The New Life Mission

Sermons

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

[Chapter 5-6] (Ephesians 5:18-21) Serving the Lord Is The Way to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

(Ephesians 5:18-21)
“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.”
 
 
Today’s Scripture passage is drawn from Ephesians 5:18-21, and I would like to focus my sermon on verse 18 in particular: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” Prior to this passage, the Lord said to all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “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” (Ephesians 5:3-4). This passage was spoken to us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord then said that for those who have become righteous people by faith, “All things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:13). He then told us here in today’s Scripture passage to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Our task for today is to find out how to interpret this passage correctly, and how to be filled with the Holy Spirit in our lives.
That we should “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) clearly does not mean that we should be full of our own emotions. Rather, it means that we ought to have the fullness of the Spirit of God in our lives. And to do so, the Lord told us not to be drunk with wine.
How can we then ensure that we are filled with the Holy Spirit as the Lord commanded us? To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to have our everything immersed in the will of God. In other words, filling ourselves with God in every aspect of our lives is what it means to have the fullness of the Spirit. All who have been born again of the water and the Spirit have both spiritual and carnal attributes. So we experience them both in our lives, but even so, the direction of our lives must be set firmly on the spiritual goals that God has set out for us.
 
 
When We Immerse Ourselves in God’s Work, We Can Have the Fullness of the Holy Spirit
 
Earlier in Ephesians 5:3, the Apostle Paul told us, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you,” and then he went on to in today’s Scripture passage, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). How then can we be filled with the Holy Spirit? All of us can be filled with the Holy Spirit if we immerse ourselves in God’s work in everything we do, whether we are working at a job, studying in school, or running a business. To do so, it’s absolutely indispensable for us to listen to the Word that God is speaking to us through His Church. If our minds are preoccupied with God’s work, such as where to plant His Church and to whom to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we can say that we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is God Himself. Therefore if we immerse ourselves in God’s work, we will be ruled by the Holy Spirit. It’s our heartfelt desire to establish God’s Church and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole wide world. If we pray for this work of spreading the gospel and prepare for it in our lives of faith, then we will attain the fullness of the Spirit as a matter of course.
It’s written in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” If you drink too much, then you will obviously get drunk. But if you think about God’s work, wish to discern His will, and participate in the things that are pleasing to God, you then will be exhilarated by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. How else could we attain the fullness of the Spirit unless we dedicate our lives to God’s work and the spreading of His gospel? If we walk towards the light as is fitting for the children of the light, understand what the will of God is, pray for God’s work that’s revealed through the Church, look for what God’s Church needs and what every soul needs, and wholeheartedly desire to serve the Lord, then we can all be filled with the Spirit in our lives.
How about you then? Are you participating in the work of God to edify His Church? How much attention are you really paying to God’s work, whether it’s planting the Church overseas or saving the souls that are around you? If you keep your mind on the work of God that’s saving souls, and pray for the spreading of the gospel, then you will always be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you instead allow yourself to get drunk with the world, thinking that nothing matters anymore to you since you have already received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and you won’t go to hell, then you can never have the fullness of the Spirit. It’s only when you do God’s work that your life can be fully immersed in the Spirit of God.
 
 
When We Pray to God for His Will to Be Done, We Become One Heart with God
 
When we are one heart with God in our prayers, we are led by the Holy Spirit. Every saint ought to be mindful of the work of the Spirit rather than the affairs of this world. All the saints who have received the remission of sins should be immersed in the work of the Spirit. You probably know very well already that the saints can be filled with the Holy Spirit only if they are immersed in the work of the Spirit rather than in the things of the world. We should never stop being immersed in the work of the Spirit detracted by the things of the world. It’s absolutely imperative for all of us to clearly discern what the will of God is, immerse ourselves in His work, and devote whatever little strength that we might have to the Lord’s work, so that the will of God would be fulfilled on this earth. It’s then that we can truly attain the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
It is our firsthand experience that when we preach to others the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we ourselves are immersed in the fullness of the Spirit. Indeed, the dominion of the righteous is a world filled with the Holy Spirit. We have another world apart from this present world, a dominion that’s filled the Holy Spirit.
What is this world filled with? Spiritually speaking, it refers to a world in which each and every righteous saint is able to lead a righteous life for others. It’s when you live in this spiritual dominion with the fullness of the Holy Spirit that your heart is refreshed, joyous, and elated to be full of joy. It’s when you carry out God’s work like this that you can experience the fullness of the Spirit in your life.
Some of you may then say that this joy is just the satisfaction that you get when a job is well done, and wonder how this can be the fullness of the Spirit. But what you need to realize here is that when you carry out God’s work, the Holy Spirit works with you. And that is why you can attain the fullness of the Spirit. It’s therefore very important for you and me to pay enough attention to the work of God. If we have indeed received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then it is only right for us to be no longer interested in the affairs of the world but instead pay attention to God’s work. Only when we participate in the work that’s pleasing to God can we have the fullness of the Spirit. Put differently, the fullness of the Spirit can be attained only when we preach and serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Apostle Paul admonished all of us here in today’s Scripture passage, “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” (Ephesians 5:18-21). When you sing hymns to praise God, your heart is immersed in His love. Once you immerse in God’s work, you will see yourself filled with the Holy Spirit in no time.
 
 
The Apostle Paul Told Us to Submit to One Another in the Fear of God
 
Paul said that we will be filled with the Holy Spirit if we thank the Lord in the fear of God and praise Him by trusting in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible also says that the fullness of the Spirit is attained when we abide in the light, think of God, be mindful of His work, and actually carry it out.
Let me then raise a question for all of us here: As we carry on with our lives on this earth, how much do we really think about God’s work? How much more are you mindful of God’s work than your own affairs? Each and every one of us ought to examine ourselves individually to see just how much attention we are giving to God’s work. I have already said this on numerous occasions, but if you don’t carry out God’s work even though you have received the remission of sins, and instead just attend worship service every Sunday, then this worship can easily degenerate into little more than a formal ritual. And such people’s lives of faith would become too tiresome, boring, and difficult. We ought to worship God with our hearts, being mindful of His work in our everyday lives and following His will all the time. Whenever we leave our worldly preoccupation behind and gather together at the hour of worship, we ought to pray to God with one heart to seek His help, heal our hearts’ wounds with the Word of God, and grow in faith. It’s when we lead such a life of faith that the worship we offer to God brings tremendous spiritual benefits to us and glory to God as well. Such blessed worship that’s offered through the gospel of the water and the Spirit is what brings the fullness of the Spirit to us.
 
 
Are We Mindful of God’s Desire and What He Has Entrusted to Us in Our Lives?
 
It’s absolutely imperative for all of us to know what God wants from us and what work He entrusted to us, and to make all the necessary preparations for God’s work and actually carry it out in our lives. It’s then that we can receive the God-given fullness of the Spirit.
Even though we have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we cannot attain the fullness of the Spirit unless we serve God’s work faithfully. And anyone who does not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of the Lord even after receiving the remission of sins by believing in this genuine gospel will surely be corrupted. We can sustain our lives of faith and continue to be filled with the Holy Spirit only by wholeheartedly preaching and serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has brought the remission of sins to us.
Therefore, if we fail to serve this work of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit even as we believe in this gospel, then it will not only be impossible for us to maintain our lives of faith, but our souls’ faith will also be corrupted. If we really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we ought to pay attention to the salvation of other souls, not just ourselves. We should be sincerely concerned about the spreading of the gospel and serve wholeheartedly to this end. If you are unable to preach the gospel directly, then you should support the gospel ministry from behind in whatever way you can, whether by making financial contributions, volunteering your service to our literary ministry, or just praying. As we carry on with our lives of faith, all of us must support the gospel ministry in every way possible. That’s because it’s by serving God’s work that our hearts attain the fullness of the Spirit.
 
 
When Do Our Hearts Get Immersed in the Righteousness of God?
 
The gospel of the water and the Spirit constitutes the righteousness of God. And when we serve this beautiful gospel, we come to fear God and glorify Him. But unless we are mindful of the righteousness of God in our everyday lives, we can’t really serve the gospel all of a sudden. We must therefore think of God’s righteousness all the time and carry out His work by faith. Of course, since we have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our hearts are always abiding in the peace of the Lord even though we may sometimes feel overwhelmed by so much work. To spread the gospel, however, we must always plan God’s work ahead of time, and pray to God in concrete detail to achieve this work. If we stop church planting or fail to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit in any other way, we will end up losing our faith.
 
 
All of Us Yearn to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit
 
Do you really want to be filled with the Holy Spirit? By any chance, is there anyone here who is thinking, “I am just too tired to be interested in the fullness of the Spirit”? If you live in the fullness of the Spirit, then your heart will be joyful first of all. So, when I preach the Word of God, I get so exhilarated sometimes that I feel as though I’m living in a completely different world.
It is by preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can have our hearts filled with the Holy Spirit. It would not be an exaggeration to say that everyone in this world, including even us, is madly obsessed about something. Psychiatrists say that no one is completely free from any kind of mental illness; everyone has mental problems in one way or another. Are the psychiatrists themselves of a sound mind then? No, even the psychiatrists are mad. Doctors and patients alike, everyone in this world is living in madness. By madness, I mean being completely immersed in something or other. So in this context, to be mad is to be obsessed with something.
Any joy that might come from being madly obsessed with the things of this world does not last long. Perhaps madness is not an appropriate word to use when it comes to God’s work, but if you are mad about God’s work and immerse yourself in it, it is bound to clear up your mind, bring joy to your heart, and make your life worth living. The fullness of the Spirit can be attained only by those who, after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, actually serve the Lord with all devotion and partake in God’s work in their everyday lives. In contrast, those who pay no attention to God’s work cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit. Moreover, only those who are immersed in God’s work can actually receive and enjoy all the blessings that are written in the Word of God. So I ask you to let your everyday life be filled with the Holy Spirit by serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit even more faithfully. Remember that you can attain the fullness of the Spirit only when you are mindful of God’s work and serve the Lord faithfully. You should never forget this undeniable truth.
The fullness of the Spirit is attained only when you believe in and serve the righteousness of God. It’s absolutely impossible for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit even without believing in the righteousness of God and serving His work. Nor is it possible for you to attain the fullness of the Spirit without listening to the Word of God through the gatherings of His Church. You must therefore unite yourself with God’s work by trusting in His righteousness. It’s only then that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit in your life. It’s only when you live out your faith united with all your fellow believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the one and only true gospel of God, that you attain the fullness of the Spirit.
 
 
The Dangers of Self-Complacency
 
We should never succumb to self-complacency, content to just have received the remission of sins. We cannot afford to sit around idle like this and fail to carry out God’s work as a result. If we have really received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we ought to understand what the will of God is and serve His work in unity. Only then can we be shaped into the people of faith to walk with God always. Even though you have received the remission of sins and become sinless, if you lead your life as though you have nothing to do with serving the righteousness of God by faith, and pay no attention to what God’s Church is doing, then you cannot attain the fullness of the Spirit. Now that you have received the remission of sins, it’s only right for you to serve the righteousness of God, follow His will, care about His work, pray for it, and abide with your fellow saints in unity. Such a life that’s led by the knowledge of and faith in the righteousness of God is the true life of faith that’s led with the fullness of the Spirit.
Even among us, there are some people who don’t want to serve the gospel of the righteousness of God despite having received the remission of sins. But is it right for any redeemed saints to serve the things of the world rather than the gospel of the righteousness of God? No, of course not. If you are preoccupied just with the affairs of the world and don’t carry out God’s work even though you have received the remission of sins, you cannot then expect to receive any blessings from God. Such people cannot see God’s blessed work unfolding in their lives. Even if God blesses them, they don’t have the eye to see this. So they end up doing foolish things. In contrast, those who are blessed by God know what work God has entrusted to them and are faithfully to it.
God is pleased by someone who does His work according to His will. When I look at our redeemed saints, I sometimes see some people who loath to serve God’s work despite having received the remission of their sins. Even worse, some of them just want to be served by everyone else. But it’s actually a tremendous joy for the redeemed saints to serve others. Yet some saints don’t realize this, and so all they want is to be served by everyone else. If you only seek to be served by others and refuse to serve God and preach His gospel of righteousness, then your faith cannot grow. Whenever you are facing God’s work, you ought to rely on your faith and work diligently. As we carry on with our lives in this world, sometimes we are served by others, and sometimes we serve others. The problem, of course, is that some of us just want to be served by everyone else. This is simply wrong. If we really want to experience the fullness of the Spirit, see with our own eyes that God is indeed walking with us, and have every confidence that He is blessing us according to all His promises, we have to make up our minds to serve the work of God first of all. If we really love God like this, cherish His work, and serve other souls sincerely, then countless souls will receive the remission of sins. Even if we suffer many losses, if another person is joyously saved from all his sins thanks to our labor, then this in itself would be enough for our hearts to overflow with joy and the Holy Spirit. Your life of faith begins to go astray when you refuse to serve God and instead demand everyone else to serve you. Selfish beliefs are at the root of all factors that make you drift away from a Spirit-filled life.
 
 
Try Serving God’s Work Yourself
 
Serving God’s work is the way to actually attain the fullness of the Spirit. After all, isn’t it by serving God’s work that our hearts are joyful and delighted? I am sure that all of you have experienced this while serving God’s righteousness. When you invite someone over for dinner, it’s not just your guest who is happy, but you yourself are also pleased by the fact that you are making your guest happy. The joy that you feel when you serve the righteousness of God is so much greater that it is beyond description. This joy is qualitatively different from any fleshly pleasures. Like this, all who serve the righteousness of God are able to live with the fullness of the Spirit that brings amazing joy all the time.
Those who are reluctant to serve the Lord’s work and only care about themselves cannot lead a proper life of faith. In contrast, those who devote their entire lives to God and entrust everything to Him lead an overwhelmingly joyous life of faith; they are at peace, and they also enjoy countless blessings.
When we turn to Acts 20:35, we see the Apostle Paul quoting the Word of Jesus to say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” As Paul quoted the Word of God here, serving the righteousness of the Lord is in itself a greater blessing than any other blessings. However, the problem is that some of us have a mistaken conception of God’s blessings. If we live for the spreading of the Lord’s gospel, the Lord will bestow His grace on us in many ways. Of course, we don’t do the Lord’s work just to be rewarded. Nonetheless, this doesn’t change the fact that the Lord bestows His grace on all who serve and preach the gospel of righteousness. It’s such people who work tirelessly to spread God’s gospel that find grace from God. Although the Lord does take care of even those who don’t serve Him, there is a limit to this. In contrast, He adds even more grace of God to those who actually serve the Lord’s righteousness. But to those who are stingy towards the Lord, the Lord is also stingy to them. Those whose hearts are completely devoted to the Lord and filled with His righteousness, on the other hand, are clothed in abundance grace by the Lord. So I ask you to realize this and serve the righteousness of the Lord, for this is the godly life of faith worth leading. The fullness of the Spirit comes from such a life. In other words, you are filled with the Holy Spirit when you actually carry out God’s work and serve His righteousness. It is also from this same basis of serving God’s righteousness that you come to praise Him.
Take a moment here and think carefully about those around you, those who have gone astray in their lives of faith. There were many people who had once led a life of faith with us in God’s Church but left the Church later on. What do all such people have in common? They all loathed serving the Lord. Those who drifted away from God’s work and His Church invariably dislike serving the Lord’s work and just want to be served by everyone else.
Such people do not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit because they don’t want to face any persecution. Yet even so, they just want to be served by others, and they still expect to receive God’s blessings unconditionally. Moreover, even as they are very stingy when it comes to God’s work, they care so much when it comes to their own affairs. If you are leading your life of faith like this, then this can only mean that your heart is misplaced, and therefore you will end up drifting away from God’s Church. Even worse, you will also be completely estranged from God Himself, the Savior who has delivered you from all your sins. In the end, you will leave the Lord God just like Cain. Why did Cain leave the Lord God? He left God because of his self-righteousness.
 
 
If We Have Received the Remission of Sins, Then It Is Only a Matter of Course to Serve the Righteousness of God
 
The joy that comes from serving God’s righteousness is indescribable. Given the fact that our Lord has blotted out all our sins, and we have become sinless by believing in the Lord and are no longer bound to hell, what else is there to do on this earth? What joy would there be in our lives unless we the righteous preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and reveal the righteousness of God? There can be no joy for us unless we serve God wholeheartedly. Indeed, our joy is determined by how much we trust in the righteousness of the Lord and follow His will—the more we do, the greater our joy becomes. Therefore, those who don’t do much to serve the Lord can’t find any joy in living out their faith and following the will of God. Such people can’t find anything exciting in the Church since whatever happens there has nothing to do with them. In contrast, those who wholeheartedly serve the Lord’s gospel are rejoiced beyond description when they see souls receiving the remission of sins thanks to God’s Church. Such saints regard the success of God’s work as their own success. And since they believe that they themselves are glorified when God is glorified, they are made one heart with God. That is how we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can truly walk with God just like Enoch in the Old Testament. All of us should therefore become such people of faith who endure suffering together with Jesus Christ and are glorified together with Christ.
If there was nothing for us to do after receiving the remission of sins, then we would find our lives intolerably boring. If we neither serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor participate in the work of God’s Church to support the gospel ministry, our lives on this earth would be rendered purposeless. What excitement would we have if there was nothing to do to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We would be on a treadmill, getting up every morning, having breakfast, going to work or school, coming home, going to bed, and then starting the whole cycle all over again the next day. Would you be excited about such a life? No, you would probably cringe at just thinking about living such a repetitive and meaningless life day after day.
As the righteous people of faith, what is our hobby? How do we pass our time? For all of us who have received the remission of sins, our pastime is preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the one and only true gospel of God. Of course, I’m speaking figuratively here, as I’m sure that you each have a different hobby, but spiritually speaking, we know that the common hobby for everyone in God’s Church is preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What is our pastime as those who have received the remission of sins? As the righteous, participating in God’s work in our lives is our hobby.
Isn’t preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit our hobby? Some people get upset at me when I tell them to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of sins, saying to me, “Why do you keep saying such disgusting things to me when I’ve already told you that I don’t want to listen to you anymore?” I then say to them, “It’s my hobby to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and so my life would be too boring if I stopped preaching the gospel. I am preaching the gospel to you because that’s my hobby.” Of course, it’s for the salvation of the soul that I preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but it’s also my duty to preach the gospel and that is why I cannot help myself but carry out God’s work. Moreover, I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in my soul, and so it’s my calling to preach the gospel. That is why I say to everyone, “Why don’t you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of sins? It’s so wonderful to receive the remission of sins. I myself am so happy that I’ve been remitted from all my sins. You will also be rejoiced when you receive the remission of sins. Your whole life will change. That’s because you when you are remitted from all your sins, you will not only be delivered from all your curses and destruction, but you will also receive everlasting life and find true joy.”
If the saints didn’t have anything to do to serve the Lord, then life in this world itself would be unbearable. I know this from my experience, as there was a time when I couldn’t serve the Lord’s gospel for a year and half despite my wish to do so. During this time when my circumstances did not allow me to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I realized what a tremendous blessing it was to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit when I could. Patrick Henry, an American independence fighter, famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” That’s exactly how I felt when I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I was so miserable that I would have rather died than to live such a meaningless life. I was so frustrated that I even wished that God would take me away from this earth right away. So, you can imagine just how rejoiced and thankful I was when I could once again serve the righteousness of the Lord.
My fellow believers, because we the redeemed have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts, we must do what is pleasing to the Holy Spirit. It’s precisely because we are dwelt by the Holy Spirit that our hearts can rejoice only if we serve the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s because the Holy Spirit is pleased when we serve the gospel. So, since the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts, and He is rejoiced when we serve the Lord’s righteousness, our hearts are also rejoiced and delighted beyond description when we serve the Lord. All of us must therefore come to the Church, listen to the Word, pray to God, and together participate in His work to spread the gospel all over the world. It is the natural calling of each and every righteous saint to serve God’s gospel in every way possible. It’s absolutely important for you to realize here that whatever you do as a righteous saint, whether you drink or eat, you must do all things to serve God. Even eating and drinking are done for God. So I admonish you all to realize that the fullness of the Spirit is found in serving the righteousness of God.
Do you think there is another way to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Do you think you would attain the fullness of the Spirit if you just pray hard enough, as so many misguided Christians say nowadays? No, that is not the case. The Holy Spirit descends on you only when you believe in the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of sins into your heart. This means that the Holy Spirit does not come into your heart just because you pray hard, as claimed by so many Christians who are so ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It’s out of sheer ignorance that these misguided Christians think the Holy Spirit would come into them if they pray hard enough. Of course, when you pray, you may come to understand the will of God. But the Holy Spirit never comes into any heart that still remains sinful. That’s because the Holy Spirit, as the name suggests, is fundamentally holy, and therefore He cannot dwell in any unclean heart. The Holy Spirit dwells only in the cleansed hearts of those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and rules over our hearts. But if we don’t serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then the Holy Spirit remains silent in our hearts. Only when we serve God, even if it were our last day on this earth, is the Holy Spirit in our hearts pleased to work in our lives. Otherwise, the work of the Holy Spirit in us will wither away.
   
 
The Believers in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Are Most Joyous When They Preach the Lord’s Righteousness
 
For us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, what is the spiritual bread that sustains our lives? It is preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God that is our spiritual bread, and this is what sustains our lives. For all of us who have become righteous, to serve and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit is our spiritual breath and life itself. The work of life done by the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is serving the righteousness of God. You may think that I am not making much sense here, but this is the truth.
Do you think that your heart would be trouble-free even if you don’t preach the righteousness of God in your life? No, this is not the case. If our hearts were content enough even though we did not participate in the work of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world, then most of us would have lived like this. Wouldn’t we then have done whatever was gratifying to our own flesh as long as we were alive on this earth? But if we had lived like this, we would have had no joy. That’s because no matter what we do in this world, there is no joy that’s greater than the joy of preaching and serving God’s gospel. That is why we have devoted all our lives to spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and serve the will of God, our hearts overflow with joy and delight even if it’s hard on our flesh. What would happen in contrast if we were to just lead a carnal life instead of serving God’s gospel? Pick any favorite activity you can think of, whether it’s shopping all day long, spending a delightful afternoon in an art gallery, or playing your favorite sport to your heart’s content. Would any of these things bring any deep satisfaction to your heart? No, your heart will not find any lasting satisfaction. On the contrary, you will be deeply troubled in your heart. When the born-again believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit pursue worldly pleasures instead of serving this gospel faithfully, for some strange reason their hearts are profoundly unsettled no matter how gratifying it might be to their flesh. And the reason for this is because our hearts are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. At the very moment we received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit had already become our Master. So, our hearts are troubled when we seek worldly pleasures like this because we are God’s own people, and the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts as our Master. The obverse side of this coin is that our hearts are rejoiced only when we do what pleases the Holy Spirit, for we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts. As our hearts are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, He gives us joy when we serve the Lord, and He moans for us when go astray. Like this, by filling us with joy when we serve the Lord and by convicting our hearts with His moaning when we go astray, the Holy Spirit enables us to live by the will of the Lord. This is how God blesses the righteous in every aspect of their lives.
My dear fellow believers, take a moment here and think about whether or not you are leading an upright life of faith. Ask yourself the following: “I have been saved from all my sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I now belong to God’s Church. But am I really serving the Lord to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Even though God did not call me as a pastor, am I serving Him ceaselessly to spread His gospel?” Even though you may not be able to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit directly, if you are serving the Lord in various other ways, whether by making financial contributions, praying to God, or offering your valuable time, then you should know that you are leading a proper life of faith.
The problem, of course, is that not all of us are like this. In fact, some of us may be thinking, “I’ve been saved from all my sins, but I don’t really want to serve the Lord. I am just interested in what I can get from God’s Church. Besides, I haven’t really served anyone before, and so I wouldn’t know what to do even if I wanted to.” If you are thinking like this, then I ask you to try harder to serve God. Put your mind to spreading the gospel and see what happens if you begin to support the gospel ministry. Once you put your trust in the righteousness of God and serve Him, you will be able to understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And when you thus serve the gospel and bear the fruit of the righteousness of God, the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart will be full of joy. So it’s very important for you to examine yourself to see whether or not you are now serving the Lord. Look at yourself closely and ponder whether or not your faith is upright. This means that even though you have been saved, you still have to examine yourself carefully to see whether or not you are leading your life of faith properly.
Are you troubled by what you see in yourself? Are you wondering how you could serve the Lord when you have neither the money nor the time? But God has already given you the opportunity to serve Him even in your difficult circumstances. He has blessed you to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit not with what you have, but with what God has given you. In other words, God has given you faith in His Word, so that you would all be able to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit if only you put your mind to it. I ask you all to realize this.
Don’t just say, “I have neither the time nor the money to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. How could I serve the Lord when I have nothing?” Even if you have neither the time nor the money, there is always another way to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has already done everything for you so that you would be able to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit despite your shortcomings. If you are still refusing to serve the Lord, thinking that God has not given you anything to help you serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then I admonish you to pray to God. Ask Him to give you the right faith and bless you with prosperity, health, and enough time so that you would be able to serve God. God will then invariably give you everything you need. And when you thus serve God, the Holy Spirit will bring indescribable joy and happiness to your hearts through this service.
It’s absolutely important for all of us to know what it really means to lead a proper life of faith. You should realize here that just because you have been saved from your sins, and just because you attend God’s Church, this does not mean that you can become a man of faith automatically.
The pleasures of the flesh are fleeting. With passing time, carnal pleasures will disappear without a trace. In contrast, the joy that you receive by serving the Lord, uniting with the Church, and laboring for God and His gospel is eternal. You will remember it forever. If you devote your heart to the righteousness of the Lord and serve Him in whatever way you can, the joy of receiving the remission of sins and the elation of having your heart filled with the Holy Spirit will stay with you until the day you enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You will receive God’s blessings every day, and you will always find His help in your everyday life. You will experience all these wonderful things if you just live by faith. So I ask you politely but firmly to never miss any gathering of God’s Church, and to always participate in its work to spread the gospel.
My fellow believers, let us all live out our faith to spread the gospel of the righteousness of God and lead a godly life. Rather than serving the gospel grudgingly against our will, let us gladly serve it by faith, and let us cherish the Lord’s gospel wherever we are. Our hearts will then be filled with joy and attain the fullness of the Spirit. All of us gathered here, brothers and sisters alike, have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I hope and pray we would all live out this common faith to serve the Lord in our lives. Those who serve the Lord in complete selflessness have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. I can guarantee this to everyone.
In contrast, those who only think of themselves and do not want to serve the Lord cannot have the fullness of the Spirit. Whether or not we are filled with the Holy Spirit depends on how faithfully we follow the Lord and how diligently we serve the gospel. So I hope and pray that all of us would remain faithful to God until the very end and live the rest of our lives filled with the Holy Spirit.
Hallelujah!