February 18th, 2017
ICA Sunday Pulpit Message
It is good to see you. Greet those around you. Have you had a good week? Today’s title is, “God seals His son”. This means that as sons of God, we have guarantees. In Africa and the Middle East, they still practice arranged bridal marriages. It is so that they can have many children. They also have a custom of selling daughters for money. What about in developed countries? We have savings accounts. We would only spend a fraction of our income and save the rest. Some people even invest in stocks. In America, we have retirement homes for elders. You will see that people in the world have their own methods for their future. However, we are sons of God. We need to share how we have that guarantee. Apostle Paul said in Eph 1:13, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” It is the promise of the Holy Spirit. You need to find that.
1. People in the world follow the guarantee that they set
(1) Expansion of wealth –anything can be done with money (?)
(2) Occupation on authority – authority brings money from others (?)
(3) Infatuation on religion – religion can bring salvation on the soul and the eternal after-life (?)
People have their own methods to guarantee their future. Most people love money. I too wish I had a lot of money. We still need church construction. I wish that I could pay for it. We need an office and cafeteria. On our way to church, I see a farm. I wish I could buy that land so we could make an RUTC there. You probably want the same thing. However, we need to look at how people in the world live. They think that money is everything. They thought that they could do anything with money. They think that it’ll guarantee their future. In Luke 12:21, Jesus said, "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." Jesus is telling those who save their money, their own future. However, He says that those who do not have wealth for God are foolish. People in the world only see what is in front of them. And, secondly, some people in the world think that if they have power, they can take money from others. They hold power in the highest regard. They believe that with power, everything will follow. There have been many incidents in Korea. You will see that there was a scandal regarding the president and money. When they gain authority and power, they can take whatever they want. They can control anything. When they have that power and authority, they cannot let go. This is the word of politicians. We need to know what power and authority are through the word of God. Apostle Paul said, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” It is set by God. Those who try to control power are against God. Those who try to control power are bound by judgment. All authority and power belong to God. If you go against God’s power and authority, you will face judgment. People are also infatuated by religion and believe that can receive salvation through it. God has given us His wisdom through His word so that we can distinguish religion from the Gospel. You all know Cain and Abel. There is a difference between the worship that holds onto the covenant and worship without the covenant. Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. There was a difference between them. Isaac was born through the Covenant, while Ismael was born through humanism. It is the same with Jacob and Esau. It is the same with Joseph and his brothers. It is the same with King Saul and David. You could see the difference between the early church members. The Early Church was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Pharisees and Jews were filled with legalism. There are other saints in different churches who are like sheep or goat. There are some saints who complain about the pastor and go against a pastor. You will see the difference between religion and the Gospel. It seems like everything is the same before God. You will see individuals in the Bible who walk a religious and secular life. It is an example for us to know the difference between religion and the Gospel. In Acts 4, Paul said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." He has not given another name by which you can receive salvation.
2. Christ who is the Son of God has received a guarantee from His Father
(1) John the Baptist who has prepared the path for Christ (Mt 3:13-15)
(2) The Holy Spirit taking place like a dove (Mt 3:16)
(3) The father’s confirmed word (Mt 3:17)
John the Baptist who has prepared the path for Christ. John said in Mt 3:11, “But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.” He knew of Christ’s great power. He said that Jesus was the king of all kings. He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. He heard a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." He knew that God rejoiced in Christ. He confirmed this through the word. I hope that you will open your spiritual eyes and see Christ. We need to know how he knew Christ. It is recorded in Luke 1. It details his life. An angel of God appeared to John’s father. The angel tells him that He hears his prayer of wanting a son. John’s parents were old. They anticipated his birth. The angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” From His birth, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He will do the work of helping the Israelites come back to God. Baptist John will have the heart and the power of Elijah. With that heart and spirit, he will take care of others. The people who go against God will come back into righteousness. John will bring people back. You can see that John was able to testify the fact that Jesus is the Christ. When Jesus was baptized and went up out of the water, he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. The baptism itself isn’t merely washing yourself with water. It is the first process of us being freed from Genesis 3. Baptist John was able to give Jesus a baptism. Through that process, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit. God has guaranteed us freedom from sins and curses through Jesus Christ. In verse 17, it talks about how a voice from heaven said, “"This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." I hope that you will be able to praise Christ. He has also freed you from sins and curses. He has allowed you to break the forces of darkness. John knew that he could overcome everything through the Holy Spirit.
3. Christians who are the sons of God have received the confirmed blessing from God, the Father
(1) Your current field is the system that was prepared for your vessel (Gen 39:1-5)
(2) Receive the filling of the Holy Spirit that currently dwells inside of you (Eph 5:18)
(3) Hold onto the word that He just gave you as a covenant to be fulfilled (Acts 2:42)
We are Sons of God, so we are Christians. As His Sons, we have confirmed the blessings from God. When you look at Genesis 39, it details Joseph’s life as a slave. He was sold into Potiphar’s house. Joseph was able to view his own field given by God. Our students have their own field of their school. Adults work in businesses. Your family is also your field. God has prepared blessings of meetings in your field. View it as His plan and method. He is trying to allow you to guide to the word of God and have victory in spiritual battles. It is precious for you if you realize that. When you realize this, you will find your specialty in your field. Through that, you will receive historical answers. You will see in Romans 16, it talks about disciples. Be a spiritual leader in the summit so you could be a disciple and find disciples in the field. Jesus spoke about the things pertaining to the kingdom of God in forty days. He said to not leave Jerusalem, wait for what God has promised you, the Holy Spirit will be with you. We have Christ with us. The Holy Spirit is with us. I hope that you will be filled by it. In Ephesians 5:16-18, it is written, “making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” It is precious. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are confirming God’s blessings. There are words that God will give you. Through this pulpit message, God is telling you something. You need to hold onto the word that will be fulfilled. In Acts 2:42, it is written, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching.” They were like pastors. Every week, God is trying to give us His word. The reason for this is to guide us through His Word. Time to time, the pastors have given us the Word to fulfill in us. The Word of the Apostle will be fulfilled in us. I am an Elder. My mother called me. People know that being an elder is not an easy task. She asked me how I can become an elder. She said to not embarrass yourself. Be an elder who does God’s work. Be an example for the congregation. I think she said this because other elders at her church weren’t model elders. She said to be a model for evangelism and mission. Be an elder who obeys the pastor. When people are given a position in the church, they become arrogant. She told me to not be like that. When I pray, I pray to be in the teachings of the apostles. Pray for the word to be fulfilled. It was fulfilled in my life. I was victorious in God’s word. The teachings of the apostles are answers that we must take in our life. Find the answers in the pulpit message. His word is a present for us.
We are Sons of God. We have received a guarantee and promise from God. We are sons of God who have eternal salvation. You must enjoy that the rest of your life and be guided. Receive victory through God’s identity. You need to overcome the world with His identity. You need to hold onto the eternal word. Let us look at one passage. In 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” He has sealed us. He put His spirit in us. This is a great blessing. This is the evidence that we are children of God. The seal is a confirmation that we are sons of God. Through the word, you need to hold onto the message. Through the Holy Spirit, you are guaranteed.
Help us to hold onto the message that we are sealed by you. Christ, who is God’s son, guarantees victory. Help us to receive the blessing of the word so we can share it. As children of God, help us to enjoy this through the week. I give thank and pray in the name of Christ, Amen.