The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 21 : The Gospel According to MARK

[Chapter 2-1] (Mark 2:1-12) Jesus Who Can Blot Out All the Sins of the World

(Mark 2:1-12)
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’”
 
 
Through today’s Scripture passage, I want you to understand what you must believe in order to receive the remission of your sins before the presence of God.
Although I have received the remission of my sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I sometimes reminisce about what I used to believe in before I received salvation from all my sins like this. I had not believed in Jesus from the beginning. I used to believe in Buddhism because my family professed Buddhism back then. But in my early twenties, I became sick physically and I came to accept Jesus as my Savior in order to at least resolve my sins before I died because I thought I was going to die of this sickness. But I came to realize that my sins increased after believing in Jesus as the Savior. Thus, I came to think about what I had believed in my life of faith until then. After a long time had passed since receiving Jesus as my Savior, I came to realize through the Law of God that I had more sins at that time and questioned whether or not any prayers of repentance I had offered up was really being effective at all. How much did my prayers of repentance really clean my sins away?
 
 
Before I Believed in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
 
Before believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I used to offer prayers of repentance a lot after believing in Jesus, but did they really help me receive the cleansing of my sins? No, they did not. Such prayers did not help to wash away any of my sins. Then, did my living so diligently and virtuously help? I had helped grandmothers who got lost, helped children crying because they could not find the way home, found the owner of the money that I found on the street and returned it to him, and I was well-known as a good person in my neighborhood. But did such things help me to receive the cleansing of my sins? No, they did not. Now that I believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, I can look back to those days and see that such things had not helped at all in the matter of receiving the cleansing of my sins.
Did all my theological studies help me to receive the remission of sins? When I think about it, even the theological studies did not help me to receive the cleansing of sins although I cannot say that they did not help at all. Instead, it was more difficult for me to meet the gospel of the water and the Spirit as recorded in the Word of God due to my theological education I had had before I was born again. Why was it so difficult? It was because chaos and emptiness came into my heart, for I could not receive the Word of God purely due to all these Christian doctrines I had learned while studying theology. These theological doctrines made it more difficult for me to receive the remission of my sins. In fact theological studies were not helpful at all for me to receive the remission of my sins. Many people are confused and thus believe these erroneous doctrines that say, “We receive the remission of our original sin when we believed in Jesus, but our personal sins still remain intact. Therefore, we receive the cleansing of our personal sins each time whenever we offer the prayers of repentance for those sins.” Many Christian leaders have made such confused doctrines. They made believers just offer prayers of repentance diligently to receive the remission of their personal sins. Therefore, I also would have remained an absolute full blown sinner because of my sins if I had believed in Jesus according to these Christian doctrines of confusion.
Living a virtuous life before and offering these prayers of repentance did not help me to receive salvation from my sins and even my theological studies did not help me either. Nothing in this world was helpful in the matter of the cleansing my sins. Only the gospel of the water and the Spirit which Jesus Christ gave us made me a righteous person ‘once and for all.’ Like the paralytic who appears in today’s Scripture passage, I was a person who could not do anything to blot out my sins. Jesus Christ came to me by the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit when I was still spiritually paralytic. I was able to receive salvation from all sins once and for all because Jesus Christ came and met me by the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ saved me by giving me the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I was able to receive salvation from all my sins because God came and met me by the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Here you can see that all such things like my efforts, my righteous deeds, my virtuous life, and my theological studies could not help me to receive salvation from all sins. Through such vain efforts, I came to realize that I could not do anything on my own and that this religion of the world could not cleanse my sins away. But these were the stepping stones that helped me to meet the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that cleansed all my sins away definitively. At that time, my sins were blotted out once and for all by believing in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
I could not meet this righteous Lord until that time even if I wanted to and I definitely could not meet the Lord with my own strength no matter how I tried, but I came to receive salvation by faith by meeting the gospel of the water and the Spirit through the recorded Word of the righteousness of God. I would have been destroyed eternally if I had not come to know this gospel of the water and the Spirit that is manifested in the Word of God. I came to realize that I am a person who cannot keep the Law and that the more I believed in Jesus the more I became a grave sinner based on what I used to believe. The Lord came to such a person like me and blotted out all my sins at once by the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And while I was able to see myself that cannot do anything but to offer prayers of repentance to cleanse away my sins, the Lord came to me at that time and lifted me out from all my sins and the penalty for my sins ‘once and for all’ by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus Christ has cleansed not only all my sins away but also all your sins as well once and for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All your efforts to receive the remission of your sins by offering these prayers of repentance without believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit had not helped at all in the cleansing of your sins. But Jesus Christ had mercy on you and me, by meeting us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We were able to receive our salvation from all the sins of the world once and for all because God the Father planned the salvation in Jesus Christ and perfected this plan by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Have you received the remission of your sins at once by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit which our Lord has given to us all? Have you received the remission of sins because you are better than the people of this world? No, that is not true. We were the spiritual blind that wandered around spiritually, and we were the spiritually mute, deaf, lame and the withered and paralyzed people who could not do anything just like those living in this world. But Jesus Christ came and met us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit because He so loved us. Jesus Christ thus saved us from all the sins of the world. Our Lord is telling us about this through today’s Scripture passage.
 
 
Let’s Read This Passage of Scripture Again
 
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’ And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, ‘Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’ Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!’” (Mark 2:1-12).
We have read today, “I am doing this because I want to make you know that I have the power to forgive the sins of this world.” As our Lord said here, He came to us all to blot out once and for all the sins of all the peoples living in this world. Put differently, our Lord came to this world by the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to remit all our sins away. Then, we must think first what kinds of people really receive the remission of sins from the Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
How many people gathered around the Lord here? Today’s Scripture records that so many people gathered in the house where Jesus stayed that there was no longer room to receive them all. When we go to a five-day market in a rural area of Korea that opens every fifth day, so many people come there. And even more people than the number of people gathered in this crowded market came to the place where Jesus was staying and it was even hard to set a foot in there.
Many people live in this world. And many of these people want to receive salvation from their sins by knowing and believing in the righteousness of Jesus. But we see not everyone received salvation from their sins. What kinds of people received the remission of their sins from God, and were able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven without any sins? They are none other than spiritual paralytics. What kind of people are paralytics? They are those who can think correctly but cannot behave according to their wills because their bodies have become paralyzed. These paralytics are suffering because their nerves have become numb due to the damage to their brains.
Many people came to Jesus when He was in this house in Capernaum. He was speaking of the way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Amongst this crowd was also a paralytic. God focuses on this person. So many people like the scribes, the Pharisees, the religious leasers, and the people of excellent pedigree gathered there, but the Lord was interested in this paralytic. This is the truth the Lord wants to teach you and me.
Many people live in this world. And so many people are trying hard to receive the remission of their sins and attain eternal life. They are trying very hard to accomplish this. For example, most Christians are offering prayers of repentance diligently to be cleansed of their sins. They believe that they receive the remission of sins if they offer prayers of repentance, but can this really be true?
 
 
Would the Lord Forgive Your Sins If You Offered Prayers of Repentance for Your Sins?
 
Some people believe in God very passionately, but can such people be approved by the Lord with such faith? Many religious leaders who appeared in the New Testament believed in God so fervently. Therefore, some Christians today believe and preach to the other people that their sins are blotted out when they offer prayers of repentance. How wonderful would it be if the sins inside our hearts and the sins that have manifested in action were washed away just because we confessed and repented these sins through prayers of repentance? Does the Lord really cleanse our sins whenever we offer prayers of repentance? If we could receive the remission of our sins by admitting and confessing our sins with our mouth, why would the Lord need to be baptized and shed His blood on the Cross to blot all out our sins? In other words, why would the Lord come to this earth in the flesh of man, be baptized from John the Baptist, go through the Passion which led to His death of the Cross, and be resurrected in three days if the Lord forgave our sins whenever we just confess our sins? It is an absurd delusion of those who believe that they can receive the remission of their sins by just offering these prayers of repentance without knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, such doctrines are totally different from the teachings of the Scriptures since the Scriptures do not state that the cleansing of sins is achieved by offering these prayers of repentance or by doing good works.
Christians who advocate the effectiveness of the prayers of repentance usually adhere strictly to 1 John 1:9 that says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Does this passage really mean that we are forgiven of our sins whenever we offer the prayers of repentance? No, absolutely not! The Lord is telling us here that sinners should admit their sinful state first and that such sinners can receive salvation from all their sins by faith since the Lord has already washed away all their sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. However, it is a problem since most Christians believe that their sins are washed away when they just confess their sins. But the Scriptures state that only this paralytic received the remissions of sins amongst so many religious people there.
We must once again think deeply about the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus would not have had come to this world, receive the baptism from John the Baptist, and be crucified to death on the Cross if we could receive the remission of our sins by offering these prayers of repentance. If we could receive the remission of our sins by offering these prayers of repentance, why would the Lord have to become our Savior by being resurrected from the dead? Why would Jesus have to receive the baptism from John the Baptist, shed blood on the Cross, and be resurrected from the dead? Why would He have to do that? Why would Jesus have to receive the baptism from John the Baptist and shed His blood and die on the Cross if we could receive the remission of our sins by just offering these prayers of repentance fervently?
Thus, we must know the Law of God. According to God’s Law, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Therefore a sinner must absolutely pay the wages of his sin with death if he has any sin at all. It means that all sinners are destined to die because of their sins. That was the just Law of God. But most Christians today do not know the spirit of the Law God had established, and therefore they believe that they can receive the remission of sins just by offering prayers of repentance. For example, it is wrong for a person who stabbed someone to death to think that he can be forgiven just by saying, “I am sorry. I did not know it was wrong. Please forgive me.” Such a person is ignoring the justice of God and thinks more highly of his own thoughts than God’s thoughts. These people think that their thoughts are better than the Word of God. Such people become increasingly more arrogant and fall into the sin of pride. Such a person becomes a god to himself eventually.
We humans cannot attain the remission of sins by ourselves. Only Jesus Christ who came to blot out all our sins can do this. Even today’s Scripture passage states, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.” Only the Son of God who came to this world in human flesh and took all the sins of humanity by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist had the power to make true believers sinless. The sins of a human cannot be cleansed by himself. We cannot receive salvation from our sins no matter what effort we put forth and no matter how diligently we offer prayers of repentance. Only those who have become like this paralytic before the presence of God can receive the remission of sins ‘once and for all’ by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
 
 
But Many Theologians Insist Vainly That a Person Receives the Remission of Sins Whenever He Offers Prayers of Repentance
 
The sins of a person are not blotted out no matter how fervently he offers prayers of repentance to the Lord. It is because the Scriptures have manifested the truth of the remission of sins to us by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If sins were blotted out by offering prayers of repentance as they claim, all peoples living in this planet would have already received the remission of their sins and become the children of God. There isn’t a single person amongst Christians who has not tried to cleanse his sins away by offering prayers of repentance. There are so many people on this planet who claim to believe in Jesus as their Savior. In our country, Korea it is estimated about 12 million people believe in Jesus. The population of Korea is about 48 million, and approximately a quarter of this population believes in Jesus. That is just a statistical estimation, but there probably are so many other people besides these 12 million believers who have attended church regularly for a few years and given up later. The number of people who have never gone to church at all in this era is probably very small. I am saying that most people, except for a very small number, probably have attended church at least for a while. And they all have tried to cleanse their sins away by praying aloud together and fasting in prayer for the repentance of their sins. They probably have done everything they could to be cleansed of their sins.
However, it is clear that those who claim that their sins are blotted out by offering these prayers of repentance have not received the remission of sins. Their sins are not blotted out by any kind of method that is related to the prayers of repentance. They plead for the remission of sins constantly by praying together loudly and pray in fasting so diligently and fervently. But the Bible tells us that only this paralytic received the remission of his sins. Only a person who admits that he cannot do anything for his salvation can receive the remission of sins. Only a person who admits that he cannot do anything to blot out his sins can meet the righteousness of Jesus and receive the remission of all his sins. Only a person who says, “I can receive salvation if Jesus saves me, but I will go to hell if He does not save me” can receive the remission of sins by faith through the gospel of the water and the Spirit which Jesus gave to them.
Could we have received the remission of sins by believing in the righteousness of God if Jesus had not blotted out the sins of humanity ‘once and for all’ by the gospel of the water and the Spirit? No, we could not. No matter what we do, whether we do this or that, it is impossible to receive the remission of sins by faith if we do not have the genuine gospel of the water and the Spirit which Jesus Christ gave us. No matter how a religious person offers these prayers of repentance, tries hard not to commit sins, and faithfully serves God, can he really receive the remission of sins through those works? There is no way to receive the remission of sins by any other kind of faith if God had not blotted out all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Dear fellow believers, isn’t this true? Our salvation depends only on the righteous work of Jesus Christ.
Dear fellow believers, you and I must absolutely receive the remission of our sins while living in this world, but we definitely cannot receive the remission of sins by any kind of effort we put forth. There is no way to receive the remission of sins other than believing in the righteousness of God? How can we receive the remission of sins by human efforts? I thought while reading the Scriptures before, “I probably can receive the remission of my sins since I seek Jesus diligently, offer prayers of repentance fervently, and also try to live virtuously.” In a word, I thought that “my efforts plus my faith in Jesus Christ” would surely produce the remission of my sins. However, I came to know that I could not receive salvation no matter how I tried if Jesus Christ had not blotted out all my sins. Then I came to know later that I could receive salvation from all my sins because He had already saved me perfectly by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Whosoever wants to receive salvation from his sins must not focus on his own thoughts nor have interest in his own efforts too much. Rather, he must focus only on how Jesus fulfilled the work of salvation for him. One must focus on this and think, “How did God save me from all my sins? What has my Savior done for me? What has Jesus Christ the Savior done for me when I could do anything to blot out any of my sins?” in order to understand the Truth of the water and the Spirit and receive this genuine salvation. Only then can we receive salvation from all our sins.
It is written in the Scriptures, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), and what is this “truth” referring to here? It is none other than Jesus Christ. Therefore, this passage means, “And you shall know Jesus Christ, and He shall make you free.” We must know Jesus Christ in order to receive real freedom from all our sins. We cannot receive the remission of our sins no matter how hard we try if we do not know the Truth that God has really saved us.
  
 
Can We Receive the Remission of Our Sins If We Have Not Become Spiritual Paralytics?
 
Are you spiritual paralytics? Yes! Do you have any ability to blot out your own sins? No, you do not have any such power. Then, do you think you can confess your sins and offer prayers of repentance for your sins sufficiently? Do you offer prayers of repentance 100% for the things you have done wrong? Christian sinners always cite this one verse from First Epistle of John chapter 1 verse 9 and claim that they receive the remission of sins if they offer prayers of repentance, but this is absolutely nonsense. You should rather confess, “I am a mass of sin. Therefore, I cannot but commit sins even if I try not to. Thus, I cannot but go to hell if the Lord does not save me. And so Lord, please save me from all my sins and iniquities. Please, save me. Please deliver me out from all my sins.” Then the Lord will tell you that you must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in order to receive salvation from your sins.
Christians commonly say that they are offering prayers of repentance for their sins faithfully, but how much can they repent from? How much time should they offer prayers of repentance for all the sins they would normally commit throughout an average day? The memory capability of a fish is known to be about three seconds, isn’t the memory capability of a human about the same? We humans also forget most things unless it is important. In addition, humans do not have the same standard for sin as God’s because they are egocentric beings. So, they are interested in whether or not something is profitable to themselves and remember the good and profitable things only and forget all the bad and harmful things. Even during public hearings we see on TV occasionally, you have probably seen a certain CEO answer, “I do not remember.” They forget whatever is unprofitable to them. But there are times when certain bigger sins bother them occasionally in their consciences and thus they become sinners while living in this world, like the way the bigger insects like dragonflies get caught up in a spider web although dayflies and all other smaller insects escape it. However, is that complete repentance when a person just offers these prayers of repentance for sins that are caught up by his conscience and does not even offer prayers of repentance for the rest of his sins because he cannot remember? However, how can a person squeeze out and offer prayers of repentance for sins that he cannot even remember?
Christian sinners say that they offer prayers of repentance for their sins everyday before the presence of God, but for what kind of sins and how much of these sins can they really deal with in their prayers of repentance? They judge by themselves and regard most of their sins and iniquities as acceptable, and they offer prayers of repentance just for some more terrible sins that bother their consciences. But even the smallest sins humans commit are all sins before the presence of God. Our Lord said, “Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:26). It is a great mistake to think that a very trivial sin is not a sin. In the matter of receiving the remission of sins, it does not mean that we only need to receive the remission of more treacherous sins and do not need to receive the remission of sins that are very tiny. Saying that a person receives the remission of sins by praying for repentance like this is absolute nonsense.
How adequately can a person pray for repentance even if he tries so diligently? People remember only the more treacherous sins they commit occasionally and forget all the trivial sins ones before three or four days have passed, actually the truth is within a day, don’t they? People forget the wrongs they have done in the morning by the evening and forget all the wrongs they have done in the evening by next morning. Our human memory is such that we forget everything within a day or two. So, honestly speaking, everyone on this planet is a mass of sin, and this is why all humans cannot but go to hell due to their sins which is as much as a thick cloud.
However, the Lord declares, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). He is saying that He blotted out our sins ‘once and for all’ by this true gospel regardless of whether it is big or small. It is because we can receive the remission of our sins only by believing in the fact that the Lord took all the sins we commit throughout our entire life time upon Himself ‘once and for all’ by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist, shed His blood on the Cross, and was resurrected from dead.
However, there are many people who think they can do something about the remission of their sins without becoming spiritual paralytics first. There is a praise song in Korea that goes, “The Lord God says we can do all things.” The Lord said that we could do all things except attaining the remission of sins on our own. Thus, the Apostle Paul also said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). However, the Lord did not give us the power to cleanse away our sins on our own. We would have become gods and not needed God nor a Savior if we could cleanse our sins we commit on our own. Then we would not have needed to worship God; we would not have needed to believe in Jesus; and we would have not needed to live under God’s rule. What would have happened to us then? We would have become separated from God.
However, God wants to unite with us and live together with us. God wants to give His blessings to us. God wants to bestow His infinite love on us. And God wants us to live in His bosom. Thus, God has not given us the power to blot out our sins on our own. A certain Christian leader called Robert Shuler wrote many books that that does not make any sense, saying we can do anything. But if we as humans had the power to cleanse our sins away by ourselves, we would not have needed God; Jesus would not have had to come to this world; He would not have had to be baptized by John the Baptist; and even more, He would not have had to die on the Cross. In short, we would not have needed the works that Jesus Christ had fulfilled in this world and He would not have had to suffer in this world.
Thinking that one can cleanse his sins away on his own by offering these prayers of repentance is satanic thoughts. Did the Devil not tempt Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? The Devil said to her, “You will become like God if you take that fruit and eat it. Go ahead and eat it. God told you not to eat it lest you become like God. God just wanted to keep you under his power. Your eyes will become bright and you will become like God if you just eat it. Thus, hurry up and eat it.” Eve fell for his lie that she would become like God and be able to do everything on her own, and eventually she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Eve is the mother of the entire mankind. She is our mother. Adam was the representation of the One who is to come and Eve was the representation of us as mankind. Eve ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and also gave it to Adam. Eve was deceived by the word of Satan who told her that she would become like God if she ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan insists on the works to humans, saying, “You can do it. Just try it” and only makes humans do the things that stand against God. Satan speaks to us like that even now. It deceives us continually, “You can do it. There is nothing you cannot do.”
 
 
Have You Ever Seen a Person Who Suffers from Paralysis?
 
When a person suffers from paralysis, it is common for that person to relieve himself all over the place. Who would want to release excrement all over the floor like that? Even such a person knows that he should go to the toilet, relieve himself there. But such a person cannot control his body although he knows in his thoughts that he should do it properly. He cannot move or control his body according to his will and thus releases himself all over the place contrary to his intentions.
Dear fellow believers, in spiritual terms we are these paralytics who cannot do anything for ourselves. But God has saved us who were unable to do anything. We have not been saved by our own efforts. We are these spiritual paralytics. Thus, we cannot blot out any of our sins on our own. We have the power to do everything else if God allows us, but we do not have the power to blot out any of our sins. This is the reason why God came into this world and blotted out all our sins at once by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
There are so many spiritually paralytics in this world right now. It is tantalizing to witness so many people who are not aware of the fact that they are clearly spiritual paralytics. They are deceived by the Devil and thus think that they can cleanse away their sins on their own by offering prayers of repentance. What can they actually do well when their whole body has become paralyzed? Once a person gains even the slightest bit of strength to move on, they go against the righteousness of God with the thinking that he can do something on their own although they cannot do anything, and thus in the end are destroyed.
Beloved saints, we were all paralytics spiritually before the presence of God. God has saved us who were like that from all our sins. We were sinners who could not blot out any of our sins on our own. But the Lord blotted out all our sins once and for all by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, do you believe that you can do something to receive the remission of your sins? Even if you thought that you could, you actually could not blot out even one iota of sins. I really had wept so much in my efforts to eradiate my sins. I tried so hard to blot out my sins by doing whatever I could. I had even gone into a secluded room and offered prayers of repentance to blot out my sins. I sometimes offered prayers of confession and these prayers of repentance for days without eating anything. People say that the late Seongchul Lee, a well-known Korean Buddhist monk, did this meditation facing a wall for 10 years. Although I have not done that for 10 years, I often prayed like him for four to five days at a stretch. I offered prayers of repentance for a few days, saying, “God, please forgive me.” I felt that God would say, “That is good enough. I forgive you” if I fast for a day or two and pray much and weep a lot, and I did not even go outside for a few days but just offered prayers of repentance until I heard His voice in my heart. I became so hungry when I prayed like that. However, I felt that I would not be able to eat if I do not hear God telling me that I have received the remission of my sins. Thus, I prayed through the night so that I could hear His forgiveness and be able to eat.
The Devil once played a trick on me. One day while I was fasting and offering these prayers of repentance for three days, I heard in my heart, “Okay. I have blotted out all your sins.” It was the voice of the Devil trying to give me assurance, not the voice of God. And so I stopped praying because I thought I was forgiven. But did I not commit any sins after that? Yes for sure I committed sins after that. And so I started fasting again to offer more prayers of repentance to God. But since I could not continue starving myself endlessly and not hear the voice the Devil; but there were times when I justified myself, saying, “God probably will let me pass since I did this much. Even a human like me would be forgiven since I have wept and pleaded for forgiveness this much while starving myself for five days. Then, wouldn’t such a merciful God forgive me?” When I could not hear the voice of God and I could not feel that refreshing feeling, I just thought by myself that it was good enough and came out and washed my face and ate some food.
After I repeated this process many times, I became very terrified and weary of my sins. How could I commit a sin when I had to starve myself for three, four, five days whenever I committed a sin? I thought of sin as something filthier than excrements and I tried hard as I could to not commit any sin. I avoided sin as much as I could and never even looked at a woman because I thought, “I must absolutely not commit any sin. I had to fast for five days after committing such a sin last time.” I went around with my eyes looking towards my nose as if I was cross-eyed since I would have to fast for a few days if I was not careful and committed the sin of adultery by looking at a woman with lewd eyes. But it is natural for you to want to look at something more when someone tells you to not look at it. I also had desires to look at women even more when I tried not to look at them. I came to commit sin again and again like this although I tried not to commit sins. Then I had to pray and fast again for another few days.
But with whom could I speak to that I had looked at a woman with lustful eyes committed adultery with her in my heart. There was no one but God that I could have such a conversation with. I just fasted again and offered prayers of repentance to God for a few more days since it was a sin committed against Him, saying, “Lord forgive me. I have committed a sin again.” And I even thought that I should not sit comfortably on a cushion, so I sat on the bare floor and prayed like this. I pulled up the bottom of my pants all the way up to my knees deliberately and did not even wear many clothes in the winter. I became like this because it seemed as if I was lacking sincerity if I wore many clothes and that God would show pity on me if I did not wear much clothes. If I could have recorded myself at that time on a camcorder, I would have looked really miserable.
However, dear fellow believers, you and I must not think of God’s heart in the same way as I did. From a humanistic viewpoint it would seem that God would forgive all my sins since I had led my spiritual life that was filled with these prayers of repentance for 10 years, but I still had sins in my heart. Like the Buddhist monk Seongchul Lee who confessed that he would go into the burning fire of hell although he died after doing meditation facing a wall for 10 years, I also still had sins remain in my heart although I had believed in Jesus so strictly according to the Christian doctrines that I had learned, and I had offered prayers of repentance for 10 long years. Although I offered prayers of repentance so diligently, I sometimes heard a voice telling me that I had received the remission of certain my sins, but I did not hear such a voice for certain sins. Therefore, I justified by myself and stopped offering prayers of repentance and returned to my ordinary life, saying, “I would forgive someone if he sinned against me and asked for forgiveness for this much. Then would the merciful God not forgive me?” However, I was still distressed because that sin came to mind again whenever I bowed down to worship God.
It is written in the Book of Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 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.” This means that each sin is recorded on the tablet of your heart and in the Book of Judgment without fail. Thus, that sin comes to mind whenever we try to pray to God. Sin really distresses people.
I had fasted in prayer as often as I could back then, and I also led my spiritual life with all my heart even to the point of keeping the Lord’s Day without missing it once. I also preached the gospel to many people and I went around everywhere preaching the gospel starting from my neighborhood to the neighboring village, that is, every town around the metropolitan Busan. I led young people, elders, children, hoodlums, and everyone else to my church. But the only thing left in my heart after leading such a spiritual life for 10 years was sin. There was nothing else to do anymore since the sin in my heart did not disappear although I had done all that. My spiritual life lost zest and became exhausted since the sins still remained no matter how I tried to get rid of it. Since I could not do anything more, I gave up all my efforts completely, saying to my self, “God, do as you please. My sins will be blotted out if you blot them out, and my sins will not be blotted out if you do not blot them out.”
But I had one refuge at that time. It was this Christian doctrine that God had chosen me. As I saw myself believing in Jesus and offering these prayers of repentance, I came to have faith that “God chose me and loved me although I was lacking and had sins in my heart.” This is the doctrine of predestination of Calvinism. It means that people who have been chosen by God are saved and people who have not been chosen will go to hell. That is what John Calvin the distinguished conservative theologian taught.
Believing like this is having faith in God from a human standpoint. Those who have this kind of faith hold fast onto God with their own wills, professing, “God, I believe, I am holding onto you firmly.” But they eventually fall away as they lose their strength. I also had such kind of faith before I was born again. I thought, “I am going to Heaven although I am lacking and have sins since I believe in Jesus and God has chosen me,” and continually repeated the process of committing sins, offering these prayers of repentance, and holding onto God, and committing sins again and offering more prayers of repentance and holding onto God again. At that time, I thought and believed like this. It is written, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), and it means God the Father chose us in Jesus Christ before the creation of the world. Before when I did not know how my sins were blotted out in Jesus Christ, I omitted things “in Him” from the Word “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” So now let’s see how this Word must be interpreted correctly.
  
 
Message from Ephesians Chapter 1 Verses 3 to 10
 
“It is written, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him” (Ephesians 1:3-10).
In the beginning of the Epistle to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It means “Praise God.” And “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” means that God has given all spiritual blessings to us in Jesus Christ. We must understand the meaning of this passage well that goes, “Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” It is written, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,” and if we omit “in Him” in this passage, it becomes, “just as He chose us before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Confusion arises when people start believing the Word without “in Christ” like this. For example, let’s suppose there were twenty people gathered together. It becomes possible to interpret that God has chosen this person, but not that person, and that God has chosen this person over that one. This means that God chose some people living in this planet and did not choose others arbitrarily. Then God would become an unfair God if that were the case. How could God then not be seen as prejudiced and narrow-minded who chose to make some people among so many people as His children and chose some other people to send them to hell? If some people were not chosen by God anyway and were destined to for hell, then they would curse God. Would they not just curse God? They would shout all kinds of abuses to God. They would say, “God? What did you say? Are You God?” and say all kinds of abuses they have learned in this world. They would curse and damn Him to their hearts content and then go to hell since they are destined to go to hell anyway. But does the Holy God deserve to hear such abuses from us lowly human beings? No, He does not. He is absolutely not God who would hear disrespectful things from His creatures.
God thus chose us “in Christ” before the foundation of the world. God sent Jesus Christ into this world and gave the remission of all the sins of the world by passing all those sins over onto Him because God knew that all humans would commit sins. God made all human beings receive the remission of their sins through the gospel of the water and the Spirit by Jesus Christ. In other words, God gave to all people the blessing of receiving the remission of sins in Christ. Because Jesus blotted out all the sins of this world, God made it so that anyone can enter the Kingdom of Heaven by believing that He saved them from all their sins. God made it so that anyone can enter the Kingdom of Heaven by believing in Jesus by heart and receive all the spiritual blessings of Heaven. Thus, a person goes to hell because he does not believe in Jesus Christ and does not believe the righteous work Jesus Christ has done, not because he was not chosen before the foundation of the world.
Everyone is a spiritual paralytic before the presence of God. Everyone is such a paralytic who cannot do anything regarding his salvation on his own. The Lord says to these paralytics who could not do anything for themselves, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” and “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” These paralytics who were in bed and not able to move at all got up and took up their beds and walked. Our Lord healed that paralytic who could not do anything. Our Lord blotted out the sins of the paralytic who could never blot out his own sins. And He said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
Like this, our Lord has blotted out all our sins. Do you know how He blotted out all those sins? You must for sure know this. Only then can you receive the remission of your sins, receive salvation and go to Heaven. God is the One who makes us understand this Truth; and this Church is the very place that delivers this Truth. Anyone can hear clearly how God has blotted out all their sins if they meet those who have received the remission of sins.
Many Christians who do not identify themselves as spiritual paralytics are holding fast onto prayers of repentance and believe that God has chosen them before the foundation of the world. They say that they can go to the Kingdom of Heaven because God has already chosen them and that all the other people go to hell because God did not choose such people who believe in Buddhism. Do you know who said this? The so-called famous theologians have said this. Would you change the Scriptures to advocate the words of the theologians? Are the words of John Calvin the same as the Word of God? Or, is the Holy Bible that we have the Word of God? The Bible is undeniably the Word of God. What is recorded in the Scriptures? It says, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world.” And the Bible says further, “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18).
We were all sinners originally before the presence of God. We were born with many sins from our mother’s womb because we were the descendants of Adam. Concerning the concept of sin, I will explain it with an example. Let’s suppose that our body is this cup. As water is in this cup, so we were born with sins in our hearts. We were born with such filthy hearts of committing murder, evil thoughts, lewdness, jealousy, dispute, theft, hate, and foolishness. Would we or would we not commit such sins since we were born with those sins? We would certainly commit these sins. But we walk around so carefully in order not to commit these sins. We even speak so cautiously and are always careful lest the sins in our hearts spill out. However, can these sins inside us not spill out just because we are cautious when we ourselves are a mass of sins? As we shake this cup roughly, the water in this cup spills out. Like this, sins cannot but spill out because we humans are like that. Even though we try not to see erotic movies, we are just trying not to see it, but we are actually filled with a desire to commit adultery inside our hearts.
Thus, God gave us the Ten Commandments in order to make us know that we are a mass of sins. He commanded us, “Do not commit murder. Do not commit theft. Do not commit adultery. Do not testify falsely. Do not covet, etc.” God has given us the Law to teach us that we are beings who do the things that God has fundamentally told us not to do because we are people who commit murder, who covet, who testify falsely, who disobey our parents, and who worship idols before the presence of God. God would not need to command us not to commit adultery if we did not commit adultery. God told us not to commit adultery to show us who we are because we commit adultery by nature. We have come to know that “I am a sinner who commits adultery” because God told us not to commit adultery. We come to know that committing murder is wrong because God commanded us not to commit a murder. And we also come to know that hating someone and wishing someone’s death in itself is murder.
 
 
We Must Know How Good We Are at Stealing Although God Says, “You Shall Not Steal”
 
Theft is not just stealing someone else’s property. Do we not covet small things and insignificant things ordinarily and also steal them sometimes? All such things are theft in light of the Word of God. People had committing these sins a lot when there was not much food long ago. Humans commit sins a little here and there while trying hard not to commit them. Then they commit lots of huge sins when they are not careful. Hence, God calls us “a brood of evildoers” (Isaiah 1:4). We are indeed hopeless sinners, and God said that we are spiritual paralytics since we do not have the power to blot out our sins by ourselves. Stealing does not just mean our act of theft; coveting other’s property, no matter how small it is, is also stealing. When something goes inside our own stomach, it is fine and dandy. Therefore, the Bible says that we are sinners.
Theologians these days separate the Word “in Jesus Christ” from the Word to “He chose us.” They interpret the Word of God with their fleshly minds and believe according to it. Dear fellow believers, you must believe that “God chose us in Christ Jesus.” God chose us in Jesus Christ so that we can give thanks. The glory, love and grace of God were revealed to us as it is written, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…to the praise of the glory of His grace.” It means that God has predestined us before the foundation of the world, that He would give the remission of sins to us who believe in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. It means that God has decided to make us who believe in the righteousness of God as His children in Christ Jesus. There is one will of God towards us, and that is to make us His children.
Dear fellow believers, what kind of people are we before the presence of God? We are spiritual paralytics before His presence. Are you sure that you will not commit sin ever again? A person who is confident that he will not commit any sin is a god. Religious people who lead ascetic lives say that they became gods when they were delivered from the world and the fleshly desires with their own efforts. But can they become gods even if they try so hard? In the case of a certain Buddhist monk, he practiced asceticism by eating very little. He ate very little and fought against himself to overcome these lewd desires coming up constantly from the bottom of his heart. Many people died with sins still remaining in them after trying so hard to enter Heaven by overcoming these desires. Can sins be blotted out by living such an ascetic life? Lewd desires come up inside one’s heart, and hatred comes up inside the heart when these lewd desires disappear, and greed comes up and evil thoughts also come up. Sins come up continually like this.
To avoid sins in order to enter Heaven is like denying a natural phenomenon. No matter how a persimmon tree says that it does not want to bear persimmons, a persimmon tree will bear persimmons every year. Ever since the creation of the universe, persimmon trees have produced persimmons and pear trees have produced pears. If a human is a tree of sin, he cannot but bear the fruit of sin. It is useless no matter how much you do not want to bear the fruits of sin. The other things might be accomplished with effort, but blotting out sins cannot be achieved by trying hard.
If you are still a sinner, you must just confess, “I cannot cleanse my sins at all. I am a mass of sins” and give up trying to cleanse your sins on your own. And you must seek the Savior by asking, “Please save me. I have given up trying to be saved myself with my own efforts. God, save me.” You can receive the remission of your sins freely because of the work Jesus Christ has done for you. And you will become a child of God and go to the Kingdom of Heaven when you seek the Savior who has saved you from all your sins. You don’t need to meditate facing the wall for 10 years. And you don’t need to eat tiny bits of food. We who “have been chosen in Christ” come to receive the remission of our sins just by faith without trying at all.
No one can become a righteous person by trying hard. Most religions tell people to try hard by themselves to be transformed, but you cannot receive salvation by trying hard like this. If you are still a sinner, you must know that you are a person with many sins and cannot blot out those sins on your own because you are a spiritual paralytic. Although you cannot reach your salvation on your own, you must realize that only the true God can save you from all your sins and that we receive salvation through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
However, it is tantalizing that there are so many foolish Christians in this world. Even now, they turn the lights off in the church building and weep and cry out “Lord! Lord! Please forgive me!” as they pray for repentance mumbling with strange sounds lest a person next to them understand what they are saying if they pray any louder. They mumble like that while offering these prayers of repentance, lest the others hear what they are praying about. Do you know why people try to speak in tongues? The hearts of humans are alike and we can understand what the other person is saying by just looking at someone’s mouth, so people mumble “sha-la-la-la sha-la-la-la” with strange pronunciation. Thus, they desire to speak in tongues in order that others cannot understand what they are saying when they do this. Moreover, demons encourage their emotions and say, “That is right! That is speaking in tongues!” And they curl their tongues and make strange sounds that they cannot even understand, trying to prove that they can speak in tongues better than anyone else. Then people around them marvel, saying, “Wow! He has received the gift of speaking in tongues!” They do this without knowing that Satan is deceiving them to make them go to hell like this. They utter “shala-shala-shala” although they have sins in their hearts because they think it is a work of the Holy Spirit when some kind of hot emotion or feeling comes over their body. They try hard like that throughout their entire life and end up going to hell.
My heart was also so hot when I had believed wrongly for ten years before I was truly born again. My heart was always filled with warmth whenever I went to a church. I saw visions and also spoke in tongues as well. But I still had sins in my heart. My faith used to go up and down according to my emotions because I was not in a sinless state of being born-again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If a person does not receive salvation in Christ, he cannot but live as a slave to a demon and end up going to hell no matter how diligently he attends church meetings and no matter how frequently he experiences hot feelings.
What did the Lord say in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7? He 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).
 
 
Only the Paralytics Receive the Remission of Sins
 
A healthy person, a person who tries to keep the Law of God well in His presence, cannot receive the remission of sins. But someone, who acknowledges that he is a weak person who cannot but commit sins before the presence of God and knows that he cannot do anything, receives the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The remission of sins a human receives from God is very simple. If you say, “God, I cannot do anything. I myself cannot even offer any prayers of repentance well and there isn’t anything I can do well.” Our Lord then says, “I have come to save a person just like you. I have come to call a sinner with a poor spirit, not a righteous person. That is why I put on human flesh and came down to this world and passed all the sins of the world onto Myself through the baptism I received from John the Baptist, and your sins were included amongst these sins of the world that were passed over onto me. I have already paid the wages of your sins completely on the Cross. I have blotted out all your sins.” Then we accept and believe this in our hearts and receive salvation from all our sins. Only a person who has realized that he is a paralytic that cannot do anything can receive the remission of sins.
Are you or are you not a paralytic? You are a paralytic. That is true. You are a paralytic no matter how well you can sing or how good you look. We all were spiritual paralytics since we ourselves could not blot out our sins.
We will look at today Scripture passage once again and finish this sermon. Let’s read today’s Scripture passage, starting from verses 3 to 5 of the Gospel of Mark chapter 2, “Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:3-5).
Jesus who is God gathered the people and spoke to them about the way to go to the Kingdom of Heaven. At that time, four men carried a paralytic let him down on the bed he was lying on by uncovering the roof. The paralytic would not have been healed or received the remission of his sins if he had not gone in there because there were so many people. However, four men uncovered the roof and let down this paralytic who so desired to hear the Word of Jesus instead of giving up in a situation that no one could even move because there were so many people.
How big do you think the paralytic’s bed was? It must have at least been as big as the stretcher the medics use in the military. However, they uncovered the roof of another person’s home because the paralytic so desired to be healed of his terrible sickness. Jesus looked at this desperately earnest faith and said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” This is the very secret to receiving the remission of sins.
In order to receive salvation by receiving the genuine remission of sins, you must first know what God has done for us. You must give up your efforts and learn through the Scriptures how the Lord has saved you and blotted out all your sins. You must look into the Old and New Testament and understand the Word of God that He wants to give you. If you come to know the work God has done for you, you also will receive the remission of your sins just like way the Lord saw this paralytic coming down through this roof here and said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” You will receive the remission of your sins when you come to know how God has saved you, that is, how Jesus Christ put on the flesh of man, came to this world, and blotted out all the sins of the world in order to save you and me.
You must look into God’s Word carefully and confirm how God has blotted out the sins in the Old Testament and how God fulfilled this Word eternally in the New Testament. Then only can you receive the remission of your sins. You can receive the remission of sins just as God said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” You must check how the people of the Old Testament era received the remission of sins and how we the people of the New Testament era can receive the remission of our sins.
Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). We must understand the meaning of this Word. A person cannot receive the remission of sins if he does not know this Word no matter how great an elder, a pastor, or a deacon is. It is because the remission of sins is not based on someone’s station in life. Thus, if you are still a sinner, you must give up your effort and confirm how the Lord has saved you. You can be cured of your sickness of sin like the way the paralytic received the remission of all his sins, arose, and carried the bed he had been lying on when Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
The Lord said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” At that time, the scribes and the Pharisees must have been sitting right beside Jesus. Then they became very angry with Jesus as soon as they heard this, saying, “What an arrogant fool. Who besides God has the power to forgive sins?”
Jesus Christ is God. He is originally God although He came in the flesh of man to save us. He just used a human being in order to save us. He is our Savior and the Creator who made us. This God put on human flesh and came to this world in order to save us. Thus, it was very natural for Jesus to say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” It was natural because He had the power to forgive sins. However, the scribes and the Pharisees heard this and thought Jesus was “blaspheming” against God and was “arrogant” because they did not acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus knew this and said, “Which is easier between the two? However, I want to make you know that the Son of Man has the power to forgive sins in this world. I have come to this world to cure the sins of your souls, not to cure the sickness of the body. And I cured this soul. I have come to blot out all your sins.” In this whole universe, Jesus is the only One who can say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Therefore, it is natural for the Lord to say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” It is because Jesus Christ is the only One who has the qualifications to say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Only Jesus can blot out our sins.
Our Lord has blotted out all the sins people commit. Only the Lord can blot out people’s sins. Dear fellow believers, the Lord came to this world to make us all know that He is the Savior and that He is the Lord who has blotted out all our sins. And He has indeed blotted out all our sins. There is no one in this Earth whose sins have not been blotted out. Do you think Adolph Hitler had sin or not? No, he did not. He murdered 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. However, Hitler went to hell because he was not interested in knowing how God saved him and did not even open the Scriptures to check it. It is not the case that God had blotted out the sins of some chosen people and did not blot out the sins of the other’s. God has blotted out all the sins of all human beings. Thus, we who have received the remission of sins by faith must preach this true gospel.
Our Lord asked the scribes and the Pharisees, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’?” What do you think is easier? It would be easier to cure a person’s disease than to forgive someone’s sins. Whoever knows Jesus and meets Him receives the remission of sins. However, receiving the remission of sins is more difficult to people who do not acknowledge that they are spiritual paralytics and do not seek to meet Jesus.
Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic and also cured his physical sickness. How desperately this paralytic must have wanted to become healthy. There is nothing more unfortunate than being sick or crippled physically. However, the sickness of the soul is more unfortunate than physical disability. Do you know how much the soul imprisoned in sin wants to receive the remission of sins? I want you to care for your souls more instead of caring just for your body. Your souls must first receive the remission of sins from God and secondly, you must receive the blessing from God physically while living in this world. Concerning the order of receiving blessings from God, we must receive the spiritual blessings first in our souls, and then receive the physical blessings in our lives after that.
But unfortunately so many Christians just seek after fleshly blessings. This is not true Christianity. This is superstition and pseudo-Christianity. There are so many ridiculous people amongst Christians these days. They insist that being healed of sickness and becoming healthy after believing in Jesus is receiving heavenly blessing. Does it mean that they believe correctly just because they are cured of physical sicknesses when they still have sins in their hearts? Christian sinners should know that they believe in Jesus wrongly. Believing that it is fine regardless of who cures one’s body, whether it is a demon or the true God, is not true faith. Rather, it is superstition that believes in evil spirits. The Lord said, “You shall know the truth.” We must know this genuine God. We must receive the remission of our sins by understanding it.
God gave the remission of sins to the paralytic. Dear fellow believers, you and I, and the entire humanity are all spiritual paralytics. We all cannot do anything for our salvation by ourselves. Therefore, we must just open up the Truth and confirm what God has done for us, and receive the remission of sins by believing in it. Only then can we receive salvation. We must admit before the presence of God that we cannot do anything. And we must receive the remission of sins by checking and believing what God has done for us.
Let us confirm our faith after checking the Word of David, our predecessor of faith. In the Book of Psalms chapter 51 verse 3 to 4, David confessed this:
“For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.”
What did David do? He committed adultery and also committed murder. He committed all the sins in the Ten Commandments. He blasphemed the name of God, witnessed falsely, and committed murder. When one violates one of the statutes of the Law, then he has violated all of them (James 2:10).
How do people pray when they commit adultery? The non-born again pray cry and weep, saying, “God, just forgive this sin. I will never commit this sin again.” But how did David pray? He was a man who received the remission of his sins; he was a man of faith after God’s own heart. After committing this sin of adultery and murder before the presence of God, David confessed before the presence of God, saying,
“For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.”
It means that His judgment becomes blameless when God judges David as righteous. What David was really saying, “I will go to hell if God says that I should go to hell, but I will receive salvation if God says that I deserve to receive salvation. Everything shall be done according to His judgment. Salvation is not something that I can do anything for myself.”
  
 
Our Judgment Must Not Be the Criteria of the Truth
 
Our judgment must not be the criteria of the truth. It is because only the judgment of God is the truth. Only God is the truth. Only the judgment of God is pure and only the Word of the Lord is righteous. David would have gone to hell if the Lord had not blotted out all his sins. However, what did the Lord do with David’s sins? The Lord blotted out all his sins completely. David was a weak person who had committed sins before the presence of God, but God blotted out all his sins completely and cleanly. Jesus Christ came to this world and blotted out even all the sins of David. David believed this truth beforehand. Thus, David spoke of himself and confessed,
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom” (Psalms 51:5-6).
David did not pray that He would never commit sin again if God forgave him of this sin. Instead, he confessed, “I was brought forth in iniquity since I was formed with sin inside my mother’s womb and in sin my mother conceived me. I am a person who cannot but do such evil things because I am originally an offspring of evildoers, because I was born with sin.”
We must be such people who also acknowledge ourselves like this and seek salvation from God. We receive salvation from God and receive the remission of sins when we acknowledge that we are spiritual paralytics and come before the presence of God, look into the Word of God, and know the Truth and believe in it in our hearts.