2 Corinthians 5:12-19
Sunday morning – 18 Mar 2018 11:21:38 am – Pastor James Yang
Last week very thankfully by the grace of God, we could have a very thankful time together.
Many churches in the world have reducing numbers in their congregation. Many such pastors worry. But in our mission, the numbers are increasing. Next week in America, there is the Christian Leaders’ Forum (CLF). As they listen to the Word, they are so surprised as they learn the precise biblical word. The reason many people don’t change is because they do not hear the biblical words. Such people also think that spiritual life is very difficult for them.
For instance, in John 8, there is the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery (WCA). As she met Jesus, her heart completely changed. Then what did she say to the woman? “Neither do I condemn you” – as this Word from Jesus entered her heart, the WCA who was standing on the verge of death became so thankful, happy and hopeful.
If your heart is such, then you would not live your life doing the things you want. The joy, thankfulness and hope from God leads you.
From our mission, 500 students are sent overseas every year. These students are short-term missionaries and as they learn the culture of other countries and preach the gospel, they experience amazing change.
One of the female students who volunteered program had a lot of complaints to her own mother. Her mother was blind and so could not look after her. So this young female student grew up living in relatives’ house. As she grew and studied in primary school, she began to have complaints. During school picnics, her mum could not attend. So she began to have complaints. She asked why she had to be born and wondered why she had to live. With complaints, she had this heart to kill herself. As she entered university, she met the GNC program and thought it was a good idea to escape her life and experience something new. Eventually, she was sent to Tanzania.
However, in Tanzania, many things did not fit her and she wanted to leave. But the pastor and pastor’s wife spoke to her gently asking her to talk about what was inside her heart. Initially she was closed. As she thought she was going back to Korea anyway, she began to explain. Her mother was blind when she was in her 20s. She wanted to kill herself. She could find not jobs and so she trained herself to be a massuer and carried on her life. She met another man in the school for the blind. The man was also blind and they loved each other. As she gave birth to a child, the father ran away. So she raised the child by herself. With the money she earned from massage, the relatives were paid. However, raising another person’s child is not an easy thing. As such the child also went astray. In school she would smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and do whatever she wanted to do. It was such a painful life and she could not bear it anymore.
The student revealed all these details to the pastor’s wife. So the wife said, “Please think carefully. When your mother had you, you were the hope for your mother. For your mother, you are everything. Think about your mother who became blind when she was in her 20s and it was the time when she was blossoming. All her hope must have vanished. In this affliction, she met your father. She must have another ray of hope there. As your father and you had you, then your father left. Your mother then had you only and you were the only ray of hope for her. She sacrificed for you. With the massage income, she supported you wholeheartedly. To your mother you are the only hope for her. But you never thought about your mother.” For the first time, this female student thought about from the mother’s point of view. And she began to have change in her heart.
It was the her birthday and some of her colleagues gave her a chocolate-pie. As they were all celebrating, the missionary said to her – “Please don’t just be happy by yourself. Please call your mother and express your thankfulness for giving you birth”. So she called her mother and she said, “Mum! Mum!” And the mother recognised her voice right away. Since it has been a long time, she was so glad to hear her daughter’s voice. Her mother then asked if she lived well, if she ate well, etc. The daughter was so moved as she could see that her mother only cared about her. Then the daughter said, “Mum! Thank you for giving birth to me” and they both cried over the phone.
When she did whatever she wanted to do, the female student fell into more despair and sufferings. But when her heart changed, then she understood the value of her heart and how much she was worth. From then on, she did not do whatever she wanted in her life.
Consider Joseph, who had a dream that made his brothers so jealous that they sold him to Egypt. Eventually he became a slave in Potiphar’s house. However, the wife of Potiphar was so lustful and she tried to seduce him. But Joseph resisted the desires of the flesh and turned down Potiphar’s wife. Later on, he was wrongfully accused and later on, eventually he became the governor of Egypt.
God does not tell us to do good and so on, but God wants us to lead us.
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;”
II Corinthians 5:14 NKJV
I ask many people why did think they are a sinner and they usually attribute it to their deeds. This is however not biblical at all. If this was so, then if one does not do anything wrong, then one is righteous automatically. But this is not biblical either.
Consider David who slept with Bathsheba and then plotted to have her husband murdered.
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”
Psalms 51:5 NKJV
Some times people ask me about babies. They ask why babies would have to go to hell even if they die and they have not done anything wrong. The bible does not state that babies of a certain age go to heaven. But the bible does state that whoever is not born of God cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
No matter how good we think we are, we are all bon in sin. When I see some people, I note that they are so kind and they are so nice.
I am sorry to say this – but if Mother Teresa did not receive salvation, can she go to heaven? No!
How about the holy priest? Can they go to heaven just because they are holy? No!
The problem is that we are all conceived and born in sin. Just as my last name is “Yang” means that I am born as a Yang.
Many churches teaches us to be good and kind and like so. But the truth is that we are all born as sinners. So in the end, people can only pretend that they are good, nice and kind.
But in our church, we teach that we are born as sinners. Then when you receive salvation, you will feel very thankful for the works of the gospel, giving your talents and abilities, giving tithe, etc. all with the heart of God will be very very thankful. But if you feel uncomfortable and do these things then you are not doing with the heart of God.
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
Romans 5:12-14, 18-19 NKJV
Some argue that it should be Eve who is on the offensive. But Eve technically came from the rib of Adam. So it is through Adam’s offense that judgement came to all men.
The one man’s obedience is Jesus’ obedience. This is why from God’s point of view, we have become righteous people. Following what God says is following the heart of God. Coming back and forth to church services does not count as believing in God.
Bible says that we are now righteous. There is also the life of the righteous people. Let me talk about this.
Once a long time ago, the people in Africa played with diamonds. They did not understand its value. They were just chucking it like rocks in to the sea. But when they understood the value then they treated it differently.
Likewise, if you understand your value, then you will treat yourself differently as well. You would not just give in to your thoughts like – how you feel and how you think. E.g. if your circumstances are not good, then you just think it’s not good.
One time pastor Kim Sung Hoon’s son who was only three days old, had this medical condition where his eyes were popping out. The doctors thought he would die. Other children in the same ward who experienced the same condition were dying. But pastor Park came to the hospital and said, “There is not one thing that is bad that is given from God”. With this word, pastor Kim could feel strongly that his son was indeed cured and would live. Amazingly his son lived.
The dead fish counter swims the incoming stream. I feel very thankful about this.
We have Jenny here. A couple of months ago, her head was always down. Whenever she sees me, she would put her head down. I asked her why did was so. She said that the voice in her told her to not left up her head, or to listen to her parents, teachers, pastors and so on. As a result of this she was hospitalised in the mental hospital. I visited her and in my fellowship with her, I asked her to counter-attack. To the voice, “Do not eat”, you go against it and you just eat. To the voice “put your head down” put your head up. And she began to counter attack. She began to counter attack the voices. Now she is so well and healthy.
I am so thankful as I see how God has worked through her. She listened and she began to counter attack and now she is free from the voice of the devil.
For those who truly receive the Words of God, then no matter how difficult your circumstances may be, you can counter attack.
“and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
II Corinthians 5:15 NKJV
According to this Word, it says that we no longer should live for ourselves. Now we live for Jesus who died on the cross for us.
One thing we should know is that we cannot do anything for ourselves. The bible says that we are like maggots that cannot see nor hear.
If you understand the heart of your friend, then you will not have problems with your friends.
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
II Corinthians 5:16-17 NKJV
The bible says that we are now new creations. It does not matter how we used to live in our life. In this Word, we have all become new creations. So now with the new things we stand before God.
New wine need to go into the new wineskin. New wine in the old wine skin will swell up the skin and rupture it.
After we receive salvation, we are all a new creation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Romans 8:1 NKJV
If your heart is under condemnation, then it means you still have sin in you and you are out of Jesus Christ. But the scirptures clearly say that we are no longer under condemnation and that we are a new creation. This means we have no more sin. But many claim that we are heretics.
So if we still say we are sinners, then we are a divisive man.
“Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.”
Titus 3:10-11 NKJV
The problem is that even though many people say they believe in Jesus, they still believe they have sin in them.
In Muchangpo church, I visited and preached the gospel to a lady for three years. Then he finally told me that she would definitely go to church. But it was not our church, it was a Presbyterian church that was close to her home. So I told her to go but if she cannot wash away the sin in her heart, then she should come back. So she went and she asked deacons and elders and pastor there as to how to wash away her sin and eventually she came to our church for answers. Then she said, “Pastor, my father passed away and my mother is a church goer. So I had to take her to church; but there was no gospel to be found in those church Now I want to attend your ”. Now, her family including her close relatives have receive salvation.
When God sees us, we are all a new creation now. We are all righteous.
Before the Word of God, all our problems can be overcome. The case of Jenny, the case of sister Yury, the case of brother Martin’s former wife are all amazing testimonies.
“As for the saints who are on the earth, “They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.””
Psalms 16:3 NKJV
There is a pastor in the US who sent out a witnessing team consisting of sisters. There were a lot of elderly people in the town where they were witnessing. Thankful thing is that although the elderly people’s eyesight were not good, still they could hear. For humans, the last thing to go is the function to hear.
It so happened that there was one lady who joined the witnessing team but she herself was not saved. As she preached the gospel numerous times to the elderly, she herself received salvation and she cried. The elderly woman wondered what happened. But for the lady herself, she was very moved by the words she preached about Jesus taking away all our sins.
Living according to your own desire does not make you happy.
Once the heart of God enters our heart, we will dislike all sorts of things – like money, gambling, adultery, etc.).
Jesus has transformed us all into a new creation already. This is why for the WCA, she can longer be in sin because she is in Jesus Christ.
I really hope you live a blessed and thankful life in Jesus Christ.