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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Love of God Revealed Through Jesus the Only Begotten Son



<John 1:15-18>

John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’’ And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”


In today’s Scripture passage, we can see that John the Baptist, who had baptized Jesus, and the Apostle John the gospel writer are witnessing to us about Jesus, who has become our Lord and Savior: “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me’’” (John 1:15). John the Baptist witnessed about Jesus Christ by saying, “When He comes, He will judge with the fire and deliver with the water.” The Apostle John witnessed about Jesus, saying, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but the grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17). Furthermore, it continues on, saying, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). There is no one among us who has seen God through the naked eye. However, we are able to see Him through the one and only begotten Son of God who was at the bosom of the Father. This means that only Jesus Christ, who was in the bosom of the Father, had revealed to us what God is like.

Really, we have never seen God with our own eyes. We cannot say that we have met with God through any other senses either. Then, how was it possible for us to meet with that God and believe in Him? Through the baptism Jesus had received and His bloodshed on the Cross, we were able to know that Jesus Christ the Son of God was the true Savior.



Have You Ever Received the Love of God?

Every December we await Christmas. On that day, we remember the coming of the only Son of God into this world. Both the Apostle John and John the Baptist knew that the only Son of God, Jesus, was the true Savior of the entire humanity and revealed that to us. They tried to let us know who Jesus was to us. We know that God is the God of love. What kind of person was Jesus Christ who had appeared to all of us? We know that He is the Son of God who delivered us from all our sins, and that He is the true God who loves us. He is the true Savior to us, the One who delivered us from all our sins.

God truly loved us all, and not only by words. God showed us His love Himself by actually delivering us from all of our sins. Since He is the God of love and justice, He revealed to us that He has delivered us from all of our sins by His own love and sacrifice, even though all sins must be judged and accounted for. This love of God was the absolute love toward us. This love of God was revealed to us through the only Son of God Jesus Christ.

The essential Truth of the Scriptural Word is that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son to deliver us all from all of our sins. If we are to look at how God revealed His love toward us, it is as follows. “Because God so loved us, God gave His Son Jesus to deliver us from all the sins of the world at once through Jesus’ baptism and bloodshed and then made believers into His own children.” Thus, God revealed what He is like through His only Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gave His life completely away for us so that we may have the salvation of Truth and be delivered from condemnation. Through all of this, God revealed His love for us.

Truly, God teaches us that this love of God is incomparable to anything else in this world. Now, we can feel the love of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Parents sometimes give away their lives for their own children, patriots for their countries, and friends for their friends. If a person gives up his life for the sake of his own country, he has done it for a great cause.

However, it is not comparable to what God has done for us in order to deliver us from all of our sins and give us eternal life. Even if a person gives up his life for his friend, it is only because of a friendship toward a single friend, it does not reach the level of the love of God. Sometimes, people give away their lives for their lovers. Although they sacrifice themselves and choose death because their emotions are hard to bear and uncontrollable, it still cannot be compared to the love of God. All these people are at most revealing only a tiny fraction of the love of God.

Yet, the love of Jesus Christ is special. The only Son of God revealed God nature to us and we cannot fathom His love because of the sacrifice of His own life for us. In order to give a new life to us sinners, Jesus was predestined to give up His own life for us. The love of our Lord was to give away His own life so that we may be revived and have the true life. How could we discuss the love of God through with ideals of love between people?

Every nation has its patriots who sacrificed their own lives for their own countries. Then, why did Jesus sacrifice Himself? It was in order to deliver all humanity from all sin and inequity. Because we, the human beings, were collapsing and dying due to our sins, He sacrificed Himself to give new life to us. Because He loved us, He gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that we may have new life. Jesus Christ clothed us with the glory and honor of becoming God’s children and gave us the power and authority to reign over all things. Furthermore, He enabled us to live happily for eternity. In order to do so, He revealed His love towards us. The reason Jesus Christ became a sacrifice after coming to this world was as a presentation of God’s love.

All living creatures in this world exist for themselves. Yet, the only Son of God came to this world to give true life to His creatures. His birth and reason of being were different from our own. The only Son of God, Jesus, was born and existed in this world to show us what kind of being God was. Jesus carried out the righteous works of the baptism and the bloodshed to fulfill His reason of existing in this world. Our Lord demonstrated His own love toward us, and we now know and believe in that love.

It says in the Bible that God the Father loved us so much that He gave His only Son to us. During the 33 years of His life in this world, Jesus saw that many people had a hard life because of their illness and death and that His people were suffering from the loss of their land. Because of their sins these people could not help but face their destruction and condemnation and lose the only life they had. Before Jesus Christ came to this world, every person could not avoid the eternal fire of hell, where they would become servants of Satan the Devil and suffer for eternity, because they could not receive the remission of sin.

However, Jesus had compassion for everyone. Thus, He received the baptism on His own body, by which all the sins of humanity were transferred onto Him, and shed His own blood on the Cross so that we may have new life. To allow us to live for eternity through the salvation from all our sins, our Lord sacrificed Himself, enduring all the sufferings and pains. This was the love of God given to us to deliver us from all the sins of the world, from death, and from condemnation. The Lord-given gospel of the water and the Spirit is the love of God, which allows us to live for eternity by receiving new life. The Truth was a gift to us from the love of God. Now when we are asked who God is, we can answer in our faith that He is the One who sacrificed Himself so that we may have new life.



Is There Any One Among You Who Has Seen God Directly?

Still, there were those people who had seen the sacrifice of Jesus. They had witnessed that to deliver us from all our sins, Jesus bore all the sins of the whole of humanity through His baptism, gave up His body to the Cross where He bled to death, and resurrected from the dead. We can realize and believe how much God has loved you and me through their accounts.

Because I too believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is not easy to articulate the love of God through words. God’s love is too big to be understood. Yet, I am able to experience the love of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Of course, I am grateful for the love of God that came by the water and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus has wiped away all of our sins and that He has given us the gift of eternal life, glory, and honor. I also believe that He has given us His own life. It is true that we are still not capable in deeply knowing and feeling the love of our Lord, even though we believe in it. It is because we have not loved someone to the point of death. We have never given up our lives to someone else so that the person could have a new life and live for eternity. Hence, I myself lack the knowledge of and ability to feel the entire depth of the love of God. I also believe that the love of God is indescribably big. Still, I firmly believe one thing in my heart. It is true for myself, all of you, and everyone in this world that we have all received the love of salvation. The only Son of God clearly demonstrated who God is toward us. Hence, we were delivered from all our sins. I surely believe in that. I am sure you believe in that as well.

We naturally compact ourselves when the weather becomes cold. But, this does not mean that our hearts have to shrink as well. Although we are not perfect in our actions, out of compassion we want to deliver the love of God to the wandering souls. Although we cannot love humanity perfectly like Jesus, we still want to become instruments that deliver the love of God. Although we may compact our bodies in the winter cold, the thought of the magnitude of God’s love for us makes our hearts warm. Truly, when we think of God who gave us new life by sacrificing Himself, we are thankful in our hearts. Although we may crouch in our bodies, we have rest in our hearts and our hearts become warm as if we have a little campfire in them. It is good that we can share His love for we have received it first, despite our weaknesses.

If we look at the saving works of Jesus in this world, we can easily know that God is like that. Thus, we must believe. Looking at Jesus Christ, we come to confess, “God was truly like that. Jesus was truly omnipotent, but He did not abuse His power. Jesus truly humbled Himself to give new life to all humanity and wash all our sins away. Jesus sacrificed Himself, and delivered us from all of our sins by the perfect love of sacrifice, not a false love.” And we know that Jesus has clothed us with the glory of becoming the children of God. We must truly give thanks, honor, and glory to God in our faith for this Truth. This winter as well as in all the winters to come, we must think deeply about God’s love whenever we crouch in coldness. Also, we must serve the Lord and do the works of God with that kind of faith.

If we have a legalistic faith instead of ruminating over the love of God, we will become nothing. If we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the love of God, we must be clothed with the true love of Truth by standing firm on the Lord-given Truth. Because we were given and clothed with the love of God, we are witnessing that love to everyone in this world. We are serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even though we feel very weary due to the works of God we have to do everyday. Whenever we feel weary serving our Lord, we should be reminded of the love of God, just as the Shulamite woman who was working hard as the keeper of the vineyard by wearing the love of King Solomon. We must go forward holding the hands of our Lord tightly despite of all the hardships for the gospel of the water and the Spirit, as it is written:

“My beloved spoke, and said to me:
        “Rise up, my love, my fair one,
        And come away.
        For lo, the winter is past,
        The rain is over and gone.
        The flowers appear on the earth;
        The time of singing has come,
        And the voice of the turtledove
        Is heard in our land” (Song of Solomon 2:10-12).

Every time you and I pray, I hope that God listens to our prayers. The Lord is responding to us with the Word above, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” You can know the love of God by these answers from God.

Sometimes we grow exhausted from hard work. Also, there are times good things happen to us as well as unfortunate things. I wish that things would get better as time goes by, but worries about God’s works grow in my heart as time goes by. The gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the Truth of God, should be spread until the end of the world. This is possible only if we continue to believe and live for our Lord. Although we the servants of God and His people are weak and deficient in many ways, we must be faithful to our calling in our knowledge and faith in the love of God. I worry that we may give up on our tasks and live for our own sake. I worry that we may give up these precious tasks because we love ourselves too much, instead of spreading the gospel – which proclaims the love of God that delivers the sinners from all their sins out of love for them.

Whoever that does not think of the love of God is living selfishly for one’s own sake. Whoever lives only for himself does not know the love of God. Because it is clear that God loved us, although everyone may pursue his or her lusts of flesh, we the believers in the love of God cannot live for ourselves alone but must keep spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because we have received the love of God, now it is in our hearts. Hence, we can love others and sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others. We also can have such faith and can practice God’s love according to our faith.

At one time we did not know or receive the love of God, and instead of living for others we lived only for ourselves. However, now we have changed. The more we know about our Lord, and as our new spiritual lives grow, the Lord allows us to share the love we have received despite our weaknesses and deficiencies. We come to recognize that it is right for us to share what belongs to God, although it is only a small part, until the day we will meet the Lord.

We believe for certain that the sacrificial love of God has blotted out all the sins of this world. Jesus Christ really has come to this world for us in the flesh of man and received the baptism so that all our sins may be transferred onto Him. Moreover, He died crucified on the Cross. Although God is the Almighty One who created the universe and everything in it, He has become the propitiation for all of us to fulfill the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The disciples of Jesus did not believe in Jesus as the God of salvation when He walked on water. Hence, Jesus while in this world had to make known to His disciples clearly who He was so that they can believe in Him as God and be forgiven from all their sins. Because of that, Jesus showed His power to His disciples by walking on water. And most of the time, He acted just like an ordinary person. Jesus lowered Himself to a very weak appearance and came as our Savior. Our Lord has become the sacrificial Lamb of God, lowering Himself to complete His work of salvation: He took all our sins onto Himself by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist at the Jordan River. And in order to receive the tremendous and just judgments for all our sins, He offered His own body to be crucified on the Cross. He has delivered us believers from sin wholly by vicariously receiving contempt and insults. By the love of our Lord, we have become possessors of new life. To recover all of mankind to the status of people created in the image of God, He has taught the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everybody. Because of that, we came to believe.

However, there are still many people who do not believe or know this. This is why the Lord admonishes us to share His love to them. Hence, we have shared the Word of God, are still sharing by our faith, and will continue to share in the future. People have received the same salvation as us, have been clothed with the love of God, and have received the eternal life because they came to know and believe God, who was revealed to them by His only Son Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit we shared.

Thus, I only give thanks to God. There is nothing else other than thanks that we could say to Him. Because the only Son of God has revealed to us who God was, we are able to know His love, to meet with Him, and to receive the salvation from all our sins by believing in Him. We were able to meet with Jesus because of the love of God. We have become His own people by wearing the love of God. We give thanks to God by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.



God Has Revealed His Love to Us through His Only Begotten Son

Although no one has seen God, people have come to know, see, and believe in God through Jesus. This is true. Those religious people who are highly regarded as men of intelligence, have added nothing to the redemption of the sins of humanity. Sakyamuni died under a bo tree while meditating about the joy and sorrow of life. He only worried to solve the problem of life’s joy and sorrow. Put differently, he started thinking to solve his own problem and reached a conclusion somehow, but such conclusion had nothing to do with solving the problem of everyone’s sin. Did he actually wash away the sins of each one of us? What did he do to blot out our sins, to receive vicariously the judgments for our sins, to help us avoid God’s wrath upon us, or to help us receive blessings?

No matter how eagerly the religious people want to do so, they just lack the ability to do those things for us in the first place. All the sages of this world are all like this. None of them– even a charismatic leader of a religious cult – could take all our sins on his body to wash away the sins of each individual person. Only the only Son of God Jesus Christ, who was our Savior, could take all the sins of each one of us by receiving the baptism and sacrifice Himself for our happiness, and eternal life.

If we were to use the water in all the oceans as our ink and the blue sky as the parchment, we would still not be able to write all about the love of God for us. The love of God is that wide. The grace of salvation by which we are made known that God is truly the God of love is in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Who has comforted you, delivered your souls from all your sins, and given you the eternal life? He is Jesus Christ, who is our Savior. We have not received our true salvation from any worldly authority but from Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the true God, the true Savior, and the King of love – incomparable to any other person in this world. Jesus was fundamentally God the King of kings, who rules over the angels up in Heaven, the visible world, and the invisible world.

Although there is no one who has seen the glory of God, the only Son of God Jesus Christ has revealed the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by coming to this world. Jesus has revealed the love and justice of our God through the sacrifices of His baptism and bloodshed after He had come into this world in the flesh of man. Alongside the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has given us the remission of sin. In this way God has shown us His love. Do you believe so?

Dear fellow believers, when your hearts are depressed and you are exhausted, think about how the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ has revealed His love to us. And by bearing in your hearts the love of God for you and by recognizing and keeping that love, you will then be made grateful and happy. Nothing else in this world can be your true love, happiness, or blessing. Because Jesus Christ is actually our true God and Savior, only He can give us the true love, happiness, and blessing.

When I witness people receiving the remission of sin through our books, I truly realize the power of God’s gospel. Many pastors from every corner of the world are saying that they have not even heard of the gospel of the water and the Spirit before. And they are further testifying that by this gospel they have received the true love of God, grace of salvation, blessing of eternal life, and the abundant peace of heart.

Truly, there is no one who has seen God or felt God. Still, we have met with God, received His love, and believed in His love. Hence, we are spreading the love of God through our faith. People throughout the world are meeting with God through our service to the Lord. Truly, they would not be able to meet with God, if it were not for the gospel of salvation we are witnessing to them. It is because of the testimonies of John the Baptist, the Apostle John and the other Apostles that we were able to meet with Jesus Christ. They all testified the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If they had kept this true gospel only in their hearts and refrained from spreading it, we would not have met with God.

There were many men of faith who were called as the Bible writers of the New Testament: The four Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in turn; the Acts was written by Luke; the Apostle Paul wrote the Pauline Epistles; the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, and James and Jude, the brother of Jesus, also wrote their epistles; lastly, Revelation was wrote by John the Apostle.

They were inspired by the Holy Spirit and wrote about what they had seen and heard while they accompanied Jesus. But they still faced many difficulties to follow the will of God. Despite these difficulties, they have recorded and left behind the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Of course, God inspired them with special power so that they could not help but write these down. Still, it was possible to do the works of God through them because they were obedient toward God. If they had rejected the will of God, God would have done this through some other means. However, because they obeyed the Will of God, we are able to know and believe the love of God even till this moment.

John the Baptist was despised and cursed by many people of his age. Although we respect the 12 disciples of Jesus, while they were still in this world, they were despised and ignored by the people of their times, being treated below human standards. Still, the disciples had fellowship with God in their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and imparted this Truth to us. Because the disciples of Jesus lived by their faith, you and I are able to know the love of God and who God is. Following in their steps, we have to serve the Lord and His gospel so that others can also come to meet with God.

Even now, there is no one who has seen God, but whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can know what kind of Person God is. Those who have heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit through us confess as follows: “The love of God is too great. Although I have been a pastor, I have neither known the gospel Truth nor met with God until now.” I am encouraged when I see people returning to the Truth and meeting with God by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Dear fellow believers, it feels like that our weaknesses, deficiencies, and the fleshly thoughts rise to the top since the weather has gotten colder. However, I ask that you remember this verse from the Bible. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). We should live our lives, remembering this Word, keeping it by faith, and meditating on it always. We should accept in our hearts the love by which the only Son of God has delivered us from all our sins and meditate and propagate this thought by faith. Whatever you may do, I hope you live such a life. Let’s meditate on the love of God, share the gospel, and then go up to His Kingdom and live there forever when the Lord returns.

When the weather gets really cold, we think of the warmth of a seat next to the fireplace. We do not realize it when the weather is warm, but we miss the warmth as soon as it turns cold. We are in a cold winter season where we miss warm food and warm hearts. How do our souls feel if our bodies feel that way?

Truly, the only Son of God Jesus Christ has revealed to us who God is and what God’s love is. He also revealed to us that God has delivered us from all our sins by that love. Our souls receive the warmth, comfort, blessings and hope by meditating and believing in that love. I think that we should have such faith. We should not think about the works of our flesh but instead think about God’s love. There is something we should never forget in our hearts. It is the love of God, with which He has delivered us from all our sins. We should live our lives keeping that love of God in our hearts, not forgetting it, but meditating on it. We should live in anticipation of all the blessings and glory that the Lord has promised us. Dear fellow believers, do you believe this?

Truly, the Law has come through Moses, and the gift of grace, Truth, salvation and the life-giving gospel has come through Jesus Christ. We do not receive our salvation by abiding by the Law, but by knowing Jesus Christ and believing in our hearts the gospel Word of God that Jesus given us. God comes to our hearts as the Holy Spirit and designates that we have become His children. We must give thanks before God through the faith provided by the Holy Spirit and live by that very faith.

Those who have received the love of God cannot lead their lives without loving others, so they live loving everyone in this world. Can you live your lives without loving everyone in this world? Dear fellow believers, the answer to the question “What does a person live by?” is very simple once you know it. The correct answer is that people live by love. Then, what do Christians live by? They also live by love, but their love is different from the selfish love of the secular people. Because the born-again Christians have received the love of God first, they live by loving God and others.

Some people say, “Now that I have received the remission of sin. I just want to live for myself.” But they say this because they do not know that there is no enjoyment in such a life. Life is worth living if you live for others and sacrifice yourself out of love for others. Don’t you feel this way yourself when you are serving the Lord voluntarily? We truly do feel that way.

If someone told me to give up spreading the gospel and tried everything to prevent me from spreading the gospel, I would try to find other means to do so because I would feel that my life has become worthless without sharing God’s love with other people. What fulfillment do we have in our lives if we cannot live doing the works of God? Before we were born again, we used to live for the sake of drinking, eating, and enjoying ourselves with our favorite amusement. However, do we still have satisfaction living like that even now? People who have just recently received the remission of sin might worry about their future saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” However, our selfish way of living and our purpose in life changes the moment we realize what Jesus Christ has revealed to us about who God is.

We feel alive when we are spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hence, we are sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the world now and loving everyone in the entire world. In the past, we thought that even loving our own neighbors was a truly great task. But how have we changed now? We have become people who love everyone in this world. This was made possible by God. Am I wrong? If it were not for God, how could we have changed?

We would have been satisfied in the past if we could build a nice house with great heating system, and eat delicious food inside of it. However, we can no longer live like that. Even if we have to live in a small single room, we must live for others, just as we would have to if we lived in a large mansion. Whether we eat or drink or do anything else, we should do these things for the sake of others. We must live for the sake of those who have not yet received the remission of sin and protect others who have already received the remission of sin. Isn’t this true for you as well?

“The Bible says, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). How perfectly did Jesus reveal the love of God to us! How perfectly did Jesus deliver us! What perfect Truth of salvation is the gospel of the water and the Spirit! We have never regretted receiving our salvation through our faith in Jesus, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are not ashamed in believing in Him. Rather, we are thankful to God for the most perfect salvation and perfect love. Don’t you feel grateful towards God? Of course, you do.

I hope that all of you believe in Jesus Christ who has revealed the love of God, keep the faith in His love in your hearts, and live daily for the sake of spreading that love. In time, we will meet our Lord and enjoy the glory of God. Before that, I hope that you will acquire the blessing of the remission of sin by meeting with God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

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