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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

He Who Keeps God’s Commandments
Abides in Him

 

< 1 John 3:17-24 >

“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”



Live According to God’s Commandments


Today’s Scripture passage is telling us to love one another according to God’s commandments.

The Apostle John also said in 1 John 3:14-15, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” This passage here was spoken to those who have come out from death and entered into life by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. It is telling us that if we have indeed been saved from all the sins of this world, then we should love one another. As such, if we have passed from death to life by believing in the true gospel, then it is only right for us to love one another and to do God’s work.

Prior to this, the Apostle John also said in 1 John 3:11, “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” The way of life that Jesus Christ our God wants us to have is to love each other and unite together. We have received His atoning love, and as a result, we have passed from death to life. How, then, should we live before Jesus Christ, the true God? We must love not only in word or tongue, but in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Our love for God cannot be coerced out of us, but it must arise from the depth of our hearts, from our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord has transformed us fundamentally so that we cannot help but love one another. For the Lord loved us so much, He has saved us from all our sins and blessed us abundantly.

This is why we must live our lives in thankfulness by faith, and how we are now able to love one another in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since our Lord has washed us from all our sins in this beautiful gospel, it is simply impossible for us not to love each other. It is, in other words, because the Holy Spirit reigns in our hearts that we love one another.

The driving force of this ability for us to love God and to love each other is generated from our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since the Lord’s love is reigning in our hearts, all of us cannot help but love this Lord and other souls. It is because the Lord’s love is already reigning in our hearts that we are now able to love one another. Our Jesus Christ told each and every one of us, who are now living in the age of the New Testament, to love one another. Each and every one of us is now a multiplying source of strength for one another.



To Have Confidence toward God, We Must Live According to the Will of God by Faith


When our hearts have confidence toward God, everything that we ask from Him in our prayers is answered. This confidence comes only when we have the faith that pleases God—that is, the faith that believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When the love of our Lord comes to dwell in your hearts, you will be led to do His righteous works, to have confident hearts, and thus you will be bringing joy to the Lord.

When the love of Christ comes to reign in our hearts, regardless of who, we are all led to do the Lord’s will without exception. This is because those who have become righteous cannot resist but love other souls. He who truly has the love of Christ in his heart is bound to receive boldness into his heart, for he will come to do His righteous works. Ministries of God’s love are not manifested by force, but they are manifested only by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Put differently, our faith in this true gospel enables us to do this kind of ministry that is from God’s love. The gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord has given us is the real and powerful Truth that enables all its believers to receive new life.

Those who have the Spirit of God working in their hearts are surely the ones who have truly received the washing of their sins from God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such people who possess the love of God by faith come to live their lives by placing their strong faith in this gospel of the water and the Spirit. In particular, they are able to cast aside the lust of the eyes toward this world and other such carnal desires as the pride of life as well, for in their faith they regard such desires as no more than garbage. These people’s hearts are already filled with the Lord-given Truth and the power of salvation, and therefore they are more than able to love other souls, and they also can deliver others from all their sins.



What Would Happen If All of You Were Not to Cast aside Your Carnal Lusts Even after Being Born Again by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?


If we do not cast aside the lust of our eyes and flesh, and the pride of life, and we only want to lead comfortable and self-conceited lives in this world, then we cannot live as the disciples of Jesus Christ. Once we come to love the world, we cannot keep the commandment that God has given us to love one another.

If we have indeed been saved from all our sins by believing in the true love of salvation that the Lord has given us, then we can all lead others to the path that enables them to also be washed from their sins in Jesus Christ. Devoting yourselves to God’s work of love is the only way that the love of Christ can always reign in your hearts, and that you can always be filled with the fullness of the Spirit. This is the very secret that enables you to live your lives with the fullness of the Spirit, by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For us Christians to live in the fullness of the Spirit, above all, we must first believe in the true gospel, and then devote ourselves to the life of light that is shedding God’s light over the darkness of this world.

Do you want to live a Christian life that is invincible? If yes, then have even more faith in the love of our Lord. You will then live the kind of life that is filled with the fullness of the Spirit, and that loves one another, all in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is impossible for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit unless you hold fast onto the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit by your faith. The Apostle Paul also said, “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

The Apostle John said, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:20-22).

My dear fellow saints, this Scripture passage assures us that if our hearts have nothing to condemn us before God, then we have confidence toward God, and, whatever we pray for, all our prayers are answered. This is because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.



What Is the Kind of Life That Has Nothing to Be Condemned before God?


It is because of our lust for this world that you and I drift away from our Lord. Our acts may also be insufficient. But it is no problem that we have such insufficiencies, for every human being has such insufficiencies in deeds. However, if we have worldly and carnal lusts that prevent the love of Christ from reigning in our hearts, this causes a big problem to our spiritual lives. God loved us so much that He gave His only Son as our propitiation. He wants us to love Him only. He hates that we love this world and the things in it more than Him. He defines our love for this world as ‘spiritual adultery’ that leads us to spiritual death eventually.

Therefore, we must ensure that our hearts have nothing to condemn us before God. When we succumb to our lusts of the flesh, we cannot follow the will of the Lord. But instead, if we cast away such lusts and keep His commandments, God will fill us by answering whatever we ask to Him. We can therefore follow the will of Jesus Christ our God. To do so, we must examine our hearts before God, and by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must ensure that there is nothing to condemn.

If there is something in your hearts that is to be condemned, then it is your lust for this world. But you must still stand firmly on your faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord told us, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). If we want to live for the righteousness of God, we must always ruminate on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you find it hard to live for God’s righteous even as you want to, you should once again meditate on your faith in this powerful gospel. You will then receive new spiritual strength.

For us to receive the power of faith from God, we must first remove our lusts of the flesh. The Bible tells us that only after this we will be able to do other things that please God. Our Lord told us to seek His will first. We must believe that that God will then be pleased. Our purpose is to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world, and to live for this work. When we place our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and follow the Lord, He will fill all our needs and help us in all things.

1 John 3:21-22 says, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

What makes us free from our hearts’ condemnation? It is to cast aside our lusts of the flesh in order to serve the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. If you and I actually cast aside our lusts of the flesh, then we can all live our lives in the fullness of the Spirit. But if we fail to do so, we cannot live the Spirit-filled life.

Sometimes, even Christians are unable to receive the blessings of the earth, nor the answers to their prayers, despite the fact that they have received the remission of sin. The reason for this is because they are following their lusts of the flesh. Christians who pursue their own lusts of the flesh end up disobeying the will of God and become unable to do His righteous works. Nor are their carnal desires filled, for that matter, and, in the end, their lives are left out of God’s blessings in both body and spirits. We must all cast aside such lusts, even from now on. If we pursue our lusts of the flesh, we will eventually fall into the kind of faith that is oriented only toward material blessings. Therefore, we must cast aside our lusts of the flesh, lest we should fall into such fallacious faith.

At stake here is not whether our faith is great or small before God, but how upright our hearts are before Him. Cast aside your carnal desires and attain faith in His love of Truth. With the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, our Lord has blotted out our sins once for all, saved us from all our sins, and made us God’s own children. We therefore have no fear in our hearts. Those who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit truly have confidence in their hearts.

Sometime, buried in our busy works, we lose the sight of the love of the Lord, but we must remember this love. We had been sinners, but our Lord has loved us so much with the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, so that we have become God’s own people. Even though we had fallen into the mire of destruction because of our sins, our Lord still saved us from all our sins and destruction. When we had been His enemies, God loved us so much that He made us His own children, and that He gave the washing of sin and eternal life to all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And He has entrusted us with God’s works and enabled us to do them. He has also permitted us to receive the rewards of Heaven. Just how thankful is all this? We are grateful to God beyond all words.

There are times when we fall into our selfish carnal lusts and end up forgetting the love of Christ in our lives. There are times when we fall into such conditions, when we get irritated and frustrated, find no joy in our lives, and our hearts are darkened. But we can recover our faith and stand firm again on the gospel Truth at once, whenever we remind ourselves how the Lord has saved us with His love of Truth.

Nonetheless, knowing and believing that the love of our Lord was poured into our hearts, we still give thanks to Him. I believe that it verges on a miracle that we can actually feel the love of God in our hearts, know it, and believe in it. Moreover, when it comes to the fact that we have come to live for others, I cannot thank God enough. Everyone is selfish, and yet we have come to live for the sake of other souls; I can only marvel at the power of God that has made this possible. Human beings are inherently egoistic, and yet we are now able to live such blessed lives. All these things, I believe, are none other than God’s love.

However, if we the righteous do not cast aside our worldly lust, then we will also end up unable to follow the Lord and our lives will turn tragic. Worldly lust is not cast aside all at once, as if doing so means that we would have no more lust to cast aside. That’s why the Apostle Paul said, “I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). What did he mean when he said that he died everyday? He meant that because he believed in Jesus Christ, the lusts of his flesh died.

Casting aside the worldly desires that are in our hearts just once does not mean all is over, but we must continue to cast them aside. The true remission of sin, of course, is achieved all at once. But, does this then mean that once we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, this is the end of all? When we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is only then that our faith begins; it is not the end of all.

Could we really live as faithful Christians if we do not cast aside our worldly desires of the flesh? Christians must throw away their lusts of the flesh everyday from their lives. How can we cast aside such desires of the flesh and live a faithful life before God instead? We can live such lives by ruminating and meditating on the love of the Lord and practicing the righteousness of God. First of all we have to set our hearts upright before God. When our hearts eagerly want to serve the righteousness of God, we then become bold in asking whatever we need to serve the gospel. By praying to God to give us whatever we need, for example, strong faith, material needs, coworkers, or gifts, we can live blessed lives, for He will surely answer us.

1 John 3:23 says, “This is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” What is His commandment? It is to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another.

Jesus is the Savior of all of us. For us to believe in our Savior Jesus Christ, and to love one another and others, none other than this is living according to the commandment that God has given us.

The Bible tells us that those who love God, their brothers and sisters in faith, and other souls abide in the Lord. But those who do not love God do not abide in the Lord. It is because our Lord is the God of love that He has loved us and given us new life and the remission of our sins. According to the commandment that He has given us, and led by His love, we have become the servants of love.



The Apostle John Admonishes Us to Love One Another


Among us, as the saints and servants of God, we must love one another with our hearts. When the Lord Himself loves us and cherishes us so much, how could we not love each other? When the Lord loves our brothers and sisters, and the servants of God, how could we not love one another also?

This is the upright Christian life the Apostle John spoke about. He also told us that you and I must also live in the fullness of the Spirit. While we have been saved from our sins, this does not mean that we have suddenly stopped pursuing our lusts of the flesh anymore. Given this, we have all the more reason to soften our hearts by placing even more faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.

Our Lord told us, “Love one another. Spread the love of God to all people.” It is by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can do this work. Those of us who believe in and live for the gospel of the water and the Spirit can live happily, but those of who do not believe in this gospel cannot live with the fullness of the Spirit. My dear fellow Christians, I hope you would all realize what kind of life is the true Christian life, and cast aside your carnal lusts to live for our Lord. By believing in the love, salvation, power, and blessings that God has already given us, we can all glorify Him.

My fellow believers, you should realize that God’s Apostles had preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit relentlessly. Today’s servants of God are also preaching the same gospel tirelessly. All the Word of God is manifesting to us the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Why? Because this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit has brought the love of God and new life to us. Because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the lifeline for all of us, we must believe as such and preach as such ceaselessly.

Now, you and I realize with what kind of faith we must live our lives before God. We must love God and other souls, we must cast aside our lusts of the flesh, we must have faith in the true gospel of salvation, and we must live our lives for the Lord. Only then can we keep this faith of ours in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and carry on with our lives until the day our Lord returns. And only then can we taste and enjoy the power and blessings given by Christ even more abundantly in our lives, and enrich other people’s spirits with the Truth of salvation as well.

Want to read more sermons on the First Epistle of John? Please click the banner below to get your free book on the First Epistle of John.
The First Epistle of John

It is my sincerest prayer and hope that you would all come to have this true faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you and I have truly realized this Truth and received the remission of our sins, then we would know just what a happy and abundant life it is to live by faith in Christ.

Is it not happiness for us to live for the salvation of other souls, and for the glory of God? Among such happiness, another true joy is for the righteous to have fellowship with one another. We must indeed continue to sustain our lives of true happiness by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

I believe that if we continue to follow the Lord and live for Him until the day the Lord returns, we will all prosper both in body and spirit. I have every confidence that we are the happiest among all, thanks to the love of Truth that God has given us.

Halleluiah!

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