“Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’”
What Happens When a Person Isn’t Interested in the Salvation of His Soul?
We must hear and reconfirm the Word every day in our lives. Otherwise, new faith does not grow even after a long time has passed. And as the land is cursed even when the land receives the rain from the sky if God does not let edible vegetables grow there, our spiritual life becomes stagnant like that when we do not have the reconfirmation of the Word. We must be careful of these things.
God’s Word is not like some theory that we can arrive at certain conclusion through deduction. The Lord did everything through the Word when He created the whole universe in the beginning. God said let there be light and there was light, and when He said let there be the greater light and the lesser light, there were lights in the firmament of the heavens. Put differently, there were the sun, moon, and stars and all the galaxies and worlds in the universe through God’s Word. God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth,” and that’s how the apple trees and pear trees came about.
God Spoke the Word of Authority to the Chaotic Earth
When God spoke, all the lands were overflowing with every kind of living creatures, all kinds of animals and vegetation, which were good in God’s eyes. God speaks to us who have been born again. God nurtures us when we are weak, but we cannot continue to be a weak child forever. God told us that we must hear God’s Word and our faith must thereby grow and we must live with faith through the clear Word of the Truth. The Lord said if a person does not live like that and he continues to live in flesh, then that soul can only barely go to Heaven, but he could not do the work of continuously giving birth to new lives on this earth. The Apostle James said, “As the years of our faith become longer and longer, we need to become the practitioners of the Word of the Lord and not be the ones who just profess to believe it by lips. It means that a person who truly believes the Word shall reveal his faith through his deeds.
The Scriptures say, “The just shall live by faith.” We have received the remission of sins through God’s Word and have become the righteous. If we believe in the Word, the Word will come into us and the Lord will make us the active people who are alive with the wondrous work of new life. I want you to confirm whether you really have such faith inside of you. You must check whether you have the Holy Spirit in you and whether you have faith.
I have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And I have served this true gospel so far by the grace of God. While serving the Lord like that, I have seen the wondrous work of many souls returning to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, I also feel that I often have shortcomings before the presence of God. I am sometimes distressed and frustrated as I see myself just barely walking with toddling steps like a little child without being able to express my faith even though God’s Word is so clear to me and I have firm faith in my heart. I want to plow through this world surely and boldly with my faith before the presence of God. I want God to look at such a heart of mine as it is and bless me, and I want to stand even firmer than I have done until now before the presence of God. I have a heart of believing in the Lord and seeking God to continue to help me to believe in the Truth and live a life of practicing the Truth. I think you probably have such heart as well. I also believe that God will fulfill it exactly according to that believing heart. I believe the Lord will make you become better even in your spiritual life of faith day by day.
There Is Something More Precious than the Flesh
I came to realize that our soul is a precious thing for us humans. It is difficult for a person to even digest food when he becomes old. We feel happy when we have delicious food and our stomach is full. However, the body feels painful when it suffers from indigestion. Similarly, a person feels distressed in his heart because of sin and has thoughts of committing suicide when it becomes serious. I agonized much because of my sins. I was always distressed because of sin while living in this world. As I looked at the sky and the other people, I always had a wishful thought, “Isn’t there any way for me to live a life not being ashamed of myself for my sins? Isn’t there such a way? Isn’t there a way to live a life of integrity before the presence of God and before the people?
However, I sinned again and again day in and day out. Even though I did not commit a crime like stealing, I was ashamed when I woke up in the morning after I got together with friends and spent all night drinking with them. My face became red when I thought, “What did I do last night?” But, on the other hand, I liked the night while I disdained to hang around the street during the daytime. When the sun came up, I did not get up and I just put a blanket over me because I was ashamed. I did not want to study or do anything else, and I was just ashamed of myself.
I lived like that for a while. Then, I came to believe in Jesus. I started going to church at a later stage of my life. Therefore, I served God so diligently. I thought I had lived faithfully keeping the Law for 10 years after believing in Jesus. I thought I was being faithful by doing such things like volunteering for church activities and giving offerings to church. My heart overflowed with enthusiasm when I first became a Christian at the age of my early twenties. I was so happy at the time. I really disliked the things the Lord disliked, and I enthusiastically took on any work the Lord might be happy with.
Therefore, I was given the position of the leader of a young men’s association and the leader of the evangelical team. I did that for 5 years and I had lived out my faith very earnestly. I spoke in tongues, saw visions, evangelized, and even delivered sermons based on the faith of believing in the blood of the Cross. But the sins in my heart continued to pile up after I had become a Christian.
When I trace through the faith at that time when I did not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit at all, I see that remaining a sinner was the only consequence for me at that time. After 5 years had passed since I first started going to church, I was able to know the rituals and administration of a church very clearly. However, the only thing that accumulated in my mind was always the thought that I was a sinner.
The Ten Commandments say, “You shall not commit adultery,” and I turned my head from women because I thought that it meant that we should not even look at women. But, is that possible? Single men and women want to talk to one another and so on when they get together. I could not endure this. I was especially more distressed because the denomination I belonged to was so legalistic. Therefore, after 5 years had passed since I first believe in Jesus, I came up with a brilliant idea as I looked for a way to go on a date without committing sin. I brought together all the leaders of the young men’s association in each church of my denomination and told them to speak their mind honestly. I said, “We want to have a romantic relationship, but we can’t. It would go against God if we really had such relationships. Therefore, let’s get together at the market place. Let’s have something delicious to eat and go to a theatre as a group afterwards. Who would say that it is a sin if we went around sightseeing and other things in a group?” When I told them this, the other leaders from each young man’s association agreed it was a good idea. Therefore, we set a date and decided to meet in my office that was in the 3rd floor of the Student Department Store at that time. We all got together on that day. And we went out to eat, went to see a movie, and went to a park and played together.
I lived like that for 10 years, and as sin piled up in my heart during those 10 years, the sin could not be resolved with the blood of the Cross. It was good when I first believed in Jesus, but it was not like that as time went by. I was distressed because of the sins I had committed. It seemed I had miscalculated thoroughly as I thought, “Why did I believe in Jesus so early. I should have believed in Jesus in my deathbed and died. My future life seemed dark and wearisome to continuously sin and repent, and sin again and repent again and again. There was no way out. After leading such a hypocritical life for 10 years, I thought I could not possibly go on like that.
Only after 10 years had passed since I believed in Jesus, I was able to know perfectly through the Word of God how my sin was blotted away through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I confirmed it with the Word as I thought, “Jesus Christ took all my sins at the Jordan River when He received the baptism. What was I doing trying to receive the remission of sins by repenting when it’s actually like this? Who is that person that taught me incorrectly like that?” How distressed I was since pastors, elders, evangelists, and deacons screamed at us to repent when we had sinned although they didn’t even know the Truth. However, as the Lord said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), I became born again through the Word of the water and the Holy Spirit. I felt so calm and peaceful in my heart after I was born again like that. And I came to believe in God from the depths of my heart.
I now believe the Word when I read it. I believe in God. This Word is believable to me. I have come to understand what this Word is talking about. I can discern whether a person has received the remission of sins or not. Through the Holy Spirit inside me, I am able to know which person has received the remission of sins through the Word and one who has not. I was able to know from the fruit that appeared in a person. A person who has received the remission of his sins does not have sin in his heart. I do not know about anything else, but it is clear that there is no sin in his heart.
Do you have sin in your heart? No, you don’t. You sleep well when you receive the remission of sins. Although intelligent people may sometimes seem to be stupid and sleep all the time like a fool and constantly make the same mistake, they still think that they do not have sin. But they must become like little children. To be born again means that they are born anew. I thank God for being born again before the presence of God.
Let’s look at today’s Scripture passage. It says, “Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But He said to him, ‘Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’” A certain young man came to Jesus and asked Jesus to divide the inheritance for him and his brother. That young man asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide with him the wealth his father had given as inheritance. And Jesus told him to get rid of covetousness for a person’s life or happiness does not consist in material wealth.
People Think They May Be Happy If They Have Much Wealth
People think they can live happily in this world or the next world if they have many worldly possessions. But that is a big misunderstanding. A person does not have eternal life nor is he happy just because he has much wealth. One cannot go into Heaven just because he has much money. A wealthy person also goes to hell if he dies with sin. You may know the parable of a wealthy man and a beggar, Lazarus. Lazarus went to Heaven, while wealthy man went to hell. Material wealth cannot make a person enter the Kingdom of Heaven; a person does not earn eternal life through material wealth; and he does not go to the Kingdom of Heaven through material wealth.
One day a rich young man came and asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” After sharing some words with him, Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Then, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. As the rich young man thought material wealth was important, many people in the world these days think they can live happily in this world if they just have material wealth. People think they will be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven if they just go to church, offer up a lot of material things, and build some church buildings. We see many people with such thinking.
Maybe you also have such desire in your heart. I mean that such covetousness has taken root in your hearts if you think, “I believe in Jesus to be blessed. So I will live well without Jesus once I become wealthy.” However, our Lord said, “And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Let’s look at the Word from the Book of Genesis chapter 2 verse 7. It says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” What is the origin of human life? It says that God breathed life into the person and he became a living being, a living spirit. Man’s eyes started blinking and arms and legs started moving after the living spirit went inside him. Our life cannot be found in any sort of wealth. A person’s life is not in his wealth or lack of wealth. Our Lord is saying that our life is in God’s hands and that we do not live and die based on material things.
Where is our life? It is in God. Our life in flesh is in God and our living eternally is also in God, and our thinking, feeling, heart, and our very soul are all in God’s hands. Our receiving of the remission of sins and becoming righteous before the presence of God, and our physical body and emotion continuing to live on after receiving Holy Spirit are all in God.
We must receive the remission of sins if we want to bring our souls back to life. A person’s emotion becomes dull when he has sin in his heart and he goes into a state of death. However, a person’s emotion becomes sensitive if he does not have sin in his heart. He can look at beautiful things of this world and say they are beautiful and he could look at a filthy thing and say it is filthy. However, he cannot express his emotion properly when there is sin in his heart. Why? It’s because there is sin in his heart and his filthy heart cannot feel the beauty of a beautiful thing.
A person’ physical body and life is given by God. We have life now because God has not taken our life. This is such a simple truth, but people do not know this. People’s life is not in some covetousness, but it’s in God. A human has become a being that never dies because God breathed life into their nostrils.
A human became a being that lives forever without dying in hell or Heaven thanks to God. A person is born to this world once and dies once. And then there is judgment. A human is not merely a piece of flesh that ends up being slaughtered in due time like livestock. A human dies and then comes alive again with a new physical body. God brings them alive. The Bible says that God brings them alive spiritually and physically. It said that He would resurrect the righteous and the sinners. And then God judges them. God made us so that we could live eternally: God will resurrect even the physical body to life and then send people who have sins into the eternal fire that will never be quenched, and He will send people who do not have sin to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven to live an eternal life. Every human being will be treated like that.
What is our human life? Although our life is like a fog that disappears in no time as sun rises, what kind of beings are we before the presence of God? How were we created and for what purpose were we created? God created us as beings so that we could live eternally. God gave us life as He created us.
We must understand clearly about our life. And we must understand clearly for what we must live this life. I am saying that we do not live our life for the material things that we see and feel. By what reason do we live our lives? We live this life due to God who created us. We live our life because God dwells deep in our souls, because God gives daily bread to us, and because God speaks to us. We can get up in the morning and we can have worship service like this because God has not taken our lives. If God took the life from our nostrils when we are asleep, then we would become like a log from that moment and die. Our life is found in God. Our life is in God and our receiving the remission of sins also depends on God as well.
In today’s Scripture passage, the man wanted to enjoy his life and happiness with the wealth and therefore asked Jesus to divide the wealth for him. Our Lord wanted to teach an amazing Truth as He spoke to him. Therefore, He spoke about this with a parable. Let’s read from the Gospel of Luke chapter 12 verses 16 to 21. “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’’ ‘But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’”
The Lord said, “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” We must look at the part about who the rich person toward God is through the Word. Who is the person that is truly rich before the presence of God? A rich person is the person who has received the grace of God. People who have received much grace and blessings from God are the rich people spoken of here. People who have the faith of believing in God in their hearts are the rich people. A person who has God’s Word in his heart is the richest person, richer than a person who has many worldly belongings.
Who is the rich person spiritually? A person who has the faith of knowing and believing the things Jesus Christ has done for the people are rich people. Do you know and believe the work Jesus Christ has done for you? Do you have that faith in your heart? Do you know all the work God has done for us, the work Jesus Christ has done for our souls and how specifically He has blotted out our sins? The people who know these facts are the people who are rich in their heart. People who have material wealth are not the rich people. The person who knows clearly and believes how such a great God the creator who created the whole universe blotted out all our sins for us, how He made us become children of God and become the people of God before the presence of God, how He made us a people without sin before the presence of God, is the rich person. Do you really have faith in your heart? Do you share fellowship with God? Do you have faith of believing in God in your heart? A person who knows and believes the things God has done for him is the rich person.
Jesus Christ spoke a parable to them, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” The Lord said that a person couldn’t be a rich man even if he acquired everything of the world. And the person who is not rich in relation to God is a poor person and the person who is rich toward God is really the rich person. It is really like that.
We Must Dwell in God’s Mercy
Let’s read the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 verses 25 to 34 and see who is really a rich person. “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Then Jesus answered and said: ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.’”
Who is the rich person before the presence of God? Who is the person that received the life? Who is the rich person to God? The Gospel of Luke speaks about this. “The Lawyer came to Jesus and asked him, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And Jesus said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
The lawyer thought of Jesus as a notch lower than him. In order to flaunt himself before the presence of Jesus, he asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He was saying, “Can you do such things like me?” The lawyer was saying, “I fast twice a week. I walk in a holy manner, I avoid a leper when I see one on the street, and I say, ‘It is unclean’ when I see dung on the street,” and the lawyer was asking whether He could do such things. However, Jesus said to Him. “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” And when the lawyer responded, “The Law said ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,’” He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
We human beings may be lacking in everything, but each one of us has at least one or two things which we are good at. Like a Korean proverb says, “Even a maggot has one ability to roll over,” each person has one or two unique abilities that other people cannot do well. At times, some people boast of such ability and say, “If there is anyone who can do this like me, step forward.” When we look at people who believe in Jesus, they may not live exactly according to God’s will, but it doesn’t mean that everything about them is negative. They have negative things, but they also have good things as well. “I have never missed an early morning prayer meeting until now. I missed it once because of my father’s funeral. Besides that, I have never missed one.” And someone may boast about never missing a Sunday worship service and another person may also boast and say that he has never committed certain particular sin. I am saying that everyone has something to boast about before the presence of God in his own way.
You might say, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life? Would that be possible if I lived more faithfully? Would that be possible if I believed in Jesus and did a little better? Since the Scriptures say, ‘You shall love the LORD your God and love your neighbor as yourself,’ it should be possible if I try a little harder, right? I should be able to go to Heaven, right?” We who live in this era and the lawyer who challenged Jesus long ago are the same.
When we get right down to it, we also are like that lawyer. Each one of us is that lawyer in one’s own way. My wife continued going to the early morning prayer meetings even just after getting married to me. I could not say anything about going to pray early in the morning. The Scriptures said we should pray without ceasing and I could not say something about that while I slept. She was not there when I reached for her at dawn. So I get up at about 5 in the morning and also went to pray at early dawn. But she was already there when I got there. I thought she would stop after a day or two, but she went every morning. She was there whenever I went there in the morning. Therefore, I gave up and I came thinking, “My wife always goes to church at 2 A.M.”
All such things become one’s righteousness. She might not think like that, but I would have thought, “Try to do it like me.” I attended a theological seminary at the time and I would have surely thought like that. All the people are lawyers in their own way. And I am also like that. My heart feels fluffed up with pride when I go to the early dawn prayer meeting at 4 A.M. in the morning. When I go to the early prayer meeting at 4 A.M. and see people coming at 5 A.M., I think to myself “That’s all you can do.” I thought maybe my wife thought like that since I thought like that.
The lawyer asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” People believed in Jesus and do this and that and try hard to get a ticket to the Kingdom of Heaven. However, what did Jesus say to us? He said, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” The most important thing is how we are reading the Law and whether we are following the Law.
A young lady came to the revival meeting that I was leading last week. I asked the young lady, “How long have you believed in Jesus?” And she said she had believed for about 10 years. Then when I asked her why God gave us the Law, she answered without hesitation that it was given to us “to keep” it. Did God give us the Law for us to keep it? If we could keep the Law that was given to us, then it cannot ever be God’s Law. Let’s say we gave a law to any old dog and the dog was able to keep it thoroughly. Then, that is not a law.
The Book of Romans chapter 3 verses 19 and 20 say, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” “You are the sinners. You are the sinners because you cannot live according to this Law.” God is saying that He gave us the Law to make us understand this fact. God gave the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle right after giving the Law to Moses. Because God knew they could not live according to the Law, God gave them the sacrificial system so that they could definitely receive the remission of sins.
How We Read the Law Is Important
People commonly think they read the Law correctly and that they keep it properly. However, they do not keep the Law properly, and there isn’t anyone who can keep it properly. There is only one person, Jesus Christ, who could keep the Law perfectly. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” We are all sinners under the light of the Law. All the people have committed sin and all the people have many iniquities. We were people who have many iniquities until we die in our old age. But, our Lord tells us about our sins and His judgment through the Law.
The Lord took all our sins upon Himself at once through the baptism and took the sins of the world to the Cross and received the judgment in place of humankind. We believe this Truth and receive the remission of sins because of Him. It means that only Jesus Christ was able to keep the Law and perfect the Law. The Law tells us to love God and your neighbors as yourself. Can you love God and your neighbors with all your life? God gave us the Law that said, “You shall love Me your God with all your heart, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” This is the right thing. It is right for the Creator to tell the creation to love Him only and to worship Him only.
However, could we keep that Law? We believe in the righteousness of Jesus. We have to go to work. We have some work that could make us a lot of money, but it is on Sunday. We may think, “It doesn’t seem like a good idea to go to church to keep the Lord’s Day faithfully because it’s a work that could make me a lot of money, but it doesn’t feel right because going to work would mean I wouldn’t be able to keep the Lord’s Day faithfully.” We struggle with the decision of choosing either the money or the Lord’s Day. We believe in God faithfully, but we sometimes experience money becoming our idol when there is an opportunity to make a lot of money.
We Were Not Able to Keep the Law
It said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” However, we cannot follow this faithfully no matter how I try to love others like myself. I once took off my coat and gave it to a beggar. I gave the coat to the beggar because I had to live according to God’s Word. Once, there was a homeless person begging on a pedestrian overpass, I checked the money in my pocket and became hesitant. “Should I give him some coins or a one-dollar bill?” I started thinking about it 30 meters before I got there. I had to make a decision when I got there, but the outcome depended on how my heart decided. I didn’t know whether it was a one-dollar bill or a ten-dollar bill that I had in my pocket, but, when I saw the bill falling into his can, it was a perfectly green ten-dollar bill. I couldn’t take it out even though I regretted it. Was that really an act of love that meets the standards of God’s Law? I was thinking from my standards, but I didn’t love him like myself. Even though I can give someone a ten-dollar bill, I cannot love others like myself. I did everything until I couldn’t anymore, and I finally confessed that I was a sinner. I confessed, “God, I just can’t do it. I am a sinner. You told me to love my neighbor as myself, but I can’t love him like myself.”
Like the rich young man and the young man who asked Jesus to divide the wealth for him considered Jesus as a lawyer. As Jesus said, “Am I a person who divides the wealth?” this person also came to be approved before the presence of Jesus with his own righteousness. So Jesus told a parable for him to be awakened to his ignorance.
“A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you’” (Luke 10:30-35). Jesus Christ told this to the lawyer.
A certain person went down to the region of Jericho from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was in the higher region. And it was the capital city of God’s people. That was the city of religion and there was everything which was needed for worship. A certain person was coming down to Jericho from Jerusalem and he encountered robbers. Just meeting the robbers would have been somewhat acceptable, but he was robbed completely and he was left at the brink of death from beating. And those robbers left the person on the roadside and went away.
It says that, by chance, a priest came down that road at that time. And when he saw the victim, he passed by on the other side. Jesus spoke of this because this lawyer came forth with his own righteousness and works. Jericho was the city that means “fragrance of the world” and Jerusalem means the city of religion. It is speaking of the capital city that some people just believe in without understanding the Truth properly. A priest of that Jerusalem met a person who was robbed by the robbers while he was going down from Jerusalem. A priest was a person who served God in the Temple of Jerusalem and also instructed many people. However, such a priest saw a person who needed help as he was going down to Jericho from Jerusalem and avoided the dying victim and just passed by on the other side.
Why were they all going down to Jericho from Jerusalem? I will move on after I share something related to this part. All people seek after God. Whether it is a god they have known or it is a god that they do not know, they just seek whatever god, and worship and serve whatever god they can find without question. That is how they start a religious life and begin to live in Jerusalem, the city of religion. But the problem is that even though they want to live righteously and do righteous things, their behaviors do not follow their heart like that. They could not tolerate such behaviors of themselves. They want to do righteous works but they instead commit sin. They do evil that they do not want to do. They fall for the world and do fleshly things. They discover themselves slipping to the fragrance of the world, that is, the corrupted world. This is the common route that all religious people cannot but follow.
Coincidentally, a man was going down the road when the robbers attacked him and took off his clothes and left him almost dead. That the robbers took his clothes off means that Satan the Devil took off our righteousness. Sin takes off our righteousness. Sin takes off our own righteousness. Some people think they do not commit any sin, but everyone commits sin while living in this world. We cannot hide our sins when we commit sins. Our hearts come to the doorsteps of hell and fear prevails over our hearts. Our boastful things, our impudent things, and holy things all disappear, and only sins remain. We could do ten things right, but all things that we have done right disappear when we sin one time. That’s why we cannot avoid the judgment of God. A person goes to hell if he cannot keep the Law perfectly 100% and violates even 1%.
Satan the Devil makes people sin through the Law. Satan makes people boast for the things they do well. Satan tells us to live a virtuous life and live righteously and says that is the right thing to do.
However, what does God say? God says, “You cannot do righteous things. You are corrupted beings. You are a mass of sin. You are a mass of sin that is born with murder, fornication, jealousy, dispute, theft, covetousness, and foolishness. Therefore, you are beings who cannot do the righteous works.” However, Satan the Devil tells us, “You can live righteously if you try a little more. You can become a god if you just try a little harder.”
However, a totally opposite phenomenon happens to every religious person. Everyone wants to live ethically and righteously. However, when we look into it, everyone cannot but commit sin. Everyone is a robber and a thief. Even so, Satan the Devil encourages people to live ethically. That’s why some say religion is addictive. People try to live righteously when they go into religions. However, they cannot live righteously. So what does God say? He says, “Come and receive the remission of sins since you are a mass of sin. Come, and I will blot out all your sins.”
Going down to Jericho from Jerusalem signifies becoming depraved after living a religious life in the world. We become corrupted because we are a mass of sin. As a mass of lead sinks naturally when we throw it into a lake due to gravity, we have no choice but to sin naturally because we have been born with sin. A mass of lead sinking in the water cannot rise above water no matter how it tries to huff and puff. That is the truth.
As born-sinners, all human beings cannot help but sin and go to hell due to that sin. That is the truth spoken in the Scriptures. That’s why they go down to Jericho from Jerusalem. Humans become depraved because they have been born as sinners. They try to lead a religious life, but they still become depraved and empty, and eventually they reveal their appearance that is like the scribes and the Pharisees who are hypocrites before the presence of God.
Satan the Devil wants to send us to hell. Therefore, Satan the Devil encourages to us to be diligent and work hard and then comes to us when we do not live well. “Believe in Jesus, but live without receiving the remission of sins,” it encourages a person like this and then breaks him down. Satan the Devil tempts people in certain situations, and if people commit sin, then, Satan distresses them saying, “You have sinned.” The Devil says, “You have sinned” and distresses them all their life so people die because of the stinging sins in their hearts. That’s why some people hang themselves even though they have devoted themselves to religions. Satan the Devil does such things.
Satan the Devil tells us to live righteously. He doesn’t tell us to live immorally. He tells us to live righteously and then makes us fall. However, we must understand that we essentially cannot live righteously. We cannot help but sin because we are a mass of sin. Leaves bud out and flowers blossom from an apple tree and bears apples soon thereafter. As trees bearing fruit like this, it is the principle of life that we human beings also cannot help but sin even if we do not want to sin. We cannot help but sin naturally because we have been born with sin as the descendants of Adam. How can human beings who have been born with sin live without committing sin? We sin while we live in this world. Sin does not disappear just because we cut out every bud of sin. We have to change our reality itself. A human has to be born again anew. One becomes a child of God only when he receives the judgment for the sin and become born again.
However, every religion tells us to live ethically. It tells us to live diligently. I am not saying that all religions are bad unconditionally. I am just saying all religions tell us to live ethically. However, that is Satan’s snare. All human beings are deceived because they do not know this. It is the same in Christianity. They say that we live faithfully when we believe in Jesus and tithe faithfully, keep the Lord’s Day faithfully, live obediently according to the Ten Commandments even though there is sin in our hearts. But, is that true? No, it’s not. People are led to death. Even if we tried to live righteously because we were really deceived by Satan the Devil, all our righteousness suddenly breaks down when we live without knowing that we essentially are people who cannot help but sin. We had believed in Jesus even when we did not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, we should have been righteous people who had received salvation from sin, but we were actually sinners because we did not believe in Jesus properly. If we had met Jesus properly, then we would have been the righteous. But, we just did not know this.
When a priest was going down to Jericho from Jerusalem, who did he see and passed by on the other side of the road? He saw a person who was attacked by robbers and just passed by. A Levite also saw the man attacked by the robbers bleeding all over his body, but he also avoided him and passed by. Jesus thrashed the word of the lawyer with the parable. He was actually saying, “You are the one who would act like that. You tell others to live a good life, but when your friend is really attacked by a robber and is dying, you would help so that you will be lifted up with honor if he was not beaten too terribly and he would become better with a little treatment, but you are a person who would not do the righteous thing if it would not profit you, aren’t you?” Jesus was saying to every Christian, “You are one such person.”
There also are priests and Levites in today’s Christian communities. It is referring to many religious people in the New Testament era who are acting like leaders without receiving the remission of sins because they have not been born again and have not received the Holy Spirit in their hearts. The Scriptures say that the people who have been attacked by the robbers are those who are truly agonizing and weeping and pleading because of their sins. However, the Levite and the priest who supposedly believed in God and claimed to do righteous works just passed him by. The Lord said to all the humanity, “There is none righteous for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and there is none who does righteous works.”
However, the Scriptures say, “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.” Who is the certain Samaritan spoken of here? The certain Samaritan is the person who came from afar, not a person from the city of Jerusalem. That person was traveling on his animal when he saw the person who was attacked by robbers. So the Samaritan went to him and poured oil and wine over the wound and bandaged his wounds and saved him. And the Samaritan took him to the inn and took care of this person.
Who Shall Save Us the Sinful Humans from All Sins?
Who makes our hearts prosperous and gives eternal life? It’s Jesus who gives such blessings to us. He came to this world and saved us. Wine signifies joy and also the blood of Jesus Christ. Everyone should receive the judgment of God and go to hell; everyone should receive the curse of suffering, and the penalty for the sins he has committed. But, Jesus Christ came to this world and transferred all the sins of all human beings to Himself and received the penalty in place of all people who are dying because of their sins. Therefore, the person who was attacked by robbers rose again.
Oil implies the Holy Spirit. You probably know about the sacrifice offering of Cain and Abel. Abel offered up the firstborn of his flock and of their fat (Genesis 4:4). That oil or fat is very important. Jesus Christ wanted to save us, and the name “Christ” means the one who has been anointed with oil. He came with three duties of the Prophet, the King, and the Priest and fulfilled all the prophecies spoken by the prophets in the Old Testament. And as the High Priest of the Old Testament transferred over all the sins of the Israelites at once. Jesus Christ came to this world to blot out all the sins of the people. And, as the King, He came as the anointed One in order to save His people from their sins.
Jesus Christ is the very Samaritan in today’s Scripture passage. He came for the person who has been attacked by robbers. He was born to this world to do the work of saving all humankind. And He was baptized by John the Baptist when He was 30. The Gospel of Matthew 3:13-15 says, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him.”
What was the very first thing Jesus Christ did during his public life? He received the baptism. You know about the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, don’t you? Do you know why Jesus Christ received the baptism? At the time He received the baptism, Jesus Christ said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” He was telling John the Baptist to baptize Him since it is proper for Him to take over all the sins by receiving the baptism.
The word “to baptize” (baptizo in Greek) has meanings “to immerse in water, to submerge in water, to bury, and to transfer over sin.” It has the meaning of being cleansed since the sin is transferred over by the baptism that was performed in the form of laying on of hands. It means that the sins in our hearts are cleansed and blotted out because our sins have been transferred over to Jesus Christ. This person who was attacked by robbers no longer had to suffer again due to sin because all our sins have been transferred over to Jesus Christ once and for all. Jesus Christ then received the penalty to atone all our sins with His blood. Jesus received the baptism like this in order to fulfill all righteousness.
Jesus explained the reason for receiving the baptism from John the Baptist in Matthew 3:15, and it said that it was proper for Him to receive the baptism in order to fulfill all the righteousness of God. Jesus came to this world and blotted out all the sins of us humanity in order to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus received the baptism at the Jordan River, the river of death, in order to fulfill that work.
The baptism we have received and the baptism Jesus received is different. Jesus Christ received the baptism in order to take the sins of all people upon Him, but we receive baptism as a sign of believing that our sins have been transferred over to Jesus at the time He was baptized like that. And Jesus received the baptism in place of us human beings to remit all our sins.
We Must Understand the Spiritual Meaning of the Baptism
We must understand why Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist. Did Jesus receive the baptism because He was humble or because He had nothing particular to do at that time? Jesus did not come to this world as a teacher of morality and ethics. Jesus came to this world to save His people from their sins. He came to this world to forgive our sins. Many people today do not understand this Truth. They should believe with proper understanding of this, but they will remain sinners even if they believed until they die of old age because they believe without knowing this Truth. Then, they go to hell.
The purpose of Jesus Christ receiving the baptism was to fulfill all the righteousness of God. We go to hell because of our sins. Why do humans encounter robbers? Why are we attacked by Satan the Devil? Why are we unhappy in spite of the fact that there is much to eat in the land? Why do we live in this world unhappily even though we have freedom to live this beautiful world? It’s because of our sins. We go to hell because of sin; we are sad because of sin; sickness comes to us because of sin; and we are condemned by Satan the Devil because of sin.
But it is appropriate for Jesus Christ to blot all such sins of ours. Jesus Christ came to this world to blot out all our sins of the humankind. What is the thing that truly saves the person who was attacked by robbers? We were people who had encountered such robbers, but how did we receive salvation and what is the evidence of our salvation? We did not receive the judgment and we became the righteous because Jesus Christ took all the sins of us humanity upon His body and received the judgment in place of you and me by being nailed to the Cross. That is the evidence of salvation. We have become sinless children of God through these works Jesus had fulfilled. We have become children of God without sin before the presence of God. We must believe in Jesus with clear understanding of who Jesus is. It’s not okay to just attend church with a Bible at our side without even knowing Jesus Christ.
Jesus took all our sins upon Himself and received the penalty for them at the Cross in place of us. And then Jesus resurrected on the third day after dying on the Cross. He now sits on the right hand by the throne of God the Father. And He said, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Hebrews 10:17). The Book of Romans chapter 3 verse 25 says, “Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” and it means that the people who were enemies of Jesus were made to have peace with God because God has transferred all their sins over to Jesus and made Jesus receive the judgment and die in their place. Jesus received all our sins and died on the Cross and thereby received all our judgment in our place. And then He was resurrected on the third day from His death and now sits at the right hand of God the Father’s throne.
If there is a beginning and an end of the creation of the universe, we have believed in God with the proper understanding of Jesus Christ in this world that we do not know how much is left before that end comes. He has received all our sins. And He died on the Cross and was resurrected and then ascended to Heaven. Where is He now? He is alive in the eternal time of God. The Omnipresent God, the Almighty God has created the universe and everything in it; and all these are within a limited time frame. However, God is alive in the infinite time. God is present eternally.
God sits in the eternal time dimension outside the world as He took all the sins of the world. It means that He has remitted away all the sins of the past, the present, and the future already. To pass over something means overlook something. We must move on with correct understanding of the meaning of the word.
Jesus did the righteous work. He took over all the sins of everyone and He did not omit anyone’s. Those who believe in the work that Jesus Christ has done become righteous and the people who do not become sinners. Jesus blotted out all the sins of all the people. A person who believes in this Truth is a righteous person and shall go to Heaven due to that righteousness. But a person who does not believe is a sinner and he will go to hell because of the sin. There is no merit. Jesus Christ came to this world and took all our sins upon Him and shed His blood on the Cross. This means that He poured oil and wine over the wound from our sins and bandaged the wound and set us on His animal and brought us to the inn and took care of us. He gave us life.
How do we attain new life? We receive eternal life by knowing and believing the work Jesus Christ has done for us. The people who believe in this are wealthy people. Knowing and believing what Jesus has done for us is the truly wealthy thing for our hearts. Who is the One that has made our hearts truly wealthy? It’s Jesus Christ. God the Father becomes our father when we believe the work Jesus has done for us. Our hearts truly become wealthy when we come to know Jesus has clearly blotted out all our sins. In the Scriptures, a truly wealthy person is the one who is wealthy toward God, not the one who has much material wealth in this world. A person’s life is not in some material wealth. Rather, a person who has been born again through our God Jesus Christ receives new life, become a child of God, a righteous person, and a person who shall go to Heaven. God said that such a person is the one who shall be protected in this world and receive the blessing before the presence of God.
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 12, Jesus Christ said a person’s life and wealth could be found in God. I truly give thanks to the Lord. Our hearts have truly become wealthy thanks to Jesus Christ. Therefore, I want you to be thankful for the blessing of new life and live diligently in this world. I want you to live a wealthy life through God’s salvation. I do not want you to live life half-heartedly.
Do you truly have the faith of believing in Jesus Christ in your heart? Has Jesus Christ definitely remitted away all your sins? Have you received the remission of sins perfectly? We do not have sin because Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins, not because we have done something good. We have come into His blessings through the faith of believing in the work Jesus Christ has done. We must give thanks to the Lord. It’s proper for the people who have already received the remission of sins to give thanks to the Lord; and people who have not received the remission of sins must first receive the remission of sins in their hearts just by listening to the gospel for 30 minutes. What is a new life? What is being born again? Your hearts become totally inspired when you hear such things for just half an hour.
I give thanks to God who works through His Church in this world. I give praise to the Lord who has given riches in our hearts.