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  • Jul 12 / 2020
  • Comments Off on God’s Secret Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

God’s Secret Wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)

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

Wisdom From the Spirit

6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”F6 — 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
11The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.F7 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16″For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”F8 But we have the mind of Christ.

God’s Secret Wisdom

3 points

1. God will save all human beings through Jesus Christ alone

All will die in one man – Adam.

1 Cor 15:22 “In Adam, all die.”

Some people ask, “WHY” – why must I be connected with Adam?

Because God condemned all human beings in Adam, he is able to save all human beings in Christ.

What about angels? Tested individually and judged individually. They cannot be saved in Christ because they have no substitute for them to save them. But human beings like us were lost in Adam, our racial head. So we can be saved in Christ who is the head of the new creation.

Romans “Through the disobedience of one man (Adam) all human beings were made sinners, like this, through the obedience of one man (Christ) all men can be made righteous.”

2 Cor 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone, the new has come. Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ.”

God’s plan to save all human beings through Christ is just, logical, and reasonable.

The gospel is so simple that even a child can understand it.

Yet it is so profound that even the greatest scholar cannot fully understand it.

2. God involves all three persons of the Trinity God for our salvation

Yes, we believe in ONE and only God – but in three persons. ONE essence, ONE God, but three individual persons.

We cannot be saved without election by grace from the Father God, salvation by Christ, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe in God? Yes, but today let me point out that just saying “I believe in God” is not enough. We know in doctrine and practically this is true. Mormons, Jews, pagans, say “I believe in god/God.” But a small-g “god” cannot be distinguished from a big-g “God.”

To many people, “god” is just an impersonal being, like an energy.

We were saved from the Beginning of the world – chosen from before the foundation of the world – to be holy and blameless, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

Romans “Those he predestined, he also called, then justified, then glorified.”

We never knew about the moments when we were saved before the creation of the world, but this is a mystery and reality.

As far as Christ is concerned, we were saved as soon as Jesus died on the cross for our sins – for your sin and my sin – the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.

Jesus died for the whole world, but the whole world is not saved. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Holy Spirit

We are saved when we accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. When did you accept him as personal Savior and Lord?

That’s why no one can say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans “The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”

Continually the Holy Spirit pushes us to believe this and accept it.

If you are a son, say, “I’m a son of God.”

If you are a daughter, say, “I’m a daughter of God.”

“I’m a child of God.”

3. God’s revelation of his plan for salvation through the Holy Spirit

v. 10-16

10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
11 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

There are some things that are so personal that no one knows them except our own spirits. Like this, in the spiritual world, the same is true of God. There are deep and intimate things of God which only the Spirit of God knows. Spiritual things can only be known spiritually. And this will lead us to the knowledge of God.

John 14:26 “The Counselor will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

There are two kinds of humanity / people:

  1. Natural – he is faithful to the principle of only physical life. Animals have their own principles of life – and natural man lives as if there were nothing else beyond this world. His values are only physical and material values. So, natural man cannot understand spiritual things – they appear as foolishness to him. God bless us all to not be natural man.
  2. Spiritual – the opposite of Natural man. He is sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit. He makes his decisions and exercises his judgment under the guidance of the HS. He lives in the consciousness that there are things beyond the things of this world. That there are values beyond the values of this world – that there are things beyond this physical world. He lives by faith in Jesus Christ.

To be Spiritual Man, believe in Christ, trust in Christ, have the mind of Christ.

“I have the mind of Christ” x3

Really? To have the mind of Christ means to look at the life of Christ from his point of view – keeping his values and desires in our mind – and living life for Christ as his witness.

Romans “God works for the good of those who love him and live according to his purpose.”

This means that if we believe he is faithful in keeping his promise, then everyday is a good day.

“Every day is a good day”

“Every time is a good time”

Let’s pray.

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

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

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

Download Notes in a .MD file

Jesus is our Wisdom and Power

1 Cor 1:18-31 (Pastor Heo)

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

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

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;

the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

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

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


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

The Corinthian church was mixed: Jews, Greeks.

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

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

v. 18 is one of my personal favorite verses

v. 18

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

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

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

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

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

v. 21-25

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

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

v. 24-25

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

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

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

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

What is real power and what is real wisdom?

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

v. 26

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

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

v. 27-29

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex: Jesus’ ministry

Several times this may have happened.

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

The Bible recognizes him by recording his name: Batholemus

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

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

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

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

v. 30-31

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

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

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

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

4 keywords:

1. wisdom

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

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

2. righteousness

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

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

3. holiness

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

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

4. redemption

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

There are three tenses of perfect salvation:

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

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

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

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

True power? = Self-giving, others-centered

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

One story (illustration):

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

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

This is the picture of the cross.

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

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

Let’s pray.

  • Jun 14 / 2020
  • Comments Off on The Introduction to 1 Corinthians (1:1-9)
1 Corinthians: The Application of Christian Principles, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Introduction to 1 Corinthians (1:1-9)

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

Download Notes in a .MD file.

The Intro to 1 Corinthians

1 Cor 1:1-9 (Pastor Heo)

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge– 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


From today we will study 1 Corinthians. God bless us with this new book.

The main agenda = how can we Christians live a Christian life in a non-Christian society: “The application of Christian principles to worldliness.”

The practical message: “Be wise: be a person of wisdom.”

Christ is the answer: 1:30 “Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”

God bless us with this new book.


This book is written in the style of a letter to the church at Corinth. So, let us see the introduction.

At that time, Corinth was the most important city in Greece, it linked north and south Greece with two ports. So, it played a very important role politically, socially, religiously, commercially. At that time, so many men and women, slaves, business people came in and out. So the standards of morals were very low – homosexuality and prostitution abounded. It was filled with all kinds of sin, and many kinds of philosophies where people spread their own speculations and conspiracies. In such a place, a church was built. But how?

Paul planted a church there in the last part of his second missionary journey. He came here and worked for more than 1.5 years. As the fruit of his mission work, he planted a church at Corinth.

So, why did he write a letter? A few years after his departure, he heard a bad report about the church he established because it was challenged by the worldly culture.

It is thought that Paul wrote to the church four times:

  1. (5:9 “I have written to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people” – this means he had written to them previously, but the letter was lost).
  2. Also in AD 55 or 56, he wrote a second letter, which we call today “1 Corinthians” – after that, he most likely visited Corinth, but during his visitation was challenged about his authority of his apostleship.
  3. This was a “painful visitation” and afterward he wrote a third letter – which was lost.
  4. Later, he wrote a fourth letter to the Corinthian church which we have in the Bible today, called “2 Corinthians.”

These books are still very relevant today. Some may ask: how are they relevant? We are separated by time and culture.

But “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword…” Timothy 4:12

As we know, even today, most of the problems the Corinthian church had at that time, are still present with us today. Yet, even though they had those problems, we have here some of the most beautiful passages in the whole Bible:

  • chp 13: Love
  • chp 15: Resurrection

v. 1

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,”

Paul was his Roman name – after he became a Christian and became a missionary to the Gentiles, he used his Roman name (Paul) rather than his Jewish name (Saul) so that he could link himself to those to whom God had sent him.

We know that he wrote at least 13 books in the NT, and here he introduces “Sosthenes” – perhaps Paul’s secretary (he was the minister in the church during his second missionary journey – at one time, the people attacked both Paul and Sosthenes – so he was well-known to the members of that church).

v. 2-3

“To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy [KJV = “called to be saints”], together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:

3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Every local church has two addresses: geographic location + heavenly address

  • This church:
    • Geographic: in Corinth
    • Heavenly: in Christ
  • Even AICF:
    • Geo: In Jeonju
    • Heavenly: In Christ

This does not say, “Church of Corinth” but rather “Church of God IN Corinth.”

The word “ecclesia” in Greek means “called out people” and is the name for “church.” “Called” is one of the keywords.

Biblically, church is: “An assembly of people called out of this world by God to be holy and sanctified, and then sent again by God into the world to help save the world.”

So, a man of God, in the church, has been called by God already and sanctified. Yes, we know that men (people) have many problems and sins, but Paul calls them FIRST “saints” and “sanctified.” Rather than focusing on sin first, he encourages first and reminds them (and us) of their HIGH position.

What kind of encouragement was this? Identity encouragement – positional truth – “you are saints and sanctified.”

Also, today, we are saints and sanctified. If you are Christian, this is what you are today.

Before, they called dead people who lived biblically a “saint” but actually EVERY true believer is already a “saint” because they’ve been sanctified and set apart by God. We’ve already received the truest blessing of God, and have been set apart. Believe you are a saint.

But, we must remember that this is not of our own power, but only by Christ’s power and what he’s done for us.

Our identity as saints and sanctified is not based on our own achievement and performance, but based on the work of Christ, his death and resurrection.

So, our identity is sure, very safe. It was given to us by someone else (Jesus Christ) so the basic meaning of “saint” and “sanctified” = “separation” / “difference.”

This separation / difference is not to be marked by withdrawing from ordinary life, but rather it must be displayed as a difference in an ordinary life.

Also, we must know that to be a Christian is to accept Christ, to live for him, and be ready to die for him. Are you Christian? Let me repeat:

Be a man / woman for whom Christ died, know it, accept it, accept him as Lord, live your whole life for Christ, even prepare to die for Christ.

This is the definition of Christian. God bless us all to be real Christians. “I’m a saint.”

Also, this letter is a difficult letter. It had to deal with difficult problems and difficult situations. In these difficult situations, Paul’s first focus and consideration was Jesus Christ. This is an amazing principle we can apply in our real lives.

In the 9 verses we read today, the name “Jesus” or “Christ” or “him” is repeated 10 times. He is in EVERY sentence as a keyword.

  1. called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus
  2. to those sanctified in Christ Jesus …. who call on the the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
  3. Grace and peace to you from … Jesus Christ
  4. …his grace given you in Christ
  5. in him you have been enriched…
  6. our testimony about Christ
  7. you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ
  8. He will keep you strong to the end… on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (remember this verse)
  9. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord…

In our application, what can we learn from these truths?

When we deal with any matter in our lives, in any area, when we try to deal with difficult situations or problems, we may use human laws, info, counseling, wisdom, Internet surfing. This is not bad, BUT if we are really saved, whenever we try to deal with any kind of difficult situation, the FIRST thing we must do is to focus on Jesus Christ and meditate on what he has done for me, and meditate, and pray. We must approach the throne of God through prayer.

Yes, the current situation in the Corinthian church is NOT GOOD, but verse 8-9 say “he will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, God, … is faithful.”

Yes, maybe we are immature and imperfect still. We still struggle, have hardships and failures, but these things are NOT the whole picture of our lives. FINALLY, we will be blameless because of what Jesus has done for us through his death and resurrection.

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

Another keyword in this passage: “called.” Somyong in Korean – a calling to salvation, and also a calling to service.

The standard greeting of all Paul’s letters are “grace and peace.”

Grace = God’s undeserved kindness, free gift of grace and kindness in Christ. In Greek, grace is charisma.

“Those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of Jesus so that he may be the first born of many brothers.”

Romans 8 “Those he called, he justified, he sanctified, he glorified. What can we say, if God is for me, who can be against me?”

v. 8

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Thes 3:13 is almost the same. “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”

  • He will do it.
  • He will do it.
  • He will do it.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 20 / 2019
  • Comments Off on The Point is: Jesus is the Christ! (Acts 18:22-28)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

The Point is: Jesus is the Christ! (Acts 18:22-28)

Download Notes in a .MD file

The point is: Jesus is the Christ!

Acts 18:22-28 (Pastor Heo)

22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the [Jerusalem] church and then went down to Antioch [his mother church].

— Second missionary journey END —

— This missionary journey START (18:23 – 21:16)—

23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. [tour of Galatia and Phrygia]

24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. [move to Ephesus, Thessalonia, Macedonia, Troas, etc and back to Jerusalem] He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


The point is: Jesus is the Christ. This is the conclusion.

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey (18:23 – 21:16) ends at Jerusalem. He has no chance to go back to his home church (Antioch) because he will be arrested in Jerusalem and sent to Rome.

In the second part of his Second journey, he went to Ephesus and reasoned with the people. So, they asked him to stay with them a little more, but he hurried on to Jerusalem – to complete his Nazarite vow with his shaved hair in the Jerusalem temple. “But I will return if the Lord wills.” (Aquila and Priscilla remained there.)

In his Third Journey, he returned. It was a 4-year journey, and he spent 3 years in Ephesus. This is his main target of the third journey. “Be on your guard. Don’t forget that for three years I warned you with tears.”

Now, what happened in Ephesus BEFORE Paul arrived there?

v. 24

“24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.”

Still today, Alexandria exists in Egypt. This is the second largest city along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. At that time, it was the second largest in the Roman world – after Rome – and it boasted a huge university and library (with 700,000 books). At that time, this was the LARGEST library.

Also, at that time Athens and Alexandria were rivals – fighting each other for reputation of philosophy and education.

This city was named for Alexander the Great. From this city, Apollos came to Ephesus.

Who is Apollos?

A great scholar, learned man, thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, fervor, passion, zeal in the Spirit, a man of courage and boldness. He vigorously defended the Scriptures (energy, vitality, etc).

1 Cor 3 “Who is Apollos? Who am I? Only servants of Christ. I planted the seed. Apollos watered it. But only God made it grow.”

He had one weakness though.

v. 25

“25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.”

At that time, Christianity was “The Way.”

This is one of the commonest titles for Christianity in the book of Acts. At that time, there was no name “Christianity.”

But this word shows us not only believing in certain things but also putting them into practice. Christianity is “The act of putting Christ’s words into practice.”

v. 28 “Jesus was the Christ” – the Anointed Messiah

Jesus says, “I am THE Way… therefore everyone who hears this word of mine and puts it into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…”

Apollos was a good man, a scholar, full of spiritual knowledge and passion, courage, stamina, energy. He was elegant, a talented speaker. But his one problem was:

  • He knew ONLY the baptism of John.
  • He did NOT know of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

He knew of Christ, very clearly and accurately. He knew the human and historic Christ. He knew of the task Jesus gave men to do. But he did NOT know of the Helping power Jesus gave them to do it. He did not know of the salvation of Jesus and the coming of the HS in power.

What is the MAIN ministry of the HS?

To witness / testify about Jesus Christ.

“Nobody can call Jesus ‘Lord’ without the ministry of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, if you can say this, then you have already received the baptism of the HS.

The fact that he didn’t know this means that he didn’t yet know of Jesus’ Kingship, Lordship, Divinity fully, and the coming of the HS in power. He needed to know this one point.

v. 26

“26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God [Christianity = the doctrine of Christ] more adequately.”

We saw the story of this beautiful couple last Sunday.

Who were they?

A couple and business-couple (tentmakers).

Why were they here in Ephesus?

Paul first met them in Corinth. They were expelled from Rome at that time. Immediately they became partners (tentmakers + missionaries) – so they traveled together from Corinth to Ephesus.

Paul left Ephesus for Jerusalem – leaving them behind at Ephesus to carry on the ministry and prepare for his return.

This couple were steeped in the truth and the Word of God. They worked with Paul so long and so much, they heard his message so deeply, they knew his message well. And their eyes were focused on eternity – something more significant – PEOPLE over things, investing in the kingdom of God, their home was always open to others.

When they heard Apollos preaching, they found one deficiency: He did not know about the baptism of the HS and Jesus becoming the Messiah and eternal life.

But this couple did not correct him at once in a public place, but they invited him to their home (with delicious food) and explained to him about “The Way” more adequately.

Apollos’ message was accurate and sincere, but incomplete. But with the help of this couple, the message became complete – focusing on Christ – his Messiahship, Kingship, Lordship.

  • From this couple we can learn wisdom and hospitality.
  • From Apollos we can learn humility.

P&A were simple laymen workers. But Apollos was a professional scholar. P&A’s hospitality and Apollos’ humility worked together to open the door for more people’s salvation.

We should be humble. Humility is not a weakness; but power, courage, possibility for growth, a channel through which we receive God’s grace.

“God gives grace to the humble.”

If I’m humble, I can learn more from anyone, then I can grow, then I can be used by God more, then I can be more of a blessing, through this is gives greater glory to God.

Also, the Christian home is one of the BEST tools for spreading the gospel. Do others see and find Jesus through your home? God bless our home as a mission home.

v. 27

“27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.”

Achaia was a part of southern Greece – the capital city of this province was Corinth. Thus, Apollos went to Corinth. Believers at Ephesus encouraged and helped him by writing a letter to the believers there asking them to welcome him.

There, he was used as a greater tool for the salvation of many people. How is this possible? Because his message, his conclusion, finally focuses on JESUS as the Christ. (This is the point.)

Remember, the point of the message: Jesus is the Christ – can save and change others. Our own message and words cannot change others, but THIS message can.

v. 28

“28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures [Old Testament] that Jesus was the Christ. “

With his strong argument, he defeated the Jews in public debate – proving that Jesus was the anointed Messiah.

Yes, even today, we need to be “on fire” for God. Do you have “holy fire” for God?

How can we capture and maintain enthusiasm for God?

“The key is conviction.”

I have beliefs, we all have faith. But the problem is, when beliefs move from our heads down into our hearts. Also, when we are overpowered by truth and become a thing is TRUE and MATTERS, it gives us passion.

Yes, we must do the things that increase our passion for God:

  • Worship,
  • witness,
  • prayer,
  • testimony,
  • service,
  • ministry.

From a gospel perspective, there are only two kinds of human beings:

  1. The Lost – in need of being saved
  2. Christians – in need of encouragement, edification, and being equipped for more mission

I like this word: “enthusiasm.”

This English word came from Greek:

“en-thus-iasumos “

  • en = “in”
  • thus = “Theos” = “God”
  1. Enthusiasm = “inspired”
  2. Root of this word = “in God”

An enthusiastic person = inspiring because he is IN God.

Jesus asked one day, “Who do people say I am?” John the B, Elijah, one of the prophets?

Peter: “You are the Christ!”

Jesus was surprised and happy, satisfied. “You are blessed. This was revealed to you by heavenly revelation. On this rock [this faith], I will build my church and the gates of hell will never overcome it.”

Yes, knowledge of the Scriptures is necessary.

Passion / Enthusiasm in the Spirit…

  • Fluency in speech is necessary
  • Boldness
  • Accuracy
  • Logic

But remember, none of them, and all of them together cannot give us salvation.

Christ alone can.

  • “Salvation is found in no one else for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
  • “If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved…”

The point is: Jesus is the Christ.

2,000 years ago, and today, and 2,000 years later, and until Jesus’ Second Coming, this truth is the same. This is a timeless truth.

Jesus is THE WAY, the Truth, the Life, and no one comes to the Father except by him.

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 21 / 2016
  • Comments Off on Ecclesiastes: From Meaninglessness to Meaningfulness (1:1-18, 12:13-14)
It's All About Jesus, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Ecclesiastes: From Meaninglessness to Meaningfulness (1:1-18, 12:13-14)

02.21.2016

02.21.2016-PHeo

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  • Jan 25 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Asking Amiss (James 4:1-17)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Asking Amiss (James 4:1-17)

01.25

01.25.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Asking Amiss

James 4:1-17 (Pastor Brian)

Submit Yourselves to God

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battlewithin you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.


 

Different forms of wisdom:

  1. Consider “Worldly Wisdom” – like the character in John Bunyan’s book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”
  2. Also there is the “fleshly wisdom” from our flesh.
  3. And there is “demonic wisdom” – tarot cards, horoscope – just as often fake as real.

Remember in Acts, the slave girl who followed Paul and talked against them. Eventually, Paul was jailed and beaten, but the power of God was shown as he was freed.

We should not be looking into things that are contrary to God’s will – nothing “occult.”

Derick Prince “If you sup with the devil, use a very long spoon. But the best thing to do is to NOT sup with the devil at all.”

Anything dealing with the occult ought to be repented of and given to God.

Peace is sown in peace by those who want a righteous result.

Want wisdom? Pray to God – that’s the best way, the safest way to gain wisdom – “for God gives freely to all who ask without finding fault” (earlier in James).

We must not be partial, not hypocritical to our brothers and sisters in Christ (or potential bros and sis’ in Christ).

We must not blame God for our own faults – saying, “I was just born this way…” No, when we sin, we must not blame God – he’s provided the means of grace and must humble ourselves, repent, say, “I really can’t do this alone – I need you to help me break this thing in my life.”

After all this kind of exhortation, in chapter 4, James really hones in on the Christians in their scattered homes throughout the world.

He wants them to be “lights” though he knows they often aren’t due to pressures and forces internal and external.

In v.1 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?”

That was the root cause of all the conflicts. Every source of conflict has the same cause – Pleasures waging war against their Members (members of the body of Christ) – i.e. someone is putting their own “headoney” (pleasures/lusts – headiness) before others.

This is COMMON among the human population – pleasure is … pleasurable. “If it feels good, do it.” – You know… Hitler might have “felt good” but it wasn’t RIGHT. Just because it “feels good” or “everybody is doing it” doesn’t make it RIGHT or something that YOU need to partake of.

Galatians “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh – for these are in opposition to each other.”

For the Christian, there is a battle – we must acknowledge it, confess it, admit to God that we need his help.

v. 2 “You do not have because you don’t ask.”

Sometimes we don’t ask because we don’t expect. Sometimes we don’t ask because they are sinful motives – we ask for the wrong thing.

The answer? Wait on the Lord, pray, he will give guidance. Many Scriptures say the Lord will guide us if we actively seek him. But we must also walk in ways that are pleasing to him (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The price for our lives has been paid by the blood of Christ. We are not our own, we belong to Christ therefore.

  • 1 Cor 15:32 “If the dead are not raised, then let us eat, and drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we will die.” But as Christians – we KNOW there is a resurrection and life everlasting. We’ve received the gift of eternal life and that gift is pure and clean and wholesome having received new life.
  • James 4:4-6 “Friendship with the world is enmity (hostility) with God.”

The lust of the flesh, the pride of life lies in the lap of Satan – but as Christians, we’ve been redeemed from that system. We are now walking in the Spirit and being led by him. GOD is jealous of the Spirit he’s put in us – he “jealously desires the Spirit” – in the OT, God is a “jealous God.” Why? He wants to bless us, keep us, and he doesn’t want us to be controlled by the world. He wants us to walk in the Spirit and overcome the temptations from without and within.

If we are patient, we will overcome.

  • Psalm 32 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart… trust in him and he will do it.”

These “desires” are given to you by God – no longer worldly pleasures, these are the “rivers of his desires”.

God will give a greater grace to us as well, when we HUMBLE ourselves before the Lord.

Let us humble ourselves and acknowledge his “greater grace”. James says, “grieve, be sorrowful over your sin, but also trust God to cleanse and heal” – there is a worldly sorrow that leads to death (Judas’ sorrow), but there is also a godly sorrow (Peter’s sorrow) that allows for full restoration of our relationship with God.

So the secret = be willing to bring your desires to the Lord “If this is YOUR will, DO it – if not, no matter how much I want it, don’t do it.”

Submit to God, resist the devil, and the devil will flee. BUT… “Too many Christians are submitting to the devil and resisting God…” (Derick Prince)

  • “Cleanse your hands” – repent of outward actions.
  • “Cleanse your hearts you double-minded” – repent of inward sins. Have you ever decided on something and then flip-flopped within 5 minutes? Yup, we all have. ALL.

The solution? Confess your faults one to another that you might be healed. Are you struggling with a secret sin? Find someone you can trust – bring it into the LIGHT, repent. Satan works in the dark, and wants to keep you in the dark. The longer you remain in the dark, the longer you remain in Satan’s domain and bondage. Come out in the LIGHT! Bring it to a brother or sister in Christ and this multiplies the effectiveness of your repentance.

God may want for you what you want as well – but as we submit to him and allow him to direct our decisions, we are doing well.

Even Jesus prayed “Lord, TAKE this cup from me! Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Remember that Jesus is our BEST example – follow his example.

James speaks of seeking wisdom and finding it through prayer.

v. 11-12 – “Do not slander one another.”

(Don’t let your tongue run away with your words – judging, condemning, gossiping – that’s SIN – it’s harmful, it’s prideful. Don’t you want to point out someone else’s sins? That’s pride.)

Be careful of judging and slandering others – this is breaking the Commandments.

Is this to say that we are never to mention the bad things that people do? How can we teach others about sin? Warn our children away from the wrong behaviors.

Greek scholar: Spearos Zoheitte?

“The love for one another refers to the PERSON and not to the ACTIONS of the person.” It’s not wrong to say, “He did this and it was a lie.” But it IS wrong to say, “He IS a liar!!”

If you point a finger, how many are pointing back at you?

Pointing fingers = judging, condemning, judging the PERSON.

Rather, do it in a loving way and judge the ACTION.

Remember, you “catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

“Here is Love, vast as the ocean” – are we bathing in the ocean of his love? Not only beautiful and wonderful, but also salty. If you get in salt water with open wounds… OUCH!

The Dead Sea = the saltiest place on earth. TONS of salt. The guide warned us – “if you want to go in, make sure you don’t have ANY cuts or scratches” but WOW – you could FEEL that salt where you’d shaved.

Not only does it hurt, but it also purifies.

Are we bathing in the ocean of God’s love? There may be some salt that would cause pain and irritation in our spirits, but it’s also cleansing.

Paul also says, “Let your speech be salty.” Cleansing, purifying, even though it may sting.

Don’t judge the Law BY not judging other PEOPLE (actions are on limits though).

God’s Law is holy, righteous, perfect, YET, we cannot keep it. Our flesh rebels against the Law of God.

Corinthians “The Law is perfect, written on stone, but those under it couldn’t keep it because their hearts were also stone. Therefore, let your hearts be changed to flesh (by God.”

Story:

In prison, a man had found the Lord, had been saved, got out of prison and went to church, and saw the commandments on the wall and thought “Wow, I’ve really broken a bunch of those.” But the Holy Spirit told him, “No, those aren’t commands any more, those are PROMISES.”

  • “Don’t steal” becomes “You WON’T steal because my Spirit is in you.”
  • “Don’t lie” becomes “You WON’T lie because my Spirit is in you.”

Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light…. if you abide in me and my Words abide in you, ask, and it will be given you.”

James also speaks against presumption:

“I’m totally going to … 5 years later… 10 years later… 20 years later.”

Actually, you don’t KNOW what will happen tomorrow. – Say rather, “If the Lord wills, we will…”

Presumption in another sense:

“Eh, I can sin in this or that way BECAUSE God has to forgive me.” Sin of presumption.

In the same way:

“We will blah, blah, blah, and hope that God blesses is.”

Illustration:

Sin of presumption:

A preacher had a fine dog, but there was a problem. Sometimes, things would go missing in his house – and he’d find the dog later chewing it up. Then, out in the garden under a bush, he found all manner of things.

It was like the Lord was saying to him, “Many Christians are like that. They do things that they think others won’t notice or bother.” But how many things have YOU hidden out there under the bush? That’s presumption.

We need to ask the Lord to help us NOT to do those things. Sometimes we allow things in our lives – grudges, a look on the Internet – and we need to repent of those things.

Remember the song “It’s your beauty, Lord, that makes us stand in silence.” And we also need silence in our lives to hear from him.

If we have things in our lives that are contrary to God’s nature, hidden sins, unrepentant sins, let’s confess those now before God and go from this place rejoicing in his greater grace and mercy for us.

“It’s your beauty Lord, that leads us to repentance.”

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 11 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Whence Our Wisdom? (James 3:13-4:10)
James: Put Your Faith to Work, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Whence Our Wisdom? (James 3:13-4:10)

01.11

01.11.2015-PBrian

Sermon Notes

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Whence our Wisdom?

James 3:13-4:10 (Pastor Brian)

Two Kinds of Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition,there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.


 

— No recording – cable is broken today —


 

Christians are not to expect rosy, perfect lives, we are to expect conflicts that Jesus and others told us to expect – but THROUGH them, our faith grows, and BY it, we overcome the world.

We trust Christ and he blesses our obedience.

James talks about the trials and how our faith is strengthened through the trials. He speaks of the rich man and poor man (the rich in faith). In fact, usually it’s the rich who oppress and persecute and sue.

Don’t set your goals on this world, but on heavenly riches.

Some Bible versions have the same word for trials and temptations.

But, temptations come from WITHIN, trials come from WITHOUT.

We have been given new hearts, new spirits, but we still need to deal with the flesh. But still, 1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Jesus said, “From within, from the heart comes greed, lust, murder, robbery, etc.”

God’s gifts are given generously to us if we ask for wisdom – God grants wisdom generously, lavishly, without reproach (without finding fault).

I struggle with condemnation, judgment, self condemnation and self judgment. “The Accuser” (Satan) of the brethren accuses us and pushes these things to the forefronts of our minds. But the Lord gives us grace and advocates (speaks for) us against the enemy.

“If Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.”

Listen to my Advocate – Jesus, he says, “NOT GUILTY” – he gives without finding fault. He’s not ignorant of our failings and sins, but he still provides the means by which we can be forgiven. God gives lavishly – we must be open to receive from him and we must have faith to receive that which we ask for (wisdom).

James reminds us of the holiness of God and his word – 1/2 Timothy 4:21? “The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword…”

Where’s the GOOD seat? Do you say to someone “Hey sit over here by my feet”? God wants us to treat others equally and fairly – but we need the spirit of God and his sensitivity to do that.

Faith vs. Works.

  • We are SAVED by faith.
  • Evidence OF our salvation must be visible by works.
  • We are not saved by works – by the things we do. John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him  shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
  • We may HEAR the Word of God.
  • We may FEEL the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
  • But we still have the CHOICE to accept or reject that salvation offered freely by God.
  • Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth, THE Life.

OK, so you’ve accepted his salvation by faith. Now what?

Look at your testimony, and give it! “I’m not the man I once was. I don’t do the things I once did. Yes, I still fall, but there is ONGOING IMPROVEMENT – I am DAILY being renewed and remade in the likeness of Jesus, my Savior.”

Now, on to works. “Do SUCH good works that other men praise God because of you.” (Even in your workplace, home, community, society, etc)

Then, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers” because you will be judged more harshly.

Ex: “God says in his Word ‘You shall PROSPER!’” So how can we not believe it??” (Actually that verse says, “So that your SOUL shall prosper.” Get the soul prospering first before pursuing fleshly, worldly things.

Some of the things that James speaks of here (probably MOST of these things) were actually going on in the church at that time. There were people who dreamed of riches without God’s will, there were those who dreamed of being teachers, there were envious people, bad tongues, etc.

Bad tongues.

“All creatures of the air, land, and sea can be tamed and have been tamed by man, but no one can tame the tongue. Consider what a large forest may be set ablaze by a small spark. The tongue also is a spark and may set the whole world on fire and poison those who hear it – when we are critical and complaining.”

Remember this: “Cast all your cares on the Lord because he cares for you.” (Read Psalms for some great care-casting).

Whence is our Wisdom? From where does our wisdom come?

What do you think of when you hear “wisdom”? A gnarled old professor? Well, he MAY be wise, but merely HAVING Knowledge (in your head) is not wisdom. The APPLICATION of that Knowledge is wisdom.

There are three kinds of Wisdom:

  1. Godly
  2. Worldly
  3. Demonic

Some people BOAST of their wisdom. They want people to NOTICE just how wise they are. But if they don’t have “the fear of the Lord”, they don’t have true wisdom.

Proverbs: “For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

What is this fear?

Being in AWE of God. We want to preserve his presence.

Some people are “wise” in a way, but it’s not godly wisdom:

  1. Earthly wisdom = knowledge used to your own advances. If you rip me off, I’ll sue the pants off of you. I’ll blackmail/take advantage of you. Spam you, Phish you, bully you, etc.
  2. Soul wisdom = intuition, feelings, etc.
  3. Demonic wisdom = deception

People are constantly looking for the truth in various religions and ways of life – all the while IGNORING THE Truth.

Here’s a testimony I’d like to share with you. This man goes out every week to Manchester and hands out these testimonies.

“Barry” was seeking wisdom in all the wrong places, but the Lord had mercy on him and led him to Christ. One man received this testimony and was so intrigued that he wants “Barry” to write more.

“Don’t talk to me about miracles. Show me one, and I’ll believe you. Christians can talk all day about the Bible’s ‘miracles’ but they can’t show you one. Obviously, the Bible is a tale of fairies, and has nothing to do with the real world – pain, failures, misery – and we all paper it over with fake smiles and try to make a crazy kind of life that we must make our home.

“Most of the above is true in the opinion of many – but here’s my story. This is the story of better and expecting better things. I’m sure many in France are hoping for better things now.

“My name is Barry. When I was young, a hippy, 60s generation, I was broken down, degraded, lawless, self-hating, delusional LSD tripper, occult-dabbler. As I ended this period, I was dying, extremely sick, and tormented. I was irredeemably insane. I was obese, and had sores all over my body. All who met me saw something so evil within me that they had to look away.

(Another friend of my was sitting in a cafe and said, “God, you’re so good, you can save anyone.” In walked Barry and the man said, “Maybe not him…”)

April 1972 – I knew this day was to be my last – I could not endure even one more tormented life. I was nocturnal, had dreams of parades of horror.

“Margaret was a young woman living near me and had been praying for me. Whenever she entered my room, an unnatural peace entered my room – and when she left, the peace left.

Final morning. Why should she care so for the wretch I’ve become? At least, I must go say goodbye to her. I went to her house and she told me and said, ‘God spoke to me and said you’ll be freed TODAY.’ I couldn’t believe her, but I asked her to pray for my soul.

“She was young, 24, married, had only been a Christian for 6-months. She prayed, ‘Jesus, I know you can heal him NOW.’ I suddenly convulsed and thought that I’d die immediately. The muscles of my face spasmed into grimaces of evil expressions.

“Margaret later told me that had even the heavyweight champion of the world had been there they’d have been ripped to pieces.

“Suddenly, I noticed that someone else was taking over my body – then a horrible wind rushed from my mouth for 1 minute – I thought I was surely witnessing my own death. I slumped to the floor and heard a death rattle coming from my throat.

“This is my miraculous story of rescue from demon possession – I don’t know how many there were, but at that time they were all cast out. That night, I slept my first peaceful night for 3 years.

Aug 25, 1972 – I became a child of the Living God. Jesus had risen triumphant from his grave, and likewise, I now was raised from my grave. Yes, really, that is the grace that I stand in today – I’m a Christian now and there is nothing special about me, BUT by crying out to Jesus, I’d given him permission to reach out to me and rescue me from the depths of my worst, most demon-possessed state.

“God is the Living God, and while he hates the SIN, he died for US – to lift our penalty from us and place it on Jesus for us that we might not perish but have everlasting life.

“All this is the gospel truth. Despite many failings, I’ll never forget this truth, this good news. I can guarantee that if you ask Jesus to reveal himself to you, he WILL – he cannot and will not leave your prayer alone.

“Joel/Job? And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thank you for reading this account of my life.

Barry Jones.


He’s handed out about 12,000 to people individually. He doesn’t know what effect that may have.

The same need that Barry had is the same need that every one of us, our families, our friends, our enemies need. Are you manifesting works that prove that you’re saved by faith?

God says, “Open up my WORD. Read the Bible. I’ll speak to you through the Word, other people, dreams, circumstances, etc, etc.” God is reaching out to you – he wants YOU to experience HIM more fully – experience his peace, joy, salvation, life change.

Even as a Christian, do you know THIS? Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (Jeonju), Judea (Iksan), and Samaria (Gunsan), and to the ends of the earth (Korea – your home country).

Make THIS your New Year’s Resolution!

How many times have we HEARD the Word and NOT acted?

Please don’t read this as a call to “religion” – it’s NOT. “Religion” is a hopeless attempt to satisfy a God we cannot know in a life we cannot live. God calls you to a RELATIONSHIP – a RETURN to your loving Creator.

At the beginning of this year, if you’ve never accepted Jesus, BEGIN the journey (Sola Fide – by faith alone).

But if you’ve BEGUN the journey, it is no longer Sola Fide – by faith alone – your faith must be SHOWN and ACTED upon. WORKS PROVE your salvation. Consider all the examples of FAITH IN ACTION that James gives throughout the book. Rahab, Abraham (not always a shining example of faith), – but in his journey in faith, he OBEYED God (faith in action) and God blessed him.

Let’s pray.

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