Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”

Sep 04, 2016
“God's Miniature" No.5 by Rev. Toru Asai
James 1:18ff., John 8:31-47, Jer 31:31ff., etc.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

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He chose to give us birth (lit. willed to bear us) through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created (James 1:18).

Humans were all created as vessels containing words to carry out what the words say. There are two kinds of words—the word of truth, and the word of falsehood: the former comes from the Father in heaven, and the latter comes from Satan, the father of lies. The word that you contain as a vessel determines who you are. The above scripture tells us that we have become the children of God by accepting his word. Having been born of the Father, we have begun to live as vessels of his word by carrying out his will just as Jesus lived on earth.

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you (v. 21).

If the purpose of our life is to do the will of God as his vessels, it is essential that we humbly accept his word into our hearts. Note the adverb "humbly" modifying the verb "accept." It is because of "all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent" in this world, which hinders our willingness to accept the word of truth. But once the word goes into our heart, we will become doers of the word.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (v. 22, translation ESV).

It is crucial for us to "be" doers of the word, instead of simply to try to "do what it says." There is a vast difference between simply doing it and becoming a person who does it. When you try to do it without really putting the word into your heart, you are acting falsely as a person who is not really you, and all kinds of hypocritical attitudes will follow. The key is to "be" a person who understands and knows the heart and will of God. Then, you will freely do his will as your own will. This is the kind of freedom that the Bible speaks about.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing (v. 25, translation ESV).

This man who "looks intently (stoops down and looks) into" the perfect law, the law of freedom, is described in contrast to the man who only looks at "the face of his existence (the external appearance of himself)," and try to remember, but forgets immediately after he goes away. The reason for it is that he does not look into the heart of God that is hidden behind the external words written in the Bible. When the word of God is understood, and is absorbed into your heart, it becomes your own heart and desire, and there is no distinction between his will and your will.

In fact, for this very purpose Christ came. He suffered and died in order to make God's word penetrate into our hearts. The Old Testament tells us that the covenant was renewed many times and people tried to keep what God said, but they failed every time. The reason for it was, as already discussed, that they only tried to do what God said eternally without really understanding his heart or putting his word into their hearts. This condition of impenetrable hearts is well illustrated in John's gospel. Jesus said to the Pharisees who, according to the writer, had believed in him:

I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word (John 8:37).

The only solution to this problem is in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people (Jer 31:33)."

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