(1 John 5:1-21)
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 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. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
We Need to Know What Kind of Personality God Possesses
If we want to talk about God, we first need to know what God is like. To start with the greatest attribute of God, He is the God of love. Thus, I would like to look at and examine God’s love.
The Apostle John, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, wrote the Epistles of John. The main theme the Apostle John deals with in his Epistles is the love of God. Put differently, the Word in 1, 2, and 3 John mainly professes about the love of God. Hence, it is impossible for us not to talk about the love of God as we share the Word in 1 John. Even the fact that we have been delivered from all our sins was an act out of Jesus’ unconditional and unilateral love for us.
As I have continually emphasized, God’s love has no condition. The Lord did not love and deliver us because He has seen our beauty or our excellence. Our Lord has unilaterally loved us just because we appeared to Him both so pitiful and so lovely. We have not received our salvation of the remission of sin by any of our efforts or merits or excellence, but rather by wearing the unilateral love of God. We have been delivered from all the sins of the world by believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, which is made of the love of Jesus.
Let’s talk about the phrase, “God is love.” The love of God is absolute. It is unconditional, unilateral, and truthful. It is the love of the Truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
There are some kinds of humanistic love. The loves between friends and between the opposite sexes are examples of humanistic love. Scholars classify the types of love as agape love, storge love, phileo love, and eros love. The Greek word ‘storge’ means the love between family members such as the parents’ love toward their children, and ‘phileo’ refers to companionship between friends, while ‘eros’ refers to the love between the opposite sexes. All three kinds of love are of human, and the humanistic love is conditional, whatever kind it may be, because humans have a strong tendency to fill in their own desires in the name of love. Yet, agape love, on the other hand, refers to the unconditional love of God toward us.
Humanistic love cannot help but be conditional. We make friends by gauging whether we sympathize with the other, we have common interests, and we understand each other. When the other’s conditions are meeting our standards, we make friends with them. Like this, friendship contains many selfish elements. We are bound to each other in the name of friendship only when we benefit from each other; we can lean on each other, or be recognized by each other. “I love you because you understand me and you are faithful to me.” These words imply that such a friendly relationship can change at any time depending on the conditions.
The love between the opposite sexes may be what people are deceived by the most often yet desire to fall in nonetheless. The love between the opposite sexes is often characterized as one of absoluteness and sacrifice. People say, “I won’t be able to live another day without my lover,” as if they would even give up their own lives for their lovers. Still, we easily give up on our relationships with the opposite sexes if our loss is greater than our gain.
The love for the opposite sexes is such that we constantly look for ones that satisfy our standards. Even if someone passionately and self-sacrificially loves me, I won’t love that person back as long as I am not satisfied. Love between the opposite sexes is selfish. And it still somehow deludes us emotionally into believing that our lovers of the opposite sex are the ones we will cherish the most and be cherished the most by. This is the reality of the love between the opposite sexes.
The state of our hearts, which we call “love,” is conditional, selfish, and relative. Only the love of God is worthy of being called true love.
What Kind of Love Is the Love of God?
God did not pour on us His love because He expected something back in return. God did not love us because He wanted to be loved back by us in the equal amount. God has delivered us unconditionally because He wanted to give us His love, grace, blessings, and glory. God only desires that our hearts would be opened so that the love of God can come into it.
In order to deliver us from all our sins, God sent Jesus into this world and had Him receive the baptism from John the Baptist. Jesus received the Baptist, which transferred all of the sins of the corrupted humanity. When Jesus bore our sins as such onto the Cross, the love of our Lord for us was fully revealed to us. Although people disbelieve in God, do not rely on God, and live their lives following their lusts of the flesh, the Lord has pity on their souls.
God Himself has thus practiced His love by coming into this world in the flesh of man, and recorded His righteous deeds in the Scriptures so that we all can confirm this with our own eyes and bear witness to it with our mouth. God did all of this so that there is not a single person who doesn’t know of His love. God by His unconditional and unilateral love wanted us to live eternally by receiving His absolute and worthiest love. In His desire for such outcome, Jesus has delivered us by the water and the Spirit.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit is God’s salvation without any cost, the worthiest and unconditional love, and the Truth of life, which revives all the people of the world. If there were any condition to the love of Jesus, even that condition would have been there for our own benefit of living life full of God’s blessings. That was the love of Jesus.
Dear fellow believers, is it due to our own merits that we come to believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and become God’s own children? Did God love us because we in our excellence have served our God well and done only things that God appreciates? This is absolutely not the case. If this were true, we, who are deficient and lacking in our flesh, would not deserve the love of Jesus. Instead, there would be others in the world who are more deserving of such love.
There is a saying about the love of a parent that to the eyes of a hedgehog, its baby hedgehog is the most beautiful one in the world. Such is the love of a parent that loves regardless of whether one’s child is good or bad. And such is the love of God, who has delivered us, that loves us for the sake of love. And it is also the love of Jesus, which is the most fundamental basics for our faith.
The love of Jesus is the framework and foundation of our faith. We build our house of faith on the foundation of the absolute, unconditional, and unilateral love of Jesus. In the love of Christ, there are true serving, witnessing, praising, and praying. If we leave out the unconditional love of God’s salvation for us from our faith, all our worship and services for the Lord would become nothing.
I sometimes think to myself: “What is most important to me? What is most worthy to our congregation? And what is most precious to God’s servants? What would be the most precious thing inscribed in our hearts?
That would be the gospel of the water and the Spirit that professes that God in His unconditional love has adopted us His own people. The gospel of the water and the Spirit, by which He blotted out all our sins and adopted us His children in His unilateral love for us, has become the eternally unchanging light in our hearts. Even if we forget everything else, we would never be able to forget the love of Jesus inscribed in our hearts, which delivered us from all our sins. The gospel of the water and the Spirit has taken its place in our hearts as the love of God we will never forget. Is this also true for you?
Nothing else can take its place in our hearts. In actuality, it does not matter whether we praise well, pray well, or serve the gospel well. The priorities of those things can change their places at any time. However, the absolute love of our Lord, by which He delivered us, should occupy the summit of each one’s value system at all times. The Grace of salvation, by which Jesus in His love for us delivered us by the water, the blood, and the Spirit, has fully filled up our hearts. Because we have received our salvation entirely through the love of Jesus, there is no place for pride or boasting in our hearts but only gratefulness.
God’s Commandment Is to Love One Another
In today’s Scripture passage, the Apostle John says about God’s Commandment, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:1-3). All this passage is telling us is about love. That is, God’s commandment to us is of nothing but “love.”
God’s commandments entail what we should keep before God. Then, which commandments should we keep before God? That would be the love of God. It said that the love of God is also the commandment of God.
After Jesus had delivered us, the commandment that Jesus most stressed with great emphasis is for us to love God and to love people. Although our Lord has spoken many things after having come to this world, all those things could be included in these two forms of love. Surely, Jesus spoke about our salvation and many other important matters. Yet, He still found it most important that the saints and the servants of God keep His commandments, that is, to love God and to love people. The Apostle John thus said, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3).
Let us look at more detailed Scripture verses about which commandments those who have received the remission of sin should keep. Dear fellow believers, as you may well know, the Law contained 613 codes and regulations. The selection of the most essential of these 613 codes and regulations is the Ten Commandments. If we look at the Ten Commandments with a broad stroke, it could be divided into the two parts of “love God” and “love your neighbors.”
Out of His love, God has delivered us by the water and the Spirit and has given us the Ten Commandments. What are those commandments? They are God’s commandments that require us to love God and to love people. In another word, God’s commandment that we must keep is nothing else but “love.” It is love; love for God and love for people. As it is said in the Bible that those who love God will keep His commandments, those who truly believe in Jesus and those who were delivered by the unconditional love of Jesus keep God’s commandments. And they do never abandon God’s commandments to love God and love other people.
Sometimes, I hear those who have allegedly received the remission of sin say that the Law is effective only up to the point one receives one’s salvation, and therefore, that the Law is abolished to a person as soon as he receives the remission of sin. However, we should know with a clear conviction that we would be leading a false life in faith, if we abandoned God’s commandments after we receive the remission of sin.
Our Lord has said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Our Lord’s coming should not be understood as the abolishment of the Law. Instead, we should understand that our Lord has come to complete the Law.
What then is the Law that was completed instead of being abolished? God’s law and His commandments are professing about our obligation “to love God and love other people.” The law was not made to disappear but rather made firm. The commandment to love God and love other people is the Word we should eternally keep. Therefore, if we ever give up God’s commandment, we would surely be living wrongly in our walks of faith.
Jesus had kept that commandment from God by coming into this world. In order to fulfill God’s love for people, Jesus vicariously carried all of our sins onto the Cross, where He shed His blood so that all of humanity may be delivered from all of their sins. Because we are God’s own people, we now have the obligation to keep the commandment of God’s love.
The Apostle John said that only those who keep God’s commandments truly love God. We must remember this: The more our belief deepens, the more our faith deepens, and the closer we come to our Lord, we would realize how deficient and weak we are. Conversely, we would also realize how great the love our Lord was that delivered us, and we would become grateful to our Lord. We would be grateful of the fact that we were given commandments from God to keep.
Let’s take a look at the Tabernacle that appears in the Old Testament for a moment. There were 60 pillars that were standing along with the fence of the outer court of the Tabernacle. The height of each pillar was 5 cubits, or 2.25 meters. The sockets of these pillars were all made out of bronze, but the overlays of their capitals was made of silver (Exodus 38:17). And since the pillars could fall if they were standing on their own, they were bound with silver hooks and bands to each other so they can support one another. We can also see that there were the hooks attached to the rest sides of the pillars. Then, they tied up the pillars with their cords from the hooks to the pegs stuck into the ground, so that the cords held the 60 pillars tightly together.
What does each of these pillars signify? They represent you and me. How could we stand before God without stumbling? There are things necessary if we are to stand firmly and not falter before God.
In the Bible, bronze signifies the judgment and condemnation of God. A typical account that states the use of bronze is shown in Numbers 21:8-9. When Moses made a bronze serpent according to God’s command, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. Here, the bronze serpent implies our Lord Jesus, who has borne all the condemnations of mankind by nailing to the Cross in our stead.
We are people who before God should rightly receive dreadful judgments according to our sins. If it weren’t for the unilateral love of God, we should have received the judgment of our sins in front of God. Since humanity has committed sin against God by failing into the deception of Satan the Devil, we cannot help but stand before God as the grave sinners who should be judged.
Then, how could we stand as the pillars of the tabernacle? How could each one of us stand as the citizens of God’s Kingdom? We are able to stand before God because God has given us His atoning grace. We are able to stand before God at this moment because of the love of God. Although we were originally destined to be judged for our sins, we are able to stand before God in our faith because He has given us the grace of salvation.
In the Bible, silver signifies the grace of God. As we reflect on the bronze socket at the bottom of the pillar and the silver that covers the overlays of the pillar capitals, we can know for sure that the silver means the grace of the remission of sin. We should have suffered under hell fire for our sins. We should have received condemnations and judgments for our sins. But instead, God has given us the gift of salvation.
When we see the overlays of the acacia-pillar capitals covered with the silver, we are sure that this implies the very grace of God, that is, the remission of sin. Just like the Lord covers the pillars with the silver overlay, He has given us the grace of salvation so that we may stand before God instead of being judged for the sins we still commit. Although we were sinners before God who should have received the furious judgments for our sins and died, God has delivered us by vicariously receiving the judgments for our sins through the love of God’s grace.
The grace of God’s love is such. We, the humans, had no other choice but to go to hell and receive the rightful condemnation for our sins. Yet, God had planned to adopt humanity as His own children even before the Creation. And thus, God had poured on humanity His unilateral and absolute love: God sent His only Son to this world to take onto Himself all our sins. God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, received the baptism to transfer all our sins onto Himself and He bore all the judgments for our sins. Jesus Christ, the true God of love willingly died for us vicariously to give us His grace of salvation.
Our Lord took all the sins of this world by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. He bore our sins onto the Cross, where He was crucified, shed His blood, and died. Jesus has granted us the grace of salvation by vicariously suffering all the judgments we should have received for all our sins. By the baptism and the bloodshed, our Lord has completely delivered us from God’s judgments of our sins. Also, our Lord has made us God’s own people, tying a rope around us and pulling it tightly from each side while firmly grounding the pillar so that we may boldly stand before God.
If it weren’t for the unconditional love of Jesus, we would have not been able to escape God’s judgments and condemnations.
Do you believe in the baptism Jesus received and the Cross, which enables us to be clothed with the salvation of His love? God in his unconditional love sent His own Son Jesus to this world, transferring all the sins of humanity through the baptism Jesus received at the Jordan River, and having Jesus vicariously receive the judgments of our sins by the crucifixion on the Cross. Through the baptism and bloodshed, God has made sinners into the born-again, the righteous and adopted them His own people, only if they believed in this Truth. We have received our salvation through such unconditional love of God.
Have we done any good deeds that merit our own salvation from all our sins? Not at all. We have not received our salvation because we were excellent, pious before God, and wise and full of grace. Prayers in fasting, prayers in the mountains, and our tithing and offerings were not the reasons for our salvation either. We have received our salvation through the unilateral and unconditional love of God and His Son Jesus. We have received our salvation from all sins by listening to and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit wholeheartedly. The truth is that we have received our salvation and have become God’s children only by believing in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit.
How then should we live if we became God’s children by His unconditional love? As the children of God, we must believe in and follow the Word of God. We should follow God’s Law instead of the law of this world. God is calling us to love His commandments and to live according to them as His people who have been delivered from all the sins of the world.
God Speaks to the Born-again
The Apostle John is speaking to the born-again saints in today’s Scripture passage that those who keep God’s commandments are those who also love God: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
Dear fellow believers, are God’s commandments burdensome to you? Although we have not much and we are deficient in many ways, we have the love for God in our hearts. Because God has loved us first, we cannot help but to love Him. Because God has loved us unconditionally, we who are overwhelmed by that love have the love for God in our hearts. If we have not received the love of God, we cannot share His love confidently to others.
Dear fellow believers, we must keep God’s commandments. To keep God’s commandments entails loving God as well as my neighbors, both brothers and sisters, and even the servants of God. It is not that difficult to love. If we were truly delivered through His unconditional love, there should need no reason for us to share this love with others. There is a common saying even in the world, which says, “If you have a reason for loving, that is no true love at all.” As we inevitably have change of hearts when we love someone conditionally, if we hold conditions when we come before God of unconditional love, we may come to complain to God and leave Him eventually.
We, the saints must keep God’s commandments. Why are our hearts so desolate sometimes? It is because we do not remember the unconditional love of our Lord for us. It is because we have forgotten ourselves the fact that we have received our salvation by the all-covering and absolute love of God.
People say that those who have fallen in love become more beautiful, that the world appears more beautiful to them, and that their hearts grow more abundant. If our hearts are desolate despite the fact that we have received our salvation from all sins, it must be because we have not fallen in fervent love with God.
If we look around us, God has created an environment for us to fall in true love and lead an abundant and beautiful life. God has granted us His giant love so that we may love God, the souls of others, and brothers and sisters. Now, we have become able to love with an abundant and smooth heart by His love we have already received. You have received the love of God and also become people capable of loving back. Because people who have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have no sin in their hearts, they are able to love other people around them as their own hearts are filled with God’s love.
God has told us to keep His commandments. Dear fellow believers, is there anyone who is not aware of God’s commandments? I bet that all of you are aware of God’s commandments to love God and other people. It is right for us to love the servants of God and the brothers and sisters as one family in Christ. That a born-again righteous leads such a life is appropriate and beautiful. If we lack God’s love, we are essentially nothing. It is because we love God that we sacrifice, endure, and devote ourselves for Him as the beloved. Because God loves us, He sometimes disciplines us, admonishes us, and rebukes us. It is all because of love.
I tell you clearly that God’s commandments are not burdensome. It is right for us to try to keep God’s commandments despite of our deficiencies, if we were delivered from our sins by grace. Our efforts to live as such are beautiful. If we were naturally good at it without any effort, it would not appear as beautiful as it is. However, it looks so beautiful for us to try to keep to God’s commandments by walking step by step in faith because we have known God’s love and want to practice the same love.
When Jesus received the baptism, all our sins were transferred onto Jesus. All judgments were terminated, when Jesus died on the Cross. Jesus unilaterally took all our sins onto Himself by receiving the baptism and vicariously received the judgments on the Cross. How great is this love? This great love of God has come to us by the water and the blood of our Lord. Dear fellow believers, do you believe in this?
“And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth…. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these agree as one” (1 John 5:6-8). The water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit were all essentials of salvation of the sinners that God the Father had sent.
Dear fellow believers, God has loved us. Thus, our Lord has unilaterally delivered us from all our sins, and the Holy Spirit bears witness to this Truth: “And it is the Spirit who bears witness” (1 John 5:6). Jesus has unconditionally loved sinners. After making us into the righteous by delivering us from all our sins, He has adopted us the children of God who actually receive God’s love.
There are three witnesses for those who have received the salvation from all their sins. They are the ministries of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. First, God the Son has come to this world in the flesh of man (the witness of the Holy Spirit). Second, the Lord took the sins of humanity by being baptized (the witness of the water). And third, He paid off all the wages of sins of the world by vicariously shedding His blood on the Cross, where He was crucified and died for the sinners (the witness of the blood). Our Savior Jesus has delivered all of humanity, who were once sinners, from all judgments and made them into the righteous, who are exempt from God’s judgments. This is the salvation by the water and the Spirit that the Apostle John testifies about.
Thus, the righteous who were delivered by God have the witness in themselves that they have received salvation by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. “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 had not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son” (1 John 5:10). We must have the witness of our salvation by God. We must possess Truth of the water and the Spirit in our hearts as evidence that Jesus, out of His unilateral and unconditional love for us, delivered us from all our sins and condemnations. We all need this evidence to stand before God when the time comes.
We, Christians should at the least possess this evidence of our salvation before God. Which evidences? We must have the witnesses of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the true God, and the Spiritual Being came to this world in the flesh of man. When He turned the age of 30, to blot out all the sins of this world, He took those sins onto Himself by the proper method of “for thus,” which was the receiving of the baptism. And by shedding His blood on the Cross, He has taken care of the judgments for all our sins and granted us new life. We must believe in all these and have the evidences of our salvation. We, as believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have received our salvation from all our sins and also received the Holy Spirit in our hearts by this faith.
God will ask us on “the great and awesome day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31): “Have you been delivered from all your sins? What is the true gospel of the water and the Spirit? Do you really believe in this true gospel, which has delivered us from all our sins? Supply the Word of evidence of your salvation from all your sins.”
Therefore, Dear fellow Christians, you must have the definite evidence of your salvation that is the Word of faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in your hearts. When we are asked, “How did Jesus come to this world? How and when were your sins transferred onto Jesus,” we should reply, “All our sins were transferred onto Jesus, when He received the baptism. When Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist at the Jordan River, He took all our sins onto Himself. He has become our Savior by bearing our sins onto the Cross unto death and by resurrecting from the dead.” We should have the evidence contained in such confession.
It says in Matthew 3:15, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” We need to have faith in the baptism of Jesus. However, we should not merely remember it but should BELIEVE in our hearts the Word of Truth of salvation. Jesus has thus blotted out all my sins, as He said in John 19:30, “It is finished.” In Hebrews 10:18, it also says, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” Since our Lord has unilaterally blotted out all our sins, we must have the evidence in our hearts by the Word that we will never again go to hell because of our sins. All of us who have been delivered from all our sins must have the evidence of our salvation in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the Truth of salvation and the evidence of our salvation.
All the born-again have the evidence of their true faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in front of God. This is why the Bible says, “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar” (1 John 5:10).
Dear fellow believers, do you know the fact that there is evidence of faith for believing God as one’s Savior? I am sure you do. Those who have been delivered by the Word of the Lord have the evidence. The truly born-again most certainly have the evidence of the Word.
Do we have anything we can boast about in front of God? There is absolutely no such thing. We have absolutely nothing to boast about except our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts.
Look at our flesh. We are people who become easily proud and boastful about what we do well and, similarly, easily depressed and resentful about what we do badly. We must realize how embarrassing it is to boast about our righteousness that is worse than an old rag. We are people who have nothing to boast about before God. We are merely a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, and the children who are corrupters (Isaiah 1:4): Everything that comes out of our flesh is evil, and we are helpless without the grace of salvation from God.
However, our Lord has delivered us from all our sins because He unilaterally and unconditionally loved us. Our Lord has accomplished our salvation from all our sins by God’s righteousness alone and none of our own righteousness. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is now in our hearts. He who has made us without any sin and has granted us new life is our Lord. So, we cannot but profess, “God, You have delivered me because You loved me.”
The benchmark of our salvation is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Dear fellow believers, do even 0.1% of the requirements of our salvation include our own excellence? Are we required to be physically tall to receive our salvation? Does it matter how good our bodies look? Does our muscle tone have an effect on our salvation? Can our tempers be the factors on our salvation? Does anything about our flesh add to our chance of receiving our salvation?
None of these help us to receive our salvation before God. Whether we easily get angry on the slightest provocation, we are like a bride, we act innocent, we are perverse, or we are violent, none of these makes a difference when it comes to receiving the remission of sin. Whatever comes out from our flesh cannot be helpful to our salvation, which is just absolutely and unilaterally given by God. Jesus has allowed us to be born into this world according to His providence. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we may not appear lovely to ourselves, but God has deemed us so very lovely that He has delivered us with His unconditional and unilateral love for us.
Do you believe that our Lord blotted out all our sins by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, which are the embodiments of His unconditional and absolute love? There is not even 0.1% of our own righteousness included in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In the hearts of the born-again, who have their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is the evidence of Truth of one’s salvation. However, there are still those who sadden the heart of our Lord by saying, “But Lord, I can’t believe this doubtful message. Although You say You have delivered me from all my sins, I still have my sins.” In the hearts of these people, there is no evidence of faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. But, you must know that God clearly declares, “He who does not believe God has made Him a liar” (1 John 5:10). Are you by any chance living your spiritual life with false faith that makes God a liar?
God has delivered us by His method of salvation through His unconditional love that is completed by the water, the blood and the Spirit: The water signifies the truth that all your sins have been washed away since all your sins were transferred onto Jesus when He received the baptism; the blood witnesses the truth that by taking all the sins of the world through the baptism He received, Jesus was able to bear all our sins onto the Cross, where He vicariously received the judgments for our sins and died; and the Spirit bears witness to the truth the Son of God has come in the flesh of man and unilaterally delivered all of humanity.
Put differently, the water testifies that God has blotted out all the sins of humanity by the baptism of Jesus, by which all the sins of the world was transferred onto Him; the blood testifies that when Jesus died on the Cross, all our sins died along with Him; and the Holy Spirit declares that Jesus has become our perfect Savior.
While God has wholly delivered us from our sins as such, those who do not fully believe in God are making fusses over their faith by insisting that they are still sinners. Whoever is acting this way now has not yet believed in Jesus Christ as his own Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even these people would be fully delivered from all their sins if they only believed in the witnesses of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit.
In the hearts of the people who believe in the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Spirit that has taken all our sins of the past, present, and future resides the Holy Spirit. And the very Holy Spirit witnesses that we have no more sin. Those who believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit have no sin at any point in time.
We cannot receive the full remission of sin, if we leave out any one of the three in our faith in the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Yet, some people have not believed in the entire witnesses of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit but believed in them selectively, leaving out one of the three or another. Because of that, they do not have the assurance in their hearts that they have been fully delivered from all their sins.
To those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that gospel becomes the evidence of their salvation. But to those who have not yet received salvation, the gospel of the water and the Spirit becomes the evidence of the fact that they have not yet received their salvation. If you have believed recklessly leaving out any of the three witnesses, you then surely have sins in your heart, and it is the concrete evidence of the fact that you have not yet received the remission of sin. And your hearts would be troubled by the remaining sins in your hearts. On the contrary, those who have been truly delivered from all their sins and have true freedom in their hearts are those who have believed in the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Spirit.
Jesus unilaterally has blotted out all our sins, even the smallest ones. Jesus did not consult with us beforehand but unilaterally blotted out all our sins. Just in case we may be embarrassed to answer, saying, “Please don’t ask. I can’t answer that,” Jesus unilaterally delivered sinners from all their sins by His own baptism of ‘the water’, ‘the blood’ shed on the Cross, and His being the Sacred Spirit. Dear fellow believers, do you believe in this? The purpose for which our Lord has blotted out all our sins was so that we may receive our eternal life. You must believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Eternal Life God Has Presented Us
The Apostle John is telling us these to let us know that we have the eternal life (1 John 5:13). He has recorded this Word so that we may know of our eternal life, which God has given us. Dear fellow Christians, to those who have received their salvation, there is the eternal life of Heaven.
Dear fellow believers, do you understand what the eternal life is like? The righteous shine evermore brightly like the rising sun (Proverbs 4:18). The eternal life entails that we will never die and will live forever. It is different from our current life that has a definite end. The eternal life has no end. Thinking about it again, the eternal life is almost beyond description. Because our bodies have not yet been resurrected, we still live lives in this finite world that is full of limits. Thus, the concept of living eternally without knowing death may seem so unreal to us.
There is no other way but to believe in God, who presents us with the eternal life, for we have not yet enjoyed the eternal life. I have lived over 50 years, yet still my life feels too short to know eternal life physically. However, in my faith, I have already attained the eternal life.
Dear fellow believers, the death we encounter in this world in the flesh is not the real end for us. For those who have been born-again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there will also be the resurrection of their bodies for the eternal life.
When a person dies in the world once, he is leaving his body temporarily. That is not an eternal death. The soul of a person will remain alive and stand trial before God for one’s sins. There we will stand in the crossroad between eternal life and eternal condemnation. Those who have been born-again and been washed away completely by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit receive the eternal blessed life. Those who have not been born-again and who still have sins in their hearts experience death one more time, being put into punishment of hell fire where even a maggot cannot die.
God will raise the born-again back to eternal life. And as God’s own people, they will eternally live in the Kingdom of Heaven. They will live eternally in transformed bodies, undying bodies, and unfading bodies just like that of the resurrected Jesus. That indeed is the eternal life.
The Born-again Find Peace by Remaining in God’s Commandments
We the born-again are happy and in peace when we abide in God’s commandments. When we keep and abide in the Word of the commandments to love God and other people, our hearts are delighted. We are bold in our hearts. We have peace in our hearts. And God’s glory and grace fill our hearts abundantly.
Still, we should caution ourselves so that there is no one who leaves God’s love and instead falls in love with a person who is not yet born-again out of one’s zeal to live by the commandments of loving God and other people. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should love others spiritually and properly. If we fail to do so, we will fall in fleshly love too passionately with those who have not yet realized this Truth.
There are times when our insufficiencies reveal their realities even after our being born-again and while we are trying to abide in God’s commandments. Do we not often fall short before God and other people? We surely do. Because even we the born-again are lacking, we sometimes commit sins.
I am a man of a quick temper. I show my bad temperaments sometimes especially when my body is ill. Even if I don’t show my temperaments to others, I am prone to show it to my wife. I get upset at things not worth getting upset about when I feel sick. It is difficult to be nice when my belly aches and I feel fatigued, not able to control my own body.
This probably is an example of a very small flaw of mine. There are many other things that my body and conscience point to me as my flaws. Are you saying, “How could a pastor do such things?” Actually, whenever I feel a pang on my conscience, I think about the baptism Jesus received, and pray to God: “My Lord, help me to be healthy so that I may spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit while living in this world. Although I am weak, I know I have to live in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and spread it all over the world. Oh Lord, I believe that You have taken away all my shortcomings. Because I believe that You, my Lord have taken all my sins away by the baptism You received, I pray to You now as I believe so.”
Just like this, I approach the Jordan River with my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). It’s always good to read about the baptism Jesus received, by which He took all our sins onto Himself. Because all my sins that bother my conscience have been transferred onto Jesus through the laying on of hands of John the Baptist when He baptized Jesus, my faith is emboldened instantly any time I read this passage of the Bible. As if I never felt that bad in the first place, I soon say, “Honey, let’s have dinner. I am sorry I ever was upset at you. Right? We need to go attend the evening service after our meal.”
Dear fellow believers, I hope that you realize that this baptism Jesus received is the salvation from God. We can not call ourselves “the righteous,” if it were not for the baptism Jesus received, just as we wouldn’t be able to talk about the abolishment of judgments without first mentioning Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross. The baptism Jesus received! Because Jesus received the baptism, we can approach with confidence before God at any time. Because Jesus received the baptism, we can stand firm in the Kingdom of God with a clear conscience as the 60 pillars that stood around the Tabernacle, professing, “Lord, I am a righteous. I am Your servant. I am one of Your own people.”
The believers are bold in their hearts because they believe in the Lord who has delivered them from all their sins by the water and the Spirit. Because Jesus took all our sins onto Himself through His baptism, we are able to live boldly and pray to God confidently. We have received our boldness by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Time and again we receive answers, when we pray. And we were able to live up until today by the grace of our Lord.
Some may argue against this Truth saying, “If you are called a righteous, surely you must not commit a single sin. Right?” That’s not how it is. We are called the righteous because we have believed in the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, and not because we do not commit any sin. You must acknowledge that even the born-again commit sins. We have to admit that each one of us commits various sins day in and day out.
We keep committing sins till the day we die. However, all those sins have been transferred onto Jesus. Weren’t your sins transferred? Yes, they were transferred when Jesus was baptized at the Jordan River. If your sins were transferred to Jesus already, do you still have sins or not? You no longer have any sin. When we say that all our sins were transferred, which time period are we talking about? Doesn’t the Bible say that all the sins of the world were transferred onto Jesus? If all the sins of the world were transferred onto Jesus, were not all the sins of our entire life transferred onto Jesus as well?
We are without any sin and can stand with confidence before God because all our sins that we have committed and will commit until the day we die were transferred onto the head of Jesus. Jesus, knowing that we will commit sins till the day we die, has taken onto Himself all our sins. If we say that we do not commit any sin, we make Jesus into a liar and further make Jesus’ righteousness into unrighteousness. We are able to say that we are sinless only through our faith. How could we ever confess such faith, if Jesus had not received the baptism?
Yet, there are so many false preachers in today’s Christianity. They teach their congregations not to sin any more. Their congregations are the people who come to church asking God to blot out all their sins because of the tremendous agony of sin. But such false teachers only admonish their followers to say the prayers of repentance, to make a huge amount of offerings, and to serve the community a lot instead of telling them the Word of the remission of sin. They are the predators eating the body and spirit of those who come seeking for God’s love and righteousness because they lack their own.
Dear fellow Christians, how could we, who are merely human, not commit any sin? How can we, who are merely human, not commit any sin with our bodies and conscience? We commit numerous sins. Then, how can we possibly say that we are also righteous? It is because Jesus in His unilateral and unconditional love became a human being by coming in the flesh of man, and because He then has completely taken care of all our sins and the judgments accorded to them by the water and the blood that we are called the righteous through our faith. We are the righteous. We have become the righteous through our faith. We are actually sinless. How could we still have sin, if all our sins were transferred onto Jesus?
“Did you see Jesus receiving the baptism? Did you see it?”
“Of course, I did.”
“How did you see that? Were you there?”
“Of course, I was there.”
“How can you be there? You are lying to me.”
“I have seen it through the Word of the Bible, the eternally unchanging Word of Truth. When I read the Word, it was written thus in the Bible.”
Dear fellow believers, we are made very bold by our faith in the written Word. We do not believe after having seen an illusion but rather after having seen and read the written Word.
Now, let’s take a look at today’s Scripture Passage from 1 John 5:16. “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death” (1 John 5:16-17).
There are two kinds of sins: One that leads to one’s death and another that does not lead to one’s death. One kind of sin does not lead to death, and the other leads to death in hell. All the sins we have committed in our weakness are blotted out and won’t lead us into hell. If so, do you know what sins actually lead to our eternal death?
Disbelief in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the embodiment of Jesus’ unconditional love, is the sin deserving of eternal destruction. Not believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which professes that Jesus came to this world and blotted out all our sins unconditionally with His baptism and the bloodshed on the Cross is the sin leading to death, that is, the sin deserving of eternal condemnation. The Apostle John is telling us about this.
In these days, there are too many nominal Christians who do not believe in the baptism Jesus received. Many of them think that Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist because He wanted to show us His humility. They argue that Jesus’ words of “You should baptize Me nonetheless” in response to the remarks of John the Baptist that “How could I dare to baptize You” is nothing but an expression of Jesus’ humility. It is heartbreaking to hear people say those untrue and false words so bluntly.
Dear fellow believers, don’t you see the words of Jesus that “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”? The word “all righteousness” signifies “perfect fairness or equity,” and the word “for thus” means “by the same method of laying on of the hands recorded in the Old Testament.” This passage professes that Jesus by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist has blotted out all the sins of the entire humanity through such a just method. Our Lord declares through this passage, “I have blotted out all your sins and made you the righteous. I have made it through the baptism received from John the Baptist. Now, whoever believes in this Truth will receive the complete salvation.”
This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do you now understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit? One of the original meanings of baptism is “to pass the sin.” Then, what do the words “for thus” mean? They mean “by means of Jesus’ baptism from John the Baptist.” Then, who is John the Baptist?
It is written in Matthews 11:11, “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.” John the Baptist is none other than the representative of all humanity. And he is also one of the descendants of Aaron, the High Priest (Luke 1:5, 1 Chronicles 24:10). John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus, was actually the High Priest, who as the representative of all humanity transferred all our sins onto Jesus.
What then did Jesus intend to accomplish by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist? Did He want to show the whole world His humility? It was not like that. The passage, “It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” is clearly saying that Jesus received the baptism so that everyone may be blotted out of all his or her sins. Jesus has completed the unconditional love of God the Father with His own body after having come to this world. He has delivered us from all our sins. He has thus fulfilled all righteousness as well as all of God’s love.
Dear fellow believers, not believing in the baptism Jesus received is equivalent of making Jesus into a liar. If you do not believe that we have received our salvation when Jesus justly took all our sins by receiving the baptism and that Jesus unilaterally blotted out all our sins, you are making fun of Jesus. Believing in Jesus while leaving out the baptism, or believing in Jesus while considering His baptism to be a sign of His humility, or believing in Jesus without knowing about the baptism at all are acts making fun of Jesus.
If, in your 10 or 50 years of Christian faith, you have been emotionally infatuated with sentiments such as “How much it must have hurt Jesus when He died on the Cross in my place,” you should turn around from your wrong way. You should turn away from your mistaken faith and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Of course, it must have hurt Jesus a lot, when He was crucified on the Cross. Like that, Jesus sacrificed His own body out of His unconditional love so that all our sins may be blotted out. If we had been in His place, for whom could we have ever possibly sacrificed us as such? Do you intend to make fun and make a liar of Jesus, who has offered even His own life for us? If not, you should know and believe correctly why Jesus had to die on the Cross and why He had to receive the baptism.
Dear fellow believes, let’s put ourselves in His shoes. Someone must die because of the sins he has committed. But I love that someone so dearly. So I say to that person, “Come out! I will die in your place. All problems will be solved if I substitute for you!” And I die in the place of that person. I am dying crucified on the Cross. How much would it hurt me?
Of course, we probably lack even the thought of sacrificing ourselves for someone else. Even if we can conceive sacrificing oneself for one’s lover as a beautiful moment, it would hurt physically nonetheless. If the person I am dying for does not know my intention for dying for him and just says, “It’s a shame that person has to die like that. How much it must have hurt him,” how would I feel? We might regret having died for him because of his utter ignorance.
Because Jesus loved us so much, He died in our place, who were destined to die. To actually deliver us from all our sins, Jesus received the baptism before He died on the Cross. Jesus died on the Cross shedding His blood after He received the baptism hoping that we would become the children of God and receive the remission of sin by knowing and believing why Jesus was crucified.
With His dying breath, He said, “I love you. Although I die, I still love you. Because I love you, I die in your place.” Dear fellow believers, this is the unconditional love of Jesus. Now, we must receive the remission of sin by believing in that unconditional love of Jesus.
Could we human ever do such a thing? We may possibly do so for a righteous person. Even so, it is beneficial for the both of us only if I can set the person free by sacrificing myself with an agreement with the executioner: “I will receive the punishment this person deserves in his place, so transfer all his sins onto me and judge me instead of this person.”
Dear fellow believers, am I right or not? Without consulting the executioner, if I unilaterally said to the condemned criminal, “Come out! Come on. I will die in your place,” would that expunge that person’s sins? Not at all. Only when the sins are transferred onto me from the sinner can I save that person and die in his place. If I did not do so but died unilaterally, it would be a waste of my life. What benefits would be there in such a death? There is not benefit for the other person unless there is a certain agreement or a promise between the two parties.
But, God had established His just law in the sacrificial system that a person’s sins are blotted out by laying one’s hands on the sacrifice and by shedding its blood. And Jesus had to receive the baptism and die shedding His blood on the Cross according to God’s just Law. If we leave out any one of those from our faith, we would not be able to receive the remission of sin, even if God is willing, because such is only a lawless faith.
Satan the Devil has brought the sin into us humans. Satan the Devil had deceived us to disobey the Word of God. Sin that had thus come into us brought death, because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Humans had to die before God.
However, although sin was brought to human because of the Devil, Jesus received the baptism to take the wages of sin, which the Devil had brought to people, because He loved us. And by receiving the judgments in our place, Jesus delivered those He loved from all the judgments accorded to their sins. Thus, we must know and believe the reason why Jesus received the baptism.
Dear fellow believers, why did Jesus receive the baptism? He received the baptism to take our sins away from us and unto Himself. Why did Jesus die on the Cross shedding His blood? Jesus died on the Cross crucified so that He may vicariously receive all the judgments of our sins in our place. Dear fellow Christians, do you believe this? We have been delivered by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. We have to believe that God delivered us from all our sins by doing these two things.
Some Christians are still insisting, “I believe only in the Cross and don’t believe in the baptism Jesus received. I don’t know. I have never heard of it.” Are you not acting like this? We should not believe without any discernment on the true gospel. If you have not heard about Jesus’ baptism before, you need to listen to it now. Listen and believe now and receive your salvation.
The Apostle John said, “All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death” (1 John 5:17). All unrighteousness is sin. Every wrongdoing is sin. Look at your own hands. When we do good and beautiful deeds, witness, and aid with these hands, our hands are good. But hurting people and doing bad deeds with these hands, they are merely the instruments of sin.
Still, the Scripture says that there are sins not leading to death. How could a sin not lead to death? Because God has already borne all our sins out of His love, there are sins not leading to death. The only sin that leads to death is the sin of disbelief in Jesus’ salvation that was accomplished by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Not believing that Jesus took all our sins when He received the baptism, and not believing that Jesus received all the judgments for our sins when He died on the Cross are the sins leading the sinners to death.
All the iniquities that we commit within our thought and with our flesh are also sins before God. But, these sins do not lead us to death because our Lord has taken all those sins of the world through His baptism. After receiving the baptism, John the Baptist testified about Him, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
Sins that we commit in our bodies, that we commit in our hearts, and that sting our consciences—all these sins of the world have been taken care of by Jesus, when received the baptism at the Jordan River. Jesus thus took all our sins by receiving the baptism and bore all our sins onto the death on the Cross, where He ended His earthly life of 33 years. Jesus uttered the words, “It is finished,” as He died. And He finished all judgments of our sins. Like that, Jesus delivered us from all our sins by the water and the blood.
Dear fellow believers, we should not commit sins leading to death. Is there anyone thinking, “Why is there sin in me if I believed in Jesus? It is strange, very strange. Why would there be sin if I believe?” What such believers are saying is that they don’t know why there are sins in their hearts even if they believe well, try to live by the Word, and say so many prayers of repentance. It is because they did not know or did not believe in the reason Jesus received the baptism.
In believing in Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Savior, it is most important to know and believe in the baptism Jesus received. The remission of sin without Jesus’ baptism is like a corndog without the hotdog sausage. Gospel without the baptism is like a clock without the hands of the clock. Salvation without the baptism is like a head without any brain. Dear fellow believers, do you understand me? The sin that disqualifies a person from the remission of sin and thus leads to hell is the sin of not believing in the baptism, the Cross, and the resurrection of Jesus altogether as one. This is not something I tell you on my own but what the Word of God says.
1 John 5:18 says, “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” It said that those who have received the salvation born of God do not commit any sin. We who are born-again are incapable of committing some kind of sin. Which sin? It means that we cannot deny the salvation from all my sins Jesus accomplished by the water and the blood. Do you understand?
We cannot deny the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you commit any sin after you have received the remission of sin, it is entirely your fault, but the salvation Jesus has granted you cannot be nullified by it. If we commit any sins in our bodies and thoughts while still living in this flesh, they are just due to our insufficiencies, and there is nothing wrong with the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Spirit. All of these sins can be taken care of anytime, when we approach the Jordan River with our faith.
Satan the Devil provokes and tempts us often while we are stilling living in the flesh on this world. Although we never completely yield into those temptations, we sometimes come close. If we say, “I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t,” we have already fallen into the temptation and committed a sin by heart. Then, such sins sting our consciences. Do you understand? However, our Lord within us protects us.
“Hey! You! Aren’t you a righteous? Do you have any sin or not?”
“I don’t have any sin, Lord.”
“Then why are you so hesitant?”
“Lord, that is because I am so weak.”
“Still, am I not your Lord and Savior? Why are you so downtrodden? Don’t be. What do you lack, if I have become your Lord and Savior? Does My salvation lack anything, although I did it out of My unconditional love for you?”
“No. Not at all, Lord.”
“Then, be of good cheer!”
Our Lord is patting on our shoulders to cheer up and He is protecting us. Then, how the wicked one could dare touch us? The Bible said, “And the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).
Dear fellow believers, truly the wicked one cannot touch those who are born-again by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, like the Apostle John was. Although we may do wrongs in our bodies, we are fundamentally incapable of denying Jesus. We cannot deny the salvation Jesus granted us, which was accomplished with the unconditional love of Jesus by the water and the blood. We cannot reverse the fact that we have become God’s own children. We cannot say that I have become sinners again. That’s right. We may be insufficient as people are insufficient, but Jesus can never be insufficient. Because our perfect Lord is protecting us, the wicked one dare not touch us.
Thus, whoever perverts this gospel have problem in their faith in the baptism of water Jesus received. If a person has problem with his faith in the baptism, he inadvertently emphasizes his deeds and his own righteousness. And he tries to cling on to the Christian doctrines. He tries to hold one or some selected verses as the most important. That is not what true faith is like. Only when we have the right faith in the baptism, our holding onto specific Scripture verses does not matter. And though we may be weak, the salvation we have received is perfect.
Dear fellow believers, the love of Jesus is unconditional, truthful, and perfect. By the unilateral, merciful and absolute love of our Lord, we were delivered from all our sins. The salvation you and I have received is not insufficient, but rather perfect. Because Jesus loved us unilaterally, He has made us into God the Father’s own people. And thus, our salvation was accomplished. He dwells within us in the entity of the Holy Spirit. By the Holy Spirit, He makes us realize the meanings of the Bible. The Holy Spirit becomes our teacher who clarifies everything for us. And the Holy Spirit is leading us. I feel strongly about the ways the Holy Spirit teaches you as your teacher.
1 John 5:19 says, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” There are two kinds of people practicing their faith: those who belong to God and others who belong to the world. Whether they believe in Buddhism, Christianity, or something else, people who practice religion can be divided into these two categories. Likewise, even the Christians can be divided into these two categories. Those people that belong to God and others who belong to the world! The people who belong to the world belong to the Devil.
Those people who belong to God have received the remission of sin by believing in the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, which are the expression of God’s unconditional love. They live joyfully, though they may be weak, because they are grateful for the free gift of salvation from God. Those who were born again through their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit belong to God. They belong to God by believing in the unconditional love of Jesus and in the salvation achieved by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. However, those who do not believe in any of these belong to the world.
I cannot but profess my thanks to the Lord like this: “Lord, I am utterly nothing. I am an acorn in dog food. I am merely a good-for-nothing fellow, and I have nothing to boast before You. Although I may be so weak as such, You are perfect. Thank You Lord. Yes, Lord. How could I ever make up for Your grace, no matter how hard I try? Could I ever gain You grace through my deeds, no matter how well I behave? That’s right, Lord. Lord, Your Words are too perfect, complete, pure, and delicate. Your love of salvation is truly amazing. It is too perfect.”
In Psalms 18:30, David declared, “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” God’s Word is truly pure, perfect, and delicate. He has given us His perfect salvation, which is written in His detailed Word. Therefore, if you daily confess your faith while believing only in Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross, your faith is incomplete and futile. You may ask why. It is because sins in your hearts still remain with such faith.
Do you coerce yourself to believe in the Truth? Do you need such an effort to believe in the Truth? Is it really necessary for us to put such efforts, when God has already completed our salvation? There is nothing else we can do but to be grateful and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which professes that our Lord in His unconditional love has delivered us by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Since we only have to respond to and agree with His love of salvation, by saying, “Yes, You’re right. Thank You Lord. I appreciate Your love! Amen,” it is quite plain and simple.
1 John 5:20-21 states, “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen”
Dear fellow believers, we have become God’s own children and people belonging to God by our faith in our Lord-given salvation, which was accomplished through the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Spirit. I am truly thankful that we have become people belonging to God instead of belonging to the Devil. God has granted us an understanding so that we may know, believe, and follow God.
Dear fellow believers, I cannot tell you how insufficient I am. I am so weak that when I look at myself, I tell myself, “You wretched human!” I say this not because I have committed some kind of a terrible sin but because there is nothing perfect about me when I look at myself. Do I actually even keep the mealtime? Or do I even remember things well? Whenever I see a beautiful woman passing by, I try to have a glimpse of it one more time. And I delight in someone else’s flaws. That’s me.
“You wretched human, why are you so weak?” There is nothing whole about me though, I can confess, “Lord, How perfect You are! How is it that my salvation is not shaken, although I am weak as such? Your salvation is so precious and certain.” Although we are weak, we are certain about the salvation our Lord has granted us.
Dear fellow believers, in this age we need to live in a clear understanding. We need to have the right realization of and the correct faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because we are not assured of salvation by merely believing without first knowing the baptism Jesus received and the bloodshed on the Cross, we more desperately need to have God-given ability of understanding. When we have the right understanding and the right realization, we can taste the true love of God. And we are also enabled to live abiding by God’s commandments in His love.
Who dares to say that you can receive the remission of sin without first believing in the baptism Jesus received? Who is saying that one can receive one’s salvation before God without the Cross of Jesus? Who in this world is so bold and yet so utterly ignorant? Who dares to say that you can receive your salvation before God by the bloodshed of the Cross alone without the baptism Jesus received? Those who say that you can receive your salvation even if you leave out any of the baptism and blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are falsely witnessing.
Have you received your remission of sin despite leaving out the baptism Jesus received? Those who are certain of their salvation despite of leaving out the baptism Jesus received have deceived themselves. God will not acknowledge the faith of such persons. Believing while leaving out either the baptism or the Cross is merely a personal determination, and such faith will never be acknowledged before Jesus. Could someone attain salvation without believing in the baptism Jesus received? Such a thing is not possible at all.
Dear fellow believers, can we say that our sins were transferred to Jesus, although they were not? We wouldn’t be able to do so. I am telling you so because I truly have no more sin in my heart. If I could really receive the remission of all my sins by believing in the Cross alone without the baptism of Jesus, why would I talk so much about both the baptism and the Cross simultaneously? If we can attain true salvation by believing somehow in anything, why have I been telling you the two elements of the baptism and the Cross? It is difficult to adhere even if told you just one of them. So when I tell you that we should believe in both of them, you have to realize that it is not my own insistence but what the Word of God requires.
I also had believed only in the Cross of Jesus for a while in my life. I believed in that one element for about 10 years. I was able to tell others about the Cross, but I was unable to share about Jesus’ baptism. And I myself remained a sinner before God.
But after I realized about the baptism of Jesus, I noticed that God had talked about the baptism all along both in the Old and New Testaments. My God! I was upset and full of regrets when I realized that I had been sharing a false gospel till then. I made up my mind: “If I had known the gospel of the water and the Spirit earlier, to how many people could I have witnessed the true gospel over the last 10 years? Still, let’s be thankful since I have finally realized the real gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and am able to share it with others.”
After I was born again, I live sharing the Word of Truth with a joyful heart and have great appetites. And whenever my brothers or sisters have troubles, I encourage them to pray for the matters. Although I cannot pray much because of my weary body, I pray, “Lord Jesus, You have to fill these needs for us. Please, fill our needs.”
Dear fellow believers, is there anyone who persists that he has received his salvation from all his sins without first believing in the baptism Jesus received? There is not a single person. Not even one.
Even the Apostle Paul states that he has received the remission of sin by the baptism Jesus received. And that he has been delivered from the judgments of his sins by the bloodshed of the Cross (Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:27). Peter also says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). The Apostle John also says that he has received the salvation by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5: 5-8). He also maintains that the evidence of the remission of sin is in the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should believe about our salvation as such as well. Do you believe as such? Yes, I am sure you do.
Dear fellow believers, if your faith had fallen short so far, let’s believe according to the written Word of the water and the Spirit from now on. Let’s believe in the baptism of Jesus and His bloodshed as recorded in our Lord-given Word.
Our Lord has delivered sinners from all their sins by coming in the flesh of man, receiving the baptism and shedding His blood on the Cross. I believe that Jesus has delivered all sinners by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit.
We truly give thanks to our God in our true faith. Halleluiah!