The New Life Mission

Sermons

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

[Chapter 2-2] (Ephesians 2:1-7) Are We Living in Gratitude by Trusting in The Gospel of The Water and the Spirit?

(Ephesians 2:1-7)
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
 
 
In the age of the Old Testament, all the people of Israel gathered together in the Tabernacle once a year during the Passover feast and offered a sacrifice of atonement to God. The sacrifice of the Passover feast was the most important sacrifice to the people of Israel. During this Passover feast, the people of Israel all gathered around the Tabernacle, the House of God, and came to His presence by offering Him a sacrifice of atonement. Through this sacrifice of Passover, the people of Israel could approach God, and they could also live by trusting in His mercy.
In this present age of the New Testament, we are also offering our sacrifices of faith to God by trusting in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And to carry out our priestly duties to preach this true gospel all over the world, we are constantly training ourselves under the guidance of God’s Church. A good example of this is the discipleship training camp that is held twice a year in summer and winter.
Today, all the saints and servants of God living on this planet earth are constantly waging a spiritual battle against Satan. Such spiritual wars are fought to save countless people from sin. The Lord is pleased to wage these spiritual wars together with His workers to save as many people as possible.
However, as we wage God’s war, sometimes we find ourselves getting more exhausted from the struggle against ourselves than against the outside world. Nevertheless, we can still continue to wage our spiritual battle against Satan by trusting in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given us. We have received the remission of sins from God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but if we were to fail to serve this true gospel, then we would all end up standing against the righteousness of God by worshipping idols. Unless we continue to wage this spiritual war against Satan, we will waste our lives.
So we are even more grateful to God for enabling us to fight our spiritual war. Jesus Christ our Savior has made us carry out the most righteous work on this earth, and we give all our thanks to Him for this blessing. God does not leave us on own devices to carry out His work alone, but He makes us work united together. I thank God for blessings us to carry out His work together with His Church and bear abundant spiritual fruit.
 
 
God’s Ministry That Is Being Fulfilled Now through Our Literature Ministry
 
We need to realize here that God wants us fulfill His plan through all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, as we carry on with God’s righteous work, it’s also imperative for us to have a clear understanding of God’s plan for us. So we must rely on God and work faithfully until the day all His work is completed. Having given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God is pleased to work through us to lead countless souls to be born again.
We have published a few sermon books on Romans. It is our sincerest hope and prayer that Christians in this world would make important spiritual progress through these sermon books. We hope for even more people to grow spiritually from reading these books. That’s because so many Christians nowadays do not have the right faith due to the flawed doctrines of modern Christianity. We want all of them to escape from such flawed Christian doctrines, realize clearly what the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is, and receive everlasting life. For this reason, I plan to cover the entire Bible and bear witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that’s revealed in both Testaments.
As most Christians today still remain ignorant of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, it may be difficult for them to understand my sermon series on Romans when they read it for the first time. However, if they keep reading it again a few times, they will all be able to understand the gist of the series and recognize the gospel of the water and the Spirit eventually. And once they realize the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Word of God speaks of, they will also be able to realize how God has saved them from all the sins of the world. Therefore, if you want to discover the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, then you should read the sermon series on Romans and pray to God to free you from your confused thoughts. I hope and pray that countless Christians will benefit from these sermon books on Romans.
Although I am not sure how much longer we have to publish such books, when I contemplate on it before God, it seems to me that we have to carry on with this work as long as we are living in this world. It’s apparent that the will of the Lord will be fulfilled only then. Given the fact that we have done so little for God’s work, I believe that we must work far more for the Lords to return. I feel very strongly that we must spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit in this world even more for our Lord to return to this earth. Only then will God bless us for serving His gospel work.
Everything that is false and untrue will crumble down when the Lord returns to this world. Even though Christianity today seems to be thriving outwardly, building bigger and evermore magnificent church buildings for everyone to admire, but these buildings are actually today’s Towers of Babel. Each and every one of them will crumble down, and only those who believe in the righteousness of God will be resurrected to enjoy everlasting life in the Lord’s Kingdom. I pray that the gospel of the water and the Spirit would soon be spread in this world completely before we are raptured.
 
 
All of Us Were Ruled by Fallen Angels
 
We have just read Ephesians 2:1-7 for today’s Scripture passage. The Bible says here in Ephesians 2:1, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” It’s also written that we “were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5). And the Bible says that God has worked on us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to spread the riches of His salvation throughout the whole world and showed them to every generation to come. All these things were accomplished according to God’s plan.
The Lord said that He has delivered us and brought us back to life from all sins and trespasses of the world. Through the baptism that our Lord received from John the Baptist, He bore all the sins of the world once and for all, taking upon not only our inherited sins but also each and every personal sin that we have ever committed and will ever commit throughout our entire lifetime; He was then condemned for all these sins on the Cross in our place; and He has thereby saved us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from all our sins. That is how we could be saved from all our sins through faith as we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is written that we “once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). In our past, all of us were children of wrath by nature in God’s sight, living as the Devil’s slaves. Before Jesus Christ came to this earth, we had been the Devil’s slave, imprisoned under the wrath of God and destined to be destroyed forever. This is what the Lord Himself said us, teaching us that we were all inexorably bound to be destroyed forever. That we were by nature children of wrath in God’s sight fundamentally means that we were living as the Devil’s slaves. All of us must admit this fact.
Who is the Devil here then? He is the opponent of God standing against His righteousness—that is, Satan. You may then ask, “Since God is almighty, He can easily destroy Satan. Why does He then leave him alone?” There is a reason why God has left Satan and his followers alone in this world for a short while; this is to reveal God’s justice, His mercy and His righteousness. The Lord has saved all who believe in the righteousness of God from each and every sin, but at the same time, He has also given a free will to us so that we ourselves would decide whether to believe in the righteousness of God or not. God did not create us as robots or mechanical beings, but as willful beings. That’s because the Lord wanted to reveal His power and manifest the mercy of God, His justice and His love through us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that everyone would receive everlasting life by believing in the righteousness of God in gratitude.
There was an angel named Lucifer, whose God-given standing among the angels was very high. With countless angles under him, Lucifer knew that there was no one above him but God, and so he rebelled against Him and tried to usurp His position. This angel thought that he could become the most exalted one if he just removed God. He was gripped by a profoundly mistaken ambition to turn himself into a god and reign over a great host of angels. That is why Lucifer ended up challenging God’s authority. But God said to this angel, “Will you be exalted to Heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.” So God made a place to imprison Lucifer and his followers. This is none other than hell. Just as Lucifer the Devil is destined to be punished by God for his sins, we also had been facing the same fate as those belonging to this Devil.
The Apostle Paul said to us, “You once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). The Devil incites people to follow the course of this world and to stand against God, and he does everything to torment them if they don’t listen to his words. This is what the Devil does by nature. Referring to Satan, Paul called him “the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). We need to realize here clearly that the spirit that works in the hearts of those who stand against the righteousness of God is none other than Satan. In fact, before we were born again, we had also served Satan as his slaves under his control. Back in those days, we had been gripped by our own fleshly thoughts.
However, as you and I now believe in the righteousness of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are God’s holy children. Are you a child of the Devil or a child of God? All of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are now God’s children, just as the Bible says, “And you He [God] made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). However, our hearts, thoughts and acts still fall short of perfection in God’s sight. So we are bound to commit sin throughout our entire lifetime. That’s why God said that we had been dead in trespasses and sins. We are now of those who had died with Jesus Christ for our trespasses and sins and have been brought back to life with Jesus Christ. God has made such people like us His own children through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There are two kinds of people in this world: God’s children and the Devil’s children. These two types of people had no fundamental differences before encountering the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Everyone was made in the likeness of God’s image. However, those who refused to wash away their sins with the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit came under the wrath of God, and these people are to live as the Devil’s slaves in suffering. God had not forsaken such suffering people, but He had given them the true gospel to save them from all their sins. This gospel is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has saved every sinner through the Truth of the water and the Spirit. Yet many people have rejected God’s true love, only to live in even more suffering and ultimately face the wrath of God.
The Lord said, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Just as it is within God’s power to save sinners destined to die for their sins and give them Heaven, it is also God’s just judgment to send to hell all those who fail to admit their sins and refuse to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit even as you have sin in your heart, then you are turning yourself into a child of the Devil. You will then face God’s wrath. God said that whoever stands against Him will suffer forever under His wrath. As human beings, we were all destined to face God’s wrath from our very birth, but out of His mercy, God has saved us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God had so much compassion on us that He had decided to deliver us from the sins of this world by His great mercy. By nature, all of us had to face God’s wrath without exception, and this was an indescribably wretched curse.
However, although there are many people professing to believe in Jesus, few of them actually have become God’s children by understanding and believing in His righteousness through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Many people in this world think, “Don’t I just have to believe in Jesus to be saved and be remitted from all my sins? Didn’t the Lord say, ‘Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’? Salvation is so easy to reach, especially since there are so many Christians in this world professing to believe in Jesus.” However, those who have escaped from the wrath of God are only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only someone who has absolutely no sin in his conscience can be freed from God’s wrath. Despite this, however, extremely few people have become God’s children with a clear conscience by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even though there are countless Christians professing to believe in Jesus as their Savior. Although very few people actually know the righteousness of God and believe in it, these people are the true children of God, and only such people have truly reached their salvation.
 
 
The Lord Has Delivered Us from the Power of Darkness
 
It’s written in Colossians 1:13, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” Therefore, that we have been saved from all our sins means that we have been delivered from the power of darkness and the kingdom of darkness—that is, from the clutch of the Devil.
Do you know just how wonderful it is that we have become God’s children? Whether we have become God’s children or otherwise still remain under the power of darkness makes a huge difference. Those who are under the Devil’s power can never escape from this power of darkness unless they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that was given by the Lord. Unless they rid their hearts of evil thoughts, they cannot begin to understand the gospel Word that constitutes the Truth of God’s salvation no matter how many times they hear it. So these people cannot escape from darkness even if they want to. Without the righteousness of Jesus Christ, their status as the children of darkness can never be changed. In contrast, God has moved all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from the power of darkness to the Kingdom of His Son.
How does God treat us now that we have escaped from the power of darkness and become God’s children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Since we have become God’s own sons and daughters by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the blessings that follow this are exceedingly great.
Although we had been imprisoned by the sins of this world, we have now been saved by listening to and wholeheartedly believing in the Lord-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. Put differently, we have been freed from the power of darkness. The Bible says that God has freed us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of His Son. And this means that because we have received the remission of sins into our hearts and become God’s children by believing in the divine righteousness of Jesus Christ, we have now been moved to the Kingdom of God. If we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have become God’s children on account of this faith, then it means that our status has changed from the past. In other words, even though we had lived oppressed under our sins, we have now become God’s sons and daughters by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore we have been moved from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of God. In short, all of us who have become God’s sons and daughters by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have become the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. If you and I are God’s sons and daughters, then we are the children of the King of kings.
What an amazing change this is! Since sinners have become righteous people, this is a profound transformation. It’s not our outside appearance that has changed, but it’s our hearts that have been transformed. Although our skin colors remain the same and our figures have not changed either, and it may seem that we would have to work for the Lord even more, the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our hearts has changed us completely.
In fact, when we look at ourselves, we can see clearly that all of us were cowardly by nature in our flesh. That’s because before being born again, we were destined to be slaves to death for our sins. How could such wretched people like us have even thought about serving the holy God and His gospel of the water and the Spirit? This came about all because we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and thereby obtained honor as God’s own children.
As we carry on with our lives in this world, we often come across sinners who still do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What do we see when we talk with them? We see these people boasting about their fleshly things and bragging about their material wealth and social status. But how do we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit treat them? We view them as fools. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are not deceived by any false Christian doctrines. When we come across some sinners bragging about fleshly things, we may treat such people politely outwardly, but inside us we actually looking down on them. No matter how elevated, rich, and powerful these people are, we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit hold such people in contempt. Although we don’t express it outwardly, in our hearts we have our pride as the children of God. That’s because our hearts have changed. It’s not because we have somehow become arrogant, but it’s because the standard by which we look at the world has changed.
Those who had firsthand experience of being born again from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can never become true friends with anyone who still has not been born again. No one who knows that his status has fundamentally changed can consider his old acquaintances as his friends. Once you are born again, you cannot remain a faithful friend to your old acquaintances, if even it’s your best friend. That’s because what your old friends say and think are fundamentally different from you. If they really want to remain your friends, then they must also believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for only then can you share any meaningful conversation with them. It’s true that when we come across our old friends, we feel very glad at first. But once we talk to them for a while, it quickly becomes obvious that we have little in common with them that there is nothing more to talk about. As a result, we find ourselves going on our way, saying a few polite words to excuse ourselves.
Now that we have become God’s children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are compelled to carry out God’s work diligently. Our labor on this world will be over soon, and when this time comes, we will all go to the Kingdom of the Lord. While on this earth, however, we have the calling to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world until the day we enter Heaven and live there as perfect beings. We have this calling because God has moved us from the power of darkness to the Kingdom of His Son.
God has delivered us from all our sins through His righteousness and His love. He has blotted out all our sins once and for all out of His compassion for us. That is how God has made us His own children. And now that we have become God’s children by believing in His righteousness, God is using us as His precious instruments to spread His gift of salvation throughout the whole wide world. Having broken our fleshly minds, we are now living for the righteousness of God to preach the Lord’s gospel. Just as Jesus Christ submitted Himself to God the Father, so must we also obey Him wholeheartedly.
Indeed, even though Jesus’ status was equal to His Father’s, He forsook His divine status for a short while and came to this earth as a Servant incarnated in the same human image as ours. Jesus Christ had come to this earth in the image of man in order to save countless people from all their sins. He then took upon all the sins of the human race by being baptized, bore all the condemnation of these sins on the Cross, and has thereby saved us all. That is why we are living our lives according to the plan of Jesus Christ prepared for us. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have not only escaped from the wrath of God, but we are also able to live a righteous life just like Jesus. What a blessed life we now have!
 
 
Who Ruled Us in the Past?
 
Before we met God, our lives were ruled by the Devil. But now, we have become God’s own children and righteous people by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is therefore more than possible for us to lead our lives by faith worthy of being called God’s children. No matter how many shortcomings God’s children may have, when compared to the people of this world, they are all noble people who can live for the righteousness of God. When we think about how God is using us despite our fleshly shortcomings, we are so overwhelmed by gratitude that we see ourselves carrying out God’s work even more faithfully. Words cannot describe just how thankful we are that we have become God’s children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Although we are living for the Lord, it’s true that we sometimes find ourselves suffering and struggling. But there is a reason why we are still living for the Lord in spite of such hardships. It’s to spread God’s love and His abundant grace to the countless people to come that we are now working so hard as God’s servants to preach the gospel of His righteousness. It’s for the sake of the righteousness of God that we are serving the Lord diligently like this despite many hardships. It was also for this same reason that the Apostle Paul led a single life after meeting the Lord. Now that we have met the Lord, we are also doing everything we can to serve Him, dedicating all our strengths and hearts to God along with His servants, and this too is done for the sake of the gospel.
We do not spend our material possessions just for ourselves. Far from it, we use what the Lord has given us for the souls that are yet to be born again. I believe that God will give us even more material resources in the years to come, so that we would be able to spend them for the gospel until the day the Lord returns. And I thank God for blessing us to spend our riches for His work. It’s written, “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). It’s to fulfill His righteousness that God has worked in your life and mine. And it’s to fulfill this righteousness of God that you and I are laboring so hard.
It’s not because we are somehow inferior to anyone else in our talents that we are serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our lives. Put differently, we are not devoting ourselves to the Lord’s work because we have no ability to survive in this society. Rather, we are serving the Lord to spread His gospel against any and all obstacles because this is the precious work of God. We serve the Lord because it is the most precious work to do as the born-again. For this labor, all of us will surely sit in Heaven and enjoy great blessings with Jesus Christ. But until that day, it is our calling to preach the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit to all who still do not know this Truth of salvation. Even now, there still are far too many people who do not know the Truth of the water and the Spirit that can bless them to be moved from the power of darkness to the Kingdom of the Son of God. It’s to spread the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit to these people that we are laboring so hard. Whatever we do, whether we drink or eat, we do everything for the glory of God.
You and I have received the remission of sins into our hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but this is not the end of everything. Rather, we must take a step further and dedicate our lives to introducing the Kingdom of God to all the countless people in this world. We must live by faith, trusting that God will surely bring Heaven to us. And we must realize here that the reason of our lives on earth is to preach the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit to all who still do not know it, and we must live for this purpose. It would be a great mistake for us to lose this purpose of our lives and think, “Since I have received the remission of sins by believing in Jesus, everything is finished and there is nothing more for me to do.”
If we were to live in the Kingdom of God uselessly like this despite the fact that we have become God’s children by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will lose too many blessings from God. It would have been better if such people had not been born in this world. You need to grasp here why Jesus said of Judas, “It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24). Of course, God will commend us if we preach His righteousness after receiving the remission of sins, but to those who do not co-operate with His righteous work, God will say, “It would have been better if you had not believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” If some people don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit because they have never heard it, this would not be such an insurmountable problem since they can still have another chance to listen to this gospel. But if anyone does not work to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit even as he believes in this gospel, then spiritually speaking, this person is just like Judas. In other words, the Lord will rebuke us if we seek our own fleshly things rather than being mindful of the work of the Spirit even as we have been saved from sin.
So I admonish you not to waste away your life before God only to regret later on. I hope and pray that none of us would ever hear these words from God, “It would have been better if you had not been born at all.” Given the fact that we are God’s children, we cannot allow ourselves to disappoint Him. Even though we have many shortcomings, we must be united by faith and live in the righteousness of the Lord who strengthens us all.
The Bible says, “To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). If one just thinks about the things of the flesh, then this person will be destroyed for sure. Even for those who have received the remission of sins, if they only think about and follow the things of the flesh, then they can also turn into the Devil’s servants and be ruled by the spirit who works in the sons of disobedience. So we must trust in the Word of God, unite our hearts with God’s Church and His servants, and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And when we do so, we will be able to benefit others also. No one can be coerced into living such a life, but it is led naturally when we believe in and follow the righteousness of God.
My fellow believers, are you struggling to live for the righteousness of the Lord? God told us that it is to spread His righteousness all over the world that we are suffering for the sake of this righteousness of God. Even though we may feel weary and tired in our flesh, it’s still imperative for all of us to live for the righteous work that brings everlasting life to every soul. Rather than stubbornly insisting on your own thoughts that deviate from God’s thoughts, unite yourself with the will of God and His mind and follow Him by faith. You should never follow your own fleshly mind, thinking to yourself, “I have my own ideas and my own purpose for my life.” Instead, you should make God’s purpose your purpose, accept His will, unite yourself with God by faith, and live out your faith, always walking with the Lord in times of both joy and sorrow. Only then can you become a righteous servant in God’s sight.
The sad reality, however, is that some of us are still living just for their own flesh even though they have also received the remission of sins and become sinless by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such people are living their lives just to ensure their own fleshly prosperity, neither spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor serving it. You should never live this kind of life. God will not bless you if you live such a life. In contrast, if you live for God’s righteousness, He will answer all your heart’s desires quietly like the dew of the dawn moistening the field. God has promised all of us to bestow and fill our lives with His grace. So if we live for the righteousness of God first, then He will also fill all our needs for sure. On the other hand, if we live our lives in the opposite way, then God will not be with us, for it’s written, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13). We should never allow ourselves to turn into such useless people in this world or inside God’s Church. But if we follow just our own fleshly desires, then we will end up turning into such people.
What about you then? Is your heart lusting after the world? Is it your purpose in life just to ensure your own fleshly prosperity? If this is the case, then I beseech you to revise your purpose in Jesus Christ according to the will of God. I ask you to resolve your heart to live for the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God will then fulfill your life’s purpose for sure.
If you otherwise seek your own fleshly purpose first instead of God’s purpose, then you will face spiritual death right away. Once you leave God’s Church, you will no longer be able to listen to the Word of God, and consequently, your mind will be seized by evil thoughts. What will happen to you if you go out into the world? You will end up doing all kinds of fleshly things, since you won’t serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit even though you have become sinless. There is no life that’s more useless than this. Spiritually speaking, not only will your own faith perish like this, but you will also end up killing your family members’ souls and ultimately everyone else around you.
 
 
To Do the Righteous Work, What Should We Be Careful About?
 
When Jesus was born on this earth, it came to King Herod’s attention that the Savior of mankind and the King of kings was born, and so he ordered his soldiers to kill every boy in Bethlehem under the age of 2. Like this, if it’s been less than two years since you first received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you have to be very careful about Satan’s temptation and persecution. The best time for the Devil to bring you down is the first two years since receiving the remission of sins. This is when your faith is still immature, and it is also the ideal time for the Devil to try to undermine you.
Later on, when you’ve led your life of faith for about five to ten years since receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you may stumble over your pride and go astray. However, as your faith would have already grown considerably by then, you won’t fall as easily as when your faith was still immature. So if it’s been less than two years since you were born again, you should be very careful, for this is when you are most vulnerable to follow your own fleshly thoughts and even end up departing from the righteousness of God as a result of your failure to overcome your fleshly mind.
Therefore, it is absolutely imperative for you to break down your own thoughts by faith. The substance of your mind is more important than anything else. Even though it’s not visible to your naked eyes, everyone has his own mind. So you must break down by faith the evil mind of your flesh that tries to mislead you.
What happens when you break down your fleshly mind? You will feel bone-breaking pain. The pain will be so great that it might bring tears to your eyes. You will lose not only your appetite but also sometimes even your sleep. But no matter how painful it might be, you must still break down all the evil thoughts of the flesh with your faith. This is a must for everyone.
Some of you may then ask me here, “What about you? Have you also broken down your will?” I too have shattered my own will many times over. Because I am a very stubborn man, I cannot follow the Lord unless I break down my fleshly mind before God. Had I not done so, I could not even have met you like this. Yet I am standing here before you precisely because I broke down my fleshly mind so many times.
We are now trying to live for everyone in this world who still remains sinful and is therefore heading straight to hell. To achieve this, it’s necessary for us to break our evil minds repeatedly. It’s a big mistake for you to think that you only have to break your mind once. In reality, you have to do this hundreds of times until you are completely obedient to your Lord God.
I myself have had to deal with my fleshly stubbornness countless times. There were many times when I found myself saying to God, “Lord, I am going to give up my life of faith. Haven’t I done enough already? What have I done so wrong that I have to put up with so much persecution to preach Your righteousness? I know that You approve my ministry, but so many people still do not recognize Your righteousness. I also know that I have to break down my fleshly mind to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all these people. But I am just tired of it, and I want to live in whatever way I want to live.” However, whenever I tried to live according to my own wish like this, God stopped me on the track every time and made me realize that it was wrong for me to follow my own desires against His wish and to His displeasure. I was therefore compelled to rebuke myself for being so impatient, once again break down my own will, and resume living in obedience to the will of God, saying to Him, “Lord, even if I could save just one more soul for the rest of my life, I know that You will be greatly rejoiced. So I will continue to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit no matter what, even if it’s just a single sinful soul that I can save from now on. I will cleanse this soul as white as snow and take him to You.” This was my heart-felt desire. And it was my life’s reaffirmed purpose to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit alone, even if I could preach this gospel to just one soul throughout my entire lifetime.
My goal was not simply enlarging the size of my congregation. On the contrary, the promise I made to God was this: “Lord, even if it’s just one person, I will make sure that this person receives the complete remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and take him to You.” So, when I first met the Lord through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and began my ministry, I used to hold worship services by myself; I prayed, preached, and sang praises all by myself because there was no attendee at my Church yet.
It wasn’t uncommon for me to preach by myself in an empty church, saying, “How have you been, brothers and sister? It’s a beautiful day out there. Today, I would like us to turn to Matthew chapter 25. Here in Matthew chapter 25, the Bible speaks about the end times and the final judgment through the parable of ten virgins. There are many lessons that we need to learn here.” Like this, I used to preach all by myself, pray by myself, work by myself, and do everything by myself to build God’s Church little by little from scratch. Since there were no members, it also fell on me to come up with the necessary financial resources. So I worked very hard to make money, and whatever little money I made by myself, I offered it all to the Church, saying to God, “Lord, I am working eight hours a day to make money to serve Your gospel. Your servant made this money by humiliating himself before the non-born again. How should I spend it then? Where else could I spend this money but for Your righteous work? I give it all to You.”
Despite such difficulties I faced at the beginning of my ministry, God listened to my prayers in His time and allowed me to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to you. It’s according to the will of God that I’ve preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit to you. And it’s after God refined me for many years like this that I began to bear His holy fruit through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God was with me every step of the way, and that’s why I could preach the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit to you. Having refined my heart first, God told me to serve His righteousness. And He gave me everything I needed to preach this gospel. I can say this with every confidence. This is not just my own words, but is the undeniable truth that has been confirmed time after time. And it is my faith in the righteousness of God that has led me to where I am now. The gospel that I am preaching to you is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we unite ourselves with the righteousness of God, He will surely lead us to the way of peace and bless us all.
However, my fellow believers, such God-given blessings are not bestowed on you without first refining your faith. Nowadays, a certain influential denomination speaks about the so-called “doctrine of threefold blessings,” drawing its inspiration from 3 John 1:2 that says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” The leaders of this denomination say to their followers that whoever donates a lot of offerings to their church will receive much in return and whoever offers little will receive little.
This however is not what the Word of God actually says. The Word of Truth says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). This passage clearly teaches us that we must now resolve our hearts to live for the righteousness of God first, for it’s from then on that our hearts go through the refinement of faith until we are able to preach the gospel of Truth to everyone around us. It’s only after we make up our minds to serve God that He fills all our needs. If God were to bless us even when our hearts are not ready, then we would end up going astray to the way of the flesh, and that is why our own fleshly prosperity is not the first thing that God brings to us.
When I first came to this city following the guidance of God, I used to ride a bicycle to everywhere in the city. But one day, a thief stole my bike. This bike had been my only means of transportation, and so losing it was not only inconvenient but also very upsetting to me. Coincidently, around the same time a minister at a nearby church came looking for me, and we got into heated arguments as he stood against the Word of God. To add insult to injury, this pastor was visibly delighted to hear about my loss, and on his way out he said to me sarcastically, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a car?” I was already upset enough over losing my bike, but now I had to put up with such a provoking remark. After all, it’s not as though I did not know how useful it would have been to have a car. But the Church at that time was facing such a dire situation that it didn’t even have enough money to pay the rent for the church building, nor did it have enough members to put up posters for a revival meeting. There was a time like this when the Church faced such a difficult period.
But how is our Church doing now? How has God worked on us? He has blessed us all abundantly. What explains our prosperity then? Is it because of our own merits that our Church is flourishing like this? Is it because I am somehow inherently virtuous that you respect me? No, it’s all because we have together lived for the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has blessed all of us in both body and spirit. And it’s God Himself who has allowed such ideal circumstances for us to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It’s written in today’s Scripture passage, “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). Here the Apostle Paul is teaching us that God Himself has saved us from all our sins. God has seated us at His side and blessed us to receive all His heavenly glory and splendor. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the Kingdom of His Son, thereby transforming our status. It is to give such blessings to us that God had allowed me to preach this gospel. In other words, God has saved us from all our sins before everyone else and placed us on this earth so that we would preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all the generations to come.
Why then are Christians trying so hard to memorize Scripture passages? They even have to recite some Bible verses to be allowed to have a meal during their Bible conferences. Has God given us His Word so that we would just memorize it for a meal without any real understanding? No, God has spoken His Word to us to give us the remission of sins, as well as for us to preach this gospel all over the world. That is precisely why we are now holding fast to the Word of God and preaching this gospel. Indeed, the Apostle Paul devoted all his life to this endeavor, and we are also living faithfully for the same purpose. Since you also believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it’s absolutely imperative for you to participate in God’s ministry as well.
I am well aware that I have often failed to pay enough attention to your fleshly needs. Because my only interest is in spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I usually meet and speak with those related to this ministry and maintain a close relationship with them. So I know that some of you feel neglected as a result. It’s quite possible for you think, “Pastor Jong is so preoccupied with his own work that he seems to care very little about me.” But I ask you not to think like this. I care deeply about all of you living as God’s workers. There is no one among you who is not precious to me, and I cherish each and every one of you. As you do for me what I cannot accomplish on my own, and I do for you what you cannot achieve, all of us are serving the gospel united together like this.
Your body is composed of different parts and organs, from your head to neck, arms, and legs. What would happen if your body had just a head without any neck? Without your neck, you can’t even turn around your head. It’s also useless to have just your neck without the head. The same is true for every body part. Without any arms, your shoulder is useless to lift anything, and without your fingers, your hands cannot grab anything, either. There is nothing in your body that is not indispensable. From your spinal column to your muscles, your hips, legs, and even toes, each and every body part is absolutely indispensable and none can be neglected. Like this, the Church is the body of the Lord, and as we are serving the Lord and His gospel in the Church as its limbs, all of us are precious.
We are all busy with each of our assigned tasks—just as I’m busy with my task, so are you busy with yours. However, even though we each have a different task, my desire for all of you remains the same: I want God to bless you all. There is a limit for me to treat you nicely in fleshly terms. Moreover, the things of the flesh are completely useless when it comes to fulfilling the will of God. Although I may not be able to help you personally every time you are struggling, I still pray for each and every one of you, asking God, “Lord, please help all our saints in these difficult times. They all need Your help.” Only when God helps you can you overcome your problems. Given the fact that I am just as human as you are, would my help really be that useful to you? Besides, once I help you, it’s in my human nature to brag about how much I helped you. That’s in everyone’s nature. That’s how petty and insignificant we all are by nature as human beings.
Despite our insignificant worth, we have been saved from all our sins by God, and we are now living to spread His gospel. Pooling our strength together, we are working on each of our assigned tasks to serve this gospel for the sake of all the people who still do not know it, as well as for all the future generations to come. Together, all of us are participating in this work in whatever way we can; if there is anything we cannot achieve on our own, we pray for God’s help; and having thus renewed our strength by faith, we are serving the Lord faithfully to the best of our abilities. Prayer is absolutely indispensable to achieve this, asking the Lord to help us and bless us, so that we may pool our strength and fulfill our duties satisfactorily. Like this, we must pool our strength and work together with a single heart, so that God would be more than able to judge all the Devil’s followers and fulfill every promise He made to His people.
Of course, we know very well that it’s not so easy to unite our hearts and pool our strength together to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, even though it’s hard for us to live for the Lord, we are all rejoiced to do so. It’s true that although our hearts are joyful to live for the Lord, it is still demanding and tiring to our bodies. Nonetheless, because we believe that the Lord will bring the Kingdom of Heaven to us in time, we can renew our strength and devote our lives to His work.
This morning, I read a message from a pastor in Peru telling me that he has now been saved from all his sins. After receiving the first three volumes of our gospel book series, he read the first volume. Yet even though this pastor read just one of our books, he was able to realize that he had lived a religious life up to now rather than a life of faith. All the problems of his heart had ended just by reading a single book. When someone who has really studied the Bible deep and wide reads one of our books, this person is able to realize that his faith has been wrong all this time, and he can also receive the remission of sins once and for all.
We encounter problems usually when we deal with someone whose faith is blind or whose understanding of Jesus is half-baked. No matter how hard we teach the Word of God to such people, they are neither willing to listen to this Word nor do they want to believe in it. In contrast, those who have really studied the Bible with all due diligence and care thank us for sharing our books, saying to us, “I don’t really know about your Mission that well, but I am still very grateful to you for sharing such a wonderful book with me, for teaching me the Truth of salvation and enlightening me.”
My fellow believers, it’s because we have pooled our strength to carry out the gospel work of the water and the Spirit that we can hear such a joyful news. Even though we are all struggling, it is truly blessed to unite our hearts with the righteous work in our lives. And it is such people like us that are truly righteous.
When Korea was under Japanese colonial rule, many independence fighters risked their lives for the sake of the nation. In Korea, such people who risked their lives to save the nation are often called “righteous fighters.” This honor is bestowed on someone who risked his life for a greater cause than his own interest, devoting all his life to a truly just cause. And these people who dedicated their lives to a just cause are respected abroad as well.
Once born on this earth, everyone must live for the righteous cause. This is the calling that every human being must answer. This is how we should all lead our lives even if we were not born again. It would then be even more regrettable if we failed to live for the righteous work despite being born again. Nor would God leave such people alone. Given the fact that you have received the remission of sins, how could you live your life without carrying out this righteous work? No matter how full of shortcomings you are, you can still surrender your life to the Lord and live for Him. Don’t say that you can’t carry out the Lord’s work because you don’t have enough talents. Why should this be an issue? If your own abilities were what qualified you to carry out God’s work, then God would have entrusted His work to the best and brightest of all. But do you really think that such people would carry out God’s work faithfully? No, that’s not the case. When God says to them, “Preach My gospel in this way,” they will say to Him, “Lord, I don’t think Your way will work. Why don’t I do it in my way?” Because these people are full of their own human merits, they trust their own thoughts more than God’s Word. God abhors such people the most, and He never entrusts any work to them.
Whom does God call to carry out His work then? He calls and uses as His instruments those who believe in His righteousness despite their shortcomings, those whose hearts have thus been remitted from all their sins, those who believe that God has blotted out their every sin, and those who therefore have the Holy Spirit in their hearts—that is, God calls such people like you and me and uses us as His instruments.
God has entrusted us with His Great Commission to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This work is so great that even the angels wish they could carry it out, but it has been entrusted only to us. So I give all my thanks to God for such a wonderful blessing. Our Lord is saying to all of us, “Would you carry out this work for Me? Would you preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world? I know that you are not strong enough by yourselves, but I will be with you every step of the way. You can publish and share gospel books. Would you do this for Me?”
My fellow believers, as we have answered this calling with a Yes, we are now gladly carrying out the gospel work in complete obedience to the Word of God. Having broken down our fleshly desires, we are doing God’s righteous work in obedience to His Word. God has therefore added truly amazing wisdom to us. A good example of this wisdom is indicated by the way we have been preaching the gospel. Instead of traveling all over the world to preach the gospel, we have been distributing our gospel books through the Internet. As a result of this literature ministry, countless people have received the remission of sins from reading our books, and they have sent us their thanks for sharing such an amazing Truth with them for the first time. These people are so joyful and thankful that we are also overwhelmed by joy, grateful to God for entrusting this work to us.
Recently, thanks to the teenagers at our Church participating in our ministry, the gospel is being spread even more rapidly. Nowadays we are hearing from people all over the world telling us that they have received the remission of sins through our literature ministry. Lately we’ve had many Thai visitors to our website requesting our books. Some days, more people visit our website from Thailand than from the United States. This is quite astonishing. Given the fact that Thailand is dominated by Buddhism, it’s very encouraging to see so many Thai’s visiting our website.
My fellow believers, God has entrusted such a precious work to you and me. If you really believe that God has entrusted His precious work to you, then you ought to devote yourself to this righteous work in every possible way regardless of your shortcomings. As God will return to this earth soon, all of us must serve the gospel in His Church until the day God gives us the Kingdom He promised to us. If the Lord’s return is delayed, you will receive even more blessings than the ones you have received on this earth until now; and if the Lord returns sooner, He will still reward you with His great blessings. Amen!