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The Acts (74) – “Please see through the tactics of Satan beforehand”

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2016-10-08 (토) 04:12 조회 : 853
Rev._Jang_Sermon_on_October_2_2016.docx (19.1K), Down : 3, 2016-10-08 04:14:20
설교일 : 2016.10.02.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Acts 22:30-23:11

October 2, 2016

 

The Acts (74) – “Please see through the tactics of Satan beforehand”

Acts 22:30-23:11

 

Rev. Chan Young Jang’s Sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

1.

In his book, ‘Mentoring Leaders’, Carson Pue, president of the International Leadership Ministry, talks about a one-week seminar held for some experienced sailors. [The lecturer displayed a detailed map, which showed the islands and lands for destination and all the information about what channels to take to reach the destination. Then, the lecturer asked a question, “What is the most important thing for your voyage?” Many in the audience came up with answers: the excellent leadership of the navigator, information about the tidal flow, weather forecast for the duration of the voyage, more data about the destination, emergency wireless contact with the headquarters, emergency rations and lifeboats, et cetera. At each answer the lecturer shook his head negatively. In the end, he said, “The most important thing is knowing your current location precisely.”]

 

Recently, I experienced a real situation requiring the information about our current location. Over a month ago after our visit to a home quite far from church, our car ran out of gas and had to stop on the shoulder of a highway. As Rev. Kwon, the driver at that time, had been in U.S. only for a week, I, as the owner of the vehicle, should have known that the car was almost empty of gas and should have stopped at a gas station on the way to the home. Well, I didn’t, and it was after 9 o’clock in the evening and pitch dark. It could have been a lot more difficult, if I didn’t have the number of the service company at hand and the cell phone. When I called, the first question I was asked was the location of our car, “Where are you now?” We were very fortunate to be near a road sign and had the navigation information ready, so it didn’t take long for us to get the help.

 

Afterwards, when Rev. Kwon thanked me for the unusual experience in U.S. so soon after arriving here, I was reminded of the lecture in Carson Pue’s book and told him the importance of knowing the current location. Then, Rev. Kwon came back with this comment, “Rev. Jang, I agree with you that it is very important to know the exact location of where we are. But what good is it, if one doesn’t speak English well enough to tell the location?” I had to agree with his assessment of the importance of the ability to communicate.

 

In our lifelong journey, the most important thing for us at any time is to know the exact location of ‘where we are’. Apostle Paul is the person who knew where he was very clearly and talked about it in today’s passage.

 

Paul knew he was at a battlefield, and knew his opponents and how to win over them with the right strategy, as he saw through the tactics of his real enemy, Satan. He depended utterly upon the Holy Spirit to win in this spiritual warfare.

 

The last time we shared about the Acts, after it became known that Paul was a Roman citizen, the commander released Paul and ordered the chief priests and all the Sanhedrin members to assemble the next day. Now Paul is standing before them.

 

Acts 23:1  Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.”

 

What he says is that “he believes in Jesus Christ and God knows his faith is steadfast, and his life bears witness to his faith.” This is an amazing confession. Paul was saying that Jesus was with him in his life and his relationships every day. Theologically, this means that the gospel should be proclaimed by the life example of the proclaimer.

 

In other words, God exists as God in His kingdom and we want His kingdom come here on earth.

 

The Jews couldn’t stand it any longer, so the high priest Ananias wanted to stop Paul.

 

Acts 23:2-3  At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”

 

Those assembled here were desperately trying to stop Paul’s speech, as they sensed the danger Paul and his gospel posed to them. They only knew the law and had benefited from the law up to now, but became aware that Paul’s gospel was clearly surpassing their law and going beyond.

 

 

2.

We all know that we cannot live under the law with a perfect conscience, as the law brings on more laws. Some think that good laws and system will make people happy, but in reality more laws and more systems are needed to keep going, and the Jews at that time tried to keep God within their laws and systems.

 

One of the recent religious bestsellers is ‘Center Church’, a book written by Rev. Tim Keller, the senior pastor of the Redeemer Church in NYC. In his book he recounts his 30 year ministry in downtown New York City and says that the key to his success in leading the young people to the Lord is: having ‘Gospel-centered’, ‘City-centered’, and ‘Movement-centered’ church. The common key word for these three core commitments is ‘Relationship-centered’. He sums up the past 2,000 year history of Christianity as follows.

 

“Originally the Christian churches began in Palestine as ‘relational’, then became ‘philosophical’ by going into Greece, then became ‘systematical’ by going into Roman Empire, then became ‘cultural’ by going into Europe, and then became ‘corporate’ by coming into America.”

 

In other words, “originally, the church and faith were relational, then church has become philosophical, systematical, cultural and corporate with the gospel”. When the original true substance is lost, the law and systems will always deteriorate, no matter how good they were in the beginning. We know that at this time in the Roman Empire, the Jewish society had ‘philosophical’, ‘systematical’, ‘cultural’ and ‘corporate’ elements. Then how did the disciples penetrate the society with the gospel? The answer is they had such a ‘relational’ faith that they were able to go out into the world, experiencing, sharing, nurturing and ministering their faith.

 

About this ‘relational’ faith, after all his trials, Job described it as follows.  

 

Job 42:5  “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”

 

About this ‘relational and personally experiencing’ faith, John, the disciple of Jesus, describes as follows.

 

1 John 1:1  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

 

Then John explained that this ‘relational faith’ is a ‘fellowship with our Lord’.

 

1 John 1:3  We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

As Martin Lloyd Jones has said, “Becoming a Christian means our relationship with God is being changed”.

 

Now, Apostle Paul was challenging the Jews that they had not met God personally, and that they only knew Him philosophically, systematically, culturally and in corporate way. Paul made it clear to them that as there was no real fellowship, nurturing or ministering, but only the law in Judaism, they couldn’t possibly understand Jesus Christ and His crucifixion.

 

 

3.

Today’s passage continues with Paul’s dealing with the two kinds of ‘whitewashed wall’.

 

Acts 23:6  Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.”

 

This verse showcases the smart wisdom of Paul. He had known these two opponents of the gospel. These two groups of Jews were opposed to the gospel and united in their desire to kill Paul, but their ideology was different. One group was the Pharisees and the other was the Sadducees, and their difference was like oil and water. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection, angels and divine spiritualism and were not very interested in their life at present.

 

On the other hand, the Sadducees were the ‘humanists’ and only interested in their present life and had no interest in their after-life. Therefore, these two parties could not agree on anything, but had been united in crucifying Lord Jesus.

 

Apostle Paul was well aware of this dissension, so when he clarified he was a Pharisee, there was a great uproar. The Pharisees began to defend Paul and the dispute became so violent that the commander had to order Paul to be taken away and brought into the barracks.

 

Paul had called them, “You, whitewashed wall!” meaning that just like those white painted wall covering up the dirt underneath, they were double-faced people, full of lies.

 

And Paul’s reason for calling them ‘wall’ was to point out that they were separated from reality outside by the wall; the Pharisees were interested in the spirituality, but did not see the reality, and the Sadducees were very keen on the reality, but not on the spirituality.

 

 

4.

The title of today’s sermon is ‘seeing through the tactics of Satan beforehand”. Can you not see Satan’s tactic of building a wall with the law, so that the Jews couldn’t understand Jesus Christ, who had been sent to them by God for their salvation? We recognize the shrewd tactic of Satan when we see the ‘whitewashed wall’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

We have to watch out for the tactics of Satan against today’s Christian churches. Instead of focusing on the Lord, touching and experiencing Him, having relationship and fellowship with the Lord, the believers are turning into ‘philosophical/theoretical/ideological Christians’ by Satan’s tactics.

 

Isn’t Satan trying to keep many churches bound under the law and systems, so that the churches spend most of their time and energy to be judgmental of others?

 

Isn’t Satan trying to keep the Christians within the safety zone of being moderate and cultural believers, having lost the zeal for spreading the gospel?

 

Isn’t Satan trying to bring in the ‘corporate’ DNA into today’s churches to make them more efficient, productive and profitable, so as to give the believers a false sense of ‘successful Christians’?

 

What is the ultimate purpose of Satan’s tactics? He wants to prevent the Christians from knowing Jesus personally, so that Jesus Christ becomes an abstract notion and Jesus’s dying on the cross, the joy of salvation through Him, and His story will be meaningless in our lives.

 

Through his intervention, Satan tries to alienate us from our Lord and to make us drift farther away from the Lord without even realizing it.

 

The game of chess is a war game played on the chessboard. The basic principle of chess is that the farther away you are from the king, the better is your chance of getting killed, and the nearer to the king, the better is your chance of survival. But even if you survive in the battle, when the king is dead, the game is lost.

 

The true essence of our faith is having God as our king through Jesus Christ and knowing that we have become the children of God, even if Satan is doing his best to confuse us. My beloved congregation, I hope and pray that you get to meet the Lord personally, hear His voice, and have more intimate fellowship with Him.

 

Acts 23:11  The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

 

Now I want to invite all of you to the Communion table. After the Communion, the closing hymn will be, “Until the day of our Lord’s return”.

 

 

[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2016-10-10 19:56:30 읽는말씀(English&Korean)에서 이동 됨]

   

총 게시물 610건, 최근 0 건
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처음  이전  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  다음  맨끝

제목 : This is the Christianity
설교일 : 2019.11.17
본문말씀 : 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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