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Subject 3 : The Gospel of the Water and the Spirit

[3-29] The Gospel of Atonement That Has Blotted Out All Your Personal Sins (John 13:1-17)

The Gospel of Atonement That Has Blotted Out All Your Personal Sins
(John 13:1-17)
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’ Peter said to Him, ‘You shall never wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, ‘You are not all clean.’ So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’”
 
 
Why did Jesus wash Peter’s feet on Passover? While washing Peter’s feet, Jesus said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter was the foremost disciple of Jesus. He believed in Jesus as the Son of God, and he had once confessed to Him, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). 
There must then have been a reason why Jesus washed such a disciple’s feet. When Peter confessed that Jesus was the Christ, he was making a confession of faith, testifying that Jesus was the Savior who had atoned for all sins. 
Why did Jesus wash Peter’s feet? That’s because Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him three times. In other words, He knew that Peter would commit sin before the Lord.
If any of Peter’s sins remained in his heart after the ascension of the Lord, it would have been impossible for him to share fellowship with the Lord. But the Lord knew the weaknesses of His disciples, and He did not want them to feel uneasy about their relationship with the Lord because of their sins. So the Lord needed to teach them that He had already washed away all their personal sins. That is why Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Even before dying on the Cross, Jesus had taught them the gospel of His baptism, explaining to them that He had saved them perfectly even from all their future sins.
John chapter 13 describes Jesus telling the disciples about the final completion of salvation. While washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus spoke to them of the gospel wisdom of His baptism that had made it possible for them to be washed from all their personal sins, saying, “Do not be deceived by Satan. I bore all your sins by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and I will be condemned for all your sins on the Cross and rise from the dead again to complete your salvation and the remission of your sins. I am washing your feet before dying on the Cross to teach you the true gospel of the atonement of sins, to tell you that I have already washed away all your personal sins. This is the mystery of the gospel of regeneration that has washed away even all your personal sins. Believe in this gospel.” 
We need to understand here why Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, and why the Lord said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” And all of us must be saved by believing in the gospel of regeneration.
 


To Let the Disciples Know the Atonement of Personal Sins 

 
Before dying on the Cross, Jesus had His last dinner with the disciples, and there He washed the disciples’ feet to teach them the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
It’s written, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’” Jesus told the disciples about the gospel of His baptism, the gospel of the atonement of sins.
Peter had led his life of faith without actually realizing the profound will of the Lord, and so he couldn’t quite understand why Jesus was willing to wash his feet. However, once Jesus spoke to him, Peter’s faith was changed. The Lord wanted to tell Peter about the gospel of the atonement of sins, the gospel of His baptism. Jesus was concerned that when Peter found himself committing personal sins in his flesh, he might turn into a sinful believer unable to approach Him over these sins. That is why Jesus washed Peter’s feet, lest he fell into this trap. In other words, the Lord washed the disciples’ feet so that the Devil would not be able to take away their faith. But it wasn’t until later on that Peter came to realize why Jesus had washed his feet.
Jesus has made it possible for anyone who believes in His baptism and blood to receive the everlasting remission of sins. What Jesus said here in John chapter 13 while washing the disciples’ feet is so important that it can be understood only if one is born again of water and the Spirit. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet on the Feast of the Passover so that they would realize before His death on the Cross that He had washed away all the sins of the world including all their personal sins. He was saying, “You do not understand now why I am washing your feet. But once you grasp that I have borne all your sins in the Jordan River through My baptism, you will understand why I am washing your feet.” What Jesus said to Peter on Passover is the Truth of regeneration.
We must understand and believe in the baptism of the atonement of sins that has washed us completely from all our personal sins. The baptism that Jesus received in the Jordan River was practiced as a form of the laying on of hands, the rite through which Jesus took upon all our sins. We must believe in the Word of the atonement of sins, that Jesus took upon the sins of the world by being baptized and was condemned for them on the Cross. To blot out all the sins of the human race, the Lord was baptized by John the Baptist on His own body, and He has indeed wiped out all the sins of the world.
 


The Atonement of Personal Sins Is Achieved through the Baptism and Blood of Jesus

 
Jesus knew very well that once He died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and ascended to Heaven, Satan and his false prophets would try to deceive the disciples to focus only on His blood of the Cross. Of course, when we look at Peter’s confession of faith, in which he had said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” we see that Peter believed in the Lord wholeheartedly. However, there was a gospel of the atonement of sins that Jesus absolutely wanted to teach Peter. This gospel was of the baptism through which Jesus had accepted all the sins of the world in the Jordan River. Jesus wanted to teach this baptism once more to Peter, the rest of the disciples, and the future generations to come, including us. So He said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Jesus knew that His disciples would find themselves committing sin in the years to come, and that at every such a moment Satan would condemn them and accuse them, trying to deceive them by saying, “How can you be sinless when you commit sin like this? You have not been saved. You are still a sinner!” So, to protect the disciples from such attacks, Jesus told them beforehand that just as He was washing their feet with water, they could wash away all their personal sins by believing in His baptism. 
Jesus was saying to them, “You know that I was baptized for you. I was baptized in the Jordan River to wash away all your sins, original and personal sins alike. Do you now understand why I was baptized, and why I must go to the Cross and shed My blood to death?” The Lord washed the disciples’ feet to teach them that He had borne all their personal sins through His baptism, and that He would end all their sins by being condemned on the Cross in their place.
Now then, you and I have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus that have made the atonement of sins. For our salvation, Jesus was baptized to bear our sins in the Jordan River, and He was crucified to death. With this baptism that the Lord received to bear all sins, and the blood He shed to pay off their wages, He has blotted out all our sins. Whoever understands the gospel of the atonement of sins and believes in this Truth will be remitted from all his sins. 
How, then, should we lead our lives of faith after being saved? We should admit our sins every day, and we should acknowledge the salvation of the baptism and blood of Jesus, the gospel of the atonement of sins. We must believe in this gospel and accept that Jesus has made atonement for all our sins through His baptism and blood.
When you commit sin again after being saved, does this mean that you would revert back to being a sinner again because of these personal sins? No, that’s not the case. Since our Lord took away each and every sin through His baptism, it’s impossible for us to become sinners again just because we commit personal sins. The gospel of the atonement of sins is constituted by the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. Whoever believes in this primitive gospel of the atonement of sins is born again into a righteous person from a sinner.
 
 

The Righteous Can Never Become Sinners Again

 
In spite of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the atonement of sins, if you still feel in your heart as though you’ve become sinful again because of your personal sins, then you must once again go to the Jordan River, the place where Jesus was baptized for your salvation. There, you must once again reaffirm your faith in the gospel of the atonement of sins, recognizing that Jesus bore all the sins of the world including all your personal sins by being baptized by John the Baptist; and there, you must ruminate on this gospel of the atonement of sins once more, think about the baptism of Jesus and His blood, put your faith in them, and recognize Jesus as your Savior and believe in Him unwaveringly. 
If you believe in Jesus as your Savior, then you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the atonement of sins proclaiming that all your sins were transferred to the body of Jesus through His baptism. And if you really believe in the baptism of Jesus, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection, and you have accepted all the Word of Truth, then you cannot become a sinner again no matter what kinds of personal sins you commit, for you have been remitted from all the sins of this world by believing in the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
Even after being born again, we still continue to commit sin out of our weaknesses, but Jesus Christ also bore all these sins by being baptized by John the Baptist; through the gospel work of the atonement of sins, the Lord has saved us completely. Now then, it was absolutely indispensable for Jesus to address the core importance of His baptism to the disciples, and that is why He washed their feet—that is, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to remind them of the Word of His baptism once more, and to underscore for one last time that He had washed away all their sins through His baptism, the gospel of the atonement of sins. Put differently, Jesus had made atonement for all the sins of the entire human race and saved everyone by being baptized, dying on the Cross, rising from the dead again, and ascending to Heaven. All His disciples were therefore able to preach until the very end the gospel of the baptism of Jesus, His Cross, and His resurrection, the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
 

The Weaknesses of Peter’s Flesh 
 
The Bible writes that when Peter was accused of being a follower of Jesus three times, he denied it the first two times, saying, “No, that’s totally not true! I do not know that Man,” but on the third time, he not only denied Jesus but even cursed Him. 
Let’s to turn to Matthew 26:69-75 to see what the Bible actually says: “Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you are saying.’ And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, ‘This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ But again he denied with an oath, ‘I do not know the Man!’ And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.’ Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly.”
Peter had believed in Jesus wholeheartedly and followed Him sincerely, fully convinced that Jesus was his God, his Savior, and the Prophet to come. Yet when he went to the court of Pilate and found himself cornered, he denied Jesus and even cursed Him. Peter had no idea that he would end up denying Jesus to save himself like this, but Jesus knew his weaknesses. That is why the Lord spoke of the gospel of salvation to Peter while washing his feet, saying to him in John chapter 13, “You will commit personal sins later on. But I have already remitted away all those sins as well.”
Peter did in fact deny Jesus to save his own life, but this was precisely the sin Peter committed out of his carnal weaknesses, and that is why Jesus had washed his feet to remind him that the Lord would save all the disciples from all their carnal sins. In other words, Jesus was saying to His disciples, “I will wash away all the sins you commit in the future. I have taken upon all your sins through My baptism, and I will be crucified to bear all the condemnation of your sins. I am your perfect Savior, your God, and your Messiah. I am the Shepherd who will make atonement for all your sins and save you from all the sins of the world through My baptism and blood. I am your Shepherd of salvation.” It was to plant this gospel Truth firmly in the disciples’ hearts that Jesus had washed their feet on the Feast of the Passover. 
Even after receiving the remission of sins, all of us still retain our flesh, and therefore we sometimes commit sin out of our weaknesses. Of course, we should do our best not to commit any sin in our flesh, but from time to time, when we find ourselves in a life-and-death situation like Peter, without even realizing we end up lying and being dragged down by our personal sins. That is just how weak we are in our flesh. However, even though our flesh is always weak and we are therefore bound to commit sin as long as we are living in this world, the Lord has remitted away even the slightest bit of everyone’s sins through His baptism and His blood on the Cross, the salvation of the atonement of sins. 
What is at issue here is not a non-believer denying that Jesus is his Savior. Rather, it is about a believer following his flesh, for it is then that he ends up committing sin against the will of the Lord. The sins of mankind originate from the very instincts of the flesh, and so the Lord Jesus knew very well that it is with the flesh that human beings commit sin. As our perfect Savior, Jesus has made complete atonement for each and every one of our sins, and with His baptism, blood, and resurrection, He has blotted out all the sins of the world. This work of salvation was fulfilled through the baptism and blood of our Lord; through the former, Jesus accepted all the sins of the world from John the Baptist, and through the latter, He bore the condemnation of all those sins. This is the gospel of salvation and regeneration that the Lord had in mind when He said on the Cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)
Peter denied Jesus no less than three times, and we can imagine here just how guilty and ashamed Peter must have felt every time he denied the Lord. After all, he had sworn that he would never deny Jesus. Of course, like everyone else, Peter was also weak in his flesh, and that’s why he sinned by denying Jesus three times, but even so, it must have been intolerable for Peter to look at himself. How much more shame must Peter have felt when he looked at Jesus then? But Jesus knew it all beforehand.
That is why the Lord had said to Peter, “I know that you will commit sin in your flesh, but lest you stumble over your sins and turn into a sinner again to hesitate to approach Me, I have borne all your personal sins through My baptism. Having been baptized, I will be condemned for your sins, and I will thereby become your Savior, your God, and your perfect Shepherd. Believe in the gospel of the remission of your sins. Even though you commit sin in your flesh and you come short of My perfection, I still love you. I have already blotted out all your sins with My baptism. The gospel of the atonement of sins is the eternal gospel that has eradicated all your sins. My love for you will remain unchanged forever.” 
Jesus spoke the gospel Word of atonement of sins to Peter and the rest of the disciples here in John chapter 13 because this gospel was so important for everyone to believe in Jesus and be born again of water and the Spirit. That is why He said to them, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 
Now then, in verses 9 and 10 here, the Bible says, “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean.” 
Do you think that you will continue to commit sin in your flesh into the future, or do you think that you won’t commit any more sin? Of course you will commit sin. However, the Lord said that He bore even all our future sins through His baptism and washed them all away through the gospel of the atonement of sins. He made it clear to the disciples before dying on the Cross that He had washed away each and every personal sin in the world, and He spoke the true gospel Word of the atonement of sins to all His believers. 
Because the weaknesses of the flesh are always with us, we cannot help but commit sin in this world. That is why, having blotted out all the sins of every sinner in this world, our Lord has told all His believers through the gospel of the atonement of sins that He has washed away all their sins with His baptism. Jesus has washed not only our heads and bodies, but He has also washed our feet—that is, He has washed away even all our future sins. And that is the gospel of the baptism of regeneration. After Jesus was baptized, John the Baptist testified, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) You must believe in this Truth, that all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus Christ and atoned by Him.
Everyone commits sin in the flesh as long as he lives in this world. We have to admit this. Whenever our human weaknesses are exposed as Peter’s were, we must confirm once more, through the gospel of the atonement of sins, that our Lord took care of all our sins by being baptized in the Jordan River and shedding His blood on the Cross, reaffirm this true salvation, believe in it, and thank the Lord for it. 
Let us then confess our faith in this gospel of perfect atonement and say to the Lord that He is our Savior and our God. I give all thanks to the Lord. 
 
 

The Evil Thoughts of the Human Mind

 
All the people in this world commit carnal sins with their flesh. Having inherited sinful nature from their parents, some of them spend their entire lifetime doing nothing but committing sin with their bodies until death. Although some people do good things with their bodies, most people’s acts are evil. 
Jesus said in Matthew 15:19-20: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Put different, God is saying here man himself is a filthy being, for there are twelve filthy sins inside every human heart (Mark 7: 21-23).
 


Everyone Must Admit His or Her Evilness

 
Before we listen to the Word of God to be born again of water and the Spirit, we must first admit to God that we ourselves are completely depraved sinners and say, “Lord, all these sins are inside me. I have such evil desires in my heart. I have all the twelve sins that the Bible speaks of.” However, most people don’t want to expose their evil selves. Instead, they make excuses for themselves, saying, “I had no desire to do what I’ve done. I just had a momentary lapse of judgment and made an honest mistake.” 
But what does God say about man? He clearly says that out of the human heart proceed evil thoughts, and that all that everyone thinks about all his life is nothing but evil. How about your thoughts then? Are they evil or good? Do you realize that your human thoughts are all evil? Man’s thoughts are indeed evil as it is written, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). 
A number of years ago, a department store in Korea collapsed and many people were trapped beneath the debris. When the news broke out, people rushed to the site looking for their loved ones, but there were many spectators as well. Some of them even thought, “How come more people didn’t die? They say that only about 200 or 300 people were killed, but that’s not disastrous enough for me. I wish a thousand people had died; that would have made me feel a bit better.” You need to realize here just how evil man’s thoughts are. And you have to admit this. The victims of the disaster died for no good reason and their families saw their lives ruined all of a sudden, but among the spectators, there were some who thought, “I wish more had died! I also wish there would more disasters like this. Wouldn’t it be great if something like this happened to that baseball stadium over there? It’d be quite a sight to see the stadium collapse during the heat of the game and crush thousands and tens of thousands of people to death.”
Let me give you another example. When you come across a car accident while driving on a highway, you will likely slow down to see what’s going on. But how would you feel if the accident turned out to be minor? In all likelihood, your curious eyes would be disappointed. So you can see just how evil man’s thoughts are. Of course, everyone laments with words when a disaster breaks out, but inside, some people think, “I wonder how many died. Hundreds? Thousands? The more the better for me!” This, my fellow believers, is the nature of our human hearts. Everyone is evil like this before being born again. 
Let’s read Mark 7:20-23 together. “And He said, ‘What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.’”
 

Man’s Murderous Desires
 
God said that everyone has murderous desires in his heart. But the vast majority of people refuse to acknowledge that they have murderous desires in their hearts, saying to God, “That’s nonsense! I have no murderous desire at all! How can You say such an absurd thing to me?” While these people do admit that man is evil by nature, they still think that this is an irrelevant issue that doesn’t apply to them. They say, “I am not so evil. God was talking about the criminals you hear about in the news—mobsters, serial killers, rapists, and so on, but not about me. I am fundamentally different from these people. They are not even human!” So in anger they shout out, “We should exterminate such evil people from this world. They should all be executed!” 
However, the reality is that it’s not just cruel criminals who harbor murderous desires in their hearts, but everyone else on this planet has the same murderous desire. The Lord said that everyone has murderous desires in the heart. This is what God actually said to us after looking deep into our hearts, and we must admit it and confess, “I am a murderous sinner.” God said that there are evil thoughts and murderous desires in the human heart. So let us all just admit the Word of God. When this generation turns even more wicked down the road, everything and anything that one carries for self-protection will likely turn into a murder weapon, not just knives and guns. That’s because everyone has murderous desires in the heart. People will kill each other over the slightest provocation. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should start killing each other, but I am saying this to illustrate that by nature, we all have such murderous desires in our human hearts.
We need to recognize here that everyone is wicked like this because everyone was born with such evil desires. It’s not the case that some people are born especially evil while others are not. Rather, everyone is born as a murderer and an evil being. When God said that every human being is wicked, He said this because everyone is indeed evil. There is no one who is not evil. The right faith requires us all to acknowledge this Word of God and submit to it. It’s because people have evil desires that they actually carry them out with their acts.
 

Man’s Lewd Desire 
 
God also said that man has lewd desire in his heart, but do you agree with this? Do you admit that you have lewd desire? Everyone has lustful desire in his heart. That’s why the so-called “adult” industry is flourishing so much in this world. One can make easy money by peddling pornography. Even when other types of businesses suffer from a recession, this particular industry hums along just fine, and that’s because everyone’s heart is lustful. 
 


The Sinful Nature of Humans Bears Sinful Fruit

 
An apple tree bears apples, a pear tree bears pears, a date tree bears dates, and a persimmon tree bears persimmons. Likewise, because we were all born with twelve sinful desires in our hearts, all of us commit sin in our lives. That is what the Lord said. Do you admit what the Lord said to us here, that what proceeds from the heart of man is what defiles man? If we agree with this Word of God, then we can’t help but admit, “Yes, Lord. All of us are indeed a wicked brood of evildoers. You are right.” And we ought to admit this. We have to admit ourselves and recognize the Word of God. Just as Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the will of God, so must we humans also acknowledge the Word of God in submission. Only then can we be saved from all our sins through the God-given gospel of the water and Spirit.
Korea is a great place to live with four distinct seasons. But seasons change not just in Korea, but all across the world, and just as every season returns in time, so do the twelve sinful desires in our hearts keep on rising, making us commit sin. It may be murder today, lust tomorrow, evil thoughts the next day, fraud the day after, theft the next day, foolishness the following day, and blasphemy the day after—the list of the sins that we keep on committing every day of every month of every year is endless. Not a day goes by when we don’t commit any sin. That’s why we are a brood of sin that can’t help but continue to commit sin despite constantly resolving ourselves to never commit it again. 
Take an apple tree for illustration. Does any apple tree not bear apples just because it doesn’t want to? Just because an apple tree thinks, “I don’t want to bear any apples,” does it not bear any apples? No, of course not. It is the natural order of things for an apple tree to blossom in the spring, bear apples in the summer, and ripen them in the fall to be harvested. Likewise, it is appointed for everyone to commit sin throughout his lifetime. 
 


The Atonement of Sins Has Been Made by the Baptism of Jesus and His Blood on the Cross

 
Let’s then turn to the Word to see how all these sinners, who are a brood of evildoers, can receive the remission of sins from God and make atonement for all their sins to live in joy. I ask you to listen to the gospel of the atonement of sins closely here to find the answer to this question.
Turning to the Old Testament, 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.”
During the age of the Old Testament, when the Israelites sinned against God, how did they all receive the remission of their sins? The Bible says that during the age of the Old Testament, when someone committed sin, this person obtained the remission of his sins by passing them to a sacrificial animal by laying his hands on its head. It’s written in Leviticus 1:2-4: “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. 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.”
God had prepared specific sacrificial animals for the people of Israel that would remit away all their sins. And it’s written here, “He shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering.” In the Old Testament, laying one’s hands on a sacrificial animal meant passing his sins to the animal. Now then, when one opened the screen gates of the court of the Tabernacle and stepped inside, the first thing he saw was the altar of burnt offering, and this altar, shaped like a box slightly bigger than the pulpit here, had a horn on each of its four corners. This is where the Israelites sacrificed their offerings to receive the remission of their sins from God, by laying their hands on the head of a sacrificial animal and thus passing their sins, and then slaughtering the animal. 
God said in Leviticus, “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.” When an Israelite laid his hands on his sacrificial animal, his sins were passed onto the animal, and having thus passed his sins through the laying on of his hands, this animal was accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. The sinner then cut the animal’s throat and drew its blood. The priest, in turn, put some of this blood on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, cut the flesh of the animal into pieces, put the flesh on the altar, threw away all the unclean entrails and offal, and burnt the flesh by fire to offer its aroma to God. That is how the Israelites obtained the remission of all their sins. This was the sacrifice by which the people of Israel were remitted from their daily sins. 
In addition, the people of Israel had another sacrificial rite that allowed them to make atonement for their yearly sins, and this sacrifice of the Day of Atonement had several features distinct from the daily sacrifices. First of all, whereas it was the individual sinner who passed his sins to an unblemished animal when atonement was made for his daily sins, for the yearly sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, it was the High Priest who laid his hand on the sacrificial animal on behalf of the entire people of Israel and passed their sins to the animal while they were all watching. Another difference is that the High Priest took the blood of the sacrifice into the Most Holy and sprinkled it seven times on the mercy seat on the east side. In this way, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the High Priest made atonement for all the yearly sins of the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:5-27). 
Now then, we need to shift our attention and find out how the Old Testament’s sacrificial system of atonement was fulfilled in the New Testament, and how God’s everlasting statute has been kept and passed on without changing. 
Why did Jesus Christ have to die on the Cross? What wrong did God do on this earth that He was crucified to death? Who compelled Jesus Christ to die on the Cross? When all the sinners of this world were trapped in sin—this actually applies to none other than you and me—Jesus Christ came to this earth to save these sinners, a brood of evildoers, from all the condemnation of sin. Then, He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River to make atonement for your sins and mine, and in our place He bore the punishment of sin that all of us should have borne ourselves. That Jesus was baptized and shed His blood on the Cross is the same as the sacrificial rites of the Old Testament’s sin offering, in which hands were laid on the head of the sacrificial animal to be killed before the altar of burnt offering. 
During the age of the Old Testament, the Israelites actually laid their hands on the head of the sacrificial animal and confessed their sins, and to be remitted from all their sins, they cut the throat of the animal to which they had passed their sins, drew its blood, and sacrificed this offering to God to make atonement for their sins. Likewise, Jesus Christ also offered the same sacrifice of the atonement of sins. He was baptized and shed His blood on the Cross to death in order for God to blot out all your sins and mine, and to save us from all our sins. 
It’s not erroneous to say then that you and I are actually responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. Think about what happened to the Old Testament’s unblemished sacrificial animals. Did any of these animals even know what sin was? No, of course not; no animal knew sin. Yet the Israelites laid their hands on these animals to pass their sins to them. Clearly, then, there must also have been a similar event in which Jesus Christ accepted all the sins of the human race onto His own body. 
Fundamentally speaking, Jesus Christ was the sinless Son of God, and He had never committed any sin at all. Yet to bear all the sins of mankind and of the world, He was baptized in the Jordan River at the age of 30, and this was done in order to make atonement for all the sins of the human race. It was because Jesus had thus accepted all our sins in the Jordan River that He was crucified to death. All these ministries were the work of salvation done to blot out all the sins of each and every sinner. This scene is recorded in Matthew chapter 3. 
 
 

The Beginning of the Gospel of the Atonement of Sins 

 
Let’s now all turn to Matthew 3:13-16 here: “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.” 
It’s absolutely imperative for all of us to understand why Jesus was baptized at the age of 30. It was to remit away all the sins of mankind and fulfill all the righteousness of God that Jesus was baptized. To save the entire human race from all its sins, the flawless Jesus Himself was personally baptized by John the Baptist. And by doing so, He bore all the sins of this world, remitted them all away, and saved all human beings. But to receive the remission of sins, we must believe in this Truth. The onus is on us to believe in this Truth. 
What is the meaning of baptism? Its meaning is the same as that of the laying on of hands in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, it was the sacrificial animal that bore the sins of the Israelites through the laying on of either the individual sinner’s hands or the High Priest’s hands, but in the New Testament, as Jesus Christ Himself came to this earth to save us, He personally accepted and bore all our sins through the laying on of John the Baptist’s hands. At that time, God the Father had raised John the Baptist to be the single representative of the entire human race, and He had made him baptize Jesus on behalf of every human being. Spiritually speaking, the word “baptism” means “to pass on, to transfer, to bury, or to wash,” and all these meanings are also captured in “the laying on of hands.”
Now then, do you realize why Jesus Christ had to receive His baptism of the atonement of sins from John the Baptist when He came to this earth? Do you believe in Jesus with this understanding? Jesus was baptized to bear all the sins of the world on His own body, each and every sin that you and I as well as the entire human race commit with our bodies and hearts until the day we die as a brood of evildoers. It’s to fulfill the gospel of the atonement of sins that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
Jesus said in Matthew 3:15, “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” To fulfill all righteousness here means to make everyone sinless and free everyone from all the sins of the world. In other words, Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist for the sake of all sinners. As shown in Mathew 3:13-17, when Jesus Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, all the sins of mankind were passed onto Him. And having borne everyone’s sins at that time, Jesus Christ died on the Cross three years later, and He rose from the dead again in three days. To remit away all the sins of this world, He was baptized at once, died on the Cross at once, and rose from the dead again at once. For all who yearn to receive the remission of sins from God, for all His believers, Jesus has brought salvation once and for all. 
Jesus had to put on a crown of thorns, be judged in the court of Pilate and crucified like a criminal, and pour out all His blood to death. Why did Jesus have to suffer like this then? It’s because He had borne all the sins of everyone on this planet through His baptism, because He had taken upon none other than all your sins and mine, that Jesus had to die on the Cross like this. 
All of us must believe in this Word of salvation and thank God for saving us in this way. Jesus could not have saved us from the sins of the world but by this method—that is, by being baptized, crucified, and resurrected. When Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist to accept the sins of the world, He took them all away, He saved us from all the sins of the world, and He delivered all His believers. Some people may think, “Didn’t Jesus take away only our original sin?” But that’s just their own thought; God has clearly written in the Bible that John the Baptist passed all the sins of the world to Jesus when he baptized Him, that Jesus bore them all, and that He blotted out all the sins of mankind. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 3:15, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” That the Lord has fulfilled all righteousness means that He has blotted out all the sins of the world.
Did Jesus take away everyone’s personal sins in this world? He has indeed taken them all away. To find evidence of this, let’s first turn to the Old Testament and examine the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement and the role of the High Priest as described in Leviticus chapter 16. 
 


The Sacrifice That Atoned for All the Yearly Sins of the Entire People of Israel

 
It’s written in Leviticus 16:6-10: “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 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.” Here, the Bible describes how Aaron sacrificed a bull as his sin offering and took two goats to offer them to God at the door of the Tabernacle of Meeting. It’s written here, “Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat.” To save the people of Israel, Aaron needed a scapegoat.
According to the God-established sacrificial system of the Old Testament, an individual could pass his daily sins to a sacrificial animal by personally laying his hands on its head, but the yearly sins of the entire people of Israel were passed by the High Priest on their behalf on the tenth day of the seventh month. It’s written in Leviticus 16:29-31: “This shall be a statute forever for you: 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.”
When the people of Israel brought their daily sins to the Tabernacle, they confessed their sins and passed them to a sacrificial animal by laying their hands on its head, cut its throat and drew its blood, and then handed over this blood to the priest. Having accepted these sins through the laying on of hands, this animal was then put to death to remit them away. God then accepted this sacrificial animal instead of demanding death from the Israelites. Clean animals specified by God, such as lambs, goats, calves, and bulls, were acceptable as sacrificial offerings, and God accepted every sacrifice that was offered according to His requirements.
Because God was merciful, He wanted to save the people of Israel, and so He had allowed the sinful to pass their sins to a sacrificial animal and let this animal be put to death in their place. Like this, the sacrificial system of the Old Testament brought the remission of sins to the Israelites as they passed their sins to a lamb or a goat by laying their hands on its head, killed this animal and drew its blood, and gave this blood to the priest. 
Although the people of Israel were supposed to obtain the remission of their daily sins in this way, it was practically impossible for them to offer so many sacrifices on a daily basis. So on the tenth day of the seventh month, the High Priest, laying his hands on a scapegoat on behalf of the entire people of Israel, passed all their yearly sins to the sacrificial animal all at once. What exactly did the High Priest do then? First, Aaron laid his hands on the head of the goat and confessed all the sins that the Israelites had committed over the year, saying, “The people of Israel have committed murder, adultery, and theft. They have been jealous, they have quarreled amongst themselves, and they have borne false witness.” He then cut the throat of the sacrificial animal, drew its blood, took this blood into the Most Holy by himself, and sprinkled it seven times there. The number seven in the Bible denotes perfection. The first thing that the High Priest did was passing all the yearly sins of the entire people of Israel to the sacrificial animal, and it was after this that the animal was sacrificed and put to death in their place. 
Because God is just, in order to save the people of Israel from all their carnal sins, He had sacrificed an animal in their place. He did this because He is also merciful. So, as the High Priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice seven times on the mercy seat on the east side, all the yearly sins of the entire people of Israel were cleansed away in just one day, on the tenth day of the seventh month. 
Every year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, the people of Israel offered the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement, and on this day two goats were offered. One of them is called “scapegoat,” which means, “to be released,” and this scapegoat of the Old Testament is the shadow of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. As the Bible 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” (John 3:16).
This means that God gave us His Son to be our own Lamb of sacrifice. In other words, Jesus had come to us as the Savior who would bear all the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist and save us from all sins. That’s why He is called the Messiah, that is, the Savior. Therefore, the name “Jesus Christ” denotes the King of all kings who came to save all sinners. Put differently, just as all the people of Israel were remitted from their yearly sins on the Day of Atonement in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ came to this earth over 2,000 years ago, was baptized to bear all the sins of the entire human race, and made atonement for each and every sin by shedding His blood on the Cross.
Let us read Leviticus 16:21-22 together here: “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.”
Much as it’s written in Leviticus chapter 1, this passage also makes it clear that the Israelites’ sins were passed onto the sacrificial animal through the laying on of Aaron’s hands. Where the Bible speaks of “all the iniquities of the children of Israel” here in Leviticus 16:21, the iniquities refer to all the sins committed by the Israelites either with their hearts or with their acts, and the High Priest passed all these iniquities to the scapegoat by laying his hands on its head.
 

From the Law, You Must Recognize All the Consequences of Your Sins
 
The Law of God is composed of 613 statutes and commandments. In reality, however, we have all failed to do what God has told us to do and done what He has told us not to do. So we are all sinners. The Bible writes that God gave us the Law so that we would realize our sins (Romans 3:20), and this means that God gave us the Law to teach us that we are sinners. In other words, the Law was not given to us based on the premise that we are somehow capable of observing it all, and therefore should keep it, but rather, it was given to us so that we would realize our sins. God did not give us the Law to observe its every statute to perfection, as though this were possible for us. Keeping all the Law is simply beyond our reach; it is akin to expecting a beast to behave like a human being. So the sole purpose of the Law was to make us realize our sins, not to observe it perfectly. 
Put differently, God gave us the Law because even as we were completely depraved sinners, we did not realize it ourselves. Through the Law God was saying to us, “You are murderers and adulterers, and your thoughts are always evil.” God told everyone not to commit murder, but it is in their nature for human beings to commit murder in their hearts and sometimes even carry it out in action. Now then, when one does what God told him not to do through the Law, he realizes that he has done something wrong, that he has committed sin, and that he is therefore sinful. In other words, it’s when we do something forbidden that we realize that we are sinners. 
So, in the Old Testament, to save all the people of Israel from their sins, God permitted Aaron to minister the sacrifice off the Day of Atonement, and by bearing this responsibility and fulfilling this priesthood, Aaron made it possible for all the Israelites to make atonement for their yearly sins. As mentioned, there were two sacrificial animals offered on the Day of Atonement, and one of them was sacrificed to God in the Tabernacle after Aaron passed the Israelites’ sins to it by laying his hands, while the other goat was released alive in the wilderness. Aaron also laid his hands on the head of the second goat to pass the Israelites’ sins, but he did this while they were all watching. With his hands laid on the head of the goat, Aaron confessed all the yearly sins of the people of Israel, and then he handed the scapegoat over to a suitable man to be sent into the wilderness.
The land of Palestine is a desert wilderness, and the scapegoat was led into such an endless desert wilderness and abandoned there. When the people of Israel saw this goat carrying their yearly sins far into the wilderness, they knew that their sins had ended and they found rest in their hearts, while the scapegoat eventually perished somewhere in the desert wilderness. After roaming around in the desert, the goat perished while shouldering the yearly sins of the people of Israel, and with this death it made atonement for all their sins. 
Now, God is saying to us that Jesus is our own Scapegoat, and that through the baptism of Jesus and His blood, God Himself has remitted away all our daily sins and all the sins of our entire lifetime. Jesus is God Himself and our Savior. He is the Son of God who came to save us from all the sins of the world, and He is the Creator who made us. Having come to save us from all the sins of the world that we commit in our flesh, Jesus had to be baptized by John the Baptist to make atonement for not only our daily sins but all the sins that we have ever committed and will ever commit in this world, whether with our hearts or with our flesh, and to fulfill all the righteousness of God. 
Three years before dying on the Cross, when Jesus Christ began His public ministry on this earth at the age of 30, the very first thing He did was accepting all the sins of the world in the Jordan River through John the Baptist, and it is from this moment on that the Lord began to work to complete the salvation of the human race and the remission of its sins. 
Waist-deep in the Jordan River, John the Baptist baptized Jesus by laying his hands on His head and submerging Him in the water. This baptism here refers to none other than the Old Testament’s laying on of hands, and it is the means by which Jesus accepted all the sins of mankind. And that Jesus went into the water implies His death, while His emergence from the water denotes His resurrection. By receiving baptism from John the Baptist, Jesus Christ laid a fitting foundation to fulfill all righteousness through these three works. 
We are saved only if we submit to the Word by which Jesus has saved us. God had decided to save us through Jesus Christ in this way, and He fulfilled our salvation in the New Testament according to the Word of His covenant promised in the Old Testament. And Jesus Christ shouldered all the sins of the world and carried them to the Cross.
It’s written in 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!” John the Baptist is testifying here that Jesus Christ took away the sins of this world. All the sins of the entire human race were passed onto Jesus Christ when He was baptized. Believe in this! You will then surely receive the atonement of sins by faith. All of us must have faith in the Word of God. Casting aside our own stubborn thoughts and conjectures, we must submit to the Word of God proclaiming that Jesus took away the sins of the world, and we must believe in this Word without any doubts.
That Jesus took away all the sins of this world once and for all means the same as the remission of sins that has fulfilled all the righteousness of God. And “the laying on of hands” and “the baptism” here both mean the same thing. “Everything,” “all,” and “the whole” are different words but their meaning is the same. Likewise, the Old Testament’s laying on of hands is the same as the New Testament’s baptism, which Jesus received in a form of the laying on of hands, and it is with this baptism of Jesus that our sins are washed away. The Bible says that Jesus Christ was baptized and condemned on the Cross in our place for the atonement of our sins, and we have been saved by believing in this original gospel.
What, then, are the sins of the world that Jesus took away? The Bible says that the sins we were born with from our mothers’ wombs and all the sinful desires that are found in our human hearts, such as evil thoughts, theft, jealousy, conflict, hatred, pride, and foolishness, belong to the sins of the world, as do all the personal transgressions and iniquities that we have ever committed and will ever commit out of our weaknesses, whether with our acts or our hearts. Each and every sin, in other words, belongs to the sins of the world. 
It’s written in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Bible also says in Hebrews 9:22, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.” As the Word of God says here, the wages of every sin must be paid without fail. But the Bible also says that when Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from all our sins, He paid off the wages of each and every sin once and for all with His own life, thereby making atonement for all the sins of everyone in this world. The remission of sins is therefore received by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood, and by believing that Jesus is God Himself and the Savior. 
 

The Atonement of Tomorrow’s Sins
 
Each and every sin that we have ever committed and will ever commit until the end of our lives belongs to the sins of the world, regardless of when it was committed. From yesterday to today and tomorrow, from the cradle to the grave, all the sins ever committed by us belong to the sins of the world, and the Bible says that all these sins were passed onto Jesus Christ through His baptism, and the Lord took them all away from us. Each and every sin that we commit until the moment we die is included in the sins of the world. 
We are saved only if we believe in this original gospel of God and submit ourselves to His written Word, and the remission of sins is received only if we cast aside our own stubborn thoughts. Yet some people may still ask stubbornly, “How could Jesus have taken away the sins that we haven’t even committed yet?” I’d like to ask such people in return, “Does Jesus Christ then have to come down to us and shed His blood to blot out our sins every time we commit sin?” 
My fellow believers, to be born again, you must follow the law of the atonement of sins, for the Bible clearly says, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament, for anyone to receive the remission of sins, it was absolutely imperative for this person to lay his hands on the head of his sacrificial animal to pass his sins to it and kill this animal. Only when the wages of his sins were thus paid off was this person saved. Likewise, the Son of God came to this earth to save the entire human race from sin; to blot out all our sins, He bore them all by being baptized, shed His blood on the Cross, rose from the dead again in three days, and ascended to Heaven; and He is now sitting at the right hand of the throne of God the Father as our everlasting Savior. 
To receive the remission of sins, we must throw away our own rigid ideas and cast aside the religious notion that the forgiveness of our sins has to be sought on a daily basis. We should receive the salvation of the atonement of sins once and for all; we cannot receive the remission of sins on a daily basis by offering prayers of repentance. Through the baptism of Jesus, God the Father had passed all the sins of the world to His Son once and for all, and having put all these sins of the world on the body of His Son, God the Father had Him crucified to be condemned in our place, resurrected Him from the dead, and has thereby remitted away all our sins. 
The Lord said in Isaiah chapter 53 that He put all our iniquities on Jesus, each and every iniquity of everyone in this world, as it’s written: 
“Surely He has borne our griefs 
And carried our sorrows; 
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, 
Smitten by God, and afflicted. 
But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities; 
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; 
We have turned, every one, to his own way; 
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).
Elsewhere in the New Testament, Ephesians 1:4 says, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” God is saying here that He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to make us His own righteous and unblemished people. Therefore, we must believe in this God-spoken Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit, and submit ourselves to it regardless of our own thoughts. 
God is saying to us here that Jesus Christ, His Lamb, took away all the sins of the world and remitted them all away, and this is in fact what happened. Hebrews 10:1 says, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” This means that laying our hands on a lamb or a bull and sacrificing it day after day cannot make us perfect. As the Law is the shadow of the good things to come, it is not perfect by itself, and therefore the Messiah to come, Jesus Christ Himself, bore all the sin of the world once and for all through His baptism received from John the Baptist, just as the High Priest had passed the yearly sins of the people of Israel once and for all. And the Lord indeed took away all the sins of the world by being baptized and crucified. 
That is why the Bible says in Hebrews 10:9-18: “He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” I believe in this Word with all my heart, that the Lord has indeed saved us from all our sins through His baptism and His blood on the Cross.
 

The Salvation and Regeneration of the Water and the Spirit Engraved in Our Hearts and Minds 
 
My fellow believers, do you believe that Jesus Christ has saved us like this by being baptized and shedding His blood on the Cross? Do you submit yourself to this Word of God by faith? We are born again only if we submit to this Word. We receive the remission of sins by believing that Jesus Christ has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of atonement. It’s not by living virtuously every day that we receive the remission of sins, but it is by believing in what God has done for us that the remission of sins is obtained. We are remitted from all our sins and become righteous people only by believing that Jesus Christ took upon all our sins in the Jordan River by being baptized, and that He bore on the Cross all the condemnation that you and I should have borne. Do you believe this?
The baptism of Jesus, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection constitute the work of salvation that has made it possible for everyone to receive the remission of all sins from God, and it is the Lord’s law of salvation and His love. Although God loves us, He doesn’t love us and tolerate us even as we remain in our sinful state. Rather, because God is just, He has made us righteous through the sacrifice of His Son, by making Him receive baptism in order to blot out all our sins. To make us sinless, God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to this earth; by having Jesus receive baptism from John the Baptist, the Father passed all our sins to the Son; and by condemning His Son Jesus Christ in our place, the Father has removed our condemnation. That God has made us sinless and righteous, and accepted us as His own children, is the very salvation that God Himself has brought to us by the water and the blood, and it is His agape love. 
God said in Hebrew 10:16, “I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.” Are we then sinners in our hearts and minds, or are we righteous people? All of us who obey the Word of God are righteous people. Jesus Christ took away all our sins and was condemned for them all. He is our Savior. Some of us may still think, “How can we say that we are righteous people when we still commit sin every day? Aren’t we all sinners then?” However, if we submit ourselves to the Word of God just as Jesus Christ had submitted Himself to God’s Word, then we will all be made righteous. 
Before we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our hearts had also been sinful. However, once we accepted Jesus Christ’s gospel of the atonement of sins, we were saved from all our sins. When we didn’t know this gospel of the atonement of sins, we had all been sinful. But we have now become righteous people by believing that God has saved us through the gospel of the atonement of sins, and by submitting ourselves to this salvation. This is the very faith that the Apostle Paul speaks of, whereby one is justified by faith, and it is the faith that makes us righteous by believing in the gospel of the atonement of sins.
The Apostle Paul also writes that Abraham did not become a righteous man and the father of faith by his own acts, but by believing in the God-spoken Word and submitting himself to this Word of grace. Just as Hebrews 10:18 says, “Where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin,” God has indeed fulfilled our salvation completely, so that we would never live bound by sin again. 
Elsewhere in Philippians chapter 2, the Bible also says: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).
Making Himself of no reputation, Jesus Christ took the form of a bondservant, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and obeyed the will of the Father to the point of death, all in order to save us. That is why we praise Jesus Christ as our God, our Savior, and our King. We give all glory to God the Father and praise Jesus Christ at the same time precisely because Jesus Christ obeyed the will of the Father. Had Jesus Christ not obeyed the Father’s will, the Son of God would not have received glory. However, despite being the Son of God, Jesus still trusted in and obeyed the will of God the Father to the point of death, and that is why He has received and will forever receive glory from all creatures and all human beings. 
The Bible writes that Jesus became the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, and that He shouldered all your sins and mine through His baptism. Now then, almost 2,000 years have gone by since Jesus shouldered the sins of the world, and you and I were born long after this and are now living in the present age. But even the sins that we commit in this present age all belong to the sins of the world, for the world has not ended yet.
Without distinguishing original and personal sins, didn’t we all commit sin in our childhood? Even when we were toddlers, we were prone to commit sin. But Jesus has blotted out all these sins as well, and that is why we call Him our Savior. What about when we were teenagers? Didn’t we also commit sin in our adolescence? Of course we did! But all these sins were already passed onto Jesus almost 2,000 years ago. Knowing very well that we would commit sin from the cradle to the grave, Jesus took away all the sins of the world beforehand and paid off their wages in advance. Now then, assuming an average life expectancy of 70 years, how many more sins would we commit for the next 50 years? If we were to load them up in a truck, we would need a hundred trucks to fit them all. But even these sins were all taken away by Jesus once and for all through His baptism, and He carried them to the Cross to bring the remission of sins to every human being. 
If Jesus had taken away only our original sin but not our personal sins, then we would all have to face certain death. If you still think that Jesus somehow failed to take away all your sins, this is nothing but a figment of your own imagination. Even if you think and feel on your own that Jesus did not take away all the sins of the world, that does not change the fact that Jesus actually bore and took away all the sins of the world through His baptism. 
Just how many sins do we commit in our lives? Consider a man in his fifties. How many sins has he committed so far? He has committed so many sins from his very birth that it’s impossible to count them all. Will this man then somehow not commit any more sin from now on? No, he will continue to sin until the moment he dies. All such sins are committed while living in this world regardless of when they are committed, and Jesus bore them all. That is why Jesus commanded John the Baptist to baptize Him, to take upon each and every sin of the world. The Lord Himself had the authority to testify for Himself, saying, “I have blotted out all your sins,” but the Lord didn’t just say this but actually carried it out. He had sent His servant beforehand as the representative of mankind, and through this man, as Jesus lowered His head to John the Baptist and was baptized by him, the Lord made atonement for all the sins of mankind, all the sins of the world, and all our sins. He has made atonement for each and every sin that we have ever committed and will ever commit in our entire lifetime, and all the sins that our descendants will ever commit. He who has blotted out all the sins of the entire human race with His baptism is Jesus our Savior.
Who can then ever say that there still are sins in this world? The Lord has remitted away all sins in this way, and if we believe in what was accomplished by John the Baptist and Jesus from the depth of our hearts with conviction, then all of us will be redeemed and saved from all our sins. 
Sometimes I talk about my own experiences too much, as though I’m the only one who has led a difficult life, but I know very well that in fact there are many more people who have led an even more difficult life, and that many of you have also struggled a lot in your lives. Is it because life is too long that we face so much suffering? No. God says that all our days have passed away in His wrath and we finish our years like a sigh (Psalm 90:9). And the Bible continues to talk about the reality of our meaningless lives, saying,
“The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). 
Let me use dayflies to illustrate my point. A dayfly’s half-life is twelve hours. Dayflies live for only a day, and that’s why they are called dayflies. Now then, imagine that a bunch of dayflies got together at noon after living for twelve hours and began talking amongst themselves about all the travails they had gone through over the span of those twelve hours. For the dayflies, having lived for twelve hours means they have lived half their lives. By the sunset, they would have spent two-thirds of their lives, and they would be talking about how they were all getting old and nearing their end. Many of them would then begin to perish by the nightfall, and the even the longest living dayfly would be dead by midnight. If we were to listen into their conversation and hear them talking amongst themselves about their life experiences spanning no more than 24 hours, we would laugh at them given our average life expectancy of 70 to 80 years. Just as these dayflies are laughable to us, so does God see us in this way. 
As God has decided the beginning and the end of the world, and He is forever living, He abides in eternal time. God looked at us from His timeless dimension. Long ago, God Himself had come to this earth, and to make atonement for all the sins of the entire human race in the world, He had borne them all through His baptism and died on the Cross, saying, “It is finished!” He then rose from the dead again in three days and ascended to Heaven. God now abides in timeless hours. And He is watching over us from His eternal time. Let me illustrate this with another example.
Let’s imagine here that someone thought to himself, “I’m only 30 years old, yet I’ve committed so many sins already. I’m terrified that I’d commit even more sins in the years to come. How could I ever be forgiven then?” Our Lord, who abides in eternal time, would then say to this man, “Are you kidding Me? That’s nonsense! Do you think that I took away only the sins that you’ve committed so far? Do you think these sins are all that I bore? I have taken away all the sins of the world! I accepted all the sins of every human being onto My own body, from Adam the first man to the last man standing at the end of the world, including all your descendants!” Abiding in His timeless hours, the Lord says that He bore all the sins of mankind for the remission of all our sins.
 

The Lord Has Completely Fulfilled Every Sinner’s Salvation
 
Let’s turn to John 19:17-20 here: “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.”
Having borne all the sins of the world, Jesus Christ was sentenced to death by the court of Pilate and crucified. Let’s ponder on this for a while here. It’s written in John 19:28-30: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, ‘I thirst!’ Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” 
Jesus Christ had borne each and every sin according to the Scriptures. After receiving the sour wine, Jesus Christ said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He passed away, but He rose from the dead again in three days and ascended to Heaven. The baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist and the death He suffered on the Cross were indispensably and inexorably linked together for the fulfillment of the gospel of the atonement of sins. I give all thanks to the Lord for saving us like this through the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
However, everyone’s flesh always follows what the flesh itself desires. Therefore, in the flesh everyone is a sinner that disobeys God’s commandments and sins against Him throughout the entire lifetime, and all of us have this same flesh. But to such people like us, our Lord has brought the salvation of the baptism and blood of Jesus, with which He has remitted away all our sins. God has saved us in this way. Born in Bethlehem, Jesus bore the sins of the world in the Jordan River through His baptism, and He has now made it possible for all who have truly received the remission of sins to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by faith at any time, for these people believe in the gospel of the water, blood, and resurrection of the Lord. I give all glory, praise, and thanks to the Lord.
 

Jesus Restored Peter’s Faith
 
When we turn to the last chapter in the Gospel of John, we see that Jesus went to Galilee after His resurrection. He went there looking for Peter, and when He found him He asked him, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” Peter then answered Him and said, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love you,” and Jesus said to him in return, “Feed My lambs.” Peter’s faith was finally made complete at that time, with his heart realizing the gospel of the atonement of sins constituted by the baptism and blood of Jesus. His faith in the Lord was made even stronger, for Peter now grasped why the Lord had washed His feet, understood the gospel of the water and the blood, and believed in this gospel of the atonement of sins. 
Let’s turn to John 21:15-16 here and see what Jesus said to Peter when He appeared before the disciples after His resurrection: “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’” This passage tells us that the Lord could now entrust His people to Peter, for Peter had become a completely saved disciple and a perfectly righteous servant of God.
If Peter were to turn into a sinner again just because he committed sin in his flesh, then the Lord could not have entrusted the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the atonement of all sins, to Peter or any other disciples still bound by their personal sins of the flesh. Yet the Lord entrusted Peter and the other disciples with the gospel work of making atonement for all sins, precisely because they all believed in the God-given gospel of the atonement of sins, in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross.
 

“Yes, Lord; You Know That I Love You”
 
Let’s read once more what the Lord said to Peter: “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” Peter then answered Him and said, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” This confession of faith was made by Peter because he believed in the gospel of the atonement of sins the Lord had given him.
If the Lord had not told Peter and the rest of the disciples about this gospel of atonement in John chapter 13 while He washed their feet, and He appeared before Peter after His resurrection and asked him, “Do you love Me more than these?” how would Peter have answered? He would have said, “I have too many shortcomings. I am a sinner, and I am incapable of loving You more than these people. Please, leave me alone.” Peter would then have left Jesus and run away. 
Peter, however, gave a completely different answer, for he had put on the Lord’s grace of the gospel of salvation, the gospel of the atonement of sins fulfilled by the baptism and blood of Jesus. Let’s listen closely one more time to what Peter said in his answer: “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” This confession of faith was made because Peter believed in the gospel of the atonement of sins the Lord had given him. Having believed in Jesus Christ as his Lord, Peter now believed that the Lord had blotted out all the sins committed out of his weaknesses with his hands and feet—that is, he believed in God’s gospel of the everlasting remissions of sins. Because Peter believed in the baptism and blood of the Lord that constituted the gospel of the atonement of sins, and because he believed that the Lord Himself was the Lamb of God, he was able to believe in the Lord’s salvation and His love, and once again confess his faith. Peter’s salvation from his sins had come from the gospel of the atonement of sins made by the baptism and blood of Jesus, and therefore he could be wholly saved from his personal sins as well. His faith was placed in the salvation brought by the gospel of the atonement of sins, one that was fulfilled through the baptism and blood of Jesus Christ. 
How about you then? Do you also believe as Peter believed? Given the fact the Lord has blotted out all the sins of the world with the gospel of the remission of our sins, by being baptized and shedding His blood, how could any of us not believe in the Lord and not love Him? How could we not believe in the Lord’s baptism and blood that have made atonement for all our sins, and how could we not love Him? It’s impossible not to love Him! If the Lord had not made atonement for all our sins, and instead remitted away just our past or present sins but not our future sins, then we could not praise the Lord for His salvation. And everyone would be condemned to live in hell both in this world and the next. Now then, all of us must confess that we have been saved by believing in the gospel that has brought the remission of all our personal sins. We must admit that our flesh always follows sin, that we commit sin constantly in our flesh for this reason, and that we have therefore been saved from all sins by believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus, the gospel of the atonement of sins Jesus has given us. 
If we had not believed in the gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus, the gospel of the remission of all sins, then none of us would have been saved from all personal sins. And if we had believed only in the blood of the Cross and we were to receive the remission of sins by offering prayers of repentance every time we sinned, then not only would we have been too lazy to do achieve this, but it would have been inevitable for us have sin in our hearts all the time. If this had happened, then we would have turned into sinners again; it would have been impossible for us to love the Lord nor would it have been possible for us to approach Him; and, ultimately, we would have been unable to believe in the Lord’s salvation and failed to follow Him until the end. 
However, our Lord has given the gospel of the atonement of all sins to all mankind and saved everyone who believes in this gospel. As He has become the perfect Savior, He has blotted out all the personal sins that we commit in our flesh every day, and as He has given us the gospel of the atonement of sins, He has made us love Him. Now we cannot help but love the gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus that have brought the atonement of sins. Whoever believes in this gospel is compelled to love the Lord forever as a prisoner of God’s love bound to the gospel of salvation, the gospel of the atonement of all sins.
If the Lord left even the slightest trace of your sins, then you could not believe in the Lord nor could you become a witness of the Lord’s gospel of the remission of sins to work as God’s servant. But if you believe in the gospel of the atonement of sins the Lord has fulfilled, you will be saved from all sins. The Lord has made it possible for you to be saved from all sins. If you realize the gospel of the atonement of sins written in the Word of Jesus as His perfect salvation, you will be delivered from all the sins of the world.
 

“Do You Love Me More Than These?”
 
God has entrusted His lambs to His people and servants who believe in His gospel of the atonement of sins. The Lord asked Peter no less than three times, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” and Peter answered Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” We need to listen to this answer closely. This answer did not stem from Peter’s own will, but it stemmed from Peter’s faith in the gospel Word of the atonement of all sins the Lord had given him. When we love the Lord, if this love is based on our own willful beliefs, it would dissipate when we stumble over our weaknesses, but if our love for the Lord depends on His love for us, then this love of ours will also last forever. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the atonement of sins, and it is the perfect gospel that has saved us.
For us to serve God as His servants and love Him, our devotion must also be based on our faith in the gospel of the atonement of sins. If we were to believe in God based on our own willful faith, we are bound to stumble later on to eventually hate our own faith and give it up, but the Lord has blotted out all our original, personal, future, and fleshly sins, and His salvation has eradicated all the sins of everyone on this planet without any exception, including Peter here. 
Indeed, if we were to depend on our own will, our own love, and our own beliefs, it would be inevitable for us to fail in our lives of faith, but if we depend on the gospel of the atonement of sins the Lord has given us, we will lead a successful life of faith as those who have been saved just by believing in the Lord with our hearts. We have now become God’s children and righteous people. Because we believe in the salvation of the water and the Spirit, we are in fact sinless, and because our salvation was reached not by believing in ourselves but by believing in the love of God and His true law of salvation and of the atonement of sins, we are righteous believers and will forever remain so regardless of our shortcomings; we will lead our lives of faith as those destined to Heaven; we will praise God forever; and we will enter the Kingdom of Heaven thanks to God. Do you believe in all this?
Jesus said, “It is not you who loved me but it is I who loved you,” as the Bible says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Now then, if Jesus has saved us through the water and the Spirit, then we must have faith in His baptism and blood, the gospel of the atonement of sins. Had God not saved us through the gospel of the atonement of sins, we could then never have reached salvation no matter how much we believed in God. But through the gospel of the atonement of sins, Jesus has saved us from all our carnal sins. 
That we believe in God, that we have become righteous people, and that we have been saved—all these must be reaffirmed by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the gospel that has brought the remission of our sins. The faith that brings the atonement of sins is the faith that’s placed in the baptism of Jesus and His blood. This gospel of the atonement of sins is the true gospel, the real element of salvation, and the core message of the Scriptures. 
 

You Must Cast Aside Your Own Volitive Faith
 
Your own willful faith is not the real faith, nor is your own willful love the real love. They are nothing more than your own will and emotion. Yet there are many people in this world who believe in Jesus at first based on their own good feelings, only to be bound by sin again and give up their faith eventually. However, our Lord has saved us from all our personal sins, small and great alike, whether committed intentionally or unintentionally. So, to teach the disciples just how completely He had blotted out all their sins, Jesus gathered them together just before His death, and after having dinner with them, He poured water into a basin and washed the disciples’ feet in turn, as shown in John chapter 13. All of us must grasp this gospel of the atonement of sins revealed in this Scripture passage and believe in it.
At first, Peter resisted Jesus adamantly and refused to have his feet washed by the Lord, saying, “You shall never wash my feet!” This shows just how willful Peter’s faith was. But Jesus had said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Through Jesus’ gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have come to know the Word the Lord spoke to the disciples. This Word is the Word of Truth, that every sinner shall be made a righteous person by believing in the Word of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the atonement of all sins the Lord has given us.
One day, after the Lord’s resurrection, Peter was out in the sea with some other disciples to fish. They had returned to their old occupation, but while they were fishing, Jesus appeared on the shore and called them. At that time, Jesus had prepared breakfast for the disciples, and while sharing the meal together, Peter finally came to understand what Jesus meant when He had said to him while washing his feet on the Passover Day, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” It finally dawned upon Peter, “Jesus has truly remitted away all my sins. Knowing that I would commit sin out of my weaknesses, He has even remitted away all my future sins.” Having thus given up his own will and righteousness, Peter now believed in the baptism and blood of Jesus, the Lord’s gospel of the atonement of all sins, and he thanked Him for saving him. 
After finishing breakfast, Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” At that time, Peter finally stood on his unwavering faith in the love of the Lord and confessed, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Peter had now realized the profound meaning of what Jesus had said to him while washing his feet, and he believed in this Word—“What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” And that’s why he could make such a confession to show his true faith in the baptism of Jesus and His blood, the atonement of sins. 
 

Afterwards, Peter Became a True Servant of God
 
So it was, that after this encounter, Peter and all the other disciples preached the gospel to sinners until their death. Even the Apostle Paul, who had persecuted and killed Christians, could also bear witness of Jesus under the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. Of the twelve disciples present at the last supper, Judas betrayed Jesus and hung himself later on, and the Apostle Paul took his place instead. Although the disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas, God had chosen the Apostle Paul, and Paul became a disciple of Jesus and preached the gospel of the atonement of all sins together with the other Apostles. 
All the twelve disciples of Jesus were martyred. Even unto their martyrdom, they all preached the original gospel, saying, “With the gospel of His baptism and blood, the atonement of sins, Jesus Christ has blotted out all your carnal sins. By being baptized in the Jordan River, He bore all the sins of the world on His own body, and by shedding His blood on the Cross, He was condemned in your place. Believe in this gospel of the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross as your salvation from all sins. Believe and be saved.” Countless people heard and believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by the disciples, the gospel of the true atonement of sins, and they were all saved as a result. The gospel of the water and the Spirit, of the baptism and blood of Jesus, was the gospel that had the real power of faith. 
The disciples bore witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, preaching, “Jesus is God. He is your Savior.” Thanks to this witness of the gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by the disciples, you and I have also heard this gospel of salvation, and we have been saved by believing in this gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus that has brought the remission of sins. And on account of God’s love and the perfect salvation of Jesus Christ, we have also become His disciples. 
Do you believe in all this, my fellow believers? It’s because God loved us like this through the salvation of the gospel of the atonement of sins that we have become righteous people and the disciples of Jesus Christ. It was to teach this true gospel of the atonement of sins and true salvation that Jesus had washed Peter’s feet and the other disciples’ feet. He had washed the disciples’ feet to teach us the gospel of the atonement of sins, that long ago, with His baptism and blood, Jesus had already washed away all the sins of the world committed in our flesh throughout our entire lifetime. I give all thanks to the Lord for His gospel of atonement and His love.
Why Jesus washed His disciples’ feet is explained by two factors.  First of all, just as our Lord said to Peter while washing his feet, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this,” He wanted us to know that He had blotted out all our sins with His baptism and blood, the gospel of the atonement of sins. Secondly, Jesus wanted us to follow His example. Jesus is our Lord and He has saved us the sinners and made us righteous by serving us—that is, He served His disciples by washing their feet and preaching the gospel of the atonement of sins to them. Like this, just as the Lord served us, so should the first among us serve the last. There were these two clear reasons as to why Jesus washed the disciples’ feet on the Feast of the Passover in John chapter 13, and these are still very much relevant to God’s Church. 
Jesus said, “For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27). Just as our Lord said here, we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world by sacrificing ourselves to serve God’s Church, so that those who receive the remission of sins through our service would follow our footsteps. It’s to teach us this that our Lord washed the disciples’ feet. And to teach us the primitive gospel clearly and make sure that we are not deceived by Satan, the Lord demonstrated to us, through the washing of Peter’s feet on the Feast of the Passover, that He had become our perfect Savior. Only those of you who believe that Jesus has washed away all your sins through the gospel of the atonement of sins, and believe in this true gospel of the baptism and blood of Jesus, His death, and His resurrection, can be saved from all the sins of the world by faith.
 


You Are Saved by Believing in the Gospel That Has Washed Away All Your Personal Sins

 
Only by believing in the gospel of the atonement of sins, the Word of the water and the Spirit, can we prevent ourselves from being deceived by Satan. It’s easy for us to be deceived by the Devil when he says, “You commit sin in your flesh all the time, and so how can you be sinless? Aren’t you a sinner?” But we can make our stand against the Devil and say to him, “Through His baptism, Jesus took away all the sins that I commit in my flesh. So how can I, as someone who believes in this, ever be a sinner? The Lord has already paid off all the wages of my sins, and so how I can have any debts left?” If you consider the Devil’s words without believing in the gospel of the water and blood of Jesus Christ, then he may seem right, but if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then the true Word of God is exactly right. That’s why you must believe in the gospel that enables you to be born again of water and the Spirit. Faith is all about believing in the written gospel of the baptism of Jesus, His blood on the Cross, His death, and His resurrection. 
Have you ever seen a picture of a model of the Tabernacle? The court of the Tabernacle was surrounded by screen walls hung on pillars. And inside the court, there was a golden house. This house was divided into two sections. It was divided into an outer sanctum called the Holy Place, and an inner sanctum called the Most Holy, where God’s mercy seat was located. The court of the Tabernacle dwelt by God was surrounded by 60 pillars. And the Sanctuary was a small house built with 48 golden boards. It’s necessary for us to have at least some basic understanding of how the Tabernacle looked, as it will help us to understand what God is saying to us through the Tabernacle. 
 


What Were the Materials of the Gate of the Court of the Tabernacle?

 
Regarding the screen gate of the court of the Tabernacle, it’s written in Exodus 27:16, “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets.” The materials used to make the gate of the court of the Tabernacle were blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. The screen gate of the court, which measured 2.5m in height and 10m in width, was made elaborately and magnificently with these four materials of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. 
As the gate of the court of the Tabernacle was woven with blue, purple, and scarlet threat and fine woven linen, God had made sure that anyone could easily find it and step inside. The door of the Tabernacle itself was also woven with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen (Exodus 26:36). The blue, purple, and scarlet thread used for both the door of the Tabernacle and the gate of its court was God’s blueprint of salvation promising that He would save all His believers through the baptism, blood, and divinity of His Son Jesus Christ. All the 60 pillars surrounding the court of the Tabernacle, and all the linens, colors, and materials used there each have a particular significance, and they all speak to the fact that God the Father would save us through His Son Jesus. 
Now then, how many materials were used to build the gate of the court of the Tabernacle? Four kinds of threads were used—blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen. These four colors denote extremely important elements that are indispensable for us to believe in Jesus’ gospel of regeneration. If they were not that important, the Bible would not have recorded them in so much detail. The door of the Tabernacle and the gate of its court were made with blue, purple, and scarlet thread because they denote the critical elements indispensable for God to save us from all our personal, original, and future sins. That is how God had decided. And that’s why He had revealed the pattern of the Tabernacle to Moses first and told him to make it exactly as it was shown to him.
 


What Do the Blue, Purple, and Scarlet Threat Mean in God’s Gospel?

 
You have to recognize first that the pattern of the Tabernacle denotes the detailed portrait of Jesus Christ: Who He is, how He has saved us, and what He has prepared for us the righteous. Inside the Sanctuary, another veil was made with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen, and this veil was hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy. And the robes of the High Priest ministering inside the Sanctuary were also made of blue, purple, and scarlet thread and fine woven linen. 
What do these colors imply then? The blue thread denotes the baptism of Jesus Christ. It’s written in 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism.” Peter testified here in 1 Peter 3:21 that Jesus was baptized to accept the sins of the world, and that this baptism was for the affirmation of our salvation and the atonement of our sins. The evidence that our sins were all passed onto Jesus is found in His baptism (Matthew 3:15). Just as the blue thread was absolutely indispensable for weaving the gate of the court of the Tabernacle, so was the baptism of Jesus absolutely necessary for our salvation. 
The scarlet thread, on the other hand, denotes the blood of Jesus, while the purple thread denotes that Jesus is the King of kings and God Himself. Grasping the significance of these three threads is crucial for us to reach our salvation by believing in Jesus. 
The robe that the High Priest wore when ministering sacrifices is called ephod. This robe itself was blue. And the High Priest wore a turban on his head, and a plate of gold was put on the turban. The thread that was used to attach this gold plate to the turban was also blue thread. And on this plate was engraved: “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.”
 


The Truth Implied by the Blue Thread

 
What is the truth implied by this blue thread then? To find the answer, let’s turn to the Bible. In general, when we think about the color blue, we are often reminded of the heavens, and so we think that the color blue denotes our heavenly Father. But what does the Bible say about the meaning of the color blue? Of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen here, you must realize that the blue thread denotes the water baptism that Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist in the New Testament. It implies that Jesus was baptized to bear the sins of the world, and that through this baptism He indeed shouldered all the sins of the world (Matthew 3:15). If Jesus had not borne everyone’s sins by being baptized, then none of us His believers could have put on holiness before God. That is why He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River to take upon all the sins of mankind, and this is also why He went to the Cross. 
That God had the gate of the court of the Tabernacle embroidered with blue thread implies the baptism of Jesus, and the scarlet thread refers to the shedding of His blood. The purple thread refers to the Holy Spirit, denoting that Jesus is the King of kings and God Himself. The scarlet thread points out that Jesus Christ, after being baptized, shed His blood on the Cross to pay off the wages of sin. These threads constitute the gospel Truth that Jesus the true God came to this earth incarnated in the flesh, bore all the sins of each and every sinner on His own body, and sacrificed Himself to shed His own blood. Like this, the Tabernacle of the Old Testament reveals the gospel of Truth clearly, telling us that Jesus took upon all the sins of the world through His baptism.
The pillars of the Tabernacle were all made of acacia wood, and at their bottom were bronze sockets. And above, silver coverings were made to cover them. Every sinner has to be condemned for his sins. That’s because the wages of sin is death. One must be condemned for his sins once by God, and the person must also be brought back to life by finding the grace of God. The blue thread of salvation in the Old Testament denotes the salvation of the baptism of Jesus in the New Testament, and through this baptism, Jesus Christ bore all our sins. He then bore the condemnation of these sins by shedding His blood on the Cross, and as the King of kings and God Himself, He has saved all of us His believers by making atonement for all our sins. 
Therefore, the baptism of Jesus is the means by which our Lord bore all the sins of everyone in this world in order to save us the sinners. It was to bear all our sins that Jesus was baptized, and this baptism of Jesus speaks the Truth in elaborate detail: God Himself became a Man, was baptized to take upon all the sins of each and every sinner, was crucified to shed His blood on the Cross to death in the sinner’s place, and has thereby become the true Lord of salvation for all who believe in this Truth. Through the gate of the court of the Tabernacle and its colors, God is making it clear to us that Jesus has become the Savior of all sinners and the Lord of the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
The fine woven linen, on the other hand, denotes the detailed Word of God, telling us that the Lord has saved us from all our sins elaborately through His baptism and blood as our God. On this fine woven linen, blue, purple, and scarlet thread was embroidered to make the gate of the court of the Tabernacle. This clearly manifests the Truth of salvation captured in the baptism of Jesus, His blood, and His divinity that constitute the atonement of sins. This Truth is the most important element in the work of salvation. 
From this Tabernacle and the blue, purple, and scarlet thread used to make its gate and door, we can see that Jesus Christ has not saved us in whatever way, but rather, as God Himself, He has saved us concretely by being baptized, shedding His blood on the Cross to death, and rising from the dead again. He has saved all who believe concretely in every element of the gospel of the atonement of sins denoted by the blue, purple, and scarlet thread. 
Why was the number of the pillars of the Tabernacle specifically 60? The number six denotes man. The Book of Revelations mentions 666, and it says that the wise know the mystery of this number. The number three is the number of the Triune God. So, the number 666 implies man’s attempt to become like God. What’s everyone’s wish? Isn’t it to become a god? That’s why Satan has stirred up man’s arrogance, so that people would try to become gods through their own effort, rather than being born again and becoming God’s children by believing in Jesus. Trying to be born again through one’s own acts is an evil attempt before God. 
 


The Bronze Laver before the Tabernacle Was a Shadow of Jesus’ Baptism of the New Testament

 
The laver was also made of bronze. Bronze implies that Jesus shouldered all our sins and bore all our condemnation already. God is telling us through the bronze laver that He has already saved us perfectly and cleansed us completely with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen. In other words, the laver of bronze denotes the gospel Word that affirms the salvation of the atonement of sins, telling us that we have been saved from all our personal sins. It explains how our personal sins are washed away. Written as a shadow of the real Truth, the bronze laver implies that all our personal sins are washed away by believing in the Word of the baptism of Jesus, while the altar of burnt offering refers to the condemnation of sin.
The water of Jesus is denoted by the color blue, referring to the baptism that Jesus received from John the Baptist (Matthew 3:15; 1 John 5:5-10), which testifies the gospel of salvation and the atonement of our sins. When we turn to 1 John chapter 5 in the New Testament, we see the Apostle John saying, “This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith,” and we also see him saying that whoever believes in the Son has the evidence of faith, and that the water, the blood, and the Spirit are this evidence bearing witness of his faith in the Son. God has now enabled us to enter the Sanctuary by believing in the gospel of the atonement of sins, to lead our lives of faith there, to feed on His Word and pray to Him, to put on His grace, and to live every day as righteous people. God is saying that living as His own people means attaining salvation by believing in the Word of the water, the blood, and the Spirit, the gospel of the atonement of sins, and living inside the Sanctuary. 
Many Christians nowadays say that all this is nonsense and everything is ok as long as you believe in Jesus, but if you believe in Jesus just blindly without His Word of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, then your faith is a false faith and a fake. After all, don’t these misguided Christians still have sin in their hearts even as they profess to believe in Jesus? Their faith is such that they do not believe in the Word of God exactly as it is, refusing to accept the Truth of regeneration proclaiming that Jesus came to this earth and delivered all sinners from their sins through the salvation of the water and the blood, the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
Now then, imagine that you asked someone about another person, and this person, even as he didn’t know anything about the other person, said to you just to assure you, “That man is trustworthy. I haven’t actually met him, but I’m sure he is a decent person.” Would you feel comfortable about this assurance? Perhaps you would, but as far as your faith in Jesus is concerned, this is not the kind of faith that God wants from you. The faith that God wants from you is the faith that’s placed in the gospel of the atonement of sins, in the God-spoken Word that Jesus has saved all sinners through the blue (the baptism of Jesus), purple (the King of king), and scarlet (the blood of Jesus) thread. Before you believe in Jesus, you must know clearly through what gospel the Lord has saved you.
When we say that we believe in Jesus, we must have a clear understanding of how He has delivered us from all our sins through His water (Jesus’ baptism), His blood (Jesus’ death), and the Spirit (Jesus’ divinity). Whether your faith is made perfect or not depends on whether or not you know this gospel Truth of the atonement of sins. If you don’t know this Truth, then your faith is flawed. Your faith is true only if you believe in Jesus as your Savior based on the witness of the Word of salvation, of the baptism and blood of Jesus, that constitutes the true gospel of the remission of sins. 
 

The Kind of Faith That Makes a Mockery Out of Jesus
 
What kind of faith, then, makes a mockery out of Jesus? Let’s find out.
You should realize here that believing in Jesus just blindly only makes a mockery out of Jesus who is God Himself. Some people say to the Lord, “I find it hard to believe in You, but since You say You are the Son of God and God Himself, I’ll believe in You as a favor.” This, my fellow believers, is the kind of faith that makes a mockery out of Jesus the Savior. All such people must believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood that constitute the gospel of the atonement of sins. Believing in Jesus without knowing the gospel of the atonement of sins is even more insulting to the Lord than just not believing in Him. Preaching the gospel while believing only in the blood of Jesus is like trying to drive a car even without knowing where the steering wheel is. You should realize here that just telling people to believe in Jesus is also an insult to God. Jesus doesn’t want a blind faith from you; rather, He wants you to believe in the gospel of the atonement of sins.
When you profess to believe in Jesus, you must believe that the gospel of the atonement of sins is constituted by the baptism of Jesus and His blood. And when you believe in Jesus, you must know this gospel of atonement in concrete detail based on the Word of God, realize exactly how He has made atonement for your sins and saved you, and then believe in this Word. When you have a clear and concrete understanding of how Jesus has saved you through what Word, and know and believe in the foundation of God’s Word of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread that has saved you—it is only then that your faith is genuine, and this is the forever-unchanging faith that brings the remission of sins to you. 
 


You Cannot Be Born Again Unless You Believe in the Lord, the Real Substance of the Blue, Purple, and Scarlet Thread

 
Our Lord has saved you and me. As I see this salvation through God’s Tabernacle, words cannot express just how grateful I am that He has saved us so concretely through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and how thankful I am that He has given us the faith to believe in the Truth revealed in the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, the gospel Word of the atonement of sins. In gratitude I give all glory to God!
Even the High Priest could not enter the Sanctuary unless he first obtained the remission of his sins at the altar of burnt offering. Likewise, it’s absolutely impossible for any sinner to enter the Sanctuary without first putting on God’s grace and receiving the remission of all his sins. Can anyone who has not been remitted from all his sins ever open the door of the Sanctuary and step inside? No, this is impossible. If any such a person enters the Sanctuary of God, he will be put to death for sure. Far from being blessed, he will be cursed and say, “Why is it so dark in here? I can’t see anything! When I was outside the Sanctuary, I could at least see something even if it was blurry, but now I see nothing!” No sinner can ever enter the Sanctuary and live there.
Through the mystery of salvation hidden in the four kinds of threads used to make the door of this Tabernacle, our Lord has saved us perfectly. With the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and with the fine woven linen, God has spoken the Truth to us through His concrete and detailed Word of promise that He would enable us to be born again and save us. 
My fellow believers, how were we all saved? Were we saved in whatever way? No, of course not. Unless you believe in the Word of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, you can neither understand the gospel of the atonement of sins nor reach your salvation from sin. The blue thread does not refer to God. It refers to the baptism of Jesus. It denotes the baptism that Jesus received, the water through which the Lord bore all the sins of every sinner in this world on His own body (Matthew 3:15).
You can reach at least the altar of burnt offering even if you don’t believe in the blue thread. But you can’t open the door of the Sanctuary where God dwells and step inside there. You just can’t enter it. That’s why when you believe in Jesus, you must believe in the blue thread (the baptism Jesus received), the scarlet thread (the blood Jesus shed on the Cross), and the purple thread (Jesus is the Son of God and God Himself). Only when you believe in all these three things can you have your faith approved by God. Unless you believe in all these three things, you cannot go through the door of the Sanctuary where God dwells.
Most Christians think that once they enter through the gate of the court of the Tabernacle, they would be saved, but this is not salvation. Where must you enter to be saved then? Only if you step inside the Sanctuary, God’s dwelling place, do you reach your salvation. To enter the Sanctuary of God, you must pass by the laver of bronze without fail. The laver of bronze denotes the baptism of Jesus, and you can enter God’s Sanctuary only if you cleanse yourself by washing away all your personal sins with Jesus’ baptism, just as the priests of the Old Testament could enter the Sanctuary only if they had cleansed themselves at the laver of bronze. That is why Jesus washed His disciples’ feet: It was for us to remember that He had already cleansed and delivered us from all our personal sins with His baptism. 
The law of God states, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). God must judge mankind’s sins without fail, but He passed these sins to His Son Jesus and condemned the Son in our place. That is how God has saved us. This is the love of God, and it is God’s way of saving us. True salvation is reached through faith, by believing in the baptism of Jesus, His blood, His death, and His resurrection, which together constitute the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
 


To Be Born Again, You Must Not Ignore the Gospel of the Atonement of Sins That Is Written in the Bible

 
I don’t easily dismiss anyone’s opinion. Whenever someone talks to me about something that I don’t know well, I listen politely, admit my lack of knowledge in that particular subject, and ask him to teach me about it. For instance, when I was studying the Tabernacle, I did a lot of research and probed many writings. But I couldn’t find any satisfactory answer to my questions. 
Where should I have turned then? I should have turned to the Bible. Now then, where in the Bible did God speak about the Tabernacle? He spoke about it in detail in the Book of Exodus. So it was while reading the Book of Exodus that I came to realize the meaning of the Tabernacle from the Word of God.
My fellow believers, just because you believe in Jesus in one way or another, this doesn’t mean you are saved unconditionally. Nor can you say blindly that you have been born again just because you attend church. The Jews all believed in God fervently, and Nicodemus was no exception. But our Lord said to him firmly in John chapter 3, “Are you the teacher of the Jews, and do not know these things? One can see and enter the Kingdom of God only if he is born again of water and the Spirit.”  
Everyone who believes in Jesus must believe in the blue thread (that Jesus bore our every sin once and for all when He was baptized), the scarlet thread (that Jesus died for our sins), and the purple thread (that Jesus is the Savior, the Son of God, and God Himself); and everyone must believe that Jesus is the Savior of all sinners. Whoever does not believe in this Truth has not been born again even if this person professes to believe in Jesus, and it is absolutely impossible for such a person to ever enter the Sanctuary, the Kingdom of God. Our Lord made it clear that such misguided Christians cannot live out their faith properly. 
How wonderful would it be if everyone were born again just by believing in Jesus blindly? Everyone would be singing praises to the Lord for granting the remission of sins so easily. But this is not the case; on the contrary, too many people believe in Jesus without being born again. 
When it comes to believing in Jesus, you must know the real Truth of the Bible. The Bible makes it clear that you must properly know and believe in the gospel of the blue, scarlet, and purple thread, the gospel of the atonement of sins, and only then can you enter the Sanctuary and live happily together with God. Your life will be illuminated by the golden lamp, you will be filled with spiritual food from the table of showbread, you will be able to pray to God according to His will at the altar of incense, and you will go to Heaven when God calls you. But if you just believe in Jesus in ignorance, then this means that you don’t really believe in Jesus. 
 


The Lord Has Cleansed Away All Your Sins with the Blue Thread

 
In your own thought, it may seem as though you can make no mistake and do everything flawlessly. But when you actually start doing something, your lack of skills and your shortcomings are all exposed for everyone to see. We are all full of shortcomings, and none of us can avoid committing sin. But even so, with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, the Lord has saved us through the gospel of the atonement of sins, and therefore we can enter God’s Sanctuary by faith. If God had not saved us through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, if He had not brought salvation to us by this method, then none of us could have ever entered the Sanctuary. It would have been impossible no matter how strong our faith might be. Why? That’s because there is no one who can enter the Sanctuary if it were based on one’s own beliefs rather than the God-given faith. On the contrary, such people would just turn into even worse sinners despite professing to believe in Jesus. 
However, Jesus has saved such insufficient sinners like us through the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, through His plan of salvation and the gospel of the atonement of sins. He has remitted away all our sins. Do you believe this? Do you have the gospel Truth of the atonement of sins and its testimony in your heart? Only when you have this witness of the Word can you put on your head the golden plate that says, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” And only then can you carry out your priesthood and say boldly to people that you are a servant of God ministering as a priest. 
The golden plate was attached to the turban worn by the High Priest on his forehead, and this golden plate was attached by none other than blue thread. Why was the blue thread used to attach the plate? It’s because when our Lord saved us through the gospel of the atonement of sins, He bore our sins and made us sinless through His baptism (the New Testament’s equivalent of the Old Testament’s laying on of hands). Regardless of how ardently you believe in Jesus, the secret to attaining the holiness of the Lord is found in this mysterious Word of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, in the Word of salvation. 
How did we become righteous people? When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, He said to John, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Jesus has saved all of us from our sins by being baptized, and because Jesus bore all our sins through this baptism, all of us who believe in this have now become righteous people. If Jesus were not baptized, how could we say that we are sinless? Without the baptism of Jesus, no sin of ours could have been blotted out at all, no matter how ardently we might believe in Jesus and how much we might cry and wail over His suffering and death on the Cross. No amount of tears that we force ourselves to shed over the suffering of Jesus can ever remove any sin. 
It was written on the golden plate of the High Priest, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” This engraving has been fulfilled in our hearts. Because Jesus took away all our sins through His baptism and blood, because the Lord God put all our iniquities on Him, and because all our sins were indeed passed onto Jesus, no matter how insufficient our acts are, we have become righteous by faith and we can approach God boldly, for the Word of salvation is written here in the Bible as the Word of God. And as such righteous people, we can live by faith and preach this righteous faith of ours to everyone. 
Christians sing blindly, “♪I have been saved; ♪You have been saved; ♪all of us have been saved.♪” But by no means has this salvation come to any Christian who believes in Jesus arbitrarily as he pleases. Unless one has the gospel Word of the atonement of sins in his heart, this person is not saved. It doesn’t matter how ardently one believes in Jesus; if it’s all his own doing, then he is not saved. It’s nothing more than loving God all by himself without being loved in return. If you don’t believe in both the baptism of Jesus and His blood, then all the love and passion that you have for the Lord amount to nothing and will not be answered in return. 
Too many Christians today take salvation so lightly that they think it can be reached any way they choose, as though there were multiple paths to salvation. But how can this be? How can there be so many different ways to salvation? There is but one path to everlasting salvation, and this path is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The rest leads only to a dead end. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is what you need to be saved before God; everything else is useless. 
 


The Secret of Salvation Revealed in the Blue Thread of the Tabernacle

 
The gospel of the atonement of sins, the gospel of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, is God’s gift of salvation for us. It’s this gift of salvation that has enabled us to step inside the Sanctuary and live there. It has made us righteous people. Having made us righteous people, it has led us into the Church to live there and feed on the spiritual bread, the Word of God. And whenever we stand before God’s mercy seat and pray to Him, it has blessed us with the God-given grace. That’s why salvation is so precious. 
Jesus told us to build our houses on the rock. This rock is none other than our salvation, which was fulfilled by Jesus’ righteous acts, that is, His baptism and blood. Now then, let us all be saved to live out our faith, become God’s own children, enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and enjoy everlasting life. Because we have accepted the gospel of the blue, purple, and scarlet thread and the fine woven linen, Jesus’ gospel of the atonement of sins, we can now enter the Sanctuary by this faith. Even before we were saved, Jesus bore our sins through His baptism and was condemned on the Cross, and that is why we have reached salvation by believing in the gospel of the atonement of sins. 
The baptism that Jesus received and the blood His shed to make atonement for all our sins constitute the gospel that has washed away all your sins. Do you believe in this gospel now? The true gospel is the heavenly gospel of the atonement of sins that has washed away even all your personal sins. You have been saved and born again by believing in this gospel of the remission of sins. The Lord has saved us through the gospel of the atonement of sins that has blotted out each and every one of our personal sins. 
I give all thanks to the Lord for His Word. Hallelujah! Praise be to the Lord! 
May God bless you all!