Encounter – Gospel Truth of water and the Spirit
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
We must be born again of Water and Spirit
God, when He created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, also created the eternal worlds, heaven and hell. He created mankind in His own image, but, since the first man, Adam, sinned before God, all people have to die once. “And as it is appointed for man to die once, but after this the judgment.” Heb 9:27.
The death of our flesh is the pass away to eternal life. Those who are without sin shall enter the eternal world of heaven and everlastingly enjoy being the children of God, while sinners will be thrown into “the lake of fire and brimstone.” Rev 20:10 and be tormented day and night for all eternity.
Therefore, all of mankind must be born again. We have to be born again through our faith, be redeemed from all our sins and become righteous. Only then can we enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” John 3:5. To be born again of water and the Spirit is the only way we can enter God’s Kingdom.
What, then, is this ‘water’ and ‘the Spirit’ that allows us to be born again? The “water” in the Bible refers to ‘the baptism of Jesus.’
Why was Jesus, Who is God, baptized by John the Baptist? Was it to show His humility? Was it to proclaim Himself the Messiah? No, it wasn’t.
When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist by means of “the laying on of hands.” Lev 16:21, it was ‘one Man’s righteous act’ Rom 5:18 which took away all the sins of humankind.
In the Old Testament, God gave Israel the merciful law of redemption. This was so that on the Day of Atonement, all the sins of Israel for that year could be expiated through the High Priest, Aaron, by laying his hands on the head of the ‘scapegoat’ and passing all the sins onto that scapegoat.
These were the words of revelation, which foretold the sacrifice of eternal atonement. It revealed the truth that all the sins of humanity would be passed onto Jesus all at once, Who came in the flesh of a man, according to the will of the Father. He baptized by John the Baptist who was the descendant of Aaron and the representative of all humankind.
When Jesus was baptized, He said to John, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Matt 3:15. Here, ‘for thus’ means ‘by the laying on of hands,’ in order to pass all the sins of the world onto Jesus, so that all righteousness might be fulfilled for all of us. The word ‘righteousness’ means ‘the fairest state’ of being righteous or fitting.
Jesus had fulfilled all righteousness for all people through His baptism in a just and fitting manner. Jesus took on all the sins of people through His baptism, the next day, John the Baptist testified “Behold, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29.
With all the sins of humankind on His shoulders, Jesus walked toward the cross. He vicariously took the judgment for all the sins He had taken on Himself through His baptism. He died on the cross, saying, “ It is finished” John 19:30. He took all our sins onto Himself and received the complete judgment for them in our place.
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