The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 18 : GENESIS

[Chapter 5-3] (Genesis 5:1-32) We Must Walk with The Lord, Trusting In His Righteousness

(Genesis 5:1-32)
“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died. Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan. After he begot Cainan, Enosh lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enosh were nine hundred and five years; and he died. Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel. After he begot Mahalalel, Cainan lived eight hundred and forty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years; and he died. Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. After he begot Jared, Mahalalel lived eight hundred and thirty years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died. Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died. Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. After he begot Lamech, Methuselah lived seven hundred and eighty-two years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died. Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, ‘This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.’ After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died. And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
 
 
God created us humans as eternal beings. Human existence is not just ephemeral, lasting on this earth for a short while only to disappear, but everyone is to live forever. When your life in this world is over, it is not the end of your everything, but you will live again for eternity. That’s because everyone was made by God in the likeness of His image from the moment he was born. The fact that God made human beings in His image (Genesis 1:26-27) means that just as God lives forever, He made them as eternal beings as well.
Right now, we are leading our lives of faith before God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and this means that like the forefathers of faith listed in today’s Scripture passage, we are also leading spiritual lives that bear many spiritual children until we go to be with our Lord. As our forefathers of faith usually had their first son at 100 years of age, and bore children for about 800 years, we who are living in the age of the New Testament are also giving birth to many spiritual children for the rest of our lives. In other words, once we who are living in the age of the New Testament are born again free from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we also continue to bear spiritual children before we go to God.
We the born-again died once with Christ for our sins, and we were also resurrected once together with Christ. Our old selves died with Christ already, and our present lives are now lived as resurrected souls. In Christ, our old selves were crucified to death with Him. However, we often forget the fact that our old selves have already died on the Cross with Christ. Nevertheless, what is clear is the Truth that our carnal selves were already crucified to death with Jesus, united with Him through His baptism.
As such, those who believe in this Truth within the gospel of the water and the Spirit have already become new creatures, and therefore they are now able to continue to bear spiritual children before God by preaching the Word of Truth. In the Old Testament’s times, our forefathers of faith continued to bear children year after year after having the first child; likewise, by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we the righteous are also to continue to give birth to the children of faith until the day we go and stand before the presence of the Lord our God. Because we were already crucified with Christ, if we walk with Him by faith, then we will be able to keep giving birth to God’s children.
Therefore, the righteous who live by faith cannot live spiritually unless they bear God’s children. When the righteous live in God’s Church, they are bound to give birth to His children who have new life in the Church, until the day the Lord returns. Just as when a man and a women get married in this world they bear many children, we who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are to unite with Christ our Bridegroom and give birth to His children of faith until we go to stand before the Lord. When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to people all over the world, those who believe in this gospel with their hearts are born again. That is how we give birth to the born-again children of faith, and it is to continue to bear spiritual children that we keep preaching the gospel. Until the day we go to the Lord and live in His presence forever, we must abide in God’s Church and give birth to spiritual children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit—that is the life of a true evangelist. Regardless of how long people might have lived in this world, no one could bear God’s children before receiving the remission of sins. However, now that we have received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are to live our lives giving birth to God’s children through faith, until the day we stand before the Lord.
Just as no woman in this world can bear a child by herself, the born-again cannot bear spiritual children by themselves either. The righteous can give birth to spiritual children only if they are united with God’s Church, the body of Jesus Christ. In other words, the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit bear the children of faith by uniting with their fellow companions of faith in the Church. So, normally, it’s rare even for the born-again to give birth to the children of faith when they are alone, but once they unite with the members of God’s Church and labor together, they can successfully bear many spiritual children. Whenever the righteous gather together, they always preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we get together and hold a revival meeting, at least several people receive the remission of sins in a given week, and some of them also grow up quite well to God’s pleasure.
In the days of the Old Testament also, the people of faith lived by faith and bore many children of faith, and this applies equally to us as well when it comes to carrying out God’s work. By believing in and preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit that holds the righteousness of God, we must give birth to the children of faith in our lives. If you don’t want to end up as a spiritually illegitimate child of faith, then you must have the same faith as God’s Church and unite with it. To defend your faith, in other words, it is imperative for you to unite with other believers who have the same faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
The Life of Faith That Walks with the Lord
 
The life of faith that walks with the Lord does not seek to benefit one’s own flesh, but it seeks to benefit the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For whose interest we live is what is important. In other words, the proper life of faith seeks the interests of the Kingdom of God.
While the born-again ministers also must give birth to spiritual children, above all else, they must seek the faith that walks with the Lord. In other words, a ministry that walks with the Lord does not seek just one’s own greed. When we are saved and born again from sin, our hearts begin to yearn to live for the righteousness of the Lord. At the same time, however, we still desire to appease our fleshly desires. These two different desires, one wanting to serve the gospel and the other to serve our the flesh, coexist in the hearts of the born-again, and the central issue here is which of these two desires we should follow. Once we are saved, sooner or later the moment of decision comes to us when we must decide, “Should I live for the Kingdom of the Lord and His righteousness, or should I live just seeking my own interests?” When this moment of decision is upon us, you and I must decide to follow the Lord. If we the born-again were to instead follow our own carnal greed, who would spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Besides, it would be impossible for us to continue on with the lineage of true faith.
Today’s Scripture passage says that Enoch bore children for 300 years and walked with God, and that he was no longer on this earth, for God took Him away. To bear spiritual children, one must walk with the Lord. Enoch was a man who walked with the Lord. In contrast, Abraham’s nephew Lot left Abraham his guide to pursue his own greed. This actually meant that Lot left God, and as a result, he faced a wretched end.
What about you then? How is your life of faith? Is it like that of Enoch, or of Lot? You must live out your faith according to the Lord’s righteousness. Regardless of how much it costs you, you must still submit to the will of the Lord and seek the benefits of His Kingdom. A true life of faith is led not by pursuing your own carnal interests, but by seeking the Lord’s interests. If only the Lord’s will is fulfilled on this earth, then it is only a matter of course for you to give up your petty desires of the flesh.
Referring to those who’ve lived a spiritual life, the Lord said, “These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4-5). My fellow believers, those who follow the righteousness of the Lord should never get into ministry just to fulfill their own carnal greed. Rather, they must fulfill a ministry that is pleasing to the Lord. When we follow the Lord, we must know what it is that He wants from us and what pleases Him. We must carry out His ministry by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
To everyone else also, we must preach the true gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord told us, “You shall be witnesses of My gospel to the end of the earth.” How should we carry out our ministry then? What is it that we should do? How should we serve the righteousness of the Lord? We must follow Him, denying our carnal thoughts. We must take up our cross and follow the Lord. Only when we believe that we were crucified with Christ, and deny our desires of the flesh to obey His Word, do we really walk with Him in our everyday lives.
As we dedicate our entire lives to proclaim the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there are times when we encounter hardships for our flesh. And there also are many times when our hearts become weary. So in extreme cases, it’s possible for us to even think, “I just want to give it up now and live more comfortably.” However, no matter how hard it is, we must grasp that if we follow our flesh and leave God, we will surely perish away.
Our hearts are now dwelt by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the desires of the flesh and those of the Spirit clash against each other throughout our entire lifetime. We must win this battle by believing in the Word of God. When we thus renounce the desires of our flesh one by one in our lives, we will come to walk with the Lord, and we will gain new strength from the Lord to live by faith. So when you completely unite yourself with the Lord, what is His will be yours and what is yours will be His, and therefore you will be spiritually enriched beyond description. If you walk with the Lord, His everything is yours. At the same time, what is yours also belongs to the Lord, and so you have no hesitation to serve the Lord with all you have. That is how you come to live a life of prosperity by faith, in both body and spirit.
As we carry on with our ministry for the Lord, we sometimes see Satan stirring up carnal thoughts in us. Because we are weak, our hearts often desire to seek the interests of our own flesh. When this happens, we find it uncomfortable to follow the Lord. If your heart is troubled, you have to realize that it’s because you are seeking only your own fleshly interests.
Some of our churches are small, without that many saints. So the ministers at such small churches may be skeptical about their potential, thinking, “How could such a small church like mine carry out God’s work?” However, no matter how small your church might be, if it is where the born-again saints are gathered, then there is much work to be done for the gospel. First of all, you should support the ministry by spreading the gospel with your prayers, asking God, “Lord, please save every soul all over the world from all sins.” You should also contribute offerings to the gospel mission, even if they are small, to follow the will of the Lord. When you really desire with all your heart to walk with the Lord and follow the Spirit, you will be able to minister spiritually even if your church is small, and through this church of yours, God will save countless souls.
My fellow believers, we must all lead our lives of faith walking with the Lord. Even though we are all narrow-minded, selfish, and ill-natured in our hearts, because the Lord has saved us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and because He has clearly shown us His will to save everyone, we must deny our carnal thoughts and follow this will of the Lord. Do not try to establish your own righteousness before God. Rather, believe in the righteousness of God. Your old self had already died and were brought back to life in Jesus Christ. You no longer exist on this earth as who you were before. Our old selves have already passed away from this world. You are a new creature now. Only when this truth is firmly established in our hearts can we walk with the Lord and bear many spiritual children.
To sum up, we can walk with the Lord only if we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even if the fruit of the righteousness of God is not born through you right away, you must still unite your heart with the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit, set your mind on His Kingdom, and pray for God’s work—it is then that you will come to walk with the Lord by faith.
 
 
We Must Strengthen Our Faith by Believing in the Righteousness of the Lord
 
We must ignore the lust of our flesh. While it may seem as if our old selves are still alive, we had actually died with Christ long ago. The Apostle Paul declared, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We have already been crucified with Christ. Given the fact that our sins were passed onto Jesus Christ through His baptism, and that He was crucified to death for this, how could our old selves be still alive? We believe that our Lord has fulfilled the righteousness of God by coming to this earth, being baptized, shedding His blood, and rising from the dead again. Therefore, if the righteous live only for themselves rather than for the righteousness of God, they will inevitably become God’s enemies before long. It is to kill their own faith. Our Lord said, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). We must realize that living for the righteousness of God is ultimately to live for our own interests. It’s only natural for the people of God to live for the righteousness of the Lord. Because it is through us that the Lord establishes His Kingdom and saves every soul, we must follow Him by faith.
Even the righteous are also human, and so there is no reason why they wouldn’t also have carnal desires. However, if we really want to walk with the Lord trusting in His righteousness, then we cannot live just by seeking our own carnal interests. For us to believe in the Lord’s righteousness and follow Him, we must deny our own righteousness. Our Lord said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). To follow the will of the Lord, we must deny our own righteousness every day. Unless we deny our carnal thoughts every day, it’s hard to serve the Lord’s righteousness. Just because we resolve ourselves once, this does not mean that we would be able to follow the righteousness of God all the time in our lives. It takes little time before our carnal thoughts arise again, and that is precisely why we have to deny our fleshly thoughts at every moment and every day.
For us to follow the Lord, what we need is only our constant faith in the righteousness of God. Those who are now living for others bring prosperity to both themselves and others as well. When we visit the homes of philanthropic people, we often see that they are quite frugal with their spending. Why do they live like this? It’s because they want to help others. Those whose lives are now walking with the Lord do not just seek the comfort of their own flesh. When you look at such people who have dedicated their entire lives to the righteousness of the Lord, do you ever find anyone trying to live only for himself? While these people leading a spiritual life pray a lot for other souls, they hardly pray for their own fleshly benefits. That’s because they can’t pray enough even if they were to pray only for the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Sometimes, when I am overwhelmed by the insufficiencies and needs of my flesh, I pray asking God to meet such needs, but after praying, I feel that my prayer is somehow wrong. There are times when something is wrong with our prayers, but we don’t quite realize this. The Holy Spirit in our hearts then speaks to us, saying, “Do you think you would serve the Lord better if your flesh were to prosper? Far from it, it’s when you go through a great deal of suffering in your flesh that you can better carry out My work.” Most people want both their flesh and spirits to prosper. However, the Lord said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, whatever prayers we give, I believe that we should pray for the will of the Lord.
Of course, I am not saying here that you should never pray for yourself. Rather, my point is that we should first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness even in our prayers. God has promised us that if we pray for the expansion of His Kingdom of righteousness, we will also prosper in our flesh. Yet despite this, we often disregard God’s promise, and instead pray for the prosperity of both our flesh and spirits, thinking that it would somehow be better to bring more prosperity to our flesh. This is very wrong before God.
Sometimes, I myself also think, “It’s so hard to minister.” If we try to please the Lord, His sheep cry out, but if we try to please His sheep, then the Lord is aroused to anger. Perhaps that’s why God had provided the people of Israel with two leaders, Moses and Aaron. Aaron was the High Priest who stood on the side of the people, mediating and reconciling them to God. In contrast, Moses was a spokesman for God, delivering His Word regardless of how the people received it and saying to them sternly, “This is what Jehovah God said.” Before the commandments of God delivered by Moses, the people of Israel trembled in fear. Moses was a leader who stood only on God’s side, saying to the people, “Whether you are afraid or not, this is what God said.”
When a pastor is ministering, sometimes he has to be Aaron, and other times he has to be Moses. This requires a careful balance; a pastor can’t be too much like Aaron, nor too much like Moses. While a minister should have both these two leaders’ qualities, he must first be Moses. A pastor must first stand on God’s side, and then ask His mercy for the people. A true minister is someone who has both these elements. Yet more often than not, many pastors try to minister in reverse order. As they side with the people first and then stand on God’s side when they pray, the Lord is displeased, their hearts are uncomfortable, and then the people are all ruined.
We should have both elements, but sometimes we find hard it to balance them, and so we get lopsided. Nevertheless, we must first become like Moses, and then minister the flock with a tolerant heart like Aaron. Then the Lord won’t rebuke us. Just because I said that you should minister like Moses, don’t give fiery sermons scorching your congregation every day, but preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit that holds God’s mercy. It’s not so easy to fulfill your role as a spiritual parent.
When we seek the righteousness of God first, our souls will prosper as will our bodies, and our brothers and sisters will also prosper. In other words, when the will of the Lord is fulfilled first, He will bestow His grace on us to provide for the rest of our needs as well. Even though you are insufficient in your flesh, if you walk with the Lord trusting in His righteousness, you will find His grace. In contrast, if you seek only your own benefit, then you will turn into a spiritual dropout. We must lead our lives of faith following the will of the Lord. This means that we should seek the Lord’s benefit first. If all the churches or ministers affiliated with our Mission were to just care about their own churches and do not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit as they should, then they will straggle from the spiritual file that walks with the Lord, and their relationship with God will also be damaged. However, there still is a key to prosperity in both body and spirit: It is to become a church that spreads the gospel by believing in the righteousness of God. It’s a church that walks with the Lord.
If anyone who is born again cares only about his own benefit, rather than caring about spreading all over the world the gospel that holds the righteousness of God, then he is like a scoundrel. In particular, if pastors seek only their own carnal greed, then they are turning themselves into spiritual scoundrels. The Holy Spirit in their hearts will make them realize this.
If we indeed want to follow the righteousness of the Lord, we will work faithfully regardless of where He places us. Those who believe, “God has placed me here because He needed to do so,” are actually walking with the Lord. Sometimes, the Lord places us in an exalted position, but other times He also places us in a lowly position; wherever He places us, we must all be faithful to Him. Whatever we do, if we do it for the gospel, then we are doing God’s work. Just because there aren’t too many brothers and sisters in some of God’s Church, do pastors there don’t preach or pray? No, they all preach and pray. The only difference is whether there are many or few brothers and sister in the eyes of the pastor in charge, and whether he has much to manage or not. No pastor who serves the Lord’s gospel should ever minister for his own fleshly desires.
 
 
It’s a Beautiful Life to Walk with God
 
Our hearts have already been sanctified, for we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to follow the Lord by perfecting the acts of our flesh. All of us seek the interests of the Lord and His will amid our insufficiencies; none of us follows the Lord because he is somehow perfect. In other words, even though we are insufficient, we live by the strength that the Lord has given us. And this is the life that walks with God. However, our hearts still quietly desire to follow the Lord by perfecting our acts of the flesh. If one perfects his acts, he will inevitably want to exalt himself and look down on everyone else whose acts are still not perfected.
The fact that we have become God’s servants has nothing to do with our own merits. Yet because we are only human, it’s still possible for us to think, “Wouldn’t God be pleased more, if I had more merits?” Such thoughts come to our minds when we allow ourselves to be bound by our insufficiencies. However, faith transcends all insufficiencies and weaknesses. “I am already dead. Wherever the Lord places me, I will walk with Him all the time. If only He would use me for the benefit of the gospel and not cast me out, I will be grateful beyond words.” We need to have this kind of mindset for the rest of our lives. I have such a heart. If only the Lord wants to use me, then I am only too happy to be used by Him wherever He wants to place me, whether I need to get down to my hands to labor or even fight for the gospel.
Is it written in today’s Scripture passage, “Enoch’s acts were perfect”? No, nowhere in the Bible is there such a record. Enoch found approval in God’s sight precisely because he had walked with the Lord by faith. Walking with the Lord is not about seeking your own interest, but it is about seeking the interest of the Church. And it is seeking the benefit of your brothers and sisters, and of the other souls. All these things are possible only if you do not follow your own interests.
If only we would walk with the Lord, our Mission will be spiritually enriched beyond description. Our Lord will bless us so much that all the blessings that we have received so far will be pale in comparison. Everything the Lord has will surely all be ours, if only we would walk with Him. For the saints also, if they cherish the Lord, their hearts will be enriched, their faith will grow wealthy, and their problems of the flesh will also be solved. Anyone who walks with the Lord will be blessed to reach spiritual maturity and become a man of faith. Like this, we must all seek the benefit of the Lord. And we must walk with Him. We must unite with the Church and bear spiritual children. Moreover, rather than just giving birth to spiritual children, we have to nurture them as well. Just as the Bible says that God created man and woman and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24), His saints must unite with the Church built by God and bring salvation to other souls.
And we must never give free reign to all the desires that spring forth from our flesh. Whenever our own desires are aroused, we must ignore such desires by placing our faith in the righteousness of God. Because you are in fact dead, there is even more reason why you cannot allow such carnal desires to prevail, and when you realize that you had died in Christ, you can practice righteousness by your faith in the Lord. How could you follow the Lord if your old self were still alive? My fellow believers, you must all realize that you had already died. And you must believe so. You must build your faith to never waver, remembering in your heart every day, “I am already dead in Christ.” We must believe in this with all our hearts, but because we forget it too often, we end up seeking our own interests so frequently. The fact that one seeks his own interests is all because he thinks that he is still alive. Yet we had already died. The Lord put us to death because He would not be able to reign over us if He had spared our old selves. Does He not know that we would come to challenge Him if He left our old selves alive? Our Lord knew this long ago, and that’s why when He died on the Cross, He did not just die and rise from the dead again by Himself, but He also put us to death and raised us back to life.
By believing in Jesus Christ, we had already died once and have now risen again. That is precisely why we can follow the Lord; how else could we follow Him, if our old selves were still alive? If you say, “No, I don’t want to die. I can’t let my old self die like this,” how could you ever follow the Lord? It’s because your old self died that you can now follow the will of the Lord by faith, His righteousness, His life, and His power. My fellow believers, if your old self has not died yet, then you won’t be able to carry out God’s work even at the slightest injury to your pride. That’s why God has crucified us with the Lord.
Even so, as we follow the Lord, we often feel that our old selves are still alive. However, if we say everything we want to say and do everything we want to do according to our carnal thoughts, then we will have to be separated in the end from the Lord and His Church. Yet for those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, living alone separated from the Lord is in itself a torture. If you examine yourself while following the Lord, you will see that it’s when you worry about what to eat and what to drink, and follow yourself, that your heart inevitably wants to go on its own way apart from the Church. When this happens, you will be swamped by a tidal wave of carnal thoughts, rather than thinking, “To whom should I preach the gospel?” In other words, you will be trapped in your own thoughts, wondering, “What could I do to make enough money for myself and to serve the Lord as well? Wouldn’t it be okay if I were to serve the gospel after my circumstances have improved a bit?” You will then be separated from the Church in the end, and go on your own way not caring about of the will of God. If you think, “I will first purchase a four-story building, rent out every floor, and serve the Lord with the rent,” and pursue your own plans, then even after laboring hard for your entire lifetime, you will likely pass away without even a one-story building in your possession. Even worse, you might actually end up losing everything you have now.
 
 
While We Live Now on This Earth, We Live with Christ by Believing in His Righteousness 
 
Given the fact that you had died by the power of Christ, is there any need for you to think, “I should have at least this much wealth, and enjoy this level of quality of life at minimum.” My fellow believers, if you follow only your flesh, you cannot serve the righteousness of the Lord. How could you walk with the Lord if you just want to take care of yourself, since this will only make your heart uncomfortable and tormented? This applies to your relationship with your brothers and sisters as well. If your own righteousness of the flesh is still alive, you can never serve the righteousness of God. We must live by believing in the Word of God, saying to ourselves, “I have died with Christ. The life that I live from now on, I live by believing that the Lord has given me new life.” The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). It is the Lord who gives us the Word, faith, and material means, allows our circumstances, and provides us with time and strength. Through the One who strengthens us and by believing in Him, we can serve the Lord’s gospel and walk with Him. In short, we live by believing in the righteousness of God.
There is absolutely no need for us to worry about how to make a living, what to eat and what to drink. Wouldn’t God add everything to us, who want to live for His righteousness? Indeed, the Lord has met all our needs so far. Do not worry about what to eat and what to wear. Instead, think about what God wants us to do no matter where He has placed us in His Church. Rather than blaming God for not giving us what we want, we should walk with the Lord by faith, regardless of our merits and demerits—this is true faith.
Enoch walked with the Lord by faith. It is the people of faith who walked with God. Today’s Scripture passage describes how everyone belonging to the genealogy of Adam gave birth to children throughout one’s entire lifetime. While it is also important for us to bear the children of faith, it is even more important to walk with God. In fact, Enoch probably had fewer children than everyone else in today’s Scripture passage. All the other people listed in today’s Scripture passage bore children and lived for around 800 years, but Enoch bore Methuselah at 65, and he walked with the Lord and bore more children for only 300 years. So given this, he probably didn’t have that many children compared to the others. However, Enoch walked with God for 300 years after having Methuselah at 65. Enoch bore children earlier than everyone else. And God took him away earlier as well. Even though Enoch’s life was short, he still walked with God. God is most pleased when you walk with Him by faith.
When it comes to our ministry on this earth to protect and nurture God’s people, it is absolutely critical to walk with the Lord. My fellow believers, we must walk with the Lord in our lives of faith. All the affiliated churches of our Mission in Korea must do everything by believing in the righteousness of God. No matter what others might say to us, we must realize what it means to walk with the Lord by believing in the righteousness of God, and we must live by faith.
My fellow believers, if we are unable to believe in the righteousness of God and live by faith, then we are not walking with the Lord, but living according to our own stubborn insistence. A minister who has no faith in the righteousness of God is indeed facing a spiritually dangerous situation. If anyone departs from faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he will instantly begin building an evil city for himself. No matter what the condition of your ministry might be, it’s right for you to walk with the Lord by believing in His gospel of righteousness. Will you walk with God by trusting in His righteousness, or will you satisfy only your carnal lusts and just give birth to the children of the flesh? It’s here that the success and failure of your ministry are determined. Whether our ministers’ lives are spiritual or not is also determined here. Even though we are insufficient individually, we must still walk with the Lord and live according to His will by faith. All the insufficiencies of our flesh and of our faith will then be remedied by the Lord, and we will have no problem at all.
Someone who walks with the Lord will be used even more importantly down the road. In contrast, someone who, although competent at his individual ministry, does not walk with the Lord, does not deny himself, and instead builds his own city of the flesh, will just end up settling for a carnal life. In other words, it’s absolutely indispensable for us to walk with the Lord in our lives by believing in the righteousness of God. This is not just my own point, but it is the very Word of God.
What does the Lord want from us, who are now abiding in God’s Church? He wants to walk with God’s servants and the brothers and sisters who have come into the gospel of Truth. In other words, God wants to work with us, who believe in His righteousness, and through us, He also wants to fulfill His great plan and His will. That is what God actually desires from us. Above all else, the Lord prizes faith in the righteousness of God the most. Do you now realize this? Put differently, our Lord cherishes such people of faith who say, “Lord, even though my flesh is insufficient, I will walk with You by believing in Your righteousness. I will follow You to the end, Lord.”
Among our brothers and sisters, there are those who are walking with the Lord by their faith in the righteousness of God. Even though these saints are insufficient in their flesh, they will never leave God’s Church. No matter how their self-esteem is hurt, they never leave God’s Church, but cling to the Church in a do-or-die spirit. Such people pray as the following, lest they fall away from faith in the righteousness of God: “Lord, don’t let my faith perish away. Bless me in Your Church.” They pray like this from the depth of their hearts, and it’s such people who walk with the Lord.
In contrast, those who insist on their own righteousness cannot walk with the Lord. These people attend God’s Church when it suits them, but fall into temptation when the Church doesn’t suit their liking. When it seems to them that God’s servants have flaws, they leave the Church, saying, “Why should a man of esteem like myself be treated like this by such people? I’ll rather leave this kind of church and go to another church that’s fit for me.” Such people are not walking with the Lord. My fellow believers, isn’t it when you follow the Lord even amid your difficulties that you are truly walking with Christ? If you walk with the Lord only as long as your flesh is free of any hardships, are you really walking with the Lord? Even when you find that you are truly worthless and full of mistakes, and extremely difficult situations makes it hard for you to even carry on with your life of faith, if you walk with the Lord trusting in the righteousness of God, you are really walking with the Lord. “Lord, I am happy regardless of what You do to me. If You tell me to do this, I’ll do it, and if You tell me to do that, I’ll do that also. No matter what happens to me, I will follow You according to the direction of God’s Church.” When we thus set our hearts resolutely and decide to walk with God, He will bestow His grace on us.
My fellow ministers, as we follow the direction of God’s Church, it’s highly probable that the brothers and sisters at some individual churches would fall into temptation and leave the Church. It’s possible for the conniving, fox-like people mingled among the saints to blame God’s Church at the first opportunity and defend their own carnal thoughts. They will try to throw God’s Church into complete confusion, and take this opportunity to drag a few saints out with them to build another church of their own, but, in the end, it’s actually better for them to leave.
However, even under such circumstances, those who believe in the righteousness of God clearly say, “Lord, I will follow You by faith. I will walk with You. Even if everyone else leaves and I am left alone, I will still preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and serve You, Lord. I’ll do so even though I am insufficient.” Such people stand on their unwavering faith and walk with the Lord holding hands with their leaders. Even if there were only two people left in the Church, it is only proper for you to walk with the Lord in your life. That is an upright ministry, and such saints are God’s beloved saints.
Whether our circumstances are good or poor, we need to walk with the Lord always. What those who have not been born again desire is inevitably different from what God’s Church aspires to accomplish. And anyone in the Church who does not bend his will, but on the contrary pursues his own will, may fall into temptation when faced with unfavorable circumstances. In times like this, you must once again confirm and realize that you had died with Christ, and walk with the Lord. It is God’s will for us to walk with the Lord always, whether we find ourselves in a tough situation or not. This is God’s greatest will for us. Even though we are lacking, we should never leave God, but instead rely on Him and come out to Him to ask for His grace. God is looking for such servants and saints who do not leave Him but walk with the Lord no matter what hardships befall them. These people are called God’s servants.
My dear fellow saints, let us all walk with the Lord. Let us all walk with our Lord until He takes us away to see Him face to face. When this day comes, we will no longer be in this world. No matter what happens to us, let us live our lives according to the Lord’s pleasure, and then go to see Him when He returns to us. Even if we face obstacles in our work, and even if we do not bear that many fruits, let us still unite our hearts with the Lord and walk with Him. Even though our acts are lacking, let us walk with the Lord in our lives. Even if we were to become rich, let us still continue to walk with the Lord. Let us all walk with the Lord until we see Him face to face. This is the truly upright disposition. It’s my sincerest desire to live like this. And it’s also my sincere desire for you to live like this as well. Those who do not walk with the Lord will all leave Him in the end. While the Apostle Paul walked with the Lord until the very end, many of his fellow workers left the Lord half way (2 Timothy 4:10). Those who walk with the Lord are always one body with the Lord, whether in wealth or poverty.
By any chance, do you think that you won’t be able to walk with the Lord because of your insufficiencies? The Lord knows all too well that you are insufficient. Instead of falling into despair, set your mind to follow the Lord, saying, “Although I am insufficient, I will still unite with the Lord and follow Him until the end.” Like this, it is such people of faith who walk with the Lord that are truly God’s workers and His beloved saints. If we have indeed been saved from our sins and come into God’s Church by faith, and if God has indeed bestowed such grace on us, then we should lead a mature life of faith walking with the Lord. Now, rather than just speaking about how you have been saved from your sins, and how some souls have reached their salvation through you, you should cast aside your narrow-minded fixation on your own congregation and your own church, and march forward to the grand goal of seeking the things of the Lord, His will, and His work, and walk with Him. Let us then give up ourselves, and lead a mature life of faith walking with the Lord.
As we serve the Lord, there are times when some people ignore us. However, if they ignore us for no reason, then the Lord will surely ignore them as well, and so there is no reason why we should be bothered by them. Therefore, no matter what insults might come on our way, we must have faith to walk with the Lord by believing in the righteousness of God. If we are persecuted for believing in the righteousness of the Lord, it is a joy for us, and if we are despised for believing in His righteousness, then we are all the more rejoiced because of the Lord. If, in contrast, we set aside the Lord’s righteousness to seek our own glory, this in itself is a shame.
This is what I want to say to my fellow ministers always: “Everyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must live according to the righteousness of God, rather than according to the desires of his own flesh.” That’s because the born-again do not live according to their carnal desires, but they can lead a spiritual life only by believing in the righteousness of God. If the just try to exalt the righteousness of their own flesh instead of praising God’s righteousness, they will be rebuked by God. If any righteous person tries to ensure the survival of his own flesh and exalt himself, that’s because he does not believe in the Word of God, and the Lord says that this disbelief is a sin. It’s because you have no faith that you end up leaving the Lord, fall into weaknesses, and succumb to temptation. Such things would never happen if you really believe in the Lord. When you follow the Lord by faith, you may be despised by some people, but you should trust that the Lord would deal with such people appropriately, and rather than falling into temptation, you should walk with the Lord trusting in the righteousness of God.
Unless we trust in the righteousness of the Lord, we will surely fall into temptation, and therefore it is absolutely indispensable for us to seek the will of the Lord first and follow Him by placing our faith in His righteousness. I admonish you all to realize that it is a sign of the most mature faith to walk with the Lord, and lead such a life of faith by believing in the righteousness of God.