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3-minute Sermon
 
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Official Service
Title
   Lecture on 1 John(21) - Lecture on 1 John (21)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 John 3: 4
Date
   2011-05-22



Passage

1 John 3: 4
"Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."


Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 21st session on 1 John Lecture series.
Continuing from the last session, I will talk about the justice in receiving forgiveness and answers.
1 John 3:4 writes, "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness."
As written, those who commit sins and practice lawlessness will be judged according to justice.
When people commit sins and practice lawlessness, it will allow for the enemy devil, Satan to accuse them and bring about tests and trials.
If they repent and turn back, God will drive away those tests and trials and provide for them to recover them from diseases and disasters.
But the justice of God is applied in so many ways that the number cannot be counted.
Even if it seems two people committed the same sin, the calamity they will face will be different. The process of resolving the problem will also be different.
In some cases, they have to pay for not only their own sins but also the sins of their ancestors.
In some other cases, they lead a life in faith for a long time but they receive many disturbing works spiritually and physically. So, it takes more time for them to receive answers and blessings even though they pray earnestly.
Among them, there are people who stand against God directly by idolatry or sorceries. Or, they don't stand against God directly, but they pile up so much evil against other people.
If this evilness goes over the limit, it will affect not only themselves but also their descendants.
In the last session, I talked about two major cases of this kind.
One is those who do not have any sense of guilt due to mental and emotional disorder, and the other is those who have extremely negative thoughts.
However, no matter what kinds of sins your ancestors or you yourselves committed, I am not talking about this to discourage you.
God will take into account all the sins within His errorless justice, but at the same time, He is our Father who is full of love and compassion.
If you humble yourself before God and store up goodness upon goodness, the way will open for you.
This way, if you become a true child who has the image of God, a spiritual child, any kind of problem can be solved.
You can receive spiritual and material blessings to the fullest extent and give glory to God.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, you do know which woman has reached the most glorious heavenly position among all the women in the Bible, don't you?
It is Mary Magdalene.
The Bible says that she was possessed with seven demons.
It is not that Mary Magdalene had actually been demon-possessed, but it was recorded like that because she was in such a wretched state as though demon-possessed.
Mary's parents and family members worshiped idols and left God completely, so there were many curses on her family. There were many kinds of family problems.
Mary was born in this family that was cursed due to idolatry. She was born in the worst spiritual environment.
Moreover, due to various illnesses, her appearance was not favorable. Her body was weak, and she was despised by her family and people around her.
Some people would hold strong grudges and give out evil if they were in this kind of situation.
It is sometimes said our characters become rough and hardened if we live a hard life.
Yet, though Mary was going through such hardships, she did not plant anything evil in her heart but chose only what was good.
She tried to think and act in goodness.
She tried to understand from the other person's viewpoint and serve them.
While she was storing up goodness, she finally met Jesus and received His grace greatly.
All her diseases were healed at once, and all the cords of curses were broken. She received the blessing to go up in spirit to a most honorable position.
The tribe of Levi also belongs to this category.
Levi was the seventh son of Jacob. In order to avenge another tribe that hurt his sister, he brutally killed many people.
Because of this, even his descendants were cursed.
But at the time of the Exodus, when the whole congregation of Israel stood against God by worshiping an idol, the descendants Levi stood by God.
According to God's command, each took the sword and punished even their own relatives and neighbors who worshiped idols and committed adultery.
So, in Exodus 32:29, Moses said, "Dedicate yourselves today to the LORD for every man has been against his son and against his brother in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today."
As said, God set apart the tribe of Levi and gave them the duty to serve God throughout future generations.
The descendants were cursed due to the sin of their ancestor, but when they stood with God, they had a dramatic turning point.
The cursed tribe received a great spiritual blessing rather than the curse.
Also, in the book of Psalms, we see many psalms and praises of the sons of Korah.
Half of the book of Psalms is the psalms of David and many of them were written by Asaph. Along with them, sons of Korah also wrote psalms.
And here, I believe you have heard the name Korah many times.
He is the one who stood against the man of God, Moses, and caused God's anger resulting in them falling into the Grave alive.
When Korah was punished, the land below the tent of Korah was split. Everyone who was with Korah, all his families and possessions all fell into the Grave.
Numbers 26:10-11 says, "and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, so that they became a warning. [11] The sons of Korah, however, did not die."
Korah did great evil and his family received the curse of God, but his sons did not die.
They stood with God, and not with their physical father.
Especially, they must have engraved in their heart the destruction of their lawless father and the family, and they must have tried to live a really good life.
As they chose what is good, they saved their lives. Furthermore, that curse turned into blessing, and they enjoyed the spiritual blessing to write many psalms.
When the children are affected by their parents, they might have innate mental disorder or autism.
I already mentioned that when the ancestors practice great evil or severe idolatry, the descendants might have mental disorder, autism, or depression.
These things might be caused by the evil of their ancestors, but they can also be caused by direct link with their immediate parents.
For example, during the pregnancy, if the mother falls into despair and holds great evil in her heart, or if the parents speak something really against God, it can affect their children in evil ways.
In this case, the parents must break down the wall of sin between God and themselves so the children can be cured.
Here, if the parents go into spirit, they can more easily receive the answer.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, even though the descendants are affected by their ancestors, there can be many variables in the application of the justice.
In some cases the ancestors of the father accumulated great evil, but the mother's side is good-hearted.
So, if they are affected by the mother more, they will have less influence coming from the evil of ancestors of their father.
So, even though they are born of the same parents, the degree of being affected by their ancestors will be different.
Their characters can be different according to whether the parents got pregnant when they were living in evilness of the world or when they got pregnant having faith in the Lord.
Even though the parents have faith, it will be different according to whether they got pregnant when they were having a hard time or when they were full of the Spirit.
And if you think about the six thousand years of human cultivation, you can imagine how many lives of the ancestors have influenced you.
So, when the descendants are influenced by their ancestors, the application of justice will be done in so many different ways.
Even though they accumulated so much evil in previous generations, that vicious cycle can be broken in one generation.
For example, though it's a rare case, a person born into a family with many sins that have been piled up throughout several generations, can have some goodness and with it become a martyr.
Or, even though they don't know the gospel, they might sacrifice their lives for the country or store up some very good deeds.
When such great goodness is stored up, the cord of curses coming down from the ancestors will break and the descendants will receive God's grace.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I explained that the justice of God will be applied in so many different ways according to each individual.
For example, even though they commit the same sin, the punishment each one receives will be different.
In the eyes of men, it is the same sin, but in God's sight the gravity of sin is different.
Let me elaborate on this.
Suppose two persons practiced the same lawlessness.
The first one has loved God and tried to live in the truth.
But when he was in a desperate need, he used God's money thinking, "I can return it all very soon, and this much should be OK."
But soon he heard the lamenting of the Holy Spirit and repented rending his heart.
He does not just repent for this sin but he struggles to cast off his greed and untruthfulness from within himself.
Then in an attempt to please God he practices goodness more diligently than before.
On the contrary, the second one has been leading a life in Christ, but he was not diligent in circumcising his heart.
He sought his own, he was jealous, and he would usually speak words of judgment and condemnation and arrogance.
Then at one moment, he had greed and used God's money, and now he is afraid that he might be punished.
It is because he listened to the truth and he knew that he must not do that, and he has seen somebody beset with disaster due to a similar situation.
So, he repents quickly, and he seems to humble himself. But soon, he forgets about it.
His humbleness also dims away, and he follows his old way of life, giving out evil as much as he wants.
Likewise, even though the title of the sin is same, the justice of God applied for each person will be different.
Some people just get a light punishment while others go through great trials for a long time.
Or, they don't have outward disaster, but they go through severe afflictions in heart.
Sometimes, they have good inner heart and they have turned away from sins completely, but they still go through severe trials.
This is so that they will pay the full price for their sins and they will have nothing that they can be accused of so they can to go into a better dwelling place in heaven.
There are many cases, but anyway, between good and evil, the delicate rules of justice will be applied to every deed.
1 Timothy 5:24-25 says, "The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. [25] Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed."
Rewards or punishment, curses or blessings, answers to prayers, and everything will be given according to the law of God without an error.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let me give you another example of an actual person to help you break down your wall of sin and receive answers to your prayers.
This person committed many works of the flesh before, but confessed all his sins and they were forgiven.
Because he repented with his heart and turned from sins, God accepted his repentance and he recovered the grace of God in his heart.
But his disease is not healed, and he is still suffering.
This is a case where he needs to repent at a deeper level to receive a greater answer which is to be healed of his diseases in addition to being forgiven and saved.
The sins that he committed are such grave sins in the sight of the holy and blameless God.
When he was going through the trials due to his sins, he humbled himself and repented with tears and runny nose.
Because he repented truthfully, grace came upon him and he has assurance of salvation, too.
He does not commit such sins anymore and is leading a diligent life in faith.
He repented as above, but because he was stained in sins for a long time, a part of his heart is numbed.
He does not thoroughly realize how filthy and dirty sins are and how much he broke God's heart.
If he receives his trials with faith until the end and humbles himself to the lowest degree, then he can repent from a deeper part of his heart.
He would repent from the depth of his heart thinking, "I was really evil. My sins were such filthy sins. I stood against God so much."
With that kind of repentance, any kind of problem would be solved.
He would be able to experience the Most High power of God the creator who can do anything, and even if he went beyond the life-line, he can receive his life back.
There are some among you church members who have been praying for a long time but did not receive the healing.
For some of these members, on top of the grave sins that their ancestors accumulated, they themselves committed grave sins and it is not easy for them to receive salvation.
They should be thankful just for the fact that they have come to this church and received salvation.
But even for these people, God did not conclusively say that they can just receive salvation and they cannot receive any more blessings.
After all, demolishing the walls of sin, receiving answers to prayers and blessings, are all up to you.
If you committed grave sins before, you can thoroughly repent as much.
You can change your cunning mind, resentment, and hardened hearts and go into spirit.
If you can just do this, you can receive answers to any problem with the power manifested in this church.

 
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