The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 17 : JESUS CHRIST and JOHN THE BAPTIST

[17-6] (John 1:30-36) Do You Know The Ministries of Two Servants of God?

(John 1:30-36)
“‘This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.’ And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’ Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’”
 
 
Today’s Scripture passage comes from John 1:30-36. God’s servants who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit all know that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of sinners. Like this, those who really know God and believe in Him properly can realize that John the Baptist had fulfilled a precious and indispensable ministry as a servant of God.
 
 
In the Age of the Old Testament, Some Servants Were Especially Set aside to be Dedicated to God
 
The Nazirites such as Samson were especially set aside by God even before they were born to dedicate their lives to Him. Like these Nazirites, John, who baptized Jesus, was also born on this earth as a man especially set aside by God even before he was conceived in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth. So when Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist, an angel said, “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). As this passage shows, John the Baptist was a man especially set aside and chosen by God.
When John the Baptist grew up, the Holy Spirit made him realize that Jesus was the Son of God so that he could bear witness to Jesus Christ properly. So he confessed, “He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’” (John 1:33).
John the Baptist was a man entrusted with a special mission from God. Before he laid his hands on the head of Jesus to baptize Him, John the Baptist had received the revelation of the Holy Spirit saying to him, “When you baptize people, whomever the Holy Spirit descends upon is the very Son of God.” It’s written, “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God” (John 1:33-34). So John the Baptist became the man who passed the sins of mankind to Jesus by baptizing Him. Having baptized Jesus, John the Baptist then bore witness of this Jesus, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) Like this, John the Baptist was able to testify that the baptized Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior who bore mankind’s sins.
Bearing witness of Jesus, John the Baptist said: “He is the very Son of God, the Lamb of God and the Savior prophesied throughout the entire age of the Old Testament.” The Son of God came to this earth as a man, accepted all the sins of mankind once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and bore witness of Himself, thereby demonstrating that He was indeed the everlasting Savior of mankind. As a part of his ministry, John the Baptist bore witness of this, testifying that Jesus Christ shouldered the sins of mankind, and that He would shed His blood on the Cross and rise from the dead again. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, he recognized beyond all doubts that Jesus was the Son of God. God made it impossible for anyone who knows His righteousness to deny that John the Baptist is the servant of God who passed the sins of mankind to Jesus by baptizing Him. In other words, God made sure that all who believe in His Son would be able to realize that John the Baptist is the last prophet of the Old Testament and the last High Priest of this earth who passed the sins of mankind to Jesus by baptizing Him.
If anyone doesn’t realize this, then he is not someone who believes in the Word of God sincerely; nor is he someone who has found the Savior through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For us to be saved from all the sins of this world according to the written Word of the Scriptures, we must understand John the Baptist’s ministry of passing the sins of the world to Jesus once and for all, and we must believe in this ministry.
The Apostle John, a disciple of Jesus, testifies in 1 John 5:5-8: “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”
John the Baptist also testified this Truth that Jesus bore the sins of mankind by being baptized, that He would die to atone for all those sins, and that Jesus was the Son of God. Like this, the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus are clearly interrelated. John the Baptist’s ministry was not only to pass all the sins of mankind to Jesus by baptizing Him, but also to bear witness of Jesus as the following: “Jesus Christ is the very Savior of mankind. He is the Savior and the Messiah who bore and washed away all the sins of this world once and for all. Whoever believes that Jesus Christ who came to this earth is the Savior will be saved from all sins.” Through the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus, we can find out the real Truth of salvation, that Jesus Christ is our Savior. It has therefore been made possible for us to be saved by faith even now. If we all really believe in the Word of God and follow it, then we would all know John the Baptist’s ministry, and it would be impossible for us not to believe that he is a God-sent servant.
John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus while He was on this earth, testifying that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. Yet few realized this despite his testimony. John the Baptist testified the Truth, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” But even fewer people made the connection between this Truth and the ministry of John the Baptist, and far less believed in it. It is because of John the Baptist who baptized Jesus that Jesus could take upon Himself the sins of mankind once and for all. Prior to the account told in today’s Scripture passage, John the Baptist was the only one who knew that Jesus was the Son of God and the Savior of mankind; the true Messiah who bore all the sins of mankind through His baptism and was to bear the condemnation of all those sins on the Cross.
 
 
John the Baptist’s Testimony Was Truthful
 
By baptizing Jesus, John the Baptist passed the sins of this world to Jesus once and for all. He then bore witness of this Truth to all those who believe in Jesus as the Savior of mankind. The testimony of John the Baptist was to make it known to all that Jesus bore all the sins of mankind by being baptized by him. He is the one whose ministry was baptizing Jesus.
When John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River, Jesus came to him and sought to receive baptism from him. Jesus said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Jesus Christ said this in order to take upon Himself everyone’s sins all at once through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended from heaven like a dove and God the Father testified, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
John the Baptist not only gave Jesus the baptism that fulfilled the righteousness of God, but he also made it possible for us to realize, through his testimony, that Jesus is our true Savior. As God the Father ordered John the Baptist to pass the sins of the world to Jesus, and as Jesus accepted them by being baptized, the will of God the Father was fulfilled, and that is why all of us were able to be saved from the sins of the world by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. Jesus was manifested to this world through John the Baptist. That is why we can truly believe that Jesus Christ, who came by the water and the Spirit, is the Savior of mankind. Put differently, John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus to reveal Him to this world as the Savior of the entire human race.
Through this testimony of John the Baptist, God has made us realize and believe that Jesus is the Savior who bore all our sins and washed them away by being baptized. Therefore, it's now possible for you and me, and everyone else as well,
to realize that Jesus is the Savior of mankind. And through the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross, we can all have true faith. Because Jesus took upon Himself the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, and because He was crucified to bear the condemnation of all the sins of this world while shouldering them, whoever believes this can now be truly born again and become one of God’s own people. To all such people who believe in Jesus, realizing that He is the Savior who has delivered them from all the sins of this world, Jesus has also given the evidence and assurance that anyone who believes in His gospel of the water and the Spirit has indeed obtained the remission of sins.
For those who believe in the baptism of Jesus Christ through the testimony of John the Baptist—that is, those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself, that He blotted out our sins once and for all by being baptized in the Jordan River, and that He ended all our sins and the condemnation of sins by being crucified and condemned in our place—God has made it possible for all such people to be born again. Therefore, you should now believe that God has blotted out all your sins and that you have been saved by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Through His Son, God has made sinless all those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and saved them from sin, no matter how vile and insufficient they may be. This Truth is the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. If anyone believes in Jesus’ gospel of the water and the Spirit with his heart, he will become a sinless person. Whoever believes in Jesus as his Savior will be made sinless, but for those don’t believe in Jesus Christ, who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they will remain sinful. Everyone can become a sinless person if they believe that Jesus, whom John the Baptist bore witness of, and who came by the water and the blood, is the Savior (1 John 5:6-8). No matter how violent, insufficient, weak, and full of mistakes anyone may be, if he believes in Jesus as his Savior and in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he will be saved from all sins and become a righteous person.
People cannot help but still remain sinful precisely because they don’t believe that Jesus is the Savior who has delivered them from sin. However, for those who believe that Jesus is their Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all their sins are completely blotted out. If we really believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, then we must realize that by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, Jesus bore all our sins once and for all and washed them all way.
 
 
Jesus Was Baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River
 
Matthew 3:13 says, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” Jesus had come to John the Baptist to be baptized, and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
John the Baptist was a servant of God sent by Him, and Jesus, by being baptized by John, the representative of mankind, bore all our sins once for all and washed them away all at once. Therefore, it was to take upon all the sins of this world that Jesus sough to be baptized by John the Baptist. Although John the Baptist declined to baptize Jesus at first, he eventually relinquished and baptized Jesus in submission to His order, and Jesus was able to accept all the sins of this world. Like this, as John the Baptist laid his hands on Jesus’ head and baptized Him, Jesus was able to take upon Himself the sins of this world by thus receiving baptism, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead. After being baptized by John, Jesus came out of the water, implying that He would be resurrected after His atoning death on the Cross.
This was exactly according to the Word of God promised in the Old Testament. The baptism that Jesus received in the New Testament was the fulfillment of the prophesy of the Old Testament implied in the sacrificial system: In order to blot out the sins of His people, God used to transfer their yearly sins to the scapegoat when the High Priest laid his hands on the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement. So by thus being baptized, Jesus bore all the sins of mankind and washed them all away.
On the day after Jesus was baptized, when John the Baptist saw Jesus walking before him, he said: “Look, people! Look at that Man! He is the Lamb of God carrying the sins of the world! He is the very Lamb of God. He is the Savior of mankind shouldering the sins of the world. He is the Savior of sinners. He is your Savior, my Savior, and the Savior of all people.” John the Baptist bore the witness of the real substance of salvation in this way. He could testify like this because he clearly knew who Jesus was.
Jesus was indeed the Lamb of God carrying the sins of the world. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, Jesus could become, through John, the Lamb of God who accepted the sins of the world. That’s why John the Baptist testified the next day of Jesus’ baptism, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) By being baptized, Jesus took upon Himself each and every sin in this world, and by shedding His blood on the Cross and being condemned once, He saved the entire human race perfectly. How then can there be any sin left? Given the fact that Jesus bore all sins through His baptism and shed His precious blood to pay off the wages of these sins, how can there be any sin in this world?
If you don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then your sins would still remain intact. But if you really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you have been washed from all your sins and obtained the full remission of sins. How is it that possible? Because if anyone has the faith to believe that Jesus shouldered the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, then such people have all been saved from sin unconditionally. It’s because your salvation from sin is not fulfilled by yourself, but it has been fulfilled to perfection by the Savior Himself. If anyone has even the slightest faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then he has been saved from all sins. So there is no one who can’t receive the remission of sins if this person indeed knows and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and Jesus properly. Jesus came by the water and the Spirit, and everyone who knows and believes in Him properly has received the remission of sins. Since Jesus took away the sins of the world by being baptized, it’s impossible for anyone who believes in this to have any sin left.
If you still have your sins remaining intact, it’s only because you don’t recognize Jesus, neither realizing nor believing that Jesus has become your own propitiation of atonement. If you really believe in Jesus, how can the sins of the world remain with you, when Jesus already took them all away? It’s impossible! So if you believe in Jesus’ sacrifice of atonement, then you are sinless; but if you don’t, then you are still sinful.
 
 
To Be Born Again, Everyone Must Understand and Believe in the Ministries of Two Anointed Servants
 
It is by believing in Jesus as your Savior that you are saved from sin—if not, then you will face the condemnation of sin. No matter how insufficient, evil, weak, depraved, cruel, violent, petty, and craven anyone may be, if this person believes in Jesus, then he has no sin. Everyone is made sinless if they know the gospel of Jesus properly and believes in it properly. That’s why it’s so important for all to know Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
How should one then know about Jesus? One must first know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to know correctly who Jesus is. Just as Peter knew Jesus and confessed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16), we can also know Jesus and confess the following: “Lord, You are the Christ, the King of kings, and the God of creation. You are God Himself and also the Son of the living God. You are the High Priest of Heaven, the Prophet, and the King. You are my God, my King, the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven who has blotted out all my sins once and for all, and the true Prophet who has taught me this Truth.” All those who have received the remission of sins would confess their faith like this.
After John the Baptist was martyred, the people at that time had some strange thoughts about Jesus. As Jesus raised the dead and healed the sick, some people thought that Jesus was John the Baptist. King Herod, for instance, thought, “John the Baptist has been resurrected! Jesus is his reincarnation!” Herod was very afraid that he had killed John the Baptist. Others said, “No, Jesus is not John the Baptist. He may be Elijah instead. Elijah had ascended to Heaven without tasting death; maybe He has returned again. Only Elijah could do such things.” Still others said, “No, that Man is not Elijah. He is very compassionate. He may be Jeremiah instead. Although He can be very cold at times, He is so understanding of man and full of compassion. Maybe He is Jeremiah, the Prophet of Tears.”
Different people thought differently of Jesus and each had his own understanding. But Jesus asked Peter, “Peter, who do you think I am?” Peter then said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” In this short answer was Peter’s true faith. Even though Peter had been just an ordinary fisherman, he was a man of such great faith that he pinpointed the exact essence of Jesus with his terse answer.
Those who believe in Jesus properly as their Savior can explain the essence of the gospel of the water and the Spirit clearly and simply. They can say, “Jesus has remitted away all my sins like this with the water and the blood.” When Peter confessed his faith to Jesus, Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” In other words, it was God the Father who had made this known to Peter.
The same is true for us as well. When we preach the Word of God to people, who really teaches them? When you accepted this gospel, who taught this Truth to your heart? It is the Lord Himself who taught you the Truth and made you believe in it, saying to you, “Coming by the water and the blood, I have saved you from all sins.” It’s the Lord who made us realize and understand the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.
A lot of people say that they believe in Jesus as their Savior, but this is just based on their own emotion. It’s because they don’t have the correct knowledge of Jesus. This is a common phenomenon in today’s Christianity. Many people have believed in Jesus for decades without even realizing that He is the Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When they are asked, “Who is this Jesus whom you believe in?” they say, “Well, I do believe in Jesus, but I don’t know about this gospel of the water and the Spirit.” Based on what knowledge have these people believed in Jesus for decades then? They’ve believed in Jesus all according to their own emotion.
Peter knew exactly who Jesus was when he believed in Him. He said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” With this confession, Peter was saying, “You are my God, my Savior, and my Prophet as well. But You are also the Son of God and God Himself.” As such, Peter believed in Jesus with the correct knowledge; but today, many Christians claim to believe in Jesus even though they still do not know His righteousness. All the Christians professing to believe in Jesus must now know Him properly and believe in Him properly according to His Word.
They must also have the correct understanding of John the Baptist. They must know the many servants of God appearing in the Old Testament as well. Knowledge is indispensable to every aspect of life. So how can anyone then believe in Jesus when he is ignorant? The notion that you can be saved as long as you believe in Jesus somehow, even if you are ignorant of Him, is completely fallacious before God. It’s nothing more than man’s own thought. Even if you believe in Jesus, if you don’t recognize the divinity of Jesus, that He is fundamentally God Himself, then this faith of yours is also in vain.
It’s because Jesus is the Son of God that He was baptized for our sake to accept the sins of the world, and endured His ministry of suffering to die on the Cross. This is what God has done to save sinners from sin. It is by believing in this righteousness of God that we have become sinless. If Jesus were just an ordinary man, then it would have been not only impossible for us to be saved from sin ever, but Jesus would have also been recognized only as one of the great and renowned people of the world. If you believe in Jesus based on a worldly standard like this, thinking of Him only as one of the four great sages, then you cannot be saved from sin.
Jesus is God Himself. He is the Savior who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only the Son of God could become the Savior of the human race because everyone had fallen into sin. You must grasp here that it is only because Jesus is God Himself rather than just a man, that His baptism by John the Baptist and His death on the Cross are effective for you and me and for all those who believe in Him. Everyone who believes in the righteousness of Jesus with the heart reaches salvation by faith, and it is also by this faith that everyone can be born again. You must therefore believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Those who have not been born again, even if they profess to believe in Jesus, still have sins remaining intact with them. For such people, even though John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus and testified, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” this Word of God is just a passage and their sins still remain intact in their spirits. Since these people don’t believe in the Word of God that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the sins of the world still remain in them. Since the sins of the world are in their hearts, they cannot say that they have no sin even though they believe in Jesus. Likewise, since they continue to commit sin time after time throughout their lives, they are still sinners and cannot claim to be righteous people. In other words, because they believe in Jesus without any proper understanding of His righteousness, they are still sinners, and unable to become righteous people; they will live and die buried under the sins of the world.
If you have the proper knowledge of the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus, and if you believe in them properly, then you can become a sinless person no matter how insufficient you may be, and you can also say boldly to anyone that you are indeed a righteous person. How is it possible for you to say so? You can say that you are righteous because you believe in the righteousness of God. It is precisely because you believe in the righteousness of God that you are now sinless.
How, then, should human beings be born again? Jesus said that they must be born again of water and the Spirit. This means that we are born again by believing that Jesus is both God Himself and the precious Son of God, that He is the Savior who has saved sinners by being baptized and shedding His blood, and that He is the Prophet who has taught us—that is, by believing that Jesus has saved us by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood on the Cross.
 
 
To Be Born Again Is to Receive the Remission of Sins by Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
In the gospel of the water and the Spirit, ‘the water’ here refers to the baptism of Jesus and ‘the Spirit’ implies that Jesus is God Himself. Even though Jesus is God Himself, this exalted God personally came down to this earth as a Man, took upon Himself our sins by being baptized, and shed His blood on the Cross. He is the Savior who has thus made sinless all of us who believe in Him with the heart. We were born again by believing in the baptism Jesus received and the blood He shed as the propitiation of atonement. Our salvation is reached by believing that Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself, that all our sins were passed onto Him through His baptism, and that He shed His precious blood on the Cross to atone for all those sins in our place. To believe in this is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s because Jesus is God Himself and our Savior. The reason why we must believe in the divinity of Jesus, that Jesus is God Himself, is because we believe that God Himself came to this earth as the Savior Jesus, took upon Himself the sins of the world by receiving baptism on His body, shed all the blood that was in His body on the Cross to wash away all our sins, and has thereby saved from sin all those who believe in this Truth. None other than this faith is what makes it possible for everyone to be born again.
The Bible states that Jesus Christ was the One who came by the water and the blood (1 John 5:6). The water here refers to the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist, while the blood refers to the blood Jesus shed on the Cross. Jesus said that unless we are born again of water and the Spirit, we can neither see the Kingdom of God nor enter it. He also said that anyone who is born again of water and the Spirit can call God his own Father. God has made it possible for anyone to be born again as long as he believes in the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist, in the Truth that He is the Son of God, and in His ministry. Whoever believes that Jesus has washed away all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist for our sake will be born again. In other words, it is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that man is made sinless. Jesus said that all those who believe that He is God Himself and their Savior, that God Himself has become their personal Savior, they will become God’s own people.
As born-again righteous people, you and I can now boldly declare the motif and foundation of our faith to everyone, saying, “I have been saved from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” This is what it means to be born again by believing in Jesus. One becomes a righteous person only if he is infallibly born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus.
Being born again of water and the Spirit means, above all else, that we are cleansed from all our sins by believing that Jesus accepted all our sins and washed them all away by being baptized by John. Those who believe that all their sins were passed onto Jesus’ head through John the Baptist are the very people who have obtained the complete remission of sins. These people are born again by believing that Jesus is God the Spirit, and that this Jesus, who bore all their sins and was condemned for them by shedding His precious blood on the Cross, is the very God Himself. Also, such faith believes that Jesus, who came by the baptism and the blood in order to save mankind, is not merely a man but God Himself.
Jesus said in John chapter 3 that one can enter the Kingdom of God and see it only if he is born again of water and the Spirit. Those of us who believe in this are those who have been born again of water and the Spirit. When it comes to the question of how anyone can be born again, the answer is that one is properly born again by believing that Jesus is God Himself, that He came to this earth incarnated in the image of man, that He was baptized, that He was condemned on the Cross, and that He has thereby saved us perfectly from all sins.
Those who believe that God has thus saved everyone from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the born-again people. They have now been born once more. As human beings, we could not avoid but reach death because of our sins; and yet by passing all these sins to Jesus through our faith in His baptism and His blood, all our sins were remitted away when Jesus was baptized. When He died on the Cross, we also died once; and when He rose from the dead again, we were also brought back to life together with Jesus. So believing in all these things wholeheartedly is the very faith that saves everyone from sin.
However, those who don’t believe that Jesus is God Himself and the Son of God, and that Jesus has saved us through the water and the blood, cannot be born again because their sins are not washed away. Among those professing to believe in Jesus as their Savior, those who believe in His water and blood have been born again of water and the Spirit. But there are others who don’t believe that this Jesus, who has washed away all their sins through His water and blood, is none other than God Himself, and that this God has saved them like this. Such people have not been born again yet. This means that everyone remains a sinner only because he doesn’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is man’s destiny to be born as a sinner and to remain a sinner until the very end of his life. People continue to be sinners because they don’t believe with their hearts in the Truth of salvation that Jesus their Savior is the Son of God and God Himself; that this God came to earth incarnated in the flesh of man, that He was baptized and shed His blood on the Cross, that He rose from the dead again on the third day, and that He has thereby made them completely righteous and turned them into God’s own people. This is why all of us must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and thus receive the remission of sins and be born again.
When I say that you must have faith in Jesus as your Savior, you may think of a superstitious belief; one that blindly believes in Jesus as the Savior without any understanding. But this is not what I mean. The right faith is to know the true Word of God without fail and believe in it with this clear understanding. This is the true faith. To illustrate it more easily, let me explain faith with the following analogy.
Let’s say that we are in a moving train. As long as we are on board, we are still moving regardless of whether we are sitting in the middle of the train or in the very last car. Likewise, if we are sitting in the first car, or even right next to the train conductor, we are still moving just the same. But it’s not we ourselves that are actually moving. It’s the train that moves, and it moves only because it has an engine. The rest of the train moves automatically along with the engine car as the locomotive engineer just drives it. So when we get on board a train, we can all reach our destination regardless of which car we are sitting in. Obviously, it’s wrong to think that the train is moving on its own. A train that has no engine is not a train, but only a big chunk of scrap metal.
Like this, faith also requires a definitive foundation that can lead you like an engine of a train. The right faith is to believe in the power of the essential foundation of the baptism of Jesus, His Cross, His death, and His resurrection. If you believe in Jesus blindly, without understanding exactly how He has saved you through the water and the blood, then your faith is not a true faith. If this is not faith, what is it then? It’s like chasing after a white elephant. To believe in Jesus without knowing the water and the Spirit is also like believing in a phantom. It’s no different from making your own fictitious god and bowing before it.
My fellow believers, for you to be born again from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you must have the correct understanding of the ministry of Jesus, and you must also grasp the ministry of John the Baptist properly. If John the Baptist had not known that Jesus was the Savior, then today, we would not have been freed from sin. If John the Baptist did not have the unwavering faith that he had passed the sins of the world to Jesus by baptizing Him, how else could he have borne witness of Jesus to the people of Israel, testifying that Jesus was the Lamb of God carrying the sins of the world? He couldn’t have testified this unless he knew exactly what he had done. He also needed evidence to bear witness. What evidence? There had to be the evidence of the Word to show that John the Baptist had passed the sins of the world to Jesus by baptizing Him. Those who have this evidence are the ones who have baptized Jesus to pass all their sins onto Him.
Therefore, a sinner is born again only if he believes in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross; otherwise no sinner can be born again. If you want to be born again, then you must understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit clearly and believe in it. When you know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it properly, this is the very faith of being born again from sin. You must realize that Jesus, God Himself, bore all the sins of mankind in this world once and for all by receiving baptism on His body as the High Priest of Heaven. You must also realize that Jesus was condemned on the Cross once, and that He rose from the dead again on the third day. You must also realize that He is now sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father. Jesus promised us that He would return to take away all of us, His believers. You can be born again from sin only if you understand and believe in what I said so far. If you instead believe blindly that Jesus is your Savior without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit He has given you, then you cannot be born again.
Whom does Jesus take away to the Kingdom of Heaven? He takes away only those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Who then has been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? It’s those who know and believe that Jesus is God Himself and the Son of God, that all their sins and all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized by John, that He washed them all away, that He was condemned by shedding His blood on the Cross, and that He rose from the dead again—it’s these people who are born again of water and the Spirit of whom Jesus spoke. This is the core message of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and this is the Truth of being born again.
In the days of the Old Testament, there was a prophet named Habakkuk, and the Lord said through him, “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). Human Beings are as proud as Lucifer since his vicious poison has infected them all. However, this passage says that even the most wicked can be made righteous, and those who have been made righteous live by faith.
If you wholeheartedly believe that Jesus is God Himself, that He bore your sins and washed them away when He was baptized by John the Baptist, that He was condemned on the Cross in your place, that He rose from the dead again on the third day, that He is sitting at the right hand of God, and that He will return as the Judge, then you can be born again and become a righteous person by this faith. If you just believe in this way, the Holy Spirit will come into your heart and seal it with His approval, saying, “You have been born again. You are one of My people.” That is how you are made sinless by faith. The righteous who have been saved from sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have no sin whatsoever in God’s sight, no mater how insufficient they may be. They are sinless in faith, and they are also sinless in actuality. Even if they commit sin, they still remain sinless. They truly have no sin at all. Do you have any sin then? No, all your sins have disappeared.
Those who neither know nor believe that Jesus is the Savior who has remitted away all their sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit are Christian heretics. In contrast, those who truthfully believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross are true Christians who have no sin. Everyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has the right knowledge of the righteousness of God and believes in Him properly.
John the Baptist knew Jesus very well. That’s why he bore witness of Jesus in John 1:29, saying, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist testified that there was no sin in the world. The believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit also testify that they have no sin, but those who don’t believe in this gospel testify that they still have sins remaining intact.
Through today’s Scripture passage from John 1:30-36, we can see that whether we are born again or not depends on whether or not we believe in God knowing the righteousness of Jesus. We must know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit first, and we must believe in this Truth with all our hearts. To believe like this is the right faith in God’s sight.
To conclude, knowing and believing in the baptism that Jesus received from John, the blood that He shed on the Cross, and the grace of His death and resurrection—this is the faith that really saves you, and this is the Truth. I admonish you all to believe.