“So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.’ And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This Man blasphemes!’ But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—then He said to the paralytic, ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men. As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard that, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’ Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.’”
How Should We Lead Our Lives of Faith?
How should we lead our lives of faith? Should we do so by placing our faith in our own thoughts? Or should we place our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? These are the questions that I would to address in today’s teaching.
What we need to realize here is that those who are faithful only to their thoughts are no more than religious practitioners. So when Jesus was on this earth, the Pharisees, being such religionists, also attacked Him and His disciples over ritualistic issues. The disciples of John the Baptist also questioned Jesus in doubt, “Why is it that we fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”
Unfortunately, most Christians still remain as such religious practitioners. In contrast, what Jesus really wants us to pursue is absolutely different from it. As is manifested in the first part of today’s Scripture passage, Jesus is the true God who can give us the remission of sin. Hence, He could say to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise and walk”? Both would have been easy for our Lord, but they are likewise difficult for us. Everyone and every creature may say such things, but fundamentally speaking, no man has such power. All these things were impossible to be done by creatures, but only by our Lord.
What could someone who seems to be religiously pious do to blot out his sins? All that he can do is give prayers of repentance, and resolve himself to never sin again; beyond these, there is nothing that he can do. But Jesus wants to give us the remission of sin that is in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All that He really wants us is for us to have faith in Him and in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Though today’s Scripture passage, Our Lord teaches us the difference between our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and mere religions. When we believe in the Lord as our Savior, should we be filled with our faith in the Word of God, or should we be filled with religious doctrines? The Lord God is telling us to choose one.
Religious Christians Must Deny Their Thoughts and Believe in God’s Word of Power
Our faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit is fundamentally different from man-made, ritualistic and doctrinal faith. Our true faith in the righteousness of God and the faith of the worldly religions are not the same. Placing our faith in the Word of God is to look toward what God has done for us, to follow it, and to believe in it with our hearts; in contrast, placing one’s faith in the religious doctrines of this world is to make an object of one’s devotion on his own and to trust in it according to his own thoughts. But such religious faith is not the faith that believes according to the Word of God.
To be faithful to the worldly religions is to be faithful to one’s own thoughts. Therefore, if anyone who had been faithful to the religions of the world wants to believe with his hearts in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, through which Jesus has saved us, then he must first deny his own thoughts. This is because God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit is different from the doctrines made of one’s own thoughts. Because of such people who follow and believe in the Jesus based on the false doctrines of their own making, countless people are dying spiritually.
God is teaching us that when we believe in the Lord as our Savior, we must do so by placing our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, for this gospel Word of the water and the Spirit is the very Word of God. Here, we must make a clear choice between two; whether we would believe in Jesus as our Savior based on our own thoughts, or based on the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is made of the Word of God. God is clearly telling us that it is based on the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that we must believe in Jesus.
My fellow believers, the faith of the religiously devoted is fundamentally different from the faith of those whose devotion is based on their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
When we read the same account of the paralytic in the Gospel according to Mark (Mark 2:1-12), it is written that when Jesus preached the Word in a house, so many people had gathered together around Him that there was no longer room to admit them, not even near the door. To this packed house four men brought a paralytic on a bed, but they could not come near Him because of the crowd. But instead of give up their attempt, they uncovered the roof of the house, and they lowered the bed on which the paralytic was lying to Jesus. In other words, because the place was filled with so many people and the paralytic and his four friends could not even set a foot inside, they had to take special steps to approach Jesus, or otherwise they would not have been able to take the paralytic in bed to Jesus.
Like this, when we come before God, we can meet Him only if we take special steps; that is, by placing our faith in the Word of God. We must believe in the Word of God, that Jesus came to this earth and has blotted out all the sins of mankind through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we truly have this faith in the salvation of God, that He has saved us from our sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we can indeed be freed from all our sins. Whoever believes in this true gospel can become one of God’s own people. It is only when we are filled with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can go and stand before the majestic presence of our Lord. Only then can we come before the Lord and praise Him, and only then can our hearts be filled with thankfulness.
My fellow believers, when you come before God, you may think that it is most important to approach Him with some kind of merits of your own or with your utmost sincerity. But that is not the case. That is just your own thought. On the contrary, we must cast aside the beliefs of our own thoughts, and we must believe only according to the Truth written in the Word of God.
Let us imagine here for a moment that Christians are standing in two lines, and that on one line stand those who believe in Jesus based on their own thoughts, and on the other line are those who believe in the Word of the water and the Spirit, which is our salvation. On which of these two lines should you stand? If you stand on the line of the religionists, you will lead your lives following only your own thoughts. It will then become impossible for you to meet Jesus Christ, who has come by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Why? Because such religionists are faithful to only their own thoughts and are devoted to only their own emotions. As the Apostles warned, still many Christians desire to make a good showing in their flesh (Galatians 6:12). It is because they have no interest in the Truth about the gospel of the water and the Spirit, nor in how God has completely blotted out their sins, but they are only faithful to their own pious devotion. But no matter how people devote themselves in their own thoughts, they still remain far too insufficient to come and stand before the presence of God. This is why those religious Christians cannot properly meet Jesus the true Savior. When someone is devoted to only his own religious piety, he pays no attention to the Truth of salvation, the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, and instead ends up devoting himself to his own thoughts, emotions, and dedication.
But those who are well aware of their insufficiencies seek first the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and grab it by faith when they hear it by any chance. Such people can be saved from all their sins by placing their faith in this Truth, and give thanks to God for the Truth of salvation that He has fulfilled.
Our remission of sin does not depend on what and how we do with our acts of the flesh. On the contrary, it lies in our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we, the saved, pay far more attention to the fact that Jesus has saved us from our sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and we have faith in this. Those who have confidence in the Word of God can reach an even more profound understanding of the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit by faith. It is only by faith in Jesus Christ who has saved us through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit that we can receive the remission of our sins and stand before God. We can then come to swim in the ocean of God’s grace and live blessed lives.
The Lord Was Needed Only to the Sinners Facing Their Destruction
My fellow believers, our Lord did not come to save from sin those who believe in their own thoughts. He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Whom did our Lord say He came to call? He said that He did not come to call the self-styled righteous ones, but sinners. Who, then, are sinners before God? They are the descendants of Adam who had left God and who had been bound in sin. Our Lord did not come to call the righteous. This is because there is none who is righteous for himself (Romans 3:10). And, it is right that our Lord came to this world to save the sinful, to make them sinless, and to turn them into God’s own children.
What Jesus is saying to the Pharisees in today’s Scripture passage is to cast aside their own thoughts, come before Him, and believe in His Word. But since these Pharisees came before Jesus with their own thoughts filled with their own emotion, it was not to call such people that our Lord came. Our Lord did not come to save from sin those who are superficially upright and hypocritical, but He came to save those who are poor in spirit, who are honest and frank enough to confess themselves to be sinners, who are saddened by and mourn over their sins, and who listen to the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and believe in it.
Our Lord came to this world to save sinners from all their sins and iniquities. Everyone’s insufficiencies are eventually revealed, for he commits transgressions everyday as he lives in this world. It is to call such people and to deliver them from all their sins as well, that our Lord came. Our Lord, in other words, came to deliver sinners from all their sins and iniquities by giving the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. We need to realize here that our Lord was not interested in the Pharisees and scribes who were devoted to their own faith made of their own thoughts.
Therefore, when we come before the presence of God, we must place our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. The gospel of the water and the Spirit tells us that the Lord has delivered us from all our sins by being baptized by John and crucified, and shedding His blood on the Cross. And it tells us that the Lord will come to take away those of us who believe in this gospel, and that He has prepared the Kingdom of Heaven for us. For our Lord told us that He has blotted out all our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has set the law of salvation for the entire mankind to be saved, so that no one may come before God without faith in this gospel. We must first realize and believe which gospel God has given us, what faith He wants from us, and how much of our sins He has blotted out.
We Must Forsake Our Own Will and Instead Believe in the God’s Truth of Power
As you gather together to worship God and hear His Word, do not be misled to think that you can somehow please God if you swear yourselves on your own will to serve Jesus well and to never commit sin again. For you to try to please Jesus on your own is to be ignorant of yourselves and to flaunt your own determination. If this is how your lives of faith have been until now, then you had not known the faith that Jesus really wants from all of you.
Our Lord said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Having compassion for us, He was baptized by John the Baptist to take upon all the sins that we commit in our entire lifetime, and indeed bore all our sins. Just as the Lord had healed the paralytic from his affliction with His Word of power all at once, He has healed us from all our sins once for all with the gospel power of the water and the Spirit.
Given the fact that our God wants us to believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and be saved from our sins, it is not fitting to the will of God for people to worship Jesus with the devotion of their own determination that is based on their own thoughts. Can any paralytic walk just because he has an extremely strong will to do so? My fellow believers, although such determination and will are commendable, what we must actually do is know ourselves before God, come humbly before His presence, believe in His gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and thereby draw His compassion. We must believe that God has blotted out all our sins with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and we must become His children by this faith. If we do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of God, and instead come before Him with the faith of our own will, saying, “Lord, this is what I will do for you,” then we will end up just confused, believing in our own thoughts, and becoming completely irrelevant to the Lord.
By placing our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, we must have full confidence in our salvation. We must be filled with this faith that believes in the gospel Word telling you that God has blotted out all our sins. To be so, we should not be making doctrines for God based on our own thoughts and minds, nor should we come before Jesus by placing our faith in such man-made doctrines. If we are faithful to only our own thoughts, our devotion will wither away in time, and in the end, we will die not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, it is only when you and I have strong faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can really have true fellowship with Him. Today’s Scripture passage is telling us to believe in the power of the Word of our Lord that healed the paralytic. Isn’t this what God is saying to us? If your faith is not one that believes wholly in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you will end up dying in sin.
Many people are prone to believe the Word of God through their own understandings and perspectives, and this has been the origin of the prevailing Christian doctrines and teachings. So when they read the Word of God, they only draw moral lessons, saying, “Oh, so this is what I should be striving to emulate.” They even have confidence in their salvation upon such man-made doctrines and teachings. But they are actually burying the Truth of the Bible under confusion with their own carnal thoughts. Such faith is a fallacious product of their own thinking.
In contrast, the Bible never says that such man-made doctrines are where our true salvation is based. We must now realize how Jesus has blotted out all our sins, and we must recognize this power. Aren’t we the kind of people who commit personal sins until the very day we die? Yes, we are. However, our Lord is speaking to us of the salvation that has washed away, with His gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, all the sins that we commit until we die. This Word of the water and the Spirit is the Word of God that brings the whole remission of sin to us.
This is why, my dear fellow believers, we must place our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit when we come before our Lord. We should not come before His presence only with religious faith, nor be filled with such religious teachings, but just as the Bible tells us to be filled with the Spirit, we must saturate ourselves with the Word of the Holy Spirit.
My fellow believers, what is it that our minds should be captured by? Should we be enthralled by our own religious devotion? Or should we be captivated by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel with which God has saved us all? Shouldn’t we be mesmerized by this Word of salvation? God is telling us that He has blotted out all your sins. We must be devoted to the good work of spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and it is for this work that we must run. Which faith should captivate us? Where our minds belong is critically important here.
Do you or do not you commit sin until the day you die? Of course you do. Do you realize this clearly, beyond any doubt? If you know that you are no more than piles of sin, then by faith, you can receive your salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And if you know that Jesus has saved you from all your sins with the water and the Spirit, then you have now reached the way of perfect salvation, and you will therefore enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Many people do not know that they are bound to sin until the day they die. In fact, it is because too many people do not realize this that so few are seeking the Truth, or otherwise they would all have looked for the gospel of the water and the Spirit. So put differently, this means that those who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit are of those who do not realize, even until their life is extinguished, that they are sinners who commit all kinds of iniquities.
Some people climb up a mountain to pray, and in their prayers they promise, “God, I will never sin again.” There are so many people who pray every night, making a fresh determination not to commit any sin again. Take a look at all the religions of this world. The founders and leaders of all these religions only teach their follower to live virtuously. But how can such piles of sin ever live virtuously? It is because they do not realize that they are simply incapable of living in this way, and that they are living in all these lies and hypocrisy. They do not know that everyone is no more than an insufficient human being who sins all the time. And because they do not know this truth, they are trying so hard to live virtuously and yet are in fact living only hypocritically, and defrauding their followers in the process.
But everyone, my fellow believers, commits sin until the day he dies. The fragility of human will is just like cycling up a hill. When you step on the pedals, you climb up the hill, but the very moment you get exhausted and stop pedaling, you end up sliding back and falling down. Such is the will of man. No matter how one resolves himself to never sin again, swears by it, bites his tongue, writes out his determination with his own blood, gives his prayers of repentance, trusts in Jesus, and vows his allegiance to Him, everything is futile in the end, for he is bound to sin.
Didn’t Peter and the other disciples resolve not to sleep when the Lord said them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me”? (Matthew 26:38) But what happened? They all fell asleep. One may determine himself to never sleep again, and put match sticks on his eyelids to keep his eyes open, but he will still fall asleep even as his eyes are open. Hence, the Lord, who knew the weakness of our flesh so well, said to His disciples, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
One may resolve himself to never sin again with his tongue, and he may even tie his tongue with a rubber band, but he is still bound to sin with both his tongue and heart. Everyone sins with his heart, and the Bible says that such sins we commit with our hearts are the same ones as we commit with our flesh. We humans are to continue sinning until the very day we die, until the very moment we take in our last breath. This is the fundamental human nature. You should know yourselves.
You may then wonder, “What should I then do?” The solution is simple: You should seek mercy from God and believe in the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. Put differently, you should confess to God as the following: “God, I am a man who is bound to sin until the day I die. Teach me how You have saved me from my sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Help me to have faith in this Truth and to be born again.” This is how you should ask for God’s help. This is what you must all do.
There is a saying, “A drowning man will catch at even a straw.” If you really admit yourselves as such desperate beings, then you should surely grab the gospel of the water and the Spirit with your whole hearts. You must first admit your sinfulness, and then listen carefully to what God said about our remission of sin. You, too, will then be told, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you,” while you listen to the hidden meanings of today’s Scripture passage, because how God healed the paralytic actually speaks about your own remission of sin. By thus believing in this way, you must be filled with the joy of salvation. You must be full with the joy of faith.
We Must Know Full with the Power of the Gospel by Knowing and Believing in It
My fellow Christians, paralytics are sound in their minds, but they cannot move as their hearts desire. Just like this, those among us who have sin in their hearts cannot overcome the power of sin, and as a result they are incapable of not committing sin. We humans are imperfect sinners who cannot do as our hearts desire. Our own hearts’ lust for sin is something that is beyond our control. Anyone who has sin cannot live virtuously no matter how much he wants to, and when his circumstances or someone provokes him, he cannot help but sin. This is why the Bible tells us that everyone is like the paralytic in today’s passage.
Therefore, we must believe that God Himself took upon our sins of the world once for all by being baptized by John, and has washed them all away. We must be delivered from our sins by believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit with all our hearts. Our Lord shouldered the sins of the world by being baptized, carried them to the Cross, and paid off all their wages.
We must be full with this faith. We must be full with our faith and belief in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must believe in what God has done for us, in the Word of God telling us that God Himself was baptized and shed His blood for us and has thereby blotted out all our sins. Only then can our hearts have everlasting life by faith, and only then can our souls be brought to life. We should not be filled with religious doctrines or our own emotion.
What God first demands from us is to be filled with faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He wants our hearts to follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit faithfully with our whole hearts. Even if you are insufficient and weak in your acts, and even if you have nothing to boast of, when you are filled with your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can please God, and you can also bring true salvation to others.
Do you know what those who are filled with only their own religious emotion say to the born-again believers? They say, “You are blasphemous! Who do you think you are, you arrogant blasphemers? Do you have no sin? Who are you to say so? Are you God, that you claim to have no sin?”
When those who are filled with religious emotion look at those who are truly born again of the water and the Spirit, they think there is something wrong with the born-again, even though there is nothing biblically unsound in the faith of the born-again. Their assessment could not be further from the truth. On the contrary, it is these people, who make judgments without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit, who are mistaken.
Such people say to the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “Who are you to speak of the remission of sin to us?” When a paralytic was brought to Jesus, Jesus immediately said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” something that was utterly shocking. You may have no idea just how often Jesus said words that infuriated those filled with religion. For the religionists, what Jesus said was too radical. So those full of their own religion thought, “Wow! You are crazy! Are you God? Only God can forgive sin, and so who are you to forgive sin?”
In complete contrast, my fellow believers, those who are filled with the gospel of the water and the Spirit say to Jesus, “Lord, You are My Savior, the Christ, and the Son of the living God. You are the Creator who made the whole universe. You are God Himself. And you are the Savior of mankind who came to save me from my sins. You came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, accepted all the sins of us mankind by being baptized, was crucified and shed Your blood, rose from the dead again in three days, and has thereby saved me perfectly from all my sins. You are the One who came to this earth, lived for 33 years, and has saved me from the sins of the world. But you are fundamentally God Himself.”
When those who are full with the gospel of the water and the Spirit see this Jesus, they see no flaw whatsoever, and they accept His love of salvation into their hearts. But when those who are only filled religious doctrines and teachings see Jesus, on the other hand, He appears as the head of all heretics.
But how were the paralytic and his four friends? Did they not come before the presence of the Lord by placing their faith in Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior? They indeed did so. They truthfully believed in Jesus as God Himself. So, when Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven; rise and walk,” the paralytic indeed rose up and walked. When so many countless people were surrounding Jesus, it was only the paralytic and his four friends who actually brought their real problem of sin to Jesus and got it resolved by believing in Him with all their hearts.
My fellow believers, those who are religiously filled do believe in Jesus in their attempt to keep their morals and ethics, but they consider His essence to be only human. To such people, Jesus is merely one of the great sages in the world history. So they do not entrust Him with their intractable problem of sin, nor can they get it resolved. This is because they do not believe in Jesus as God.
But those who are filled with the gospel of the water and the Spirit believe, “Jesus is God Himself, and He is the Savior of mankind. So if I come before Him, my soul’s problem of sin will be resolved. All the sins that I have committed and will ever commit until the day I die will be solved away, and I will be remitted from all of them. The curses of my flesh will then also depart from me. My Lord will solve away all my problems. He will bless me.” It was because the paralytic and his friends had this faith that they brought him to Jesus.
My fellow believers, as you have come into the Christian faith, do not rely the fullness of your own religious emotion. This is only to believe in a worldly religion, not to have true faith. To truly believe in the Lord is first of all to get your problem of sin resolved. When you have sin, you can be resolved from this problem of sin only when you lay down this problem before Jesus, and when you have the other problems of the flesh, you can also be resolved from these problems only when you lay them down before Jesus. None other than this is the true faith that believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. By placing your faith in Jesus as your Savior, you can be resolved from all your problems. For us to believe in Jesus, in other words, is to place our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus is fundamentally God Himself, and when we pray to this Lord, He will hear us and answer us. Our faith lies in the Truth that the Lord, by being baptized in the Jordan River and shedding His blood on the Cross, took care of all our sins, all our shame, and all our curses.
My dear fellow believers, as you carry on with your lives of faith, I admonish each and every one of you to place your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I ask you all to have full faith in this gospel. I hope that each of you would be filled with the Holy Spirit by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. It is my sincerest desire for all of you that you would truly have strong faith in this gospel. Though we cannot be perfect in our deeds, we can still be filled with the Holy Spirit by faith. We can be filled with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has saved us from all our sins. It is written in the Hymnbook, “♪I cannot tell thee whence it came, ♪this peace is in my breast; But this I know, there fills my soul, ♪A strange and tranquil rest.” We can be full with faith wherever we are, even if we are in a washroom, for our Lord has blotted out all our sins with His baptism and blood. We are truly grateful for this.
My fellow believers, how the worldly people view you is not the problem here, but what Jesus said to you is what is important. The Lord has told you that He loves you, that He has blotted out all your sins, that you are God’s children, that He will be with you until the end of the world, and that He will bless you all. To keep these things that God has said to you in your hearts and to believe in them is to the true fullness of faith.
Are you only leading religious lives, where you are compelled to go to church just because another Sunday has come around, where you offer some alms, sing a few hymns, pretend to be holy, go through all the ritualistic formalities, greet the congregation, and then turn around and come back home? To live this kind of religious life and to be faithful to religious formalism are not the faith that Jesus wants from you. You must be filled with your faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Your lives of faith must be faithful to the Word of God first of all.
My dear fellow saints, we must become the ones who are filled with our faith in the Word of God. You must be full with the Word of God. In the hearts of those who are filled with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, there is the invincible conviction that the Lord has blotted out all their sins and that He indeed loves them. No matter where they are and what they are doing, those who are filled with faith in the Word of God are trouble-free. But for those who are not filled with such faith but only with religious doctrines, their faith is all futile, no matter what they do.
Those who believe in our Lord, cherish Him the most, and are pleased by Him are the ones who come before the presence of God by believing in the Word of the Lord with their hearts. It is such people of faith in whom God is pleased. And it is to such people whom God gives the blessing of salvation and all other blessings as well. To these people, God gives faith upon their faith, and blessings upon their blessings. Do you not also want to become like them? How, then, should we live our lives of faith? We must be filled with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit while living our lives of faith.
This is the message of today’s Scripture passage. Even if we didn’t discuss the passage verse by verse, we know and believe that it was because the paralytic was full with faith that he got the problem of all his sins resolved.
What about you? Are you not also like this paralytic? Do you not have the problem of sin? Have you been remitted from all your sins in your hearts? Do you believe that the Lord has blotted out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit? To believe in this, my fellow believers, is the true faith, and none other than this is your salvation. Are you filled with the Word of the Lord, who loves you? This is the very fullness of the Holy Spirit. We must always keep it in our hearts and believe in it as we carry on with our lives.
While I cannot do much on my own, I still believe in the Word of the Lord with all my heart. So it is my hope and prayer that you would also believe with all your hearts, to be filled with faith, to be blessed for your faith, to cast aside the fullness of religious formalism, and to instead have the fullness of faith in the Word of God.
Jesus blotted out not only the paralytic’s sins, but He also healed him from the infliction of his flesh. What does this tell us? It tells us that those who have received the remission of sin in spirit are also blessed in body by our Lord.
All parents love their children. Who would hate his own children and curse them? Jesus, who has saved us and made us His own children, loves us beyond description. If we really believe in our God, let us then all believe that our God loves us and blesses in His time, for He has saved us from our sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Now is the time for you to have this faith in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and to solve away the problem of all your sins.
It is my hope and prayer that you would all live the rest of your lives by faith, by having full faith in the gospel of salvation, and to escape from the religions of this world.