August 13th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
(Intro) While there are words that make no sense, there are words that have authority.
God is with you because you understood and realized the meaning of Christ. Especially in the States, many people go to church without knowing Christ. They haven’t experienced the rightful walk of faith. Since they haven’t received the true blessing, they don’t have much understanding of church. That is why people say of nonsensical things. Christ has solved all the problems once and for all. When you confess that Jesus is your master and entrust everything to Him, even if you stay still, you have no choice but to be victorious. This doesn’t mean that you should just live on a mountainside. It means that God will let you meet the people you need to meet and show the work you need to do. And He gives strength in His perfect guidance. You don’t have to worry or go to a fortuneteller. Because people do not know Christ, they gather together and speak of nonsensical things. The lives of the people, who know why Jesus is the Christ, are completed because God is with them forever. Although He is unseen and intangible, believe that He is with you. Another reason why He is with you is that today you are at the place of worship. Not everyone can just come to church. The church door is always open, but not many people choose to come inside. Although you might be sleeping in the church, you are still chosen by God. And because there are others who pray for you, God is with you. God has called us as His sons. You are not merely believers, deacons, or elders, but God is your Father and you are His sons. He understands you. A father gives life to a son. God gave life to you. A biological father may not be able to take a full responsibility of the son’s future, but the Father God takes complete care of your entire life. Why did He call you as His sons? It is because Jesus is His Son. God wants you to have the same mystery of Christ as Jesus. We say that when we believe in Jesus, we become the children of God. Then, we could just all go to heaven, but He made us remain on this earth. God wants us to experience the mystery of Christ on this earth. If you have a disease, you can experience the mystery of Christ through your disease. Even though we are saved in Jesus Christ, it seems like still nothing is working out. It is because there are still problems. God wants you to experience the power of Christ through those problems. That is why God is with you. That is why God called you and made you His own even before the creation of this world. He chose you and He loves you as His son without any speck. Only Jesus is speckless. God is shaping you to be like Jesus—Christians. When you confess, “God, I am a little christ because Jesus Christ is in me,” all the forces of darkness will be crumbled down because you have sit on the heavenly throne in Christ. Today, we need to look at the actions and words of Jesus in today’s passage. We need to find the mystery of Christ. God wants you to make the mystery your own. I bless all of you to find it and personalize it.
Today’s title is “God’s Son Teaches God’s Word.” God’s Son is Jesus Christ. God’s Word is the Word of the Creator God. What does it mean by teaching? It is to make us realize and to understand with explanation. Jesus’s Word is God’s Word. The Word has the highest authority in the universe because it is bound to be fulfilled. There are lots of different sayings in this world. While there are words that make no sense, there are words that have authority. Words of discouragement, criticism, and arguments might be pointless. However, the words of parents have authority. The words of teachers, bosses, and pastors have authority. Depending on who says the word, it carries authority. Then, without doubt, God’s Word has the greatest authority. When we grab hold of God’s Word as a promise, it will become our eternal life and blessing. I bless all of you to realize that covenant and grab hold of it.
1. God’s Son, Jesus taught God’s word with Jesus’ parable.
(1) Parable of the two sons (Mt. 21:28-32)
(2) Parable of the vineyard (Mt. 21:33-46)
(3) Parable of the wedding banquet (Mt. 22:1-14)
What did Jesus say? At the end of Matthew 21, there are two parables: the parable of the two sons and the parable of the vineyard. The parable of the two sons begins in Matthew 21:28. There were a father and his two sons. The father told his sons to work in the vineyard. The first son said he wouldn’t do it at first, but he came to repentance and obeyed his father’s word. The second son said he would do it, but he ended up not doing it. Telling of this parable, Jesus asked, “Which of the two did the will of hid father?” It was the first son. The father in this parable refers to God. The first son refers to tax collectors and harlots. The second son refers to the chief priests and Pharisees of Israel. The Pharisees received the Word of God, however, they didn’t obey His will. Tax collectors and harlots believed in John the Baptist and came to their repentance and obeyed God’s Word. Who do you thing God wants? Jesus wants people like tax collectors and harlots who returned to God. Jesus is teaching God’s Word. Likewise, you as sons of God should also teach others God’s Word. Explaining with a parable means that one understands the fundamentals and the core message.
Matthew 21 contains the parable of the vineyard. The landowner planted a vineyard and he leased it to vinedressers. When vintage-time drew near, the landowner sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. When the servants showed up, how did the vinedressers respond? They beat one, killed one, and stoned another. Again the landowner sent other servants, but the vinedressers did the same thing to them. The landowner was upset that the vinedressers didn’t respect his servants. So he sent his son thinking that they would treat his son with respect. However, the vinedressers killed the son to seize his inheritance. Upon hearing the news, the owner became infuriated and destroyed those wicked men and leased his vineyard to other vinedressers. There are seven characters in this parable. The landowner who wants the fruit refers to God. The vineyard refers to the Israelites. The vinedressers refer to the spiritual leaders of the Israelites. The fruit refers to the fruit of salvation. The servants are the prophets that God sent. The leaders of the Israelites killed all the prophets and even killed the Son, Jesus Christ. However, the owner sent other vinedressers, the church members of the New Testament. This parable is directing toward the chief priests and Pharisees.
The third parable is also similar. It is the parable of the wedding feast. What is the kingdom of heaven like? It says it is like a certain king who arranged marriage for his son. Who is this king? The king is God and He is described as a king who provides us with many things. The son who is going to marry is Jesus Christ. The king sent out his servants to invite other people to the wedding. The servants are evangelists. Who are invited to this wedding feast? They are the Israelites. However, the Israelites refused to go to the feast. They said they are busy. This means that they denied God's invitation for salvation. Then the king became furious. He sent out an army to kill those who denied the invitation and burned up their city. This story actually happened in 70 A.D. when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem. Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the soldier called Titus. His army surrounded the wall of Jerusalem and blocked the Israelites' food and water supplies. So the hungry Israelites killed little children and ate those fleshes to survive. Titus saw this and was very surprised because the Israelites call themselves as the chosen ones but they did something that humankind shouldn't do. So Titus ordered his army to kill all of them. He killed the Israelites who crucified Jesus on the cross. The parable of Jesus is not a mere story but it is the Word that has authority. These three parables are the Word of God about salvation. They are the messages that God has provided. However, there are people who try to block God's salvation. These messages were directed toward the spiritual leaders of the Israelites, the Pharisees and the priests. God's Son Jesus Christ came to save sinners, but He was denied. Jesus correctly saw the spiritual state of the Israelites and gave the parables. Jesus explained the exact state of this world in His parables for us to understand. As sons of God like Christ, we received the authority and blessing to teach others. All of us have a time schedule to teach and relay God’s Word someday. In our church, when the pastor is absent, the prepared workers relay the Word. However, everyone should be able to teach the Word. Because Jesus did it, we should also do it. It is not just for the pastors, missionaries, and evangelists to do. After Christ came in the New Testament, everyone became priests. God called you this way. So we should follow. Believe and enjoy that you and I are small christs inside of Jesus Christ. Like God’s Son taught God’s Word, you as sons of God should learn and experience God’s Word and teach it to others. I bless you to be victorious.
Then, how well did Jesus teach according to the field’s need? In Luke 2, Jesus as a young child went to the temple of Jerusalem with His parents for Passover. It was their way back home after Passover. Jesus was missing. Joseph and Mary urgently went back to Jerusalem and found Jesus in the temple. Luke 2:46-47 says, “Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” Jesus as a young child had a deep understanding of God’s Word. This is why we should draw our children closer to God’s Word. Young adults who are not married yet, remember to draw your children closer to God’s Word. Adults, if you weren’t close to God’s Word when you were younger, you should get closer to God’s Word right now. Write and memorize God’s Word. Continuously listen to your pastor’s sermon. May you be able to do this for 24 hours. God commanded Moses in Deuteronomy 6, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children.” God commanded Solomon to teach sucklings that don’t even understand words. When you prepare your mind and spiritual system, God prepares your physical system. The word “teaching” in Hebrew means closer to “training”. We should train others with God’s Word. The Israelites, who received 2/3 of all Novel prizes, built synagogues and place their children in God’s Word. God told Paul in 2 Timothy 3, “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures.” God’s Word makes God’s people to do God’s work. Former president Lincoln received only 1 year of formal education. When Lincoln was 9 years old, his mother gave him the Bible and told him to read and follow the Word as she was passing away. Later in days, Lincoln confessed that God’s Word led him to where he was then. Therefore, start today. Read the Bible and write down 100 Bible verses. Send Kakao talk messages for confirmation. I hope those of you who don’t want to do this be able to challenge yourselves. Many people say, “I am busy with studying. I have work. I work all day at home.” There are many excuses. However, if you pray that you want to do this in front of God, He will make the way. We need to be seized by God’s Word.
2. God’s Son, Jesus Christ works through God’s Word.
(1) God’s son existed since the beginning through the Word. (Jn. 1:1)
(2) God’s Son gained flesh through the Word. (Jn. 1:14)
(3) God’s Word saves and heals us. (Jn. 6:63, Heb. 4:12)
God’s Son, Jesus Christ, wants to fulfill some things in us. What did Jesus do on this earth? He saved and healed others. Then, how was Jesus before He came down to earth? John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus Christ was in the beginning as the Word. How can a personal being be the Word? I do not know, but God’s Word said that. We should simply accept that and believe in the Word.
The Word came down to earth. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” So Jesus’s physical body is made of God’s Word. His body acts and responds according to God’s Word. Father God wants His sons to have this mystery.
God wants not just our spirits but also our physical bodies to be responsive to God’s Word. He wants you to be trained this way. I hope you confess Psalm 5:3 in the mornings, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” When you go to work or school, I hope you confess Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” At the end of the day before bed, I hope you confess Psalm 17:3, “You have tested my heart; you have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” Throughout a day, we visit places, meet people, and confront different situations. At that time, confess God’s Word and think and act according to the Word. When you have to make decisions, remember God’s Word. Place the Word in your heart and mind. This is the work God wants to do in us. Then, our bodies and minds become healed and restored. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Word became flesh and now He is in heaven. To walk with the Word is to walk with Jesus. Jesus told His disciples in John 6, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” What is the Spirit who gives life? It is the Word of God. The Word of God becoming flesh is what the Christ did for us. And the sons of God should enjoy this blessing. There are things that follow after you experience the Word being with you.
3. God’s Sons enjoy the blessing of Immanuel with the Word of God.
(1) We enjoy the blessing of prayer answers within the Word. (Jn. 15:7)
(2) Christ works with us when we share the Word. (Mk. 16:20)
(3) He is with us until the ends of the world when He teaches His disciples His word. (Mt. 28:18-20)
It is the blessing of Immanuel. It is answers to prayer. John 15:7 records, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” When you grab hold of the Word, you receive answers to your prayer. When you receive answers, it becomes the living walk of faith. Even if 7 billion people on this earth perish, if you have the answer, you will survive. Also, the blessing of working together follows. Mark 16:20 says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” When they shared the Word, God was with them. Think about how it would be like if God works with you in whatever you do. You are bound to be 100% successful. Matthew 28 says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all tings that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” When we help disciples, God is with us always to the end of the age. Do you want to enjoy these blessings? Then, grab hold of John 15:7. Do you want to enjoy the happiness of the Lord working with you? Then, grab hold of Mark 16:20. Do you want God to walk with you in this tough world? Place God’s Word in your heart, imprint it, root it, and make it your nature. This is the most important thing. Students, as you study in school, imprint God’s Word. Mothers, as you work at home, imprint God’s Word. Business people, as you do your business, imprint God’s Word. Athletes, as you train, imprint God’s Word. This is what makes God happy. This is the way you gain strength. God will use your life. When you grab hold of God’s Word on Sundays, all the forces of darkness will be bound throughout the week. I bless those of you who focus on the Word and draw closer to the Word. Parents, be an example to your children by focusing on the Word. Genesis 5:24 records, “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Enoch went to heaven without dying. This represents rapture. The Word is the mystery to be raptured when Jesus comes.
(Conc.) When you have imprints, roots, and natures with God’s Word on your physical life, you will reach the fullness of Christ. (Jn. 1:14, Heb. 5:14)
Let’s come to a conclusion. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Those who are of full age are mature people. Immature people cannot eat solid food. The solid food is God’s Word. Only the mature people understand the Word in depth. That is why when you have imprints, roots and natures with God’s Word, you will reach the fullness of Christ. God pours down blessings to you and you will become Summit. Joseph who was the Summit of Egypt had everything. God is telling you to focus on the Word. God will save you, heal you, and bless you.
Let us pray. We give all the glory, praise, and thanksgiving to the Almighty God. God’s Son taught the Word of God. May we correctly understand Your Word with parables and be able to share the Word with others. So help us to have imprints, roots, and natures in Your Word. Help us to prepare a big vessel so that we can use the things of this world that You have prepared and blessed us with. And help us to do world evangelization with those things. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.