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36. The Holy Spirit Who Sanctifies Us

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And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master. (Genesis 24:10~14)

For All the Goods of His Master Were in His Hand

I could feel myself becoming free as I read the Bible. I often felt, “Why didn’t I know this before? I had not realized this. I was deceived because I did not know this!” whenever I discovered some truth in the Bible. Genesis chapter 24 is about Abraham sending his old servant to bring back a wife for his son. When we read this closely, we can see that this is a parable of God sending the Holy Spirit to the church, the bride of Jesus Christ, in order to save it. This process is so precisely illustrated in much detail. Verse 10 says, And the servant took ten camels, of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. These words give me much hope and strength. Back then and even now, it is dangerous to carry gold or silver treasure around. However, here it says that the old servant was taking with him all the goods of his master in addition to the ten camels. The goods were probably all the good things of Abraham’s house. Who brings all of their good things when going in search of a daughter-in-law? Moreover, the roads back then were not good, public safety was bad, and it was a time when there were lots of thieves. We cannot understand this very well, but there is hope for us because these scriptures are telling us the process of God sending the Holy Spirit to seek the bride of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s old servant did not simply bring back a wife for Isaac, but decorated her with the best things of the master. A necklace, bracelet, earrings . . . . No matter what kind of a woman she was, even if she was a poor, pitiful woman, she was decorated beautifully and gloriously and taken back. In order to do this, the old servant brought the goods of his master with him.

Generously Give Me Everything of Heaven

One day while I was wandering in sin, through faith, I came to realize that all of my sins were washed as white as snow and I received salvation. At the time, however, I only believed that the blood of Jesus washed all of my sins away. I still had many dirty and filthy aspects. As some time passed, I did not try to change but I discovered that my life was becoming more and more renewed and hopeful while living inside the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is how I feel in my heart each time I read Genesis chapter 24. “That’s right! Regardless of the bride’s image, regardless of how sun-burnt she may be, she must have changed beautifully since piles of goods were brought upon ten camels. Likewise, after I receive salvation and become Christ’s bride, God will generously give me everything of heaven to make me beautiful!” Just as the goods of Abraham’s house were brought unsparingly for one bride, God unsparingly gave us all the goods of heaven. The righteousness I did not have before was dwelling in me. And over time, I could see that the holiness I did not have before was dwelling in me; hope was dwelling in me; peace was dwelling in me; faith was dwelling in me; love was dwelling in me . . . . Such things were not coming from me, but were brought from heaven through the Holy Spirit as gifts from God. When I thought about this, I was so thankful. Many years have passed since I received salvation and entered into Jesus Christ. When I look back, it was I who tried not to sin, to live as a good person and strained to be good, but all of that did not work. After being saved, however, God changed my heart without me even realizing it. As I have lived, I often felt so clearly that, “This is not my heart. This was not my heart, but this is the heart of Jesus Christ from God!” God does not have me stand before Christ with nothing. Even though I had received salvation, I was truly a filthy, dirty, and deceitful human being. Just as Rebekah, who was to become Isaac’s wife, was decorated with the treasures that filled the ten camels to stand before Isaac, God had me without blemish sanctified, beautified, cleansed, and glorified to stand before Jesus. When I think about such a loving God, I am so thankful. I truly was a person who lived in the flesh, but God changed my life. One day, I saw that the heart of God was flowing in me. I was so filthy, dirty, lustful, and deceitful, yet a peace I did not have before flowed in me and joy flowed in me and faith flowed in me. I am so thankful to God when I see how I am changing into Jesus’ likeness. I am more thankful that this is not through my effort or labor, but through God. Not only am I this way but this is true with the people who come to my church, one by one. When they first came to church they were people who only lived tied to their flesh. But I saw that they changed as time passed by. “Ah, this is what God does!” It was truly amazing.

According to the Old Servant’s Prayer

Secondly, the old servant now had faith in his heart concerning the search for his master’s daughter-in-law because he simply accepted Abraham’s faith. He went to Mesopotamia and parked his camels near the well outside the city and prayed. “God of my master, Abraham, allow me to meet the woman quickly and bestow grace unto my master, Abraham. There are women from the city who come to draw water. When I ask one, ‘Give me a drink,’ if she answers, ‘I suppose that your camels are thirsty. I will draw water for them as well,’ I will know that she is the one who will be my master’s daughter-in-law.” Before he could finish his prayer, a beautiful woman named Rebekah came to draw water. When the old servant said, “Give me a drink,” Rebekah quickly let down the water pot to have him drink and said, “I will also draw water for your camels so that they may drink.” Camels drink lots of water and there were ten of them. The well is deep and it must be difficult to draw water but she was doing as the old servant had prayed. As the old servant quietly looked upon her actions, he thought, “God allowed a good path,” and asked who she was and gave her the gifts. She was the daughter of his master’s younger brother. The old servant quickly rejoiced, told Rebekah’s family of this matter, and took her to Abraham’s house. When our church was preaching the gospel in China for the first time, we sent Missionary Kwang-bo Lee to China. At that time, he knew no one in China. A Korean immigrant to China named Nam-sook Hur came to Korea and heard the gospel. The missionary wanted to meet her. He had her address but wandered around because he had no idea how to go about finding her. He got on a city bus in Harbin and since he looked a little different from the Chinese there, a Korean-Chinese woman on the bus began to talk to him. “Are you from Korea?” “Yes.” “What brings you here?” “I just came to Harbin.” “Do you know anyone here?” “I do know one person.” “What is her name?” “Her name is Nam-sook Hur.” “Oh, her? I know her well.” Millions of people live in Harbin but on that bus he met someone who knew Nam-sook Hur. There are many such instances when we do the work of God. This is because the work is God’s and not ours.

You Will not Die until You have Fulfilled the Duty God Gave You

It is difficult and tiring when we do things different from the will of God. But there is nothing difficult when doing things in accordance to the will of God. It is because God accomplishes everything, not you. Abraham had strained to have a child himself when he did not know this. If it were like the past, he would have said, “We can have good sons if we get a healthy daughter-in-law. Although she may appear healthy outwardly, you never know if she might be sick. We have to find a healthy daughter-in-law . . . .” The daughter-in-law should be pretty and have class, but more than anything, she should be able to have children in order for Abraham to have a grandson. But how can you tell if a woman is good at child-bearing? Are there not women who are extremely healthy yet unable to have children? But upon knowing the will of God, Abraham did not have to worry about this. In the heart of the old servant as well, there was the assurance of faith in God, saying, “God will accomplish this, for this is God’s will,” upon hearing the words of Abraham. I once called Missionary Gyung-hyun Nam, our missionary to the Philippines, on the phone and his son answered, telling me that his father was hospitalized. I asked him what for, and he answered that his father had Dengue Fever. This is a very scary febrile disease and unless treated in its early stages, the death rate is 95%. Missionary Nam had gone to the jungle to preach the gospel, but in just one day, his face and whole body began to turn dark. The church people of the Philippines rejoiced, saying, “Wow, the missionary will now become tanned just like us.” They had no idea that this was from Dengue Fever and he had lost the window for treatment. I called the National Medical Center where Missionary Nam was hospitalized. I asked for the emergency room and asked to speak with Missionary Nam. His wife answered and she began to weep and wail. “Pastor! Now what do we do?” She was telling me that since the treatment window had already passed, the doctors had given up already. I told her to stop crying. I told her that Missionary Nam will not die. “Pastor Nam went to the Philippines not because the mission or I sent him there. God sent him there. There is a duty God has given to Pastor Nam for him to accomplish in the Philippines. He will not die without fulfilling it. God can rest after Pastor Nam accomplishes this and tells him to rest. He will not die because he caught Dengue Fever. He can go when God tells him to come. We can never simply die, even if we want to!” That heart was in me, so I told her about this in detail. A few days later, Pastor Nam miraculously recovered his health. It seems to us that some things are possible while some are not, but in the Bible we see that the will of God is accomplished.

I Am What I Am

As I mentioned earlier, this story has, in detail, explained how God sent the Holy Spirit to save the bride of Jesus Christ, the groom, to take her to the wedding in heaven. The old servant did not simply take the bride, but decorated her beautifully. Likewise, it is showing us precisely how the Holy Spirit will make us beautiful when He takes us as Christ’s bride. I did not try to become good after becoming born again. How can I defeat sin and temptation? When the desires and ambitions of the flesh would arise, I did not have the power to suppress them. Like a crazy person I lived led by ambitions and desires. Jesus Christ, however, allowed me to overcome these desires and ambitions after He became the Lord of my heart. I saw this very often. This guidance was truly precious and beautiful. Receiving forgiveness of sins is not through our efforts or good deeds. It must be through Jesus for there is nothing we can do. Living holy after receiving salvation is absolutely not through us as well. It is not through you doing good or ceasing to commit sins, but the Holy Spirit shears away our filth. Believe this. Just as the old servant brought all the goods on ten camels and decorated Rebekah, Holy Spirit, from the storage in heaven, brings all the goods of heaven to us. He then decorates us to be holy, righteous, pure, blessed, and glorious. Even now, the Holy Spirit works within the born again saint. Therefore, it is not you fighting sin, and it is not you fighting temptation. Because the Holy Spirit fights instead of you, you can truly have grace, peace, and live blessedly. Just as Apostle Paul said, “By the grace of God I am what I am,” it is not through our goodness and effort. When we look at Genesis chapter 24, verse by verse, we see that it was in this manner that God prepared everything for us. Are you filthy? Dirty? Deceitful? Change is not completed through you, but you are changed beautifully through the things God has prepared for you. That is what we call the process of becoming holy. It is us changing into the image of Jesus. God has prepared these amazing things for us because He loves us.

For the Same Holy Spirit Is at Work

We are educating college students through an organization called the IYF (International Youth Fellowship). College students with grudges against their parents, bitterness towards society, and those who live only for their own flesh are extremely commonplace. However, when these students one day hear the gospel, they testify and realize that their sins were forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ, their hearts become freed from sin, and their lives change. They are the same students, but their thinking changes. Before, they only cared about themselves, only following after the pleasures of the flesh, eating, and drinking. But now these students live for others, love the gospel and love the Lord. Did this happen because someone told them that they should have such hearts? They changed this way because the Holy Spirit led these students’ hearts. Amazing things happen when the gospel is preached. When we preach the gospel in Africa, America, or in India, people’s thoughts change and their lives change. This is because it is the same Holy Spirit changing their hearts. Our lives are not fulfilled through ourselves but through the providence and will of the almighty God. Our salvation is also not through our effort or labor, but completely through the blood of Jesus Christ. The only thing we can do is accept, by faith, the grace and love of God. Living a holy life through receiving salvation and not committing sin is also not done through us laboring and trying to do so, but through the Holy Spirit coming into our hearts and leading us.

Let Us Believe God Who Will Sanctify Us and Look to Him

Loving folks, when we do not realize that God changes us to live precious lives, we try to carry those burdens ourselves. We labor to wash our sins away, and we try to become righteous, holy, and godly. It is because we do not know the world of faith that is believing in God. No matter how dirty or filthy we may be, when we come before God, He washes our sins away and makes us the children of God. In addition, he makes us holy, flawless, and spotless so that we may have no shame whatsoever to stand before Christ who is the groom. We must believe this promise of God, rely on God, and put hope in God. If we try to work ourselves without realizing this, it will become more difficult the more we try. Just as Rebekah had lived in the countryside but became beautiful and glorious through meeting Abraham’s old servant, I hope that you will surely remember that through meeting Jesus, we will live a blessed and beautiful life.

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