The Message of the Cross(9) – Secret Hidden Before Time Began

Message of the Cross

[1 Corinthians 2: 6- 9]
“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. [7] No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. [8] None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [9] However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”

[Introduction]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The way for you and me to receive salvation and enter the heavenly kingdom is our Savior Jesus Christ.

Many Christians spread the gospel saying, “If you believe in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved,” but they cannot really explain the providence of salvation clearly.
They cannot clearly explain why we can be saved by believing in the Lord. This is the ninth session of the message of the cross, and I will tell you about the providence of salvation as to why we are saved when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before the beginning, God already made a plan to save the mankind, who would become the slaves of the enemy devil and Satan, and set them free from the law of the sin and death.

But until the time came, namely until Jesus was crucified and resurrected, God kept the way of salvation a secret.

1 Corinthians 2:7 says, “No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.”
What is this secret, then?

I hope you will clearly understand the wisdom of God that was had been hidden before time began.

[Body]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the primary cause of Adam and Eve’s eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was because the serpent, instigated by Satan, tempted Eve.

When Adam and Eve were cursed due to their sins, God prophesied about the salvation of mankind.
Genesis 3:15 says, “And I will put enmity between you (namely God will put enmity between serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Here, ‘woman’ is not a woman in physical sense but it refers to ‘Israel’ in spiritual sense. The ‘offspring of the woman’ stands for Jesus Christ, who would come among the people of Israel.
The first half of Revelation 12:5 also says, “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” It uses an expression ‘a son born of a woman.’

God said the offspring of woman, namely Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent. If a snake is injured in its head, it is a fatal wound for it.

Jesus’ crushing the head of the serpent is a prophecy about the fact that He would crush the authority of the enemy devil and Satan that instigated the serpent.

Also, God said, “you (Satan) will strike his (Jesus’) heel.”

If one’s heel is injured, he cannot walk and he will fall. This is a prophecy that Jesus would be crucified, being nailed through His hands and feet.

Likewise, God already mentioned that Jesus Christ, who would break the authority of the enemy devil and Satan and save the mankind, would come from among the people of Israel, and also that He would be crucified by the scheme of the enemy devil and Satan.

But even the enemy devil and Satan knew that the Savior would come through Israel and take away their authority. So, they also tried not to lose their authority.

They thought they would be able to have the ruling authority of the air and control the world forever, if they could just kill the Savior who was going to come.

They were waiting for the son of the woman to be born. Whenever a man of God appeared, they tried to kill him thinking that he might be the Savior.

Finally 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born in Israel, at Bethlehem.
The enemy devil and Satan tried to kill Jesus by provoking King Herod, who was ruling the land of Israel at that time.

Satan caused King Herod to become worried that his throne might be threatened by Jesus, who had come as the king of Israel. So, He issued an order to kill all the boys who were under the age of two in Bethlehem and the surrounding vicinity.

But Jesus was not there because an angel of God had appeared in a dream to Joseph, who was Jesus’ father genealogically, that allowed them to escape to Egypt.
Even after that, the enemy devil and Satan tried to kill Jesus through evil people. Those who were evil were used as instruments of evil because they were tempted by Satan in their evil heart and thoughts.
In His ministry, Jesus did only good things like healing sick people and preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.

Even at this time, evil men, such as the Pharisees and the priests, were jealous of Jesus. They hated Him and tried to kill Him using many different kinds of schemes.

But because God protected Jesus, nobody could harm Him no matter how much they tried. Also, Jesus escaped dangerous situations with great wisdom.
But when the time came within the providence of God, Jesus was arrested by the evil people and suffered a very wretched death by way of crucifixion.
Everything including protecting and letting Jesus to be arrested was done within the providence of God.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the enemy devil and Satan thought that everything was being resolved well. Since they crucified the son of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head, they thought they would now have the authority forever.

But the wisdom of God lies here. By killing Jesus we might say that the enemy devil and Satan were caught up in their own intrigue. They became an instrument to fulfill the providence of God.

What does this mean? The enemy devil and Satan killed Jesus only with the earnest desire and necessity to get rid of the Savior. But according to the law of the spiritual realm in Romans 6:23 that dictates “the wages of sin is death,” the punishment of death can be applied only to sinners.

In other words, the punishment of death cannot be given to a man who is sinless.

Jesus had neither original sin nor self-committed sins, so there was no reason for Him to be killed.

But the enemy devil still killed sinless Jesus, and as a result, the devil violated the law of the spiritual realm.

As a result of violating the law of the spiritual realm, the enemy devil now had to give up its authority to rule over men and death.
Jesus was crucified, but because He had no sin, He could break the authority of death and He resurrected.

Also, those who become one with the Lord by believing in Him in their heart now could be freed from the authority of death of the enemy devil and enter into the heavenly kingdom. God’s prophecy, “The son of the woman will crush the serpent’s head”, was accurately fulfilled.

About this, Romans 5:18-19 says, “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. [19] For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, how wise and profound this providence of salvation is! At first, as a result of Adam and Eve’s committing the sin of disobedience, they had to receive the punishment of death according to the law of the spiritual realm.

But about 4,000 years later, the enemy devil and Satan violated the law of the spiritual realm, so they lost their authority over death.

By the same law of the spiritual realm, “the wages of sin is death,” at one time mankind fell to death, and at another time, the authority of death was broken and now we can be saved by faith.

The enemy devil tried to keep his authority until the end with all his wisdom, but God saw through that scheme and had prepared the providence of salvation from the beginning.

If the enemy devil had known this providence of the cross, he would not have killed Jesus.

Today’s scripture from 1 Corinthians 2:8-9 says, “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [9] However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'”

Therefore, God kept His providence a secret until it was completely fulfilled through the cross, lest the enemy devil would know about it.
Since Jesus, who is one with God, knew this providence, He obeyed to the point of death and accomplished the providence of salvation.
Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Romans 10:10 says, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Now, only if we become one with the Lord by believing in Him, can we receive salvation by the grace of God.

If you realize this wonderful wisdom of God, you cannot but exclaim, “Yes, this is the providence of receiving salvation by faith!”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what does it mean by becoming one with the Lord by believing in Him? We cannot be said to have true faith just by confessing with our lips, “Lord, Lord, I believe.”

We have to believe in our heart and show the evidence of our faith by our deeds.

Jesus said in John 6:56, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.”

Also, John 17:21 says, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

To eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man is to keep the Word of the Lord in our heart and put it into practice.

If we keep the Word of the Lord and practice it, we dwell in the Lord and the Lord dwells in us.

Of course, it is not easy to keep and practice all the words of truth from the moment we accept the Lord. But if we truly want and try to keep the words, God deems it as faith. The way to become united and one with the Lord is to change ourselves and resemble the Lord in this way.

If you truthfully believe in the Lord, you will definitely believe, keep, and practice His words.

You will try to keep such commands as “Be holy, get rid of sin and evil, do not compromise with unrighteousness, be honest, be truthful, love and serve one another, seek others’ benefit first,” and so on.

If the worldly people hear these words, they mighty think it is foolish.

But 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

If you have faith in the Lord, you can take the way of keeping the Word with joy, even if it is the way of sufferings.

You can go the narrow way with thanks because you believe that you are saved by living in the light and because you have the hope to enter into the beautiful heavenly kingdom.

1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
Only when you act in the Word of God who is light, will the blood of Jesus purify you from all sins.

Hebrews 10:17 says, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” Also, Psalm 103:21 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Likewise, those who repent and dwell in light will be forgiven of their sins that they committed in the past. Also, they can participate in the resurrection of the Lord and will enjoy happiness in the eternal kingdom of heaven.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, now I suppose you clearly understand the principle as to how you can be saved when you believe in the Lord Jesus.

But here, there is one more important thing you should remember. It is that there is a great difference between the name ‘Jesus’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ or ‘the Lord Jesus’.

Matthew 1:21 says, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

As said, the meaning of the name ‘Jesus’ is ‘the one who will save his people from their sins.’ It says, ‘He will save’.

However, the ‘Christ’ means ‘the anointed one’ and refers to the one who has obtained the qualification of the Savior. In Greek, it is ‘Christ’ and in Hebrew, it is ‘Messiah’.
In Korean we say the ‘Lord and Savior’ or ‘Lord’.
Therefore, when we say, ‘the Lord Jesus’ or ‘Jesus Christ’, the name carries the meaning that He has already saved His people from their sins.

Then, when did Jesus become the Savior? It was when He broke the authority of death and resurrected on the third day after He was crucified.

Therefore, the title ‘Jesus’ is used for the time He had not yet taken the cross, and to refer to the time after He resurrected, we have to say ‘Jesus Christ’.

That is why, when the disciples and the apostles prayed or preached the gospel after the resurrection of the Lord, they did not just say ‘Jesus’ but they added ‘the Lord’ or ‘the Christ’.

For example, in Acts 3:6, when Peter and John healed the lame man at the Beautiful Gate, they said, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

They did not say, ‘in the name of Jesus, walk’, but ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’.
Ephesians 5:20 also says, “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Here also, it is said, ‘in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’, not ‘in the name of Jesus’. There is a very important spiritual meaning that lies here.
Let me give you an example. Suppose a thief is standing and a policeman is approaching him. But the policeman does not know that the person is a thief.

If the thief thinks that the policeman is not aware of his guilt, he would not fear or try to run away.
But if he thinks the policeman knows about him, what would he do? He would quickly run away to avoid his arrest.

It is the same with the enemy devil. If you pray in the name of Jesus Christ knowing the providence of salvation exactly, you can have a completely different power of prayer than just to pray in the name of ‘Jesus’.

Even for the things that are not possible for you alone, because you confess and pray with the faith that it is possible in Jesus Christ the Savior, your prayer will be more powerful.

When you drive away evil spirits, you command in the name of the Lord of the Victory knowing that Jesus Christ has already broken the enemy devil’s and Satan’s authority over death. So, the evil spirits go away with trembling.

I hope you will remember this fact and pray in the name of Jesus Christ or the Lord Jesus Christ, not just in the name of Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and viewing audiences, Revelation 3:21 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

The Lord has promised us that whoever hears His voice and opens the door, He will be with him.

If any of you have not accepted the Lord yet, please open your heart at this moment, accept the Lord Jesus, and receive the forgiveness of sins.

To open the door of your heart, you should first open the door of your thoughts. When you listen to the word of God, you should not insist on your own thoughts and knowledge but accept and receive the word of God.

I hope you will not doubt thinking, ‘How can I believe in God whom I cannot see?’ ‘I cannot understand a virgin bearing Jesus or a dead person coming back to life’, but just acknowledge the power of God who is beyond human knowledge and thoughts.

Just by seeing all things in the universe, there are so many evidences of the living God. Just by seeing so many powerful works taking place in this church, we can easily see that things that are impossible by men are possible by the power of God.

No matter how wise and capable a man is, he is such a lowly being compared to the wisdom and power of God.

Therefore, we should break out of our thoughts with a humble mind and acknowledge the fact that ‘God is the almighty Creator, and His word is the truth’.

If you acknowledge this fact and open your heart, God will give you the Holy Spirit to be in you. Acts 2:38 says, “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”

Also John 1:12 says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

If you open your heart, repent, and receive the Holy Spirit, you will have true faith by the work of the Holy Spirit. You will also receive the strength to live according to God’s Word.

This is to be born again by the water and the Holy Spirit, and those who are born again become God’s children.

God will call them ‘my sons, my daughters,’ and we can call God ‘Father’.

Also, the names of God’s children will be recorded in the Book of Life in heaven, and they will gain the citizenship of the heavenly kingdom. Just as there is law to keep in this world, the citizens of the heavenly kingdom have to follow the law of the heavenly kingdom.

Namely, we have to keep the commands of God, who is the Creator and our Father. Even if we profess our faith in the Lord and have received the Holy Spirit, if we keep on committing sins not living by the Word, the enemy devil will accuse us and brings about tests and trials.
If we keep on committing sins even after being afflicted through tests and trials, our names will be blotted out. Then we will not enter the heavenly kingdom.

Only when you follow the law of the heavenly kingdom, will you not be accused by the enemy devil and Satan but stay under the protection and blessings of God until you reach the heavenly kingdom.

[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, viewing audiences, Acts 16:31 says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”
God accomplished all the process of giving salvation to us through our faith according to the strict rules of justice. The providence of salvation was accomplished by the grace of God and the love of the Lord in secret, without anybody knowing it.
When the enemy devil and Satan came to know that they had lost their authority over death after killing Jesus without knowing this secret, how mortified they must have been!

But it does not mean that the enemy devil just gave up and let men receive salvation.

Now they have changed their strategy to make people doubt so that they will not accept the Savior and to tempt them so that they will not lead a good life in faith. It is to take them into the destruction along with themselves.

To unbelievers, they work through their thoughts and give doubts such as ‘Creation is not scientific. I cannot believe it’ ‘How can a dead man come back to life?’ ‘How can we be saved just by believing in Jesus who was hung on a cross?’

They also tempt those who have already accepted the Lord so that you will want to commit sins. They put the temptations in you like ‘you will be saved just by calling the name of the Lord, even if you commit sins just like worldly people’.

But 1 Corinthians 1:21 says, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”

No matter how much the enemy devil and Satan try to hinder and tempt people, God looks for those with goodness and let them hear the gospel.

So, until today, numerous people received salvation with faith.

I hope you who are listening to this message will believe in Jesus Christ who has saved us with His amazing love and accept Him as your personal Savior.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will participate in the glory of resurrection with the resurrected Lord so that you will enjoy happiness in the eternal kingdom of heaven.

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