It is what I already believe and teach unless you are simply adding
emphasis to the often-ignored baptism of Jesus. What then is so
different about the gospel of the water and the Spirit?
"Being saved" means to have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins. It also means to be born again
since a sinner becomes a righteous man by believing in the gospel
of life, which lets him be born again of water and the Spirit through
salvation of Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes upon the ones who have
been redeemed and born again and testifies that they are children
of God. Therefore, it is all the same after all; receiving the Holy
Spirit, being redeemed, being born again, becoming child of God,
and becoming righteous.
Jesus said, "I am the way, the
truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me"
(John 14:6), which implies that only through Jesus, the only begotten
Son of God, that we could enter the kingdom of God. Hence, we have
to know how Jesus washed away all our sins and made us into those
who deserve entering His kingdom.
Nonetheless, a lot of Christians think
that merely calling His name could save them. They believe in Jesus
without ever opening the Bible, without knowing what He did to save
us from all our sins. God is Spirit and the Holy One with whom there
is no variation or shifting shadow, but we live a sinful life. Entering
the kingdom of the Lord is possible only through Jesus, and we could
believe in Him through the faith in the law of the Spirit of life
in Christ Jesus.
A lot of people do not even know what
Jesus did for salvation, but blindly believe in Him, saying "Lord,
Lord!" They also think they're saved but still they have sins
in their hearts. If you still have sin in your hearts in spite of
the belief in Jesus, from what have you been saved? If someone asks,
"How did Jesus wash away our sins?" the bulk of people
reply, "He probably has washed them away on the Cross."
Then for another question, "Do you have sin in your heart?"
they say, "Certainly." The name of Jesus means "the
Savior who saves His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
We believe in Jesus in order to be saved from sin.
However, if we still have sin in our
hearts although we believe in Jesus, we are still sinners, sold
into bondage to sin and will be judged. The apostle Paul said, "There
is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus"
(Romans 8:1). It is thus for sure that someone who still has sin
in his heart is not in Christ Jesus. Why do they remain as a sinner
who is not redeemed and fallen away from salvation even though they
still believe in Jesus? It is because they believe only in the blood
of the Cross without laying their sins on Him by the baptism of
Jesus. Therefore, they still have sin in their hearts whereas Jesus
died on the Cross regardless of their sins.
There is a significant difference between
believing the baptism of Jesus and not believing it; some have redemption
and become righteous by having faith in the baptism of Jesus, while
the others still remain as a sinner without the faith in it. The
Holy Spirit does not come upon a sinner. He only comes upon the
righteous who have redemption by water and the Spirit.
Thus, the apostle Paul said, "Or
do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ
Jesus were baptized into His death?" (Romans 6:3) A lot of
people believe that Jesus took away our sins on the Cross, but we
can never confess that we don't have any sin in our hearts if we
don't believe in the baptism of Jesus. If we do so, we're guilty
of telling a lie to God and goes against their own conscience.
We still have sin in our hearts indeed
if we don't lay all our sins on Him by believing in His baptism.
If individuals don't believe the gospel of the baptism of Jesus
and the Cross, they are going to fall in legalism and be grave sinners.
Therefore no matter what they do, like praying in the mountains
and praying for forgiveness in prayer halls, they still find sins
left in their heart.
Jesus said, "Not everyone who
says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but
he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me
in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast
out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And
then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me,
you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7: 21-23).
Who does "those who practice lawlessness"
refer to? It refers to those who haven't received the perfect redemption
in their hearts for having believed only in the Cross. We're practicing
lawlessness if we don't believe the fact Jesus has saved us through
His baptism and the Cross. We cannot say we have the right faith
before we know the baptism of Jesus and the Cross.
Jesus said that if man wants to be
born again, it is possible only through water and the Spirit. Just
as people could have been delivered from the waters of the flood
only if they had been in the ark of Noah, you can have redemption,
the forgiveness of all sins, and live a true faithful life only
if you believe in the gospel of water and the Spirit. Without the
gospel of water and the Spirit, you can neither receive the forgiveness
of sins nor become children of God.