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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Measure of Faith(18) - 4th Level of Faith (7)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Romans12:3
Date
   2006-04-23



[Passage]

[Romans 12: 3]
"For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith."


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the 18th session of the Measure of Faith, and I will continue to explain to you about the fourth level of faith.

The fourth level is a level where you love God to the utmost degree, and because your soul prospers by casting off all sins and evil from your heart, you receive blessings in all aspects of your life.

To say that you are in 4th level of faith means you now have prepared a clean vessel. Although you have a clean vessel, you have not yet fully filled it with the spiritual contents. Therefore, those who have prepared a clean vessel have to diligently fill the vessel with spiritual contents.

In the last session, I told you that at the 4th level, you don't have sins or evil in your heart, but you have traces of spiritual flesh.

And to reach the full measure in the maturity of the Christ, you have to cast off even this trace of flesh and bear the fruit of truth completely.

But sometimes, in the eyes of other people, the beginning stage of the 4th level and the 3rd level of faith seem similar.

For example, when somebody at the later stage of the third level of faith intervenes in the works of other people and tries to force things to go his own way, it usually comes out from his evil.

It's because he has the evil in his heart to achieve his own will or what is beneficial for him even though the other person may feel uncomfortable because of it. In this case, if his subordinates do not obey him, he is likely to have ill-feelings and he will not forget about it very easily.

Because of that, his face may change when he sees the other person or he may speak offensively to give that person a hard time.

But at the fourth level, there is no such evil heart. Even if one intervenes in the work of his subordinate and tries to control them as he wants, it is not to seek his own selfish motives.

It is not to control them for his own benefit but only to accomplish the works of God better and to act more by truth.

In this case, even if his subordinates have discomfort and even disobey him, he wouldn't hold any ill-feelings or evil in his heart, although he may have some feelings of sadness for them.

Here, on the outside, this act doesn't seem to be very different from the one at the later stage of the third level of faith who is trying to control other people, but in God's sight, their heart is completely different.

God would consider both the deeds and heart of the pervious one to be evil, but for the latter, God would just consider that the heart and deeds have not become perfect yet. He wouldn't condemn it as evil.

But even though there is no evil intention, this person should definitely realize that he does not have an open perspective on the situation and is not acting with virtue so that he can change himself.

Even after coming into fourth level of faith, in order to improve and go into the whole spirit, one has to find himself in these aspects and beat his body to make it obedience to Christ.

He should always look back at himself with humbleness and be able to discern what the perfect will of God is in order to reach the full measure of Christ.

When I entrust somebody with certain work, I give him full authority and responsibility. If he wants help from me, I support him the best I can.

But I never try to change the way he is working on his work, nor have I taken away his duty from him and given it to another person only because he is not doing the work the way I would like it to be done. If I intervene, the result may be much better and there won't be as many mistakes, however, we cannot develop the skills and abilities of workers that way.

When the workers themselves try their best, they learn from mistakes and learn to discern the will of God. That way, I give them chances to learn to be united with the shepherd and gain the ability to do better.

When the workers make mistakes in the process, I have to take the responsibility for the results. Furthermore, it is also my duty to encourage and comfort the workers who made mistakes, so that they will not lose strength and direction.

Therefore, just to raise one worker, having no evil in the heart is not enough. It is possible only when we bear the spiritual fruits such as love, gentleness, peace, goodness, patience, and self-control.

The heart of our Lord had all these fruits. He also wants His children to have the same perfection.

Therefore, even those children who have come into spirit should not be satisfied with having no sin. God Himself now leads them and refines them so that they can bear perfect fruits in their hearts.

But you should be careful here. That is, you should not have a wrong understanding by not being able to discern the state of your heart.

There are some people who try to hide their evil saying, "I am not seeking my own benefit, but I am doing it for the kingdom of God," although they are acting with the evil hearts that seek their own and their own righteousness.

Are you serving the others considering their position to let them feel more comfortable? Do you always seek others' benefit first?

Do you have no agitation or ill-feelings in your heart in any kind of situation? Do you treat those who act with evil toward you with meekness and love?

Do you truly rejoice in truth from the depth of your heart and feel happy when others are better-off than you?

Can you answer these questions with "Amen" all the time?

Not just 'sometimes' or 'only when I am full of grace,' but can you say 'yes' all the time?

If you can, God will acknowledge that you are at the fourth level of faith and He will show you evidences in your lives that He is with you.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the deeds of those who are at the third level and at the beginning of the fourth level can be similar, but there is a big difference in their heart.

Also, even after you cast off all evil and have entered into the fourth level of faith and have prepared a clean vessel of the heart, you have to fill the vessel with spiritual contents in order to become perfect.

Then, let me give you some Biblical examples to explain what means to spiritually fill the contents.

In Genesis, when God blessed Abraham, Abraham's nephew, Lot, also received blessings by remaining with Abraham.

But when the livestock of Abraham and Lot increased very much by God's blessings, the shepherds of Abraham and Lot began to quarrel with each other.

It was because they didn't have enough grass and water to feed all the livestock of both of them. In this case, to talk about how the things should be, Lot should have warned his shepherds so that Abraham would not hear about any kind of problem, which might cause him to worry.

Abraham was his senior, and also Lot received blessings only because he stayed with Abraham.

But Lot didn't take proper measures to prevent that kind of problem, and also even when the problems arose, he just kept quiet. So, Abraham came up with a solution first.

The best way to prevent quarrels among the shepherds is to raise the animals separately in different places. Finally, Lot left Abraham with his herds following the suggestion of Abraham.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in this situation, if Abraham were at the 3rd level of faith, he would have uncomfortable feelings against Lot and would have tried to make clear what is right and what is wrong.

He could have also kicked Lot out of his area with evil feelings saying, "He is only my nephew and he received blessings because of me. And how can he look down on me like this? I don't have to take care of a nephew who doesn't recognize the grace."

Of course, at the later stage of the third level, one knows the truth, so even if he had some uncomfortable feelings in his heart, he wouldn't let them be observed on the outside.

Then, what would it be like with those who are at the fourth level of faith? They wouldn't show any kind of ill-feelings. Actually, they don't have anything in their heart to give rise to ill-feelings in the first place.

They may try to find the best solution for the current situation and suggest that they separate from each other, but because they don't have any evil in their heart, they don't have discomfort or hatred against the other person.

Since Abraham had the authority of first choice, he could have told Lot which land to take saying, "Since the shepherds are quarreling among themselves, we'd better separate for the sake of peace. I choose to go and take this side, so you go and take that side." But since he was a person who had already entered into the spirit and there was no flesh in him, and though he had the choice, he wouldn't seek his own advantage.

But in this situation, a man of flesh may judge and condemn him.

They may think, "Abraham kicked Lot out of his household because of his greed." "Abraham chose the better land for himself and is forcing Lot to follow his decision."

It's because just by looking at the deeds, the result would appear to be similar for the people in later stage of the third level and those who are at the fourth level.

Furthermore, men of flesh cannot understand the hearts of the others, and especially, it is even more difficult for them to understand what is in the hearts of men who have entered into spirit.

As said in 1 Corinthians 2:15, "But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one." Only when we go into spirit and become men of spirit can we discern between the right and wrong correctly by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, rather than judging between good and evil within the limits of flesh just by looking at outer actions, it is important to cast off evil from our heart first.

But looking in the Bible, in case of Abraham we find that he was not only at the level of having no ill-feelings or disappointment, but he also served Lot with a heart of goodness.

Genesis 13:8-9 says, "So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers. [9] "Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left."

While suggesting a way to have peace, (Abraham) didn't try to point out the mistake of someone else, instead he wanted give comfort, so he let Lot make the first choice for the good land.

By looking at this act of his, we can see that Abraham already had abundant spiritual fruits born in his heart. He didn't just stay at the level where he didn't have any ill-feelings, but he had the heart to pay back evil with goodness.

Because he had such a heart, he could show words and actions that could move the heart of the other person. Even at the fourth level, to the extent that one is filled with more of spiritual fruits, his words and actions can be more touching and virtuous.

When the fruits are born 50%, 80%, and finally 100%, his heart will be filled with truth completely, which means he has heart of whole spirit. Also, to the extent that he fills his heart with truth, he can choose the way that pleases God in a situation where he has to make choices.

If any choice is OK and is not against the truth in a certain situation, those who are at the beginning stage of the fourth level can choose what they want without giving much thought about it. But to the extent that they bear more fruits, they will understand the heart of God more deeply.

They will choose what pleases God with rather than what pleases themselves and they practice it.

For example, we can think about David. After David was anointed as the king, King Saul followed after David to kill him for a long time because of his envy.

David's life had already been threatened by Saul. One day David had an excellent opportunity to kill Saul.

While he was pursuing David, Saul went into the place where David was hiding and fell into a deep sleep.

In 1 Samuel 24:4, David's men were saying, "Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, 'Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'" Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul's robe secretly."

They were saying it was right before God to kill Saul and they were urging David to kill him right away.

Saul had been piling up evil upon evil before God, and so he was forsaken by God. Also, because David was the anointed one of God as the new king, trying to kill David was rebelling against God. It seemed a good enough reason to kill him.

Moreover, because the king was evil, many subjects and people of the nation were suffering. So, they may have thought it would be much better to kill Saul for the sake of so many people.

In this situation, even God wouldn't have condemned David for killing Saul. It was allowed by God to David that he could kill or let go of Saul as he wanted.

Nothing seemed more reasonable for David because he wasn't able to have a moment's rest for such a long time because he was continually on the run from Saul.

He had to go through hunger, tiredness, and nervousness because his life was always in danger despite the fact he had not sinned.

So, if he just killed Saul at that time he wouldn't be a fugitive any more, and he could then enjoy the honor of being the king.

What action would you choose if you were David?

David didn't kill Saul. Even though in the situation it was not evil to kill Saul, David did not choose just what was not evil but he chose what was more of complete goodness.

Saul was David's king, and Saul was once anointed by God too.

Therefore, even though Saul was evil and David had to go through many hardships, he couldn't bring himself to kill Saul.

Because David didn't kill Saul at that time, he knew that he would have to keep on running from him. But still, he didn't kill the anointed one of God but committed him into God's hands.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in the same way, even in the fourth level of faith, it is according to how much one is filled with spiritual contents that he can start from the state of having no sin and go into the level of perfect goodness.

Of course, even at the beginning stage of the fourth level of faith, people have different measures in different areas.

Some have much love and gentleness while others have less gentleness but have borne more fruits of sacrifice, service, and faithfulness.

Some fruits of the Holy Spirit are borne only 30%, but some other fruits are borne more than 90%. In some aspects, one is very close to the whole spirit, but in other areas, he seems to be at the last stage of the third level of faith.

So, we cannot say one is at the fifth level of faith only because he has born abundant fruits or is close to the whole spirit in some aspects.

That is why they keep on changing themselves even in the fourth level of faith so that they will resemble the Lord in all aspects.

We can say one is a man of whole spirit only when he abundantly bears all kinds of fruits of truth such as fruits of love in 1 Corinthians 13, the Beatitudes, the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, fruits of light, and the fruits of truth.


[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, suppose somebody saw a wallet lying in the street, and picked it up and put it into his pocket.

Is this a good act or evil act?

It depends on his heart. Somebody may think he is lucky to pick up a lost wallet and think of where to spend the money while another person may feel very sorry for the one who lost the wallet and worry about him, thinking of the ways to return it to the owner.

It is the same act on the outside, but according to what kind of heart one has, there is a clear difference between good and evil.

That's why John 7:24 says, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

We should never judge others just by looking at appearance. We can discern between the good and evil only when we discern with the justice of God.

Those who can see the speck in another's eye should look back at themselves and take the plank out of their own eyes. God doesn't consider those righteous who judge others.
1 Timothy 5:22 says, "Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin." As said, you can just become sanctified, and even if you come to know the shortcomings of other people, you can just have love enough to believe and bear with that person.

In heaven, each one can feel everything in spirit, so even without words, they can understand each other's heart clearly. Because they don't have any evil, they don't have any misunderstandings, judging or condemning.

Just by the fact that there is no misunderstanding among people, the life in the heavenly kingdoms can be very happy and peaceful.

But even on this earth, if you go into spirit, you can have the same kind of happiness.

When you see or hear something, you will be able to discern between the truth and falsehood by hearing the voice and receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because you will see everything with goodness, you won't misunderstand anything or judge anything. Therefore, you will always have peace and you will have joy coming from above.

I urge you to see, hear, and discern appropriately between the good and evil about a certain work or a certain person.

In the name of the Lord I hope that you will quickly accomplish the heart of spirit, communicate with God clearly, and be able to share even the secrets of spirit with Him.

 
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