(John 4:1-26, 39-42)
“Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”
“And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.’”
It seems like it’s been a really long time since I stood before you and shared the Word. Even though I saw you once on Wednesday after finishing the Discipleship Training Camp, I feel new and glad every time I meet you like this. There are also some new people today; I hope you get to know them after we finish this worship service.
Do you like flowers? What kind of flowers are those here in front? They’re carnations, aren’t they? Carnations are flowers given to parents on Parents’ Day, but that day has not arrived yet. They are really beautiful. I call red flowers just red flowers and white flowers just white flowers. Looking at these now, I feel calm, and it seems they create a vivid atmosphere. You like them, too, don’t you? After God made the universe and created the heavens and the earth, He saw that it was good. These flowers too, are really good. It would be good if our hearts that have been frozen by several kinds of works would melt a little while looking at these flowers.
I Would Like to Speak Today about Living Water
Jesus entered the region of Samaria and He sat down at a well because He was thirsty. He sat and waited for someone to come to draw water. Just at that time, a woman living in Samaria came to draw water. In our time, it was high noon, and noon in the area of Palestine was the time to take a nap. But Jesus and His disciples passed through that village in the region of Samaria while journeying together, spreading God’s gospel.
Jesus said to the woman, “Give Me a drink,” but the woman noticed Jesus was a Jew and the people with Him were also Jews. If you’re wondering what this means, it’s like our situation of being divided between South Korea and North Korea. In those days, the nation of Israel also had a painful history that they had been divided into two kingdoms for hundreds of years. Consequently, people in the Northern Kingdom regarded the people in the Southern Kingdom as strange, and vice versa.
There was a city in Israel called Samaria that was the Capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, but it had been plundered many times by foreign invaders. There were a lot of people of mixed heritage in the city of Samaria from suffering invasions. So Samaria was greatly disregarded by its own people. The Samaritans were people who lived being ridiculed like the following: “You are half-breeds who could not inherit the blood of Abraham of legitimate Israelites. Do you think you’re human beings? You are no better than dogs, and therefore it would be better for you to just die rather than live. Why do you eat?”
A woman living in that village came to draw water, but she didn’t come at the normal time in the morning; she came at high noon when the sun was beating down and all the people were taking naps. So, Jesus asked the woman for a little water, and she said, “You are a Jew, and You ask me, a Samaritan, for water. The Jews don’t associate with the Samaritans; how do you say that?” The woman’s position wasn’t actually one worthy of making an issue of things, but since she obviously heard something she didn’t want to, she took the initiative.
At her daring remark, Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” In other words, the Lord said, “If you knew who asked you for water, you would have asked Me for living water.”
Up to that point, she did not know who Jesus was. This Samaritan woman did not know that He was the Son of God who came as the Messiah and the Redeemer of mankind. So, the Samaritan woman retorted, saying, “We Samaritans have become a mixed people, so our situation has become one of being scorned by the people of Israel, but this well is Jacob’s well. Jacob and the 70 people of his household and many animals had drunk from this well. This well is a well that has history and tradition. It is a well Jacob dug himself. Even if I asked You for living water, You’ve never dug a well, so how can You give it to me?”
Jesus replied, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14). The woman replied, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw” (John 4:15). Since Jesus was making such an issue of it, the woman said, “Give me some. You say you can give that kind of water?” Jesus met an audacious match. After the woman said this to Jesus, He said, “Go, call your husband, and come here,” but the truth was that this woman had no husband. The woman said, “I have no husband,” and then Jesus said, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
The woman thought, “This Man doesn’t seem to be a fortuneteller, so how does He know me; even my past? Most people think I’ve only lived with three husbands, so how does He know I’ve lived with five? And how does He know I’m living with a sixth man? And how does He know he’s actually not my husband? Have I met this Man somewhere before?” But no matter how much she thought about it, there was no time she had seen Him before. Therefore, the woman said, “I perceive that you are a prophet. Prophets can see the future, perceive everything in the present and the past, and speak to the people after seeing the future. There is a mountain in Samaria where one ought to worship before God; if you are a prophet, it is right for us to serve Him here.” While listening to Jesus, the woman’s heart was concentrated upon the world of faith, so the woman asked another spiritual question.
So, the woman said, “There is a mountain in Samaria, and all people in Samaria think that it would be proper to worship there. Is it right?” Jesus then said, “The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” This means that, “I am the Messiah. I am the very Savior.” The woman recognized Jesus and met the Messiah there at that time.
The Messiah means the Savior. We say that the name “Jesus” means Savior, and “Savior” in Hebrew is “Messiah.” This woman had met the Savior. She had said, “I perceive that you are the Messiah.” The Bible recorded that this woman, therefore, dropped her water jar, went to the village, said, “I have met the Messiah, I have met Him who knows everything about me,” and gathered many people. Jesus stayed in that place for two days to preach them the Word of God, and many Samaritans received the remission of their sins through His Word.
Brothers and sisters, in today’s Scripture passage, the Lord said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” We really want everyone to drink the living water that our Lord gives, because whoever drinks the water shall never thirst again. It’s not just the Samaritan woman who wants it; everyone wants to drink this kind of water, and Jesus wants to give this kind of water. Our Lord went to the city of Samaria, met this woman, and saved her; He also came to save us with living water, and actually came to this earth that is like the land of Samaria.
We have to know something here: We, who are living in this world, are as miserable as Samaritans. Furthermore, if we want to obtain this water from Jesus and drink it, there are several things that we must know first.
Religions of the World Cannot Give Living Water to Your Hearts
First, no religion can give living water to you, and you cannot get it and drink it from any religion of this world. Our Lord says that no denomination can ever give living water. The woman said to Jesus, “This well of Jacob is deep; how can you give me living water when you have nothing to draw with?” Jesus said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
Brothers and sisters, Jacob is the ancestor of the Israelites. He is the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. He is the ancestor of Aaron and David. “But this well of Jacob has tradition and history; how do You intend to scoop up and give us water here when You have no well bucket?” This means that she was trying to quench her thirst through religions or the doctrines of theology. We have to realize that we cannot meet Jesus Christ, the Messiah, if we rely on the legalistic life of faith based on the Law of the Old Testament.
People who do not properly know and meet Jesus Christ cannot live out their faith. These people are always uncomfortable even if they believe in God, and they are always thirsty. They cannot live properly. Their lives of faith are shameful, embarrassing, and always uncomfortable. They get a little better after worshipping once, but are thirsty again if they don’t worship. If one worships in order to quench his thirst, his throat is refreshed for a little while but becomes thirsty again. There is no way to resolve this hunger and thirst. Brothers and sisters, if while believing in God, you live lives of faith and know God according to the Law or, in other words, if you only know God by the Law, you cannot know His love and salvation or the remission of sin. With that kind of faith, just coming before God by your deeds, you can never obtain living water.
No denomination can ever give living water, either. There are about 200 different sects within the Presbyterian Church in Korea alone, and there are several hundred sects in the whole world in this denomination. People in our country think Presbyterianism is good no matter what, and there are several hundred sects within it. Brothers and sisters, there are countless religions in this world registered in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Korea. It goes so far that there is a woman from Yanbian who came to our country and is divining. I saw a flyer being circulated saying, “Yanbian Diviner,” And it had the Ministry of Culture and Tourism registration number of that woman written at the end. Seeing that, I thought, “I guess that nowadays even diviners are permitted in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, register there, and divine. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism even accepts diviners, I guess. Oh, this, too, is considered a religion, I guess.”
A person cannot receive the remission of his sins by believing in and taking a denomination, no matter what denomination of religion it is. He cannot obtain eternal life through religions of the world. There are a lot of denominations in our country, including among others, Presbyterianism, Baptist, Full Gospel, and more recently, Salvation Sect, and the Moonies. There are a lot of people who think they’re the stuff. There are even people who say they’re God and someone who says she is “the heavenly Baby.” I can’t describe how many ridiculous people there are. Comedians nowadays can’t make me laugh much, but these religious oddballs surely can. I laugh when I see them. I think they’re really funny.
Our Lord spoke clearly to the Samaritan woman. “Even if you drink the water from this well of Jacob, you will get thirsty again. No matter how much you draw and drink it, you and your family will always be thirsty. But the water that I give will overflow in you if you drink it once such that you will never thirst again.”
Secondly, if one intends to obtain living water, he must clearly profess before God what kind of person he is.
When the Samaritan woman said, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw,” Jesus said, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman was ashamed before Jesus who already knew everything about her, but she had ultimately met the Messiah. Brothers and sisters, this woman honestly acknowledged herself to Jesus.
Would you and I have acknowledged ourselves? But whether a person acknowledges themselves or not, the Prophet knows everything. He knows what kinds of sins you have committed even if you don’t say anything. He also knows all the sins that a person will commit in the future, too. He is not a diviner, but He knows everything. Even the servants of the Lord can know people’s hearts to some extent. When they meet someone, they know all about whether he has received the remission of his sins or not, has sins are in his heart, and what sins he is bound by. Brothers and sisters, how many sins do we commit before God while living in this world? Does one commit a little and another person commits a lot? They commit the same amount.
The Samaritan woman had six husbands, but just as if they were not her husbands, all the people in the world commit these kinds of sins of the flesh. Brothers and sisters, our Lord came to this earth in order to give us new life and eternal life. He gave us living water. So, did Jesus search out this woman’s faults only? He poured living water in her heart. He really enabled her to worship in spirit and truth. He really enabled her to receive the Holy Spirit in her heart and worship before God in truth. A person who truly wishes to obtain living water must acknowledge his sins before Jesus. Only then can he obtain living water.
If we look at Leviticus 4:22-26, it says, “When a ruler has sinned, and done something unintentionally against any of the commandments of the LORD his God in anything which should not be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a male without blemish. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the goat, and kill it at the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD. It is a sin offering. The priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and pour its blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering. And he shall burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.”
The Lord Said That We Commit Sins Intentionally and Unintentionally.
If we look at Leviticus 4:22, it talks about committing sins unintentionally. Brothers and sisters, what does it mean to commit sins unintentionally? Doesn’t it mean the sins we commit throughout our normal lives? It means that we cannot but commit sins in our trivial lives. But we know that we shouldn’t commit sins. People who believe in God know that they must keep the Law. We know it all, but do people, whether they believe in God or not, commit sins unintentionally or not? They always commit sins while living, don’t they? A person is a master at committing all kinds of sins.
In Mark 7:21-23, Jesus said, “There are 12 kinds of sins in a persons heart, among them being evil thoughts, murder, adultery, covetousness, thefts, contention, lewdness, and foolishness.” This means that a person commits these sins unintentionally until the moment he breathes his last breath and dies. Whether it is you or I, we must first stop breathing here in order to not sin. If we do not stop breathing, we will continue to commit sins unintentionally.
Our Lord gave us 613 statutes of “do’s and don’ts,” telling us not to sin. He told us, “Keep these ten commandments: Have no other gods before Me, do not bow down and serve carved images, do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, keep the Sabbath Day holy, respect and honor your parents, do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness against your neighbor, and do not covet. Keep all of the rest of the Law. It is proper to live this way.”
We know well that the law of God is right and we naturally know that we must honor our parents, keep the Sabbath Day holy, and not take the name of God in vain. It is also obvious to not covet, steal, bear false witness, murder, or commit adultery. Doing those things is utterly unrighteous. We know that living this way is proper. But you unintentionally commit sins.
Since the Israelites also always committed sins, God said in the Old Testament to bring a goat without blemish to offer sacrifice if a person had committed sin. Since they unintentionally committed sins, they brought a sacrificial goat or lamb before God and sacrificed it.
If we look at Leviticus 4:27-29, it says, “If anyone of the common people sins unintentionally by doing something against any of the commandments of the LORD in anything which ought not to be done, and is guilty, or if his sin which he has committed comes to his knowledge, then he shall bring as his offering a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he has committed. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the offering, and kill the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering.”
A sinner had to bring a sacrificial animal without blemish and laid his hands on it. Here, “the laying on of hands” means to transfer something. If a person has hands laid on his head by a pastor who is demon-possessed, the spirit in that pastor goes over to that person. So, when they hold a great revival meeting in a place like a gymnasium, we can see they usually lay their hands on those who are sick and on the handicapped. For example, they call people whose eyes are darkened, who wear glasses, and who can’t see the Bible very well, and they lay their hands on their eyes. What happens to people if the preacher speaks in tongues that don’t even mean anything? They fall backwards and lay down, speaking in the same tongue that the pastor had spoken in.
That is another kind of laying on of hands. The spirit in the pastor goes over to the other person. Since the spirit goes over, that person speaks in the same tongue. As such, the laying on of hands means to go over.
So, if a person who had transgressed the commandments of God laid his hands on the head of the sacrificial animal, his sins went over to it. Since sins had transferred that way, they would kill the sacrificial offering after laying their hands on it. They drew the blood in its neck and handed it over to the priest on duty. Then, the priest put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and poured the remaining blood on the ground. Therefore, God taught people who always commit sins unintentionally to not commit sin, and He said this was right.
There is no place on earth where there are not commandments, including the three bonds and the five moral rules of Confucianism, the five commandments of Buddhism, and the ten commandments of Christianity. I have read even “the ten commandments of husband and wife’ at the waiting room of a hospital. I don’t know why there are so many “commandments.” It goes so far that there are another “ten commandments” in even Daesoonjinlihoe (a new fusion religion in Korea). There are really a lot of ridiculous things out there.
Even so, no matter how much Confucius or Socrates or the other philosophers came to us and taught us good things and have said up until now that people must live that way and said all good things, do people live that way? People are masters of committing sins, unintentionally and intentionally. Such masters commit every kind of sin well, no matter what it is. If a person is a master at committing sin, how well he must commit sin! He commits sins in his heart and through his actions; there isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t commit sins.
So, God sees this and says, “My goodness. These people would still deserve more even if I sent them to hell ten times over. I would send them to hell just by the sins they commit in one day, but I don’t want to send to hell these who I made in My image, so I better save them.” So, He prepared sheep, goats, and cattle as offerings to suffer being sacrificed in our places. So, they laid their hands on the heads of offerings without blemish to transfer their sins to them, took the blood from the necks, and put it on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering. Then they poured the remaining blood on the ground, cut the animal into pieces and placed the meat on the altar. Afterwards, they would take the head and other unclean parts, place them in a brass bowl, and gave it to God by burning it outside of the Tabernacle. They then removed all the fat that that had been in the intestines, placed them up on the altar with the meat, made a fire, and gave them to God by burning them. They received the remission of their sins by offering sacrifice in this manner.
Therefore, in this sacrifice, the sacrificial offering must first have no blemish. Secondly, they had to lay their hands on its head. Thirdly, they had to draw the blood from its neck and put it on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering and pour the remaining blood on the ground.
People always sin unintentionally. These sins are recorded on the tablets of their hearts first. They are recorded on the tablets of their consciences. Their sins are also recorded in God’s Books of Judgment. In Jeremiah 17:1, it says, “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart and on the horns of your altars.” If a person commits a sin, it becomes recorded on the tablet of his heart. Afterwards, it is recorded in God’s Books of Judgment.
Therefore, the ground is talking of a person’s heart when they put the blood on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering and pour it on the ground. Man was made of the dust. So, they received the remission of the sins they had committed over the course of a day by laying their hands on the sacrificial offerings and transferring their sins to them, putting the blood on the horns of the altar of the burnt offering, and pouring it on the ground.
So, can a person obtain eternal life by receiving the remission of the sins once today? He cannot. That is because this master of committing sins unintentionally commits them again. People who have received the remission of their sins also commit sins unintentionally. Because there was such a problem, the 10th day of the seventh month was chosen as the Day of Atonement for sin. If we look at Leviticus 16, it says that a day was chosen for Aaron to represent the people of Israel and bring two goats, lay his hands on one of the two, offer sacrifice as stated above, and offer sacrifice of the other for the people of Israel. He said with his hands laid on the head of the scapegoat, “God, the people of Israel have committed sin. They committed all kinds of sins, including murder, adultery, theft, contention, serving idols, and taking Your name in vain.” After transferring the sins, he handed the scapegoat to a suitable man to release the goat in the wilderness. So, all the sins of the people of Israel were forgiven in one day on the 10th day of the seventh month.
People long ago were pardoned in this way. But who is the sacrificial offering here? He was called the Lamb of God, but who is the Lamb of God? He is Jesus. We are now living in the generation of the New Testament. In the generation of the New Testament, there is no offering of sacrifice. In this generation of the New Testament, you and I don’t make some big tabernacle and take sheep and goats there every morning and evening when we commit sins. There is nothing like that in this generation of the New Testament.
So, what is there in the generation of the New Testament? About 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ came to this earth and completely eliminated all our sins for us. He eliminated all of the sins of this Samaritan woman that she committed unintentionally. So, how did He eliminate them? It wasn’t like the High Priest Aaron in the Old Testament representing the people of Israel and doing the laying on of hands for the people who committed sins. Just as the representative transferred all the Israelites’ sins at once for them, there were two persons God sent to this earth. One of them was John the Baptist, and the other was Jesus Christ. God decided to eliminate all the sins of mankind, and our Lord came to this earth by that will of God.
Let’s turn to today’s Scripture passage. The Samaritan woman said, “I perceive that You are the Messiah.” As she said “Messiah,” she figured out that Jesus was the Lamb of God spoken of in the Old Testament and the Person who would receive the laying on of hands and take all mankind’s sins. Thus, she knew that He was the Person that would take all her sins and die for her on the Cross. After believing this way, she received salvation of eternal life. So, did Jesus search out this woman’s faults only? He poured living water in her heart. He really enabled her to worship in spirit and truth. He really enabled her to receive the Holy Spirit in her heart and worship before God in truth.
We Must Know and Believe the Real Truth
Matthew 1:20-23 says, “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’”
Let’s look at Matthew 3:13-17: “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. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’”
I would like to read another passage from Matthew 11:11-14: “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. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.”
Here, the Lord says, “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 it says in Matthew 3 that Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Then, John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
If you look carefully at the above passages, it says Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized by the man named John the Baptist, who was the greatest among those born of women. Brothers and sisters, this is a very important part of the Bible, and we can only believe in Jesus Christ and drink living water that makes us never thirst again if we know this part.
Brothers and sisters, what does the Jordan River represent spiritually? It is called “the river of death.” What praise do Christian believers sing when a believer dies? They sing this hymn, “♩We’ll meet on the other side of the Jordan. ♬In a few days, we’ll meet on the other side of the Jordan.♪” The Jordan River is the river of death. It is a river that everyone will have to cross once. The name of the river in that area is actually Jordan. The Jordan River was the border between the people of Israel and the land of Canaan. A person had to cross the Jordan River to get to Canaan from the land of Egypt. Therefore, they had to cross the Jordan River.
This land of Canaan spiritually represents the Kingdom of Heaven. So, it is written in Joshua 3 that when the people of Israel went to the land of Canaan, “Those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water... that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away... then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood on firm ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.” It says in the Old Testament that the Jordan River became dry ground by the Word of God. Also, commander Naaman was completely cleansed of his leprosy by washing seven times in the Jordan River. This in the Old Testament is speaking of the remission of our sins in the New Testament. This river of death speaks of the elimination of death.
Our Lord came to this earth and intended to receive baptism from John. Since Jesus went to John and wanted to be baptized, John said this to Him. “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” John was actually the greatest born of women. Brothers and sisters, who was the representative of mankind? Who was the representative that God sent? He was John the Baptist. He was the greatest born of women, and when he was baptizing people in the Jordan River, Jesus went to him to be baptized.
“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?’” Of course, what John said is right. No matter how great the representative of mankind was, he was not greater than the Son of God or, in other words, God. God, in order to save mankind and become our Savior, borrowed the body of the Virgin Mary, was born on this earth in the flesh of man, and intended to receive baptism from John the Baptist when He turned 30.
So, why did He receive baptism from John the Baptist? What was the reason? You and I always commit sins unintentionally. We commit sins today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and, well, until we stop breathing. Do you or don’t you have murderous desires, covetous desires, contentious desires, prideful minds, lewd desires, and foolish minds? Do you practice these or not? All mankind does it all. There is no one who does not. Therefore, in order to save all the people of the world, God did the following: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Our Lord came to this earth in order to save all mankind from their sins. What did He have to do in order to do that? Jesus Christ came to this earth and, just as the sacrificial lamb received the transference of all the sins of the people of Israel on the 10th day of the seventh month before the eyes of the people, He all at once received the transference of all the sins of mankind, including those committed unintentionally over a person’s whole lifetime, and carried those sins to the Cross. He could only save us, give us eternal life, and remit the sins in our hearts by shedding His blood and receiving the judgment instead of mankind.
So, our Lord came to receive baptism. The Lord said to John the Baptist, “Baptize Me.” “Oh, my goodness. How could I baptize You? I need to be baptized by You.” Our Lord spoke then, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Thus, Jesus was baptized. Brothers and sisters. Jesus gave a command to John the Baptist: “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.
Brothers and sisters, the baptism that Jesus received was baptism by immersion. It was not just the baptism by effusion that is performed by pouring some water on one’s head in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John the Baptist. The water in the Jordan River was flowing wildly, and John the Baptist was standing in it. Jesus went there and He entered the Jordan River up to His chest. He leaned backward. “Baptize Me.” So Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
This is what kind of baptism that was. In regards to His baptism, this is equivalent to the laying on of hands in the Old Testament. So, before Jesus was baptized, He said, “It is right to do this work of eliminating all people’s sins by Me being baptized by you and you baptizing Me. It is fitting to fulfill all righteousness this way in order to eliminate all people’s sins.” “All righteousness,” here is eliminating all people’s sins. This righteousness is ‘義’ (yi) in Chinese characters. What is surprising is that this character consists of two hieroglyphic characters: 羊(yang: lamb) and 我(wo: I). This Chinese character implies that when we just rely on the Lamb of God and offer the sacrifice of faith with the Lamb like Abel, we can attain the righteousness of God by faith. God the Father gave His only begotten Son as the Lamb because He loved us and the world like this.
Sinners go to hell, and because of their sins, they are thirsty. They are afflicted. Everyone is a wanderer in this life, and they are afflicted because of sin. Our Lord loved us sinners, saved us, and came as the Person who would save His people from all their sins. He came and received baptism. He was baptized by John the Baptist. He received baptism in the form of having John’s hands laid on His head. Brothers and sisters, what transferred over when He was baptized? John the Baptist laid his hands on Jesus’ head, and Jesus took all the sins of mankind through this most fitting method. They all transferred over to Jesus. The reason Jesus received baptism was in order to take all the sins of mankind.
“So, why did He do it this way? It would have sufficed to receive the remission of original sin only. It would have sufficed to just take away original sin and for people to repent of their personal sins. It would have sufficed to ask the forgiveness of future sins; why did He have to do it the way He did?” Some one may have such a question.
Brothers and sisters, God made us. He knows us very well. Just as He knew the Samaritan woman well, He knows our hearts, weaknesses, and characteristics well. He knows well that we will always commit sin unintentionally. Do you commit sin or not? You commit them unintentionally. Do you make plans to sin? You commit sins when situations are fitting.
I do not drink alcohol. But there are times that I take some wine as a medicine. My stomach isn’t good. When a person comes to me with wine saying, “It’s good to your stomach.” Then, I decline saying, “If a pastor drinks, the saints will follow, and that’s not good.” Even so, one of the saints brings some cool beer and says, “Oh, even so, take a drink.” He brings a can. This stuff tastes great. It tastes especially good in the summer. I must confess that I drank it. It was really good. I told him, “Hey, don’t do this often. Let’s just drink up what you brought.” And we drank it. But people shouldn’t drink often. A certain brother brought a lot of beer from his office and said, “I brought this home, but I’ll end up drinking it all if it’s in my house. So, take some and drink a little if you’re thirsty.” If he brings some often even when I tell him not to, I say, “Let’s drink it all fast” because it’s no good for the saints to see it.
Brothers and sisters, I do not drink alcohol often. But I will not tell you I don’t drink it. I don’t intentionally buy it, but if there is some beer, I drink it. If someone puts some in my refrigerator, I open the fridge to see if there’s anything to drink and see that there are some cans of beer. I think, “Huh? We have this stuff?” At first, I grab it and wonder who put it there. Then, I think it would be really good. Unknowingly, I end up drinking it. I watch to see if my wife is looking at me. She always notices. If my wife watches me at the moment, then I say, “Honey! Oh, my goodness, who put this here. It says in the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ but if someone keeps putting this here, even a pastor will end up drinking it. Aren’t pastors people, too? Why are they leading me into temptation?” Then, I continue to say, “We can’t leave this here because it will lead into temptation. We should hurry up and drink it all up.” So, I open it and say, “You drink some, too.” When I hand it over to her, she says, “I’m not going to drink it,” so I say, “Fine, don’t.” Then, I drink it all.
Brothers and sisters, do you commit sins unintentionally or not? There are a lot of things besides drinking that I do that a pastor really shouldn’t. But, I don’t talk about them. But, goodness, we all know even if none of us says anything. We all understand one another. If we are honest people, we all understand each other. We commit sins unintentionally until we get old and die. Jesus had to come and take all at once all those sins committed unintentionally. That is how our hearts have been made clean. And only by Jesus taking them all and receiving the judgment on the Cross are we able to receive salvation from the judgment of sin. This is why Jesus came as our Savior. He came as the Redeemer.
He came as the Redeemer and received baptism in order to take charge of all the sins committed in people’s lives unintentionally, all the sins committed by mankind after they are born into this world. “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” In this way, Jesus received baptism from John the Baptist. Being submerged under water here is speaking of death, and receiving baptism is speaking of transferring all of your sins. Coming out of the water is speaking of the resurrection.
Our Lord received baptism. “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17). “I so loved the world that I gave My only begotten Son, transferred over to Him all the sins mankind commits unintentionally, all those sins like a cloud and scarlet red, and had Him sacrificed before Me as an offering for eternal atonement. Through that, I decided to save mankind from sin by having Him take all sins and suffer the judgment on the Cross. My Son obeyed what I had decided. My Son took charge of all mankind’s sins.”
Do you believe? In the Old Testament, people brought sheep or goats without blemish and offered them up as a sacrifice everyday because they committed sins unintentionally. It is the same in the New Testament. We always commit sin unintentionally. If we become tense, we sometimes snap at people. If we are hungry, we only care about ourselves. If we are hungry, we take from our own children. That’s what happens when people are poor. If a person was really hungry long ago, they even tried to eat people and rats. My parents didn’t have much meat just after the Korean War (1950~1953), so they merely skinned the rats, arranged the innards, grilled them, and gave them to me to eat when I was a kid. You try it. It’s really good. I have never eaten anything as tasty as rat meat. Since I was given grilled rat meat at a time when there was no meat, I escaped being malnourished. After eating some, I would say, “Father, I really like rat meat. Please bring me some more.” Then, my father would put a stone this big in the ditch and wait. As soon as a rat just came out, it was over. Let’s stop talking about this.
Brothers and sisters, do we commit sins unintentionally or not? Jesus received baptism. “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus took all the sins you, I, and mankind commit unintentionally. Brothers and sisters, even people who have received the remission of their sins are always uncomfortable, and those who haven’t received the remission of their sins are even more uncomfortable than the born-again Christians. By what sins are they uncomfortable? They are uncomfortable because they commit a lot of sins unintentionally. “Man, I shouldn’t do that. Why do I do this thing that I’m ashamed of?” We are uncomfortable even though we have received the remission of our sins because we are masters at committing sin and always commit a lot of sins.
We thought we wouldn’t commit sins after we received the remission of sins, but we are uncomfortable because we always do. Our Lord knew that, and He eliminated all of mankind’s sins and fulfilled all righteousness. Jesus received baptism. He received the transference of all our sins. The Old Testament’s laying on of hands is Jesus' baptism in the New Testament. Jesus took charge of all the sins you and I commit unintentionally. Do you have sins or not?
What Was the Reason for Jesus Receiving Baptism from John the Baptist in the Jordan River?
Jesus receiving baptism was in order to fulfill all righteousness. He received baptism in order to save us and mankind from all of the sins we commit unintentionally. God the Father said that Jesus who had received baptism was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.
“Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” “All righteousness” in Greek is “πάσαν δικαιοσύνην (pasan dikaiosunen),” and it means “the fairest state that has no defect at all.” Through this most fitting method, Jesus took charge of mankind’s sins.
Do you understand why Jesus received baptism? You think He received baptism merely because He was humble, don’t you? That is wrong. There are many people among us who believe in Jesus incorrectly. These people think that Jesus took away original sin only, so they must offer prayers of repentance daily for their personal sins. If that is so, brothers and sisters, there is no one in this world who has sins, and there is no reason to believe in Jesus. If He did not take away sins that you have committed unintentionally, would there be any reason for you to believe in Him?
If you receive the remission of your sins today, will you commit sin tomorrow or not? Do you commit sins unintentionally or not? You do. So, if you offer prayers of repentance for those sins and receive a remission of them, do you have confidence to be able to confess all the sins you have committed? People receive the remission of their sins by faith. They receive the remission of their sins by faith in the Savior. Jesus took charge of all the sins you commit unintentionally.
“Behold! The Lamb of God Who Takes Away the Sin of the World!”
In John 1:29, it says, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” And in verse 35, it also says, “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’” After Jesus who is the Lamb of God received baptism from John the Baptist, He wandered from place to place for three years to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He once said to the woman caught in the act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.” He looked at that woman who was in the inevitable situation of being stoned to death for having sinned and said, “Neither do I condemn you.” Our Lord came to this earth, took charge of all the sins of mankind, and went to and fro. For three years He went here and there and said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Jesus said to those who believed in Him as the Son of God and as their Savior, “Son, your sins are forgiven you,” and bestowed the grace of the remission of sins on them.
When our Lord was on this earth, John who gave Him baptism said in John 1:29, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Brothers and sisters, John the Baptist, representing mankind, laid his hands on Jesus’ head and transferred all the sins that we commit throughout our lives. The sins you and I commit by our weaknesses or the sins we commit unintentionally all went over to Jesus.
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) John the Baptist said to people, “Behold!” Then, he witnessed to them. He said, “Hey, you people! That Person is the Lamb of God. He is the Lamb of God who has carried all the sins of the world. He is the Savior of mankind. He is carrying away the sins of the world. Behold!” Brothers and sisters, Jesus came to this earth, took charge of all the sins of the world, all the sins we commit unintentionally over our lives, and fulfilled all righteousness. He carried away the sins of the world. For three years, He carried them toward the Cross.
Dear fellow believers, what are the sins of the world like? The sins of the world are the sins that we have committed from the time we were in our mothers’ womb. They are the sins which are inherited from one’s mother and father. They are the sins we are born with, as it is written, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”
Do we commit sin from the time we are one until 20 or not? Do we commit sins unintentionally or not? We do. Our work is ruined and we commit more sins when people tell us not to. Did those sins go over to Jesus Christ or not? It did. Jesus took all sins committed until we are 20, as well as the sins committed from 20 to 30, sins from 30 to 40, and sins committed in the world knowingly and unknowingly. “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” All sins fall under the word “all righteousness.” He took charge of all sin.
Is there anyone here who is 40? So, you have committed sins from the time you were in your mother’s womb until now. Is this sin committed in the world or not? Did all the sins committed in the world go over to Jesus or not? So, are the sins you have committed until you are 40 in your heart or not? They are not. They aren’t there because they went over to Jesus. Jesus was baptized in order to take all our sins. We have to know this clearly. We have to clearly believe it. If we don’t believe this, Jesus is useless to us. If we don’t believe this, it is going before God everyday and acting like we are great saying, “God, this week, I didn’t commit very many sins. God, I’m cute, huh? I’m pretty, huh? I’m nice, huh? Please give me a reward.”
People like this try to advocate their own will, not knowing God’s righteousness and just boasting of themselves. They begin praying like this: “Holy, merciful, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Father in Heaven.” Did the True God come to this earth and eliminate our sins because He wanted to hear that? Brothers and sisters, God does not want to hear those kinds of prayers. What kind of prayers does God want to hear? This is the kind of prayer He wants: “God, I always sin. Thank You for remitting them all by receiving baptism on this earth to receive the transference of all my sins and receiving the judgment on the Cross, and for making it so I don’t have to offer sacrifice anymore for my sins. I praise You, Lord, who has made me one of the righteous.”
Brothers and sisters, God wants to receive the sacrifice of gratitude. He wants us to make Him happy. He wants us to be thankful and give praise before Him for eliminating all our sins even though we are insufficient. I am thankful for our Lord who eliminated all of the sins I have committed and will commit unintentionally. God, I can only love You. I love You. Hallelujah! I praise You. I honor You Lord. Our God is the King of kings and the King of love. He gladly receives our worship that praises Him. So, our Lord received baptism.
“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” We commit sins in the world until we are 40. Those sins went over to Jesus when He received baptism from John the Baptist. We commit sins in the world from the time we are 40 until we are 90 (if we live that long). Sins committed in the heart, sins committed through actions, and sins committed unintentionally are all included in the sins of the world. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus carried away all your sins when He carried the sins of the world. Brothers and sisters, is there sin in this world or not?
People who have sins have them because they don’t know or believe that Jesus received baptism from John the Baptist and took all their sins as He said, “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” People who do believe this have no sin. So, they become the righteous because they believe this Truth.
Some may insist, “No. There can’t be any righteous person before God. Didn’t the Bible say, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.’” Yes, fundamentally, before anyone believed in Jesus Christ, there could not be any righteous person, not even one. But whoever believes in Jesus Christ through the gospel of the water and the Spirit is made sinless through His righteousness. By God’s righteousness, Jesus Christ has remitted all our sins, and by this, we were justified. In order to justify us, Jesus Christ received baptism and judgment on the Cross. He made us the righteous.
“That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” This is from Romans 3:26. There were no righteous people originally, but Jesus made us the righteous by coming and taking all our sins. God said to those who believe in this fact, “You are justified. You have no sin.” That is because He made us sinless by taking all of our sins committed unintentionally. Our Lord says and acknowledges to us, “Do you believe that I eliminated all your sins? That’s right; you have no sins. I am your Savior. You are the righteous. You are my people. You are people who will go to the Kingdom of God in the future.”
Brothers and sisters, did you commit sins from the time you were one until you were ten or not? Did you commit them until you are 20 or not? Were those sins passed over to Jesus or not? We don’t have any sins because they went over to Him. It isn’t that we have to be enlightened to some big truth and doctrine. In Buddhism, since they don’t know the way to the Kingdom of God, a certain monk once said, “I can’t reach the way to Heaven for there isn’t a way.” So, a famous Buddhist monk Sungcheol said to look at everything and acknowledge it just as it is. He says that truth lies in this and nothing else. So, he says, “A mountain is a mountain, and water is water.”
But Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus said He is the Way. He came to this earth to save us. He came to eliminate our sins. He eliminated all the sins we commit unintentionally. He took them all by receiving baptism. He became the Way for us to go to the Kingdom of Heaven. He said, “I am the truth” and He truly became such. We are deceived if we believe something else. But whoever believes that Jesus Christ is his Savior and God, that He has fulfilled all righteousness through His baptism and blood of the Cross, and that He died and was resurrected will obtain eternal life.
Jesus also said, “I am the life,” and He bestows eternal life on us. Our Lord did not just say that you have no sin; He took them away. He received baptism and thus received the transference of sin. He is the Lamb of God who received the transference of sin and carried the sins of the world to the Cross. He carried the sins of the world and had both of His hands and both of His feet nailed to the Cross. He carried all of our sins instead of us dying.
He never committed sin while He was on this earth. But He received the transference of all mankind’s sins by His baptism, was outrageously nailed to the Cross, shed His blood of life in our stead, received the judgment of sin, and instead of us dying, He died, was resurrected three days afterwards, and sat on the right hand of God the Father’s throne. All who believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior through these Words are made God’s people by the Lord. He gave the authority to become the children of God to those who receive Him or, in other words, those who believe in His name. Do you believe?
Brothers and sisters, were all the sins you have committed unintentionally passed over to Him or not? Does a person who believes in Jesus Christ as his Savior have sin or not? No, he doesn’t. Since he has no sin, he tells other people to believe in Jesus and lives happily and joyfully. Do you have confidence that you won’t commit sin unintentionally? No! Even the saints are still weak and insufficient in their flesh. If they live well, they’re happy, but if they don’t live well, they think, “Oh, my goodness, I’m going to die. I have no sins, but I’m going to die.” Brothers and sisters, God knows you all. He knows that you all have different natures and personalities, and that you are all different.
Most of the sins that we commit are committed unintentionally. We very naturally commit sins while living. Knowingly or unknowingly, we just commit them. That is the very sinful nature of our lives. This thing we call life is originally that kind of thing. While living this life, who said, “Man can become a Buddha or a god”? Who said that man is born to be a god and can become one? Did Buddha say that? Those are matters of hope. We can always do things in our thoughts because of hope. But those things are actually impossible.
We always commit sin. We always commit sin unintentionally. People commit sin until they die, whether they believe in God or not. However, Jesus came to this earth, received baptism, received the transference of our sins, carried those sins to the Cross, received the judgment, shed His blood, and died in our stead in order to save us from those sins. On the third day after He died, He was resurrected. He then ascended to the right hand of God the Father’s throne. Jesus who came to this earth to save me is God. He is Christ, and the Son of the Living God. He is the Person who saved me and God who created me. I believe. He made the people who believed this and received Jesus Christ His people.
Do you believe now? Let’s look at the Word a little more before we finish this sermon. Brothers and sisters, if we live to be 90, did even those sins transfer to Him or not? This scene of Jesus receiving baptism is accurate in any version of the Scriptures: “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” If you examine the original text of this part in Greek, you can find the more accurate meaning of this passage, and it is absolutely true that Jesus has taken all the sins of the world by being baptized in the Jordan River to fulfill all righteousness.
The Lord Wanted to Establish the Second
In Hebrews 10:9-14, it says, “Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”
Let’s look at something for a moment. It is written, “Then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” “I have come to do the will of God.” There is no one besides Jesus Christ who came to us to fulfill the will of God the Father. Jesus Christ received baptism and died on the Cross to eliminate all of our sins committed unintentionally, and He saved us from all of our sins. Believing in Him as our Savior is to believe in Jesus according to the will of the Father. This is living according to His will. There was not a single person among all mankind who did the will of the Father, if doing so means to live by the Law. But the Bible says, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
The Son of God came to this earth and did the will of the Father. The Bible says, “‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” What was “the first”? It was the Law. In Hebrews 10:1, it says, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” Sins could not be blotted out thoroughly through the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. Taking a sheep everyday, laying hands on it, transferring sins to it, and offering it as sacrifice―this doesn’t work at all.
So, Jesus Christ came to this earth. The Son of God came and fulfilled the will of God by which “we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” The passage, “We have been sanctified” is in the perfect tense. Jesus Christ did the will of the Father by receiving baptism all at once in the Jordan River, receiving judgment on the Cross, and being resurrected. What is the will of the Father? It is to eliminate all our sins.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, it says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” So, His will is our sanctification. The will of God is to make us sinless. Worshipping God is living while sinlessly coming before Him and praising Him, thanking Him, worshipping before Him brightly, joyfully, and happily, and returning the glory to Him.
We can never receive the remission of our sins through the sacrificial system of the Old Testament. Likewise, we cannot receive the remission of our sins by offering prayers of repentance daily. Can we say prayers of repentance for everything? Can we say prayers of repentance in the evening for all the sins we have committed during the day? Can you say prayers of repentance for all the sins you have committed over a month without leaving out even just one? So, what can be done about those sins that you could not remember to say prayers of repentance for? If sins were eliminated by offering prayers of repentance, what can be done about those sins you could not say prayers of repentance for? What? God will take care of them all? So, why do you say them in the first place? Do you think God would have done things in such an uncertain way? Would He have made us do something uncertain? Sacrifice of the Old Testament cannot make us perfect. Because it cannot make us perfect, our Lord became the propitiation for us and sanctified Himself by offering His body for us all at once.
Hebrews 9:12 says, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” It’s not with the blood of goats and calves or prayers of repentance that we are cleansed of all sins. So, with what can we be cleansed? “With His own blood He... obtained eternal redemption” means He atoned for and took charge of all the sins of the world once and for all. Do you understand? Why was Jesus Christ able to die on the Cross? One must have sin to be put to death. So, was there a time Jesus Christ committed sin? There wasn’t. Then, brothers and sisters, do you believe that Jesus has never committed sin? Do you believe that Jesus is God? Do you believe that He is the Son of God? So, if you say you believe that He didn’t commit sin, why did Jesus have to die on the Cross? Since He received all your and my sins in the Jordan River, He had to and could die on the Cross. Jesus didn’t commit sin even once.
With His own blood He entered the Sanctuary of Heaven all at once. This blood is the final conclusion of His ministry of salvation. The baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist took all our sins, cleansed our sins, and therefore eliminated all our sins, and His blood is its conclusion. He has rid us of receiving judgment. He has saved us. This is the final assurance.
Brothers and sisters, does Jesus Christ need to die twice? Does He need to die three times? Or did He eliminate all our sins at once? If a person believes in Jesus and says he has sin in his heart, he cannot but say, “Please cleanse my sins today, as well.” If he still says that, he’s saying Jesus needs to come and die again. Hebrews 9:22 says, “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” To give us the remission of sins, someone who is living must always receive the transference of sin and die in our stead. Do you understand? Receiving the remission of your sins by faith in the righteousness Jesus has fulfilled is to return glory to God. This is the law of salvation that God has established.
But even now trying to receive the remission of sins daily is the same as nailing Jesus to the Cross again and saying to Him, “Lord who ascended to Heaven, please come down again. I’m in trouble because I have sin. Please come down and die again.” That is denying that Jesus received baptism. It is rejecting His outrageous death. It is committing that kind of sin. That is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Brothers and sisters, all sins but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can be remitted by God.
What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? It is not believing that God became a Man, received baptism from John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and took all our sins. It is denying that Jesus took all our sins through His baptism. That is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. When you speak in tongues, some people say to stop. Do you think this is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? It isn’t. The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and preventing others who want to believe in this true gospel from doing so. This is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord came to this earth, took charge of and eliminated all the sins of the world at once through the baptism He received and His bloodshed on the Cross. In Hebrews 10:11-18, it says, “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’ Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”
In other words, He has remitted all sins- all of them. If we gather together all the sins we commit unintentionally, those are the sins of the world. There are two kinds of sins if we gather together all the sins we always commit in our regular lives: There is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and there are the sins committed unintentionally in our trivial lives. If we do not reject that Jesus became the Savior through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe this, we do not commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But if we do reject it, we commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
Aren’t the sins you unintentionally have committed in your thoughts or hearts sins? Is the sin of adultery a sin committed unintentionally or not? Is the sin of theft a sin committed unintentionally or not? All of them are included under sins committed unintentionally. It is written, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” And the Lord also said, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Why? Since our Lord saved mankind from all the sins they commit unintentionally by God our Father sending Him, having Him receive baptism from John the Baptist to transfer all the sins of the world to Him, and having Him nailed to the Cross, the Lord said, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” He is saying that no one will remember our mistakes or the sins we committed unintentionally. Do you believe?
Only that way do our hearts connect with God and do we come and give God our souls and true worship. God knows that we daily commit sin unintentionally, but He doesn’t say, “Hey, why did you commit so many sins over the week? Geez, I don’t want to look at you. Go over there. Go put your face in that corner and stand there with one leg in the air. Go to the front of the chapel and keep your hands up over your head.” Brothers and sisters, if God told us to do that, how could we go before Him to worship? What kind of atmosphere would that be to worship? How could we praise His righteousness?
God appeared to us as the God of love and the Lord who eliminated our sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He said to the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you” (John 8:11). The Lord has remitted all the sins we commit unintentionally. He eliminated all of your sins and all of my sins. So, we are insufficient and, while living, we hate one another and give sidelong glances asking a person why he eats something alone if he does. However, we can still worship God with gratitude, because our Lord remitted all the sins we commit unintentionally by receiving baptism and shedding His blood. Because He remitted them through the water and the blood, we are able to come before God, give Him thanks, and praise Him.
Brothers and sisters, do you know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Has our Lord perfected us forever by one offering or not? Did He come to this earth about 2000 years ago, knowing that all mankind would be born and commit sin, and take away all those sins, or didn’t He? Yes, He did. Brothers and sisters, we all say that Kim Il-sung, the former ruler of North Korea, is a really bad guy. Did He take away the sins of that bad person, too, or didn’t He? He took them away, but since the late Kim Il-sung didn’t believe in Jesus, his sins remained as before. So, he remained as a bad guy. Even though we live in South Korea, if we don’t believe in Jesus, we are bad people. If a person doesn’t acknowledge that God loves him so much that He came in the flesh of man, received baptism for him, and took charge of his sins, shed His water and blood on the Cross, and thus saved him, he is a bad person.
When Jesus died on the Cross, He died from being nailed to it. While He was on the Cross, a Roman soldier pierced His side with a long spear to check whether He was dead or not. There was a big hole in His side. It witnesses that water and blood emerged from within (John 19:34). Our Lord witnesses one more time that He has saved us through His water and blood.
In 1 John 5, it tells what kind of people are those who have faith that overcomes the world and really receive the remission of their sins. In 1 John 5:5, it says, “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Brothers and sisters, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that He is our God?
In 1 John 5:6-10, it says, “This is He who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar; because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.”
Brothers and sisters, is there a witness in your hearts? Is there the Word of witness that you have received salvation? Do we have the Word? The Apostle John said, “He has saved us through water and blood.” Do you believe? Did all the sins we commit unintentionally go over to Jesus Christ or not? Do we have sins or not? Are you insufficient? Jesus took away all your sins even if you are insufficient in your actions, hearts, or thoughts. Then, is it impossible for us to come before God with boldness and confidence in Him? Yes, we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him (Ephesians 3:12). He eliminated all the sins we commit unintentionally. He completely eliminated them.
What then is faith that overcomes the world? It is believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that, while He is the Son of God, He becomes God to us. That’s what it is. Who overcomes the world if not those who believe Jesus is the Son of God? The Son of God has come to our hearts because He, God, came to this earth in the flesh of man and eliminated all our sins by the water and the blood. Brothers and sisters, did He come by the water and the blood? Christ did not come only by water, but by water and blood. He did not only take all our sins, but He also received the judgment for those sins on the Cross and made it so we do not have to receive judgment again due to the sins we commit unintentionally.
“And it is the Spirit who bears witness [of Jesus Christ], because the Spirit is truth. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood.” Brothers and sisters, three bear witness. The Spirit comes to the heart of a person who accepts the Word of Truth. There is no sensation of His coming. But He clearly bears witness of this in the person’s heart. He bears witness, saying, “The Son of God saved you by the water and the blood. He took charge of all the sins you commit unintentionally. He has eliminated them all.” Do you believe?
In 1 Peter 3:21, it says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
What did the Word say was the antitype which now saves us? The Bible says it is baptism. Brothers and sisters, Jesus receiving baptism is Him taking all the sins we commit unintentionally. The sign that He has saved us is His baptism. Do you understand? You must not just know the Cross.
The Apostle Peter said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism” (1 Peter 3:21). Do you believe in the baptism of Jesus? OK, so Jesus received baptism, took all our sins, including sins committed unintentionally and all sins that would be committed in the future. He took the sins committed long ago, those committed now, and those that will be committed in the future. So, do we have sin? No, we don’t.
Did Jesus become our Savior? Yes, He did. So, do we not commit sin because we’ve been baptized in Jesus Christ? The Apostle Peter said, “There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). The Apostle Peter said that believing in Jesus’ baptism and blood implies that we have sinless consciences before God because we have received salvation and that God eliminated our sins. It does not mean we do not commit sin. It means we commit sin unintentionally until we die. So, it says that in order to make us go to God with a good conscience, Jesus received baptism by water to take away all our sins, received judgment on the Cross to save you and me, remitted all sins committed unintentionally, and eliminated them. Do you believe?
You have committed a lot of sins unintentionally, haven’t you? But, do you have those sins or not? Have you received the remission of all those sins? How did you receive that remission? You received it through the water and the blood. Do you believe this? A person who believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit has no sin. Such a person comes to praise the righteousness of God. Hallelujah!