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  • Apr 21 / 2019
  • Comments Off on We are Witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (2 Timothy 2:8)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

We are Witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (2 Timothy 2:8)

Download Notes in a .MD file

2 Timothy 2:8 (Pastor Heo)

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.

  • Jan 06 / 2019
  • Comments Off on In 2019, let’s go to our Athens! (Acts 17:16-34)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

In 2019, let’s go to our Athens! (Acts 17:16-34)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/in-2019-lets-go-to-our-athens

Download Notes in a .MD file

In 2019, Let’s go to our Athens!

Acts 17:16-34 (Pastor Heo)

In Athens

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.

v. 16

“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.

v. 17

“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

  1. Opening: Jesus’ resurrection
  2. 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.

v. 19-23

“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:

  • Material
  • Money “You cannot serve both God and Money”
  • Family
  • Children
  • Popularity / reputation / YouTube fame
  • Health

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”

[Novelty seekers]

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.”

v. 24-31

“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:

  • Creator
  • Sustainer
  • Provider
  • Savior
  • Judge

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.

Even today,

  • 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):

  1. What did you do with me on earth?
  2. What did you do with what I gave you on earth?

Your Time, Treasure, Talents: what did you do with it?

  1. answer = WHERE we will spend eternity
  2. 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.”

v. 32-34

“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:

  1. Sneering
  2. Delay
  3. Accepting

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.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 18 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Our Mission is Good News (Acts 14:20-28)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Our Mission is Good News (Acts 14:20-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Our Mission is Good News

Acts 14:20-28 (Pastor Heo)

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.)

v. 20-21

“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.

  1. Derbe (end of journey)
  2. Lystra (Paul had been stoned)
  3. Iconium (almost stoned)
  4. Pisidia (expelled)

What courage!

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.”

v. 26-28

“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.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 24 / 2018
  • Comments Off on The Power of the Resurrection of Christ (Romans 4:23-37)
Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Power of the Resurrection of Christ (Romans 4:23-37)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The power of the resurrection

Acts 4:23-37 (Pastor Heo)

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:

  • kings
  • rulers
  • Gentiles (unbelivers)
  • Israelites (believers)

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?

  • kings
  • rulers
  • Gentiles
  • Israelites

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

Psalm 2:1-2

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.

v. 29

“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.

v. 31

“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.

“Again!”

Christian community

v. 32-37

“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.

Situation:

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?”

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 01 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Easter Changes Everything (Acts 1:3)
Easter, Sermons

Easter Changes Everything (Acts 1:3)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Easter Changes Everything!

Acts 1:3 (Pastor Heo)

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?)

Remember,

  • 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:

  1. Noah – 40 days of flood,
  2. Moses – 40 days on Mt. Sinai,
  3. spies (Caleb, Joshua) – 40 days in Canaan,
  4. Elijah – 40 days of strength from a single meal,
  5. the whole city of Nineveh – 40 days to repent,
  6. Jesus – 40 days fasting in the wilderness before beginning his earthly ministry,
  7. Jesus – 40 days giving convincing proofs of his resurrection – appearing to his disciples many times)

Jesus’ appearances

  1. Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene
  2. The other women at the tomb
  3. Peter in Jerusalem
  4. 2 travelers on the road to Emmaus
  5. 10 disciples behind locked doors (minus Thomas)
  6. 11 disciples (including Thomas who had doubted)
  7. 7 disciples while fishing on the Sea of Galilee
  8. 11 disciples on the Mt. of Galilee
  9. 500 people at the same time
  10. James, his brother
  11. 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.

Example:

  • 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 WAS
  • HE IS
  • 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.

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 04 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Christ died for you, yes you! (Romans 5:6-8)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Christ died for you, yes you! (Romans 5:6-8)

Download notes in a .MD file

Christ died for you, yes you!

Romans 5:6-8 (Pastor Heo)

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:

  1. righteous people
  2. good people
  3. bad people

Who is righteous, good, or bad to you.

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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

#1: Substitution

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 –

  1. Payment
  2. Deliverance

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.

  1. Substitution
  2. Ransom (redemption)
  3. Atoning sacrifice (propitiation)
  4. Reconciliation

#4. Reconciliation

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:

  1. Active: The death of Christ REMOVES the enmity between God and man.
  2. Passive: There is a change of attitude on the part of man toward God.

The idea:

  • 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.”

#5. Satisfaction

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.”

  1. Substitute
  2. Ransom
  3. Atoning Sacrifice
  4. Reconciliation
  5. Satisfaction
  6. … 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.

  1. Non-Christian:
  2. Baby Christian:
  3. Real, mature Christian:

One sentence clears this all up.

  1. Non-Christians say (in heart and lifestyle), ‘Jesus did not die for me.’
  2. Baby Christians say “Jesus died for me, OK.”
  3. 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.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)
Easter, Sermons

Jesus Christ is Risen! How about to you? (Easter 2017)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus Christ is Risen!

1 Cor 15:1-8 (Pastor Heo)

The Resurrection of Christ

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

  1. OT: Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
  2. M, M, L, J (gospels): The Literal fulfillment of these prophesies (thus, gospel books)
  3. Acts: Historical fruit of the death and resurrection of Jesus (the church)
    1. From Jesus’ Ascension to his Second Coming is the Mission of the Church
  4. Epistles: The meanings / responsibilities of the blessings of the church
  5. 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.

  1. Without the cross, no resurrection.
  2. Without death, no life.
  3. 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.

  1. Witnesses = able, competent, first-hand
  2. Witnesses = sufficient in number
  3. 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

  1. Early in the morning, 3 women came to the tomb and saw the angels
  2. They separated there – Mary Magdalene went to tell Peter and John, the other two went to tell the others (in Bethlehem)
  3. Peter and John ran to the tomb, but returned to their place without seeing the Lord

After this, 12 appearances of Jesus:

  1. Mary – at the tomb after Peter and John had left
  2. The other women on the street
  3. 2 disciples on the way to Emmaus
  4. Peter – personally
  5. 10 disciples without Judas and Thomas
  6. 11 disciples (including Thomas)
  7. Apostles at the Sea of Tiberius
  8. Apostles on the Mt. of Galilee
  9. More than 500 brothers at the same time
  10. James – his half brother
  11. Disciples on the Mt. of Ascension
  12. Paul – on the way to Damascus
  13. 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”
  1. Gospel is “news”
  2. 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)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Why is the Resurrection of Jesus so Important? (Matthew 28:1-10)

08.09.2015

08.09.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

Why is the Resurrection of Jesus so Important?

Matthew 28:1-10 (Pastor Heo)

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:

  1. If a man was on the cross, he was TERRIBLY SINFUL and GUILTY. Jesus’ cross said, Jesus was innocent and blameless.
  2. A man was POWERLESS, Jesus was totally POWERFUL.
  3. A man was HARMFUL and SELFISH, Jesus was SACRIFICIALLY GIVING.
  4. A man was a MAN, Jesus was FULLY GOD.
  5. 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.

  • Gal 2:21
  • Romans 8:6-8 “If we died with Christ, we believe we will live with him as well in his resurrection.”

The 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:

4 messages:

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.

  1. It will be REAL, tangible, touchable, recognizable as the SAME person.
  2. 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.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 05 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Easter 2015 Sermon Art
Backgrounds, Resources

Easter 2015 Sermon Art

Here’s a collection of the sermon art I created for our 2015 Easter service. Click any image to download a larger copy.

Widescreen

(1366 x 768px (720p HDTV size))

easter-2015-background-2.2-wide

PPT

(1024 x 768px (for projector))

Inspiration and Resources

I wanted to create some art that would:

  1. Reflect the title of the message: 1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58 “The Credibility and POWER of the Resurrection”
  2. Match the look and feel of the Easter banners I created (see below or click this link for the full post)

easter-2015-sample2

 

So, some things I began researching included:

  1. The empty tomb
  2. Symbol for life/death
  3. Tombs of founders of world religions
  4. Symbol for empty
  5. “Not dead”
  6. Easter resurrection

Eventually, this led me to considering how the stone in front of the tomb might begin to look like a solar eclipse as it were being rolled away if there was a great light behind it. So, I started searching for “Photoshop eclipse tutorials” and eventually stumbled upon a pretty good one by Abduzeedo that helped me to create this art:

abduzeedo-eclipse

  • Apr 05 / 2015
  • Comments Off on The Credibility and Power of Christ’s Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Credibility and Power of Christ’s Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)

04.05-easter
04.05.2015-PHeo-Easter

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 

19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


 

Jesus is alive! again!

So, Jesus’ resurrection holds a unique place in Christianity. Christianity is the ONLY religion on earth that bases its foundation of faith on the resurrection of its founder.

Jesus’ resurrection is fundamental to our faith and to our salvation – provided for by his death.

In 1 Cor 15, this is the Resurrection chapter.

Paul wrote 13 books, 87 chapters – but THIS chapter is the longest chapter. EVERY line, every verse, every sentence is concentrated on the resurrection of Christ.

Everything in our faith stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus.

Are you Christian? Who is a Christian? One who is united with Jesus in his death and resurrection. Believe his death is “my death” and his resurrection is “my resurrection.”

We can see one very short word repeated many times in almost every verse today: IF (repeated 7 times today). Through these IFs we can see 5-6 negative facts:

  1. (v. 14) IF Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless. (Our gospel is robbed of its joy – the joy would become a funeral dirge?) – What’s the point without the resurrection? There’s nothing to preach.
  2. (v. 14) IF there is no resurrection, our faith is in vain and worthless. All we have we received as a free gift of God – divine childship, justification, sanctification, glorification, salvation, a home in heaven – it’s all worthless.
  3. (v. 15) IF no resurrection, then all witnesses are false – liars and deceivers (essential for apostleship = a witness of the resurrection) – the KEY message of all missionaries, evangelists, preachers, etc is Jesus substituationary death and resurrection
  4. (v. 17) IF no resurrection, your faith is futile, you are still in your sins.
    Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Only Jesus is our Savior from sin and death – the wages of sin = death. Only Jesus paid completely and totally the punishment, power, presence, of sin. Only Jesus defeated the LAST enemy, death.
    But IF he didn’t rise from the dead, then he has no more saving power than any other man throughout history.
  5. (v.18-19) IF no resurrection, all who died in Christ are LOST = in hell, and WE are the most miserable – above ALL people in the world – we ought to be the most pitied. 
    Up to today, throughout the world, many Christians have been martyred with only ONE hope – the hope of the resurrection. So, how miserable they are if there is NO hope – if there is NO resurrection.

Isn’t that true?

It is better to be sorrowful for NO hope than sorrowful for FALSE hope.

So, today, I want to share the CREDIBILITY of the resurrection of Christ.

Yes, this is a miracle. The kind of evidence needed to prove this fact is the same evidence that we need to prove any other miracle. i.e. reference to the laws of nature cannot apply when the laws of nature are bent (miracles work outside natural laws). So, competent witnesses and other proofs are the most appropriate methods to show the credibility of this fact.

  1. Cause and Effect = the first
  2. Argument from witnesses = the second

Every effect around us has a cause. Without an effect, no cause.

So, if Jesus’ resurrection = a cause, then what are the effects? There are MANY throughout history, but I will share only 4.

1. The empty tomb

The fact that the tomb was empty was testified to by many competent witnesses – both friends and enemies, angels, Roman soldiers, women, disciples.

How can we explain this? The angel came down from heaven and rolled away the stone and sat on it, said to the women, “Don’t fear, I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified, but he is not here. He has risen, just as he said. Come and see the very place where Jesus lay.”

2. The Lord’s Day

(Sabbath = Saturday, right?) then why do we worship on Sunday? For us, every day is “technically” the Lord’s day because he created them all, but the first day of the week is the “Lord’s Day” because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.

At that time, to keep the Sabbath (Saturday) service had been VERY important. So, who would ever dare to change it? On what grounds could it be changed?

The origin of the Sunday worship service can only be explained by the resurrection.

3. This building

The temple of Jesus Christ – the Christian church – all over the world

There are so many churches all over the world, the Church is a grand institution all over the world. What would the world be without church? Helping ministry, mercy ministry, worship, songs, preaching, etc. Where did this church come from? This is an effect, what is the cause?

The reason Jesus appeared and visited the discouraged and revived the faith of the disciples to send them forth on mission to announce BOLDLY and LOUDLY (the character change of the disciples is also another effect of the cause of the resurrection) the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ – to continue his work and expand his kingdom on earth.

This is HOW the church began. This is why the church is called the “body of Christ” and Jesus is the “head of the Church.”

4. The New Testament

This is the Word of God written in human language for us to understand clearly. For our understanding, the Bible is written in human language. This is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Had Christ remained dead, his story ALSO would have remained buried with him. What would be the point to tell such a story of a dead zealot/rebel?

As you know, in the New Testament, his resurrection is spoken of more than 100 times. There are fruits, interpretations, meanings, of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the “Book of the Resurrection” – the WHOLE New Testament.

—-

Next, there are the testimonies of the witnesses:

We need three things:

  1. Capable, eye-witnesses
  2. Enough in number (more than 2)
  3. Have a good reputation

All the disciples qualify in these respects. They all said, “We are EYE WITNESSES” – there were at least 12 appearances of Jesus to the disciples. There were MORE THAN 500 eye witnesses to his resurrection.

If only I said, “Wow, I saw a tiger running on the street yesterday.” (But do you trust my reputation?) What if Pastor Brian said that? The same thing. Would it still be difficult to believe? If FIVE people said the same thing, would you believe? What about 10, 50, 100, ALL members of AICF? Would you believe then? Jesus appeared to MORE THAN 500 eye witnesses who testified to his resurrection.

What about their character, human reputation? Yes, we know before the resurrection, many of the disciples were timid, cowardly – Peter denied Christ 3 times at the cross and all the others RAN AWAY returning to their old lifestyles. They lost their faith and hope totally.

Yet, after they met the risen Christ again, these believing disciples became STRONG and TIRELESS believers and they ANNOUNCED his resurrection LOUDLY putting their own lives at risk and DIED as martyrs.

Yes, today, this message remains the same.

The resurrection is our HOPE, our JOY, our HOPE of HOPES.

(v. 58) “STAND FIRM” – why? Because Christ has risen. “Let nothing move you” – why? Because Christ has risen. “Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord” – why? Because Christ has risen. “And we know that our service for the Lord is not in vain” – why? Because Christ’s resurrection is HOPE for us.

Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits (guarantee) for us who believe in him. Only Christ can say, “I am the Resurrection and the Life and whoever believes in me will not die.” Do you believe this? If we believe, then we also believe that Jesus is still guiding us now. If we believe, it means that we are to give our lives to his service – we will also be resurrected into eternal life later.

  • Romans 8 “If the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is living in you and me, then he will also give you life.”
  • Phil “We want to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and sharing in his suffering.”

Why? Without death, no resurrection.

May God bless us with his resurrection joy, power, and HOPE.

Let’s pray.

  • John 11:26 “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will never die…”

We must share in his death and cross. Without these, there is no resurrection nor crown.

  • Apr 27 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Encouraged by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:26-42)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Encouraged by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:26-42)

04.27

04.27.2014 Pastor Brian

Sermon Notes

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26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.

Aeneas and Dorcas
32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas ), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.


Acts 9 = The tremendous event of Saul’s conversion – while on the way to Damascus to take Christians prisoners. He was authorized to take any Christians there captive and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.

On the way, Jesus met him in a blinding light – and he realized what he’d been doing. He was told to go into Damascus and wait. Ananias was then told to go and pray for Saul – but he was hesitant due to the words he’d heard of Saul. But God told him that Saul was chosen by God to take the word of the Lord before the Gentiles – even kings and rulers.

Ananias prayed for Saul, he was healed, and Saul immediately went out to preach the good news of Jesus in the places he used to persecute Christians. The Christian leaders didn’t recognize him at first – because of what he’d previously done.

Saul preached of the murder of God – but also the resurrection (as we saw last week at Easter) – and it is due to the resurrection and as evidenced by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the believers – that Jesus is the son of God, Messiah, Savior of the world.

Saul had previously been ignorant of all these things because he was only book-learned, and it took an encounter with Jesus (the living, risen Jesus himself) to change his mind and be able to finally understand and piece together the Scriptures that spoke OF Jesus. Then he was able to preach effectively in the synagogues and many were converted.

There are two images of Jesus in the Bible:

  1. The Suffering Servant
  2. The Glorious King

The Jews were focused on the second and many missed the first. We are now living between the former time and the latter.

“A time is coming when people will worship in spirit and in truth” when we receive Jesus as Savior. Saul finally realized this and preached it in the synagogues – in Damascus first. Then he went to Silicea and preached for 3 years. Then he came back – and there was a plot by the Jews and the governors of that area to kill Saul – so his followers let him down in a basket from the wall.

This updates us to today.

The disciples in Jerusalem had probably heard of Saul’s conversion (it’s been over 3 years). But they were still wary of him because of his long, hard reputation.

At this time, Barnabas (the Son of Encouragement) lived up to his namesake (nick-namesake) and blessed Saul before them.

Barnabas has been mentioned before in Acts 4 – his generosity noted – and he helped many people who were in need at that time. He “had a heart of gold.” Later, when the Antioch Gentiles received the gospel, Barnabas is sent down as one of the delegates to meet them and check out this move of the Spirit. He found that it was a genuine move of the Spirit and he encouraged them there.

Acts 13, Barnabas is chosen with Paul (Saul) to go on their first missionary journey.

Acts 15, Barnabas went with Paul to Jerusalem to help settle the controversy of Gentiles entering the church (did they need to keep all the Jewish Law? circumsicion? diet?) It was decided they didn’t need to keep all the rites and rituals that were part of the Old Covenant.

Later, Barnabas shows this same kind of “take a chance generosity” with Mark. Mark had let them down previously, and though Paul refused to accept him back into their missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to. This eventually split the two of them, but later Paul praised Mark and wanted him back – in a letter he wrote.

We all fail in different ways – but God is able to help and restore and strengthen us.

Barnabas brought Paul to the apostles (probably before Peter and James (Jesus’ brother)). Probably the others were busy elsewhere.

Paul doesn’t meet with the disciples around the churches in Judea, and some of the believers were probably not too eager to meet with him – suspecting him of being a secret spy. There was an air of suspicion about him, until Barnabas vouched for him.

v. 28-29

Paul speaks boldly in the name of the Lord – he’s debating with the Helenistic/Grecian Jews who’d been hostile to Stephen and stoned him to death. Quite a turn of events – because he’d held their coats while they had stoned Stephen. And eventually, these same guys tried to kill Paul. But they sent him away, back to his home in Tarsus.

The disciples were concerned with Paul’s safety and the safety of the church members with good reason (Acts 22). Paul (in Acts 22) mentions this time – he was in the temple in Jerusalem praying and the Lord appeared to him and said, “Quick! Leave Jerusalem immediately! The people here won’t accept your testimony!” Paul tried to argue saying his testimony is so amazing that people will have to believe. But God is firm and says, No, I will send you to the Gentiles. So, Paul agrees to go and the disciples send him off to Tarsus.

So this departure is really based on God’s will.

This whole portion of Scripture (Acts) reads as if it’s one event after the other, but there may have been much time that passes between events. For example, Paul may have stayed in Tarsus for up to 10 years.

Paul was a Roman citizen (received from his father – probably who did some service for Rome, got the citizenship and passed it on to Paul). So, Paul was learned in the popular culture as well – and was able to quote from poetry and other sources that the non-Christians would be familiar with. Paul eventually becomes the central focus of Acts.

Acts 9:31

There was a time of peace, encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the church grew (and possibly spread to Galilee).

People are being healed, saved, meeting the reality of the good news.

Acts 6:7

“So the Word of God spread.” Many in Jerusalem, including priests, believed.

This is a fulfillment of the Word of Jesus before his ascension – that the gospel would spread throughout Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 9:32-35

Peter evangelizes the countryside in Judea.

Philip has passed through, preaching the gospel there after his encounter with the Ethiopian. Peter is backing up that missionary tour – going the same route, preaching and confirming the disciples as he goes.

He comes to Lydda to visit the saints (believers). Lydda = 25 miles NW of Jerusalem – at the crossroads of two major highways. Here, he meets Aeneas – bedridden for 8 years. He heals him and word of it spreads. Luke writes “all those who lived in Lydda saw him and turned to the Lord.” (Probably not ALL, but this is emphasis to show that this was a pretty major event.)

Peter next goes to Joppa – modern Jaffa (Tel-Abib?) Here there is a much-loved disciple “Tabitha” Aramaic = “Dorcas” Greek = Gazelle in English. She was doing well and loved by all the people and she suddenly dies. The whole church is mourning her, hear that Peter is nearby, so send for him.

What could he do? She’s dead. She’s lying in preparation for burial. And Peter goes upstairs, sends everyone out, kneels and prays, then tells her to “get up.” He takes up by the hand, helps her up, and presents her alive to the others. WOW. Lots of joy there.

There are many similarities between this story and Jesus’ story of raising Talitha? daughter of Jarius.

  1. The sending of messengers
  2. The mourners around the room
  3. The kicking everyone out of the room
  4. The calling for her to wake up
  5. The taking of her hand

Here, Peter is recreating the miracle that Jesus’ did earlier.

  • Jesus said, “Talitha, get up.”
  • Peter said, “Tabitha, get up.”
  • There is only one letter difference there.

Jesus had said, “What I have done, you will do.” Here is evidence of that. Peter obviously has an open line with God, and so he can speak with authority.

Luke 5 – the healing of the paralytic (through the roof) and Jesus had encouraged the man “your sins are forgiven.” When people get sick, we often self-examine. (What have I done? What have I not done with my life?) And Jesus spoke to that heart and said, “You’re forgiven.” But to prove he has authority to say that, he also healed his body.

Elijah (and Jesus?) also raised a widow’s son to life.

Throughout the Scriptures, there are similar accounts of raising people.

  • Elijah raised a widow’s son.
  • Elisha also raised someone.

Jesus is willing to use these servants – even you and me – if we recognizes him for who he is and what he’s done. He has promised to not bring the same diseases upon his people (in the Old Testament) as those who didn’t believe in him in other lands. He’s able to heal today as well.

Physical, Spiritual healing – related to forgiveness. When we ask for forgiveness, God expects us to forgive others. Many people find that healing takes place only AFTER they forgive other people. Many times we harm ourselves and prevent God’s healing power to come through us because of our own unforgiveness. If we hold a grudge, unforgiveness against people – even close relatives – we are not free, we are not healed. Release them from the grudge, forgive them, and find healing for your own spirits.

We’ve all been touched and healed by the Lord. Let’s be prepared to share this with others.

Healing from death, physical, emotional, spiritual healing is available in Christ.

Acts 9 finishes with Peter at the house of Simon the tanner. The rabbis thought that tanning was unclean (because the animals might be unclean). But they also wrote the Scriptures on the hides of animals that were clean. Peter doesn’t seem to mind so much.

Later we see in Acts 10 that Peter learns to eat even unclean animals.

Interesting that Luke records strange details that don’t really help his story. BUT it does prove that Luke was an accurate historian – this is not myth, it’s history, it happened, it’s real. These little details demonstrate that.

In the final short section, Luke shows that the gospel has been preached in the whole province by now. And the Christian mission in the Jewish nation has now widened. The reader of Acts is now prepared for the next leap that the gospel message must take. That’s where Acts 10 begins the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles – to Cornelius and his household.

The good news is still good. Jesus heals, saves, He is Lord. Is he YOUR healer, Savior, Lord? If not, perhaps today is the day for you to be healed. We’ve been studying the resurrection, perhaps today is your day to be restored to life in your spirit.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 20 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Christ Has Risen! – Easter 2014 (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)
Easter, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Has Risen! – Easter 2014 (1 Corinthians 15:12-23, 58)

04.20-easter 

04.20.2014 (Easter) Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.

58 Therefore, my dear brother, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Amen.

God bless us all with his Word. Christ HAS risen from the dead!

That Christ has risen, holds a unique place in Christianity. This is the only religion on earth that places its hope and claims on the resurrection of its founder. Only Christianity does this. SO, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is fundamental to Christianity.

In the New Testament, there are more than 100 instances of the resurrection of Christ being spoken of. Also, it is very essential in the application of our salvation – provided by in his death. So, about his resurrection, much more could be said. But because of limited time, let’s talk about only ONE topic: the CREDIBILITY of the resurrection of Christ (good topic).

  • Credibility = the acceptance of fact in a manner that demands fact and belief.
  • Belief upon good authority, reliable facts, and competent witnesses – belief, facts.

This resurrection is a FACT proven by competent facts and deserving full acceptance as a belief. This is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity proven by many infallible proofs. So, for the credibility of the resurrection, there are at least TWO arguments:

  1. Argument from cause and effect
  2. Argument from testimony

For example, around us, certain things, conditions, institutions exist today. They are effects of causes or a cause. Every effect has a cause. So, if the resurrection of Christ is a cause, what is the effect?

In church history, there are MANY effects that can be traced to the bodily, physical resurrection of Christ.

#1: The Empty Tomb!

That was an effect. What was the cause? The fact that the tomb was empty was testified to by MANY eyewitnesses – including his friends AND his enemies. The women were first, the angels, the disciples, the Roman soldiers – even the Pharisees later said, “Tell them to say the disciples stole the body.”

On that day, in the early morning, the angels came and rolled away the stone, and sat on the stone and spoke to the women who came to annoint his body with oil. “Do not be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is NOT here. He has RISEN from the dead. Come and see the place where he (once) lay.” Pointing.

Wow. Pretty strong evidence that he rose from the dead.

#2: Sunday worship services

Sunday is not the original Sabbath (actually that was Saturday). Who would DARE to change this extremely ingrained and protected day? The Jews NEVER celebrated anybody’s birthday – even great men. They only celebrated events – like the Passover.

Strange then that in the New Testament, the Jewish Christians change this century’s old Saturday sabbath into the FIRST day of the week (Sunday). This is a massive effect, a marvelous effect. What was the cause? Why did they do that?

The resurrection of Christ was the cause for the great change in worship to Sunday.

#3: The Christian church – the body of Christ

Are you here now? We know this is a grand and noble institution. Imagine, what would this world be like without church? Churches sing hymns, and worship God, but also provide mercy, grace, help for others, social justice, social ministries. Where did this great institution come from?

It is a glorious effect from the resurrection of Christ. When Christ appeared to the discouraged disciples and restored their hope, they went out with restored faith in their risen Lord. They preached the story of his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and coming again. And men believed their preaching. And they gathered themselves together to study the Scriptures, and pray, and worship God and preach Jesus to the lost nations. This is how the Christian church was born in this world. It’s cause was the resurrection of Christ. That’s why the church is called “the BODY of Christ.” He is the HEAD of the church.

#4: The Bible – especially the New Testament

If Jesus had NOT been raised. If he’d remained buried, the story of his life and death would have remained buried with him – just like so many other revolutionaries before him. The New Testament is a fact – evidence, proof – of the resurrection of Christ. The New Testament wouldn’t grow out of nothing. But the beautiful story of Jesus life (through the New Testament) grew out of the story of his resurrection. The New Testament is THE BOOK of resurrection.

#5: Testimony of eye-witnesses

Humanly speaking, we need three things to make a trustworthy testimony:

  1. The witnesses must be competent and 1st-hand witnesses
  2. The witnesses must be sufficient in number
  3. The witnesses must have a good character and reputation

All the apostles/disciples qualify in these three. They repeatedly, continually said, “We are eye-witnesses” (and they were witnesses in different places – even up to 500 people at a time – no hallucination can ever be like that).

How many witnesses do we need to make a case today? ONE. Only one eyewitness is enough to prove murder. Two witnesses is OK for a suit against the government. Three is OK for the execution of a Will. In a human court, 7 witnesses is OK for a Spoken (Oral) Will. This is the largest number of witnesses required for court.

But Jesus’ resurrection had OVER 500 witnesses!

Imagine their character and reputation. 12 disciples = we know up until the resurrection they were COWARDS – timid, afraid, even Peter denied him 3 times to a slave girl. And all the others abandoned him and returned to their lives as fishermen when he was arrested.

But, after they saw the risen Lord, they TOTALLY changed – many of them even DIED for him – martyred.

  • The fearful became fearless.
  • The faithless became faithful.
  • They became the tireless preachers of the story of Jesus’ resurrection.
  • They proclaimed/declared his story at the risk of their own lives (what a big change!)
  • ALL of them died a martyr’s death because of the story of the resurrection (they tried to boil John alive, but he lived and wrote Revelation later).

#6: YOU

If somebody asks you about the credibility of Jesus’ resurrection, show yourself.

The resurrection of Christ is the HOPE of ALL hopes.

So, the last verse says, “Stand firm!” because Jesus is risen! “Let nothing move you!” because Jesus is risen! “Always give yourselves FULLY to the work of the Lord!” because Jesus is risen! “And we know that your (our) labor in the Lord is NEVER in vain!” because Jesus is risen! and he has defeated the last enemy – Satan, sin, death, and hell.

ONLY Jesus can say this (John): “I am the resurrection and the life, and he who believes in me will never die but have eternal life.”

God bless us all with assurance and POWER in the resurrection of Christ.

Let’s pray.

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