Faith in the Holy Catholic
The Apostles’ Creed’s confession of
faith “in the Holy Spirit” is followed by its confession of faith
in “the holy catholic Church.” Here, the word ‘catholic’ refers
not to the Roman Catholic Church, but to the universal church of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostles, who believed in the
baptism and blood of Jesus, witnessed Jesus Christ to many people
on the Day of Pentecost. Then, they came to repent, and also believed
in the baptism of Jesus, and become saints, and thereby the Church
was established for the first time. As such, those who believe in
the works of the Holy Spirit also believe in the Church, which has
been established by these works of the Spirit.
What Kind of Church is God’s Church?
In the original Scriptural texts,
the word “church” is “ejkklhsiva” (Ekklesia), meaning “the
gathering of the called out.” In other words, this refers to the
gathering of those who believe in the baptism and blood of Jesus,
in the truth that He has given them salvation.
God’s Church is the gathering of those
who believe in the truth that Jesus has saved sinners with the baptism
that He received and the blood that He shed on the Cross. God distinguishes
between the Church that He Himself found and others that have nothing
to do with Him. The Church that was founded by God is one that was
established to give the blessings of the remission of sin to all
people. As such, the Church founded by God does not teach the ethics
and morals of mankind, but it teaches Jesus’ baptism of the remission
of sin, the blood of the Cross, and salvation. The Lord has therefore
permitted His Church to those who believe in the gospel of the water
and the Spirit. Mere mortals cannot undermine this Church, nor can
even Satan prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). God alone rules over
His Church, guides it and works in it.
The gathering of the sinless saints
who have been saved by believing in the gospel of the water and
the Spirit is God’s Church (1 Corinthians 1:2), and it is therefore
a place where His special love and protection is found (Romans 8:35-39).
As such, God blesses those who serve His Church and punishes those
who persecute it.
The expression “holy Church” implies
that all the believers who belong to the Church are the sinless
ones who have received the remission of their sins by believing
in the baptism and blood of Jesus, and the gathering of such people
is called God’s holy Church. Therefore, to take part in God’s
holy Church, one must first believe in the gospel of the water and
In the holy Church, the saints worship
God by offering thanks, glory, and praise to God within the faith
that believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and by
believing in His Word.
The fundamental meaning of the worship
that we give to God is to adore Him by believing in the gospel Word
of truth that has saved sinners from all their sins and iniquities.
Only those who believe in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of
the Cross as their own salvation are the true worshipers to God.
In God’s Church, the sermons of the
gospel of the water and the Spirit are proclaimed ceaselessly. As
such, we must give our worship to God with our faith, within this
gospel of the water and the Spirit that is testified in God’s Church.
The true worship given to God, therefore,
is a worship of individual faith in the true gospel, not a worship
inspired by a religious atmosphere. The true worshipers always worship
God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). As Hebrews 10:25 states,
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the
manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more
as you see the Day approaching.”
It is by the baptism of Jesus and
the blood of the Cross that we are cleansed of all our sins. Human
beings must admit that their existence is, because of their original
and personal sins, like a pile of filthy manure. But even this filthiness
is made clean when covered by snow. Likewise, when we believe in
the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross as our own salvation,
we can then become sinless. Because Jesus has already atoned all
our sins with His baptism and His blood of the Cross, and because
He has thus made us righteous, if we only believe in this, we can
all receive the remission of our sins and become righteous. This
is why 1 Corinthians 1:2 states, “To the church of God which
is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called
to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus
Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”
We believe that we have become righteous
by believing in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross
as the remission of our sins, and that it is by this faith that
we are to enter Heaven. Anyone who believes in this truth can enter
the Kingdom of God, no matter who he/she may be, whether from the
East or the West, man or woman, old or young, rich or poor, privileged
or underprivileged, knowledgeable or ignorant.
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A balloon vendor was floating white
balloons into the air. A black girl approached him and asked, “Can
black balloons also float up to the sky?” The vendor answered, “of
course.” Whoever believes in Jesus true gospel can enter Heaven.
There is no difference (Romans 3:22; Galatians 3:28). But before
God, no one who has sin in his/her heart can ever ascend to Heaven.
Even if one believes in Jesus somehow, if he/she still has sin,
then this person just cannot ascend. However, because God has already
forgiven all the sins of mankind with the gospel of the water and
the Spirit, anyone who knows and believes in Jesus correctly can
enter Heaven. Why? Because he/she no longer has any sin. Anyone
who believes in the baptism that Jesus received from John and the
blood of the Cross as the salvation from all his/her sins can enter
Heaven by faith.
When Jesus takes our souls to Heaven,
this is made possible because we have no sin anymore. Our Lord
is omnipotent. As such, the beginning, the process, and the result
are all the same. Our deeds are imperfect until the day we enter
His Kingdom. But the works of the Lord, His baptism and the blood
of the Cross, is perfect forever, and have made us holy. This is
why Ephesians 1:4 says, “Just as He chose us in Him before the
foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame
before Him in love,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:23 states, “Now
may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your
whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ.”