총 게시물 423건, 최근 0 건

The Life of a Witness

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2017-12-06 (수) 03:06 조회 : 41
설교일 : 2017.12.03
설교자 : Rev. Shin
본문말씀 : John 1:6-15

December 3, 2017

 

The Life of a Witness

John 1:6-15

 

Rev. Taegyu Shin’s Sermon at the KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

<The Advent>

Today is the first Sunday of the Advent season. The Advent is the period of time we have before the birth of Lord Jesus, and like the Lent season before the Easter, the Advent is for the four Sundays before Christmas. Therefore, in the church calendar, the Advent is the beginning of a new year.

 

Nowadays, we are so used to getting what we want right away, no matter where we are, thanks to the advancement of technology, that we hate to wait for anything.

 

I remember my experience at a Social Security office in California when I first came to U.S. I was there to get my Social Security number and after a long time of waiting, finally it was going to be my turn, but the worker suddenly closed the window, saying that it was ‘the lunch hour’.

 

There were a lot of people still waiting for their turn, and I was confused and didn’t know what to do. Was I supposed to go out for lunch also? I was worried that I might lose my turn if I went out, so I just sat there and waited indefinitely for the office to re-open. Because I had expected my visit there to be short, my waiting seemed extremely long and time was going so slow.

 

For all of us, the Advent is the time to experience waiting indefinitely. We think the Advent is only until Christmas on December 25th, but, we are waiting until God really sends baby Jesus to us. Therefore, the Advent is the time to examine our faith as well as our patience.

 

<Abraham>

The best example of a man who lived the life of a long wait is Abraham. When he was called by God in Ur of Chaldea, he was 75 years old and later when he got his promised son in the promised land, he was 100 years old. He certainly faced many ups and downs during these years, but he waited patiently for such a long time that he has been called ‘the forefather of faith’.

 

<The double meanings of the Advent>

The Advent has two meanings; the first meaning is for Christmas and the second meaning is for the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

<The first coming vs. the second coming>

What is more difficult to wait for, the first coming or the second coming of Jesus? For most of us, the first coming is an event of the past, so the second coming of Jesus seems more difficult to wait for. But on the other hand, after the first coming, the second coming is to be expected. Therefore, the first coming could have been more difficult to wait for.

 

<The same promise, but different expectations>

There are some people who do not believe that the promised Messiah has come already, and they are still waiting for Messiah. The Jews have been waiting for the promised Messiah since the time of Moses.

 

Deuteronomy 18:18  “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.”

 

So, the Jews have been expecting a powerful prophet like Moses who will tell them everything God says.

 

The prophet Isaiah who had worked during the reigns of many kings of Judah from King Uzziah till Hezekiah said the following.

 

Isaiah 11:1-2  “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”

 

Isaiah’s prophecy continues on to describe this Messiah’s reign and ministry of the world until verse 11:9; He will reign with righteousness and justice, and in that world, the wolf will live with the lamb, and the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

 

We know that the Messiah promised by God is Lord Jesus and believe that He is the incarnated God, but the Jews don’t think Messiah has come and are still waiting for their Messiah.

 

<Own way of thinking>

Why don’t the Jews believe in Lord Jesus, whom even the Gentiles believe in? The biggest reason is that they believe in only one God and they think He couldn’t be at the two places of heaven and earth.

 

Also, they believe their God is too holy to become a man, and that God couldn’t come down to earth. The kind of Messiah they are waiting for is a powerful liberator from the oppression of foreigners, like Moses or David, and he cannot be as powerless as a baby or to be crucified on the cross.

 

What do you think? Do you think there is anything the Almighty God cannot do? We should not expect God’s work to be within the confines of our own way of thinking. As there is nothing God cannot do, He will do whatever He wants to do.

 

God’s intention of sending His son to us was proclaimed to the serpent at the time of Adam’s original sin. Let us meditate on two verses in the Bible.

 

Genesis 3:15  “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 

Who is the offspring of the woman? The Jews think that all the Jews or David’s descendants are the offspring. But we disagree. The only offspring of only the woman is Jesus who was born of a virgin woman.

 

Isaiah 7:14  “Therefore the LORD himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

 

This is very hard to understand for us with the usual common sense. The Jews think this child is the whole Israel and denies that Lord Jesus is the ‘Immanuel’, the offspring of the woman, the son of a virgin, and that He is the one to crush the head of a serpent, namely, the authority of Satan.

 

Do you still think that a virgin giving birth is impossible? God created Adam in His own image, and took a rib from Adam to create Eve. Now why couldn’t He create a perfect and pure embryo for Virgin Mary to carry?

 

I want to share a funny episode of the famous comedian Bong-Suh Koo who was a devout Christian. When someone voiced his disbelief in Virgin Mary giving birth, Mr. Koo rebuked him by saying, “What is there not to believe? Even Mary’s husband Joseph believed, and who are you to say that you can’t believe?”

 

While waiting, we should not expect what we have requested to happen, but we should just wait and experience what God accomplishes at His own time in His own way.

 

Therefore, the Advent is the time for us to concentrate in waiting for the greatest event of God coming down to meet with us as a person, and we should not be distracted by other things during this period. We should not insist on our own way and our own will, but accept and experience this as the best gift from God.

 

It is obvious that God who created us and knows us best will always give us the best gift filled with love.

 

<Those who welcome and accept baby Jesus>

Welcoming baby Jesus is not enough. Just as the Jews have been waiting for their Messiah, today’s people anxiously wait for Christmas. As soon as Thanksgiving Day is over, Christmas carols fill the airwaves and everywhere we see Christmas decorations. People are more excited about Christmas than a church is. Are they the disciples of Jesus? No, they are only interested in self-satisfaction.

 

What Jesus really wants is not this kind of celebration, but having those people accept Him and become the children of God.

 

But, most of the people have been so used to the darkness of sins that they instinctively try to avoid the light and stay away. Mindful of this, God sent John the Baptist ahead to prepare the way for Jesus.

 

John 1:6-8  “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”

 

John the Baptist became well known and very popular, a lot more than Lord Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. Many people hoped that John was the Messiah.

 

But, disregarding the great expectations, praises and popularity, John only used them in testifying Lord Jesus.

 

John 1:15  John testifies concerning Him. He cries out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’”

 

John the Baptist even allowed two disciples of his own to leave him and follow Jesus. Just as one bright star led the Magi from the East to baby Jesus, John the Baptist was the star to lead the Jewish people to Lord Jesus.

 

Lord Jesus came to this world as the light to change us. By giving us the light, He is leading us out of the darkness and we can walk in the light after accepting Him. And now we can see the beautiful flowers and precious stones because of the light.

 

After accepting the light, a believer’s life is completely different from others. Because of Jesus, we have become more powerful.

 

Advent is the time for each of us to be a witness so that we can lead others to where we are going. There was a story in Korea about some late night drinkers who had to leave the bar after the closing hour. They just followed other people hurriedly going somewhere, and they ended up at a church for the special early morning prayer service.

 

A lot of people are not interested in knowing Lord Jesus, but our ministry is to let the light into the lives of others in the darkness. This is the life of a witness.

 

It is our turn now to lead others to Lord Jesus like the star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi from the East to greet baby Jesus in a manger.

 

Now that the Advent is here, Christmas will be here soon!

 

Every Sunday morning, after parking our cars, we go over our appearances and gather our wits before coming into the sanctuary to concentrate on receiving the grace of God, and during the Advent, we should go over our inner selves to make sure that we appreciate all the blessings bestowed upon us.  By leading others to the Lord, you have become the shining star to those who were seeking for Him.

 

 


 

총 게시물 423건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
423 2017.12.03  The Life of a Witness John 1:6-15 Rev. Shin
422 2017.12.03  증거자의 삶 요한복음 1:6-15 신태규 목사
421 2017.11.26.  "What will you ask for?" James 1:5-8 Rev. Bae
420 2017.11.26.  무엇을 구할 것인가? 야고보서 1:5-8 배세진 목사
419 2017.11.19.  'Give thanks, my soul' 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rev. Jang
418 2017.11.19.  '감사하라, 내 영혼아' 데살로니가 전서 5:16-18 장찬영 목사
417 2017.11.05.  'Only for the Lord' Romans 14:6-9 Rev. Lee
416 2017.11.05.  오직 주를 위하여 로마서 14:6~9 이훈경 목사
415 2017.10.29.  A church as a faith community Acts 9:8~19A Rev. Jang
414 2017.10.29.  교회창립45주년기념 - ‘신앙 공동체로서의 교회’ 사도행전 9:8~19A 장찬영 목사
413 2017.10.22.  'Blessings to those who are persecuted because of righteousness' Matthew 5:10-12 Rev. Jang
412 2017.10.22.  행복하여라: 의를 위하여 핍박받는 자여 마태복음 5:10~12 장찬영 목사
411 2017.10.15.  The Story of a Father's Wasted Love Luke 15:11-24 Rev. Kwon
410 2017.10.15.  낭비된 아버지의 사랑 이야기 누가복음 15:11~24 권태홍 목사
409 2017.10.08.  Like Father, Like Son Ephesians 2:1-8 Rev. Joseph Kim
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The Life of a Witness
설교일 : 2017.12.03
본문말씀 : John 1:6-15
설교자 : Rev. Shin

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