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A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1) Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(1) Matthew 12:28, Matthew 13:40-43, Acts 1:3, Acts 28:31, Col. 1:13, Rev. 1:6 In this 500th anniversary year of the birth of John Calvin, we remember the work of the Genevan Reformer who permanently impacted the Protestant Reformation and Reformed theology. This can be seen especially in his teachings of the covenant. Calvin’s approach to the covenant makes a difference in the way one interprets the Scriptures and describes their unity in Christ’s saving work. In Calvin’s understanding of the covenant, we also discover a structure for developing the saving benefits of Christ as well as the Christian life and sacraments. Our study will engage Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic as well as his covenant theology. Let us consider Calvin and the covenant with the specific backdrop of Dispensationalism, one of the important evangelical theologies of our day. Although dispensationalism was a system unknown to Calvin since it had not yet been formulated in his day, Calvin’s covenantal thought stands in distinction to dispensationalism and offers a ready critique to its leading ideas. Lecture One: A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic. In this first lecture, we will consider the following eight points: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Let us begin, then, by addressing the first of these eight points. I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. What makes dispensationalism to be Dispensationalism and what makes covenant theology to be covenant theology? When one reads his Bible, does the difference between these two approaches to interpreting the Bible matter? After all, people who read the Bible with a dispensational perspective believe in Jesus Christ. And people who hold to the covenant theological tradition do so as well. So this is not a debate about who is a Christian and who is not. It is a debate about the proper way to understand the Bible. So what makes Dispensationalism, dispensationalism? Dr. Charles Ryrie stated in Dispensationalism Today that the sine qua non of Dispensationalism is the distinction between the Church and Israel. Thus without the distinction between the Church and Israel, there is no Dispensationalism. Accordingly, the central idea of Dispensationalism is that there are two peoples of God: the Old Testament people of God called Israel, and the New Testament people of God called the Church. These two are entirely different. Dispensationalism declares that when Jesus came, He brought His kingdom to His Old Testament people but they rejected Him. Because they rejected Him they were set aside and God initiated an entirely different dispensation, the Church age. This age is a “great parenthesis”. The dispensation of the church is the age of grace after the Old Testament dispensation of Israel and the law. Then at the end of the church age, the church will be raptured out of the world before seven years of tribulation. God will return to His Old Testament plan for Israel. That plan is to bring the lapsed kingdom to a restored Israel. Thus the church is in the middle of God’s work with OT Israel and His work with the restored Israel after the rapture of the church. The kingdom in Dispensationalism therefore is futurethe premillennial kingdom. For dispensational theology, the kingdom has not come. It was rejected by Israel, and instead, Jesus planted His church. When the church is taken up, then the kingdom for Israel will come. Thus for Dispensationalism, the kingdom is future to be fulfilled in a literal thousand year kingdom as referenced in Revelation 20. Three foundational ideas of Dispensationalism, then, are: (1) there are two peoples of God, (2) the Church and Israel are to be kept distinct, and (3) the kingdom is for Israel and is primarily future. Covenant Theology takes a very different view of these three issues. How then does one define covenant theology? To begin, covenant theology teaches that there is only one people of God. This one people of God can be internally distinguished as the people who were looking forward to the Messiah to come from the people who are looking back at the fact that He’s come and is coming again. Nevertheless, these are one and same people of the Messiah. They are the true Israel of God. So whether we are speaking of the church, or of the Old Testament saint, they are part of the one people of God. Thus for Covenant Theology, the kingdom is not just totally future. The kingdom is already here even though there is much more yet to come. It is “already and not yet.” Covenant Theology declares that there is a kingdom that is already at work, and yet it is to come in far greater glory. This present and future kingdom has been brought to the one people of God, those who were looking forward to the first coming of the Messiah and those that are looking back at His having come and who is yet to come again a second time. Thus Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology are two different systems and two different ways of reading the Bible. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. Next, let us summarize the history of each. Dispensationalism is a recent development in the history of the church. It began in the late 1800s in Plymouth, England under the teaching of John Nelson Darby, who developed the leading ideas of the Dispensational system. Dispensationalism has been popularized through Bible colleges and Bible publications. It is now a theology known around the world. Covenant Theology, on the other hand, goes back to the ancient church. St. Augustine put it this way, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” This simple theological dictum well summarizes the heart of Covenant Theology. Augustine is saying that the whole Bible is about Jesus. Augustine’s point is that the whole Bible is about Jesus whether one reads the Old or the New Testament. Both Testaments are interrelated in the coming of Christ. Augustine’s and other early Christian biblical scholars’ recognition of the unity of the Bible in Christ came to its own in the Reformation. In 1534 only 17 years after Luther’s 95 Theses, Henry Bullinger wrote the first treatise on the covenant, entitled, “Of The One And Eternal Testament or Covenant of God.” Bullinger was a Swiss Reformer working at the beginning of the Reformation. Because the Reformed theologians went back to a direct exegetical study of the Bible, following the principle of as sola scriptura, they rediscovered the centrality of the covenant for understanding the Bible. Bullinger and Zwingli before him concluded that the covenant was the key idea to understanding the Bible. Covenant theology, then, is an idea that goes back to the ancient church with Augustine, and is one of the important insights of the theology of the Reformed tradition. If one identifies with the Presbyterian tradition, another name for the Reformed tradition, one will quickly recognize that covenantal teaching is foundational in the Westminster Standards. Following Zwingli and Bullinger, Calvin emphasized the covenant and joined them in teaching that the covenant is a key idea to understand the Bible’s theology and to show its great unity in Christ. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. What are some of the distinctives of covenant theology? First, let us speak of the formula of the covenant. A baker or a cook knows if one leaves something out of the recipe or formula, a disaster results. Leave out the baking powder and one might not have a good desert. A chemist has a formula that creates a certain chemical reaction. Similarly, there is a formula that describes the covenant. According to Calvin, it is, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” This phrase is encountered repeatedly in the Bible. A few examples include Genesis 17, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah 32, Ezekiel 36, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 8 and Revelation 21. The formula of the covenant begins in the Old Testament, moves to the New Testament and carries forward into heaven in Biblical revelation. Notice that the formula of the covenant does not say, “I will be your God and you will be My peoples” in the plural. It says “I will be your God and you will be My people” in the singular. As it proceeds from the Old Testament to the New Testament to heaven, it manifests one people of God in relationship with God. It also reveals that the covenant is a relationship that God Himself initiates with man. This is seen in the divine “I”. The formula of the covenant does not say, “Let’s make a deal” or “Let’s make a bargain.” It begins with “I will be your God.” God takes the initiative. We call this monergism, mono-lateral salvation, sovereign grace, or Calvinism.. God takes the first step. He seeks us out. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 17:10). In the covenant, God takes the initiative and by His initiation we become His people. Consider three texts: Jeremiah 31:31, Genesis 15 and Genesis 17. Jerome of Bethlehem translated the Hebrew and Greek Bible into Latin creating what was been called the Vulgate translation which is still the official translation for the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome wanted to differentiate the books of Israel before the coming of Christ (Genesis to Malachi) from the books after the coming of Christ (Matthew to Revelation). He called the first the Old Testament and the second, the New Testament. To do so, he utilized Jeremiah 31 where it says, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. Jerome translated the Hebrew word berith, by the Latin word, testamentum which can mean either a covenant or a testament, as in a last will and testament. Berith literally means “to cut” something and thus by implication a covenant because a covenant was made by sacrifice. And so after Jerome, we have spoken of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the two great sections of the canon of Scripture. But the Hebrew word that used in Jeremiah 31 suggests that we should rather speak of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant rather the Old Testament and the New Testament. This would help us to realize how important the idea of covenant is. The point here is that the idea of the covenant helps to organize the entire Bible because the Bible is God’s covenant with His people. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. Now let’s take this a step further. Let’s consider how to read the Bible in a way that ties the Bible, Old and New Testament, into one book, that sees the Bible as a whole book for one people of God. How then do we make the Old Testament and the New Testament come together? Along with Calvin’s emphasis on the formula of the covenant, we find a basic interpretive principle that he presents to understand the history of salvation in the Bible. This says, “The covenant is always the same in substance but distinct in administration.” Substance means what something really is. Administration has the idea of how one governs something. For example, there’s an administration of a president that is followed by a different president who governs or administers in another way. This also holds in the administration of a family. For example, I have had a mother now for many years. When I was about two or three years old and learning to walk across the street my mother used to hold my hand and say, “Peter, you can’t run across the street now. You can only go when I let you go, and when you walk, you hold on to my hand. I don’t want you to get hurt in the traffic.” When I go home and see my Mom today, and when we cross the street I take hold of her arm and say, “Mom hold on to me. I don’t want you to fall down in traffic while we’re walking across the street.” We administer our love and concern for safety for each other differently now then when I was a child. Nevertheless, the love of our family is unchanged. The substance of family love is unchanged. The administration of family safety is quite different. In the same sort of way, the covenant is always the same in substance Christ’s saving love for His people while it is administered differently, as by sacrifice in the OT and by worship of the incarnate Christ in the NT. Calvin’s views of the continuity of the covenant can be presented as follows: A Summary of Calvin’s Arguments for the Spiritual Continuity of the Old and New Covenants They are the Same in Substance 1. Same Law and same Doctrine since Beginning of World 2. Christ is Mediator of the Covenants 3. Both have the Grace of Justification 4. Sacraments have Equal Significance in both 5. Both have the Word of God, which is to have Eternal Life 6. The Formula of the Covenant Common to both includes Eternal Life As we look at the Bible from Calvin’s perspective, the substance of the Bible is always Jesus the Messiah and His saving work. But the way that God explains what the Messiah was to do changed from the Old Testament to the New. In the Old Testament there were bloody sacrifices and there was a high priest and there was a tabernacle or temple. In the New Testament we don’t have those things. Things are administered differently now. Another helpful example is a building with its scaffolding. When a building is being built there are scaffolds set up around it. But when the building is complete, the scaffolds are taken down and removed since they are no longer needed. Thus the Old Testament administration of the covenant of grace was administered by animal sacrifices, rituals, dietary laws and high priests. All those things were the scaffolds used to bring the Messiah into the world. Now that He’s come, God administers His saving work differently and the Old Testament administration of the covenant has ended. Thus its visible signs and practices, its scaffolds, have been removed. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. Another way to speak of the substance of the covenant is to see it summarized in the formula of the covenant, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” That has always been the heart of the Bible even though God’s administration of His covenant changes through time. Another phrase to describe this dual emphasis of unchanging substance with differing administrations is to emphasize the continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments. Thus from a Presbyterian perspective, we baptize the children of believers in the New Testament because the children of believers in the Old Testament were circumcised. Circumcision and baptism are very different in administration, but they are the same in substance. They both declare that God is in covenant with His people. The way the sacrament was administered before Christ came was different than after Christ because the shedding of human or animal blood was pointing to Christ’s saving sacrifice that alone could truly take away the sin of the world. But now that Christ has come and shed His blood, we no longer have need to shed sacrificial blood. Similarly, the Passover became the Lord’s Supper. The change was needed because there is no longer any shedding of blood. Thus Christians do not slay the Passover lamb. Jesus has fulfilled that picture. The Passover was always pointing to Him, the substance of the covenant. The diversity of the covenant is in its form. The continuity of the Covenant is in Christ, the Passover Lamb. We continue to have the bread and the cup of Passover pointing us to the fact that God takes His wrath away from His people because His Son has shed His blood for us and that blood has been placed upon the lentil of our hearts so that we might be saved. Calvin enumerates five differences between the covenants. They relate only to the externals and not to the substance of the covenant. Calvin’s View of the Differences In Administration Between the Old and New Covenants Old Covenant Before Christ New Covenant After Christ 1. Material and Temporal Blessings represent spiritual blessings 1. Direct Meditation upon spiritual blessings 2. Images & Ceremonies as types of Christ 2. Full Revelation of Christ in His Incarnation 3. The OT Law is letter that kills 3. The NT Gospel is spirit that makes alive a. The OT Law in the narrow sense condemns because it is the demand of Law without the Holy Spirit’s Aid a. In the New Covenant the Law is written upon the heart by the Spirit in the Gospel and is accompanied by the forgiveness of sins b. The OT Law in the broad sense includes the Gospel by borrowing from it the Promises of Christ b. The Gospel of the New Covenant has been the experience of God’s Children since the beginning of the World 4. The Old Covenant was characterized by bondage and fear 4. The New Covenant is characterized by freedom and trust 5. The Old Covenant was limited to Israel 5. The New Covenant is extended to all nations So as we learn to think covenantally, we discover the interconnectedness of the formula of the covenant, the substance and administration of the covenant, and the continuity and discontinuity of the covenant. The substance of the covenant unites the whole Bible emphasizing the continuity of the covenant even though the administration of the covenant differs through history emphasizing the discontinuity of the covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. How do we understand the stories in the Bible and how do we understand our Christian lives? We must read the Bible as a history of salvation and not as a logically arranged systematic theology. God didn’t inspire a systematic theology of Jesus. He did not provide us with a Biblical book entitled, “The Doctrine of God” or “The Doctrine of the Church.” The Bible is a history of salvation. They Bible reveals the dramatic stories of what God did through redemptive history. The unfolding character of God’s story is a mystery until the whole story is done. Mysteries, surprises, twists and turns keep on coming as God’s organic plan is progressively unfolded. One of the great covenant teachers of the early twentieth century was Geerhardus Vos who taught at Princeton and impacted our professors at Westminster. He developed and emphasized the historic, organic unfolding of salvation in Scripture. What does “organic” mean? If someone plants a garden of flowers, he needs some seeds. When one looks at a seed, the seed already contains its blossom. But if one has never seen that seed before he would not be able to guess what it is. But because of the seed’s organic development, everything that the mature tree is to become is already present in its seed. And that’s the way the Bible is, right from its beginning. The whole story of the Bible is already present when God said, “He will crush his head and he will bruise his heel,” in Genesis 3:15. That is the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can go back and read it in light of the Gospel and realize that the Gospel was there all along. Initially, men did not understand that. It took the unfolding of the history of salvation until finally the wonderful resurrection and victory of Christ was clear. But it was always there because the whole Bible is about Christ. Consider Luke 24 where Jesus gives His first Bible study after His resurrection. Jesus speaks to two men on the road to Emmaus who were discussing the story of the crucifixion and the rumors that the tomb was empty. Luke 24:36ff says, While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Now when Jesus refers “to everything that was written about Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms,” He was identifying the three main divisions of the Canon of the Old Testament. That was the way the Jews divided the books of the Old Testament. In essence He was saying, “It matters not which Old Testament book you read, if your mind has been opened by My Spirit, you will discover that it all speaks of me.” That is the way Jesus wants His people to read the Bible; to see that it is all about Him. The Bible is the dramatic story of the history of redemption that organically unfolds Jesus’ saving work. Thus covenant theology rejects the Dispensational notion that the OT is for the Jewish people of God and the NT is for the Gentile people of God. Instead, covenant theology teaches that the whole Bible is about Christ who came to save all of God’s people who by faith become the true Israel whether they are Jews or Gentiles. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. It’s at this point where one of the greatest differences arises between Dispensationalism and covenant theology. Dispensationalists say the many land promises that God gave to Israel are yet to be fulfilled. This they claim will occur when the church is raptured, and when after the seven year tribulation, the kingdom finally comes, then all the land promises to Israel will be literally fulfilled. Covenant Theology believes Dispensationalists are misreading the Bible when they interpret the Bible in that way. Consider here 2 Corinthians 1:18-20. The apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the truthfulness of his ministry. He says in 1:18, But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No” but in him it has always been “Yes.” The key verse is verse 20: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. What Paul is saying is that if one finds any promise in the Bible and if he interprets it without Christ, he’s misreading it. Every promise is “yes” and “amen” in Christ. If one does not read the Bible this way, it is as though Jesus becomes irrelevant to that promise. For Paul, then, every land promise and every other redemptive promise always finds its meaning in Christ. The point is that there is continuity and discontinuity in the covenant. The land promises are to be understood as though God had said, “I have redeemed you out of the world to be my people. Thus I’ve given you a heavenly land which is my true and ultimate promised land.” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” And at the conclusion of Revelation, when we are in Heaven, we have God dwelling with us. Then God says, “I will be your God and you will be My people, in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” That is why the writer of the Hebrews teaches in Hebrews 11 that Abraham was not looking for real estate in Palestine when he left early Ur. Instead, he was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. A covenant theologian can say “yes and amen” to that in Christ. Paul declares that that is how we are to read the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible in this way, we are misreading it. But Dispensationalism teaches that the Bible is to be read without seeing all of it promises fulfilled in the ultimate culmination of all things in Jesus Christ. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. The formula of the covenant reflects the substance of the covenant, while the administration of the covenant was different before Christ came than its administration after Christ came and ascended to heaven. Having ascended to the right Hand of the Father, He poured out His Holy Spirit on His people inaugurating His kingdom. God’s Kingdom began at Pentecost. The kingdom is now here even though it is still not yet here fully. The Kingdom is already but not yet. Chuck Colson illustrated this by the D-Day invasion. When the Marines hit Omaha beach and took the cliffs they did the impossible. Having accomplished this, they were confident that one day they would conquer the Third Reich. They already had won but they had not yet won. There was still a long battle yet ahead even though they had secured that victory by doing the impossible. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and its birth of the New Testament era of covenant life are the beginning of the kingdom. One day Satan’s “Third Reich” is going to fall and the whole kingdom will be come even though it has already begun and we as believers are part of it. Jesus Kingdom is already here. (See Matthew 12:28; 13:40-43; Acts 1:3; 28:31; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:6.) Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(2) Lecture II. A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenant Theology As we saw in the first lecture, Calvin interprets the Bible in a covenantal and Christocentric manner. He is firmly committed to the organic unity of the history of redemption that is explained in its continuity and discontinuity by God’s covenantal revelation. The eight points that we addressed in our first lecture are: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Having seen Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic and how its implications stand in contrast to the hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, let us now consider Calvin’s covenant theology that flows from his covenantal hermeneutic and see how it stands in critique of Dispensational theology. We will address the following six points in this second lecture: I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Let us then look at the first of these six points. I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. Before Calvin began to write his theology, Heinrich Bullinger had already emphasized in his 1534 Of The One And Eternal Testament Or Covenant Of God that Christ Himself is the covenant due to His incarnation. Bullinger explains in his tenth section entitled, “Christ, the Seal and Living Confirmation of the Covenant”: What I am about to say of Christ the Lord is not the entire doctrine. Rather, it is that very point worthy of admiration due to His incarnation, namely, the eternal covenant of God with the race of men that covenant which He set forth and confirmed in an astonishing and living way. Indeed, when the true God assumed true humanity, immediately it [i.e., the covenant] was not treated with more words and arguments, rather, by this thing itself, that greatest mystery is attested to the whole world--that God admitted man into covenant and partnership. Further, He bound man to Himself by an indissoluble connection by the highest miracle of love, to be our God. Thus undoubtedly with Isaiah we too believe the name given to Christ (Isaiah 7:14). He is called Immanuel, just as if someone might say, “God with us.” Thus the Gospels review these innumerable miracles and great benefits of Christ with so many examples. By these indeed, Isaiah declared God to be kind, and therefore the Horn of Plenty, the Father, and Shaddai to the human race. To this name also the very death and resurrection of Christ are referred. They [i.e. the words that compose the name Immanuel] are indeed most certain testimonies of the divine mercy, justice, and restitution of life. By Christ, God Himself established and expounded for us all of Himself, before our eyes; blessing us and accepting us as cleansed by Christ, into partnership and the eternal kingdom. All of which John’s Gospel says embraced by the few but heavenly words, “In the beginning was the word, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory; glory, I say, which was proper for the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Indeed of His fullness, we have received grace for grace. Because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth have appeared by Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 16, 17). You hear this highest truth, that mystery that God has become a man, that is, He has become entirely of us, He Himself dwells among us. You hear that He has begun to shine His power and glory to the world, not for any other plan than that He may draw us to Himself by most beautiful benefits in His love, who is the fullness of our God Shaddai. For Paul also says, “In Christ dwells all the fullness of God bodily, and you are in Him complete and perfect” (Colossians 2:9, 10). In this way, therefore, the Lord Jesus Himself confirmed and displayed the first part of the covenant. The very incarnation shows that God is God--Shaddai, the blessing and eternal happiness of the seed of Abraham. (My translation.) To get at what Bullinger is saying, let us suppose that God said, “I so want you to know that I am your God and that you are My people, that I will give you a proof that you cannot possibly forget or overlook it.” God’s proof of His covenantal commitment is seen in His becoming a man. By Jesus’ incarnation, the God-Man becomes the union of God and man, thus mirroring the very covenant itself. The formula of the covenant says, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation God declared, “Because I am your God and because you are My people, I your God am becoming a human person like you, to be with you.” Isaiah 7:14 says, “The virgin will conceive and have a Son and you will name Him Immanuel”. Immanuel means, “With us is God” or “God with us”. The name Immanuel is the covenant name, meaning that “God is with us”. Jesus as the incarnate Covenant Savior and Lord permanently unites God to His people by taking on unfallen human nature and becoming a man. Thus Jesus’ incarnation physically manifests the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation, God in Christ declares, I am with you and you are with Me. Calvin’s emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God is seen in his extensive Christ-centered development of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits. Consider the following: Let us then set forth the covenant that he once established as eternal and never perishing. Its fulfillment, by which it is finally confirmed and ratified, is Christ. Who, then, dares to separate the Jews from Christ, since with them we hear, was made the covenant of the gospel, the sole foundation of which is Christ? ...the apostle contends that it ought to be terminated and abrogated, to give place to Christ, the Sponsor and Mediator of a better covenant;... This is the new covenant that God in Christ has made with us, that he will remember our sins no more. The intimate relationship of Christ and the covenant for Calvin can be seen by their repeated juxtaposition. The covenant not only contains Christ, but He is its foundation. The promise of both of the Old and New Covenants have Christ as their foundation. Since the New Covenant is from the beginning, the Old Covenant is Christian. Thus the Old Testament fathers had Christ. The law includes Christ. The Old Covenant’s end was Christ and eternal life. In fact, the Old Covenant was an empty show unless Christ’s death and resurrection are part of it. Thus the ark of the Covenant, the Old Testament ceremonies, and the progressive revelation of the Old Covenant all point to Christ. Christ’s advent ushers in the New Covenant that stands in continuity with the Old. The Redeemer’s coming does not invalidate the Old Covenant. Instead, He renews and continues it. He causes it to be new and eternal. By fulfilling and confirming the Old Covenant, Christ brought an eternal and never perishing covenant. Christ’s redemptive work is fully integrated with the covenant. Accordingly, Christ is the Mediator, the Sponsor, the Redeemer, and testator of the covenant. The blood of the covenant in Christ’s atonement or redemptive death for sin is what ratifies the covenant. Thus the covenant is ratified with Christ and His members. Christ’s resurrection, intercession, priesthood, and Kingdom, are associated with the covenant. Indeed, Christ is the one who confirms, seals and sanctions the covenant. Calvin also sees a relationship of Christ and the covenant in the application of redemption in such areas as faith, sonship, union with God and Christ, good works, and the Sacraments. Clearly, Christ and covenant is a major strand in Calvin’s golden chain of salvation. The commentaries also relate Christ and the covenant on numerous points. Calvin further develops his emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God when he explains the inseparability of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits in the very same manner in which he explains the inseparability of these same saving benefits in Christ Himself. We will consider this below in section IV of this lecture. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. As we have seen, the word for covenant in Hebrew is berith, meaning to cut. In this context, consider Genesis 15. Childless Abram wanted a son. So the Lord brought Abram out to view a clear starry night’ sky. The Lord promised Abram that his children would be as numerous as the stars. We read in Genesis 15:6, Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. We call this justification by faith. In fact, Paul uses this same text in his Epistle to the Romans to show that believers are justified by faith alone. Here God brings righteousness to Abram through faith by means of a covenant, a berith. To make this covenant sacrifice, Abram takes different kinds of animals and cuts them from the top of the head, through the nose, through the torso, all the way through the tail, and then the pieces are laid on the ground. This is indeed a berith, a cutting, a bloody sacrifice. This powerful image was an ancient custom by which one made a covenant. In making a covenant, one slew an animal and then walked between its parts and in essence promised, “If I don’t keep my promise, I will be just like the animals that we’ve just walked between.” To make a mortgage that way with your bank would be to sign it in blood! Here we see a promise joined with a sanction or punishment for disobedience. If the covenanter did not keep his word, he would be like the animal that was just slain. But the story doesn’t stop there. Next Abram watches the sun setting, he gets ready to enter into the covenant but instead he falls into a deep sleep. He is in effect paralyzed and he hears God speak. He sees a theophany, a manifestation of God. It is a smoking pot and a burning oven that alone passes through the middle of the animal parts, while Abram has no part in this covenant. The Lord in effect was saying, “Abram I alone establish the covenant. I alone can bring you righteousness. I alone can fulfill this promise. You cannot do it. But you will benefit by this covenant since you have been justified by faith.” Moreover, the Lord was also making a great promise. In effect He said, “If I don’t keep My promise, I will cease to exist.” But the Lord in essence was also saying even more: “So that you might be righteous, I will have to assume flesh and become the Lamb of God who is slain as a sacrifice for sinners to take away the sin of the world.” In this dramatic story of ancient covenant making by sacrifice, God alone guarantees the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” When one is justified by faith in Christ, he does absolutely nothing but receive Christ’s gift of His perfect righteousness before God. This righteousness is imputed to him by faith alone that he receives with a beggar’s hands of faith. Christians are in this covenant by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as seen in the Scriptures alone so that God alone receives the glory in our salvation. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. But this is not where Abram’s story stops. We next turn to Genesis 17 where we find that the Lord makes a covenant with Abram by changing his name and giving him a new name. So Abram becomes Abraham. As this new name is given, another covenant is made that begins with the words, “Walk before me and be blameless.” In essence God says, “Remember you did not walk between the animal parts before, but were righteous by faith. But now you must walk before me and be blameless. In fact, you are going to have the covenant, the berith, cut in your own flesh. You are going to be the living sacrifice. Your very body is to be cut in the covenant of circumcision.” Thus it is no longer an animal, but Abram who is the covenant sacrifice. By extension, circumcision leads to the circumcision of the heart, the removing of the old nature. This is what Abraham is supposed to become as one who has been justified by faith. He is now to walk with God. This theologians have called sanctification. Those that are justified by faith are also those who are to learn to walk in holiness before God and become living sacrifices, as Paul called them in Romans 12:1-2. In covenant sacrifice, Abram was to give his body onto the Lord as a living sacrifice. Consider again Jeremiah 31. There God said He was going to make a new covenant with Israel, a new berith. It would not be like the covenant that He made with Israel where the law of God was written on tablets of stone and were broken because the people rebelled and worshiped the golden calf. This time God would write the law on Israel’s hearts, forgiving their sins. But notice that the new covenant presents a second great benefit. The first benefit of the covenant is forgiveness of sins which is called justification by faith. The second benefit of the covenant is sanctification in which the law of God is written on the hearts of God’s people so that they will live for Him. Thus the new covenant has two great blessings: justification and sanctification. Reflect again on the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” One can hear both the truths of justification and of sanctification in the formula of the covenant. Listen to the two emphases that the covenant formula can be given. The first emphasis says, I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear that wonderful promise? God says, “You are righteous through faith in Me. I’m giving you this.” This is the indicative or factual expression of the Covenant of Grace. Now let me read these same words again but accent them in a different way: I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear a different nuance in the same words? By emphasizing the words in this way, we move from the indicative to the imperative. In other words, what God has promised, He also demands. And what God demands, He also promises. God’s enabling us to keep His covenant is seen in the fact that He writes His law on our hearts. He has not only forgiven us, but now He also gives us the ability to become His people. This gracious gift is underscored by God’s revealed name in Genesis 17El Shaddai, the Almighty and All-Sufficient God. So justification and sanctification are the two great benefits of the covenant that come to us in God’s covenant of grace. And remember this formula of the covenant goes from Genesis all the way to Revelation and it’s the one people of God that participate in it. All too often Dispensational and evangelical theology separates sanctification from God’s saving grace. It is an expression of growth and maturity but not part of God’s redemptive plan. Covenant theology following Calvin’s emphasis on what he called the “duplex gratiae” or double graces declares that God saves His people by justifying and sanctifying them. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. These truths of the covenant must be taught to God’s people of all ages. Accordingly, we need an illustration that is useful for children and grown ups too. So allow me to offer such an illustration by asking you to look carefully at your hands. You have a right hand and a left hand. Your two hands will now stand for the two blessings of the New Covenant: sanctification, I will write my law on your hearts; justification, I will forgive your sins. Let your dominant hand be your justification hand. So if you are right handed, think of your right hand as your justification hand and your left hand as your sanctification hand. If you are left handed, let your left hand be your justification hand and your right hand be your sanctification hand. I want you to learn four important principles of the relationship of justification and sanctification from your two hands. These principles are: 1. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be distinguished. 2. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are inseparable. 4. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be logically ordered. Notice first that a person’s two hands are distinct. That is important to remember. If someone says, “Turn right,” and one turns left he will get into trouble or get lost. Early on, people learn to distinguish their right hands from their left. The point is this: justification and sanctification, the two benefits of the covenant, are distinct. We must distinguish them. The great mistake of Roman Catholicism is to say the way one is justified is by becoming sanctified. Catholicism teaches that if one does good works, God will declare such a one to be righteous. But that destroys justification by faith alone. In this illustration, that is to confuse one’s left hand with his right hand, or to identify his justification with his sanctification. But some evangelicals think of this in an opposite way from Roman Catholics. But still, they confuse their right and left hands, or confuse justification and sanctification. In this view, sometimes called, “easy-believism” one declares, “If I believe in Jesus that is how I become forgiven and holy. It doesn’t matter if I do anything else as long as I believe, because that’s all one needs before God.” This view teaches that one becomes sanctified by being justified. But that is to confuse one’s right hand with his left hand, or to identify one’s sanctification with his justification. This is the reverse of Catholicism, but like Catholicism, it confuses justification and sanctification. Calvin taught and the Reformed faith teaches that there are two great saving benefits of the covenant of grace, and we must never confuse them. We have two hands which are distinct and we must never confuse them. Notice secondly, that the two hands we have, were given to us simultaneously. Humans are born with a right and left hand that come simultaneously. So when God brings us the blessings of the New Covenant, He not only forgives our sins as a completed act and declares us to be righteous by clothing us in the righteousness of Christ, He also gives us the Holy Spirit to begin to make us holy. With this gift of the Holy Spirit, God starts the process of teaching us to become holy, to die to sin and to live to Christ. While the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit is a process that goes on and on, it starts at the same time as our forgiveness or justification in Christ. These two benefits of the covenant are simultaneous. Nevertheless, we must distinguish them for they are different. The third thing we need to realize about these two New Covenant blessings is that they are inseparable. No one decides to take off his left hand when in a hurry and says, “I don’t have time to mess with my left hand today”. If one’s left hand gets separated he uses his other hand to dial a doctor and pleads, “Could you reattach this hand? I don’t want them separated!” Nevertheless, there are people that spiritually speaking want to separate justification from sanctification. A libertine says, “I just want to be forgiven. I want a Jesus credit card so I can just do what I want and know I’m forgiven.” But one cannot do that. The puritans in essence used to say, “When you receive Jesus, you receive Him in all of His offices as prophet, priest, and king. Not just as a priest who gives you forgiveness and a sacrifice. But also as a king who rules over you and a prophet who teaches you His word. You cannot separate his offices.” The opposite of this is the legalist who says, “I don’t need to be forgiven, I will be good enough by my own moral reformation to please God.” This we would call a Pharisee. But the Pharisee is like the Libertine. The only difference is that they seek to cut off the opposite hand! But, the two hands of the covenant of grace are inseparable. Accordingly, Calvin assails those who claim only one benefit of the covenant at the expense of the other. Also, with the same effort these rascals, by canceling one section of it, tear apart God’s covenant, in which we see our salvation contained, and topple it from its foundation. Not only are they guilty of sacrilege in separating things till now joined.... Because Christ and the covenant are so intertwined, there are those who not only try to “tear apart God’s covenant” but who also attempt to “tear Christ in pieces”. Thirdly, he calls him our sanctification, by which he means, that we who are otherwise unholy by nature, are by his Spirit renewed unto holiness, that we may serve God. From this, also, we infer, that we cannot be justified freely through faith alone without at the same time living holily. For these fruits of grace are connected together, as it were, by an indissoluble tie, so that he who attempts to sever them does in a manner tear Christ in pieces. Let therefore the man who seeks to be justified through Christ, by God’s unmerited goodness, consider that this cannot be attained without his taking him at the same time for sanctification, or, in other words, being renewed to innocence and purity of life. Calvin repeatedly uses the image of tearing Christ in pieces to underscore the inseparableness of justification and sanctification. It is indeed true, that we are justified in Christ through the mercy of God alone; but it is equally true and certain, that all who are justified are called by the Lord, that they may live worthy of their vocation. Let then the faithful learn to embrace him, not only for justification, but also for sanctification, as he has been given to us for both these purposes, lest they rend him asunder by their mutilated faith. ...as Christ cannot be torn into parts, so these two which we perceive in him together and conjointly are inseparable--namely, righteousness and sanctification. Whomever, therefore, God receives into grace, on them he at the same time bestows the spirit of adoption, by whose power he remakes them to his own image. But since the question concerns only righteousness and sanctification, let us dwell upon these. Although we may distinguish them, Christ contains both of them inseparably in himself. Do you wish, then to attain righteousness in Christ? You must first possess Christ; but you cannot possess him without being made partaker in his sanctification, because he cannot be divided into pieces [I Corinthians 1:13]. Since, therefore, it is solely by expending himself that the Lord gives us these benefits to enjoy, he bestows both of them at the same time, the one never without the other. Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness. The covenant therefore helps to organize the benefits of salvation. The two covenantal benefits of justification and sanctification are distinct, yet they are inseparably related and simultaneously received in Christ. Thus Christ and the covenant are essentially identified since both are the source of these great redemptive benefits. This doctrine gives Calvin a two edged sword to wield against his theological opponents. The Romanist, who thought his works merited salvation, was confronted with the fact that good works without Christ’s righteousness were still impure. The Libertine, who thought that Christ’s death made him spiritually pure regardless of his personal life, was confronted with the inseparability of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and Christ’s righteousness. The three ideas from Calvin we have considered so far concerning the relationship of the two benefits of the covenant are: 1. Justification and Sanctification must be distinguished. 2. Justification and Sanctification are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and Sanctification are inseparable. Now let us consider the fourth idea of the relationship of justification and sanctification in Calvin: 4. Justification and Sanctification must be logically ordered. Or to put it in Calvin’s terms, what is subordinate is not contrary. The fourth point, then, that Calvin makes is that the two benefits of the covenant of grace are to be logically ordered. Or to put it another way, one benefit of the covenant is dominant and the other is subordinate. This too is like our two hands. If one is right handed, the right hand is the dominant hand over the left hand. The point that we must see here is that justification is always dominant over sanctification and sanctification is always dependent upon and subordinate to justification. So if one is right handed, it means his right hand, his justification hand, is the primary hand and the left hand, his sanctification hand, is dependent upon and subordinate to the right hand. Theologically speaking, this means that one can never say, “I know I’m forgiven because I’m doing so many good things.” This is to confuse the gospel. Instead, one must say, “Because I am forgiven and righteous in Christ, I can and will live for Him by the Holy Spirit.” Calvin compared justification to the foundation of a house, and he likened sanctification to the superstructure built upon that foundation. Thus the house of sanctification is always dependent upon the foundation of justification. Calvin actually uses an important dictum that comes from the medieval tradition, namely, “What is subordinate is not contrary.” What he meant in this context is that the righteousness of the believer’s obedience, which is real righteousness before God, does not present an alternate or contrary way of salvation. This is because sanctification is under or subordinate to the greater righteousness of Christ’s obedience in justification. Sanctification righteousness although graciously produced by the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer is nevertheless subordinate to Christ’s righteousness bestowed in justification. So sanctification is not a competing way of salvation for the believer since it is always inferior to the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, sanctification righteousness honors justification righteousness and by its very existence manifests the superior righteousness of Christ in justification. Accordingly, sanctification does not produce justification or have any role in justification’s work of forgiveness or of imputing the perfect righteousness of Christ. One must never depend on his own new obedience or sanctification. Instead, he must always depend upon Christ. To return to our analogy, the dependent hand of sanctification must always rely on the superior hand of justification that lays hold of Christ by faith. Thus Calvin’s covenant doctrine does not permit the law to be in opposition to the gospel after the blessings of the covenant are bestowed upon a believer. Justification and sanctification are necessary components of the divine benefits of salvation. They are bestowed “at the same time”. Yet a logical order exists between them which must not be overlooked. Since the “spirit” is added to the “letter” of the law, the believer has a true righteousness of obedience. But, It is a subordinate righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. Yet it is not a contrary righteousness. Calvin affirms this principle in his Antidote to the Council of Trent. We, indeed, willingly acknowledge, that believers ought to make daily increase in good works, and that the good works wherewith they are adorned by God, are sometimes distinguished by the name of righteousness. But since the whole value of works is derived from no other foundation than that of gratuitous acceptance, how absurd were it to make the former overthrow the latter! Why do they not remember what they learned when boys at school, that what is subordinate is not contrary? (Emphasis mine.) I say that it is owing to free imputation that we are considered righteous before God; I say that from this also another benefit proceeds, viz., that our works have the name of righteousness, though they are far from having the reality of righteousness. In short, I affirm, that not by our own merit but by faith alone, are both our persons and works justified; and the justification of works depends on the justification of the person, as the effect on the cause. Therefore, it is necessary that the righteousness of faith alone so precede in order, and be so preeminent in degree, that nothing can go before it or obscure it. In his The True Method of Giving Peace and Reforming the Church, Calvin again explains the subordination of the Christian’s works righteousness to the righteousness of faith. In order that ambiguities may be removed, it is necessary that the Righteousness which we obtain by faith, and which is freely bestowed upon us, should be placed in the highest rank, so that, as often as the conscience is brought before the tribunal of God, it alone may shine forth. In this way the righteousness of works, to whatever extent it may exist in us, being reduced to its own place, will never come, as it were, into conflict with the other; and certainly it is just, that as righteousness of works depends on righteousness of faith, it should be made subordinate to it, (Emphasis mine.) so as to leave the latter in full possession of the salvation of man. Thus for Calvin, the covenant is a powerful concept because it establishes that we are justified by faith alone, yet by a faith that is never alone, but is always accompanied by all of God’s saving graces. Thus the Gospel teaches us that Jesus is both Savior and Lord.” The indicative of our union with Christ is in justification (we are righteous) and the imperative of our union with Christ is in sanctification (we are to be righteous). As we have seen, both of these emphases are implied in the formula of the covenant. The following chart helps us to capture Calvin’s covenantal thought in terms of the two savings benefits of the covenant of grace. The Relationship of the Two Parts of the Covenant of Grace in Calvin’s Thought Justification Sanctification 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 2. Simultaneous with Sanctification 2. Simultaneous with justification 3. Inseparable from Sanctification 3. Inseparable from Justification 4. Distinguishable from Sanctification 4. Distinguishable from Justification 5. By Faith Alone in Christ 5. By Faith and Obedience to the Law through Enablement of the Holy Spirit 6. A Superior righteousness that is not contrary to Sanctification Righteousness 6. An Inferior Righteousness not contrary to Justification Righteousness 7. Faith Alone Justifies and is the Superior Cause of Salvation 7. But Faith is Never Alone in the Justified Person, so sanctification’s works are Inferior Causes of Salvation 8. Imputed Righteousness 8. Inherent Righteousness V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. What difference does the covenantal rather than the dispensational reading of the Bible really make in the Christian life? First, we should see that covenant theology declares that the kingdom of Christ has already begun and is not completely future. If one believes that the kingdom is yet to come but is not yet here, it is possible for the church to see itself as a group of people that should retreat from the world, to care mainly about themselves. The Church’s primary task then is to invite others to join them in their retreat from culture. This approach often asserts that the world is going to get worse and worse and there is nothing anyone can do about it. All one can hope for is for Jesus to come and rapture the Church out of this fallen world and only then everything will be right. Allow me here to give a personal experience. When I left Dallas Seminary in 1978 to go to Westminster Seminary, it was at the time of the first great oil crisis caused by the oil embargoes. I vividly remember being in those long lines of cars at the gas station. In Philadelphia I received word from friends in Dallas that the Seminary had decided to take out an ad in the local newspaper declaring that this was the last call for the rapture. It is clear that there have been a several more opportunities for Dispensational interpreters to call for the rapture! The best-selling Left Behind series hadn’t yet been written. This was when I realized I could no longer be a Dispensationalistnot if Dispensationalism focused on reading newspapers to figure out when Jesus would come. I began to understand that the question we should have been asking was, “How does one live for Christ if there’s no gasoline?” There is a different ethic created by Dispensationalism and by Covenant Theology. Dispensationalism asks one to live in light of the raptureno gasoline means the rapture is coming. Covenant Theology, however, asks one to reflect on what it means to be a Christian when one can no longer pump gas. Jesus taught in Matthew 5, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” He was not talking only to the Old Testament people of Israel. He was talking to Christians. In essence, He was saying: “You are to make a difference. You are to be salty salt that purifies a fallen world and you are to be radiant light that dispels the darkness of unbelief that surrounds the believer. You are to touch the world with what you believe and in what you do.” Covenant Theology declares that believers are to influence their cultures for Christ’s sake. Light shines and dispels darkness. Light makes its presence known. So the Christian is to be the light of the world wherever he goes, whether into a family, into a school, into a political party, into a university or into a business. He is to shine the light of the kingdom of Christ everywhere and make a difference. An adherent of covenant theology must understand that he is to demonstrate that the kingdom of Christ is present. The Christian should be able to say, “I will make a difference for His name wherever I ameverywhere I go, in everything I do, in everything I say.” That is the vision of the ethics of covenant theology, rather than looking to the future trying to ascertain the dates and times of Christ’s return. Covenant Theology accepts Jesus’ agnosticism about the time of His return. Our Lord taught us that, “No man knows the day or the hour or the time or the season that’s appointed by the Father.” Instead of figuring out the time of Christ’s return, one is to be occupied in service to Christ until He comes. We are to be busy in the world, seeking to reach the world for Christ’s sake. Christ’s Kingdom has irrupted or broken into the space and time of human existence. Thus Jesus taught that His gospel of the kingdom had to be preached in the entire world and only then would the end come. Thus believers are called to be missionaries and evangelists engaging our changing world with God’s unchanging Word so that his kingdom will make progress. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Finally, I will offer a few observations about the sacraments as they are differently viewed from the Dispensational perspective and from the vantage point of Covenant Theology. This vast topic could encompass the nature, meaning and practice of the sacraments in terms of the Eucharist, Baptism and Infant Baptism. But to state the matter simply, let us note that Dispensationalism tends to see the sacraments in a more individualistic sense, whereas Covenant Theology insists that the sacraments are to impact the entire community of God’s people. Dispensationalism’s individualistic tendency parallels its belief that the world will grow worse and worse. But as long as one believes in Christ as Savior, everything will ultimately be all right since the individual believer will go to heaven. In contrast, without diminishing the joyful hope of the individual’s salvation, covenant theology affirms with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Covenant Theology recognizes the corporate nature of God’s covenant promise, as seen in the intergenerational expression of the formula of the covenant from the Old Testament, “I will be your God and the God of your children after you” and “To a thousand generations of those that love me and keep my commandments.” On the basis of these Old Testament promises that are held to be still valid in the New Testament era, Calvin and covenant theology have affirmed the corporate character of the covenant as expressed especially in infant baptism. Calvin is so adamant that the covenant with the Jews continues into the New Covenant era that he asserts that to deny this is nothing less than blasphemy! For Calvin, such denial implies that Christ’s coming actually narrowed God’s grace rather than expanding it: Yet Scripture opens to us a still surer knowledge of the truth. Indeed, it is most evident that the covenant which the Lord once made with Abraham is no less in force today for Christians than it was of old for the Jewish people, and that this work relates no less to Christians than it then related to the Jews. Unless perhaps we think that Christ by his coming lessened or curtailed the grace of the Father--but this is nothing but execrable blasphemy! Accordingly, the children of the Jews also, because they had been made heirs of his covenant and distinguished from the children of the impious, were called a holy seed. For this same reason the children of Christians are considered holy; and even though born with only one believing parent, by the apostle’s testimony they differ from the unclean seed of idolaters. Now seeing that the Lord immediately after making the covenant with Abraham commanded it to be sealed in infants by an outward sacrament what excuse will Christians give for not testifying and sealing it in their children today? Children in the Old Testament and in the New are a holy seed by virtue of the same covenantal promise made by God with Abraham. Accordingly, infant baptism bears the same force of command as circumcision. Nor does Calvin accept the evasion that Abraham’s children in the Old Testament Covenant simply foreshadow believers in the New Covenant era. This cannot be, because God’s covenant established with Abraham includes the Christian believer and their children too. In the use of the term “children” they find this difference: those who had their origin from his seed were called children of Abraham under the Old Testament; now, those who imitate his faith are called by this name. They therefore say that that physical infancy which was engrafted into the fellowship of the covenant through circumcision foreshadowed the spiritual infants of the New Testament, who were regenerated to immortal life by God’s Word. In these words, indeed, we see a feeble spark of truth. But those fickle spirits gravely sin in seizing upon whatever first comes to hand where they ought to proceed further, and in stubbornly clinging to one word where they ought to compare many things together....We should, accordingly, aim at a better target, to which we are directed by the very sure guidance of Scripture. Therefore, the Lord promises Abraham that he will have offspring in whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and at the same time assures him that he will be his God and the God of his descendants. All those who by faith receive Christ as author of the blessing are heirs of this promise, and are therefore called children of Abraham. Calvin’s point is that while there is an element of truth in the objection, it does not fully explain all of the salient Scriptural data. It is true that the offspring of Abraham’s flesh foreshadowed the future offspring of Abraham by faith. Yet this fact does not remove the promise that God made to Abraham’s physical offspring. God assured Abraham “that he will be his God and the God of his descendants.” Calvin’s response is not an either/or, but a both/and. The implication for the practice of baptism is that the offspring of Abraham are heirs of the promise, even those who became his offspring by faith. Thus the children of Abraham’s offspring by faith are also made full partakers of the promise, since they are now part of his family. The covenant with Abraham continues to operate in the New Covenant era. A criticism of Calvin’s argument for paedobaptism is that the only sign of the covenant was circumcision, and it has ceased. Therefore, the covenant of circumcision is of no value because its sign is abolished. Calvin’s retort is that the changing of the sign does not change the covenant. And let no one object against me that the Lord did not command that his covenant be confirmed by any other symbol than circumcision, which has long since been abolished. There is a ready answer that for the time of the Old Testament he instituted circumcision, to confirm his covenant, but that after circumcision was abolished, the same reason for confirming his covenant (which we have in common with the Jews) still holds good. Consequently, we must always diligently consider what is common to both, and what they have apart from us. The covenant is common, and the reason for confirming it is common. Only the manner of confirmation is different--what was circumcision for them was replaced for us by baptism. If it is true that there is no replacement for circumcision, then in Calvin’s mind, Christ’s coming actually obscured God’s grace rather than increasing it: Otherwise, if the testimony by which the Jews were assured of the salvation of their posterity is taken away from us, Christ’s coming would have the effect of making God’s grace more obscure and less attested for us than it had previously been for the Jews. Now, this cannot be said without grievously slandering Christ, through whom the Father’s infinite goodness was more clearly and liberally poured out upon the earth and declared to men than ever before. As covenantal theologians in the New Testament era, following in the covenantal hermeneutic of Calvin, we are to be concerned in our sacramental lives with the corporate character of the covenant community just as the people of the Old Testament era understood the corporate character of God’s covenantal promises to them. These covenantal promises are not merely individual, but they encompass the importance of the whole family and the coming generations as we personally and collectively grow in Christ. Conclusion: There are several other areas of covenantal thought in Calvin that could be pursued. But we shall conclude having seen that for Calvin, biblical interpretation, the saving benefits of Christ, Christian ethics and the Church’s sacramental life are all important expressions of God’s one and eternal saving covenant of grace revealed throughout the history of redemption from Old Testament to New Testament. Although Calvin never encountered Dispensationalism per se, his understanding of the covenant was directly opposed to the foundational premises of Dispensationalism. So with pun intended, in this New Testament dispensation of God’s one covenant of grace in Christ, which includes the 500th anniversary of Calvin, let us maintain the covenant as a central element in our biblical and theological labors. For as Calvin himself declared as he commented on Psalm 25:10, “We have no reason to be afraid that God will deceive us if we persevere in His covenant.” Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A God of Sanctuary(성소의 하나님)/ Joshua 20:1-9(수20:1-9)/ 2015-02-21
A God of Sanctuary(성소의 하나님) Joshua 20:1-9(수20:1-9) A God of Sanctuary Joshua 20:1-9 1 Then the LORD said to Joshua: 2 “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. 4 “When he flees to one of these cities, he is to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state his case before the elders of that city. Then they are to admit him into their city and give him a place to live with them. 5 If the avenger of blood pursues him, they must not surrender the one accused, because he killed his neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. 6 He is to stay in that city until he has stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then he may go back to his own home in the town from which he fled.” 7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8 On the east side of the Jordan of Jericho they designated Bezer in the desert on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. 9 Any of the Israelites or any alien living among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly. Main Verse “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, Joshua 20 : 2 REFLECTION There is a lot of criticism of the book of Joshua as being very bloody and showing a heartless, warrior-like God. Yet, at the heart of the history recorded in this book is the revelation of who God was and is; even though God may seem harsh and cruel at times, He clearly is always watching and caring for His people. The book of Joshua is filled with accounts of battles and instructions to Joshua on how to deal with enemies. But here, God stops and instructs Joshua how to set up special cities of refuge for those who are in need. If someone has committed an accidental and unintentional killing, the person is to travel to one of these cities and seek sanctuary there. No one is then allowed to pursue that person while the city is required to welcome him in. It is important to note that God was not excusing or condoning the person from this act of killing, but God was ensuring that he was not harmed by revenge seeking family members or angry onlookers. This person was able to stay safe until he was brought to trial. This shows that God was and is a God of grace and justice. God provided sanctuary for those who needed it. He was not a cruel and thoughtless God who left people at the hands of others who wanted to do harm. This was an incredible statement of who God was for His people. God knew that He needed this to keep justice at hand. DAILY PRAYER Almighty God, You who see everything and know everything, You are so good to me. Thank You, that in the midst of my sinful life, You do not turn Your back on me, but You give me refuge and sanctuary. Help me, O God, to be a grateful person, and convict me that I may follow You wherever You lead me. Amen. APPLICATION God is still a God of justice today. Time and time again, we may commit sins that seem so bad and so wrong, and yet God does not turn His back on us. He provides sanctuary for us. He does not condone what we do, nor does he excuse it in any way. But He is there for us in our time of need. He comforts us with His promise of forgiveness when we find ourselves on our knees, in deep repentance He gives us refuge. God is a God of justice and fairness, but He is also a God of mercy and love. We worship a God of grace. As you spend time with the Lord today, go before Him with a humble heart that seeks true shelter from the darkness of the world your sinful nature desires to follow. Know the God of grace who promises to forgive you and to purify you from all unrighteousness. We are safest in the arms of God.
A House Built on Rock(반석 위에 세운 집)/ Matthew 7:24-27(마7:24-27)/ 2009-10-24
A House Built on Rock(반석 위에 세운 집) Matthew 7:24-27(마7:24-27) A House Built on Rock Matthew 7:24-27 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”(Matthew 7:24-27) Today we celebrate foundation day. Today’s holiday celebrate Korea’s proud and cherished 5,0000 year history. We pray God will make Korea and Young Nak stronger in Christ. It is a Christian virtue to pray for stronger Korean nation coupled with crowded churches. Currently Young Nak church is holding a church conference entitled Remnant 2500. The purpose of this conference is to attract 2,500 new converts to Christ by the end of this year. So let’s go out and do our part: become a witness for Christ to strengthen the foundation of this church. Witnessing about Christ to friends and close associates is similar to construction work. When we introduce Christ to a new convert, we are building new foundations. We teach about a new way of living. A new way of thinking. For the first time a new convert can experience real love, heart-felt joy, deep and inner peace, tender patience, radiating with kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are just a few of the important changes Christians experience when they adopt Christ in the center of their life. Evangelizing is similar to building up a house build on rock. Going out to witness will strengthen faith. Faith is the foundation of Christian life. If faith is acted upon, you see hearts and minds transformed. You see the power of Christ. Evangelists’ build on the experience of going out in the field will produce fruits. Confidence increases. Love sways decision to continue to go out every week. The Lord can do amazing things when you allow him to be your mouthpiece. Evangelizing both seamen and factory workers every week is the cornerstone of the purpose of this English ministry. We are finding and building up new lives in Christ. These last few months we have been amazed to see many fruits in this church developing and growing. I strongly believe the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of this congregation since we are becoming a community of prayer warriors. Our numbers seem to be increasing every week … just like the number of buildings under construction keeps increasing every year in Korea. I have always been amazed to see so many new buildings built in a short time in Korea. Everywhere you look, open spaces are filled up with new office buildings or apartments. The construction of a building from beginning to end seems to me overwhelmingly daunting. The amount of planning, from architect’s drawings to detailed construction plans, seemed endless. Step by step, a plan is made followed meticulously until it comes to completion. One of the most impressive things I learned about the construction of Young Nak Church at the beginning of the Korean War was not only that this church is held up by over 1,000 wooden piles driven down into the clay and swampy marsh, but also that was far more piles than anyone imagined would actually be necessary to hold up this building. The original builders were determined to have a strong foundation. Did you know that there are over 400 references in Scripture relating to building and construction, used as metaphors, examples, in parables? “Unless the Lord builds the house,” one Psalm says, “those who build it labor in vain.” There is a “time to build,” Ecclesiastes says. “We have a building from God,” Paul says, “a house not made with human hands.” The church was called “the household of God.” In our gospel lesson Jesus is completing his Sermon on the Mount, full of teaching about what it takes to build a sturdy, good life. And he tells the story of the wise man who built his house on rock, so that when the rains fell and the floods came, and the winds blew, it didn’t fall down. We are all involved, he is saying, in building our lives, stone by stone, brick by brick, board by board. Every experience we have, every good thing, every mistake, every wound we receive, all of that goes into the shaping of our souls. Some of us start off with a lot of help getting our foundations in place. But plenty of us get off to shaky starts ― bad advice, no support, a lot that we have to overcome. However we start, though, we build our lives day by day. We make decisions, stone by stone, board by board. Good things happen. Someone helps us pay for college, or helps us get a job. Or we make mistakes, make foolish choices, get involved with ungodly people. I remember a spiritual mentor saying something to me that changed the way I had looked at the wrong turns in my own life. God, he said, is frugal. God doesn’t waste anything in our lives. Even the wrong turns, the bad mistakes, the wounds we get hit with ― God finds ways for us to learn from them, to grow through them, and even to use that experience to teach us what we couldn’t have learned any other way. Sometimes people lay out plans for their lives they later wish they hadn’t. I have heard more people than I can count say to me in one form or another, “I wish I hadn’t been so obsessed with work.” When I was looking to buy my first home, I inquired why did the owners want to sale this beautiful home? The real estate agent told me, “The owners were experiencing a marriage crisis. Both husband and wife worked hard and constantly to built this home. Finally, when the home was finally finished, their marriage was on the brink.” Later the wife applied for a divorce. The house stood empty. At some point along the way we may discover that the building plan we have been working with will never get us what we really want. Are we laying the right foundation in our Christian life? Jesus tells the story about the man who built wisely, but he also talks about the unwise man who built his house on sand, and so when the rains came, and the rivers rose, his house was destroyed. “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” Do you remember the sense of disorientation so many felt after Hurricane Katrina? It felt as if the rains and winds and floods had come. Our “houses” were being attacked. Churches were also flooded with people looking for something firmer –something that would last forever. Where was the foundation that could hold against the storm? We have a foundation. “Christ is the cornerstone” of our building, Scripture says. There actually is a rock we can build on that cannot be shaken, and that rock is God, the Creator, and Christ, the one who comes to save and promises that none of us has to be lost. But it’s not enough just to know that. We have to build our lives on it. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus says to turn the other cheek, to be the light of the world, to forgive, to be faithful in marriage, to refuse to give back violence for violence, and above all to trust. Trust that the Holy One knows every hair on your head. Trust that you cannot ever fall so far as to fall out of God’s hands. Build your life on that, and you will have a sure foundation. Let go of the past; it’s history. Don’t worry about the future; you have no control over it. Live right now. Trustingly, honestly, riskily, lovingly. And learning to live this way is like learning a craft, a craft such as, say, bricklaying. You don’t just walk out one day and skillfully shape and arrange and secure brick. It takes apprenticeship and practice and patience learning the skills. Being a great administrator, or basketball player, or dentist takes meticulous, painstaking learning and practice. And it needs to be a daily process of putting a God-consciousness into our days. The peace we experience by reading our bible and praying every day is something that we cannot get anywhere else in the world no matter how long we search for happiness ― a foundation for our lives, the rock that can sustain us for the rest of our days. When we commit our lives to glorifying our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are saying that there is a Power greater than life itself who us, and will go forth as we build our life on a foundation made of rock. So let’s apply today’s sermon into our hearts. Here how: 1. Know we all need a firm foundation. But it takes time and energy to build it. 2. Learning the essential pieces of the faith so that you can lay down those foundations for our faith is essential. Trust God always- 100% of the time. Learn from the people in the bible who have found God trustworthy. 3. Learn to give and receive Christ’s love even if you hardly know who Christ is. How? A. Reading a book in the bible will help you experience God’s love. (I suggest staring with the easiest book in the bible first, Psalms). B. Read consistently. Make a goal of reading one or two chapters a day. There might be some verses which are unclear. Write them down. Come to church on Sunday. Ask someone who you trust to answer your question correctly. C. Never forget to pray every day. Prayer will deepen faith, listening to what God is saying, reaching out to someone else’s need ― all that is building a foundation, so that when the storms and winds and floods come, you’re ready. So when the storms come, and they will, isn’t that the attitude you would like to have ― would like to have ― a strong, sure foundation? Well, we can. Just build it, step-step, day-by-day, one brick at a time. Amen. Young Nak Church
A Life of Her(그녀의 삶)/ Acts 9:36-43(행9:36-43)/ 2006-11-07
A Life of Her(그녀의 삶) Acts 9:36-43(행9:36-43) Dan Hurley was a famous performance writer, renowned for his 60-second scripts. He became famous in America for his ability to listen to the detailed life stories of people from all walks of life—from destitute people in Harlem to movie stars in Hollywood—and compress their biographies into scripts that could be read to an audience in 60 seconds. Dan Hurley wrote about 20,000 60-second biographical scripts; today, I would like to introduce two of them to you. Regarding Clement, a 40-year old man who lives in a dumpster located in a back alley in Brooklyn, New York, Hurley recorded the following script: I’m Really Satisfied with the Way I’m Living Now. Not Truly Happy. Just Content. Clement stated, “My dwelling—it’s a shelter and it’s not too bad. It has four walls, a ceiling and a floor. The only things it’s missing is a kitchen and a bathroom.” Clement, after divorcing his wife, settled in the dumpster and admitted that while he was not a drug addict or an alcoholic, adding that “the only vices that I have are cigarettes and a little marijuana.” He scrounged cans, bottles, and scrap metals to make a living; the surprising fact was that he was able to generate, through his “gathering,” an income of $800 to $900 per month. He was even able to save some money into his checking account. Clement was immensely proud of the fact that he was able to make his own living, without the help of government social or welfare programs or handouts from other people. Hurley wrote another 60-second biographical script that is worthy of our attention. A script titled “Honest Abe” succinctly delineates a life of a man as such: “Honest Abe. He’s a man of his word. As a CPA, he had to be honest. People depended on him. He was honest, too, when he promised to Margery 58 years ago that he would always love her and stand by her. They’ve been married that long, and they now have two children and three grandchildren. But he was never more honest than in one day six years ago, when his oldest daughter’s husband, Fred, was in the hospital and Abe went to see him. ‘You need a haircut,’ said Fred, joking. But Abe replied in utter seriousness: ‘I won’t get a haircut until you walk out of here.’ Fred never did walk out of there. He was carried out. He had died. And so Abe felt that he owed it to Fred to keep his word. That’s why he never cut his hair, why he has a long white ponytail—this conservative CPA.” If Hurley were to write a 60-second biography about your life to concisely illustrate your story to rest of the world, what would it be about? This morning, we witnessed a 60-second biography about a woman in the Book of Acts, chapter 9. Although short in length, today’s scripture lays out, in an impressionable manner, a story regarding one woman’s beautiful and precious life. Today, we will think about this woman, Dorcas. First, this was a woman who lived according to the meaning of her name. In verse 36, it is stated “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas.” This woman’s name was Tabitha in Aramas—the language of the Jews at the time—and Dorcas in Greek. In both languages, her name meant ‘beautiful gazelle.’ Either her parents or some relative probably gave her this name; throughout her life, she lived according to her name, earning great respect and adoration from those around her. Our names often delineate our character and uniqueness to others. We became ‘Christians’ after we started believing in Jesus Christ. As the people who belong to Christ, we must live guilt and embarrassment-free lives. In 1917, during the height of World War I, one of the most cruel and vicious massacres in history of war took place. Islamic Turks, upon invading Armenia, killed and butchered over 750,000 people believed to be Christians. The Turks lined up people who they believed to be Christians—regardless of gender and age—in front of burial trenches and asked questions to these people, one at a time, with a rifle pointed at them at point-blank range. “Mohammed or Christ?” Although replying “Mohammed” may have spared them of their lives, countless people answered “Christ, only Christ!” on their way to valiant deaths. They were martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for the name Jesus Christ—a truly holy name indeed. Second, how did Dorcas live that made her the object of affection for the multitudes of people? The latter half of verse 36 of today’s scripture states, Dorcas “was full of good works and charitable deeds, which she did.” She performed many acts of benevolence and altruism throughout her life. She especially helped those who were poor or in dire straits. In reading the second half of verse 39, we can see that Dorcas became famous for her sewing in Joppa. When Peter arrived in Joppa after hearing about the news of Dorcas’ death, the widows who had gathered around the body of Dorcas showed him the tunics and the garments that she had sewed while she was alive. The tunics and garments that Dorcas made displayed her diligence and virtuous character. Dorcas was famous in Joppa for her sewing, and her good and charitable deeds made others adore her. A woman named Bea Salazar, upon undergoing surgery for her back in 1990, had difficulties with mobility ever since. In a great depression, she painfully lived each day. Taking out her trash one day, Salazar happened to look upon a young boy who was scavenging for food in the trash bins. Feeling a great pity for the starving young child, Salazar took the boy into her home and made him a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. Finishing off the sandwich in no time, the boy left her house and returned about 15 minutes later with six of his friends, asking “is it true that you’re giving away peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches?” Salazar learned that many parent of the neighborhood, worn down from hard labor, neglected to take care of their children and many of these children wandered the street like beggars. After learning this fact, Salazar contacted many churches in her community and started gathering volunteers and relief supplies. One person, greatly moved by Salazar’s efforts, donated an apartment. At this apartment, over 100 children started gathering daily. After 10 years, despite great financial hardship, 5 of the 100 children went on to study at community colleges. Salazar would confess later, “I never thought that making one peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich would grow into something that would affect so many lives—especially mine. There was a point when I stopped thinking about my own pain and started concentrating on somebody else’s. It’s true that when you help others, you help yourself.” To have our neighbors fondly remember our lives, let’s do good and generous deeds. Third, how did people respond when Dorcas, who led such a wonderful life, died? In verse 37, Dorcas dies from disease and her body was rested in the upper room. In verse 38, people sent two messengers to Peter, who was working in Lydda, and asked him to come, without delay, to Joppa. Lydda was a city that encompassed the region occupied today by Tel Aviv, the largest city in Israel, and city of Lod; Joppa is known today as Jaffa, located to the south of Tel Aviv. The people of Joppa loved Dorcas so much—and their desire to resurrect her so great—that they hurriedly sent for Peter, the leader of the early Christian church. When we die, and if people around us grieve and say “a precious person died…only if he could have lived a little longer….only if he could wake up this minute…” our lives could be considered successful. However, when we die, and our death elicits cynical and disdainful response from people, such as “well, he deserved it…after all the bad things that he did…” our lives would be those of disgrace and shame. The fact is, Peter went to Joppa from Lydda and resurrected Dorcas. The manner in which Peter resurrects Dorcas is very similar to the manner in which Jesus resurrects the twelve-year old daughter of a synagogue ruler Jairus (Luke 8: 40-42, 49-56). Just as Jesus took Peter, John, James, and the parents of the dead girl into the room, held the child’s hand, and resurrected the girl by commanding “arise,” Peter sends everyone else out of the room, kneels, prays, and resurrects Dorcas by saying “Tabitha, arise!” This was an event that showed the pervasive effect of Jesus’ work on Peter. The Disciple, after watching his Mentor, repeated the very same deed. Truly blessed are those who have a mentor whom they can emulate. We must become such disciples of Christ, able to follow and emulate the very acts of Christ. The dire prayers of the people of Joppa had been answered—their Dorcas was resurrected, able to sew as before and carry on with her work of charity and good deeds. As a result, in verse 42, “And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.” The fact that Dorcas was resurrected increased the number of people who started to believe in Christ. If our lives were to be explained in 60 seconds, how would it be summarized? The life of Dorcas was concise yet moving. The grief over her death was so great that it resulted in her resurrection. We all must try our best to live the blessed life that will leave everlasting impression, grief, and positive influence on others.
A Life that Makes Others Happy(다른 사람들을 행복하게 하는 삶)/ Philippians 4:4-8(빌4:4-8)/ Pastor Sou-Young Lee(이수영 목사)/ 2002-09-11
A Life that Makes Others Happy(다른 사람들을 행복하게 하는 삶) Philippians 4:4-8(빌4:4-8) A Life that Makes Others Happy Philippians 4:4-8 We often hear that there are three kinds of people. The first kind of people is those who are necessary in a society. The second kind of people is those who are neither necessary nor harmful in a society. The third kind of people is those who are to be perished in a society. We need to reflect on ourselves in what group are we classified. Of course, all the people will agree that they are to be classified in the first group and not to be classified in the third group. Jesus says us, “You are the salt of the earth” as well as “You are the light of the world.” We should understand these words as the commandment to be the people that are necessary for a society. We should not be such people that are neither required nor harmful. Needless to say, we should not be such people that need to be perished from this society. Then, what is the criteria of these three kinds of people? I think the most important criterion is, like the example of salt and light, instructiveness. That is, people can be classified by whether they are instructive for people and society or not. In other words, people can be classified by whether they can make others happy or not. Everyone wants to be happy and no one wants to be miserable. Therefore, there is no more precious thing than making others happy, especially as many people as possible. On the other hand, there will be no more detestable life than making others unhappy, especially making plenty of people unhappy. In fact, the most blessed are those who can make others pleasant and happy with their words and actions. When we have such reputations as “My mind becomes joyful whenever I see him” or “I become happy whenever I see her smile or laughing” from others, then we can judge that our life has been blessed and successful. On the contrary, our lives must have been failure if our words and actions have made others unpleasant, inflicted others, caused pains many others, and brought harms others. How miserable our lives will be if we have such reputations from others as “The guy? Out of luck!” “Don’t mention about the guy before me! He angers me!” “The best is not to contact with him!” “If he perish in silence, it’s the best help for us!” Why do we need to live such lives? Of course, in some cases, we can bring damages and pains to others even though we try to do good for others. However, there are some ill natured people who continually devise miserable matters for others, enjoy the misery of others, and regard them as their happiness. I believe that there is no more cursed life than such people in this world. The misery of such people is that they do not change their mind but to be more stubborn when some others tell them their wrong doings. We should reflect on ourselves whether we are not such kind of people in our community. Making others happy does not require great efforts, huge capital, much knowledge, or great preparation. It only requires little concern for, small understanding of, and warm mind for others. Small kindness, concessions, smiles, and devotion which emanates from them can make others happy. Holding the doors for a while with a smile for the following person, after you enter into the building, can make this society bright and hopeful. One praise of good doing can make people happy. One embracing with the recognition of hard work can blow away all the fatigue and agony and make a person very happy. Some days ago, I fully realized the usefulness of a dim candle light. The electricity was off for that night and nothing was possible until one family member who knew the location of a match return to home and lit a candle. The dark society of this world really requires us to be a small light. The following words of Jesus are really meaningful in these days: “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see our good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Today’s scripture answers to the question of “How can we make others happy?” At first, verse 4 of today’s scripture says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Those who rejoice at all times can make others happy. People who frown and grumble at all times cannot make others happy. However, to rejoice without any reason is not good. Only those who rejoice with unselfish reason can make others happy. If a person is pleased with a fortunate big income when others feel bad because of lost money, can the pleasure make others happy? Our pleasure should be founded on our Lord. Those who rejoice with the faith on Jesus Christ in thankful of the grace, even in similar or worse situation to others, can make others happy. This is the meaning of verse 4 which says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Verse 5 says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” The word “gentleness” is the most difficult word for Korean theologists to translate among the words in New Testament. It means “justice and something better than justice.” We may misunderstand “gentleness” as “the generosity that sacrifices justice.” But “gentleness” here means the wisdom and ability which do not sacrifice justice. Gentleness also does not allow justice to hurt the people. We can make others happy if we can forgive and love others without sacrificing justice. Although this is difficult task to do, it is required to christians. As it is required to all christians, bible says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” Verse 6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything.” Those who do not be anxious can make others happy and can make others feel relief. Those who illustrate all his worries before a person really make others tired, gruesome, and frustrated. If someone are to listen the grumble of others in this hard world, it will really deprive the listener’s happiness. On the contrary, those who are carefree before serious situation also make others uneasy and unhappy. We are not anxious not because we have no worries nor are we indiscreet. We are not anxious because we entrust all our worries to our God. This is the reason why Apostle Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything,” and “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Those who report everything to God, pray for the solution, and who are free from worry can make others happy. Verse 6 also says us to pray with “thanksgiving.” Prayer with thanksgiving has two meanings. First, it requires to thank the fact that we can pray God entrusting all our things. Second, it requires to pray with the faith that God will grant all our requests. When we pray in this manner, we can enjoy peace in our mind. This fact is illustrated by verse 7 which says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Such a peace of mind and thought has the power to make others happy. Verse 8 introduces many secrets that can make others happy. It says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” That is, it requires us to think and practice eagerly whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is admirable. “What is true” here means to be truthful and to be a person that can be trusted. It makes us very happy to know or to have a person that is truthful and that can be trusted in all matters. Verse 8 says, “whatever is noble.” “Noble” here implies to be respectable, to be elegant, to be valuable, and to be earnest. Seeing a person who is respectable, elegant, and earnest in all matters at all time makes us happy. Verse 8 says, whatever is right. “Right” means keeping all the duties that should be observed in human relationships. Everyone who tries to have right relationship with God and keeps all the duties in human relations makes others happy. Verse 8 says, “whatever is pure.” Pure is translated as “chaste” in Korean bible. “Pure” here implies the trait which enables people to approach God, which reflects God, and which is enough to be used by God. Seeing a people who is pure and chaste make people happy. Verse 8 says, “whatever is lovely.” This implies the mind and character that can attract others’ mind. Seeing those who attract every others’ mind make people happy. Verse 8 says, “whatever is admirable.” Those who have good reputation in all matters also make others happy. Verse 8 also says, “if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.” This indicates all kinds of excellency and the matters that can be praised. If we eagerly think and practice whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, then we will be able to make others happy. These words are more precious for us because Apostle Paul wrote this letter in custody in jail to the saints of Philippians who were in danger of persecution. As the political, economic, social situation we are encountering now does not make us happy in these days, we all the more need to be the people that make others happy. Our church has the slogan “Let’s live as the children of light” in this year. Thus, all of we saints need to hear such praise as “You make this world livable,” or “Saemoonan Church is providing hope for this society!” Let us be the saints that make Saemoonan Church happy. Let us be the Saemoonan Church that make Korea happy. Through such efforts, I hope that the word “Saemoonanian” in a dictionary can be interpreted as “something that makes others happy” in sometime in the future. It will be the glory of God and it will be worthwhile events for us. Such word will be the evidence to our descendants on the fact that the saints of Saemoonan Church lived their life as the children of light in this world. “People that make others happy,” I hope this is not mere a dream. I hope it becomes the goal of our life and the principle of our practice within faith in this year. Pastor Sou-Young Lee(Saemoonan Church)(이수영 목사(새문안교회))
A Lunch box of a boy(소년의 도시락)/ John 6:1-15(요6:1-15 )/ 어린이주일학교영어설교/ 영한대역설교/ 2009-09-27
A Lunch box of a boy(소년의 도시락) John 6:1-15(요6:1-15) A Lunch box of a boy John 6:1-15 There was a boy. This boy’s name is not recorded in bible. Would you give him a nice name? O. K. Let’s call him Terry. He must be as tall as @@ (pointing one of students). His hair must be as short as ##‘s hair. He must be as active as **. One day, Terry was running an errand. He was carrying a box. It is a package his mother wanted to give to his uncle. Terry had another box. It’s the lunch box his mother made for him. It was his favorite lunch box - two fish and five loaves of bread. ◎ Speaking & Activities1 말하기 & 활동1 준비물: 도시락 크기의 종이박스와 그 안에 오려 넣은 오병이어 그림 또는 실물 Here is Terry’s lunch box. What are in this box? (two fish and five loaves of bread) Let’s see they are in here. Let’s count them. (어린이들과 함께 센다) One, two - two fish. One, two, three, four, five - five loaves of bread...two fish and five loaves of bread. Terry walked and walked until he saw a great crowd at the foot of a mountain. Terry thought, “There must be something fun. I will take a look at it.” and went close to the crowd. Jesus was teaching people bible stories. People loved to hear Jesus teaching because it made them happy. People wanted to learn more and more about God and they didn’t want to go home. It passed lunch time. Jesus said to his disciples, “It is lunch time. Where can we give them something to eat?” Philip counted money and answered, “We don’t have enough money, sir.” Jacob looked around and answered, “We don’t see any restaurant ... even Mcdonald or Burger King near around.” Thomas yawned and answered, “How about sending them back home?” Nobody came up with a great answer. At that time, Andrew came with Terry, the little boy. Andrew said, “This boy said he had something to share with us ◎ Speaking & Activities2 말하기 & 활동2 준비물: 4명의 제자 이름을 적은 흰 종이 The four disciples of Jesus are here. We will have them come up here. Four disciples, come forward, please. Here they are. But I won’t tell you their names. They will say what they said to Jesus. Then you will tell me each disciple’s name. Philip counted money and answered, “We don’t have enough money, sir.” Who is this man? James looked around and answered, “We don’t see any restaurant ... even Mcdonald or Burger King near around.” Thomas yawned and answered, “How about sending them back home?” Nobody came up with a great answer. Finally Andrew came with Terry, the little boy. Andrew said, “This boy said he had something to share.” “What is that?” asked Jesus. “Jesus, you said God’s people should share. I have my lunch box. I want to share it with people.” “How many people can eat it?” asked disciples opening up the lunch box. “Only two fish and five loaves of bread?” said disappointed disciples “They are yummy. And Jesus can do anything with it. Don’t you believe?” said Terry. Jesus took the two fish and five loaves of bread. He held them up high in heaven and prayed. “Thanks, Father for this meal and this boy’s faith.” Then, he had the food passed out. The food in the box was passed out until 5,000 people were fed. “This is a miracle!” “You must be God’s Son.” People shouted in joy. “I told you so. I knew He could do it,” Terry smiled. Dear friends, we are here in Jesus’ presence. in the house of God. Anything can happen if we are willing to share, willing to give to Jesus what we have, even though they are very small pieces. And we also can give him our faith. Then Jesus will take them and bless them and the next thing that will happen will be blessings abundant over on Gupo and Busan and all over the world. 소년의 도시락 요6:1-15 한 소년이 있었어요. 이 소년의 이름이 무엇이었는지 성경에 기록되어있지 않아요. 그에게 좋은 이름을 붙여주어 볼까요? (학생들로부터 이름 추천을 받는다) 좋아요. 그를 테리라고 부릅시다. 그는 oo (참석 학생 중에 한 사람을 가리키며) 만큼 키가 커요. 그의 머리칼은 ## 만큼 짧아요. 그는 ** 만큼 활동적이에요. 어느 날 테리는 심부름을 하고 있었어요. 그는 짐을 들고 가고 있었는데, 그것은 그의 어머니가 그의 삼촌에게 전해 주시기를 원하는 물건이었어요. 테리는 또 다른 박스도 갖고 있었는데 그것은 그의 어머니가 그를 위해 만들어주신 점심 도시락이었어요. 그것은 그가 가장 좋아하는 점심이었어요. 두 마리 생선과 다섯 조각의 빵이었어요. ◎ 말하기 & 활동 1 여기에 테리의 점심 도시락이 있어요. 이 안에 무엇이 있을까요? (두 마리 생선과 다섯 덩이의 빵) 이 안에 그것들이 있는지 봅시다. 한번 세어 봅시다. 하나, 둘 - 두 마리의 생선. 하나, 둘, 셋, 넷, 다섯 - 다섯 덩이의 빵 ... 두 마리의 생선과 다섯 덩이의 빵. 테리는 걷고 걷다가 산기슭에 엄청나게 많은 사람들이 모여 있는 것을 보았어요. 테리는 생각했죠, “뭔가 재미있는 게 있나봐. 가서 봐야겠어.” 그리고 군중들이 모인 곳으로 가까이 갔어요. 사실 예수님이 사람들에게 성경 이야기를 가르쳐 주고 계셨어요. 사람들은 예수님의 가르침을 좋아했어요. 왜냐하면 예수님의 가르침이 사람들을 기쁘게 해 주니까요. 사람들은 하나님에 관해서 더 많이 배우기를 원했고, 그들은 집에 가기를 원치 않았어요. 점심시간이 지났어요. 예수님은 제자들에게 말씀하셨어요. “점심시간이구나. 어디서 먹을 것을 구할 수 있을까?” 필립이 돈을 세어보고 대답하기를, “우리는 충분한 돈이 없어요, 주님.” 야곱이 둘러보고 대답하기를 “여긴 식당이 없어요. 이 근처엔 맥도날드도 버거킹도 없어요.” 토마스가 하품을 하며 대답하길, “사람들을 집으로 돌려보내는 것이 어떻겠어요?” 아무도 좋은 대답을 하지 못했어요. 마침내 안드레가 어린소년 테리를 데리고 왔어요. 안드레가 말하기를, “이 애가 나누어 (먹을) 것이 있답니다.” ◎ 말하기 & 활동 2 여기 예수님의 네 명의 제자들이 있어요. 그들을 불러 이 앞에 나와 보게 합시다. 네 명의 제자들, 앞으로 나와 보세요. 여기 나왔네요. 그러나 나는 그들의 이름을 말하지 않을 거예요. 그들은 예수님께 자기들이 한 말을 할 거에요. 그러면 여러분은 각 사람의 이름이 무엇인지 맞춰보세요. ☐☐이 돈을 세어보고 대답하기를, “우리는 충분한 돈이 없어요, 주님.” 이 사람은 누구일까요? ☐☐이 둘러보고 대답하기를 “여긴 식당이 없어요. 이 근처엔 맥도날드도 버거킹도 없어요.” 이 사람은 누구일까요? ☐☐☐가 하품을 하며 대답하길, “사람들을 집으로 돌려보내는 것이 어떻겠어요?” 아무도 좋은 대답을 하지 못했어요. 이 사람은 누구일까요? ☐☐☐가 말하기를, “이 애가 나누어 (먹을) 것이 있답니다.” 이 사람은 누구일까요? “그게 무어냐?” 예수님이 물으셨습니다. “예수님, 예수님이 하나님의 사람들은 나누어야 한다고 하셨어요. 제게 점심 도시락이 있어요. 이걸 사람들과 나눠 먹고 싶어요.” 그들은 “얼마나 많은 사람이 먹을 수 있을까?” 제자들은 도시락을 열면서 생각했어요. “두 마리 생선과 다섯 조각의 빵뿐이야?” 제자들이 실망하여 말했어요. “그것들은 참 맛있어요. 그리고 예수님께서 이것으로 무엇이든 하실 수 있다고 믿지 않으세요? 테리가 대답하였어요. 예수님은 두 마리의 생선과 다섯 조각의 빵을 손에 들었어요. 그것들을 하늘로 높이 들어 올리시고 기도했어요. “감사합니다, 아버지. 이 음식과 소년의 믿음으로 인하여 감사드립니다. 그런 다음에 주님은 음식을 나누어 돌리기 시작하셨어요. 도시락안의 음식은 돌려지고 돌려졌어요. 오천 명이 먹을 때까지 그치지 않고 나누어 졌어요. “이것은 기적이다!” “당신은 하나님의 아들이심에 틀림없군요!” 사람들은 기뻐하며 외쳤습니다. “그것 봐요. 내가 말했잖아요. 나는 저 분이 하실 수 있을 줄 알았다구요!” 테리는 미소 지었습니다. ◎ 질문 Q1. 무엇이 문제였는가요? (점심시간이었다. 그러나 그들은 먹을 것이 없었다.) Q2. 테리의 점심 도시락에는 무엇이 들어있었나요? (두 마리의 생선과 다섯 조각의 빵) Q3. 테리가 그의 점심 도시락을 예수님께 드릴 수 있었던 이유는 무엇인가요? (하나님의 사람은 나누어야 한다고 생각했다. 그리고 예수님은 그것을 가지고 무언가 놀라운 일을 하실 줄로 믿었다.)요 6:1-15 Pastor Seong-Ah Hong(홍성아 목사)(Busan Gupo Church(부산구포교회))
A man who eats the bread of life(생명의 떡을 먹는 사람)/ John 6:48-58(요6:48-58)/ 2003-06-11
A man who eats the bread of life(생명의 떡을 먹는 사람) John 6:48–58(요6:48-58) A man who eats the bread of life John 6:48–58 A man takes a food to keep his life and works to feed the food to his body. All alive that had eaten bread were dead. While, Jesus spoke of the bread of life personally which whoever eat it never is dead. “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. – I am the living bread which came down from heaven: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will for the life of the world.” All foods that we have taken are perished and everyone that had eaten the food was dead. So Jesus said of it, “labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures into everlasting life, which the son of man shall give into you. What is the bread of life that not perishes or not dead and how can we obtain it? 1. Jesus is the bread of life and that we eat the bread means that we believe in him. Jesus has come as the bread of life. He has come down from the Heaven to become a bread of life or a food for us, such as to crucify himself on the cross for us. The passage of 53 –55 in this paragraph says, “then. Jesus said into them, verily, verily, I say into you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. That we eat Jesus flesh, and drinks his blood means that we must believe in Jesus. Such as, that eating his flesh means that by our spirit, we believe in the fact that Jesus is the Son of God who is living and that his body was offered for us. That drinking us his blood means that we believe in the fact by spirit that he paid the worthy of our sin as shed his blood on the cross. That eating his flesh is the same behavior as that drinking his blood. As obtaining the life by eating a food, we may obtain the everlasting life as receiving him. 2. Jesus’ flesh is the true food for us and is the true drink his blood for us. “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed (55).” Jesus is the true food and true drink for everyone regardless of sex, old and young, or poor and rich. Whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This food is not an amount that we take for only a day but have to eat it we day by day. Without missing, we should eat it as believing in him. As eating it, it may become the true food within me. Also the family member each may live as believing Jesus. I hope that family all would live, eating and drinking of Jesus who is the true food and drink for us. 3. He who eats the bread of life lives, communicating with God. “He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him (56).” Dwelling in Jesus means that we live within him. If the bread of life of Jesus enters within me, we may communicate with Jesus and by his power, our soul is revived. The happiness of Jesus’ believer depends on communicating with him. Therefore, he that eats the bread of life may live satisfactorily, always communicating with Lord (John6: 35) 4. He that eats the bread of life lives by the grace of God (57). “As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me (57).” He that eats the Christ will be changed into his physical constitutes and come to resembling his personality into the configuration of Christ and make live as him. This is the living by Christ. If you ate the bread of life of Christ, his power shall come out of from you. Like this, he that eats the bread of life can praise under the trouble and persecution and even while he is dying, his face is radiant like an angel. This is because he lives, eating the bread of life by his grace. 5. He that eats the bread of life shall live forever and shall become a food to others. “This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your father did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live forever (58).” We may live forever as eating Jesus the bread of life. Since Jesus saved us as becoming bread to us, we also must save other as becoming bread to them. Multitude men always followed him: since there was bread, a poor could eat the bread, a solitary man ate the comfort and fed courage to a discouragement, the health to sicknesses, the life to dead. Jesus was a friend to sinners and beings discarded. Dear everybody! Wherever you go, I hope that you would become a being who is able to feed eatable things to others. Only a man that bears the cross of Jesus can distribute the bread to others as being as bread to them. In this world, many are suffered from starvation: some of them thirst for real physical food, while there are filled fully with the beings to be fallen into hell’s fire forever without tasting a bread of life which is food of a spirit. Let us feed such men the bread of life and let us become ourselves bread over the starvations, thirsty, beings in rags, solitude, imprisoned, discarded and alienated. Let us eat the bread of life which makes us not dead forever and feed it to them to be saved. Pastor S. H. Park
A man who is worthy of God(하나님께 가치 있는 사람)/ Matthew 10:37-39(마10:37-39)/ 2002-11-15
A man who is worthy of God(하나님께 가치 있는 사람) Matthew 10:37-39(마10:37-39) A man who is worthy of God Matthew 10:37-39 37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Who is Worthy of Me Over the past two weeks we have been going through our autumn season of early Morning Prayer. Through this prayer we are calling out to the title, teaching the lesson and conducting our training in the Lord. In this title, how is the Lord teaching and training us? And finally what kind of apostle he wants to make out of us? This is what we were learning during Early Morning Prayer. Today, our word will be about the conclusion of all of this training and learning over the past two weeks. What kind of apostle to we want to be? That is one who will take his cross and follow our Lord. That is the kind of apostle he wants. Lets read today’s scripture Matthew 10:37-39 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. When we look at this word, there are three times it says “not worthy of me” what does this mean? What kind of person is worthy of me? Anyone who loves me more than his father or mother. worthy of me. Anyone who loves me more than their son or daughter. worthy of me. Who ever take his cross and follow me. worthy of me. Follow me; is not the people who say they have found their life. Even though he has lost his life and takes his cross without fear, is the person who is worthy of me. This has a very deep meaning to touch your heart. Ah, when we hear this word, we see that it is not easy to truly follow our Lord. It is not too easy to be an apostle of our Lord. It is not going to be easy to work for the lord. We can feel this through today’s scripture. And yes, this is right, it is not easy. Of everything in this world, nothing is easy. Following our Lord, is actually not that simple. Well, lets look at today’s scripture with a little more detail. Today’s scripture says “not worthy of me” a lot, but when we look through this, it shows who is worthy of our Lord. First, what people are worthy of the Lord? Looking at verse 37, Anyone who loves me more than his father or mother. worthy of me. Anyone who loves me more than their son or daughter. worthy of me. When we hear this word, we feel a frightened. What does this mean? But, Maybe by looking at this word and understanding it, people with a family who are unfaithful or with a different religion and in this family one begins to love Jesus. these are the people who I think understand this word the best. Because of the fact that this family is going to start going to church, it is going to cause difficulties among the family. I wish to give you a better understanding of today’s scripture. By looking in front of today’s reading. look at verses 34-36. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn “a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. What? What is the “good” meaning here? This is when people start to believe in the lord. The people who have no belief and those of different religions. In this kind of family, with this new religion in Christianity comes to them. It comes to them with a new and different view. it comes with a different way of doing things. Naturally, what would automatically change in this family? What is their response? I am sure it is not peace but more than likely fighting. We need to be prepared for this. Actually, if a person wants to do something. at all costs of reason they are going to get mentally prepared for this. That is how we can make it all possible. It’s like water. if you pour water into water, you get water. but if you pour liquor into water you get liquor. Two wrongs can’t be right. you cannot be right by both ways. Even in the following of Jesus. Keeping your faith and staying on the right path this is not a simple task. So, that is why it says, in verse 37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; Secondly, who is worthy of the Lord? Let’s look at verse 38 of today’s reading, 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Who takes his cross and follows me. Most people in church go to church regularly and well. But most people remove their cross. What about these people? I am not sure which of you are this kind of person, but most people are like this. Let’s think about this for a minute. What do we think of ourselves on this? Are we people of faith? Do we try really hard to know our own crosses? And do we even try to carry our crosses through our life of faith? Or do we just want to take those crosses off? Which way is your faith going? If I ask you, it might be very difficult or uncomfortable to answer. We should all check our own faith. Maybe we should all do things in a little different way. While I am living my life of faith, I want to carry the smallest cross possible. Are we like this person? Or What ever the cross that our Lord has given us we carry without complaints. Are we this kind of person? What do you think? Before we check ourselves, we need to be honest with ourselves. If we are not honest we won’t be able to take care of our problems. Third, who is worthy of the Lord? Let’s look at verse 39. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Even if they loose their lives, they do not fear. This is worthy of the Lord. This word is very important. Because, without this word, all that we have learned so far might be a great big misunderstanding. Like what the Lord said in verse 37 Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. It is like these words, that it is possible for some misunderstanding, but verse 39 it makes it all easier to understand. Before closing, I would like to better organize this message. Today’s scripture tells us like this. Who is not worthy of the Lord. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Let’s think about this one more time. Let’s look at the first and second part. Anyone who loves his own family more than Jesus is not worth of the Lord. Earlier with explanation we could understand. but let’s look at it a different way. First it says, father and mother. What does this mean? This means in our family. the people in our family that are higher than us. Of course we love, respect and support them. This is right; this is what we have to do. BUT, it is not worthy of the love of our LORD. And the second word is that of your son or daughter. and this means that in our faithful lives, we have people in our family that are of lower status than ourselves. and we love and take care of them. Yes, this is also right, but we do not do more than our love to the Lord. I hope you don’t misunderstand this part. Especially in today’s message, taking the Cross and finding our lives. This we need to look at carefully. Why do we need to look carefully? Because many people just go through the motions of church. But, we live our faith lives without worry or connection with our crosses. And, we don’t feel heavy or burdened, without pressure to believe in Jesus. There are many who live like this and come to church. Also, not just this; what I am trying to say is more important than this. That is how we try to do our faith without carrying our crosses, what kind of situation are we going to fall into? What kind of mistake will we make? What do you think of this point? Ok, we go to church, every Sunday. We do our worship service. and yep, sometimes we pray hard and learn something. We look at these people as people of faith. So, we can’t see anything in their spirit of their love for the cross of Jesus. So, when we keep our faith in this manner, how do we get in? They are falling because of their superstition. This is their mistake or error. This is very important. So, that is why the Lord said it that way as in verse 38. Anyone who wants to follow me must take his cross and follow me. Especially, we look at the middle of this word. It says, follow me. we have to be careful not to say, “Learn from me.” Follow me: How do we follow the Lord? What should we do? Not just carrying the Cross. but we must take our Crosses and follow the Lord. Maybe, not following the Lord, and just knowing of the Lord or just learning of the Lord. It is possible to do this without carrying your cross. We put our bible on our desk, and we can sit at our desk and learn. But if we follow the Lord we take our cross and follow the lord. Everything is possible. And when we follow the Lord, without carrying the cross, we can be easily tested by temptation. And we can complain and blame others easily over the smallest matters. Making it easy for us to give up and fall down. It was this point that our Lord already knew. So, anyone who wants to follow Jesus must take his cross and follow me. That is why he said clearly. 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. If we look at the hymnal, there are a lot of hymn’s about the cross. but I found one #365 that shows the meaning well. Verse one and two of this hymn. 1. Must Jesus bear the cross alone, And all the world go free? No, there’s a cross for every one, And there’s a cross for me. 2. The consecrated cross I’ll bear Till death shall set me free, and then go home my crown to wear; For there’s a crown for me. What does this mean? The Consecrated Cross I’ll Bear? This means the cross that is rightly mine. So, I hang mine from my neck to be my burden. This cross of mine I will always take care of and follow the Lord and then go home my crown to wear. That is what this Hymn was about. Lets all sing together. Verse one and two of this hymn. #365 Last week we began voting for our elders, and we have yet another week of voting this week. We have to choose. Like in today’s word. we have to choose those who are worthy of the Lord. We should never vote for someone who called in secret and asked us for help or offered a bribe. I want to be an elder please support me, vote for me. No, we shouldn’t vote for them. I don’t know who did it, or who asks a favor but you know who they are. So, who do we need to elect to these positions? Not the secret or covert people, but the ones who honestly and sincerely give worship to the lord. He who carries his cross and follows the Lord. It is that person we should support and elect. Why? Well, those people are worthy of the Lord. No doubt about it. It is this kind of person we should elect to work for our Church. So, those who ran their secrets and bribes should be blocked and not allowed to be an officer in our church. This should be made impossible. So, that is how our church can be a real church. I as your pastor, ask you all a very serious favor. This is our holy church. Not part of the outside world. Don’t vote in the way of the outside world. This would be absolutely incorrect. Does he really have the worth of the Lord? Can he give his life for the church or the Lord? Not thinking of his position of Honor. But is he in a good place of service? Let’s all take time to pray for this and the good decision of our congregation. I want our church to be a good example of a church here in Daegu. When the voting is all finished, I don’t want to hear or say anything bad about the way anyone was elected. When we vote we should pray and let the Holy Spirit help us make our selections so that we may truly celebrate the elected. And so that we may be able to help these people provide a great service to the Lord. We should support him or her in their needs. In the meantime, the ones who were not elected, we should pray to comfort them. Giving them support as well. Let’s make our church of one mind, and a beautiful congregation. Pastor Jung-suk Lim(임정석 목사)
A Marriage Make-Over(결혼 개조)/ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(고전13:4-8)/ 2004-06-20
A Marriage Make-Over(결혼 개조) 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(고전13:4-8) A Marriage Make-Over 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 A Thought for Today: The Love Chapter “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...” I Corinthians 13:4-8a Most people see love through rose colored glasses. It is blind and we want to see the best in that special person romantically. But love isn’t always about romance and good feelings. It is about an emotion that expresses itself more clearly in actions. We need to get past the emotions to the real meaning of the word, LOVE. LOVE is- patient with others, kind to others. It is NOT full of envy, boastful, proud, rude or self-seeking. It isn’t easily angered, doesn’t keep records or accounts of wrongs, mistakes, or anything else. Love is NOT evil, and therefore doesn’t delight in evil of any kind. Because real LOVE rejoices in the truth. In the final analysis, LOVE always protects, trusts, has hope, and perseveres through the good and bad times in life. And finally, LOVE never fails. Love can’t fail in and of itself. People fail showing real love to those we profess to love. That is why this mini series is so very important. Not only married couples, but to everyone. As we all need to learn God’s ways in perfecting our lives to produce love and good works. As we gets the true meaning of LOVE, in one’s heart, we can be fruitful in marriage. If you’re single and preparing for marriage this is good stuff. If your not ready for marriage, it still offers you tools to use, when and if that special time comes. Most important! Love is to be expressed as God does unconditionally. We call this in the Greek, “Agape.” For God’s love is to be expressed at all times, to all people. So, our sermon text is valuable, at all times. Sermon Introduction: Have you ever heard the word, “Make-Over?” It is to make something better from what it originally was. For example: A house make-over, from old to a new remodel. A car make-over, from an old rust bucket to being restored. And last, but not least.... a human make-over. This is where a person receives a new wardrobe of clothes, hair changes, plastic or reconstructive surgery from top to bottom. These types of things are popular TV programs you can see in Korea from the USA. It is absolutely amazing! Ugly people becoming attractive. Some people are born with beauty and good looks. Others work at it, to change naturally. And then some need more professional help to do this, as the defects are more than just plain cosmetic. And that is why the word extreme make-over is common for this procedure. With this theme in mind, we are going to look at what it takes to have a “Marriage Make-Over.” Here in Korea, people tend to endure if marriages are difficult and in a crisis. Marriage counseling is rare and almost never used. In this 21st Century we are in a relational crisis mode. Marriages, families, relationships of all kinds, are in trouble. We need tools to help us overcome and repair the broken parts and have reconciliation & restoration come into being. Let’s go deeper into our theme: What goes wrong in a Marriage? 1. Unrealistic Expectations: When we have high expectations for perfection, with no one being perfect accept Jesus, things are just plain unrealistic. This causes major disappointments and problems in marriage. 2. Unaccepted Differences: Opposites usually attract. But, after marriage differences usually add cause for attack. When dating is new and exciting, some differences cause an attraction but afterwards, problems! 3. Unresolved Issues: Things that haven’t been resolved in the relationship having to do with finances, sex, communication and other family issues, can cause some difficult times in marriage. 4. Unforgiven Hurts: Here is the # 1 sin in marriages and relationships everywhere. When one has been hurt and unforgiveness sets in. The marriage is up for doom and gloom continually. So these areas are roots to what goes wrong in marriages and pitfalls to be very careful of. It seems to reason, we must guard against them and take to heart tools, to resolve these problems. Essentials for a Healthy Marriage: God’s # 1 tool for marriage is the use of a mate to help in the area of Sanctification. To help us not conform to this world and be set apart. It is the godly mate who helps keep us in check. To keep us on the straight and narrow in the Lord. Also , forgiveness is to be a daily habit. The words; “Honey I’m so SORRY!” Should be continually on our lips. Because we tend to make mistakes, do things we shouldn’t do, say things we shouldn’t say, and so on. Don’t forget! The Love Chapter.... Live it! Let me repeat this passage with the New Living Translation. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through ever circumstance. Love will last forever...” I Corinthians 13:4-8a Let’s go a bit further in our study. I want to give you some very important pointers to use as foundational, for your marriage make-over. Steps to a Marriage Make-Over: 1. Accepting Responsibility We all need to accept responsibility for our part in problems areas. Take the responsibility for one’s own mistakes, short-comings, and problem areas within the marriage. Don’t compare other marriages, complain to, or blame your mate for the difficulties you created. “For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” Galatians 6;5 2. Believe God for Changes If God Almighty can bring people to salvation, do miracles, perform great and might things. Why can’t you believe God to change your marriage? “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matt. 19:26 3. Commit to Doing Whatever it Takes The key here is plainly, pray & obey. You keep praying and obeying the Word of God. Don’t give up! Don’t give into temptation and practice what the Bible says. Commitment is the KEY! “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if We do not give up.” Gal. 6:9 4. Deal with Unresolved Hurts Let me tell you how important it is to deal with root problems that deal with unresolved hurt issues. It will make a difference in the marriage picture. Here is the key.... “I was wrong.” Look, we men sometimes are clueless to what we say and do toward our wives. Our facial expressions, tone of voice, outward & inward behavior all plays into the wife’s emotions. Women, it is also important to be supportive and not be a nag. Complaint after complaint will never bring harmony into the home. Admit when you are wrong, swallow your pride and see what a difference it will make. Don’t hold onto hurts, take time to talk and discuss the issue and deal appropriately with them. Unresolved hurts don’t go away by themselves. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 (NLT) “You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Col. 3:13 (NLT) 5. Enlist Support from Other Resources We know we can use the Bible as a key resource, but there are also great Christian books that can be a great support and resource guide for your marriage, family, as well as other materials for dating, the engagement process and more. One of my real concerns here in Korea is the lack of pastoral care in the area of counseling. Most people will not want to share their problems with a pastor. Therefore, most marriages with problems go on and on without any support or resources to help. We need this to be changed! I would ask that churches begin to explore the area of counseling as a valued instrument/tool in making the church healthy, marriages strong, and families stay together. “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established” Prov. 24:3 “Get all the advise and instruction you can...” Proverbs 19:20 (NLT) 6. Focus on Trusting Jesus When we have the right focus we can see things much clearer. It makes perfect sense! Put God first, marriage and family next, then everything else under that, even church activities. Putting God first doesn’t mean be more involved with church. It means to be focused on Jesus, Trusting in God and allowing your faith to grow and become strong. The Lord needs to be the “Center” of the family. Not your job, career, education, church, or anything else. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...” Heb. 12:2 (NIV) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.” Phil. 2:13 (NLT) In Closing: We have had a lesson regarding marriage from the negative side of, “What goes Wrong in a Marriage.” To the positive side of, “Essentials for a Healthy Marriage.” And most importantly, “Steps to Marriage Make-Over.” First we need to give-up our own will and realize we are powerless without God’s help. That is why our ABC’s.... Accept, Believe, Commit, Deal, Enlist, & Focus on Trusting Jesus. Are you still with me? We can use the tools we learned today and hopefully put into practice ASAP! I’m sure my wife will be much happier, it I walk the talk, instead of talking the talk. That means, living out what you say. Instead of talking without action. If you are.... Then let’s Pray! Questions & Answers for Small Group Interactions and Discussions: 1. Talk about “What goes wrong in a marriage” 2. Talk about “Essentials for a healthy marriage” 3. Share thoughts about the Love chapter in I Corinthians 13 A) Should forgiveness be a daily habit? B) How about Sanctification? 4. What do you think about these six steps to a Marriage Make-Over? 5. Share open discussions (free-talking) etc. 6. Pray for singles (dating) practices, future marriage partners, and marriages. 7. Minister to each other. Pastor Steven C. Mendoza
Endurance: Mark of a Good Christian Pilgrim(인내, 훌륭한 그리스도인의 순례의 특징)/ 2 Timothy 2:1-7(딤후2:1-7)/ Rev. W.N.B. Appiah/ 영한대역설교/ 2012-02-12
Endurance: Mark of a Good Christian Pilgrim(인내, 훌륭한 그리스도인의 순례의 특징) 2 Timothy 2:1-7(딤후2:1-7) Sermon Theme: Endurance: mark of a Good Christian Pilgrim Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-7 Preacher: Rev. W.N.B. Appiah 1. Introduction A story is told of a missionary, who after working in a foreign land for the whole of his life decided to return to his home country on his retirement. Seeing his retirement and his home going as a very important chapter in his life, he wrote letters to inform his relatives and few friends he could remember, that he was coming home. Having given the time of his arrival in the mail, he expected them to meet him and welcome him home. But to his shock, on arrival, there was no body to meet him. Not even one person. Filled with sadness he sat and begin to weep. But God spoke to him and said “my son you have not come home yet. You don’t have a home in this world. There are thousands of angels waiting to welcome you home. 2. Pilgrimage as a Metaphor of Christian Life This is to underscore the fact that the Christian life is a journey through this world. Jacob described his life as a pilgrimage when asked of his age by Pharaoh (Ge.47:9). King David also acknowledged this truth before God when he said in his prayer “We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers...” (1 Chronicles 29:15 c/f Ps.39:12). The writer of Hebrews also testifies to this as he wrote to express the thoughts of the patriarchs “..and they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13; 13:14). Again the apostle Peter also confirms it and says “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in this world, ...” (1 Pe.2:11). We can now say that the Bible confirms the Christian’s life on this earth as making a journey and our destination is heaven where our Father, God and our Lord Jesus Christ and the hosts of angels are awaiting us. 3. Risks and Dangers in the Way In every pilgrimage there are risks to take and dangers to face. There are accidents that can take one’s life and there could be discouraging heavy traffic jams that can make the journey boring. In the same way there are life threatening risks and dangers in our Christian life which we need to overcome to make a successful journey to our destination heaven. Israel often sinned against God through idol worship and had to be punished by God several times. In the New Testament Jesus suffered persecution and even death from the hands of the Jews (Mk.10:33-34) and the disciples, including Paul, also faced the threat of death and Paul especially suffered many beatings and persecutions (2 Cor.4:8-12), which could have discouraged them from continuing with the Christian life. But none of them gave up the Christian life. For when the Lord asked the twelve disciples in John 6:67 if they would want to quit, Peter answered and said “Lord to whom shall we go? ...” (6:68). How then could they survive these difficulties and remain steadfast with the Lord? In other words what was their secret for their endurance? 4. Making a Successful Journey Many things go into making a successful journey through risks and dangers. For example there is the purpose of the journey, watchfulness and good guidance. But above all these is endurance. No matter how watchful one can be, or how good the purpose or the goal of the journey is or how good one’s guidance is, without endurance it will be difficult to succeed. Endurance is therefore a very important element in our Christian life. Without it we cannot make it. 5. Endurance The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ. But earlier in chapter 1, Paul had outlined some of the difficulties and the problems that faced Timothy and for that matter our present Christian community. For example he tells him “not to be ashamed to testify” about the Lord and also not fail to stand by him in his suffering (2 Tim.1:8). Paul uses three imageries a soldier, a farmer and an athlete to emphasize this important theme. The lesson is that people in any of these professions hold on to endurance as the key to success. For that reason the soldier trains all time under all conditions to enable him/her endure in times of war so as to win his master’s favor. The farmer also endures the hard and sometimes cruel weather to tend the crops so that he/she can reap bountiful harvest. While the athlete also trains hard in order to win his/her competitions. This teaches us that the Christian like the soldier, farmer or athlete needs to endure the various temptations and difficulties, which we meet as Christians. Paul endured the persecutions that came his way. Jesus also “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb.12:2). Neither Paul, nor any of the apostles nor Jesus enjoyed the problems, risks and dangers that faced them, yet they patiently faced them and endured them. But today many of us run away from problems because we cannot endure the discomfort involved. 6. Spiritual Exercise Paul telling Timothy to be godly wrote “..train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of value, but godliness has value for all things” (1 Tim.4:7b-8). The Christian needs to train to be godly through spiritual exercises. These are: praying without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17) sometimes with fasting, reading and devotional study of the Bible (2 Tim.3:16-17), constant meditation on the word of God (Jos.1: 8), constantly sharing the gospel with the unbelievers [(i.e. seeking the lost for the Lord) Matt. 28: 19-20], constantly being in fellowship with other believers (Heb.10:25) and constantly praising God for who He is. As we begin to practice these in the Church and at home, we fall in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit and through Him we are strengthened to overcome. Hard training is the key to endurance but it could also be an obstacle in itself. We therefore need an incentive to urge us on. A farmer’s incentive for his hard work is what he/she expects to harvest. The athlete’s incentive is the crown or price, which is at stake. Paul’s incentive was “for the sake of others” (2 Tim.2:10) and also “in other to rule with Christ” (2 Tim.2:12a) and that of Jesus was for the joy that was ahead of Him. We must be train hard to endure because there is a great (Lk.6:23, 35) reward of incorruptible crown (1 Cor.9:25)a crown of glory (1 Pe.5:4; Rev.2:10). 7. Conclusion The Bible teaches that the Christian life on this earth is a journey that we are making. It is full of dangers, risks and problems. But we need to be able to endure all these dangers and problems. Endurance therefore becomes a key word for the Christian. But endurance comes through vigorous training in spiritual exercises. Though the training could in itself deter us, let the incentives that are there for us i.e. the incorruptible crown, encourage us to begin our spiritual exercise if we are not already doing it. But if we are already doing it then continue. May the grace of God be with you. ***************************************************************************************** 인내, 훌륭한 그리스도인의 순례의 특징 딤후2:1-7 1. 들어가며 평생을 외국에서 일을 한 후 은퇴하자마자 고국으로 돌아가겠다고 결심한 선교사 이야기가 있습니다. 그의 삶에서 은퇴 후 고향으로 가는 것은 아주 중요한 일이었기에 그는 그가 기억할 수 있는 친척들과 몇 안 되는 친구들에게 고향으로 돌아간다는 편지를 썼습니다. 편지로 자기의 도착 시간을 알려주었기에 그들이 그를 마중 나와 환영해 줄 것이라 기대했습니다. 그런데 그만 그가 놀랍게도 그를 만나러 마중 나온 사람은 아무도 없었습니다. 한 사람도 없었던 것입니다. 슬픔에 가득차서 그는 앉아 울기 시작했습니다. 그런데 하나님이 그에게 말씀 하셨습니다. “나의 아들아 너는 아직 고향에 오지 않았다. 이 세상에는 너를 위한 집이 없느니라. 네가 고향에 온 것을 환영하기 위해 기다리는 수천 명의 천사들이 있다.” 2. 그리스도인 삶의 은유로서의 순례 위의 이야기는 그리스도인들에게 삶이란 이 세상을 통과하는 여행임을 강조하기 위한 이야기입니다. 야곱은 바로 왕이 그의 나이를 물었을 때 그의 삶은 나그네의 길이라고 설명했습니다. 다윗왕도 그의 기도에서 주 앞에서 이런 진실을 인정했습니다. “우리가 우리 열조와 다름이 없이 나그네와 우거한 자라” (대상29:15, 참조 시39:12). 히브리서의 작자 또한 이스라엘 민족의 조상에 대한 생각을 표현할 때 이렇게 증거하고 있습니다. “또 땅에서는 외국인과 나그네로라 증거 하였으니”(히11:13, 히13:14). 또한 사도 베드로도 이를 확증하여 다음과 같이 말하고 있습니다. “사랑하는 자들아 나그네와 행인 같은 너희를 권하노니...”(벧전2:11). 이 세상에서의 그리스도인들의 삶이란 하나의 여행이며 우리의 종착역은 천국 - 하나님 아버지와 우리 주 예수 그리스도와 천사의 무리가 우리를 기다리는 - 임을 성경에서 확실히 밝히고 있습니다. 3. 가로막는 위급과 위험 모든 순례에는 무릅써야 할 위급과 맞서야 하는 위험이 있습니다. 목숨을 걸어야 하는 사건들이 있으며 여행을 지루하게 만들 수 있는 낙담할 만한 교통 체증이 있을 수도 있습니다. 마찬가지로 우리 그리스도인들의 삶에도 우리의 종착역인 천국까지 성공적인 여행을 완수하기 위해 극복해야 할 목숨을 위협하는 위급과 위험이 있게 마련입니다. 이스라엘은 우상 숭배를 하여 하나님에 대해 죄를 지었고 몇 번 하나님께 벌을 받아야 했습니다. 신약에서는 예수님은 박해를 받고 유대인들의 손에 의해 죽임을 당하셨으며(막10:33-34), 바울을 포함한 제자들 또한 죽음의 위협에 직면했으며 특히 바울은 그리스도인 삶을 계속할 수 없게 만들 수도 있는 많은 몰매와 핍박을 당했습니다(고후4:8-12). 그러나 어느 누구도 그리스도인의 삶을 포기하지 않았습니다. 요6:67에서 예수께서 12 제자들에게 너희도 가려느냐고 물었을 때 시몬 베드로가 대답하되 “주여 우리가 뉘에게로 가오리이까? ...”(요6:68). 그러면 그들은 어떻게 이런 어려움을 극복하고 주님과 확고부동하게 같이 갈 수 있었을까요? 즉 이런 인내의 비결은 무엇이었을까요? 4. 성공적인 여행 만들기 위급과 위험 중에서도 성공적인 여행을 만들기 위해서는 많은 것이 필요하겠지요. 예를 들면 여행의 목적, 조심성, 훌륭한 안내자 등이 있을 것입니다. 그러나 무엇보다도 인내가 있어야 합니다. 아무리 조심한다 할지라도, 여행의 목적이나 목표가 훌륭하다 할지라도, 안내자가 좋다 할지라도 인내 없이는 성공하기 어려울 것입니다. 그러므로 인내는 그리스도인의 삶에서 아주 중요한 요소입니다. 이것 없이는 성공할 수 없습니다. 5. 인내 사도 바울은 디모데에게 그리스도의 훌륭한 병사로서 어려움을 인내하라고 권고합니다. 그러나 1장 앞부분에서 바울은 디모데가 처한 어려움과 문제점을 지적하고 있으며 이 문제는 우리의 현재 기독교 공동체에서도 마찬가지입니다. 예를 들어 주에 대한 “증거 하는 것”을 부끄러워 말고 고난 중에서도 그와 함께 하라고 말하고 있습니다. 바울은 세 가지 비유적 표현, 곧 이 중요한 주제를 강조하기 위해 병사, 농부, 운동선수를 사용했습니다. 이런 직업을 가진 사람들은 성공의 열쇠로 인내를 지녀야 한다는 것입니다. 이런 이유로 병사는 상사의 호의를 얻기 위해 전쟁 시 인내할 수 있도록 어떤 상황 하에서도 항상 훈련해야 합니다. 농부 또한 풍성한 곡식을 수확하기 위해 어렵고 때로는 무자비한 날씨를 견디어 작물을 돌보아야 합니다. 운동선수 또한 경쟁에서 이기기 위해 열심히 운동해야 합니다. 이것은 그리스도인도 병사, 농부, 운동선수들처럼 그리스도인으로서 만나게 될 여러 가지 다양한 유혹과 어려움을 인내할 필요가 있다는 것을 가르쳐줍니다. 바울은 그 앞에 온 핍박을 견뎌냈습니다. 예수님 또한 “그 앞에 있는 즐거움을 위하여 십자가를 참으사 부끄러움을 개의치 아니하시더니 하나님 보좌 우편에 앉으셨느니라”(히12:2). 바울도, 제자들도, 예수님도 그들에게 직면한 문제와 위급과 위험을 즐기지는 않았지만 참을성 있게 그것들과 부딪쳐서 견뎌내셨습니다. 그런데 우리들 많은 이들은 이런 불편을 참지 못하고 문제에서 도망칩니다. 6. 영적인 훈련 디모데에게 경건하라고 말하는 바울은 “ ... 오직 경건에 이르기를 연습하라 육체의 연습은 약간의 유익이 있으나 경건은 범사에 유익하니”(딤전4:7b-8). 그리스도인들은 영적인 훈련을 통해 경건해지는 훈련을 할 필요가 있습니다. 영적인 훈련이란: 끊임없이 기도하기(살전5:17), 때로는 단식을 동반한 성경 통독과 헌신적인 성경공부(딤후3:16-17), 하나님 말씀의 꾸준한 묵상(수1:8), 믿지 않는 자에게 꾸준히 복음 전하기 [주님을 위해 잃어버린 양을 찾기], 믿는 자와의 끊임없는 교제(히10:25), 하나님을 꾸준히 찬양하기. 이런 훈련을 교회와 집에서 실시하기 시작하면 성령님과 계속적인 교제를 하게 되어 어려움을 극복할 수 있는 힘을 얻게 됩니다. 힘든 훈련은 인내의 열쇠이기도 하지만 그 차제로는 방해가 될 수도 있습니다. 그러므로 이것을 계속할 수 있는 인센티브가 필요합니다. 농부에게 있어 근면할 수 있게 해 주는 인센티브는 수확에 대한 기대감일 것입니다. 운동선수에게는 상패나 상금이겠지요. 바울에게 있어 인센티브는 “타인을 위하여”였으며(딤후2:10), “그리스도와 함께 왕 노릇하기 위해”(딤후2:12a)였습니다. 예수님에게 있어 인센티브는 그 앞에 놓여 있는 기쁨 때문이었습니다. 썩지 아니할 면류관(고전9:25), 영광의 면류관(벧전5:4, 계2:10)이라는 커다란 상(눅6:23,35)이 있으므로 우리는 인내할 수 있도록 열심히 훈련되어야 합니다. 7. 결론 성경은 이 세상에서의 그리스도인의 삶은 하나의 여행이라고 가르쳐줍니다. 위험과 위급과 문제로 가득 차 있습니다. 그러나 우리는 이 모든 위험과 문제들을 견뎌낼 수 있어야 합니다. 그러므로 인내란 그리스도인들에게는 키워드가 되는 것입니다. 인내란 영적인 훈련이라는 강건한 훈련을 통해 나오는 것입니다. 비록 훈련 그 자체가 우리를 좌절시킬 수도 있겠지만 우리를 위해 있는 - 썩지 않는 면류관 -이라는 인센티브가 우리가 영적 훈련을 아직 하고 있지 않다면 우리가 영적 훈련을 시작할 수 있도록 격려해줄 것입니다. 하지만 우리가 벌써 하고 있다면 계속 합시다. 하나님의 은혜가 함께 하시기를 축원합니다.
Servanthood(봉사)(4)/ A Legacy of Service(봉사의 유산)/ Deut 34:5-12(신34:5-12)/ 2002-10-09
Servanthood(봉사)(4)/ A Legacy of Service(봉사의 유산) Deut 34:5-12(신34:5-12) A Legacy of Service Deut 34:5-12 Sermon : Servanthood(4): A Legacy of Service I. Introduction: Servanthood(4) A. Story: Funny Epitaphs B. What will people say on your epitaph? C. The Epitaph of Moses; Moses, the Servant of God! D. Our service must be characterized by a spirit of faithful obedience. II. In our service, we must obey the Lord. A. Moses did what “the Lord sent him to do” (v. 11). B. (Ex 40:16) – “Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him.” C. Our service must be characterized by obedience. III. In our service, we must be faithful to the end. A. The faithfulness of Moses is reflected in his silence when God does not allow him to go into the promised land. B. Epitaph: “no prophet had arisen…” and “no one has ever…” C. Our service must persevere and not succumb to desires of personal success. IV. Conclusion A. What will your epitaph read? B. I hope it reads “so and so, the servant of the Lord, did great things for his/her master.” Pastor Steven Chang
The Godly Portrait of Marriage(1)(결혼의 신성한 초상(1))/ Celebrate The Difference(서로 다른 것을 찬양하라)/ Genesis 2:18-25(창2:18-25)/ 2015-02-12
The Godly Portrait of Marriage(1)(결혼의 신성한 초상(1))/ Celebrate The Difference(서로 다른 것을 찬양하라) Genesis 2:18-25(창2:18-25) The Godly Portrait of Marriage, Pt. 1 “Celebrate The Difference” Genesis 2:18-2:25 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV) I’m told that an angel came to Adam before Eve was created and said, “I have a proposition for you Adam. We are going to create for you an individual like you, but a little different – a female!” So Adam said, “Well what will she be all about? What will she do?” The angel told Adam, “She will take such good care of you, smell so sweet, love and respect you 24/7, and she will look so beautiful!” To that Adam said, “Well, this sounds great, but what will she cost me?” The angel responded, “She’s going to cost an arm and a leg!” Finally Adam said, “What do you think I can get for a rib?” Question – whose better, the man or the woman? The answer is YES! A man is infinitely superior to a woman at being a man and a woman is infinitely superior to a man at being a woman! God made us completely different so that He might make man and woman ONE! Caution: let no one but God define your marriage and sexuality! Genesis 2:19-25 Adam has dominion over all the animals but yet wasn’t satisfied; none of the animals could satisfy and supply all his needs. Then God makes Eve - and Adam proclaimed, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” So immediately we now know human sexuality is established for all generations! So let’s look at the wonderful differences that unite us in marriage. (In generalities): 1. The Beauty And The Beast. Generally women are weaker than men! 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” God created Adam stronger than Eve for 2 purposes, not so he could abuse her, dominate her, or control her live. • To be a provider • To be a protector Eve = life giver, the root word of “woman” in Hebrew is to be soft. She is created softer, cuddlier, but not inferior to Adam. Here’s an example, silk is weaker than canvas, but not inferior to it. Porcelain is weaker than steel but not inferior to it. You can’t drink tea from a sledge hammer! Did you know? • 40% of a man’s body is muscle and 25% of a woman’s body is muscle. • There are 1½ gallons of blood in a man’s body. There is 4/5 of a gallon of blood in a woman’s body. A woman doesn’t have as many capillaries carrying blood to the skin service, that’s why they get so much colder than men. Who is superior? Neither - celebrate the difference! 2. The Tortoise And The Hare. We all know the story! Men are like the rabbit and women are like the tortoise. Men have more energy but she has a lot more stamina and durability! How do we know this? Women have a black belt in shopping! We would do good to learn the weaknesses and strength of our spouse! 3. The Romantic And The Mechanic. Men we have a job to get done – dress the garden! Hard outer shell Women are the caressers, child bearers. Romance doesn’t always come easy for men! We’re wired differently! Women, your husband may never be as romantic as you – he may have been before you got married, but soon after he had a brain transplant! Notice the book or magazines women and men look at: Women: “How To Develop Closeness With Your Mate”, “Harmony in Marriage”, “How To Achieve Intimacy”, “How To Kiss Better” Men: “How To Be A Champion Bass Fisherman”, “How Not To Get Hooked” On T.V. – “Man vs. Wild” and the “Hallmark Channel”! Go to any school campus and watch how girls carry their books – like their carrying a baby! A boy just swings them around if he has any at all! Give a girl a few dollars and she’ll buy a Barbie, give a boy a few dollars and he’ll buy a lizard! 4. The Radar And The Computer. Men are the computer and women are the radar! A USA Today article called, “Two Minds” describes the differences between the brains of men and women. Scientifically they are now showing us what we’ve known all along – most men use the left side of their brain and women use both sides of their brain! Men we really do have half a brain! The left side: logical, reasoning The right side: creativity, sympathy and emotions Did you know this fact: a women’s brain is larger on average than a man’s? Autopsies show this! Maybe this explains a woman’s intuition! A Harvard Medical Researcher studied preschoolers playing on the playground. He noticed that girls completed more sentences and communicated more then boys. He noticed that the boys made more sounds… Most women have better sensitivity and communication skills while many men have better reason and analytical skills! That’s why men and women often times struggle to see eye to eye on certain issues! This may be the source of a lot of disagreements in your marriage! Remember, women use in one day about 6000 more words than men. The trouble is, when I get home, Jill is not even winding down her communicating and so I have to be a better listener at that point! I don’t know coined this phrase, “Generally speaking, women are generally speaking!” I wonder if he lived long after saying it the first time! But this is also why men cry less then women – we’ve got a disconnect up here! This is why women are affected greater by an argument and why we men can go right on to the next subject – we’ve got a disconnect up here! God made us differently so we might be one! Celebrate the differences! Ladies – your minds are like radar, sweeping the room taking in everything! Women see and hear things that we men don’t always see and hear! Ever watch women in a room sitting around a table? They can be talking, and know exactly what’s being said over at the other table and say, “No, no, no, that’s not what happened!” And then get right back to her conversation at her table! We men tend to be a little more analytical and logical while women are mixing together emotion and facts together – it’s amazing! Women are more what I call “spider web thinkers”. Prom picture… Jill will ask me how my day went and I’ll have an answer in less than a minute in detail. Then when I ask her about her day and she’ll tell everything, and I mean everything! So many times I’ll talk with my dad and she’ll want every little detail. Careful men, this is a hard area for us because many times our wives can think that we are being evasive, secretive and even shutting her out! I’m amazed how that radar works for women… sweeping across the room and what they can pick up is incredible, hurt feelings, bad moods, etc. That radar blows my mind! Men, I think all we’ve got is a pair of rabbit ears! Ever notice a woman will say at a table, “I’ve got to go to the restroom, who wants to go?” And they all get up! I’ve never hear a man say, “How many want to go with me to the restroom?” I just don’t understand it! But which is better the radar or the computer? Neither - thank God for the difference! 5. The Code Speaker And The Reporter. LifePoint: Women use language to dispense emotion, while men use language to dispense facts. Women share, men report! Billy Graham once said “Don’t listen to what a woman says, listen to what she means.” Guys we can learn a lot from that that! Here’s an example: You come home from work and see your wife is all tense and it shows all over her face and you say to her, “Is something wrong?” and she says, “Nothing.” Her code is: “Everything is wrong!” Example: Your wife says, “Do I look alright in this dress?” How you answer that will determine how long you live! Her code is: “Am I still #1 in your parade?” or “Am I still a 10 in your eyes?” 6. The Lover And The Achiever. Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself and let the wife see she respects her husband.” • Men, what is the deepest need of a woman? To be loved. • Women, what is the deepest need of a man? To be respected. So many of our arguments are connected to these 2 facts! Men, when we do not love, it damages the deepest part of a woman. There’s a new movie coming to the big screen on September 26 staring Kirk Cameron called, “Fireproof”. It’s a wonderful story of the heroism of a firefighter and 2 people overcoming a broken marriage. VIDEO From the movie ”Fireproof” Jill gets blessing when I work at being more tender with her! I get a blessing when she really show respect for my achievements! One time I can remember asking her one Sunday, “How many great preachers do you think there are in the world? She said, “One less than your think!” Men and women’s self esteems are connected to this fact also! When the Golden Gate Bridge was built, all of the parts were intertwined. Every part was vital to it all working together. In a one mile span of the bridge, it will sway as much as 20 feet in the center, so that it can be flexible and even more durable. But there are 2 great and massive pillars that make up that bridge that go down to the solid earth below and all those miles of cables connect to those 2 great pillars. Question, what keeps that bridge from collapsing? 2 things: It’s foundation and it’s flexibility! Some of this info in this sermon comes from Dr. Adrian Rodger.