Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee 2007-06-03
1 Corinthians 13:4
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the 7th session of the sermon titled with “Spiritual Love.”
In previous sessions you heard the significance of love in our religious lives – why is love the greatest.
From today on I will explain about the “concept of love “, that is, the general idea of what love is.
Of course, this love is the spiritual love you eagerly long to accomplish.
Many people in the world want to have true love but fail to experience the joy of true love because they do not know what the true and spiritual love is like.
Some people doubt of the existence of true love, so they do not accept the grace of salvation that our Lord has freely given to us.
On the contrary, they reject and persecute those who preach the gospel.
These things prove that now is the end time of the world and true love is hardly found anywhere.
But you have learned about true love, namely spiritual love through the word of God who is Love itself.
Just as Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” you can feel the love of God through the Holy Spirit dwelling within you.
Through this message, may all of you clearly understand what spiritual love is and feel that love in your heart!
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray that you may determine this spiritual love and accomplish it in your heart as soon as possible and through your spiritual love as many who are thirsty for true love feel it and confess that true love really exists,!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As said in today’s verse 4, “love is patient”.
So, what are you to be patient about? First of all, you have to be patient in the various trials through which you have to pass in accomplishing true love and be patient with yourself.
Sometimes you find that when you try to love someone, the person throws a rock back at you. In that situation, they don’t seem to be able to be loved at all, but instead they seem to reject any attempt from you to love that person.
If you want to obey the word of God and accomplish spiritual love, you have to be patient of even those people.
Even if someone slanders and hates you for no reason, you have to control your emotions and patiently love him.
Thus, when you obey the word of God and try to love them, you can be patient of every kind of trial and difficulty. Then you can be said to be patient in spiritual love.
I wish for you to understand the difference between being patient in spiritual love, and being patient as the fruit of the Spirit recorded in Galatians 5:22.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Here “patience” is one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit that urges you to be patient in everything for the kingdom and righteousness of God.
That’s why this patience is broader than the patience included in spiritual love that is necessary for you to personally love one another.
The patience that is one of the fruit of the Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit can be divided into one of three categories.
The first of them is “to be patient in throwing away untruths and cultivating the heart by truths.”
How patient you have to be to throw away all the untruths you have stored within you until you meet the Lord!
The second one is “to be patient in understanding others who are different from you, seeking their benefits and living at peace with them.”
The third and last category is “to be patient until you receive the promises of God”. This includes receiving the answers to your prayers and salvation. You have to patiently wait without being shaken in your heart until you receive His answers.
The patience recorded in the “Chapter on Love” is needed for you to love all others, so it is included in the patience that is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Some verses seem to have the same meanings, but those meanings can be differently interpreted by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
If you understand this difference and properly apply this to each situation, you can gain greater benefits.
Let’s look into “Patience” in detail.
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus told us “[To] love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Who is your enemy? The Compact Oxford English Dictionary refers to “enemy” as “a person who is actively opposed or is hostile to someone or something.”
Can you love your enemy who is actively opposed or hostile toward you? Can you pray for those who unreasonably hurl cursing words against you and persecute you because you believe in our Lord and preach the gospel?
Our Lord Jesus came down to the earth for sinners, and He told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Who is the enemy of Jesus? The enemy is the evil forces of darkness and sinners who obey them.
In that sense, you used to be the enemy of Jesus before you accepted Him as the Savior.
Since Adam sinned, all men have been obedient to the devil, that is, the enemy of God, and they too have sinned. So, you were the children of the devil and you continued the sinning that was against the will of God.
Jesus came to the earth to save mankind, all of whom were marked by this sin. But what did they do?
Jesus preached the gospel of heaven, healed many sick of their diseases, and practiced love by sharing food. with them
Nonetheless, because they were unable to realize that Jesus took the burdens of all their sins, they crucified Jesus, who did only good things. They ridiculed and humiliated Jesus and He was hung on a cross.
Jesus endured them quietly and as said in Luke 23:34, He prayed for them saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
Our Lord Jesus was long patient of mankind who was the enemy of God and He loved them. What has become of the mankind?
Anyone who believes in Jesus as the Savior and accepts Him is released from the slavery of the devil and becomes children of God by the amazing work of salvation. Thus, the power of the patient love is so great.
How patient are you? Are you patient with and love those who slander and hate you? Or are you having difficulty in being patient with your wife, husband, children, and brothers and sisters in Christ?
In Matthew 5:39-40 Jesus commands us, “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”
In our time many people bring accusations against each other in court when he or she causes even the slightest harm or loss to them personally or to their possessions.
Sometimes they accuse their wives, husbands, parents and children.
If they are patient and stay silent, they may be ridiculed as fools by the people around tem.
But our Lord tells us to turn your left cheek when someone slaps on your right cheek, and if he wants to sue you and take your shirt give him your coat as well.
He urges us not to pay back evil for evil but to be patient of and treat the other with goodness.
Are there any of you who say you cannot do that if the charges are false and you have ill feelings about it?
But if you have faith and love, you can do it.
What is it that you must you have faith in and believe? You have to believe in the love of God the Father who was patient with you and had mercy on you who crucified His only Son Jesus.
If you really believe that you have received such great love from God, you can forgive and accept the one who has caused even the most serious harm to you.
If you love our God who has loved you to the point of abandoning His only Son and our Lord who laid down His life for you, there is no one whom you cannot endure and love.
How long do you have to be patient?
Some of you may have struggled to suppress your anger, hatred, hot tempers until you burst into those emotions when you reached the limit (of your patience)..
If you are introspective, you do not express your emotions but severely suffer from those whom you hate. Then, you have mental sickness or diseases because of stress.
If you temporarily suppress your anger, it is like a spring that returns to the original position shortly after it is released.
The spiritual patience that our Lord wants you to have, makes you be unchangingly patient to the last moment.
When you do not store hatred and ill feelings in your mind but instead throw away the roots of evils that cause ill feelings within you and change your heart into mercy and love, you can possess spiritual patience.
If you have completely cast off all kinds of untruths including hatred, envy and jealousy, and instead you filled your heart with spiritual love alone, namely if you have accomplished your heart into spirit, you will never feel it hard to love your enemies.
On the contrary, if your heart is filled with untruths including hatred, dissention, envy, and jealousy, you will see only weak points of the others and dislike and hate them even if they are good.
It is just like everything you see looks dark when you wear black glasses.
But if your heart is full of love, even the one whom you cannot understand at all looks lovely to you.
No matter what kind of transgressions and weak points he has, you will not dislike him. Even if he serious hates and practices evil towards you, there is no hatred against him within you.
This spiritual patience is found in the heart of the Lord who does not break off a battered reed and will put out a smoldering wick.
This heart of patience is also found when Stephen prayed to God, saying, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” for those who were stoning him to death because he was preaching the gospel to them.
Was it difficult for Jesus to love sinners?
No at all! His heart was the Truth itself.
Peter once asked Jesus in Matthew 18:21, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
This does not mean that we have to forgive up to seventy times seven, 490 times.
Number “7” means “perfection.” So, when Jesus told him “to forgive up to seventy time seven” it means “to forgive someone completely.”
This conversation proves that our Lord Jesus has limitless mercy and forgiveness.
You cannot change hatred into love in a single day. You have to try your best to change it unrelentlessly.
Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” If you get angry, you are said to be at the 1st or 2nd level of faith or at the early stage of the 3rd level of faith.
Even if you get angry because your faith is yet weak, you must not harbor the anger until the sun goes down but throw it away.
It means that you have to ceaselessly do your best to throw away untruths including ill-feelings and quick-temper in accordance with the level of your faith.
If you have thrown away all kinds of untruths, there will be no evil within you and you will not hold anger in you at all. Then, you will never get angry because there is no character of anger in you for you to suppress.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In heaven will you have to be patient?
In heaven there are no tears, no sorrow, and no pains. Because there is no evil at all but just goodness and love in heaven, you will not hate anyone, get angry with and be quick-tempered against anyone.
So, you won’t have to restrain and control your emotions.
Of course our God doesn’t have to be patient in anything because He is love itself.
The reason that the Bible says that love is patient is because, as men, we have a soul and thoughts and mental frameworks. God wants to help people understand.
The more you have throw away evils and accomplished goodness, the less you need to be patient.
How about you? Are there only a few to whom you have to show patience? As much as you accomplish spiritual love, you are willing to be patient with those who have weaknesses you will be able to patiently and peacefully wait for them to change with love.
If you are in a situation that you have to be patient with someone whether you want to or not, please hold fast the words of truth and rely on the love of God so that you can patiently endure and overcome everything.
Then, your heart will be cleared by and filled with the truth and you can grow in spiritual love.
The sinful natures hidden deep within your heart can be thrown off only if you are filled with the Holy Spirit and fervently pray in Him.
At the same time, you have to endeavor to look at the person whom you once hated so much with the eyes of love and treat him with goodness. This is as important as the former.
Through this process, hatred will disappear and you will come to love him. You will feel so happy as if you are in heaven.
Our Lord Jesus said in the second half of Luke 17:21, “For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
People say it is like they are in heaven when they are so happy. Similarly, the kingdom of heaven being in your midst refers to you having cast off all untruths from the heart and having filled it with truth, love and goodness.
Then you don’t have to be patient, since you are always happy and joyful and full of grace because you love everyone around you.
Our Father God rejoices so much in seeing His children who are good and abounding in love.
Hesaid in Acts 13:22, “After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.”
David was a man who sought after the heart of our Father God. How did he go about seeking after the heart of God?
David did not oppose a wicked person but treated him with goodness just the way Jesus told us to turn our left cheek to the other when he slapped you on your right cheek.
King Saul tried to kill David when David was commended and favored by the people more than he was.
David had to flee from Saul and suffer from many difficulties.
In the 24th Chapter of 1 Samuel we find that King Saul chased David and went into the wilderness of Engedi.
King Saul and his men wanted to rest during the chase and went into the cave in which David and his company had hidden themselves.
King Saul and his men did not know that David and his followers were deep inside the cave. It was an excellent opportunity for David to destroy Saul.
In the Verse 4 of the same Chapter, the men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'” They urged David to kill Saul.
Then David arose and secretly cut off the edge of Saul’s robe while Saul was asleep.
David caused no harm to Saul but his conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. And David restrained his men from rising against Saul saying, “Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.”
After that when Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way, David called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground.
From the Verse 9 and the below, David called Saul “My Father!” and confessed that he had no desire to kill Saul at all.
Saul pursued the innocent David to kill him, but David humbled himself illustrating himself as a dead dog and a single flea.
These good deeds and words of David touched the heart of that wicked Saul. The following Verses 16-17 say, “When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you.”
David moved the heart of that wicked Saul with this loving patience.
That’s why God said that David sought after God and God appointed him as the next king of Israel. God made Israel prosperous through David.
Our Father God never forgets your good deeds but repays you for whatever you have done.
Moreover, He makes His kingdom more prosperous through the good deeds of His children.
The members of Manmin Joong-ang Church and I have been wrongfully humiliated, persecuted and wrongfully accused since its founding.
We have not opposed or condemned the persecutors according to the law of the world but instead we’ve treated them with goodness and patience in love just the way God tells us to love our enemies.
Remaining silent against those wicked people seemed to be foolish and at loss, but our Father God has brought amazing works of the Holy Spirit and revivals.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Our Father God really loves and rejoices with His children who are able to show patience and love to those who act with evil toward them.
It is because God is the God of Love as written in Matthew 5:45, “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
God hopes that even wicked people will change, and in the quality of human patience He sends even the wicked both sunshine and rain as well.He is the God of Mercy and Unfailing Love.
If you repay evil for evil, you are found to be wicked as said in Psalm 37:8, “Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing,” but if you forgive and love wicked people with patience by looking to God who will reward you, you will inherit the beautiful land, namely you will enter the better dwelling places of heaven as said in the following Verse 9, “For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.”
Therefore, I wish for all of you to make this message your hope and fill your heart with spiritual love.
May as many souls as do not believe in and know true love come to feel the love of our Father God and return to the bosom of our Lord, in the name of our loving Lord Jesus Christ I pray!