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   True Obedience    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Philippians 2: 6 -8


[Philippians 2: 6 -8]
"...who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today is the Palm Sunday. Let us imagine we are in Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago with Jesus.
Jesus and His disciples had come close to Jerusalem. They had reached Bethphage and Bethany, and Jesus sent two of His disciples to the village opposite them.
They brought the colt according to what Jesus had said.
Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on that colt, and the people walked in front of him while some others were following Him from behind, as though they were escorting Him.
Many people spread their clothes on the road while some of them put tree branches on the road.
People of various ages came out with palm branches cheering, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!"
Palm Sunday is the day to commemorate this day. But this Jesus, who entered Jerusalem with the cheering of the people, was crucified just five days after that. And He resurrected on the third day of His burial.
That is why the following Sunday after Palm Sunday is Easter, and that whole week from Palm Sunday is Passion Week.
Now, let me briefly mention the footsteps of Jesus during this Passion Week.
I hope you will think of the sufferings of Jesus and spend this week with more godliness.
Here, you should keep one thing in mind. It is that the concept of time in Israel at that time is a little different from that of today. In Israel, a new day began after sunset.
But today, let me explain it in the concept of our time for your better understanding.
On the first day which was the Sunday, as I mentioned, Jesus entered Jerusalem with the cheers of the people. On Monday, the next day, Jesus purified the Jerusalem Temple.
He said, "My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves" and drove away the merchants and money-exchangers from the Temple.
On Tuesday the people of the high priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people came to Jesus and asked Him, "By what authority are You doing these things?"
They asked Jesus many questions to find fault in Him.
But nobody could say anything more as Jesus answered with wisdom and with authority over His words.
After this incident, the high priests and those who stood against Jesus wanted to kill Him even more.
On Wednesday, Jesus taught the Word in the Temple and in the evening He went to take a rest in Bethany.
Here, Mary came with a very costly oil of spikenard and poured on Jesus' head.
This Mary is different from Mary Magdalene. She is the sister of Lazarus who was revived.
At that time, Judas Iscariot rebuked Mary saying, "For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor."
Then, Jesus said in Mark 14:8, "She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial," and told them to let her act be known widely.
After this, Judas Iscariot went to the high priests and promised them to hand over Jesus.
On Thursday evening Jesus had the Passover dinner in the city of Jerusalem with His disciples. It was at this time when He washed the feet of His disciples.
He also told them that it was Judas Iscariot who would betray Him. After the dinner, He went to Gethsemane on Mount of Olives to pray.
He prayed so earnestly with all His strength to fulfill His duty that His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.
At this time, the disciples who were praying near Him had fallen asleep.
Jesus woke them up and advised them two times saying, "What and pray, lest you enter into temptation."
But the disciples couldn't overcome their tiredness and kept on dozing off.
When Jesus came to wake them up the third time, it was close to midnight on Thursday.
At this moment, Judas Iscariot appeared with the men of the high priests.
Finally, when Jesus was arrested, all His disciples ran away.
During the time that Jesus was arrested by the men of the high priest and taken to Annas the high priest, it passed midnight and became Friday.
Jesus was questioned in the courtyard of Annas the high priest and was sent to Caiaphas the high priest.
When the day broke, the high priests and scribes let Him into their council.
In the council they discussed legal, religious, and civilian matters. It was like the High court for the people.
Those who wanted to kill Jesus got many false witnesses to fabricate an excuse to accuse Him.
But the words of the witnesses did not match one another, and they couldn't find any fault.
Still, they condemned Jesus as a criminal to be crucified.
They indicted Him and charged Him with profaning God and defiling the Temple.
They bound Jesus and accused Him before Pilate, the governor. Nevertheless, even Pilate could not find any fault in Him.
So, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who was ruling over Galilee, which was Jesus' hometown.
But Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate again.
Finally, Pilate could not refuse the strong demands of the people and gave the order to crucify Jesus.
All these things happened in such a short time from the dawn to morning on Friday.
Jesus was crucified on Golgotha at around 9 AM, and breathed His last at around 3 PM.
And on the third day of His burial He broke the authority of death and resurrected.
Based on what you have heard so far, I suggest that you read the Four Gospels during this Passion Week.
I believe you will feel the footsteps of Jesus more vividly.
Just keep in mind that sometimes the Bible doesn't write things in chronological order.
I hope you will feel the grace and love of Jesus following each of the foosteps of Jesus during this week.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in verses 6 and 7 of today's passage, it is written, "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men."
Jesus, who is God in origin and the Son of God, came down to this earth in a human body. He was crucified having no sin at all.
Through this, countless souls who were bound to going the way of death, were saved and reached salvation. It was possible because of the obedience of Jesus.
Concerning this Jesus who obeyed until His death, Philippians 2:8 says, "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Today, God is looking for true men of God who can obey this way. He fulfills His providence through them.
Today, I am speaking to you about how to become men of God who fulfill God's providence, under the title 'True Obedience'.
True obedience is to obey as God the Father desires of us. Namely, it is the obedience in accordance with God's will.
For example, no matter how much work a servant has done, it is useless if it's not what the master wants.
True obedience is only when we work according to the will of the master.
To truly obey God, we first have to clearly understand exactly what God the Father wants.
In order to do this, we have to be united in one heart with God.
Therefore, we can truly obey only when our heart is one with the heart of God. In other words, we can truly obey only when we go into the whole spirit.
Then, does that mean we cannot truly obey until we go into the whole spirit? It doesn't.
I hope you will listen to today's message carefully and understand what you have to do to obey God truly.
Brothers and sisters, for you to obey truly, you can love God and obey from the depth of your heart.
If you obey feeling forced or pressured by somebody or from a sense of duty, or within your own self-righteousness, it is not true obedience.
Jesus showed us true obedience. He did not just obey only because it was His duty.
Jesus' way was a way of hardship and deprivation. He had to suffer unimaginable pains. Nevertheless, He rejoiced because He loved God wholeheartedly.
Do you want to obey like Jesus did? But sometimes you find you cannot really do it.
You want to obey with joy and willingness of heart, but sometimes you have no joy even when you obey. Sometimes you obey feeling reluctant.
Sometimes you obey with joy, but later, you realize that you actually disobeyed.
This kind of situation can be frustrating.
But you cannot really show true obedience just with the desire to obey.
First, you have to change your heart into the kind of heart that God desires. Only then can you really obey God's will.
Then, how can we really show true obedience?
In order to obey truly, first of all, we must not have our ego or self but only the Father in us.
All those who love God would want to obey God. But when we see the result of the situations, sometimes they have disobeyed.
It's because they have their 'self' in them. It means when they do a certain work, they use their own thoughts, wisdom, and methods.
They insist on what they think is right.
Thus, they think they are obeying the word of God, but they just do what they want when they actually do the work.
But then, they say they still obeyed God's will giving excuses and saying they've done this because of this and they've done that because of that.
They think they did those things in obedience to God's word, but it is a wrong idea.
Because they do not either understand or realize the heart of God the Father, they say they followed the heart and intention of God even after they do things in their own way.
And if the results are not satisfactory or if they are not acknowledged, they begin to blame others.
Now, they listened to so many sermons and they know that they have to destroy their ego and self and their self-centered righteousness, but why do they not realize themselves?
It's because they want to be comfortable in thinking, "I have faith, I am a member of this church that is loved by God and I am fulfilling my duties. I am obeying the will of the Father God."
But this kind of obedience is only self-centered obedience. It's not true obedience in the sight of God.
But Jesus did not have any self or ego. He only had the Father in Him. So, He only followed the intention of the Father, not His own will.
He always prayed and sought the will of God during His public ministry. He obeyed in such a way that every single thing was in perfect coherence with the word of God in His ministry.
For example, Zechariah 9:9 prophesied about the entering of Jesus into Jerusalem.
It says, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Jesus acted exactly according to what is said to fulfill the prophecy.
Matthew 21:2-3 says, "saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. "If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them."
The following verses 6 and 7 says, "The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats."
But, what if the disciples had thought, "How can the owner just give it to us without any price?"
Or, what if they used their own thoughts thinking, "How can we let our great master Jesus ride on a colt?"
Then, they might have said, "Master, we will go get a good horse for you."
Then, the providence and will of God wouldn't have been fulfilled.
Jesus did not come to be lifted like the kings of the earth.
He is the King who came to serve in obedience to God's will. He showed it by riding on a colt.
Jesus would have been more pleased if His disciples understood this, but anyway, they obeyed what Jesus told them.
Now, Matthew 21:4 explains why Jesus acted this way. It writes, "This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:"
As explained above, Jesus only obeyed the will of God and fulfilled the providence of the salvation of the cross without a single error.
Brothers and sisters, in order to have no self but only God in us, we have to deny ourselves and our flesh has to be put to death.
True obedience is not something very difficult to achieve if we really want to demolish our 'self'.
To show true obedience, secondly, we must not think about the conditions.
Those who do so will always give excuses saying, "Well, this seems possible, but that seems impossible." Then, they obey when it's beneficial for them, and they don't obey when it's not.
They choose what is the best for them according to their desires and self-centered motives. Their attitudes can change any time.
But true obedience is not about conditions. You wouldn't think of the circumstances or the reality of facts, nor give any excuses.
You only think of what the will of God is. You will say 'Yes' and 'Amen' in any kind of situation, only if it is the will of God the Father.
In Matthew chapter 19, we read about a rich young man. He came before Jesus and asked Him, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" But he couldn't hear what he wanted to hear.
Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
Then, it says, "But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving." He came before Jesus with good intentions, but he was only willing to obey up to his own limits.
Therefore, he finally followed his own benefit when the way went beyond his limit. He couldn't show true obedience.
If he had really wanted to obey he would have obeyed until the end with joy, even if the answer was different than what he had expected.
Then, now, I hope you will reflect yourself upon this. "Is your obedience for your fame, authority, or any other self-centered results?" "Can you really obey until the end in any kind of situation if it's the will of God the Father?" "Aren't you saying 'Yes' only to what agrees with your idea and what is beneficial for you?"
Jesus did not seek any glory of His own; He only obeyed for the glory of the Father.
That is why He forsook the glorious heavenly throne and was killed on this earth on the cross having been treated like a heinous criminal.
Jesus the Son of God obeyed like this, and how can we creatures give excuses? What can we not obey?
In order to show true obedience, third, we have to have the fruit of spiritual love.
In other words, it means we have to love with spiritual love.
Even in this world, the mother sacrifices her life to save her child who is in danger.
They even jump into the flames or into the water to save their child.
How can they do that? It's because they love their child. Likewise, if we truly love, then neither water nor fire would matter to us. We would be able to just sacrifice our lives.
When Jesus was hung on the cross, His disciples were scared and ran away, but the women including Mary Magdalene stayed with Him until the end, for they loved Him so much.
This is truly spiritual love. Suppose you love God and the Lord this much.
If you have this kind of spiritual love in you, you can achieve the first and second points of today's sermon.
God desires of you the obedience that comes out from spiritual love.
We cannot gain faith without love. And without love, we cannot have hope to do the will of God. Jesus loved the Father so much.
And so He believed the Father and hoped for the glorious days during which He would enjoy the heavenly kingdom with the Father.
If you too love God truly, you will believe in God the Father.
You will hope for the days that you will have in the heavenly kingdom. Then, you can obey anything. You can even give your life.
The apostle Paul had such a great love for the Lord that he said in Romans 8:35-39,
"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Just imagine you have this kind of love in you.
Then, you would be able to obey anything.
True obedience comes out from deep spiritual love.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the cross for God's children can mean many things including faith, forgiveness, love, sacrifice, and salvation.
And the cross is also a symbol of obedience.
The ministry of Jesus, which is the redemption of the mankind, was completed by Jesus' obedience to God's will.
Through the true obedience of Jesus, the way of salvation was opened and the providence of God was fulfilled.
God is still looking for those of you who can really and truly obey to fulfill His providence.
Now, which one of you is willing and able to be first to raise your hand?
I pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who showed us the example of true obedience to us, that all of you will be able to say 'Amen! Here I am!'