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03.26.24 "Are You a Child of God?(당신은 하나님의 자녀입니까?)." By Somyung Lee (이소명 목사)

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!. 'No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior." Philippians 3:8-11, 13,20

What do you think being a Christian means?

Missionary Heo Bong-rang says that not all Christians are the same, and there are Christians who have experienced grace at a different level. Missionary Heo states that those who attend church are churchgoers, those who believe in Jesus are church members, and those who strive to live according to God's will are children of God. We know that those who do not believe in Jesus can attend church and that there are people whose faith in Jesus is focused on self-pity and salvation. Missionary Heo says that to go beyond being a churchgoer or a church member to become a child, one must live according to God's will. That person enjoys a grace of a different level.


In a similar context, Missionary Lee Jun-sung says that Western churches, due to individualism and humanism, have centered their ministries around individual salvation, and as a result, personal salvation has become the goal of religious life. However, the essence of the Bible is communal salvation, and in order for the church to navigate through this rapidly changing era, it must restore communal salvation.


Adding to this, Alan Hirsch, one of the world's leading missiologists, expresses concern for the youth of this era, claiming that the church has become an insular community like an aquarium. When young people are inside the church, they can maintain their Christian faith, but when they go to college or move to another state for a job, they tend to leave their faith. Therefore, it is necessary to think about how Christians can live in the world, which is full of various challenges and dangers like the ocean, and to train the youth to transcend the boundaries of the church that is like an aquarium.


On April 20, 1999, there was a shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the incident, was a faithful Christian who practiced love and kindness at school. Even with a gun pointed at her head, she confessed her belief in God, and the criminal who mocked her faith eventually killed her. Though Rachel's life was short, she lived a great life as a child of God, and after her death, her love and kindness became a movement that continues to spread compassion and kindness in the world.


In today's text from Philippians chapter 3, Paul says that he considers everything he had—his Roman citizenship, education, and status—as rubbish. Roman citizenship was extremely valuable at the time, and Paul was one of the greatest scholars and an orthodox Jew of his day. However, Paul confesses that he is a citizen of the kingdom of God and is someone who pursues the goal of resurrection and salvation in Jesus. He boldly confesses that he will move toward this goal of salvation despite any torture and suffering.


Becoming a child of God is like changing citizenship. If we are citizens of the United States, we just need to follow the laws and order of the U.S. But if we want to change our status to citizens of the kingdom of God, we must follow the path of Jesus. The way of Jesus is a narrow path. If we try to live by Jesus' law in the rough sea of the world, we may suffer like Rachel and Paul and even lose our lives. However, because our citizenship is in the kingdom of God, we boldly accept this as the path of the child of God. Today, as we remember Rachel and Paul, we earnestly hope to become true citizens of the kingdom of God who do not lose the light of Jesus in the rough sea of the world and practice kindness and love.


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