“Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering.”
Today, I would like to share God’s Word with you to answer the following question: “What kind of sacrifice should we offer to God?”
Today’s Scripture passage tells us that when Abel sacrificed the firstborn of the flock and their fat as his offering to the Lord God, He respected Abel and his offering. What kind of offering should we then present to God? We should present our offerings to God in order to thank Him for the grace He has bestowed on us, to exalt Him and to revere Him from the depth of our hearts. Out of our gratitude for saving us and making us His children, we offer our love to God and praise His glory and honor—this is the very offering of faith that was given by Abel.
Abel offered his sacrifice to God with the firstborn of the flock and their fat. God then respected him and his offering. In other words, God was pleased to accept Abel’s offering of faith. What would God have done if Abel had only offered the firstborn of the flock without its fat when he sacrificed to Him? He probably would not have accepted it. However, it’s clearly written in the Bible that Abel offered both the firstborn of the flock and their fat.
“The firstborn of the flock and their fat” form the proper contents of faith that are indispensable for us to come before God. In other words we must come before to God trusting in His righteousness and carrying His glory. When we approach God, we must indeed come to stand before His presence with what He has done for His glory, His Truth, and us. Only then is God glorified, and only then does God accept our offering, pour the Holy Spirit on us, and give us the blessing of everlasting life. When we bring our offerings to God, we must infallibly bring the fat as well. The Bible writes countless times that it’s absolutely indispensable for true worshippers to bring the fat.
Why must we bring the fat when we stand before God’s presence? In the Bible, fat, or oil, refers to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is none other than God Himself. When we offer sacrifices to God, if we were to approach Him in our own way only with formal rituals, then God will not accept such offerings. We must offer Him the proper sacrifice and the proper faith that He has specified for us.
In the Old Testament, God demanded unblemished livestock for His sacrifice. This unblemished sacrificial offering refers to none other than Jesus Christ, who came to this earth as the Lamb of God that became the propitiation for the entire human race. This means that Jesus Christ is the very God who came to us conceived by a virgin through the Holy Spirit, just as it was promised through the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14). In other words, God Himself, who is the sacred Spirit, came to this earth as the Baby Jesus incarnated in the flesh of man. Conceived through the Holy Spirit, the sinless God put on the flesh of man and came to dwell amongst us. That is why Jesus is called the God Immanuel, and this word “Immanuel” means, “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man. And to blot out all the sins of mankind, He offered His body to God the Father as a peace offering. A peace offering is a sacrifice that restores one’s estranged relationship with God. For a sinner to stand before the presence of God, he must first sacrifice an offering that remits away his sins. In other words, to break down the wall of sin that obstructs him from having fellowship with God, he must bring an unblemished lamb or goat set out by God as his sacrificial offering, lay his hands on its head, and draw its blood and offer it to God—through all this, he then is able to be reconciled back to God. Because of their sins, human beings cannot be close to God. But by approaching Him with a sacrifice, they can restore their peace with Him. So, when a sinner passes his sins onto his sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head, kills the animal, cuts its flesh into pieces, takes out the fat from its entrails, and offers its flesh and fat to God by burning them with fire on the altar of burnt offering, God accepts this sacrifice in pleasure. Like this, fat is an indispensable element of faith to the proper sacrifice.
It is by presenting a peace offering that mankind can have fellowship with God and receive His love. This peace offering is none other than Jesus Christ our Savior. By accepting all our insufficiencies and sins onto His own body through the laying on of John the Baptist’s hands, and by dying in our place, Jesus has enabled us to be reconciled with God. Now anyone who believes in this Jesus who has become the perfect peace offering can share fellowship with God, and he can live with God’s care, help, love and blessings.
It is written in Leviticus 4:31, “He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.” The people of Israel in the Old Testament offered their sacrifice to God like this. In other words, whenever they sacrificed a sin offering or a peace offering, they cut open the abdomen of a lamb or a goat, took out the fat attached to its liver, entrails, and kidneys, and then put the fat on the altar of burnt offering along with the pieces of its flesh and burnt them to offer to God. God had told them not to offer just the flesh of a lamb or a goat, but to also offer its fat.
Jesus Christ Became the Peace Offering That Blotted Out All the Sins of Mankind
Jesus Christ, who came as the actual substance of the sacrifice of the Old Testament, became the High Priest of the entire human race, and by shouldering our sins on His body and offering it to God as our peace offering, He made it possible for us to lack nothing to come before God and stand in His presence. This Jesus who has blotted out our sins in our place is our very own peace offering. He became our peace offering to restore our relationship with God.
Jesus Christ is God Himself. The Second Person of God, the Son, who is the sacred Spirit, came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of mankind, and offered His body to God as a peace offering for the entire human race. Because He offered both the flesh and the fat to God—that is, because He, God Himself, was baptized and bore condemnation on the Cross—when He died, our sins could actually disappear. Now when we come before God with the offering of faith in Jesus Christ, we are able to have fellowship with God without any obstacle.
The Apostle John testifies that Jesus is the true God who came by the water and the blood. He also says that the water, the blood, and the Spirit all testify that Jesus Christ became our peace offering (1 John 5:6-8). For an animal to become a lawful peace offering, it must be unblemished, and secondly, it must accept sin through the laying on of hands and shed its blood to death. Thirdly, the flesh and fat of this animal must be put on the altar of burnt offering all to be burnt. Only when all these three requirements are completely met can one receive the remission of his sins to be reconciled with God.
What then does the “water” testify to? The water bears witness of the baptism that Jesus received. In other words, it means that Jesus accepted all the sins of us humans by receiving His baptism from John the Baptist, the representative of mankind, in a form of the laying on of hands.
What does the blood testify to then? It testifies that the Lord, who shouldered our sins, shed His blood on the Cross and thereby already bore all the punishments of our sins. Lastly, what does the Spirit testify to? The Spirit testifies that Jesus is God Himself. He bears witness that because God came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, He could become our unblemished and proper propitiation. Therefore, the fact that Abel sacrificed to God the firstborn of the flock and their fat as his offering means that he had the same faith as the one confessed to by the Apostle John, who believed in the witness of the water, the blood and the Spirit.
Today many people claim that whoever believes in Jesus somehow can be saved. Most Christians only sprinkle the blood of the Lamb, rather than offering His flesh and His fat. That is why they are not reconciled back to God, even though they believe in Jesus. So we witness their sad reality, unable to come before God for the fear of their sins. Why do they then still have sin in their hearts? It’s because even though they believe in Jesus, they do not know Him properly, and they do not offer both His flesh and fat to the Lord. Even if one were to offer thousands of lambs, would God want to eat them? Everything in the universe belongs to God.
Many Christians do not offer the fat of the Lamb along with His flesh. Even though they know very well that Jesus carried the Cross on His body and died on it, and believe so accordingly, does this really blot out their sins? In other words, although they appreciate the suffering that Jesus bore on the Cross wondering, “How much pain must Jesus have suffered on the Cross? How painful and shameful must it have been?” can they really be saved just by believing in the blood of the Cross alone?
It is only when we believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we are saved. Since the Bible says, “Jesus took upon our sins once for all and became our sacrificial offering on our behalf. God had sent Him as our peace offering to blot out all our sins,” we must believe so accordingly. We are saved by believing in the Truth that Jesus Christ shouldered all our curses and shameful sins and that He paid off the wages of all our sins with His death on the Cross. However, if one just wonders with human sympathy, “How painful must it have been? How much must He have suffered?” then he is only offering a sacrifice of his own emotion to God—that is, he is sacrificing with his own flesh.
When Abel offered the firstborn of the flock and their fat, God accepted his offering in pleasure, but He rejected Cain’s offering. Cain too had brought many fruits of the ground as his offering to God. However, there was neither blood nor fat in Cain’s offering. Though a plant also has life, it has no blood, and it’s the blood that remits away people’s sins. And it’s when they then offer the flesh of an unblemished sacrificial animal along with its fat that they are freed from sin. Jesus can become our peace offering only if He blots out all our sins. It’s not acceptable to bring something that is blemished as our offering.
Do you realize just how much faults and blemishes mankind has? That’s why God does not accept anything that stems from man. That is why He took His own sinless Son as our propitiation in order to break down the wall of sin separating us from God. And then passing all our sins onto His Son through the laying of John the Baptist’s hands onto His body, and taking Him as our peace offering, God blotted out all our sins. As the second Person of The Godhead, the Son came to this earth, shouldered all our sins by being baptized, and was punished on the Cross in our place, therefore we are now able to be reconciled back to God completely.
Let us then now turn our attention to both the Old and New Testaments, and examine the perfect peace offering sacrificed to God.
The Sacrificial System of the Old Testament
Let us turn to Leviticus 4:27-31: “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.”
When the people of Israel realized their sins, they gave a sacrifice of atonement, and this was their daily sacrifice. Although there were various types of offerings in this sacrificial system, we can know all about the sacrificial system just by looking at the typical sacrifice made by the common people.
Before building the Tabernacle, God had first given the Law to the people of Israel. Having enabled them to realize their sins through the Law, God then allowed them to receive the remission of their sins by sacrificing on the altar of burnt offering located in the Tabernacle according to the God-given statutes. In other words, the Law was not given for us to keep it, but it was given to us so that through it, we would realize our sinfulness (Romans 3:20). By giving the Law to us, the descendants of Adam who were born with sinful nature and therefore cannot help but commit sin throughout our entire lifetime, God made it possible for us to realize what a depraved sinner we all are.
After enabling us to realize our sins through the Law, God then gave us the Tabernacle. He gave the sacrificial system so that people would receive the remission of their sins by sacrificing in the Tabernacle and be blessed. The Law does not disappear. Even at this very moment, it continues to point out people’s sins.
The Law is the collection of God’s decrees that specifies the do’s and don’ts. There are 613 statutes in the Law of God. All these statutes are holy, righteous and good (Romans 7:12). However, because we are evil, we often break the Law unintentionally while carrying on with our lives, thus committing more sin. Of course, we sometimes do commit sin intentionally, but more often, we commit sin unintentionally.
In Leviticus chapter four, God said that if one sins unintentionally, and he realizes this sin after committing it, he should bring an unblemished female goat as his offering, lay his hands on the head of this sin offering, and draw its blood by cutting its throat at the place of burnt offering. He then should hand it over to the priest on duty. The priest should then put its blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering located on its four corners, pour the rest of the blood on the ground, and offer all its fat to God by burning it on the altar. Then the sinner could receive the remission of sins from God. This is God’s grace.
The sacrificial animal here was to die for a sinner. It had accepted the sinner’s iniquities through the laying of his hands on its head, and it died for these sins. The laying on of hands means, “to pass on or to transfer.” So sin is passed on when hands are laid on a sacrificial animal.
On the other hand, if a demon-possessed person lays his hands on you, then his demon will be passed onto you. Among the revivalists in Korea, there is a pastor named Choseok Lee, and while watching a videotape of his revival meeting, I saw him speaking in an unclean tongue as he was laying his hands laid on people’s heads. Then the one on whose head Choseok Lee put his hands began to speak in the same tongue that he had spoken. When a demon-possessed man speaks in tongues while laying his hands on someone’s head, the latter also speaks in tongues. This means that the former’s demon was passed onto the latter. Today, there are so many demon-possessed people who speak in tongues. They speak in tongues without even knowing what they are uttering. So when you listen carefully to what they are actually saying, you would discover that they are in fact blaspheming God. It is such a disgusting sight.
Yesterday, I spoke with a sister who was being trained in a certain Evangelical mission organization. When I asked her, “Why was Jesus baptized?” she answered, “He was baptized to set an example of humility.” I then asked her, “Where is that written in the Bible?” She then said that although she did not know exactly what the Bible says, since she had learnt from many pastors that Jesus was baptized because of His humility, she believed accordingly. She insisted on this stubbornly until the very end, and then we went our separate ways. My fellow believers, despite her stubborn belief, it is clearly written in the Bible that Jesus was baptized to fulfill “all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
Leviticus 1:1-4 says, “Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: “When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock.” If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.’” My fellow believers, God is saying that to come before Him and offer a sacrifice, this “laying on of hands” must be done without fail. And this “laying on of hands” in the Old Testament foreshadowed the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist.
Among the twelve sons of Jacob, there was a son named Levi. The name Levi means “to unite.” The Book of Leviticus records many statutes concerning the sacrificial system, wherein the priests from the tribe of Levi had enabled the people of Israel to be united with God by offering sacrifices of atonement on their behalf. Put differently, it teaches clearly and concretely just how one can be united with God by offering sacrifices.
There are certain requirements specified by God for His sacrifice. To sacrifice an offering that is accepted by God, an unblemished animal had to be prepared first, and secondly, the sinner had to pass his sins to his offering by laying his hands on its head. It was then accepted by God in pleasure. In other words, God accepted the Israelites’ offering only when they passed their sins to their sacrificial animal by laying their hands on it, killing it, and then offering its flesh and fat to God; if they failed to do so, then God did not accept it.
When the people of Israel in the Old Testament sacrificed their offering to receive the daily remission of sins, they infallibly laid their hands on the head of the sacrificial animal to pass their sins onto it, and when their sins were passed onto it, they cut the animal’s throat and drew its blood. You can imagine just how much blood there must have been, since all the blood of the sacrificial animal was drawn like this. After all its blood was drawn, the priest took some of the blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and then poured the rest on the base of the altar (Leviticus 4:30). The ground, or the field refers to the human heart. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus illustrated mankind’s heart by drawing an analogy to the ground.
That the blood of the sacrificial animal was put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering manifesting that the iniquities of the sinner who laid his hands on the sacrifice is atoned with its blood. Jeremiah 17:1 says,
“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron;
With the point of a diamond it is engraved
On the tablet of their heart,
And on the horns of your altars.” The horns of the altar of burnt offering refer to the Books of Judgment that record people’s sins before God. When one commits sin, this sin is written in his conscience, and it’s also recorded in the Books of Judgment before God. Since these sins are written with a pen of iron and the point of a diamond, they are written in all its detail and it can never be erased by any human endeavors. Sin can be atoned only with life. Put differently, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
That’s why God has established the law of the salvation of atonement. In other words, while every sinner must die and be condemned, God allowed the sacrificial offering to accept the sinners’ sins and lay down its life on the sinners’ behalf. This means that blood, the price of life, is offered to God. Because the wages of sin is death, it can only be atoned with blood—that is, life. So when God saw the blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and the pouring out of it on the base of the altar, God approved of it, “The wages of your sins have now been justly paid.” This was the daily sacrifice of the people of Israel.
When one commits sin, his sin is written in his heart. Even if he commits sin by mistake without realizing it, God still writes it on the tablet of his heart. So even though he may claim to have forgotten it, the sin recorded in his heart cannot be erased. That’s why whenever a sinner tries to pray, he ends up confessing, “Lord, please forgive this sin of mine.” When there is sin in our hearts, the conscience is cleansed only if we pay off the wages. If we don’t pay the wages, we cannot tolerate the suffering that is brought to our conscience. So, in the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, the fact that the blood of the sacrificial animal was poured on the ground means that the conscience should be cleansed, realizing that, “Even though my sins were written in my heart, my sacrificial offering died in my place and paid off the wage of these sins.”
A sacrificial animal does not know sin. That’s why it can shoulder the sins of mankind. Animals have no sin. Since they don’t even have the Law, sin was not established for them. Only human beings know sin. However, by looking at the blood of their sacrificial animal, they can realize, “I had to die like this, but this animal is dying in my place.” So those who passed their sins onto their sacrificial animal by laying their hands on its head returned home with their hearts washed from their sins.
After this, the priest cut the animal into pieces, put the pieces of the flesh and its fat on the altar of burnt offering, and burnt them with fire to be offered to God. God then accepted this sacrifice. It was a sweet aroma to God to condemn the animal with fire in the place of sinners. Even though anyone who had sin had to die as a matter of course, because God loved mankind, He had enabled sinners of the Old Testament to kill an animal instead and receive the remission of sins through this sacrificial system, and thereby reconciled them back to Him and allowed them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This was the way by which the people of the Old Testament came before God.
The people of Israel in the age of the Old Testament received the remission of their sins in this way. However, everyone commits sin every day. The very moment someone harms us, we all get angry and curse this person. The Israelites of the Old Testament were no different; once they received the remission of their daily sins, the very next day, they all committed sin again. They then had to bring another unblemished animal and lay their hands on its head. The priest then had to kill the animal, cut its throat, put is blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, pour the rest of the blood on the ground, cut its flesh into pieces, throw out its offal, remove its fat, and burn it on the altar of burnt offering.
Such sacrifices had to be offered repeatedly day after day. So you can imagine just how burdensome this must have been. To offer sacrifices this often, countless bulls, sheep, and goats were needed. So this implies that the people of Israel raised their herd and flock not so much to eat, but to offer sacrifices in order to receive the remission of their sins. Because of this, God gave the Israelites the sacrificial system of the Day of Atonement, in which they could pass their yearly sins all at once, rather than every day’s sins, lest they find it too tiring to give daily offerings that they would give up on the remission of their sins and end up in hell as a result.
The Everlasting Salvation Prophesied by the Sacrifice of the Day of Atonement
Let us turn to Leviticus 16:29-30: “This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.”
God set the tenth day of the seventh month as the Day of Atonement, and He made the people of Israel offer Him the sacrifice that remitted away all the sins committed by the entire Israel for a whole year. For the people of Israel who committed sin every day, and were therefore tired from offering daily sacrifices, disappointed in themselves, and wanting to give up their hope, God opened another way to be reconciled with Him and enter His Kingdom. When the Israelites offered this sacrifice of the Day of Atonement by faith, all the yearly sins that the entire people of Israel had committed from the previous year’s Day of Atonement to the current Day of Atonement were blotted out all at once.
Let us turn to Leviticus 16:6-10 and read with one voice: “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.”
Aaron was the head of all priests—that is, he was the High Priest. Having prepared two goats, Aaron sacrificed them for the people of Israel on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement. To offer the sacrifice of atonement for the people, he first had to be remitted from his sins. So he sacrificed a bull for himself and his household beforehand. He then brought the first goat, passed the sins of the people of Israel by laying his hands on its head, killed it, drew its blood, and then took this blood into the Most Holy. Inside the Most Holy was the Ark of the Covenant. This Ark was covered with a golden lid decorated with two cherubim at its ends, and as it was here that God bestowed His mercy and remitted away sin, it was called the Mercy Seat. Aaron sprinkled the blood of the bull with his finger on the Mercy Seat, and he also sprinkled it before the Mercy Seat seven times (Leviticus 16:11-16). As golden bells were attached to the hem of the High Priest’s robe, whenever Aaron sprinkled the blood, the sound of the ringing golden bells reached outside the Tabernacle (Exodus 28:33-34).
Blood is life. The life of the body lies in its blood. Without it, no man can live. Scientists say that while all the organs and tissues that form a human body are mysterious, nothing is as mysterious and wondrous as its blood; for God ensured that the life of the body should be maintained by the blood. And no matter how far science and modern medicine may have advanced, they say that the blood itself still cannot be made artificially. Aaron sprinkled the blood of the sacrificial animal as the wages of the sins of the people of Israel. Just as God said, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11), the people of Israel were made sinless as the blood of the sacrificial animal that had accepted all their sins through the High Priest’s laying on of hands paid off the wages of their sins.
The Meaning of the Sprinkling of the Blood of the Sacrifice for Seven Times
The number seven is the number of God and manifests perfection. After making the heavens and the earth, and all their hosts in six days, God rested on the seventh day. God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it (Genesis 2:2-3). As such, that the blood was sprinkled before the Mercy Seat seven times tell us that the people of Israel were completely remitted from all the sins they had committed for the whole year according to the just law of atonement established by God. So when the people gathered outside the Tabernacle heard the golden bells ringing for seventh time, they could rest with assurance, thinking, “Whew! All the sins that I had committed last year have now been remitted by God.”
When Aaron finished atoning for the Holy Place, the Tabernacle of Meeting and the altar, he brought the remaining goat before the people of Israel, laid his hands on the head of this sacrificial offering on their behalf, and confessed their sins. “Lord, we have committed every sin before you. Because of this we should perish. I hereby pass all the sins that your people have committed during the past year onto this sacrificial goat. See this offering and please remove all our sins.”
“The laying on of hands” means “to pass sin onto something.” When Aaron put his hands on the head of the sacrifice like this, where did the Israelites’ sins go? They were passed onto the goat. This then means that now, all the sins of the people of Israel were on the goat. Aaron then handed over this goat that had shouldered these sins to a suitable man and sent it away into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:20-22). The goat, bearing a year’s worth of the sins of the people of Israel, wandered in the completely barren desert until it died. In this way, the Israelites received the remission of their sins with the price of the life of the scapegoat. This was the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement.
None other than this is the annual sacrifice of the people of Israel. The Israelites were remitted from their sins by making atonement for their yearly sins once a year. However, this kind of sacrifice still did not bring the everlasting remission of sins. Since the Israelites committed sin again even on their way to home after offering the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, they could not help but turn into sinners again. Therefore, this sacrifice of the Day of Atonement itself did not save them from their sins perfectly, but it was a statute prophesying that God would save the entire human race from sin through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.
Leviticus 16:29 states, “This shall be a statute forever for you.” In other words, that all the yearly sins of the entire people of Israel were at once passed onto the sacrificial offering when Aaron their representative laid his hands on its head is a precursor of everlasting redemption. The offering that accepted Israelites’ sins here and died in their place was a shadow of Jesus who would shoulder our sins. After all, how could a mere animal perfectly blot out mankind’s sins? (Hebrews 10:4) That Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God carries the same meaning. It means that even though God has no sin, He took upon all our sins. That is why Jesus Christ, God Himself came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, accepted our sins onto His sinless body through the laying on of hands, died on the Cross in our place, rose from the dead again, and has thereby made it possible for anyone to receive the remission of his sins by knowing and believing in Christ. It is for this reason that Jesus Christ came to this earth.
Jesus Christ Came to Save Us from the Sins of the World
It’s written in Matthew 1:18, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.” After Mary became engaged to Joseph, and before they actually lived as husband and wife together, Jesus was conceived in her body through the Holy Spirit, even though she was still a virgin. As his fiancé’s pregnancy became noticeable, Joseph tried to break off the engagement quietly without spreading any rumors. He sought this because if it had been revealed that his fiancé got pregnant even before living with him, she would have been stoned to death. Yet because Joseph was a just man, he wanted to show mercy and break off the engagement quietly.
However, an angel appeared in Joseph’s dream and said to him, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21). This means that Jesus was born through the body of the Virgin Mary so that He, God Himself, would be incarnated in the flesh of man, all in order to save His people. Why did Jesus come as a man? He was incarnated to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). Having come to this earth, He helped his family in Nazareth, a town in Galilee, until he turned 30, waiting for the day when He would save mankind from its sins.
Then when He turned 30, He began His ministry of blotting out the sins of the entire human race of this world. Let us turn to Matthew 3:13-17: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
“Then” here means when Jesus turned 30. When Jesus turned 30, He came to John the Baptist, who was baptizing people in the Jordan River. Jesus then told John the Baptist to baptize Him saying, “All the people in the world are heading straight to hell because of sin, and they are suffering because of sin. I must blot out everyone’s sins. To do so you must baptize me.”
Who is John the Baptist? He is a descendant of Aaron and the representative of mankind (Luke 1:5-13; Matthew 11:11). In the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, Aaron, as the representative of the people of Israel, passed all their yearly sins to the scapegoat once for all by laying his hands on its head. Likewise, John the Baptist as the greatest of all born of women—that is, as the representative of mankind—baptized Jesus’ in a form of the laying on of hands onto His head, and thereby passed all the sins of the entire human race to Him once for all.
As Jesus said to John the Baptist, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” John obeyed and baptized Him. As Jesus was being baptized, where did all the sins of everyone all over the world go? They were passed onto the body of Jesus. It’s because Jesus “thus” shouldered our sins and to pay off the wages of these sins, He had to be bear the punishment for these sins on the Cross.
Our sins were also passed onto the head of Jesus Christ. It is written,
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6). It’s because Jesus accepted our sins that He was wounded and bruised. Therefore had Jesus died on the Cross without first being baptized, then it would all have been in vain. To make it possible for us to receive the remission of our sins, He had to first accept our sins and then die on the Cross.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He has no sin whatsoever. Yet even though He is sinless, He shouldered the sins of mankind and offered Himself to God as our propitiation, and that is how we have been saved. Because of this, anyone can now receive the remission of his sins if only he believes in Jesus who came by the water and the Spirit. Nothing could be easier than believing in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Shouldered the Sins of the World by Being Baptized and Carried Them to the Cross
Let’s turn to John 1:29: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” This happened on the very next day after John the Baptist had baptized Jesus. John the Baptist knew that because he had passed the sins of the world to Jesus, He was now carrying all our sins as the Lamb of God. That’s why John the Baptist proclaimed like this.
Baptism is performed in a form of the laying on of hands. And the meaning of baptism is the same as that of the laying on of hands. In other words, baptism means, “to passed on, to transfer, to wash or to bury.” This implies that since every sin was passed onto Jesus through His baptism, He now had to die and be buried. It’s because our sins were passed onto Jesus that they were washed away. “The laying on of hands” also means “to pass on” or “to transfer.” They both have the same meaning. So now it should be clear to everyone that all the sins of everyone in the world were passed onto Jesus’ head when He was baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of all mankind.
Your parents’ sins were also passed onto Jesus. What about the sins that you committed when you were a baby? Were they passed onto Jesus or not? They were all passed onto Him. All the sins that you committed until your 20 years of age were also passed onto Him. Each and every sin that you have ever committed and will ever until you turn 30, 60, or even to the very day you die—all these sins were already passed onto Jesus through His baptism. In other words, when Jesus came to this earth over 2,000 years ago, He already bore all the sins of everyone living in this present generation. He fulfilled the righteous work that completely blotted out everyone’s sins.
After thus taking upon all our sins, where did Jesus then go while shouldering the sins of the world? He went to the Cross. Walking on the way of the Cross for three years, He told us to believe in Him, that He is the Savior who has saved us from sin. This is who Jesus Christ is. He thus shouldered every sin. By being baptized, Jesus bore all the sins of everyone in this world once for all.
Do you then still have your sins, or are you now sinless? Even though you may still go astray, make mistakes, and commit sin, you have no sin. Why? Because Jesus took upon all your sins to save you and to take you to Heaven, and therefore you are now sinless. It’s by believing in Jesus like this that you enter Heaven. You don’t enter Heaven just by believing in Jesus arbitrarily, without believing in His baptism. It’s only when you believe with your heart in the Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit that you can enter Heaven. Heaven is not entered by your deeds, but by wholeheartedly believing in the Truth that all your sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized.
A while ago, I bore witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit to an old lady suffering from a stroke. This old lady, who was living alone, said to me, “All my life I had believed in Buddhism, and I did not know that Jesus took away my sins like this by being baptized. But now I know; thank you so much.” She then believed in Jesus. She had been full of worry and anxiety, wondering who would take care of her funeral when her time came. But now that she received the remission of sins, her face lit up. And she said, “I can now go to Heaven; I do not fear death anymore.” Twice a week, we set a time to visit her and worship together, and every time we went to see her, she was waiting for us outside. Even though this old lady had never read the Bible in her entire lifetime, nor had known God, far less had given any tithe, she still believed that Jesus Christ loved her and took upon all her sins 2,000 years ago through His baptism. That is how she was saved by faith, even though she had done nothing but believe.
My dear fellow saints, Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. Is there still any sin remaining in this world? No, there is none. Even the sins that mankind would commit in the future were all taken away in advance. Because Jesus loves us, He shouldered all our sins; He took upon even our future sins in advance. Did Hitler have sin? No, he had no sin. However, because he did not know that Jesus took away all his sins by being baptized, he was sent to hell. It’s because people don’t believe that they are cast into hell.
Strictly speaking, most people cannot believe Jesus simply because they do not know Him. Some people don’t believe even when they are taught, and so they end up in hell as a result. We on the other hand will enter Heaven, because we believe in Jesus as the true Savior. So it is those who believe in Jesus whom God accounts for righteousness. Their hearts are sinless because they believe in Christ. That is why they are called righteous. Because they have no sin, they are called righteous, and because they have no sin, they are pure. God does not just consider them sinless even though they actually have sin, but they are indeed sinless because God took away all their sins.
Let us turn to John 19:30: “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” After shouldering all the sins of the world, Jesus Christ was crucified and shed His blood. Blood is life. It was we who had to shed our blood and die like this, but because Jesus had shouldered all our sins, He was crucified in our place to shed His blood, and laid down His life for us. And when He passed away He said, “It is finished!” In other words, Jesus finished the work of blotting out all the sins of everyone in this world. Do you now believe that you have been remitted from all your sins? Jesus has delivered His believers from the hands of the Devil. He has enabled them to live forever in the Kingdom of God.
Let’s all read Hebrews 10:10 together: “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” By believing in the righteous work fulfilled by the Lord, we have been sanctified once for all. We are not sanctified on a daily basis. We are sanctified neither by repenting every day, nor by begging, nor by enduring, but by believing. That Jesus took upon our sins by being baptized is the absolute Truth. His baptism is the receipt proving that all our sins were passed onto Him. This is what we have to believe. Do you believe that all your sins were passed onto Jesus, when John the Baptist baptized Him?
You must confess with your lips what you believe with your heart. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will become God’s child and enter His Kingdom. My fellow believers, do you have sin or not? You have no sin. Even though we are so weak that we will sin again tomorrow, Jesus already took away even this sin.
Does this then mean that we can just commit sin freely without care? No, we commit sin only because we are too weak, even though we try not to do it; who among us, after all, would want to commit sin intentionally? Would anyone in clean clothes want to jump into a filthy swamp? While someone in filthy rags may be able to sleep in a garbage dump, no one in clean clothes wants to sleep under a pile of garbage. In other words, the righteous cannot dare to commit unclean acts thoughtlessly. Whereas those who are not born again are clearly capable of this, and even though those who have received the remission of sins may be tempted, the Holy Spirit guides our hearts so that we would not live recklessly.
The Bible said, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” It is by believing in the baptism of Jesus, by passing all the sins of our entire lifetime to Him once for all, that we have received the remission of our sins. Let us now turn to Hebrews 10:11-14: “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
The passage here describes the offering that Jesus gave with His body as “one sacrifice for sins forever.” While we do not know how many years are still left, the end of this world will surely come. And God promised that He would make new heavens and a new earth, and allow us to live there. God has eradicated all the sins that are in this entire universe, from the creation of the heavens and the earth to the end of this world. Jesus took upon all the sins in the universe, was condemned for them by dying on the Cross, rose from the dead, and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God the Father until the day He judges His enemies. His enemies are none other than those who do not believe in God, those who do not believe that Jesus took upon their sins. Anyone who does not believe in Jesus Christ, and who says that He failed to blot out all his sins, is an enemy of God. He is someone who has rejected God’s love. The Lord will surely trample on all such people.
In contrast, to those who believe that the Lord has blotted out all the sins of the world with His baptism and His blood on the Cross, God says with approval, “You believe that I have saved you through my labor. You are precious to me.” However, God will turn into His footstools those who say that He has only blotted out original sin and failed to blot out their personal sins. What will God do to such ungrateful people who deserve to be destroyed? He will forever trample on them day after day. Although Jesus took upon all our misdeeds by being baptized by John the Baptist, for us not to believe in what God has done for us is to turn ourselves into His enemies.
The Bible says that Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. God is not so mean and petty that He would blot out a few sins here and there every time someone offered Him prayers of repentance, but He has blotted out all the sins of the world once for all. Do you believe in this, my fellow believers? This is who God is. He is the God of love.
Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Does it say here that Jesus would perfect us? Or does it say that He has perfected us? It says that He has perfected us. It says that Jesus has perfected forever those who believe that He has already blotted out their sins, including even the sins they would commit in the future, and who have already received the remission of their sins once and for all. He has perfected us His believers for eternity.
Let’s continue on and turn to Hebrews 10:15-18: “But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”
In the phrase here, “where there is remission of these,” “these” refer to “sin.” In other words, it means that God has remitted away all our sins. It means that Jesus gathered together all the sins that we ever committed in the past, are committing now, and will ever commit in the future; that He shouldered all these sins; and that He was condemned for them all. Do you believe in this? If so, then does it say here that there still is an offering for sin, or does it say that there is no longer any offering for sin? God said, “There is no longer an offering for sin.”
Thanks to such abundant grace, we cannot help but be always glad before God and thank Him. Our God has made it possible for us to be always thankful, praising Him, “Thank You, Lord, for you have taken away all my sins, even though I am such an awful man.” This is who Jesus is.
Could you offer prayers of repentance for all your wrongdoings? No, it’s impossible. How could you offer prayers of repentance for every sin when you forget it due to the passing of time? However, Jesus has forever blotted out all our sins once for all with His baptism and His own blood. That is why Hebrews 9:12 says, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” That is how we are now able to enter the Kingdom of God with Him. Jesus Christ has thus blotted out all our sins.
God Has Given Us the Perfect Remission of Sins, So That We May Never Have Any Sin Anymore
Hebrews 10:16 says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” Let’s examine to see if God’s law is written in our hearts or minds. The law of God is the law of love. It is God’s law of love that enables us to realize our sins by giving us the Law, and receive everlasting life by believing in Jesus Christ. Do you believe that Jesus took away all our sins? Is our heart therefore sinless now? If so, then God’s law of love is already written in our hearts. And when we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit think about it rationally, it is also self-evident that there is no sin in this world and all our sins have disappeared. That’s because God’s law of love is written in our hearts. This is salvation. We can understand this because the Holy Spirit has come into our hearts.
Are we now righteous people then, or do we still remain sinners? We are the righteous. Noah, having cultivated a vineyard, once got drunk on wine and slept naked. This means that even Noah had shortcomings. Yet despite this, the Lord called Noah a just man (Genesis 6:9). Even the righteous may make mistakes, but because Jesus took upon even these sins and atoned for them as well, they are still righteous. It’s not because of their virtuous deeds, but because of their faith, that they have become righteous. Only the righteous can enter Heaven; sinners can never go there.
Hebrews 10:18 says, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” How wonderfully refreshing is this Word to our hearts? This means that those who have received the remission of their sins have absolutely no need to ever again beg God in tears, “Please forgive me of my sins.” We have received the remission of sins by faith. We have become the righteous who have absolutely no sin in our hearts. We have become God’s saints.
It is when we receive the remission of our sins that the Holy Spirit descends on us as God’s gift towards us. The Holy Spirit is not received in any other special way. It is written in Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Do you think that the phrase “repent” here means that you should offer prayers of repentance? No. True repentance is to turn around from the sin of having followed falsehoods all this time, and to make up one’s mind to believe in Jesus, who came by the water and the Spirit saying, “Jesus Christ accepted all my sins by being baptized. And He was condemned on the Cross in my place. I am therefore now sinless.” To realize and believe like this is true repentance.
That is why Acts 3:19 says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” If you believe that all your sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized, and that all the wages of your sins were paid off when He shed His blood and died on the Cross, then you surely have received the remission of your sins. And you also have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is received as a gift into the hearts of those who have been remitted from all their sins and are now sinless.
The Holy Spirit is, just as the name says, Holy. He descends only on someone who has no sin. Is your heart sinless? If so, then the Holy Spirit has already come into your heart. That is how the Holy Spirit comes upon us. He doesn’t descend in your heart just because you try hard to receive Him. Does the Holy Spirit come upon you just because you call on Him, as if you were calling someone’s name? No, of course not. It is when you believe in what Jesus Christ has done for you that the Holy Spirit dwells in your heart and approves you, saying, “Your faith is right. I will be with you until the end of the world.”
The Lord is our Savior. He has saved us all. I give all my praise to the Lord.