The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 19 : The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the EPHESIANS

[Chapter 1-5] (Ephesians 1:1-23) How Have God’s Children Come into Existence?

(Ephesians 1:1-23)
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
 
 
We just have read Ephesians 1:1-23, and based on this passage I would like to explain to you how God’s children have come into existence according to His plan. The Book of Ephesians is Paul’s Epistle testifying that God Himself has built His Church. God wanted to adopt all human beings as His children and let them abide in His Church, and as the way to achieve this, He spoke of the salvation that is received through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Here in the Book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul explained the process by which God’s children have come into existence.
It’s written in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” This passage means that God the Father had planned to make us His own children through the gospel of the water and the Spirit found in Jesus Christ His Son. Therefore, we should realize here first of all that every spiritual blessing of Heaven that the saints receive comes to them through their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Why is this so? It’s because God the Father had already planned to make us His own children in Jesus Christ. And when the time came, God the Father completed our salvation in Jesus Christ as the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. The work of God the Father and Jesus Christ therefore lacked nothing to fulfill God’s will to give us every spiritual blessing in Heaven.
By giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has blotted out all the sins of this world, the Lord has turned all of us who believe in this gospel into God’s own children. This is explained by the following passage: “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). In other words, it’s in Jesus Christ that God the Father has given us all at once each and every spiritual blessing in Heaven that He wanted to give us. Even before the foundation of the world, God the Father had predestined us to become His children in Jesus Christ.
 
 
Why Did God Want to Make Us His Children?
 
The answer to this question is that God the Father chose us in His Son Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world to save us perfectly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
As we know, a maggot must go through metamorphosis to turn into a fly, a larva into a cicada, and a caterpillar into a butterfly. In a similar vein, human beings can become God’s children only if they receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and are thus born again into God’s people. This is because we were all born as sinners by nature, and the only way for us to become God’s children is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The ultimate purpose of our faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is for us to reach salvation from all our sins and become God’s own children.
From the moment we were born into this world, we were all born as weak and feeble beings that could not help but commit sin all the time. However, God had decided to save us in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has achieved this plan perfectly. Therefore, as the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth of salvation, all of us must realize this Truth, believe in it, and thereby put on the grace of God. God the Father had decided to save us His believers even before the foundation of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is found in Jesus Christ. This is the will of God the Father and His purpose for us.
Even though we were all born into this world as feeble human beings who couldn’t help ourselves but to commit sin, God the Father chose all of us in Jesus Christ, for He wanted to make us His own children. That is why God the Father planned to fulfill His will in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we believe in now, and why He has thoroughly achieved this plan for us. In this way, as the profound providence of God the Father was revealed to us, all of us who believed in this providence were saved from all our sins. Whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is blessed; God the Father has saved all such believers from every sin of the world and made them His own children. Because of our weaknesses and shortcomings, we couldn’t help but commit sin every day, and we were therefore all destined to be condemned by God for our sins and transgressions. However, God the Father has saved us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thereby made us lack nothing to become His own children. In other words, despite the fact we couldn’t help but commit sin all the time due to our fundamental weaknesses, God has made such people like us His own children out of His love. The gift of the remission of sins that God has thus given us is completely perfect. Our Lord has brought us back to everlasting life by saving us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We should therefore all thank God for the salvation that He has brought to us.
It’s written here in today’s Scripture passage that God the Father “chose us in Him [Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). This means that God the Father has made it possible for all of us to reach our true salvation by believing in the Truth of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ the Son of God has given us. Put differently, Jesus Christ has perfected all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that we would lack nothing to become God’s own children.
 
 
How Was It Possible for Us to Become God’s Children?
 
This was made possible because God the Father had chosen us in His Son Jesus Christ. It is something that came about according to the good pleasure of God our Father. In other words, it’s because God has saved in Jesus Christ all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we could become God’s own children. It is in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and out of God’s love for us that we have now been perfected to become His children. Our salvation was not achieved by any Christian doctrines. It was achieved in its entirety by the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord had fulfilled for us. Our transformation into God’s own children was all planned and completed according to the will of God the Father.
It’s not because of our own good deeds that we have become God’s children, but it’s God the Father Himself who has adopted us as His own children for believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that’s found in His Son Jesus Christ. In short, our remission of sins was achieved in Jesus Christ according to the will of God the Father. It was God the Father’s desire to make us His own sons and daughters by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit through His Son Jesus Christ. And it’s because we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the will of God the Father that we could become His children and reach our salvation in Jesus Christ.
Now, all of you must believe in God the Father’s love according to His will and thereby receive your true salvation. The Book of Ephesians explains to us how we could become God the Father’s children according to His will. For us to accept and believe in the love of God the Father, we must first understand and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given us. This is the amazing gospel that has saved us from all our sins. God’s blessings for us have all been fulfilled by His righteousness that was given to us in Jesus Christ according to the will of God the Father. It’s because God was so pleased to make us His own children that He gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, it is by giving us this true gospel of the water and the Spirit and making us believe in it that God has made us His children. Our salvation which God the Father had planned in Jesus Christ is the result of the Lord’s perfect work of salvation that no one can dispute.
It is entirely by believing in this work of salvation accomplished by God that you and I have now become His own children. Our faith that has enabled us to become God’s children did not come to us from believing in any existing Christian doctrine in this world. Rather, this faith of salvation was shaped in its entirety by God the Father under the authority of the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord. Our salvation was affected by no one else but the Lord. It was entirely achieved by the righteousness of God the Father which was fulfilled by His Son Jesus Christ. In other words, God the Father has saved us His believers solely by the righteousness fulfilled by His Son. No creature had any effect on our salvation.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit has brought us the righteousness of God, but if the Father had not planned and worked to make us His own children through this gospel, then our faith would have always been unstable. If our faith were built on such a mistaken foundation as today’s Christian faith and modern theology are, then our faith would have also been imperfect. But our salvation from sin was determined solely by the righteousness of God and Jesus Christ. God the Father had planned our salvation in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ in turn has at once saved all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by working according to the Father’s plan. All this was accomplished according to the will of God the Father.
God the Father has saved us from all our sins according to His will through Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. By giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit in Jesus Christ, He has washed away all our sins.
Our perfect salvation had already been predestined for us by God the Father even before the foundation of the world. Because God loved us, He wanted to make us His own sons and daughters, and that is why God washed away all our sins and adopted us as His perfectly flawless children. Therefore, that you and I have become God’s children and members of His Church has nothing to do with our own merits or demerits. Far from it, it was solely according to God the Father’s plan of salvation designed and implemented in Jesus Christ. Given the fact that we have become God the Father’s children entirely out of His will, we have nothing else to do but to thank and praise the Triune God. That is what the Apostle Paul is teaching us here in the first chapter of the Book of Ephesians, making it clear to all of us that we have reached our salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the will of God the Father.
We are now living in this world as God’s own children, but sometimes we get disappointed when we see our weaknesses and shortcomings. But what does it matter that we still have many shortcomings? After all, despite our shortcomings God the Father has saved us perfectly in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s true that even as we try to follow the Lord faithfully, sometimes we fall into despair over our weaknesses. However, this should only deepen our faith and make us even more thankful to God the Father for planning and achieving our salvation. Our salvation and our adoption as God’s children were not achieved through our own will, plan, or effort, but they were achieved solely by the will of the Lord. And now, as we are serving the gospel to the Lord’s pleasure, we are living amid His love. Our everything depends on God and His blessings. None of our blessings had anything to do with our own will or effort. It’s entirely according to the will of God the Father that we have become His children.
It’s written in Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” This means that God has given us every spiritual blessing of Heaven in Jesus Christ. It’s on account of the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood that God has allowed us to have redemption, the remission of sins.
The word “redemption” means “to ransom us from sin by paying off its price.” Even though everyone commits countless sins, God has already blotted out all our sins by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, when we ourselves had to be punished and put to death for the wages of our sins, Jesus Christ accepted all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, and He paid off all the wages of these sins on our behalf. We have been saved from each and every sin because Jesus Christ paid off all the wages of our sins like this. It’s all because God has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit that such weak and feeble beings like us have become His children.
What our Lord did on this earth to bear your sins and mine was to receive baptism from John the Baptist. And because the Lord accepted our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, He had to pay off the wages of these sins. That is why the Lord shed His blood on the Cross, and this is how He has brought true salvation to all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, Jesus has washed away all our sins by bearing them once and for all through His baptism, and paying off their wages all at once on the Cross. And by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have received the remission of sins without fail.
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist to bear all our sins and shed His blood to pay off their wages. And by rising up from the dead He has made His grace abound to all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit so that we would lack nothing to become God’s own children. God the Father has given us new life in the righteousness of His Son. Even though we had to be condemned and punished for our sins, to save such sinners like you and me from all the sins of the world, God the Father sent His Son Jesus to this earth in the flesh of man, and this Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified to shed His blood in our place. This is how the Lord has saved us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from all the sins of the world.
Having resurrected His Son from the dead, God the Father then seated Him at His right hand. As the Son of God came to this earth and paid off the wages for all our sins by laying down His own life, He has saved us from the sins of the world and enabled us all to become God’s children. In other words, by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has made His grace abound to all of us so that whoever believes in this gospel would lack nothing to become God’s child.
 
 
We Have Been Saved According to the Riches of His Grace
 
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” It is said here that we have redemption in Jesus Christ through His blood according to the riches of His grace. This means that Jesus Christ has given us the true gift of salvation by paying off the wages of all our sins with His own life. The blood of our flesh is its life. Just as the Bible says, “The life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11), the life of our flesh is indeed in our blood, and that is why Jesus Christ, after bearing all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood on the Cross in our place to pay off the wages of all those sins. It’s with this price of His Son’s life that God the Father has adopted us as His children—all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, by laying down His only begotten Son’s life to make you and me His children, God the Father has purchased us with the price of Jesus’ life. As Jesus Christ laid down His own life, He has bought us with this price and made us His own people.
To make us His children, God the Father has washed us from all the sins of the world once and for all in His Son Jesus Christ with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has cleansed away all our sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s thanks to this redemption planned by God the Father and fulfilled by Jesus Christ that you and I have become God’s children. God has thus saved us from all the sins of the world. He has thereby adopted us as His own children¾all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And God has made us members of His Church to praise His righteousness.
It’s written in Ephesians 1:8-9, “Which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself.” Here God the Father is saying to us that He has made His will known to us by giving us all wisdom and prudence through His Son. Through both the Old and New Testaments, God the Father is teaching us that He has saved us from all the sins of the world in His Son. Having given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit to make us His children, God has also granted us the wisdom of salvation, thus making it possible for us to realize His will.
God the Father has made His will known to all of us in Jesus Christ by enabling us to understand the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, whoever is ignorant of this God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit is someone who lacks heavenly wisdom. It’s through His Son that God the Father has made us His children. For us who were all destined to be destroyed, the Lord has washed away our every sin with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has thereby made His grace abound to us, so that all of us who believe in this Truth would become God’s children.
Jesus Christ has enabled us to understand the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those of us who know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit know and believe that God is the God of love, the God of Truth, and the God of justice. And we also know very well that Jesus Christ is our Creator and our God. Moreover, we also know and believe that to become our Savior, Jesus came looking for us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He did not achieve our salvation according to His own will alone, but according to God the Father’s plan. Jesus Christ had come to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man in order to do every work of salvation in obedience to the will of the Father. And He has saved us once and for all by bearing all our sins through His baptism and shedding His blood on the Cross to pay off all the wages of our sins. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord has given us, and this gospel is the love of God and His justice. It is by purchasing us with the price of His own life that Jesus Christ has made us God’s children once and for all. And we have become God’s children by understanding and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts. Moreover, it is God the Holy Father who has enabled us to realize and believe in this gospel.
When we turn to Luke chapter 10, we see Jesus saying to His disciples, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19-20). This Word was spoken equally to all of us living in the present age. It’s the Lord who has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thereby brought true salvation to us. Jesus Christ is our Savior. He has made us God’s children through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having come to this earth once as the Son of God the Father, Jesus Christ bore all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and has thereby saved us once and for all from all our sins and condemnation.
God Himself has saved us like this with the price of His own life. And this gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of salvation, is more than enough to give us new life. Jesus Christ has saved us forever by sacrificing Himself. And the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given us is more than enough to make all of us God’s children. The righteousness of God has completely and perfectly transformed us into His own children to lack nothing. God has not only given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but He has also made us realize that this gospel is the Truth of our salvation. God has brought His perfect salvation to all of us so that no one may ever take away this salvation that the Lord has given us. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth that God our Father has made us believe in.
 
 
Our Salvation Was Fulfilled in the Dispensation of the Fullness of God’s Time
 
It is written in Ephesians 1:9-10, “Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.”
This passage means that our salvation was fulfilled according to God the Father’s plan in the fullness of the times. That is why you and I have been remitted from all our sins by believing in the baptism of our Lord and His blood on the Cross. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have become God’s children and members of His Church once and for all to enter and live in the Kingdom of Heaven.
All this came about in due time according to God the Father’s plan. Even before the foundation of the world, God the Father had chosen us in His righteousness to make us His children. And when His time came, He fulfilled all these things to us exactly as He had predestined through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is how you and I living in this present age have been saved from all our sins by believing in the righteousness of God fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has saved us from all our sins with the price of His own life. As we now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have all been saved from each and every sin of the world, and this salvation of ours was entirely fulfilled according to the good pleasure of God the Father. God the Father’s will was for Jesus to take all our sins upon His body once and for all by being baptized, bear the condemnation of our sins in our place, and thereby save us all at once. And because we believe in this Truth, we know that the will of God the Father has now been fulfilled to us. Our salvation was achieved according to the providence of God in the fullness of the times.
The Lord said that our salvation came in the dispensation of the fullness of the times. In this light, it’s very fortunate that you and I were born in this present age. Even though we commit nothing but sin all the time, God the Father had already decided to make us His children before the foundation of the world, and He has saved us all according to this plan. Therefore, as all of us living in this present age believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have been saved from all our sins. The gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit has brought true salvation to all who believe in it, and it has also compelled them to preach this gospel.
God the Father had sent His Son Jesus Christ and John the Baptist to this earth in order to blot out all your sins and mine. And it’s also God the Father who made Jesus Christ receive His baptism from John the Baptist. Throughout all the ages, of both New and Old Testaments, God the Father had prepared salvation for the entire human race, and He has now made it possible for everyone to be saved from all their sins just by knowing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, as you and I believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, none other than we are God’s workers in this present age.
It’s written in Ephesians 1:10, “That He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” This passage means that God has saved us to make us His children. To delve a bit deeper, it means that God the Father has saved us to raise our status to be the same as His. Put differently, just as maggots and larvae turn into flies and cicadas, God the Father has given us the gift of salvation so that our lives would be transformed into glorious lives in Heaven.
In fact, you and I were no better than maggots. Born as sinners by nature, we could not help but commit sin throughout our entire lifetime on this earth. However, our Lord has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thereby made it possible for us to be born again. God has saved all of us according to His plan. It’s because God has saved us from all our sins that we have been delivered from each and every sin to become His own children. Our salvation did not come to us by believing in anything else but the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Bible says that it is God who has brought this salvation to us, so “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him” (Ephesians 1:10). This means that God has made us His children to be like Him in His due time. The Lord Himself has given us the blessed gift that has made us God’s own children. God the Father has adopted us as His children—all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Ephesians 1:11 says, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will.” This passage shows us clearly that our salvation was achieved according to the will of God the Father. We the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have become God’s possessions. We have put on God’s grace to become His children according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God had planned to save the entire human race that had fallen into sin, and He has fulfilled this plan. Therefore, we can all become God’s children if we believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit with all our hearts.
All of us must know and believe in the will of God the Father. And we must believe that all our sins have been blotted out thanks to our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ fulfilled on this earth. If we believe like this, all of us will belong to God. If we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will become God’s possessions. You and I now belong to God the Father. The gospel of the water and the Spirit has made us God’s children. Whoever has been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has now become God’s possession. And it is according to the will of God the Father and His counsel that we have become His children and His possessions today.
The Bible says, “In Him Also We Have Obtained an Inheritance, Being Predestined According to the Purpose of Him Who Works All Things According to the Counsel of His Will” (Ephesians 1:11). We have become God’s possessions by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. We have not become God’s children under the influence of something else other than the righteousness of God, but rather, we have become God’s children all thanks to the righteousness of Jesus Christ by believing in this righteousness according to God the Father’s desire. Since we have been saved by believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, this salvation of ours is completely perfect. Our salvation was not achieved by any human being, but only by the righteousness of God. So how great and perfect is our salvation? Indeed, the God-given grace of salvation is infinitely abundant and knows no bounds.
 
 
“That We Who First Trusted in Christ Should Be to the Praise of His Glory” (Ephesians 1:12)
 
Here the Bible says that we have been saved from sin to the glory of God. It’s an absolutely amazing blessing that we have become God’s own children by believing in His gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is to the glory of the righteousness of God that you and I have received the remission of sins once and for all, and we have thereby become God’s prized possessions and His own children.
Today’s Scripture passage continues on to say, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). This passage means that it is according to God the Father’s desire that we have become His children, just as it was said in the previous passage, “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).
  
 
You May Then Raise a Question Here
 
You may ask here, “Does this then mean that some people in this world have become God’s children by believing in Jesus, while other have not become so yet? If God the Father had predestined and foreordained the salvation of the entire human race, then shouldn’t He have predestined everyone to receive the remission of sins, so that there would be no one who is not born again? Why are there then so many people in this age and time who still have not been born again?”
What you need to realize here, however, is that God the Father has decided to adopt as His children only those who believe in Jesus Christ. Therefore, all of us must grasp and believe that it is only in His Son Jesus Christ that God the Father has prepared our salvation from sin. If you don’t realize that God predestined us out of His grace to be saved from all the sins of the world through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, you will succumb to a great misunderstanding. If you allow this to happen, you will not only remain unable to know God’s predestination, but you will also suffer forever. God said clearly that all of us who believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ have become God’s glory. And He also said that our salvation is His joy, and we are His crafts. You and I, who have been saved from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit are God’s glory and His great work. The salvation that God has given to us out of His mercy is His exceedingly great gift. This salvation that the Lord has brought to us is the greatest gift of God and His merciful love that no one can imitate.
Tragically, however, there are so many people in this world who still have not been delivered from their sins, all because they refuse to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the embodiment of the love of God. Even though God has granted true and never-changing salvation to everyone in this world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there still are too many unbelievers. Such people are fools that cannot be salvaged even by God. I only hope and pray that you are not one of them.
God has done everything to save all human beings from each and every sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Yet despite this, countless people are still being destroyed for their sins, all because they refuse to believe in this true gospel. And such people who still have not been saved from their sins continue to doubt God’s salvation. If anyone does not believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore remains unsaved from his sins, this is entirely his own fault. Such people will face complete and utter destruction for their sins. That’s because God said that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
 
 
Did God Really Choose Some People Unconditionally but Not Others?
 
This is a long-standing question that is still being debated heatedly among today’s theologians. To answer this question, let’s turn to Romans 9:14-24.
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.’ Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?’ But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”
This passage makes it clear that God the Father had prepared and predestined us to become His own children in Jesus Christ out of His merciful love. Having chosen us in Jesus Christ, God has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has achieved our salvation perfectly and flawlessly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that we would have to do nothing on our own to reach salvation. Therefore, all that we have to do to be saved is just believe in the written Word of the water and the Spirit. In other words, if only we accept into our hearts the righteousness of God that Jesus Christ has fulfilled for us and believe in this righteousness, we will all reach our salvation.
Even in this present age, there still are many people all over the world who will receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, become God’s children, and enjoy His glory and splendor in His Kingdom. At the same time, there also are many people who will fail to do so. In other words, just as there are many who will be saved, so are there many who will fail to become God’s children and instead be destroyed for refusing to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Oblivious to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, such people are living a shameful life buried in their own sins, suffering under the curse and pain of sin.
If you are such a person, then it can only mean that your faith is legalistic, trying to reach your salvation through your own work instead of relying on God’s merciful love. Legalistic faith is derived from interpreting the Word of God only by the letter, a superficial faith that’s professed out of one’s ignorance of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such people turn God into an unrighteous God, thinking on their own, “God should have enabled everyone to be saved from sin automatically from the very day He created the human race.”
To address this issue, God has spoken the Truth to us through the Scripture, as it’s written in Romans 9:14-16: “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.”
Therefore, even if you happen to be running toward your salvation with all your strength, this doesn’t mean that you have come into God’s mercy because of your merits. In other words, our salvation is not reached by relying on our own strength, nor is it influenced in any shape or form by our own merits and virtues. Nor is God coerced by anyone into making us His children, but it is solely out of His merciful love that we can become His children by believing in this merciful love. In short, it is only according to the will of God that we are saved and blessed to become His children.
When God sees us, He does not want to see us trying to reach our salvation through our own human efforts. Far from it, He wants to see us asking Him for His mercy, admitting to Him that we are all destined to be destroyed for our sins, for we are too weak and inadequate to reach our salvation on our own. It’s such people whom God wants to save from all their sins by giving them the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Truth of salvation. God has made it clear that every sinner is bound to hell. We should therefore also admit to God that we are such sinners, saying to Him, “Lord God, I am heading straight to hell! Please have mercy on me!” And then we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ has given us.
All of us must grasp here that God has mercy only on those who seek His mercy, not those who are too arrogant to seek His mercy and instead stand against Him with their own merits (Romans 9:15). God bestows His merciful love on us precisely because we cannot help but head straight to hell for our sins if left alone. However, even though God has mercy on everyone, when people fail to admit that they are sinners, God leaves them alone to be face His wrath for their sins.
God the Father predestined and chose us in His Son Jesus Christ to be saved through His righteousness. And God has granted this salvation to all who believe in His righteousness fulfilled by Jesus Christ. How can then anyone say that there is something wrong with the salvation that God has brought to the human race? Anyone who says so is someone who does not know the righteousness of God and His mercy. Such people are profoundly and utterly mistaken in God’s sight.
Having predestined the entire human race to be saved from sin in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God the Father has indeed delivered us from all the sins of the world according to this plan and granted us salvation once and for all. We have therefore been saved from all our sins by believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that God has given us. And everyone else can also reach salvation if one realizes this plan of God the Father and believes in Him according to His will.
 
 
The Bible Explains This Issue to Us by Drawing an Analogy to a Potter
 
A potter uses clay to make all kinds of potteries, from plates to cups and bowls. Although everything made by the potter is made out of clay, some are made for noble purposes while others are made for trivial purposes. Given the fact that the potter has every right to make whatever he wants to make according to his wish, can any pottery made by him dispute his work and say to him, “Why did you make me like this?” No, of course not!
In a similar vein, God the Father is saying to us that He has saved us according to His plan through the righteousness of God fulfilled by Jesus Christ. How can anyone then object to God’s plan of salvation fulfilled by Jesus Christ and say that it’s not fair for Him to save only those who believe in His righteousness? This is not tenable!
Before being born again, what kind of existence was ours in God’s sight? Were we not all wretched and worthless beings suffering under our sins? That is why we had to pray to God to save us from all the sins of the world, to blot out all our sins, and to give us His blessings. And when we relied on God the Father like this and believed in His righteousness fulfilled by His Son Jesus Christ, God gave us His glorious blessing of salvation and adopted us as His own children. This was fulfilled in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to each and every believer. In other words, God the Father had so much compassion for us the born sinners that He clothed us in His mercy and made us His sons and daughters. We have therefore reached our salvation by believing in God’s righteousness, and God has thereby made us glorify Him. Even though all of us were wretched beings by nature, we have become God’s glorious children thanks to His righteousness. That is how the splendor and glory of God have now been revealed. God has made this known to all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As we believe in this true gospel, God the Father has blessed us all to put on His glory.
Despite this, however, too many people still rely on their own strength of the flesh and reject the righteousness of God. God has destined all such people to be destroyed forever. Therefore, whoever does not believe in the righteousness of God must turn around and believe in this righteousness, which is God’s love. Put differently, such people must delve deeper into the gospel of the water and the Spirit and learn its profound teaching from the beginning.
The problem, however, is that many people in this world still continue to reject God’s righteousness and ignore this God of mercy. God has given us not only everything in this universe, but He has also given us His grace, His merciful love, and His salvation. Yet countless people still do not recognize this God that loves them so much. Even though it is only by the love of God and His mercy that every life is sustained, not only do most people remain ignorant of God, but they also have no intention to get to know Him. Such people who don’t even worship God are therefore rejecting His everlasting blessings.
Hence, even if God were to forsake them to be cursed for their sins, He would not be an unjust God. The unjust are those who not only fail to recognize God as their Master but also stand against His righteousness. God has left their hardened hearts alone, so that they would all be cursed by Him.
God has told us clearly that He has accomplished our salvation in His righteousness. God has saved you and me and all who believe in His righteousness out of His mercy. It is therefore absolutely imperative for all of us to understand the Word of God when Ephesians 1:11 tells us that we have obtained an inheritance in Jesus Christ, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will. God the Father was not influenced by any creature at all when He saved us from all our sins. Neither influenced by the Devil nor swayed by us, Jesus Christ has saved us from all our sins in obedience to the will of God the Father according to His plan. Having come to this earth to save us from sin, Jesus Christ has completely achieved our salvation by bearing all our sins through His baptism and dying on the Cross in our place.
When Jesus was about to be crucified, He had at first asked God the Father to take away this cup of crucifixion from Him if possible, but He eventually relented His will and submitted Himself to the will of the Father, asking Him to do His will. Jesus was then crucified to death to purchase us with the price of His own life, and this was done because He had borne all our sins through His baptism for our sake. In other words, it was to make us God’s children that Jesus bore all our sins on His own body by being baptized, laid down His life on the Cross to shed His blood to death, and thereby saved us all. Like this, Jesus has made you and me God’s own children by purchasing us with His very own life. This is how God has saved each and every one of us from all the sins of the world. He has saved us by working according to the counsel of His will.
What then is the obvious thing for us to do before God? All of us ought to ask God for His mercy. Indeed, we have no merit whatsoever. We are so feeble that we can easily fall into despair over trivial things, stumble over the smallest obstacles, and even succumb to the tiniest germs. However, even though all of us are such wretched and insignificant beings, God the Father had decided to save us through the righteousness of His Son Jesus Christ. God had predetermined and foreordained to adopt such lowly beings like us as His children, and He actually chose us and made us His sons and daughters. It is to the glory of God that you and I have now become His children. Moreover, now that we have reached our salvation, our lives on this earth are not everything there is to us, for the glory of God that we have received by faith will be fulfilled to us one day; and we will live forever with God in His Kingdom. This is the glory of God and the blessing that He has bestowed on us.
How did we become God’s children? This came about because God adopted us the believers as His own children in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the will of God the Father. How did God’s Church come into existence then? It came into existence because God the Father had mercy on us, and we were remitted from all our sins by finding and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the will of God the Father. Having thus become God’s own children, we have come together to build His Kingdom, and none other than this is God’s Church. Wherever the born-again, righteous saints are gathered together to worship God—this is His Church.
In the Book of Ephesians, God is teaching us through the Apostle Paul how His Church and His children came into existence. God the Father is explaining to us that He has made His children according to His will, and wherever these children of God are gathered together is His Church. During the Early Church era, the Church of Ephesus here was God’s Church where His children in Ephesus were gathered together. There were seven churches in Asia Minor in the Early Church era, and all these churches were of God’s true Church; and now in this present age, where we are gathered here is God’s true Church.
No matter what anyone says, you and I have been saved in Jesus Christ according to the will of God. It is therefore evident to all of us that our own will, thoughts or plans had nothing to do with our regeneration as God’s own children. It’s crystal clear to us all that our own wills had absolutely no bearing whatsoever on our adoption as God’s children. All that remains for us to do is just realize from the Scripture that God the Father had already planned, foreordained, and prepared our salvation even before the foundation of the world, and believe in this will of the Father. There is nothing else for us to do but believe in this Truth and thank God for it. This is what the Apostle Paul is teaching us in the Book of Ephesians.
We can only thank God for adopting us as His own children in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Apart from the Word of God, there is nothing else to add to our salvation or subtract from it. All that we have to do is believe in the grace of God and thank Him for it.
How about you then? Do you also believe in God’s grace? It is a truly wonderful and marvelous blessing that God has made you and me His own children. This salvation that God has brought to us is exceedingly great. Words cannot describe how amazing it is that God the Father has adopted us as His children each and every one of us gathered here and accepted all of us as the members of His Church, from the young to the old, men and women alike. Having planned to make us His own children even before the foundation of the world, God predestined us to be saved according to the good pleasure of His will, and He has indeed saved us from all our sins in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ has redeemed us by purchasing us with the price of His own life. He has made us His possessions by purchasing us with the Truth of the water and the Spirit.
The salvation that God has brought to us is so amazing that words fail us to describe our joy. Let us therefore give all our thanks to God our Savior, to the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Hallelujah!