[1 John 2: 24-25] [1 John 2: 15 -16]
“24Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life.”
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.”
In 2 Corinthians 11:2, the apostle Paul says, “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
Also many other parts of the Bible refer to Jesus Christ as our Savior and the bridegroom of the believers who are saved.
Believers are all brides of the Lord regardless of their gender, and each day of our lives on this earth is the time to prepare ourselves as brides before the wedding banquet because the Lord that is coming soon.
Even the brides in this world make themselves beautiful by taking care of their skin, body, and with a beautiful dress and so on to look more beautiful in the eyes of the groom.
In the same way, we should prepare ourselves to look beautiful in the sight of the Lord, and this is not to be done only physically. We also have to make our spirit, soul, and body the most beautiful too as brides of the Lord.
Furthermore, since we are living in the end of the time just before the Lord’s return, we have to finish the preparations quickly as we wait for the wedding banquet. That is why 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “23Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Once the groom comes, we cannot say “Please wait a minute, I’m not ready yet.”
We have to accomplish complete sanctification before the Lord comes, and then we have to keep ourselves holy without getting dirty again. Only those brides whose whole spirit, soul, and body are holy can see the face of the Lord, the bridegroom, and be lovingly hugged by Him. Do you all want to finish your preparations to receive the Lord quickly?
For you who have this longing, there is a special lecture on the preparation as brides, and it is the messages on spirit, soul, and body. It is preached during the Sunday morning services. If you keep each message in your mind, your spirit will be beautifully changed and at the same time your body will also become holy and blameless.
I bless in the name of the Lord that, through this message, that you will be able to confess boldly before the Lord, “Come! Lord Jesus!”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, members who are attending the service through the satellite all over the country, members of branch churches, local sanctuaries, Light and Salt Mission, Restaurant Mission, those who are attending the service on the Internet all over the world, and children of Sunday School, this is the 9th session of the 3rd part of the lectures on spirit, soul, and body.
The spirit, soul, and body of the believers should not be the spirit, soul, and body belonging to flesh that will perish, but those belonging to spirit. For this, we have to cast off elements of flesh in them. First of all, we have to cast off the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
If we have these things, we don’t want to cast off things of the flesh but rather we want to like them and possess them even more. But to cast off the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, we first have to know what these things are. Today, I will explain about the pride of life.
“Pride of life” is “the vanity and boastfulness in our nature shown in following after the pleasures of this life.” It is the desire to boast about the things of the flesh and to brag about oneself. So, this kind of person seeks many of the fleshly things of this life.
When you hear the conversations of worldly people, there are so many boastings in them. If you listen to elderly people talking to one another, you can often hear that once they were such great people.
A large portion of their conversation consists of boasting about their family, gifts they received from their children, and that their grandchildren are smart and pretty and so on.
When women gather together, they usually boast about their husbands, expensive clothes, the house, or their jewelry.
They want others to recognize their appearance or talents. They boast that they have close relationships with some famous people.
Likewise, those who value wealth, fame, knowledge, talents, and appearances of this world enthusiastically seek the pride of life in order to be recognized by others through these things.
They do not consider truth, goodness, and eternal things valuable, but only the things that they can brag and boast about in this world. So, sometimes, they even use evil ways to get these worldly things.
Sometimes they cheat others to gain wealth or authority, or they take other people’s things.
They may slander and plot against competitors, or use bribery and violence. Some people may use any method needed to get their own way. However, even if you gain good things with this kind of untruthfulness, what good would they do to you?
Psalm 103:15 says, “15As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.” We can never gain true value and life with anything of this world with which we can boast. We can see this well from the rich man portrayed in Luke chapter 16.
This rich man lived such a splendid life having many servants and partying everyday, but because he did not believe in God, he had to receive punishment in the fire of Hades after his death.
Even though he had such great abundance on this earth, after his death, he could not even get even a drop of water to cool his tongue. Therefore, the wealth and splendor he had before became completely meaningless and worthless after his death.
Even King Solomon, who enjoyed great wealth and honor as a king of Israel, during the last years of his life confessed of vanities as follows in Ecclesiastes 1:2-3;
‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ 3What profit has a man from all his labor
in which he toils under the sun?'” He realized that he could not gain eternal life or true satisfaction with the glories of this world.
Moreover, the wealth and honor of this world can be taken away in a moment even though you have so much of it. Just as in case of Korea, there were many people who had great authority and were caught up in the pride of life but whose end was a miserable existence.
At one point of time they had such great authority that it is said they could even command a bird flying in the air to fall down. But now they live hiding themselves from the public.
In case of businessmen, many fell into difficult situations by bribing politicians or doing some unlawful things.
There are also people who indulged themselves in luxury and ended up having financial and economic problems.
Furthermore, those who try to impress others by building themselves up seeking the pride of life will come to have no peace with other people due to their arrogance. They may become the object of jealousy and envy, but there is the bigger problem is that God stays away from and does not help those who seek the pride of life.
Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
Though they join forces,[a] none will go unpunished.”
James 4:16 says, “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” In the Bible we can see those who sought their own pride in evil ways, were forsaken by God, and fell into destruction. One of them is King Saul, the first king of Israel.
At first when he was anointed as the king, he did not try to lift himself or flaunt himself to become the king, but felt embarrassed and tried to hide himself.
But once he became the king and tasted the power of the king, he later violated God’s commands for his own glory. Once, God commanded Saul to destroy Amalek, all its people and animals. So, Saul attached Amalek, but he spared the best of the sheep and the cattle, and captured the king of Amalek and brought him back as a prisoner of war.
He did not want to completely destroy the good sheep and cattle too, and he thought it would be more glorious for him to bring and parade the king of the enemy.
Due to his greed and pride of life, he disobeyed God. So, God sent Samuel to tell him that due to his disobedience God had forsaken him.
What, then, did Saul do? Did he repent immediately and asked for forgiveness? He did not do that.
1 Samuel 15:30 says, “Then he said, ‘I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD your God.'”
Saul said ‘I have sinned’ but he did not have any humble mind nor did he want to be forgiven. He was only interested in lifting himself up.
That is why he was asking Samuel to return with him to honor him before the elders and people of Israel. Saul finally could not receive a chance to be forgiven.
In the end, he faced a miserable death in a war against the Gentiles. He sought fame and honor, but because of this he lost his life.
So seeking the pride of life all became vanity. Even though he was a king on this earth, it was meaningless when he went to hell.
Therefore, we should realize that seeking the pride of life and trying to lift up ourselves does not benefit us in the spiritual sense but rather it would cause us to commit sins before God and bring destruction.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:31 says, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Earlier it was said, “Do not boast,” but now it tells us to boast. But this boasting is not to seek our own glory in this world that is meaningless, and to boast and lift up ourselves, but it is to boast of the glory of the living God.
Namely, it is to boast about the cross of the Lord who saved us and about the kingdom of heaven that He prepared for us. Also, we should boast about the grace, blessings, glory and whatever God has given to us.
The blessings and glory that God gives to us are not perishable or changeable. They are eternal both on this earth and in the kingdom of heaven. They are truly valuable.
Seeking and boasting in these things is to give glory to God, and it is the way for our spirit to be well-off and for us to receive heavenly rewards. This boasting in the Lord will not only glorify God but also plant faith and hope and the enthusiasm to seek spiritual things in the hearts of the listeners. That is why sometimes the church gives honor or a prize to those who have been very faithful for God’s kingdom or to those who glorified God greatly.
I also have been boasting in the Lord since I was a new believer. In revival meetings or overseas crusades, I first boast about the God whom I met and experienced. I boast about the God who healed me from incurable diseases and blessed me to get out of seemingly inescapable poverty and have wealth. I boast about the God who gave happiness and peace to my whole family.
I boast about the God who called me, a person that was living in wretched conditions, and He let me perform God’s power and preach the gospel to countless people.
Then, this boasting becomes life and faith to the listeners so that countless people come into the gate of salvation at one time. Do you also boast your blessings that you received in your life in faith and experiences?
Also, I know you boast the true church, the shepherd who leads you to truly believe in the Lord, and to meet and experience the living God. Even at this time, as you are changed into greater truth and live a faithful and truthful life, the words of your lips will have more authority in the ears of the worldly people, and you will be able to glorify God as much. I hope you will boast in the Lord as much as you can so that you will save many souls and give glory to God.
Dear brothers and sister in Christ, since I was a new believer and led a very enthusiastic Christian life and since I first experienced God’s grace, I loved only God first so that God took the responsibility for my family and my children with more blessings. One of the blessings was that my first daughter won many prizes in school.
Even though she did not have any extra tuition to give and she did not attend special after school learning sessions, she received many prizes in many different kinds of competition, so there were many-many certificates in the house. One day, I wondered how many award certificates there were and posted them on the wall. Amazingly, from that day on, my first daughter could not win any more prizes. As time went on, I wondered why, and I remembered the posting of the certificates.
I did not think I did it with my own pride or to seek the pride of life, but God was not pleased with even that kind of thing, and let me realize it.
I urge you to check your heart carefully in everything. Of course, those of you who have been listening to the gospel of holiness would not take so much interest in boasting of earthly things.
Because you know how meaningless the glory of this world is, most of you do not boast with worldly fame, knowledge, authority, or wealth.
But in some cases, they seek the pride of life within the life of faith and in the church, but they do not realize it themselves. On the outside, it seems to be boasting in the Lord, but in the depth of their heart, they want to be recognized by others that they are great persons. For example, they want other people to lift them up and acknowledge them for the fact that they have been attending this church for a long time, that they have many titles, that they know many spiritual secrets, or that they have a close relationship with spiritual men.
Also, if you hear spiritual things through spiritual ears and see through spiritual eyes that have been opened, when you tell these things to other people, you should check within you what kind of heart motivates you to talk about it.
If you truly want to share the grace and give glory to the Lord, you will first see whether it is really appropriate to tell what you know, and you will talk about it considering the level of the listener’s faith and heart. As Romans 15:2-3 says, “2Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me,'”
You must speak for edification of God. But some people tell something with the heart that wants to be recognized that they are men of spirit and they love the Lord and shepherd so much.
In this case, it does not lead to edification but becomes one’s own boasting. For another example, you can check how much pride of life you have if you check your heart when you receive either praise or reproach from other people. If you have no pride of life, you will not feel high by praise or get discouraged by a reproach. When you receive praise, you will check yourself once more, and even when you receive a reproach, you will be thankful that you can realize yourself once more and keep on trying hard to change yourself.
I urge you, in the name of the Lord, to check your words and actions so you do not let any pride of life come into your heart, which makes you eager to be acknowledged and lifted by others.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Phillipians 3:20-21 says, “20For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
You and I who believe in the Lord have our citizenship in heaven, no matter where we live right now. But not all the heavenly citizens have the same glory. According to what kind of glory each person sought during the life on this earth, the glory of each one will be different in heaven.
The more you boast in the Lord and give glory to God, the brighter glory you will receive in heaven. To those who glorify Him, God certainly gives His blessings even on this earth, but in heaven, He gives respective glory strictly to each one according to His justice.
As John 13:32 says, “32If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately,” God will reveal how each one gave glory to Him and make him or her His eternal glory in front of countless heavenly hosts, angels, and the citizens of heaven.
I urge you to cast off all desires to seek good things of this earth and not to boast of them. I also urge you to seek only the glory of the Father God by putting your hope in eternal heaven, not trying to gain any glory of this earth.
And so, I bless in the name of our Lord that you boast and give to glory to God for the things of this earth and the things of heaven that are given by God.