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  • 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.

  • Mar 09 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Salvation in Samaria (Acts 8:1-25)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Salvation in Samaria (Acts 8:1-25)

03.09

03.09.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

<Download notes in a .RTF file>

The Church Persecuted and Scattered

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.

Philip in Samaria

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 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.

Simon the Sorcerer

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


In Acts 7, Stephen was martyred (the proto-martyr) – the first killed for his faith in the NT. He was brought before the Jewish Council, accused and had false witnesses brought against him – they said he blasphemed the Law of Moses and the temple. So he was questioned.

He then recounted the history of Israel. In his reply, he showed that the people of Israel themselves had been unfaithful in not keeping the Law and not respecting the temple. Contrary to the devotion given of the land of Judea, many leaders of Jerusalem had been called from OUTSIDE of Judea. And yes, even though God said, “Well, alright, go ahead and build the temple” he doesn’t live in there.

Actually, David didn’t build the temple because – though he was a “man after God’s own heart” – he was also a man of blood. So it was David’s son Solomon who built the temple.

He main point was: God looks at the heart, not the external. We are the temple of the living God – we must worship in spirit and truth.

That didn’t sit well with the Council – they were PROUD of the land, the temple, and their own “holiness.” Jesus had previously said, “A day is coming when not one stone will be left on top of the other.” – that happened in 70 A.D.

The Council couldn’t handle it – so they yelled “lalalala!” covered their ears, dragged him outside, and stoned him to death. Stephen had seen Jesus in heaven waiting for him and said so. And all the men had laid their cloaks at Saul’s feet.

Saul was perhaps between 20-40 – a “young” man. He was called Saul of Tarsus. He later becomes converted, a vessel of God to take the gospel to the Gentiles.

Saul:

  • born in Tarsus – E. Asia minor
  • son of a Jew – a “Hebrew of Hebrews”
  • circumcised on the 8th day
  • of the tribe of Benjamin
  • a Pharisee
  • probably grew up in Judea speaking Aramaic like a native
  • trained in Jerusalem under Gamaliel (he advised the Council to let the apostles go because “if this is from God, you won’t be able to stop it”)
  • he was a brilliant, dedicated servant of Judaism (Gal 1:14 – “I was advancing beyond my age – extremely zealous for tradition”)
  • Technically, he’s a Helenistic/Grecian Jew
  • born outside Jerusalem
  • knows Greek culture, and speaks Greek like a native
  • like many Grecian Jews, was more fanatical than the Jerusalem Jews
  • may have been a member, or apprentice of the Sanhedrin – probably saw Stephen in the Council – you can imagine his anger rising – particularly when Stephen says, “You’re just like your ancestors you stiff-necked people!”
  • He heartily approved the murder of Stephen
  • He then becomes a driving force to persecute the church in Jerusalem and other places
  • He went house to house, dragging out men and women

The same word used to describe his work = used to describe wild beast assaults and army attacks

  • Later he describes that he was guilty of the deaths of some believers.
  • Later he regrets this greatly (Acts 22). “When the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who did it.”
  • 1 Timothy “Even though I was once a violent man, I was shown mercy because I did it in unbelief.”

Glad for God’s mercy? So was Paul/Saul.

Here is the first use of the word “persecution” by Luke. The rank and file of ordinary believers now starts to be affected. Originally, it was just the leaders – now it’s EVERYBODY. (Probably the Grecian speakers mostly – those who believed after Stephen). So, they had to spread.

The persecution was quite rapid and heated. Luke says, “ALL…” but means “many/most…” had to disperse.

Later, the church in Jerusalem flourishes under the leadership of James (but he is then martyred by the high priest in A.D. 62).

“With the martyring of Stephen, the church learned to abandon Israel to Jerusalem…”

Up to now, the preaching was all in Jerusalem. They had preached and taught in the temple mostly – and it was only later (Peter) that they realized “Hey, this good news is for the Gentiles too!”

They don’t have the same reluctance to go to Samaria (actually surprisingly – because of the long history of division and strife between the two areas). Samaria (in 8th century) had been conquered by the Assyrians and many immigrants had come and many other had been forcibly relocated. So it was a “mixed” nation.

In Ezra and Nehemiah, they had opposed the rebuilding of the temple. They built their own temple instead. The Jews in the 2nd century destroyed that temple. In 63 BC, the Romans conquered them both and the Samaritans were liberated from the Jews. In 25 BC, king Herod offered to rebuild the temple – but they said, “Noooo~” because they found out he was ALSO rebuilding the Jewish temple.

So, here, Philip and the others entering here to bring the gospel to them was pretty BOLD.

Philip went to a city in Samaria and preached. The Samaritans were actually considered heretics. They believed in MOST of the same stuff:

Moses, the Law, circumcision, a coming Messiah/Prophet (remember John 4 when Jesus met the woman at the well – “I would give you Living Water” – “We know that when [Taheb] comes, he will reveal all things” – amazing that she is here speaking with the ONE whom they’ve all – we’ve all – been waiting for. She is forgiven, realizes who he is, tells everyone about him. The people say, “Now we believe because of what’s happened in our own heart.”).

The Samaritans probably also realized that there was a persecution against the Jews in Jerusalem – so there is probably a common bond now between the two groups (Philip and the Christians are also outcasts just like the Samaritans). The people hear, and see, and are amazed. The Holy Spirit is present, ministering with signs. Demons are crying out and coming out. Paralytics are being healed. There was great joy in that city.

Imagine those miracles. And that joy.

When the Samaritans saw the miracles, they paid close attention (8:6). Just as at Pentecost, it is the Power of God that grabs people’s attention. Like Jesus, Philip performed miracles, he is doing the same ministry that Jesus did.

At this point, the story (by Luke) is intertwined with the story of Simon the Magician. He is noted in the writing of 2nd century Christians as “the first heretic.” He is the originator of a number of heresies. He was revered as “the First God.” At one point, he went to Rome before Claudius where his magic brought him great fame and fortune.

Simon is amazed to see the signs and wonders performed by the power of the Holy Spirit. v. 9-16

This is similar to the signs of Moses in Egypt. The sorcerers could do many magical things – same with the priests of Baal before Elijah – but they couldn’t do them all. This was a sign that this was the ONE true God, the power of the ONE true God.

Acts 1:8 “You will receive power…”

The apostles had to wait and pray and receive the Holy Spirit and his power to go out and preach and show greater things than those of the occult.

These things reached the ears of the apostles in Jerusalem. So, Peter and John were chosen to go down. This was a mission of good will – they also want to see the real conversions and confirm the validity of the ministry of the Grecian Jews.

When the Samaritans are baptized in Jesus’ name, there is no visible evidence of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. It’s only after the apostles come down that they can see evidence of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Luke implies this is because the Samaritans should be brought into the church as a whole, not just as this one small group.

In other places, there is no laying on of hands. Later, when Ananias lays hands on Saul, he is transformed.

Here there is a delay in the receipt of the Holy Spirit – perhaps this is to SHOW the Jewish Christians that the Lord loves them as well.

How do we know they receive the Holy Spirit? Simon the sorcerer says he sees it – and wants it. Something obviously happened that shows that something miraculous has happened. He wants to buy that power with money (obviously to add it to his belt of “magic tricks”).

Philip says, “I can see you’re bitter. No. Pray to God that he gives you the spirit of repentance.”

Simon, “Oh, please pray for me.”

Later on with Paul and Elimas there is another sorcerer in Cyprus – defeated by the power of God.

There is great joy in the city – the gospel is shown to be the great power of God for salvation for those who would believe. And Peter and John start walking back toward Jerusalem, preaching in all the towns.

Earlier in Acts, Jesus had said, “The gospel will be preached in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria [now], and to the ends of the earth.”

Eventually, (especially in Antioch), the gospel became a big mission of the Gentiles.

Warning

There are warnings here against dabbling in the occult. God DETESTS these things:

  • Occult
  • hidden/secret spiritual things
  • New Age

Actually it’s not “New Age” – it was happening here. The best thing to do is to RENOUNCE them. “I did it for fun – no big deal” is not good enough. People were killed/stoned for that in the New Testament.

We’ve been changed out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his Son. God is pleased when we renounce those things and turn to him for truth and knowledge.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 03 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Signs, Wonders, & Sharing (Acts 4:23-37)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Signs, Wonders, & Sharing (Acts 4:23-37)

11.03

11.03.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Previously, Peter and John went to the gate, found a crippled man who begged for alms, but they healed him. People were amazed and a crowd gathered, but Peter pushed any credit away from himself and onto Christ – the Healer.

They then began proclaiming the gospel, that Christ was the Messiah, had died and risen from the dead, and that his good works would be multiplied in his apostles and disciples.

The early church was baptized by the HS on Pentecost to carry out Jesus’ work. Likewise, Jesus had been baptized in the Jordan by JohnB.

After Jesus baptism, he went out into the wilderness and was tempted (as Adam was tempted the first time – though Adam failed, Jesus overcame temptation).

After his temptation, Jesus went and began his ministry through the power of the HS, and he began to dismantle Satan’s kingdom.

Jesus had said that the disciples would also receive power when the HS came upon them (Pentecost) and they would be able to heal and do miracles through the power of the HS, in Jesus name.

This previous healing was one of the most significant up to that time.

Now when the temple guards and priests heard about this (those in the higher class – Sadduccees) they didn’t like it, came and arrested Peter and John. They put them in prison and brought them before the Sanhedrin. This was difficult, because the healed man was also with them.

A notable miracle had obviously been performed, the man was obviously healed, people obviously had heard, so they decided to just tell them to quit preaching – and they let them go. Peter said, “Whether to obey you or God…”

This brings us up to where we are now.

They went back and told the church people about what had just happened, and they began to pray in earnest. The Sanhedrin had POWER – aligned with the Romans, upper-class, etc. The church realized they needed divine help.

They used Psalm 2:1-2 as a basis for their prayer.

This was a common practice in the OT. “Peshuh?” It meant to take an old text and bring it into the modern day and interpret it as applicable to their time. They believed the prophets didn’t know fully what they had written because they couldn’t see into the future.

When they predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glory that would be revealed, they knew it was from God. “Even angels long to look into these things…” Peter – the real, inspired writings could only be interpreted IN the actual times and events with which they transpired.

People still try to do this. “The end of the world is coming!!!!” “This guy is the Anti-Christ!!!! He has all the marks of the AC!!!”

(These are usually all wrong – even Jesus said “no man knows the day nor the hour…” – not even Jesus knew.)

In Acts, the church is saying that Jesus’ death and persecution of God’s people were foretold in the Scriptures. God knew these things were coming and told his prophets.

4:28 “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”

Here is an interesting parallel stream of (1) what God knows and (2) man’s free-will.

Where Man makes his own free choices and yet fulfills what God foreknew. – a bit of a mystery.

Matthew Henry – “Justice must be satisfied… As to the people’s act, it was an awful act of sin and folly.”

Genesis 45 – Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. (He was Jacob’s obvious favorite baby vs. 11 other brothers. They became murderously envious, and wanted to kill him – instead they sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph was taken into the house of Potiphar. He was accused of trying to rape his wife – he was put into prison. Many, many bad things happened to him, but in prison he interpreted dreams of the Pharaoh’s servants. One died, one went back to work. Pharaoh then had a dream and the butler said, ‘Oh, that dude Joseph can tell you about your dream.’ Joseph came and said, ‘Wow. 7 years of plenty and after 7 years of famine.’ Pharaoh, ‘Wow. You’re the man to do it. 2nd in command, son ;)’ Then, in Canaan, the famine was affecting the family of Jacob – they went down to Egypt for food. And though they hadn’t recognized him the first time, they recognized him the second time when he revealed himself. So there is lots of fear, guilt and shame for all the time they’ve harbored this sin.)

In Genesis 45 Joseph said, “Don’t be too hard on yourselves. God sent me ahead of you to save you.” He saw God’s sovereign hand at work from the painful past into the promised future.

Joseph is a type of Christ. Transpose those same words to Jesus, “Don’t be too hard on yourselves (for your sin). God sent me ahead of you to save you.”

We’re all guilty of “selling” Jesus – crucifying him on the cross. We all sin, we all fail. Jesus alone provides the righteousness that we lack. Through his death on the cross, we are saved.

1 John 1:9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

There is a dual working together of God in his sovereignty ( “nobody can be snatched out of my hand” Jesus ) and the fact that we also must guard ourselves. (Martin Luther “all of Christian life is one of repentance.”)

The whole tenant of the gospel is that God has taken the initiative, and we must accept his free gift through faith.

We will take the Lord’s supper, but as Paul says, “examine yourselves”. So if we sin – or sin during the week – remember those words “don’t be too hard on yourself” and confess your sins.

Jesus has taken our guilt and suffering and shame. Hebrews “Jesus bore the cross, despising its shame…”

Derick Prince – received a testimony of a young woman who’d been gang-raped in her younger years, and had married a Christian man – but had never been able to truly consummate their union because of the past. You know, when Jesus was crucified, he was naked on the cross – he’d borne HER shame, he was naked, he was a man, he was her Savior. If she loved him, she loved the one he represented. That healed her – she finally understood how Jesus had borne her shame. It healed her personal life and marriage.

Jesus took our rejection.

His own people rejected him. He had gone around doing good, healing, and because of the jealousy of the priests, he was lied against and brought before Pilate – and they freed a criminal in place of him. How did he feel as a man? Rejected.

Then, whipped, scourged, crucified.

Then, on the cross, he’d been conscious of his Father God all through his life – but finally, even God couldn’t look at him “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Now, no one could say that we are totally rejected.

Because Jesus was totally rejected, shamed, and bore all our guilt FOR us – now we are accepted.

In Paul’s letters (even Corinthians – the wild early Christians), we are called “Saints” – not by anything we’ve done – but because of what HE’S done.

Remembering all these things, the only thing that can hold us back – is if we don’t forgive others.

“If you don’t forgive others their sins, then your sins also won’t be forgiven.”

That’s the secret of the Christian life – forgiving others AND forgiving ourselves (if you don’t forgive yourself, aren’t you putting yourself in the place of GOD in your life? He’s already forgiven you. Are you greater than God? So that you won’t forgive yourself?)

Psalm 2:1-2 “The nations rage in vain.”

After crucifying Jesus, Herod and Pilate (former enemies) became friends (or frienemies) because they are united against Jesus.

The apostles’ prayer is also humble – they don’t want relief, but boldness and healing SO THAT they gospel will be heard and God’s name glorified.

In Acts, all things that are done effectively are done in the name of Jesus.

  • Acts 9: Barnabas told of how Saul had been saved by Jesus and how he’d preached fearlessly in Damascus in the name of Jesus.
  • Acts 8:16 Peter and John arrived in Samaria prayed for the people that they might receive the HS, they’d simply been baptized into the name of Jesus – but they still needed the empowering of the HS.
  • Acts 10:43 Sins are forgiven – Peter goes to Cornelius’ household and says, “All the Prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness from sins.”
  • Acts 15:17-18: Demons are cast out. A girl following Paul shouts out “These guys are God’s servants that are telling you how to be saved!” Paul got frustrated after many days, and he addressed the spirit and said, “COME OUT!” And he came out – but the owners of the slave girl had lost their fortune-telling spirit. The spirit was of Satan.

Just because it was right didn’t make it TRUE. Even prophets who prophecy something “right” doesn’t make it TRUE. If it takes worship AWAY from the Lord, it’s trouble. Especially the occult – even a Ouija board – needs to be repented of.

Since we are coming around the table of the Lord soon, it’s important to examine ourselves. Even somethings that look innocent or insignificant, ANY sin is an abomination to the Lord.

Keep yourselves clean and clear from anything that involves the occult. These things are loathsome and an abomination.

All of these things are done in Jesus’ name.

The NAME of Jesus Christ reveals the PRESENCE of Jesus Christ.

Flawed humans can bring about salvation by proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ.

In his name we can overcome, we can be forgiven, and we can forgive others.

Let’s take some time to examine our hearts – to confess – we just “say the same things as” the Lord. We just say “Yes, Lord, you don’t like that, I confess that” and then we turn away from those things (repentance = doing a 180 away from sin, not MERELY saying “oops, sorry.”) and then we accept his salvation and his sacrifice for us.

On the day he was crucified, Jesus took the bread and the wine and said, “Do this in [loving] remembrance of me.”

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