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Title Goodness(10)
Preacher Rev. Jaerock Lee Bible Romans9:1-3 Date 2005.07.31
[Reading passage]

Romans 9:1-3
"1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel."

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This time is the 12th session of goodness. Today I will preach about the second and more goodness of the apostle Paul.

The first goodness of the apostle Paul was that his gratitude for the grace of the Lord was steadfast and unchanging in any circumstances.
The severer hardships and persecutions he suffered, the stronger the aroma of his thanks to the Lord became.
While he and Silas were preaching the gospel at Philippi, they were stripped and severely beaten with rods, and they were thrown into prison. There they sang praises to God.
He did not offer songs of sorrow and elegy but only songs full of joy and thanks.

Under severe hardships, his joyous and thankful songs overflowing from within his heart could move the heart of God.
In Acts 16:26, "Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose."
The jailer who saw this shocking scene accepted the gospel, repented of his sins and gained salvation. Then, he and his households formed the foundation of the Philippi Church.

This devotion of the apostle Paul caused countless Gentiles to be saved. His responsibility for the apostle to the Gentiles had never cooled down.
He had never shrunken until he fulfilled his task, and he had not considered his duty as difficult one at all.
At the shipwrecked time, he had to lean on a piece of wood-board in the cold and dark seawater all day and all night. He was never scared or frustrated, but at that moment he thought of the heart of the Father as broad as the sea and missed the Lord.
That's why God the Father was willing to exalt him to a glorious position.
When I speak about the goodness of the apostle Paul, I pray in the name of the Lord your heart be filled with the purest goodness that touches the heart of Father God.

Dear brothers and sisters,
The second goodness of the apostle Paul was that he loved souls with the heart of the Lord and even willed to sacrifice his life for those who persecuted him.
He who really loves the Lord comes to love souls like the Lord.
That's because he realizes from the bottom of his heart that Jesus came down to the earth and was crucified to save sinners.
While Jesus was hung on a cross, He prayed for those who crucified Him, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they do not what they are doing."
And He said, "I'm thirsty" and revealed His earnest desire for saving souls.
So, if we truly love the Lord, we will take pity and mercy on the souls who are running toward death because of their sins.
The Apostle Paul's love for the souls was so great that he confessed in Philippians 1:8, "God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus."
Just as Jesus had mercy on sinners while he was suffering from severe pains on the cross, the Apostle Paul was not concerned about himself when he suffered from hardships and tough persecutions.
Rather, Paul was concerned about the churches founded in the name of the Lord and their members, and he prayed for them always.
His heart for them is well described in 2 Corinthians 11:28-29.
"28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?"
Then, pastors and church workers, what did you think of when something wrong happened to you and your family?
Please check whether your mind was concerned about you and your family, and neglected taking care of the members.
Have you neglected taking care of members with a more uncomfortable mind when something wrong happened to your family than when the same occurred to your members?
Then, it tells that you have loved yourself and your family more than the Lord and the souls the Lord bought with payment of His blood.
When God called me as His servant, He gave me the following words. "I have refined you three years, so now arm yourself with the word of God three years. You have loved Me more than your parents, brothers, wife, and children. Let out your store and go My way. Let your wife manage the store."
Thus I became a servant of the Lord, and since the founding of my church to this day I have lived only for the glory of Father God and the souls God had asked me to take care of.
I spent much more time on praying to God than enjoying with my family, and when some extra time was given, I was with church members.
I wished all church members would live a healthy and blessed life, and tried to lay down everything I had for it.
Just the way the Apostle Paul said, "Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?" when I saw a member ill I felt the same pain as his.
So, I more earnestly prayed for the sick and then God the Father healed them of any kind of incurable diseases.
When they sinned, I repented and lamented instead of them, and asked for God's forgiveness.
I did not ask God to forgive them of their sins, but said to God, "Father, It's my fault. They sinned because I did not teach them properly."
Father God listened to my prayer and gave them the chance of their repentance even if it is hard for them to be forgiven.
When I asked God for those who committed severe sins and could not receive God's mercy, my heart and body had to suffer from unbearable pains.
My heart melted like burning candles, and my energy flowed out of my body when I prayed for them with all my sincerity, so I had big difficulty in standing. Sometimes I had to fight against intolerable convulsion.
In that situation, I felt the greater pain in my heart because of church members than the pain on my body.
How painful and lamentable the Apostle Paul felt when church members acted against the will of God!
So, he confessed in Philippians 3:18, "For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ."
That's why he traveled around every church and did not stop admonishing them day and night with tears so that they could live in the truth of the gospel.
He did all this because he loved the souls so much who our Lord bought with the payment of His blood.
This fervent love of Paul was not limited to those who accepted the gospel.
Those who accepted the gospel were in the border of salvation, but people who denied the gospel and persecuted were not able to be saved.
With the heart of a debtor, Paul always thought how he could lead those persecuting and denying people to salvation.
This heart of Paul is well written in Romans 9:1-3.
"1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel."
"My own race" here do not simply indicate his relatives.
Paul, who used to be a Pharisee, converted and became the apostle to the Gentiles. And he traveled around many areas to preach the way of salvation through Jesus Christ, but some Jews hated it severely and persecuted him.
They followed and persecuted Paul wherever he went for the gospel. In Acts 23:12-13, more than forty Jews bound themselves with an oath to neither eat nor to drink until they had killed Paul.
Paul wished he would be cursed and cut off from Christ if only those wicked people were saved.
Because he accomplished the highest level of goodness to the point of laying down his own life for those who caused evils.
"Cutting off from the Christ" means falling into hell. He did not confess it because he did not know the horror of hell.
The Apostle Paul understood hell more than anybody else. Nonetheless, he confessed he could wish to fall into hell if only they could be saved. This tells us how great his love for the souls was.

His heart resembled that of Jesus our Lord who took the penalty of death for sinners to become the way of salvation for sinners.
For this reason, God the Father was willing to love Paul and exalted him to honorable position in heaven.
Dear brothers and sisters,
The third goodness of the Apostle Paul was that he gave all the glory to God although he received power and revelations.
God the Father recognized the faith of Paul and gave him great power.
With the power God gave Paul, a born lame got up and walked and Paul was never harmed when he was bitten by a viper. And God performed extraordinary miracles through Paul. So, people put handkerchiefs and aprons on his body and when they touched the sick people with them, the sick people were healed and evil spirits were cast out.
Although Paul could perform this amazing power, he never became arrogant but gave all the gory to the Lord.
So, he confessed in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."
Paul was so humble and accomplished a pure and clean heart because he died every day. So, he could have deep fellowship with God and experience many spiritual things.
God let Paul see heaven and know heavenly rewards.
His desire for the spiritual realm became more earnest to the bones.
The more he desired to understand the spiritual realm the more the Lord let Paul understand about the spiritual realm through revelations.

Our Lord gave Paul revelations and let him know the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the kingdom of heaven and Melchizedek.
The more he could understand the heart of the Father through revealed spiritual messages, the stronger his love for the Father and the Lord became.
The Apostle Paul kept the spiritual words in his heart and told promising people these spiritual secrets to lead them to love the Lord more fervently.
But, he did not tell any story to those who could not understand those spiritual things because he had the ability to control himself in everything.
Then, have you spread a secret to many people when you heard it?
The reason that I speak some revelations at the meetings or to some servants is because I want them to change through those revelations.
I wish they keep the revelations in their mind and cultivate their hearts into spirit with those revelations.
Differently from my intention, some people spread them to many people to boast themselves. They want to show off themselves saying they have much spiritual knowledge and the favor of the shepherd.
Sometimes I ask listeners to seal their mouth about revelations, but some workers spread them here and there although they are not allowed to do it. It tells how much they want to boast of themselves.
Goodhearted people are not pompous of some spiritual knowledge they have gained.
But when wicked people gained spiritual knowledge, saw visions and heard secrets of the spiritual realm, they take advantage of them to show off themselves.

They try to show off themselves expressing that they are favored by God that much and reached that much level of spirit.
Goodhearted people, when they gained spiritual knowledge, try to keep it in their mind and cultivate their hearts with it.
Whatever they see with their spiritual eyes, they will be thankful to God the Father. They do not show off themselves but try to change into spirit.
If they heard deep and secret spiritual messages, they try their best to change into spirit with the words.
The Apostle Paul was so humble that he did not say, "I am greatly favored by God, receive deep revelations and have this deep fellowship with God."
That's because he produced the fruit of goodness, patience and self-control.
He did not say a single of word to those who could not understand it, and kept what he could say lest anybody should stumble down.
In 2 Corinthians 12:1 he said he had been in heaven, "I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord."
And in the following verse 5, "I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses."
He wanted to plant the hope for heaven into the hearts of church members by letting them know his testimony about heaven, but had no desire to boast of himself.
Paul knew enough he could not realize such spiritual things on his own.
Because he knew he could understand many spiritual things through the work of the Holy Spirit, he had a special love for the Holy Spirit.
He did not think he accomplished nothing by his own prayer but recognized everything is possible with the work of the Holy Spirit.
Have you so easily said that "My prayer gives me this answer or my heart is not controlled like that"? In fact, any child of God should hear the Holy Spirit and be guided by Him.
Please check whether or not you said those things to show off yourself as if you were a spiritually distinguished man?
When you prayed for the sick with the handkerchief I had prayed on and testify to the healing of those sick people, what did you do? Did you completely glorify God or did you want to reveal yourself no matter how little that kind of desire was?
Goodhearted people never take the glory of God but offer all the glory to Him.
Rather, they feel thankful and sorry for being used as tools for His glory.
They fully rely on God and have much more confidence because they understand and acknowledge those things do not come form their own ability.
Good people may seem to be weak outwardly, but they are courageous and strong inwardly and spiritually.
The Apostle Paul could perform great and extraordinary miracles after he had completely demolished self-righteousness. But at any time he confessed, "This is not what I did. I can do nothing, but everything was done by the power of the Father."
When he manifested amazing works of power, he confessed that power did not belong to him but he was a mere passage of the power of the Father.
The greater power he manifested the humbler he became and the more glory was offered to God.
Our Father God searches for this kind of good person, and gives him His power and various gifts.
I hope all of you ministers, servants and workers accomplish good heart and receive the power from God so that you will be preciously used.

Dear brothers and sisters,
The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:7, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."
Paul confessed he was like a fragile jar of clay but all-surpassing power of God came on him through the treasure, Jesus Christ.
When God the Father explained to me about the apostle Paul, He gave me an illustration of a big and deep vessel buried in the ground.
A wonderful vessel seems worthless when buried in the ground, but after it is taken out and wiped and cleansed away, it becomes a valuable and available one.
It is the same to Paul. God the Father saw his deep heart of and chose him, and then refined him to make him a true apostle to the Gentiles.
Until now I have explained to you three reasons that he was chosen by God.
First, he was unchanging and steadfast in giving thanks for the grace of the Lord, and secondly, he loves souls with the heart of the Lord and even was ready to sacrifice his life for those who persecuted him.
Lastly, he received great power and revelations but gave all the glory to God.
He proclaimed in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
I wish many of you fully resemble the goodness of the Apostle Paul and become strong ministers and servants of the Lord who can perform powerful works.
May you fulfill the ministry of the Holy Spirit at time of the world and greatly glorify God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!

2005-08-01 Posted
2016-02-16 Updated

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