“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’ For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ And the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the LORD God said to the serpent:
‘Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.’
To the woman He said:
‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.’
Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
‘Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.’
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’—therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”
How are you doing? Salvation is a gift that only God can give us. And it is available only to those who are aware of their sinfulness. Unless someone’s sin is exposed, he will never yearn to receive salvation from God, as it is written, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12). For example, even though God had given Cain the mark of salvation, Cain did not believe to the end. When his sin wasn’t exposed, Cain put forth his righteousness, but only after having killed his brother, did he acknowledge his sin. After Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him, God said to Cain, “Do you not know you have sinned?” And Cain said, “Yes, You are right,” and then he became downhearted. Because he was downhearted too much, God gave him the mark of salvation. Nevertheless, he did not believe in God and left far away from Him.
God has saved all the people. Therefore, people who believe in this Truth get to receive salvation from all sins and become sinless. And because they have been saved from sins, their destination will be Heaven. However, as for those who do not believe in the God-given salvation, they cannot but remain sinners because of their disbelief. And because of those sins in theirs hearts, they will go to hell in the end. Dear fellow believers, do you believe this?
Legalistic faith is a faith that leads churchgoers to hell. The faith of believing in the Word of God is the faith that leads the saints to salvation. How are you living out your faith? Aren’t you still trying to have your faith be accepted by offering prayers of repentance, crying and screaming and by diligently offering the fruit of the ground like Cain? Such faith is precisely what legalistic faith is all about. We must know that this is a false faith that Satan the Devil brings to us. Satan the Devil tries to deceive us and make us trip over and fall. Satan depresses us, saying, “What merit do you have that is so special? Look at your wretched self.” By exposing our lacking of the flesh, Satan the Devil continues to poke on sins that we have committed and makes us look into them so that we would trip over our lacking and fall on our own. If we were to accept the fact that we are lacking and come back to the Word of God, it would be a good ending, but then again, Satan provokes people to carry out good deeds to cover up those lacking. Nonetheless, a person does not get accepted before God. After having looked at us human beings trying to cover up our lacking on our own and putting effort into trying to retrieve, God did not say that we were doing well, but instead, He sacrificed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve with tunics of its skin, saying, “Because nothing is available to your salvation no matter how hard you try, I Myself will save you.” By wearing the God-given tunics of skin, we humans get to realize that this animal had died in our place.
Our Lord shed His blood because He had received the baptism. It is written, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Therefore, the concise answer of faith to the question, why was Jesus hung on the Cross, is shown here. Jesus shed His blood on the Cross, was resurrected from the dead, and now sits down at the right hand of the Throne of God the Father because He had taken on all the sins of humankind by coming to this earth and receiving the baptism for you and me. We must accurately understand the reason why Jesus was hung on the Cross. Jesus has saved us like that.
When you look into your selves, do not despair by looking only at your lacking. When looking at your lacking, do not put all your heart into raising your strength to overcome that lacking. What you need the most is to acknowledge your lacking before God and to implore Him for salvation. First of all, admit your wretched self. “I am lacking like so, and I have sinned.” Surely, we commit sins amidst our lifetime like fogs. We must admit ourselves to be like that and look toward the Lord. In order to save you and me, the Lord came to this earth and received the baptism. In that moment, sins of the world were passed onto Him, and the fact of the matter is that our sins were also passed onto Him at that moment. I hope for you to meditate on these Words. Your children’s sins were also passed onto Him. Even though we don’t know when this world will come to an end, all the future sins up until the end of the world were also passed onto Him. By believing in the Jesus Christ who has saved us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we get saved from all sins. By having greeted in our hearts the work that the Savior has done, we have been saved. We must devote all our hearts to the Word of God.
We mustn’t live out our faith legalistically. It is said that the antitype of salvation is the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. For Jesus had taken on all the worldly sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, Jesus got punished by getting nailed to the Cross. He said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) just before He breathed His last breath. He has saved all of us with His baptism (the water) and His blood of the Cross. Like this, the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so clear and correct. Our Lord is the Truth and He is the Way to Heaven. By coming down to this earth, what kind of way to the Truth and to Heaven did our Lord prepare for you and me? Jesus has saved us by being born on this earth, taking on all the sins of human kind at the age of thirty by receiving the baptism, dying by being nailed to the Cross, and being resurrected from the dead in three days. This salvation Jesus has given us is the Truth that is ever so certain, and it is the sure way to Heaven.
Religious pluralists are insisting that salvation can be found in every religion. Most Christians insist that you can be saved by having faith only in the blood of the Cross, that salvation exists in every religion, and that you can receive the Holy Spirit through your fervent prayers, but all these are lies. It is not like that. No one could be saved if it were not for Jesus Christ and His gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has given us no other name for our salvation except this Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). The Holy Spirit is a gift that God gives to those who have received the remission of sins.
Dear fellow believers, it is written, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism” (1 Peter 3:21). Because Jesus has taken on all our sins by receiving the baptism, the baptism of Jesus is the antitype of salvation. Also, because Jesus has received the judgment by dying on the Cross, you and I do not get to receive the judgment by believing in His baptism and the blood of the Cross, and we are without sin despite our lacking, even though we commit sins everyday. I have this faith. I have faith in the Word of God. By faith, we get to receive salvation. Do you also believe in this? Only those who believe in the Word can live in the Garden of Eden. This means that only those who believe in the Word of God can enter Heaven.
Can there be no sin in your heart even if you do not believe in Jesus having received the baptism? Professing that you do not have sins, all the while not believing in Jesus’ baptism, would only be a lie. Do you commit sins? Yes, you do. Is it the case then that you cannot enter Heaven because you have committed sins? If not, is it the case that you cannot enter Heaven because you do not believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood of the Cross?
If you are trying to receive salvation from sin by carrying out legalistic deeds, then you are making efforts in vain. Please, do not make vain efforts. Jesus received the baptism and died vicariously on the Cross in order to save you and me. By believing in this, I hope for you to receive salvation. I hope you will not go to hell by being obstinate like Cain.
People who have parted from God become fugitives and vagabonds like Cain. They cannot enter Heaven. Only those who believe in God’s Word can enter Heaven. Only those who believe in the baptism and the blood of the Cross can receive the remission of sins. Dear fellow believers, I want you to believe in the Truth. I want you to believe in God whether you are somebody or nobody.
The Lord has saved everyone in this world, including you and me, from all the sins of the world. God has blotted out Cain’s sin, too. But, Cain did not accept the Word of God, left God, and became a fugitive and a vagabond. The land of Nod was a cursed land. When an inhabitant of Nod approached him, Cain had to hide himself thinking, “That person might kill me.” Also, when people from afar approached in multitude, he also had to hide himself, thinking, “They are coming because they know that I have sinned.” People tend to be frightened of each other even though they have not sinned. A person’s heart wandering like that is what being a vagabond is, and therefore a vagabond gets to lead a truly difficult and tiresome life. However, if one were to believe in God, he will get to enjoy peace and comfort at the side of God, and his heart will become bold like that of a young lion, receiving blessings from God.
Although our actions are lacking before God, I am thankful that we no longer have sins. This thankful heart will lead us to live always toward God. That is why, from the moment when we became born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we wanted to follow the Lord and do His work. Because we have become the born-again children of God, the desire to serve the Lord arises on its own. Are you also like that? It is because we have love for the Lord inside our hearts.
In this world, 99.9% of Christians live out legalistic faith. It is truly lamentable. However, this gospel of the water and the Spirit is gradually spreading all over the world. Recently, we have translated some of our books into German, Spanish, and French. Now, the cover arts will be made soon and they will be printed shortly. Germany was a country where Martin Luther had lived. Martin Luther was a man who had cried out, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). France was the homeland of John Calvin. Calvin was a man who had written commentaries on the whole Bible based on the so-called Five Points of Calvinism. In Spain, Catholicism is the national religion, and that country had once stood against God. When King James of England ordered theologians under him to translate the original Scriptures into English, Spain sent the Invincible Armada to completely destroy them. At the ocean where England and Spain armies had met, God had tidal waves arise, and without even a fight, the entire Invincible Armada of Spain sunk underwater. It was God who had killed them all. And so, the King James Version of the Bible came to be.
That version was translated into Chinese and then that Chinese version of the Bible was translated into Korean. Therefore, this Korean version of the Bible that we read now is extremely accurate. Korean theologians studied for 40 years and published a newly translated version of the Bible recently, but that new version isn’t even comparable to the old version that we have right now. God has given us a good version of the Bible that is accurately filled with the Word of God as it is. Because God loves you and me, He has allowed us the Word that is very close to the original Scriptures.
God took off the fig-leaf aprons from Adam and Eve and dressed them with the garments of skin instead. The fig-leaf apron implies the legalistic faith. It makes people tiresome because it cannot cover the shame thoroughly and it lasts only a few days at the most. Therefore, those who live out their faith based on their deeds will fall into the fire that shall never be quenched despite having had faith in Jesus.
We must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we have the faith of believing in the Word of God as it is, we do not get anxious regardless of when the Lord will come. I give thanks to the Lord who has saved us.