The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 24 : Sermons for Those Who Have Become Our COWORKERS

[24-16] (Mark 2:13-22) The Lord Has Saved All Sinners and Given Them True Life

(Mark 2:13-22)
“Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them. As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting. Then they came and said to Him, ‘Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.’”
 
 
I just returned from a revival meeting at Gangreung Church where I preached the Word of Truth found in Mark chapters 1 and 2. The core message of this Word of Truth is that our Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, the Creator who made all things in the universe, and He is our Savior. And we were able to be washed clean from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that this Creator has given us. Therefore, if anyone believes in Jesus without understanding that He is the Creator who made the heavens and the earth, and the Savior who came to this earth to deliver us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then this person’s faith is in vain. In other words, if we believe in Jesus without even realizing that He is our God and our Savior, our faith will be completely useless. We must believe that our Lord Jesus has saved us from all our sins. However, there still are many people who have not encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of Jesus, and all these people are yet to be delivered from their sins. Although it is important for them to believe in Jesus as their Savior, this faith must also be accompanied by the realization that Jesus is God Himself. Only then can they be saved from all their sins by believing that Jesus is their true Savior.
Despite the fact that Christians all around the world profess to believe in Jesus as their Savior and claim to lead a life of faith, in reality, they believe in Jesus without actually understanding the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the real Truth of salvation that Jesus has given to us. As a result, they still remain in their sinful state, unable to become God’s children. Too many self-professing Christians nowadays are actually defiling Christianity with their preposterous conjectures. A good example is the recent bestseller The Da Vinci Code, a novel written by a self-claimed Christian. The basic plot of this book revolves around the ridiculous notion that Jesus had somehow married Mary Magdalene. The author of this novel made such a grave mistake because he did not fully grasp the divinity of Jesus, far less the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that Jesus has given us. It’s because people do not really understand Jesus’ divine nature that they end up making such a huge mistake. Ultimately, such people must turn around and entrust themselves to God’s mercy. Otherwise they will remain ignorant of the fact that Jesus is their Savior only to face destruction in the end.
Prior to today’s Scripture passage, Jesus said to a paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (Mark 2:5). Jesus could say this to the paralytic because He was God Himself, and as such He had the divine authority to forgive anyone’s sins. Jesus Christ alone could remit away everyone’s sins once and for all. The Lord said in Mark 2:10, “That you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” The “Son of Man” here denotes that the Lord is the Savior God who was born on this earth incarnated in the flesh as the Son of Man. In other words, Jesus is God Himself who has the authority to forgive everyone’s sins. It’s because Jesus is fundamentally God Himself that He has this power. Therefore, Jesus alone is the Savior of all sinners. Only Jesus Christ, God Himself, has the power to remit away all the sins of the entire human race. Only Jesus could blot out everyone’s sins once and for all with His Word. He had come to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man to make it known that He was the Savior who had delivered all sinners from each and every sin. Jesus is God Himself who created the universe and everything in it, including you and me, and He is the Savior who has delivered us from all our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I ask you all to believe in this Truth and receive the blessing of salvation.
 
 
Dining with Sinners
 
This evening we read Mark 2:13-22 for today’s Scripture reading. After healing a paralytic, Jesus had gone out by the sea as there were too many people following Him. There, Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi (also known as Matthew), and He made him His disciple. As Jesus was invited by Levi, He came to have dinner at his house. In those days, tax collectors like Levi were considered traitors. They were despised by the Israelites because they collected heavy taxes on behalf of the Roman Empire. So it was common for the Israelites to look down on tax collectors as thieves.
However, Jesus had dinner with such a tax collector. When the Pharisees saw this, they began to denounce Jesus and His disciples. Although the Pharisees here believed in Jehovah as their God, they did not believe in Jesus as the Savior of the human race. So they wondered how Jesus, who claimed Himself to be the Son of God, could break bread and converse with sinners. Hearing the Pharisees grumbling among themselves, Jesus said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17).
At that time, there was a group of people following John the Baptist, and his disciples often got together and fasted. To the Pharisees, therefore, Jesus and His disciples must have looked like gluttonous eaters compared to the disciples of John the Baptist. So they thought to themselves, “How are Jesus’ disciples any better than the disciples of John the Baptist? The disciples of John the Baptist often fasted when they got together, but Jesus’ disciples did nothing but eat whenever they gathered together.” There were other occasions when Jesus’ disciples looked like gluttonous eaters. One time they broke the statues of Judaism by eating without washing their hands, and at another time, they even plucked the heads of grain and ate them while going through the grain fields on the Sabbath Day.
But Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Can the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast” (Mark 2:19). When you are invited to a wedding reception, the polite thing to do is to congratulate the newlywed couple and enjoy the reception. To fast at such a cordial reception would be deeply offensive to the host. But the Lord also said, “The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days” (Mark 2:20).
 
 
The Parable of Wineskins
 
The Lord then used a parable to explain what He meant by this, saying, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined” (Mark 2:22). What is the spiritual meaning of this parable? As we know very well, Jesus is speaking of the heart of someone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord had come to this earth to deliver all sinners living in this world from their sins. So He bore all the sins of the human race once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. As Jesus thus bore the sins of humanity, He had to be crucified to death. And by rising from the dead He became our Savior. In the days of Jesus Christ, many people did not believe in Him despite the fact that this Savior Jesus was standing right before their eyes. Even though they had to accept the righteousness of Jesus into their hearts, they were already filled with something else. In the age of the Old Testament, the Jewish people had waited all their lives for their Savior to come to this earth. But when this Savior had finally arrived, most Jews did not accept Him as their Savior.
Just as the Pharisees’ faith in the days of Jesus was flawed, so is the faith of today’s Christians. Jesus had already come to this earth over 2,000 years ago, and when He turned 30, He bore all the sins of the world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. He was then crucified to death, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become our Savior. Therefore, Jesus is no longer the Messiah to come, but He is the Savior who had already come to us and borne all our sins through His baptism. To recognize this Savior properly, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As the Lord has become our Savior, all of us ought to thank Him by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And we must spread this wonderful news to all who still remain ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When our Lord returns to this earth, we will all enter His Kingdom and enjoy His glory forever.
It’s been over 2,007 years since Jesus our Savior came to this earth for the first time. Having thus come to this earth, Jesus has delivered the entire human race from all its sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again. This is how Jesus has turned all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit into God’s own children. The Lord has saved us from all the sins of this world through this genuine gospel.
However, even though the Lord fulfilled our salvation nearly 2,000 years ago, many Christians still do not realize this. They are therefore leading a religious life in vain, and it saddens me deeply to see so many Christians going astray like this. Their faith is completely unfounded. When the Lord rebuked the Pharisees for their mistaken faith, He was also scolding today’s Christians who don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since these people don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they have not been washed from their sins, and they are instead trying in vain to cleanse away their sins by offering their own prayers of repentance. They are leading such a useless religious life trying to sanctify their souls by themselves. This is why the Lord is saying that their faith is wrong.
Jesus had come to this world 2,000 years ago, six months after John the Baptist. Jesus then bore all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, He was crucified to death while bearing all these sins; He rose from the dead again; and He has thereby saved us perfectly from all the sins of the world. The Lord has saved us from the condemnation of all our sins. Therefore, all of us ought to believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the Lord’s pleasure to be saved from all our sins and show our thanks to God. We must become such people of faith who glorify God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of God.
However, even though Jesus has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, there still are many people who don’t believe in this true gospel, and therefore we must preach this gospel even more diligently. Despite the fact our Lord had already come to this earth over 2,000 years ago by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, tragically, too many Christians are still fasting and praying in vain to wash away their sins by themselves. These people do not even realize what’s wrong with their faith. That’s why they are abusing their own bodies with fasting in a futile attempt to receive the remission of sins on their own. They are tormented because they are ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, trying to be washed from their sins through their own efforts. It is therefore all the more important for us to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to every Christian sinner. We have been preaching this genuine gospel all over the world for over a decade through our literature and Internet ministry. Although by no means complete, the gospel has been preached wide enough that whoever mourns over their sins and seeks the Truth of salvation should be able to find it without too much trouble. I am sure the Lord God would help such truth-seekers to find this genuine gospel. Today’s Christians therefore have no excuse to still remain unable to be born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They remain sinful only because they do not seek the Truth sincerely enough.
As we now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we believe that Jesus has saved us once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again. You and I sitting here now have already received salvation into our hearts by hearing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And there are also many others all over the world who believe in and follow the righteousness of Jesus. How are all these people leading their lives of faith? They are living out their faith with the unwavering conviction that Jesus bore all their sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist. And they believe that Jesus has given them new life by bearing the condemnation of their sins through His crucifixion and rising from the dead again. All who know the righteousness of Jesus are therefore overjoyed, and this joy should be shared by everyone professing to believe in Jesus.
The sad reality, however, is that many Christians still remain oblivious to Jesus’ righteousness. As these Christian sinners are ignorant of the righteousness of God, they are merely leading a religious life. Even now, such misguided Christians are still offering their own prayers of repentance to Jesus and asking Him to remit away their sins. While you should indeed repent before God, you should also realize that you can never be washed from your sins through your own prayers of repentance. That’s because God is just, and the Lord could save everyone’s life only by laying down His own precious life to pay off the wages of sin. Even though the Lord Jesus is God Himself, He could atone for the sins of the world only by obeying God’s just Law that says, “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
Therefore, your own prayers of repentance, which is nothing but empty words, can never wash away any of your sins. According to the Law of God, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). The gift of God, in contrast, is eternal life in our Lord. Your life cannot be saved by the sacrifice of another man’s life, but it can be saved only by the sacrifice of the far more precious life of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician” (Mark 2:17); it is to save sinners that the Lord had come to this earth. To call and deliver all sinners from the sins of the world, Jesus Himself bore each and every sin by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has hereby saved us all. Having thus delivered us from all the sins of the world, Jesus has made us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit God’s own children. And He has given us everlasting life. In short, the Lord has already fulfilled all our salvation completely and perfectly.
However, countless Christians are still trying to be remitted from their sins through their own efforts, confessing their mistaken faith and thoughtlessly singing, “♫Please call such a treacherous sinner as me also when You call the other sinners.” These misguided Christians are relying on their own devotion and piety to receive the remissions of sins from God; even at this very moment, countless Christians are fasting, praying all night long, and attending morning-prayer meetings, thinking that this would somehow remit away their sins. And this is precisely why they are all so wrong.
When you are invited to a wedding reception, it’s only a matter of course that you should congratulate the couple, wish them well, and enjoy the reception to share in their joy. It would be deeply offensive to the host if you otherwise refuse to eat anything at the reception, saying that you are fasting. If you refuse to eat or drink anything at the reception, then this can only mean that you have no idea why you are at the reception in the first place. You are not doing what you are there for, which is to congratulate the couple and share in their joy.
Likewise, we ought to share in the joy of God the Father with a thankful heart now that the wedding feast of His Son is at hand. If you really believe in Jesus as your Savior, then you must believe that He is the Son of God, and that He bore all your sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved you completely and perfectly. You must receive the remission of your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and you ought to thank God for this wonderful blessing. It is by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit that you should lead your life of faith. After all, Jesus has saved you from all your sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again.
 
 
The Problem with Today’s Christians
 
The problem with today’s Christians is that even though Jesus has fulfilled the Truth of salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are just not interested in finding out about this true gospel. Even worse, they are actually trying to blot out their sins through their own efforts; and imprisoned by their own emotional feelings, they are wailing and crying as though this would somehow save them. All of us were just like these misguided Christians in our past. We, too, had tried to wash away our sins through our own efforts instead of remembering that Jesus had saved us perfectly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Nothing could have been more tragic than this. After all, even though Jesus had come to call sinners and make them righteous, far from remembering this intention of our Lord, we were obsessed over our own sins and wailed over them. So what else could have been more wrong than this?
Jesus has saved us from all the sins of the world and made us righteous. All of us must therefore understand and believe in the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only then can we thank Jesus from the bottom of our hearts for His righteousness, and only then is our faith approved by Him. Jesus has blotted out all our sins and fulfilled the righteousness of God once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has eradicated all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again nearly 2,000 years ago.
Yet despite this, countless Christians are still condemning themselves for their sins, beating their chests over their sins even at this very moment. Why are they doing this? They are miserable because they do not know that the Lord has blotted out all their sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore they find their sins intolerable. But does Jesus want any of us to be miserable like this? Would He be pleased if we were to condemn ourselves and even kill ourselves over our sins? No, of course not! Jesus came to this earth in order to call all sinners and make them righteous through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Put differently, when we were destined to be condemned for our sins, Jesus saved us from all these sins and condemnation, thereby making it possible for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, all of us must answer this grace of our Lord with our faith. And our faith must be accompanied by a clear understanding of how Jesus bore all our sins through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, and how He bore the condemnation of all those sins with the blood He shed on the Cross.
This year is 2,020 AD, which means that it’s been 2,020 years since Jesus first came to this earth. Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself, and that is why He came to this earth as the Savior of mankind and blotted out all our sins once and for all with His baptism and His blood on the Cross. This means that the Lord has already blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit nearly 2,000 years ago. All Christians must therefore believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and throw away their religious hypocrisies. They must put an end to such useless religious hypocrisies such as fasting, offering prayers of repentance, and inflicting pain on themselves in a futile attempt to blot out their sins. They must realize that Jesus has blotted out all their sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and they must believe in this Truth in gratitude. Such faith is the right faith in God’s sight, and it is also the right way to answer God’s love. It would be very fortunate if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit even now, but if you are otherwise still devoting yourself to a legalistic religious life, then your faith is completely mistaken.
Once again, I admonish each and every Christian all over the world to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I admonish you like this because so many Christians throughout the world are trying to receive the remission of sins without the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you have led such a mistaken life of faith, then you must change your faith and believe in the genuine gospel even now. Jesus said in today’s Scripture passage that He had come to call people like Levi the tax collector. Such people are so lacking that they cannot help but commit sin, and it’s to save these people from the sins of the world and make them sinless that Jesus came to this earth. Given the fact that everyone in Israel looked down on tax collectors in Jesus’ days, do you think that Levi worked at the tax office because that’s what he wanted? No, Levi worked as a tax collector because he couldn’t find any other job, nor did he have any land to farm. And to enrich himself, he handed over just some of the collected taxes to the Roman Empire and pocketed the rest for himself. This could have happened to anyone. If the Pharisees were facing the same circumstances that Levi was facing and were working at the same job, then they would have done the same thing. We, too, could have easily become just like Levi if we were born in his days and faced his circumstances. It’s precisely to save such people from all the sins of the world that the Lord came to this earth. And He has indeed saved all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All of us should therefore believe in this genuine gospel and thank God all the more for it. And trusting in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must be faithful to God.
Too many Christians in this world are leading a religious life rather than the life of faith, trusting in their own denominational doctrines alone. Each and every one of them must cast aside such religious beliefs. They must stop loving the Lord blindly on their own without being loved in return, and they must throw away such religious hypocrisies. It’s your own loss to love God one-sidedly. True love is one that is reciprocated. Your love of God is made perfect only when it is answered by God. When you confess your love to God, you ought to hear Him saying to you, “I have indeed blotted out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I, too, love you.”
Love is imperfect when it is unacknowledged and unrequited. If it’s through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord loves us, then we ought to realize this and love Him in return. It’s wrong for us to love the Lord blindly without really understanding His love for us in the first place. For us to truly love God, we must realize first that our Lord has saved all of us perfectly from all our sins through His baptism, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection. Our Lord has blotted out all our sins once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He has already remitted away all our sins through this true gospel. The Lord is saying to us, “I have already blotted out all your sins long ago with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Do not fear, but just trust in My righteousness, for I am your Savior. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You can now all enter Heaven by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit. I am your Savior who has blotted out and remitted away all your sins. I have eradicated all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And I have given you everlasting life.” My fellow believers, when we profess to believe in Jesus the Son of God as our Savior, we must believe that our Lord has already blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is what it means to be born again of water and the Spirit (John 3:5), and to have this faith is to love the righteousness of Christ. All of us must love the Lord truthfully, and this is done only when we believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
 
 
For Today’s Christians to Love God Truthfully, They Must Believe in His Righteousness First
 
It is in the love of the righteousness of God that we ought to believe in as our salvation and love God. That is because it is not we who loved God first, but it is God Himself who loved us first through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, when we believe in God, all of us must realize and trust in this love that God has bestowed on us in the first place.
The Pharisees thought highly of the disciples of John the Baptist for their fasting and piety. However, Jesus told them that He had borne all their sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, and He told them to believe in this Truth. He was saying to them, “I am the Host of the feast, and everyone attending this feast should rightfully share in My joy. I’ve come to this earth to blot out all your sins. Now that I’ve been baptized by John the Baptist, I will eradicate all your sins by dying on the Cross. You should believe in this Truth and be joyous. I accepted all your sins by being baptized by John the Baptist, and soon, I will be crucified to death, rise from the dead again, and thereby blot out all your sins.” Put differently, the Lord is saying to us, “I have blotted out all your sins completely by bearing them once and for all and being condemned in your place for your sake. So I have delivered you from every sin; all who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and I have made them perfect. I am therefore the Host of the heavenly feast of salvation. How can you then be sad when you are with Me? Is it right for you to be sad even though you are with Me, your perfect Savior? No, of course not! Cast away your religious life of the past. Even though you had fallen into the sins of Jeroboam, I have saved you once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although no man can save you, I have saved you perfectly through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Like a paralytic man, you cannot do anything by yourself, but I have blotted out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is why I said to the paralytic, ‘Son, you have received the remission of your sins. Arise, take up your bed, and walk!’”
Therefore, whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has been remitted from all his sins and has become a new creature. In other words, a spiritual paralytic has stood up, taken up his bed, and walked. Jesus has such power to remit away and blot out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit because He is God Himself. The Lord had actually accepted all your sins and mine once and for all when He was baptized by John the Baptist. And He was condemned for all our sins by being crucified to death. He then rose from the dead again and thereby became our true Savior. It’s absolutely imperative for every Christian all around the world to believe that each and every sin has been blotted out by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The Lord said here in today’s Scripture passage, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse” (Mark 2:21). The clothes that you are now wearing will be so worn out in ten or twenty years that they will get ripped apart at the slightest pull. What will then happen to these old garments if you sew new fabric on them? Far from fixing your old garments, you will only make the tear worse, as the seam will not hold such worn-out clothes. That is why the Lord said that new wine should be put in new wineskins.
This implies that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the new and heavenly Truth that blots out the sins of mankind. Until the Lord revealed Himself on this earth, the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices according to the Law of the Old Testament. Every year, to blot out the Israelites’ yearly sins, the High Priest had to lay his hands on a sacrificial animal, put it to death, draw its blood, put some of this blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour the rest on the ground. Such old sacrifices were different from the everlasting sacrifice that Jesus offered in the age of the New Testament. Now, the Lord Himself had come to this earth, and this Son of God personally bore all our sins on His body by being baptized, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again, thereby becoming our perfect Savior. This is a new teaching descending from the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Truth of a new gospel. A new Truth of salvation has been sent to this earth.
Instead of the Old Testament’s High Priest, Jesus Himself came to this earth as the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven and personally bore all our sins on His own body once and for all by being baptized. He then gave up His body on the Cross to shed His blood to death, rose from the dead again, and has thereby perfectly saved all of us who believe in this Truth from all our sins. As a result, we were able to learn a new teaching in our hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By this way of salvation that the Lord has given us, He has delivered all of us who believe in this genuine gospel. Therefore, it is through our faith in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have reached our salvation.
How about you then? Have you been saved from all your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? It is indeed through our faith in the Lord’s righteous work of salvation that we have been saved from all our sins. If you are otherwise not interested in what the Lord has done for you, and instead say that you believe in the Lord as your Savior just according to your own fleshly thoughts, then you are greatly mistaken. No one should believe in Jesus like this. Nor should anyone regard the righteousness of the Lord so lightly. You should remember what the Lord said here in today’s Scripture passage, that new wine should be put in new wineskins.
What would happen if you were to put new wine into old wineskins? It might be ok if you put just a little wine, but if you fill up the old wineskins, they will begin to break under the pressure and the wine will seep through the cracks. Even worse, if the wineskins are torn, all the wine will be spilled on the ground and the wineskins will also be ruined. This parable teaches us that we should never mix the righteousness of Jesus Christ with our own fleshly thoughts. In other words, the Lord is saying to us here that when it comes to believing in Jesus as our Savior, we should not believe in a legalistic way.
 
 
We Must Realize That No Legalistic Faith Can Ever Make Us Perfect
 
All of us must grasp here that our salvation from sin is never reached through any legalistic faith, nor is it reached through our own good works. True salvation is received only when we believe that the Lord has saved us and perfected us once and for all by coming to this earth, being baptized by John the Baptist, and shedding His blood to death. Only then can we reach our perfect salvation. Put differently, only when we accept the righteousness of God and His love by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can we receive true salvation. It is through this gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has saved us from all our sins, and it is through our faith in this genuine gospel that we are saved. All of us must therefore believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to receive everlasting life. Salvation is reached only by believing in this new Truth—that is, by placing all our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is also by trusting in such a gospel that all of us ought to live out our faith.
Of course, there is no question that we all commit sin constantly in our lives. But even our personal sins are not washed away by offering our own prayers of repentance; rather, it is by believing in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are cleansed from all our personal sins. If we find ourselves sinning again afterwards, then the right thing to do is to confess such sins to God. Confessing our sins here literally means admitting to God the sins that we have committed. At the same time, we must believe that with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our Lord has already blotted out even the sins we commit after being born again, and we must look toward the Lord by this faith. Where should we set our sight in our lives of faith? We should look toward the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord has fulfilled for us. In other words, our sight should be set on the fact that the Lord bore all our sins once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become our Savior. This is what all of us must believe.
In the days of the Old Testament, when the people of Israel were bitten by fiery serpents and dying in the wilderness for blaming God, the Lord God told Moses to hang a bronze serpent on a pole and make the Israelites look up at the bronze serpent by faith. So Moses made a serpent out of bronze and set it high on a pole according to God’s instruction. God had told the people of Israel that whoever looked at the bronze serpent would live. And just as God had said so, everyone who looked at the bronze serpent on the pole by faith was saved.
Even though Satan had deceived us and accused us of sinfulness, when our Lord came to this earth, He blotted out once and for all, with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, each and every sin that evil Satan had blown into us. By being baptized by John the Baptist on this earth, our Lord bore all the sins that we have committed out of our weaknesses, both in our acts and hearts, and He was hung high on the Cross to shed His blood to death. In this way, our Lord washed away all our sins and bore all the condemnation of our sins once and for all. That is why whoever looked at the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believed in it could be saved. Therefore, all who look at the gospel of the water and the Spirit can now receive the remission of sins and enjoy everlasting life.
Even at this very moment, anyone who looks at the righteousness of God and believes in it can be delivered from all his sins no matter how many sins he might have committed. It doesn’t matter what kind of sin you might have committed. Regardless of how vile and wicked your sins are, the Lord has blotted them all out with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Nor does it matter who the sinner is, for the Lord has blotted out everyone’s sins, from Buddhist monks to mass murderers and even war criminals like Adolf Hitler. You could be a homosexual, a drug user, or even a serial killer, but this does not change the fact that all your sins have been eradicated by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the only reason why anyone’s heart still remains sinful is because this person does not know the righteousness of Jesus. From God the Father’s point of view, all sins have disappeared, for Jesus bore everyone’s sins through His baptism and He was condemned for them by shedding His blood on the Cross. Therefore, if you admit your sins to God and look at the Lord’s righteousness by faith, you will be able to discover that the Lord has already blotted out all your sins completely and perfectly. If you accept by faith that the Lord has saved you through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then you can indeed reach your salvation through this faith. Your salvation is received only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Having already come to this earth, the Lord has saved you once and for all through this genuine gospel. Therefore, it is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that you can be saved from all your sins, thank God for this salvation by faith, become His worker by faith, preach this gospel of Heaven by faith, and live a righteous life by faith until you actually enter the Kingdom of God to enjoy everlasting life.
Faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit alone is what makes it possible for us to reach our salvation. Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Lord had already saved us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit from all our sins. We are now living in such a blessed age of grace.
Despite this, however, too many people are still practicing religious hypocrisy and leading legalistic lives of faith. Such religious Christians must cast away their mistaken faith. They must throw away their religious lives that they have been leading like the Pharisees. All Christians across the whole wide world must now cast away their religious lives and return to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. None other than your religious life is the old wineskins.
Jesus is the Savior of all humanity. Although He is the Son of God, He is also God Himself. Jesus is God Himself who created the universe and everything in it. This God had become a Man and had come to this earth. He was then baptized to bear all the sins of mankind, crucified to death to pay off all their wages, and resurrected from the dead to save us all. This is how the Lord has saved us, and this is what all of us should believe.
Everyone else all over the world must also believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, the one and only gospel of salvation that the Bible speaks of. What God is teaching us from the beginning through the Scriptures is none other than this gospel of the water and the Spirit. All of us should therefore believe in this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and thus prepare our faith to live in the dominion of Jesus Christ. It’s also by trusting in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we should prepare our deliverance from all the disasters that will come to this world. All of us must prepare to receive the returning Lord by trusting in this genuine gospel.
The Second Coming of the Lord is not too distant. Everyone in this world must therefore believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be delivered from sin and prepare for the next world. Whoever does not prepare this faith will be destroyed in both body and spirit. Every Christian all over the world must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and ready himself for Jesus’ return. I know very well that you are all struggling immensely with so much work to do. But our spiritual battle has just begun. We will continue to carry on with our literature ministry and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all the nations throughout the whole wide world. Countless people will then read our gospel books and be delivered from all their sins as a result. These new believers, in turn, will preach the gospel to their fellow countrymen, and we will nurture them and support them every step of the way until the gospel is preached to everyone all over the earth. This is how we ought to prepare the way for the Lord’s return. There isn’t much time left for us to carry out this work, for the Lord’s return is imminent.
Soon, we will finish spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit completely. Many coworkers are arising all over the world, and even more will arise in the future. You may think that this gospel work is proceeding slowly, but that is a mistaken notion. In reality, it is being achieved very fast. The day of the Lord’s return is actually nearing us. In the not too distant future, we will no longer be able to preach this gospel. Therefore, all the Christians in this world must throw away their religious faiths as soon as possible, believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit instead, and return into the arms of God. There still is much that must be preached to them. The Lord will work with us to ensure that our gospel ministry is fulfilled.
So many Christians all around the world have gone astray. The majority of them are still practicing Christianity only as a matter of religion. Even now, many of them believe in the doctrine of transubstantiation, thinking that when they participate in Holy Communion, they are literally eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking His blood. They believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are actually changed into the flesh and blood of Jesus when they have them, and that they can therefore receive everlasting life.
Recently, someone living in Busan, Korea sent me an email saying that he had received the remission of sins as a result of reading one of our books. In the email he also raised the issue of transubstantiation, asking me about what was wrong with this doctrine believed by certain churches. Pointing out how some Christians think that they are literally having the flesh and blood of Jesus to enjoy everlasting life when they participate in the Eucharist, he asked me if I had addressed this issue in any of my sermon books. So I recommended to him to read my book on the Gospel of John.
No one is saved from sin just because he or she participates in the sacrament of Holy Communion and believes in it. It’s true that Jesus said in John chapter 6 that whoever eats His flesh and drinks His blood will have everlasting life. But what is the real meaning of the flesh of Jesus? Spiritually speaking, the flesh of Jesus means that Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man and bore all the sins of the world on His own body by being baptized by John the Baptist. To drink the blood of Jesus, on the other hand, is to believe in the blood that our Lord shed on the Cross. Our salvation is therefore reached by believing in both the baptism of Jesus and His blood, as well as in His resurrection. In other words, we are saved by believing in the gospel ministry of the water and the Spirit that the Lord carried out on this earth. Salvation is reached only when one believes in Jesus’ incarnation on this earth, His baptism, His crucifixion, and His resurrection; and to have this faith is to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood. Therefore, when the Bible says that we must eat the flesh of Jesus, it means that we must believe that the Lord bore all our sins once and for all on His own body. Put differently, to eat the flesh of Jesus is to believe that all our sins were passed onto His body through His baptism. Accordingly, we believe that Jesus shouldered all our sins on His own body and bore all the condemnation of these sins on the Cross. That is why Jesus said, “My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55).
It is Jesus Christ who has saved us from all our sins, and our salvation is found in His baptism and His blood on the Cross. It is by believing in Jesus that we have reached our salvation. Soon, countless Christians of every tribe and color will also receive the true remission of sins, Catholics and Protestants alike.
Christianity today is in serious decline and losing its influence all around the world. But now, those who hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit through us and are saved by faith will testify this true gospel along with us. Just as Jesus’ disciples in the age of the Early Church had preached the gospel everywhere, so will these new believers also bear witness of the gospel in this present age. I am sure of this.
All the people in this world must now cast away their religious faith. They must return to the righteousness of God and believe in this righteousness. They must realize just how much God loves them and how He has the power to remit away all their sins. They must know that Jesus Christ is God Himself and the Savior of all humanity. And they must realize that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, crucified to death, and resurrected from the dead to become their Savior. It’s by realizing and believing in this Truth that everyone can receive the remission of sins and everlasting life.
Just as we give all thanks to God for giving us such wonderful blessings, we also hope and pray that God will make the gospel of the water and the Spirit known to all and make everyone believe in this true gospel.