“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Did you have a good dinner? This is the first time that we haven’t held any sporting events while holding our revival meetings. Our ministers and I were so tired and exhausted that as soon as we went into our rooms, we collapsed and fell asleep. Perhaps we are all too stressed out and feel very tired in both body and spirit these days from having labored so hard to serve the gospel.
The Reason Why We Must Share in God’s Good Work Is Clear
Galatians 6:6-7 say, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” The Apostle Paul told us here that he who is taught the Word should share in all good things with him who teaches. I believe that if we lead our lives of faith with a clear understanding of the meaning of this passage, our lives of faith will be at ease and wonderful, like a boat sailing in a friendly breeze.
We must share in all good things with God’s Church. First of all, we must share in the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is critically important for us to share our faith in the Lord and His works together with the Church. If God’s servants or saints who have received the remission of their sins do not share in all good things with the Church, they may encounter many needless difficulties. Since God has commanded us to share in good things with His Church, we have to unite with God placing our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that saves us from all our sins. The saints of Galatia did not do this, and that is why the Apostle Paul admonished them like this.
Those Who Tried to Become God’s People by Receiving Physical Circumcision
The Apostle Paul said, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). In other words, if one believes on his own that he can wholly become a descendant of Abraham only if he accepts both the gospel of the water and the Spirit and physical circumcision as well, then his faith itself is extremely wrong. God has saved us from all our sins through the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, but despite this, if we were to create our own strange gospel and believe in it, then we would be committing a grave wrongdoing before God. The faith of the saints of Galatia could not be more wrong, for they tried to strengthen their faith and wholly become God’s people by emulating the faith of the circumcisionists.
The believers in the churches of Galatia were not saved from their sins by receiving circumcision in their flesh. Therefore, the faith of the circumcisionists was an erroneous faith that utterly ignored the grace of God. God has saved us from all our sins once and for all through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we should wholeheartedly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as it is written the Word of God, and we should come before God by this faith. The problem in the churches of Galatia, however, was that there were some people who believed that they were saved from sin by a false faith of their own making, instead of believing in this genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The word “mock” in today’s Scripture passage means “to laugh at, to despise or to disregard.” In other words, God is saying here that those who try to become Christians by receiving physical circumcision are actually mocking and despising God with their own fake faith. Since their faith is placed in the salvation of their own making, they are in effect claiming that there is nothing God has done for them.
Whenever I have time, I think about world mission and other various works of God. All my heart is completely dedicated to the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Even today, I had a discussion with fellow ministers on how we could better serve this beautiful gospel. There are several projects that I have been preparing and implementing together with God’s Church to serve this God-given gospel. For you to participate in these projects together with me is to participate in the Great Commission and to follow the Lord. Rather than deciding to do something on your own, it’s indispensable for you to reflect on what you can do to help God’s Church to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and to participate in its work by faith. It is when our hearts share in the faith of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the work of spreading the gospel will proceed rapidly.
As the Apostle Paul said, “Share in all good things with him who teaches,” all the principles of serving the gospel are contained in this passage. Paul also said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Since Paul told us not to follow him in sinning, but to share in all good things, it’s right for all of us to do so. Since the Apostle Paul’s faith is upright, and it is right for us to serve the Lord like him, serving God’s work with our hearts united with the Apostle Paul is to work with God. That is why the Apostle Paul told us, “Share in all good things with him who teaches.” If we understand this Word and follow it, we will receive spiritual blessings.
The Apostle Paul made it clear that the righteous should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and preach it, rebuking the fallacious faith of those who were advocating physical circumcision at that time. If the Apostle Paul told us to share in all good things, then in this age and time, what should you and I do? Our responsibility is simple: You and I should come before God with our hearts believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and ruminating on this genuine gospel everyday, we should unite with the works of God’s Church. If we decide on a certain issue after everyone’s consultation, then all that remains for us to do is just pool all our resources and share in our work.
There are certain ventures that we are working on by faith in order to find the financial means necessary to spread the gospel. In some ways, they may seem like reckless projects, but these works are not for the fulfillment of any individual’s ambition, but we are doing them to spread the gospel. So if all of us share in these works, we will surely taste God’s blessings together. When we share in good works, we come to serve the Lord well and have stronger faith, and we will receive His blessings abundantly. If you don’t participate in the works carried out by God’s Church, and instead your mind veers off elsewhere thinking that God has entrusted to you something else, then you will not be able to serve the Lord any more.
In the past few years, a few people left us to go into the world after serving the gospel of the water and the Spirit with us. In reality, they left God’s Church because they did not completely believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with us. Put differently, these people left denouncing God’s Church precisely because they could not unite their hearts with the righteous owing to their unbelief in this genuine gospel.
In fact, if God’s servants serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit at the forefront, then the saints are required to follow their leaders’ footsteps by faith. Even so, do the leader servants insist on the saints to give offerings? No, they don’t, and yet some people still found it hard to abide in God’s Church. There is only one reason for this: They did not truthfully believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All that the Church admonished them was to defend and spread their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
They wished God’s Church would offer some venues to address their carnal needs, but we were singularly devoted to world mission, holding revival meetings every month, preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit everyday, and living for the righteousness of God every moment. They left us because they were tired of this. Of course, this was in part due to the fact that they were led to temptation, but fundamentally speaking, those who left God’s Church did so because they followed their own greed and refused to be with God’s Church. It’s because their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit was not established firm enough in their hearts that they left God’s Church. They should have shared in all good things with the Church, listening to the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their ears and believing in it with their hearts, but they failed to do so, and that is why they left.
As we are gathered at this hour, should I preach invoking the words of such irrelevant philosophers as Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, and Hegel? What use is it to hear such people’s arguments for our lives of faith? We don’t discuss the latest cultural trends or comment on the current events. All that we need to do is just preach in detail what the Word of God is actually saying to us, and share in God’s good works. The problem, however, is that too many people fail to do this, and instead live their lives of faith in whatever way they deem fit—this is why they are to face their spiritual death.
The saints of the churches of Galatia were leading their lives of faith all on their own. Even though the Apostle Paul had never taught them so, Christians in Galatia had taken their faith and the gospel on their own, and they believed in whatever way they chose. That is why the Apostle Paul said, “If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).
What Is the Gospel Preached by the Apostle Paul?
There was a time when I had no idea what ‘the gospel preached by the Apostle Paul’ was all about. I thought, “In the Bible, there are the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew, but what is the gospel that Paul preached? It’s strange. Paul said, “If anyone preaches any gospel other than the gospel I preached, let him be accursed,” but does this mean that there is another gospel apart from the gospel of the blood of the Cross? Was Paul so spiritual that the gospel he believed in was somewhat different?”
Before I was born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I did not know this true gospel, and I only believed in the blood of the Cross. However, after being born again, I finally came to understand that the gospel preached by Paul was none other than the gospel containing both the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross.
Whenever the Apostle Paul mentioned the gospel, he was clearly speaking of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God was pleased when the saints believed in the gospel preached by Paul and united their hearts with Paul’s endeavor to spread this gospel, praying, believing, and serving with Paul. If we have this faith, there is no problem.
However, the people of the churches of Galatia were following a gospel different from the gospel of the water and the Spirit. They were leading their lives of faith based on a gospel of their own making. That is why they all ended up going astray when the circumcisionists came into the churches of Galatia, despite the fact the Apostle Paul had preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them countless times in his effort to correct them.
Now, we must listen closely to the Apostle Paul’s words, share in good works, and lead our lives of faith by having the same faith as that of Paul. Since God has told us to share in good works, if we want to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then all that we have to do is share our efforts with God’s work in whatever we do.
I am so glad that our ministers don’t sit around idly only to copy off someone else’s sermons when the hour of sermon comes. Our ministers work more than the saints. How wonderful is it that our ministers are serving the Lord at the forefront and sharing with the saints, that they desire to preach the gospel all over the world rather than seeking to nurture their individual churches, that they want to obey God’s commandment and accept His will, that they are following the will of the Lord, and that they are spreading the gospel according to this will of God, not for their own private purposes? It’s so wonderful that there is nothing to quarrel here, nor any reason to exalt ourselves. It is so good for us to be faithful to the task that each of us has been assigned, serving the Lord united with the Church. How wonderful are such lives of ours before God?
My fellow believers, we are doing God’s work together. When the predecessors of faith obey and serve the will of the God first, then you should also pray for this work and labor together. To do so, you have to participate wholeheartedly and share in God’s work directly as well. That’s because God has told us to share in good works. Don’t we do every work for the spreading of the gospel, rather than for fulfilling our individual desires? Instead of saying just with our words, “I’ll live for the Lord! Lord, I believe in You!” and then actually living only for ourselves, we should really believe with our hearts and actually offer ourselves to carry out God’s work. The Apostle Paul was encouraging all the saints to do God’s work together.
What, if anything, can ever be achieved by the pastors who are not born again even if they minister zealously, shouting out everyday, pounding on the pulpit, and extolling their congregation only to give more offerings? No matter how successfully they might minister for themselves, all that they are able to achieve in their lifetime is building a church chapel.
At God’s Church, in contrast, those who have been born again through the gospel of the water and the Spirit work together to spread the gospel all over the world. It’s because this work is God’s good work that all of us participate in it together. When we share in good works, all things work together to fulfill goodness and the gospel is spread. That is why we must lead our lives of faith together with the Church.
Uniting with God’s Good Work Is to Live a Proper Life of Faith
While each of us must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit individually to receive the remission of sin, we have to unite with God’s Church if we want to serve the Lord, obey His will, and lead a proper life of faith. Once we receive the remission of our sins, we must be with God’s Church. In other words, when we see how our predecessors of faith and the Church reach a certain decision and set the direction, then we should march forth together in union with them. The newly born again saints only have to follow those ahead of them. The right life of faith is lived by following what God’s Church determines to be right, and by participating in its decisions. We must participate in God’s good work wholeheartedly by faith. That is the secret to following the will of God. We will then be approved by God. For us to participate in good works is none other than to lead a proper life of faith.
Is a proper life of faith something that requires us to pray a lot individually, see visions individually, understand the Word individually, and bear witness to others individually? No, that is not the case. If God’s Church sets its goal to preach the gospel all over the world according to His will, then we should also participate in God’s work together, also setting our hearts to preach the gospel throughout the entire world. Those who have received the Holy Spirit do not serve the Lord by their own will, but rather, as they believe in God and trust the Church, they come to participate in the works of the Church as a matter of course. So when I discuss gospel works with my fellow workers, I voice my opinion strongly, but when my coworkers are right, I agree with them also. I believe that above all, it is extremely important for us to be united with God’s work.
We are now engaged in world evangelism. Our single-mindedness will carry out this work successfully and accelerate the ministry of spreading the gospel. The purpose for everything we do is the spreading of the gospel. Only if we work to raise financial resources can we share the bread of life with everyone all over the world for free; otherwise, it will not be possible. For us to participate in God’s good work in order to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit further is to lead our lives of faith successfully. It is very simple to lead a proper life of faith. When God’s Church prays for its ministry, we should pray together, and if we can physically participate in its work, we should labor together. This is how to share in good works. Except for stealing, it’s proper for us to share in all good works that God’s Church is carrying on.
God commanded us to share in good things with those who teach His Word to us, and this is how to lead a proper life of faith. It doesn’t take anything else to lead an upright life of faith before God. We cannot lead a proper life of faith alone, no matter how faithfully we devote ourselves to the work of God and how fervently we pray for it individually. If we participate in the work of God’s Church to spread the gospel—that is, if we share in the good works that please God—then our faith will grow together.
The Secret to Spiritual Growth
Our hearts are rejoicing and happy when we participate in the works of God’s Church. If we do so, even though we may get tired in the flesh, we are still rejoicing. In Luke chapter one, it is written that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped in joy when she heard the greeting of Mary who came to deliver the good news.
Like this, when we participate in the work of spreading the gospel, the Holy Spirit is also rejoicing in our hearts. My fellow believers, you probably didn’t like it at first when you were told to go out to bear witness, but once you actually did this, you saw for yourselves how the Holy Spirit in you was rejoicing, and so your hearts were also joyful. It is when we participate in God’s good work that our faith in God grows strong. In fact, those who share in the good works that please God are leading a far better life of faith than those who only read God’s Word while fasting and praying for three days.
The Apostle Paul said here, “Share in all good things with him who teaches.” Then all that we have to do is also share in God’s work. What is the motto for our Church? What is it written in our church bulletin? Our main motto is this: “Preach the gospel all over the world.” The purpose of our ministry is the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And the next two mottos are: “Boast about the Lord’s inheritance,” and “Persevere in hope.” The Lord told us not to take pride in or be saddened by our own faith, but to boast about the Lord’s gospel. Isn’t it only a matter of course that we should proclaim the gospel all over the world, endure in patience, and have hope? So the proper life of faith is led when we preach the gospel throughout the world together with God’s Church enduring in patience, and in hope.
Some of you may wonder, “How should I lead my life of faith? Why is it so hard and difficult for me to follow the Lord like this? Why am I so insufficient, when I am trying so hard everyday?” If you are facing such difficulties, that’s because you have been trying to lead your life of faith only by yourself without uniting with God’s Church. We must participate in God’s work wholeheartedly. The Lord will then be rejoiced and He will work in this to fulfill His will.
Psalm 133:1-2 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.”
God’s blessings are bestowed upon all those who abide in His Church and participate in His good work. If God has spoken to the leader servant and blessed him, then His blessings flow down all the way to those who share with them. That is why God says, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” He is saying that such blessings await those who share together.
Therefore, all that we have to do is just share with God’s Church. If God’s Church devotes itself day and night to the proclamation of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we should also devote ourselves to the gospel with the Church. Would God be pleased if we stop preaching the gospel all over the world and spread it only in Korea? No, He will not be pleased. Would the Lord be rejoiced if we did participate in what the Church is doing? No, He will not be rejoiced.
I treasure each and every worker of God. I believe that those among the saints who unite with God’s Church wholeheartedly are also His workers. I cherish all of them. However, I don’t cherish those who don’t unite with God’s Church. If someone comes to this meeting and hears me preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and he just thinks, “I’m so tired of hearing the phrase ‘the gospel of the water and the Spirit’ so frequently,” then I ask him to go to some other church that is more suitable to his taste. Every time I open my mouth, I only preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Those among us who are looking for something else other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit should go somewhere else. Why? Because they are not united in participating in God’s good work.
We are God’s servants. The Lord has saved us from sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So we are God’s people who have received the remission of sin by believing in His Word, and participating in His work. We believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, share in good works with those preaching the Word of God, and abide by the God-spoken Word together. It’s because the Lord said that He is rejoiced by our labor to spread the gospel all over the world that we have devoted our hearts to this mission. It’s not our achievements that please the Lord, but the Lord is rejoiced to see us setting our goal and marching toward it according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
However, some pastors may say, “That’s not my style of ministry. I’ve decided to first increase my congregation to 30,000, and then start spreading the gospel throughout the world.” A certain pastor said that he would never plant a new church until his own congregation grew to 10,000. But, is this the will of God? No, he is just pursuing his own greedy dream.
What pleases the Lord is preaching the gospel. Those who have united with the Church having set their goal on the preaching of the gospel are the ones who are in union with the will of the Lord. Whether one’s individual faith is strong or weak, everyone must first believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and reach his salvation. This is the most urgent thing for everyone to do. Then, he must participate in the works of God’s Church. That’s all that anyone has to do; if anyone does this, he will then succeed in his life of faith.
It Is Never Too Difficult for Us to Share in Good Things
Do I emphasize anything else other than the gospel of the water and the Spirit to you? I am very busy these days because I have launched a new business project. I spend almost all time on this venture. It’s because we must support the spreading of the gospel that we continue to open new ventures to work together, and it’s for this reason that both you and I alike are participating in God’s good work.
Isn’t it the case? Of course it is. It’s not because we are somehow experts at certain tasks that we labor for the gospel, but it is because we want to participate in good works. We assess the good and the bad according to whether or not something is beneficial to the spreading of the gospel. We also decide every policy by this standard. You only have to believe that God’s Church seeks to serve the gospel according to His will, and follow the steps of the leader servants. Our minds will then be all in peace. Since we are not asking anything else from each other, we are comfortable to approach each other.
There is just one thing that I want from you; I admonish you to believe that there is no other gospel besides the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Everyone must receive the remission of sin by believing wholeheartedly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Once we have been born again, we then need to serve the gospel by faith. God is pleased when we spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world.
That is why I am asking you to participate in the Church’s work to serve the gospel of the water and the Spirit. This is all I want from you. Since I am also a member of the Church, I share in its evangelical ministries, and so do you as you participate in them for this reason. For all of our lives, there is no other purpose or goal but the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Our Goal Is Unchanging
From the very beginning until now, after more than a decade, we have never changed the purpose of our Church, and we will never change it, even if the heavens were to fall. So I say to everyone in all honesty: “The endeavor of our Church is to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Whoever shares this goal with us is our friend and our colleague.” There is no other purpose for our lives but to proclaim the gospel. Whatever happens to us, we live for the glory of God, leading a life that’s most fitting to the God-spoken Word, and abiding in the Church according to the purpose for which He has called us.
For you to join the leader servant of God is very simple. All that you have to do is just believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, pray for the work of preaching the gospel, and share in this work according to the ability and wisdom that God has given you. This is how to unite with your predecessors of faith.
Recently, God’s Church purchased a building. We made this purchase because it would be beneficial to the gospel, not because of any other purpose. All the ministers consented to this purchase by faith. They all agreed to the purchase plan because it was aimed to serve the gospel more effectively. God told us to share in all good things, and so whatever we do, we do it for the benefit of the gospel.
Although a proper life of faith may seem difficult and complicated, it is actually very simple and straightforward. Whatever benefits the gospel, we should participate in it. It’s that simple. This is all that the Lord wants from us. Since the Lord told us to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the only thing we have to do is really believe in it with our hearts. God commends those who are saved by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as good and faithful people. As God seeks to preach the gospel all over the world, He is admonishing us to participate in this endeavor, and if we do indeed share in this work, He will call us faithful and good.
There is nothing complicated to consider here, nor any reason to be conscious of what others might say. Since God has commanded to us to share in good things, it is only proper for us to obey our predecessors of faith and follow them, uniting with them by faith. This is how to lead a life of upright faith. Is it appropriate for us to ignore our predecessors of faith? No, it’s inappropriate. If we ignore those who are ahead of us, we ourselves will also be ignored. It’s precisely because God has commanded us to share in good things, and because preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit throughout the world is a good thing, that when we see our predecessors’ faith devoted to this work, we also take part in this endeavor.
My fellow believers, do you find it hard to carry on with your lives of faith? You probably are facing many difficulties. Yet in spite of this, rather than just thinking about your troubles, you should pick up your cross and look toward the Lord to follow Him. Are you alone in facing a hard time, or is everyone else also going through a tough time? Hardship falls on everyone. When you really think about it, you will see that no one is actually burden-free. When you are going through a hard time, it’s easy for you to think, “I’m the only one going through such hardships,” but if you look around more carefully, you will see that everyone else is also going through some tough times.
Given the fact that we find rest only through faith, and that there is no one who is perfectly trouble-free in the flesh, everyone has many worries and anxieties. That is why God told us to bear one another’s burden (Galatians 6:2). There is no reason to point fingers at one another. While each of us should take up his own burden, there still are times when we need to be supportive and uplifting to each other, acknowledge one another, and extend our helping hands to one another. Whether we are better or worse than anyone else, all of us must lead our lives of faith in this way.
There Was a Time When I, Too, Used to Struggle in Both Body and Spirit
Even for me, it’s not because I find it effortlessly easy that I am working boldly before God. There is no one who walks boldly because it’s so easy. I also have had too many troubles and problems that tied me down. There were so many obstacles that blocked me from going ahead that I have made up my mind to deliberately ignore them all and run in full speed toward the gospel.
God has allowed hardship to everyone. In other words, God permits trials, lest anyone would turn arrogant if he serves the gospel only with his own strength. When the Apostle Paul was suffering from an illness and he prayed earnestly to God three times to heal him, the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). In other words, the Lord has permitted trials to each of our individual lives so that we may humble ourselves by realizing our insufficiencies.
That is why when the saints are going through a difficult time, their predecessors of faith should share fellowship with them, rebuking them if they need to be rebuked, but showing compassion if they need to be consoled. We should not condemn one another or despise each other, saying, “This guy is hopeless!” He who points his finger at someone else has ten times more faults.
And no matter how some workers might have shortcomings, if they share in our good works, then they are precious. What is a far more serious problem is for someone not to share in the good work within God’s Church. If some saints are too proud to abide in God’s Church and try to lead their lives of faith in their own way, then we need to rebuke them forcefully so that they may turn around. If, on the other hand, they abide in God’s Church, then we should treasure them even if they are insufficient. That is the right guidance.
When God has told us to share in good things, could we ignore spiritual order in His Church? When the spiritual order is undermined, the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot be spread. That is why if you want to participate in good works, you have to share in the spiritual order established by God. You shouldn’t simply give up because it’s too hard, nor should you be too arrogant to say, “Look at me. I’m better than you,” just because it’s easy for you. Rather, whether you are insufficient or gifted in God’s Church, you need to participate in the works that God has entrusted to you and serve the gospel together with your predecessors. It is the Lord’s will for us to share in good things and seek the benefit of the gospel no matter what; as such, there is no reason why we should give up the Lord’s work when we feel we are not good enough, nor any reason why we should feel superior to anyone else. Although each of us has a different personality, what the Lord wants from all of us is to share in His good works in His order.
As a matter of fact, if only the gospel is served anyway and the Lord’s will is fulfilled somehow, then we are still rejoicing even if our pride is demolished. Regardless of whether we are happy or sad, rejoicing or suffering, we must trust in the Lord, look toward Him, and run our race steadfastly. We have to trust that the Lord will solve all our problems, set our sight on Him, pray to Him, and just run our race by faith.
The Bible says, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). If we are united in the good works of God, then even when we are reunited after working far away from each other for a long time, we will still remain close to each other and be happy to do whatever contributes to fulfilling God’s will. Even though our work is hard, we are still happy if we are united in our endeavor. When we are not united, on the other hand, our hearts are uncomfortable.
I feel uncomfortable to face someone who does not share in God’s good works. God also feels uncomfortable with such a person. God will rebuke him asking, “Do you really care for Me? Do you want to live according to My will, or just yourself?” The Lord knows everything. He knows that we are insufficient. So there is nothing else that we can say but this: “Lord, I’m indeed insufficient. Still, You have saved me from my sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, made me one of Your people, and told me to carry out the work that pleases You and delights You. I will do my part in this work.” We have nothing else but these words to say. Leading a proper life of faith is not that complicated or difficult; all that we have to do is just live like this.
Once we participate in good works, we will see our spiritual growth as well as improvements in our physical lives. Knowledge and wisdom will also spring in our hearts, and we will put on the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It’s because we share in good works that we see spiritual improvements; if we otherwise don’t work together, then there is no blessing.
Just because you determine yourselves, “I’ll make myself more spiritual,” and read the Bible and pray the whole day, do you really become spiritual? You should participate in the work that pleases the Lord, pray together for the work of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, work together when you are asked to work, and fight together when a stand must be made. This is to share in good things. A man of faith wants earnestly to share in all good things. His faith will grow rapidly, and he will be also blessed in the flesh also. You have probably witnessed this and experienced it yourselves.
God blesses those who, after being born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, participate in good works and live by faith. If one believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and participates in good works before God, this in itself is honoring God. If, on the other hand, anyone claims to serve the Lord faithfully, when he doesn’t even believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit nor participates in good works, then he is only mocking God. God clearly said that no one should mock Him, but there still are such people. To mock God is to ridicule and scorn God. If someone who hasn’t even united his heart to God’s work says to Him, “I have lived for You like this,” then he is only making a mockery out of God and trying to deceive Him.
God also scorns such people. Since the Lord has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, not to believe in this is to scoff at God. It is written, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). If we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we will be saved. And if we trust in God and participate in the good work of spreading the gospel, we will receive the blessings of faith, and we will be blessed in both body and spirit. You probably experienced this yourselves, how God actually blessed you when you participated in His good work. When someone wholeheartedly participates in the Lord’s work by faith, God will fill all his insufficiencies in various ways and help him. We must actually share in good works. We shouldn’t just pretend to participate. It’s difficult for us to live entirely for the gospel if there still is too much dross of the flesh in our hearts. However, once we unite with the Church, then the dross is removed, and we can really taste joy and live by faith according to the Lord’s will.
A certain minister once said to me, “I’ve had such and such problems, and I am just too weary to carry on with my ministry.” But this is not something that should be said by anyone who participates in God’s work. As Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23), everyone is burdened. Where is anyone who has no burden? Whoever has no burden is someone who is not with the Lord. Everyone has his own burden.
It’s also because we participate together in good works that we love and cherish one another. Although we are all different in our personalities, we are one in our hearts’ desire to serve the gospel, and therefore all of us can throw away even our own self-respect and personalities. As God says, “Love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8), if we indeed are joined together in our endeavor to serve the gospel, then all our blemishes will be buried.
My fellow believers, is your life of faith easy or difficult to lead? Once you set your hearts to participate in God’s good work placing your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, it’s easy. However, if you do not set your minds and try to lead your lives of faith according to your circumstances in whatever style you prefer, then you will find it very hard to carry on with your lives of faith well. Would you rather lead this kind of life, a life of faith that is constantly struggling with hardship, where one problem solved is followed by yet another problem? If not, then you have to set your hearts firmly and run your race by faith.
You may think that you are the only one going through the toughest time, but is there really anyone who is not facing hardship as you are? No, everyone is struggling. I, too, am facing many difficulties. But then again, I really don’t have any hardship. That’s because I’ve entrusted all my difficulties to God. What can I do when there is nothing among my difficulties that I can take care of by myself? I face many difficulties precisely because I am powerless to solve them, but I still look toward the Lord and leave my problems at His feet. I then take my part in the work that pleases the Lord.
That’s how we should all move forward. Being downtrodden does not solve any problem, and so rather than succumbing to self-pity, we should look toward the Lord and participate in the work that pleases the Lord. That is the blessed way. If we participate in God’s work by faith, we can live by the strength coming from the Lord, and He gives us the ability and blesses us to bear abundant fruits for His righteous work. To live by faith is to be blessed in both body and spirit. That is why we are so happy, living in His Church.
What happiness can be found in our hearts if we have not been born again? What else can make you so happy and content in this declining age? Unless you receive the remission of your sins, all that awaits you is more wrinkles in your faces. Even if you have received the remission of sin, life is equally lacking joy unless you have enough faith to participate in proclaiming the gospel. How can we be joyful when there is neither any purpose nor any hope? What joy is there if you don’t serve the gospel? There is absolutely no joy whatsoever. It’s because people can’t find any joy at all that they spend their entire lifetime obsessed with something, trying to escape from their dry and meaningless lives. We the born-again, in contrast, are happy and rejoicing in our hearts, precisely because we are serving the gospel.
My fellow believers, are you weary? I, too, am weary. But, do you still believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I believe that you do. My hope is that you would be strengthened in this faith and share in the good work that proclaims the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world. Do you indeed share in this precious mission? If so, then you are blessed people. A proper life of faith is not constituted with just empty phrases. It is an actual life with real substance. For all your worries and anxieties to disappear, you must entrust them all to the Lord. When you lay down all your worries at the Lord’s feet, He will tell you that He will take them all away. If we do what pleases the Lord, He will make all our lives prosper, and He will keep us all.
The longer we carry on with our lives of faith, the more our insufficient sides are revealed. I say this to you again that you have to ruminate on the gospel of the water and the Spirit whenever your insufficiencies are revealed. Just ruminate on this gospel in your hearts, and take part in God’s good work. Then God will address all your shortcomings in the days to come. He will fix them for sure through someone, whoever he might be.
When a woman puts dry beans into a mortar to pound, some beans will inevitably fly off the mortar. She would then first pound the beans that are still in the mortar, and then gather together all the beans that went flying, put them in the mortar, and pound them again. Even then, some beans will still fly off again. In that case, the woman would put them back in the mortar and this time, instead of pounding, she would crush and grind them, so that they won’t fly out again. How much would it hurt to be ground and crushed?
Like this, God wants to pound our egos to turn them into fine powder and make us into a new creature, and so if we keep flying off trying to retain our own way, we will ultimately be crushed in a grinding pain. Indeed, as the Lord is alive, He will at last grind all those who stubbornly refuse to be remade into good instruments for God’s gospel. God never gives up until He fulfills everything as He has intended.
By any chance, is there anyone among you who is now suffering? Then, you have to recognize that God is refining you into a new instrument. If this is not achieved at first, our Lord will continue to refine you until you are finally made into His instrument. Why? Because He loves you. I, too, had many deficiencies as a servant of God, but I was shaped into who I am now after being beaten, broken, and crushed by God. It may seem as though my heart would have been hardened if I were bruised so mercilessly, but God awakened me to realize, “God is doing this because He loves me, to encourage me to participate in His work.” So, far from being hardened, the more trials I faced, the lower my heart was humbled. Eventually, I set my mind to conclude, “I rather be a doorkeeper at the Temple of Jehovah than live in any palace.” And I came to believe that it was better to live a day in the Kingdom of God than a thousand years in this world.
Once my heart accepted that it was a blessing to serve the Lord, I felt so peaceful in my heart that from then on, the Lord’s work became my work, and whatever was good for the Lord was good for me also. I’m now so happy to have a bold faith after many trials and hardships. But until I reached this point, I had been plagued with so many carnal thoughts arising in me, wondering, “What should I eat? What should I drink? The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the Truth. So I do have to preach this gospel. But how can I make a lot of money to purchase a big church building and preach the gospel at the same time?” However, the Lord humbled me so thoroughly that eventually, my heart came to confess, “Lord, even if You don’t bless me, and even if You don’t give me a big building, I’ll be thankful if You would just allow me serve You.” My heart was then at peace. But until this came about, my happiness and unhappiness all had depended on my own circumstances.
I believe that the Lord will work on you in the same way also, and so I leave you alone. If you really believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then I leave you in God’s volition. Those who are not broken soon will be broken later. Even if you become a pastor, God will break everything you have if necessary. Whether you are disciplined now or later, you will be disciplined eventually, and that is why I am leaving you alone under His care. It’s far more difficult to be disciplined again when you are given more responsibility and yet have not been disciplined enough. So it is better to be trained according to appropriate times.
It is written, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches” (Galatians 6:6). Although the Apostle Paul said this very simply here, this passage is an extremely important one. We have it all planned in our heads how we would serve God’s gospel, but we don’t have the strength to fulfill our plan. However, because our Lord told us to share in good things, and because we believe that the Lord will be with us, we once again find new strength to serve God’s gospel. The ministry of spreading the gospel is also all yours. If God is with you, there is nothing to fear. I will share in His good work. I admonish you all to also share in this work.
The life of faith is simple. There is nothing to worry or fear. Instead of trying to carry out God’s work in your own individual way, work together with your predecessors as instructed by God’s Church. That is far more effective than toiling away on your own according to your own way.
If you carry on God’s work independently and individually, then you would toil even more, and yet the work itself would hardly be accomplished. For how long can you successfully carry out God’s work like this, relying on your own strength? Wouldn’t you just toil away all alone, only to collapse and perish away?
We are strengthened only if we participate in God’s good work together. No matter how strong and determined anyone might be, if he tries to do God’s work all by himself, he will end up a broken man long before achieving anything. If, however, we unite with one another in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we work together for God’s good work, we will find the strength to fulfill all His work. Unless we work together, we are powerless.
I admonish you all to share in the Lord’s good work. I believe that you will indeed do so. I pray to the Lord to bless all of you who share in His good work.