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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

We Are Saved Not Only by The Blood of the Cross But by the Gospel of The Water and the Spirit

 

< Galatians 6:11-18 >

“See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”



The Wrath of Paul

I would like to share spiritual grace with the Word of God in Galatians 6:11-18 this evening, and I would like to finish this book with this sermon.

As we could see throughout the previous chapters and this chapter, we know how the Apostle Paul had suffered from the circumcisionists in the churches of Galatia. There were some Jewish Christians who insisted that they also had to receive physical circumcisions, and we can notice how much they spiritually confused God’s Church. That is why Paul burst with rage.

Paul mentioned three things to such Jewish Christians who were advocating physical circumcisions: First, they wanted to be recognized by the Jews who were also advocating physical circumcision. Second, they wanted to avoid persecution from their tribe. Third, they wanted to be boastful of their faith. By advocating physical circumcision, they wanted to avoid persecution from people. We can verify this fact through the passage of Galatians 6:12-13: “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.”

I assume that there is no one among today’s Christians who tries to be circumcised after believing in Jesus Christ. If anyone wishes to be physically circumcised, he can be operated on at a hospital. However, the Jewish Christians emphasized physical circumcision at the time of the early churches. We can perceive that it was of grave importance whether a man had received a circumcision or not. The reason why they had emphasized receiving physical circumcisions was that they believed they could be approved as the descendants of Abraham by doing so. This is why the Apostle Paul blamed their evil intentions, saying that they tried not to suffer persecution by being circumcised.

The gospel that the Apostle Paul had preached in the Early Church Era was the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And those who received the remission of sins by believing in this gospel were the people who had already received spiritual circumcision in their hearts. Since God already recognized them as His children, they did not need to be physically circumcised. Put differently, those who had received the remission of sins by believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit had no reason to receive physical circumcision.

In the Old Testament, God promised Abraham that “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.” The reasons for this promise were to make Abraham the father of faith, bless us to be saved from the sins, and allow us to be the people of God by the faith of believing in the Truth. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Abraham was recognized to be righteous by God with his faith itself because he trusted the Word that God had said to him. And God promised to Abraham and his descendants, “Abraham, you and all your descendants shall be circumcised. Then I will recognize them as My people.” In fact, this was the foreshadowing of God's salvation that enables us to cut off our sins once and for all and to become His people by believing in the Word of God

For that reason, the Apostle Paul said in Romans 2:29, “Circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter.” Paul said that circumcising is not on the flesh but in the heart. The spiritual circumcision here refers to the cutting off of one’s sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The faith of spiritual circumcision and spiritual salvation is the faith of believing in the Truth that Jesus Christ has saved us from all our sins by taking over the sins of humanity. By the laying of John the Baptist’s hands on Christ, Him dying on the Cross for all our sins, and by shedding His blood, Jesus Christ has saved us. The spiritual circumcision is executed on us when we believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth and saved us with the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. This means that Jesus has cut off all our sins and blotted them out by receiving the baptism, dying on the Cross, and rising again from the dead. It also means that God has saved those who believed in this Truth by making them His sinless people. This is the faith of spiritual circumcision.

But then, those who claimed the importance of physical circumcision attempted to be recognized of their faith by being circumcised, even though Jesus Christ had already come to this earth and saved all the sinners from their sins. Because of this, we can see how serious the problem of the circumcisionists in the Early Church Era was, who were trying to be God’s people by receiving the physical circumcision and keeping the law.

The belief that they had to be circumcised was so emphasized that it seemed to prevail the faith of believing in Jesus Christ, who came by the water and the Spirit. Because of that, the gospel of the water and the Spirit was close to being deteriorated. That is why the Apostle Paul said, “We must not do that.”

That was all futile faith. We have to think spiritually about our lives of faith. Jesus Christ came to this earth and saved us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit once and for all. Jesus Christ came to this earth to release people from all the curses of the Law so that they would not be under the Law anymore. He has made us the believers perfectly sinless by coming to this world, receiving the baptism, dying on the Cross, and rising again from the dead.

The Apostle Paul rebuked the legalists. Therefore, we also have to examine the faith of today's Christians to lead them to take heed of the erroneous faith that prevails in today's Christianity.



The Apostle Paul Did Not Fear the Persecution

The Apostle Paul said that receiving physical circumcision made a good showing in the flesh and prevented persecution from the Jews because of the Truth. The faith of the circumcisionists who insisted upon physical circumcision is just like the faith of today's Christians who believe only in the blood of the Cross without believing in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. Today’s Christians attend church meaninglessly. They think it is okay to believe only in the blood of the Cross. But, they think it is weird to believe in Jesus, who came by the water and the Spirit. Their faith is the same as the faith of those who claimed that one had to be physically circumcised to be a people of God.

In today’s Christianity, you may suffer persecution if you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but if you believe only in the blood of the Cross, no one mocks you. “I believe in the blood of the Cross. Jesus died hanging on the Cross for me. Therefore I am one of God’s people for I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior.” The first effect of saying this is that we may not suffer persecution in body and spirit. But, if one professes that he believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, he will be detested by other Christians in no time. So, many Christians say, “I believe in Jesus and that He saved me by hanging on the Cross, shedding His blood for my sins.” This is how they try not to suffer spiritual and physical persecutions.

As the circumcised people were recognized as the descendants of Abraham in the Early Church Era, today’s people, who believe only in the blood of Jesus, when they profess Jesus as their Savior, are also recognized as the people of God. In addition, there is no occasion for them to suffer persecution from nonbelievers. Therefore, if one believes only in the blood of the Cross, one could make a good showing in flesh and be recognized as having the religious faith. Then, don’t you think that everyone will believe as such?

It is like this when we apply today’s Scripture passage to Christians these days. “That person is the believer of Jesus. That person is a believer of a proper faith. That person is not a heretic, but an orthodox Christian.” They might win such a reputation. These days, everybody praises the Christians who say they should believe only in the blood of Jesus. And if you wear a cross-shape pendant, it appears genuine and you are also recognized as a Christian. At this present time, you would never be persecuted as long as you say that you believe only in the blood of the Cross.

But, you would experience persecution if you say that you believe in Jesus through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and that you are sinless by that faith. Since it is different from the religious beliefs of today’s Christianity, it is frowned upon. We are truly the people of God and the righteous who have received the remission of sins before God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

We are telling people: “You must also believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The water in the Bible symbolizes the baptism of Jesus, with which He took all our sins through John the Baptist’s hands during the baptism. So to speak, the Son of God, Jesus, saved us by coming to the earth in the flesh of man, receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, being crucified for our sins and rising again from the death.” But, we are hated by many people if we say that we believe in this gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.

People commonly have a general prejudice that the selection of a majority can never be wrong. Therefore, the faith of the majority that believes only in Jesus’ blood of the Cross is recognized by most Christians and even by nonbelievers. They say, “Religion is freedom. That is good for you to believe.” But I surely say that the faith of believing only in the blood of the Cross is not right. It is because God recognizes the faith of those who profess, “I believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.”

As the people who advocated physical circumcision caused anxieties in the early churches, at this age, the spiritual eyes of the Christians have been getting bleary because of the people who believe only in the blood of the Cross and rely on prayers of repentance for their remission of sins. The faith of the circumcisionists in the Early Church Era and the faith that believes only in the blood of the Cross at this age is the same. They are legalistic faiths.

People recognize the faith of those who believe only in the blood of the Cross. They are not persecuted or hated. These people are recognized by all the religious people in this world: “Oh, that person is a believer of Jesus. He does not believe in Jesus in a strange way, but normally.” So, some people who believe only in the blood of Jesus profess their faith like this: “Jesus saved me from my sins by being crucified and shedding His blood. He saved me by taking all the judgment on the Cross for my sins. Therefore, I do not have any sins for I believe in that Jesus.” Those who testify like this are not hated by nonbelievers and other Christians. Rather, they are recognized for their faith. Therefore, people who don’t want to suffer persecution are prone to follow such faith.

Did the Apostle Paul say that we have to receive physical circumcision after believing in Jesus? Did the Apostle Paul say that our salvation would be lost if we did not receive physical circumcision? No, he did not. In the Pauline Epistles, how many times did he mention the legalistic faith to warn the circumcisionists? Why was the Apostle Paul saying that repeatedly? It was because there were circumcisionists who claimed that one had to receive physical circumcision after believing in Jesus to be a people of God. The Holy Spirit could not work because this kind of faith was mixed with the untrue teachings in the sight of God. That is why the Apostle Paul prohibited the circumcisionists from diffusing that physical circumcision. The Apostle Paul emphasized very much on the part that physical circumcision was not a necessity to be the people of God.

We have to understand the mind of the Apostle Paul. We have to listen carefully to what the author of the Bible is talking about here. Paul wrote, “See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!” (Galatians 6:11) He wrote a letter to the churches in Galatia with the large letters to point out how erroneous the advocating of circumcision was. The passage, “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised,” (Galatians 6:12) means that the circumcisionists tried to be recognized physically and avoid suffering persecutions from the Jews.

It was very hard for Paul to correct the faith of Galatians once it had been deteriorated. He had not only to rebuild the gospel of the water and the Spirit again in their hearts, but also to correct the erroneous teachings of the circumcisionists. It was wrong for them to try to add something physical to the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be the people of God. We become God’s people by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before God. We do not become God’s people by being circumcised like the Jewish believers in the churches of Galatia. But then, it was common in the early churches.

We have to point out such erroneous faith even in current Christianity and correct it with the Word of Galatians. At this age, many wear the cross-shape pendants, regardless of their religions. Even the prostitutes in the red-light districts wear cross-shape pendants. I wonder if women in general prefer the cross-shape pendants. Of course, there are many Christians who also like cross-shape necklaces. On this account, people wearing cross-shape pendants recognize each other, “Oh, that person is a Christian.” They all believe only in the blood of the Cross to be saved from their sins. For this reason, we have to take heed of the faith of such people who say that they have received the remission of sins by believing only in the blood of the Cross.

Some people misunderstand Paul’s saying, “Only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ” (Galatians 6:12), as mentioning only the blood of the Cross. But, what was the faith of the Apostle Paul like? The Apostle Paul’s faith was like this, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).



What Is the Faith of Paul That Says, “I Have Been Crucified to the World”?

The Apostle Paul said that the world had been crucified to him. This means that all the sins of the world have been crucified with Jesus Christ because He had taken all the sins of the world through His baptism. Like him, all of us, the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have also been crucified with Jesus Christ. If Jesus did not take our sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, we would have nothing to do with His Cross because all our sins would’ve never been transferred to Him.

However, Jesus was crucified by taking our sins through the baptism from John the Baptist, so we have to believe that He was crucified for our sins after taking our sins through His baptism. Because Jesus was crucified after taking all the sins of humanity, those who believe this also have been crucified with Jesus. It is to say that the world has been crucified to us and we were also crucified to the world with Christ. The Apostle Paul himself has been crucified with Jesus by passing his sins through Jesus’ baptism. We have the same faith. Owing to the everlasting sacrifice of the Lamb of God, The world has already died in Jesus Christ, and we have been condemned for all our sins.

So, the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:17, “From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” What are the marks of the Lord Jesus? They are the carved evidence that the Apostle Paul has died and been brought back to new life with Jesus Christ by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, the Apostle Paul was always professing his faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

When the Apostle Paul mentioned “the Cross of Christ,” he always professed his faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit on the assumption that Jesus, the Son of God, was baptized as our Savior to atone all our sins by being crucified to death. However, when we profess that the baptism of Jesus is the prior condition of “the Cross of Christ,” we are surely hated by the majority Christians who believe only in the blood of the Cross. We can understand the mind of Paul on this occasion. If we don’t want to suffer persecution, we just need to say that we believe only in the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, both nonbelievers and the believers will not persecute you; rather, you will be recognized by them. Thereupon, doesn’t it sound wise? However, we shouldn’t do that.

We have to know that Paul’s saying, “The world has been crucified to me, and I to the world,” was possible on the assumption of the baptism of Jesus. Jesus Christ was crucified because He took our sins by receiving the baptism. By His baptism, the world was crucified and we, the believers in Him, have also been crucified. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was to bring us to life.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth, and the people who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their hearts are the ones who have the marks of faith in Jesus Christ. Knowing and believing that Jesus has taken over all our sins through the baptism from John and has been crucified are the marks that were carved in our hearts. And we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even though we are persecuted because of this faith.

How do Christians believe in Jesus? They believe only in the blood of Jesus who was crucified. Hence, if we talk to the people about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they would scold us directly and say that we are talking about weird things. But if we say that we are saved by believing only in the blood of Jesus who was crucified, people take it as nothing special. Because they have believed only in the blood of the Cross since they first heard of Jesus, if we preach them the gospel of the water and the Spirit and the baptism, they do not understand and feel unfamiliar.

How are you going to answer if someone tells you, “Even though you believe in Jesus, you must receive physical circumcision to be a people of God”? Are you going to answer, “It is not difficult at all, why not to be circumcised”? I am sure you won’t. You will propose to look into the Bible, how it is recorded, and answer to them that the Lord told us that we have to be born again of water and the Spirit. He did not tell us to be circumcised. We can make people aware of the Word that if one adds something to the gospel of the water and the Spirit or subtracts from it, one will be excluded from the grace of salvation. And God will curse those who want to make good showing in the flesh and who try to avoid suffering persecution.

We can say boldly with courage to such a person, “Are you afraid of being persecuted if you talk about the gospel of the water and the Spirit? The blood of the Cross and the baptism of Jesus are in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The gospel of the water and the Spirit has perfectly saved us. Now, can you be sure that Jesus could atone for all our sins only with His blood on the Cross without His baptism?” Because the invisible Satan is standing against the Truth, people might be threatened in their hearts if we talk about the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

However, we have to know that we will be cursed and not be able to receive the remission of sins if we shrink back to surrender to Satan, and continue to be afraid of the threats and persecutions. In fact, if we profess publicly that we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Devil Satan will bow to us.

If we are willing to give up to follow the gospel to avoid persecution, Satan the Devil will have power over us. We have to know that we will be cursed and not be able to receive the remission of sins if we shrink back to surrender to Satan, and continue to be afraid of his threats and persecutions. However, if we profess publicly that we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Devil Satan will surrender to us. Put differently, if we become courageous with the faith, our opponents will crouch to us.

We should not try to avoid persecution while we believe in Jesus. We have to preach exactly about the faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, whether or not we are persecuted because of that faith. The Apostle Paul said, “Be circumcised if you wish, but that does not make you the people of God. You should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.”

The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:15-16, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

He pronounced a benediction upon those who believed in Jesus as the true God, "May the peace and mercy be upon you," regardless of their circumcision or uncircumcision. Those who have received the God-given salvation also have received peace and mercy from Him. We, who cannot help but to die for our sins, have received the remission of sins and become the people of God by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

“From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17). The Apostle Paul preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit even while he was suffering persecution and being hated. He was a Jew. Therefore, he had received physical circumcision on the eighth day from his birth (Philippians 3:5). The law of circumcision is as follows: “He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant” (Genesis 17:12).

But then, there were the converted Gentiles in the churches of Galatia. They were not circumcised when they started believing in Jesus at their late ages because the Gentiles did not have the custom of being circumcised when they were newborn children. The circumcisionists urged that they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and also receive the physical circumcision. Then as a result, there came a formula like this: The gospel of the water and the Spirit + circumcision = salvation. Thus, the man-made gospel of false salvation came to exist.

For that reason, the Apostle Paul said that they didn’t need to compel the Gentile believers to be circumcised. Circumcision in Jewish society may have been natural for them, but for the Gentiles believers, it was an improper teaching. One has to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be saved. But, if we preach to the Gentiles that they can only be saved with the circumcision, then the circumcision would be an essential part of salvation to them. We shouldn’t preach to them that way because then the circumcision would be considered as a necessary merit for their salvation. To think about the situation at that time, those words may have meant nothing to some, but death to others.

The Protestant Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholics of our nation permit their congregations to perform the ancestral sacrifices to the dead ancestors. But strictly speaking, making such a sacrifice is a grave sin before God. Bowing down during the ancestral sacrifices to the dead ancestors is the same as bowing down to the evil sprits. It is good to just respect ancestors, but bowing down and offering food is similar to worshiping the devils. Therefore, it is a grave sin because God told us not to have other gods before Him. It is permissible to respect living people, but bowing down to dead people is the worshiping of departed spirits. It is a grave sin to worship other gods. But then again, I didn’t mean to hate or speak ill of them. The act of bowing down to them is to commit a grave sin.

Christians should never do that because that is very evil. You may think and justify your deed, saying, “I don’t do that with my heart, but I am just being formal.” But, it is still fatal to the nonbelievers. “Look at the person who goes to church and believes in Jesus, yet bows down before the sacrifice table. Oh, believing in Jesus and believing in a superstition are the same. They are both just as unclear.” Nonbelievers would think this way, and then not receive the remission of sins. They consider Christianity as the same as other religions, and they believe that they will go to Heaven whatever religion they believe in. Then, they do not need to believe in Jesus particularly, and Jesus cannot be the only Savior in their hearts. How grave is this sin? We have to understand that it is a serious sin.

We should not bow down to dead people at any cost. If a Christian bows down to other gods, he is killing the faith of those who can otherwise earn their eternal lives. That’s really terrible. Is there any reason for us Koreans to be persecuted by worshipping our dead ancestors and consulting in fortunetellers after believing in Jesus? By doing these things, we would not be persecuted because that is the same thing as mingling in with the people of the world. However, real Christians do not offer the ancestral sacrifices to their dead ancestors even though they may suffer severe persecution because of their refusal to offer such sacrifices. The reason for this is because they do not believe in superstitions.

The Bible says, “You shall not permit a sorceress to live” (Exodus 22:18). God said in more detail, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:10-11). In the Old Testament days, Israelites killed these people directly. The shamans were the demon-possessed people. These people were under the command of the Devil. In the Old Testament days, such people had to be killed.

We cannot do the same at this age, so we must keep these people away from us. Put differently, we should not permit such people to influence our spiritual realm. But, it saddens me that we can find so many shaman-like Christians in today’s Christian communities, especially among the Pentecostalists. By the way, if someone asks you to bow down to worship your dead ancestors, you have to reject such a demand by saying, “I am a Christian. How can you ask me to bow down?” It is better not to believe in Jesus than to bow down.

In some Asian countries such as India and Japan, having multiple religions seems to be a common phenomenon. We should have one kind of faith, and should not have multiple faiths. If you believe in the Buddhism, you have to follow what the Buddhist scriptures say and if you believe in the Christianity, you have to know, believe, and obey the Word of the Bible. No one can force Christians to bow down before anything other than God. We have to talk to our parents about our beliefs even though they are our parents. You have to say that you cannot bow down because your conscience does not allow you to do that as a Christian. And if a Christian bows down before the sacrifice table to the dead ancestors, it is the same as showing people that he is a false believer.



What Is the Faith of Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?

My fellow believers, it is not right for someone among the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit to profess that he was saved by believing only in the blood of the Cross. If one claims that he received the remission of sins by believing only in the blood of the Cross, it is to merely avoid persecution from people. What is the result of such faith? What will happen if we believe that Jesus saved us only by shedding His blood on the Cross? The baptism of Jesus would not be needed. Hence, we would only need to preach about the blood of the Cross without mentioning the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Then, we would not be persecuted by the majority Christians of this world.

But, if one believes only in the blood of the Cross and says he is sinless even though he has sins in his heart, he only becomes a religious man. To have a religion means to believe in a man-made god. It is to believe in its own god and doctrines that are all created by man. Buddhism, Roman Catholics, and superstitions are all religions.

However, believing in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit is not a religion. It is the true faith in God. The essence of this true faith lies in the salvation that God has promised to humanity and fulfilled as he promised. True faith is to confirm this God-given salvation and believe in it. That’s the true faith. But, on the contrary, worldly religions worship the man-made gods, and are established by the man-made doctrines that explain fabulous blessings and curses of their gods. That is why a religion is conceptual, or it is made by thoughts. But, the Bible is not of human thoughts. It is the truth.

We, the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit can tell that it is wrong to say that one has to receive physical circumcision to be a people of God and to be saved. That is why Paul says, “Why are you making a fuss over the issue of circumcision?” He had mentioned a lot about the circumcision in all of the Pauline Epistles. As Paul said that he had the marks of Jesus, he would not be persecuted if he did not believe in and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If then, God did not use Paul, the Word of the truth that he wrote might not have been delivered to us; God might have used other person. If there is no persecution, there is no glory as well. If we try to avoid persecution, our salvation can be deteriorated.

This evening’s sermon will be the closing sermon on Galatians. The conclusion is very important in everything. There is no one who advocates physical circumcision nowadays, but in today’s Christianity, there are many people who say that they can receive the remission of sins by believing only in the blood of the Cross. So, there are sins in the hearts of most Christians these days. Then, are they persecuted? They do not suffer persecution. Is there any persecution because you just believe in Jesus? The persecutions for the Christians in the world might come from whether or not they attend the ancestral sacrifices for their dead ancestors. And someone might be asked to convert his religion of Christianity to Buddhism, according to his family tradition. All family members might threaten to delete his name from the family register unless he converts to the family religion.

However, the Apostle Paul’s saying was not that level. The difference between Paul’s faith and that of the circumcisionists is great. The Apostle Paul didn’t say that one had to be circumcised. The Apostle Paul said, “For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh” (Galatians 6:13). What did the circumcisionists boast in their flesh? They made the distinction with physical circumcision and boasted it as the proof of their superiority, saying, “I am one of the God’s people. I am a descendant of Abraham. I am His faithful one.”

But, was there anything in their flesh that deserved to be respected? How is the true faith in our minds expressed? It is expressed when we profess our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But, the circumcisionists among the Jewish Christians expressed their faith in God through their physical circumcision. Put differently, they recognized one’s faith by seeing whether or not the person had received the physical circumcision.

These days, people recognize those who believe only in Jesus’ blood of the Cross. Many people nowadays show their faith with a cross-shape pendant on their necks. However, they say that they cannot tell if a person is a Christian or not if he is not wearing a cross-shape pendant. We, the born-again, can discern whether the people are born again or not by believing in Jesus when we see them preaching the Word of God. When we preach, testify, and emphasize the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they would say that we believe in Jesus strangely. And they say, “What they are talking about is right, but their faith is somehow different from that of the other Christians. It might be dangerous. There might be some problems with their faith. Therefore, we have to watch out for them.” If this happens, the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit will be persecuted from other Christians.



Have You Ever Been Persecuted Because of Your Faith in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit?

Have you ever been persecuted because of saying, “I believe in Jesus. I believe in the crucified Jesus. Jesus saved me by shedding His blood.” If you believe in this way, you will not be persecuted. Rather, you will be recognized. However, we are persecuted because we are preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the true gospel. They say, “How can you say that you are sinless by believing in Jesus? We commit sins everyday. Therefore I am a sinner. And I will be a sinner forever. I will go to the Lord as a sinner. I will go to Him as a sinner because He said that He will come to call the sinners.”

These believers recognize their faith and say to each other, "Oh, you have the same faith as me!" However, they disregard the true gospel and persecute the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit when these born-again saints profess their faith in Jesus like this: "Jesus came to this earth and all the sins of the world have been passed onto Him when he was baptized by John the Baptist, and I died with Him when He was crucified. I also rose again from the dead when He was resurrected." If we say that we are saved from all our sins by believing in the Lord Savior who came by the water and the Spirit, people become alert and say, “They believe strangely. They seem to be heretics.” Haven’t you ever experienced such antagonism? I think you may have. As Isaac was persecuted by Ishmael, we the believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit are also persecuted by those who do not believe in the true gospel. But, it doesn’t matter.

As you well know, all our sins were blotted out by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because the Lord already blotted out all our sins, we can be recognized by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is no other way but to believe in this true gospel because Jesus blotted out all our sins through this gospel. On that account, we have received the remission of sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the only Truth of salvation, which God gave us. Therefore, the people who are preaching only Jesus’ blood of the Cross believe in Him partially, and as a result, they have sins in their hearts. How do they take care of the sins that they commit after believing only in Jesus’ blood? They try to wash away all these sins by offering prayers of repentance, with their sins still intact in their consciences. One cannot receive the remission of sins if the person cannot find the proof of passing all of one’s sins onto Jesus Christ when John the Baptist baptized Him, because the conscience of man is just and honest like a mirror. Those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot help but to confess that they have sins in their hearts. We can never deceive our conscience.

Man becomes a sinner before God for he does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. One goes to hell as a grave sinner for rejecting the love of Truth that He gave us. Believers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit receive the remission of sins, become the righteous, and go to Heaven, while those who only believe and preach the blood of the Cross have sins in their heart and will eventually go to hell. Therefore, if one believes only in the blood of the Cross and relies only on the prayers of repentance, it is the same as deceiving one’s conscience, because such a person surely has sin in his heart. Those who are led by such a sinner cannot but become sinners themselves for they also believe only in the blood of the Cross, the half-gospel. They cannot but avoid condemnation of their consciences for their sins, because the condemnation in the preacher’s conscience has been passed on to them.

So, when we preach the gospel of God, we must deliver two essentials clearly for the salvation of sinners: The baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross. We have to believe and preach the Truth, which obviously is that the Lord has blotted out our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By explaining how to offer a sacrificial lamb in the Old Testament, We have to preach that all our sins had passed onto Jesus when He was baptized in the form of "the laying on of hands." We have to teach them about Jesus' blood on the Cross, too: He atoned for all our sins by shedding all His precious blood. He took all our sins onto His body through His baptism. We also have to teach them that every one of us is a born sinner destined to hell.

Therefore, all of us have to believe like this: “All of us were born sinners. And we became separated from God because of our sins. A deep canyon was made between God and us because of these sins, but He made a bridge with His love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which enables us to cross the canyon of sin to God. However, today’s Christians substitute the gospel of the water and the Spirit with the blood of the Cross, and say, “The Cross connects a human to others horizontally and a human to God vertically, as its shape is.” But it does not restore our broken relationship with God. We would have an erroneous faith if we believe that the Cross enables us to go before God by blotting out all our sins that made us separate from God, and that we can be saved by accepting Jesus on the Cross in our hearts. Put differently, if we preach only about the blood of Jesus Christ, excluding His baptism that was performed in the form of “laying on of hands” in the Old Testament, we are preaching a man-made religion.

The Lord came to this earth and saved us by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit once and for all. The Lord neither saved us only by the water nor only by the blood, but he saved us by both the water and the blood. The Lord had to be hanged on the Cross because He had taken all our sins through His baptism, received from John the Baptist. And He brought us back to new life when He resurrected from death. The Lord saved us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit once and for all.

So, we Christians should not believe only in the blood of the Cross. When we preach the gospel of God, we have to explain it clearly, reasonably, and evidently on the biblical basis. And before we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have to believe in it first. As it is written in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak,” it is very important for preachers to have faith in His Word first.

When we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to a person, and the person does not accept it at first, we have to explain it in detail again and again. If we do not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we only preach the blood of the Cross, the listeners cannot be saved, no matter how hard they wish to believe. Paul said in Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?”

How can people be saved from their sins when the preacher does not preach the true gospel properly? Can people be saved by their own interpretations? It is written in Romans 10; 17, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.How can other people receive the true salvation when the preacher who preaches God’s Word does not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is written in the Bible? It is impossible. My fellow believers, this is why the preachers of the gospel of the water and the Spirit have to keep their faith and preach this gospel to the world. If we give up our faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, this world will naturally be ruined.

I am telling you this because I believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is never true that man can be saved whether or not he believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is never the case that people are saved whether we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit or not. The listeners of the gospel of the water and the Spirit will receive the remission of sins when the preachers first believe in the true gospel and then preach it. But if a preacher does not preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the listeners will never receive the remission of sins.

Many people testify from abroad that they received the remission of sins through our Christian books. What kinds of testimonies do they testify? They testify that they have been saved by the baptism that Jesus received from John and the blood of the Cross, and that they are now sinless by that faith. The baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross are interrelated with each other.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit, which is written in the Bible, is different from the gospel of only the blood of the Cross. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is not something that we have assembled. We cannot tell a lie or deceive people because all of us have the conscience of faith in our hearts. Believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is a matter of conscience. It is a matter of your conscience whether or not you accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit when you hear it. We cannot deceive our own consciences. An honest conscience will obey the Word, while a cunning conscience refuses to accept it.

We can be free from our sins when our consciences know and accept the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. The Lord has taken all our sins that are recorded in our consciences when He received the baptism. If He even left 0.01% of our sins at that time, our conscience could never say that we are sinless. Those who deceive their consciences are deceiving themselves. God created us according to His image, externally as well as internally. God gave each of us the conscience inside of us; then this conscience is the justice of God. Therefore, we can never deceive this conscience.

So, the Bible says that we shall give account to God who is ready to judge the living and the dead on the Judgment Day (1 Peter 4:5). Those who have sins in their hearts will give account to Him truthfully, “I have sins in my heart. I have to go to hell.” But the conscience of the born-again will say, “I believe that the Lord blotted out all my sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, I do not have sins. I believe in the Lord who came to this earth and took all my sins when he was baptized, died on the Cross, and rose again from the dead.” That is why this is called the faith of conscience. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the faith of the Truth, as is written: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

The truth means conformity to fact or actuality. Our faith is factual belief. It is not an invented one. That is why the Apostle Paul kept on saying repeatedly from the beginning that his faith was “not from men nor through man” (Galatians 1:1). This means that the true gospel is not from man, but from God. We are saved conscientiously by believing in the Truth.

What is the Truth of salvation? It is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All your sins and the sins of the world have passed onto Jesus when He received the baptism from John. At that time, Jesus fulfilled all the righteousness.

Have all the sins of humanity been passed onto Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist, or not? They have passed. Jesus came to the earth to save us, and He said to John in the Jordan River, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Jesus has fulfilled all the righteousness of God by being born to this earth, being baptized at the age of 30, dying on the Cross after three years, and by rising again from the death. God did the righteous work for us. He sent His son to the world and passed over all our sins by allowing Jesus to be baptized. We have to believe in this Truth with our conscience.

We had sins and we were destined to hell according to our consciences. But Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist to take all our sins. Have our sins passed to Jesus when He was baptized, or not? They were passed to Him. At that time, did my and your sins pass on to Him, or not? I mean to say that we should talk truthfully with our consciences. All the sins of the world have passed to Him (John 1:29). Jesus has been crucified and died on the Cross by shedding His blood for the sins of the world because He had taken all the sins onto His body. And He became our eternal Savior by rising again from the dead in three days after death.

The gospel of the water and the Spirit is not the salvation, which cannot be recognized even by our consciences. Our consciences recognize that God saved us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. What do you think? Does your conscience also recognize the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and are you actually sinless by receiving the remission of sins?

We are the people of conscience. The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:18, “Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” This passage means that he wished that the grace of Jesus Christ would be with our honest consciences. Then, what is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which saved us from all our sins. He said that it would be in our spirits. The gospel of the water and the Spirit should be in our minds. Knowing the Word of Truth with our brains, professing it with our mouths, and putting it into action—this is true faith.

Do you believe in this with your heart? Do you recognize the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your conscience? The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. This is the Truth that the Apostle Paul has witnessed. All the 6 chapters of Galatians talk about this.

The Apostle Paul tried so hard to correct the disordered churches in Galatia at that time. Thanks to the Word of Galatians, we can learn a lot spiritually: We can read this Epistle full of truth; we come to know that claiming only the blood of the Cross confuses today’s Christianity just like the circumcisionists did in the early churches; we come to believe that Jesus had to die on the Cross because He had borne all the sins of the world by the baptism that He received from John the Baptist; we come to believe that Jesus has become our perfect Savior by being baptized, dying on the Cross, and resurrecting from the dead. The world has been crucified to us when Jesus was crucified. And we rose again from the dead with Jesus. We have to have this faith. Paul’s faith was just the same as this. I bet you know it well already, but I would like to repeat it once again for sure.

How hard would it be for the Apostle Paul to preach the gospel to the Gentiles? Eventually, the Gentiles came and believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit through his endeavor. The Apostle Paul preached about Jesus Christ, who had come by the water and the blood, to the Gentiles, and there were some who believed in Him. “I was destined to hell, but the Son of God came to the earth for me and died on the Cross after receiving the baptism, and saved me by rising again from the death.” Some Gentiles believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their minds like this.

But, someone among the Jewish Christians said to them, “You have to be circumcised. Be circumcised. Let me see if you have been circumcised or not. You are not God’s people if you do not receive circumcision.” Then, how could the Gentiles believe in Him properly? That extremely hindered the spread of the gospel. It ruined the Truth that Jesus had fulfilled His promise by coming to the earth and completing the gospel of the water and the Spirit to save us. Advocating physical circumcision was one of the most serious obstacles for the Apostle Paul to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.

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The book of Galatians

What do we have to do at this present age? We have to believe in and preach about Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. We also have to defend the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must not claim only the blood of Jesus. We have to claim, testify, and believe in Jesus, who has blotted out all the sins of the humanity by coming by the water and the Spirit. Do you comprehend this?

There is no result if there is no cause. There must be causes and results; how can there be a result without a cause? When God created the universe and created you on this earth, did He say, "I made these impromptu without any plans"? God told us that He planned to save us before the creation of the world; and He allowed us to be born on this earth to make us His people in Christ, and He actually saved us by sending Jesus Christ. When God created the universe and every thing in it, He had planned and executed His creation so elaborately in order to fulfill all His motives. Then, how much more elaborately had He done for us to accomplish His salvation? Do you think that He had saved us only with a sudden conclusion of the so-called "blood of the Cross?" How can a proper faith be established without the Truth that explains the whole gamut from the cause to the result?

We have to know the Truth correctly, and believe in it correctly. As long as I know, you are well aware of the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it well. We have to understand Paul’s heart well, and let us preach as he has done. My fellow believers, do you understand what I am saying? Do not fight against each other for useless glory, instead, believe purely in your mind what the Lord has given you, preach it purely, and thank Him with your heart purely.

I wish the blessings of God who came by the water and the Spirit to be with you all.

 

 

 

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