20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25 Grace be with you all.
This end finishes with greetings, blessings, and doxology. Let me also end this way.
Thank you all for being with me through the study of Hebrews. Although we have finished Hebrews, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is our Great, High Priest and our shepherd.
“Brothers, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written you only a short letter.”
“My word of exhortation” is this letter – it is very short, and can be read in only 1 hour, but includes much, deep Christian creeds and truth. It contains rebukes, warnings, encouragement, advice, and so on. We are encouraged to follow these things with the right heart.
At that time, some Christians received this book with a hard heart, because some sentences are very strong. And some received it with a soft heart.
Yes, even today, with the same message, different people receive the message in different ways. How about my message? How are you receiving it?
“23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.”
In the whole Bible, this is the only location that we see the imprisonment of Timothy. He was imprisoned in Rome maybe one time and then released. He is accepted as the same Timothy in the NT that Paul wrote two letters to. He joined Paul in his second missionary journey and is listed as a co-sender of the letters to the early church.
He is one of the key members of the early church, continuing the ministry of the gospel after Paul’s death.
Here, the book ends with a benediction, and we also likewise end our service with a benediction.
“20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
This benediction is also a doxology. It begins with God as a God of peace.
Jesus is a God of Peace
Peace is intrinsic to the character of God. God’s peace is soundness, wholeness, completeness, well being. And only God’s peace is real – only he can make us at peace with each other and with ourselves. God wants us to enjoy his peace.
Jer 28:11 “God declares, ‘My plan for you is peace, not disaster. I want to give you a hope and a future.'”
That’s why Jesus came into this world, as the Prince of Peace, the King of Peace. Jesus said, “I do not give to you as the world gives.”
You know, in this world, there is no real peace, but God gives us heavenly peace. “He has made the two one…”
God is the God of peace and reconciliation.
Jesus is the God of Life
God is also the God of life (resurrection and resurrected life).
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,”
Yes, only God can give us peace in life, and even triumph in death. Without the resurrection of Christ, there would be no new covenant. This is a central fact of Christian history. On this fact, the church of Christ is built. Without his resurrection, there would be no church, it would be complete vanity, nonsense.
Even other religions have strong ethical concepts about the afterlife, their holy writings, etc. But only Christianity has a God who became a man who came to earth and died for us, then rose again.
Other religions base their beliefs on the recognition of their teacher’s teachings. But Christianity is the ONLY one that puts its whole emphasis on Jesus’ resurrection. His atoning sacrifice happened once for all and was verified by his resurrection.
Take away the death and resurrection of Christ and the heart of Christianity is gone.
Jesus is our Great Shepherd
This Jesus is our Shepherd. Ps 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not be in want.”
What kind of shepherd? The Good, Great, Kind Shepherd. He worked for us and died for us. On the cross he completed the great work of redemption.
“The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
And now as our Great Shepherd, he is still interceding for us and caring for us. He is providing us with everything we need.
Finally, as our Chief Shepherd, he will come for us again.
“When the Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
He is working in us and will bring us to a place of spiritual perfection. We will reach that place when he returns.
We have God’s eternal life, eternal promise that is called the New Covenant. And we also have our Great Shepherd’s prayer.
We are also blessed with this doxology and benediction (v. 21).
“20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
From this benediction, know:
1. God has a purpose for us
God has a purpose for us, a special will for us.
Eph “We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.” Because he is our Maker, Father, Creator, we can say, “The best knowledge is to know God’s will / purpose upon my life.”
The most glorious life we can enjoy in this world is to do and finish the works that God is calling us to do.
Through this benediction, we can also see that:
2. God wants to do his work through us
Phil 1:6 “God, who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Phil 2:13 “It is God, not man, who works in you to will, to act, according to his good purpose.”
3. God is equipping and enabling us to do his work
He never gives us a task without giving us the power to also accomplish that task. When he sends us out, he sends us out equipped with everything we need.
“…he works in us what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ to whom be glory forever and ever.”
Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs through his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus works in us to make us the kind of people who will please God; and he equips us to do the work that pleases God.
“I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. But apart from me, you can do nothing.”
This is entologically true because apart from Jesus, we would not exist.
All creation and all God’s work is done through Jesus Christ. He created all things, and sustains all things.
Col 1:16-17 “By him [Jesus] all things were created – in heaven, earth, visible, invisible, thrones, dominions, powers, authorities, spiritual, material, and FOR him, and IN him, all things hold together and find their being.”
When we started Hebrews, chp 1:3 “Jesus is sustaining all things with his powerful word.”
This is an unchangeable, immutable truth. The power to do what is pleasing to God is only given to us through Jesus Christ, IF we want it.
Q: Do you want it? Do you desire it? Do you pray for it?
If you pray this kind of prayer every day, there will be great change in our daily lives: “Oh Lord, make me perfect in every good work to do your will. Do it through me in Jesus Christ and may he receive the glory.”
If we pray this prayer, there will be great change from the inside. Let there be, and let God use the change to change others.
“Grace be with you all.”
The last sentence of the Bible, Revelation last sentence, last verse, 22:21 “Grace of our Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
Grace be with you all, and God bless you with this wonderful, holy book. Thank you again for having been with me through the study of this book.
Apr 12 / 2020
Comments Off on Enjoy the Resurrection Power in your Daily Life (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Resurrection power is available for us in our daily lives.
1 Corinthians 15 The Resurrection of Christ
1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Christ is Risen! Amen!
Christ is alive in your life all the time? Yes, Christ is risen. He died for our sins, rose for our salvation, and is still alive now forever and ever.
Rev “That Jesus is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.”
Yes, Jesus is the reason we celebrate. What power! What love! What victory! What triumph!
v. 1“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you,”
Every Sunday, I preach the gospel to you, but let me now remind you of the gospel message. It is “Good News” of great joy for all the people, eternally. Yes, every day we need good news, especially nowadays especially in these not good looking situations thanks to corona virus.
Imagine, if a perfect vaccine for corona virus is made and all patients are cured immediately, what good news! Yes, I pray and hope for peace for the suffering of those people with the virus.
But the gospel is so much BETTER news than even that kind of good news.
v. 2“By this gospel you are saved.”
Gospel is the perfect vaccine for life.
v. 3-4 is clear in the message of the gospel.
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”
This is very clear. This is the core message of the gospel. Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation.
Here, we can see twice “according to the Scriptures” (v. 3, 4).
From Genesis to Revelation, this phrase appears only 2 times, here. So what does this mean?
You may think it means, “as prophesied in the OT”, and that is not wrong, but it means so much more than that. It is the summary of the whole Bible – the message, the theme, the main topic of the whole Bible:
Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our salvation.
This is what “according to the Scriptures” means.
Now, let me summarize the gospel message.
OT: The prophecy of the coming Messiah, his death, and resurrection.
Gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John): The literal fulfillment of this – and Jesus’ death is a substitutionary death for us. That is why these books are called gospels.
Acts: The fruit of the resurrection of Christ: the church (called the body of Christ) – He is the “head” of the church.
So the period of time between his resurrection and second coming = the period of Mission – the growth of the church.
Revelation: the future, the coming king, the lord of lords, the final God.
There is no gospel message without the death and resurrection of Christ. This is the heart, the core of everything we believe, receive and experience both on earth and in heaven later.
Jesus said, “It is finished.”
He was pierced for our transgressions, and crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon him, by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah)
God made him who was without sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Peter: Jesus himself bore our sins on the cross so that we might die to sin and rise to righteousness.
1 Peter 3:18 Jesus died for the sins of this world, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you and me to God.
Romans 5:8 “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been reconciled, how much more shall we be saved through his resurrection.” The cross and the resurrection go together all the time, they are inseparable.
Without the resurrection, the cross is a complete failure.
“Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised for our life. Who is it that condemns? … He is able to save completely those who come to him.” (Romans?)
Remember, by his resurrection, Jesus defeated all enemies, and Satan. He defeated the source of sin, all worry, anxiety, bitterness, the past, the shame, all problems which come from sin. Satan was defeated and conquered and under the feet of Christ. This means, Satan is not “going to” be defeated at some point in the future, but he “was” defeated in the past already. Jesus sealed Satan’s defeat by his resurrection. So we must know that Satan has no power over you and me unless you give power to him. He has no authority unless you give it to him.
Col 2:15 “Jesus Christ has disarmed all powers, authorities, principalities, and has made a public spectal of them, triumphing over them by his cross.”
His resurrection power sets us free from all enemies, from Satan, from sin, from worries, from anxieties, shame, the past, bitterness.
Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because he lives in you.”
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available in you.
Resurrection power does not come from heaven tomorrow, but is in you now.
Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me shall live even though he dies.”
This is the resurrection power.
Then, how is it possible to enjoy this resurrection power in our practical lives?
How can we enjoy this?
Let me share HOW we can enjoy this power practically and really this power in our daily lives. Let me share 4 things about this power in our lives.
1. By believing
– By faith we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives. By believing in Christ as Savior and Lord, we can experience and enjoy his resurrection power.
We know that resurrection power / life is available for us. Jesus died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. He rose for our salvation. But we must believe it, we must accept it by faith. When you believe it, the truth becomes a reality. We must recognize the reality of God’s spirit living in us and making our mortal lives immortal.
2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Behold! The old has gone, the new has come!”
2. By confessing
– With our words, our mouths, our tongues we can enjoy this power.
Speak with your words what you believe in your heart. Your word has power. “My word has power.”
Romans 10:9-10 “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. For it is with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your tongue that you confess and are saved.”
Please, every morning when you wake up, declare, “Jesus’ resurrection power is living in me! It is available for me! It is living and working through me today.”
3. By applying
– The name of Jesus Christ, the blood of Christ, the resurrection power to every situation, we can enjoy resurrection power practically.
Yes we know Satan is defeated already. If any challenge or trial comes to you, for example, fears, worries, shame, bitterness, temptation to sin, etc, apply the name of Jesus and declare, “The curse is OVER in my life!” Declare it and act on it.
The enemy is defeated, we know that. He was sealed, we know that. But we must still act on it.
Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, he will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who lives in you.”
Practically, this means that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available for you and me, by faith. So, every day, we must apply the blood and name of Christ.
4. By preaching the gospel
– (very important)
Let’s return to the text:
v. 1 “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you” v. 3 “what I received I passed on to you as of first importance”
Please remember all the time, the gospel is Good News of great joy for the salvation of everyone who believes.
If we accept this, and believe it, we are to preach it to others as well.
If you are saved, the gospel message is passed on to you by somebody.
Why was it passed on to you? In order to BE passed on to others.
Gospel: “Good news” News should be announced. News is news when it is announced and shared with others. That’s why after his resurrection, there was one comment and commission he left for us to do as his followers as of first importance.
Mark: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
By believing in Christ, by confessing with our mouth, by applying the name of Christ, the blood of Christ, by preaching the good news of Christ, we can enjoy the resurrection power in our daily lives.
God bless you.
Korean Translation provided by Deacon Sangman Lee
♥ 허목사님 설교 완역(200412)
▸제목: 「여러분의 일상적인 삶에서 부활의 능력을 즐기십시오(Enjoy the Resurrection Power in Your Daily Life)」
▸본문: 고린도전서 15: 1-4)
예배당에 오심을 환영합니다. 행복한 부활절(Easter)이시길 빕니다. 하나님께서 우리 모두를 자기 권능, 특히 부활의 권능(resurrection power)으로 축복하시기를 빕니다. 하나님의 부활의 권능은 믿음에 의해 저와 우리 모두에게 주어져(available) 있습니다. 그의 은혜와 자비로 우리의 일상생활에서 부활의 권능을 즐깁시다. 아멘. 갓 블레스 유! 이제 하나님의 말씀을 열어 보시겠습니다. 고린도전서 15장 1절에서 4절까지입니다. 사실상 고린도전서 15장은 부활의 장입니다. 1-4절 같이 읽겠습니다. 성경을 가지고 계신 분은 저와 함께 1절에서 4절까지 읽으시겠습니다. 제 1절입니다. (이어서 2-4절입니다.)
1: “(그리스도 안에서) 형제들(그리고 자매들)아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음이 너희에게 기억되기를 원하노니, 이는 너희가 받은 것이요 또 너희가 그 위에 서있는 것이라.”
2: “너희가 만일 내가 전한 그 말을 굳게 지키면 이 복음에 의해 너희는 구원을 받으리라. 그렇지 않으면 너희는 헛되이 믿은 것이니라.”
3: “내가 받은 것을 제일 중요한 것으로서 너희에게 전하였으니, 이는 성경대로 그리스도께서 우리 죄를 인하여 죽으시고,”
4: “장사되셨다가 성경대로 사흘 만에 다시 살아나셔서,”
아멘. 그리스도는 정말로 살아나셨습니다. 아멘? 여러분은 어떻습니까? 그리스도는 살아나셔서 늘 여러분의 삶에서도 살아계십니까? 예, 그리스도는 살아나셨습니다. 그리스도는 우리의 죄를 위해 죽으셨으며 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다(rise again). 그리고 지금도 영원히, 영원히 살아 계십니다. 요한계시록 1:7은 이렇게 말합니다.
“보라, 다시 살아나신 그가 구름을 타고 오시리라. 모든 눈이 그를 볼 것이며, 그를 찌른 자들도 그를 볼 것이니라.”
얼마나 놀라운 구원자이시고, 주님이시고, 왕이시고, 하나님이신지요! 그렇습니다. 예수님은 살아나셨습니다. 얼마나 특별한 날을 우리는 축하하고 있습니까. 얼마나 놀라운 사랑의 힘입니까. 얼마나 대단한 승리(triumph)입니까! 1절은 말합니다.
“형제자매들아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음을 너희에게 기억하게 하노니,”
저에게도 또한 1절과 마찬가지로 여러분이 아시다시피 매주 주일마다 저는 제 설교시간에 복음을 전하고(preach) 있습니다. 그러나 지금 이 순간 저는 제가 주일마다 여러분에게 전해드리고 있는 복음을 여러분에게 기억시키기(remind of)를 원합니다. 복음이란 무엇입니까? 문자 그대로(literally)의 복음은 구원(salvation)의 기쁨을 뜻합니다. 우리는 복음(福音)을 간단히 ‘좋은 소식’(good news)이라 부르는데, 이는 영원토록 모든 사람에게 기쁨을 주는 좋은 소식이라는 말입니다. 예, 구원은 정말 좋은 소식이죠. 우리는 매일 좋은 소식을 원합니다. 모든 사람은 좋은 소식을 필요로 합니다. 특별히 요즘은 코로나 바이러스로 인해 좋아 보이지 않는 상황에서 우리는 지금 좋은 소식이 필요합니다. 저도 그렇고 여러분도 그렇고 좋은 소식이 필요한 거죠. 상상해 봅시다. 만약 코로나 바이러스에 대한 완벽한 백신이 개발된다면 이 세상의 모든 환자들이 완전히, 지금 바로(immediately) 처치되고 치유되어 이 세상에 더 이상 코로나 바이러스가 없어진다면, 얼마나 좋은 소식입니까? 저는 코로나 바이러스로 인해 고통 받고 있는 이 세상 모든 자들에게 위로와 평강과 회복(recovery)이 임하기를 기도합니다. 저는 기도하고 소망합니다. 그러나 복음은 이 세상의 어떤 것보다 더 좋은 소식입니다. 왜일까요? 이는 오직 복음에 의해 우리는 구원을 받기 때문입니다. 2절은 말합니다.
“오직 복음에 의해서만 너희가 구원을 받으리라”
복음은 죄에 대한, 지옥에서의 영원한 죽음에 대한 백신입니다. 이것이 모두가 복음을 필요로 하는 이유인 것입니다. 우리는 또한 매일 우리의 실제 삶에서 복음을 필요로 합니다. 그렇다면 복음의 메시지는 무엇일까요? 3절과 4절에는 무엇이 복음의 메시지인가가 명료하게 나타나 있습니다. 3절은 말합니다. (4절이 이어집니다)
3-4: “내가 받은 것(복음을 의미함)을 제일 중요한 것으로서(as of the first importance) 너희에게 전하였으니(pass on to), (복음의 메시지는) ‘이는 성경대로 그리스도께서 우리 죄를 인하여 죽으시고, 장사되셨다가 성경대로 사흘 만에 다시 살아나셨다(입니다)”
매우 명료합니다. 복음의 핵심(core) 메시지는 “예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨다(rose again)”입니다. 이 본문에서 우리는 ‘성경대로(according to the scriptures)’라는 표현이 두 번 반복됨을 알 수 있습니다. 3절에서 ‘성경대로’, 4절에서 ‘성경대로’… 창세기에서 요한계시록에 이르기까지 성경 전체에서 ‘성경대로’라는 구절(phrase)은 여기서만 딱 두 번 등장합니다. 오직 여기서만 ‘성경대로’라는 구절이 나타나는 것이죠. 그러면 이 구절 ‘성경대로’가 의미하는 바는 무엇일까요? 여러분은 이것이 구약 성경에 따라 예언되었고 그래서 이것이 신약에서 이루어졌다는 뜻으로 받아들이리라 생각합니다. 예, 그렇습니다. 옳은 말씀입니다. 그러나 ‘성경대로’가 의미하는 바는 훨씬 그이상인 것입니다. ‘성경대로’는 성경 전체의 요약, 전체 성경의 핵심적 메시지라는 의미입니다. 이는 성경 전체의 내용에 대한 요약이고 핵심적 메시지이자 주제입니다. 전체 성경의 핵심 적 화두는 ‘예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 사셨다’입니다. ‘성경대로’라는 것을 이것을 의미하는 것이죠. 지금 이 시간 저는 성경 전체의 메시지를 요약해 보기로 하겠습니다.
구약은 메시아의 오심과 그의 죽음과 그의 부활(resurrection)에 대한 예언(prophecy)입니다. 그리고 신약의 처음 4권 마태, 마가, 누가 및 요한은 메시아의 오심, 우리 죄로 인한 그의 죽음 및 우리의 구원을 위한 그의 부활을 문서로 이루어낸 것(literal fulfillment)입니다. 그러므로 우리는 예수님의 죽음과 부활을 대용적 죽음 (substitutionary death), 승리적 부활이라 부릅니다. 이 네 권의 책을 복음서(gospel books)라고 부르는 이유가 여기에 있습니다. 마태복음, 마가복음, 누가복음, 요한복음 이렇게요. 그리고 사도행전(Acts)은 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활에 대한 역사적 열매입니다. 이는 ‘교회’, 교회의 탄생을 말합니다. 이것이 교회는 그리스도의 몸이고 그리스도는 교회의 머리라 불리는 이유인 것입니다. 이로 인해 우리는 예수님의 부활 및 승천(ascension to heaven)과 그의 재림(second advent, second coming) 사이의 기간을 세계의 구원, 세계의 복음화(evangelization)를 위한 그리스도의 몸으로서의 교회 사역의 시대(era of church mission)라 부릅니다. 그리고 성경의 마지막 책 요한계시록(Revelation)은 우리 죄를 인해 죽으시고 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셔서 영원토록 살아계시다가 곧 왕 중의 왕, 주인 중의 주인으로서, 최후의 심판관이요 최후의 하나님으로 영원토록 자기 나라를 세우고자 다시 오시는 예수님에 관한 책입니다. 이것이 성경 전체의 이야기입니다. 그러므로 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활이 없이는 기독교도, 교회도, 크리스천도, 복음 메시지도, 구원도 없는 것입니다. 예수 그리스도의 죽음과 부활은 우리가 이 세상에서, 또한 장차 천국에서 믿고 받아들이고 경험하는 모든 것들의 핵심(core)입니다. 예수 그리스도는 십자가 위에서 “다 이루었다(It is finished)”고 말씀하십니다. 이사야 57: 4-5에는 이렇게 기록되어 있습니다.
4: “그(메시아)는 실로 우리의 질고(infirmity)를 지고 우리의 슬픔을 당하였거늘(carry),…” 5: “그러나 그가 찔림(pierce)은 우리의 허물(transgression)을 인함이요, 그가 상함(crush)은 우리의 죄악(iniquity)을 인함이라. 그가 징계(punishment)를 받음으로 우리가 평화를 누리고 그가 채찍에 맞음(wound)으로 우리가 나음을 입었도다.” ……………………………………………………………………….. *역자 주: 제 개인적으로는 이 부분이 영어 원전과 우리말 번역의 어휘에 약간의 뉘앙스 차이가 있는 듯해서, 참고로 몇몇 어휘를 영어에 충실해서 정리해 드립니다.
“하나님이 우리를 위해 죄가 없는 자(예수 그리스도)를 죄가 있는 것으로 만드셨으니, 이는 그의 안에서 우리가 하나님의 의가 되게 하려 하심이니라”
베드로전서 2: 24에는 이렇게 쓰여 있습니다.
“그(예수 그리스도)는 친히 나무(십자가)에 달려 그의 몸으로 우리 죄를 감당하셨으니(bear), 이는 우리로 죄에 대하여 죽고(die to sins) 의에 대하여 살게 하려 하심이라. 저가 채찍으로 맞음으로 너희는 나음을 얻었나니”
마찬가지로 같은 책 베드로전서 3: 18에서는 말합니다.
“그리스도께서도 (이 세상을 위해) 단 한번에(once for all) 죄를 위하여 죽으사 의인으로서 불의한 자를 대신하셨으니, 이는 우리(여러분과 저)를 하나님 앞으로 인도하려 하심이라”
로마서 5: 8-9에서는 이렇게 말합니다.
8: “우리가 아직 죄인 되었을 때에 그리스도께서 우리를 위하여 죽으심으로 하나님께서 우리에게 대한 자기의 사랑을 확증하셨느니라(demonstrate)”
9: “우리가 그의 피로 인해 의롭다 여김을(하나님과의 화해를) 받았으니, 그(의 부활)를 통해 하나님의 진노(wrath)로부터 우리가 얼마나 더 구원을 받겠는가!”
이러한 내용들은 성경에서는 언제나 십자가와 부활은 떨어지지 않고(inseparably) 함께 감을 의미합니다. 십자가 없는 부활은 없고, 또한 부활이 없으면 십자가 죽음은 온전한 실패라는 이야기입니다. 이것이 로마서 4:25에서 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.
“예수 그리스도는 우리의 죄를 위해 십자가에서 죽음으로 건네어짐이 되었고, 그는 우리의 의롭다 여김을 위하여 죽음에서 다시 사셨느니라.”
누가 정죄합니까(condemn)? 죽으셨을 뿐만 아니라, 더욱이 다시 살아 나사 지금 하나님 우편에 앉아계시면서 우리를 위해 중보하고 계시는 예수 그리스도입니다. 예수 그리스도는 그에게 오는 자들을 자기를 통해 온전히 구원하실 수 있습니다. 왜냐하면 그는 살아계셔서 우리 모두를 위해 중보하시기 때문입니다. 아멘? 여러분 기억하십시오! 실질적으로 말하면, 예수님은 부활을 통해 모든 원수들을 물리치시고 정복하셨습니다. 특히 그는 부활을 통해 사탄을 물리치셨죠. 그는 죄의 근원을 물리치시고 모든 두려움, 걱정, 근심, 과거의 부끄러움과 또한 과거의 쓰라림 및 죄악에서 오는 모든 문제를 극복하셨습니다. 여러분이 알아두셔야 할 것은 사탄은 예수 그리스도의 발 아래에서 패하고 정복되었다는 사실입니다. 이는 사탄은 이제 앞으로는 언제든 패배하지 않을 것임을 의미합니다. 왜냐하면 사탄은 과거 2천 년 전에 이미 패배하였기 때문입니다. 아멘? 그러므로 사탄은 우리의 정복된 원수인 것입니다. 예수 그리스도는 자기 부활을 통해 이미 사탄의 패배를 인치셨기(seal) 때문이죠. 사탄은 그의 부활로 인해 패배한 것입니다. 그러므로 우리는 사탄은 여러분이 그에게 권능(power)을 주지 않는 한 여러분과 저에 대한 아무런 권능이 없음을 아셔야 합니다. 또한 사탄은 여러분이 그에게 권세(authority)를 주지 않는 한 우리에 대한 권세가 없습니다. 골로새서 2: 15에서는 이렇게 말합니다.
“예수 그리스도는 정사(power)와 권세와 주권(principality)을 벗겨내어(disarm) 이들을 밝히 드러내시고 자기 십자가와 부활로 이들을 이겨냈느니라.”
이는 모든 적들에 대해 승리하셨음(triumph)을 의미합니다. 아멘? 이는 예수님의 부활 권능이 우리를 모든 원수들로부터, 사탄으로부터, 죄악으로부터, 두려움으로부터, 걱정으로부터, 근심으로부터, 과거 속에서 사는 것으로부터, 과거의 부끄러움으로부터, 또한 과거의 쓰라림으로부터 자유케 하신다(set free)는 뜻입니다. 로마서 8: 11에서 말합니다.
“예수를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이의 영이 너희 안에 거하시면 그리스도 예수를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이가 너희 안에 거하시는 그의 영으로 말미암아 너희의 죽을(mortal) 몸도 살리시리라”
이것이 무엇을 의미할까요? 이는 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 그분과 똑 같은 권능이 여러분 안에도 작용할 수 있음을 의미합니다. 아멘? 이는 놀라운 소식, 즉 “부활의 권능은 내일 하늘에서 오는 것이 아니라 부활의 권능은 지금 여러분 안에 있다”는 놀라운 소식인 것입니다. 아멘? 이것이 갈라디아서 2: 20에서 (바울이) 다음과 같이 말하는 이유입니다.
“나는 그리스도와 함께 십자가에 못 박혔으니, 그러므로 이제는 내가 사는 것이 아니요 오직 그리스도가 내 안에 사시는 것이라. 이제 내가 육신 가운데 사는 삶은 나를 사랑하사 나를 위해 자기 자신을 주신 하나님 아들에 대한 믿음 안에서 사는 것이라.”
이것이 예수 그리스도가 다음과 같이 선포하신(declare) 이유입니다.
“나는 부활이요 생명이니, 나를 믿는 자는 비록 죽을지라도 살 것이요, 살아서 나를 믿는 자마다 결코 죽지 않으리라. 너희는 이를 믿느냐?”
이것이 부활의 생명이요 부활의 권능(resurrection power)입니다. 우리는 우리의 실제 삶에서 이 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있습니다. 그렇다면 우리가 어떻게 우리의 일상생활에서 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있을까요? 저는 이제 여러분과 실제로, 정말로 이런 종류의 권능을 우리의 일상생활에서 누릴 수 있는 방법에 대해 나누고자 합니다. 이런 종류의 삶, 이런 종류의 권능을 우리의 일상적인 삶에서 향유할 수 있는 네 가지 방법을 여러분과 나누도록 하겠습니다.
첫째, 믿음으로써 믿음을 통해 우리는 일상생활에서 부활의 권능, 부활의 생명을 향유할 수 있습니다. 예수님을 우리 개인의 구원자이자 주인으로 믿음으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있습니다. 이는 믿음에 의해 예수 그리스도를 우리의 개인적 구원자이자 주인으로 받아들임으로써 우리는 우리 삶에서 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있다는 말입니다. 예, 우리는 압니다. 우리는 이미 인정합니다. 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능은 우리 앞에 부여되어 있습니다. 예수님은 우리 죄를 위해 죽으셨습니다. 예수님은 우리의 칭의(justification)를 위해, 우리의 구원을 위해 다시 살아나셨습니다. 그러나 우리가 이를 반드시 믿어야만 하는 것입니다. 아멘? 믿음에 의해 이를 받아들여야만 합니다. 우리가 이것을 받아들일 때 그 진리가 여러분과 저에 대한 현실이 되는 것입니다. 우리는 우리 안에 거하시면서 우리를 살게 하시고 죽어야 할(mortal) 우리에게 삶을 주시는 하나님의 생명을 나날이 깨닫고 그것을 껴안을(embrace) 수 있어야 합니다. 그렇기 때문에 예수님께서는 우리에게 “나는 너희에게 생명을, 영원한 생명을, 부요한 생명을 주기 위해 왔노라”고 격려하십니다. 고린도후서 5: 17을 보시죠.
“그러므로 누구든지 그리스도 안에 있으면 새로운 피조물(새로운 남자, 새로운 여자)이라. 보라(behold), 옛 것은 지나가고 새것이 왔도다!”
아멘! 예수 그리스도를 개인적인 구세주로 믿음으로써 우리는 일상적인 삶에서 부활의 권능을 즐길 수 있습니다. 매우 간단하면서도 아주 확실한 단 한 가지 방법인 거죠.
둘째, 우리의 말로, 우리의 입으로, 우리의 혀로 고백함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 누릴 수 있습니다. 즉, 우리가 우리 마음으로 믿는 것을 우리의 입으로 말함으로써 말입니다. 여러분은 여러분의 말이 능력이 있음을 아십니까? 여러분 스스로에게 말해 보십시오.
“내 말은 권능이 있다. 내 말은 권능이 잇다”
이것이 로마서 10: 9에서 이렇게 말하는 이유입니다.
“네가 만일 네 입으로(네 말로) 예수를 주로 시인하며 또 하나님께서 그를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 것을 네 마음에 믿으면 구원을 얻으리라.”
아멘! 여러분이 믿고 의롭다 여김을 받는 것은 여러분의 마음으로입니다. 또한 여러분이 고백하고 구원을 받는 것은 여러분의 입, 여러분의 혀를 통해서입니다. 바라건대 매일 아침 여러분이 잠에서 깨어 침대에서 일어날 때마다 이렇게 선포하십시오.
“부활의 권능이 내안에 살고 있다.”
여러분이 아침에 잠에서 깨어 일어날 때마다 여러분의 입으로 선포하십시오.
“그래 오늘도 부활의 권능이 내 앞에 놓여있다.” “부활의 권능이 오늘 내 안에 살면서 나를 통해 일을 하고 있다.”
셋째, 예수 그리스도의 이름, 예수 그리스도의 보혈, 부활의 권능을 모든 상황에 적용함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 실제로 그리고 진정으로 향유할 수 있습니다. 예, 우리는 사탄이 이미 십자가로 인해, 부활로 인해 패배했음을 압니다. 그렇다면 우리의 일상적인 삶에서 어떤 도전이 여러분에게 다가오고자 하면, 예로서 만약 두려움, 걱정, 근심, 과거의 부끄러움, 과거의 쓰라림, 혹은 죄의 유혹, 혹은 심장 한가운데의 고통이 여러분에게 닥쳐올 듯하면, 예수님의 이름을 받들어 선포하십시오.
“내 삶에 저주는 끝났다.” “내 삶 가운데 원수는 패배하였다.” “전에는 받아들였던 원수가 이제는 패배하였다”
이를 적용하고 그에 따라 행동하십시오! 예, 우리는 원수가 이미 패배했음을 압니다. 원수의 패배는 예수님의 부활의 권능으로 인침되었습니다(sealed). 우리는 이를 알고 있습니다. 그러나 우리는 이를 실행에 옮겨야(enforce) 합니다. 그것을 바탕으로 행동해야 합니다. 늘 로마서 8:11을 기억하면서 절대 실수하지 마십시오! 이는 앞에서 이미 언급되었습니다만, 한 번 더 반복하겠습니다.
“예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이의 영이 너희 안에 거하시면 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 이가 너희 안에 거하시는 그의 영으로 말미암아 너희 죽을 몸도 살리시리라”
이것이 뜻하는 실질적인 의미는 예수 그리스도를 죽은 자 가운데서 살리신 것과 똑 같은 권능이 정확하게 여러분과 제 앞에 놓여 있다는 것입니다. 믿음에 의해 똑 같이 적용되는 것이죠. 그러므로 우리는 매일 예수님의 이름을, 특히 예수 그리스도의 보혈을 적용해야 하는 것입니다. 아멘?
마지막으로, 이는 매우 중요한 포인트입니다만, 복음을 전함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 향유할 수 있습니다. 다시 본문으로 돌아가서 1절을 보시죠.
1: “형제들아, 내가 너희에게 전한 복음이 너희에게 기억되기를 원하노니,”
3절에서 이렇게 이어집니다. 3: “내가 받은 것(복음을 의미함)을 제일 중요한 것으로(우선순위 1번으로) 너희에게 전하였으니,…”
그렇습니다. 복음을 전파함으로써 우리는 부활의 권능을 가장 잘 누릴 수 있는 것입니다. 절대 잊지 마시고 꼭 기억하십시오! 복음은 큰 기쁨을 주는 구원에 관한 좋은 소식입니다. 복음은 모든 믿는 자의 구원을 위한 하나님의 권능입니다. 여기서 만약 우리가 구원을 위한 좋은 소식인 복음을 받아들인다면 우리는 또한 똑같은 구원, 똑 같은 부활의 권능, 그리고 또한 우리를 통해 하나님의 격려를 필요로 하는 다른 사람들에게 다시 이 소식을 전해주어야만 합니다. 만약 여러분이 구원을 받는다면 이는 복음 메시지가 어떤 사람에 의해 여러분에게 전해졌음(pass on to)을 뜻합니다. 왜 복음이 여러분에게 전해졌습니까? 여러분에게 복음이 전해지는 목적은 여러분을 통해 다른 사람들에게 전해지기 위함이라는 것을 기억하시기 바랍니다. 또한 복음은 뉴스입니다. 우리는 복음을 좋은 소식이라 부릅니다. 뉴스는 무엇입니까? 뉴스는 발표되어야 합니다. 뉴스는 발표되어야만 뉴스인 것이죠. 뉴스는 발표되기 위해서, 다른 사람들과 공유되기 위해서 존재하는 것입니다. 이것이 그의 부활 이후 예수님이 자기 제자들로서, 자기 추종자들로서 우리가 이행하도록 남기신, 가장 중요한 것으로서의 하나의 명령(Command), 하나의 사역(Commission)입니다. 마가복음 16: 15이 곧 이것입니다.
“너희는 온 천하에 다니며 만민(all creation)에게 복음을 전파하라”
그가 부활 후 승천(ascension)하시기 남기신 단 하나의 문장은 “온 천하에 다니며 모든 사람들에게 좋은 소식을 전하라”입니다. 아멘!
(요약하면) 예수 그리스도를 믿음으로써, 우리의 말로 고백함으로써, 예수 그리스도의 이름을, 예수 그리스도의 보혈을 실제의 삶에 적용함으로써, 그리고 마지막으로 이 소식, 이 복음을 다른 사람들과 나누고 전파함으로써 우리는 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능을 누릴 수 있습니다. 아멘!
하나님께서 부활의 생명, 부활의 권능으로 우리 모두를 축복하시기를 빕니다. 갓 블레스 유! 다 같이 기도드립시다.
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:
Laying on of hands
“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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.”
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:
“What did you do with Jesus?” (Did you receive him? Learn to love and trust in him?)
“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:
Laying on of Hands
“For his kingdom! For his glory!”
Apr 21 / 2019
Comments Off on We are Witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (2 Timothy 2:8)
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…
Women came to find Jesus at the tomb on the first day of the week. But they didn’t find him. Instead, they found an angel who told them “He is not here! He is risen!” The three were surprised and ran to tell the others. After this Jesus appeared to people.
Jesus first appeared to women (Mary Magdalene).
The disciples in the locked room.
The disciples again (including Thomas).
Later, two travelers on the way to Emmaus.
Later, to Simon Peter.
Later to over 500 people at once! (1 Cor 15)
On the same day of the resurrection, the disciples were together, terrified, and locked the door. Jesus came to them through the locked door and said, “Peace be with you.” He showed his hands and side. “As the Father has sent me, so I’m sending you.” The disciples were overjoyed to see him.
Thomas wasn’t there to see him – so they told him. But Thomas doubted “unless I touch him, I will never believe it.” One week later, the disciples gathered in the same house, the doors locked and Jesus came and said, “Peace be with you. Do not be afraid.”
He knew Thomas doubted, so he said to him individually, “See, my hand, and my side. Touch me.” Jesus encouraged and challenged him : “Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas knelt down and confessed: “You are my Lord, and my God.”
Jesus said, “You have seen and believe, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
We have not seen Jesus, but we believe, so we are blessed.
Jesus resurrection is foundational to the Christian faith. EVERYTHING stands or falls with Jesus’ bodily resurrection. 1 Cor 15 “If Christ has not been raised, we are still in our sins and the most miserable and pitied of all men.”
We know Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the HS comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the world.”
We are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. I have MUCH to say, but I want to say just 5 truths:
5 Truths of Jesus’ Resurrection
1. Bodily resurrection
He did not leave his human body behind. He declared he had “flesh and bones”. The tomb was empty and his grave clothes were “in order” (folded). He was recognized by the people who knew him. Scars remained on his side and hands. He ate seafood, and bodily ascended to heaven after 40 days. The Bible promised that he will come back in his body. The Son of God will always have a physical body – but it had a different essence. It passed through locked doors.
The fact that Jesus came back with a body is a testament to the dignity of the human body. So, keep your body well because this is the temple of the HS.
2. First fruit of the resurrection to come
Jesus is the first of those who have faith in him, “fall asleep in him.”
The first fruit is the initial fruit of the harvest. We cannot be separated from him because we belong to him.
1 Cor 15:23 “Each individual, in his own turn. First, Christ, as the firstfruit and then when he comes, those who belong to him.”
“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, though he die.”
“Jesus’ resurrection is a guarantee that we will be raised again from the dead.”
Romans 8:11 “11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[a] his Spirit who lives in you.”
John 6:40 “40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.””
3. We are already (spiritually) resurrected
This is not only a future event, but because of our union in Christ.
Col 3:1 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
Eph 2:4 “4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Resurrection is Already! But not Yet.
Romans 8:23 “23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.”
Are you waiting for the resurrection of your body?
4. He is our High Priest
After his resurrection, he became our intercessor and protector.
Romans 8:34-36 “34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.””
5. He is GOD
This is not my word:
Romans 1:4 “4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”
He is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Judge of all Things. He is the Judge of the godly and ungodly. He is the final Judge. Someday, we will stand before him face-to-face to be judged and evaluated.
After his resurrection, his mandate is only one:
“We are witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection”
It is impossible to believe in Jesus’ resurrection and not become his witness.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, after his resurrection and before his ascension, he stayed here for 40 days.
Matthew (final word): 28:18-20 “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
Mark 16:15 “15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Luke 24:46-48 “46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.””
John 21 “15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.””
Acts 1:8 “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””
Are you witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection? We are!
Let’s have Communion.
Feb 26 / 2019
Comments Off on The Gospel (Romans 1:1-7; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 15:1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
These verses are the CORE message of the gospel. We know (we recently studied) that ALL the books in the Bible are “All About Jesus”. Also, this book, Romans, is focused on the gospel. Romans is the gospel of gospels – and it is focused on the gospel from first to last. The full, pure, clear, direct gospel – the essence of the gospel.
The word “gospel” appears 12 times. This is more than in any other book than the whole Bible. Interestingly, even more often than in the first 4 books of the New Testament (these are referred to as the “Gospels”: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). So, in this way, Romans is “The Gospel according to Paul.”
We know this gospel is not a new story, but a very, very old story. This is not invented by men, but originates from God – it is always unchangeable – the same message forever.
The Christian Truth is a paradox = something that appears wrong/strange but it true.
Jesus: “He who wants to save his life, will lose it.”
“He who wants to be first, will be last.” – To be a leader, you must serve.
Last week: “True freedom is found in slavery (to Christ).”
This morning’s paradox: “The gospel is an OLD story, but it is NEWS. It should be proclaimed everyday, even today. It is the story of Death (but we call it ‘Good News of Great Joy’). The gospel is an unchangeable story, but it changes you and me – from death to life, purposeless to purposeful, defeat to victory.”
Romans 1:1-7, 1 Corinthians 1:1-4 are the BEST and MOST CLEAR messages of the Gospel in the whole Bible.
“…according to the Scriptures” = according to Old Testament prophecy.
fully Man (proven by his physical birth – Romans 1:3), and
fully God (proven by his resurrection – Romans 1:4)
So, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the core message of the gospel = the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “What I received I pass on to you as of first importance…” The gospel message = that Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and rose again from the dead for our complete salvation and he is able to save completely those who trust in him.
This is the miraculous story of the substitutionary death of Jesus for us.
The core message of the gospel is: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Today’s sermon title: “Gospel”
Today in our sermon, I want all of us to focus on the core message of the gospel (the death and resurrection of Christ). Let me share 6 characteristics of this core message:
Core: Jesus Died on the cross for you sin (my sin) and rose again from the dead, and is now able to save completely from death those who trust in Him. This message is begun from before Genesis. Yet, this is “news” that should be announced and known and revealed today as “good news.”
Characteristics of the Death & Resurrection:
#1 These are MAIN prophecies in the OT
This was promised and preached even in the OT, long ago – even though they didn’t realize what they were writing.
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman [Eve], and between your offspring [devil, evil spirits] and hers [the Messiah]; he [Jesus] will crush your head [Satan’s – first prophesy of Jesus’ resurrection], and you [Satan] will strike his heel [his suffering, crucifixion, and death on the cross].” Literally, this is a curse given to the serpent – the first curse.
This verse, in the very first curse in the world, the gospel is included. So, this verse is called the “Primitive Gospel” (원시복음) – Euangelion = gospel (Greek)
We can trace the path of blood through the whole Old Testament.
Genesis 4: Able,
Ram on the mountain (Isaac),
sacrifices throughout Israel’s history
David, Isaiah, Hezekiah, Jeremiah, etc…
ALL these offerings point to ONE offering that will be offered on the cross by Jesus.
Isaiah prophesied: “He was crushed for our iniquities…”
#2: The pages that mark the story of the gospel take up more pages in the NT than any others – this is remarkable.
Jesus lived on earth for 33 years, but the gospel message (death and resurrection) = 1/5 of all the Gospel books. Even in the OT, this event was marked as supreme importance (focus of prophecies).
#3: The death and resurrection is the MAIN PURPOSE of The Incarnation (God becoming Man)
There are several purposes of The Incarnation:
To teach us doctrine
To show an example
To become our High Priest
To die (the MAIN purpose) and rise (for our salvation)
Actually, God cannot die – but he became a Man to die. That’s why Jesus says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” John “If a kernel of wheat does not die, it does not produce a crop, but if it dies, it produces MANY.”
This is the direct purpose and connection with the Incarnation (the redemption of the lost). The Incarnation is not an “end” in itself, but it is a “means to an end” – to save the lost.
#4: Essential for our forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life
John 3:14-15 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
Yes, this gospel is absolutely necessary for our eternal life.
Hebrews 4:2 “Jesus Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the age to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
Question: how can we be saved from our sin?
We need forgiveness everyday, every moment. Just like we need to wash our hands everyday, every night and morning. So, how can we receive this forgiveness from God? By repentance – Yes and No.
God is a righteous God, so he cannot pardon sin ONLY on the ground of the sinner’s repentance.
God can forgive a sinner ONLY when the penalty is first PAID. He is a holy and righteous God.
In order to forgive sinners, and still remain a holy and righteous God, Jesus first PAID the penalty for us in our place. Now, if we believe in him, there is no condemnation against us and God can forgive our sins and welcome us back into his kingdom.
“The blood of Christ purifies us from all sins.”
The root of all disease, sickness, suffering is sin. There is only one remedy for sin: the blood of Christ.
#5: These are Vital elements in Christianity
Honestly speaking, Christianity is NOT a religion, but it is called a religion – because in this world there are many religions. Actually, Christianity is LIFE itself. So, what is the difference between Christianity and other religions?
Other religions base their claims on the teaching of their founders (Muhammad, Buddha, etc).
But Christianity assigns all its importance on the DEATH of its founder. If we remove the death of Christ from Christianity, then it becomes the same as a religion of the world. This is the heart of Christianity.
Other religions do not even mention the death of their founders. Why? Because they are dead and gone (and they have massive, beautiful tombs enshrining them that many take pilgrimages to visit). But, Christianity’s founder? Where is his tomb? There is none.
Jesus’ resurrection is called the “First Fruits” of human resurrection. Only Christ has the power and authority to say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life and no one comes to the Father except by Me.”
He died for our sins,
he is living for our salvation, and
he is coming again soon for our eternal glorification.
The founders of other religions are dead, gone, entombed, and leave only a memory.
But Christ is risen from the dead and gives us a power and love and life through his resurrection.
#6: This is of supreme interest even in heaven
In the Kingdom of Heaven, this is the first concern. For example, do you know the story of the Transfiguration on the Mountain? Jesus, Peter, and John met Elijah (the Prophets) and Moses (the Law). (This is repeated in Matthew and Luke). They spoke with Jesus on the mountain about his “departure” (i.e. death and resurrection) which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem soon. This indicates that the main concern of heaven is this event. You know, even in Revelation, the elders and choir sang a song about the redemption accomplished by the death and resurrection of Christ. Rev 5:11 “thousands upon thousands and ten thousands upon ten thousands of angels joined in the chorus…” – to sing a song of the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ.
This indicates that this event is the #1 concern even in heaven.
So, those who have the veil of humanity removed from their eyes and can see the kingdom of heaven, fully praise and exalt the death and resurrection of Christ. So, we also must study this.
Romans 1:1-7 we can see “called” 4 times:
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, *called* to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship *to call* all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are *called* to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and *called* to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
What does this mean?
We are called by God to call others to God through the message of the gospel.
Who were the great men in the OT? The men who HEARD the call of God and ANSWERED. (Abraham, Samuel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, David, Joshua, Moses)
Even today, this is the same.
We are CALLED. Did you hear? Are you hearing?
We are called to call others to God through the message of the gospel.
God bless all of us so that we may hear and respond to the call of God.
God is calling me to call others to God through the message of the gospel, the message of salvation.
Jan 06 / 2019
Comments Off on In 2019, let’s go to our Athens! (Acts 17:16-34)
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 **’For in him we live and move and have our being.’** As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Hedonism: The chief end of man is pleasure.
Stoicism : Strong self-discipline, avoiding all kinds of self-indulgence and pleasure.
Athens was very proud of their philosophies and philosophers.
“Philea” = Love (agape, philia, …, eros) –
“Sophia” = Wisdom
So “philosophy” = “love of wisdom”
In the study of philosophy:
Who Am I?
Where am I from?
Where am I going?
How did this universe come to exist?
Yes, these questions are very important questions – if we are not clear about them, our lives will be frustrated without action – events without reason.
Only IN God and BY God can we get correct answers to these questions. Outside of God, human philosophy makes us more meaningless and frustrated. (It’s true, I studied it in college…)
The Athenians lived Romans 1:25:
“25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.”
The Jews want miraculous signs;
Greeks seek philosophy and wisdom;
we preach Jesus Christ resurrected –
a stumbling block to the Jews and Greeks.
Based on this background, the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom; the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
“16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.”
At that time there were more gods than men in Athens. So, Paul was greatly distressed.
Like Paul, we must feel anger and hatred against Satan who is holding him/her, and at the same time compassion for their soul. We must also have open (spiritual) eyes like Paul.
“17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.”
The Areopagus Sermon of Paul
Opening: Jesus’ resurrection
Closing: Jesus’ resurrection
Epicurean = believed everything happened by chance and death is the end, and God is far from the world – practically, they were materialists like today’s.
Stoics = everything that happened by the will of A god (pantheists = everything is god, god is everything) and must be accepted.
What is a babbler? Someone picking up trash – it’s a criticism about Paul – someone speaking something very strange and with unknown sounds. (because Paul was speaking of the resurrection).
To the Greeks, this was a fable; a myth; some silly story to give a moral lesson (like Aesop). So, they called Paul a babbler.
“19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.” 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.) [gossip] 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. *Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.* [wow]”
The Areopagus was just a hill – an open area, called “Mars Hill.”
These men sneered at Paul, but he was very wise and kind to them. We must learn from him about his outreach.
He didn’t say, “You SINNERS! You IDOLATERS!”
No, he said, “Wow, I see you are so religious!” (He gave them compliments and praise first)
He also saw the “Unknown God” and said, “You CAN know him!”
How? Because he is revealing himself through his Creation (also Romans 1).
Through this story (2,000 years ago), we can see that our world is another Athens.
“Our world is an(other) Athens.”
“In 2019, let’s go to our Athens!”
3 points about “our Athens”
#1 Athens is FULL of idols
Our world today is so full of idols (physical, spiritual) (idols “of the heart” Ezekiel)
Everybody has his/her own personal god. They think “this is my God” but really they often have another god.
Why? Man is not Creator, but created TO WORSHIP – so if you don’t have one, you will find one. Everybody has his own God:
Money “You cannot serve both God and Money”
Popularity / reputation / YouTube fame
Our world is FULL of idols. BE CLEAR about Who is your God in 2019. Who/what is the Driving Force in your life?
#2 They ALWAYS looked for “something new”
v. 19, 21
“19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “*May we know what this new teaching* is that you are presenting? … 21(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but *talking about and listening to the latest ideas*.) “
Are you addicted to your phone?
Facebook pull-down-to-refresh = always looking for something new – like a slot machine in a casino (it’s designed that way).
Everybody wants something new. But the Bible reminds us : “There is NOTHING NEW under the sun.” ONLY “in Christ there is a new Creation; the old is gone, the new has come.”
What is OLD in your life?
What is NEW in your life?
Remember, NEW is only possible IN CHRIST. Old is gone; New has come.
Old: Penalty, punishment, fear, worry, anxiety, has gone. Only in Christ – hatred, bitterness, all these evil things are gone.
New: Only in Christ – NEW has come: new hope, new vision, new mind, new start, new day. ONLY in Christ.
1 Cor 5:17? “If anyone is in Christ, he is a New Creation. The old has gone; the new has come.”
#3 All citizens spent all their time sitting and talking (gossiping) with each other
Sounds like social media…
Our world likes an EASY life, a comfortable, convenient life. Our world does not like a dangerous, difficult, dirty, sacrificial job.
Remember, we are saved by faith in Christ PLUS nothing. Because Christ has done ALL things for our salvation.
We are SAVED TO SERVE others
The church is the body of Christ; it needs DOERS not talkers, it needs WORKERS not sitters, it needs HELPERS not on-lookers.
Christ shed his _blood_ to save us.
If this is true, we must shed our _sweat_ to serve others.
SHOW the evidence of your salvation with your hands, your feet, your sweat, your blood. If Christ has shed his blood for me, I should be READY to shed my blood for him.
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are FEW.”
“24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. **28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’** As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” “
How wonderful [how powerful] a sermon.
v. 18 = Jesus’ resurrection (opening)
v. 31 = Jesus’ resurrection (closing)
“God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice…” (The Areopagus was a court of justice, so they were very familiar with this concept) “…by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”
By Paul’s sermon, God is:
We must be clear on WHO God is:
We do not believe atheism (no gods), nor pantheism (many gods), we believe monotheism (ONE God). We believe in ONE and only God – but remember, it is not enough to say “I am a monotheist. That God is my God.” This is not enough to reach salvation.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also say this.
Mormons also say this.
Muslims say it;
Jews say it.
So, what is the BIGGEST difference between them and us?
The FUNDAMENTAL difference: We are the ones who say “JESUS is my God.”
Thomas doubted the resurrection of Christ, but when he saw the resurrected Christ, he knelt immediately and confessed, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus said, “You believe because you see; but more blessed are those who do not see and yet believe.”
One day we will stand before Christ to be judged and he will ask to each of us only TWO questions (remember them):
What did you do with me on earth?
What did you do with what I gave you on earth?
Your Time, Treasure, Talents: what did you do with it?
answer = WHERE we will spend eternity
answer = HOW we will spend eternity
May God bless all of us with his final reward and praise: “Well done, my good and faithful servant; you have been faithful with a few things in this world, now I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your Master’s happiness.”
“32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council [Areopagus]. 34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others. “
At this sermon of Paul, there were THREE reactions:
Today, these same three reactions are possible to our own witness about the resurrection of Christ. Do not be surprised.
At our witness of Christ, some may sneer; others will say, “later”; others will accept and believe and kneel down and confess Christ as Savior and Lord.
Please remember, even today, God is happy to save those who believe in Christ through our witness: the story of the death and resurrection of Christ; which sounds FOOLISH to those who are perishing.
God gave us a NEW opportunity in 2019.
“Let’s go to our Athens!” (x5)
God bless you; your shouting; your mouth; your feet; your hands; your life.
Nov 18 / 2018
Comments Off on Our Mission is Good News (Acts 14:20-28)
20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.
The Return to Antioch in Syria
21 They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.
26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples.
We don’t know how long this “sabbatical” was for the two. Our sabbatical will happen in heaven – not on earth.
These two chapters are the story of Paul and Barnabas’ First missionary journey. They were constantly on the move to multiple cities through the region.
Last Sunday, what happened at Lystra? Paul healed a crippled man by the power of Christ. After this, the crowd thought they were gods. So they wanted to worship P&B by offering them sacrifices. But they shouted “NO!” tearing their clothes and said, “We too are only men like you.” At this moment, their worshiping attitude turned to anger and they stoned Paul and left him for dead.
This is human nature.
Also with Jesus, he understood how fickle the crowd could be. In his earthly ministry, many people watched many signs he did, but he never entrusted himself to the crowd because he knew what was in men’s hearts.
Yes, when people praise us and recognize us, we feel proud, but we must not allow this to cloud our judgment. Do not put your trust in the crowd – it is so changeable and fickle. So:
“Trust in God with all you heart.. in all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Jesus says, “Trust in God, trust also in me.”
So, Paul was thrown out of the city, but when the disciples gathered around him, they were overjoyed to see him rise again. Then they immediately re-entered the hostile city, and the next morning, they left for Derbe (the last mission field in this missionary journey.)
“20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. 21 They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,”
Derbe is the next city east of Lystra (small city). As usual, the first thing P&B did in the city was preach the “good news” (gospel).
Missionary’s priority #1 is to preach good news all the time. Also, this is my priority. And if you are a true Christian in this world, then your priority is also to preach the good news.
Only good news can win souls to Christ. What is this good news? “Good news of great joy for all the people at the same time for eternity.” – this is the death and resurrection of Christ.
This is a strange story actually.
The story of “death” is “good”? Can you say this? Even if my enemy dies, we cannot say this is “good news” to me.
But in the world, there is no religion that says the death of its founder is good news. Christianity is the ONLY one that says this. Can you say that the death of Christ is “good news”?
Why? Why and how is this possible?
If your parents die, can you say this is “good news”? No.
But there are billions of reasons the death of Christ is good news (actually, you are one).
This time, finishing their missionary journey, let me share 7 reasons why the death of Christ is good news.
7 Reasons why Jesus’ Death is “Good”
#1 Jesus died for others
Evidently: Jesus did not die for his own sins – he died for others. “Jesus died just for me.” He bore the punishment for our sins in his body on the cross.
“God demonstrated his own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“By his wounds we have been healed.”
His death is the substitutionary death for our sins (propitiation).
That’s why the day he was crucified is called “Good Friday.”
#2: Satisfied God’s justice
His death fully satisfied the demands of God’s Law and his justice.
The death of Christ is not only the satisfaction of the justice of God, but also the requirements of his Law. The transgression of that Law brings with it a punishment – but we can never meet the requirements of the Law. But Jesus met these requirements fully.
Romans 10:4 “Jesus is the end (fulfillment) of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
#3: Gives us forgiveness of sin
Do you need this?
“The wages of sin is death” (Romans) – spiritual and physical death.
This means everybody needs forgiveness of sin – and only his death gives us this forgiveness. The IMMEDIATE result is forgiveness of sins.
Hebrews: “The Law requires that everything be cleansed with blood. Without the shedding of blood, there is no cleansing. But the blood of Christ cleanses our sins…”
“If you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
This is good news to you and me!
#4: Removes the wrath of God
God is holy – too holy to see sins.
Habakkuk 1:13 “God’s eyes are too pure to look upon sin.”
God cannot tolerate any kind of wrong. Thus, there is wrath of God against sin and against the sinner.
Eph 2 “We were by our very nature, the objects of wrath.”
John 3:36 “Whoever rejects Christ cannot see eternal life because the wrath of God remains on him.”
Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed against all men who suppress the truth.”
Only the blood of Christ can cover / remove the wrath of God against us.
1 John 2 “Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice (propitiation) for our sins.”
Imagine, if the wrath of God remains on my head, can I live in peace? No!
#5: Reconciles us to God
“Be reconciled to God.” the Bible admonishes us.
We need reconciliation (회복) – the restoration of relationship with God.
The idea of reconciliation is like this:
Gen 1, 2 before the Fall of Man.
There are more than 1,000 chapters in the Bible (1,069?).
In only 2 chapters, God and man (Adam) stood face to face in perfect relationship. But, in sinning, man turned his back to God and walked away.
Then, in his sadness, God turned his back on man and was sad.
Now, only the death of Christ has satisfied the demands of the Law. So, now God has turned his face back toward man and is waiting. This is the invitation of God. It is now up to man to turn back around to be reconciled with God.
#6: It gives us the ministry of reconciliation
2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation: the old has gone, the new has come.”
2 Cor 5:18 “All this is from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Remember, if you are reconciled to Christ, you have received the ministry of reconciliation.
Thus, we must say that preaching the gospel is our priority #1.
#7: God declares us righteous
Do you have a bank book? Check it.
When you believe in Christ, the righteousness of Christ is “transferred” into your “bank book.” (A full account!)
Then, God declares us righteous through Christ’s resurrection.
Finally, we can say his death is good news because he rose again from the dead!
v. 21b, 22-25
“Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.”
Attalia is a sea port in Perga – to sail to their home base (Antioch).
After finishing their final ministry in Derbe, they went to Perga to return to their sending church. And on their returning, they backtracked, retraced their steps.
Derbe (end of journey)
Lystra (Paul had been stoned)
Iconium (almost stoned)
They went back home through a hard way, willingly. Yes, they knew the dangers they faced before. They knew the dangers, but why did they go then?
Even though they knew of these dangers, they had a responsibility to encourage the new believers there.
Lesson: No matter how uncomfortable or dangerous the task, we must always encourage new believers who need our help. We should have a clear strategy to help them grow in faith.
Paul: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Can you say this to new believers?
Two purposes to revisit these former mission fields:
1. Strengthen new believers in the things of Christ and encourage them to remain in the faith
(continuation is strong proof of faith in Christ “He who stands firm to the end will be saved.”) If we have real faith, we must show our faithfulness to Christ.
Remember, living a Christian life in this world, I can say like this to you and me: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Because this world is sinful and adulterous and ruled by Satan. Around us, we have all seen good, faithful Christians who are going through hard times.
Sometimes even dedication to Christ, commitment often brings us face-to-face with MORE difficulties than if we live only for ourselves without commitment to Christ. And Paul? If he had aimed lower, he would not have experienced such a variety of pains and sorrows, BUT he also would not have been used so powerfully by God.
Remember, Jesus did not save us to make our lives easy. He saved us to make us great, strong, powerful.
He did not save us to follow the pattern of the world, but to fight the pattern of the world. He made us fighters.
Thus, everyone who wants to live a godly life, will be persecuted.
“If the world hates you, remember it hated me first.”
“Take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
Romans: “If you are children of God you are heirs and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. These sufferings on earth are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us in heaven.”
“We can do all things through him who gives us strength.”
“26 From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there a long time with the disciples. “
After returning home, they gave their mission report. They reported the work God had done through them – they reported the blessings joyfully to the church.
Maybe this was the first “missionary conference” in history.
From this conference, we must learn some lessons.
v 27 – in their mission report, P&B did not say, “We did this for God…” – they were not the subject (주어) in this story – they made God the subject “God did this through us…” – also in our testimony and mission report should be like this. “God did this through me…”
Another amazing thing is that P&B did this great job without the modern missionary tools we have today (cars, computer, KakaoTalk, smartphones, …)
In mission history, some believers have done SO much with so little. But other Christians have done SO little with so much. (These are two kinds of missionaries).
Remember, one day, we will stand before God, face to face, to give our mission report.
“A man is destined to die once and after that to face the judgment.”
Revelation “Behold, I am coming soon. My reward is in my hand and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
Just like P&B, we will give this report to God. As long as we live, our priorities will be reordered.
God bless you to be missionaries.
Let’s start the Second Missionary Journey next time.
Jun 24 / 2018
Comments Off on The Power of the Resurrection of Christ (Romans 4:23-37)
4:23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Peter and John were arrested and put in prison one night. The next day, the Sanhedrin (Supreme Court) questioned them – just because they healed a beggar in the name of Christ and preached the resurrection of Christ. The Sanhedrin wanted to punish Peter and John but could not because so many people were praising God – so instead, they commanded them not to preach of Christ (especially not his resurrection) any longer. Then, they released them with a strong warning.
Upon their release, Peter and John immediately returned to their group and reported to them the persecutions and sufferings they’d received from the Sanhedrin.
At the report of Peter and John,
the church did not complain against God –
they didn’t condemn nor judge the Sanhedrin,
nor fall down into deep depression and disappointment.
No, their first reaction to this difficult situation was … to pray to God. This is a very important principle that we should apply in our own lives.
How about your own reaction with your difficulties? Your first reaction should be prayer / talking with God. Prayer is our strength – this is our practical strength. This is our first strategy, our first weapon.
Let us see their prayer – and how they prayed.
How the disciples prayed
v. 23-31 (First reaction to the bad situation and prayer)
“4:23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘ [Messiah] 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Looks like the Pentecost in chp 2 again. The earth was shaken and they were filled with the HS.
5 Points we can apply in our lives
#1 They addressed God as “Sovereign Lord”
Yes, we are talking to God personally and individually. Usually we start “Our Father in Heaven…”
This means they had strong conviction of the power and authority of God. (“You are Creator and Sustainer of all things – there is nothing impossible with you”).
You are omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.
One day, someone threatened Martin Luther: “If you continue to go on in your course against us, you will be excommunicated, kicked out, deserted by all your supporters. Then, where will you be?”
Martin Luther: “Then, I’ll be in the hands of God.”
God is “Sovereign Lord”
Strong conviction of the power and authority of God
#2 Conviction of the uselessness of man’s rebellion against God
Acts 4:25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ” ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. ‘
This is quoted from Psalm 2:1-2
“Psalm 2:1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the LORD and against his anointed,”
They applied the Psalm here in their situation. Their hearts and minds turned for comfort to the Scriptures. The parallel is perfect.
In these two verses, we see:
This is the story of the crucifixion of Christ. “Anointed One” = Christ
The members of the Sanhedrin – arrested Peter and John – and had also arrested Christ. They decided to kill Christ, but had no right to carry it out according to Roman Law. So, they handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilate – ruler over Judea at that time. But, he also did not want to execute Jesus because he could find nothing guilty in Christ. He heard that Christ was from Galilee – so he sent him to Herod (ruler of Galilee at that time). He received Christ, but did not judge him – he only ridiculed and mocked him – then sent him back.
So, Pilate had no choice against the crowd, “Crucify him! We have no king but Caesar!” So, he handed Christ over to be crucified by the soldiers.
What does this mean?
Altogether banded together to crucify Christ. ALL humans defy God, but in the end “God must prevail.”
The prayer is based solidly on the Word of God
Like this, the Word of God and our prayer must go together.
John 15:7 “If you remain in me, and my Word remains in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.”
In his Word, God speaks to us and tells us what he wants us to do.
In our prayer, we speak to God and make ourselves available to accomplish his will.
The true prayer is NOT telling God what to do, but asking God to do his will through us.
It means getting God’s will done on earth through us, not getting our will done in heaven through God.
#3 The set the remembrance of Christ before them
And remembered his suffering and triumph – and they found strong conviction.
Jesus is your Lord? Then this is (more than) enough.
“Jesus is my Lord!~”
#4 For what did they pray?
For what shall we pray in a hard and difficult situation?
They prayed for courage.
“29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”
They did not think they could face this situation in their own strength, but they prayed for God’s strength – to empower them and make the best use of their circumstances to accomplish their mission.
They did not pray for protection, but power.
Not fire from heaven, but power from heaven to preach and heal.
How about in our application? Do you pray?
If you pray, please do not pray for an EASY life, but pray for STRENGTH.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your power, but pray for power equal to your tasks.
#5 Through this prayer, we can see the result – again the gift of the HS.
“31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
This is a similar event to Pentecost – they were filled with the HS again. They found the courage and strength they needed to witness about Christ.
Today we need to be filled with the HS again – yesterday is yesterday’s story. We need to be filled again and again and again until we see Christ face-to-face.
“32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”
Especially in the community of the church, prayer is supremely important. Yes, the witness of Christ is also supremely important, but the highest culmination is LOVE.
They had an intense love for each other – and a desire to share all they had with one another. Why? Because they are brothers and sisters in Christ – they are one family.
This kind of lifestyle is not the result of regulation, but it is spontaneous. The Law does not compel us to share, but the love in our hearts compels us to share – that is true Christian community.
Joseph (nicknamed “Barnabas”)
He is introduced here for several reasons:
he was a generous giver
he illustrated the things Luke was describing
had the most important ministry in the church (mentioned 25 times in Acts, and 5 times in the epistles)
he encouraged Paul in his early ministry and service to the Lord
he was Paul’s partner in his first missionary journey
he was HS filled – a good man because he was a big encouragement to the church
Also today, we need Barnabas. We need many Barnabusses? Barnabi?
v. 33 (KEY VERSE)
“33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.”
Great power + great grace = Great Christian / church
If you were in this situation, could you do like this?
They “continued” to testify of the resurrection of Christ.
The real reason the Sanhedrin arrested, jailed, and persecuted the early church was NOT because of the healing of the beggar, but because of the gospel message – the preaching of the resurrection of Christ.
If this news spread widely, it would mean that the Sanhedrin (elders, priests, etc) were TERRIBLY wrong. When Christ rose again from the dead, they met together and created a plan. They bribed the soldiers to spread a rumor that the disciples stole his body away. If the news of this spread, they would lose their position and status. So, they did their best to stop the spreading of the news of the resurrection of Christ.
They commanded Peter and John NOT to preach of the resurrection any longer.
But… they “continued”
How about our story? Is there a warning? Is their a threat from the Korean government? Is there persecution?
WITH THIS persecution, they “continued” preaching. But we have no such strong warning from the government. So, then, why don’t we preach the resurrection of Christ? We have freedom to do so. So, if we don’t, we commit a double fault.
What does the resurrection mean to you and me? What does this say to us practically, really?
Yes, about the resurrection, I can preach ALL day. But if I do so, you will be angry, hungry, etc.
So, let me share 2 points quickly.
What the resurrection of Christ says to us
#1 Jesus is God
Do you believe this?
Romans 1:4-6 “and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are *called* to belong to Jesus Christ.”
If you are not called, there is no relationship.
We can call Jesus “Lord” – more than 1,000 things “hope, love, peace, purpose, rock, shepherd, friend, brother, etc”
Jesus can be all positions we need – how is it possible? Because he is God – so all positions we need are possible.
He is God through his resurrection – this is the evidence.
#2 The guarantee of our resurrection
This is the “first fruits” of those who believe and belong to him.
Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the Life and whoever believes in me will not die.”
Romans 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
Yes, we experience death all the time, all around us. Somebody dies every day. Death is very near us. We experience death indirectly continually – and one day we will all experience death directly.
Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life, so he who believes in me will rise again even though he dies.”
Our physical death is literal, tangible, so our resurrection body will also be real, literal, tangible. That’s why Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life… do you believe this?”
Apr 01 / 2018
Comments Off on Easter Changes Everything (Acts 1:3)
1:3 “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”
사도행전 1장 3절 “예수님은 고난을 받아 죽으신 후 40일 동안 때때로 제자들에게 나타나 자기가 살아 있다는 확실한 증거를 많이 보여 주시며 하나님의 나라에 관해서 말씀하셨다.”
Christianity is the only religion that boasts of the death of its founder as “Good news of great joy for all the people, eternally.”
Why? Because he is risen from the dead!
Christianity is the only religion that bases its foundation on the resurrection of its founder.
Jesus suffered so much for us. His incarnation in itself is great humiliation, degradation, etc. God became man, creator like creation, infinite being to finite being, perfect to imperfect, righteous to sinner’s status. Imagine, if a KING became a beggar – or if we became animals – how shameful would that be.
God’s becoming a man is much lower than man becoming a cockroach.
“For he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. But he made himself in human likeness. Being found in appearance as a man, he became obedient and humble to death – even death on a cross.”
At that time, death on a cross was a VERY dishonorable death. He was despised and rejected by man, “a man of sorrows” – familiar with suffering. The punishment that was meant for us was brought on him and by his wounds we are healed. Each of us has gone astray – turned to our own ways – but God has laid on him the iniquities of us all. (Isaiah 53?)
Jesus paid the whole price for our salvation. We should pay, but we cannot.
Jesus fulfilled all the requirements for our salvation. We should, but cannot.
Jesus met all the demands for our sin. We should, but cannot.
Jesus received all the penalties of our sin on the cross. We should, but cannot.
Jesus suffered all suffering on earth for our sins that we should suffer but cannot.
Jesus died the death we should die for our sins.
But then he rose again from the death for our salvation and justification, and righteousness.
Romans “He was delivered over to death for our sin, but was raised for our justification.”
He rose again from the dead
After the resurrection, he appeared to them for a period of 40 days. In the Bible, 40 days is a spiritually significant time period for when God wanted to prepare someone for a specific purpose:
Noah – 40 days of flood,
Moses – 40 days on Mt. Sinai,
spies (Caleb, Joshua) – 40 days in Canaan,
Elijah – 40 days of strength from a single meal,
the whole city of Nineveh – 40 days to repent,
Jesus – 40 days fasting in the wilderness before beginning his earthly ministry,
Jesus – 40 days giving convincing proofs of his resurrection – appearing to his disciples many times)
Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene
The other women at the tomb
Peter in Jerusalem
2 travelers on the road to Emmaus
10 disciples behind locked doors (minus Thomas)
11 disciples (including Thomas who had doubted)
7 disciples while fishing on the Sea of Galilee
11 disciples on the Mt. of Galilee
500 people at the same time
James, his brother
To those who saw him ascending into heaven
they were the first eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection
Who is a witness?
One who saw with his eyes, heard with his ears, touched with his hand, experienced with his life.
Sometimes you can see signs on the street that say, “We are looking for witnesses of XYZ car accident, etc.”
In court, even 1 witness is enough to establish a car accident or murder.
2 are enough for high treason.
3 are enough for the execution of a will.
7 are enough for the execution of an oral will.
Imagine, there were more than 500 eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection at that time. So, we should listen to their witness / testimony.
If someone says, “I’m a witness that there was NO car accident because I, personally, didn’t see it” then he is just foolish. He has no right to become a witness of an accident he didn’t see. He just must be silent in this matter and must listen to the true witnesses if he wants to know what truly happened.
10 people say, “I say a tiger on the mountain – I saw him yesterday.”
10,000 people say, “No, sorry, I didn’t see him. There must not be one.”
10 vs. 10,000 – whose witness / testimony is trustworthy? Whoever saw the tiger and didn’t get eaten – the 10 people.
These 10 people have the RIGHT to become witnesses of this event because they SAW this event. But 10,000 people have no right to become witnesses of the ABSCENCE of the tiger because they didn’t see it.
Jesus gave many convincing proofs of his appearance. History records that he appeared in bodily form many times after his death and resurrection, proving that he was alive.
His resurrection TOTALLY, COMPLETELY changed their lives.
At Jesus’ death – all of them scattered, abandoned, betrayed him – even with a curse. At his death, they were disillusioned, fearful, disappointed – total losers.
After seeing the resurrected Christ, they were fearless and risked everything to spread the good news of Christ all over the world. They faced even imprisonment, beatings, sufferings, martyrdom. Yet, they never compromised their mission to preach the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.
Nobody and nothing could stop them after the resurrection. These men would not have risked (and given up) their lives for something they knew was a lie / fraud. They KNEW he had been raised from the dead because many of them had SEEN him.
Many of the early church members were filled with a holy fire and passion to tell others about this event. Even many of the eyewitnesses gave up their lives for their loyalty to the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
Would they have sacrificed their lives for what they believed to be untrue? No. They proclaimed the resurrection of Christ at the risk of their lives. The disbelieving disciples believed when they saw the effectiveness, drive, passion of those who had seen him.
We can have confidence in their witness / testimony. 20 centuries later (today) – we can know that we have a faith based on a historical fact.
One of the keywords of ACTS = witness.
In this book, this word appears 29 times – in either verb or noun form. Out of 66 books in the Bible, the word “witness” appears the MOST in this single book.
Please, if you believe in the resurrection of Christ, if you have experienced his resurrection power in your life – changing your attitude, values, interests, purpose, you are a witness of his resurrection. You are TO BE a witness of his resurrection.
Remember, believing and NOT witnessing (keeping silent) is impossible and self-contradictory. If you do not believe in his resurrection, then you have no right to say, “He didn’t rise because I didn’t see and I don’t believe.” Rather, you must keep learning and listening to the testimony of the witnesses of the Word of God.
Jesus ascended into heaven not to leave us, but to be with us always, anytime, anywhere. Jesus went to heaven – not to say, “Goodbye, see you later, live well” – but rather to BE WITH US everywhere, anywhere, all the time, every time – through his Holy Spirit.
Do you not feel that Jesus is still alive and still appearing to you, in the very place where you are? Jesus rose again from the dead and is still alive. Jesus is not the one who was in the past alone, but:
HE WILL BE
Are you Christian?
Christians are those who carry on the life of Christ in this world though your own lives.
We are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.
God bless you to be witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.
Jun 04 / 2017
Comments Off on Christ died for you, yes you! (Romans 5:6-8)
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
v. 6 Christ died for us.
Christ died for you. Christ died for me.
If you believe the fact that God became man (Jesus is God – the Incarnation), and died for you and me, you can NOT make TOO MUCH a sacrifice for Jesus… – anything you do will not be too much.
These verses are spiritual, timeless truths.
v. 6, 8 “Christ died for us”
These two verses, show a timeless spiritual truth.
v. 7 is not a timeless spiritual truth. It is a relative human argument – to compare Jesus’ death with a human’s death.
First, let’s see the human logic (v. 7)
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
In human-to-human relationships, there are three kinds of people:
Who is righteous, good, or bad to you.
Righteous = well known for his great job to the public (national heroes, etc) – not necessarily in personal, private lives – (yes, we honor righteous people, but who would die for these people? It’s very rare – not never, but 99% not)
Good = good to you personally (family members, loved ones, someone who helps you) – yes, we like “good” people, but it is still not easy to die for these “good” men (someone might possibly dare to die)
Bad = the one who is bad, harmful to you, hurts, opposes you. In a human argument, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to die FOR someone who is bad to me, against me.
But, the spiritual truth (v. 6, 8) – “Jesus died for the ungodly.”
If this is the truth, the important question is WHEN did Jesus die for me?
Truth: Jesus did not die for you when you were righteous. Jesus did not die for you when you were good. Jesus DID die for you when you were totally bad (evil). “While you were still sinners, wicked, ungodly, unholy, enemies to God.”
What an amazing story – amazing grace.
Today’s topic focuses on Jesus’ death. What is Jesus’ death to you? What’s the meaning of this to you? We say this all the time in personal evangelism. So, what is the meaning of this?
Definition (biblical): 6 points
In sports, we are familiar with this – we switch out for a substitute when injured or tired. Jesus is our substitute in carrying our sins to the cross. He is the substitute for all sins. He died for the sins of others. The sufferings of Jesus Christ were NOT the sympathetic sufferings of a friend, but substitionary sufferings of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
OT: Isaiah 53 (the fifth gospel) – the Messiah chapter (53:5-6) “He was pierced, crushed for us. The punishment that brings us peace was upon him – each of us has turned to his own way, the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
1 Cor 15:3 “What I received I passed on to you as of first importance…”
2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin become sin for us…”
1 Peter 2:24 “Jesus Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross… by his wounds we are healed…”
1 Peter 3:18 “Jesus Christ died for sins once for all – the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
Jesus died for me.
He did not die by force, or under compulsion, but by choice “I am the Good Shepherd, I lay down my life for my sheep.”
#2: Ransom (Redemption)
If my child is kidnapped, I must pay a price to take him home again – this is called “ransom.”
Jesus death on the cross is a ransom – to by us from the slavery to sin.
Matt 2:28 “I did not come to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom…”
1 Tim 2:6 “Jesus Christ gave his life as a ransom…”
Gal 3:13(16?) “Jesus redeemed us from slavery…”
Redemption = freedom, liberation, release
We are free from bondage, slavery, captivity, death – by a payment of our ransom.
There are two significances –
From death to life, sin to righteousness, Old to New, Hell to Heaven, child of Satan to child of God, condemnation to forgiveness, slavery to freedom
To buy back a person or thing by paying the price for which it is held = redemption through ransom payment. Sin is a slave market. Our souls are under the slavery of sin and death. Jesus paid our ransom to deliver us from this to eternal life and freedom.
The death of Christ = a price which is the ransom for our deliverance. Price = Jesus’ life.
1 Cor 6:19-20 “You are not your own, you were bought at a price – so honor God with your body.”
I’m not my own, we were bought by the price Jesus paid as a ransom (his blood).
The price of our salvation, justification, redemption = priceless.
#3. Atoning sacrifice
KJV “Jesus Christ is the propitiation of our sins.” (1 John 2:2) “Jesus Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
Romans 3:25 “God presented his one and only son as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood.” because Jesus Christ is our sacrifice.
God had left the sins that were committed beforehand unpunished – and he justified those who have faith in Christ.
OT: Propitiation means “mercy seat” or covering. In the tabernacle, there were two places – the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (in there is the Arc of the Covenant – its covering = “Mercy seat” – or propitiation – because of this cover, God overlooks the sins and forgives the sins of his people).
Yes, I’m a pastor (outwardly), but inwardly, by nature, I’m full of sin (please forgive me), but the Mercy Seat covers this – so God does not see my sin. This is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice). Without this, no one can enter the most holy place and presence of God. Without this, how can we get to God? Only through the blood of Christ. Thus, it’s called the New and Living Way. He is the One and Only Way to heaven and God.
Atoning sacrifice (propitiation)
Reconciliation = restoration of relationship with joy and peace with each other.
v. 10 “For if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ his son. Through him we have now received reconciliation.”
This (reconciliation) = the restoration of relationship between God and man
2 Cor 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come… All this is from God. God reconciled us through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
God is reconciling the WHOLE WORLD to himself. Not only human beings, but also all Creation. This is the permanent (Master) plan of God for reconciliation.
There are two meanings to reconciliation:
Active: The death of Christ REMOVES the enmity between God and man.
Passive: There is a change of attitude on the part of man toward God.
At first, Genesis 1, 2, God and man stood face to face with each other in perfect harmony, fellowship, communication, etc.
In Genesis 3, man turned his back on God (sin). Because God is holy (cannot be friends with sin), so God also turned his back on man (this produced enmity (enemies) between God and man.)
Only the death of Christ satisfied the demands of the holy God. Through Christ, God has turned his face again toward man and waits with long suffering, patience, and perseverance to receive man again – by only one condition (accepting Christ as personal Savior and Lord).
Man is encouraged, entreated, challenged to be reconciled to God.
“Be reconciled to God by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.”
Be reconciled to God!
“Preach the Word of God in and out of season.”
Since the holiness of God (“holy, holy, holy”) – this is a basic attribute of God. So, it is only logical that God should be given some satisfaction to remove the outrage of sin. So, this is what the death of Christ does.
Satisfies the Justice of God (man has sinned against God and brought on condemnation and displeasure) God cannot free sinners until the demands of justice are satisfied because he is righteous and just – his justice must be maintained and satisfied. This is made possible through the death of Christ – God remains righteous.
Satisfies the Law of God – this is grounded in the very nature of God (it is perfect, good, spiritual, holy) – the transgression of this Law brings penalty/punishment – and no one can meet the demands of this Law. Only Christ did. By his obedience and suffering and finally, death, Jesus perfectly fulfilled the full demands of the Law.
Romans 10:4 “Jesus Christ is the end of the Law.”
… we must reach this point …
#6. My Death
“The death of Christ is MY death.”
What does this mean?
We were dead in sin and alive in Christ in his resurrection.
“If we are dead to sin in his death, we will be alive in Christ through his resurrection.”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live. The life I live I live by faith in Christ.”
Our union with Jesus in his death and resurrection is our life.
Conclusion: there are three kinds of people.
Real, mature Christian:
One sentence clears this all up.
Non-Christians say (in heart and lifestyle), ‘Jesus did not die for me.’
Baby Christians say “Jesus died for me, OK.”
Real, mature Christians say, “Jesus died for me, and his death / life are my death / life.”
God bless you to reach more and more maturity in Christ.
Apr 16 / 2017
Comments Off on Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Is Jesus Christ risen to you?
Jesus died for our sins and rose for our salvation and lives now and forever in his risen and same body and will come again in his same body.
Behold, he is coming again soon and every eye will see him, even those that pierced him.
What a Savior, Lord, King, God!
v.1 = I want to remind you of the gospel.
v. 2 = By this gospel we are saved.
v. 3-4 = The message of the gospel is that Christ died, he was buried, raised on the third day (according to the Scriptures).
According to the Scriptures = “according to the WHOLE Bible” = this is the key message of the WHOLE Bible – that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our salvation
Summary of the WHOLE Bible
OT: Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
M, M, L, J (gospels): The Literal fulfillment of these prophesies (thus, gospel books)
Acts: Historical fruit of the death and resurrection of Jesus (the church)
From Jesus’ Ascension to his Second Coming is the Mission of the Church
Epistles: The meanings / responsibilities of the blessings of the church
Revelation: The same Jesus will come in the same body and destroy all who are against him and establish his perfect kingdom
Crucifixion and resurrection go together all the time, inseparably.
Without the cross, no resurrection.
Without death, no life.
Without resurrection, his death is a failure.
Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and raised for our justification.”
“God demonstrated his own love for us in this. That while we were still sinners, he died for us.”
Hebrews “Therefore, Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him.”
Bible says, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, and become like him…”
v. 5-8 = Many appearances of Jesus as Lord (the argument for his resurrection from the testimony of many witnesses)
Three things are necessary to make a testimony trustworthy.
Witnesses = able, competent, first-hand
Witnesses = sufficient in number
Witnesses = good reputation
The apostles are all of these, they did not just base their teaching on the witness of others.
There are more than 500 confirmed witnesses of Jesus as Lord.
The OT requires only 2-3 witnesses to establish a case.
And their character? No scholar has ever attacked them on ethical grounds. They could not have had an ulterior motive for claiming this stupendous effect.
The 12 followed Jesus for more than 3 years and learned from Jesus as his disciples. But when he was killed, they all ran away. But they were totally reversed in their attitudes and characters after they saw him alive again. They became un-silence-able witnesses after this.
In the following order, events of Jesus’ resurrection occurred:
Events after the Resurrection
Early in the morning, 3 women came to the tomb and saw the angels
They separated there – Mary Magdalene went to tell Peter and John, the other two went to tell the others (in Bethlehem)
Peter and John ran to the tomb, but returned to their place without seeing the Lord
After this, 12 appearances of Jesus:
Mary – at the tomb after Peter and John had left
The other women on the street
2 disciples on the way to Emmaus
Peter – personally
10 disciples without Judas and Thomas
11 disciples (including Thomas)
Apostles at the Sea of Tiberius
Apostles on the Mt. of Galilee
More than 500 brothers at the same time
James – his half brother
Disciples on the Mt. of Ascension
Paul – on the way to Damascus
And even still today, Jesus is continuing to appear to believers on and on – because he promised “Surely, I am with you always to the very end of the Age.”
Do you recognize this? How?
Through the gospel preached to you by somebody.
v.1, 2 = “I preached to you”
v.3 = “preached to me, pass on to you”
Gospel is “news”
News is “news” when it is made known
Gospel is like a river, it must run and run to remain a river. If it stops running, no more river.
Can you check yourself, if this gospel was preached / passed on to you?
If preached to you and passed to you, this gospel will continue to be preached by you and will continue to be passed by you.
“…as of FIRST IMPORTANCE…” (v. 3)
This will continue until He comes again. Nobody can stop it. God bless you to be involved in this wonderful gospel news for all the people – all the time, forever.
Let us pray.
Aug 09 / 2015
Comments Off on Why is the Resurrection of Jesus so Important? (Matthew 28:1-10)
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; HE HAS RISEN, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The first four books of the NT are “gospels” = “good news”.
All four end with the story of the crucifixion and resurrection. Therefore, this is the CORE message of the gospels – no doubt.
Before today’s topic, review last week’s “What does the cross say?”
Four things from last time:
If a man was on the cross, he was TERRIBLY SINFUL and GUILTY. Jesus’ cross said, Jesus was innocent and blameless.
A man was POWERLESS, Jesus was totally POWERFUL.
A man was HARMFUL and SELFISH, Jesus was SACRIFICIALLY GIVING.
A man was a MAN, Jesus was FULLY GOD.
A man going HIS WAY – ALONE – separated from his loved ones, his family, his friends, relatives, neighbors. No one could be his company. Jesus EMBRACED ALL SINNERS in his heart, bringing ALL MEN to him.
Please see these spiritual truths now.
Heb 1:11 “Faith is being sure of what we do not see.” Faith is power to see the invisible reality of the past, present, future. Ex: The sun rises every morning and sets every evening. Yes, it looks like this is true. But in the invisible reality, the sun is there ALL the time, in its place, fixed, and unmoving. Like this, in the spiritual world, in the sin phenomenon, we started to BE from our physical birth – yes, this is true – but spiritually speaking, we started to BE in the heart of God from the Creation of the world.
Eph 4:1 “God chose us from the Creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
Like this, invisible phenomenon, when Jesus was crucified 2000 years ago, we were not there, but in the unseen, spiritual world, WE WERE THERE WITH HIM – in his heart, when he died on the cross.
Yes, we know he was sinless, guiltless, blameless. Then, WHY did God forsake him? Jesus himself cried out in this manner. WHY? Because all sinners were gathered IN Jesus, and were punished. In the physical world, the Romans crucified Christ, but in the spiritual world, GOD crucified Christ.
Romans 8:6-8 “If we died with Christ, we believe we will live with him as well in his resurrection.”
What’s so important about it? (It’s the crux of our faith…)
This is THE central fact of Christian history. On the resurrection of Christ, the church is BUILT. Without this resurrection, there would be NO church today – none whatsoever.
Yes, there are other religions, they have their own ethics, doctrines, ideas, concepts about paradise. But only Christianity has a God who became human who became man, died for his people, and rose in glory to rule his people in power today.
The theme of Matthew = Kingship.
If ANYTHING proves the Kingship of Christ, it is his resurrection. The final chapter of Matthew is the Record of His Victory.
Two Mary’s came. Actually, they were not permitted to travel on the Sabbath, so they had to wait until after the Sabbath. These two had been there at the crucifixion AND when he’d been put into the tomb. And as dawn approached, they came to the tomb to anoint Christ’s body with perfumes (this was a sign of love, devotion, and respect). This would be like us bringing flowers to the tomb today. They were the FIRST to see the joy of the resurrection.
You remember, three days ago, there was an earthquake.
Wow, again on this morning, there was another VIOLENT earthquake. The angel came from heaven and removed the HUGE stone from the entrance of the tomb. (Why? – Not for Jesus to come out – he didn’t need that – but for the people to go IN – to SEE – he was risen).
“Good news of great joy!” once more:
1. “Don’t be afraid.”
(Jesus also said this to them at their FIRST meeting)
Are you afraid of something? We must remember the empty tomb. The reality of the empty tomb brings JOY, not fear.
33 years ago, there was the announcement of “good news of great joy” and this first message was “do not be afraid” – “TODAY a Savior has been born to you.”
2. “He is not here; he has risen – just as he said.”
Jesus was not to be looked from among the dead because he is alive with his people.
3. “Come and see.”
The tomb still is empty. This is a historical fact – if it were not empty, it would be a huge tourist spot – just like all the other prophet’s tombs.
4. “Go and tell.”
If we see that Jesus is resurrected, we must tell others. This is the normal course of a Christian’s life.
“Come and see; go and tell.”
Come to church, come to God, come to Christ, and SEE (many meanings – 30 meanings in the English language – understand, grasp, enjoy, believe, witness with your eyes, experience with your life).
Then, go to the world and TELL.
WHY is this resurrection SO important? There is MUCH to say, let me give you 4 points:
1. It is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity.
Without this, there is no church. Even today, many admit the necessity of the DEATH of Christ even if they don’t agree with his resurrection. Yet, this is VITALLY important – there is abundant evidence for it.
1 Cor 15 “The resurrection chapter” – shows that EVERYTHING in this world stands or falls on the resurrection. “If Jesus has NOT risen again from the dead, then ALL my preaching is a LIE – and we are ALL still in our SINS – and our faith is in VAIN – and all who have fallen asleep in Christ have PERISHED. So of ALL men on earth, we should be the MOST pitied IF Christ has not risen.” Also, if Jesus has not been raised, then the entire New Testament is worthless. The entire thrust of the book of Acts is emphasizing his resurrection.
2. It is important in the application of salvation.
Are you saved? “There is no other name under heaven be which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) “God exhalted him to the highest place that Jesus might be the head of his church.” It was absolutely necessary that Jesus rise before he could baptize his believers in the Holy Spirit. All these are preparatory for his bestowing gifts on mankind.
Romans 5:10 “If when we were God’s enemies, we have been reconciled to God through the death of Christ, then HOW MUCH MORE shall we be saved through his LIFE.” His death saves us; His resurrection PERFECTS our salvation.
3. This is an exhibition of the divine power. (miracle) –
This is the performance of God’s power. In the OT, the standard of the divine power was often expressed in the way that God brought Israel out of slavery in Egypt.
In the NT, the standard of the divine power is expressed in the way that God brought us out of slavery to sin through the death and resurrection of Christ.
Phil 3:10 “I want to know Jesus Christ and the POWER of his resurrection, and the fellowship with sharing in his suffering…”
Remember, still today, this kind of power revealed in the resurrection is AVAILABLE for us to experience through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
4. The resurrection GUARANTEES our resurrection.
(He is the first fruits of many). Jesus says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life, whoever believes in me will live even though he dies.” (John)
Romans 8:11 “If the spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he will also raise you and give life to your mortal bodies.”
Jesus is the FIRST fruit. So we expect second fruit, third fruit, continual fruit. This is very logical and natural.
Last time, in #5, when Christ was crucified, we were WITH Christ. Our OLD self DIED with him on the cross. So when Christ ROSE, we also ROSE with him.
Eph 2:5 “God who is rich in mercy, made us alive in Christ even when we were dead in our sins and transgressions. He has seated us (already) with Christ in the heavenly realms – so that he might show the incomparable riches of his grace expressed to us in Christ.”
Jesus resurrection body = a model of our own resurrection body we will receive someday soon.
It will be REAL, tangible, touchable, recognizable as the SAME person.
It will be a heavenly, imperishable, immutable, powerful, glorious, eternal body.
This is the power of the resurrection we can enjoy and experience even now and here in the name of Jesus Christ.
God bless us all with the power of the resurrection of Christ, now and in our daily lives.