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  • Feb 24 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Don’t Worry, Wake Up! (Acts 20:1-12)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Don’t Worry, Wake Up! (Acts 20:1-12)

Through Macedonia and Greece

1 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. 5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days.

Eutychus Raised From the Dead at Troas

7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Acts 20:1-12

Because of the riot (we saw last week), the whole city was in an uproar – and they rushed as one man into the theater and shouted, “Great is Artemis!” for two hours. Conclusion? Dismissed by the City Clerk.

  • The name of Demitrius (who dishonored God) is forgotten today.
  • The name of Paul (who honored God) is remembered today.

Paul was to go on from here to conclude his Third Missionary Journey. He shed tears with the elders before he was to go.

v. 1-4

1 When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said good-by and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months. Because the Jews made a plot against him just as he was about to sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia. 4 He was accompanied by Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy also, and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia.

After finishing his ministry at Ephesus, his plan was to go on and collect offerings from Gentile believers at his previous churches and share that with the poor in Jerusalem. Then, he was to go on to Rome.

After this, he went to Macedonia to encourage the struggling believers there and he continued down to Corinth. But there, his original plan had to be delayed / postponed – because there was a plot to kill him. He had to stay at Corinth for at least 3 months, then go back through Macedonia again. Looks like his original plan failed.

But what happened during this stay at Corinth for three months? He wrote the book of Romans – one of the greatest books in this world. (So we can see that God was in control of his circumstances).

The first chapter conveyed his deep desire to go to Rome, but God’s sovereign hand in control of his situation. Romans 1:10 “I pray now… I long to see you…”

Romans 1:10 “I pray that by God’s sovereign will, the way will be opened to me, and I may come to you. I have desired to go many times but have been unable to until now.”

Romans 1:10 “I pray that by God’s sovereign will, the way will be opened to me, and I may come to you. I have desired to go many times but have been unable to until now.”

  • Paul’s deep desire to go to Rome, and
  • God’s “not yet”
  • caused him to sit down and write this great Magna Carta of the Christian faith.

The same is true for us. Sometimes, our deep desires and God’s “not yet” can cause us to do something differently. Sometimes, we must not see (worry) about what lies far in tomorrow, but just do clearly what you can see in front of you today. The reason some people miss opportunities is because it is disguised as “hard work.”

1 Tim 4:4 “Nothing is to be…”

Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has its own trouble. Worrying about today is enough business for us.

  • Lesson #1: Do not worry about this world
  • Lesson #2: Wake up in this church!

Part 2: HOW can we not worry about this world? Wake up in this church. If you fall asleep in the church, you will worry about tomorrow in the world.

v. 5-12

5 These men went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6 But we sailed from Philippi after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and five days later joined the others at Troas, where we stayed seven days. spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

The first person pronoun in v. 5-7, “we” – this means, the author, Luke, was again a part of this ministry. He probably met Paul in Philippi for the last leg of the journey.

Paul must have rejoiced to have these coworkers at his side again. We can see Troas as well. Do you remember this place? This is the very place where Paul saw the vision of Macedonia – several years ago.

The man of Macedonia stood and called, “Come over and help us!”

With this vision, in Troas, Paul, Luke, and Timothy started out for Philippi in Macedonia. Now, again, in the same Troas, Paul and the same coworkers had a reunion. Imagine how happy they were!

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is related to the Passover, but not the same.

  • Passover: one day (24 hours) remembering the day the Israelites were saved in Egypt and the Angel of Death “passed over” their houses
  • Feast of Unleavened Bread: seven days – the evening after the Passover. They were to remove yeast from their bread to remember their [time in the desert and] continual striving for holiness. (1 Cor 5:7 “Remove all yeast…”)

Jesus willingly came down from heaven and took the form of a man and willingly died for you and me. Even though he was rejected by all men at that time, he endured so that he could become a complete sacrifice and reconcile us to God.

From v. 6-12, in Troas, there was a worship service. Here we can see HOW they met and worshiped God. There are 5 worship essentials.

5 Worship Essentials

#1 The Lord’s Day

We worship on the first day of the week because:

  • Christ was raised on the first day of the week
  • The church was born on the first day of the week (at Pentecost)

#2 The Lord’s People

If the church building is empty, there is no worship. They met in the evening because Sunday was not a holiday at that time. Some undoubtedly were slaves – unable to attend service until the day’s work was done.

They met in an upstairs room – possibly a private home of one of the believers. This was a cosmopolitan, mixed group. But these racial, societal differences made no difference.

  • Gal 3:28: There is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile, …
  • Eph: There is ONE God, one faith, one hope, one baptism.

They shared a feast – a “potluck”. I’m sure God is very happy when we share a potluck (an “agape love feast”) together. After this, they observed the Lord’s Supper.

#3 The Lord’s Supper

  • v. 7 “to break bread” = the Lord’s Supper
  • v. 11 “broke bread” = regular meal

By sharing and eating with one another, they could fellowship and give testimony of their unity in Christ. Yes, we are equal in our value and price for his kingdom and glory.

#4 The Lord’s Word

For worship to be authentic, the Word of God is essential. (Are you bored or excited during the Message?) The Word of God was preached continually in the churches.

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him, all things were made. …. This Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:1

Romans: “Do not say in your hearts, ‘Who will ascend to heaven to bring Christ down? Who will descend into the deep to bring Christ up?'”

The Word of God is in your heart, in your hand, in your head. We worship God by meeting him through his Word. How can we meet with Jesus personally? By meeting with his Word.

So the Word of God is very important for our growth and education – it is our “spiritual food.” Without food, we cannot grow.

The Word of God is compared to a “seed.” Seeds have life, future, development, abundant fruit, power, potential.

#5 The Lord’s Power

“There is Power of the Lord in Worship!” (There’s Power in the Blood)

Eutychus was sitting at a window (dangerous place).

  • In Greek, pi = “young man” (maybe teenager or early twenties)
  • Also pi = “slave” (so he may have worked all day)

He tried very hard to stay awake, but humanly speaking, this is an easy situation to fall asleep. This room was packed, full of people, and time was late (midnight) – and he was also likely very tired from working all day.

There were many lamps (torches) – so light was probably dim. The atmosphere was probably stuffy. The air was warm, humid, lacking oxygen. Paul was giving a long sermon (that’s why I try to shorten mine).

I’m sure Paul’s sermon was not boring, but also not done.

And Eutychus fell out of the window, and died. Paul ran outside and put his arms around him. Paul put his arms around him and said, “Don’t worry! He’s alive!”

(This is reminiscent of what the angels said when Christ was resurrected – and this is what the angels will say also when we are resurrected in Christ’s coming kingdom. Do you want to hear this voice? Believe in Christ!)

Can you imagine the impact that would have on the congregation, on Eutychus’ mother and father, the believers, and other people of Troas?

This is the power of the resurrection of Christ. This power is still available to us today.

“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me shall never die.”

We should keep awake in church.

“Remember if you fall asleep and die in church, there is no apostle today to raise you again from the dead.”

Charles Spurgeon

How can we remain “awake” in church?

#1 Confess our sins

“If we say we have not sinned, the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

#2 Confess our faith in Christ

#3 Daily turn to Christ

“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Let us remove the deeds of darkness and put on the deeds of light.” Romans 13:11-12

Eph 5:14 “He is the light that makes everything visible.”

Wake up, o sleeper! Rise from the dead!

Our Lord Jesus will shine upon you.

May Christ fill you with joy and the power of the resurrection of Christ.

Let’s pray.

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

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

04.05-easter
04.05.2015-PHeo-Easter

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Resurrection of the Dead

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

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

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


 

Jesus is alive! again!

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

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

In 1 Cor 15, this is the Resurrection chapter.

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

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

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

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

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

Isn’t that true?

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. The empty tomb

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

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

2. The Lord’s Day

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

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

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

3. This building

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

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

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

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

4. The New Testament

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

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

—-

Next, there are the testimonies of the witnesses:

We need three things:

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, today, this message remains the same.

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

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

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

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

Why? Without death, no resurrection.

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

Let’s pray.

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

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

  • Apr 13 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14)

04.13

04.13.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF File>

1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread–which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

  1. Next Sunday is the Resurrection (Easter) Sunday.
  2. 40 days preceding this is called Lent (40 days to receive Jesus’ resurrection through prayer, meditation, etc). The first day of Lent = Ash Wednesday (March 1, 2014). This is to remind us that we are ash, and will return to ash. If we remember this, we will be humble – we must be humble.
  3. Today is Palm Sunday. Today, we remember the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm branches were on the road under the feet of the donkey. This is fulfillment of Daniel 9:27~56? 77th prophecy.
  4. This coming week is called Passion Week. We remember Jesus’ willing suffering to go to the cross for our sins – as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins – not only ours but also those of the whole world.”
  5. Today’s story is NOT the story of Palm Sunday, but it MATCHES the story of Passion week.

v. 14 “But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.”

In this story, we see this as a series of crucial events in his life.

Of course, in everyone’s life there are crucial moments on which much is hinged/depends. This is one of those moments for Jesus.

This was the final decision (rejection) of the Pharisees – they wanted to see “how can we kill him?”

Jesus deliberately violated the Sabbath “rules” and traditions multiple times to let us know that these “rules” cannot make us holy. Only our hearts can make us holy. The Pharisees thought the absence of work was true holiness. But Jesus shows that true rest (Sabbath) is found only in him. True rest, true sabbath can be found in worship to God. Have you ever sometimes been tired of worship? Be careful answering.^^

v. 1-2

At that time, the fields were laid out by the roadside without fences. According to tradition, any hungry traveler was allowed to pick some grain and eat – the disciples were not stealing. The Pharisees don’t criticize the picking of grain, but the fact that *GASP* It’s Sunday!~

The Creation story says God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th. He did not need rest, but he rested to give us rest in him. He blesses us by acknowledging him as God, and having a relationship with us.

Over time, the Pharisees lost the true meaning of the sabbath. They tried to define the sabbath very very theologically. There were 39 actions declared as “work” that must be done the day before and not be done on the Sabbath.

  1. Picking = harvesting
  2. Opening = threshing
  3. Preparing = Winnowing
  4. Getting ready to eat = preparing a meal

Jesus appeals to

  1. David
  2. the priests
  3. the Prophet
  4. Himself

in his answer to their accusations.

#1 Appeal to David v. 3-4

The picture of the Tabernacle at that time, there were 3 divisions.

  1. Temple court
  2. Holy place
  3. Most holy place

Every week, 12 pieces of bread were placed in 2 lines of 6 on a table – representing the 12 tribes of Israel and showing God’s provision. This bread was changed into new bread every week. This bread was then given to the High Priests every week to eat (as salary kind of).

BUT 1 Samuel 21:1-6, David and his soldiers entered the Tabernacle and gave David and his soldiers this holy bread. God did not punish David and his soldiers. Why? Their need for food was more important the priestly rules.

Jesus, “If David could break the ‘rules’ in a special case, how much more could not I do so?” Jesus says “haven’t you read?” Of course they’ve read it – but this reveals their true ignorance of the story. They didn’t understand clearly and didn’t apply the true meaning of the Scriptures. John 20:9-14? “You study the Scriptures thinking that by them you have life, but you do not know that these Scriptures testify about me. And you do not have life because you do not come to me.”

The true meaning and purpose of the Scriptures (in their entirety) is to see and find Jesus.

#2 Appeal to the Priests (v. 5-6)

Yes, the people were not to “work” but rest on the Sabbath. But remember true worship is true rest.

On the Sabbath day, worship services were doubled, offerings were doubled. Many things had to be done.

  1. Making fires
  2. Preparing animals
  3. Lifting them on the altar
  4. Carrying the animals
  5. etc, etc

If “ordinary” people did it – it would be illegal. But because they were PRIESTS, it was “legal.” Why? Because they were priests and worship MUST be done. Even the same things can be seen as right or wrong depending on who does it.

The topic of Hebrews = Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (in becoming our merciful High Priest). Hebrews 4:15-16? “We do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but a HP who was tempted in every way as we are, but was without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with confidence to find mercy in our time of need.”

  • The priests had to sacrifice animals first for themselves, and THEN for the people.
  • But Jesus was without sin, so he offered sacrifice DIRECTLY to God.
  • Humans offered animals, tried to show the way to God.
  • Jesus offered himself, and IS the way to God.
  • Human priests are mortal – cannot pray for people permanently.
  • Jesus is forever alive and still NOW is interceding for us at the right hand of God.

#3 Appeal to the Prophet (v. 7)

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” – this is one KEY verse of the Old Testament (Hosea 6:6) – “I” = God.

God wants love, not legalism.

Rituals and even keeping the Law can be valuable ONLY when carried out with an attitude of LOVE for God and men.

If our hearts are far from God, then ANY Law keeping is USELESS – no more than empty mockery.

What God desires more than sacrifice = mercy, compassion, answering the call of human needs – this is the greatest service. To worship rightly is to love each other. (1 John? “A new command I give you – to love one another just as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.”)

#4 Appeal to the Lord of the Sabbath (himself) v. 8

This sentence means “I” Jesus is the Creator of all creation, the true rest, the true blessing, the true object of all worship. He is the provider of all needs. Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to the glorious riches …”

  • If Jesus is the center, all is well.
  • If something else is the focus of your worship, something is wrong.

Next, Jesus shows practically that he IS the Lord of the Sabbath.

v. 9-13

This same Jesus is still with us here and now.

Jesus entered the synagogue, not the market.
To the Pharisees, synagogue is like the church room. We know what we are doing in this room. This is a room for worship, Bible study, prayer, religious education, holy fellowship – for themselves, with God.
In this synagogue, they had no love, no concern, no mercy on him. Their only concern was “the rules.” They used this man to find fault with Jesus.

Remember, we are like in a synagogue – we are here to learn, to pray, to love each other. If in this room, we are not kind, hate, ignore, despise, then we are no better than they are. Sometimes in this room, we need to look around and see the person next to you. If someone next to you looks lower than you, don’t ask, “Hmm, is THIS guy worthy to worship in here?” NO. Be kind, be merciful. He is created in the image of God – he is worthy.

Jesus questioned the Pharisees in response.

Mark (same story) – Jesus says, “Is is more lawful to do good or do evil? To save life or kill life?”
Doing good fulfills the intention of the sabbath. If we do not do good (as children of God), it is evil.

If they were truly children of God, they would have said, “Lord, have mercy on him! He needs your touch, your healing!”

Let me say more about this story next time.

Jesus wants mercy, not just ritual sacrifice.

May God bless all of us with his wonderful promise and covenant.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 03 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Where is Jesus Now Who is Alive? (John 20:1-18)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Where is Jesus Now Who is Alive? (John 20:1-18)

02.03

02.03.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Early on the first day of the week (Sunday)

Actually, Sunday worship began BECAUSE of this event. Previously, Jewish worship was on Saturday (the Sabbath).

This is GOOD NEWS! That’s why this is one of the gospels. Gospel = “good news.”

Mary Magdalene was one woman who followed Jesus to the cross, and saw him die, and watched where he was buried.

She was from Magdala (town name) near Galilee. She was a woman from whom Jesus had cast out 7 demons. So, she was obviously quite thankful to Jesus for that.

She followed him to Jerusalem, and helped him in his earthly ministry, and provided some financial help. 

Now, because of the short interim between Jesus’ death and the coming of the Sabbath, the women at the cross didn’t have enough time to anoint his body with spices. So, because of the Sabbath, they had to go home to rest (from Friday sunset – Jesus’ death, to Saturday sunset – end of the Sabbath). Then, the next day, Sunday, they came early to the tomb to anoint his body – they couldn’t wait any longer to anoint him for death (but they were good Jews following the Sabbath, so they couldn’t go Saturday).

When they arrived, there was a violent earthquake and the stone rolled away from the tomb. They were obviously alarmed. But a young man (angel) said, “Do not be afraid. Jesus is gone. Go to Galilee and meet Jesus!” But, the women couldn’t understand fully this testimony, so they went to Peter and John and said, “They took away our Lord, we don’t know where they put him.” This caused sudden and intense action from the disciples. They raced to the tomb (John was younger, he won). John did not enter the tomb, just bent over and looked inside. He saw the cloths lying there. He was likely thinking logically and reasonably. 

Then, when Peter arrived, he suddenly, unthinkingly entered the tomb (he’s a man of action). And he noticed the cloths were folded up nicely and neatly.

  • In this story, Mary was “feeler”
  • Peter was “doer”
  • John was “thinker”

Mary was too sorrowful to think and believe.

Peter was too busy to think and believe.

But, finally, John went inside, he saw and believed. (He thought deeply, logically, systematically). 

  1. There was a violent earthquake.
  2. The tomb opened.
  3. Jesus was not there.
  4. The cloths were there.
  5. The cloths were folded in order, nicely and neatly. (Did you fold your blanket this morning?)

If we think about this logically, this event CANNOT be logically explained WITHOUT the resurrection of Jesus. 

So, Peter and John returned to their homes, but Mary stayed, crying, she bent over and looked in again. Two angels appeared again, one at the head, one at the feet. “Woman, why are you crying?”

Then, at that time, Jesus, who rose from the dead appeared to Mary, but Mary didn’t realize it was Jesus because her continual crying blinded her – so she couldn’t recognize him.

He said, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She thought he was the gardener, so asked for Jesus’ body if he’d carried him away. 

At that time, Jesus called her by name, “Mary.”

At that moment, she was so surprised that this man knew her name, so she turned and recognized him and called him, “My Master! (Rabboni)” 

Her immediate reaction was to grab him and hug him. 

He said, “Wait, I’m busy, I must return to God my Father. So, you have a mission, to go to the disciples and tell them.”

So, she went to the disciples and told them “I have seen the Lord.”
This is the very first preaching of the gospel, the good news.

In the matter of Jesus, Mary had at least 3 Guiness World Records.

  1. The FIRST person at the tomb
  2. The FIRST person who saw him AND the FIRST person Jesus called by name
  3. The FIRST person who delivered the gospel message to the apostles. (She was sent as an apostle to the apostles)

Jesus’ death and resurrection is of paramount importance for several reasons.

#1: This is the fundamental doctrine of Christianity

(if you don’t believe this ONE thing AT LEAST, you aren’t a Christian). The whole Bible, the whole faith, the whole Christian life stands or falls on this one point. If it’s not true, everything is vain, a lie, futile. Also, we are still in our sins, all Christians are lost, and most to be pitied of ALL men in the world. (1 Corinthians 15).

The heart message of the gospel is Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

Have you ever been in another religion before? Or do you know of the big differences between other religions and Christianity?

Other religions keep silent about the death of their founders (plus, ALL the founders have MASSIVE tombs that are visited every year by millions of followers on pilgrimage).

But, Christianity ALWAYS preaches about our founder’s death! We boldly BOAST in his death! Why? Because he IS NOT dead! He is Risen!

#2: This is an essential part in the application of our salvation.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

“Since we have been justified in his death, how much more will we be saved in his life?”

Salvation is provided, offered to ALL humans unconditionally in his death.

But it is applied in his death ONLY to those who believe in him.

(Unlimited Limited Atonement)

It was necessary that he must die and rise again in order to 1. Be a King, 2. give us forgiveness, 3. give us the Holy Spirit

#3: This is a manifestation of divine power

  • In OT, the standard for divine power was the Exodus, the power in which God brought Israel out of Egypt.
  • In NT, the standard for divine power was the resurrection of Jesus – it demonstrated his holiness.

Also, this divine power is available for us if we belong to Jesus. 

Romans 8:11 “And If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Him to life will give eternal life to our mortal bodies.”

Jesus goal, vision, dream is to raise us in the Last Day – those who believe in him.

So, if we summarize the whole story of the Bible in the very shortest sentence…

OT: (John 5:39) “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by the Scriptures, you receive eternal life. But these Scriptures are the Scriptures that testify about ME.” From Genesis to Revelation, ALL testify to Jesus.

So, OT from Genesis to Malachi, this is the Prophecy of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

  • NT from Matthew to John = the Historical Facts of the Death and Resurrection
  • Acts = The Fruit of the Death and Resurrection
  • Epistles (Letters) = Spiritual meaning, blessing, interpretation of Death and Resurrection
  • Revelation = the Prophecy of the Returning King
  1. Historical Fact = Jesus died and rose again
  2. Historical Faith = Jesus is still alive now
  3. Saving Faith = Jesus is still alive now IN ME (as my Savior, as my Lord, as my King)

God has given Jesus the name that is above all names so that at his name, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Revelation?)

This vision of God will be fulfilled absolutely, unconditionally.

Do you kneel down and confess that Jesus is Lord? If we do this now, here, in this lifetime, we will experience eternal blessing and life.

But, if we do NOT do that and do not confess, then we have to do that in the world to come, in Hell, eternally. 

Let me close with that vision of God.

This is God’s absolute vision in the matter of Jesus’ Lordship – it will be fulfilled absolutely

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names, that at his name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, on the Earth, above the Earth, below the Earth, that Jesus is Lord. 

Do you believe that there is the glory of God even in Hell? There is.

  • If we do this on Earth, we will forever in heaven as well.
  • If we do not do this on Earth, we will forever in hell anyway.

God bless us all with this word.

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