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  • May 03 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Our every activity can be transformed into an act of worship (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Our every activity can be transformed into an act of worship (Hebrews 12:25-29)

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Our every activity can be transformed into an act of worship

Hebrews 12:25-29 (Pastor Heo)

25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”


Hebrews =

  • Book of Warning / Encouragement
  • Book of Challenge / Assurance

v. 25

“25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven?”

In the past, God spoke to the people of Israel through Moses many times. “Obey his word and be blessed.”

As a result of judgment, in the history of Israel, everyone who was 20 and older died in the wilderness except Caleb and Joshua. Imagine that picture 1,000,000+ dead bodies littered the desert. This was the penalty for disobeying God’s command on earth. Yet, imagine how much greater the penalty will be for disobeying his heavenly commands through Jesus.

“…in these last days, God has spoken to us through his son…”

What is the heavenly message of God through Jesus. It is the message of salvation – called “Good news of Great joy for all the people eternally”

This same book makes this clear: “Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of 2-3 witnesses. But how much greater the punishment if a man rejects Jesus Christ.”

We know that Jesus was a transmitter of God’s word, likewise Moses was a mouthpiece of God. However, Jesus himself is God, and his word is God’s word.

John 1 “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God…This word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

The Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth come through Christ. “My word shall never pass away.”

This book Hebrews is a book of warning / encouragement.

  • Warning:
    • If you reject the Law of Moses = great punishment.
    • Also, if you reject the word of Jesus = how much greater punishment you will receive.
  • Encouragement:
    • Obey the law of Moses = much blessing.
    • Likewise, obey the word of Christ, how much more blessing we will receive.

v. 26-27

“26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain.”

At that time, when God came down on Mt. Sinai to give the commandments, his voice shook the mount, so that it trembled greatly, and the people shook with fear. Even Moses was terrified and the whole mountain was wrapped with smoke as God was a “consuming fire.” God was so bright, they could not approach. The people said, “If we hear God’s voice directly, we will die.”

This event happened 3500 years ago. At that time, God’s voice shook the earth. All that was then, is no more.

“Once more” what does this mean? In the near future, the final, ultimate, shaking of the earth (like 3500 years ago) will happen. At that time, he will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens and all creation, all visible, created, material things – all these things will be destroyed and disappear. All created things and visible things will be destroyed and a new age will begin again.

As we know, history is the story of the past. There were many kingdoms in the past that were destroyed and disappeared. The Greeks, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, all gone. Like this, our story will become history to future generations today.

Today, there are more than 200 human kingdoms – but someday in the future, they will all be shaken and disappear, and a new age will begin again.

What can remain unshaken when God shakes? NOTHING. There is only one thing: The kingdom of Jesus Christ and the people who belong to it.

So what should we do then?

If we are really wise, we should build our house, our lives on unshakeable ground, unshakeable foundation. What is it? Obedience / surrender / commitment to the word of Christ.

Jesus: “The heavens and earth will disappear, but my word and my kingdom will never disappear. Therefore, anyone who hears and obeys my word is like a wise man who built his house on a rock… It will stand firm because it has its foundation on the rock… All others, like foolish men who built their houses on sand… It fell with a great crash because it had its foundation on sand.”

Remember: ALL visible things will pass away, but HIS word and kingdom will never pass away. God bless us all to belong to his kingdom, truly.

v. 28-29

“28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.””

v. 28 = very clear. Only Jesus kingdom, word, people shall remain as unshakeable forever and ever in eternity. If we are really children of God and people of his kingdom first, then first we must give thanks to God.

“Give thanks under all circumstances” (1 Cor?)

How is this possible? If we have assurance, faith, confidence, then we can give thanks under every and any situation. We must give thanks to God for his faithful answer to our prayer, and also for his provision, and his character qualities, for our brothers and sisters in Christ, our ministry, mission, our jobs, our families, our homes. We must give thanks for what we have and also for what we do not have. We must also give thanks to God for salvation – what he has done for us, and what he is continually doing for us.

If we really belong to the kingdom of Christ, then our total, final job is: WORSHIP.

“…let us be thankful and so worship…”

So worship God with reverence and awe. God is a “consuming fire” – looking for true worshipers.

Romans 12:1-2

“Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God for this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve his good, pleasing, perfect will.”

The moment you were born, God was there as an unseen (smiling) witness to your birth. This gave God great pleasure to see you born.

God had no obligation to create you and me, but he created us for his own enjoyment and pleasure.

So, living for the pleasure of God is your first purpose for your life and my life.

1 Cor 10:31 “So whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.”

We are created to please God. Know that you are not insignificant. You are not meaningless. You are created by God for his purpose, for his pleasure.

God has emotions like we do: he can be angry, sad, merciful, compassionate, hatred, love, pleasure, delight, satisfaction, joy, smiling, laughing.

Bringing pleasure to God = worship.

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, this is your spiritual act of worship.”

A worship service may be like singing, prayer, announcements, communion, offering, decision of commitment, sermon, etc. These all may be part of a worship service, but worship itself is far MORE than just one of those. It should not be only part of my life, but my WHOLE lifestyle.

Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship. Anything we do can be transformed into an act of worship.

1 Cor 10:31 “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

How is it possible to do all this to the glory of God?

Col 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, with all your mind, as working for the Lord, not for man.”

So, to work for the glory of God = to work in WHATEVER we do as if it were FOR him – and carrying an ongoing conversation with him while we do it.

Any action and behavior can be accepted by God as real worship – when he is kept IN it.

Worship is not a performance or ceremony, but our lifestyles as Christians.

Our God is a “consuming fire”. On Mt. Sinai, God came as a consuming fire. But this sentence uses present tense. God IS a consuming fire.

Meaning: The same God of Zion is the same God of Sinai a long time ago. God never changes.

So when we come to worship, we must keep both mountains in view.

  • Mt. Zion,
    • approachable,
    • with all-consuming love
  • Mt. Sinai,
    • unapproachable,
    • all-consuming fire

God is so jealous that if we worship other gods or other things as god, he cannot stand it.

We can approach with reverent confidence and reverent boldness.

Conclusion:

  1. Worship is our lifestyle.
  2. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.
  3. Whatever you do, do it as if you were doing it FOR Jesus.

God bless us to be found not only in church but in the market, in the office, to be found as true worshipers.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 29 / 2019
  • Comments Off on True Salvation Changes our Lifestyles (Hebrews 6:7-12)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

True Salvation Changes our Lifestyles (Hebrews 6:7-12)

Download Notes in a .MD file

True Salvation Changes our Lifestyles

Hebrews 6:7-12 (Pastor Heo)

7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.

9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case–things that accompany salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.


Last Sunday, I shared hermeneutics – right teaching, right interpretation, makes right Christians.

  • 1 John “If you claim to be without sin, you deceive yourselves and the truth is not in you.”
  • Later in the same book “He who does what is sinful is of the devil. No one who is of God, sins.”

These two verses do not contradict each other. They support each other.

This means: we are sinless while we remain in God’s Word – but it is also possible for Christians to sin continually and deliberately. It is also possible for non-Christians to seem like true Christians for a time, but not to the End.

Point #1: Fruitfulness

We must produce fruit if we are born-again Christians.

v. 7-8

“7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”

The real seed given care by the farmer and planted on fertile soil will produce bountiful crops. In this verse, the “seed” is the Word of God…

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus says, there’s only one kind of seed = “gospel”, but there are 4 kinds of soil = “hearts”.

The first three soils did not produce a crop.

  1. Hard (doesn’t understand the Word – immediately, the Word is snatched away)
  2. Rocky (the Word is received with joy, but half understood, no root, no faith – so when trouble comes, he falls away quickly)
  3. Thorny (infested – receives the Word, but mixed with the worries of this world, so they choke his faith out and makes it unfruitful)
  4. Good soil (receives the Word with faith, understands it, applies it to his life, obeys it, and produces fruit – authentic and living faith produces visible fruit)

Yes, our faith is invisible, but produces visible fruit.

Jesus in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, “Like this, by their fruit, you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes? Like this, bad trees bear bad fruit, good trees bear good fruit. So then, every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Also like this, we will be recognized in the eyes of God by our fruit. How? Why? Because we have salvation – “found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts)

v. 9

“Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are confident of better things in your case–things that accompany salvation.”

Keywords:

confident, assurance, salvation, better things

All things that accompany salvation are MUCH better than things we can get in this (material) world. In our inner and outer lives – visible and invisible lives.

Inwardly

The things that belong to salvation are evidenced by the HS as he testifies. Are you feeling the witness of the HS in you? He continually testifies with our spirits that we are the children of God. Also, we have subjective voices inside that authenticates our standing with our God. One evidence = the sublimely conversive desire to converse with God as Father.

“You did not receive a spirit of fear, but a spirit of sonship and by him we cry, ‘Abba, father!'” This displays very close intimacy with God.

At the very root of this is the inner assurance that we are totally forgiven. We are reconciled to God and have the inner peace of God through Christ (supernatural and eternal).

John: “Peace, I give to you… Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

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

Outwardly

The things that belong to salvation are witnessed to by the characteristics of our character:

  1. True light
  2. Forgiving spirit
  3. generous heart
  4. truthful tongue

Authentic Christian heart produces authentic Christian character.

Like this, when the HS whispers “you are the child of God”, when we have a sense of inner peace, when our character has grown spiritually by the help and guidance of Christ, we can be confident of our spiritual standing.

If we are really born-again Christians, we need to know HOW our lifestyle should be. So the next verse teaches us this.

v. 10

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

We can see how our lifestyles should be as real born-again Christians.

God is just / right / righteous judge (Romans 14 “We all will stand before God’s Judgment Seat”) – individually, personally, we will all give an account of ourselves before God. Remember, he will never forget how hard we have worked for him, and his glory.

Sometimes we want to be remembered by others. But we must know that man’s remembrance of us is temporary – but God’s remembrance of us is eternal. Reward / inheritance of man is temporary, from God is eternal.

True salvation must change our lifestyles.

God never overlooks nor forgets our hard work for him. So we must continue to work wholeheartedly for him. So our service and caring for others are shown to him.

This doing good for others for his glory and his kingdom is not a performance, but a lifestyle. There’s a good example to show this lesson:

At the last Judgment Day, the King says to the saved on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, and receive your inheritance.” The Lord says to them, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat…” (Matthew 25:35) They say, “When?” He says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.”

This is a very interesting, but meaningful story. It means that God remembers something about us that we do not remember.

Why do they not remember what they did? Because this was their lifestyle.

However, if this helping, serving, caring was an event, they would remember. But, as a part of their natural lifestyles, they do not remember.

  • So, what you have done without remembrance IS YOU – your lifestyle.
  • If you remember your deeds, this is not YOU – it is a performance, an event.

“When you give to the needy, do not let your right hand know what the left is doing…”

This means, caring, loving, serving should be our lifestyle – just like breathing. Can you count how many times you breathe in a day? No.

So, our caring lifestyle for others is loving God – because he created all human beings.

We must recognize that, generally speaking, God is father even to unbelievers – and potential “Father”.

  1. Be diligent! (v. 11)
  2. Do not be lazy! (v. 12)

v. 11-12

“We want each of you to show this same *diligence* to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

Matt 24:13 “He who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

This does not mean that you must stand firm to the end in order to be saved, but rather it means that he who is REALLY saved is SURE to stand firm to the end.

These verses encourage us:

Avoid laziness, sloth, sluggishness.

Some people think: laziness is a matter of character / style / disposition. But this is a misunderstanding of laziness. Laziness is a terrible sin. It is wickedness.

Matt 25: The parable of the Talents.

One man got 1 talent, one 5, one 10. The man with 1 did nothing, he hid it. Jesus said, “You wicked and lazy servant! You will be thrown out into the darkness.”

What made him lazy? We must know the root of this attitude.

This servant who was lazy said, “Lord, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I hid the talent underground. See, here is the talent belonging to you.”

From this story, we can understand that laziness is misunderstanding about God – doubt about God. The root of laziness is faithlessness, no hope, no expectation, no grace, no love.

Laziness results from unbelief and results in condemnation. It is evidence of a graceless life.

Is there the grace of God in you? Are you under the grace of God? Are you assured of God’s grace at work in you?

1 Cor 15:58 (last verse of this resurrection chapter): “Therefore, my dear friends, let nothing move you, but always give your whole life fully / wholly to the work of God because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Paul “By the grace of God, I am what I am.” If we are real Christians, we should also be able to confess this. “By the grace of God, I am who I am.” (memorize this). Do you agree? Up to now in your life?

It means: “I confess, it is only God who did all things in my life up to now.”

  • And the next sentence “…I am what I am…”
  • Paul did NOT say “… so I did not work hard.”
  • Rather, Paul confessed, “… so I worked HARDER than all the other people.”

It means diligence is a sign that the grace of God is at work, actively, powerfully in you.

  • Laziness is a sign that there is no grace in my life.
  • Perseverance in loving service is clear evidence of hope.

Shall we say together: “…in order to make your hope sure.”

“Hope makes all the difference.”

The gospel is FULL of hope because it is the good news of great joy for ALL the people (young, old, intro/extroverted, etc). All people are invited into the hope of Christ. If you set your life in the hope of Christ, tomorrow offers huge opportunities – and Jesus has offered the hope – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Next time, let’s continue in detail with God’s Promise.

  • “God bless you with hope.”
  • “Put your hope in Jesus Christ.” (Really?)

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 05 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Everyday Evangelism (Acts 8:14-40)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Everyday Evangelism (Acts 8:14-40)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Everyday Evangelism

Acts 8:14-40 (Pastor Heo)

8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” 24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” 25 When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture [Isaiah 53:7-8]: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 37 Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


After the death of Stephen, a great persecution broke out against all the church – so they all (except the apostles) were scattered like seed.

Philip went to Samaria and preached there. There was a sorcerer named Simon – he drew attention to himself with his magic skill.

When Philip arrived in Samaria, it was filled with something bad spiritually. He preached powerfully and effectively. So many people were healed spiritually and physically. “There was great joy” in that city.

The apostles in Jerusalem heard this report and sent two apostles to Samaria – Peter and John. They came and prayed for them and laid their hands on the believers there and they received the HS. (v. 16 “because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”)

You may wonder.

  1. They received the Word of God,
  2. they had believed in Christ,
  3. they had been baptized into his name –
  4. but WHY didn’t the HS come?

Actually, without the HS, nobody can believe in Christ. So in this text, receiving the HS was receiving the “gift” of the HS – in some visible phenomenon.

God wanted to unite the Samaritan believers with the church in Jerusalem. God did not want a division of two churches.

We are given the keys of the kingdom of heaven if we believe in Christ. But Peter is the initial person who received these keys.

  • Jesus asked, “How about you? Who do you say I am?”
  • Peter: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
  • Jesus was pleased and said, “You are blessed, this information was not given you by man – but by my Father in heaven. On this rock [your confession of faith], I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”

In church history, Peter had the privilege of opening the door of faith to:

  • Jews (chp 3 in Jerusalem),
  • Samaritans (chp 8 here), and
  • Gentiles (chp 10 later).

John

We can see the change in John’s life here also. During his earthly ministry, one day, Jesus had to go to Jerusalem, and had to pass through Samaria. But they didn’t welcome them. John (with his brother) asked Jesus, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to destroy them?”

  • Just a few years ago, John wanted Samaria to be consumed by fire.
  • But now, a few years later, after the resurrection of Christ, John is laying his hands on the believers to give a different kind of fire (the HS).

Look how differently Christ can change our minds and hearts about others.

Simon

Also we can see the story of Simon (v. 18-19)

“8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.””

  • Simony = (term) = from this person
    • Just like Sodomy came from Sodom
  • Simony = “unworthy selling or buying of church offices” (성직매매)

This term came from THIS Simon. He thought he could buy the power of the HS with money. But Peter rebuked him sharply. We must know that the only way to receive the power of the HS is to:

  1. repent from our sins,
  2. turn from them,
  3. ask God for forgiveness,
  4. accept Christ as Savior and Lord, and
  5. be filled with the HS.

No amount of money can buy this.

So what is wrong with Simon?

v. 13 “Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.”

Simon believed and followed Philip wherever he went. What does this mean, “Simon believed”?

We can answer this with another question. What was the basis of Simon’s faith? Do you believe? In the case of Simon, his faith was not based on the Word of God but on miracles he saw Philip perform. He followed Philip, not to believe in Christ, but to learn the skill for making miracles like Philip had. His faith was not saving faith.

Thus, we must check ourselves to see what kind of faith we have. God is not mocked, not deceived.

In John 2, almost the same thing happened. Many people saw the miracles Jesus was performing, and believed in his name, but he would not entrust himself to them. Their believing was not saving faith.

Of course, they believed SOMETHING about Christ, but did not believe IN Christ. “Even demons believe about Christ” – but there believing is not saving faith.

This event of Simon only shows how close a person can come to salvation without being converted. This Simon heard the message of the gospel, saw the miracles, gave a profession of faith, was baptized, but he was never saved, never born again.

Please, do not be just a church comer / goer. Do not be an “almost” Christian (this is a “non”- Christian). But we must be genuine Christians by believing in Christ as our Savior and Lord.

Philip’s evangelism to the Ethiopian eunuch

v. 26-40

“8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road– that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 37 Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”


Isaiah 53 (The Suffering Messiah)

(Summary of Jesus’ life from birth to resurrection)

Jesus’ birth

53: 1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

Jesus’ life and ministry

3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus’ substitutionary death

4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Jesus’ victorious resurrection

10 Yet it was the Lord ‘s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


The angel of the Lord said to Philip in a vision, “go to the desert road on the way to Gaza.” There, he saw a chariot, and inside an Ethiopian eunuch. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way home. He was in charge of the treasury of “Candace” (the public title – not personal name) of the queen of Ethiopia.

God told Philip to approach the chariot. The eunuch was reading out loud.

Can you imagine this picture? The chariot was running and Philip was running beside it.

  • “Hey, do you understand that?”
  • “How can I unless someone explains it? Get in.”
  • He got in.
  • “Who is this prophet talking about? Himself or someone else?”
  • Philip preached Christ from this very passage. (v. 35 “Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.”)

v. 25 “When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

Yes, there was still persecution in Jerusalem, but they returned – even knowing there was persecution. This means that evangelism was a lifestyle to them.

v. 40 “Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”

20 years later, Philip was still there preaching the gospel.

The idea of substitutionary death of Christ is one that is found throughout the entire Bible.

  • Genesis 3 – God killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve
  • Genesis 22 – God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice for Isaac
  • Exodus – So many animals died for the people at Passover

All the sacrifices of the OT symbolize the death of Christ. These are substitutionary deaths for the sins of the people.

So, John the Baptist proclaimed: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of his people.”

This eunuch became a full man in Christ – and wanted everyone to know what happened to his life – when he became baptized.

We can learn principles of evangelism from this story:

The angel of the Lord sent Philip to preach to somebody – angels are wiser than us – they could guide Philip, but angels do not have this great commission for evangelism. This commission is given to God’s people.

This Ethiopian man was so religious and sincere – he was a seeker of the truth and reading the Scriptures, but he was lost and not saved. So, he needed somebody to show the Way to him.

Jesus, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Principles of effective evangelism:

  1. Be where God wants you. God set up the appointment and time with this man
  2. Be watching the people around you. See carefully the people around you and God will help us to perceive who will be receptive and responsive to the message of the gospel.
  3. Be ready to adapt yourself to where others are. In this story, Philip began where that person was, and immediately, clearly, took him where he needed to go.
    • Listening first
    • Meeting the person there and taking him where he needs to go.
  4. Be bold in preaching the gospel.

Let me tell a final story in evangelism history. It is simple, but meaningful to us.

In October 1857, Hudson Taylor (English missionary to China) began his ministry in Ningpo village. He preached the gospel in that village and won many souls to Christ. One of them, Mr. Ni received the message of the gospel was saved and overjoyed and wanted to share his faith with others.

One day, he asked Hudson Taylor, “How long have you had this wonderful news of great joy in England?”

HT: “England has known this message for centuries.”

Ni: “Why didn’t you come sooner? My father died seeking the truth.”

HT: Could not answer this penetrating question.

We can also ask ourselves today.

  • How long have you had / known this gospel? In your personal life.
  • How far have you shared it with others?
  • Up to now, with how many people have you shared this gospel?

This is a serious question given to us in v. 25 “When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.”

v. 40 “Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.”

Peter, John, and Philip eagerly shared the message of the gospel with others wherever they went. They did not see evangelism as a “scheduled” event to do only at scheduled times and carefully designated places. Why? Because Jesus was LIFE to them. Their personal lives completely changed after being filled with the HS.

Evangelism is a lifestyle to them – because Jesus is life to them.

Is this true for you?

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 17 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)

Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle (Romans 12:1-2)

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Worship is a Christian’s Lifestyle

Romans 12:1-2 (Pastor Heo)

12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.


This morning, chp 12 in Romans. This is the greatest turning point in the study of Romans. I mentioned several times, but here again. This book can be divided into 3 (or 2) parts.

3 parts

  1. chp 1-8 Revelation of God’s righteousness
  2. chp 9-11 Vindication of God’s righteousness
  3. chp 12-16 Application of God’s righteousness

2 parts

  1. chp 1-11 Fundamental basic doctrine of Christianity
  2. chp 12-16 Christian lifestyle

Theme of the book: The Righteousness of God

This book is very doctrinal, systematic, logical, but also very practical. This book is the book of “therefores” (because of previous things).

  • In the NIV, “therefore” is repeated 20 times.
  • In KJV, 27 times.

Some very important “therefores”:

  • chp 3:20 Therefore of condemnation (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… therefore no one will be declared righteous”)
  • chp 5:1 Therefore of Justification (“therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God and gained access by faith into grace”)
  • chp 8:1 Therefore of Freedom (“therefore there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”)
  • chp 12:1 (one of the biggest and greatest) Therefore of Worship (“Therefore I urge you, … to offer your bodies as living sacrifices…”)

This therefore = “because of God’s great compassion through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ”

Last Sunday, we saw in chp 11 Doctrine becomes Doxology (all the depths of the wisdom of God – unsearchable, unknowable fully – becomes worship).

Doxology = “Through him, and to him, and by him, and in him are all things. Amen”

In chp 12, Doxology becomes Dedication

Doctrine results in Worship, Worship results from Doctrine. Believing and Living go together. What you believe in your hearts is to be revealed and testified by what you produce. Our faith provides action, activity.

We can know we are called to church to worship God.

“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy…”

God has handed all people over to unrighteousness so that he can have mercy on all people. “God who is rich in mercy has made us alive in Christ – even while we were dead in our sins.”

  • We are called to church to worship God.
  • We are sent into this world to worship God.
  • This is church.

In Genesis, God separates Able from Cain, Jacob from Esau. God accepted one group and rejected the other. What made God accept one group and reject the other? Worship.

  • Able was the first true worshiper – and God accepted him and his worship. But Cain was a false worshiper, and God rejected his worship.
  • The first patriarchs – first priority – was the worship God. The first thing they did when they moved from one place to another place was to set up an altar to God. (Abraham, Moses, Jacob, etc.) There is no record of Ishmael, etc doing so.

We are called to worship God.

“I’m going to church to worship God.”

Question is: IN THIS WORLD – OUTSIDE THIS BUILDING – “I’m going to work, school, hospital, garage, etc to….?”

We must be able to say, not only about church, but also about ALL places we go, “I’m going THERE to WORSHIP GOD.” If you think it is not possible to worship God there, do not go.

“God is looking for worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth.” These are the worshipers God is looking for. God is looking at our personal (not only group – in church) worship. May God bless you that your personal worship is acceptable in his sight.

How can we become TRUE worshipers? Holy and acceptable by God? 3 things:

#1 Do not conform to the pattern of this world

v. 2

“2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,”

Do not follow the trend / fashion of this world. This is a BIG challenge – almost impossible without the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Worshiper = “saint” = holy one = set apart for a special purpose
  • World = “sinful” = wicked, adulterous generation (Jesus calls this world these things)

1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in it. If anyone loves this world, the love of the Father is not in him. Everything in this world, lust, evil desires, boasting, comes not from the Father, but from this world. This world and its desires pass away, but only the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

James “Do you not know that friendship with this world is hatred toward God? He who becomes a friend of this world becomes an enemy of God.”

As true worshipers, we are not conformers, followers, but transformers of this world.

A Christian is a boat in the sea. A boat must be in the sea, but cannot become a part of the sea if it is to remain a boat.

Jesus says, “You are the light / salt of the world” (not of the church) – we shine in darkness. We are in the world, but not OF the world.

Say: “I am in the world, but the world is not in me.”

#2 Be changed

v. 2

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come.”

In Christ, we received a new nature, position, standing, status, we are TOTALLY NEW in him. We have been transformed, and must be transformers of this world.

Without personal transformation, it is impossible to transform others.

Our value must be changed according to God’s will. Our lifestyles must be changed according to God’s will.

What is your #1 priority in your daily life?

  1. Brush teeth?
  2. Take a shower?
  3. Go to work?

Our priorities must be RE-ordered according to God’s will.

#3 (Conclusion) Give our bodies as living sacrifices

v. 1

“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to (present) your bodies as living sacrifices. This is your spiritual act of worship.”

This is very clear. Worship is not an occasional event – not a sometimes performance, not a liturgy, not ministry, but it is LIFE itself. This is a lifestyle – not only IN church, but also OUTSIDE church.

Remember: Worship is not TAKING, it is GIVING.

“Worship is Giving” (Worship is not Receiving)

In the OT, nobody is to come before God empty handed.

You know, even today, why do so many Christians have such LITTLE power in this world? It’s because their first thought is to RECEIVE blessing, comfort, consolation, peace from God. Of course, this is not bad. Through worship God will GIVE something great that you need. God loves his children, that’s true. But remember, worship is not RECEIVING, worship is GIVING.

Matthew 2: Magi story (Wise men)

They came from the East for a LONG distance to worship the baby Jesus. As soon as they saw him, they bowed down and worshiped him and gave him Gold 황금, Frankincense 유향, and Myrrh 몰약.

Hallelujah.

  • Worship is GIVING.
  • Without GIVING, without OFFERING, worship is not worship.

What is the main function of offering?

KEY: Making reconciliation between the receiver of the worship and the worshiper (making a close friendship between God and man (you))

Through the receiving of offering, there is a CLOSER relationship and friendship built between the giver and the receiver (you and God).

2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come. All this has come through God – he gave us the ministry of reconciliation and the message of reconciliation.”

What is the meaning of “living” sacrifices? (not dead)

Through “living” sacrifices, 2 reconciliations happen:

  1. Reconciliation between the giver and the receiver
  2. Reconciliation of the lost back to God

So, how can we become “living” sacrifices?

If reconciliation happens between God and the lost through your love and activity, then you are regarded and accepted as a living sacrifice. This is your “living” offering, your “living” sacrifice.

Worship is a Christian’s lifestyle.

God bless us to have this lifestyle so that reconciliation may happen between God and the lost.

Let’s pray (individual time).

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