:::: MENU ::::

Posts Tagged / temptation

  • Mar 29 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The conclusion of the Faith chapter (Hebrews 12:1-4)

2020.03.29 Full Online service

Tithes and Offerings

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

The conclusion of Chapter 11: Faith

Hebrews 12:1-4 (Pastor Heo)

God Disciplines His Sons

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

We finished chp 11’s study last time: the chapter of Faith. Through this study, we have seen heroes of faith in the OT. These are just a few, so the author says, “What more shall I say? I don’t have enough time to tell more.”

This first part of chp 12 is the conclusion of chp 11.

“Because..” we have seen faith, the demonstration and power of faith, … these 4 verses are actually the conclusion of chp 11.

In this conclusion, we can see a strong word: “Let us”

  1. Let us throw off
  2. Let us run
  3. Let us fix our eyes

This is not a suggestion, but a strong, absolute encouragement.

1. Altogether, we must do it together.

We must edify, minister, serve together because we are linked together as one body of Christ, we are affected and affecting each other. So, in verse 1, we can see the summary of the Christian life. What is it in this world?

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance [endurance, determination] the race marked out for us.”

We are like runners, athletes, marathon runners.

First, we have a purpose, a goal, a finishing line. We have a finishing line in our lives – a purpose, a goal, a final destination.

Yes, as Christians, we are travelers, foreigners, pilgrims, but we are not tourists. Our lives are leading somewhere. We must lead goal-driven, purpose-driven lives. What is the purpose of your lives? What is driving your life? What is the driving force?

We have purpose, a finishing line, but like runners, every athlete has his own running course and finishing line. But the running course / finishing line is just offered to them – they have no right to decide their own course or finishing line. This running course and finishing line was offered to them by the host of the race.

Like this we have a course and a finish line, but we have no right to choose our own course nor finish line – because we are not the hosts. Our maker, God, Creator, Father, is the host.

Romans 8:28 “God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.”

2. We have witnesses / inspiration

v. 1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,…”

This cloud of witnesses was introduced in the previous chapter, 11. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Joseph. Also, my father and mother are acting as witnesses for me / to me.

They are witnesses in a double sense – they witnesses about their confession to Christ, and are now witnessing to us, but not as spectators.

Martyr comes from the Greek word translated for “witness.” They are not merely observing us, but they are witnessing to us, and God is witnessing to us. From this truth, we can know that this is a hard time, but whatever sufferings we are going through, there are many witnesses and people of faith before us who suffered much more than us, but endured to the end and won the race. They are cheering us on: “I did it! So can you! Endure to the end!”

We do not struggle alone – we are not the first people who are experiencing suffering and difficulties, and we have witnesses.

3. We have handicaps / weaknesses

We are surrounded by the greatness of the past, but are also surrounded by our handicaps / weaknesses / hindrances.

v. 1

“…let us throw off [remove] everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,…”

We must know that yes, we are human, so we are surrounded by sin and temptation to sin as long as we stay in this world. But we must know that with sin, it is impossible to run and finish this race well.

What is sin that so easily entangles you or me? Disbelief, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, lust, envy, jealousy, self-indulgence? What is the sin holding us back from running this race? Whatever it is, it must be stripped off and left behind.

Jesus “If you eye / hand / foot causes you to sin, gouge it out because it is better for you to enter heaven with only one, than go to hell with both.”

This shows that we cannot finish this race without radical determination and fighting. We must fight continually – not only sin, but also hindrances – they must be removed.

What are hindrances? Maybe not sin, but if it hinders your running, it must be removed.

“…let us throw off every [weight]…”

For example: my necktie, nice? Yes, wearing a necktie and these clothes are not a sin, but if I participate in a running race, I must remove these things – I must change my clothes because these make me heavy, weighty, and slow, preventing me from running well in this race.

This about this sincerely. What is holding you back from this faith race? We must be very sincere and honest in this question.

4. We have means / method to endure

“…and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

– endurance, perseverance

We know in a marathon, endurance, perseverance, stamina, energy are essential. Like this, in the Christian race, endurance is very essential. But we must know that biblical endurance is not merely sitting down and receiving things, rather it means refusing to give up without the loss of hope. Biblical perseverance = nothing can stop us from going our course until we reach our final destination and touch the final finishing line.

How is this possible? How can we do it in this world?

Today’s sermon is : the conclusion of chp 11. So, what is the conclusion of this message?

The conclusion: Jesus Christ

The answer to all the questions: Jesus Christ

v. 2-4

“2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” [the point of death]

Remember in chp 11, there is one sentence I repeated almost every time? “by faith…” we are saved, justified, being sanctified, will be glorified, can please God, can overcome this world.

This was purposeful – to make something clear. We can see what is clear in this sentence: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”

Yes, faith helps us to be positive in our thinking, and optimistic in our perspective, strong in our self / mind control. But we must be clear that positive thinking itself is not faith, an optimisitic attitude is not faith.

Faith = believing in Christ as Savior and Lord – accepting and confessing him, committing my whole life to him as Savior and Lord.

Jesus is the source, the ground, the foundation, the reason, object, goal, of our faith, the author and perfecter of our faith.

This means, he is the founder, originator, pioneer, finisher of our faith. So, I said in the first sentence, in the Christian life we have 4 things – and the answer is found only in Christ.

  1. Goal / Purpose (Christ is our goal – if he is your Savior and Lord) – our worship, service, ministry, everything we are doing must be Christ-centric because he is the measure of all things
  2. Witness / inspiration (Jesus is the inspiration of all inspirations) – we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, but Jesus must be the whole sky – the center of our sight.
  3. Handicaps / temptations (the only way to find freedom, cleansing, sanctification from all these things is Jesus – 1 John “the blood of Christ purifies us from all sins”)
  4. Means / endurance / patience (through the study of chp 11, we have seen how much they endured in their lives, but Jesus endured far more than any hero of faith in chp 11)

Jesus endured the cross. It means = shame, suffering, opposition, contradiction, the most terrible / horrible / painful / shameful death.

v. 4

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

None of us endured to the point of death – but he did. On the cross, he suffered for all the sins of all the people all over the world. Only Jesus is a perfect example for us to follow – a perfect example of patience and endurance.

1 Peter 2 “To this you were called, because Jesus suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow.”

He is an example and an enabler.

v. 3

“Consider him..” This is the greatest power – as long as we consider what he did and how he did it, there is nothing in this world we cannot endure. He is the greatest power in this world to overcome all things, temptations, challenges, hardships.

Why / how could he do that and for what?

v. 2

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who *for the joy* set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

This event happened 2000 years ago, but due to that joy, he is now rejoicing. We can know pain is short, but joy is long, eternal.

What joy was he expecting? He endured the cross expecting the joy set before him in advance. What was that joy? It enabled him to endure even the cross, even to the point of death.

We can see at least 3 kinds of joys he was expecting

  1. Joy of the reunion with his Father in heaven (his homecoming day)
  2. Joy of being crowned with honor and glory and making everything put under his feet (after resurrection “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me”)
  3. Joy of salvation of his believers (your salvation is Jesus’ joy – he endured for our salvation)

If Jesus did not endure the cross, then your and my salvation would be impossible. Due to his sacrifice on the cross, our salvation has become possible.

So, today, what is our joy?

Today Jesus invites us to share in his joy together. If we can see that joy set before us by faith in advance, then we can endure any situation and difficulty even joyfully.

God bless us that Jesus’ joy make be ours. Still his joy is available to us if we live by faith in Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 25 / 2019
  • Comments Off on Jesus is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Hebrews: The Superiority of Christ, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus is our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus is Our Great High Priest

Hebrews 4:14-16 (Pastor Heo)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

There is a clear division between God and man. Only one person claims to be both: Jesus.

  • v. 14 – Focuses on Jesus’ Divinity (fully God)
  • v. 15 – Focuses on Jesus’ Humanity (fully Man)
  • v. 16 – Therefore, we can approach him with confidence – because he is fully Man, but also fully God.

He is our “best friend” – as a human being. But also all powerful as God.

v. 14-16

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

In this book, the word “priest” is found between 35-40 times (depending on the translation).

In history, the priesthood began with Aaron. Only the priests could enter the holy place in the temple.

Jesus is our Great High Priest. No other High Priest could assume this title: “Great.”

The Son of God (v. 14) affirms his diety and the fact that he is God. So, Jesus can bring ALL humans to God; and at the same time, he can bring what God has to ALL humans. In this point, he is “Great.”

This book Hebrews makes the clearest statement between a High Priest and the Great High Priest. High Priest is only a shadow that points to the Great High Priest who is Christ.


  • Human High Priest = from earth, and changes (they all die)
    • Great High Priest is from heaven, and never changes
  • Human High Priests offered sacrifices for themselves first and then others (they also need forgiveness) – animals were the sacrifice.
    • Jesus offered sacrifice for others first (he is sinless) – he himself was the sacrifice.
  • Human High Priests enter the Most Holy Place only once per year (and continually)
    • Jesus entered heaven Once for All
  • High Priests showed the way to the presence of God with a curtain – to the presence of God – humans could not intercede for us in heaven, and no power to take away sins.
    • Jesus himself is The Way, The Gate – Jesus intercedes for us in heaven and has the power to forgive and remove sins – the sin of the world.

The entrance to the Most Holy Place was guarded by three gates. High Priests entered the first (main) place with the blood of an animal – then, they entered the Holy Place, and finally, they entered the MOST Holy Place – where they sprinkled the blood of the animal on the Mercy Seat – the cover of the Ark.

The High Priest had to sprinkle blood for their own sins first, and then stay in the Most Holy Place for only a short time.

1 John “Jesus is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.”

v. 14 “… through the heavens…”

(This is not singular – but plural). Just as there were three stages to the temple, there were also 3 stages to heaven.

  1. Atmosphere
  2. Outer space
  3. God’s presence (the Most Holy Place)

“Therefore, …let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” (v. 14)

“Profess” = public confession

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

Matt 10:32-33 “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 in heaven.”

This profession of faith = public confession of faith.
Can you open your beautiful mouth? Open it widely to profess this.

  • v. 14 = Focuses on Jesus’ Diety
  • v. 15 = Focuses on Jesus’ Humanity

This is amazing, a mystery, but true.

Jesus is fully God, but at the same time, fully Man (not almost man, not 99.99999%, but 100% God and 100% man).

v. 15

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.”

Can you imagine this?

Jesus has been tempted in EVERY WAY just as we are – he was born with a body, mind, soul, like we do. He had human weaknesses, emotions. He felt tired, hungry, thirsty, he crawled like a baby, talked like a baby, lived a complete human life like you and me. Why?

  1. To experience our weaknesses – to share our weaknesses – with a body, mind, and soul. He was misunderstood and persecuted – even to the point of death on the cross.
  • The fact that he was tempted = He’s man
  • The fact that he was sinless = He’s perfect (God)

Who can say, “I’m without sin”? No one. Only Jesus.


Jesus was TEMPTED, but did not sin. If we really understand the meaning of this sentence, it will be very helpful and encouraging to us.

Think of this:

Who knows better what the temptation is and how powerful it is? He who sins? Or he who does not sin?

We may think that he who sins knows it well, and he who does not sin doesn’t know it’s power.

No. The OPPOSITE is true.

Only those who RESIST temptation know the TRUE power of temptation.

  1. For example, we can know the power of Mike Tyson (boxer) only by fighting against him, not by surrendering to him.
  2. We understand the strength of the wind by running against it, not by lying down in the room.
  3. If we give in to temptation after only 5 minutes, we do not know what it would be like 1 hour later.


Tempter: Satan

The Tempter tempts you to sin. If he says, “Do this. If you do this, I’ll give you one candy.” If you do that with the offer of that one candy, it means you yielded to temptation with the prize of one candy. If you kneel down to this one candy, the Tempter does not need to offer you 2, 3, 5, 10 candies.

But, if you reject ONE candy, he will offer 10, 20, 50, 100 candies.

But we never experienced the temptation with 1,000,000,000 candies. Because we give in to temptation after only a few candies.

Please understand this very clearly.

The fact that Jesus never sinned means that he never gave into temptation. That he never gave into temptation means that he experienced the EXTREME FINAL POWER of temptation (1,000,000,000 candies…)

We’ve never experienced the most powerful temptation because we surrender to it much sooner than the last stage comes.

Jesus was tempted FAR BEYOND what we are.

Think of this in terms of pain.

There is a degree of pain which the human frame can stand. But when that degree is passed, a person loses consciousness so that there are agonies of pain that he cannot feel.

It is so with temptation.

We fall down and collapse in the face of temptation. But Jesus faced temptation and went to Humanity’s limit and FAR BEYOND it – but did not collapse.

He was tempted in ALL things we are tempted, and so he can say to us, “I was tempted as you are today.” But we cannot say to Jesus, “I’m being tempted as you were.”

Jesus experienced all temptations humanity has, but we have never experienced all the temptations he has.

This means, he can understand US completely, but we do not understand him completely.

v. 15 “… he is able to sympathize with our weaknesses…”

In Greek, to sympathize means “to share as mine through practical experience.”

If you have weaknesses, hardships, problems, I’m a pastor and I can pray for, encourage, help you. But, I’m NOT able to sympathize with your suffering unless I have the SAME suffering you’ve had. This is the literal meaning of sympathy.

Even your husband and wife cannot sympathize with you unless they have the SAME experience you have.

Only Jesus is able.

We need sympathy because we are imperfect. When you need sympathy, to whom do you go? Family? Husband, wife, close friend, coworkers? But remember, we must go to Jesus first, because Jesus is our BEST friend and BEST understander and BEST sympathizer.

When this life has drenched us with tears, we can go to Jesus because He. Has. Been. There.

Jesus can give us power, wisdom, knowledge, and love to help us overcome all temptations, weaknesses, and sufferings.


Hebrews 8:2 “Because he suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

  • 2 Cor “No sin…”
  • 1 Peter 2 “No sin is found in his mouth, he committed no sin.”
  • 1 John? “No sin…”

v. 16

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

If you receive God’s Word and apply it to your life, it will change your life.

Yes, we need mercy and grace. It is essential. We are needing the mercy and grace of God all the time. These two go together practically all the time. There is a logical difference, but practically, they are ONE.

  • Mercy = “God does not give us what we deserve”
  • Grace = “God gives us what we do not deserve”

We need mercy for our past failures, mistakes, errors, sins.
We need grace for our present and future needs, and victory.

No trial is too great – no temptation is too strong – because Jesus is Greater than them.

Even heaven cannot contain Christ – even heaven is too small a place for Christ.

“Approach” = with prayer – communication with God through Christ. This is our best privilege and right through Christ. Remember, if we do not pray, we rob ourselves of the great and timely resources God holds for us.

God bless us with more mercy and grace.

Read once more.

v. 16

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

God bless you.

Let’s pray.

  • Nov 02 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Listening and Doing (James 1:16-27)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Listening and Doing (James 1:16-27)



Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Listening & Doing

James 1:16-27 (Pastor Brian)

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


James was the half-bro of Jesus – didn’t believe in him at first, but after resurrection, became a Christian – believed in his brother as Lord and Savior, and became pastor of the church of Jerusalem. (Jude – half-brother also believed and wrote another letter in the Bible.)

James realizes that the Christians who are scattered abroad will be undergoing hardships and he’s writing this letter to encourage them. “Rejoice in various trials and temptations from without…” (We are fallen and living in a fallen world – but we’ve been revived and regenerated by the Word of God. Nevertheless, we are still living in the flesh and the sinful nature may yet rise up and mar our testimony.)

There will be trials from without – but if a person endures, they will be strengthened, mature in faith, build character, be lacking in nothing ( “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 )

James is encouraging people to endure the trials from without.

Also, acknowledge where you fail from temptations from WITHIN. God doesn’t tempt, it’s not God’s fault you’ve sinned. Sin is a choice YOU made – you allow it to come into your mind and satisfy your flesh. This eventually leads to death. Get RID of those things. They MAR your testimony.

“Let the poor man rejoice in his high status – he’s raised with Christ to the high places. Let the rich man rejoice in his low status – he’s like a flower in the field – here today and gone tomorrow.” James 1

James also says we should “ask for wisdom – in faith – believing.”

Spurgeon – “faith comes” (by hearing) Romans

We must be DOERS of the Word, not HEARERS only. (Don’t just quote Scripture, Do what it says.)

Apply the Word in our lives – that’s the Challenge.

Neil Andersen – at the time he wrote the book “The Bondage Breaker” there were many pastors falling into the exact sins they were preaching against. Even if you’re preaching and teaching, don’t assume that you’re above sin. Even preachers aren’t FREE from sin and temptation. There is always (should be) growing and sometimes (groaning) as we grow.

“Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace.” – 18th century – Robert Robertson

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”

Prone = we have a tendency to wander

Robert Robertson’s parent died when he was young, then he got into trouble as a teenager. They went to a fortune teller and gave her some alcohol to tell their fortune for free. He, 17, was told he would live to see his grandchildren and children – he thought “I better get my life fixed.”

He went to see George Whitfield preaching, and he was preaching on the point where Jesus said, “you brood of vipers!” – He and his friends had gone to heckle (make fun of the preacher) but this Scripture grabbed his heart and held him for 3 years afterward. He eventually wanted to become a pastor.

He wrote this hymn at age 23.

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thy help I’m come.” – 1 Samuel the Israelites had beaten the Philistines. Dago toppled over in their own temple and showed that Jehovah was the victor. Later, Samuel raised this stone of “help” that God had been to his people – he’d given them victory over their enemies. And this was a reminder of their victory.

The interesting point is – this was the point of their first DEFEAT – and then they were granted victory there and Samuel raised the Ebenezer? stone as a memorial.

Hitherto the Lord has helped us – “until here the Lord has helped us.”

When we sing “Here I raise mine Ebenezer” = we are remembering that the Lord has helped us up to this point.

“Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it.” = Praise the Lord for Calvary – where the Lord was crucified for our sins. And we need to daily go BACK to it to remind ourselves of it (you know, humans are inherently forgetful.)

Urban legend?

Later on, Robert Robertson did fall away from the faith. He was Baptist, Methodist, then Unitarian (didn’t really believe Jesus was totally God and man).


  • Later on in the stagecoach, a lady was humming the hymn he’d written – and she started pressing him about it “Wow, this is a beautiful hymn, don’t you think?”
  • He: “Madam, I’m the unfortunate writer of those words, and I’d give a thousand worlds to have the joy I’d had at that point when I’d written them.”
  • She: “Don’t worry, the streams of mercy are still flowing.”

And he was stirred in his heart and gave himself back to Christ.

“Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”

And his words live on – they are words of life, of reality.

Recently – a pastor who’d fallen into sin said, “Sometimes we take a persona to church (a tie, a “happy family” – an IDEAL life – rather than the REALITY of who he/she really is).” It’s actually in LONELINESS that we see who we really are.

“Just as I am” – without any ideas of falsity – the Lord receives us.

I wanted to explain the hymn so that it will become more relevant to where we are and what we are doing.

Back to James.

James is encouraging Christians to live in the world IN the New Life that we’ve received by the Word of God. We become a kind of firstfruits of all that he’s created. To Nicodemus “You must be born again – born anew.”

“Must I go back and come forth again?”

No, no, without Christ and his grace and intervention for us, we are dead in our sins.

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

God is longsuffering, patient, kind, but he wants the similar Spirit to be manifest in our own lives. As Paul writes: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.” If these things are not evident, then we are bearing the fruit of the flesh: sexual sins, pride, strife, jealousy, anger, quick to speak, quick to anger.

You know, we can be in the Spirit one minute and the next BAM! out comes something we didn’t fully intend. Where did that come from? The flesh.

1 John 1:8-9 “If we say we have no sin, 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.”

Neil Andersen: Bondage Breaker

Speaking of the San Andreas fault – if they get a small tremor – no problem. But if there is NO movement, uh oh, maybe “the BIG one” is coming…

Like this, if we confess our sins OFTEN – this is the course of life and reality and spiritual health. BUT, if there is a LONG period of silence, we are hiding sin, secret sin – and this may grow and culminate into an EXPLOSION of pain and trouble.

We must keep “up to date” with our confessions with the Lord. It’s like looking into a mirror. “I didn’t leave anything in there did I?” If you just LOOK and don’t CLEAN UP – what good is it?

Look in the Word of God and don’t apply it (to yourselves). Don’t just think of how it might apply to OTHERS. What about YOU??

“Lord, help ME get over this, help ME get rid of this.”

  • Sometimes it’s helpful to seek out a stronger Christian and confess and keep accountable to them.
  • Sometimes, when our spiritual joy is not where is should be, we should find a brother or sister in Christ to confide in and confess our sins to.

“Lay aside all that remains – the wickedness or naughtiness” – we can’t receive what the Bible promises if we remain in sin. If we think this is for someone else, and not just for ME, we are also not DOING the Word.

Jesus also said, “Deal RADICALLY with sin. If you right eye offends you, poke it out. If your right hand offends you, cut it off. It’s better to enter heaven mutilated than go to hell whole.”

(He meant this spiritually, not physically literally.)

Consider David (Psalm 51?) – Confession of his sin with Bathsheba before God.

David put Uriah – her husband – in the front lines of battle and had all the soldiers pull back so that he would be killed. Then he took her into his house – but the prophet Nathan? came and spoke to him.

“A rich man had tons of stuff, but stole the small lamb from his neighbor for a feast. You are that man.”

Psalm 32 = his ANGUISH over unconfessed sin.

“I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ and thou didst forgive my sin.”

David was forgiven, but not the same – not as bright as before.

3 aspects of sin:

  1. Missing the mark (Romans 3:23 – “all have fallen short of the glory of God” – we are all born that way and need the Spirit of God to be renewed)
  2. Transgressions (Presumptuous sin – willful, knowledgeable sin – you KNOW what you SHOULD do, but CHOOSE not to)
  3. Iniquity (deep roots – premeditated choice to CONTINUE in unrepentant sin)

Eventually, he recognized all three aspects of evil and confessed his sin.

He had to DO it, he had to HUMBLE himself before the Lord.

In conclusion:

Ravi Zaccharias

“A man was confined to a Communist prison in Europe around 20 years old. He was there for 50 years. Eventually, he was released in a wheelchair – and was speaking an ancient Hungarian tongue. He asked for a mirror – there were no mirrors in prison. The last time he’d seen himself, he was 20, now he was a shell of what he had once been at age 70.”

Is that like us sometimes?

We SEE the mirror of the Word, but we go away and forget the person we WERE reflected in the mirror to us.

Let’s let the Lord speak to our hearts now.

Let the Lord deal with one area of our hearts where we have failed, where we are prone to wander.

Quick to listen, slow to speak is what James recommends. Let’s be quick to listen to the Lord and slow to speak up in defense of ourselves.

The Lord wants to help, encourage us, and allow the streams of mercy to flow over us.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 19 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Desire and Deception II (James 1:12-20)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Desire and Deception II (James 1:12-20)



Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Desire & Deception II

James 1:12-20 (Pastor Brian)

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.


Pastor Brian’s voice today = his wife Pauline

In James 1, we see:

  1. Trials
  2. Temptations

Trials & Temptations GROW our faith

#1: Trials come from outward things.

  • We need to PERSEVERE because it develops CHARACTER. (Perseverance = Not quitting)
  • It makes us stronger in Christ, maturing us.

Long ago, the builders of ships looked for LONG trees to build masts. They went up to the hilltops to find trees that were already strong in storms, tall, strong, straight. (Therefore, they didn’t go down into the valleys.) God wants us to be like these trees – tall and strong through the storms of life.

Don’t be a tree that is uprooted easily – we need DEEP ROOTS in Christ.

James says, “Ask God for wisdom.”

We need an unshakeable faith that God will help us and answer us. He will give us a crown of life if we do this.

#2: Temptations

  • Has anyone ever NOT been tempted?
  • Are you tempted to call in sick to work? Speed (or run red lights) on the way to church?
  • It’s the “little things” that can trip us up.

Paul : “You once were adulterers, murderers, hard-core sinners… you’ve put that all behind you.”

When we become Christians, we quickly put away the “big” sins, but it’s the “little” sins (gossip, lying, cheating, etc) that trip us up.

In a Speech, when we say our words, they are GONE. But when we write them, they remain. Hopefully this is an accurate transcription of the sermon today.

“No temptation has seized you except what is COMMON to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13

Ex: “If THAT guy didn’t do THAT thing, then I wouldn’t have done THAT OTHER thing.”

Also, no one can say that God tempts us. God doesn’t do that. But each of us is tempted when we follow our own lusts and wander off.

God makes a WAY to escape our temptations.

“And God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear, but when you ARE tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can ‘stand up’ (resist) under it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

How to deal with these:

  1. Trials: be a BOXER – resist it, persevere
  2. Temptations: be a SPRINTER – run away

Ever heard “The devil made me do it?” Nah, I made me do it. I chose to do it.

Hunters and fishermen use bait to catch their kill. The experienced ones know EXACTLY the right bait to use to catch them easily and quickly. (Satan is the MOST experienced hunter.)

Story: My dad was a hunter, and so it wasn’t unusual to see bears hanging in the garage. When he wanted to get another animal, he’d put a part of the dead animal in a trap to catch the other. The living animal would come along and be unable to resist and easily be caught.

Satan KNOWS (how? not because he’s omniscient – he just has a LONG wealth of experience) what is the most attractive bait for each of us. He won’t tempt everyone with the same bait.

You know the fishhooks with a barb on the end? If you get caught with that, it’s HARD to get away – you may need to CUT it out (and that gets painful).

When we follow our desires, we are tempted, when tempted, we sin.


  1. Give in
  2. Resist


  1. Joseph – he was “the guy” in charge of everything for Potiphar, but his wife chased him around tempting him continually. But he knew he couldn’t give in. She cornered him but he RAN, leaving his coat — oops. Then she lied about it to her hubby who threw him in jail.
    1. Paul to Timothy: “Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness.”
    2. Peter: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
  2. David (yes, THAT David)
    1. One summer, sigh, “I’ll just take a vacation this summer. You guys go off to war, I’ll chill in the palace.” He wandered up to the rooftop and saw a beautiful woman (Bathsheba) bathing on the roof below – and he fell into sin with her.


  • Joseph: servant, poor, woman in pursuit
  • David: king, rich, loads of wives already

They both had a CHOICE. Position doesn’t matter. Income doesn’t matter. Who we want to sin with doesn’t matter. So, then WHAT matters? THE HEART.

Get in the Word of God to put the Word of God in your Heart in order to resist the temptations that come our way.

James say, “When sin is accomplished…”

(i.e. we embrace it – habitually – it’s a “lifestyle choice” – a pattern)

  • Do you think drug addicts think, “Hmm, what do I wanna be when I grow up? I know! A drug addict would be great!” No way. It just takes one step, and another, and soon you lose track of yourself down the path that steers you away.
  • Gambling also is a problem like this – it’s a big bait for some people.
  • Also alcohol, promiscuity, etc, etc.

Would these people have CHOSEN these lifestyles if they’d KNOWN beforehand the consequences of their step-by-step choices that eventually led them to this life? No.

Unrepentant sin = DEATH

It will kill you physically and spiritually. Sin has consequences. “The consequences of sin is death.” Romans 3:23?

1 John “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

I dunno what your week has been like, but ask Jesus to FILL you. Get in the Word. FLEE youthful lusts.

If you have anything in your heart that you’ve been holding close, protecting, guarding, keeping secret – give it to Jesus. Let it go. Then, throughout the week, get in the Word and pray and CONTINUALLY give this to Christ. It’s not easy, nor a one-time deal in many cases.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 05 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Desire and Deception (James 1:12-20)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Desire and Deception (James 1:12-20)



Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Desire and Deception

James 1:12-20 (Pastor Brian)

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.


James was the half-brother of Jesus, BUT considers himself a “bond servant” of Christ. He doesn’t boast in his relationship with Jesus except as a servant. He’s writing here to the 12 tribes scattered abroad (Jews, mostly) – in the “diaspora” – the spreading of the Jews into different parts of the world.

He is giving very practical advice and counsel. He is concerned about them living out their faith and being fruitful in ministry and life. He knows that they will have trials and suffering. James 1:2? “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds…”

Perseverance = going on to the end.

“The testing of your faith develops perseverance” Testing = making stronger, NOT trying to break. For example, steel: must be tested to strengthen it.

This is the kind of “testing” that God used to test Abraham. “Go up this mountain and sacrifice your son Isaac to me” (he was over 100 years old, this was his only son, through this son the Promise was to be fulfilled) – so why do it? The testing of his faith showed his heart to God – he knew that God would STILL fulfill that Promise to him – even if he had to raise Isaac from the dead again (which, in a sense, he did – because in his mind, Isaac was already dead).

Eagles also go through “testing”. When eaglets are “of age”the mother starts tearing up the nest and THROWS the eaglet out. The eagle struggles to fly, and finds that HE CAN! He didn’t know that before. But what would happen if he couldn’t fly? The mother swoops under the baby to catch it if it can’t really fly. Then, they will repeat the “test” again later.

The Queen of Sheba came to Solomon to “test” him with many questions. She came away convinced that all she heard about him was true.

God didn’t rid the land (the Promised Land) of its enemies before sending the Israelites there. He sent them to LEARN, to fail and then later succeed.

You start with the basics in school and build upon that.

Count these “tests” as fully joy – and allow perseverance to have its full work in you so that you may be complete and mature (not perfect).

Phil 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will complete it…”

What of these trials we face?

They are difficult. Trying. James says, “Ask God for WISDOM without ‘casting in your teeth’ (without reproach).” God doesn’t give a gift spitefully, nor to manipulate. He GIVES because he LOVES.

In the trial, ask “What can I learn from THIS experience?”

Maybe “try again” go around again, fail, fail, fail, succeed. God is looking for our reactions in these kinds of circumstances.

Now, this wisdom that James mentions is not some kind of abstract, philosophical, heady, theoretical wisdom – it’s practical LIFE wisdom.

“This is what you are to do to profit and grow in your trials and lives – ask in FAITH, remember how God has been faithful to his promises in the past, and trust that he will remain true to them in the future.” Doubt your doubts, and believe your beliefs.

Charles Spurgeon : “Faith comes…”

Romans “Faith comes from hearing…” (the whole verse) – but Spurgeon emphasizes “faith COMES” – if you don’t have it now, meditate (mutter), read, memorize, pray, proclaim God’s Word.

The Muslims proclaim their Quran multiple times per day – how much more should we also proclaim the Word of God!

We must hide his Word in our hearts, treasure it, and proclaim it.

What should we ask for? Not what you might think.

v. 9 “The humble man ought to take pride in his high situation – rejoice!” “But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position.”- He will pass away like the flowers. Imagine the fresh spouts in spring, scorched by the heat of summer.

Likewise, anyone’s life may be extinguished in an instant – you never know. Jesus also told this kind of story: “There was a rich man with an overflowing harvest. He decided to rip down his barns and build new ones to house it all. He would eat, drink, and be merry. Yet, his life was demanded of him that night.”

King Solomon (very rich) said in Ecclesiastes: “I hated all that I had and accumulated because I knew that I would not be able to enjoy it – but the one who came after me would get it.” Even Solomon fell from his high position at the end of his life when he turned from God.

In addition to maturity and perseverance, God wants to APPROVE of us.

There is a very detailed process for a politician to become a Cabinet member – they want to be sure there are no “skeletons in the closet” that would shame the government or create a scandal. However, where humans are concerned, things are often overlooked. But where God is concerned, things are NOT overlooked.

The Crown of Life: v. 12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under temptation….”

  • 1 Thessalonians “What is our joy, our crown, in Jesus? Is it not you – indeed, you are our crown of joy.” (The Crown of Joy – those who lead people to Christ and disciple them)
  • 2 Timothy 4:8 (The Crown of Righteousness) – given to the Christians who expected the Lord to come back and lived with that “Now there is in store for me the Crown of Righteousness…to all who loved his appearing.” (Looking forward to his return?)
  • Crown of Glory (1 Peter 5:4) – given to those who shepherd the church and are responsible for the flock “When the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory, which will never fade away.”
  • James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because when he has stood test, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to him.”


  1. God allows some kind
  2. Some comes from within (our sinful nature)

Temptation is common in life (speed, lie, call in sick, cheat, steal, etc, etc) – everywhere we turn, we face it.

The Jews had reference to the 2 natures of man: good nature, evil nature. Paul also knew this “When I want to do good, there is evil there will me, fighting against the good I want to do… Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Christ is in him, giving him the victory.

Illustration of temptation:

  • Temptation comes – a begrudging thought. We play around with it a little bit – then go back.
  • We get a lustful thought – start doing it. “Oh, I shouldn’t be doing this” and go back.

Don’t let temptation go across the threshold of your mind. – Oswald Chambers

Let’s go into that more next week. Now, let’s prepare our hearts for the Lord’s supper.

What have we done throughout the week that is displeasing to the Lord? Confess those – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to cleanse us from our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Lord, forgive us our sins, and purify our hearts. In Jesus name.

Let’s pray.

  • Sep 15 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Pray, in This Manner (Matthew 6:9-15)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Pray, in This Manner (Matthew 6:9-15)


09.15.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ‘ 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


In the previous verses, Jesus said, “Do not keep babbling like pagans. They think they will be heard because of their many words. Our Father knows what we need before we ask. This then, is how you should pray…”

This is the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus gave it first, and to his disciples, and as a pattern – but not an incantation.

When we pray, we should pray as the first time and last time, the same – sincerely, from our deep hearts.

There is one fact we should know.

This prayer = given to disciples. It is a prayer that ONLY disciples can pray. Only those fully committed to God can pray it. We can only pray it when we know what we are praying. We can only know it when we enter into true discipleship with God.

This is not a baby’s prayer. It is a disciple’s prayer. God bless us to not be babies.

“Our Father…”

To WHOM do you pray? What is he like? Who is listening? Do you know who you are talking with? Who is hearing your voice?

#1: We pray to God – God Almighty – the One True God.

God is spirit, invisible, eternal, immutable, unchangeable, omniscient, omnipresent, merciful, gracious, compassionate. Also, he is a person, with a personality – he can speak, he can listen, feel, love, hate, be angry. He is a PERSON.

When we pray, we pray to GOD ~ not men, not angels, not demons, not A god…

“…in heaven…”

There is a big gap between God and we, his Creations.

  • He is infinite, we are finite.
  • He is perfect, we are imperfect.
  • He contains all Creation, we cannot contain all of Him in our brains.

But, we can call such a God in heaven “our Father.” He has become our Father – our imminent Father. Unknowable God becomes knowable Father. Invisible God becomes visible Father. This is the MOST intimate form of communication, between a Father and his children. God loves us, cares for us, as Father.

Can you call God “Father”? 

How is this possible? Only in Jesus Christ. Only through and by Jesus Christ. John 1:18 “No one has ever seen God, but God the one and only who is at his right side has made him known.”

“To those who believed in him, God gave the right to be called ‘children of God.’”

If you believe in Jesus, acknowledge him with your mouth, believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, make him Lord over your life, THEN, you are a “child of God.” ONLY THEN, you can call God, “Father.” There is no other way.

Can you call God “Father”?

“OUR Father…”

Not “my Father…” – he IS my Father, but there are NO singular pronouns here – “our Father… our debts… our sins… our daily bread…”

We must remember we are a part of the Universal church – over the whole world. We must not pray for something that would be bad for other members of God’s family. If we pray rightly, we pray for things that become blessings for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

From this prayer, we can see the missional heart of God – he wants all humans to be saved by belief in Christ. If we know this, then we know next for what we should pray.

TWO Parts with 6 items.

Each part has 3 items.

  1. Part #1: For GOD (3 items)
  2. Part #2: For Ourselves (3 items)

Sometimes the Bible divides prayer into two parts (prayer and petition) Ephesians = “pray in all occasions with prayers and petitions” Philippians = “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything with prayer and petition, present your requests to God.”

Generally speaking, whatever we say to God = prayer.

Narrowly speaking, asking FOR God = pure prayer. Asking for OURSELVES = petition.

Firstly, we must ask for GOD, and THEN, for ourselves.

Remember, this is a disciples’ prayer.

  1. For God
  2. For YOU
  3. For ME

Remember, babies pray:

  1. For Me
  2. For Me
  3. For Me

This prayer =

  1. For God’s name to be holy
  2. For his kingdom to be come
  3. For his will to be done

#1: HOLY in Greek = “hagios” = separate/different from other things.

Let God’s name be treated differently from other names – let him be given a supreme position. Let God’s name be given its proper position. His qualities, personalities, attributes deserve and demand this.

When will this prayer be accomplished?

“When every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” THEN this prayer will be fulfilled.

God gave Jesus the name that is above all names… until this day comes, we must continue to pray “hallowed be your name” “holy be your name”

#2: Your Kingdom come

Matthew 6:33? “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well.”

This is central to the message of Christ – “the kingdom of Heaven is near – repent!”

  1. It existed in the past “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets were in the kingdom of Heaven.”
  2. It exists currently in the present “it’s in the midst of you, among you, in you, near, at hand” – it’s a present reality.
  3. It will come in the future – we must continue to pray that more and more people will enter the kingdom of God. One day will come when all evil will be destroyed and God will establish a new heaven and new earth (it’s not here yet – Shinchonji…)

Your job is not a secular job, it’s a holy job.

  1. We make money.
  2. We contribute to this world.
  3. We build the kingdom of God (and worship Him through our work).

Outwardly, I’m here to make money.

Inwardly, I’m here to advance HIS kingdom.

Let us pray for God’s kingdom to come among us.

#3: Your WILL be done.

Babies pray to change God’s will to satisfy his OWN will.

Disciples pray to submit OUR wills to God’s will.

The kingdom of God and his will cannot be separated. The kingdom of God is a society on earth in which his will is done perfectly as it is in heaven.

Anyone who did God’s will perfectly in the past was in the kingdom of God. Anyone who NOW does God’s will perfectly is in the kingdom of God.

1 John “This world and its desires pass away, but the man who stands in the will of God will last forever.”

The accomplishment (fully) is still, yet to be, in the future.

Are you in the kingdom of God now?

This is to submit (fully) and obey (fully) God’s will.

To pray for the Will of God = to pray to submit our own wills to the will of God.

  1. His name = glory
  2. His kingdom to come
  3. His will to be done


NOW, we can pray for ourselves…

#1: Provide for our needs (daily bread) – providence

This refers to physical AND spiritual needs. EVERY necessity. “Daily” means God’s constant, non-stop, steadfast provision.

Phil 4:19 “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.”

John “I am the Bread of Life – he who believes in me will never go hungry, will never be thirsty.”

Do you think you provide for yourself because you work? WRONG. God gives you the ability to work – he is your provider and your sustainer.

Jesus does not pray “Give ME my daily bread” but rather “Give US our daily bread” (i.e. don’t be selfish). We can be a channel/tool in God’s answering OTHER people’s prayers. This is not only for US to RECEIVE our daily bread, but also a prayer for us to SHARE our daily bread with others.

God provides our breath, that’s why we breathe. Our houses, clothes, everything we have and enjoy is from God, and for his glory.

#2: Forgive us our debts AS we have ALSO forgiven our debtors.

We must CONTINUALLY pray for forgiveness.

In Jesus, there is no more condemnation, true, we are righteous and holy in Christ. BUT, at the same time, as long as we are in this world, we are not perfect in character, life, tongue, so we continually need God’s forgiving mercy and grace. Every day we wash and shower, like this we need God’s forgiveness.

1 John 1:9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

v. 14-15 “If you do not forgive, God will not forgive.”

Actually, God’s forgiveness is not dependent on our own forgiving of others. We are forgiven already in Christ. This sentence means, “if we have FULLY experienced the forgiveness of Christ and we do NOT forgive others, then we have NOT fully experienced God’s forgiveness.”

  • If you can’t forgive, you don’t know God.
  • If you can’t forgive, you are in essence, asking God to not forgive you.

We must learn to love others more and more, to forgive, to forget (God forgets greatly).

#3: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (this world is God’s but under Satan’s influence).

We must continue to pray for our salvation.

What does this mean? Can we lose our salvation? NO. That salvation we received is VERY sure. It CANNOT be lost in Jesus Christ.

But, IF we are saved, we must CONTINUE to pray for our salvation.

If we have been saved from the condemnation of sin, we still must pray to be saved from the temptation of sin. We must pray continually for victory over sin.

We cannot escape oxygen – we also cannot escape temptation. 

“Help us escape temptation. Help us get victory.”

We must become more and more like Jesus: our model, our perfect example.

In this manner, we pray:

Our Father in heaven…

Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer as YOUR prayer, individually, as a disciple.

  • Jun 16 / 2013
  • Comments Off on Jesus, Our King, was Tempted! (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Jesus, Our King, was Tempted! (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13)


06.16.2013 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Temptation of Jesus

4:1-11pp — Mk 1:12,13; Lk 4:1-13

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,”he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him,”Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” 11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

The Temptation of Jesus

4:1-13pp — Mt 4:1-11; Mk 1:12,13

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ ” 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ” ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ” 12 Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 13When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Matthew v.1 = “Then…led into the wilderness…”

Then = important connection between chp 3 and chp 4. Last time, Jesus was baptized by John.

The same HS that descended on Jesus at his baptism, led him into the desert to be tempted.

Luke = “Jesus was full of the HS (Holy Spirit).”

This HS sent Jesus into the desert to be tempted.

We want to be filled with the HS. But even if we are filled with the HS, we can still be finished. Many people think, Jesus was only tempted this one time of fasting – the truth is, through the entire 40 days, he was tempted.

Luke says “40 days” and v. 13 “when the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” This means Satan tempted him continually. 

  • Also, Satan tempted Jesus through Peter (”Never, Lord, you shall not die.” – Jesus said, “Get behind me Satan.”)
  • Also Satan tempted Jesus on the cross through the voice of the crowd “If you are the Christ, come down!”

The HS compelled JC to the desert to be tempted. Temptation was a divine necessity to prove his Messianic purpose – he HAD to be tempted so that all Creation would know that he was the victor over temptation – and so that all would know who Satan was. So, because of his victory, we also will get victory over the tempter. 

Satan = fallen, created, real being (not symbolic)

He is constantly fighting against all who follow God.

  • Devil in Greek = “accuser”
  • Satan in Hebrew = “accuser/tempter”

The HS put JC in the desert to be tested – not to see if he was ready, but to show the world that he was ready. 

Satan hoped to destroy his mission by tempting him to do evil. He tried to make Jesus declare his Kingship early – to take his power into his own hands and forsake his Father’s will. Satan’s final purpose was to destroy Jesus’ mission (to die on the cross for our sins and give us opportunity to have eternal life).

  • The first Adam met Satan – in the beautiful garden – with plenty to eat – and lost the battle.
  • The last Adam (Jesus) met Satan – in a hot desert – while hungry – and won the battle (culminating on the cross).

Also, his temptation makes him our sympathetic High Priest 

Hebrews 2:18 “He himself suffered while tempted, so he can help those who are tempted. He is our High Priest, tempted in every way, as we are, so let us approach the Throne of Grace with confidence to help us in our time of need.”

Matthew 4:2 – After 40 days/nights, he was hungry (famished).

  • 40 days = Noah in the ark
  • 40 days = Moses on Mt. Sinai
  • 40 days = Goliath’s taunting
  • 40 days = Elijah in the wilderness
  • 40 days = Jesus’ time on earth after his resurrection
  • 40 years = Israel’s time in the wilderness.

God uses 40 for many purposes and people, preparing them for something.

If we compare Matthew and Luke, they are different in order.

  • Luke = temptation 1, 3, 2 
  • Matthew = temptation 1, 2, 3

Which is correct? Is it important?

Both are right – they compliment each other.

In the Greek Bible, it is more clear.

  • Matthew #2: v.5 “Then…” in Greek = tote = after that
  • Matthew #3: v.8 “Again…” in Greek = palin = once more again

In Luke, there is no sequence conjunction.

In Matthew, last temptation = “Go away Satan!”

In Luke, there is not this sentence.

  • Matthew = historical, chronological order
  • Luke = just introduced the types

Matthew #1: v. 3-4

  • “Make bread from these stones.”
  • “No. (Deut. 8:3)”

Looks outwardly, like a good suggestion, rather than a temptation. It looks reasonable outwardly. “Woah, man, you look hungry! Eat something.”

Eating is not a sin, food is no sin. But, I know you know you have power to make these stones into bread – just, c’mon do it!

The time was wrong, though eating is right.

Jesus’ purpose was fasting.

Sometimes we are tempted to satisfy normal, healthy desires in a wrong way.

Stealing for food? Sex outside of marriage?

Jesus never used his divine power for himself – only for others. He fed 5,000 men miraculously – but never fed himself in a miraculous way.

We also are given gifts and talents – sometimes we are tempted to use them only for ourselves.

  1. What can I do for ME with this gift?
  2. What can I do for OTHERS with this gift?

Jesus quotes Deut 8:3

Physical needs are normal, but to put those before spiritual needs is not good. Physical needs = temporary life. Spiritual life = eternal life. Which is more important?

Matthew #2: v. 5-7

  • “Skydive with an angel parachute.” (Ps. 91:11-12)
  • “No (Deut. 6:16) – interesting how he always quotes the Old Testament

Even more subtle temptation. 

Satan KNOWS Bible verses and can use them inappropriately. “Hey, man, you want to live by Bible verses? Here’s a GOOD one for you! Hehehe…If you REALLY believe this, do it!”

You can’t choose verse by verse to believe.

Believe it ALL or none.

If we separate text from context, it may become pretext.

One common thing of all heresies and cults = they use memory verses as “proof verses” to justify their own wrong ideas.

  • Don’t use memory verses to judge others.
  • Don’t use memory verses to support your personal lifestyle.

Last Sunday, Acts, last chapter, the snake bites Paul’s hand – but nothing terrible happens to him immediately – God kept his promise with Paul. God cares for us, and is keeping his promise with us to protect us – but don’t drink poison – it’s not faith in God, it’s testing God. That’s a no-no.

  • Satan knew the verses, but failed to obey them.
  • Jesus knew the verses, and obeyed them.

Knowing the Word is important to get victory over Satan, but we must ALSO obey. 

Matthew #3: v. 8-11 

  • “Call me Master and I’ll make you Regent.”
  • “No (Deut 6:13) – all from Deuteronomy

Satan knew that one day, all authority and power on Earth would be given to Jesus. He knew that one day “all knees would bow down and confess Jesus is Lord. 

His temptation = “Why wait? I can give you what you want NOW!” (hmm, reminds me of credit cards…)

Painless short-term. There are no difficulties here. This temptation = easy, painless shortcut, convenience.

Even today, Satan offers us this world with convenience. He entices us through our sinful nature – money, lust, fame, popularity. 

Jesus says, “Don’t worship this world – only worship God.”

As long as we stay in this world, we cannot escape from temptation.

1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in it. If anyone loves this world, the lust of his eyes, the cravings of the flesh, is not from Father God, but from this world.”

Do you feel tempted? 

If you feel like you have received this temptation, it means: you DO NOT belong to Satan. (He doesn’t need to tempt his own.)

To get victory means to fight against something or somebody – without fighting there is no victory. So, against what or whom must we fight? 

If we belong to God, we must fight against Satan – not against man. Worship God, serve men, fight Satan.

Let us focus on God’s plan, person, purpose.

Jesus our King defeated Satan and got victory, so we can follow him. Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…endured the cross, scorning it’s shame.”

God bless us for this wonderful victory against Satan.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 13 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Genesis 37-39 (Bible-365.13): Joseph and more Bad Sex
Bible-365, Grow

Genesis 37-39 (Bible-365.13): Joseph and more Bad Sex


In Genesis 37, Joseph becomes the obvious favorite of Daddy after receipt of his rainbow coat, and his brothers hate him for it (and the fact that he tattles on them). But Joseph arrogantly reveals dreams to them where they serve he (he obviously knows he’s Daddy’s favorite – teenage punk). Jacob sent the kid to the fields to keep an eye on his brothers, but they decide to kill him. Reuben (the firstborn – the one who slept with his Daddy’s third wife) saves him by convincing them to just throw him in a big pot (he would rescue him later). Judah (the second born) convince them to sell Joseph to Ishmael’s descendants (Islam eventually sprouts from Ishmael’s line) and take him to Egypt. They do, Reuben freaks out, they pour blood on Joseph’s coat, his Daddy freaks out, end of story…

Continue Reading

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