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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

Two Sorts of Confession


< 1 John 1:8-10 >

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”


Do you find it difficult to understand
today's scripture passage?
If yes, that is because you do not understand
the gospel truth of the water
and the Spirit.

All the Word of God is life and truth for those who believe. But for those who have not been born again, it may bring them confusion instead, as they misunderstand and misinterpret the Word of God. The passage from 1 John 1:8-10 that we just read can become the Word of amazing truth to those who believe in Jesus as their Savior and enrich their souls, but at the same time, if it is misapplied, it may bring confusion to people’s thoughts and faith.

This is because the passage leads us to wonder whether it is applicable to the people of God who have received the remission of their sins, or to those who are yet to receive the remission of sin. If you have received the remission of your sins by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, misunderstanding this passage may lead you to question how it is possible that you would once again have sin in your hearts. So to both the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and sinners alike, this passage can potentially bring doubts and confusion.



Applying This Passage to Sinners


First of all, we need to apply this passage to those who still have sin in their hearts by not believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The question here is whether it is possible for those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to wash away the sins that they have committed just by giving their prayers of confession. Some people say that whenever they give their prayers of confession, or prayers of repentance, God the Father forgives their sins.

But the reality is that even as they give their prayers of confession and repentance, all the sins that they have committed still remain unwashed and intact in their hearts (Jeremiah 2:22). They’ve come up with such completely groundless doctrines and believe in them only to comfort themselves, just because they themselves, in their own thoughts, want to believe that God the Father would somehow forgive them, as fathers would usually forgive their children when they just confess their wrongdoings.

The fact of the matter, however, is that for those who give such prayers of confession, their sins still remain in the tablet of their hearts, testifying that they themselves still remain under the condemnation of God. It is written in Jeremiah 17:1, “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; With the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars.” You may know that the representative principle pervades all Scriptures. Therefore, this passage should also be applied to all mankind, meaning that everyone’s sin is written on the tablet of his heart with an iron pen. We see that for those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the sins that they have committed are engraved in the table of their hearts.

Therefore, it is not the case that one can wash away all his sins from the tablet of his heart just by confessing them. Yet unfortunately, most people today, referring to today’s passage from 1 John, think that even those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can still wash away their sins just by confessing them. However, when people come to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they can also find answer to their questions about the prayers of confession of sin.

Today, many people claim to believe in Jesus. But most of them still have sin in their hearts, and therefore are not qualified to call God as their Father. This makes them give up their lives of faith down the road. Because they still do not know the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit, they have fallen into spiritual confusion and believe in Jesus just like the religionists of this world, and this is why they ultimately end up renouncing their faith. Since they do not know that the baptism of Jesus took away the sins of the world, they simply cannot escape from the mire of confusion no matter how hard they try. Therefore, to escape from their confusion, they must first realize that Jesus bore the sins of the world through the baptism He received from John.

Everyone must admit all the weaknesses of his flesh and come to have, through the Word of truth, the experience of faith that enables his soul to be freed from all his sins. Ever since the Early Church Age, anyone who believed in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit came into the truth of God’s salvation, and this is how the saints came to praise the Lord. We see that those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, like the Apostle John, can bring abundant joy to God.

Without our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we cannot have true fellowship with God. So it is only in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that true confession before God is feasible, and it is only through God’s amazing gospel truth of the water and the Spirit that this true confession can be made. We must all give thanks to our Lord for enabling us to make such true confession of sin through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

From now on, we must not look down on the faith that believes in the baptism of Jesus. People must be freed from futile Christian doctrines claiming that it is possible to be saved from sin just by believing in the blood of the Cross. And they must return to the faith that believes in both the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross as the way of salvation. From now on, you must become the kind of Christians who yearn to learn and believe in the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit. All of us must understand how Jesus felt when He had to take upon the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist. We must understand and believe in the amazing truth of salvation, that it was because Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist that He had to shed His precious blood on the Cross.

You must realize that it is when you know and believe in the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit that you can become proper Christians (1 John 5:3-7) and can also confess to God properly from then on (Matthew 3:15; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:2-5). I praise the Lord for giving us the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit. I praise the Lord for delivering us from all the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and for moving us to the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven. By believing in this true gospel, all of us must forever walk with Jesus Christ.


What is the valid conclusion
to draw when we examine 1 John 1:8-9
from the perspective of those who
believe in the gospel of the water
and the Spirit?
It is revealed that the gospel of the water
and the Spirit is the definitive gospel
and the clear Truth.

I will explain today’s scripture passage from 1 John 1:8-10 from two different perspectives: one that is applicable to those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and one that is applicable to those who do not believe in this gospel. I take this approach because the Bible itself is speaking to two different kinds of people.

One of them is those who still have sin in their hearts from their failure to know the true gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and the other is those whose hearts have become sinless by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord is speaking to each of these two kinds of people about the need for prayers of confession. All of us have the duty to preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and the truth of real confession to everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike. This is why the Lord spoke this passage from 1 John 1:8-10 to each of these two kinds of people.


What is the result when we apply
1 John 1:8-10 to the sinners who still have
their sins intact in their hearts?
We realize that their faith is flawed.

First of all, when we apply today’s scripture passage from 1 John 1:8-10 to those who are ignorant of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we discover an amazing fact. Most Christians believe themselves to have been saved from their sins by merely professing Jesus as their Savior, even though their sins still remain in their hearts. But because there still remains sin in their hearts, there is no way for them to escape from God’s judgment. In fact, they have no choice but to live under the wrath of God, for they have not been saved from their sins.

They cannot boldly claim before the Lord that they are sinless because they don’t have the Truth that gives them conviction. However, the born-again can profess boldly that they have no sin in their hearts, because the true gospel did not come to them in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance (1 Thessalonians 1:5). So the Apostle John is now warning those who still have sin in their hearts even as they believe in Jesus. He is saying, in other words, that no one can say that he has received the remission of sin into his heart, unless he has first become sinless by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.

The Apostle John declared, “God is light” (1 John 1:5). By this passage, he wanted to reveal that God had cleansed all sinners from their sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit and made them His holy people. So you need to first examine your hearts closely and see if you really have the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you never had a chance to learn about the God-given gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and this is why you are ignorant of this gospel, all that you have to do is read the first volume of my Christian book series, entitled “Have You Truly Been Born Again of Water and the Spirit?” (Hephzibah Publishing House, 1998).

On the other hand, if you do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit even as you heard and understood it, rather than because you do not know it, I ask that you examine your hearts to see whether they are upright or not, and believe in this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. If you know and believe in the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit, you can truly say that your hearts are sinless. But if you do not believe in this gospel even as you know it, and if you say, even as you remain sinful, “I am sinless because I believe in Jesus and in the doctrine of predestination,” you will eventually come to realize that you have actually ended up as liars before God.

The Apostle John eagerly sought to preach the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to a certain group of people who profess to believe in Jesus. We can see this clearly from the passage where John declared God to be light. He implied in this declaration that in the Early Church, there were people who had not received the remission of sin because they had refused to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and that as a result, they became the liars who were deceiving themselves and God.

The Apostle John was one who truly believed in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit (1 John 5:5-7). He knew and believed as well that Jesus, by being baptized by John the Baptist, fulfilled all the righteousness of God, and by doing so Jesus took upon the sins of the world and washed away, all at once, the iniquities of those who believe. This is why the Apostle John described Jesus Christ in 1 John 5:6 as He who came “not only by water, but by water and blood.” This means that John believed both the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross to be the essentials of our salvation.

From his point of view, those who profess to believe in Jesus without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit will unintentionally end up as liars before God. In other words, those who believe only in Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross are inadvertently turning themselves into liars. Although they say with their lips that they believe in Jesus as their Savior, because their sins remain in their hearts, they are unable to grasp the power of the true prayers of confession. All their prayers of confession are futile. For them to truly give their prayers of confession, they must first believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As the Apostle John believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he provided a reinterpretation of true confession through the Word of truth found in 1 John 1:8-10 to those who neither know nor believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

He is telling them, in other words, that if they now claim to have no sin before Jesus Christ without even having any faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are actually sinning against Him. Therefore, they must first learn the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Apostle John believed in, and then also learn how to give the true prayers of confession by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Many Christians in this world still think that they believe in Jesus even as they remain ignorant of the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit. They are unintentionally deceiving themselves and trying to deceive even God, because they are under autohypnosis. Such people believe only in the blood of the Cross, and cannot but live their lives with the faith of deception.

Therefore, all those who have sin in their hearts, regardless of whether they confess Jesus as their Savior or not, must first believe in the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit. Only then can they give their thanks to God. As such, to give the proper prayers of confession to God, you must first believe in the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit.

What should you believe? Should you believe only in the sacrifice of the Cross that you had already believed and known? Or should you believe in both the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood of the Cross? Which gospel, in other words, do you think is the right one?

In John 3:1-10, Jesus said that to enter Heave, one must be born again of water and the Spirit. All of us must therefore receive the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who have not received the remission of sin must first confess, “God, though I believe in Jesus as my Savior, my heart still has sin. I admit that I cannot avoid but be condemned by You for my sins. Please deliver me from all my sins and all my punishment of sin.” This is how they must pray. God will then give them the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the truth of salvation that He has prepared for such people, and save them. You must pray to the Lord. Sinners must first pray to the Lord to save them from all their sins, so that they may become the ones who can make true confession of the born-again to God.

You must first have the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, thereby washing away all your sins by faith and becoming the ones who dwell in God’s light. If you have this true gospel and believe in this with your hearts, you can be washed from all the sins that had been in your hearts till now. In this gospel of the water and the Spirit is found the Truth that enables everyone to be washed from all his sins. It is when we truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our heart can truly become sinless.

What we must realize here is that anyone who says to God that he has no sin without even having this faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is simply lying to his own conscience. Such people are no more than liars, and they are the kind of people who, frankly speaking, don’t even intend to believe in Him.


Are all humans the kind
of being that cannot but sin?
Yes. This is why we all need the gospel
of the water and the Spirit with
which our Lord has washed
away our sins.

That everyone was fundamentally born with many sins into this world is an undeniable truth and fact. There is no one who was born without sin. This is why all have come to sin against God as they live their lives, and this is why all must confess that they are grave sinners.

Therefore, all those who claim to have no sin even as they have sin in their hearts, as well as those who claim not to have sinned, are arrogant and insolent ones before God. You must be conscious of the Omniscient God. With His Law, God is clearly pointing out that we have committed all our sins, thus telling us that everyone is a sinner who sin against God at all times. If, despite this, there still are those who say to God that they have never sinned (1 John 1:10), do they not realize that this in itself makes them liars before God?

Anyone who says that he has not sinned is someone who rejects the love of God and makes a mockery of Him. God said to all of us that we are of those who always commit sin (Mark 7:21-23). He is telling us that we were therefore born with all the ingredients of sin. Even so, if anyone still says to God that he does not sin, he is someone who does not take God seriously, who rejects His truth, and who is therefore asking to fall into the mire of destruction. No one must do this.

Therefore, when we apply the passage from 1 John 8:10 to the hearts of today’s Christians who still remain as sinners, we can see that all their faith runs counter to the Word of God, and that they are lying to Him and committing a great sin against Him. The key point of this passage demonstrates to us that if anyone who has not received the remission of sin claims to have no sin in his heart, he is deceiving not only himself but also God, and that such people cannot but reveal that they are lying, for the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit is still not found in their hearts.

One thing that we must clearly realize before God is that even if we were to confess our sins, unless we have the knowledge of and faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our sins do not disappear. Put differently, the only way that you can become aware all your sins and be washed from them before God is to have the knowledge of the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has permitted to you and me, and to have faith in this truth. It is when you have this very knowledge and keep this truth in your hearts by faith that you can wash away all your sins and become God’s children.

All of us must remember what the Lord said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We need to realize that though all of us have sinned before God, because we believe in Jesus as our true Savior and have the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have been saved from all our sins. God never regards those who have sin in their hearts as sinless. Therefore, we must all keep in our hearts the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, and we must all believe in it. And then, through the knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of us must realize the meaning of the true prayers of confession of the born-again.


Is God truly faithful?
Yes. The Lord is so faithful that
He has blotted out all our sins committed
throughout our entire lifetime
with the gospel of the water
and the Spirit.

Applying This Passage to the Righteous


Let us then now apply 1 John 1:9 to the righteous who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is written in 1 John 1:9-10, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

Those who believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit know that the Lord has already and at once washed away all the sins that they commit out of their insufficiencies as they live in this world, and that He has thereby saved them. Because they firmly believe in this Truth, their hearts can be kept by the powerful gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, when they confess all their sins by their faith in the true gospel. Even though we sin everyday, whenever we confess our sins by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, Jesus Christ, our Advocate, declares to us that He had already blotted out even these very sins over 2,000 years ago with His baptism and bloodshed on the Cross. As such, those who are born again of the water and the Spirit can take the gospel Truth, by faith, as the evidence of the fact that their hearts have been remitted from their sins, as white as snow.

By applying 1 John 1:9 to themselves, the righteous can confirm the grace of salvation that all these sins were already washed away by the Lord, whenever they confess their daily sins on the basis of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The phrase in verse 9, “He is faithful and just,” means that the Lord has already blotted out all the future transgressions of the righteous with the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He has given us. This phrase also implies that the Lord has saved us, who could not but sin out of our insufficiencies, from all our sins, through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The righteous also sin everyday, but they cannot become sinners once again by being swept by their personal sins, because they can edify their knowledge of the truth more concretely by confessing their sins within the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Like this, the passage of I John 1:9 provides the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the born-again whenever they confess their sins in the Truth.

God had promised in the Old Testament that He would save us from all the sins of the world, and when the time came, He wanted to fulfill this promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Lord came to this earth, took upon all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood on the Cross while carrying all the iniquities of sinners, rose from the dead again, and has thereby washed away all our sins once for all—thus fulfilling His promise once for all.


What does 1 John 1:9
reveal to us?
It reveals that with the gospel
of the water and the Spirit,
the Lord has remitted away even
all our personal sins.

1 John 1:9 manifests the Truth that the Lord has blotted out all our personal sins with the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord has already blotted out all the sins of this world with the power of this true gospel. This means, therefore, that all the sins committed by those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have already been washed away by the power of the Word. For the righteous also sin at all times while living in this world, they must always look toward the gospel power of the water and the Spirit, and trust in the Word of truth that has washed away all these sins by frankly confessing all the sins that they commit.

Although we are righteous, before God, we are no more than such weak beings who cannot but sin against Him everyday. This is why placing our faith in the power of the water and the Spirit, we must look toward the Lord who has sanctified us. Unless we do so, we will turn into foolish religionists. Though we are righteous, we also need to confess our sins within the faith based on the Word. By doing so, we can keep our hearts clean consistently.

It is written, “There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (Ecclesiastes 7:20). This means that even the righteous sin against God all the time. Therefore, for all of us also, it is only right to make the proper confession of our sins whenever we commit them by placing our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. What we must all realize before God is that no one can have his sins blotted out just by confessing them, but it is only when his confession is based on his faith placed in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that his sins are washed away.

Since we the righteous have the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must get our daily sins resolved by our faith in this gospel. The righteous whom I am speaking of here refer to those who have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our faith is one that believes in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and this faith is like depositing a huge amount of money in a bank, to be drawn for our use from time to time. When you and I have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before God, and when we show this faith to Him and come before Him by this faith, we can continue to have true fellowship with this holy God regardless of our insufficiencies.

Even if we are the born-again Christians, unless we confess our daily sins and confirm once again that the Lord has blotted out all our sins with the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit, there can be no true fellowship with God. Because we sin at all times, for us to have true fellowship with God, it is absolutely necessary to make daily confessions of our sins.



Let Us Then Once again Apply This Word of Truth to Those Who Still Remain as Sinners


For those who still have not come into the light of God from their ignorance of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, with what disposition of faith should they confess their sins to God? They have sin in their hearts because do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. People like them, who do not have the true Word of salvation in their hearts, try to wash away their daily sins by giving their prayers of repentance to God, but this is such a flawed faith. For all sinners, without faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is completely futile to confess their sins everyday, nor can they be washed from their sins by doing so. We must all realize this truth.

In the Old Testament’s time, the people of Israel could not become whole through the sacrifices offered in the Tabernacle (Hebrews 10:1-3). But to fulfill His promise faithfully, Jesus took upon the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood on the Cross, and has thereby saved His believers, turning them all sinless and perfect. So sinners cannot be washed from their sins merely through their prayers of confessions, unless they first have faith in the true gospel. But unfortunately, most Christians today are trying to wash away their sins by offering their modern equivalence of imperfect sacrifices, that is, their daily prayers of repentance. Today, those who profess to believe in Jesus without knowing the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit mistakenly think that just because they believe in Jesus Christ, their sins are somehow washed away when they confess them to the Lord, but no sin is washed away by just confessing it.

What I am trying to tell you is this: The belief that one can wash away his sins through his prayers of confessions without having faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not the true faith, but it is no more than an empty faith. Yet despite this, many people, having misunderstood the message of 1 John 1:9 on confession, are still trying to received the remission of their sins through such prayers of repentance.

The Lord does not wash away your sins just because you confess them. It is only when you believe in the gospel truth of the water and the Spirit that you can wash away even all your daily sins. This is because our Lord, by taking upon the sins of the world through His baptism and shedding His blood, has already washed them away. The washing of your sins is therefore possible only when you know this Word and believe in this truth.

As such, unless you believe in the true Word of the water and the Spirit with your hearts, you cannot wash away all the sins that you are committing. As you now know, by placing your faith in only the blood of the Cross, all your sins cannot be cleansed away. You may think to yourselves that your sins were washed away by believing only in the blood, but in fact you cannot deny that all your sins still remain in your heart. This is beyond any doubt.

One may, then, wonder if the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a new gospel that has emerged only in this age. But this is not true. I will now show you through the Scriptures that the gospel of the water and the Spirit that I am preaching has existed ever since the Apostolic Age, and that this was the very gospel the Apostles believed in from the beginning.

First of all, the Apostle John received the remission of his sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preached this same gospel (1 John 5:3-10). Second, the Apostle Peter also believed in the baptism that Jesus Christ received as the truth of the remission of sin (1 Peter 3:21). Third, Paul also believed in the baptism of Jesus Christ and His blood as the remission of the washing of sin (Romans 6:2-5). There just is not enough time to list all the scriptural evidences from both the Old and New Testaments that prove this truth, that Jesus has washed away our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Do you now know and believe in the gospel power of the water and the Spirit? If you do believe in your hearts, you would then have now realized that all your sins were cleansed away once for all by the power of this true gospel. With the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has washed away even all your personal sins that you commit everyday. So you, too, must believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit with your hearts.

But what about those who still have sin in their hearts? How and with what kind of faith should they confess their sins? They should stop offering such groundless confession. They must confess their sins by placing their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They must first of all confess that they are sinners bound to continue to commit sin until the very day they die, and they must believe and admit that with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has saved even such sinners like them.

Of course, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should also confess our daily sins through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit: If we do not confess our daily sins to God, we will end up drifting away from our fellowship with God.

This is why the righteous need to confess their sins in even more detail, so that they may have a closer fellowship with the Lord. Such fellowship in the light of Truth will last forever as long as we are confessing our sins honestly in our faith in the Truth. But, if we neglect to confess our daily sins to the Lord, our fellowship with Him cannot last forever. Those who do not bother to acknowledge and confess their sins will gradually be cut off from God.

With what kind of faith, then, should we the righteous confess our sins? We must remember that our Lord, who is faithful and just (1 John 1:9), has already blotted out all our sins by accepting them through His baptism and was condemned on the Cross for these sins, and we must confess our sins by placing our faith in this Truth. By thus confessing our sins with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must escape from all darkness.

We, the born-again, must confess to God that we are actually bound to sin until the day we die. And we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and abide in the power of this gospel. The true confession of faith is more than sufficient to enable us to dwell in the faith that believes in the gospel power of the water and the Spirit, and to cleanse our hearts. This is how we have come to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to others as well, and how we have been enabled to run toward God in cleanness and with good conscience. This made us God’s good soldiers who can call upon God, and win the spiritual battles by faith. It is because the righteous believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they come to do the work of God, to praise this God who has blotted out all their sins, and to dwell and live in His light forever. Believe in this truth and take it to your hearts.

We who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit also sin everyday, for we are insufficient in our flesh. How, then, should we confess these sins? Is it sufficient to confess in detail such as, “Lord, I have committed this sin and that sin”? No. The right confession for us the righteous is to admit our true nature to God—that is, to confess to God that we are bound to sin until the day we die—and abide in the faith that believes in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.

We can make the most proper confession to the Lord by admitting the nature of our weak flesh. Whether the righteous or sinners, when it comes to confessing one’s sins, all must confess that the fundamental nature of their flesh is such that they cannot avoid but sin, and they must acknowledge that they commit sin all the time not only with their flesh, but with their thoughts as well. In this way, they must confess properly to God. And then they must have the faith that always holds onto and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit—that is, we must never forget that the Lord has blotted out our sins once for all through His baptism and bloodshed, and that He has shown us the true power of salvation.

Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before the Lord come to realize just how effectively the power of this gospel of salvation is applied to the hearts of believers to wash away all their sins. It is by believing in the gospel power of the water and the Spirit with our hearts that we can wash away all the sins of our consciences, and it is because of this that we can come to thank the Lord. Moreover, because this faith in the true gospel has cleansed our consciences as well, it enables us to go to God in good conscience (1 Peter 3:21).

When we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our good consciences of faith lead us to praise the righteousness of God forever. It also enables us to dwell in the light, and to do God’s work forever in this light. Like this, faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is absolutely necessary for the righteous and sinners alike.


How did David confess when
he committed sin?
He confessed all his fundamental
nature before God.

David’s faith that reflects the proper confession of faith before God is revealed in Psalm 51:5-7:

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Because the Lord desires truth in our inward parts, David confessed to God, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” “Lord, this is who I really am. I am bound to sin until the day I die. Such is my fundamental nature.” David confessed to God, in other words, in this way. Through the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement offered in the Tabernacle, David had already been cleansed from all his sins by believing in the Savior to come, who would receive baptism and shed His blood for David’s sins.

When David confessed his sins, he confessed his fundament sinful nature to God and looked toward the Lord’s mercy. He confessed to the Lord fundamentally that he could not avoid but sin, and that when he was made in the womb of his mother, it was in sin that he was made. His confession admits, “Lord, I am a grave sinner from my birth. “Lord, because I am such a pile of sin, I slept with Bathsheba, and I murdered Your faithful solider. I lied to my people and even to You. So I blasphemed You, and I broke all the Ten Commandments.” This is how he confessed. In other words, David confessed to the Lord that this was what his fundamental seed was.

When you and I confess our sins to God, we must confess by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And when we confess our sins, it is not enough to confess just our daily sins one by one; rather, we must confess that we are fundamentally the seeds of sin that cannot avoid but sin until the day we die. This is why we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is by believing that the Lord has delivered us from our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can cleanse our hearts perfectly.

When we make proper confessions before God, and have concrete faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can thank Him for this salvation of grace and do God’s work consistently without being bound by our weaknesses. Only when you admit your fundamental weaknesses can you come to thank the Lord for this gospel of the remission of sin that He has given you. And only when you dwell in the Lord’s light by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can you become the workers who spread the light of salvation to all those who still remain ignorant of this original gospel.

In Psalm 51, David prayed to God to restore this joy of salvation. And he prayed that God would enable him to preach the way of His righteousness to those who did not know this way. We, too, are just like David. We have also been saved from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus has faithfully made us, who believe in this perfect gospel, righteous before God.

With the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has given us the salvation of the remission of sin that is more than sufficient to turn us into God’s own children.

Our Lord fundamentally knew our weaknesses. Because we are basically creations and human beings, we sin all the time as we carry on with our lives. So we are prone to look at our own weaknesses, and we are always bound by our sins and weaknesses. All the while, we lament over ourselves, wondering how come we are so insufficient, and having no way to remedy such sinful weaknesses, we resigned ourselves to live in sin. But by trusting and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our Lord has given us, we can wash away all our sins. This is why He blotted out our sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Therefore, if someone has clearly received the remission of his sins from God by faith, and yet in spite of this he has little joy of receiving this salvation in his heart, then he is someone who has not confessed his sins to God by placing his trust in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The proper confession that is based on correct faith strengthens our weak spirits.

Now we must realize what the true confession of faith is, and we must know the power of this proper confession. Our Lord has spoken to all of us about the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When we confess to God like David, that we are fundamentally bound to sin until the day we die, Jesus then fills our hearts with His grace of the remission of sin that has washed away our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And this beautiful gospel stimulates us to preach this powerful gospel to every sinner by refreshing our hearts. It makes us praise the Lord all the time. In short, the power of this gospel enables us not to be bound by our own weaknesses, to declare the righteousness of God to this world, and to have grateful hearts that gives thanks to God.

I thank God for restoring us by faith. Hallelujah! I give my thanks and praise to God, who has saved us from all our sins.


What is it that God wants
from all of us, the born-again?
It is for us not to be bound by our own
weaknesses, but to vigorously work
for God's gospel by faith.

Once we receive the remission of our sins, God wants us not to be bound by our own weaknesses, but to do His work by trusting in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even though we may have shortcomings, God wants us to have the right faith, to confess all our blemishes, to thank Him for saving such people like us, to praise the Lord, and to live our lives to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all sinners. God desires His believers to preach the way of His righteousness, the gospel of the water and the Spirit even amid their weaknesses.

God wants us to free ourselves from our weaknesses by confessing our true nature to Him, and He is pleased when we offer the true sacrifice of praise by faith. My dear fellow believers, when it comes to confessing your sins, you must realize that to claim to God that you have not sinned is to make Him a liar. There is no one among us who has not sinned against God. Everyone sins. But even so, the gospel of the water and the Spirit can wash away all our sins completely.

As such, by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must move even closer to God and glorify Him. Though we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must also admit that we are all too human, that we are bound to sin until the day we die. Now, we must admit our insufficiencies, and we must always confess our shortcomings and our faith in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit to Him. Only then can we be clothed in the power that frees us from all our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

We must indeed be freed from all our sins that bind us in bondage by believing in this gospel power of the water and the Spirit. As Samson had cut off the ropes on his arms that had bound him (Judges 15:14), we, too must sever our weaknesses by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By our faith in this powerful gospel, we must cut off all our weaknesses, stand up on our ground, and live the kind of life that glorifies God.

All of us are bound to sin until the day we die. But by confessing that we are indeed destined to sin to our last breath, by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and by abiding in this faith, we must exalt the righteousness of God. God has restored us as sinless spirits, and He has blessed us to become the kind of people who praise Him and spread the gospel to sinners. It was to clothe us in such blessings that He used the word “confession” here in today’s scripture passage. Do you now realize what is true confession?

The Apostle John spoke to both the sinners and the righteous alike. Therefore, if there is any sinner sitting in God’s Church who does not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must first preach this true gospel to him, so that he would first believe in this beautiful gospel and receive the remission of sin into his heart. Only then can he first receive the remission of his sins by the power of the gospel and have true, heart-felt fellowship with the righteous.



How Do Sinners Confess?


They are quite apt at praying to confess their daily sins, but they do not believe in the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. On the contrary, they keep telling themselves that they can somehow not sin anymore. But because they have not received the remission of their sins from their failure to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they are still under sin. So even as they profess to believe in Jesus, their lives of faith end up mired in contradictions, for there is sin in their hearts. In other words, though they believe in Jesus, they are always insufficient, and as they are bound by such insufficiencies, they turn into hypocrites before both God and other people.

Some pastors say that they, too, have sin, and teach their congregations to confess their sins everyday. To them, ‘confession’ is simply a synonym for ‘prayer of repentance.’ They even give their prayers of repentance publicly in every meeting. But even if one were to make such confessions everyday, wouldn’t he still always lack faith? The reason for this is because unless one has faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, his sins cannot be washed away no matter how frankly he confesses them. Do you really believe that you can be washed from all your sins just by giving your prayers of confession? No one can receive the true washing of his sins unless he has faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel gave sin offerings for their daily sins. But was there anyone who offered this kind of sacrifice perfectly? No, there was no one! In any given day, an Israelite would sin in the morning and give his sin offering; he would then sin again in the afternoon and offer another sacrifice; he would yet again sin in the evening and give yet another offering; and before going to bed, he would find himself sinning again, and once again, another offering would be required—there could be, in other words, no end to such offerings. So, the priests were always busy. But could you offer the sacrifice of the remission of sin perfectly? None of you would be able to achieve this. I am sure that even the most godly person could hardly offer 30% of his sin offerings to atone his sins.

Once, I heard a weird testimony from a pastor who founded a mission organization in Korea. He testified how he had been born again like this: “When I was a leader of a Christian circle in my university, I was arranged to talk personally with the President Jeong-hee Park by a pastor who was acquainted with the President. While I was waiting for the pastor in front of his office to accompany him to the Presidential residence, I made up my mind to rebuke the President for his dictatorship. My heart was full of something like prophetic inspiration then. The secretary of the pastor said me that I had to wait for him for hours because he was praying now. Two hours had passed, and at last he came out. He then pointed me saying, ‘Brother Kim, don’t you have any sin then?’ I was struck speechless by his assertion for a while. It was like a thunderbolt from a blue sky. I fell down on the very spot, and started to confess all my sins while crying. All the sins I had committed flitted through my mind. I confessed, and confessed, and confessed with crying. And when I rose up again after two hours of confession, I couldn’t find any sin in my heart. I really was born again like this. Halleluiah!”

Can one receive the remission of sin just by confessing his sins honestly? No sinner can ever receive the remission of his sins even as he confesses all his sins in a row. Though God has faithfully and justly blotted out everyone’s sins, the problem is that people do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the gospel of truth that has saved them from all their sins.

Sinners must first have a heart of David, and confess, “I was born in iniquity and conceived in sin. I am fundamentally a pile of sin. I am bound to sin until I die of old age. I am bound to hell. God, please save me.” Only those who thus admit their true selves can receive the remission of their sins by accepting the gospel of the water and the blood. It is impossible for a sinner to receive the remission of sin unless he admits himself as a grave sinner destined to hell.

We must believe in the Word that declares, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). This passage means that if one has any sin at all, no matter how small, then death is inevitable for him. As such, we must acknowledge even our smallest sins before God. Moreover, we must also admit that even for such sins, we cannot avoid but be subjected to the condemnation of sin.

If we have admitted our fundamental selves to God, let us then now have fellowship in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Though we had been fundamentally sinful, the Lord came to this earth to save us, and fulfilled all the righteousness of God when He was baptized by John the Baptist.

Our Lord accepted all our sins through His baptism. And He carried them to the Cross. He shed his blood and died on the Cross to pay off all our sins. He rose from the dead again in three days, and now sits at the right hand of the throne of God. He has thus saved us perfectly. He has fulfilled all his righteousness through His baptism and bloodshed. Though we could not avoid but be bound to hell for our sins, by our faith in this salvation from sin that Jesus has given us, we have been delivered from all our sins.

Therefore, now, all that remains for us is the question of whether or not we believe that the Lord has indeed blotted out all our sins in this way. Put differently, the question is whether or not we believe that all our sins were passed onto Jesus through His baptism, and that there is therefore no longer any sin in our hearts. Now then, are you, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, righteous, or do you still remain as sinners? You are now righteous.

The Bible tells us that God is “faithful and just.” He is so faithful and just that he has blotted out all our sins once for all with His baptism and bloodshed. By believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have received the remission of all our sins once for all. Now, with this faith must we, the righteous, confess our daily sins we commit everyday? The most important thing here is that we must confess our sins by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

After receiving the remission of our sins, how should we confess? We must confess, “God, once again I committed such and such sins today,” and we must also believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

We must confess like this: “Lord God, I am bound to commit such sins until the day I die. But You have blotted out all my sins by the power of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.” It is then that we become of those whose hearts are always clean, thus thanking God and serving Him.

This is the right prayer of confession that the righteous give by faith. Such is the proper confession of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must make this true confession not by just confessing only our sins that are revealed now, but by admitting that we are fundamentally such weak beings who cannot but sin until we die. We must then thank and praise God for blotting out all these sins by confirming our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit once again. Therefore, it is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can always praise God’s righteousness.

We must always live by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By believing in this gospel of truth, we must confess our sins everyday. By doing so, we must dwell in the righteousness of God, and abide in the brilliant light of truth as well. Also, we must spread the light of salvation to all those who still remain in darkness. All of us must clearly believe in the fact that we are indeed abiding in the light, and by our faith in the righteousness of God, we must follow the Word of life and do His work.

This is the true confession of us the righteous. As we live on, we will sin again. But when we confess to God not only our very sins, but that we are the weak beings who cannot help but commit such sins until the day we die, and when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we can then be freed from all our sins. We must have this kind of faith.

It is written in Hebrews 9:27-28, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” The Lord has made us clean. We are now apart from sin. Therefore, when we the righteous look toward our Lord, we can serve Him, become the workers of righteousness, dwell in God’s righteousness, and receive His blessings, all apart from sin.

So the confession that we the righteous make is clearly different from the confession that sinners make.

When we the righteous confess to God the sins that we have committed, we must confess by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As well, placing our faith in this perfect gospel, we must admit that we cannot but sin in the future also. We can then all reach God’s holiness and come before God with good conscience, for we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By believing in this true gospel, our good conscience can answer toward God, and do His work. This is the blessing of confession that God has bestowed on the righteous. Do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit?

You must have confessed the sins that you committed before God. It is when we first recognize our insufficiencies that it is possible for us to confess our sins. Placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must confess to the Lord that we are of such evil seeds. In this faith that believes in the baptism and blood of Jesus, you can be freed from your sins. Though you are insufficient, only by believing in the gospel that the Lord has given you, you can still be delivered from your sins and come to dwell in the righteousness of God. This is how the righteous can illuminate sinners with the light.

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The First Epistle of John

We must abide in the light of truth by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot properly understand and grasp the true meaning of this passage in 1 John 1:9 that speaks about confession, which says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Even the righteous actually continue to sin, and so their consciences can also become tarnished. What must we do, then, to be cleansed from all our filthiness and to get our faith approved by God? We must confess our sins to Him by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Could we possibly confess all our sins even if we tried? We all know very well that this is simply beyond our ability. But because we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has freed us from all our sins. Our Lord has cleansed us, who believe in this true gospel, from all unrighteousness. This gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has given us has enabled us to make the true confession.

I give all my thanks to God. Hallelujah!

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