Subject 18 : GENESIS

[Chapter 14-3] The Life of Faith Is All about Uniting (Genesis 14:1-24)

The Life of Faith Is All about Uniting
(Genesis 14:1-24)
“And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations, that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). All these joined together in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings that were with him came and attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their mountain of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is by the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and attacked all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar. And the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and joined together in battle in the Valley of Siddim against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. Now the Valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there, and the remainder fled to the mountains. Then they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, for he dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner; and they were allies with Abram. Now when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his three hundred and eighteen trained servants who were born in his own house, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, and he and his servants attacked them and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus. So he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his brother Lot and his goods, as well as the women and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:
‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’
And he gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, ‘Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.’ But Abram said to the king of Sodom, ‘I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’—except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.’”
Genesis chapter 14 describes Abraham waging war. The region where Abraham was living at that time had many kings. Of these kings, Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations had gone to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). So, four kings fought against five kings. This took place in the ancient tribal age. It was a time when the political system was decentralized into small tribes, each with its own king. So the small area of Sodom had its own king, and other nearby regions also had their own kings.
The four kings had been ruled by the five kings and paid tributes to them, serving them for twelve years. But as these four kings rose up in rebellion together on the thirteenth year, war broke out. At that time, Abraham’s nephew Lot had left his uncle and was living in the land of Sodom, and as a subject of the king of Sodom, Lot was drawn into the war against his intention. But because the king of Sodom lost this war, Lot ended up losing all his possessions, and along with his family and his servants, he was taken captive.
Hearing this, Abraham took 318 men raised and trained in his house and rescued Lot. This is the gist of today’s Scripture reading. It is about Lot, King Melchizedek, and the faith of Abraham. From this passage we make a surprising discovery: Though it was widely known that Abraham had many workers, their number reached 318, and Abraham had raised and trained them as soldiers. And it is also amazing to see that with these workers, Abraham was able to rescue Lot’s family and recover his possessions. Abraham was the head of a tribe. In his days, a tribal head was a sovereign king over his land. This means that a single king fought and prevailed over the armies of four kings and recovered everything that was lost to them. Abraham had brought back his nephew Lot, Lot’s wife and servants, and all the possessions that the five kings had taken.
What is the Bible trying to tell us through this recorded event, and what should we learn from this passage? The lesson here is that we must unite with each other. It is that we must wage our spiritual war in unity. Abraham did not achieve this victory all on his own. Likewise, the life of faith is also led in unity, and this is the lesson that we should learn from today’s Scripture reading.
Abraham waged war with 318 men raised and trained in his house, and he recovered all the stolen possessions and kidnapped people. Likewise, when it comes to you and me serving the Lord, we have to realize that it is not by our individual strength that we serve Him, but we serve Him united together, we wage war united together, and we save souls united together. Abraham did not fight the war all by himself. Instead, he had taken 318 men under his leadership, divided them into two forces, and attacked his enemies in unison. On the night of his attack, the enemy troops were celebrating their victory. The five kings divided up the plunder amongst themselves, and they celebrated their win. It’s at this time that Abraham’s forces attacked them in two prongs. They completely destroyed the enemy camp and recovered everything that had been lost.
What can we learn from this account? When you and I are serving the Lord, we sometimes argue over who is stronger and who is smarter. This is particularly typically found in those whose faith is still immature. That’s how they lead their lives of faith. And we sometimes see the saints following a particular individual, just as some early Christians had fallen into sectarianism by identifying themselves too closely with one or another particular spiritual leader (1 Corinthians 3:4-5).
This is wrong. When it comes to leading a life of faith that serves God, we all must be united as one body. The body is one, but it has a head, ears, a neck, arms, legs and a torso. If the legs are despised for being dirty, wouldn’t the whole body be despised? They all form one body. There is nothing in our bodies that’s superfluous. Everything is necessary. Toes, ankles, knees, waist—all these body parts are indispensable. An eye should not refuse to deal with a toe just because it is dirty. All the body parts must be united, realizing that they are all necessary for one body.
The same principle holds true when it comes to serving God. United with his men, Abraham had rescued Lot and recovered what he had lost, that is because Lot was of Abraham’s own people. Abraham rescued Lot because he was Lot’s shepherd. Likewise, when it comes to saving souls, we must also lead our lives of faith just like Abraham.
When we first began our overseas mission work, there was a great deal of uncertainty over who would be able to carry out this work. When looking at each individual, everyone seemed inadequate. There did not seem to be anyone suitable. However, in carrying out God’s work to save souls, we all had something to offer from each of our assigned positions—the leader provided the overall blueprint and the workers fulfilled their assigned tasks. That is how we were able to publish our books and carry on with our foreign mission work. Like this, it is by uniting with each other that we are able to serve the Lord, save souls, fight against Satan, and defeat his servants to deliver one more soul.

Let Us All Pool Our Strengths Together and Unite with One Another According to Each of Our Gifts and Positions

There are many members in God’s Church. In carrying out God’s work, these members must all pool their strengths together to achieve their goals, each from his position and according to his gift. If we have trouble pooling our strengths together in our lives of faith, and we find ourselves too insufficient to follow the guidance of the Church, it is only because we are thinking individually, putting ourselves ahead of everyone else, and trying to lead our lives of faith on our own. It’s only because you are trying to do everything on your own that you think there isn’t much you can do, and it’s for the same reason that you fail at your goal.
The life of faith is not led individually, but it is led collectively. It is in this overall unity that we each do what is individually possible for us to do according to each of our gifts. Whatever gifts God has given us; we must use these gifts and carry out each of our tasks, wage war in unity, and work to save souls in unity. Like this, your life of faith is led united with your fellow saints, not on your own. No matter how insufficient you and I may be, we can achieve our goals if we are all united, pooling our strengths together to serve the will of God. Even though it is impossible for us to carry out God’s work individually, it is more than possible if we are united and pool our strengths together. In short, the life of faith is all about pooling each of our strengths together to serve the will of God in unity.
This principle can be applied to every aspect of our evangelical effort to save as many souls as possible regardless of where they are. In trying to preach the gospel, all of us labor in many shapes and forms. For instance, some of us befriend people to introduce our ministers to them; others even baby-sit for them while they are listening to the gospel; still others pray for them so that they would believe in the genuine gospel; and once they accept the gospel, some of us work hard to nurture them and protect them from false prophets. This is the same as pooling resources together to rescue our own people that have fallen into the hands of our enemies. It is the principle of doing God’s work. Like this, the work of saving souls must be done in unity. Such is the lesson God is teaching us through Abraham’s deeds. Although it may seem as though God focused on individuals such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God is showing us, teaching us, telling us, and lecturing us that it is neither by individual strength nor by individual faith that you and I can fulfill God’s will to spread the gospel and save souls, but this is achieved only by uniting our faith and our strengths.
The same principle applies to every spiritual work. When we look at each of our individual selves, it’s simply impossible for us to do our Lord’s work and save souls until the day He returns. If we were left on our own are we not capable of taking care of ourselves. Human nature is such that we cannot even prevail over our own thoughts and our own weaknesses, and we are prone to be defeated in our struggle against ourselves. However, even though we may be such fragile and insufficient beings, if we accept the will of God and pool our strengths together, then we can fulfill God’s will and serve Him faithfully. We must grasp this truth. When we are left alone, are we not all weak? Of course we are. But even though we are weak and powerless, if we accept the will of God and pool our strengths together to carry out God’s work of saving souls, then we will triumph like Abraham.
Why were the four kings unable to defeat Abraham’s forces? Could Abraham have won the battle if he had launched a frontal assault during daytime? Even if we assume that Abraham’s forces were well-trained while the armies of the four kings were poorly trained, could Abraham have prevailed over them so easily, given the fact that there were no less than four tribal heads with four accompanying armies? This passage implies that no matter how powerful any worldly organization is and how weak we are, if we are united together around the Lord and follow His Word, then we can prevail over it despite our insufficiencies. Even though you and I are weak and inadequate, in other words, if we pull our strengths together, accept His will, and wage our war for one purpose, then we will be able to save souls, fulfill the will of God, and triumph. That is why no life of faith should be led individually, but collectively together. In other words, we must pool our strengths together. This means that rather than falling into a slump and resigning to failure by saying, “What can I do?” you should rather be united with your fellow saints in one purpose.

Now Is the Time to Do God’s Work

Now is not the time to feel lethargic. It’s a time for us to work diligently. It’s a time when all of us must work energetically. Rather than falling into our own weaknesses, we ought to carry out God’s work. If you can’t do this alone, then you must do it together with your fellow saints. God’s work must be done in unity. For instance, Deacon Lee once suggested to me that it would be better to have a few more people correcting the draft copies of our books than just doing it all by himself. Since he had finished correcting them all, I told him to give them to others in the Church to let them take a look at the copies as well. So Evangelist Hah examined the draft copies and made a few corrections as he found some mistakes. When he told me about it, I commended him for it. And this is how all of us ought to be united in our ministry.
Let me draw an analogy to baseball. If the starting pitcher does a good job for most innings and another pitcher is brought in later on to preserve the winning scores, the team will win the game. I am like the starting pitcher, and the relief pitcher and the finishing pitcher are brought in later to win the game. We need more workers to proofread and correct the draft copies to ensure that all our books are error-free. Though it’s very hard, it’s doable if we are united.
Recently we have been receiving various questions from an American reader who has read our books. This person asked, “I have read the books that you kindly sent to me, and I have discovered a few interesting points about the concept of the baptism of Jesus. Could you explain to me about the relationship between the baptism that I have received and the baptism of Jesus Christ?” The second question was, “How can we claim to be righteous when we commit sin every day?” The third question was, “What is John’s baptism of repentance?” The fourth question was, “Do you not think that considering the baptism of Jesus as the sign of salvation is rendering His Cross irrelevant?”
Like this, foreigners are also asking similar questions that Korean Christians have asked us. Amongst these questions, there also are many dubious inquiries. The fifth question asked by this American reader demanded us to show him the statement of our faith, so that he could also believe. He continued on to ask, “Can you send me more explanations on the faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit?” And questions continued on: “Which Scripture passage shows that the Apostles placed a great deal of importance on the baptism of Jesus?” “Apart from your emphasis on Jesus’ baptism, what is written in your books is what I have already believed all along. So how is the gospel of the water and the Spirit different from my faith?” “If the gospel of the water and the Spirit is correct, then the salvation of the robber on the cross is impossible because he did not profess his faith in Jesus’ baptism. How can you explain this case?”
These are ordinary questions that can be often asked by anyone who has heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit for the first time, but some of them are absurd. I thought that I should answer them. So I asked Rev. Lee to post a Q&A section on the Internet. But when I looked at some of the answers, I felt that there was something missing. So I asked him to stop and post new answers. And I also asked all the pastors in our Churches in Korea to send me every plausible question. I then sent my answers to these questions to Pastor Shin. These questions and answers were then all edited and posted on our website. Although the Q&A section is not exhaustive, I am sure that most questions are answered. We plan to turn them into a supplement and include them in the revised edition of our first book.
Our work must be carried out in unity. In the past, I used to do everything by myself. But now, all of us must work together. By myself, I cannot pay enough detailed attention to every aspect of our ministry, but we can do a much better job if we are united and share the burden, with each of us doing his part. We must work in unity. We must serve the Lord united together. If you try to do too much on your own, you cannot succeed. That’s why we have broken down our work into different parts. Some people take care of editing the books; others take care of printing, still others take care of posting e-books. Recording my sermons and transcribing them from the audio tapes are also done separately. The same goes for praying. Everyone has a particular responsibility to take care of.

We Have Learned That Anything Is Possible If the Righteous Are United

How should one lead his life of faith? Though we are weak individually, we are strong if we are united as one. We can achieve anything by believing in the will of God. You must grasp that this is what your life of faith is all about. By yourself, you are too inadequate. This is also true for our ministers. If each branch church is not united together, and if pastors in each region go their own way to raise and spend money rather than uniting with all our Churches in Korea, then nothing will be achieved. It is doubtful that such a church can even survive, since its evangelizing effort will not bear any fruit. But what happens when we preach the gospel in unity? We hold a revival meeting once a month in our branch Churches on a rotating basis. Once the speaker has been decided on, he goes to that Church that’s holding the revival meeting to preach the Word, and the saints there prepare for it. Then the speaker preaching the Word is energized, and we are also energized while listening to the Word. Evangelization is made possible because we are united.
Our united faith is the origin of our strength. Abraham took 318 men raised and trained by him, divided them into two battalions, destroyed the enemy troops by attacking them from both sides, and brought back Lot, his family, and his possessions. What does this tell us? Does it mean that we should literally wage war? No, it teaches us that by uniting with his workers, Abraham achieved what was impossible to achieve if he did it by himself. It’s because they were united that they won the war. This is the power of our united faith. God is telling us that we must first be united together, for our unity is the source of our strength. This teaching applies to all our branch churches in Korea. If each member Church of The New Life Mission tries to spend its financial resources individually rather than pull together, nothing will be achieved. To achieve anything in this context, we would have to commit frauds as some other denominations do. However, this is not the way we work, for we are solely interested in the gospel, and this is why we are able to rise up to any and all challenges.
My fellow believers, the gospel is being spread because you are serving the gospel from each of your assigned positions, praying to the Lord and serving Him with your money, strength and time. However, you should also realize the power of unity. You need to realize that your life of faith is led properly only when you are united with your fellow saints. You are insufficient by yourself. There is not that much that you can do by yourself. When playing soccer, your team does not win the game just because you are a good player. Even the best striker is useless unless he is a team player. Sunhong Hwang, a Korean soccer player in Japan, was selected as one of the best strikers of this year. But while he was playing in the Korean soccer league, he did not perform that well. That’s probably because he did not have much support from his teammates. But in his new team in the Japanese league, he found his teammates doing their best in each of their positions, and so he could concentrate on his role as a striker for his team. And that’s why he is considered such a great player in the Japanese league.

You Need to Change the Very Concept of Your Life of Faith That You Had Until Now

When playing soccer, it’s no fun without scoring goals. It’s fun to play soccer only when you can score. Focusing exclusively on mounting an iron-clad defense is not that exciting. While it obviously makes no sense to deliberately allow the opposing team to score, it’s more exciting when the other team brings some challenge to the game. We watch and play soccer to find some excitement to relieve us from our everyday stresses.
However, it is not to show off our own strength and patience that we serve the Lord and lead our lives of faith. Rather, we are leading our lives of faith in order to fulfill the Lord’s will. That is why we must be united. Even when it comes to soccer, a team can win only if its players are united. We can successfully reach our objectives only if we pool our strengths together. Our lives of faith are all about pooling our strengths together to fulfill the will of the Lord. I admonish you to change the very concept of your life of faith. If you are all by yourself, you can’t help but waver back and forth. However, even though you are so fickle on your own, if you really want the gospel to be spread on this earth, and if your heart and faith is united with your fellow saints, then you will be able to achieve great works that is impossible to achieve all on your own, and then it will be possible for the will of God to be fulfilled.
The lesson to learn from Genesis chapter 14 is unity. I am convinced that no life of faith is led by one’s own merit alone. Some ministers complain when their desired task is assigned to someone else, but when they are actually entrusted with that task, some of them become arrogant. The task is then removed from that minister. Evangelist Jung has turned bald because of the stress coming from his responsibility to take care of our book printing process. It took us no less than a hundred sample prints to get the pink color printed on the cover page of our first English book. This happened because the color that we chose did not turn out the same when the sample cover came out. I was told that when the final printing was completed, the color will actually come out just fine, but I refused to accept it. I insisted on having a perfect sample. So the cover was printed again. The owner of the printing shop then said that the proper color will show when the book is actually printed, saying that the difference in color tone was due to the fact that it was not the final copy. But even so, I still insisted that this was not acceptable. So Evangelist Jung, who was in charge of this task, was under a great deal of stress, and that’s probably why he lost some of his hair. He once told me that his heartbeat would jump up whenever I called him, thinking that I had something to complain about and he would have to deal with the printing shop owner again. Yet despite all the stress that I gave him, he still did everything I asked from him and relayed all my requests to the printing shop owner.
Evangelist Jung is a bright man, and he was a good worker while he was still working at a company. He was a competent and skilled worker for his company, but he quit his job and started to do God’s work full-time. Even though he had been recognized for his highly competent skills, he now had trouble with this printing job, and so in self-doubt he wanted to quit his full-time ministry. But I persuaded him otherwise and he continued on with his work. Any of our ministers can do the job properly if they would just do what they are told to do. They are replaced only because they do not do what they are told to do. Anyways, the cover art of the first book was printed as it was seen in the original design because Evangelist Jung obeyed me. Now Evangelist Jung says that it was so difficult because he had too much of his own thoughts. He told me that it would have been ok if he did what I asked him to do from the beginning, but he thought that he should try different things.
You also should do what you are asked to do rather than insisting on your own thoughts. When I make a decision, I think about it for several days. If someone changes in less than a minute what took me several days of deliberation to decide, I would like to say to that person, “Why don’t you just decide it for yourself? Am I not the head of this gathering? Even if I am not so smart, you should do it as I have decided so.” Fortunately, Evangelist Jung did not object to my decision, and the cover art was printed beautifully as a result. It was achieved by uniting. And the book cover was well-received by our readers. Even though it seemed as though the sampling color was the same as the original design, a tiny difference could develop into a big difference. The color could change gradually while going through several reprints, and so it was very important to have the right color from the very beginning.
You need to realize here just how important it is for all of us to be united. Every life of faith must be led in unity with the Church, and you must learn how to unite with your fellow saints. Your life of faith is not led on an individual basis. Whatever you do individually, it is all about doing your part to achieve a greater objective—that is, it is done to ultimately achieve a greater purpose. This is what unity is all about. Had Abraham not fought in unity, he could not have secured his victory; likewise, without unity we cannot achieve our goals.
In Unity We Struggle Less to Achieve Our Victory
My fellow believers, are you struggling with your lives of faith? If you are united with your spiritual leader and your fellow saints, you will not struggle. You will in fact achieve much more. Would you be able to lead your life of faith until the day the Lord returns if you go on your own individual way? Would this be possible? No, it’s impossible. Just as I must unite myself with the will of the Lord, so must you also be united. No matter how insufficient you may be, you can become an exemplary believer if you are united with the Lord. Do you grasp this? Everything we have done so far is done in unity. Are we not spreading the gospel with the money that we raised in unity through our pledge offerings? Like this, small efforts are pooled together to produce a great strength. Everything requires unity. Everything must be done in unity.
In fact, whether we are talking about businesses, companies, churches, life of faith, or spreading the gospel of God, all will fail without unity. With unity, everything will be achieved. A failed business goes bankrupt because of the lack of unity. It fails because the employer and employees all do their own individual things. All that’s needed for a company to succeed is for the management and workers to be united and pool their strengths together. The same goes for countries. For a nation to succeed, it needs unity between its leaders and its people. But without unity, no country can succeed no matter how great its president or citizens are. Unity is indispensable.
The Japanese are said to be one of the best citizens in the world. The German people are also considered good citizens. The unique characteristic of good citizens is found in their unity. It’s said that to revive their economy after the end of World War II, Germans did not spend a matchstick to light up their cigarettes unless there were more than five smokers gathered together. That’s how they reconstructed their economy to build today’s Germany. That’s how great the power of unity is.
South Korea also went through rapid economic growth. This was in part due to the unity of the Korean people instilled during the presidency of Park Chung Hee under his strong leadership. Although President Park remains a historically controversial figure in Korea, criticized by some as a brutal military dictator and praised by others for laying the groundwork for Korea’s rapid development, it is widely recognized that the economic policies pursued under his presidency were critical to Korea’s successful industrialization. Everyone was united in this endeavor to pull the country out of its grinding poverty. The whole nation worked with the single focus to improve the livelihood of its people, and it’s out of this determined unity that the Korean economic miracle was born.
However, after the death of President Park, this unity of the Korean people began to break down, and the nation faced difficulties as a consequence. The presidents that followed Park did not foster unity. Yet when times of crises came, Koreans were once again uniting. When our country was thrown into a financial crisis in 1997 and had to seek IMF assistance, ordinary Koreans sold their gold to pay back foreign debts. That is how great the power of unity is. Even though we the righteous are individually weak, we are strong if only we are united.
Unity is absolutely indispensable to carry out God’s work. Jesus Christ is our Commander, and everyone else must be united with Him. If we are all united together from each of our positions, then we will be able to overcome this world and save the souls that are lost in it. The Church needs unity, just as our lives of faith need unity. If we unite ourselves with what the Church is doing and partake in its endeavors, then many souls will receive the remission of their sins and reach salvation. If, on the other hand, we fail to unite ourselves with the Church, then we will all perish. Without unity we will fail, but with unity we will prevail. That is how strong the power of unity is. Repeat after me: “The life of faith is all about unity.”
I am absolutely convinced that even though you are weak, if you are united with what the Church is doing, then despite your insufficiencies, you will be able to be used by God as His precious instrument and receive His blessings. However, you should also realize that no matter how smart you may be, unless you are united with the Church, you will perish. He who is united with the Church’s endeavors is the strongest. You all have certain tasks that God has entrusted to you. By faithfully carrying out these tasks is being united with the Church. That is the purpose of your life. My fellow believers, your faith and competence will grow only if you are united with what the Church is doing, even though you may not be that strong. First of all, you must unite your heart with the Church.
Unity entails that you do what your predecessors of faith ask you to do. Like everyone else, whatever I do, I do it all for the Lord. It is done by faith. You don’t unite depending on your circumstances. Rather, you unite with the Church based on the sole passion to spread the gospel. Your decision to do work in union with the Church should not depend on whether this work will be achieved or not. The same goes for your trust in the Church. To believe that God’s Church is the best among all the churches in the world is the proper faith that enables you to be united with the Church. This is unity.
Do you now realize just how important unity is? As I carry on with my ministry, I know very well that it is not done all by myself. How could I do everything by myself? If I am sharing the gospel with someone, all I can do for several hours is just that. Likewise, when I come to lecture in class at the Mission School, that’s all I can do. It’s impossible for me to do two things at the same time. Our ministry can succeed only if each and every department is in unity. We all must work for the Lord in unity. It is because of this unity that the gospel is spread and the will of the Lord is fulfilled on this earth. Unless we are united, the will of the Lord will not be achieved on this earth no matter how great our faith may be.
The Lord does not work through just anyone, but He works through those who have united their hearts with Him. God fulfills His will through those who carry out His work in unity. Unity is absolutely indispensable. If you and I are united, we will have greater power and we will be strengthened even more. If, on the other hand we are not united, then we will inevitably perish in our weaknesses and insufficiencies. Even though we profess that we are dead in Christ, but the truth is we would still be alive and end up living every day buried in ourselves.
God has given us united faith. When you realize this after receiving the remission of your sins is when you have become mature in your faith. Are you united with God’s Church? With what are you united? I admonish you to unite yourself with what the Church desires. The Church entrusts you with work and asks you to carry it out. Fulfilling this task is what unity means. Praying for the same subjects that the Church is praying for is unity. Serving the Lord, spreading the gospel, gathering together, seeking the will of the Lord—all these things are unity.
Even though you are insufficient as an individual, all that you have to do is to faithfully carry out your entrusted task, follow the Church’s endeavors in unity, and pray. It’s not that hard is it? No matter what your individual circumstance may be, no hardship is insurmountable so long as you are united with the Church. This is not done by your own individual power. Don’t you sometimes think that you are too inadequate to reach your goals? Indeed, it is by uniting with the Church that you can be used by God. All that’s required is that you do whatever pleases the Lord. Look only towards the will of the Lord without being too conscious of what others may think. Even though you all have your individual characteristics, every life of faith is invariably led by uniting with the Lord.
Even though I am insufficient, I do what God has entrusted me to do, and in this way I carry out God’s work until the day His will is fulfilled.
This sermon is also available in ebook format. Click on the book cover below.