< Galatians 3:23-29 >
�But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ�s, then you are Abraham�s seed, and heirs according to the promise.?
Those Who Love Evil Do Not Come to the Light
The Bible says, �For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed?(John 3:20).
Many people live in this world with empty hearts. To find true satisfaction and true joy for the heart, people have turned to the carnal pleasures of music, fine arts, literature, and so forth. In general, people think that if all their basic necessities were met, or if they were rich and powerful, their hearts would be truly satisfied. However, no one can be truly satisfied with the wealth of this world. A man might live in a huge mansion, but the reality is that he cannot even fill his small heart merely with the things of the earth. You need to realize that through money, pleasures, fame, power, logical/physical relationships, or any such things of the world, no one can really satisfy his heart. Everyone thus has searched through the religions of this world, but none could find true satisfaction even there.
Why Are People�s Hearts So Void and Unsatisfied?
That�s because people are trying to fill their hearts with the things of this world. No matter how everyone has tried to fill his heart with the things of the world, no heart has ever found true satisfaction. Why must every human being live such a dissatisfying life? Some people, even though they are rich, are miserable because not everything unfolds as they wish.
In contrast, though I have nothing else but only the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I am so happy for this gospel. So I live my life in thankfulness, placing my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. I admonish every one of you to live a blessed life.
Why are people�s hearts so void and unsatisfied? Their hearts are empty because they do not have the Word of God in their hearts, even though they have many things of the world. This emptiness of the heart is the evidence that in their souls, there is no faith in God�s gospel of the water and the Spirit. God said in His record of Creation, �The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters?(Genesis 1:2). The Bible says here that people�s hearts are void because they have failed to solve the problem of sin.
My fellow believers, would you be satisfied if you were to become respected scholars in this world? Would your hearts be satisfied if you were to become rich? Trying to tame this emptiness, people try everything, drinking, singing, and dancing. But all that remains in their hearts is sadness. What is not satisfied by any of these is none other than your own hearts. You and I could not find true satisfaction because of the problem of our sins. That people�s hearts can�t enjoy true satisfaction is because of the fundamental fact that there is sin in their hearts. Unless we get the problem of sin solved, our hearts are bound to be empty all the time and there can be no satisfaction. Therefore, I tell you that if you want your hearts to be truly satisfied, you must receive the remission of your sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Before even more sadness and emptiness pile up in their souls, there is a truth that they must realize. This truth is that they can find true satisfaction only when they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of their sins. You too must get the problem of your sins solved by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Only then can you find true satisfaction. All human beings must receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. Only then can they find true satisfaction through the Lord, even though they may be insufficient.
Are there drug addicts now? Why do people do drugs or become alcoholics? Is it because they don�t know that drugs and alcohol are bad for them? No. It is because they cannot find true satisfaction in their lives that they are living relying on drugs and alcohol. This is a tragic consequence resulting from the failure to receive Jesus Christ into their hearts. It is because people do not know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they are all facing suffering.
The Reason Why Everyone Lives in Sadness
Why is everyone sad? That�s because people love the darkness more than the light of Truth that God has given us. The Apostle John said, �For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed? (John 3:20). My fellow believers, God said that human beings are fundamentally a brood of evildoer (Isaiah 1:4). Therefore, people must admit their evil selves before God and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Yet despite this, many people are unable to accept the true light of salvation into their hearts, for they are afraid that their sins would be exposed before God when they come to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In short, they are trying to hide their sins. Just how many people in this world are incapable of discovering the light of salvation in their lives?
Everyone�s sins are listed in Mark 7:21-22. It tells us that there are 12 sins in people�s hearts, as it is written, �For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.?/i> Because God knows that everyone commits these 12 sins all the time, He wants people to come before God as they are in their sinful selves, and to be washed from their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, against this will of God, many people are still trying to obey the Law hypocritically before God, attempting to only hide their sins. Since they are afraid that their evil deeds might be exposed, they are only trying to hide them.
Human heart is thus sinful. What then could we hide from God? Could our sins be hidden from God just because we try? Socrates, a famed philosopher, said, �Know yourself.?When a man knows himself, he knows that he is a pile of sin, and that he is bound by sin throughout his entire lifetime. Why, then, are those of legalistic faith boasting before God and pretending to be holy in hypocrisy, unable to receive the remission of sin?
To come into faith in the gospel of the water and the Sprit, I ask you all now to admit that you are sinners, acknowledge that you are bound to be condemned for your sins, and come forth before the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And rather than fearing God, come to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to the light. Our Lord knows all about us and is waiting for us.
Everyone tries to avoid the gospel of the water and the Spirit, lest their wickedness is revealed, but why is this case? That�s because they do not want to believe in Jesus Christ as their true Savior. Some people are unable to believe because they are outright ignorant of Jesus Christ and of the very existence of the light, while others avoid the light because they are afraid their sins would be revealed before the light.
In the world of Christianity, there are many who belong to the latter case. For example, when a pastor is asked, �Have you been born again? Do you have sin??he answers saying that he still has sin in his heart, and yet he thinks his faith is right. Such people do not even try to know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Today�s legalistic pastors all minister in this way. They say to their congregation, �My fellow believers, live virtuously! You must be sanctified day by day. Deacons must not lie. The same goes for senior deacons and elders. If you want to become baptized saints, you have to quit smoking and drinking. You all have to keep the Lord�s Day. And you must not harm others. You must be an example to everyone.?But from their lips, not a word is uttered about the gospel of the water and the Spirit that can free everyone from sin.
Such church leaders are the ones who whitewash their congregation with lies. When the believers come to church, they only say, �Let�s live virtuously,?and they worship in hypocrisy. They devote all their efforts only to hide their evilness, so that the wickedness of their congregation may not be exposed outwardly. They whitewash over their hearts, over their consciences, over their thoughts, and over their souls. Although there are sins in the congregation�s hearts, they say, �Because you believe in Jesus, you will go to Heaven even though you have sin.?To make their congregation feel safe, such people deceive Christians by saying, �You have sin, but God is still calling you as the righteous.?This is why Jesus said to the Pharisees, �Woe to you, you brood of vipers, for you are like whitewashed tombs.?A whitewashed tomb is very clean in its outside. But inside this clean tomb, there is a corpse rotting away. Like this, we may say that those who profess to believe in Jesus and yet still have sin in their hearts are like whitewashed tombs.
Christians Who Now Believe in Jesus May Also Have Empty Hearts
Why do the people of this world feel their hearts are empty? Even Christians feel their hearts are empty despite believing, and so they wander from this church to that church, from one prayer retreat to another. Countless people now believe in Jesus as their Savior, but many of them live without even being born again, for they do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the real gospel of Truth. To satisfy their individual desires, they pack up their necessaries and head out to some prayer retreat looking for the Lord. When things don�t go according to how they intended, they wonder to themselves, �Is it because I didn�t give enough offering? Maybe it�s because I didn�t keep the Lord�s Day,?and they then offer prayers of repentance even more.
Why are people today looking for the Lord in such a foolish way? What are they living in so much confusion, unable to encounter the Truth that saves them? Deceived by the false prophets and met by soul robbers, they are now dying. They must therefore cast aside the lying words they heard from the false prophets and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But, the saddest reality is that they do not know how to do remaining imprisoned in their denominations.
Jesus said in John 10:10, �The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.?/i> How can you receive new life? Have you found the light of salvation by believing in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit? By acknowledging the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, and by believing in it with our hearts, we have received the light of salvation through faith.
Everyone has his own thoughts and his own way of thinking. But, to be saved form all one�s sins, one must first cast away his own thoughts and hold onto the Word of God. What, then, must people believe with their hearts? They must believe in none other than the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. They must believe that our Lord Jesus accepted all the sins of mankind onto His own body by being baptized by John, moved all these sins and placed them on His head, and bore all their condemnation to wash them away. That the Lord was baptized by John, shed His blood, and rose from the dead again is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, if you want to find satisfaction in your hearts, you must believe with your hearts in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that Jesus has given to us. Therefore, the Bible says, �For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation?(Romans 10:10).
Household electronic products such as TVs, videos, and air-conditioners come with a user manual. We begin to use the product only after reading this manual. There is no one who doubts or disbelieves this user manual. And we must be sure to activate the product according to the user manual for it to function properly without any trouble, and for us to use it safely. If, however, we use the product on our own against what the manual says, we end up causing serious damages, such as electric shocks or product malfunction. Likewise, the salvation that God has given to us can be received only by faith in �the gospel of the water and the Spirit?as it is written in the Bible.
Between God and mankind, there is a righteous law of God called the Law, which is playing the role of leading people to Jesus Christ. Were it not for the Law of God, we could never have become sinners, and since we would have seen no need to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we could never have been saved. We need to realize that our true life of faith before God is begun only after the righteousness of God comes into our hearts. Speaking more clearly, it is from the moment we recognize our sins through the Law of God that we begin to grasp the true gospel. In other words, it is only when we read and trust the first chapter of a user manual called the Law, and operate exactly according to it, can we go to the next chapter called �the true gospel.?By doing so, we can safely reach, by faith, our destination called the Kingdom of Heaven.
Like this, we become sinners through the God-given Law, and we become righteous only when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has delivered us from all our sins. Therefore, we must first understand clearly the contents of the Law and the purpose for which God has given it to us, and then we must accept Jesus Christ into our hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to be perfectly cleansed of all our sins.
While living in this world, people have done good things and bad things alike, but in general, wrongdoings stay longer in their memories than good deeds. And from time to time we are reminded of these sins, making our hearts sober. Because all human beings are insufficient, they all have at least a few worries over their sins that are unknown to others, and while they try to solve them on their own, they must ultimately take them to the Lord.
People are trying to get the problem of sin resolved by relying on their own religious beliefs and by praying to their own gods. But how could such man-made gods free them from their worries? They have to know that they are wholly freed from their sins only when their hearts are convinced of their salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Only When We Have Faith in the Righteousness of God, the Emptiness of Our Hearts Disappears
Today�s Scripture passage says, �After faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.?/i> In other words, once we are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are no longer under the Law, the tutor mentioned here. As such, when did the true faith that makes us receive the remission of our sins come then? It came into our hearts when we believe in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our hearts?worries and fears disappear immediately when we meet Jesus Christ who came to this earth through the water and the blood. Put differently, when we are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all our hearts?emptiness disappears.
For all human beings, it is only when true faith comes to each of their hearts that they can finally find their peace of mind. Jesus told us, �God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth?(John 4:24). Then, since when could we worship God in spirit and in truth? It was when we knew and believed that all our sins were passed onto Jesus Christ through His baptism that we could worship Him in spirit and truth, and in peace.
Why did God command, �You shall have no other gods before Me? Can you love God more than anything else? The ability to love Jesus more than anything else is attained only when we receive the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus has given to us. However, if we do not recognize the salvation of Truth and do not pass all the sins of our hearts to Jesus Christ by faith, then we can never love God the most. That�s because it is our fundamental nature to be incapable of not having other gods before God unless we are born again of water and the Spirit.
Yet despite this, once faith came to us, we could love God with our hearts and by faith, and thank and praise our Lord, though we are not perfect in our deeds for 100%. Therefore, after faith came, we are no longer under the Law, but we have become heirs to all God�s inheritance. A Christian�s true life of faith is begun only after he receives the remission of his sins.
�By being baptized, the Lord indeed bore all my sins and blotted them all out. Now I have no sin. Since the Lord took away all my sins by being baptized, by believing in this I have now become sinless. Since the Lord bore all the condemnation of sin in my place, I don�t have to be condemned. I am so insufficient, and yet He has saved me from all my sins.?After this faith came to each of us, we came to realize that we no longer have to be under the curses of the Law and its wrath and condemnation. We realized that we ourselves are inside the God-given salvation. It is from then that we began our lives of faith. Therefore, we need to realize that our lives of faith are lived after believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When did you begin to believe that Jesus was your Savior? When did all your worries disappear from your hearts? These things happened when you passed all your sins to Jesus Christ by believing in His baptism. Through the baptism that He received from John, Jesus Christ took upon all our sins once for all, delivered us from death by dying on the Cross, and by rising from the dead again, He has become the true Savior for all the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we can see here that the faith God wants us to have is for us to know and believe, �Ah! The Lord accepted all my sins through His baptism, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become my true Savior.?
It is when we truthfully believe in Jesus who came by the water and the Spirit, and when we therefore have the faith that makes us sinless, that we are finally saved. It is after we have such faith that through this faith we come to start our lives of faith. As such, whether you have believed in Jesus for 10 or 20 years, you can find that it was after the very moment you truly believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that your born-again faith started. Even someone who has been leading his life of faith for decades can be born again today. Therefore, not all Christians can say that they are truly born again just because they believe in Jesus as the Savior.
The Law Is the Guidepost That Leads Us to the Righteousness of God
It is when we meet Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we come to know what the righteousness of God is. So the Apostle Paul said, �Before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.?/i> Before we were saved and born again, we had been bound under the Law. The Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 3:19 that Jesus Christ had gone and preached to the spirits in prison. Here �the spirits in prison?means the sinners imprisoned under the prison of the Law. This is why the Apostle Paul said, �Before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.?/i>
What is a tutor here? The Greek word for tutor is paidagogos, usually signifying a tutor-slave, who guided a child of his load to and from school. A practice deriving from the Greek aristocracy, this was adopted by the Romans and was a common practice among the rich aristocratic families in Paul�s days, where parents assigned a trusted, senior slave to their children to supervise them and take them to school everyday to ensure they are educated. Like this, the Law played the role of a tutor leading people straight to Jesus Christ.
The gist of the Law is the Ten Commandments. �You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not bow down to idols. You shall not take the name of God in vain. Keep the Sabbath holy. Honor your parents. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not covet your neighbor�s house.?Because of these ten commandments of God, everyone is turned into a sinner and completely bound by sin. To this, the law of conscience adds its weight to make everyone a sinner. When a man commits sin, it is written in the tablet of his conscience (Jeremiah 17:1), and so he feels guilty. For those who do not know the Law, the human conscience�s role is an agent of the Law.
When one does not know the Law of God, the conscience of one�s heart constitutes the Law of God and points out his sins. But, the condemnation of the Law is severer: It points out, �You are a sinner. You have sinned. You have committed so many sins today. You are more than qualified to go to hell. You are incapable of keeping my rules. So you should go to Jesus and be remitted from all your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Unless you do so, you are bound straight to hell.?
Therefore, when we know and believe in the righteousness of God that came through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we come to have the evidence of faith that we are now saved, convinced in our hearts, �Jesus took away all my sins by being baptized. He has become my Savior.?This is how we come before Jesus by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What leads us to the Lord against our own will? What forces us to seek the Savior? What plays the role of a tutor is none other than the God-given �Law.?
The Law of God points out everyone�s sins. Though no one might have seen us actually committing a sin, the Law remains in our hearts as God�s statutes, and points out the sins in our lives telling us, �You have sinned. You shouldn�t do that.?In other words, the Law of God teaches us that our thoughts, hearts, and acts are not right. It is through the God-given Law that people come to recognize their sins. So we come forth to the Lord, and get our problem of sin resolved through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What the Apostle Paul is saying here is that we can come to Jesus Christ through the Law, and that we can be saved and born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ. Put differently, God�s Law is a guide who leads mankind to Jesus Christ, the true God.
The Law of God teaches that everyone is absolutely incapable of keeping the Law, God�s statues. No one in this world can keep the Law thoroughly. If, despite this, people are told to live their lives of faith by keeping the Law, what would happen then? They would end up as hypocrites, far removed from Jesus Christ�s gift of salvation. The Adventists argue that salvation is attained only if one believes in Jesus and also keeps the Sabbath day. They say that they can go to Heaven only if they propagate their beliefs 3 days out of a week, 3 hours for each day. None other than such believers are legalists. That one has to do something else on his own to be saved is a notion that ultimately asserts �faith + deeds = salvation,?and it is legalism and its believers are seized by Satan.
The Law can only bring people to Jesus Christ, and by itself it can never save them from sin perfectly. This is why Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, was baptized by John, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, ascended to Heaven, and has thereby become the Savior of all His believers. Unless we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we cannot be saved. You and I must believe in the Jesus?work of salvation, of the water and the blood. Only then can we be saved from all our sins.
Our Sins Were Washed away After We Were Baptized into Christ by Faith
Galatians 3:27 states, �For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.?/i> The Apostle Paul is saying here that whoever wants to become God�s child and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven must be baptized into Christ. That we put on Christ by being baptized into Christ means that we become believers in the righteousness of God that came through Christ.
We come to put on Christ when we believe with our hearts in the righteousness of God, that Jesus took upon all the sins and trespasses of the world through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. The Apostle Paul continued to say, �If you are Christ�s, then you are Abraham�s seed, and heirs according to the promise.?/i> That�s right. We are indeed the ones who have become righteous by faith, and who are to receive all the blessings of God.
If we were to summarize the gist of the Law, it is that God has given us the Law so that we would recognize our sins, as stated in Romans 3:20. However, there are many people in this world who are trying to stand before God boldly by keeping the Law and by doing good deeds on his own, rather than realizing and recognizing their sins through the Law.
A certain brother in our church once testified that before he was born again, he took a break from his life of faith, and during this break he planned to test himself, thinking, �I will believe in Jesus again when I am convinced that I have no insufficiency even before the Law, and I can stand straight with my upright acts.? However, what he truly realized then was that he was utterly incapable of keeping the Law no matter what. He testified that after he met some born-again brothers of my church, and heard from them, �The Law is to let you recognize your sins,?he realized, �I see! So the Law is there only to lead me to recognize my sins, and yet all this time I�ve been trying to keep it all. I sought to stand upright before the Law because of my arrogance. I was so wrong.?So he grasped the Truth that Jesus bore all his sins by being baptized, died on the Cross for him, rose from the dead again on the third day, and has thereby become his true Savior, and he then received the remission of all his sins.
Even now, there are so many Christians who are trying to keep the Law to perfection 100%. Even as they stumble and fall because of the Law, they still attempt to keep it endlessly. But they end up leading the kind of life of faith that cannot avoid but stumble before the Law, going round and round in a mouse wheel.
However, just as today�s Scripture passage says, �After faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor,?/i> if your hearts have the faith that makes you be born again of water and the Spirit, then you are freed from the Law. If you believe that Jesus has blotted out all our sins with the water and the Spirit, if you believe that all your sins were really passed onto Jesus Christ and He was condemned for you, and if you believe that He rose from the dead again and Jesus is your God of salvation, then even though you may have insufficiencies in your lives, you can be freed from all your sins and do the righteous work as the perfect children of God.
We Must Believe in the Love of God That Came through the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
It is written in John 5:5-12, �Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.?/i>
It is also written in John 19:34-35, �But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.?/i> Just as these passages tell us, the Spirit, the water, and the blood are the true witnesses of God. Therefore, if we are indeed God�s children, then we must infallibly have these three witnesses in our hearts.
First, the Holy Spirit testifies, �Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the King of kings, and fundamentally, God the Creator.
The water implies the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist. The baptism that Jesus received from John tells us that Jesus Christ, by being baptized, bore all the past, present, and future sins of the world, as written in 1 Peter 3:21: �There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.?/i>
And the blood that Jesus shed on the Cross testifies that, by being condemned for our sins and shedding His blood to death on the Cross, Jesus ended all the curses suitable to the wages of all our sins. Only those who have those three testimonies in their hearts can be freed from all his sins and become the truly righteous people. If one takes out the water from these and retains only the testimonies of the Spirit and the blood, then his sins still remain in his hearts, and therefore he ends up turning God into a liar, for He had said that He blotted out all our sins.
Therefore, those who do not have all these three witnesses of the Spirit, the water, and the blood do not have the Son of God in their hearts; therefore, they have no life. In other words, they are not God�s children, but the Devil�s children, and they are bound to be condemned and cast into the fire of hell. It is also written, �This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son?1 John 5:11).
How, then, can you find out if you are in or out of Jesus Christ? On this, Romans 8:1-2 states, �There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.?/i> There is no condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ, for they have the three witnesses of the Spirit, the water, and the blood. Because Jesus Christ, the fundamentally sinless Son of God, accepted all the sins of the world by being baptized, and He shed His blood and died on the Cross to pay the wages of all these sins, those who believe in this can never have sin.
It is also written in Romans 8:33, �Who shall bring a charge against God�s elect? It is God who justifies,?/i> and Isaiah 50:8-9 say, �He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me. Surely the Lord GOD will help Me; Who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up.?/i>
Moreover, Psalms 37:32-33 states, �The wicked watches the righteous, And seeks to slay him. The LORD will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged,?/i> assuring us that those who have the three witnesses of the Spirit, the water, and the blood—that is, the very faith that is truly approved and guaranteed by God—will never be condemned for their sins. And with respect to those who are in Jesus Christ, 1 John 4:13 says, �By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.?
For you to receive the Holy Spirit, you must first receive the remission of your sins. It is promised in Acts 2:38 that God would give you the gift of the Holy Spirit if you receive the remission of your sins, and it is also written in Ephesians 1:13-14, �In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.?/i>
This means that for those who receive the remission of their sins and attain their salvation through the gospel of the water (baptism) and the blood (Cross), God will seal them as His own children by giving them the Holy Spirit as its guarantee. This is akin to branding a cow or a horse on its hind with a burning iron rod, leaving an undeletable seal indicating to whom it belongs. To separate His own children, who have received the remission of their sins and become righteous by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, from the children of the Devil, God has also given the gift of the Holy Spirit to their hearts.
Furthermore, it is written in John 6:53-58: �Then Jesus said to them, �Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.?
Here, God told us to eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood. But does this really mean that we should literally eat Jesus?flesh and drink His blood, as the Jews at that time had misconstrued? Of course not! Such an interpretation is no more than a groundless claim made by the sinners who, not having been born again, still remain blind to the Word. Catholics still advocate the so-called doctrine of �Transubstantiation,?which insists that the bread and wine offered up at the communion service has their substance changed to that of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ while its accidents appear to be those of bread and wine.
What, then, does it mean to eat the flesh of the Son of Man? This refers to our faith in the truth that Jesus took upon the sins of the world by being baptized by John. It is to believe in the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ who came by the water (1 John 5:6). In other words, to believe in the righteousness of God, that Jesus Christ, God Himself in His essence, came incarnated in the flesh of man, and that by being baptized by John the Baptist, He accepted and took upon all the sins of the world on His own body—none other than this is to eat the flesh of the Son of Man.
And to drink the blood of the Son of God is to believe that Jesus paid off all the curses of our sins by shedding His blood and dying on the Cross as the wages of all the sins that He bore on Himself.
On this, 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 states: �For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, �Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.?In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, �This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.?For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord�s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord�s body.?/i>
Here, where the Lord said that a man should first examine himself and only then eat the bread and drink the cup, He meant that we must first admit in our hearts that we are fundamentally seeds of evildoer, who will continue to commit all kinds of sin until the day we die and be condemned to hell in the end. After acknowledging this, we should then believe that through His baptism Jesus Christ has removed all the sins of our past, present, and future, and all the sins of the entire world, and that by shedding His blood on the Cross as the wages of all these sins, He has eradicated all our curses. None other than this is to eat the bread of the Lord and drink the wine cup of the Lord.
However, most Christians today are eating only the bread, without believing in the baptism that Jesus received from John. For them, Holy Communion is merely a religious rite. Therefore, since such people do not believe that Jesus Christ accepted all their sins, their sins still remain in their hearts, and since they are eating the bread and drinking the cup while they still remain sinful, they are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. Hence, it is absolutely only after we believe in the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood on the Cross that we can eat the bread and drink the cup.
Galatians 1:4 says that Christ �gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,?and just like this, the baptism of Jesus was the true love and will of God the Father for us.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, the Bible also says, �For this is the will of God, your sanctification,?/i> and in John 6:40, Jesus testified the Word of promise, saying, �This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.?/i> Therefore, you can be sanctified and receive eternal life only when you believe in the perfect gospel of the water and the Spirit with your hearts.
Given this, he who builds his house on the rock refers to a �righteous person?who is no longer condemned for his sins again, for he has been remitted and saved from his sins by believing with all his heart in the gospel of the baptism of Jesus Christ and His Cross, and who is deceived by no temptation at all, for he has the Holy Spirit.
And he who builds his house on sand refers to someone who does not believe in the baptism of Jesus Christ, or knows it only on hypothetical grounds rather than believing with his heart, and therefore still has all his sins intact in his heart. Since such people have not received the remission of their sins, when the judgment day comes, they will be accursed with Satan and cast into hell. None other than these people are heretics.
Heretical Beliefs in Christianity
It is written in the Bible, �Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned?(Titus 3:10-11). The Bible clearly defines heretics. None other than those who condemn themselves are heretics.
The word heresy is derived from a Greek word signifying a choice. Whereas Christians must profess to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord according to the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, they have made different choices in how they believe in Jesus. Those who have made the choice of not believing in the baptism of Jesus Christ but only in His blood are none other than heretics, and heretics are self-condemned and stand outside Christ. For them not to believe this true gospel is the very sin leading them to death (1 John 5:16). In other words, as 1 John 3:4 says, �Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness,?/i> those who hold such beliefs are the ones who commit lawlessness.
Furthermore, Galatians 2:17 states, �But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!?/i> As stated, the Bible testifies to us that once we believe in Jesus Christ correctly, we are justified as righteous people, and it is impossible for us to become sinners again.
When you have faith that you are truly saved by believing in the perfect gospel of the baptism of Jesus Christ and His Cross, it is from then on that the true life of faith begins for you. This very faith, that we have become the righteous people without sin by believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus, is the correct faith of Truth that pleases God, and is approved by Him.
Do you and I have the right faith? To have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is none other than to have the right faith before God.