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Subject 3 : The Gospel of the Water and the Spirit

[3-26] What Is the Original Meaning of Being Born Again? (John 3:1-15)

What Is the Original Meaning of Being Born Again?
(John 3:1-15)
“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus answered and said to Him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.’”
 


What Is the Biblical Meaning of Being Born Again?

 
There are many people in this world trying to be born again by believing in Jesus. But let me make it clear here first that being born again spoken of in the Bible does not depend on one’s work. Many Christians have a misconceived notion of what it means to be saved and born again. These misguided Christians think that there are certain requirements that they must meet on their own to be born again. For instance, some of them think that to be born again, they have to spend their entire lifetime to plant as many churches as possible; others think that they have to go abroad as missionaries and devote their lives to lead other nations to believe in Jesus Christ; and still others think that they would be born again if they dedicate their lives to God’s work without even getting married. There are countless Christians who think like this nowadays.
The examples I gave here just scratch at the surface. Ordinary Christians with such thoughts devote their lives to their own churches, offering their material possessions and doing all kinds of volunteer works. So they think to themselves, “If I work so hard like this for God, He will reward me with the crown of everlasting life. He will bless me so that I can be born again of water and the Spirit.” There are many laypeople who actually think like this and work hard on their own to be born again. 
There are other examples of useless beliefs held by today’s Christians, but what is common is that all of them are trying hard to be born again through their own effort. Some Christians devote their lives to certain mission organizations and dedicate their time and effort to the cause, thinking, “If I serve the Lord like this, sooner or later He will bless me to be born again.” Some spend their entire lifetime in a prayer retreat volunteering their services, some serve in a rehab center, and some serve in a school. Although many Christians labor for Jesus in various shapes and forms like this, sadly, there aren’t that many people that actually know the Truth of being born again. Such Christians who rely on all these virtuous acts of their own think that if they put in enough effort, they would somehow be born again. Naturally, this is the reason why they labor so hard in many ways, thinking that their own hard work would be the basis for them to be born again. 
These misguided Christians think that God would eventually allow them to be born again like John Wesley. Many of them have misinterpreted John 3:8, which says, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” So they think that no one actually knows when he is born again of water and the Spirit, and that if they believe in Jesus and serve Him diligently enough, sooner or later God would allow them to be born again of water and the Spirit. There also are many Christians who just think vaguely in their mistaken belief, “If I serve the Lord diligently, I’ll be born again also. I’ll be born again eventually without even realizing it myself. I’ll then work for God as a born-again believer, and go to His Kingdom eventually.” 
But believing like this is not how one is born again. Just because you stop drinking, quit smoking, become a good man, and attend your church faithfully, in no way does this mean that you would somehow be born again. Just as our Lord said in today’s Scripture passage, one is truly born again only if he is “born again of water and the Spirit,” and the precondition for this regeneration is the water and the Spirit. 
Anything else other than faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is useless. Even though many Christians offer their money and effort to the Lord and work hard in sweat to emulate Him, this is not the faith that enables them to be truly born again. How can anyone be born again through gold, devotion, or even martyrdom? Yet too many Christians think this is possible. Many of them think that being born again is something that no one can notice, and therefore one is allowed to be born again by God without even realizing it. They think like this because it’s comforting to them. However, when one is truly born again, he is fully aware of it and those around him also notice it. 
Although there are no physical signs to show that one is born again, it is clearly visible in spiritual terms. One is truly born again by believing in God’s Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit. This is realized once one is born again. However, like Nicodemus, those who are not born again cannot grasp this. That is why you must listen to Jesus’ Word of the atonement of sins, the Word that enables you to be born again. The baptism and blood of Jesus constitute the remission of sins that enables everyone to be born again, and once you listen to this Word of God, learn and believe in it, the Word of God will indeed enable you to be born again. Therefore, it is critically important for you to listen to this Word of God that makes it possible for you to be born again.
Jesus said in today’s Scripture passage, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” When someone who is not born again read this passage in John chapter 3, he interprets it on his own to comfort himself, thinking, “Well, as the Bible says here, no one notices when one is born again. No one but God knows this.” But this is not the case. Among those born again by believing in the gospel Word of Truth, there are some who don’t fully realize this. This is quite possible. But in their hearts there is the Word of the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, that is, the gospel of atonement for the sins of mankind. Those who are truly born again have no sin in their hearts. Instead, the Word of the baptism and blood of Jesus is in their hearts. This is the Word of witness testifying that these people have indeed been born again. Having heard the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they’ve come to realize that they have no more sin and that they have now been saved. And such people who believe in God’s Word of the baptism and blood of Jesus, the gospel of the remission of sins proclaiming that Jesus has blotted out all their sins with the water and the Spirit, are made God’s own people and turned into righteous people. 
However, when today’s Christians are asked if they have been born again, many of them say that they have not, but when they are asked if they have been saved, they contradict themselves by answering that they have been saved. When asked if they have been regenerated, they say that they have, but when asked if they have been born again, they again say that they have not. Many of them think that being born again means that their lives are changed outwardly, but that is not what it means to be born again. So these Christians do not understand the gospel Word of the remission of sins, the gospel of salvation that calls everyone to be born again of water and the Spirit. 
Like this, many Christians profess to believe in Jesus without even realizing the meaning of the Word saying that everyone must be born again. It’s such an absurd and shameful faith. Yet the reality of today’s Christianity is that this kind of faith is prevalent not only among lay believers but even among ministers. Such a belief saddens the born-again. So how much more heartbreak would this kind of faith cause to Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit? Let us then all be truly born again by believing in the Word of the baptism of Jesus and His blood that has brought the remission of sins to all mankind. 
That one has been born again, regenerated, or saved means the same thing. In fact, regeneration means renewal, and this means being born again as a new person. That one has been saved means that although this person had been sinful before, all his sins have now been blotted out by wholeheartedly believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus, which constitute the remission of sins; and the Bible says that every heart that believes in this Word of the baptism and blood of Jesus is born again. That one is born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of God, means that this person is made a righteous person, whose soul now has nothing to do with sin anymore. 
Like this, these three phrases—“being regenerated,” “becoming righteous,” and “being born again”—mean the same thing. The words are different but they all mean the same thing. Yet despite this, many Christians nowadays do not know the meaning of these Words of the Bible. That one has been born again means that even though this person’s heart had been sinful, by hearing and believing in Jesus’ gospel of the water and the Spirit, he has now been completely freed from all his sins to be born again, regenerated, and become a new, righteous person. That one has been regenerated means that he has been transformed into a new person from his old self as a sinner, and that he has become God’s own child by believing in the saving Word of the water and the Spirit. This is what it means to be regenerated. That one has been born again means that one has put on the baptism of Jesus, died with Jesus along with his sins, and has been revived again. This entails the faith to believe that even though one had been a sinner before, he has now become a righteous person by hearing and believing in the Word of the baptism and blood of Jesus. Put differently, this person had been a sinner when he was born from his mother’s womb, but now he has been born again to be transformed into a righteous person from a sinner by hearing Jesus’ Word of the water and the Spirit and believing in this gospel of the remission of sins that enables everyone to be born again through the baptism of Jesus and His blood. This person may look the same as anyone else in his outside appearance, but his inner being has been born again through the Word of the baptism and blood of Jesus. This is what it really means to be born again. 
Yet only an extremely few people realize this. It’s lucky if one in 10,000 Christians has a full understanding of what it means to be born again. Do you believe me when I say that not even one in 10,000 Christians has been born again? Anyone who really knows and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can discern clearly whether one has been born again or not. You can also do this, as long as you have been born again through Jesus’ Word of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
It’s the Lord Who Rules over the Wind
 
The Lord said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” When the Lord said this, He was speaking of the sinners who had not been born again. In other words, although every born-again person knows what it means to be born again, Nicodemus did not know this, just as he did not know where the wind came from and where it went. God knows each and every one of the born-again. And every born-again person also knows what is meant by being born again. In contrast, those who are not born again do not know what it really means to be born again by God’s grace, just as they do not know where the wind comes from and where it goes. 
Who moves the wind? It’s God. Who stirs up the wind? It’s God. Who is the Master of the universe that stirs up the wind in the earth’s atmosphere, forms low and high pressure systems, changes the direction of the wind and the flow of the water, enlivens all things, and fills every creature with vibrant life? It’s none other than Jesus. And Jesus is God Himself.
However, unless you know the gospel Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit, the Word of salvation that Jesus has given you, then you cannot teach anyone else, either. Because our Lord has said that one is born again only “of water and the Spirit,” for us to be born again, we must believe in this gospel of salvation found in the baptism and blood of Jesus, and in the written Word of God. The gospel of the water and the Spirit has the amazing power to make it possible for everyone to be born again. 
The Holy Spirit is “Pneuma” in Greek, originating from a Greek verb “pneho,” which means “to breathe or to blow the wind.” The Holy Spirit enters only the hearts of those who believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus. When Jesus was baptized to make atonement for all the sins of mankind, He took away all the sins of the world, and to be condemned in our place for our sins, He shed His blood on the Cross, thus fulfilling the salvation that enables everyone to be born again. It’s into the hearts of those who believe in this Word that the Holy Spirit enters. This is the salvation of being born again sealed by the Holy Spirit, and those whose sins were actually shouldered by Jesus are born again. 
Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” It’s written here that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. This means that the Spirit of God was hovering above the earth’s surface. The passage implies that God’s Spirit cannot come into the heart of anyone who has sin. Those who are yet to be born again have a confused heart, they have sin inside them, and therefore they have darkness in them. For that reason, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in any sinner’s heart. God therefore illuminated this confused and empty heart of mankind with the gospel light of His Word, which makes it possible for everyone to be born again. When God said to let there be light, there was light, and only then could God the Holy Spirit coexist with man inside him. So the born-again people who believe in Jesus’ gospel Word of the water and the Spirit have the Holy Spirit in their hearts. That’s how they were born again. They were born again by hearing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, that is, the Word of salvation Jesus has given them. 
How is one born again? To address this issue, our Lord said to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, “One must be born again of water and the Spirit.” Nicodemus then asked Him, “Exactly how is one born again of water and the Spirit? Must he go into the womb of his mother again?” Having understood nothing else, Nicodemus took it literally when Jesus told him about being born again, and that’s why he asked Him if one must enter into his mother’s womb again. Jesus then said to him, “Do you not know this even as you are a teacher of Israel?” So Jesus said to Nicodemus that unless one was born again, he could neither see the Kingdom of God nor enter it. Step by step, Jesus then explained to Nicodemus the Pharisee the Truth of being born again. 
The reality today is that there are many Christians in this world who have not been born again even as they believe in Jesus. Such nominal Christians are found in large numbers even among the men of the cloth. They are all just like Nicodemus the Pharisee here. Nicodemus was akin to a Christian leader in today’s parlance, such as a bishop or moderator of a synod or a denomination. And in secular terms, he was a political leader, akin to today’s member of parliament. Moreover, in religious terms, he was a Judaic rabbi (teacher). He was a religious leader of Judaism who believed in God. He was a highly erudite man in terms of both secular and theological knowledge. In those days, Israel did not have a separate school system; instead, everyone was educated in a local synagogue. Whoever was the most learned man in the local community taught at the synagogue, and as such a man, Nicodemus was one of Israel’s most renowned teachers. However, despite his great fame, Nicodemus hadn’t even heard about being born again. In short, he was a false teacher. Like this, in this present age also, there are many false Christian leaders. Such false leaders have not been born again themselves, and yet they still teach their congregations who, just like them, have not been born again either. 
There indeed are so many Christian theologians, teachers, deacons, elders, ministers, pastors, and bishops in this world who, just like Nicodemus, have not been born again. These people do not know how one is born again by believing in Jesus. Like Nicodemus, many of them think that one has to enter the womb of his mother for a second time to be born again. They know clearly that they themselves must be born again, but they are ignorant of the Word of God and do not know by what Word of Jesus they are born again. Because such pastors are so clueless, they only talk about the worldly things that they can feel and sense in their sermons, just like a blind man trying to figure out an elephant by touching it. That’s why there are so many Christians who still have not been born again. 
It is not by your own acts, by doing something on your own, that you are born again before God. Rather, you are born again because of God, because He has made it possible for you to be born again as a righteous person from a sinner through the gospel Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” Many people do not believe that the baptism of Jesus constitutes the Truth that remits away the wages of their sins. What is it that they do not believe? They don’t believe in the gospel of the atonement of sins through which Jesus has enabled us to be born again of water and the Spirit. Those who are not born again do not believe even when they are told about earthly things, and so how will they believe when the born-again tell them about the heavenly work of being born again? That’s what Jesus meant when He said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” To blot out every sinner’s sins and wash them all away, Jesus Himself was baptized by John the Baptist on His body, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby made it possible for all sinners to be born again. So Jesus is asking sinners, “I have saved you through the water and the Spirit, but will you believe in Me if I tell you these heavenly things?”
Our Lord then used the Old Testament to explain Himself to Nicodemus and said to him, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus said here that just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness, so did the Son of Man also have to be lifted up, so that whoever believed in Him would have eternal life. 
What exactly did our Lord mean when He said here, “As Moses lifted up the serpent, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”? Our Lord drew from the Old Testament to explain the God-given Word of atonement of sins, the Word of salvation fulfilled by our Lord through His baptism and blood. For our Lord to be crucified to death—that is, to be lifted up from the earth—He first had to accept all the sins of all the sinners of the world through the baptism He received from John the Baptist. As Jesus was fundamentally sinless, He could never be hung on the accursed Cross. For our Lord to be crucified and make atonement for all the sins of each and every sinner in the world, He had to be baptized first. So, for the atonement of all the sins of mankind, Jesus accepted them all through His baptism, and to be cursed for all these sins of the world, He was crucified and shed His blood to death. Only then could He save every sinner from every sin. In this way, Jesus has brought salvation to all sinners so that they would be born again of water and the Spirit. 
Nicodemus was well versed in the Old Testament. When Jesus told him, “Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life,” He was telling him the Truth of being born again, that having accepted all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, He would save all sinners from the sins of the world by being nailed to the Cross. In other words, this was the Word of God saying that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and the Savior, that He would die on the Cross because of His baptism, and that whoever believed in Jesus as his Savior would put on His baptism and therefore die with Christ and be brought back to life with Christ. Later on, Nicodemus eventually came to understand the meaning of this Word.
 

As the Bronze Serpent Was Lifted Up on the Pole
 
Do you remember from the Old Testament how Moses once put a bronze serpent on a pole in the wilderness? Numbers chapter 21 records that when the people of Israel were walking through the wilderness after leaving Egypt, they became very discouraged by the harsh conditions they faced. So they blamed their leader Moses and God, and for this sin God sent fiery serpents to them and poured out His wrath on them. The fiery serpents bit the Israelites all over the wilderness camp, and it didn’t take long before many of them began to die foaming at their mouths with their bodies all swollen up. 
However, when Moses saw his people dying in pain from the serpents’ bite, he prayed to God as their leader, saying, “Lord, please save this people.” God then told Moses to make a bronze serpent and set it high on a pole, and to shout out to the people that whoever looked at the bronze serpent on the pole would live. Moses then told the people of Israel what God had said to him. For the Israelites who believed in their leader Moses’ words and looked at the bronze serpent, the fiery serpents’ venom was removed from them. This implies that as man was bitten by Satan, the venom of sin must be removed from him. When the people of Israel believed in Moses’ words and looked at the bronze serpent on the pole, they were saved. 
That Moses set the bronze serpent high on the pole implies the Truth that although Satan stirred up every human being to commit sin and blame God for this, our Lord bore all the curses of all the sinners by being baptized, and He made atonement for all these sins and ended every curse by being crucified to death. Bitten by the old serpent of Satan, all of us humans were destined be put to death and cursed, but to save such people like us and make atonement for all the sins of everyone in this world, the Lord bore all the sins of every sinner by being baptized, was crucified to death, rose from the dead gain, and thereby delivered all His believers. 
In the Old Testament’s account of the bronze serpent that we just saw, whoever looked at the bronze serpent on the pole was saved. Likewise, now in this present age of the New Testament, as Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified to make atonement for the sins of the world, God has given the blessing of being born again to whoever believes in Christ as his Savior and in His baptism and blood as his salvation. The Lord has made atonement for all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River and thus bearing all the sins personally, and by being crucified and shedding His blood on the Cross. He has thereby saved everyone who wholeheartedly believes in His water and blood as his salvation. 
Jesus said, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” Our Lord has opened the gates of Heaven by being baptized and shedding His blood to pay off the wages of sins. It’s written, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). As our Lord took upon all the sins of mankind by being baptized and opened the heavenly gates of salvation by being crucified, He has delivered from all sins everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior. He has paid off the wages of sin personally so that whoever believes in the Truth of the water, the blood, and the Spirit would enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has saved mankind. Therefore, that one has been born again means that this person has faith in the baptism of Jesus, His blood, and His divinity. 
What did Jesus mean when He said here, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”? Was there any reason at all for our Lord to be crucified? Had He committed sin like us? Was He weak like us? Did He have any shortcomings like us? No, of course not. Then why did our Lord have to be hung on the accursed tree of the Cross? It was to make atonement for all the sins of the world, yours and mine alike, and to save and deliver all who believe in Jesus from all sins by being baptized and shedding His blood on the Cross. 
Jesus Christ has saved all of us who believe in His water and blood as our salvation from sin. Because the Lord bore all your sins and mine personally by being baptized in the Jordan River, He was able to be crucified to the accursed tree of the Cross; and as He shouldered all the sins of the world through His baptism, carried them to the Cross, and was crucified to shed His blood on the Cross, He has saved us all. So this is the Word of the remission of sins that has enabled us to be born again into new life as those who believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood as our salvation and the atonement of our sins. 
The Bible says clearly that one is born again when he believes in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. It is by believing in God’s written Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit—that is, in the gospel of the atonement of sins—that we become God’s own children. In the Bible, the water here refers to the baptism of Jesus (1 Peter 3:21) and the Spirit means that Jesus is God Himself, and this is the Word by which one is born again, proclaiming that Jesus has saved all sinners by coming to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, accepting all the sins of the human race by being baptized by John the Baptist, and shedding His blood on the Cross, all to achieve the spiritual salvation of humanity and the atonement of its sins. As the body of Jesus Christ was baptized and bore all the punishment of the sins of mankind on the Cross, Jesus Christ has saved all His believers from all the sins of the world. We must believe that the Lord’s baptism and blood constitute the salvation of all sinners and the remission of all sins. That is what Jesus meant when He said that only those who are born again of water and the Spirit can see and enter the Kingdom of God. Our Lord has saved you and me through the water of His baptism, His blood, and the Spirit. Do you believe in this? 
Our Lord is the “High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven,” and to make atonement for the sins of the human race in this world, the heavenly High Priest was baptized on this earth, shed His blood to death on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved all who believe in Christ truthfully. He has thus become the Savior of all His believers. 
The Lord said in John chapter 10, “I am the door of the sheep.” The Lord is standing at the gates of Heaven. Who opens these gates of Heaven? It’s our Lord who opens them. For the sake of all who believe in Him, the Lord was baptized on this earth, shed His blood, and rose from the dead again. He has saved from all sins whoever believes wholeheartedly in His work of salvation. And He has opened the gates of Heaven for all who believe in the salvation of His water and blood to step inside. However, He has turned His face away from the sinners who, despite professing to believe in Jesus, do not know exactly how He has blotted out all their sins, and whose faith is therefore mistaken. Such misguided Christians have not been born again as they do not believe in His baptism, His blood, and the Spirit; they do not believe in Jesus according to the Word; and they deny His divinity and refuse to accept that Jesus is God Himself. The Lord has turned His back to such people. And the Lord has condemned to destruction all who deny the written Word of God and His grace of salvation—that is, those who deny that Jesus has made atonement for all the sins of humanity by being baptized and shedding His blood when He came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, that He rose from the dead again in three days, and that He then ascended to Heaven. In short, whoever does not believe in this Jesus as his Savior is destined to perish, for the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.” 
In contrast, those whose hearts have become sinless by believing in the salvation brought by the Lord—that is, those who believe that Jesus came to this earth and made atonement for all their sins by being baptized and dying in their place—have been blessed by the Lord to enter Heaven. This gospel of the atonement of sins that has made it possible for all to be born again is none other than the gospel declaring that Jesus has come by the water, the blood, and the Spirit. The gospel of the water and the blood is the true gospel that enables you to be born again. 
Just as the people of Israel were saved from certain death when they looked at the bronze serpent set high on the pole in the wilderness, when our Lord came to this earth, He was baptized by John the Baptist and lifted up high on the Cross for the remission of sins, and He bore all the punishment and condemnation of each and every sin of mankind by shedding His own blood for us. Jesus Christ has thereby made it possible for everyone to be saved by believing in this salvation brought to the entire human race. It is through the gospel of the atonement of sins that one is born again. This gospel of Truth is the true way of salvation to you and me, and the deliverance of the human race. Do you believe in this? When Jesus said that one must be born again of water and the Spirit, He was speaking of such a heavenly gospel of regeneration. That one is born again, regenerated, renewed, saved, and made sinless means that this person believes in none other than the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. Whoever believes in this gospel of the water, the blood, and the Spirit has no sin. It’s precisely such people who have been born again. 
However, the sad reality today is that virtually everyone in this world, including almost all Christians, does not realize this fact just as Nicodemus did not know it at first. In worldly terms, Nicodemus was a great man. He was a member of the Sanhedrin. Here in John 3:1-15, the Bible records the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus. Later on, when Jesus was crucified to death, the same Nicodemus came to bury Jesus’ body. He went to Pilate and asked him for Jesus’ body, so that he could give Him a proper funeral, and he buried Him in the cave-tomb that Joseph of Arimathea had prepared for himself. 
Through His water baptism, His blood on the Cross, His death suffered to pay off the wages of sins, and His resurrection, our Lord Jesus has given us the true gospel that enables us to be born again by faith. However, there are so few Christians that know this Truth of being born again across all church offices that perhaps just one in 1,000, or even one in 10,000, knows this. Too many people in this present age do not know the Truth of the water of Jesus and the Spirit. It’s such a heartbreaking tragedy. Jesus has blessed us to be born again, and He has also made it possible for everyone in this world to be born again. What is it that we believe, that the Lord has blessed us to be born again? We believe in the water, the blood, and the Spirit—that is, we believe that the Lord bore our sins when He was baptized, died on the Cross to pay off the wages of all those sins, and rose from the dead again—and it’s on account of this faith that the Lord has given us new life to be born again. Jesus is the Lord of salvation who has blessed all His believers to be born again of the water of His baptism and His blood. So I ask each and every one of you to believe in this Lord, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and the entire universe, and abide with Him forever.
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.” We have received everlasting life by believing in our Lord Jesus. We have been born again by believing in the Lord’s water and the Spirit. By believing in this true gospel, that the Lord has saved us through the Word of the water and the Spirit, we have been born again. In fact, anyone can be saved if he believes in this gospel of salvation, the gospel of the water and the blood given by Jesus, and believes that Jesus is God Himself and the Savior; but if he does not, then he will be cast into hell forever. That Jesus, the Creator Himself, came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, was baptized, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again—this is the work of salvation that has made it possible for everyone to be born again, and it is what Jesus has done for us. And that is why our Lord said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”
My fellow believers, what is it that God has done for us human beings? He has done the work of salvation, for Jesus the true God personally came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, was baptized and accepted all sins through His baptism, gave up His own body to be condemned on the Cross and died on it, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become the everlasting Savior of all who believe in Him. Just as it is Jesus who created the universe and all things in it, so it is the Lord who has saved and delivered all our souls from sin. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit that makes it possible for us to be born-again. This work that has enabled everyone to be born again is the very salvation accomplished by Jesus. 
Jesus has saved you and me from the depraved world, its sins, and the claws of the Devil. He has saved all His believers from sin and condemnation by coming to this earth to deliver all sinners, being baptized to bear the sins of the world, carrying them to the Cross and dying, and rising from the dead again. To believe in this is to do God’s work. It is by believing in this salvation of the water and the blood that one is saved and born again.
God says that there are two types of grace bestowed on the human race: One is special grace, and the other is general or universal grace. The general (universal) grace refers to the blessings that God has given equally to everyone—for example, the sun we enjoy, the air we breathe, the trees and every living creature that we see, the food we eat, and so forth. These blessings are called general or universal grace because the Lord has bestowed them on everyone, sinners and righteous people alike. What is special grace then? It is the blessing of salvation that when we were perishing in sin, God Himself came to this earth to save us from sin, and through the baptism and blood of Jesus, made it possible for us to be born again.
 


The Special Grace of God

 
John 3:16 denotes the special grace of God, saying, “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 special grace of God is none other than the fact that Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man and blotted out all our sins by being baptized and crucified. This salvation from all sins, which is the Truth and the life, is precisely the special grace of God. What Jesus has done for us, that He has saved us the sinners, is the special grace of salvation, and only when we believe in this Truth are we blessed to be born again of water and the Spirit and reach our salvation by God’s special grace. 
It’s a fatal mistake for any Christian in this world to reject this special grace of God and instead insist on leading an ethical Christian life. This kind of faith is in vain. All of us can tell whether a Christian leader has been truly been born again or not just by reading one of his writings. I have given countless sermons, but in no sermon have I ever failed to preach the way of being born again through the Word of the baptism and blood of Jesus. Wherever I open the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, my conclusion always reaches the grace of God, the special blessing of being born again that Jesus has given us. That’s because what manifests God’s grace of salvation most clearly is the salvation that Jesus has brought to all sinners through His baptism and His blood on the Cross. 
The baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross constitute God’s special grace. However, the false pastors of this world do not even have any trace of this Word of the special grace of God. Yet these liars have disguised themselves as the angels of light, and they are pretending to work as the servants of righteousness armed with Christian ethics and human morals. Indeed, although they claim to perform miracles and heal the sick, all these things are evil works that are far apart from the special grace of God.
My fellow believers, we were all sinners by nature, but the Lord has given us the gospel of the atonement of sins, and none other than this is the Lord’s special grace. By His special grace the Lord has blessed all His believers to be born again. Even though we were sinners to the core, God has blessed us to become new people and His own children through His water, blood, death, and resurrection. This is the grace of God that has made each and every believer a righteous person to have nothing to do with sin anymore. Do you believe this? Has this happened to you as well? The baptism of Jesus and His blood, death, and resurrection are none other than the constituents of the special grace the Lord has given us through the Word of the water and the Spirit. This is the gospel of the special grace of God. And I give all thanks to our Lord for saving us in this way.
Today, however, the sad reality is that most Christians do knot know God’s gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus that has been brought to us the sinners by His grace, the Truth of being born again of water and the Spirit. It breaks my heart to see that so many people believe in their own Christian doctrines instead, practicing Christianity merely as a matter of religion and holding onto its ethical teachings, and therefore remaining incapable of being born again. There are countless Christians in Korea and all over the world professing to believe in Jesus. Christianity itself has a long history dating back nearly 2,000 years, and it’s been about 500 years since the Reformation was launched. Yet despite this, there still are so many Christians who are so ignorant that they don’t even know the Truth of being born again, the special grace of God. But I believe that the Lord will soon make the Truth known to everyone in these end times.
A sinner can become a righteous person and enter Heaven only if he is born again through the Word of the water and the Spirit. Countless Christians yearn to be born again and are trying their best to achieve this. But anyone who says that one must be born again even as he doesn’t know what it really means to be born again is no more than a lying religious practitioner. Even though Christians hear all the time that one can enter Heaven only if he is born again, most of them do not know exactly by what Word one is really born again. Instead, they simply assume on their own that they have been born again just because they believe in Jesus in one way or another, because they had a religious experience, or because they went through some unusual emotional experiences. These Christians are in fact leading a life of superstition instead of faith. 
 


The Word of God Is What Enables You to Be Born Again 

 
Contrary to the beliefs held by most Christians, the Bible makes it clear in 1 John 5:3-6 that one is truly born again through the Word of God—that is, the water, the blood, and the Spirit—and that these are the basic elements that enable one to be born again. As those who believe in Jesus, all of us must remember clearly here that we are born again only by believing in the written Word of God—that is, in the true Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit. It’s absolutely imperative for us to grasp here that no one is born again just because he sees a vision, speaks in tongues, or experiences some sort of unusual bodily changes. 
The Lord is saying clearly in John chapter 3 that unless one is born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. To be born again, a nominal Christian must renew his faith in Jesus. When people believe in Jesus for the first time, they usually believe just in religious terms. And they come to realize their sins through the Law, which is composed of God’s commandments. At first, when one believes in Jesus he realizes that he is a depraved sinner, but this realization is reached only in religious terms, and it’s an outcome that’s derived from the Law, the commandments of God. 
However, no one should believe in Jesus only as a matter of religion, as though Christianity is just one of the many religions of the world. Christianity is not just a religion. It is the way of salvation that brings life. However, too many people think of and believe in Christianity only as a matter of religion, but there is nothing to be gained from believing in Jesus like this. On the contrary, even as they profess to believe in Jesus, their hearts are filled only with confusion and void, and their sins do not disappear from God’s sight but remain intact in their hearts. Isn’t this true? I’m sure that when these people first believed in Jesus, none of them ever wanted to be a hypocrite like the Pharisees. They must have all wanted to become truly born-again Christians. However, because they have practiced Christianity only as a matter of religion rather than of faith, they have instead become even worse sinners. This result is explained by the fact that for all these years they have believed in Jesus without realizing the Truth of being born again. 
If one regards Christianity merely as a “good” religion and believes in it without being born again, his heart will be visited only by confusion and void. Those professing to believe in Jesus without being born again have led a completely mistaken life of faith all these years. As a result, they have become hypocrites before both God and man, turning themselves into pretentious Christians and false religious practitioners.
If you are such a religious practitioner, then you are a complete hypocrite pretending to be someone that you are not. If you believe in Jesus only as a matter of religion, you can never be freed from your sins. Far from it, you will always remain a sinner, practice hypocrisy all the time, and live in suffering for the rest of your life. Therefore, to be freed from all your sins by believing in Jesus, you must believe in the written Truth that has come by the water, the blood, and the Spirit. 
 


Know the Baptism of Jesus, the Mystery of the Atonement of Sins

 
The Bible says that what makes it possible for everyone to be born again is the incorruptible Word that does not fade away (1 Peter 1:23). Let’s turn to what the Apostle Peter wrote about Jesus’ baptism here. First of all, it’s written in 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism.” As the Bible states here, the baptism of Jesus is our salvation. All the Christians must know and believe in His baptism, not their own baptismal rite. If you believe in the baptism of Jesus as His work of salvation that has brought life to such a depraved sinner like you, then you will be born again and be sealed by the Holy Spirit to reach salvation. That’s because once you understand the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist to make atonement for every sin, and grasp this Word of salvation, you will be saved from all sins once and for all, and become a righteous person to receive everlasting life at once. To put this in other words, it is by accepting the Word of God into your heart and believing in this Truth of salvation wholeheartedly that you are saved from all the sins of the world.
Most Christians believe in Jesus only as a matter of religion, but when they are really born again, they are born a second time by faith after realizing the real Truth. The name “Jesus” means He who “will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). If you believe in Jesus with the right understanding of what He has done for you, then all your sins will disappear and you will be born again as a sinless person, a new creature. When you first believed in Jesus, you may have led a religious life, but you will be born again a second time if you realize how the Lord has saved such a sinner like you, and listen to and believe wholeheartedly in the gospel of the atonement of sins, of the baptism of Jesus and His blood. 
What is the Truth with which the Lord has made it possible for us to be born again? It is none other than the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist on this earth, the blood He shed on the Cross, and His resurrection from the dead. To believe in this Jesus as your God and your Savior is to be born again. But first, let us take a look at how the people of Israel were born again.
 

The Old Testament’s Atonement of Sins: The Laying on of Hands and the Shedding of Blood
 
What is the gospel Word by which the people of the Old Testament were born again? Let’s turn to Leviticus chapter 1 here to look into the gospel manifested in the Old Testament. It’s imperative for us to understand how the people of the Old Testament were born again. Through the sacrificial system, the Book of Leviticus explains in detail how the Israelites could become one with God. The Word of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament is an indispensable truth that we must grasp without fail. So it’s absolutely important for all of us to understand and believe in this Word.
It’s written in Leviticus 1:1-3: “Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD.’’”
Having called Moses to the Tabernacle, the House of God, to remit away the sins of the people of Israel, God said, “When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD.” Here, whenever the people of Israel committed sin by breaking the Law of God, they were remitted from their daily sins by offering an unblemished animal to God. However, animals sacrificed to God could not be just any animals, but they invariably had to be unblemished animals specified by God. And to be acceptable to God in pleasure, the animals had to be sacrificed according to His requirements.
For an offering to be accepted by God in pleasure, it had to be an unblemished animal first of all; secondly, a sinner had to pass his sins to this animal by laying his hands on its head; thirdly, the person had to cut the throat of the sacrificial animal and draw its blood; and lastly, the priest had to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour the rest on the ground. This is how the people of Israel obtained the remission of all their sins. The sacrificial system of the Tabernacle was the way by which atonement of sins was made, the way by which God had brought the remission of sins to all the people of Israel by His grace. 
Composed of God-established commandments and ethical rules specifying the do’s and don’ts of everyday life, the God-given Law has no less than 613 statutes. Although God had given this Law to the people of Israel, and the Israelites knew that they had to keep His Law, they were incapable of living by the Law. That’s because by nature, man had inherited all the twelve ingredients of sin from Adam. So we may say here that man had lost the ability to do anything right before God. Everyone had therefore become incapable of practicing righteousness. Even worse, all human beings are incapable of doing anything but practice only evil against their desire. Everyone was destined to be born as a sinner and die as a sinner.
However, God had so much compassion on such people that He gave them a sacrificial system that made it possible for everyone to be saved from his sins. He gave them the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle, so that the people of Israel and the entire human race could receive the remission of sins through this God-established sacrificial system. Through this sacrificial system, God spoke to us about His just love, and He also gave the law of salvation to the human race.
Having given the sacrificial system that enables human beings to receive the remission of sins, God entrusted the authority to minister the sacrificial rites to the tribe of Levi. Among the twelve tribes of Israel descending from the twelve sons of Jacob, God gave the priestly authority to administer the sacrifice only to the tribe of Levi. Both Moses and Aaron the High Priest were from the tribe of Levi. So the Scriptures record that the sacrificial system was administered by the priests of the tribe of Levi, and this sacrificial system denotes the gospel of the laying on of hands that brought the remission of sins to the Israelites. Therefore, a clear understanding of this sacrificial system of the Old Testament administered by the tribe of Levi before God is indispensable for us to realize how we can be born again in this age of the New Testament. It’s absolutely important for us to fully grasp the Word of God regarding the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle. This sacrificial system is treated most importantly by God in the Old Testament, and it is inexorably linked to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, through which we have been ultimately blessed to be born again of water and the Spirit.
Having called Moses, a man from the tribe of Levi, to the Tabernacle of Meeting, God appointed His brother Aaron as the High Priest to pass all the yearly sins of the Israelites to the scapegoat. Let’s turn to the Bible to see what God said to Moses when He called him. It’s written in Leviticus 1:2, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock.’” God had already set the sacrificial animals that would bear the Israelites’ sins. He said here that if any Israelite sought to be remitted from all his sins, he had to sacrifice to God an unblemished offering of the herd or the flock. 
As it’s written, God also said here, “If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD.” In the Bible, a burnt offering refers to the sacrifice by which a sinner passed his sins to a sacrificial animal and had it condemned in his place, instead of the sinner dying for his sins before God. The offering here had to be acceptable to God in pleasure. How, then, did the Israelites have to offer their sacrifice for God to accept it in pleasure? The answer is found in verse 4.
God said in verse 4, “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.” The critical point that you should pay particular attention here is that one had to “put his hand on the head of the burnt offering.” This means that for any sacrificial offering to be accepted by God in pleasure, one had to lay his hands on the offering’s head. When a sinner laid his hands on the head of the burnt offering, his sins were passed onto the sacrificial animal, and therefore before sacrificing the offering to God, the sinner had to first pass his sins to the sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head. Only when this requirement was met did God accept the offering in pleasure instead of demanding the sinner’s death. 
In the Old Testament, whenever the people of Israel committed sin or failed to live by the Law of God, they had to sacrifice an unblemished animal such as a goat, a lamb, a bull, or a pigeon as a sacrificial offering to God in their place. And before sacrificing their offering to God, they had to first pass their sins to the sacrificial animal by laying their hands on its head. They then had to kill this sacrificial animal that accepted their sins and draw its blood. The priest then took this blood, put some of it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and poured the rest on the ground. This is how God had made it possible for the people of Israel to receive the remission of sins according to the God-established law. To pay off the wages of their sins and be freed from them, the Israelites had to offer a sacrifice to God according to His requirements. 
It’s written in Leviticus 1:5, “He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” The sacrificial system written in the Scriptures is an essential truth that all of us must grasp without fail and understand fully in our minds. The altar of burnt offering was located near the door of the Tabernacle, and its four corners had horns. Once a sinner passed his sins to the sacrificial lamb by laying his hands on its head and drew its blood by cutting its throat, the priest then put the blood of the lamb on the four horns of the altar of burnt offering. In the Bible, the horns of the altar of burnt offering refer to the Book of Judgment (Jeremiah 17:1), and therefore, the fact that the blood of the sacrificial animal was put on the horns means that the sacrificial animal shed its blood in the sinner’s place to pay off the wages of his sins. So God remitted away this sinner’s sins on account of the sacrificial animal, the laying on of the sinner’s hands, and the blood of the animal put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering.
Why did the sacrificial animal have to shed its blood? That’s because the wages of sin is death. The sacrificial animal had to shed its blood because the life of every flesh is found in its blood. The Bible says in Hebrews chapter 9, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” That is why God’s law requiring death as the wages of sin was met by the death of the sacrificial animal. This blood should have been shed by the sinner himself, but the sacrificial animal was put to death in his place, and therefore the priest put the blood of the animal on the four horns of the altar of burnt offering. These horns refer to the Books of Deeds or the Books of Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15 in the New Testament. In other words, putting the blood of the sacrifice on the horns of the altar of burnt offering is the same as sprinkling one’s own blood on the Books of Judgment where all his sinful deeds are recorded. The fact that the blood of the animal was put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering testified the fact that the sinner had made atonement for his sins through the laying on of his hands and the blood of his sacrificial offering.
Everyone’s sins committed before God are recorded in two places. One is the tablet of the human heart, and the other is the Book of Judgment before God. The Bible says that each and every sin committed by everyone is written in these two places, in one’s own heart and in the Book of Judgment before God.
It’s written in Jeremiah 17:1, “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; With the point of a diamond it is engraved On the tablet of their heart, And on the horns of your altars.” Elsewhere in Leviticus 17:11, the Bible also writes, “The life of the flesh is in the blood.” The blood is the life of man, and it is the blood that brings the remission of sins. That is why the blood of the sacrificial animal was put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, to show that the animal bore all the condemnation of sin on behalf of the sinner (Hebrews 9:22). 
It’s written in Leviticus 1:6-9: “And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.”
As shown, the priest cut the sacrificial animal into pieces and burnt them on the altar of burnt offering to offer them to God, and this sacrifice is called a burnt offering or an offering by fire. The burnt offering here implies that when we commit sin before God, we must be put to death just like the sacrificial animal, shed our own blood for our sins, be cast into the fire of hell, and bear the judgment of fire for our sins. This burnt offering was the sacrifice by which God had rendered His just judgment of sin. Through the burnt offering of the sacrificial animal—that is, through the laying of the sinner’s hands on the sacrificial animal, its blood and death, and its sacrifice as a burnt offering—God had fulfilled the law of His justice and the law of His love. 
Because God is a just God, He had to pass the Israelites’ sins to the sacrificial animal and condemn the animal in their place by burning it with fire, and because God loved the Israelites, He judged all their sins through the sacrifice of the burnt offering instead of condemning the Israelites. And in the age of the New Testament, because our Lord loved us, He had to be baptized in our place, shed His blood and die on the Cross on our behalf, and thereby become our own propitiation. This salvation from sin that was fulfilled by Jesus through His baptism and blood was to save all His believers from all the sins of the world once and for all. 
 

The Old Testament’s Atonement of the Daily Sins of the Israelites
 
It’s written in Leviticus 4:27-31: “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering. Then the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour all the remaining blood at the base of the altar. He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him.”
As Adam’s descendants, the people of Israel and all of us were born into the world as nothing more than piles of sins from the beginning. So the human heart is filled with all kinds of sins. Man is full of each and every sin, from evil thoughts to lustful desires, murders, arrogance, thefts, and lies. In the Old Testament, for such people to be remitted from their daily sins, they had to bring an unblemished sacrificial animal to God first; they then had to pass their sins to the animal once and for all by laying their hands on its head as the priest watched them before the altar of burnt offering; and they had to kill this animal and then give its blood to the priest. The priest then administered the remaining sacrificial rites and offered the animal to God, and as a result of this the people of Israel could be remitted from their daily sins to return home without sin. 
The Law is composed of God’s commandments specifying the do’s and don’ts to everyone, but if there were no Law, no one would realize his own sins even after committing them. That is why God gave us the Law, so that we would realize our sins (Romans 3:20). Through this law of God, therefore, we must first realize what sin is. The written Law of God specifies the do’s and don’t as established by God, and it is when we reflect ourselves on this Law that we come to realize our sins. Your sins are not measured based on your own conscience; rather, it is when you reflect yourself on the Law of God that you come to realize your sins.
Although God wants to blot out everyone’s sins, He can’t blot out the sins of someone who thinks he has no sin. Therefore, to receive the remission of sins, one must first realize that he is a sinner. When the common people of Israel committed sin, most of them did not commit sin intentionally, but they sinned unintentionally in their lives because they were all born as sinners by nature. Every sin committed out of one’s weaknesses is called a trespass. The Bible says that all such failures, whether intentional or unintentional, are sins. By nature, everyone is imperfect. The people of Israel were also weak, and that is why they committed sins and trespasses unintentionally. The sins and trespasses of mankind are distinguished as the following: The evil desires and thoughts in one’s heart are called sins, and those carried out in act out of those sins are called trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). And both such sins and trespasses are collectively called the sins of the world. 
In the Old Testament, all sins were passed on through the laying on of hands. This entailed the belief that once one passed his sins to a sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head, he no longer had to die for his sins, for he had become sinless. That is how the two laws of God—the love of God and His just judgment—were both fulfilled truthfully. When God made us humans, He made us out of dust, and therefore we are nothing more than a handful of dust. That the blood of the sacrificial animal was poured on the ground (dust) at the base of the altar of burnt offering and put on its horns meant that the wages of sins was paid off before God and in the hearts of the Israelites. This was done because the sins written in the heart had be atoned by the blood of the sacrifice. 
It’s written, “He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the LORD.” In the Bible, the fat here refers to none other than the Holy Spirit. So, for us to make atonement for our sins, we must offer a sacrifice to God according to His requirements, and we must accept the remission of sins into our hearts according to the God-established sacrificial system of salvation. 
God had said to the people of Israel to consecrate an offering to Him out of their lambs, goats, or bulls. These sacrificial animals in the Old Testament were the consecrated ones that chewed the cud and had split hooves. The bull, for instance, is an animal that chews the cud. The animals sacrificed to God had to be unblemished because Jesus Christ, who would be conceived by the Holy Spirit, was to become our own propitiation. 
The people of the Old Testament could be remitted from their sins as they passed their sins to an unblemished animal such as a sheep or a goat by laying their hands on its head, and the priest offered the sacrifice on their behalf. Similarly in the New Testament, Jesus bore all the sins of the world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood on the Cross, and has thereby made it possible for all who believe in Him as their Savior to be redeemed from all their sins and reach salvation.
 

As the Priest Made Atonement for Their Sins, the Israelites Could Be Remitted from Their Sins
 
When we look into the Old Testament closely, we see that not just anyone could become a priest, but only the Levites were qualified for the priesthood. Every priest had to be a Levite and a descendant of Aaron invariably. If anyone from another tribe—for instance, one from the royal tribe of Judah—tried to assume the priesthood to administer the sacrificial rites, he was cursed with leprosy or killed by God right away. In establishing the institution of the sacrificial system, God had set beforehand that every priest had to be a descendant of Aaron without fail.
 
 

Aaron Ministered the Sacrificial Rite of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)

 
In the Old Testament, when the common people of Israel committed sin, they brought an unblemished animal and sacrificed it to God before the priests on a daily basis. As the first step of this sacrificial procedure, they passed their sins to the sacrificial animal by laying their hands on its head, and then they cut its throat. The priests then put some of its blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, poured the rest on the ground, cut the animal’s flesh into pieces, removed its fat, put the flesh and the fat on the altar, and burnt them with fire. The people of Israel were thus remitted from their sins through this sin offering.
Since the people of Israel had to sacrifice an animal every time they committed sin, they hardly had enough herds and flocks to make atonement for all their countless sins. So they knew just how difficult it was to receive the remission of sins on a daily basis, and this discouraged them from offering sacrifices faithfully. They began to wish they could stop offering sacrifices to God, as no matter how many sacrifices were offered, there was no end in sight. 
This is akin to the fact that regardless of how often we offer prayers of repentance in our attempt to live every day according to the Law of God, our own prayers of repentance fall ruefully short of our sins. Therefore, the true atonement of sins is made only if we believe in the God-established law of salvation with all our hearts.
No matter how much the Israelites believed in God and how hard they tried to observe the God-established Law with their acts, their own strength was not enough for them to live by the Law. In other words, they could not help but commit sin day in and day out no matter how hard they tried not to. So for this reason, God instituted a way in the sacrificial system for the people of Israel to receive the remission of all their yearly sins once and for all (Leviticus 16:17-22). 
It’s written in Leviticus 16:29, “This shall be a statute forever for you.” The statute here refers to God’s decree, and this is explained in more detail in Leviticus 16:29-31: “In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.” The people of Israel found solemn rest in their hearts on the tenth day of the seventh month, when the High Priest offered a yearly sacrifice on their behalf and thus made atonement for all the sins accumulated in their hearts over the whole year. It’s then that the Israelites found solemn rest in their hearts.
Leviticus 16:6 says, “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house.” On the tenth day of the seventh month, as the High Priest in the age of the Old Testament, Aaron had to first offer a bull as a sin offering for himself, and like any other sacrifices, he had to lay his hands on the bull and sacrifice it to God as a burnt offering. After thus offering the bull for himself and his house, Aaron the High Priest then offered the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement on behalf of the people of Israel. At that time, ordinary priests could not step inside the Tabernacle. So, on the tenth day of the seventh month, Aaron first offered a sacrifice for himself and his house, and then he offered another sacrifice on behalf of the entire people of Israel to remit away their yearly sins.
It’s written in Leviticus 16:7-10: “He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness.” As shown here, two goats were taken on the tenth day of the seventh month. At that time, after obtaining the remission of sins for himself and his family, Aaron the High Priest “cast lots for the two goats,” one of which was for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.
In the Bible, the word “scapegoat” means “to be released.” This denotes that God released a sacrificial animal for the entire people of Israel. One goat was offered to the Lord first, and this sacrificial animal was necessary for the High Priest to lay his hands on its head in the Tabernacle on behalf of the Israelites and thus pass their yearly sins. After laying his hands on the goat, the High Priest drew its blood, took this blood into the Most Holy, and sprinkled it seven times on the mercy seat inside the Most Holy, thereby obtaining the remission of all the yearly sins of the people of Israel before the presence of God. Instead of putting the people of Israel to death, God had allowed Aaron the High Priest to pass their yearly sins to the first goat and let it bear all the condemnation that the people of Israel should have borne, thus saving them through this sacrifice. 
For the Israelites to receive the remission of sins, it was absolutely necessary for there to be two sacrificial animals and two types of sacrifices offered by the High Priest. And each sacrifice had to be offered according to the God-established sacrificial system. For all sacrifices, every sacrificial animal had to be an unblemished animal according to God’s law, but for the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, in addition to this the High Priest had to pass the Israelites’ sins to the animal by laying his hands on its head without fail, kill the animal, and sprinkle its blood seven times on and before the mercy seat. This is how one of the two goats was sacrificed to God. Having laid his hands on the goat and passed all the yearly sins of the Israelites, the High Priest killed the goat and offered its blood and flesh to God, as explained in Leviticus 16:18-19: “And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.”
Without this sacrifice offered by the High Priest, the people of Israel would have been forever unable to receive the remission of sins, but thanks to the sacrificial system and the High Priest established by God, they were able to receive the remission of all their yearly sins once and for all. This sacrificial system was God’s just salvation and the method by which God had saved the Israelites. 
Appointed into priesthood as the High Priest, Aaron administered the atonement of sins for his people and God. Aaron had the authority to offer the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month, and by fulfilling this priesthood before God, he blotted out the Israelites’ yearly sins and cleansed them all away. When the people of Israel saw their sins being passed onto the goat through the laying on of one man’s hands, Aaron the High Priest as their representative, they had the assurance that their yearly sins were remitted away. For the people of the Old Testament, the salvation that brought the remission of sins to the entire people of Israel was the sacrifice that was offered on their behalf by the High Priest on the tenth day of the seventh month, that is, the Day of Atonement.
 

The Second Goat Was Offered for the Atonement of the Israelite’s Yearly Sins in Their Hearts
 
Having thus sacrificed one of the two goats to God, Aaron then took the remaining goat, as it’s written in Leviticus 16: 21-22: “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”
With the entire people of Israel watching, Aaron laid his hands on the head of the second goat and confessed all the Israelites’ sins on their behalf, saying, “Lord, the people of Israel have committed murder, adultery, theft, covetousness, and strife. They have bowed before idols, broken the Sabbath Day, and called Your name in vain. They have committed all these sins and failed to keep all Your commandments.” All the yearly sins of the entire people of Israel were then passed onto the scapegoat at that moment. After the High Priest laid his hands on the scapegoat, it was released into the wilderness to wander around alone until its eventual death. 
Our sins must be atoned in two dimensions. First, we have to receive the remission of sins from God, and second, this atonement of all our sins must be found in our hearts. For the Israelites to receive the remission of sins, the sacrificial animal had to die for their sins written in God’s Book of Judgment, and its blood had to be put on there. That is why Aaron had put the blood of the sacrificial animal on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. It’s when God saw this blood that He approved the Israelites’ offering and their faith, declaring that they had made atonement for their sins as their sins were passed onto the sacrificial animal and the animal was condemned to death in their place. In the Old Testament, the gospel of the laying on of hands and of the blood was the God-given gospel of salvation that had brought the remission of sins. You should never forget the fact that this is the same in the age of the New Testament as well. 
In this way, as the people of Israel accepted that their sins were passed onto the scapegoat once and for all, they received the remission for all their yearly sins. The people of the Old Testament who believed in this sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, the laying on of hands, and the blood of the sacrifice came to have the assurance of salvation that their sins were remitted away. All the sacrifices of the Old Testament were the shadows of the New Testament’s gospel of the atonement of sins, the gospel by which one is born again.
 


The Gospel of the Atonement of Sins Manifested in the New Testament

 
How, then, has God fulfilled the atonement of sins for everyone in the New Testament? 
It’s written in Matthew 1:21-25: “‘And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.”
Our Lord came to this earth as the Immanuel God to deliver us from all sins. That’s why He was named Jesus. To atone for and blot out all the sins of the entire human race created in the image of God, the Lord Himself had come to this earth in the flesh of man as the Savior. And having come to this earth, our Lord fulfilled His work of salvation to deliver us from all sins. 
 


The Gospel of Regeneration

 
It’s written in Mathew 3:13-17: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” As shown here in the New Testament, at the age of 30 Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist to accept the sins of the world, and He thus saved all the sinners of the world from their every sin. By receiving this baptism from John the Baptist, Jesus fulfilled all the righteousness of God. 
 


Why Did Jesus Receive the Baptism of the Remission of Sins in the Jordan River? 

 
Here in the Bible, we see the heavenly High Priest and the earthly High Priest coming together, and we also see that Jesus fulfilled the righteousness of God through His baptism and made atonement for all the sins of every sinner in the world. John the Baptist, the man who baptized Jesus, was the greatest of those born of women. Jesus Himself testified this fact clearly in Matthew 11:11, “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.” In the Old Testament, the people of Israel received the remission of sins when a sinner or the High Priest laid his hands on the head of a sacrificial animal. Likewise, in the New Testament, it was when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist that atonement was made for all the sins of the world, and this redemption is received through Jesus by faith. The gospel of the atonement of sins that enables everyone to be born again is the gospel by which Jesus has atoned for and washed away all the sins of the world. Therefore, the gospel of the atonement of sins fulfilled by Jesus through His baptism is the God-given gospel that has saved the human race from all the sins of the world and made it sinless through the baptism of Jesus the Son of God, the gospel that has fulfilled the righteousness of God and remitted away each and every sin of mankind. Jesus was baptized most fittingly to achieve this salvation of all sinners and to make atonement for all their sins. 
What does “all righteousness” mean? It refers to the baptism Jesus received to make atonement for all the sins of mankind. He was baptized in order to wash away all the sins of every sinner in this world personally by Himself. The Bible says, “For in it [the gospel] the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). The righteousness of God is that God the Father sent His Son to this earth to save everyone from all the sins of the world, and that the Father has blotted out each and every sin with the baptism of Jesus and His blood. This is God’s righteousness of salvation. 
The righteousness of God in the New Testament was achieved by none other than the baptism of Jesus and His blood. What is the righteousness that we the sinners receive from God? It is the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist in a form of the laying on of hands. About 2,000 years ago, all our sins and all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus Christ as He was baptized by John the Baptist, and it is because of this righteous salvation, because Jesus bore all the sins of this world, that we have become righteous people even though we were sinners. And our deliverance from all sins that’s reached by accepting this Truth is the very righteousness of salvation that’s received from God. 
It’s written in Matthew 3:15, “But Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him” (Matthew 3:15). When Jesus was baptized, “The heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” God the Father Himself bore witness of salvation, saying here that His Son had fulfilled all righteousness by being baptized. He was saying, “Jesus, who was baptized by John the Baptist just now, is My Son.” God the Father personally testified here that His Son was baptized in order to save the human race from the wages of all its sins. He bore witness like this to ensure that what Jesus His Son had done, the righteous work that had blotted out the sins of the world, would not be rendered in vain. 
Jesus is the Son of God, and He is also the Savior Lord who has delivered all sinners from the sins of the world. When God the Father said here, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” He was testifying that Jesus had taken upon all the sins of the world through His baptism in obedience to the will of the Father. The word baptism means to wash, to transfer, to pass on, and to bury. All our sins were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized, and therefore once we believe in this Truth with our hearts, we are saved from all the sins of the world.
The Old Testament is the Word of God prophesying our salvation, and its fulfillment in the New Testament is the baptism of Jesus. Therefore the Old Testament and the New Testament are finally matched together. In the Old Testament, the yearly sins of the people of Israel were passed onto the sacrificial animal when the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement was offered, and its matching counterpart in the New Testament is the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist (Mathew 3:15-17). It was to save all sinners from the sins of the world that Jesus was baptized. Because of this baptism of the atonement of sins that Jesus received, all our hearts’ sins were passed onto Jesus, and therefore, if anyone accepts this Truth of salvation and of the remission of sins, that all the sins of the world including original and personal sins were passed onto Jesus, then all his sins will be washed away from the tablet of his heart and this believer will be completely saved from them by faith. 
Unless you personally accept the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross into your heart, you will not be able to wash away your heart’s sins anywhere in this world. If all our sins were to be passed on and blotted out by any method other than the baptism of Jesus, then this is not the fulfillment of the Word of God. The true salvation of mankind is reached by believing that all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus through His baptism. What will you do then? Will you accept this Truth, or will you reject it? This is not of man’s words. It is of the God-spoken Word. Jesus was crucified to death because He had borne the sins of the world by being baptized; the blood He shed on the Cross was the consequence of this baptism. And rising from the dead again, the Lord has saved all His believers. Didn’t Jesus then die on the Cross as a result of the baptism He received? 
The Bible writes in Romans 8:3-4, “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” When no one could keep the Law of God as everyone was too weak in the flesh, Jesus Himself bore all the sins of the world on His own body through His baptism and blotted them all out by being crucified to death. None other than this is the Truth of the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist. It’s because Jesus had been baptized that He could die on the Cross. This is the wisdom of the primitive gospel that God had planned to give us from the foundation of the world to remit all our sins.
If you have believed in Jesus’ Cross alone for all these years, you must now accept the true gospel of salvation, the gospel of the atonement of sins Jesus has brought to you. Only then can you become God’s own child. The gospel of the atonement of sins is the gospel of the baptism of Jesus, His blood, His death, and His resurrection that God has spoken to us through the water and the Spirit. By being baptized in the Jordan River, our Lord has washed away all the sins of the world once and for all, and by shedding His precious blood on the Cross, He has saved all who believe in the salvation of the baptism and blood of Jesus. The saved have reached their salvation by believing in this Word of Truth with their hearts. Therefore, even all their future sins have also been washed away and blotted out by faith. Whoever is saved by faith is now delivered from all his sins by believing in this Truth of salvation composed of Jesus’ baptism (the laying on of hands), His blood on the Cross (judgment), His death, and His resurrection. How about you then? Do you also believe in this Truth? If you do, then you have also become a righteous person. 
Now then, let’s shift gears here and examine briefly what happened after Jesus was baptized. First of all, let’s turn to John 1:29: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” The “next day” that’s recorded here in the Bible refers to the day after Jesus was baptized. John the Baptist testified that Jesus was the Lamb of God carrying the sins of the world. He testified like this because he had passed all the sins of the world to Jesus on the Jordan River through the baptism he had Him given the day before. A witness can testify only what he knows for sure. Likewise, it’s because John the Baptist had personally baptized Jesus that he could bear witness of the Lord and say, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” This makes it clear that Jesus bore all the sins of the world through His baptism and carried them to the Cross, and none other than this Word is the gospel of regeneration.
What Is the Original Meaning of  Being Born Again?
As mentioned, John the Baptist declared, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) This passage means that through His baptism, Jesus took away all the sins of the world from its beginning to its end. All the sins that you ever committed from when you were born into this world from your mother’s womb to the day you turned 10 years old belong to the sins of the world. Do you then acknowledge the Word of Truth that all these sins were also passed onto Jesus when He was baptized? 
You also committed sin in your adolescence. Do you believe that all these sins were also passed onto Jesus through His baptism? Then what about the sins that you committed in your twenties? Were they also passed onto Jesus? Yes, of course! How about the sins that you will commit in the future? Do these sins also belong to the sins of the world? They all belong to the sins of the world. Were theses sins then also passed onto the body of Jesus? Of course they have! Do you then believe wholeheartedly that each and every one of your sins was passed onto Jesus through His baptism? Do you believe that Jesus bore all the sins of the world through His baptism? 
Do you want to be saved from all the sins of the world now? If you want to be saved, then believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross as your salvation from sin, as the gospel that makes it possible for you to be born again. If you believe in this gospel, you will be saved. What will you do then? Will you believe in this true gospel? This is the salvation of regeneration approved in the Kingdom of God. The baptism of Jesus and His blood constitute the original gospel of regeneration, and this gospel is the gift of salvation God has given to all sinners to be born again. 
The faith to believe in the salvation of regeneration that the Lord has fulfilled through the baptism He received and the precious blood He shed on the Cross, and to look toward God’s love of salvation and accept it into the heart—this is the true faith, and it is what makes it possible for everyone to be truly born again. The water and blood of Jesus are what constitutes the Word of regeneration. You are born again only if you accept this Word of Truth written in the Bible.
 


Religion vs. Faith

 
Christianity as a mere religion is all about making up one’s own Jesus and believing in salvation according to one’s own wishes and thoughts. In contrast, the true Christian faith that brings salvation from sin is all about believing in God’s salvation regardless of one’s own thoughts, trusting in what God has done to fulfill His promised salvation. In other words, it requires us to believe that just as God had promised to save us in the Old Testament with the sacrificial system, in the New Testament, Jesus indeed bore the sins of the world by being baptized and made us sinless by shedding His own blood. It is by accepting this divine wisdom of the primitive gospel that one is saved. 
Without the baptism of Jesus there is no passing of sins, and without the shedding of His blood, there is no remission of sins, either. All our sins were completely passed onto Jesus and cleansed away through His baptism, and Jesus carried all the sins of this world to the Cross and shed His precious blood to make atonement for them. Therefore, it is by accepting this Word of wisdom, the Word of the baptism and blood of the Lord, that we are saved from all the sins of the world. To have true faith, we must believe in the just and true salvation of God, that Jesus bore all our sins when He was baptized and washed them away completely when He was wholly condemned on the Cross in our place. God loved the human race so much that to save everyone from every sin, God Himself came to this world in the flesh of man, was baptized to bear all the sins of mankind, and shed His blood on the Cross to pay off all their wages. Therefore, you are saved only by believing in this gospel Word of regeneration, the gospel of the atonement of sins that Jesus has made for you. The Lord has fulfilled this gospel to perfection to deliver all sinners from all their sins and judgment, and it is by accepting this gospel that you can be saved from all your sins and avoid all your punishments.
Salvation is received when you believe in the gospel of regeneration given by the Lord with thanksgiving, confessing to Him, “Lord, I believe in this gospel. Even though I have no merit whatsoever, I believe in the baptism You received to bear the sins of the world, Your death, and Your resurrection.” Like this, accepting and believing in God’s primitive gospel of regeneration is what the real Christian faith is all about. 
It is by faith that you are born again, just as the Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Bible also says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Therefore, you must know the Truth of the water and blood of Jesus, and you must believe in the witness of the water, the blood, and the Spirit testifying that Jesus has become your true Savior (1 John 5:5-8).
Jesus said, “The truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Have you then also found freedom from all your sins according to this Word of the water and the blood, by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His Cross? Are you and I merely practicing a religious life, or are we leading a life of faith? The Lord is looking for those who have faith in His baptism and blood, the gospel that makes it possible for everyone to be born again.
If you are a true Christian who believes in the baptism of Jesus and His blood, the gospel of the atonement of sins that Jesus has given you to be born again, then your heart should have no sin at all. However, if you are just leading a religious life, then you are a sinner whose heart still remains sinful. That’s because you don’t believe wholeheartedly in the true salvation of the baptism and blood of Jesus, the gospel of the remission of sins that enables everyone to be born again. If, despite this gospel, you are trying to make atonement for your sins and remit them away by offering your own prayers of repentance from time to time, then you are just leading a religious life. Such people cannot be saved from their sins. Your own prayers of repentance cannot replace the gospel of salvation, the gospel of regeneration that has blotted out all the sins of your entire lifetime and made atonement for them through the baptism of Jesus and His blood. Jesus has blotted out all the sins of the world, including even all the future sins of His believers, and it is when you believe in this gospel of the atonement of sins that you are saved. To repeat, no prayer of repentance that’s offered day and night by today’s Christians can ever replace Jesus’ gospel of regeneration, the gospel of the atonement of sins. Every Christian must therefore now believe in this gospel of the atonement of sins and regeneration that Jesus has given. 
We are incapable of repenting from our sins completely. This kind of false repentance does not bring anyone back to God; instead, it only brings temporary comfort to one’s own heart. When you repent falsely, you ignore the will of God and only utter empty words on your own. God does not want such repentance from anyone. What is true repentance then? It is about returning to God. It is to return to the Word of salvation through which Jesus has delivered all sinners, and to believe in this Word of Truth exactly as it is. The faith by which we are saved and remitted from all our sins is one that is placed in the baptism of Jesus, His blood, and His resurrection from the dead, and it is by believing in this gospel that we can receive everlasting life. We have been saved by believing in this gospel Word with all our hearts. This is the gospel of wisdom that enables every believer to be born again through the atonement of sins. This is the fundamental Truth of the baptism of Jesus and His blood, and it is the gospel of the Kingdom of God through which one is born again by believing in Christ wholeheartedly.
When our Lord said that one had to be born again of water and the Spirit, He was speaking of the gospel of Truth, asking us to be born again by believing in the Word of His baptism and blood. It’s by believing in Jesus’ Word that we can see the Kingdom of God the Father and enter this Kingdom. All of us must believe in the Word of Jesus. Every God-given Word of the remission of sins spoken to us regarding the baptism of Jesus, His blood on the Cross, and His death and resurrection is the Word of regeneration, and it is by believing in this Word that we are born again. 
What about you then? Do you believe in the gospel of the atonement of sins, the gospel of regeneration? It’s because we believe in the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood on the Cross that we have been saved from all the sins of the world and all our personal sins. To have this faith is to believe in the gospel of regeneration. By being baptized, Jesus has completely washed away all the sins of all the sinners of this world. Shouldn’t you then also be saved from all your sins by believing in the gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus that enables you to be born again?
The Lord said in today’s Scripture passage, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Whoever has the true witness of the Word fulfilled by Jesus—that is, whoever has the Word of the baptism of Jesus and His blood that enables everyone to be born again—is someone who has been truly born again of water and the Spirit. God Himself has testified that such people’s faith is accounted for righteousness by Him. As the Bible says in 1 John 5:3-10, those who have been born again by faith have the Word of God and its testimony of the water, the blood, and the Spirit in their hearts. If you really believe in Jesus and are leading a life of faith, then you should never believe in a false gospel that’s devoid of the atonement of sins; instead, you must believe in the true gospel.
In the Old Testament, God washed away General Naaman’s leprosy completely when he immersed his body in the Jordan River seven times (2 Kings chapter 5). Likewise, as Jesus’ believers, we must believe that the Lord has brought salvation to us and made atonement for all the sins of the world, and that we have reached this salvation and been born again by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross.
It’s not we who loved the Lord first, but it is the Lord who loved us first, and therefore you also can be saved from all the sins of the world to enjoy everlasting life by believing in the gospel of regeneration, the gospel through which God has remitted away all your sins. Let us then all believe in this gospel of regeneration and be born again. May God bless you all!