The Blessings That God Has Given Us
< Genesis 2:1-3 >
�Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.?
Today�s Scripture passage tells us that while God created the whole universe, it is through this planet earth in particular, where mankind lives, that God has given us His blessings. Scientists are endlessly searching this universe for life outside the planet earth, wondering if mankind could live in another planet. However, what is more important for us is to know and believe that it is God who indeed made this planet.
There is a fundamental difference between those who believe in God and those who do not. Those who say, �Where is God? Everything came into existence spontaneously,?are trapped in the theory of evolution, and end up living their lives devoid of any hope. �Did God really make the universe and us? If God did not make this universe and all things in it, then how did this planet earth come to exist??The more we examine the dominion of God�s creation, the more we can realize that God indeed made the universe and everything in it. It is written in the Bible, �Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse?(Romans 1:19-20).
When we look at all the animals and plants on this earth, and when we look at the wonders of nature, we can see how God�s power and divinity are nested in them. For instance, with the advent of fall, many dragonflies fly across the sky. Do you know how many different kinds of dragonflies there are all over the world? We know a few kinds, such as darners, emeralds, and skimmers, but it is estimated that there are over 6,000 different types of dragonflies worldwide. When we see this, we are reminded here how God said that He made each animal and plant according to its kind. God said that He created all living creatures according to each kind. We can see this if we turn to His Word.
Because God created every creature according to its kind, we know that there is no creature on this planet that is the same. Some creatures may seem the same in our naked eyes, but when we look more closely, we see that they are quite different. Man was made as man, and animals were made according to their kind. Just because humans and chimpanzees share some similarities, this does not mean that the two are the same. Everything in nature reveals that it was created by God according to His design. All the stars in this universe were also created by God.
How was mankind made? What is mankind? Were we really made by God? Was the planet earth really made by God? When we examine such questions, we can see that all these were indeed created by God. While it would not be an easy task to fully explain how this earth was made, one thing clear is that it was made by God. We have nothing but faith in this matter—as we�ve seen how the Word of God proclaims that it is God who created the heavens and the earth, we know it to be true, for we believe in it.
Let me introduce here a story about Isaac Newton, a scientist who believed in God, and how he made one of his friends, an atheist scientist, come to realize the existence of God and recognize that God did indeed make all the universe. One day, while Newton was observing the space with his telescope, he was visited by this friend. Inspired by the beauty of the stars, Newton handed the telescope over to his friend and said to him, �My friend, take a look at those stars. Can�t you feel the hand of God??Newton�s friend, himself a scientist, then proceeded to mock him while looking at the stars through the telescope.
�You make me laugh! Where is God? I am looking with this telescope, but I see no hand of God, not even His robe!?As fellow students of science, the two men made good friend with each other. So Newton wanted his close friend to also believe in Jesus and receive everlasting life, but there was little he could do, as whenever Newton said anything about Jesus, his friend just kept advocating the theory of evolution and atheism.
Newton then came up with a brilliant idea. He made a very elaborate replica of the globe. After staying up all night for several days, Newton completed the globe, put it on the table, and invited his friend. In those days, a globe was extremely hard to come by, though nowadays it is readily available. Back then, even scientists could not make one so easily. So, when the friend came over to Newton�s house for dinner, he was curious to see the globe on the table. Spinning it around to look, he said to Newton,
�Where did you get this globe? Did you buy it??
Newton answered, �No, I�ve had it from long ago. It just appeared spontaneously by itself, even before my father was born, and it�s been there ever since.?
His friend then said, �What are you talking about? You know, this is not the first time that I�m having dinner on this table. I�ve never seen it before. Where did you buy it??
�I�ve never bought it. It just appeared by itself.?
�Are you kidding me? How can this globe just spring up by itself? Try to make some sense here. How can this globe exist with someone who made it? Don�t be such a fool!?
�Yes, you�re right. I actually made this globe over several days, to give it to you. But here is my point: You mock me for saying that this replica globe just appeared by itself, but then why have you insisted all this time that the real globe came into existence all on its own? Let me ask you one more thing. The Bible says that God created all the realms of both the earth and the heavens. So someone must have made this planet. Could it have just appeared by accident??
�If God did not make the planet earth, how could it exist??
�Well, I suppose it couldn�t exist if it was not made.?
�Can you now believe that God made this planet??
As Newton�s friend pondered on this question, he came to think, �This replica globe exists because there was someone who made it, and so how could this planet exist without its maker??
Newton then said to his friend, �Now do you see that there is God? God made this planet and the universe, but can you believe it??
�Yes, I think I can. Now, I agree with you that a certain supreme being must have created the universe and everything in it.?
�That�s right. God created this planet earth, this universe. And He also made you. Birds and beasts alike, God created everything. Do you now believe??
�Yes, I believe now.?
Newton then opened the Bible and read a passage to his friend: �For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God?(Hebrews 3:4). So Newton�s friend came to realize God�s existence. Now, I am not sure whether this story is true or just a fiction. But I�ve introduced it here as I thought it would really benefit all those who do not believe in God�s existence, refusing to believe in the Word of Truth that God created the heavens and the earth.
What Kind of Creature is Man?
What kind of creature is man? Even though we are all human beings, we are so ignorant of what kind of creature man really is. From the Word of God, we need to first realize who we really are.
What is mankind like? We shouldn�t just look at one�s outside appearance and body, but we should look at what is inside him. Here is a glass that has water in it. So this glass is a glass of water. If this glass had lemonade, however, it would be a glass of lemonade, and if it had milk, it would then be a glass of milk. We know that it�s still a glass, but depending on what�s inside, it can be different types of a glass.
Is mankind good by nature, or is it evil? The Bible says that mankind is evil and filthy by its very nature. It is written in Mark 7:20-22, �What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.?/i> As such, the Bible declares that mankind is filled with all sorts of iniquities.
Humans are born sinners. Therefore, they cannot but commit sin during their entire lifetime. They are wicked and filthy from their very birth. In other words, it�s mankind who has evil sins. Human beings, because they are all born as the descendants of Adam, can never practice virtue. Man is evil by nature. Let me give you some examples.
Which country kicks off practically all fads? Virtually every fad starts from Paris, France. France is the country that is most sensitive to fads, more so than even Britain or the United States. It�s said that French women tend to indulge in quite an extravagance, and they especially love their pets.
A young lady in France was raising a white pig as a pet. As someone who has no pet, I find this hard to understand, but at any rate, the woman raised a white pig as a pet, following the latest fad of the time. She just loved her white pig. It was so cute and cuddly that she could hardly take off her eyes. Its tiny, rolled up tail was so cute, its short legs were so lovely, and its plumb body was so cuddly. She bathed her pig with milk, so that its hair would be all shiny. Not only this, but she even sprinkled it with Montblanc, a famous French fragrance, and named her pig Montblanc as well. Like this, she raised her white pig with all her care and dotted on it.
One day, the woman had to go on a business trip for a week. The problem, though, was this white pet pig. She wasn�t sure whether she should take her pet pig with her or leave it at home. If she took the pig with her, she couldn�t expect to get any business done, but if she just left it at home, she worried that there was no one to bathe it, play with it, and take care of it. So after thinking long and hard, she finally decided to leave the pig at home. She locked the front gate, but she left every door inside her house open for her pig to roam around; she prepared enough food and water to last for a week; and before she left, she gave it a clean bath. She then said to the pig, �My little baby, you take good care of yourself until I�m back from the trip. I�ve got all your food ready here. Roam around all you want inside the house, and sleep on this clean carpet that I�ve laid especially for you.?
Even after all this, she still didn�t want to part from her pig, and so she kissed it for one last time and then finally went out. But even while on the road, all her thoughts were on her beloved pig. She had all sorts of worries, wondering, �Would my little baby pig be okay while I�m away? It won�t fall into the water dish, would it??Finally, after she was done with her business, she returned home the next week.
As soon as she opened the gate, she called out her pig�s name Montblanc, but there was no answer. She looked around everywhere in the house, from the bedroom to the living room and to the kitchen, but her beloved Montblanc was nowhere to be found. Just as she was getting worried sick thinking that someone might have stolen her pig, she heard it oink somewhere. So she tracked this sound and got closer, and when she called out for Montblanc, there were more oinks coming. Where do you suppose this pig was?
Montblanc was sitting on a pile of trash in an outfall that was at the corner of the garden. It had feasted on so much filthy sewage for the past week that its stomach was all plump, lying there in all that filth with its four legs sticking out, but when it heard the voice of its owner calling its name, it was happy to oink to answer. The woman said, �Come up here right away, Montblanc!? but the pig didn�t move. Montblanc didn�t even budge, with its face looking as if to say, �But lady, I like where I am!?The woman had never seen Montblanc with a happier face than this!
It was the first time that the woman saw such a satisfied expression on Montblanc�s face, but only when it was lying on filthy sewage. This troubled her deeply. She said to the pig, �Montblanc, you should never sleep in such a place and never eat such food. You have to eat the bread I give you, drink the milk I give you, play in the clean water I bath you with, and sleep in the clean bed where I tuck you in. You shouldn�t be there. Come up here!? Yet far from climbing up, the white pig stared back at the woman with such a happy face. Little wonder, then, that the woman was so troubled by all this.
Man is like the pig in the above story. By nature, mankind is born with all such filthy sins as lewdness, murders, pride, adulteries, thefts, foolishness, evil thoughts, and so forth, and that is why human beings cannot but commit sin throughout their entire lifetime. Because human beings are born with sin in their hearts by nature (Psalms 51:5), they cannot help but practice wickedness all their lives and fall into despair—this is the nature of mankind.
Would a pig prefer to live inside a human house? From the day it�s born, the pig likes sewage and filth by nature. It would, of course, drink milk if it�s given, but what the pig innately enjoys is sewage. That�s why we mock someone messy as a pig. This is the nature of the pig. Likewise, it�s because human beings are born with sin that they practice wickedness. That is what human beings are.
By nature, is man good or evil, cruel or gentle, clean or filthy? Mankind is filthy because there is sin in its heart. Filthier than anything else is mankind. So the Bible states, �The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it??(Jeremiah 17:9) When we look at someone, we shouldn�t just look at his outside appearance and judge him to be clean and virtuous. The Bible reveals that mankind is filthy and evil, precisely because it sees the filth that is inside each and every human being, and all the sordid and evil things that he holds. From the very birth, everyone is born with all kinds of filthy and sinful desires in his heart.
Over its long history, mankind has beautified itself, for human beings do not know themselves. Man has embellished his outside appearance for thousands of years. But human beings are still fundamentally evil. Let me use an example here to explain how the human heart has murderous desires.
There was a certain chieftain in Africa. One day, while hunting, his son found a cute little leopard cub, and he brought it back to the village. The leopard cub was so cute that the whole village took shine on it, and so the people there raised it, feeding it the same food that they were having. After a few years, this cub grew into a fully mature leopard. The people in the village began to fear the leopard, and they eventually demanded the chieftain to either kill it or drive it far away from the village, as they knew that the leopard would harm them sooner or later. They knew that it could savage anyone in the village, from the chieftain himself to his son and to the village people, and that�s why they sought to either drive it away or kill it.
So the chieftain said to his son, �The people in the village are worried about the leopard, and I myself am also convinced that this leopard will no doubt harm you sooner or later. So we should now either send it off and kill it.?�How can you say that, Father? I�ve fed and raised that leopard for all these years, and so it will never harm anyone. Just look at this.?The son then put his hand into the jaws of the leopard, but the leopard didn�t bite. Even when the son stuck his head into the jaws, the leopard still didn�t sink its teeth, but instead it just opened its mouth wide and licked the son. �Father, as you yourself saw, the leopard is so used to me and knows me so well; so how could it ever harm me? After all, it has never hurt anyone all this time, right? This leopard is unlike any other leopards. Since it was just a cub, it grew up among people, and so it�s not vicious at all. Just look how gentle it is.?With the chieftain�s son opposing so fiercely, the village people could not kill the leopard.
The chieftain then said to the son, �Alright then. But let me propose something here. From now on, don�t feed meat, but feed it with grain. Let�s try to make its nature as docile as possible, like a grazing cow.?So, with the agreement of the village people, the leopard was fed only with grain from then on.
When the chieftain�s son went hunting, he sometimes rode on the back of the leopard. One day, while on such an outing with his friends, the son accidentally fell off a cliff. There wasn�t much that his friends could do right away, as they couldn�t scale down the cliff fast enough, and so it was taking a long time for them to make their way down to the bottom of the cliff where the chieftain�s son was lying injured. However, when the faithful leopard saw this, he leapt swiftly down to the bottom. The leopard was the first to arrive to its injured and bloodied master, and instinctively, he began to lick his body.
In general, it�s an expression of affection when animals lick with their tongues. However, as the leopard kept licking its master�s blood, its eyes began to change. With its eyes turning savage and bloodthirsty, the leopard began to growl. As the carnivorous instinct of the leopard was awakened, it ended up tearing apart its own master�s neck with its claws, and it began to eat his flesh and blood.
The friends of the chieftain�s son saw all this while they were climbing down to the bottom of the cliff. Once having tasted blood, the leopard no longer had gentle eyes as before. So the friends ran to the village and reported it to the chieftain, saying, �The leopard has turned against its own master and killed your son.?The people around said, �We told you so. A leopard is a leopard. It will never turn docile just because it�s fed with bland grain. Why didn�t you hear us when we told you that the leopard is a bloodthirsty, carnivorous animal by nature, and that it will surely act on its instinct sooner or later??The chieftain and the people of the village all regretted, but it was too late.
People believe that if only taught properly, their children can all live virtuously, holding them to be essentially good by nature, and this is how they educate their children. They also say that everyone should be educated, as an uneducated man is no different from a beast. However, education does not make one virtuous. Regardless of how one might learn all about morals and ethics, and how he might be raised with proper parenting, this does not make him virtuous.
Because by nature human beings harbor evil inside them, because they were all fundamentally be born evil, and because they are all wicked beings, they cannot avoid but do evil deeds in their lives. That is why the Bible says that human beings are �a brood of evildoers?(Isaiah 1:4). Mankind is evil by its very nature. The Bible says that man is wicked, utterly perverse, adulterous, and debauched. And it is man who commit thefts and murders. In other words, the very seed of mankind is evil.
Human beings are not virtuous. They are all evil. Each and every human being is all wicked. When circumstances are not ready to commit sin, people pretend to be exceptionally virtuous. But once the circumstances are ready, they reveal their basic nature, just as the leopard in our story had suddenly revealed its instinctive nature. That is why the Bible says that all human beings are sinners. Because of one man�s transgression, everyone became a sinner (Romans 5:12-15). In other words, it�s because of Adam that we were born as sinners. We were fundamentally born as sinful and evil human beings. That�s why mankind is called a brood of evildoers.
We have to fully understand who we are as human beings. Our existence is such that we simply cannot avoid sin. Human beings cannot help but sin until the day they die. So they are all in despair. In his essay �Confession,?Tolstoy likened life to clinging to a branch on a cliff. As told by Tolstoy, a traveler finds himself in a dry well, trying to escape from a wild beast pursuing him. As he makes his way down the well, he sees a dragon at the bottom with its jaws open, symbolizing death. He can neither climb back up for the fear of the beast, nor leap to the bottom for the fear of the dragon, and so he holds onto a branch growing out of the side of the well.
Then he sees two mice, a white one and a black one—symbolizing day and night—going around and around the branch and gnawing at it. The traveler knows that the branch will break sooner or later and he will inevitably perish, but he still sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the branch, and, even under this desperate situation, he is happy to reach them with his tongue and lick them. This, as described by Tolstoy, is what man is. Man is trapped in such a hopeless situation, where death is inevitable and escape nonexistent. Yet despite this, he cannot even realize his desperate situation.
Some people claim with every confidence that they can live without committing any sin, if only circumstances were ideal. They say, �Well, the only reason why I sin is because of bad circumstances.?But can any human being really commit no sin? No, it�s impossible not to commit any sin. Since all human beings were born with a sinful heart by nature, it�s impossible not to sin. That is why everyone cannot avoid but die and be accursed. That is the nature of mankind. Man himself is bound to be accursed, and is completely hopeless.
As we carry on with our lives, could we really commit no sin at all? Of course not! No human being is capable of refraining from sin. Since everyone was born with sin, everyone is a sinner. And death and hell are inevitable to man. That is why God is saying to human beings, who are all such sinners, �The wages of sin is death.?Can you now understand this? So given this hopeless situation, someone must help us. No one can swim to shore from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Like this, we humans are inevitably drowning in an ocean of sin, and so we can survive only if someone saves us. That is why we need a Savior.
To such people like us, who is the Savior then? It is Jesus Christ. All of us are only human, incapable of avoiding sin and destined to hell. According to God�s law, we cannot avoid but be cast into hell, but our Lord came to save us. Our Lord came to save such evil human beings all bound to hell. Our Savior is Jesus Christ. The name Jesus means the Savior, and the name Christ means the anointed King (Matthew 1:21; Daniel 9:25). God the Creator Himself, the Lord who made us, came to save us when we fell into despair. So God is our Savior. Only He can save us.
As Genesis 1:1 declares, �In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,?Jesus Christ is very the Creator God who made the whole universe and everything in it. As this God said, �Let there be light,?the light came to exist. This God who thus commanded to let there be light, is none other than our Savior, Jesus who came to save us. He who has become our Savior, our God, and our Lord, is Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who came to save us from sin. And when He came to save us, He blotted out all our sins. When it says here in today�s main passage that God blessed on the seventh day, it means that God has saved us from sin and given us everlasting life.
The Bible says, �As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment?(Hebrews 9:27). Everyone has to die once. After dying, where does one go if he has sin? He goes to hell. But if he dies after receiving the remission of his sins, where would he go? He will go to Heaven. Everyone must come across death at least once. So because everyone dies once, in a funeral service, we sing, ?#9834;In the sweet by-and-by, ♪we shall meet on that beautiful shore.?If we once cross the spiritual river of Jordan, we will reach the beautiful shore of the spiritual land of Canaan, the Kingdom of Heaven. What our Lord did for us at the Jordan River, at this river of death, is this: He suffered our death and bore our curses in our place.
Is Jesus Really the Savior of Mankind?
Let us once again examine our salvation with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And let us examine if this Jesus, whom we all believe in, has indeed become the Savior who has saved us from the sins of the world. As we turn to Matthew 3:13-15, it is written: �Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, �I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me??But Jesus answered and said to him, �Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.?Then he allowed Him.?/i>
Of all places, why did our Lord come to the Jordan River to be baptized? The Jordan River is the river of death. At this river of death, Jesus was set to take upon our death in our place, the death that mankind should suffer. To save us by blotting out every sin, the reason of the curses of mankind, God Himself had to come to this earth incarnated in our likeness and accept all our sins through His baptism.
Only if Jesus were to accept our sins by being baptized and die in our place, could we then receive the remission of our sins. Why? Because God cannot just consider us sinless even though we still have sin, for He is just. To actually blot out our sins, to die in our place, to give us life with the price of His own death, and to thereby deliver us from our sins—this is the just love of God.
Let us then examine here why Jesus had to be baptized by John the Baptist to save us from sin.
To fulfill His salvation, God Himself designed a plan. His plan was so perfect that it was fulfilled in Christ in His dispensation of the fullness of the times (Ephesians 1:9-10). Because God has accomplished all His will according to His plan, He could rest on the seventh day, and sanctify and bless the day.
To save mankind in His plan, God first sent a man as its representative. Who was this man? It was John the Baptist. Why did God have to raise a representative of mankind? Because through this representative of mankind, God had to pass all its sins onto Himself by the method of baptism, for God�s wisdom is different from ours. So only when God died in our place could our sins be blotted out, and only then could we avoid death and live forever. That is why God sent a man, John the Baptist, as the representative of mankind.
And the Lord Himself then came as the Savior incarnated in the flesh of man. All the sins of mankind could be blotted out only if the Savior Jesus accepted them through the representative of mankind by receiving baptism in the form of laying on of hands. We can come before the presence of God and avoid death only if we are sinless, and that is why God placed John the Baptist in the Jordan River. This is the very wisdom of God. God�s wisdom is far wiser than man�s wisdom. The Bible says that even the foolishness of God is wiser than man�s wisdom.
John the Baptist is the representative of all mankind. It is written, �Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John?(Matthew 11:11-13). As God said so, He made it clear that the greatest of all those born of women—that is, the representative of mankind—is John the Baptist.
In Malachi, God said that He would send Elijah (Malachi 4:5), and this man whom God promised to send as the representative of mankind was none other than John the Baptist. God had first sent the representative of mankind, and then after six months, God Himself came to this earth incarnated in the body of man. Then, through this representative of mankind John, God personally took all the sins of mankind upon His own body by being baptized. Having thus accepted all the sins of mankind and placed them upon Himself, God carried these sins of the world to the Cross. It is because of God�s wisdom that all the sins of the world were passed onto Jesus Christ.
As today�s Scripture passage says, �God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it,?God has indeed blessed mankind. Jesus took upon the sins of the world, in other words. That is why the Bible says, �Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!?(John 1:29) When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, all the sins of the world were passed onto Him. But what about your sins? Were all your sins also passed onto Jesus? Indeed, all your sins were passed onto Jesus as well.
The word baptism means �to be buried, to be washed away, to be passed on, or to be transferred.?Our Lord had to die on the Cross instead of sinners precisely because He had thus accepted mankind�s sins by this fitting method when He was baptized. He had no sin by nature, but because He had accepted mankind�s sins properly, He had to suffer death instead of sinners. As He was baptized in our place and accepted our sins, our hearts were washed from our sins. It was to eradicate all the sins of the entire human race that Jesus Christ was baptized.
Jesus said in Matthew 3:15, �Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.?/i> That it is fitting to fulfill all that is right means this: Because all human beings are sinful and must therefore die, God came to this earth as the Savior to save us from all our sins; having come to this earth, for the Lord to do what is right for these human beings—that is, to send them to Heaven instead of hell—He had to make us sinless; and to make us sinless, He Himself had to take upon all the sins of mankind. Therefore, this work, where Jesus was baptized to blot out all the sins of the world, was the most right work. As Jesus lowered His head to John the Baptist, John, the representative of mankind, laid his hands on His head, thus passing all the sins of mankind to Jesus. This is what was meant by �all righteousness.?And just as Jesus said, �It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,?all righteousness was indeed fulfilled accordingly.
What God accomplished by being baptized for us is what fulfilled �all righteousness.?In other words, �all righteousness? refers to the fact that God has made mankind sinless by taking upon all its sins. That is how God has saved us. Now, as Jesus Christ came up from the Jordan River after being baptized, God opened the gates of Heaven and said, �This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.?/i>
When human beings created by God fell into the temptation of Satan and sinned, to blot out this sin, the Son of God, who is God Himself the Creator of the heavens and the earth, came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man. And to bless us humans to become His own people, God has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we were to remain merely as creatures, we would be nothing, but God renewed us and blessed us, so that we would not be just plain creatures, but receive everlasting blessings as God�s own children, rule over all His creation, and enjoy eternal life. Our Lord took upon all our sins. He carried away all the sins of the world.
That the Lord carried away the sins of the world means precisely this: Jesus shouldered all the sins that we had from the day we were born out of our mothers?wombs, and all the sins that we have ever committed and will ever commit until the day we die. The sinful desires that are inherent from our birth, and the sins that we commit with our acts, all constitute sin without exception. Whether committed with our hearts or acts, sin is simply sin. However, our Lord took upon all these sins through His baptism. Our Lord took away all the sins of the world. The Lord actually bore the sins of the world through His baptism and carried them to the Cross.
From the sins we were born with from our mothers? wombs to the sins that we committed until the age of 10, all of them were passed onto Jesus. Jesus carried away all the sins of the world. The sins that we committed afterwards, from the age of 11 to 25, were also all passed onto Jesus. If we were to live until the age of 100, all the sins committed from the age of 26 to 100 were passed onto Jesus as well. Do you believe in this, my fellow believers? All the sins of the world were indeed passed onto the body of Jesus. How? Because God lives forever, He was able to take away all the sins of everyone in this world, from its beginning to its end. When viewed from the timeless dimension of God, who is the Alpha and the Omega, mankind�s problem of sin that lies in its limited and bound time is nothing. From God�s eternal dimension of time, this thing called �the sin of the world?can all be passed at once and blotted out once and for all.
Our Lord Jesus is the eternal Being. He who lives forever created this world, and He will exist until the end of this world and beyond. This planet will disappear in the future. The sins of the world refer to all the sins that human beings have ever committed and will ever commit on this planet earth from the day it was created to the day it disappears. Jesus was able to take upon all these sins of the world once and for all, and He was able to save the entire human race from all these sins once and for all.
What about our parents?sins? Do these sins also belong to the sins of the world? Yes, they, too, all belong to the sins of the world. All these sins were also passed onto Jesus. Those of you who are single will eventually get married and have your own children, and the sins of these children also belong to the sins of the world. All the sins that they are to commit were passed onto Jesus as well. There is therefore no sin in this world.
Our God is the God of love. He loved each and every human being, and He blotted out everyone�s sins. So, when it says here that God blessed the seventh day, it means that God blessed everyone whom He made. God has given us the Word of everlasting life. Put differently, God has given us the blessing of the remission of our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is through this gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord has saved us from all our sins.
Why was Jesus crucified while shouldering the sins of the world? It�s because Jesus had been baptized that He died justly in our place. He bore the suffering that we should have borne. While dying on the Cross, Jesus said, �It is finished.?By this, He meant, �I have completed My work of salvation, of saving you from all your sins.?
After dying on the Cross, Jesus rose from the dead again on the third day. Why? Because Jesus had come to save us, He had to take upon all our sins and die, and now, God the Father had to bring this Son back to life so that we may be saved from all our sins by believing in the living Lord. If He had just died on the Cross and never rose from the dead again, then we would never have been saved. It�s because our Lord blotted out our sins, rose from the dead again, and is now alive that by believing in this Lord with our hearts, we have received the remission of our sins by the grace of God. To receive this remission of sin is to receive God�s gift and to be blessed by Him. God has blessed us to be born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
It is written, �God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it?Genesis 2:3). Since God Himself blotted out all the sins of the world, everyone was sanctified. Even though everyone may still seem imperfect in his outside appearance, God has blessed all to be sanctified and perfected by faith. That is why our Lord said in Hebrews 10:18, �Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.?/i> Our God has become the true Savior of us humans. He has given us tremendous blessings.
Now, even though all human beings are invariably evil and sinful, they can still receive the remission of their sins if they believe in God�s existence and what He has done for our salvation. We can realize that it was to make us God�s own children in His plan that God first bound us under sin and permitted us our many weaknesses as well. By nature, we were all fragile creatures, but to make us His children according to His plan, God made us believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and be born again.
From the very beginning, God wanted to bless us to become His own children. That is why God blessed the seventh day after making everything from the first day to the sixth day. God has blessed us humans. He has blessed the whole universe and all things in it. Our God has saved us from all our sins.
Once We Are Remitted from Our Sins and Made Righteous, Would We Sin More or Less?
Some people think, �Once I receive the remission of my sins, I can just commit as many sins as I want, since I am supposed to be sinless, right??That is not the case. On the contrary, when one is made sinless, he stays away from sin even more. Before, we committed sin enslaved and dragged by it, but now because we have been saved through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we are no longer slaves to sin. And those who have received the blessing of the remission of their sins—that is, those who believe that the Lord came to this earth and has saved them—live their lives practicing the righteousness of God.
The righteous can deny themselves and follow the will of the Lord because of the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. No matter how evil this world might be, they still deny themselves and practice the righteousness of God in their lives according to the will of the Lord. They live united with the Church and preaching the gospel. And they pray to God and are helped by Him in all things, for they have received the right to become God�s own children. Just as the Bible says, �The just shall live by faith?(Romans 1:17), the righteous indeed live by faith.
The born-again who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are righteous people. God said, �Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.?/i> In other words, God rested in peace precisely because He Himself blessed His creatures and completed them.
The Lord is our Savior. It�s the Lord who has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All of us must live by this faith. Yet countless people still do not have this faith, living their lives of faith without it.
For instance, the followers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church do not work on Saturdays. They do this to keep the Sabbath, but this is not what is meant when the Bible says that we should keep the Sabbath on the seventh day. God did not tell us keep the Sabbath just to observe a day. Yet even to this day, Adventists still continue to mark a specific day of the week as the Sabbath and keep it holy. For them, the Sabbath is marked from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. This is how it works out, if we were to place the Old Testament�s Sabbath on a certain day of the week.
However, when God told us to keep the Sabbath, He meant that we should keep our hearts. In other words, God gave the Sabbath so that we would keep our faith in His salvation, believing that the Lord has blessed us and God has saved us. Our Lord has blessed us. He has saved us. It is our faith in this that God is telling us to keep by giving us the Sabbath.
The whole world does not run on the same clock. There are differences in time depending on where you are. When it�s day here, it�s night over there; when it�s Sunday there, it�s still Saturday here. So how can we keep the exact Sabbath day? When you fly past the International Date Line, you either lose a day or gain a day. So given the time differences, it makes no sense to keep the Sabbath exactly by the hour. We have to realize here that when our Lord told us, �Keep the Sabbath holy,?He was telling us to keep our faith in the Truth, that the Lord has made us holy and blotted out all our sins.
Countless people still have sin in their hearts. However, whoever believes in the Truth has no sin because of God�s grace. God said, �Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more?(Romans 5:20). Just as God said so, human beings, who had so many sins, now no longer have any sin whatsoever. That is why we are that much more grateful. This is the mystery of the gospel.
As the Bible says, when God finished all His work of creating and making, He rested on the seventh day. Not realizing this, however, many people are still asking God to forgive their sins. There are those who, even as they believe in Jesus, still give prayers of repentance everyday asking God to forgive their personal sins, for they believe that only their original sin was remitted. All such people do not realize what God has done for them.
The Book of Genesis, particularly its early part, is the blueprint of the whole Bible. Put differently, all God�s plan is contained in the Word of Genesis. If one has faith in the Word of the early part of Genesis based on the correct knowledge about it, he can have the discerning eye to see the whole Bible. That is why I teach this part in detail to the students of our Mission School.
God said that He blessed the seventh day, but have you really received these blessings of the seventh day? Is there any sin remaining in your hearts that God still needs to blot out? No, even though we are insufficient, we no longer have any sin that needs to be blotted out by God. God has blessed us. None other than to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is to be blessed.
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to this earth and blotted out our sins by being baptized. He eradicated all the sins of mankind. He expunged all the sins of the world. It�s because our Lord had already wiped out all our sins at that time that He is now resting in peace. That is why He said, �God blessed the seventh day?because in it He rested.?The Sabbath is a day of rest. God rested in peace because there was nothing more to do.
Out of His love for us, our Lord has saved human beings that fell into sin. It�s because the Lord has perfectly saved such accursed and hopeless human beings that He can now rest. Had He not completed this work to perfection, He would not be able to rest, but would continue to work even now.
The only thing that we have to do is to believe in this gospel of the water and the Spirit, through which the Lord has made us whole, and spread its message. Our present duty is to proclaim the Lord�s resurrection, His victory, His triumph over Satan, and His eradication of all the Devil�s deception, death, and curses. Our Lord has entrusted with only one task, and it is to preach the gospel. He has entrusted with this work, to spread the good news that the Lord has blessed us, and that He has saved us.
Indeed, God has blessed all of us to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Hallelujah!