We have treated the Lord's Supper as an individualistic ritual, where it is between me and God thing. We remember as an individual what Jesus has done for us by dying on the cross for our sins. However, Paul teaches the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 11:20-34 that the Lord's Supper is a community activity where the believers gather together for a full meal and remember Jesus' sacrifice together. This confirms that the church cannot be done without the community. We need each other as we do life together and grow in Christ together.
According to Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt and the light. R.T. France in his Tyndale commentary wrote, "Disciples, if they are true to their calling, make the earth a purer and a more tasty and favorable place." Pastor Joon Hwang challenges that the disciples of Jesus must stand out like a salt to a bland food and the light to the darkness. We cannot forget our calling. However, we need to pursue this calling together with other believers, otherwise we will be discourage and give up. We need the community of faith who are on the same page with each other and pursue this calling together. We are definitely "better together".
After blessing those who are far from God by praying for their salvation, we need to ask God to give us an opportunity to connect them to Jesus. We can use the simple B.L.E.S.S. strategy to connect with those who are far from God. Pastor Joon Hwang teaches practical ways for us to connect our neighbors and friends to Jesus during this pandemic time.
Evangelism is sharing & demonstrating the good news. It starts with blessing our neighbors with prayer, so that they will be blessed through the Christians (Genesis 12:1-3). During the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to at least pray for those who are far from God. We cannot just pause and do nothing for the Kingdom during the pandemic. We have a job to do! That is to fulfill the Great Commission Jesus gave us. Let us pray that God changes the hearts of people who are far from God to encounter Jesus in a powerful way that their lives be blessed.
During the Covid-19 quarantine, we spent a lot of time with people, especially our family members. Relationships matter, especially building a Christ-centered, Biblical relationship. In this sermon, pastor Joon Hwang teaches how to fight cleanly. Conflicts are not to be avoided or feared because it is inevitable in human relationships. Instead, we can use conflicts to experience more intimacy and unity in our relationships.
In response to the COVID-19 Global pandemic, Pastor Joon Hwang teaches from 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 and challenges the followers of Christ to admit that we are weak, but God is strong! We need to turn to Jesus and trust Him as King, who is in charge of our lives, our church, and the world. This is what we need to do in times of crisis.
In this sermon on the Lord's Prayer series, Pastor Joon focuses on the verse 11 from Matthew 6, "Give us today the daily bread". Using insights from scholars like N.T. Wright and Michael Wilkins, pastor Joon explains that God is a Good Father and He loves to take care of our basic needs, including our food that we need to eat each day.
In this sermon, pastor Joon Hwang teaches on praying that God's Kingdom come soon and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Even though we recite this part of the Lord's prayer, we don't quite understand what we are praying. However, this specific phrase really gives us hope in the midst of hopelessness, when we understand it.
Pastor Joon Hwang is continuing his teaching series, "The Lord's Prayer" and in this sermon, he is teaching on the phrase, "Hallowed be your name" or "May your name be kept Holy". What does it really mean when we pray "Hallowed be your name" to God? According to pastor Joon, we hallow or honor God's name by showing the complete allegiance to Him and Him alone.
In this sermon on the Lord's Prayer, Pastor Joon focuses on the phrase from Matthew 6:9, "Our Father in heaven". Using insights from scholars like Craig Keener, N.T. Wright, and Timothy Keller, pastor Joon explains what it actually means when we invoke God as "Our Father" and why knowing this truth is so significant in our prayer life.
Pastor Joon is staring new sermon series called, The Lord's Prayer: Learning to Pray the way Jesus taught. This is the first sermon where Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:7-8 not to pray like a pagan. In this sermon, pastor Joon explains questions like "How do pagans pray?" and "How Do Christians need to pray then?"
Jesus taught what a disciple does from Luke 14:25-35. Are we, as a church, producing disciples of Jesus the way Jesus described? If not, what are we producing? Pastor Joon Hwang, using the Francis Chan's new book, "Letters to the Church", challenges the "Christians" or the churchgoers in America to be serious about being a disciple of Jesus, which is the purpose of being a Christian. The church must produce disciples of Jesus, otherwise, we are not fulfilling the purpose of a church.
Pastor Joon Hwang declared, "In our difficult hour, we need Jesus every hour!" How do we need Jesus every hour? By dwelling in the presence of God, in His temple like what David said in Psalm 27:4. In this message, Pastor Joon gives the vision message for 2020 by challenging the church to focus on "indwelling" in the presence of God and connecting to God daily and hourly, so that we can follow Christ faithfully no matter what the circumstances.
Advent means "arrival" or "coming". Advent is remembering and celebrating the arrival of King Jesus. Pastor Joon asks this question in his Christmas message, Is Jesus really your King? Is Jesus in charge of your life? Do you surrender your will, desire, and opinion to Jesus, who is the King? This King came to set us free from the bondage to sin. Sin is trusting, relying on, and taking control of your own life. The outcome of sin is brokenness and destruction. We cannot take control of our lives. It breaks every time we try. Instead, we need to trust in Jesus, who is the King! He will take care of us when we trust, rely on, and surrender to Him. We will live a life of freedom with Jesus forever! This is the salvation story.
How do we connect to God? We see Paul praising and giving thanks to God when he was in prison in Ephesians 1:3-14. We connect to God when we start praising and giving thanks to God for what He has done. No matter what your situation or the problem is, as we connect to God by giving Him praise and thanksgiving, God pours out His love and grace upon us and walks with us.
Many are hurting today. They seem to find no hope. Pastor Joon Hwang gives a message about hope by studying Revelation 19:11-21. Those who follow Christ know that Jesus ultimately wins, no matter how evil or hopeless your life might be. If you want hope? You must be connected to Jesus. That's the only way.
Eugene Peterson's paraphrase, The Message translated Matthew 11:28-30:
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Jesus calls those who are tired, worn out, and burned out people to come to Jesus. Jesus will walk with you, work with you, and even show you how to do it. You are not alone. In this sermon, Pastor Joon encourages listeners to do whatever we are doing in life with Jesus, even when we are doing things that are overwhelming or burdensome. When we do them with Jesus, He will walk with us and gives us a sense of peace and rest.
Pastor Joon also challenges the listeners that the horizontal issues we have with people are first and foremost our disconnection to Jesus. When we are connected to Jesus, we receive the fruit of the Spirit to reflect the Christlikeness to others.
We lack ownership in the body of Christ today. Paul in Romans 12:4-13 calls the church is a body and we are body parts. Each body part has to play its part for the body to function properly. In this message, pastor Joon challenges the Christians in the church to take the ownership and serve according to the gifts God has given each one of us so that the body of Christ can operate properly.
We often rely on our own knowledge, strength, or ability that we forget to rely on God. However, without God, we cannot do anything. we are so weak without God's grace and His power. Pastor Joon Hwang gives testimony of what he learned when he went to Guatemala for his mission's trip. He learned to rely on God in everything he does.
The church must provide an opportunity for the children to encounter God. Parents must learn how to teach and disciple children from church so they can continue to disciple their children at home. In this sermon, Pastor Joon challenges the parents to be responsible for discipling our own children at home and even at church.
According to the book, "Churchless" by George Barna, it states that the unchurched and de-churched people want to encounter the living God when they come to church. Sadly, they don't get that when they visit churches today. In this sermon, pastor Joon Hwang challenges New Life Covenant Church and all other churches of Jesus that we have to focus on what matters most, which is providing an opportunity for people to encounter the powerful and living God when they come to church.
Most of the Christian leaders argue that discipleship is crucial in the Christian life, yet we don't see many of them in the body of Christ today. Why is that?
When Jesus gave the Great Commission in Acts 1:8, He told the disciples to receive the power from the Holy Spirit and then be His witnesses by going everywhere even to the ends of the earth. In the book of Acts, we see that the disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit when they were making disciples. New believers or "disciples" were also added when they received the gospel message with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Joon Hwang argues that without the encounter or the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, you cannot be a disciple of Jesus. It is impossible to follow Christ the way Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19-20, unless you are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Unless God changes and transforms you by the power of the Holy Spirit, you cannot change or follow Christ faithfully. Perhaps, we don't have too many disciples of Jesus today because we don't teach or emphasize this important component of being a disciple of Jesus.
Jesus is the bread of life and we need Jesus more than anything. In the gospel of John 6, Jesus fed 5000 and the next day, people were looking for Jesus not because they want to follow Him, but simply because he fed them and wanted him to do it again. Jesus boldly teaches the crowd that He himself is the bread of life and what they need is not "food" per se, but Jesus himself, who can give them no hunger. Pastor Joon Hwang delivers a message from John 6:22-35 that teaches about the importance of following Christ and wanting just Jesus in our lives who can truly satisfy our hunger.
What matters most in the church? The attendance or the number of disciples of Jesus in the church? Pastor Joon Hwang is teaching on the new series called, "What Matters Most". In this first message of the series, he teaches about the importance of being and making disciples from Matthew 4:18-19 & 28:19-20.
Why church? Rev. Jill Lind, who is the Director of Congregational Care for the Central Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. She gave a powerful message on what a church is why being part of a church is important by looking at Ephesians 4.