This is the story of a famous pastor from our denomination. This is a true story of the poor periods of Korean history.
Pastor Lim Young-jae visited the house of an elderly deacon who lived in a poor neighborhood. However, this deacon was living a very difficult life as a housekeeper living alone. The old woman was so poor that she lived in a cold room in the winter where she couldn’t heat the coals. She lived in such poverty that the walls of her room were not plastered, and so she covered it with newspapers.
However, after service, Pastor Lim looked at the wall, and when he looked closely, there was a ‘bank check’ attached to it. Looking even closer, he saw that it was a real check of such a large amount that the deacon could buy a house in Seoul or save this money in a bank and live on the interest alone until the deacon dies.
The pastor asked where she got this check, and she replied,
“Last year, in the house next door, there was an old man who had no wife and was unable to take care of his father because his children were all busy, so I took care of him for several years. But this old man one day, he called me and put that in my hand and told me to keep it. And the old man passed away shortly after… Because he told me to keep it well, I put it on the wall as a memorial.”
So Pastor Lim said.
“Oh, deacon, this is a lot of money. A really large amount of money. With this money, you can buy a house, coal, rice, can stop worrying about meals, and you don’t have to work for the rest of your life.”
So, the pastor purchased the old deacon’s house with a bank check through the church members, saved the money, and let the deacon live with the interest.
It is said that she indeed had a lot of money, enough to buy a house, but in reality, in the cold winter, she couldn’t even light a briquette fire and had to worry about food every day. She could have lived like a wealthy person, but she was living like a beggar.
Are you living a rich and meaningful life as a child of God, using the authority and power of a child of God? Or despite being a child of God, are you living a difficult life in spiritual poverty?
Today, I would like to share the most basic word of faith as the first word of the Back-to-Basic series.
If a building has a strong foundation, it will not collapse in an earthquake or flood. The foundation of our faith is to know who we are, and to properly know who Jesus, the one we put our faith in is.
Who has the authority to become children of God? It is a person who receives Jesus and believes in Jesus.
Then, who is Jesus?
Who does today’s text say Jesus is?
Jesus is God who became man.
Today’s Bible clearly states that Jesus is God, and that Jesus, who is God, became a man and entered history among us.
Who do you think Jesus is?
If you look at church history, there were discussions about the humanity and divinity of Jesus many times in church councils in the early days of Christianity, and if someone denied the humanity and divinity of Jesus, the decision was called heresy.
Biblically, we all believe in the triune God that there is God the Father, Jesus the Son, that is, Jesus as the Son of God, and God the Holy Spirit, that is, one God that exists in three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
So, Jehovah’s Witnesses are heretical because they deny that Jesus is God and only acknowledge Jesus as one of the prophets. Some saints believe that Jesus is the Son of God, but there are those who do not believe that He is God. However, what we need to know clearly is that we must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and at the same time has the character of God.
There was a representative heresy called Gnosticism in the Early Church. Gnosticism believed in the dualism that the body is evil and the spirit is good, and therefore claimed that Jesus did not come to this earth wearing an evil body, but appeared to be wearing a body, and claimed that salvation was gained by obtaining mystical knowledge. In a situation where there is this kind of gnostic heresy, the apostle John clearly shows who Jesus is through the Gospel of John.
In 1:1-18, Apostle John clearly declares that Jesus is God, shows that Jesus is God through 7 special miracles and signs of Jesus, and finally Thomas, who did not believe in the resurrection of Jesus, said, ‘My Lord my God’ ‘ through confession, the apostle John is declaring the divinity of Jesus.
Read John 1:1-3.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
“In the beginning” here means the beginning of eternity, which is different from the beginning of Genesis 1:1. In other words, it indicates that Jesus is eternal.
Verse 1 tells us that Jesus is God the Word. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In verse 2 He was with God in the beginning.
In verse 3, all things were made through him. In other words, Jesus is the Creator.
Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Col 1:16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
The Bible declares that Jesus is the Creator God.
Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
Joh 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
He said that Jesus, the Creator, had come to his land. This means that God the Creator became a man.
Let’s read the words of prophecy about the coming of the Creator into this world. Isaiah 9:6,7
Isa 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
A baby is born, and it is prophesied that the child will become the Wonderful Counselor, the Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. That child is Jesus Christ.
It was prophesied that God would come to this earth as a baby. He foretold his coming to this earth and said he would be conceived by the Holy Spirit by a virgin. Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Let’s read verse 14.
Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God, the Word, became flesh, a man, and dwelt among us. The meaning of the original word to dwell means to pitch a tent. Just as God was with the Israelites as a tent in the Old Testament, God, the Word, became a man and lived among us.
Jesus is the one who became God. Please believe this.
The Bible clearly explains that Jesus is the Son of God, but has the same nature as God.
So, how did Jesus himself describe himself?
Joh 10:30 He said that I and the Father are one.
Joh 14:8 Philip said, Lord, show us the Father, and it will be enough for us.
Joh 14:9 Jesus said to them, Philip, I have been with you so long, and do you not know me?
Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my time; he saw it and was glad.
Joh 8:57 The Jews said, You are not yet fifty, and have you seen Abraham?
Joh 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”
Joh 8:59 They picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple.
Exo 3:13 Moses said to God, “If I go to the children of Israel and say, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What shall I say to them? Exo 3:14 God He said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, I am who I am has sent me to you.”
i am 은 모세가 어떤 하나님으로 이스라엘백성에게 말해야 할지 물어보았을 때 하나님 자신이 자신을 계시하셨던 말씀이다. I am who I am.
i am is the word that God Himself revealed when Moses asked what kind of God he should speak to the Israelites. I am who I am.
Jesus himself declared that he was one with the Father, and that whoever saw Him saw the Father, and that He is the Jehovah.
In this way, Jesus not only proclaimed that He was God, but He performed numerous miracles that only God could perform, thus testifying that He Himself was God.
The reason Jesus came to this earth is to redeem the sins of mankind as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus came to this earth to forgive me of my sins – to die.
Then, how do you have the authority of a child of God?
The authority of children of God
Let’s read verse 12.
Joh 1:12 To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
The way to become a child of God is possible by receiving Jesus as our God.
What is the fundamental sin described in the Bible? Sin is to live as the master of my own will. We must repent of that sin and now accept Jesus as our Lord. I must accept Jesus into my heart as the only Savior who forgives my sins. This is what it means to receive. And to receive Jesus like this is to believe. To truly believe, it is not enough to only intellectually agree that Jesus is God and forgave me of my sins. To believe is to voluntarily invite Jesus into my heart.
Jesus Himself invites us in Revelation 3:20.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.
According to this promise, if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Jesus will come into our hearts. And we will gain the authority of God’s children.
It is said that to those who believe in the name of Jesus, namely Jesus, and receive him, he has given the right to become children of God. Authority here refers to the right and authority to use abilities.
Even large trucks with great power and capability must stop when the traffic police, given the authority of the government, stops the car. Traffic police have government-given authority, so any car, no matter how large and powerful, must obey them. We must know that God’s children have the legitimate right and authority to use powers. Because you have the authority of a child of God, if you command in the name of Jesus, even demons will leave.
Then, what specific authority can we use as children of God?
Marriage is a socially and biologically significant change in many ways. When you get married, you change your status from single to a husband of one woman. Life is born between a husband and wife. Likewise, if you personally accept Jesus into your heart, your identity will change and many spiritual changes will take place.
Among the powers available to us as children of God:
The first is the authority of the status of a child of God. This right is, simply put, a child’s right. We, who were children of God’s wrath and children of the devil, changed our status as children of God through faith. In other words, we have become God’s inheritance. Even if you die, you will enter the kingdom of God and become a partaker of God’s glory. Rom 8:17 If children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Second, the authority we can use as God’s children is:
The authority to ask the father. That is, the right to ask for our needs in prayer. Because we are the beloved children of God, we can ask our Heavenly Father for our needs. God also promised that if we ask, seek, knock, pray, and pray, the Heavenly Father will answer us with good things. Joh 16:23 In that day you will ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
Joh 14:13 Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, so that the Father may be glorified through the Son. Joh 14:14 If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. He says that we can glorify our Heavenly Father by praying and He answers. So, what’s the toughest problem these days? Don’t worry. I hope you can hold on to the word of promise from the Father and pray to.
Third, the authority we can enjoy as children is
Intimacy with the father. True happiness is in a relationship. When we live in an intimate relationship with Almighty God, who created us and leads our lives, we can enjoy true rest, happiness, and peace in this dark and lonely world. Rom 8:15 You did not receive the spirit of bondage to fear again, but you received the spirit of adoption, so we cry, Abba, Father.
Abba means father. The Father is the source of life. He made me exist. He guides me. He who does not enjoy the joy of intimate communion with Him misses the most essential privilege. Even if you have money in your family and the children get everything they need, if they don’t have time to sit down and talk with their father because there is no intimacy and they don’t have the joy of fellowship, they’re missing something more important. This passage promises the wonderful happiness of having a deep relationship with a father as a child. People can experience great joy when they have personal and deep fellowship. The Holy Spirit does not make us fear God as a servant fears his master. Rather, it is said that God brings us close to Him and enjoys it, as if we are His beloved child. Abba is the name that a young baby calls their father. There is no dignity or face to be found here. When it’s hard and lonely, cry out “Father!” and call upon the good God. I hope you can study and work in the joy and peace of that presence. Among the authority you can enjoy as a child of God, please always use the authority and blessing of intimacy that you have with your heavenly Father.
Fourth, what we can enjoy through the authority of children
Is the authority of the child’s character.
We are made in the image of God. And God is love, and God is light. Therefore, God’s love is in us children of God, and we are children of light. We have the capacity and character to love, to forgive, and to bless.
Eph 5:8 You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Eph 5:9 The fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.
We have the power to overcome the devil.
1Jn 3:8 Whoever sins is of the devil, and the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the work of the devil.
We also have the power and authority to overcome the devil. The devil is a spirit that lies, condemns, and criticizes. The devil is proud and is a deceiver. The devil is a dark spirit. But a child of God can be honest, forgiving, accepting, and humble out of love, without condemnation or criticism. We have the capacity to love, not to hate, to bless and to forgive. We can serve, love, and sacrifice others. Such a life is a life of authority as a child of God.
Did you accept Jesus? If so, please use the authority you have as a child of God.
Remember that now we are God’s children, and an eternal and glorious heavenly inheritance awaits us. Even if we die now, we will go to heaven.
Saints, what do you need? Don’t worry or be afraid. Now boldly ask the Father for your needs in the name of Jesus.
Are you lonely? Are you tired? Call the loving God your father Abba and enjoy the happiness of being in an intimate relationship with Him. Rest in the Father.
We are children of light who can overcome the devil. Now, I hope that you will live as children of light. Loving, forgiving, and blessing others.
I bless you in the name of the Lord that you will live an abundant and miraculous life in this difficult and harsh world by enjoying the authority as God’s children every day.