The Words of Hyung Jin Moon From 2009

The Mission of Jesus Christ and the Reverend Sun Myung Moon

Hyung Jin Moon
December 12, 2009
Headquarters Church, Seoul Korea

Welcoming Remarks
Yeon Ah Nim:

Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! It is great to see you all. Welcome to the Headquarters of the Unification Church. As many of you know, there are 524 volumes of True Father’s teaching. Recently I heard that True Father started to read them through from Volume One during Hoon Dok Hae, so we are sending great applause for our True Father’s unending love for God. I really hope that you have a blessed week with Heavenly Father’s love and True Father’s true teaching. Aju!

Hyung Jin Nim:

Good afternoon, brothers and sisters! You know Christmas is coming very soon, so today it is all about Jesus. Today I am going to talk a lot about Jesus. Even for me as a second generation, while growing up I didn’t really understand Jesus well. Actually, we didn’t learn Christian theology in the church; we only heard Divine Principle. It was not until I studied Christian theology in the school of theology at Harvard that I truly came to realize the value of the Divine Principle -- how powerful it is for someone who comes from the Christian tradition, who already has that knowledge of Christian theology. How powerful it is, how it answers fundamental questions that have wrecked the minds of many theologians and Christian elect for two thousand years! We will get to that a little later today.

Let us now manifest the Principle: Give and Receive Action, Four Position Foundation. May I inherit the True Love of God! Aju!

Today our reading is from Cheon Seong Gyeong, page 196. This is about the Messiah:

The Messiah is the embodiment of the purpose of faith and the embodiment of the purpose of hope. He is the embodiment in whom the purpose of faith and hope are realized. When this purpose is realized through the Messiah, what is the only thing that will remain? Nothing will remain but love when this purpose is realized. This is why it is said that what remains in the end is love. This love comes through the perfect incarnation of faith and hope. The representative of this one love is the Messiah.

Today, as we approach Christmas, let’s give it up for Jesus and let’s give it up for our True Parents!

Brothers and sisters, through our service, I hope that we can all come to a new appreciation of what we have as Unification Church, the incredible teaching and power that we have. I hope that through this recognition we can really glorify True Parents and testify on their behalf. Let us all rise up and offer our family pledge!

Brothers and sisters, we are truly an incredible community from all around the world, especially our international community here. I see those beautiful yellow jackets of hope here in Seoul. We were passing by Seoul Station the other day and saw brothers and sisters proudly wearing the Unification Church yellow vest, with the big symbol on it, walking around and talking about True Parents. We saw, even today, brothers and sisters who were out on the streets. We were so happy! Let’s give our proud Unificationists a big round of applause, let’s give them some encouragement!

Interesting Story

There has been an overwhelming demand for interesting comments, so here is a very interesting story that I heard:

A long time ago, in the 18th century, a pastor was riding furiously on his horse on his way to church; he was late. Suddenly the horse hit the stump of a tree and this flung him to the ground. He was injured, lying in the dirt, his body was in pain. The pastor called out because he could not do it on his own strength. He said, “All the angels in Heaven, please help me to get back up onto my horse!” At that, the pastor was able to supernaturally leap up into the air, but he leapt a bit too high, over the horse, and landed on the other side. Then from that side on the ground he said, “OK, angels, just half of you help me this time!”

Main Sermon

Today, I want to talk to you about the Purpose of the Lord. As we approach Christmas, as the whole world celebrates the birth of Jesus, then for us as Unification Church, for us who do believe in Jesus as the messiah, for us I think it’s important and relevant to spend a little time on the purpose of Christ. Let’s look at some of the World Scriptures today. This is from Christianity. Let’s read this together from 1 Corinthians 15:45:

“The first man, Adam, became a living being; the last Adam [Jesus] became a life-giving spirit.”

Next is from Islam. Many people don’t know that within Islam, Jesus is a prophet. He’s called Isaa in the Qur’an, and also he’s seen as the Imam to return. So let’s take a look at this verse:

“The likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam.”
Qur’an 3:59

And let’s look at True Parent’s words:

“Jesus came as the incarnation of the Word. Jesus was the man whom God had been hoping to see over the long course of restoration history, the desire of God from the time of creation.”

And let’s move to our Core Scriptures today. The first one comes from Matthew 26: 36-39. Let’s read this together:

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.” He began to be sorrowful and troubled. “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’ ”

As you know, in the story in Matthew 26, Jesus repeats this process three times. He comes back, sees them sleeping, goes back, prays at Gethsemane, comes back, goes back -- three times he asks God, “Let this cup pass from me.”

I was talking to one of our ministers here at Headquarters Church this past week, and he said that he was asked a question by a non-Unificationist: “Hey, do you guys actually believe in Jesus as the Messiah? I heard that you guys denied Jesus.” This was the question. It’s very clear for us. Of course we believe in Jesus as Messiah -- it’s not only central to our theology, it’s central to the mission of True Parents to complete and fulfill the mission of Jesus.

I realized that there is still so much misinformation out there, so much ignorance, still, pertaining to our theology. Of course, in the past thirty years, we have not been really declaring our beliefs and witnessing in a major way. So this is somewhat understandable, but now as we come more into the public and as the media wants to hear what we believe, and as these human rights issues come up in Japan, this huge violation, then people want to know what we believe. Why is our faith so powerful that people will change their life to the point where they are so imbued by the Holy Spirit, that they’ll be persecuted and even attacked by other Christian ministers. Why do they do this? What does the Unification Church believe in? This is a major question.

When I was talking to Kook Jin hyung this past week, he was saying that really he never understood the value of the Divine Principle until he actually studied Christian theology. When he started to study Christian theology, he realized, My God! Christian theology is so inadequate in answering most of the fundamental questions that we take for granted within the Principle, questions like: What is the purpose of creating the whole universe? What is the purpose of man? What is the purpose of Christ? How will the Kingdom actually be accomplished? How are these things connected?

Christian theology cannot explain how these are connected, theologically. You see, in Christian theology, Jesus came with the purpose to die. He came to die, so the crucifixion was God’s will. It was the predestined Will of God. In this type of theology, the crucifixion is the glory of Christ, because on that cross, he offers his body as the sacrifice for the sake of the world’s sin. So in the end, as Christians believe, and in the Christian theology, the ultimate purpose of Christ was for him, the sacrificial offering, to die for us.

But when we actually look at the Biblical scripture, we can see the exact opposite. As we just read together in Matthew 26, we can see Christ totally disappointed; we can see him in sorrow that he’s been rejected. We can see that his disciples are betraying him, like Judas, and sending in officials to get him, to crucify him. We can see that he is in so much pain. He’s begging God, “Please take this cup from me. Don’t let me go on the cross. Please, Father, let this pass.” In Matthew 26 we can clearly see his heart, that Christ did not come to die. If the Lord’s purpose was to die, then why is he “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”? Why is he falling to the ground with his face down on the ground, and begging God, “Let this cup be taken from me”? Not once, twice, but three times, asking over and over? Why is he doing such a thing if his purpose was to die, if that was his predestined will?

In John 8:37, we see that Jesus is frustrated. He’s talking to the Jews, the Pharisees, the Sadducees saying, “I know you are Abraham’s descendants, yet you are ready to kill me because you have no room for my word”, meaning: If you had room for my word, if you had accepted me, you would not be wanting to kill me. - You see, only the Divine Principle, only the Unification Church, is able to explain the truth that God did not send Christ to die -- did not! -- That that was not the purpose of Christ.

When we look at the Bible, at the disciples of Jesus, we see them lamenting the death and murder of Christ. In the Acts of the Apostles 7:51-52, we see Stephen. He is lamenting the fact that Jesus was killed. He is chastising the Jews, saying, “You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him.” Stephen is saddened, grief-stricken that Jesus was killed, pointing to the fact that it was human error, not the predestined will of God to kill Jesus.

In 1 Corinthians 2:8, we see the great Saint Paul also lamenting the death of Christ. He says that “None of the rulers of this age understood [the wisdom of the Spirit], for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” This again points to the fact, that human error was involved; that Jesus wasn’t supposed to be crucified. And this is only explained clearly and theologically within the Divine Principle. Only the Unification Church explains this from a powerful theological position. Christian theology does not explain this. Only the Principle elucidates this fact and reveals the suffering heart of Christ, the pain, what we call “Han.” It’s difficult to put a finger on what exactly Han means in translation, but Han is kind of like a pain, a feeling of frustration, a feeling of a mission unfulfilled. It’s like a feeling of not being truly understood, a heart-wrenching historical longing to see an original purpose fulfilled. It is like an incredible, intense longing and pain. This is what we elucidate in the Principle.

When you actually study Christian theology, you realize that Christian theology cannot explain the purpose of Christ other than he was to die, other than it was predestined by God for Jesus to die, even though the scripture shows the opposite. Of course there are Scriptural passages in the Bible where Jesus does say he will have to go on this path. When Peter asks him, “Jesus, do you have to go on this path?” he says, “Get back, Satan! I must go on this path.” We see these scriptural passages in the Bible. But again, we understand from the principled perspective that only the Unification Church explains clearly that it was not the primary goal of God to send Jesus on the cross; but it became a secondary option so that Jesus could attain at least spiritual salvation for humankind.

You see, fundamentally, when we look at Christian theology in its essence, when we look at its notion of God, its notion of Jesus, in Christian theology Jesus is Almighty God, not just a man. He is the creator of the universe, the oceans, the fish, the sea, the stars, everything. That is Jesus -- Jesus is God. When we look at Christian theology and push it to its end, it declares that in the end, God is unknowable and that He is a “mystery.” These are known as the “mysteries of Christ” in the Catholic tradition. So in the end, Christian theology cannot explain the divinity and essence of God; it declares that in the end, God is just “mysterious.” That is why it simply says, that you have to “just believe.” Believe, and when the Lord comes, he will answer your questions, because God is unknowable.

This essentially segregates man from God, leaving God lonely. When you look at Christian theology deeply, you notice that Christian theology also doesn’t really explain what the kingdom is and how it will be accomplished. It’s a very mysterious thing in Christian theology. The best answer is that the Lord will return one day, and that he will take us up in a divine rapture, that he will take us to Heaven, especially the ones who believe.

So in the end, Christian theology does not answer the Purpose of Creation. It cannot explain the divinity of God, and it cannot explain what the kingdom of God is, how it will be accomplished and how all these things are connected to the mission of Jesus. This is, again, why the Principle is so powerful.

You see, only the Unification Church, with the power of the Divine Principle, can reveal the answers to these questions, because the True Parents come to fulfill the mission of Christ, because they come to share that message that the returning Lord will share. Only the Principle shows how the Purpose of Creation is connected to the divinity of God, how that is connected to the Kingdom of Heaven, how the Kingdom of Heaven will be accomplished, and how that is connected to Jesus. Only the Principle shows that there is a process here. You see, True Father explains very clearly that God’s divinity is not unknowable, but it can be explained. God’s divinity can be known. It is only when we do understand, and we do penetrate into God’s divinity, that we can be one with Him.

Father defines what God’s essence is. He defines God’s divinity. He defines it as True Love -- very simple. But he also defines what True Love is: it’s a love that is so pure and powerful, filled with so much loving compassion that it will die and die and die again for the sake of its children, even for the sake of its enemies; and through that process, it will bring its enemies to natural surrender. Father says that True Love brings even Satan to natural surrender.

The Unification Church explains what the divinity of God is. It doesn’t say that it’s just a mystery, unknowable, but that we can understand it, that we can define it, and we can try to inherit it. We can then try to understand what the Unification Movement talks about when we talk about the Purpose of Creation. Christian theology does not give an explanation of why creation was created, what is mankind’s role in this process in Genesis. All the way to the end of Revelation the Unification Principle explains things very clearly. The purpose of creation is very simple. The purpose of creation, of mankind, is to inherit the divinity of God. It is to inherit true love.

But in the process of the Fall, we see that mankind inherited false love, not pure love. If Adam and Eve inherited true love, the essence of God, they would become True Parents. Very simple. If they were able to teach that heart to their children, and the children to the tribes and the nation, and if those individuals were able to inherit that true love, that would be the kingdom. So there is a process through which we can explain the connection between God’s divinity, the purpose of creation, the purpose of the original ancestor, and the creation of the kingdom, which Christian theology cannot do. Only the Divine Principle shows this powerful connection between all these facets, and why those are so essential to the mission of Jesus Christ, why they are all actually connected to Jesus.

Christ’s mission was not to die. It was to succeed, it was to be glorious. It was to fulfill the promise that God gave to mankind at the beginning, to inherit His true love, and to create the kingdom. So we see Jesus pray about this, in the prayer in Matthew 6: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…” He is praying, let us have your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven, because that was his mission. His mission was to establish the kingdom, where the inheritors of the essence of God’s true love live. Let’s take a look at Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

The Unification Church loves Him, and we have been called to His purpose. That is why, simply and objectively speaking, we are the fastest-growing religion in the time of the founder compared to any other religion in history. Compare it to any ancient or even new religions, the Bahai tradition, the Mormon tradition, the Hari Krishna, Soka Gakkai, etc. When you actually study religion and study theology, you realize that objectively speaking, the Unification Church is the most successful religion during the time of its founder. And we will continue to succeed, and continue to return glory to God. Let’s give it up for the Unification Church! That’s why it’s important to study theology and learn religion, to understand the value of what True Parents have accomplished.

This is why the returning Christ has to come back. He’s coming back to create the Unification Movement, because True Parents are the champions of loving Jesus. If we really read True Parent’s early speeches and volumes and prayers, there is so much love for Jesus. It’s unbelievable! I think a lot of us growing up in the younger generation don’t understand this. There is so much profound love for Jesus. True Parents, because of their love, seek to give their life to liberate Christ, to make us more than conquerors, and to help us, so that we love Jesus as well, so that we are called to this purpose.

For two thousand years of Christian history, Christian theology fundamentally could not explain fundamental questions -- man’s existence, why we’re here in the first place, what we’re supposed to do, what God is, and how the kingdom will be created. True Father has penetrated and fulfilled the mission of Jesus, he has revealed these critical connections. In this process, he has worked toward liberating Jesus. I’ll tell you why the Christian theology is an incomplete theology: because even within its theology, it says it must wait for the Lord to return to complete its theology. Within itself, it requires the Lord to come back in order to complete the theology. Without even knowing it, many Christians do not understand this aspect of Christian theology. That’s why when they meet the Principle, they are so moved and transformed.

When I was studying at Harvard, we used the critical historical method to go into the biblical text. If the Bible is the literal word of God and it is not tainted by human hands, not tainted by interpretations of individuals, as the Christians believe that the Bible IS the literal word of God, then how do we explain the five or six different versions of the Bible -- the NKJ version, NIV version, the Catholic version? Some of these conflict with each other. Some of these versions actually say that another version is wrong. How do you explain the biblical texts? When we look with the historical critical method, we understand that there are many texts that are not including in the Bible. We see what are known as the extracanonical texts, the gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Mary, of Peter, etc., so many extracanonical texts that were not added to the Biblical scripture.

In fact when I was at the school of theology, I was studying alongside evangelical Christians. Some of them were Koreans. Some of my friends were evangelical Christians. They were all fired up about going to Harvard and said, “I’m going to be an awesome pastor.” Then they come and actually study theology and religion, the historical critical method, study whether or not the biblical text IS foolproof, IS the literal word of God. And then we go through the evidence that scholars and archaeologists have been able to uncover, and we look at what we can actually prove about Jesus. And fundamentally, scholars can actually prove only about two things: the fact that maybe he was a Jew, and the fact that he died on the cross. We know this because there are historical texts at the time around Jesus that mention that there was a figure, that he was the Messiah and was crucified, but there were also hundreds of people who were crucified at the same time as him. There is also text that shows that things are totally off from what we usually see in the passion narratives, in the Christian Bible.

When my friends, the evangelical Christians, encountered these things, their faith was shattered. But as a Unificationist, because we have an interpretation from the Divine Principle, and because from a principled perspective we see the Bible as being inspired by God but also having symbolic and metaphorical usage, then for me, it was much more comfortable to listen and analyze the Bible and look at the life of Jesus with the critical historical lens, than it was for my friends who were from the Christian evangelical traditions. What was the result of that? Most of my friends, who went in saying, “I’m going to be an awesome Harvard-trained pastor!”, when they came out, said “I’m not going to be a pastor.” The fundamental notions of Christian theology fundamentally break down, when you look at it through the historical text and the historical critical method. When you look at the enlightenment that True Parents brought to the notion of Jesus, that he was not to die, that that wasn’t the will of God, and when you look at even the extracanonical and many other texts, they support the fact that Jesus was not to die. Some of the texts say that he didn’t even die.

But we see that True Parents lived their lives to fulfill his purpose and to alleviate the pain of Christ. True Father is the only one that I know of who physically brought Jews, Muslim and Christian leaders to come together in the Holy Land. Among the religious leaders that I know, True Father is the only one that brought those leaders to actually take down the cross of Jesus. In Christian theology, the cross is the glory of Christ, but if you look at the reality of Christ’s situation, what we see is that the cross is the failure of humankind to accept Jesus. It represents not the victory, but the failure of humanity to recognize the preciousness of Jesus. So when Father went there with the Jews and Christian leaders who understood this and were awakened to this, they said “Yes, we have to liberate Jesus’ heart!”

We know the fact that a lot of our Christian pastor friends came with us to bury the cross. They took down the crosses from their churches, and instead put up the crown, because that was what Jesus was supposed to do. We have pictures of the delegations of the Muslim community, the Druze community, the Jewish community and the Christian community coming together before the throne of Christ, to give and offer a crown to Christ -- not a cross, but a crown, to say to Jesus, “You were here to become the king of kings.” This is incredible! Let’s give it up for True Parents! They want to liberate Jesus.

This is very phenomenal, actually. When we study religion and compare True Father’s actions and what he has done compared with other religious leaders, even new religious traditions (Bahá'u'lláh and Joseph Smith, for example), you’ll see there is a phenomenal difference. So when we see that True Parents have come to really fulfill the mission of Christ, to liberate his heart, this is such an incredible thing that True Parents are doing. Through the liberation of Christ, they are once again connecting those things that were shattered, the purpose of creation, the divinity of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, the process of how that’s going to begin, they’re connecting those things once again. That is what’s so powerful about the Unification theology. We can actually explain how we will create the kingdom.

As we begin our faith life again as Unificationists, as we rediscover our faith, we will say, “My God! What we have is so valuable!” I never really understood the value of what we have until I went out there, lived with those communities and listened to their theology, and then was able to compare that to our theology. I never understood how powerful our theology was. As we begin our faith life again, as we go out and witness, as we go out and declare that True Parents are the Lord, that they are the people who liberate Jesus, that they fulfill his mission, that they bring a higher truth that will elevate the religions to a higher level, then we will also receive questions: "Do you believe in Jesus? Well, I thought Jesus was supposed to die", such questions. We have to remember that it is people who truly love Jesus who will be the most resistant to any other interpretation of Jesus. But if they actually open their heart, and if we continue to love them, and explain to them and ask them to not only make an emotional decision based on what they have heard from the beginning to this point in their life, but to actually think about what the mission of Jesus was, then many people can come to understand that Christ’s real mission was to be victorious.

I was talking to a brother and sister this week, a wonderful family. The gentleman is in a construction company, he is in his 50s, and he’s a new member who has been in the church just a couple of years. He was an evangelical Christian since he was five years old, a Korean evangelical Christian. From five years old, he found Jesus and lived his life for Jesus. He had a hard life when he was young. He lost his father at an early age, and his mother remarried. He was twelve years old when he got a new dad. It was very difficult and he was very lonely. So, he said that when he discovered Christ at an early age, he was so fulfilled. He went to church whenever he needed a safe haven, to get away from home; he would go and pray. For forty years, he lived as a devout Christian. He moved from Pusan all the way up to Seoul, and he was attending the big mega-churches here. He was actually an elder in one of the communities, a very established Christian.

Then, because his last name is Moon, he got connected to the Moon tribe group, and somehow heard the Principle. He attended a 2-day lecture, and he said it shattered his mind. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. It was amazing! “I love Jesus so much, and these questions have been haunting me: Why was Jesus to die? Am I just supposed to die? Wasn’t Jesus here to be victorious? Aren’t we here to be in the likeness of Christ?” He had all these fundamental questions: "How can God be so mysterious? How can we ever love Him and feel His love and be transformed?" When he heard the Principle, those things were one by one shattered. He said to me, “Use the Principle. When I talk about the Principle, I tell my friends that Jesus came to live, to be glorious, to fulfill the prophecies and he was supposed to unite the world, create the kingdom.” He was so moved when sharing this message. This brother told us, “Be confident because we have the Principle.” He said, “For the first time in my life, I’m going around saying, ‘I’m a Unificationist. I’m not just hanging out with Unificationists, I AM a Unificationist!’ ” Let’s give it up for Unificationists!

So he said that, of course, those who truly love Jesus, will be resistant at first, but in the end, they will be moved by the heart of our brothers and sisters, by the heart of us as Unificationists, who truly love Jesus and want to liberate his heart, by True Father, who has lived his life, risked his life, given his life, so that Jesus could be at peace.

When they actually understand that no other religious figure has done what True Father has done for Jesus, that is when the transformation comes. When they open their heart emotionally that way, then the Principle, the power of its rational explanation and systematic theology, can come into their heart. That’s why in this age, it’s so important to realize that, as we now approach Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, that we as Unificationists are also called to love Jesus; that loving Jesus, and knowing about Jesus is actually very important in understanding the messianic role of True Parents. I never really understood True Parents until I started studying about Jesus. Even the way Jesus acted, I realized, "My God! True Father acts just like Jesus!" Jesus was not the nicest man on earth -- he was very radical in what he said, very strong. If you read the Bible, you can see how strongly he speaks, how he challenges the world.

As we approach this season, towards the New Year, the celebration of Christmas and God’s Day, etc., I really pray that the Unificationist brothers and sisters around the world can remember and understand the heart of Jesus, and have confidence. The explanations that we can give to Christians can not only open their minds, but when we make them understand Jesus in a new way, can completely transform their lives. Come on, brothers and sisters, that’s our scripture -- powerful! Let’s give it up once more for the Divine Principle! Powerful!

I want to finish with a reading from True Parent’s words, the first volume, page 74:

“Please allow us in this hour to clearly understand that it is our responsibility to bear the burden of the course Jesus walked and of the words of the gospel that Jesus left behind. It is also our responsibility to fight with millions of satans and to return the glory of victory to the Father. Just as Jesus had a desperate and earnest heart toward Heaven, allow us also to have the same heart toward Heaven.”

Let us all bow our heads, and turn to our final meditation practice.

Altar Call

Let’s hold each other’s hands in brotherhood and sisterhood. I want you to lift up your hands to Heaven. Let us pray!

Heavenly Parent and our most beloved True Parents, we thank you so much that we can be alive at this time, that we can come to understand the truth that Jesus was not here to die, that the purpose of Jesus’ coming was to be victorious and start a new history, a new era when the kingdom could flourish, that there would be peace and that there would be love between brothers and sisters.

As brothers and sisters, we know that in the process that True Parents have elucidated, we can find our true value, we can understand our purpose to truly be able to inherit Your divinity, Your essence, Your true love, Father, a love that is a parental heart, a love that will sacrifice itself for the sake of its children, that will lay down its life for the sake of the world, that will lay down its life over and over, even descending into the hells so that the children may be free. Father, it is that kind of heroic heart that is the True Parents’ heart. Father, let us not inherit a lesser form of love, a weaker, self-centered kind of love.

Father, let us inherit Your divine nature, Your parental heart. Heavenly Father, we pray that, as we do that, we will become manifestations of Your kingdom, that our families and tribes will become the kingdom that is growing, the kingdom that is to come. Father, we pray that You may awaken us this time, that we, as Unificationists, can pray about Jesus and love Jesus, that we may understand that it is Jesus’ mission that True Father has come to fulfill and it is that mission through which True Parents have liberated the heart of the Messiah. Father, we are so grateful because only the returning Lord would do such a thing, to sacrifice himself for his predecessor, to sacrifice his life so that the predecessor may be at peace and find joy. Father, thank You so much because True Parents have shown us what the true parental heart is through the seven deaths and resurrections. Father, let us come to imbibe and to inherit that type of phenomenal, cosmic love.

Father, we brothers and sisters are now reclaiming our faith. We are not just keeping it to ourselves and being embarrassed about who we are, but now we are once again declaring to the world that we have a right to believe, that nobody can take away our religion from us, and that we are proud of what we believe -- not because we are uneducated, not because we are ignorant, but because we have studied theology deeply, because we are truly knowledgeable about the heart of Christ. Father, let us move past any of the offenses, the attacks that will come against us, any of the attempts to try to squash our faith, to squash our pride and our confidence. Let us be greater than that force. Father, let us know that You are with us, that Jesus also is with us, that True Parents’ mission is victorious, that we are now moving in the spirit of that resurrection power. Father, let us change people’s lives, let us teach Principle once again, and let people be transformed and be born anew.

We thank You so much. Father, we want to pray and give thanks at the end of this year as it comes to Christmas and the New Year. We want to celebrate You and give thanks. We pray all these things as brothers and sisters in faith and love and in lineage. We pray as Blessed Central Families and in the Name of our True Parents, Aju!


Matthew, chapter 26

1: When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples,

2: "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified."

3: Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Ca'iaphas,

4: and took counsel together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.

5: But they said, "Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult among the people."

6: Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,

7: a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table.

8: But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste?

9: For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor."

10: But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.

11: For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

12: In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial.

13: Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her."

14: Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

15: and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.

16: And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

17: Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?"

18: He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.'"

19: And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the passover.

20: When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples;

21: and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."

22: And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?"

23: He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me.

24: The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."

25: Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."

26: Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."

27: And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you;

28: for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

29: I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

30: And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

31: Then Jesus said to them, "You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'

32: But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee."

33: Peter declared to him, "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away."

34: Jesus said to him, "Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times."

35: Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you." And so said all the disciples.

36: Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsem'ane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go yonder and pray."

37: And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zeb'edee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.

38: Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me."

39: And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt."

40: And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour?

41: Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

42: Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done."

43: And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.

44: So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.

45: Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46: Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

47: While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

48: Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him."

49: And he came up to Jesus at once and said, "Hail, Master!" And he kissed him.

50: Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.

51: And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

52: Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.

53: Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?

54: But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?"

55: At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me.

56: But all this has taken place, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.

57: Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Ca'iaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered.

58: But Peter followed him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end.

59: Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death,

60: but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward

61: and said, "This fellow said, `I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.'"

62: And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?"

63: But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."

64: Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."

65: Then the high priest tore his robes, and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy.

66: What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death."

67: Then they spat in his face, and struck him; and some slapped him,

68: saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?"

69: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a maid came up to him, and said, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean."

70: But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you mean."

71: And when he went out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."

72: And again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man."

73: After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you."

74: Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know the man." And immediately the cock crowed.

75: And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, "Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

John, chapter 8

1: but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2: Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.

3: The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst

4: they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.

5: Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?"

6: This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

7: And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."

8: And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

9: But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.

10: Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

11: She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."

12: Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

13: The Pharisees then said to him, "You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true."

14: Jesus answered, "Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I have come and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I come or whither I am going.

15: You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.

16: Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.

17: In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true;

18: I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me."

19: They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also."

20: These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

21: Again he said to them, "I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."

22: Then said the Jews, "Will he kill himself, since he says, `Where I am going, you cannot come'?"

23: He said to them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.

24: I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he."

25: They said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Even what I have told you from the beginning.

26: I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him."

27: They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father.

28: So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me.

29: And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him."

30: As he spoke thus, many believed in him.

31: Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,

32: and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

33: They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?"

34: Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.

35: The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever.

36: So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

37: I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.

38: I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."

39: They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did,

40: but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did.

41: You do what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God."

42: Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.

43: Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.

44: You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

45: But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

46: Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

47: He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."

48: The Jews answered him, "Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?"

49: Jesus answered, "I have not a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me.

50: Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it and he will be the judge.

51: Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death."

52: The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, `If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.'

53: Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?"

54: Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God.

55: But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word.

56: Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad."

57: The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"

58: Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."

59: So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Acts, chapter 7

1: And the high priest said, "Is this so?"

2: And Stephen said: "Brethren and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopota'mia, before he lived in Haran,

3: and said to him, `Depart from your land and from your kindred and go into the land which I will show you.'

4: Then he departed from the land of the Chalde'ans, and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living;

5: yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him in possession and to his posterity after him, though he had no child.

6: And God spoke to this effect, that his posterity would be aliens in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and ill-treat them four hundred years.

7: `But I will judge the nation which they serve,' said God, `and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.'

8: And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.

9: "And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him,

10: and rescued him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him governor over Egypt and over all his household.

11: Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food.

12: But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent forth our fathers the first time.

13: And at the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family became known to Pharaoh.

14: And Joseph sent and called to him Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five souls;

15: and Jacob went down into Egypt. And he died, himself and our fathers,

16: and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17: "But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt

18: till there arose over Egypt another king who had not known Joseph.

19: He dealt craftily with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, that they might not be kept alive.

20: At this time Moses was born, and was beautiful before God. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house;

21: and when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.

22: And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.

23: "When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel.

24: And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking the Egyptian.

25: He supposed that his brethren understood that God was giving them deliverance by his hand, but they did not understand.

26: And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and would have reconciled them, saying, `Men, you are brethren, why do you wrong each other?'

27: But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, `Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?

28: Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'

29: At this retort Moses fled, and became an exile in the land of Mid'ian, where he became the father of two sons.

30: "Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.

31: When Moses saw it he wondered at the sight; and as he drew near to look, the voice of the Lord came,

32: `I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and did not dare to look.

33: And the Lord said to him, `Take off the shoes from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

34: I have surely seen the ill-treatment of my people that are in Egypt and heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.'

35: "This Moses whom they refused, saying, `Who made you a ruler and a judge?' God sent as both ruler and deliverer by the hand of the angel that appeared to him in the bush.

36: He led them out, having performed wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.

37: This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, `God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up.'

38: This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living oracles to give to us.

39: Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt,

40: saying to Aaron, `Make for us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'

41: And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and rejoiced in the works of their hands.

42: But God turned and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: `Did you offer to me slain beasts and sacrifices, forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

43: And you took up the tent of Moloch, and the star of the god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship; and I will remove you beyond Babylon.'

44: "Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen.

45: Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations which God thrust out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David,

46: who found favor in the sight of God and asked leave to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.

47: But it was Solomon who built a house for him.

48: Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands; as the prophet says,

49: `Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool. What house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest?

50: Did not my hand make all these things?'

51: "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.

52: Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered,

53: you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."

54: Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth against him.

55: But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;

56: and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God."

57: But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together upon him.

58: Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59: And as they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

60: And he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

1 Corinthians, chapter 2

1: When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom.

2: For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

3: And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling;

4: and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

5: that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

6: Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away.

7: But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification.

8: None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9: But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,"

10: God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

11: For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

12: Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

13: And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

14: The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

15: The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

16: "For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

Matthew, chapter 6

1: "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2: "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

3: But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4: so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

5: "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

6: But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7: "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

8: Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9: Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

11: Give us this day our daily bread;

12: And forgive us our debts,

As we also have forgiven our debtors;

13: And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.

14: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;

15: but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

16: "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

17: But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

18: that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

19: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal,

20: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22: "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light;

23: but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24: "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

25: "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

26: Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

27: And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?

28: And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;

29: yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30: But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?

31: Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?'

32: For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

33: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

34: "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

Romans, chapter 8

1: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.

3: For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,

4: in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5: For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

6: To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

7: For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot;

8: and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9: But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

10: But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness.

11: If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.

12: So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh --

13: for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.

14: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15: For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"

16: it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

17: and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

19: For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God;

20: for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope;

21: because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22: We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;

23: and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

24: For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

25: But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.

27: And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

28: We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

29: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

30: And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31: What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?

32: He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?

33: Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies;

34: who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?

35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36: As it is written, "For thy sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."

37: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38: For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

39: nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

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