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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

What Do We Believe in?

 

< 1 John 5:1-11 >

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”



What Do Christians Believe in These Days?


The Apostle John says in today’s Scripture passage that our Savior Jesus Christ has saved all sinners and brought salvation to them through coming by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. There is not a single disciple of Jesus that mentions the shedding of His blood on the Cross without also mentioning His baptism. Our faith is made also firmer by ruminating the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

On the other hand, there are many Christians who insist only on Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross and ignore the gospel of the water and the Spirit. How could they distort the true gospel so much? Since the time of the Apostles, the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit has been covered and replaced by many doctrines that were made by people ignorant of the true gospel. As a result, most Christians today believe in Jesus in the wrong way, failing to know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. We can see that the faiths of those who only believe in Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross are dwindling away into nothing as time passes by.

There was a time, after the Reformation, when the churches in Europe grew increasingly superstitious. In other words, the expansion of Christianity brought the superstitious faith and vice versa. People under the rule of the Devil are inherently shamanistic in their faith. Hence, it was foreseeable that they would distort the truth of Christianity. Their superstitious faith was based on their idolization of the Cross of Jesus. They groundlessly believed that the Cross had the power to overcome Satan, and that, if they have faith in the shedding of the blood on the Cross by Jesus Christ, they would receive salvation and the power of the blood to overcome Satan.

The dominion of Satan the Devil grew more widespread in a time of such prevalent superstitious beliefs. Satan the Devil deceived people to believe only in the blood of Jesus Christ, by whispering into the ears of people, “Didn’t the Lord shed His blood for you?” As a result, people were convinced that their belief in only the blood Jesus shed on the Cross would be enough to attain their salvation.

However, this was not the original gospel that the Apostles and disciples of Jesus had preached from the beginning. The Apostles believed in not only the blood Jesus shed on the Cross but also in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the true and original gospel (1 John 5:5-7). The Apostles believed and witnessed that both the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood Jesus shed on the Cross constituted the true gospel (1 John 5:3-8).

How do today’s Christians know about the true gospel? Do they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the true one? Or do they witness the blood of Jesus as the sole true gospel?

They do not know the true gospel manifested in the Bible. They did not know the true gospel of salvation of all sinners from their sins that was accomplished when Jesus came by the baptism He received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross. Do you by any chance believe only in the blood Jesus shed on the Cross as the true gospel, instead of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit?

If so, you must know and believe that the true gospel consists of Jesus’ baptism and His bloodshed on the Cross. Because Jesus has taken all the sins of the world through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, He could atone all of them by shedding His blood on the Cross. Therefore, you have to realize that the water in the Bible implies Jesus’ baptism, which is the antitype of salvation of all sinners from their sins through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:21).



The Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Is the Word of Witness That God Has Delivered Sinners from All Their Sins


As the Bible says, “There are three that bear witness on earth” (1 John 5:8), there are three witnesses to the fact that God delivered us, who were once sinners. The witnesses to our salvation from our sins are that Jesus took the sins of this world by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, that He paid off all the sins by shedding His precious blood on the Cross, and that Jesus resurrected from the dead. Our true salvation is based on the three facts that Jesus came to this world by receiving the baptism and by shedding His blood on the Cross and by the Holy Spirit in order to deliver the sinners. If anyone lacks belief in one of these three facts, that person’s salvation is incomplete.

The Lord is the Son of God and God Himself, who came to this world in the flesh of man. Jesus the Son of God came to this world in the flesh of man by the Holy Spirit to deliver all sinners from all of their sins through receiving the baptism of the water from John the Baptist and shedding His blood on the Cross. Jesus took onto Himself all the sins of the world and paid for the wages of all sins without any remnant. This salvation was accomplished by Jesus’ receiving of the baptism of the water and by His bloodshed on the Cross.

If a person omits any one of the three, —the water of Jesus’ baptism, His bloodshed on the Cross, and the Holy Spirit, —that amounts to denying God’s Truth of salvation for that person. If we follow the opinion of the masses, we should believe in Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross as our only witness to our salvation. However, the Apostles John and Peter said that the witnesses to the salvation of sinners are the baptism of Jesus and His bloodshed on the Cross. Jesus’ baptism and His bloodshed on the Cross become the sources of our salvation from all our sins.

It is written in the Bible that the Lord was born through the Holy Spirit. The Apostle John details the witnesses to the salvation of the remission of sin as the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. In other words, the faith that delivers a sinner from his sins is the faith in Jesus Christ, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. These three are the utmost concrete witnesses to our salvation.

Dear fellow believers, how do we overcome the world? Don’t we overcome the world with our faith in Jesus who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit? Because we believe in the Savior, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, we can overcome the world and receive the remission of all our sins (1 John 5:4-5). In order for us all to overcome the world, we have to possess the faith that brings us full remission of our sins. You have to receive the remission of sin, the power to overcome the world, and the eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit.

Before I was born again, I lived my religious life in Christianity, believing only in the blood Jesus shed on the Cross. At that time, I believed that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and that He came to this world to die on the Cross vicariously shedding His blood, where I should have rightly been judged instead. I thought that was how I was delivered from all my sins. I put all my efforts to witnessing the faith in Jesus’ blood on the Cross. I thought that I would become a missionary. I was even determined to sacrifice my own life as Jesus Christ did for all of humanity.

Although I believed that Jesus was God and that Jesus had shed His blood on the Cross to atone all my sins, I still had sin in my heart. Furthermore, I couldn’t overcome the sinful world with that faith I had then. I wanted to overcome and escape from the sting of sin.

I came to realize that I could not wipe out the sins in my heart merely with my faith in the salvation by the blood that Jesus shed. However, thanks to the Lord, I came to meet the Truth. God had blessed me with the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. Once, I was unable to recover from falling into sin. Yet, after I realized the secrets of the baptism Jesus received, my soul was recovered immediately and made clean.

As I struggled in the past, many people today are struggling with their sins and are trying to recover their first love because they only know and believe in Jesus’ blood on the Cross. Still, they are unable to recover their first love and fall into condemnation instead because they do not know correctly about Jesus Christ, who came by the water and the blood.

This is what they need to know. When Jesus Christ received the baptism from John the Baptist, all of our sins were taken onto the body of Jesus. People fall into despair and vanity in their hearts, because they have sin for not knowing the Truth.

We have to stand fast on this Truth. And in the Holy Spirit and Jesus, who received the baptism from John the Baptist and shed His blood on the Cross. Although we may be lacking, we must believe that our Savior took onto His own body all of our sins through the baptism He received at the River Jordan and washed away all of our sins once for all. If we are to attain salvation at once, we have to come to realization in faith that the Lord is our Savior, who has blotted out all the sins of the world by His baptism and blood. By our faith in Jesus’ baptism and His blood, we are delivered from all of our sins and their consequent judgment. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have been washed from all of our sins and can lead victorious lives that overcome the world. Our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the very power of faith.

Again I am saying to you that you do not possess salvation unless your faith is based on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you are insisting on Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross alone, you surely still have sins in your heart. As such, we must believe in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist and the blood He shed on the Cross. We have to know that Jesus made us whole by coming by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit.



Unless We Believe in the Essential Witnesses of Jesus’ Baptism, His Blood, and the Holy Spirit, We Can Never Be Saved from All Our Sins


Some people, even though they don’t know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, might think that the Lord won’t fail to approve them, since they have lived their entire lives for the Lord, holding Jesus as their Savior. They must be sinners, since they still have sins even after they have accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Still others may say, “There is no more sin, since Jesus Christ came to the world by the Holy Spirit in order to take all the sins of the world onto Himself.” However, unless their faith is that of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they can never receive the real remission of their sins with their faiths. Many evangelicals still insist such faith. But, the whole faith is to believe in Jesus who received the baptism from John the Baptist to take all the sins of the world onto His own body and shed his blood on the Cross.

Faith that is approved by God believes in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. If you do not have this kind of faith, you won’t be able to receive the remission of your sins wholly. Jesus Christ received the baptism from John the Baptist, died on the Cross shedding His blood, and resurrected from the dead. Put differently, Jesus the true God came to the world in the flesh of man and washed away all the sins of the world by the water and His blood. The Lord came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit and saved us wholly from our sins. By doing so, the Lord has fought against Satan the Devil and has overcome Satan completely. Jesus now sits on the right hand of God the Father’s Throne in Heaven.

God the Father has fulfilled His will by sending His Son as the Lord and Savior to those who believe in Jesus’ baptism and blood. Now, God the Father sends the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The Lord tells us, who believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, “You are saved. You no longer have any sin. Yes, I have delivered you from all of your sins by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Now, your salvation is whole in your faith in the water and the blood. You, who have this faith, will overcome this world just as I did. You are no longer sinners before Me. Now, you are the righteous. You are now My people and My children. Be of good cheer! I have overcome the world.”

God also witnesses to the salvation of the born again who have faith both in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and in the baptism and the blood of Jesus. The concrete evidence of salvation in the hearts of the righteous also lies in the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. The gospel of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus has taken all our sins with His baptism, and that He atones all of them by shedding His blood on the Cross. The Truth is that all the sins of the world were transferred onto Jesus, when Jesus received the baptism at the River Jordan (Matthew 3:15). We have to ruminate this perfect and powerful gospel from time to time.

A person who has received the remission of sin overcomes Satan the Devil, the false prophets, and the all persecutions of this world. This is possible through the faith in the baptism Jesus received and the blood Jesus shed on the Cross. The Word of Truth, which is the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, is in their hearts. By believing in Jesus Christ, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit, we can overcome Satan the Devil and the world. Believers in the baptism Jesus received and the blood Jesus shed on the Cross also have the power to overcome numerous false prophets.

Our true “overcoming” depends on our faith in the gospel of the water, the blood, and the Spirit. We have neither true remission of sin nor the power to overcome the world, if we do not believe Jesus as the Son of God and our Savior according to the Word of God’s witness.

Do you have the faith to overcome the world in your heart? You can overcome the world, if you have in your hearts faith in the witnesses of the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. Do you believe that all the sins of the world have already been transferred onto Jesus when He was baptized? Do you also believe that Jesus received judgments for all of our sins by dying on the Cross instead of us? Those who believe in the three witnesses, which are of the water, of the blood, and of the Holy Spirit, have received the remission of their sins wholly and have the power to overcome the world.

The Apostle John believed in Jesus as his Lord and Savior, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit. The disciples of Jesus could overcome the world by believing in the same gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Hence, the Apostle John said to his brothers, who had been persecuted while spreading the true gospel, “Be of good cheer! You can overcome the world with your faith in Jesus Christ, who came by the water, the blood, and the Holy Spirit in order to save you.” The power to overcome the world that is given to all believers lies in the faith in Jesus Christ, who came by the water, the blood, and the Spirit.

1 John 5:8 reads as follows: “And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”

These days, Christians rarely talk about the Truth of the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. Excluding in their beliefs the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist becomes an obstacle for them in receiving the remission of sin. Those who believe in Jesus without also believing in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist are deceived by Satan the Devil.

Then, what happens to those who do not believe correctly? They will forever fail to receive the remission of their sins. God’s Word is the Sword of Truth and the Light of Life. We cannot ignore even the shortest passage of His Word. That’s why we have to live in our faith in the gospel of the water and the blood, which is from God. No one can overcome the world, unless a person believes in the baptism Jesus received and the blood He shed on the Cross.

However, there are still too many people who do not believe in the gospel of Jesus’ baptism and His blood of the Cross, which has washed away all our sins. Some such people have not received full remission of their sins because they only believed in the blood Jesus shed on the Cross. Those people unfortunately remain sinners despite their beliefs in Jesus because they have sins in their hearts.



People Can Believe and Be Saved Only When This True Gospel Is Witnessed Correctly to Them


We have to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit in every possible opportunity. If we fail to witness to people the gospel of the water and the blood correctly, every Christian all around the world would merely be a hypocritical religionist.

What kind of faith does Christianity today possess? We can see that Christianity is not based on the foundational Truth of the remission of sins, which comes from the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That’s why today’s Christianity has to urgently believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All the religions of the world were created by humans. Yet, Christianity is of God-given faith, and is distinctively based on God’s Truth of the remission of sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Religion is far different from true faith.

Therefore, those who think that Christianity is no different from any other religion in the world have false knowledge. They teach Christian ethics and morals as if that was the gist of God’s will. They must come to first know the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ did not come to this world to establish a new ethical order but to save the sinners through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. These days, many Christians are seeking to satisfy their own ambitions by abusing Christianity.

If you believe in Christianity without first knowing the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, Christianity loses its distinctiveness from all other religions. Those who believe in Christianity as one of the worldly religions teach people ethics and morality in order to satisfy their own lusts of the flesh. They may say, “What does it matter whether I believe in this or that so long as I go to Heaven?” Such people have to turn around and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, knowing that Christianity has been distorted into a worldly religion.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the central Truth of Christianity. Thus, we have to receive the blessing of the remission of all our sins and eternal life by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Beliefs that are based on one’s own thoughts and not on the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit are all forms of religiosity, which are practiced in vain.

Let’s rethink what the faith in the real Truth is all about. Suppose people survived a sinking cruise vessel in the Pacific Ocean, by hanging onto a rubber boat. The captain of the vessel has already sent SOS emergency messages. Once the rescue helicopter arrived, those who held onto the rope attached to the chopper and wrapped the rope around themselves were likely to be rescued successfully. However, if anyone was so confident in one’s arm strength that he only held onto the rope, he could possibly fall back into the Pacific Ocean once his strength gives out.

Likewise, if a person believes in God without also believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, that person would be in an unrequited love with God. They would say that they somehow believed in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but they neither know nor believe in the baptism and the blood of Jesus Christ, which compose the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Among them, there are many who still ask to be delivered from the sins of this world.

These people may have thought that they could hold onto their religious faith. Yet, in reality, they fall down because of their sins. Although they knew that the Lord would save them from their sins, they fall back into sins of this world and die in sin because they relied on their own strength. Dear fellow believe