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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Essence of Paul’s Faith


< Galatians 2:20 >

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”



In today’s Scripture passage, we can find the essence of the Apostle Paul’s faith: His faith was to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came to this earth and took upon all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John, that He carried these sins of the world to the Cross and shed His blood to death, that He rose from the dead again, and that He has thereby completed our salvation.

This is why Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Paul stated here that his old self died with Christ, and that now it is Christ who lives in him. He continued to say, “The life which I now live in the flesh is not lived for myself, but for Christ who is in me.”

This faith is not only the confession of Paul, but also of ours. The Apostle Paul believed that his sins were passed onto Jesus Christ with the baptism that He received from John, and it was by this faith that Paul had died with Jesus and was brought to life again with Jesus. Just as Paul did by faith, we, too, can die with Jesus Christ and live with Him as long as we have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has saved us from all our sins once for all. Because Jesus Christ has saved us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is by our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior that we now live. Therefore, regardless of how we might look right now in our flesh, in Jesus Christ we have become those who had died with Him and were brought to life with Him. We now live a new life by our faith in the Lord who lives forever.

The Apostle Paul could live such a new life because Jesus Christ had been baptized and shed His blood for his sins. He said that it wasn’t because of something good he had done in his flesh, but by his faith in the Son of God that he lived again. In other words, because the Apostle Paul believed that by being baptized for him Jesus Christ saved him from the sins of the world and brought him to life again, by this faith, he had died with Jesus Christ and was brought to life again with Him. That’s how he could live his life by faith in the Son of God, and in the salvation that this Son of God fulfilled by delivering him from his sins. Such faith is not unique to only Paul, but it is the same for all those who have received the remission of their sins in Jesus Christ by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.



Paul’s Faith Was to Believe That He Had Died with Jesus Christ and Was Resurrected with Him

The reason why the Apostle Paul made this confession is because in his heart he had faith in the true gospel that he had died with Jesus Christ and lived with Him: “Because of our sins, we could not avoid but be accursed forever and face eternal death; however, when Jesus Christ came to this earth and took upon the sins of mankind once for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, all our sins were also passed onto Jesus at that moment, and by being crucified to shed His blood and rising from the dead again, Jesus has saved us. Therefore, those who now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can live forever precisely by faith.”

The fact that our souls can now live, regardless of whether we are good or bad in our flesh, is just because of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By believing in the Son of God as our Savior who has delivered us from all our sins, we all can be saved by faith. Moreover, because the Son of God has at once delivered us from all our sins when we had been bound by these sins, we are now able to live a righteous life by placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is because the Lord blotted out all our sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has enabled us the believers to live as God’s workers, thereby making it possible for us to live eternally blessed lives. Anyone who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can confess the true faith of salvation from now on.

Since we still live in our flesh, there are times when we make mistakes. Sometimes, we are tempted to revert back to the behaviors of our old selves. If we do not rely on our faith in the true gospel, we might become dead again by the weight of our accumulated mistakes. The Apostle Paul was no different; he, too, was capable of going back to his old self in his flesh, and this is why he could not but rely on the truth that his old self had been actually crucified with Jesus Christ, and therefore he could live a new life in Jesus Christ by faith. The Apostle Paul here was making his confession of faith only properly that Jesus Christ had brought him to life again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just like the Apostle Paul’s confession of faith, we, too, are able to live forever, through our faith of dying with Jesus Christ and of being brought to life again with Him.

This is a tremendous faith based precisely on the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Now, those who have been washed from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones who have this same faith by which they are living their new lives with Jesus Christ. Yet among so many people living this world, only a handful of Christians have the definitive knowledge of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it. Whenever I think about this, I am compelled once again to thank God for my precious salvation. Though we are insufficient, we can now follow the Lord because of our faith in the Son of God.

As we have been carrying on with our lives of faith, we’ve done some good things, but we’ve also made many mistakes. Yet I see that this is unavoidable even in the future, in that as we live our lives of faith, we cannot help but continue to make mistakes. Do you believe that you are capable of excelling in everything?

Some people might be worried about how to serve the Lord to the end when they think about their wickedness and weaknesses even though they have been born again by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. However, to serve the Lord is not through our own strength, but we can serve Him through our faith with the power given by the Lord. We must realize that it is always the Lord who empowers us.

When we think about ourselves, we are worrying over the days to come because we do not have faith, the belief that we had died with Jesus Christ and were brought to life again with Jesus Christ. In addition, the reason why we come to worry about how we can live in this world is because we keep looking at our own insufficiencies. Sometime we think to ourselves, “I really shouldn’t be like this,” and mindful of our many shortcomings, we worry how we can carry on with our lives of faith. So we even consider it a miracle that we have come along this far with our lives of faith. But all such worries can now be vanquished once for all with our faith that dies with Jesus Christ and lives with Him.

This kind of faith enables us to follow the Lord everyday by faith. Before our Lord, we’ve done some good things with our faith, but mistakes have also been made. Even so, by our faith in the Lord, we still live in boldness. We will, of course, strive to do things well, but when we consider our past selves, there clearly were some mistakes made, and so there will be times when we reach moments of weakness. In times like these, you need faith all the more, just as the Apostle Paul had lived by his faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Paul confessed that it was because of Christ that he had lived a new life thus far and that he would also live by faith in the Son of God. He said that because the Son of God took upon all our sins once for all through the baptism He received for us, and because He was crucified and died on the Cross, it is by our faith in this that we live. To all of us who believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has given the perfect remission of sin and new life. Because God has saved us once for all, we, too, have become the ones who live forever by believing in the baptism that this Son of God received and in His bloodshed. By this faith, that the Son of God has saved you from all your sins through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, you can live forever.

Whenever our weaknesses are revealed, we have to remember the essence of the Apostle Paul’s faith. You and I cannot live by looking at our flesh alone. If we look toward only our own flesh as we live, there can only be death awaiting us. We can triumph and also receive eternal life by our faith in the Son of God who has saved us perfectly. Therefore, it is indispensable for us to realize that our old selves are dead beings in Jesus Christ, but at the same time, we are the new creatures to live forever, because the Son of God has saved us, who had all been sinners, and we believe in Him as our Savior. By our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by this Son of God, we have been brought to life again from death. It is by this faith in the Truth that the Son of God has saved us, that we are now to live forever.

Right now in your hearts, there must be the belief that the Son of God has saved us from all our sins and brought us to eternal life. Do you have this faith? Do you believe that through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, Jesus Christ has already blotted out your sins, bore the condemnation of all sins, and rose from the dead again? It is my sincere desire that all of you would now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and quickly come to have the same faith that Paul had. Our Lord lacked nothing to blot out your sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to make you God’s people, and to turn you into the workers of His righteousness. By believing that God has made us His own children who are to live forever, we will indeed live forever by this faith. We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are therefore to live forever with God.

Do you believe in the Son of God who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit as your Savior? You must believe so, that for you, Jesus Christ the Son of God was baptized by John, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved you from all your sins.

Now we have come to recognize that we are dead beings in faith. And we have actually become new living creatures by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore we are running toward the finish line by placing our faith in the Lord. Sometimes, staring at the weaknesses of our flesh, we would end up falling into a bottomless pit and wandering in the valley of death. But instead of looking at our own flesh, we can stand firm again by looking at ourselves through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In fact, we had died with Jesus Christ in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we have been brought to life again with Jesus Christ.

Our souls, who now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit like Paul’s faith, have become living spirits. Though we live in our weak flesh now, we have been able to live a righteous life by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is because there is power in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is because we believe wholeheartedly in the Lord who came by the water and the blood that we have been able to live forever. In other words, even though our flesh is insufficient, we still have eternal life that never dies.

Just as the Apostle Paul had live by faith with Jesus Christ, you and I must also live by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Looking at yourselves, if you think, “Why am I like this? I am so hopeless!” and fall into despair, you are bound to die. But if you believe that the Son of God has forever blotted out all your sins, and that He has raised you from death, then you can live with Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ has actually saved you with the Truth of the water and the Spirit, if you have faith in this gospel, you can die and live with Him.

The Lord has definitely saved you and me from death. By delivering you from all your sins and the condemnation of all your sins, the Lord has made you God’s own people. He has saved you and me by delivering us from all our sins and giving us new life. This is the basis of how we can be resurrected from death to live again, and how we have also received the blessing of eternal life from God.

We must always live in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, believing that we had died with Jesus Christ and were brought to life with Jesus Christ. And we must live by the faith that believes in the Son of God. To do so, we should not look at ourselves in despair by what we see, but always look toward the Lord. In fact, we have been able to live all this time until now only by the grace and help of the Lord. It is when we always look toward the Lord by faith that we can do what is right and never die. When we did not look toward the Lord but followed the biddings of our own will, we couldn’t avoid but do what the Lord did not want us to do. Whatever good things you might have done, these were done because of your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and whatever bad things you might have done, these mistakes were made because you were misled by your thoughts of the flesh.

The faith of the Apostle Paul is revealed in Galatians 3:27, where he said, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” This confession means that we come to have the faith that enables us to die with Jesus Christ and to live with Him when we believe that the Lord has delivered us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For us to truly become one with Jesus Christ, and to die and live with Him, we must first have this faith that knows and believes in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. He enables us believers to die with Christ and to live with Him through this gospel of the water and the Spirit.

This is why the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:11-12, “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” It was through the revelation of Jesus Christ that we also could have been saved from all our sins, and live as God’s servants as well.



What Has Our Lord Shown to Us Who Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?

“The revelation of Jesus Christ” in the above passage means to open and show the domain of God to us. Through His revelation, we came to realize how God has saved us from our sins. The Lord revealed this through the Word of God. In the Old Testament, sacrificial animals accepted the Israelites’ sins as they laid their hands on the heads of the animals. And the animals bled to death before the altar of burnt offering and were burnt right away to pay off the sins of the Israelites. In the Old Testament, it was an unblemished lamb, goat, or bull that became the sacrificial offering before God and at once blotted out all the iniquities of a sinner.

In the New Testament, it was Jesus Christ who, like the sacrificial system’s laying on of hands and sacrifice, accepted the sins of mankind once for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, shouldered the sins of this world all at once, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby become the perfect Savior of believers. Becoming like the sacrificial offering of the Old Testament, Jesus revealed true salvation to us, and became the Savior who saved us from all our sins and destruction. To blot out our sins, the Son of God was baptized and crucified, and He became the Savior who eradicated all sins and all the condemnation of sin.

The Apostle Paul also could become a servant of God by his faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord had revealed to him. He believed that Jesus Christ came to this earth to save us from the sins of this world, and when He turned 30, He took upon the sins of the world once for all by receiving baptism from John the Baptist. Paul also believed that because Jesus had taken all the sins of the world, He bore all the condemnation of sin and died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again to be our perfect Savior. This was the faith of the Apostle Paul, and this is our faith. The Apostle Paul’s faith was one that had died with Jesus Christ and was brought to life with Him. So, he confessed his faith by saying, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

The revelation that Jesus Christ has shown us as His salvation is none other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible says that Jesus came to this earth as the Son of God and our own sacrificial offering, and that He was baptized and shed His blood to save us perfectly from the sins of the world. Paul’s faith was one that believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Apostle Paul believed in the baptism Jesus Christ received and the blood He shed on the Cross as the essentials of his salvation. His faith entailed the belief that when Jesus was baptized, his sins were also passed onto Him. Paul was a man of faith who believed that when Jesus Christ, having received His baptism from John the Baptist and accepted the sins of the world, went to the Cross and was crucified, his sins were also crucified with Jesus. And he believed that when Jesus Christ rose from the dead again, he also rose with Jesus Christ by faith. This was the gist of Paul’s faith.

In short, the Apostle Paul believed in Jesus Christ as his perfect Savior. He testified to this true salvation by placing his faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior. He believed that he had died with Jesus Christ, and that he was also brought to life with Him. Because Jesus Christ bore the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist, was crucified, and rose from the dead again, it is by this faith in the Truth that we can die and live with Christ. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are our own death and resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ, in other words, is the resurrection of Paul, and at the same time it is our resurrection.

Paul confessed that he had become alive by believing in the Truth that the Son of God had redeemed him, and that he would live forever by the same faith. His faith enabled him to die with Jesus Christ and to be resurrected with Him. With this faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he could receive the remission of all his sins, become a servant of God, and become one of God’s own people who would live in His Kingdom forever.

Now, we must have the faith that makes us get baptized into Jesus Christ. We must have the faith that enables us to die with Jesus Christ and to be brought to life with Jesus Christ. When we have the faith that enables us unite with Jesus Christ, we can become the ones who will live forever with Jesus Christ to never die. The Son of God has delivered us from sin and death because He has given us the faith to live forever through His baptism and His bloodshed on the Cross. Our Lord took care of our insufficiencies, and He has made us to live forever as well.

The Apostle Paul believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preached the Truth of salvation to the saints of the Galatian churches, but their faith was deteriorated soon. So he wrote to them, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).

In the days of Paul, there were those who troubled the saints in God’s Church by insisting on the necessity of physical circumcision besides the gospel preached by Paul. These circumcisionists emphasized that the saints should keep the statutes of the Law in the Old Testament, such as circumcision and the Sabbath day.

In the present age also, the legalists lead their lives of faith as follows: They offer prayers of repentance to the Lord, trying to wash away their sins on their own. Crying out loud, “Lord, forgive me!” they try to purge their sins through their prayers of repentance. To this day, countless liars have tried to perfect their faith through such Christian practices and doctrines as the prayers of repentance and the doctrine of incremental sanctification, but none has been able to meet their goals and all have been ultimately forsaken. Because they have tried to wash away their sins not through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but through their own prayers of repentance, they have been stamped as the ones who practice lawlessness.

During the Early Church period, the circumcisionists arose and tried to undermine the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ had given to His Church. But God’s Church put a stop to their attempt, and moreover, fulfilled its duty to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Jesus Christ came to fulfill His three offices: Jesus Christ is the King of kings, the Prophet, and the everlasting High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus Christ is the Savior who came to this earth with these three offices and who has delivered all sinners from all their sins once for all. To save His people from their sins, Jesus Christ came to this earth in the same image of His people, and through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He taught us what our sins are and how our salvation is fulfilled—He taught all these truths all at once. Jesus Christ offered His own body before God the Father, and to save us from the sins of the world, He was baptized by John the Baptist, thereby accepting all the sins of us mankind, all your and my sins, He died on the Cross, and He rose from the dead again. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and it is the very gospel that the Apostle Paul believed in. The Apostle Paul possessed the very faith that enabled him to die and live with Jesus Christ.



What Consequences Would Follow If We Were to Pervert the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit That Our Lord Has Given Us?

Jesus Christ, the King of kings and God Himself, came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man to save mankind from sin. He took upon all their sins by being baptized by John the Baptist at the age of 30. And He carried the sins of the world to the Cross, was crucified to death, rose from the dead again, and has thereby given us salvation all at once. But there were those who tried to pervert what Jesus Christ did to save you and me from our sins. The first example of them was a group of circumcisionists of the Early Church age.

Paul, in rebuking those who sought to pervert the gospel of the water and the Spirit, said that anyone who tries to spread another gospel other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit is to be accursed. When we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then through this faith of ours, we wholly become God’s people once for all and receive new life. But the circumcisionists argued that believers had to be circumcised to be wholly saved. Their faith was a false one.

Yet even now, there are certain groups that consider Christianity only as a religion of self-discipline, claiming that we must discipline our minds and hearts. Through their doctrine of repentance, they are trying to pervert the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel through which the Son of God has blotted out our sins once for all. By being baptized, our Lord took upon all the sins of mankind, and by being crucified and shedding His blood, He was condemned for all our sins once for all. This is how He has brought us, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, to life.

It is by believing in this true gospel of the water and the Spirit that we have received the remission of our sins once for all, become God’s own people who are to live forever by faith. If, in spite of this, there is anyone who does not believe in what Jesus Christ the Son of God has done to save us perfectly, and instead tries to wash away all his sins through his own prayers of repentance, then he must be rebuked harshly as a heretic. The doctrine claming that people can be sanctified by offering prayers of repentance is one of the most fallacious Christian doctrines of today.

In the Galatian churches, there were those who tried to become God’s people through circumcision. They assigned the same weight to the obedience to the statutes of the Law, such as physical circumcision, Sabbath, and other Jewish festivities, as to their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just as some of these people in Galatia had preached circumcision instead of the gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by Paul, now in this age and throughout the whole world, countless Christians are trying to wash away their sins through their prayers of repentance, rather than through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Apostle Paul continued to say, “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). But, most Christians still believe in their prayers of repentance or the doctrine of incremental sanctification, and they still believe in another gospel other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

One may then ask, “Then, what is the difference between believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and trying to be washed from sin by believing only in the blood of the Cross and offering the prayers of repentance?” Paul’s faith was one that believed in the baptism Jesus received from John and His bloodshed on the Cross as his salvation. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we also had truly died with Jesus Christ, and now live a new life with Him (Romans 6:4). This faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and the belief that one can wash his sins everyday through his prayers of repentance, are different from each other. So, the latter is called “the other gospel.”

The Apostle Paul said, If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9). For Christians, the worst abuse that can be uttered to them in this entire world is, “Damn you.” What other abuse could possibly be worse than to curse one to be damned by God and go to hell? When Paul said this passage, he said it to those who then claimed that people could become God’s own people if they were circumcised. This passage can also be applied to those who now claim that they can wash away their sins through their prayers of repentance. Before God, in other words, there is no other gospel but the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The true gospel that the Bible speaks of is the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

What, then, is the other gospel? Today, it is the false teaching that one can be washed from his sins by offering prayers of repentance. And in the days of the Early Church, it was the faith that insisted on physical circumcision. However, the only true gospel is that to save us from the sins of this world, Jesus Christ bore these sins once for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, went to the Cross, shed His blood and died on it, rose from the dead again, and has thereby completed our salvation.’

Yet most Christians throughout the whole world are now placing their faith in their own prayers of repentance, which is different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So when we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them, it may seem as if they would be saved at once, but this is not actually the case. They have been misled by such a false doctrine so much that their hearts have hardened and they are unaccustomed to the true gospel. We see that they are unintentionally standing against the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

However, as it is written in the Bible, the poor in spirit are blessed abundantly through this true gospel. After coming across the gospel of the water and the Spirit, many throughout the whole world, even pastors, have sent us the following confession of salvation, testifying, “I had believed in Jesus as a sinner for dozens of years, but I was just born again and resolved all my spiritual problems by this one book.” They are sending us their testimonies, saying that they had tried to be washed from their sins through their prayers of repentance to no avail so far, but now, by believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, they have truly become new.

What happens when one believes only in the prayers of repentance? Such faith will eventually lead him to have empty faith drowning in the flood of sins. Such people are akin to those who create gods out of their own thoughts and worship their idol gods of their own making. They think that they have been saved from their sins, and they believe firmly on their own that they have become God’s people. They think to themselves, “Jesus, You are my God,” but they believe without realizing the Truth themselves. However, all their faith is completely futile, like a castle built on sand, for their faith is built utterly on their own thoughts and not on the Word of God. They don’t rely on the Truth that says the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross have made them whole, and are instead relying on their own prayers of repentance. Even as they profess to believe in the ministry of Jesus who shed His blood on the Cross, they are excluding His baptism that was essential to fulfill the righteousness of God.

Could Jesus really have borne the sins of this world without the baptism that He received from John? Did Jesus blot out our sins just by dying on the Cross? Clearly, Jesus took upon our sins all at once by being baptized by John the Baptist, went to the Cross and was crucified, washed away the sins of the mankind once for all, and has thereby saved all His believers. How could Jesus take upon our sins on the Cross? It was when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist that He took upon the sins of the world. To believe that one can wash away his sins through his prayers of repentance is a useless belief of one’s own making.

Even now, we see that those who believe in their prayers of repentance, not in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are still praying and praising God. However, these people who believe only in their prayers of repentances are characterized by the fact that their lives of faith are clamorous, for there is still sin in their hearts, and they are only too busy to front their own righteousness. Regardless of whether there are still sins in their hearts or not, they praise God, overwhelmed by their own beautiful voices that stem from their own emotions. They don’t care whether God actually desires to hear from them or not.

However, what we need to realize here is that Jesus Christ has perfectly delivered us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is no sin remaining in our hearts owing to His righteous acts. It is only when we praise God with a clear understanding of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that our praise is made genuine before God. It is because we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are grateful for the Lord’s salvation, and it is because this inspiration fills us that we come to glorify God. But, those who believe that they have been washed from their sins through their prayers of repentance have to adjust their emotions on their own by telling themselves ceaselessly, “I belong to God’s people. I am one of the chosen people of God.”

However, the praise of the righteous is given by faith. Missing a note is not a concern for us when it comes to praising God. For anyone who wholeheartedly believes in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of the remission of sin, it is with all his heart that he praises God. The righteous are rejoiced to praise God with their hearts of faith. Therefore, you should recognize that if any Christian believes in another gospel other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then his faith is a superstitious one. To believe in the Truth, that the Lord has saved us by blotting out our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is true faith.

Let me expand on this point by drawing an analogy to the religions of the world. Buddhism is one such religion of the world. Buddhists bow to the stone statues of Buddha asking for blessings. Some others carve out images out of trees, and then bow before them and beg for blessings. When Buddhists bow supplicating for blessings, they open and put out their palms, as if they are asking for something.

But these stone statues of Buddha are made in the image of man carved out of rocks by a stonemason. People then take them as their god and worship them. And they pray to the statues to bless them. Those who are childless ask for a son. These people think that if they pray sincerely to what they themselves have carved out of stones, the statues would somehow help them. None other than this is a superstitious belief. To believe in the religions of the world is nothing more than believing in one’s own thoughts.

In contrast, the Apostle Paul stated clearly that the gospel that he believed in was of the revelation that Jesus Christ had shown to him. Paul was spiritually awakened by the Word of the Old Testament, and He came to believe in this gospel Truth. To know and believe in what God said in the Old Testament about the remission of sin, and how in the New Testament Jesus Christ came to this earth, took upon our sins through His baptism, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us from all our sins—this is the true faith. The ministries of salvation that Jesus Christ had carried on when He came to this earth are none other than the ministries of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We were able to be remitted from all our sins, receive eternal life, and become God’s own people by believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit manifested in the Word of God.

Paul said that by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he became a living man, not a dead man, and one who preached this true gospel. This is why the Apostle Paul rebuked the circumcisionists to be accursed, saying, But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Therefore, we need to find out what these other gospels other than the gospel are.

To find out the other gospels, we must first identify the biblically true gospel that Paul had believed in and preached. The Apostle Paul believed that the Son of God had blotted out the sins of the world by coming to this earth and being baptized, dying on the Cross and rising from the dead again. This is how Jesus has saved us from all ours sins, from all the condemnation of sin. This is none other than Paul’s faith. Paul’s faith was placed not only in the blood of the Cross, but it was placed in both the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross.

Then, what is the other gospel that is different from the true one that Paul believed in? It is the gospel of only the blood. People who have faith in this gospel of only the blood also rely on the prayers of repentance to wash away their sins. We the born-again believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but most Christians today believe only in the blood of the Cross while relying on the prayers of repentance. These two faiths are far different from each other. The gospel of the water and the Spirit that we believe is the same gospel preached by the Apostle Paul. Therefore, God approves our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In contrast, for those who try to wash away their sins through their prayers of repentance, their faith is different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and so I can say confidently that they will not be approved by God but be accursed instead.

I am not saying that you don’t need to believe that Jesus shed His precious blood on the Cross. I am pointing out that for you to believe only in the blood of the Cross while leaving out the baptism He received from John is to believe in the other gospel. As long as you hold fast to the different gospel, you cannot but place your faith only in the prayers of repentance eventually, because your sins still remain intact no matter how ardently you place your faith in such a different gospel.

Could you receive the true remission of your sins by believing only in Jesus’ bloodshed on the Cross and by offering your prayers of repentance? Such beliefs are no more than superstitious beliefs. This kind of faith only means that we somehow agree to believe in Jesus as our Savior, and it is not placing our faith in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is to believe in Jesus merely out of our own thoughts in simple gratefulness, since He shed His precious blood on the Cross for us, and to believe that the sins we commit afterwards can be washed away by ourselves through our own prayers of repentance. Such beliefs are, in other words, completely of one’s own making. “Jesus, I have decided to regard You as my Savior.” It is because people believe in Jesus like this that their sins are not perfectly removed from their hearts. How could their sins be blotted out just because they profess to believe in Jesus, without knowing how their sins were passed onto Jesus through His baptism?

The Apostle Paul’s faith is also described in Romans 6. It is written in Romans 6:3-4, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

The Apostle Paul asked here, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” He said that we were buried with Jesus through baptism into His death. Jesus Christ came to this earth, took upon our sins by being baptized from John, and was crucified to death for us. And He then rose from the dead again. Paul had the faith that Jesus has saved you and me from all our sins.

Jesus Christ the Lamb of God came to this earth as the propitiation of all mankind according to the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. He has saved sinners from their iniquities by taking upon all the sins of His people through the baptism He received from John, and by shedding His blood on the Cross. All these righteous acts coincide exactly with the process of the sin offering of the Old Testament. As the sacrificial Lamb of God, our Lord bore the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist. When we turn our eyes to Matthew 3:13 and on, we see how Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and thereby took upon the sins of mankind once for all. In other words, it was after Jesus was baptized by John that He was crucified to shed His blood on the Cross and rose from the dead again, and this is how He has saved us at once from all our sins (Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:29; John 19:30).

We are now preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the whole world, and Paul in his days was also preaching the same gospel. This gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by Paul is the same gospel that we are now preaching. Therefore, if anyone does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and therefore does not preach it, he will be accursed by God.

Churches all over the world are now about to close their doors, for their congregations do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since Christians today believe only in the blood of the Cross and are trying to wash away their sins through their own prayers of repentance, their sins ultimately do not disappear, and since their sins are not blotted out, who would continue to believe in God? This is why every church has no choice but to close the door of salvation.

Practically all Christians throughout the entire world believe that they have received the remission of their sins even as they believe only in the precious blood of the Cross. But, they are dying away spiritually, for they cannot but rely on their own prayers of repentance in vain. Just take a look at the Christians around you who sing praises filled with only their own emotion. They cannot but praise like this because they actually do not know and believe how Jesus Christ has saved them through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In contrast, for the born-again who truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, praises come only naturally without forcing their emotion, for they are thankful from the depth of their hearts for the grace of salvation that the Lord has bestowed on them.

The Apostle Paul said that anyone who preaches any gospel other than the true gospel preached by him would be accursed (Galatians 1:8). Paul asked, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men?” And then he continued to say, “For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). Because Jesus Christ came to this earth, was baptized, died on the Cross, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us from all our sins, the Apostle Paul could not help but believe in the Truth accordingly and preach it accordingly. Had Paul sought to please men, he would have preached only the blood of the Cross, but because He was a bondservant of Christ, he preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Apostle Paul was never a bondservant of men.

Paul continued to say in Galatians 1:11-12, “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

What kind of gospel was the gospel that the Apostle Paul believed and preached to people? Here, “the gospel which was preached by me [Paul]” means the gospel of the water and the Spirit.He said that this gospel was neither taught to him by man, nor received from man, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ. He said that God the Father showed him the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit through Jesus. Paul believed in his heart that Jesus Christ saved him from all his sins through the water and the Spirit.

We also believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is why we are now preaching this gospel of the water and the Spirit to the truth-seeking Christians scattered throughout the whole world. It frustrates me greatly when I see the faith of the majority of Christians in the world. They don’t even realize that they are spiritually blinded, because they have misbelieved for such a long time.

In the Early Church period, the Apostles had preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Peter also said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ”(1 Peter 3:21). All of us have the same faith that the Apostle Peter had. Because Jesus took upon the sins of mankind including your sins once for all by being baptized by John, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again, we can be saved from all our sins by believing in this.

But what do the majority of Christians throughout the world believe now? They believe only in the precious blood of Jesus on the Cross. Of course, the blood He shed on the Cross is enormously precious for our salvation. But it is of no use if we do not believe in the baptism He received from John the Baptist. It is because Jesus was baptized by john and shed His blood on the Cross that our sins could be passed onto Jesus and be remitted away, and yet today’s Christians do not know this baptism of Jesus, and therefore they cannot be washed of all their sins.

For the lawful atonement, sacrificial animals infallibly had to receive the laying on of hands from sinners and thereby accept their sins. All sacrifices had to be put to death, after passing over the sins of sinners through the laying on of their hands. Like this, Jesus Christ accepted everyone’s sins by being baptized by John and shed His blood on the Cross and died at once, but most Christians do not know this nor believe in it. Even now, they must realize that the Early Church Christians believed in and preached the true gospel of the water and the Spirit, and they must believe so.

When Rome was ruling supreme over the whole western world, Constantine the Roman emperor proclaimed the Edict of Milan to establish Christianity as the state religion. It was from then on that the gospel of the water and the Spirit was perverted. The real truth of salvation is the gospel of the water and the blood, but the people of that era took out one of the two essentials from the true gospel. Put differently, they started to take out the baptism of Jesus from their gospel, and as a result, they came to believe in the other gospel. Eventually, Christianity, which had once exerted so much authority as the state religion of Rome, has now become powerless today.

We believe in and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the same one that was believed in the apostolic age. Due to our literature ministry, many people throughout the world, including theologians and pastors, are now returning to the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those who study theology deep enough and in objective perspectives are apt to admit that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the real Truth.

But, those who know only their own denomination are so stubborn that they do not even want to know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. They are holding onto the blood of the Cross alone, as if their denominational doctrines are the same as the Word of God. Some denominations claim that one can receive the Holy Spirit if he prays like a fanatic, shouting out the name of the Lord. What a foolish life of faith is this? Trapped in their own thoughts and obstinacy, they have ended up with irrational, superstitious faith. Such is the faith of a big frog in a small pond.

The gospel that the Apostle Paul believed and preached was the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This gospel of the water and the Spirit was neither received from men, nor was it learnt from men. He leaned this true gospel from God through His revelation. The Apostle Paul’s faith was not a dogmatic faith that today’s Christians have. From which denomination did you learn your gospel? Any other gospel that is different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a false gospel.

The Apostle Paul was an expert in the Old Testament. Even before he met Jesus, from the Old Testament he knew all about the Truth, that the Messiah would take upon and blot out the sins of the world through the method of laying on of hands. Paul’s mistake, however, was that he did not realize that Jesus was the very Son of God. This is why at first he had persecuted Jesus’ disciples. Once Paul went to Damascus with his subordinates to kill the disciples of Jesus there. At that time, Paul’s name was Saul. On his way to the city, he encountered the living Jesus Christ.

Jesus appeared before Paul in a flashing light brighter than the sun, saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

So Paul said, “Who are You, Lord?”

And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.”

Jesus Christ shed a bright light and let His voice be heard, and although the men who journeyed with Paul saw no one, Jesus Christ appeared only before his eyes and ears. When Jesus Christ appeared before Paul, the light was so strong that his eyes were blinded, and soon Paul recognized, “I made a mistake.” “Jesus, in whom these people believe, truly is the Messiah to come, who was prophesied in the Old Testament!” Then, Paul came to realize that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, and the Savior who truly took upon the sins of mankind by being baptized and blotted them out by dying on the Cross and rising from the dead again. “The Messiah has already come. He has already saved me through His baptism and His blood on the Cross!” It is because he realized and recognized this that he later became a disciple of Jesus Christ and one of His Apostles.

As such, the gospel preached by the Apostle Paul is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which enables us to die and live with Christ. We have the faith that enables us to be baptized into Jesus Christ, to die with Him, and to be resurrected with Him. You must realize that the gospel that has brought us new life is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and that this gospel is the very gospel that the Apostle Paul preached in the apostolic age.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit may seem new to you, but it is the very gospel already manifested and written in the Bible. It is different from the gospel of only the blood. The Bible approves only the gospel of the water and the Spirit as the true gospel. This true gospel is now being testified from mouth to mouth throughout the whole world. In contrast, the gospel that consists of only the blood of the Cross can find only half the evidence of salvation from the Bible. No matter how hard we may search in the Bible, there is no evidence that Jesus took upon our sins on the Cross; far from it, the Bible testifies that our sins were passed onto Jesus Christ when He was baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17).

Would you believe in Jesus Christ as if you were practicing a religion of the world? Or would you be saved from your sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ and live your lives of faith by trusting in this gospel? Shouldn’t you believe in what Christ has done for you? Everyone in this whole wide world must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now. You must realize that the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth, and you must also believe in it as it is.

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The book of Galatians

Recently, we translated and published a book entitled The Faith of the Apostles’ Creed. To let everyone know how we think of and believe in Jesus Christ, we are publishing books like this and sending them out to the whole world. I am sure this book will do great works of God all over the world because our faith in the true gospel is all contained in the book. In this book, we are testifying our faith just as it is, how we believe in the Son of God, who we believe He is, and how He has blotted out our sins. If people would just read a single book of our Christian book series, they would all realize how and what we believe.

Today, most Christians, who make their confession of faith claiming that they have received the remission of their sins by believing only in the blood of the Cross, are still living as sinners everyday. But the born-again who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have no sin. They are righteous everyday and forever. Though we are insufficient, everyday we live our lives not as the dead, but as the born-again in Christ. Because Jesus Christ has brought us new life, as the immortals who have the faith of everlasting life, we can follow the Lord, and we can enjoy splendor and glory not just in this world, but also in the next world to come. God has given you and me such faith.

I give thanks to God for giving me the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

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