“Now if the whole congregation of Israel sins unintentionally, and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done something against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which should not be done, and are guilty; when the sin which they have committed becomes known, then the assembly shall offer a young bull for the sin, and bring it before the tabernacle of meeting. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the Lord. Then the bull shall be killed before the Lord. The anointed priest shall bring some of the bull’s blood to the tabernacle of meeting. Then the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil. And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. He shall take all the fat from it and burn it on the altar. And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. Then he shall carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is a sin offering for the assembly.”
Warm greetings to all of you. Today, I would like to share the Word with you on how the people of the Old Testament received the remission of sins from God by offering a certain kind of sacrifice. When we read the Book of Leviticus, we can experience it being very difficult to understand. The Book of Leviticus records in great detail how people in the age of the Old Testament received the remission of sins. If the people of the Old Testament received the remission of sins according to the Word on the sacrificial system, then I believe that all of us living in this age are likewise can receive the remission of sins by believing in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
In today’s Scripture reading drawn from Leviticus 4:13-21, it’s written how the people of Israel received the remission of their sins when they sinned against God as a whole. When the people of Israel sinned against God collectively, and when they realized this sin later on, they had to sacrifice a bull as their sin offering. To be remitted from their sins, the people of Israel selected a man amongst themselves to be appointed as the leader of the congregation. And this leader passed the sins of the people of Israel by laying his hands on the head of the sacrificial animal. In other words, a representative of the people of Israel passed their sins on their behalf to an unblemished bull chosen as their sacrificial offering.
What We Must Know about the Sacrificial System
It’s very important for us to be knowledgeable of the Word of God. To once again summarize the sacrificial system of the Old Testament in rudimentary terms, acting as the representative of the whole congregation of Israel, the High priest passed their sins to a live goat by laying his hands on its head; he then drew the blood of the goat by cutting its throat; taking some of this blood into the Most Holy Place, he then sprinkled it seven times on the mercy seat; and then the High priest put some of the blood on the Altar of Incense. In addition, the High priest also poured the rest of the blood out under the Altar of Burnt Offering. After this, the flesh of the bull was cut into pieces, and they were burnt on the Altar of Burnt Offering and offered to God. This is how the people of Israel received the remission of sins when they sinned. Today, I would like to expound on this sacrificial system through which the people of Israel were remitted from their sins by passing their sins onto the sacrificial offering through the laying on of hands.
It is from the Scripture that we can find out how the remission of sins is received. For a sinner to receive the remission of sins, he must first of all pass his sins to a sacrificial offering by laying his hands on its head without fail. The offering that enables one to pass and transfer all his sins to his sacrificial animal is called the “sin offering.” Let me first explain here what this sin offering means.
A “sin offering” is an offering that is made to make atonement for one’s sins. When one seeks to receive the remission of sins from God, he himself must pay a price for it, and this price is paid by offering a sacrificial animal in lieu of himself. In other words, the “sin offering” here means that something else is sacrificed to make atonement for one’s sins, by killing such animals as a lamb, a goat, or a bull.” That’s why it’s known as the “sin offering.” To illustrate, instead of a sinner dying for his own sins, these sins are passed on to a bull, and the bull instead pays for them by being killed in the sinner’s place to pay the wages of his sins. It’s very important for you to fully grasp this point, as only then can you believe in the Word as I go on to explain it to you.
Various Offerings Were Meant to Fulfill the Law
Apart from such sin offerings, there also are various other offerings such as burnt offerings and peace offerings. There is a common attribute to all these different offerings, and it is that they all require one’s sins to be passed to a sacrificial animal. That’s because instead of a sinner dying, a commensurate offering has to be made to God without fail. Put differently, instead of putting the sinner to death, an animal is killed. This was God’s justice and His fair salvation. You all know that there are 613 commandments in the Law of God, right? You also know that you are incapable of keeping all these commandments? But you still try to keep them, don’t you? It is indeed absolutely mandatory for us to keep these God-given laws.
If we cannot keep this Law, then we must be put to death as the price for failing to do so. Therefore, the conclusion to draw here is simple and straight-forward: if we fail to keep the Law of God, we have no choice but to face death. However, although God has to kill us sinners who cannot keep His Law, but because He loved us so much, He could not bring Himself to put us to death; and for this reason, God fulfilled the salvation of atonement, of the water and the Spirit, by accepting a live sacrificial offering in our place. God is just and absolute. He is perfect. His Word is therefore the absolute Truth that is fulfilled without fail.
Through Moses, God made a promise to the people of Israel with blood. And the people of Israel pledged that they would keep the God-given Law. God told Moses to call the children of Israel out before him. And proclaiming His Law to the people of Israel, God made the congregation of Israel to kill a bull and sprinkle this blood together, saying to them, “I have given you My Law, and you have promised to keep this Law. If you fail to keep the Law, then you will be put to death, just as this bull’s blood was shed and it was killed.” At the same time, however, God knew beforehand that the people of Israel were incapable of keeping the Law, and even so God still loved them. Therefore, instead of putting the people of Israel to death, God made them prepare sacrificial offerings in their place. This is God’s just law of salvation. The key point for you to grasp here is that absolutely no sin whatsoever can ever be remitted away without paying its full price.
Sin is absolutely intolerable to God. The wages of sin is death without fail. This means that sin is blotted out only if its wages are paid off through death; it is not something that can be forgiven without a price. Because we commonly think of God as the God of love, it’s very easy for us to delude ourselves into thinking that when we sin against God, out of His goodness He would just forgive us without demanding anything in return. But in reality, God never forgives any sinner freely, and instead He demands a price for it without fail, for He is perfect, holy, and just. Put different, because God does not lie, because God is holy, and because God is sinless and cannot tolerate any sin, He must put all sinners to death.
However, behind such wrath God shown towards sin, there is His just love, His love of salvation. As we can see from Scripture, this love of salvation has been manifested to us through the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ, that is, that which has been revealed to us by God the Father by passing all the sins of every human being to Jesus Christ through His baptism, which is a form of the laying on of hands; putting Him to death; and washing away our sins through this death of atonement. Let me explain this by drawing an example from everyday life.
Let’s say that you were pressed for money and bought some food from a store on a tab. Can you settle your tab just by saying to the store owner that you’ve paid it all off already, without actually paying the money you owe him? No, of course not! You cannot settle your debt just with your words, nor is this acceptable to your creditor. All debts must be paid off in reality to be settled. If you have no ability to pay them off, then someone else must make that payment on your behalf. This is only fair and just. God has such a just mind. And man also has such a sense of justice. Because we human beings were made in the likeness of the image of God and after His heart, we are also drawn to justice.
As shown in today’s Scripture reading, the people of the Old Testament received from God such a system to get their sins remitted away. When the High priest passed all the sins of the people of Israel to the sacrificial animal as their representative, killed it, drew its blood, and burnt its flesh as an offering to God, God accepted this offering and remitted the sins of the people of Israel.
The Death Jesus Suffered on the Cross
If this is the way the remission of sins was received in the age of the Old Testament, then you and I living in this age of the New Testament should also receive the remission of sins by the same principle. But, do we have any bull or lamb that we can readily offer? To my knowledge, none of us is really raising cattle. Nonetheless, even if we don’t have any lamb, bull, or goat, we must still give something to God as our sacrificial offering in our place. Who then came to this earth as our propitiation for sin? It is none other than Jesus. Like the bull here in today’s Scripture passage, Jesus had to accept all the sins of this world including yours and mine, and He had to be put to death as our offering to God, just as the bull had to shed its blood and be put to death. That is why Jesus came to this earth.
Having thus come to this earth, and when Jesus turned 30, He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. When we turn to Matthew 3:15 and read further, we see Jesus being baptized. By being baptized by the representative of mankind named John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11), Jesus accepted all the sins of mankind. He accepted each and every sin of every human being from the beginning of the world to its end, leaving none behind. And in doing so, Jesus could become the sacrificial offering for all sinners, for you and me alike, just like the bull in today’s Scripture reading.
Even though you and I had to die for our sins, Jesus bore all our sins through His baptism. When reading Matthew 3:15 in the original Greek text it says, “Αποκριθεις δε ο ιησους ειπεν προς αυτον αφες αρτι ουτως γαρ πρεπον εστιν ημιν πληρωσαι πασαν δικαιοσυνην τοτε αφιησιν αυτον.” We have to pay attention to the underlined words, “ουτως” and “πασαν δικαιοσυνην.” The Greek word “ουτως” (hutos) means ‘just in this way,’ ‘most fitting,’ or ‘there is no other way besides this.’ And the words “πασαν δικαιοσυνην” (pasan dik-ah-yos-oo’-nayn) means in the fairest state that has no defect at all. Therefore, this verse means that Jesus took all the sins of mankind irreversibly onto Himself in the most proper way by His baptism which He received from John the Baptist. Let me repeat once again here that Jesus was baptized for you and me to bear all your sins and mine.
Some of you have heard this blessed Word, ‘that Jesus took upon all the sins of the world from its beginning to its end,’ while some of you are hearing it for the first time. But, regardless of whether it’s the first time you are hearing this or you’ve already heard it several times, it is the Truth clearly written in the Scripture.
Matthew 3:15 writes clearly that Jesus fulfilled all righteousness when He was baptized, that is, He has blotted out everyone’s sins by being baptized. He was then crucified to death. As we see in today’s Scripture reading, for the bull to die in lieu of the people of Israel during the age of the Old Testament, it also had to accept their sins first of all. But, did this bull know any sin? Did it know the Law of God? No, of course not. Only human beings know sin; it is not something that any animal knows. The bull therefore actually had no reason to die.
As I mentioned just a short while ago, because human beings were born on this earth in the likeness of the image of God and take after His holy character, they are capable of realizing their sins when they break the Law of God. That is why so many people try so hard to get their sins remitted away by praying to God. To compensate for the sins they committed, some people do good deeds such as volunteering at a seniors’ residence, helping the poor, or giving a lot of donations to their churches, all in the name of God. They do these things because they think God would then somehow gloss over their sins. While their intention is worthy, their method is wrong.
Our sins do not disappear just because we do good deeds for other people or pray long and hard. Rather, the wages of our sins must be paid without fail. To pay the wages of our sins according to the law of God, we the sinners must be put to death. If this requirement were met right now, there would be no one left alive on this earth. But the people of this world are still alive. Spiritually speaking, all people are already dead because of their sins. That is precisely why Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, to deliver you and me from this condemnation of our sins. It is for our sake that Jesus was crucified to death. He shed His blood on the Cross just as the sacrificial bull of the Old Testament had its throat cut and shed its blood.
Whenever you and I commit any sin, we feel wretched in our hearts. When we sin against God, we feel so down that we don’t feel like living in this world anymore. It’s because the wages of sin is death that we feel so depressed. This is because the Law that God spoke of thousands of years ago still applies to our hearts fully even now. That is why we must be saved by believing in the baptism of Jesus and His blood.
For those who believe in Jesus, it is a wonderful blessing that Jesus died on the Cross. One may wonder what is so blessed about Jesus suffering such a wretched death on the Cross, but even so, some of you still wear a cross around your neck. What is there to like so much about the Cross that you are wearing it on your neck? Crucifixion was one of the most cruel capital punishments reserved only for the most appalling criminals. So what is so lovely about the Cross of Jesus that you are wearing it around your neck? You wear it because Jesus died on the Cross in your place even though you had to die for your sins every time you sinned, and because you are so grateful for this; and that is why it’s such a wonderful blessing that Jesus died for you.
It’s not because people commit many sins that they must be put to death. Rather, the just law of God demands that anyone who commits any sin at all, even the tiniest of all sins, must be put to death for the wages of this sin. Just a short while ago today we sang a hymn called “At Calvary.” I love this hymn. I love it because Jesus died for you and me in our place. Do we not all sin? Does everyone in this world sin, Christians and non-Christians alike? By their fundamental nature, human being cannot help but sin constantly. It is in their nature to sin every time they are awake. Today, I am speaking to you about the death Jesus suffered on the Cross in our place.
You and I, and all the people in this world, commit countless sins, but we are just glad that Jesus died on the Cross. Some people might think, “Jesus died on the Cross all on His own without even asking us about it, so how is this relevant to us? What is there to be so thankful about?” However, I know and believe that when Jesus died on the Cross, He died in my place. Although I believe in Jesus, because I am weak, I cannot help but sin while living in this world, and even if these sins of mine are small, whenever I commit them my conscience is still tormented. That is why I’m so grateful that Jesus has saved me by dying in my place rather than putting me to death. When we have this faith that Jesus died for our sins, it’s then that we can truly pray to God with thanksgiving.
You all believe in Jesus, right? And you all pray to God, right? But, do you always find it easy to pray? Sometimes it’s not so easy to pray. Is there then sin in your heart? Everyone’s heart has a sinful desire. Are there any sins engraved in your heart that you just cannot forget, that just won’t disappear? Some of you may deny this. However, although human beings are more than capable of easing their own conscience and hiding their worries from others, if they have any sin in God’s sight, they cannot hide this sin.
It’s written in Jeremiah 17:1, “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.” God is saying here that He writes everyone’s sins on the tablet of one’s heart and in God’s Book of Judgment. That is why so many people still have their sins remaining intact even after believing in Jesus. It’s not just a mere saying. Even after believing in Jesus, countless number of Christians actually do remain sinners. It’s true that everyone sins constantly, but the fact that so many Christians’ sins remain in their hearts all the time means that there is something wrong with their faith, and it’s all because they do now know the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
If one really believes in Jesus, then this person should be filled with peace, just as a hymn goes, “I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul.” Yet, instead of having peace like a river, countless Christians are weighed down by heavy sins. God therefore exposes people’s sins so that they may not hide in their hearts away. By exposing your sins, God is pointing out clearly to you that there are sins in your heart, and that these sins are written in two tablets. God is asking you to come forth and admit your sinfulness to Him. And God is asking you to believe that He Himself was baptized and crucified to death for you.
Oftentimes we think simply that any wrongdoing we commit against another human being is what constitutes a sin. But this is a misunderstanding, indicating one’s failure to grasp what sin is really is all about. We can realize our sins before God only when we realize that we have failed to live according to the Word of God as written in the Bible.
It’s written in today’s Scripture reading, “When the sin which they have committed becomes known” (Leviticus 4:14). This passage implies that you must first of all realize what sins you have committed against God, and that only after you have done this are you qualified to receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus. When nonbelievers do something bad, such as getting into a fistfight, they just think that they made a small mistake rather than thinking that they actually committed a sin. They think of their wrongdoings as simple “mistakes” rather than as “sins.” However, when people learn about the Word of God and come to believe in Jesus, they come to realize their sins. For some people, this realization takes a long time after they first began to believe in Jesus. In fact, many people truly recognize themselves as sinners only after believing in Jesus.
Like this, for many people it takes a long time since first believing in Jesus to admit to God sincerely that they are sinners, and to finally reach their salvation by believing in the gospel truthfully. That is why it took the Apostle Paul such a long time before being born again, and this is true for God’s servants today also, many of whom were not born again until after ten, twenty years had gone by since they first believed in Jesus. In some cases, they were not born again until well after they finished they seminary training and were ordained as pastors. So, even if you have believed in Jesus for a long time, there is nothing to be ashamed of if it’s only now that you realize your sins, and started to believe in the baptism of Jesus and His blood on the Cross, and thereby receive the remission of sins. On the contrary, this is something that you should be proud of.
In fact, I could be born again only after ten years had gone by since first believing in Jesus, around the time I was nearing the completion of my seminary training. But, I consider it extremely fortunate that I was born again even if belatedly. Had I not been born again, I would have turned into a crook doing nothing but defrauding you to make a living. How could I have preached the Word, when I would have remained a sinner if I were not truly born again? So, let me take this opportunity to make the following admonishment: no matter how long you might have believed in Jesus, examine yourself right now to see just how much you really know about Jesus, and how correctly you understand and believe in the Word.
Receive the Remission of Sins through Your Faith
I admonish you all the time to receive the remission of sins. That’s because the remission of sins is the greatest gift God has given us human beings. Before coming to God’s Church, you did not know that Jesus had taken all your sins by being baptized in the Jordan River. Is there anyone here who already knew this? Worldly churches just teach that Jesus was baptized to demonstrate his humanity, to show us that He lived on this earth like every other human being. This, however, is ignoring the Word of God. Let’s turn to God’s Word here for a moment.
Let’s all turn to Matthew 3:13-17 and read it together: “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.’”
The word “then” in verse 13 the time when Jesus turned 30. After spending some time near the Sea of Galilee, Jesus stepped into the Jordan River and stood before John the Baptist, seeking to be baptized by him. This must have shocked him, as he said to Jesus in response, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” However, Jesus said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” As Jesus rebuked John the Baptist severely like this, he obeyed Him and baptized Him.
Do you know the meaning of the baptism Jesus received? Some of you are probably thinking that Jesus’ immersion in the water symbolizes His death, while His emergence symbolizes His resurrection. Does anyone else know more about the baptism of Jesus? - Beyond this, most Christians think that baptism symbolizes the making of a new person. When I was baptized, I prayed to God to take away all my sins before getting immersed in the water. However, I did not know at that time what it really meant to pass my sins on when being baptized.
The Importance of the Word of God
What is more important: man’s word, or the written Word of God? I have a question to raise here, but doing so, let’s turn to Matthew 3:15 first: “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.” Amen!
Didn’t Jesus say clearly here, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”? Now then, it’s very important for us to pay close attention what Jesus mentioned here. Where it’s written, “thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” Jesus was saying that it was fitting for Him to be baptized by John the Baptist, for John the Baptist to baptize Him, and for them to thereby fulfill all righteousness. Let me explain what the word “thus” means here. This word is “πασαν δικαιοσυνην” (pasan dik-ah-yos-oo’-nayn) in Greek. It refers to the way of fulfilling all righteousness, and this way is the baptism of Jesus. Jesus had come to this earth to blot out the sins of every sinner in this world. Having come for this purpose, He sought to be baptized by John the Baptist. Receiving baptism from John the Baptist was the only way to save all the people of this world from their sins. That’s because by being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus would accept all the sins of the world by them being passed to Him.
Let’s return to Leviticus 4:13-21 in the Old Testament. When the sins of the people of Israel were passed to the bull, were hands laid on its head or not? It is written that hands were laid on its head without fail. This “laying on of hands” means, first of all, “to be passed on”; secondly, “to be transferred and planted’: and thirdly, “to be buried.” When the high priest representing the people of Israel confessed their sins and laid his hands on the head of the bull on the day of atonement, and through his hands all the sins of the people of Israel were passed on to that bull. That is why the bull was put to death, because the sins were passed to it. And that’s why the laying on of hands implies burial.
In the New Testament, baptism involves getting immersed in under the water. Very importantly, the meaning of baptism is the same as that of the laying on of hands that I have just mentioned here, which is: “to be washed,” “to be buried,” and “to be passed on.” In other words, the laying on of hands in the Old Testament and the baptism mentioned in the New Testament has the same meaning. The role of the bull that was sacrificed in the Old Testament is the same of the role of Jesus, the lamb of God in the New Testament.
The Book of Leviticus explains the sacrificial system. “Levi” was actually one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The name “Levi” means unity. It refers to a union, like the former Soviet Union that was created out of the union of various nations and ethnicities. So, the Scripture, especially the Book of Leviticus, is explaining to us how human beings can become one with the holy God through the sacrificial system.
While God is holy, human beings are unholy because of their sins. It is therefore absolutely indispensable for there to be a sin offering between mankind and God. To blot out the sins of mankind, an offering was necessary, and this offering had to be an unblemished animal such as a goat or a bull. By making the High priest lay his hands on this sacrificial animal and kill it instead of the people of Israel, God made it possible for them to become one with Him. It is through this sacrificial system of the Tabernacle that God blotted away the sins of the people of Israel making them clean. Not only did God blot out their daily sins, but on the tenth day of the seventh day, God also blotted out their yearly sins through the offerings on the Day of Atonement.
When we turn to Leviticus 16:21-22, we see how the high priest passed all the yearly sins of the people of Israel to one of two goats by laying his hands on the head of the goat. The first goat was killed in the Tabernacle, with its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat and its flesh offered to God by burning. The other goat, after accepting all the sins of all the people of Israel through the laying on of hands, was led out far into the wilderness to die for these sins. In the age of the Old Testament, God made the people of Israel the only sinless nation in the whole world through this sacrificial system.
Let’s turn to Leviticus 16:21-22 here: “Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.” Amen!
It’s written here that Aaron should lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confessing over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all the transgressions committed by them, and putting them on the head of the goat. Aaron was Moses’ big brother. He was also the high priest, and he confessed all the sins of the people of Israel by laying his hands on the head of the goat while they were watching him. I’ve already explained to you that the “laying on of hands” means “to be passed on,” haven’t I? It’s because the high priest laid his hands on the head of the goat like this that the sins of the people of Israel were passed to it. In this, the people of Israel in the age of the Old Testament received the remission of their sins through the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement offered on the tenth day of the seventh month every year. They were remitted from all their yearly sins in this way.
After the high priest laid his hands on the goat, confessing all the sins of the people of Israel and passing them to the sacrificial animal, this goat was then led out into the barren desert. All the people of Israel saw the goat being led into the wilderness. As they saw the goat disappearing into the horizon, they sighed in relief and joy. Thinking that the goat had left with their burdensome sins, they celebrated this and praised God. It’s very important not to think of the burden of sin in the same way that we think of other burdens. The weight of sin is determined by God, and all sins, big or small, are equally sins. That’s because there is the Law established by God to blot out the sins of mankind. The “laying on of hands” means “to be washed,” “to be passed on,” and “to be buried.” What the Scripture says is the most important.
Let’s then return to Matthew 3:15 again. The Scripture says that as Jesus was baptized, all our sins were passed to Him so that they could disappear. It’s also written in the Epistle to Romans, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith” (Romans 1:17). The righteousness of God here means that God has done the most right thing. How? He has done it by passing all the sins of mankind to His Son Jesus through baptism, and making His Son bear all these sins and be condemned for them. None other than this is the “righteousness of God,” that is, the right thing done by God. Therefore, by believing in the baptism that Jesus received, we can wash away all the sins of our hearts.
Jesus has fulfilled the righteousness of God by being baptized. He has blotted out all our sins. That is precisely why Jesus said to John the Baptist when He was being baptized that the righteousness of God would thus be fulfilled: “Thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Do you now understand what this passage means? Do you believe that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist like this, all the sins of mankind, including all your sins, were passed on to Jesus? That is what I believe. I believe that all my sins were passed to Jesus at that moment. All your sins were also passed to Jesus at that time. They were all passed on already over 1,900 years ago in the past tense. By bearing all our sins through His baptism 1,900 years ago, Jesus washed them away and saved us, and we are now hearing this Truth at this hour after 1,900 years. Whether you believe in this Word of Truth that you are now hearing is entirely up to you. If you believe in it with your heart, then you will be saved for sure.
The righteousness of God is that He loved human beings and has therefore made them sinless. In Romans 10:3 God rebuked the Jews by saying, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” We must believe in God’s righteousness, which is this joyful gospel that God took away all our sins by being baptized and ultimately died on the Cross in your place and mine. We must believe in this good news. Jesus could die on the Cross and be buried because He had accepted all our sins by being baptized in the Jordan River. The Jordan River is the river of death. This river flows into the Dead Sea. Because Jesus accepted all our sins in this Jordan River and washed them all away, all those who believe in this salvation can go to Heaven. However, whoever does not believe in what happened in the Jordan River, that is, the Truth that all the sins of mankind were passed on to Jesus through His baptism—will go to hell.
Let’s turn to Hebrews 9:27 here: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Like this, the Scripture says that everyone must face the judgment, and to avoid this judgment, one must be born again of water and the Spirit. By being baptized, Jesus bore all the sins of every human being, including yours and mine; He then shed His blood and died on the Cross; and He rose from the dead again in three days. He is the Holy Spirit and God Himself. Those who believe that Jesus is their Savior and their God will go to Heaven. It’s such people who are born again of water and the Spirit.
Do you now understand that Jesus was baptized for every sinner? Do you now realize that all your sins were passed on to Jesus? By believing in this gospel of the baptism and the Cross of Jesus with your heart, you can pass all yours sins to Him at this very hour. This is not my own words. Far from it, I am just preaching the God-spoken Word exactly as it is written in the Scripture. So I urge you all to believe.
“Behold! The Lamb of God Who Takes away the Sin of the World” (John 1:29)
Do you then have any sins in you or not? You don’t have any. All the sins you’ve committed so far have been passed on to Jesus, right? They have indeed all been passed on. Then about the sins you commit today, or the sins that you will commit in the future until the very last day of your life? Have these sins also been passed on to Jesus? Yes, they have! If we believe in this truth, then have we not been made holy also? Indeed, we have been made holy. However, it is not by not sinning that we have been sanctified, but rather, it is because we believe in this Truth that we have become sinless and therefore holy. In other words, we have no more sin because Jesus took away all our sins.
Let’s then turn to John 1:29 here: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” Referring to Jesus, John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus here, testifying clearly to everyone that He was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. John the Baptist then bore witness again in verse 36: “And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’” Having come to this earth to blot out your sins and mine, Jesus accepted all our sins by being baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, and thereafter He preached the gospel of Heaven for three years.
The Lord said that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one can come to the Father except through Him. As shown in John chapter 6, the Lord also said that He is the bread of life from Heaven, and that whoever ate this bread would be saved and receive everlasting life. Saying that He is greater than Moses who brought the manna to the people of Israel, Jesus also said that He has saved sinners by accepting all their sins through His baptism and giving up His body on the Cross. Urging us to believe in what He has done for us, the Lord expounded that we are to receive the remission of sins and become righteous and sinless by this faith.
Jesus took away the sins of the world. Do you then have any sin left? No, you are sinless! That is why the Scripture says that whoever believes in Jesus is saved, as it’s written, “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Because Jesus alone accepted all our sins through His baptism and died on the Cross in our place, only those who believe in Jesus are saved. How many sins then did Jesus take away when He took away the sins of this world? He took away each and every sin that has ever been committed and will ever be committed from the beginning of this world to its end. This world will end one day, and Jesus took away all the sins that have been and will ever be committed until that day. It’s because Jesus took away every sin forever that John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus as “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” It is indeed impossible to count all the sins that Jesus took away.
Our Lord took away all the sins that every human being commits throughout the entire lifetime, regardless of how long or short one lives. And by accepting this joyous God-given news into our hearts, we have become the children of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s us all read Hebrews 9:11-15 together here: “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 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. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”
Do you believe in this Word of God? The Scripture says here that Christ has made an everlasting atonement for us. This means that Jesus has saved us forever and perfectly by taking upon all our sins through His baptism and shedding His blood to death on the Cross. Let’s then turn to Hebrews 10:9-18 now and read it with one voice: “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. 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.”
Do you now believe without a doubt that Jesus has blotted out all our sins by being baptized, dying on the Cross, and rising from the dead again? Is there then any need for us to receive the remission of our sins from God again? No, of course not! While it is only a matter of course that we should all continue to serve God, there is no longer any need for us to beg Him again to forgive our sins. Now, all of us who have received the remission of sins ought to serve God alone. We ought to live for this gospel. Having heard and believed in this gospel, you are no longer a sinner, but you have become righteous.
From now on, we must pool our strengths to spread this joyful news of the Kingdom of Heaven to all those who still do not know the gospel. So I urge you to spread that this Word that I am preaching to you to all those around you who still have not heard this blessed Word. You will then become God’s precious worker. You will become His witness. Just how grateful are we all that Jesus died for us on the Cross in our place, and that He bore all our sins by being baptized in the Jordan River? Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the throne of God, and He is forever alive. If you accept into your heart that this Jesus has blotted out all your sins, that is, accepting the gospel of the water and the Spirit—then Jesus will dwell with you in your heart. That is precisely how you receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39).
Do you then have any sin? No, of course not. Who did I say dwells in the hearts of those who are made sinless? The Holy Spirit dwells in their hearts. The Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of all those who accept the joyful news of Heaven, the news of salvation, saying to them, “You are My children. You are Mine. You are My people.” None other than this is the way to receive the remission of sins and the Holy Spirit at the same time.
Whoever claims to have received the remission of sins without accepting this gospel Word is invariably a liar. By our nature, we cannot help but sin while living on this earth. Precisely because that’s who we are, and because we should have all died for our sinfulness, I am all the more thankful that Jesus died in our place. That is why I believe only in Jesus. Jesus has saved us through the water and the Spirit, His baptism and His blood on the Cross; and believing in this Jesus alone and holding on to Him alone, I give all glory to God. I hope and trust that you are doing the same. Once again, I give all my thanks and glory to God for saving you and me from all our sins, for saving everyone in this world. Hallelujah!