Sunday Morning – 3 Jun 2018 11:11:32 am – Pastor James Yang
About five years ago, we first went to Fiji and we could preach the gospel to sister Ana’s parents. Her sister received salvation and her mother also had a clear idea about salvation. Her father was also very thankful to hear the gospel. After that, a couple of years later, pastor Shim got dispatched to Fiji and now the works of the gospel are so powerfully behind done there.
The chief of the Methodist churches there and the government are all supporting us at the moment with the gospel works. Initially, some of the churches persecuted us and even wrote in the newspaper that we were heretic. The pastors there were influenced by these rumours and they thus avoided and persecuted us. The bible however says that we need to listen to both sides of the story.
Two years ago now, pastor Park has gone to Fiji and the churches were so amazed at his preaching. They all claimed that it was indeed the true gospel. The chancellor of the seminary of the Methodist church is very smart. He sent one of his pastor representatives and together with the man who is president at the moment, we went to Korea for the world camp. They heard the preaching of pastor Park. They then said this, “This is my first time witnessing the work of God being manifested so strongly in this mission. From the very start, to the very last day, God has worked.”
During the camp, this pastor received salvation. He said this, “In fact, I came to Korea as a spy. I wanted to evaluate whether the Good News Mission was biblical or not. In doing so, I realised my own salvation was not clear and here I received salvation very clearly.” So he went back and reported back to the Methodist pastors and now we have an MOU with the Methodist churches in Fiji. We also have an MOU with the Fijian government.
All the pastors now in Fiji who used to persecute us do not persecute anymore. Now many of them began to persecute those who initially persecuted us. This is because they have realised the truth.
Folks, Martin Luther was someone who thought he was on the right path during his theology journey. Although he was in the Catholic seminary and learning about God, he struggled so much with sin. He was so upset with how the church sold indulgences so that when people buy them, they can go to heaven. He knew the bible never mentioned these things. And so one day as he prostrated himself and walked up and down the stairs by prostrating asking for forgiveness of his sins, he came across Romans 1:17 – The just shall live by faith. In the end, he received salvation and he was able to walk apart from the old church he was in.
I used to work for Hyundai Motors. I was not a good mechanic but I asked people to buy a new car whenever their cars broke down and when we could not fix them. The only way we could fix cars was to refer to the manual. This manual was so important for us to fix the cars.
Folks, we have a manual in our life as well. This is the bible. The bible also tells you what is right and not right. It also tells you who is heretic and who is not.
“Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,”
Titus 3:10 NKJV
Saying that one is sinful when Jesus has finished all sin is an example of a divisive man.
“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 you say that you are a sinner means you are outside of Jesus and not inside of Christ Jesus.
Martin Luther realised this very accurately. In his book, he writes very clearly and succinctly how he became righteous from his sinful state.
Apostle Paul also fell on his way to Damascus while persecuting the Christians. As he heard the words of God, his heart changed and united with the heart of God. With that heart, he wrote the book of Romans, which summarises the bible and is the gospel. The more you know about Romans, the deeper you will find the heart of God.
“As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;”
Romans 3:10 NKJV
Many people mention this Word. If I say that I am justified, then people always open up this Word. They contend that no one is righteous.
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Romans 3:20 NKJV
When people mention this Word to me, I laugh “Ha Ha Ha”. If people wonder why I laugh, then I read further.
“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,”
Romans 3:21 NKJV
From here on, the righteousness of God is now revealed.
“even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Romans 3:22-23 NKJV
People usually insist up to verse 23 and just stop by concluding that we are all sinners.
“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
Romans 3:24 NKJV
This what follows verse 23. What does it say? It says we are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
In Townsville, I bought a net and cast it into the sea. I caught a barramundi. It was so delicious.
Peter casted out the net and all night long he did this.
Folks, have you ever went gambling only to lose all your money? What heart led you to it? The heart that you can win if you play just one more time. This is how we fail.
Peter also most likely had this heart that if he tried, then he would be able to catch fish.
These are all deceptive thoughts from Satan.
When Peter cast out his net for a catch, it was not just for fun. He wanted to catch fish. And he failed as he toiled all night but caught none. Then Jesus came to his boat and asked him to cast his net for a catch. Then he caught so much fish.
Peter from then on realised how wrong his thoughts were.
This is a very important thing. So many people are dragged by their thoughts – from birth to death.
With my car, there is a GPS fixed in it. I entered the address and it navigated me. However, it led me to the wrong path. So I stopped the car and used my navigation in my phone instead.
Folks, don’t you know that a drunk person cannot drive the car? If so, then how about the ones who are intoxicated by their own thoughts? They cannot drive their life.
Peter realised that his thoughts were wrong.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
Romans 5:19 NKJV
The first man here is Adam and the second man here is Jesus Christ.
In the bible, there is a man called Saul. He was supposed to wait for Samuel for seven days. However, there was a battle against the Philistines and he was feeling very desperate. On the seventh day, Samuel did not show up. He thought he would all get slaughtered. So he started to do the sacrifice to the Lord himself. He was dragged and caught by his thought. In the end, he ended up giving an offering himself expecting to receive the grace of God. But it so happened that Samuel came and he rebuked Saul that he had acted foolishly. Saul could not abandon his thought.
Peter on the other hand abandoned his thought in Luke 15. The consequence of following one’s own thought is death. If you believe this, then you will be able to put down your thoughts.
One day Noah was living happily with his family. One day, a Word entered his heart. He was so shocked.
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Genesis 6:5 NKJV
For someone who is stuck in one’s own thought, it is very difficult to remove that thought.
Noah found out how his thoughts were wrong. He found out how he was an evil one.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.”
Genesis 6:8-9 NKJV
Noah found grace in the eyes of God and became a just man. The bible says that there is no one righteous, no not one. But in the bible, there are many who are justified through the grace of God. But others who do not get it would say that such people are heretic.
Galileo was once persecuted because he claimed that the earth was round during the time when people believed that it was flat. So the people persecuted him claiming blasphemy.
Do you believe that we still have sins or no more? We don’t!
This is biblical. However, many other pastors around us claim that we are a heretic.
Many in fact, use the following words in verse 8.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I John 1:8-9 NKJV
Confessing here means acknowledging that one is totally sinful and not just singling out the sinful deeds. 1 John is written for the born-again brethren for fellowship with God.
David was someone who knew all his sins were always before him.
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
Psalms 51:3-7 NKJV
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,”
Ephesians 2:1 NKJV
Through the law we are dead. But the law of Jesus, is the law of spirit and life. Through the new convenient we are made righteous. It has nothing to do with our works. This is why it is grace.
When our heart is connected to God, then whatever God says, we will say the things that God wants us to say.
Peter was caught by his thoughts. He followed his thoughts and life was futile. But as he followed Jesus, he could see how he was wrong and from then on, he was able to follow Jesus Christ.