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  • Mar 22 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Christ Gave His Life as a Ransom for Us! (Matthew 20:17-28)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Christ Gave His Life as a Ransom for Us! (Matthew 20:17-28)



Sermon Notes

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Christ Gave His Life as a Ransom

Matthew 20:17-28 (Pastor Heo)

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

20:17-19pp — Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-33

17 Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, 18 “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19 and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

A Mother’s Request

20:20-28pp — Mk 10:35-45

20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (<— memory verse #28)


God bless the reading of His Word.

In this same book, chapter 16, Jesus said for the first time that he would go to Jerusalem, be killed and raised to life. Then, in chp 17, he predicted his death again. This here, is the third time he’s announced his arrest, suffering, death, and resurrection.

In the previous announcement, he wasn’t specific about HOW he would die – but here he clearly mentions the cross and his resurrection.

Yet, even though he mentioned this, the disciples didn’t understand well. The message didn’t penetrate their hearts.

v. 17-19

“We are going up to Jerusalem…to die.”

In this story, we can see 5 kinds of sufferings:

  1. Betrayal to the chief priests (suffering of heart broken by friends/brothers)
  2. Condemnation to death (suffering of injustice)
  3. Handed over to Rome to be mocked (suffering of humiliation)
  4. Flogged, scourged (suffering of physical pain)
  5. Crucified (suffering of curse and death – the FINAL suffering)

It was as if he were going to collect in his body EVERY kind of suffering – mental, social, physical, psychological, spiritual. Yet, he mentioned “beyond the cross, the crown.” Beyond death, life. Beyond loss, victory.

v. 20-24

In contrast to this announcement, we see the worldly ambition of the disciples – particularly James and John and their mother.

Even though the other 10 didn’t ask the same request, they actually FELT the same (look, they were “angry” with their request – it’s like “why didn’t I ask that first?”).

“Can you drink the same cup with me?” (The cup of the cross, suffering, and death) – “We can” – “Indeed, you WILL drink of it.”

The result of this request was anger and indignation on the parts of the other disciples. Heavenly wisdom brings peace among men, but worldly wisdom brings fighting – envy, etc.

Here, Jesus speaks of cross, but the disciples think of “crown.”

This same story is also written in Mark 10. There is a little different explanation. James and John asked this request directly to Jesus, but here in Matthew, it’s their mother, Salome?

Anyway, there is no conflict in the Scripture because they were of the same mind and the brothers also agreed “Yes, we can drink of that cup!”

Salome was a good woman. She was at the cross when Jesus was crucified, and she was one at the tomb early in the morning when Jesus was resurrected – she was likely the sister of Mary (Jesus’ own mother). Likely the two brothers were FULL cousins with Jesus. Therefore, they likely felt that they had a “special place” with Jesus.

Of course, parents want their children honored and promoted to a high position – but sometimes this is DANGEROUS if it causes they to lose sight of GOD’S plan for their children. Sometimes God’s plan is different than parents’ plans – not only glamorous.

So, parent’s plans must be held in check so that God’s will may be done in their lives all the time.

Jesus “You don’t know what you are asking.”

Until after the resurrection, they didn’t understand fully that Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, but in the hearts and lives of the true believers.

They also didn’t understand the meaning of this cup mentioned here. He’d also mention this same cup in Matthew 26 in Gethsemane “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, not my will but your will be done.” This is the cup of suffering and death that Jesus had to taste in order to accomplish salvation for all human beings.

So, their request was born in selfishness, flesh, worldliness.

How about you and me?

Yes, sometimes, we don’t know what we need, what we should pray for. Sometimes we know what we WANT but not what we NEED. So, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. So, we pray for the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit.

  • “You will indeed drink from my cup.” Do you want to drink of this also?
  • “But to sit at my right or left…” Even though they answered “we can” without knowing the true meaning, they did drink of that cup.
  • James later dies as a martyr – killed by the sword of King Herod (aged 30s) – in Acts 12.
  • John lived MANY years in persecution – and lived his last years in exile on the island of Patmos (after being boiled alive I think?)
  • John’s cup came with lots of waiting.
  • Jame’s cup was martyrdom. (Soongyo)
  • John’s cup was constant discipline and struggle for the Christian life throughout many years.
  • Each had its own difficulties. Each drank of his own cup in his own time.

Some people think that Christian’s cup is always a short, sharp, bitter taste of martyrdom. But not always. Sometimes, the cup is daily discipline, tears, heart break – for MANY years.

Are your REALLY Christian? Born again?

If there is a cup for you to drink, are you ready to drink that cup? Willingly? Are you afraid?

There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

God wants us to be happy and joyful and peaceful IN HIM. So, if there is a cup for me and you – it’s because we are able to drink, he enables and empowers us, and it is GOOD for us.

Today in our daily lives, to drink the cup simply means to “follow Christ wherever he goes and to be like him in every situation.”

  • The gift of salvation is priceless and yet free.
  • But the way of discipleship is not painless and easy.

If we commit to Christ truly, yes, this world will test our commitment. Suffering is the price of commitment – the price of discipleship.

Around us, we may see many brothers and sisters in Christ who face their own challenges in following Christ. Therefore, we need to ENCOURAGE and EDIFY (Eph 4:29) each other to follow Jesus fully and truly.

Do you want to be great? Who is great?

“I’m great!” – not in this world, but in the kingdom of God.

v. 25-27

“The last will be first and the first will be last.”

The “Gentiles” = the standard of this world.

In Jesus’ kingdom, we must not follow the standard of this world (Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”)

Our HOPE is in Jesus, not some government, not some program, not some President, celebrity, possession, etc.

Here, a completely NEW set of values has come into our lives.

  1. In this world, greatness is the power to command others to do something for us.
  2. In Jesus’ kingdom, greatness is the power to command ourselves to do something for others.
  3. In this world, greatness is the power to oppress.
  4. In Jesus’ world, greatness is the power to build up.
  5. In this world, greatness is our power, bank balance, possessions, the number of people under us.
  6. In Jesus’ kingdom, greatness is measured by how many people we help and serve, by our attitude and character.

A TRULY great man puts others’ needs before his own – true greatness = service, not dominance.

If we are like this, truly we are in Jesus’ kingdom.

v. 28 is one of the KEY verses in the WHOLE Bible (I told you it was a good memory verse) – along with John 3:16

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Just as this, Jesus is the representative of our actions and attitudes – we must act as he acts, think as he thinks, serve as he serves. We must give our lives in service as he has.

  • 1 Peter 2:21 “To this you are called — he has left you an example.”
  • John “Whoever claims to be a Christian, must walk as Jesus walked.”
  • Hebrews “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who being in very nature, God, but did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but … he emptied himself, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross.”

In every action, thought, etc, ask yourself – “Is this pleasing to Christ? What would he do/think? How would he act?”

Yes, Jesus gave his life as a ransom – a payment – to pay for our complete freedom.

Sin is like a slave market where our souls are sold as slaves – but Jesus by his death buys us from this slave market – indicating complete freedom from sin. He looses bonds and sets us FREE by paying the price of his own precious blood on the cross. He frees us from the curse under the Law by BECOMING a curse for us.

He is our complete freedom and liberty.

Without Christ, his death, his service, we can never find the way back to God. Jesus is THE way, THE truth, THE life. He is not the one who SHOWS the way – he is THE way. It is only Christ who can say this, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

We must walk in the steps of Christ who has loved us to the uttermost.

  • 1 Corinthians 5:20 “I am not my own, you are not your own, we were bought at a price – the price was Jesus’ blood – therefore, honor and glorify God with your bodies.” What was your price?

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 01 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Charge It To Me (Philemon)
Pastor Brian, Philemon: Charge It To Me, Sermons

Charge It To Me (Philemon)



Sermon Notes

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Charge it to me.

Philemon (Pastor Brian)

1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, 2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,9 yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul–an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus– 10 I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him–who is my very heart–back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 

14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good– 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. 17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 

19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back–not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. 22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers. 

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.


27 million slaves in the world today.

During the time of Paul’s life, 60 million.

Abe Lincoln, Amazing Grace (written by John Newton – a slaver), William Wilberforce – these all had a hand and influence in abolishing slavery.

Christianity is NOT in favor of slavery, however, had Paul militated against slavery at that time, he would have been unsuccessful in preaching the gospel.

When the time was right, Christians led the way (and are still leading the way) to abolish slavery.

Here, now, Paul is making a plee on the behalf of Onesimus – a runaway slave of Philemon. Here, now, is Paul’s letter that expresses his desire to help Onesimus.

“Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, …”

  • Paul was under house-arrest in Rome, yet he didn’t consider himself a Roman prisoner, nor a prisoner of the Jews, nor a government prisoner. He was able to receive visitors and talk with them and share the gospel with them.
  • Paul here considers himself a prisoner of Christ, he knew he was – in all circumstances – in God’s will. He addresses the letter to Philemon, “my friend”. This is the only place in the NT he’s mentioned by name.
  • Paul had won him to Christ, he was a wealthy man, and they had a good relationship.
  • Paul uses a familiar phrase “Kairane” – which means “greeting” – he changed it to “Karass” – which means “grace.”

We have received grace from God – we have acceptance from God and have peace with God.

He mentions Apphia – probably the wife of Philemon – as she had charge of the slaves in the household. Archippus was likely the son – he is also mentioned in Colossians “tell Archippus to fulfill the calling God has on his life.”

The church in the home of Philemon is greeted. Up to the 3rd century, most churches were house churches – there were no buildings specifically for churches there. When buildings were built, they were often built on the spot of house churches.

This shows that each house should also be a church: worshiping, teaching, a heart of ministry – everybody’s home should be a church. Cell groups are a good example.

Paul makes mention of Philemon in his prayers – this statement is also used in different contexts – to the various churches he’s written to in his epistles. He doesn’t forget Philemon in his prayers – he mentions him and the churches in prayer.

“Hearing of your love and faith…to all the saints” – to all the Christians – we’re becoming saints and already saints.

Also, remember James, the practice of practical Christianity and sharing/living out your faith. Philemon ministered to the poor, and those in need. John also says the same in his epistles. “Don’t just say to your brother, ‘God bless you’ and go about your own business if you can do something to help.”

The hearts of the saints have been refreshed by Philemon.

v. 8-11 – Paul now pleads for Onesimus – the slave who’s fled from Philemon.

Paul, though he’s an apostle, doesn’t use his authority to COMMAND what he wants Philemon to do. Even here, in the greeting, he DOESN’T say “I’m an apostle of Christ.” (In 9 of 13 of Paul’s letters he wrote this) It’s as if he doesn’t want to force Philemon to do this.

“Isn’t he being a bit manipulative…?”

Well, this is “heavenly” manipulation for the benefit of someone else.

He says, “I’m old, I’m a prisoner, but I’m in chains for Christ… now listen, my ‘son’ (of the faith – one of his converts) is returning home.”

When Onesimus ran away, it’s very likely that he would go to Rome – large crowds, easy to get lost and not found.

But in God’s providence, he met Paul.

Roman customs allowed slaves sanctuary at an altar – even an altar in the home. He was required to provide protection for the slave and try to convince him to return to the master. If the slave refused, he was to sell the slave and send the money back to the master. Here, he’s trying to work on the problem.

Actually, “Onesimus” name = “profitable/useful”. Paul writes, he once was “useless” but now is “useful” (Onesimus).

It’s significant that Paul claims that IN CHRIST the useless person has been made useful. He pleads with Philemon to accept him back on his behalf. Paul says, “Onesimus ran away but is ministering to me, so you are in a sense ministering to me as well.”

Crystal glasses – a slave was carrying them, and dropped one. The master said, “Throw him to the piranhas.” Onesimus surely could have been sentenced to death if caught. The Romans thought that this kind of harsh punishment was necessary to avoid a revolt of the slaves (which eventually did happen under the leadership of Spartacus).

A runaway slave may have been killed or branded with a red F on his forehead (”fugitive”).

When we think about what Paul is doing here, he’s reflecting Christ. Paul himself was converted and brought to realize the grace of God and though he’d done his best to stamp out Christianity, when Christ saved him, his entire life was reversed and changed. Now, he’s interceding on the behalf of a slave.

Perhaps we also are now slaves of one kind or another – and we WERE slaves of this world before we believed. As we prepare for the Lord’s Supper – we can acknowledge our past, slavery to different vices – and we can thank the Lord for buying us by his death and sufferings, and by his resurrection life has changed us.

He has redeemed us, Jesus paid it all.

So let’s be thankful for his setting us free from sin and death and the enemy and bringing us into the kingdom of his Son.

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 25 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Standing in Freedom! (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom Sermons, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Standing in Freedom! (Galatians 5:1)

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Galatians = great chart of Christian’s liberty (freedom)

Grace Awakening by Chuck Swindoll

Isn’t Grace Risky?
The Killing Fields movie – quite a movie
True story of NY Times report in Cambodia – closest asst. was Cambodian captured by regime (torturous cruelty).
Endured unbelievable suffering while escaping.

Continue Reading

  • Mar 13 / 2012
  • 1
Freedom Sermons, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Christian – You are Freed! Don’t return to your Chains (Romans 6)

Sermon Notes from Romans 6:1-2, 15

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Here, Paul asks two questions. The first question (v.2) is answered with second: How shall we live in sin when we are dead to it?

Chuck Swindoll says we should recall in our memories – recall our misery, that we couldn’t control our desires – perhaps the victim of a habit? lust, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, drugs, alcohol, food. Recall the feeling you had no hope. This is slavery = addiction at its worst. Shame increased, and overwhelmed you.

Some people, live in freedom in grace, but have forgotten their slavery.

Gordon Seagrave has said: “It is my earnest conviction that everyone should be in prison at least once. Should be in on suspicion, not proof, he should be sick most of the time, at least 4 months. Only then will he realize the value of freedom.”

Ex: Nelson Mandela, John Bunyan

When imprisoned, freedom is much sweeter.

Imagine, wrongfully imprisoned…

Who would volunteer to return to prison?

We are dead to sin, why return? We are freed slaves, freed from sin and shame. Why return?

“Emancipate” means to release from slavery.

In the US, the Civil War broke slavery, and Abraham Lincoln was killed for the cause. The 13th Amendment legally abolished slavery, black slaves emancipated (freed). The President had earlier stated his anti-slavery convictions.

New Year’s Day 1863 the Emancipation was proclaimed but it took until December 18, 1865 for it to be enacted. The newspapers declared: “Slavery: Legally Abolished” It was Good news!

But, the majority of slaves – now legally freed, continued to live as slaves…Former slaves lived virtually unchanged lives.

Shelby Foot in his 3-volume “Civil War” wrote: “The Negro was locked in a caste system of grace etiquette.” All slaves would likely say – “I don’t know nothing ’bout Abe Lincoln, ‘cept he set us free – and I don’t know nothing ’bout that neither.”

Slaves were ignorant of freedom. And that was TRAGIC…There was a war, assassination, amendment, they were emancipated, freed, but- still lived in poverty, fear, and old lives…They often chose to keep serving the same master, until they died.

Would you even know that slavery was abolished?

Plantation owners wanted to“Keep them ignorant, keep them in the field.” What else could they do?

Israelite slaves had an advantage – God was with them – signs and wonders. Exodus. Red sea, manna, pillar of cloud and fire. Manifestations of God.

Not so in America…Tragic?

Here is one WORSE. Christian slaves…

Jesus paid it all! But many Christians act as though held in bondage…Most prefer the security of slavery, to the risks of liberty. Strange, no? But Satan loves it! “Great! Keep it up!” Satan KNOWS we are free – but hates it. He does everything in his power to keep us pinned down in guilt, shame, intimidation, fear.

Romans 3 – this is us before Jesus.

10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

(POINT 1) We had no way of escape. We were unable to change our enslavement to sin.

(POINT 2) Glorious release – Christ has set us free!

Sinners – everyone on Earth – has been set free! The first Easter – is our redemption.

Romans 3:21-22
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

To qualify, you need no special requirements. Not culture, not skin, not language, ONLY faith in Christ. We were all slaves to sin, to Satan (our master).

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

We were spiritually useless, could not escape. Jesus, paid our price to free us. His own blood = price. He said to us all “You don’t have to live under your former master any longer! You’re free! Free to serve me for the rest of your life!”

We were changed from rebels to servants of God.

President Grace freed us from Satan – our master, and his wife Shame.

  • Theoretically, we were freed at Jesus death.
  • Practically, legalism, old habits, attempt to keep us in bondage – to keep us ignorant, afraid, thinking like a slave.

(POINT 3) Many Christians still live AS SLAVES.

It’s like saying, “I don’t know anything about Grace, cept maybe it set us free, and I don’t know bout that neither…”

We have a Sin-oriented mentality…

  • “I just can’t help myself.”
  • “I’m only human”
  • “I’m not a great guy”

We speak self-defeating references – we look like insecure religious slaves.

We rationalize our sins – hypocrites…

We lie, cheat, steal.

We say “Nobody’s perfect.”But that basically means “I’m still enslaved…”

Chuck Swindoll says: Nonsense! Live like you’re free! Where sin abounded, grace SUPER abounded! Once you were enslaved, now you are freed. Live ABOVE your old habit – old sin. Grace helps us to say “no” to sin and conquer it.

Here’s a Maverick thought:

Once we grasp true freedom of grace, we can spend lengthy periods of time sinless, shameless. Why should sin master us? How un-biblical to say we can’t help but let sin master us. We have been trained to expect and handle sin – rather than freedom. But that reinforces our slave mentality. Wake up, confess, go to bed, confess, anything I missed? confess… Where is the abundant life Christ promised? Are free people to live in such fear of sin?

Let’s live like we’re free!

Your old master doesn’t want you to think like this. He wants to keep you ignorant and in shame, and afraid of him and his whip (sin). Wants you to think you “gotta get beat” every now and then – to keep you in line.

HERESY! Jesus set us free! Satan has no right to put a whip to your back! You are free!

This is Grace Awakening.

We are freed from sin, Satan, shame, old selves…

Old man, new man

McGee tells a story to illustrate the concept of old man and new man:

A lady lived in the deep South – had a close relationship with former boyfriend – ultimately married him, had a rewarding life, though not perfect.

But one day, heart attack took him from her. She didn’t want to let him go – embalmed him, put in a chair, sealed in a glass case, in front of her home. Whenever she walked in, she said, “Hi, John” – walked upstairs, carried on.

One year later, took a trip to EU. Met an American who fell in love with her – married in EU, honeymooned, etc.

What a surprise for the new husband…He picked her up, knocked the door open…And almost dropped her!

She said, “That’s my old man John” – So he buried John. It was finally OVER.

That’s what Christ has done for us.

We died with Christ, raised to new life with him. The revelation of Holy Spirit reminds us of our freedom – Ephesians. We need the spirit of knowing our own death and rebirth with Christ.

Chuck Swindoll – closing part 2.

There are many high passes up mountains. It can be quite dangerous. The Govt. could put EMT at the bottom of hill to be ready for the injured. (This is like 1 John 1:9 for Christians.)

OR they could put warning signs up the road, preparing people for what is ahead. (This is like Romans 6 for Christians – it is our warning, and explains our freedom in Christ). Don’t spend time in guilt, confession, guilt, confession. Our inheritance is freedom! We are not under law – it only magnifies and explains sin. Rather, we are under grace.

We are freed in Jesus name!

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