April 9th, 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’s Son pleases the faith”. We don’t live our lives under socialism or communism, we live under a democracy. We are able to enjoy income and people live to strive for pleasure. As a result of that, you will see a lot of people mass for a cause. An example of that is the entertainment industry. A lot of people invest in it. This is the reason why if you are a worker in the industry, you can gain a lot of money. In other words, where there is a need for people, you will see a lot of investments. We have smartphones. This device was created and everyone wants one. This need for people was invented. We have Apple in America and Samsung in Korea. We also have Amazon and eBay. These sites generate a lot of money. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has more wealth now than Bill Gates. You could easily buy something online and have it shipped. A lot of men shave and the best company is Gillette. However, they lost a lot of their market shares. In 2011, we had the Dollar Shaving Club. You only have to pay a dollar and you get a lot of blades and razors. Everyone has to shave, so they will have to order it on the internet. Gillette had to decrease their prices to compete. Their products have a high quality. The decreased price trickles down to the consumers. The Dollar Shave Club made a new slogan, “Shave time, Shave money”. It’s not about which company is better. The point is wherever there is a need for people, money will be brought it. If you could fulfill the needs of people in the world, the world’s money would gather. When you can fulfill God’s needs, you will be blessed. There is nothing to fulfill that, people are drawn to films. There are no other competitors who can compare to Galaxy phones and iPhones. People can’t find one that competes. People buy them online. There are so few who try to fill in the need for God. So when they do, He pours down all His blessings. In this world, there are not many who will fulfill His desires.
1. The faith towards God is the uniqueness towards the world
(1) We lie in the world of unbelief (2Cor 4:4. Eph 6:12)
(2) We live with non-believers (Rom 3:10-18, Jn 8:44)
(3) We live with believers who are worse than non-believers (Mt 13:58, Mt 6:6, Lk 18:8, Jn 3:12)
To have faith in God is unique. When God looks at a person, the only thing that He requests is faith. When they give Him faith, He pours His blessings spiritually and physically. Is it that rare to find someone with faith? It may seem like we have faith, but it’s not true. On this Earth, people are filled with unbelief. it is written in 2 Co 4:4. There is a spirit who brings confusion into the hearts of those who don’t believe. In Ephesians 6, it says that the subject of battle of believers are against forces and authorities, the powers of the dark world. We have to fight against the spiritual forces. They will block you from having faith. It means that it is grasped by the rulers of the world. The Bible reveals that the world is driven by those evil forces. You might say that these are such dark words. Open up your eyes and see the truth in this. Let’s talk about yesterday. Those who starved to death just yesterday numbered at about 30,000. We often have leftovers that we throw away. We are about a 4th of the way through the year now. There are over 4 million people who have died because of diseases in the past 3 months. Over half of that are kids under 5. All over the world, there are 12 million abortions. Over a million have died during birth. Over 4 million people have been diagnosed with AIDS. Over 500,000 people have died because of AIDS. Over 2.5 million people die because of cancer. Over 1.5 million people died because of smoking. About 700,000 died in the past 3 months because of alcoholism. Over 300,000 committed suicide. 400,000 people died due to car accidents. Anyone here have been exposed to drugs? I am sure over a hundred million dollars have gone into the drug industry. If you look at the reality of the world, it is representative of hell. When you look at underdeveloped countries, it is difficult to include them into statistics. There are many victims of these stats. This is the world we live in today. Look close around you. Look at the believers and how they live. We see them and look skilled. God said that they are the children of the Devil. In John 8:44 and Romans 3, it says, As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes." In Romans 3, it talks about the 13 states of nonbelievers. They don’t even know that they’re servants of the devil. So, they fall into disasters. What is even worse is that believers live worse off than nonbelievers. This is what Jesus said in Mt. 13. “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” In Mark 6:6, Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. In Luke 18:8, it says, “I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" In John 3:12, “I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?” People couldn’t believe His miracles. They saw, but still crucified Him. In the Gospels, they saw and heard, but didn’t have faith. We cannot see the works of Jesus with our eyes. It is more difficult for us. The elders today often leave the church if they were rebuked. The same goes for senior deacons. The pastor might give an example of a church member and they’ll leave. It means that they do not see the pastor as a messenger of God’s word. It means that you’re trying to satisfy your own feelings. Most church members think that they deserve to be treated highly. This is how much churches are like. This is the field today. When you look at God, who is desperate, He will pour down His blessings upon you. Even if you could just have a little faith, He will bless you because no one else has faith. That is how much this pleases God. This kind of person is in today’s scripture. Last week, we read about a leper. Today, we looked at chapter 8 and 9.
2. Christ only wants faith in our life field
(1) He complimented the centurion who had humble faith (Mt 8:8-10)
(2) He encouraged the lady who showed passive faith (Mt 9:22)
(3) He confirmed the blind man who stood up with active faith (Mt 9:28)
Today we read about the centurion. It says that the centurion had over a 100 people to manage. He was a leader with people beneath him. He had a servant who was paralyzed, so he goes to Jesus. It is showing his quality who cared for a servant. Jesus heard this and said that He would go with him to heal him. The centurion said that he didn’t deserve his recognition. This was his way of lowering himself before the Almighty God. He said that all Jesus needed to do was speak, and it will be done. He had faith in His word. He was a person of faith. Jesus was amazed. He was shocked. He was giving a sermon to His followers. Jesus said, “"I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Jesus complimented the Centurion’s faith. I bless that you will receive the blessing of the centurion’s faith. You may not have it, so pray. Pray for that kind of faith. Ask for conviction and thanksgiving. I believe that He is with me at this moment. When you pray this week, God’s work will arise. Jesus saw this faith for the first time, so He poured down all His blessings. And, Jesus said in v 11-12. “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." After that, Jesus witnessed the faith of the centurion and told him to go. It will happen according to his faith, and the servant was healed. Jesus complimented the centurion who had humble faith. I believe that you will possess his faith. In the following chapter, you see a woman. She suffered from a disorder for 12 years. She saw Jesus. She immediately just touched his cloak. Why did she do so? She had the faith to believe that even with just a touch, she will be healed. Jesus felt that. Her faith was rewarded. Even if it is small, Jesus will be pleased. Jesus encouraged the lady who showed passive faith. Despite all that, you need to experience the miracle of giving a small amount of faith. When you give faith to the Lord, God will answer. Even in this world, there are such few with this faith. It is unique. Let us say that there is no one around you, but one person finally does. How would you feel? You would think that they are unique and special. We also need to give the gift of faith. He will then bless us. He desires faith from us. There were two blind men in Mt. 9. He called out to Jesus. "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" That was their confession of faith. We might not know, but the people of Israel knew this. The main figure of Genesis 3:15 is Jesus. He is the Messiah who will save us. People of Israel knew that He would descend from David’s line so they called him the Son of David. They believed that He was the Messiah. They asked for His mercy. They had faith that He would answer them. They acknowledged His sovereignty. Then, Jesus asked if they believe Him. They affirmed it. Then, they gained sight. Jesus confirms faith. Jesus confirmed the blinded men who stood up with active faith. It is about whether or not you give faith. Jesus just looks for faith. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are. Just have faith. Then, you can please the Lord. We are very conscious of out outer appearances. We care about what others think of us. We wonder about the lives of others. What matters is whether or not you can communicate with other people. Can we place importance on these things? Starting from today, what must be our first priority? It must be faith. This is what is vital to Jesus. This is how we can be answered. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." in Romans 1:17. Also, in Romans 3:22, this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference. So it is written in Rom 4:5, however, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. In 2 Corinthians 5:7, it says, “We live by faith, not by sight.” That is why it is written in c Co 13:5, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test? “And, it says in Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This is faith.
3. How must we receive healing and answers through the working of the Holy Spirit?
(1) Have the attitude (heart) of faith (Acts 1:1)
(2) Speak the confession (language) of faith (Acts 1:3)
(3) Make the choices (actions) of faith (Acts 1:8)
We need to receive healing and answers through the working of the Holy Spirit. How can we have the faith to do so? We need the posture of faith. We need to speak the confession. Also, we need to make the choices of faith. We all believe in God and know that Christ is the solution to all problems. We need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. We need victory through this. That is Acts 1:1. “Only Christ!” We are clothing ourselves with Jesus Christ. What you wear will change our attitude. During the weekdays, I work in my office. If I am in a hurry, I don’t even shower or care about my clothing. If so, I get tired easily. On days when I am fully prepared and well dressed, I am able to work for long hours. It is not about the clothing, but about posture and attitude. Clothe yourself with Christ. He is with you. Always be aware of Christ. When you talk with others, speak the words of faith. Why? In Matthew 18:20, it is written, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Wherever the believers go, the kingdom of God comes upon them. This is the reason why we need to confess the words of faith and encouragement. We know the power behind this. We need to believe in this. Even if your heart is somewhere, just have faith. Make the Holy challenge to make the selection of faith. Then, you will receive the filling of the Holy Spirit and open the door of evangelism and mission. In other word, it is “Only Christ, Only kingdom of heaven, and Only filling of the Holy Spirit” In Acts 1:1, just clothe yourself with Jesus Christ. Then share it, just like it says in Acts 1:3. Then, the working of the Holy Spirit will be upon you. That is the blessing of Acts 1:8. This is God’s work, so you have no choice but to be blessed. Why am I still having problems?
When you look at today’s scriptures, why did Jesus compliment them? They had faith. In Matthew 8, the believers were rebuked by Jesus because they lacked faith. His disciples were on a boat. There was a storm and the boat was about to sink. They thought they were about to die. Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were so scared and woke Him up because they thought they were about to die. What happens when you sleep deeply and you get woken up? You would get upset. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith in Mt. 8:26. "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. You could give a command regarding an item. However, you could rebuke a person. In fact, a storm is an item. However, He rebuked the wind and the storm calmed because he knew that there was a spiritual being behind the storm. Afterwards, what happened? He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes. They came across a person who is demon-possessed. He had amazing strength and was causing an uproar. What did Jesus do? He makes it flee. What kind of demon was it? This was in Matthew, Mark and Luke as well. The demon is asking why. The demon requests to be transferred to pigs. It says that it was in a herd of 2,000 pigs. While on a journey, the demons try to cause a storm to block Him and His disciples. The disciples were unaware of this. This is the reason why He rebuked it. This is how disciples, believers and church members are deceived. When we face storms, we have no faith. This is the best chance to chase out demons in your life. These are the demons that bring about problems in your life. The storms of your life are your opportunities to chase out demons. Then you will have ultimate success and victory. If you don’t believe, then Jesus will rebuke you. “We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” We need to hold onto this.
Almighty God, we have received your teachings and Word. Help us to be imprinted, rooted and have a nature of faith. Help us to fulfill the needs of God. Help us to see your works. Help us to start with faith and have fruits of faith. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.