The Church that Does the Work of God
Luke 6: 46-49
God’s Work Is Surely Fulfilled
In our faith life, there is one thing that we must know: there are the kinds of works that God prioritizes. There are certain works that God proceeds to do in earnest. Those are the works that would be the basis of His other works, or that God Himself fulfills regardless of man’s reactions. If God entrusts such works to a person or a church, and if the person or the church rejects those works, God promptly entrusts the works to another person or church. Therefore, the works that ‘God has decided and promised to keep’ are all fulfilled.
The work God prioritizes might start off as a small work. For example, the work of God that made Mary conceive the Son of God was done in a small corner of the earth. People would take the event as a trivial thing, or pay little attention to it. However, there has been no other greater event than that since the time of creation.
God even chooses a nation in order to do His work. Israel was chosen as the people of God among all the nations. We have seen many works that God did for them during the time when they came out of Egypt and entered the land of Canaan. No one can deny that those works were God’s own ministry which no one can hinder.
God does His work, and He wants His believers to partake in His work. It would not be an easy process to participate in His work. However, the Lord promised that those who participate in His work would share His glory in the age which is to come. That glory does not refer to the kind of fleshly splendor that the people in the Old Testament could enjoy. Rather, it is the promise of eternal life which surpasses the limit of fleshly life. The Lord has given us an opportunity of being surely blessed forever.
There Are Shortcomings that Man Must Overcome In Order to Partake in God’s Work
No one can rob us of the promise that the Lord has given us. This is because the Holy Spirit protects our souls. The Holy Spirit searches our spiritual circumstances and protects us from all attacks of the enemies. Therefore, fundamentally our souls are going smoothly.
Nevertheless, there are some factors that make us alert. First, we have flesh. The most serious weakness of man is his flesh. The flesh pulls our soul down into a pit. For the soul, the flesh is like a heavy burden. Moreover, sometimes, even those who have been saved together with us may become hindrances to us. Of course, it is because of the enemies at work behind them, nevertheless man is seriously weak intrinsically. Therefore, we have to admit our weakness, and earnestly seek the help of the Lord.
Another shortcoming of man is that he thinks in a self centered way. Even when God is doing His own work, people often think, ‘God is working for my sake’. They regard God as their own guardian. Those who do not get rid of this kind of thought would eventually grumble against the church some day, because they think, ‘I am about to do the Lord’s work, but why doesn’t the church help me?’
Many parents suffer because of their children. This is even more so especially during the time of adolescence. Meanwhile, children often think, ‘Why don’t my parents understand me?’ It is not that parents do not understand their children. Rather, parents want to meet all of their children’s desires. However, as parents should consider many more factors that their children do not, parents cannot always satisfy all of their children’s desires.
For example, when a whole household is in a dire situation, the parents cannot meet all the wants of their children. Rather, they have to rebuild the collapsing household. The stand point of the parents would be like this: “You(the children) do not know how much our household is in trouble. We also want you to be well. However, if you truly want our help, help us revive our household!” In short, this means, “Help me first, so that I can help you.”
What Is the Work of God of Today?
Through the Bible, especially the Gospels, we know that the word Jesus preached after His resurrection was different to that He preached before resurrection. Before Jesus died, He preached of God and the kingdom of heaven. So people heard about salvation and the kingdom of God for the first time. Also, the Lord taught them the proper attitudes and works that the people of God should have and do. This teaching is called “The Law of Jesus” and the Lord fulfilled the requirements of His Law through His sacrifice so that man is no longer condemned even if we are not able to keep His Law. Before the resurrection, the Lord made them prepared for their faith life.
After the resurrection, the Lord did not teach them about the kingdom of heaven again. What the risen Lord taught His disciples was their mission, which said, “Do this from this time on!” Those who believe in the resurrection of the Lord are those who received the commission. Those who believe in the living God are not those who received the words delivered by angels, but who heard the word that came from the bosom of God, and the voice of the risen Lord. The Lord gave us a commission before He left the world.
The lives of those who received a commission from the Lord are full of suffering. The ways of their lives do not fit in with the world. Whoever received the commission should not make excuses for themselves saying, “I have not yet heard the Lord’s word enough.” The Lord did give us the mission. We must not let the word of the Lord be ignored in us. Someday, that very word will judge us.
The works that God does not give up on but surely fulfills — that is the very mission we have. The fact that God has given us the commission means that He allowed us to join in the work that He surely achieves. However, if those who received the mission only think of their own affairs and success, how can His work be done through them? Whoever has the hope of resurrection should bear the work of God in mind and actively join in the work.
Christ came to the world and did the work of God. That work has been done continuously by the members of Christ, that is, through the church. The church does the work of God. The world does not leave the church alone, trying to blaspheme against her, make her collapse, and even destroy her. When the church is under such attack from the world, what should we do? The works done by the saints to protect the church from these threatening factors should be approved as the work of God.
Among the works of God, some of the works should be done by a whole church, as one unit. For example, the anniversary service of a church’s foundation is one of them, for which the whole congregation should gather all of its power. In the face of such an event for the whole church, all the saints should pay full attention to it. Nevertheless, when being called to attend a special service for the whole church, some would say, “We are not able to join the event because we have our own works to do in our department.” They might think that they are also doing God’s work, but they should carefully think for themselves whether they are pursuing their own work by making excuse of God’s work.
Let Us Become the Church that Bears the Mission
What is the mission that the Lord has given to all churches? Before His resurrection, the Lord gave us teachings such as, “Do not hate others. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” However, after the resurrection, He gave us the mission and said, “Go and teach all the nations to keep what I commanded you. I have already given you authority. Perform signs and wonders and testify about Me. I will be with you.” These are all written in the Gospels, which any Christian should keep.
The commission given by the Lord is in other words mission work. The Lord gave all churches and Christians mission as their duty. In a broader sense, it is to win souls and multiply the number of church members. This is the common ministry of all general churches, and most of the churches are not able to have another ministry plan apart from this. Many churches maintain themselves through mission work’. Their ministries and sermons are also tuned to that direction. Preachers are likely to preach on some ethical teachings because they have to teach the members about faithfulness. For that reason, regularly attending the service, intense prayer, and faithfully giving offerings are regarded as righteous deeds.
However, for the church that bears Berea Movement, there is a more significant matter. Especially more so for Sungrak Church, the Mother Church of Berea Movement. Today, many churches are immersed in human-centered ideas. However, we must be able to see all things through God’s perspective, testify of His will, and manifest His divine power as our mission. In other words, in addition to the common mission of all churches, we are obliged to bear the Berea Movement.
In order to do greater work, we cannot help being busier than others. As we have to be more influential to others, we have to double our efforts and double our faith. The number of the members must be twice as many as other churches. The amount of offerings must be twice as much as other churches. Even if some illegal, wicked rumors try to sway our church, we must be resilient not being swayed.
Jesus already said, “You say, ‘Lord, Lord’, but why don’t you put My command in to practice?” Here, ‘My command’ does not refer to being kind and polite to others, but to the word that the Lord commanded His believers. In other words, it refers to bearing the “commission”. The Lord said that those who heard of the “commission” but do not put it into practice are like houses that collapse in heavy rains. On the other hand, He said that those put it into practice are like houses built upon the rock that is never swayed in any troubles. Since the Lord emphasized this commission, we must take it deep in our souls.