< Galatians 5:16-26 >
�I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ�s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.?/b>
Paul�s Exhortation to the Saints
Once we look at Galatians, we can see that there were certain areas that the Apostle Paul especially struggled with. Influenced by the faith of circumcisionists, there were many in the Galatian churches who were deceived by the false teaching that one had to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and to receive circumcision to be saved. He suffered troubles because the gospel of the water and the Spirit could have been perverted by the circumcisionists who had been teaching that receiving physical circumcision was the right thing to do. The Apostle Paul could not but put his efforts exhaustively to correct the faith of these misled. So, he warned the circumcisionists by saying, �Do not teach them as such. You will be cursed by God if you believe and witness thus.?
If we look at the composing members of the Galatian churches, we come to know that both Jews and Gentiles together believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Jewish Christians still thought and believed that it was right to keep the Law even after accepting Jesus as their Savior, for they had kept it in mind that Jesus was also a Jew. Because they believed that they had to receive the circumcision in the flesh even after they believed in Jesus, they naturally taught that the Gentiles also had to receive physical circumcision just as the Jews. Their faith was a crucial factor in the mass corruption of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Like this, their faith has a mixed nature. Because of their legalistic faith, a confusing and muddy gospel was inevitably created. We should remember once more why the gospel was corrupted.
The early churches had to suffer great confusion spiritually due to the circumcisionists. Thus, if we start reading from Galatians 5:16, the Apostle Paul wanted to tell the saints of the Galatian churches about what it meant to walk in the Holy Spirit. Paul said, �I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish?(Galatians 5:16-17). This speaks of whether we are going to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit according to the will of God or insist and follow the circumcision in the flesh. Of course, the saints in Galatia should have naturally believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and follow the Lord. However, instead of believing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the saints in Galatia came to advocate physical circumcision to avoid persecution from many Jewish Christians.
Therefore, for a saint to walk in the Holy Spirit is to believe in the God-given gospel of the water and the Spirit and follow our Lord. On the other hand, to live after the flesh is to try to avoid persecution by receiving the circumcision in the flesh while rejecting the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
The righteous have the desire to serve and follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They want to be led by the Holy Spirit. But, at the same time, they have the desire to avoid persecution due to their faith in Jesus Christ and to live by following the lusts of the flesh. There are some born-again people who challenged God�s love by following the greed of their flesh. Therefore, it is written, �For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.?/i> Now, the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should live their lives in accordance with the will of our Lord following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which God delights in.
By Whom Is Your Life Ruled?
Paul said, �But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law? (Galatians 5:18). The Holy Spirit is in the hearts of the saints when they believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Paul meant that those who have received the Holy Spirit by believing in this true gospel are no longer under the Law of God�s wrath and free from the curse of God. We must know the fact that the Holy Spirit dwells within the hearts of the righteous and fulfills the will of our Lord only in full accordance with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Thus, we must know the will of our Lord that urges us to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the entire world in accordance with the desire of the Holy Spirit.
Then, can we possibly lead a life worth living following after the holy gospel of the water and the Spirit and lead worthy lives? Yes, we are able. It is possible for us to lead a Spirit-filled life when we first receive our salvation by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul has defined �the life of walking in the Holy Spirit?as follows. �And those who are Christ�s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires?(Galatians 5:24). That is, Paul asserted that the people belonging to Christ Jesus crucified all their emotions and greed by the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. That is, for us to live after the Holy Spirit, we naturally must realize that our old selves have died and vanished for they already were crucified on the Cross along with Jesus Christ. And we have to realize that we have truly become new creations because we have been brought back to new life by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul stated that we are able to live after the desires of the Holy Spirit in our faith in Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ has revived our dead spirits by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Hence, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can trust that we have already been crucified with Jesus Christ as well as we have been resurrected.
The Apostle Paul said, �Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another?(Galatians 5:26).
There are those among us who live after the lusts of the flesh despite their faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Such people seek the glory of their own flesh, fighting and disputing among themselves. Paul did not want to live for the glory of his flesh, which is mere vanity. If we now possess the heart like that of the Apostle Paul, we are able to live Spirit-filled lives. Therefore, to continue to live such lives worth living, those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now must always serve the righteousness of God by following the Holy Spirit.
Even if we have received the remission of all our sins through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we must possess the faith of believing that we have died with Jesus Christ and been resurrected with Him. If we have such faith, we can always live after the Holy Spirit for our passions and desires of the flesh had also been crucified with our flesh by faith.
However, reality is that there are people seeking the lusts of their flesh even among those who have received the remission of sin. Just like saints and servants within the churches in Galatia lived after the glory of their own flesh, there are many among the born-again Christians in this world who seek vain glory and greed for their flesh. All of these people live after the desires of their flesh. Hence, in the churches of Galatia, there was a tendency among circumcised saints to say, �I am better than you, the uncircumcised.?Also, by keeping the Sabbath holy, they believed their spirituality was at a higher level. What became a spiritual problem to these people was that they were not able to live after the will of the Holy Spirit because they were living after the lusts of their flesh.
What do the self-proclaimed servants of God live for? They live for the glory of their flesh instead of seeking the desires of the Holy Spirit by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As a result, most Christians today are living in search of the glory of their flesh. Even we the born-again could seek after our own selfish satisfaction. Thus, if we the born-again Christians are not to seek vain glory, we must know and believe in our Lord that our old selves have died along with Jesus Christ and that we have also become new creations by uniting with Him through His resurrection. Now we must also realize that we have become God�s possession in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and that we are able to do the works of God by being united with this true gospel in His Church.
We are able to give thanks to God because we have received the remission of our sins by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are weaklings unable to bear the works God has entrusted to us. Hence, we should not live our lives seeking for vain glories. Neither should we criticize our brothers and sisters. Who could we criticize when we are ourselves unable to carry out the works God has entrusted to us? If we lifted ourselves up in the flesh disregarding the works entrusted to us, what good would it do? Instead of quarreling because of the desires of our flesh, the righteous would want to get more works of God done. Those who live after the glory of the flesh in our lives cannot be acknowledged for their faith in front of God. Now, we no longer have any reason to compete for glories in vain.
Now, we have to believe the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit before God. Furthermore, we must live in faith without forgetting that we become new creations by dying and being resurrected with Jesus Christ. Because we have received the remission of sin by faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have attained the opportunities to serve God�s gospel. When God entrusts certain parts of His works to us, we are able to do the works with thanksgiving. In doing His works, it is of no use to think, �I am better than that brother and worse than the worker.?
All of us have become God�s own people by our faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Hence, we have all the same become children of God by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We are all equal workers of God�s righteousness, although we may have different areas in serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We as the Lord�s soldiers are servants of God doing His works to realize the will of God within His order. The predecessors of faith do not exist to boast their prestige or to brag their desires of the flesh. All that is left for us to decide is whether we are going to faithfully do the works of God while we are in this world.
Our Faith Must Be Like That of Paul
The Bible tells us, �But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law? (Galatians 5:22-23). Since we have all received the remission of sin by our faith in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit in our hearts, we must all likewise follow the Holy Spirit. To have such faith, everyone must die and be resurrected along with Jesus Christ by his faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The souls of Christ�s people have very pure faith. They truly believe that their old selves have died inside the gospel of the water and the Spirit and they live for the proclamation of the gospel. As a matter of fact, the righteous looks strong and tough, but inside they are very meek. It is because the inner person of a born-again has died and been resurrected with Christ in his faith in the gospel of the water and the spirit regardless of how his outside might appear. Hence, his soul is as meek as a lamb through the Holy Spirit. As such, those who have died and resurrected along with Jesus Christ by faith obey the will of God even if they are not spiritually refined. The righteous do not boast their own righteousness.
Those who have received the remission of sin in their hearts by believing in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit have no sin. However, there are many among the born-again who have not yet united themselves with Jesus Christ�s death and resurrection by faith. Such people have not found the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and hence are prone to leave the congregation of the righteous. All they are seeking in God�s Church is any opportunity to raise their positions. Characteristics of such people are that they do not desire to grow strong inwardly before God, but instead they try to raise their positions and reveal their own righteousness outwardly. They do their best to succeed in their flesh. The Apostle Paul said about them that they seek fleshly glory in vain by envying each other.
Although we have received the remission of sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, if we don�t have the faith that we have died and been brought back to new life along with Jesus, we are unable to be led by the Holy Spirit. Because Jesus took all of our sins through His baptism, we also were crucified on the Cross when Jesus was crucified on the Cross. When the nails penetrated Jesus?two feet and hands, likewise our hands and feet were nailed as well. Hence, our old selves have died inside of Jesus Christ, and we have been resurrected along with Jesus Christ. Our Lord has revived us who were dead both in spirit and body by resurrecting us from the dead. We have to live before God with faith in this fact. All of us were born again as new creations before God. Now, believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit do not seek for the glory of their own flesh. They try to do the will of God and are joyful when His will is done. On the other hand, they are saddened when the will of God is not realized in this world.
We have to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit one by one inside the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is written, �But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law?(Galatians 5:22-23).
Dear fellow believers, do you know that God is love? God said that we would be full of joy, if we love one another and serve the righteousness of God. Thus, the born-again Christians are joyful in the gospel of the water and the Spirit when they meet one another. Joy means the joyfulness that comes from within Jesus Christ. Peace is reconciliation even with the enemy. Sometimes even the righteous who believe in the righteousness of God quarrel with one another. However, they still give their confidence to each other within the Christ-given gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Moreover, believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit always endure all troubles to realize God�s righteousness. They are able to endure because the Holy Spirit allows them. Our outward persons are quick in temper, but how about our inward persons? If the Holy Spirit does not show anger within our hearts, our outer persons are unable to become angry. I am able to endure hardships that I would have been unable to endure on my own in the past, because of the power of the Holy Spirit. We who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are unable to become angry because our inward persons are not angry despite the fact that our outward persons may become infuriated. Before we were born again through our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we became angry whenever our outward persons were infuriated. However, now the difference is that we are okay as long as our inward persons are not angry.
For Whom Are We Living Our Lives?
The Holy Spirit is dwelling inside the hearts of those who have died and been resurrected with Jesus Christ. Those who have the Holy Spirit within them bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit not because we want to but because the Holy Spirit is within our hearts. There is no other requirement. The Holy Spirit resides within our hearts and persuades our thoughts and hearts so that we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the Apostle Paul said, �If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another?(Galatians 5:25-26). Our Lord has told us the righteous not to fight one another to raise our own status and not to envy one another.
In fact, there is no better or worse among the righteous. No one rules above another. The only difference is how much work God has entrusted to each of us. We are pleased when we accomplish our appointed tasks, but that does not determine our status. Of course, there is order and certain positions within the church of God. Yet, they are just necessary for the purpose of unity. God has entrusted certain tasks to you just as He has appointed me to do others. All we need to do is to perform those tasks so as to realize God�s will. Everyone does his part to do good together, as it is written, �All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose?(Romans 8:28). There is no other intention. No one even tries to rule over another.
Dear fellow workers, can I rule over you and make you obey me? How could I ever make you servants of a man, when you surely are servants of God with entrusted tasks? I cannot ever do such a thing. Since we each have a task in serving our Lord, it is right for us to be faithful in it. This is how we work together for good before God. No one can rule over another person in God�s Church. Because Satan is trying to lead some spiritually young believers to death by crumbling their faith, we the predecessors in faith sometimes have control over them not to be deceived by the Devil. Your tasks and my tasks are equally important before God. We are not in a hierarchical relationship of any sort. Our purpose is to realize God�s righteousness by uniting together and doing each one�s duty faithfully, and there is no other purpose. Those who live by the Holy Spirit do and follow the will of God before Him and in Christ. What else could there be? There is nothing else.
After I first met the Lord, I came to recognize that there was none who was preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. When I first started preach this gospel Truth with you, I also said to you, �There is no one in this world at this point who knows about and is sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As I have checked with the Christian world, there is certainly no theologian that knows and shares the gospel of the water and the Spirit.?Still, I was hoping that there might be someone who was born again of water and the Spirit although this person may not be a theologian. I earnestly hope and say, �Maybe individually or in a small group, someone is sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.? However, at least through my research on the Internet, there was no one preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I was certain that there was not a single individual in this world sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Of course, there can be some individuals who are preaching this true gospel, however what use is it if an individual just knows about the gospel of the water and the Spirit but does not share it with others?
Yet, my awareness of this fact became a heavy burden on me. If someone else was sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I might relieve myself of this duty saying, �Even if I don�t, someone else will.?However, there has not been a single person after the Early Church Era that shared the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If no one shared the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we have no choice but to perform that task ourselves. Hence, I realized that you and I have to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Not to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit despite knowing about it is to disobey God�s will. Thus, you and I are spreading this gospel. Is there anyone who preaches this Truth in Germany? Or, in England or in France? You might be reminded of the Eiffel Tower and the beautiful scenery of the riversides of the Seine when you hear the word �France.?Still, there is no one aware of the gospel of the water and the Spirit if you look inside the country.
Just like I felt the urgency to share the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the world because I knew about it, you are doing the works of God because He has entrusted them to you. Hence, we are told not to seek vain glories. I do not think that there are any differences among all our workers within God�s Church, whether they are preachers, their wives, staff workers, brothers, or sisters. Every servant of God that has an allotted task is precious. From pastors down to Sunday school children, I believe that God has entrusted specific tasks to each of us.
Our Lord said, �For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more?(Luke 12:48). The higher one should serve the lower one in God�s Church. Thus, there is no one high or low among us. We merely are faithful to the assignments which God has entrusted to us. All of us aim to realize the will of God, and we are destined to live for this purpose before God. Hence, the leaders are no higher or lower than their lay believers. Also, ordained ministers are not in a higher position than evangelists and evangelists than brothers and sisters. To say someone is at certain higher status only indicates that he has more tasks appointed to him. That is true actually. Hence, there is no need to raise one�s position. We only need to recognize that the works of God are all that matters and we must actually do them. This is what the Apostle Paul is talking about here.
The Two Desires inside a Saint
There are two hearts within our hearts; the heart of God and the heart of our flesh. These two are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish to. Still, if we are led by the Holy Spirit, we are no longer under the rule of the Law. If the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we can be led by God despite of our weaknesses because of the Holy Spirit. Although we may be insufficient from a human perspective, we can be led by the Holy Spirit if we recognize the leader and submit to the Word of God that he preaches. Those who are led by the Holy Spirit are not under the curse, but have died and been brought back to new life along with Jesus Christ.
We must know that you and I are God�s own people and His servants. Also, we must be able to distinguish between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We must know that the Lord told us to do His works after discerning the difference between the two.
Galatians 5:19-21 says, �Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.?/i>
The works of the flesh is said to be obvious. Those without the Holy Spirit are quite apparent to do the works of the flesh. They live for lustful deeds, filthy deeds, and sensuality. Also, they serve something other than God, practice evil, make enemies, fight by divisively, envy and be angry, and are divided from the church of God instead of being united with it. These are the works of the flesh. The works of the flesh originated from the disbelief in God and His Word.
What does our flesh love? It loves adultery, uncleanness, lust, evil deeds, making enemies, jealousy, disputes, forming groups, separation, heresy, drunkenness, and revelries. Today�s Scripture passage said that the works of the flesh are obvious. Is not our life in the flesh commonly like that? Is it so or not? Of course it is thus.
However, what about the fruit of the Holy Spirit? These are love, joy, peace, long endurance, good deeds, loyalty, meekness, and self-control. These two are completely different. Now, the works of the flesh does evil deeds with our hearts, putting unclean thoughts into actions, and seeking only such things.
On the other hand, the fruit of the Holy Spirit encourages us to love, be joyful, be peaceful in our hearts, not making enemies, endure for a long time, and show benevolence to others. A very pure heart, a loyal heart, a meek heart, and a contained heart are the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Because the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Holy Spirit are the results originating from two different kinds of faiths, they come out of different hearts. The fruit of the Holy Spirit comes from the faith in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. On the contrary, the works of the flesh are from the faith of untruth. The fruits of the flesh are the works of the flesh and evil deeds. Being divided, forming factions, establishing heresies, fighting, getting drunk, making enemies with God, stumbling others by trickeries, worshiping idols, serving other gods; all of these are works of the flesh. These are evidently different from the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Of course, some born-again saints also could fight each other, form factions in the church of God, make heresies, and get drunk. It is because they are following their flesh instead of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If we truly have received the remission of sin, we should bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. However, aren�t there a lot of people who follow the lusts of their flesh? God very much dislikes it when we follow the lusts of our flesh. At least, the born-again Christians who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior must be those who have died and been resurrected with Jesus Christ according to the Bible passage, �Those who are Christ�s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires?(Galatians 5:24). We must possess such faith. We should not just talk about that but die once and live once again, being united with Jesus Christ in our hearts.
There is a serous problem if we have not died and been resurrected being united with Jesus Christ. Those who have not died and been resurrected with Jesus Christ cannot bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. That is because they are unable to discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit despite the fact that the Holy Spirit is leading them from inside their hearts. We mistakenly think that we do good because our hearts are good. However, it is the Holy Spirit that gives the good heart inside of us. There is only the heart of the flesh that creates evil inside our hearts. But the Holy Spirit that creates the good heart has come and resides within our hearts because we have been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. You and I are beings fundamentally unable to create or possess good hearts. Because the Holy Spirit is with us, we serve our Lord, are faithful to God, do the works of God, and follow our Lord. Without the Holy Spirit, it would be impossible.
We Must Stay Away from a Vain Life
�Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another?(Galatians 5:26). We must take this Word into our hearts. Those who try to raise their status after being born again follow the desires of their flesh. These people are very wicked.
Dear fellow believers, think about this for a second. It is written in Proverbs 18:1, �A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.?/i> Currently, we are in God�s Church, each doing their parts in serving the gospel. How precious is this gospel? If you were to oppose the church of God and leave it, would you be able to perform the works of the gospel that you are performing now? You would not be able to. There is not a single person who can serve the Lord apart from God�s Church. There is not a single person who can be loyal to God apart from the Church. No matter how hard one tries to do, such is impossible. But for God�s Church, you are unable to live for yourself and absolutely unable to serve the Lord.
Now, let�s think about this once. Let�s use conditional phrases for this thought. We are serving the Lord with the money we have earned working in the businesses that God�s Church runs. But would it be possible for a saint to serve Him still through the same way, if the person were to leave the Church and serve the gospel by oneself? Would such a person be able to live properly for the Lord as his life purpose, bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit away from the church of God just like he did while in it? He would be unable to live thus. He would come up with such and such excuses not to live thus. He would not live as faithfully as he is living now in God�s Church. He would not work as diligently as he does now.
Thus, it is a great blessing that we are serving each of our own parts in the church of God right now. Regardless of what our positions are, can anyone of us serve the Lord after leaving the Church? No one is able to serve Him away from His Church. Thus, we say that leaving the church of God is seeking for vain glories; glories of one�s own flesh.
We must understand the heart of the Apostle Paul. �You say that we have to believe in Jesus Christ while observing the Sabbath day and the special months and seasons along with the circumcision within your legalistic faith. Did you think that I really would not know your intentions to raise yourselves within the Church? If you continue to act thus, you will be separated from the church of God as a result. Then, you won�t be able to serve the Lord. That would be seeking for vain glories.?That is precisely what the Apostle Paul is telling us.
We must realize that it is a great blessing to be inside the church of God. Although you may not listen carefully, it is a matter of fact that you won�t be able to do good if you were to leave God�s Church or be prohibited from attending the Church. It is impossible to do good outside of His Church. I am not threatening you. I know that I would not be able to do any good away from the Church. How can I do good away from God�s Church? What can I do by myself? Even if I wanted to publish a book, someone has to type and print it for me to edit it into a book. Even when we hammer a nail into the wall, it is easier if someone is holding the nail for me. Works require cooperation, and to do it alone is that much harder. How much more is it true for something as important as serving the gospel? How could I bear the works of serving the gospel by myself? The heart of the flesh desires less and less work. However, the moment we leave the church of God is the moment we stop doing the righteous works. We become paralyzed to do anything.
To be unable to do the righteous works after we have received the remission of sin is damnation. Genesis records that Cain wandered around the land away from God even after receiving a mark of protection from Him. Cain had no place to go and no purpose of life. He wondered around anywhere and everywhere as a wonderer, not being able to settle at one place. Furthermore, he trembled in fear that his enemies might kill him. We cannot but live the same life as Cain�s if we were to leave God�s Church to satisfy the lusts of our own flesh.
Dear fellow believers, we now come to understand what we should live for after we have been born again. We should not seek the vain glories first. We bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—when we are led by the Holy Spirit and by our Lord, when we are with the Church, and when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we leave the Church and are not led by God, we follow instead adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, and revelries.
You and I become thus the very moment we leave the church of God. You must give thanks to God for the fact that you are now inside the Church. We must also give thanks for the fact that our Lord has delivered us, placed us within His Church, and entrusted us each tasks within the Church. Our faith grows when we are working for the Lord by faith while being thankful for those blessings from within our hearts. We do not perform our tasks because someone tells us to do so. Instead we ask ourselves, �I was a person who could not help but do evil deeds throughout my entire life. How grateful am I that He made me able to live for others? Who would be able to do this except for God? Where would this be possible outside His Church??We become perpetually thankful as such. You and I have to become people who know to be grateful by faith. Paul is telling us this very fact now.
The Apostle Paul suffered martyrdom after he wrote his epistles to each of the churches. That is, he righteously offered his head to keep his faith. During the Early Church when the Apostle Paul was working, idol worship was prevalent. The Roman emperor who ruled over Israel proclaimed himself as a god. He ordered people to serve him and believe him as if he was a god. But, there were people who disobeyed and did not believe in him. Those people were Christians who believed only in God. Christians who did not bow to the Roman emperor were considered as committing treason. Hence, the Roman emperor persecuted Christians and killed those who would not surrender until their last breath. Thus, the early church Christians suffered martyrdom. They would place the heads of Christians on a round platform to fix the position with a rock and behead them with an axe. As the head falls and rolls off, blood would pour out. This was the way the faithful Christians died. In 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul says, �I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith? (2 Timothy 4:7). He knew that he would be executed soon. He really died as such.
These days, you and I serve this gospel of the water and the Spirit. Should we then seek for vain glories? Also, should we be jealous of each other and fight each other? You and I have to respect each other�s appointed tasks, consider each other as precious, and be thankful to each other. The fact that you do what I cannot and that I do what you cannot to cooperate in doing good and serving God is something we have to be thankful for. We are very thankful that we are coworkers to each other, who can walk together to the end.
Now, Let Us Live Our Lives Being United with Each Other and Giving Thanks to Our Lord
We have to live by faith that it is thankful and proper for us to be allowed as our Lord�s servants. If we possess faith on top of such hearts, fights among ourselves naturally disappear. Time is too precious to waste on criticizing and blaming each other to become higher than the other. It is our blessing to preach the gospel throughout the world following together the desires of the Holy Spirit at these due times.
I am not telling you this to rule over you by any means. I don�t and will not rule over you. The order of God�s Church has just been established like this as we served our Lord together. God has appointed me as a leader because a shepherd is required to guide the sheep. The reason I get infuriated sometimes is because there are those who serve only their flesh and not the gospel. I believe that if the gospel is correct, we have to believe and share it to others. Then, it is only natural for me to claim it and fight heresies at the front.
As the Apostle Paul confessed that he is the worst of all sinners, you and I are also chiefs among sinners. Just as the Apostle Paul was thankful before God because He appointed him to do the duty of righteousness considering him as faithful, I feel the same way. I do not want to rule over you but to work together on sharing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I wish that you know this.
I warn to those who disregard serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit without being able to discern between spirit and flesh. I have fought so far with what is not the Truth. God lifted me up because I fought the good fight against untruth from when no one was on my side. That is how I am at my current position and not because I am any better than you are.
If we were to judge ourselves by how talented we were, our older brothers are much more talented than I am. If we were to judge by how tall we are, you are much taller than I am. If we were to judge by how much we weigh, there are many among you who weigh more than I do. Overall, there are many among you who are more talented than I am in the flesh. Still, those things are nothing before God because we do not do the works of God with our flesh. I am weak and deficient. Despite of that, God has appointed me with certain tasks. God has used me because I offered myself for the glory of God instead of seeking for vain glories.
I said that I would spread the gospel throughout the world through Christian literatures. Why? There is no surer way to spread the gospel throughout the world than this method. If a book is delivered to a country, it does not end just merely as a single volume book. A single volume does not merely share the gospel to a single person but to others around that person as well. If the person who received this book reads it and passes it on to a neighbor and that neighbor does the same, that one book will reach many people. Although the book might leave the hand of the original recipient, that person would share the gospel orally since he would have received the remission of sin. That is why we are sharing the gospel through publications.
During the days of the Early Church, God has allowed people to become born again through the same method. That is how we have the Bible today. How would we have known the gospel of the water and the Spirit, if the Bible did not exist now? Would we have known Paul�s words not to seek vain glories?
We believe in the Lord and serve Him together in front of God. I do this in front of you, and vice versa. When we know the hearts of the Apostle Paul, we are able to bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians, today�s Scripture passage gives the most central and the utmost message to us: �Seek the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Follow as the Holy Spirit leads you. If you follow the Holy Spirit as he leads you, you will not be under the Law. Do not seek vain glories but seek the glory of God. Live for the glory of God, and fulfill the good work of God in cooperation with each other. Do not possess a legalistic faith but rather true faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Live as you seek the glory of God. Meet God as you are doing this.?The Apostle Paul spoke as such.
We have to know these as we live the rest of our lives. We must live in true faith, restraining ourselves from seeking to be respected in the flesh and treating our fellow brothers and sisters as most precious. You and I have died and been resurrected by faith. You and I have to be thankful to the end for the works God has entrusted to us. Not only that but we have to be faithful to those appointed tasks. We have to meet God after we have returned all glories to God in our lives.
I believe that God will deliver the souls of many people from all their sins through us.