s not an immediate actual break from this kind of trauma. There takes time for the layers of brokenness to be healed.

“Over the mountains and the sea, your river runs with love for me, and I will open up my heart and let the Healer set me free.” But the healing takes time.

We should open our hearts to our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world – don’t show partiality to any. Where there’s a need, try to meet it.

Ceneka – Greek philosopher – said, “They love to put rings on their fingers.” Just to show off how wealthy they were (even if they weren’t) – they just wanted to give the IMPRESSION that they were wealthy (how many of us do that today?)

These people were often given special treatment in the church.

Another person comes in who hasn’t showered in a few days and is told, “sit in the back… or at least not too close to the rich because their noses are sensitive…”

Yet, it’s the RICH who drag you to court and sue. The RICH oppress you. The RICH blaspheme the name of the Lord.

In Antioch they were called “Christians” first (in mockery) – but they took that name and ran with it – making it a badge of honor.

James concludes and says, “Show mercy TO EVERYONE.” No one can CHOOSE who is worthy or not worthy of salvation. Then you are becoming judges with evil thoughts.

Remember: Mercy TRIUMPHS over judgment.

The picture of the Roman general with all his treasures from the war would come out and honor the general – he’d come back with MORE than he’d gone out with. This is TRIUMPH. This is a good picture of what Mercy over Judgment means.

Even as Christians, we will face the Judgment at the Bema Seat – “what have you done with the life you’ve been given?” – this is not to enslave us with fear, and this is not the judgment of condemnation. But when we are merciful, we also will receive mercy.

“Love covers over a multitude of sins.”

May the Lord bless the Word to our hearts and enable us to put it into practice this week.

Let’s pray.

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