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  • Oct 27 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Better Hope (Hebrews 7:11-19)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Better Hope (Hebrews 7:11-19)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Better Hope

Hebrews 7:11-19 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Like Melchizedek

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.


What is worship? Access to God’s throne, enjoying his presence.

The main function of a priest: to help people to have access to God as mediator.

This passage has 2 sections.

  1. This section shows the temporariness of the Levitical priesthood –
  2. The second section shows the eternality and perfection of the Messianic (Jesus) priesthood.

“There is one mediator between God and man (Jesus Christ).”

Briefly:

  1. The insufficiency of the old priesthood +
  2. the sufficiency of the new priesthood.

“Insufficiency” of Aaron’s priesthood

v. 11-14

“11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.”

The old priesthood was insufficient and replaced because it could not bring people to perfection (completeness) in access to God.

In the Old Testament, what were the qualifications to become priests?

  1. Tribe of Levi (100% pure descendant of Aaron)
  2. There are MANY qualifications – but they all have to do with physical, external, outward characteristics (142 types of physical blemishes that might disqualify him – Leviticus 21:17-21)

v. 17-21

“17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the LORD. He has a defect; he must not _come near to_ offer the food of his God.”

We draw near to God – this gate now is WIDELY open to anybody at anytime. But at that time, the gate to draw near to God was very narrow and limited.

Several times repeated here: “He must NOT…”

There were 142 physical blemishes that could cause someone to be disqualified from the Levitical priesthood. Even in the ordination ceremony, he must be bathed in special water, clothed in special priestly clothes, anointed in oil, pierced through his right ear and right big toe.

Once ordained, he had to keep so many oils, cut his hair in a special style. Maybe if I were in the OT, I could not become pastor because of my hair.

The qualifications were dependent on only physical characteristics at that time. Character, ability, spirituality were not even considered. This shows that the OT priesthood was NOT sufficient – until the priesthood of Christ came.

Jesus’ priesthood

v. 15-19

“15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an _indestructible life_. 17 For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a _better hope_ is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

What is our “Better Hope” – by which we can draw near to God at any and every time.

This new high priest has one great qualification – which is not external, and not outward, not physical – but it is inward (the power of an indestructible life).

This does not mean that Jesus didn’t die – but that he died a death that could not hold him. Death had no power over him. His death was followed by resurrection – that’s why he is eternal.

“Jesus is a High Priest” on the basis of an indestructible life = on the basis of resurrection.

He is risen! He is the alpha and omega – the first and last – our high priest forever and ever.

Still today, do you recognize that he is praying for us earnestly?

He lived 33 years in human form, experiencing everything, even death through the exercise of his own life.

John 17 “I lay my life down of my own volition (will), nobody takes my life from me. I have authority to lay my life down and authority to take it up again.” This means he is eternal, perfect, experientially, morally, spiritually – his priesthood is perfect. So he is efficient to impart life to everybody – and make access to God possible.

Jesus himself bore his body on the cross so that we might be declared righteous. “By his wounds, we are healed.” (Isaiah)

He also gives us eternal, abundant life through his resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the Life – he who believes in me will live even though he dies.”

Jesus is the bridge between God and man. There was a big valley between God and man – and Jesus became that bridge.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

How is it possible?

We are allowed to draw near to God at any time.

Here’s a story:

On one occasion, there was debate / discussion between local priests (not in the Bible) of the Catholic church and a pastor of a Protestant church (like me) – in the matter of access to God.

Catholic Priest vs. Protestant Minister

  • CP: “Why do you not pray to the saints?”
    • PM: “Why should we?”
  • CP: “Example: If you want to see the President of your country, we need many steps – the minister of the dept, cabinet, secretary, etc – and get permission, and that person may open the door of the President and you may see him.” (True.)
    • PM: “That may be true. There are many steps to see the President. But, imagine the child of that President. They are living together in the same house, eating at the same table, kiss each other goodbye, and eat together at dinner, sleep under the same roof. This is a child. Like this, I’m a child of God – a co-heir with Christ. I’m saved through the death of Christ and have been adopted into the family of Christ. Yes, he is God, much higher than a human President.”

How is this possible?

We must know:

In the OT, God was revealed as King and Creator – but NEVER revealed as Father to any individual person. No one called God “Father.” Not Abraham, not Moses, not David. David enjoyed a wonderful position before God (a man after God’s own heart) – but he never confessed “God is my Father.”

Only IN Christ, BY Christ, THROUGH Christ, God revealed himself and gave himself to us as our “Father.”

That’s why 700 years before Jesus’ coming, it was prophesied, “To us a child is given, the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Even 700 years before Jesus’ coming, “he will be called Everlasting Father” – this sounds strange if you consider the context and that time.

Usually, people do not call God “Father” but Jesus reveals God as “Father”. John says, “Nobody has ever seen God, but Jesus has made him known.” Only through Christ we are allowed to call him Father.

  • God loves us as a Father loves his children.
  • God knows what we need as his children.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect) and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

The practical application: If we believe Jesus is eternal and perfect and sufficient priest in our lives, it means whatever problems you have, Jesus is the answer.

  • Whatever my problem: Jesus is the answer.
  • One million problems, one answer. Jesus is the answer.

“In this world, you will have problems, but take heart, for I have overcome the world (the problems).”

So problems are not problems. Problems prove you are still alive. To be overcome by a problem is a real problem. But all problems will be overcome by Christ (Romans 8: “God works all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”)

Practically, we are allowed to draw near to God – HOW?

Spiritual tips:

  1. Church (the house of God) – although according to the Bible, we ourselves ARE the church
    • Church comes from ecclesia (Greek) “called out of the world” – an assembly of God’s people. “Where two or three are gathered, there I am.”
  2. Our bodies are the temple of God – the church of God – if we recognize this already, we are in the presence of God – drawing near to God is possible anywhere and anytime.
    • We are spiritual beings – and like our physical bodies crave physical food, our spiritual bodies also crave intimacy with God (access with God), sanctification, maturity, the grace of God – this is our spiritual food. “This hope does not disappoint us.”
    • Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access to this grace through the hope in which we now stand.”
    • We also can rejoice in our sufferings, trials, and problems. For this suffering produces patience, maturity, character, hope – and this hope does not disappoint us – because God is pouring out his love into our hearts.
  3. Prayer – dialogue with God – we need MORE prayer if you want to draw close to God. MORE prayer, less worry (less TV). MORE talking with God, less talking with people – because through this we draw near to God.
  4. Worship
  5. Bible meditation – verse memory, songs, personal reading. The Bible is the Word of God as our “daily bread.” This is the daily bread of our spiritual growth.

v. 19

“(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduce, by which we draw near to God.”

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)

Download Notes in a .MD file

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.

  • Dec 23 / 2018
  • Comments Off on What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming? (Matthew 2:1-11)
Christmas, Pastor Heo, Sermons

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming? (Matthew 2:1-11)

Download Notes in a .MD file

What’s your reaction to Jesus’ Coming?

Matthew 2:1-11 (Pastor Heo)

The Visit of the Magi

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ “

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were **overjoyed**. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.


Merry Christmas!

I wish you a Merry Christmas, yes, but I also want to ask you a question: to whom can Christmas become really Christmas? Is Christmas really a merry Christmas to you?

We know the spelling of “Christmas” = “Christ” + “mass”

  1. “Christ” = Greek christos (The Anointed One, the Promised Messiah, the offices of King, Prophet, Priest)
  2. “Mass” = Latin? mas or mista? (this means “worship”)
  • So, “Christmas” = “worship Christ”
  • “Merry Christmas” = “worship Christ merrily”

So, when you greet others, please let them know the REAL meaning of Christmas. Please, bless your neighbor with “Merry Christmas” from your deep heart.

Based on this story, not only at THAT time, but even today, there are 3 reactions of man toward Jesus’ coming.

When hearing these, consider: which is mine?

# 3 Reactions to Jesus’ Coming

1. Reaction of Herod

Hatred / anger / fear

He was a temporary king, and was so afraid of a “real” king that he gave orders to kill ALL the baby boys in that area under 2 years old. He was afraid that this little baby would interfere with his power, position, influence, etc. So, he wanted to kill the baby Jesus.

Even today, there are those who want to (spiritually) kill Jesus – even in their attitudes – because they wish to do whatever they like / want to do. But Jesus will not allow them to.

The man who only wants to do whatever he wants has no use for Jesus Christ.

The coming of Christ is the greatest challenge in this world.

Imagine if I say: “Change your job / hobby / health / hairstyle / weight / etc” – this may be a big challenge and he will be angry at me.

But Jesus’ coming can be the GREATEST challenge and attack to his life. This means: “Change your Lord / Savior / Master / life purpose / priorities / etc”

Please remember, the Christian in the one who has STOPPED doing only what he likes and has committed himself to doing what CHRIST likes and wants.

This is the true identity of a Christian in front of Christ.

2. Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law

Indifference / apathy

At that time, they were so engrossed in their own temple actions and rituals that they completely disregarded Jesus Christ. Jesus meant NOTHING to them.

This is a strange story.

The chief priests were the MOST religious leaders, so their FIRST concern should be God. But when God became man, they missed it.

The teachers of the Law were doctors and masters and professors in the matter of Scripture. The theme of the Scriptures is the Messiah to come – but when the Messiah himself CAME, they did not recognize it. How sad!

Imagine:

  • they spend their WHOLE lives studying Scripture and
  • the WHOLE topic of Scripture is Jesus Christ,
  • but they MISSED Christ.

This is also possible today:

Someone spends his WHOLE life and activity attending church, but he missed Christ.

Thus, a Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ. Please, do not forget: A Christian’s FIRST concern must be Christ.

A believer’s first purpose, first interest should be Jesus Christ.

3. Reaction of the Magi

(wise men from the East)

Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi

God bless you to be wise men.

  • Say, “I’m wise…”
  • Tell your neighbor, “You look so wise!”

Jesus says in the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7) “Anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. When the rains come and the winds blow, the house remains standing because it is built on the rock – with a firm foundation…”

Adoring worship = the purpose of the journey of the Magi

Yes, our life in this world is a journey. On coming to the house (3 or more? because there are 3 kinds of gifts), they saw Mary and Jesus (maybe Joseph as well) – but they worshiped Jesus ONLY.

Joseph and Mary are NOT the objects of our worship. Worship belongs to God alone – this means that we recognize that Jesus is God – the very nature God.

When we recognize the love of God IN Jesus Christ, we also should be lost in wonder and praise.

  • They came to worship Christ as their best gifts.
  • We must know that for our worship to be true worship, we must give Jesus our best gifts as well.

Gifts of the Magi

They knelt down and worshiped him with their BEST gifts. These are very symbolic gifts: characteristic of his ministry and person:

1. Gold = for a KING

Jesus was born to be King of the world

Whether he or she knows it or not, EVERYONE has their own king.

Jesus is to rule over our whole hearts and lives – he is our personal king. Before we can be best friends with Jesus Christ, we must submit to him. When we say, “Jesus is my King” it means we are totally ready to give our complete submission to him and to kneel down before him.

What is the gold you will give Jesus today?

2. Incense (frankincense) = for PRIESTS

This perfume was used in the temple.

We know the main job of the priest was to open the way for God to man. “Pontifax” = bridge builder = between God and man.

Because of sin, there is a big gap between God and man. This is what Jesus did. Jesus opened the way to God for us. But he did not say, “I made the way to God for you.” But rather he said, “I AM the way.”

“No one comes to the Father except by me.” He is:

  • Wonderful Counselor,
  • Mighty God,
  • Everlasting Father,
  • Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

3. Myrrh = to embalm the one who was to die (PROPHECY)

Jesus came into the world to live for us and then to die for us. He came to give his best for us, and his death for us.

He gave us his BEST gift, so it is only natural (our privilege) to also give OUR best gift to him. Isn’t that just logical?

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

Remember, since the creation of the heavens and earth, Jesus is the ONLY person whose ancestry, birth time, place, manner, reception, rejection, suffering, persecution, crucifixion, resurrection was ALL prophesied – even hundreds of years before he was born.

This means that Jesus is the CENTER of the world’s desire, the keystone, the foundation, the cornerstone of ALL prophecy from the creation of the world.

So, the WISEST man is the one who gives his BEST to Jesus.

There is hope.

The WISEST gives Jesus his BEST.

To give to Jesus is the BEST investment, the best insurance, the best savings, the best deposit in eternity and for eternity.

How and for what do you spend your

  • Time,
  • Treasures, and
  • Talents?

Merry Christmas! (Really?)

Yes, I wish a Merry Christmas to all of us until we stand before Christ as Lord and God.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 20 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Leviticus: The Book of Holiness and Worship (1:1-17, 17:11, 20:7-8)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Leviticus: The Book of Holiness and Worship (1:1-17, 17:11, 20:7-8)


09.20.2015

09.20.2015-PHeo

Download Notes in a .RTF file (Korean notes below 한국어 밑에)

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  • Oct 12 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Saving Faith is Confessing Christ (Matthew 16:1-19)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Saving Faith is Confessing Christ (Matthew 16:1-19)

10.12

10.12.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Saving Faith is Confessing Christ

Matthew 16:1-19 (Pastor Heo)

The Demand for a Sign

16:1-12pp — Mk 8:11-21

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.”Jesus then left them and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Peter’s Confession of Christ

16:13-16pp — Mk 8:27-29; Lk 9:18-20

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”


 

Jesus taught the disciples about his crucifixion and upcoming death, but they were slow to catch on.

This whole chapter is all about Faith.

4 Kinds of Faith

  1. No Faith (v. 1-4) – Challenging Christ
  2. Little Faith (v. 5-12) –
  3. Saving Faith (v. 13-19/20) – Confessing Christ
  4. Serving Faith (v. 21-28) – Following Christ

Sadducees and Pharisees came together and challenged Christ.

Originally, fundamentally, these two were diametrically opposed – totally different in beliefs, policies, and lifestyles.

  • Pharisees = traditionalists, conservative, legalists, unbelieving religious party looking for self-righteousness
  • Believed in life after death, angel and demons
  • Were waiting and hopeful for the Messiah
  • Sadducees = political, wealthy, small aristocracy, a collaborationist party that cooperated with the Roman govt to keep their wealth
  • Did not
  • Were not

These two groups were so totally different, and yet they united so completely to kill and accuse Jesus Christ.

  • They didn’t lack evidence, but lacked honesty and humility.
  • They were spiritually adulterous and wicked (v. 4)

The sign of Jonah – also previously mentioned in chp 12. In this sign, just as Jonah was 3 days and nights in the belly of the huge fish, so the Son of Man would be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights. This is the sign of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is ENOUGH sign that Jesus is the promised Savior and Lord and King of Kings.

This is ENOUGH sign also for US to believe in Christ.

Parable: Luke 16 – The rich man and the beggar (Lazarus?)

The rich man lived in luxury every day and the beggar laid at his gate. One day, both died. The rich man went to hell. Lazarus went to heaven. This rich man’s name wasn’t written in the Book of Life (so we don’t know it), but Lazarus’ name WAS written there.

The rich man lived on earth for a short time with much – in riches, in luxury. Now, he lives on in hell as a beggar. Lazarus lived on earth for a short time as a beggar, but now lives in heaven in luxury.

The rich man said to Abraham, “Please, send Lazarus to tell my family (5 brothers)!” “No, they have Moses and the Prophets.” “But… if someone comes back from the grave to tell them…” “No, if they didn’t listen to Moses, they won’t listen to Lazarus.”

  1. We have ENOUGH evidence.
  2. We have ENOUGH witnesses.
  3. We have ENOUGH to know.
  • Look around at the houses – you don’t know who built them, but there is some kind of evidence that they WERE built and didn’t just “come to exist.”
  • Look at the sky – at the stars – there is also some evidence that SOMEONE put them there. If they were not put there by a man, then someone wiser than a man must have.
  1. Psalm 119? “The heavens declare the glory of God…”
  2. Romans 1 – ‘Since the beginning of time, God’s power and qualities have been CLEAR and can be understood so that NO ONE can be excused before God.”

#2 – Misunderstanding Christ (Little Faith) – v. 5-12

Spiritual things can be understood by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

“Oh you of little faith… Don’t you remember the feeding of the 5,000 (Jews) and the 4,000 (Gentiles)? I wasn’t talking about bread, but about the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Jesus left his confrontation with the Ps and Ss and his disciples went with him, but they forgot bread (and worried). Jesus used this opportunity to teach them about the dangers of the Ps and Ss: the “yeast”. Yeast makes bread grow larger and larger. Meaning: Evil influence, evil doctrine.

In the ministry of Jesus on earth, many people misinterpreted the meaning of his words physically, rather than spiritually. Ex: “You must be born again” to Nicodemus. “How is this possible?” Ex 2: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst, it will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – to the Samaritan woman “Yes, sir! Give me this water so that I don’t have to come to this well again!” Ex 3: “Whoever eats my body and blood will be raised by me at the last day.” – to his disciples “How can we eat him???” Maybe turned away at that point and no longer followed.

Misunderstanding produces little faith. (almost non-faith) – Therefore, “be on your guard” – keep Jesus at the center of your faith.

#3: Saving Faith – Confessing Jesus Christ

At least we must reach THIS level of faith

(v. 13-19)

In the New Testament – this is the first place the word “church” appears (referring to Peter and how Jesus will “build my church upon the Rock”)

Jesus took his disciples to the Gentile territory. Sycerea – near Philippi – it was the center for Baal worship and had many idols. Even the Greek god Pan had its shrines here. When Philip became the ruler here, he named the city Philippi.

Jesus asked “Who do men say I am? Who do you say I am?” Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Isaiah – there are similarities

  1. John the Baptist – STRONG messages – about repentance – “You brood of vipers”
  2. Elijah – omnipotent?
  3. Jeremiah – the weeping prophet, also rejected and despised by his own brothers and nation, a man of sorrows and humility and suffering

These answers are all incorrect, this answer cannot save them. “How about you? What do you think?” “Don’t ask me, ‘How about you?’ ask yourself, ‘How about you (me)?’”

Who do people say Jesus is?

We may think this kind of question is silly – but our personal destiny is determined by the answer to this question. The most important question we should ask ourselves throughout our whole lives is “Who is Jesus Christ to me?”

Peter answered: v. 16 “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God.”

Jesus was pleased and said, “You are blessed.”

Even today, if we confess like this, Jesus will say to us, “You are blessed.”

What is the meaning? Christ (Greek word) = Messiah (Hebrew word) = Anointed One

3 offices were anointed by oil in those days:

  1. Priest (interceding for man to God by prayer),
  2. Prophet (preaching the Word of God),
  3. King (overseeing the people of God and leading them)

All the offices of all the men were merely shadows of the ONE man who would fulfill ALL of them – Jesus. Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of God’s self-revelation.

  1. Romans 8 – “He is interceding for us…”
  2. Hebrews 1
  3. Colossians – “All the fullness of the diety in bodily form…”
  4. Jesus says, “I give you eternal life – no one can snatch you out of my hands…”
  5. Jesus says continually (v. 17) – “Blessed are you Simon Peter, for this was not revealed to you by man but by God my Father.”

We don’t learn and understand about Jesus through our own personal investigation – it is only through the ministry of the Holy Spirit that we can get to know him and believe in him.

“On this Rock, I will build my church.”

Who/what is the Rock? NOT Peter himself.

The Rock = a symbol of God (repeated many times in the OT) – this Rock is Jesus Christ himself and the confession of believers who say “You are the Christ and the Son of the Living God.”

Jesus doesn’t say, “I will build your church” nor “you will build my church” but rather “I will build MY church.” The builder, founder, top-line AND bottom-line of the church (the head pastor) IS Jesus Christ alone. And anyone who confesses Christ as Savior and King is a living STONE that builds HIS church.

What is the church? (this is the first appearance of this word in the NT)

  • Ecclesia – Ec = out of; clesia = congregation/ assembly/ gathering
  • Ecclesia = “calling the people of God OUT of this world to establish the Kingdom of God IN this unholy world”

The gates of Hell (Hades) will never overcome it. (Not Peter, the church). Gates = symbol of power, Hades = symbol of death. This will never overcome the church because JESUS is the holder of the keys and the builder of the church.

“I give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” Do you have this key in your pocket?

Jesus (continual truth-teller) says “You have the keys, whatever you bind/loose on earth will be bound/loosed in heaven.”

Today, Jesus is giving this key (the key of salvation) to the church. Jesus died for the church and then trusts the church to open or close the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. Since his death to his Second Coming = the “Church Age”. During this Church Age, the timeless truth = it is the ONLY church in this age. There are many “institutions” (schools, govts, etc) in this world – but Jesus only died for ONE and only gives the responsibility and power to ONE – the church, his church.

If we confess Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and King “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” then you ARE the church – a member, a living/working stone in this church.

Jesus says, “I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven…”

May God bless us with his blessing upon the church.

Let’s pray.

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