The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 23 : The Epistle to the HEBREWS

[Chapter 10-1] (Hebrews 10:1-18) Do We Reach Our Salvation by Believing in The Righteousness of God?

(Hebrews 10:1-18)
“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’’
Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”
 
 
We just read Hebrews 10:1-18 for today’s Scripture reading. Most of us will agree that we don’t always have the full understanding of the will of God as written in the Bible. Given how thick and long the Scripture is, there is no way for us to grasp the will of God unless we approach it through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As Hebrews chapter 10 is a particularly difficult passage, I’m sure that few people can understand the righteousness of God that’s explained in this passage when comparing it to the Law. If we were to tackle today’s reading without even understanding the righteousness of God, it would be even more difficult to comprehend. So, it’s a bit daunting for me to explain the righteousness of God to you fully in such a short time. As such, let me first explain to you the motive behind the Epistle to the Hebrews, and then explain to you what the righteousness of God is.
 
 

The Epistle to the Hebrews Is a Letter of Spiritual Nourishment Written by God’s Servant to the People of God Scattered around the World
 
Around the time the Epistle to the Hebrews was written, Israel was being ruled by the Roman Empire as its colony. Around 70 AD, the Roman emperor sent General Titus to lay siege to Jerusalem and conquer it. Jerusalem was the capital city of Israel at that time, and its walls were built with huge boulders. The boulders used for these walls were so huge that some of them were 2 m in height and 6-10 m in length.  
Yet, even such formidable walls were no match for the Roman General Titus, who proceeded to lay Israel to waste intending on destroying it completely. As a result of the fall of Israel, many of its people were sold abroad as slaves, while others fled wherever they could to avoid enslavement. Among them were many Christians who knew and believed in the righteousness of Jesus. In other words, the Early Church had many Jewish saints and they were also scattered all over the known world.
With the destruction of Jerusalem, the people of Israel lost their state and came to live in foreign countries. As they had no country to return to, they had no choice but to live in foreign lands and to carry on with their lives of faith as strangers. So, it was very important for God’s servant to find a way to minister to these Jewish believers in the righteousness of Jesus. But, back then it was not so easy for the righteous to meet with God’s servant. The transportation system in those days was obviously nothing like it is now, so the servant of God had no choice but to minister to the saints by writing letters to them.
In the Old Testament, the Gentiles called the people of Israel Hebrews. That’s because the Israelites were known as those who crossed the river. During the Early Church era, nearly all Jewish Christians believed in Jesus Christ while still retaining their worship of angels. Although angels were mere creatures of God, the Jewish people still had a tendency to worship them as though they were divine.
Even among the Jewish Christians, the worship of angels was still quite pervasive, causing a great deal of problem to their spiritual lives of faith. So, the writer of Hebrews pointed out in chapter 1 just how wrong the Israelites were to worship angels. Hebrew 1:14 says, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Like this, the writer of Hebrews clearly explained to the Jewish saints scattered around the world that Jesus Christ was far more exalted than any angel. He then moved on to explain about the righteousness of Jesus in chapter 10 by comparing it to the law of God, so that everyone could be able to understand that the righteousness of God was the greatest Truth of salvation.
Even today, many Christians mistakenly think that observing the God-given Law is what the real life of faith is all about. This is deeply saddening to us, as these misguided Christians do not know the function of the Law. We know that God’s commandments are absolutely right, but they are not meant for us to keep; rather, the Law has a distinct function. Through the Law of God, we are to realize our sins, and from this realization, step into the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Savior by faith. Every sinner, in other words, must come out to the righteousness of God.
Far from trying to establish our own righteousness by keeping the Law of God, we must all be washed from our sins by believing in the righteousness of God. If we otherwise fail to do so and instead try to observe the Law on our own, we will all be called fools in God’s sight. Today, even among Christians professing to believe in Jesus as their Savior, far too many people are trying to keep the Law of God without even realizing His righteousness. The most serious problem faced by Christianity today is the fact that many people claim to believe in Jesus even as they make no effort to understand the righteousness of God
 
 
Hebrews 10:1 Says, “For the Law, Having a Shadow of the Good Things to Come, and Not the Very Image of the Things.”
 
To be washed from their sins, the people of the Old Testament had to offer sacrifices by the Tabernacle according to God’s statutes. Later, to blot out the yearly sins of the people of Israel on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest laid both his hands on a sacrificial offering’s head, as specified by God, and thereby passed the sins of the Israelites to it. This sacrificial system of the Old Testament, as well as all the sacrifices offered by the Israelites, foreshadowed the coming of Jesus and His righteousness. The sacrificial system of the Tabernacle outlined in the Old Testament was absolutely indispensable for the people of Israel to obtain the washing of their sins when they sinned against God.
During the age of the Old Testament, when the Day of Atonement came around, the High Priest had to pass the yearly sins of the people of Israel to the God-specified sacrificial offering by laying his hands on its head. Whenever the High Priest passed his own sins to the head of a sacrificial animal, he had to lay his hands on its head in the same way. Ministering in the Tabernacle, the High Priest had the duty to pass Israelites’ sins through the laying on of his hands. The priests also had to offer a just sacrifice on behalf of the people of Israel by putting the sacrificial animal on the altar of burnt offering burning it with fire. To blot out the Israelites’ sins, the priests also put the blood of the sacrifice on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and poured the rest of the blood out on the ground. It was their priestly duty to do these things so that their people could be washed from their sins.
Whenever an Israelite sought the remission of his sins, he had to offer a sacrificial animal to God, and to do so, the sinner first had to pass his sins to his sacrificial animal by personally laying his own hands on its head and confessing his sins over it. The Law of God and His commandments were given in the Old Testament so that His people would realize their sins. Through the Law, God told the people of Israel what they had to do and what they could not do. In the same way, it is through the Law that we can also realize our sins, but now, instead of offering a sacrificial animal to God as the Israelites had done, we must realize ourselves and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the righteousness of God, in order to be washed clean from all our sins and reach our salvation.
 
 
There Are Many Christians Today Claiming to Be Leading a Life of Faith even as They Do Not Know the Righteousness of God from the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
The remission of sins for the human race is found in the righteousness of God, which was fulfilled by the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist, and the blood He shed on the Cross. The indispensable Truth of salvation is that Jesus Christ has washed away all our sins with the baptism He received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross. Faith in this Truth is what saves us. Unfortunately, however, there aren’t that many people who know that Jesus has washed away all their sins with His baptism and His blood on the Cross. Even among us there were many people who, despite believing in Jesus as their Savior, had lived with a sinful heart until they came to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God is overjoyed to use the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as His instruments.
Because God loves all sinners, He has made it possible for us to save them from all sins; whoever wants to offer the sacrifice of the washing of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit in God’s Church. God told us, “If you want to wash away people’s sins as the priests of the Kingdom of Heaven, they need to pass them to Jesus Christ, who has fulfilled the righteousness of God, by laying their hands on His head by faith. And then teach them to believe in the blood Jesus Christ shed on the Cross and why He shed His blood.” God promised the Israelites in the age of the Old Testament that if they offered sin offerings according to His requirements, He would wash away all their sins. Today, the remission of our sins has come about exactly as God had promised.
God has made it possible for us to realize, when comparing His righteousness with His Law, that the righteousness of Jesus Christ is the completion of the Law. We can see from the Word of God what a huge difference our faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ makes from legalistic faith, and which faith is really approved by God. When we ask ourselves such questions, God has made it possible for us to realize clearly that our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the right faith, and that it is far superior to any legalistic faith. The righteousness of God, then, is the gospel Truth of salvation that Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins with His baptism and blood. We can now see that the Law of God is no more than a shadow of the gospel of the righteousness of God. The God-given Law, in other words, is the tutor that guides us to Jesus Christ.
Through the Old Testament’s sacrificial system of the Tabernacle, the Lord promised that He would blot out all our sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The work of salvation done by our Lord was the fulfillment of this promise. If you and I were born in the age of the Old Testament, then we would also have committed sin against both God and towards our fellow man, and we would likewise have had to pass our sins to a sacrificial offering set by God by laying our hands on its head.
God had set the Day of Atonement for the people of Israel so that when the High Priest offered a just sacrifice on their behalf, whoever believed in this truth could receive the remission of sins. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest had to pass the yearly sins of the people of Israel to a live sacrificial animal, and then put its blood on the altar of burnt offering and sprinkle it on the mercy seat. The Old Testament’s sacrificial animals such as, sheep, goats, bulls, and pigeons were all shadows of the body of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. God was promising in the Old Testament that Jesus Christ would come to this earth and save the human race from all its sins once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Therefore, while God did give us the Law composed of His commandments, because He knew that we were incapable of keeping it, He prepared the righteousness of Jesus Christ for us. In other words, God the Father decided to save us from all our sins once and for all through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That is why the Lord showed us the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle, before giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, as a shadow of the true gospel. Like this, with the Law of God the Lord made it possible for us to realize our sinful state, and at the same time, He also gave us the just sacrificial system so that we could be washed from our sins.
 
 
The Lord Gave the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit to All of Us
 
With His Word, God promised us that He would remit away all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Truth of salvation is given to all of us through God’s Word of promise. Every Christian must, therefore, learn about the righteousness of God, realize it fully, and believe in it. In the days of the Old Testament, the priests had to offer sacrifices to God every day on behalf of sinners. In the present age of the New Testament, everyone must receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Today as in the past, the remission of sins must be received by everyone because human beings cannot help but commit sin all the time, for they are full of shortcomings. Just as the people of Israel sinned against God constantly, so do we also sin day after day, constantly. In the age of the Old Testament, whenever an Israelite sought to receive the remission of sins, he had to bring a sacrificial offering to the Tabernacle, lay his hands on its head, draw its blood, and give this blood to the priests before returning home. The priests then offered a just sacrifice to God on behalf of the sinner, thus making it possible for them to receive the remission of sins.
However, even after receiving the remission of sins by offering a sacrifice like this, the people of Israel still had to return to the Tabernacle and look for the priests again, because they couldn’t help but continue to sin. Consequently, to be washed from their sins, they had to keep on going to the priests and offering these sacrifices time after time. This was true even after receiving the remission of their yearly sins on the Day of Atonement. By relying on the sacrificial system, the people of the Old Testament could not solve the problem of their sins permanently, once and for all. So, year after year, the High Priest had to offer sacrifices on their behalf on the Day of Atonement as determined by God.
Once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the High Priest had to enter into the Most Holy and offer a sin offering to God on behalf of all the people of Israel. And he had to do this year after year. In contrast, in the age of the New Testament, whoever believes in the righteousness of God can receive the everlasting remission of sins once and for all, for Jesus Christ Himself has become our own everlasting propitiation by being baptized by John the Baptist, shedding His blood on the Cross, and rising from the dead again.
My fellow believers, even today, so many Christians professing to believe in Jesus as their Savior are still unable to be freed from their sins, because they are practicing a religious life according to their own thoughts, oblivious to the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. These misguided Christians are not only leading their lives of faith in complete ignorance of the righteousness of God, but they also have no desire to learn about it. Far from relying on the righteousness of God, they are just trying to observe God’s Law on their own. Given this, it’s hardly surprising that these people remain incapable of becoming sinless by believing in the righteousness of God.
 
 
Many Christians Are Trying to Cleanse Their Hearts by Obeying the Law of God
 
Sadly, their faith is wrong. Who among you could ever keep every Law and every Word of God? No one can obey every Word of God to the letter. Just as the people of the Old Testament were incapable of observing the Law of God fully, so are the people living in this present age of the New Testament incapable of keeping the Law completely to perfection. That is why the Bible says that there are none in this world, not even a single one, who has not committed any sin. Yet even so, perhaps some of you still think that offering prayers of repentance is indispensable for faith. If you think that your sins will disappear when you offer prayers of repentance, you are completely mistaken. These prayers are nothing more than a delusion derived from fallacious thoughts. In fact, I am sure that deep in your heart you, yourself, know very well that you cannot wash away your sins just by offering these stupid repentance prayers.
Who taught you that you could wash away all your sins by offering prayers of repentance? Whoever it was that might have taught you this is in great error. Your sins are not washed away by offering many prayers of repentance; rather, all your sins are cleansed away when you come to understand and believe in the righteousness of God. The religious beliefs you are holding onto now can never wash away your sins. Your heart can be cleansed only if you believe that the Lord took all the sins of mankind upon His flesh once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist and bore the condemnation of all these sins by being crucified to death.
This means that God, who created us humans, knew our weaknesses. It is with this knowledge that He fulfilled the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and is offering the remission of sins to all who believe in this gospel. God promised clearly in the Old Testament that He would blot out all our sins. Where do we find this promise? It is found in Jeremiah 31:31-34: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
 
 
The Blessed Word of the New Promise Which God Spoke to Us from the Old Testament
 
What did our Lord say to us in Jeremiah 31:31? He said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” What, then, is this new covenant the Lord made with the people of Israel and us? This new covenant is the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit the Lord fulfilled in the age of the New Testament. Because our Lord bore all the sins of the entire human race once and for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and because He shed His blood on the Cross for us; for those who believe in this righteousness of God, Jesus no longer remembers our sins.
In God’s sight, there is not even one person who does not commit sin. Yet despite this, countless Christians try to be saved from all their sins by observing God’s Law. This breaks God’s heart. These misguided Christians are leading a legalistic life of mere religion rather than a genuine life of faith. The more time goes by, the more they realize that, by their very nature, they are simply incapable of keeping the Law of God. Even though they claim to believe in God’s Law, they are in fact observing just the rituals of the Law. In their hearts, they know that they cannot keep the Word of God. We, too, had once led such a religious life, until we came to believe in the righteousness of God. Just like the people of Israel, and so many Christians in this age and time, we had also put the Law on the pedestal and worshipped it instead of God.
No one can observe the Law to its perfection. But God promised us, “I will cleanse away all your sins once and for all and make you My people. Regardless of your acts and your shortcomings, I will wash away all your sins and become your God. I will save you from all your sins. And I will let you know in your hearts and minds that I have become your God.” And God has fulfilled this promise faithfully with His righteousness.
 
 
With What Has God Fulfilled His Blessed Word of Promise Then?
 
Every blessing, given to us by God, has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of the Lord. God the Father had planned His righteous work of salvation in order to blot out all the sins of His people. This plan was for God the Father to send His own Son to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, make this Son shoulder all the sins of mankind on His body of sacrifice through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, let this Son be condemned for these sins on the Cross, and thus save the entire human race from every sin.
In other words, God Himself, fulfilled our salvation perfectly, by having Jesus baptized by John the Baptist, shedding His blood on the Cross, and rising from the dead again, all in order to save every sinner from all sins. The Lord is therefore telling us, “I have saved you from all the sins of this world once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” That is why the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are called the righteous, for they have received the remission of sins, on account of their faith in the righteousness of God, which was fulfilled by His Son through His baptism, and His blood on the Cross, rather than by observing the Law of God.
Now that the Lord has fulfilled His righteousness completely on this earth by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood on the Cross, He has made all those who believe in this righteousness of God His very own children. Through the Law, we have come to realize our sins, and by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have come to realize the righteousness of God, and thus receive the remission of sins by faith. Because our Lord loves us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has blessed us by saving us from all our sins only if we truly believe in the righteousness of God.
The Lord is saying to us, “I have blotted out all your sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the righteousness of God that I have fulfilled, and if only you will believe in this righteousness of God, you will become God’s own people.” The Lord’s plan was to make all the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit forever sinless. That’s why the Lord promised in the Old Testament that He would let us know that He is our God. And just as the Lord promised that He would bless us to reach the God-given salvation in our minds and hearts, He has indeed delivered us from all our sins.
This is to emphasize this lesson that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews wrote his letter to the saints scattered all around the world. God’s servant is saying here that God’s blessings belong to those who know and believe in His righteousness, rather than those who strive to observe His Law. Having taken upon all the sins of everyone through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, Jesus bore the condemnation of all these sins, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved all who believe in the righteousness of God. This means that the faith of those who believe in the righteousness of God is far superior to the faith of any legalists.
You and I are fundamentally incapable of keeping the Law of God to perfection. Ultimately, only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can you and I be delivered from all our sins. This is what the Bible is teaching us here. No one can be freed from his sins by trying to observe the Law of God, for no one can keep the Law to perfection. In contrast, the righteousness of Jesus Christ has delivered all of us who believe in this righteousness from all our sins once and for all.
The Law of God states that the wages of sin is death. Accordingly, every sinner must recognize that he will be condemned for his sins, and so come to the presence of God by trusting in His righteousness. This is why Jesus fulfilled the righteousness of God by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood on the Cross, so that He could bring true salvation to every sinner. And this is why the righteousness of Jesus Christ is the good news that brings true salvation to all of us who believe in the righteousness of God.
 
 
What Is the True Gospel of the Water and the Spirit the Bible Speaks of?
 
The gospel of the water and the Spirit proclaims that God the Father has achieved our salvation by sending Jesus Christ His only begotten Son to this earth, making Him accept all our sins once and for all upon His body of sacrifice through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and letting Him be crucified and shed His blood on the Cross. The Son of God thus accepted all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, bore the condemnation of all ours sins, by being crucified in our place, and triumphed over death, by rising from the dead again. And now, sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father, Jesus Christ, will return to judge everyone. Thanks to all these works of salvation, whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has been wholly saved by God.
The Lord has truly saved us like this through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has become our own Protector. And He wants us to know that this gospel of the water and the Spirit is the ultimate truth. We ought to therefore grasp this truth just as the Lord wants us to realize it.
This is why the servant of God, who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews, explained the righteousness of Jesus Christ to us, by comparing it with the Law of God, and why he wanted us to believe in it and give all glory to God. The New Testament bears witness of the superiority of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, as it’s written here in Hebrews 10:5, “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.’” This means that Jesus, the Son of God, has prepared the righteousness of God for our salvation.
 
 
The Real Truth of Salvation for All Sinners Is the Righteousness of Jesus Christ
 
The name Jesus Christ denotes His offices. While the name Jesus means, the “Savior,” the name Christ means, the “Anointed One.” This implies that Jesus Christ came to this earth to fulfill three offices as the King, the High Priest, and the Prophet, as these offices required anointing in the Old Testament. To fulfill these offices, Christ had to come to this earth, incarnate in the flesh of man, and carry out His work of salvation as the High Priest of Heaven, our Judge, and our Prophet. Because Jesus Christ is the Creator, who made the whole universe, He is the King of kings, the King of righteousness, who judges all unrighteousness.
Second, as the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus Christ is the Savior of all sinners. To save us from all our sins, and take us to the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, bore all the sins of mankind on His body by being baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified to death vicariously in our place. And He rose from the dead again. By offering His own body to God the Father, as the propitiation for all sinners, the Lord made one sacrifice for the remission of sins on our behalf, and with this one sacrifice, He has saved all of us who believe in this Truth. He has finished all His work of salvation so that from now on, whoever believes in the righteousness of Jesus would be saved from each and every sin. This is how the Lord has made the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit sinless and blessed them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
In this way, Jesus Christ has fulfilled His role as the true Prophet for all of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has taught us, where we are from, where we are heading, what the purpose for which God created us is, and what we must believe in if we want to live according to this purpose—that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is no one other than Jesus Christ who has taught us all these things. He has come to this earth as the Savior of all sinners.
Whenever Christmas comes around, we instead praise the righteousness of Jesus Christ, singing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” On December 25, people all over the world celebrate Christmas. Every Christian thanks the God of salvation for coming to this earth. Just as He had promised, Jesus Christ indeed came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man through the body of the Virgin Mary. That’s why when we praise God on Christmas, we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King!” We praise God like this for preparing His righteousness for us. On the day Jesus was born on this earth, the angels sang in Heaven, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
The heavenly angels sang like this because the Son of God had come to this earth to deliver mankind from all the sins of the world, so that God would make us His own righteous people. The believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have the righteousness of the Lord. The Lord has made it possible for all those who believe in His righteousness to be saved from all their sins. That’s because the Lord Himself has forever delivered us from our sins by coming to this world. God the Father said that He does not desire any sacrifice or offering from us because the righteousness of Jesus has been prepared. That is why the Scripture says that God the Father has prepared a body for us.
All of us must understand the righteousness of the Lord clearly with our minds, and believe in it sincerely with our hearts. God does not want us to offer Him a sacrifice trying to receive the remission of sins, as was done in the age of the Old Testament. On the contrary, God has prepared for us the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and this alone, as the Scripture says, “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me’” (Hebrews 10:5). This is the fulfillment of what God had promised us through the Prophet Isaiah 700 years before Jesus came to this earth, saying, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
By making His Son Jesus receive baptism from John the Baptist, God the Father made the Son bear the sins of the world. By letting the body of Jesus be crucified, God the Father condemned all our sins, and through this, God has made us the believers, completely sinless. This is how God has made it possible for us to be with Him forever. All these things were planned by God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus Christ, who enables us to realize that our salvation from all the sins of this world has been achieved, through the righteousness of God. So, as God has already done everything for us to deliver us, we can be saved from all our sins only if we believe with a grateful heart in the righteous work of salvation Jesus has done for us to make us sinless—that is, in both His baptism and blood. That is why we are now able to partake in the righteous work of preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
From now on, it falls upon you and me to spread and serve the righteousness of God, for we the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have received the remission of sins by faith. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this earth looking for us in order to deliver us from all the sins of this world. And by being baptized by John the Baptist, the representative of mankind, and rising from the dead again, the Son of God has saved those who now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from all their sins. Our salvation was fundamentally God’s work. It’s for this reason that God the Father had prepared a body to achieve the salvation of mankind.
Jesus Christ is the sacrificial offering prepared by God for the fulfillment of the deliverance of man. It was to fulfill this righteous work of God that Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified to death on this earth. That’s why God the Father said of His Son, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
The Lord has delivered the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from all their sins. That is why God said that He had prepared a sacrificial body for our salvation. The sacrificial offering prepared by God the Father to blot out your sins and mine is none other than the body of Jesus, as its written: “Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:9-10).
During the age of the Old Testament, whenever the people of Israel sinned, they sought to receive the remission of their sins by bringing to the Tabernacle one of the sacrificial animals as specified by God, passing their sins to this animal by laying their hands on its head, and offering it to God as a burnt offering. However, the remission of sins, thus obtained, was only temporary, for when they sinned again, they had to sacrifice another offering. By the Law, no one could receive the complete everlasting remission of sins, just as it’s written in today’s Scripture passage, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect” (Hebrews 10:1).
By the Law of God, it was impossible for us to become completely sinless. That is why God sought to take away the first so that He may establish the second. And this is why Jesus Christ came to this earth, just as He said, “Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7). As it’s written here, Jesus came to this earth to do the will of God the Father, but what exactly is this will? It is saving the human race from all its sins through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, as John 3:16 says, “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.” This is just how much God loves everyone in this world. Regardless of who, tall, short, rich, poor, young and old alike. God loved all the human beings so much, that He bore all their sins through His baptism, and blotted them all out.
  
 
God Said in Genesis 1:26, “Let Us Make Man in Our Image, according to Our Likeness”
 
This passage clearly shows us that when God made man, He did not make him for no reason, but with a particular purpose in mind. Even though God knew that human beings would fall into sin out of their weaknesses, He was determined to save them from all their sins and make them His own children. This was the fundamental will of God. God created human beings because He loved them, and wanted to make them His own children, take them away to His Kingdom, and live with them forever. It’s for this purpose that God created us human beings. It’s because God the Father made us for this purpose that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to this earth and made Him be baptized by John the Baptist. And it’s for this reason that God said, “Let Us make man in Our image.” It’s important for us to pay particular attention to the use of the first-person plural “Us” and “Our” here. These words were used to show us that man was created by the work of the Triune God.
To us, Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit are the same One Triune God. When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image,” He had already planned our salvation. This is why God the Father sent His Son to this earth as the Savior of mankind according to His will and plan. When God the Father sent His Son to this earth, He told the Son to fulfill the three offices of Christ. First of all, as the King of kings, Christ was to save His people from all the sins of the world. Second, He was to minister as our heavenly High Priest, and to achieve this, God the Father told His Son to accept all the sins of this world on His body of sacrifice and be crucified to death. This is why the Son of God was baptized and shed His blood on the Cross. Like this, as the Son of God paid off the wages of all the sins of this world, justly, He made an everlasting sacrifice to God the Father on our behalf, and saved all of us who believe in Him.
Thirdly, Christ was to fulfill His office as our Prophet to teach us that all this work of salvation was done by God, just as the prophets of the Old Testament had taught the Israelites the truth. It is these three offices of the King of kings, the High Priest, and the Prophet, that God the Father told His Son to fulfill on this earth before returning to Heaven.
 
 
“Behold, I Have Come to Do Your Will, O God.” He Takes away the First That He May Establish the Second” (Hebrews 10:9)
 
This means that the function of the Law of God was to point out our sins, but it could not completely eradicate all our sins. Yet the wages of our sins still must be paid as demanded by the Law, and it’s Jesus our Savior who met this demand fully, by being baptized by John the Baptist, and shedding His blood on the Cross. This is how the remission of our sins was achieved. This is God’s just salvation fulfilled through gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. The Law of God itself is not faulty. On the contrary, Gods’ Law teaches us about our sins so that we can recognize them.
The Law gives us a series of commandments to prescribe to, and to proscribe to, certain behaviors, such as not to commit murder, not to commit adultery, not to steal from anyone, and so forth. Is there anything in these statutes of God that is wrong? No, of course not! The Law commands us to do good things instead of bad things. While this Law of God is not something that we humans are capable of observing perfectly, Jesus is more than able to meet all its requirements as He is God Himself. And according to the Law’s demand for the wages of sin to be paid, Christ bore all our sins on His body by being baptized and died on the Cross, thus meeting this demand of the Law.
Therefore, when the Bible says here that God takes away the first (the Law), this doesn’t mean that God abolishes His Law, but rather, it means the fulfillment of the just judgment of sin demanded by the Law. In other words, by blotting out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord met all the requirements of the Law, and therefore we no longer face any condemnation of sin. In this way, God has perfectly fulfilled His righteous work of saving us from all our sins, as it’s written in Hebrews 10:10-14: “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
My fellow believers, who created this universe? It is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To blot out all the sins of mankind, Jesus Christ offered one eternal sacrifice with His own body by being baptized by John the Baptist and shedding His blood on the Cross.
 
  
God Says That the Faith of Those Who Try to Receive the Remission of Sins by Observing His Law Is Fundamentally Different from the Faith of Those Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
We have washed away all our sins, and become God’s own children, by believing wholeheartedly that Jesus came to this earth through the body of the Virgin Mary, accepted all our sins, by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again, thereby saving us all. And our faith, as the saved believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is fundamentally different from the faith of those who try to wash away their sins everyday by offering their own prayers of repentance despite professing to believe in Jesus. There is a huge difference of faith between such legalistic Christians and the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Whose faith, then, does God approve? It is the faith of the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because of this truth, we believe that the righteousness of Jesus that has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit constitutes our salvation. In contrast, many Christians nowadays rely on their own works as premised by the Law. Even though countless people today profess to believe in Jesus, many of them neither know nor believe in the righteousness of Jesus, and, even worse, they are trying to wash away their sins by rejecting the righteousness of God. It is categorically wrong for anyone to try to obtain the cleansing of their sins just by keeping the Law of God. Such people seek to wash away their sins by offering many prayers of repentance continuously. These people must realize as soon as possible that they cannot keep the Law no matter how hard they might try.
Regardless of how much effort they put into it, they will eventually discover that they are too weak to observe the Law of God to perfection. Even if they manage to observe the Law for a short while, sooner or later they will find it impossible to keep the Law always. Therefore, all such people must believe in the righteousness of God instead, realizing that no one can keep His Word of Law to perfection. They must realize that the God-given Law is there for them to realize and recognize their sins. Yet, despite this, many Christian are still trying desperately to keep the Law, as they think that they must observe it to the letter. This is why they are unable to discover the righteousness of God. In and of itself, trying to obey the Law of God is not a bad thing; in fact, it is something commendable. However, by relying on one’s own works like this, no one can have such a faith approved by God.
Such misguided Christians say to God, “Lord, have I not tried so hard to live virtuously? You should at least give me some credit for my good intention.” These people, my fellow believers, are leading a legalistic life of faith, and therefore their faith is completely wrong.
 
 
What Kind of Faith Does God Want from Us?
 
The faith that God wants from us is faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which constitutes the righteousness of God. The faith that God the Father wants us to have is the one that believes that God the Father sent His Son to this world in order to blot out all our sins. He wants us to believe that He made His Son receive baptism from John the Baptist to accept all our sins. And He wants us to believe that, by thus being baptized by John the Baptist, His Son accepted all our sins once and for all. God is saying to us, “My Son accepted all the sins of mankind through His baptism, and He was crucified to death in your place to pay off the wages of your sins. And rising from the dead again, My Son has become your Savior. By being baptized by John the Baptist, and dying on the Cross, My Son has made an everlasting sacrifice for you. Through His one life in this world, He has blotted out all your sins once and for all, and He has made everyone who believes in this My own child. He has bestowed you with the mercy of salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I want you to realize and believe in this.” This, my fellow believers, is the faith that God demands from us.
God is telling us to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with our hearts, receive the remission of sins, and return to Him. He is saying to us, “I want you to reach your salvation by this faith alone.” God wants us to become sinless by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He wants us to thank Him for it because we are too weak to keep the Law of God to perfection. The Lord Himself has blotted out all our sins for us with His righteousness. The Bible says that God has taken away the Law because He knows that we are incapable of keeping it. The salvation of mankind therefore cannot be achieved simply by relying on the first Law, and this is why God Himself has achieved our salvation from sins, through His own righteousness, by establishing the second.