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  • Nov 05 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)

We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We are saved by our Heart & Mouth

Romans 10:5-13 (Pastor Heo)

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


This final sentence is quoted from Joel 2:32. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Last time’s conclusion: Jesus is the END of the Law – so there is righteousness for everyone who believes.

What does this mean?

Jesus is the END of the Law =

  1. The Full satisfaction of the requirements of the Law (only he lived a fully, perfectly holy, sinless life)
  2. The end of Legalism (through his death and resurrection, he has terminated the Law’s requirements for those who believe)
  3. The end of the Requirements of the Law (Romans 8 “For what the Law was powerless to do, God did through Christ…”) The Rule/Reign of the Law has ended in Christ
  4. The Law is only a Shadow/Type of Christ (Christ is the REALITY of all types, patterns, symbols in the Bible. EVERYTHING in the Bible points to Christ – all sufferings, festivals, offerings, prophecies, priesthoods, sacrifices, etc). Jesus is the Final and Living sacrifice

Today’s text = contrast between LAW righteousness and FAITH righteousness

v. 5 LAW righteousness

“5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.””

v. 6 FAITH righteousness

“6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”

Leviticus 18:5 is quoted here in Romans 10:5

“5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.””

Now let’s look at Deuteronomy 9:4-6

“4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

Stiff-necked = hard-hearted

Three times repeated: “Not because of your (LAW) righteousness.”

The contrast between FAITH and LAW righteousness:

  • LAW = only introduced to the Jews in the NT
    • FAITH = introduced to ALL people everywhere
  • LAW = based on works/actions
    • FAITH = comes only by faith
  • LAW = keep the Law outwardly
    • FAITH = call on the Lord and trust Christ alone
  • LAW = self righteousness
    • FAITH = God’s (Christ’s) righteousness (Jesus is our righteousness – 1 Cor 1:13)
  • LAW = cannot save
    • FAITH = brings eternal life and salvation
  • LAW = leads us to pride, hypocrisy, misery, wretchedness
    • FAITH = leads us to humility, joy, thankfulness, giving glory to God

This is the difference. Big difference.

This FAITH righteousness comes only from Christ.

v. 6-8 (Deut 30:12-14 quotation)

“6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “**The word** is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: “

Today’s message = very DEEP but very SIMPLE

v. 6 = “Who will ascend into heaven?”

In order to see/meet Christ, we do not need to go to heaven, because Christ came to this world for us. (John 3:16) God SENT his one and only son into the world to save the world through him (1 Tim 1:15)

To meet Christ, we don’t need to go to heaven because he CAME to us.

v. 7 “Who will descend into the deep?”

To meet Jesus, we don’t need to go to death, we don’t need to die – because he ROSE from death and is now alive.

v. 8 “The Word is near you”

To meet Christ, we do not need to do a difficult labor. We do not need any kind of image, picture, sign, wonder, miracle, vision… ALL that we need to meet Christ is a (the) “Word”

Hebrews “The Word of God is living and active and more powerful than a double-edged sword…”

The ONLY thing we need to meet Christ is the WORD of God.

John 1 “In the beginning was the WORD (Logos), and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through him all things were created, and without him, nothing was created that has been created. In him was the light of Man…and he came and made his dwelling among us… and we have seen his glory.”

v. 6-7 “Who will ascend / who will descend”

These two verses are reminiscent of Psalm 139:7-8 “Where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence? If I go to heaven, you are there. If I go to the depths, you are there.”

  • Even before we begin to look for God – God is THERE. He is present. No matter how far we go out of our way, God is never farther away than when we first started.
    • As long as we insist on finding God – we will discover that this search never ends.
    • But, if we begin by trusting Christ through the Word, we will discover that he is already there and will be found.

“For I am with you always to the very end of the Age.” (This is the final verse in Matthew 28:20?)

Jesus’ name is Emmanuel (God with us).

The next verse is very clear in teaching us how to be saved.

v. 9 -10 (memorize these – keep them in your hearts)

“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

  • Verse 9 is enough.
  • Verse 10 is added for detailed emphasis.

Shout with your mouth “Jesus is Lord!” (ask your neighbor, “really?”)

These two verses are very clear in teaching:

  1. What we NEED to be saved
  2. HOW we can be saved

#1 What do we need to possess to be saved?

We need a MOUTH and HEART.

Do you have these? Then you can be saved.

The Bible says:

  1. Confess with your MOUTH
  2. Believe in your HEART
  3. You will be SAVED

It does not say anything about your character, merits, deeds, actions, wisdom, knowledge, wealth, honor, education, family, career, degree, etc.

What do you need? MOUTH and HEART

Salvation = as close as your MOUTH and HEART

  • Salvation = available for ALL human beings and accessible by ALL human beings – because God wants ALL to be saved and come to a knowledge of his Son – God wants to see no one perish.
  • Salvation is an immediate and instant event.
    • This is the BIRTH of a new life.
  • Salvation is a gift of God. (Eph 2:9 “It is by GRACE you have been saved – not by works so that no one can boast”)

We can be saved by believing in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for the dead for our lives, and then by confessing with our mouths that Jesus is “Lord”.

This is both VERY easy, and VERY difficult.

v. 10

  1. It is with you HEART you believe and are JUSTIFIED
  2. It is with your MOUTH that you profess your faith and are SAVED

Justification and Salvation are not mutually exclusive. They are not different. To be saved without justification, and to be justified without salvation – impossible. They go hand-in-hand. They are two parts, two sides of the same coin. To believe and to confess = a WHOLE person’s commitment. This is the key point of this verse.

To believe (HEART) and confess (MOUTH) = two parts to a single step.

  • To believe WITHOUT confession = false / fake faith / non-saving faith

For our salvation, we must truly believe that God rose again from the dead. Do you believe this?

1 Cor 15 = The Resurrection Chapter

“If Christ has NOT been raised, then our (whole) faith is USELESS and we are still in our sins. We (Christians) would be the MOST pitiful people on Earth.”

Only Jesus is the only Lord to have risen from the dead. His resurrection makes Christianity MORE than a philosophy of life, more than any other religious option. Jesus is different and distinct from all other religious leaders – because this is the ONLY way to be saved.

If you believe, then you can feel / recognize Jesus’ presence with you anywhere, everywhere, because Jesus is alive.

Confess with your MOUTH

“Jesus is Lord!”

What is the meaning?

At that time, “Lord” = curios (Greek)

  • That means, “I am acknowledging his rank, superiority, highest authority, Lordship, kingship, saviorship, Godship, divinity, ownership, mastership.”
  • Also, “I am placing my whole life under his protection for safe keeping.”
  • Also, “I am pledging my total obedience and worship to him.”
  • “I’m pledging myself and all resources to his direction, government, and service.”

We should notice “with my mouth.” Do you have this?

Imagine, if it is enough to confess this before God, then we can confess with our HEARTS alone before God – we don’t need Mouths before God.

However, this is to be audible for others to HEAR – we “confess” before MEN for them to hear.

Jesus says, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my father in heaven.”

Please remember, these two ALWAYS go together.

HEART and MOUTH.

  • A silent Christian is not a “shy” Christian.
  • A silent Christian is not a Christian.

Jesus says, “My believer is my witness.”

How can you testify / witness something in a courtroom? With your mouth. “My believer is my witness.”

  • Remember, silent Christian is not a Christian.

How can they KNOW you are Christian? By your confession.

This is our acknowledgment, our witness.

“Even though I’m in this world, I’m not of this world. I’m of heaven.”

God bless you to be a TRUE Christian before God, before men, before Satan and angels and demons.

Conclusion:

First part is quoted from Isaiah 28:16

“1 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “

Second part is from Joel 2:32 – 700 years before this

The same Lord is the Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

As my conclusion, I want to make one thing very clear before you:

  • We know God has sovereignty.
  • We know God has many projects (creator, designer, maker)
  • God has ONE nonnegotiable project, permanent project:

A day, a BIG DAY, will come, when all human beings will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Colossians 3:23? “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.”

This is the final purpose of God’s creation.

His purpose is NOT for our salvation, but for his own glory.

His purpose can be fulfilled by all things in the universe (“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm))

Phil 2:9-11 “God exalted his one and only Son to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names, that at his name, every knee should bow, on the earth, above the earth, and under the earth, and all tongues confess that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ – to the glory of God the Father.”

Remember:

  • If we confess with our mouths on earth that “Jesus is Lord” then we will continue this work (worship) in heaven.
  • BUT if we reject this belief (HEART) and confession (MOUTH), then we will do this job (confessing “Jesus is Lord”) forever in hell.
  • Remember, our earthly lives are a blessing / chance / opportunity / one time gift to confess that Jesus is Lord.
  • If we reject this chance to confess in this world, then we will confess eternally in hell.

This is the meaning of Phil 2:9-11.

  • All knees will bow – in heaven, on earth, under the earth
  • All tongues will confess – “Jesus Christ is Lord” to the glory of God the Father.

God bless you to be a true Christian and witness.

“A believer is a witness.”

“I’m a believer before God; a witness before men.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 15 / 2017
  • Comments Off on By Works or by Faith? (Romans 9:30-10:4)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

By Works or by Faith? (Romans 9:30-10:4)

Download Notes in a .MD file

By Works or by Faith?

Romans 9:30-10:4 (Pastor Heo)

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.


Spiritual things can only be discerned spiritually.

Spiritual truths can only be understood through the ministry of the Holy Spirit – as Jesus said, “The Counselor will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

The Spirit also helps us in our weakness. Many times we don’t know what to pray for, but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8?).

Today in the study of this text we need the guidance of the HS to understand this word.

These verses seem strange outwardly:

“9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not *by faith but as if it were by works*. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.””

These are quoted from Isaiah 8:14, 28:16.

These can be said easily like this:

  • Those who try to save themselves by works – efforts – are not saved.
    • But those who did not try to save themselves by works – but only came to Jesus by faith – are saved.
  • Those who try to have a right relationship with God by their own power, did not find it.
    • But those who came to Christ only by faith, found it.
  • Those who thought they could please God with works, could not.
    • But those who came by faith, pleased God.

This is the meaning of these sentences. The point is: We must understand, clearly, biblically, what salvation is like.

For example:

  • Genesis 1:1 – God created all things. In the work of Creation, all the Creation did nothing to be created. Only God took initiative to create all things. Salvation is like this.
  • As we know, Jesus turned water into wine.The water did nothing to become wine. Only Christ took initiative to turn it into wine. Salvation is like this.
  • Jesus raised the dead Lazarus – buried underground with a bad smell. Lazarus did nothing to raise himself. Only Jesus did. Salvation is like this.
  • Also, the HS caused Mary to become pregnant with the baby Jesus. She did nothing of her own power to become pregnant. Only the HS did. (In this case, Mary was like the clay in the hands of the potter – last week) Salvation is like this.
    • “Salvation is like birth.”
    • Salvation is a kind of birth.
    • “You must be born again.” – born of the HS.
    • Salvation is birth AGAIN – rebirth – birth from the HS.
  • Yes, we know of the story of babies. The babies do nothing to be conceived, nothing in choosing genes, DNA, gender, parents, birthplace, blood type, etc. Only parents (and God) did anything for the baby to be born. Salvation is like this.
  • We did not ask Christ to come into this world to save it – nor to die on the cross – nor to rise again from the dead – nor to rise to heaven – nor to come again. Absolutely, on his own choice, according to God’s sovereign will, Christ did all these things for us. Salvation is like this.

Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

Do you believe this? Then the biggest error and mistake of the Israelites was that in history they waited a LONG time for the Messiah (this is Christ). “In him was life, that life was the light of man … when he came into this world, the people (esp of Israel) did not recognize nor receive him.” This is the biggest error.

Jesus says in John 9 directly to the people of Israel, “You diligently study the Scriptures thinking that by them you have life. But these are the Scriptures that testify about me. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

“I and the Father are ONE.” (I am God.) Yes, Jesus claimed that.

At this, the Jews picked up stones to stone him, and he said, “Why do you stone me?” They said, “Blasphemer!” (You, a mere man claim to be God.) That’s why they crucified him. They did not believe he was God.

Yes, even today, people believe he was a good man, good prophet, good Savior. But we must believe he is true GOD.

Next, let us see the study of chapter 10.

In chp 9, 10, 11 – this is the story of the Vindication of God through the nation of Israel.

  • Chp 9 = Israel’s PAST election
  • Chp 10 = Israel’s PRESENT rejection
  • Chp 11 = Israel’s FUTURE redemption

Today, we study Chp 10. You know, even today, Israel is one of the most difficult nations on earth to be evangelized.

Chp 9 = emphasized God’s SOVEREIGNTY (will/election) – God has mercy/compassion on whom he wants

“Does not the potter have the right to make some clay common and some noble?” Israel did nothing to be elected/chosen by God. Only God chose them (for a special mission – the salvation of the world).

Chp 10 = emphasizes Human RESPONSIBILITY

Through the study of Israel, we can see that even Divine Sovereignty does not negate Human Responsibility

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we must choose only one. These are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they cooperate with each other – even though we may not fully grasp these truths.

This is a paradox:

  • God has 100% sovereignty
  • We have 100% responsibility

Do you have will power? Choice? This means we are responsible beings.

“I am a responsible being before God.” Really?

Actually, the more we recognize God’s sovereignty, the more we are to recognize our responsibility.

The Israelites were VERY aware of their privilege (as God’s chosen people) but tended to neglect their responsibility (for world evangelization).

What was Israel’s problem?

(This is not to criticize, but to teach us today.)

#1 They did not understand what salvation was like.

10:1 “1 Brothers and sisters (Israelites), my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”

Maybe the Jews would be shocked by this prayer of Paul for them.

  • They THOUGHT they WERE saved, but actually, they were NOT.
  • They thought the Gentiles had to come up to the level of the Jews to be saved. But actually, the Jews had to go down to the level of the Gentiles to be saved.

The biblical understanding of salvation is the pre-requisite to enter into true Christian life.

  • They thought that being physical children of Abraham would guarantee their salvation. But salvation is only found in Christ.
  • They thought they could fulfill their salvation by works. But it is only obtained by faith in Christ. They thought they had much to boast of. But they had to be humble.
  • They thought God was exclusively God only for them. But God is God of ALL human beings.
  • They thought they were righteous, in no need of salvation. But they were unrighteous.
  • They were proud. But deserved to be condemned.
  • They rejected the visible God, Jesus Christ. But they should have recognized him.

Israel is still one of the most difficult nations on earth to evangelize – but God remains faithful to them.

#2 They had zeal without knowledge

Zeal = passion, enthusiasm – this is necessary to do something big or small successfully. Without zeal, we cannot do anything successfully. The problem is zeal without KNOWLEDGE.

How dangerous would this be?

  • Big ZEAL for driving without knowledge of the road rules or car controls…
  • Big ZEAL for guns without knowledge of the safety of guns.
  • But in religion, big ZEAL is much more dangerous.

“2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

Personally, Paul personally know the danger of zeal without knowledge. There was a time before his conversion when he had wonderful ZEAL for God, but without knowledge. When he had this, he persecuted the church. He killed and jailed so many children of God and THOUGHT he was doing it FOR God.

So, zeal without God is fanaticism (fanatics). It’s like heat without light.

This was zeal for their own traditions, laws, cultures, and made them proud and arrogant.

“I must study. I must learn. I must learn and learn. Until heaven.”

#3 They did not know Christ is the END of the Law

“4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

  • “For everyone” – does this include YOU?
  • If you believe, are you involved in this sentence? Yes.

I said several times, the Theme of the book of Romans is the Righteousness of God.

Even today, we can see the word “righteousness” is repeated several times.

What does this mean: “Christ is the end (culmination) of the Law”? Four points:

#1 Christ is the fulfillment of the demands of the divine Law

Only Christ fully met the requirements of the holiness of God.

“Do not think I have come to abolish the Law. I have come to fulfill it.”

Only Christ is the full satisfaction of the Law of God. The Law of God is grounded in his very nature, so the breaking of that Law brings with it a penalty, condemnation, punishment, separation from God. ALL sinners cannot meet the demands of this Law. Only Christ as our representative and substitute can – through his obedience and sufferings. He fully met the demands of the Law.

Romans: “What the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful Nature, God DID by sending his Son that the requirements of the Law might be met in us who do not live by the sinful Nature but by the HS.”

#2 Christ is finishing “legalism”

There is no more “legalism” – “we are not under Law but under Grace.”

The relationship between God and his children is no longer a creditor/debtor relationship, or a judge/accused relationship. But the basic relationship has become Father/children.

This means Christ is the end of legalism.

#3 Christ is THE reality of all realities / shadows / types / patterns / signs

Gal 3:24 “The Law was given as a charge to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith.”

All the signposts throughout the Bible. All the prophesies, signs, patterns, foreshadowing, etc, point to Christ who is THE way to life, salvation, heaven, God, a righteous relationship with God, reconciliation with God, peace, joy, real success, real well being, victory, glory, glorification. THE way is only Jesus Christ.

Since the Creation of the world, it is only Jesus Christ who has the right and power to say, “I am THE Way, the Truth and the Life.” (I am the ONLY ONE WAY). “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

#4 Christ is MY righteousness

“4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

“Therefore, since we have been justified though faith in Christ, we have peace with God, and gain access to this hope in which we now stand.”

1 Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, holiness, sanctification, salvation.”

God bless you in this sentence.

Let us pray.

  • Jul 23 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We also died to the Law (Romans 7:1-6)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We also died to the Law (Romans 7:1-6)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We also died to the Law

Romans 7:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

Released From the Law, Bound to Christ

1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.


  • Chp 6 = Our new relationship to sin due to our union with Christ (“We died to sin”)
  • Chp 7 = Our new relationship to the Law due to our union with Christ (“We died to the Law”)

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law…”

Topic: We also died to the Law

Just as we died to sin, so we died to the Law. If we died to sin, it is natural that we died to the Law, because Law and sin go together. The power of sin = the Law.

  • Without Law, sin is not sin.
  • Without sin, the Law is not needed.

Chp 6 = “You died to sin, alive to God”

  1. KNOW this is a historical fact,
  2. COUNT it to be true,
  3. OFFER your life to God

So, serve Christ in the New way according to the Holy Spirit.

We also died to the Law.

I want to share 3 things:

  1. What is the Law?
  2. How is it possible to die to the Law?
  3. What does it mean when we say, “We died to the Law”?

#1 What is the Law?

This word is repeated 23 times here (many times throughout the whole Bible). So, according to the given context, there are many meanings.

  • Romans 8:2 “Because through Jesus, the Law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the Law of sin and death.”
    • In this sentence, LAW means “governing power/principle” (like the Law of Gravity)
  • Ps 1:2 “Blessed is the man who delights in the Law of the Lord, blessed is the one who meditates on the Law of the Lord day and night.”
    • LAW = “Word of God” (synonyms) Do you believe they are the same?

So, be careful when you say “We died to the LAW” – this does not mean “We died to the Word of God”

This word “LAW” means written code/regulations that have authority over those outside Jesus Christ.

#2 How is is possible to die to the Law?

Interesting illustration to explain this:

Romans 7:2 “2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. 3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.”

  • Chp 6 uses the illustration of Master and Slave to explain HOW we should Offer ourselves to God.
  • Chp 7 uses the illustration of Husband and Wife to show our NEW relationship to the Law due to our union with Christ.

This illustration is simple (not “sinful”) but has profound application.

When a man and woman are married, they are united for their whole lives – this is a physical union (Gen 2 “they will be one body”). So, as long as they live, they are under the authority of marriage. So, if someone marries another while still under that Law (authority), they sin. But, if the other dies, and the first marries again, there is no Law (authority) under which they are bound.

But we must understand the POINT.

  • Wife = us
  • Husband who died = the Law
  • New husband = Christ

POINT: If the wife died, the only one way she could marry again is if she rose again from the dead to life. THIS is the POINT.

  • Wife (us) DIED in Christ – so the Husband (Law) lost authority to rule over us
  • Christ died and we died in Christ
  • He rose and we were born again in Him
  • We remarried Christ (thus, he is called our “Bridegroom”)

#3 What does it mean when we say that?

6 points here:

1. It does NOT mean – the Law died

(Sin did not die) it is still very near to us and it has authority, dominion, power to condemn and punish those who are outside Christ. (We also were once under its authority and condemnation and penalty – but now, IN CHRIST, we are not under the Law but under Grace) – The Law LIVES.

(“I died to the Law”) – this is true – do you believe it?

2. This does NOT mean – I’m FREE to do whatever I want, nor to live a Lawless life.

Even amongst Christians, some say, “Dude, I’m saved – once for all” – but you do not have a license to live lawlessly. (Extreme of License)

3. We died to the Law, so we also died to “legalism”.

There’s another opposite extreme we must be cautious of (Extreme of Legalism)

We are no longer legalists.

  • This is the belief that we can become holy and pleasing to God by keeping the Law.
  • This problem = sees SINS (plural) but not SIN (singular) –
  • It judges outwardly, but does not consider the heart.
  • Legalism can make us unloving, unforgiving, judgmental toward other people.

So, we died to the Law = we are no longer legalists.

4. Our motivation is not from the Law – it comes from God’s grace through our union with Christ

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”

We serve Christ, not by trying hard to keep the Law, but out of hearts and minds that overflow with love for Him. Total commitment to Christ cannot co-exist with total commitment to the Law – this would be spiritual idolatry. (We fully belong to Christ).

Still we must serve, we have a holy responsibility to live a holy life, but the motivation is not prompted by the LAW, but by our LOVE for him. (God looks at the heart)

5. It MEANS – we are to bear fruit

Fruit to God, for God, by God. Are you producing fruit? What is your fruit?

v. 4 “4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

Here the word “fruit” is repeated twice.

NOW we bear fruit for God – THEN we bore fruit for death.

Yes, in physical marriage, we also have fruit (kids) – when we were in sin, we also produced fruit that made us ashamed – when we were under the Law, we produced fruit by our own effort and power that turned out to be fruitless – (the only fruit under the Law is sin and death – because sinful passions work against the Law).

Remember #1: The Law is still alive.

  • It had authority, but it did not effectively control human passions.
  • It restrains us and teaches us, but also stimulates our sinful nature.
  • It identifies sin, but also generates sin.

That’s why there’s fighting between the Old nature and the New nature.

Those who do not follow Christ, have only their own self-determination to follow. But, in Christ, “A new life begins.” That’s why we are born again. God is at the center of the Christian life. God provides, God supplies the power for Christian daily living. Our way of looking at this world changes totally through Christ.

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit – fruit that will last forever.”

In Christ, we are to produce fruit that glorifies God.

  • Yes, in physical marriage, our fruit is physical children.
  • So, in our spiritual marriage with Christ, our spiritual fruit is Children of God.

6. It MEANS – we are released from the Law.

We are released (free). So what does this mean?

v. 6 “6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

This means, we are released from

  • the authority of the Law –
  • the penalty of the Law –
  • the external regulations of the Law in order to be “righteous” –
  • the ceremonial regulations that point at Christ (because Christ himself has fulfilled them).
  • We are released to serve in the new way of the Holy Spirit – who teaches us how to please God.
  • We are set free through the blood of Christ and counted righteous before God.

Let me close with this point.

(DEEP THINKING coming up)

“We died to the Law” means we are:

  • “not to break the Law, but to fulfill it” –
  • “not to cancel the Law, but to uphold it.”

What does this mean? How is it possible?

Matt 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, rather I have come to fulfill them. Until heaven and earth disappear, not a single stroke of the pen will disappear from the Law until it is all fulfilled.”

Christ fulfilled these requirements perfectly through his life, work, death, resurrection.

Romans 10:4 “Jesus Christ is the END of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

We are not to nullify the Law, but to fulfill it.

How is this possible?

Conclusion (secret / mystery (신비))

Only by remaining in Christ – belonging to Christ – are we accepted and counted as fulfilling ALL the demands of the Law.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are IN Christ – because in Christ, the Law of the Spirit set you free from the Law of sin and death.”

God condemned sin in sinful man by sending his Son in order that all the requirements of the Law be fulfilled through life in the Holy Spirit.

v. 6 “6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

God bless us, God bless you. YOU died to the Law.

Please apply this to your life.

Let’s pray.

  • May 07 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1) – Romans 4:1-25
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1) – Romans 4:1-25

Download Notes in a .MD file

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (Part 1)

Romans 4:1-25 (Pastor Heo)

Abraham Justified by Faith

1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


Last Sunday, we made “justification” clear (i.e. how to have a right relationship with God). In the second half of chp 3: It is only by:

  1. The grace of God (the root)
  2. The blood of Christ (the power of the death and resurrection – the foundation, ground)
  3. Faith (condition – not method – for justification)

In chp 4, this is Abraham’s story. Why? What relationship do we have with Abraham in this matter of justification? At least there are more than 6x repeated “Abraham is our father.”

  • v. 1 “…Abraham, our forefather…”
  • v. 11 “…he, Abraham, is the father of all…”
  • v. 12 “…he, Abraham, is also the father of the circumcised…”
  • v. 16 “…he, Abraham, is the father of us all…”
  • v. 17 “…he, Abraham, is our father in the sight of God…”
  • v. 18 “…against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and became the father of many nations…”

Abraham is the “father of the faith.”

What does this mean when we call Abraham “our father”?

If you are Christian, you have 4 fathers:

  1. Physical (biological) father
  2. Father God (our Creator)
  3. Adam (the first man)
  4. Abraham (father of the faith)

The fact that Abraham is our father means at least 2 things (let’s focus on one):

#1: Abram (Abraham) was an example, chosen by God, and shown in history HOW to have a right relationship with God.

Abraham’s story of how he was justified is the SAME as our own experience to be justified. Every single, individual person can be justified by the same God, the same grace, power, and faith.

Abraham = “the father of faith” = he was justified in the same way we are justified today.

#2: Abraham is the promise, the covenant, of how this is being fulfilled today.

In chp 4, HOW was Abraham justified? His story is the same as ours.

  1. Negatively: by what he was NOT justified (today)
  2. Positively: by what he WAS justified (next week – very important to attend)

Four things that DID NOT justify Abraham

#1: Not by his good works / character

v. 1-2 “1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.”

Yes, Abraham was not perfect before God. He told many lies about his wife (“she’s my sister”). What would you think? He said that many times before kings (in fear of losing his physical life by pagan labors). “Wherever we go, tell them ‘this is my brother'”.

  • Abraham’s character is NOT perfect (don’t idolize him).
  • Abraham’s justification has NOTHING to do with his justification.

#2: Not by circumcision

v. 9-10 “9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!”

Abraham was circumcised at the age of 99. The Jews (at that time) gloried in circumcision because they thought it was the method of justification (they thought it was one way to have a right relationship with God). In fact, they looked down on Gentiles as “dogs” who were not circumcised.

Actually, Abraham was justified 14 years earlier in Genesis 15. So, actually, from a Jewish point of view, Abraham was a Gentile by the time he was justified.

Actually,

  • In Genesis 12 (24 years before circumcision), God called him to bless all nations.
  • In Genesis 15 (14 years before circumcision), he was declared righteous because he believed God.
  • In Genesis 17, he was circumcised.

#3: Not by observing the Law

v. 13-15 “13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.”

It is clear that Abraham was not justified by observing the Law. Abraham was the man of Genesis – but the Law was given through Moses (Exodus). This was much later.

At the time of Abraham’s justification, there WAS no Law.

#4: Not by his own power

v. 19-20 “19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,”

Abraham has an only son (Isaac). Spiritually, this was the son of the Promise, the covenant, through whom all nations will be blessed. The spiritual truth of this is – HOW Abraham received this promise is a symbol of how he was justified by God.

The method by which Abraham received his Promised Son is symbolic of how he was justified by God.

He received this son at the age of 100. Wow! His wife was 90. Double wow!

This is IMPOSSIBLE!~

What does this mean? This is a symbol of spiritual truth. He was NEVER justified by his own power. He was totally powerless, helpless, when God started to operate his power in their bodies.

How was he NOT justified?

  1. Not by character
  2. Not by circumcision
  3. Not by keeping the Law
  4. Not by his own Power

Also, we are the same. Can you say “my character justifies me”? Not by communion, baptism, circumcision. Not by keeping the Law. Not by our own strength.

So then, HOW WAS Abraham justified? Next week….

Let’s pray.

  • May 03 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Lessons from Seven Woes (Matthew 23:1-39)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Lessons from Seven Woes (Matthew 23:1-39)

05.03.2015

05.03.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

Download Notes in a .RTF file

Lessons from Seven Woes

Matthew 23:1-39 (Pastor Heo)

(One of my (Aaron’s) favorite chapters~)

Seven Woes

23:1-7pp — Mk 12:38,39; Lk 20:45,46 23:37-39pp — Lk 13:34,35

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 

5 “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ 

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (14?)

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. 

16“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it. 

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices–mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law–justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. 

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. 

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. 

29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! 

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation. 

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ “


 

This is a hard message to take and receive, but we must take and receive it. This is Jesus’ LAST public message – a VERY critical take-down of false religion that operated under the guise of truth.

These Pharisees are legal copiers and scribes of the Law.

They believed that God gave the Law to Moses, he passed it to Joshua, he passed it to the elders, they passed it to the Pharisees – so they believed they were sitting on the seat of Moses. But they were hypocrites because to teach one thing and do another is wrong.

  1. Must do’s and Must Not do’s – this is what they preached, but Jesus came to make our burdens light.
  2. They had a false concept of greatness – recognition, praise from men. They loved to be called “Rabbi” and “Master”.

Through this LONG chapter, we saw 7 Woes.

Woe = a warning of judgment but a feeling of regret as well, mixture of judgment, sorrow, painful love – because the listeners don’t repent.

Let’s look at these seven briefly. But let’s not look to condemn THEM, rather to test OURSELVES.

  • Romans – “Everything written in the past was written to teach us.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:12? “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training so that the man of God may be equipped for EVERY good work.”
  • “Examine yourselves to be 

What is the meaning of Christian? “Saint” = separated from sin to sacredness.

WOE ONE: v. 13

  • Blessed is the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5)
  • Cursed are the proud in spirit for they keep themselves and others out of the KOH (opposite)

It’s bad enough to keep ourselves out, but WORSE to stand in the way of others trying to enter the KOH.

We have NOTHING to DO – except believe in Christ as Savior and Lord – to enter the KOH. There’s no other way.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

WOE TWO: v. 15

Traveling over sea and land reminds us of missionary work – BUT what’s wrong here? They traveled to win souls to their Legalism – NOT to the living God – to their Phariseeism – not to God.

Our mission is to win souls to CHRIST. NOT to win souls to MY church or denomination.

Imagine how tragic it is when people believe that they are going to heaven, when they are really going to hell. Double conviction when they are wrong only produces double condemnation.

All religions are just made by man – these cannot lead us to heaven. “Salvation is found in no one else – except Christ” (Acts 3?)

WOE THREE: v.16-22

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 5

  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
  • Cursed are those who hunger and thirst for greedy gain, for they will be empty. (Opposite)

They wanted gold and gifts – why? To make money. But, they didn’t want the temple and the altar – no concern for it – because they couldn’t turn them into their own private property. They confused the externals for the eternals.

Yes, even today, people can confuse majors with minors. “What is your major?” (Science, ed, computer, bio) – but in your LIFE – “What is your major?” (Jesus) If not, Jesus, then you are “majoring” in the “minors” – only Christ can make your whole life perfect (eternally).

WOE FOUR: v. 23

Matthew 5

  • Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
  • Cursed are the unmerciful (oppressors) for they will NOT be shown mercy.

Here, Jesus doesn’t condemn the practice of tithing, but he did condemn their ATTITUDE without justice, mercy, and faith.

Tithe is NOT tax. It is a sign of faith in God who gives us all that we have.

  • Leviticus 27: “A tithe belongs to the Lord.”
  • Malachi 3:8 “Not tithing is ROBBING God.”

What we must remember = we must offer sacrifices to God with our HEARTS – not reluctantly, but willingly, for God loves a cheerful giver. Tithe alone cannot stand in for no justice, no mercy, no love, no faith, etc.

God’s all about the heart.

WOE FIVE: v. 25

Matthew 5

  • Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
  • Cursed are the defiled/dirty inside, for they will NEVER see God.

Imagine dirty bowls – whatever we put into it becomes unclean as well. Humans can be deceived, but God cannot be deceived.

WOE SIX: v. 27

At that time, Jews were VERY careful not to touch dead things or dead bodies – it would make them unclean (ceremonially). So they painted the outside of tombs WHITE – especially at Passover lest somebody accidentally defiled.

This is a graphic depiction of hypocrisy – outside is white and beautiful, but inside is dead and decaying.

WOE SEVEN: v. 29

Yes, Jesus will be crucified and killed shortly after this.

Jesus charged the history of Israel as a history of murder – killing the men of God. The Jews martyred the men of God throughout history.

Abel + Zechariah = the two examples here.

  1. Abel = Genesis 4
  2. Zechariah = Chronicles 24 – son of a priest, touched by the Holy Spirit, warned the people against their plans – king Joash ordered him to be killed so they stoned him to death.

Why Jesus calls him the last martyr in the Old Testament?

  1. In our Bible, the last book is Malachi.
  2. But in that time, the last book in their Bible was 2 Chronicles.
  3. There were 24 books in their Bible at that time.
  4. This means “from the first (Abel) to the last (Zechariah) – the history of Israel is murder”

Yes, Jesus knows that he will be one of these martyred/murdered and his disciples will be among them as well.

Here is a tragedy. Imagine how tragic this is that the nation that God chose and loved have turned their hands against God. Imagine, the day of Reckoning is coming.

Every person, every individual must answer this question.

CONCLUSION: v. 37

Yes, Jesus is coming soon.

But we cannot read this severe denunciation, this critical condemnation without wonder – marvel – at the patience, goodness, and love of our Father God.

We know that throughout history, no nation has been blessed like Israel, but no nation has sinned against the patience, mercy of God like Israel.

Yes, they’ve been a GREAT channel of God’s blessing to the world. And at the same time, they SUFFER greatly.

  • Jesus was also born a Jew. So, we must thank God for the Jews – they gave us the Bible, God sent his Son through them.
  • Yes, we are Gentiles – we must love not only other Gentiles, but also the Jews. Because Jesus today is stretching out for the lost – not only for the Jews, but also the Gentiles.

This is the heart of God who wants all human beings to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ.”

May God bless us with this kind of attitude.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 12 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Remembering God’s Forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34)
No More, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Remembering God’s Forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34)

04.12.2015

04.12.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Remembering God’s Forgetfulness

Jeremiah 31:34 (Pastor Brian)

“No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins NO MORE!”


 

Remember last week Isaiah 43:53? God was giving his people encouragement that he would blot out their sins and CHOOSE not to remember them. God is a God of mercy, grace, and compassion. If only they turn from their sins, they would receive an outpouring of grace and forgiveness.

Here, in Jeremiah, God declares what he will do for his people when they call out to him.

Here is another blanket proposal from the Lord to blot out their sins and not even keep them in his remembrance.

Charles Spurgeon + Harbor = two preachers who were meditating on God’s truth from these Scriptures.

  • Spurgeon = “The Non-Remembrance of God” – says God blots out the ledger of our debts so that he will no longer remember them.
  • Harbor = Jesus “faced our sins” to take them and bear away the iniquity and shame in his own body on the cross and blot out the ledger of indebtedness (sin) that we owe.

God faced up to the reality of our sins, he wants us to face up to them as well and look to the source of our forgiveness – his Son Christ on the cross.

God not only forgives sins, but forgets. The forgiveness is KEY. “How truly do we believe this?” – the unrepentant man isn’t bothered by it – until the Holy Spirit gets a hold of him and converts him – and he realizes that there is an eternity to be enjoyed with God in heaven (either that, or torment for eternity away from God).

These are the truths that Jesus came to reveal. Jesus spoke of Hell more than any of the other apostles and teachers. He came to save souls from Hell and bring them to heaven.

Here are some thoughts from the two preachers that have been blessed with a deeper understanding of these things to pass on to us.

  • Jeremiah – “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Just last week in Communion in Jungbu’s joint service, I mentioned how sometimes we try to find relief in different ways (like the Law) and they always fall short (it doesn’t forgive sins, just brings knowledge and condemnation of sin). To look to the Law doesn’t bring any hope.

  1. Our conscience agrees with the Law that we all deserve God’s justice and death. By our own experience, we all know we’ve sinned, and God would not be the God of justice if he didn’t mete out justice for our sins – we all know this.
  2. We have experience in our lives and can see it in the lives of others. We witness sin and scandal, murder, adultery, unforgiveness, grudge-bearing, and all of these have their own “fruit” that we reap. Sin has consequences.
  3. Satan also condemns us and accuses us. He “craftily cooperates with the Law, conscience, and observation” and where these 3 would drive a person to despair, Satan takes this further and says, “OH yeah! You’re totally worthless – no hope for you.” and can lead us to utter despair.

However, Jesus is our advocate, our “lawyer” who stands up for us against the accusation of Satan.

All of these things lead us to dependence on someone else – Jesus – who was able to fulfill ALL the demands of the Law. “Which of you convicts me of sin?” – No one could – even the centurion at the cross said, “Surely this man was the Son of God” – he knew how Jesus forgave sins and went “as a sheep before the shearers” to his crucifixion – mildly and humbly.

The apostle Paul depicts Jesus as a very righteous husband, always right and perfect – and we, the church, are imperfect and married to him. The only thing we can do – the bride – is DIE. We recognize Christ’s death, die in identification with the Lord, are buried with him, and rise again to a newness of life (symbolized in baptism).

The Law is not going to die. So the only option is for the people UNDER the Law to die and rise again under a NEW covenant – under Christ, in Christ, we have forgiveness and hope.

Yesterday, we saw the marriage of Joshua and Jade and the Scriptures we read were from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps NO RECORD OF WRONGS (like God says he won’t)…”

Here, Paul says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs” – it rubs out the record so that in God’s sight, it is no longer there. This is a HARD truth to realize and appropriate. Men disbelieve it for themselves and doubt it where others are concerned. We keep records of wrongs, we aren’t speedily ready to forgive. Sometimes we require time to release offenses. But (Psalms?) we are encouraged to “not let the sun go down on your anger.” ACT like true children of God – FORGIVE as you’ve BEEN forgiven.

  • Hebrews 8:10? “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
  • (Also Hebrews 10:17)
  • Colossians “God has taken those things away and nailed them to the cross.”
  • Micah “The Lord delights in mercy and will not keep our sins forever but will bury them in the sea (of forgetfulness).”

We need to meditate on these truths: YES – I am forgiven.

Remember that God has LET THEM GO – and wants us to have that same attitude in our own lives.

  • Hebrews 10:1 “The Law has a shadow of things to come, but not the very substance/reality…”
  • Leviticus 14 – the “Law of the Leper” is another picture of the atonement of Jesus in taking away our sins.

The cleansing of the Leper:

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘These are the regulations for the unclean person at the time of his cleansing when he is brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside and examine him, if he’s been healed, the priest will order 2 live clean birds and scarlet wood and hissop to be brought to the water. One bird shall be killed over the water, and dipped with the other things into the blood of the bird over water. 7 times he should sprinkle the diseased one and declare him clean. Then, release the live bird into the open field.”

This is a type/shadowing of Jesus. Two birds, one killed over running water (Jesus’ crucifixion), the Live bird is dipped into the blood of the dead bird and released into the open heaven (Jesus’ resurrection).

Again, speaking of the atonement of Jesus, it also speaks of OUR lives and deaths (spiritual) and rebirths – we’ve died to sin and been reborn into newness of life in Christ.

“…The man must stay outside for 7 days, then shave EVERYTHING, wash his clothes and himself and he’ll be clean.”

This man was “unclean” and outside the camp previously (this is a picture of sin) – it was a terrible existence. And yet, sometimes, God healed a leper – he had to go and prove that it was gone. When the examination took place and it was found to be gone, he had to go through this ceremonial cleansing. This is all a type/shadowing of Christ.

“…The priest takes one of the male lambs and offers it as a guilt offering – slaughter it in the Holy Place – like the sin offering, the guilt offering belongs to the priest. Take some blood and put it on the right ear and the thumb of the right hand and the big toe of the right foot. (This symbolizes cleansing).”

  • Ear = what we listen to
  • Thumb = what we work on
  • Toe = where we walk

“…The priest will take some oil, dip it on his hand and sprinkle it on the man 7 times, put the oil on the ear, the thumb, the toe, ON TOP of the blood offering.”

The blood is CLEANSING – before we receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The oil then, is symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit we receive after we are cleansed.

All of this speaks elegantly and symbolically about what Jesus ACTUALLY, LITERALLY accomplished on the cross and through his resurrection.

All these types were given to show God’s mercy. The Law itself was given to show mercy to those who’d broken the Law in different ways. This is the first point.

#2: God shows his mercy by giving Life.

Genesis “On the day you eat of the fruit, you shall surely die.” Satan tempted them, they ate, their eyes were opened, and the damage was done. But God in his mercy didn’t immediately kill them. He COULD have, for he is just and requires justice. But in mercy, he set them out on the earth (not without consequences – thorn and thistles for the man’s work, terrible pain for women in child birth). He also set out a prophecy that the seed of the woman (Jesus) would crush the head of the serpent (Satan). This was a reference to the coming of the Messiah.

Right from the beginning, God showed his mercy, gave them life, gave them promise.

What he did with Adam and Eve, he does with us. Are you alive? Then you have HOPE. “A living dog is better than a dead lion.” (Proverb) But life needs to be practiced by receiving Christ for eternal life.

Right at the beginning, God promised that one would come and grant eternal life – and throughout the Old Testament, he gave further proofs that he was willing to show mercy. Not only did they have the Mosaic Law (condemning), but also the Ceremonial Law (allowing cleansing). This allowed the people to have fellowship with him – he showed his mercy and grace through this.

And Paul writes, “In the fullness of time, God sent his Son to redeem them…”

God did indeed send his Savior in the right time and the right place in order to fulfill his will.

All of these clues, hints, shadows, pointed to the substance that is Christ.

Remember the healing of the 10 lepers, and that of the 1 leper who said to Jesus, “Lord, if your are willing, you can cleanse me.”

Thinking about this, there weren’t many healing recorded for leprosy in the Old Testament (Miriam got it for about a week for rebellion at one point). Interestingly, this “Law for cleansing the leper” may not have been used much in the Old Testament – it isn’t recorded, and Jesus told this guy to go and get cleansed (he didn’t, he ran out and told everyone).

Of the 10, Jesus sent them to do this ceremonial cleansing and only 1 came back.

If these lepers had gone to the priests, they probably wouldn’t actually know what to do – because it was so uncommon. This is why Jesus wanted the leper to go back and show himself to the priest – it might have opened their eyes to the truth about Jesus as well.

Jesus made a point of telling that the Samaritan leper came back and said “Thanks” – yet he was the recipient of God’s mercy and showed his gratitude.

We see here that this was an act of God’s mercy. This is a tremendous picture of sin – it rots the body from the inside and limbs may even fall off. But God was willing to heal of his physical disease (and spiritually healed him/forgave him as well).

Now, as we close, let’s meditate upon Christ, who took our sins upon himself and faced up to our sins. He’s forgiven them and forgotten them – to be remembered “NO MORE!”

This is what we need to remember when we are tempted to accuse ourselves or listen to the accusations of others.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 15 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness (Matthew 19:1-12)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, and Singleness (Matthew 19:1-12)

02.15

02.15.2015-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Jesus’ Teaching on Marriage, Divorce, & Singleness

Matthew 19:1-12 (Pastor Heo)

Divorce

19:1-9pp — Mk 10:1-12

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” 

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”


 

Today’s topic is a very controversial issue.

Already, some time ago, the religious leaders, Jesus’ public enemies had attacked him with some Qs to ensnare Jesus. “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? Show us a sign from heaven.” But Jesus always prevailed.

Today, once again, they tried with the most controversial issue: Marriage and Divorce.

John the B had been in prison and killed because of his public opinion on this topic.

Even today, divorce continues to increase – the rate continues to climb. This even attacks the homes of Christian leaders.

“Today the couples are married ‘for better or for worse, but not for long.’”

This was a hot issue between 2 schools of rabbis.

  1. Rabbi Hilem? “A man could divorce his wife for ANY reason, even finding a younger, prettier woman.”
  2. “A man could divorce ONLY if his wife had been unfaithful to him.”

With this background, they attacked Jesus to ensnare him.

They are attacking Jesus based on the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 24:1-4: “If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her, and sends her from his house. And if, after she is gone, she remarries, but her second husband also divorces her, or if he dies, then her first husband is not allowed to marry her again after she is defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord.”

Here’s the situation:

  1. If Jesus supports divorce, he upholds the Pharisee’s procedures – they doubted he would.
  2. If Jesus supports one of their positions, the other group would hate and attack him.
  3. If Jesus opposes divorce, they would accuse him of being against the Law of Moses.

Like this, we must seek to serve GOD and not our own wicked desires.

Jesus’ answer (v. 4-6) “Haven’t you read…?”

This implies that they haven’t read their own Scriptures with any understanding. They started their attack with Deuteronomy, but Jesus started his argument with Genesis – BEFORE their argument has any relevance.

Jesus revealed the original design and principle of God from Genesis 1, 2.

As you know, each day of Creation, there is the same comment: “God saw that it was good.” In the last part, it is repeated 7 times. And finally, “God saw that it was VERY good.”

In this story of Creation, there is only ONE time that God said, “hmm, it is NOT good.” This was when God saw that man was alone and he said, “Let me make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:25)

He caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, he took a rib, and made a woman and he brought her to the man. He said, “This is now bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh – she shall be called ‘woman’ for she was taken out of man. For this reason…” (Jesus’ reference).

The only thing that wasn’t good about Creation was the fact that man was alone. The woman was created to meet this need. The man needed a companion who was equal to him with whom he could find fulfillment.

Marriage makes possible the continuation of the race. God FIRST commandment was “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.” From the Beginning, it was God’s command that sex be practiced in the commitment of marriage. Outside of marriage, sex is a destructive force – more than any other sins.

1 Cor “Flee from sexual immorality – all other sins a man commits are outside his body, but a man who sins sexually, sins AGAINST his OWN body.”

  • Marriage is one way to escape sexual sins – fornication and adultery.
  • Marriage = a dedicated partnership between one man and one woman.

God’s work was not PERFECT until he made woman along with the rest of Creation.

Are you willing to keep this commitment that makes the two of you one? The goal in marriage should be more than friendship, more than fellowship, more than sex, more than kids, more than success, more than a partnership. The goal = ONENESS.

Marriage is a gift from God.

God gave Adam and Eve marriage as a gift. Marriage is not made by any human institutions. But as you know, a happy marriage is not automatic, not easy. It is the result of mutual commitment, sacrifice, understanding, patience.

At that time, Adam and Eve had no idea of divorce. Who else should they remarry?…

In this way, Jesus makes it clear: Once married = lifetime marriage.

But the Pharisees pushed him “Then why did Moses allow divorce?”

v. 7-9

Because human’s sinful nature made divorce inevitable, the Mosaic Law was given as a way to help/protect its victims – especially women and to minimize the abuses of divorce.

  • The Pharisees here say, “Moses COMMANDED divorce.”
  • Jesus says, “Moses PERMITTED divorce because of your stubbornness, hard-heartedness, stubbornness.”

In that day and in our day, marriage has fallen very far from God’s original intention.

Divorce is not good, but it is better than open adultery.

Then, the Pharisees were amazed and silenced and the disciples asked about singleness “Isn’t it much better not to marry?”

v. 10-12

In verse 12, Jesus makes it clear that each man and woman must consider God’s will about marriage. Some should not get married because of physical and emotional problems from birth. And some should not get married because of social responsibilities (in history, some people were castrated to serve the king and his harem – without any sexual desire or ability to produce offspring). Also, in church history, there are some who voluntarily give up marriage because they feel they can serve God more (Paul, Jesus).

Marriage is designed by God for all human beings GENERALLY.

But God does not make marriage a prerequisite for a fulfilled life for all people.

The decision to be single must not be forced by man – even parents, pastors, friends (consider Martin Luther). Singleness must be a choice only between the individual and God.

Marriage is used as an illustration of the intimate relationship between God and the church. Eph 5:32? “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about the church.”

Just as Eve was taken out of the side of Adam, so the church was born out of the death of Christ. Christ cares for the church just as husbands are to care for, nourish, encourage, build up, grow their wives.

  • 1 Cor 6:17 “He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in Spirit.”

Jesus is the author of this relationship between man and God. This is a life union. Col “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live…”

  • Col 3:3-4 “You died but your life is hidden with Jesus Christ in God. Jesus Christ who is your life appears and at that time we also will appear with him in glory.”

The union/life of Christ is the life of believers.

Also the union is a lifetime union – marriage is this way. But the union with Christ is eternal union – even in the afterlife. Marriage union = only for this lifetime.

Jesus says, “Our Father who has given you to me is greater than all. No one can snatch you out of my hand.”

In addition to this, Jesus is holding us all in his hand – his Almighty hand – which assures us that NO ONE (Satan, demons, death, life, depth, future, nor present, angels, height, nor any powers, nor anything else in all Creation can separate us from the love of Christ, our bridegroom (Romans 8:28-38?~)

Let us pray together.

  • Dec 07 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Faith and Deeds (James 2:14-26)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Faith and Deeds (James 2:14-26)

12.07

12.07.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Faith and Deeds

James 2:14-26 (Pastor Brian)

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.


 

James is giving practical advice to his readers. In the beginning of the chapter, he warns against favoritism – showing undo favor to the “rich” of this world. “Oh, sit here in this nice place!”

  • All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans) and when you look at some of these lives (any lives actually), you’ll notice that they aren’t amazing.
  • Favoritism = giving undo favor where it is not due, and not giving favor where it is due.
  • James is bringing our identity back to Christ – we ought to keep the royal law = “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • If we keep only ONE part of the commandments and break ONLY ONE part, we have broken ALL the law. To break 1/10 = to break 10/10.
  • We must love others and show mercy (because we’ve received both from God himself).  Mercy triumphs over judgment.

“What good is it my brothers if a man has faith but no deeds? Can such faith save him?”

Paul writes “By grace you have been saved through faith…not as a result of works so that no one can boast…FOR we are his workmanship that he has created FOR good works.”

We aren’t saved BY works, but we are saved TO DO works.

Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees and did everything in his zeal to keep the law – and he even persecuted the church at first. But after meeting Christ, he realized that ALL his works and deeds were FILTHY rags before God.

1 Cor 15 Paul rehearses how God’s mercy has been shown to him “But by God’s grace, I am what I am – and I labored MORE than all the other apostles (yet not I, but the grace of God working in me).”

God’s power gave him the power and the anointing to do what God called him to do.

James also asserts that we SHOW our faith BY our good works. We must demonstrate our faith by our actions.

When we come to believe in Jesus, we become a different person ( “A New Creation” ).

Testimony:

A pastor talked of how he became a Christian – he was a teenager in a band who HATED people. He looked for fights, insulted anyone, make fun of the homeless, and yell curses. God saved both of us in the same year and our hearts were absolutely changed.

When Matt saw a homeless man, instead of yelling at him, he pulled over and gave him a blanket and a lunch he’d made for himself.

What would James say if we’d become Christians and CONTINUED to yell at the homeless. If there was no heart change, no ACTION change, there is no EVIDENCE that your heart has changed.

It’s easy for a “pure” person to said, “Yes, I believe in God – and I’m a good person.” Well, the demons ALSO believe in God – shall they also go to heaven?

In the gospels, there was a man in the synagogue who cried out (with a demon), “Ya! What have we to do with you? Jesus, Son of God?” – Jesus didn’t say, “Oh, bless you, you know who I am.” Jesus cast him OUT of the man.

James goes on to show that faith without works is dead – using the Scriptures.

  • Abraham – sacrificing Isaac (Genesis 22): God tested Abraham (remember “count it all joy as you meet various testings in the world”?). He was instructed to take his ONLY son Isaac and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. He did it. It took 3 days to get to Moriah. On the 3rd day, Abraham raised his eyes and left the servants to “worship” God. (This is an obvious act of faith on Abraham’s part). Abraham laid the wood on Isaac and carried the fire and the knife.
  • Isaac: “Father?”
  • Abe: “Yes, son?”
  • Isaac: “We have all the stuff except the offering itself.”
    Abe: “The Lord will provide, my son.”
  • Abraham built the altar and bound Isaac and laid him on the altar and stretched out his hand to KILL his son – but an angel of the Lord stopped him. Test PASSED.
  • Then Abraham raised his eyes and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its thorns. So Abraham used the ram in place of Isaac. He called that place, “The Lord will provide.”

Up to this point in his life, Abraham had at times shown a bit of a shaky faith. He lied about his wife ( “she’s my sister, actually” ) and brought trouble on himself and the people around him (TWICE).

Now, even after he’s been given promises from God:

  1. You’ll have a son
  2. I’ll bless you through Isaac
  3. I’ll make your descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore

But still, he takes his son Isaac to sacrifice him. He had such faith that God would do as he said to fulfill the promise, that even if he were to kill Isaac, God could raise him back up!

He’s taken it soooo far that he’s laid the wood on Isaac (remember Jesus also carried the wood of the cross). Isaac was NOT a young child – he was at least in his 20s. If Isaac had wanted to, he could have overpowered Abraham and said, “No way, daddy!” But he submitted himself to Abraham, laid down his own life – (remember, Jesus did this same thing for us as well – in complete agreement with God the Father).

“God will provide himself a (THE) lamb” – this is also a picture of Jesus – the ram caught in a thornbush – Jesus wore a crown of thorns for us to the cross.

Then, Abraham was told to NOT kill Isaac. In a sense, he received Isaac back from the dead – he was already sacrificed in his mind/heart. This is similar to Jesus’ resurrection as well.

James’ second example:

Rahab the prostitute protected Joshua and the spies when they investigated Jericho.

The prostitutes at that time also kept a boarding house – the spies went there for the night. The king heard about it and sent the guards to capture them. Rahab said, “No, they’ve gone.” But she’d hidden them. She’d also made a deal with them that when the men invade the city, they’d be protected from the destruction of the God of Israel.  So the men agreed – “put a scarlet rope from the window” – and they wouldn’t go in to kill the people.

After the walls of Jericho collapsed and the Israelites invaded, she was saved and assimilated into the nation of Israel.

This scarlet rope is symbolic of Jesus’ blood. In His blood, there is LIFE.

As we come around the table of the Lord for communion – as yourself, “Am I a part of this family? Is Jesus my Savior? Am I WALKING and ACTING in his will and his way?”

From the Daily bread – (hasn’t gone stale):

Feb 5, 2014: The Telltale Heart

We want to keep short accounts, not keep unforgiveness or sin in our hearts.

Recently, I read about a PI in the US who would knock on a door, show his badge and say “I guess we don’t have to tell you why we’re here.” And many times the person would look stunned and say “How did you find out?” And then go on to explain an unknown criminal act long ago.

This was an unconscious act of a telltale heart. We all know secret things about ourselves and our sins. The secret things we keep in our hearts may come back to us again and again.

  • John “By this we will know that we are before him. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than us.”
  • James “Don’t just say, ‘We’ll pray for you.’ If you can actually help them.”

Have you done the things despite your failures? Then find rest. Even if your heart condemns you, know that God is greater. God abides in us by the Spirit whom he’s given us. God is greater than our self-condemnation.

Remember James’ words to be practical in our faith. Remember John’s words to DO the works before men that God would have us do – so that they will glorify God through what they see us doing through his power.

Where we can, ACT. (Maybe even a random act of kindness – don’t procrastinate – it won’t happen) If you have occasion to help someone, HELP.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 23 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8)

11.23

11.23.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Transfiguration

Matthew 17:1-8 (Pastor Heo)

The Transfiguration

17:1-8pp — Lk 9:28-36 17:1-13pp — Mk 9:2-13

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John1 the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.2 Listen to him!”3 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”4 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.


 

Moses, Elijah left them. Jesus alone is left with them. Also in our lives, many people come and go, but the FINAL one we will be left with is only Jesus Christ.

Do you believe in Christ? Do you have assurance that Jesus believes that you believe in Him?

One of the proofs of this (that I’m a child of God) is to know our own identity in Christ in this world.

I collected our identity in Christ in the Bible:

27 sentences from the NT:

Hang this on your wall:

  1. I’m salt of the earth
  2. I’m the light of the world
  3. child of God
  4. branch of the true vine
  5. friend of Christ
  6. Christ disciple
  7. witness of Christ
  8. slave of righteousness
  9. co-heir with Christ
  10. temple of the Holy Spirit
  11. one spirit united with Christ
  12. member of the body of Christ
  13. aroma of Christ
  14. new creation
  15. ambassdor of Christ
  16. spiritual soldier
  17. Saint
  18. Holy person
  19. Righteous by faith
  20. died to sin, alive to righteousness
  21. citizen of heaven
  22. son of light
  23. stranger, alien in this world
  24. pilgrim to eternity
  25. enemy of Satan
  26. bride of Christ
  27. will be like Christ
  28. will share Christ’s glory eternally and reign with Him

Is this you? May God bless us to be like this.

Today is the “Transfiguration.”

This is one of the great 5 events of Jesus’ earthly ministry.

  1. Incarnation
  2. Death
  3. Resurrection
  4. Ascension
  5. Transfiguration

Let us all be blessed through this wonderful story.

There are many lessons we can get, so let’s look at 5 for application in our daily lives:

#1: (v.1) Jesus selected ONLY 3 people to join him (Peter, James, John)

Of course, he had many followers at that time (70 united, 12 were the apostles, among them 3 were his inner circle) This means that Peter, James, and John are the core, the heart of the 12.

In the Bible, there are at least 3 times that Jesus chose these 3 to join him.

  1. Luke 8 – When Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from death. He brought 12 disciples to the house, but chose only the 3 to go in with him.
  2. Before his crucifixion, he took all the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemene – and took only the 3 with him deeper into the Garden. He told them honestly, “My heart is troubled with sorrow to the point of death. Keep watch with men.”
  3. This event – the Transfiguration

What is the common key among all these events?

Here, we see Moses and Elijah appeared – we don’t know what they talked about. but in Luke 9, they talked with Jesus about his departure – he was about to bring this to fulfillment in Jerusalem. They talked with Jesus about his death – his crucifixion.

The common key = about his death.

What does this mean today?

Yes, if we are truly Christians, we are chosen.

  • 1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood… so that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness…”
  • Eph 1:4-5 “God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

Jesus: “You didn’t choose me, I chose you.”

But, today, who is the inner-circle of the Christians? Who is the heart of the Christians? Pastors? Elders? Deacons? Cell leaders? NO.

The preacher of the gospel of salvation, the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

#2: (v. 1) He led them UP a high mountain by themselves.

This story doesn’t say the name of the mountain – but it may be Helma? mountain. 6 days after the event in Philippi this happened.

Spiritually, this means, a mountain is higher than the ground – this is a set apart, separate place.

Exodus 3: One day when Moses was tending his Father-in-law’s flock, (he always came there) God appeared to Moses and called “Moses!” he said, “Here I am!” God said, “Take off your shoes, the place you are standing is holy ground.”

Humanly speaking, that was not a holy place, it was a very familiar place – he was even here yesterday. But God said, “The place you are standing is a holy place, holy ground.” What does this mean? Why does God call an ordinary place a “holy place”? Because HE appears there with a holy MISSION to redeem His people out of slavery.

How can we apply this to our lives?

Where are you most? Where do you spend most of your time? If, spiritually, you can recognize the presence of the holy God upon you with a holy mission, holy purpose, then the very place you are standing is a holy place.

1 Corinthians “Don’t you know that you yourselves are the temple of the holy God?” We are a walking, living temple of the holy God. So WHEREVER you put your feet is holy ground.

#3: (v. 2) “Transfiguration”

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light.”

According to the record of the Bible, THIS is the only time that God revealed his glory – Jesus showed his glory in this way while in this world.

The English word = “metamorphosis” (a change on the inside that comes from inside) – Ex. When a caterpillar builds a cocoon and later emerges as a butterfly. A process of metamorphosis radiated Jesus’ glory from the inside as he allowed his essential glory to shine forth.

  • Heb 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s existence.”
  • Exodus: After Moses came down from the Mt. with the 10 commandments, his face SHONE – because he had talked with God.
  • 2 Corinthians “We who with unveiled faces of God’s glory are being transfigured as more of his glory is revealed…”

“Those God knew he also predestined… that Christ might be the firstborn of many brothers.”

Yes, we are a new creation in Christ – we have a new birth, position, standing, status. We are transforming, being transfigured into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds… until you attain the FULL measure of Christ.” (Romans 12:2-3)

#4: The voice of God (v. 5)

When Jesus was baptized by JB at the Jordan river, this same voice (with the same words almost) came from the clouds about Jesus. God gave Jesus the authority.

What kind of cloud was this? A bright cloud.

It was not a vapor, but it was in fact, the GLORY of God. This was the SAME cloud that appeared to the people of Israel in the desert and appeared to Moses, and filled the temple with the glory of God.

God is giving his oral approval of his Son, Jesus. He is identifying him as the promised Messiah. “Hearing” isn’t only “listening” but also “obeying.” Even until now, Jesus is with you and like this for you.

Matthew 28 “Behold, I am WITH YOU always, to the very end of the age.”

How can we realize and recognize this? By/in His Word. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…” (John 1:1)

  • Romans 10 “Do not say in your hearts, ‘Who will go to heaven to bring Christ down? Who will go to the depths to bring Christ up?’” Please remember that Jesus is WITH YOU always.
  • Colossians 3:16 “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

There is a time for everything (a time to be born, a time to die – Ecclesiastes 3). Between these two times, there are suitable/proper times for EVERYTHING (a time to study, a time to play, a time to go, a time to stop, a time to speak, a time to listen). At this moment, Peter spoke and said, “Let me… DO SOMETHING” But what about this situation? Here is MOSES and ELIJAH talking with Jesus about his death. And God said, “LISTEN to Him.” For Peter, this was a time to LISTEN, worship, adore, medicate, contemplation.

  1. We must listen to Christ IN the church, but SPEAK of him in the world.
  2. We must know Christ in the church, but MAKE him known in the world.

#5: (v. 8) NO ONE except Jesus Christ

In this life, we look for many people, many persons, we see many things – but when we stand before God face-to-face, there is only ONE thing we will see: Jesus.

  1. Yes, Moses (representing the LAW) appeared.
  2. Yes, Elijah (representing the PROPHETS) appeared.

All of the LAW and the PROPHETS shadow and point to JESUS and are fulfilled IN JESUS.

Yes, those two are very important, but they are merely shadows/types of Jesus. Jesus alone is THE Reality. All others are only shadows and types.

Another mistake of Peter = If Abraham and David had appeared as well, he would have offered the same thing.

No, no one can be compared to Jesus. No one can be accepted as an object of worship. No one else can be our final example, the object of worship and praise.

Finally, the only ones that will remain forever and forever, permanently are Jesus Christ and those who are IN Jesus Christ and the things done FOR Jesus Christ.

Here’s a closing story.

Acts 8: The meeting of evangelist Philip and the eunuch from Ethiopia. Philip met him on the road only ONCE and after that they never met again – and the meeting was very brief. Also, their meeting was in the desert, not in a luxurious palace – it was outside, dusty, dirty, wild. Then, this meeting remains permanently meaningful and memorial. The question is: What made this particular meeting such a memorable and impactful meeting? It was the topic of conversation between them: the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ. That news made this one short, temporary meeting a permanently memorable event in the sight of God.

Let’s pray together.

  • Jun 29 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Purpose of Freedom (Galatians 5)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Purpose of Freedom (Galatians 5)

06.29

06.29.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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The Purpose of Freedom
Galatians 5 (Pastor Brian)

Freedom in Christ

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be. 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! 13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14 The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Life by the Spirit

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


In the OT, God painted a picture of himself, but when Jesus came, he DECLARED – portrayed, painted – him perfectly.

“He that has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus poured out his life, the Father had poured out His life IN Jesus – to die for us, for our sins.

People in business would write “tetalesty” = “paid in full” the price for our redemption, for our sins. “He paid a debt he did not owe, we had a debt we could not pay…Christ Jesus paid the debt I could never pay.”

A farmer/shepherd would pick a lamb destined for sacrifice, and look for blemishes (only flawless lambs could be used). If there were none, and the lamb was meek, “tetalesty” = “perfect” – it was used then as a guilt offering.

Jesus also was the Lamb of God – JB (John the Baptist) introduced him as such.

This is Jesus in these pictures and this declaration. Jesus didn’t say, “I am finished” on the cross, but “IT is finished” (the work, the sacrifice, the justification of the sins of the world).

This was portrayed to the Galatians, and now Paul wonders why they’d turn back from this freedom in Christ – through his death – and go back to the preparatory stages of the Law.

If we turn back to the Law (mainly he’s talking to the Gentiles who were being taught to “follow our customs if you want 100% pure and full salvation”)… No, we are justified by faith in Jesus. If we turn back to the Law, we would be saying that Christ ISN’T sufficient.

  • “If you [turn back to the law], Christ will be of no value to you at all.” (v. 2)
  • You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ. (v. 4)
  • We eagerly await the righteousness for which we hope. (v. 5)

It doesn’t matter – Jew or Gentile – this Law has no value. It’s faith that works through love.

v. 13-15 – he emphasizes the obligation to love.

“You were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (v. 13) Don’t be a slave to sin, don’t be a slave to law, but rather, serve one another (this is the way of Heaven). That obligation still remains (Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt we have to one another. For he who loves his brother has fulfilled the Law.” The entire Law is fulfilled by keeping this single Law “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

In chp 3, Paul argued that the Law was temporary – until Christ came (this was referring to the old covenant).

Here, he’s talking about Law (as obligation to love one another) as a permanent thing.

Paul’s opponents probably were saying that grace wasn’t sufficient – we would need the Law to instruct us. Paul says, “We don’t need rules like you look to in the OT, but we need to follow the ‘law’ of loving one another.”

Paul says, “If you bite and devour one another, watch out or you’ll be destroyed by one another.” (i.e. don’t obsess about the details of the Law – LOVE one another).

If we live by the Spirit, we won’t do the things that hurt others, we will love them. (Fruit of the Spirit vs. Fruit of the Flesh) You are not to do whatever you want. You are to serve one another in love, and not MERELY serve yourself. “If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law (the letter of the Law).”

  • “The acts of the flesh are obvious: … 15 things…” Some are very obvious, but others are less so – and probably going on in Galatia (and even in our lives) – idoaltry, hatred, discourd, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy…
  • “The fruit of the Spirit is… 9 things… and against such things there is no Law.”

The Law is not solution to sin, but Jesus IS. We need him not only on the day of Judgment, but also in the here and now – to live the Christian life here and now. We have put to death the sinful life and its passions and live the Christian life when we fix our eyes on Jesus.

Paul reminds them of the ultimate and basic truths of the gospel.

Martin Luther for one, valued this letter so much, and admitted that it was difficult to live like this. Old habits die hard (even Peter was openly rebuked by Paul for his failure of going back to the Law).

We need to keep our eyes on Jesus and the cross.

Are you wondering what I’m talking about? If you feel like you need to pray this prayer with me, then please do so.

Thank you for sending Jesus to save us. I admit that I’m a sinner. By faith I repent of my sins, and ask Jesus to come into my life and lead and guide me for the rest of my life.

In Jesus Name Amen.

Tell someone if you prayed that prayer.

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