“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.”
Because we believe in God, who loves us all, we live happily. Even today, we are working for God while serving Him and preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Had we not known God’s love, we would have had no choice but to live dark and empty lives. We would not be able to spread the gospel of the water and the Spirit in joy. Without knowing God’s love, it would be too difficult for us to work for Him.
As we read God’s Word, what do we realize? We realize that God loves us, and because we know this, we can lead our lives energetically everyday by trusting in this love. Our hearts are overflowing with joy because the love of God is in our hearts. Because God’s love for the righteous is so great, we ourselves, who have been clothed in this love, also have loving hearts for all sinners.
God has a loving heart for us. The Apostle John proclaimed, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We have come to love God because we have received His love through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. Because we now love God, we can also spread this love to others. If we really do not know God’s love, not only would we be unable to be saved from this sinful world, but we would also be unable to earn eternal life. When we believe in the gospel of the water and the blood, the very fruit of God’s love, we can receive the remission of our sins and spread His love of salvation to others as well.
Leo Tolstoy, a literary giant from Russia, left us a famous story titled, “What Men Live By?” By what do we live? It is by God’s love that all of us live. God has a loving heart for us, and in fact, He fulfilled this love through the gospel of the water and the Spirit and has forever bestowed it on us.
I ask you again. By what do our souls live? It is by the love of God that our souls live. By what kind of strength do we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit and serve the Lord? It is by the strength of God’s love for us that we are serving and preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Such a life is made possible only because of God’s love. It is not because of the existence of the Truth per se that we love, but it is because we have been clothed in this love of Truth that we are able to love.
God So Loved the World
Let us turn to John 3:14-16, a passage that is very familiar to us. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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.”
Had there not been this passage from John 3:14-16, we might have not known His love and grace of salvation fully, and even those who have already been saved by the water and the Spirit might have concluded that it was insignificant to believe in Jesus.
When God made us, He did it with His purpose of love. He considered us to be the objects of His love. When God created us, He created us so He could truly love us. While it is true that angels are spiritual beings too, they were merely created to serve the holy God. They are not God’s people.
We human beings are made differently from these angels. We were made as the objects of God’s love. If the angels were made as the subjects that worship God and serve His children, you and I, that is, all human beings, were made as the objects on whom God would bestow His love. Simply put, the angels were created to be used by God, but mankind was clearly created to enjoy glory with God. When we have children, we take them as our own blood and flesh, and we want to love them and cherish them—God made us just like this.
It is by the grace of God that we live completely saved from our sins. To everyone and anyone, God has given His unconditional love that saves believers from all sins. Our Lord is telling us, “Do you believe that I love you? Because I love you, I was baptized and I shed My blood on the Cross to death. Then I rose from the dead again, and in this way I have saved you. By loving you with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I have made you My own children.” Because we have received God’s love by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we lead a life of serving His gospel, no matter what difficulties we might encounter, we endure them all by faith and we continue to serve the gospel diligently.
Now, you and I, all of us, live by placing our faith in God’s love. The strength for us to embrace martyrdom boldly before God also comes from our faith in the fact that the Lord loves us. The strength for us to serve the Lord, also comes wholly from His love. We are also determined to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit until the end of this world because we know and believe that He loves us. It is because we believe in God’s love that we can live in His Church until the end of the age. The Lord is testifying His love to us with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The true love of God is fully revealed in the gospel of Truth, the gospel of the water and the Spirit that saves us from the sins of the world. It is also because of God’s love that our relationships are sustained and we trust each other and cherish one another. It is just like the role of the bands and the cords that combine each pillar into one strong structure for the fence of the Tabernacle (Exodus 27:17-19). Even though we are weak individually, we can do the work of God bravely in union with the other saints in His Church for we have kept the love of God in our hearts. Through our own strength, it is impossible for us to do anything spiritual or serve the Lord. It is only because of the Lord’s love that we can do anything.
It is because we believe in God’s love that we serve the Lord in joy. It is because the gospel of the water and the Spirit that I know is the gospel of Truth and too precious to be kept just for myself that I go out and preach this gospel throughout the world, so that it may be spread everywhere. If we do not know God’s love, we will consider it as some kind of duty or chain imposed on us, and we will be far from thankful for it. Then we would not be able to do anything for God, no matter what precious and valuable work He might entrust to us. If we have no desire for it, how could God continue to urge us to accept His love? You can take a horse to the water, but you can’t force to it drink. Likewise, if we do not believe in God’s love and reject it, then God can never saved us. It is because of our love for God that we are doing His work; our sense of duty alone can never make this possible.
It is only because we have received God’s overflowing love that we are now able to share this love with one another. Our task then is to support and admonish one another with God’s love so that we will all understand it. Since God has brought us new life, our life now belongs to Him. It is God’s love that has delivered us from our sins. It is God Himself who has saved us by giving us His water and blood. Thereby, He has made us His people and enabled us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And now that He has made us into His workers, we are so thankful to Him beyond all words. All these things have been permitted to us by God’s love.
The Love of God Is Manifested by Jesus, Who Was Baptized by John and Who Shed His Blood for Us
In John 1:29, it is written, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” John the Baptist had baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. And the next day after His baptism, John bore witness to the people, saying “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” This is clearly because John the Baptist himself had passed all the sins of the world to Jesus Christ through His baptism, and he could testify this Truth. Jesus indeed was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. When the Son of God came to this earth, He shouldered all the sins of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist, and then carrying the world’s sins to the Cross.
John the Baptist testifies once more, saying, “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!’” (John 1:35-36) “The Lamb of God” mentioned here means that Jesus would become the sacrifice for all sinners of this world by being baptized by John the Baptist on their behalf and then by shedding His blood on the Cross. Jesus could be represented as the Lamb of God because He had accepted all sins of the world through His baptism from John, and would carry them to the Cross.
About 2000 Years Ago, Jesus Blotted out the Sins of the World through the Baptism He Received from John and His Blood Shed on the Cross
As I write this book, it is 2005. I say this to underscore the fact that it has now been 2005 years since the coming of Jesus Christ. The Gregorian calendar is based on this date when Jesus Christ came to this earth, marking the period after His birth as A.D., and before His birth as B.C. History is therefore divided into these two periods, before and after the birth of Jesus Christ, based on the year He came to this world, and so now over 2000 years have passed since His coming.
In 30 A.D., Jesus Christ accepted all the worldly sins of mankind through His baptism by John the Baptist. The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him. Then, he testified, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) This meant, “Jesus carried all your sins. No matter what kind of sin you might have committed, the Son of God took them all away. Now whoever believes in Him is a righteous man.” To all those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, God has given the gift of being born again, the gift of the remission of sin.
Sent by God the Father, Jesus took upon all the sins of the world, yours and mine alike. After passing all the sins of this world to Jesus by baptizing Him, John the Baptist bore witness to Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” so that all would believe in Jesus as their Savior. John 1:7 states, “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.” Had there been no testimony of John the Baptist, no Christian in this world would have known how Jesus received the sins of the world. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus died on the Cross because of the baptism that He received from John. John the Baptist was testifying that Jesus took upon the sins of the world when Jesus was baptized by him, and that Jesus Himself would carry them to the Cross.
It has been more than 2000 years since Jesus Christ came, and we do not know how many days remain for this world. As the Lord said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” (Revelation 1:8), surely there is an end to this world. Coming to this earth more than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ took upon all the sins of mankind, that is, “the sins of the world,” and carried them to the Cross. From the time He was baptized, it took Him three years to go to the Cross. During these three years after His baptism, Jesus preached the gospel, and after the three years, He was crucified and shed His blood to death.
“The world” in the passage of “the sin of the world” does not just refer to this planet earth, but it refers to every human being whoever lives on it, to you and me. And because God is the eternal Being, He can look through the past world, the present world, and the future world at a glance, and He can blot out the sins of the world to infinite dimensions. Since Jesus said that He already washed away all the sins of the world through His baptism and His blood shed on the Cross, all human beings, whether from the past, the future, or the present, have been freed from all their sins.
Let’s Apply “the Sins of the World” to Ourselves
John 1:29 states, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” As you and I were born into this world and are now carrying on with our lives, it has been around 2000 years since Jesus shouldered the sins of the world. We lead our lives limited by the dimension of time but God doesn’t.
We are committing sins while leading our lives on this earth within the time dimension He created. Does the time since we were born from our mothers’ wombs until now, then, belong to the world or not? It surely belongs to the world. Once born, as babies grow up in their childhood to reach one, two, and three years old, do they continue to commit sin or not? They do. Instead of separating original sin from personal sins, let’s consider them altogether. Did we or did we not commit sin in our childhood, when we were from ages 1-10? Of course we did.
But Jesus has already blotted out all these sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All the sins that we had committed in this period were passed onto Jesus when He was baptized. What about when you were teenagers? Did you or did you not commit sin in your adolescence, when you were 11-20 years old? Of course you did. Were these sins then already passed onto Jesus about 2000 year ago also, or were they not passed? They were indeed all passed on. All the sins of this world were put onto Jesus during His baptism. Jesus took away all our sins that we have committed so far and will ever
commit until we die. Then do we still have sin or not? There is no sin in our hearts. Jesus already has made an advanced payment for all the sins of world and took them all away beforehand.
How long do we live? Let’s just say here that most of us will live until we are 70 years old. If assume that we are now 20 years old, and we weigh all the sins that we would commit for the 50 years of our remaining lives, just how heavy would all these sins be? If you could somehow weigh your sins, they would be so heavy that you would need hundreds of dump trucks to load them. If anything, your sins would be even heavier than this, but never lighter. Regardless of whether it is with your deeds or your hearts that you commit these sins, they are still unbelievably heavy.
Through His baptism, Jesus took upon all the sins of this world once and for all. Jesus definitely carried and took away all the sins of the world. If we were to say that Jesus took away only our original sin, and not our personal sins, then we would end up in hell despite our belief in Jesus. Just how many sins do we commit as we live in this world? Are all they included in the sins of the world or not? Of course, they all belong to the sins of the world. You commit sin when you are 21-30 years old also. These sins, too, are the sins that are committed in the world. And Jesus took them all away also.
Let’s say we are 50 years old now. Did or did Jesus not atone for all the sins that we have committed in this world so far? Of course He did! How about the sins that will be committed by our children while they are growing older in the future? All those sins also have already been passed onto Jesus when He was baptized by John the Baptist. He is the very Jesus who blotted out all the sins of mankind.
Through this one man, the representative of mankind, the Savior was baptized, and through this baptism He put onto Himself all the sins of mankind, all the sins of this world and by dying on the Cross, He freed everyone from the bondage of sin. The Lord, in other words, has atoned for all our sins. To fulfill such a great mission, God needed to send the proper servant who would prepare His way and actually play the great role of passing all the sins of the world to Jesus. Put differently, the Lord needed a representative of all mankind who would lay his hands on His head. This is why God the Father sent John the Baptist prior to Jesus, and said in Matthew 3:15, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” commanding John the Baptist to baptize Him. Then Jesus Himself came to this earth and was baptized by this servant of God, John the Baptist.
My fellow believers, it is because John the Baptist has passed the sins of the world to Jesus through His baptism that we are saved by believing in this Jesus Christ. Do you and I have sin or not? We have no sin. Were our sins passed onto Jesus through His baptism? They were indeed passed on.
When Jesus had atoned for all the sins of the world through His baptism and death, who could then claim that there still remains any sin in this world? All of us can therefore be saved when we believe in the center of our hearts what John the Baptist and Jesus did for us. By being baptized, Jesus accepted all the sins of the world that each and every one of us have and will commit until the day we die, and He carried these sins of the world to the Cross and shed His blood for us to pay for them. By doing all these things, He has blotted out all our sins.
I have lived for over a half of a century. In retrospect, I have led a very varied and interesting life. I am sure that there are many among you who have seen all kinds of ups and downs in your lives. There are plenty of people other than me who have led difficult lives. All these lives are like a dayfly’s life before God.
My fellow believers, how can people understand the gospel of Heaven that Jesus has fulfilled through His baptism and blood? Let’s take a dayfly for instance. How many hours are in a dayfly’s life? They say the adult dayflies are short-lived, from a few hours to a few days depending on the species, but the name ‘dayfly’ itself essentially captures their ephemeral existence. Let’s say they all live for only a day for my explanation, even though some dayflies live longer than a day.
By the time dayflies live for 12 hours out of the 24-hour life span, just how many stories would they have to tell, since this is half of their entire lifetime? Let’s say they started their lives together at midnight, and now is 6 p.m., then they have lived three-fifths of their lifespan, and they already arrive at their senescence. Let’s say that these dayflies got together at that time. They were already facing their twilight. Those that lived 24 hours actually have lasted a rather long time; some may have already died in 20 hours, saying, “I’ll go first,” while others may have lasted for just another hour.
We can imagine that they would chat of old times with their friends with retrospection of their childhood even though it all just happened in a day in human eyes. When they died, they probably thought that the tiny, insignificant things that they had experienced in a day took place during their long and entire lifetime. But how is it when we look at them? From our perspective, as human beings that live for 70 or 80 years on average, wouldn’t the lives of these dayflies seem so trivial to us? If we could somehow listen in to their conversation, it would seem so laughable. However, before God, we ourselves are precisely like these dayflies.
God is the Eternal Being. He existed even before He creates time. Existing in this eternal time God is looking at us. Out of His eternal time dimension, He Himself came to this earth into our temporal dimension, took upon all the sins of mankind, all the sins of the world, and upon His death on the Cross, He declared, “It is finished.” He then rose from the dead again in three days, and ascended to Heaven, the eternal world. He now abides in eternal time and is looking at us humans.
Let’s apply this Truth to the life a man. This man thinks, “I am only 30 years old, and yet I’ve already committed far too many sins. It’s so horrendous and terrible, so how could I ever be forgiven?” But our Lord, who is abiding in eternal time, says to him, “Are you kidding Me? Do you suppose that I only took away the sins that you committed when you were 25 years old, or the sins that you committed until you turned 30? Do you think that this is all that I took away? No! I took away all the sins of the world. Can you see this now? Through My baptism, I accepted onto My body all the sins of every human being whoever lived in this world and will ever live, from Adam the first man to the very last man alive until the end of the age, of your children and generations after them.”
Abiding in His everlasting time, our Lord is thus telling us. He is saying to us, “I have already atoned for your sins and all the sins of the world as well.”
Jesus Has Completely Fulfilled the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit That Saves the Sinners of the World from All Their Sins
Let’s turn to John 19:17-20. “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.”
Jesus was crucified on a hill called Golgotha. According to the Scripture, He was crucified at 9 o’clock A.M., and agonized for 6 hours on the Cross. When He was about to die, He said, “I thirst!” Then, people filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. After receiving the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” and passed away (John 19:28-30). And Jesus Christ rose from the dead in three days and ascended to Heaven. By doing all these things, He completed all the salvation of mankind.
“The Laying on of Hands” (to Pass Sin) in the Old Testament Was a Shadow of Jesus’ Baptism in the New Testament
Hebrews 10:1-9 states, “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. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second.”
It is written that the Law is a representation of good things to come. The sacrificial animals of the Old Testament, sheep and goats, that had accepted sin with the laying on of hands and were put to death, was a foretelling that Jesus Christ would come to this earth and atone for our sins in the same way, and blot them out with His death. All the people of faith in the Old Testament, such as David and Isaiah, believed in the coming of the Christ Savior by having faith in God’s salvation from the sacrificial system written in the Word. When the Israelites wanted to offer the sin offerings to God, they had to lay their hands on the heads of the animals without blemish and then they had to put the animals to death to draw their blood. This was the lawful sacrificial system. The Word of the Old Testament foretold that the Savior would come, take upon all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist in this way, and die on the Cross for us like this. The people of the Old Testament’s time believed in this, and were saved by faith. This is why the sacrificial system in the Law is a predictor of the good things to come.
However, the Bible says that these sacrifices offered according to the Law can never wholly purify us. To perform sacrifices everyday whenever we sin involves bringing an animal, passing our sins to it by laying our hands on it and slaughtering it, and to do this all over again tomorrow, cannot make us perfect. This is why the Son of God, the perfect, eternal, and sinless One, Himself came to this world.
Coming to this earth, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—In the volume of the book it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.’ Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second” (Hebrews 10:5-9).
The gospel of the water and the Spirit that God fulfilled is the Truth that Jesus Christ the Lamb of God was baptized and crucified to death to make us perfectly sinless. Therefore, we cannot be saved through the Law, but only by believing in the baptism and blood of Jesus can we be saved. According to the system established by God from the Word of the Old Testament, it is only by believing that Jesus Christ took away all our sins like this, that we have truly received the remission of our sins.
Let’s turn to Hebrews 10:10. “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
Have you been sanctified or not? You surely have. What is “that will” here? It was for God the Father to send us His Son, to pass all our sins of the world to His Son, to judge this Son once for all, and to thereby free us from all the sins of the world—this was the very will of God the Father. My fellow believers, because Jesus Christ offered His body once and for all to save us, we have now been sanctified. Because Jesus Christ took upon all our sins once and for all, and because He was sacrificed, we have now become sinless.
As the Bible says, once born, it is appointed for us to die once, and to face our judgment after this (Hebrew 9:27). But instead of our death, Jesus Christ, having put all our sins on His own body, vicariously died in our place one time. If someone came along and paid off all the debts that I’ve had all my life and that I will run up in the future, would I owe anything? No. Precisely in this way, our Lord has paid off all the wages of our sins when He came to this earth. Our Lord has therefore saved all of us who believe in Him from all the sins of the world, so that you and I would neither die nor be condemned. The Old Testament’s laying on of hands was the symbol of His baptism.
We Have Been Saved by Believing in Jesus According to the Written Word of the Scriptures
When it comes to believing in Jesus Christ, some people argue that we need some kind of scientific evidence to have concrete faith. But this Word of God itself is far more accurate and logical than any secular science. In the Old Testament, it is written in detail about the offering of sacrifices that were given for the remission of sin. These sacrifices had required the people of Israel to bring innumerable animals and sacrifice them every time they sinned, but in contrast, Jesus offered one everlasting sacrifice for sin with His body, who was baptized once and offered His body once to die on the Cross (Hebrews 10:12).
Do you still believe, in spite of this, that you can somehow be washed from your sins everyday by offering prayers of repentance every time you commit sins? If we still had to give such prayers of repentance everyday, we would return back to the age of the Old Testament. Who could ever be justified by never committing any sin until the day he dies, or by confessing all his sins perfectly including sins he committed by chance? Who could ever receive the remission of sins like this? Who would be able to not commit any sin at all, and who could ever be washed from his sins just by offering prayers of repentance? When there are so many sins that we have committed, how could we possibly repent all of them? We are beings such that the sins that we had committed in the morning are all forgotten by the evening, the evening’s sins are also trivially passed over, and all our usual sins are pretty much forgotten in no time; hence, to say that we can wash away our sins by prayers of repentance simply makes no sense.
As it is written, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10), Jesus Christ offered His body once for all. And because of this, we have now been sanctified once for all. Our sanctification has been reached in an instant, not over an extended period of time or a series of steps. The claim that we are somehow sanctified gradually and incrementally is nothing more than Satan’s deception. Our Lord has blotted out all our sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Hebrews 10:11-18 states, “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.”
Did God say here that we have to offer some sacrifices for our sins? No! What does it mean by the phrase, “remission of these”? It is the written Word of the Scriptures proclaiming that God has blotted out sin itself, any and all the sins of the world.
Had John the Baptist not baptized Jesus Christ, could we have received the remission of our sins? On the other hand, even if God had established the representative of mankind as John the Baptist, if Jesus had not received baptism from this man, and therefore did not take upon the sins of the world, could He then have blotted out our sins? No. God’s law is the law of justice. It is equitable and fair. If God says just by words, “I am you Savior. I have forgiven all your sins. I am your Messiah,” this alone does not mean that our salvation is completed. He had to actually take upon all our sins. Why did Jesus come incarnated in the flesh of man? It was precisely to bear all our sins trough His baptism, to remove all the sins that we commit in both our flesh and our hearts (for He already knew them), and to blot them out with His bloodshed, that He came to this earth incarnated in the same flesh as ours.
My fellow believers, had Jesus Christ not been baptized by John the Baptist, our sins could not have been entirely atoned for. And had Jesus died on the Cross without first taking all our sins on Himself, His death would have been all in vain. This death would have been useless and completely irrelevant to us. This is why Jesus came to this earth incarnated in the flesh, quietly led an ordinary life until 30, and was then baptized. Then, He lived three years of His public life from His baptism until His death on the Cross.
His baptism was the beginning of His public life. Saying to John the Baptist, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), Jesus was then baptized. It was at this moment that the passage from John 1:29—“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”—was fulfilled.
Because Jesus had accepted all our sins by being baptized, and because all these sins of ours, each and every sin of mankind, were wholly passed onto the body of Jesus, God the Father Himself turned away His eyes when His Son died on the Cross. Even God the Father could not bear to see His own Son dying, but because He did not choose to save His Son who was now shouldering all the sins of the world from His certain death, the Father could not help but let Him die. This is why darkness had descended upon the land for three hours before Jesus took His last breath, for God had turned His face. At the climax of His agony of death, Jesus Himself shouted out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45-46) Jesus had shouldered the sins of the world in our place, and was punished and condemned on the Cross in our stead. This is how He has saved you and me. Can you now grasp this? Do you now believe?
Had Jesus Christ not been baptized by John the Baptist, and had He not accepted the sins of the world, He would not have been condemned. There was no reason for Jesus Christ to die on the Cross if He had not taken upon our sins from John the Baptist, who was the representative of all mankind prepared by God.
This is why, in speaking of John the Baptist, Jesus said, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses” (Matthew 11:7-8), and added, “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet” (Matthew 11:9). Jesus also declared, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist,” and He went on to say, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence” (Matthew 11:11-12).
In all these things, Jesus is telling us that it was because John the Baptist had passed all the sins of the world to Himself that they could all be blotted out. You and I, having now seen the baptism given to Jesus and heard the testimony of John the Baptist, have come to believe in the Word of the remission of sin that Jesus fulfilled for us. This is how we became the righteous people without sin. Therefore, we can now call God as “God the Father.”
It is written, “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin” (Hebrew 10:18). There is no more sin in our hearts. If our bill is all paid off, do we still owe any debt? For example, let’s say here that a certain father loved to drink, and so he ran huge tabs in every pub in town. But his son became rich and made advance payments for all the drinks that his father loved so much, and he even paid for all drinks his father would ever have in his entire lifetime. If so, would this father have any bill to pay, even if continued to drink for an entire lifetime? He would owe nothing! This is only an example, of course, but just like this illustration, our God put all our sins on Jesus, so that He may save us. Moreover, Jesus did not just take upon the sins of our lifetime alone, but He took upon all the sins of the world without exception. All our sins were passed onto Jesus Christ when He was baptized. They now all belong to Jesus. This is why whoever believes in this is saved from all his sins. It is because Jesus was baptized for you when He came to this earth that you receive the remission of your sins by believing in this.
The planet earth has been here long before we were born. It’s not as if it came to exist after we came into existence. Jesus Christ, who has blotted out our sins, had already atoned for all of our sins long before you and I were born. Jesus atoned for each and every sin that all the disobedient sinners of this world have ever committed. My dear fellow saints, it is because the sins of the world were all passed onto Jesus that we have now become sinless, by believing in this Jesus who became the propitiation for all our sins.
My fellow believers, do you then still have sin? Of course not. What about tomorrow’s sins then, you might ask? All the sins that you will commit tomorrow were also atoned by Jesus. God Himself, on His side, took away each and every sin of the world, and He bore all the condemnation of sin because of the sins that He put on Himself.
Introducing the baptism that Jesus received from John, the Gospel of Mark begins by saying, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). This means that the Truth implied in Jesus’ baptism is very good news to everybody. God says to us, “I have atoned for all your sins. I am Your Savior. I have atoned all your sins in this way.” What is the gospel of truth? It’s ‘euaggelion’ or the good news. The Greek word for “gospel” is “euaggelion.” And God is asking us whether we believe or not in this gospel (euaggelion), this joyful news that His Son Jesus has brought to us.
Yet among so many people in this world, only a very small number have actually answered, saying, “Yes, I believe as You say. Yes, Lord, I believe as You have done. Now that I heard the Truth, it is so simple, and yet all this time I had not known it.” It is those who believe like this that God approves of, saying to them, “You are right. You are the righteous people like Abraham.”
However, most people only say, “I don’t think so, Lord. This gospel is something strange that I’ve never heard before.” So when the Lord says to them, “Oh, yeah? Have I or haven’t I blotted all your sins then?” they say, “Well, yes and no. You took away my original sin, but You didn’t take away my personal sins.” Being stunned by such misunderstanding, Jesus can only say to them, “Yes, you are so smart that you may have no need to learn from Me!” To such people, even Jesus would run out of words to say.
These people would be cast into hell for refusing to believe that Jesus blotted out all their sins out of His love. They must be punished for their sins because the Scriptures say, “The wages of sin is death.” As such, this is only their rightful punishment, not something that deserves compassion or sympathy. My fellow believers, it is not because one commits so many sins, nor the severity of such sins, that one is cast into hell. It is because one does not believe that Jesus has atoned for all sins that one is cast into hell. But whoever believes in the baptism of Jesus and the Cross can reach the Kingdom of Heaven by receiving his salvation.
Had Jesus not put all our sins on Himself by being baptized by John the Baptist, then our faith in Him would also be in vain. The baptism of Jesus is mentioned so many times in the Pauline Epistles. For instance, Galatians 3:27 says, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Here, to be “baptized into Christ” means to come into Jesus Christ to be united with Him by believing in His baptism. It means that all our sins were put on Jesus through the hands of John the Baptist, and this, in short, means that all our sins were passed onto Him. Therefore, when He died, we also died. And when He rose from the dead again, we, too, were resurrected.
Romans 6:3 says, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” Again, Romans 6:10 says, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God”; and John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” As these passages show that for all those who accept into their hearts what God has done for them, He has confirmed them as His own children.
In Colossians 1:13-14, it is written, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Hallelujah!
God has delivered us from the midst of all our sins through the water and the blood, the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He has made us born again from all our sins. I praise God for saving us all. Hallelujah!