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  • Aug 29 / 2021
  • Comments Off on A Mission to Noah Given By God (Genesis 7:1-5)
Pastor Kang, Sermons

A Mission to Noah Given By God (Genesis 7:1-5)

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

A mission to Noah given by God

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

What is a mission?

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “mission”?

Perhaps you think about “mission impossible”, or a mission in war, but every time I think about a mission, it is in the context of missionary work, and I always think of martyrs.

You may know the story of Stephen, who was martyred for his mission, and Paul, who was martyred for his mission.

In this way, “Mission” as it relates to missionary work seems to include a tremendous weight or burden because it is often accompanied by “martyrdom”.

So I used to always lose courage whenever I heard the word “mission”.

How do you feel about “the mission” that God has given you?

I looked for the meaning of “mission” in the dictionary of church terminology where it is described as “the holy responsibility that God has given us.”

In fact, we are all people who have received missions from God.

Mission is one of the reasons our master God created us.

Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that the purpose of our lives is to achieve the mission that God has given us.

Can we handle a mission that feels great and frightening?

Consider Noah. He was no exception to receiving a mission from God, but his mission may seem huge in comparison to ours.

God’s mission is not an option

The mission God gave Noah was to create an ark to preserve the lives of Noah, his family, and all living things from the flood.

Genesis 7:21-23

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. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

We can confirm through this Bible passage that there is no creation in all existence that is able to avoid God’s judgment.

Some people consider Christianity to be only one of many religions and say that it is up to you to choose whether to believe in God or not.

But no matter what a person thinks of God, God thinks of you, and no one can escape from God’s judgement on the Last Day.

What happens on Judgment Day should be very obvious. Those who have served God well and believed in Jesus Christ his son was Savior will be saved and granted eternal life in his kingdom.

For Noah and his family, who had done their best to fulfill the mission that God had entrusted, they received life from God’s judgment.

But on the other hand, those who lived by disdaining the mission God has given them, or ignoring him and his gift of salvation through Jesus, and thinking only of themselves as masters of their own destiny, will be condemned to eternal death and torment in hell because of God’s judgment.

The path into eternity is divided between the path of life and the path of death before the justice of God.

This is why we must do our best to fulfill the mission that God has entrusted to us, even if the way is difficult and our strength insufficient. For he will strengthen us when we are weak, and he will open the way in which we are to go, if only we trust him enough to follow his guidance, even into the unknown. 

So how can we achieve the mission God has given us when our lives are difficult?

God will fulfill his mission on his own

Surprisingly, God fulfills his mission on his own. We are merely his vessels that he uses to accomplish his mission.

We can see a clear example of this by looking closely at some of God’s actions on Noah.

Genesis 6:14-16

14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.

With the help of God’s precise and careful design, Noah was able to systematically and accurately make each part of the ark.

Genesis 7:2-3

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.

After the flood, God prepared clean animals and clean birds to be used for the sacrifice so that Noah could give God the sacrifice.

God even prepared the sacrifice that Noah should have prepared.

Genesis 7:15-16

15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD shut him in.

Noah would have been worried that the ark would be safe in the flood.

But God himself confirmed the safety of the ark in the end.

Can you see how God fulfills his mission on his own?

When was the prime of your life?

Let me ask you a question: When was the prime of your life?

Some people consider the prime of their lives to be the times in which they have the most power and ability, youth and influence, or wealth and honor.

But this is a secular, worldly point of view. 

When is the true prime of life for Christians?

It is the time they accompany God.

More specifically, it is the time they walk the most closely with God and do their best to carry out the mission they have received from Him.

Think of Noah.

Noah was 600 years old when the flood occurred.

At this time, Noah was far from his greatest period of power and ability, youth and influence, wealth and honor.

Rather, he would have been ridiculed by the villagers as an old grandfather making an ark according to God’s orders.

Yet, it is always meaningful and valuable to do the mission that Christians have received from God because God remembers those who live for the glory of God and acknowledges their lives as righteous.

Therefore, the prime of a Christian’s life is not affected by their age, their property, their wealth, nor their influence.

We must remember that the moment we most closely accompany God is the prime of our lives.

We often think of a brilliant and impressive scene when we think of the prime of life.

But most of our mission is in the ordinary, the everyday life, and is not particularly special.

In God’s huge flood of judgment, Noah was given a mission to take responsibility for the future of mankind!

Don’t you think that Noah is great and that his mission was grand when you hear this?

But in fact, the prime of Noah’s life was when he spent every day with God in labor on the ark and waited for God’s orders.

Noah would have lived faithfully in the ordinary and repetitive days that God gave him.

In the end, he would have been recognized by God and greeted the moment of salvation when the door of the ark opened.

Noah’s ordinary routine working on the ark was recorded in the Bible.

And this led to Noah’s heyday, where he was acknowledged by God and became a good model for many descendants of faith.

We have to remember that like Noah, we also have a mission.

What kind of mindset should we have in order to fulfill our mission?

And who is our best role model?

Jesus Christ, the ideal missionary

The person who fulfilled the mission given by God the most fully is Jesus Christ.

Jesus obeyed God’s will and even walked silently along the path leading to his sacrifice and death on the cross.

Jesus accomplished the mission he had received from God through his death and resurrection as God wanted.

Jesus was equal to God, but he did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage (Philippians 2:6). Rather, he constantly sought God and prayed.

This is the life of Jesus’ faith that we must also pursue to achieve our mission.

We must realize that we are nothing without God.

I hope you will spend the coming week thanking God for showing us infinite love through Jesus Christ.

I also hope you will do your best to fulfill your mission to God.

And don’t forget that the prime of your life is when you walk closely with God and do your best in your mission for the glory of God.


하나님이 주신 노아에게 사명

1 여호와께서 노아에게 이르시되 너와 네 온 집은 방주로 들어가라 이 세대에서 네가 내 앞에 의로움을 내가 보았음이니라

2 너는 모든 정결한 짐승은 암수 일곱씩, 부정한 것은 암수 둘씩을 네게로 데려오며

3 공중의 새도 암수 일곱씩을 데려와 그 씨를 온 지면에 유전하게 하라

4 지금부터 칠 일이면 내가 사십 주야를 땅에 비를 내려 내가 지은 모든 생물을 지면에서 쓸어버리리라

5 노아가 여호와께서 자기에게 명하신 대로 다 준행하였더라

창세기 7:1-5

사명이란?

여러분은 “사명”이란 말을 들었을 때 떠오르는 이미지는 무엇입니까?

저는 “사명”… 하면 떠오르는 것이 “순교”입니다.

사명을 감당하다 순교한 스데반과 사도 바울 이야기, 사명 따라 복음을 전하다가 순교한 선교사의 이야기

이 처럼 “사명”이란 말은 “순교”를 동반한 거창한 것으로 느껴지기 때문에, 저는 “사명”이라는 말을 들을 때 마다 조금은 부담이 되고 용기가 없어지곤 했습니다.

여러분은 “사명”에 대해 어떻게 느끼십니까?

저는 사전을 통해 “사명”의 의미를 찾아보았습니다.

교회용어 사전에서는 “하나님께서 특별히 맡기신 거룩한 책무” 라고 설명하였습니다.

사실 우리 모두는 하나님께 사명을 받은 사명자입니다.

우리의 주인이신 하나님께서, 우리를 지으신 이유 중 하나가 바로 사명이기 때문입니다.

이에 따라 우리의 인생의 목적은, 하나님이 주신 사명을 잘 감당하는 것이라 말해도 과언이 아닐 것입니다.

 거창하고 두렵게만 느껴지는 사명을 우리가 잘 감당해 낼 수 있을까요?

사명과 관련해서 노아도 예외는 아니었습니다.

사명은 선택 사항이 아니다

하나님께서 노아에게 주신 사명은 방주를 만들어 홍수로부터 노아와 그의 가족, 모든 생물의 생명을 보존하는 것이었습니다.

창세기 7:21-23

21 땅 위에 움직이는 생물이 다 죽었으니 곧 새와 가축과 들짐승과 땅에 기는 모든 것과 모든 사람이라

22 육지에 있어 그 코에 생명의 기운의 숨이 있는 것은 다 죽었더라

23 지면의 모든 생물을 쓸어버리시니 곧 사람과 가축과 기는 것과 공중의 새까지라 이들은 땅에서 쓸어버림을 당하였으되 오직 노아와 그와 함께 방주에 있던 자들만 남았더라

하나님의 심판을 피할 수 있는 존재는 없다는 것을 말씀에서 알려주고 있습니다.

뭇 사람들은 그리스도교를 여러 종교 중 하나라고 여기며, 하나님을 믿을지 말지는 당신의 선택에 달려있다고 말합니다. 

그러나 사람이 하나님에 대해 어떻게 생각하든 간에, 심판의 날에는 아무도 하나님의 손에서 벗어날 수가 없는 것입니다. 

심판의 날에 일어나는 일은 아주 명백합니다. 하나님께서 맡겨주신 사명을 최선을 다해 감당한 노아와 그의 가족들은 심판으로부터 생명을 얻었고, 하나님께서 주신 사명을 업신여기며 스스로를 주인으로 여기며 살았던 사람들은 심판으로 인해 모두 죽었다는 것입니다.

우리가 비록 지치고 힘들지 라도 하나님이 맡겨 주신 사명을 최선을 다해 감당해야 하는 이유가 바로 이것입니다. 정의로운 하나님의 심판 앞에서 사람들의 가야하는 길은 생명의 길과 죽음의 길로 나누어집니다. 

그렇다면 우리의 형편 좋지 않고 삶에 여력이 없을 때 우리는 어떻게 하나님이 주신 사명을 어떻게 이룰 수 있을까요?

사명을 이루시는 분은 하나님

놀랍게도 사명을 이루어 가는 분은 하나님 본인이십니다. 

우리는 하나님이 노아에게 행하신 몇 가지 일들을 통해 이 사실을 발견할 수 있습니다

창세기 6:14-16

14 너는 고페르 나무로 너를 위하여 방주를 만들되 그 안에 칸들을 막고 역청을 그 안팎에 칠하라

15 네가 만들 방주는 이러하니 그 길이는 삼백 규빗, 너비는 오십 규빗, 높이는 삼십 규빗이라

16 거기에 창을 내되 위에서부터 한 규빗에 내고 그 문은 옆으로 내고 상 중 하 삼층으로 할지니라

하나님의 정밀하고 세심한 설계의 도움으로 노아는 방주의 부분들을 체계적이며 정확하게 만들 수 있었습니다.

창세기 7:2-3

2 너는 모든 정결한 짐승은 암수 일곱씩, 부정한 것은 암수 둘씩을 네게로 데려오며

3 공중의 새도 암수 일곱씩을 데려와 그 씨를 온 지면에 유전하게 하라

하나님은 홍수가 끝난 뒤 노아가 하나님께 번제를 드릴 수 있도록 친히 번제물에 사용될 정결한 짐승과 정결한 새를 구별하셨습니다. 하나님은 사람이 하나님께 드릴 예물까지도 준비하신 것입니다.

창세기 7:15-16

15 무릇 생명의 기운이 있는 육체가 둘씩 노아에게 나아와 방주로 들어갔으니

16 들어간 것들은 모든 것의 암수라 하나님이 그에게 명하신 대로 들어가매 여호와께서 그를 들여보내고 문을 닫으시니라

노아는 자신이 만든 방주가 홍수에 안전할지 걱정이 있었을 것입니다. 

그러나 마지막으로 방주의 안전을 확인한 분은 하나님이셨습니다.

사명을 이루어 가는 분은 하나님 본인이십니다. 

전성기 = 사명을 감당할 때

한 가지 질문을 해보겠습니다. 여러분의 인생의 전성기는 언제였습니까?

사람들이 생각하는 전성기에는 몇 가지 요소들이 존재하는 것 같습니다.

그것은 힘과 능력, 젊음과 영향력, 부와 명예 같은 것들 이었습니다.

 하지만 이것은 세상 사람들이 생각하는 전성기의 모습입니다.

그리스도인의 인생의 진정한 전성기는 언제일까요? 

그것은 하나님과 동행할 때입니다! 하나님께서 맡겨주신 사명을 온전히 감당하는 때입니다!

노아를 보십시오. 홍수가 있을 때에 노아의 나이는 육백 세 였습니다.

이때 노아는 힘과 능력, 젊음과 영향력, 부와 명예 같은 것들과는 먼 상태였습니다.

오히려 그는 하나님의 명령대로 방주를 만들면서 마을 사람들로부터 조롱을 받았을 것입니다.

그리스도인이 맡은 바 사명을 감당하는 것은 의미와 가치가 있습니다. 하나님께서는 하나님의 영광을 위해 사는 사람들을 기억하시고 그 인생을 의롭다 인정하시기 때문입니다.

그리스도인의 전성기는 나이에 있지 않습니다! 물질에도 있지 않습니다!

하나님과 동행하는 그 순간이! 우리 인생의 전성기임을 우리는 기억해야 합니다.

우리는 인생의 전성기를 떠올릴 때에 화려하고 인상 깊은 장면을 떠올립니다.

그러나 대부분은 사명은 특별하지 않은 평범한 일상 속에서 이루어집니다.

 하나님의 거대한 홍수 심판 가운데, 인류의 미래를 책임지는 사명을 받은 노아!

이 말을 들으면 노아라는 사람이 대단해보이고, 그의 사명이 거창하게 느껴지지 않습니까?

 하지만 사실 노아의 전성기의 삶은 방주 안에서 그저 하나님의 명령을 기다리며 반복되는 하루하루를 보내는 것이었습니다.

 노아는 하나님이 주신 평범하고 반복되는 하루하루를 맡겨진 사명을 감당하며 충실히 살아냈을 것입니다. 그래서 결국 그는 하나님께 인정을 받고 방주의 문을 열고 나가는 구원의 순간을 맞이하게 된 것입니다.

 또한 방주 안에서의 반복되었던 노아의 평범한 일상은 성경에 기록되어, 하나님께 인정받고, 많은 믿음의 후손들에게 귀감이 되는 그의 전성기가 되지 않았습니까?

지금까지 우리는 하나님이 주신 사명, 그리고 우리 모두가 사명자라는 것을 나누었습니다.

사명자로서 우리는 어떠한 마음을 가지고 살아가야 할까요?

우리가 닮아가야 하는 사명자는 누구일까요?

완전한 사명자, 예수 그리스도

하나님이 주신 사명을 가장 완전하게 이루신 분은 예수 그리스도입니다.

예수님은 하나님의 뜻대로 순종하셔서 십자가의 희생의 길로 묵묵히 걸어가셨고, 죽음과 부활을 통해 하나님이 맡겨주신 사명을 하나님이 원하시던 그대로 이루셨기 때문입니다.

 예수님은 하나님과 동등한 분이시지만 끊임없이 하나님을 찾고 기도하셨습니다. 

이것이 우리들이 사명자로서 본받아야 할 예수님의 신앙생활인 것입니다.

우리는 하나님 없이는 아무것도 아닌 존재라는 것을 깨달아야합니다. 

사실 당연한 것은 아무것도 없습니다. 우리가 누릴 수 있는 자유와 생명은 모두 하나님께 우리에게 허락하신 것들이기 때문입니다.

 우리가 예수 그리스도를 통해 무한한 사랑을 보여주신 하나님께 감사드리는 한 주 보내시길 소망합니다.

또한 하나님이 주신 사명을 찾아 부지런히 감당하는 우리 모두가 될 수 있기를 주님의 이름으로 축원합니다.

  • Jul 26 / 2020
  • Comments Off on We are Building our Life Building (1 Corinthians 3:10-23)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Building our Life Building (1 Corinthians 3:10-23)

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

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We are Building our Life Building

1 Corinthians 3:10-23 (Pastor Heo)

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.


Last week, we saw Christian life compared to agriculture (irrigation). Christian community is God’s field, garden. Jesus is the vine, God the gardener, we the branches. We each have our own functions – sowing, planting, watering, cultivating, reaping, harvesting. But only GOD gives life and makes it grow.

Remember:

  • TODAY is the fruit of what we sowed yesterday, and
  • tomorrow we will reap what we sow today.

Gal 6: “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. One who sows according to the sinful nature reaps destruction, but one who sows according to God’s will reaps salvation. Let us not give up.”

Today’s text: Christian life is compared to a building. At least we can say: “We are builders of our life building.”

  • I am building mine, you are building yours, and
  • also we are co-builders of the church / house of God.
  • I’m also A building – the temple of God.
  • We are also members of one building – the church / house of God.

We see many buildings in the street. Beautiful buildings speak for themselves. Their beauty announces them and allow them to become a “destination.” Ugly, poorly built buildings are eyesores in our cities. These are not only ugly, but also very dangerous.

Sometimes, we hear about a huge building, a dept store or apt collapsed, taking many lives. Why? Because it was built poorly.

In usual times, we don’t know if it is strong or weak, but when tested, everyone knows.

Earthquake, typhoon, flood, these destroy some buildings.

Yes, we are building our life buildings. Is your building strong or weak? Stable, unstable? Safe, dangerous? Take care how you build your life building.

That’s why Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with a picture of buildings. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock… It did not fall… But everyone who does not put these words into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand… It fell with a great crash.”

This afternoon, our agenda / great question is: HOW can I / we build our (eternal) life building very safely, in a strong way?

To each of us, individually, think of this and be careful how you build your eternal life building. Ready?

Let me share 4 things.

1. We must build on the right foundation

We know the foundation is the most important thing in a building. Every building in this world has its own foundation. Without this, a building cannot stand. This is the most important part of a building. This determines the size, strength of a super structure. The foundation stabilizes, unifies the building. The foundation provides unity because it is singular in nature.

Ask yourself: What is the foundation in my life building?

Foundation is the most important thing.

In modern culture today, one popular foundation: emotions. I agree that emotion is important. Feelings are important and we do need affection. I respect your emotions / feelings. BUT they cannot / must not be the foundation of our life building.

If we depended on our emotions, our life would be very shakeable and rocky.

Sometimes great happens one day, and our life is GREAT! The next day, something bad happens and our WHOLE life is a mess / terrible.

Foundation is not something we make, it is something that is given to us from heaven: Jesus. This foundation is stabilizing, unshakeable, unifying force. This foundation secures our greatest desires for stability, unity, and eternity.

v. 10-11

“10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Only in Jesus can we receive a solid foundation – perfect forgiveness for past sins, strength and power for the present day, hope for the future.

“Apart from me, you can do nothing.” – Jesus – “Apart from me, you cannot stand.” (I’m your foundation)

Today, what are you doing for God? Any ministry, service, sacrifice, that we build on something / someone else except Christ will collapse, disappear, become nothing.

The foundation of our life building is Jesus.

2. We must build with good materials

Agree? Yes, to build a building, we need materials, also in the physical AND spiritual world, we need good materials to build our buildings.

v. 12-17

“12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

To build a building, we need materials. Spiritual, there are two kinds of materials:

  1. Gold, silver, precious stones (diamonds)
  2. Wood, hay, straw

This is symbolic:

  1. Gold, silver, diamonds = permanent, imperishable, lasting materials (strong, expensive)
  2. Wood, hay, straw = temporary, perishable, passing away materials (weak, cheap)

What is the commonality?

  1. Wood, hay, straw = dry
  2. Silver, gold, diamonds do not burn in the fire. Wood, hay, straw BURN.

Fire = symbol of the Final Judgment

At that time, it is not difficult to find and gather wood, hay, and straw. We can gather them from our backyard. But, to find gold, silver, and diamonds, we must go to the mountain and dig deeper and deeper and deeper.

  1. Gold, silver, diamonds = hard work
  2. Wood, hay, straw = easy, lazy work

A lazy worker cannot gather gold, silver, diamonds.

When Christ comes again there will be a Final Test. In our application, we must know and study about Jesus more and more and make him known in this world diligently, sincerely, faithfully, passionately, joyfully. Are you ready?

Jesus is the best material with which we can build our house / life building.

3. We must build by holy wisdom / power

Do you want to be wise or foolish? God bless us all to be wise and powerful spiritually.

v. 18-20

“18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.””

To be wise spiritually, we must be foolish in the standards of this world. But most Christians want wise spiritually AND wise worldly, but it is impossible. Choose only one.

Wisdom of this world works for this world, but it will not work for the body of Christ, the house of God.

Ex:

  • This world depends on promotion, competition, success, prestige, money.
  • The church depends on prayer, the HS, grace, faith, humility, love, sacrifice, service.

These are totally different.

Acts (2000 years ago) – the early church had NONE of the secrets of success that seem to be important today: no property, no treasury, no political power, ordinary leaders without specialized education – but they turned the world upside-down.

God did something great through something ordinary. This is the wisdom of God.

This means that God has a special plan for his workers, his believers. The church is a communal building project, so all of us must participate in this building project with our respective responsibilities.

Just as we are responsible for building our friendships, relationships, families, careers, etc, so we also must be invested in building the house of God.

Chp 1 “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

The philosophy of this world is very changeable, but God’s standard is unchangeable, timeless. So still today, God is pleased to save sinners through the message of the gospel which sounds like foolishness to those who reject that message.

Jesus is our power and wisdom.

4. We must build for right purpose

Q: What is the ultimate, final goal / purpose in your life?

If you are not clear on this question, your life is in trouble. Our final purpose should be about the glory of God.

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

Answer these Qs:

  1. What do you have?
  2. Whose are you?

v. 21-23

“21 So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.”

Answer these Qs:

  1. What do you have? “ALL things” (Can you say like this?)
  2. Whose are you? If I belong to Christ, I can really say, “ALL is mine”

No more boasting about men. Our ultimate purpose should be about boasting about Christ.

Can you know how rich we are in Christ?

We have perfect freedom, perfect liberty in Christ.

v. 22

“22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–all are yours,”

We don’t need to feel any competition, rivalry. ALL is yours, ALL is mine. We don’t need to meet the present nor the future with worry, fear, anxiety. They are OURS. Even physical death has no power over us because death is defeated already by the death and resurrection of Christ.

Second question: We are Christ’s

We belong to Christ – we are his possession, his treasure. He purchased us, bought us at a price, by paying the price of his own blood.

“You are not your own, you were bought at a price.” (Jesus’ blood)

This is so that we may live our lives for the glory of God by boasting about Jesus Christ, testifying about him – he is Lord of the world, Savior of sinners. This is our ultimate purpose / goal.

God bless you.

“I’m a builder of my life building.”

We are building our eternal life buildings through our whole lives in this world.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 21 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ is the Center of our Unity (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Christ is the Center of our Unity

1 Cor 1:10-17 (Pastor Heo)

Divisions in the Church

10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


1 Cor was written by Paul. He planted a local church at Corinth during his 2nd missionary journey. At this time, he is at Ephesus during his 3rd missionary journey. He heard a bad report about Corinth. From whom did he hear the report? From the servant of Chloe.

v. 11

“My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. “

Maybe Chloe was a rich business woman living in Ephesus or Corinth with her servants handling business between Ephesus and Corinth. Anyway, what is clear is that these first-hand observers told Paul what was happening at Corinth.

Paul wrote this letter to help them with their problems.

Problem #1: Disunity, division

In church history, division has always been a problem among the people of God. In this case, it was quarreling over who they “follow”. Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Christ? (v. 12)

v. 12

“What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.””

This caused a big division and disunity among them. Why? Actually, Paul, Apollos, and Peter (Cephas) had nothing to do with these divisions. They didn’t try to make their own fan clubs, but they focused on Christ in their messages. So, why was there division? It was a human, personal thing.

  • Paul founded the church there, and was the missionary to the Gentiles. Perhaps he attracted the Gentile believers.
  • Apollos was an eloquent and famous speaker who had once had a famous ministry at Corinth. At that time, oratory eloquence was highly valued. He likely attracted highly educated and philosophical believers.
  • Peter (Cephas) was a Jew of Jews, the main minister for the Jewish people. He was the leader of the first 12 apostles. He likely attracted the Jewish people, especially those who doubted Paul’s apostleship.
  • Christ – maybe we also decide to follow “Christ only” and not human leaders.

This disunity makes the church powerless and weak. Disunity, fighting with each other, these things make our enemy Satan happy. Satan is a spirit of disunity. In Genesis, Satan brought disunity between God and man, man and man, man and Creation. Even today he is bringing disunity into our churches, homes, workplaces, countries. So we must be in prayer all the time for these things.

The Holy Spirit, however, is a spirit of unity.

Eph “Make every effort to keep the unity in the bond of peace. There is one Lord, one baptism, one Spirit, one Father of all – who is above all and in all and through all.”

Eph 2:14 “Jesus has made the two one and broken the barrier of disunity.”

Gal 3:28 “There is no Greek nor Jew, no slave nor free, no male nor female, but all are equal in Christ.”

Even today Jesus is praying for our unity. “Make them one as we are one.”

v. 10

“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Paul does not command them by his authority, but approaches them in a kind, appealing manner. This means Jesus is the answer, the solution. Only Jesus brings unity.

Gal 3:28 “There is no slave nor free… We are all one in Jesus Christ.”

What does this mean? Unity does not mean uniformity. We are not all the same in our culture, background, interests, color, favorite foods, etc. We can enjoy variety – like the colors of a rainbow. It is beautiful because it has many different colors, but the colors are all united. If these colors are separated, there is no longer a rainbow.

We should be united. How? In what way should we be made one? At least there are Three areas in which we must be united.

God bless us with holy, spiritual unity.

#1 Identity

Our sense of belonging to one family.

Yes, this is our second time in 1 Cor. In the first time, we recognized that we are a church, we are saints, we are one in Christ. This is our identity – we are ONE family, united in Christ. We belong to one family.

In v. 10, 11, Paul addresses us as “brothers [and sisters].” It means, we all Christians are part of God’s family. We share unity that runs even deeper than blood brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God is organized as a family system.

God, the Son, the Spirit are three separate entities, but organized as ONE family system.

  • God = Father
  • Jesus = Son
  • Holy Spirit = Helper

Romans “Those God foreknew he also predestined to become conformed to the likeness of Christ so that he might become the first brother…”

We are one in one family. This is our real, eternal identity.

#2 Faith doctrine

What do you believe in your heart?

If you are Christian, you have a faith doctrine. This is called “christology”. The doctrine of salvation is called “soltariology.”

v. 13

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?”

Everyone knows the answers to these questions. Paul uses rhetorical questions to make what is known crystal clear. It is very simple. Even baby Christians know this. Who died for you? Paul? No. Apollos? No. Peter? No. Only Christ. Who can save us, who can give us real freedom, who can give us deliverance from hell, who can give us real peace and joy, who can give us eternal life? Absolutely, finally, Jesus.

We are one in this faith doctrine of Jesus Christ.

Yes, even I agree that Paul, Apollos, and Peter are greater men than me. I honor them, but they are the same in that they were humans, sinners, and need forgiveness, and salvation. For them, Jesus Christ died.

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else. There is no other name given to men under heaven by which we must be saved.”

We are one in the doctrine of Christ.

#3 Priority Mission

This is practically important.

If we are Christians, we all have a mission. Check what you mission is.

A “mission” is a task given to you by God. It is not something you choose for yourself, but something given to you by God because we are servants of God. Check all the time what is your priority #1 mission.

Sometimes you feel tired, bored? Ask and check, what is your mission?

We are different in many areas – our tastes, favorite colors, height, weight, etc. We are individual people, but we must be ONE in our priority #1 mission. We can be different in our talents and gifts, but we are ONE in our priority #1 mission. What is it?

v. 10

“…perfectly united in mind and thought.” (in purpose – #1 mission)

What is it?

v. 14-17

“14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

Do not misunderstand this story, but we should understand the background of this story.

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, we are baptized in the name of Christ.

But what IS important in baptism is that we are baptized INTO one family.

But the Corinthian church misunderstood. Some said, “Paul baptized me.” Others, “No, Peter did me – he’s better.” Others, “Apollos did me – he’s the best.”

It does not matter by which pastor you were baptized. Billy Graham? Pastor Park? It does not matter. We were baptized by one faith into one family.

This also involves the Great Commission of Christ. Baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality – trusting in Christ as your personal Savior. So, by baptism, we publicly declare our faith in Christ to this world. So, baptism is a unifying factor in the church.

v. 17 (final answer – priority #1 mission)

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

“Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel…”

Paul is not minimizing the importance of baptism. Yes, it is important, but our primary mission is to preach the gospel.

No matter how important baptism is, preaching the gospel must be first. Baptism cannot substitute for preaching the gospel.

In our daily lives, remember, no matter how important a thing you do, not preaching the gospel cannot be justified by doing that very important thing.

In 1 Cor later, Paul says, “When preaching the gospel I cannot boast because I am compelled to do so. Woe to me if I do not preach…” He doesn’t say, “Woe to me if I don’t baptize.” Rather, “Woe to me if I don’t preach.”

We are one in:

  1. Identity
  2. Doctrine
  3. Mission

God bless us to be united in Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 08 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Be a Priestly Christian (Hebrews 5:11-14, 1 Peter 2:9)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Be a Priestly Christian (Hebrews 5:11-14, 1 Peter 2:9)

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Be a Priestly Christian

Hebrews 5:11-14 (Pastor Heo)

5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teah you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.


1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.


Do you have a desire to grow? Do you practice faith in your daily lives? God wants us to grow continually.

Hebrews offers warning and challenge.

God wants us to grow in mission, character, personality. Even babies want to learn something more. They try to do something new to grow. If we have no desire to grow, and no practice in our faith to grow, then, I’m sorry, but you (we) are less than baby Christians.

Still today, some Christians almost never grow for 10, 20, 30, 40 years. This is a serious question: Are you growing?

Among us, there are some young parents. They are so excited to see the growth of their children – walking, speaking, learning. Imagine what a terrible thing it is if the child ALWAYS remains as a child: milk, no speaking, etc – until he becomes 20 years old.

Like this, God is our father, and we are his children. He loves to see us grow. And he is very unhappy if we do not grow.

Genesis: God appeared to Abraham at age 99. He did not say, “Wow, you are too old to grow.” No, at 99, he said, “Continue to grow! (Do you best to be blameless before me).”

Yes, in the secular world, there is an age of retirement. But in spiritual ministry and mission, there is no time for retirement – until our departure from this world.

This passage is very challenging.

v. 11

“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.”

One of the first, earliest signs of backsliding is disinterest in the Word of God.

v. 12-14

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

You should serve others. How long have you been a Christian? As we know, milk is pre-digestive food – especially for babies. Only those with teeth can eat kalbi (meat).

There are two kinds of food here:

  1. Milk (yes, good, essential, but…)
  2. Meat (solid food)

What do these mean?

  1. Milk = What Jesus did ON EARTH – birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection
  2. Meat – What he is doing NOW in HEAVEN and in US – as our Savior and Lord

We begin life as a Christian based on his FINISHED work on the cross: “It is finished.” But we GROW in Christ on the basis of his UNfinished work in heaven, on earth, in us – in our daily lives.

This is a parable about milk and solid food. To grow, we need time, Bible reading, Scripture memory, Bible study, prayer, devotional time, quiet time – this is MILK – we need every day.

But to grow, this is not enough.

At this moment, let’s have a clear spiritual medical check.

Without sharing the gospel for the lost outside the church, and without ministry to serve those INSIDE the church, there is no growth.

Timothy “Be diligent so that everyone may see your growth.”

Question:

  1. What are you doing for the lost OUTSIDE the church? (Mission)
  2. What are you doing for the members INSIDE the church? (Ministry)

Mission + Ministry must go together. This is the SECRET to growth.

Yes, Jesus is our eternal, Great High Priest. He came to earth to save us by his grace, mercy, blood. If we accept this, he is calling us to be priests in this world as well.

1 Peter 2:9

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

But you are

  1. a chosen people,
  2. a royal priesthood,
  3. a holy nation,
  4. God’s special possession,
  5. that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Remember: If you are a born-again Christian, you are a priest. You are ordained. You are anointed. Say to yourself, “I’m a priestly Christian.” (x3)

In your whole life, not only today, until you stand before God face-to-face, please remember this: “I’m a priestly Christian.” (Really? Congratulations.)

Are you a priestly Christian?

Greet your neighbor, “I honor you, you’re a priestly Christian.”

My dear, honorable, priestly, Christian friends,… what does this title mean?

This title includes many meanings and abundant blessings, but let me share just 4 things:

“I’m a priestly Christian”:

1. Human priests carry honor before men (blessed and honorable).

No one can become a priest by his own choice. A priest is called, selected, appointed:

  • (a) by God,
  • (b) from Mankind,
  • (c) for Mankind

1 Peter 2:9

You are a chosen people…

John “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you to go and bear much fruit.”

Eph 1:4 “God chose us before the Creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight…”

So, we must be sure of the calling of Jesus Christ (소명).

  • “Jesus is calling me.”
  • “Jesus is sending me into this world.”

2. Ordinary people could not approach God directly – they needed the help of the High Priest to approach God.

We are priestly Christians = we CAN approach the throne of Grace directly, at anytime and anywhere. We do not need any human priest, nor Pope. You don’t need a pastor, nor bishop in approaching the presence of God directly anytime, anywhere, everywhere, in the name of Jesus Christ. That’s why Jesus says, “I’m the Way the Truth and the Life.”

Romans 5 “Therefore, since you have been justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you have access to the throne of Grace…”

From Sunday – Saturday, our lives should be worship.

Romans 11:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual (acceptable) act of worship.”

“My lifestyle is worship.”

For worship to be considered worship, 4 elements are needed:

  1. Object of worship (OT = God Almighty; Now = Jesus)
  2. Worshiper (OT = the people through the High Priest; Now = us directly)
  3. Sacrifice (OT = lamb; Now = our bodies, ourselves)
  4. Temple (OT = Tabernacle/temple building; Now = our bodies, ourselves)

Object = always the same: Father God + Jesus Christ

Worshiper + Sacrifice + Temple = US

3. The High Priest is a a) representative of Man before God b) representative of God before Man

He is the LINK between Mankind and God.

Jesus came when we were enemies with God – and he reconciled us with God through his blood. Then, he gave us the ministry of reconciliation as well. So, we are mediators for the lost, between Jesus and the lost.

If you are a priestly Christian, the lost cannot meet Jesus except through your service and mission. Our first job is to bring the lost to Christ as a living offering.

Romans 15:16 “To the ministry of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles with a priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God so the Gentiles might become an offering to God that is acceptable to God.”

When we win the lost to Christ, this is a living, eternal offering – because he/she will live eternally.

4. We should be holy

The High Priest Aaron in the OT put on a special, honorable garment – like a uniform, and a turbin with a pure gold plate and 4 words: “Holy to the Lord” (여호와께 성결).

A baby will put anything into his mouth – he cannot distinguish the edible from unedible. But as priestly Christians, we need discernment.

v. 14

“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”

Discernment is not judgment. We have no right to judge others, but we need to have the ability to distinguish what God wants from what God hates. This is discernment. This is holiness. Clear?

To do what God wants us to do and reject what God hates us to do = holiness.

1 Peter 2:9 “… a holy nation…”

1 Peter 2:9

” But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

God bless you, my dear, priestly, Christian friends, so that we may grow and grow and grow until we stand before our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • May 12 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Paul’s Defense before King Agrippa (Acts 26:1-32)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Paul’s Defense before King Agrippa (Acts 26:1-32)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 26:1-32 (Pastor Heo)

1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense: 2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.

12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

16 ” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. 22 But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen– 23 that the Christ would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. 26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29 Paul replied, “Short time or long–I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”


Felix kept Paul in prison for 2 years – not because Paul was guilty, but because he wanted bribes from Paul and favor from the Jewish people. He was not courageous to release him.

Festus, the next governor, also did not release him – as a favor to the Jews.

  • He said, “Do you want to stand trial before me in Jerusalem?”
  • Paul, “No, I’ve done nothing wrong. I appeal to Caesar!”

He decided to send Paul to Rome, but needed an “official” reason and documentation to send him.

At this moment, King Agrippa and Bernice (his sister) visited. He was great grandson of Herod who was afraid of baby Jesus a long time ago. Festus explained the situation and Agrippa expressed interest in hearing Paul. So, once again, Paul stood on trial.

Paul’s defense before King Agrippa

In this chapter, this is the longest of Paul’s speeches found in the book of Acts. He had to stop his speech because governor Festus stopped him. If Festus had not interrupted him, he may have gone on speaking more.

This chp is much more than a defense of himself and a review of his own personal religious experience. It is a statement of the Christian experience, and it explains his experience of conversion on the way to Damascus. (repeated also in chp 9, 22, 26 – here).

Paul received permission to speak for himself, but he spoke for Christ. v 2-23 = Paul’s defense. v. 24 = Festus’ interruption

5 Part Summary

of Paul’s defense

  1. v. 2-3 = Introductory remarks
  2. v. 4-11 = His early life (who / what he was before Christ)
  3. v. 12-18 = His conversion and call by Christ (main body)
  4. v. 19-21 = His confession of obedience to the vision and ministry
  5. v. 22-23 = Key message of the gospel (Jesus’ death and resurrection)

When Paul preached the key message of the gospel, Festus hindered him from going on.

1. Introductory remarks

v. 2-3

“2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.”

He hinted that his speech would be long and that he would appreciate patience.

2. His early life

(I also used to be anti-Christian.)

v. 4-11

“4 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our fathers that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. In my obsession against them, I even went to foreign cities to persecute them.”

3. His conversion & call

“I saw a light (from heaven)! I heard a voice (from heaven). Christ called me and spoke to me from heaven.”

v. 12-18

“12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

16 ” ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “

Once Paul considered himself an “enlightened” man. He was a Jew, Pharisee, doctor, scholar – with great enthusiasm for God. He thought he was in the light when he was totally in darkness. But he saw the light on the road to Damascus. What / who is this light? Jesus

  • Jesus: “I am the Light of the World…”
  • Also, the Bible says “God is light; in him there is no darkness.”
  • (Eph 5:8) “Once you were in darkness, now you are in the light of the Lord, so live in the light.”
  • Genesis 1 “In the beginning, there was God… and God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light. He saw that it was good. And he separated the Light from the darkness.”
    • This light that God created first was not the sun and stars (he created that on the 4th day). This Light was Life – the energy of life – all coming from God, from Jesus Christ.
  • John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God… all things were made by him and through him… In him was Light, the light of Man. The light has shined in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

All kinds of light comes from God.

Paul saw the light, and heard a voice, “Paul!” (he heard his own name)

Paul was shocked.

  • He thought Jesus was dead! – but here he was alive!
  • He also knew Paul BY NAME

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever – and he knows your name and he is calling you (by name).

Jesus called Paul, then sent him again. (v. 17 “…I am sending you…”)

We must know that Jesus’ calling and sending go hand-in-hand.

  • Jesus calls us from this world toward SALVATION.
  • But at the same time, he is sending us for SERVICE.

Outside Christ, people are in darkness.

2 Cor 4:4 “Our enemy Satan has blinded the mind of unbelievers so that they cannot see the Light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”

Jesus sends us to help them, to open their eyes.

1 Peter 2:9 “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation belonging to God – so that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.”

The same Jesus who says, “I am the light of the world” also says to us, “YOU are the light of the world.” What does this mean? Are we the same as Jesus?

No, we are the reflection of the real light in this world. Outsiders can find real light through us because we are the reflection of real light.

  • “I’m the light of the world.”
  • “I’m a reflection of the REAL light.”
  • “A city on a hill, a lamp on a stand… gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men so that they may glorify God in heaven.”
v. 17-18 The Perfect Summary of what God has done for us

“17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ “

This is a perfect summary of what Jesus has done for you. If you believe, it will be yours, if you don’t believe, it will not. Jesus says, “It will be done to you as you believe.”

What Christ does for us

  1. He opens our eyes to things we’ve never seen before
  2. He turns us from darkness to Light (He himself is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”)
  3. Transforms us from the power of Satan to the power of God
  4. Gives us forgiveness of sins
  5. Sanctifies us

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation; the old has gone, the New has come.”

4. His confession to obedience of Christ’s calling

v. 19-21

“19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 21 That is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me.”

I call Jesus my Lord.

Do you call him your Lord?

How can you prove it?

By obedience.

God does not make us obey him (like robots) – but he wants us to obey him willingly, joyfully, thankfully. God is a person, we are persons – so God wants a personal relationship. God created us as people with personalities – he also has a personality – so he wants a personal, intimate relationship. God bless us all to prove his lordship over our lives through obedience.

5. Key message of the gospel

This is the highlight of the defense

v. 22-23

“22 But I have had God’s help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen– 23 that the Christ would suffer [die] and, as the first to rise from the dead [resurrect], would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” “

He introduced Jesus as the first person to rise from the dead. But actually, Jesus was NOT the first person to rise from the dead. There were at least 5 more before him.

  1. OT – Elijah – one boy
  2. OT – Elisha – one boy
  3. Paul raised one
  4. Jesus raised a boy (Lazarus)
  5. and girl (Tabitha)

But all of them died again. Yet, Jesus STILL lives. He exists still in the same body. And some day he will come again – in the same body. Believe this now to enjoy abundant, eternal, heavenly life in Christ. If you wait, it may be too late.

At this point, the governor STOPPED Paul.

Shall I stop? Soon. But let us finish.

v. 24-25

“24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

25 “I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable.”

Yes, Jesus was once called insane. People pointed at him and said, “He is out of his mind and demon-possessed.”

What is the purpose of Jesus in this world? To destroy the works of the devil. Yet, they called him “demon-possessed.”

We are followers of Christ.

Have you ever been called “crazy” because of Jesus? “Jesus freak.”

What is your answer?

Don’t ask me, I’m asking you.

Today, it’s the same. Think about it honestly. Which is more important? Football or salvation? Climbing mountain or salvation? Your name in lights or in the Book of Life? Temporary physical pleasure or eternal joy? Temporary reputation and popularity or glory, reward crown from God in eternity?

Be honest in giving answers to these simple, basic questions.

IF you risk your life for football, or mountains, or pop songs, this world will respect you and honor you and call you, “hero” and “icon.”

But if you risk your life for Jesus, this world will call you “crazy.”

If this is true, I want to be called “crazy” in this world. I want to challenge you with this.

v. 26-32

“26 The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

29 Paul replied, “Short time or long–I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 They left the room, and while talking with one another, they said, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” “

At this last part, Paul became the judge, and the King became the defendant. He witnessed about the difference Jesus makes in someone’s life. Can you witness even in court like this? Yes, with Christ, you can.

Rather than complain about your present circumstances, look for ways to use EVERY circumstance to share God with others.

Unfortunately, all of them rejected the message of the gospel – Felix, Festus, Agrippa. “No thank you.” They all had excuses.

  • Felix: “I’m too busy.”
  • Festus: “I’m too smart.”
  • Agrippa: “I’m too important.”

Today, these excuses (and many more) are still common. What excuses do you use to avoid Jesus’ word, ministry, mission, evangelism?

On THAT day, when we stand before God face-to-face, you are without excuse.

Please, say to God, “Forgive me” but never say, “Excuse me.”

On THAT day, you have no excuse.

What a wonderful thing is the opportunity to trust Christ and be saved. But what a terrible thing is missing that opportunity and not getting another.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 17 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Paul was Arrested but God Overruled!
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Paul was Arrested but God Overruled!

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 21:17-40 (Pastor Heo)

Paul’s Arrival at Jerusalem

17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.

20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everybody will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law. 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” [From the Jerusalem council in chp 15]

26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.


At long last, Paul was welcomed by the church, and reported thoroughly what God had done among them. They praised and glorified God. This meeting is very important in Jerusalem. “All the elders…” (including James – the leader of the Jerusalem church – the senior pastor). This James was Jesus’ half brother.

He was not one of the original 12 who had followed Jesus, but he was still called an Apostle. Peter, James, and John – were Jesus’ closest friends, but at this time, James was already martyred. And Peter and John were elsewhere on other missions. So, this James was left in charge of the church at Jerusalem.

The church at Jerusalem was a horribly persecuted church (after the death of Stephen) and was undergoing hardship and famine.

There were reports among Jewish believers in Jerusalem about Paul. Even though they became Christians, they loved their Jewish culture and law (circumcision, etc). The rumor was that Paul compelled Jewish believers in foreign countries to abandon Mosaic Law and Jewish customs and traditions – including not circumcising their children. This rumor spread all over the world – but it was untrue.

We know that salvation is found only through the grace of God by faith in Jesus – and not through customs. Also, Paul never told anyone NOT to be circumcised, in fact, he instructed Timothy (half-Jewish) to be circumcised to avoid rumors. Paul practiced Jewish customs and traditions himself as a Jewish man.

The OT laws prepare for the coming of Christ. Jesus came, and released the people from the burden of guilt by the Law. Paul was not keeping the Law in order to be saved, but was keeping the Law to avoid offending those he wished to reach for the gospel.

As a result of these rumors, the elders suggested to Paul that he join the four people who were taking a Nazarite vow at that time. They suggested he join in the purification right and the vow.

At that time, this vow was a symbol to set oneself apart as fully devoted to God. The taker of the Nazarite vow had to abstain from meat, alcohol, wine, dead bodies, cutting hair – for at least 30 days (and sometimes at the last 7 days, he had to stay exclusively at the temple courts). He also had to prepare many kinds of offerings.

  1. One year old lamb for sin offering
  2. Ram for peace offering
  3. Basket of unleavened bread
  4. Cakes of fine flour mingled with oil
  5. Drink and meat offering
  6. Cut his hair and burn it at the altar with these sacrifices

This was obviously a costly business. Poor people were unable to do it. This is what Paul was asked to do – his own expense, and also pay for the 4 companions.

This suggestion may be unacceptable to Paul – because he had no obligation to do it. He was an apostle, a great missionary. But even though he was a man of strong conviction, he submitted to this suggestion, and did it (paid for himself and the 4 others). Why?

We should apply this lesson in our own lives today. Why would Paul do this? Here are 3-4 reasons.

1. To follow his mission policy

To be flexible in non-essentials. His mission policy:

1 Cor 9:19-23 “Even though I’m free and do not belong to anybody – to God alone, but I make myself a slave to everybody to save as many as possible. To the Jews, I became a Jew. To those under the law, I became under the Law to save them. To those without the Law, I became like one with no Law, though I’m under the Law of Christ. To the weak, I became weak. I became all things to all men so that by all possible means, I might save some. I do this all for the sake of the gospel.”

This is our mission policy. If we are really true, born again Christians, yes, we must be faithful to the Word of God, but flexible to this world.

2. To show his love for his lost nation

To avoid offending the Jews. Romans “I speak the truth in Christ. I’m not telling a lie. My conscience confirms it in the HS. I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. I wish that I were cut of from Christ for the sake of my people Israel.”

Even though he was a missionary to the Gentiles, he loved his lost country more than his own life.

That’s why he accepted this suggestion.

3. To keep solidarity (unity) between the Gentile and Jewish church

Even today, this is a major issue in the church. But Paul had a big vision for union between the Jews and Gentiles in the church. He longed for the unifying power of God in uniting the church.

“Live in harmony with one another. If it is possible, as long as it depends on you, live at peace with EVERYBODY.” (including upstairs and downstairs people)

Eph 3:5..? “Keep the unity of the Spirit of the bond of peace”

So sometimes, we must also submit to worldly authority, especially when the unity of the church is at stake.

We Christians must be careful not to spread bad rumors.

Eph 4:29 “Do not let bad words (unwholesome talk) come out of your mouths, but only that which is helpful to edify (build up) others.”

Do you have a mouth? This is given as a special gift from God for:

  1. To confess Christ as Lord
  2. To preach the gospel
  3. To encourage others

You should have no spare time to spread bad rumors about your neighbors.

— Story

There’s a man who repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor. One day soon, all the townspeople knew the story. Because of this gossip, the slandered person was deeply hurt and most unhappy. This person who spread the gossip knew it was untrue. So he went to a wise teacher to get some good advice. How could he take it back, solve the problem, pay the damage.

The teacher said, “At the market, buy a hen, kill it. On the way home, pluck the feathers and drop them one-by-one on the way home.” Strange suggestion, but he did it and told the teacher he had done it.

Teacher, “Good job. Go back the same way and collect all the feathers you dropped and bring them all back to me.”

He followed the same path, but all the feathers were gone due to the wind. Searching the whole day, he returned with only a few.

Teacher, “It is very easy to drop them (gossip) but it is impossible to collect them again (repair).”

It is easy to spread a bad report, but you can never again completely undo or take back what you’ve said.

Mouth: given to you to:

  1. Confess Christ
  2. Praise his name
  3. Preach to others
  4. Edify others

Where is your free time to slander others? You should have none.

“God bless my mouth.”


2 misunderstandings about Paul

Great men / women are often misunderstood. Are you misunderstood? Perhaps you are great~

Jesus was misunderstood, Paul was misunderstood. If you are also misunderstood, you are following in the footsteps of Paul and Christ.


Paul Arrested

27 When the seven days were nearly over, some Jews from the province of Asia [Ephesus] saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, “Men of Israel, help us! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple area and defiled this holy place.” 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple area.)

30 The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. 31 While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

33 The commander came up and arrested him and ordered him to be bound with two chains. Then he asked who he was and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd shouted one thing and some another, and since the commander could not get at the truth because of the uproar, he ordered that Paul be taken into the barracks. 35 When Paul reached the steps, the violence of the mob was so great he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36 The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Away with him!”

Paul Speaks to the Crowd

37 As the soldiers were about to take Paul into the barracks, he asked the commander, “May I say something to you?”

38 “Do you speak Greek?” he replied. “Aren’t you the Egyptian who started a revolt and led four thousand terrorists out into the desert some time ago?”

39 Paul answered, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no ordinary city. Please let me speak to the people.”

40 Having received the commander’s permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the crowd. When they were all silent, he said to them in Aramaic [common language of Palestine Jews at that time – half-Hebrews]:


The season at this time was Pentecost, so as we saw in chp 2, we can know that many, many Jews came here from all over the world – from Asia, Macedonia, etc.

As we know, before coming, Paul worked at Ephesus for 3 years. And many Jews came from Ephesus, so knew him from there, and they knew how effective his ministry had been there. They also knew his Gentile friend from there. So they thought he had taken his Gentile friend into the temple (like a tourist maybe).

They thought, “Everywhere Paul goes, his Gentile buddies go too.” They saw him in the temple, and thought, “OMG – the Gentile buddies came here too???”

But he had been in the temple due to his Nazarite vow – and had been seen many times in the temple by the Jews. So they assumed he was destroying their customs and defiling the holy temple.

At that time, Gentiles entering the temple was an absolutely unacceptable thing. There was a specific court for the Gentiles and for women. Between these two, there was a fence, with a big signboard: “No man of an alien race shall pass beyond this barrier. If anyone goes beyond this barrier, he will be guilty to death.”

Even Rome took this so seriously, they allowed the Jews to carry out this penalty of death for this crime. That’s why they seized Paul and lynched him and tried to kill him.

At that moment, the news reached the commander of the Roman troops – who came with his officers and soldiers. When they saw the officer, they stopped beating Paul. They asked, “What’s wrong? What has he done?”

They had a mob mindset and just shouted various things to get him out of there (almost like with Jesus, “Crucify him!”).

The officer ordered Paul be bound with two chains (for his own safety) and be carried to the barracks. In the middle of this picture, he was bound, black and blue, bloody, and being carried. On the steps, all of a sudden, these stairs became Paul’s excellent pulpit (stage) from which to preach the gospel to them all.

He asked to speak to the crowd (v. 37). He spoke to the soldier in Greek, “May I speak to the crowd?” At that time, speaking Greek proved that someone was international, cultured, educated. “Are you Egyptian?” “No, I’m from Tarsus.”

At that time, there were three MOST famous cities in that world for philosophy, literature, and education.

  1. Athens, Greece
  2. Alexandria, Egypt
  3. Tarsus, Asia

This commander gave him permission to speak.

When he turned to speak, he somehow motioned for silence in the plaza below. Almost miraculously, silence arrested this uproaring, crazy mob.

“When they were all silent…”

How is this possible? The power of God overflowed through Paul at that moment.

Lesson / Insight:

  • Paul spoke Greek to the commander.
  • He spoke Aramaic to his fellow countrymen.

We should learn this:

For our ministry, language is an essential tool for communication. Effective ministry requires that we speak the language of those we want to impact. Effective communication requires that we expend effort to build the bridge of understanding to others.

Including me, I want to bless all of us that God bless our tongues for his kingdom and glory.

  • I wish Korean brothers and sisters may get great development in your English so that you may communicate the gospel story with English speakers in English.
  • I wish English-speakers in AICF would get great development in your Korean so that you may communicate the gospel message to Koreans in Korean.

God bless our tongues. This is not only glory to God, but also very exciting. This will make our lives much more energetic, purposeful, and meaningful.

Conclusion

In this horrible situation: God was overruling.

God is overruling today as well.

God wants to use our tongues, our hearts, our attitudes, our decisions, our courage to spread the gospel of salvation. When we decide to preach the gospel, God will give us his power, his wisdom, his insight, his joy, his peace. God bless our tongues and our whole beings.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 10 / 2019
  • Comments Off on No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

No Retiring from Ministry! (Acts 19:13-22)

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. 18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. 20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:13-22

Exorcism used to be a more common practice. Even in Korea, we once could see this happening on the street.

Some people tried to call on the name of a stronger demon to cast out a weaker demon. (Often this meant “more money”).

But when these people saw extraordinary miracles happening with Paul’s aprons and handkerchiefs, they thought “Wow, this Jesus must be the most powerful evil spirit!” So they started to use his name in their own exorcisms.

13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.

Acts 19:13

These people thought that they could use God’s power (Christ’s power) for bad practices. They realized they couldn’t use his name like a magic charm – they were calling on his name without knowing him personally.

Even today, we must be careful not to misuse this name. This is the most powerful, strongest, purest, holiest name.

One of the 10 Commandments says, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” (Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain).

Jesus says, “Many will come to me and say, ‘Lord, did we not drive out demons, perform miracles, preach in your name?’ But I will tell them, ‘I never knew you! Away from me evil doers!'”

Yes, we may use his name, but we must not misuse his name.

Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12

15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

Acts 19:15-16

These men were overpowered and received a beating.

  • The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent.
  • Satan is NOT everywhere, all-knowing, all-powerful. But he KNOWS Jesus.

In the gospels (Luke 4:34), when a man encountered Jesus he cried out, “What do you want from me Jesus? Have you come to destroy me?” Yes, demons KNOW about Jesus, but they don’t KNOW him.

John 17:3 “This is eternal life: that they know God and him he sent.”

Knowing about Jesus is totally different from knowing him personally. This includes having a personal relationship, fellowship with him.

Do you know the US President? I know about him, but since he doesn’t know about me, then I can’t say I know him. Knowing Jesus saves us – not knowing about him.

17 When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.

Acts 19:17

8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:8-11

Please remember, God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names that all would bow and worship him.

18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. 19 A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Acts 19:18-19

The lesson from this story is: we should do our best to avoid all kinds of evil.

1 Thes 5:22 “Avoid every kind of evil.”

  • sorcery
  • black magic
  • magic arts
  • fortune telling
  • idolatry

These are all Satanic, demonic, evil jobs. We must keep ourselves clean from these things. You know, making a clean break from sin can be costly. How much was the cost here? 50,000 drachmas – consisting of fortune telling scrolls and books. They burned them publicly.

NLT (New Living Translation) says, 50,000 drachmas = several million dollars. (Drachmas were silver coins at that time).

This means that a person CANNOT believe in Christ and hold onto the magic, demonic arts. It is too easy to become obsessed with these things. Satan is VERY powerful, but God’s power is even greater. That’s why we have hope.

1 John 4:4 “You, children of God, can overcome all these things because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in this world.”

Satan’s nickname is “god of this Age.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Remember that one of the main purposes of Jesus’ appearance in this world was to destroy the work of the devil.

  • save us
  • make us children of God
  • give us eternal life
  • destroy the works of the devil

1 John 1:8 “Whoever does what is sinful belongs to the devil for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The purpose of the Son of God in this world is to destroy the works of the devil.”

Yes, we know the Holy Spirit has many ministries, but the KEY ministry is to “testify about Christ.” To encourage us that we have eternal life. If we know this ministry, then we can also understand the ministry of demons. Also, they have many jobs, but their key job is to “prevent us from believing in Christ.”

2 Cor “Satan has blinded the eyes so they cannot see the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”

One of Jesus’ main purposes: remove sin + undo the work of Satan

His coming brought defeat to Satan (already). So, do not be afraid, for Satan is already a vanquished foe. He has lost his hold on his subjects. Someday (soon), he will be cast out into the lake of fire, and all things he has worked through sin will be undone.

If this is true, Jesus’ purpose is to remove sin, then we must also NOT compromise with sin in the purposes of the devil – or we will find ourselves fighting against Christ! Do you prefer to serve Christ or fight Christ? If you sin, you fight Christ. We should not fight him, but worship him.

20 In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.

Acts 19:20

This is another progress report in Ephesus. Events demonstrate that the gospel was spreading. Christ was building his church (“I will build my church,” he says, “On this rock [this confession of faith], I will build my church, and the power of hell cannot overcome it. I give you the keys to heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Did you know you were so powerful, holding these keys? So, we have a mission.

Paul’s final resolution

21 After all this had happened, Paul decided to go to Jerusalem, passing through Macedonia and Achaia. “After I have been there,” he said, “I must visit Rome also.” 22 He sent two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, while he stayed in the province of Asia a little longer.

Acts 19:21-22

Paul’s resolution: to visit Rome

Do you have also New Year’s resolutions?

Let us follow Paul’s resolution – he is a good example, a good martyr. His resolution: to go to Jerusalem, and then to Rome. Why?

  • Why go to Jerusalem?
  • Why go to Rome?

Jerusalem

It was very poor financially, materially. So, he wanted to take a collection through all the churches he planted in Macedonia – as a contribution to the Jerusalem church. The references to these collections are in his epistles: Corinthians, Romans

25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.

Romans 15:25-26

His first purpose for going to Jerusalem was to collect money for the church – he had two reasons:

  1. To emphasize the unity of the church, the ONE body of Christ
  2. Also to take them away from a single church focus and give them a vision of a universal church

You know, Antioch church is a complete unit, a church, but itself is also just a part of the universal body of Christ.

“Let us love not only in our words, but also in action and truth.”

Rome

This was his final mission place. Where is your Rome?

“I must visit Rome also.” He had a sense of divine conviction to go. Everywhere he looked, he could see the influence of Rome. So, he wanted to take the eternal truth of God to the “eternal city” of Rome – the center of influence at that time. How old was he at that time? Mid 50s (older than me). At that time, this was very old.

We know that Paul had already finished his two fruitful, but difficult missionary journeys. And now, he was at the end of the third missionary journey. But, he never thought of retiring from ministry.

When he wrote Romans, he wrote, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers. I pray, now, at last, the door may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you to give you a spiritual gift to make you strong. I planned to come to you so many times. I’m a debtor to the gospel, to the Jews and Greeks, and all, that’s why I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome.” This is not the eagerness of a sightseer, but an evangelist.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of salvation for all who believe.”

Yes, after this, we also must go OUT into this world.

Jesus says, “As my Father sent me into this world, so I’m sending you out to the world.” (not into the church) – even twice he repeated this.

We cannot sit back. That is the example we have in Christ. Before man came to Christ, Christ came to man. This is the story throughout the Bible. Before we called him “Lord, Lord” he called us. Before we chose him, he chose us (even before the foundation of the world) to be holy and blameless in his sight – to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Christ.

Do you want to be happy? (Raise your hand)

Also I want to be happy. Our Lord Jesus says, “He who wants to save his life will lose it; but he who loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” What does this mean practically?

In our application – to be happy – do not live for happiness. That is the secret. I know this secret, so I am standing here.

  • If you want to be happy, do not live for happiness.
  • If you want to be happy, live for the mission given you from God, then you will be happy as a bonus.

If I want to be happy, do not live for happiness.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 28 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Paul’s First Sermon (Acts 13:6-41)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Paul’s First Sermon (Acts 13:6-41)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Paul’s First Sermon

Acts 13:6-41 (Pastor Heo)

13:6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

12 Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”

<PaulsFirstSermon>

16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, 18 he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, 19 he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.

21 “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

” ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’

34 The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:

” ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’

35 So it is stated elsewhere:

” ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’

36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 ” ‘Look, you scoffers,wonder and perish,

for I am going to do something in your days

that you would never believe,

even if someone told you.’ “

</PaulsFirstSermon>

Usually there is a tendency to ID the missionary and the enterprise as going to rural, small, remote, isolated areas – like the jungle, etc – whose people are poor, uneducated, uncivilized – and helping them for his whole life with medicine, education, etc, and then finally, sharing the story of the gospel, very personally. Yes, this is a KIND of missionary job – BUT Paul’s missionary enterprise is very different. Here are 3 key differences:

1. Paul focused on BIG cities –

because he wanted to preach to as many people as possible in a limited time.

If Paul were in Korea, he would travel to

  • Seoul,
  • Incheon,
  • Daejeon,
  • Gwangju,
  • Daegu,
  • Busan,
  • Jeonju, etc.

Later, he wanted to go to Rome very much because it was the biggest city at that time. In the book of Romans, he wrote, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart is my witness how I constantly remember you in my prayers at all times. I long to see you that I may impart a spiritual gift to make you strong. I’m obligated to ALL people, that’s why I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome.” This was the eagerness of a soul-winner, not a sightseer.

City Mission 도시선교

2. He didn’t live his whole life in ONE place, but moved continuously.

2 Cor he confessed, “I have been constantly on the move – in danger from rivers, the Gentiles, the city, my own countrymen, the sea, false brothers, etc.” If he preached the gospel and the hearers accepted the message, he helped them to organize their own local church and very soon he moved again to another place – because he wanted to preach the gospel to those who did not hear the gospel. But, if the hearers rejected their message, he ALSO moved to another place – because he wanted to preach the message to those who WANTED to hear and were ready to receive the message.

[Later, “Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their feet” and moved on.]

3. He was VERY clear in the knowledge of what his FIRST priority was as a missionary.

He was “set apart” as a “servant” and “slave” of God. All the time, the did the MOST important job FIRST (never second). He had his priorities in order. He was very clear about this. Remember, sometimes the second important job is the greatest enemy to the MOST important job.

What is the FIRST important job to a missionary? PREACH the gospel.

1 Cor 1:17 “Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power and wisdom of God.” Are you saved? Then you are, at present, BEING saved. And finally, you will BE saved.

This sentence does not mean that baptism is not important, rather, that he was very clear in his priorities. Are you clear in your priorities?

“I’m a Child of God!”

We are! Are you very clear in your priority as a child of God?

God bless us to be so.

v. 13

“13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.”

Before this verse:

v. 9

“9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,”

This is the FIRST appearance of “Paul” – and from this point, his name is continually referred to as Paul. From this point, “Saul” appears no more.

v. 13

“13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.”

This is interesting. His companions include: Barnabas (the original leader) – “Barnabas and Saul” (but here, there is not even the name of Barnabas).

Who is this John? John Mark. He joined in the missionary team as a helper.

There were Barnabas (leader), Paul (second), John (helper).

Here, John left and returned to his home in Jerusalem. Why? According to the record, we do not know exactly why he left. We can only guess.

  • Homesick?
  • Miss his father?
  • Uncomfortable with saved Gentiles? (he was a very devoted Jew)
  • Fear of danger? (this team was moving into dangerous areas)
  • He wasn’t happy about the leadership? – from Barnabas to Paul (Barnabas was his uncle or cousin)

This sentence (v. 13) indicates that the leadership of the team came over to Paul.

Whatever the case, Paul didn’t like this departure of John. In chp 15, Paul and Barnabas were ready for the Second Missionary Journey (after a second sabbatical year). For this journey, Barnabas wanted to take John again, but Paul did not want to. They fought very sharply over this matter, and separated company. From that point (chp 15), there is no more mention of Barnabas in this book.

Barnabas took John, Paul took Silas.

Anyway, the point is: finally, John Mark redeemed himself in the eyes of Paul – he was respected and restored in Paul’s eyes.

In his last letter, 2 Timothy, chp 4:11, Paul said, “Bring (John) Mark to me. He is very helpful to me in my ministry.”

Key point:

We have no right to give up any person for his salvation nor restoration in being used by God in his kingdom and for his glory.

Who can we give up that God does not give up?

v. 16-41: Paul’s first sermon in his missionary work

“13:16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, 18 he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, 19 he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.

21 “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

” ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’

34 The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:

” ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’

35 So it is stated elsewhere:

” ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’

36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 ” ‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish,

for I am going to do something in your days

that you would never believe,

even if someone told you.’ “”

Amen.

His first sermon has 3 parts:

  1. v. 16-25
  2.  v. 26-37
  3. v. 38-41

Each part begins with an addressing word.

Part One v. 16

“”Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!”

Part Two v. 26

“”Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.”

Part Three v. 38

“”Therefore, my brothers, “

We can see his audience was mixed Jews and Gentiles. In the third part, he doesn’t address them separately, but just says, “My brothers.” – to him there is NO more separation Jew / Gentile in Christ.

Part One

Paul summarized the history of Israel – climaxing with the coming of John the Baptist as forerunner of Christ – and with the coming of Christ as promised in the OT.

This was the Introduction (preparation)

Part Two (main body – declaration)

The main theme: The death and resurrection of Christ

Jesus came as Savior and Lord, but the world didn’t recognize him. They killed him. But he was raised from the dead. (at least 4x repeated)

  1. v. 30 “But God raised him from the dead, “
  2. v. 33 “by raising up Jesus.”
  3. v. 34 “The fact that God raised him from the dead, “
  4. v. 37 “But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.” (this is the final sentence in the second part of this sermon)

v. 37 Why? Because Jesus is original God.

John 1:1 “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. .. In him was light, and it shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. … This world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him…”

The death and resurrection of Christ is “good news” (i.e. gospel) – do you agree?

Paul’s message is the same as my message today.

What is the application? If we really believe in Jesus’ death, resurrection, our salvation, forgiveness of sin, sanctification, glorification, the conclusion / application is v. 38-39

v. 38-39

“38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”

Two key ideas in these two sentences:

  1. Forgiveness of sin
  2. Justification by faith

Forgiveness of Sin

Can be found only in the death and resurrection of Christ. Do you believe this? We know the Law of Moses demands perfection – the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the teaching of Christ and his example – all are perfect – but they all reveal our sin. They reveal our need for a Savior – but they do not provide the remedy for sin. The remedy can only be obtained through the death and resurrection of Christ.

v. 38 “I want you to know…”

God is a righteous God. He is good all the time.

The FACT that God is righteous means that God cannot pardon / forgive sin simply on the grounds of the sinner’s repentance. This would be impossible for a righteous God to do. Sin can ONLY be forgiven when the penalty of the sin is already paid.

So, in order to be able to forgive sin, and still remain a righteous God, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins already – in his body, on the cross.

This is a fact – the forgiveness of sin is proclaimed to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.

v. 39 “Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”

Justification by Faith

You can be involved in this (EVERYONE). Everyone who believes. What is the justification of God? This is when God declares the believing sinner as “righteous.” This is a declarative act of God.

Negatively: we cannot be justified by the Law of Moses, by our own power, effort, knowledge, good works, human made religion. We cannot be declared by God to be righteous by any religion made by man.

Only the grace of God is the root and source of our justification. This originates in the heart of God.

Knowing our inability to do this for ourselves, God decided to provide righteousness for you and me. It was God’s grace that provides righteousness for you and me.

In his mercy, he had regard for our miserable situation. That’s why we are justified only by the grace of God.

The blood of Christ is the foundation for our justification. Why? Because Heb 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”

To receive the forgiveness of sins, somebody must shed blood. But even if I do it myself – shed my own blood, it will not work – because my blood (and your blood) is dirty – not clean. Only Christ’s blood is pure and holy.

1 John “The blood of Christ purifies us from all wickedness and all unrighteousness.” God is able to remit our penalty and restore us to his favor and his grace.

In justification, your sins are NOT excused. Rather, your sins are PUNISHED in the person of Christ. That’s why he is called our substitute (propitiation).

We are justified only by faith. Our faith is the condition for justification – not on merit. It is not FOR faith but BY / THROUGH faith that we are justified.

This means, our faith is not a prize for our justification.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 21 / 2018
  • Comments Off on For What were you Set Apart? (Acts 12:25-13:5)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

For What were you Set Apart? (Acts 12:25-13:5)

Download Notes in a .MD file

For what were you set apart?

Acts 12:25-13:5 (Pastor Heo)

12:25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

13:1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

On Cyprus

4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.


This chp 13 takes off where chp 12 ended.

12:25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

What mission? Delivering their gift to the mother church in Jerusalem.

Returned from where? From Antioch.

Let me introduce briefly the background of the birth of Antioch church (chp 11, 12, 13 connection).

Chp 11

Remember with the death of Stephen, there was great persecution in the Jerusalem church. Because of this, most of the believers scattered like seed – Judea, Galilee, even Antioch. They preached the gospel there, and some people accepted the Lord and the mother church heard about this and sent Barnabas to Antioch to help them.

Barnabas was the organizer and first senior pastor of that church. But he needed a helper, so he went to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found Saul, he brought him to Antioch and they worked together for 1 year.

There became a big famine over the entire Roman empire, so they gathered a special offering for the mother church (Jerusalem) and they sent this gift to the mother church with Barnabas and Saul.

This is the story of chp 11.

Chp 12

Then, James was killed, Peter in prison. At that time, Barnabas and Saul were there together with them. After Paul’s deliverance, they returned to Antioch – their sending church.

This is chp 12.

They returned with John Mark (Barnabas’ nephew – or young cousin).

We know that Antioch church is a very significant Antioch in church history. There are two, but this was the Antioch in Syria. Later, in 13:14, we can see the other Antioch.

This Antioch is 300 miles north of Jerusalem and near the Mediterranean. It was the 3rd biggest city of that time (after Rome, and Alexandria).

This Antioch holds many FIRST records:

  1. The FIRST public, willing evangelism to Gentiles
  2. The FIRST place believers were given the nickname “Christians”
  3. The FIRST to give an offering to their mother church
  4. The FIRST to pray with fasting (all together) – at least according to the record of the Bible
  5. The FIRST to send foreign missionaries abroad “officially”

Our Antioch is named after THIS Antioch (this is a good model – and we are trying to follow this model – so we need to understand how the original Antioch was at that time)

v. 1

“13:1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.”

At that time, Antioch had 5 pastors – Barnabas was the “senior” pastor and these others were the “assistant” pastors.

Antioch was amazingly heterogeneous – very international. Let’s look at each briefly.

  1. Barnabas (“Son of Encouragement”) – native of Cyprus (island in the Mediterranean)
  2. Simon (very common name in the Bible) – this name suggests his Jewish background. But he had a Latin name also (“Niger” – which literally means “black skin”). He may have been mixed – Jew and African
  3. Lucius of Cyrene (Latin name) – Cyrene was in northern Africa, as the capital of Libya (so he was black)
  4. Manean (means “comforter”) – he had grown up with Herod the tetrarch (Herod Antipas who’d had John the Baptist beheaded) – he was a foster brother of this Herod. They grew up together and spent their childhood together – one grew to be an evil politician, one grew to be a leader in the Christian church. How ironic that a member of Herod’s family grew up to be a member of the church.
  5. Saul – Pharisee of the Pharisees, highly trained – a Jew and Roman (“Paul”). He was listed last because he was the newest believer, or because he was the second most important person in this list. (Sometimes in Greek, the two most important words in a sentence were placed at the first and last position.) – Anyway, he will be FIRST soon.

The social geography and racial variety of these men shows the spirit of God had been moving rapidly, over a broad geographic area. Not only had the word spread, but also the Spirit of God had assembled this team for the next phase of the adventure.

They were a human patchwork (like a quilt – or mosaic).

What variety is found in God’s church! These men were from different cultural and different racial backgrounds. So, it is very reasonable to assume they had different skills, abilities, ages, personalities, characters, likes, dislikes. The common trend among them was their deep faith and love for Jesus.

So, from this story, we must NEVER exclude anybody whom Jesus has called to follow him.

One sign that we are in God’s mission is when our church is a human patchwork of people from all kinds of races, colors, backgrounds, etc.

Gal, “There is no longer any slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female, for we are ONE in Christ.”

Eph “Make every effort to keep unity in the bond of peace – for there is ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God – who is over all, in all, through all. “

Remember, if we are really in God, our differences cannot be a reason for disunity, but rather, they should be life-fulfilling.

Variety in unity;
unity in variety.

This is the heart of our Father God.

This is the heart of God.

v. 2-3

“13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

Today’s title: “For WHAT are you set apart?”

Notice that the commission of the HS (in v. 2) is “set apart for me” – this came on them while they were worshiping and praying. Also, Jesus gave us a Great Commission: “Therefore, go, … baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and HS, and teaching them all I have commanded you.”

The HS came on them in worship.

This means that Worship and Service go together hand-in-hand all the time.

We call is a “worship service” – this is “serving” God with our worship (trying to make him happy). But another meaning is “our worship must be FOLLOWED BY our service to others.” Remember, worship and ministry service must go together. If you are really a Christian, remember this.

“Worship and service go together.”

They can never be separated. If you try to work for the Lord, without worshiping him, you will be Legalistic (self-centered, religious service for self-righteousness – like humanitarian satisfaction)

If you worship without service, you will be outwardly godly, but internally empty – no power, no fruit, no testimony to share with others.

Do you have your own Christian life story? Remember, without service, without work for God, there is no testimony.

After Paul was set aside for God, he confesses Gal X:15-16 “God set me apart from birth, he called me from my mother’s womb. He revealed his Son in me that I might preach his Son to the Gentiles.”

Romans “Set apart for the gospel of Christ.”

Eph 1:4-5 “God chose us [the children of God] before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. He predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ for his will and purpose.”

Fasting is always a mark of deep spiritual concern indicating that someone has set aside the demands of life to concentrate on what God wants.

Fasting is intense prayer without food for a specified period of time in order to focus on the Lord.

Yes, sometimes these days, some Christians are fasting for the solutions to individual problems. This is not bad, BUT fasting (biblically) should be done for commitment and sacrifice to the Lord, and for the benefit of the Christian community, and the salvation of others. Christ also fasted 40 days and nights before his ministry began.

v. 4-5

“13:4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.”

Let us bless the beginning of their ministry.

In chp 13 & 14 we will continue to follow their missionary tour, so today, let me just quickly summarize.

  • Chp 13-14 is Paul’s First Missionary Journey
  • Chp 15:36-18:22 is his Second
  • Chp 18:23-21:16 is his Third
  • Chp 21:17-28:31 (the end) is his Journey to Rome as a prisoner to be tried by Caesar

After finishing his First, he returned to the sending church (Antioch) and stayed for some time (like a sabbatical year)

After finishing his Second, he returned to the sending church (Antioch) and stayed some time again

After finishing his Third, he did not return to Antioch, but went to Jerusalem – to be arrested. He knew, if he went to Jerusalem that he would be arrested. The HS taught that to him through a vision – but he went to be arrested because he wanted to go to Rome.

His FINAL goal was to go to Spain, through Rome – because they thought this was the end of the earth at that time. That’s why he willingly was arrested. Can you also do that?

Yes, we can, if we are filled with the HS.

God bless you.

First mission field was Cyprus (island in the Mediterranean Sea). Remember, the first thing they did when they arrived at their mission field was preach the Word of God in the synagogues.

v. 5 “When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.”

In this sentence, there are at least two things we must remember.

1. Barnabas and Saul were sent by the HS (outwardly it looks like sent by Antioch church members) – this is also our story. Yes, we are here today being sent by somebody – our own choice / decision, but BEHIND this, we are sent here by the HS. Jesus, “As the Father sent me into this world, so I am sending you into this world.” (He repeated this two times – before his crucifixion and after his resurrection).

After this worship service, where will you be? Wherever you are, this is the very place GOD SENT YOU. This is your mission field.

CBNU? THAT is your mission field. You are SENT by Christ.

The HS is a spirit of mission, evangelism, witnessing about Jesus Christ – because his main ministry is to testify about Christ to human beings.

2. If we pray, “show me, tell me what to do” – God will say to you, “preach the Word of God in season and out of season”

Do you want to come closer to Christ? Closer to God? Before saying “Amen” you need to think about this. Because the nearer you come to the Lord, the more intensely “missionary evangelist” you must become.

Is this a blessing or a burden? Both!

God bless us with his peace and joy and assurance of mission.

Let’s pray.

  • Jul 29 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Church Reaching Out! (Acts 8:1-13)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Church Reaching Out! (Acts 8:1-13)

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The Church Reaching Out!

Acts 8:1-13 (Pastor Heo)

Let me finish last week’s story about Stephen – the meaning of his death. Here are 5 results of the death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

#1 Crown for Stephen

Rev 3:22 “Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Only here at the death of Stephen is Jesus said to be “standing” at the right hand of God. He could not remain sitting, so he stood up to receive the first Christian martyr into heaven.

The death of Stephen and Jesus are similar.

  • They both finished their earthly lives by praying forgiveness for those who were killing them. “Lord, do not hold these sins against them.” Jesus, looking at Stephen at his moment of death, gave Stephen super grace so that he could pray for forgiveness for those who murdered him.

#2 Judgment for Israel

This was the third murder of the people of Israel.

  1. John the Baptist = permitted to be murdered (sin against God the Father who sent him)
  2. Jesus = requested death (sin against God the Son)
  3. Stephen = stoned him (sinned against God the HS, working through the witnesses including Stephen)

Jesus says, “Sin against the ministry of the HS cannot be forgiven.” So, finally, when Titus and the Roman armies invaded and burned the city and the temple in AD 70? the judgment was realized.

#3 Liberation for the early church

The early church had been witnessing first to Jews ever since Pentecost – but now would be directed to take the gospel to other areas – including Judea and Samaria (chp 8).

Yes, they preached at the risk of their lives, but they never went beyond Jerusalem – but the Great Commission says,

  • “You will receive power when the HS comes on you and you will by my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
  • Also Matthew: “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
  • Also Mark: “Preach this message to all nations.”

So, the death of Stephen is the turning point / starting point for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

#4 Salvation for Saul

He was the champion for persecuting the church, but he saw and heard Stephen’s message and prayer and glorious, beautiful death. This death was used by God in preparing his meeting with the Lord later – because God never wastes the blood of his saints.

Some time later, Saul would behold the same glory of God that Stephen saw and see him and hear him speak to him.

#5 Living Sacrifices as Christians

A Christian’s death is not death. If we open our spiritual eyes, we will realize that this is just sleeping. When Christians die, they “fall asleep” from God’s perspective.

The body sleeps and the spirit goes into heaven to be with the Lord. Then, when he returns into this world, he will bring the spirits of those who have died, and their bodies will be raised and glorified and their bodies and spirits will be reunited to be with him in glory forever and ever.

God does not call all of us to be martyrs, but we must know that God does call us to be living sacrifices.

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you brothers, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.”

In some ways, living for Christ may be more difficult than to die for him. But if we continually live for him, then we will be prepared to die for him if he calls us to.

As children of God, what is really important is not HOW we die, but for what we die; not HOW LONG we live, but for what we live.

Jesus (Rev) says, “Be faithful even to the point of death and I will give you the crown of life.”


8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip [one of the 7 deacons, not one of the 12 apostles] and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.


This chp (chp 8) is a very important chapter in the history of the church. The church began as a Jewish institution, but Philip had a mind beyond national limitations and boundaries. So here we can see the church reaching out.

In the beginning of this chapter, we see a “Great Persecution” but wherever they were scattered, they preached the gospel.

The Samaritans formed a bridge between the Jews and Gentiles because they were half-Jew and half-Gentile by descent.

v. 1-4

“8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. 4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”

The death of Stephen is a signal for the outbreak of Great Persecution that caused all Christians to scatter and seek safety in a remote area of the country. The most dangerous place for Christians was Jerusalem.

Yet, in this most dangerous place, the 12 apostles remained to maintain the local church. But, except these, the rest scattered. Yet, even still, they did not hide in the shadows – but preached the gospel wherever they went.

Also, we can see the zealous Saul, persecutor of the church. He was:

  • born in modern day Turkey,
  • a Pharisee of the Pharisees,
  • a Hebrew of the Hebrews,
  • trained by Gamaliel, and
  • his life seemed blameless,
  • one of the most promising young Pharisees,
  • his ambition for the Law was shown most vividly in his persecution of the church.

At that time, he really thought that persecuting the Christians was one way to serve God.

  • He spent his time arresting Christians, but was soon to be arrested by Christ.
  • He did his best to arrest all Christians up to Damascus, but on the way, he will be arrested by Christ.

v. 5-13

“8:5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is the divine power known as the Great Power.” 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.”

Remember, in church history, persecution does to the church what the wind does to seeds. Wind scatters seeds and produces a greater harvest. The Word “scatter” means to “scatter seed.” So, persecution is like scattering seeds. God used this to spread them out and plant seeds to bear more fruit.

  • Some went to Judea and Samaria,
  • others went much farther (the ends of the earth).

Philip at this point, came to Samaria to preach the Word. This was a BIG turning point – a BIG deal – because the Jews, up to now, had no dealings with the Samaritans.

Background:

In history, Israel was one country.

It was divided into 2 countries in BC 915 – southern and northern kingdoms – after Solomon.

In the 8th century, Assyria conquered the Northern kingdom (Samaria) and they put their people in that area.

Later in the 7th century, the Southern kingdom was conquered by Babylon and many were carried away – but they stubbornly remained Jewish – refusing to give up their national identity.

In the 5th century BC, those who were left in Palestine and the Northern kingdom, had intermarried with the Assyrians and other Gentiles.

When the Jews returned to the Southern kingdom to rebuild the temple and the city walls, the Northern kingdom offered their help, but were refused because the Southern kingdom thought they were “dirty” and no longer Jews.

Since then, there was bad blood between the two.

But here, Philip taking the gospel to the Samaritans is a BIG step – helping the Christians to realize that the gospel is truly for ALL people.

Simon, the sorcerer, was there, practicing magic. He made money and drew attention to himself by performing magic. The people exclaimed, “This man [Simon] is the divine power known as the Great Power.” And in this situation, Philip preached the gospel to the people and many miracles and signs and wonders were performed by Philip. And the people believed in Jesus as Savior and they were baptized.

  • When Philip arrived in this area, the people were amazed by Simon.
  • But after the ministry of Philip, that same Simon was amazed by the power of God through Philip.

This is a good reminder that no human power, nor Satanic, demonic, or even angelic power, is any match for the power of the gospel.

So, when we allow the gospel to touch us and change our lives, others around us will be astonished by the transformative effects it has on us.

  • v. 1 – starts with Great Persecution
  • v. 8 – continues with Great Joy in the city of Samaria

The people in that city were afflicted with demonic presences, and sins, so no wonder there was great joy after seeing these things.

Remember that the Samaritans are half-Jew and half-Gentile, but this experience shows that God built a bridge between the two.

Even today, we need people to carry the gospel to new places and challenge ancient ideas because the message of the gospel is “the power of God to all who believe.” It sets spiritual prisoners free, giving us real and powerful freedom.

Acts is the Book of Mission.

  • Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles (The Book of Mission)
  • But we can also say that Acts is the Book of Persecution.

Can you enjoy Joy with Persecution? Ask yourself honestly.

Can I experience REAL joy within persecution? Is it possible?

Acts is a book of persecution. Let me briefly explain how full of persecution it is. If we read first to last:

  • chp 4: Peter and John imprisoned and threatened for preaching and healing in the name of Christ
  • chp 5: apostles in prison and flogged
  • chp 7: Stephen is killed (stoned)
  • chp 8: Great persecution
  • chp 9: Saul is breathing out murderous threats to arrest all Christians up to Damascus
  • chp 10: James killed, Peter in prison
  • chp 11: Paul stoned, threw his body outside the city thinking he was dead
  • chp 16: Paul and Silas in prison, stripped naked, and beaten
  • chp 21: Paul arrested in Jerusalem – and continually tried before the Sanhedrin, the governor, the king, and sent to Rome to be tried by Caesar

This is the book of persecution. Yet, amazingly, there is no atmosphere of depression, darkness, shadows, gloominess, disappointment. There is no phenomenon of darkness.

The Book of Persecution is also the Book of Joy. There is no time to show ALL the verses that have the word “joy”, but let me show 5.

  • chp 2: The ate together in joy
  • chp 5: Left the Sanhedrin rejoicing
  • chp 8: Great joy in that city
  • chp 13: Joy in the HS
  • chp 14: God filled their hearts with joy.

This is the power of real Christians in this world. What is the real meaning of the “gospel” (evangelion) “Good news of Great Joy for All the People”

This is the message of Christ – regardless of the problems, persecution, etc, around us.

“Be joyful always; pray unceasingly; give thanks in all circumstance, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Let’s pray.

  • May 06 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Great Preaching of the Gospel (Acts 2:14-37)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Great Preaching of the Gospel (Acts 2:14-37)

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Great preaching

Acts 2:14-37 (Pastor Heo)

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him: ” ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 29 “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘ 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”


What shall we do? (next time)

As we know, at Pentecost, the HS came down on all true believers to dwell in them forever. Pentecost was the 50th day after Jesus’ resurrection.

John 14, 15, 16 was the farewell sermon of Christ before his crucifixion. In each chapter, he mentioned the HS.

  • 14:16 “I will ask the Father. He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”
  • 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, he will testify about me.”
  • 16:7 “It is for your advantage that I’m going to heaven. Unless I go, the HS will not come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.”

After resurrection, his first greeting was “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

In the opening, Jesus said, “Do not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the coming of the HS. John baptized with water, but in a few days, you will be baptized with the HS. (1:8) And you will receive power when the HS comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The HS came down with fire and wind and power and strength. HS = “The Spirit of Holiness”

With the coming of the HS, indwelling, baptizing, sealing, and filling the disciples – this is something new, wonderful, marvelous, dynamic. And they were filled with the HS.

The time is Pentecost, one of the biggest Jewish festivals. Because of this festival, so many people gathered in Jerusalem. Imagine this picture:

They were inside the upper room and filled with the HS – their hearts were burning with the fire of the HS. (Imagine if we were them – we would NEED to get outside.) And outside the building, so many other people were gathered together to celebrate the Pentecost festival.

They came

  • from inside to outside,
  • from the safety zone to the danger zone,
  • from the church to the world –

in order to be priests and witnesses to the world.

Even though they were Galileans, and simple, they explained in words and language that the other (even non-natives) could understand. The people were amazed (but some mocked them and said, “They’ve had too much wine.”)

At this moment, Peter, the representative of the church stood up and spoke the first sermon of the early church. This may be Peter’s GREATEST sermon.

Imagine, just 50 days ago, Peter had done the greatest denial of Christ in history, but only 50 days later, he became the greatest preacher in the history of Christianity.

When Jesus first met Peter, he said, “You are Simon, son of John, but you will be called Peter.” (Peter = “rock”) – this is a strong foundation.

Today’s sermon is so great because of its place it occupies in the history of redemption. This is the inaugural sermon in the period of grace. And through this sermon 3,000 were added to the church that day.

Let me share 6 characteristics of this sermon. We also are listening to this sermon.

#1 Simple & Clear

This is not difficult to understand.

Peter first answered their question, then told them about Christ, third he enlisted their commitment.

The preacher should not assume intelligibility – we should fight for simplicity and clearness of our message so that they may come to Christ.

#2 Scriptural

Today, to us, what is the Word of God? The Bible. (Old and New testament) – but at that time, they only had the Old testament.

In this sermon of Peter, about half of this sermon is direct quotations from the OT.

v. 14-21

“14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel (2:28-32):

17 ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

v. 21 is a famous verse (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13, Acts 2:21)

In these passages,

  • “in the last days” includes ALL the days between Jesus’ first and second coming.
  • “prophesying” = not only the prediction of the future events, but also declaration of the nature and will and purpose of God.
    • Today, we are living in the Last Days. And preaching the gospel of Christ is prophesying.
  • “Dreams and visions” = common means that God used to reveal himself to his people.
    • Today, our vision / dream is to be effective and powerful witnesses of Christ.

The second part (of Joel) is not yet happening on this day. Some of this passage is happening on Pentecost, and some will happen in the future, surrounding the second coming of Christ.

v. 19, 20 for example:

“19 I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.”

Another quotation from Psalm 16:8-11

v. 25-28

“25 David said about him: ” ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.'”

This passage is almost identical to Psalm 16:8-11

Another v. 34-35 = direct quotation from Psalm 110:1 (this is THE MOST frequently quoted passage from the OT in the NT – and it was used to explain the relationship of Jesus to God)

v. 34-35

“34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord (Jehovah God) said to my Lord (Jesus): “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘”

Physically speaking, David was the father (great grandfather) of Jesus – he lived about 1,000 years before him. And yet, he confessed, “My Lord.” It is impossible to do so without the guidance of the HS. David was not only king, but also prophet.

This passage (Psalm 110:1) is the most frequently quoted in the NT.

In the throne of God, the greatest archangels are standing, ready to serve, ready to wait on God. But none are allowed to sit down at the right hand of God. So, this “sitting at the right hand of God” = equality + perfect completion of his task / mission. That’s why on the cross he said, “It is finished.”

Can you imagine, humanly speaking, Peter did not prepare this sermon in advance on the desk with notes. He was a fisherman, uneducated. But, Peter memorized most of the OT – he was filled with the Word of God. He knew Joel, and David’s Messianic Prophecies by heart.

In applying these to our daily lives:

To be powerful and effective witnesses of Christ:

  1. Be filled with the HS
  2. Be filled with the Word of God – with constant honest prayer

The fullness of the HS and the fullness of the Word of God cannot be separated, they must go together all the time.

  • Eph 5:18 “Be filled with the HS, not wine.”
  • Col 3:16 “Let your hearts be filled with the Word of Christ. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
  • Eph 6 “Take the sword of the HS that is the Word of God.”

Please challenge yourself to memorize the Word of God, to keep it in your mind and your spirit.

#3 Christ-centered

  • Joel’s prophecy points to Christ.
  • David’s prophecy points to Christ.

This WHOLE sermon is filled with Jesus Christ. It begins and ends with Christ. The conclusion is all about Christ (v. 36)

v. 36

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

That’s why personally, whenever I stand to give a sermon, I do my best to FOCUS on Christ.

A sermon is the story of Jesus Christ.

v. 22 (Jesus’ incarnation)

“22 Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

v. 23 (Jesus’ crucifixion)

“23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.”

v. 24 (Jesus’ resurrection)

“24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”

v. 33 (Jesus’ ascension & exaltation)

“33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”

This sermon is FULL of 3 things:

  1. The HS
  2. The Word of God
  3. Jesus Christ

This is the sermon of all sermons – a great representation of how a sermon should be preached.

#4 Practical, relevant

It is practical, applicable, relevant, attention-grabbing even today (and especially then).

  • It answers their first question: “What does this mean?” Peter begins by answering this question.
  • And then he leads up to their final question.
    • Their final question: “Brothers, what should we do?” (next week)

#5 Convicting

I want to ask you honestly: almost every Sunday, are you listening and being convicted by my sermons?

v. 37

“When the people heard this, *they were cut to the heart* and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?””

While they were listening to this sermon, they were cut to the heart (convicted). We know the HS came down – and one of his main ministries is convicting.

John 16:8-11 “When the HS comes, he will convict in regard to sin (they don’t believe), in regard to righteousness (I’m going to heaven), in regard to judgment (the prince of this world now stands condemned already).”

Convicting is one of the main ministries of the HS. We must know that sermons are more than lectures, instructions, etc. This is not just giving and receiving knowledge in your brain. Rather, it is for convicting and changing your life – your heart, your attitude, etc – for growth to become more and more like Christ.

So, if you are not impacted, convicted by my sermon, then there is something wrong with you, or me, or both.

Whenever I prepare and preach, I pray for myself and I pray for you. Also you must pray for yourself, and also for me. Please pray for me. We are united.

Even though I’m speaking the sermon, I’m also listening to the sermon through the guidance of the HS.

#6 Faithful to the Mission

What is the final mission Christ left before his ascension? (Acts 1:8)

v. 32

“32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”

Conclusion: v. 36

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Our conclusion: Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and King, and we are all witnesses of this fact. We are also all witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.

We can say that Acts is the Gospel of the Resurrection.

We are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.

Without the resurrection of Christ, there are no more Christians, no more church, no more Christianity.

The fact of the resurrection of Christ should not be confined to only Easter Sunday. Actually, EVERY Sunday is the Lord’s Day and should be kept and remembered and celebrated as the resurrection of Christ.

If we are truly born-again Christians, don’t forget. We are living and working with the risen Lord.

God bless you. He is still alive. Do you feel this?

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 29 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit came and filled the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Holy Spirit came and filled the Church at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)

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The Holy Spirit Came and filled the Church at Pentecost

Acts 2:1-13 (Pastor Heo)

2:1 When the day of Pentecost came,they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine. “


The early church had no money, no beautiful building, political influence, educational degree, etc. The founding members of the early church (120 people) were a minority – maybe like you and me. But they were a huge multitude to Christ, and they saw a huge amount of churches established and Christians born again. What was their secret? A: The Power of the Holy Spirit.

The better we understand the power of the HS at Pentacost, the better. The more we will then be able to relate to him and understand him and believe. The power of the HS is still available today.

The main ministry of the HS is to glorify Jesus Christ. “The HS will bring glory to me.” John 15:26 “When the HS comes, he will testify about me.”

Another keyword: Holy Spirit

Keywords:

  1. Witness / testify
  2. One accord
  3. Prayer
  4. Holy Spirit

How many times does this appear in the NIV? 55 times (I counted yesterday).

The HS is the spirit of Christ, the spirit of God. He first came and spoke from human to human. This is very meaningful.

v. 1

“When the day of Pentecost came,they were all together in one place.”

Pentecost = 50 (Penta = 5) – this is the Feast of the First Fruits.

In Levitucus, Passover (Jesus’ crucifixion)is first, then the Feast of the First Fruits (Pentecost). Pentecost is 50 days after Passover – or 50 days after the crucifixion.

After Jesus was crucified, he was resurrected 3 days later. He stayed with them for 40 days. Then, 10 days later, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost.

  • 1 Cor 7:5 “Christ, our lamb of Passover has been sacrificed.”
  • 1 Cor 15 = Jesus’ resurrection = the First Fruit

Pentecost pictures the formation of the body of Christ – that is the church. In the OT, the Jews at Pentecost celebrated the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. But these days, we Christians celebrate the giving of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

At that time, there were 3 great feasts:

  1. Passover (Feast of the First Fruits)
  2. Pentecost
  3. Feast of Tabernacles
  • Passover = crucifixion including resurrection
  • Pentecost = coming of the HS as another Counselor
  • Tabernacles = Jesus’ Second Coming (heaven)

During these three greatest feasts, all Jews and others gathered in Jerusalem. This is the historical situation. (This is God’s plan and timing for world evangelism.)

v. 2-3

“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”

“The Holy Spirit came down – to dwell in believers forever!”

The HS is one person of the Trinity God.

This means, we believe in ONE God in essence – with three persons:

  1. Father God
  2. Son (Jesus)
  3. Holy Spirit God (another Counselor)

The HS dwelling in us means that Jesus Christ still dwells in us through his Spirit.

  • Gen 1:1 “In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
  • Gen 1:2 “It was formless and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

The HS came down forever and ever – permanently. The HS could not have come sooner. Why not? It was essential that Jesus die and rise again from the dead – and go up to heaven – before the HS could be given.

John 7:37 “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Streams of living water will flow from within him. (Holy Spirit)” Up to that time, the HS could not have been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified (taken up to heaven).

John 16:7 “It is for your benefit that I am going to heaven. Unless I go, the HS will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.”

So, Jesus’ death, resurrection, ascension is ESSENTIAL for the HS to come and dwell among us and in us. This is a basic Christian doctrine.

There were 2 startling signs that accompanied this:

  1. wind
  2. fire

Jesus says, “You should not be surprised at my saying ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but cannot tell where it is coming nor going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Interesting vocab (Greek):

penuma / pnuma

Literal meaning = “breath” or “wind”

Like wind, the HS is invisible, but SO powerful, like a hurricane. The HS is a life-giving Spirit.

“Fire” pictures the powerful witness of the church to the world. All throughout the Bible, fire is a sign of God – from the burning bush with Moses to the consuming fire on the mountain.

The HS is so holy – he cannot be together with unholy, dirty things. So the “fire” burns away our uncleanliness, bitterness, etc, and “wind” brings to us the presence and sign of God.

After the fire burns away our uncleanliness, we are filled with the HS.

Eph “Do not get DRUNK on wine which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the HS.”

v. 4

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”

The filling of the HS has to do with power, witness, service, victorious Christian life. If we are really Christians, we no longer need to be baptized by the HS, but we need to be FILLED by the HS constantly – if we are to serve God effectively and truthfully.

“In a few days, you will receive the baptism of the HS.”

We must not be confused between the:

  1. Baptism of the HS
  2. The fullness of the HS
  • Baptism = the HS identifies us with the head of the church (Jesus) – this happens whenever a sinner trusts in Jesus Christ and is born again. “I belong to the body of Christ.”
  • Filling = “My body belongs to Jesus Christ.”

Once more:

  • Baptism: “I belong to Christ’s body.”
  • Fullness: “My body belongs to Christ.”
  1. Baptism = final, once and for all, one time event.
    1. Fullness = daily, repeated as we trust him in earnest prayer and earnest devotion – for more effective service
  2. Baptism: We are ONE in the baptism of the HS – we are the same. (Eph. 4 “One body, one Lord, one God, one baptism…”) – this unites us.
    1. Fullness: This is a personal experience. Yesterday’s filling with the HS does not guarantee today’s filling with the HS.

So, what happens when we are really filled with the HS?

Spiritual medical check-up

v. 5-13

“5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs–we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.””

What does this mean?

There were at least 15 geographical locations represented here. And surely the citizens of each heard Peter and the others declare the wonderful works of God in their own languages. Why did God do this? There are 2 lessons we can apply in our daily lives – because the HS power is still available.

#1 Reverse of God’s Judgment at Tower of Babel

Gen 11:1 “At that time, the whole world had 1 language.” (Many languages today is the fruit of human sin.) “Come let us build a tower that reaches to heaven to make a name for Man.” (So, God came and scattered them all over the whole world.)

  1. “Babel” = “confused”
  2. “Babylon” = “rebellion against God”
  • Babel: God’s judgment scattered the people
    • Pentecost: God’s blessing brought them together
  • Babel: unable to understand what was said
    • Pentecost: able to understand in the own language
  • Babel: scheme to make a name for man
    • Pentecost: make a name for God
  • Babel: rebellion against God
    • Pentecost: ministry of humble submission to God

What a contrast.

“The HS is the spirit of perfect communication.”

Yes, the basic tool for communication is language – but for perfect communication, we need more than language. If we are angry, look at cell phones while talking, etc, we have bad communication – even if we speak the same language.

But, if we have the HS, even if we don’t speak the same language, we can overcome the barrier of language and have communication.

  1. The HS is the spirit of perfect communication – between friends, coworkers, spouses, etc.

#2 Let the people know the gospel is for ALL people

The emphasis of this book is worldwide evangelization. (Acts 1:8)

HS is the Spirit of:

  1. evangelization
  2. world mission
  3. perfect communication

How far or near are you to Christ now? Remember, the nearer you come to Christ, the farther you will go OUT to reach the people.

Once more:

“The nearer you are to Christ,
The farther you will go out to reach the lost.”

What was the spirit of the people?

  1. Bewilderment
  2. Amazed
  3. Confused
  4. Perplexed
  5. Mocked / ridiculed (“They have had too much wine.”)

Actually, they were filled with the HS.

But those who didn’t understand thought they were filled with strong drink. Interesting?

Still today, if we are really filled with the HS, we can be misunderstood. If someone misunderstands you, please understand their misunderstanding.

Eph 5:18 “Do not get drunk on soju (wine) which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the HS.”

Why does the Word of God compare filling with the HS and filling with strong drink?

  • Drink: We lose control of ourselves and end up being ashamed.
    • HS: We have self-control and glorify God.
  • Drink: Can give a high spirit.
    • HS: Gives deep satisfaction and lasting joy.
  • Drink: Makes us brave, fearless to do something sinful.
    • HS: Makes us brave, fearless to do something holy.
  • Drink: Gives us degeneration.
    • HS: Gives us regeneration.
  • Drink: Practically, strong drink destroys families, homes, relationships.
    • HS: Builds up, edifies families, homes, relationships.
  • Drink: Makes self, family, home like hell on earth.
    • HS: Makes self, family, home like heaven on earth.

We can foretaste heaven on earth by being filled with the HS.

Let’s pray.

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