총 게시물 479건, 최근 1 건

GRACE HAS COME!

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2017-12-28 (목) 09:27 조회 : 242
설교일 : 2017.12.24
설교자 : Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue
본문말씀 : John 1:1-18

GRACE HAS COME!

John 1:1-18

New Living Translation (NLT)

Reverend Dr. Charles S. G. Boayue, Jr., preaching

 

1In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.  The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.  God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”  16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.  17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.                                                -John 1: 1-18 NLT

       My brothers and sisters, it is a great joy to be with you today on the eve of Christmas!  We pray for Rev. Chan Jang’s health and healing and ask God to bless his family as they deal with his sickness.  May they and we have a merry Christmas!

      

       The four Gospels of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Three of them, except John, tell the story of Jesus Christ in the same basic way. They speak in some detail about the pregnancy of Mary while she was still a virgin and betrothed to be married to Joseph.  They tell of how Joseph found out about the pregnancy and why he secretly wanted to break off the engagement.  They also share about how the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and revealed to him that Mary’s pregnancy was not caused by a human man, but by the Spirit of God. They tell of how the baby to be born would save his people from their sins and establish God’s Kingdom of Justice and Righteousness forever.  These three Gospels tell of how Caesar Augustus, the Emperor of Rome, decreed a census and all Jews were to go to their hometowns to be counted.  These three Gospels tell about how Joseph, accompanied by his pregnant fiancée, Mary, traveled to Bethlehem (Joseph’s hometown) to be counted.  The three Gospels then give detailed accounts of how a star shone from the east, while shepherds watched their flocks in the fields by night; how a chorus of angels sang from the heavens; and how the shepherds followed the star until it came to rest over the stable where the little baby was born.  They tell of the three kings who came, bearing their gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense for the baby Jesus. The three Gospels tell the story in detail for those who want details.

But the Gospel of John, from where today’s scripture lesson comes, tells the story of the birth of the Messiah in a very different way.  And I want to focus on John’s narration of the nativity in order to make the point that John wants to make: that the baby Jesus came to save his people from their sins and to establish a new order of government in this world, based on justice and righteousness!  The Gospel of John is the only Gospel that skips the details associated with Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph’s secret plan to break off the engagement, Caesar’s census decree, the unavailability of room in Bethlehem’s Inns, and the star that led the shepherds and the wise men to Bethlehem’s manger to visit the new-born Baby. John does not intend to cover up those details, but to focus our attention on the essential activity of God for the redemption of the world.  To do so, John skips the human details and turns our attention to the divine intervention of God into human history.

 

Before the birth of the Messiah, God had sent prophets to warn Israel of the way and will of God.  Moses received and handed down the 10 Commandments by which people were to live.  These commandments were the Laws of God.  People are to live by them of face the consequences.  That is exactly what John is talking about in verse 17 when he says For the law was given through Moses, but God’s (grace) unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  The implementation of the Law delivered by Moses meant that there was no pardon for the sinner.  This code of ethics caused great suffering among the people: Sadducees against Pharisees, men against women; rich against poor, powerful against weak, Jew against Gentile, and righteous against sinner. 

Under this Code of the Law of Moses, a group of Jewish men could stone a Jewish woman to death for adultery while choosing to ignore that fact that she didn’t commit adultery alone.  It led religious leaders in the Temple at Jerusalem to turn the repentance rites of the sinner into profitable business.  It placed the priest directly between every sinner and God by requiring that the sinner must come to the priest who alone must make intercessions to God.  It placed God far away from the reach of the common believer and from access of the ordinary sinner.  God was viewed as distant, holy, unreachable, disconnected, jealous, and vengeful. God could only forgive when the sinner offered appropriate sacrifice.  The sacrifice process became a lucrative business for corrupt religious leaders at Jerusalem’s Temple.  In the meantime, while this system of Law stagnated the ministry of the Temple, made it extremely difficult for people to bring their troubles to God, ordinary Jews had to live under a brutal dictatorship of the Roman Empire.

 

Who would fight for them?  Who would confront the unjust powers of this world?  How and where would the oppressed, forsaken, widowed, and sinner find their help?  The Law was not helping those who had already sinned against God and against their fellow human beings.  The only means to pardon was now a profit-making business for religious leaders whose job was to help people turn away from sin and come back to God.  And the Temple had lost its way and abandoned it mission.  Israel was perishing – perishing spiritually and perishing physically.  And divine intervention was needed!

 

 

So the Apostle John tells us the story of the birth of the Messiah by eliminating the details and helping us understand what happened that first Christmas morning in Bethlehem.  God himself became flesh; took on our human form; identified with our reality; pitched His tent into our neighborhood; experienced our experiences; participated in our environment; shared our sorrows; understood our predicaments; faced our choices; and showed the way to our salvation!  And offered us grace – amazing grace!  Instead of the law that came through Moses, Jesus is God’s abundant grace for the sinner!

 

The birth of the Messiah is the emergence of God’s amazing grace for the every sinner! No longer shall we labor under laws that keep God distant from us!  No longer shall religious leader exploit the weaknesses of the people for personal gain!  No longer shall the powerful oppress the weak with impunity!  No longer shall the darkness hide the deeds of the unfaithful because grace has come!

 

Grace has come!  The Law is replaced!  God has pitched his tent among us!  God has exalted our humble estate!  God is with us! We are not alone!  No longer can anyone take you for granted because God’s love for you is clear today.  There is nothing, “neither life nor death, power nor principalities, height nor depth, visible nor invisible, nor anything in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

Grace has come – it is free but not cheap!  Instead of the burden of sacrifice, you and I have the abundant grace of God, Jesus Christ, to take away our sins.  

 

Grace has come directly to you and me!  Because of Jesus Christ, you and I have direct access to God!  Nothing can stand between you and God’s love for you anymore!  Corruption is defeated!  Exploitation of the weak is subverted!  Tears are wiped away!  Sickness is healed!  Sin is forgiven!  Hope is restored!  Justice is declared!  Righteousness is established.  Holiness is available!  Death has lost its sting!  Life is here! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16) 

 

Rev. John Wesley (the founder of world Methodism) and his brother, Charles Wesley, put this reality into the words of their hymn, “And Can It Be”:

 

He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite his grace!

Emptied himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;

For O my God, it found out me!

 

       Long my imprisoned spirit lay,

       Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

       Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;

       I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

       My chains fell off, my heart was free,

       I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

 

       This Christmas, Grace has come!  God is with us!  Our sins are forgiven!  Eternal life is available!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Amen!


   

총 게시물 479건, 최근 1 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
479 2018.07.15  The Grace of Restoration Acts 4:5-12 Rev. Sei Hwan Kim
478 2018.07.08  The Lord's Supper 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
477 2018.07.08  주님의 만찬 고린도전서 11장 23~26절 신경림 목사
476 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41장 17~20절 신태규 목사
475 2018.07.01  'The hand of the LORD' Isaiah 41:17-20 Rev. Taegyu Shin
474 2018.07.01  여호와의 손 이사야 41:17-20 신태규 목사
473 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3장 1~10절 권병훈 목사
472 2018.06.24  More precious than silver or gold is our faith Acts 3:1-10 Rev. Byunghoon Kwon
471 2018.06.24  은과 금보다 귀한 믿음 사도행전 3:1-10 권병훈 목사
470 2018.06.17  The Clumsy Love 1 John 4:7-12 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
469 2018.06.17  서투른 사랑 요한1서 4장 7~12절 신경림 목사
468 2018.06.10  눈물의 다짐 열왕기하 18장1~6절 권태홍 목사
467 2018.06.10  Our Tearful Pledges 2 Kings 18:1-6 Rev. Kwon
466 2018.06.03  "God is the one who does all the work!" Numbers 13:25-33 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
465 2018.06.03  하나님이 하십니다! (민수기 13:25-33) 민수기 13장 25~33절 신경림 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : The Grace of Restoration
설교일 : 2018.07.15
본문말씀 : Acts 4:5-12
설교자 : Rev. Sei Hwan Kim
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