Jesus came down, God the Son. He entered our world and lived among us. He suffered through to the Cross. He’s coming again — not to suffer, but to reign. (Philippians 2:1-5)
Speaker(s): Pastor John Love, Tom Chung
Sermon # 11278
6:30 PM on 6/11/2017
Dr. Tom Chung
So good to be back here with all of you. We’re coming back from Japan. Japan is an amazing country. We’ve learned a lot about it in the last year. Some statistics: The population was 127 million and of those 37.8 million live in Tokyo general area. The whole state of California is 39 million. The greater Los Angeles area is 18.7 million. Twice as large as L.A. People of Japan I’d describe as hard working. Truly hard working. They get up early, go to work diligently, do a 12 hour day and usually 6 days a week. They are polite, have a lot of integrity and they live by integrity, honor and respect and with it comes order and perfection. That’s what they strive for. The whole train can be packed with people and everyone is silent. No talking on your cell phone in public. They don’t want to intrude. It’s a lot to be learned from. Their belief system – most Japanese believe in two major religions: Buddhism and Shintoism. Buddhism is the belief of Buddha but they don’t call him a god but believe in the cycle of death and rebirth until reach nirvana, the end of suffering. No personal God. The other belief is Shintoism. They have different gods where they represent different elements of earth, landscape, forces of nature. Don’t necessary believe in reincarnation but spiritual energy gets recycled into the earth in some way.
They don’t care to talk about the afterlife because they don’t know much about it. We have found that people are open now in Japan. They talk to us. We go soul winning and talk to people and have a conversation and they ask what compelled you to talk to us. How did you come talk to us? My wife would say God chose you. They will talk to you and we ask what is your ultimate purpose in life? What is having achieved success to you? What if you do get that? Is there anything more? They think about it. And will say there probably is something more but don’t know what it is. That’s when we can tell them about who Jesus is. They are open to what we have to share. One person in particular asked me why you share your faith. I thought about it and gave an answer but then thought about motivation. What is our motivation for doing what we do? Why do we do anything?
I asked God about this. Please answer the why question for me. He gave me a beautiful answer to Heb 12:2. Jesus, why did he do what he did? For the joy of knowing what he would accomplish and have you and I in mind. It was for that joy or purpose. When we think of caring for people, loving people, why would you go to Bible school? Is it to get another degree or become something? You can give a lot of reasons for going to Bible school but what a joy it is to go and learn more about what God has for you and meditate on his Word and dig deeper. It’s a joy to do missions to meet people who are curious to know about your faith and talk to them.
The episode when they came to Jesus to take him and Peter tries to defend him and cuts off the servant’s ear. Jesus puts the ear back on. Jesus told Peter put your sword into your shield. The cup my Father gives me shall I not drink it. You have no idea what I’m doing. I’m come for a specific reason but it’s beyond your comprehension. I’m doing this because I want to. It brings me joy to do this.
17:13 we can experience that same joy Jesus had when focused on going to the cross for us. We too can have that same joy as we go out. I realize some people are thinking you have no idea what I’m going through. I’m going through a trial and a painful siltation or finances or health. Whatever it is, what you can do is have the motivation to at least raise you hand up to Jesus. It gives him joy to reach down and hold your hand and help you through it. What a joy for God to do that for you. That’s the message we want to give to the people of Japan. Our God is personal in that way. We believe in a personal God who loves us. We can pray directly to him. We don’t have to do any ritualistic things. They go to shrines and pray but it’s a ritual where they first pass through a red gate, double with two pillars and you go through a purification process where wash your hands and mouth. You go into the shrine and present yourself and first bow twice. If you have money you throw it to the gods at that point. And clap twice. It means you’re waking them up! They do this over and over again. They write out on a piece of paper or wood plaque their prayer request and put it on the wall. Giving it to the gods hoping it will be answered. We tell people I believe we can directly go to a God that loves us and is personal. We believe God hears our prayers and we can go directly to him. I was saying you have to go over and over to the shrine. He was asking what is the difference with Christianity. You only have to pray one prayer to receive Christ and you’re sealed. He said that is a big difference. It only takes one moment for us to be sealed forever in God’s eternal purpose. In Japan they simply don’t have this message. There are people who never heard of J.C. You have never heard of J.C? They say no. We are able to tell who he is and what he did for us.
How can you pray for us? You can pray for our outreaches, finances, we need tracks and Bibles in Japanese. We have Bible studies planned (he named some cities). We have a conference in July and people from China and Korea are coming to this conference. That’s amazing in itself because of the history of the region and they were under persecution by Japan. Pray for team members. We are delighted to have you come even for a short time. I’m happy to announce we have a team member on its way. We don’t know if it’s a boy or girl yet!! Most of all pray for souls in Japan. We love the Japanese and are delighted to be there. We are so grateful to be part of this ministry.
Php 2. Some meditations we’ve had last week or so. In the Old Testament, it’s clear that all of the promises of the Messiah would come to pass but it seemed quite clear and even confusing for some of the Jewish people. It seemed clear this Messiah was a reigning, conquering, ruling king and on the other hand, a meek, lowly suffering servant. They had to have some concerns. Which is it? We now know having both Old and New Testaments, it was both. In his first coming, he came meek and lowly riding on a colt. In his second advent he comes as a reigning, conquering king.
Php 2:5 Paul is encouraging them to humility. That’s something we long for to have in our lives. Humility. It’s tricky cause the Scripture says humble yourself and if we could do that and do it well, we would be quite proud of it! It cancels the whole idea of humility! I think the secret of humility is keep our eyes on Jesus, our hearts fixed on Jesus. Keep looking to him and living in his presence and humility will happen.
Php 2:5-11 it is incredible to think that Jesus stepped into our world. He was God. We have to rehearse this in our hearts and minds. Nobody expected God to come into the world the way he did. Almost as if there was a ladder and he was taking steps down on each rung. He was God.
I love the way John described him in Jn 1:1-2. You wish that everywhere you find something in the planet and it should say made by Jesus. A rock, a tree, the foothills of the Himalayas, the Grand Canyon -made by Jesus. Didn’t he speak it all into existence? Doesn’t he hold it all together by the Word of his power? Jesus in his nature was God. He stepped into our world. He left that crown and came into a cradle. Who would expect God to come like that? Even more so another rung to the cross. To Calvary. Sometimes when I think about that I can’t fathom that. He would come and take the nails, the punishment we deserve. Yes, we know it’s true. Paul isn’t talking about Christ the one who created everything but the Incarnate one. He laid aside the exercise of all his attributes. He didn’t exercise this right of divine advantage. He could have. He made himself small. God stepping into the human race and now depended on a set of lungs and a heart that beats. He gets hungry and thirsty. He goes through all the stages of normal human development. He understood what joy was and frustration. How long do I have to deal with you guys? Frustration that was real. Not sin. We said when he cried out, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I think he was looking for an answer but he didn’t get one. He asked that question so we never would. So we never have to say, Why, God, did you forsake me? He forsook his Son so he will never have to forsake us. He came into the world to reveal his affection for us. His love for us. How much he wanted us to enter into a relationship with himself. He didn’t view his equality with God something to be grasped or exploited. He refused to throw his weight around but could have. People mocked him. People in our world mock Jesus.
You’ve heard about Kathy Griffin. The episode of holding up a severed head of Trump and it cost her her job. A few years ago, she was given an award, Emmy award for her TV program. She said a lot of people thank Jesus for this award. No one had less to do with this. She said suck it Jesus. This is my god now.
They say things about him and we worship him. We recognize him. We know what he has done and are familiar with his promises. We worship him. He stepped from crown to cradle to cross to tomb but God raised him from the dead. That tomb could not hold him. He came and he came in disguise. People couldn’t recognize him. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He knew no sin. He never sinned in his thought life, in his words or attitude or physical body. Not one time. God raised him from the dead. It has given him a name above every name. Names carry clout. If you said Queen Elizabeth walked in room, we’d all look. Or a famous entertainer, provided it was not Kathy Griffin, we would look. When people see Jesus they won’t turn their heads but bow their knee and confess he is Lord to the glory of God the Father. God came and endured the cross.
vs. 8. Even the death of the cross. Reserved for the worst of sinful mankind, for the slaves of that time. The humility.
As Dr. Chung shared in Heb 12:2 he despised the shame for the joy set before him. That’s us. That’s humility. When live in the presence of the one who humbled himself in this fashion, the one who took that descent one rung at a time. No wonder God highly exalted him and has given him a name above every name. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. The one who went so low is now on high at the right hand of the Father. No angel is higher than Jesus. No politician, monarch, king. Every one of them will bow their knee when those politicians stand before him. Some do it willingly in this life…he holds it together by the word of his power. Worthy of our praise and adoration. Others do it reluctantly. C. S. Lewis said when Jesus walks onto the stage the play is over. It will be God without a disguise. Will strike irresistible love or horror in every creature. It will be too late to choose your side. It will be the time we discover which side we have really chosen. We bow in our hearts to Jesus. We say his name with joy. We sing his name with all our hearts. We worship him. There will be those when they bow their knee, it’s irresistible horror. Thank God he brought us to a place of faith.
When he came unto his own, Jn 1:11 they receive him not.
vs. 12 to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. We made that decision. We chose to bow our knee here on the earth and some day we will do it so gladly. That’s humility. When we think of Christ and what he’s done we want to draw closer to him. Coming more into his presence. Being together with other like-minded believers. We lift up the name of Jesus and can sense the angelic beings want to be a part of it. We say Jesus did it all for me. I am what I am by the grace of God. He gives me breath, a life to live, roof over my head, food to purchase, and a family. We say he has everything to do with our lives. We do it willingly and freely.
We want to keep going to places like Japan and keep preaching in the four corners of the earth. We want everyone to hear this glorious name.
Thank God he came down, down, down and God now has highly exalted him. Given him a name above every name. Antique Road Show, a letter from J. F. Kennedy was worth $75,000. They think that name is important. Throw any one in there you want. All those names will melt away and disappear when that glorious name is spoken, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
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