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  • Mar 08 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God Wants to Save Someone through You (Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1, 6:25)

Full 2020.03.08 Worship Service online

Download Notes in a .MD file

God wants to save someone through you

Hebrews 11:31; Joshua 2:1, 6:25 (Pastor Heo)

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


We have faith in Jesus – the power to see the unseen. God is spirit – this means he is a person, alive, eternal, but not material. God is anywhere, everywhere at the same time.

If you can see God by faith, where you are, then God is there because he is the most holy God. God bless us all with his peace and joy.


Last Sunday we saw the demonstration of faith by Joshua and his people. They entered Jericho and circled it 13 times. The last time, they shouted the shout of faith – crying the cry of faith to God. With the shouting and trumpet blast, the wall of Jericho collapsed totally by the power of God.

In this complete destruction, there was one person, saved from this destruction – Rahab (and her family).

Her background is in Joshua 2.

We know Exodus – in the early stages:

  1. Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.
  2. Then 40 years passed and they entered the entrance of the Promised Land, Canaan.
  3. They needed to spy it out again because the whole older generation was gone and Moses was no longer with them.
  4. So the new leader, Joshua – one of the original 12 spies, sent out 2 new spies to investigate the fortifications of Jericho.
  5. Only 2 men went Jericho and entered a hotel – the house of Rahab. The king there heard this and sent soldiers to arrest the spies.

Rahab hid the spies on her roof and later said to them, “I know God has given this land to you – the whole land is in fear because of you. Your God is the real God of heaven and earth.” This means Rahab saw the unseen.

Rahab asked them, “Swear to me to show me and my family kindness because I have shown you kindness.” They said, “OK, put a scarlet cord on the window of your house. When we destroy the city, we will spare you and your family when we see the scarlet cord. But remember, if anyone goes outside your house, we will not be responsible for their destruction. But anyone inside your house, we will be responsible for their deliverance.”

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Joshua 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

This means, Rahab saw the unseen – she demonstrated her faith in God by welcoming the spies. She trusted herself and her family to God when Jericho was destroyed completely. We don’t know how many nor who exactly were inside the house of Rahab, but what is sure is that everybody who was inside the house of Rahab was spared from total destruction – due to the scarlet cord hanging over her window.

Scarlet = blood color

This scarlet cord reminds us of the blood of the Passover Lamb which had happened 40 years earlier when they left Egypt. Also, that night, anyone inside the house with the blood of the Passover Lamb was saved from the destruction of the first born.

This means, what happened with Rahab compares with the Passover Lamb. This is a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ – shed on the cross for us – who takes away the sin of the world.

1 Cor 5:7 “Jesus Christ is our Passover Lamb who has been sacrificed for our sin, justification, salvation.”

This means, through the story and action of Rahab, we can know that true faith must always show itself in good works.

Remember the book of James – this book makes it clear that true faith produces works. It uses 2 people as examples of true faith: Abraham and Rahab. This is amazing.

This means that Abraham and Rahab are presented as parallels in the same level of faith.

“Abraham was justified by works when he offered up his son on the altar. Like this, Rahab was justified by faith when she received the spies and sent them away safely.”

The point: Abraham’s faith was costly – Rahab’s faith was costly. True faith shows up in action – even when it costs.

Simple question: Is our faith real? Can it be seen in our action? Are we willing to let it cost us something? We can, we will if our faith is real.

Also true faith helps us to turn around and do what is right regardless of our past or what others may think.

Yes, we are now studying the great chapter of faith. Until now, we have seen individual persons “by faith…” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abram, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab…

Among all of them, Rahab is the ONLY woman: a Gentile, pagan, prostitute. She is the LAST listed “by faith.”

This means that God’s works are not limited by people’s limitations. He can do GREAT things through people who are not great. He is doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He uses all kinds of people to accomplish his job, his purpose, his design. He wants to use you and me because God is great.

Through this story of Rahab, remember: nobody can give an excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ.

Yes, in this story we can know who was Rahab, so we must know the sentence, “I don’t know very much about the Bible can NOT be an excuse for not knowing Christ. She knew very little spiritual truth, but she acted on what she knew.”

Romans “From the beginning of the world, God’s divine powers and eternal attributes can be seen, so that no one can boast.”

In my experience, I’ve met so many people who said, “I’m too bad to be saved.” But no one is too bad. This woman was a prostitute, but delivered by her faith through God.

1 Tim “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinner, of whom I’m the worst.”

“The son of God did not come into the world for the healthy, but for the sick.”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he saved his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish.”

There is no one in this world who cannot be saved. God wants everyone to come to him and be saved.

Also, we can get a great lesson from this story to enjoy and apply in our lives.

Rahab received not only salvation from this destruction, but also glorification.

You know, Joshua 6:25 “…She lives [present tense] among the Israelites to this day.” What does this mean? In the church history, Rahab became an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She married an Israelite named Salmon – the father of Boaz, father of Obed, father of Jesse, father of David. This means, she is the great great grandmother of King David.

In Matthew 1, we can also see her name in the genealogy of Jesus.

Imagine, a prostitute becoming an ancestor of Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. That’s what faith can do.

In our story, sin, just like Rahab’s story – if we have faith, it will be rewarded in glory.

Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that awaits.”

Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Cols 3 “When Jesus Christ appears, you also will appear will him in Jesus Christ….”

God is working his purposes through his people, but he does not expect perfection from us because he knows how weak we are. He gives grace, mercy, wisdom, compassion, even faith. But he does expect us to take action because of our faith. He expects us to hang a scarlet cord over our windows in faith. Still today, he wants to save our families.

Acts “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your household will be saved.” Still today, God wants to save our family, our household, our neighbors, our friends, through us.

God bless us as a heavenly channel of salvation, justification, and glorification.

Let’s pray.

  • Dec 07 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Faith and Deeds (James 2:14-26)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Faith and Deeds (James 2:14-26)

12.07

12.07.2014-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Faith and Deeds

James 2:14-26 (Pastor Brian)

Faith and Deeds

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. 20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.


 

James is giving practical advice to his readers. In the beginning of the chapter, he warns against favoritism – showing undo favor to the “rich” of this world. “Oh, sit here in this nice place!”

  • All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans) and when you look at some of these lives (any lives actually), you’ll notice that they aren’t amazing.
  • Favoritism = giving undo favor where it is not due, and not giving favor where it is due.
  • James is bringing our identity back to Christ – we ought to keep the royal law = “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • If we keep only ONE part of the commandments and break ONLY ONE part, we have broken ALL the law. To break 1/10 = to break 10/10.
  • We must love others and show mercy (because we’ve received both from God himself).  Mercy triumphs over judgment.

“What good is it my brothers if a man has faith but no deeds? Can such faith save him?”

Paul writes “By grace you have been saved through faith…not as a result of works so that no one can boast…FOR we are his workmanship that he has created FOR good works.”

We aren’t saved BY works, but we are saved TO DO works.

Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees and did everything in his zeal to keep the law – and he even persecuted the church at first. But after meeting Christ, he realized that ALL his works and deeds were FILTHY rags before God.

1 Cor 15 Paul rehearses how God’s mercy has been shown to him “But by God’s grace, I am what I am – and I labored MORE than all the other apostles (yet not I, but the grace of God working in me).”

God’s power gave him the power and the anointing to do what God called him to do.

James also asserts that we SHOW our faith BY our good works. We must demonstrate our faith by our actions.

When we come to believe in Jesus, we become a different person ( “A New Creation” ).

Testimony:

A pastor talked of how he became a Christian – he was a teenager in a band who HATED people. He looked for fights, insulted anyone, make fun of the homeless, and yell curses. God saved both of us in the same year and our hearts were absolutely changed.

When Matt saw a homeless man, instead of yelling at him, he pulled over and gave him a blanket and a lunch he’d made for himself.

What would James say if we’d become Christians and CONTINUED to yell at the homeless. If there was no heart change, no ACTION change, there is no EVIDENCE that your heart has changed.

It’s easy for a “pure” person to said, “Yes, I believe in God – and I’m a good person.” Well, the demons ALSO believe in God – shall they also go to heaven?

In the gospels, there was a man in the synagogue who cried out (with a demon), “Ya! What have we to do with you? Jesus, Son of God?” – Jesus didn’t say, “Oh, bless you, you know who I am.” Jesus cast him OUT of the man.

James goes on to show that faith without works is dead – using the Scriptures.

  • Abraham – sacrificing Isaac (Genesis 22): God tested Abraham (remember “count it all joy as you meet various testings in the world”?). He was instructed to take his ONLY son Isaac and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. He did it. It took 3 days to get to Moriah. On the 3rd day, Abraham raised his eyes and left the servants to “worship” God. (This is an obvious act of faith on Abraham’s part). Abraham laid the wood on Isaac and carried the fire and the knife.
  • Isaac: “Father?”
  • Abe: “Yes, son?”
  • Isaac: “We have all the stuff except the offering itself.”
    Abe: “The Lord will provide, my son.”
  • Abraham built the altar and bound Isaac and laid him on the altar and stretched out his hand to KILL his son – but an angel of the Lord stopped him. Test PASSED.
  • Then Abraham raised his eyes and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its thorns. So Abraham used the ram in place of Isaac. He called that place, “The Lord will provide.”

Up to this point in his life, Abraham had at times shown a bit of a shaky faith. He lied about his wife ( “she’s my sister, actually” ) and brought trouble on himself and the people around him (TWICE).

Now, even after he’s been given promises from God:

  1. You’ll have a son
  2. I’ll bless you through Isaac
  3. I’ll make your descendants as numerous as the sand on the seashore

But still, he takes his son Isaac to sacrifice him. He had such faith that God would do as he said to fulfill the promise, that even if he were to kill Isaac, God could raise him back up!

He’s taken it soooo far that he’s laid the wood on Isaac (remember Jesus also carried the wood of the cross). Isaac was NOT a young child – he was at least in his 20s. If Isaac had wanted to, he could have overpowered Abraham and said, “No way, daddy!” But he submitted himself to Abraham, laid down his own life – (remember, Jesus did this same thing for us as well – in complete agreement with God the Father).

“God will provide himself a (THE) lamb” – this is also a picture of Jesus – the ram caught in a thornbush – Jesus wore a crown of thorns for us to the cross.

Then, Abraham was told to NOT kill Isaac. In a sense, he received Isaac back from the dead – he was already sacrificed in his mind/heart. This is similar to Jesus’ resurrection as well.

James’ second example:

Rahab the prostitute protected Joshua and the spies when they investigated Jericho.

The prostitutes at that time also kept a boarding house – the spies went there for the night. The king heard about it and sent the guards to capture them. Rahab said, “No, they’ve gone.” But she’d hidden them. She’d also made a deal with them that when the men invade the city, they’d be protected from the destruction of the God of Israel.  So the men agreed – “put a scarlet rope from the window” – and they wouldn’t go in to kill the people.

After the walls of Jericho collapsed and the Israelites invaded, she was saved and assimilated into the nation of Israel.

This scarlet rope is symbolic of Jesus’ blood. In His blood, there is LIFE.

As we come around the table of the Lord for communion – as yourself, “Am I a part of this family? Is Jesus my Savior? Am I WALKING and ACTING in his will and his way?”

From the Daily bread – (hasn’t gone stale):

Feb 5, 2014: The Telltale Heart

We want to keep short accounts, not keep unforgiveness or sin in our hearts.

Recently, I read about a PI in the US who would knock on a door, show his badge and say “I guess we don’t have to tell you why we’re here.” And many times the person would look stunned and say “How did you find out?” And then go on to explain an unknown criminal act long ago.

This was an unconscious act of a telltale heart. We all know secret things about ourselves and our sins. The secret things we keep in our hearts may come back to us again and again.

  • John “By this we will know that we are before him. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than us.”
  • James “Don’t just say, ‘We’ll pray for you.’ If you can actually help them.”

Have you done the things despite your failures? Then find rest. Even if your heart condemns you, know that God is greater. God abides in us by the Spirit whom he’s given us. God is greater than our self-condemnation.

Remember James’ words to be practical in our faith. Remember John’s words to DO the works before men that God would have us do – so that they will glorify God through what they see us doing through his power.

Where we can, ACT. (Maybe even a random act of kindness – don’t procrastinate – it won’t happen) If you have occasion to help someone, HELP.

Let’s pray.

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