The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 20 : The LORD’S PRAYER

[20-2] (Matthew 6:9) “Our Father in Heaven Hallowed Be Your Name”

(Matthew 6:9)
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.”
 
 
How are you today? Did you enjoy your dinner this evening? I have eaten pretty well myself this evening. Not only was the meal great, as I really enjoyed the company of coworkers and saints. I am also very grateful that we can have fellowship together and share His grace in this great place in a good environment.
I have noticed a not too important but nonetheless interesting fact here today. You have to keep in mind that you can be sentenced to three years of imprisonment for yapping in the restroom. I came across evangelist Jaeyoung Lee in the restroom, and happened to talk with him this afternoon. Then, someone else in the restroom told us that there is a law stipulating three years of imprisonment for people who talk too loudly in the restroom. After that, we were quiet. Of course, he was kidding us.
Not only that but today we shared our innermost thoughts with each other as we haven’t been able to meet for a while. You wouldn’t know what sweet memories we have reminisced about together. We laughed quite a bit. No matter what topic our conversation may address, we are quite comfortable talking with our coworkers of one faith and one heart. Although it sometimes may appear that we are slandering against each other, there is no harm because all of us have received the remission of sin and we hold no bad intentions. When we look into one another, we can find the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in each one’s heart. And it is good because God is working inside of us as well. We also are happy to find some weaknesses in each one’s flesh that are the same as ours. Even our appearances in the flesh make us joyful. It is good since the old and the new things appear side by side to every born-again saint simultaneously. It is impossible to comprehend how good it is to share fellowship with each other.
This afternoon, I walked around the small group fellowship meetings. I have seen a very amusing scene there too. We have two container-trailer rooms, and a few groups were holding their meetings there. There are another three rooms beside the container rooms. Five small groups were all singing different praise songs then, and I could hear them from the outside as if they were all preparing for a choir competition. They were each trying to sing louder than the other groups. And the out of synch chaotic noise had a sense of an odd harmony in it. Something probably would have happened, if this had happened at a worldly church. Someone would have called attention to this mess. Each group was not bothered by the other groups nor bothered them. And in these individual songs, I oddly felt a harmony. I believe that this was the working of God.
Dear fellow believers, did you get enough rest during this discipleship training camp? I hope you did. There are many people who have contributed in various places such as the kitchen. I hope that your bodies and souls get plenty of rest while we work and have fellowship together. We might not have too much time to spare, but I hope that you enjoy rest and have peace in your heart even if it is for a split second. We, too, should also just share some jokes with each other. For example, that there is a sentence for three years of imprisonment for talking in the restroom. We should have fellowship with each other that we haven’t had much chance to have, both spiritually and otherwise.
We said many more things other than this three-year sentence talk in the restroom. I don’t have sufficient time to tell you about all of the conversation that happened there. What I have realized was that I have noticeably changed from who I was in the past. What is clear now is that regardless of our past, we have become a new creation and are sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We haven’t been able to work on our email ministry for the past two days. Still, there were thousands of visitors to our website. Although we didn’t send out our emails to invite people, they are visiting our web site after hearing about it through stickers, posters, and memo cards we have spread throughout the world. I think there have been that many visitors because of the publicity system we have built up for the past few years. While we are having our meeting here and now, God is ceaselessly working to spread the gospel throughout the world. I have gained confidence that we are indeed doing the works of God.
I believe that God will work even more wonders in the second half of this year until we meet again at our winter discipleship training camp. We believe that God will work even more than up until now through none other than ourselves. I believe that the gospel will be spread throughout the world in the next few years and that God will fulfill all His will. I believe that we will gain strength in our hearts once we have shared the gospel of the water and the Spirit with the entire world. On that day, we will be able to tell more jokes, enjoy more delicious food, and laugh even harder than we have here.
 
 
How Can We Give Glory to the Father’s Name?
    
Today, I would like to share with you the Lord’s Prayer as the Lord taught us in Matthew chapter 6. Mathew 6:9 says, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” What do we need to do in order to give glory to the name of God? Do you think we should live a life that leads us to sanctification? First of all, I tell you that it is not so. Of course, people would return glory to God when they see our virtuous deeds. But what is more important for us is to know that we have to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to defend such a faith, and to spread this gospel in order to return glory to God the Father. Our Lord tells us to live in faith as we pray and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We must not forget that the Lord’s Prayer was given to those who have received the remission of sin. Not sinners but only the children of God can call God as “our Father in Heaven.” Thus, if anyone wants to call God Father and pray to Him, he must first become a child of God by washing his sins away.
God is our Creator. Also, He is our Savior, who delivers us. God the Father sent us Jesus Christ and has adopted believers in the gospel as His own children by washing away all their sins through the water and the Spirit. Hence, God is Father to those who believe in the Savior that washed away all of their sins through the water and the Spirit.
 
 
“Hallowed Be Your Name”
 
Then, what is the way to glorify the name of God the Father? How can we glorify the name of God? That is only possible by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have the right to call God their Father.
In short, the way to give glory to the name of God is as follows: If we keep our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and continuously share it with others, the name of God the Father is glorified. However, as we live in this world serving the gospel and concentrating ourselves on a particular activity for His mission, sometimes our insufficiencies are revealed. Thus, sometimes we fail to give glory to the name of God because we fall into our own weaknesses. Although we have become holy by receiving the remission of sin through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, sometimes we fall into our own weaknesses because we are consumed with our flesh or works. Sometimes we fail to live a life that gives glory to the name of God the Father because of our own weaknesses, although we have no sin in us. That’s why God gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Although we have received the remission of sin and been sanctified, we commit sins out of our own weaknesses. In each time that happens, we are reminded that Jesus has washed away all our sins, weaknesses, flaws, and shortcomings through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hence, we give thanks to God the Father with our faith in the baptism of Jesus, which has the power to blot out even our personal sins. Our Lord has given us the faith in the remission of sin through the Word of the Old and New Testament: In the Old Testament, the laver of the Tabernacle shows us how God has washed away all our sins. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ told Peter, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this,” as He washed his feet (John 13:7). Our Lord had washed away our sins through His baptism of the remission of sin. As we try to go through our lives in this world despite of our weak flesh, our Lord has given us true faith in the water and the blood to wash away all our sins anytime our weaknesses hinder us.
 
 
The Truth of the Laver Revealed in the Bible
    
There are mentions of the laver in the Old Testament, specifically at Exodus chapter 30 verses 17 to 21. “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them--to him and his descendants throughout their generations’” (Exodus 30:17-21). God spoke thus to Moses and to the priests.
When a priest entered the Tabernacle, he used to face the altar of the burnt offering first. That was the place where the Israelites offered their sacrifices by laying their hands on the heads of the sacrifices, cutting their throats to draw the blood, putting it on the horns of the altar, and burning their flesh and fat to the Lord God. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest laid his hands on one of the two sacrificial goats brought before him for the Israelites to transfer their sins onto it at this altar.
What you find after passing by the altar inside the Tabernacle is the laver of bronze. Once they pass the laver, they enter the Holy Place, which is the House of God where they placed the Ark. If anyone dares to enter the Holy Place, he must first completely wash away all of his uncleanness at the laver. There was no exception, even for the High Priest. This was the Truth of the remission of sin spoken to the righteous who had received the remission of sin.
Although we have received the remission of sin, we still commit personal sins everyday. How can we then keep our hearts clean even though we have received the remission of sin? What I am asking is how we could keep our hearts without sin, after we have received the remission of sin through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The answer to this question lies with the Truth of the remission of sin that takes place at the laver. The secret to keeping our holiness after we have received the remission of sin can be found in the laver.
Our Lord said whoever is clean need only to wash their feet. “Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you’” (John 13:10). Just like what our Lord said, we wash away our personal sins through our faith in the laver and keep our perfect faith. And the Truth of the laver is finally revealed in the New Testament times, when our Lord comes to this world to receive His baptism from John the Baptist. In other words, we keep our perfect faith by believing and meditating on the baptism Jesus received, through which all our sins were washed away in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We become holy and remain thus before God by meditating and believing in Jesus’ baptism. The water indeed implies the baptism of Jesus, which is the sign of our salvation, as it is written, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
Our Lord took away all our sins by receiving His baptism. And He blotted out all our sins by dying on the Cross. Our Lord took all the sins of the world onto the Cross, where He died. He delivered us by being resurrected from the dead. After we have received the remission of sin through our Lord’s deeds, we must remember the gospel of the water and the Spirit repetitively on a daily basis. We have to look at the baptism our Lord received daily, even after we have received the remission of sin. We have to look at it whenever we are tainted in this world. All of our unclean hearts are washed anew whenever we believe and meditate on the baptism Jesus received. Only then can we give glory to the name of God the Father in front of Him by our faith in His baptism. We are not able to give glory to the name of our Father, if we have uneasy conscience because of our sin, although we have already received the remission of sin. Thus, our Lord has taught us to pray to give glory to the name of God the Father so that we can become holy by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
What would have happened to the priests of the Old Testament times, if they didn’t have the laver to wash their uncleanness? Although they received annual remission of sin for that year through the offering, how would they have kept their cleanliness? They had to depend on the laver.
Those with a mere speck of uncleanness would surely have been put to death if they had come into the Most Holy Place, where God appeared Himself. Then, how the High Priests could come before God? If the laver had been out of water and the High Priest unable to wash his uncleanness, he would not have been able to enter the Holy Place. In other words, unless the priests washed their filth away with the water in the laver, they were unable to give glory to the holy God. Regardless of who they were, even if they were the High Priests. That is, even the High Priest became unclean in his personal sins because he was also only human.
Even the righteous had encountered events that tainted their hearts. Sometimes righteous angers arise in us, when we encounter evildoers while doing the works of God. Like this, whenever fleshly thoughts creep up in our hearts, they taint out hearts. Hence, in the Old Testament times, if a High Priest wanted to come before the holy presence of God, he had to pass by the altar and wash his hands and feet clean with the water from the laver before he went into the Tabernacle of meeting and perform his duties.
Then, what kind of faith should we hold in the present time? We can find the answer to this question in the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In what kind of faith should the righteous pray, worship, and praise before God? Of course it must be in the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Likewise, when we pray to, praise, and worship God, we must do so by depending on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is essential for us to depend on it if we are going to praise God without any sin.
In what kind of faith should we approach God? We are able to approach God by believing in Jesus’ baptism and His blood. So, we are able to live out our faith by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that the name of God may be considered holy before the people of the world as well as before Satan the Devil. In conclusion, we can give holiness and glory to the name of our Father through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
Jesus Christ Who Has Blotted Out All Our Sins
 
If look at the Scripture passage in Exodus chapter 25 verses 1 to 12, it talks about the Ark of the testimony. Inside the sanctuary, God told the Israelites to make the Ark. The specs of the Ark were “two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height” (Exodus 25:10). And it’s inside and outside had to be overlaid with pure gold. More specific instructions were given for the construction of the Ark. And as God said, “You shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you,” the two stone tablets of the Law Moses received from God were to be placed inside it (Exodus 25:16). Once the two stone tablets of the Law were placed inside the Ark, they had to put the mercy seat on top of the ark. This signifies God’s mercy and fairness. That implies that Jesus Christ washed away our sins in accordance with the statutes of the Law by taking upon Himself our sins through the baptism He received and shedding His blood on the Cross. Through this, we are told that in the Kingdom of God there are God’s fairness and His love as well. And to atone for every human being, the price of life should be paid off with out exception.
We can receive the remission of sin after experiencing death according to the just Law that the holy God has given. Put differently, we can receive the remission of sin because Jesus Christ came onto this earth, took upon Himself all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and died for us vicariously on the Cross. We have received new life through the love and justness of God. We must not forget that we should have died for our sins in regards to God’s just Law. Furthermore, we have to remember that we have been delivered because Jesus Christ took our sins through His own baptism once and for all, died on the Cross, and being resurrected from the dead. All of us are able to approach before God by believing in that Word and to give glory to the name of God though our faith. We have been washed from all our sins in our faith because of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can be delivered from all his sins.
Believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit did not receive their remission of sin in the manner of the worldly religions. It was possible because our Lord received the baptism from John the Baptist and offered His own life on the Cross in order to save our lives. Jesus came to this world in the flesh of man and took all of our sins by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist in order to offer His own life for us, so that we may have a just salvation. Jesus received the baptism to take all our sins away. Then, He died on the Cross and, on the third day, was resurrected from the dead. Jesus gave us new life by ransoming His own life for ours. Hence, He made it possible for us to become holy through our faith. It is through our faith that we have become sanctified by Jesus’ gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, that God became our Father, and Jesus became our Savior God.
We pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” The name of our Father is glorified when we believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. That is because Jesus received baptism to take all our sins and paid off the wages of those sins on the Cross in order to bring us back to life and make us the children of God. We believe in Jesus Christ because God the Savior ransomed the price for our lives by coming into this world in the lowly flesh of man, taking the sins of the world onto that flesh through His baptism, and shedding His blood on the Cross. Jesus gave the believers the remission of their sins and received the judgment for all of our sins by receiving His baptism and dying on the Cross according to His Father’s will. This was the worthy price of His sacrifice to give us new life. Our Lord delivered us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we were able to become God the Father’s own children and able to call God our Abba Father without a glimpse of a guilty conscience. By doing thus, we were able to glorify the name of our Father.
 
 
The Lord’s Prayer Is Not a Religious Chant
    
People repeat the Lord’s Prayer as if it were a magical spell. However, we must realize that the name of our Father is not glorified by such chanting. They may also sing the Lord’s Prayer by adding melody to it, but that per se does not glorify the name of our God either.
We must realize that the Lord’s Prayer was given to us not just to be memorized. If we are truly to call God as our Holy Father, we must first believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, in which our sins were washed away. Jesus gave us new life and blotted out all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which states that He redeemed us with the price of His own life. We must receive the remission of sin by believing in that Jesus Christ. Also, we must ask for help calling the most Holy God Abba Father. At least, we should not hold wrong beliefs that disgrace the name of our Father. If you believe in Jesus Christ doctrinally without having faith in the power of God that blotted out all your sins, your faith is corrupted one no matter how strong faith you have. Although you may be unable to give glory to God, you should never disgrace the name of God with your wrong faith. Such faith does not believe in the baptism of Jesus.
God is holy, and His name should be properly glorified. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can give a sacred glory to the most holy God, and they are truly God’s own children. We must give glory to God with our true faith. In order to do so, we have to first believe in the gospel that washes away all our sins. Then, our Lord provides answers to our prayers whenever we ask for His help. Hence, we must give glory to our Lord by believing in that gospel.
Every person needs to receive the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Furthermore, because we keep committing sins even after we have received the remission of sin, we have to daily wash away those personal sins spotlessly by believing in the baptism Jesus received, which is the water in the laver of bronze. We have to wash away the sins in our consciences spotlessly by ruminating on the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. Also, we must know and believe that the name of God the Father is glorified at that instance. Our Lord has taught us the Lord’s Prayer in order to plant such a faith in us. Therefore, for those who have not yet received the remission of sin, they first need to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to receive the remission of sin. For those who still remain as sinners after having believed in Jesus, they will receive the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only then will they be able to glorify God’s name in a proper manner.
Today’s Christians recite the Lord’s Prayer most frequently. They recite the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of worship at their gathering and at the end of the worship led by a lay clergy, who has not yet been ordained. As the mark of the beginning of worship, they usually recite the Apostle’s Creed, and at the end of the worship, they recite the Lord’s Prayer.
However, our Lord did not teach us the Lord’s Prayer to be practiced in such ways. He did not give us the Lord’s Prayer so that we can demonstrate our good faith by memorizing it and reciting it well. Rather, He requires true believers in God to receive the remission of sin. To become such a people of faith, we need to ask for His guidance. Moreover, we need to lead ethical lives in faith in our daily walks. He has taught us the born again the Lord’s Prayer so that we may glorify the name of our Father by keeping our remission of sin and ruminating on the gospel of the water and the Spirit on a daily basis. In order to truly blot out any guilt in our consciences and sanctify our consciences, we have to completely wash away the filth in our consciences with the water drawn from the laver of bronze on a daily basis.
The God given Ten Commandments are the backbone of the Law, its most central pillar, and the mirror that reflects every heart as it is. This applies not only to those who have not received the remission of sin but also to those who have received the remission of sin as well. The Bible says that the Law is not abolished just because we have received the remission of sin (Romans 3:31). We must unmistakably know this.
We don’t always live a sanctified life even after receiving the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we are doing the works of the gospel, we can keep ourselves away from sin. But when we go back to our old selves and do the works of the flesh, we still live committing sins. You have to know that your sinful actions are not regarded as sins just because you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Sin is still sin regardless of who commits it. Even if it is committed by someone having received the remission of sins, sin is still sin.
Then, how can we discern what constitutes sin in our lives? Is it sin when we have doubts about the way we have lived our lives? It is not! God spoke to us as follows. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me’” (Exodus 20:2-3). God is speaking to the Israelites, who are His chosen people, as well as to us, who have been born again of water and the Spirit. When we reflect on all our thoughts, hearts, and deeds on the God given Law, we are able to discern whether they are our sins or not. To both the born again as well as those who have not been born again yet, God’s Word of Law has the ability to distinguish sins. There is no other means by which we can discern our sins except for this Law. Our deeds are not defined as sins because we feel they are, but they are classified as sins when they have broken God’s appointed Law. The way to discern sin is not based on our own thoughts. Rather, we must realize and believe that our deeds or thoughts constitute sins when we go against the Word of God.
We have to acknowledge that our actions have been sinful, when certain sins are made aware to us through the Law of God. And when we acknowledge our sins as such, we are able to wash away all our sins through our faith in the baptism of Jesus Christ. We are sanctified anew when we acknowledge our wrongdoings, go before our Lord, and wash ourselves with the water of Jesus’ baptism. To wash with the water from the laver of bronze is to believe that Jesus took all our sins away with His baptism He received from John the Baptist. Our filthy consciences can become clean by believing in the works our Lord has done to take away our sins. Only through the baptism Jesus received can we wash our consciences clean. Our daily sins are washed away only by the faith established in believing that Jesus took upon Himself all our sins through His baptismal at the laying on of hands by John the Baptist. Our faith in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross, crucified by the Roman soldiers, can blot out all our sins. We can gain a clear conscience with this faith. We are able to keep ourselves sacred on a daily basis through that faith.
The “our” in the first phrase “Our Father in heaven” from the prayer our Lord has taught us signifies the saints, who have been born again of water and the Spirit. For those who have sins in their hearts can never become disciples of Jesus Christ.
 
 
“You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy”
    
God the Father is telling us, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). Hence, we, who have received the remission of sin through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have to continuously keep our piety by faith. Of course, we cannot become holy through our own deeds. However, we can become holy by believing in Jesus’ baptism, which is the real Truth, as the Truth of salvation. The reason we are able to keep our piety is owing to the fact that Jesus has received His baptism for our sake. We are able to completely wash away all our sins in the consciences, in our souls, and in our flesh by believing in the salvation of the water and the Spirit. Hence, we who have become the children of God are able not to disgrace the name of our Father.
Truly, we have to live out our faith that is proper to the born-again who have faith to glorify the name of God. Truly, in our lives, we must live realistic lives of faith. We are able to live a proper life before God only when we base our lives on the true faith and not some ethical actions of ours. Our Lord has already completed everything for us to live such a life realistically. That is possible because our Lord has come to this world and received His baptism from John the Baptist. Moreover, it is also because He shed His blood on the Cross.
Our Lord said in 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 21: “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” If our conscience could come forth toward God, we have faith in the fact that our Lord has come to this world and taken upon Himself all our sins once and for all onto Himself by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist, and that He died on the Cross. We are sanctified by our faith in the Truth that our Lord has completely washed away all our sins as well as our sense of guilty with His baptism. Hence, we are able to live our lives appropriately by faith, and pray most appropriately in accordance with the Lord’s Prayer, which our Lord has taught us. Dear fellow believers, do you comprehend? I am sure, you do.
We do not give glory to the name of God the Father by living well in our flesh. That is possible only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we believe in this gospel, we are able to live according to the Lord’s Prayer. Although it may be impossible for us to be holy with our acts of the flesh, the Bible says that it is possible by the Spirit of our God, Jehovah. Likewise, those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the men of faith who possess the true spiritual faith.
How are we able to cleanse our hearts? How are we able to wash away the sins of our flesh? It is possible only by knowing and believing in the God-given Truth that constitutes the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is possible by believing in the Lord-given gospel of the remission of sin, which cleansed our sense of guilt as well as all our sins of the flesh. Furthermore, our bodies and spirits can be washed cleanly through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we are able to love and serve our holy Lord continuously and unwaveringly. Only the possessors of the true faith can call God Abba Father and live as soldiers of Christ. This blessing is available only if we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and apply that gospel realistically in our lives. This faith enables us to boldly go before God day after day. We are able to live boldly only in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only in our faith are we able to live well, doing the righteous works for a lifetime with a clear conscience.
God has empowered you and me, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to live in such a fashion. Some people sometimes speak nonsense that they have never committed another sin after they have received the remission of sin. However, God says in the Bible, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). If we had not committed any personal sins in this world, our Lord would not have had to take away the sins of the world once and for all. How could anyone live in this world without committing any sin? People are without sin despite committing numerous sins because our Lord has blotted out all of those sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
Are You Holy Because You Have Never Sinned?
    
Dear fellow believers, are you the righteous or sinners? If you say you are the righteous, is it because you have never committed any sin or because you have become the righteous through your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? It is not the fact that we have no sin in our consciences because we have never committed any sin. Our Lord has taken our sins onto Himself by receiving His baptism. He died bearing the sins of this world on the Cross, where He received the judgment for those sins while shedding His blood. He was resurrected from death and has become our perfect Savior. We have received the remission of sin in our consciences and become clean and holy by believing in that Jesus Christ. We have become the righteous in our faith because our Lord has given us such faith. Have we become the righteous by believing or by truly not committing any sin? We have become the righteous through our faith and not by not committing any sin.
There is not a single person who remains righteous by not committing any sin after he received the remission of sin. Some people say that those who have become the righteous do never sin again. They say that they are perfect in body and spirit. However, since we have our flesh, we can never become perfect in the flesh although we have become perfect spiritually by faith. We are always unstable and imperfect. We have become perfect only because our Lord has made such people as us perfect. So, God speaks to us, “Be perfect, for I am perfect. You are holy, for I have made you holy.” We are holy in our faith only because the Lord has made us holy through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We really become holy and perfect not by our greatness or perfection but by believing in the Truth that Jesus has sanctified us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, sometimes we feel lost on how we should live our lives even after we have received the remission of sin. And sometimes we live recklessly since we have indeed received the remission of sin. “It doesn’t matter if I live in this way since I have received the remission of sin. I am helpless, naturally disposed to be this way. Also, who cares since I have received the remission of sin? I can’t help but live this way because of my current situation. Of course, I have no sin because I have received the remission of sin.” There are people who think this way and live recklessly.
At this we say that he has a dusty and hairy conscience. We have pluck off the hairs on our consciences and wash away the filth of our conscience with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is truly possible only if we take our sins before the Law of God and reflect upon that Law. Truly, we are able to know our own sins only when we acknowledge the Law of God. We then are able to wash away all of our sins and become holy by believing in the baptism our Lord received and the blood of the Cross.
 
 
How Can We Live a Proper Life Now That We Have Received the Remission of Our Sins?
    
The righteous, who have received the remission of sin by their faith, are able to live truly well if they live as soldiers of Christ. There may be people who feel lost for a direction in their lives, even after they have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such people could exist. “I go to church because I feel uneasy, bored and without fun, if I skip church.” There could be people who feel this way.
Yet, our Lord has spoken explicitly. “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). God wants to be treated as holy by those who have received the remission of sin. Then we are able to know that going to church as if we were going to a picnic or an event cannot delight God. If one tries to live stubbornly according to his own wish without the guidance by the servants of God, it prevents him from being anointed with the precious oil of the head that is running down onto the edge of his garments (Psalm 133:2).
To glorify the name of God is to renew our hearts by ruminating on our faith daily and to live a life of faith that goes before God. Those who have received the remission of sin must keep their faith well and wash cleanly in their faith so that they can always keep their conscience, flesh, and hearts holy with that faith. We need faith that washes our hands and feet cleanly by drawing the water from the laver of bronze. That is, we have to live while constantly keeping ourselves pure, clean, and holy by washing our personal sins away through our faith in the Word of the baptism Jesus received and His blood of the Cross. We have to realize our sins through the Law and admit those sins with a contrite heart. Then, we must wash them away cleanly by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is, we must call God our Father and do His works by being holy as our Lord is holy. We must live out our faith with our goal set on faith so that our lives can realistically become holy by faith.
Those who have received the remission of sin must never forget their identity and status. At least, God in Heaven is Father to you and I, if we are the righteous believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who are able to believe and call God their own Father by saying “Our Father in heaven” are actually rare. Not anyone can do that. It is not possible by money, by ethics, or by an ascetic life in a monastery. Only those who have received the divine blessing from Heaven can call God Abba Father This truly is a special right reserved for those who have received a special grace from God. In other words, only those who have received the remission of sin by being born again of water and the Spirit are able to become the children of God.
Although we live in this world, we must be well aware of our own status. You and I are God’s children who have received divine blessings and the only ones who can call God Abba Father. We must know and admit that our status has been elevated and live our lives in faith appropriate to that status as soldiers of Christ, differentiated from those who have not yet been born again.
When we see a menace, we usually ask, “Whose child is that bastard child?” What does a bastard child mean? We call someone who has been raised without a father by that name. There are many people in this world who have been raised by single mothers without the assistance of their fathers. A bastard child does not designate all of those people. By calling someone a bastard child, we are not pointing out that the person is fatherless but that his actions are below commonsense. Like this, if a child is a menace, that fact disgraces his parents.
If a person who has received the remission of sin lives by the same ethics and morality as those who have not yet received the remission of sin, that person would not have satisfied God’s heart as He taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” At least, if we have become the children of God, we should not disgrace the name of our Father.
If a person who has received the remission of sin lives in this world as a menace, it is because he is unaware of his status as a born again person. As a result, such a righteous person cannot but live side by side with those who have not yet been born again by their ethics, morality, values, and standards. We are definitely God’s own children, and the worldly people know that there is definitely something different in us as compared to themselves. ‘Regardless of his age, that person may be somehow different since he has received the remission of sin. Still, he does not live any differently from us. That is a joke. He is just a free loafer, although he may believe in God. There is nothing different about him compared to a nonbeliever. Perhaps, God is not that great.’ People call him names as such behind his back. Not only is he disgraced then, but he disgraces God as well. If you are such a person, people may not say anything while they are hanging out with you, but they will talk dirty behind your back. The end of he who forgets his own status and throws his especially worthy rights away like an old pair of shoes will be ruined in miserable slanders. That happens because he has not lived up to his status.
 
 
The Righteous Must Unite with the Other Righteous by Faith to Live for the Lord
    
The righteous must associate with other righteous people. Even if we just tell jokes like ‘you will receive a three year sentence for talking too loud in the restroom in accordance with criminal statute so and so’ in the restroom, we must associate with other righteous people. Of course, I am not telling you not to do anything with those who have not been born again yet at all. You should not take my words to mean that you should not deal with those who have not been born again at all. We should not treat those who have not yet received the remission of sin as if they were lesser beings than even bugs. Instead, we have to share the gospel with them. Although we deal with them, our faith should be different from theirs. Those who have been born again should definitely lead a distinct life of faith from those who have not been born again yet. The faith in our hearts must be different from theirs even though our deeds are not perfect just like theirs are.
Even we the righteous who have been born again hold various positions while living in the world. Also, we have departments and organizations that we belong to. Each of us has a job, an office, a family, and friends. Although we live our lives belonging to those various groups, our hearts must be differentiated from the hearts of the worldly people. Not just because it has to be different, but we became different already for real. That is because we have become citizens belonging to Heaven. We have already become different persons with a differentiated faith in our hearts. So, how can we possibly coexist with those who have quite a different faith and hearts? Even if we are put into a situation where we have to mingle with them, the faith and thoughts in our hearts have to be fundamentally different from them.
 
 
Then, to Which Gospel Should We Adapt Our Lives?
    
We must live by the faith in God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is a given. God has spoken of such a life. No matter how unremarkable we who have received the remission of sin are, we are different from sinners. Sinners are subjects with whom we should share the gospel. We who are soldiers of Christ should lead them into Christ so that they could receive the remission of their sins. Sinners of this world are pitiful souls who have not received the complete remission of sin yet. Those who have not yet been delivered from their sins are subjects who should receive the remission of sin by listening to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We should know thus and live accordingly.
First of all, we have to draw a clear-cut line between our enemies and allies in our heart. Only then are we able to have compassion for our enemies and to lead them to receive the remission of sin so that they can be revived in body and spirit. If we don’t separate our enemies from our allies and treat them essentially the same, we are unable to share the truthful and good gospel with them. When we try to share the gospel with people with whom we had fun cracking jokes till a moment ago, we cannot but fall into awkwardness. “Hey! What’s up with this sudden change? You have lived no different from me all along. Why do you pretend to be so spiritual all of a sudden? That is so unlike you. That doesn’t suit your taste. It is more like you to act like us like you did just a moment ago. Don’t say anything absurd and let’s live as we have till now. Get a grip.” This is how the people of the world react when you suddenly show your seriousness to preach the gospel. Because we the righteous know each other’s essence and each other’s hearts and faith, we can shift from the flesh to the spirit in an instant. However, this is not possible when we deal with sinners. That is because they do not even know that their fundamental nature is so sinful.
What did our Lord say in today’s Scripture passage? He told us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” He said that we should live by faith so that the name of our Father is glorified. In order to live thus, I shall tell you once more that we should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and do the works of God, spreading the gospel throughout the world.
If it were not for the Lord given gospel of the water and the Spirit, we would not have been able to receive the remission of sin and hold the faith that glorifies the name of God. Our Lord came to this world and took all our sins onto Himself by receiving His baptism. He thus bore all the sins of the world to the Cross, where He was crucified and shed His blood till His death. And on the third day, He was resurrected from the dead. If our Lord had not done thus, our sins would still remain intact. There would not have been a means to receive the remission of sin if it weren’t for the baptism our Lord received and the blood He shed on the Cross.
Therefore, we are thankful that He gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit and enabled us to know this gospel and believe in God the Savior. If we had not the Word of faith in our Lord, we would not possess the sacred life that we now possess. If we had not believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, how could we have lived such a life? How could we call the name of God? And how could we live our elevated lives that enable us to enjoy the privilege to call the holy God as our Father? We could not help but live the life of a maggot that populates country style toilets eating their filth. We thank God for calling such as us to call God in Heaven our Father. This life is of the amazing power of our God.
We who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit never live like maggots, no matter how weak we may be. Everyone who has the likeness of God can become a child of God by believing in His gospel, although he may currently be a sinner bounded by his sins. Although the world is filled with God’s creations, they are fundamentally different from human beings. No matter how hard they try, except for humans, no other creature can become a child of God. Only humans can become the children of God by receiving the remission of their sins through their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is a gigantic difference between humans and all other creatures.
Even among people, there are different types of people. There are those who have already received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They are the ones that have become the children of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Where do the children of God, who have received the remission of sin, go after they have lived their lives in this world? They are embraced by God the Father and enter the Kingdom of God, Heaven.
 
 
Hence, the Millennial Kingdom and the Eternal Kingdom of God Awaits Us
    
The Millennial Kingdom is a place God has prepared to reward the righteous. The righteous would rule as kings for a thousand years in that place. We haven’t been to that place yet. Still, we are able to imagine that place. Also, we long for it, as it is already realized in our hearts through our faith. What we know is that every Truth God has promised us will be fulfilled as it is written in the Word of God. Even now, we daily experience every blessing through our faith.
People in this world wish to enjoy a higher cultural life. Human culture enables people to live well and conveniently. So, we call more developed cultures that enable us to live even more conveniently a good culture. All the basic needs are satisfied quite delicately by such developed cultures, and people try to enjoy even newer and better cultures. They enjoy listening to music and watching movies as well as other cultural activities. As they enjoy their cultures in such fashion, they soon grow tired of them and demand even higher cultures.
We can observe this trend very easily in our daily lives. When we travel by our vehicles, we stop at resting areas on the highway. At those instances, we have to choose which resting area out of many resting areas we will stop at. Traveling from Choon-chun to In-jae Training Center, there are two resting areas. One is called ‘Pampas’ and the other ‘Sam-po.’ When choosing from either Pampas or Sam-po, if their food and cleanliness are similar, we would choose the one with a better environment and scenery. We would choose to go to a dignified place where we would feel our prestige, character, and reputation elevated. It would be a different place that we choose to enter, if we were traveling to another region. However, there is one thing that doesn’t change; it is that we would stop at the best resting area among many others. It is natural for us to prefer the best resting area, where the food and atmosphere are good for the same price.
Do you know why people want to stop at such rest areas? That is because God has imprinted in human hearts a longing for the Kingdom of God. Because the Kingdom of God, Heaven, is a beautiful, prestigious, elegant, and pleasant place, people prefer such places even in this world.
Especially, women tend to prefer a romantic atmosphere than any other elements of a restaurant. Regardless of how good the food tastes, if the restaurant has a decent atmosphere, women give that restaurant a high mark. However, men usually care less about the atmosphere and more about the quantity and quality of the food the restaurant offers. Although this may not be true for all men, but generally men care less about the atmosphere than women do.
I have no idea what great places you have been to, but imagine the best place you have been to where you were also treated the best. The Kingdom of Heaven is a place where you will be happier than any moment you have ever enjoyed at the best places on earth where you were treated like a VIP. The earthly paradise, the Millennial Kingdom that our Lord has given us, will enchant us more than any great scenery in this world. We will rule as kings for a thousand years in such a kingdom. The Millennial Kingdom is the place where God will reward those who believe and serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There is a better place than any other in this world, and that place is the eternal Kingdom of God. There is no inconvenience in Heaven because God Himself rules there as King and it is filled with all kinds of good things. Green pastures fill the land, while flowers bloom to form roads. Ponds are filled with the cool jade-green water as well as swimming golden carps. You can slide through the space wherever your feet leads. Sparkling jewels never seen before on earth are scattered all over. And when you close your eyes, wind as light as a feather blows softly by your skin. A soft wind whispers by your ears, and sunlight makes the soft skin of a child even brighter. The Kingdom of Heaven is such a wonderful place to live. The Millennial Kingdom and the eternal Kingdom of God are places that are beyond comparison to any great place in this world.
I visit the Millennial Kingdom daily through my faith. Whenever I go to Pampas Resting Area, I think about how much better the Millennial Kingdom would be. Whenever I see a great scenery, I imagine how much more breathtaking the Millennial Kingdom would be. Like this, whenever I observe something beautiful in this world, I am ecstatic about the Millennial Kingdom, which will be given to us in the coming age. Our hearts are already in Heaven. We gain nothing by disgracing God, who will give us the Millennial Kingdom and the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as it is a greater shame to disgrace our parents than it is to be disgraced yourself, it is unimaginable to disgrace the name of God the Father as children of God, who have been born again of water and the Spirit.
I am not saying this to strengthen your will to live well. I just admonish that you would have faith in the Word of God in your hearts. Just as the Word of God said that the righteous should live by faith alone, we should not forget our obligation and live our lives to glorify the name of the Father. We need to live our lives with a correct and truthful faith. To do thus, we actually have to live out our faith in a spiritual culture of the righteous that is constructed on faith. Because God is pleased with such living, God really gives many blessings to His own children. God has admonished us to live by faith. Dear fellow believers, do you comprehend? I am sure you do.
The only way we can glorify the name of our Father is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you think that you can serve our Lord by some human talent that you possess, remember that such was the offerings made by Cain that God did not accept. Like the offerings Abel made in his faith, we are able to please God and give glory and honor to God only through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Glorifying the name of our Father and living a life that gives glory before Him is also possible only through the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you and I have become children of God, and we can live lives that give the proper glory to the name of our Father.
We cannot help but give thanks to God who gives us His grace that enables us to live by such a genuine faith. Yet, there are those who refuse to receive such grace. “Don’t expect me to live such a life. I wasn’t born for such purpose.” If there are those who feel that way, please don’t.
Look at me. You would probably have a better understanding once you take a look at me. It is amazing that I am leading such a life after having met our Lord. My life has changed tremendously in faith. Before I was born again, I could not give up the human greed to own some real estate one day. However, I do not envy even the tallest skyscrapers now. That is because I have many homes more comfortable and spacious than such buildings. They are the churches of God. There is a church of God in Sokcho, which is my home. There are churches of God also in Seoul and Pusan, which are also my homes. No matter where I go in this world, they are my homes. Where I lie to sleep is my home, and where I live is my hometown. That is how I feel.
Our brothers lost to our pastors’ wives 9 to 2 in an indoor soccer match this afternoon. Of course, the match was played 5 brother workers against 9 pastors’ wives. We were truly pleased that we lost by a huge margin. Why would we lose by a score like 9 to 2? It felt great once we thought that we lost by a score of 9 to 2 to treat them well. Yet, the more I think about it, the result also provokes me. I feel thus because I can’t understand how we could lose so helplessly. I feel a little furious when I am reminded of another game that we lost by a score of 8 to 1. How could we lose so badly? I decided to accept this as the will of God.
But we were also happy to see the pastors’ wives rejoicing over the scores, for they are our sisters. I believe that only you who were born again of water and the Spirit are my brothers and sisters. Although we are not related in blood as brothers and sisters, I believe that we are spiritually one family in the Kingdom of God. How about you? Do you also believe so? I am sure you do. This is a true blessing to us. In the Kingdom of God, those who are to be treated well will be treated well, and those who are worthy will be treated as worthy. We will find the coworkers in God worthy. If brothers and sisters treat each other as worthy, could we not yield and lose a little bit to each other? Is that not what it means to be a family?
Yet, I think that one day we will take revenge. Even though we have lost so badly when we could not possibly have lost as such, I am happy by the thought that this too must have been the power of God. As a matter of fact, I lost all my appetite when we had lost the game. Actually, we the pastors have analyzed how we lost by a score of 9 to 2. How did we lose by a score of 9 to 2? When we were down by 3 to 0 and 4 to 0, we justified that we were being easy on them. We thought that real players start playing in the second half. We thought that we could come from behind very easily, but we were mistaken. We gave our best effort even using fouls, but we still lost by a score of 9 to 2. We could not help but be stunned. “How could this happen?”
While we were feeling blue, a little deeper thought revealed that this was quite fortunate. When we thought how depressed the pastors’ wives would have been if they had lost, I felt that it is better that we were a little bit down. The pastors’ wives already have suffered enough stress, so if this win could console them even a little we would lose to them at any cost. Yet, I wanted to win the game if another opportunity availed itself. Although we lost because we lacked in talent, I felt good when I thought that all of this was according to the will of God. Since the pastors’ wives won, they brought us a lot of delicious food. Lately, it’s been an ongoing festivity. If we had won, I wonder whether we would be having this festivity.
We bragged about our huge loss to other coworkers we have met. Many of them who heard this probably would have thought that they would not have lost by 9 to 2 if they had played. So, we actually played a match for simulation. The result of this simulation was that they would have lost by a score of 15 to 0, if they had played with the best team of the pastors’ wives.
All of this is possible because all of us are in the Kingdom of God. And all of this delights us. No matter what, we have become one family by receiving the remission of sin through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are sinless since they have received the remission of sin. Thus, their hearts are always in Heaven, and they can laugh aloud day after day.
How about you? Are you able to display a big smile that comes from your heart? Are there too many sins that prevent you from bursting into laughter? No way. You have no sin. We have no sin. The conscience of the believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is clean. We have become the children of our Father by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Now we should possess such faith as to glorify the name of God the Father. We should give thanks to our Lord in faith for having us live lives that glorify the name of our Father. We can truly enjoy a blessed life if we live by faith in the Truth. If we do thus, God will receive glory and we will receive many blessings.
God has given us such a life, and He has taught us to live such a life. We give thanks for God’s grace of giving us the life of faith to glorify the name of God. This is the first prayer subject that our Lord has taught us.
Let’s live a life that glorifies God being united with the Church in faith.