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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

Always Live Your Life By the Faith in The Gospel of The Water and the Spirit


< Galatians 3:1-11 >

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—just as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’ So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’ But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’”



What Kind of People Are You?

Even nowadays there are those among Christians who lead foolish spiritual lives. To such Christians, the Bible says, “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3). They live their lives without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They say that they are serving God, but they cannot but minister in foolish ways because of their ignorance of the true gospel. On the contrary, we can believe in our Lord as our Savior and serve Him because we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we are delivering the souls of many from all their sins with the faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit in our hearts.

We who believe in this true gospel can live with the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Thus, we can be led by the Holy Spirit, who moves and compels us to follow our Lord. However, many more people follow the ambitions of their own flesh rather than God’s will, because they don’t believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore have not received the Holy Spirit. God has granted us the gift of the remission of sins by presenting us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, the final evidence that we have been delivered from all our sins lies in our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Because we have believed in that Word, we have received the remission of sins. Our remission of sins depends utterly on God and our faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has granted us the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and further allowed for true salvation to those who believe in it. The God-given gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is God’s gift of salvation to all sinners.

However, the believers in Galatia were following the teachings of the circumcisionists. Thus, the Apostle Paul rebuked the believers for their foolishness, saying, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” (Galatians 3:1). They wanted to become God’s people by receiving the circumcision in their flesh, but this was far off from the true faith.

Thus, Paul asked again, “This only I want to learn from you; Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:2) This happened because the Jewish Christians were falsely insisting that they could only become God’s own people by receiving physical circumcision. Some members of the churches in Galatia really appeared very foolish enough to be seduced by such false teachers. Addressing this issue, the Apostle Paul stated that no one could receive salvation from all his sins by the works of the Law. Hence, the Apostle Paul required Galatian believers to have the faith with which they could be baptized into Christ. The true faith believes that our true salvation comes from the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist and His consequent crucifixion on the Cross.

The gospel Paul believed in was the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He believed that Jesus Christ became our Savior by coming into this world, receiving the baptism from John the Baptist to take all the sins of the entire humanity once for all, being crucified on the Cross, and resurrecting from the dead. Jesus Christ delivered us from all our sins by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Those who believe in this gospel Truth received the gift of the Holy Spirit from God as the gift of the remission of sins. I witness to people that the remission of sins allows people to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I also witness that we have become God’s children without blemish after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit because we have believed in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.

Now, because we have received salvation from all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and become the people of faith, when we hear the Word of God, our faith in His Word is bolstered even more than before. Right after we believed the Word of God in our hearts, the Word of God started to move inside our hearts and let the Holy Spirit lead us. Thus, the righteous have no different opinion in believing and following the entire Word of God as the truth. We have no doubts in the instructions of our predecessors in faith and following the Word of God. Hence, we are able to receive true instructions because we are able and willing to listen to the words of the servants of God to be the very Word of God. We come to realize God’s will of through His servants.

We have become joyful in our hearts for we do the righteous work by serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although we may be weary in our body and spirit, the Holy Spirit has enlivened our hearts to be united in our lives with our Lord. The Holy Spirit dwells in your hearts and mine, and uses us as true tools of faith.



You Have to Believe in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit from Now on

From now on, we have to place our stronger faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. We have to know and believe the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be the only and true gospel. If we did not regard it as the gospel Truth and tried to receive the physical circumcision as the Israelites of the Old Testament times did, that would be completely wrong. This also is a warning for those in the New Testament times who try to receive the remission of sin by offering their prayers of repentance. It witnesses to the fact that their faith is very wrong. If we hold on to such faith we would receive God’s hatred instead of God’s love. What the Apostle Paul is telling us is an exhortation out of his faith in the Truth, which has blotted out all our sins at once by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we need to reexamine whether or not our faith is based on the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The Apostle Paul told those who try to become God’s people by receiving the circumcision on their flesh that their faith was not the true faith. Put differently, he was admonishing that believers in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit had to keep the true faith by which they could receive the remission of sins. Right now we are following the faith of our predecessors with faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is the righteousness of God. Defending our true faith is only possible when we follow the faith of our predecessors in faith. We are also able to live in true faith because we have witnessed to the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

We are delivered from all our sins just by believing in the righteousness of God, which is manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But, if we rely on the prayers of repentance or some other works of the Law to be saved, we would clearly not have been delivered from all our sins and still remain in eternal damnation. We were able to keep the true faith up to this point by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Otherwise, it would have been impossible.

What the Apostle Paul is saying is that we have already received the remission of sin because we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have also received the gift of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to live righteously. Thus, by the power of this true gospel, we have become able to live after our Lord and spread the gospel of salvation throughout the world. Hence, we can keep following our Lord by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Only thus can the righteous lead a spiritually victorious life.

The Apostle Paul said that he could always be thankful through the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Yet, some members of the churches in Galatia had been perverted by the false teachers who had taught them a different gospel other than the true gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, Paul rebuked them by asking, “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?” Paul could not allow for such a happening. The wrong they had committed was that they tried to receive even more acknowledgement as the people of faith by receiving the physical circumcision although they already believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Even nowadays there are many people within God’s Church who have become God’s own children by listening with their ears and believing with their hearts the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Among those, some have mistaken ideas that they need to offer players of repentance to wholly become God’s own people. This phenomenon is akin to the legalistic faith of the Galatian churches. These people amount to nothing more than those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh.

Our Lord has delivered you and me from all the sins of the world by presenting us the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. And He also gives the Holy Spirit as a gift to those the very moment when they receive the remission of sins by faith. Right now, our God is still leading us by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. We have received salvation from all our sins and are able to live the eternal life alongside our Lord by being led by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.

We have been delivered from all our sins, united with God’s Church, and able to follow our Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Since we lead our lives after the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have the most correct faith of all. Those who have received salvation from all their sins by their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are ones who perpetually deny their own righteousness. Those who keep their faith in this true gospel are truly great before God. Regardless of how weak we may be in our flesh, we must defend our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is the most important task to the born-again.

We cannot end up perishing by having legalistic faith of the Law, when we have begun with the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For us to rely on the prayers of repentance to be sinless is to nullify the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord had completed by sacrificing Himself. We cannot return to the legalistic faith from the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is a big mistake akin to the teachings of the circumcisionists of the Early Church age, who insisted that one had to receive physical circumcision even after receiving the salvation from all one’s sins.

Only by believing in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, we can receive the remission of sin, receive the Holy Spirit of God, and become the servants of God. Thus, we have become the people who can live and follow our Lord with the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit until the end. Hence, all our life in faith must begin with faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Also, we must continue to spread this true gospel without ceasing. We are the ones who keep following our Lord overcoming all difficulties through the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We will always be victorious with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.



Are You Deficient in Your Deeds?

Sometimes our insufficiencies in the flesh become evident even though we serve our Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Still, you and I have to live as the servants of God led by the Holy Spirit within the faith in this true gospel. It is the most proper way of life for us to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I am sure this kind of life is pleasing God. Thus, we are also joyful when we are serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit and are united with God’s Church. These lives of faith are indeed our own lives.

Hence, we are truly blessed no matter how lacking we may be because we live by faith in God. Have you received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? And do you believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in you because you believe in this true gospel? Then, we will be able to keep our faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and live united with God’s Church. We serve the gospel and seek the benefit to the gospel. We have to follow the will of our Lord through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Along with God’s own people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we live for God’s righteousness and for the spread of this true gospel throughout the world.

As we follow our Lord after we have received the remission of sins, sometimes our insufficiencies are revealed. Isn’t that true? At such times, we should not go before God by correcting our shortcomings in the flesh. Rather, we should first live a life of serving the gospel by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Strengthening our faith by believing in the gospel Truth must be prior to any effort to correct our own deficiencies to approach God. Now, we have received the Holy Spirit and become the children of God after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we have to go forward united with the Lord whether unto death or life.

However, since even the righteous are weak in their flesh, their spiritual lives come to a halt when they think that they would solve their problems of the flesh first. It is spiritually very wrong to put our priorities on solving the problems of our flesh before following the righteousness of God. This is the very carnal faith. As we follow after our Lord in the faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, most of the problems of our flesh are solved naturally. But if we try to follow our Lord after we have taken care of our problems of flesh, we can see that we fail to live the righteous life. Thus, we have to thrust forward in our lives of spreading the gospel with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

It is now autumn. The new leaves sprout in the spring, and they grow fast by the summer time. Come autumn, the leaves fall and the fruits are harvested. In autumn, we make romantic moods by reciting poetries. “Simon, can you hear the sound of the fallen leaves?” Yet, the garbage collectors scream and yell, “Damn leaves! Please fall all at once.” However, once autumn passes and winter arrives, the tree leaves fall even more sporadically. All the leaves have already fallen naturally in the middle of winter.

As such, we can know that all our problems of flesh will be taken care of in due time if we just follow our Lord after receiving the remission of sins through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Our Lord is taking care of your problems of flesh as well as mine while we are working for His gospel. What I am saying is that we should not try to follow our Lord after we have taken care of all of our fleshly problems. If we just follow our Lord with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will experience that all of our problems in flesh being taken care of in no time.

If we hang on to the problems of flesh without realizing this, we end up living by the works of the Law despite of having started with the Holy Spirit just as Paul warned about. Hence, we desire to live appropriate lives following our Lord with the faith in the Word of God just as Abraham did. We are united with our Lord and have received the remission of sins through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We place our hearts on the Lord in order to serve this gospel Truth. Furthermore, we have to receive the spiritual blessings from God by dying with Jesus Christ as well as being resurrected with Him. Because we have received the remission of sins by believing in the Word of God through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have to hope for the life in the Millennial Kingdom.

For we have become sinless by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must continue to live by faith. This faith is like that of the Scripture: “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith’” (Romans 1:17). Because the Holy Spirit of God dwells within our hearts, we should live the righteous life for the rest of our lives.



Now You Can Live a Righteous Life If You Just Have Faith in the Gospel Truth

The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 3:9, “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” We call Abraham the father of faith. That is because Abraham followed the Word of God by his faith in it. We are the people who have received blessings like that of Abraham. God appeared before Abraham and told him, “I will give you an offspring. And I will give this land Canaan to you and your descendants.” You and I also can receive the same blessings of salvation as Abraham if we follow and believe the written Word of God, the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I have received the remission of sins by believing in the Word of God. By doing so, we have become the children of God, and the Holy Spirit came into our hearts.

Now, all of us can always live by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Until the day we enter Heaven, we must follow the Word of God by faith. We must continue our lives in the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you believed in this true gospel, you must do so. What is important is whether we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and then we must live to spread this gospel Truth throughout the entire world. If we believe in our hearts the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts. We must abandon any thought of trying to solve our problems of flesh and follow our Lord since the Holy Spirit is in our hearts. When we unite with our Lord and follow Him in serving Him and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all of our worries in the flesh will drop away just like the last of the leaves fall in winter.

We must devote ourselves to the works of God with our faith in the Word of God. We are not supposed to solve anything on our own by our faith in the Word of God, but rather we have to live our lives just by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God has commanded us to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit to all nations throughout the entire world. Our Lord desires that all nations should be made His disciples and the gospel spread to the edge of the world. Our Lord is compelling us to become witnesses of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because our Lord is well pleased when we serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must live our lives spreading this true gospel to others. That is why we always have to live by faith. We have to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit by the faith in the Word of God and follow the Lord of the Truth.

Dear fellow believers, do not fall back into the works of the Law, nor wonder, “why am I as such?” when your weaknesses and insufficiencies are revealed while serving the gospel. At such times, believe even more strongly in the Word of God and devote yourselves with higher intensity to spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, you will see that the fleshly matters in your lives having fallen away in no time.

The Apostle Paul was frustrated with the spiritual life of the saints in Galatia. That was because they zealously sought to receive physical circumcision even after believing that all of their sins were blotted out when Jesus Christ came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There were such circumcisionists inside the churches in Galatia, who insisted on the circumcision of the flesh.

Dear fellow believers, you surely know what the physical circumcision is. Imagine that you have gone back in time to the place where the Apostle Paul was ministering. How would you stop someone who has led a spiritual life well in the faith in the true gospel says, “I have to go to receive circumcision”? We have received the remission of sins and our salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What should we do when there are still others who come to tell us that we have to receive physical circumcision to become God’s own people and the descendants of Abraham? Since they separated themselves and opposed those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it must have been tough to the Apostle Paul.

We have to live this age by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have to follow the Word of God by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have to unite with God by the faith in the Word of God. And we have to follow our Lord till the end of the world by our faith in the Word of God. This is not possible by our own determination or strength without the faith in the Word of God.

If we have become the children of God by receiving the remission of sin and the Holy Spirit, we have to serve our Lord now, unite with the gospel, determine to follow our Lord, and live until the end of the world by faith. We should not calculate in the middle of our lives, thinking, “How is my flesh? Is it right for me to be in such a condition?” We should first believe in the Word of God, second in God, and third in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have to continuously follow the instructions of God’s Church by our faith in the Word of God. By such faith, we have to unite with His Church in seeking the benefit of the gospel and that of our brothers and sisters. We have to keep the gospel and live for the glory of God, following after the faith.

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We should not worry God in matters that worried the Apostle Paul. Paul rebuked such people, asking, “Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Trying to be made perfect by the flesh is to seek after the benefits of our flesh alone even after we have received the remission of sins. We have to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith and follow our Lord with that faith. We should never think that we have to make a good showing in the flesh and become proud with stiff necks since we have received the remission of sins. You and I should break our stubbornness in the flesh—holding fast our spiritual pride—and live by faith in the Word of God.

Would it not be right for us to meet with our Lord after having lived our lives till the very end by faith since we have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? We are God’s workers who should find out and lead the lost souls in order that they would also receive the remission of sins.

The Apostle Paul says, “So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham” (Galatians 3:9). As he said so, we believe that God will bless those who live by the faith in the Word of God as He blessed Abraham.

Hence, I will live by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit till the very end. Although I do not know what your present lots hold, if you march forward step by step in your faith, all your problems will be taken care of by the Lord.

I encourage you to live a righteous life till the end with faith in the gospel Truth.

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