The Words of In Jin Moon from 2010
Good morning, brothers and sisters. Happy Independence Day! I'm delighted to see you once again on this beautiful Sunday morning. I'm sure all of you are looking forward to a great deal of festivities like barbecuing and enjoying time with family, and I wish you my parents' love.
I just spent some wonderful time with our True Parents in Las Vegas before they went back to Korea. Every time I go to greet my parents, there's a sense of extreme exhilaration and also of caution because our True Parents are always trying to empower us to do many, many great things. Yet at the same time we're working against a time limit set against 2013. There's a great deal that our True Parents want to accomplish. Whenever they see my face, it seems to invite them to speak of all the things that need to be done, so I'm a bit cautious about going to see my parents. But they were in great spirits.
I took Ariana with me, and both my father and mother were so delighted to see their granddaughter. When my parents interact with my daughter, it's so natural and loving. I look at it almost as a third party, wishing I could have that kind of relationship, but yet at the same time being so happy that our True Parents can fully enjoy spending time with their grandkids. I feel there's tremendous progress being made as the years go on and as the family grows, now into the fourth generation. There are grandchildren, some of them represented here in the front being part of our service, and that's a beautiful thing.
One of the things that my father emphasizes over and over again is how America is truly a providentially prepared country. It's a beautiful country. When the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers first came to this country, they came here to exercise their freedom of religion, their freedom to choose to worship God in the manner they saw fit. They braved the weather, the seas, all the dangers and obstacles, and fought hard for their right to live in this country, so they could raise their children in the religion.
When Father looks at America and is thinking about the American brothers and sisters, he has great dreams and great expectations because he knows that America is really a superpower. It has an incredible ability to influence. It wields the special power that, if it is set in the proper position of being a great paradigm of what true love is all about, of what building an ideal family is all about, it can so effectively transform the world through its great example. Whenever Father sees my face, he is so vigorous in urging me to do my job so that America will truly become the great country it can be.
Today is an incredibly important day for this country because the 4th of July is when we celebrate our independence. We have the wonderful document called the Declaration of Independence, and we have our Constitution. These documents guarantee our rights and allow us the privilege of exercising our freedom to choose. When I was thinking about the word "freedom" and recalling my recent trip to Las Vegas -- meeting my parents and watching them interact with my daughter -- it brought back a lot of memories.
When I was a teenager, the word "freedom" meant something totally different from what I think True Parents understand the word to be. I understood it as being able to do whatever I wanted, without any restraint or constraint. Anybody or anything that came in the form of a hindrance or obstacle to whatever I wanted to do became a sore spot for me. I think that's the case for a lot of teenagers going down their road of self-discovery as they come to understand who they are as eternal sons and daughters of God, what great talents and passions God has instilled in them, and what kind of people they want to be.
Many times young people -- myself included -- understood freedom to mean whatever I want. But this great country was not founded on the concept of doing whatever I want. This country was founded with the concept that its people wanted to honor God. The people that came, braving the storms and the seas, came to honor God, to live in his and her embrace. They came to raise great children nurtured and empowered by the understanding of God as their parent, so the children would be inspired to accomplish their true destinies and become great people.
Many times in dealing with my teenage children now, and earlier with my eldest son Preston, the concept of "freedom" has been important. Preston is now starting married life together with his beautiful wife, Krista, and they are learning how to live and breathe and grow with another person. However a few of my children are still in their teenage years, when the word "freedom" means anything goes. I like to remind them that "freedom" sounds like two words. The first is "free" and everybody knows what that means. The children want to be free like a bird, to sail wherever they want to sail and live wherever they want to live. But the second syllable sounds like "dumb."
When you're young, shouting out to your parents, "I want my freedom, freedom to do whatever I please," maybe you can think that God has given you a little hint, implicit in the word. Maybe God is trying to tell us that freedom is really a privilege and an honor, and we have to treat it with reverence and respect. If we don't treat freedom with respect, we are showing that we understand it as meaning something absent any restraint, and anything goes, and that can lead to very, very dumb actions that are not good for us, like freedom to stay out all night. That might not be the smartest thing if you have an exam the next day. That might not be the smartest thing when you need to be at your best. Perhaps you're taking your SATs and your mind has to be as sharp as a razor. But if you're out all night, exercising your desire to be free, in the end what you do is quite dumb in the sense that it's not the smart thing to do.
When we're thinking about the word freedom and declaring to our parents and to anybody that getting in my way -- or our way -- "You had better get out of my way, I want to exercise my freedom," we have to remember where we are. We have to remember that the tradition of this country stands on the principle that God exists and will be a part of our lives; that we are here to honor God.
That is the premise as to why these Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers came to this country and overcame all the obstacles. Half of the Pilgrim Fathers and Mothers perished in the first cold winter of New England, but they still forged on because they had a dream. They wanted to honor God; they wanted to exercise their religious freedom.
We must realize that there must be a proper way to exercise this freedom. So we must ask ourselves, "Is my life predestined? Do I have a choice? Is everything set in stone?" Or "Can I really make a difference? Can I change my life? Can I change my destiny? Can I transform myself, even if I was born under a bad moon, or a bad day?"
If we understand ourselves to be the children of God, that answer would have to be "Yes, I can transform myself." The Divine Principle teaches that God gave us 95 percent of all the things we enjoy. God created the blue skies and the beautiful flowers for us. God created this beautiful mountain, and even though mountains may seem like an obstacle, if we take a step back and look at how beautiful the height and the might of a majestic mountain might be, it's really an awesome gift from God.
God wants us, His children, to be human in making the choice to love him and her. That's what God wants from all of us. Just as when we have children of our own we want them to decide to love us by choosing freely, voluntarily, and in a loving way. We desire this as parents ourselves, and this is what God desires from us, His children.
God, thank goodness, did not turn us into robots, and did not program us as perfect children. God gave us 95 percent, but left for us that 5 percent responsibility to exercise our own free will because he wants us to own up to and be responsible for the decisions we are making.
When we think about the word "freedom," the way God and our True Parents understand that word is not basically that anything goes, as young people might think. "Anything goes" leads to dumb, or not smart, actions or consequences. But God and True Parents are thinking of the word "freedom" as referring to a decision process. It's a choice to make decisions responsibly.
When we are responsible citizens, when we are true citizens of this great country, we will honor this country's constitution. We will honor its set of traditions. Understanding where we come from and the privilege we have been given to live in this country of democracy where we have the right to choose, we can understand that "freedom" means the ability to make responsible decisions.
We must ask ourselves, how do we go about exercising this five percent responsibility, and our ability to make wise decisions? Our True Father, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, in 1978 encouraged us to speak to our mind, our innermost self. He said that if we can have loving or altruistic or wonderful thoughts about the other that will help us in becoming truly one with God. He said, "If we can become one with God, then all the knowledge of the universe will be revealed to us."
Father understands the power of human thought, this inner thinking process. I have often talked about how thinking is a creative process, in that what we think, we become. So if we think that we are bad people, and we're constantly telling ourselves, "I'm unworthy. I'm not good enough. I'm bad," then that's what we become because we train ourselves. We indoctrinate ourselves that we are unworthy or valueless or we're not good enough. The negative thinking creates the negative person. Alternatively we can work on our thought process and understand it as a creative process in knowing that what we think we become. If we start telling ourselves "We are the eternal sons and daughters of God. We have infinite value. We are not just put on this earth as dust in the wind, but we have a purpose and we have a great destiny to fulfill," then this kind of thinking creates a successful, grateful, and beautiful person.
When our True Father is encouraging us to speak to our mind, he is encouraging us to seek that moment of beautiful silence. Many times we go about our day and our business being busy and consumed by the noises of daily living. I myself feel it every day, working here in New York City. There is so much static in the air from so many types of noises. In such circumstances, it's important to speak to our innermost self, to find that moment of beautiful silence when we can commune with the divine, our Heavenly Parent, and commune with the divine within our hearts. We can realize that some of the most beautiful things in life are known by turning down the volume of the world and hearing the beauty of our own heartbeat or the heartbeat of a loved one. We can understand that God lives in all of us, that our hearts beat because we want to love, to honor God, and to exercise our freedom to do the right thing.
Thinking about taking the time to listen to our own heartbeat, or to listen to the heartbeat of a loved one, reminds me that out of all the things I miss about my children, the thing I miss the most is being alone with them when they were little babies. My youngest one is almost 14 years old, but I still remember when he was a little baby. The most beautiful moment with that child was a moment of silence, when I could turn down the volume of the world and my day, and spend that moment just enjoying his presence. I would spend a great deal of time just listening to the heartbeat of my child ticking away, every tick symbolizing life, every tick symbolizing growth, every tick symbolizing all the dreams I had for this child. That's how you find incredible hope.
Many times when we're engulfed in so many busy and complicated things, we forget God in the simple things and in the most beautiful details in our lives. When our True Father is asking us to exercise our freedom to choose responsibly, to do the right thing by first listening to our mind, he is asking us to remember where we come from and how precious life is. He is asking us to listen to the heartbeat in every human being, to realize that we're beating in tune with our parent in heaven, and to appreciate how wonderful and beautiful it is
Whenever I think about this special moment with my child and I'm looking around New York City, I'm also thinking about my children's education. Recently I saw a movie that I'm sure a lot of the teenagers have seen because there was a great deal of effort to show this movie in public schools so something like Columbine would not happen again. This movie was called, "Bang, Bang, You're Dead." It's basically shot like a documentary, following a young boy named Trevor. He's an outsider because everybody knows he has a past; he tried to blow up the football team the year before. He's a dark, gothic figure that the camera follows around. Many times he turns a camera on himself, so you can hear his thoughts. You hear what he wants to say. The camera becomes a vehicle of expression to the whole community and the world of thoughts he cannot otherwise express because his school setting does not allow for his words or his voice.
It's a wonderful snapshot of what takes place in high school in America. There are many cliques and names for the different cliques. There is a great deal of violence. You are constantly asking yourself, why did Trevor do what he tried to do last year? Why did he try to blow up the football team? The teachers and many of the adults want to blame just him or his family, but when you follow him around in the movie, and follow the other kids at school, you realize that what is being done to them might lead them to do what they are thinking about doing; and then you realize the problem is not a singular problem. It's really a community-wide problem.
You see these kids being picked on relentlessly. You see kids being turned upside down and their heads stuck in toilet bowls and flushed over and over again. You see these kids getting dragged into the bathroom and being beaten up. When I saw that, it reminded me of the time when my younger brother was also dragged into the bathroom and was peed on simply because he was a Moonie.
The movie helps you see why there is such rage in these teenage boys and girls, why they have so much anger against their community, why they might want to do harm, why they might want to exercise what they feel is their freedom to do whatever they want to get rid of anything and anyone that gets in their way and makes their life miserable.
When you see this movie you realize how incredibly difficult are the lives of our sons and daughters who attend public schools all across the country. The torment that takes place in the "self" environment of the school is unforgivable. This movie is almost Shakespearean in that there is a play within a play. You're watching a movie, but the movie is all about a play that the drama teacher wants to put on at school, basically a play about a boy named Josh who ends up killing and shooting everybody in his school.
The interesting thing about this drama teacher is that he picks out Trevor, who is seen as a total outcast because he tried to blow up the football team last year. Instead of treating Trevor as something bad, however, the drama teacher wants to help the teenager work through the anger and the rage. The drama teacher asks Trevor to face his demons by playing the lead role in this play called, "Bang, Bang, You're Dead."
You soon realize that Josh is no different from Trevor, in that Josh is like any other teenager pushed to the limit, tormented, persecuted, abused, and therefore ending up doing the thing that he does. The movie ends in a wonderful way, on a high note, in that Trevor, the kid who tried to blow up the football team last year, comes to realize that because he has developed this X factor in his relationship with the drama teacher, that X factor has prevented him from doing the same thing that Josh, the character he's playing, ended up doing.
These two, Josh and Trevor, are very much the same people, but the difference in the consequences of their actions, and why they did the things they did, and why they didn't do what they didn't do points to one thing that the movie calls the X factor. When we ask ourselves what that factor might be, we realize it's that Josh had nobody he could talk to. He didn't have a parent figure telling him, "Regardless of what you're going through in school, you are God's son. You have infinite value. You are meant for greatness." He might have had parents telling him negative things, "You're worthless. What are you doing, you lazy bum?" He might have had teachers who looked at him as a parasite in the classroom.
Josh was constantly bombarded by negative reinforcement, negative thinking imposed on him from all the others, and he began to believe he was this negative creature. His own thinking process, the creative process in his own mind made him do what he did ultimately; he shot everybody in the school play.
Trevor ends up saving another shooting attempt at his own school by a gang of boys who wanted to take revenge because their leader was beaten up in the boys' bathroom, had his head held in the toilet, and was dumped into the trash upside down. Trevor, the ostracized, the outcast boy, ends up saving the whole school because even if his parents and his school do not believe in him, he grew to have this meaningful relationship with the drama teacher. He also grew to love one of his classmates, who believed in him and who made him feel human.
It was this human connection to another person, another person constantly telling him, "You should play the lead role. You're going to be great. You're going to move a lot of people. You're going to heal a lot of people." This constant positive reinforcement in the end became the X factor that saved Trevor's own life and the lives of his classmates at school.
This movie is a gem in the sense that it so poignantly portrays how human thought is a creative process, in that the way we think determines what we become. If we believe we are incredible gifts of a person to this world and that we are to become eternal sons and daughters, that's what we will become. But if we are constantly bombarded with negative words from our parents, teachers, and peers, and we adopt these negative words to be a part of our thought process, we end up creating monsters in ourselves.
The Declaration of Independence professes that citizens of the United States are to live lives honoring certain principles. The Declaration of Independence guarantees the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we don't really understand who we are as creative beings put on this earth to exercise our freedom or liberties in a way that makes us beautiful and wonderful, then we can revert back to negative thoughts, or to this hedonistic understanding of the word "freedom," thinking we can do whatever we want, even if those actions might not be the smartest thing to do.
One of the things we can do in preparation to make that wise decision, to exercise our freedom to decide responsibly, is to first speak to our minds, to enjoy that beautiful silence. What else can we do? We need to have a sense of respect. We need to have a sense of reverence for ourselves and for the other people in our lives. If we do not respect ourselves as eternal divine beings, it's very difficult to respect anybody else as a divine eternal being.
When our True Father and True Mother are asking us to have reverence for the life we've been given, to respect the opportunity God gave into our care, what they're asking us to do is to realize what an incredible time we're living in. We're living in the time of the breaking news, when the messiah has come, when our True Parents have come, and when we have an opportunity to graft onto this original olive branch and create beautiful families of our own.
We have to respect our lives. We have to respect ourselves. We have to respect the country that we come from, that we're born into, and that we have the privilege of living in. We Americans are so blessed in that we can exercise and enjoy due process of law; we can exercise our freedom to choose responsibly, and we have been given a choice through the democratic process to take part in the political workings of the American government.
One story that really moves me is about a man who works as a guide in Ludwig von Beethoven's home in Bonn, Germany. He talks about how everyone loves Beethoven's music, and one of his most enjoyed pieces is "Moonlight Sonata." Everybody knows it; everybody's heard it; everybody's enjoyed it. He hears "Moonlight Sonata" being hummed in the halls of Beethoven's home. He sees many groups of students visiting the great master's home to see where Beethoven composed these eternal melodies, and on what instrument he played them and was inspired.
The guide tells the story of how he was so moved by one visitor to the museum who came with a group of students. It was a girl who said she was a pianist herself. She was negotiating with the tour guide to let her play on Beethoven's piano. Of course the piano has been roped off because now Beethoven's piano is worth more than $50 million, but this excited student wanted to lay her fingers on those black and white keys, to play it. At first the guide hesitated, but the girl was insistent and even gave him quite a bit of money. He finally acquiesced and let her go behind the ropes. Then the girl sat at the piano and started playing the "Moonlight Sonata." She was obviously engrossed in the music, in this universal language coming through this instrument. She played beautifully. At the end of her performance her group gave her an ovation and she profusely thanked the tour guide. He thought that obviously this girl made the journey to Bonn to find Beethoven's museum, and wanted to touch the instrument because she loved it so much.
At the same time, the tour guide was also remembering another visitor, who happens to be one of the great pianists of all time, Paderewski. He had once visited Beethoven's house accompanied by an entourage of famous and important people. Everyone who accompanied him on that visit was so much looking forward to hearing Paderewski play on Beethoven's piano.
The tour guide talked about how the great master came and stood before the piano in silence for 10 or 15 minutes, but would not go beyond the roped area where the piano was kept. Some in the entourage urged him, "Mr. Paderewski, please. Beethoven would be so pleased to hear you play. Could you please sit down and play some of Beethoven's pieces?" Mr. Paderewski, remember, was one the greatest pianists of all time; he also later entered political life. At this moment, however, he stood there before Beethoven's piano, in respect of the grand master, and in respect of Beethoven's instrument. He said, "I'm simply not worthy to sit and play on the grand master's piano."
The tour guide realized the difference between a true master and a master in the making, in that a true master has reverence for both the instrument and a great composer. The true master is not so keen on possessing the instrument and creating a history that he or she will remember the rest of their life.
In front of greatness, a true great man and true great woman understand true humility, whereas somebody who is still on the road of discovery has yet to understand what true humility is all about. Imagine one of the greatest pianists of all time honoring the grand master, Beethoven, who came before him, and who has given so much beauty to his fellow man. Imagine this great pianist standing in awe, and out of reverence and respect honoring Beethoven's instrument because that was the source of Beethoven's inspiration. This is a beautiful story of understanding what honor and reverence are all about.
For those of us here who enjoy the democratic process and the chance to be a part of this land of opportunity where our sincere effort and perseverance can make our dreams come true, we are truly lucky to have the chance. We're not living in North Korea, where we would not have a voice -- we could not vote -- where we could not even buy the things we want and we would be so completely controlled that we almost cease to be human.
Because we live in this great and blessed country, we have a responsibility to respect and honor the tradition and country that we come from, and to know that we are incredibly blessed in having been given such great teachers in our True Parents. Just like Paderewski, when we can attain the level where we can truly be the embracer of true love, or the embodiment of true love, then we will be just like Mr. Paderewski when we come before our True Parents. We will understand our own humility, not our own brilliance. We will understand how incredibly blessed we are, and we will understand that we have been given a tremendous gift that we have to use wisely by exercising our decisions responsibly.
When you refer back to Buddhism, Dhammapada 25 teaches us that by sustained effort, earnestness, self control, and hard work we can be the wise men who can create an island that can withstand any floods. That's what Buddhism teaches: Our road to self-discovery is the road of exercising our freedom properly. We do this first by really understanding and listening to that beautiful silence and speaking to our minds about the creative process of our own thinking, and secondly by having a certain reference for the opportunity given to us in this life. Then we realize that what we must do in our lives, once we understand what an incredible blessed opportunity we have before us, is to exercise the discipline that's necessary.
The discipline actually is the key to being free. This is the case for Mr. Paderewski and for all great musicians. Two of my children were practicing very hard, living highly disciplined lives because they wanted to be great musicians, even to be able to perform Rachmaninoff's concerto on the theme of Paganini. It's one of the most difficult pieces for piano. In order to play it freely, naturally, without restraint, what you need is years and years of discipline. When we see the great Olympic athletes competing in Olympic competition, what we're seeing is the end of years and years of discipline, years and years of exercising self control, persistence, and the seriousness of purpose in working hard to accomplish what they want to accomplish.
Describing a dancer's performance as being fluid and ethereal is one of the greatest compliments you can give to a dancer. A dancer aspires to perform in an ethereal, fluid way, so the stage performance is without constraint, seeming to take flight like a bird and to twirl better than a top. That kind of freedom comes from years and years of discipline.
When you see Joe, our guitarist in the band, going crazy on those frets, with those extremely crazy notes everywhere, you know he can play so freely like that because of the endless hours of discipline he put in before. He can only play like that by practicing more than three hours a day, practicing slowly with the metronome. The faster you want to play, the slower you must practice. The more fluid a dancer you want to be, the more disciplined and persistent and hard-working you must be in the studio. The more natural a pianist you want to be when you're performing Rachmaninoff's hardest pieces, the more time you need to spend with the metronome, playing painstakingly slowly, in order to play fast and fluid, like a waterfall.
We realize that discipline is not something we should fight against because, if you really think about it, if every one of us is like a majestic oak tree that God wants to share with the rest of the world, we may reflect that many times the trees in the windy zones of our lives need a little bit of help. Sometimes they need support so they can continue to grow straight. Many times the young oak tree might look at the wires that support it and say, "Where is my freedom? Why can't I do whatever I want?" Those wires and support systems are our parents or teachers, helping and guiding because they know how great we are going to be.
In Romans 5:3-5, the Bible teaches us to rejoice in our suffering. Now don't get me wrong. As the senior pastor of Lovin' Life, I am not here to teach that we are here to suffer. I am here to remind us that we're here to love and to live gratefully. But Romans 5:3-5 says, "We rejoice in our suffering because suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character. And character produces hope." We have endless hope because God is pouring love in each and every one of our hearts.
We may ask ourselves why sometimes our lives are so difficult. Sometimes we feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Why should we go on? Why should we have hope? Because God, our Heavenly Parent, and our True Parents are here to tell us that life is a process, and that suffering is not an end goal of our lives. It's through suffering that we learn how to endure, and it is through exercising endurance that we build great character that understands the meaning of honor, gratitude, and reverence. With that kind of character, you cannot help but be hopeful in understanding who you are, because all of us are divine human beings.
This passage in Romans is saying that if we truly exercise our freedom in the sense that God wants us to exercise it, then the ultimate goal that it leads us to is a sense of gratitude. When we listen to God in the moments of beautiful silence, when we honor our lives in reverence for this opportunity given, when we discipline ourselves knowing that God will use our discipline to make us more and more free and fluid and natural and faster and wiser, then we come to realize that the only thing we need to do is to exercise and practice gratitude and appreciation in our lives.
If we truly understand the meaning of the beauty of each day given to us, we can no longer be indifferent. Many of us may have a problem in our families or difficulties in our careers. Many might have difficulties with our colleagues or friends and we simply don't want to deal with it, to make the effort to love. In a way we decide to be indifferent. We decide to not care. But if we truly understand that we are eternal sons and daughters of God, that God is our eternal Heavenly Parent, and that we are God's sons and daughters, then we have a responsibility to live an altruistic life, living for the sake of others. We have a duty to practice compassion in our lives, to be caring, loving, and supporting, and to work on our internal and external excellence.
Only by being and living this way can we accomplish this world of peace that we are looking for and dreaming about, by building it one family at a time.
Brothers and sisters, as we think about our True Parents and the opportunity we have before us to allow the world to realize what an incredible blessing all of us have in living and breathing with our True Parents, our freedom and our desire to exercise that freedom should embody proper decision-making, being responsible citizens and responsible men and women understanding where we come from.
When I went to Las Vegas with my daughter Ariana, I was using one of the bags I use frequently to travel. It has served me well. We dragged it through the airport. A couple of leaders greeted me. It was all official and serious. We quietly got in the car because we were on our way to greet our True Parents.
When we got to the hotel one of these leaders took my baggage out of the trunk and started to wheel it through the hotel lobby. Just at that moment my luggage decided to exercise its freedom to be heard. It had been beautifully silent at the airport, but when this gentleman started dragging this suitcase, it wanted to be heard and it started making noises that sounded like a broken horn. It's interesting to see how certain uncomfortable noises can take away all layers of pretense and reduce us to giggling children.
Here we are all serious, going up these wide steps, on our way to see our True Parents, but my suitcase decided to exercise its freedom to make noises. It started honking. When we were still outdoors the man kept on pulling it, hoping no one would notice that it was honking erratically, sounding like someone was dying inside. But once we got into the beautiful marble lobby, any sound would be accentuated and well appreciated. He was trying to pull it nonchalantly and not draw attention to himself, but it just kept on making noises. The whole lobby suddenly grew silent and all we heard was my suitcase.
Of course my daughter and I could not help laughing. Even these very stern, serious leaders on their way to see Parents were suddenly reduced to giggles. The suitcase, exercising its freedom to speak maybe was God's way of saying, "Why are you so serious? You are on your way to see True Parents. You should be happy. You should be celebrating. You should be loving life." Even if we didn't start out that way, we certainly ended up laughing and loving life and in good spirits when we finally walked in to greet True Parents.
Brothers and sisters, the greatest gift is the fact that our Heavenly Parent gave us a chance to know each other. What are the chances of you sitting next to the person right now? What are the chances of you being matched to the person seated next to you right now? But through God's grace and mysterious ways, here we are, out of all the millions of people around the world.
Let us exercise our freedom by being a great American citizen, by being great citizens of our worldwide community, by realizing that we have infinite value and we are put here for an incredible destiny.
Brothers and sisters, go out loving life, and have a great week and a great month. Thank you.
1: Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2: Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
3: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4: and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5: and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
6: While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7: Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man -- though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die.
8: But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
9: Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
10: For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
11: Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.
12: Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned --
13: sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
14: Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15: But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
16: And the free gift is not like the effect of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification.
17: If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18: Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.
19: For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.
20: Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
21: so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.