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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Bible Is the Word of Salvation, Not a Book of Science



< Genesis 1:1-2 >

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”


“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This passage from Genesis 1:1 is the very first verse that we come across when we open the Bible. God said, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” When it says here, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep,” this describes the condition of the hearts of those who are not born again.

The Bible is not a science book. The Bible is the Word of Truth that saves everyone from sin. It is the Word that brings the remission of sin to mankind. The Word of the Scriptures is the blessed Word of salvation that God spoke and fulfilled to mankind. As it is written, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). The Bible is the Word that enables mankind to be saved from sin and receive eternal life. Therefore, for one to be saved from his sins, he must first of all realize the condition of his heart through the Word of the Scriptures.

When God said here, “The earth was without form,” He was describing the condition of everyone’s heart. The Word of God is saying that everyone’s heart is without form like this, and that by its very nature it is fundamentally sinful. In everyone’s heart, all these three conditions of formlessness, void, and darkness are present. Put differently, formlessness, void, and sin are lodged deep in the hearts of people, in their minds and thoughts. That the thoughts of mankind are “without form” applies to those who do not know God’s Word of Truth, and consequently have not met Jesus Christ. The word “void” refers to the unsatisfied condition of the hearts of sinners. That the darkness is lodged in the depth of the human heart, on the other hand, means that the sins of mankind are hidden deep in their hearts.

For those who have not truly encountered the gospel of the water and the Spirit given to us by the Lord, their hearts are defined by formlessness itself. In other words, they do not know what the Truth of God is-that is, they do not know what the gospel of the water and the Spirit is-and so they are wandering around, trapped in their own thoughts. The reason for this, why the people of this world are lost, is because their thoughts are fundamentally confused. Their confused thoughts make it impossible to solve all their problems on their own.

The cause as to why everyone’s heart is void and formless is the absence the Word of Jesus in his heart. Put differently, it is because people failed to keep God’s Word of Truth in their hearts that their minds became void and confused. Emptiness prevails in their hearts precisely because their hearts cannot be dwelt by the Lord, who has given them the remission of their sins.

In today’s Scripture passage, “darkness” refers to mankind’s sin. It refers to the condition where one remains unwashed from his sins, from his failure to properly grasp the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. For everyone whose sins remain intact, it is precisely because he does not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, everyone must realize and believe according to the will of God that the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. However, as many people still do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, sin continues to exist in their hearts even to this day. This is because they do not realize the fact that God is the Lord who created the heavens and the earth, the entire universe and all things in it, and that Jesus has blotted out all their sins. Yet even now, most people only assert their own good deeds and do not recognize the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Bible says that such people, seeking to establish their own righteousness, do not submit to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:2-3).

What happens to the hearts of such sinners then? As their hearts remain sinful, they are plagued by confusion, not knowing what God’s Truth of salvation is. For all those who have not accepted the Word of God exactly as it is, they must study and realize properly what the Truth of the water and the Spirit is. Anyone who does not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit revealed in the Word of God is filled with his or her own thoughts of confusion. It is such people who are sinners before God.

As mentioned, the “earth” in today’s Scripture passage refers to the human heart. That the earth (one’s heart) was without form and void implies that our sins before God prevent us from meeting the Lord, and as a result, our hearts are beset by confusion and emptiness. In other words, confusion came to people’s minds when they drifted away from God and slipped away from the Truth of the water, the blood, and the Spirit, not believing in God’s true Word of salvation. My fellow believers, unless one believes in God as His Savior, who created the heavens and the earth, he cannot know the real Truth. And it is when one has no knowledge of the Truth of God that he is plagued by confusion. He can’t realize who created everything in this world, and who God is. Countless people have fallen into such confusion, not knowing whether a rock, the sun, the moon, a big tree, or an elephant is God. That is why God, referring to the condition of the hearts of the sinful, is saying, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.”

When people do not acknowledge the Word of God in their hearts, they are beset by confusion. When people do not truly realize that the God who created all things is none other than Jesus Christ; that Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man; that He took upon all the sins of mankind once for all through the baptism He received from John the Baptism; that He shed His precious blood on the Cross; and that He rose from the dead again and ascended to Heaven, they are all bound to live their entire lifetime imprisoned in confusion, void, and darkness. That is why so many people are unable to be saved from their sins, forever wandering in confusion, void, and darkness.

My fellow believers, Jesus Christ created the universe together with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Is this true or not? Of course it’s true. This means that Jesus Christ is the Master of the universe. Mankind’s sin is none other than drifting away from the God of Truth, neither believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior (John 16:9), nor believing in this Jesus who came by the gospel of the water and the Spirit with the heart. Isn’t it a sin for human beings not to believe in the Lord who created them as their Master, and not to recognize their original Master? Of course it is. In other words, it constitutes a sin when one does not believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior, and fails to believe that He has blotted out our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. For one to drift away from Jesus Christ is the very sin that leads him to fall into destruction. This is the path that leads mankind to confusion. Those who drift away from God not believing in Him are lost, for they do not believe in the Word of Truth.



The Void and Sin in People’s Hearts

There is no one else but only Jesus who can give true satisfaction to us human beings. However, because people do not accept what Jesus our Savior achieved when He came to this earth, Christ cannot enter and dwell in their hearts, and that is why there is only emptiness in their hearts.

To fill their empty hearts, people must accept into their hearts the Word of Jesus, who is full of all truths. To do so, we must believe with our hearts in everything that Jesus did when He came to this earth. We must accept into our hearts that Jesus was baptized to take upon all our sins, that He shed His blood and died on the Cross, and that He rose from the dead again. If you really recognize with your hearts and accept what Jesus did for you, then the void in your hearts will surely disappear.

The human heart is also characterized by darkness. When the Bible says, “Darkness was on the face of the deep,” it means that everyone’s sins are lodged so deep in his heart that he himself does not realize this. It also means that human beings try to hide their sins in their lives. My fellow believers, if one hides his sins and refuses to recognize his sinfulness, then he will continue to live imprisoned in darkness. And he will not be born again into someone who can please God. If one does not realize and admit just how weak and evil he is, then he won’t be able to recognize the God of mercy in the end, and fail to meet the God of salvation through the Word.

Unless one acknowledges the Word of God, he can never realize his true self, and if one does not realize his true self, then he will be forsaking God. It is because people cannot acknowledge God that they try to hide their sins, attempting to establish themselves as virtuous people and protect themselves all on their own. This is what happens when one does not acknowledge God’s Word of Truth.

This, my fellow believers, is a sin. All who have drifted away from God, and who do not believe in His Word, are sinners. From the very beginning, God was speaking to such sinners, telling them that their hearts are without form and void, and that darkness is in the face of the deep.



God Works in Us Only through His Word

The Bible says that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the water. Through what does God remit away sinners’ transgressions? It is through His Word that God remits away all the sins of all the people.

In the Bible, this “water” refers to God’s Word of Truth. The “earth” refers to the human heart. And the “sea” refers to the world.

When it says here, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,” it indicates where the Spirit of God works, implying that the Holy Spirit works within the bounds of His Spoken Word. When people hold onto the Word of God and believe in this Word, God will work in their hearts with His Word, completely blot out all the sins of their hearts, and save them all. God created the universe with His Word, and it is also with the Word that He has remitted away all the sins of every sinner.

What, then, does it mean when the Bible says that the Holy Spirit, who is God Himself, was hovering above the water? It means that the Holy Spirit could not enter into the hearts of the sinful. This passage tells us that although God wants to dwell in people’s hearts and be with them, He cannot do this as long as there is sin in their hearts.

God the Holy Spirit wants to come into everyone’s hearts, but He can only come into the hearts of those who have received the remission of their sins. That is why one must believe in the Word spoken by Jesus, and accept into his heart the remission of sin that came by the water and the Spirit. It is then that the Lord can come into us.

Who created the universe? It’s Jesus, God Himself. Fundamentally speaking, Jesus is God Himself, the One who made us and created the universe. And Jesus is the Savior God who came to this earth to save us mankind from all our sins. Jesus is the God who made all nature. How, then, can we meet this Jesus? It is through God’s Word of Truth that we can meet Jesus. When we believe in the gospel Word of the Truth of the remission of sin, we can indeed be forgiven from all our sins and meet God. We can then realize who God is; what kind of relationship we have with God; what the sin that God speaks of is; what the salvation-that is, the remission of sin-that God speaks of is; what the God-given eternal life is; and what kind of blessings God has given us. It is by believing in Jesus that we can believe in God with our hearts.

God works in those who believe in this true Word of salvation. And it is the believers in this Word whom God saves, granting them the remission of all their sins. The Lord has given the remission of sin to those who believe in God’s Word of salvation. However, if someone neither hears nor believes in God’s Word of Truth, and therefore his heart’s sins remain intact, then God cannot come into his heart. That is why God is hovering around us, telling us to first receive the remission of sin that He is offering to everyone so freely. And that is why the Bible says, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

What, then, is mankind’s sin? First, it is the rejection of God’s Word of salvation, which brings the true remission of sin, and the refusal to believe in it with the heart. For mankind to disbelieve in God’s Truth of salvation is to commit a great sin against God. People often consider it a sin only when they commit a particularly grave transgression, but that is not the only sin. Not to believe in Jesus Christ, who is the Word itself, is a sin. The real, most fundamental sin is the failure to acknowledge and believe in the Word of God.

Yet despite this, those who have fallen into confusion think on their own irrespective of God, believing that it is only when they commit a certain wrongdoing that this insufficiency of their acts constitutes a sin. In contrast, when God created the heavens and the earth, He spoke to mankind that sin is not to believe in His existence and His Word, making it clear that this is the beginning of sin, its origin and its essence.

What kind of sinners, then, have human beings become by not believing in God and His Word? God said to Adam and Eve, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). Even though Adam did believe in God, he did not believe in His spoken Word in its entirety, and so he ended up eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is from here that sin began.

As Adam and Eve did not believe in God’s Word, what were the consequences that followed from this? Human beings, deceived by the temptation of Satan, ended up becoming sinners, leaving God behind, committing sin before Him, rejecting His Word, and, even worse, siding with the Devil. By not believing in God’s Word, human beings found themselves as sinners to be accursed. All those who have drifted away from God disbelieving His Word have become sinners before God. And mankind was accursed, destined to be condemned by God.

For a sinner to be saved from God’s curse, he must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has become the righteousness of God. Only when mankind believes in this Word of Truth can it return to God. All of us human beings must return to the true Word of God, accept it and believe in it. For a sinner to return to God, he must turn around from his disbelief, from his refusal to believe in God’s Word of Truth.

From the Book of Genesis, all of us can find out what the God-spoken sin is, how God comes to sinners, and how His work of salvation and blessings were prepared. When we humans fell into sin, our Lord Jesus, who is God Himself, came to us as the Savior of sinners, and remitted away all the sins of every sinner. It is with His Word that God created the heavens and the earth. Likewise, it is also with His Word that God has given us the remission of our sins, and the Kingdom of Heaven as well.



When God Created the Heavens and the Earth, He Made Them with His Word

When God made everything under the heavens and on the earth, He commanded with His Word. He said: “Let there be light”; “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters”; “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself”; “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens”; and, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind.”

God created everything with the Word that came out of His lips. Just as the whole universe and everything in it came into existence all because of the Lord’s Word, so has mankind’s remission of sin come to us by the Word of the Lord. To save us, who fell into sin not believing in God’s true Word of salvation, our Lord comes looking for us once again by God’s Word of righteousness. We must realize that it is neither by our dreams nor by our visions that our God comes to us, but He comes to us by the Word of righteousness. The Lord does not meet us through some sort of mystical experiences.

It is written, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3).

This passage means that just as God created this whole universe with the Word, so has God come to sinners by His Word of righteousness when all mankind fell into sin. And it means that the Lord has saved sinners from their iniquities and completed their remission of sin exactly as God spoke.

To save all the human beings that fell into sin, Jesus came looking for them with the Lord’s Word of Truth. As Adam and Eve fell into sin, everyone else became a sinner as well. How did our Lord come looking for such people? He came by the Word of Truth and grace. Let us turn to Isaiah 55:1-3 here:
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you--
The sure mercies of David.”

When everyone’s thoughts were trapped in confusion, and the heart was void with darkness on the face of the deep, our Lord came by the true Word of salvation to all the sinners who had left God and His Word. As written, “Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you-The sure mercies of David.” It is by the Word of His righteousness that God came to us again.



You Must Return to the Word of God

None other than the very Bible that you and I have is the Word of God. The Bible itself is God’s Word. We must know the Word of God and accept it by faith. Of the three Persons of God-the Father, the Son, and the Spirit-the Son is the very Word of God. This Word itself that we are now reading is God Himself (John 1:1). As this is true, when those who believe in the Lord read the written Word of the Scriptures, they do so believing that it is the very Word of God. In contrast, sinners who do not believe in the Lord do not believe that the Bible is the Word of God, nor do they believe that the Word is God Himself.

God is Spirit, but He is also Logos-that is, the Word itself. The true Word of the Bible is God’s Word. And the Word is God Himself. The Lord Jesus came into the hearts of sinners by the Word of salvation, for He is the God of the Word. Coming to sinners by His Word, God said,
“Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).

Were it not for the Word that God spoke to us, how else could we believe in the Lord as our Savior? How else could we meet the Lord? If the Lord were to call our names and appear in our vision in all His glory, and say to us, “I am taking away all your sins,” we would all faint and die. Unlike us, God does not have a body. He came to us and spoke to us as the Word of Truth itself. He said to us, “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

God is near us through His Word. While the Lord is in the hearts of the saved, for unbelievers, He is very near them, as the Word of God. The Lord is always near sinners, together with them as the Word. If sinners call upon God while still alive, if they really look for Him, God will surely meet them through His Word.

To find God, the wicked must first forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts. The word wicked here refers to those who do not acknowledge God’s Word of righteousness. The wicked must turn around from their way of not recognizing God’s righteousness. Those who are unrighteous before God are those who do not acknowledge God’s Word of Truth and commit sin, and along with the wicked, they must also forsake their unbelieving thoughts and return to the God of Truth. The wicked and the unrighteous are all sinners alike, and for such sinners to return to God, they must come into the gospel by believing in the righteousness of God, regardless of what kind of sin they may have fallen into.

To do so, they must first realize just how abjectly they had failed to recognize God’s Word of righteousness. All sinners can meet God and believe in Him only when they admit their wicked selves, recognize their failure, acknowledge God’s existence, and admit that God is their Lord and their Savior. Every sinner can return to God, but only if he acknowledges and believes in the God-spoken Word of Truth.

It is when we acknowledge the Word of God by believing in it with our hearts that we can return to God. Do you understand this? This is the only way for mankind who had left God to return to Him. A sinner can be restored and return to God only if he acknowledges Him and recognizes the His spoken Word.



To Return to God, Cast aside Your Own Thoughts First

One cannot return to God just by calling on the name of the Lord, shouting out, “Lord!” Some pastors make such a claim, citing a passage from Romans, which says, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). However, it is absolutely not the case that one can return to God just by saying, “God, I believe.” This is all nothing more than one’s own thought. For everyone, it is only when one recognizes the Word of God that he can return to God and meet Him. The wicked can return to God only when they forsake their thoughts.

We the righteous people who have been saved, and the unsaved sinners alike, have all committed so many wrongdoings before God. Yet despite this, God took away all these iniquities through His righteousness. He took upon all the sins that we commit out of our mistaken thoughts, misunderstanding, and weaknesses. Our Lord took away all these sins that people commit out of their weaknesses and ignorance. Do you realize just how ignorant we humans are before God? Just how often have we thought wrong, misconceived, and misunderstood, and failed to see straight, all because we have no perception whatsoever? That is why we end up committing sin in this world. Yet despite all this, didn’t Jesus take away all these sins? Indeed, Jesus shouldered all our sins and took them all away. Jesus is our Savior.

In the passage from Isaiah quoted above, it was said,
“Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”

God is telling us to abandon our own thoughts and return to Jehovah. My fellow believers, do you realize just how evil our thoughts are before God? Our thoughts are wickedness itself.

Of course, our Lord took away all these mistaken thoughts as well, but there still are so many erudite philosophers and scientists who deny the existence of God. They are the ones whose hearts have been all hardened by their thoughts. They say, “Where is God? How could Jesus be God, and how could God be the God of the Word? How could He make the whole universe and mankind? Everything came into existence through evolution.” So many people in this world think like this.

However, God is saying to the wicked to forsake their thoughts and to return to Jehovah. God is saying that for sinners to be remitted from their sins, they must first cast aside their evil thoughts and believe in the righteousness of God. We must realize just how evil our thoughts are. And we must realize that before God, the arrogance of not believing in God’s Word is a great sin.

Even so, our Lord took upon all the sins of mankind by being baptized, from the sins committed out of weaknesses to the wickedness of our thoughts and acts alike. That is why we can return to Jehovah God by faith. God is saying, “Let the wicked forsake their thoughts and return to Me.” Are our thoughts flawed or flawless before God? Are your thoughts upright or immoral? We have to realize all the thoughts that we have apart from the Word of God and from the faith in this Word are evil. Man-made thoughts are fundamentally fallacious. Between our own thoughts and the Word of God, which is right? It is of course God’s Word that is right.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), a German existential philosopher, concluded on his own that God was dead. He thought, “It’s because God is dead that the wicked are so powerful in this world even though they practice evil so much! That’s why God is dead!” While Nietzsche was on a voyage, he was shipwrecked and got on a lifeboat. But the waves were so high that he was about to drown, and it’s said that he ended up praying to God, begging, “God, please save me!” Nietzsche, who had declared God to be dead, asked God to save him.

So God saved him, and he set his foot on land again. After a few days, when Nietzsche gave a lecture, he once again claimed, “There is no God. God is dead.” At the lecture, there were some passengers who had been shipwrecked with Nietzsche, and they were heard saying, “That fellow Nietzsche is a strange guy. When he was in the sea, he said that God was alive, but now that he is on land, he says that God is dead. So his ideas must be false.”

This is how all humans think. When they face some dire emergency, they look for God, but once they are comfortable, they say that God is dead. Why do they do this? It is because such people do not want to surrender to God. None other than this is the sin of not believing in God, and such people are the evilest sinners who have left God.



God’s Word of Truth Is Different from the Thoughts of Mankind

If you want your souls to be saved from sin, then cast aside your own human thoughts. And think about the baptism and the Cross of Jesus Christ, who came by the Word of God. Our fallacious thoughts make us reject Jesus’ Word. The Lord is saying, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

The Lord took upon all our sins through His baptism. Therefore, for sinners to meet God, they must cast aside their own thoughts and return to Jesus Christ. The Bible says that God will then “have mercy on” them. Out of His compassion for sinners, Jesus took all their transgressions upon His own body through the baptism given by John over 2,000 years ago.

It is written:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

God’s righteous thoughts and our human thoughts are fundamentally different. They are on a completely different level. In our own thoughts we humans complain, “Why did God make me in the first place, to suffer like this in this world? I don’t understand why He made me like this, why He had me be born like this.” And those who blame God also blame their parents. They think, “I just can’t figure out why my parents didn’t’ leave me any inheritance, why they had me in the first place when they were so poor, and why they let me live like this, suffering so much and despised by so many.” Not only is this just confined to their thoughts alone, but they actually say so bluntly to their parents.

However, our Lord says that He permitted suffering so that He may save from sin all the sinners who had left God and clothe them in His glory, so that He may make them look for God. Mankind would not look for God if there was no suffering on this earth and everything was just fine. And if human beings had no insufficiencies or weaknesses, then they could not become God’s children by believing in Jesus. That is why God has permitted mankind to suffer on this earth, but just for a while. It’s because mankind’s thoughts and God’s thoughts are completely different.

People say, “ God probably made us out of boredom, as His toys to entertain Himself.” Many are prone to think like this. That’s why some people curse God and point their fingers at Him. However, God’s thoughts are different from our thoughts.

God made us human beings to turn us into His people and His children, so that we may live happily in the paradise on earth and the Kingdom of Heaven. God created mankind so that we may enjoy eternal, never-ending life just like God Himself. It is with such a plan that God made us, and to fulfill all these purposes, Jesus was baptized, died on the Cross, and rose from the dead again, thus achieving them all. None other than this is God’s providence.

God made mankind in order to bring true happiness and blessings to us human beings. However, this is not how we think in our man-made thoughts, and instead we often blame God, uttering blasphemous words, “If God made mankind, He shouldn’t have made the wicked or the Devil.”

Did God make the Devil? No. Satan the Devil was an angel originally. This angel fell because he tried to exalt himself higher than God. That is why the angel became Satan. And you should also realize the fact that it is to enable us to be saved from sin by believing in the His righteousness that God permitted the people of Israel not to accept Him.

To explain the will of God more easily, let me draw a parallel here to the relationship between a five-year-old child and his parents. When adults are about to carry out some task, they carefully make all the necessary preparations before they actually begin. But a child cannot understand this no matter how hard one might try to explain it.

Let’s assume here that we are making some noodle soup. When we make noodle soup, we first pour flour into a bowl. The child in our example, only five-year old, sees this and asks, “Why are you pouring the flour?” We then pour some water into the bowl. The child asks again, “Why do you pour water in there?” He just can’t understand why water is poured, as it makes no sense to him at all. We then begin to knead the dough. The child asks, “Why are you kneading?” We then roll the dough with a roller. The child then again asks, “Why are you rolling?”

For the child, everything is curious and questionable. When we cut the flattened dough, the child asks again, “Why do you cut it?”; when we boil the water, he asks, “Why do you boil the water?”; and when we put the noodle soup into the boiling water, he asks again, “Why do you put the noodle soup there? Why do you boil it?”

None of the child’s questions may be answered to the end, but once we let him try the noodle soup and taste it, he would then realize, “Ah, so this is what noodle soup is.” Meanwhile, all the steps that were taken to make the noodle soup are lost to him. He only looks at their result, which is the noodle soup that he gets to taste, and all that he can grasp is, “Oh, so this is noodle soup. Wow! It’s so delicious!”

Like this, the child cannot comprehend all the steps that his parents took to make the noodle soup. Likewise, no matter how we are told of the purpose for which God created us, and how this goal and the process by which God makes us His children to live happily are explained to us, it’s still very hard for us to understand it all, for we are just like this child.



We Must Acknowledge the Infallibility of the Word of God

To do so is to recognize God’s goodness. God made everyone to bless him. Put differently, it is to bless us that God made us be born on this earth. God says that He has made His vineyard and planted it with the choicest vine, and that He expects it to bring forth good grapes (Isaiah 5:2). If God had a certain plan to make the highest-quality grapes, and He made them somehow, then we must accept all the steps.

Yet despite this, people still do not believe in God. It’s because of this disbelief that they are to be cast into hell fire. If one does not acknowledge God as God, then as the wage of this sin, it is only fitting for him to be cast into the never-ending pit of fire to suffer forever. It is only a matter of course that unbelievers should be cast into hell.

Some people may then ask, “God shouldn’t have made hell. Why did He make it?” My fellow believers, it is not proper for a creature not to recognize its Maker. The Bible illustrates this point by drawing an analogy to a potter. If we were making a vessel, and for some reason we were not happy with it, and so we shattered it and threw it away, have we done anything wrong here? No, as its maker, we have done nothing wrong. When we consider this, we can grasp that all that we can do, as mere creatures before God our Creator, is just believe in Him and accept what He has given us, and that there is nothing for which we can blame God.

Are we the Creator? No, we are no more than creatures. Whatever might be done to creatures, it is the Maker’s right. When God made us with a good plan for a good purpose, for us to not to surrender to this is itself wrong and evil. None other than this is wickedness from the Devil. It is to challenge God. God walks according to the Word of Truth, and we have to realize that for us not to believe in this God, and not to believe in the Word He spoke, is a sin. And we must realize that the Spirit of God is hovering over the face of the waters. God works according to His own Word. When we acknowledge this Word, believe in it and follow it, then we can find God for sure.



The Word of God Works in the Human Heart

If we were to believe in and seek after only mystical experiences or natural revelations, rather than believing in the Word of God, then we will not be able to find God. Do you grasp this? It is written, “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Bible does not write that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters just because He was bored. Is God somehow unable to hover over the earth? Why wouldn’t God be able to walk on the earth? Far from it, Jesus Christ came to this earth and walked on it. This passage means that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in the hearts of the sinful.

The special message that God is conveying to us here is that sinners must return to the Word to find God. So only those who returned to the Word have found God and were born again. That is why the Bible makes the following two points: “For you to be saved from sin, first, you must realize that you are nothing more than piles of sin, and second, you must be born again through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.” In other words, one is born again by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit that seals him with the seal of God.

We must know what is sin before God, and who God is. We must realize that the hearts of those who have left God are confused and void, and that darkness is on the face of the deep. Not to believe in God’s Word, none other than this is sin. For us to return to God, we must return to the Word, and only then can we find God. The Word is God Himself, and God works through His Word. Realizing this, we must all return to the Word.

We the righteous should also cast aside our own thoughts. Even for us the righteous, to be blessed, we must throw away our own thoughts. It is when we know the Word of God that we can believe in Him. And when we acknowledge the Word, we can believe in God, return to Him, and receive all His blessings. In particular, those who have just recently received the remission of sin, and those who still remain doubtful and confused, should turn to the Word of God. And they should listen to the Word and meditate deeply on what the Word actually says.

The same admonishment applies to sinners as well. If sinners were not to return to this Word, and if they were not to know the Word of God and return to its way, how else could they find God, and how else could they receive the remission of their sins from Jesus? For these sinners too, it is only when they return to the Word that they can find Jesus, find God, find their Creator, and be saved from their sins.

That is why we say that the Word of the Scriptures is the Canon, which means “the measuring rod of salvation, the barometer that enables us to meet God, and the standard for all judgment.” The Bible is not something written by a man. God Himself wrote this Bible, and even at this very moment, it continues to transform countless lives. When we read the Bible, we can realize that there indeed is God and find Him. And when we believe in the Word, this Word comes into our hearts and works in our lives.

The Word comes into our minds to work in our lives, and it also breaks down our mistaken thoughts. And the Word enables us to receive the remission of our sins and to follow the will of God. As the Word is alive and dynamic, it works in the believers’ hearts with power.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” How does God meet us human beings, who fell into sin? From today’s Scripture passage, we have now seen the answer to this question, on how God comes to us and works in our lives. It is through His Word that God comes looking for us and works in this world. Do you now realize this?

I give all my thanks to our Lord. We had indeed fallen into confusion and void, and yet our Lord came looking for us and met us through the Word. Those who are young in faith and those who just heard the Word and received the remission of their sins only recently, should take particular heed to listen to the Word as often as possible.

I admonish you to never miss the hours of worship and gatherings, but to take part in all. That’s because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). It is when we hear the true gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that we can know God and all our questions are answered.

The Word of God is not a science book, but it is the Word of salvation.

 

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