These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed
Regardless of How Dirty I Am, Will I Not Be Clean If the Lord Cleanses Me?
There are always two sides in the Bible: the work of God and the work of Satan. The work of God and the work of us man. The work of the father and the work of the prodigal son. . . . Last time, we spoke about the work that God does and the work we do. Opposing elements come together to accomplish things in the Bible. When electrical heaters are made, they are not only made of conductors that conduct electricity, but insulators that do not conduct electricity are used to make parts such as the frame and what not. So, conductors and nonconductors are used together to make electrical heaters.
To accomplish the great works of the salvation of God, the weaknesses, lacking, disgrace, and filthiness of man are needed. No matter how great the love and mercy of God, there would be nowhere to pour out His holiness or love if we were perfect and did not sin, if we acted righteously, or were holy like God. One needs to be ill to need a doctor, and one must sin to need a savior. If God is to be the savior that saves us from sin, then we must be people who commit sin. If we were perfect, not having committed any sins, we would not need the grace of God’s salvation in any way.
When we see ourselves floundering in sin and acting in an unrighteous manner, we can only become disappointed. But we have hope if we look to the Lord who sanctified such people as we. Most people, in their spiritual lives, look to themselves who are filthy and sinning rather than look to God. There is no one who can say, “I am righteous. I am holy. I am clean,” while looking at himself.
But just as the moon automatically radiates light when it looks upon the sun, although you are filthy, dirty, and evil, if you look to God, who has sanctified, justified, and purified you, you can say that you are holy, righteous, and pure. Regardless of how dirty you are, why would you not be clean if God cleanses you? Regardless of how diseased you are, if God, who raised Lazarus from the dead, heals the disease, why wouldn’t you be healed? No matter how evil you are, why would you not be good if God makes you good?
That I Am Only Evil Is Not Problematic to God Whatsoever
In Genesis chapter 2, verses 4 through 6, we read today, it says, These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created. Then it says, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. It seems utterly impossible that a beautiful world would be made at this point. The earth was without form, it was void, and it was in deep darkness. It was without any plant life, people to till the ground, and there was no rain. It was truly despairing seeing this condition. However, from this nothingness, God began to work.
When God said, “Let there be light,” there was light. When He said, “Let the waters above the firmament divide from the waters below the firmament,” it was so. The oceans and the land were formed according to the words uttered by God. God told the earth to bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit. The earth then began to sprout, flowers bloomed, and fruit grew. God made the fish, the birds of the air, the sun, moon, stars, and man, as well. Was it a problem to God that there was nothing? No problem at all.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: (Gen 1:1,2) Looking at this condition, what hope can be found? What is there in which to place any expectations? Hope cannot be placed upon the earth, which is in darkness, but in God. Because God began to work, the circumstances, that appeared as if nothing could be done, were not a problem in the slightest. This was also true with the prodigal son. It was so despairing to see the prodigal son in his filthy rags. On the contrary, the father began to work, saying, “Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Bring the fatted calf and kill it.” Then the desperate state of the prodigal son became nothing.
Everyone, God began to work on this earth that was without form, void, and in deep darkness, in which nothing could possibly be done, and changed it in such an amazing and beautiful way. Our hearts are this way. “I’d better live as a good person and not sin. I’d better try to keep the law.” How many times have you made up your mind, saying the same thing? Haven’t you made up your mind over and over again, determined to not sin, regretted your sins, repented, and begged for forgiveness? I too have done this countless times. “Starting from this revival, I’m going to repent and live properly. I’m going to do this from the beginning of the New Year. From this day forward. . . .” That is the same as the earth saying, “I’m going to make trees, make flowers blossom, and make light,” while it is in darkness. On its own, this could never be accomplished. However, since God said for there to be light, and it was He who created the grass and the flowers, it was possible. That is why there wasn’t a problem although the earth was dark. This is so amazing.
I remember going to Namhae, Korea one spring. The cherry blossoms and the white flower petals had completely covered the entire road. “From where did the cherry tree get that clean, white color?” It was so amazing. I once looked carefully at a rose, and noticed that the red color was so lovely and pretty. “Rose, where did you get that red color?” No matter how much one digs in the ground, there is no red color there, but the rose amazingly makes the red color. There is no red in the ground at all, but the rose has the ability to produce the red color and bloom red flowers.
How much more is it with God! There is no righteousness, holiness, or goodness in me; only evil. But I am a righteous person if Jesus makes me righteous. I become a holy person if Jesus makes me Holy. I stand if Jesus establishes me. Joseph was a prisoner, but he became governor overnight because God made him so. David was on the run, but God anointed him king one day, so he became king. God made Nebuchadnezzar behave like an animal, so the king turned into an animal. There is nothing God cannot do.
There Is Nothing for Us to Bear Since Jesus Bore the Iniquities of Us All
The process of the creation of heaven and earth is very similar to the process of our heart changing. It seems impossible for the earth to change inside of the darkness. However, if God works, what is impossible? All things are possible. That is how it is with your heart. You have no goodness although you try to do good deeds. You do not have the power to keep the law no matter how hard you try. You can only sin although you try not to. Everything is impossible when you try to do it by yourself. The only thing you’ll be able to say is, “I cannot do it!” and be in despair. Through what effort could the earth bring forth flowers? With what effort could the earth make light? It is all impossible.
However, if God works, the impossible is able to be done. In the beginning, when God created the heaven and the earth, the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Much time had passed with the earth in darkness. One day, however, God gave light upon this earth, made flowers bloom there, bore fruit there, and to this day, the earth continues to bring forth flowers and bear fruit.
Everyone, this is also true with our heart. We try to achieve righteousness within ourselves, do good, and put in limitless effort to bear fruit that God can happily accept. You tried to become holy, truthful, and put in endless effort and labor. Nevertheless, it did not work. For thousands of years, from the dawn of creation until the coming of Jesus, not one human had been able to achieve goodness, righteousness, or holiness, nor had they been able to stand clean before God.
However, the time for Jesus to work had come. Jesus began to work 2,000 years ago. God removed all of the sins we had, so that not even a single spot remains. Jesus washed away each and every sin that resided in man, and the sin of man disappeared. Just as it says in Isaiah chapter 53, verse 6, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all, God has moved all of our sins onto Jesus, no matter how it may look to us. Everything has moved onto Jesus. You have in your heart the memories of the sins you have committed, but that is just your memory. The word of God says that your sins have all moved onto Jesus, and Jesus has borne them all. Jesus took our sins away, and in its place, poured all His holiness and righteousness onto us.
Within the Words of Jesus Is the Power to Fulfill Those Words
That is how it is with all the stories recorded in the Bible. In John chapter 5, Jesus goes to the pool of Bethesda near the sheep market in Jerusalem one day. There was a man with an infirmity for 38 years lying there. He had strained for 38 years to be released from his disease. This is the same story of us straining to be released from the disease of sin. The more he strained, the less it worked. I don’t know whether he had a wife or not, but his entire family abandoned him. All he had left was his disease-ridden body, lying at the pool of Bethesda, asking for alms from people.
Jesus came near the helpless man and said, “Wilt thou be made whole?” And he answered, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” If we think about these words, they may imply, “Jesus, why don’t you push me into the pool when the water is troubled before other people go in?” Jesus spoke to this helpless man:
Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. (Jn. 5:8)
Until now, this helpless man had no power to rise, pick his bed up, or walk. He had surrendered the power to rise, pick his bed up, and walk, to the disease. He had labored and tried to enter the water when it was troubled, but he could not because he had no power. He could not walk.
However, the words, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” left the lips of Jesus and entered the ears of the man with the infirmity for 38 years and entered his heart. Within the words of Jesus is the power to fulfill those words. The moment He said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” the words vibrated through the air, and not only echoed in the helpless man’s eardrums, but the power to make him rise, pick his bed up, and walk had already arrived in him as well. That helpless man was surely ill and could not walk in his own eyes. But from the moment the Lord’s words were heard, the power to make him stand and the power to defeat the disease had already entered him.
The helpless man had the ears to hear sound and the eyes to see things, but he did not have the eyes to see the power of God. He heard sounds, but he had no idea whether that power had come upon him or not. If he could not believe in the words of Jesus right then, but spoke through his own thoughts, he would have said, “Gee, sir, how can I walk? I cannot. I’ve had this disease for 38 years. If I could walk, why would I be lying here? No, it’s not going to work,” and continue lying there.
God said in Romans chapter 8, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. . . . (Rom. 8:1) It means that condemnation in our heart has already disappeared. It says in Isaiah chapter 44, verse 22, I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. (Is. 44:22) It means that your sins have already been forgiven. But everyone, when Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” the helpless man did not feel that the power to defeat the disease and walk had entered him from Jesus. A person should not follow their own feelings in determining what their spiritual life is. Spiritual life is not about emotions and feelings, but simply receiving God’s word, as it is, into their heart.
The Holiness and the Righteousness of God Is Already Upon Us
In the words we read today, Genesis chapter 2, verses 5 and 6, it seems as though nothing would work out. However, because God worked, seeds sprouted, flowers bloomed, and everything was accomplished beautifully. It is exactly the same with the man with the infirmity for 38 years being healed. It seemed as if nothing would work out. His efforts could not work. He tried to move, but it did not work. He struggled to rise, but it did not work. Both his legs were also withered, and there was no hope at all. However, when Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” not only did the words proceed from the mouth of Jesus, but the power to fulfill those words also proceeded forth without the helpless man even knowing it, and cast out the disease that bound him for 38 years. The helpless man had already been made whole.
So it is with our salvation. It says in Hebrews chapter 10, And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Heb. 10:17) and it says, but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of out God. (1 Cor. 6:11) It seems that his disease is not healed and that nothing has changed in the eyes of the man with the infirmity for 38 years. But just as the power of the word of Jesus made the helpless man whole, it may seem to me that I am filthy, dirty, and an evil sinner, but the holiness of God, the cleanliness of God, and the righteousness of God has already come upon me.
This cannot be verified with your feelings. When Jesus said to the man with the infirmity for 38 years, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” the power already went out from Jesus, but it could not be verified through the eyes or the feelings of the helpless man. When Jesus said, “Rise, take up thy bed and walk,” he was already no longer a helpless man. When he simply believed in the words that Jesus said, he arose, took up his bed, and walked. If he continued to lie there, not believing even though the power had already come upon him, then he would only have continued living as a helpless man. However, since he arose by faith, he became the man that rose, took up his bed, and walked.
God said, And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Heb. 10:17) and, there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1) Even though we may not feel it, we have already been made holy and righteous. Why? It is not because we do not sin, but because Jesus justified us. That is why God calls us righteous. It is only that our eyes and our feelings are not able to confirm this.
Those Who Believe in God Believe in the Word of God Rather Than Their Own Judgment
People do not believe in this word of God, but in their experiences; their own judgment. That is why they say that they are sinners when they feel like sinners. When it seems that they are weak, they say that they are weak. They say that they are great when it seems that they are great. They live following their own judgment, and do not believe in God. However, people who believe in God believe in the word of God rather than in their own judgment. No matter how it appears to you, if God says that you are righteous, then believe that you are, and if He tells you to rise, take up your bed, and walk, believe that you will walk. You should believe that the power of God fulfills all things that are impossible with man, having us stand on faith and in holiness.
Everyone, you cannot say that you are righteous or that you are holy if you are looking at yourself. But if you look to the cross of Jesus, you can believe that He has sanctified dirty and filthy humans like you. Then, you can dwell within the righteousness and holiness of God. And, you will become people of faith who can stand boldly before God.