[Romans 12: 2]
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today’s passage Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Today, the world is full of sins and is in such a strong flow of flesh.
So, people do not even realize that they are doing evil, and it is very hard to find goodness.
In no way must you ever be caught up in the flow of flesh by following this world but, be set apart as God’s children in the flow of spirit. We have to distinguish what good and acceptable and perfect will of God is and live according to it.
So, in this evening service, I will speak about goodness. You will have a chance to realize what goodness is in God’s sight and check your heart through the examples of goodness of many people in the Bible.
These messages have interconnection with the messages of the 2-week special revival meeting in 1997.
At that time I heard from many members that they had made great strides in the levels of their Christian lives through the messages.
You had been trying hard, but at a certain point of time, some of you were remaining at one point before going into a deeper level. But you repented of this realizing your shortcomings and made up your mind to change into goodness before God. There are some of you who could not attend the revival in person, so instead you listened to the sermon tapes or read the book.
Now it has been 8 years since these messages were preached, how much of the goodness have you accomplished?
These messages contain very important points for you to ride on the flow of spirit in this year.
If you have accomplished the points of these messages in your heart, you have been recognized by God as a person of the whole spirit.
I hope you will truly be able to distinguish what the good will of God is and act in goodness through these messages, so that you will become God’s joy.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will quickly go into spirit and the whole spirit, give glory to God more greatly, and receive all the blessings that our God has prepared.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, for you to be in the flow of spirit, you should distinguish what the good will of God is and act according to it.
But to distinguish whether something is good or not, we have to have a standard of goodness.
Only when we know the ultimate and perfect goodness, will we be able to distinguish what goodness is compared to that standard.
In Luke 18:18, a man called Jesus, “Good teacher!” Then, Jesus answered in verse 19, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.”
Only God is truly good, and only God’s word, the Bible, is the standard of goodness.
Of course, our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one with God, so their heart is also goodness itself. But in this verse, why did Jesus, who is goodness itself, say, “No one is good but One, that is, God?”
This was because people at that time did not know that Jesus is the Son of God having the very nature of God but considered Him just as a man, a mere creature.
Therefore, by saying only God is good, Jesus let the people know that people, as mere creatures, had absolutely no possible way to comprehend or achieve ultimate and absolute goodness.
Also, although Jesus had no sin at all, at that time He came to this earth to redeem the mankind from their sins.
Up until Jesus finished the providence of salvation of the cross, His position was an atoning sacrifice to take the burden of all sins of mankind, and that is why He did not say He was good.
But after He fulfilled His duty on this earth and He resurrected from death to become the Savior, His goodness was the same and completely one with the goodness of the Father God. Also, because the heart of the Holy Spirit is perfectly good, if God’s children who have received the Holy Spirit follow the desires of the Holy Spirit fully, anybody can have the heart of perfect goodness.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the goodness in the sight of worldly people and the standard of goodness in God’s sight are completely different.
You must have realized that many things that you had considered good were not actually something good after you heard and learned God’s word.
Even though you lived a relatively good life in this world, when the Holy Spirit shines your heart with the perfect standard of goodness, you can realize you had so many aspects that were not good.
Now, what kind of person is considered to be good in this world?
The Webster’s definition of the word ‘goodness’ is “the quality or state of being good,” or “of a favorable character or tendency.” People make the framework of their conscience mixing this kind of vague standard with their own standards.
They say something is good or not good within the frame of their conscience.
But the conscience of men cannot be the perfect standard of goodness.
As you learned in the lectures on the spirit, soul, and body, the conscience is a mixture of truth and untruth, namely white mind and black mind.
As people are born and grow up, they mix up truth and untruth and make their own standard of value to say that something is truth.
Therefore, there is untruth in the conscience, and it is different according to the areas and generations, and even at the same place during the same generation, it is different from person to person. For some people, something is goodness, but for some others, it is not goodness. In some countries, something is considered to be goodness, but in other countries it is evil.
Therefore, ‘conscience’ cannot be the standard of the absolute goodness.
The only standard of goodness is the word of God that never changes.
The conscience that people accept as the standard of goodness, and the standard of goodness according to the Word of God are very different.
For example, in some novels, they imply that revenge is the rightful way of the children and righteousness itself to take revenge when their parents are killed unfairly.
Then, after taking revenge, it will create another enmity, and the tragedy will bring about more tragedies.
So, God says it is evil to take revenge and it is goodness to forgive.
Matthew 5:43-44 says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  ‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you'”
Also, Romans 12:20 says, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
When we love and forgive even our enemies, the tragedies of bloodshed bringing about more bloodshed will not continue.
Therefore, we should diligently learn the word of God that is the standard of perfect goodness. The Word contains the heart and will of God, who is goodness itself.
We should also put into action what we learn and accomplish it in our heart so that we will be able to reach complete and true goodness.
But in the process of accomplishing goodness according to the word of God, there are some steps.
Even the faith is not all the same. There is faith of a new believer who is just saved, and also perfect faith of a person who has accomplished spirit.
As we have to climb up steps to go to the second floor from the first, there are steps to reach the level of perfect goodness.
From now, I will tell you the four different steps of the process of accomplishing the perfect goodness.
The first level of goodness is not to react in evil even though you have some ill-feelings in you when somebody does some evil act to you.
Let us suppose somebody is cursing at and beating you, and you are not cursing back but are bearing with it.
You think, “What is the use of fighting back? God tells us not to fight back, so let me just bear it.” So you do not react with evil, but inside your heart, it is painful to bear the ill-feelings because you have feelings of being victimized.
But because you know God’s word or to show your education, you just suppress your feelings.
Even this kind of person may seem to be very good and mild on the outside. There are also people like this in the world.
Because he does not fight back but endures it though he is not a fool people say, “He can live even without the law.”
But this kind of person is not truly good in God’s sight. It is because God does not look at the appearance but the inner heart.
It is better than fighting back, but God still deems it evil if you just suppress your ill-feelings that are burning inside your heart. It is because you still have evil in your heart.
Therefore, even though you do not pay back evil with evil, because you still have evil in your heart, this level cannot even actually belong to a level of goodness.
But today, there are those believers who act more evil than even the worldly people.
If they truly believe in God, they will believe the Word of God which is full of goodness, and try to live according to it.
Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.”
Therefore, if you truly believe in God, you will fear God, hate evil, and follow the goodness.
But if you act evilly, just like the worldly people, or do more evil than them while professing your faith in God, it is proof that you do not fear or even believe in God.
In Luke 18:8, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
As comes nearer, the world is full of sins and it is hard to find goodness and people who have true faith.
But, as the darkness gets thicker, even a small light will be very visible.
So, if you act in true goodness in this world where the love has cooled down and people are acting more and more evil, you can become light to the world and lead many people to the light.
As a result, you will be able to give glory greatly to God the Father.
But just by suppressing your ill-feelings, although you do not pay back evil with evil, you cannot be acknowledged by God as truly good person.
Then, what kind of heart and acts are deemed as true goodness by God the Father? The second level of goodness, that I will tell you about now, is the goodness of first level that God acknowledges.
What, then, is the second level of goodness? You will certainly not have any kind of discomfort or ill-feelings much less pay back evil with evil.
It is not just suppressing your ill-feelings and your broken heart.
You will not have any kind of hatred or discomfort whatsoever against the other person.
This is to have no evil at all in your heart. It can be deemed a heart of spirit.
This is the minimum level of goodness that God recognizes.
Of course, there are steps until we reach this level. When we suffer something evil, we might have momentary ill-feeling or agitation of our heart, even though we do not pay it back with evil.
But even at those times, if we control our mind and try to understand with goodness, we can accomplish goodness where we do not even have any kind of ill-feeling.
We can see this in the case of Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. If an ordinary man came to know that his fiancé is pregnant without his knowledge, what would he have done?
He would judge that Mary had committed adultery, so he might have tried to punish her according to the law, or even if he had endured, he would not have been comfortable. He would have had great ill-feelings because he would think he was ignored as a man and was betrayed by his fiancé.
But Matthew 1:19 says, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.”
That is why God could tell Joseph who was this good that the baby conceived in Mary was Jesus, who would become the Savior. Christians must accomplish at least this level of goodness.
Only then the enemy devil and Satan cannot do anything to you, and you will not face any kind of testing and trials. You will not either be persecuted for attending church.
About this, 1 John 5:18 says, “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”
If you obey the work of the enemy devil and Satan, even though you attend church regularly, you cannot either be protected by God or receive blessings.
But if you just accomplish the minimum level of goodness that God acknowledges, the darkness will be driven away by your light.
I know you understand this fact and are trying to change into spirit. In fact, many of you are coming close to this second level of goodness.
I want those of you who belong to this group to check whether your heart is really good or not.
Suppose you are in charge of some work, and the work went wrong due to a mistake of your workers.
In this kind of case, many of you repent and say in front of me, “It is my fault. I did not take care of it properly.”
It is very rare for you to blame your workers or to give me excuses, trying to get away from your responsibility in front of me.
But then, what did you later? Did you truly feel the responsibility and try to take action about it?
Or didn’t you still want to blame your worker to some extent at one corner of your heart and rebuke your worker, along with the bad feeling coming from the difficulty you had faced?
You said it was your fault in front of me, but if you still blamed your worker after you left, you cannot be considered good.
Those who are good will truly confess it is their fault and look back on themselves.
Then, the Father God will give them grace and help them so that the same mistake will not happen.
Proverbs 12:2 says, “A good man obtains favor from the LORD, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.” There is one more thing you have to check. It is when you see somebody else receiving a rebuke.
Didn’t you think it was good for you because you were not related? Or didn’t you rebuke the person together, standing at the position of the one who was rebuking that person?
If you are truly good, you would feel such great pain in your heart when somebody else is having a hard time because of you.
Even though the work was not directly related to yours, you would think, “It would not have happened if I had helped him,” You would look back upon yourself with distress.
Thus, if the work is directly related to you, you will be honest in all things, and you will take the responsibility yourself.
So, sometimes it may seem that those who are good in their heart are suffering a hardship, but eventually, they will receive God’s blessings.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we considered up to the second level of goodness among the levels of goodness.
The first level is not to pay back evil with evil, but you just suppress your ill-feelings in your heart.
This may seem to be good in the sight of the worldly people, but by God it cannot be acknowledged.
The level that can be recognized by God as good is from the second level.
In the second level, you will not pay back evil with evil not to mention that you would have no ill-feelings in your heart.
Just if you accomplish the second level of goodness, you will have the kingdom of heaven in your heart. You will have no discomfort or hardship. You will only be filled with grace and love of the Father everyday, and you will have only happiness, joy, and thanksgiving.
The enemy devil and Satan cannot work on you, and even if a trial comes, it is a trial of blessings.
You will be able to pass any kind of situation only with goodness, so after going through the trial, only the comfort and rewards that God has prepared will be waiting for you.
Then, if you accomplish higher level of goodness, how happier you will be and how greater the blessings will be!
I hope you will get rid of evil quickly and go into at least the second level of goodness by the time I speak to you about 3rd and 4th level of goodness about a month later.
I pray in the name of the Lord that God will walk with you in each moment of your life and exult over you.