desires to be loved.
Since He gave the Son and faith to the world,
He thus wants us to love Him (John 21:15).
Jesus came into the world and exclusively loved the Father,
and loved many souls according to His will (1 John 4:8).
The Church is the body of Jesus (Eph. 1:21-23)
built by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28).
Jesus is the Head of the Church.
Therefore, to love the Church
is to love the Lord (John 21:16-)
To betray the Church is to betray the Lord (Philip. 3:8-)
When the Church was in dire need,
we diligently helped.
We loved the church and even built a wonderful building.
The remaining work in the church is our faithfulness,
through which we can receive the same glory
Christ will receive as compensation in Heaven (Rom. 8:16-17).
We must love the Church by the Holy Spirit.*Let us love the Church.
Let us love sincerely.
The Church is the body of the Lord.
*Let us love the Church.
Let us love with all of our hearts.
Jesus is the Head of the Church.
*Despising the Church
is despising the Lord, the Head of the Church.
Let us protect the Church by the Holy Spirit.
**Your fruit of your labors are in the Church.
Let us preserve them until the harvest.
Let us love the Church, the Body of the Lord.
How Can We Please God?
God wants to be loved. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son whom God loves. Because He loved the Father, the Father was delighted in the Son. Thus, the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). God wants to be loved by the Son. No creation can love God with a love that completely pleases Him. The only way that God can be pleased with our love is when we have been united with Jesus Christ through baptism.
Loving God is our Christian faith. So many believers say that they love God, but complain about His works and get irritated if His works interfere with their lives. We must remind ourselves that God is the Creator and the Judge. As there is a harvest after sowing, there will be judgment after creation. When Jesus Christ returns, He will come as the righteous Judge.
A normal Christian should have a clear understanding of eschatology. Some people are faithful at their church, but leave when they fall into temptation and ultimately become more corrupt. They did not have a correct comprehension of God as the Judge. Though one were to be a believer, he should still be reminded of the God as the final Judge. The Bible says that the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men, either in this age or in the age to come (Matt. 12:31-32), and that the wheat will be put into the barn and the chaff will be burned with the unquenchable fire (Luke 3:17). This is not a warning for the unbelievers. The unbelievers do not believe in the name of the Son of God, so the Bible says that they are already condemned in this world (John 3:18).
The Bible does not distinguish between good and bad faith. You either have or have not faith. With faith is salvation, but without faith is eternal destruction. With faith is forgiveness, but without faith is eternal condemnation. With faith, nothing is impossible, but without faith, nothing can be accomplished. So many pastors speak words that people want to hear. They are very careful not to trample on anyone’s toes. They try to be politically correct even in their sermons. They try to not say anything related to eschatology. Thus, too many people lack the distinction about the end time events. These types of pastors do not rebuke their congregation when they do not tithe; they even comfort them at times. Furthermore, if someone gives a huge offering, they praise that person in front of the whole congregation. However, the Law specifically says that if you steal, you must restore fourfold just like Zacchaeus (Ex. 22:1). Even
if the pastor comforts the congregation, God will judge whether each person has faith in the end.
Spiritual living is not following personal feelings or convictions. Giving offering or worship when you feel happy and not doing so because you do not ‘feel like it’ is no different than mysticism or superstition. Without obedience, there is no guarantee. There is guarantee only in the word that God spoke. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Luke 21:33). God had given His Son to be crucified for His promise to be fulfilled.
What is Essential in Church Growth?
The Son of God obeyed the Father to death because His humility. If it were not for His humbleness, we would have all perished long ago. The concept of ‘towing’ is very important in our spiritual lives. Our salvation did not happen with Jesus saying from Heaven, “You must come up.” He towed us to Heaven by coming in the flesh, dying on the cross and resurrecting from the dead. In the same way, when we preach the gospel to others and lead them to Jesus, it is like ‘towing’ them to Him. In order to take on this task, we must be humble.
If a pastor is not humble, the church cannot grow. I Peter 5:3-6 says, “Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” The example that Jesus set before us as He came into this world is humility. He is equal with the Father, but He came to the humblest place and towed us. The fact that Galilee, the place where Jesus had His ministry, is the lowest point below the earth’s sea level bears some significant meaning.
For the church to grow, the entire congregation must be humble. So many people love with their lips, but slander the church in reality. Originally, man is full of unrighteousness and faults. In order to cover this, Jesus shed His precious blood. On top of the Ark of the Covenant inside the Holy of Holies exists the ‘Mercy Seat’ with the covering of the wings of cherubim. God has covered the unrighteousness and faults of those who are in Jesus. People who have been clothed with mercy and grace should never harbor resentments towards the church or even go against it.
The Duties of the Church
The Lord’s Day is a day of gathering to break bread (Acts 20:7). The Lord’s Supper great meaning is in testifying that the Son of God came in the flesh, died on the cross and resurrected and would return soon. The church is the body of the Lord that is endowed with this task. Before we take part in the Lord’s Supper as a part of the church, we have to ask whether we truly love the Lord. Eating and drinking without knowing the meaning of the Lord’s Supper is the same as eating and drinking judgment to oneself (I Cor. 11:23-29). Those who do not love the Lord do not have the privilege to eat and drink His flesh and blood.
When Jesus sat down at the house of Simon, a Pharisee, a woman who was a sinner came in and poured fragrant oil on His feet. This displeased Simon deeply, and being aware of this, Jesus said, “You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:46-47). Devotion to Jesus can only be done by those who truly love Him. What the Lord desires from us is our love.
Jesus hardly traveled outside of Judea. Most of the people in Jerusalem heard about the crucifixion of Jesus, and His disciples were the ones that witnessed His resurrection. The Lord ascended up to Heaven after forty days. Now, news about Jesus must spread across the world, but who will take on this task? Jesus built the church, His body, through the Holy Spirit, and has given that task to His church.
Concerning the end times, Jesus said, “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matt. 24:6- 8), and “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come (Matt. 24:14). Thus, preaching the gospel to the nations is the duty and task of the church, which is the body of the Lord. For Jesus to return, 144,000 Israelites must receive the seal of God. When that time comes, the number of Gentiles that are sealed will reach a number that is uncountable among the nations (Rev. 7:1-9).
The church must bear the sufferings of Jesus. Apostle Paul confessed, “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church” (Col. 1:24). When Jesus commanded the Lord’s Supper to the disciples, He is telling them “I have shed My blood and tore My flesh, so go out there and spread this!” After He completed His public ministry and went into Heaven, Jesus built the church by the Holy Spirit. He will come back as the Judge. The work of the church until then is to have a public ministry that partake and continue in the suffering of Jesus.
Ministry is experiencing the suffering of Jesus in the front lines. Pastors endure things that are shameful, nauseating, or pitiful constantly. Despite this, they persevere without fighting back so that they could tow the souls. The Great Commission to preach the gospel to the end of the earth and seek those who are lost does not necessarily apply only to pastors. Anyone who loves the Lord must partake in the Lord’s suffering. The Lord asks each one of us, “Do you love Me?” And to those who answer ‘Yes!’ He says, “Feed My sheep! Tend My sheep! Feed My sheep!” (John 21:15-17).
Ways to Love the Lord that Cannot be Seen
The church is the body of Jesus Christ, and He is the head of the church. When He was coming out of the water after getting baptized, God said, ‘This is whom I am very well pleased.’ The church is the body of the Son loved by God. Even if you say you love God, if you ignore His Son, that cannot be an honest confession. Even if you say you love the Son, this cannot be an honest confession if you ignore His church. How many people criticize, ignore, and resent the church? One day, each person will give account of himself to God (Rom. 14:12).
If you love the Lord, you must love the church. The church is the body of the Lord, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:23). The will of the Lord is abundant in the church. The joy of the Lord is abundant in the church. The hope of the Lord is abundant in the church. The commands of the Lord that He brought from Heaven are abundant in the church. Loving the church, the body of the One that God loves, is a normal duty of those who are blessed by God. Jesus Christ is the visible image that shows us the invisible Father (2 Cor. 4:4). Now, His body has appeared before us by the Holy Spirit. The Lord has given the task of preaching the gospel to the end of the earth to the church, which is His body. This means that the church has a public ministry that it needs to fulfill just as Jesus had done.
Do you indeed love the church, the body of the Lord? Are you using your polished skills and talents for the church? Are you giving excuses when the church asks for your help while you waste no resources to get a good job or earn a good living? Are you willing to sacrifice for your flesh, but not for the church? Reflect back on your spiritual life to see how you treated the one that is dearly loved by God. Have you stolen what is due to God?
Matthew 25:31-33 says, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” This is not talking about unbelievers. The unbelievers have already been judged in this world. The separation of sheep and goat is what the believers will face in the future. Verses 41-43 say, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.” It is perfectly normal for unbelievers to be not interested in the church. The problem is that believers ignore and give the cold shoulder to the church.
How Should We Love the Church?
The church must be loved. When people hear the word ‘love,’ they think of alms and philanthropy. However, 1 Corinthians 13:3 says, “And though I bestow all my good to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” Love belongs to God. God loves His Son, and the church is the body of the Son whom God loves. Therefore, the utmost subject of our love is the church.
No matter what the circumstance may be, we should never curse and speak ill of the church. Even if we are tempted and leave the church, we should avoid cursing the church. We should be careful not to throw away a lifetime’s work with God just because of some small trouble. We should worry about how we can love the Lord more every day. When Jesus was crucified, all the disciples ran away, but Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus so that he could serve Him. If a person like Joseph wanted to receive the body of the Lord stained in blood, then how should we receive the body of the resurrected Jesus whom God loves?
When people think that their body is weak, they try to take different nutritional supplements and vitamins. When something seems to be wrong with their body, they go to the doctor. Just as how we love and cherish our flesh, we need to do the same with the body of the Lord. We need to love and cherish the church. We need to be able to hear, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me’” (Matt. 25:34-36) from the Lord.
Asking ‘How can I help the church? How can my talents be used for the church? How can I help the church grow?’ is the burden of every saint. We must humbly devote and sacrifice ourselves for this cause. We must remember that the Lord said ‘Feed My sheep! Tend My sheep! Feed My sheep!’ to the disciple that confessed his love to Him. The church is the body of the Lord. We must love His body as much as we love the Lord.
Beloved Sungrak members!
I sincerely thank you for your hard work, faith, dedication, and serving. As the new year of 2014 begins, I anticipate God’s abundant glory and blessings upon us, and I bless you in your spirit much more.
We all live difficult lives in this world. Though the Lord was the Son of God, He also came into the world and fulfilled a difficult public ministry. The life of saints in this world is the same as the public ministry of God’s children. What does it mean to live happily in this world? It means to live far away from God. Therefore, children of God are those who walk with the Lord. It is the life that overcomes the world: living as though we have none when we have all and living as though we have all when we are poor.
Our faith allowed us to see the intrinsic image of God and His blood. Hence, we will soon enter the paradise that the Lord has prepared and wait for the first resurrection. When we did not know Jesus Christ, there was no resurrection or eternal glory. We did not even acknowledge the existence of our own spirits. However, after knowing and believing in the suffering that the Lord Jesus received on the cross, we have acknowledged the existence of our spirits. Thus, our flesh that meant to decompose became a part of the church’s body, which is the body of Jesus. Unbelievers are not part of the body of Jesus. Therefore, we, as believers, acknowledge and believe the sufferings that Jesus had experienced, and now we are joining in the suffering with Him.
Jesus is the head of the church, and the church is His body. Therefore, we are living for our spirits, pursuing the Kingdom of God and His righteousness instead of living for our own flesh that will eventually decay. We do not live for our flesh that cannot receive God’s Kingdom as an inheritance. This is the true happiness of our spirits.
I’m preparing to leave this world with the happiest heart. So, I am trying my best to live the life that pleases the Lord by thinking about what I can do and how I should live for the church, the body of Christ. Though the Lord was abandoned and He had gone through much hardships and sufferings on earth, we need to give glory to Him again and again since He is now sitting on the throne. Ignoring God even now is the conduct of those who are perishing.
Therefore, let us love the church that the Lord has built right before our eyes. Loving the church is in other words, loving the Lord. We should not cause the Lord to be a wanderer and maltreat Him by locking our doors. If we do not love our Lord, then whose love can the Lord receive from this world? We must love the church, the body of Christ. Let us love. Let us love until death. Let us revive the church. I, the aged servant, appeal to you in tears.
Pastor Ki-Dong Kim
Lord’s Day Worship Column
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Outline translated by Sam Park
Summary translated by Sarah Nam
Letter translated by Jada Shim
Revisions and Interpretations by Sam Park
Chief Editor: Helen Nam
Korean Summary by Ki-Taek Lee