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Title Goodness(2)
Preacher Rev. Jaerock Lee Bible Romans12:2 Date 2005.03.20
[Scripture]

[Romans 12: 2]
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In the last session, I explained to you the meaning of goodness through the second level.

I said you would not react with evil against evil, but just suppress your ill-feelings in your heart at the 1st level of goodness.

This might seem to be goodness that is good enough in the sight of the worldly people, but not in God's sight.

The level of goodness that can be acknowledged by God is from the 2nd level.

In the 2nd level of goodness, you would neither pay back evil with evil nor would you have any ill-feelings in your heart.

Only if you reach the second level of goodness, you will have the heavenly kingdom in you so that you will be filled with happiness and thanksgiving, and with the grace and love of the Father everyday.

Then, if you can reach higher levels of goodness than this, how happy and blessed you will be!

I will tell you about the 3rd and 4th level of goodness, and I hope this message will become life and strength to you.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will receive all the love of the Father God who wants to give only the best things to His children.


[Body]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what, is the 3rd level of goodness? It is a level at which goodness moves even the hearts of those who do evil against you.

Even if the other person acts in evil, gives you pain, gives you hard times, and hates you, you do not have any ill-feelings or think in evil but only understand and forgive that person. Up to this level is the 2nd level of goodness.

The 3rd level of goodness moves the heart of a person and gives joy and happiness to that person, even when they act in evil toward you.

The power of the 3rd level of goodness is able to come out from you no matter what the situation or the kind of person involved.

[Listen closely:] When you have no ill feelings and do not react with evil against evil it is a passive goodness that is at the 2nd level. However, the 3rd level of goodness is an active level of goodness where evil can be repaid with goodness.

A person who has achieved this level of goodness can be said to have reached the whole spirit.

This kind of person has not only cast off his flesh and forms of evil as God's Word says, "Don't do this" and "Throw this away", but also accomplished God's Word saying "Do this" and "Keep that."

For example, Matthew 5:39-42 says, "But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. [40] And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. [41] If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. [42] Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

If you can practice and model the acts of goodness in this kind of verse from the depth of your heart and in a natural way, you are at the 3rd level of goodness.

You do not calculate your loss or gain. You don't even care about sacrificing yourself to fulfill what is good.

Also, even if there is a person who acts like an enemy towards you, you would only think of the ways to have peace with him.

Listening to this message up to now, are there any of you who think this level will only result in difficulties for you since you have to sacrifice yourself, absorb losses, and yield of yourself in order to reach a higher level of goodness?

Of course, in reality, you might have to sacrifice yourself and take the burden for the moment.

But if your heart is filled with true goodness, you would not feel this is something difficult. You would rather be joyful and happy about doing the very nature of true goodness itself.

Also, what is important is that you will have stronger spiritual light as you get rid of evil from you and accomplish goodness in you, since it is spiritual power to be sinless.

Once you enter into the 2nd level of goodness, the enemy devil and Satan cannot work due to your spiritual light, so tests and trials will leave you.

Also, even if you face a trial, you will be blessed because you will pass it with goodness. How, then, will it be if you enter the 3rd level of goodness?

The evil one will not be able to even touch you, and you will be able to destroy the deceptive misleading methods of the enemy Satan and the devil.

For example, a person who has acted with evil toward you can be moved in his heart by your words and deeds of goodness, so that he will repent and turn from his ways.

The reason this happens is that spiritually, the enemy devil that was working on the other person leaves because your spiritual light is so strong. That spiritual light reaches and influences the small portion of goodness that is remaining in the other person.

Therefore, I want you to remember that goodness is not just being nice and showing weakness by giving up, instead it is the power to drive away the enemy Satan and devil and destroy their schemes.

We can find examples of this in the Bible. But, since I will explain to you later about the goodness of the Bible's patriarchs, I will only give you a couple brief examples now.

The David is the first example. David did nothing wrong but he had to run from Saul who had chased after him for a long time. One day, he had a great chance to kill Saul.

Saul went into a cave, unarmed, to take a rest where David was hiding.

But David did not even think of revenge but just cut off a piece of Saul's clothing.

Then, when he was far away from Saul, he expressed his true heart to Saul with such beautiful words.

1 Samuel 24:11 says, "See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life."
David spoke only with words of goodness.
David was very humble, and though Saul hated him so much and was chasing after him, David called him "father".

Furthermore, he said he was just like a dog compared to King Saul and to comfort Saul's heart and promised not to harm the king at all.

Listening to these words of David, even evil Saul was moved and he shed his tears.

1 Samuel 24:16-17 says, "When David finished saying this, Saul asked, 'Is that your voice, David my son?' And he wept aloud. [17] 'You are more righteous than I,' he said. 'You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly.'" Then, Saul took his army back and went home.

If you pay evil only with goodness, there is nothing on which Satan can work, so even an evil person cannot but be moved in his heart.

Of course, because the evilness of Saul was so great, his evil was motivated again later. But at that particular moment, by the light of goodness of David, the darkness was driven away, so that even evil Saul repented and turned back.

It was the case with Daniel as well. He was wrongfully accused and was thrown in the lion's den, but he did not have any ill-feelings against those who slandered him.

He was not even disappointed by the king who loved him very much for not saving his life.

And when he was saved from the lion's den dramatically by the work of God, he spoke words of great service to the king. Daniel 6:21-22 says, "Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! [22] My God sent his angel and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king."

The king was very sorry for Daniel because he could not save Daniel even knowing his innocence. And when he heard these good words from Daniel, his heart was greatly moved!

Daniel 6:23 says, "The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God."

Then the king immediately punished those who tried to kill Daniel, glorified Daniel, and gave a decree to his whole nation to respect the God of Daniel.

Likewise, the power of goodness is very strong. It can demolish the works of the enemy devil and Satan and give glory to God so greatly.

And God always walks with those who have reached this level of goodness and answers them according to the wishes in their hearts.

But there is a higher level of goodness than this. In the examples, David and Daniel stayed at the 3rd level of goodness but they accomplished the highest level of goodness, and they reached very honorable positions in New Jerusalem.

And now, are there any of you who are thinking, "I haven't even cast off my evil yet. When will I be able to pass the 2nd level and reach the 3rd level of goodness?

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Even if you have not yet cast off your evil completely, if you just try to act in goodness, you will be able to get rid of your evil more quickly.

Of course, it would be different from good words and good deeds coming from the heart that is completely cultivated with goodness. But, if you try your best to add goodness to your heart in loving God, you will have that goodness coming out from that accumulated goodness.

Just as hatred goes away if you practice love, if you try to think in goodness, speak in goodness, and act in goodness, the evil in you will also go away as much as goodness is added.

When you cast away your evil and act in goodness at the same time, and if you have removed all the evil in you, then it means you have reached the 2nd level of goodness.

So, even in the 2nd level of goodness, you can have such good words and deeds that can move the heart of the other person.

But sometimes, you just stay at the same level by not reacting with evil and only occasionally speaking good words that can comfort the heart of those who act evilly toward you.

Att the 2nd level of goodness, you can still act in goodness to move the other person's heart.

But at the 3rd level of goodness, you will always have words and deeds only of goodness.

So, you should not think you are at the 3rd level of goodness just because you do not have any ill-feelings in you and you speak with good words even to those who did evil to you.

You should check whether your good deeds are always the same in any kind of situation and to any kind of person.

I hope you will be able to come into a higher level of goodness that is acknowledged by God by checking yourself correctly.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, lastly, I will tell you about the 4th level of goodness, that is the highest level.

At this level, you will be able to give your life unsparingly even for those who do evil to you.

It is the level of goodness of God who gave His one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice for sinners.

Also, it is the level of goodness of our Lord Jesus who gave up His life not only for the righteous but also for sinners.

The sufferings of Jesus that He took until He shed all His blood and died on the cross were unbearable for a man.

But why did Jesus take this way with joy?

It was to make us God's children by redeeming us from our sins. Further, it was to make us God's children who have truly good and clean hearts.

Even before He was crucified, Jesus received terrible suffering.

His body was already fully covered by His blood due to the crown of thorns and the scourging by the soldiers.

After suffering these pains, Jesus had to take up the wooden cross that was much bigger and heavier than he was.

Despite His exhaustion and already sheading so much blood, Jesus carried the cross and took each step toward Golgotha, the location of crucifixion.
He fell, stood up again, and then fell again after only a few steps. But He still went all the way standing up again and again.

At that time, nobody knew why He had to take so much suffering. There were just some women who truly loved Jesus and followed Him in mourning.

Most others considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted, as said in Isaiah 53:4.

But Isaiah 53:5 says, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

Jesus was hung on a tree to redeem us from the curse of death that was inflicted upon sinners, and shed His spotless blood to redeem the sinners from their sins at once.

The reason why he was whipped was to free us from all kinds of diseases. He wore a crown of thorns to forgive all our sins that we commit in our thoughts.

He was nailed through His hands and feet to forgive our sins that we commit with our hands and feet.

Likewise, Jesus came to this earth to give His everything for us sinners, and finally He gave even His life to give us eternal life.

Jesus even wanted the Jews and Pharisees who had caught Him to kill Him, and the soldiers who whipped and crucified Him, to realize the providence of salvation of the cross and gain salvation.

So, He prayed on the cross for them saying, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Therefore, we should realize this love and grace of the Lord and fulfill what He desired of us taking up all the sufferings.

It is to become the spiritual children whom God wants: children who love God to the utmost degree and whose hearts are truly good and perfect.

In the Bible we can find many people who have reached this 4th level of goodness like Jesus who gave His life even for evil people.

First of all, we can talk about Moses.

In Exodus 32:32, Moses prays for the people of Israel who keep on disobeying God's Word. It is said, "But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written."

Moses let the people of Israel experience wondrous works of God's power including letting them cross the Red Sea as if they were walking on dry land.

Still, they always complained and grumbled against Moses, and they even tried to stone Moses. Even for this kind of people, when God's wrath was about to fall on them, Moses prayed to God, giving his life as collateral, to receive forgiveness for those people.

In the New Testament, there is also an apostle who prayed with the heart that resembles Moses. He is the apostle Paul.

Romans 9:3 says, "For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race,"

Here, "my brothers, those of my own race" refers to Jews and Pharisees who persecuted and disturbed the apostle Paul so much.

Acts 23:12-13 says, "The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. [13] More than forty men were involved in this plot." Likewise, the apostle Paul did not want his brothers, those of his own race, to be ruined, even though they persecuted and distressed him so much.

Rather, he wanted them to receive salvation, even if it meant he could not be saved.

Because the apostle Paul accomplished this kind of goodness, God the Father gave him such great power that when handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, diseases left and evil spirits were driven out.

Additionally, Abraham, Elijah, and Enoch also reached the highest level of goodness.

If you reach the highest level of goodness, the enemy devil and Satan cannot hinder you. You will be a delight in God's sight so that you will receive answers to even the things that you just desire in your heart.

You will also be able to receive authority and power and give glory to God greatly. You will also dwell in New Jerusalem, the most beautiful place in heaven and stay closer to the throne of the Father to enjoy greater honor forever.

Therefore, I hope you will long for goodness and come into the level of complete goodness more quickly.


[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in two sessions, I have explained to you what the goodness is that God acknowledges, and the four levels of goodness to reach the perfect goodness.

In the 3rd session of 'goodness', I will tell you about the practical aspects of goodness through the examples of Biblical characters.

You will clearly understand what God's good will is through the heart and deeds of various characters. But the pleasing will of God is not just to know but to put the knowledge into practice.

It is the perfect will of God to act in goodness continuously without changing, even as time goes by and the circumstances change.

3 John 1:11 says, "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God."

Therefore, I hope you will act unchangingly in goodness and, as God's spotless children, shine as lights in the world full of sins, so that you will give glory to God greatly.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will also be able to receive the glory and blessings.

2005-03-24 Posted
2016-02-16 Updated

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