“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
I have dealt with some issues in Galatians so far, but to address the Book of Galatians more in-depth, I still need to give more sermons. It’s because the Word in Galatians is that much abundant with spiritual lessons that must be dealt with.
The background that made the Apostle Paul inevitably write the Epistle to the Galatians was as follows: As there were some circumcisionists in the churches of Galatia who had come in from Judaism, they were confusing the faith of the believers in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why the Apostle Paul said, “The gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12), and he also described himself as “an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)” (Galatians 1:1). The Apostle Paul made it clear that neither the gospel he had nor his apostleship came from man, but from God.
Paul confessed that he was crucified with Christ and resurrected with Him. He said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). In other words, Paul’s overall message was that it is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that everyone receives spiritual baptism to die with Jesus Christ and be born again into a new life.
When we read the Book of Galatians, we need to know and understand the situation that the churches of Galatia were facing at that time, and grasp that Paul was speaking about the fallacious faith of the circumcisionists. Their mistaken, legalistic faith has been passed down to this present age, and the result of its evolution is none other than the faith of prayers of repentance. Strictly speaking, Christians in this age believe that they are washed from their sins through their own prayers of repentance, but Paul made it clear that this faith is also corrupt.
We have to realize here that the gospel preached by Paul is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, whoever wants to meet the Savior Jesus Christ must first know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. It is when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are able to die with Jesus Christ and be brought back to life with Him. And those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can lead their lives of faith according to this gospel through their true faith.
While interpreting and preaching on the Book of Galatians, I was once again reminded of how we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have received such tremendous spiritual blessings from God. Moreover, the Epistle to the Galatians is the Word of Truth that shows us that there is fallaciousness in the faith of today’s Christians, who claim to wash away their sins through their own prayers of repentance. This Word was written originally to explain why the legalistic faith stemming from Judaism that had afflicted the Early Church believers was in error, but it also was aimed at exposing the fallacy of the doctrine of repentance that many Christians in this age believe in now.
It is an extremely important and critical ministry for us to spread the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit on the one hand, and to point out people’s mistaken faith on the other. If God had not written the Book of Galatians, it would not have been possible today to realize how prayers of repentance constitute such a fallacious doctrine. Without the Book of Galatians, in other words, we would not have been able to successfully demonstrate that the doctrine claiming to wash away people’s sins through prayers of repentance is inaccurate. In that case, we could not have led countless people to the upright faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Very fortunately, however, we do have the Word of Truth that enables us to discern correctly what is right from what is wrong.
First of all, we must understand the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. We will then realize that it is an utterly fallacious belief to think that people are washed from their sins by offering their own prayers of repentance. By drawing an example from the fallacious faith of the circumcisionists, the Apostle Paul is lucidly explaining to us the fallacies of prayers of repentance. How fortunate are we that the Apostle Paul is pinpointing the contradiction of prayers of repentance and explaining it to us? We, too, are now able to explain to today’s Christians who adhere to the mistaken faith of prayers of repentance the errors of their faith. Since we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have now come to be able to prove the fallacy of the doctrine of prayers of repentance, it has now become a whole lot easier to spread this genuine gospel.
In the last chapter of Ecclesiastes, the Bible says, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). That is indeed the case, for there is no end with our literature ministry. Once we have begun this ministry, we have to supply the next books in due time. Colloquial words can be quickly corrected if mistakes are made, and as long as people can understand each other, poor sentence construction is not such a huge problem in a conversation. In contrast, writing requires us to use formal language to ensure precise expression of the meaning we are trying to convey. Crude sentences can lead the readers to the distortion of the meaning. That’s why writing is so arduous.
Nonetheless, such a literature ministry is still absolutely indispensable, and that is why we are publishing our books. I have every confidence that the literature ministry is the most effective means of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And we are so happy and grateful that God has entrusted this work to you and me. The literature ministry is very useful for us to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So we can’t be lazy at this work, and we thank God even more for entrusting us with this work.
An uncultivated land is called fallow land. Many weeds grow on fallow land. To resume cultivating a field that had lied fallow for several years, a farmer must plow the old soil first of all, and then remove weeds, shrubs, and thorns. If he sows seeds without doing this, then the seeds won’t be able to put down roots because of the shrubs and thorns, and even if some seeds reach the ground and plant roots, they will eventually be crowded out by the shrubs and wither away.
Like this, if we want to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world, we cannot just sow the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the fields of people’s hearts that are in ruin. That’s because people’s hearts are like fallow land, filled with many false doctrines, and so if the seed of life, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is just sowed on top of this land, it will all perish away, no matter how good it is. That is why, when we try to cultivate the realm of faith, we also must first pull out weed-like fallacious beliefs, and then sow the gospel seed of the water and the Spirit. We have carefully gone through this step, preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world very methodically to this day.
Through the sermons on the Tabernacle, we have testified in great detail that only the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the real Truth. Like this, only when we explain in detail exactly how the faith of today’s Christians is wrong can they consent to our teachings and return to the right faith. Therefore, in each language of every nation and tribe, we must first explain from where their faith has gone astray, and we must prove the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them, it is wise to point out the fallacies of their faith in detail. That’s because while everyone may go astray in acts, no one should ever go astray when it comes to faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
So I would like to make it clear here just how wrong the faith of today’s Christians is, who try to receive the remission of their sins by offering prayers of repentance. And I also want to make it unmistakably clear that through their mistaken faith, they can never be remitted from their sins before God. Like the fallacious faith of the circumcisionists in the churches of Galatia who claimed that the saints could become God’s people only if they were circumcised, today’s belief that prayers of repentance are indispensable is also a fallacious belief. We must explain the fallacy of the doctrine of repentance to everyone, and on those who accept our explanation, we must plant the gospel seed of the water and the Spirit. Only then will the seed finally be sown properly, sprout, grow, and bear fruit. While it’s hard when we are doing this work, when we look at the fruits of our labor, we cannot help but thank God.
When we read the Book of Galatians, we can understand the fundamental difference between the true gospel and the false gospels, and so it is very helpful to our lives of faith. Through the Book of Galatians, we have also made much progress in our faith. The Lord taught us to realize how the other gospels sprang into being. I believe that God has blessed His Church, and that He has enabled you and me to discern the true gospel from the false ones and to guard against them.
There is an order to everything. When someone builds a house, he first lays down a firm foundation, and then works to lay bricks or raise pillars. Likewise, there is also an order when it comes to the work of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. A gospel preacher should not just preach the gospel in whatever way he wants, but he must explain it step by step to ensure that everyone can fully understand. In other words, we have to change people’s faith and hearts step by step in due time.
First of all, to do so we need to have sufficient knowledge of the Bible; secondly, we need to explain the gospel in appropriate terms suitable to our audience; thirdly, we need to teach them thoroughly in detailed biblical terms; and lastly, we need to wait for them to cast aside their fallacious faith by themselves and return to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And with those who thus return to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we should unite our hearts to share our common faith in the Truth with yet more people and lead them appropriately.
I am so happy that we are able to do these things. I am grateful that God has allowed us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world and that He has carried out such works through His Church.
Cure the Misbelievers from Their Mistaken Faith
Let us read Galatians 6:1 together: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Here now, the Apostle Paul is bringing his letter to a close. Having correctly pointed out the fallacious faith of the circumcisionists, Paul is now concluding his letter with his words of admonishment once again imparted to the saints. Paul’s closing words here are still mindful of the advocates of circumcision. That is why he said, “If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1). When we deal with those who have fallen into mistaken beliefs, rather than seeking to drive them all out, we should also awaken them to their mistakes, teach them the Truth, and admonish them to believe properly.
Paul said, “Considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” He said this because any of us can go astray. In fact, if God does not teach His Word through His Church, anyone’s faith can go astray. Shortcomings of a saint, in and of themselves, cannot actually be the problem because they have all been resolved by the Lord Jesus. The biggest wrongdoing before God is to corrupt His Word and spread fallacious beliefs.
As a matter of fact, if anyone interprets God’s Word without realizing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he may add his own thoughts to the Word of God and misinterpret it based on his mistaken knowledge. That’s why Christian sinners are prone to teach the Word fallaciously. This will be more than enough to corrupt the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, God did not want to leave such people alone. So, having raised men of faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and appointing them as His servants in His Church, God is now guarding the gospel of Truth from corruption. That is how God ensures that His Church marches on the spiritually correct path, and inspires it to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit properly to everyone.
As the Apostle Paul said, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2), we must bear each other’s burdens. If we have done something wrong, we must correct each other, and we must fulfill the law of Christ by uniting with one another. To do so, we must share the true fellowship of faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have to help many souls to be saved from their sins, and these souls in turn must preach the gospel to yet more people, so that everyone in this world may be saved. When Paul told us to bear one another’s burdens, he meant that we should bear one another’s burdens in serving the gospel. In other words, he was telling us to share each other’s burdens in leading the saints properly, so that we may enable many to receive the remission of sin, and to avoid discord in God’s Church.
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:3, “If anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Put differently, if anyone thinks that he is fully matured spiritually, when in fact nothing of spiritual faith is reached, then he is deceiving himself.
The notion during the Early Church period that people can somehow become God’s people by receiving circumcision from the circumcisionists is complete nonsense. The Apostle Paul said clearly, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). Compared to Paul’s faith, the faith of the advocates of physical circumcision is indeed nothing. For Abraham also, it was not by receiving physical circumcision that God approved his faith. It’s because of his faith, as it is written, “Abraham believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).
When we believe in God’s gospel Word, we attain the clear evidence of becoming God’s people, and that is none other than spiritual circumcision. When God told Abraham to be circumcised, this may be interpreted as physical circumcision, but God was actually speaking of spiritual circumcision. Spiritual circumcision is to cut off our hearts’ sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ. That is the real faith of spiritual circumcision. As such, we should realize that the belief that we must be physically circumcised to become God’s people apart from believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a corrupted belief, and the belief prevailing in this age that the remission of sin is received by offering prayers of repentance is also corrupt.
Therefore, if you think that you have become righteous, even as you have not become anything at all, then you must now once again accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit innocently, and be completely born again in this genuine gospel. Placing your faith in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, you must pass all your sins to Jesus Christ and be resurrected with Him. We all must die with Jesus Christ by faith and rise from the dead again in order to truly become God’s people.
Today’s Christians have the misconceived notion that they have been saved just by believing in Jesus Christ’s blood on the Cross alone, and they also believe that the sins they have committed after being saved can be remitted away by offering prayers of repentance. This is a huge problem. Do their sins really disappear, just because they offer prayers of repentance? Their consciences can only say no. Yet even so, they still believe like this, and therefore this is a self-deceiving, false faith. They must now throw away such beliefs by themselves. This kind of faith will not make them righteous.
The faith that relies only on the precious blood of the Cross is inevitably accompanied by the false doctrine of repentance, which claims that one must be washed from his sins by offering prayers of repentance. That is because if one believes only in Jesus’ precious blood, he has no choice but to try to wash away his sins by himself all in vain, for he cannot comprehend the power of the baptism of Jesus that takes away all his sins, and therefore he has never passed them onto Jesus. If you can’t believe that your sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist, then it is forever impossible for you to receive the remission of your sins. And this will lead you to offer prayers of repentance everyday, trying to wash away your sins. Furthermore, you will come to also believe in the false Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification that claims one is sanctified day after day and completely transformed at his death. In contrast, however, if you understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you will realize, “Oh, all my sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist!”
You need to know why today’s Christianity has been so darkened. All this is because to this day virtually all Christians have believed only in the blood of the Cross and lived by the mistaken faith that their personal sins are washed away through their own prayers of repentance. The spirituality of today’s Christianity is getting darker and darker because they have misconceived and misbelieved that they are gradually sanctified by trying to live a godly life, and that they will thus go and stand before God in a sinless state in both body and spirit. There is no way that people can actually realize this. Such people’s faith is a failed faith that cannot accomplish anything. Such a faith is one that God cannot approve.
To believe in a doctrine of man’s own making, instead of believing in this Truth, that God has saved sinners through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is a faith that can never save anyone from sin. It is precisely because today’s Christianity adheres to its own man-made faith that despite the many sprawling church buildings and increasing membership, it is not only completely devoid of any spiritual power, but is constantly criticized by society. That is why even in Christian countries, Christianity is unable to exercise any influence over the declining societies. Christianity is capable of neither changing society nor changing people’s hearts. At most, it exercises political influence based on its large size of membership. Take a look for yourselves. Aren’t the acts of Christians and non-Christians the same? It’s because Christians believe in something else other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit that their faith is incapable of exercising any power in their actual lives, and that is why the age of darkness perpetuates.
Today’s Christians who believe only in the blood of the Cross and are relying on their own prayers of repentance must realize that they are nothing, and even now, believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All those who believe that they have received the remission of their sins by offering prayers of repentance have not seen in themselves any spiritual changes at all to this day. If you have believed only in the blood of the Cross so far, you have to realize that you have not received the remission of sin and failed to achieve anything at all. And you must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thus reach your true salvation from all sins. We must be able to discern the true gospel from the false ones.
Let us turn to Galatians 6:4-5. “Let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.” When we consider ourselves before God, each of us needs to examine his own work. “Have I truly received the remission of my sins from God? Did all my sins really pass onto Jesus Christ when He was baptized by John the Baptist? Did I pass my sins to Jesus through my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit?” When one considers these questions, if he has indeed been saved from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, not in someone else. And as Paul also told us here, “Each one shall bear his own load,” one’s salvation from sin should also be received by each, and God’s work should also be carried by each. After all, is there anyone else who would believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit on your behalf? No, there is none!
Even though the Bible makes it clear that prayers of repentance are, few actually realize this properly and turn around from their corrupted way. If someone knows that he cannot receive the remission of his sins through his own prayers of repentance, and yet despite this he himself does not throw away his misplaced faith in prayers of repentance, then he will remain unable to be remitted from his sins until the end, for he does not understand the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Even though many people try to understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they still do not cast aside their existing mistaken knowledge, and that is why they cannot reach true salvation. Although you may be able to say to others that you have been saved from sin, many of you would not be able to say the same to yourselves. A sinner’s conscience condemns his soul constantly, accusing, “You are still a sinner,” and therefore he is incapable of having any rejoicing in himself.
That is why Christians all over the world must turn around from the mistaken belief that they are washed from their sins by offering prayers of repentance. They must turn to the right place, so that they may have rejoicing in themselves. So they must be able to say, “I may not know much, but at least I believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the real gospel, and all other gospels besides this gospel are false gospels.”
Anyone who has been born again must know and believe as follows: “Everyone who preaches anything other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit is compromised! Only this gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. Even though my acts are insufficient, at least I believe in this, and so I can take pride in Jesus Christ.” The people of faith, in other words, must be able to boast to themselves about their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God’s gift, and the faith of salvation that God has given them. We ourselves must believe, “The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Word of Truth and a precious gift,” and we must have the faith that enables us to take pride in this gospel.
Do you believe that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the real Truth? Are you now sure that the doctrine espousing prayers of repentance as a conduit to the remission of sin is wrong? Do you realize clearly the fallacy of the belief that the remission of sin is received only through the blood of the Cross? You have to reach a clear understanding of these facts. We have to know that the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we believe in is the real Truth, but we also have to know the reason why we say prayers of repentance are wrong. Frustrated by the circumcisionists’ claim that one could be saved by physical circumcision, the Apostle Paul said that they would all go to hell. In this age also, God’s servants are also saying out of their frustration, “You will be cursed to hell if you believe in prayers of repentance.”
When I see Christians, I realize just how empty their hearts are. As God said, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2), Christians today indeed have no faith. For those who believe that their sins are blotted out through prayers of repentance, their hearts have no faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore without the gospel of Truth, it is inevitable for their hearts to be nearly empty.
Like them, there was a time when my heart also sighed in emptiness. But since lamentation alone could not achieve anything, I looked for the Truth that could fill my void. In the end, I encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit from the Word of God, and when I believed in this Truth, all my heart’s emptiness disappeared completely. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth that everyone must find while living in this world.
Today, most Christians are leading their lives of faith in emptiness and in vain, for there is sin in their hearts. A while ago, there was a talented gospel singer. I once saw him on TV praising, and the lyrics of his praise were simply wonderful. But not long ago, I heard the tragic news that he committed suicide. Even though he had spoken about salvation to others and sang beautiful praises, the Truth of real salvation was not in his heart. He killed himself because his heart was void. Those whose hearts do not have the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit can never fill this emptiness with anything else.
All of us must believe, in each of our hearts, that Jesus Christ is our Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must believe that only the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth of real salvation that God has given to us all. Therefore, we must have the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we must also have faith in this genuine gospel.
Take a look. Today’s faith in the blood of the Cross alone ultimately rejects the Truth of the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist. Didn’t the doctrine of repentance, which people today rely on, come from this faith that’s placed only in the blood of the Cross? Furthermore, didn’t the Doctrine of Incremental Sanctification also stem from the faith of believing in the blood of the Cross alone? Can we find any proper faith from the hearts of those who believe only in the blood of the Cross? We can find another nonsensical doctrine, namely the Doctrine of Unconditional Election, from their hearts: Many theologians and pastors devotedly adhere to Calvin’s so-called “Doctrine of Unconditional Election,” which espouses that God chose some unconditionally while he did not choose others. Does such a doctrine make any sense? Is God such an unjust God?
If you put on the first button wrong, then you are bound to put on all the remaining buttons incorrectly. You have to realize that if you just believe in Jesus without knowing the fallacies of today’s Christian doctrines, then your faith is only grasping for air, and you will lead a completely useless life of faith for your entire lifetime only to be cast into hell in the end.
Martin Luther triggered the Reformation by bluntly criticizing the Catholic Church’s claim that people could be washed from sin if they bought indulgence. All that Luther did, however, was just pointing out certain mistakes of the church to which he belonged at the time, not by advocating the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Literally, he was only the starting point of a “religious reformation” and not a “reformation of faith itself.” If he had realized that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth, and if he had launched a “reformation of faith” in its true sense, Christianity would not have remained only as one of the religions of the world as it is now. So although the Reformation was carried out in many countries subsequent to the sixteenth century, there were no people of true faith who preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
A lifeless church is inevitably destined to be institutionalized and secularized. See for yourself. Aren’t Protestant clergymen increasingly clothing themselves like priests nowadays, following the Catholic Church’s dress code? Even worse, I heard that there are some denominations that emphasize the ritual of Holy Communion so much that it is performed at every worship service, and that some of them actually believe in the Doctrine of Transubstantiation advocated by the Catholic Church. All these are fake beliefs. And they are the evidence of the fact that the Reformation has achieved nothing.
Jesus said in John 6:55, “For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” Our Lord described His body as our bread of life. That’s because through the baptism of John the Baptist, Jesus took all the sins of the world upon His body once and for all, died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and has thereby become our Savior. It’s because the Lord blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He described His body as the bread of true life. As such, the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, which teaches that the wafer actually turns into the flesh of Jesus when the priest blesses it, and that people can obtain the bread of life when they eat this wafer, is wrong. Although we eat the bread and drink the wine in communion, this does not mean that the bread of life is obtained through the acts of this ritual.
When Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” the Lord said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:28-29). To believe in what was fulfilled by Jesus whom the Father sent is to do the work of God the Father. Who is Him whom God the Father sent? He is none other than Jesus Christ. What did Jesus Christ do when He came to this earth? He was baptized by John the Baptist, shed His precious blood on the Cross to die, rose from the dead again, and has thus saved us completely. To believe that Jesus Christ took upon our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, that He died on the Cross while shouldering the sins of the world, and that He has thereby saved you and me is none other than doing God’s work. The first requirement is that we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your hearts, then you will have something to be proud of in each of your hearts. However, if you don’t believe, then you will have nothing to be proud of. That is why each of us must bear his burden of faith. Each on his own must know and believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s because you are unable to discern false doctrines or the words of frauds that God has established His servants and through them taught you why these things are untrue. Nonetheless, it is still your responsibility to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
You Must Be with the Believers in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
The Apostle Paul said the following in Galatians 6:6. “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.” When those who teach the Word of God believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach this gospel to you, then you must also unite your hearts with those who lead you. If those who are taught do not follow the faith of their spiritual fathers who teach them, then they cannot share in good things.
It is clearly not the case that we are to become God’s children by receiving physical circumcision. The Galatian saints had to throw away their belief in such a false doctrine. You, too, need to realize, “So it’s a wrong faith to believe that the remission of sin is received through prayers of repentance.” And in your hearts, you must hold steadfast to the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. If you say, “But I don’t think so,” and reject the God-given Truth, then you will be cast into the fire of hell. Heaven and hell depend on your choice.
We must acknowledge that God has established His servants inside the Church, and follow them by faith. A true leader is someone who preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit, while someone who does not preach this gospel is no more than a wage earner. I admonish you all to realize that the leaders who preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit are God’s servants who are appointed by God Himself. Do you believe this? No matter how insufficient I might be, it is God who has raised me to stand before you. It’s not because I am wise, but it is because God has given me the gospel of the water and the Spirit prior to you that I am doing His work, and it is God who has raised me as a leader to preach His Word.
If I believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach it, you need to recognize me as your leader and trust in me. And when I, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach to you, say, “Prayers of repentance are corrupt. You must throw them away,” you then have to understand so and believe so. That is a truly upright faith. The Apostle Paul, a leader of the Early Church, preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but some people rejected his teachings by claiming that they could become God’s people if they were physically circumcised. Was their faith the right faith? No, Paul rebuked such people for their fallacy.
The Apostle Paul said, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.” What, then, are the good things that those who teach the Word have? They are to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, reject the false doctrines, and follow the will of God despite our insufficiencies. We must share in these things together. While we obviously shouldn’t share in the bad things that the church leaders have, we should share in the good things. This is only too self-evident, yet there are many who can’t do this. Many people believe each on his own, rather than emulating their leaders in God’s Church. But does faith grow in this way? No, it doesn’t.
Why do students go to school? If a student wants to study all on his own without listening to his teacher, what’s the point of going to school? It would be better for him to just go to the library and study all by himself. The reason why there are teachers is so that those who learnt first would lead the students as their guides. Once a student is led by a teacher, he can understand more easily, and once he learns once, he can, from then on, do it by himself.
Just as teachers are needed at school, in God’s Church, God’s servants are needed. Without such leaders, spiritual death will come. Without the leaders, the congregation will be spiritually deceived, and exploited by the wolf-like false prophets, they will be robbed of everything they have, in both body and spirit. Therefore, it is good to abide in God’s Church together with those who teach His Word. From the adult group to the Sunday school, women’s fellowship, and youth gatherings, there must be a leader to guide them. Each church must also have a leader. That’s because without a leader, the flock will perish away in no time.
It’s good that we have the state and government. Think about what would happen in anarchy. Without the government, our society would not have any order, degenerating into the state of nature ruled by the law of the jungle. That’s why Plato said that even a bad government was better than no government. A nation has its people, and there must be a leader to guide this nation. Just as a president or a prime minister should keep the duties of his office by maintaining social order and guaranteeing the welfare of his people, so must God’s Church have a leader to maintain its spiritual order.
If the members of God’s Church do not recognize their leaders who guide and protect them, they are no different from spiritual orphans. God’s blessings cannot be bestowed on such people. I am not saying this just to remind you of my position as your leader, but I am explaining a simple principle of faith: When it comes to leading the life of faith in God’s Church, while you should have God in your hearts, there must also be a leader appointed by God for your faith to grow. I have every confidence to say that without a leader in your hearts, your faith will never grow.
My fellow believers, do you find it hard to trust the leaders of God’s Church? Are you thinking of bringing them down someday, so that you may take up their positions? In my country, South Korea, the opposition party could not bring itself to concede to the electoral results of the last presidential election, and having planned to bring down the president all along, last year, it took advantage of a flimsy ground and ended up triggering an unprecedented constitutional crisis by voting to impeach the president. In God’s Church also, if you cannot recognize your leaders, you are bound to plot to bring them down someday to take up their positions for yourselves. Such thoughts stand against God.
Here in today’s Scripture passage, it is said that those who are taught should share in all good things with those who teach. God told us here to share in all good things, not in bad things. What, then, are the good things that the leader has? First of all, faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a good thing. What would happen if I, though believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, also believe in something else? You would inevitably end up believing as I do. That is why the Apostle Paul said that he considered as rubbish all the secular philosophy and knowledge that he had learnt in the world before he was born again (Philippians 3:8). Likewise, when Christians who had believed wrong come to know the Truth and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they must throw away all the doctrines of Christianity as rubbish.
If you recognize and trust me as your leader, who believes in and preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you are blessed. You are sharing in good things with someone who teaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit. On the other hand, if you don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and if you don’t trust your leader and doubt him, then you can’t share in all good works.
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” My fellow believers, you must not deceive your own faith. You have to examine to see if you really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit or instead some other gospel, making sure not to deceive yourselves. Paul said here that God is not mocked. This means that God is not someone who should be scorned. God says, “If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you have been saved, and you are then My children.” If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and say to God, “Father,” then God will approve you as His children, saying, “Yes, I am your Father.”
In contrast, however, if someone says, “God, my Father,” even as he doesn’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then God will say, “Are you mocking Me? You are taking My name in vain!” That is why the Apostle Paul said, “Don’t deceive yourselves. God is not to be mocked.” God is indeed not to be ridiculed.
Paul went on to say in Galatians 6:8, “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
What is it that we sow? It’s faith that we should sow. What kind of faith should we sow? It’s faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we should sow. In another way, this also means that we should not sow man-made doctrines in our hearts. The Bible made it clear here that those who believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit reap everlasting life, while those who sow something else for their flesh reap corruption.
The Apostle Paul is now admonishing the circumcisionists not to deceive themselves. Do you believe that you will become God’s people if you are circumcised? Just as this is not true, God is saying to those who believe in their own prayers of repentance not to deceive themselves. Sin does not disappear just because one offers prayers of repentance. Christians think that anyone who does not offer prayers of repentance is a heretic, but they themselves know better than anyone else that their sins are not blotted out no matter how fervently they offer prayers of repentance.
It’s only because they don’t have any alternative to solve the problem of their sins that they offer prayers of repentance. They need prayers of repentance precisely because they believe only in the blood of the Cross; if they believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, why would they need to offer prayers of repentance? Such prayers would be needless, for they would have passed all their sins onto Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Those who believe only in the blood of the Cross are deceiving themselves and mocking God. Of course, God is not really mocked even if people try to mock Him. But if someone deceives his own faith and calls God as his Father while he still has sin in his heart, then he is ridiculing God. For anyone who has sin in his heart to call God, “Father,” is akin to saying, “God, You are the Father of someone who is bound to hell.” It is also to say, “You are incompetent, not even able to blot out my sins.” Would God answer the calling of such a person? No, of course not. As such, we must first believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and become God’s real children. It is only when we become God’s true children that we can finally call Him as our Father and glorify Him, instead of mocking Him.
One Reaps Whatever He Sows
If anyone believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he will reach his salvation, attain everlasting life, become God’s child, and receive His abundant blessings. In contrast, if he believes only in the blood of the Cross instead of this gospel of Truth, and offers prayers of repentance, then he will be cursed to fall into destruction and be cast into hell. One reaps what he sows.
So what, then, should we sow? We should believe together with God’s servants, exactly according to how they believe in and preach the Word of God as it is. Only then may we receive the same blessings.
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:9-10, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
My fellow believers, if we carry out the work of the gospel united by faith, countless people will be saved. When we think about how there will be many people all over the world coming to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are indeed tireless.
And we must treat the people of faith well. Those who reject the gospel, deceive God and themselves, and advocate false doctrines are not the ones whom we should treat with kindness, but it is those who faithfully follow the Lord whom we should treasure. Let us, then, all serve the Lord obeying the spiritual order established by God, and emulating our leaders and our predecessors of faith.