Subject 9 : Romans (Commentaries on the Book of Romans)

[Chapter 9-1] Introduction to Chapter 9

The gospel of the water and the Spirit to both the Israelites and the Gentiles!

Why did Paul say that he has great sorrow and continual grief in his heart for his own countrymen? It’s because Paul had a wish for his fellow brethren, so dear to his heart that he was willing to be accursed and be cut off from Christ for their sake. According to his own flesh, he truly wanted his own countrymen to be saved.
In this last age, we are greatly interested in preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the entire world. Spreading this gospel of truth is of God’s greatest concern and at the same time, the most important goal for the born-again believers. Whether or not the Israelis will accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit in the last days is another point that draws our attention. We must continue to pray on behalf of the Israelis so that they may be saved, for when they accept the gospel, we know that the Second Coming of our Lord is imminent.
My prayer topics for this year are to pray for the world evangelization and the acceptance of the true gospel by the Israelis. I am also praying that the Israelis will bear God’s servants from their own people. God once gave His Law to the Israelites, and He also made them the kingdom of priests before His eyes. Christ Himself came, according to the flesh, from the Israelites, yet they refused to believe in Him, and are still against God by continuing to turn against His will.

The Lord told us that It would be hard to find faith when He would come again

It is God’s will that the gospel of the water and the Spirit, having originated from Jerusalem, would spread all over the world. However, people’s hearts are hardened nowadays. Many people have strayed away from seeking the truth.
Recently, a movie titled “The Last Temptation of Christ” that depicted Jesus as an illegitimate child was released in Korea. It was full of blasphemies and its central message was that Jesus was never God, but only an ordinary man, as Prince Siddhartha of India, better known as Buddha, was. This movie tramples on the truth that Jesus is God and our Savior. This is why God said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Jesus Christ, in whom we believe, is God, higher than any of His creations, and worthy of praise for eternity. Born into the Israelites, He took upon all the sins of mankind by being baptized by John, bled and died on the Cross, rose again from death the third day, and became the Savior to all those who believe in Him. The Lord, who became the righteousness of God, delivered us from our sins by justifying those who believe in Him.
Paul told us that regardless of how many Israelites there are, Abraham’s descendants, those who can become the children of God are only those who believe in Jesus.
The Israelis will be facing many trials and tribulations in the future. God’s will is that some of them will in the end come to believe in our Lord as their Savior. Even though our Lord has taken away all the sins of the world, including those of the Israelis, they still refuse to believe in Jesus as their Savior.
Are you weak? Some of us may be weaker or stronger than others. But before God, we are all full of infirmities. We can become God’s children, who are free from sin, only by believing that our Lord came to this earth, took our sins on His shoulders by His baptism, and was judged and punished in our stead by dying on the Cross. We must praise and believe in the power of God that has made us His people, free from sin. Our Lord is truly great.
Some people think that everything exists because of men. For instance, they think that laws are enacted by men, and exist for them. However, we must realize that not everything is originated from men; things are only made possible by God’s will. God created this world and the entire universe. Even the man-made laws that govern us are grounded, at their essence, in God’s will.
Because God works in everything and everything unfolds according to His will, we must discover His righteousness in all things. When we were weak, when we sinned against God, and when we were cut off from Him because of our sinfulness, God promised to send us Jesus Christ. He fulfilled His promise by the incarnation of Jesus and His baptism, through which He delivered us from the sins of the world.
Now, when the gospel of the water and the Spirit spreads into every corner of the world, God’s original plan will be completed. When we look at how the events in the world are unfolding, we can see that the United States and Israel are at the center. I believe that without God’s intervention, another world war is very much a possibility.
When the World Trade Centers collapsed, its tremendous impact was felt throughout the world. If the world is engulfed in war again, in this time and age, what will happen to us? We will surely not be able to recover from another world war. Even nature cannot recover from all the damages of total destruction by us. I hope that you will all pray so as to be able to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the entire world in peace. Our worry is that without peace in the world, we may not be able to do so. We should all pray for peace and strive to eliminate war and terrorism.
No man-made religion can eliminate man’s sins. Only Jesus Christ, and He alone, can deliver us from our sins. Only through His baptism by John and His blood on the Cross can our sins be blotted out and judged. This blessing is given to those who believe in the righteousness of God. The only way we can be delivered from our sins is by believing in Christ’s baptism and His blood. There is no other way. We are not atoned by ritualistic prayers of repentance, as many religious people prefer to do. Rather, the only way to the atonement of our sins is to believe in the righteousness of God that has delivered us from all our sins, completely and fully, through the incarnation of Jesus, who took away all our sins by His baptism and death on the Cross.
We are saved from all our sins by believing in the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit
This truth must be preached to every corner of the world. We must recognize that it is the sin of Israelis as well as of Gentiles to not believe in this truth. Everyone must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Both nationalities, Israelis and Gentiles, cannot but continue to sin while living in this world. But our Lord took care of all these sins, once and for all, by His baptism. Could there be any simpler and clearer truth than the truth of Jesus’ baptism and His blood on the Cross? Why did John baptize Jesus? He was baptized by John and crucified so that He could at once take away all our sins. By not believing in this truth or accepting it into their hearts, people are heading toward their own destructions because of their sins.
The baptism that Jesus received “for thus” (Matthew 3:15) fulfills all righteousness. The word ‘for thus’ is ‘hoo’-tos gar’ in Greek, which means ‘in this way,’ ‘most fitting,’ or ‘there is no other way besides this.’ This word shows that Jesus irreversibly took the sins of humankind onto Him through the baptism He received from John. Because Jesus took upon all the sins of the world by being baptized by John, He was able to carry the Cross and bleed on it on our behalf. We must realize that this is the truth of atonement by which the entire human race can be redeemed of its sins.
Our Lord told us, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jesus’ baptism and His blood are God’s truth, which delivers us from our sins; it is completely grounded in God’s written word. The truth of atonement is to last, with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, for eternity. That God the Father decided to have sinners atoned by Jesus’ baptism and His blood on the Cross is His will. When we believe in His baptism and blood for our redemption, we believe in what God has set for us. Our sins are atoned only when we believe in the truth of the water and the Spirit.
If you believe, at this very moment, in Christ’s baptism and His blood on the Cross, the truth of atonement, as your redemption, then you are now justified. If, on the other hand, you do not believe, then you are still a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” We can be forgiven from all our sins and become God’s children only by believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior. There is no reason why someone should not believe in the truth of this gospel of the water and the Spirit. There is no one who does not need this gospel of redemption. Everyone needs it. Why would anyone not want to believe in it, when the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit is so clearly set out before him/her, were it not for his/her unwillingness to be cleansed of his/her sins?
Many throughout the world have accepted the gospel of the water and the Spirit and are preaching it to spread it even further. Some of them have asked to become volunteer distributors of our books. If you could be delivered from your sins by only believing in the blood of the Cross, then everyone in this world would have become justified, free from sin. If one believes only in the blood of the Cross, one would still continue in sin, despite repeated prayers of repentance on a daily basis, as such prayers are routine, going through the motion, and merely an exercise in religious rituals.
If you are trying to wash away your sins by offering prayers of repentance, then you are actually committing a grave sin against God, for your act degrades the righteousness of God, which can be fulfilled not by your own effort, but only by the baptism of Jesus and His sacrifice on the Cross, through which Jesus took away all your sins and was punished in your place.
If you accept Jesus as your Savior, believe that your atonement is through the baptism of Jesus and His crucifixion. Jesus promised to deliver sinners from their sins, and He lived up to His promise by being baptized by John at the Jordan River and bleeding on the Cross to fulfill the righteousness of God. What reason is there for us not to believe in this truth? You must believe in Jesus’ baptism and the shedding of His blood on the Cross as your redemption.
The truth that Jesus took upon all the sins of the world on Himself when He was baptized is found in Matthew 3:13-17. Only those who are not willing to be forgiven for all their sins would refuse to believe in this truth. You can become God’s child and receive eternal life only by believing in the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit―nothing else will deliver you from your sins. There is nothing more wonderful than believing in this truth, nothing else that is a better gift from God than His forgiveness. Among the many gifts that God has bestowed upon us, the atonement of our sins is the best gift of all.
The second-best gift that God has given to us is the coming Millennium over which we will reign, and the third gift is that we will thereafter live in the Kingdom of Heaven and reign, with God, for eternity. God has allowed, even to this last age, this truth of redemption to be revealed to both the Israelis and the Gentiles.
As prophesied in the Scripture, two servants of God will arise from among the Israelis, and God will perform wondrous miracles of the gospel through them. The Israelis will then hear the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the two servants, whom God will raise from their own people, and many will come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. We wait for that day, as John had awaited by asking, “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
When the time comes for the Lord to come again, you will realize how grateful you are for having believed in this truth, by which you were forgiven and saved. It is my heart’s earnest desire that you would be delivered from all your sins by believing in the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The world may change, but the gospel of the water and the Spirit, by which God has saved us from our sins, is a never-changing and eternal truth. We must believe in this truth to receive the unchanging salvation of atonement. May the truth of God’s redemption be yours.
God has delivered us by making us the vessels of mercy
Romans chapter 9 records that God saved Jacob because He loved him more than Esau. As such, Jacob was made a vessel of mercy, while Esau was made a vessel of wrath. This brings the question of why? That is, did God favor Jacob over Esau? Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of people who would argue, “Because God unilaterally and prejudicially chose to love one person while hating the other unconditionally, His predestination and selection were wrong.”
When we look at the world created by God, we can see how beautiful and pure His creations are. Plants, animals, and all other things that were created by God seem so perfect. How, then, could God love one person while hating another with bias? But this is not the case.
Because of the disobediences of Adam and Eve, sin entered the world, and because of this sin, all who came after them were destined to continue in sin and could not avoid being condemned to hell. Just because God saved Jacob from sin and did not deliver Esau, it does not implicate Him in any wrongdoing. Before His eyes, God had every reason to do so.
We can find many who behave like Esau within the Christian community. Typically, such a person would never miss a worship service, no matter when or where it is held, from early-morning service to late-night worship. Some may even spend more time in church than at home, commuting from work to church, not to home. We may call them ‘religious runners’. Among them, however, are many who do not take the righteousness of God seriously. This is because they are trying to build their own righteousness, and in doing so, are ignoring God’s righteousness.
Even those who ignore God’s righteousness still want to go to heaven and have their sins forgiven. But their efforts are in trying to establish their own righteousness before God and other people, not in trying to be saved from their sins. God said to those who do not believe in His righteousness that the faith in God’s righteousness is not for everyone.
What kind of people, then, can believe in God’s righteousness? These are the people who recognize their sinfulness, who, in their own minds, realize that they are worthy of nothing. They are the kind of people who, when they discover God’s righteousness through His atonement manifested in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, immediately believe in it and turn the glory to God. That we believe in God’s righteousness and are thus saved means that we are pitiable people who need God’s righteousness. Otherwise, we would be doomed to live in sin for the rest of our lives.
But those who seek their own righteousness before God are those who are prideful. Such a person might say, “Lord, I gave you tithe, stayed up all night offering prayers to you, never missed the daily early-morning services for the past ten years, and have done good deeds for you.”
However, God would be more pleased if he had recognized that he/she had no righteousness at all, and thus needed to believe in God’s righteousness through the atonement of the water and the Spirit, rather than trying to prove, by his/her own effort, something that he/she does not and cannot have.
Even now, in the Christian community, there are plenty of people who are doing all kinds of things to try to show their own righteousness. Some even faithfully act out their words. But because they do not believe in God’s righteousness manifested through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, their sins are not completely washed away. God will determine their ends. We all hope that they would become God’s true children through the remission of sins by their faith in our Lord’s baptism and blood as the truth of atonement.
On the vessels of salvation, the Apostle Paul said that God has mercy on whomever He has mercy and has compassion on whomever He has compassion. Who, then, are the people who receive God’s mercy? All human beings cannot live by God’s Word, even though they really want to do so. They stumble over and over again despite their truthful desire to believe in and live by His Word. They end up feeling sorry before God, are guilt-ridden, and think that they deserve to be condemned to hell. Thus, they ask God to have mercy on them, recognizing that they are pitiable in both this earthly world and in the Kingdom of God. Because they know that they cannot be saved unless God has mercy on them, they desperately ask Him for it.
Deliverance from sin, in other words, is found for those whom God pities, and on whom He has mercy. For these people, God bestowed the gospel of the water and the Spirit by having His only begotten Son take upon all the sins for Himself with His baptism, die on the Cross, and be resurrected from death―all to deliver them from their certain destructions. Our Father has mercy on those who are pitiable.
But there seem to be more people on whom God has wrath, than those on whom He has mercy in this world. God told us that in today’s Christian community, there are both the vessels of mercy and the vessels of wrath. There are, in other words, people who are loved by God and people who are not loved by Him.
Romans 9:17 tells us, “For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.’” God allowed people like the Pharaoh to arise so that His power may be known. However, to the vessels of mercy He has shown His love, so that His name may be declared throughout the world. Because of our sins and God’s wrath, we were all destined for hell. But we were saved from all our sins as God has bestowed on us His love of righteousness, for He had mercy on those of us who believed in Him.
Those who do not believe in the righteousness of God and are only interested in pursuing their own righteousness are turning against God. These are the people that God has left for His wrath; for His powerful wrath to be demonstrated, there must be those who stand against Him, and through this, the justice of God’s judgment is shown.
People like the Pharaoh are those who have rejected the love of God’s righteousness. To Pharaoh, God gave ten plagues; the last one being death. To those who have rejected God, only the endless lake of fire awaits them. This is the wrath of God’s power. There are many powerful people in this world and many who deny God, but God will eventually bring them down, to proclaim the power of His wrath. This is why He leaves the hardened hearts of those who deny Him alone.
What is important for us, then, is how we can become the vessels of mercy, because by becoming this, we can believe in the love of God’s righteousness. We have nothing to show for before God; rather, we were born to believe in His righteous love. The Bible tells us a story about a tax collector and a Pharisee praying before God. God had mercy on the former, while He had none for the latter. People who are like the tax collector are those who recognize before God that they have done nothing good and that they have only fallen short of His glory; therefore asking God for His mercy.
These are the kinds of people who would be clothed in God’s love of righteousness. But people who are like the Pharisee constantly brag about how much they have done for God—that they gave tithes, that they fasted twice a week, that they prayed, and that they were religiously devout. Depending on where we stand before God, we will be either clothed in the love of God’s righteousness or be subjected to the wrath of His punishment. If we harden our hearts before God, our sins will forever remain unforgivable. Without forgiveness, our destiny would be hell.
The gospel of the water and the Spirit has been preached all over the world. The unsaved remain unsaved just because their hearts are hardened. There is nothing righteous in humans, and only by faith can we be clothed in God’s righteous love. God hates those who, even though God made them, refuse to recognize His righteousness. But those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the righteousness of God, will all be loved by Him and receive eternal lives.
Many Christians in this world today are living as the vessels of wrath before God. This is why we need to learn from the Book of Romans what the righteousness of God is. The reason why God loves some, and not others, is because some believe in His righteousness while others do not believe in it. This is the truth that I wish to speak of. What God did to Jacob and Esau was right. Among those who believe in Jesus, there are many who want to be loved by God without having believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. These people are like Esau, and God will judge them for their sins accordingly.
God has sent His Son to be baptized by John in order to take away at once all the sins in the world. Do you believe in this truth? Do you truly believe it deep inside your heart? We will at once be delivered from all our sins when we believe in the truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, by which the righteousness of God is shown. Jesus took away all the sins of this world and put them on His shoulder, died on the Cross, and was resurrected from death, all at once, so that we, too, may at once be freed from our sins.
But if we attempt to be atoned without believing in God’s righteousness, we would be sinning against Him. If we do not believe in His righteousness, then it would mean that Jesus Christ would have to be baptized and die everyday for our sins. Would God, in His infinite wisdom, choose such a way? To deliver us from our sins, God sent His Son only once, to be baptized, crucified, and resurrected for all our sins only once, so that He may save us completely all at once.
Our God is a righteous God. God planned the remission of our sins within His righteousness. God does not blot our sins out just because we pray for His forgiveness every time we sin. Instead, He blotted out all the sins of those who were at once redeemed by believing in His righteousness once and for all.
What, then, happens to the daily sins that we commit afterward? These are taken care of when we thankfully worship God for His righteousness and turn all the glory to Him only. From God’s viewpoint, Jesus at once took upon Himself all the sins of the world with His baptism, bled on the Cross and was judged in our stead, and thus at once took away all our sins, for our complete salvation. The love of God’s righteousness had been completed from His plan to eliminate all the sins of the world at once.
Romans 9:25 states, “As He says also in Hosea: ‘I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.’” Yes, God said that He would call them His people, who were not His people. Because the righteousness of God in which we believe is not a theory, but reality, we are delivered from all our sins by believing in His righteousness. Since it is a reality, those who ignore His righteousness will be hated and judged like Esau. There is no one who can boast of his/her righteousness before God.
To deliver us from all our sins, God saved us with His righteousness. How, then, can we not thank and praise Him? We cannot help but spread the gospel of the righteousness of God in thankfulness and faith.
This sermon is also available in ebook format. Click on the book cover below.
The Righteousness of God that is Revealed in Romans - Our LORD Who Becomes the Righteousness of God (II)