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  • Jun 27 / 2021
  • Comments Off on Thank God for His Mercy (Exodus 34:4-7a)
Pastor Kang, Sermons

Thank God for His Mercy (Exodus 34:4-7a)

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Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

Thank God for His Mercy!

4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. 6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Exodus 34:4-7a

A Little Mercy Goes a Long Way

The following story is taken from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, published in 1936.

Henry Henke, a service manager for a large truck dealership in Lowell, Indiana, had a mechanic named Bill whose work had become less than satisfactory. Instead of yelling or threatening him, Mr. Henke called him into his office and had a heart-to-heart talk with him.

“Bill,” he said, “you are a fine mechanic. You have been in this line of work for a good number of years. You have repaired many vehicles to the customers’ satisfaction. In fact, we’ve had a number of compliments about the good work you have done. Yet, of late, the time you take to complete each job has been increasing and your work has not been up to your own old standards. Because you have been such an outstanding mechanic in the past, I felt sure you would want to know that I am not happy with this situation, and perhaps jointly we could find some way to correct the problem.”

Bill responded that he hadn’t realized he had been falling down in his duties and assured his boss that the work he was getting was not out of his range of expertise and he would try to improve in the future.

Did he do it? You can be sure he did. He once again became a fast and thorough mechanic.

With that reputation Mr. Henke had given him to live up to, how could he do anything else but turn out work comparable to that which he had done in the past. In short, if you want to improve a person in a certain aspect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics. And it might be good to assume and state openly that other people have the virtue you want them to develop. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make concentrated efforts rather than see you disillusioned.

With Henke’s mercy, Bill’s attitude changed.

This kind of benevolent heart can change the attitude of others. But God’s mercy has greater power than that because God’s mercy doesn’t just save someone their reputation, or their job. God’s mercy saves human life.

The Law of God begins our relationship with Him

All the way back in Exodus chapter 20, God had written the Ten Commandments directly on two stone tablets and given them to Moses. He then spent the next twelve chapters in Exodus teaching Moses and laying out his law and requirements for the people of Israel. But in Exodus chapter 32, when Moses was descending down from Mount Sinai to rejoin the Israelite camp, he saw the people singing and dancing around an idol of a golden calf, and his anger burned.

Exodus 32:19-20

19 When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it.

The breaking of the stone tablets in this manner was meant as a symbolic act that demonstrated how Israel had broken their covenant with Jehovah. But in Exodus 34 verse 1, “The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” This word from God suggested that the broken relationship would be restored.

Sin breaks our relationship with God

The word for “broke” at the end of verse one is ‘Shiber’ in Hebrew, which means ‘to fall apart.’ We can understand from this word that the tablets were not just broken into a few pieces, but completely shattered. Likewise, the relationship between the Israelites and God was completely shattered in that moment.

At this most important moment when God was teaching the Ten Commandments to Moses to give to the people, they were sinning. The Israelites abandoned God and served idols out of impatience and impulsiveness, and when their leader Moses saw it, he threw the very words of God down the mountain in anger.

Now, in this story, be careful about too quickly assuming that you would have been like Moses, in condemning the sinful behavior of the people in holy anger. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we all would most likely have been in the crowd of idol worshipers, sinning against God, and breaking our covenant with him. Because as sinful human beings, we are no better than they were. How many times have we repeated that same sin in different ways? At the most important moment when God is trying to guide us, or teach us something, how often do we get bored, or impatient, or impulsive, and turn our back on him and sin right in front of him? If we are honest with ourselves, it is far more often than we would like to admit.

So, then what was God’s mood when he saw this behavior of Moses and the Israelites? What is God’s mood when he sees the same kind of behavior in us? We may expect God to judge them (and us) for their sins.

Surprisingly, however, God soon ordered Moses to prepare new stone tablets. If the first stone tablets were symbolic of the covenant between the Israelites and God, then the second set of stone tablets were symbolic of the restoration of that covenant, and the mercy that God had on the people of Israel.

God’s mercy restores our relationship with Him

Exodus 34:2-5

2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.” 4 So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands. 5 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.

Verse 3 reminds of the same command God gave Moses in Exodus 19 the first time he ascended the mountain to talk with God.

Exodus 19:12-13

12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, `Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.` Only when the ram`s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.”

This warning is a reminder, though the same rules apply. That’s why it’s in a more concise format than before. But we should be careful not to assume that this means the second time Moses ascends the mountain will just be a repetition of the first. In fact, this second time was a special event in that God has shown his great mercy in response to the sins of the Israelites.

But why did God have mercy on those who sinned? The Bible tells us why.

Exodus 34:6-7

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

God’s mercy is declared here in verse 6 and is the word ‘Rahum’ in Hebrew. The King James translation of the Bible makes it easier to see this word:

Exodus 34:6b

The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

In the NIV translation, the Hebrew word “rahum” is translated to “compassionate”, but in the KJV translation, it is “merciful.” In any case, this is the same mercy and compassion that God showed the Israelites in Exodus chapter 32 when he did not immediately destroy them for making a golden calf and turning away from him in worship.

God remembered the sins of the Israelites. But, as Exodus 34:6-7 reminds us, he is the LORD, the compassionate, merciful, and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Actually, this same term, “rahum” meaning “merciful” or “compassionate” can also be expressed in motherhood, when a pregnant woman endures extreme pain to give birth and then nurture their child as they grow. God chose Israel as his child, and would not give up on them despite their continual sins.

But, let’s read a little further to understand the true meaning of God’s mercy.

Exodus 34:6-7

6 And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,  7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.”

God restored the relationship of the covenant broken by the Israelites through his mercy. But at the same time, God made it very clear that there is still a punishment for sin. In other words, in order for the relationship between God and man to work, human beings must take responsibility for their actions.

Nevertheless, the biblical emphasis on mercy is so huge and surprising that the punishment for sins may seem trivial. The merciful and compassionate God ALWAYS forgives wickedness, rebellion, and sin IF a repentant person returns to Him.

Jesus Christ is Evidence of God’s mercy

Exodus 34:8-9

8 Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. 9 “O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes,” he said, “then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

Moses, who saw the glory of the Lord, bowed down and worshipped God.

Moses humbled himself before God, and held his mercy in high esteem. He acknowledged the stubbornness of the Israelites, whose stubbornness reflects our own, and petitioned God in humility to forgive their sins and continue to accompany them, as we also must do in our own lives.

Moses realized that sinners, which we all are, can do nothing on their own. He also realized that Israel could not move forward without God’s continued mercy.

The Bible contains stories like these about Moses and the Israelites to cause us to reflect on their experiences in comparison with our own lives, and to teach us lessons about the truth of God and his mercy. 

Sometimes we seem to think, wrongly, that we can live without God’s mercy. But without God’s continual mercy and daily patience toward us, our lives will not last.

Jesus, as God’s son, is the visual, physical, manifestation of God’s qualities, including mercy. Let us observe how Jesus treated a person who sinned in the book of John.

John 8:3-7; 10-11

3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.  But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said.  “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Just like the people of Israel in Exodus chapter 32, this woman was caught in sin and brought before God, in the person of Jesus Christ, to answer for her sin. Yet Jesus did not condemn her, but showed her great mercy. The mercy he showed her made the unmerciful teachers of the Law so ashamed that they also left without condemning her.

Jesus saved this woman’s life from criticism, condemnation, and the attack of the people. But, and this is the important point. Even though he showed her great mercy, he did not condone her sin, and he would not allow her to go on living her sinful life. Instead, he encouraged her to “go and sin no more.”

In fact, God hates sin. He cannot tolerate sin because he is wholly good and righteous. But God’s mercy came to us, sinners, through Jesus Christ.

Jesus has become a bright light in the lives of sinners who have no hope. By believing in Jesus as our savior, we can gain freedom from sin. And just as Jesus shows us mercy, he also orders us to be merciful to our neighbors, much in the same way that the truck dealership manager Henry Hanke did for his mechanic, Bill, at the beginning of this sermon. Rather than condemning our neighbors for their mistakes, Jesus has taught us through his word and through his example to be merciful and compassionate to our neighbors and encourage them also to leave their lives of sin. 

As a disciple of Jesus, if we practice his mercy, we will be able to experience a small heaven in our hearts and lives. This is because it is Jesus’ mercy and love that are flowing through us.

Let us thank God for his great mercy for us today!

And let us convey the mercy of God and the love of Jesus to our neighbors!


하나님의 자비

4 모세가 돌판 둘을 처음 것과 같이 깎아 만들고 아침에 일찍이 일어나 그 두 돌판을 손에 들고 여호와의 명령대로 시내 산에 올라가니 5 여호와께서 구름 가운데에 강림하사 그와 함께 거기 서서 여호와의 이름을 선포하실새 6 여호와께서 그의 앞으로 지나시며 선포하시되 여호와라 여호와라 자비롭고 은혜롭고 노하기를 더디하고 인자와 진실이 많은 하나님이라

출애굽기 34:4-6

예화: 헨리헨키 이야기

인디애나 주 로웰에 있는 대규모의 화물 자동차 대리점 고객 서비스 부장인 헨리 헨키는 함께 일하는 기술자가 하는 일이 만족스럽지 못하자 그에게 고함을 지르거나 윽박지르는 대신 사무실로 불러 마음을 터놓고 대화를 나누었습니다.

“여보게 빌, 자넨 훌륭한 기술자야. 자네는 이 일을 오랫동안 훌륭하게 해왔지 않은가? 자네가 수많은 자동차를 수리해서 고객들에게 만족을 주었지. 사실 자네가 한 일에 대해 고객들이 얼마나 칭찬을 많이 하는지 아나? 그런데 최근 들어서는 자네가 일하는 데 시간도 걸리고, 하는 일도 예전 같지가 않은 것 같네. 자네가 예전에 그토록 뛰어난 기술자였기 때문에 내가 지금의 상태에는 만족하고 있지 않다는 것을 알아주길 바라네. 우리 서로 협력해서 문제를 풀어보세.”

빌은 자신이 하는 일의 질이 그렇게 떨어지고 있는지를 모르고 있었다고 말하면서 지금 하는 일이 자신의 전공 분야이므로 앞으로 더 잘해 보겠다고 약속했습니다.

빌이 과연 더 잘했을까요? 물론입니다.

그는 다시 빠르고 뛰어난 기술자가 되었습니다.

헨키가 빌을 책망하지 않고 자비로운 마음으로 대했기 때문에, 빌은 어려움을 극복할 수 있었습니다.

사람의 자비로운 마음으로 한 사람의 태도가 달라질 수 있습니다.

그러나 하나님의 자비는 그보다 더 큰 힘이 있습니다.

하나님의 자비는 사람의 생명을 살리기 때문입니다.

오늘은 하나님의 자비라는 제목으로 출애굽기 34장 말씀을 나누겠습니다.

오늘 본문의 요약입니다.

여호와께서는 모세에게 새롭게 두 개의 돌판을 준비하라고 명령하셨습니다.

그 이유는 이스라엘 자손에게 십계명의 말씀을 다시 유효하게 하시기 위해서였습니다.

전에 여호와께서 친히 준비하시고 십계명을 기록해 주셨던 돌판은 모세가 시내산에서 내려오던 길에 이스라엘 회중의 부패한 참상을 보고서는 땅에 던져 깨뜨려 버렸습니다.

모세가 돌판을 던져 깨뜨린 것은 이스라엘 백성이 여호와와 맺은 언약을 파기했음을 의미하는 상징적 행위였습니다.

그에 반해 다시 돌판을 만들라는 여호와의 말씀은 그 깨진 관계가 회복될 것임을 암시하였습니다.

사람의 죄

출애굽기 34:1

1 여호와께서 모세에게 이르시되 너는 돌판 둘을 처음 것과 같이 다듬어 만들라 네가 깨뜨린 처음 판에 있던 말을 내가 그 판에 쓰리니

본문 1절에서 깨뜨린을 뜻하는 히브리어 ‘쉬베르’는 ‘산산조각 나다’라는 뜻입니다.

이를 통해 우리는 모세가 깨뜨린 증거판이 단지 몇 조각으로 깨진 것이 아니라 완전히 산산조각 난 것으로 해석할 수 있습니다.

출애굽기 32:19

19 진에 가까이 이르러 그 송아지와 그 춤 추는 것들을 보고 크게 노하여 손에서 그 판들을 산 아래로 던져 깨뜨리니라

모세가 증거판을 깨뜨렸을 때 그가 상당히 화가 난 상태였습니다.

이스라엘 백성들이 모세가 하나님께 십계명을 받으러 간 사이 금송아지를 만들어 방탕한 짓을 하고 있었기 때문입니다.

하나님이 십계명을 전달하는 중요한 순간에도 사람들은 죄를 지었습니다.

이스라엘 백성들은 하나님을 버리고 우상을 섬겼고, 지도자 모세는 자신의 분노 때문에 하나님께 받은 말씀 판들을 산 아래로 던져 깨뜨렸습니다.

하나님은 모세와 이스라엘 백성들의 이런 행동을 보고 어떤 마음을 가지셨을까요?

우리는 하나님이 그들의 죄 때문에 그들을 심판하였을 것이라 예상할 수도 있습니다.

그러나 놀랍게도 하나님은 모세에게 새로운 돌판을 준비하라고 명령하셨습니다.

그 이유는 하나님께서 이스라엘 백성들에게 자비를 베푸셨기 때문입니다.

하나님의 자비

출애굽기 34:2-5

2 아침까지 준비하고 아침에 시내 산에 올라와 산 꼭대기에서 내게 보이되 3 아무도 너와 함께 오르지 말며 온 산에 아무도 나타나지 못하게 하고 양과 소도 산 앞에서 먹지 못하게 하라 4 모세가 돌판 둘을 처음 것과 같이 깎아 만들고 아침에 일찍이 일어나 그 두 돌판을 손에 들고 여호와의 명령대로 시내 산에 올라가니 5 여호와께서 구름 가운데에 강림하사 그와 함께 거기 서서 여호와의 이름을 선포하실새

3절에서 하나님이 온 산을 경계로 지정해서 사람과 짐승의 접근을 막았습니다.

이것은 과거에 하나님이 처음 모세에게 십계명을 주셨을 때의 상황과 비슷합니다.

출애굽기 19:12-13

12 너는 백성을 위하여 주위에 경계를 정하고 이르기를 너희는 삼가 산에 오르거나 그 경계를 침범하지 말지니 산을 침범하는 자는 반드시 죽임을 당할 것이라 13 그런 자에게는 손을 대지 말고 돌로 쳐죽이거나 화살로 쏘아 죽여야 하리니 짐승이나 사람을 막론하고 살아남지 못하리라 하고 나팔을 길게 불거든 산 앞에 이를 것이니라 하라

하나님은 이스라엘 백성들에게 다시 율법을 주셨을 때, 산에 접근하는 것에 대한 경고를 반복하셨습니다. 그리고 그 경고는 이전 보다 좀 더 간결한 형식으로 바뀌었습니다.

중요한 것은 이 사건이 단순한 반복이 아니라는 것입니다.

그것은 모세와 이스라엘 백성들의 죄에 대해 하나님이 자비를 베푸셨다는 점에서 특별한 사건이었습니다.

하나님은 왜 죄를 지은 그들에게 자비를 베푸셨을까요?

성경은 우리에게 그 이유에 대해 알려줍니다.

출애굽기 34:6

6 여호와께서 그의 앞으로 지나시며 선포하시되 여호와라 여호와라 자비롭고 은혜롭고 노하기를 더디하고 인자와 진실이 많은 하나님이라

하나님은 그의 자비에 대해 선포하셨습니다.

여기서 자비는 히브리어로 ‘라훔’ 입니다.

이것은 전에 이스라엘 백성이 금송아지를 만들어 하나님께 죄를 지었을 때, 하나님이 이스라엘 백성을 향한 분노를 돌이키셨을 때를 사용된 자비와 의미가 같습니다.

하나님은 이스라엘 백성이 저지른 온갖 죄들을 기억하시고 그 모든 것을 용서하시는 자비롭고 은혜롭고 노하기를 더디하고 인자와 진실이 많은 하나님입니다.

또한 이 자비는 잉태한 여성이 극심한 고통을 감내하며 출산하고 양육하는 모성적 사랑으로 표현됩니다.

이스라엘을 그의 자녀로 선택 하신 하나님은 이스라엘의 죄에도 불구하고 그들을 끝까지 포기하지 않으리라 결단하셨습니다.

하나님의 자비의 진정한 의미는 무엇일까요?

출애굽기 34:7

7 인자를 천대까지 베풀며 악과 과실과 죄를 용서하리라 그러나 벌을 면제하지는 아니하고 아버지의 악행을 자손 삼사 대까지 보응하리라

하나님의 자비는 이스라엘 백성이 파국으로 몰고 간 언약 관계를 하나님께서 그의 주권으로 다시 회복시킬 것이라는 희망적인 단서가 되었습니다.

하나님은 7절의 선언을 통해 죄에 대한 형벌이 있음을 분명히 밝히셨습니다.

즉, 하나님과 사람의 관계가 진실 하기 위해서는 사람이 자신의 행동에 대한 책임을 감당해야 한다는 의미입니다.

그럼에도 불구하고 하나님은 그 죄책을 덮고도 남을 만큼, ‘악’과 ‘과실’과 ‘죄’를 용서하시는 하나님의 인자하심을 강조하셨습니다.

사람이 악과 과실과 죄를 지어도 자비하신 하나님께 돌아오면 우리의 주님은 언제나 용서해주시는 것입니다.

하나님의 자비의 증거, 예수 그리스도

출애굽기 34:8-9

8 모세가 급히 땅에 엎드려 경배하며 9 이르되 주여 내가 주께 은총을 입었거든 원하건대 주는 우리와 동행하옵소서 이는 목이 뻣뻣한 백성이니이다 우리의 악과 죄를 사하시고 우리를 주의 기업으로 삼으소서

여호와의 영광을 보고 그 분의 성품이 선포되는 장면을 온몸으로 접한 모세는 급히 땅에 엎드려 여호와께 경배하였습니다.

모세는 하나님께서 조건 없이 자비를 베푸시고, 그의 백성을 끝까지 책임지시는 하나님의 성품에 경탄하였습니다.

모세는 하나님의 자비를 근거로 하여 비록 이스라엘 백성이 고집이 세지만, 자신들의 죄를 용서해 주실 것과 앞으로도 계속 동행 해주실 것을 간구하였습니다.

모세는 사람이 스스로 아무것도 할 수 없는 죄인이라는 것과, 하나님의 자비 없이는 이스라엘이 앞으로 나아갈 수 없다는 것을 깨달았습니다.

성경은 모세와 이스라엘 백성들을 통해서 우리의 모습을 돌아보게 합니다.

우리는 때때로 하나님의 자비 없이도 살아갈 수 있다고 생각하는 것 같습니다.

하지만 하나님의 자비와 인내가 없다면 우리의 삶은 지속 될 수 없을 것입니다.

우리는 요한복음에서 예수님이 죄를 지은 사람을 대하는 모습을 볼 수 있습니다.

요한복음 8:4-7; 10-11

4 예수께 말하되 선생이여 이 여자가 간음하다가 현장에서 잡혔나이다 5 모세는 율법에 이러한 여자를 돌로 치라 명하였거니와 선생은 어떻게 말하겠나이까 6 그들이 이렇게 말함은 고발할 조건을 얻고자 하여 예수를 시험함이러라 예수께서 몸을 굽히사 손가락으로 땅에 쓰시니 7 그들이 묻기를 마지 아니하는지라 이에 일어나 이르시되 너희 중에 죄 없는 자가 먼저 돌로 치라 하시고

10 예수께서 일어나사 여자 외에 아무도 없는 것을 보시고 이르시되 여자여 너를 고발하던 그들이 어디 있느냐 너를 정죄한 자가 없느냐 11 대답하되 주여 없나이다 예수께서 이르시되 나도 너를 정죄하지 아니하노니 가서 다시는 죄를 범하지 말라 하시니라

하나님의 자비는 예수님을 통해서 나타났습니다.

예수님은 죄를 짓다 끌려온 여자를 다른 사람들과 같이 정죄하지 않았습니다.

오히려 그는 자비를 베풀지 못하는 사람들에게 스스로를 돌아보게 하시며 부끄럽게 만드셨습니다.

예수님은 사람들로부터 여자의 생명을 구해 주시며 다시는 죄를 범하지 않도록, 바른 길로 살아가도록 권면 하셨습니다.

선하신 하나님은 죄와 함께 할 수 없으시며, 죄를 미워하십니다.

그러나 하나님은 예수그리스도의 자비를 통해 직접 죄인인 우리에게 찾아오셨습니다.

예수님은 아무런 희망이 없는 죄인들의 삶의 밝은 빛이 되셨습니다.

우리가 예수님을 구원자로 믿음으로 우리는 죄에서 자유를 얻게 되었습니다.

예수님은 오늘 우리에게 이웃에게 자비를 베풀 것을 명령하십니다.

이웃의 잘못해 대해 정죄하기 보단, 자비를 베풀고 그가 더 선한 길로 갈 수 있게 도우라고 말씀하십니다.

우리가 예수님의 제자로서, 예수님이 자비를 이웃에게 나눈다면 우리는 그 때 우리 마음속에 작은 천국을 맛볼 수 있을 것입니다.

그 이유는 우리 안에 예수님의 자비와 사랑이 흐르고 있기 때문입니다.

오늘 우리를 향하신 하나님의 크신 자비에 감사하며, 그 자비를 이웃에게 나누는 하루 되길 소망합니다.

  • Jun 20 / 2021
  • Comments Off on Trust God with Your Future! (Exodus 28:29-30)
Pastor Kang, Who is God?

Trust God with Your Future! (Exodus 28:29-30)

Tithes and Offerings

Send to: NongHyup bank 351-0158-2802-13 Song Ki-Joong

Trust God with Your Future!

29 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD.

30 Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron`s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.

Exodus 28:29-30

Discerning the Future

When you were a child, perhaps you played a simple children’s game known as “Loves me, loves me not.” This game is best played with a daisy, but the rules are simple. Pick up a flower, and begin pulling its petals off one by one. For each petal you pull off, alternate the sentence you say. For example, petal one is, “loves me,” petal two is “loves me not.” The game is continued in this manner until the final petal is removed from the flower and you receive your final answer. 

If you finish with ‘loves me’, you breathe a delighted sigh of relief. Some people say : ‘don’t take it seriously, it’s just a childish game.’ But even so, if our heart beats strongly for the person we are thinking of, we still secretly desire clues from the game that may help to reveal a future outcome that we are hopeful for or worried about.

As we grow into adults, the games we play may change, but our desire to know an unknowable future does not. These days, people go to fortune tellers or play with tarot cards in order to try to gain some comfort from clues about the future. But one thing we need to remember is this: that we shouldn’t rely on the world’s games and ideas for foreseeing our future. As children of God, we must leave our future up to God and rely on Him only. Psalm 46:1 says that “God is our Refuge and Strength, and ever-present Help in times of trouble.” 

Today’s sermon is titled “Trust God with Your Future!” and we will talk about how the breastplate of the High Priest’s robes in ancient Israel helped him divine God’s will for the people. In a way, this was almost like foreseeing the future.

Let’s begin with a short video introduction to the High Priestly robes to help us visualize and understand things better.

As we could see from the video, two of the most important pieces of the High Priestly robes were the ephod and the breastplate. Both of these were necessary for the High Priest to enter the temple of God and serve as the priest. Let me give you a short description of both of them.

The ephod was the linen apron that was worn by Aaron and other High Priests over their undergarments and blue robe. It was woven together with gold, blue, purple, and scarlet threads. On its shoulders were mounted two onyx memorial stones on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (six on each stone). The ephod was also the mount for the breastplate.

The breastplate is a covering that was made of the same material as the ephod and firmly attached to the ephod with gold rings, gold chains, and a blue cord. It held 12 precious gems in 4 rows and 3 columns on which were engraved the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. The breastplate was worn on the High Priest’s chest, over his heart, when he went before God in worship, as a continual memorial before the Lord (verse 29). 

These two, the ephod and the breastplate, were closely related in material and meaning. Both contained gemstones on which the names of the 12 tribes of Israel were engraved. Together, the two pieces were meant to continually remind the High Priest and the people that he was the representative and mediator for the people of Israel before God.

The Gemstones outside the breastplate: a divine name tag

Exodus 28:29

29 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the LORD.

Because each of the twelve gems on the breastplate correspond to the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, this indicates that the Israelites were seen as precious and important as jewels before God. Each jewel also conveyed the hopes of the Israelites to God. The jewels were purposefully positioned over the priest’s heart in order to remember and commemorate the grace of God and his salvation when he led the Israelites out of Egypt and established his covenant with them on Mount Sinai.

The High Priest was not allowed to enter Jehovah’s Sanctuary without the ephod and the breastplate with the names of the Israeli tribes. In this way, this special “name tag” not only reminded the High Priest of his holy duty to serve and represent the people before God, but it also reminded God of his cherished chosen people, as precious to him as the jewels upon which their names rested.

The Gemstones inside the breastplate: a divination of God’s will

Exodus 28:30

30 Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron`s heart whenever he enters the presence of the LORD. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the LORD.

The breastplate not only held 12 gemstones with the names of the tribes of Israel on it, there was also a small pocket hidden behind it. This small pocket held two stones, one white, and the other black, known as the Urim and Thummim, that were used in divination, which is the practice of determining the will of God. Therefore, the breastplate was essential for the priest to receive a revelation from God. 

Urim, the white stone, is engraved with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and means “light.” Thummim, the black stone, is engraved with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and means “complete” or “truth.” Traditionally, when casting lots, if the Urim came out, God’s answer was ‘no’, and when the Thummim came out, God’s answer was ‘yes’. Additionally, because the two stones are engraved with the first and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, this symbolically indicates that the first and last master of the world is God.

These two stones, the Urim and Thummin, served the function of judgment for the people through the “casting of lots.” Outwardly, the casting of lots may look like a kind of game of chance, like the “loves me, loves me not” game, or some sort of holy ‘lottery’ like reading fortunes with tarot cards. However, the stones were used to ask God’s will and receive his divine answer in a moment of crisis. With this attitude, asking for God’s will in a problem or moment of crisis, is a confession that we are entirely dependent on God for his answer and that we will leave the results up to God for what will happen.

Thus, these two important pieces of the High Priest’s robes were integral in Israel’s understanding of and worship to God. With the ephod, the Israelites were reminded of God who had led them out of Egypt safely, from the past to the present. And with the breastplate, the Israelites were reminded to trust in God alone for the future.

Our new High Priest: Jesus Christ

Romans 2:16

16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men`s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

The High Priest asked for God’s will and revelation of what would happen in the future with the Urim and Thummim that were held within the breastplate, and God answered.

But how should Christians living in the present seek the will of God?

Should we use the same Urim and the Thummim like the Israelites of the Old Testament?

No, that method of divination was for the High Priest to use on behalf of the people of Israel. But God has sent us a new High Priest, in the person of Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul, the author of Roman’s, confessed that the judgment of God will be made through Jesus Christ. That means Jesus is the standard of judgment, much like the Urim and Thummim once were for ancient Israel.

Do you seek God’s will? Only a person who confesses Jesus as our master and savior will gain access to God’s will, because only Jesus is able to reveal God’s will to us. But a person who only trusts the judgment and fortune-telling games of the world will never learn the will of God. Instead, following games of worldly divination will only take them down the path of eternal death.

As you live your life today, remember Israel, who through the ephod of the High Priest, worshiped and celebrated God’s grace to them from the past to the present. And through the breastplate of the High Priest, they left their future entirely up to God’s will.

Let us also confess that God has led us to where we are today by his amazing grace!

And let us also confess and trust in Jesus Christ, who will lead us from where we are now into eternity, as our best friend and savior!


하나님께 미래를 구하라

29 아론이 성소에 들어갈 때에는 이스라엘 아들들의 이름을 기록한 이 판결 흉패를 가슴에 붙여 여호와 앞에 영원한 기념을 삼을 것이니라

30 너는 우림과 둠밈을 판결 흉패 안에 넣어 아론이 여호와 앞에 들어갈 때에 그의 가슴에 붙이게 하라 아론은 여호와 앞에서 이스라엘 자손의 흉패를 항상 그의 가슴에 붙일지니라

출애굽기 28:29-30

0. 예화: 나뭇잎 점

우리 대부분은 어린 시절, 들판이나 마을 뒷산에 올라 나뭇잎 점을 해본 적이 있을 것입니다. 

나뭇잎 점은 어떤 고민이나 문제가 있을 때, 나뭇가지를 꺾어 나뭇잎을 하나씩 떼어내며 마지막 잎이 선택해 준 답으로 자기의 행동을 결정하는 것입니다.

사람들은 보통 누군가를 좋아할 때, 이 나뭇잎 점을 애용하는 것 같습니다.

나뭇잎을 하나씩 떼며, 내가 좋아하는 사람이 나를 

‘좋아한다’, ‘안 좋아한다’, ‘좋아한다’, ‘안 좋아한다’…

그러다가 마지막 잎에서 ‘좋아한다’ 로 끝나면, 안도의 한숨을 쉬며 기뻐하는 것입니다.

사람들은 왜 나뭇잎 점을 하는 것일까요?

‘심각하게 생각할 것 없이 그냥 단순한 재미를 위해서 하는 거지.’

하고 말씀하시는 분도 있을 것입니다.

그러나 사람의 내면에는 자신이 알 수 없는 미래에 대해, 우연히 나온 단서일지라도 의지하고 싶은 마음이 있는 것입니다.

이러한 사람의 마음은 예나 지금이나 같아서, 요즘 사람들은 나뭇잎 점 대신 타로카드 점을 보며, 거기서 얻은 미래에 대한 단서를 통해 어느 정도 마음의 위안을 얻기도 합니다.

그러나 한 가지 기억해야 할 것은, 우리가 우리의 미래에 대해 세상의 점을 의지해서는 안 된다는 것입니다.

하나님의 자녀들인 우리는 우리의 미래를 온전히 하나님께 맡기고 하나님 한 분만을 의지해야 합니다.

오늘은 “하나님께 미래를 구하라” 라는 제목으로 하나님이 모세에게 제작하라고 명령하신 판결흉패에 대해서 나누어 보도록 하겠습니다.

우리는 전 날의 설교를 통해 제사장이 여호와의 성전에 들어가 제사장의 직분을 수행하기 위해 에봇과 판결 흉패가 필요하다는 사실을 알게 되었습니다.

판결 흉패는 성경의 버전에 따라 가슴 덮개, 가슴 받이 등으로 표현되어 있는데, 우리는 이를 통해 판결 흉패가 에봇 위 가슴 부근에 장착하는 하나의 장식물이라 생각할 수 있습니다.

오늘 본문에는 금고리와 금사슬 그리고 청색끈을 사용하여 판결 흉패를 에봇의 겉면 위에 단단히 붙이라는 하나님의 명령이 나타나 있습니다. 

또한 판결 흉패를 만들 때 에봇을 짤 때와 마찬가지로 같은 재료로 동일하게 만들 것을 요청합니다. 

이처럼 에봇과 판결흉패는 서로 뗄 수 없는 관계이며 공통 목적과 기능을 위해 만들어졌습니다.

1. 공통점 : 이름표

 출애굽기 28장 29절입니다.

29 아론이 성소에 들어갈 때에는 이스라엘 아들들의 이름을 기록한 이 판결 흉패를 가슴에 붙여 여호와 앞에 영원한 기념을 삼을 것이니라

판결 흉패는 주머니와 이름표, 이 두 가지가 합쳐져 구성되어 있습니다.

우리는 에봇과 판결 흉패의 공통점을 알아보기 위해, 그 중 이름표를 먼저 다루도록 하겠습니다. 

판결 흉패에 붙여진 열두 개의 보석들은 각각 이스라엘 열두 지파의 이름에 해당합니다.

이는 이스라엘이 여호와 앞에서 보석처럼 귀중하고 중요한 존재임을 의미합니다.

또한 각 보석은 여호와를 향한 이스라엘 지파들의 소원을 담고 있습니다. 

열두 개의 보석에 이스라엘 열두 지파의 이름이 새겨짐은, 하나님이 이스라엘의 이름과 그들의 소원을 깊이 새겨 기억하실 것임을 의미합니다.

이스라엘 지파의 이름표를 단 판결 흉패를 제사장의 심장 위에 붙이는 것은, 여호와께서 이스라엘 자손을 선택하시고 애굽에서 이끌어 내신 구원 사건과 시내산 언약 체결을 기억하고 기념하기 위함입니다.

이 판결 흉패의 열두 보석과 에봇에 붙여진 두 개의 보석은, 여호와 앞에서 이스라엘의 아들들을 기념하기 위한, 이름표로 사용된다는 점에서 공통점을 가지고 있습니다.

이스라엘을 대표하는 제사장은 이스라엘 지파의 이름이 새겨진 에봇의 판결 흉패를 입어야만 여호와의 성소로 들어갈 수 있습니다.

하나님은 이스라엘의 이름을 보석과 같이 소중히 여기시며 기념하십니다.

이스라엘은 그들의 이름표를 통해 과거부터 현재까지 동행하신 하나님을 기억하였습니다.

2. 차이점 : 우림과 둠밈

출애굽기 28장 30절입니다.

30 너는 우림과 둠밈을 판결 흉패 안에 넣어 아론이 여호와 앞에 들어갈 때에 그의 가슴에 붙이게 하라 아론은 여호와 앞에서 이스라엘 자손의 흉패를 항상 그의 가슴에 붙일지니라

오늘 본문 마지막 구절은 아론이 판결 흉패를 가슴에 붙이고 회막 안에 들어가야 한다는 지침을 두 번이나 반복하면서 판결 흉패 안에 들어 있는 우림과 둠밈을 언급하였습니다.

즉, 판결 흉패에는 에봇의 어깨 받침 양쪽에 붙이는 두 개의 호마노에 기록된 이스라엘 아들들의 이름을 여호와 앞에서 영원히 기념하는 것 이외에 또 다른 제의적 기능이 하나 더 있다는 뜻입니다.

그것은 앞으로 닥칠 언약 백성의 중대사를 결정할 때에, 여호와의 뜻을 묻고 계시를 분별하는 특수한 제의적 기능을 의미합니다.

그래서 제사장이 하나님의 뜻을 알기 위해서는 판결 흉패가 반드시 필요했습니다.

앞서 판결 흉패는 주머니와 이름표로 구성되어 있다고 하였습니다.

이제 판결의 기능이 있는 우림과 둠밈이 들어있는 주머니에 대해 다루어보겠습니다.

판결 흉패는 가로와 세로의 길이는 약 이십삼 센티미터로 정사각형 모양입니다.

이것은 우림과 둠밈을 넣어주기 위해 두 겹의 주머니 형태로 만들어졌습니다.

우림과 둠밈은 일종의 거룩한 ‘제비’로, 위기의 순간과 문제 상황이 닥쳤을 때 여호와의 뜻을 묻고 그 답을 얻기 위해 사용하는 기물이었습니다.

우림은 “빛”을, 둠밈은 “완전함”을 뜻합니다.

전통적으로 우림이 나오면 ‘아니요’를, 둠밈이 나오면 ‘예’를 뜻했습니다.

우림은 히브리어 알파벳 첫번째 글자 ‘알렙’으로, 둠밈은 히브리어 알파벳 마지막 글자 ‘타우’로 시작하는데, 이것은 세상의 처음과 마지막의 주인이 하나님임을 상징적으로 나타냅니다.

아직까지 제사법이나 지성소와 성소에서 진행될 제의들에 관한 직접적이고 구체적인 지침과 규례가 확립되지 않은 상황에서 판결 흉패를 사용하여 여호와의 계시를 분별하는 행위가 우리가 보기에는 나뭇잎 점과 같이 단순한 행위처럼 보일 수도 있습니다.

그러나 위기와 문제가 닥쳤을 때 알파와 오메가이신 하나님께 뜻을 묻는 행위는, 하나님을 전적으로 의지하며 미래에 일어날 일들에 대해 하나님께 맡겨드린다는 고백이 들어있는 것입니다.

이스라엘이 에봇을 통해 과거부터 현재까지 동행하신 하나님을 기념하였다면, 판결 흉패를 통해 지금부터 끝 날까지 동행하실 하나님을 전적으로 신뢰하게 된 것입니다.

3. 새 거룩한 제비 : 예수그리스도

로마서 2장16절입니다.

16 곧 나의 복음에 이른 바와 같이 하나님이 예수 그리스도로 말미암아 사람들의 은밀한 것을 심판하시는 그 날이라

이스라엘 백성은 판결 흉패를 통해 앞으로 일어날 일에 대해 하나님의 뜻을 구했습니다.

신실하신 하나님은 하나님께 정결하게 나아오는 이스라엘 백성들에게 우림과 둠밈을 통해 하나님의 뜻을 알려주셨습니다.

현재를 살아가는 우리 그리스도인은 어떻게 하나님의 뜻을 구해야 할까요?

구약 시대의 이스라엘 백성처럼 우림과 둠밈을 사용해야 할까요?

하나님은 우리에게 새 거룩한 제비인 예수 그리스도를 보내주셨습니다. 

로마서의 저자 사도 바울은 하나님의 심판이 예수 그리스도를 통해 이루어진다고 고백합니다.

즉 예수님이 심판의 기준이 되신다는 의미입니다. 

예수님을 우리의 주인이요 구원자로 고백하는 사람은 하나님의 뜻을 얻게 될 것입니다.

그러나 판단의 주인이신 예수님을 의지하지 않고, 세상의 판단을 의지하는 사람은 하나님의 뜻을 얻지 못하게 되어, 스스로 죽음의 길로 내려가게 될 것입니다.

오늘 본문에 나타나는 이스라엘은 제사장의 에봇과 판결 흉패를 통해 그들과 동행하신 하나님께 감사드리고 그들의 미래를 맡겨드렸습니다.

오늘 말씀은 받은 우리도 지금까지 지내온 것이 주의 크신 은혜임을 고백하며, 지금부터 영원까지 함께하실 새 거룩한 제비이신 예수 그리스도를 참으로 의지하길 소망합니다.

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

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is Superior to Moses

Hebrews 3:1-6 (Pastor Heo)

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


Theme of Hebrews: Superiority of Christ

We have studied:

  • Jesus over angels
  • Jesus over Moses (today)

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

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

Then, why do we need to study this topic?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please take this and think on it seriously.

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

v. 1

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

Holiness:

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

“I’m holy.”

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

“Fix our thoughts on Jesus.”

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

Are you doing this?

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

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

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

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

#1 Desire (zeal / passion / enthusiasm)

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

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

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

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

Do you have desire?

Without desire, it is impossible.

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

#2 Concentration

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

Concentration is power.

#3 Discipline

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

Without discipline, disciples cannot be made fully.

Discipline = “self-training”

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

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

#4 Time

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

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

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

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

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


Who is Jesus in this verse one?

“…the apostle and high priest…”

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

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

What does this mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is the bridge between God and man.

v. 2-6

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

The logic:

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

What a difference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last sentence: are you saved?

Remember, very practically,

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • 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

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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.

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