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  • Oct 11 / 2020
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Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

Beautiful Restriction (Genesis 7:1-5)

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

<Beautiful Restriction>

1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

Genesis 7:1-5

1.The reason for the flood

Today, I will share from Genesis 7 with the title “Beautiful Restriction”.

The content of this message is clear and direct. Simply put, the flood that God sent to cover the whole world was caused by human disobedience.

God created Adam and Eve, blessed them, and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” God, by his very nature, is sincere, which means that he kept his promise to them. He made Adam’s descendants flourish and prosper on the earth. But, after a time, people began disobeying God’s commandments.

They sinned, not only against God, but also against their neighbors, and their sins just kept on growing.

Everyone in the world lived self-centered lives, but Noah and his family were the exception. They lived God-centered lives.

2.It was the result of sin 

The world God planned, created, and desired was like the Garden of Eden.

When people were in the Garden of Eden, they had close fellowship with God, obeyed him, and loved the other people, creatures, and nature that God created.

But people living in the age of Noah were much different from those who originally lived in the Garden of Eden. People did not think of God as the master of life. In fact, they did not think of God at all. They also lived with the mindset that their brothers and sisters and neighbors were their competitors and enemies.

God saw all this, and regretted creating people altogether.

Therefore, God decided to judge the people with a flood that would cover the whole earth and destroy all of Creation, so that sin would no longer grow.

3.Restriction vs Freedom

Here are two very important words.

“Restriction” and “Freedom”

“Restriction” is the restraint or denial of one’s own will or behavior. It’s a state in which I can do what’s allowed, but ”restricted” from doing what’s not allowed.

So, what about “Freedom”? Freedom is a state in which I can do as I please without any restrictions.

So, think about it, If you had to choose between “Restriction” and “Freedom,” which one would you choose? I think Most people would choose “freedom.”

Now let me ask you one more question.

If you had to choose between “a life restricted by, or bound by God” and “a life of freedom in the world,” which one would you choose?

I hope you will choose “a life bound by God” But “a life of freedom in the world” seems quite attractive to us, doesn’t it?

To believe in God, and allow him to be master of your life, MEANS to live a life bound by, or restricted by him.

This is illustrated quite clearly in the lyrics of the hymn “Come Thou fount of every blessing”.

Let me take a look at these lyrics.

Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of God’s redeeming love

Notice the last line here at the end of the verse, “Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s redeeming love.” The phrase, “I’m fixed upon it” indicates a life bound by God. When we are “fixed upon it,” fixed upon his love, we are bound by it and bound to it. In a sense, we are restricted by his love, and restricted for his love.

Consider any loving relationship between either friends or lovers. There are certain restrictions applied to each person, certain things that you either cannot do, or will not do as a result of the love received from that person, and your love for them in return. 

The same is true of God.  As this hymn reminds us, a life that follows God is a life that is bound by God, and bound to God.

In such a life, a life devoted to God, we struggle to do the things God loves, and not do the things that God hates or does not allow.

Genesis 7, which we will share today, introduces a man of great faith who lived such a life.

His name was Noah.

Noah, who built the ark according to God’s command, and filled it according to God’s command, and piloted and lived in it as flood waters rose and until they retreated according to God’s orders, shows a life bound by God.

These days, because of the coronavirus, our lives are not as free as usual. It is not easy to meet friends, or go to school, work, or church.

There may be many times when we get bored because we have to stay at home for a long time. Many people seem to be having trouble with this situation.

However, this man, Noah, lived a life that was no freer than ours. In fact, his life was far more restricted than ours in many ways.

Perhaps there were times when Noah wished to go outside and get some fresh air. To walk in the mountains, or a garden, or just anywhere that was larger than 300 cubits long by 50 cubits wide. Perhaps he wished for a change in his diet, or his daily routine, or the people (and animals) he met and lived with on a daily basis.

But all of that was impossible.

Outside the safety of the ark, a raging sea completely covered the whole earth.

So Noah was restricted to looking only inside the ark because there was no other option.

Noah certainly loved his family, but it was probably not easy to stay with them for a long time locked up in the ark. And to make matters worse, the ark was also filled with all the birds and animals that God had brought in to occupy it.

I’m sure Noah would have been very uncomfortable with the many cries and excrement of these animals.

Also, Noah certainly would have had a hard time because he did not know when God’s judgment would end.

The word “ark” means ”box” and the description of the ark alone cannot fully help us understand it. But if we think of the ark as a giant box, we can better imagine the situation Noah was in, living with the animals in this small, confined space. It couldn’t have been easy at all.

Because Noah was a person, he would have wanted to have at least some time alone.

But life in the ark, bound by God, included a lot of difficult things he had to endure.

Now, if people have been paying attention to this story so far, many will say this.

‘Well… I knew this was going to happen.’

So, I would rather live a life of freedom in the world than a life bound by God.

But really, What is a life of free living in the world?

Genesis 7:20-21

20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than twenty feet. 21 Every living thing that moved on the earth perished — birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.

The people who chose to live freely in the world were people who could not enter the ark.

Those who lived a free life without God died in fear when the time of judgment came.

The so-called “freedom” of those who did not accompany God did nothing to protect their lives when it mattered most.

So, Is a “life bound by God” really frustrating?

Is there really no freedom at all in it?

4. Beautiful Restriction

Here are the lyrics to the song “Beautiful Restriction” which was a Korean song written by Han Kyung-ae and sung by Kim Jong-seo in 1996.

May it be a happy day
Open my eyes, I get to pray every morning,
I bear That happiness might run away
I’m fortunate to meet you

I’ve finally got things to do on Holidays
Set the date, meet and part
It gets harder to let you go before your house
What should I do?

It’s my first time
It’s my first time, at last
I am in love
Me, who loved myself and being alone
Got a new me

It’s a beautiful restriction,
How love changes a man, 
It’s sweet to be alive

The person described in this song was originally a person who loved only himself. He loved the freedom of being alone. But when this person fell in love, the freedom of being alone disappeared and a woman appeared to restrict him. He had lost his freedom to sleep in over the holidays, and his time alone has disappeared.

But What kind of confession does this person whose freedom has disappeared make?

Surprisingly, this person says:

“It’s a beautiful restriction, How love changes a man, It’s sweet to be alive!”

Now what do you think about that?
Does it still feel like a “life bound by God” is frustrating?

I think this song best expresses the mindset of “a person who is bound by God” because it clearly shows a “person who is bound by love.”

As the song indicates, this beautiful restriction is Love!! Love has the power to completely change a person.

So now, What is it like to give up my freedom in the world for God?

It is like a person who deliberately cuts off what he enjoys for the sake of his partner.

We make a choice in this manner:

  • “I won’t eat a midnight snack so my wife won’t worry about me!” and
  • “From now on, I won’t do what God hates so that God doesn’t worry about me!”

But not all problems are easily solved by our strength and will and determination.

This is because we are all weak and vulnerable people who are tempted by sin.

Then How can we be saved, when we can’t solve our own sins?

We can find that clue in Genesis 6:9

9 This is the account of Noah.  Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Amen.

Genesis 6:9

In fact, Noah was a fragile man like us.

But when he walked with God, God recognized him as a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time. This is a powerful message the Bible gives us today.

If our personal power is “0”, it will become “100” when we accompany God.

Even if there is sin in us, when we accompany God, by putting our faith in his son Jesus Christ, God will transform us into righteous people, through the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross, taking our sin and our shame, and replacing it with Jesus’ righteousness.

We can never save ourselves.

Only God saves us.

And This salvation of God is found only through faith in Jesus Christ, his son.

We have long heard the phrase”Noah’s Ark”.

But that is not actually the correct phrase. In fact, “God’s Ark” is more correct.

This is because God was the architect of the ark, and the guide to the path of life.

He gathered the animals for the ark, and closed the door of the ark for the last time, saving all who were inside from the flood that destroyed all life outside. This act of God clearly shows that salvation is God’s work.

In the end, God did everything.What Noah did was just obey God’s will.This is the essence of the Christian life.

If we make every effort to live according to God’s will, God works for us directly, helping us to obey him and live according to his will.

We are weak and cannot follow God’s mission on our own.

Rather, The Holy Spirit moves within our hearts and leads us to do good things.

And actually, there is real freedom in such a Christian life.

This is the beautiful Restriction of God towards us.

Love God!
Obey God!
God will work for us!


<아름다운 구속>

창세기 7:1-5

1.홍수의 원인

 오늘은 “아름다운 구속” 이라는 제목으로 창세기 7장을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

그 내용은 단순합니다. 그것은 온 세상에 홍수가 났다는 것입니다.

홍수의 원인은 인간의 불순종입니다.

하나님께서는 아담과 하와를 만드시고 그들을 축복하시며 “생육하고 번성하라”고 말씀하셨습니다.

하나님은 신실 하시기 때문에, 그 약속을 지키셨습니다.

그래서 아담의 자손들의 수가 많아지게 하셨습니다.

하지만 사람들은 주인이신 하나님께 불순종하였습니다.

그들은 하나님과 이웃에게 죄를 지었고, 그들의 죄가 점점 커져가고 있었습니다.

세상의 모든 사람들이 자기 중심적으로 살았지만, 노아와 그의 가족은 하나님 중심으로 살았습니다.

2.죄의 결과

하나님이 원하시는 세상의 모습은 에덴동산과 같았습니다.

사람들이 에덴 동산에 있을 때 그들은 하나님께 순종하였습니다. 

그들은 하나님이 창조하신 다른 사람과 창조물들, 그리고 자연을 사랑하였습니다.

하지만 노아가 살던 시대의 사람들의 모습은, 에덴 동산에서 살던 사람들의 모습과 달랐습니다.

사람들은 생명의 주인이신 하나님을 생각하지 않았습니다. 

또 그들은 형제 자매와 이웃을 나의 경쟁자로 여기면서 살고 있었습니다.

이 모습을 보신 하나님은 사람을 만드신 것을 후회하셨습니다.

하나님은 이제 더 이상 죄가 커지지 않도록 홍수를 통해 사람들을 심판하시려고 하는 것입니다.

3.구속과 자유

 여기 두 개의 단어가 있습니다. “구속”과 “자유” 입니다.

“구속”은 내 뜻이나 행동에 제한이 생기는 것 입니다.

허락된 것들은 내가 할 수 있지만, 허락되지 않은 것들은 내가 할 수 없는 것입니다.

“자유”는 무엇일까요?

자유는 어떠한 제한 없이 내 마음대로 할 수 있는 상태입니다.

 당신이 “구속”과 “자유” 중 한 가지를 선택해야 한다면, 어떤 것을 선택하겠습니까?

아마 대부분의 사람들은 “자유”를 선택할 것 입니다.

 하나 더 질문하겠습니다.

“하나님께 구속 된 삶”과 “세상에서 자유로운 삶” 중 한 가지를 선택해야 한다면, 어떤 것을 선택하시겠습니까?

 이 질문에 대한 정답은 “하나님께 구속된 삶” 입니다. 

그러나 “세상에서 자유로운 삶” 또한 우리에게 꽤 매력적으로 보입니다.

하나님을 믿는 다는 것은, 하나님께 구속된 삶을 살아간다는 의미입니다.

이것은 찬송 “복의 근원 강림하사”의 가사에 잘 나타나 있습니다.

이 가사를 한번 살펴 보겠습니다.

———————————————-

복의 근원 강림하사 찬송하게 하소서
한량 없이 자비하심 측량할 길 없도다
천사들의 찬송가로 나를 가르치소서
구속하신 그 사랑을 항상 찬송합니다

———————————————-

이 찬송에서 알려주듯이, 하나님을 따르는 삶은 하나님께 구속된 삶 입니다.

이러한 삶은 하나님이 싫어하시거나 허락하지 않은 것들에 대해서 우리가 하지 않으려고 애쓰는 삶 입니다. 

오늘 우리가 나눌 창세기 7장은 이러한 삶을 살아가는 사람을 소개하고 있습니다. 

그가 바로 “노아” 입니다.

하나님의 명령에 따라 방주 안에서 살아가는 노아의 모습은 하나님께 구속된 그의 삶의 모습을 잘 보여줍니다.

코로나 바이러스 때문에, 요즘 우리의 삶은 전 처럼 자유롭지 못합니다.

친구를 만나는 것도, 학교를 가는 것도, 직장에서 일하는 것도, 교회에 가는 것도 쉽지 않습니다. 

우리가 집에서 머무르는 시간이 길어져서, 지루할 때도 많이 있습니다. 

그래서 많은 사람들은 이 상황을 견디기 어려워하는 것처럼 보입니다.

 그런데 우리보다 더 자유롭지 못한 삶을 살아가는 사람이 있습니다.

그는 방주 안의 노아입니다.

 노아는 밖에 나가서 신선한 공기를 마시고 싶었습니다. 하지만 그것은 불가능한 것이었습니다. 방주 밖은 세상을 완전히 뒤덮은 바다 뿐이기 때문입니다. 

노아는 할 수 없이 방주 안을 바라보았습니다. 

노아는 그의 가족들을 사랑했지만, 그들과 긴 시간 함께 지내는 것이 쉽지 않았습니다.

그런데 설상가상으로 하나님이 데려 온 모든 새와 모든 동물들이 방주 안을 온통 차지하고 있었습니다. 

노아는 이 동물들의 울음소리와 배설물로 인해, 아주 힘들었을 것입니다.

또한 노아는 언제 하나님의 심판이 끝날지 모르기 때문에 힘들었을 것입니다.

방주의 낱말 뜻은 ‘상자’ 입니다. 

방주에 대한 묘사만으로는 그것을 ‘복원’할 수는 없습니다.

하지만 우리가 방주를 하나의 큰 상자로 생각한다면, 노아는 그 상자 안에서 동물들과 지내고 있다고 상상할 수 있습니다. 이는 결코 쉬운 일이 아닙니다.

노아도 사람이기 때문에, 혼자만의 시간을 가지고 싶었을 것입니다. 

하지만 하나님께 구속된 방주 안에서의 삶은 그가 참아야 할 것들이 아주 많았습니다.

이야기를 여기까지만 들었다면, 많은 사람들은 이렇게 이야기 할 것입니다.

“역시… 그럴 줄 알았어, 나는 하나님께 구속 된 삶 보다는 세상에서 자유로운 삶을 살꺼야.”

세상에서 자유로운 삶의 모습은 어떤 것일까요?

창세기 7:20-21

세상에서 자유롭게 살았던 사람들은, 방주에 들어가지 못한 사람들입니다.

하나님 없이 자유로운 삶을 살았던 사람들은, 심판의 때가 왔을 때 두려움에 빠진 채로 죽어갔습니다.

하나님과 함께하지 않은 사람들의 자유가 그들의 생명을 지켜주지는 못했습니다.

 “하나님께 구속된 삶”은 정말 답답할까요? 

그 안에는 정말 자유가 없을까요?

4. 아름다운 구속

여기 “아름다운 구속”이라는 노래의 가사가 있습니다.

[노래 가사]

이 노래는 1996년, 김종서라는 한국의 가수가 부른 노래 입니다. 

이 노래의 작사가는 한경애 입니다.

이 노래에 나오는 사람은 원래 자기 자신만을 사랑하는 사람이었습니다. 

그래서 그는 혼자 있는 자유를 사랑했습니다. 

그런데 이 사람이 사랑에 빠지자, 혼자 있는 자유가 사라지고 나를 구속하는 사람이 생겼습니다.

이제 그에게 휴일에 늦잠을 자는 자유가 사라지고, 혼자만의 시간도 사라졌습니다.

자유가 사라진 이 사람은 어떤 고백을 할까요? 

놀랍게도 이 사람은 이렇게 말합니다.

“비록 내 자유가 사라졌지만, 나를 사랑하는 사람이 나를 구속해줘서 행복해”

“아름다운 구속인걸 사랑은 얼마나 사람을 변하게 하는지. 살아있는 오늘이 아름다위”

어떻습니까? 아직도 “하나님께 구속된 삶”이 답답하게 느껴지나요?

저는 이 노래가 “하나님께 구속된 사람”의 마음을 가장 잘 표현하고 있다고 생각합니다.

노래에 나타나 있듯이 아름다운 구속은 바로 사랑입니다.

그 사랑은 한 사람을 변하게 만드는 힘을 가지고 있습니다.

하나님을 위해 내 자유를 포기한다는 뜻을 무엇일까요?

그것은 사랑하는 사람을 위해 내가 좋아하는 것을 끊는 사람의 모습과 같습니다.

우리는 이를 위해 결심합니다.

“나는 나를 사랑하는 사람이 걱정하지 않도록 건강을 위해 야식을 끊을거야!”

“나는 나를 사랑하시는 하나님이 걱정하지 않도록 그 분이 싫어하지는 것을 하지 않겠어!”

그러나 우리가 결심한다고 모든 문제가 쉽게 해결되는 것은 아닙니다.

그 이유는 우리가 죄의 유혹에 빠지기 쉬운 연약한 사람들이기 때문입니다.

우리 스스로 죄를 해결할 능력이 없는데, 우리가 어떻게 구원을 받을 수 있을까요?

우리는 그 단서를 우리는 창세기 6장에서 찾을 수 있습니다.

창6:9

사실 노아도 우리와 같은 연약한 사람이었습니다.

하지만 그가 하나님과 동행하였더니, 하나님께서는 그를 완전한 사람으로 인정하셨습니다.

 이것이 성경이 오늘 우리에게 주는 강력한 메시지입니다.

우리의 능력이 “0”이라도 하나님과 동행하면 “100”이 됩니다.

우리 안에 죄가 있더라도 하나님과 동행하면 하나님께서 의로운 사람으로 변화시켜 주십니다.

우리는 결코 우리 스스로를 구원할 수 없습니다. 

하나님께서 우리를 구원하십니다.

그 구원의 하나님이 바로 예수그리스도 입니다.

우리는 예전부터 “노아의 방주”라는 말을 많이 들었습니다.

그러나 그것은 정확한 말은 아닙니다.

“하나님의 방주”가 정확합니다. 

하나님이 방주의 설계자였고, 생명의 길을 인도하는 가이드였기 때문입니다. 

또한 그는 마지막으로 방주의 문을 닫아 주셨는데, 이는 구원은 하나님의 일이라는 사실을 명백하게 보여줍니다.

결국 하나님이 모든 것을 하신 것입니다.

노아가 그저 하나님의 말씀에 순종한 것 뿐입니다.

이것이 그리스도인의 삶의 모습입니다.

우리가 하나님의 말씀대로 살려고 애쓰면, 하나님께서 직접 우리를 위해 일하시는 것입니다.

우리는 연약해서 하나님의 선한 일을 할 수 없습니다. 

성령 하나님이 우리의 마음을 감동시키고 우리가 선한 일을 하도록 이끄십니다. 

그리고 그러한 그리스도인의 삶에는 진정한 자유가 있습니다.

이것이 바로 우리를 향한 하나님의 아름다운 구속입니다.

하나님을 사랑하십시요! 하나님께 순종하십시요! 하나님이 우리를 위해 일하실 것입니다!

  • May 10 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (Hebrews 13:1-3)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (Hebrews 13:1-3)

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Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy

Hebrews 13:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

Concluding Exhortations

1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.


This is the last chapter of Hebrews. In the Bible, there is no division between:

  • Doctrine / Duty
  • Revelation / Responsibility
  • Theology / Application
  • Believing / Behaving

These two always go together.

In the last section, the emphasis is on living by faith – as we studied in:

  • chp 11 – the examples of faith,
  • chp 12 – encouragement to faith,
  • chp 13 – evidence of faith that should appear in our lives if we are really living by faith, not by sight.

Last week, “our God is a consuming fire” and also “consuming love.”

From fire to function, from vertical to horizontal, from love for God to love for human beings. It is clear: what we think about God determines how we think / act toward human beings in this world.

The relationship with God will be acted out in our relationships with other human beings, strangers, the lost.

Last week, our God is “consuming fire” of Mt. Sinai, and also “consuming love” of Mt. Zion. So, the relationship we have with God is revealed in the relationship we have with human beings.

10 commandments

  • 1-4 = vertical relationship, between God and man,
  • 5-10 = horizontal and ethical, the relationship we must have with our brothers and neighbors.

In chp 13, we read only 3 verses, but we can see three keywords of evidence of living by faith.

These three keywords: Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy (empathy).

As we know, we worship such a God. We saw last week that worship is our lifestyle, so our worship must be done in our practical relationship with our brothers and sisters in this world.

Let us see these keywords one by one.

Love

v. 1

“1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.”

Early Christians faced hatred and persecution from the world so they should be able to find love and encouragement in the church.

The commandment to love is a very Old commandment (Leviticus 18:19 “Love your neighbor as yourself”)

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: love one another as I have loved you. In this way, people will know that you are my disciples.”

This old command is called “new” by Jesus – this means, “to love each other in the same way that Jesus loves us.” We are to love based on Jesus’ sacrificial love on the cross. Such love brings people to Christ and makes us strong and united in this world.

Jesus is the living example of God’s love. Like this, we are to be living examples of Jesus’ love in this world.

Romans “Christ demonstrates his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

John 3:16 “God so loved the world…”

1 John 3:14 “He laid down his life for us…”

Bible says, “Let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and truth.”

“God loved us first and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

“No one has ever seen God, but if anyone is in God …”

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear. Fear has to do with punishment…”

How? How can we love as Jesus loves? It is more than warm feelings, but it reveals itself in actions.

How can we love our brothers and sisters? By helping when not convenient, by giving when it hurts, by devoting energy to others without complaining or fighting back.

This love is very difficult – so people notice when we do it and they can know that we are his disciples when we do this.

We are truly brothers and sisters in Christ. These terms are not merely sentimental, but facts. No matter how many Christians there are, we all share one father.

We know how happy parents are when children love each other, likewise God is pleased when we live together in unity.

Psalm “How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity.”

God bless us to dwell in his love and love each other with his love.

Hospitality

v. 2

“2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Ex: Genesis 18, Abram and his wife Sarai received 3 strangers and entertained them without knowing they were angels.

Widely speaking, messengers sent by God are angels – because “angel” means “messenger.”

“Hospitality much be practiced.”

1 Peter 1:9 “Offer hospitality to each other without grumbling.”

1 John 1:8 “Show hospitality to others…”

Why is teaching on hospitality needed so much even 2000 years later.

In the ancient world, hotels, inns, were dangerous, dirty places, often pagan and even criminal activities were done there. Also many Christians suffered deportation by society or their own families. Wandering preachers and evangelists were always on the road. Slaves had no home of their own to go to. Businessmen also had travels and journeys to make. All of them needed hospitality.

Even today, we have homeless people, emotionally, spiritually. They need a homelike place.

Yes, Jesus lived his earthly life like a homeless person. He spent many nights on the mountain to pray. “Foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but I have no place to put my head.”

On the last day, the Judgment Day, he will say,

“When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, thirsty, something to drink, stranger, you welcomed me in.”

“When? How?”

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Hospitality: to make someone feel welcome and at home

It is much better to practice hospitality than miss the chance to entertain angels.

Still today, they need hospitality to show that God is in this world.

Sympathy (empathy)

v. 3

“3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Jesus became flesh – he identified with us in our humanity, our weaknesses, our temptations.

Hebrews 2:18 “Because he suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

“We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He has been tempted in every way as we are, yet was without sin. So let us approach the throne of grace with confidence to help us in our times of need.”

Sin is like a slave market in which a sinner is sold to sin. Sin is like a prison in which a sinner is bound under the sentence of death. Jesus bought us from this market – indicating complete deliverance and freedom from this market. Jesus loosens bonds and sets us free by paying a price, the price of his blood.

He redeems us from the curse of death under the Law by becoming a curse for us.

He frees us completely from the prison of sin, death, hell.

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

All kinds of real freedom can be found in Jesus Christ.

“I’m the truth. Know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

On the last day, the Judgment Day, Jesus will say,

“When I was in prison you came to see me.”

“When? How?” “

Whatever you did for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did for me.”

We have power, authority, privilege, blessing, to share this kind of real freedom in Christ with those who need freedom in Christ.

v. 3 “Remember”

At least this week, let us not forget these three keywords:

  1. Love
  2. Hospitality
  3. Sympathy

God bless us with these so that we may share these with others who need it.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.


Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee

♥허목사님 설교완역(200510)

► 제목: 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심(Love, Hospitality, and Sympathy)

► 본문: 히브리서 13: 1-3

「설교 전문」
하나님 계신 곳에 오심을 환영합니다. 하나님께서 그의 자비와 은혜와 기쁨으로 여러분을 축복해 주시기를 바랍니다. 하나님의 축복이 여러분과 이 교회에 임하시길 축원합니다. 아멘.
이제 하나님의 거룩한 말씀을 보시겠습니다. 히브리서 13장 첫 3절입니다. 1절에서 3절까지입니다. 히브리서 13: 1-3. 같이 읽으시기 바랍니다.

1: 서로 형제와 같이 사랑하기를 계속하라(Keep on loving each other as brothers).

2: 나그네 대접하기를 잊지 말지니, 그렇게 함으로써 자기도 모르게 천사들을 대접한 이들도 있었느니라(Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it).

3: 마치 너희도 함께 갇힌 죄수인 것처럼 옥에 갇힌 자들을 기억하고, 마치 너희 자신이 고난을 받고 있는 것처럼 학대받는 자들을 기억하라(Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering).

아멘.
우리는 히브리서의 마지막 장을 시작하고 있습니다.
성경에는 교리(doctrine)와 의무 사이, 계시와 책임 사이, 논리적 지침(logical instruction)과 실제적 적용(practical application) 사이, 믿음과 행위 사이에는 구분(division)이 없습니다. 이들 두 가지는 늘 같이 다니는 것들이죠.
히브리서의 마지막 부분에서는 믿음에 의한 삶(living by faith)에 강조점(emphasis)이 주어져 있습니다. 이는 우리가 앞서 이미 확인한 바와 같습니다.
가령 11장에서는 믿음의 본보기(example)에, 12장에서는 믿음에 대한 격려(encouragement)에, 그리고 13장에서는 우리가 정말로 보이는 것(sight)에 의해 살며 일하지 않고 믿음에 의해 살며 일하고 있을 때 우리 삶에 나타나야 할 믿음의 증거들(evidence)에 초점이 주어져 있습니다.
우리가 지난 주일에 확인한 바와 같이 전 장 12장의 마지막 절은

“우리 하나님은 소멸하시는 불(consuming fire)이다”

입니다. 또한 그는 다 쓰시는 사랑(consuming love)이십니다.

이제 마지막 장인 이 장 13장에서는 초점이 불에서 기능(function)으로, 수직(vertical)에서 수평(horizontal)으로, 하나님에 대한 사랑에서 인간에 대한 사랑으로 옮겨 갑니다. 그 의미(implication)는 매우 명료합니다.
우리가 하나님에 대해 생각하는 것은 우리가 우리 교회 안에서, 그리고 이 세상에서 사람들과 어떠한 관계를 가지고 있는가와 전적인 관계를 가지고 있습니다. 우리가 하나님과 어떤 관계를 가지고 있는가는 우리가 사람들과, 그리스도 안에서 우리 형제자매들과, 낯선 사람들과, 또한 길 잃은 자들과 어떤 관계를 가지고 있는가에 의해 나타나고 증명될 것입니다.
지난 주일에 보았듯이 우리 하나님은 시내산의 소멸시키는 불이시고 동시에 시온산의 다 쓰시는 사랑이십니다. 이는 우리가 하나님과 가지는 관계는 우리가 인간들과 가지는 관계에 의해 드러나게 될 것임을 의미합니다.

이러한 논리(logic)는 바로 10계명의 구조(structure)에 그대로 반영되어 있습니다. 10계명을 보면 처음 4계명은 하나님과 인간, 하나님과 우리 사이의 수직적이고 신학적인(theological) 메시지로서, 하나님과 인간의 관계, 즉 하나님과 우리의 관계를 강렬하게(intensely) 다루고 있습니다. 그리고 다음 6계명은 우리의 형제자매들과, 우리의 이웃들과 가져야 할 수평적이고 윤리적인(ethical) 관계를 역시 강렬하게 다루고 있습니다.
그러므로 이 마지막 장 13장에서 우리는 단 3절, 처음 3절만을 읽었습니다. 이 3절에서 우리는 믿음에 의한 삶의 증거로서 세 가지 키워드를 볼 수 있습니다. 저는 이 세 가지 키워드는 사랑, 후덕(hospitality) 및 동정심(sympathy) 혹은 공감(empathy)이라고 말하고자 합니다.
우리가 알고 있듯이 우리는 그와 같은 하나님을 섬깁니다. 우리는 지난주에 예배가 무엇인지 확인하였습니다. 그렇습니다. 예배는 우리의 삶, 우리의 라이프 스타일입니다. 그렇다면 실제로 우리가 이 세상에서 우리의 형제자매들과 맺는 관계에서도 우리의 섬김이 이루어져야만 합니다.
키워드인 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심 혹은 공감에 대해 하나씩 살펴보도록 하겠습니다.

자, 첫 번 째 절을 보십시다. 이 절은 매우 짧으면서도 우리에게 매우 강력한 메시지를 전달하고 있습니다. 제1절은 말합니다.

“서로 형제와 같이 사랑하기를 계속하라”

예, 우리가 알고 있듯이 초기의 크리스천들은 이 세상으로부터 박해(persecution)와 미움(hatred)에 직면했습니다(face). 그래서 소망하건대 교회 안에서, 신앙인들 사이의 교제에 있어 사랑과 격려가 있어야 했습니다. ‘우리가 서로 사랑해야 한다’는 계명은 매우 오래 된 계명입니다. 구약 레위기 19: 18에서 이렇게 말합니다.

“네 이웃을 네 몸과 같이 사랑하라. 나는 여호와이니라.”

네 이웃을 네 몸과 같이 사랑하라! 그러나 우리의 주님이신 예수 그리스도는 십자가에서 죽으시기 전 이렇게 말씀하셨습니다.

“새로운 계명을 너희에게 주나니, 서로 사랑하라. 내가 너희를 사랑한 것처럼 너희도 서로 사랑하라! 이것에 의해 모든 사람들이 너희가 내 제자들임을 알게 될 것이니라.”

이것이 무엇을 의미할까요? 우리가 서로 사랑해야 한다는 계명은 매우 오래된 계명입니다. 그러나 예수님은 “내가 너희에게 새로운 계명을 주겠노라”고 말씀하십니다. 새로운 계명이란 무엇을 말합니까?
이는 크리스천 형제자매들을 사랑하는 것은 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시는 것과 똑 같이 서로 사랑하는 것임을 의미합니다. 우리는 예수님이 보여 주신 십자가상에서의 희생적 사랑(sacrificial love)처럼 서로를 사랑해야만 합니다. 그러한 사랑은 사람들을 그리스도에게로 데려와 우리를 강하게 만들고 하나님께 적대적인(hostile) 이 세상에서 우리를 하나로 합치게(unite) 만드는 것입니다.

예, 예수님은 하나님의 사랑에 대한 살아계신 본보기입니다. 마찬가지로 우리는 이 세상에서 예수님의 사랑에 대한 살아 있는 본보기가 되어야 합니다.
로마서 5:8에서 말합니다.

“우리가 아직 죄인이었을 때, 그리스도께서 우리를 위해 죽으신 가운데 하나님께서 우리를 위한 자기 자신의 사랑을 보여주시느니라(demonstrate).”

요한복음 3: 16을 통해 우리는 알고 있습니다.

“하나님이 세상을 이처럼 사랑하사 독생자(one and only son)를 주셨으니 이는 그를 믿는 자마다 멸망하지(perish) 않고 영생을 얻게 하려 하심이라”

요한일서 3: 14에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“우리는 (왜?) 우리 형제들을 사랑하기 때문에 사망으로부터 생명으로 옮겨진 것을 아느니라.”

우리는 바로 이를 통해 사랑이 무엇인지 알 수 있게 됩니다. 예수 그리스도는 우리를 위해 자기 생명을 내려놓으셨습니다. 그러므로 우리는 우리 형제자매들을 위해 우리의 생명을 내려놓아야 합니다. 이게 가능할까요? 쉽겠어요, 어렵겠어요?
성경은 계속해서(continually) 말씀하십니다.

“혀나 말로써 사랑하지 말고 행동과 진심으로 사랑하자!”

이것이 사랑인 것입니다. 우리가 하나님을 사랑한 것이 아니고, 하나님께서 먼저 우리를 사랑하셔서 우리의 죄를 인해 자기 아들을 속죄의 제물(atoning sacrifice)로 보내신 것입니다. 하나님께서 우리를 사랑하셨으므로 우리도 서로를 사랑해야만 합니다. 아무도 하나님을 본 사람은 없지만 우리가 만약 서로를 사랑한다면 하나님은 우리 안에 거하셔서 그의 사랑이 우리 안에서 온전케 이루어지는 것입니다.
사랑 안에서는 두려움이 없어집니다. 두려움은 징계(punishment)와 관계가 있습니다(have something to do with). 두려워하는 사람은 사랑 안에서 온전하거나 완벽해질 수 없습니다. 이게 가능할까요?

어떻게 우리는 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시듯이 다른 사람을 사랑할 수 있을까요?
그러한 사랑은 단지 어떤 감정 이상의 것입니다. 그것은 스스로 행동을 유발하는 하나의 태도(attitude)입니다. 어떻게 우리는 다른 사람들, 우리 형제자매들을 예수님이 우리를 사랑하시는 것처럼 사랑할 수 있을까요?
쉽지 않은(not convenient) 상황에서 그들을 도움으로써 가능합니다. 아플 때 부조함으로써, 내 자신보다는 다른 사람의 복리(welfare)를 위해 정력을 바침으로써, 불평하거나 저항하지 않고 다른 사람들의 상처만을 쳐다봄으로써 이것이 가능합니다.

우리는 이런 종류의 사랑은 실천하기가 매우 어렵다는 것을 압니다. 이것이 우리가 그런 일을 할 때 사람들이 우리가 예수님의 제자임을 알아보게(notice) 되는 이유인 것입니다. 우리는 초자연적인(supernatural) 근원으로부터 권능을 부여받게 됩니다.
예, 우리는 정말로, 진정으로 그리스도 안에서 형제자매들입니다. 형제자매들이라는 이 어휘는 단지 정서적인(sentimental) 표현에 그치는 것이 아니라 객관적(objective)으로 나타나는 사실을 말합니다. 왜냐하면 아무리 많은 크리스천들이 있다 하더라도 우리는 오직 한 분의 하나님만을 공유하기 때문입니다.

예, 우리는 우리 세상적인 부모님은 자기 자녀들이 형제자매로서 서로 사랑할 때 매우 행복해 하게 됨을 압니다. 마찬가지로 우리 아버지 하나님께서도 형제자매들이 하나가 되어(in unity) 함께 살아갈 때 기뻐하실 것입니다. 이것이 시편 133편 1절에서 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.

“형제들이 하나가 되어 함께 살면 얼마나 선하고 즐거운 일인가!”

하나님께서 자기 사랑으로 우리를 축복하셔서 예수 그리스도의 권능으로 우리가 서로 사랑할 수 있기를 축원합니다.

다음 두 번째 키워드는 후덕(厚德)입니다. 제 2절을 읽으실까요?

2절: “나그네 대접하기(entertain)를 잊지 말지니, 그렇게 함으로써 자기도 모르게(without knowing it) 천사들을 대접한 이들도 있었느니라.”

(이와 관련하여) 여러분은 성경에 있는 어떤 사람을 아십니까? 예로서, 구약 창세기 18장에서 아브라함과 그 아내 사라는 그들이 모르는 세 나그네를 영접하고(receive) 그들이 천사인 줄을 모른 채 이들을 대접했습니다.
그렇습니다. 좁은 의미로 말하면(narrowly speaking) 천사들은 천사들, 즉 영적인 존재들입니다. 그러나 넓은 의미로 말하면 우리는 하나님이 보내신 사자(messenger)를 천사라 부를 수 있습니다. 문자 그대로(literally)의 천사는 사자 혹은 전령(herald)을 의미하기 때문입니다.
로마서 12: 13은 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“후덕이 실천되어야 한다. 후덕을 실천하라!(Practice hospitality)”

또한 베드로전서 4: 9에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“원망(grumbling)하지 않고 서로 후덕을 베풀라!”

요한 3서 1: 8에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“하나님 일을 하는 자들에게 후덕함을 보임으로써 우리가 진리를 위해 동역할(work together) 수 있도록 하라”

우리는 후덕에 관한 가르침이 2천 년 전에까지도 왜 그토록 매우 필요했던가에 대해 의아하게 생각할 수 있습니다. 우리는 2천 년 전의 그러한 상황에 대한 배경을 알 필요가 있습니다. 제가 당시의 시대적 상황을 일부 소개해드리겠습니다.

첫째로, 당시에는 고대의 호텔인 여인숙(inn)은 그 환경이 매우 열악(miserable)했습니다. 불결하고 위험한 곳이었던 거죠. 때로는 여인숙 안에서 이교도적 활동과 범죄행위들이 저질러지곤 했죠. 따라서 여인숙, 즉 호텔은 크리스천들에게는 마음에 내키거나(congenial) 건전한 곳이 아니었습니다.

둘째로, 당시에는 많은 크리스천들이 믿음 때문에 그 사회와 심지어는 그 가족으로부터 추방(deportation)당하는 고초를 겪었습니다. 또한 바울이나 그 동역자들처럼 여행을 다니며 사역하는 선교사들, 떠돌아다니는 교역자와 복음전파자들은 언제나 방랑길에 있었습니다. 노예들은 갈 수 있는 자기 집이 없었습니다. 소규모의 사업자들 또한 여행과 떠돌이 생활을 해야 했습니다.
이들 모두가 대접을 필요로 하는 사람들이었죠.

오늘의 경우는 어떻습니까? 예, 오늘도 우리에게는 집 없는 사람들(homeless people)이 있습니다. 말 그대로 뿐 아니라 정서 상으로(emotionally), 영적으로 집이 없어 거처를 필요로 하는 사람들이 많습니다.

예, 우리 주님, 우리 구원자이신 예수 그리스도는 이 땅에서의 자기 삶을 집 없는 사람들처럼 사셨습니다. 여러분은 이를 아십니까? 예수님께서는 수많은 밤을 산에서 기도하며 지내셨습니다. 예수님께서는 친히 말씀하셨습니다.

“여우들도 구멍이 있고, 공중의 새들도 보금자리가 있거늘 나는 내 머리를 둘 곳이 없도다.”

예수님은 자신을 홈리스(homeless)와, 나그네들과, 가난한 자들과, 약한 자들과 동일시한(identify) 것이죠. 마지막 날, 심판(judgment)의 날에 예수님은 그가 이미 보여주신 대로 이렇게 말씀하실 것입니다. 그는 자기의 진정한 추종자(follower)들에게 말씀하셨습니다.

“내가 굶주렸을 때 너희가 내게 먹을 것을 주었노라. 내가 목말랐을(thirsty) 때 너희가 내게 마실 것을 주었노라. 내가 나그네(stranger)이었을 때 너희가 나를 영접하였노라.”

이들이 놀라서 이렇게 물을 수 있습니다.

“주님, 제가 언제, 어떻게요?”

그러자 예수님이 말씀하십니다.

“내 형제들 중 가장 작은 단 한명을 위해 무엇을 하든 너희는 나를 위해 한 것이니라.”

그렇습니다. 후덕이란 무엇입니까? 후덕이란 단순히 다른 사람들이 안락하고(comfortable) 편안하게 느끼도록(feel at home) 해주는 것을 의미합니다. 천사들을 대접할 기회를 필요로 하는 것보다는 더 관대하게 후덕을 실천하는 것이 훨씬 더 낫습니다.
시대를 초월해서 기독교는 열린 문, 열린 마음의 종교임을 기억하십시오. 오늘도 그들은 이 세상에서 하나님이 누구이고 예수님이 누구인지 알 수 있도록 우리에게서 후덕을 필요로 하고 있습니다.

셋째로, 마지막 키워드는 동정심 혹은 공감(共感)입니다. 마지막 절인 3절을 읽으실까요?

3절: “마치 너희도 함께 갇힌 죄수인 것처럼 옥에 갇힌 자들을 기억하고, 마치 너희자신이 고난을 받고 있는 것처럼 학대받는(mistreat) 자들을 기억하라.”

예수님은 육신(flesh)이 되셨습니다. 이것이 의미하는 바는 무엇일까요?
그렇습니다. 예수님은 인간이 되었습니다. 예수님이 인간이 되었다는 것은 그가 우리의 인간성(humanity), 우리의 허약성(weakness), 우리의 시험 들기(temptation)에 있어 우리들, 여러분과 저와 동일하게 되셨음을 의미합니다.
히브리서 2: 18에서는 이렇게 말합니다.

“그가 시험을 당해 고난을 겪으셨으니, 그는 시험 당하는 자들을 도우실 수 있느니라.”

계속해서 이 책은 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“우리에게는 우리의 연약함을 동정하실(sympathize) 수 있는 제사장(high priest)이 계십니다.”

우리가 시험을 당하듯이 그도 모든 방법으로, 그러나 죄를 범하지 않으시고, 시험을 당하실 수 있으십니다. 그러므로 확신을 가지고 자신 있게 은혜의 면류관에 다가가 긍휼을 받고 은혜를 받아 필요할 때 도움을 받으십시다.

우리는 옥에 갇힌 사람들(the imprisoned), 학대받는 사람들(the mistreated)과 마음을 같이 할 의지가 있어야 합니다.

죄는 죄인들이 죄 아래에서 팔리는 노예시장과 같습니다.
죄는 감옥과 같습니다. 죄는 죄인이 사형선고(sentence of death) 하에 묶여 있는 감옥과 마찬가지입니다. 그래서 예수님은 십자가에 죽으심으로 이 시장에서, 이 감옥에서 우리를 사 오신 것이며, 이는 죄의 사역으로부터의 온전한 구제(deliverance), 온전한 석방(freedom)을 의미하는 것입니다.
예수님은 보혈(precious blood)이라는 대가를 지불하시고 우리가 메인 죄의 사슬(chain, bond)을 푸심으로써(loosen) 우리를 자유케 하셨습니다. 예수님은 친히 우리를 위해 깨어진 율법의 저주가 되어 우리를 구속하셨습니다(redeem). 이는 예수님의 죽으심이 죄의 감옥, 죽음의 감옥, 지옥의 감옥으로부터의 우리의 온전한 구제, 우리의 온전한 자유를 위해 지불된 속죄 제물(ransom)이 되셨음을 의미합니다.
갈라디아서 5: 1에서는 이렇게 말하고 있습니다.

“그리스도가 우리를 자유케 하신(set free) 것은 자유를 위함이라. 그러므로 굳건하게 서서(stand firm) 다시는 너희 스스로 종의 멍에(yoke)를 지지 말라”

오늘날 우리 주위에는 진정한 자유를 필요로 하는 사람이 많습니다. 여러분이 아시듯이 모든 종류의 자유는 오직 예수 그리스도 안에서만 가능합니다. 예수님께서는 친히 말씀하십니다.

“나는 진리이다. 진리를 알지어다. 진리가 너희를 자유케 하리라.”

이는 자유는 오직 진리 안에서 찾을 수 있고 즐길 수 있음을 의미합니다. 그러므로 예수께서는 말씀하십니다.

“나는 진리이다.”

또한 마지막 날, 심판의 날에 예수님께서는 자기의 진정한 추종자들에게, 진정한 제자들에게 이렇게 말씀하실 것입니다.

“내가 감옥에 있을 때 너희가 나를 보러 왔었노라.”

그 때 그들은 놀래서 이렇게 묻습니다.

“주님이시여, 언제, 어떻게 그렇게 했습니까?”

그러자 예수님이 말씀하십니다.

“내 형제들 중 가장 작은 자들 중 한 사람이라도 위해서 무슨 일을 하든 나를 위해 한 것이니라.”

예, 우리는 능력이 있고 권세(authority)가 있으며 우리는 특권(privilege)이 있고 우리는 축복이 있어 예수 그리스도 안에서 예수 그리스도의 권능에 의해 진정으로 자유를 필요로 하는 사람들과 이런 종류의 자유를 나눌 수 있습니다. 꼭 기억하십시오.
2절에서는 잊지 말라고 말하고, 3절에서는 기억하라고 말합니다. 적어도 이 주일동안 만큼은 이 세 가지 키워드를 잊지 마시고 꼭 기억하십시다. 이 키워드들을 여러분은 기억하십니까? 세 가지 키워드는

i) 사랑
ii) 후덕
iii) 동정심

입니다.

하나님께서 자기의 사랑으로, 자기의 후덕으로, 그리고 자기의 동정심으로 우리를 축복하셔서 우리가 이 세상에서 이 놀라운 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심(공감)을 이와 같은 사랑, 후덕 및 동정심을 필요로 하는 사람들과 더불어 나눌 수 있기를 축원합니다. 아멘.
갓 블레스 유, 갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도합시다.

             - 아 멘 -
  • Dec 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Five “Let Us”s (Hebrews 10:19-25)

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Five “Let us”s

Hebrews 10:19-25 (Pastor Heo)

19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Here we come to the shift in the book:

  • Creed -> Conduct
  • Doctrine -> Duty
  • Precept -> Practice
  • Getting Blessing -> Giving Blessing

If we are Christians, we must be sincere in our agenda: HOW to live as Christians.

v. 19 “Therefore…”

Therefore, because of what we saw last Sunday (and in the previous reading in Hebrews), “once for all…”

This is a continuation: “once for all… therefore…”

Brief review “once of all”:

  • the sacrifice was made ONCE
  • effective for ALL people, for ALL time, for ALL places
  • Animal sacrifices had previously been repeatedly offered, with no REAL effect
  • Jesus’ ONCE sacrifice is “more than enough” forevermore for all time and places and people
  • Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross shows God’s perfect righteousness and justice, and Jesus’ perfect obedience and humility
  • When we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, all our sin is forgiven and forgotten and the matter is settled forever and ever

“Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ… what shall we say then: If God is for us [in this matter], who shall be against us?”

If God is for me, who can be against me? This is very simple and easy in English, but it has such GREAT power. “He who did not spare his own Son, … how will he not also graciously give us all things? … It is God who justifies.”

The Bible proclaims and shouts (Romans 8) “Who / what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine? Nothing / nobody can separate us from the love of Christ.”

v. 19-21

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, “

Here we can see at least 3 things about Christ:

1. He’s the New and Living Way to the presence of God

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

This way is “new” because it had never existed before.

Also this way is a living way – not dead – because Jesus is alive all the time. Still he is alive.

In human history, since the Creation of the world, many philosophers and teachers and prophets have tried to find a way to heaven – but nobody has ever said, nor has the right to say, “I AM the way.”

The presence and the closeness to God is available to us simply because of Christ. All life shows God, but the love of God was truly revealed on the cross – when Jesus’ body was torn on the cross and his life sacrificed, God tore the curtain in the temple. This symbolized the new and living way – open and available for all who believe in Jesus Christ.

2. He is High Priest

This is the topic of this book – he is the same yesterday, today, and forever in being our High Priest.

We know the function of a priest is to build a bridge between God and man. This means, Jesus not only shows the way to heaven, but also introduces us to his very presence.

Christmas is coming – Jesus became man to become qualified to act as High Priest for us – to share our hardships, our experience, apart from sin, so that he might be qualified as our High Priest. Think about his earthly life, 2000 years ago. He felt hunger, want of sympathy from others, he had all temptations, many sleepless nights, was tired, exhausted, misunderstood, forsaken, persecuted, delivered to death on the cross. All this way preparation for his present priestly ministry in heaven, interceding for us.

Jesus is the only one person who can cleanse us.

In the OT, the human high priests washed their hands and feet and sprinkled the blood of animals to remove sins – but these things were not enough, only external. But Jesus, through his sacrifice, cleanses our innermost thoughts and desires until we are REALLY clean. God never gives up on us in this matter.

So, this is the great turning point of Hebrews. From GETTING blessing to GIVING blessing.

“Let us!” x5

Hebrews is a book of exhortation, encouragement, that encourages us to persevere.

  • If you are blessed…
  • you need to bless others!

We are the channel / the pipe of God’s heavenly blessing in this world.

If you are blessed, BLESS others!

v. 22

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

1. “Let us draw near to God”

(Let us never forget the duty of worship)

God is spirit, so we can draw near to God at any time, in any place – driving, in bed, at school, at work, while brushing your teeth, he’s always available through prayer, praise, crying, whispering, meditation on his word, thanksgiving, worship.

“through worship”

It is given to everybody to live in 2 worlds: whether you recognize it or not – this world of time & space + the world of eternity.

Our danger = to become SO involved in this material world, we forget the other world – the eternal world.

As the day begins, in the middle of our activities, at the end of the day, we must turn aside – if only for a moment – and draw near to the presence of God.

v. 22

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

What about our attitude? Here are 3:

  1. with a sincere heart – God looks at our heart because he is spirit (not hard heartedly, not with pretenses – sincere worship)
  2. in full assurance of faith (not half faith, but FULL assurance of faith – “assuraance” = doubtlessness – he WILL hear us because of the work of Christ)
  3. with clear conscience (cleansed from guilty consciences) – with BOLDNESS – why? how? Based on the work of Christ on the cross – not based on what we have done for God.

“Let us draw near to God.”

3. He is Faithful

v. 23

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

Let us never lose our grip on what we believe and hope.

Our visible situation may try to take our faith and hope away – our situation may take our hope, our money, our reputation, – it may try to make us forget God. The happenings of life may conspire to shape our faith and hope – so we MUST keep a STRONG grip on our faith and hope that NEVER fails (Jesus).

“Faith, hope, love”

These go together as one – just like each side in an equilateral triangle.

  • Faith = “our trust in Jesus Christ based on what he has done for us”
  • Hope = “trust in Jesus based on what he IS doing and will do”
  • Love = “trust in Jesus based on who he is”

chp 11 = “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Romans “We rejoice in the glory of God – we rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, patience, Christian mature character, and hope and this hope DOES NOT disappoint us – because he has poured out his hope in our spirits.”

1 Cor 13 – the Love chapter

“Love is patient, love is kind…”

1 Cor 13:7 “Love ALWAYS believes, love ALWAYS hopes, love ALWAYS perseveres, love ALWAYS protects…”

v. 23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”

We must put our hope IN God.

In you put your hope in your money, your material, your hope will be hopeless.

#3 Let Us

v. 24

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Let us put our minds to the task of taking care of others.

Are you Christian?

Let us remember this not only for our own sake, but also for the sake of others.

  • Selfish saved Christians = impossible
  • Selfish Christianity = a contradiction of terms because we are saved for service to others

We must spur one another on toward noble living. We can do that by setting fine examples, by reminding others of their traditions, privileges, and duties when they are likely to forget them.

We are “revealers” – showers of Christ. If we are really Christians, we show to others who Christ is and what he is like. Christians are the ones in whom Christ is revealed in this world.

  • Christian = revealer of Christ. We are the visible representation of the invisible Christ.
  • Christ = visible representation of the invisible God.

God bless you!

#4 Let Us

(more practical)

v. 25a

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,”

Let us worship together.

Together (in community) is very important.

There are some who give up meeting together in the community of God. Some think they are Christians, but do not go to church services. It’s possible that some say “I’m Christian” but give up meeting together with God’s people, in God’s house, on God’s day.

  • Very clearly: isolated Christians = impossible
  • Hidden disciples, secret Christianity = impossible

To go to church = to demonstrate where our loyalty lies. This shows others what side we are on. Do you need Christ? Yes! If you need Christ, you need church because church (the community of believers) is his body.

We cannot live a Christian life while neglecting the fellowship of believers. This is a valuable time for our spiritual nourishment. God did not design Christians to be completely independent, but rather to be interdependent – to depend on one another to encourage them.

If you skip church, you skip seven days.

Church cannot be substituted with our personal study, nor with only watching it on TV or the Internet.

The church is the body of Christ, the community of believers, and it is imperative that we continue meeting together.

#5 Let Us

v. 25b

“but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Let us encourage one another.

One of the highest human privileges and duties and responsibilities = encouragement.

This world is FULL of discouragement and discouragers.

Many times, a word of thanks, praise, or cheer, has kept a man on his feet.

Remember Jesus’ 8 blessings in Matthew chp 8 “Blessed are the…”

Let me add another blessing:

“Blessed is the one who encourages others, for theirs is encouragement.”

We need encouragement together.

Finally, our duty as Christians together = “all the more” pressing because the time is short and the Day is approaching.

If we are saved, we live (how long?) do you know? You must know. We live eternal life.

“I live eternally”

Jesus “I give you eternal life, you shall never perish, no one shall snatch you out of my hand.”

Eternal life started the moment we accepted Christ as Savior.

But also we must remember that our physical life in this world is very short.

“Your physical life is like a mist that appears quickly and soon disappears; like a flower that blooms and soon withers.”

If we live eternally,

we must live in light of eternity.

We must walk WITH God, before God, and one day we will stand before God to do an audit of our lives on earth. So the closer we live to Christ, the smaller everything else in this world appears.

Conclusion: 5 “Let us”

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

God bless us all with 5 let us.

God bless you.

Let us pray.

  • Jun 24 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Power of the Resurrection of Christ (Romans 4:23-37)
Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Power of the Resurrection of Christ (Romans 4:23-37)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The power of the resurrection

Acts 4:23-37 (Pastor Heo)

4:23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.


Peter and John were arrested and put in prison one night. The next day, the Sanhedrin (Supreme Court) questioned them – just because they healed a beggar in the name of Christ and preached the resurrection of Christ. The Sanhedrin wanted to punish Peter and John but could not because so many people were praising God – so instead, they commanded them not to preach of Christ (especially not his resurrection) any longer. Then, they released them with a strong warning.

Upon their release, Peter and John immediately returned to their group and reported to them the persecutions and sufferings they’d received from the Sanhedrin.

At the report of Peter and John,

  • the church did not complain against God –
  • they didn’t condemn nor judge the Sanhedrin,
  • nor fall down into deep depression and disappointment.

No, their first reaction to this difficult situation was … to pray to God. This is a very important principle that we should apply in our own lives.

How about your own reaction with your difficulties? Your first reaction should be prayer / talking with God. Prayer is our strength – this is our practical strength. This is our first strategy, our first weapon.

Let us see their prayer – and how they prayed.

How the disciples prayed

v. 23-31 (First reaction to the bad situation and prayer)

“4:23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘ [Messiah] 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

Looks like the Pentecost in chp 2 again. The earth was shaken and they were filled with the HS.

5 Points we can apply in our lives

#1 They addressed God as “Sovereign Lord”

Yes, we are talking to God personally and individually. Usually we start “Our Father in Heaven…”

This means they had strong conviction of the power and authority of God. (“You are Creator and Sustainer of all things – there is nothing impossible with you”).

You are omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.

One day, someone threatened Martin Luther: “If you continue to go on in your course against us, you will be excommunicated, kicked out, deserted by all your supporters. Then, where will you be?”

Martin Luther: “Then, I’ll be in the hands of God.”

God is “Sovereign Lord”

Strong conviction of the power and authority of God

#2 Conviction of the uselessness of man’s rebellion against God

Acts 4:25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘

This is quoted from Psalm 2:1-2

“Psalm 2:1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed,”

They applied the Psalm here in their situation. Their hearts and minds turned for comfort to the Scriptures. The parallel is perfect.

In these two verses, we see:

  • kings
  • rulers
  • Gentiles (unbelivers)
  • Israelites (believers)

This is the story of the crucifixion of Christ. “Anointed One” = Christ

The members of the Sanhedrin – arrested Peter and John – and had also arrested Christ. They decided to kill Christ, but had no right to carry it out according to Roman Law. So, they handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilate – ruler over Judea at that time. But, he also did not want to execute Jesus because he could find nothing guilty in Christ. He heard that Christ was from Galilee – so he sent him to Herod (ruler of Galilee at that time). He received Christ, but did not judge him – he only ridiculed and mocked him – then sent him back.

So, Pilate had no choice against the crowd, “Crucify him! We have no king but Caesar!” So, he handed Christ over to be crucified by the soldiers.

What does this mean?

  • kings
  • rulers
  • Gentiles
  • Israelites

Altogether banded together to crucify Christ. ALL humans defy God, but in the end “God must prevail.”

The prayer is based solidly on the Word of God

Psalm 2:1-2

Like this, the Word of God and our prayer must go together.

John 15:7 “If you remain in me, and my Word remains in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.”

  • In his Word, God speaks to us and tells us what he wants us to do.
  • In our prayer, we speak to God and make ourselves available to accomplish his will.
    • The true prayer is NOT telling God what to do, but asking God to do his will through us.
    • It means getting God’s will done on earth through us, not getting our will done in heaven through God.

#3 The set the remembrance of Christ before them

And remembered his suffering and triumph – and they found strong conviction.

Jesus is your Lord? Then this is (more than) enough.

“Jesus is my Lord!~”

#4 For what did they pray?

For what shall we pray in a hard and difficult situation?

They prayed for courage.

v. 29

“29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”

They did not think they could face this situation in their own strength, but they prayed for God’s strength – to empower them and make the best use of their circumstances to accomplish their mission.

  • They did not pray for protection, but power.
  • Not fire from heaven, but power from heaven to preach and heal.

How about in our application? Do you pray?

  • If you pray, please do not pray for an EASY life, but pray for STRENGTH.
  • Do not pray for tasks equal to your power, but pray for power equal to your tasks.

#5 Through this prayer, we can see the result – again the gift of the HS.

v. 31

“31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

This is a similar event to Pentecost – they were filled with the HS again. They found the courage and strength they needed to witness about Christ.

Today we need to be filled with the HS again – yesterday is yesterday’s story. We need to be filled again and again and again until we see Christ face-to-face.

“Again!”

Christian community

v. 32-37

“32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”

Especially in the community of the church, prayer is supremely important. Yes, the witness of Christ is also supremely important, but the highest culmination is LOVE.

They had an intense love for each other – and a desire to share all they had with one another. Why? Because they are brothers and sisters in Christ – they are one family.

This kind of lifestyle is not the result of regulation, but it is spontaneous. The Law does not compel us to share, but the love in our hearts compels us to share – that is true Christian community.

Joseph (nicknamed “Barnabas”)

He is introduced here for several reasons:

  • he was a generous giver
  • he illustrated the things Luke was describing
  • had the most important ministry in the church (mentioned 25 times in Acts, and 5 times in the epistles)
  • he encouraged Paul in his early ministry and service to the Lord
  • he was Paul’s partner in his first missionary journey
  • he was HS filled – a good man because he was a big encouragement to the church

Also today, we need Barnabas. We need many Barnabusses? Barnabi?

v. 33 (KEY VERSE)

“33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.”

Great power + great grace = Great Christian / church

If you were in this situation, could you do like this?

They “continued” to testify of the resurrection of Christ.

Situation:

The real reason the Sanhedrin arrested, jailed, and persecuted the early church was NOT because of the healing of the beggar, but because of the gospel message – the preaching of the resurrection of Christ.

If this news spread widely, it would mean that the Sanhedrin (elders, priests, etc) were TERRIBLY wrong. When Christ rose again from the dead, they met together and created a plan. They bribed the soldiers to spread a rumor that the disciples stole his body away. If the news of this spread, they would lose their position and status. So, they did their best to stop the spreading of the news of the resurrection of Christ.

They commanded Peter and John NOT to preach of the resurrection any longer.

But… they “continued”

How about our story? Is there a warning? Is their a threat from the Korean government? Is there persecution?

WITH THIS persecution, they “continued” preaching. But we have no such strong warning from the government. So, then, why don’t we preach the resurrection of Christ? We have freedom to do so. So, if we don’t, we commit a double fault.

What does the resurrection mean to you and me? What does this say to us practically, really?

Yes, about the resurrection, I can preach ALL day. But if I do so, you will be angry, hungry, etc.

So, let me share 2 points quickly.

What the resurrection of Christ says to us

#1 Jesus is God

Do you believe this?

Romans 1:4-6 “and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are *called* to belong to Jesus Christ.”

If you are not called, there is no relationship.

We can call Jesus “Lord” – more than 1,000 things “hope, love, peace, purpose, rock, shepherd, friend, brother, etc”

Jesus can be all positions we need – how is it possible? Because he is God – so all positions we need are possible.

He is God through his resurrection – this is the evidence.

#2 The guarantee of our resurrection

This is the “first fruits” of those who believe and belong to him.

Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the Life and whoever believes in me will not die.”

Romans 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

Yes, we experience death all the time, all around us. Somebody dies every day. Death is very near us. We experience death indirectly continually – and one day we will all experience death directly.

Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life, so he who believes in me will rise again even though he dies.”

Our physical death is literal, tangible, so our resurrection body will also be real, literal, tangible. That’s why Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life… do you believe this?”

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 11 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Christ is our Model of what Christian Acceptance means (Romans 15:1-7)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Christ is our Model of what Christian Acceptance means (Romans 15:1-7)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is our model of what Christian Acceptance means

Romans 15:1-7 (Pastor Heo)

15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.


Chp 14:1 “Accept him whose faith is weak without passing judgment.”

The Roman church at that time was a hybrid community:

  • Jews + Gentiles,
  • free + slave,
  • conservative + liberal,
  • rich + poor,
  • strong + weak

So, at that time, in the church, it was very difficult to accept one another. But we must remember, mutual acceptance in church is not optional but necessary because we are the body of Christ. Acceptance means taking people into our homes and hearts. We must avoid racism, discrimination, favoritism, differences. We must seek common ground for fellowship and relationship.

Are you strong or weak? Do you want to be stronger or remain weak?

In every area of this world, there are the strong and the weak: physically, financially, mentally, spiritually, socially, etc.

  • Strong believers = understand their freedom in Christ and are sensitive to the differences of others.
  • Strong believers can function in a variety of circumstances and be an influence for good.
  • Weak believers = not yet mature in faith so as to be free from some rituals or traditions.
  • Weak believers find that they need to stay far away from some situations in order to maintain a clear conscience.

But we must remember that the Word of God and the message of salvation is unchangeable. But human habits and traditions and cultures and thinking are very changeable. So, we must be clear in this matter:

  • Fixable to Christ
  • Flexible to culture
  • Faithful to the Word of God
  • Flexible to the world

For me, when I went to the Philippines and Tanzania, I had to learn all about their language, history, culture, lifestyle, etc. I must become one of them, be identified with them. But at the same time, I must keep my own identity as a child of God and Christian missionary.

Identification without loss of identity is called contextualization.

Paul confessed as a missionary: “I’m free. I belong to nobody, but I make myself a slave to all men. To the Jews, I became like a Jew to win the Jews. To those under the Law, I became like a man under the Law though I’m not under the Law, to win them to Christ. To those without the Law, I became like one without the Law, though I myself am not, in order to save some. I became all things to all men so that I might save some of them.”

This was Paul’s identification.

1 Cor 2:2 “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

This is Paul’s identity.

Identification and Identity go together.

In this life, Jesus was the most powerful person who ever lived, but he did not please himself (v. 3). He did the Father’s will. Finally, death on the cross was not the path he would have chosen to please himself, but he chose to please God in heaven.

Acceptance is not independence from God, but total dependence on God – esp. power / strength in church does not come from independence, but from mutual dependencies.

“Christ is our model for what Christian acceptance means.”

“Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus because to this you were called. Jesus Christ left us an example.”

  1. Jesus (in heaven) came down to the lowest place – to raise us from the dead and put us into heaven.
  2. Jesus (very rich) became poor and naked to make us rich (heirs of the kingdom of heaven).
  3. Jesus (the strongest) became weak to make us strong.

Today, according to v. 7, “Accept one another”

v. 3-7

“3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

Verse 7 means:

When (if) we realize truly that God accepted us as unlovely, wicked, sinful, immature when we came to him, THEN we can be able to accept our brothers and sisters (esp our weak brothers and sisters).

Let me share Jesus’ character as a human being.

We know Jesus is fully God and fully man (not half).

During his stay for 33 years on this earth, how was his character, esp. in accepting others from his deep heart. Let me share 5 characteristics of Jesus as fully man.

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ suffered for you leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.”

5 Characteristics of Jesus as a Man

#1 Absolute Holiness

Jesus lived a holy life – he was absolutely separated from all sins. He was separated in his mind and conduct – he was sinless – totally and completely.

So the Bible challenges us to “be holy as Christ is holy” in all that you do. Can you do this?

We can – as long as we belong to Christ.

No matter how far we may fall from being like Christ, we have no lower standard that the perfection of Christ.

Christ is our model and example of sinless perfection. This is nothing short of absolute perfection. He has shown how to be holy.

This means, the holier we are, the further from sin we are.

Holiness is power. Holiness is strength. Fighting against sin is our power / strength.

#2 Genuine Love (agape)

Unlimited, divine, unending, agape love – Jesus loved all human beings – even his enemies. Jesus loved his own to the last – even his betrayer, even the ones who spit on his face. Can you follow his example? No. But, Jesus IN YOU can do that.

So, we must remember that Jesus is always IN US. I cannot do that, but Jesus IN ME can do that.

Jesus loved those his beat him, persecuted him, nailed him on the cross. That’s why the Bible challenges us to imagine “how wide, how far, how long, how deep is the love of Christ. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall famine or sword or hardship? No, nothing. I’m convinced neither death nor life, angels nor demons, nor any power, height nor depth will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.”

And then Jesus challenges us: “A new command I give you. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this they will know you are my disciples: if you love one another.”

Love is power. Love is my strength.

#3 True Humility

He became willingly humiliated by his own accord.

Phil 2:5 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who being the very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being found in human likeness. He humbled (emptied himself) and became obedient to death, even death on the cross.”

His life – 33 years on earth – can be summarized as a life of humility (being humble).

  1. He was born in a stable, an animal’s food box
  2. During his ministry, he had no house – no place to rest his head
  3. He associated with the lowly, called the “Friend of Sinners” and tax collectors and prostitutes
  4. Most of his followers were of lowly origin, but he revealed the secret mystery of the kingdom of heaven to them
  5. He was crucified on a cross
  6. He was buried in a borrowed tomb

Jesus says, “I did not come to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom.”

Service is power. Service is strength.

  • This world says “Power is the ability to rule over others under them.”
  • But in church, “Power is the ability to build others up under them.”
  • Service is power. If you are strong spiritually, you are here to serve. If you are not strong, you cannot serve.
  • Service is power.

#4 Meek and Gentle

Meekness sometimes looks like weakness outwardly.

Jesus says in Matt 11:28-29 “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden. Take my yoke upon you and learn from you and you will find rest for your souls. I am gentle and humble, my burden is light.”

He did not fight, quarrel, even cry out for his own benefit. “Nobody heard his voice on the streets.” Even a smoldering reed he did not put out.

  • He was very meek in dealing with Judas Iscariot – he knew, but was meek.
  • He was meek in dealing with Thomas who doubted his resurrection.
  • He was meek in restoring and reinstating Peter who denied him 3 times.
  • He was meek before his crucifiers.

“Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.”

We can get lessons from the animal world.

Strong animals.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth.” This is true in the spiritual world and the physical world and the animal world.

Consider the lion, tiger, and bear. They lost their land, their earth. Many of them are put in prison (zoos). But see the meekest animals, hens, sheep, goats, ducks. They are very meek, but they can be seen all over the earth.

This principle can be applied in our Christian life.

If you are too strong – so strong in your own position in non-essential areas, then the room for your welcome will become smaller and smaller, narrower and narrower.

Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” This is a true mystery.

  • Meekness is power.
  • Weakness is power.
  • Weakness can be strength.

#5 Perfect Balance

Especially in his emotions.

  • He was very grave (sad) without being gloomy.
  • He was very joyful, but not vigorously.
  • He took earthly life very seriously.

Isa 53 “Jesus Christ was despised, rejected by men, he was a Man of Sorrows. He wept over Jerusalem.” Do you weep over Jeonju, Korea, the world?

Jesus wept over Jerusalem, over the death of his friend Lazarus.

Jesus sorrowed over those who willingly rejected his free salvation. He bore our griefs and sorrows. But at the same time, he was a man of joy.

John “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and so that your joy may be complete. I have said these things while you are in this world so that you may have the full measure of my joy.”

He was a Man of Sorrow and a Man of Joy.

His Joy was largely anticipation (seeing the large multitude of the church worshiping him in glory)

Paul also was a strong man. Even in prison he was filled with joy, “Rejoice! I will say it again, rejoice!”

Are you joyful? Yes!

Paul suffered so so much because of Christ, but he was full of joy. Yet, at the same time, he was filled with sorrow, “I have unceasing grief in my heart for the sake of my brothers.”

What does this mean?

  • When we see Christ, we are filled with joy.
  • When we see Christ in us, we are filled with joy.
  • When we see the lost, we are filled with grief.

May God bless us to be strong Christians.

Let us take some time to follow and imitate the characteristics of Christ:

  1. Holiness
  2. Love
  3. Humility
  4. Meekness / Gentleness
  5. Balance

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 04 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Do Everything in Love by Faith (Romans 14:13-23)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Do Everything in Love by Faith (Romans 14:13-23)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Do Everything in Love by Faith

Romans 14:13-23 (Pastor Heo)

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and *everything that does not come from faith is sin.*


Actually, this second part of this chapter is a continuation / repetition of the first part of the chapter for more emphasis and development of our character in Christ – especially in terms of our relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Remember last week?

4 Reasons we should not judge our brothers & sisters in Christ:

  1. No position
  2. No ability
  3. No right
  4. No authority

4 Reasons we must accept each other:

  1. God accepted him
  2. God makes him stand finally
  3. We are together fellow servants of the same Lord
  4. We will altogether be judged by the one same judge

Imagine –

  • If we try to drive a car without knowing how, we know what will happen to us.
    • This is the same if we judge without knowing how.
  • Also, if we drive with no license, we know what will happen.
    • And if we judge with no license, what do you expect to happen?

When Jesus first met Peter, the first words he spoke to Peter were, “Follow me.” And after Jesus’ resurrection and first meeting of Peter to restore his position and relationship, he said, “Follow me.” Peter started to, but turned and saw John and asked, “What of this man?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

What does this mean? “Let me worry about John, not you. Let me be the Lord of John. You do your business, I’ll do my business.”

Negatively we should NOT judge each other. BUT we should not STOP with just non-judgment.

We are members of ONE body. That’s why today, we need this passage.

In the second part of this chapter, I want to share 3 points to see our position and standing.

#1 We affect each other as brothers and sisters in Christ

  • sometimes negatively, sometimes positively, consciously or unconsciously

v. 13-

“13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, *make up your mind* not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.”

Yes, we affect each other negatively or positively.

  • Negatively, we can cause our brothers and sisters to fall down, be distressed, be hurt, angry, unhappy, even destroyed.
  • Also positively, we can cause our brothers and sisters to be built up – edifying each other, serving each other.

So… do you have more interest in your impression, or your impact?

Impression vs. Impact

Worldly people have much more concern about their impression that they give to each other (look at social media). They think about what to wear, what to buy, surgery for their faces or bodies, what attitude to show, etc. This is for their “impression” that they want to convey to others.

Yes, this is not bad, but what is MORE important for Christians is what IMPACT you are giving to others – your brothers and sisters in Christ and the lost.

A Christian’s life is being evaluated by our IMPACT on this world, NOT by our IMPRESSION we give others.

v. 13 “make up your mind” (we make up our faces)

  • Making up your face = for good impression
  • Making up your mind = for good IMPACT

Yes, we want to grow in our knowledge. Strong Christians are strong in good knowledge of God. If you have this knowledge: “All food is neutral, no food is unclean, so I can eat all food. Idols are nothing.” If you have this knowledge, you have right, good knowledge and you are a strong Christian.

BUT, if somebody is hurt by your “right” knowledge, it means your “right” knowledge is destroying your brothers and sisters who are weak.

“Knowledge puffs up; love builds up” (1 Cor 8)

Yes, we need to grow in knowledge. But knowledge without love can destroy somebody. So knowledge and love must be balanced. These two must go together.

The moment we become Christians, the feelings of others become more important than our own.

What is true biblical Christianity?

  1. Putting Christ first,
  2. others second,
  3. self last

#2 We must have PRIORITY

What is your #1 priority?

Yes, in daily life, we have many obligations, but what is your mission, your #1 priority? This is very important as a child of God. Please check yourself very honestly right now.

v. 16-20

“16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, [matter of priority] 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.”

This is the matter of priority.

Yes, we must be very clear in the matter of what our priorities are.

Saying: “The second best is the greatest enemy of the best.” (not always, but often true)

We need food, material, clothes, shelter, but these things do not bring us closer to God. These things cannot be priority #1 in our lives.

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Jesus) Jesus knows what we need (physically), but this is not #1 priority in your life.

If you are not clear on the #1 priority in your life, you may regard less important things as more important. Therefore, we will major in the minor subjects.

Do not fight over minor subjects – the place, date of picnics, etc – because we must stick to our priority #1. These are heavenly things, not earthly things. Our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth.

v. 17 “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”

Also, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all these things will be given to you.”

One day, Jesus condemned the teachers of the Law and Pharisees saying, “You hypocrites! You give 1/10th tithe, BUT you have neglected the more important matters of the Law – grace, mercy, faithfulness. You strain out a gnat but you swallow a camel.” Jesus criticized them because they majored in minor things.

v. 17 “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”

Righteousness is having right relationship with God and man.

Peace is more than the absence of trouble. It is not a non-negative thing, but is EVERYTHING positive – it is for our highest good. Jesus says, “I do not give as this world gives. My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

There is joy in our hearts.

“Be joyful always (in Christ) – for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you.”

  • Joy is not a selfish thing. It is not in making ourselves happy, but in making OTHERS happy.

Consider:

  • If you make yourself satisfied, you may feel happy.
  • But if you make God and others satisfied, you WILL fell JOY.

Romans 5 shows these three elements of the kingdom of heaven: “Therefore since we have been justified through Christ, we have peace with God.”

  • Justification through Christ.
  • Peace with God.
  • Joy in the glory of God.

These three items are essentials in the kingdom of God.

God bless us to be filled with real righteousness, real peace, and real joy.

Conclusion: We must do everything IN love, BY faith.

1 Cor 16:14 “Do everything in love [by faith].”

God bless you all – make up your mind, not your face.

v. 21-23

“21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and **everything that does not come from faith is sin.**”

Memorize this last part. Keep it in your heart and brain and mind.

Conclusion: Do everything in love by faith.

Yes we know, everything we are doing is nothing without love. And everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Sin came into this world – we are fighting against sin as long as we are in this world. We are saved completely, once for all, from sin – but still we are struggling. So, we must be clear in this matter.

In the last part, I want to make two things clear:

  1. What is the meaning of salvation from sin
  2. “Everything that does not come from faith is sin”

#1 Salvation from sin

  • Past: We *were* saved once for all from the **penalty and punishment** of sin the moment we accepted Christ as Lord
    • (salvation)
  • Present: We *are being* saved from the **power and temptation** of sin through the power of Christ and ministry of the HS
    • (sanctification)
  • Future: We *will be* saved from the **presence** of sin when Jesus returns or when we see him, face to face
    • (glorification)

#2 Everything that does not come from faith is sin

What does this mean? What time is it now? Are you still with me?

I want to make it CLEAR what is sin.

In a Christian life, we are not sinless. Nobody can be sinless as long as we are in this world. But we must be clear about what is sin.

What is sin?

Biblically (not from the perspective of Man, but from God’s perspective – which is really important):

There are 4 things:

  • The first two are related essentials and a matter of text (from the Bible).
  • The second two are non-essentials and gray areas of things not directly mentioned in the Bible (depends on circumstances – depends on context, not text).

1. Not believing in Jesus Christ

(the greatest sin – which leads to death (eternally)) Jesus himself says, (John 16:9) “They do not believe in me.”

This is the greatest sin which cannot be forgiven. If you do not agree with this sentence, you are not a Christian.

2. Disobedience to the Word of God (God’s clear commands) –

  • Sin of Commission: To do what God forbids,
  • Sin of Omission: or NOT to do what God commands us to do
  1. Negatively: “Do not lie; do not cheat; do not steal; do not murder; do not commit adultery.” We should NOT do it.
  2. Positively: “Love your neighbor as yourself, forgive your brother; Love the Lord your God with all of you” – We SHOULD do it.

3. (Matter of context – gray area) Personal convictions

for example smoking, going to the movies on Sunday, etc. It depends on circumstances and context.

This depends on personal, individual faith conscience and conviction.

If I smoke with a Christian conscience, no sin.

But if I do something against my conscience or against my convictions, this is sin to me.

Keyword: Christian conscience and conviction (this is the message of this chapter)

4. (Gray area) – How personal convictions affect others

If I do something in my conscience and with big conviction, it is not sin to me.

However, if I’m doing something that is not sinful to me (my conscience and conviction are clear), but if MY action causes another person to stumble, it is sin.

1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 10:23 (4x repeated – for big emphasis) “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial / constructive.”

1 Cor 8:23 “If what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat that food again so that I will not cause my brother to fall into sin.” (This is called “making up your mind”).

  1. In essentials: we must keep unity
  2. In non-essentials: we must be open-minded for variety and diversity
  3. In everything: we must do in love (by faith)

These are basic principles of the Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 21 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:8-14)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:8-14)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Clothe Yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 13:8-14 (Pastor Heo)

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


Let me tell my experience.

About 30 years ago, I had the opportunity to join a helping ministry on a small island (Mango-do?) – my church planted a small church on that island (population < 150 – only about 40 families). There was no clinic, hospital, post office, etc. There was only one elementary school – with only 5 students. In 2000, that school closed. One of the students was the pastor’s daughter.

I helped with cleaning and evangelism.

The people were surrounded by water. In ALL directions, they could only see a horizontal line. There was nothing to see except water.

Can you imagine? The most difficult thing was that there was NO water to drink, cook with, shower with, etc. There was NO way to GET water. There was only ONE way to get water: from heaven. It was called “heavenly water” by the people. So, every time it rained, the whole population came out to receive as much water as they could – even 2am. Water seemed to be a savior to them.

I stayed there for 6 days but did not take a shower even though I sweat so much. Through this experience, I think this generation is like this spiritually.

Our generation is FULL of love, but LACK *real* love.

Music, books, movies use the word love so easily.

2 Tim 3 “Mark this, there will be terrible times at the last days. They will be lovers of self, money, physical pleasure.” (sinful, sensual love – but little love of God and neighbors and enemies)

That’s why Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is the greatest commandment and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commands.”

“A new commandment I give you: love one another. By this, all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

“Whoever does not love, does not know God.”

This means – “whoever does not love proves he is not saved – or does not know he is saved” – because God’s saving power is motivated by his unconditional love.

If we are saved, we have already experienced his unconditional love. To experience this love and then NOT show it to others is to not have experienced this love at all.

“I should love.”

But I have no power to show this agape love.

Today gives us the KEY to this love.

Yes, there are many many reasons for us to love if we are really born again Christians. But there are three reasons here in this passage why we should love: God, our neighbors, our enemies.

3 Reasons WHY we should love

#1 Because we are debtors

v. 8

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Our duty to love one another is called “continual debt.”

v. 7 says “give everyone what you owe him. If taxes, then tax, if revenue, then revenue, if respect, then respect, if honor, then honor.” This means that ALL kinds of debt must be repaid.

If you have debt, you must pay – without paying, you will go to prison.

In this life, there is only one debt that cannot be paid fully: God’s love.

Apostle Paul confessed: “I’m a debtor – both to the Greeks and Jews – Christ demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, he died for us.”

John 3:16

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us first and gave his son as the propitiation for our sins.”

“Try to grasp how wide, how long, how deep, how far is the love of Christ.” (wider, higher, farther, longer than eternity).

This love remains with us permanently and never leaves us. No matter how much we try to repay this love, we can never repay it because God continually pours his love into us.

This is agape (godly, unconditional, sacrificial) love.

If we are Christians, we are debtors to God’s love.

#2 Because love is the fulfillment of the Law

v. 9-10

“The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Love is the fulfillment (basis) of the Law.

Yes, as children of God, we are not under Law, but under Grace. We are living under the grace of God, by the grace of God. But this does not mean we are free to live a lawless life.

When we are living by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit enables us to meet the requirements of the Law.

If you practice true agape love, there is no reason for another Law. Our motivation is the love of God in our hearts.

If your WHOLE life is motivated and operated by love for God and your neighbors, we do not need any other Law.

Last time, we studied about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In the Bible there are two ministries of the Holy Spirit:

  • the gifts of the Holy Spirit,
  • the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

These are NOT the same.

  • Gifts (9 in 1 Cor 12): Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Power, Tongues, Distinguishing spirits, Interpretation, Healing, Teaching, Serving, Prophecy
  • Fruit (Gal 5:22): Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control
  • Gift: related to skill, for a purpose
  • Fruit: related to character, personality, spirituality

LOVE is BOTH gift and fruit.

  • Love is means and end.
  • Love is method and purpose.
  • Love is the gift of gifts.
  • Love is the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 13 “If I speak in the tongues of angels, but have not love, I’m a resounding gong. If I’m a super genius, with massive mountain moving faith, but have not love, I’m nothing. If I give all I have and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

“Do everything in love.”

#3 Because our salvation is near(er) than when we first believed

v. 11-13

“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.”

We can see terms related to time here:

  • Present time,
  • the hour has come,
  • nearer,
  • now,
  • night,
  • nearly over,
  • day,
  • almost here,

Yes, as long as time is flying on, one day, our Lord Jesus Christ will come in his body.

Everyday we are nearer to the fulfillment of our salvation (one day). Tomorrow we will be nearer by one day than today.

And ONE DAY will be our LAST DAY on this earth. Everybody has his own LAST DAY. But nobody knows when this day will be.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for nobody knows what it may bring forth. You are but a mist and disappear after a little while.”

But THIS one day is not a normal day – it is the FINAL DAY – to receive our reward, blessing, or judgment from Christ. “Christ will bring ALL things into judgment – including the hidden things. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

  • Spiritually “slumber” means disregard or ignorance and indifference in activity of good work.
  • “Night” = unbelief
  • “Day”= faith
  • “Put on the armor of light” – the first thing God created was light.

Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world” – and then challenges us, “you are the Light of the world”. So what is darkness? The first thing God asked Adam after he sinned was, “Where are you?” even though he knew. This means “Do you not know where you are?” Trying to hide yourself from the sight of God = you are in darkness.

  • Test yourself. If you have something you are trying to hide from the sight of God, you are in darkness.

1 John “Whoever claims to be in the light but hates his brother is in darkness.”

There is nothing to hide because all will be exposed in the light (Jesus).

Up to now, we have seen 3 reasons WHY we must love: God, our neighbors, our enemies:

  1. We are debtors to love
  2. It is the fulfillment of the Law
  3. We are nearer our salvation now than when we first believed

Do you agree?

  1. I must love God with all my heart, mind, soul, strength.
  2. I must love my neighbor as myself.

BUT, I have no power to do so myself.

That’s why we need the Last verse.

  1. “I need Jesus Christ absolutely.”
  2. “Jesus is my clothes, my dress.”
  3. 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

#Conclusion

v. 14

“14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

“Jesus is my dress.” 예수님은 나의 옷이다.

No one is naked here.

What are the functions of our dress?

Here are 4 functions of our dress (spiritually):

#1 Protection

  • from cold, hurt, danger, shame
  • from the attack of Satan
  • the temptation and shame of sin

Even as a pastor, if I’m totally naked before you, I’m so shameful. But Jesus is my protection from all the evil things in this world.

#2 Clothes reveal our status / identity

Especially at that time, clothes showed social rank (king, noble, middle-class, poor)

Even today, we can see this: police, doctors, nurses, uniforms, etc.

Our identity as a Christian is revealed in this world – as a light of the world, aroma of Christ. Can you *smell* Jesus on your neighbor?? ^^

#3 It influences your attitude, tongue, character

  • For example, if I put on loose fitting clothes, my actions become loose – and my tongue as well – then my thinking and my language will be loose. Then my head, character, personality will become loose. If everything is loose, my whole life is loose.
  • If I wear noble dress, my tongue, thinking, habits, character, etc, will be noble.
  • If I put on Jesus Christ, he will continually affect and impact my attitude and character and personality.

#4 They are my company wherever I go

Clothes go together with me all the time. When you see me, you see my clothes first.

If I put on Jesus, people will see Jesus FIRST – wherever you go.

Conclusion: The best way to do and show this kind of agape love (to win souls to Christ) is to clothe yourselves with Christ.

  1. Love = greatest commandment
  2. Evangelism = greatest commission

These two pillars go together hand-in-hand, like two sides of the same coin. They can never be separated.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 18 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Adam vs. Christ (Romans 5:9-21)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Adam vs. Christ (Romans 5:9-21)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Adam vs. Christ

Romans 5:9-21 (Pastor Heo)

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


This book, Romans, is a book of logic and “therefores” – this one short word is scattered throughout the book in many places.

  • “Therefore” of condemnation in chp 3:1
  • “Therefore” of justification in chp 5:1 “Therefore we have been justified, we have peace with God”
  • “Therefore” NO condemnation in chp 8:1 “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Christ”
  • “Therefore” of true worship in chp 12:1 “Therefore, offer your bodies as living sacrifices”

Last time, we saw the biblical defn of the death of Christ with 6 points:

  1. Substitute for our sins
  2. Ransom (redemption) price paid to deliver us from slavery of sin to perfect freedom
  3. Atoning sacrifice (propitiation) to remove the wrath of God from us
  4. Reconciliation – restoration of friendship between God and man
  5. Satisfaction of God’s justice and demand of Holy Law of God
  6. Our death = his death – united with Christ in his death and resurrection

Q: How is it possible to save sinners only in the person of Jesus Christ? How is such substitution possible? This chp 5 gives a very clear answer to this possibility.

Many keywords here:

“how much more” x4

  • v 9
  • v 10
  • v 15
  • v 17

I want all of us to be blessed with this “how much more” – I prepared 4 blessings, but this time will only share 1 & 2.

#1: How much more will he love us NOW as his children?

It is not easy to die for a human man (human logic). It is difficult to die even for a righteous man. No one dies for bad men.

Truth: God loved us so much when we were bad men – enemies of God – v 9 “God demonstrated his love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

If this is true, that God sent his one and only Son to die for us on the cross – “How much more” – will he love us now and here that we are his loving children

  • “Who / what can separate us from the love of Christ? Trouble, hardship, nakedness, famine, etc? Nothing.”
  • Matt 7:9-11 “Which of you, if you son asks for bread will give him a stone, if a fish will give him a snake. If you, though evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your Father in heaven give you?”

#2: How much more is he now doing for us?

As long as we are here, death is very close to us (it can come at any moment).

  • Consider death: human logic = human death is the saddest, tragic news – people become very angry and sad
  • But Jesus’ death = ‘Good news’? But he’s a good guy

Why is this good?

  • Human death = the END of work, END of life, END of opportunity
  • Jesus’ death = a job, a great work – it did not come to him unaware, but it was a definite choice on his part – when he could have avoided it – plus it was a great work in that it accomplished such a great thing
  • Human life = we can do something that benefits others through our lives, but can do NOTHING that benefits others through our death.
  • Jesus = he did something GREAT that benefits others through his death.

Jesus did much more through his death than all human history can do together through their lives.

If this is true, “how much more” is he DOING NOW that he is ALIVE!? – this is the story of verse 9 and 10 (repetition = emphasis)

v. 9-10

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

  • Romans 8:34 “Who is it who condemns us? Jesus who died for us, is sitting at the right hand of God, interceding for us.”
  • Hebrews 7:25 “Jesus is able to completely save those who come to him because he is able to completely intercede for us.”

Let us see 3 & 4 “how much more” next time.

But now, let’s see another small key word: “one”

  • One is enough
  • One is more than enough
  • One is repeated 12x

“One man” Adam vs. Christ

  • v. 16 “one man’s sin” = Adam
  • v. 17 “one man’s trespass”
  • v. 18 “one man’s trespass” – “one act of righteousness”
  • v. 19 “one man”

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Keyword = our identity, unification with (1) Adam and (2) Jesus (if born again)

  • Through your first birth – you are ID’d with Adam
  • If you are born again – you are ID’d with Jesus

That’s why we must be born again. “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘you must be born again”

Let’s pray.

  • May 28 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Abundant Blessings of Justification – Romans 5:1-5
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Abundant Blessings of Justification – Romans 5:1-5

Download Notes in a .MD file

Abundant Blessings of Justification

Romans 5:1-5 (Pastor Heo)

Peace and Hope

1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.


In chp 4, we saw 2 things:

  1. By what Abraham was NOT justified
  2. By what Abraham WAS justified

Chp 5 is the explanation of the end of Chp 4.

Our justification is not just a promise of heaven, but also a tremendous source of blessings we can enjoy now and here. “Abundant blessings of justification.”

As we know, we have nothing to boast about in our faith – but we have much more to boast about in Christ – because faith means we depend on Christ for our salvation. Christ has more than enough for our salvation and justification.

By faith in Christ, we are saved. Do you agree and believe?

By faith we are:

  1. justified,
  2. sanctified,
  3. overcome this world,
  4. defeat the power of Satan and sin,
  5. receive the answers of our prayers,
  6. experience miracles,
  7. experience healing,
  8. experience the power of God (making the impossible possible),
  9. do good,
  10. please God,
  11. make God happy. Do you make God happy?

By faith we can do everything God wants us to do.

Today, we read Chp 5:1-5, which are full of abundant blessings which we can enjoy now and here.

Let me share 5 blessings we can enjoy now and here.

#1 Peace with God through Christ

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

  • Condemnation = God declares us sinners (war)
  • Justification = God declares us righteous (peace)

Peace is more than the absence of war. It is the perfect restoration of relationship without the rending of any hearts.

Without peace with God, there is no peace. No peace of self, spirit, heart, mind, with others, with Creation, etc. Peace with God is the root / source for us to have / enjoy all peace in this world. This peace can only be found through Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus is called “Prince of Peace” (King of Peace) – even 700 years before he came to earth.
  • Eph: “Jesus Christ is our peace.” – He preached peace to us.
  • Jesus IS peace and a man of peace. His greeting is “Go in peace; My peace I leave with you.”

One time, Jesus said something strange. “Do not think I have come to bring peace, but a sword.” (huh?) What does this mean?

It means, in this world, there are many false peaces – sometimes we heard of fake news – also there are many fake peaces. These must be destroyed first in order to have real, true peace and allow it to be built up.

  1. Carnal peace must give way to spiritual peace.
  2. World peace to heavenly peace.
  3. Temporal peace to eternal peace.

Yes, everyone wants peace – all kinds of peace – then, the root of peace is “Peace with God”. Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.” How is this possible?

Who is a peacemaker? I want to bless you all to be peacemakers in this world.

Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the Children of God.” How?

Peacemakers are not entertainers, recreational leaders. No, they are gospel preachers. They tell the story of Jesus – who is the King of Peace.

We can enjoy this peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

#2. Access to God in Christ

We are worshiping God – we are now in the presence of God.

v. 2 “2 through *whom* we have gained access by faith into _this grace_ (the presence of God) in which we now stand. And we boast (rejoice) in the hope of the glory of God. “

In ancient times, ordinary people were not allowed to enter the presence of the king – also the same was true of God. Only the High Priest, the rep of all the people was able to enter the Most Holy Place (the symbol of the presence of God) with the blood offering and bells and string tied around his waist (just in case – if he had something wrong against God in the Most High place, he was to die immediately – but nobody could enter to take his dead body, so they had to pull his dead body from outside by pulling on the rope).

When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain separating the Holy and Most Holy place was torn completely in half – indicating that we would now have access to God directly through Christ.

Gentiles originally were kept out of the temple by a wall – a veil – but when Christ was crucified, it was broken in half. This means that Jesus is the new way for us to enter the presence of God.

Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way open for us through the curtain that is torn. And since we have a great Priest over the House of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and assurance of faith – having our bodies washed with pure water.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy to help us in our time of need.”

“…in which we now stand…”

Justification has to do with our position – our standing.

In the OT time, nobody called God “Father” in a personal relationship. Question: “Can you call God, ‘Father’ in a personal relationship with him?”

Even Moses, David, nobody was allowed to call God “Father” in a personal relationship. But we are. How blessed we are. This means we received a new position / standing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “You can pray like this, ‘Our Father in heaven…'”

Isaiah “…Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…”

Today, we do not call Jesus “Everlasting Father” – so this means, only IN Jesus, we are allowed to call God “Father.” We have access anytime, every time for the help we need. God is very happy to hear your voice. You know that?

#3. Hope of the glory of God

“…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

  1. Peace
  2. Access
  3. Hope of the glory of God

We can come to God anytime.

The hope of the glory of God takes care of our future.

Originally, mankind was created for God’s glory. – But because of sin, we “fall short of the glory of God.”

Therefore, God wants to recreate his glory in us. So, we look forward to the time in which we will share his glory. So, this helps us to overcome our frustrations when we are not all we want to be, nor all God wants us to be. So, when we have THIS hope, we can rejoice in any situation.

If you hold THIS hope, you can rejoice in any and all situations (even suffering).

#4. Rejoice in suffering

v. 3-4 “3 Not only so, but we also glory (rejoice) in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

If you really agree and believe this, you are a mature Christian. If not, you are a baby Christian. Check yourself through reading these two verses.

This begins with HOPE -> suffering -> perseverance (patience) -> character -> HOPE

We are not FREE from suffering, but we can rejoice in suffering.

Remember, justification does not free us from suffering, but it gives us the power to rejoice in suffering. We don’t rejoice in suffering because we like pain, but because we know that our Father God is using these life difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build up our character.

All our suffering, problems in this world:

  1. develop our perseverance (patience), and
  2. develops our character, which
  3. increases our hope and glory in the future.

It is likely that your patience will be tested in some way EVERY day.

Do you serve the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you want to serve our Lord Jesus Christ?

Remember, if you serve the Lord Jesus Christ, suffering is unavoidable. You cannot escape suffering if you serve the Lord in this world. Remember, he suffered for us first.

  • 1 Peter “To this you are called because Christ suffered for you first and leaving you an example to follow in his footsteps.”
  • Phil “I want to know the power of Christ and his suffering….”
  • 1 Peter 4:1 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.”
  • Romans “Our present suffering is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Christianity is the story of a life a suffering.

“Blessed are the persecuted because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven. They persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Tribulation is a kind of suffering.

John 16:33 “In this world, you will have trouble (tribulation) but take heart, I have overcome the world.”

“Tribulation” = from Latin “Tribulum” = flail

Flail (도리깨) = a threshing tool with a long handle to hit the wheat and separate the wheat from the chaff. How painful! How much suffering for the wheat! But through this suffering, the pure wheat is separated from the chaff (garbage).

Like this, through our own suffering, we are purified and our spiritual “wheat” is separated from our worldly “chaff”.

Like this, through our suffering, we can get to know “how I am” and how my heart is constituted. Sometimes, I don’t even know who I am before God, but through this suffering, I can know who I am before God.

Moses vs. Pharaoh

  • Moses = man of God
  • Pharaoh = man of this world

Both experienced the same miracles from God.

  1. Through this, Moses became closer and closer to God through patience, perseverance, character, hope.
  2. But, Pharaoh, through the same miracles, became harder, more stubborn, farther and farther from God, immature temper / disposition, disappointment, failure.

Remember, all the time, God is good.

  • “God is good – all the time.”
  • “All the time – God is good.”

But, in your daily life, in your suffering and trials, can you say THAT?

Imagine: I lost my job, got divorced, lost great money, someone I loved died, I’m suffering painfully in body, soul, spirit, emotions….BUT “God is good, all the time. God is in control of all things…”

Can you say THAT?

#5: We are not disappointed

v. 5 “5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

God has put his love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who he’s given to us. We will study more of the love of God, but for now:

  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Love

Imagine, before we were saved,

God showed his love by sending his Son – surely he will love us more and more NOW – he is pouring it out more and more.

Faith, Hope, Love combine to give us patience in the suffering of this world. This patience makes it possible for us to grow in character and become a child of God.

Romans “I’m strongly persuaded that neither life, nor death, nor anything else in all this world will be able to separate us from the love of God.”

What can separate us from the love of God?

  • “No condemnation in Jesus Christ”
  • “No separation in Jesus Christ”

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 05 / 2017
  • Comments Off on That is why I’m so eager to Preach the Gospel (Romans 1:8-15)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

That is why I’m so eager to Preach the Gospel (Romans 1:8-15)

Download Notes in a .MD file

That is why I am so eager to preach…

Romans 1:8-15 (Pastor Heo)

Welcome to new people, especially students. And welcome to Korea.

Acts 17:26 “From one man, God made all the nations that they should inherit the whole earth and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands…”

Today, the population of the world is around 7 billion (did you count?). From one man, God created all men.

Welcome in the name of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s Longing to Visit Rome

1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. 11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. 14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 **That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel** also to you who are in Rome [Jeonju].


Today is the third time to study Romans.

  1. Our identity in Christ (slaves of Christ) – this means “apostles sent by Christ into this world as his ambassadors with a great commission = we are set apart, sanctified, and ordained to preach the gospel”
  2. The core message of the gospel = Jesus’ substitutionary death and resurrection – Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again for our lives – to forgive our sins and grant us eternal life
  3. Today: 5 keywords that are related to the gospel – for/because of the gospel
    1. Thanksgiving (thankfulness)
    2. Prayer
    3. Love
    4. Fruit
    5. Debt (I don’t like this – so it’s difficult to pronounce)

All these 5 words are related to the gospel.

#1 Thankfulness (v. 8)

8 First, I **thank** my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

This is a vital characteristic in the Christian life. It measures the degree of our spiritual and mental development.

  • 1 Thess 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances.”
  • Psalm 104 “Enter the gate of God with thanksgiving and praise”

Yes, we know this is actually very easy to give thanks for what we WANT: success, health, money. But the Bible says, “Give thanks in ALL circumstances” (i.e. even the HARD things). How is this possible?

2 Keys:

  1. Assurance of salvation – if we have this, we can definitely give thanks in ALL situations. Salvation means “guarantee of the best” – even the worst of this world = the entrance to the BEST of God in the world to come.
  2. If we trust God and believe in his attributes: “good all the time, faithfulness to heaven” – then, yes, we can give thanks in all circumstances (“We know that in all things, God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes” – Romans 8).

Paul gives thanks to God simply because he hears the news that is scattered, that the gospel is working among them. Actually, at that time, Paul had never been to Rome, and the church had not been planted. Most of the Christians were unknown to him in Rome. Personally, he had NO relationship with them personally. But he gave thanks to God because the gospel was working among them. This thankfulness is pure and acceptable to God.

May God bless all of us to be people of thanksgiving to the good / benefit of others.

#2: Prayer

If you pray? For what do you pray? (For ALL = correct answer)

9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

They did not know of Paul’s prayer support – but God knew it and honored it. I wonder how many of us know of the people who pray for us. I wonder how many of us pray for others who do not know we pray for them.

Personally, I do not know how many pray for me. But I know there are some or many who pray for me. Honestly, I need your prayer support and we need each other’s prayer support.

Then, for what do we pray? 2 Supporters:

  1. Holy Spirit
  2. Jesus Christ

Romans 8:26 “In this way, the HS helps us in our weaknesses, and though we don’t know what to pray for, the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Also, at the same time, Jesus is interceding for us at the right hand of God.

Romans 8:40? “Yes, Jesus is at the right hand of God and is interceding for us. So, Christ is able to save completely all those who come to him…”

Paul’s prayer request #1 is “to preach the gospel”.

You have prayer requests, right? What is your #1 request? These can change. For example: “I pray for a better job.” If answered, then I will change my request.

Yet, in the Christian life, there is ONE overarching prayer request: “to preach the gospel.”

Yes, we may pray for daily things in our lives: bread to eat, clothes to wear, success, etc.

But ONE thing we should NOT miss = to pray for World Salvation, World Evangelization, World Mission.

We know how Paul suffered, simply because of the gospel, Paul received much suffering (40 lashes minus 1 twice), he was stoned, shipwrecked, danger from Jews, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, mountain, country, desert, many sleepless nights, days without food, without clothes, etc. Why? The gospel.

Simply because of the gospel, he was imprisoned. Imagine this. If I write a prayer letter with requests to my brothers and sisters outside of prison, I would write: “Please, pray for my release as soon as possible.” But Paul wrote: “Please, pray for me to ALWAYS preach the gospel fearlessly.”

Amazing Prayer request:

Ephesians 6:19-20 (personal prayer request)

19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Wow. What a prayer request. Remember, prayer is not merely preparation for some great work. This is also a great work. Remember, when we pray, GOD WORKS. Yes, talking to man is a great job, but also, talking to God FOR OTHERS is a great job.

God bless us all to be great people of prayer for others’ salvation.

#3: Love

Do you love?

11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

Paul says: “I long to see you. I long to preach to you, to make you strong, to be blessed by blessing you. I long to bless you.” This is the loving heart (pastoral heart) of the Lord in Paul. It is an affectionate heart.

Yes, LOVE is the Greatest commandment.

  • Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength. And love your neighbors as you love yourself.” Is this possible?
  • Jesus says: “Love your neighbor as yourself?” Is this possible? Amen. If so, you are great.

Paul says, (1 Cor 13):

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

This love is agape love, unfailing love, sacrificial love. No one can love their neighbor like this, yet the Bible demands it.

  • Love is sharing
  • Love is giving

Bible asks us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we have no power. God has provided one solution in which we can fulfill this divine love: By preaching the gospel. Why? Because in the gospel message is the FULL love of God. In this gospel, we can get the Best of the Best, salvation, eternal life, heirs / children of God, reconciliation with God, real joy/peace/freedom/victory, final glory.

All of this is found in the gospel. That’s why sharing the gospel is the great commission.

  • Love is the greatest commandment.
  • Gospel is the greatest commission.

These two ALWAYS go hand-in-hand. They are inseparable.

#4: Fruit

Do you have fruit?

13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

The fruit Paul desires to bear = winning souls to Christ by preaching the gospel. Yes, fruit is very important.

  1. Do you have fruit as a Christian?
  2. If we have fruit, what kind of fruit do you have as a Christian?

Fruit is essential to SHOW that “I’m alive” and “I’m growing” and to show who I am (what kind of person), also necessary to receive reward – also that “I’m producing seed for the next generation without stop”. If there is no fruit for the next generation, then that is the end.

Non-living things have no fruit, no matter how huge and fantastic they look. If we have life (Jesus’ life), then it is very natural for us to produce fruit. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit” (Jesus). “By their fruit, you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit… good trees cannot bear bad fruit… every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Also we are to be recognized by our fruit. So, what fruit should we bear?

There is only one kind.

Yes, we can produce much fruit, but there is only ONE kind on a tree.

  • Apple trees only produce apples.
  • Banana trees only produce bananas.
  • Mango trees = mangoes.
  • Coconut trees = coconuts.
  • Cats = cats.
  • Dogs = dogs.
  • Tigers = tigers.
  • Lions = lions.
  • Humans = humans.
  • Christians = Christians. New Christians. Another Christian who also has the ability to reproduce another Christian.
  • Fruit of non-Christian = non-Christians.

That’s why Paul says, “13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.”

#5: Debt

Do you have experience with debt? If you do not pay it back, you must go to jail.

14 I am obligated [a debtor] both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

If we are born again Christians, we are debtors of the gospel. – We owe a debt we cannot pay back. – But Christ paid the debt he did not owe.

Are you Christians?

  • We are debtors of the gospel to the Father God who so loved us he sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.
  • We are debtors to Christ who died for us and rose again to pay the penalty for our sin
  • We are debtors to the Holy Spirit who touched our hearts and opened our eyes to see and receive Jesus as our Savior
  • We are debtors to the people who helped lead us to Christ

So, HOW can we repay these large debts?

Only by preaching the gospel to others.

Paul says, “When I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, because I am compelled to preach the gospel. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.”

On our part, preaching the gospel = repayment. But God counts this as a GREAT reward – the greatest reward in this life.

Conclusion:

God bless all of us so that we may become:

  1. People of thanksgiving for the gospel
  2. People of prayer through the message of the gospel
  3. People of love through preaching the gospel
  4. People of fruit through preaching the gospel
  5. People of (repayment of) debt by preaching the gospel

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 26 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Character of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Character of Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56)

07.26.2015

07.26.2015-PHeo

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The Character of Jesus

Matthew 26:47-56 (Pastor Heo)

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

55 At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.


Last time, we saw how Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. This time, he rose to go out to the battle of life. He knew that the officers and Judas was near, so he awakened his disciples to prepare them for what was coming.

The fact that the Roman soldiers and temple guards carried weapons in a large crowd showed that Judas didn’t really understand the character of Christ. Actually, Judas didn’t really have to betray him with a kiss – Jesus came to them. It’s sad to note that Judas cheapened everything he touched.

At that time, students kissed their teachers out of respect. But, this time it was betrayal.

Even today, no one likes to name their children Judas – (actually, the name means “praise God”) – but understand that you are responsible for the meaning of your personal name.

Last time, I showed the passion of Jesus as FULL man – agony, trust, patience, prayer. Now, he’s almost at the end of his earthly life – so it’s a good time to MEMORIZE the character of Jesus Christ to understand the IDEAL Christian life.

One reason for the incarnation (Matt 11:29) was for Jesus to show an EXAMPLE to us (also 1 Pet 2:21, 1 John 2:6). If Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and King, then NO QUESTION, he must be our Example as well. What kind of man/woman must we be in this life?

Summarize: What is the character of a “true” human as characterized by Christ?

#1: Absolute holiness as a man

He was absolutely holy in his nature and in his conduct/character. He was without sin. Heb 4:15 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but he was tempted in every way just as we are, but was without sin.”

When so many people hurled insults at him, he didn’t retaliate. When he suffered, he endured. He did nothing. He bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might live for righteousness and die to sin. By his wounds, we have been cured.

We are to be holy, because he is holy.

However far we may fall away from being like Christ, we have no excuse for choosing a LOWER example than Christ – who the Scriptures hold up for us as a perfect example.

Since the Creation of the world, among human beings, ONLY Jesus was the one who was/is infallible completely and totally in his teaching and character. It is necessary to have this illustration of what God wants us to be.

  • Bible says to the unsaved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and live.”
  • Bible says to the saved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and follow in his steps.”

When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, his face shown (brightly) – just as we should be transformed into the same image as Christ by beholding him and following him.

We must try, do our best to be holy, because he is our example.

#2: Humility

Even though he was the Original God, the True God, God in flesh, yet he emptied himself willingly and was made/found in the likeness of sinful men. He took on the form of a servant. He went to the place of shameful death on the cross.

  1. He was very rich – became poor – to make us rich.
  2. He was born in a manger in a stable (the animal’s food box) – who ELSE was born there? Nobody. There was no room in the inn.
  3. He had no place to put his head when he was teaching and preaching. He lived as a homeless person. Anyone ELSE is homeless?
  4. He washed the feet of his disciples as a servant – even the feet of Judas, his betrayer.
  • Yes, his is our Lord, he wants to be our servant.
  • He is our King, wants to be our friend.
  • He is our Savior, wants to be our co-heir.
  • He is our God, wants to be a man, to experience what we experience.

God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.

God wants us to be humble as Christ was humble.

#3: Meek and Gentle

He himself said, “I’m gentle and humble in heart. Come to me and find rest/peace for your souls.”

Paul – to the Corinthians “by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you.” He did not smother the weak, and did not bruise the strong.

When Judas came to betray him, Jesus called him, “Friend” even though he knew what was happening. His gentleness is seen more clearly in his dealing with Judas who would betray him. He was also so gentle to those who crucified him because he prayed for them, “Father, forgive them (intercede for them) because they do not know what they are doing.”

“The workers of the Lord must not be quarrelsome.”

Jesus never quarreled, he never cried out. No one ever heard his voice on the street.

Should we cry out on the street? Did Jesus?

This is a good example we should follow. 

  1. 1. In prayer, Jesus cried out to GOD.
  2. 2. On the street, he never cried out to MAN.

We should follow this good example.

#4: Balanced

  • He was very serious without being gloomy.
  • He was not depressed/melancholy – but he was serious and grave.

Was his life joyful or sorrowful?

Isaiah “He was despised and forsaken by men, a man of sorrows, very acquainted with grief. He bore our sorrows, carried our sorrows.”

But, in another sense, he was a man of JOY. Before the crucifixion he said, “I have told this to you so that MY joy may be in you, and YOUR joy may be complete.” In his FINAL prayer, he prayed for ALL believers for ALL time, “may they have the FULL measure of my joy in them.”

Jesus had

  1. the FULL sorrow of life and
  2. the FULL joy of life.
  • He sorrowed totally over those who rejected his free gift of eternal life. He bore ALL griefs and sorrows.
  • His joy was the joy of anticipation, the huge multitude of souls saved with him forever in his glory.

So, how should we live? (Phil 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE!”)

(i.e. don’t rejoice outside the Lord)

1 Thes 5:16 “Be joyful always, this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

God wants us to be joyful all the time.

But the same Bible ALSO says, “blessed are you who weep, who mourn and you shall laugh… woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.”

  1. Yes, when we look at the Lord, we rejoice.
  2. When we look at the lost, we must be able to be sorrowful spiritually.

#5: Diligent worker

“Because my Father God is working, so I am working up to now.” We must work the works he’s sent us while it is day – but night is coming when no one can work.

As long as it is daytime in your life, we must work the work of him who sent us.

No matter how young you are, when night comes (soon), you cannot work any longer.

He forgot his own pain of hunger, sleep, and even on the cross in order to heal and save the souls of others. This is the kind of work we should do in this world.

#6: Love

“Here is Love” – no love is higher, no love is wider, no love is longer, no love is deeper, no love is truer – the love of God is unconditional, unfailing, unending, unselfish, incomparable love. 

While we were still sinners (yes, before we were “good”), he DIED on the cross for us. This is the love of Christ.

Therefore, (Romans 8:38~) “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? … None, no in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.” We can be sure, confident, convinced that neither angels/demons, height/depth, NOTHING in all Creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, in conclusion, we are totally FREE.

But the important question is “from what?”

From condemnation, from judgment, from defeat (he is living in us now, we are sharing his life now), from discouragement (he is coming soon, we will share his glory), from fear (he is praying/interceding for us and we cannot be separated from his love).

  1. No condemnation in Jesus Christ.
  2. No separation from the love of Jesus Christ.

From his earthly ministry up to his crucifixion, this is our conclusion, our testimony, our song, our victory, our proclamation.

May God bless all of us in this assurance.

Let’s pray.

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