“Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.’”
Today’s revival meeting addresses the question, “What does it mean to be truly born again?” As you are well aware, these days the phrase “being born again” is glibly used in various circles, including politicians and other religions. You might have heard politicians saying that their party must be born again, or someone saying that his family must be born again. People speak of being born again constantly. But what does being born again really mean? To be born again means, to be born with a new life. But I wonder how many speaking of this rebirth really know its true meaning, other than its simple notation. It’s most probably how people think that they can be born again when they just change their thoughts and behaviors.
However, the real meaning of being born again is explained in this way: your old self is gone and you are born again into a new person, all thanks to God. In other words, you are no longer your old self living in your past life, but instead, you’ve become a new person and now belong to God, just as Abram became Abraham and Saul became Paul.
When we turn to the Bible, we see that Saul had at first stood up against God and His believers. It was his designated job to hunt down the Lord’s believers like a bloodhound. Before meeting Jesus, he was convinced that this was the right thing to do. However, once Saul met the Lord, he realized the actual Truth, and his name was changed to Paul, and became a completely different person.
When we become truly born again through the Lord, we, in likeness also change our names. We don’t get baptismal names as the Catholics do, but our lives are transformed into completely new lives. This means that when we are washed clean from our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our lives and thoughts are fundamentally changed. We are born again as new men and women. Just as Saul was no longer his old self and was transformed into Paul, we in likeness are no longer our old selves—that is, thanks to the Holy Spirit, we realize that inside us, there is now a new person that belongs to God. This is what it means to be truly born again.
Those who have not been truly born again cannot say, “The rebirth happens by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” They instead try to fit the concept into their worldly and fleshly thoughts. So they mistake changes in their outwardly manifestations as being born again. But you and I know that the real rebirth means being washed clean from all our sins, and being born again into a sinless person by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We are gathered here today to latch on to what it really means to be born again. As you can see from one of the pamphlets promoting today’s revival meeting, under the main title, there is a subtitle written in small letters, “The everlasting spring that quenches your thirst forever.” This was written to show that when you are born again, you will never again thirst.
Now then, what does this mean exactly? It means when we find the gospel of the water and the Spirit, come to know and believe in it, the spiritual thirst of our souls is quenched. It is an indisputable fact that people do not need just the bread of the flesh, but also, the bread of the spirit in their lives while living in this world. If one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can obtain such spiritual bread in your heart. Unlike beasts, human beings have spiritual desires. So when these spiritual desires are not met, they struggle thirsting for it. We call such a condition ‘the starvation of the soul.’ To be relieved from this starvation of the soul, one must have the Word of God that constitutes the bread of the Spirit.
What, then, is the bread of the soul for mankind? It is none other than the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit flowing from within the soul. The born-again always have this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the bread of the soul, and so they can quench those who are thirsting spiritually. The Lord said in John 4:14, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Some people here have already seen this Word fulfilled in their hearts, but there clearly are others for whom this is not the case, and are, therefore, still thirsting.
My fellow believers, the Lord came looking for us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has given us the remission of sins. Now that we have received the remission of sins, He is still with us as the Holy Spirit. And He has become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. What, then, does it mean when I say that the Lord is with us - as the Holy Spirit? It means that if we feed on the God-given Word by faith, this Word will quench our souls renewing it. The Word is the fountain that quenches the soul. Even at this very moment, this fountain continues to spring forth in the hearts of those of us who have received the remission of sins. Moreover, the foundation of the Holy Spirit that has come to us never dries up, no matter how much time goes by since first being born again, and no matter what circumstances we are facing. No matter how much we draw from it, it remains bottomless. Just when we think the bottom is about to be exposed, it continues to spring forth.
A Perpetual Bubbling Fountain is Fundamentally Different from Ordinary Fountains
Ordinary fountains dry up eventually over time, but a perpetual bubbling fountain never dries up as it has a source of perpetual water supply. Because there is such a source of water supply, it continues to spring and bubble forth. When we are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there appears in our hearts a fountain that springs forth forever. So this water continues to spring forth inside our hearts, along with the Word of the remission of sins. Every time we hear the Word of God, this spiritual fountain spring forth. That’s because the Lord Himself is the source of this water, and He supplies us with a perpetual water supply.
My fellow believers, the Lord said that He has water to give. He wants to give us this fountain through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Now that we have been washed clean from our sins and become born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have drunk from the forever-quenching fountain of life. We will therefore never thirst again. Such things are possible because of the amazing mystery of being born again, and receiving God’s blessings which lay hidden in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Can you now see what an amazing blessing the gospel of the water and the Spirit is for us? Do you have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Or do you think that you have been born again just because you have led a pious life of faith? Unless you meet the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can never be truly born again. This is the Truth, and it is the miraculous love of God.
Once born, it is appointed for everyone to die. How, then, can people be washed clean from all their sins and be born again? Given the fact that all human beings born in this world must die at some point, and that their earthly lives are over once they pass away, how can anyone be born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? The thoughts of man make this impossible. However, the Lord has made us receive the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has blessed us to be born again through this heavenly gospel. This is the amazing blessing of the Lord granted only to those who have found the grace of salvation by believing in God’s blessed gospel of the water and the Spirit. Being born again is God’s special love and His gift of the remission of sins. All these blessings and the grace of the remission of sins are found in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Everyone has sinned and departed from God, and must therefore be destroyed. We were no exception to this rule, but because we heard and believed in the God-given Word of the remission of sins, we came to receive this new life. Because this is God’s blessing that has come by gospel of the water and the Spirit, only those who believe in this gospel can be born again. And as we carry on with our lives, we will realize even more profoundly what a great blessing it is that we have received new life from God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord said to us, “Come to Me, all who are thirsting, and drink freely.” The Lord has indeed given us His everlasting water. We have experienced such a miracle in our lives all thanks to the Lord. Our souls, which were thirsting constantly before, have now received new life through the gospel of the water and the Spirit to never thirst again. In this revival meeting, I would like to continue to share the Word on how one can be washed clean from sin and be truly born again. I am so grateful for this grace the Lord has given to us that I can’t help but thank Him once more at this hour.
Those Who Have Become Spiritual Samaritans
In today’s Scripture passage we see the Lord walking to Galilee, and passing through a certain city on His way, which was the land of Samaria, to help you better understand. I will also spend a bit of time to explain the history of Samaria. The land of Samaria at that time used to be the land of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. When the Northern Kingdom of Israel became corrupted and fell into spiritual disorder, Sargon II, the successor to Shalmaneser the king of Assyria, invaded and conquered it. At that time, King Sargon deported and enslaved all the males in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and settled its land with his own people. The women remaining in the Northern Kingdom of Israel were taken by Assyrians as their wives. As a result of this intermarriage following deportation and resettlement, the inhabitants of Samaria became a mixed race. In other words, there was a forced mixing of the Israelites with the Gentiles. It’s for this very reason that the Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jews.
In today’s Scripture reading, we see the Lord meeting a woman in this land of Samaria. When the Lord asked the woman for water, she said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” As explained earlier, in those days the Samaritans were completely scorned and mistreated by the Jews. Even though they both were Israelites, the Jews refused to have anything to do with the Samaritans. We can easily see just how much scorn the Samaritans were facing at both personal and spiritual levels. So, it was not so far-fetched for the Samarian woman to be surprised when Jesus asked her for water. The very fact that Jesus, a Jew, initiated a conversation with her, a Samaritan, was itself an extremely surprising event in those days. But, our Lord not only spoke to the Samaritan woman in this instance, but He quite often visited and stayed in the land of Samaria. Herein lies the profound providence of our Lord in reaching out to the Samaritans. The Lord wanted to give His living water to those who knew their evil selves.
As we can see here in today’s Scripture reading, the Lord left Judea and went to Samaria. Let’s first think about our Lord’s appearance. Our Lord was born on this earth with a very lowly status, being the son of Joseph, a carpenter in Nazareth. His outside appearance was scruffy, and there was nothing to boast of in His looks. Perhaps that’s why we see Jesus being despised so much by the Jews in the Bible. Just as it’s true in this age and time, in those days also, there were many who rejected Jesus Christ and stood against Him. Leaving such people, the Lord headed to the land of Samaria. The inhabitants of the land of Samaria had no virtue to boast of, but only shame. They had many flaws, both personally and from a religious aspect.
The lowliness of Samaria is a historical proven fact. King Solomon, whom you all know very well, had a servant named Jeroboam. Solomon served God faithfully at first, but later he became corrupted spiritually, and when this happened, God said that He would give half of Israel to Jeroboam. And after Solomon passed away, Jeroboam became king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel as God promised. However, after assuming the throne of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam became very concerned. From a mere servant, he had become the king virtually overnight. Given this, he probably couldn’t help himself being concerned about his throne. So, to prevent his royal authority from being undermined, he built another temple somewhere else in that region. There already was the established temple in Jerusalem, but since this was within the territory of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Jeroboam built another temple in his own territory.
The problem became even more acute. He also changed the date of the Day of Atonement for Israel, which was set for the tenth day of the seventh month, to the fifteenth day of the eighth month, and forced his subjects to observe this new date as the new Day of Atonement. Not only this, he also made idols and placed them inside God’s temple to be worshiped. He had completely abandoned God.
In Christianity, the truly wicked are often described as having fallen into the ways or follow the sins of Jeroboam. That is just how grave Jeroboam’s sins was. The Samaritans may be described as Jeroboam’s descendants who inherited his fallacious faith. So, in matters of faith, the Samaritans had nothing to be proud of.
Let’s pause for a moment here and think about this matter. It’s extremely difficult for people to know their true selves. It’s precisely because people do not know themselves that there is a famous adage that goes, “Know yourself.” It’s absolutely important for us to know who we really are. From time to time we come across “good” Christians saying, “That person has committed so many sins that he will surely go to hell. But I am different from that person.” But, people say such things because they do not know themselves at all. Once their faith in the Word of God deepens and they come to know their selves properly, they will realize that they are no different from the sinners they are criticizing.
We must all grasp just how many shortcomings we have. Even at this very moment, our Lord is looking for the Samaritans. He comes to those living on this earth today who realize and know that they are lowly and full of shortcomings like the Samaritans. As shown in today’s Scripture reading, our Lord passed through Samaria, met a woman there, and saved her.
If there was one thing to be proud of in this land of Samaria that was derided by the Jews, it was Jacob’s well. The Bible records that Abraham, the forefather of Jacob, dug a well wherever he went. And even today, well-drilling is a very important business in the Middle East. Because of the region is dominated by desert, water is more precious than oil. Therefore water is obtained by drilling down into the earth for it.
Of course, the well in the Scripture does not just simply carry a literal meaning as a physical source of water. Spiritually speaking, Jacob’s well symbolizes planting God’s Church. In other words, that Abraham the forefather of Jacob dug a well wherever he went implies, planting a church wherever he went. And as we know well, Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, did not receive blessings through his own effort. Instead, he put on the grace of God thanks to his mother Rebecca’s help. To put it simply, Jacob was a cunning person who could not receive God’s blessings on his own like the Samaritans, but thanks to his mother’s help, he was able to receive the Lord’s blessings. Spiritually speaking, his mother here refers to the Church.
Let’s turn to today’s Scripture passage. It’s written that a Samaritan woman came to Jacob’s well to draw water. Let’s think about what this means. The Samaritans had this well, which was a legacy of their forefather of faith. However, all that they had was the well itself, while Jacob’s faith had not been passed down to them. Even though the Samarians had Jacob’s well in their town, they had fallen spiritually, and so they had inherited just a corrupted faith instead of getting the proper inheritance of faith. Despite drawing from Jacob’s well and drinking its water, they could never quench their thirst, not even once. The Samaritans got their water from Jacob’s well, but they still thirsted. This happened even though, if they knew Jacob well spiritually, they would have received the remission of sins. Instead of inheriting Jacob’s faith, they had inherited just corrupted teachings and rituals.
My fellow believers, any church that has inherited such rituals has nothing but dogmatic beliefs. Speaking of dogmatic beliefs, there is probably no country where traditional beliefs run as deep and strong as Israel. The Jewish people were complete legalists and sectarians. In the present time, the dogmatic belief system of the Jews has been relaxed significantly. Occasionally, we see on TV that women in Israel live in a very modern way. This would have been unimaginable for the legalistic Jews of the days gone by. The Jews have seen their dogmatic beliefs disintegrating, but if there is one thing they can still be proud of, it is the remains of Christianity. That’s all they have. I am not trying to put down their faith at all. Rather, the point I’m making is that the core of the true faith is not visible to them, which is, believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior.
To understand the interrelation between dogma and faith, it’s necessary to have some rudimentary understanding of the various currents in theology, and so I’d like to spend some time explaining them. At the present, there are two global currents in theology. One is conservative theology, and the other is liberal theology. Liberal theology is further divided into critical theology and progressive theology. As the name implies, critical theology sees the Scripture through a critical lens. There are some critical theologians in Korea, and these people deny that Jesus Christ walked on water, and they also deny that Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Those who follow progressive theology advocate social change through faith. They say, “Those who are oppressed politically should be freed. We must stand up to the oppressors and find liberty. Just as the people of Israel escaped from their slavery in Egypt, we Christians must also secure freedom. We must stand up to any oppressive government.” These are the kinds of catchy things they say. They are often seen in protests. The adherents of this progressive theology do not really believe in the Bible just as it is, but rather only accept some aspects of it that fits into their progressive orientation. In other words, rather than seeking to build the Kingdom of Heaven, they believe selectively in the Scriptural writings that speak about earthly affairs. Like this, their faith is not genuine for they call for social justice and equality.
For instance, many progressive Christian groups are highly critical of conspicuous consumption and growing inequality, and they call for social reforms to mitigate such problems. They are convinced that this serves the greater good for their country, and they are proud of themselves. Of course, there is no question that it is right for Christians to love their country and pray for it. However, if they really love their country, then they must speak about how each and every individual can be born again. That’s because this is done for the nation to prosper, the individual must prosper first; and when the individual receives the remission of sins and becomes one of God’s perfect people, it then is only a matter of course for that nation to prosper.
At the other end of the spectrum opposite to liberal theological you find, conservative theology, which is what we follow. This conservative theology is all about believing in the Word of God exactly as it is. However, following the Word of God to the letter gave rise to a problem. Some people’s faith in the God-spoken gospel of the water and the Spirit had unfortunately become mixed with legalistic beliefs. Those who overemphasize the Law ended up following their own dogmatic beliefs rather than the substance of God. Conservative theology is not necessarily bad in its original form. It is about believing in the Word of God just as it is. However, it has been changed into believing in just corrupted dogmas.
The real duty of God’s Church is to guide the believers to live a proper life and heal their hearts’ wounds with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, but modern Christianity has failed to fulfill this duty. Jacob’s well and the land of Samaria in today’s Scripture reading symbolizes precisely such a church. Any church that lacks the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the real substance of faith, cannot quench the congregation’s spiritual thirst no matter how hard they believe. That’s because their faith is nothing more than an empty well.
Samaria had Jacob’s well. But there was no true bread there. In the same vein, although there are many churches in our times, few of them have the real gospel of the water and the Spirit as God’s Church does. Isaiah 28:9-10 says, “Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” Just as the Bible says, the pastors at such false churches prepare their sermons by borrowing a little from this book and a little from that book or sermon. But they don’t actually address what is really important. They miss the real substance. This is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the real substance of the Word. Preachers today have a hard time preparing their sermons because they themselves do not have the true faith, and have not received the remission of sins either. So they end up stealing other people’s sermons from time to time, committing plagiarism
It looks like I have digressed a little bit here. At any rate, Samaria had a well dug by Jacob. But the people there could not quench their spiritual thirst with the water from this well. That’s because the land of Samaria had already been corrupted spiritually. From the ancient days of Jeroboam, they had not worshiped the Lord according to the law and statutes of faith. Idols had become their gods, followed by total spiritual corruption.
We Must Look Straight at the Reality
And we must, without doubt, rely on the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is held in the Word of God. We must lean on the gospel of the water and the Spirit alone. Yet, Christians in this age and time neither see the Word of God properly nor know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When Christianity was first introduced to Korea, many believers at least read the Word of God diligently. So, many repentance movements arose just from legalistic beliefs. However, nowadays, Korean Christians lack even such a faith. They do not have the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They do not believe even when the Word is preached to them.
As a result, they are increasingly leaning toward a faith that is full of emotions. When they worship God, they sing hymns fervently, with all kinds of musical instruments playing in the background. They then feel as if something spiritual is awakening deep in their hearts. So they think on their own that God is pleased by their loud and emotional charged praise. This, however, is actually nothing more than being filled with human emotions. That’s just their own feelings rising up by own efforts, but in reality, God is actually not pleased by their praise.
As if this is not enough, we see these days many self-proclaimed prophets. As a representative of such false prophets for example, there is a Christian organization that speaks of being raptured on October 28. A short while ago I met a reporter from the Ganwon Daily, and he seemed very surprised when I told him that there were many Korean pastors espousing being raptured on October 28. But that is the cold reality. They gather gullible followers using the doctrine of October 28. You probably don’t know just how perverted such things are. Even in Europe, the cradle of the Christian faith, such mystical beliefs ran amok when Christianity was ascending.
Many churches in this age are like the Samaritans. Their faith is little more than an empty shell. At first, they began with a formalistic faith. But their faith could not be maintained with this dogma. So they leaned toward mysticism, and now that isn’t enough, so they are now appealing to people’s emotions. Any faith that relies on emotion is clearly flawed.
In some countries there are music pastors. These pastors have studied music professionally and their ministry is through music. In Korea also, such music pastors have begun to be noticed over the last few years. Of course, it’s necessary to evangelize through music. However, if it is done wrongly, it can end up just appealing to people’s emotions, and that is problematic. It does nothing but incite the congregation’s emotions. No matter how well you may lead people’s feelings towards God, and no matter how well you may teach them Christian doctrines, they are all useless. That’s because those who have such beliefs—that is, those who drink from this water—are bound to thirst even more spiritually. Even if people copy, learn, memorize, and believe in every Christian doctrine that there is, without faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there can be nothing but spiritual thirst remaining. And it doesn’t just end with spiritual thirst. Because of this thirst and their sins, they eventually end up facing everlasting curses.
It may appear as though the Christian doctrines taught and professed by various denominations today give faith to many people and reassure them. However, as time goes by, the spiritual air gets so polluted that people cannot even breathe anymore to survive. Because no Christian dogma is prefect, its followers are bound to suffer and perish in the end.
The same is true for emotional beliefs. At first, people feel very good based on their own emotions. However, once they fall into their own sins and become trapped in them, they cannot escape from that quagmire. And in the end, they are bound to perish for their sins. When Christians today commit transgressions, they are accused of these transgressions by Satan, and as they are unable to escape from this accusation, they reach death inevitably. Everyone sins. The only way to escape from sin is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is no other way. If you do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will perish in both body and spirit. Everything may seem fine at first, but down the road, you will be possessed by demons and will not be able to control yourself.
So, those who just insist on tradition, hold on to their own dogma, and pursue only the fullness of emotion are like the Samaritan woman. Such Christian doctrines cannot quench completely the spiritual thirst of the Samaritan woman who came to draw water. This water may quench her thirst for a few hours, but she will thirst again shortly thereafter. Indeed, unless you receive the remission of sins through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, you cannot address your spiritual thirst. Our Lord said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Just as the Bible says here, if we listen closely to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of the Lord, even just once and believe in it, we will receive the remission of sins and never thirst again. And the Word of the Lord and His blessings will continue to flow in us.
My fellow believers, if you receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will escape from the sins of the world forever and become righteous forever. Everything that the Lord gives is eternal. In contrast, the things that human beings give can never last forever. In other words, while the remission of sins offered by the Lord through the gospel of the water and the Spirit is everlasting, whatever is given by man is only ephemeral, that is, lasting for a short time. For instance, let’s say that you attended a revival meeting and got one of your problems resolved. Even so, if that solution did not come from the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it’s but all in vain. Whatsoever is not from the gospel of the water and the Spirit is just a lying evil spirit, and it has no meaning for us.
Some revivalists say in their sermons, “Receive the fire! We have become God’s people!” The people then believe momentarily that they have indeed become God’s people. But, even if they believe like this, as time goes by, they are bound to suffer from spiritual thirst again.
The same goes for the communal movement that’s become fashionable among some Christians. The advocates of this movement say, “We ought to actually live together as fellow believers. Let’s build a community of our own, as some other religious movements have done so. We can all live a simple, wonderful life. Many people will look at our exemplary lives and come to believe in Jesus as a result.” They learn the know-how from the Catholics, which has already been involved extensively in such a movement. Although many Christians are eagerly participating in this movement, there is a limit to this as well. That’s because neither the life of such a commune nor its faith is everlasting.
Rather than trying to quench our spiritual thirst in somewhere else, we ought to listen only to the Word of the Lord. We must ask ourselves, “What did our Lord say to us? What is the profound meaning of this Word?” The Word of God has everlasting life, the fountain that never goes dry, the everlasting remission of sins, and the way to become forever righteous. Yet, those who do not have the proper understanding of the Word of God and have not drunk from the God-given water try to interpret this Word according to their own man-made moral standards. They say, “Let’s believe that anyone who just believes in Jesus has been saved.” They then cry out the name of the Lord three times, and believe that they have now all become God’s people.
They have a testimony like this, “The Lord is my Master. I have abandoned Buddhism and idols. God alone is my God. I believe!” But, my fellow believers, is this really what it means to believe in Jesus? No, of course not. This is merely changing one’s religion. How would such people think when they read today’s Scripture passage? They would think, “We see that the Samaritan woman went to the well often to draw water. So we should also go to the well often to draw water. That the woman went to the well to draw water is the same as going to the church often to listen to the Word. Since we need to feed on the Word often, we should come to the church often also. We should not skip any church gathering, whether it’s a morning prayer service, an evening service, or a revival meeting.” Like this, they interpret the Word from a human perspective according to the morals of the world. But this passage does not denote such a simplistic meaning.
In Korea there is an organization called “the Christian Committee on Ethical Practices,” which advocates Christians to be good and live a morally upright and virtuous life. Countless theologians, pastors, and laypeople are participating in this. They say, “Every Christian ought to be good.” But this is the wrong thing to say. It’s not the case that Christians ought to be good. If one is a true Christian, then it’s only a matter of course for that person to be good without even trying.
By their very nature, it’s inevitable for human beings to be full of shortcomings. No matter how much organizations such as the Christian Committee on Ethical Practices call on Christians to live a morally upright life, without the remission of sins, they cannot help but turn into hypocrites. Speaking to the whitewashed Pharisees, Jesus said, “Repent, brood of vipers!” Just because people believe in Jesus somehow, they cannot all become God’s children. The Bible says clearly that to become God’s righteous people, they must receive the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This means your own virtues and good deeds are not the answer to your predicament. There is nothing that you can do on your own to reach salvation. In today’s Scripture reading, the Samaritan woman failed to recognize Jesus at first even though she had been coming to the well every day to draw water. In other words, she did not recognize the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus said to her at that time, “If you knew who it is that is asking you for water, you would have asked Him for living water.”
My fellow believers, countless churches nowadays are deceiving their congregations with useless Christian doctrines rather than preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They say sweepingly that if people just believe in Jesus as their Savor, they can all become God’s people and be born again. They say that you could also be born again while asleep or praying. There may be various ways in which this happens, but their claim is that anyone can be born again just by believing in Jesus. However, our Lord does not come to anyone who believes in such fallacious ways and doctrines. He comes to only those who know that they themselves are vile sinners. It is precisely to such people that the Lord comes by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, just like the Samaritan woman in today’s Scripture reading.
There are many things that coexist in people, from the flesh to the heart, sins, the law of salvation, the human conscience, and the Law of God. But, regardless of this, what everyone ultimately wants is just one thing. It is the liberation of the conscience. In other words, people want their spirits to be truly freed. No matter how perfectly knowledgeable of the orthodox Christian doctrines one may be, you cannot help but be bound by sins and turn into a slave of iniquities. This person will then inevitably yearn for the true freedom. And God said that He would come to such people who are bound in sins and yearning for the liberty of their spirits.
The Lord does not come to anyone who hides his sins, as the first man Adam covered himself with fig leaves. Put differently, the Lord does not come to those who surround themselves completely with Christian doctrines. Even if He were to come, He would just leave, saying, “You are too perfect.” My fellow believers, you must now cast aside all futile doctrines. And you must realize before God who you really are. You must look straight at the problem of sin faced by your soul, bring this problem to God, and ask Him for His help. God will then come to you and solve this problem for you.
In contrast, if you cover yourself with fig leaves even after sinning just like Adam and Eve, and you hide yourself even though the Lord has come looking for you, then you will not be able to meet Him. It’s akin to rejecting the new garment that the Lord is trying to clothe you in, and saying to Him, “I don’t like this garment. I like my own doctrinal garment.” You will then end up rejecting the God-given Word of the remission of sins. That’s because from the outside appearance, doctrines look perfect. They are coated with sparkles and all things pleasing to the eye, they do not get wet even when it rains, and they do not rot even when water seeps into them. But these seemingly perfect doctrines have one fatal flaw: they prevent even the Word of God from entering.
My fellow believers, if you are wearing the garment of doctrines, you must now take it off. No matter how well-versed you may be in doctrinal matters, if you have any sin in your heart, then you are still a sinner. No matter how knowledgeable you may be of the Bible, if you still have not met the Lord properly yet and your heart still remains sinful, then you are a sinner. Therefore, you must open your heart now, let the problem out, that of, your sins just as it is, and get your sins resolved by relying on the Word of God alone. Only then can you receive the remission of sins.
The Lord Comes to Those Who Are Suffering from the Problem of Sins and Agonizing over How to Be Born Again
What does this mean? It means that our Lord comes to those who deeply yearn to have in them the everlasting fountain so that they never thirst again. And it means that the Lord resolves the problems of sins to perfection with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit for such people, and bestows salvation on them.
Let’s return to today’s Scripture reading. When the Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water, Jesus asked her to give him water. Just like this woman, all the Samarians had to draw water every day. What does this mean? I explained earlier at the beginning of my sermon that the well in Samaria symbolizes a church that has nothing else remaining but an empty shell. So, this alludes to the fact that so many Christians nowadays are attending all kinds of events and meetings every day out of their own zealousness. In other words, even though the true Word of the Lord is right in front of them, they cannot see the Lord because they are too busy doing useless works of their own. They are so busy that they don’t even have time to listen to the Lord’s Word properly.
The Samaritan woman who met Jesus in today’s Scripture passage was but one of the many people coming to the well to draw water every day. Like everyone else, she, too, was not aboveboard either ethically or faith-wise. So, when the Lord asked her for water, she didn’t have any water to give to Him. When we look at the situation faced by this Samaritan woman, we can get a glimpse of Christianity today. The present-day Christians all are grappling with the problem of sins in their hearts just like this Samaritan woman. If they continue to be bound by their own church’ doctrines or traditions even as they are facing the problem of sins in their hearts, they will not be able to escape from there. They need exceptional strong courage to escape from that place.
How was the Samaritan woman, who resembles today’s Christians? She was courageous, honest, and straightforward. When the Lord said to her, “If you knew who it is that is asking you for water, you would have asked Me for living water and I would have given it to you,” she said without any hesitation, “Lord, give me this water!” It was not her body that was thirsting, but her spirit. That’s why she accepted the Lord’s Word wholly and asked Him for living water. Having found courage like this, the Samaritan woman indeed received living water from Jesus Christ. She had met the Messiah right there. And we don’t have to look to see just how happy this woman was to get her spirit set free.
My fellow believers, this age is the very age when we need courage like the Samarian woman. I once heard someone saying that he was too frustrated when he was listening to the Word being preached in a so-called “orthodox” church. So, thinking that the real truth was found in heresy, he went to another church accused of heresy. But, amazingly, this person says he received the true remission of sins in the very church that was denounced as heretical. Like this, I heard a testimony saying that the truth is not found in orthodoxy, and instead it may be found in heresy. Speaking of the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, the Lord said in Titus chapter 3, “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.” According to this passage, those who confess confirming themselves still sinners are indeed heretics. And, those who say that ‘they have been born again by believing in Jesus even as their sins remain intact’ are also heretics. So, it is none other than the so-called “orthodox” churches that may be heretical.
Let’s return to today’s Scripture reading. It’s written in John 4:11-12, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’” Here, the Samaritan woman was doubting the Lord’s power, asking Him, “Are You greater than Jacob who dug this well?” Just like many people in her days, and most people today as well, the Samaritan woman was questioning Jesus based on just His outside appearance. She was asking Him, “How can I get living water from you, when you don’t even have anything to draw water with, and the well is so deep? Can you really give me living water? Are you greater than anyone I know? You certainly don’t look that way. Are you better than all the pastors? Are you better than all denominations and all theologians? Are you greater than even Jacob?”
That the Samaritan woman asked such questions to the Lord indicates that she still did not realize how Jesus was so much greater than any tradition or doctrine. What, then, is the truth? Jesus is the Creator who made the universe. He is the Son of the living God, the Master of all things, and the Lord of the saved. It is also Jesus who had given grace to Jacob. Therefore, the fact that the Lord is far greater and honorable than Jacob is the undeniable Truth that requires no further elaboration.
However, there still are people who, not realizing this truth, ask foolish questions like the Samaritan woman in today’s Scripture passage, saying, “Your church is so small. What could I possible gain from such a place? Your outside appearance is lowlier than a deacon in my church, and so how can you give me living water to never thirst again? Which seminary did you attend? How many years did you study theology?” Those who say such things to the preachers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit are still not thirsty enough. They do not know the suffering of hell. They do not know the scorching pain of sins. They cannot see clearly how they are dying of thirst now, and how this thirst cannot be quenched no matter how often they drink water. Imagine a patient whose appendix has just burst saying to the doctor, “How long did you study medicine? Do you have the credentials as a specialist? Is your surgeon’s knife of high quality?” How could anyone have the leisure to say such things when his appendix has burst and in a critical condition?
Just recently I saw a comedy film called Fugitives. There is a scene in the film where the protagonist gets shot and visits a veterinarian to remove the bullet. But the veterinarian doesn’t even have any anesthetic, so he has the protagonist bite on a dog bone to prevent him from screaming, and removes the bullet. Like this, if you are dying from a gunshot wound, you wouldn’t care whether it’s a veterinarian or a butcher that is tending your wound. You wouldn’t care who is helping you. You wouldn’t insist on being treated by a credentialed medical doctor accompanied by well-trained nurses.
The same principle applies to the life of faith. The educational credentials of those who preach the gospel and their denominational affiliations are not what is important. People insist on such useless things only because they do not yet know just how dire their situation is. They are not convinced that they are bound to hell. But, if they knew that they would be cast into hell in a few years’ time, wouldn’t they all try everything they could to avoid this from the moment they realized it? To someone who is desperately ill, the healer does not have to be a qualified physician. Likewise, when it comes to preaching the gospel, it doesn’t matter whether one is a learned pastor or a shoemaker. Don’t you all agree? If people knew that they would be cast in to hell in a few years’ time, they would all be flocking to here like a giant cloud. They would bow down and beg us to teach them how to be born again. I’m sure we will see many such people.
My fellow believers, the foolish do not know that their souls are dying from their sins. Not only this, they don’t even realize what they need. Therefore, for us to get the problem of our sins resolved and obtain the washing of our sins, we must be meek before the Lord. To be born again and receive the foundation of everlasting water to never thirst again, you must know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you are born again now, you will drink from the everlasting fountain to never thirst again even when you go to the Kingdom of God. You should know that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is effective not only on this earth, but also in the Kingdom of God.
What should you consider when you see someone preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to you? You should consider believing in this gospel and accepting it wholeheartedly. But, before doing so, you must realize that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not a mere doctrine of Christianity. Whenever you see someone preaching the Word, you must ask yourself, “Is this person really a disciple of Jesus? Does this person have the gospel of the water and the Spirit in him? Is he really preaching the living Word of God rather than some rotten Christian dogma?” You must be able to discern such things. If you are not sure how to discern such people, you can easily do so by checking to see if what they are saying is the Word of God on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If they are preaching man’s word, then they are not God’s servants; if they are preaching the Word of God on the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are God’s people. If someone is truly a man of God who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then this person would preach the Word of the Lord and its regeneration rather than boasting of his own denominations or doctrines.
As I explained earlier, the Samaritans in today’s Scripture passage were all of mixed blood. So they had an impure, syncretic faith. This does not mean that the Jews were right. If the Jews had the foundation springing up into everlasting life in them, then we would have had to follow their orthodox traditions and doctrines. But they did not have the foundation springing up into everlasting life. Jesus had left Judah and gone to Samaria. We must therefore follow this Jesus Christ without fail.
My fellow believers, human beings are too foolish and inadequate. Even though the Lord came looking for us repeatedly to give us everlasting life, many people stopped Him with denominational and doctrinal obstacles. As a result, they lost the opportunity that comes only a few times in their entire lifetime. If you have any sins, open the door of your heart to the Lord and accept Jesus Christ and His Word into your heart. Reveal your weaknesses frankly before the Word, get the problem of all your sins resolved, and find the answer to everlasting life and the regeneration.
Those Thirsting for Everlasting Water
Here seated amongst you today are those who have already drunk from the everlasting water to never thirst again. But, today’s meeting is for those who yearn to drink from this water. In other words, it is not just a simple revival meeting, but rather it is a gathering for the lost souls. All this time, even though we have tried very hard to preach the God-spoken gospel of the water and the Spirit, many people have refused to listen to this gospel, as their ears and hearts have been blocked by the false doctrines of Christianity. However, through this revival meeting, we will once again preach the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit. We will preach it ceaselessly. The Lord said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20). But this doesn’t mean that our Lord visits them in person and knocks on their hearts doors Himself. Instead, He visits them, without fail, through us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It’s written in John 4:13-14, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’” For those who reject the gospel of the water and the Spirit and refuse to believe in it, their sins will remain intact in their hearts, and whatever little peace they might have had will disappear in no time. What about those who have already fed on the Word of the Lord and received everlasting life? The Holy Spirit works in their hearts along with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And the Holy Spirit makes the foundation of everlasting life spring up in their hearts forever. Such people have reached the stage where their thirst has forever been quenched to never thirst again. This is something that is known only to those who have tasted the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith.
Let’s turn to John 4:15-19, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, “I have no husband,” for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.’” Here we can see the Samaritan woman confessing her sins to the Lord and admitting honestly to Him that she had no satisfaction in her life. Even though she had five husbands, none of them had satisfied her, and she was now living with a man who was not even her husband.
My fellow believers, for us to be truly born again and receive living water from the Lord to never thirst again, we must do what the Samaritan woman did. Put differently, we must be clear and divulge our sins before the Lord, and get them resolved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of the Lord. At the same time, we must also realize that we have had no satisfaction in the religious lives we have led thus far. Only then can we find true satisfaction. Just as the Lord knows all about us, His servants who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and who are serving the will of the Lord, can also resolve the problem of sins for all sinners.
To reach a deeper understanding of the meaning of being born again, let us turn to John 3:3 here. It’s written, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” As the Bible says, those who have not been born again cannot discern God’s Church from worldly churches. They do not know if they have been born again, or if others have been born again. This is an inherent characteristic of those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and therefore have not been born again. The Lord said that these people cannot see the Kingdom of God. In other words, they cannot recognize God’s Church. This passage means, “If one is truly born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can see the Kingdom of God.” Those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit know exactly whether they have been born again or not. Just as the Bible says that the Holy Spirit knows all the joys of God, those to whom the Holy Spirit has descended upon after being born again can recognize God’s Church and His Kingdom.
People think that believing in Jesus as their Savior and being born again are two different issues. This is what is most confusing to Christians all around the world. They think that if they believe in Jesus as their Savior, they will somehow be born again in an hour that they themselves do not know. However, the Bible says that these two things have exactly same meaning. The Lord said, “Unless one is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter nor see the Kingdom of Heaven.” It’s absolutely crucial for us to grasp this Word of the Lord properly.
Some people encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit only after believing in Jesus for ten years. Still others are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit after believing in Jesus for 50 years. Yet, there are many people who, despite believing in the Lord their whole lives, cannot be born again as they have not found the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having been unable to be born again like this, at the very moment of their passing they say, “Lord, please forgive this sinner.” Where would these people go then? Let’s not speak of it. It’s truly wretched outcome. When we look at such people, it seems as though they are living a life of faith in search of God, but they are actually living a spiritually wretched and accursed life. What such sinners have in their hearts have no currency in the Kingdom of God. They may think, “Since I abandoned idolatry and believed in God even if it was the very last minute, He will give me a break.”
Do you know just how cold Jesus is? When we turn to Revelation chapter 21, we see the Bible speaking of the white throne of judgment. It says that whoever’s name is written in the Book of Life will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever’s name is not written therein will be cast into the lake burning with fire and brimstone. Unless one is born again, Jesus will never tolerate sinners, even if they believed in Him and prophesied in His name. Jesus is the perfect Truth. The Truth can never compromise with untruth.
Turning to John chapter 3, we see a Pharisees named Nicodemus. Although this man did believe in Jesus, he had not yet been born again. We see our Lord speaking to Nicodemus in John 3:5 in this way, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” What did Jesus say here? Is it of water and the Spirit that one is truly born again? Or can one be born again just by believing in Jesus without the water and the Spirit? The Bible says clearly that one is truly born again only of water and the Spirit. The ingredients that enable people to be born again must be the water and the Spirit. In other words, one can be born again only if he knows and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Scripture says that merely believing in Jesus is clearly different from being born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It writes clearly that being born again is made possible only through the water and the Spirit. It is not the case that you are born again suddenly one day after believing in Jesus for a while, nor is it the case that you are born again when you see some sort of vision while praying.
Jesus said in John 3:8, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” This means that even when the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit speak the Truth, those who have not been born again cannot understand it at all. Despite the fact that our Lord has shown the Truth of being born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, many people are still unable to understand the Lord’s Word properly.
Those Who Lack the Spirit of God
For those who do not have the Spirit of God, no matter how hard they preach the Cross, their listeners cannot be born again. The probability of such listeners being born again is zero. That’s why our Lord said specifically that one must be born again of water and the Spirit. For those who have a meek spirit, when they listen to the Word of God preached by the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, or read the books written by the born-again, they reach understanding of it right away. This is absolutely not a deception. Such things are possible because those who already believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit teach this gospel with the proper understanding of the salvation that has come into their hearts.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit, which descended from the Apostolic Age, was written and preached by the born-again who were indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and therefore, no one who lacks this Spirit in their hearts can ever understand its profound meaning. Peter says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism” (1 Peter 3:21). The water the Bible speaks of is none other than the baptism that Jesus received. In other words, that one has to be born again of water means one has to be born again through the baptism Jesus received in the Jordan River. It is through this baptism of Jesus that every human being must obtain the washing away of sins. Yet, countless Christians remain unable to be born again even as they believe in Jesus as their Savior, and it’s all because they do not grasp the Truth of baptism and only consider it as a religious ritual. All they do is just say blindly that they believe in the Lord, when in fact they do not even have the knowledge to connect the baptism of Jesus with the Cross.
The Lord has spoken the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to us. However, unless human beings know what the intention of this Word is, they can never be born again. This is true even when it comes to writing mere love letters. Let’s say that you said to your wife, “The roses are blossoming, and the birds are singing.” If she says to you, “Of course they are, it’s spring. Who doesn’t know that?” then she doesn’t know what’s in your heart. If you say to her, “The moon is so bright this evening,” and she replies, “It’s bright because it’s a full moon,” then again she does know your deep feelings. Telling her that the moon is so full and bright is in fact saying to her that your heart for her is shining like the moon, and saying to her that the birds are singing means, that the world is that beautiful because you are in love with her. Like this, if the other person has no understanding of your intention or true feelings, then you can never have a sincere relationship with that person. For the same reason, we must have the proper knowledge of the God-spoken gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, our Lord said to all of us that we must be born again of water and the Spirit without fail. The water and the Spirit here refers to “the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” Therefore, if you refuse to be born again by believing in the God-spoken gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you would be mocking Jesus. Such people cannot help but always remain defiled sinners, and they cannot help but be always thirsty in their hearts. And they are prone to eventually fall into some sort of weird vision, mysticism, or religious groups that emphasize the fullness of human emotion. Just as everything has a cause and effect, because the Lord has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, those who believe in it can be washed clean from their sins and be born again. Like this, the outcome of faith for the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is receiving the remission of sins and becoming God’s children.
Let’s turn to John 3:6-7 here as I bring my sermon to its conclusion, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” My fellow believers, if someone born in this world as a human being believes in Jesus merely as one of the many religions of this world, then that person is of the flesh. Some people believe in Jesus as their Savior because they are told His power is greater than that of any idol. So they memorize the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer, give their tithe faithfully, and diligently attend every morning prayer service and every revival meeting. These people, too, are of the flesh. Theirs is no more than a religious faith of the world. The Lord said that what is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
We must distinguish the flesh from the Spirit clearly when it comes to our faith. Faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is of the Spirit, whereas the zealousness of the flesh is all of the flesh. Following the Lord before God after receiving the remission of sins is to be spiritual, but following Jesus without even receiving the remission of sins is still practicing a fleshly faith. Those who claim to believe in Jesus as their Savior even as they have sins in their hearts are those of the flesh, who still have not been again. Because their sins remain intact, they will be condemned for them. No matter how hard they may believe in Jesus, if they do so without the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then their hearts are sinful and they cannot be born again in the end, for that of the flesh is flesh. They are still sinners. In contrast, those who admit to God that they are sinners, recognize that they are bound to hell for their sins, and believe in the Truth of salvation that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are those of the Spirit. In other words, they are the spiritual people who have been born again of water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, those who meekly lay down the problem of their sins and the issue of the remission of sins before the Word of God, and try to resolve them by faith, are the ones who are close to God. Like this, someone who can reveal himself before the Word of God is someone who can be born again of water and the Spirit. Only such people can be said to have been truly born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Most if not all of us were good Christians in our past, but even so, we still had sins in our hearts. Regardless of whether we were doing what was pleasing to Jesus or abhorrent to Him, we all had sins. But now, we must listen closely to nothing else but the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must open our hearts to the Lord’s Word of life. This Word of God is so important! The Bible describes this Word as the Word of life.
If people are born again of the Word of the Spirit—that is, of the gospel Word of the living water and the Spirit—they will surely be washed from their sins. The Holy Spirit will then descend on their hearts. And the Holy Spirit will become a fountain stringing up in their hearts, to quench the hearts of the saints. How can such things be possible? It’s all possible precisely because the Holy Spirit is in their hearts.
Moreover, because the Holy Spirit knows the depth of God, those who have received the remission of sins and received the Holy Spirit can speak the Truth of salvation to others. You may be wondering, “I have no sin, but how did I receive the remission of sins? I did not even think about going to Heaven, but how did I become someone who can enter it now?” The answer is simple: it all came by because you believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and received the remission of sins as a result. And now that you and I have received the remission of sins, we should never fall into any disappointment and continue to preach this gospel of the water and the Spirit until the end.
Our Lord has given the Holy Spirit to us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And He has given us living water. He has given us the foundation of the Spirit springing up into everlasting life, just as He said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Let me repeat: Those who have received the remission of sins and the Holy Spirit into their hearts by believing in the Word of the Lord are born again through the Word of God and receive living water to never thirst again. Only someone who has been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit can preach this Word of God. In contrast, no one who has not been born again is capable of giving living water to anyone else. So those who listen to the sermons preached by someone who has not been born again end up in the same condition. They cannot be born again, no matter how attentively they listen to the sermons preached by such pastors. In my past, I, too, could not be born again even though for ten years I had heard countless sermons given by the religious leaders who were not born again. Despite hearing these sermons for such a long time, I could not be born again.
In today’s Christian communities, there are too many leaders who have not been born again. Their sermons are completely useless for people yearning to be born again. That’s because one is born again only through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the true Word of God. Therefore, you can be born again only if you listen to someone who already believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and therefore is dwelt by the Holy Spirit. By listening to someone whose heart is not dwelt by the Holy Spirit, you can never be born again, no matter how often you listen to him. Remember this clearly.
The Lord said clearly in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” This is the Word of the Almighty God. Do you still think that you can be born again through your own effort? If this were the case, then the born-again would be unneeded in this world, nor would we have any need to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You wouldn’t need anyone else’s help, since you think that if you put enough effort into it, you would be able to be born again one day. But, my fellow believers, let me say again that you can never be born again by yourself. On your own, you can never understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
I would like to conclude my sermon now. My heart is always open to all of who you want to be truly born again. If you want to study the Word of God, I will be happy to study with you; if you want to be born again of water and the Spirit, or yearn to have the fountain that quenches your thirst forever, I am always available for counseling. I am telling you at this hour, in no uncertain terms, that you can be born again without fail by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just as the Samarian woman was born again when she met the Savior, you, too, can be born again by believing in Jesus as your Savior, who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.