[1 Thessalonians 5:23]
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dear congregation, we feel rich in our hearts in autumn because we have abundant crops that are ripening in the fields.
The full grains that make golden waves will compensate for the hard works of farmers and let us feel rich.
In the same way, we have spiritual harvest time as well.
In summer when there are only leaves, we do not know whether they are wheat or chaff, but in autumn they are differentiated naturally.
The farmer will gather the wheat into his barn and burn up the chaff in fire.
Therefore, we who are being cultivated on this earth must always be ready for that day.
When God the Father looks at us, we should not be chaff that is empty inside, but beautiful wheat to have the qualifications to enter the beautiful heavenly kingdom, New Jerusalem.
I urge you in the name of the Lord that you realize about yourself and resemble the Lord through today’s message on the spirit, soul, and body.
Dear congregation, members who are attending the service through the satellite all over the country, members of branch churches, branch sanctuaries, Light and Salt mission, Restaurant Mission, members who are attending the service through the Internet all over the world, and the children of Sunday School,
In the 1st spirit, soul, and body, we are looking at the body first. In the last session, I explained to you about marriage and the process of a new life being conceived and growing.
Today, in relation with conception of life in last session, we are going to consider about God’s choosing and setting apart.
In order to plan human cultivation and fulfill His providence among so many people on this earth, God sometimes sets apart a certain person and uses him or her, or sets a certain kind of criteria, and chooses and uses those who meet those conditions.
You should be able to distinguish between God’s choosing and setting apart in this sense.
When you fully understand this difference in your Christian life, you can accomplish the complete salvation in God’s will and can be a more proper vessel to be used by God.
God’s choosing is when God makes a certain frame and those who come into that frame can be chosen.
For example, to talk about salvation, God has made the frame of salvation and whoever comes into that frame can be saved.
Namely, those who accept Jesus as the Savior with faith and live according to God’s Word are chosen by God.
Some think God has chosen those who will be saved and those who will not be saved as He wants with His sovereignty.
That is why some misunderstand as if those who once accepted the Lord and are saved will anyway be led to salvation by God’s intervention even if they do not live according to God’s Word.
But our God will never do that.
Since God has already made the frame of salvation, those who come into this frame with their freewill will be chosen and be saved.
On the other hand, one will not be chosen if he does not come into the frame of salvation with his freewill, or if he once comes into the frame but goes out of it again, he will not be saved but face death just like those who have never come into this frame at all.
That is why it says in 1 Corinthians 3:17, “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
Also, Hebrews 6:4-6 says, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”
This means that if anyone who has accepted and believed in the Lord goes out of the frame of salvation, he will reach destruction.
That is why Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Therefore, those who accepted Christ as the Savior and are living according to God’s Word are said to be ‘chosen’ by God.
What, then, is being set apart?
This is when God, who knows everything and makes plans, chooses a person to accomplish the providence of human cultivation and leads his or her life in God’s will.
Abraham, who became the forefather of faith, Jacob who became the head of Israel, and Moses who was chosen for the Exodus are the examples of the ones who are set apart to fulfill God’s great commissions.
The apostle Paul also was a person who was set apart like it says in Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.”
God who knows everything about this world knows certain kind of person with certain kind of inner heart will be born at a certain time.
God sets apart a certain kind of person to accomplish God’s purpose and makes him fulfill a great duty in God’s providence.
God intervenes in every moment of the life of those who are set apart even from their conception and birth.
Wherever they go and whatever they do, they will be refined well through trials within God’s power and will fulfill their duties.
For example, the apostle Paul, as an apostle for the Gentiles, suffered unbearable hardships and was chosen to spread the gospel of the Lord to the whole world.
It was because he had such strong, brave, and unchanging heart.
He also wrote most of the New Testament to spread the will of God to the world. That is why God intervened in his life from his childhood – in his growth, education, and even the time of meeting God. God let him learn God’s Word thoroughly since childhood and study under Gamaliel to have high degree knowledge so that he could fulfill his duty.
Then, how about the case of John the Baptist?
Even his conception was controlled by God within God’s providence, and his whole life was controlled by God since his childhood to live a very different life.
He stayed alone in the wilderness not to have anything to do with this world. His clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. He did all this to prepare the way for the Lord.
It was same with Moses.
God began to work for him even before he was born. When he was thrown into the Nile, God prepared the princess at the exact time to pick him up, and let him grow up as a prince of Egypt.
Also, God made him grow up under his own mother’s care so that he could learn about God and his people as well as the knowledge of Egypt and the world.
Then, he went through trials for 40 years within God’s providence, and God called him in flames of fire from within a bush at Mount Horeb to give him the duty of leading the people of Israel to Canaan land.
God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Likewise, God knows a certain person with a certain kind of inner heart will be born at a certain time and controls his life at God’s will, and this is being set apart by God.
Dear congregation, the next part is about the ‘seed’.
We briefly learned about the seed of life in the first session, and I am going to explain about it in relation with God’s providence of giving us seed.
God gave the seed called ‘sperm’ to men and ‘egg’ to women.
God programmed the human cultivation to continue on this earth through this seed.
It is same with farming.
Farmers sow on the field to farm.
This seed can be divided into the part that is going to grow up as a plant and the other part that is storing the nutrients for the plant to grow.
And for the seed to sprout, there needs to be appropriate level of moist, temperature, light and oxygen.
Like a seed of a plant is sown, sprouts in a good environment, and grows up, the seed of human beings become a complete life through a similar process.
Namely, a sperm and an egg combine to conceive a life, and the conceived life receives nutrients from the mother and grows up in appropriate temperature and environment.
We can feel how wondrous God’s wisdom and power is just by looking at this His providence about this seed!
By the way, we should think about one thing here.
It is the fact that farmer sows and cultivates his crops in order to harvest.
It is of no use to sow good seeds and take care of them with all our effort if they do not bear any fruit.
In the same way, the reason God gives us seed of life and cultivates human beings for 6 thousand years on this earth is to harvest fruits.
What, then, is a fruit?
It is not a visible fruit like that of a plant, but is spiritual fruit related with our spirits.
In other words, the fruit we have to bear is to accomplish beautiful and good heart that resembles the Lord and to recover the lost image of God completely.
If we do not bear this fruit, we cannot go to heaven where God the Father dwells. That spirit will be of no use, and therefore be thrown into the fire of hell to be burned up.
Now, I hope you look back on yourself what kind of fruit you are bearing.
How much of the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit are you bearing?
How much spiritual love and Beatitudes are you bearing?
Only when we abundantly bear beautiful fruits that God wants will our lives be valuable and will we be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Dear congregation, now we are going to consider about the field.
I just explained that just as seeds of plants can grow when they are sown in the field, a new life can grow through the combination of a sperm and an egg.
But the field that I’m going to explain about is not of physical meaning but of spiritual meaning, which is the heart of human beings.
This is necessary to understand spirit and soul of a human being rather than body.
The Bible often compares heart of human beings who are made with dust as field.
In Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus explained about human heart as good soil, thorny field, rocky places, and along the path.
Then, how is human heart formed?
One’s character is formed by inheriting the life-force or vitality from the parents, and this character plays a crucial role in forming one’s heart.
Some say in Korea, one is born through the blood, but actually it is the life-force or vitality that one is born with. And this life-force becomes the character of a person.
What, then, is life-force or vitality?
The dictionary definition of vitality is capacity to live and develop. But we can say that it is the crystalloid of the energy from the human body.
This vitality goes into the seed of life called sperm and egg that we can’t even see with our bare eyes through God’s power.
Therefore, when a sperm and an egg combine together and a baby is born, that baby inherits the parents’ vitality and so resembles characters, personalities and even habits of the parents.
Today, by the development of genetic science, people make a plant that bears tomato on its stem and potato on its root.
The genes in potato and tomato are combined and the characteristics of each in their genes are shown.
Not only human beings but also animals and plants inherit unique characteristics in the genes to multiply continuously.
So, how wonderful a creation of God the seed of life, which is the crystalloid of energy, is!
Dear congregation, in summary, people are born with their parents’ character and they form their heart within this character.
For example, some children are meek and have patience since their birth while other children are impatient and have a lot of anger.
Then, we can see that their parents have similar personalities. Therefore, vitality or life-force is very important.
Also, one’s environment is very important in forming one’s heart.
For example, when a baby is born, he is like a field where nothing is sown yet.
Since nothing has been input in him, he is like nothing without any thoughts.
But while the baby is growing up, thoughts begin to go in him through what he sees, hears, and experiences, and these things are sown in his heart.
In other words, if something good goes into his thought, something good will be sown in his heart as well, but if something bad goes into his thought, something bad will be sown in his heart.
Therefore, generally, one’s heart is formed by the combination of genetic elements and environmental elements.
Namely, the goodness or evilness of hearts of human beings becomes different according to the field that is inherited from the parents, and what kind of things and thoughts one inputs and learns.
Only when you understand these things, will you be able to understand how yourself is formed, and you can receive strength from above in the process of changing yourself according to what you know.
For example, even if one is born with a good field from his parents, if he continues to input bad things, his soil or field will become bad.
On the other hand, even if one is born with a bad field, if he continues to input only good things, his field can be changed into a good one.
Of course, there are cases like as follows:
Even if one’s outward behavior is rough and seems evil, if he is born with meek and soft life-force, it is easier for him to change himself than others.
Since his basic soil is good, if he pulls out bad things that were input in his life and inputs good things continuously, his field will be changed into a good one more quickly.
If the original life-force that one received from his parents is evil and also he has input many bad things in his heart, more prayer and fasts are needed for him to change.
But you should know that nothing is impossible by the power of God.
Dear congregation, then, what kind of field did you have before you accepted the Lord?
How much evil have you found in yourself according to the truth?
Envy, jealousy, hatred, anger, etc. were sown in your heart.
But if you meet the Lord and live according to God’s Word, even a bad field can be changed into a good one. For example, to make a rocky field into a good field, we just have to throw the rocks away, and to make a thorny field into a good one, we just have to pull the thorns out.
In the same way, we just have to throw away what the Bible tells us to throw away and not do what the Bible tells us not to do.
Also, like we fertilize and plow the field, if we obey God’s Word that tells us to keep and do, our hearts will be changed into good ones.
If we throw away untruth and bad things and act out the truth and good things, our hearts will be changed into good fields.
This is the shortcut to becoming holy.
But if we do not act out God’s Word that we listen, it is of no use because our hearts do not change.
We would rather become proud because of the knowledge.
Therefore, what God really wants is to actually put the truth into action and throw away evil to change our hearts and make our hearts a good soil that is filled with 100% truth like that of the Lord.
Dear congregation, today, we have considered about God’s choosing and setting apart among so many people on this earth.
Also, like a seed of a plant is sown in the field, sprouts in an appropriate environment, and bears the fruit, a human life is conceived by the combination of a sperm and an egg, and we have to bear a beautiful fruit of spirit that God wants.
I also explained that it is important to think in truth and act out the truth to change our hearts into a good soil.
God blesses those who find out about themselves through these words and change themselves everyday.
Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.”
Like it is said, I bless in the name of the Lord that God’s mercy and righteousness fall upon you so that you will become beautiful wheat and enter New Jerusalem where there is God’s throne.