Sermon: Rely on God’s Resources

Today Pastor Choi talks about relying on God’s resources for our daily walk with God.  As Part 1 of the series, he emphasizes the importance of knowing that we are God’s temple and that the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts.

  Rely on God’s Resources

 

 

Following is a summary of the sermon:

Rely on God’s Resources: Holy Spirit

  • 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
  • 1 Corinthians 2:12
  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

Introduction:

  • A Christian friend of mine once was walking in his neighborhood.  He heard loud music coming from one of the houses down the street.  Out of curiosity, he headed in that direction.  As he arrived at the house where the music came from, he noticed that the gate was wide open.  There were several bystanders, too.  They all peeked into the house to watch what was going on.  My friend joined the crowd.  Inside the house, a shaman was doing her rituals, dancing to the drums.  Typically, the family would ask for blessings on the house or casting out an evil spirit that made someone sick in the family.  My friend never witnessed this kind of thing before, so he stood there watching for a few minutes.  Then, all of a sudden, the dance stopped along with the music.  Everyone was wondering what happened.  A couple of minutes later, the father of the house came out and asked if there was any Christian among the bystanders.  No one except my friend raised his hand.  Then, the owner begged him to leave the premises so that they could go on with the rituals.  My friend asked the owner why.  The explanation was: in the middle of her rituals, the shaman noticed the nearby presence of a spirit that was far greater than those spirits she was trying to appease.   Furthermore, the presence of that greater spirit prevented her from going on with her dance.  So, she had to stop and asked the father of the house if there was any Christian in the family.  When the owner said no, then, the shaman asked him to go outside and inquire of the bystanders.  That’s how he came out to my friend.  Anyway, as my friend left the place, he realized for the first time that he indeed carried in him a Spirit that is far greater than his own spirit – the Spirit of God, known as the Holy Spirit.
  • In the gospel stories, the same thing happened to Jesus.  Whenever evil spirits saw Jesus approach them, they all cried out acknowledging who Jesus was: the Son of the Most High.  These spirits knew who Jesus was long before than people did.   When people failed to see who Jesus was, all the spirits knew right away and recognized the Holy Spirit in Jesus.  You see, in the spiritual world, the spirits all know that there’s a greater spirit than they, and they also know that that greater spirit lives in us—the believers in Christ.  Say after me, please: the Holy Spirit is in me.  How many of us know this truth, though?  Not many.  This leads us to 1 Corinthians 3:16.

 

1 Corinthians 3:16

  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • 16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
  • Do you not knowLiteral translation would be: You sure know, don’t you?  Greek grammar here:  the writer expects an affirmative answer from the readers.  They are expected to say, “Yes, we do.”  The same question is still relevant to today’s Christians.  You sure know about this truth, don’t you?  However, lots of believers still would say, “No, I don’t.”  This is one of the greatest spiritual tragedies among the believers today.  The ignorance of the presence of God’s Spirit in them.
  • This is a mere reflection of the spiritual climate in the American Church.  The Bible says that God is with us through His spirit in our hearts.  Yet, lots of believers are simply ignorant of this spiritual truth: we claim and believe that God is with us, but we don’t know how.  Somehow, we believe that God is with us both mysteriously and supernaturally, but never believe that God is indeed with us in our bodies through His spirit.
  • Speaking of ignorance of God’s truth, it is never God’s will for us to stay that way, especially on God’s resources available to us such as His spirit.  I believe our poor experiences of God result from the ignorance of God’s resources in us.  God has made divine resources available to us (and the Holy Spirit is the number one resource,) yet seldom do we tap into those resources.  No wonder our walk with God is so dry and boring.
  • Jesus says in John 14:21, “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me.”   I can safely say, then, that those who don’t keep His commandments don’t love Him.  How can we love Jesus when we don’t even know what His commandments are and what He wants us to do?  The ignorance of God’s Word is equal to not loving Him.
  • You are God’s temple and God’s Spirit dwells in you:  What is the temple of God?  It is the place where God dwells.  Not physically but spiritually, since God doesn’t have a physical body like we do.  He is a Spirit.  God’s temple is the place where we come and worship.  It is the place where we offer our prayers to God.  Jesus says God’s temple to be the house of prayer.  Paul the apostle here calls our body that temple of God where God dwells.  As God dwells in His temple through His Spirit, so does He in our body through His Spirit.  (Cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22: Holy Spirit in our hearts as mark of salvation, Galatians 4:6, Romans 5:5).  E.g. A person who smokes, as a matter of fact, fills God’s temple with smoke.
  • Let’s be clear on the understanding of our body.  Our body is no longer ours but God’s.  It belongs to God not to us.  God is the owner and we are stewards.  Take good care of God’s temple.
  • Same truth goes with the Church: the body of Christ.  Church is not one of the social gatherings like clubs, but rather it is the place where God dwells among His children.  Wherever we gather in the name of Jesus as church, so is God in our midst.
  • How can it be that God is with us in our hearts through the Holy Spirit?  E.g. A farmer’s wife asked her pastor a question how the Spirit of God can be in millions of believers’ hearts at the same time.  Pastor explained that His presence is like the moon’s reflection on the surface of waters in rice paddies in full moon.  She understood perfectly.

1 Corinthians 2:12

  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
  • Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God:  We see here a spiritual dichotomy of two spirits around us.  God’s spirit vs. the spirit of the world.  God’s spirit dwells and works among His children.  The spirit of the world dwells and works among the non-believers.  We the believers received the Spirit of God.  People who don’t know Christ receive the spirit of the world.  Notice here the past tense (i.e., we have received).  Not will receive, but already received the Holy Spirit.  We have the Holy Spirit in us.  Yet, a lot of us remain ignorant of this spiritual truth and, therefore, live our Christian life without the aid of the Holy Spirit.  Any Christian who walks life’s journey without the help of the Holy Spirit is like a spiritual orphan to God.  Orphans who are left alone without parental protection and love are often a target of mockery and harassments.
  • Naturally, that is exactly what our enemy Satan, the spirit of the world, tries to do to us.  His age old strategy against God’s children is to keep them in ignorance of God’s truth and harassing them like orphans.  In fact, by not getting into the word of God, and therefore remaining in ignorance of God’s truth, we are doing a great favor to our adversary and doing a great disservice to ourselves.  Furthermore, it is far easier for Satan to harass those folks who are ignorant of God’s truth than those who are in the Word of God.
  • Here’s what Jesus did to His disciples before He left earth.  He promised to them that He would not leave them orphaned.  Rather, He would send the Helper and Comforter to each believer.  Listen to what Jesus said to them in John 14:18, 25:            
  • 18 I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you.25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate,the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.”
  •  In John 15:26, He also promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate:
  • 26 “When the Advocatecomes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.
  • So that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God: so that we may understand what God has freely given us such as  eternal life and salvation.
  • Also, the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  • Let us never forget that we have great resources from God, the Holy Spirit.  God never leaves us orphaned.  He is not far from us.  He is within us through the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, advocate, truth-teller, and comforter.  It is time that we turned to the Spirit of God in us for wisdom, guidance, and courage.
  • Let’s pray.

 

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