The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 9-2] (John 9:1-12) Must We Go and Wash In the Pool of Siloam?

(John 9:1-12)
“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, ‘Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he.’ Others said, ‘He is like him.’ He said, ‘I am he.’ Therefore they said to him, ‘How were your eyes opened?’ He answered and said, ‘A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” Then they said to him, ‘Where is He?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’”
 
 
These Scripture passages speak of Jesus, as He was passing by, coming across a man who was blind from birth and making his eyes open.
A blind person would feel immensely stifled and stuffy for not being able to see what is in front. This man mentioned in today’s Scripture passage was blind from birth, so from a fleshly perspective, don’t you think that his life was so very cursed? Being born blind from birth, it must have been very hard on him in itself. Yet, the disciples went so far as asking, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Then, how deeply was he hurt by such words? However, the disciples of Jesus and the people near by asked Jesus carelessly about the cause of his blindness as if that was none of his business. He didn’t become blind because he wanted to, yet he has to live a stifling life for the rest of his life. And so, if has the understanding that he has to go on living as a blind all through his life because of his parent’s sins, because of a certain person, or because of someone else, this blind man would perhaps go on living resenting that person all through his life. Anyway, the stifled feeling the blind person has to go through because of people’s finger pointing must be so great that it cannot be put into words.
 
 
Why Are Human Beings Born as the Spiritual Blind?
 
The Lord said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him,” (John 9:3). This means that he had become blind in order to reveal the works of God. Thus, all that the blind man has to do is to see what sort of work God wants to reveal, instead of resenting his parents or someone else.
Then, what does the passage that states this blind man had to have been born as a blind from birth mean? This passage means that it was the will of God for everyone to be born fundamentally as a sinner when he or she is born onto this earth. The Bible says that everyone is born as a sinner from birth just as everyone has become a sinner because of the sin of one man, Adam (Romans 5:12). Therefore, what else could a sinner be except a spiritual blind fundamentally? How stifling is it to be spiritually blind? Even though the eyes of the flesh are open, because the spiritual eyes are closed, a person is blind; and even though the person reads the Bible, that person is unable to realize the genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit. Like so, such a person does not know the meaning and the intention of the Word of God, and so, how stifling could this be to the person? From birth, people are spiritually blind, and since the blind cannot know the Word of God on his or her own, they must truly be stifled to death.
Yet, to His curious disciples, our Lord answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” What then do you think exactly is the work that God wants to reveal? If a person is to remain as a spiritually blind person, prior to knowing its reason clearly, all that the person can do is to lead a life filled with riddles.
Why did people have to be born as sinners into this world from birth? Why was it that they could not but be born as fundamental sinners? If we were to interpret this Word outspokenly, I cannot but say that the reason for people being born as sinners is to reveal the glory of God. It means that this was included in God’s plan. If so, we must find out what sort of a plan toward us that plan of God was.
 
  
It Is Clearly God’s Will That God Had Made Humans Be Born Fundamentally as the Spiritual Blind
 
That will lies in us becoming a sinless child of God by believing in the remission of sins, that is, our Lord having come down to this earth and having atoned for our sins by the water and the blood for us. If God had made people be born as the righteous from birth, what would have happened? God’s plan would not have been realized. Also, God would not have been able to show His justice to us, His creation. If we had been born as the righteous, there would have been no need for us to know His justice.
The work that God wants to do is like this. In the beginning, God created all the creations. And on the sixth day, He created man in the image of God with the dusts of the ground. And with the Spirit of God blown into the man’s nostrils, the man became a living being. God created the man in the likeness of His image because He wanted to live together with people in the beautiful Heaven by giving them a heart that yearns for eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11). And, knowing that people will fall into sins, God made plans to clothe people with the blessing of becoming God’s children by sending down His only begotten Son to the humankind and cleaning their sins by the water, the blood, and the Spirit. And so, that is why God had you and me be born as sinners onto this earth. And for the reason like this, Jesus said that people are born as the blind not because of their parent’s sins or because of their own sins but solely because God wants to reveal the works that He wants to do in them. Therefore, inside the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must become those who bring enormous glory to God by taking into our hearts the will of God and obeying it.
 
 
The Work God Wants to Realize upon Human Beings
 
The work God wants to do is to turn all sinners into God’s children by making them be born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People are all born from the mother’s womb, but once people believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus and receive the remission of sins, they get to be born again as God’s children. It means that people’s dead souls are brought back to life when their spiritual eyes are opened by the power of the gospel Truth. Just as a larva becomes a cicada, a person is also born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit of Jesus Christ at heart after having been born once as a human being. And, by being cleansed of all one’s sins like white snow, one can becomes a righteous person, a child of God. In other words, by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, a person becomes a child of God who is a partaker of divine nature. God said that this is being born again.
We can easily see in the natural environment that a larva in water turns into a dragonfly and that a maggot becomes a fly. Like so, even though people are born onto this earth wearing a flesh, there is a way of being born again. And that is to become the people of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who are born again as people of God can go and live eternally and happily in the Kingdom of God. This is why in the Gospel of John it is said that a person who is not born again cannot see the Kingdom of God.
People tend to think of both maggots and flies as being dirty and creepy, but a maggot would wish for a prompt transformation, as it watches flies flying in the sky. And by having gone through the transformation, it would want to freely fly in the sky. It’s the same with a larva. For its life as a cicada which would last only for a few weeks, a larva lives underground for about six years. And even after having spent that time, it doesn’t become a cicada right away. After having been underground for such a long period of time, it will have to climb up a tree arduously, and then, it has to remain as a pupa for a time. It painstakingly becomes a cicada, but then it only chirps briskly for a single season of summer and dies. Even a mere creation yearns to be born again like that.
God allowed us to be born again as His people. Regardless of whether one wants it or not, God gave the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the entire humankind and fairly provided the way of being born again in Jesus Christ. And God clearly said that the only way for a sinner to become the righteous is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Actually, a sinner being born again, us becoming God’s children, and us going to Heaven belong in all to the sovereignty of God. That a larva becomes a cicada is something that is done fundamentally by the will of the Creator. Likewise, for you and me to be born on this earth is also due to God.
A person cannot receive the remission of sins even if he does not commit sins. Also, a person cannot become the righteous by abiding by the Law perfectly. As it is said in the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 7, verse 20, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin,” there is no one who does not commit sin. Therefore, we must be born again as the righteous by accepting the will of God. And that method is precisely in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given to us. God makes us the righteous. You must understand clearly that we cannot become the righteous by not committing sins but rather, it is possible because God has made us the righteous by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Let me reiterate again: we can become the righteous only by the God-given gospel of the water and Spirit.
What kind of work did God do onto us? Before we endeavor to become the righteous by our own efforts, we must know what kind of work God did onto us in order to have us sinners be born again. To do so, we must listen carefully to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that God has given us and also we must look into it with careful attention. Because God has saved us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can be saved by believing in that Truth. Nevertheless, most Christians continue to lead a religious life fervently, unaware of God’s Word. They tend to think that so long as they put on an effort into whatever they can do, whether it is the prayer and fasting, donations, missionary work, or volunteering, they will receive salvation. There also are numerous people who think that salvation can be explained with the following equation: Faith in Jesus Christ + One’s own merits = Salvation. However, this is an incorrect function and an incorrect answer.
Regarding a sinner being born again, not even 0.1% of one’s own deeds goes into it. A sinner being born again is entirely the work of redemption that belongs to God. Our becoming the people of God and the righteous is, in all, God’s grace and nothing else. Should even just 0.1% of our merits be added, nothing will come of it.
Our Lord was born on this earth to make sinners be born again, and as He lived on this earth for 33 years, He completed such a mission through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, people cannot be born again because they neither know nor believe in the work carried out by Jesus. Because they are in a state of being the spiritually blind, they cannot understand the real meaning of God’s Word even if they read the Bible with their eyes. God has already perfected the salvation and has clearly recorded it in the Bible. Therefore, we must open our spiritual eyes and perfectly see the gospel God has given us.
Today’s Scripture passage shows the work that our God wants to perform on the sinners. To heal the blind man, our Lord spat on the ground, made clay with the saliva, and pasted it on the eyes of the blind man. Jesus is God and the Creator. All Jesus had to do was to speak out just a single phrase, “Be healed!” Yet, do you think Jesus healed the blind man by spitting on the dirt, kneading it, and pasting it on his eyes because He didn’t have the power? No! In this passage, what the Lord wants to say to us through it is shown. The Lord kneaded dirt with His saliva and opened the eyes of the blind man so that not only those who was watching the blind man getting healed but also people of this current generation will be able to know the secret of the cleansing of sin shown in the passage and then receive the remission of sins.
As the Lord spat on the ground, made clay with the saliva, and anointed both eyes of the blind man, He said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam,” (John 9:7). When translated, the word ‘Siloam’ means ‘sent.’ Let us consider for a moment that there a blind person among you right now. If I were to paste the eyes with some clay that I had kneaded with my saliva and then if the blind person were to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, would that blind person truly open his or her eyes? Such method is not the way for a blind person to open his or her eyes. Instead, we must find a spiritual meaning from this account. This passage tells us how cursed we human beings are starting from the time we were born on this earth, and it also tells us what sort of a curse we were born destined to receive. In other words, this passage is speaking to us about the sins of us human beings and the judgment for those sins.
We were born with sins from birth, and if we do have sins, then what is its price? It is precisely spiritual death. No matter how extravagantly one lives in the world and how much one knows the Bible, if that person still has sins in his or her heart for not having been born again, then where would that person go in the future? The person will go to hell. The person cannot but be cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone. Such life is cursed. The Lord is telling us that if we, who are born as sinners, do not receive the remission of sins, our lives themselves will be cursed.
 
 
Would One Know One’s Own Sin?
 
Through the Book of Leviticus chapter 13, I will explain what the sins of people are like. Leviticus chapter 13 shows how the priests should discern leprosy, and it is something peculiar. God said that if the leprous sore is on a person just a little, then that person is unclean, but if the leprosy is covered all over the skin, then that person is very clean.
Let’s look at the Book of Leviticus chapter 13, verses 9 through 17.
“When the leprous sore is on a person, then he shall be brought to the priest. And the priest shall examine him; and indeed if the swelling on the skin is white, and it has turned the hair white, and there is a spot of raw flesh in the swelling, it is an old leprosy on the skin of his body. The priest shall pronounce him unclean, and shall not isolate him, for he is unclean. And if leprosy breaks out all over the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of the one who has the sore, from his head to his foot, wherever the priest looks, then the priest shall consider; and indeed if the leprosy has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean who has the sore. It has all turned white. He is clean. But when raw flesh appears on him, he shall be unclean. And the priest shall examine the raw flesh and pronounce him to be unclean; for the raw flesh is unclean. It is leprosy. Or if the raw flesh changes and turns white again, he shall come to the priest. And the priest shall examine him; and indeed if the sore has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him clean who has the sore. He is clean.”
In the Old Testament times, the priests examined those who had leprosy. Because leprosy was contagious, once a priest confirmed that a person had leprosy, then that person had to be isolated from other people. Just as the priests of the Tabernacle had examined whether or not a person had leprosy like that, right now, the servants of God examine whether a person is a sinner or a righteous person. Only the righteous who has become one of God’s people can discern a righteous person from sinners.
If a certain person’s skin showed colored spots and turns red and as they spread and sink inward, that person was first said to be unclean, and then, that person was confined to his or her house. It was because the person was under the suspicion of having leprosy. After that, the person was confined for seven days, and once again, the person was examined. If the colored spots hadn’t spread, then the person was said to be ‘clean’ for it was not leprosy. However, if the skin had sunk in with the outbreak and the spread of white spots, then the person was cast out from the town for it was leprosy.
  
 
Which Type of Leper Are You Spiritually?
 
Here in Leviticus 13:12-13, it is written, “And if leprosy breaks out all over the skin, and the leprosy covers all the skin of the one who has the sore, from his head to his foot, wherever the priest looks, then the priest shall consider; and indeed if the leprosy has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean who has the sore. It has all turned white. He is clean.”
There is a difference between God’s Word and what we normally think of as a common sense. God said that a small outbreak and spread of leprosy was unclean, but if that leprosy had broken out all over the skin and covered the patient from head to foot, then that patient was proclaimed to be clean. What do you think? Between a person with leprosy spread all over the body and a person with just a little bit of leprosy, which do you think is more unclean? We must think about the meaning of this criterion. In the passage, God told the priests to cast out those who had a little bit of leprosy on a single part of their body for they were unclean. Leper patients who weren’t cast out were those that had leprosy all over their body from head to foot and thus had turned white.
At the incipient stage of leprosy, it is said that the skin becomes tremendously thin and fine. The initial symptom of leprosy is the skin turning so fine that not even applying high-quality makeup would make it like that. The skin turns milky-white like that, and then it starts to burst into sores. The cheeks of the face burst and the ears burst. And starting with oozing of discharge from sores, the body begins to rot. Starting off like that, all the joints of the body then start to fall off one by one. Without having felt pain, one would loose the eyebrows, the nose, the nails, the fingers and the toes. Yet, the priest of the Tabernacle judged the leper, whose entire body had been covered by leprosy bacilli spreading from head to foot, to be clean.
This is a part that cannot be understood by human thinking. One cannot but wonder how is it that someone who was covered with a little bit of leprosy got cast out yet someone who was covered entirely with leprosy got to be judged as being clean, but the Bible’s secret of the remission of sins and the Truth of God are precisely contained here.
 
 
All Humans Were Sinners before God
 
Once leprosy breaks out all over the body, one can see that the person is a leper even if a doctor does not diagnose the person’s illness as leprosy. And so, even if someone near doesn’t speak about it, one can think on one’s own, “Alas, I have leprosy! I must receive some treatment!” However, with just a small break out of leprosy, one does not think of it seriously, saying, “It can’t be leprosy. I’ll be fine. It’s just a small sore. It probably is just a simple skin disease.”
Here, we must reflect back on ourselves on the way we see sins. People who acknowledge themselves as small sinners think that it would be fine since they have committed just a few sins; such people do not wish to hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive salvation hastily. Such people cannot receive the remission of sins. And this is why God says that someone like this is more unclean.
Then, what sort of people can receive the remission of sins? It is none other than those who admit themselves as being perfect sinners, from the top of their head to the soles of their feet. Those who get to receive salvation by the gospel of the water and the Spirit are those who say, “I am a perfect sinner. I cannot but go to hell. There isn’t a single righteousness of mine, goodness of me, or anything of mine to boast. Please God, save me from all these sins.”
The Bible is a book of the salvation of humankind. The Bible is a book about Jesus Christ; it is the Word of the remission of sins; it is the book of God’s plans for our salvation. The Bible speaks about our remission of sins, and it shows us God’s purpose for creating us humans and the truth about Heaven. In order to perfectly accept this Word, we must know what sort of a person we ourselves are before God.
There are many people on this earth who believe in Jesus. If one were to climb up to a high place late at night, one would be able to see that there are so many churches around us by looking at the countless red neon cross signs. However, among those who believe in Jesus like that, there are many people who think of themselves as ‘small sinners.’ These people try to receive the remission of sins by coming to God with what little sin they have committed and asking for forgiveness, “Dear God, I have committed such and such sins. That’s all. Please, forgive me of these sins.” Instead of trying to receive the remission of sins and be born again fundamentally by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are just asking for the forgiveness of only those particular sins that they acknowledge themselves.
Would people like that get accepted before God? Are they those that believe in Jesus properly? God does not approve of such people as His children. In God’s view, complete sinners are those who will be born again. If you continue to think that you are just a small sinner, try to think about a few things once more. You have committed that sin today, but then do you think that you will not commit it tomorrow? Also, do you think you can go to Heaven so long as you get a remission only for that sin you have committed today? You will be committing sins every day as you go on living into the future, can you say, “Dear God, please forgive just this sin”? God has atoned for our sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Yet, if we are trying to receive the remission of sins every day, must Jesus be repeating daily the work of receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and dying vicariously on the Cross? I want you to think about this once again.
Our Lord did not atone for our sins just by His lips. He has forever atoned for our sins once and for all by completing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you believe in this, you do not need to beg for the remission of sins day after day. It is because you have already received the remission of all your sins. To say that you will go on living without committing sins from the moment when and if God were to forgive just one or two sins that we have committed. God has blotted out all our sins once and for all, yet why would you try to blot out the remaining sins with your own righteousness? God has blotted out all our sins 100% perfectly by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
But people who are not very well aware of themselves being a complete sinner pray and cry out, saying, “Dear God, I’ve committed this much sin today. Please blot it out for me.” As they do so, they go on claiming one must receive the remission of sins every day. However, even if such people do believe in Jesus, they cannot receive the remission of sins. Even if they have clear faith in the Cross on which Jesus has died, because they don’t have faith in the baptism through which Jesus has taken on sins, they do not get to receive the remission. People get to receive salvation only by clearly believing that the Lord has come down to this earth and blotted all the sins of the world by the water and the blood. However, if people were to think that they are just small sinners, then they won’t be able to receive the impeccable remission of sins because they haven’t passed on all the sins to Jesus perfectly. When Jesus was taking on the sin of the world from John the Baptist through the baptism, did He take on just a little bit of it? Did He say, “You, John the Baptist, give Me just a little and tell people to blot out the remaining sins by themselves”? That was never so. At that time, Jesus took on all the sins of humankind without leaving behind any.
God saved the grave sinners who could not but go to hell 100% and receive curse, not those who can be saved with just a little bit of His help. A sinner can be saved by faith only if God atones for all his or her sins. In the name of Jesus Christ, I hope for all the sinners of this world who are listening to this sermon to know that they are 100% sinners and have all their sins be taken care of once and for all by believing in the water of the baptism received by the Lord and His blood.
Our God has perfectly blotted out the sins that had filled people who were 100% sinners from the top of their head to the soles of their feet. It is because God wants to send us to Heaven. We must search the heart of God through the Scriptures. And, we must understand each other’s hearts. If we do not know each other’s hearts, then it amounts to nothing. Having fellowship with each other is to exchange one’s heart with others. It is not having conversations about the world and it isn’t exchanging jests. It is speaking one’s heart with sincerity. And, as one listens to the other’s heart, both hearts are exchanged. Also, it is to know with the heart what one must do toward the other. This is the genuine fellowship, and this is the genuine love.
God said to us, “You cannot but go to hell. If I hadn’t saved you from sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you would have had no choice but to receive curse.” It is said that people look at the outer appearance but God looks at the center of a person’s heart. That is why He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Are you or are you not a 100% sinner who has committed all sorts of sins in your heart as well as by actions? Are you still a 50% sinner? We are 100% sinners. But, if our God has completely atoned for our sins 100%, then are we a perfectly righteous person or not? Because the Lord has atoned for sins 100%, we now are the righteous. We have become perfect once and for all by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
If we were to think about what sort of people we ourselves were before God prior to having been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we cannot but acknowledge that we had been those who were completely useless and destined to go to hell. In God’s view, those who have sins in their heart, even just 0.1%, aren’t God’s children. And so, it is said that our Lord came down to this earth to save sinners. How sinful are those sinners? They are 100% sinners. Our Lord came to save 100% sinners. Whether or not we recognize the gospel of the water and the Spirit, in God’s view, we were already sinners. In God’s view, we were 100% sinners because we were born with sins inherited from our parents even if we don’t commit sins. Dear fellow believers, do you understand this? In God’s view, we are 100% sinners. For this reason, our Lord pasted the clay made with His saliva on the eyes of the blind man. And He told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.
 
 
Proper Faith
 
Why did the Lord say to the blind man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam? We know the Apostles appear in the New Testament. The word ‘Apostle’ means one sent by God. Siloam also means ‘sent.’ To receive the genuine remission of sins, one must go and wash in the water with which Jesus received the baptism. A person doesn’t just get well by going and washing in the pool of Siloam not knowing anything about the Truth. Of course, the blind man was healed because he had obeyed the Lord’s word, but in actuality, our Lord had given the sinner the remission of sin, which allowed the sinner to be healed from the sickness of sins, by spitting on the ground and making clay with the saliva. We have received the remission of sins by believing in this.
Only when people meet God’s servants who have received the remission of sins, that is, those who have been sent by God, they can clearly find out that they are truly sinners and that if they die now, they will go to hell. After that, they must listen to the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God’s servants tell them. Like so, only by listening to the gospel of the water and the blood with which our Lord has made us be born again, does one receive the remission of sins and has his eyes open up brightly. Just as the blind man had his eyes open up perfectly after being pasted with the clay made with Jesus’ saliva and then washing his eyes in the pool of Siloam, we must also open our spiritual eyes by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in which Jesus had received the baptism and died vicariously on the Cross for us. The Lord is telling us this. Can you understand it?
No matter how atrocious and wicked a sinner may be, if that person were to hear and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit told by those who have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the person can receive the remission of sins. Just as the blind man cannot read the Bible even if he tried, a sinner can neither interpret the Word of God by himself or herself nor understand the Truth contained in the Bible. For this reason, such a person must listen to and believe in the Word of God told by those who have truly been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In the Second Book of Kings chapter 5, a commander named Naaman appears. He was the commander of the army of Syria, and he was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master because he once had given victory to the king of Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. Although he had all the things necessary on this earth, he was in misery because of this sickness. And so, to heal his sickness, we went to find Elisha, a servant of God. According to Naaman’s thinking, the leprosy would get healed only if Elisha were to come personally, place his hands on his head, and pray in tongues, saying, “La-di-la-di Lal-la.” So he came riding a long way to Israel.
But Elisha not only did not meet the commander Naaman but instead, through his servant named Gehazi, told Naaman to go and wash in the Jordan seven times. At first when Naaman heard this, he got angry. From a human perspective, he had every reason to be angry, for Elisha had passed on only the necessary words by sending a mere servant instead of coming out to welcome him, a commander of the army of a big country. And so, he tried to return to his country.
But at that moment, one of the servants dissuaded him from doing so. The servants persuaded the commander Naaman by saying, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” The servant was telling Naaman to just try it once, for it would not be too late go back to Syria, bring the army, and then annihilate this country, should his words turn out to be nothing but lies. Hearing those words, the commander Naaman judged that they have some truth in them. Then, saying, “Well, I’ll try it once,” he went to the Jordan River, took off his clothes, and washed himself seven times. Just then, his leprosy was healed, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child.
Like this, the sins of people can only be cleansed by the water and the blood, not by speaking in tongues or some wonders. Thus, the waters of the Jordan River through which one receives the cleansing of sin are written in the Old Testament. This gospel of the Jordan River is the secret of Jesus’ baptism, being born again, and the remission of sins. What that can save sinners from all their sins is precisely the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
You Must Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit to Be Born Again.
 
Do you know and believe in the baptism of water that Jesus had received at the Jordan River? Jesus said that He has saved all the sinners by the water, the blood, and the Spirit. Jesus has perfectly saved you and me by the water and the Spirit. And He says that only those who are born again by believing in this Truth can enter the Kingdom of God.
Just like the commander Naaman, those who haven’t yet been born again try to just go back instead of obeying the Word of God, thinking that the Word differs from their thoughts. They come to receive the remission of sins, but then they try to go back thinking that it doesn’t adhere to their thoughts, saying, “I think of the remission of sins as something like the following: there has to be the fire coming inside my heart, and also, there has to be the laying on of the hands in a grand fashion, beating of drum, crying, and praying loudly.” However, God did not save the humankind through their emotional fullness. If one tries to receive the salvation through an emotional fullness, then that is a false salvation.
If you want to receive the remission of sins, you must throw away your own thoughts. If you dare try to receive the remission of sins with your own thoughts, you will fail every time. If you don’t throw away your thoughts and do not even believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with which Jesus has atoned for all your sins, you will go to hell infallibly. Knowing that Jesus was going to paste on his eyes clay made with His saliva, if the blind man had resisted by saying that he doesn’t want it, he would not have been able to open his eyes. If he had thought, “Even without it, I have been treated contemptuously as someone born blind, yet You are going to paste on my eyes clay made with saliva! Really, do You think that a blind man doesn’t have any self-esteem?” he would have said, with a hurt pride, “Even if I cannot open my eyes, let it be that way. I cannot be a part of such a dirty act. I won’t do it.” And then, if he had continued to be stubborn like that and refused to obey the Lord, he would have never been able to open up his eyes all throughout his life. But the blind man committed his everything to Jesus.
You must also throw away your self-esteem in order to receive the remission of sins. The ones who had the commander Naaman hear the gospel were a small girl and Gehazi. Servants of God who do God’s work may seem like useless ones with a shabby appearance on the outside. But God works in a way that is different from human thinking. Our Lord also did not show off His majesty when He came to this earth. Truly, our Lord lowered Himself, lower than the common people, and by lowering Himself, He met and became friends with the poor, the sick, and the pitiful. And also, He saved them from all their sins. Also in this day and age, our Lord wants to remit people’s sins. Just as He had been with the lowly when He was on earth about 2,000 years ago, He still wants to be together with those who have a humble heart, realizing that they themselves are complete sinners.
I want you to know this fact. I am speaking about the very fact that to receive the remission of sins, you must throw away your own thoughts. People, regardless of who they are, have their own thoughts and standards. Do you have a standard of your own that goes, “One will receive the remission of sins in such and such way”? You must throw that away. To be born again, you must throw away all the styles, standards and thoughts of your own. You must throw them all away and then receive the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God gives you.
The Lord said to the blind man, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” This means that we must meet the apostles sent by God, in other words, the people who were sent by God. Sinners must meet the righteous sent by God. This, in other words, means that you must meet those who have received the remission of sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit ahead of you. When you meet a righteous person who has received the remission of sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can receive the definite remission of sins. ‘Siloam’ refers to the servants of God who are spreading the gospel of the righteousness of God. And the blind refers to sinners who have to receive the remission of sins. Every sinner must meet those who are spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit without fail.
Today’s Scripture passage in the Book of John chapter 9 is speaking about this. In the Book of John chapter 9, all that the blind man did was hearing Jesus’ Word in which he was told to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, going and washing there, and then coming back with good eyesight. Just as it is said, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), if you go to the Church of the born-again, the sins in your heart are cleansed completely. By listening to and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you become like the Scripture passage in the Book of Isaiah that says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Like so, our Lord has completely cleansed all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The disciples of Jesus were all righteous people. Right now in this world, are there righteous people? Yes, there are. They are none other than those who have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus came to this earth in human flesh and took on all our sins through the baptism He had received from John the Baptist. Then, to reconcile us sinners with God, He gave Himself up as the propitiation. Our Lord has made us the righteous by the water and the blood. Therefore, we must know that human beings are sinners from birth. We must realize that Jesus has washed away all the sins clean by giving us, who have been born as sinners, the water and the blood and that by vicariously receiving all the judgment on our behalf, He has made those who believe in this Truth the born-again people of God.
What kind of sinners are we human beings? We are the worst of sinners who commit innumerable sins by heart, retain sins inside the heart, and commit sins through acts until death. However, because the Lord loved such sinners like us so much, He cleansed all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Through the account of a blind man coming back with good eyesight after having been told by the Lord to go and wash in the pool of Siloam, He spoke to us about the salvation given by the water and the Spirit. Like so, a sinner gets to receive the remission of sins by believe in Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All you have to do is to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.
I would like to speak to you about how I had gone and washed my eyes in the pool of Siloam. It has now been about 30 years since I had started believing in Jesus. But, for the first 10 years of Christian life, I had lived as a Christian sinner. For those 10 years, as I was studying theology, I was in constant agony because of sins inside my heart. But the Lord met with me.
Before I was born again, when I read the Bible, I couldn’t grasp the real meaning of the Word because I had been spiritually blind so severely that what was black were just letters and what was white was just paper. At times, I read it with full emotion, but that emotional fullness did not last long. And on most occasions, I was just idling by with the view, “What is black are just letters and what is white is just paper.” There is a characteristic common to all those who believe in Jesus without having been born again: at the beginning of their faith in Jesus, believing in Jesus makes them feel really great, but as they believe more and more, they become weary because of those sins that still remain in their hearts. Someone being in agony due to the tormenting sins inside the heart despite having faith in Jesus is a clear proof that the person has not been born again. Back then, because I had believed just in the blood of the Cross without being aware of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I also wasn’t able to receive the remission of sins.
However, once you receive the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will no longer worry over problems of sin. It is because everything has been solved. In order to receive the remission of sins, you must carefully examine to see if you clearly acknowledge yourself as a sinner who truly cannot but go to hell. Only by doing so, you can receive the remission of sins by listening to the gospel. If you don’t know how much of a sinner you are for the sins deep inside your heart haven’t surfaced, you cannot become a righteous person 100% perfectly.
We human beings do not live every day in virtue, and then for some reason, by accident, commit sins. Rather, we commit sins because the 12 kinds of sins inside of us are revealed (Mark 7:21-23). Someone may seem so virtuous that the person might not commit any sin. But it is because the person hides the sin inside the heart with virtuous acts and righteous images. Human beings, regardless of who they are, are fundamentally those that commit sins until death. From a spiritual perspective, the sins that you haven’t committed yet are actually the same sins as those you have already committed. They were also included in the sin of the world which John the Baptist had passed on to Jesus through the laying on of his hands.
And thus, our God has blotted out all our sins. And the Lord has shown us the secret of the remission of sins through the miracle of opening the blind man’s eyes. If you want to receive the remission of sins, like this blind man, you must meet our Lord, and as He commands, go to those who have been sent by God and listen to the Word from them. The Lord has given us the account of the blind man to teach us about this.
Understanding God’s Word properly isn’t difficult. If you believe in the God-given keyword for being born again, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can be born again at once. And, as you hear God’s Word more and more, you will be able to understand what this Word of the gospel, by which you have received the cleansing of sins, is saying.
Within Christianity of this day and age, there are many ministers who go on ministering without having been born again. Because they go on ministering without having been born again, they don’t even know whether or not their followers have been born again. If we look at the Scriptures, false shepherds who cannot discern sheep from goats spiritually are referred to as hirelings. We the born-again servants are precisely the pool of Siloam mentioned in today’s Scripture passage. No matter who he or she may be, any blind person can be washed clean by going and washing in the pool of Siloam, as instructed by the Lord. The place for the remission of sins is the pool of Siloam.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit, according to which Jesus received the baptism and died vicariously on the Cross, is the fountain of salvation. That is why our Lord said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). The fountain of water springing up into everlasting life is such that the more you draw from it, the more joyful it becomes for you, and the more delightful and beautiful water comes out. You will also understand this once you receive the remission of sins.
Dear fellow believers, go and wash in the pool of Siloam! Don’t you want to open your eyes by going and washing in the pool of Siloam after having had the clay made with Jesus’ saliva pasted on your eyes? As for you all, please be born again by opening your spiritual eyes by coming to God’s Church right now, and hearing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So long as you have the proper faith of accepting that you are a complete sinner, you will also be able to hear the Word of God and receive a complete remission of all so many sins that are like a thick cloud. To do so, you must go and cleanse your sins spiritually in the pool of Siloam.
Spiritually, the pool of Siloam means ‘those who have been sent by God.’ Right now, you must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit through those who believe in the righteousness of God ahead of you. It is because if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, your sins will be cleansed absolutely.