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  • Jan 17 / 2021
  • Comments Off on The Sincere Repentance God Seeks (Genesis 20:14-16)
Pastor Kang, Sermons, Who is God?

The Sincere Repentance God Seeks (Genesis 20:14-16)

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

The sincere repentance God seeks

14 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”

16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

Genesis 20:14-16

0. Introduction

In life, there are times we have to apologize for our mistakes.

Sometimes apologies lead to forgiveness, but sometimes the other person won’t forgive you even if you apologize.

So, what is the best way to ask for forgiveness from another person?

Although there may be a variety of answers, most people would probably agree that a sincere apology is much more effective.

In that case, what is the sincere repentance that God wants from us sinners in order to be forgiven? Today’s message is titled “The sincere repentance God seeks” and it is taken out of Genesis chapter 20.

1. The repeated sins of Abraham

Genesis 20:1-2

1 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

God has changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means ‘a father of many nations’.

Yet, even though God has given him a new name, he is unable to escape his repeated sins.

Abraham, who is often referred to as the father of our faith, is still unable to overcome his greatest weakness, the problem of sin.

At this point in Abraham’s life, he deceived King Abimelech of Gerar by calling his wife his sister.

This was actually the same deception he had performed on the Egyptian king before. Has he not learned his lesson?

Why did Abraham, who had God’s help to fight and defeat the Allied forces of King Kedorlaomer, lie like this?

Genesis 20:11-12

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, `There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.` 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.

The fear of man displaced Abraham’s faith and prompted him to deceive the king with a half truth. When the fear of God was not in the people around him, he thought that God’s sovereignty could not be exercised among them.

So he took it upon himself to prepare a way to survive.

Rather than fearing God and trusting him to protect and provide for him, his fear of man led him to introduce Sarah as his sister.

But God considered Abraham’s half truth to be unjust.

We should remember that a person can not solve his sins by himself.

If a person does not fear and accompany God, he will repeatedly commit the same sin.

2. The Intervention of God

But God intervened in this matter in order to fulfill his promise to Abram.

The contract God had made with Abraham was for him to have Isaac, the son of promise, born through Sarah.

God urgently came to Abimelech in a dream and revealed the seriousness of this problem.

Genesis 20:3-6

3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” 4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, `She is my sister,` and didn`t she also say, `He is my brother`? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.

Abimelech was innocent by his own reckoning because he had taken Abraham at his word, believing him fully. However, taking a married woman from her husband to become his own wife  was a sin worth dying for from God’s point of view.

So God made the women in Abimelech’s kingdom unable to get pregnant and have babies.

In the long run, this spelled disaster for the king as it meant the destruction of his whole kingdom, and would not just result in the death of an individual, himself.

But God knew Abimelech’s heart, so he prevented him from sinning with Sarah.

Abimelech was punished for Abraham’s lies. So, how did he act after hearing the words of God?

3. Abimelech’s repentance

Genesis 20:8; 14-16

8 Early the next morning Abimelech summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid.

14 Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.” 16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

Abimelech, surprisingly, obeyed the Word of God.

He performed many acts of repentance for his own and his country’s recovery.

First, he shared the Word of God with all his officials. 

This is important because by doing so it signified that he was giving up his own ideas and choosing God’s justice.

Then, he did his best to fix all the wrongs.

He not only gave Sarah back to Abraham, but also topped it off with livestock, servants and additional land to live in. He did not force Abraham out of his land, like the King Egypt had.

He also gave Abraham a thousand silver shekels to restore his wife Sarah’s honor.

This all was a large compensation for Abraham.

Finally, he asked Abraham to pray for full recovery, as God ordered.

It would not have been easy for Abimelech to ask Abraham for prayer after the pain and troubles his lie had brought upon his kingdom, but Abimelech obeyed and honored God in his actions.

Rather, he made Abraham, the man of God, ashamed.

We can learn about ‘sincere repentance’ through Abimelech’s actions.

  • What is the repentance that pleases God?
  • And how should we repent before God?

4. Sincere repentance (through Jesus Christ)

Acts 2:38

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The first step for repentance is to recognize yourself as incapable of solving your own sins.

In fact, we live with repeated or habitual sins like Abraham, we have no ability to keep any of the laws that God has given us.

Therefore, God gave his son Jesus to us to solve this problem.

The second step for repentance is to believe in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.

Jesus is the only one who can save us from a sinful world.

He paid for our sins through his own death, becoming a substitute for the punishment our sins deserved on the cross. In order to get to know Jesus more and more, we must read the Bible and pray daily, cultivating a deeper relationship with him.

The third and final step for repentance is courage.
We must believe that God’s salvation plan will change our lives.

Not only will he forgive you of all your sins and cleanse you of wrongdoing, just as he did for Abimelech, Jesus’s power can also overcome all of your sins, just as he did for Abraham.

Be brave today and choose to live a life of repentance and service for Christ. This is the definition of a successful life for all Christians.

Here’s a hard question to ponder.

Does God listen to our prayers even if and when we sin?

There is hopeful news.

Genesis 20:17

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again,

Although Abraham was guilty, the fact that he was chosen by God did not change.

God still heard Abraham’s prayers, even as his deception brought disaster upon Abimelech’s household. God’s grace does not change because of human dignity nor error.

Yet, the fear of man may still overtake and overpower us, as it did to Abraham.

We think that God will not work in a world outside the church when the world does not fear him.

But God’s sovereignty is beyond our imagination and affects us everywhere, whether we are in the world, or in God’s presence; whether we are full of the fear of man, or the fear of God; whether we sin repeatedly and habitually though deceptions and half truths, or whether we walk fully in the light as he is in the light. God’s sovereignty and intervention in our lives is extremely realistic and accurate, and on full display in the lives of those who love God and have been called according to his purpose.

Abimelech was not the man God chose to make a covenant with, but he was an outsider and a stranger. Yet, through his sincere repentance and practice, God restored everything to him that he had taken away.

Repentance is not merely a time of regret and despair.

Repentance is a time to grow before God, and grow in relationship with God.

Repentance is the time to restore the true image of Christians, as the disciples of Christ, and bearers of his love, and message, and light to a lost world.

And repentance is not a one time act, but should be practiced on a daily basis by all Christians.

(As Martin Luther wrote in his Ninety-Nine Theses: “Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”)

I hope we will spend this week experiencing an amazing restoration of our lives and faith in Christ through sincere repentance.


하나님 원하시는 진정한 회개

14 아비멜렉이 양과 소와 종들을 이끌어 아브라함에게 주고 그의 아내 사라도 그에게 돌려보내고 15 아브라함에게 이르되 내 땅이 네 앞에 있으니 네가 보기에 좋은 대로 거주하라 하고

16 사라에게 이르되 내가 은 천 개를 네 오라비에게 주어서 그것으로 너와 함께 한 여러 사람 앞에서 네 수치를 가리게 하였노니 네 일이 다 해결되었느니라

창세기 20:14-16

0. 예화

우리가 살다 보면 나의 실수나 잘못으로 인해 다른 사람에게 사과해야 할 때가 있습니다.

사과를 통해 용서를 받을 때가 있지만, 때로는 사과를 했음에도 용서를 받지 못할 때도 있습니다.

상대방의 용서를 받기 위해서 우리는 어떻게 사과해야 할까요?

다양한 답이 있겠지만 대부분의 사람들은 진심 어린 사과를 해야 한다고 말할 것입니다.

그렇다면 죄인인 우리가 하나님께 용서를 받기 위한 진정한 회개는 어떤 것일까요?

오늘은 <하나님이 원하시는 진정한 회개> 라는 제목으로 창세기 20장의 말씀을 나누도록 하겠습니다.

1. 아브라함의 반복되는 죄

창세기 20:1-2

1 아브라함이 거기서 네게브 땅으로 옮겨가 가데스와 술 사이 그랄에 거류하며 2 그의 아내 사라를 자기 누이라 하였으므로 그랄 왕 아비멜렉이 사람을 보내어 사라를 데려갔더니

하나님은 아브람의 이름을 아브라함으로 바꾸어 주셨습니다.

아브라함의 뜻은 ‘여러 민족의 아버지’ 입니다.

아브라함은 하나님께 새로운 이름을 받았지만, 그는 그의 반복되는 죄를 해결할 수 없었습니다.

믿음의 조상이라 불리던 아브라함도 스스로 약점인 죄의 문제를 해결 할 수 없었습니다.

결국 아브라함은 그랄 왕 아비멜렉에게 자기 아내를 자신의 여동생이라고 속였습니다.

이것은 예전에 그가 애굽 왕을 속였던 것과 똑같은 형태였습니다.

그돌라오멜왕 연합군과도 싸워서 이겼던 아브라함이 왜 이런 거짓말을 하게 되었을까요?

11 아브라함이 이르되 이 곳에서는 하나님을 두려워함이 없으니 내 아내로 말미암아 사람들이 나를 죽일까 생각하였음이요 12 또 그는 정말로 나의 이복 누이로서 내 아내가 되었음이니라

아브라함의 하나님에 대한 믿음은 사람을 두려워하는 마음 때문에 사라지게 되었습니다.

그는 하나님을 두려워하지 않는 곳에서는 하나님의 주권이 실현되지 않을 것이라 생각했습니다.

그래서 그는 자신의 살 길을 스스로 준비하였습니다.

그에게 떠오른 좋은 아이디어는 사라를 자신의 이복 누이로 소개하는 것이었습니다.

그러나 아브라함의 아이디어는 하나님이 보시기에 정의롭지 않았습니다.

파트 1에서 우리가 기억해야 할 것은, 사람은 스스로 죄를 해결할 수 없는 존재라는 것입니다.

사람이 하나님과 동행하지 않으면 반복적으로 같은 죄를 짓게 되는 것입니다.

2. 하나님의 개입

하나님은 아브람과의 계약을 지키기 위해 이 문제에 개입하셨습니다.

그 계약은 사라를 통해 약속의 아들 이삭이 태어나는 것이었습니다.

하나님은 긴급히 아비멜렉에게 찾아와 이 문제의 심각성을 알려주셨습니다.

창세기 20:3-6

3 밤에 하나님이 아비멜렉에게 현몽하시고 그에게 이르시되 네가 데려간 이 여인으로 말미암아 네가 죽으리니 그는 남편이 있는 여자임이라 4 아비멜렉이 그 여인을 가까이 하지 아니하였으므로 그가 대답하되 주여 주께서 의로운 백성도 멸하시나이까 5 그가 나에게 이는 내 누이라고 하지 아니하였나이까 그 여인도 그는 내 오라비라 하였사오니 나는 온전한 마음과 깨끗한 손으로 이렇게 하였나이다 6 하나님이 꿈에 또 그에게 이르시되 네가 온전한 마음으로 이렇게 한 줄을 나도 알았으므로 너를 막아 내게 범죄하지 아니하게 하였나니 여인에게 가까이 하지 못하게 함이 이 때문이니라

아비멜렉은 아브라함의 말을 그대로 믿고 행동했기 때문에 그의 입장에서는 죄가 없습니다.

그러나 하나님의 관점에서 남편이 있는 여자를 데려다가 자신의 아내로 삼는 일은 죽어 마땅한 죄였습니다. 

그래서 하나님께서는 아비멜렉의 집의 모든 태를 닫으셨습니다.

이것은 아비멜렉 한 개인의 죽음 뿐 만이 아닌, 그의 왕국의 멸망을 의미하는 것이었습니다.

그러나 하나님은 아비멜렉의 진실한 마음을 알았기 때문에, 그가 죄를 짓지 않도록 막으셨습니다.

아브라함의 거짓말 때문에 억울한 벌을 받은 아비멜렉.

그는 하나님께 말씀을 듣고 어떻게 행동 했을까요?

3. 아비멜렉의 회개

창세기 20:8; 14-16

8 아비멜렉이 그 날 아침에 일찍이 일어나 모든 종들을 불러 그 모든 일을 말하여 들려 주니 그들이 심히 두려워하였더라

14 아비멜렉이 양과 소와 종들을 이끌어 아브라함에게 주고 그의 아내 사라도 그에게 돌려보내고 15 아브라함에게 이르되 내 땅이 네 앞에 있으니 네가 보기에 좋은 대로 거주하라 하고 16 사라에게 이르되 내가 은 천 개를 네 오라비에게 주어서 그것으로 너와 함께 한 여러 사람 앞에서 네 수치를 가리게 하였노니 네 일이 다 해결되었느니라

아비멜렉은 놀랍게도 하나님의 말씀에 순종하였습니다.

그는 그와 그의 나라의 회복을 위해 회개를 위한 많은 행동들을 하였습니다.

그가 했던 첫 번째 행동은 그의 모든 종들과 하나님의 말씀을 공유한 것입니다.

그가 한 좋은 선택은 자신의 생각을 포기하고 하나님의 정의를 선택했다는 것입니다.

아비멜렉은 모든 잘못된 것들을 바로 잡으려고 하였습니다.

그는 문제를 해결하기 위해 최선을 다했습니다.

그는 아브라함에게 아내를 돌려준 것 뿐만이 아니라 그에게 가축과 하인들, 거주할 수 있는 땅을 제공하였습니다.

그는 애굽 왕과는 달리 아브라함을 자기 땅에서 내보내지 않았습니다.

그는 또한 아브라함에게 은 천 개를 주어 그의 아내, 사라의 명예를 회복하였습니다.

아비멜렉은 아브라함에게 인색하지 않게 보상하였습니다.

마지막으로 그는 하나님의 명령대로 아브라함에게 치유 기도를 요청하였습니다.

자신을 곤경에 빠뜨린 사람에게 치유 기도를 부탁한다는 것은 쉽지 않은 일 이었을 것입니다.

하지만 아비멜렉은 하나님께 순종하여 하나님을 높이고 아브라함을 부끄럽게 만들었습니다.

우리는 아비멜렉의 행동을 통해 ‘회개하는 사람의 올바른 마음가짐’에 대해 배울 수 있습니다.

하나님이 기뻐하시는 회개는 무엇일까요?

우리는 하나님 앞에서 어떻게 회개해야 할까요?

4. 진정한 회개(예수 그리스도)

사도행전 2:38

38 베드로가 이르되 너희가 회개하여 각각 예수 그리스도의 이름으로 세례를 받고 죄 사함을 받으라 그리하면 성령의 선물을 받으리니

회개를 위한 첫 번째 단계는 자신을 죄를 해결할 능력이 없는 존재로 인정하는 것입니다.

사실 우리도 아브라함처럼 반복된 죄를 지으면서 살아갑니다.

우리는 하나님이 주신 율법을 다 지킬 수 있는 능력이 없습니다.

그래서 하나님은 이 문제를 해결하기 위해 우리에게 예수님을 보내주셨습니다.

회개를 위한 두 번째 단계는 예수님을 나의 구원자로 믿는 것입니다.

나를 죄가 가득한 세상에서 구원해 줄 유일한 존재는 예수님입니다.

예수님이 나의 죄의 값을 죽음을 통해 모두 지불하셨기 때문입니다.

우리는 매일 성경을 읽고 기도하며 예수님께 의지해야 합니다.

회개를 위한 마지막 단계는 용기입니다.

내 삶을 변화시키실 하나님의 계획을 믿어야 합니다.

예수님의 능력으로 죄를 극복할 수 있다는 믿음을 가져야 합니다.

용기를 갖고 오늘 하루를 그리스도인의 승리한 삶으로 만들어야 합니다.

그런데 우리가 죄를 지어도 하나님이 우리 기도를 들으실까요?

여기에 희망적인 소식이 있습니다.

창세기 20:17

17 아브라함이 하나님께 기도하매 하나님이 아비멜렉과 그의 아내와 여종을 치료하사 출산하게 하셨으니

비록 아브라함이 죄를 지었지만, 그가 하나님께 선택 받은 사람이라는 사실은 달라지지 않았습니다.

하나님은 여전히 아브라함의 기도를 들으셨습니다.

하나님의 은혜는 사람의 품위로 인해 변하지 않기 때문입니다.

그러나 우리는 아브라함이 그랬든 여전히 세상을 두려워합니다.

우리는 하나님을 믿지 않는 교회 밖의 세상에서 하나님이 일하지 않으실 것이라고 생각합니다.

하지만 하나님의 주권은 우리의 상상을 넘어서서 어디서나 영향을 미칩니다.

오히려 하나님의 개입은 지극히 현실적이며 정확합니다.

아비멜렉은 하나님이 선택한 자가 아닌 이방이었습니다.

그러나 그의 진정한 회개와 실천을 통해 하나님은 그의 모든 것을 회복시켜 주셨습니다.

회개는 후회가 절망이 아닙니다.

회개는 하나님 앞에서 성장하는 시간입니다.

회개는 그리스도인의 모습을 회복하는 시간입니다.

우리가 회개를 통해 놀라운 회복을 경험하는 한 주 보내길 소망합니다.

  • Sep 15 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Grow up in Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Grow up in Christ (Hebrews 6:1-2)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Grow up in Christ!

Hebrews 6:1-3 (Pastor Heo)

6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.


Why do we like babies? We like to see them grow. I also love to see these children in our service grow up.

John 1:12 “To all those who accepted him; to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

We are God’s children, so he loves to see us grow. If we do not grow, he is unhappy. This is sad because he is our Father.

Where there is life, there is growth.

To go to HS, we must leave elementary school. To go to college, we must leave HS. But, we do not leave what we learned in elementary school even though we move on. In elementary school, we learn the fundamentals, foundational knowledge of reading, writing, speaking, math. In HS, we can learn more difficult subjects, and read heavier books. In university, we use fundamental mathematics in our classes.

“Elementary” means “fundamental” or “foundational”.

In these 3 verses of Hebrews, there are 6 elementary teachings of Christian doctrine. This is the foundation on which we must stand, so we must be sure, unshakeable in this elementary foundation. But we must not stop here, we should continue on, continue learning. So we should practice these 6 foundational doctrines in our lives, but we must also continue on and on to build our higher progress.

We must practice these daily and on and on:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptism
  4. Laying on of hands
  5. Resurrection
  6. Judgment

v. 1-3

“1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.”

Christian life begins with salvation – conversion, justification, regeneration, union with Christ, adoption, all take place at the same time, but logically, there is an order.

Logically, the first we experience is conversion. There are two elements: repentance and faith. So, the first elementary teachings about Christ are these two.

1 Repentance

The first is repentance.

Without repentance, there is no start to the Christian life. That’s why the first preaching of John the Baptist and Jesus was the same, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

Luke 15:7 “There will be more rejoicing over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who do not need to repent.”

This is the fundamental of fundamentals.

Essentially, repentance = a change of heart, but it has 3 elements:

  1. Intellectual
  2. Emotional
  3. Volitional
  • Repentance = change of viewpoint with regard to sin, Christ, and yourself.
  • Sin = anything against the will of God. The biggest sin = not to believe in Christ as Savior and Lord.
  • Jesus = the Savior and Lord of the world and God who became man to die on the cross for our sin and save the world through his blood shed on the cross.
  • Self = now I recognize that I’m a sinner – powerless, helpless, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior.

But we must know that true repentance cannot exist apart from faith – for we cannot turn AWAY from sin without at the same time turning TOWARD God in faith.

Also, true faith never exists without repentance. These two are inseparably bound together.

  • Emotional: sorrow for sin, desire for forgiveness = evidence of repentance.
  • Volitional: change of will, purpose, disposition. This is the inward turning from sin. Surrender for forgiveness – to seek cleansing. This is repentance in volition (will).

2 Faith

Practically, repentance and faith go together. We must practice them everyday.

We know we are saved by faith.

Everyone’s life is governed by what we believe – in what we have faith. Whether you are conscious of it or not, you are driven by what you believe.

We are saved by faith.

  • “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
  • “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
  • Eph “It is by faith you have been saved. It is not of yourselves so that no one may boast.”
  • Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

How can we get a saving faith? Can you get it through your own effort?

There are two sides to this coin.

  • God’s side: It is his gift – we have nothing to do to receive it.
  • Human side: we must practice our faith to grow in faith.

Romans “Faith comes from hearing the Word.”

Please remember, saving faith is much more than intellectual agreement or acceptance. It is total surrender to Christ as Lord and Savior.

3 Baptism

Did you receive water baptism? This is just a symbol of cleansing and identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. This is an outward symbol of an inward experience.

Did you receive baptism by the Holy Spirit? The HS testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.

“I’m a child of God.” This is the spiritual meaning of baptism.

4 Laying on of hands (안수)

This also means the sharing of some blessing from God.

If we have received a blessing, it is our responsibility to share it with others. Also, this laying on of hands shows a setting apart for good works.

We are saved by faith + nothing. (Good works cannot DO anything for our salvation – but we are saved TO DO good works.)

Eph “We are God’s workmanship, made in his image, to do good works which he has prepared for us to do in advance.”

Matt 5:16 “In this same way, let your light shine before men so that everyone who sees your good deeds will praise your father in heaven.”

If we are really saved by faith, we have a responsibility to do good works – ministry IN church, mission OUTSIDE church.

5 Resurrection

If there is no resurrection, there is no hope in Christianity.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life, whoever believes in me will never die.” Jesus “Do you believe this?”

We all experienced remaining in our mother’s womb. Do you remember this? 40 weeks.
West: end of 9 months
Korea: beginning of 10 months
same – same

Just as staying in our mother’s womb was preparation to live in THIS world, so also our lives in this world are only preparation to live in the NEXT world. We can live up to 100 or so years, but no matter how long we live in this world, the next life has no end. Our lives in this world are as short as a blink of an eye – but the consequences are eternal.

One day, our hearts will stop beating. This will be the end of our bodies (physical) – but it will not be the end of YOU. Our physical bodies are a “tent” – and our next bodies are a “house”.

1 Cor “If our physical tent is destroyed, we have a house from God built in heaven – not built by human hands.”

So, as long as we live a short time in this world, we must live in light of eternity. We will use our time, treasure, talents more wisely. Our priorities will be reordered.

Remember: physical death is not annihilation but transition into eternity. We are looking forward to our eternal home.

Secular people say: “When he died, he left home.”
Christians say: “When we die, we go home.”

6 Judgment

Are you expecting this? Anticipating it? Or dreading it?

Hebrews 9:7 “Just as a man is destined to die once and after that to face the Judgment.”

Someday, we will stand before God face-to-face. Nobody can escape this fate.

Many people spend their physical lives trying to create a lasting legacy on earth, but we must remember that what matters most is not what other people say about my life, but what God says about my life. We are not put here for others only, but to prepare for the next life. God will do an audit and in this final judgment seat, he will ask only two questions:

What is the most important question in your life?

God asks only two:

  1. “What did you do with Jesus?” (Did you receive him? Learn to love and trust in him?)
  2. “What did you do with all things I gave you?” (Your time, treasure, talents. What did you do with it all? Did you spend it on yourself alone? Or use it for the purposes I made it for?)

Are you ready to give a correct answer to these two questions? That’s why we must practice these 6 elements daily:

  1. Repentance
  2. Faith
  3. Baptism
  4. Laying on of Hands
  5. Resurrection
  6. Judgment

“For his kingdom! For his glory!”

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 02 / 2019
  • Comments Off on At last, Paul arrives in Rome (Acts 28:10-28)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

At last, Paul arrives in Rome (Acts 28:10-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

Arrival at Rome

11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14 There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15 The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged. 16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.

Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar–not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”

23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

26 ” ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”


From Rhegium to Puteoli is about 180 miles. From Puteoli, they had no more boat – but had to walk. It was another 140 miles to Rome (like from Jeonju to Seoul).

Some believers in Rome heard about Paul’s imminent arrival and intercepted his party at Appii Forum (an open square for meeting and discussion).

v. 10-15

” 10They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

Arrival at Rome

11After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island. It was an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux. 12We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days. 13From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli. 14There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome. 15The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.”

When Paul was greeted by these Italian brothers & sisters in Christ, he was refreshed and thanked God. Imagine this, after a long, hard, dangerous journey, Paul was thankful and encouraged to see some friendly faces like you.

Today, we also can perform a similar role in the lives of full-time missionaries. TIP:

Paul Mission will have an upcoming mission conference in Gyeonggi-do. If you want you can be blessed by blessing them with your time, little money, loving hearts.

Paul arrived at Rome finally in v. 16

“16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him. “

At long last, Paul arrived at Rome – the most powerful and influential city at that time. It was the fulfillment of his long-term vision. Paul received special treatment. The others were delivered to the captain of the soldiers, but he was put under house arrest in a rented house under the guard of one soldier.

What did Paul do first?

v. 17-22

“Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17 Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews. When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They examined me and wanted to release me, because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar–not that I had any charge to bring against my own people. 20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of Israel that I am bound with this chain.”

21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” “

Paul’s first action was to call together the Jewish brothers & sisters in Rome and explain why he had to come.

Briefly: The Jews arrested him in Jerusalem and delivered him to the Roman government. They examined him, but did not find him guilty. So they wanted to set him free. But the Jewish religious leaders disagreed strongly, so Paul was forced to appeal to Caesar.

His real purpose for meeting the Italian Christians was to share the kingdom of God and the Messiah-ship of Jesus.

This hope for which he was accused is the message of the gospel. In his defense, Paul mentioned the phrase, “the hope of Israel” several times.

  • on trial for my hope in the resurrection
  • I have hope in God for the resurrection (before Felix)
  • I have hope in Christ – because of this I was charged (before Agrippa)

v. 21-22

“21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of the brothers who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you. 22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.” “

In Rome, everyone was talking against Christianity. “Heresy” = wrong doctrine, cult, terrible doctrine.

Christians believed in only ONE God, but Romans had many false gods, including Caesar. His hope is the hope of Israel, the hope of the world.

v. 23-24

“23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. “

This must have been the most exciting home Bible study in history. Can you be patient with me if I share the Bible with you from morning to evening? This must be 10 hours.

Paul tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and Prophets (Old Testament). He tried to convince them about Jesus from the OT.

Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you have eternal life, but these Scriptures testify about me.”

Today’s Christians are more blessed than Christians from 2,000 years ago – because we have OT and NT.

Early Christians believed in Christ only through the witness of the OT and lived powerful influential Christian lives at that time. We must be able to live more powerful Christian lives today because we have the complete, perfect Bible. We are also much nearer to the end of this world than they were.

The main theme of the Bible is about Jesus.

The religious leaders studied hard, but refused to come to Jesus. Even today, many Christians study much but don’t come to Christ.

v. 25-28

“25 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:

26 ” ‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!””

What is the response of this congregation to Paul’s message? Disagreement, some believed, some rejected. Some were persuaded, some would not believe regardless of Paul’s passion and urging.

Today is the same. I’m delivering the sermon. This is an attempt to convince the congregation about Christ through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Sermon’s purpose is always the same: to persuade the church members about Christ by the ministry of the HS.

Some are convinced, but some reject.

This is always the same. The same sunlight melts ice and also hardens the clay.

Moses and Pharaoh experienced the same works of God, the same miracles, and powers, at the same time and same place. Moses came nearer and nearer to God, his heart softer and meeker, and humble. But Pharaoh went farther and farther from God, his heart becoming calloused and proud.

God gave Pharaoh many opportunities to repent, but he rejected them all.

Whenever we receive the Word of God, we should check our attitudes.

“Fix your eyes on Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

Paul quoted v. 26-28 from Isaiah 6:9-10

Even though the Jews knew all about God in an academic way, they did not know God in a personal way. Though the Word of God was in their heads, it had never filtered down to their hearts and changed their lives.

Today, is the Word of God changing your life?

Conclusion:

From Paul’s journey to Rome, we can learn 3 lessons.

Remember his journey story, let’s get these lessons.

1. Nothing can stop the will of God

The will of God for Paul was that he would go to Rome and preach the gospel. Yes, we know this looked impossible – there were many plots to kill Paul, Jewish accusations against him – years of imprisonment, a shipwreck in a typhoon, bitten by a viper. There were so many hindrances – but no attack from Satan would hinder God’s will.

1 John 2:17 “This world and its desires pass away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Question: Do you have a vision? Just like Paul, or vision must be worldwide – but at the same time it must be focused. We must include the whole world with our hearts and prayer – but we must focus on a particular target because we are limited in knowledge and skills. God’s way is always better, he knows what he’s doing.

1 Thess “The one who calls us is faithful.”

2. We can serve God by helping others under any circumstances IF WE WILL

What are your circumstances? God knows. But remember under any circumstances, we can serve God by helping others if we choose to.

Paul’s situation was BAD from a human perspective. He was a shipwrecked prisoner but on this trek to Rome alone, he continued to minister to others:

  • Roman centurion, Julius
  • Captain and owner of the ship
  • Passengers of the ship
  • Leader of Malta and his father
  • People of Malta
  • Jewish believers
  • Roman believers

Almost all were affected by PAUL.

What the power and influence of only one person!

Because of this one faithful person, the gospel continued to spread.

v. 28 = if you accept the gospel, it will spread through you.

But if you reject it, the gospel will continue to spread through others.

The gospel has life.

Do not make any excuses before God.

3. God is so faithful in keeping his promise

Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.”

But God provides what we NEED not always what we WANT.

Paul lost everything in the shipwreck – he was merely a survivor. He had nothing but life in Christ. But remember, in this terrible situation, if his first priority was eating, drinking, wearing, then he would be a literal beggar. But his priority #1 was the kingdom of God and sharing the gospel.

So, God’s promise was realized in his life.

“Do not worry about what you should eat and drink and wear. Pagans run after these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them, so seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

This promise was proven in Paul’s life. Question: Is God’s promise real in your life?

v. 10

“10 They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed. “

Still today, his promise is available. Don’t worry about what to eat, drink, wear – but seek first his kingdom and righteousness and then all these things will be given to you as well.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Christ in the Old Testament
Pastor Brian, Sermons, Subject Studies

Christ in the Old Testament

Luke 24:25-27 (Pastor Brian)

24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”

27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.


Context, two people were going to Emmaus and discussing the previous week’s events (quite depressing). Jesus met them along the way and spoke with them. They told him all about the events of the previous week – that Jesus had been crucified and they had expected the Messiah to be him and to save the people. They said that some women had gone to the tomb and seen he was not there.

Jesus then rebuked them with the words of Luke 24:25-27.

The disciples had only concentrated on the GLORY of the Messiah and not the suffering. But Jesus pointed out in the OT how the Messiah had to suffer FIRST before he could be glorified.

He went into the OT prophets, from Moses, and explained to them all these things. From redemption, to suffering, and so on.

“There’s no shadow you won’t light up” – from the music – there are many shadows and types in the OT, and Jesus, the Living Word was here revealing the Written Word. He was revealing that the Scriptures spoke of him.

Dr. Stephen Lawson says,

  • The OT says he’s coming,
  • The NT says he’s here,
  • The Acts proclaim him,
  • The Epistles explain him,
  • Revelation says He’s coming again.

Genesis “In the Beginning, God created…”

John 1:3 “Everything that was made was made by him. There is nothing that is made that was not made by him.”

Col 1:16 “All things are by him, and in him, and for him”

Rev 21 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

The Bible is really a “Him” Book (hymn book) – it’s all about him.

We see the perfect unity in the OT here as affirmed by the Lord – there is only one Creation, only one entrance into original sin, only one design for the family, only one judgment, only one redemption, only one final eternal state.

  • In the OT, the books are written more precisely.
  • In the NT, the books provide greater clarity and light on the books.

There were many “types” scattered throughout the OT – but they were all flawed – only Jesus is the perfect “anti-type.”

Adam

Adam – the first man – fell – the head

Jesus = the last Adam – a new race, those who believe in him and become part of his body

Noah

Later, due to the wickedness in the world, God judged the world with the flood. Only Noah and 8 in the ark were spared. “Noah” means “rest” and they were spared the judgment.

Jesus is “rest” – “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I’ll give you rest.”

Jesus bore the judgment that was due us on the cross and gave us his own righteousness to be accepted in him.

Samson

Samson – a mighty judge – but in his death, he destroyed more of the enemies than in his lifetime. In his typology of his death and conquering the enemies of Israel, this is a picture of Jesus in crushing the serpant’s head – victorious over death and all the demons were brought under subjection to him.

Samson’s death mirrors Jesus’ death in the conquering of enemies.

Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the prophecy God had given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmity between your seed and hers… you will strike his heel, but he will crush your head.” That’s what happened on the cross – it looked like a defeat, but it was a great victory.

David

The shepherd and his victory over Goliath – David just used the sling and stones. He was a shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

David suffered under persecution from King Saul for a while before finally ascending to be king of Israel.

In him, we can see a shadow of Jesus.

Solomon

For most of his reign, it was a peaceful reign – until the end when he unfortunately succumbed to the lusts and idolatry that plagued the latter part of his life.

These men all seem to have lust / women troubles – so their typology only goes so far. Jesus was without sin.

These people are types / shadows of Jesus.

Joseph

Son of Isaac, sold by his brothers, falsely accused, suffered much – before he was raised to rule in Egypt.

Jesus likewise was betrayed, sold, suffered, and eventually rose to glory on the third day.

Job

An upright, wealthy man, but challenged by Satan – “God, Job only loves you because of what you’ve given him – but take it away and he will curse you.” God gave him access and Satan took it – Job suffered much – but in the end it was all restored doubly.

Jesus likewise was tempted by Satan and suffered greatly, but was more than wholly restored on the third day.

Melchizedek

king / priest was a picture of the King / Priest Jesus would become.

Joshua

a savior of his people into the Promised Land – leader into Canaan – name means “savior.”

There were also other types and shadows in sacrifices and feasts that showed Jesus.

The Passover Lamb

The Passover lamb, the scape goat, the Day of Atonement. One goat was sacrificed, another goat was laid upon with the sins of the people and sent out into the wilderness.

This symbolized how Jesus would also take on the sins of all humanity and go into the darkness, but emerge victorious.

Leprosy

  • destroys the body, but is also a picture of sin – how it destroys the soul.

Two birds for sacrifice

  • one dipped in blood (death), one released into heaven (his resurrection).

Guilt offering, sin offering, thankfulness offering

  • all are pictures of Jesus.

In the very places they were offered are also symbols and types of Jesus.

Tabernacle and temple

The tabernacle, the temple, he is our bread of life (they had show bread in the temple). “Man doesn’t live by bread alone but on every word proceeding from the mouth of God.”

The ark of the covenant

  • with the 10 commandments – was also a picture of Jesus bearing the wrath of God so that we don’t need to.

When Jesus had to die, it shows the terrible nature of sin – and how the holiness of God disallows him to look upon sin – so a sacrifice had to be made.

Dr. Lawson points out as well:

Emmaus was 7 miles NW of Jerusalem. The average person takes 17 min to walk one mile – so this walk should take 119 min (less than 2 hours). So Jesus couldn’t go into every detail in Scripture – so he probably just hit the “highlights” as we have here.

But in v 26 he asks them, “Was it not necessary for Christ to suffer?”

The disciples had only focused on his glory, not his suffering, but the 5 major prophets including Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc, clearly depicted this.

The Prophets

We read of Jesus’ birth in Isaiah and Micah. Isaiah (the 5th gospel some say) also shows so many aspects of Christ’s ministry, life, and suffering – including his birth. Isaiah 53 in particular depicts his crucifixion. “…by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Primarily, we are healed spiritually through his suffering.

The return of Christ in Ezekiel and Daniel.

Jeremiah also promises that God will not remember our sins. Jer 31:34 “And they shall teach no more – every man his neighbor – for they shall all know me. And I shall remember their sins no more.”

Isaiah “I am he who blots out your transgressions and remembers your sins…NO MORE.”

Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah show the return of Christ.

You can see that we’ve only covered a handful of Scriptures that would cover the suffering of Christ as depicted in the OT.

The disciples said, “our hearts burned within us” and they invited him in to eat with them – and in the breaking of bread, he was recognized. This is also symbolic – when we break bread, we recognize he is present.

They returned and told the others. He’d also appeared to Simon (Peter) who’d denied Christ 3 times. He had wept and probably thought “It’s all over for me.” But the fact that Jesus appeared personally to him must have been incredibly meaningful to Simon.

Jesus spoke to them, “It was necessary for all that was written in the Prophets, and the Psalms to be fulfilled.” And he opened their understanding. We also need to ask the Lord to open up our own understanding.

“Thus it is written and necessary for the Christ to suffer and die and be raised on the third day. And repentance and remission must be preached to all nations in his name.”

This is still necessary today.

You know, there’s been a teaching in the church these days call “hyper grace” saying “we don’t need to confess because Jesus died for our sins yesterday, today, and forever.” But this is not true. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Repentance is a life-long process – even in Revelation, Jesus rebukes some churches for not repenting. We also must confess to each other, but we need to keep a place of humility, and repent as Scriptures say.

This is just a short overview of some of the things Jesus would have highlighted as the necessity of his suffering.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 03 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Power of the Name of Jesus Christ (2) (Acts 3:12-26)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Power of the Name of Jesus Christ (2) (Acts 3:12-26)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Power of the name of Jesus Christ (2)

Acts 3:12-26 (Pastor Heo)

12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

17 “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

24 “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’ 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”


In this book Acts, there are 14 sermons by 4 preachers.

  • 6 from Peter,
  • 6 from Paul,
  • 1 from Stephen,
  • 1 from James.

Last Sunday, we saw Pentecost. So many people gathered in Jerusalem at that time, and the HS came down. And about 3,000 people were added to the church that day.

At this time, during the time of prayer, at the temple, Peter and John healed a lame man. So many people saw it and rushed to them to see how this was possible. This setting gave Peter another opportunity to preach the gospel.

Just like the first sermon, this one is:

  1. Full of the HS
  2. Full of the Word of God
  3. Focused on Jesus

v. 12-16

“12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 *By faith in the name of Jesus*, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.”

First, the final purpose of this miracle = to bring glory to Christ. v.13 makes this clear. The final purpose was not to heal this man and make him strong, but to bring glory to Christ.

Also, the crucifixion is not only for the sins of the whole world, but also the greatest crime in human history. This is the meeting of God’s absolute justice and unconditional love. This is also the meeting place of God’s mercy and man’s rebellion.

The resurrection is proof that Jesus is indestructible and Lord of life and death. This is ironic – he gave life, they killed the author of life. But this – the resurrection – is final proof that Jesus is God.

We have no power – but we may be a channel of the power of the risen Christ. As long as we think only of what we can do and be, there is only failure and fear. But when we think of “not I but Christ in me” (Gal 2:20) there is the power of Christ in me.

So, how can we be channels of this power of Christ? By believing and using the name of Christ.

Peter said, “In the name of Jesus Christ” in his first sermon. In this sermon also, “silver and gold I have not, but I will give what I have – in the name of Christ, stand up and walk.”

What does a name mean / carry with it? It carries with it the full authority of the one to whom it belongs.

Matt 1:21 “He will save his people from his sins.”

Let me introduce some of the names of Christ. (The Bible is full of names of Christ.)

  • Matt 1:21 “He will save his people from his sins.”
  • “Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I with them.”
  • Luke “Forgiveness of sins will be preached to all nations in the name of Christ.”
  • John “To those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
  • Jesus “I will do whatever you ask in my name.” (in the book of John 4 times)
  • “The Father will send the Counselor (Holy Spirit) in my name.”
  • John: The Bible is written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ and that we may have life in his name.
  • Acts: “Repent and be baptized every one of you and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
  • Peter “Repentance and forgiveness will be given to you in his name… There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
  • Joel, Acts, Romans: “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
  • Phil 2:9-10 “Therefore, God super-exalted Jesus Christ and gave him the name that is above every name – that at his name every knee should bow, in / on / under the earth.”
  • Col 3:17 “Whatever you do, whether word or deed, eat or drink, do it all in the name of Christ – giving thanks to God through him.”
  • 1 John 3:15 “I write this book so that you may know that you have eternal life in the name of Christ.”

Last Sunday, I encouraged / challenged you: we cannot give what we do not have. We can give only what we have. If you have the name of Christ really in you, you can give to this world – healing to those who need it, salvation to those who need it, peace to those who need it, life solutions to those who need them. This is the power of the name of Christ.

God bless us so that we may believe and enjoy and use this name.

v. 17

“”Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.”

They crucified the Author of Life in ignorance (they didn’t realize what they were doing).

In the history of Israel, the Jews had NEVER expected a “suffering Messiah” – but had anticipated a “super hero Messiah” – politically, physically, etc strong. So, when Christ came as a carpenter and died on the cross, they missed it.

In the OT, there is a difference between deliberate and unintentional sins.

  • If someone sinned deliberately, he was cut off from the tribe / God, etc.
  • But if it was unintentional, he was given an opportunity to repent.

Intentionality does not mitigate guilt, but changes the circumstances.

In this case, the people committed sin unintentionally – so there was not immediate condemnation, but rather the Holy Spirit was sent to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness, judgment, etc and call all men to repentance.

Remember, nowadays in our times, because the HS came and is convicting us of sin, we have no more opportunity to say, “I rejected Christ in ignorance.” – The HS is witnessing, convicting, testifying about Christ.

Romans 1:18-20 “We have no more excuse…”

Like Peter’s 1st sermon, this second one is full of the Word of God (OT).

Peter’s 1st sermon: quoted Joel and Psalms

v. 18-24

“18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you–even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’ 24 “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.”

The point: even the OT is full of Jesus’ story. From Genesis to Malachi – 39 books – are full of Jesus’ story.

Ex: introduces Moses, Samuel, and all the prophets. Next verse we will read v. 25: Abraham as well

Moses

v. 22 ” ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.'”

This is foreshadowing Christ and quoted from Deuteronomy 18:15, 18:18 (word-for-word quotations).

Moses prophesied the Messiah.

Jesus says in John, “If you believed in Moses, you would believe in me, because Moses wrote about me.”

Moses wrote the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible).

When Philip found Nathaniel he said, “We have found the one Moses wrote about.”

Also, Hebrews 11:26 (the faith chapter) – in the human calendar, Moses lived 1500 years before Christ. But in Hebrews it says, “Moses considered all this pain, suffering, etc for Christ more than all the treasures in Egypt.”

Samuel

v. 24 “Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days.”

Samuel was the first in the succession of the prophets – he anointed David as king and spoke clearly of the establishment of David’s kingdom. “God will establish the throne of David FOREVER.” (2 Samuel)

Is there actually the physical, human throne of David today? No. But the king is Christ. This was a prophecy of the Messiah to come. “All the prophets” testified about this. “That everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

v. 19 “Repent, then, and turn to God,”

Peter also mentioned repentance in his first sermon. This is a change of mind about sin and reorientation of the self toward God.

John the Baptist also prepared the way for Christ by preaching the message of repentance. This is acknowledging person sin and turning from it TO God.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

When we repent, God promises to wipe out our sins and also to bring spiritual refreshment.

Yes, at first, repentance seems painful – because it is hard to give up some sins – but God will give us a better way. Do you feel a need to be refreshed? Forgiveness is available for everybody today at the foot of the cross.

1 John 1:7 “The blood of Christ purifies us from all sin.”

v. 22

“‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; [we] must listen to everything he tells you.”

This is a very serious question. Are you listening to everything Jesus is telling you? Even at the Transfiguration (mountain), God pointed at Christ and said, “This is my son in whom I’m well pleased, LISTEN to him.”

Question: What is your posture when the Word of God is preached?

  • Do you HEAR it only? Coming in one ear and out the other?
  • Or do you listen with INTENTION of being a DOER of the Word of God.

“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” – and change the way you live.

Please listen (and obey) every word in the Word of God.

v. 25

“And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring [seed] all peoples on earth will be blessed.'”

“offspring” = “seed”

There is another amazing story:

Yes, Abraham lived 2,000 years before Christ – he lived FOR Christ and testified about Christ through his life and story.

  • One day (Genesis 12:2-3), God called Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation – and I will bless you. You will be a blessing, I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you – and ALL peoples on earth will be blessed (saved) through you.”
  • Genesis 22:18, 26:4 “Through your seed, all nations on earth will be blessed.”

The point is: seed (singular – not plural). There is only ONE seed.

Gal 3:14-16 makes it clear: This seed is Jesus Christ.

This is very important.

Gal 3:14-16

“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. … 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.”

  • “Who is Christ!”
  • “The conclusion is Christ!”

v. 26

“When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.””

God sent Christ to bless us, not curse us. God is good all the time, but Satan tempts us all the time about God’s goodness and faithfulness. Please do not allow Satan to tempt us of this.

  • John 3:16.
  • John 3:17 “God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

God is the same yesterday, today, forever. He is able to do immeasurably more than we can imagine.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 25 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Asking Amiss (James 4:1-17)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Asking Amiss (James 4:1-17)

01.25

01.25.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Asking Amiss

James 4:1-17 (Pastor Brian)

Submit Yourselves to God

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battlewithin you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.


 

Different forms of wisdom:

  1. Consider “Worldly Wisdom” – like the character in John Bunyan’s book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”
  2. Also there is the “fleshly wisdom” from our flesh.
  3. And there is “demonic wisdom” – tarot cards, horoscope – just as often fake as real.

Remember in Acts, the slave girl who followed Paul and talked against them. Eventually, Paul was jailed and beaten, but the power of God was shown as he was freed.

We should not be looking into things that are contrary to God’s will – nothing “occult.”

Derick Prince “If you sup with the devil, use a very long spoon. But the best thing to do is to NOT sup with the devil at all.”

Anything dealing with the occult ought to be repented of and given to God.

Peace is sown in peace by those who want a righteous result.

Want wisdom? Pray to God – that’s the best way, the safest way to gain wisdom – “for God gives freely to all who ask without finding fault” (earlier in James).

We must not be partial, not hypocritical to our brothers and sisters in Christ (or potential bros and sis’ in Christ).

We must not blame God for our own faults – saying, “I was just born this way…” No, when we sin, we must not blame God – he’s provided the means of grace and must humble ourselves, repent, say, “I really can’t do this alone – I need you to help me break this thing in my life.”

After all this kind of exhortation, in chapter 4, James really hones in on the Christians in their scattered homes throughout the world.

He wants them to be “lights” though he knows they often aren’t due to pressures and forces internal and external.

In v.1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”

That was the root cause of all the conflicts. Every source of conflict has the same cause – Pleasures waging war against their Members (members of the body of Christ) – i.e. someone is putting their own “headoney” (pleasures/lusts – headiness) before others.

This is COMMON among the human population – pleasure is … pleasurable. “If it feels good, do it.” – You know… Hitler might have “felt good” but it wasn’t RIGHT. Just because it “feels good” or “everybody is doing it” doesn’t make it RIGHT or something that YOU need to partake of.

Galatians “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh – for these are in opposition to each other.”

For the Christian, there is a battle – we must acknowledge it, confess it, admit to God that we need his help.

v. 2 “You do not have because you don’t ask.”

Sometimes we don’t ask because we don’t expect. Sometimes we don’t ask because they are sinful motives – we ask for the wrong thing.

The answer? Wait on the Lord, pray, he will give guidance. Many Scriptures say the Lord will guide us if we actively seek him. But we must also walk in ways that are pleasing to him (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The price for our lives has been paid by the blood of Christ. We are not our own, we belong to Christ therefore.

  • 1 Cor 15:32 “If the dead are not raised, then let us eat, and drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we will die.” But as Christians – we KNOW there is a resurrection and life everlasting. We’ve received the gift of eternal life and that gift is pure and clean and wholesome having received new life.
  • James 4:4-6 “Friendship with the world is enmity (hostility) with God.”

The lust of the flesh, the pride of life lies in the lap of Satan – but as Christians, we’ve been redeemed from that system. We are now walking in the Spirit and being led by him. GOD is jealous of the Spirit he’s put in us – he “jealously desires the Spirit” – in the OT, God is a “jealous God.” Why? He wants to bless us, keep us, and he doesn’t want us to be controlled by the world. He wants us to walk in the Spirit and overcome the temptations from without and within.

If we are patient, we will overcome.

  • Psalm 32 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart… trust in him and he will do it.”

These “desires” are given to you by God – no longer worldly pleasures, these are the “rivers of his desires”.

God will give a greater grace to us as well, when we HUMBLE ourselves before the Lord.

Let us humble ourselves and acknowledge his “greater grace”. James says, “grieve, be sorrowful over your sin, but also trust God to cleanse and heal” – there is a worldly sorrow that leads to death (Judas’ sorrow), but there is also a godly sorrow (Peter’s sorrow) that allows for full restoration of our relationship with God.

So the secret = be willing to bring your desires to the Lord “If this is YOUR will, DO it – if not, no matter how much I want it, don’t do it.”

Submit to God, resist the devil, and the devil will flee. BUT… “Too many Christians are submitting to the devil and resisting God…” (Derick Prince)

  • “Cleanse your hands” – repent of outward actions.
  • “Cleanse your hearts you double-minded” – repent of inward sins. Have you ever decided on something and then flip-flopped within 5 minutes? Yup, we all have. ALL.

The solution? Confess your faults one to another that you might be healed. Are you struggling with a secret sin? Find someone you can trust – bring it into the LIGHT, repent. Satan works in the dark, and wants to keep you in the dark. The longer you remain in the dark, the longer you remain in Satan’s domain and bondage. Come out in the LIGHT! Bring it to a brother or sister in Christ and this multiplies the effectiveness of your repentance.

God may want for you what you want as well – but as we submit to him and allow him to direct our decisions, we are doing well.

Even Jesus prayed “Lord, TAKE this cup from me! Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Remember that Jesus is our BEST example – follow his example.

James speaks of seeking wisdom and finding it through prayer.

v. 11-12 – “Do not slander one another.”

(Don’t let your tongue run away with your words – judging, condemning, gossiping – that’s SIN – it’s harmful, it’s prideful. Don’t you want to point out someone else’s sins? That’s pride.)

Be careful of judging and slandering others – this is breaking the Commandments.

Is this to say that we are never to mention the bad things that people do? How can we teach others about sin? Warn our children away from the wrong behaviors.

Greek scholar: Spearos Zoheitte?

“The love for one another refers to the PERSON and not to the ACTIONS of the person.” It’s not wrong to say, “He did this and it was a lie.” But it IS wrong to say, “He IS a liar!!”

If you point a finger, how many are pointing back at you?

Pointing fingers = judging, condemning, judging the PERSON.

Rather, do it in a loving way and judge the ACTION.

Remember, you “catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

“Here is Love, vast as the ocean” – are we bathing in the ocean of his love? Not only beautiful and wonderful, but also salty. If you get in salt water with open wounds… OUCH!

The Dead Sea = the saltiest place on earth. TONS of salt. The guide warned us – “if you want to go in, make sure you don’t have ANY cuts or scratches” but WOW – you could FEEL that salt where you’d shaved.

Not only does it hurt, but it also purifies.

Are we bathing in the ocean of God’s love? There may be some salt that would cause pain and irritation in our spirits, but it’s also cleansing.

Paul also says, “Let your speech be salty.” Cleansing, purifying, even though it may sting.

Don’t judge the Law BY not judging other PEOPLE (actions are on limits though).

God’s Law is holy, righteous, perfect, YET, we cannot keep it. Our flesh rebels against the Law of God.

Corinthians “The Law is perfect, written on stone, but those under it couldn’t keep it because their hearts were also stone. Therefore, let your hearts be changed to flesh (by God.”

Story:

In prison, a man had found the Lord, had been saved, got out of prison and went to church, and saw the commandments on the wall and thought “Wow, I’ve really broken a bunch of those.” But the Holy Spirit told him, “No, those aren’t commands any more, those are PROMISES.”

  • “Don’t steal” becomes “You WON’T steal because my Spirit is in you.”
  • “Don’t lie” becomes “You WON’T lie because my Spirit is in you.”

Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light…. if you abide in me and my Words abide in you, ask, and it will be given you.”

James also speaks against presumption:

“I’m totally going to … 5 years later… 10 years later… 20 years later.”

Actually, you don’t KNOW what will happen tomorrow. – Say rather, “If the Lord wills, we will…”

Presumption in another sense:

“Eh, I can sin in this or that way BECAUSE God has to forgive me.” Sin of presumption.

In the same way:

“We will blah, blah, blah, and hope that God blesses is.”

Illustration:

Sin of presumption:

A preacher had a fine dog, but there was a problem. Sometimes, things would go missing in his house – and he’d find the dog later chewing it up. Then, out in the garden under a bush, he found all manner of things.

It was like the Lord was saying to him, “Many Christians are like that. They do things that they think others won’t notice or bother.” But how many things have YOU hidden out there under the bush? That’s presumption.

We need to ask the Lord to help us NOT to do those things. Sometimes we allow things in our lives – grudges, a look on the Internet – and we need to repent of those things.

Remember the song “It’s your beauty, Lord, that makes us stand in silence.” And we also need silence in our lives to hear from him.

If we have things in our lives that are contrary to God’s nature, hidden sins, unrepentant sins, let’s confess those now before God and go from this place rejoicing in his greater grace and mercy for us.

“It’s your beauty Lord, that leads us to repentance.”

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 23 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Good News About Jesus (Acts 8:26-40)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Good News About Jesus (Acts 8:26-40)

03.23

03.22.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

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Philip and the Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road–the desert road–that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


Verse 37? Where are you?

Some late manuscripts: Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

A lot of commentators believe this was an addition (interpolation) – the scribe copying it felt it should be in there. It was not explicit, rather implicit, so the scribe may have added it explicitly. (Thus, it’s a footnote.)

So, in Acts 8, after the persecution in Jerusalem, the believers were scattered through Judea, some to Samaria. We saw some of the history of the conflict between Jerusalem and Samaria – and that this spread of the gospel is the first of the world-wide spread of the gospel.

Samaria was a hybrid branch of Judaism – not totally pagan, not totally Jewish. So the Jews didn’t want to deal with them and the Samaritans liked it that way. But it was their time to receive the good news. So, thanks to the persecution of the believers in Jerusalem, the gospel came to Samaria.

Philip came to Samaria and the people saw the signs and wonders, and heard the gospel. It was like Jesus walking around again doing the same works – it was Philip empowered by the Spirit walking around continuing Jesus’ work.

There was Stephen and Philip also – wherever there is true belief in Christ, unclean spirits will be cast out, healings will happen, etc. What was, will be. What happened, will happen. There surely will be some signs of the gospel – Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Some (Cessationists) believe that these kinds of miracles have since ceased to exist.

There was in Jerusalem at that time a magician – Simon the sorcerer – who had tapped into the occult (like the magicians in Exodus with Moses). But GOD is all powerful and all knowing – and where his power is/was, people were healed, spirits cast out, there was great joy in the city. Why? Well, why wouldn’t there be?

If someone is troubled by unclean spirits and suddenly set free… If Grandma hears the gospel and believes and is spiritually restored…

Even Simon was impressed and believed.

This was even without the baptism and the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We know that the Jerusalem church had heard of the receipt of the gospel – so they sent people down (like Philip) to lay hands on the people and pray for receipt of the Holy Spirit.

At Pentecost, there were great signs and wonders and speaking in tongues. And when Peter preached to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house, it was the same. And here in Samaria, we can safely assume it would have been the same.

Simon wanted to buy this power from the disciples, but Philip said, “God save you from your bitterness.” Hopefully he repented of his sin but we aren’t sure.

Here Samaria is in a bit of a revival! Philip may have been tempted to stay, but it wasn’t to be. There were many believers and even house churches begun there, so a Spirit of the Lord came and told Philip to go down another road. The road led to the final settlement before the barren desert of Egypt.

Now, Philip is brought out of this publicity and heads out alone toward Gaza.

There was an Ethiopian eunuch driving down in a “chariot” – but it was probably more like a cart and ox. Philip ran to catch up to him.

Eunuch – he’s no longer a “man” – physical deformity prevents him from having kids. But, some commentators thought it was just a term for an “official.” However, he’s called a eunuch official – so it would be redundant to repeat that. These eunuchs would be prevented from going into the temple.

He was a servant of Candace (Kan-dake – a title like Pharaoh) – The queen served in place of the Son. The Son was so “holy” that he didn’t dirty his hands with issues of state. So the queen was the actual ruler.

So, this eunuch – was a Gentile (strike 1), a eunuch (strike 2) – he would have been prevented from even entering the court of the Gentiles. Yet, here he is reading from Isaiah – he probably bought a scroll (very expensive – a scroll of Isaiah would take about a YEAR to reproduce). If he’d bought one it would have not been cheap.

Isaiah 53 – he’s reading. Philip hears from the Spirit “go to him.” Philip says, “Do you understand?” Eunuch, “How can I? No one taught me.” He’s reading the portion of Isaiah about the Suffering Servant (Jesus). He’s asks Philip, “Who is this? Himself? Someone else?” Wow, great opportunity to share the gospel right there. And Philip doesn’t waste the opportunity. In fact, Jesus had quoted this same Scripture before his death and said, “This must be fulfilled.”

He was like a Lamb, a sheep before the slaughter. He didn’t open his mouth. Jesus was (is) a King – the King of Kings.

Philip takes this great opportunity to detail the historical reality of Jesus’ suffering, trial before Pilate (who tried three times to clear his name), the egging on of the religious leaders (”If you don’t you’re no friend of Caesar!” – Pilate was worried about his politics – so he did it), his death and resurrection.

We know that Jesus’ death would be our own salvation – it was ordained (predestined, appointed) for him to die. Just because this was ordained, doesn’t mean he didn’t have a choice – he DID have a choice (remember his stress in Gethsemane). The Spirit of God can be resisted. But he chose to go and die.

Jesus also had preached to two disciples on the road to Emmaus and opened their eyes about him – using all the Scriptures to show them him.

Jesus says, “You search the Scriptures, thinking that in them you have life. But you don’t realize that they are all about me and you refuse to come to me so that you may have life.” (Seriously, Jesus is in EVERY book of the Bible.)

Now, Philip had probably spoken about baptism to the eunuch. He’d talked about Pentecost and Peter’s preaching of the meaning of the signs and wonders (prophecy from Joel). Peter had shown that Jesus was their Messiah.

Now, all these people were not liars, murderers, cheaters, they were “religious people.” But Peter showed them that they’d actually murdered God. They’d murdered their Messiah. This burdened them heavily and they said, “What should we do?” Peter said, “Repent – primarily of that murder and also your sins – and be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.”

Clearly, Philip had been preaching this to the eunuch.

Also, remember that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. And when he came up from the water, the Spirit of God had come upon him.

And so, along the way, they came upon some water and the eunuch said, “Hey hey, here’s some water! Let’s do it!” And Philip said, “OK.”

There’s no need for a gap to exist between belief in Christ and baptism. Here, it happens immediately. Also, in jail with Peter, the jailer was baptized immediately.

These are the steps of obedience:

  1. Repentance
  2. Belief
  3. Baptism
  4. Receipt of the Holy Spirit

All of these things go together.

Clearly this was a baptism by immersion for the eunuch – the eunuch went down under water (died to his old self – buried under water), and came back up (rose to new life in Christ). Then Philip was taken away – the eunuch was probably shocked initially, but then went on rejoicing and probably became a good missionary where he went.

Philip later got married and had 4 daughters who prophesied. He settled in Caesarea.

This is the account of the further progression of the gospel – not a full-on “mission” to the Gentiles – but clearly an indication of God’s full desire to preach the gospel to all the world. The eunuch went on with the joy of the Lord and was able to proclaim the good news to the people back home.

It’s interesting that Philip could be brought away from this HUGE revival and on to ONE guy. God may also want you to speak to ONE person – who they themselves might go on to preach to millions.

Nicky Gumble “Everybody knows Billy Graham. But nobody knows the name of the one who preached to Billy Graham. Just think about how important THAT guy is.”

Richard Wurmbrand: a Jewish convert who spent many years in Romanian prisons and was a great witness. Previously another man had prayed sincerely to reach one man who would reach others for God. This was Richard – who had previously been a playboy.

Starfish Story.

There was a young boy walking along the shore throwing starfish back one by one. (A freak of nature had washed millions onto the beach).

A man said, “This is impossible – what difference does this make?” The boy threw another back “It made a difference to THAT one.”

What difference can me make?

Who is ONE that you can reach?

Pastor – “I was a slave to drugs, lust, sin. I had been brought up a Christian. ‘Do this, do that. Sin, confess, repent, sin, confess, repent.’ But someone had reached me.”

Michael Brown: Some friends had invited “anti-Christ” to church once – he was open to Christ, received him, and as a Jew started conversing with rabbis. He tried to persuade them and convince them. Even today, in some Jewish areas Isaiah is not even read because it is so obviously about Jesus. Even Christianity has not been good to the Jews. Even Martin Luther said terrible things about them – he had hoped that they would be converted in his lifetime but they weren’t. We know that in these days, finally, many Jews are recognizing Jesus as the Messiah. These days, Michael Brown has become one of the foremost experts on Messianic Christianity – one of the leading preachers and teachers to the Jews about Christ.

“When we don’t consider the END of something (like a hole in my coat – whenever I pass people, they think I’m crazy) – there is a consequence for DOING or NOT doing things.”

Consequences:

Hyper grace = Grace that is too far, it’s not grace but license (People don’t want to repent of sin – gay Christianity is a prime example. This is not to put them down but to show that if people continually live IN sin and don’t repent, there is no change, there is no grace. Jesus came to save us FROM our sins – not IN our sins as we continue IN them.) There will ALWAYS be a struggle of spirit vs. flesh because we aren’t perfect yet.

We can’t say, “Eh, God loves me. I can do what I want.” No. It doesn’t work like that. We struggle against sin, even if we lose – we don’t embrace it.

There is a story of a pastor – depressed, got drunk, had a homosexual one-night stand, went home, his wife got AIDS, his baby got AIDS, they all died.

Where there is life, there is hope, where there is hope there is life. This is not a message of condemnation – Timothy “Take heed to your faith, and your doctrine, because by it you will save yourselves and save others.”

Thank you God for grace. Forgive us when we fall.

  • Aug 25 / 2013
  • Comments Off on What Shall We Do? (Acts 2:21-38)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

What Shall We Do? (Acts 2:21-38)

08.25

08.25.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Peter’s preaching in Acts was shaped by Luke.

Acts 2 = summary of what Peter actually said.

Luke says Peter “warmed the crowd” with many other words (not recorded here).

Things of note:

1. Luke used the Septuigen version of the Scriptures (septuigenta = Latin = 70) – these Scriptures were made by 70 Jews. At that time, many Jews were spread throughout the world and didn’t know their mother tongue of Hebrew – so this was the Greek translation of the Scriptures. Most of the early church took most of their Scripture quotes from this version (LXX Version).

This was the main source of the Scriptures for the early church. Also, Joel is different (2:28 – “It shall come to pass afterward that I’ll pour out my flesh on all people…”) Afterward there = meta… = could be indefinitely. Peter here changes that word to “the last days” (it has a more specific time element).

For the New Testament writers, the “Last Days” began with Christ’s first appearance, and would end with his Second Coming. “You have been dreaming of the day of God – when he’d break forth into history – now the day is here in Jesus.” (William Barclay).

Peter obviously didn’t know how long it would be until Jesus returns. Even in 2 Peter, he defends the decades-long-no-Jesus-returning-period “In the last days, scoffers will come, following their own evil desires, and saying, ‘Where is this second coming?’ But they deliberately forget that in the Beginning, God formed the world and flooded the world with water and destroyed it. Now also the heavens are reserved for fire. But don’t forget that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day. God is patient with everyone, not wishing any to perish, but ALL to come to repentance.”

Not everyone WILL obviously repent, but the opportunity WILL be presented.

Near the end of Peter’s life, 1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is near” he thought that the End was near – especially since there was so much time between Jesus’ resurrection and the Second Coming.

The Holy Spirit here has now been poured out and the Age of the Spirit had become. The times in Joel’s prophecy had come – it was now time to put faith in Jesus – because as Joel’s prophecy says, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The note here = every ONE – personally. Not just since you go to church, or since your family goes to church, or since your friend goes to church.

Peter is sure that these are the Last Days of which Joel has prophesied. So, now he turns his argument over to “Jesus IS Messiah” and he goes to show (in the Scriptures) how many things prove he is. This is also the emphasis of the early church’s preaching.

Jesus was a man of God, approved by God, and through his signs and compassion, that proves (outwardly) that he was of God.

Peter argues that what was God’s apparent “weakness” (the crucifixion) was actually the power and plan of God (Romans 1:16 = Paul also says this). Peter argues that by the Jews putting Jesus to death, the Jews actually have fulfilled the prophecies (especially in Isaiah). Then, he quotes a proof text (a Psalm of David) that Jesus’ resurrection was appointed and prophesied previously – AND that God would establish an eternal throne in David’s line.

Psalm 16:8-11 – this is an exact quote from the Septuigen Scriptures. He quotes it Messianically (proving that Jesus is the Messiah). It says that “your servant shall not see decay” yet everyone KNOWS that he died and did decay – so the verse MUST apply to a future descendant of David. The people (and Peter) acknowledge that David is a prophet so it is true that he should be able to see the future.

Jesus also says, “Everything in the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms is about me.”

Peter argues that these prophetic words were about Jesus – and the apostles are witnesses to these facts. The proof that the Spirit was present = fire, tongues, etc.

Psalm 101:1 = another proof text.

“Sit at my right hand…”

This verse was difficult to understand – the explanation depended on the way you understood the “lords” – “the Lord said to my lord…” or “the lord said to my Lord…” or … etc.

The Saduccees debated over this, but Jesus debated with them – “how then is the Christ the son of David? He calls him ‘my Lord.’”

The proper understanding of the Lords = the key to understanding the text. Jesus interpreted it messianically as referring to himself.

In fact, this text is not earthly but heavenly, not about David, but Jesus – the disciples were witnesses to Jesus’ Ascension.

In Jesus’ trial, the Pharisees asked “Are you the Son of God?” Jesus, “You have said rightly.”

Peter uses 4 points to argue for Jesus as Messiah.

  1. Peter’s personal testimony
  2. Miraculous events of Pentecost
  3. Information about Jesus that the audience had themselves (he was famous throughout the land at that time)
  4. The Scriptural proof texts

Then Peter concludes with the point he made throughout – Jesus = Lord, Messiah, Anointed One. (Romans 10:9 – “if you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth” 1 Cor 12:3 “no one who is speaking by the Spirit says ‘Jesus be cursed’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Spirit.” Phil “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.”) – this (from Peter) became an early creed.

Peter’s speech produced a strong emotional reaction in the crowd – OBVIOUSLY, Jesus was the Messiah and they were convicted, humbled, and teachable and asked “What shall we do?”

Peter = the GOAL he’d wanted “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.”

Luke 24:47 Jesus foretells “Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be told to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

Metanoia = a change of mind/behavior/heart/etc.

This word is used repeatedly in the NT and especially Acts to talk about repentance.

  • Acts 3:19 – Peter preaches in Solomon’s colonnade “repent then and turn to God that your sins may be white and times of refreshing come.” These are God-fearers in the temple he’s talking to (church-goers)
  • Acts 5:31 – Peter speaks to the Sanhedrin (counsel of Jews) who tried to stop them preaching about Jesus “God exalted him to his own right hand as Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness to the people of Israel.” Here, people in religious leadership.
  • Acts 8:22 – Peter speaks to Simon the magician (the occultic magician). Simon wanted to offer money for the gift of the Spirit “Repent of this wickedness, perhaps he’ll forgive you for this thought.” Here, people in the occult also need to repent (today, many people are involved in the occult – wittingly or unwittingly – but whether we know it or not, God condemns the occult).
  • Acts 11:18 – explaining the conversion of Cornelius (Roman Gentile seeking God – God led Peter to his house, he preached, the HS fell on them, and it was evident that God had accepted them) “When they heard this they had no further questions, ‘So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance.’” (This was pretty amazing – unclean GENTILES too?)
  • Acts 13:24 – Paul in the synagogue gives a word of preaching/teaching – “Before Jesus, John preached repentance to Israel…”
  • Acts 17:30 – to pagan philosophers in Athens (Aeropogas) – “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent – for he has set a day to judge the world – and proves it with Jesus’ resurrection” – some believed here though most mocked him.
  • Acts 19:4 – Paul speaks to some disciples in Ephesus “Did you receive the HS when you believed?” “The what?” “How were you baptized?” “Into John.” “John preached repentance, but said, ‘Look to the one who comes after.’ So, let’s baptize you into the one who comes after.” Now, they were baptized into the HS. (This is similar to Apollos who knew the Scriptures well but needed more info to help him be better.)
  • Acts 20:21 – the elders at Ephesus “I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in Jesus.”
  • Acts 26:20 – before King Agrippa “first to those in Damascus, then Jerusalem, then Judea, then the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

Consider again the crowd that Peter was addressing, they were God-fearing Jews who worshiped and obeyed God already. They are presented as blameless in keeping the Law, so they didn’t really need to repent – they weren’t murderers, etc – but the one thing they needed to do was change their minds with regard to Jesus and enter a new relationship with him as Savior.

Do you have that relationship with Christ?

Have you repented from your sins? (There’s no real forgiveness without repentance – it’s not “cheap grace”).

We may have asked ONCE, got our “fire insurance” – but there must also be commitment to the Lord.

Paul “examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” We don’t need to be burdened with guilt, but this is an ongoing process of examination and repentance.

Let’s pray this prayer – if you’re not quite sure, you can join this prayer. It can help your heart.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 17 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Conflict in the Council (Acts 23:1-22)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Conflict in the Council (Acts 23:1-22)

03.17

03.17.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

(After computer crash…)

In Judaism, there were three main sects of Jews.

The Saducees didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. (So, they were “Sad, you see.” – Sad-u-cee)

Paul was on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.

The Pharisees DID believe in the general resurrection of the dead. They believed that the virtuous ones would be able to rise and live again.

So, Paul decides to divide and conquer – now the two parties will fight with each other. (Pharisees think – ah, he understands us. Saducees think – what a loser)

This is one of the only times he refers to himself as a Pharisee (also in chapter 26:5). We might think it strange that Paul would still consider himself a Pharisee.

But, he didn’t see anything wrong with it, he even boasted in his background to the church (1 Cor 11:21-22) “What anyone else does to boast, I’m speaking as a fool, I also dare to boast about. Are they Hebrews? Me too. Israelites, Abraham’s descendants? Me too.”

But as far as salvation is concerned he saw no value in his Pharisee background (Phil 4) – “we put no confidence in the flesh [human attainments]. If anyone thinks he can be confident of his accomplishments, I’m waaaaaaay better than that dude. I’ve dotted every i and crossed every T. Yet, whatever WAS good for me, is a loss – everything of value is a loss compared to knowing Christ – I have lost all things and consider all things rubbish so that I might be in Christ. Not having my own righteousness, but having that of Christ’s through faith.”

Self-righteousness leads to pride.

When we realize that WE can’t DO anything to get holy, it messes with our pride and makes us get humble.

Paul’s appeal to the resurrection was more than just a general hope in the resurrection (prophesied in Daniel). But, the religious leaders didn’t believe it would come from Jesus – yet Jesus had said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John). And this is the entire focus of Peter and Paul’s ministry throughout the book of Acts.

Many Jews had gone to Jerusalem for Pentecost. When the miracle of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit happened, they heard the praises and preaching of God and Jesus’ resurrection in their own tongues. Some people had thought them drunk – they “technically” were “drunk” as fulfilled by the prophesy of Joel (In the last days, I’ll pour out my spirit on all people) – but they weren’t drunk with wine.

Paul went on “Jesus was handed over to you by wicked men, and you conspired and nailed him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead – since the wages of sin are death, death couldn’t hold him.”

“King David prophesied – he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ – he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has poured out what you now see and here (the Holy Spirit).”

This was Peter’s message in Acts 2.

It was also Paul’s message when he went to Antioch.

“Though they found no good reason for death, they asked to have him executed, and when they had done all that was written about him, they took him down and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead and for many days, he appeared to many people – they are now His witnesses.”

So, for Paul, Christ and the resurrection is the basis for HOPE. (1 Cor 15 – the Resurrection chapter).

1 Cor 15

“Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you have received and on which you have taken your stand.”

Paul always made clear what the gospel was. There’s a need to confess, repent, be baptized, follow the Lord.

“2 By this gospel, you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the word I preached to you, otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

Paul emphasizes the need for perseverance, continuance.

“3 For what I received, I passed on to you as of FIRST IMPORTANCE: that Christ died for our sins – according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day – according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter and the disciples.”

The basis for hope and the faith is Jesus and the resurrection.

Here, in the council, he didn’t preach Christ – but just spoke of the resurrection. Now, there is a violent conflict in the council – so Paul had to be rescued from them.

Luke 20:27-40

This shows the mentality of the Saducees – they constantly wanted to trap Jesus in his speech. For example, “Should we pay taxes to Caesar?” Jesus said, “Show me your coin – that’s Caesar’s face – so give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.”

Here the Saducees say, “A man was married to a woman, and he had 7 brothers. The first died, the second married her – as is the law. He died, with no kids. Eventually, the got through the entire 7 brothers, with no kids. Now, in the resurrection, which brother gets the wife?” Jesus said, “You have no idea. NOW, we get married. But, in the resurrection, there will be no marriage – we’ll be like the angels. Besides that, when God spoke to Moses in the burning bush, he said “I AM the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” – he spoke of them as though they were alive.” So, God is the God of the LIVING.

The Saducees were wrong about the resurrection – there IS. Those who have received Jesus have the HOPE of the resurrection and WILL be raised again.

This is something we need to continue in – even if we sin, God is faithful to forgive us our sins IF we confess and repent.

Isaiah talks about backsliding – the quicker we come to the Lord, the quicker we can be restored to fellowship with him.

Isaiah 44:22 “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud and your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have paid the price for your freedom. Return to me, for I have paid for your salvation.”

Hallelujah.

  • Oct 21 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Paul and Apollos (Acts 18:18-19:7)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Paul and Apollos (Acts 18:18-19:7)

10.21-Acts-Sermon-Title-0710102

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

In the last study, Paul was granted permission to stay in Corinth. The Jews had accused him of teaching against their own law, but the Pro Consul was not influenced by the Jews. Galieo didn’t care about their law, said, “You take care of it yourself.” So, this gave a kind of precedent for Christianity to be accepted and at least tolerated.

v. 18 – He stayed for some time, then left with Priscilla, Aquila – until 52A.D. spring, when it was safe to sail.

Athens had been a pretty big disappointment, only a few converts.
Corinth, initially discouraged, Paul had a vision where God said, “Carry on” and many were saved there (in Sin City). God was patient, long-suffering, used Paul to correct the Corinthians.

Also in Corinth, most converts were from the lower classes. 1 Cor. 1:26 – “Not many of you were wise, influential, of noble birth” But God blessed the city with many converts.

Now, he was off – ultimately to Jerusalem, then Antioch. But on his way, he stopped over in Ephesus – Asia Minor.

Church in Cenchrea had grown.
2 Cor. Paul writes to Achaea? southern Greece.

Romans 16:1 – Paul mentions Phoebe as being a member of the Cenchrean church – helpful to him (she was a deaconess).
In Cenchrea, he made a vow and cut his hair.

Paul continued to be faithful to his Jewish traditions – taking a vow would underscore this. Who knows what kind of vow?
He was still clearly a Jew, unashamed and unopposed to keeping Jewish traditions, though a Christian, and he didn’t impose Jewish tradition upon Gentiles.

In Ephesus, he preached the gospel.
Here, they seemed interested in his teaching, wanted him to stay longer, but Paul declined. Seems a bit strange, he usually took advantage of every opportunity to share the gospel. His journey must have been important, and he gave a promise to return, which he did – and ministered there later for 2 years.

Priscilla and Aquila later returned to Rome after the death of Claudius the Emperor.
However, when Paul left, they stayed in Ephesus.

From here, Luke’s account is very compressed. Summarizes many events – sea voyage, journey south, etc in a few sentences.

Paul’s destination was Antioch, and from there he went on a journey to the other churches.

Luke mentions the stop to Jerusalem (out of his way 300 miles north), to imply that Paul was still loyal to the apostolic church and his Jewish heritage. This is important because later, people would accuse him of leaving his Jewish faith and encouraging others to do so.

Paul likely remained in Antioch for quite some time, then v. 23 he traveled place to place on a pastoral journey, strengthening the disciples. He likely revisited the towns from earlier Acts where he preached the gospel. He’d been there one proclaiming the gospel, a second time appointing elders, and now a third time.

Now, Apollos – a Jew, born in Egypt, came to Ephesus. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, and destroyed the Jews in debate.
He became one of Paul’s trusted brothers in the faith, a great apologist (defender of the faith).
Later, some Christians would claim “I’m of Apollos” and “I’m of Paul” but Paul would say, “neither is anything, but God gives the increase” and “Paul and Apollos are one – in mind, unity, and each will receive his own reward in his work.”
1 Cor 6:12 – “Now concerning Apollos, I strongly urged him to come, but he was unwilling, but he will come when he has a convenient time.”

Paul has no authority over him, respects him.

Titus 3:13 “Send Zemas and Apollos with haste that they lack nothing.”

Luke has a good reason for including this story of Apollos. Some Corinthians were adopting a partisan spirit (I’m Apollos, I’m Paul), but that was wrong.

Apollos knew well of Jesus and the prophecies in the Scriptures of him, but didn’t know of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, only John’s.

The Jewish leaders had been responsible for the death of their Messiah that had been promised for thousands of years. Peter, with the Holy Spirit, (Acts 2?) preached, and the men were convicted – Peter said “He is risen!” “What shall we do?” they asked, “Repent! and be baptized in the name of Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!” And thousands (2,000?) were added to their number that day.

So, it’s a bit strange that Apollos hadn’t heard of this. It may be that he had the Holy Spirit already since he taught of Jesus quite accurately. Sometimes, with the laying on of hands, or through preaching, some received the HS. There is a method, but also exceptions.

Apollos was humble enough to receive further instruction from Aquila and Priscilla. We thank God that he was humble enough to receive that.

Neil (commentator) “Luke’s vague and brief account doesn’t teach us much of Apollos. Perhaps he was a member of a John the Baptist sect (chapter 19))”

Apollos wanted to go on to Achaea. He met with unconverted Jews and proving that Jesus was the Christ. He went back to some places that Paul had been and was highly regarded by the churches there – great public speaker.

Apollos had become another important member of the team.

Also, Paul had not abandoned his missionary work for the Jews.

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul came to Ephesus – rich in history. Paul had received a favorable response earlier, and promised to return – he has. Acts 18:19-21 (favorable acceptance) – but at that time, he carried on along his journey.

Now, the events of Ephesus. Curious story – Paul met some of John’s disciples, slightly defective in their knowledge of the Way of Life (Christianity). Eph 1:13 “In Him (Christ), you also trusted after you heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel, and you trusted and believed and were sealed with the Holy Spirit.”

These disciples had not heard of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps “disciples” means “of John”. They were certainly Jews, and hadn’t heard of the Holy Spirit – it was a little puzzling.

Matt 3:11 – John, “I baptize with water, unto repentance, but he who comes after me will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Paul “Which have you received?” They “John’s”
Paul “You should receive the HS baptism.”

These may have been hardcore followers of John the Baptist.
Josephus – historian, writes that JB was highly praised and loved and influential to the Jewish people.

John was arrested in Matthew because he preached against Herod’s second marriage. He wanted to kill him, but was afraid of the crowds who loved him.

Influence of John – in the gospel of John – John always makes sure to keep the ministry of JB inferior to Jesus’ ministry – to be sure that those who read it would be clear – he is NOT the Messiah, NOT Elijah, NOT the Prophet (Moses). John says “NO, to all.” “Who are you then, what about you?” “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.”

John _:21-31 JB “Behold the Lamb of God, who was before me, yet after me. I did not know him, but that he would be revealed to Israel, so, I’ve baptized with water.” HS comes down in a dove.
“Now, I’ve seen and testify that THIS is the son of God.”

Luke was careful to define JB’s ministry.

This is the fifth time in Acts that JB’s role has been clarified.
Chp 1:5 “Wait for the promise of the Father, John baptized with water, you with the HS.”
Chp 11:16 Peter “As I spoke (to Cornelius), the HS fell upon them as upon us, who am I to deny them baptism?” Chp 13:25 Paul “As John finished, he said, ‘Who do you think I am? Not HE, but the one who comes after me, I’m not fit to untie his sandals.’”
Chp 18:25 Apollos “This man had been instructed in the ways of the Lord, though he knew ONLY the baptism of John.”
Chp 19:4 “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one who came after him.”

JB’s ministry may have grown opposite the Christian one – even in opposition to it perhaps. It was a sect.
Luke includes this to show that the Church believes in Jesus and follows Him, not John.

JB was a faithful servant who POINTED to the true King, Jesus.

Again here, the HS is given as Jesus is proclaimed Lord and they believe in Him.

The main things are explained.
1. Receiving the HS (born from above) – the MOST important thing we need to know.

Whitefield (great preacher) accused of saying “You must be born again.” WHY? Because “You must be born again!”

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 15 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 43-46 (Bible-365.15): Test before Trust, Forgive before Forget
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Genesis 43-46 (Bible-365.15): Test before Trust, Forgive before Forget

Genesis 43 is an interesting look in to the change that has taken place in Joseph’s brothers. Judah – the one who originally convinced the brothers to sell Joseph into slavery – tells his father that he will bear the blame for Benjamin’s possible harm for the rest of his life if the boy is harmed. Reuben (the oldest) had already offered his two sons to Jacob in the previous chapter as a guarantee for Benjamin’s safety. 

Now when they go back, they take not only double the silver (since Joseph had returned their silver to them on the first journey), but also gifts for Joseph, to try to “butter him up” a bit and allow Simeon and Benjamin to return safely with them.

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  • Jan 14 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 40-42 (Bible-365.14): Joseph, Indwelt by the Holy Spirit
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Genesis 40-42 (Bible-365.14): Joseph, Indwelt by the Holy Spirit

A few observations from Chapter 40:

  • God sent had the cupbearer and the baker to the prison Joseph was in (and not a different one). This was God’s way of getting Joseph one step closer to Pharaoh.
  • God sent them both dreams that they couldn’t interpret.
  • God wanted Joseph – the True God worshiper – to interpret the dreams and act as a witness and testimony to these two men.
  • Yet even after Joseph’s correct interpretations came to pass, the cupbearer forgot him.

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