July 2nd, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “God’s son desires humbleness and forgiveness”. A philosopher was about to die from old age. His disciples asked for a last teaching. They asked for a final word. The teacher said that when you go to your hometown, come down from your chariot and walk. The disciples thought that he meant to not forget their hometown and be humble. The disciples correctly understood. The teacher also said to pass by tall trees slowly. The students thought that he meant to respect the elders. The tall trees represent age. Walking slow means respect. The disciples realized this meant to respect elders. The teacher opened his mouth and asked if they see his tongue. The disciples did see it. He asked if they saw his teeth. The teacher was old in age and didn’t have any. So, they replied that he didn’t have one. The disciple knew what he was saying. ‘Teeth are hard, but eventually go away. However, the soft tongue will remain.’ The teacher turned his back. He said that he has told you all things and has no more to say. The teeth are strong and hard, but disappear. The tongue is soft and weak, but remains. The teacher is showing his tongue to teach that you should be humble to receive blessings. Although, if you are stubborn, you won’t last. ‘Do not forget your hometown. Respect your elders. With humbleness, overcome arrogance.’ This teacher was Sang Yo. The main disciple who received those words was Lao-tzu. They were non-believers and didn’t know the Bible. However, they knew the principles of the world. The disciple conquered China. Today, people still follow Lao-tzu’s words. God allowed his words to be left behind because they are vital. If we live according to his teachings, we would receive respect and reputation from the world. What must we do as children of God? Do we need to quit our church and go to China? Do we discard Christ and pray in the name of Lao-tzu? We need to teach our children and give answers in our field. We need humility. However, you cannot overcome the disasters of this world even though you are humble or honest. All the problems of our lives are finished only because of Jesus Christ. God chose us in Him before the creation of the world. This is the blessing of all blessings, which is undeniable. This is the blessing to solve all our problems of past. As a result, what do we do now? We are children of God because Jesus Christ is inside of us. It was predestined and confirmed before creation. It is guaranteed that we are going to heaven. Our past, present and future is finished. Do not worry. Do not quarrel. All you need to do is just to enjoy this. Yield instead. Everything is finished. Then, why do we need to be humble? Find out. There is a vital reason for this before God. Humility is putting yourself down. When you lower your body, you will not fall easily. When you fall in a fight, you lose. When you put yourself down in the midst of your walk of faith, you will have victory.
1. Be humble so that God will be raised up (1 Pet 5:5-6)
(1) Arrogance is in Satan’s area (Ezk 28:17)
(2) When people raise each other up, they will fight each other and fail together (Gal 5:15)
(3) The one who serves like a little child is the highest one (Mt 18:3-4)
When you lower yourself, you won’t fall. There was a spiritual being who was once called ‘son of God’ and anointed by God in Ezk, Job and Is. It was Satan. Satan was arrogant and defied God. He was completely outcast and fell. Satan brought chaos, emptiness and darkness to the world. That is the first problem of whole universe. He brought the very first problem of mankind. It was the incident of Gen 3. He made people commit sin and become separated from God. Genesis 6 was about the Nephilim and brought about the Tower of Babel. He initially received God’s blessing, but defied Him. He brought curses and disasters on this world. That is the essence of his character. His specialty is arrogance. It is in Ezekiel 28:17. “our heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So, I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” On this earth, he becomes the prince of the air. He controls the world with the power of the death. Everything is under his control. Everyone who is separated from God is sinner. Only the Bible tells this. Prestigious universities don’t teach this. The more ignorant you are, the more you will fall. People do idol worship because they are under his control. It is written in 1 Co 10:20. They have religion, but don’t look for God. Because people are separated from God, they have no choice but to face difficulties due to idol worship. That is why people fall into mental and physical problems. They are addicted to the secular objects of the world. People are sick, but cannot figure out their illness. There are many incurable diseases. People are not sick, but continually fall. They die and go to hell. That is the problem of afterlife. Moreover, the problems are passed on to their children. They inherit their despair in Ex 20:4-5. It doesn’t matter how advanced technology is, you will suffer. We needed someone to overcome Satan. That is why God proclaims the solution from the beginning. It is written in Gen 3:15. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Those who hold onto this have victory. Satan is working to have disputes among people. Wars break out. Why is his causing division? It is recorded in Gal 5:15, “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” That is the strategy of Satan. I bless that you will not be deceived. This is the reason why we need to be humble in the name of Jesus. It is also written in Is 14:13-14. ‘You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." This is the scripture reading that shows the arrogance of Satan. Satan is not God. He is merely a creation. He is trying to be like God. That is arrogance. That is why he fell to the earth. He made mankind commit sin. Only Christ can overturn all this. When you believe in Him, God will work. So, God gave an answer in Philippians 2:6-8, it says, ‘Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!’ Satan was a creation but he tried to be God so he lifted himself up. Jesus Christ is God. However, He didn’t consider Himself as God. To what point? He died on the cross. Once you believe in Him and accept Him as your Lord, your spiritual dominion has changed. Satan deceived us, but Christ didn’t. He requested our faith. Satan made us sinners. Christ made us righteous. Satan made us fall into curses and disasters. Christ forgave and saved us. Satan tried to drag us to Hell. Christ is allowing us to go to heaven. Christ isn’t an average man. Jesus Christ is the only one who solved the fundamental problem of mankind from the beginning. Satan is still trying to drag people into hell. Jesus brought us to the throne in heaven. It is written in Eph 2:6, ‘And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,’ He has overturned everything completely. What kind of heart does Jesus have? It is written in Phip 2:5, ‘Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:’ It is the heart of being humble. That is why Jesus emphasized in Matthew 18. It doesn’t mean that only children will go to heaven. It means you should lower yourself before God. ‘I cannot do anything without God. I only seek the Lord. I need the Lord. The Lord is sufficient.’ When you are able to give a confession of faith, then you will be able to receive the blessing of His child. Then, it is written the work of God in Phip 2:9, it says, ‘Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,’ When you have this heart, you will enter inside of heaven. We have to follow Jesus who overturned the works of Satan. All of Christ’s works destroy Satan. Satan fell, but Christ sits on the throne of heaven. Only Christ fulfilled all those things with a heart that Satan didn’t have. Jesus has the power of heaven and earth. Before the name of Christ, darkness cannot do anything. The start of Jesus is humility. He came from the seat of the throne. He went through a lot to be crucified. He obeyed. He had all authority. He forgave us. He embraced us so we can restore ourselves. He is inside of us as our Lord. You will discard yourself, but only Christ will live. Jesus will go forth, and you will follow behind. We call them believers. We are not boasting about your character nor good deeds. We need to show Christ off. This is the base of our life. Through you, you display His humility. You will embrace others. We call them Christians. With that, you will see the church and live your walk of faith. It is written in Ephesians 4:32. ‘Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.’ To what extent?
2. Forgive as much as God has forgiven you (Eph 4:32, Col 3:13)
(1) Condemnation and judgement is reserved for God (2Pet 2:4)
(2) Having no tolerance nor forgiveness is the endless trap of revenge (Mt 26:52)
(3) The unlimited forgiveness is to recover the soul (Mt 18:11-20)
Those without Christ and are humble isn’t true humility. We do not have forgiveness without Christ. True humbleness and forgiveness is in Christ. As much as you enter inside of Christ, you are able to be humble and forgive others. Only this kind of humility and forgiveness allow the little ones to not sin in Matthew 18. If not, you will criticize others. Condemnation and judgment is reserved for God. He forgave us, so we should do the same to others. You are enjoying the mystery of Christ, so you can forgive and serve others. Then, you will not criticize nor judge them. There are people around us. We are small in numbers. Despite going to church, there are those who are strange. You might gossip about them. How must we interpret strange people? You should know that they are struggling. They want attention. They are taking strong action. All you have to do is look at them. Embrace that. You need Christ’s humility. In other word, we need to save souls. We have unlimited forgiveness to save souls. We are not boasting about our character but we are trying to save souls that God desires. At that time, you will refresh the heart of God. Jesus died and shed His blood for us. Through us, He wants to reveal His forgiveness. On this holy day, we are talking about Satan. Because of all the things that he has done, he has made the name of God impure. He has ruined God’s honor. Only Christ can overturn that. He is inside of us, and wants to reveal Himself. He is the Son of God, whom God loves; with him God is pleased.
3. Humbleness and forgives is the door to enter Christ
(1) We are the beings that cannot be humble nor forgive ourselves
(2) True humbleness and forgiveness is in Christ (Phil 2:5-8, Col 3:13)
(3) The deeper you enter Christ, the more you can be humble and forgiving
I said to think about our hometown, respect the parents and elders and with humility overcome arrogance. When our eyes are opened, we will view things differently. Our hometown is in heaven. For the expansion of God’s kingdom, we need to embrace and forgive. As you serve your physical parents, you will serve our spiritual Father, God. Satan defiled God’s name, but Christ made God’s name pure again. We need to know humility as Sons of God. When you mature, you can look back at your hometown and parents. When you are mature in spirit, you will look all-around of church and kingdom of God and devote yourselves for the Father God. Inside of that, you are humble, you forgive others. Because you received unlimited forgiveness, you could do the same for others. If so, you can overcome everything just like Jesus has overcame the world. You will have victory in life. Everything will change. You will realize that you accomplished everything by God’s might. That is why we praise God and go out and evangelize. This is what the Lord desires. I hope that you will have victory.
Almighty Father God, I give you glory. Help us to discover true humility and forgiveness inside of the Gospel. Help us to enjoy your humility and forgiveness before God. Through that, help us to overcome the darkness and have true victory and conquest. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.