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  • Mar 22 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Christ Gave His Life as a Ransom for Us! (Matthew 20:17-28)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Gave His Life as a Ransom for Us! (Matthew 20:17-28)

03.22.2015

03.22.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Christ Gave His Life as a Ransom

Matthew 20:17-28 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

20:17-19pp — Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-33

17 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

A Mother’s Request

20:20-28pp — Mk 10:35-45

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (<— memory verse #28)


 

God bless the reading of His Word.

In this same book, chapter 16, Jesus said for the first time that he would go to Jerusalem, be killed and raised to life. Then, in chp 17, he predicted his death again. This here, is the third time he’s announced his arrest, suffering, death, and resurrection.

In the previous announcement, he wasn’t specific about HOW he would die – but here he clearly mentions the cross and his resurrection.

Yet, even though he mentioned this, the disciples didn’t understand well. The message didn’t penetrate their hearts.

v. 17-19

“We are going up to Jerusalem…to die.”

In this story, we can see 5 kinds of sufferings:

  1. Betrayal to the chief priests (suffering of heart broken by friends/brothers)
  2. Condemnation to death (suffering of injustice)
  3. Handed over to Rome to be mocked (suffering of humiliation)
  4. Flogged, scourged (suffering of physical pain)
  5. Crucified (suffering of curse and death – the FINAL suffering)

It was as if he were going to collect in his body EVERY kind of suffering – mental, social, physical, psychological, spiritual. Yet, he mentioned “beyond the cross, the crown.” Beyond death, life. Beyond loss, victory.

v. 20-24

In contrast to this announcement, we see the worldly ambition of the disciples – particularly James and John and their mother.

Even though the other 10 didn’t ask the same request, they actually FELT the same (look, they were “angry” with their request – it’s like “why didn’t I ask that first?”).

“Can you drink the same cup with me?” (The cup of the cross, suffering, and death) – “We can” – “Indeed, you WILL drink of it.”

The result of this request was anger and indignation on the parts of the other disciples. Heavenly wisdom brings peace among men, but worldly wisdom brings fighting – envy, etc.

Here, Jesus speaks of cross, but the disciples think of “crown.”

This same story is also written in Mark 10. There is a little different explanation. James and John asked this request directly to Jesus, but here in Matthew, it’s their mother, Salome?

Anyway, there is no conflict in the Scripture because they were of the same mind and the brothers also agreed “Yes, we can drink of that cup!”

Salome was a good woman. She was at the cross when Jesus was crucified, and she was one at the tomb early in the morning when Jesus was resurrected – she was likely the sister of Mary (Jesus’ own mother). Likely the two brothers were FULL cousins with Jesus. Therefore, they likely felt that they had a “special place” with Jesus.

Of course, parents want their children honored and promoted to a high position – but sometimes this is DANGEROUS if it causes they to lose sight of GOD’S plan for their children. Sometimes God’s plan is different than parents’ plans – not only glamorous.

So, parent’s plans must be held in check so that God’s will may be done in their lives all the time.

Jesus “You don’t know what you are asking.”

Until after the resurrection, they didn’t understand fully that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, but in the hearts and lives of the true believers.

They also didn’t understand the meaning of this cup mentioned here. He’d also mention this same cup in Matthew 26 in Gethsemane “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, not my will but your will be done.” This is the cup of suffering and death that Jesus had to taste in order to accomplish salvation for all human beings.

So, their request was born in selfishness, flesh, worldliness.

How about you and me?

Yes, sometimes, we don’t know what we need, what we should pray for. Sometimes we know what we WANT but not what we NEED. So, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. So, we pray for the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit.

  • “You will indeed drink from my cup.” Do you want to drink of this also?
  • “But to sit at my right or left…” Even though they answered “we can” without knowing the true meaning, they did drink of that cup.
  • James later dies as a martyr – killed by the sword of King Herod (aged 30s) – in Acts 12.
  • John lived MANY years in persecution – and lived his last years in exile on the island of Patmos (after being boiled alive I think?)
  • John’s cup came with lots of waiting.
  • Jame’s cup was martyrdom. (Soongyo)
  • John’s cup was constant discipline and struggle for the Christian life throughout many years.
  • Each had its own difficulties. Each drank of his own cup in his own time.

Some people think that Christian’s cup is always a short, sharp, bitter taste of martyrdom. But not always. Sometimes, the cup is daily discipline, tears, heart break – for MANY years.

Are your REALLY Christian? Born again?

If there is a cup for you to drink, are you ready to drink that cup? Willingly? Are you afraid?

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

God wants us to be happy and joyful and peaceful IN HIM. So, if there is a cup for me and you – it’s because we are able to drink, he enables and empowers us, and it is GOOD for us.

Today in our daily lives, to drink the cup simply means to “follow Christ wherever he goes and to be like him in every situation.”

  • The gift of salvation is priceless and yet free.
  • But the way of discipleship is not painless and easy.

If we commit to Christ truly, yes, this world will test our commitment. Suffering is the price of commitment – the price of discipleship.

Around us, we may see many brothers and sisters in Christ who face their own challenges in following Christ. Therefore, we need to ENCOURAGE and EDIFY (Eph 4:29) each other to follow Jesus fully and truly.

Do you want to be great? Who is great?

“I’m great!” – not in this world, but in the kingdom of God.

v. 25-27

“The last will be first and the first will be last.”

The “Gentiles” = the standard of this world.

In Jesus’ kingdom, we must not follow the standard of this world (Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”)

Our HOPE is in Jesus, not some government, not some program, not some President, celebrity, possession, etc.

Here, a completely NEW set of values has come into our lives.

  1. In this world, greatness is the power to command others to do something for us.
  2. In Jesus’ kingdom, greatness is the power to command ourselves to do something for others.
  3. In this world, greatness is the power to oppress.
  4. In Jesus’ world, greatness is the power to build up.
  5. In this world, greatness is our power, bank balance, possessions, the number of people under us.
  6. In Jesus’ kingdom, greatness is measured by how many people we help and serve, by our attitude and character.

A TRULY great man puts others’ needs before his own – true greatness = service, not dominance.

If we are like this, truly we are in Jesus’ kingdom.

v. 28 is one of the KEY verses in the WHOLE Bible (I told you it was a good memory verse) – along with John 3:16

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Just as this, Jesus is the representative of our actions and attitudes – we must act as he acts, think as he thinks, serve as he serves. We must give our lives in service as he has.

  • 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you are called — he has left you an example.”
  • John “Whoever claims to be a Christian, must walk as Jesus walked.”
  • Hebrews “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being in very nature, God, but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but … he emptied himself, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”

In every action, thought, etc, ask yourself – “Is this pleasing to Christ? What would he do/think? How would he act?”

Yes, Jesus gave his life as a ransom – a payment – to pay for our complete freedom.

Sin is like a slave market where our souls are sold as slaves – but Jesus by his death buys us from this slave market – indicating complete freedom from sin. He looses bonds and sets us FREE by paying the price of his own precious blood on the cross. He frees us from the curse under the Law by BECOMING a curse for us.

He is our complete freedom and liberty.

Without Christ, his death, his service, we can never find the way back to God. Jesus is THE way, THE truth, THE life. He is not the one who SHOWS the way – he is THE way. It is only Christ who can say this, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

We must walk in the steps of Christ who has loved us to the uttermost.

  • 1 Corinthians 5:20 “I am not my own, you are not your own, we were bought at a price – the price was Jesus’ blood – therefore, honor and glorify God with your bodies.” What was your price?

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 15 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Pray, in This Manner (Matthew 6:9-15)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pray, in This Manner (Matthew 6:9-15)

09.15

09.15.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘ 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Amen

In the previous verses, Jesus said, “Do not keep babbling like pagans. They think they will be heard because of their many words. Our Father knows what we need before we ask. This then, is how you should pray…”

This is the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus gave it first, and to his disciples, and as a pattern – but not an incantation.

When we pray, we should pray as the first time and last time, the same – sincerely, from our deep hearts.

There is one fact we should know.

This prayer = given to disciples. It is a prayer that ONLY disciples can pray. Only those fully committed to God can pray it. We can only pray it when we know what we are praying. We can only know it when we enter into true discipleship with God.

This is not a baby’s prayer. It is a disciple’s prayer. God bless us to not be babies.

“Our Father…”

To WHOM do you pray? What is he like? Who is listening? Do you know who you are talking with? Who is hearing your voice?

#1: We pray to God – God Almighty – the One True God.

God is spirit, invisible, eternal, immutable, unchangeable, omniscient, omnipresent, merciful, gracious, compassionate. Also, he is a person, with a personality – he can speak, he can listen, feel, love, hate, be angry. He is a PERSON.

When we pray, we pray to GOD ~ not men, not angels, not demons, not A god…

“…in heaven…”

There is a big gap between God and we, his Creations.

  • He is infinite, we are finite.
  • He is perfect, we are imperfect.
  • He contains all Creation, we cannot contain all of Him in our brains.

But, we can call such a God in heaven “our Father.” He has become our Father – our imminent Father. Unknowable God becomes knowable Father. Invisible God becomes visible Father. This is the MOST intimate form of communication, between a Father and his children. God loves us, cares for us, as Father.

Can you call God “Father”? 

How is this possible? Only in Jesus Christ. Only through and by Jesus Christ. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only who is at his right side has made him known.”

“To those who believed in him, God gave the right to be called ‘children of God.’”

If you believe in Jesus, acknowledge him with your mouth, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, make him Lord over your life, THEN, you are a “child of God.” ONLY THEN, you can call God, “Father.” There is no other way.

Can you call God “Father”?

“OUR Father…”

Not “my Father…” – he IS my Father, but there are NO singular pronouns here – “our Father… our debts… our sins… our daily bread…”

We must remember we are a part of the Universal church – over the whole world. We must not pray for something that would be bad for other members of God’s family. If we pray rightly, we pray for things that become blessings for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

From this prayer, we can see the missional heart of God – he wants all humans to be saved by belief in Christ. If we know this, then we know next for what we should pray.

TWO Parts with 6 items.

Each part has 3 items.

  1. Part #1: For GOD (3 items)
  2. Part #2: For Ourselves (3 items)

Sometimes the Bible divides prayer into two parts (prayer and petition) Ephesians = “pray in all occasions with prayers and petitions” Philippians = “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, present your requests to God.”

Generally speaking, whatever we say to God = prayer.

Narrowly speaking, asking FOR God = pure prayer. Asking for OURSELVES = petition.

Firstly, we must ask for GOD, and THEN, for ourselves.

Remember, this is a disciples’ prayer.

  1. For God
  2. For YOU
  3. For ME

Remember, babies pray:

  1. For Me
  2. For Me
  3. For Me

This prayer =

  1. For God’s name to be holy
  2. For his kingdom to be come
  3. For his will to be done

#1: HOLY in Greek = “hagios” = separate/different from other things.

Let God’s name be treated differently from other names – let him be given a supreme position. Let God’s name be given its proper position. His qualities, personalities, attributes deserve and demand this.

When will this prayer be accomplished?

“When every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” THEN this prayer will be fulfilled.

God gave Jesus the name that is above all names… until this day comes, we must continue to pray “hallowed be your name” “holy be your name”

#2: Your Kingdom come

Matthew 6:33? “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well.”

This is central to the message of Christ – “the kingdom of Heaven is near – repent!”

  1. It existed in the past “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets were in the kingdom of Heaven.”
  2. It exists currently in the present “it’s in the midst of you, among you, in you, near, at hand” – it’s a present reality.
  3. It will come in the future – we must continue to pray that more and more people will enter the kingdom of God. One day will come when all evil will be destroyed and God will establish a new heaven and new earth (it’s not here yet – Shinchonji…)

Your job is not a secular job, it’s a holy job.

  1. We make money.
  2. We contribute to this world.
  3. We build the kingdom of God (and worship Him through our work).

Outwardly, I’m here to make money.

Inwardly, I’m here to advance HIS kingdom.

Let us pray for God’s kingdom to come among us.

#3: Your WILL be done.

Babies pray to change God’s will to satisfy his OWN will.

Disciples pray to submit OUR wills to God’s will.

The kingdom of God and his will cannot be separated. The kingdom of God is a society on earth in which his will is done perfectly as it is in heaven.

Anyone who did God’s will perfectly in the past was in the kingdom of God. Anyone who NOW does God’s will perfectly is in the kingdom of God.

1 John “This world and its desires pass away, but the man who stands in the will of God will last forever.”

The accomplishment (fully) is still, yet to be, in the future.

Are you in the kingdom of God now?

This is to submit (fully) and obey (fully) God’s will.

To pray for the Will of God = to pray to submit our own wills to the will of God.

  1. His name = glory
  2. His kingdom to come
  3. His will to be done

————-

NOW, we can pray for ourselves…

#1: Provide for our needs (daily bread) – providence

This refers to physical AND spiritual needs. EVERY necessity. “Daily” means God’s constant, non-stop, steadfast provision.

Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”

John “I am the Bread of Life – he who believes in me will never go hungry, will never be thirsty.”

Do you think you provide for yourself because you work? WRONG. God gives you the ability to work – he is your provider and your sustainer.

Jesus does not pray “Give ME my daily bread” but rather “Give US our daily bread” (i.e. don’t be selfish). We can be a channel/tool in God’s answering OTHER people’s prayers. This is not only for US to RECEIVE our daily bread, but also a prayer for us to SHARE our daily bread with others.

God provides our breath, that’s why we breathe. Our houses, clothes, everything we have and enjoy is from God, and for his glory.

#2: Forgive us our debts AS we have ALSO forgiven our debtors.

We must CONTINUALLY pray for forgiveness.

In Jesus, there is no more condemnation, true, we are righteous and holy in Christ. BUT, at the same time, as long as we are in this world, we are not perfect in character, life, tongue, so we continually need God’s forgiving mercy and grace. Every day we wash and shower, like this we need God’s forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

v. 14-15 “If you do not forgive, God will not forgive.”

Actually, God’s forgiveness is not dependent on our own forgiving of others. We are forgiven already in Christ. This sentence means, “if we have FULLY experienced the forgiveness of Christ and we do NOT forgive others, then we have NOT fully experienced God’s forgiveness.”

  • If you can’t forgive, you don’t know God.
  • If you can’t forgive, you are in essence, asking God to not forgive you.

We must learn to love others more and more, to forgive, to forget (God forgets greatly).

#3: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (this world is God’s but under Satan’s influence).

We must continue to pray for our salvation.

What does this mean? Can we lose our salvation? NO. That salvation we received is VERY sure. It CANNOT be lost in Jesus Christ.

But, IF we are saved, we must CONTINUE to pray for our salvation.

If we have been saved from the condemnation of sin, we still must pray to be saved from the temptation of sin. We must pray continually for victory over sin.

We cannot escape oxygen – we also cannot escape temptation. 

“Help us escape temptation. Help us get victory.”

We must become more and more like Jesus: our model, our perfect example.

In this manner, we pray:

Our Father in heaven…

Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer as YOUR prayer, individually, as a disciple.

  • Jun 30 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Jesus, Our King, Starts His Ministry (Matthew 4:12-25)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus, Our King, Starts His Ministry (Matthew 4:12-25)

06.30

06.30.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali– 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles– 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various disease, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.


The book of Matthew can be summarized into 3 parts:

  1. Chp 1-4:11 (Birth and Preparation of Jesus)
  2. Chp 4:12-25 (Message and Ministry of Jesus)
  3. Chp 26-28:20 (Death and Resurrection of Jesus)

Today = starting point of Jesus’ public ministry

Jesus came from Galilee (north) to the Jordan (south) to be baptized, then went into the desert to fast 40 days/night and be tempted. Then he went back to Galilee to start his ministry (not Nazareth but Capernum – 20 miles farther north (north-west sea of Galilee) – this was his home base in ministry). 

  • Capernum = farther away from intense opposition from Pharisees in Nazareth
  • Capernum = very busy city, spread the message more quickly and widely
  • Capernum = more disciples, more tools

Every action, every word, is obedient to the Word of Father God and the Scriptures.

He didn’t start in Jerusalem, but Capernum, land of Zebulun and Naphtali – the northern border of Galilee.

v.12-16

John the Baptist had been put in prison because he’d publicly rebuked Herod for taking his brother’s wife. 

Zebulun and Naphtali = the names of people = 2 of the 12 sons of Jacob.

Fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1-2 = Matt 4:15-16

To understand this story, we need to know the background, history.

Z&N were two of the original tribes of Israel – they received their portion of the land during the conquest of Canaan by Joshua. Asyria then conquered them – usually they deported their people and repopulated it with their own Assyrians. So, there were lots of foreigners there. That’s why Isaiah calls it “Galilee of the Gentiles.” 

The spiritual darkness of this land continued for centuries until Jesus came to live among them. 

Jesus came to preach salvation by grace for those even in the deepest darkness. 

v.17

From that time on… “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is near!” 

Jesus started his ministry with this one, short message. We already heard a similar message from JB (John the Baptist). 

His first message = his continual message in his ministry. 

Becoming Christians, followers of Jesus begins with repentance – turn away from sin, self-control, self-ruling – turn (right away) to Jesus. Believe in him as Savior and Lord. 

  • In Matthew “Kingdom of Heaven” = 32 times
  • “Kingdom of God” = 5 times

Out of reverence for the holy name of the Lord, the Jews didn’t use “God” but substituted “Heaven” instead. In the New T, “Kingdom” = “rule of” not “location”- the rule of God = in your hearts.

If we accept Jesus and believe in him as King = we recognize his kingship in every area of our lives. This means our hearts are ruled by him. So if we believe in him = we are ruled by him = our hearts are his kingdom, even though our bodies reside in the kingdom of Earth. 

Wow! How near is the kingdom of Heaven.

“My heart is the kingdom of Heaven!”

If you believe in Jesus as your King, this is true. 

If our hearts = the kingdom of Heaven, Jesus needs workers for his kingdom. 

v. 18-22

Jesus called his workers.

He said, “Repent!” and immediately began to call his disciples.

The first 4, he had already met previously.

According to John’s gospel, at least some of them were John the Baptist’s disciples.

But, here, Jesus challenges them to throw in their whole lot with him. 

A good fisherman must possess some good policies which turn them into good fishers OF men.

Fisherman -> fisher OF man

#1: A man of patience

He must learn to wait until the fish take the bait.

If he is impatient and restless to move, he can never make a good fisherman.

Also, good fishers of men must learn to wait, to be patient. We don’t often see quick (microwavable) results.

#2: A man of perseverance, resolution, determination, long-suffering

Never be discouraged, disappointed, dismayed.

A good fisher of men must also persevere. Sometimes, nothing seems to happen, but we must never be discouraged. We must be ready all the time to try again. 

#3: A man of courage, bravery

There was no weather forecast, radio, television, newspaper. They must be ready to face dangerous situations, storms, typhoons, etc. They couldn’t anticipate those things. If he wants comfort and safety, he couldn’t go to sea.

A good fisher of men must also know that there may be danger, persecution, etc.

“I have no time, I have no gift, I have no talent.” Do you say that?

If we do not preach, do not say, it means we have no courage, no assurance, no faith.

#4: A cooperative mind and faith

  • They work all the time together.
  • They must learn when, where, how to find fish. 
  • They worked together, we also must work together. 

#5: Faith

They can’t see fish under the water, but they had expectations, and faith, and alertness.

Also good fishers of men must be like this.

#6: Power, energy, stamina

  • Fishermen are tough, have big muscles.
  • A good fisher of men needs power, but there is a big difference between the two.
  • Fisherman = catch something living, move it to the land, kill it to sell it.
  • Fisher of men = catch something dead, move it to heaven, help it to live.
  • Fishermen = physical + killing power.
  • Fisher of men = spiritual + life-giving power.

Do you have power? Yes, you walked here and sat down. Without Jesus, your power is killing power. But in Jesus, your power is life-giving power.

“The thief comes to kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

From this story we can learn 4 lessons:

#1: Jesus didn’t call powerful, wealthy, talented men. He called insignificant, ordinary people.

He calls the ordinary for extraordinary jobs. 

#2: Jesus called the faithful, those who were diligent in their earthly jobs. They were working WHILE he called them.

He didn’t call them because they had lots of free-time. He called them when they were faithful and busy with their own jobs.
“I’m waiting on God~ I’m waiting for a vision~”

doing nothing. NO – be faithful and diligent TODAY with your secular jobs, with a holy mission.

#3: “Come, follow me, I WILL make you fishers of men.”

He didn’t say, “Become fishers of men first, then when you’re qualified you can join me.”

All we need to do is FOLLOW and OBEY. That’s all. He will do his job through us. “I WILL make” = “I will enable, empower, anoint” you to do the job I have for you.

We cannot forgive men, cannot regenerate hearts, only Jesus can. But he can do it through us when we follow and obey.

#4: What was their response?

IMMEDIATELY they followed – they dropped everything, they left their nets on the boat, they walked away from their father (still holding the net with jaw dropped…)

This is full commitment, full devotion.

Following Jesus = the biggest turning point in their lives.

Immediately following = immediately everything changes (goals, plans, vision, jobs, etc).

They left the boat and the net – the MOST important things a fisherman owns. 

Remember: we cannot follow Jesus with our OLD selves, with our OLD plans, doing something God doesn’t like. 

Jesus isn’t satisfied with HALF-hearted devotion. Jesus is not deceived, he is not cheated.

v. 23-25

This part gives us a brief summary of Jesus’ ministry/life: 

  1. Teaching
  2. Preaching
  3. Healing

#1: Preach

He came to preach the message of the gospel, the good news of the kingdom of God. Preaching = proclamation of the certainties of God.

He came to defeat our ignorance, announce the truth (which we cannot know except by him – he himself IS the truth – “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life…If you know the Truth, the Truth will set you free.”

Gal 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Freedom = not free, Jesus paid the price.

#2: Teach

Explain the details, help us with our misunderstanding, help us not to draw wrong conclusions from the Truth. 

He came to explain the true meaning of the Truth.

#3: Heal

His ministry is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He still heals. He came to defeat our pains. He wants us to be healthy and whole – spiritually, mentally, physically, in every area. 

This healing power is still available if we acknowledge him in our lives.

Actually, Jesus = the original pain-killer.

If we follow Jesus truly, really, like him, we must:

  1. Preach (our certainties, our peace, our assurance)
  2. Teach (explain our faith)
  3. Heal (help others experience and enjoy the healing power of Christ)

Let’s pray. Specifically, let’s pray for the healing power of Christ to be fully realized in our lives and the lives of those around us.

  • Jun 23 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Acts – Introduction (Acts 1:1-8)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Acts – Introduction (Acts 1:1-8)

06.23

06.23.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach

2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

3 After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

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


Acts = for the Jewish Christians

Luke = a physician, historian. Many who’ve studied Luke’s writing have been amazed by his attention to detail. At one time, some people had questioned him, but over time, he was vindicated – everything he wrote has been found archaelogically true. (He once wrote of a harbor that some people thought didn’t exist – but they later found that that harbor DID in fact exist and that waters had covered it.)

  • Acts =
  • The Acts of the Apostles OR
  • The Acts of the Holy Spirit

This is Part 2. Luke (gospel) was Part 1.

  • Part 1 = the story of Jesus’ ministry, ends with Jesus’ death.
  • Part 2 = the story of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the early church (through Paul as main character), ends with Paul in Rome where he dies.

Luke 1 “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of what has happened – they are eyewitnesses…I have carefully investigated everything from the beginning. So, it seemed right that I write an orderly account for you Theophilus, so that you may have assurance in the faith in which you’ve believed.”

Actually, Theophilus = “friend of God” (his name’s meaning)

Luke was quite meticulous and accurate as a historian. We can see that history has born out his accuracy and truth.

Who was Theophilus? We don’t know for sure. He’s addressed as “Your Excellency,” or “Most Excellent.” Luke uses the same phrase to address the Roman governors – it’s very courteous.

Some people think this was a symbolic name, meant to represent a class of people, like the church. But most likely, he was a real dude. Who, what, where is he from?

F.F. Bruce writes, “He was likely a representative member of the educated middle-class, who Luke wanted to win over to a favorable Christianity (unlike that of what was current in Rome). Luke’s aim is likely to give him more accurate info than what he had previously.”

Luke gives a limited vision of the growth of the gospel, he focused on the growth of the church.

Josephus wrote “Defending Judaism” and dedicated it to a single person, but meant it to be read by many others. Luke wrote with the same thing in mind – write to one man, with the intention of many reading it.

In Luke (gospel), his purpose was to write about everything Jesus came to do.

In Acts, his purpose is to write about the CONTINUING work of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and the church.

Luke wants to show that Jesus’ work continues with greater power and scale.

In the gospel, Jesus is only one man.

In Acts, the power of the Holy Spirit (the same that Jesus’ had) was in many others. So, Jesus was technically multiplied and able to move and work through the actions of many apostles.

At Pentecost, Peter preached of Jesus’ resurrection and 3,000 people (men at least) were added to the church in a single day.

Luke’s thesis: “Jesus remains active, though the manner of his work has changed. He continues to do and teach through his body, the church.” This is the story of Acts.

Luke was writing to confirm what Theophilus already knew, and was trying to organize things well to help fill him in on what he didn’t know.

Theo could have been a new believer, or a seeker. In any case, the history and background and growth of the church would’ve greatly interested him.

Luke paints broad strokes. He shows the spread of the gospel in certain areas of Rome. He shows how the ministry of Peter and Paul are related. He also shows how the Christian church’s work is related to Jesus’ work. He also shows how the church is connected to Jerusalem and Rome.

By the time he wrote this, Peter and Paul would have been martyred, accused of anti-governmental behavior (esp. by the Jews). So when Luke wrote this, Christians were spoken against, “perverts of Judaism.” Was this a dangerous sect (cult), or a legitimate religion? Luke was the first apologist (defender of the faith) who showed it was authentic.

The resurrection was the hope of Israel. Peter and Paul both emphasized this. And his exaltation at the right hand of the Father takes center stage in Acts.

Acts 1: “Jesus gave many convincing proofs he was alive – for 40 days – for 7 weeks between his crucifixion (Passover) and his ascension (another Jewish holiday actually).” This is similar to when Moses was on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and gave the people the covenant of the Law. This time, Jesus is on the Mt. of Olives and gives the covenant of Grace.

This is all accomplished through the Holy Spirit.

During Jesus’ appearances, they all saw this Jesus who was alive, but HAD BEEN dead. So, their faith was UNshakable. Many of them died for this surety.

Luke doesn’t stress Jesus’ divinity as Paul does in his epistles. He stresses the divine commission of Jesus and the divine power of the church through Jesus.

The kingdom of God = the main message of Jesus.

With his disciples, he clarified the messages.

The kingdom’s message now had a different thrust, different emphasis. Now, it all points to Jesus as the Messiah.

Acts 2:24 “But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to hold him…”

The revitalized message of the kingdom of God =

In Samaria there was Simon the sorcerer – but when Philip came down with the power of the Holy Spirit, people paid attention. When people saw and heard these things, they were baptized and believed.

Paul and Barnabas go back to Antioch and Lystra (where Paul had been previously stoned). Paul says, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

The KOG (Kingdom of God) has a (1) present reality and a (2) future reality.

Acts 19:8 at Ephesus, Paul went into the synagogue to reason with the Jews from the Scriptures, and he spoke for 3 months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. He used their own Scriptures to prove that Jesus was the Messiah.

But, the Jews couldn’t believe that a crucified “criminal” was their hero. Their eyes were clouded.

Paul’s last meeting with the church = “Now I know that none of you will ever see me again.”

Rome Acts 28:31, meets with the Jewish elders and reasons with them about the KOG. Most of them rejected it. Paul boldly and without hindrance preached the KOG and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a great emphasis on the KOG.

Using the Scriptures, particularly for the Jews, was a great way to show that ALL the promises had already been fulfilled in the person of Jesus. The promises weren’t to save their physical bodies from the Romans, but to save their souls from sin.

God welcomes repentant and returning people.

The Lost Coin, the Lost Sheep, the Lost Son (Luke 15) = parables that show how God welcomes and rejoices over even one small, insignificant repentant sinner.

The father in the lost son story RUNS to his son and kisses him – this was totally undignified. His son says, “Father, I’ve sinned.” The father says, “Never mind that, you’re back!”

This is what Jesus taught in the gospel Luke wrote. The book of Acts is simply an extension of this story. Acts = conversion experiences, repentant sinners, empowered Christians who share the story with others.

The first task of the disciples = to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

They are not to do anything until receiving the HS, so that they can do the work well.

What is the effect of the HS? William Barclay “The HS = the source of all guidance. Philip meets the Ethiopian. Prepares Peter for the messengers from Cornelius. Orders the setting apart of Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel to the Gentiles. Guides the decisions of the Counsel of Jerusalem. Guides Paul beyond Asia and into Europe. Tells Paul what awaits him in Jerusalem.”

The message = the HS who came upon Jesus at his baptism has also come upon the church to continue to carry out his work on earth.

Luke 24:9 – shows the importance of the HS in their lives and mission.

Acts 1:4 – “wait for the gift you’ve heard me speak about, for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the HS.”

Many were convicted of their sins (during John the Baptist’s mission), repented and went to the Jordan to be baptized. But John said, “Another is coming who will baptize with fire.” Jesus says, “wait for the fire.”

Verse 6, they still don’t get it…

“Will you restore our nation as a super awesome country?”

Deut 7:6 = “the Jews were chosen out of all the people on earth to be God’s people, his treasured possession.”

So, they expected GLORY first, and THEN the Holy Spirit.

“I will put my laws into their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people.” God = promises restoration.

So, the Jews think, “Hey, we’ll be restored, and THEN get the HS, right?”

Two disciples on the road to Emmaus met Jesus, he asked, “Why you guys sad?” They said, “We certainly hoped he would restore our glory.” But then Jesus helped them to understand that the Scriptures meant JESUS and not NATION.

  • Jesus = the Resurrection and the Life
  • Jesus = the assurance of salvation
  • Jesus = eternal life in the KOG

The disciples had been disappointed. Now, they figure that Israel’s glory would be restored and THEN the HS would come. Actually, they’ve got it backwards. “It’s not for you to know the times or seasons the Father has set by his own authority.”

Earlier, Matt 24:34 “No one knows… not even the angels in heaven… nor the Son… but only the Father in heaven.” (referring to the Second Coming of Jesus).

You think you’re so smart to know when Jesus is coming back? Have you worked it all out?

No, but Jesus did work it all out.

Want to know the answer? Jesus figured out that he couldn’t figure it out. He didn’t know. You can’t know either.

When will he come? Instead, be ready. Know first WHERE you are going, not when he’s coming.

“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and all the ends of the earth.” Here is Jesus’ prophecy for the remainder of Acts (and us).

Q: Do we have the Holy Spirit?

We need to be continually filled with the HS. We need to be refilled when our eyes are off him. We need to be born of the Spirit.

Recognize that we are sinners, fall short, need forgiveness, repent.

Recognize that Jesus = THE way to heaven, repent, accept him as Savior.

Let’s pray.

  • May 19 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Repent! For the Kingdom of God is Near (Matthew 3:1-12)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Repent! For the Kingdom of God is Near (Matthew 3:1-12)

05.19

05.19.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

 

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[a]

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


Before the ministry of Jesus, there was the introduction of John the Baptist. John was the introducer and forerunner of Jesus Christ.

Between chp2-3, about 28-30 years passed. Now, the time has come for Jesus to start his public ministry, which would culminate on the cross.

In those days, JB came (John the Baptist). 

When Jesus was ready to start his ministry. 

From the end of the OT to the beginning of the NT is 400 years (inter-testamental period – the “Dark Ages” spiritually – during these 400 years, they never heard the word of a prophet). Now, JB appeared, so finally, the Great Revival was starting. The people considered JB a great prophet, and they considered that the time of the Messiah had come – it had. God was ushering in a new covenant and new era. 

JB spoke like the prophets of old – “turn away from sin to avoid punishment! Turn to God for mercy, forgiveness, and approval!” This was a message for all times and places, but he spoke with urgency to prepare the people for the Messiah. 

He was a sign-post for the one who was to come. 

Behold! See, everybody, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. 

Our calling is similar, like John’s. We can prepare others to receive Jesus as their personal Savior, Lord, King. 

How much urgency do you feel? for those who still need to hear the message of Salvation.

Who is JB? Luke 1 – we see the story of John’s birth – he was a miracle child. He was a different case from Jesus, he was born of Elizabeth, his father Zechariah. At that time, Elizabeth was too old and barren – she couldn’t have a child. While Zech was carrying out his duty in the temple, an angel appeared to him and said, “You’re going to have a child – name him John. He’ll have the HS, and go before the lost – he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and turn people to the wisdom of the spirit.”

Last book of OT: Malachi, chp 4:5-6 “See, behold, I will send you the prophet Elijah. He will turn the hearts of their fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the Earth with a curse.”

So, JB was the last and greatest prophet – he was the forerunner for Jesus.

Also the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 43. “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord. 

JB’s coming is regarded as the fulfillment of the promise to send Elijah. Elijah was one of the most powerful prophets in the OT, and John was the last Elijah.

We can see some common things between Elijah and JB:

#1: Their messages were similar.

Direct, clear, short, to the point.

  • Elijah: abandon your idols/false gods, serve the true God.
  • JB: turn from your sins, repent, and turn to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

#2: Lived simply in the desert with similar style

1 Kings – Elijah had leather belt around his waist

#3: similar titles

  • Elijah = Man of God
  • JB = Man FROM God

v.2-10

The key verse in these verses is verse 2:

“Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

Do you want to go to the kingdom of heaven? YES. Do you want NOW? Right now?

If…not right now…you do not want, honestly.

I said many times, Matthew is the book of the King, the book of Kingship. So, Jesus’ coming to Earth = the appearance of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This is essential to the teaching of Matthew, and is seen 33 times (important about 50 times). This phrase is used ONLY in Matthew – 33 times. 

Yes, Jesus is King, do you believe this? Kings have their own people, sovereignty, rule, country, etc. So, the understanding of the idea of the Kingdom of God is very important. 

So, let’s make clear 4 things that are important to understand about the Kingdom of God.

#1: It’s a kind of country.

In this world, there are over 200 countries.

In this world, we get citizenship by birth, or by meeting certain qualifications of that government. 

In the KOH, only one qualification = by believing in Jesus as our personal King, Savior. So, simply, we can get citizenship in the KOH.

#2: For a country to be a country, we need country, people, government.

For the KOH, we need only Jesus’ kingship. If we have that, then your heart is Jesus’ kingdom. If your family believes, then your home is Jesus’ kingdom. The KOH doesn’t matter about place, but about kingship = wherever he is king = his kingdom.

#3: KOH is very FAR away (we think).

We will go (sometime). But, before we go to the KOH, it comes to us. “Repent and GO!”? No. “Repent, the KOH is NEAR!” It came to us, as Jesus came to us before we went. Jesus knew us, came to us, loved us before we knew him, went to him, loved him. 

Luke 7: “Do not say, here it is, there it is, the KOH is in you.”

#4: Some Christians think KOH = only a matter of the future, after death

Yes…and no.

It is our future hope, but it is also our present reality. The KOH = come already in the past, and comes at present, and is coming in the continual present and will come in the future.

Future hope is SO essential for life, for victory, for power against Satan. But remember, we cannot have a future hope for the KOH, unless we can also enjoy and experience the present reality of the KOH – now, not by sight. 

Do you have hands? How far can you stretch out? The KOH is IN your hands. 

v. 11-12

JB’s main job was baptizing with water (hence his nickname). John’s baptism is for repentance – but Jesus’ baptism is of the HS, for eternal life. 

At that time, carrying sandals was a slave’s job. JB says, “I’m not even worthy to be his slave. He must increase, I must decrease. He is everything; I am nothing.”

Jesus will baptize with HS and fire. 

We can believe in Jesus as personal Savior, Lord, King. We can accept him only through (by the ministry) of the HS. 1 Cor 12:3 “No one can call Jesus as Lord except by the ministry of the HS.” 

We cannot see God except if we believe in Jesus. The Trinity God in 3 persons, but in 1 essence work together in perfect harmony. 

“You will be baptized by Jesus in FIRE” (not ON fire, thankfully…)

All believers (whether they want or not) cannot escape that baptism, because he is King of Kings.
This baptism has a positive and a negative side.
There is a PROMISE; and a THREAT.

4 points about fire.

#1: The idea about illumination (light)

The flame of a beacon guides a sailor and traveler. In fire, there is light and guidance. He is the beacon light to lead us to the Truth and guide us Home.

#2: Warmth.

A great, and kind man lights fires in cold rooms. When Jesus comes into our lives, he kindles our heart with a warmth of love toward God and others. Always, Christianity is the religion of kindled hearts.

#3: Purification (and destruction).

Do you want that in your heart? Do you want to be purified? The purified flames burn away falsehood, but leaves truth. When Jesus comes into our hearts, the evil-doers are purged and removed. But sometimes this is through a painful experience. But, if we, through ALL experiences of life believe that God is working ALL things together for good, we will emerge from the fire with CHARACTER. “Blessed are those who are Pure in Heart, for they will see God.”

#4: Power.

After his resurrection, Jesus met his disciples and said, “Peace to you, receive the HS. Do not leave Jerusalem, wait for the Promise, the gift of the HS.” After that, they gathered, and prayed in one heart earnestly, and then received the HS. Acts 2 “They saw what appeared to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”

“When the HS comes upon you, you will receive power and be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”

THREATS

v. 12 “His winnowing fork…clear the threshing floor…gather the wheat…burn the chaff…”

Winnowing fork = big, heavy, wooden shovel. With it the grain was lifted from the threshing floor and tossed into the air. When it was done, the heavy wheat fell to the ground and the light chaff blew in the air. The heavy grain was gathered and stored. The light chaff was gathered and burned for fuel (in the fire). 

The coming of Jesus necessarily, absolutely, requires separation. We can accept him as king or reject him. We can be for him, or against him. When we are confronted with him, we have to make this choice.

ALL human beings, each person will be separated by their reaction/response to Jesus Christ. It is precisely this choice that determines our final destination. 

  • For those who accept Jesus and his baptism = warmth, love, holiness, purification, power. 
  • For those who reject his baptism = punishment, hell, sulfur. 

1 Cor 1:8 “To those who reject JC, the message of the cross = foolishness, but to those who accept Jesus, the message = power.”

May God bless all of us to accept Jesus and enjoy the KOH. If your heart = ruled by Jesus as King, no matter what, whatever you do, wherever you go, your heart is the KOH. REPENT. For the KOH is at your hands.

Let’s pray.

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