Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee 2007-12-02

1 Corinthian 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 12th session of the sermon series “Spiritual Love.”

If you love someone, you often talk about the person.

Sometimes you talk about him more than about you.

Have you had this kind of experience? You don’t care if other people pay close attention to what you say or not, but you talk about him proudly, “He is wonderful and so loving and kind.”

In the same way, if you love our Lord Jesus Christ, you are often going to talk about our Lord.

When you just accepted our Lord and received the Holy Spirit, and had fervent heart for the love of the Lord, whoever you met and wherever you were, you spoke about our Lord.

You earnestly and proudly talked about the Lord who gave you salvation, grace and love.

Also when you received the Holy Spirit, you were humbled at heart and realized, “I am sinner. My Lord died on the cross because of such a meaningless person as me.”

If you perfectly accomplish “spiritual love” in your heart, you will always have this kind of heart.

You always boast of our Lord Jesus Christ and are humble in all matters.

On the other hand, if you boast of yourself and are arrogant, it proves that you have not possessed spiritual love.

Many of you testify to the grace you’ve received, you spread the gospel and boast of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Also many of you still love our Lord with as humble a heart as when you first met the Lord. And you are becoming even more humble every day.

But, through this session if you find yourself is not as described, I urge you to decide to renew and surely change your heart.

May you achieve greater love for the Lord and as the first half of Psalm 44:8 says “In God we have boasted all day long,” you are gaining lips that humbly boast of God everyday, I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As said in today’s scripture, “Love does not brag and is not arrogant.”
First of all, what is bragging?

The Cambridge Dictionary of American English refers to “to brag” as “to speak with pride, often with too much pride, about something you have done or something you possess.”

In short, a bragging person tends to show off himself and to boast of himself.

If you are better at some aspects than others, you want to brag about yourselves.

It is because you want to be revealed, recognized and commended by many people.

Some of you try to show off your wealth including a good house and a good car.

If you are a little better than others at education backgrounds, social position and appearances, you are willing to express them.

For example, some parents are pompous and boastful of their child who studies well.

How do other parents feel about the good student if their child is poor at study?

Some of you may rejoice with them, but most of you have your pride hurt and have ill-feelings about it. You may give your child a scolding without reason.

No matter how good your child is doing in his studies, if you have even a little goodness to have regard for the feeling of others, you won’t boast of your child like this.

You will be careful of hurting the feelings of the other because of your boasting.

If you love your neighbor, you will also want his child to study well.

Then, when the child got a better point than yours, you will commend him joyfully.

But those of you who are boastful of yourselves are so unwilling to acknowledge and commend the other’s good job.

And you try to degrade the other in any way because you think you are blinded as much as he is revealed. Thus, bragging causes troubles.

In this manner the boasting heart is far from true love.

You may think if you flaunt yourself, you will be recognized, but it just makes it difficult for you to receive sincere respect and love.

Instead the people around you will only say that you are boastful of yourself, and rather than holding you in esteem, they despise and are jealous of you.

But in boasting there is one form that is good and proper, that is boasting in the Lord.

As 2 Corinthians 10:17 says “But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord,” boasting in the Lord is appropriate before God and you can do it as much as you want.

The boasting in the Lord is giving glory to Father God not to you.

Giving testimony is a good example of boasting in the Lord.

Since the founding of our church there have been endless testimonies to the healings of diseases, the solutions to the problems and blessings at homes, works and businesses.

Through the weekly video presentation “Manmin Magazine” held on every Friday night we have seen many brothers and sisters giving testimonies and glorying God.

Many people testify saying, “I had no choice but to die and I didn’t have any hope. But I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and started to live a new life. I am so happy to run the race of faith with the hope for heaven.”

In that manner they boast of the Lord who saved and gave them the hope for heaven just as the apostle Paul said in the first half of Galatians 6:14, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

How thankful you are that you were doomed to eternal death due to your sins but now have gained eternal life through the Lord who paid for your sins on the cross!

Many of you testify that you have met and experienced the living God in your daily lives.

Proverbs 8:17 says, “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.”

You testify that as said in this verse, God has healed you of your diseases, given you financial blessings, and set your family in peace when you show the deeds of loving and seeking God.

Above all, you give thanks to Father God for experiencing the love of God, having greater faith, receiving spiritual blessings and so on.

Your faith also has grown up while listening to this kind of testimony.

In this manner if you boast in the Lord, you can give glory to God, and give grace to as many brothers and sisters so that faith and life may be planted into their hearts.

Thus, your heavenly reward is piled up and you can receive the desires of the heart all the more quickly.

But you have to discern between the boasting in the Lord and boasting of oneself.

It is because you may sometimes seem to glorify God but actually are found revealing and boasting of yourself.

For example, when you receive great blessings or answers, you say “I give glory to God” outwardly but you are quietly full of yourself, thinking, “I’ve received blessings and answers because I am good and smart.”

Some workers of you confess “I’ve done everything by the grace of God,” but quietly desire to reveal and boast that you can listen to the Holy Spirit and receive His guidance.

You take credit to yourself.

You seem to glorify God outwardly, but its fruits will be revealed because no one can deceive the works of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, the result of boasting of yourself is revealed because of the accusations of Satan.

For example, some of you who were faithful and heard the voice of the Holy Spirit well will suffer various trials and leave the Lord when you feel nobody recognizes you.

In this way you may disgrace God.

When you like revealing yourself and boast of yourself, the result is the shame to you. But why do some of you boast of yourself?

It is because you have the pride of this life within you. The pride of this life refers to the “the nature of flaunting yourself according to the pleasures of this world.”

As 1 John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

The pride of this life comes from the love for the world.

As much as you boast yourself, you don’t have the love for God.

If you want to accomplish true love in your heart, you have to cast off the pride of this world from your heart.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

No matter how many boastful things you have accomplished, you cannot live in this world forever.

At the end of the passing decades, any of you will have to go to either heaven or hell.

No matter many possessions you acquire on earth, none of them can be compared with the abundance of heaven of which the roads are made of gold.

No matter how much wealth, knowledge, honor and authority you have enjoyed on earth, if you fail to go into heaven but fall into hell, which of them can it be pride to you?

Our Lord Jesus also says in Matthew 16:26, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Likewise the pride of this world can never give you eternal life or eternal satisfaction.

It will rather become a shortcut to destruction by provoking vanity and greed.

If you realize this truth from the bottom of your heart and fill your heart with hope for heaven, you will receive the strength to pull out the pride of this world.

When you get rid of all the pride of this world, then you will boast only of our Lord.

That is because you feel more boastful of the glory that you will enjoy in heaven in the future than of the worldly things.

You will fervently love our Lord who gave you eternal life and heaven and also boast Him every day. Furthermore, the joy that you have never known before will overflow every day.

Therefore, may all of you throw away vain boasts and have the blissful lips with which you can boast of our Lord who is our life, glory, riches and honor, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

The next of today’s scripture says “Love is not arrogant.”

An arrogant person does not consider others better than him but ignore them, and feels superior to them in all aspects.

The arrogant person does not put others over him. He considers himself best.

He despises, looks down on and tries to teach others in all matters.

He easily shows the attitude of arrogance toward those who seem less than him.

He sometimes, in his excessive arrogance, disregards those who have taught and led him and those who are above his position in the order.

He is not willing to listen to advices and rebukes that his senior gives him.

He will complain thinking, “My senior says so because he has no idea of this,” or try to teach his seniors saying, “I know everything and I can do it very well.”

Such a person causes many controversial conversations with others, and sometimes quarrels against them

But 2 Timothy 2:23 tells us, “But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.”

That’s why I have told you to realize how foolish and wrong it is to think you alone are right.

Each of you have different conscience and different knowledge. It is because each of you are different in what you have seen, heard, experienced and been taught.

There is a wealth of Knowledge that is wrong and improperly stored.
But much of the knowledge is wrong, and some of it has been improperly stored.

If that much knowledge has been hardened within you for long, your self-righteousness and frameworks are formed that will become a standard to judge right or wrong.

Human thoughts usually come from this self-righteousness and frameworks.

That’s why many things which you assert right are found wrong.

If your mind is arrogant, you fail to recognize your faults but argue about them.

On the contrary, if you are humble, even though your opinion is right and the other’s is wrong, you don’t argue. You don’ try to press down the other.

It is because to the extent you are humble, spiritual love to exalt others come upon you.

If you really love the other, you try your best to exalt and esteem him without disregarding or triumphing over him.

You consider him better than you from the heart whether he is poor, uneducated, or weak.

And you will be considerate of even a child’s heart.

It is because you realize from the heart that our Lord bought all the souls with His blood and considers them as precious.

And you also confess from the inner heart that if our Lord didn’t meet and save you, you would be the one of the dying souls and you are nothing without the Lord.

And as much as you accomplish spiritual love in your heart, you will resemble our Lord’s humility.

Our Lord Jesus lowered Himself until He died on the cross and made Him a model of humility and service with such actions as washing the feet of the disciples.

As said in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves,” may all of you bear the humility of our Lord in your mind and treat everyone with humble mind, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

If you have showed such outward actions of untruths as to reveal yourselves, show off yourselves and look down on others, you can find them easily. These are fleshly arrogance.

This fleshly arrogance can easily be thrown away as you accept the Lord and know the truth.

But it does not mean that you have completely cast off the nature of arrogance. So, as the time of your faith passes, arrogance will come out.

In your long years of faith, you store much knowledge of God’s word, are given the titles and tasks by the church and are elected for the presidents.

And you may think as if you have accomplished that much knowledge of the word of God in your heart, saying, “I have accomplished that much. I am right!”

You may rebuke, judge and condemn others with the word of God stored as knowledge.

But you may think you discern right and wrong according to the truth.

Some leaders of the church break the regulations and orders that they must necessarily keep according to their own benefits.

They definitely violate the orders of the church in actions, but they think, “It’s ok with me because I am in this position. I’m an exception.”

This kind of exalting heart is spiritual arrogance. It is comparatively difficult to find.

If you ignore the law and order of God with exalted heart but confess your love for God, it is not true.

And if you judge and condemn others, you cannot be deemed to have true love.

The truth teaches you to look at, listen to and talk about only good things of others.

As said in James 4:11 “Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it,” God clearly commands you not to slander the other at all.

How do you feel when you find the other’s weakness?

Please check if you judge and condemn or merciful and piteous heart goes ahead of it. With this measure, you can examine how much you have accomplished humility and love.

I urge none of you to stay at the same level of faith saying, “I’ve accomplished that much~!”

May each of you steadfastly run the race of faith until you always lower yourself before the Lord like a child, consider every soul better than you and serve him/her with the greatest love in which you can sacrifice your life, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Some unbelievers in the world say, “I believe in myself,” and do their best in every affair of their lives.

But the world is not easy for them to overcome.

After Adam disobeyed and sinned, Satan came to rule over this world and the people lived their lives in pain and suffering.

There are many problems in the world that cannot be solved with human abilities.

Even up-to-dated scientific knowledge and technology is useless before natural calamities including typhoons and earthquakes and unexpected disasters.

And how many kinds of diseases cannot be cured with modern medicines?

But many people rely on themselves rather on God when they meet with various problems. They rely on their thoughts, experiences and knowledge.

But when they are not yet successful and still faced with problems, they grumble against God despite unbelief in God.

It is because of arrogance dwelling in their heart.

Because of that arrogance, they do not confess their weakness and fail to humbly recognize God. They even misunderstand God.

What is more pitiable is that some believers in God rely on the world and themselves rather than on God.

God is love. He wants His children to prosper and to live In His help.

But if you are not willing to humble yourself before God in your arrogance, God will also not work for you forcefully.

Then, you cannot be protected from the enemy devil or prosperous in your ways.

Just as God says in Proverbs 18:12, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, But humility goes before honor,” the very thing that causes you failures and destructions is none other than your arrogance.

Conversely, just as Proverbs 22:4 says, “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life,” humility is the secret to all kinds of successes and promotions.

I wish for you to humbly believe and rely on our almighty God full of love all the time.

In order to rely on God, you have to lower yourselves and to obey the word of God.

May all of you abide in the word of God and be prosperous in everything you do in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

God deems the arrogant to be foolish.

Compare to God, who makes a throne of heaven and a footstool of the land, how small is the presence of man?

All men have been created in the image of God and you are all equal as the children of God whether of high or low position.

No matter how many things you are boastful of in the world, the life of this world is just a moment.

When this short life comes to a close, everyone will be judged before God. And you will be exalted in heaven according to what you have done before in humility.

It is because the Lord will exalt you as James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.”

If water stays in a small puddle, it will stagnate and become decayed and worms fill it.

But if water incessantly runs downhill, it will eventually reach the sea.

In the same way, I want you to become humble day by day so that you can boast only the Lord and serve everyone.

Now I pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you advance toward New Jerusalem, the most beautiful heaven and draw close up to the throne of our Father God.


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