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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Power of Faith in God



< Genesis 3:1-7 >

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’ For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”



Chapter three of the Book of Genesis records the Devil’s work, where the cunning serpent tempted Eve and made her fall. To defeat such works of the Devil, we must use the weapon of our faith placed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the weapon that defeats Satan. There is no other weapon but only faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that can enable us to fight and overcome Satan. In contrast, when one departs from this faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, no sooner does he leave than ends up surrendering himself to Satan and falling into his evil trap.



How Can We Be Freed from Satan’s Trap?

Genesis 2:16-17 say, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘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.’”

God clearly told Adam and Even not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, the serpent, the most cunning of all beasts, asked Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” The woman then said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

When we examine Eve’s response here carefully, we can see that by the time she said, “Lest you die,” her faith in the Word of God was already shaken and confused. Even now, Satan’s temptation still continues to visit us, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, on a constant basis. The Devil is always challenging God with his wiles and evil tricks.

However, we can still overcome Satan’s temptation, and this is achieved not by anything else, but by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Everyone can receive the remission of his sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and he can also obtain everlasting life, follow the Lord, and attain God’s blessings.

Eve said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” From this, we know that she had already lost her faith. She didn’t grasp the exact Word of God. So the Devil, realizing Eve’s lack of faith, immediately attacked her. Saying to the woman, “You will not surely die,” the serpent planted doubt in her mind. As Eve’s mind was planted with words that made her doubt God, she ended up ignoring His Word and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. My fellow believers, it is when people do not believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, the Word of God, that their hearts are shaken.

God made human beings slightly inferior to angels. In other words, mankind is one move behind the Devil. After all, isn’t the Devil a fallen angel? The Book of Isaiah writes about the fallen angel Lucifer as the following: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

God brought down this proud angel and his follower angels, and it is this angel driven out of Heaven who is Satan, the Devil. Cast out onto the domain of the earth, Satan seduced mankind to stand against God, knowing that God had made it according to His image.



The Weapon of Victory Is the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit

Why do we need faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? It’s because there is nothing else but only this faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that enables us to stand against the Devil. The Devil is one who stands against God. And he also stands against mankind, as he stands against God’s Truth. What can fight back this enemy is faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Word of God. Faith in the gospel Truth is the best weapon, and this gospel Word brings victory to its believers. If we believe in God’s Word, we can be freed from temptation by faith and enjoy God’s blessings.

My fellow believers, it is absolutely indispensable for us to have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are nothing without this faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I beseech you all to believe in the righteousness of God and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can all triumph if we believe in God’s righteousness, but if we do not, then we will be destroyed by Satan.

For one to live a proper spiritual life, he must have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of God. There is no other way. It is only when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can confidently profess to believe in God and His Word. Believing in the Lord’s righteousness is our weapon. Our own will, passion, or strength is not the weapon that enables us to overcome Satan. Our own man-made thoughts or logic are not the proper weapon, but to believe in the Lord’s righteousness is our spiritual weapon.

After receiving the remission of my sins, the more time went by, the more I realized just how pleased God is by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and how indispensable this faith is to us.

My fellow believers, the reason why I keep speaking about this faith time after time is because you have to realize just how indispensable faith really is. The relationship between human beings also requires faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As we need faith in our human relationships, so is faith also indispensable between God’s Church and its saints

In other words, even between one human being and another, a healthy relationship can be maintained only if there is faith in the Truth. Unless we have faith in the righteousness of God, distrust can come between us over even tiny affairs, and then the Devil, taking advantage of this, would bring mutual misunderstanding and, in the worst case, even the destruction of faith. For us to believe in God and trust in another human being alike, what we need the most is faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must have faith in the gospel preached by the people of God.

Only this faith in God’s Word can bring victory in all things. Faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the bridge that connects mankind to God. Once we have faith in the Word of God, we can discern Satan’s lies, but if our sight is not based on this faith in God’s Word, then there is no way we can discern Satan’s work. It is by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can discern the Truth from falsehood.

Therefore, above all, we must have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit without fail. As this faith is indispensable to our human relationships, so must we have it in our relationship with God as well. This thing called faith is so essential. What would we be without faith in God? What else is there in this world to believe? Absolutely nothing else in this world is believable.

The Bible says that to disbelieve is sin (John 16:9). Although God the Father had placed all our sins on the body of His Son Jesus Christ, this sin of not believing in the Word of Jesus still remains. Indeed, the only condemnable sin remaining in this world is the refusal to believe in the Word of God proclaiming that the Lord has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

Do your hearts have faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Small disbeliefs make us drift away from the righteousness of God, and doubts about His Word break down our relationship with God. Do you have faith in the Word of God? Do you have faith in God’s Church? Do you have faith in your leaders? Do you have faith that God’s Church is right? Do you have faith that it is you who are to save souls through the gospel of Truth?

We need faith in all aspects of our lives of faith. Not only do we need faith when we face God’s Word, but we also need faith in all our lives of faith. Whoever receives the remission of his sins through his faith in the Word of God will come to see everything as beautiful, and his heart will also enjoy peace.

As we carry on with our lives of faith, with what do we discern the cunning wiles of the Devil? We discern them with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is this faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit that discerns Satan’s wily tricks. Anyone without this faith is bound to stumble.

You’ve probably seen many who stumbled because of the lack of this faith. Those who are tormented by sin even as they claim to have the gospel of the water and the Spirit suffer because they have no faith. And it’s because of the lack of faith that those who fall into falsehood easily are prone to proceed toward the world so recklessly according to whatever fits their own opinion. They do this because they do not believe in God’s righteousness with their hearts. Therefore, unless one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, destruction is all that awaits him.

Faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which we believe in, is so indispensable that whereas one can be wholly saved from his sins and become God’s child by believing in this gospel of Truth, if, on the other hand, he does not believe in this Truth, then he will become completely God’s enemy. Those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit still remain sinful, as they are unable to receive the remission of their sins, and therefore they are not God’s children; if they are not God’s children, then they are standing on Satan’s side; and thus, by not believing in the gospel, they have become God’s enemies.

Nowadays, if we stop by a Christian bookstore, we would see all kinds of rubbish, not even worthy of the paper that’s printed on. When we analyze such Christian books written by church leaders or theologians, we see just how far their wrings deviate from the Word of God. Since they do not have the knowledge of the righteousness of God, nor any real faith in it, they can’t help but produce such rubbish. Some people lay stress on their legalistic faith, while others launch Christian community movements, arguing, “Preaching the Word is not everything, but the proper Christian life must be the one that saves the poor and the oppressed from their suffering.”

It’s because these people have broken away from faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they are being led in the wrong direction, and as they continue to be deceived by the cunning Devil, they are heading toward an even more mistaken path.

You, too, should take a look at your faith and examine it. You need to ask yourselves, “Do I really believe in God’s righteousness? Do I really trust in God’s Church?” Faith in God’s Word is indispensable to you. And if you have really been born again by believing in God and His Word—that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit—then this faith should not be allowed to waiver back and forth, but must be firmly grounded.

Some people, while they have faith in God, do not have faith in His Church, and so many of them have left the Church and gone astray. Of course, some return back to the Church after a while, but what a waste of time is this? To live without believing in God’s righteousness is to waste away one’s life in vain. Unless we live by faith, no fruit of righteousness is manifested, with nothing to show.

What God wants from us first of all is our faith in the Word of His righteousness. God does not want anything else from us, but He only wants true faith from us, which enables us to follow His Word. What God eventually inquire of us are these: “Did you believe in Me? Did you believe in the Church that I established? Did you believe in the servants whom I appointed? Did you believe that I have saved you from your sins? Did you believe in this Word of the Scriptures?” God is asking us to say yes to these inquiries by faith. If we cannot yield this faith, then we are all too insufficient, and therefore when we are weighed on God’s scales, we will be disqualified.

I admonish you all to realize just how important faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is. It is my sincerest desire that all of us, God’s people, would have faith in His righteousness based on His Word. It is God who established His Church, appointed the leaders in this Church and raised His workers; and He works together with this Church. I admonish you all to have faith in the righteousness of God.

My fellow believers, do you have such faith, believing in the righteousness of God, relying on Him and uniting with Him? If you have this faith, then you can overcome any temptation and any tribulation that might come to your way. Faith is what is most important to those who have been wholly born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Just as what is most precious to the righteous is faith in the righteousness of God, so is Christian life is made possible only by this faith in God’s righteousness. And you can be transformed by God only when you have faith in His righteousness.

What achieves everything is faith. Faith in the righteousness of God is akin to a panacea. When we fail in our endeavors, lack the strength, and cannot move forward any longer falling into our weaknesses, what delivers us from them is also faith. Therefore, faith in God is the most imperative. “God, I believe. I believe that You will deliver me.” We will be delivered from our weaknesses if we believe in God, but if we do not, then there is no way to escape from them. That’s why the predecessors of faith always spoke about true faith.

You have to know how to listen to the elaborate voice of God, hearing what God is now saying to you. When you listen carefully to the Word of God, you will hear that God is speaking about faith. Jesus said to Peter, “I will make you a fisher of men.” Jesus Christ said this because He saw Peter’s faith in Him. When God finds faith in our hearts, He begins to nurture us as His servants and workers. In other words, it is not based on what God sees in our human selves that He nurtures us to be His servants, but it is based on our faith. And for the workers whose faith is ready, God may send them anywhere and everywhere. If one has the belief, “God is holding me,” then he is invariably sent somewhere to preach His gospel.

What about Peter? He was a seaman. Do you know how rough seamen can be? There is no foul language that escapes them. They swear so much that if there were a cussing contest, they would easily win the first prize. That’s because to survive in the rough sea, they themselves have to be rough.

When the gathering storm begins to rage in the sea, they have to harbor their boats and tie them together to prevent shipwreck. We can imagine how a father might converse with his son while hurriedly going about this. The father might say to his son, “You little scum, hurry up!” and the son might then say, “Screw you! Mind your own business!” That’s because if they were even slightly late, their boat would go under. As the waves crash in, they can hardly hear what each is saying while trying to tie the boats. So they swear because they can’t hear gentle, soft-spoken words, and it is in the thick of all this cussing that they can communicate with each other.

Peter was such a seaman, and this is the kind of man whom Jesus met. Peter was an ignorant man. However, the Bible writes that those who considered this Peter as an ordinary and uneducated man were amazed to see him preaching the Word of God so effortlessly (Acts 4:13). From his humble origin, Peter was indeed an uneducated and inarticulate man, but when we look at his two epistles (1 & 2 Peter), we see the profound Word of God written in them. So insightful is his writing that we ourselves are led to wonder, “Was this really written by a seaman?” Peter spoke of such profound things that people were amazed and found it hard to grasp that he had written these two epistles. It was through Peter’s faith in Jesus Christ that God spoke His profound Word of faith. Peter’s knowledge derived from his faith in Jesus Christ. It was this faith in Jesus Christ that made Peter His disciple. Faith is so powerful like this.

Faith is utterly indispensable. Peter became a fisher of men precisely because he believed in what the Lord said, “I will make you a fisher of men.” Whatever God said to us, it will come to pass without fail, but it is only when we accept it into our hearts by faith that we can witness the Word of God being fulfilled exactly as it is. You must grasp just how important faith is.

All the servants of God written in the Bible had faith. If this is the case, then you, too, should have faith in God and in everything He said. Only then can you unite your hearts with God and do His work. So, my fellow believers, do you really believe in God? Do you really believe in His Word? Do you have faith in God’s Church, and in the servants raised by God? Those who have such faith are blessed.



Victory

We can win only if we have faith. Our faith in the righteousness of the Lord is our weapon. God works in our lives when we believe in His Word and trust in Him. God does not work through us if we do not believe in Him, but if we indeed do believe in God, then He works through us, and therefore His work and blessings are manifested through us. Unless we believe in God, we will fall into sin. Since not believing is sin, everything that is not done by faith constitutes sin, and that is why disbelievers cannot be remitted from their sins. We should work by faith. We need to learn to reach faith through all things. It is faith in God that leads us to a victorious life.

From where has sin originated? It began from not believing in God’s Word. Had Adam and Eve believed in God, they would not have stumbled over the wiles of the Devil. We must remember this. However, by believing in the unseen God, and by believing in the Word of this God, victory has come to our lives.



Only Faith in the Word of God Is True Goodness

Chapter three of the Book of Genesis underscores just how important it is to believe in God’s Word. Had Adam and Eve believed in God absolutely and trusted in His Word without falling into their own thoughts, they would have stood against the Devil when he came to tempt them, saying, “What are you talking about? Stop spewing out such nonsense! Don’t slander God! God is not evil. I believe in Him!” Eve would have also said, “If I eat of the tree of the knowledge of God, I will surely die,” and then the Devil would have fled, realizing, “Oh, no! I tried to deceive but my tricks aren’t working!”

However, Eve said instead, “Lest you die,” and so Satan thought, “Yes! You don’t believe in God’s Word! You are my prey now!” and the Devil blew doubts into her heart all he wanted. So, as the Devil said, “In the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,” Eve was tempted by this and ended up eating the forbidden fruit, and she led Adam to eat it as well.

Because of this, mankind came to have a standard of good and evil different from God’s. But, is there true goodness to mankind? No, all that human beings have is just evil. In fact, we have no ability to discern good and evil, and there is nothing correct in our standard.

If we had a standard to discern good and evil on our own, wouldn’t this mean that we were no different from God? Human beings, having eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, left God and sat on the seat of judge by themselves. We must remember here that the Devil was brought down precisely for this kind of arrogance, for trying to become God himself.

Only God is the One who exists by Himself, only He is true, and only He is good. Only His Word is the never-changing Truth, and only His Word is right. In other words, only God can discern good and evil, and it is His standard that constitutes the absolute standard of good and evil in this world.

As the Devil himself failed to become like God, he is now inciting us to fall into disbelief, and thereby hurt God’s heart, who loves mankind. Instead of being at the forefront himself, the Devil eggs us on to challenge God—this is the wiles of the cunning Devil. Since he is already doomed, he wants to take us down with him.

My fellow believers, faith in God alone is goodness. If there is any goodness to us humans, it is when we believe in God and trust in His Word. Only faith constitutes our goodness. None other than not believing in God is evil. All of us need to have the belief that God takes care of and leads all the lives of His people, from our brothers and sisters here attending at the Mission School to His appointed workers.

God leads us according to His time, provides for our needs in His time, trains us in His time, and sets us free from our weaknesses in His time. We are not here in this same place forever as we are, stagnant as faithless beings. One day, God will transform you. It is faith that makes you and me live. This is what today’s Scripture passage is talking about.

We have read and seen here how Adam and Eve fell into Satan’s temptation by not believing God. For you and me alike, we, too, will fall into the Devil’s temptation if we do not believe in God. Preaching the gospel to souls is also made possible only by faith. In fact, it is only by faith that we can live a victorious life. There is nothing we can do but to believe in God.

And we should realize that when we seek to do God’s work, if we are motivated by a desire to be praised by others, or if we only want to work under propitious circumstances, then we will not be able to do anything at all. Since faith grows when we rise up to our challenge, we should launch and carry out God’s work believing that under all circumstances, the will of God will be surely accomplished.

When we read chapter three of Genesis and analyze the cause behind the fall of Adam and Eve, we can realize that they fell into sin because they did not believe in God. We must remember that unless we believe, we, too, can very easily fall into sin. But what happens when we believe in God? We are freed from sin.

We believe in God, who is not seen in our eyes. And we believe in His Word. My fellow believers, it is this faith in God that makes us whole. We are fully convinced that that God will bless us His believers. And we are sure that our faith will lead many souls to be saved. We believe that God’s Church will be established all over the world by faith. We believe that by trusting in God, everything will be provided for us and all our needs will be filled. We believe that our lives will be made beautiful by faith. We believe that through our faith in God, we will become wise. We believe that whether our lives can or cannot be made righteous, wise, and beautiful, all depends entirely on our faith.

Faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit leads us to a beautiful life. At the very end of our journey, when we look back our lives, we will come to confess that our faith in God’s servants, in His Church, and in His Word has transformed our lives beautifully.

We believe in the Lord’s righteousness.

 

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