< Galatians 2:20 >
�I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.?
Is Your Faith
One That Was Crucified and Brought to Life Again with Jesus Christ?
Today�s Scripture passage comes from Galatians 2:20, a passages that we have already heard it many times and are quite familiar. It says, �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.?/i>
The Bible says that it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, the judgment awaits them. Therefore, those who neither know nor believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are born in this world once, and they die twice, for they die physically once and spiritually once as well. However, we receive the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit before God, at the same time we die once and are brought to life again by believing in this gospel. This is how we are born again. The believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have been crucified with Christ, and then they have been brought to life again receiving new life. Therefore, for those who have been remitted from all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, their old selves died with Christ and their new selves were brought back to life with Christ.
As such, our souls, as we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, are living not as our old selves, but as new creatures. To have true faith before God, we must believe that Jesus took upon the sins of the world by being baptized by John the Baptist, shed His blood on the Cross, and rose again from the dead. Only when we place our faith in Jesus Christ and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can we become the truly born-again people who are living with Christ. Thanks to our Lord, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit had died with Jesus Christ and were raised back to life with Him, and they are now to live with Christ forever. This is the mystery of being born again.
Given this, then, whom do the born-again serve? Of course, they must serve the Lord by preaching His gospel! But how are their lives actually? Aren�t they serving their own flesh, even as they had died with Jesus Christ? There are times when we the born-again serve our flesh, and there are times when we serve God and His gospel in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
While we the born-again carry on with our lives in this world, sometimes we are also tormented by the choice between serving ourselves and serving God. That is because we do not fully recognize the fact that with Jesus Christ, we had already died to this world. When we know clearly that our old selves had already died in Jesus Christ, we are no longer to wander around in this world. The reason why we waver between the Kingdom of God and ourselves, why we are more troubled and worried over ourselves than over the spreading of the gospel, and why we agonize over the world, is because we have not fully united with Christ. Therefore, Christians who have already united with Christ in His baptism, his death, and His resurrection, have nothing to vacillate between this world and the Kingdom of God.
We, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, cannot serve two masters well at the same time, just as our Lord told us. Therefore, between serving our selves and serving the gospel of the Lord, we must give up one of the two. Only then can we faithfully serve the remaining one master whom we are to serve. But it�s not so easy to give up one of the two masters. You need to realize it is your greed to want to serve both masters at the same time. And when we Christians become greedy wanting to serve two masters at the same time, we end up falling into confusion. The reality is that because we Christians try to fulfill every duty as human beings, we find it hard to carry on with our lives of faith.
The Master of the Believers in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit Is Jesus Christ
Few Christians have the proper knowledge of the Truth that we ourselves had been crucified to death with Christ and were brought to life again with Him. If we knew this, we would not even come close to thinking that we ought to be faithful to our carnal duties as human beings. And we would realize profoundly that we have nothing to do with this world, but everything to do with the Lord. If we ourselves believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, we had already died in Jesus Christ. If we really believe that we were crucified with Jesus Christ when He was baptized and crucified, what more could we possibly do for this world? If we believe in this fact, then our old selves no longer exist in this world, and only Jesus Christ lives in us. For us Christians, it is only in Jesus Christ that our existence is found.
For our sins, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross in our place, and rose from the dead again. Since those who believe in this Truth of salvation already died with Jesus Christ, they know that in them there is no longer their own existence, but only Christ lives in them. Jesus Christ has come into our hearts through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He is with us, He has led us, He has become our Master, and He has enabled us to serve the Lord for the rest of our lives. By making us His servants, our Lord has allowed us to serve Him as our Master. By believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, in other words, it is no longer sin that we serve, but we have come to serve the love of God. In the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you, too, will come to realize this by faith. To us Christians, our old selves are no longer there, but only our new selves exist. That�s because it is not we but the Lord who now lives in us.
Do you believe that you were crucified with Christ? Do you know and believe in the Truth that Jesus has saved us perfectly from the sins of the world? Through Jesus, we have come to know the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and believe in it, and thus, we have received the remission of our sins. For us to be delivered from the sins of this world, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. From now on, we are not the masters of ourselves. To all those who have received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, only the Lord is their Master. All of us are to live righteously as the servants of Jesus Christ. Since we ourselves have died and Christ now lives in us, we have come to realize that we are to live our blessed lives as the servants of Jesus Christ. It is only proper for us to actually live our lives serving Christ. As we have come to realize that He is our King, we are of those who please Him by living our lives as His servants. We must acknowledge this in our hearts.
When we asking ourselves, �Are we our own kings, or is Jesus Christ our King??the answer is that Jesus Christ is our Master and our King. The name Christ itself means �the King, the Priest, and the Prophet,?and if someone believes in this, he invariably believes that the Lord is indeed our King. How, then, do we identify ourselves before Him? We are Jesus Christ?disciples who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We have something to be proud of in Jesus Christ through faith. This is the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Were it not for Jesus Christ, we would have nothing to be proud of in ourselves. We are just His disciples who belong to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am saying this to you here because the Bible says, �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me?(Galatians 2:20). It�s because this passage contains all the Word about our dying in Jesus Christ and resurrecting in Jesus Christ. Because we had already been crucified to death with Jesus Christ when our old selves had died by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it is not our own lives that are now within us, it is the life of Jesus Christ who lives in us.
Do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? If so, then the answer to the question of for whom we should live, would become very clear. We must live serving our Lord, our King, and we must keep our stewardships by faith. This is because as today�s Scripture passage says, the lives which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. We need to realize that to live the rest of our lives by faith in our Lord regarding ourselves as the servants of righteousness—none other than this is to live the proper Christian life.
In Your Lives, Are You Aware of the Fact That You Are the Servants of Jesus Christ?
It is a joy for us that we have become the servants of Jesus Christ who lives in us. We are joyous to belong to Jesus Christ who has delivered us from destruction, and we are happy that we can obey God rather than this World. Those who have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are now to live forever as the servants serving the Lord their Master.
For those who have received the remission of their sins, the Master of their inner beings is the Lord. So we need to realize clearly who the Lord exactly is. My fellow believers, who is in our hearts? The Holy Spirit is in our hearts. Who is the Master of those who have received the remission of sins? It is Jesus Christ. As such, we must live our lives according to who we are and fitting for our duties. Truly, our Master is Jesus Christ, and this Master is leading us as our King, for He lives in each of our Christian hearts. You and I must know Jesus Christ, the Lord of our hearts, and we must lead our lives of faith realizing that we are the servants who are living for this Master. This is not just some doctrine, but it is the actual faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When the Apostle Paul said, �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me? (Galatians 2:20), here he was making his true confession of faith saying that he himself was crucified. What about you? Did you die with Jesus Christ or not? Of course you did. But you yourselves know very well that this death does not mean the end of our existence. This means that we came to live a new life in His Truth. Our Lord took upon our sins by being baptized, died on the Cross in our place, and rose from the dead again. Therefore, we had been crucified with Jesus Christ, and we were also raised from the dead with Christ. Because we are in the Lord, and the Lord is in us, the lives we live now are lived by faith in Jesus Christ.
You and I now belong to Jesus Christ. He is our Master, and we are His servants. The very moment we were born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we were commanded to live the rest of our lives serving our Master as His servants. Because none other this is the life that is predestined for us as Christians, it is so determined that we should live the rest of lives as Christ�s servants.
My fellow believers, once we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and receive the remission of our sins, we ourselves can no longer remain as our own masters. If anyone still remains his own master even after being born again, this can only mean he has not yet acceded the throne of his heart to Jesus Christ. Such people are not Christ�s servants yet, even though they have received their remission of sins. And they still do not realize that they had died in Jesus Christ. We are never our own masters. You and I are not our own masters. Before, we ourselves had been our own masters. But once we received the remission of our sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have become the servants of Jesus Christ.
While we were walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), we ourselves had been our own masters. At that time, it was clear that we were bound to be accursed for our sins. To save such beings, however, our Lord took upon our sins once for all by being baptized in the Jordan River, and died on the Cross in our place for all our sins. By saving us and making us His servants, Jesus Christ has allowed us to live our lives as the true workers and true people of the Kingdom of God.
Before we were born again, we had been our own masters, but once we were born again, we can never be our own masters, for we had died with Jesus Christ. Far from it, our Master now is Jesus Christ. Our old masters, ourselves, died with Jesus Christ. Because we have now been brought back to life by believing in Jesus Christ, our new Master who has saved us from all our sins, we have come to live our lives for the gospel of God�s righteousness. From now on, those who live their lives faithfully as the servants of Jesus Christ are precisely the ones who are leading the proper life of faith before God.
Because I have truly received the remission of my sins through my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I can speak of this truth of uniting with Christ by faith. If we had not believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we would not have died with Jesus Christ, nor would we have been brought back to life with Him. However, because of the Truth that Jesus Christ has saved us through the water and the Spirit, it was made possible for us to die and revive with Christ by faith.
We can see now that to live the kind of life that pleases the Lord, it is right for us to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We come to accept into our hearts that we had been fated to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and live the rest of our lives as the servants of God, following and obeying the Lord�s command. From the moment you and I were saved, it was already determined for us to live the life of serving God�s righteousness. Now, we Christians should live the glorious and blessed lives serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We should feel free to congratulate ourselves for the fact that you and I are destined to live this kind of life.
My fellow believers, has Jesus Christ really become your Master? And do you really want to become His servants? To put Christian life simply, it is a life of Christ�s servant. What the Apostle Paul is saying here is also that Jesus Christ is our Master. This is what God the Father is teaching us. And the Holy Spirit in our hearts is also saying this to you and me. Jesus is the Master of our hearts: �You are the Lord�s servants. You yourselves had already died with Jesus Christ, and you are now living as His servants. Because your Master is glorious, if you serve this glorious Lord, you, too, will be glorified. You are no longer the servants of this world. You are the servants of the Lord.?This is what the Holy Spirit in our hearts is telling us. You must listen to it and understand it as you carry on with your lives of faith.
Do you hear what God is telling you? You and I must grasp the meaning of the Word of God and follow His will. We can never be masters to ourselves. Already we are no longer our own masters. We had already died with Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago. We who had died with Jesus Christ and have been brought to life again with Him are not our own masters, but we are Christ�s servants. We are not the servants of the world, but we have become the servants of Christ, our glorified God.
God has set blessed lives for us. When we live our lives serving the Master as His Servants, then, the Lord clothes us with His glory, and also reveals His glory through us. The Lord is pleased with our faithful service, and He allows us to see even more glory of God and be clothed in even more blessings. Our Lord has set such a life for us Christians.
We must lead the life of true faith in union with Jesus Christ. We need to know the life that God has set for us. Dead or alive, we are of those who serve Christ. Those who have been saved through the gospel of the water and the Spirit are those who serve Jesus Christ, our Master. We have come to spread His gospel throughout the whole world as His servants. Whether we are eating or drinking, whatever we do, we serve the Lord. And we are to live for the glory of God. Knowing very well that this is how our destiny has already been set, we accept it by faith. Do you accept this? Have you set your hearts to serve the Master for the rest of your lives, and do you believe that this is your destiny set by God? It is what God told us through today�s Scripture passage.
You and I are the servants who serve the Master, Jesus Christ our Lord. We must remember this always as we carry on with our lives.
Our Old Faith Was Completely Opposite to the Truth
What we had thought, felt, and learnt before we were born again were completely opposite to the Word of Truth revealed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, we had carnal beliefs before, disobeying the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit and misbehaving. How we had thought of the God of Truth and reached our decision, and what we had determined to be right before we came to know the gospel of the water and the Spirit, were all opposite to the Truth.
For a while, the so-called �inner healing seminar? was very popular among Christians. This program claimed that it could heal people�s inner injuries. But it had very little to do with the Word of God, and was more of a psychiatric treatment to heal people�s hurt feelings through the means of empathy. This program sought to heal people in terms of human dimensions rather than from God�s perspective, and it brought about many mistakes.
The following is an example of this program purporting to heal a wounded heart. The leader of the meeting urged the wounded to speak as follows: �I�ve lived my life with a heart that was wounded by my parents. To this day, I could not tell anyone what I had suffered in my childhood. I just couldn�t forgive my parents. So this remained as a wound in my heart. I hated my parents and I rebelled against them. So my heart was wounded all over, and it still has not been healed. But when Jesus Christ shed His blood and died for our sins in our place, if I can�t forgive my parents, then this is my fault.?
The notion of inner healing is to consider such wounds of the heart in light of what Jesus Christ suffered for us, to think of our necessity, as the forgiven, to have mercy for others and forgive them as well, and to heal our souls on our own side. The key point of the inner healing seminar is to release our past wounds suffered from others and to say, �Through Jesus Christ, I forgive those who hurt me. I forgive them in the name of Jesus Christ.? However, this only heals the carnal self, and it is not of the work of salvation that enables everyone to really wash away all his sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
You may think that it�s all the same. But that is not the case. The question here is what motivates a man to heal his heart�s wounds, and to heal other people�s wounds and forgive them as well. Was this motivation begun from one�s own heart, or did this come from one�s faith in God�s Truth? To know this is very important to heal everyone�s soul properly.
In today�s Scripture passage, Paul was saying that He had been crucified with Christ. He testified that our fundamental selves were such that we were all bound to die for our sins, and that we had indeed died by believing in Jesus Christ. Yet the inner healing seminar here tries to raise back the carnal self to life, which had already died. The inner healing seminar is profitable, in other words, only for bringing the inner self to life. This is a faith that is different from one that dies and lives with Jesus Christ. Yet despite this, people still desire to have their inner selves healed, even as they do not have this faith that enables them to die with Jesus Christ and to live with Him.
Even after receiving the remission of sins, many people still desire to spare their old selves. Even when we are told that we had also died when Jesus Christ died, we still yearn to save ourselves. Don�t you have this wish? But if you do, then it�s very difficult for you to follow the Lord. Our thoughts must be compatible with the Lord; if our thoughts depart from Him, our spiritual faith is not congruent with Him, and therefore we cannot follow the Lord properly. If, in the hearts of these people who have received the remission of their sins, there is no faith that is united with Christ, it�s only natural for their lives of faith to be a constant struggle. As such, you must have the belief that you had died with Jesus Christ.
We ought to listen carefully to what the Lord said to us, �He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life?(John 12:25). Since we were fundamentally sinful, it was only proper for us to go to hell. Yet for such people like us, through His baptism Jesus Christ took upon the sins of the world in the Jordan River, shed His blood and died on the Cross in our place, and rose from the dead again. By doing so He blotted out all our sins and our condemnation. And He has enabled us to die and be brought back to life again by believing in the Lord, and now to live as the servants of Jesus Christ, the King of righteousness. Therefore, we ourselves had died and were brought to life with Christ our Lord.
As the ones who had died with Jesus Christ by faith, what is there for us to do for ourselves? There is nothing. Yet in spite of this, if we try to revive our old selves rather than dying by faith, we do not become God�s servants, but instead we become our own masters trying to use the Lord. We ourselves then become our own masters. Just how hard would it be for us to follow the Lord? How could we do this?
Human beings think completely opposite to Jesus, for from the day there were born into this world, they have only learned how to ensure their own survival. Their selfishness is not learnt from anyone else, but yet their hearts are filled with the desire to live for only themselves. Basically, all human beings live only instinctively unless they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and therefore if left alone to live their own carnal lives, they are all bound to continue to live in this way.
Therefore, we must die and live again with the Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I must believe that we had died and have been brought back to life with Jesus Christ. When you and I perceive ourselves by shedding the light of the gospel of the water and the Spirit over us, we are the ones who had already died with Jesus Christ and have been raised to life with Him. Our old selves have ceased to exist in Jesus Christ. Now, we exist in Jesus Christ only by faith and through the Holy Spirit. As it is written, �Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new?(2 Corinthians 5:17). Since our egos had died with Jesus Christ, we are indeed the dead who have been brought back to life with Christ.
What about you then? Is this thing called ego still alive in you? If you actually believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ, then it is impossible for your old selves to exist any longer. In fact, if you really know yourselves in the Truth, then you would realize that you had already died with Jesus Christ and have now been brought back to life with Him. Before, you had lived according to what your egos desired, but now, it is not with your old selves that you live, but by placing your faith in Christ as your Savior, you had died with Christ and are now brought to life with the resurrected Christ.
If we had not died with Jesus Christ, then there is a potential for our egos to turn into fatal poison for our spiritual lives. Therefore, trying to heal your old selves and raise them back to life again is the same as rejecting Jesus Christ. That�s because you would be going against Jesus Christ rather than going with Jesus Christ.
You might have experienced many hardships until now. You might be still stung by such memories. But, you have to recognize that the reason why God brings various hardships to us is so that we would come before Jesus Christ and be washed from our sins by believing in Him. By giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Lord has made us live by faith. The Lord has saved us by putting our sinful selves to death with Jesus Christ and bringing us back to life. Our Lord sought to give us new life again after putting us to death once. This is why God has permitted trials and every situation to us, so that He may lead us to His salvation. Yet people, oblivious to the will of God, are trying to overcome their difficulties through human means. Such thoughts and beliefs are fundamentally wrong.
Because our lives are now in union with Jesus Christ, our old selves have ended. God made us die and live again with Jesus Christ in order to give us new life and enable us to live righteous lives. Yet despite this, we see that people are still trying everything they can to preserve their old selves and to survive, rather than looking for the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Truth of new life. None other than such man-made thoughts are the very satanic thoughts and sins that depart from God�s thoughts. Whoever does not believe in and live with the gospel of the water and the Spirit is one who is standing against God.
For us to follow the Lord, it is our own thoughts that present critical obstacles. Our own thoughts, our own wickedness, and our own egos exalt only us human beings, and when our man-made thoughts are exalted, we are bound to stand against the righteousness of God. Therefore, you must realize that once you received the remission of your sins, you yourselves had died in Jesus Christ and have received eternal life. Now we must realize that we had died and have been brought to life with Christ. Now that we died with Jesus Christ in the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith, the dead can�t do anything. Therefore, since we can�t do anything on our own, it is by asking the Lord for help and by placing our faith in the Truth that we live. Moreover, since we had died with Him, there is no need for us to try to fulfill our wishes, but on the contrary, we live by faith yearning for only the will of God to be fulfilled.
The Bible says, �It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment?(Hebrews 9:27). Whereas our bodies are not dead, by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our souls had already died with Jesus Christ and have been raised back to life. Everything of our own, from our thoughts to our egos, our stubbornness, and our greed, all these things have already been crucified on the Cross with Jesus Christ. How about your egos? Are they gone in the Truth? They all ended when we crucified them on the Cross. All that remains for you to do now is to live for God by faith. It�s not because someone is telling you not to do anything else, but it is because you yourselves had died. When one is dead, there is nothing he yearns to do for his old self.
My fellow believers, can you now understand what it means when I say to you that you yourselves are dead? What could you achieve by demanding something from the dead or cursing at a corpse? Since we had already died, it makes no difference how we are, and we have nothing to do with those who still have not died in Christ. All that we have to do is just know what the will of God is, and live our new lives in Jesus Christ by faith. When we live for the purpose of exalting Jesus Christ, our Lord will glorify us also. In other words, God is pleased to have us living our righteous lives with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We Must Now Live by the Faith That Enables Us to Die and Resurrect with Jesus Christ
As some of you might know, even the religions of the world teach that one must reach emancipation. Religions of the world are also trying to awaken people to the realization that they are nothing, but the Bible has already been answering this question in Jesus Christ with the unchanging gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. The Bible says that for those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, while our flesh is still alive, our old selves had already died. We must grasp that we had already died in Jesus Christ and have now been brought back to life. In the religions of this world, there is no mediator like Jesus Christ, and therefore their followers can never die by faith and be brought back to life again. In contrast, we, who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, can die with Jesus Christ and live with Him by faith. The Truth found in this gospel of the water and the Spirit is truly marvelous indeed.
As you and I carry on with our lives, we must ruminate as often as possible on the fact that we had died with Jesus Christ. I know very well and I believe firmly that I myself had died in Christ. As such, I have no desire to succeed in this world. I know that God does not like for me to exalt my own flesh. When my old self is already dead, what use is there to raise myself high in this world? As I follow the Lord, I want only my Lord to be exalted, and I believe that this is what I ought to do as one of God�s servants. What difference does it make whether I am raised high or lowered in Christ? My own exaltation does not lead anyone to be saved from sin, but if people can be saved from their sins by lowering myself, then I can lower myself gladly for hundreds of times.
The very fact that I am admonishing you like this is also because of Jesus. To the saints who are not following the will of God properly, I am admonishing them to seek after spiritual lives, so that they may live as God�s servants. On the other hand, for those who are truly following the will of the Lord faithfully, it is not rebuke but encouragement that is needed. Above all else, we need faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus Christ. We must live to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The reason why, despite this, our old selves surface from our hearts as we live on in this world, is because we still do not fully appreciate that our old selves had died, and because we ourselves have not rejected such evil thoughts. So as our selves have not died yet, and the Lord is alive in us, we find it hard to work with Him. Since we continue to spare our old selves, our egos continue to surface, and this is why we end up standing against the will of the Lord. We must realize that we had died in Jesus Christ, and we must also believe that we have been brought back to life with Jesus Christ and received everlasting life.
Some of you may still think, �I�ve had this carnal dream of mine from long ago, and I�ll do everything to fulfill this dream no matter what.?To think like this means that you are still dreaming of your own carnal success, for you don�t realize that you are already dead. Think about it. Are you who you were before? Clearly not! And yet you are still deceived by yourselves. For you have neither the knowledge nor the clear self-awareness that your old selves had died in Jesus Christ with Him, you must realize that you are being deceived, and even now, you must return to faith.
My fellow believers, do you know what kind of a man I was before? I used to think that I�d never minister in a small church. I thought that my church had to be at least as big as a school building. Why? Because I considered it only proper that my church should have a place of worship, education facilities, and office space for each of church organs such as a library, youth ministry, Sunday school, adults ministry, women�s ministry, social service ministry, and so forth. So my church had to be the size of a school. And I believed that I could never go without educating the congregation. Since I considered it an absolute requirement for the congregation to be educated, I firmly believed that the church had to be at least as large as a school.
But now, I am no longer like this. Now I am happy as long as there is a place to worship God, even if it were a basement or a house with a leaking roof. The place where we worship can turn into a dining hall, and the same place can turn into a Bible study room. Before, I used to think that there had to be different spaces for the place of worship and the dining hall. Now my thoughts have changed completely. This is because my goals and purpose for life have now changed. I pursued my own desires before, but now I am seeking God�s will rather than my own. I now think, �If I do this, is this beneficial to fulfilling the will of God??I no longer think, �If I do this, would I be famous??If I had thought of my own desires, I would not have been able to do the Lord�s work to this day.
I do not think of myself, nor do I think of my own carnal desires. I am sure that you, too, are like me, for if you had followed your own carnal desires, you would not be leading your lives of faith now. I believe that if we indeed have a spiritual purpose, we must then pursue it by faith. Our carnal dreams and ambitions are completely opposite to our spiritual lives. It is for the Lord that we have our spiritual ideals and ambitions.
Your carnal egos want to keep building something upon yourselves, as if you were building the Babel Tower. However, when you come into Christ, receive the remission of your sins and become saints by faith, God brings down each of your desires one by one. As your own desires have crumbled down, there then remains only the base, your self-esteem. So you say to God, �At least let me keep this,?but He still brings it down, hacks it with a pickaxe and takes it out. Then your desires say, �No, not this! Without it, my very existence would disappear completely.?But God says to you, �No, actually you�ve disappeared long ago. In you, it is Christ who lives, and you had already died.?
God brings down all our carnal egos. We still want to hang onto our last drop of self-respect, but we shouldn�t do this. In Jesus Christ, you must die and be brought back to life again by faith. Now, rather than asking God to stop crushing what was yours, you should completely bring down your old selves and live again by your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Some people say, �God, isn�t it enough for You to break down my flesh this much? Please, leave my self-esteem alone! I would like to build on it again from now on.?By your faith in Christ, you must pull out the root of your carnal lust and even your self-esteem, and you must be brought back to life again with Jesus Christ. We must yank out the root of evil from our lives of faith; if this root remains alive, in time new branches will spring forth from it vigorously. So we shouldn�t ask God to spare our desires that continue to surface.
The Lord is telling us that we can never serve Him as long as we remain like this. He is saying, �As long as you hold onto what your flesh wants and you are following it, you cannot serve Me as your Master.?In other words, it is not we ourselves who live, but we must be in the Lord and the Lord must be in us, so that we may become one with Him. We must be born again by faith as new creatures.
You Should Now Live by Faith Uniting with Jesus Christ
It is wrong for us to keep trying to separate ourselves from Christ, because we have been born again as new creatures in Jesus Christ. In Jesus Christ, there should be no ego separated from Him. We have pulled out even the stump of the flesh called our egos and burnt them all away. You should realize that we have yanked out our old selves to the very root and crucified them on the Cross.
�I have been crucified with Christ.?My fellow believers, we have been crucified. You and I have been crucified on the Cross with Jesus Christ, just as the Apostle Paul declared, �And those who are Christ�s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires?(Galatians 5:24). Is there then such an existence as our own selves in the flesh? No. Did you or didn�t you die in Jesus Christ with Him? You died. And have you now been brought back to life? Yes, you have now been raised to life.
Because Jesus Christ came to this earth, accepted all the sins of this world by being baptized by John, and died on the Cross, all our sins have been washed away, all the condemnation of sin has disappeared, and our egos also died at that moment. Yet despite this, there still are those who tremble in fear when their weaknesses or evilness are disclosed. But all our weaknesses and insufficiencies died with Jesus Christ. Being born again is no longer our aim to be achieved. Those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have already been born again, and so we have nothing to do with any of our sins, nor with our weaknesses and insufficiencies.
How are we? Are we not stricken by fear, still not having faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? You may lament, �I�ll die in this way. I�ll perish away.?Aren�t you fearful because you think that you will die if you give up all your carnal desires? All our worries are because of death.
Like this, people fear their death. Although people are fearful of their death and their destruction as well, our old selves must die with Christ. When we died with Christ completely, from our Lord we will receive new life, never to perish again. And we are to enjoy glory in Jesus Christ. Only when our first selves perish can our second selves prosper. The Lord said, �Whoever wants to follow me must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Me.? As the principles of the Kingdom of God are different from the ways of the world, amazingly, only when one perishes once can he triumph the second time. Just as the Cross means to be condemned for sin and die, if you and I die with Christ and live with Him, we will receive the blessing of becoming God�s children. When we become God�s children, we will receive all the spiritual blessings, as well as the blessings of the fertility of this earth.
Even the great men of the world must realize that they are no more than mere creatures that need to be saved. And if one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and has received the remission of all his sins, he must realize that he had already died, and is now to live with Christ. Even so, do you still have no wish to be saved from all your sins and death by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? When one dies in Christ and his old self vanishes completely away, he has no choice but to live only through the Lord, and therefore this constitutes the greatest blessing. But, if one does not die spiritually in Jesus Christ now, he will try to protect himself and do everything possible to rebuild himself.
Just as many war-ravaged countries are trying to reconstruct their nations, people are trying to raise themselves that had died in Jesus Christ. However, once one is crucified together in Jesus Christ, he can no longer live on his own, and therefore he comes to rely on the Lord and live by faith. Because we had died once in Jesus Christ and have been brought back to life once again, we do not rely on ourselves but we are capable of doing everything by relying on our Lord.
When I was first delivered from all my sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, my friends saw me as a failure, my in-laws saw me as a failure, and I myself saw me as a failure. Since I believed in the Word of the Lord, I was no longer with them, and since they, too, rejected me, this could only mean that I failed, at least in this world. My friends are still not dead toward this world, and therefore, they are still striving to achieve their own desires even now. But now that I failed once, in Jesus Christ I now speak boldly, preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit and living righteously for God and for everyone else.
Everyone, no matter who he is, must die with Christ once and be brought back to life again. If one fails all by himself, it�s difficult to recover, but if he dies with Christ and is brought back to life again to live forever, the victory belongs to him. �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.?Now, our old selves are no longer there, and our new selves are found in the Holy Spirit. We must now realize that we ourselves had died with Christ and have been brought back to life with Him. The desires of our old selves have now ended, and the desires of our born-again selves have begun.
We Christians are happy when we die in Jesus Christ. All our worries and troubles arise because of the fact we still have not died. When we are worried over ourselves, we should think, �I have been crucified with Christ,?and from the moment we realize, �I have been crucified to death with Christ. Since I am dead, what can a dead man do? There is nothing,?true peace will come to us. From this moment when we ourselves realize that we can do nothing without the Lord, we come to learn what true faith is. It is from this moment that we come to realize how to rely on the Lord, and how to use our faith in the Lord.
Through the Word of Jesus Christ, we had clearly died with Him and have now been clearly brought back to life again. However, in the hearts of the people of God, there still remain the sediments of the flesh, and they are of our carnal thoughts. But when time goes by, we come to realize that they have no power whatsoever. In Jesus Christ, we ourselves had already died with Him and have been brought back to life with Him. When we live our lives of faith without realizing that we had died, then we see that confusion is yet to disappear from our hearts. This is so detrimental to our faith. Do you believe that you had died in the Truth?
John 5:24 says, �Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.?/i> Here, the Word of Christ means that when Jesus Christ was baptized and died on the Cross, all our sins were passed onto Him through His baptism, and that we died with Jesus Christ and were brought back to life with Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is a very wrong idea to try to resuscitate and revive our old lives, not realizing that our old selves had died. To try to build a house of faith on one�s old self is like building a house on sand. We have to build our houses on the solid basis of the Truth, that we had died with Jesus Christ and are now living a new life in Him. There is a huge difference of faith between one who built his house on sand and one who built his house on the rock.
The Lord Says That a House Built on Sand Will Fall
Spiritually speaking, sand implies man�s own thoughts. That�s because our man-made thoughts all crumble down once a single mistake is made. We must build our houses on our solid faith believing wholly that the Lord is our Savior and Shepherd. The Lord said that this is to build a house on the rock. It means, in other words, that we should build our house of faith by believing entirely in the Word of God.
The very fact that we are still living our old lives, even though we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, indicates that we still have not acknowledged fully that we had died in Jesus Christ. For example, some young workers may think they�d better quit serving the gospel and find some other job even though they just graduated from the mission school to become His servants. This means that they themselves still have not died in Jesus Christ. That�s because their old selves have not died in Jesus Christ but are still alive. It is because they are alive that they keep having this kind of thought. We cannot but have such a misconception until we come to understand that we had already died in Jesus Christ. I beseech you all to avoid this. If we admit that we had died in Christ, then we come to realize, �I�m doing this without realizing that I had already died,?and return to God and live in obedience to His will.
If one knows that he had died in Jesus Christ, then why would he worry about his future? It�s because his ego has not died in Jesus Christ and is still alive. There is no other reason why anyone would be unable to carry on with his life of faith well. Since I had died with the Lord and have been brought to life with Christ, God makes me do His works and gives me abilities to do whatever is necessary.
Why are you worried about yourselves? Even as we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, why do we continue to worry about ourselves and struggle? That�s because we are trying to lead ourselves. You should realize clearly here that it�s because you are still alive that you are trying to lead yourselves, and it is because of this that you find it so hard, difficult, and tiresome to lead your lives of faith.
My fellow believers, who among our brothers and sisters are particularly struggling? Is it someone who has too many thoughts of his own? Why does one have so many thoughts of his own? It�s because he does not know and believe that he had died in Jesus Christ. Such people are struggling precisely because they cannot deny their carnal thoughts and cannot live by faith. Is it clear, then, that we had died in Jesus Christ? We ought to know at least this much: Those who died in Jesus Christ cannot do anything on their own.
If you hit a dead body, does it say, �Stop it? You can punch a dead man and beat him up all you want until he bleeds, but he will remain still. You can twist his nose and jab him with a needle, but there will still be no reaction whatsoever. This is what a dead body is. When we are surrounded by the worries of the world, when troubles befall us and we agonize over how to live, what to eat, what to drink, and what would happen to us, we are set to say, �I can�t do anything, Lord, for I am dead. I have no power to solve any of my problems. I ask You to solve them all for me.?It is when such beliefs and faith come to us that from then on we can follow the Lord. It is from this moment that we begin to appreciate our predecessors and their faith, realizing, �Ah, so their ability to work is not found anywhere else, but they do the Lord�s work by denying themselves and trusting in God, believing that they had died.?We come to realize that what they say to us is all for our benefit.
Once we realize that we had died in Jesus Christ, our eyes of faith are opened and we come to follow the will of God�s Church. When the Apostle Paul was just born again, his eyes were covered with something like scales. A certain disciple named Ananias then came to the Apostle Paul and laid his hands on him, and at that moment the scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight at once. That these scales covering Paul�s eyes fell out means that Paul realized that he had died and was brought back to life again with Jesus Christ. Saul, Paul�s old name, meant a great one, but the now renamed Paul meant the least.
Now, if you are struggling with your lives of faith, and if you can�t follow the will of God�s Church, even as you have received the remission of sins, it is because you have not put your old selves to death in Jesus Christ by faith. If your hearts have no desire to live entirely for the Lord, even though you have been born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then this means that your hearts do not believe in this principle. This is a phenomenon resulting from your failure to realize what your spiritual entity is.
If you had died in Jesus Christ by faith, would you have anything to worry? Would you have anything to be troubled by? There is nothing. You may say, �I can become like that person if I try hard enough.?But the faithful life of faith is not made possible just by trying, but it is made possible by believing in all the Word of God. It begins from dying in Jesus Christ. On our own, we cannot have this faith, but it comes by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In other words, when we cannot do anything at all, when we are dead in Christ, and when we have faith that God works through us, it is then that we are able to do God�s work. If our old selves are still alive, God cannot do His work through us. If your thoughts are still firmly lodged in you, then God cannot lead you. It�s the same as what happens when church leaders try to lead certain brothers and sisters, and yet the leaders are unable to speak to them when they are filled with their own thoughts.
Let�s think about this for a moment. Why do you think your leaders cannot quite come to eye to eye with you no matter how hard they try? It�s because your own thoughts have seized you. Therefore, it is necessary for you to say yes to whatever your predecessors of faith say to you, denying your own thoughts. Those of us who have determined to serve the Lord after being born again say yes to what the Lord and our predecessors tell us to do and follow them. When we had been alive to ourselves, we couldn�t do anything, but what happens when we believe that we died? We realize that we are nothing, since we ourselves are dead, and we can then rise up by our faith in the Lord.
For some people, even as they have received the remission of their sins and are apparently doing God�s work, if their old selves are still alive, then they are not actually doing God�s work but their own work. When we look into some people�s hearts, we see that inside their hearts there are still more desires for this world. Even if they are doing the Lord�s work, it�s still different. However, if one knows that he had died in Christ, then he can do the Lord�s work full of energy, by faith, and in obedience to His will.
We may appear to be the same workers of God, but some people serve the Lord while others actually serve themselves. There are those who do God�s work, but then there are those who do their own work. Even in God�s Church, you�ve probably seen conceited souls believing themselves to be high and mighty just because they are rich. When such people are given some positions in the Church, they are all over the place, thinking that no one else but they can fulfill the positions. God�s Church does not entrust His work to such people who have not died and who are not living in Jesus Christ by faith.
When you have already died in Jesus Christ, what is there for you to do? The only thing that we can do before the Lord is pray.
This is what happened when I first planted a church and began ministering. �Lord, there is no money to pay the church rent. Give us the rent.?There was nothing else that I could do but give such prayers. What would I do? Should I return to my old self and go out there to make money, just because of financial needs? Of course, if it were the Lord�s will for me to make money, then I would go out to make money. I would work for money during the daytime, and I would preach during the evening. I was more than willing to do so. But when I have to teach at the mission school during the daytime, how could I go out to make money? Should I have said to the students, �Wait for me a bit. I�ll go out and make some money, and then I�ll return and teach you? This made no sense. So I had no choice but to pray. When we prayed, �God, please give us some money,?God then filled all our needs through someone else.
It is because we ourselves had died that we can work like this; we couldn�t do this had we not died. If the Lord tells me to go out and work as a manual laborer, then I will gladly do so. If this is what God told me, manual labor is what I should do. Regardless of whether it is difficult or easy, if the Lord has commanded me to do something, then none other than this is His work. When others see this, they may say, �How can construction labor be the Lord�s work? It�s merely a physical labor,?but I believe that since I only did what the Lord told me to do, this is His work. From this we make some money, give offerings, pay the rent, record the gospel sermons, buy a printing press, publish Christian literature—all these activities are God�s works on their own. Can you understand this?
When the Lord tells us to toil, then we do toil away as much as we can. We don�t care what others might think. For those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, who had died and now live a new life in Jesus Christ, there is no individual greed in our hearts. If we dedicate ourselves to the Lord realizing that we are dead, and say, �God, I would be thankful wherever You use me. And I ask you to use me for Your work in anyway possible,? then in this age and time when there are few workers, God will use us as His precious instruments.
We have all these various worries because we think that we are alive, but we must know that all our worries and our thoughts had also died in Jesus Christ. Now, in Christ, we must have spiritual thoughts of faith. In Jesus Christ, we must have faith, and we must have dreams of faith. Isn�t this true? Do we have anything to be ashamed of once we receive the remission of our sins? Every human being, of course, has flaws and weaknesses. But because we had died in Jesus Christ, these are not problematic.
On the contrary, more problematic is for those who had died in Jesus Christ to keep measuring this and that with the measuring rod of the flesh and think in its terms. After believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, at first we have our own thoughts, and so we are tempted to rise higher than our fellow saints. And we commit certain acts and say certain things that are simply incomprehensive in a spiritual perspective. But what does it matter whether it makes sense or no sense, since it�s only a dead body that is speaking? It�s not a problem. On the contrary, not living for the gospel of the water and the Spirit is the problem.
My fellow believers, someone who has not died in Jesus Christ is anxious of everything he encounters. When he is constantly worried over what others might say to him, how can he live peacefully with such worries? He can hardly get any sleep. By any chance, have you lost sleep over some words that were said of you? That�s because your ego was still alive and your self-esteem was still way up there. In contrast, if you egos had died in Jesus Christ by faith, you wouldn�t care at all even if someone throws curses at you. We think about what the Lord�s will is, and we may hesitate if it seems His will would be hindered, but the Lord�s work cannot be stopped because of our weaknesses. Because we had died with Christ and have received new life in Him, we can do all things, so long as the Lord�s will is fulfilled.
It is by faith that we die with Christ and live with Christ. �It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.? We had died in Jesus Christ and it is our Lord who lives in us. Our lives of faith are well lived only if we are wholly dead. Though our pride may be hurt, since we are God�s people and His own children, it does not matter what happens to us, as long as we do not disobey the will of the Lord in our lives.
Toward God�s work, we are alive, and our old selves are dead. Though we may not be polite in our conversation, we should do God�s work according to His will. As far as God�s work is concerned, we want to obey Him, deny ourselves and follow Him by faith. In Jesus Christ, our human egos are dead.
I am admonishing you, all the readers of this book: First of all, the fact that you are reading this book is only by the grace of God, not because of your own desires. So it is useless to add your own thoughts and think, �This is the true gospel that the Bible clearly testifies. What then should I do after believing in this gospel? Should I quit my job to live for this gospel from now on??All that you have to do is believe that you had died in Christ and have been brought back to life in Jesus Christ and follow the Lord as He leads you.
Now, we have nothing to worry about ourselves. God has called you to make you His workers and use you as His instruments of righteousness, not to build your character and make you successful in this world. Has God called you so that you would become rich and famous, as in some other churches? Has God called you to build you up, to edify you?
My fellow believers, do not worry about yourselves. It is when our faith is weak and young that we think we should take care of ourselves, develop ourselves, and think of our own future, but all these things must be cast away in Jesus Christ. We should reject all our worries by faith in Jesus Christ.
My fellow believers, it is when you are dead that you can follow the Lord wherever He leads you. You can�t follow Him if your egos are not dead. I am speaking to you the born-again Christians, who believe that your sins were passed on when Jesus Christ was baptized, that you had also died when Jesus Christ died on the Cross, and that you have now escaped from your condemnation. It�s not your old selves whom God has called and loves now. If you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you have already passed your sins to Jesus, died with Him, and been brought back to life again.
My fellow believers, Paul confesses with the heart, �Christ lives in me.?We have praised God and danced with this Word. And I believe that if we give this praise by faith to the Lord, He would be pleased. God is pleased when you praise Him by faith with your heart, not just with your lips. When you remember this passage so well and sing the praise so well, why don�t you realized that you had died and have been brought back to life in Christ? Why do you get angry so easily, even as you claim that you had died?
What difference does it make whether a dead body is respected or insulted? To that dead person, it makes no difference whatsoever, precisely because he is dead. If someone encounters the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and he trivializes and despises the name of Jesus Christ, there is then some justification for us to get angry, but any insults thrown at us in personal matters are completely irrelevant.
We must realize that we had died in Christ. And we must realize that we ourselves are now living with Christ. If we are indeed believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then setting everything else aside, we must know at least these two things without fail. The reason why the Apostle Paul could work most forcefully is because of his belief that he died in Christ and now lived in Christ. �I have been crucified with Christ.?Believing in this Word, he knew that he had died, and believing that he was brought back to life with Christ, he could work with power. �The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.?/i> It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we die and live with Him. This is the faith of Christians. Do you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? You must then also believe that you had died and have been resurrected with Christ in this gospel Truth.
It is written, �The just shall live by faith?Romans 1:17). Since we had died in Jesus Christ by faith, there is nothing that we can do, and therefore we can only live by our faith. For all of us, for our sisters and brothers, and myself, what do we live by? By what faith do we carry on with our lives? Could we lead ourselves properly? Could we protect ourselves perfectly? No human being is capable of this. But our Lord is more than able.
�I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold?(Psalms 18:1-2). The writers of Psalms praised the Lord and took Him as their strength, for their egos, too, were dead. We, too, are qualified to take Him as our strength. Because Christ now lives in us, you and I are qualified to do so. Do you believe this?
My fellow believers, the very moment when we believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and received the remission of our sins, we died with Christ. How can a dead person think of what happened in the past? The dead in Christ cannot do anything.
�Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new?(2 Corinthians 5:17). Once I received the remission of all my sins, I�ve changed my life. All my old relationships were nullified, and I had to build up new human relationships. Friendships also had to be built all over again. In other words, I had to rebuild my friendships in light of the gospel of the water and the Spirit because my friends just thought of me as the one they knew before.
�Hey, you should receive the remission of your sins.?
�What are you talking about??
�Don�t you have sin in your heart? That�s why you have to receive the remission of your sins.?
So I rebuilt my friendships, renewed and learned everything all over again by faith. All things have become new to me in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The same goes for you also. It�s not just me, but you have all changed as soon as you received the remission of your sins. Isn�t this true? You have changed so much.
Just how different are your present selves from your old selves? Just how much have your old selves been brought down? If we know that we had died by faith, then Christ will build you again in your hearts according to your faith. If, on the other hand, you do not believe that you had died, then even now God is bringing you down. He will continue to knock you down thoroughly. However, if you believe in the Word and obey His guide from the beginning, God will rebuild you as a new creature.
I used to weigh just 53 kg (117 lbs) before. Day or night, I couldn�t get much sleep in those days, and so there was no time for me to gain weight. I was so busy studying, researching, praying, and doing a million other things that there wasn�t much time left for sleep. In the wee hours of the morning, while everyone else was still asleep, I would get up and read in my study. Most people put their books in a bookshelf, but I put the books that I read in a box, and new books were put in the bookcase. I�ve read them over and over, and I prayed alone in the study.
How different am I now from then? Of course, I still read the Bible and I still pray, but I am very different from who I was back then. First of all, I have gained weight and become healthy. Now, I weigh over 70 Kg (154 Lbs). Before, since I had sin and I myself was still alive, I couldn�t sleep much as I was too busy giving prayers of repentance and researching the way to overcome the problem of sin all the time, but now I have plenty of time to sleep, for I now have peace of mind since receiving the perfect remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Now, I no longer have to pray for my own flesh, but only for the Lord�s work.
After I believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, many changes have come to me. Back then, I had many sins, even though I believed in Jesus as my personal Savior. But now that I know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I have no sin. Before, I could read but couldn�t understand the Word of God. So I bought and read many Christian books. After going through sermon collections, exegesis, and Bible commentaries, I then collected more resources for my next sermon. I used to prepare a sermon all night long because I had to look at all kinds of reference materials.
How much have I changed now? Everything has changed. Our old selves are now dead, and you and I are now living with Christ by our faith in the Lord. And we now live by faith in the Lord because we ourselves had already died with Jesus Christ.
Do you believe in the Word of God? While believing in God�s Word, if you encounter any problems, would you go out in search of something else to do? Even after I received the remission of my sins, there was a time when I used to worry for a while over how I would make a living. I worried before God, �What would I eat, what would I drink, how would I live from now on, and how would I serve the Lord??My worries of the flesh did not end with this. When I worried for myself over how I would live, I couldn�t get any solution for those worries. It was rather pathetic, since I myself had to think about how to make a living. The most that my thoughts could come up with was to go into some kind of business to make a living. I came up with this idea because I figured that I could do business for a while, and then spend the rest time of the day for the Lord. But thinking like this made me feel wretched and sad.
I couldn�t find any answer through my way of thinking. But the Lord opened my eyes through His Word. When I read the Bible, I found the truth that I had already died with Jesus Christ. Through the Word of God, I came to see whether I was alive or dead. At that time God inside me said, �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.?/i> I reflected on this passage from Galatians 2:20. Then I realized, �Since I have been crucified with Christ, then I must have also died with Jesus Christ on the Cross. If I am dead, what is there to worry over myself? Ah, my ego is still alive in me.?I found then that all these worries were no more than of my own carnal thoughts.
My fellow believers, we all know that a dead body can do nothing, but it takes a lot of time for us to realize this. But once I realized, �In the Lord, there is nothing that I can do now. For me to think about myself and for myself is all useless,? I stopped worrying about how I would make a living. Instead of thinking about myself, I had to think only about how the Lord�s gospel could be preached. All of us now also need this faith.
From then on, I have done the Lord�s work relying on my faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, praying, �I believe in You, Lord. Give me all my necessities. I will serve you entirely.?That�s because if I kept worrying about how I would making a living, my soul would end up dead for my disbelief. It�s because our old selves are not dead in Jesus Christ that disbeliefs surface. Do you not have such disbeliefs surfacing now? Such disbeliefs surface in your hearts because you haven�t confirmed that you are dead. Once your hearts believe that you are dead, and once your minds realize that you are dead, you will no longer worry about yourselves from then on. As if the wind ceased, and there was a great calm over the Sea of Galilee when Jesus rebuke the wind saying, �Quiet! Be still!?a great calm reigns over our hearts when we grasp this passage that says, �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.?/i> You need not worry about yourselves from now on.
Human beings must be rational and they must seek the Truth and believe in it rationally. Since we are not mere animals, we must think about ourselves rationally. We know very well that because we are dead in Jesus Christ, there is nothing that we can do on our own. Then we come to pray wholeheartedly, �Lord, please help me. Help me do Your work. I am so insufficient and so weak. But allow me to do Your work.?Such sincere prayers are coming out of our hearts. �God, I am insufficient. If it pleases You to use me, then though I may be insufficient, please use me as Your instrument.? We would inevitably give this kind of earnest prayer.
�And let it be not according to my will, but according to Your will, so lead me God.?We come to entrust our everything to God. From then on, we are only grateful if God makes us do even the smallest work, and we are bound to do His work diligently. Because we have been crucified with Christ, it is not by our own strength that we live, but it is by the strength of the Lord that we live the rest of our lives, for Christ now lives in us. And it is for the Lord that we live the rest of our lives in the flesh. We live by faith in the Son of God who, out of His love for us, was crucified to death in our place and has saved us.
We must open our spiritual eyes. We must see clearly whether our old selves are dead or alive in Christ. We can go forth with the Word only if we confirm with the Word that our old selves had died in Christ. We go when the Word says, �Go,?we stop when the Word says, �Stop,?and we live by faith believing in what the Word is telling us. Many people say that they can�t believe in the Word of God, but I believe in it. Everyone else in this entire world may not believe in what the Word of God is teaching us, but I still believe in it. It�s not myself that I believe, nor my own thoughts, but it is Word of God that I believe. I believe in it because the Word of God is all true.
If I were to tell you only about myself, would you trust me entirely? Of course not. And I can�t even speak boldly. Yet the reason why I can now preach the gospel throughout the world so boldly is because I believe in the Lord and His Word. Countless people wonder whether the gospel of the water and the Spirit is true, but when I open the Word of God and preach to them exactly according to this Word, these people also come to admit themselves before God and receive the remission of their sins. They receive the remission of sins because the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not of my own teachings but of the Word of God.
When the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, the Egyptians who had challenged God out of their disbelief all drowned. But the people of Israel, who marched forth by believing in the Word of God, crossed the Red Sea safely. We must live our lives of faith realizing that we had already died in Christ. This is not just a mere hypothesis.
My fellow believers, many of you probably attend morning prayer meetings and read the Bible regularly, but there may be some who still have many worries and regrets about themselves. My fellow believers, do not worry about anything. This present age does not have enough workers. So if you really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and have indeed received the remission of your sins, then admit concretely by faith that you had already died. Only such people are used by God as His workers. Do you understand this? Anyone whose ego is not dead cannot be used as a worker of God. No matter how gifted someone might be, the undead cannot be used. God uses only the dead as His instruments.
My fellow believers! What is the status of God�s servants? They are servants who serve their Master. Could anyone else but the selfless become servants? A servant is someone who always says yes to the Lord, even if He says, �Go and empty out the outhouse,? �Sweep the front yard today,?or �Go and escort the guests.?These things can be done only if the servant does not have his own thoughts; how could he do God�s works if he has his own thoughts? The same principle applies to us also. Only those whose egos are dead in Jesus Christ can become the servants who follow the Lord with yes every time He speaks to them. Anyone who is still not dead in Christ cannot be a servant of God.
My fellow believers, how long would we continue to worry about ourselves and struggle against ourselves? When we had already died in Jesus Christ, what still causes you to struggle against ourselves? Stop struggling against yourselves now. End it now by placing your faith in the Word of God. �I have been crucified with Christ?(Galatians 2:20). All strives are over with this one passage alone. When we die in Christ, we are at peace. This is why we are called as new creatures.
Our sisters are particularly prone to become jealous of someone else�s spiritual progress and to fret about the things right before their eyes. But I admonish you to have eyes that can see far ahead. You should have the eyes that can see far by faith in the Lord. Stop squabbling over what is immediately before you, and look far ahead, so that you may make spiritually right decisions throughout your lives. You will then come to know the spiritual order in God�s Church, discern the spiritual things from carnal ones, and grow up spiritually day by day as good servants of God.
Do not worry about whether the Lord would use you or not. Do not be anxious over how your future will unfold. Do not be concerned about whether you will be held in respect or not. Stop worrying about those kinds of carnal anxieties. Just be the people of faith who look far ahead.
Our characters are at their best when we believe in the Word of God and abide by it. Countless people need to realize just how much they are being deceived. They think they would be respected when they try to edify themselves according to the doctrine of sanctification. The same goes for you also, if you do not believe in the Word of God. Then you cannot but live a foolish life. If you are still not dead before the Word of God, you can�t see God�s domain clearly, as if a piece of paper is blocking your view. If there is a paper before our eyes, no matter how thin it might be, the Truth is blurred.
My fellow believers, you must realize that by believing in the Word of God, you were crucified to death with Christ. It is only when you realize this that you can lead your lives of faith properly.
Galatians 2:20 says, �I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.?/i> All the Apostle Paul�s faith is contained in this single passage. This one passage, in other words, also contains all about how we should believe, how we should live for the Lord, and what kind of faith we should have.
My fellow believers, do you believe in God�s Word? If so, then you are all remarkable people. You are all qualified to become God�s servants. Faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit defeats all hypotheses. With all hypotheses now removed, we are to live by our faith in the Lord.
As Paul said, �The life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.?/i> You and I now live by faith—by our faith in the Lord, by our faith in our remission of sin, by our faith that the Lord would help us and work in our lives. It is by faith in the Lord that we can truly triumph.
I give all my thanks to the Lord for giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit.