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  • Aug 18 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Characteristics of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:11-13)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Characteristics of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:11-13)

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The Characteristics of the Word Of God

Hebrews 4:11-13 (Pastor Heo)

11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.


As I mentioned already, last Sunday, we saw an invitation of REAL rest by Jesus, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest…”

This is “freedom, salvation, inheritance, peace, joy” rest.

Hebrews 4:11 “Therefore, make every effort… “ (work hard) – wait, this is a paradox. Last Sunday, “Rest” – but now, “work hard”?

Actually, rest does not mean “not working” – rather through hard work we can find rest. We must work hard to find and enjoy real rest – this is a paradox.

Also, we know, Jesus saves us, but we must work hard for our salvation.

Phil 2:12 “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Do you have faith? This is the gift of God, from hearing the Word of God. This is a gift, but we must work out our faith hard – day-by-day and drawing close to God in our daily practice.

Hebrews 4:12 “The Word of God is living and active…”

How can we “work out” our faith? Through and by the Word of God. This is a living power – a timeless truth.

Genesis 1:1 “God created the heavens and the earth.. with his Word” – he made something out of nothing – only his Word.

  1. “God said, ‘Let there be light'” and there was light (Day 1)
  2. “Let there be an expanse between the waters and the water” (Day 2)
  3. “Let the water be gathered in one place and the land as well – and the land produce vegetation” (Day 3)
  4. “Let there be lights in the sky – sun, moon, stars” (Day 4)
  5. “Let the water have creatures and the sky as well, the land be filled with all kinds of living creatures” (Day 5)
  6. “Let us make Man in our own image” (Day 6)

This is the story of Creation – “God said, it happened” – still today, God’s Word is living and active and powerful and effective. Do you believe this?

Isaiah 55:11 “My Word which goes out from my mouth will never return empty but will accomplish what I desire and the purpose for which I sent it…”

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This is a classic text of God’s Word in its power. This text has broad positive application, but even though this is true, this text (in context) is negative – as a warning to those who disregard and disbelieve the Word.

That’s why 11b says, “….so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

It means, we must be careful not to also be disobedient – like the Israelites in Exodus.

Repeat: We know the story of the Exodus. After the Exodus from Egypt, the Israelites journeyed to Canaan and arrived at the border. At the border, Moses sent 12 spies into the land to explore and bring back a report. Their task was only to SEE, not to decide about going in or not – but after 40 days of exploration, 10 of them said, “Oh no! we can’t go in there!” That night, all Israel raised their voices and shouted, “Oh geez! If only we had died in this desert or in Egypt!” God, “Say again? Then I will do to you exactly as you said.”

Today also, God is listening to what we are speaking.

God said, “You asked for it, you got it.”

So… please, don’t say negative things like this to God.

The 10 who gave a bad report were struck down by a plague and God told the people, “OK, go back into the desert tomorrow morning – just to wander until you die.” (It was 40 years – one year for each day of exploration).

Interestingly, the next morning, some said, “We have sinned. We will go up to Canaan and enter it.” Moses said, “No, you will never succeed because God will never go with you.” But nevertheless, in their presumption, they went and tried to enter (disregarding and disobeying God twice). They tried to enter without God, his blessing, God’s promise, Moses, the Ark of the Covenant (a symbol of God’s presence) – and what happened? They were completely destroyed.

With this background (historical example), verse 11b says, “so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. ” Why? Because v12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Remember, whatever we are doing, God’s Word is still alive. Regardless of what we do, the Word of God is piercing us and judging us negatively (if we act negatively) – and doing it positively to us (if we act positively).

Timothy “The Word of God is God-breathed and useful for training in righteousness so that the Man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So, let me share the characteristics and functions of the Word of God. (3 points) – and verse 13 is the conclusion.

Characteristics of the Word of God

#1 Living

“For the Word of God is living and active.”

It is active and effectual. The point: the Word of God has come to Man so that it cannot be disregarded. The Word of God has something that every person (you and me) must face. We must accept or reject it. That is our decision. But we cannot escape a confrontation with the Word of God. We can choose to accept it or reject it.

This is one of the facts of human history. Whenever, wherever a person has taken God’s Word SERIOUSLY, things begin to happen.

Once we take it seriously, we realize that the Word of God is not merely something to read about, but something to be done and fulfilled.

The Word of God gives us life.

Also it can change your life / my life. It is so powerful and active, it can change your life regardless of your age or your past.

Please remember, parents: You cannot change your own children. Only the Word of God can change them. 10, 12, 15 years old? Only the Word of God can change their lives. So, we must allow the Word of God to change their lives and our lives. If we trust the Word of God, God allows it to change our lives and claim his promise.

This is very effective.

#2 Penetrating

“…Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow…”

If someone puts something sharp in your side? It hurts.

Also, the Word of God can do this in positive and negative ways (cleaving, cutting, piercing, performing surgery).

Please do not focus on “what are these nouns?” – the focus of the verse = the holistic physical being (Greek: pushke)

Also in Greek: pneuma = spirit – a characteristic of Mankind (it is by the spirit that we think and reason and look beyond the visible world to that which is invisible – God)

  • The Word of God can cut through anything and bring conviction.
  • It cleaves through our hard souls like a hot knife through warm butter.
  • There are sections of the Word of God that cut through all hypocrisy and religious intention and leaves us convicted.
  • The Word of God convicts us (if we receive it seriously, sincerely).

The Word of God is called “The Sword of the Holy Spirit” (Eph 6:17 “The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit…”) – so it convicts us.

What kind of conviction?

  1. I’m a sinner – I need salvation
  2. Jesus is God (John 1:1 “In the beginning there was the Word (logos) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And all things were made through that word. Nothing that has been made was made without him…”)

The Word of God gives us conviction that Jesus is the true and eternal God. We are saved only by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that he rose from the dead for your salvation, you will be saved. It is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth you confess and are saved.”

Continually, the Word of God says, “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved “ (and not put to shame).

John 1:12 “To all who accepted his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Are you children of God? By grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ.

This is the conviction the Word of God is working through us.

  1. Living & Active
  2. Penetrating & Dividing (conviction)
  3. Judging & Discerning

#3 Judging

“…it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

This can be both positive and negative – just as the other 2.

  • If I’m “in Christ” and trust him – I’ll welcome his judgment
  • But if I’m “in sin” and reject him – I’ll fear it

The Word of God tests our physical lives and spiritual existence. It scrutinizes our thoughts and attitudes of the hearts (and desires and intentions).

  • Desire = our emotional part
  • Intentions = our intellectual part

So, our emotional AND intellectual parts are exposed to the scrutiny of God’s Word.

What is the heart?

  • It’s the center of human personality.
  • It is hidden from ALL. This is the biblical meaning.

Only the Word of God will tell us what is in our hearts. This is the message of the Word of God.

If we really want to know and understand ourselves, we must fill our hearts with the Word of God.

All human hearts are hidden from all creation, and only the Word of God reveals what is in our hearts, so if we REALLY want to know what is truly in our hearts, you must fill it with the Word of God.

Colossians “Let the Word of God dwell in your richly.”

Read, study, meditate, prayerfully apply it – gives us discernment and deep self-knowledge.

Only the Word of God reveals this.

“The Word of God is like a mirror that reveals who we are really in front of God.”

We cannot escape our passions, dreams, intentions in front of God (we cannot keep secrets from God).

Conclusion

v. 13 “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

“…we must give account.”

Are you happy with this sentence? Someday, maybe soon, we must stand before God face-to-face to give account. Are you OK with that?

We have been speaking of God’s Word in its Living, Penetrating, Judging powers – but in v.13 the focus switches from the Word of God to God himself. God and his Word are inseperable.

God knows and sees all. Yes, I “know” this, but practically, this fact that God SEES and KNOWS all, this is either a:

  1. Great comfort – when we have nothing to hide from him OR
  2. Great discomfort – when we have something to hide

Remember Adam? After the first sin, his next sin was attempting to hide himself from God. He thought God would not see him because God was not “there.” But actually, when he ate the fruit, God saw it and was there. When he hid, God saw it and was there. He knew where he was and how he was, so God said, “Where are you?”

In our practical lives, even if we are unaware of God’s presence, we must remember: “God is there.”

No creation is hidden from God’s sight. All are totally naked and exposed before the eyes of him before whom we must give account.

God knows instantly, effortlessly, all minds, all beings, all spirits, all thoughts, all motivations, all purposes, all pluralities, all hidden motivations, all dreams – visible, invisible, time, life, death, space, heaven, hell.

ALL THINGS God knows.

We cannot deceive him and cannot fool him. We cannot give excuses. We cannot rationalize. We are totally naked and exposed before God. We are powerless and defenseless before God. He is the final judge. Someday, we will stand before him to give an account and be judged.

Remember this.

Conclusion: John 1:1 “In the beginning, the Word (Jesus Christ)…”

So, we will give an account according to how we treat Jesus Christ in this world.

This is:

  1. A promise
  2. A warning

Especially the book of Hebrews always does this: promise/warning, encouraging/discouraging, challenge/trial.

Someday, we will stand before God to give account according to how we treat Jesus in this world.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 10 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Cry Intercession and the Blessing of God (Jeremiah 33:1-3)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Cry Intercession and the Blessing of God (Jeremiah 33:1-3)

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Cry Intercession & the Blessing of God

Jeremiah 33:1-3 (Pastor Park)

33 1:While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: 2 “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it-the Lord is his name: 3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’


Mark 10:52 – Prayer of Barthemeous (blind beggar)

When he heard Jesus passing by, he really cried out, “Son of David! Have mercy on me!” Today, I want to share how important cry intercession is. This is not to pray for yourself, but to pray for others.

Jesus died not for himself but for you and me. His intercessory ministry is not his problem, but other people’s problem.

We read Jeremiah 33:1-3

The blessing of God is the bonus of God.

Jeremiah 33:1

“While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time:”

Wherever you are, the most important thing is whether you receive the Word of God or not. Jeremiah was in prison – he didn’t know if he would be hanged tomorrow, or how long he would be there. But he received the Word of God which came to him a second time.

In any situation, the most important thing is to receive the Word of God.

Jeremiah 33:2

“2”This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it-the Lord is his name:”

God does everything in his time, and can do all things. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, nor even in 5 minutes. But we know who holds the future (Jesus!) – God holds our future and our tomorrows.

He is the one who formed and established and does everything according to his will.

Jeremiah 33:3

“3 ‘Call [cry] to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'”

Cry and call are totally different.

  • “Call” is like “hello!~~~~” like a phone call.
  • But “cry” is putting our whole being into the CRY out to God.

So, in the English, this translation is not very good. But the original version is very good.

Exodus 2:23

“During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God.”

You know this story – after 400 years, the Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. Originally, with Joseph and Jacob and the brothers, they were happy, living with their brother. But after 400 years, the Pharaoh(s) died and they became slaves. So, they CRIED out for help. This is the same CRY.

Exodus 2:24-25

“God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.”

God’s covenant was to take them into the Promised Land. But here they are NOT there. But at this time, God remembered his promise and plan for them.

Likewise, God has a plan for each one of us. Each person has a different speciality and different guidance from God. God has his plan for all of us, but when he starts to work for you is WHEN YOU CRY OUT TO THE LORD. God had a plan for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but he remembered it when they cried out to him.

Psalm 86:5

“You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call [cry] to you.”

Psalm 86:6

“Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.”

Psalm 86:7

“In the day of my trouble I will call [cry] to you, for you will answer me.”

Unfortunately, these days many English translations reduce this powerful word “CRY” down to “call”. Even Korean people have forgotten loud voices in their prayers.

A few weeks ago, I went to Japan with my wife. After I retire, I plan to start a ministry in Nagoya, Japan.


video


Some people wonder why Japanese church is so slow to grow, but Korean church is so fast to grow.

My opinion (not theological) is that Japanese people don’t know how to pray. Japanese people are so quiet when they pray, but Korean pray so LOUDLY with one heart – CRYING out to Jesus.

The Bible says, “Cry out to me” not “whisper unto me.”

When our Uganda brothers pray so loudly, I love them so much. I think the Ugandan church will grow very quickly.

But Japanese people are so formal and quiet and don’t want to disturb other people. But the Bible says, “Cry out to God!”

Psalm 102:1

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, let my cry for help come to you.”

LOUD voice in your prayer. God wants to hear that.

Psalm 102:2

“Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call [cry], answer me quickly.”

  • CRY out to God = 10 points
  • “call” = 1 or 2 points

Luke 18:7 (Parable of the Unjust Judge – looked down on poor people)

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”

Even an unjust judge, who looks down on poor people – he will not overlook people who cry out to him day and night, forever. Even he says, “I guess I should answer.”

However, our loving God wants to listen to people who cry out to him day and night.

Luke 18:8

“I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Why does Jesus talk about a loud voice with prayer first and then, “will he find faith on the earth”? Why did Jesus compare / contrast these? The person who CRIES out to the Lord HAS FAITH.

Jeremiah 33:3

“Cry unto me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Here you can see this as one sentence. But it’s two sentences in one.

  • “Cry unto me and I will answer you.”
  • “I’ll tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

The AND is like a bridge.

There is a promise. The Bible always has a promise.

  • “If you believe in Jesus, you will become children of God.”
    • There is an optional step on your part, and THEN a result on God’s part.
  • “Come to me, all you who are burdened and heavy laden and you will have rest for your souls.”
    • IF you come, THEN you will have rest.
  • “Ask and knock, then I will answer you.”
    • God always answers us.
  • “Cry unto me!” THEN God will show great and mighty things which you do not know.
    • IF you cry out to God, THEN God will answer you.

Testimony from Mei Lin in Singapore

I conducted a Prayer Meeting with many different people. At one time, a lady attended the meeting and I asked, “What is your prayer item?” She wrote it, “Get married.” I thought, “Is this the first? Remarried?” She was a large lady, so I thought she must have already been married. So, I asked her (not her age) but I found out she was 40 at that time. (I also was 40). At that time, I was uneasy in my heart. Who else could propose to her? In my view, she didn’t look like a normal lady. So, I prayed for her, “Lord, sister Mei Lin wants to get married, so where is her husband now?” Suddenly I had some thought in my mind that this would be impossible. I had a negative mindset. The thought disturbed my prayer – and eventually I gave up the prayer.

After one week, I went back and she asked me, “Hi pastor! Have you prayed for me?” Uhhhh… I’m sorry. I could not. She told me, “If a Korean pastor intercedes for me, I WILL get married!~” But this was very difficult in my heart.

I tried to pray for her the following day – she checked every day.

I prayed, “Lord, if it’s your will, let her meet somebody.” I just prayed simply and quickly. At that time, I still had doubt in my mind. I thought, “Wow, who can propose to her? She seems not single. She’s big and looks already married.”

Around one month I prayed in that way, very simply.

One day when I prayed, the HS touched my heart. He said, “I don’t look outward – I look at the heart.” (1 Sam 17). I was really surprised. “God, you are God, so you always look at the heart. But I’m just a man, we always see the outside first.” God said, “Yes, but you are a SERVANT of God, you also must see as I see.”

“But God, in my heart, I have great doubt. How can I pray for her?”

“CRY unto me for her!”

Cry? Why I should cry for her? This is not my problem. This is her problem.

But God touched my heart. So I searched the Bible – where is this word “cry”?

I saw Moses, Jeremiah, David, Jesus CRY unto God.

They prayed for the people.

The people fell unto idols and worshiped idols.

  • Moses: “Lord, if you kill them all, people will say, ‘You have no power to lead the people into the Promised Land.’ Lord, PLEASE forgive them!”
  • God: “As you have prayed, so I will forgive them.”

This is intercessory prayer. The Israelites were forgiven.

So this word touched my heart very much. So, I tried to cry unto God for her. “Lord, even though she looks like she has no pair, let her find someone to marry!” I really cried out to God for her.

At that time, I realized new things from the Lord. When I cried out to God, in my thoughts, Mei Lin was big, heavy, not pretty. But when I cried out to God, that kind of negativity and human thinking just came out. One by one, everything just came out. Then after about one month, I realized there was no longer any doubt in my heart. “God WILL let her DEFINITELY see the RIGHT person that HE has prepared!” I had confidence in my heart.

Brothers and sisters, why does God ask you to cry unto him?

When you do so, all the negative things, the dark mind, comes out to him.

So, after one month, I now have confidence that God has someone for her. So I asked her. Later she came back from Canada and a few days later she brought me a love letter. (Well, not really.) It was just a greeting letter (from a man who had no hair) – 10 years age difference. The letter said, “Mei Lin, how are you? When you have time, come again.” (This is just a greeting letter, not a love letter.)

We prayed for another one.

Later one young man came to our prayer meeting and asked me to pray for his future wife (he looked 25, but was 35). Hmm, Mei Lin was 40. 5 years age difference.

So I asked him, “What kind of lady do you want? Tall, short, beautiful?”

He replied, “Pastor, I can’t see the outward appearance.” WOW! FAITH!

He said, “when the lady talks and shows her activity in church, we know whether she has faith or not.”

I also prayed for him.

Long story short, 8 months later, the two of them came to my office. Eric said, “Pastor, I decided to get married with Mei Lin.” At that time, I was SO happy! Wow Eric! You have real faith!

“Pastor, we are going to be married because of your prayer, so you should officiate.” They asked me to pray for 1 hour. (No, no, no, it should be only 10 minutes.) “No, we have 700 people coming, non-Christians – so you may share evangelistically! Reveal the demon possession of our relative that came out, the Lazarus story, etc.” They knew my preaching and my style, so they chose some, edited them, and brought them.

On that day, I preached 1 hour.

Then the wedding march. The people clapped.

I thought, “I CRIED unto God and God answered me!” I was very content because they were married.

The Bible says, “Cry unto me and I will answer you!”

But it doesn’t stop there, “And I will show you great and mighty things!”

So, I was so happy.

At that time, the senior pastor (60, I was 40), came to me and said, “Pastor Park, would you please come to our Revival Message as a guest speaker in 2 months?” I was so embarrassed because my message had been in broken (not very good) English.

Then the senior pastor said, “You must come to my church as an English speaking preacher.” I was so shocked. From that day, God used me as an English preacher. I NEVER thought this – I never asked God for this. This was a “great and mighty thing” which I didn’t know.

Later, after this couple’s one month honeymoon, they brought back a present and said, “Mei Lin’s sister could not sleep because of your preaching – she thought she would go to hell because of the rich man and Lazarus story. So, she asked you to bring the Bible to her house and teach her.” After 6 months, we baptized her.

A few days later, she sent me a letter with a $3000 check there. “Linda, how can you send this big check?” She said, “Pastor, I’m a business woman, after I was baptized, God touched my heart. The pastor is your spiritual father, and takes care of your spiritual life, so you must take care of his pocket money.” WOW! Hallelujah! I never asked God for this, but he took care of me nonetheless.

The Bible says,

“Cry unto me and I will answer you and will show you GREAT and MIGHTY things which you do not know!” This is the power of crying out to God.

Even though you didn’t ask, you didn’t pray specifically for this, God provides and knows better than you what you need.

During that time, for 20 years, I received $3000 every month. When I came to Antioch Church, I told her I didn’t need that any longer.

The story: God said in John 10:10 “Life with abundant blessings” (abundant life)

God promised us abundant life, but why do we always feel it’s “not enough”? Many people are here as foreigners (also, my wife and I are American citizens). The keys that Jesus spoke to us “will I find faith when I return”? FAITH is CRYING OUT to Jesus.

So, I’m going away after this month. This is a very important message. This is God’s promise if we cry unto him.

Photo of Mei Lin

God prepared Mei Lin’s husband according to his will.

  1. God is ABOVE.
  2. You are HERE.
  3. You need someone to INTERCEDE for.
  • When you intercede for someone else, God answers for them, and gives a bonus blessing to you.

God gives the blessing – the great and mighty things – the bonus when you intercede for others.

If you pray for your brother and sister as intercessory prayer – CRYING out – he will answer, and he will show you the blessing that you never prayed for.

Many Christians feel they have NOT ENOUGH of everything. This is because they do not pray for others. They do not intercede for others. My mother always carries a note to get prayer requests from others and intercedes for them.

Jeremiah 33:3 (BBE 1964)

“Let your cry (*clama* in Latin) come to me, and I will give you an answer, and let you see great things and secret things of which you had no knowledge.”

Jeremiah 33:3 (Latin Volgate 405)

“clama ad me et exaudiam te et adnuntiabo tibi grandia et firma quae nescis”

Jeremiah 33:3 (KJV 1611)

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and might things, which thou knowest not.”

My missionary life was very content, with abundant blessings from the Lord.

Finally,

Jeremiah 33:3 (BBE 1964)

“Let your CRY come to me, and I will give you an answer, and let you see great things and secret things of which you had no knowledge.”

You never knew, never thought, but you will receive great and mighty things from the Lord if you CRY out to God for others.

May God bless you richly.

Please stand up.

Romans 8:26

“26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

What is our weakness?

  1. We don’t know how to pray to God.
  2. The Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans.
  3. This is the cry unto the Lord. Then God listens and answers.
  4. Then the bonus of blessing, the great and mighty things will come to you.

Let’s try Abba Prayer (“Father Prayer”) maybe 10 seconds.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 08 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 19:30-20:16)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 19:30-20:16)


 

— No bulletin today. Computer crashed —


 

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Workers in the Vineyard

Matthew 19:30-20:16 (Pastor Heo)

30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

20:1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’

8”When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take you pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


 

  • The first sentence = the last will be first and the first will be last.
  • The last sentence = So, the last will be first and the first will be last.

Today’s message is serious. This message can not only be a promise to us (as the last), but also a warning (as the first).

This parable is not purely an imaginary situation – this actually happened frequently during the harvest time in Palestine (apart from the method of payment).

When a landowner wanted to hire a worker, he would go to the marketplace – labor market – where most business was done. Daily job seekers and daily job seeker seekers (employers) gathered there. In this story, he went five times: early morning (sunrise), 3rd hour, 6th hour, 9th hour, 11th hour.

  • 6:00am
  • 9:00am
  • 12:00pm
  • 3:00pm
  • 5:00pm

The day ends at 6:00pm. He went to get the workers and made a contract with them for 1 denarius – a reasonable wage for 12 hours work. He found more workers at each subsequent time and hired them for a “reasonable wage.” Even at 5:00pm, he found others who were doing nothing and he hired them as well.

The fact that they stood at the marketplace until 5:00pm – this is strong proof of how desperately they wanted jobs. These would be the lowest class of daily workers. Life would be chaotic and precarius – though free, their lives would be worse than slaves and servants because slaves and servants had daily food and provisions for their daily work. Every day, they were at the mercy of chance employment. If they were unemployed for a day, their family would go hungry – so they were constantly in a state of semi-starvation. Unemployment for them was a disaster.

At the end of the day, the owner gave the wages from the last comers to the first. He gave even the 1-hour workers the same as the 12-hour workers. One day’s wage for one hour’s work. Wow!~ What a surprise~

Now, what do you suppose the day workers were expecting? 12 denarius, I hope…

But, as they witnessed the other workers receiving their wages, their hope was reduced and reduced. Finally, they began to complain. Sometimes do you complain against God? “Why? So little for me?”

  • They were grumbling. (v. 11~)
  • The owner responded. (v. 13~)
  • Are you envious because I’m generous? = Are you wicked because I’m good?

From this story, Jesus is teaching a serious and practical set of lessons to us. What are these lessons? Is this story about salvation? Yes, and no.

This parable has NOTHING to do with salvation, because 1 denarius does not represent our salvation AND no one can work for and earn his salvation. But at the same time, this is much to say about salvation. Every believer, regardless of how long we have been Christian in this world, we will all receive the same reward. – Moses, Abraham, even the robber on the cross beside Jesus.

This story is not talking about our Reward. 1 Cor 8:3 “Each man will receive his own reward according to his own labor.” All Christian’s rewards will not be the same.

So what are the lessons?

This is a strong story about GOD – who he is and his attributes, and about US – how we should act in our attitudes.

  1. GOD – how God is in his attributes
  2. US – how we should be in our attitudes

GOD (3 attributes)

#1: The balanced comfort of God

No matter when we come to the kingdom of heaven, we are equally dear to God. Now matter when we come to Christ, we are equally precious to Christ. No matter how long we’ve been Christians, we are equally welcomed by God. In our value, our original value, we are equally the same. Yes, we will depart from this world someday (die) – SOME die full of years, full of honor, his task completed – SOME die almost before the doors of life and achievement have opened – but all of them will receive the same welcome in heaven by God.

When physical life ends – it’s not too soon, nor too late before God.

#2: His infinite compassion

The element of tenderness is visible here. There is nothing more tragic than a man who is unemployed – rusting his talents in idleness because their is nothing for him to do. Sometimes we feel stressed, tired, or unhappy because of that job, but you know, all these things because of NO job is MUCH greater than that because of the job we have.

The truth is, tragedy and unhappiness because of NO job in the kingdom of heaven is MUCH greater than NO job in this material world.

Seriously, yes, you have a job in this WORLD, but DO you have a job in the Church? If you have a job to do in the church, it is a big blessing, not a burden. God created everything with only words. He is Almighty, Omnipotent, he alone can do all immediately, eternally, yet he invites US to work together with him in his house to bless our lives. Apart from God’s call on our lives to do his work, our lives are meaningless. Why? It is absolutely impossible to be saved and remain jobless in the kingdom of heaven.

#3: His abundant generosity

All these workers did not all do the same work. Some worked 12 hours or even 1 hour – but they all received the same pay. What is really important? Not the AMOUNT of service given, but the LOVE in which that service is given. So long as we give ALL that we have to give, all service ranks the same toward God – because we cannot earn nor deserve what God gives us. What is given is GIVEN out of the goodness of God’s heart. What are you receiving from God? Whatever we are receiving from God, that is NOT pay, NOT reward, but a gift, it’s grace.

———-

How we should be in our attitudes – in service to God and man.

How long have you been a Christian? A member of the church of Christ? If you have been such for a LONG time (20+ years), wow, yes, you have been truly blessed. You have received a good privilege to come into the house and fellowship of God – but you must NOT claim a special place in the kingdom for yourself because of your early entrance.

There are 3 groups of workers in terms of payment:

#1: First-comers

They started to work at 6:00am and worked 12 hours to 6:00pm. In v. 2, “He agreed to pay them a denarius for a day…” Yes, they had a contract with the landowner – these were contract workers. Their first reason for working was to receive PAY.

What is YOUR first interest in serving God and man? Service done because of pay is no “service” any longer.

#2: The middle-comers

There is NO contract here, but they received the promise of the owner (v. 4) “You go and work in my vineyard and I will pay you whatever is right.”

Even though they had no contract, they received the promise “whatever is right” and they expected to receive something, but they didn’t know how much. They were READY to be OK and satisfied no matter HOW much was given to them.

  • Promise-workers

#3: The one-hour workers

(v. 7) “You also go and work in my vineyard”

They did not receive a contract, NOR a promise, but they were happy to receive an opportunity to work. They were simply happy to be accepted into the vineyard. This means they put their whole future results into the hands of the landowner.

  • Grace-workers

They finally received 12x as much as they deserved.

Yes, I’m a pastor, I need pay in this world and I expect some reward in the world to come. But, if my FIRST concern is PAY, I’m not a pastor, even not a Christian. The true Christian works for the JOY of serving God and man.

Yes, many people around us have received GREAT rewards in this world, but may be lowly in position in the kingdom of heaven because their first priority was PAY. And others are lowly in this life, work for the joy of serving, and may receive a great reward in the life to come because they were never concerned with PAY only.

Here’s another illustration:

  1. Water in a cup.
  2. This cup should be filled with SOMETHING.
  3. It is half full of water – but ALSO half full of air.
  4. If I put more water, air will be less.
  5. If I reduce the water, air increases.
  6. The more water, the less air.
  7. The less water, the more air.

This cup is always full of SOMETHING – whether seen or unseen. Our hearts are like this -made to be filled with and influenced by something. 2 Cor 6:14 “What do righteousness and wickedness have in common? What fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Satan?” Just like water and air cannot be mixed in this cup, so light and dark, Christ and Satan cannot be mixed in our hearts together. The guidance of the Holy Spirit and the touch of unholy, earthly things cannot be mixed. So, if we are FULLY filled with Christ, there is no room left to be filled with things of this world. But if we are influenced and affected strongly by the things of this world, there is no room to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

  1. The more the HS, the less influence of the world.
  2. The more the influence of the world, the less HS.

Some Christians have been Christians for 20+ years, but VERY influenced by this world. And yet there are some baby Christians who are very, fully influenced by the Holy Spirit. In this way, the last may be first and the first last.

To live, we need food. Yesterday’s food is in the past – we need food today to live for today and the future. We need DAILY food, DAILY sanctification, repentance, Bible reading, fellowship, prayer, grace, service, etc.

“Do not receive God’s grace in vain. NOW is the time of God’s grace.” NOW is the time of our holiness and sanctification by the grace of God.

The last may be first and the first may be last. May God bless all of us with his living Word.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 09 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Do You Walk With the Lord Well? (Matthew 16:21-28)

11.09

11.09.2014-PHeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Do You Walk With The Lord Well?

Matthew 16:21-28 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Predicts His Death

16:21-28pp — Mk 8:31-9:1; Lk 9:22-27

21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter,”Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his lifewill lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


 

From this time on Jesus started speaking very clearly that he would be crucified in the future.

He spoke of this 3 times during the book of Matthew.

In chp 4, in chp 17 – Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of Heaven, and here, his emphasis on his death and resurrection.

His 12 disciples didn’t grasp/understand Jesus’ true purpose because they had preconceived ideas about the Messiah: politics, warrior, king. They thought he would be a kind of “superman” and overthrow the forces over the nation of Israel. They didn’t understand that he would win through the sacrifice of his own body.

But here he is telling them so that they wouldn’t be surprised when it really happened.

He also said that he wouldn’t suffer from ordinary people, but elders, chief priests, and teachers of the Law. The Sanhedrin was composed of these three kinds of people. Actually, they should have been the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but they were the first to make a decision to kill him.

  • Peter rebuked Jesus (his teacher).
  • Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” (rebuked him back)

Peter rebuked him because he loved him – but was wrong. Jesus rebuked because he loved him, but was right. Peter’s response certainly reflected the feelings of all the disciples. “Surely not!” Jesus didn’t say, “Thanks for your pity” rather “Get behind me Satan!” (But Peter isn’t really Satan. If Peter WERE, he would say, “go away from here” – this shows that Peter’s place is behind, not leading Jesus).

Earlier, Jesus praised and honored Peter very highly for his statement “You are the Son of God.” Peter wanted to protect him from the suffering and death he would come to because he loved him so. However, IF Jesus had NOT suffered and died, PETER would have to suffer and die forever in his sins.

Like this, sometimes, good intending friends and family (those who love us and try to protect us from suffering) provide the greatest temptations against doing the things that God would have us do.

Peter was speaking the temptation of Satan without knowing it.

  • At first, Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, not to suffer, not to be hungry, not to die. “If you are the Son of God, make bread! So your greatness! Don’t die!”
  • Also, Satan tempted Jesus ON the cross through the voice of the crowd “IF you are the Son of God, COME DOWN and show us!” (Then he wouldn’t die, we wouldn’t be saved…)

Yes, even today, we can become the mouth of God or the mouth of Satan.

It is so easy for us to limit the impact of God on our lives because we are so focused on the goals of this life. It is so easy to focus on comfort and safety that we forget our divine call to sacrifice and service.

Peter’s perspective was wrong – God’s plan included suffering and death for the Messiah. Jesus needed to fulfill his mission exactly as planned.

THE DEFINITION OF DISCIPLESHIP (v. 24)

This verse is very familiar but not easy to practice.

“IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

IF anyone = not only to those disciples at that time, but ALL who would come after as well (like you and me). Recognizing and confessing faith in Jesus Christ as Messiah is only the BEGINNING of discipleship. Jesus invites ALL human beings to “follow” him – but to do so, we need three attitudes:

  1. Willingness to deny ourselves
  2. Willingness to take up our crosses
  3. Willingness to follow CONTINUALLY

Easy to do? Or difficult?

#1: To deny ourselves

This doesn’t mean to deny things. Usually we use “self-denial” in a restrictive sense. We think it means “give up something” – (give up chocolate, cola, bread…) This is a very small part of what Jesus means by self-denial. Jesus means “In EVERY part of life, say ‘NO’ to me and ‘YES’ to God.”

“Not I, but Christ.”

Once and forever dethrone yourself, and put Jesus on the throne. Give our whole beings to Christ and share in his shame and death. Surrender immediate material gratification and safety in order to gain the goals and rewards of God.

Self-centeredness becomes God-centeredness

This is immediate and practical, acknowledge Christ in EVERY area of life. Galatians: “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live…”

#2: Take up your cross

This doesn’t mean “carry a burden.”

This DOES mean “identify with Christ in his shame, suffering, crucifixion and resurrection” This is humility before Christ. Today, the cross is a symbol of love and sacrifice – but at that time, it was the worst form of capital punishment.

The Christian life is a life of service and sacrifice.

This same verse is found in Luke 9:23: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me.”

This is not a MOMENT of great sacrifice, but a DAILY life of humility and service, and concerned with the needs of OTHERS more than the needs of self.

#3: To follow Christ

Not “walking behind” but “take the SAME road of sacrifice and service he took.” We must render to him perfect obedience.

The Christian life is a life of continual obedience to Christ – with our lives, money, time, tongues, bodies, etc.

To follow Christ = Moment-by-moment-by-moment

  • 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called because Christ died for you, leaving an example you must follow”
  • 1 John “Whoever claims to follow Christ must walk as HE did.”

Can you accept these verses truly?

  • “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me finds it.”

Jesus Christ humbled himself from heaven to earth to exalt us from earth to heaven.

God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names so that he could raise us from death to life.

Now is our turn. To attempt to save our lives = save you life only. If we do this, apart from God, we will lose our (eternal) lives. But if we lose our lives for the Kingdom of God, we save our (eternal) lives.

Jesus wants us to choose to follow him, rather than to live a life of SELF satisfaction. Jesus wants us to give up trying to control our own destiny and let him do it.

As CREATOR – Jesus KNOWS what real life is about.

Real discipleship implies real commitment – a whole life placed in Christ’s service.

“What can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Only when we give our lives to Christ will we discover the true purpose of our living. What good would it be to gain ALL the money in this WHOLE world and lose your soul? Can you imagine all the buildings, cars, gold, money, jewels, electronics, etc? If you were the KING/OWNER of the world but lost your soul… what good is that?

Whatever we have in this world = temporary.

This “stuff” can never be exchanged for our souls. No amount of “stuff” can buy back a lost soul. If we are true Christians, we must make the pursuit of God more important than the pursuit of selfish pleasure in this world.

When we TRULY follow Christ, we will know what it means to have true life in this world (and the next as well).

“For the Son of Man is coming soon…”

He will reward us according to what we have done.

“Some standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming…”

  1. These words are (1) Warning (for Judgment) and (2) Promise
  2. Judgment = (1) condemnation for sins OR (2) evaluation for reward

Your life is going somewhere. Whether we want it or not, your life is going somewhere – the Judgment. In every life, there inevitably comes Judgment.

The man who selfishly hugs his life, money, satisfaction, and stuff is a total FAILURE in heaven’s eyes. The man who spends his whole life serving, living for the Kingdom of God, showing and witnessing for Christ is a SUCCESS in heaven’s eyes.

Jesus has all the authority to judge both heaven and earth. When he returns, there will be a future, final judgment. Everyone’s lives will be scanned, and evaluated, and reviewed, and rewarded according to what he has done.

Even Christians will face the Judgment.

Jesus will judge how we spent our time and money, talents, responsibilities, and so on in order to determine heavenly rewards.

When Jesus returns, there will be some when Jesus returns who see Jesus in body when he comes. Nobody can hinder the expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Everything we have done for the Kingdom of God will remain forever, but the things of this world will fade away. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well.”

May God bless us as true children of God, disciples of God, so that we may walk with Jesus our Lord – not someday, but everyday.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 15 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Hagar or Sarah? (Galatians 4)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Hagar or Sarah? (Galatians 4)

06.15

06.15.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Hagar or Sarah?
Galatians 4 (Pastor Brian)

Sons not Slaves (theme)

Today is Father’s Day in many parts of the world.

The question in Galatians has to do with this theme.

1 What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “”Abba”, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God–or rather are known by God–how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. 12 I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14 Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!

Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. 24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.” 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.


Lost my train of thought due to Bob Dylan (when he was a Christian) – Slow Train coming or Saved “Sister let me tell you about a vision that I saw, you were drawing water for your husband, enslaved under the law. You were telling him about Muhammad and Buddha? in one breath, but you didn’t tell him about the One who came and died a criminal’s death.”

At this time in history, some of the Judaizers were coming into the synagogues and telling the Jews “OK guys, whatever, believe in Jesus, but you won’t REALLY be saved without keeping the Law as well.”

Paul is writing to both Jews and Gentiles here – he attests that FAITH is more important than keeping the Law (i.e. circumcision).

The question is: “How can Gentiles inherit the promises given to Abraham?” Some said they needed to be circumcised and keep the other commandments. Paul says, “NO – don’t go back under the Law from which you were saved.” Galatians 3:29 “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs of the promise.” This promise is by faith and all those that believe like Abraham are also heirs of God through faith in Christ.

Paul uses two analogies (”a similarity between like features of two things on which a comparison may be based” – comparing two things for similar things): Paul: “What I’m saying = as long as a child is under the Law, whether an heir or not, is like a slave. He can’t run the estate for himself – he must defer to a steward, manager, etc.”

Jews have the promise of salvation – but not salvation. They are like underage children in this respect. They were also under authority. Children even in wealthy families, were under the authority of slaves. Children had to obey the slaves in the same way that slaves had to obey their masters. A slave in a wealthy household would be a “child leader” – he’d teach culture and manners, be sure they went to school, etc. They were strict, severe, disciplined – to keep this child under authority until the child came of age to inherit the promise of the estate.

Paul says, the Law was like this – but now Christians are no longer children, no longer under this Law. To go back under the Law, would be to go back into slavery. “When we were under the Law, we were in slavery to the elemental principles of the world” (like the ABCs). Before Christ, the Jews were under the detailed Law of Moses (God was treating them like children – which was appropriate at that time). But now, the time has come for a change – they should be coming of age. “But when the set time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, under the Law.”

For this transformation, God didn’t send a Prophet or Law-Giver, but sent his Son. He didn’t come down from heaven, but was born of a woman. Why say this though? It’s to show his humanity – that the Son of God, though Divine, became Human. So why did the Lord of Creation become a child under the Law? To redeem (pay the price for freedom) those under the Law and adopt them as sons.

Jesus paid the price for our failure to keep the Law and gave us forgiveness. He had to become one of us to rescue us. Salvation depends on the fact that he was born of a human – FULLY human and FULLY God. His birth is now one of the most celebrated events the world over.

What are the benefits?

  1. Freedom from the Law and its consequences. (The Law did provide blessings for those who kept the Law, but also cursings for those who didn’t – Deuteronomy).
  2. By faith we’ve begun to experience the inheritance that God offers. Paul was a Jew and a Pharisee, but he still needed faith in Christ in order to get that.

“Because you are sons, he sends his spirit into our hearts, by which you call ‘Dad, Daddy.’” We are adult children who can call God our Dad. Since the Spirit who lives in Jesus now also lives in us, we can call God as Jesus called him. Since we are sons, we are also heirs.

  1. God is treating us as adults
  2. God is trusting us to be led by his Spirit

“Formerly, when you didn’t know God, you were slaves of this world. But now that you know God (or are known by God), how is it that you are turning back? Do you want to become slaves again?”

Basically, now that God is treating you like adult children, why would you want to go back to kindergarten?

If they went back under the Law of Moses, they’d be enslaved to keep certain months, days, sacrifices, etc, that even Peter admitted “even we nor or fathers could keep these.”

So, they came out of slavery in the world, but trying to go back into slavery of religion. Why become enslaved again?

There may have been many different seasons and celebrations, but the focus on times, and DOING it right was wrong. God is in our spirits, he is Spirit, and focusing on him in the calendar is wrong.

Paul felt that the amount of time and energy he’d put into winning them to Christ was in danger of being wasted if they turned back to what they walked out of.

“I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I have become like you.” How did he live? Probably like a Gentile. Even Peter lived like that eventually. He would go into a Gentile’s house and fellowship with them and preached to them. Paul also would enjoy meals with the Gentiles. “Salvation is found in faith, not in meals or exercises.”

“You did me no wrong.” Paul rehearses how their friendship began (because of an illness). Although Luke in Acts doesn’t go into detail, it was obvious that Paul was sick. During that time, he preached the gospel to them and they accepted it. “If you could have, you would have given your eyes…” This is likely an expression to show how deeply affectionate they were for him.

Now he says, “Am I your enemy now because I’ve told you the truth? Yes, these are zealous preachers, but they are zealous for the wrong reasons and the wrong things. They are sheep thieves, trying to turn you away from true faith in Christ.”

Paul had even spoken to them and said, “Was it by the law, or by faith that you received the Spirit?” He’s trying everything he can to bring them back to full, true faith in Christ.

Analogy #2:

Genesis 16-21 (Sarah and Hagar)

Here is an ironic analogy?

  1. One woman is a slave (Hagar): son born by the flesh.
  2. One woman is free (Sarah): son born by a divine promise.

(God had said, “You’ll have a boy.” Abraham, “Don’t tease me.” But this was the promise. Time went on (about 25 years) and Sarah said, “Yo, this isn’t gonna happen. Why don’t you just take matters into your own hands and make a baby with my slave?” So Abraham did so – though it wasn’t God’s intent. Eventually, God kept his promise – Isaac. Ishmael was the first boy.)

  1. Ishmael = a product of the flesh
  2. Isaac = the fulfillment of a Promise

“These things are being taken figuratively. The women are two covenants. Hagar’s is from Mt. Sinai, a covenant of slavery (Moses Law).” (Actually, the Jews never thought of themselves as Hagar’s kids, those were Gentiles – but here Paul is showing them figuratively that Judaism and its followers are in slavery (her covenant). But Sarah’s children are children of Promise – those who believe in faith (the Christians) belong here.

We, like Isaac, are children of Promise. So we are not concerned with the rules and regulations of the Jewish Law. Paul seems one more thing to deal with here.

“At that time, the son of flesh persecuted the son of the Spirit, and it’s the same now.”

At a birthday party, Ishmael mocked Isaac, and Isaac’s mommy was offended and told Abraham “Get him and his mommy out of here! He’ll never inherit our estate!” Abraham was dismayed – because this was also his son, but God said, “Listen to her, Isaac is your promise.” So, he reluctantly got rid of them, but God mercifully took care of them in the desert. The prophecy was that he would be the Lord of 12 nations as well, but be a wild man and everyone would be against him, and he against everyone else.

Like the Promise then, so it is now. Paul preached Jesus, and those who didn’t believe, persecuted him greatly. But he knew that the end result was worth all the suffering.

Genesis 21:10 “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”

He is speaking of the Mosaic Law AS A MEANS of Salvation. Paul is showing the Law as a “child leader” – to tutor them until Christ. Why didn’t the Jews logically follow on from the Law to Christ? Many of them were too rule-bound to make sense of it.

No one will be saved by keeping the Law, nor by looking to the calendar, but we look to the child of Promise, we look to Jesus.

“He gives and takes away.” He gives Jesus, Promise, forgiveness, salvation. He takes away sin, condemnation of the Law, insufficiency of the Law. He gives us Life under Jesus, in Jesus. We’re not under Law, but sons of the Promise by faith through Christ.

Let’s pray.

 

  • Jun 01 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Law As Tutor (Galatians 3)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Law As Tutor (Galatians 3)

06.01

06.01.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Law as Tutor
Galatians 3:1-25 (Pastor Brian)

Faith or Observance of the Law
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing–if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? 6 Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

The Law and the Promise
15 Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Sons of God
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.


Hymn “Free from the Law, O happy condition!…Grace has redeemed us, once for all.”

That reinforces the truth that Paul is writing about in the first few chapters.

He has:

  1. Established his credentials as an apostle
  2. Shown he’s on par with Peter and the others

He used to go and preach to the Jews in the synagogues, and he would reveal that Jesus was the Messiah – the foreshadowing, the types, conditions, and prophecies, of everything in the Old Testament. But, many Jews were still mesmerized by the Law, unable to see the Life Giver apart (or by) the Law Giver (Moses).

Paul had preached in Galatia and they’d believed and been filled with joy – their sins were forgiven and they’d rejoiced. However, after he left, the Judaizers would come along and “upset the apple cart” – try to make Paul’s gospel sound irrelevant and void. These Law-Insisters had said, “Sure thing, believe in Jesus, but you’re only REALLY saved IF you ALSO follow the Law…”

Paul was pretty upset that these Galatians who’d once celebrated in grace were now going back and being crushed by the Law.

  • Chp 1-2 – establishing his authority as an apostle
  • Chp 3-4 – establishing the relevancy and truth of his gospel – not received by man but from Christ himself

He wants them to understand the PURPOSE of the Law and how long it should last.

Also, understand the PURPOSE of their incorporation into the body of Christ.

Think on this. Pastor Heo writes to us and says, “You foolish AICF! Who has bewitched you…”

This is how Paul is writing – frustration, sorrow, trying to shock them into perceiving and seeing what he really wants to write. It seems that the devil had used the false gospel peddlers to blind them to the truth – using carnal desires. They have been blinded to grace and are going back to the Law. Paul later writes “Have I labored in vain? Have you believed in vain?”

Those of the flesh always oppose those of the Spirit. Nevertheless, cast out the bond-woman and her son (they represent the Law).

Paul is venting:

Before your very eyes, Christ was crucified – Paul’s preaching was so clear and vivid that they could actually, nearly perceive him like that.

Did you receive the Spirit by observing the Law???? Or by believing what you heard? (i.e. “You guys should know from your own experience that FAITH is the way, not merely keeping the Law.” Cornelius was a prime example – yes, he’d done good works, but that was BECAUSE OF his faith. The Ethiopian eunuch was also like this. By his faith, he believed and the Spirit drove him to immediately become baptized. Many others were like this – those at Pentecost as well. Lydia, the seller of purple was there at the prayer meeting by the riverside and she received the Living Water of Christ by hearing, and believing – responding in faith. Also in Ephesus, Paul could see that something had been missing in their experience, and that they hadn’t heard the FULL good news, so Paul asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” They’d not even heard of this. They’d been baptized into repentance by John the Baptist – but he’d also said to “believe on the One who comes after me.”

Paul is saying, “this is exactly how you responded – BY FAITH.”

Paul is reminding them of their own experience and getting them to remember the truth. In this personal application, they ought to know that it is by faith in Christ they are saved.

Next, Paul argues from the Scriptures using Abraham.

He quotes Genesis 15:6

At that point, Abraham was kind of complaining to God about not having any heir of his own flesh to inherit everything. Eleazor of Damascus was the closest servant. But God said, “No, no, you’ll have a boy. In fact, you’ll have so many kids and grandkids it’ll be like looking into the skies at the stars.” And he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

He did lapse in faith from time to time, but he continually persevered and clung to the Promises of God.

Genesis 12:3

God is calling Abram out of Haran – “Get away from your country and kin and I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you – and through you, ALL the families on Earth will be blessed.”

We can see how Paul is using the Scriptures to show how righteousness is credited to us through faith. The Law does not bring life – if they didn’t obey the Law, there were curses. “Cursed is the one who does not uphold the words of this Law by carrying it out.” (Oh, and by the way, if you break one SMALL thing, you break it all.) What is God doing? Trying to make fun of them? No, preparing them for the seed of Abraham (Jesus) on whom they could believe. (This curse was in Deuteronomy 27, 28…)

Habakkuk “The righteous shall live by faith.”

When Christ came, he redeemed us from the curses.

Yes, there are blessings “Please and thank you for those.” But there are also curses “Oh dear, please and no thank you for those.”

It was clear that there was still something missing even though “gallons of blood had been shed” by the sacrifices. But that was not enough to take away the sins of the people. This happened every year (What a great New Year’s reflection… “We failed again last year… sigh….”).

  • The blood of the lambs covers the sin of the people.
  • The blood of the LAMB takes away the sin of the people.

Christ redeemed us from the curse by BECOMING a curse “cursed is everyone hung on a tree”. He became our curse – we should have been up on that tree ourselves. But God, in his mercy, and Jesus in his compassion, died for us and took our sins.

How are we assured of this? BY FAITH.

  1. The Old Testament says, “DO.”
  2. The New Testament says, “DONE.”
  3. OT “Do this and live.”
  4. NT “It is finished, NOW live.”

The Law is a perfect, rigid husband who demands perfection of his wife. The wife knows her husband is perfect, but she isn’t. How can she live under this?

There is another man, equally perfect, Jesus. How can she get away from the Law? Her husband? He will go on. Jesus has died. She must DIE as well – die to the Law, die to her perfect husband, and be RAISED to life with Christ.

The gospel has been preached through Abraham and others, and the application of the gospel will continue (NEXT TIME) in the 4th chapter of Galatians.

But now is time for Communion, so let’s prepare our hearts for the Lord’s Supper.

Let’s pray.

 

  • Sep 30 / 2012
  • Comments Off on In Christ Jesus VS. In This World (John 16:16-33)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

In Christ Jesus VS. In This World (John 16:16-33)

9.30

Bulletin_09.30.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

v. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This section we read is the conclusion of our Lord’s upper room discussion. In the conclusion, he deals with the emotions of the disciples.

At this time, they were frustrated, worried, afraid, grieved. They didn’t understand some of Jesus’ teachings. They were humans, very ordinary, not even that well educated – but later they were used greatly for God’s kingdom.

So, there is hope for each of us to be used greatly for God’s kingdom as well, though we are ordinary. So, don’t give up! We always have hope!

3 Lessons

#1 v. 16-22 Principle
#2 v. 23-28 Promise
#3 v. 29-33 Position to Proclaim

#1 v. 16-22 Principle (Standard) to understand and apply in our daily lives.

“In a little while”?
“See me”?
“Grief will turn to rejoicing”

Principle = Our God brings, gives in our hearts and lives JOY finally – not by substitution, but by transformation (change).

To explain this, Jesus uses the story of a mother delivering a baby.
HUGE pain! initially, but at the same time, receiving that baby = HUGE joy!
The baby caused the pain, but brought joy!

God doesn’t substitute something else to bring joy from the pain, but he transforms what is ALREADY THERE – pain that is already there, and changes it to joy.

Child with a broken toy.
Substitution = parents buy another toy, if broken, buy another toy, if broken, another toy, etc, etc. Whenever broken, buy a new toy. SO, that child grows up expecting EVERY problem to be solved by substitution.
Child-adult, adult-child – they grow up.

Another option = transform that experience to become joy for that unhappy child.

The way of substitution = immaturity.
The way of transformation = maturity.

If somebody replaces our broken toys ALL THE TIME, we will be immature.

The same baby that caused pain, caused great joy as well.

“So with you.” The same with Christian lives.

In the Bible, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to Egypt, and he went to prison. But God transformed that hopeless situation into joy.

Saul pursued David to kill him, but the pain and worry was transforming David into the man of God to write beautiful Psalms.

Jesus died on the UGLY cross – a symbol of death, but God transformed that cross into a symbol of life.

Today, many people may think “joy is an emotion depending on my circumstances.”
That is only HALF true. 

True joy is MORE than that. TRUE joy is will-power, determination, inner attitude.

Remember Paul? In prison, weak in body, sick, and he shouted in joy, “I WILL rejoice at all times in the Lord!!”

Habakkuk confessed, “the olive tree doesn’t produce fruit, no sheep, no cattle, no fruit, no harvest, YET I will rejoice all the time in my God and my Savior!”

Joy is NOT only a feeling, but a determination! If you choose joy, you can be joyful – regardless of circumstances.

Also, we must understand the words, “a little while.” repeated 7 times.

v. 16 – “In a little while….”
They were worried and frustrated because they didn’t understand the true meaning of “a little while”

Double meaning – at that time, Jesus was talking about his soon coming event, death and resurrection. When he died on the cross, during his burial, they could not see Him, but after a little while, they saw Him in his resurrected body.

The second meaning is FROM returning to Father God UNTIL his Second Coming, we cannot see him. So, this period (now) is “a little while” before God.

When Jesus comes back “soon” we will see him forever.

2 Peter 3:8 “With God even 1,000 years are like a day, and a day is like 1,000 years.”

In human history, no matter how long it is, ANY and EVERY period is “a little while.” (Imagine your history textbooks)

James 4:14 “What is your life, you are a mist, a fog that appears for a little while and then disappears.”

What is the longest period of human history?
From Creation to Jesus’ Second Coming.
Even this is “a little while” when compared with eternity.

Rev. “the first earth and heaven will disappear, and a new heaven and new earth will appear”
Even this is “a little while” when compared with eternity. 

Forever is kind of a long time.

Remember that the best is coming soon. 
If we remember that, we can be joyful under every circumstance.

#2 v. 23-28 Promise
“Ask in my name”
How beautiful this promise given to us.
It is a promise of prayer – ask “in my name”

The central theme here is prayer.

As his cross is coming nearer and nearer, he emphasizes the necessity and blessing of prayer.

Originally, John 14, 15, 16 was a single sermon – Jesus repeats 7 times “in my name”
John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask for anything in my name.”
John 14:26 “HS whom the Father will send in my name will teach and remind you of all I’ve said.”
John 15:16 “Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name”
John 16:23 “In that day (age of Holy Spirit – now – we are absolutely free to approach God at anytime in the name of Jesus), you will no longer ask me anything, …in my name. 24 Until now, you have not asked…in my name…26 In that day, you will ask in my name…”

7 times “in my name”
Prayer is one of the most wonderful promises and great privileges we can have.
1 Corinthians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

Is this “pray continually” thing a burden? or a privilege? 
This means that I’m ALWAYS ready to listen to your voice to bless you, to walk with you, to help you (God says).

Parents love their children’s voices – if they talk for 3 hours, it’s great! But if they talk for 24-hours a day all day, every day….can you keep listening?…. “You said that before…Go to bed! Stop!”
Our God is never tired, never bored of our voices. 

This is a HUGE blessing, right, privilege.

Story:
Once, there was a dispute (debate) between Catholic Priests and the born-again Church on this matter.
Catholics argued, “this is a difficult job, we need many complicated processes – Jesus’ name PLUS Mary’s interceding PLUS saint’s interceding PLUS my good work” (the more help the better)
Pastor, “no, Jesus name is MORE than enough to approach God.”

Through the name of Jesus we have gained access to God’s grace.
Acts 4:12 “ There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved,…”

Priest interrupted – “Yes, Bible says this, but reality says… ‘When we want to meet a human President – like Obama, Lee MyungBak – we need many processes, gates, requirements, security, permission, appointment, wait’ …Imagine if a HUMAN President is so difficult to meet, how much more difficult to meet is GOD?”

Pastor, “Yes, humans are difficult, but, how about the CHILDREN of that President? I’m a child of God, how about you? I can walk into his office for no good reason whatsoever, just to say ‘Hi’ or ask for a candy.”

God has given each of us the right to become children of God (Romans?)

One of the main ministries of the Holy Spirit is to remind us that “you are a child of God” no matter how your (face) faith looks (ugly, or beautiful) – we are STILL children of God – that’s why we can always, anytime, approach God about anything – in the name of Jesus.

This is one of the greatest blessing we could receive. Please, enjoy it without measure.

#3 v. 29-33 Our Position to Proclaim
“You believe at last!”
“I have overcome the world!” (my favorite)

Through this passage, we can see it is possible to have faith, understanding, but fail to the Lord.

Unless we apply our faith, apply our understanding, we will fail when the testing comes.

Our Lord warned Peter that he would deny him three times – it happened.
Here, he warns that all the disciples would forsake him and leave him all alone – it will happen.

Even though I’m alone, the Father is with me.

Yet, ONE time, Jesus felt the absence of the Father – when God turned his back on his Son on the cross.

But Matthew – last verse “Surely I’m with you to the end of the age.”
Hebrews “never will I leave you, never forsake you, no one can snatch you out of my hand.”

But, when he became sin for us – in our place, God turned from him. He became alone so that we would never be alone. He became forsaken so we would never be forsaken.

Is there a time that you feel God is far? You are far from him.

Is there a time that you feel God is doing nothing? Then, you are doing nothing for him.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In Jesus Christ, there is peace, but in this world there is trouble and tribulation.

In heaven, there is only joy.
In hell, only tribulation.
On this earth, joy and trouble go together.
Do you have peace or do you have trouble?

If you are a really true Christian, the correct answer is “both.” Jesus told us we would have trouble.

Many people think (incorrectly) that peace is the absence of trouble. But if you think that, then you will have no opportunity to have peace.

Everyone has trouble because we are in this world. Unbelievers have no peace because they are not in Christ. We have peace because we are in Christ. But, we still have trouble.

Experiencing peace WITH trouble is the power of the true Christian faith.

Which overcomes which?

Are you overcome? Or overcoming? Overcomer?

We have trouble in this world.
We have peace in Christ.

This world is not in me.
Christ is in me.

So, peace can OVERCOME the trouble – ANY trouble. We are of Christ Jesus, we are not of this world.

1 John 5:4 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world.” This is the victory of our faith.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!!!”

May God bless us with his Word.
Let’s pray.

  • Apr 01 / 2012
  • Comments Off on His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

His Sheep are Very Secure (John 10:22-30)

4.1

Bulletin_04.01.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Blessing v.28-30

This story tells us when and where:
Feast of Dedication
– not one of 7 official festivals
– was est. by Judas Macadius 165BC to commemorate the cleaning of the temple, after king of Syria defiled it by sacrificing pigs. 3 years of pollution. everything was cleaned.

– Hanuka – feast of lights

Where? Solomon’s Colonnade
– roofed porches with tall columns, facing inward with long walkways.
– believed to rest on part of original temple
– common place for meeting and teaching

very clear historical fact
(In God’s providence, we also cleaned “the temple” yesterday…)

It was winter, Jesus was there, Jews gathered.
“Tell us plainly – are you the Christ?”
“The miracles I do in His name speak for me.”

Jews challenged him for the wrong reasons.
Wanted clear, direct, plain, immediate explanation.
Jesus never plainly told Jews in Jerusalem.

Why?
– for religious leaders, “Christ” meant military/political leader/liberator – was thought to est. earthly kingdom
– also, they wanted to arrest him for blaspheming.
– if they arrested him, it would ruin them, not Jesus
– so Jesus wisely chose not to

But, though he didn’t show directly, he constantly showed himself indirectly, through miracles, lifestyle, prophecy fulfillment, teaching.

When man recognized him as Christ, he also said “True.” (Ex: Chp 4 – Samaritan woman)

Another time, Jesus asked, “who am I to you?” Peter: “You are the Christ.” Jesus: “Blessed are you! Father God revealed this to you. I will build MY church on you.”

Not YOUR church, but HIS church, JESUS’ church

This is the unity of Christ’s church.

v. 26-7 “You are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice.”

Are you listening to Jesus’ voice all the time?

v. 26 – one short sentence has MANY messages

#1 Children of God because we believe in Jesus?
OR
#2 We believe in Jesus because we are children of God?

BOTH are right.
From God’s standpoint #2
From man’s standpoint #1

Grace is before faith.

We are saved BY grace (Jesus on the cross) THROUGH faith.
Grace = ground
Faith = root

Our faith is rootless without grace.

Christian life =
we go forward by faith
everytime we look backward, we stepped by grace

We woke up by faith, came to church by faith, worship by faith

But now, looking back, every step we took was by grace (looking back we see we were blessed by grace the whole way)

ALL we have done by faith
has been done by God’s grace.

We can show we are Jesus’ sheep by listening to his voice, his word.

This is like a math formula:
How can we believe in God = believe in Jesus = believe his word
Obey? obey Jesus? obey Word
Walk with God? Walk with Jesus? Walk in the Word.

How can I __(x)__ God?
by __(x)___ Jesus.
How can I __(x)___ Jesus?
by __(x)___ His Word.

This word was given to you, is near you, is IN you.

“Let the word of God dwell in you RICHLY…”

Joshua 1:8 “Do not let (the word of God) depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Story:
Super soccer star interview:
Interviewer: “What’s your secret?”
Star: “My life is soccer.”
I: “What’s meaning?”
S: “I play, exercise, think, speak, listen, watch, learn, teach, dream, ALL about soccer!”

…How’s our passion for God’s word?

God, let it be MORE than the Star’s passion for soccer.
Star’s passion is finite.

Our passion WILL BE eternal.

v. 28-30
Blessing with Jesus’ promise.

“I and the Father are one.” = UNITY, not identity

(Sermon Illustration)

…But ALWAYS remain in Jesus’ hand, in the Father’s hand.

We are VERY safe in Him,
because of HIS power, not ours
because of HIS faithfulness, not ours,
because of HIS holding, not ours,
because of HIS good works, not ours.

Jesus = “I GIVE you eternal life. NO ONE can snatch you out of my hand. NO ONE can snatch you out of my Father’s hand. We are in unity in keeping you, in holding you.”

This is the PROMISE.

Listen to His voice, believe His voice, trust His voice.
He will NEVER disappoint you.

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