LORD’S DAY SERMON
OVERSEER Sung-Hyun Kim
The Duty of Believers
Our lives can sometimes meet with troubles. This is the same with those who believe in Jesus. However, we must overcome these troubles. This does not mean that you simply force yourself to endure whilst holding tears in your eyes. We are those who are looking forward to the glory we will receive in heaven, and we ought to consider the sufferings we face as small things we can surely overcome. Those who set their hearts on the things of the world regard the inspired dream from God as something very small thing. However, the inspired dream from God is, in fact, so great that we can easily overcome the world by that same dream from God.
We must do our best before God to fulfill our duties as believers. Even if we are faced with real problems in our everyday lives, our attitudes should never change. If we do not put into practice the duty we ought to do before God, in shame, we will have nothing to say – regardless of whether God hears our prayers or not. We must not judge the pastors of our church or blame what the church is doing according to worldly standards. On the contrary – in every circumstance – we should agonize as to how we could benefit the church.
Sinners Who have Received Grace
What we must not forget is our nature as sinners. Before the Law, we could not avoid being condemned. Yet since we rely on the merits of Jesus Christ, we are not condemned by the Law any longer. But that does not mean we can simply ignore the Law. It was the Law that made it possible for us to come to the Lord. So, in a sense, it can be said that we are saved by the help of the Law.
There are some people who want to do things their own way without being bound by any kind of law. They misunderstand the term, ‘Freedom from the Law’. These are the people who forget they were once sinners. For Christians, the Law is necessary. Jesus said He had come to the world not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. So, if you are a Christian who has been set free from the Law, you should do more than all others to fulfill God’s will, which is found inside the Law.
The Law is applied to all mankind. God desires that all mankind confess, “I am a sinner”, before the Law. Jesus was punished in the stead of mankind. From that time on, He speaks to God in our defense. And as those who rely on the merits of Jesus Christ, we should first confess that we are sinners.
The problem Jesus found among the Pharisees was that they did not consider themselves as sinners before the Law. Rather, they considered themselves righteous. They were convinced they had perfectly kept the Law. What Jesus did in the presence of the Pharisees was to reinforce the Law. The reason Jesus did so was not to make them perish, but to make them kneel down before God’s grace. And this is done by them being aware they were sinners.
What the Lord had Written on the Ground
One day, the Jews had brought a woman caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. They then asked, “According to the Law, this woman should be stoned, but what do you say?” According to the Law, this woman must be killed. That woman stood before Christ, who had come as the Savior of the world. At that moment, all the attention of heaven and earth was focused on that scene. But Jesus simply bent down and wrote on the ground. He then straightened up and said to the people surrounding Him, “If any one of you is without sin, let him or her be the first to throw a stone at her!” He bent down again and wrote on the ground. Hearing the words of Jesus, the people all felt guilty and left one by one.
The woman caught in adultery was saved by what the Lord had written. No one knows the contents of what the Lord had written on the ground. The Lord did not leave any recording of it. This was so that those who were weak in faith would not later come to look desperately at it and so abuse what was written by changing it. All that we clearly have to know is that it was written by the Lord. The Lord is the One who is willing to save us from eternal punishment by laying down His life. We must remember that we were originally sinners in the presence of that writing.
In the Presence of What the Lord wrote
Since we have been saved, we have become the children of God. But since this was not by our own merits, so our minds must always be alert and we must always be careful (1Peter 1:13-19). Considering what the Lord had written on the ground to save sinners, we should not lose the fear of God in our hearts while we live as pilgrims (Hebrews 12:28-29). Furthermore, we should continue to work out our salvation in this same attitude (Philippians 2:12).
If you are a person who has read what the Lord had written, you must make the change. You must not take the grace you have received for granted, and you must not return to the ways of the past. Instead of criticizing others, you should be concerned with your own soul. Throw away the bad habit you had of judging the church, and offer yourselves to the Lord’s work instead. Throw away the evil habit you of despising pastors, and confidently support them instead.
Our faith should be built on the merits of Jesus’ sacrifice. We must not allow standards other than the Lord’s merit or the Law of God overcome us. We were sinners before God in the past, but we have now received the grace of Atonement. We have now received the grace that defends us every day. If you have received the great love of the Lord, offer yourselves to the work of spreading this love. Do not be a person who causes trouble for the church because of your worldly standards. Rather, protect the church and support the work the church does, thus becoming a saint who saves souls. As those who have received the grace of God, this is the attitude you should have to towards Him. If we do so, God will remember the sufferings we endure and He will help us.