The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 23 : The Epistle to the HEBREWS

[Chapter 9-1] (Hebrews 9:16-28) We Receive Salvation By Having Faith in The Word of God

(Hebrews 9:16-28)
“For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’ Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
 
 
We have just read Hebrews 9:16 through to verse 28, which this sermon is based on. This morning I talked about how much more the work of Jesus Christ can cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God, when Jesus came to this earth, received baptism, died on the Cross, and rose again from the dead to put away all our sins. The Lord granted us a perfect salvation which cleanses us from dead works and sins so that we can stand before the Holy God our Father.
This evening we will continue to talk on Hebrews chapter 9. Note what today’s Scripture passage says, “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17). People leave a will for their children before they die. Some people leave a will on their death bed; others die before they can leave a will. Generally speaking, people with education and wealth tend to write their last will before they die.
For example, someone would say, “When I die, the big field on the other side of the valley goes to my eldest son; to the second son I will give 25 acres on the left of it; to my oldest daughter I will give 25 acres on the right of it; to my youngest daughter, who is physically challenged, I will give more than the rest of you.” He would have his will written down and recorded as well. One thing we should know is that the testament will not be in force until the testator has died. Only after the parents (testators) die, does the will or testament take effect, and then the children will inherit the parents’ estate and pay the inheritance taxes.
 
 
Our Father God also Left His Testament through His Commandments
 
“If you observe these commandments, you will live; otherwise you will be condemned. Will you abide by the commandments?” “Yes, we will!” “If you sin against any of My commandments, you need to pay for the sin with blood. I have prepared a place in the tabernacle for you to offer sacrifices. I will have My priests made ready for you, so when you commit a sin that is too heavy to bear, bring a young bull as a sin offering. Then you shall lay your hand on that sin offering’s head to pass your sins onto it and then you must kill it. Then the priest will sprinkle the blood on the four corners of the altar, pour the remaining blood of the sin offering out on the ground, and burn its fat on the altar before Me. Then I will watch the sin offering bleed, die and be cut up; I will smell the burning of its fat, which I will accept that as compensation for your sins and forgive your sins out of My righteousness.” This is what God promised.
At this moment, we are not Israelites, but gentiles. For all the gentiles around the world, God sent His Son to take our sins away so that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. From the beginning God had this plan to show us His favor that we can receive the remission of sins through Jesus, and can be admitted to Heaven through our faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit. In other words, we must receive the remission of sins to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
To receive the true remission of all sins, we should offer a better sacrifice than any earthly animal sacrifices (lamb, goat, bull and etc.) For this reason did Jesus come down to this earth to fulfill the covenant and allowed sinners, who were heading to Hell due to their sins, to receive the remission of sins by faith. God let sinners like us enter the Kingdom of Heaven by believing that Jesus took away all our sins through His baptism, crucifixion and resurrection.
Jesus was not like any high priests in the Old Testament who offered sacrifices for sins. He offered His body as a sin offering; He took away our sins by receiving baptism from John the Baptist, and saved us by dying on the Cross in our stead and by rising from the dead.
Let’s read today’s passage from Hebrews 9:24-28: “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:24-28).
It is appointed for man to die once, and after this the judgment; our Lord, who clothed Himself in human flesh, received baptism from John the Baptist to bear our sins once and for all. He did not offer Himself many times to God the Father to put away our sins. He took away our sins once and for all by receiving baptism from John the Baptist. He received baptism and shed His blood only once to blot out our sins. In other words, Jesus accomplished our perfect salvation by receiving baptism once and for all and by dying on the Cross He bore the sins of many so that believers can be apart from sin.
Our Lord is our perfect Savior who took away our sins by receiving baptism from John the Baptist, died on the Cross and rose again from the dead. Therefore, whoever believes in this gospel of water and the Spirit—the righteousness of Jesus—can be saved from sins. It’s only through the gospel of water and the Spirit that we can be saved; Jesus does not give salvation based on our works.
 
 
You Are Mistaken if You Try to Receive Salvation by Keeping God’s Commandments
 
It is not wrong to keep God’s commandments but it is wrong to try to receive salvation from sins by keeping them. God says that Jesus came to this world, received baptism to take away our sins, died and rose again. We should receive salvation by believing from our hearts what God said. We can be saved from all sins by believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit. If we don’t believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit, we can’t be saved from the sins of the world no matter how thoroughly we observe God’s commandments, no matter how sincerely we live our life. It’s because all human beings are weak and only by having faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit can we be delivered from our sins. Since we all are insufficient in the eyes of God, God promised to save us according to our faith in His righteousness, and by sending His Son He kept His promise. The Old Testament says that our Lord saved us from sins by the water and the blood, and He will come again a second time. By believing in the Word of God, we can be saved from sins.
Dear fellow believers, I want you to understand that we receive salvation by believing in the Word of God and the gospel of water and the Spirit. It is said, “It is with our heart that we believe and are justified and it is with our mouth that we confess and are saved” (Romans 10:10). We believe in the righteousness of God. Believing in the Word of God is different from doing what we think is right. Since we believe in the Word of God, we serve the gospel of God’s righteousness.
It is like calling our parents father and mother, believing that they are our real parents who gave birth to us. It’s therefore not right to address them as father and mother without believing this fact; refusing to believe them as our parents when in reality they are, is not right either. Our God became our Father by saving us from the sins of the world. Jesus was born in human flesh, was baptized, crucified, and was resurrected to become our Savior; our salvation is fulfilled on God’s part. It means that salvation from sin is not done by our desires or effort, but by our faith. Simply put, we are saved from all our sins by believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit from the heart.
We do not receive salvation from all our sins by trying to keep God’s law; we receive salvation only by believing in the righteousness of Jesus. In this vein, faith in God’s righteousness is very crucial. It is said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). What should we believe? Although we have not seen God with our eyes, we can hear and see God by faith through the Word of God as preached to us. By believing from the heart in what we hear, we can be saved from our sins.
In other words, receiving salvation from our sins by faith means believing that the Lord already took away our sins through the gospel of water and the Spirit on His part. We believe that our Lord bore our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, by His crucifixion, and by being resurrected from the dead to save us from all the sins of the world. Genuine faith that brings us salvation is the faith that believes in the Word of God as facts.
Dear fellow believers, it is not so hard to believe and understand God’s righteousness through the gospel of water and the Spirit. You can become the men of faith who believe in God’s righteousness if you put your faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit when you hear it from God’s servants. If you try to receive salvation by refusing to hear what the servants of God tell you, and instead try living a virtuous life from your own fleshly perspectives, then you cannot receive true salvation.
We don’t know what kind of sin we will commit in two hours from now. We are so vulnerable to sin that God prepared the way for us to be saved from all our sins only if we believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit. Therefore, we cannot keep all of God’s commandments and be saved with our good deeds. God promised to save us through the gospel of water and the Spirit. God appointed Jesus so that we can receive the remission of sins and become sinless people by believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit.
We receive salvation from sins by faith in the Word of God. When you know and believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit, you receive salvation from all your sins. If you already know the gospel of water and the Spirit, all you need now is faith. Nevertheless, faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit is not the same as the faith that tries to earn salvation by trying to keep God’s commandments. Trying to earn salvation by keeping God’s commandments puts value in men’s deeds while believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit to receive salvation is based on faith in the Word of God that we hear.
Which is easier out of the two? Which one is easier, to believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit or trying to keep all the commandments? Without a doubt, it is easier to believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit and be saved from sins. Why did God choose this path? It is the act of God’s considerate love that we can receive salvation from all sins by faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit since we cannot become perfect by our deeds. God thought of us who are insufficient and unable to keep His commandments and lets us receive salvation only by believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit by faith.
 
 
The Gospel of the Water and the Spirit is the Hidden Love of God
 
It’s the true blessing from God. God is the King of love and righteousness. He knows all our weaknesses and saves us through the gospel of water and the Spirit. You and I were born with sins due to our parents. That’s why we commit sins throughout our lives. We sinners agonize over our sin problems. However, would God want to send us to hell? In reality, God sent His Son so that He could be our Savior by taking away our sins through His baptism, bleeding and dying on the Cross and rising again from the dead. Jesus is pleased when we receive the remission of sins and go to Heaven by believing in what He did for us on earth. Would God be pleased if we went to hell? Or would He be pleased if we went to Heaven? He surely rejoices when we enter His Kingdom.
If you know the gospel of water and the Spirit, you need to confess your faith with your mouth. God is pleased to make you go to Heaven. Don’t people rejoice over their children’s successes? Who would want their children’s life to go wrong? We all want our children to prosper in both body and in spirit. Some parents curse their children, shouting in absolute rage, “You, rubbish child! Go fall on your head and die! When they get so upset with them, they may also swear at their children, saying “I just wish you were never born, you act like a bastard child!” But the reality is there is no upright parent who really wishes their children any harm, but only good.
Likewise, God wants us to receive the remission of sins and enter Heaven by believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit. Jesus, the Son of God came this earth, took away our sins by being baptized, died on the Cross and rose from the dead to save us from all our sins. God wants us to believe in this Truth and go to Heaven. He wants us to put our faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit so that He can adopt us as His children, embrace us in His arms, and bless us.
Dear fellow believers, we need to understand God’s heart as well as the gospel from God—the gospel of water and the Spirit. The reason we need faith in the gospel of water and the Spirit is to receive salvation from all sins. By believing that we have been saved by God, we become free from sins. People believe that there is a continent called America without being there. Do we believe it as a fact? Or do we not? Then what is the basis for believing this? Don’t we watch it on TV and know that there is a country called the U.S.A?
In the same vein, our faith is not groundless. Our faith is based on the Truth. Although we haven’t seen the love of God, it is recorded in the Word of God; when we believe in the Word of God, we can believe that Jesus Christ took away our sins once and for all. The gospel of water and the Spirit shows what God has done. The blessings God promised will belong to those who believe.
By faith we can go to Heaven, and receive God’s blessings. The Lord by his Spirit entered into our hearts when we were so weak and stumbling in sin heading for condemnation. The burdensome and afflicting sins that we committed in our weaknesses were all taken away by Jesus when He received baptism from John the Baptist and then He died on the Cross paying for them. How did Jesus pray before He went to Calvary? He prayed, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me” (Luke 22:42). The Lord paid the penalty for sins in our stead because He took away our sins. Nevertheless, He gave Himself up to the Cross, praying, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done.” Carrying our sins, the Lord suffered and died on the Cross on our behalf. The Lord who came back to life from death has indeed become our Savior. Before He gave up His spirit on the Cross, He cried out, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) He became the true Savior to those who believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit. Therefore, the only thing we can do is to believe in His righteousness.
As a matter of fact, what is there to lose from God’s perspective? God is the God of love, so He couldn’t watch all human beings suffer in hell. That’s why He paid for our sins and gave us a new life. By doing this, He completely delivered us from sin.
Hebrews 9:24 says, “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” It’s absolutely true! According to God’s Law, people had to pay the price for their sins either with money or with goods. In the Book of Leviticus 17, it is written, “For the life of all flesh is its blood” (Leviticus 17:14). We were supposed to pay for our sins whenever we broke any of God’s commandments. God is the God of love but at the same time, He is God of righteousness. He is also just. Therefore, He has to punish sins. However, He sent His Son to take away our sins through baptism, knowing that we are too weak to avoid sinning. With the blood of His Son, God purchased our lives. That is why we call this the ‘Redemption’. Remember that we were bought with the price of life and were saved from our sins.
 
 
“According to the Law almost all things are purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22) Shedding of Blood Means the Righteous Love of God
 
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth, received baptism from John the Baptist, and shed His blood on the Cross to pay the full price for our sins; He died a righteous death in our stead. He could save us from our sins, from destruction and from the judgment of sins since He took away our sins once and for all, died a righteous death on our behalf and rose again from the dead. He could purify our sins. Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission.” That is right! ‘Shedding of blood’ means He bought us with His own blood.
Hebrews 9:19-21 reads, “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying ‘This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.’ Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.” How did God take away our sins and wash them clean away? God washed our sins away with water and blood. Our Lord came to this earth, took away our sins by being baptized and gave up His life on our behalf. He died for you and me. He rose again from the dead and saved us completely. So, the high priest took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people.
Once we see the inside of the Tabernacle, we can see the laying on of hands, blood of the sin offering, and burning its fat on the altar. In the tabernacle, there was the altar of burnt offering and a water basin (the bronze laver) was located in front of the altar. There located was House of God. The House of God was divided into the holy place and the Most Holy. Let’s say the House of God is like Heaven; to enter the House of God, a sinner should bring a sin offering to the altar of burnt offering and pass his sins to the animal. Then he should kill the animal, take some of the animal’s blood to the priest, slaughter the animal and burn its fat on the altar of burnt offering. The priest then had to put the blood on the horns of the altar. Then the priest had to wash his hands absolutely clean before entering the holy place. When the priests entered the holy place which is God’s house, they had to wash their hands and feet with the water in the laver of bronze.
Likewise, if we wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we should know that Jesus Christ came to this earth, took away our sins, by receiving baptism from John the Baptist. The Lord wants us to know exactly what He did for us—He took away our sins through the baptism that He received from John the Baptist, carried the sins of the world to the Cross, died and rose again from the dead to give us a perfect salvation. It is true that Jesus saved us through His baptism that He received from John the Baptist, and His blood on the Cross. However, we should understand and believe the truth that Jesus took away our sins through His baptism, until the day we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Whenever something goes wrong with us either physically or spiritually and we have something on our consciences, we should wash ourselves with the water in the bronze laver. When the Lord went to John the Baptist to be baptized, He said, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Mathew 3:15). “When Jesus had been baptized, God said, ‘This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Mathew 3:17). When He came out of the water after He was baptized by John the Baptist, all the sins of human kind were passed onto Jesus.
We call God Abba Father; we pray to Him and ask Him for solutions to our problems. The death on the Cross was done only once, but water is what we cannot live without. I talk about the baptism of Jesus in every sermon and in every book I publish. By the baptism that He received from John the Baptist, Jesus took away our sins. We absolutely need water for washing since we continue to sin until we enter the Kingdom of Heaven, until the day our Lord returns, even if we received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of water and the Spirit. We have to be washed from our hearts sins once and for all although we are appointed to die once. Is this not true? Some people may question, “Washing of sins? Does that mean you have not received the remission of sins forever?”
What I mean by this is we remind ourselves of the fact that we have received the remission of sins forever. In the eyes of our Lord, He already took away our sins with His baptism and with His blood, but by faith we ruminate and remember the work of His baptism and blood day by day just as a cow chews the cud. Our Lord removed our sins completely with water and with the Holy Spirit. Once and for all, perfectly, He took away all the sins of the world forever on His part. With the water and the Holy Spirit, the Lord blotted out our sins once and for all. Nevertheless, what should we do about the sins we commit in the flesh everyday? We should go to the water basin as often as we can. We should go down to the Jordan River. By meditating on the baptism that John the Baptist gave to Jesus and confirming the Truth that Jesus took all our sins away at that very moment, we can then stand firm before God and go forward by faith in God’s righteousness. This is how we can continue to do the righteous work.
Satan will never stop attacking us. He will continually whisper to us, “How can someone as insufficient as you do this and that?” Whenever we hear such a voice, we can boldly declare, “Yes, I am insufficient. However, I have been made perfect through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I am sanctified so I run my race before my Lord.” That is how we can do the good work by faith. Therefore, we received salvation by faith. By faith we can do good deeds. By faith we can do the right things. Our Lord gave us such a blessing.
Dear fellow believers let’s all remember this; “All things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood, there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). From this vein, it is a false notion that only the blood on the Cross can bring the remission of sins. The Lord saved us from sins not just with water, but with both water and blood. If Jesus Christ had offered an imperfect sacrifice as the high priest offered sacrifice every year for the people of Israel according to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament, He should have come to this earth to die over and over again in perpetuity until the end of the world.
However, the Truth is that He offered Himself to take away our sins once and for all. To pay for the sins of many once and for all, He gave Himself up to die. Hebrews 9:28 reads, “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.” The Lord was born to this earth; He received baptism from John the Baptist to take away the sins of the world once and for all. After He was baptized, He gave Himself up to die on the Cross only once. He was offered once; to those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation (Hebrews 9:28). Only once, He took our sins away, died on the Cross, and rose again from the dead to save us.
During the thirty-three years of His public life, Jesus received baptism from John the Baptist only once, died on the Cross only once and rose again only once to save us completely. Do you believe this? He fulfilled the work of salvation all at once; the effect of His effort lasts forever. That is why the Lord said, “It is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment.” All of us should die for our own sins. Then after this the judgment. Sinners will indeed be judged for their sins. As for you and me, we do not die twice. There is only one death. So is the Judgment. The Judgment of unquenchable fire is waiting. Our Lord, however, saved us from sins once and for all by receiving baptism, dying on the Cross, and rising again from the dead. It is not done twice, but at once, He fulfilled the work of salvation.
We should hear the Word of God and believe in it. Then we will be healed. Do you understand what I am saying? Why did Jesus shed His blood? He did so to give us our life back. He purchased our life—the life which had been dead from sins—with His blood by offering Himself through baptism and crucifixion. This is how He redeemed us. For this reason, He shed His blood. Therefore, we should understand that all our sins were transferred onto the Lord. By being baptized, He took away all of our sins. He had a good reason to shed His blood on the Cross. He could bleed for our sins. By shedding all the blood from His heart, He paid for our life and gave us a new life.
Then, is His blood the same as ours? You wouldn’t dare to say, “Yes!” would you? “Blood is blood,” someone might argue. Nevertheless, the Book of Hebrews testifies that Jesus Christ is God Himself, who is greater than all the angels; He created the universe; He obeyed God’s will and became the sacrifice for our sins; He is our perfect Savior; He is our Shepherd; He is our perfect God. What should we believe? We should believe in the Word of God.
“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” (John 3:16). We should believe in Jesus and what Jesus said; except for these truths, we should not believe in anything else, that is, your dreams, other people, or other doctrines that are not based on the Word of God. For this reason, we have services in the church. That is why we have time for declaring God’s word, for which I am so thankful to God for.
It is said that Jesus will appear a second time to those who are waiting for him apart from sins. I believe this verse is referring to us. Do you believe so? Then, are you, or are you not, apart from sins? The Lord will appear to those who are apart from sin. Then how grateful should we feel? He will appear a second time to those who are not apart from sins? For these people, He will come a second time to destroy them and cast them all into the fiery hell.
As recorded in the Book of Revelation, the eyes of Jesus will look like flames of fearful judgment to unbelievers when He comes again. How would you like my eyes if they were red as flames? Will you like that? Even I will pass out when I see myself in the mirror. When the Lord comes a second time, those who know and believe in the love of the Lord will be apart from sin, while those who do not believe, will not be apart from sins. Therefore, we should believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit and welcome our Lord who is coming to take His people who are apart from sins away to His kingdom. I give all thanks to the Lord!