The New Life Mission

Sermons

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

[Chapter 5-4] (Ephesians 5:1-21) What Does It Really Mean To Live with The Fullness of the Spirit?

(Ephesians 5:1-21)
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
 
 
Paul became an Apostle of God by the calling of Jesus Christ, and consequently, he preached only the will of God as His Apostle. As one of the overseers of God’s Church, Paul’s ministry was far reaching. Literature ministry was one of his mission activities as we see in all the Pauline Epistles.
Paul feared and revered Christ from the bottom of his heart. His faith in Jesus Christ was at the center of his ministry. He preached consistently that Jesus Christ had saved everyone from all the sins of the world and blessed everyone through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, Paul tirelessly preached the immeasurable height, depth, and width of Christ’s love until he went to see the Lord face to face.
 
 
The Grace of God That Is Made of His Righteousness
 
In Ephesians chapters 3-5, the Apostle Paul used the adverb “therefore” continuously to explain the righteousness of Jesus Christ clearly and logically. This righteousness is revealed by the fact that Jesus Christ, God Himself, forsook the throne of Heaven, came to this earth, and saved us from all the sins of the world when we were destined to die for our sins. Jesus Christ endured indescribable suffering to save us from the sins of this world with His righteousness. Like a quite sheep before its shearer (Isaiah 53:7), He silently bore all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist before God the Father, and then He triumphed over death. He has become our Savior by being baptized by John the Baptist and rising up from the dead.
We have now received true salvation by believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ who came by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, for He has blessed all of us His believers to reach this true salvation. That is why the Apostle Paul preached to everyone in his days to be saved by faith through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father.
Do you realize just how much God the Father loved us through Jesus Christ? We came to know this because the Apostle Paul taught us in concrete detail how Jesus Christ has given us the blessings of salvation. Paul also spoke about how Jesus Christ has clothed us in such magnificent glory of the Kingdom of Heaven. Like all of us, it was by faith that Paul was saved in the love of Christ, and therefore through his letters, he sought to relay this faith of salvation to all the saints living in the end times, teaching them that their lives ought be filled with the Holy Spirit.
 
 
The Apostle Paul Admonished Us to Lead an Upright Life
 
The Apostle Paul said the following to the saints of Ephesus: “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2). All of us must indeed walk as Paul admonished us here, for in our past, we had all been doomed to hell for our sins.
To save such wretched human beings like us, Jesus Christ was sent to this earth through the body of the Virgin Mary according to the providence of God the Father. When Jesus turned 30, He had to take upon all our hearts’ sins by being baptized by John the Baptist. Christ therefore had to be crucified to death, for He had borne all our sins. It was to shed His own blood to be punished for all the sins of this world that Jesus Christ had been baptized by John the Baptist. Having thus fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit through His Son Jesus Christ, God the Father has saved all of us who believe in this Truth from each and every sin of the world once and for all.
How wonderful it is that the Lord has bestowed God’s abounding love on us! Just as we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit ceaselessly, the Apostle Paul also preached this genuine gospel to every nation of the known world. To encourage the saints of Ephesus to follow in his footsteps, he said to them, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1). How can we then emulate God? We can emulate God by imitating Jesus Christ, who is God Himself. Referring to Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul also said, “Christ also loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2). Therefore, emulating God is for us to sacrifice ourselves for the gospel of the water and the Spirit as Jesus Christ did.
I myself suffered a great deal because of my sins. Although this is no longer the case as I now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there was a period in my life when I was so tormented by my sins that I was nearly driven mad and even came close to committing suicide. This happened because Satan constantly accused my conscience of committing sin. My sins caused so much suffering to me that I was half-dead both physically and spiritually. The Devil kept accusing me of being a sinful man time after time, yet all that I could do to stand up to him was just vaguely believe that Jesus Christ was my Savior.
In those days, I did not know exactly how my Lord had blotted out all my sins with the righteousness of God. It was a time in my life when I just believed that only the blood of the Lord on the Cross was my salvation. If I had only heard about the gospel of the water and the Spirit even just once back in those days, I would not have suffered so long and so much like this. Yet there was no one who preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit to me. All those years I had believed that the Lord had saved me from my sins by being crucified and shedding His blood, but this had neither washed away my sins from my heart nor blotted them out of my conscience completely. I was instead being constantly accused by the Devil and my own conscience always felt guilty.
  
 
I Could Not Encounter the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit for One Reason: I Had Not Met Anyone Who Knew and Preached This True Gospel
 
Even as I was suffering so much over my sins back in those days, the sins that were written in my heart did not disappear no matter how ardently I believed in the blood of Jesus Christ. That did not happen until I understood the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But once I heard and believed in this genuine gospel, all my sins were completely blotted out, just as the Lord said in Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
Until I came to know this gospel of the water and the Spirit, it had been my sincerest wish to see all my sins disappear. That was why I had been looking for the gospel of the water and the Spirit so desperately. Just before I finally encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I confessed to God that I was a grave sinner. I admitted my sinful state like this because even though it had been more than 10 years since I first believed in Jesus, my heart was still sinful. So I prayed to God to teach me the Truth and show me the way. As I was destined to be put to death for my sins, I asked God to blot out all my sins. Until then, I had been leading my “Christian” life in sin, constantly suffering over my trespasses. Even while attending seminary, whenever I looked back and examined myself, I saw all my sins remaining intact in my heart. So to appease my guilty conscience, I tried to deceive myself into thinking that I was a godly man, and still bound by the Law of God, I tried hard to keep His statutes and constantly offered prayers of repentance.
Back in those days, my foster mother and I were running a prayer center flocked by many Christians. But I had hardly anything to do there. So I spent most of my time there in introspection, and I came to realize just how empty my heart was. Rainy days provided even more time for me to examine my heart, and it dawned on me that I really did not have faith in God. In times like these, I saw myself standing outside Jesus Christ and abandoned in the desolate world all by myself. Words cannot express the emptiness that I felt when I realized that Christ was not in my heart. So I yearned to have Christ come into my heart and dwell in me. Of course, this happened even though I had already prayed countless times to receive Jesus Christ into my heart.
When I professed to believe in Jesus as my Savior, it seemed as though I really believed in Him, and my faith also seemed good enough. Yet despite this, my sins still remained intact in my heart. I realized that my soul was actually abandoned all alone in the wilderness. When I surrounded myself with fellow Christians, it seemed as though my faith was just fine, and I felt I was leading a good Christian life diligently bearing witness of Jesus; however, whenever I was alone and examined myself honestly, I could see clearly that Jesus Christ was not in my heart, and that my heart was filled with nothing but sins. It had dawned on me that I had not really been saved from all my sins through the righteousness of God, and that far from being embraced in God’s arms, I was actually all by myself apart from God. In short, it was indisputably clear that I was a sinner destined to be destroyed.
With the passing of time, the realization that I was a sinner came to me more frequently, and whenever this happened I tried everything possible to put such thoughts to rest, from reading the Word of God all night long to praying aloud and even fasting for several days. Despite such efforts, however, every time I tried to mitigate my guilty conscience it became even clearer to me that I was a sinner standing outside Christ. Even though it was written in the Bible, “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” (Ephesians 1:4), I was still a sinner destined to be condemned to hell.
In his Epistle to the Ephesians, Paul often spoke about how every true believer ought to be in Christ, which I could not achieve no matter how hard I tried.  I yearned so much to have the conviction to believe that I was indeed in Christ just as the Bible said. However, because my understanding of Jesus’ work of salvation was incomplete, I could not help but remain a sinner, for I only believed that Jesus Christ was condemned for my sins by being crucified to death and shedding His blood. Entering into Christ therefore remained out of my reach. Even though I did believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind, I was still a sinner until I finally came to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In other words, as long as I believed only in the blood of the Cross, I could not really come into Christ, for I was still in my sinful state. So, no matter how fervently I believed in Jesus as my Savior, I was still tormented beyond description whenever I felt that I was standing outside Christ. The more I felt this, the more spiritually thirsty I became; despite professing to believe in Jesus, I was actually leading an empty life of faith, for my heart had neither the Holy Spirit nor the true Word of God. In those days I was living in the worst spiritual condition imaginable. Even though I shouted out boldly whenever I preached the Lord’s blood on the Cross to others, whenever I was alone, I knew that I myself was a grave sinner and had not really come into Christ.
 
 
I Then Was Given the Opportunity to Discover the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
Amidst all this suffering, an opportunity came along to read Matthew 3:13-17 after attending a revival meeting. When I read this passage, I finally realized that all the sins in my heart had been passed onto Jesus Christ. Even though I had suffered so much over my sins for all those years, this passage clearly taught me that all my sins had already been passed onto Jesus Christ through His baptism.
Let’s turn to Matthew 3:13-17 here: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
On that day, the very moment I read this passage, the Old Testament and the New Testament came together to bring understanding to my mind. I could finally see the connection between the laying on of hands that was performed when sacrifices were offered in Old Testament times and the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist in New Testament times. The gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit was hidden there. Through the passage from Matthew 3:13-17 in the New Testament and the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, I finally came to realize what the gospel of the water and the Spirit was, and to grasp and believe in the real Truth of salvation. The gospel of the water and the Spirit was the Truth of salvation proclaiming that the Lord had saved all His believers perfectly by bearing not only my sins but also all the sins of the entire human race once and for all through His baptism, being crucified and shedding His blood to death, and rising up from the dead. It’s then that I finally found the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and as a result I could at last become a truly righteous man saved from all my sins.
I had spent ten long years as a “Christian sinner” without knowing the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. My faith had been in vain all those years, and I had been a spiritually blind man until then.
 
 
Do You Know Just How Prevalent Imaginary Salvation Is in Today’s Christianity?
 
You should all realize here just how many Christians are suffering from imaginary salvation. This is akin to imaginary pregnancy, which I’m sure some of our sisters have heard of. Imaginary pregnancy is a medical condition in which a woman shows various signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy even though she is in fact not pregnant. This condition is found not only among women but is common in many mammals. Also known by its medical term pseudocyesis, imaginary pregnancy usually occurs among women of childbearing age who have an intense desire to become pregnant. Patients suffering from this disorder show various self-detectable signs of pregnancy ranging from menstrual irregularity to morning sickness, abdominal distension, breast enlargement, pigmentation changes, hormonal secretion, and even the sensation of fetal movement. In general, imaginary pregnancy is thought to originate from certain changes in the endocrine system caused by psychological factors. When a woman has an intense desire to get pregnant, it can trigger physiological changes to show detectable signs of pregnancy. Because the symptoms of imaginary pregnancy are the same as those of real pregnancy, women with this condition are deceived into thinking that they are pregnant.
In a similar vein, many Christians today are suffering from imaginary salvation when it comes to their faith of salvation. These misguided Christians think that Jesus has saved them from all their sins just by being crucified to death. And because they believe in Jesus so obviously, they think that they have been saved even though their hearts still remain sinful. Just as a woman suffering from imaginary pregnancy is convinced that she is pregnant even though she actually is not, countless Christians nowadays adhere to a false faith as though it were real. The salvation that these Christians believe in and preach is in fact completely groundless, wildly preposterous, and outright false.
I have seen many such Christians who think that they have been saved out of their own imagination. When I look back at how I had led my Christian life in the past, I can see that I too had adhered to a false salvation of my own, thinking to myself that I had been saved. Even though my heart was sinful, I still believed that I was saved from my sins.
 
 
No Matter What Anyone Says, I Am Absolutely Certain That I Have Received the Remission of Sins through God’s Work Manifested to Me
 
I used to speak in tongues and see heavenly visions in my past, but now I have a faith that’s far more assured and certain than any tongues or any visions.
When I first converted to Christianity, I did not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, far less believe in it. I was sick with a serious illness at that time, and perhaps for this reason, I was emotionally overwhelmed when I read in the Bible that Jesus had died for such a wretched sinner like me in my place. Of course, back then I was completely oblivious to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and so I was just grateful that even though I had to die for my sins, Jesus had saved me by being crucified and shedding His blood to death in my place and rising up from the dead. That’s how I came to believe in Jesus, thinking that I should at least wash away all my sins before passing away.
As soon as I believed in Jesus as my Savior, I was so zealous for Him that I began to preach the Christian faith right away. But now that I know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, when I look back into my past, it is clear to me that I had actually been suffering from a serious case of imaginary salvation. I can also see that there are too many Christians suffering from imaginary salvation just as I had suffered. Even though these Christians think that they have been saved from their sins, in reality, there always are sins in their hearts. Most of them think that they have been saved even though their hearts are sinful just because they believe in Jesus. They say that since God loves them and has saved them from their sins through His Son Jesus Christ, they are unconditionally sinless. But this is precisely what it means to suffer from imaginary salvation.
In contrast, you and I who now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have not been saved out of any imagination. Our salvation is approved by God because we believe in the Truth of salvation called the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God the Father for a sweet-smelling aroma (Ephesians 5:2). In other words, Jesus the Son of God has actually saved us to perfection by bearing all our sins in obedience to God the Father, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again.
It’s by believing in this gospel of salvation, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have been truly saved from all our sins. As we now believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have been saved from all our sins. And now that we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we cannot help but give all our thanks to God.
 
 
The Apostle Paul Wrote His Epistle to the Church of Ephesus While Imprisoned
 
We can see that what is underlying in this Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians is his wholehearted faith in the depth, height, width, and length of the love of Christ. Today, as you and I carry on with our literature ministry, we should also always think of the length, height, width, and depth of the love of Christ just like the Apostle Paul did; with this understanding, we should thank the Lord with our faith, give all glory to God the Father, and diligently preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the ends of the world.
Just how deep is the love of Jesus Christ for us that He has saved us from all our sins? God Himself has saved us from all our sins by becoming a Man, and this in itself shows us just how great God’s love is, as it is written in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Everything that Jesus Christ did for us when He came to this earth is the real Truth of salvation. He has nothing false, but is only full of the righteousness of God.
When our Lord came to this earth, He bore all the sins of everyone once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. And as He died on the Cross and rose from the dead, He has saved everyone in this world. All who believe in this Truth are completely sinless, precisely because they have no sin in their hearts; they are testifying the Truth all over the world. We are testifying to the world that Jesus Christ has saved us from all our sins once and for all by coming to this earth, being baptized by John the Baptist, and dying on the Cross; and we are also testifying that we are completely sinless in God’s sight.
God the Father has blotted out each and every sin of this world through His Son. He passed all the sins of this world onto His Son, and the Son of God eradicated all these sins by being judged for them in our place. Given the fact that Jesus has blotted out each and every sin like this, why do so many Christians still have so many sins in their hearts? Their hearts remain sinful because they believe in Jesus as their Savior without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul continued to preach the love of Jesus Christ throughout his entire life. He preached to everyone that Christ had saved the entire human race through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why Paul said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27); and elsewhere in Hebrews 10:22, he also said, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Paul kept on preaching the true gospel Word of the water and the Spirit ceaselessly until he was martyred in Rome.
The Apostle Paul knew the gospel of the water and the Spirit so well and believed in it so unwaveringly. However, many Christians nowadays believe in Jesus as their Savior without realizing that the Lord has blotted out all the sins of everyone in this world with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So you can imagine just how sad the Apostle Paul must feel if he were to see what’s going on in today’s Christianity. Just as we are frustrated to see this, so is God deeply saddened.
When Jesus Christ came to this earth, He fulfilled all the righteousness of God the moment He bore all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. The baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross are what fulfilled all the righteousness of God. This gospel is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has saved us from all our sins. By being baptized, Jesus Christ the Son of God not only accepted all your sins and mine but also all the sins of the entire human race; by giving up His own body to be crucified to death, He was fully condemned for all our sins; and He was resurrected from the dead in three days. That is how Jesus Christ washed away all our sins and brought us back to life from our certain death to become our Savior.
Therefore, all who recognize and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as their salvation will receive everlasting life. This is the love God has for us. The Truth through which God has saved us from all the sins of the world is found in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Whoever believes in this true gospel therefore has no sin in his heart.
What does the Lord’s Prayer say? It says,
“Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Elsewhere in John 3:16, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God the Father has washed away all our sins and saved us from all the sins of the world once and for all by sending His Son to this earth, passing all our sins to the Son, letting Him be crucified to death, and resurrecting Him back to life. It’s by being baptized by John the Baptist that Jesus Christ has completely washed away all our sins once and for all. This is how the Lord has fulfilled the salvation of the perfect remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The problem, however, is that so many people are so thoroughly deceived by false Christian doctrines that they do not realize the Truth of salvation—that is, they have no idea that God has delivered them from all their sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Deceived by the Devil and his false prophets, countless Christians today are living with their hearts still bound by their sins even as they profess to believe in Jesus. These people are all living as sinners because they are oblivious to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, deceived by the false doctrines of modern Christianity. That’s why the Apostle Paul is so grieved in his spirit.
In speaking of the length, height, width, and depth of the love of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul told us that since we have now put on Christ’s love, we should no longer live according to the lust of the world as the ungodly do. He then admonished as the following: “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)” (Ephesians 5:3-9).
This passage clearly teaches us that if we have really grasped the Lord’s love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and if we have really accepted it into our hearts by faith, then we ought to never partake in the sins committed by the people of this world but stay far away from them. Put differently, the Apostle Paul is telling us the following: “All who follow the lust of the flesh and wickedness will face the wrath of God without fail. Those who believe neither the love of God nor that the Lord has blotted out all their sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit will also face the certain wrath of God. But you have been truly saved from all your sins, and therefore do not partake in such sins. If you live as the people of this world do even after being saved from all your sins, then you too will face God’s wrath.”
 
 
“All Things That Are Exposed Are Made Manifest by the Light” (Ephesians 5:13)
 
The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:10-14: “Finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:
‘Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.’”
Prior to this passage, Paul had said in Ephesians 5:9, “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.” As Paul teaches us here, since we have now been truly saved from all our sins and become God’s own children, all of us ought to live as the children of the light. The righteous must never lead their lives like the people of this world do. No righteous saint should ever commit the same sins that sinners commit. Far from it, all the children of the light ought to live in a way that’s worthy of their new status, and to do so, they must come together and carry out the Lord’s righteous work wholeheartedly.
When the righteous come together to carry out God’s work of righteousness, often times they see many of their shortcomings revealed. Whenever their shortcomings are exposed like this, they are all made manifest by the light of the Word of God. This means that the righteous can come into the light only when their wrongdoings are exposed as they are.
Paul also said that no one who has become a child of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should ever work in unity with anyone who still has not been born again. Even though we are lacking on our own, if we the righteous preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and follow the Lord in unity, then we will lack nothing. Of course, because we still have many shortcomings, it’s true that we can still commit sin, but all these sins were already remitted away. However, joining our hands with sinners who seek nothing but wickedness is committing the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven. What the Apostle Paul is trying to teach us in today’s Scripture is that every righteous saint ought to live with the fullness of the Spirit.
We are the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but does this necessarily mean that we don’t commit any fleshly sins at all? No, of course not! Even the righteous can still commit sin in their flesh, and therefore whenever their lives go astray, they ought to be rebuked for their mistake by their predecessors of faith. Why is this so? It’s because only when we are rebuked for our mistakes can we realize that we have gone astray; and only then can we admit our wrongdoings, come out to the light, ruminate on the gospel, and once again thank the Lord for giving us the full remission of sins. Therefore, whenever we go astray but fail to realize this, we ought to be rebuked and awakened to this by the Church. We often commit sins that seem unpardonable even to ourselves. We suffer a great deal of pain and regret over the sins we commit. But this is not such a huge problem. That’s because we have already been saved from all these sins. Because the Lord has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have already become God’s sinless children by faith; and therefore, when we are rebuked every time we commit sin, it is made all the more manifest that we are God’s children. That is why the Apostle Paul said that all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light.
However, this principle does not apply to the sinners who don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Try rebuking them for their sins and see what happens. Far from being exposed by the light, they would just hate you and turn very hostile. Only those who have been saved from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are exposed by the light when they are rebuked for letting their lives go astray. It’s when the righteous are rebuked for their wrongdoings by their predecessors of faith that they can escape from all those sins, and that’s how the Truth of salvation can shine even more brilliantly to reveal even more clearly that the Lord has saved us from all our sins. It is therefore absolutely indispensable for all of us to know the love of Christ, realize and believe in the width and depth of this love, and be willing to be rebuked for our wrongdoings whenever we go astray in our lives of faith.
 
 
We Must Redeem the Time to Preach the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
It’s written in Ephesians 5:15-18: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”
Let’s take a closer look at this passage. Now that we have accepted Christ’s love into our lives, how should we live from now on? As we have been saved from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is none other than we ourselves who truly know the height, depth, width, and length of the love of Christ. How should we then lead our lives from now on? We must live circumspectly before God, never as fools but always as wise. To do so, we must redeem the time the Lord has given to us. All of who have now received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit must redeem the time to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Who could ever stop the time from passing by? No one can stop the clock from ticking. Today is November 2. There already are less than two months remaining for this year. As Christians, it’s a very important task for us to figure out how best to use these two remaining months to further the Lord’s work. The right thing for us to do now is to think about how we can serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit for these two remaining months and resolve our hearts to devote ourselves to this work. That’s because the Lord told us to redeem the time.
That we should redeem the time is even more compelling to us as those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit living in this present age. Why must we redeem the time? It’s because there is not that much time left for us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world, and that is why we must redeem the time all the more. Because the Lord’s return is not far away, it’s absolutely imperative for us not to succumb to foolishness like the people of this world, but abide by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and understand what the will of the Lord is.
What then is the Lord’s will towards us? It’s for us to live the rest of our remaining lives in this world by trusting in the Lord. As the Lord has saved us from all the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of us must not only grasp just how imperative it is to live by faith, but also actually lead such a life of faith.
 
 
If You Want to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit, Believe in and Serve Only the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
It is written in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” That we should be filled with the Holy Spirit means that we should immerse ourselves in God’s work, believe in His righteousness, and invest our time in preaching this righteousness of God. The fullness of the Spirit does not mean speaking in tongues or praying fervently like a fanatic. Rather, to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to devote yourself wholly to spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, it’s very important for all of us to realize the will of the Lord, believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that holds the righteousness of God, and work faithfully to preach this gospel.
Many Christians think that living with the fullness of the Holy Spirit means shouting out and praying fanatically all night long, but this is not the case. They think that God would fill them with the fire of the Holy Spirit if they are fervent enough, and so when they get emotionally stirred up, they think that this is somehow the fullness of the Spirit. But this is a huge mistake. They are just being overwhelmed by their own emotions. The Bible clearly teaches us that all our saints and coworkers from around the world ought to devote themselves completely to the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith, and that this is none other than living with the fullness of the Spirit. We are now able to appreciate this even more deeply from our examination of today’s Scripture passage.
 
 
How Can We Be Filled with the Holy Spirit More and More?
 
Let’s turn to Ephesians 5:19-21 here: “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
What does it mean to live with the fullness of the Spirit? Redeeming the time and serving the gospel, being wise rather than foolish, understanding what the Lord wants from us and dedicating ourselves to serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit rather than living just for ourselves, and immersing ourselves in the work of spreading the gospel to God’s pleasure rather than getting drunk with the wine of this world—none other than this is living with the fullness of the Spirit as God wants us to live. In short, serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our lives is living with the fullness of the Spirit. All of us therefore ought to live in this world by trusting in and serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We have had some people attending our latest revival meeting saying to us that they won’t return ever again as they were disappointed by the fact that the preacher didn’t shout out enough hallelujahs as they expected. They might think that a good revival preacher must have the ability to stir up the attendees’ emotions by shouting out enough hallelujahs while preaching. But screaming out hallelujahs like this, praying loudly just to be conspicuous, or beating one’s chest out of an emotional fervor is not what it means to live with the fullness of the Spirit.
It’s absolutely critical for all of you to have a clear understanding of what it really means to live with the fullness of the Spirit. In addressing how we ought be filled with the Holy Spirit in our lives, God said in Ephesians 5:19-21, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
Living with the fullness of the Spirit means believing in Jesus Christ who came to this earth by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preaching this gospel faithfully in our lives. All of us are indeed living by faith, praising the righteousness of God manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s precisely because we are the righteous that we abide by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, trust in and follow the righteousness of God, and praise God with thanksgiving. As we have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we ought to edify one another and live by our one common faith. When Ephesians 5:19 says, “Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” it means that as we know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we trust in the righteousness of God and praise Him for it. To live like this is to live with the fullness of the Spirit.
It’s written in Ephesians 5:20-21, “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” Here the Lord told us to submit to one another for the sake of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And as the Lord instructed us, all of us must indeed submit to one another according to the God-established order from each of our positions. The leaders in the Church should not try to dominate over their followers with coercion, but instead, they ought to serve their followers and cooperate with one another to fulfill the righteous work of God, and devote all their lives to the spreading of the gospel. This is how they can live with the fullness of the Spirit. Believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, understanding the depth, width, and height of the love of God and of Christ, knowing what the will of the Lord is towards us, and preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world—all these things are what it means to live with the fullness of the Spirit according to the Lord’s will. We must live with this realization.
We are running various businesses to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and support this gospel ministry. For us to invest in such righteous works, devote our time to them, and dedicate our youth to them is to live like the Apostle Paul. Paul preached the gospel by providing for his needs through his own tent-making; we call this Paul’s tent-making ministry, and most of our ministry workers are also supporting themselves by running businesses and actually working on the ground. That is how our lives are led with the fullness of the Spirit.
Today, there fortunately is God’s Church that preaches the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and thanks to this, you and I can live with the fullness of the Spirit. This is so fortunate. Like the Apostle Paul, you and I have also received the full remission of sins into our hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have therefore come to know the depth, height, and width of the love of Christ, and as a result, we are serving the will of God in our lives captivated by the love of Jesus Christ.
Even though the people of this world live entirely according to their lusts of the flesh, none of us should ever partake in such wickedness. All of us the children of the light ought to come together in unity, redeem the time, serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and do the things that please the Lord.
Some of our brothers and sisters have written poems about the spiritual blessings that the Lord has given to us. Others have composed musical scores for these poems, and thanks to this we are now singing new hymns to praise the righteousness of God. As all of us believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are edifying one another’s faith and living to preaching the gospel in unity. That we are living like this for the gospel of the water and the Spirit by trusting in this gospel means that we are indeed abiding in God and living with the fullness of the Spirit. So I give all thanks to our God. The Apostle Paul admonished us to redeem the time now that we have received the remission of sins, and he made this admonishment because there is so much that we have to do to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s why Paul told us to redeem the time to carry out this work. I’m so happy and glad that we have now come to completely realize God’s will toward us and live with the fullness of the Spirit.
We will publish two books on heresy before this year is over. We also plan to publish fourth and fifth volume of our spiritual growth series. Through these books, countless people all around the world will not only receive the remission of sins but also be nurtured. Many people have already received the remission of sins, but I am sure that countless more people will receive the remission of sins in the future.
By any chance, are we not troubled and bound by the weaknesses of your flesh? We have no time for this. We must redeem the time and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone in the world. Only when we fulfill this calling can the people of this world be saved from their sins. Of course, whether they listen to the Word of God preached by us, believe in it, and thus receive the remission of sins is entirely up to them. All that we do is just preach the gospel and pray for them; we cannot make them believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by force. We are just fulfilling our duty to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and praying for them to receive the remission of sins. We must not waste our time as the people of this world do.
Everyone who has really received the remission of sins and become a righteous person by faith desires to live by trusting in Jesus Christ. Indeed, we are in fact living by the unwavering faith that the Lord has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s by trusting in and serving the righteousness of God that we are able to live in a way that’s pleasing to God and have the Lord completely reign over every aspect of our lives. Today, God has blessed all of us to live such an amazing life with the fullness of the Spirit. So we give all our thanks to God. We are so grateful for the salvation and the Spirit-filled life that God has given to us, and we are even more thankful that God has blessed us not to go astray from this godly life but always abide in Him. Words cannot describe just how grateful we are that the Lord has given us the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:16, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Do you really recognize that this present age is evil? About 10 years ago, I had told you that it would become more and more difficult to preach the gospel. What has happened since then? Are we not actually living in such a time when it is becoming evermore difficult to preach the gospel?
Have you seen the movie Schindler’s List? The movie is set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland during World War II, and its plot revolves around a man named Oskar Schindler, an opportunistic German businessman willing to do anything to ensure his own success, including turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the German military. Schindler resorted to all kinds of nasty things to take over a plant in a Polish town, from becoming a member of the Nazi Party to bribing the German military officials in charge. However, when he came to know a Jewish accountant named Stern, he began to hear the voice of his conscience speaking out against the holocaust of the Jewish people.
When he found out that the Jews in his factory were about to be shipped to the gas chamber in Auschwitz, he finally decided to save them. Having planned to divert as many Jews as possible by bribing the German officials with his money, he and Stern made a list of the Jews to be saved, which came to be known as Schindler’s list. In the end, he was able to save over 1,100 Jews. When the war ended with the defeat of Germany, Schindler looked at his ring with a profound regret and said, “I could have saved a few more Jews if I had sold this ring.” These words left an indelible impact on my mind.
Because of the hard work that we are doing to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and support its ministry, countless people all over the world are now being saved. It’s not just a few that are being saved. On the contrary, the number of the people being saved thanks to our labor far exceeds our imagination. If we continue to serve and preach the gospel like this as we have done to this day, countless more people will receive the remission of sins; but if we succumb to complacency and do not devote all our effort to this endeavor, many people will miss the opportunity. We will then end up regretting over this missed opportunity, just as Schindler’s sighed in regret at the end of the movie.
Once the Great Tribulation descends on this world, it will be impossible for us to preach the gospel. When war breaks out, we won’t even have access to the Internet anymore. We will then have no other choice but to confine ourselves to our own country and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit just to our immediate family members. When this happens, we will be full of regret and wish we had worked more diligently while we still could. The time will soon come when we will not be able to work anymore. That is why I keep emphasizing to you and our ministers just how important it is for all of us to carry out God’s work while we still can.
Indeed, in order to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of us must submit to one another in the fear of Christ and live by faith in the God-established order. We ought to live for the gospel right now at this very moment, not sometime later, for this present age in which we are living is running toward its end.
I am sure that you all heard about ecological problems threatening the Amazon River. The Amazon is the largest river in the world, but it’s said that recent droughts have drastically reduced its flow to a mere trickle of its former glory. When we hear about how the Amazon River is drying up from droughts like this and the Amazon Forest, once the largest tropical rain forest in the world, is being destroyed, we can see just how serious global climate change is. Anyone can surmise from such troubling trends that it’s not too far for this planet earth to face devastating famines, floods, earthquakes, and epidemics. When we turn to the Book of Revelation, we see the Bible prophesying that a third of all the forests in the world will be burnt down. The world will also be stricken with famines, floods, and earthquakes, and along with such natural disasters, war will break out and the Antichrist will appear.
Although such events will unfold in the very near future, we are not troubled at all. That’s because we have already prepared for all these events with foresight. We know that such disasters are merely the inevitable fulfillment of what has to happen to this world, and therefore far from being unsettled, we are living with the fullness of the Spirit.
It’s not too late yet, for although disasters are accelerating rapidly, this world is not going to be destroyed right away. When massive earthquakes break out all over the world and over half its population perishes from such natural disasters, when we can actually feel and see the Great Tribulation unfolding, it’s then that we should expect Christ to return soon. No matter what, we must continue to preach the gospel while we can. Of course, I am not suggesting here we have somehow not been faithful enough to our calling, as all of us have indeed worked diligently and tirelessly for the Lord. Rather, my point is that we ought to continue to work as diligently as we have done so far.
What I am thankful to God more than anything else is the fact that we are able to work according to God’s good pleasure. And I am all the more grateful that I can carry out this righteous work with none other than you all, my coworkers. Words cannot describe just how thankful I am that God has protected us and blessed us to serve the gospel to this very day. I hope and pray that God would continue to bless us to live with the fullness of the Spirit.
Let me end today’s sermon by wishing for every blessing of God to be with all of us who are serving the gospel and living with the fullness of the Spirit.