God’s Law, the Law of Liberty
The Law of Liberty is God’s Law we have to keep to attain salvation. Among the testimonials of faith are stories about how after receiving the grace of the Holy Dew Spirit the narrators attained enlightenment on the Law of Liberty which forbids sinning even in mind or thought, some of which have been selected here.
◇ When in compliance with the law of conscience I was allowed God’s grace.
Having come south as refugees empty-handed, leaving all our property after the liberation from Japan in 1945 our family had a hard time making a living. To eat we went into the fruit selling business. With a few other people we would go to the wholesaler to buy our merchandise. When the owner went off somewhere after getting paid, they were busy making stealthy replacements with better goods and told me to do the same.
But I couldn’t bring myself to do something contrary to my conscience. Though they resented this and dressed me down as a nitwit in business, I decided I would rather starve than steal and whenever I thought that way a great fragrance wafted in and filled my nose. But more surprisingly the merchandise I brought home without replacements sold better than theirs. Moreover, whenever I was weary and troubled, the fragrance came back without fail, the aroma of sweet tasty fruit.
In 1955 I went to a service held by Elder Park Tae-sun at the Bansuk Church in Yungjoodong, Busan and, when Elder Park led the singing of a hymn, the sanctuary was filled with a potent fragrance. “Oh, this is the very fragrance I have smelled many times before!” I could only marvel in wonderment. In the course of the service Elder Park gave his blessing, blowing air “Shick, Shick!” and the good scent, inhaled deep, put us into euphoric contentment.
A while later Elder Park asked, “Has anyone smelled a fragrance during our hymn singing today?” and several answered, “Yes.” He continued: “One of you must have smelled the fragrance as He struggled not to sin. Raise his hand!” Believing that He was talking about the fragrance I had smelled before, I raised my hand straight up.
“There should have been many who have smelled the fragrance when they truly sought God, crying, in fear of committing sin. But when you smelled something good, you didn’t know what it was. Today I want to wake you up to it.” He said, striking the lectern, whereupon fireballs shot out in every direction and simultaneously something cool slid down my throat to the chest refreshing my whole body. Deeply grateful beyond words I kept weeping endlessly.
Gong Duk-nyul, Deaconess
(transcribed from Collection 5 of Testimonials of Faith)
◇ There are people with faith this sincere!
I had been going to church diligently as a member of the choir and Sunday school teacher at the Yunggwang Township Presbyterian Church. Then, after learning about the Chunbukyo Church through a friend, I attended both the Presbyterian Church during the day and the Chunbukyo Church at night.
The Chunbukyo Church stressed the great importance of “the Law of Liberty” which forbids sinning even in thought or mind. I hadn’t heard anything like this at the Presbyterian Church, which had vaguely taught us that “If you live a good life, you go to heaven when you die.” Distinguishing sin in great detail the Chunbukyo Church mandated that absolutely no sin be committed.
Upon learning about the Law of Liberty I couldn’t help thinking, “Can there be people with faith so sincere?”As time passed the sermons I heard at the Chunbukyo Church seemed directed at me personally. Gradually my heart leaned toward the Chunbukyo Church but I couldn’t stop going to the Presbyterian Church all at once. Dreading “what others might say if I left a respectable Presbyterian Church with a big building and a large congregation for a small Chunbukyo Church.” I was deeply conflicted.
Then one day Elder Park Tae-sun was said to come to the Gwangjoo Chunbukyo Church to hold a meeting and I went there with a few friends. The Chunbukyo Church located in Gwangjoo was huge unlike the Yunggwang Chunbukyo Church. By the time we got there the sanctuary was filled with people and we barely managed to find seats in the back. Because of the great number of people and the distance from the lectern we couldn’t fully understand what Elder Park was saying but as He ended His sermon the last words he spoke rang in my ears clearly: “Some of you came here for the first time while many others have been members for some time. If you wish to be saved, come to the Chunbukyo Church and receive the grace.”
Those words kept echoing in my ear like big ripples spreading out on the calm surface of the water, “If you wish to be saved, come to the Chunbukyo Church and receive the grace.” Before I knew it, big tears were pouring out of my eyes uncontrollably. “Please forgive all my sins and accept this sinner” the prayer rose from the depth of my heart, when the fragrance I had smelled earlier at the Yunggwang Chunbukyo Church wafted past, brushing the tip of my nose. I kept smelling the fragrance even in the bus I took to return home after the service. Wrapped up in joy and peace beyond description, the thought of minding what others might think departed from me without a trace. After that day I stopped going to the Presbyterian church altogether and sought the true way.
(transcribed from Testimonials of Faith, Vol. 7)
◇ I learned that the Law of Liberty is God’s Law and the way to salvation.
Going to the Chunbukyo Church on Wonhyo-ro I found extremely refreshing and entertaining the way Elder Park closely explained the verses in the Bible. In particular, what He said in explication of the Law of Liberty written in the Book of James touched me deep in my heart: “To observe the Law of Liberty is not to sin with the eye, with the mind, or in thought.”Also it brought to mind my elder aunt’s story.
My elder uncle (Teacher Park Doo-sung with the pen name Songam) dedicated his whole life to the blind, inventing Korean Braille and translating the Bible into it, and his wife, my elder aunt, a devout Christian, aided her husband in his work for the blind.
Sometime ago my elder aunt went to an Elder Park meeting and had hands laid on her. The moment His hands touched her, she felt an extremely unbearable pain. Upon returning home she said, “What sin have I committed that I should have felt such pain when hands were laid on me? All along I have lived doing good work…” Not knowing the Law of Liberty my elder aunt believed that she was sinless because she had not done bad acts all her life. When I was going to the Presbyterian Church, I also thought that it was enough if I didn’t commit evil sin in action, but now I realized that the Law of Liberty had a truly different dimension.
Whenever He preached, Elder Park kept saying, “Faith alone does not bring you salvation. You’ll attain salvation only by receiving the Holy Spirit to wash away sin and never sinning again.” Getting to know how vague and empty it is that salvation could be attained by belief in Jesus alone, I began to doubt the possibility of getting grace and salvation in a church, not so much a place of holy worship as a social club for outwardly respectable-looking men and women to meet up.
From then on my elder sister-in-law objected to my going to the Chunbukyo Church calling it heretical and many other relatives who were faithful members of the established churches tried to dissuade me, too, but I couldn’t bend my will. “How can I take a different way after receiving grace at the Chunbukyo Church and discovering how to attain salvation?” So thinking, I reaffirmed my determination to go this way in the future.
Park Boo-hee, Senior Deaconess
(transcribed from Testimonials of Faith, Vol. 9)
◇ After receiving grace the Law of Liberty has become my life’s guidepost.
I was a student at Gyeonggi High School when I had hands laid on me for the first time at the Sosa Faith Village. My turn came and I went up to Elder Park, when the air became redolent with an extremely pleasing fragrance.
Saying “Shick!” Elder Park lightly touched my eyes, making them hurt terribly as if they would fall out. When He laid hands on the belly, a sharp pain as if being pierced by an awl spread out to every corner of the abdomen. Squirming and struggling I said, unawares, “Forgive me.” “Why are you so stubborn?”he said, pointing out my sins one by one, adding, “They’ve got to be thrown out.” Finally tapping my head, He said, “Done. Sin no more.”
After the laying on of hands I felt ashamed and came outside unthinkingly but had to sit down quietly for a while because of the lingering pain. A little later the pain was gone, the chest felt refreshed, and the head cleared. I talked to the friend I had come with, who explained that the sweet fragrance I had smelled with the laying on of hands was God’s grace and the pain was felt as sins were destroyed by the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.
After this incident with the laying on of hands I thought deeply about sin. Since sins committed displayed before God at the laying on of hands, naturally I took care not to sin. His anxious call ordering me not to sin touched me deeply. Then and there I made up my mind to make the Law of Liberty the guiding principle of my life and not to commit even small sins.
Hong Chang-hong, Seungsa
(transcribed from Testimonials of Faith, No. 384)
the Law of Liberty : 자유율법
enlightenment : 계몽, 교화, 깨달음
in compliance with…: …을 지키면서
stealthy replacement : 몰래 바꾸는 것
contrary to… : ~에 반하여
nitwit : 바보, 멍청이
fragrance : 향기, 방향
waft in : 풍겨 들어오다
aroma : 향기, 냄새
redolent : 향기가 나는
potent fragrance : 강력한 향기
marvel in wonderment : 놀라워 감탄하다
euphoric contentment : 기분이 매우 좋음
fireballs : 불덩어리
Presbyterian Church : 장로교회
distinguish sin in detai l: 죄를 상세히 분별하다
define sin : 죄의 정의를 내리다, 죄를 분명히 하다
conflicted : 갈등을 느끼는
ripple : 잔물결, 파문
explication : 설명, 해설
Braille : (장님을 위한) 점자
different dimension : 차원이 다름
not so much (A) as (B): (A)라기 보다는 (B)
heretical : 이단인
dissuade : 만류하다
reaffirm : 다짐하다
have hands laid on me : 안찰을 받다
lay hands on… : 안찰하다, 안수하다
awl : 송곳
squirm : 꿈틀거리다
unawares : 모르는 사이에
lingering pain : 남아있는 통증
the guiding principle : 좌우명
God Looks Through the Minds of the Humans
Holy Dew Spirit falling down through the Olive Tree
- ‘나도 성결함을 사모하게 됐어요’
- The power of the Water of Life, the water filled with the Holy Dew Spirit
- The mind lights up radiantly with the joy of Heaven.
- I was impressed by the remark, “Korea is a blessed country where the sun rises”
- When we receive the grace of God, we keep away from sin
- Unleashing tsunamis, it was announced “The Olive Tree is God.”
- The God of power who extinguishes sin
- “Do not sin in mind and thought,” I made it my life-time motto.
- The grace of the Holy Spirit coming down unchanged even now
- A Special December in the History of Chunbukyo