Subject 22 : The Gospel According to LUKE

[Chapter 1-4] Follow the Righteousness Of the Lord (Luke 1:1-25, 1:57-80)

Follow the Righteousness Of the Lord
(Luke 1:1-25)
“Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’ And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.’ And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.’ And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, ‘Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.’”
(Luke 1:57-80)
“Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her. So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. His mother answered and said, ‘No; he shall be called John.’ But they said to her, ‘There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.’ So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, ‘His name is John.’ So they all marveled. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, ‘What kind of child will this be?’ And the hand of the Lord was with him. Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: ‘Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people, And has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of His servant David, As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began, That we should be saved from our enemies And from the hand of all who hate us, To perform the mercy promised to our fathers And to remember His holy covenant, The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: To grant us that we, Being delivered from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways, To give knowledge of salvation to His people By the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.’ So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.”
Dear fellow believers, we must think well. I mean that we must think of spiritual matters first. How and what a person thinks about determines everything about him, including his actions and faith. Therefore, the issue of how a person thinks is very important. A person can have an optimistic view or a pessimistic view about the same thing depending on the way he thinks. He can go down the blessed path or down the path that leads to death according to how he thinks.
In the Bible, our Lord said, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” This shows how important the way we think is. Because we are independent individuals, we can think whatever we want. We can freely think anyway we like. There are two realms of thoughts; they are the spiritual realm and the physical realm. People think in both ways, but they can’t think of both of them simultaneously, so you must choose which one should be placed first when you think about something.
Machines and certain kinds of equipment are things that move according to how they have been programmed and have no will of their own, but God made people as independent individuals. Therefore, people can take one matter and think about it in different ways. It is extremely important to think well, and controlling one’s thoughts is likewise important. Even though we can think however we like, our thoughts must ultimately be right in order to live a proper life.
If you look again at what we have read here, you can see it is about John the Baptist and that it says at the end of chapter 1, “So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.” John the Baptist actually lived just as this prophecy.
People of course act according to their thoughts, but they are often swayed by their circumstances. One’s circumstances can even change his thoughts. I see people lately and think, ‘Why do people act like that nowadays? I really don’t understand why they think the way they do.’ The world has changed a lot in the last few years. It seems I’ve come to think this way because I haven’t changed, but since the world has changed, so have those people’s thoughts.
People are thus swayed by their circumstances, and their thoughts are also ultimately swayed by those circumstances. I can feel when I look at young people that they have grown more distant from God because they are being swayed by their circumstances. Computers that have advanced so much are swaying them. I can also feel that the world has turned its back on God a lot. Since people are swayed by their circumstances, ultimately, the more they are obsessed with computers, the more they are swayed by those computer programs.
People were influenced a lot by other people long ago. They were swayed by others. There is a Korean proverb that says, “A tree cannot grow under a big tree, but a person can grow under a great person.” People were swayed by others, protected by others, and were brought up by others. People made extremely intimate relationships and there was a lot of peace and unity in these respects. However, it is apparent that people today are living by being swayed by machines and computers. As is happening, people can think extremely narrow-mindedly and bleakly, and the result is that many people today, especially young people, are becoming distant from God. They don’t want to become distant, but they come to see themselves involuntarily becoming so. I think, ‘Oh, I guess that’s the way young people are these days. One would expect them to have the same nature as us, so why do they think like they do?’ Even though I think that way, I ultimately come to feel that they are like that because they are being swayed by their circumstances. My fellow believers, I’m not saying that computers or machines are bad things of themselves. They are good if those who use them do so usefully. All the tools of civilization made by man are that way. They are useful if those using them use them well. However, since people’s thoughts are swayed by their circumstances, a person can think incorrectly or go down the wrong path if they become totally obsessed with computers or other things and are swayed by them.
There are quite a lot of channels on cable television. There are some channels that teach us things we didn’t know before. There are channels that teach us things we haven’t personally come in contact with, such as the animal kingdom, the course of nature, and the history of the 20th century. There are other channels that spread other kinds of information. Gaining knowledge long ago was done through books; but people nowadays do so through newspapers, television, and computers. Even though they are watching television or using computers the same, the people who watch them are different. Some people think well and choose well what to accept. Those things are controlled by the person who saw them and can thus be used well by them. But some people are instead swayed by those things and can be swayed by machines through the influence of their circumstances. The influence of one’s circumstances is important as you can see above. But a person can ultimately stay near God and live a very sound and blessed life of faith according to the way he thinks. The way a person thinks is that important.
People must think in an even better fashion because they are ultimately swayed by their circumstances. But since they are swayed by their circumstances, they can think poorly because of them. The most central culture in today’s world is the culture of the Internet. The result is that many people have become addicted to it, can’t form relationships with others, and are consumed by selfishness. Put simply, they only think physically.
We must think both spiritually and physically. We must think about things in both ways, but what is critical must be determined by our spiritual thinking. So, if we think about something only in a physical aspect, then such an unbalance of our thought leads us to be carnally minded. However, it is regrettable that many people are only fascinated by physical things. They think, ‘Wow, this computer is much better than my personality or thoughts. The guy who made this program is much better than me.’ The person who thinks this way is not controlling his sensitivities, knowledge, and personality; he is being controlled by that computer program. They incorrectly think that being swayed by a computer isn’t bad at all.
But if you think about it just a little, it’s apparent that not everything in a computer is good. There are quite a lot of things that aren’t good. It would be really good to use computers appropriately, but there are a lot of people who can’t do so and blindly accept everything. If we think well when we use the computer, use only that which we need, and can just control it, we can guard our thoughts and hearts, too. Because people are existences that are swayed by their circumstances, we see a lot of situations of people being completely obsessed with those things instead of controlling them.
My fellow believers, there are quite a lot of people who blindly accept the computer and people who worship it. They don’t socialize with people; they only play on the computer. If they want to play chess or card games, all they have to do is turn on the computer. I have never formally learned how to play chess. I just play for recreation. I have played a chess program on the computer once. There are four characters in the program. There is an old man, a guy who looks like he’s in his mid-forties, an old woman, and a young woman. I chose the one who had the highest skill: the old man. I played one game of chess with the old man. While playing, I made a mistake and that old man clicked his tongue, laughed, and said, “Ha, you messed up.” When I made my first move on the game board, this old man threw back his head and hooted. So, even though it was just a computer, I was upset. That old man in the computer threw back his head and ridiculed me after just a few moves, so I looked up and grumbled on uselessly, ‘The two years I spent learning this was a waste. I guess I should learn more.’
My fellow believers, it isn’t important whether I won or lost against the computer. That program is made to entice people so they get addicted to it. People who make computer programs made them such that people would get on the computer, play to their heart’s content, and relieve stress.
My fellow believers, what is so good about struggling against the computer and winning, or what is so bad about losing? The problem is being swayed by the computer after ultimately becoming addicted to it. It suffices to just turn off the computer if things don’t turn out as they want; but they are swayed so that they can’t even do that. Almost all young people nowadays are like slaves to the computer.
My fellow believers, today’s Scripture passage says that John the Baptist was in the desert. He was not swayed by the circumstances I spoke of earlier. My fellow believers, since it is so easy for people to be swayed by their circumstances, they must stay away from those that may affect them badly. It’s all right if they are people who can be in those circumstances and triumph over them. But since people are generally swayed by their circumstances, and since they are swayed by bad things if they are in bad circumstances, it is good to totally stay away from there. If they don’t want to turn out bad, they mustn’t be in circumstances that aren’t good.
People easily think that they may not be swayed by their circumstances if their wills are firm. They may think they’ll be OK no matter where they go. But that is never the case. Because people are easily swayed in some circumstances, they should totally stay away from there. Our thoughts are the same. People are existences that are swayed by their circumstances, and so are their thoughts. If one’s thoughts are consumed in things that aren’t good, they keep going in that direction. Those thoughts become set in stone. Therefore, before our thoughts are set in stone that way, we must do what we can to not be tainted with things that aren’t good.
My fellow believers, we must think of spiritual things. We must have spiritual thoughts like the following: “Wouldn’t it be really nice if all the people of the world received the remission of their sins? More people would receive it if I used the strength and means that I have and worked for this gospel.” Then we will be swayed by spiritual thoughts. Our hearts are gratified and we feel good. My fellow believers, thoughts sway people a lot. A person can become lovely according to what they think. They can become loathsome, they can become very physical, or they can become spiritual and upright.
A person can become physical or spiritual according to what they think. My fellow believers, if people think of spiritual things, they become extremely wise, and they think and make judgments to their great benefit. The Bible also said, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” My fellow believers, if people think of world missionary work, they will use their substance for it. When they think of spiritual things this way, they are led in the right direction by those thoughts. Do people who do that receive the remission of their sins or not? They do. If we go out by thinking properly and having upright faith (even if it is small), I can’t describe how much we can accomplish. My fellow believers, we can preach the gospel to the whole world.
Most ministers think, “What do I need to do to expand my church? What do I need to do to bring a lot of people to my church? What do I need to do to build a big chapel here, become a pastor in this place, reign over the believers, and increase my annual salary?” Most people think that way and wonder what they have to do to be respected and acknowledged. They are extremely satisfied if those things are accomplished.
But think about it a little differently for a moment. We could do an amazing amount of work for God and our physical problems would also be resolved very well, if we devote ourselves to the work of spreading the gospel to the whole world, even if our Churches are small, and if we let all the people of the whole world know the gospel and receive the remission of sins by mobilizing all we have in obedience to the Word. We have two choices; to follow after the desires of our flesh or to follow after those of the Lord. We must think of spiritual things to follow after the Lord’s desires. Souls are saved if we think of spiritual things.
A hospital in the United States is sending us a lot of e-mails and ordering a lot of our books these days. In fact, we will have to send about ten books to them tomorrow. The hospital to which we are going to send them is a very big one. It’s so big that it has many smaller hospitals under it. They said that they would like to get this book as a sample and, if the reaction is good, get a lot of them and share them with people there.
I feel really good when I hear that. What is there for patients to do lying in a hospital? If our books are there, couldn’t those people who are admitted to that hospital get some interest and take a look at them? It’s a really easy read, so if they take it up and just read it, they can read it to the end. What will happen if they read it all? They will receive the remission of their sins. If our books were in a lot of hospitals, a great many people could come in contact with the gospel and be saved. I am very happy when I think of that. We can become blessed people or people not blessed according to whether we think spiritually or physically. Is that true or not?
My fellow believers, you shouldn’t think narrow-mindedly. If you look at the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12, you’ll see a story of a rich man. He had a farm and it was very successful. So, he built a bigger storehouse, put all his grain in it, and said to himself, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” But what did the Lord say to him? The Lord said, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?” We are prone to think about just physical matters like this rich man. My fellow believers, when it comes to the question of how we must think, the answer is that we must think spiritual things. Even if we are a little insufficient, our thoughts must be spiritual ones. Only then can you be swayed by those spiritual thoughts and live according to them.
But since we are people who are also swayed by our circumstances, we must take good care of ourselves. We must only have upright spiritual thoughts because we are people who are swayed by our thoughts. My fellow believers, do you know how many people there are who have been ruined because they made a mistake in thinking? People are ruined by thinking incorrectly even just once. People aren’t ruined any other way. They are ruined if they think incorrectly. There were also ministry workers who left the Church because they thought incorrectly when doing the ministry. There were people who thought, ‘If I’m in the Church, I’m busy and things are always hard in order to spread the gospel. It would be better to leave and work and live for myself than to have such a hard time surviving now.’
My fellow believers, wouldn’t it be great to think that way? They start thinking that it would be really nice to not spend any of their money on others but use all of it for themselves, their wives, and their children. That’s how they end up leaving the Church. But they can’t even save $10,000 a year by working themselves to death and using the money they earn in a month to pay this and that and feed themselves.
They can’t do righteous work because they thought incorrectly. My fellow believers, a person can’t do a single righteous work if he leaves the Church. They can never do righteous work if they leave the Church, even if they are powerful men with the ability to influence this world. Why? It’s because their thoughts are all physical, and not spiritual. It’s because they are swayed by their thoughts of the flesh. There are many people who spend their lives vainly that way. They aren’t that way because they haven’t been saved. They are that way because they thought incorrectly in all their thoughts. So, the Bible said that to be spiritually minded is life and peace. That means that spiritual thoughts give people life, peace, and joy.
But to be carnally minded is death. Not only do people who think that way die themselves, but they come to kill others, also. Who would ever want to be like Hitler? Who would ever want to be like Kim Ilsung, the former dictator of North Korea? Who would ever want to be a person who committed a holocaust and was condemned by everyone? Everyone wants to be upright. But one doesn’t become upright just because he wants to. A person becomes who he is according to how he thinks.
Therefore, we have to think well. Do you understand? All of us have to think well, including the students and young adults here. People become shaky if their thoughts are shaky and they are ultimately ruined. If they think ruinous thoughts, they will be ruined. Even if you didn’t do anything through your actions, you will turn out that way according to how you think. Therefore, we have to think well.
A person will be ruined even by thinking incorrectly just once. It was really hard for me a long time ago taking this gospel and doing God’s work. I thought, “Should I just water down the gospel? If I didn’t speak of baptism and just covered most of the gospel when I preach sermons, it wouldn’t be so hard and people wouldn’t fight against me. They’ll probably be fooled if I don’t teach the true gospel but only go as far as saying people have no sins and that they will get the Spirit if they pray, make a show of things, and excite their emotions.”
My fellow believers, can people blindly receive the Spirit in their hearts? Can the sins in one’s heart disappear by blind repentance only? They can do absolutely nothing if someone tells them, “You have no sins in theory, but you have them in actuality, and you’re that way because you’re insufficient.” People are totally bound if someone says to them, “You have to be spiritual. You need to repent more.” They cannot help but be bound if that happens. So, a preacher that preaches that sort of thing ultimately comes to rule over the saints. People below him become just like imbeciles, and the preacher is held up like a god. He is seen as a god that people must hold up in their hearts. So, what will happen in that situation? That preacher is received wherever he goes, he gets greedier, collects money inappropriately, buys land, buys a house, buys buildings, and buys stuff in the names of his wife and son because he still isn’t satisfied. Then, when he retires, he takes his retirement money and retires loaded with honors.
My fellow believers, a person who behaves that way may be full, but ultimately he dies himself and kills others. He doesn’t work with the intent to save others; what he does is just like working with the intent to kill. He kills everyone just as if he stabbed them in the gut with a knife or stuck them repeatedly with needles. He kills everyone’s souls, makes them go to hell, and makes them cursed before God just so he can eat and live well.
How a person thinks is important. My fellow believers, I also have a lot of temptations like that. I thought, ‘I’m insufficient, but I’ll never be like that. I couldn’t be that way even if I did the worst jobs because I had no money.’ If I hadn’t done God’s work, I probably would have worked hard to make money like you do. People must tenaciously earn money somehow and use it appropriately when they spend it, just like the proverb that says, “Narrow gathered, widely spent.”
My fellow believers, people are swayed by their circumstances and by their thoughts. Even though you received the remission of your sins, you must think correctly to live yourself and live a life of saving other souls too. You must also pick your circumstances well. My fellow believers, we must govern our thoughts and circumstances well. No matter what we do, we must think spiritually, do spiritual work, and put ourselves in spiritual circumstances. Only then can you and I become blessed people before God and people who share those blessings with others. That is how extremely important it is to put your and my thoughts and circumstances into spiritual things.
If John the Baptist had not been in the desert, but was instead among other people or was in the ranks of the corrupt high priests, he probably could not have done the work of salvation of transferring all sins to Jesus as the representative of mankind. John the Baptist was actually the descendant of Aaron. Therefore, he was a person with the qualifications to perform the duties of a high priest. That was his station in life. But if he had been in the ranks of the corrupt world, he would have become just like the people of the world. Jesus would not have gone to him. He would have thought, ‘I can’t go to him. I guess I’ll have to send another of My servants.’
That’s right. My fellow believers, God therefore clothed John the Baptist in the fullness of the Spirit from the time he was in his mother’s womb. Of course, he can’t be compared to Jesus who was absolutely perfect, but God blessed him so that the Spirit entered his heart from the time he was in his mother’s womb and from the time he was conceived. Therefore, John the Baptist thought differently than most people. He was in the desert and when he had come of age, was able to shout at people, “Repent, you brood of vipers!” He could speak to people boldly because he was bold. He could speak boldly and clearly according to the Lord’s will, saying, “You are a brood of vipers. Repent! The ax is laid to the roots of the trees and whoever does not bear fruits of repentance or those who only repent by word will be cut down and cast into the fire.” He was such a bold servant of God that everyone who heard him preaching and yelling returned to God. He accomplished all the responsibilities he was given by the Lord to meet Jesus and transfer all the sins of this world to Him.
My fellow believers, what causes your faith to enter onto the wrong path? Why do you not follow the Lord but instead get caught up in the perdition of the world? It is because of thinking incorrectly. Blessings or curses come according to how you think.
Six months prior to Jesus Christ, God the Father sent the representative of mankind to this world: He was John the Baptist who would baptize Jesus and transfer all sins to Him. His name was John, and he was called John the Baptist because he baptized Jesus and the people of his day. God loves us and sent two servants to this earth in order to save us from all our sins. One of them was Jesus Christ and the other was John the Baptist. I can’t express how fortunate it is that God sent them, and I can’t describe how thankful I am. I am very thankful to the Lord.
My fellow believers, God the Father sent two servants to this earth. He eliminated all your sins and mine by first sending John the Baptist, the representative of mankind who would transfer all their sins to Jesus and then sending His Son who is the Savior of mankind. God the Father accomplished all the work of our salvation by sending these two servants. My fellow believers, I can’t express how grateful and thankful I am when I think spiritually about these facts.
If you think that God the Father really didn’t send John the Baptist or that Jesus Christ didn’t come to this earth, how could you or I become sinless people? God sent these two people in order to make you and me sinless, to make you and me righteous, to give you and me the Kingdom of Heaven, and to give us the blessing of becoming His children. God the Father prepared two people in Heaven and sent them to this earth in order to make you and me blessed and to make you and me workers in righteousness.
One of those two was John the Baptist. He was a descendant of Aaron. Aaron was the older brother of Moses and the first high priest in the Old Testament era. He was the first. There was a High Priest senior to him, and that was Melchizedek in Genesis. He was Jesus Christ of Heaven. The Bible says that Abraham tithed a tenth of what he had to the high priest, Melchizedek. Melchizedek was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, and He eliminated all the sins of you, me, and all mankind. Jesus Christ was in Heaven from the beginning. He was there from the beginning as the High Priest in Heaven who eliminates all our sins.
If you look at the Old Testament, God gave the Sacrificial System of the Tabernacle to Aaron, the older brother of Moses, and He made him the High Priest. But Aaron had children, they had children, and those children had children, and the people in that family became so many over time that David set an order for the duties of the priests. He set an order that several priests would do the duties each half-month. This is usually referred to as the division of priests, but there was a priest named Zacharias who was a descendant in the division of the priest Abijah. When his turn came and he was in the Sanctuary to do his duties for the Israelites, God spoke to Him through the angel Gabriel. God said, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.” He also said, “And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” God the Father first sent His servant John the Baptist to Israel six months prior to Jesus Christ.
It was completely a time of Dark Ages in Israel because the Israelites had no prophet for about 400 years after Malachi. There were no servants of God. So, the Israelites couldn’t help but wander like a lost herd of sheep, and they served any god that came around. The Israelites had been invaded frequently by their enemies before Jesus came, and they fought to the death under the command of the Maccabees in order to preserve their nation. Those soldiers ultimately all died. It was a rough period for Israel for 400 years before Jesus came, and there were no servants of God.
In those circumstances, God sent John the Baptist who would become the representative of mankind. God told Zacharias, “Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. You will also have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.” Who is it here who is called a great person as the representative of mankind? He is John the Baptist whom God sent to this world through Elizabeth.
Why did God send him then? He did so in order “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” He had the role of making all the people of the world know God’s heart.
People of those days didn’t know God’s heart. So, God had the Holy Spirit come into John the Baptist’s heart, and the Spirit let the Israelites know how much He loved them and the whole world, and how angry God would be if they didn’t return to Him. John the Baptist turned “the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” God said He would make the disobedient into the righteous and bestow compassion on them.
All people disobey God. They can’t obey Him. All mankind is disobedient, and John the Baptist is the person who makes them receive the blessing of becoming the righteous. John the Baptist is the person who helps us enter the Kingdom of Heaven and live there by making us become God’s people. We must spiritually think of and awaken to John the Baptist whom God sent. Spiritually speaking, it was very fortunate and useful for us that God sent John the Baptist, and we can know how upright that decision of God was. We can realize how beneficial God’s plan and the execution of it are to us.
My fellow believers, God, through John the Baptist and the work Jesus would do, had us serve God without fear and in holiness and righteousness before Him our whole lives. He made us sinless people our entire lives and for eternity, and gave us blessed salvation to serve Him in righteousness without fear. God let people who would believe in Him know of the remission of sins through John the Baptist. We came to know through John the Baptist that God the Father sent Jesus Christ and saved us. Therefore, we are very grateful that He planned to send John the Baptist prior to Jesus Christ and executed that plan exactly as He planned.
John the Baptist transferred all the sins of mankind including all your sins and mine to Jesus by baptizing Him. We have become sinless people in faith because of him. We can now stand with sure faith through what he did. God made us righteous people as it says in the Bible, “Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” He has made us into His people who have no sin. He has made us into very blessed people. He rescued us from death and destruction, and He guided “our feet into the way of peace.” God the Father did these things by sending John the Baptist and Jesus.
We are truly able to give thanks this Christmas by thinking spiritually and looking at things spiritually. We are able to know that God personally sent John the Baptist in order to transfer all our sins to Jesus, that He by His power had John the Baptist born in this world and had him transfer all our sins to Jesus Christ, and that He sent John the Baptist because He loves us. The more we awaken to that grace, the more truly grateful we are.
My fellow believers, I hope you think really well. We can get blessings and live with our feet and hearts on the path of peace for the rest of our lives by thinking well spiritually. God gave us these kinds of blessings. Therefore, we must not make our thoughts according to the value system of this world; we must make them at least a little spiritual. This Christmas, let’s be grateful that God sent Jesus Christ and John the Baptist to this earth. Hallelujah!
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Sermons on the Gospel of Luke (II) - WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL FAITH?