“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. ‘He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.’”
What does it mean for us to believe in God’s love? In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord speaks specifically about that topic. It says that God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son and that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Then what do you think is the kind of faith that believes in the Truth that God the Father and the Son of God, Jesus, saved us from the sins of the world? God said that He did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Pay attention to the point that the thing God the Father wanted to accomplish by sending His Son to this world was not to judge the people of the world for all their sins, but to make them receive salvation from sin and receive the eternal life in the faith.
Therefore, we can say confidently that we are the people who have become sinless by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus has given to all of us. It means that we were able to be delivered from all the sins of the world and receive salvation and that we also escaped the eternal judgment by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Everyone among us is born with original sin and commits sins throughout his or her life, but we can receive salvation from all the sins and transgressions by believing in the gospel of salvation, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that Jesus Christ the Son of God has given us, and how grateful we are that the people who believe in this gospel live eternally as the righteous. The people who have sin in their hearts will receive the judgment and eternal curse for that sin regardless of whether they believe in Jesus as their Savior or not. However, as we understand, the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their hearts can escape the judgment of God eternally because they do not have sin in their hearts.
Why Do We Receive the Judgment of Sin?
It is recorded, “He who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Therefore, whether or not one receives the judgment depends on whether the person believes or does not believe in the only begotten Son of God who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God personally asks about this and gives answer to this matter through today’s Scripture passage. Those who confess that Jesus Christ the Son of God is their Savior by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit receive the remission of all their sins and therefore do not have to receive the judgment. But those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit consequently have to receive the judgment for all their sins because sin still exists in their hearts. As such, believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the critical element that determines the salvation which is God’s gift. I want you to remember that the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God gives are able to become the children of God by believing in the upright Truth of salvation.
Actually, who among the churchgoers do not believe in Jesus as the Lord? Don’t they all say that they believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior? But that they do not understand that Jesus has come by the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and became the Savior of all the sinners is a big problem.
It was Christmas Day a few days ago. We sang, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King,” and the people throughout the world also praised Jesus as the true Savior, the Son of God, who came to this world to save us from the sins of the world. But it is sad that there are many who do not know the fact that Jesus Christ saved us who once were sinners through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Today’s Scripture passage says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). As God said seriously, the reason God judges the people in the world who have sin is because they have the sin of not knowing and believing in Jesus Christ who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, not because He willingly enjoys the judgment. After being born and dying in this world, all the people have to stand before the just judgment of God. Then does it mean that the people who have sin will receive the eternal penalty of sin for the sins within them? Yes, that is true. Therefore, that the people would receive salvation and enjoy eternal life with the Lord in the eternal paradise or go to the furnace of fire and suffer the penalty of sin forever depends on whether they believe or don’t believe in Jesus Christ who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the justice, love, and blessing and judgment of God. Consequently, you must not forget that the matter of whether we have received the cleansing of sin or not, whether we have received salvation, or whether we will receive the judgment depends on whether we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Did You Have Sin in Your Heart?
There are some people who remain as sinners who will receive the judgment for their sins before the presence of God, and, on the other hand, there are people who will not receive the judgment of sin. The Lord speaks about this through today’s Scripture passage from the Gospel of John chapter 3 verses 16 to 21. Even so, there are many people these days who do not understand correctly about the gospel of the water and the Spirit or the judgment of sin.
Our Lord said in the passage from the Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 19, “And this is the condemnation.” The “condemnation” here means “the state of being condemned.” Therefore, condemnation implies “the state of having sin,” and the people who have sin before the presence of God shall receive the judgment for their sin as it says, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). It is saying that sin remains in people’s heart because they did not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ who is the light of our life came to this world by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but many people’s hearts are imprisoned in sin because they do not understand Him and they do not receive Him in their hearts. Jesus is clearly the Savior, but people became sinners that cannot receive the remission of sins because they loved the darkness more than the light for their deeds are too evil.
In short, people continue to live as sinners because they cannot believe the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the light of the Truth, and because they cannot believe the fact that God already blotted out all their sins. Although Jesus blotted out all of our sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and resurrecting from the death, people continue to live in sin because their evil deeds cover the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The people who have rejected the gospel of the water and the Spirit consequently are confessing that they like the darkness better than the light, that they do not believe this genuine gospel of God’s love, that they refuse to accept Jesus as the Savior because the sins they commit are more attractive to the fact that Jesus removed all their sins. They think it is natural for them to be sinners and they do not want to be righteous, and the people who have such faith become imprisoned within their sins. There is always sin in their hearts and that’s why God says such people are people with sin who deserve God’s judgment. God did not make the sins remain intact in their hearts, but they constantly live as sinners because they themselves do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Lord who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,” that whoever believes in the righteousness and the love of God shall receive the salvation from all sin. The Word from John 3:16 testifies to the fact that the Lord has saved all the people of the world from their sins because He loves them so much.
But there are people who say, “I like the state of having sin better than not having sin. I like to live with sin in a life drowned in the darkness of sin rather than the life without a bit of shame before God.” This is the people’s problem: It’s that they do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given to them without a price because they like their life immersed in sin better than the great love that saved them from sin. They like Satan, who is the darkness, better than God who is the light. What should God do with this? The people who love sin better than God had to receive the judgment because they wanted to become sinners out of their own choice and they themselves brought about the judgment of sin also.
Actually even all of us understanding correctly and believing in Jesus Christ who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the Savior depend on our hearts’ choice, too. We must choose carefully whether to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit or whether to believe in the blood of Jesus on the Cross alone. There are some Christians who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but still many Christians just believe that only the blood of Cross is the salvation.
Now, what gospel you choose to believe is thoroughly a matter of your choice. Not only going to the Kingdom of Heaven by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but receiving the remission of sins also is the matter that depends on which faith you choose. Choosing one of the two gospels wholly depends on your choice. Therefore, you must now choose correctly as to which gospel you shall believe.
What Are You Really Following After?
John 3:20-21 says, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
This Word reveals two types of human behavior: how the person who seeks the evil and the person who seeks the Truth acts. First, the person who seeks evil dislikes the light of the Truth and does not come to the light for the fear that his deeds might be revealed. They do not want the light of the Truth because the darkness covers their hearts in bondage. Consequentially, whom did they love more between God and the Devil? They loved the Devil more than God. That’s why they do not come before the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and not believe in it.
God wanted to come to this world as the light of salvation of the humanity and has saved our souls at once through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who have received the gospel of the water and the Spirit receive the remission of all their sins at once, but those who have not cannot receive the remission of sins. Consequently, the people who have not received the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit cannot do so because they loved the darkness more than the light. They should have loved God and the Truth of God more than the darkness at least, but they have not done so. That’s because people essentially have the mind that loves the darkness more than the light of the Truth in their hearts.
Therefore, we must take control of our hearts properly and obey the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I must not be lenient against the darkness and the sin in our hearts. Those who live in the darkness cannot receive the Truth of God’s love because of the mind that loves the darkness. Therefore, we ourselves must get rid of the unrighteous thoughts that rise out of our hearts and hold onto the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must throw away the darkness and sincerely receive the Truth that manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then everyone among us would be able to receive salvation from sin, but that’s easier said than done. That’s why there are people who are eternally imprisoned in the darkness because they want to live in the darkness out of the fear that their deeds might be revealed when they stand before the light. But they must recognize clearly that they cannot but live as sinners forever before the presence of God.
God Told Us to Come before the Light of the Truth
Let’s look at the passage from John 3:21 again. Following the passage, “But he who does the truth comes to the light,” the Lord says, “that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
This Word is very important. God said “he who does the truth comes to the light,” and He said it was to reveal that his deeds were done in God. Regardless of whether we want or don’t want to commit sin, we were born to specified parents in this world and live in specified environment and always commit sin because of our weakness. The reason for all this is in the fact that we have been born with sin as the descendants of Adam. But God knew all this. Because all the sins we commit are the sins that we commit in God’s presence, God already knew that we would commit such sins and thus came to this world in order to save us with the water and the blood.
Let us now acknowledge the justice of God. We must acknowledge the love of God the Father that saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit by sending His only begotten Son to us in order to blot out all our sins. As such, the people who are in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are those who have already entered into God.
To whom does our becoming the righteous depend on? To whom does our receiving the remission of sins depend on? God already blotted out all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and said that all those who believe in this gospel Truth shall be saved from the sin. Therefore, the responsibility of receiving the remission of sins or not receiving it now is passed onto us. Put differently, our salvation essentially depends on us; it depends on our having faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God gives to us. Do you believe that the matter of receiving the remission of sins still depends on God? Or, does it depend on us since the gospel of the water and the Spirit has been given to us? I want you to realize that it now depends on you and me. God has already saved us from all sins. Therefore, God has already fulfilled all His work from His standpoint and our salvation now depends utterly on us.
There was a theologian who said God predestined so and so to be saved unconditionally and predestined so and so to be condemned before the creation of the world. Many people throughout the world admired him at one time, but now it’s not like that. If it was truly according to his claim, then I can think that I am chosen because I believe Jesus and someone that I know is not chosen because he does not believe in Jesus. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that was wrong. As it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” God loves everyone and saved everyone.
Therefore whether you and I receive salvation depends on our hearts. Your salvation depends on whether you believe God’s love or not, whether you believe that God has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit or not, whether you love the Devil more than God or not, and whether you follow God or not. As such, we can understand that God’s Word is really different from the concepts we understand until now.
Therefore, from God’s standpoint, God already saved us from all our sins. Now it is our turn to have faith in believing God’s love and salvation from our standpoint. Those who believe that the Lord saved them through the water and the Spirit and that God is the Truth, Light, Love, and the justice will be transformed to the image of God, and those who like the Devil better and do not believe in the Truth will become like the devil. Therefore all the privilege of choice depends on you.
God told Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and warned that he would surely die if he ate the fruit. The Book of Genesis records that there was a tree of life and a tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the Garden of Eden Adam lived in, and therefore Adam just had to eat the fruit from the tree of life and live forever. And God wanted that, too.
But God gave the privilege of choice to humanity in order to make us the true children of God. However, Adam eventually ate the fruit that God told him not to eat. It was Adam who made the choice even though Satan the Devil tempted him. It was Adam’s choice. Our fate changes in this manner depending on our choice.
Matters in this world are like that, too. People’s life changes depending on the choices we make. What are the things you like and dislike? We make the choices according to the desires of our hearts. Therefore, everything will turn out good if you like the upright things and everything will turn out badly if you do not like the upright things. Everything depends on the choice. It depends on the choices in our hearts and not on our deeds.
So I think of some things as another year passes by. One year is a short time compared to the eternal time that God has put before us. Next year comes after this year passes, and the following year will come after next year passes. We just put meaning to each year from the aspect of work, but there is not much meaning to making distinction in time. We eat, work, and sleep this day and we eat, work, and sleep the next day, and our life repeats everyday and there is nothing more to it. What is there to our life when our life ends on the passing time? God has saved us eternally from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So, receiving the remission of sin by truly believing in this true gospel is all that gives meaning to our life.
To Whom Does Our Salvation Depend On?
The salvation of you and me now depends on our choice. I will share with you an experience of mine. I had sin before. I was born in a not-so-great environment and grew up under the influence of Buddhism that my parents believed in. Then one day I realized this was wrong and quit believing the religion and wandered before I ran into Christianity. I received a flier that someone distributed with the purpose of evangelism, and I also found a Scriptural Booklet that only contained the Gospels. I often opened it up and read it because I was bored. That was a time when there was not even many books to read.
Anyway, I started reading the Gospel tract and I read it all in an instant because it was so easy to read. “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham…Abraham begot…” and Matthew chapter 1 was over like that with the genealogy. I came to know how Jesus was born and also came to know the fact that Jesus consequently took the sins of the evil people like me and died. I came to feel, “Jesus is really a great person. He’s so righteous.”
Then one day I found that I had physical sickness and I just wanted to die because I did not want to burden other people. But when I considered dying, the fact that I had too much sin in my heart became a stumbling block, and the desire to receive the remission of sin arose in my heart. Therefore I went to a church when there wasn’t anyone present and prayed, “The Scriptures say that you died for me. I will believe in you, so please, blot out the sins I have committed.” Then a new hope rose out of my heart that was preparing for the end. Instead of something negative, a very positive hope sprang forth in my heart. I felt this sickness could be treated and somehow I started to attend the church.
During the next 10 years, I continued the spiritual life reading the Scriptures and believing in God, but the sins still remained in my heart. I thought I had received salvation as I came to know Jesus, but I instead became a real sinner as the personal sins accumulated. I became a real sinner after I believed in Jesus just as the Bible says, “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). I started to realize, “I am a sinner that worships the idol, a sinner that murders, steals, commits adultery, and lies.” Therefore, I always suffered in my heart with the thinking, “How can I ever cleanse this sin?” and I sought the answer.
And the Lord met with me at last. The Lord gave me the opportunity to read the Word from the Gospel of Matthew 3:13-17, and I felt peace in my heart as I read this Word of the Truth. Jesus put an end to my question about the baptism He received. I came to know the Truth and said, “Jesus fulfilled all the righteousness by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. Jesus took all the sins of humanity upon Himself through the baptism. Jesus even took over my sins at the time when He received the baptism. God’s Truth is the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” I understood that the reason my life suffered from sin even though Jesus came as the Savior and I believed in Jesus as the Savior was because I did not know the fact that all my sins had transferred over to Jesus through the baptism. However, I came to profess, “Jesus took all my sins upon Himself by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. Jesus took all the sins of the world upon Himself, was nailed to the Cross, resurrected in 3 days after He suffered death on the Cross, and became my Savior and the Savior of all humanity.” I was able to receive the remission of sin in my heart by believing the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit in this manner.
We are really the people who want to live according to God’s will and live an upright life. But it is impossible for us to live a perfect life according to our wishes. Everyone who believes in God’s Word knows the fact that anyone who sins before the presence of God receives curse and goes to hell. We were the offspring of the Devil.
But if we read Matthew chapter 3 verses 13-17, just as the laying on of hands in the Old Testament was the baptism of Jesus that transferred over the sins of the world to Jesus, Jesus in the New Testament took all my sins and the sins of all humanity upon Himself through John the Baptist who was the representative of all humanity. And finally the fact that Jesus Christ is the true Savior for you and me becomes clear when we understand that Jesus then carried the sins of the world to the Cross, was nailed on the Cross, and resurrected in 3 days after His death. I finally received the remission of sins by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit in that manner also.
After I received the remission of sins, I realized that my birth, my upbringing in such an environment, my sin, and all things were allowed in the baptism Jesus Christ received. Now God and I were not separate beings, and I was a being that is in God and you are also beings who are in God. God already knew that you and I would be committing sins. Therefore, He has blotted out all our sins through His righteous salvation. Out of God’s unfathomable love for you and me, He blotted out all our sins through the water and the blood. Jesus took all the sins of the world upon Him through the baptism and shed His blood on the Cross to put an end to all the judgment. He performed such salvation because He loved us so dearly.
Even now, every part of our life is in God. John 3:21 says, “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” God created the whole humanity and sent them to this world. He then made all our sins revealed, and gave us the eternal life by making us believe the Truth of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ and made us His people. He did this because He so loved us. That is the work God has done for us. Therefore, the Bible records that God has fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit in God’s Word to give us true and eternal salvation.
You and I commit sin in flesh after being born on this earth as the descendant of Adam, but whatever you and I meet and do in this world are all in God’s salvation. Are we in God, or are we distinctively apart from God? We are people who are in God. Even the Buddhist monks are all in God’s grace of salvation. But they do not seek the faith and instead just tap the wooden block while expecting Buddha to come and save them.
Jesus Christ has saved the whole humanity. Jesus is the only Savior. There is only Jesus Christ the Son of God who actually has saved you and me. People can receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus Christ and no one else. I have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Though we have many shortcomings, we must understand the fact that every problem of sin has already been solved in God and admit it. Though we live imperfect lives like this, we must understand that God has perfectly saved you and me from sin. In spite of all the things I have told you, do you still believe that we are in God when we do not sin but we are not in God when we commit sin? There is nothing that is not in God’s salvation. If there are aliens that people eagerly seek, they too are in God’s merciful salvation. But of course there aren’t any aliens in this universe. My point is that you and I are in God, not to argue whether there are aliens or not. You and I are in God’s salvation unchangingly, whether you and I do good or wrong. Such a God has saved us. We cannot escape from God.
Doesn’t God say this in the Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 16? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God so loved the world in this manner. God loved you and me. God loved you and me and already knew that we are essentially the offspring of sin and cleansed us from the sins through the salvation of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus blotted out all our sins and made it so that we do not receive the judgment. He made it so that we become people without sin. He made us people who should not receive the judgment. God so loved us in this manner. That’s why you and I must believe that God so loved the world in this manner. We must also believe that we are in God. Do you believe this?
Are we far apart from God? We are all in God. There is a saying that goes, “A flea is a flea no matter how high it jumps,” and we are like the flea. Even if a flea were able to jump 100 times the height of its body, could it enter into the outside of the earth’s atmosphere? It couldn’t even go around one city. The flea is born in a place surrounded by someone’s wall and dies inside the wall without even escaping from the surrounded wall.
We must think in universal terms. God knows you and me thoroughly. If there is one thing God expects from you and me, it’s that you and I love God with all our hearts. Truly, I want you to get rid of the heart that does not love God, the heart that likes the darkness and the Devil. There will come a time when we have to choose between God and the Devil, and what would you choose? Let’s call out the name of one of the two that we want to choose and say, “I choose this.” I choose God. We must admit this with our mouth.
That God saved you and me is really the best news. There is nothing more to say. That God loved me and saved me is everything. And we have received the remission of sins by believing God’s love. Is this true for you?
Therefore, this is the thing we must do in this world. We must do the work of sharing the gospel that God has blotted out all the sins of the world in this manner because He so loved humanity. We chose this work. We do not need anything else.
Now, what will you who have chosen God and received the remission of sins choose for the rest of your life? Will you choose the right work, or the wrong thing? Even that depends on your choice. What work will you choose? People really do not like the black and white logic, but God is sternly requesting you to choose one of the two. He says there is nothing in between. You would obviously choose the work pleasing to God, wouldn’t you?
You might ask why I am asking such an obvious thing. “It would be more difficult if there were 3 or 4 choices. But what is so difficult about choosing one of the two? One is 100% wrong and the other one is 100% good, so what’s there to consider? Of course, I will choose the one that pleases God.” Of course I believe this is what you would say, but I am emphasizing this because there are, at times, some people who choose the thing that is pleasing to their flesh. God gives the answer and tells us to choose one because humans are idiots. God does this because there are some people who do not live the best life.
It is so great. I am so glad that I am the very person who has received the remission of sin. Even now, I do not preach anything but the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is nothing else to preach. Other preachers talk about literary things and so forth in a sophisticated manner, but I just talk bout the gospel of the water and the Spirit whether I live or die because there isn’t anything that is more important than this. And this is all that God has given to us, and this all that we should serve. The thing you also do every day is serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must decide in our hearts firmly that we will do this work whether we live or die.
Do you want to do other things too? You want to listen to poems that are prevalent in the world besides the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Should I make a poem for you? The title is “Emptiness.”
“The world is empty;
The hearts of the people are empty;
The thoughts and hearts, and all things are empty.”
How do you feel about this? You can stick the word empty in any expression and it turns into a poem. Really, the world without Jesus Christ is empty.
Jesus Christ the Son of God blotted out all our sins through the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we must believe in the Son of God as our Savior. I want all of you to enjoy and preach the freedom and the love in God’s world. I give thanks to Jesus Christ for saving you and me through His unconditional love, and I believe in God’s love.