( 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”—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!””
The Powerful Word That Cannot Be Uttered by Anyone Else but God
We just read Mark chapter 2 as today’s Scripture reading, and here we see that people were amazed by what Jesus did to the paralytic. Jesus was staying in a house in Capernaum, and as the news spread that He was there, a large crowd had gathered and the house was overflowing with people. And there, something else was happening as well. Strange, incomprehensible events were unfolding on the roof of the house where Jesus was staying: four men were working hard to remove the roof of the house, so that they could lower the paralytic in his bed into the house. To the people watching this scene, tearing up the roof of someone else’s house and lowering the paralytic to Jesus made no sense, but they must have also found it quite intriguing. As the crowd’s curiosity kicked in, everyone’s attention was all focused on Jesus.
The paralytic was brought to Jesus in his bed through the roof, and, as verse 5 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’” (Mark 2:5). When the paralytic was lowered from the roof, Jesus saw the faith of the four men who had brought him, and said, “Your faith is great.” Jesus commended the four men who lowered the paralytic from the roof because He saw their faith. And to the paralytic, He spoke the powerful Word of the remission of sins, saying, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Hearing what Jesus was saying, many people gathered there began to think that He was quite arrogant. Their focus was on whether Jesus would be able to heal the paralytic, but Jesus said unexpectedly, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” So, wicked thoughts were stirred deep in their hearts, and they wanted to quarrel with Him.
They were totally shocked to hear Jesus saying to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” They thought to themselves, “What? Did You just say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’? God alone can forgive someone’s sins, so how can He, who is a mere man, dare to forgive anyone else’s sins?” Like this, their hearts were stirred into standing against Jesus. This is because they did not believe that Jesus was God, and therefore the moment they heard Him say this, an evil desire to stand against Him was triggered in their hearts.
Although the Jewish people in ancient times all believed in Yahweh God, there were several different sects. One sect believed in the Word of God literally as it was written, while another sect, though believing in God, accepted and rejected His Word depending on whether they could understand it based on reason. Those belonging to this latter sect were at the scene, and when they heard what Jesus said to the paralytic, they thought to themselves, “Wow, He is saying utter nonsense!” That’s because they had understood and believed all this time that there was only one Yahweh God, but now they were confronted at the scene with the prospect of having to recognize another God.
Like this, today also, there are many people who agree only partially that Jesus is God or outright reject it. Even theologians these days believe in the Word of God only if they can understand it with their heads and minds, or otherwise reject it. Throughout the whole world, theologians and even pastors who profess to believe in Jesus as their Savior are torn over this question of the divinity of Jesus. This is because people these days do not grasp that Jesus is the same God as His Father.
Fundamentally, Jesus Christ is the Creator God Himself, who came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man to save all sinners from their sins. He is the same almighty God just like His Father, and He is the God who came to this earth according to the will of His Father and fittingly washed away all the sins of sinners. We must grasp this properly.
Surrounded by the crowd, Jesus was facing spiritual attacks from His opponents who were unable to believe that He was God Himself who had come to this earth looking for them. Seeing that they were reasoning like this in their hearts, Jesus said to them in verse 8, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?” Amazed by what was unfolding before their eyes, the scribes were trying to reason about it in their minds and heads, wondering, “Is this even plausible?” They thought, “What He is saying makes absolutely no sense! How can any man claim to forgive sins? Isn’t it only God who can forgive someone’s sins?”
They were standing against Jesus in their hearts, thinking that Jesus was arrogant. In their minds and hearts, they were fiercely opposing Jesus. They were trying to find their own answer to the question that they themselves were raising in their minds and hearts. When it comes to the question of faith, some people try to reason about it and refuse to believe if it doesn’t make sense to them, saying, “Wow, this really makes no sense!” But, there also are others who believe, saying, “Wow, this makes total sense!” Like this, most people often engage in a conversation with themselves in their thoughts and hearts. At any rate, knowing what was in the scribes’ hearts, Jesus 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 2:8-12).
“Son, Your Sins Are Forgiven You”
Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Not only did Jesus say this, but He also told the man who had been paralyzed for years, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” This passage shows very well the power of Jesus Christ to all of us today who believe in God. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth. The passage reveals clearly that Jesus Christ came to this earth as the Messenger of justice to address the sins of mankind and their curses. Jesus Christ came to this earth as the Messenger of justice to drive out the power of Satan and save us human beings, who had been preyed upon by the Devil; and we are now at the point when we must receive the blessings of salvation by believing in this work of Jesus Christ. Although Jesus is the Son of God, we must now realize and believe that He is fundamentally God Himself to us. The Word of power that Jesus spoke to the paralytic and is speaking to all of us now—“Your sins are forgiven you”—shows the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit with which Jesus Christ has blessed all human beings.
The blessed Word God has given us in this world is the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. No matter who you are and what sins you might have committed, you must believe that Jesus Christ, God Himself, has saved you by bearing your sins through His baptism and being crucified. You must believe in the Word of God Almighty that says, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” The God-given blessings of the remission of sins will then come into your heart. God the Father has given these blessings to us the believers in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit through His Son. Those of us who now believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit believe that what the Son of God did when He came to this earth to save mankind from all sins and curses once and for all is God’s work.
If a paralytic were to approach us and ask us to heal him, it would be next to impossible for us to do so physically. However, if people in this world tainted by their sins were to approach us, we can save and free them from the prison of sins by preaching the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit to them, for we believe in God’s powerful Word of salvation. By preaching to them the powerful gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, we can share with them the faith that brings God’s blessings. Clearly, we the righteous can deliver all the suffering sinners in this world through the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit the Lord has given us, and we are the messengers who can preach the blessed Word of the remission of sins to them authoritatively.
People Are Born with a Rebellious Desire to Stand against God
The powerful blessing Jesus bestowed on the paralytic in Mark chapter 2 is the blessed Word of salvation God has poured on you and me today. Because Adam, our ancestor, fell into Satan’s deception and turned into God’s opponent along with the Devil, all human beings became sinners. As a result, beginning with Adam, all of us his descendants were born with a sinful heart and came under curses. Our parents of the flesh gave birth to us, and we are all Adam’s descendants. All human beings now living in this world were already afflicted by the disease of sin the day they were born. Everyone therefore commits all kinds of sins while living in this world. Even though people do not want to sin, they are incapable of not sinning as they wish. That is because the day we were born as human beings, we were all born as the slaves of sin.
Therefore, all human beings are the closest to Satan, God’s opponent. It is not an exaggeration to say that the people born on this earth are sharing fellowship with God’s enemy Satan with their hearts. This is because people were born with a sinful heart when they were born into this world, and this sinful heart desires to stand against the will of God. None other than you and I are such people before God, and it is we humans who commit all kinds of sins in our lives as the slaves of Satan. All human beings—that is, everyone who is of Adam’s descent—are living with their hearts united with God’s opponent. As such, human beings are interacting closely with Satan not only in their hearts, but also in their thoughts and even actions. All human beings are therefore destined to share fellowship with Satan, commit countless sins from the day they were born to the day they die, and be cast out to hell in the end to pay the wages of their sins. So, I urge you to unite your heart with and believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, which is the love of Jesus Christ and His work of salvation. The powerful, blessed Word of God will then descend upon you as your blessings.
Ever since letting their hearts side with the fallen angel, human beings have been closest to God’s enemy—it’s not God, their parents, spouses, children, or loved ones. That defines the human condition. Even without intending anything, human beings’ hearts, acts, and thoughts are all influenced by God’s enemy Satan. It is precisely because all human beings are living under the influence of God’s opponent that they are living a life that is full of regrets. Since the entire human race was born in this world in such a state, people’s lives are ruled by Satan, and they live in his fear. Let us not forget that we were all born destined to share fellowship with God’s enemy with our hearts and thoughts. The only way to escape from this fate is “faith.” This faith is all about returning to God the Savior and believing in the righteous work of Jesus Christ as our salvation. There is no other way. Without this faith, all lives will end with nothing but regrets about how they should have believed and turned around. Many people try to live an upright life, saying to themselves whenever they sin, “I shouldn’t sin. I shouldn’t live like this. I should live righteously.” However, because they were already destined to be born under the rule of God’s enemy, they cannot live their lives as they wish.
Stroke victims often suffer from paralysis because the brain is malfunctioning. Their arms, legs, or faces are paralyzed, and they can’t move their bodies at will. For example, some stroke patients lose eye-hand coordination and cannot eat on their own as they can’t control their hand movement to guide the spoon to the mouth. This is just one example of the many challenges faced by paralytics. Those who are spiritual paralytics face similar problems, in that even though they all think on their own will that they must behave properly, in reality they end up behaving very differently from their thoughts.
I mentioned a short while ago that the day we were born in this world, we were born with a desire to stand against God. This explains why it is that you do what you do. Even though we wish to live a blameless life under the heavens, in reality, everyone lives a meaningless life that is far removed from what God wants from us.
It is often said that the Englishmen are gentlemen. But, who really is a gentleman in God’s sight? A true gentleman is someone who keeps his manners and common sense even when no one is watching him. Every man wants to be a gentleman in front of other people, but no man can actually live such a life. The Bible says that all human beings were born as a brood of evildoers from the day they were born in this world, and therefore they cannot help but commit all kinds of transgressions in their lives. We must discover ourselves from the Word of God and return to Him. When we believe in the work of salvation that Jesus Christ has done for us and return to God, our salvation is within reach.
All human beings are born in this world with the following sins. They are born with the sin of dishonoring their parents. They are born with a deep-seated desire to hate their brothers and sisters and deceive others. That’s why they end up committing sins. When such people join some worldly religion, they try hard to appear as though they are living a very upright life before others. They are very well-mannered and friendly. However, when they are alone, we can see their sins pouring out, which is their true selves.
Let Us Listen to the Powerful Word of the Savior
When the paralytic approached Jesus thanks to the help of his four friends, Jesus said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” This is what Jesus Christ our God is saying to all of us today, you and me alike. The Lord came to this earth to take upon our sins—that is, the sins of the world—through the baptism He received from John the Baptist, bear the condemnation of sins by being crucified, and thereby blot out our sins once and for all. Because Jesus accepted the sins of mankind once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, He was crucified while shouldering the sins of this world, shed His blood to death, rose from the dead again, and is now sitting on the right side of God the Father. And now, Jesus wants to become the Lord of salvation to all those who believe in His righteous baptism and His blood on the Cross. So, even at this very moment, Jesus is the God of salvation to those who believe in the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit, and He is offering His grace of salvation to all such believers.
People are sinners because they were born in this world with twelve fundamental sins. To mankind, Jesus Christ is the God who carried out the work of salvation to deliver them from all their sins. Jesus Christ is fundamentally the Creator God to us. Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe, and He is the Savior who has saved all sinners from the sins of the world once and for all. Jesus Christ is the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, and He is the true God and the true Savior for all of us living in this world who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Jesus Christ is God Himself to all creatures, and He is the King of all. And this God is the true Shepherd for all His creatures. Jesus Christ is also the Ruler reigning over all things. He is the Savior who has delivered you and me from the sins of this world once and for all. In this world there is only one Savior, Jesus Christ, who has saved you from your sins. It is because Jesus Christ has bestowed His mercy of salvation on all human beings that everyone can be freed from all the sins of this world. It is Jesus Christ who has saved us from the sins of the world, and no one else but Jesus Christ could have accomplished this. Jesus Christ has granted such glorious salvation to us on account of our faith. Jesus Christ has completed the salvation of mankind personally with the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit.
Can anyone on this earth wash away his own sins? No, no one can do this. Who can possibly cleanse away one’s sins by oneself? Who can possibly blot out one’s own sins? Those who follow the religions of this world try to wash away their sins by themselves, but we cannot cleanse away not even an iota of our sins unless we believe in the work of salvation Jesus Christ has done for us. Only by believing in the Truth of salvation that Jesus Christ completed when He came to this earth can we be washed from our sins once and for all. Because human beings by themselves cannot grasp the Truth that blots out their sins—that is, the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit—they can be saved only if they meet those who have already been saved from their sins by finding the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Salvation is within reach only when you hear about the true faith from those who have already found the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it.
When we turn to 2 Kings chapter 5, we see General Naaman, commander of the army of Syria who had leprosy, visiting Elisha, God’s servant in Israel, so that he may be healed of his disease. To meet Elisha, Naaman first met the king of Israel and requested him to heal him of his leprosy. The king of Israel was stumped by this. Before looking for Elisha the servant of God, General Naaman must have seen countless physicians in Syria trying to get healed of his leprosy. But his condition did not improve at all. What we need to realize here is that the disease of sin plaguing human beings is due to the fact that they have united their hearts with God’s enemy. Diseases and death are the result of standing against God together with His enemy.
All Curses Begin from Uniting with God’s Enemy
When the first man was living with God in the Garden of Eden, God commanded him with His Word, saying, “Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that is in the middle of the garden. If you eat from it, you will surely die.” But Adam, the first man, was tempted by the serpent, and he ended up becoming God’s enemy by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil against God’s strict prohibition. As a result, he had to be driven out of the God-made Garden of Eden. So, human beings can wash away their sins only if they return to God their Creator. Without returning to this God, the Creator of mankind, no one can wash away his sins. When people try to wash away their sins by relying on worldly religion, they may be able to say that their sins are washed away momentarily.
However, to completely wash away all their sins once and for all, they must return to the gospel of the water and the Spirit that constitutes the righteousness of Jesus Christ and cleanse away their sins with faith. Otherwise, trying to wash away their sins without the righteousness of Jesus Christ is all in vain no matter how hard they try. To whom, then, should people go to wash away their sins? Of course, they must go to the Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, and believe in His righteousness. No matter who, everyone must wash away his sins by believing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. When the paralytic here was brought to Jesus, his sins were washed away by the powerful Word of Jesus that forgave his sins. Likewise, all of us today must also wash away our sins by believing in the Word of the remission of sins Jesus Christ has given us.
After saying to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you,” Jesus told him, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Just as Jesus spoke His Word of the remission of sins to the paralytic in today’s Scripture passage, so is He bestowing the grace of the remission of sins on you, me, and all those who believe in His Word of the remission of sins. It is God who made us humans be born on this earth. Even though our ancestor sinned because of his weaknesses, ultimately, God made you and me so that He may save us from all the sins of this world, turn us into His own people, and bless us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Having thus saved us sinners from all our sins, Jesus’s purpose for us is to preach God’s righteousness of salvation and enter His Kingdom in the end. In other words, God’s purpose for us is making us His own children and blessing us to live in His Kingdom as its rightful owners.
The paralytic picked up his bed and went back to his home, but for us, now that we have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, our duty is to spread the righteousness of God until we finally enter His Kingdom. What is this but a glorious blessing God has stored for us? This glorious blessing was planned and fulfilled by Jesus Christ, God His Father, and the Holy Spirit. This marvelous, blessed work of glory is not something that any human being can achieve. God’s glorious plan for you and me is found in the salvation of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that Jesus Christ fulfilled when He came to this earth. God’s purpose is blessing us to enjoy all the glorious life He has prepared for us. It is to deliver mankind from Satan and give them eternal life that Christ, God Himself, came to this earth.
Our Lord Is Now Telling Us to Live by Faith in God’s Glory
The Lord has given us one commandment for our lives in this world, and it is to dutifully fulfill the goal of spreading God’s glorious gospel throughout the whole world. Having saved us from the sins of this world once and for all, Jesus Christ has made us the saved live for the glory of God by faith. And the Lord’s providence is to take us to His Kingdom when the time comes so that we may live happily forever. God’s purpose is to take us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to His Kingdom, and to let us enjoy glory and live with Him for eternity. When that time comes, we will be served by the God-made angels. This, my fellow believers, is God’s love and purpose for you and me. I believe God’s purpose for me, and for you as well, is a glorious blessing to us. God has done all these things just for us.
I grew up as a curious kid, wondering about many things in life. One day, I asked myself, “Why was I born? What is the purpose of life?” Around the time I started elementary school, there was an old man in the neighborhood who adored me. He used to dote on me, but one day he passed away. I saw the funeral procession, with pallbearers carrying his casket and lamenting his passing. I was quite close to him, and wondering where he was going, I followed the procession to a cemetery. A grave had been dug up there, and the casket was lowered into it. The following day, I went back to his grave again. The grave was made following Korea’s traditional burial practices, with mounded soil covered in grass. I climbed on the grave and thought to myself, “He used to dote on me but is now buried here. He was playing with me just a few days ago. Why did he get buried here?” Since I was too young to understand death, from this experience I came to associate it with burial. I thought to myself, “What does this mean? What will happen to me when I am done with school and grow old? Where will I go? Won’t I also end up in a grave? I guess I will also end up in a grave. It’s only a matter of time then. Everyone dies, and the only difference is the timing.” Ultimately, every sinner’s end is the same: it is death. From the death and burial of my neighbor who used to adore me, I realized that I, too, would face death in the end.
When I was a kid, I had an aspiration for my life in this world. I wanted to live a blameless life, so that when I looked up at the sky, I would have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of under the heavens. However, as I got older and entered my teens, I saw myself changing little by little. As my true self was increasingly revealed to me, I realized that I was a mess. When I was a kid, for a while I thought girls didn’t even go to the bathroom. I don’t know why I thought like this. I knew that everyone was more or less the same, but I still had misunderstandings. It seemed like girls were all well-behaved and didn’t do anything bad, but I was a rascal and did a lot of bad things. So, I thought to myself, “I am the only bad kid.” As more time went by and I became older, I began to see myself committing even more sins.
It is natural for everyone to not be able to see one’s true self. For us to realize our sinfulness, we must enter into the written Word of God, and only then can we see who we really are. God is saying to all human beings and sinners, “Like the paralytic, even though you wish to do good, you are sinners incapable of practicing goodness. That is why I have bestowed the salvation of the remission of sins on all of you.” Jesus Christ, God Himself who came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” Like this, to bring the remission of sins to many people, we must now preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. Even now, Jesus Christ is making every preparation to take the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to the Kingdom of God. Having prepared His Kingdom, God now wants to live with the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. But, because there still are many people on this planet earth who have not received the remission of sins, God wants us to spread this gospel to all those who still do not believe in it before going to the Kingdom of Heaven. God has already prepared a dwelling place for you and me who believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.
God is indeed a glorious God to us. Jesus Christ has bestowed amazing blessings of salvation on all of us. We had thought that, once born on this earth, everyone would live a meaningless life and it would all end when the body dies. Even though we all knew what was right, we were incapable of practicing it as we had too many shortcomings. We could not help but commit countless sins throughout the rest of our lives. The sins we had already committed were more than enough for us to deserve hell, and the sins we would commit in the future were also more than enough for us to be cast into hell.
It was therefore impossible for us to receive the remission of sins by believing in any religion of this world, and we realized we could get our sins blotted out only by believing in God’s righteous love. It was otherwise impossible for us to receive the remission of sins into our hearts. However, our God came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man, accepted all the sins of this world once and for all by being baptized by John the Baptist, died on the Cross while shouldering these sins, rose from the dead again, and has thereby saved us the believers. Even at this very moment, the Lord is saying to us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, “Son, your sins are forgiven you,” and He has given us the conviction of true salvation. The Lord’s goal is taking us the believers in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to His Kingdom, and this is to God’s glory.
Like this, Jesus Christ is the God who has done the truly astounding work of salvation for you and me. There is no one in this world who has blessed you and me as much as Jesus Christ has, who came to mankind by the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Who has ever delivered us sinners from all the sins of the world and made us God’s children? The One who has saved you and me like this, blessed us like this, and bestowed so much grace on us like this is none other than Jesus Christ. Fundamentally, we were all born with a wretched fate destined to be cast into hell for our sins. Despite this, long before God made us His creatures, long before we sinned, and long before our lives in this world were saddened and tormented by our sins, God already knew all about what we would face. So, because God loved us so much, He came looking for us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, met with us, and said to us, “Son, your sins are forgiven. I have blotted out your sins once and for all with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.” And He is blessing us His believers, saying, “I will take you to My house. As you carry on with your lives on this earth, if you live by faith in Me and My Word, I will fulfill all your hopes and dreams for you.”
While living in this world, we must think of only the righteousness of God. God alone has saved us from the sins of the world. What kind of God is our God? We must remember that He is the God who has bestowed us with marvelous blessings. We must believe in His righteous love. We must realize that our God is the God who has given us the amazing blessings of Heaven. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). My fellow believers, God has solved all the problems of our lives, including the problem of our sins. This God has told you and me, “Take up your bed, and go to your house.” If you and I believe in the righteous Word of Jesus Christ, all our hearts’ dreams will come true. For this to come about, we must believe that Jesus Christ is God Himself for all mankind. Do you not agree with this? Of course you do!
If You Have Been Saved from Your Sins, Live with Your Heart United with God
We have been delivered from our sins by believing with our hearts in the gospel of the water and the Spirit preached by God’s Church. Although we are scattered all over the world, if we support the gospel ministry and spread the gospel faithfully in our lives, we will all receive God’s blessings. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the garment of salvation that Jesus Christ has made for us. Regardless of who, if only people believe in this gospel with the heart, they will be saved from their sins and receive God’s blessings to become His own children and workers. God does not discriminate, as though He loves certain people and hates others. If we acknowledge God, ensure that our hearts are on His side, and unite ourselves with His Church by faith, God will surely fulfill all our hearts’ hopes and dreams step by step. Jesus Christ our God will untangle and solve every problem we are facing in our lives one by one, and He will bless us every step of the way. Our God blesses those who work on His side.
Now that we believe in God’s righteousness, we must do what pleases God. You may be wondering, “It was easy to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but are you now saying that I need to live a life of faith?” Indeed, that is what I am saying. It is precisely because life on this earth is so weary that we must live by faith. God said, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The righteous should live by faith alone. What is it that you want? Are you content to just accept the gospel of the water and the Spirit by faith and reach your salvation, or do you also want to live the rest of your life by faith in the Word of God, now that you have been delivered from your sins? Whether it is receiving God’s blessings or carrying out His work while living on this earth, it is made possible only by believing in the Word of God.
Everything is not over just because we have been saved from the sins of this world by faith and will enter Heaven by faith. Those who have become righteous must also serve God’s work in this world before they enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The righteous have the duty and calling to preach the gospel. If the righteous do not submit to this will of God, then there can be no earthly blessings for them. On the contrary, their disobedience will be followed by God’s curses. The righteous must obey the will of God with joy. Only then can they be anointed with blessings for their faith and obedience. Should you look for worldly happiness on your own, now that you have been saved from your sins? No, of course not! Our happiness is also found in the realm of faith, and it is attained when we believe in God and His Word. All the blessings God is bestowing on the righteous are received only when they abide by faith and obey His gospel and will.
Take a look at me. Apart from the hour of sermon, I am out there with you working hard to spread the gospel and support the gospel ministry. I carry out the will of God by faith in my everyday life, preparing the vessel of His blessings by faith. I get my vessel of blessing ready, asking God, “Lord, give me abundant blessings to fill this vessel.” Whenever I prepare the blessed vessel of faith, I like to prepare a big one. I don’t like to prepare a small vessel. Since I am working anyways, I might as well go big so that God would give us abundant blessings. I get a big vessel of faith ready in my heart so that we can help even those who have nothing to do with us. When I prepare a large vessel of faith, God makes sure to fill it with blessings without fail. I then share these God-given blessings with many people, along with God’s Word. This is what it means to have faith in God and obey His will. God’s blessings will follow without fail.
However, before we get to this point, we must endure a lot of persecution and hardship, and we must overcome them by faith in God. It takes a great deal of pain and suffering before God’s blessings reach us. If we want to live by believing in God and His Word, we must prepare a clean vessel of faith. That is because God Himself works on you and me. God is a marvelous God. If we are content to just be saved from our sins, and live by our own means and ways instead of faith, then we would be kicking away God’s blessings. God is demanding all those who have been saved from the sins of this world to live out their faith. He is demanding a life of faith from us because He wants to bless our lives and help us bear even more fruits of faith.
I left my hometown all by myself. And I have devoted my life to the spreading of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. My God had prepared a place for me on this earth, He guided me, and He made me live my life in obedience to His will. I know very well that my God, who has saved me from my sins, is always with me. My goal is not ensuring that I alone live a good life of faith in this world. Far from it, I believe that my spiritual family must also prosper. I also believe that it is right for me to live in God’s Church by faith, for our saints to live by faith as well, and for all of us to thus live a life that is worthy of God’s glory. My God has given me the blessings of faith, and He wants to also give these blessings to all our spiritual family in the world though me. That is why I entrust various tasks to you, so that you may prepare large vessels of faith that are pleasing to God. I believe that if you carry out your entrusted tasks by faith, grow your faith, and pray to God for His blessings, God will fulfill them for you. Having entrusted His work to all of us, God is only too pleased to bless us in every aspect of our lives and everyone around us.
God is working in our lives continuously in the present. Just because we have been saved, does it mean that it is all over? No, countless people through the whole world will receive abundant blessings through us, just like Abraham. I want to preach about the life of faith to our co-workers around the world. Abraham followed God by trusting in Him and His Word. This means Abraham had denied his own thoughts. He went to wherever God told him to go, and he stopped wherever God told him to stop. Through Abraham’s faith, God blessed the entire human race and every nation. And because Abraham had faith in God, God ensured that Abraham’s life would be a blessing to his many followers.
It is never a loss for us to live according to the will of God. Some people think selfishly, “Why do I have to do these things? Am I not losing out here?” But, if you believe in God and your heart is dwelt by the Holy Spirit, you can easily cast aside such carnal thoughts. And you can live a life that is pleasing to God for the benefit of your faith in Him rather than your flesh. To support the gospel ministry, some of us are working high above the rooftop. The risk of an accidental fall is always there, and it’s possible for us to think that it’s not fair to assume this risk. So, we have to be very careful, and make sure to put on the safety harnesses whenever we are working in elevated places. However, if we believe that the work we are doing is God’s work, then we ought to ask God for His help by faith and carry out our entrusted tasks. It is then God takes care of everything we do and blesses us. And God is pleased when we share with others the blessings that we have received. God is rejoiced to see us living such a life. All of us are now living on this earth, but sooner or later, we will leave this earth behind to enter and live in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take up your bed, and go to your house.” It was amazing enough that the paralytic could stand up, so how could he pick up his bed and carry it to his home? Would there have been enough muscle left in the paralytic’s body? No, since he had been lying down for so long, his body would have had hardly any muscle left. Despite this, the paralytic was able to hoist up his bed and go to his home, all thanks to the power of the God-given Word. Like this, God is bestowing His love on you through His Word. I urge you to realize that even now, God is doing amazing things for us with His Word, and to live by faith in God. By our faith in the Word of God, we are carrying out the work God has commanded us and receiving the blessings of faith in our lives. How about you then? Have you received God’s blessings by faith? I, too, have received God’s blessings by faith. I have been blessed forever. Our God has blessed the righteous for eternity. I give all my thanks to God. Hallelujah!