< 1 John 4:7-13 >
�Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.?/b>
The Holy Spirit Is in the Hearts of Those Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
We are now spreading the true gospel all over the world. Without wasting a second of our lives, we want to devote ourselves to witnessing the gospel to the water and the Spirit.
Everyone knows that the Apostle John is called as �the Apostle of love.?That is because the Apostle John not only knew but also believed in Jesus Christ who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He was one of the four intimate disciples of Jesus, but was also called son of thunder because of his impatient personality. Still, the Apostle John was a true believer in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit (1 John 5:7-9).
We have in our hearts the same faith and Holy Spirit that the Apostle John had. And therefore, we are happy to provide the spiritual food of the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to the thirsty souls all around the world. We are evermore thankful to God because God�s Holy Spirit in our hearts enables us to carry out this precious task.
1 John 4:13 states, �By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.?/i> God the Holy Spirit resides in the hearts of those who received the remission of sin. Have you received the remission of your sins by believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit in your hearts? If so, the Holy Spirit is within your hearts. This is the unchanging truth. The Holy Spirit is with those who have received the remission of sin in their hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Consequently, the born again, who believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, can truthfully do the works of God.
Just like Jesus started preaching the gospel after being tempted for 40 days in the desert when He was led out to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit in the hearts of the saints is guiding and training them so that they may be able to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the world. If any person believes that he has received the remission of sin through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, he clearly knows that the Holy Spirit dwells in his heart. Thus, we have to devote ourselves to spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that those souls still in need of remission of sin can become born again.
Those who have the Holy Spirit in their hearts believe that God is alive, and that He has saved us from the sins of this world. Every believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit witness the living God through their own lives. There is no other way but to witness to the love of God for those who believe in the saving Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is in their hearts, they labor for the salvation of unsaved souls.
We have become the righteous by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What then is the life of a righteous saint like? If we the righteous refuse to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it would be betraying the love of our Lord. If a righteous person does not want to live for the righteousness of God, he will be treated like the salt that loses its flavor. The Bible states that such salt is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Matthew 5:13).
The Apostle John Admonishes Us to Live Our Lives Loving One Another
The Apostle says, �Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love?(1 John 4:7-8).
God is love itself, and we who have been blessed with the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have become the possessors of His love of the Truth. And it is proper for us to love the souls of the others by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God�s children who are put on with God�s love must save those who are still struggling with sins in the swamp of death.
We begin knowing God by believing and recognizing the love of God that is revealed through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The word �true love?is truly the most appropriate to describe God. God is our Savior, holy and merciful and almighty. We have to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order not just to meet with God but also to receive remission of sin in our hearts. And by believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, we have become the children of God and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is our effort in the works for the salvation of others. We have to live for the purpose of delivering all the lost souls of the world from their sins. Truthfully, we are living the life of Jesus because we have the His love in our hearts. It is possible for us to live for this godly purpose because the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts for eternity.
If the Holy Spirit were not in our hearts, we would be unable to do the works of God. People in their essence are beings consisting of all but 100% selfish genes. As such, people cannot help themselves but live their lives selfishly. We can do the good works of God only because the love of God is in our hearts through the gospel of the water and the Spirit The Holy Spirit of God is alive in our hearts alongside the gospel of the water and the Spirit, helping us to participate in God�s work of salvation.
The imperative duty for Christians who possess the Holy Spirit in their hearts is to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the work commissioned to the righteous. If a Christian forgets one�s divine duty and lives only for oneself, that person has become nothing. If a person does not have love for others after receiving the remission of sin, that person cannot be a child of God. Because the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of the righteous, they cannot help but to participate in the ministry of God�s salvation out of their love for everyone. We have all come to live a spiritual life within the Holy Spirit and through the gospel Truth in the water and the Spirit.
If you do not possess God�s mercy in your heart, you still don�t have the Holy Spirit in your heart either. Despite your belief in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will be like flavorless salt, if you live only for your own desires of flesh. One must keep one�s Christian duty to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the world.
This is why we have to reflect on what we are going to live for. Especially, since we are living in this end times, when the love of many are growing cold because lawlessness abounds (Matthew 24:12), we should recognize that many people are perishing without having heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Right now, we have to participate in the works of saving others?souls through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we are not led by the Holy Spirit to participate in the ministry of saving others, we surely will sink to the evildoers who just seek their own desires of flesh, and consequently, we will become useless to God�s Church and the world alike.
One thing we must remember is that we must discern our duty and status in our lives. Are we working for the salvation of others, or killing their souls? We have to carefully discern whether we are living to save others or to kill others.
I can behave righteously for the purpose of the spread of God�s gospel. It is possible for all Christians to have a passion for the salvation of others. Otherwise, how could we do so many of God�s works? We are trying to do more of God�s works through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As Revelation 6:2 reports, we are going out with our Commander Jesus to conquer the enemy time after time. The reason for our ability to do God�s work lies with the good heart God has granted us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Is there anyone who still has sins in one�s heart among us? That person must introspectively reexamine oneself and recommit one�s faith to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have to first discern whether we are completely delivered from the sins of our hearts through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only then can we participate in the works of God�s salvation of others.
If a person is still immature in one�s faith after one has been cleansed from all of one�s sins, the person is prone to live for one�s own benefits. That kind of person remains an immature Christian. However, as one�s faith grows, one eventually comes to a realization that participating in God�s works of salvation is quite joyful. Furthermore, one feels a certain level of satisfaction as one commits oneself to the works of salvation of others. When we live in a state of immature faith, the joys are momentary and adversity many. On the other hand, as our faith grows in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we become increasingly joyful because of our participation in God�s works of salvation. At that level, we feel the emptiness and restlessness of life if we stop the works of God�s salvation even for a moment.
My fellow believers, you may ask where it says that in the Bible. And I would answer, God has already said to us with His Word: �Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God����?(1 John 4:7).
That is, one who loves knows God and is born of God. One who can love others possesses a mature faith.
My friends, would you believe that over ten thousand people died in Europe this summer because of hot weather? But it is true. CNN reported that almost twenty thousand people died in this disaster. The abnormal weather has killed so many people.
The Lord said, �And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet?(Matthew 24:6). As such, we are living in the end times and do not have the luxury of time. Hence, it is imperative for us to recognize how to live as the righteous. We have to live for the righteous works of God, being led by the Holy Spirit through the predecessors who are ahead of us spiritually in God�s Church.
You now have to decide in your heart whether you are going to live a life of salvation for others or that of killing others. You will be given chances to live righteously by the Lord�s guidance, only if you are determined to live your life for the righteous works of God. If we do not live for the purpose of the righteous works of God, our time would be wasted, flowing away like a constant stream. Thus, we have to use our time wisely, looking for chances to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have to keep in mind the Scripture passage that says, �See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil?(Ephesians 5:15-16). If we fail to do so, we will live a life of regret and eventually will be used by Satan the Devil, losing the faith in our souls.
My fellow saints, although I am a person of many flaws, I still have the compassionate heart for the salvation of others. Because we have in our hearts the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can practice the merciful love of God. We can live a victorious life because God�s compassionate love is already included in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which we believe.
We Have to Care for Each Other
1 John 4:12 reads, �No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.?/i>
Have you ever seen God? No one has seen God with one�s physical eyes. However, we have come to know God through Jesus Christ, and His love was inscribed onto our hearts. Today�s Scripture passage says that if we love one another, God already abides in us and His love has been perfected in us.
God has cleansed all our sins when we were still sinners through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has further made us into His holy people and adopted us as His children. Instead of condemning us to death, God has given us new life. This is the love of God. Because we have received new life through the love of God, we also have to participate in God�s works of saving others. God�s Church has to become a place where such believers dwell.
I want to tell you that you and I should be faithful to our duty in God�s works. Married men and women are faithfully participating in serving the gospel. Young men and women in Christ are serving the Lord for the same purpose. Even the youngsters, boys and girls in God�s Church, are dong their parts in the works of salvation for others. Our physical shortcomings do not matter when we do the works of God. Once we finish one task that God has given us, He gives another task of saving others?souls. We are joyous as we faithfully attend to the new task.
If only we commit ourselves to work for the salvation of others, why would God not take care of our physical shortcomings? Isn�t that why God has saved us? Hasn�t God overlooked our flaws?
Therefore, a recent born-again saint should respect the spiritually mature persons in Christ for that reason. Sometimes, people become rebellious once they are revived and nurtured in the Word of God. Children often stand against their parents, ignoring all their parents?favors. In order not to disparage our spiritual leader, we have to realize how much God has loved us through them. If we work for the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the right way, we come to realize how much the leaders and the predecessors in God�s Church have been tolerant of us. Once we realize how much love we have received from God, we become able to convey the same love to others.
Just as our Lord has not weighed our physical strength or our piety in His decision to save us, we have to live by faith. Just as our Lord has looked at the center of our hearts, we have to live by faith in our hearts and not by our flesh. We often observe brothers and sisters in God�s Church trying to live faithfully for the purpose of the gospel. If a person is living so for the purpose of spreading the gospel, we must tolerate that person�s physical shortcomings. The Scripture tells us, �Love covers all sins?(Proverbs 10:12). The Apostle Peter also admonishes us, �And above all things have fervent love for one another, for �love will cover a multitude of sins�� (1 Peter 4:8). There is no fear in God�s love.
A person who commits himself to save the souls of others would overlook any flaw of another person and concentrate all his efforts on his commitment. If we were truly living for God, we would be like that. However, we often live quite differently because our faith is immature. Therefore, we have to learn from the faith of those spiritually ahead of us.
You and I are serving others as well as trying to save the souls. What does the Lord say? He says those who have come first should serve the ones that have come last. Just because we are serving a flock of sheep that is still immature, does that mean that we have to wash their feet quite literally and just wash their faces and feed them? Of course, if we were serving infants, we would do so. However, as they grow in their spiritual maturity little by little, we have to hold them, guide them, and pray for them in our efforts to teach them the truth for their spiritual growth. We may have to help them with big problems, but we must also let them resolve some of the small problems on their own.
We have to be decisive, committing our hearts to live by faith. Our predecessors in faith have suffered so that we may live faithfully our lives as Christian in these decaying days.
Even the immature in faith still serve God somehow, but they must imitate the faith of their predecessors who are working on the salvation of others. What they should imitate is not their predecessors?physical attributes but their hearts, which is single-minded on serving God. We should learn to value the preciousness of others instead of their weaknesses: �The person has really precious mind. He is doing works of salvation for others, even though he has such and such flaws. He is doing God�s works so vigorously with his whole heart!?
We will lose a lot, if we fight with one another. We can go as far as killing another person completely. Do you want to lead in killing people? If we don�t want to be used for evil purpose, we must live for the salvation of others. As it is said that �God is love,?because of that love within us, we are able to do the works of saving others. To follow God�s will is to work for the salvation of others.
Those who are born again by their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit live with the single purpose of bringing salvation to the unsaved. We must determine ourselves to live the righteous lives so that the purpose of our lives coincides with the will of God. Sometimes we go astray by the evil thought that encourages us to live for our own benefits. As such, we are prone to go astray, if we do not determine our hearts to follow God�s will. Those who are firmly determined on pursuing the will of God can quickly turn around when they find themselves living for the evil purpose to satisfy their selfish desires.
Anyone who finds oneself at fault should confess one�s fault frankly and stand fast on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do not expect only emotional changes in your Christian life. One�s spiritual life does not consist of one�s narcissistic self-occupation that overwhelms one with tears. When we shed tears, we have momentary relief from our stress. However, crying has the side effect of causing one to be satisfied with the mere emotional catharsis, which could certainly be good for one�s psychological well-being. One�s psychological well-being is useless for the emotion-oriented in learning spiritually essential lessons. Such people are wasting their lives by failing to recognize the basic purpose of their lives.
As God is the God of love, the righteous should live for the salvation of others. As you have already done well in the past, you should keep up your good work for that purpose. It is no different for the recently born again.
There are not many recently born again in our church. It has been at least one year for all of you since you have come to our church and heard and believed in the gospel, hasn�t it? If your church experience is less than a year, we might reasonably think that you are behaving the way you have to do because you know no better. Then, it�s time for you to live for the salvation of others. We have to live from our youth for the purpose of God�s glory. Then, God will bless you and hold you. God will also pour out His wisdom on you, making you strong both in body and in spirit. He will assist you and protect you.
However, if you are interested only in yourself and not in saving the souls of others, there is nothing but curses and death that awaits you. Selfishness without love is death.
My fellow saints, our Christian literature ministries are in fact works of salvation for the souls of others. My heart sympathizes the Apostle John at the moment of his authorship. What I am trying to tell you is that our hearts, which are filled with the Holy Spirit, are similar to the heart of Jesus, who is the God of love that gives us a new life. In the hearts of the born-again brothers and sisters dwells the Holy Spirit. Simply, we have to decide between living for our physical benefits that kills the souls of others or for God�s purpose of salvation for the souls of others. I decide to live as the latter. All of us have to decide to live according to the latter standard. However, since our hearts are easily shaken, we have to determine our minds and stand fast on the gospel whenever our hearts are shaken.
My fellow saints, have you ever seen people who have lived their lives for the sake of others? Some have even lived their lives for others without even knowing the gospel. We have also heard of people who have donated their entire life savings as scholarship to schools. We hear of stories where old ladies that have sold rice cakes and bean sprouts all their lives donating their saving they have gathered by that means. It is amazing love that a person would donate one�s entire life saving back to the society. Some people donate their entire life savings for the purpose of the poor. Although they have not received the remission of sin, I admire their spirits. Although they have not served out of their conviction for the gospel of the water and the Spirit, their hearts for serving others are on the right place.
If even those who are not born again dedicate their lives for serving others, how should we who have received the remission of sin live our lives? Should we not live with the right state of faith in Jesus Christ? The Holy Spirit is within us who have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is within our hearts, it is proper for us to do the righteous works. The Holy Spirit rejoices when we live our lives for the salvation of the souls of others.
I am not accusing you of not having noble spirits. What I am saying, though, is that we should live our lives for the purpose of loving one another. If someone seems to be dying, we should help him to live, and not kill him instead. Do you understand? We have to do the life-giving works.
Our spiritual predecessors have flaws. The recently born again Christians also have flaws. As a matter of fact, there is not a single person without any flaw. However, we should remember that it was our Lord who has granted us salvation. How did He save our souls? He did it with the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He became our propitiation for our salvation. That was the love of God.
As our Lord did so for us, we have to live a life that gives life to our brothers and sisters, and to the souls of others. Should we not live for that purpose? That is how we can keep our hearts bright. The words of the righteous do not inflict emotional hurts because they are based not on hate but love. I can share my heart without any hesitation when I meet with my coworkers. This is possible because we know each other so well and trust each other.
My fellow saints, the Scripture says that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). If we believe in the love of our Lord, then all our shortcomings are covered. We have to cover our flaws with His love, and the precious parts of our hearts must be revealed in our service of the gospel. We have to live for the purpose of spreading God�s love.
I love you all in our Lord, at a time when the Lord�s return in at hand and the world is changing at an increasing pace. We should not discriminate among our brothers and sisters; loving some and hating others. We should love all in our Lord. Would we help others if we were of this world? It is hard to find anyone who gives without an ulterior motive among the people of the world.
How sincerely are we living our lives for the souls of others? We live our life, dedicating everything that is given us for the purpose that our Lord sees fit. We should not give up our faith, when we have lived so hard to keep the faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has said that we should love more fervently one another as the end times become more imminent. Since love belongs to God, it is right for us to love one another. It is written in 1 John 2:10, �He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.?/i> If we do not know God�s love, we cannot love one another.
I want to make a request to you. Love and comfort your brothers and sisters in Christ. Do so to one another. We have to not only devote ourselves to the works of salvation for those who have not yet received the remission of sin, but also to the works of encouraging those who already came in God�s Church. We have to reconcile where there have been strives according to our faith in God�s love that is revealed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All in all, we have to do the works of reviving life instead of killing the souls of others.
I am thankful to God that there are many souls that are being born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit all around the world. Yet, it is not an easy task to nurture their souls. Still, we are empowered by nurturing the souls of the yet immature. We have to attend to the needs of the newly born again, feeding them with the spiritual food of the Word of the truth. When we do so, we the predecessors are empowered in return. We are transformed into people of faith when we dedicate ourselves to the spreading of the gospel with our whole hearts. True faith cannot grow in us, unless we are faithful in serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Just as our Lord has served us and sacrificed for us in His love for us, we have to be determined to be used in the works of the salvation of others. Our minds should be determined to say, �Lord, allow me to live for the works of saving others. My Lord God, please bless me.?To live such a life is our destiny.
Is there among us anyone who boasts of one�s righteousness in flesh after being born again? We should never do such a thing. Don�t we all struggle to serve the Lord? We still have to live the remaining days of our lives for the salvation of others. We will not have a real purpose in life unless we live for the salvation of others. There are only two options in our lives; to save other souls or to kill them. We will live a life without regret, if we choose to live for others. If we live in thanksgiving in Jesus Christ who has bestowed us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we won�t regret at the end of our lives.
Wisdom is a necessity when we try to save the souls of others. Saints are not nurtured by merely agreeing with everything they do. What needs to be reproached has to be reproached. Yet, it should not be carried over unnecessarily. When we come to recognize our evilness and sins, all we need to do is repent and turn around from them in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can do the works of God faithfully in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Thanks to be God.