Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10th, Sunday... Perfecting Holiness (I)

In Rwanda, a Korean church is under establishment.

It is a humble beginning at present since 30 or so Koreans are now gathering every Sunday to worship in Korean language. But a Korean language worship began about a year ago when Koreans in Rwanda started meeting on last Sunday of each month to worship and fellowship together. This monthly gathering has now turned to a weekly regular worship.

Several missionaries have agreed to take turn in sharing the message and I am one of them. On Sunday, July 10th, it was my turn to preach.

I shared the message, titled "Perfect Holiness", based on 2 Corinthians 7:1. I had to split the message into two parts: an overview and pragmatic sanctification. I will cover the second part next time.

Here is the summary of today's message delivered in Korean:

History is His story: His story of love for the humans. His story is well reflected in His Word: The Bible. The story comprises four parts: creation, corruption, Christ/cross and completion.

At creation, all things were perfect, sinless and holy. It was Shalom.

This Shalom was broken and lost when sin entered into human life. Human became corrupt.

God so loved the humans that He sent His one and only begotten Son, Jesus, to become sin and die on the cross on behalf of all humans. God showed the Way to salvation and to restored relationship with Him, the taste of Shalom again, but only partially.

God promised that He will complete His grand salvation work on The Day of the Lord, the day He returns as promised. There will be Shalom again.

Until then, we are called to the ministry of reconciliation. We are commissioned. This commission requires us to share the good news of Jesus with all nations whether we are in season or out of season. Internally, it also requires us to cleanse everything that contaminates our body and spirit, perfecting holiness, as a member of God's holy family.

How do we cleanse ourselves?

First, by repentance. We cannot be cleansed without confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. It is the promise. (1 John 1:9)

Second, by practicing godliness. Practicing godliness is beneficial to us since it has the promise for this life and the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7,8) It requires us to surrender ourselves to the authority and power of the Holy Spirit, day by day and moment by moment in our lives.

Perfect is too noble to follow, but it is a command since the Bible says, "Be perfect as the Father in Heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48) Holiness is too divine to imitate, but it is also a command since the Bible says, "Be holy as God is holy." (1 Peter 1:15,16) Combining these two commands looks impossible to digest. Nonetheless, it is a command and a few scriptures present some hopes.

Hebrews 12:22-24 says, "But you have come to.... to God, the judge of all, to the spirits of all righteous men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant... " There will be righteous men made perfect. It sheds a ray of hope to what appears to be a hopeless command.

Also, Philippians 1:6 says, "... he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." What a promise it is!

I concluded the message by quoting Apostle Paul's prayer for the Thessalonian saints: "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Indeed it is my prayer for me as well as all my brothers and sisters in Christ. "Amen!" - Jeffrey

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