“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever He says to you, do it.’ Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.’ And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, ‘Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!’ This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”
Everything Is Grace of God
Both hardships and glad things that occur when we follow the Lord are the grace of God. Whatever occurrences we get to face or suffer in every aspect of our lives, they are all God’s grace. In all the things of this world, we must acknowledge Jehovah God. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6). God speaks to us like this. It isn’t fitting for us the righteous to hold someone else responsible for hardships when we face them. When we go through some bad event, we tend to resent and fret, displaying our temper before all else. With the thought, “If someone hadn’t done so, I would not have become like this,” one winds up blaming someone else. But with the passage of time, when the person looks back at that event, that person will realize all of it had been something God had said in our lives amidst silence. The person will discover that it had been the voice of God.
Thus, God is the One who governs all our ways. According to the Word of God, we should be acknowledging Jehovah God in all our ways.
The Joy of Shortage
There was a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, and Jesus, His mother, and the disciples were invited to the wedding. But, there was a shortage of wine. Because of the shortage of wine, there was also a shortage of joy for those who had been invited to the wedding feast.
Dear fellow believers, just exactly what do you think this Scripture passage means? This Scripture passage metaphorically speaks of the fact that among those who believe in Jesus, there are people who aren’t able to gain joy like those invited to the wedding. According to our thoughts, it is easy to think that the Bible is the Book of gospels for people who do not believe in Jesus. But in fact, the Bible, in many aspects, is the Book that introduces Jesus anew to those who already believe in Him. Evidently, this Scripture passage also is an instance of something like that. It speaks to believers like us who have the faith of believing in Jesus.
There was a wedding feast in a region called Cana of Galilee. Jesus, His mother, and the disciples went there. Besides them at the house of the feast, there were numerous distinguished guests invited there and sharing seats. As with all places of celebration, joy was all so abundant there also. But, it is said that the place ran out of wine.
In the Bible, grape vines and wine often imply the life of a soul or the joy of a soul. It means that the Word expresses a person’s life or true joy with grape and wine. In other words, the expression that there was no wine precisely means that true joy of soul was lacking. This Scripture passage implies just how great is the number of Christians who haven’t yet perfectly received the remission of sins and therefore lack joy despite their faith in Jesus. Through the tale of the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee in the Gospel of John chapter 2, God is telling us today how those who haven’t been able to receive perfect salvation and gain perfect joy and eternal life get to obtain all that salvation, joy, and life.
The Way to Obtain Perfect Happiness
Today’s Scripture passage speaks to us. “The mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew).”
When Jesus, His mother, and the disciples went to the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, there were many guests, but the wine had run out. This so called wine is like liquor in Korea; but back then in Galilee, it was also used as drinking water. It is said that even now, in the Middle East region, wine is often used as water. Then, the fact that the wedding feast had run out of wine as mentioned in the above passage can be interpreted as the water itself having been run out.
Let us think about this. What would happen if there were no water at a wedding feast? There are so many well-wishers waiting like that, but if it is the case that “There is no water. The water faucet has run dry. There is no other place for water to come out,” it means that something terrible has happened. If there is neither bread nor butter, someone can go out and buy it. But if the water is discontinued throughout the entire village, it means that there is no where else to draw water from.
I just said that wine in turn means joy in our hearts. It would be a pressing problem if there were no water on the day of celebration. Likewise, it would be a great problem if there is no great joy in your heart despite your faith in Jesus. If there are sins in your heart despite your faith in Jesus, then this something really terrible. Unfortunately, almost all Christians are in such a case. The problem is not the ones who do not believe in Jesus, but rather, it is precisely those who do believe in Jesus that have the big problem. If those who believe in Jesus have neither joy nor conviction of salvation in their hearts, doesn’t this mean that those who believe in Jesus are the same as those unbelievers? After starting to believe in Jesus, even if people were to abstain from smoking and drinking, take the Word of the Law into their hearts, and try to believe in Jesus faithfully, no matter how hard, if they haven’t been able to gain true happiness and satisfaction and be born again perfectly, it would be exactly same as not believing. It means that there were sins when one did not believe in Jesus and the sins still remain intact, even when the person now believes in Him.
God speaks to us through the Bible. If people had known about the Savior’s love, many would have been able to live happily, having relieved themselves of heavy burdens and then having gained true satisfaction, true joy, and true life. But because people did not know about being born again by the true love of the Savior, and because they did not accept it, there is no satisfaction for mankind. What could be a greater problem than being unable to be satisfied despite having faith in Jesus? It is the same as saying, “We should be treated at a hospital continuously even though we are not getting better.” Prior to going to the hospital, at least, there was the hope that one’s disease would be healed when one goes to a hospital. That person would have lived happily with a certain expectation of one’s own amidst that hope. Likewise, the fact that a person cannot gain joy and satisfaction in one’s heart, but instead feels agony due to sin, is a great problem for that person’s life of faith. However, the Lord, who is our God, has solved this great problem for us.
When Jesus’ mother said, “My Son, they have no wine,” Jesus replied, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me?” Here, the word, ‘woman,’ is a word of respect for one’s mother in that country. Like so, Jesus spoke to His mother with respect. “Woman, what does there being no wine in this house have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” Jesus said His hour had not yet come even though it was clear that there was no wine in that house.
Dear fellow believers, what does “Jesus’ hour” mentioned here mean? Jesus’ mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” It means that if a person lacks joy, has no true satisfaction, and cannot feel the true salvation, he should examine first of all whether he himself believe in God’s Word or not. Just as there being no wine in that house, the only way to solve this problem is to obey the Word of God as it is, regardless of what the Word says. ‘His hour’ mentioned by Jesus precisely means the very moment when people start to obey God. Jesus’ mother, Mary, knew this. Even though she had given birth to Jesus in His flesh, because an angel of God said to her, prior to the birth of Jesus in His flesh, “The One you will conceive is none other than the Son of God. It is the Savior who will be born through your body,” she was aware of the fact that Jesus is God. The fact is Jesus, who is Christ the Savior, will be the One who would be giving people true satisfaction and true life. “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Truly, these words are the way in which one can solve the problems of the flesh, the lack of joy, and agonies in one’s soul despite the person’s faith in Jesus. For us to live by His Word is accepting the word “My hour” that Jesus speaks of, and the moment that we are given perfect happiness.
“Do It As He Says”
Whatever God says, if we obey and believe it as it is, we will gain true satisfaction, true joy, and true salvation. Do you agree? Mary, who believed in and obeyed Jesus’ Word, also told the servants to believe in and obey Jesus’ Word.
“Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew).”
As you can see from this Scripture passage, the servants believed and carried out the Word of Jesus, even though it seemed strange to their own thinking. Through this Word, God tells us this: He tells us that whatever God says, we must obey as it is, if we truly want to gain salvation, if we truly want to gain everlasting life, receive the remission of sins, gain true peace, and become righteous by having become God’s children. Dear fellow believers, we must accept it as it is. It means that if we were to genuinely accept the Word of God, we will gain true salvation, satisfaction, and happiness in our hearts. It means that we will become the righteous. It means that we will receive the true remission of sins in our souls, just like the servants of God such as, Peter and John, Elijah, Elisha, Moses, and Ezekiel. It means that everyone will become blessed disciples of Jesus Christ. “Whatever He says to you, do it.” I hope you will take to your heart the importance of this Word, and thus, become a believer who will always obey the Word of God.
Let us go back to the Scripture passages. Jesus called the servants and told them to pour water into the waterpots. These waterpots were originally filled wine. All the wine which had been inside the waterpots were placed at the guest tables, and now, the waterpots were all empty with nothing left inside of them. Servants who had heard Jesus’ Word were dubious. “Did He tell us to pour water into them to clean the empty waterpots?” Of course that wasn’t the case. Jesus had ordered that work in order to solve the problem of this house of celebration; the problem of people worrying over there being no wine. Even though Mary said to the servants, “Whatever He says, do it. Even if you can’t understand, do as He says,” in the middle of this difficult state due to there being no more wine. Jesus’ Word to pour water into the waterpots was a command simply incomprehensible to a practical human sense. In truth, even if a human being were to pour water and pray in earnest, “Let it turn into wine,” water does not turn into wine. You should think about this, too. Regardless of what sort of god you pray to, how can water turn into wine and that wine, in turn, solve the problem, allowing people to gain happiness and true satisfaction? Like this, the command of Jesus was something that didn’t make any sense, when considered from the reasoning of this world.
Nevertheless, Mary told the servant to do it, regardless of what He says. Through Mary’s mouth, God is telling us that the only way to solve a certain problem is to obey the Word that Jesus speaks as it is. Just then, according to the Word, the servants poured water into the waterpots of stone. When they had filled the water up to the brim, Jesus then said, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast,” and the servants took it to the guests, obeying that Word. It was water when it was poured into the waterpots, but when it was poured to the guests, it had turned into wine. It had turned into a better wine at that. It tasted better than the one before, and it was abundant. It had turned to such a great wine that the master of the feast praised it. Therefore, everyone at the house of celebration was overjoyed with the wine. At last, all the people gathered at that house were satisfied. It means that by the obedience to the Word of Jesus, genuine satisfaction was instilled into the hearts of the believers.
We Must Fill Our Heart with the Word of God
God the Father speaks to us about why people who believe in the Lord Jesus are unable to attain true satisfaction despite their faith in Jesus. He says that the reason is that people selectively listen to the Word that suits their heart instead of wholly accepting the Word of God. It means that people only listen to and believe in the Word of God that suit their heart and the doctrines and teachings of their respective denominations. However, God tells us that even if any Word of God cannot be understood by one’s mind and does not suit one’s heart, if it is the Word of God, then one must accept it and fill one’s heart with it in order to obtain true satisfaction and happiness. The fact that there is no satisfaction in one’s heart despite believing in Jesus is the same as not having filled up the waterpots with the Word despite having faith in Jesus. It was because the person had not filled up his or her heart with the Word as it is, regardless of what the Lord has said.
People invited to the wedding feast as mentioned in today’s Scripture passage refer to all the people throughout the world who believe in Jesus. If 1,000 million people on this earth are said to believe in Jesus, then it means that all 1,000 million Christians were invited as guests on that day of celebration. Like so, everyone was invited to the path toward believing in Jesus and following Him. But even though it was really good at the start of their faith, with the passage of time, happiness, blessing, and true satisfaction faded away, just as the wine at the wedding feast had ran out.
Nevertheless, those among them who had filled the waterpots according to Jesus’ Word got to taste truly sweet wine. They got to feel true satisfaction. On the other hand, those who didn’t follow Jesus’ Word and didn’t fill up the waterpots with the water, did not get to gain that happiness for all eternity. Even now, among those who do the work of Jesus, there are many like that. God speaks to them. He tells them that whatever the Word says, they must fill their heart with it as it is in order to solve problems and to obtain true satisfaction. Can you fully understand what is meant by the words, “you must fill your heart with the Word of God”?
Yet, there still are many people who do not properly understand the meaning of those words. They have no idea what is meant by the words, “draw some water and fully fill the empty waterpots.” Here, water means the Word of God. Also, six waterpots of stone speak precisely of human beings. If so, what is wine? As mentioned previously, it means our salvation, our life, and true happiness. In other words, it means that if we were to fully fill our human hearts with the Word of God, that Word will become life to us, as well as happiness, and thus, it will allow us to be able to receive true salvation. If we were to read the Scriptures without even knowing the fundamental meaning of the Word shown in the Bible, and if we were to believe in Jesus without even understanding the Word of Jesus, that is, if we aren’t able to fill our hearts like so, then we won’t be able to gain God-given happiness, satisfaction, and salvation. It means that even though we do believe in Jesus and do the disciple’s work, we won’t be able to feel satisfaction and happiness forever. Therefore, I hope you will realize that you must always fill your heart fully with the Word of God.
There are many Christians who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It means that despite believing in Jesus and saying that they are Jesus’ disciples, there are many who do not feel satisfied. Knowing that such nominal believers will be many, our Lord spoke the above-mentioned Word. To these people He is saying, “You haven’t been able to obtain true salvation and have no satisfaction despite having believed in Me because you haven’t fully filled the Word of God in your heart.” Dear fellow believers, God’s Word isn’t like those words that can be interpreted with common sense. Yet, when people read the Word of God, they believe those Words that are understandable with their common sense, but briefly skip over those Words that are not understandable. Such phenomenon is the same both to those who started to believe in Jesus for the first time and to those who had believed in Jesus for a long time. They believe only those things that are understandable, but do not believe in those that aren’t understandable.
You must realize this: You can gain neither true satisfaction nor true salvation by doing so. Even if they are not understandable, if it is clear that God has said them, then you must accept it into your heart first and foremost. After having accepted them, if they do not get digested inside your heart, then you must earnestly go around seeking indigestion pills. If you do go around seeking indigestion pills like that, you will see that there are those giving out indigestion pills, like pharmacists. Surely, you will be able to meet a born-again servant of God. It means that you will be able to meet someone like Mary who knew and believed in Jesus accurately.
Dear fellow believers, all you have to do is to accept the Word and fill your heart with it. These days, Christianity is spread all over the world, but the number of people who believe in Jesus who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit is no longer growing. Why do you think this is so? It means that people no longer want to believe in Jesus because they have no satisfaction and do not feel joy despite having tried to believe in Jesus and having been invited to a wedding feast. The reality is that even those who believe in Jesus aren’t trying to preach the gospel. The gospel isn’t getting spread at all because there are so many people who think, “I tried to believe, but I only felt agony. After having gotten to know You, all I have learned is agony, not love. Rather, I am happier not believing in Jesus. I thought that if I had believed in Jesus, there would have been some sort of happiness or satisfaction. But although in the beginning there seemed to be some satisfaction, later on, I felt only agony. Rather, it would have been good if I only had been a non-believer from the beginning.” Like so, people who had once been the disciples of Jesus are leaving Him. Still, there will be more people leaving in the future. All of this is the result of not having fully filled one’s heart with the Word of God. It is the result of not having perfectly accepted the Word of God.
The Result of Having Obeyed the Word of God
Dear fellow believers, the Lord speaks to us in a very simple way. “My hour has not yet come.” This in turn means that when the hour comes, everything will be taken care of. The hour mentioned here precisely means the moment when we accept and obey the Word of God as it is. The Lord says that the hour when He grants us great joy and turns us into the righteous 100% by perfectly atoning for our sins, is precisely when we perfectly believe in and follow the Word of God, whether it is understandable or not. If God says, “I have blotted out all your sins by doing so,” through His Word, then all we have to do is to accept these Words by answering, “Yes, that’s right.” Then, everything will be taken care of. The servant at the house of celebration first obeyed the Word of Jesus, in which He told the servants to pour water into the empty waterpots, and carried out that Word. They also carried out the Word in which the Lord told the servants to take that water to the guests. If the servants were disobedient to the Word of Jesus, they would not have done so. If they had taken water to those who wanted wine, they might have suffered some mishap. However, they obeyed Jesus Word without any doubt.
Dear fellow believers, other people did not know where this tasteful wine had come from, but the Bible says that the servants who had drawn water knew it. If we want to gain true satisfaction and true salvation, we must know that we must duly become someone like these servants. We must obey and believe in Jesus like these servants. Whether the Word is understandable or not, as long as you say yes, believe in His Word, and obey Him, you will get to experience your sins having truly disappeared. In the Kingdom of God, there is only “Yes.” Dear fellow believers, do you believe in the Word which says that God, for He loved us so much, has made it so for us to be without sin by sending His only begotten Son to all the people and having sins be transferred over to that only begotten Son through the baptism? Do you obey this? If you answered, “Yes,” then you have undoubtedly become a righteous person and Jesus’ blessed lamb.
Most believers believe in Jesus’ blood of the Cross only. The problem is that they only believe in that event at the Cross, unaware of the prior ministry of Jesus that led Him up to the crucifixion. It is the same as expecting only the result of water turning into wine without having fully filled the empty waterpots with water. Dear fellow believers, if the waterpots weren’t fully filled with water, how could that water turn into wine? When the waterpots are fully filled with water, that is, when one’s heart is fully filled with the Word of God, and only then, will God do His work. Put differently, once we accept the entire Word of God perfectly, that is, once we fully fill the empty waterpots with water, God will then do His work and give us the salvation in our hearts, just as water had turned into wine.
The reason people cannot gain satisfaction despite their faith in Jesus is that they have ignored the process of Jesus’ ministry of salvation and believed in the Cross only, which is just the final stage of it. It is written in the Bible, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Like this Word, we must know the Truth. The fact that Jesus has taken away all our sins by having received the baptism from John the Baptist is the Truth. We must know this in order to escape from sin and accept the event of the Cross properly. As we believe in Jesus, we must know when our sins were transferred over to Jesus Christ and when and how He took on my sins. By knowing this, we are able to believe in everything that is of Jesus and arrive at the Truth.
The Truth isn’t just our thoughts, but rather, it is all the work that Jesus has done on this earth. Every act He has carried out is the Truth. If the believers want to gain satisfaction and true life and take care of the works of a true disciple, they must accept 100% of this Truth in its entirety. Also, in order to accept this Truth, they must believe in not only the event at the Cross, but also the baptism of Jesus by which He has taken on all the sins.
The Meaning of the Baptism That Jesus Received
Why do you think Jesus came to this earth and received the baptism? Some pastors say that He received the baptism because He was ever so humble. Still, other pastors answer that Jesus received the baptism in order to be an example to us. Dear fellow believers, Jesus is the Master of life and the One who gives us true life. Yet, do you think that He received the baptism in order to just teach us manners and morals? No, He didn’t. The reason Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist was to give us true salvation, true joy, and true life.
The word, ‘baptism,’ has the meaning, “to cleanse, to transfer, to pass over, and to bury.” In other words, the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist was to cleanse all our sins. Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist. By having done so, all our sins were passed over to Him, and with this, Jesus fulfilled all the righteousness spoken by God. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). When Jesus received the baptism and came out from the water, God the Father said it in this way, and He personally bore witness to the fact that Jesus received the baptism in order to take on our sins.
Like this, when we hear the Word of God as it is witnessed by the Bible, we must accept the following facts: Jesus having come down to this earth in the flesh, Jesus having received the baptism of the remission of sins at the Jordan River as the very first thing in His public life, Jesus having received the judgment of the Cross on our behalf by carrying on His back those sins, Jesus having ascended to Heaven by resurrecting on the third day after having died, and the second coming of Jesus which will happen in the future. We must take into our hearts all such facts within the Word. Only by doing this can we get to receive salvation in our hearts. Just as water had turned into wine, we get to obtain true happiness and true satisfaction. For this reason, Jesus says to us that as we believe in Jesus, if we want to obtain true satisfaction and true happiness, we fill our hearts with the Word of God to the brim. Dear fellow believers, if you don’t fill your hearts fully, but instead if you fill your hearts with just a few Words of the Old Testament and a few Words of the Cross, you will just barely wet the bottom of the water jars.
People who still do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit cry to their church members, “Recover your first love for Jesus.” But without having fully filled the waterpots with water, a person cannot experience the miracles of the Lord’s Word. Such a person will get daunted after having harbored unanswered love toward the Lord, saying, “Though I had loved God so much, I think I have suffered too much betrayal.” Eventually he will die of lovesickness. This would be the same as dying without even having had a single drop of water in the end for not having filled the waterpots with a single drop of water.
The solution for all these problems is just one thing: We have to obey whatever the Lord tells us. In other words, we must accept the Word of God into our hearts regardless of what He says. Only then do we get to gain true happiness and true salvation in our hearts.
Our Salvation Is Jesus’ Glory
The Bible says the following: “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him,” (John 2:11). What was the very first work that Jesus did after having come down to this earth? It is none other than the work of blotting out all our sins and bestowing on us real satisfaction. We believe in Jesus in order to receive the remission of all the sins in our hearts. We don’t do so just to receive the remission of original sin that is imminent in our hearts, or merely the personal sins that we commit everyday. We believe in Jesus in order to receive the perfect remission of all such sins, and thus, to be born again from sinners to the righteous. We also believe in Jesus in order to drive out emptiness and hollowness from our heart and fill it with true happiness and true satisfaction.
By sending His Son, Jesus Christ, God solved both things, which we had been hoping for. First of all, He blotted out our sins completely and made us His children and the true righteous. We are no longer sinners. If we believe in Jesus’ baptism and His blood of the Cross, we are no longer sinners.
Of course, there are those who think that they still have sins despite their faith in Jesus. For them, God had invited them to the wedding feast in Cana. People who had been invited as guests to a feast without any wine allegorically refer those who haven’t yet become the righteous and haven’t yet been born again. They also couldn’t enjoy God’s true satisfaction and true happiness. Yet, only those who had stayed at that house until the end, and had tasted the miraculous wine through Jesus, became the righteous in the end. This is the gift God wants to give to every one.
Even though one believes in Jesus, it does not mean that he or she has received the remission of sins and goes to Heaven. It is possible only when the person realizes the fact that he or she no longer has sins, having received the remission of sins by truly knowing about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must perfectly believe in the Word of God, receive the remission of sins in the Word, and obtain the perfect satisfaction. Only then can we become a disciple before Jesus. If you still haven’t been able to receive the remission of sins, and still haven’t gained satisfaction despite the fact that you do believe in Jesus, then you will fall into hell, not having been able to fill the empty waterpots with a single drop of water, and being unable to receive salvation for all eternity.
God tells us that those who speak their own words are seeking their own glory, but those who speak the Word that they heard from God instead of their own words are those who do not seek their own glory. However, unable to realize this still, there are many people who try to gain joy of the heart and the glory from God with something else besides the Word of God. Not having met the Lord properly, certain ministry workers, as they hold revival meetings, brag much about themselves. They say things like they got a 1,000 dollar loan and offered 900 dollars as the tithe.
God does not simply expect our material things from us, but rather He expects our body and our spirit, as well as everything that we possess. So there is no need for those who have received the remission of sins to be boasting shamelessly about having made the tithe, not as one-tenth but as ten-tenth. To God, we are always lacking. The expectation that joy of the heart will come just simply because one has offered more money is nothing but a human delusion.
Still, there are more people who divert attention to other things in order to gain happiness and satisfaction. They tell you stories of some sick people who were healed through healing prayers by the laying on of hands. They try to enjoy happiness by spreading such stories. But dear fellow believers, is it the case that such things truly become joy in our hearts? God refers to such people as those who pick another’s ears. Just think about it. When your ears itch, if someone were to pick your ears with an ear cleaner, don’t you feel so refreshed?
However, your ears will feel refreshed only for a moment. The fact of the matter is it does not lead to your heart feeling refreshed. It means that it cannot provide you with true happiness and satisfaction. All such things are nothing but lies. There is only one way of gaining the glory of God who gives us true happiness, true satisfaction, and true salvation. Without a doubt, it is the way of accepting the Word of God perfectly, believing in it wholeheartedly, and obeying it perfectly.
We Must Be under the Lord’s Governing
Dear fellow believers, we are always lacking. There are times when we do well, there are more times when we do badly. Often, our hearts, which should be placed on the things of the Spirit, are prone to fall into fleshly things. Aren’t there so many occasions when you get sworn at by others although you had gone through troubles trying to do something good? Although you had tried to walk on the spiritual path, there are times when your leader comes and rebukes you while other believers ignore you.
Dear fellow believers, God’s Church is a blacksmith’s shop where the servants of God make you shine and turn you into a useful tool for God’s use. Just as things like sickles and shovels are made by bringing some insignificant raw iron, putting them into fire, and hammering them, one must taste such difficulties and hardships in order to be born again as a useful worker. God has accepted us in His righteousness and has turned us, the raw iron, into all sorts of things by hammering us this way and that. I hope for you to know that the difficulties and the hardships that we suffer through are precisely the hammering of God.
Although we make various mistakes and suffer through difficulties as we serve God, we basically have a feeling of satisfaction. Because we feel that we have no sin, we do not worry about going to hell. If there is such a fundamental feeling of satisfaction, then there is no need for worry. A fundamental feeling of satisfaction does not show its bottom. Something that is fundamental is always filled up to the brim.
Dear fellow believers, by taking that fundamental feeling of satisfaction as the foundation, accept the Word of God as it is. Whatever He may say, if your heart is ready to respond by saying, “Yes, I will so,” then God will appear before us in that moment and carry out His work. God has saved us from sin. He has blotted out all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and given us the authority to become His children and have everlasting life. Not only that, He gives us true satisfaction and happiness.
Nevertheless, dear fellow believers, if our hearts aren’t ready, we cannot enjoy all these things given by God. When Mary said to Jesus that there is no more wine, Jesus clearly said the following. “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” What this Word means is that people have to be prepared spiritually in their heart.
People who aren’t prepared in their heart continue to feel no satisfaction and think that they have sins even though they go to various churches, changing one from another, serve the Lord, attend mountain prayers and all-night prayers, and believe ardently. It is because they are still not prepared in their heart to accept the gospel of the remission of sins. However, if someone were to ready his or her heart, saying, “Now, no matter if someone from whichever sect comes and says things based on the Word of God, I will unconditionally accept it. If there truly is the Church that correctly teaches me the remission of sins, then, I will adhere to that Word. I will accept it,” only then in that moment will God be carrying out the work on that person.
What would happen if they, without even being prepared, were to say, “Please, speak to me first. I will listen, and if it is understandable and if it agrees with the doctrines of our sect, I will accept it. However, even if it is the Word of God, if it doesn’t suit, I will not accept it”? If people were to stand before God with such an attitude, He will say to them that it isn’t time for them to receive salvation yet. It means that God does not work on those people.
If you want to obtain true remission of sins and true satisfaction, then you must give up everything, deny yourselves, and utterly possess the faithful attitude toward the Word, saying, “If it is the Word of God, I will believe. I will accept it. Yes, I will obey the God-spoken Word. Even if it does not suit my thinking and even if it differs from my sect’s teachings and doctrines, if it is the Word of God written in the 66 Books of the New and the Old Testament, then I will accept it.” God grants the work of salvation, in which the miracle of wine arises, only to these people. God tells us that these people will receive the remission of sins. It means that God’s salvation, true rest, and satisfaction come only to such people. Dear fellow believers, do you believe? Amen.
If you have received the remission of sins, it is because you have obeyed the Word of God and taken that Word into your hearts instead of doing things according to your thoughts. As such, we have gained salvation and satisfaction because we have accepted the Word even though it wasn’t understandable. We have become members of God’s Church just by accepting His Word. However, if you still haven’t gained satisfaction despite your faith in Jesus, then it is the result of your arbitrary belief in the Word of God according to your own thought and according to doctrines. Dear fellow believers, do you understand?
In truth, accepting the Word of God perfectly in this world isn’t easy. The world doesn’t even think that our Church is God’s Church. They think of us as just another religious group instead of seeing us as the sole God’s Church, the state and the society still leave us alone. But such a circumstance will not last long. The Devil holds this world captive, yet do you think that the Devil will just let us freely do God’ work? Furthermore, does the world welcome you who truly live according to the will of God with gladness? That is not so. Likewise, the work of serving and obeying the Word of God is always under the shadow of hardship.
However, dear fellow believers! We must wholeheartedly accept and believe in the Word of God as it is even if we are under such hardship. Only by doing so, will we be able to receive the remission of sins, gain true happiness, and receive true salvation. Even if we get persecuted by this world, we must do so. A church that tries to get acknowledged by the world and at the same time, tries to get acknowledged by God isn’t the true Church.
“Do you go to church?”
“Yes, I go church.”
“Are you an elder of your church?”
“Yes, I am an elder.”
“Well then, you must really be a holy man.” Christians are prone to hold such biased views on church offices. However, just because the worldly people have acknowledged that elder like that isn’t something good. Dear fellow believers, the Spirit of God and the spirit of the Devil are clearly different. If the Devil acknowledges and praises someone who has the Spirit of God, saying, “You are truly a good person. You are truly holy. Your faith is truly right,” and the person is well pleased with such a flattery, then that person who has received praise is on the side of the Devil, never a person of God.
Currently, Christianity is acknowledged all over the world, including Korea. But, this Christianity acknowledged by the world, isn’t truly comprised of the faithful who have truly received the remission of sins before Jesus. People who have truly received the remission of sins do not receive acknowledgement. Instead, they receive the respect of the world. They’ll say something like, “Those people are true Christians. If I can become someone like them, I would like to believe along with them. I have been broken down like this, yet how is it that they laugh like that every day, that their face radiates serenity, and that they live with such self-confidence? It is perplexing. Their outer appearance seems worse than mine, and their level of education seems less than mine. Their material wealth seems less than mine, and their dilettante life doesn’t seem all that special. Yet, even though they seem worse off than me, why is their face glowing like that? How is it that they are like that?”
There is only one reason as to why the worldly people respect those who have truly received the remission of sins. The fact is that great joy, true satisfaction, and true life have been poured into their heart because they have accepted as they were told, regardless of what God has said and because they have accepted the Spirit of God and the Word of God as they are. Dear fellow believers, do you believe like this?
While believing in Jesus after being born again, time passes by. After the fifth and the sixth year, when the tenth year comes, the joy will abound much more. When the twentieth year comes, that joy will have grown even bigger, and with the thirtieth year, it will have grown ever so great. However, for those who haven’t been able to perfectly believe in Jesus, and who have failed to receive salvation perfectly, that is, as for those who do not perfectly know the Word of God and the gospel of the remission of sins, the more they believe the less their happiness will become. This is the same reasoning as that of there being no more wine at the house of celebration. Just think about not being able to receive salvation and not being able to gain happiness despite having faith in Jesus. What could be more fearful and sad than this?
Dear fellow believers, now, I would like to sum up the sermon and come to an end. Is sleep creeping up on you because it has been long? Our brother Seung Whan Kim you see over there always falls asleep whenever I give a sermon, but nevertheless, Brother Seung Whan Kim does not have sins at all. He gets sleepy because he has a feeling of satisfaction in his heart. Dear fellow believers, consider for a moment that you do not have a feeling of satisfaction. With such an agonized heart, you won’t be able to fall asleep all night.
Dear fellow believers, God tells us that only when we try to really believe in and obey the Word of God perfectly, does the salvation of God and true satisfaction come to us. He tells us that like this, He carries out the work of salvation and the miracles. Also, the disciples who have tasted this miracle say that they believed the fact that Jesus is the true Son of God at that moment. This was the first miracle. After seeing this miracle, “His disciples believed in Him.” It was the very first miracle Jesus had performed after having come to this earth. His miracle of turning water into wine was the very first miracle.
The very first work that the Lord did, having come down to this earth, is His taking on all of our sins as He received the baptism at the Jordan River. Hence, He died vicariously on the Cross on our behalf and saved us perfectly from sin and judgment. Dear fellow believers, this is the glory of God. This is the righteousness of God. This is the gospel. By our knowing of the glory of God and accepting the righteousness of God, you and I are able to become those who have received salvation.