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The condition for true happiness (Romans 4:4-9)


Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED. “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.” Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Romans 4:4-9)

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There is not a person in this world who does not yearn for happiness. During the late 18th century Lyon University in France had an essay competition on a theme regarding happiness. There were tens of thousands who applied, but one thesis stood out among them. 
“Within human beings coexist both the nature of the beast and the nature of the spirit. One cannot attain happiness by satisfying only the nature of the beast, in other words the desires of the flesh. True happiness lies within satisfaction of the spirit.”
Mankind attains happiness through the elevation of the spirit and soul. The spirit must be well in order to enjoy the blessings of all-around prosperity, health and prosperity. “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). Even the powerful, rich, and the famous are empty when there is an absence of satisfaction of the soul. Do you feel immense joy and experience a satisfaction of the spirit and soul when studying the Bible?

Happy is the person who believes that God is his Father.
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! (*Aramaic for father) Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15-16). 
The Bible tells us that God is our Father (Galatians 4:6, John 1:12, Psalm 89:26, Isaiah 63:16). Jesus also said, "Your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16, 45, 48, John 1:18). 
Our physical fathers have limitations, and therefore children become disappointed as they grow up and realize this fact. However, those who believe that God is their Father are never disappointed. Human beings deceive each other. They change and are disappointed, but God is good from beginning to end. He is not one who smiles in his good moods but turns away in his bad moods. He is the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords (1 Timothy 6:15-16), and He holds on to us until the end. Without beginning or end, He does not grow old. He holds limitless power, goodness, wisdom, and wealth. No one can touch God's wealth. Therefore, those who live with God as their Father are those with blessings and authority. 
They are the wealthiest on the earth. David confessed, “Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone” (1 Chronicles 29:12).

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There is a church in North Carolina which many of the extremely wealthy attend. However, among them was an impoverished widow who attended that church as well. Someone asked her, “I heard that church is filled with wealthy people.” The widow replied, “Yes, I am among the wealthy as well.” The person who asked the question opened his eyes wide. 
The widow added, “That is because God who created and rules over the entire universe is my Father. He has named every star and calls them by name” (Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26, 45:5, 12). It was then that the person who asked the question lowered his head and said, “I have been a Christian for 60 years but today I have truly learned from you that God is my Father.” In tears he repented for not believing the words in the Bible and after everyone had left he remained alone at the church to pray. This earth is filled with dirt but in heaven there is an abundance of gold (Revelation 21:18). Why do you worry because of the huts on this earth? In heaven, you have a home made of gold, silver, and precious stones that will never be destroyed. We are sons of the King.

Happy is the person who firmly believes his sins are forgiven.
We have many sins that we have committed knowingly and unknowingly. The sins of the parents are passed down to the third or fourth generation. The Bible asks, “... who ever perished being innocent?” ( Job 4:7). You are destroyed when you have sin. If you sin and your conscience is alive you lose your appetite because you are dragged down by anxiety. You must rid yourself completely of sin. You must trample over it so that it cannot dare to follow you. God does not turn away those who repent. God grants salvation to those who cry, “How did I end up committing such a sin?" and are sincerely contrite and confess their wrongdoings (Psalms 38:18, 51:17). Even for the prodigal son who squanders away his inheritance and lives a life of debauchery, his father is there waiting at every sunset and when the son finally returns He runs barefooted to receive his son. Though his son returns looking like a beggar, the father embraces and kisses the filthy and foul-smelling body of his son and dresses him with new robes. This is God the Father (Luke 15:14-32). If you lack conviction of the forgiveness of your sins then you are merely like a pendulum swinging between home and church as you grow more and more uneasy. My fellow brethren, now is not the time to eat, drink, nor converse about and enjoy the things of the world. If there is anyone that is living like this he must repent. If you cannot do so then it is better for death to come. Is there a husband that tells his wife to be frugal with money even in buying bean sprouts, yet he himself goes out and wastes his money on meaningless places? 
He must repent. Is there a father who gives his children fear instead of love? He must repent. Be forgiven of your sins. When one sins he cannot even go home. Then even more so, heaven is out of the question. You must repent in order for God to receive you. When you sin there must be a consciousness that states, “I am the most pitiful and unfortunate person in the world. I have no place to go.” If we lack the conviction of the forgiveness of sins it is for three reasons. First, it is because there is an absence of knowing just how dreadful sin is. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Second, it is because the grace of thorough repentance has not been received. Third, it is because there lacks a realization of the power and authority in the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. No matter how heavy the sin may be, it cannot be heavier than the cross that Jesus carried up Golgotha. No matter how scarlet the sin may be, it cannot be more scarlet than the precious blood of the cross (Isaiah 1:18). No matter how strong the burden of the sin may be, it cannot be stronger than the cross. Just one drop of the blood of the cross has the authority and power to atone for the dreadful sins of a myriad of people.
Today’s main scripture is Apostle Paul restating David’s confession after receiving forgiveness for his sins (Psalm 32:1-2). David committed the horrid sin of stealing another man’s wife and sending the husband off to battle to die. However, after being rebuked by the prophet Nathan, David thoroughly repented until his blanket was soaked in tears. We must repent in such a way so that we may confess, “Everything is changed since my sins were forgiven. Everything is changed since I knew the Lord; Now my feet are walking the pathway to heaven; All the guilty past now is under the blood” (Hymnal 210).

Happy is the person that knows there is a house awaiting him in heaven when he leaves this earth.
Even when one works tirelessly until evening, he can endure the work when there is a wife and children waiting to welcome him at home. A warm word melts the heart that has been frozen over. However, if there is no one to greet him, the sojourner’s journey becomes lonelier and more exhausting. Dismal and lonely is the heart of the parents when their awaited children do not come. Happiest are those who have someone to greet them in joy whether it is at home, church, or at the workplace. When someone is waiting for you, your footsteps grow faster. They become lighter. As this is so important to us on this earth, then what will we do if Jesus does not greet us in heaven? Even if there is no one waiting for us on this earth, if there is someone waiting for us in heaven, then our heart is at peace and overflows with gladness and joy. In heaven awaits our groom Jesus who greets us in joy; the angels and heavenly hosts will sing praises, and the saints that have gone before us are waiting to reunite with us (Revelation 5).
My fellow brethren, I ask you this question: Are you truly happy? You cannot attain happiness with just wealth, honor, and health. It is only after you have been forgiven of your sins, received God as your Father, and believe that Jesus is the Lord of eternal life then you can confess, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). My brethren of Pyungkang Cheil Church, I bless you in the Lord’s name that this word would be upon even the infant in the mother’s womb so that we would all receive the crown of righteousness. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” ( John 14:1-2). There is one promise given to us and that is solely eternal life. I hope that you would cast your worries away and walk to heaven in confidence and faith into the Father's arms. In heaven, the elderly becomes like a child and the moment you think of something it is fulfilled (Isaiah 60, 65). I bless you in the Lord's name that not one person would despair but instead would receive salvation through the meritorious blood of the cross and enter the kingdom of God with the authority of having become a child of God. 

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Let us pray.
“Father God, 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 states that whether you eat or drink you must do it for the glory of God. Please bless the congregation of Pyungkang Cheil Church to live for the glory of God until they enter heaven. As Philippians 1:19-20 reads, may we exalt Your name on high in whatever we do. Colossians 1:27 states that Christ is the hope of glory. Please bless us that the hope of glory be eternally planted within our hearts. Whether in times of suffering or joy may the hearts of the congregation be unified so that we devote ourselves solely to the Lord, the kingdom of God and the church, and our families. May we be unchanging and live for the glory of God alone. You have told us of the blessing of the forgiveness of our transgressions and that You would cover our sins and not acknowledge them, therefore, cleanse us completely of all our sins with the precious blood of the cross. Until we enter Your kingdom please watch over each and every one of us, our families, and our businesses with the flaming gates of the Holy Spirit so that Satan will not grab a foothold. Moreover, as You give us the blessings of vitality and strength, may we diligently read the Bible and pray to You in thanksgiving. Please be at work within us so that we may always overflow in an abundance of thanksgiving within the Word. All these things we pray while lifting up the holy name of Jesus with thanksgiving. Amen."

 

A sermon from the second Lord's Day service on June 26, 2011


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