|5:12||Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.|
|5:13||And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.|
|5:14||I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.|
|5:15||For some are already turned aside after Satan.|
|5:16||If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.|
|5:17||Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.|
[Introduction] This year the word “I Will Make You a Pillar of the Temple of God” has been given to us by God as His promise. But it may make us wonder, “Will this really be? How can I be used by God with everything I am and in my circumstances?” This is what the believers of the Philadelphia also thought. In Revelation 3:8, it is written that “they had little power.” However they lived their lives with the evidence that God commended them. And so did Apostle Paul, as in today’s passage. When God appoints us to do something, he never tells us that we should do it on our own. He didn’t say that we were going to be, but that he will make us be. I bless you in the name of our Lord that may all Yewon believers discover the true answer of becoming pillars in the temple of our Lord, and be the witnesses of this blessing.
1. Faithfulness in Duty
In 1 Timothy 1:12-13, Apostle Paul explains that Christ Jesus gave him strength so that he could accomplish what He wanted. Above all, he says that he is overwhelmed and thankful that God judged him faithfully and appointed him. He also confesses that he was a persecutor and an opponent as he used to persecute Christians with passion. He does not mention this to emphasize his problems. What he emphasizes is God’s mercy and grace that He called him as an apostle regardless of his sin. He realistically confesses this in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10. The life of an evangelist that Apostle Paul shows us was the incomparable footsteps of amazing ministry. Acts 20:24, Philippians 3:13-14 and 2 Timothy 4:7-8 speak for him that how loyal his life was. He held onto the heavenly mandate and accomplished it. I hope all of you can see that the duties you were given are the heavenly mandate that God wants you to accomplish in 2016. It is also stated in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2. I urge you to focus on spreading the Gospel of the Christ Jesus, which is the mystery of God. I bless all the believers in the name of the Lord to have a testimony of standing as the pillar of the God’s temple while you carry out your stewardships with pride.
2. The Good Fight
In 1 Timothy 1:18-20, Apostle Paul emphasizes to Timothy that he should fight the good fight based on the instructions that he previously made. In other words, we should fight the spiritual battle according to the word of God. Most of all, he emphasizes that we should firmly cope with the things that are contrary to the Gospel. He also states that we should carry out our missions with faith and a good conscience. Knowing God correctly is faith. The faith not based on the Gospel will be shipwrecked ultimately. In today`s passage, Hymenaeus and Alexander come out as the representative example of making a shipwreck of their faith. But looking at the passage, you can see that the reason why Apostle Paul handed them over to Satan was not for the destruction, but for the return by the punishment. At the starting point of this year, you sailed holding onto the New Year’s message, “I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.” Then how can you keep your faith throughout 2016? The answer is to keep the Sunday worship. When you receive new spiritual strength through the Sunday worship, you can do so one-heartedly, whole-heartedly, and continuously. I bless you in the name of the Lord that may all Yewon believers be caught by God’s word, fight the good fight of the faith and be spiritual victors in 2016.
[Conclusion] There is an acronym used among the young people in South Korea these days. It is ‘Num-sa-byeok’. This means ‘a wall that is insuperable’ in Korean. This word refers to someone who is far beyond your ability to catch up to, as that someone is perfect in everything. For example, in soccer, players like Messi and Ronaldo can be described as it. It is because these two players are far superior to the other players. It can be the same story for us in our lives. There are many problems that seem insuperable by my own strength. However there is no reason for us to be discouraged before the problems. Jesus Christ who has given us strength is always with us. I bless you in the name of the Lord that may all Yewon believers be used as pillars in all fields that Yewon church goes into for the Gospel like the Philadelphia church believers who became the pillars of God’s temple by the power of Christ even though they had little power.