:::: MENU ::::

Posts Tagged / righteousness

  • Jun 28 / 2020
  • Comments Off on Jesus is our Wisdom and Power (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is our Wisdom and Power (1 Corinthians 1:18-31)

Tithes and Offerings

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus is our Wisdom and Power

1 Cor 1:18-31 (Pastor Heo)

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”


One of the big problems of Corinthians was disunity, division. One reason they had difficulty in keeping unity was because they were so different in background, culture, lifestyle, history, esp before becoming Christians.

The Corinthian church was mixed: Jews, Greeks.

  • At that time, Greeks treasured philosophy (philo “love” sophia “wisdom”) = “love of wisdom.” Greeks were so famous for philosophy. Even today, we study this: Greek Philosophy. This is considered the root of western philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Socrates).
  • Jews valued miracles, miraculous events. From Exodus to Jerusalem and Jesus, they desired miracles, and looked for them. They asked Jesus for miracles, but he refused.

We read “wisdom” here, and it is repeated 13 times. Both to the Greek and the traditional Jew, the message of the cross sounds foolish and stupid.

v. 18 is one of my personal favorite verses

v. 18

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The message of the cross is very simple: Jesus DIED to save sinners.

This message has two results. All of humanity will end up in one of two classes.

  1. Foolish = reject belief and perish in hell
  2. Wisdom = accept and gain eternal life, they are being saved.

“I’m not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for all who believe…” (Paul)

v. 21-25

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,”

  • To the Greeks: At that time, Christianity was associated with a poor Jewish carpenter who died the most shameful (naked) death – hanging on a tree in the air, exposed to the eyes of anybody. It was illegal to crucify Roman citizens, so this death was never even mentioned in polite Roman society. Even the image of crucifixion was not acceptable. It was a form of the worst capital punishment. So, how is it possible that the Savior of the world would be crucified? To the Greeks, valuing logic, this was totally foolish.
  • To the Jews: They had only the Old Testament at that time, and among the OT books, one of the most important was Deuteronomy. (21:23 “Anyone who is hung on a tree is under a curse from God.”) According to this verse, it would be totally unacceptable and unthinkable for the Messiah to be crucified. So it is a stumbling block to them.

v. 24-25

“but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

God’s wisdom cannot be mixed with man’s wisdom. His wisdom is revealed primarily in the cross of Jesus. It is not about form / matter, but about content / reality.

Sometimes we need to doubt our doubts, question our questions.

Real wisdom: Giving up our wisdom to gain God’s wisdom.

What is real power and what is real wisdom?

Think about your own personal situation – about who / where you were when you were saved.

v. 26

“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.”

This is my story. When I became Christian, I was very foolish.

v. 27-29

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.”

That is why finally, for him to get glory, we can know that God is never impressed with our character, position, politics, money, etc.

Among the earliest 12 of Jesus’ disciples, do you know what their jobs were?

  • 5 were fishermen
  • 1 tax collector
  • 6 unknown careers

God’s view of power is upside-down. He is more interested in the weak than the strong – he is more interested in the low than the high.

The cross of Jesus will turn our concept of wisdom and power upside-down. If you are really saved, remember that we were called to salvation not because of what / who we are, but in spite of it – so that no one can boast in themselves.

Ex: Jesus’ ministry

Several times this may have happened.

On the way to Jerusalem one day, he encountered a blind beggar, and Jesus purposefully healed him.

The Bible recognizes him by recording his name: Batholemus

In history, historical books, such an individual would be passed over and remain nameless.

In Luke 16, there was the story of the RICH man and the beggar. But in this story also, the rich man is nameless, but the beggar has the name Lazarus.

So the story’s name is the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

This is God’s foolish wisdom, God’s weak power.

v. 30-31

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

  • Righteousness = justification
  • holiness = sanctification
  • redemption = glorification

At first I said that the key sentence is “Jesus is our Wisdom and Power.”

The emphasis here is that the Father God reveals his wisdom through Jesus Christ by means of righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

4 keywords:

1. wisdom

only in following Jesus can we walk rightly. Only in listening to Jesus can we hear the truth.

Col 2:3 “In Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

2. righteousness

having a right relationship with God. This has to do with our standing / position before God. He declares us righteous simply because we put our trust in Jesus

5:21 “God made him who had no sin to become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God.”

3. holiness

John 17:19 “For them (my followers) I sanctify myself so that you too may be sanctified (set apart).”

At the same time that we are sanctified already, we are also BEING sanctified.

4. redemption

Jesus can deliver us (liberate us) from past sin and future fear.

There are three tenses of perfect salvation:

  1. Past = we have been saved from the penalty / punishment of sin (righteousness)
  2. Present = we are being saved from the power of sin (holiness) – “Work out your salvation continually with fear and trembling”
  3. Future = we will be saved from the presence of sin (redemption)

We have been bathed in his blood and saved, and redeemed by his cross.

The cross of Jesus is true wisdom because it is a cure for human limitations from a God who chose to empty himself and experience human limitations.

The cross of Christ is TRUE power who chose to subject himself to death and share himself with others.

True power? = Self-giving, others-centered

Willing self-sacrifice for the weak. This is TRUE power.

One story (illustration):

Are you a father? There’s a father, and his 7-year-old son play together with games like running and arm-wrestling. In this competition, the son’s purpose is victory – to defeat his father. But the father’s purpose is not victory – it is to build up a friendship and relationship, intimacy with his son. To encourage him, make him feel more happy.

  • In this competition, the father controls and loses his own power to empower his son. Then they both can achieve their purposes.
  • The father shows his own power by becoming weak. The father shows his wisdom by becoming weak.
  1. The son’s happiness comes from victory.
  2. The father’s happiness comes from loss.

This is the picture of the cross.

That’s why the cross is our REAL power and REAL wisdom.

Jesus is our wisdom, power, righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Without Christ, we are nothing.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 20 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Greatness of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-10)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Greatness of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1-10)

https://soundcloud.com/antioch-church-325593234/the-greatness-of-melchizedek

Download Notes in a .MD file

The Greatness of Melchizedek

Hebrews 7:1-10

Melchizedek the Priest

1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.

4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! 5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people–that is, their brothers–even though their brothers are descended from Abraham. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater. 8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.


Genesis 14:18-20

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Creator of heaven and earth.

20 And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.


Psalm 110:4

4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.”


Title: The Greatness of Melchizedek (but this is just a shadow) – I really want to show you “The Greatness of Jesus Christ”

But let me tell you the background of Melchizedek.

Genesis 12 is a big turning point in church mission and redemptive history. In this chapter, God called Abram. He said, “Leave your country / people / father’s house and go to the land I’ll show you. I’ll bless you and make your name great – I’ll bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. And all people on earth will be blessed through you.”

Abram left and his nephew Lot followed him. He was 75 years old when he left Haram (Mesopotamia) for Canaan.

In Canaan, Abram became rich materially, and Lot also became rich, so he they agreed together not to have any fighting together. “If you go left, I’ll go right – if you go right, I’ll go left.” Actually Lot should have said, “No, you are first, my uncle, you go first.”

But he chose first, Sodom. It looked rich – maybe like Las Vegas.

Later there was a war between 4 kings and they defeated Sodom and her neighbors. They carried off many hostages including Lot and his family and all his possessions. Abram heard that news and recruited 318 trained soldiers (from his household) and pursued the kings to return his nephew Lot.

He’s a hero, right?

All of a sudden, he met Melchizedek on the way. They were strangers to each other but Melchizedek prepared bread and wine for Abram and his company (looks like communion) – and he blessed Abram in the name of God Most High – and Abram gave him a tithe, a tenth of everything he plundered from the 4 kings.

This was very strange and mysterious.

After this, Melchizedek vanished from the stage of history. He appeared suddenly and disappeared suddenly. From this short story, there is no more mention of Melchizedek for at least 1000 years.

This story was about 2000 BC, but around 1000 BC, when David was king of Israel, the Holy Spirit inspired David to write these prophetic words in

Psalm 110:4

“4 The LORD has sworn

and will not change his mind:

“You are a priest forever,

in the order of Melchizedek.””

After that, there is no more mention for another 1000 years.

Then, over 1000 years later, in the book of Hebrews, he is mentioned at least 10 times.

The key sentence is: “Jesus Christ is our High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (this is repeated 5 times, chp 5 x2, chp 6, chp 7:11, 17).

Melchizedek is just a shadow to show how GREAT Jesus is.

So, on what grounds is Melchizedek a shadow of Christ? Actually this sermon is not about Melchizedek at all, but the Greatness of Christ through the shadow / type of Melchizedek.

I want to share 5 things, but let’s start with 3 verses.

v. 1-3

“1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

Let me share 5 things:

1. Melchizedek was King AND Priest – the only person in the OT like this

At that time, the order of King and of Priest were separated.

  • Aaron was the first Great High Priest, but not king.
  • David was a great king, but not a prophet.
  • Moses was a great prophet, but not king.

God punished some kings who tried to become or act like priests – examples: King Saul, King Uzziah

  • Spiritually, ONLY Christ is Priest and King in the order of Melchizedek.
  • Messiah / Christ literally means “the anointed one”.

He has THREE functions combined in ONE person: Prophet, Priest, King

When we confess Christ – we confess he is eternal Prophet, Priest, King. He is our Deliverer, Redeemer, Liberator, from all unrighteousness, dangers, Satan’s attacks, and finally hell.

As our High Priest, Jesus is the ONLY way through which we can have access to God. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through me.”

Jesus is the visible representation of God. Col 2:9 “In Christ, the fullness of divinity dwells in bodily form.”

2. His family history was different and unique

Melchizedek was a real man, not an angel, nor a ghost. He was a real man / king / priest, in a real time in human history. But there is no record of his genealogy.

As a man, he must have had a physical mother and father – but these are not recorded nor known.

v. 3

“3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.”

Also Jesus IS before Melchizedek WAS. He is from eternity to eternity – always with us.

3. Melchizedek had authority to receive tithes from Abram

The background story of the Levites:

Abram originally was the founder / father of the of nation Israel. His grandson, Jacob, had 12 sons. When they entered the Promised Land, Joshua gave each tribe a land allotment, but one tribe, the Levites, were not given a land inheritance. Instead of this, two tribes were divided into two areas.

The Levites had to live scattered all over the land of Israel, because they were chosen to serve in worship services in the tabernacle. And each tribe should give a tithe to the Levites. Also, the rabbis should have a tithe of the tithe to the priests.

The logic of this book is: Jacob’s grandfather already gave tithes to Melchizedek. At that time, Israel, and Jacob, the 12 tribes, were not yet born. At that time, Melchizedek was a symbol of Christ.

The application is very clear: we must give to Christ what we are, what we have, because he is our Savior. This is the only way to make our lives meaningful in the eyes of God.

4. His name has significance

“Righteousness and Peace” to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the OT times, names were very meaningful and important. Sometimes, God had them change their names:

  • Abram -> Abraham,
  • Sarai -> Sarah,
  • Jacob -> Israel

This shows their spiritual truth about them.

Melchizedek was king of Salem (from this comes “Shalom”) – and his name means “righteousness and peace” – these go together all the time.

Psalm 85:10 “Righteousness and peace kiss each other.”

Righteousness means “having a right relationship with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ”.

  • Romans “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God.”
  • Romans “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness and peace…”
  • 1 Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
  • 1 Peter “Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might receive his righteousness”
  • 1 Cor “… we might receive the righteousness of God…”
  1. Jehovah Rapha
  2. Jehovah Jireh
  3. Jehovah *tsidkenu (sidcam)(Tsikem?) – “The Lord is my Righteousness”

Jesus is Righteousness incarnate – the essence, source, son, bestower, giver, priestly mediator of righteousness.

We can be declared righteous only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Nobody has peace without Christ. Even non-believers want peace. We ask, “why are you fighting?” They say, “for peace.” Yet, without being declared righteous (through Christ) there is no peace.

We know 700 years before, his birth was prophesied as the “king of peace.”

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as this world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.”

“Peace be with you.”

Jesus still is praying and interceding for us – for our holiness and wellbeing.

Do you like well being? Jesus also is praying for this right now.

Finally,

5. Melchizedek blessed Abram

This is an amazing story, if we understand the background. What a stupendous act on Abram’s part.

Melchizedek prepared bread and wine (like communion today). Jesus also offers the same thing for his children, his church – his life. His flesh and blood have secured our righteousness and peace – and we need our daily bread.

We needed bread yesterday, but we also need bread today.

Jesus says, “I’m the bread of Life.”

The lesser is blessed by the better – the superior blesses the inferior. The fact that Melchizedek blessed Abram means that he was superior to Abram.

We saw already that Genesis 12 is the calling of Abram – this is very important. What is the blessing of God to Abram?

“I’ll bless you; I’ll make you into a great nation; I’ll make your name great. And ALL people on earth will BE blessed through you.”

God promised that ALL people would BE blessed through him. This means he was a “supreme blesser.” ALL everyone else would be blessed through him – yet in this story, Melchizedek blessed him.

This is symbolic of Jesus Christ.

Yes, we can be a blessing, we are called to be a blessing in this world – how? By BEING blessed through Christ, we can become a channel of heavenly blessing to others.

This means that practically, ALL blessings we enjoy (physical, financial, etc – uncountable blessings) are made possible in / through Christ.

  • Phil 4:19 “God will meet all your needs (not desires) according to his glory through Jesus Christ.”
  • Matt “First seek his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things (you need) will be given to you as well.”
  • Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”
  • Matt “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to me and you as well.”

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 14 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Righteousness, Self-control, and the Judgment to Come (Acts 24:1-27)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Righteousness, Self-control, and the Judgment to Come (Acts 24:1-27)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Acts 24:1-27 (Pastor Heo)

The Trial Before Felix

1 Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor. 2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. 3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude. 4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.

5 “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect 6 and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”

9 The Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true.

10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin– 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’ ”

22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.

24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.


In Jerusalem, 40 men? took a vow to never eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. Paul’s nephew heard of this and told the commander. The commander sent him to his higher-up Felix, the governor, guided by 470 soldiers. Felix received Paul and said, “I will hear you when your accusers come here” and put him under guard. Five days later, the accusers (the high priest and some elders) arrived. This is the same high priest who ordered Paul to be stricken on the mouth in the Sanhedrin. They also employed a professional lawyer (Tertullus).

Three parts in today’s sermon:

  1. Paul’s accusers’ (false) accusations (v. 1-9)
  2. Paul’s (faithful) answers to his charges (v. 10-21)
  3. The governor Felix’s (foolish) response to this case (v. 22-27)

Tertullus begins (v. 2-3) with nauseating flattery.

v. 2-3

“2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: “We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation. 3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.”

This is untrue – blatant flattery.

v. 4-9 = Accusations

“4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.

5 “We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect 6 and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him. 8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him.”

9 The Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true. “

Tertullus declared Paul a man of evil character, guilty of three things:

  1. Troublemaker (sedition)
  2. Ringleader of the Nazarene sect (heresy)
  3. Desecrate the temple

v. 10-21 Paul’s answer

“10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that *no more than twelve days ago* [Paul had been in Jerusalem less than 7 days] I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin– 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’ ” “

In his speech, Paul did not flattery Felix, he merely recognized his experience and knowledge. Then he began his defense in the order in which the charges had been made.

  1. Troublemaker (sedition)
    • “I had been there less than 7 days. I gathered no assembly nor crowd.”
  2. Ringleader of a cult (heresy)
    • “I believe in the same God they do. I’m a Christian, but accept the whole Old Testament. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I worship a different God. I worship the same God in a new, living, acceptable way (through Christ).”
  3. Desecrator / defiler of the temple
    • “I came to Jerusalem with 2 purposes: to bring alms to the poor; to offer sacrifices in the temple (to honor my Nazarite vow).”

In the temple, he was performing this Nazarite offering to God, but he was falsely arrested and accused by the crowd. But no one from that crowd is present now. So those who are there now had no right / privilege to accuse Paul now. None of them were there at that moment.

After listening to Paul’s answer, his accusers could not refute Paul anymore, so court was adjourned.

v. 22-23

“22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs. “

Felix said he would wait for the commander who sent him to come. But the commander never came – so Paul remained in prison for 2 years.

v. 24

“24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.”

  • Druscilla was Felix’s 3rd wife.
  • She was Herod’s daughter
  • Her grandfather tried to kill Jesus in Bethlehem);
  • her great uncle killed John the Baptist;
  • her father Herod Agrippa I killed the apostle James.

Now we can see the foolish attitude of this couple.

v. 25-27

“25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him. 27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. “

In the next chapter, 25, Paul will stand before Festus.

Felix put Paul in prison for at least 2 years until he finished his governorship, then handed Paul over to his successor.

There are two reasons for this:

(Felix knew Paul was not guilty – he should have been set free)

  1. To get a bribe from Paul (wait, he’s rich enough – but he still wants dirty money from the poor prisoner)
  2. To gain popularity from the Jews

He was a judge, but his concern was not justice, it was fame and popularity and money. So, Paul preached the gospel to this couple in three points – and it made them uncomfortable:

  1. Righteousness
  2. Self-control
  3. Judgment to come

These three points are so relevant to this couple. Not only to them, but also to us today in this church building – these three topics are so important and necessary.

Today’s sermon topic:

Righteousness, Self-control, the Judgment to Come

Let us ponder these things again under the guidance and illumination of the HS.

Righteousness

  • We must do something about yesterday’s sin.

God is righteous and holy. Because he is, he demands righteousness / holiness from us.

“Be holy; be righteous” – the Bible commands this. But it is impossible. But the good news: the same God who demands this provides his own righteousness for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

  • Romans 3 “Therefore, no one will become declared righteous through observing the Law. Rather, we will become aware of sin. But a new righteousness has been made known and comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe in him.” There is no different “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
  • “God gave his one and only Son as a sacrifice of atonement to give his own blood as atonement.” (John) We are only made righteous through his righteousness.
  • “There is no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

We are not sinless, but we are free from the power of sin when we trust Christ as personal Savior and Lord. This is good news!

Self-Control

  • We must do something about today’s temptation / challenge.

Mankind can control almost EVERYTHING in nature – except themselves.

Christian messages are not merely platitudes, but they contain hard-hitting behaviors. That’s why one of the fruit of the HS is self-control.

  • Others: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control – against these things there is no Law. (Gal 5)

The Christian life is not an easy life – it is a fighting life against temptation and against the sinful nature. You (me) are fighting against our old selves.

  • Gal 5:24-26 “Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

Self-control is so important in the Christian life.

Judgment

  • We must do something about the future’s judgment.
  • 2 Cor 5:1 “We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, not built by human hands.”

Our physical lives in this world are like tents – so our lives after this world are like buildings. While in our earthly lives, we are offered so many choices (jobs, careers, hobbies, countries); but eternity offers only two options (heaven, hell).

In this earth, so many countries, but in eternity, only two. Our relationship with God on earth will determine our relationship with him in eternity.

So we must live in light of eternity.

When we live like this, so many of our problems and worries will appear small and trivial; our values will change; our priorities will be rearranged. The more precious Jesus becomes to us, the less precious everything else becomes.

  • Paul “I consider everything LOSS compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I consider all things rubbish so that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”

“Hosanna” = “You are my Savior”

Is Jesus your Savior? Even kindergarteners can answer. But we must remember –

  • He MUST be our Savior,
    • otherwise he will be our Judge.
  • He must be Lord and King,
    • otherwise we will become slaves to something that will become nothing.
  • He must be our God,
    • otherwise we will worship something else as god = idolatry.

v. 25

“25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, *Felix was afraid* [Holy Spirit conviction – but he rejected / delayed] and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient [delay], I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently [with wrong motives] and talked with him.

27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison. “

Yes, we know Paul was a champion in sharing the message of the gospel. Felix had 2 years opportunity to be saved through the message of Paul – but he missed it because he continuously delayed. “When I find it convenient…”

Procrastination = a thief of time / our souls

  • Proverbs 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow because you do not know what a day may bring forth…”

Past is past; present is present (gift); tomorrow is not ours – it belongs to God.

— Story —

One day in Hell, there was a meeting of Satan and his living demons. He commanded them to think up a good lie to bring more souls to Hell. (Satan is the Father of Lies). The demons gathered and tried to create lies to bring more souls to Hell.

  1. “People of earth! There’s no God!” Satan said, “It will never work – everyone will look around at Creation and know there is a God.”
  2. “There’s no heaven!” – Satan “No good. Everybody knows there is life after physical death. And they all want to go to heaven.”
  3. “There’s no Hell!” – Satan “No good. Their conscience knows their sins will be judged. Their spirits already know there is Hell, that’s why they are afraid of death.”
  4. “There’s no hurry!” – Satan “Good idea!”
  • Prov “Do not boast about tomorrow”
  • 2 Cor 2:6 “NOW (x5) is the time of God’s grace! Now is the day of salvation!”
  • The best time to believe in Christ is NOW!
  • The best time to trust him is NOW!
  • The best time to confess him as King and Savior and Lord is NOW!
  • The best time to tell others the gospel message is NOW!

NOW is the time of God’s favor / grace / mercy / salvation.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 04 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Do Everything in Love by Faith (Romans 14:13-23)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Do Everything in Love by Faith (Romans 14:13-23)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Do Everything in Love by Faith

Romans 14:13-23 (Pastor Heo)

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and *everything that does not come from faith is sin.*


Actually, this second part of this chapter is a continuation / repetition of the first part of the chapter for more emphasis and development of our character in Christ – especially in terms of our relationship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

Remember last week?

4 Reasons we should not judge our brothers & sisters in Christ:

  1. No position
  2. No ability
  3. No right
  4. No authority

4 Reasons we must accept each other:

  1. God accepted him
  2. God makes him stand finally
  3. We are together fellow servants of the same Lord
  4. We will altogether be judged by the one same judge

Imagine –

  • If we try to drive a car without knowing how, we know what will happen to us.
    • This is the same if we judge without knowing how.
  • Also, if we drive with no license, we know what will happen.
    • And if we judge with no license, what do you expect to happen?

When Jesus first met Peter, the first words he spoke to Peter were, “Follow me.” And after Jesus’ resurrection and first meeting of Peter to restore his position and relationship, he said, “Follow me.” Peter started to, but turned and saw John and asked, “What of this man?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

What does this mean? “Let me worry about John, not you. Let me be the Lord of John. You do your business, I’ll do my business.”

Negatively we should NOT judge each other. BUT we should not STOP with just non-judgment.

We are members of ONE body. That’s why today, we need this passage.

In the second part of this chapter, I want to share 3 points to see our position and standing.

#1 We affect each other as brothers and sisters in Christ

  • sometimes negatively, sometimes positively, consciously or unconsciously

v. 13-

“13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, *make up your mind* not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died.”

Yes, we affect each other negatively or positively.

  • Negatively, we can cause our brothers and sisters to fall down, be distressed, be hurt, angry, unhappy, even destroyed.
  • Also positively, we can cause our brothers and sisters to be built up – edifying each other, serving each other.

So… do you have more interest in your impression, or your impact?

Impression vs. Impact

Worldly people have much more concern about their impression that they give to each other (look at social media). They think about what to wear, what to buy, surgery for their faces or bodies, what attitude to show, etc. This is for their “impression” that they want to convey to others.

Yes, this is not bad, but what is MORE important for Christians is what IMPACT you are giving to others – your brothers and sisters in Christ and the lost.

A Christian’s life is being evaluated by our IMPACT on this world, NOT by our IMPRESSION we give others.

v. 13 “make up your mind” (we make up our faces)

  • Making up your face = for good impression
  • Making up your mind = for good IMPACT

Yes, we want to grow in our knowledge. Strong Christians are strong in good knowledge of God. If you have this knowledge: “All food is neutral, no food is unclean, so I can eat all food. Idols are nothing.” If you have this knowledge, you have right, good knowledge and you are a strong Christian.

BUT, if somebody is hurt by your “right” knowledge, it means your “right” knowledge is destroying your brothers and sisters who are weak.

“Knowledge puffs up; love builds up” (1 Cor 8)

Yes, we need to grow in knowledge. But knowledge without love can destroy somebody. So knowledge and love must be balanced. These two must go together.

The moment we become Christians, the feelings of others become more important than our own.

What is true biblical Christianity?

  1. Putting Christ first,
  2. others second,
  3. self last

#2 We must have PRIORITY

What is your #1 priority?

Yes, in daily life, we have many obligations, but what is your mission, your #1 priority? This is very important as a child of God. Please check yourself very honestly right now.

v. 16-20

“16 Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, [matter of priority] 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.”

This is the matter of priority.

Yes, we must be very clear in the matter of what our priorities are.

Saying: “The second best is the greatest enemy of the best.” (not always, but often true)

We need food, material, clothes, shelter, but these things do not bring us closer to God. These things cannot be priority #1 in our lives.

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Jesus) Jesus knows what we need (physically), but this is not #1 priority in your life.

If you are not clear on the #1 priority in your life, you may regard less important things as more important. Therefore, we will major in the minor subjects.

Do not fight over minor subjects – the place, date of picnics, etc – because we must stick to our priority #1. These are heavenly things, not earthly things. Our citizenship is in heaven, not on earth.

v. 17 “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”

Also, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and his righteousness and then all these things will be given to you.”

One day, Jesus condemned the teachers of the Law and Pharisees saying, “You hypocrites! You give 1/10th tithe, BUT you have neglected the more important matters of the Law – grace, mercy, faithfulness. You strain out a gnat but you swallow a camel.” Jesus criticized them because they majored in minor things.

v. 17 “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”

Righteousness is having right relationship with God and man.

Peace is more than the absence of trouble. It is not a non-negative thing, but is EVERYTHING positive – it is for our highest good. Jesus says, “I do not give as this world gives. My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

There is joy in our hearts.

“Be joyful always (in Christ) – for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you.”

  • Joy is not a selfish thing. It is not in making ourselves happy, but in making OTHERS happy.

Consider:

  • If you make yourself satisfied, you may feel happy.
  • But if you make God and others satisfied, you WILL fell JOY.

Romans 5 shows these three elements of the kingdom of heaven: “Therefore since we have been justified through Christ, we have peace with God.”

  • Justification through Christ.
  • Peace with God.
  • Joy in the glory of God.

These three items are essentials in the kingdom of God.

God bless us to be filled with real righteousness, real peace, and real joy.

Conclusion: We must do everything IN love, BY faith.

1 Cor 16:14 “Do everything in love [by faith].”

God bless you all – make up your mind, not your face.

v. 21-23

“21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and **everything that does not come from faith is sin.**”

Memorize this last part. Keep it in your heart and brain and mind.

Conclusion: Do everything in love by faith.

Yes we know, everything we are doing is nothing without love. And everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Sin came into this world – we are fighting against sin as long as we are in this world. We are saved completely, once for all, from sin – but still we are struggling. So, we must be clear in this matter.

In the last part, I want to make two things clear:

  1. What is the meaning of salvation from sin
  2. “Everything that does not come from faith is sin”

#1 Salvation from sin

  • Past: We *were* saved once for all from the **penalty and punishment** of sin the moment we accepted Christ as Lord
    • (salvation)
  • Present: We *are being* saved from the **power and temptation** of sin through the power of Christ and ministry of the HS
    • (sanctification)
  • Future: We *will be* saved from the **presence** of sin when Jesus returns or when we see him, face to face
    • (glorification)

#2 Everything that does not come from faith is sin

What does this mean? What time is it now? Are you still with me?

I want to make it CLEAR what is sin.

In a Christian life, we are not sinless. Nobody can be sinless as long as we are in this world. But we must be clear about what is sin.

What is sin?

Biblically (not from the perspective of Man, but from God’s perspective – which is really important):

There are 4 things:

  • The first two are related essentials and a matter of text (from the Bible).
  • The second two are non-essentials and gray areas of things not directly mentioned in the Bible (depends on circumstances – depends on context, not text).

1. Not believing in Jesus Christ

(the greatest sin – which leads to death (eternally)) Jesus himself says, (John 16:9) “They do not believe in me.”

This is the greatest sin which cannot be forgiven. If you do not agree with this sentence, you are not a Christian.

2. Disobedience to the Word of God (God’s clear commands) –

  • Sin of Commission: To do what God forbids,
  • Sin of Omission: or NOT to do what God commands us to do
  1. Negatively: “Do not lie; do not cheat; do not steal; do not murder; do not commit adultery.” We should NOT do it.
  2. Positively: “Love your neighbor as yourself, forgive your brother; Love the Lord your God with all of you” – We SHOULD do it.

3. (Matter of context – gray area) Personal convictions

for example smoking, going to the movies on Sunday, etc. It depends on circumstances and context.

This depends on personal, individual faith conscience and conviction.

If I smoke with a Christian conscience, no sin.

But if I do something against my conscience or against my convictions, this is sin to me.

Keyword: Christian conscience and conviction (this is the message of this chapter)

4. (Gray area) – How personal convictions affect others

If I do something in my conscience and with big conviction, it is not sin to me.

However, if I’m doing something that is not sinful to me (my conscience and conviction are clear), but if MY action causes another person to stumble, it is sin.

1 Cor 6:12, 1 Cor 10:23 (4x repeated – for big emphasis) “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial / constructive.”

1 Cor 8:23 “If what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat that food again so that I will not cause my brother to fall into sin.” (This is called “making up your mind”).

  1. In essentials: we must keep unity
  2. In non-essentials: we must be open-minded for variety and diversity
  3. In everything: we must do in love (by faith)

These are basic principles of the Christian life in this world.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 05 / 2017
  • Comments Off on We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)

We are Saved with Heart and Mouth (Romans 10:5-13)

Download Notes in a .MD file

We are saved by our Heart & Mouth

Romans 10:5-13 (Pastor Heo)

5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


This final sentence is quoted from Joel 2:32. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Last time’s conclusion: Jesus is the END of the Law – so there is righteousness for everyone who believes.

What does this mean?

Jesus is the END of the Law =

  1. The Full satisfaction of the requirements of the Law (only he lived a fully, perfectly holy, sinless life)
  2. The end of Legalism (through his death and resurrection, he has terminated the Law’s requirements for those who believe)
  3. The end of the Requirements of the Law (Romans 8 “For what the Law was powerless to do, God did through Christ…”) The Rule/Reign of the Law has ended in Christ
  4. The Law is only a Shadow/Type of Christ (Christ is the REALITY of all types, patterns, symbols in the Bible. EVERYTHING in the Bible points to Christ – all sufferings, festivals, offerings, prophecies, priesthoods, sacrifices, etc). Jesus is the Final and Living sacrifice

Today’s text = contrast between LAW righteousness and FAITH righteousness

v. 5 LAW righteousness

“5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.””

v. 6 FAITH righteousness

“6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).”

Leviticus 18:5 is quoted here in Romans 10:5

“5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.””

Now let’s look at Deuteronomy 9:4-6

“4 After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the LORD your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.”

Stiff-necked = hard-hearted

Three times repeated: “Not because of your (LAW) righteousness.”

The contrast between FAITH and LAW righteousness:

  • LAW = only introduced to the Jews in the NT
    • FAITH = introduced to ALL people everywhere
  • LAW = based on works/actions
    • FAITH = comes only by faith
  • LAW = keep the Law outwardly
    • FAITH = call on the Lord and trust Christ alone
  • LAW = self righteousness
    • FAITH = God’s (Christ’s) righteousness (Jesus is our righteousness – 1 Cor 1:13)
  • LAW = cannot save
    • FAITH = brings eternal life and salvation
  • LAW = leads us to pride, hypocrisy, misery, wretchedness
    • FAITH = leads us to humility, joy, thankfulness, giving glory to God

This is the difference. Big difference.

This FAITH righteousness comes only from Christ.

v. 6-8 (Deut 30:12-14 quotation)

“6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “**The word** is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: “

Today’s message = very DEEP but very SIMPLE

v. 6 = “Who will ascend into heaven?”

In order to see/meet Christ, we do not need to go to heaven, because Christ came to this world for us. (John 3:16) God SENT his one and only son into the world to save the world through him (1 Tim 1:15)

To meet Christ, we don’t need to go to heaven because he CAME to us.

v. 7 “Who will descend into the deep?”

To meet Jesus, we don’t need to go to death, we don’t need to die – because he ROSE from death and is now alive.

v. 8 “The Word is near you”

To meet Christ, we do not need to do a difficult labor. We do not need any kind of image, picture, sign, wonder, miracle, vision… ALL that we need to meet Christ is a (the) “Word”

Hebrews “The Word of God is living and active and more powerful than a double-edged sword…”

The ONLY thing we need to meet Christ is the WORD of God.

John 1 “In the beginning was the WORD (Logos), and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Through him all things were created, and without him, nothing was created that has been created. In him was the light of Man…and he came and made his dwelling among us… and we have seen his glory.”

v. 6-7 “Who will ascend / who will descend”

These two verses are reminiscent of Psalm 139:7-8 “Where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence? If I go to heaven, you are there. If I go to the depths, you are there.”

  • Even before we begin to look for God – God is THERE. He is present. No matter how far we go out of our way, God is never farther away than when we first started.
    • As long as we insist on finding God – we will discover that this search never ends.
    • But, if we begin by trusting Christ through the Word, we will discover that he is already there and will be found.

“For I am with you always to the very end of the Age.” (This is the final verse in Matthew 28:20?)

Jesus’ name is Emmanuel (God with us).

The next verse is very clear in teaching us how to be saved.

v. 9 -10 (memorize these – keep them in your hearts)

“9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

  • Verse 9 is enough.
  • Verse 10 is added for detailed emphasis.

Shout with your mouth “Jesus is Lord!” (ask your neighbor, “really?”)

These two verses are very clear in teaching:

  1. What we NEED to be saved
  2. HOW we can be saved

#1 What do we need to possess to be saved?

We need a MOUTH and HEART.

Do you have these? Then you can be saved.

The Bible says:

  1. Confess with your MOUTH
  2. Believe in your HEART
  3. You will be SAVED

It does not say anything about your character, merits, deeds, actions, wisdom, knowledge, wealth, honor, education, family, career, degree, etc.

What do you need? MOUTH and HEART

Salvation = as close as your MOUTH and HEART

  • Salvation = available for ALL human beings and accessible by ALL human beings – because God wants ALL to be saved and come to a knowledge of his Son – God wants to see no one perish.
  • Salvation is an immediate and instant event.
    • This is the BIRTH of a new life.
  • Salvation is a gift of God. (Eph 2:9 “It is by GRACE you have been saved – not by works so that no one can boast”)

We can be saved by believing in our hearts that Jesus died for our sins and rose again for the dead for our lives, and then by confessing with our mouths that Jesus is “Lord”.

This is both VERY easy, and VERY difficult.

v. 10

  1. It is with you HEART you believe and are JUSTIFIED
  2. It is with your MOUTH that you profess your faith and are SAVED

Justification and Salvation are not mutually exclusive. They are not different. To be saved without justification, and to be justified without salvation – impossible. They go hand-in-hand. They are two parts, two sides of the same coin. To believe and to confess = a WHOLE person’s commitment. This is the key point of this verse.

To believe (HEART) and confess (MOUTH) = two parts to a single step.

  • To believe WITHOUT confession = false / fake faith / non-saving faith

For our salvation, we must truly believe that God rose again from the dead. Do you believe this?

1 Cor 15 = The Resurrection Chapter

“If Christ has NOT been raised, then our (whole) faith is USELESS and we are still in our sins. We (Christians) would be the MOST pitiful people on Earth.”

Only Jesus is the only Lord to have risen from the dead. His resurrection makes Christianity MORE than a philosophy of life, more than any other religious option. Jesus is different and distinct from all other religious leaders – because this is the ONLY way to be saved.

If you believe, then you can feel / recognize Jesus’ presence with you anywhere, everywhere, because Jesus is alive.

Confess with your MOUTH

“Jesus is Lord!”

What is the meaning?

At that time, “Lord” = curios (Greek)

  • That means, “I am acknowledging his rank, superiority, highest authority, Lordship, kingship, saviorship, Godship, divinity, ownership, mastership.”
  • Also, “I am placing my whole life under his protection for safe keeping.”
  • Also, “I am pledging my total obedience and worship to him.”
  • “I’m pledging myself and all resources to his direction, government, and service.”

We should notice “with my mouth.” Do you have this?

Imagine, if it is enough to confess this before God, then we can confess with our HEARTS alone before God – we don’t need Mouths before God.

However, this is to be audible for others to HEAR – we “confess” before MEN for them to hear.

Jesus says, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my father in heaven.”

Please remember, these two ALWAYS go together.

HEART and MOUTH.

  • A silent Christian is not a “shy” Christian.
  • A silent Christian is not a Christian.

Jesus says, “My believer is my witness.”

How can you testify / witness something in a courtroom? With your mouth. “My believer is my witness.”

  • Remember, silent Christian is not a Christian.

How can they KNOW you are Christian? By your confession.

This is our acknowledgment, our witness.

“Even though I’m in this world, I’m not of this world. I’m of heaven.”

God bless you to be a TRUE Christian before God, before men, before Satan and angels and demons.

Conclusion:

First part is quoted from Isaiah 28:16

“1 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “

Second part is from Joel 2:32 – 700 years before this

The same Lord is the Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him.

As my conclusion, I want to make one thing very clear before you:

  • We know God has sovereignty.
  • We know God has many projects (creator, designer, maker)
  • God has ONE nonnegotiable project, permanent project:

A day, a BIG DAY, will come, when all human beings will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord.”

Colossians 3:23? “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for the glory of God.”

This is the final purpose of God’s creation.

His purpose is NOT for our salvation, but for his own glory.

His purpose can be fulfilled by all things in the universe (“The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm))

Phil 2:9-11 “God exalted his one and only Son to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names, that at his name, every knee should bow, on the earth, above the earth, and under the earth, and all tongues confess that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ – to the glory of God the Father.”

Remember:

  • If we confess with our mouths on earth that “Jesus is Lord” then we will continue this work (worship) in heaven.
  • BUT if we reject this belief (HEART) and confession (MOUTH), then we will do this job (confessing “Jesus is Lord”) forever in hell.
  • Remember, our earthly lives are a blessing / chance / opportunity / one time gift to confess that Jesus is Lord.
  • If we reject this chance to confess in this world, then we will confess eternally in hell.

This is the meaning of Phil 2:9-11.

  • All knees will bow – in heaven, on earth, under the earth
  • All tongues will confess – “Jesus Christ is Lord” to the glory of God the Father.

God bless you to be a true Christian and witness.

“A believer is a witness.”

“I’m a believer before God; a witness before men.”

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 15 / 2017
  • Comments Off on By Works or by Faith? (Romans 9:30-10:4)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

By Works or by Faith? (Romans 9:30-10:4)

Download Notes in a .MD file

By Works or by Faith?

Romans 9:30-10:4 (Pastor Heo)

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

10:1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.


Spiritual things can only be discerned spiritually.

Spiritual truths can only be understood through the ministry of the Holy Spirit – as Jesus said, “The Counselor will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

The Spirit also helps us in our weakness. Many times we don’t know what to pray for, but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8?).

Today in the study of this text we need the guidance of the HS to understand this word.

These verses seem strange outwardly:

“9:30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not *by faith but as if it were by works*. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. 33 As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.””

These are quoted from Isaiah 8:14, 28:16.

These can be said easily like this:

  • Those who try to save themselves by works – efforts – are not saved.
    • But those who did not try to save themselves by works – but only came to Jesus by faith – are saved.
  • Those who try to have a right relationship with God by their own power, did not find it.
    • But those who came to Christ only by faith, found it.
  • Those who thought they could please God with works, could not.
    • But those who came by faith, pleased God.

This is the meaning of these sentences. The point is: We must understand, clearly, biblically, what salvation is like.

For example:

  • Genesis 1:1 – God created all things. In the work of Creation, all the Creation did nothing to be created. Only God took initiative to create all things. Salvation is like this.
  • As we know, Jesus turned water into wine.The water did nothing to become wine. Only Christ took initiative to turn it into wine. Salvation is like this.
  • Jesus raised the dead Lazarus – buried underground with a bad smell. Lazarus did nothing to raise himself. Only Jesus did. Salvation is like this.
  • Also, the HS caused Mary to become pregnant with the baby Jesus. She did nothing of her own power to become pregnant. Only the HS did. (In this case, Mary was like the clay in the hands of the potter – last week) Salvation is like this.
    • “Salvation is like birth.”
    • Salvation is a kind of birth.
    • “You must be born again.” – born of the HS.
    • Salvation is birth AGAIN – rebirth – birth from the HS.
  • Yes, we know of the story of babies. The babies do nothing to be conceived, nothing in choosing genes, DNA, gender, parents, birthplace, blood type, etc. Only parents (and God) did anything for the baby to be born. Salvation is like this.
  • We did not ask Christ to come into this world to save it – nor to die on the cross – nor to rise again from the dead – nor to rise to heaven – nor to come again. Absolutely, on his own choice, according to God’s sovereign will, Christ did all these things for us. Salvation is like this.

Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

Do you believe this? Then the biggest error and mistake of the Israelites was that in history they waited a LONG time for the Messiah (this is Christ). “In him was life, that life was the light of man … when he came into this world, the people (esp of Israel) did not recognize nor receive him.” This is the biggest error.

Jesus says in John 9 directly to the people of Israel, “You diligently study the Scriptures thinking that by them you have life. But these are the Scriptures that testify about me. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

“I and the Father are ONE.” (I am God.) Yes, Jesus claimed that.

At this, the Jews picked up stones to stone him, and he said, “Why do you stone me?” They said, “Blasphemer!” (You, a mere man claim to be God.) That’s why they crucified him. They did not believe he was God.

Yes, even today, people believe he was a good man, good prophet, good Savior. But we must believe he is true GOD.

Next, let us see the study of chapter 10.

In chp 9, 10, 11 – this is the story of the Vindication of God through the nation of Israel.

  • Chp 9 = Israel’s PAST election
  • Chp 10 = Israel’s PRESENT rejection
  • Chp 11 = Israel’s FUTURE redemption

Today, we study Chp 10. You know, even today, Israel is one of the most difficult nations on earth to be evangelized.

Chp 9 = emphasized God’s SOVEREIGNTY (will/election) – God has mercy/compassion on whom he wants

“Does not the potter have the right to make some clay common and some noble?” Israel did nothing to be elected/chosen by God. Only God chose them (for a special mission – the salvation of the world).

Chp 10 = emphasizes Human RESPONSIBILITY

Through the study of Israel, we can see that even Divine Sovereignty does not negate Human Responsibility

Nowhere in the Bible does it say we must choose only one. These are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they cooperate with each other – even though we may not fully grasp these truths.

This is a paradox:

  • God has 100% sovereignty
  • We have 100% responsibility

Do you have will power? Choice? This means we are responsible beings.

“I am a responsible being before God.” Really?

Actually, the more we recognize God’s sovereignty, the more we are to recognize our responsibility.

The Israelites were VERY aware of their privilege (as God’s chosen people) but tended to neglect their responsibility (for world evangelization).

What was Israel’s problem?

(This is not to criticize, but to teach us today.)

#1 They did not understand what salvation was like.

10:1 “1 Brothers and sisters (Israelites), my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.”

Maybe the Jews would be shocked by this prayer of Paul for them.

  • They THOUGHT they WERE saved, but actually, they were NOT.
  • They thought the Gentiles had to come up to the level of the Jews to be saved. But actually, the Jews had to go down to the level of the Gentiles to be saved.

The biblical understanding of salvation is the pre-requisite to enter into true Christian life.

  • They thought that being physical children of Abraham would guarantee their salvation. But salvation is only found in Christ.
  • They thought they could fulfill their salvation by works. But it is only obtained by faith in Christ. They thought they had much to boast of. But they had to be humble.
  • They thought God was exclusively God only for them. But God is God of ALL human beings.
  • They thought they were righteous, in no need of salvation. But they were unrighteous.
  • They were proud. But deserved to be condemned.
  • They rejected the visible God, Jesus Christ. But they should have recognized him.

Israel is still one of the most difficult nations on earth to evangelize – but God remains faithful to them.

#2 They had zeal without knowledge

Zeal = passion, enthusiasm – this is necessary to do something big or small successfully. Without zeal, we cannot do anything successfully. The problem is zeal without KNOWLEDGE.

How dangerous would this be?

  • Big ZEAL for driving without knowledge of the road rules or car controls…
  • Big ZEAL for guns without knowledge of the safety of guns.
  • But in religion, big ZEAL is much more dangerous.

“2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3 Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

Personally, Paul personally know the danger of zeal without knowledge. There was a time before his conversion when he had wonderful ZEAL for God, but without knowledge. When he had this, he persecuted the church. He killed and jailed so many children of God and THOUGHT he was doing it FOR God.

So, zeal without God is fanaticism (fanatics). It’s like heat without light.

This was zeal for their own traditions, laws, cultures, and made them proud and arrogant.

“I must study. I must learn. I must learn and learn. Until heaven.”

#3 They did not know Christ is the END of the Law

“4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

  • “For everyone” – does this include YOU?
  • If you believe, are you involved in this sentence? Yes.

I said several times, the Theme of the book of Romans is the Righteousness of God.

Even today, we can see the word “righteousness” is repeated several times.

What does this mean: “Christ is the end (culmination) of the Law”? Four points:

#1 Christ is the fulfillment of the demands of the divine Law

Only Christ fully met the requirements of the holiness of God.

“Do not think I have come to abolish the Law. I have come to fulfill it.”

Only Christ is the full satisfaction of the Law of God. The Law of God is grounded in his very nature, so the breaking of that Law brings with it a penalty, condemnation, punishment, separation from God. ALL sinners cannot meet the demands of this Law. Only Christ as our representative and substitute can – through his obedience and sufferings. He fully met the demands of the Law.

Romans: “What the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful Nature, God DID by sending his Son that the requirements of the Law might be met in us who do not live by the sinful Nature but by the HS.”

#2 Christ is finishing “legalism”

There is no more “legalism” – “we are not under Law but under Grace.”

The relationship between God and his children is no longer a creditor/debtor relationship, or a judge/accused relationship. But the basic relationship has become Father/children.

This means Christ is the end of legalism.

#3 Christ is THE reality of all realities / shadows / types / patterns / signs

Gal 3:24 “The Law was given as a charge to lead us to Christ so that we might be justified by faith.”

All the signposts throughout the Bible. All the prophesies, signs, patterns, foreshadowing, etc, point to Christ who is THE way to life, salvation, heaven, God, a righteous relationship with God, reconciliation with God, peace, joy, real success, real well being, victory, glory, glorification. THE way is only Jesus Christ.

Since the Creation of the world, it is only Jesus Christ who has the right and power to say, “I am THE Way, the Truth and the Life.” (I am the ONLY ONE WAY). “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

#4 Christ is MY righteousness

“4 Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

“Therefore, since we have been justified though faith in Christ, we have peace with God, and gain access to this hope in which we now stand.”

1 Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, holiness, sanctification, salvation.”

God bless you in this sentence.

Let us pray.

  • May 21 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (2) – Romans 4:1-25
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (2) – Romans 4:1-25

Download notes in a .MD file

Justification Illustrated by Abraham’s Experience (2)

Romans 4:1-25 (Pastor Heo)

Abraham Justified by Faith

1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. 13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.


We are not justified by works, but by the grace of God based on the power of God – through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This chapter is the same justification illustrated through the experience of Abraham. In the matter of salvation and justification, Abraham and we are the same. (Same experience, same testimony).

Last time, we saw (negatively) by what Abraham was NOT saved.

  1. His character
  2. Circumcision (religious rituals – baptism, communion, local church membership)
  3. Observing the Law
  4. His own power

Today, let’s look at (positively) by what Abraham WAS justified.

#1: He was justified by Faith

v. 1-3

“1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” – (this is quoted from Genesis 15:6)

  • In Genesis 14, Abraham was involved in fighting to rescue his nephew Lot and possessions and many other people.
  • In Genesis 15, maybe Abraham might be in fear wondering if they might return to fight against him. It was then that God appeared to him and said,
    • “Abraham, do not be afraid. I am your great shield and very great reward.”
    • Abraham said, “Oh, Lord, what have you given me? I have no heir.”
    • God said, “No, not your servant, but your own son from your own body will be your heir. Look up at the heavens and count the stars – your children will be more numerous than all these or all the sand on the seashore.”
    • This promise is the one that Abraham believed and God honored his faith and said, “Your faith will be credited to you as righteousness.”

Thus, BY FAITH, he was declared righteous.

#2: He was justified by the Grace of God

v. 16

“16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. (are you included or excluded? if saved, you are included in the salvation / justification of God)

Literal meaning of “Abraham” = “Father of many nations”

This promise was given by Grace.

This means God was not under any duty or obligation to do this for Abraham. Abraham did NOTHING to earn this, nor to merit this promise. It was freely given. It was given totally by God’s will and grace. This is a gift without cause.

In Greek, there are two words for “promise”:

  1. huposchesis? = conditional, relative promise (like a contract or agreement by mutual consent – there are conditions that must be met)
    1. If you… then I’ll… – most promises between human beings are these.
    2. The word “Promise” in these verses is NOT this one.
  2. epangelia? = unconditional, absolute promise (this is to be fulfilled regardless of any factors) – Abraham’s age, character, etc did not matter.
    1. Thus, our salvation (likewise) is never to be lost nor changed.
    2. Once justified, it never changes.

If we are saved, justified, by our own works, then this salvation may be lose-able (think if you failed to live up to your previous works). But this promise is absolute and unconditional.

  1. by faith
  2. by grace

#3: He was justified by the power of Jesus Christ

v. 22-25

“22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Yes, Abraham was not justified by HIS own power. Now, imagine, when God gave this promise, “You will be the father of many nations…” Abraham was childless. He was 85 years old at that time. (That’s not young.) We can expect that God would give Abraham a child IMMEDIATELY after that promise, but…………………. 15 years later….

There are many reasons for this, but ONE reason why God delayed in giving them a son was to wait until their “natural” reproductive power reduced and disappeared completely.

When they were totally powerless, as good as dead from a reproductive point of view, THEN God (through the power of the resurrection of Jesus) began to work in their bodies.

This was an outward symbol of how they were justified.

Also, we have done nothing for our own salvation and justification, because we were spiritually dead when we were saved. Also, we need to do nothing for our salvation because our Lord Jesus Christ has done ALL for our salvation and justification.

In this chapter, Abraham is listed as the “father of faith” (not the father of character). This means, even today, we are saved by the same faith by which Abraham was saved and justified 4,000 years ago. By that same faith, we can learn and see what this saving faith is like.

Here are 3 things that saving faith is like.

Do you have saving faith?

  1. Basis = Word of God (covenant of God, promise of God – not our own thinking)
    1. Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the Word of God…”
  2. Object = Jesus Christ
    1. Even Abraham (from God’s perspective) was saved and justified by believing in Jesus Christ. “Before Abraham was born, I AM.”
    2. Jesus came in body 2,000 years ago, Abraham lived 4,000 years ago. “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” (not “had been”) “Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day.”
    3. Hebrews 12:2 “Fix your eyes on Christ, the author and perfector of our faith.”

2 key words / key points

If you get these points in your daily lives, you will be so blessed.

Before this, let us think about Abraham’s faith. We are also justified by this same faith.

On Abraham’s part, he had NOTHING to boast about his faith. But God honored Abraham’s faith and declared “you are righteous”. Also today, we need to honor his faith.

Under what circumstances did Abraham believe God’s promise (4,000 years ago)?

  1. He had no Bible, no written Word of God, no local churches, no fellowship with other believers. He was surrounded by unbelieving pagans (he was the only one at that time)
  2. He also was childless at age 85 – yet he believed God’s promise for “many children” and even up to 15 years later…. NO.

If you were Abraham in THAT situation, would you continue to believe God’s promise absolutely without doubting, shaking, wavering?

  • The visible circumstances are becoming worse and worse,
  • but Abraham’s faith is getting stronger and stronger.
  • THIS is saving faith.

v. 18-20

“18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, “

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

You must check your faith all the time. If (this is a serious sentence)…

  • If your faith is affected by circumstances….
  • – stronger when circumstances are favorable,
  • – weaker when circumstances are out of control
  • This is NOT saving faith.

That’s why, even Saving Faith is the Gift of God.

This is not given by our own payment, but by God’s grace.

2 keywords

  1. Credit (x10 repeated in this chapter)
    1. v. 3
    2. v. 4
    3. v. 5
    4. v. 6
    5. v. 9
    6. v. 10
    7. v. 11
    8. v. 22
    9. v. 23
    10. v. 24
    11. This short word = 10x
  2. Righteousness (x12)
    1. – sometimes “justified”
    2. – last word in this chapter = “justification” – this means “declared righteousness”

2 keywords:

  1. Credit (x10)
  2. Righteousness (x12)

At that time, “credit” = banking term.

Do you have a credit card? Probably most of you have more than one. Do you have your own bank book?

“Credit” = to deposit into one’s account (increase) – count, reckon

If someone puts $1 billion into my account, whose money will that be? Mine. It’s available for me – regardless of my character, weight, appearance, education, career, background, etc.

Credit = emphasized in Romans 4 to show us “this is TRUE!” – the moment I put my real trust (faith) in Jesus Christ – at that exact moment, all of my sins from first to last, are ALL transferred to the “bank account” of Jesus Christ. That’s why he is called the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sins for the whole world.

That’s why, at the cross, he was totally filled from head to toe with ALL the sins of the world – even Abraham’s sins, even my sins, even a man who lives to the end of the world’s sins.

Because of this, God abandoned him and Jesus cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Isaiah 56 “We all like sheep have gone astray, each has turned to his own way, and God has laid upon him the iniquity of us all.”

Then God transferred ALL those sins to Jesus and declares us righteous, because he also transfers Jesus’ righteousness to us.

“God made Christ who had no sin to become sin so that we might be justified and made righteous for everyone who believes.”

Cor 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our righteousness, sanctification.”

This is the imputation of unrighteousness and righteousness.

God bless you. This chapter starts with the story of Abraham, and ends with the story of Jesus Christ.

v. 25 “25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

  • Jesus was delivered over to be a full Man from full God
  • delivered to this dirty earth from beautiful heaven for our sins
  • delivered over to all kinds of sins and temptations to experience what we experience
  • delivered over to the priests and Pharisees
  • delivered over to Pilate to be judged wrongly for our sins
  • delivered over to Roman soldiers to be powerless for our sins
  • delivered over to the cross, the place of the greatest humiliation and shame for our sins
  • delivered over to death and burial and hell for our sins and rose again from death from hell from all sins.

It is only Jesus Christ who defeats the last enemy. And now he is alive and interceding for us. He did this all for us, and all by his own choice (not by force) – he did this all because he loves us.

John 10:18 “No one takes my life from me, I lay my life down of my own accord. I have authority to lay my life down and to take it up again.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Apr 09 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Five Rhetorical Questions (Romans 3:1-9)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Five Rhetorical Questions (Romans 3:1-9)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Five Rhetorical Questions

Romans 3:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

God’s Faithfulness

3:1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” 5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

No One Is Righteous

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that *Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.*


Last Sunday, we saw in the last part “A man is not a Jew if he is merely one outwardly; a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly.” This means “true Jewishness is not a matter of physical reality, but one’s relationship with God.” This is the same for Christianity.

True Christianity is not a matter of outward membership with any one church, but with inward, daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

God looks at our hearts and our actions (which come out of our hearts).

Chp 3:1-9, Paul continues to use a diatrophy – to illustrate his point. Now, he poses rhetorical questions to reflect on his point.

Here are the five questions and answers. (These are very practical – even today, many people question and challenge these.)

v. 1-2

#1 What advantage in being a Jew / circumcised?

A: Much in every way. They have the very Words of God.

No question, in history, in his goodness, God has blessed the Jews much spiritually and physically (The Promised Land, the Word of God – to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Samuel, etc.)

Also, even the Promised Messiah, Jesus who takes the sin of the world came into this world in the appearance of a Jewish man (not Korean). Also, Jesus’ 12 disciples were all Jewish men.

The OT is the Word of God. Also, humanly speaking, the OT is the history of Israel. This advantage of having the very Word of God = duty / responsibility – to share this Word of God with other peoples and nations to return them to God and be reconciled with God (but they failed).

For us:

What advantage in being a Christian?

Much! We have been entrusted with the very Word of God (last Sunday, we studied the name and title “Christian” – the most beautiful and influential name/title in this world) – this shows what our identity, nature, standing is in this world. We are not followers, but leaders. We are not conformers, but transformers. So, we have so many advantages and privileges so there are 2 things we must remember and practice:

  1. This must not make us proud and arrogant but humble (God did not give his Word to the strong and powerful in the world, but to a small, weak tribal nation – to show his greatness and make all men humble)
    1. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy people, a people belonging to God – so that you may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his glorious light.” (Peter)
    2. Also “God chose the lowly, despised, weak to nullify the things that are strong – so that no one may boast before God.”
  2. We are chosen, saved, to SHARE this salvation with others. (Paul) “When I preach, I cannot boast. I am compelled to preach the gospel.”

Do you have the Word of God? If you have this Word, how do you use this very Word of God in your practical life?

This is a big privilege and challenge and responsibility.

Next questions show a BIG contrast between men’s attributes and God’s attributes.

v. 3

#2 What if some are unfaithful? Will this nullify God’s faithfulness?

A: Not at all!

By nature, all human beings are faithless (unfaithful). Only God is faithful.

  • This unfaithfulness of man cannot nullify the faithfulness of God – rather it ENHANCES the faithfulness of God.
  • The faithlessness of man cannot be justified though it enhances God’s faithfulness.

What is God’s faithfulness? God will always do what he says / promises.

This verse referenced here is from Numbers “let every man be a liar.” also “God is not a man that he would lie. Does God promise and not fulfill?” Also “because of the Lord’s great love, compassions that never fail, we are not consumed.”

  • Great is his faithfulness.
  • Great is God’s faithfulness.

This is our only hope. We can worship, exalt, praise him simply because his faithfulness is great. This is the central theme of the spiritual growth of the church.

We must remember all the time that our first, basic faith was God’s loving faithfulness. “God shows his own love for us in this that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

First contrast:

Man’s unfaithfulness vs. God’s faithfulness

v. 5-6

#3 If our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, is God unjust to judge us?

A: Certainly not! If so, how could God judge the world?

Just like man’s faithlessness, by nature, man is unjust, unfair, unrighteous. Only God is righteous, just, and fair. Also, this of man cannot nullify that of God. Rather it (also) enhances that of God.

So, what is the righteousness of God? This means God always acts in accordance with what is right. At the same time, he himself is the final standard of what is right.

God himself is right, just, and he is the initial and final standard of what is right.

God is not right because he is doing something right, BUT whatever God is doing is right, because he is always right – and is the standard of what is right.

In the Bible, the righteousness of God is revealed in 5 areas:

  1. punishing the wicked
  2. rewarding the faithful
  3. rewarding / vindicating his people against evil
  4. forgiving the penitent for their sins

Our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly. How so?

5 ways:

  1. Our awareness of sin causes us to repent – resulting in salvation
  2. Our repeated failures – results in a new consciousness of sin
  3. Our deepened understanding of sin – results in confirmation of truth that victory and spiritual growth come only from God
  4. God’s forgiveness (1 John 1:9) – this is a big blessing to us – it becomes a big part of our testimony to others (we can share this if we experience God’s forgiveness)
  5. In the light of God’s righteousness, our unrighteousness makes us humble and dependent on God’s forgiveness – there is no hope without this

Contrast:

Man’s unrighteousness vs. God’s righteousness

v. 7-8

#4 If my falseness increases God’s truthfulness, why am I still condemned?

Q: Do evil that good may result? Can you say this?

A: Their condemnation is deserved.

By nature, all humans are false, God only is true. This is the big and final contrast between God and man.

Man’s falsehood does not nullify God’s truthfulness. But also this falsehood cannot be justified just because it enhances the truthfulness of God.

What is the truthfulness of God? He is True, and the source of all truth, and the final standard of all truth (his Word, etc all conform to eternity).

We must not say:

God is true because he is doing something true, rather, whatever God is doing is true because God himself is True. He is the initial and final standard of truth.

Jesus also says, “I am the Truth” – so outside Christ, nothing True can be found. Outside Christ, anything truthful, righteous, faithful cannot exist. Only in Christ, truth, righteousness, and faithfulness can be found.

Contrast:

Man’s falsehood vs. God’s truthfulness

v. 9

#5 Conclusion: Are we any better?

A: Not at all. Jews and Gentiles are all under the power of sin.

Are you saved? When we were saved, we were sinners. We were not saved because we were better, but we were saved by his own grace through our faith in Christ.

Thus, even though we are Christians, with many advantages and privileges, we are not “better.” We are all still sinners. What is your attitude toward sin? If you are truly born again, you must be serious in your attitude against sin.

Yes, we are all under sin, but if we are all born again Christians, by his grace and mercy and love, what should our attitude be against sin?

  • Because Satan came into this world to tempt us and challenge us to sin.
  • But Jesus came into the world to destroy the works of Satan (remove sin).

Satan always whispers (“If you feel like this….yes”) –

Satan says, “Yes, we’re all sinners, this is totally normal, don’t worry about this, keep in touch with the culture around you – you will get more experience and lessons from sin – you will experience more grace from God.”

Jesus says, “I came into this world to destroy the works of the devil and remove sin.”

God loves sinners, but hates sin.

God is too holy to be friends with sin. This is the challenge to us in this final conclusion.

Next study in Romans: “There is no one righteous, not even one – for all have fallen short of the glory of God. The final remedy for sin can only be found in Jesus Christ.”

The remedy = to not believe in Jesus and remain faithful, righteous, or truthful = an absolute impossibility, a contradiction.

The works of God for us to do =

  1. to believe in Christ,
  2. to trust in him,
  3. and to obey him (follow him).
  • A Christian is a follower of Christ.
  • Christians are not followers of this world, but followers of Christ.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 19 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Be Righteous Before God (Romans 1:1-4)
Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

Be Righteous Before God (Romans 1:1-4)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Romans: Be Righteous Before God

1:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.


That’s ONE sentence. Wow.

The Protestant Reformation and Wesley Revival came out of this book, Romans.

In 1838? a missionary went unwillingly to a meeting in London. He wrote in his diary, “I felt my heart strangely warmed and I trusted in Jesus Christ alone, Jesus Christ alone, Jesus Christ alone. I was given the guarantee that he had saved me from all sin and death and hell.” — John Wesley

The message he heard that evening was the Preface to Martin Luther’s commentary to Romans. Previously, he wrote, “I went to America to convert the Indians, but who will convert me?” He was answered that evening and this began the Wesley Revival? that transformed all of England at that time.

This same story, power, and Holy Spirit who taught them, and moved them, and changed them, can also do these things to/for us. We also can experience Revival in our hearts. The HS who greeted those in the past can also greet us in this same way today.

This book Romans is no ordinary book. It can never be studied too much. The more it is studied, the better it becomes. It is more than just a book of theology, it is a book of practical exhortation. It is that the good news of Christ is not just a story, but FACTS. Also, it declares that a life of righteousness is to be (and can be) lived.

Key verses: 1:16-17

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Theme of Romans = The Righteousness of God

  • OR The Righteousness FROM God

Key verse = 1:16-17 “I am not ashamed… it is the power of God… “

Message of Romans = “Be Righteous Before God”

  • Shout to yourself: “Be Righteous Before God”
  • Encourage your neighbor: “Be Righteous Before God”

Why? Because God is righteous, so we must be righteous to be a member of his family/kingdom.

Are you righteous? By nature, nobody is righteous (Romans 3).

  1. So, HOW can an unrighteous person have a righteous relationship with God and live a righteous life in this unrighteous world?
  2. HOW Can an absolutely righteous God declare an unrighteous person to be righteous and still remain righteous himself?

Romans = 16 chapters, 433 verses, 4 major parts (but we can divide it into 3 parts)

  1. Chp 1-8 : Revelation of God’s Righteousness in Jesus Christ
  2. Chp 9-11 : Vindication of God’s Righteousness through Human (Israel’s) History
  3. Chp 12-16 : Application of God’s Righteousness through a Christian’s daily life

The righteousness we seek is not righteousness from a human perspective. This is not “morality” but having a “right” relationship with God.

Introduction:

“1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures”

Here, Paul introduces himself – makes him ID clear. In his self-introduction, Paul reveals his ID in 3 words:

  1. Slave (servant)
  2. Apostle
  3. Set apart

This is not only his own self-introduction, but also ALL Christian’s ID. Why is this important and meaningful to us? This is a picture of US. This is OUR identity in Christ.

So, let me make this clear with 3 words.

  1. “I’m a Slave” (servant)
  2. “I’m an Apostle
  3. “I’m set apart

Please remember this until next Sunday. Memorize it.

#1: “I’m a slave”

Do you like slavery? No. Then, we must make this CLEAR. There are two things we must make clear. Why do we not like to be a slave? Because there is no good method of slavery in this world.

The original word is “dulos” (Greek) = “slave” (bond-servant). 2000 years ago, the Greek word dulos was important because there were 6,000,000 dulos in that area. This person was looked upon as a piece of property, not a person.

A slave must obey absolutely, he has no choices, no freedom, only duty, only responsibility, none of his own business, but only his Master’s business.

But also, a slave’s future = no worries. His future depends ENTIRELY on his Master.

But remember, all Nature – we are made to BE a slave of something or someone. We are not the Creator – so we cannot be completely “Free”. We cannot NOT be a slave. Don’t ask, “Am I a slave or not?” Instead, ask yourself, “Whose slave am I?”

Who is my Master? Who / or what is my Lord?

Actually, Christianity’s basic truth = paradox (a statement that seems outwardly strange or impossible or wrong – but is actually deeply, inwardly, unquestionably TRUE). “Do you not know that when you offer yourself to someone in service, you are a SLAVE to that one? Whether to sin, which leads to Death, or righteousness, which leads to Life.”

We can choose:

  1. Slave of sin
  2. Slave of God

This leads to Bondage. Bondage of drinking, smoking, laziness, stress, depression, hatred, unforgiveness, envy, worry, fear, anxiety, …

Paul – after becoming a Christian “I’m a slave of Christ” – but before this, he was a slave of Legalism, murder, hatred (as Saul). Acts “Saul was still breathing out murderous threats…”

  • Outside of Christ = slave of sin, under the bondage of hatred, a murderous spirit.
  • Inside Christ = slave of God, under the bondage of love, a generous spirit.

Paradox: “If you want to be first, you must be last. If you want to save your life, you must lose it (for me).” (Jesus)

Another paradox: Do you like to be a slave? NO.

Hmmmm…. the world thinks that the opposite of slavery = freedom. These two cannot go together. Actually, the paradox of Christianity =

  • True Freedom, satisfaction, safety, life is FOUND INSIDE Slavery (to Christ).

Truth: In the Creation of Genesis, God gave 2 mandates:

  1. Cultural Mandate: “Be fruitful in number, fill the Earth, and rule over all Creation” (kingship)
  2. Mandate: “Do not eat of the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil – if you eat this fruit, you will surely die.”

From these two mandates, what can we learn?

From God to human beings:

  1. Recognize my kingship over you – you will be like kings over others and enjoy full satisfaction, life, etc
  2. Recognize your slavery under me

In the OT, Moses was called ‘dulos of the Lord’ (slave of the Lord). This means, he was ‘Acting God’ (like the Acting President now in Korea…)

When someone was a “slave of God”, he was “Acting God” to others. Joshua, the prophets, Moses, etc were “slaves of God.” So, when we introduce ourselves as “slaves of Christ” it shows our honor (majesty) and humility.

The more we become slaves of Christ, the higher our level grows in this world. If you are slaves of Christ, you will be so blessed – and filled with so much satisfaction. Are you a slave of Christ? If you are not, you have no choice but to be a slave of sin. Please, be wise in choosing your Master.

  • We call Jesus our “Lord” – you know the opposite is “slave”. ‘dulos‘ = Slave; ‘culios‘ = Lord
  • If you call Jesus ‘culios‘, you recognize yourself as ‘dulos‘.

#2. “I’m an apostle”

Today in church, nobody is given the title “apostle” – why not? Before God, biblically speaking, we are apostles, we are priests (we have the right to enter the presence of God directly without any human mediator (1 Pet 2:9)). Like this, even though we aren’t given these titles, this is who we are.

Apostle = ‘apostolos‘ (Greek)

  • This means: ‘somebody who is called and sent by an absolute Authority with a Great Commission’

Yes, before we knew God, God called us, God sent us. We are called and sent with the Great Commission. If you believe and are sure that you are “called and sent”, then you are an “apostle.”

“I’m an apostle.”

#3. I’m set apart (for the gospel of God)

From next time we will study the gospel of God more deeply.

You know, Paul (Saul) was a Pharisee. This literally means: “set apart” for their own traditions, culture, religion. They were SO PROUD of themselves to be “set apart” from the ordinary people that they despised others.

Paul says, “before I was set apart for pride, jealousy, etc but now I’m set apart for the gospel.”

You are so special because you are set apart for service and ministry, God’s glory, God’s kingdom, God’s mission (away from sin). Please understand, your life in this world is not by chance, it is purposeful and meaningful.

Why are you here? Why in this country? Why in this room? This is not by accident.

We worship in this room as brothers and sisters, not by chance, but by the plan and purpose of God. God has a wonderful plan for us.

  1. “I’m a slave”
  2. “I’m an apostle”
  3. “I’m set apart”

Let’s pray.

  • May 04 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Christian’s Magna Carta (Galatians 1:1-24)
Galatians: Justified by Faith, Pastor Brian, Sermons

The Christian’s Magna Carta (Galatians 1:1-24)

05.04

05.04.2014

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead– 2 and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia: 3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

No Other Gospel
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Paul Called by God
11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles–only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.

 


The Magna Carta of Christian Liberty.
Magna Carta? = “The Great Charter”

  • established in 13th century in medieval England – signed by King John & the barons (leaders under the king, ruling England under a feudal system).
  • This Magna Carta is one of the most important documents in medieval England. The US Constitution is based partly upon it.

King John had all authority in England. So then why agree to this document that gave privileges to the people? At that time, England owned land in France and the king relied on the barons to provide money and men to defend those lands in France.

As long as they were successful abroad, the barons were happy to give money and men to the wars. But, King John wasn’t that successful. The barons weren’t happy about that. But King John insisted upon more and more men and money.

The King used to consult with the barons before raising the taxes and demanding men. John didn’t do that. Eventually the barons rebelled and took over the city of London.

This could have led to a great civil war in England. John realized he had to do something and signed this charter – it gave promises and privileges to the people and stopped his abuse of power.

This was a great charter for the people in England.

The letter the Galatians is a great charter for the people of heaven (including us and all Christians).

Martin Luther called this letter his betrothed – his Katy Van Vora. He considered this letter as precious as his wife.

Luther also loved the letter of Romans – he was a monk in a monastery, and was troubled greatly by the first chapter of Romans – speaking of the righteousness of God as being revealed from heaven. Many priests thought this was God’s wrath against sinners. Luther confessed he was angry with God because of this verse. He thought the gospel was an extension of the Law – that God was still an angry God, Jesus was just a more righteous Moses.

Luther struggled with this for a long time, but God revealed later that the righteousness was not an active righteousness that we must do and get – but a passive righteousness that God bestows upon unrighteous sinners. To those who are guilty, simply by believing in the person, death, atonement, resurrection of Jesus, God declared us to be righteous. “It’s as if God has given us a robe of righteousness.”

This changed everything for Luther – that God wasn’t angry, but that he received him as a son.

Similarly, he continued his study in the book of Galatians – God declares those who are guilty to be free from guilt. Jesus takes his righteousness and gives it to us as our righteousness (”The Great Exchange”). So this is a “Great Charter” for us as Christians (and sinners).

“Your blood has washed away our sins, Jesus, thank you.”

It’s our understanding of this and growth in the knowledge of this that helps us to persevere and grow in the Christian life.

Now, who are the Galatians?

Paul and Barnabas.
Paul – immediately after his conversion, began preaching all over. After numerous threats to his life, he went to Damascus, and kept preaching.

Antioch

While Paul and Barnabas were in Antioch, they were called to go on a missionary journey (the First Journey – Acts 13:14).
Recap: Acts 13:14 – on the Sabbath, they entered the synagogue and the rulers invited them to bring a word of encouragement. Paul began to remind them of the history of Israel – how they were chosen through Abraham – God had led them through Egypt – led them out of Egypt, into the land of Canaan – God gave them judges up to the time of Samuel – they asked for a king, received King Saul, then King David. “From David’s line, a Messiah (ruler) would come – and in due time, Jesus, born of a virgin came to redeem those under the Law.” It is Jesus he’s preaching.

John the Baptist came first, preparing the way, that they all should look to the One to come after.

Paul later shows how the leaders rejected Jesus, didn’t accept him as their Messiah – “but God raised him from the dead according to many promises in the Scriptures” (Psalm 2, Psalm 16:10) – This together with other promises were seen to be fulfilled in Christ.

Paul gives this history and says, “I want you to know that through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed. Everyone is proclaimed justified and free from guilt from everything.” The Law was not enough to cleanse from guilt (only expose it) – but the Grace of God, through belief in Jesus IS sufficient to cleanse from guilt.

Paul said, “Take care that what the prophets say does not happen to you – ‘Look you scoffers, you mockers, I’m going to do something among you that you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you.’”

The “God worshipers” – non-Jews – had at that time joined with the Jews and listened with the Jews in the synagogues. Many of the Jews and these “God worshiping” Gentiles received Jesus and Paul and Barnabas were invited back to preach again the second Sabbath. Pretty much the whole city turned up, but the few Jews who didn’t believe stood up and poisoned the minds of the others and caused the leaders to expel the two of them from Antioch. They brushed off the dust from their sandals – to show that they were not guilty of neglecting to share the gospel – and the continued on.

(These are the cities of Galatia)

Iconia

After Antioch, they went to Iconia. They preached in the synagogues. Some believed and received it joyfully. Others rejected it and poisoned the minds of the people against them. Paul and Barnabas stayed there for a time and God showed his power through them with signs and wonders. Eventually, they had to flee because of the plot to kill them.

Lystra

Next, Lystra. Here, Paul saw a man, lame from birth – who had FAITH. He said, “Stand up” and he did – “WOAH!” The people thought Paul and Barnabas were gods – or at least angels – and tried to worship them. They denied it, and tore their clothes and said, “Stop this! Turn AWAY from your idolatry and to the living God!” These people were pagans with no religious background – so he couldn’t show them Jesus in the Scriptures. So, he rather pointed them toward the Providence of God – this is the God they are preaching. For a time, the people believed. But again the Jews from the neighboring towns came and stood up the people. (Just shows how fickle people are. One minute listening and loving it, the next, stoning him and dragging him out of the city.)

Derby

The two then went on to Derby – many people believed. Then, they backtracked to all of their previous cities. They established churches, and appointed elders and told them they’d have to suffer hardships for the Kingdom of God. They knew Paul had risked his life to bring the good news of the gospel to them. They’d seen the power of God, received the Holy Spirit, and HOPEFULLY been established firmly.

Unfortunately, the Jews had been continually trying to get the people away from Jesus and back toward Moses and the Law of Moses. They would come into the churches and say, “Yeah, good for you, believe in Jesus BUT you better get circumcised as well…”

Some came from Jerusalem – without the authority of the church in Jerusalem – and said that the new believers would all have to adhere to the Law of Moses.

Paul and Barnabas said:

JESUS + NOTHING = EVERYTHING

Jesus + nothing else saves you.

The Gentiles did not need to be circumcised, did not need to follow the Law, just stay away from strangled food, food with blood in its veins, food sacrificed to idols, and sexual immorality.

Peter was one of the main guys who testified during this time – remember he’d already been sent to the house of Cornelius the Gentile and they received the Holy Spirit and were shown to be fully accepted just as the Jews. Peter presented this to the church in Jerusalem and James led the church to agree and accept it. (Interesting that later Peter kind of backslides from this testimony and Paul must confront him.)

Interesting that throughout these towns, the Jews had gone in to these towns and churches and said basically, “Yeah, Paul ain’t nothing. We are the TRUE apostles. You guys better get back to the Law of Moses, yo!”

Paul begins his letter here by saying “Hey guys! Remember me? APOSTLE. Not by men but through the revelation of Christ.”

Remember that Christ himself – the Risen Christ – had given Paul the revelation, the mission, the apostleship, and so on. So, Paul emphasizes that right from the beginning. And Paul emphasizes that there are “other brothers” with him who recognize his apostleship. He continues that he is astounded that the churches had listened so easily, so readily to those Jews who would twist and pervert the gospel. Paul is so worked up that he basically cursed them (twice!). “Look guys, I’m not trying to please men, but God. If I were trying to please men, I wouldn’t be a witness of Christ.” So, why you going back to that powerless/pointless Law? That’s just a step along the way to revealing the truth of JESUS. He’s the substance. Don’t go backward…

Later in the epistle, he shows through argument and demonstrations that it is ONLY by faith that they are saved and justified. They need to continue to believe in Christ. And you know what? If you love Jesus, you WILL fulfill the Law – almost unconsciously – because the Law IS love for Jesus.

As we continue through Galatians, let’s pray that God will open our eyes to see what God has done and accomplished through Jesus.

Martin Luther has said we need to continue to remember and refresh our minds about the “beautiful basics” of the gospel – FAITH IN CHRIST.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 16 / 2012
  • Comments Off on The Holy Spirit Witnesses for Christ Through the Word of God from Your Mouth to the Lost World! (John 16:1-15)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Holy Spirit Witnesses for Christ Through the Word of God from Your Mouth to the Lost World! (John 16:1-15)

9.16

Bulletin_09.16.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

John 15 = Jesus’ last teaching
John 16 = Jesus’ last sermon
John 17 = Jesus’ last prayer
John 18 = Arrested
John 19 = Crucified
John 20 = Resurrection
John 21 = Appearances

Even on the cross, Jesus asked God to “forgive them.”
How do you want to finish your earthly life with a prayer?

Last time, Jesus reminded them that the world would hate and persecute them because they (you) are not of this world.
Hating can be persecuting.
Persecuting can be killing.

From Jesus time up to now, there has been persecution of the children of God even in the name of God – they think they know God even when they don’t know God.

A clear example = Saul of Tarsus = he was a champion in persecuting God’s children. He thought that he was doing that for God, to glorify God, but after his sudden conversion on the way to Damascus, once again he became a champion for BEING persecuted for Christ.

He confessed, “I was once a blasphemer, violent man – I acted that way in unbelief.”

Jesus mentioned also his departure, and the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ substitute on earth for his continuing ministry for the salvation of the whole earth.

At that time, the disciples were so sorrowful because they thought that their hope would soon be gone – their Hope would depart.

But they didn’t understand that it would be a great blessing to all mankind. If Jesus’ did not depart, he would not be able to completely fulfill ALL prophecies about him, including his death (Isaiah 53), his resurrection (Psalms), his seating at the right hand of God, and his Second Coming.

If he didn’t depart, he also couldn’t send the Holy Spirit. This Age now is called the Church Age, the Age of the Holy Spirit. Now is the time of the HS.

v.8-15 = The ministry of the HS.
Since we are living in the Age of the HS, we must be careful to understand what the HS IS DOING through you and me and the church today.

There are many ministries of the HS today, but in these verses, the keyword is “convict”
This is one of the main ministries of the HS. At that time, convict = legal (court) term, which means, to bring to light, convince, reprove, announce, proclaim the verdict.

At times this world may think that they are judging the church, but actually it is the church that is passing judgment on the world. Believers are witnesses in this court. The HS is the prosecuting attorney. The lost world are criminals.
However, the purpose of this trial is not to condemn, but to save.

3 Areas in which the HS convicts:

v.9,11,
#1 v.9 = sin
HS convicts in regard to sin. Which sin is the greatest sin? Actually the sin in Greek is hamatia = “missing the target”
In shooting, there is only ONE target.
Sin means, literally missing ONE target point.
For sin to be sin, there must be community, society. There must be mutual relationship, at least two parts – one part to judge, the other to be judged. Subject and Object.

Government vs. Civilian
To the govt, what is the greatest sin against govt? Rebellion, coup, denial of the govt.

Parents vs. Children
Which is the greatest sin from parents against children? Which is the greatest sin from children against parents?
I’m always father to my son – I do not want my son to sin, I want him to be perfect, if possible – but I’m ready to ALWAYS receive him as my son, even if he has grievous sin.

But, if he does not recognize me as his father, if he denies me as his father, does not believe me as father, says, “You are NOT my father!”

At that time, the relationship father and son is broken.

Similarly, God is our maker, our father, our creator. To God, the greatest sin is not to recognize him, not to believe in Jesus Christ, the image of God, the true God.

Do you agree?

If you agree from your hearts, the biggest sin is not to believe in Jesus Christ, then you are convicted and you are spiritual.
But, if you do not agree in your heart, “no, no there are greater sins than that” then you are not convicted by the HS and you are a natural person.

#2 v.10 = righteousness
Who’s righteousness? Jesus’!
When Jesus was here on this earth, he was often misunderstood, and accused by man as a law-breaker, blasphemer, demon.
But today the HS reveals the Savior of the World and glorifies Jesus in this way.

At the same time, the HS reveals Jesus as Savior in the lives of believers.

We know this world cannot receive, cannot see the HS. But this world CAN see the result of what the HS is doing in us, through us.
The world CAN see the work of the HS through the lives of dedicated believers.

We must be right, righteous enough to have a right relationship with God. We must be good to have a good relationship with a good God. We must be holy, we must be right, to have this kind of relationship with God because he is righteous all the time. 
However, we can NEVER reach the standard of God’s righteousness. Romans 3 “No one will be declared righteous by good works. But a new righteousness from God – by which the Law and Prophets testify, has been made known and comes through belief in Jesus Christ.”

Before his earthly ministry, Jesus came to John to be baptized – John said, “no, no let me be baptized by you.” But Jesus said, “no, no, do this for me to fulfill all righteousness.”

After returning to the Father, through his death, suffering, resurrection, teaching, preaching, healing, proves he IS righteousness, the righteousness of God, OUR righteousness.

So the HS empowers us to proclaim that he is the only way to God, and the HS makes us righteous before God.

#3 v.11 = judgment
The HS is convicting, the judgment of the prince of this world (Satan).
Genesis 3:15 is the first curse in the Bible – cursing the serpent – emnity between your offspring and hers (the woman) and he will crush your head and you will strike his heal.

In this verse, the offspring of woman = Jesus Christ Messiah. 
“When the time had come fully, God sent his Son, born of a woman”
serpent = Satan (Revelation)
“That ancient dragon was cast down who leads the whole world astray”

Jesus crushed his head on the cross. That’s why Jesus said, “It is finished.” GAME OVER

Finally (Revelation), Satan will be thrown into the Lake of Fire, Satan and his followers will be troubled and tormented day and night forever and ever.

Have you ever crushed the head of a serpent?
What happens?
At the same time, the body and tail continue to flip and shake, writhe and wriggle. It looks dangerous, scary, but it is DEAD.
Likewise, the activity of Satan from the cross until the Second Coming is like this!
Satan knows his time is very short!

Satan’s ministry = 2 parts
1. Holding the lost to remain the lost
2. Attacking God’s children to NOT preach the word to the lost.

2 Cor. 4:4 “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so that they cannot see the glory of God in Jesus Christ.”

Satan’s purpose = this
Jesus’ purpose = to destroy the works of Satan (1 John)
Therefore, OUR own purpose to remain in this world for a short time is to destroy the work of Satan.

So, we must be convicted, convinced, by the HS in us, the best way to experience the best, most blessed life = to live a life of witnessing to the lost.

Very serious verse…
Witnessing is a great privilege, but also a great responsibility.

Ezekiel 3:17-19
“Son of Man, I’ve made you a watchman, so hear the word I speak and heed me. When I say, ‘you will surely die’ and you do not warn him, and he dies, I will hold you accountable for his sin. But if you warn him and he does not turn from his sin and he dies, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.”

If you do not warn your neighbor for his sin – and he goes to hell for his sin, YOU are responsible for his sin.

But if you warn him, and he goes to hell for his sin, you are NOT responsible.

Very serious verse = warn the lost of their sin

With great privilege comes great responsibility.

v.12-15
I have MUCH to say.

Listen carefully.
Jesus = The Truth
The Word of God = The Truth
The HS = the Spirit of Truth
The HS works, ministers for Christ through the Word of God ALL THE TIME.
The HS does not speak to the lost world directly. But he DOES speak to US through the Word, so that WE can speak to the world.

In Chapter 2, Acts, after Jesus’ ascension to heaven, and the HS came down to Jerusalem, and so many people from other countries gathered together who needed salvation. But the HS did not speak directly. The HS empowered the previously timid Peter to preach the Word, and the HS convicted them and made something wonderful happen among them.

The HS witnesses for Christ through the Word of God from your (my) mouth to the lost world.

The HS is very active in saving the lost world, but if we keep silent, if we do not open our mouths to speak the gospel, then the HS has NOTHING to do with us in saving the lost world.

Please do not make the HS in you jobless.
Make the HS active through your mouth in your witness to the lost world!

God bless us, and especially our mouths!

As long as we are in this world, we have mouths, not only to eat (second priority), but also to preach (first priority).

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 12 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 34-36 (Bible-365.12): Jacob as Deadbeat Dad
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 34-36 (Bible-365.12): Jacob as Deadbeat Dad

Observation

In Genesis 34, Leah’s daughter Dinah is raped, and her blood brothers (Leah’s second and third sons) avenge her by killing all the men in the whole city where she was defiled. This was only possible after convincing the city that circumcising all their men was the only way they would give their sister as the defiler’s wife. Jacob fears that the whole land will avenge that city now – but the sons reply, “Would it be better for our daughter to be treated like a prostitute?” Apparently they have some sort of familial honor (these three all have the same mother anyway).

Continue Reading

Pages:12
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen