The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 3-2] (John 3:1-8) Do You Believe in The God-given Gospel of The Water and the Spirit?

(John 3:1-8)
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’”
 
 
Nicodemus, a Religious Leader 
 
Jesus is speaking clearly to Nicodemus in today’s Scripture passage, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” As Jesus said this, Nicodemus asked in return, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Again, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” 
We have to die to our sins in our faith and be born again by believing that Jesus Christ the Son of God has truly fulfilled God’s righteousness by coming to this world, taking all the sins of the world onto Himself through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and paying them off with His blood on the Cross. This is being born again. The Bible tells us that no one can enter into the Kingdom of God unless he is born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:5).
The Lord said to us, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). It tells us that no matter how fervently we believe Jesus in our flesh, we cannot be born again through such means. The Holy Spirit cannot reside in a heart that still has sin in it. If God were to administer His spiritual test, that person would fail that test. Whoever lives in this world can be born again only by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord continued to tell Nicodemus, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:7-8). This Word tells us that we have been born again and freed from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such a faith enables us to know the will of God and allows us to be born again. 
The Lord said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). However, not a few Christians who don’t know the way to be born again misinterpret this passage and say, “We don’t know when we were born again of water and the Spirit. People are becoming born again unaware to themselves because they believe in Jesus fervently.” Yet, Jesus did not say this with such an intention. He meant by this, “Nicodemus, you don’t know anything. You do not know that God delivered you from all your sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Still, believers in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit know well how God has delivered them from all their sins. They can enter and see the Kingdom of God by being born again with their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.”
The Lord meant by this passage that we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He wants to inform us that only when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit do we receive the remission of sin, and that only those who have received the remission of sin can receive the gift of salvation from God and become His children. Isn’t it true that only those who have become the children of God can enter His Kingdom? 
Thus, the entire population in this whole wide world must become born again to be the children of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Furthermore, those who have become the children of God through their faith must spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world according to the will of God. In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord tells us clearly that those who are born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit will enter the Kingdom of God as they have become His children, and they will be blessed as God’s own people even in this world. Jesus told clearly to Nicodemus, “You are not yet born again, because you don’t know the gospel of the water and the Spirit yet.” The Lord said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). In this passage, we can understand the Truth to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by our faith. 
Do you know why the Lord says that people can see and enter the Kingdom of God only if they are born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the blessed saints who have been cleansed completely from all their sins. Our Lord said that being born of water and the Spirit is possible only when that person believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. 
Then, why did He say that we are born again of “water and the Spirit,” rather than to say that we are born again of “the water and the blood”? Actually, these two expressions are the same. By His choice of words, He meant that God the Father has delivered us by blotting out all our sins by sending His Only Son to this world. God’s will was for His Son to receive the baptism which transferred all the sins of the entire humanity onto His body, and have Him pay for all those sins by bleeding to His death on the Cross. Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist, by which He took all of our sins. He bore all those sins onto the Cross, where He died, and later resurrected from the dead. God Himself did all these works in order to blot out all our sins. By this passage, God the Father tells us that He has delivered all of us from our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit through His only begotten Son.
Thus, it is not important how long people have believed in Jesus. Our Lord has come to this world and delivered us by giving us new life through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even before we came across Jesus Christ. The Lord asks us, while we are still sinners, “When did you hear the true gospel of the water and the Spirit? And when did you first believe?” We cannot help but hold tightly to this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit because this gospel Truth is better understood once we hear it through the Word of God. What I am saying is that we are not born again by holding onto a specific passage from the Word of God but first by holding onto the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. 
What did the Lord do after He had come to this world? He blotted out all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist and then shedding His blood on the Cross. He delivered us from all the sins of the world by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord had completed our salvation in this Word of Truth. Hence, the believers in this Word can show generosity to everyone because all their sins were transferred onto Jesus Christ, when He received the baptism. Only God determines the goodness or the badness of our faith. If He says, “Your faith is bad,” you have to turn back from your current way of faith right now.
Psalms 51 is a Psalm of David that was written after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He stated in this Psalm that even though he had committed grave sins, if the Word of God declared that he was righteous, then he was sinless. But, if the Word of the Lord declared he was guilty, then it is clear that he still harbored sin. Everything about us is determined by the judgment God makes. Therefore, if God tells us through His Word that we are sinful, then we indeed have sin. If He tells us that we are innocent, then we are without sin. Thus, those who believe that God has delivered you and me from all our sins have become people free of sin. Jesus has delivered us from all our sins by coming in this world and receiving the baptism, dying on the Cross, and resurrecting from the dead. If God says He has delivered us from all our sins in Jesus Christ by such means, it is so. 
If we are told that we were delivered from all our sins in such a way, we have to believe this. And we need to have the true confession of our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. To be free from our sins, we have to die once in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And to claim our righteousness, we have experience our own resurrections by our faith in the gospel Truth. You and I have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. 
Therefore, if we do not truly possess the faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, we are not yet born again. It does not matter how many Bible passages you and I have read or believed. It does not matter how much hard work we have done for our Lord. And it does not matter what our current positions at our churches are. The only means by which God has made us born again from all our sins is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. We have received the remission of sin and have been born again as the children of God only by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Regardless of whether it came late or early, those who are born again by the water and the Spirit are the children of God, who will receive great rewards before God.
Yet, when we listen to some people’s testimony about their salvation, they say, “Jesus, I give glory to God for delivering me from all my sins by Your dying on the Cross.” These kinds of people have not truthfully transferred all their sins to Jesus. It is very hard for us to share the gospel with such people. And they are sharing a different gospel other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It would be an erroneous faith to claim that one gospel is as correct as another gospel, when we have clearly received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If our faith is the only and true way to our salvation before God, there is no other faith but that of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the true gospel. Any other gospel, although it may appear close to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, cannot be the true gospel. 
There is another phenomenon we find among the Christians: Those who have not yet been born again hate those who have been born again. These people claimed a similar yet different gospel from the gospel of the water and the Spirit, when they first started believing in Jesus.
We have to approach our Lord with the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible passage that says, “You have cast all my sins behind Your back,” is the confession of the king Hezekiah who had faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit (Isaiah 38:17). Even when Jesus said on the Cross, “It is finished,” He declared that He had completed the Truth in the gospel of the water and the Spirit (John 19:30). “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18). “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). All these words take their full effect when we believe that all our sins were transferred onto Jesus when He received the baptism from John the Baptist. 
Because Jesus took all the sins of the world onto Himself when He received the baptism from John the Baptist, all my sins were transferred then as well. Because I believe that, I have received the remission of sin. Moreover, Jesus bore all sins of the world onto the Cross, where He received the judgments for all those sins and died vicariously in my stead. I believe that. And Jesus resurrected from the dead. We believe that Jesus Christ has become our eternal Savior by resurrecting from the dead. We will be spared from the rejection by God, only when we offer the correct answers of our faith in the present tense.
Those who have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit always talk about this gospel Truth. If a person has the precise faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit in his heart, he can confess his faith truly at any time and in every circumstance. However, if a person does not believe in his heart the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit despite knowing it in his head, he would not be able to share the true testimony of his salvation. Still, as long as one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even an old grandmother would say when giving a testimony of her salvation, “I have no sin because all my sins were wholly transferred to Jesus when He received the baptism from John the Baptist. Jesus has delivered me from sin when He bore all my sins onto the Cross, died, and resurrected from the dead. Thus, I have been born again.”
Once, many grandmothers enrolled in our gospel class during a retreat. When I asked them to give testimonies of their salvation after receiving the remission of sin through their faith in the gospel of the water and the spirit, one elderly lady said, “John the Baptist safely transferred all my sins onto Jesus. Thus, He bled on the Cross. And I have been born again because I believed this.” The whole congregation gave a loud applause after hearing such testimony. Another elderly lady came up to give a testimony. She said, “I have no sin because John the Baptist has safely transferred my sins to Jesus.” About a total of ten elderly ladies gave their testimonies, but it took no longer than half an hour. It took them longer to go up the stairs to the pulpit and go down to their seats. The actual presentation of their testimonies took no longer than 30 seconds per each testimony. That was because the elderly ladies’ testimonies of their salvation were as if it was a testimony of one and the same person. Still, these elderly ladies who had correct faith before God and had received the remission of sin were born again by the water and the Spirit at that time. We have helped them become born again by sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit with them.
We have become born again only by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Is there anyone who can be born again before God by his own efforts? Can we be born again by praying in the mountains? Can we be born again through fasting and prayers? Would God make you born again if you fasted for 10 days? How about if you fasted for 40 days? Never. God tells us that you can be born again only when you believe that He has blotted out all your sins by the water and the Spirit. 
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” This means that those people who do not know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit do not know how God has made us born again. However, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit know correctly that they were born again by this gospel Truth. He said that all the born again are like this.
We must believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit now and in our hearts. Only then can we boldly say that today we are without sin in the present tense. When I gaze into my own heart, I am always sure of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Some people may say, “That preacher must have memorized only the gospel of the water and the Spirit, because he always talks about that gospel whenever he opens his mouth. It comes out like a fountain spring whenever he opens his mouth.” That is not true. I can continuously talk about the gospel of the water and the Spirit only because I still believe in this gospel even to this very moment. He who does not believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit cannot continuously witness it with joy. 
Dear fellow believers, you have to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to be born again. If you do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you cannot receive the remission of sin. However, if you have received your salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, you cannot deny that this gospel is the genuine truth of being born again. Both in the past and the present, all believers in Jesus have been born again by their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God gave the gospel of the water and the Spirit from above so that we the sinners can be born again into the righteous. The Lord has delivered us from all our sins and adopted us as God’s children. 
We now know that this gospel Truth brings us tremendous blessings from above. That’s why we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which has blotted out all our sins. There is no other way to be born again except believing in this Truth. God had His only begotten Son receive the baptism and die on the Cross so that all our sins might be blotted out completely. Regardless of who we are, we must all believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We cannot wait until later to believe in this gospel Truth but we must believe in it right now. We must hold onto the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith now.
Do you think that we do not need to talk about the gospel of the water and the Spirit although we may not know it? No. It must be mentioned now. It must be discussed now in the present tense. Believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must always take place in the present and cannot wait till tomorrow. It is a task for us to do right now. If you and I had not believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it would have been impossible for us to receive the remission of sin no matter how many Bible passages we believed in.
When Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can a man be born again?” Jesus replied, “One is born again by the water and the Spirit.” The Truth that makes a person born again is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, most Christians think and believe in their own ways about being born again, despite the reading of this Scripture passage. Some people even say that the water is not referring to the baptism Jesus received. They interpret the ‘water’ as amniotic fluid saying, “A baby is born from its mother with the amniotic fluid.” Then, how do they interpret ‘the water’ in 1 John 5:6-8? I hope you remember John 3:6 that says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The water in John 3:5 refers to the baptism Jesus received, and the blood on the Cross means the judgment of all our sins. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the gift of the remission of sin by God to humanity. This Truth is the key to Heaven.
Most Christians these days do not know what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is. They say that believers are born again one day without realizing it and not by the Word of the water and the Spirit. They interpret John 3:8 as such. They say that one can be born again suddenly at any moment—while you’re praying, eating, dreaming, or even working. They say that people are born again suddenly by chance without their own recognition, as long as they believe in Jesus. How ignorant are they to say this? This is why there are so many believers in Jesus, but very few people are born again. As the Scripture says, “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14), there are many people who are not yet born again despite believing in Jesus. 
In short, most Christians believe in Jesus fatalistically. They believe that if God allows them to be born again, they will be born again as the chosen people, but if He does not allow them to be born again, they will suffer eternal condemnation even after having believed in Jesus all their lives. The common Christians believe fatalistically like this. However, the Bible has taught us that God has completed our salvation with Jesus’ baptism and His bloodshed on the Cross, that we should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be born again, and that believing in this gospel or not is absolutely up to every person’s free will. 
I believe that our Lord has allowed us to be born again from all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we have been born again free from all our sins. We believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we have been emancipated from all our sins. Dear fellow believers, do you believe this? Yes, you do. You should not hold onto the religious faith of mainstream Christianity that believes only in the blood of the Cross, which is different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can be born again only by our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Am I right or not? Dear fellow believers, all our sins were transferred onto Jesus when He was baptized from John the Baptist so that His blood on the Cross could deliver us completely from all our sins. We have received the Holy Spirit by the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, become the children of God, and are made sinless in our hearts.
 
 
Those Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Now Are without Sin
 
Dear fellow believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, do you have sin in your hearts? There is absolutely no sin in you. How is it possible that you have no sin? It is possible because you have believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that says God has blotted out all your sins by Jesus’ baptism and His blood. What is the basis upon which we are able to do the works of God? We were able to do the works of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. How have we become the workers for the gospel? How are we able to participate in the first resurrection and in the Millennial Kingdom? How can we go to the Kingdom of Heaven? It is all possible by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The key to all of these heavenly doors is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He who does not enter through the door is like a thief or a robber.
What righteousness or good deeds could we possibly have in us? What righteousness could possibly be in us? We are born again in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit because God has given us the Word to make us born again from above and sent His Son Jesus to do the works, which enables us to be born again. Otherwise, how could we be born again? What could we do to be born again? Would it be possible from the perspective of the flesh such as the way Nicodemus asked, “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb?” 
How can we be acknowledged before God as the righteous and say that we are without sin? How could we dare find the courage to say that we are without sin? It could never be possible for us to become sinless from a human perspective. It is impossible to be born again through fleshly means except the way God the Father has us born again through Jesus. Because Jesus Christ Himself has blotted out and washed away all our sins by His baptism and His blood on the Cross, we are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is accounted for as righteousness by God. Also, because God has given us the Holy Spirit, we can say that we are sinless by the Holy Spirit. 
Now, the end of the world is approaching us. The world is becoming darker and colder. We cannot predict when a great war, famine, earthquake, plague, or massacre might occur. It seems like the calm before the storm. Because the whole world is experiencing prosperity now, people are acting like a frog in a well, not knowing that dark clouds and thunder storms are not far away for they can only see the clear sky above the well. Are the rotating neon signs still working in your life? Are people still acting the same? However, you have to know that this age is going through the calm before the storm. If you only knew the future to come, you would not hesitate but believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit right now.
“God, I have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” This is the kind of faith we should present to God whenever it is and wherever we are. We would not be able to avoid the judgments from God if we did not present our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When God pours down tribulations and disasters, all our brothers, sisters, and ministers within His Church will be the most blessed people, just like the family of Noah during the time of the great flood.
We must reach out to those outside of the church that still do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now must realize that this gospel is the only Truth that makes them born again. Those who are inside the church of God but still do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must repent. The careers or abilities of those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are of no use before God. What is important is their present faith. Although they might have had good spiritual lives in the past, if they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, they are nothing. 
Dear fellow believers, does your glorious career in the flesh deliver you from all your sins? It would be nice if you could be born again by fleshly means, but there is no way to be born again by such means. Only the gospel of the water and the Spirit can bring a new life to you and me and deliver us from all our sins.
We have been born again by believing in the Lord-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, I cannot but give thanks unto God and be humble before Him daily. We are always thankful for the present, for the future, and for the past. We have neither righteousness of our own nor any excellence of our own. We just need to believe in the Word of God with the pure and simple heart of a child and be thankful to Him. It is sufficient for us to serve and follow our Lord and teach and lead others at the church of God in our spiritual lives with the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Regardless of how long we have already believed, we should pray to God that we may keep our faith until the end. If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you should be thankful because of it.
Do you believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit? We believe! Although this is an amazingly great Truth, the Truth is naturally simple. Actually, the Truth is so simple and precise that it can give us much assurance even though we are dull in our understanding. On the other hand, the man-made doctrines of worldly religions seem plausible, but they become more complicated the more we try to know them. 
For example, there is a Buddhist doctrine called ‘transmigrationism.’ Those who believe in the Buddhist doctrine of transmigration of the soul say, “People who have done many good deeds will be reborn as human beings in wealthy families in their next lives. People who have done many bad deeds will be born as one of the lower animals in their next lives. If an animal behaves nicely, it will come back as a human being in its next life. If it does even more good deeds, it will be born in a better kingdom. Thus, every creature in this world might be a relative of mine. Hence, do not murder.” If we look through the perspectives of the transmigration of the souls in Buddhism, a rabbit should be very important to us. Why? Because one of our ancestors may have become a rabbit after he had passed away. Therefore, Buddhism prohibits their believers from killing any lower animals. Why? It is because one of their ancestors may have come back as a bug.
Do people really become insects and rabbits when they die? If it were truly so, we won’t have to worry about our next lives. We don’t have any need to believe or worry about our next lives, because we will come back in the next life regardless of whether we live a good life or a bad one. If we are born as a wolf, we should go and feast on as much meat as we can find. We might come back as a catfish and swim around the river till we die.
This time around, we may come back as a fly. The next time, it will be something else. If the doctrine of transmigration were true, what need do we have to live morally? What fear do we need to have about death? Why would we need to agonize over our sins? 
Humans are precious beings. God has made us humans in His profound Providence. Humans are fundamentally different from the other animals. Although animals don’t recognize God and have no soul, a human being has the spirit of God within him. Animals are not eternal beings, but humans are eternal beings. God has created human beings so they can be born again and be adopted as His children. 
Because God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can be born again by believing in that gospel. Believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do not be stubborn but believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you obey this, you will become honored as it is written, “A man who is in honor, yet does not understand, is like the beasts that perish” (Psalms 49:20). If you reject the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you are the same as the beasts that perish. 
Unfortunately, there are people who stand against their brother and sisters even though they have been in the church of God for a long time. Such people are not born again even though they have pretended that they have been born again. They only say that they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I knew a pastor of like this. I thought that he was born again just like I was born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I respected him because he seemed to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I thought, “I cannot share this Truth actively because my situation limits me. But you are a precious person sharing this gospel of the water and the Spirit.” And when people around me were speaking ill of him when he did unacceptable behaviors, I protected him saying, “Don’t be so cruel to him. He is a servant of God and a good person. Do not insult the one who is sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” But I later found out that he neither believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor had shared it with others. There was no reason to respect him any longer after I have found out the truth about him.
Dear fellow believers, if God made us born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must believe in it purely and be thankful. However, we have to recognize that there are people who do not believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit and interfere with it instead. Those people cannot get along with believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. 
Dear fellow believers, we should treat those who God treats as precious preciously, and hate those whom God hates. The faith of a believer in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the correct faith. Being born again by the water and the Spirit entails that we are born again from all our sins by believing in this gospel Truth. This is how God has made us born again through His grace by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. We have been born again from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We give thanks to God by believing in this true gospel.