Friday, August 17, 2018

記念主餐The Lord’s Supper Celebration

William Woo 胡偉南牧師
Sermon: The Lord’s Supper Celebration, 1 Cor. 11:17-34
Last night, I was editing my sermon and I fell asleep. I woke up thinking about a news story that I saw right before I slept. That story concerned an airplane that was stolen in Seattle, WA.  The airplane would crash, but seen following the stolen plane were 2 fighter jets- F15’s. The story said that the only known person killed in that crash was the person who stole the plane. And I pray that was the case. But a thought occurred to me – how fun it would be to borrow a plane. Of course, it wouldn’t really be any fun for me because I do not know how to fly an airplane
I asked my wife, “have you ever scuba dived?” And she said, “no, you have to be certified.” I realized that I really don’t have any fun hobbies. I suppose I will live through my daughter. I grew up in the desert of West Texas, and I never really learned to swim. So I love it that my daughter is taking swim lessons and she loves to jump in the water.
Recently the Washington post reported that some parents were hiring tutors to teach their youth to play the Video game Fortnite[1]. And what am I getting at, it seems that to have fun, sometimes takes a little investment, or even knowledge to get the most out of an activity.
Today, I felt very strongly about preaching on the passage that we use when we observe the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper can be found in the three gospel books that we call Mathew, Mark, and Luke. It is alluded to in John, and continued by the church in Acts, and Paul addresses in 1 Corinthians (Ch 10-11). And what I have come to realize is that the Lord’s Supper is celebratory, as is the Christian life-  is one of joy. A life abundant and overflowing.
I sent Sharon my sermon and woke up thinking about flying airplanes, so I am cutting everything I sent her, and you can ask me later, why we are not in Revelation. But today is the day we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.  The Lord’s Supper is a point of celebration, my hope is we appreciate the celebration more.
As you turn in you bibles to 1 Corinthians 11, remember that Paul wrote letters to churches as well as to individuals. His letters usually address issues in the church. The book of 1st Corinthians is addressing the issue of division.  
                  10 Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction. 1 Cor 1:10
I think about Thanksgiving. I understand for some people they hate this holiday. They have to meet with people who are their family but other than blood they have nothing in common. The stereo type is you have to sit though a dinner where a cousin has the opposite political views as you. That weird uncle who talks about his hobbies that your not interested in. Basically this gathering of what should be a united family is a sad gathering of different people separated by politics, religious views, generation gap, and even language gap. 
The early church in the book of Acts chapter 2 is seen to be a group that was united. Acts 2: 42 and 46-47:
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.
 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them[q] those who were being saved.
Look at verse 46. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude In contrast 1 Cor. 11:17-22:
17 Now in giving the following instruction I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For to begin with, I hear that when you come together as a church there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 There must, indeed, be factions among you, so that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore, when you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For at the meal, each one eats his own supper ahead of others. So one person is hungry while another gets drunk! 22 Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on the church of God and embarrass those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I do not praise you for this!
Notice how disunity has messed up this once joyful celebration. What happened from the joy seen in Acts 2. Perhaps, this is a great lesson, disunity brings division, which brings unhappiness. Perhaps you come today separated from the Lord, then the time you spend in church, in worship, in taking the Lord’s Supper will not be a joy.
From verse 23 of Cha.11, these are familiar words to us as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every month.
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, 24 gave thanks, broke it, and said,[f]“This is My body, which is[g] for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

“For I received from the Lord” – I was startled to read in my HCSB study bible that Paul’s receiving this instruction from the Lord is seen throughout the NT.
Acts 18:9 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent.

Acts 22:18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 and saw Him telling me‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me!’

Acts 23:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

11 The following night, the Lord stood by himand said, “Have courage! For as you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

Acts 27:23-25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

23 For this night an angel of the God I belong to and serve stood by me24 and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar. And, look! God has graciously given you all those who are sailing with you.’ 25 Therefore, take courage, men, because I believe God that it will be just the way it was told to me.

2 Corinthians 12:7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger[a] of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself.
Yesterday, a local pastor invited me to a picnic. He asked me to drive some people and I was able to have a Gospel conversation. And the person was hoping to have a supernatural experience, and I shared my testimony, and answered questions, but this person was on the cusp of belief. Not just intellectual assent but to fully trust and allow Jesus to be the Lord of their life. But this seeker could tell that Christians had received something in their life and this person wanted that! 
When we come to worship the Lord, when we are united with God in purpose the worship is sweeter, the celebration is fuller. 
Paul reminds us that the Lord’s Supper was installed/instituted by Jesus himself. He gave it to his disciples on the night he was betrayed. Jesus gave a meaning to the bread that his disciples did not understand until after his death, burial, resurrection. For Jesus said that the bread is his body. The broken loaf is a picture of his body broken on the cross. 
This of course is the part of the Gospel. Jesus broken body  is what I believe our Catholic friends fixate on, but not the complete story. Next comes  The cup continues the Gospel story.
25 In the same way, after supper He also took the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
The cup is the new covenant. NOT the old Covenant- which is the Mosaic law. That law cannot save you. The Mosaic covenant called for constant sacrifices of lambs for one’s sins. But Jesus’s sacrifice was enough. The bread is a picture of Jesus’s broken body, Jesus died for us and the cup is a picture of his atonement which gives us a new kind of life.
After the bread we read that we “do this in remembrance of Me”, and after the cup we are told the same thing we “do this in remembrance of Me.” In remembrance of Jesus, we read that we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Isn’t that a picture of the Gospel? Are we not asked to share the Gospel with others?  The Lord’s Supper is a proclamation Christs death (the gospel). So by the practice of it we proclaim Him! 
Having explained that the Corinthians were practicing the Lord Supper incorrectly by being divided, Paul reminds them the origins of the supper as given by Jesus, the meaning, the picture of Jesus sacrifice. We come to verse. 27. One of the best words in the bible. “THEREFORE”.  It means consequently. For this reason:
27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body[h] and blood of the Lord. 28 So a man should examine himself; in this way he should eat the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For whoever eats and drinks without recognizing the body,[i] eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. 31 If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, 32 but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.
Earlier in my sermon I mentioned that one of the reasons for the Corinthians joyless supper was division. And v. 27 may seem like a bad thing, a bummer, a joykill, a buzz kill as the kids say. 
Jesus said the Lord’s Supper is about Him- The bread is His body broken, the cup is the New Covenant. The new covenant of God’s grace- that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but having ever lasting life.” 
V. 27 is a warning one can eat in an unworthy manner, and this is why the Pastor gives the warnings. If you have unconfessed sin in your life is what I remember one pastor’s  warning. And another pastor  says if you don’t understand what the Lord’s Supper is about, simply observe and pass on the elements. 
This practice is known as Guarding the Table. Some churches have what is called openLord Supper- which means anyone can partake. Some have what is called closedcommunion, meaning only members of the church can partake, which may seem very extreme- but the idea is that churches allow those who have stepped forward in believes baptism to participate. The idea being that a church is supposed to know where there members stand with the Lord and thus spare those who are eating in an unworthy manner from judgement. We practice c-l-o-s-ecommunion which allows all baptized believers for different churches to partake.
In v 27 the phrase Unworthy manner in the context of the Corinthian church is that they were selfish, disregarding Jesus’ sacrifice for everyone thus they were sinning against others.  “A broader application of this principle would encourage believers to examine their own lives and repent and ask for forgiveness for any unconfessed sin before taking the Lord’s supper. At the end of 27 “guilty of sin against the body and blood of the Lord” also pictures Jesus’ body broken for others and thus if one eats unworthily, they profane Jesus himself. Jesus’ sacrifice was other centered. He died for all. But the Corinthians were thinking of themselves. [2]
So we must examine ourselves- v. 28 -do you understand the atoning sacrifice of Jesus and how can we imitate that attitude in our own life.[3]
V. 29 would seem to be a repeat of 27 but notice Paul leaves out the blood. This understanding is  that the body here is the church. And the church is not the building but the people. And thus as we examine our relationships, and our behavior in the body. We should act like Christ when we assemble. By our love, our sacrificial attitude toward others and actions toward others.
At the end of 29 “eats and drinks judgement on himself” is a “sober warning that the Lord will discipline those who dishonor the Lord’s Supper. And thus must not be entered into lightly.”[4]
v. 30”30 This is why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep.
Is a reminder “that the discipline of the Lord has consequences in real life.”[5]V. 31 reminds us to properly evaluate ourselves. V. 32 reminds us that where discipline is hard, it is better than being condemned. 
Paul then ends with practical advice for a group of selfish folks in need of discipline:
Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you gather together you will not come under judgment. And I will give instructions about the other matters whenever I come.
Paul is saying practice self-control, to prevent unnecessary division.[6]
One day I hope to fly a plane, I think that would be fun, or perhaps be a certified scuba diver, or even learn to swim, or maybe even take a lesson on the video game Fortniteb- you see what I mean? We are taught different things, and those teachings enhance our enjoyment in those pursuits.  I hope that today’s sermon was a preparation to enjoy the Lord’s Supper ever more fully. To remember the work of Christ and to celebrate the Gospel! 

[2]ESV Study Bible Notes 1 Cor 11:27-29.
[6]HCSB Study Bible Notes, Location 150537

Saturday, July 21, 2018

明白神的先知 約拿書4: 1 - 11

明白神的先知    約拿書4: 1 - 11

約拿書 41約拿對這事非常不高興,並且發起怒來,2就向耶和華禱告,說:“耶和華啊!我還在本國的時候,不是這樣說過嗎?我知道你是有恩典有憐憫的神,不輕易發怒,並且有豐盛的慈愛,轉意不降災禍,所以我才急忙逃往他施去。
如果你是約拿,在全城轉向神的時候,我想你會很高興,說:“讚美神!”但這不是約拿的回應。 他瘋了。 第四章一節告訴我們,約拿原先不想去尼尼微的原因是什麼。他不希望看到尼尼微人悔改,神饒恕他們。他希望神懲罰他們,因為他們是以色列人的敵人。他知道神會憐憫他們,他們便會離開他們有罪的狀況。這樣的情緒反應很正常,但這不是神的方式。即使尼尼微是邪惡的,神也希望他們悔改。


約拿書 43耶和華啊!現在求你取去我的性命吧,因為我死了比活著還好。
            約拿對神生氣,要神殺死他。他不會是第一個這樣禱告的。事實上,以利亞對神也是這樣做的– 成功的事工之後,要求神殺了他。
約拿書 44耶和華回答說:你這樣發怒對不對呢?
我們不時會對神生氣,因為認為我們是對的。認為我們是主或是創造的,把自己放在神前面,權利比神更高或更大。 當約拿知道他沒有這個權利時,他保持沉默。
約拿書 45約拿出了城,在城東坐下;他在那搭了一座棚,坐在棚蔭之下,要看看那城究竟怎樣。6耶和華神安排一棵蓖麻,使它長起來高過約拿,成了陰影遮蓋他的頭,免他受苦;約拿因這棵蓖麻,就大大歡暢。
約拿沒有找到任何理由給神答覆,他只是坐下來,保持沉默,等待下一步會發生什麼。他仍然想看看神如何毀滅尼尼微。他建立了自己的避難所。在這NIV用葡萄樹,但希伯來文是葫蘆。 它們是相似的都是草本卷鬚植物。我不是一個園丁,但是我知道要在短短的時間來種植任何可以遮蓋住所的東西,是一個奇蹟。
約拿書 47次日黎明的時候,神安排一條蟲子,蛀蝕這棵蓖麻,蓖麻就枯槁了。8日出的時候,神又安排炎熱的東風。烈日曬在約拿的頭上,以致發昏,他就為自己求死,說:“我死了比活著還好。”9神問約拿:“你因這棵蓖麻這樣發怒,對不對呢?”約拿說:“我發怒以至於死都是對的。”10耶和華說:“這棵蓖麻,不是你栽種的,也不是你使它長大的,一夜長成,一夜死去,你尚且愛惜它,11何況這尼尼微大城,其中不曉得分辨左右手的有十二萬多人,並且有許多牲畜,我怎能不愛惜呢?”
但第二天神安排蟲子蛀蝕了這棵植物,約拿再次感到不安。這一次,因自己的不便,他再次求死。神問他同樣的問題 – 在關於你自己的植物上你有什麼權利?約拿沒有創造這棵植物,但這棵植物給了他安慰。這又是關於權利。神指出,約拿關心的是暫時存在的事物,更關心祂所創造的人。
正如我之前,福音包括基督的十字架,復活和主再來三部分。新約談論復活的部分比其他任何兩個部分多,這並不其他兩個部分不重要。耶穌再來之後,我們都將有永生。什麼是永生? 永生而不死,做我們不知道的事情。

傳道的先知 約拿書3: 1-10

傳道的先知 約拿書3: 1-10
             約拿悔改後這是神第二次對約拿說話,此時他已從不順服和痛苦中悔改了。如我先前所說,從耶路撒冷到尼尼微,約需一個月的時間。尼尼微城有多大,人們從一端走到另一端需要走上三天,那麼這座城市大約就有九十英里。 相當於從奧斯汀到聖安東尼奧的距離。約拿聽命去到這座大城傳神所要他傳達的話。
             約拿告訴尼尼微人,將會有什麼發生 四十天之後,神會因尼尼微人的惡劣而毀滅整個城市。請記住,尼尼微人是不友善的人。如果你是約拿,神要你去北韓,告訴他們,他們需從他們的惡行中悔改,否則神將會毀滅他們。 想想你可能會遭遇的情況,一 是立即被監禁,二是被殺害。
           約拿是否是一位偉大的傳道人知道用什麼好方法來傳道? 或許是的。就有許多牧師,傳教士,甚至基督徒認為,如果我也能像約拿一樣,傳道好,學習更多,找到更多有趣的東西來傳道,那麼更多的人就可以認識神。許多教會也認為,若是可以請到像約拿那樣的人,教會人數必會大幅增長。第四節告訴我們,一個從不相信神的地方,因著約拿一個簡單的信息讓許許多多人都相信神離開他們的惡行。帶來大大的改變。
            當我們讀第六節時,我們可以知道國王並沒有親耳聽到約拿的信息而是從別人那裏傳來的,這信息讓他悔改歸向神,並要求城裏所有的人都這樣做。記得這國王不是一個信徒而是那個國裏最有權勢的人,這到底發生了什麼事? 有人以為,在約拿到尼尼微城之前,水手們已經告訴他們與約拿有關的事情,這就是整個尼尼微城悔改的原因。
正如耶穌所說,約拿在一條大魚的腹中三天三夜,耶穌自己也是如此。耶穌和約拿有什麼相似之處? 約拿三天在魚肚裏,耶穌也在墳墓裏三天。在某種程度上,他們都死了。你能想像約拿在魚腹中待了三天,所有的胃酸不都在他身上了嗎?耶穌三天之後復活了,是一個活著人,祂的門徒可以看到祂榮耀的身體。約拿從魚肚子裏出來後,約拿也是像耶穌一樣是一個活著的人。你能想像一下,約拿的身體有什麼樣的變化,這個復活的身體就是影響尼尼微人民的原因。不是他的信息,也不是他的個人技能,影響了人們相信神。是他那復活的身體,使所有邪惡和邪惡的人改變了他們的生活。
             是不是耶穌的教訓和奇蹟,改變了祂門徒的生活?是不是耶穌釘在十字架和祂的死,使跟隨祂的門徒到世界各地去分享這個好消息?事實上,當你看福音書時,死亡和十字架使門徒失望。他們都離開了耶穌。是什麼改變了門徒的生命?他們看到耶穌已經死了,但又復活了,他們的生命才改變過來。 尼尼微人看到約拿的時候也有類似的經歷,他們看見一個活著的死人正在他們中間行走。這就是他們都悔改的原因,就連國王自己也充滿了惡行,求神憐憫。
            早期的信徒最大的敵人叫掃羅。他甚至有權可殺死信徒。他認為基督徒是對神的虛假見證,耶穌不是彌賽亞。 所以他認為當他逮捕基督徒並把他們關在監獄裏時候,他是在幫助神。是什麼改變了他的一生,使他不再殺害基督徒反而成為基督徒去傳這個消息不是因為他看到基督徒的忠實見證,甚至為福音而死。
            我們的行為對和我們的生活方式是否有影響?如何影響對待我們的生?答案是肯定的。 我們的行為或選擇具有永恆價值的東西是會影響我們的生活。這就是為什麼即使在今天也會希望我們回到祂身上,祂仍然對我們有這樣憐憫的心。門仍然為我們打開。
羅馬書915 因為他對摩西說:“我要憐憫誰,就憐憫誰;我要恩待誰,就恩待誰。”16這樣看來,既不是出於人意,也不是由於人為,只在於那憐憫人的神。

悔改的先知 約拿書2: 1-10

悔改的先知  約拿書2: 1-10
但是神的審判和定罪卻沒有這一切。當我們拒絕神為神,而行我們自己的道路時,我們沒有祂的愛,我們也不是祂的兒女。 那麼我們就不會回頭來做和祂的旨意的事情。
當神管教約拿的時候,他回轉,他向神祈禱,悔改。他請求神赦免他的罪。 那是悔改。是什麼讓他走到這個地步?
            約拿的經歷與耶穌的經歷一樣嗎? 這就是為什麼耶穌在馬太福音1240引用約拿的經驗。因為約拿三日三夜在大魚的腹中,人子在地心三日三夜。當耶穌死在十字架上時不單只是肉體的死亡,耶稣在馬太福音27:46中喊出了“為什麼神離棄了祂”。
            約拿在困難中都向神禱告和記念神的恩典,然後向神祈求去拯救他。你想知道禱告的方式是什麼嗎?為什麼神回答一些人禱告,拒絕其他人呢? 讓我告訴你神回答禱告的秘密。
            如果你認為你自己的工作可以拯救你。很多人認為我不是那麼糟糕,而且我做了很多很好的工作,所以我沒事。就像約拿一樣,他遇到了麻煩,他知道自己無法自救。救自己的唯一方法就是向神祈禱,只有神的恩典和祂的工作才能救他。 所以他自己卑微地向神求助。 甚至耶穌也告訴門徒這個真理。
            沒有人比別人好,我們都犯了罪,但是我們是否來到神那裡請求寬恕,而不是依靠我們的工作。 我們寬恕的祈禱將得到回答。否則無論我們禱告多少次。如果我們像法利賽人一樣祈禱,神不會回應我們的祈禱。
            罪不僅僅是在做神不喜歡的事情,我們只是說抱歉。罪是關於我們的自我為中心。我們拒絕神進入我們的生活,我們專注於自己,神甚至不在我們的生活中。所以就算我們説了多少次對不起,並告訴神我們不會再這樣做。但在我們的生命中沒有神,我們的罪將會重複。在約拿生命中對神的感恩是整個中心點,他把神放在他的生命的中心,他會做任何神要求他做的事情。那是我們能克服罪惡的力量。 當我們把神放在我們生命中的第一位時,不再以自己為我們生命的中心。 用真理和精神崇拜神。
            他向神禱告了什麼? 他被拯救出来,神吩咐魚把他吐出來。很多人不相信約拿是一個真正的人。 不僅是因那樣的大魚,更令人驚訝的是,一條魚可以吐出一個人來。三日三夜後,是否已在胃裡消化。 魚把他吐到了那裏? 不是在海裏,那樣他需要游回到岸邊,是吐到了旱地,他不必擔心如何能返回到地上。 這很棒嗎? 這是一個奇蹟嗎?



不聽命的先知   約拿書11-17
        約拿也被稱為不順從的先知,因為他拒了神的呼召,神第一次叫他去尼尼微城,當時神是要求他去的。儘管他不是第一個拒絕神的人,摩西也拒絕過神。很多人擔心,當神要求我們為祂做些事情的時候,我們得馬上好,否則我們就會陷入困境。我不是我們不應該對神“是”,但我覺得周圍有很多教導是教我們不能對神不。那些的教導嚇倒了我, No不是一個選擇。
約帕是一個港口城市,有一個碼頭,他可以搭渡船離開小鎮。八百年之後,這也是神給彼得一個異象的城市。他們有一個非常相似的經歷,約拿被要求去給尼尼微,但他拒去,彼得被要求吃不潔淨的食物,他也拒了,但是當彼得被要求去外邦人的家的時候,這對猶太人來說是不合律法的事情。哥尼流不僅是一個外邦人,他還是統治猶太人的羅馬精英軍隊裏的官。 你能想像當時彼得是怎麼反應的?
約拿雖然違背神的命今,卻以另一種方式行事,當困難出現,他去睡覺。我們是否可以看到他在神面前依然有很大的信心,而不看周圍的環境。 當門徒們害怕時,他們就把耶穌叫醒了,耶穌斥責他們的信心。 試問當你在危難時你信心是否與你有關?
作為專業的水手和漁民,他們都知道風會突然停下來,但海浪需要一段時間才平静得下來。那是一個很自然的事情,所以如果風停了,波浪也停了那就是一件不自然的事,是件超自然的事情,以前從來沒有過。水手們就是因為這件不可能的事情而棄他們的神,來敬拜耶和華。門徒們驚恐地問耶穌是誰? 而對耶稣敬畏起来。