Here it is. Lord’s rich blessings!
Rom. 8:28-30
“Effectual Calling”
What we have in today’s passage is a short summation of God’s redemptive plan, made up of only three verses. But the scope of what Paul covers in this short summation is truly mind-boggling. Paul is speaking of the calling coming from God–the highest and greatest Being of all. And this calling was issued before the foundation of the world, in the eternal purpose of God: God’s foreknowledge and predestination are the fountain of this divine call. And Paul gives us an insight into the purpose of “all things” that happen, why all things happen–not just in the lives of God’s people but also in heaven and earth. And all this is directly related to us and our salvation! What an awesome thought!
Sometimes we lose sight of what a truly big deal our salvation is. Maybe that’s why we have trouble trusting the Lord with our daily concerns while we say we have a firm assurance of salvation. If we can trust the Lord for our deliverance from hell and eternal life in heaven, does it make sense that we should have such a hard time trusting the Lord for what to eat, what to drink, what to wear and other worries of the day? Could it be that our understanding of salvation is too abstract and vague and stunted? This may have a lot to do with our preoccupation with the here and now, which makes our immediate concerns seem so big and overwhelming. In such mindset, the deadlines we have to meet and the schedules we have to keep are raised to tyrannical proportions in their urgency and importance.
Charles E. Hummel speaks of the “tyranny of the urgent.” Under the tyranny of the urgent, we neglect to do the things that are truly important because many of them may not seem urgent. Think of our spiritual feeding through our personal and family devotions. Are they important? Fundamentally so. It’s like aligning ourselves to the North Star as we navigate through the turbulent, vast sea of life. Without it, we would be lost and our life would be reduced to aimless drifting. Yet, for many of us our devotional life is the first to go when our life gets busy. How powerful the tyranny of the urgent is to distort our vision and sense of priority!
Living a busy, hectic life under the tyranny of the urgent, it’s easy for us to think of our salvation and eternal life mainly in a futuristic sense–as if they were something that would get started only after we die and wake up in heaven. That’s understandable. Our Christian life can chug along in a painfully slow pace. We can feel so defeated in our battle against sin at times. And the flaws of our character and the harmful failures that result from them can be so discouraging. For sure, our salvation will be completed only on that last day. When that day arrives, our experience and enjoyment of salvation will certainly increase significantly and drastically in heaven. How can they not when we are finally set free from this body of weakness and sin and from the presence of sin itself–that single most destructive force in our life? When our faith shall be sight and we will be able to behold the glory of God unhindered, then we will know the true meaning of happiness and enjoy it to the fullest!
But how we experience our salvation, or how much we enjoy it, is not the same as the salvation we possess. For example, we know that different couples experience different degrees of intimacy and harmony. Even the same couple goes through different measures of satisfaction and enjoyment during marriage. Just because they are going through a rough spot in their marriage doesn’t mean that they are not married. Our salvation as a gift of God is an objective reality. Our enjoyment of that salvation is a subjective experience, which can vary, even in a day, and from one Christian to another. So then, the way we enjoy our salvation in heaven will definitely be far better than the way we experience our salvation here. But one thing is for sure: “as sure as the earnest [i.e., divine pledge] is giv’n / more happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heav’n” (August M. Toplady, “A Debtor to Mercy Alone”).
And what does ordo salutis (the order of salvation) tell us about our salvation? Not only is it wrong to think that our salvation will begin only after we leave this world; we must also know that our salvation began even before the foundation of the world in the calling of God! You see, our salvation is much, much more than the complexities of all the ups and downs of our daily life. We can experience the dizzying heights of bliss and the bottomless depths of fear, all in a matter of one day. How profound are the emotions we experience in the wide swings of life’s fortunes and tragedies! So much ink has been spilt over the millennia, describing the joys and agonies of life in poetry and prose, in stories and dramas, etc. But, however big the fluctuations of our ups and downs may be in a day or in our whole lifetime, they are infinitesimal in comparison to the steadfast, unceasing, unstoppable progression of ordo salutis, which spans from the effectual calling of God before the foundation of the world to the end of history and beyond!
Let us not forget that we are in the middle of that unstoppable progression of ordo salutis, in the middle of the majestic, magnificent drama of God’s redemption! When we feel like we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, we must not fear as long as the Lord is with us: He will not fail to lead us to the green pastures and quiet waters. When we feel like we have reached the mountaintop of success and glory, we should not be arrogant and complacent: they are just temporary blessings we must let go eventually for the eternal, imperishable blessings of heaven.
This calling of God unto salvation is called effectual calling. This is distinguished from the universal calling, which refers to the preaching of the gospel to all the nations. This universal calling, which is issued by God’s people, especially by the ministers of the gospel, is not always effectual: it can be and is rejected by many unto eternal damnation. But God’s effectual calling is extended to God’s elect. It does not and cannot fail: it is an irresistible grace, which even the worst of sinners cannot reject. Each of us who believes in Jesus Christ is here because of God’s irresistible grace extended to us in His effectual calling.
I’m sure some of you are asking, “Why doesn’t God call all sinners unto salvation?” We don’t know why He did not. We wish He did. But the Bible seems to suggest that God is holy and He is glorified by the damnation of sinners as well as the salvation of His elect people. The God of the Bible is not a Santa Clause we concocted according to our preference. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, He is both dangerous and good. We should never take Him for granted and be presumptuous with Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, even under the covenant of grace, even under the new covenant. His grace is so amazing because it comes from a holy, dangerous God, who is glorified in the righteous (and dare I say, merciless) punishment of sinners on the last day.
Let us also remember that we are talking about God’s grace: it is a favor God chose to extend to (some) sinners. It is not something that a sinner can demand from God. God does not owe grace to hell-deserving sinners. Eternal damnation is what all sinners deserve for their sin. That’s where God’s justice ends. If God chooses to save some by His sovereign grace–and that, by the sacrifice of His Son to satisfy His justice–we cannot fault Him for that, can we?
This gracious calling of God for our salvation cannot be but effectual. It is the calling of an almighty God, who created the heavens and the earth and everything in them by the power of His word: He brought the whole universe into existence simply by calling it into being. A dramatic example of this is when Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, who had been dead for four days. As nothingness could not resist God’s creative calling, even a corpse could not resist Jesus’ redemptive calling.
Another reason for God’s effectual calling is the way God’s mind operates. The way an infinite mind works is fundamentally different from the way a finite mind like ours works. The difference can be described in this way, though somewhat simplistic: God’s mind works intuitively whereas our mind works logically. Here is what I mean. In saying that our mind works logically, we are saying that there is a sense of linear progression in the way we think. We go from premise to conclusion in logical steps. Our mind progresses one thought after another. This is how our mind usually works, though not exclusively.
When I say that the mind of God works intuitively, I’m saying that, in the infinite mind of God, all of God’s thoughts exist all at the same time, all in complete and perfect relation/association with one another! Somehow in God’s infinite mind even your sneeze is related to something that is happening in a galaxy that is millions of light years away and everything else in the universe. We have a glimpse of what that is like. Sometimes you just get it without having to go through all the rational process in our conscious mind. God has given us the capacity for intuitive thinking as well, though in finite ways. Increase that to an infinite measure and that’s how God’s infinite mind is in its intuitive operation. (This is not to say that there’s no logic to His mind. After all, if we have a logical mind, it’s because we are made in God’s image. To say God’s mind is beyond logic doesn’t mean that it is without logic or against logic.)
This is why predestination is inevitable. The one and only true God, whose mind is infinite and omniscient, cannot not predestine all things: “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it” (Isa. 46:9-11). There’s nothing He does not know. Nothing can surprise an omniscient God.
What does Paul mean when he speaks of God’s foreknowledge, then? “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (v. 29). Paul is not speaking of an intellectual foreknowledge–i.e., simply knowing some facts in advance (as fortunetellers claim to do). Rather, he is speaking of God’s covenantal, personal foreknowledge. The kind of knowing here is what Gen. 4:1 speaks of: “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain….” We can be sure that it was not Adam’s intellectual knowledge of Eve, which led to her pregnancy. It was his intimate, nuptial knowledge of her.
As you can see, the most intimate of human relationships is given as a human example of the kind of (fore)knowledge God has of us. Of course, God’s knowledge of us is not physical as it is between a human husband and his wife but it is even more thorough and intimate than what is possible in any human relationship, of course. He knows you by name. He knows all there is to know about you–from the number of all the cells in your body and even a flashing thought you no longer remember.
But God’s foreknowledge of us is not just factual–i.e., simply knowing how we will act and think in the future. It is a predestinating knowledge–the kind that knows the future precisely because God decreed it: “The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass” (WSC, #7).
Notice again what is known as the Golden Chain of our salvation. God’s foreknowledge is unbreakably linked to our effectual calling, which is unbreakably linked to our justification, which is unbreakably linked to our glorification. Did anyone notice how our glorification is presented as a past event–“and those whom he justified he also glorified”? This doesn’t mean that we are actually glorified already. It seems like Paul in this passage is speaking of what went on in the mind of God. In His predestinating foreknowledge, God has already called us and justified us and glorified us infallibly and unalterably. Once God decrees something, it is as good as done, including our glorification, because God never fails. This is along the same lines as John referring to Jesus as the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
For what purpose did God call us? Unto what did He call us? “…[T]hose whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son…” (v. 29). This is another reason that the Golden Chain of our salvation cannot be broken. Ordo Salutis is none other than the process by which we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This was God’s purpose from the very beginning when He decided to make man in His own image. Of course, God made man, male and female, in His image. Does this mean that His goal was accomplished in His act of creation? No. Man was created in God’s image but he was yet to be perfected in God’s image. By his willing and perfect obedience to God’s command during the probation period, Adam was to be perfected in God’s image. Adam failed. His fall necessitated the Son of God to come as the Second Adam and accomplish for us what Adam failed to do.
Our fallen condition also necessitated ordo salutis as well as all the steps in ordo salutis. If Adam did not fall, he could have gone directly from creation to glorification by his perfect obedience. And that process would not be called ordo salutis since he would not have required salvation: only sinners need salvation.
The obvious question is whether Adam’s fall was predestined by God, too. We’ll deal with that question next week. But as we conclude, I want to remind us that this effectual calling of God is “in Christ”: “he [God] chose us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him” (Eph. 1:4). This is an important fact. Many people question the fairness/justice of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. They understand God’s justice in requiring the punishment of our sin. But they don’t see how fair/just it is that an innocent person should receive the punishment of another. The answer is found in our effectual calling in Jesus Christ. Jesus, who received our punishment, was not just a stranger who was randomly and unfortunately picked to bear our punishment. No, Jesus is our Lord, our Representative, who bound Himself to us by an eternal covenant. He did not just lay down His life for some random strangers; He took the sins of His people and died for them. It is like a general taking the blame for the failure his subordinate committed against his specific order.
This reminds us that Jesus Christ Himself was called by God for this purpose. The Messiah-figure in Isaiah says, “Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name” (Isa. 49:1). Jesus in His priestly prayer says to God, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). Obviously Jesus was called to do the work of glorifying God through His redeeming work. Because Jesus was called to be our Redeemer, we are called in Him to receive that redemption. This is why our calling is effectual: we are called in a Redeemer, who cannot fail in His work, who did not fail in His work, and who will not fail in His work of saving us perfectly and gloriously!
May the Lord cause your heart to swell with gratitude and joy as you are reminded of this amazing truth about your glorious salvation–that you and your life is not an accident; that God knew you even before you were born; that God has called you unto eternal life with Him even before the foundation of the world; that you are brought into this world according to that purpose; that God will see it through that His purpose is done in your life! Let not your heart be troubled when troubles come: they are part of God’s saving work. Let not your heart be proud when glory and honor come your way: you are destined for a greater glory! In all things, hold on to Christ as your greatest Treasure!
© Copyright 2017 by Jeong Woo “James” Lee
All Rights Reserved.

Jeong W “James” Lee


New Life Presbyterian Church of La Jolla



4/30/2017 Lord’s day Sermon

Here it is. Lord’s blessings!

Rom. 8:28-30


“Our Glorious Redemption: Introduction”


My practice in preaching has been to jump back and forth between an Old Testament book and a New Testament book. But in between I usually insert a shorter, topical series. As you know, we just finished our series on the Book of Joshua. Before we start a new series in the New Testament, I decided to do a topical series called “Our Glorious Redemption.” We will be going through what we call “ordo salutis” (the order of salvation). As the name indicates, this outlines the progression of our salvation from the beginning to the end.


This is not some random theological idea that theologians came up with because they were bored. It is a biblical idea. We have a sample of this in today’s passage: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (vv. 29-30). Not all the elements of ordo salutis are mentioned here, but by studying the relevant passages, our ordo salutis comes out to be: effectual calling, regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification. In the coming weeks, we will look at each of them.


Why is it important to study ordo salutis? When we go somewhere, especially to a place we are not familiar with, it’s good to have a map. I know that these days we can just use Google Maps or Waze to give us directions every step of the way. It’s very convenient, especially for people like me, who is not gifted with a sense of direction. Going by a map requires much more work from us. But one thing that is beneficial about the map is that we get a bird’s eye view of where we are going, a bearing of where everything is, not just what we have to do at the moment to get to our destination. We can say, then, that ordo salutis is like the map of our salvation. I believe it’s helpful to have this map firmly impressed in our minds and hearts so we know where we are going and how to get there. But before we do that starting next week, we want to lay down some foundation.


First, I’d like to alert you to the fact that in Christianity we also have historia salutis (the history of salvation) in addition to ordo salutis (the order of salvation). John Murray summarized the relationship between the two in his book, Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Redemption accomplished is the history of salvation. Redemption applied is the order of salvation. I’d like to talk about why having both is important, and why we can’t just have one or the other.


By historia salutis we do not mean the entire period of human history (since the Fall) in which God saves His people. Rather, it refers to a specific period within it, in which God accomplishes His work of redemption, culminating in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is the historical period covered in the Bible, ending with the Apostles’ witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.


But why should the history of redemption be divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament as we see in the Bible? They are not called such simply because one comes after another in their chronological order. That is true but only partially so. There is a qualitative difference between the two as well. We can say that the Old Testament is like the storyboard of a movie in sketches and the New Testament is like the full movie. Another analogy that is frequently used is that the Old Testament is like a signpost and the New Testament is like the thing that it points to, or the blueprint of a building and the building that is fully constructed according to the blueprint. In the Old Testament God uses types, shadows, promises, prophecies, etc. to teach His people how He will save His people through a Savior and thus prepare them for that Savior.


This points to the fact that God has had one plan of redemption from the very beginning. The sacrificial system and the Law of Moses were not given as different means of forgiveness and salvation. They had obvious limitations: the sacrificial system could not bring about true, lasting forgiveness; the law could not enable God’s people to live a holy life. Their role was to point away from themselves to the true Lamb of God, who alone can take away the sin of the world; to the second Adam, who alone can delight God with His life of perfect righteousness. So, testifying to Jesus, Peter boldly declared to the Sanhedrin Council, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts4:12). John also says in Rev. 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship [the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (KJV). Isn’t it fascinating? The Lamb of God is said to be slain from the foundation of the world because that’s when His death for our salvation was decreed by God’s infallible, immutable, unstoppable, unalterable, sovereign will!


As you can see, God does not save us immediately all throughout history. I’m using the term, immediately, in its older, theological sense–as the opposite of mediately. God doesn’t save us immediately–that is, without a Mediator; God saves us mediately–that is, through a Mediator or a Savior. And that Savior, Jesus Christ, accomplished our salvation once for all in His life, death and resurrection. And that salvation is individually applied to us by the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word.


Why does God save us this way–through a Savior? It’s not simply because we could not save ourselves. Many wonder why God could not simply pardon us as our Presidents do with their presidential pardons or as Allah does according to Islam. This is because God is “simple” in the theological sense of the word. This doctrine of “the simplicity of God” tells us that even though God is made up of many attributes (characteristics), God is not the sum total of these attributes, each of them making up a portion of His being: rather, God is 100% of each of His attributes: He is 100% just, 100% merciful, 100% faithful, and 100% holy. He is this way because He is infinite in His being. What that means is that God cannot violate any of His attributes.


You see, even in graciously pardoning our sin, God’s justice must be satisfied and not be ignored. His grace must be a righteousgrace. So the penalty of our sin must be paid for forgiveness. The rightful demand of God’s law must be met. Since we ourselves cannot do this, we need a Savior to do this for us. And our Savior must accomplish our salvation once and for all by His one-time life, death and resurrection. For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23) and He cannot be expected to die again and again and again, every time we sin! And Jesus our Savior doesn’t have to die over and over because He is of infinite value as the Second Person of the Trinity.


I hope you see how important it is for us to know and be acquainted with historia salutis. It is the foundation, or the basis, of our salvation. That is why God prepared and gave us the entire Bible as the official record of historia salutis!


But historia salutis is not all there is to our salvation. The foundation does not exist for itself; it’s there to have a structure built upon it. And this is where ordo salutis comes in. Ordo salutis is what builds us up on this solid Foundation. It does so by connecting us to the benefits of historia salutis. Ordo salutis is what makes us aware, experience and enjoy the salvation Jesus accomplished for us. How tragic it would be for someone to win the lottery for 500 million dollars and not cash it! (Not that winning the lottery is a good thing.) In historia salutis we have something far greater than winning a 500 million-dollar lottery. It is not something we learn and know about so we can take a history test and get a good grade. It is of greatest significance for this life and the life to come.


The relationship between historia salutis and ordo salutis is crucial to our salvation. God’s plan for our redemption is not justredemptive in character and purpose (i.e., to be delivered from hell and spared from our punishment); it is also transformative(i.e., to be changed from a sinner to a saint). In fact, it is truly redemptive because it is transformative. What is ordo salutis in essence? It is the process by which a hell-deserving sinner is made into a God-loving, law-delighting saint, glorified and perfected in the image of God.

Think about how crucial this redemptive transformation is in salvation. What does it profit a sinner to make it to heaven if his wicked heart is not changed? As someone said, if that were to happen, there would be two hells–the hell reserved for Satan and unrepentant sinners and the heaven in which the sinner finds himself. How intolerable would heaven be for the sinner who hates God to have to obey and delight in Him! No, heaven will not be heaven unless we are made good, holy, and righteous in our whole being, loving the Lord of heaven with all of our heart! And this is what ordo salutis is about.


I also need to point out that ordo salutis is not a mechanical process in which different, unrelated parts are joined together to make something–a car, for example. Ordo salutis is an organic process. Each element is from the same source, a part of the same organism, so to speak. As we will see in the coming weeks, each element in ordo salutis is a different aspect of our union with Christ. To put it differently, each and every element of ordo salutis is found “in Christ.” In fact, each element of ordo salutis is grounded in what Jesus accomplished for us in His redemptive work.


We are effectually called in Jesus Christ who was called as our Savior. We are regenerated in Jesus Christ–that is, born of the Spirit–because Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. We are converted by faith and repentance in Jesus Christ because He set us free from the punishment of sin as well as from the power of sin. We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ because He was justified by His works. We are adopted as God’s children in Jesus Christ because He is declared the Son of God by His resurrection (Rom. 1:4)–as the Redeemer-Son of God, not just as the Creator-and-Sustainer-Son of God. We are sanctified in Jesus Christ who set Himself apart wholly to do the work of God. We are glorified in Jesus Christ because He ascended into heaven and is now seated at the right hand of God in glory.


Do you see how we need Christ in every aspect of our salvation? This is why Paul speaks of being in Christ and doing everything in Christ. It is not that Christ helps us from the outside to do what we cannot do because He is almighty in power. That’s true but there is so much more. You see, Christ has already accomplished our salvation, every aspect of it! When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we don’t just get a second chance at life to try harder and make it better this time around. If that were the case, we would fail again and we will need a third, fourth, fifth chance and on and on! Even ten thousand new chances would not be enough for us to get our act together as long as we live in this world. No, when we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we are allowed to participate and share in every spiritual blessing Christ has earned on our behalf–His atonement for our sin, His righteousness for God’s favor, His justification, His sonship to God, His inheritance, His sanctification, His glorification, His resurrection, and His eternal life and everlasting joy! We don’t have to earn this on our own–we can’t do it! We just need to receive it by faith, both passively and actively. This is why the Bible describes our salvation as being grafted to Christ, the true Vine! This is why we are said to be members of the body of Christ!


Jesus Christ came as our covenant Representative, as our Substitute. He lived in our place to do on our behalf all that God requires of us. He was crucified in our place to pay the penalty of our sin and die our death. He rose again from the dead as our Future! You see, historia salutis is in essence Jesus living as we ought to have lived and dying as we should have died and rising again from the dead as we shall because of His life and death. And ordo salutis is us living in union with Christ and enjoying all the benefits of Christ’s redeeming work in historia salutis, in which He lived out our ordo salutis.


There is one more observation I’d like to share with you: ordo salutis is an unbreakable chain: “those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified” (v. 30). From God’s eternal decree in effectually calling you to your glorification on the Final Day, our order of salvation cannot be broken. Once it is set in motion, which took place in the sovereign will of God before the foundation of the world, it cannot stop. This is ultimately because our salvation is the work of God. It cannot be a cooperation between God and us–50% God’s work and 50% our work. Someone said that even if our responsibility were 0.0000001% and even less, there won’t be any salvation for us because we will fail to meet our end of the bargain, however small that may be. And precisely because it is 100% work of God, our salvation cannot fail and ordo salutis cannot be broken, ever! With His sovereign will and almighty power and infinite wisdom, God will see it through that each and every one of the elect people will be glorified in the end.


As I said at the beginning, the title of this series is “Our Glorious Redemption.” Why is it so glorious? Because it brings us forgiveness? Because it delivers us from hell? Because it gives us a sense of peace and purpose for our life? Because it gives us a sense of community with other believers? There is no doubt that these are all wonderful benefits of our redemption. But they are merely secondary, side benefits. From what we’ve observed, our redemption is glorious because it is in essence our covenantal and mystical union with Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the triune God, as members of His body. It is glorious because it is the work of God–indeed, the most glorious work of God, which far transcends His work of creation in glory. In this regard, just think about what He did. For creation, He only had to speak and everything came into being. For our redemption, He had to sacrifice His only begotten Son. Which work would God think was more glorious and valuable?


We don’t know what the final product of God’s salvation will be like. We have no idea how good our eternal life in heaven will be. Paul, who had the privilege of catching a glimpse of it (2 Cor. 12), said that all the afflictions he suffered in this world were light and temporary in comparison to the eternal weight of glory. Think about how much he suffered for the sake of the gospel. How many times he was thrown into prison, how many times he was scourged, how many times he was shipwrecked and had to spend many days and nights in the raging sea. He said that they were light and temporary! So, even when God did not answer his three-time prayer for his thorn in the flesh to be removed, he could accept it and remain content. In fact, he gloried in his weakness: “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9).


I hope those words bring comfort and encourage to those of you who are going through a period of long, heavy trials. May you gain from them not only the strength to endure but also to rejoice in the midst of them as Paul did. For the gospel of Jesus Christ, which gave him the strength to do so, is the same gospel by which we are saved! And I hope that these same words will also humble those who find themselves on the mountaintop of success and security. As the afflictions of this world are light and temporary, so are the possessions and power and position and prestige of the world light and temporary in comparison to the weight of glory that awaits God’s people. May you put your hope and trust in the glory of your redemption in Jesus Christ and be diligent to lay up your treasures in heaven by serving those around you by sharing the gifts God has given to you! May the Lord richly bless us as we meditate upon our glorious redemption in Jesus Christ!


© Copyright 2017 by Jeong Woo “James” Lee

All Rights Reserved.