Kim BeomHeon (Tiger), an ESR exchange student from Hanshin University Graduate School of Theology in South Korea, delivered the following message during Joint Seminary Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion on Friday, February 17, 2017:
I heartily welcome and bless you today in the name of the Lord.
We have gathered here to believe in something.
The object of our faith may be God alone,
it may be Jesus Christ, or it could be another object of worship.
Why do we have faith, and why do we worship?
Faith is the primary thing that saves us from sin.
The forms of salvation and methods of salvation that world religions claim are diverse.
The concept of sin we must know for salvation is very diverse.
Especially, the concept of sin today is very diverse.
In these circumstances today, Christianity asks this serious question.
What is sin?
There can be various discussions about sin, but I think that sin is not knowing oneself.
In fact, we do not know much about ourselves.
Is there anyone who knows for sure where in the flow of history that we have come, and where we will go?
When one falls in front of the love and forgiveness of God,
When all our sins are revealed,
We experience existence as sinners.
There is nothing as foolish as claiming to know God by experiencing His grace for one moment, this is because our belief is not based on miracles, but in the Word.
It is foolish to claim to believe unconditionally because it is the truth,
which is why we are here today to learn the Word, to know how to believe.
It is not an exaggeration to say that ESR and Bethany seminaries exist to find the truth.
We sometimes find truths throughout our lives,
We are sometimes filled with curiosity and explore what sin is about.
I would like to propose that we look inside together.
Try to think.
Think about your inner order.
After all, we can not bring about perfect love with our own strength,
And we have no choice but to confess that we can not completely forgive with only our own strength.
We can not solve our own problem of sin.
We have no choice but to obtain grace from other beings.
I was full of hypocrisy. After believing in Jesus, I am still hypocritical.
But the difference between the old me and myself today is that I can confess that I am completely hypocritical at some point.
I pretend to be someone who I am not.
I fool even myself.
I want you to stand in evidence of the love of the cross.
The cross is like a mirror,
The cross exposes my ugliness,
The cross shows my sin completely.
Look at Leviticus, the document of Judaism and the Old Testament of Christianity.
Leviticus 19 verse 18 penetrates the entire Bible.
'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.‘
Forgive and love,
How perfect is this human life portrayed here!
The direction of our life is the word of forgiveness and love of that in Leviticus.
I do not wish to preach the word with dazzling words and complex doctrine, but I want to tell you how God treats us as sinners.
We can see how miraculous the truth of Romans and Psalms 23 is.
We see the intersection of Romans and the Psalms.
And I see how sinful man is full of God 's grace.
I am a sinful man but God pours out his grace upon me.
I will read the Romans and the Psalms in order.
Romans chapter 3 verse 10 to 18
Psalms chapter 23 verse 1 to 6.
Romans accuses humans.(v10~11)
As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.
Psalms love humans. (v1)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Romans criticizes humans. (v12)
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."
Nevertheless, Psalms love human beings. (v. 2).
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
Romans points out strongly (v. 13)
"Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips."
Psalm loves humans even more. (v3)
He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Romans reveals the depths of sin (vv. 14-15).
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Nevertheless, the Psalms forgive and love (v.4).
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Romans thoroughly exposes the sins of mankind (vv. 16-17).
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know."
Nevertheless, the Psalms are forgiving. (v. 5).
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Romans gives the final revelation (v.18).
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Nevertheless, the Psalms show love to overcome the death of the cross (v. 6).
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
The existence as a sinner fights with us every day to be righteous.
However with our spiritual conscience, we have to admit that we ourselves can only lose in the fight.
We need to know Jesus, We need to strive to know Jesus.
He wants to know us, and show us.
To know is to act with love,
To know is to pray silently
To know is to seek grace.
To know is to admit that we do not know about so many things.
We need to know love in His Word. We need to know forgiveness.
We are not alone, look around you, and see your friends, your peers.
God loves dirty people.
Dirty people can not love anyone with God.
Sinful people have hope to love.
Let us know, and strive to know.
We strive to love our neighbor with the strength of Christ.