【2013년 5월 19일(주일)】VKC 성령강림주일 예배
【제목】가르치고 생각나게 하리라(The Holy Spirit will teach you all things and will remind you)
Today is the Pentecost. Reflecting on last week's sermon, after Jesus' resurrection and ascension and before the descent of the Holy Spirit, there was a 10 day interval which was a crucial moment (a time of danger as well as opportunity).
During this important period, a lot of praying was needed. and we see that the disciples prayed very hard in this time. They interceded to become one, so that people all over the world can believe in Jesus. They prayed for the people to know God's love, for God's love to overflow in them... as well as for them to live in sight of true glory.
I think all of you have sincerely prayed for last week. At last, today is Pentecost. As Holy Spirit came to Christians in Mika’s attic, I hope Holy Spirit comes to us, now.
By the way, do you exactly know what will happen when Holy Spirit comes? You have to know it to understand what the Holy Spirit’s coming is. So, I would like to think about it through God’s words together with you.
First we should view verses 23 and 24, “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’” But when I read these verses, my thoughts became complicated…
We too easily confess ‘Jesus I love you.’ We think we love Jesus even if the love is not perfect. When we carefully read over the scripture from today, we can see that this is not possible.
In other words, at the beginning of verse 23 it records, ‘If anyone loves me,’ which is in ‘present tense’ in Greek. Thus, if we take into account of the tense and we translate this phrase it says, ‘If anyone loves me continuously without resting.’ Is there such a person who can love without taking the slightest break (always in present tense)? How many would be say yes? Also, the word ‘love’ in this verse comes from the word ‘Agape.’ I am sure I do not have to explain what Agape means… but it means ‘unconditional love, God-like love.” Therefore, this scripture is saying, ‘if we could love Jesus without changing by the unconditional Agape love.”
And the rest follows: ‘if you love me then you will obey my teachings, if you do not love me then you will not obey my teachings.’ The word ‘obey’ originally describes ‘a guard looking out and observing a castle he is protecting.’ Therefore, what this actually means is: ‘we must look after and treasure this object so that it does not change nor spoil’
Thus, the phrase ‘obey my teachings’ can be viewed from two aspects; first, we must observe how the Words of Christ is changing the world, secondly, we must secure and preserve the Words from being changed or spoiled or damaged.
Anyways, it is ‘those who protect’ who truly love Jesus, on the other hand, those who damage or do not secure Jesus’ teachings are those who do not love Jesus.
After reading these verses, I could only look at myself and conclude that… I do not love Jesus… No actually, loving Jesus is impossible for me… My heart became very complicated when I concluded this… How about you?
But the thing for us to wonder is-why did Jesus tell us this? He must’ve known that there was no way that we could love him or follow the words.
However, the important thing for us here, is to realize the impossibility of it. Why? Because true faith doesn’t come by finding hope and possibility among us, the humans, but finding them through God… Thus, when we lose our hope, when we realize our limits, we look up to the hopes, the limitless possibilities of God.
Verse 26, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” shows that Jesus, knowing the powerless nature of men, has made the promise to send the Holy Spirit.
So then what does this Holy Spirit do? “Teach you all things and will remind you of everything I said,” is what we are told.
When I was in high school, believing this verse in the most literal sense, I didn’t’ study for an exam. I thought that if the Holy Spirit came, he’ll teach me and remind me of everything I need, so why do I have to study? So I’ll just pray for the coming of the Spirit. Obviously, the Spirit never came and I failed the exam.
So what does it mean when it says that the spirit will teach us all things and remind us of everything Jesus had said?
In order to first figure out what the Spirit will teach us, we need to look at Corinthians I chapter 2, verse 10 and John chapter 16, verse 13.
Corinthians 2:10 reads, “But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” In other words, The Spirit knows everything, even the deep things of God, and this is what is taught to us. What is meant by the words ‘deep things?’ The phrase refers to the words of God, specifically the words of revelation. And this is what the Holy Spirit teaches and shows us.
The words of revelation, obviously does not mean just the chapter, but the entire bible. This in other words, mean that we must learn by the bible through the Holy Spirit, meaning that if we were to read it by ourselves, we aren’t able to fully grasp what is meant by the bible. This need for a guide, when reading the bible, was also recognized by Calvin, when we said that the same God who was with those who were recording the bible, will also be with those who are reading the bible.
John Chapter 16 verse 13 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
While the word ‘reveal’ in Corinthians had to do with realizing the words, the word ‘guide’ here has to do with living and following these words. Why? Because the word ‘guide’ here means to show the path, the lead down the path and thus, John 16:13 tells us that the Spirit will help us down the path of truth.
Although we are unable to love Jesus in the agape sense, nor truly follow the words of Jesus, he told us to love him. Not to make us suffer, but because he knew the coming of the Holy Spirit and that he’ll teach us and remind us of all things and lead us down the path of truth.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the Holy Spirit will “remind us of everything.” First of all, we will watch a video. This video shows the bride’s father addressing his future son-in-law about his daughter during the wedding ceremony.
What did you feel as you watched the video? Personally, the video instantaneously reminded me of my own wedding ceremony. Because my father-in-law had passed away, my wife entered holding her brother’s hand. Although he merely said “Take care of her,” I am sure that he felt the same way as the father in the video.
Anyways, this video really woke me. We got married being sure of our love. I found myself reflecting upon my love for my wife now, and whether I was negatively affecting her life or not.
I also had this thought: “I should tell my son-in-law similar things when my daughters to get married: to take care of and protect my precious daughter loved by the Lord.”
After knowing that watching a single video has such an awakening effect in our lives, one can only imagine how great it would be for the Holy Spirit to come and remind us of everything Jesus has said to us.
While meditating upon these Words of God, I thought, ‘these Words might be meaningful to the disciples, but how meaningful are these Words to us?’ We did not directly hear the words of Jesus, unlike the disciples. Does that mean that we do not have anything to be reminded of? Does that mean that these words are only for the disciples, and that the Holy Spirit is promised only to them? Of course not- in the moment of the coming of the Holy Spirit, there were more people other than the 12 disciples.
I also thought that other previously read Bible passages could be the words that we are reminded of. I also did not believe that this was true because the statement would apply to people who led Christian lives since they were young but not to people who did not lead Christian lives in their childhood. People who lead non-Christian lives when they were young would not have any words of God to be reminded of.
Then, I once again meditated upon these words. What could the words “The Holy Spirit will remind us of everything Jesus has said” mean? What would we, the disciples, Christians from womb, and newly converted Christians be reminded of altogether when the Holy Spirit comes?
Thinking over the reading, and considering the fact that today is Pentecost, I wondered if perhaps this is "heaven's lost language."
As I've said before, the mentions of the Holy Spirit's descent in Chapter two of Acts all are connected to language. For example, verse 3 of chapter 2 says
"Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." The expression "tongue of fire" is likely alluding to language, or at least related to the cockney. In verse four, too, "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them." By the Holy Spirit's descent, the disciples gained tongues of fire and the ability to speak other languages. Verse 8 then says "Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language." That a man be able to hear and understand his native language is so natural, but the important part follows, in verse 11: "we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues). In other words, when the Holy Spirit comes, we will be able to hear and speak the language of God; we will be able to hear God's great words and speak of it. This is the core of the story of the Holy Spirit's decent in this chapter of Acts.
Today's Old Testament reading comes from Genesis chapter 11, about the Tower of Babel. Chapter 11 verse 1 reads, "Now the whole world had one language and a common speech." This means, really, that originally there was only one language on Earth. But verse 9 then says "That is why it was called Babel --because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth." The incident of the Tower of Babel scattered and separate languages, because the Tower represented man's greed and arrogance in trying to be high and grand himself without God--and this greed and arrogance cause the split of languages.
Thus, the Tower of Babel in the Old Testament shows how man's language was split into many, and how man lost Heaven's language. We regain this language by the Holy Spirit, which is why the Holy Spirit's descent in Acts revolves around the common theme of language. Today's reading, too, said that when the Holy Spirit comes, we will remember all the Jesus said. In other word, we will remember the lost language of Heaven--and when we remember that language, we will remember Jesus's words.
This idea suddenly makes going to Church almost like going to ESL classes, in that both is a process of learning a new language. But we do not learn just any language in Church--we learn the language of Heaven, the language that Jesus spoke. This doesn't mean the we should all learn Arabic since Jesus spoke Arabic. Rather, we must learn the language of his life and actions--the language called Love. In other words, the Holy Spirit will teach us God's language of love, and remind us of the language of the Cross that can only be understood through love.
I will wrap up my sermon. The father of a bride walks holding his daughter's hand. Then, he passes his daughter to her husband and tells him, please take care of my daughter.... What does the new couple have to do in order to live a happy life?
They need to learn and be taught how to love in details. Without proper learning, they won't be able to lead a happy married life ... It is the same for all of us.
The Holy Spirit must teach us the bible and deliver us to the truth.
We must also learn the language of heaven from the spirit. The language God had shared at the garden of Eden, the language Jesus loved even when he was dying on the cross...
This is the language we are learning through holy spirit.
Dear fellow friends, let us all pray that today, Pentecost, the Holy Spirit will teach and remind us all of these things.
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