September 17th, 2016
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
Gospel of Reconciliation (Gen 33:1-12)
It’s good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is “Gospel of Reconciliation”. There was an article. There was an accord between the North and South Koreans. There was another article about Obama and ISIS having reconciliation, but that’s impossible. If it did happen, it would be a miracle. Having harmony isn’t easy. God did that through the Gospel. He had reconciliation through Christ. Mankind and God were supposed to be enemies. No one is actually serving God nor bowing down to Him. There’s rarely anyone who appreciates God’s work. Rather, mankind corrupts nature and have abused it with money and greed. Men kill each other. From God’s POV, men are evil. However, God took pity on us. God wanted to save us. He sent the Bible, raised the church and raised evangelists. Mankind hasn’t changed yet. I would be angry, but God still tried. That is reconciliation as well as the Gospel. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” God gave us forgiveness because He loves us. He gave us reconciliation. I am going to talk about this. In today’s scripture, Esau and Jacob reconciled with each other. They are descendants of Abraham. They are twins. God calls Abraham. He promised the absolute blessing to Abraham. That blessing is passed onto His descendants. That absolute blessing of God is being passed on. The step for that is the blessing of prayer from the father. That amazing blessing was sent from Abraham to Isaac. Then, it would go from Isaac to Esau, who is the older son. However, Jacob, the younger brother, lied. He deceived his brother and father by taking the blessing of the older son. Isaac was surprised. Esau was filled by anger and wrath. He wanted to kill Jacob for that. Then, the mother takes Jacob away. He goes to his uncle’s house. After 20 years, he comes back to his home. Jacob hears this news. Esau is approaching him with 400 soldiers. Jacob was afraid so he prayed all night. That is in Genesis 32. Finally, they meet each other in 33.
1. Jacob who faced the crises of death received the blessing of reconciliation with Esau
(1) Esau did not raise the 400 people whom he took (Gen 32:6, Gen 33:1)
(2) Esau embraced Jacob and showed that he is a brother (Gen 33:4)
(3) Esau wanted to be with Jacob through the servants (Gen 33:12,15)
Jacob has his prayers answered. Esau’s anger dissipated. They embraced each other. They move together. I am trying to use this scripture today. Normally, churches would talk about Jacob more, but I will talk about Esau. He brought 400 soldiers with him. Did Esau threaten Jacob with his 400 soldiers? No. He did bring those 400 people, but they weren’t used. That is reconciliation. Jacob only had his family and animals. If soldiers gathered, it must be a scary sight. Why did Esau bring 400 people? He didn’t use them. Even if you use knowledge and standard, it won’t lead to reconciliation. You have to put yourself down. Suppose Clay is a bad guy, but you put that aside. Esau had an awful experience of being robbed. Jacob did something evil. Suppose you are at a loss, discard that. You have to be in His abundant grace. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you wouldn’t be offended. I would rather take pity. I would rather embrace people. You just have to be within abundant grace so that you won’t be worried about your losses. God answered Jacob’s prayer and Esau changes heart. That is the power of prayer. You just have to receive those answers from God. Once you do, the bad things will become easy for you. Jacob received blessings for 20 years at his uncle’s house, Esau saw that. He became wealthy and Esau changes his mind. Isaac received 100 years of answers. Abimelech kneeled before Isaac. They tried to mistreat Isaac and steal from him, but he still received 100 years of blessings. Abimelech kneeled down before Isaac and asked for reconciliation. Isaac sent them away. May you not be scarred by others. If you do, then you are trapped within humanism. I am not trying to tell you to not care about others. The only being we can rely on is God. suppose problems come, it’s a sign that God is speaking with you. Go back to His grace. They don’t know this, so they are doing the opposite. Joseph had reconciliation with his brothers. Why? He received a historical answer of uniqueness. The brothers admitted their sin. Confess everything to God. Unfortunate events will happen to you. As I look back on the past, I see that I might have done wrong to others so that, in return, mistreat me. There are some people who might not like that I am wearing a red necktie. Because I realized that, I changed my necktie. If you are isolated by your friends, it may be because you did something inappropriate. Confess and ask God for historic answers. This is a sign for unique answers. Be thankful to God for their problems. The other people will look for me. May I help them. I bless that you will do this prayer. May you be able to open your spiritual eyes to help others. Listen to the voice of God and be blessed. Put other things aside and look up to God. Esau and Jacob embraced each other. It means that they are family. They tend to have different standards. They shared lives. They embraced each other. This is a custom of the Jews. They will speak the same word and touch hearts. It will be connected. Romans 8:15 talks about how we worship the same God. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Son-ship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." And, in 29, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son,” What is the reason why? “that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” I believe that we are serving the same God. Who is our Father? He is the creator. He can give judgment. We are trying to take positon before God. How can we even dare to take disputes or conflicts? Let’s say that there was a fight and you stop it. If you talk badly about it, then there is a problem. There are 3 brothers in China. They are good brothers. They lived as co-workers. They shared the same fate and path. I believe that we are walking the same path and we are the eternal brothers. What is reconciliation in the Bible? We must take our stuff down. Then, we should take them as brothers. After they reconciled, what did Esau say? “"Let us be on our way; I'll accompany you." Being reconciled means that you accompany them. Esau took his 400 people to embrace Jacob. Since they reconciled, they can go with each other. They had the same faith and direction. They share one covenant and faith. They can go together. This cannot take place because people try to keep each other in check. People guard each other in boxing matches. In the 1st round, opponents observe each other to look for a tactical advantage. They are scouting each other. Suppose you are looking at each other’s faults. Then you cannot reconcile with each other. Having reconciliation with other Saints is vital. There might be people who refuse to reconcile with each other in the church. That’ll be an incident by God. The turning point will be how we react and it will determine whether we receive blessings. We can’t avoid conflicts, but how you react is vital. That is the life to live as a new creation. What is a new creation? Whoever is within Christ is a new creation. Things of the past have been gone, so we look for new things. As we are the children of God, we are His new creation. We are within Christ, and He is within us. It is the time when we need to reveal Christ through us. We must enter inside the Gospel. This is what God wants to us.
2. Chris gave us the Gospel of reconciliation within the cross
(1) Christ put down His heavenly glory (Phil 2:6-8)
(2) Christ showed within the cross that He is a brother (Jn 20:17)
(3) Christ is with you through the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:16-18,26, Jn16:13)
Christ came for this purpose. Christ passed through the Gospel of reconciliation. He lived with this. He gave that Gospel to us. What kind of person is Jesus? Even though He has glory from heaven, He didn’t use it. He is the essence of God. In Phil. 2:6-8, “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!” Even though He had authority, He put it aside and came. He closed the first button of reconciliation. Jesus gave us the true Gospel and salvation. Jesus said something after resurrecting. The women wanted to greet Him, but He refused. He said that He had to go to Heaven first. It’s God who needs to taste this resurrection first. Then, He said that He had to go to His father, as well as yours. We worship the same God and we are brothers. After ascending, He sent the Holy Spirit. Why? So He can be with you. He is allowing us to be with Him eternally. He completed the Gospel.
3. As we are with Christ eternally, we must enjoy the Gospel of reconciliation within the Church
(1) Put down your knowledge, experience and standards (Gal 2:20)
(2) Enjoy that God is your Father and the saints are your family (Rom 8:15, Rom 8:29)
(3) Follow God’s will and be with the saints with one heart (Jm 4:7, 1Pe 3:1,5, 1Pe5:5, Rom 5:10,11, Rom 11:15, 2Cor 5:18-20, Eph 2:16, Col 1:20,22, 1the 5:13, 1Jn 2:2, 1Jn 4:10)
We must put ourselves aside. We must go together. That is when we can have reconciliation. Then, we will have the true blessings. You must go onto that path of Christ. You choose that path of reconciliation. God wants you to reveal. He wants to see if you are trying to follow Him. That is the mystery of Christ. Worldly people may criticize you. They criticize Christians because they speak well, but their actions don’t represent it. I said that if you go to church for 3 years, you can buy a house. There are those who ask why are people so poor, but don’t take any actions. You have to actually go into it with your words. He is saying that through our actions, we can have the Gospel. God will be pleased. Those who walk the path of testifying Christ will be blessed. Everything is in the Gospel. Once we walk onto the path of testifying Christ, we will have everything. People cannot take this first step so they are at a loss. People ask why you need to go to church. Even if you don’t speak of it, if you go into the Gospel, God will bless you. I bless that you will receive these blessings. The turning point of Korea was when American missionaries came. They would share the Gospel. There are forces who opposed it. They would get upset by saying that you are better people than us. They kept that in their heart. They don’t move. The missionaries would talk amongst each other. There are internal disputes within the church. God poured down grace. One of missionaries repented. The elder heard this confession of repentance. This action overturned Korea. Pyongyang has become the Jerusalem of Korea. If you enjoy the blessing of reconciliation, you will receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. Mentally, you will have peace and have other physical blessings. We are the new creation, so we need to make choices based on Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” The 1st step of having a new creation is through reconciliation. If you only step on this 1st step, God will bless you. Even though people receive a lot of trainings, they don’t walk on this 1st step, so they don’t have blessings. May you have the true power of the Gospel come upon you. Everything is inside of the Gospel. Everything will be established for the Gospel. That is Christ. If you just try to imitate Christ, then God will have no choice but to raise you up. I bless that you will have victory.
Dear God, we received your message. May you give us grace. May we put ourselves aside. May we hold onto your things. May we see the brothers and sisters within Christ. May we go in 1 direction. May we receive the evidence of blessings so that non-believers can recognize it. In Jesus Christ name we pray, Amen.