Good morning Christian brothers and sisters. I want to share with you this
morning another lesson for our efforts in living a Christian life. The
Christian life is not that of pleasure and good time living. All the sermons
preached in this Church and the main Church are lessons to help us and
encourage us in the difficult task of living the Christian life.
Some of us learn the lessons very well and make efforts to apply them to our
daily living. Others forget as soon as they leave the Church, One thing we
all tend to forget is that even though the Christian life is a life of
FAITH, our believe and Faith must be accompanied by ACTION. Faith and Action
in Christian Living is the lesson we want to share this morning.
We will note 3 key
points in this message:
disobedience to God’s
is a grace all believers get
but the the
precondition for forgiveness of sin are:
Reconciliation to the will of God and
Believe in the
Redemptive power of Christ who has the power through God to forgive sin. To
gain forgiveness and Salvation through the Grace of God, we need
(3) FAITH and ACTION.
In Mark 2:1-12 which is our text this morning, we find the story of the
faith of the
paralytic and his
four friends or relations who found a way to bring him
to the attention of Jesus for healing. It is a
story of Faith and
Some Bible commentators told us that there were 35 miracles performed by our
Lord Jesus Christ in His Ministry as recorded in the Gospels. The Gospel of
Matthew alone recorded 25 of those miracles, some of which are:
1. Cleansing a man with
leprosy (Matt 8:1-4);
2, The healing
centurion’s servant (8:5-13);
3, The healing of the
woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (9:20-22);
4. Calming the Storm on
the lake of Galilee (8:23-27);
5. Restoring sight to
two blind men (9:27-31)
6. Driving demons from
a dumb man and enabling him to speak (9:32-33);
7. The healing of the
paralytic man brought to Jesus on a mat/bed/stretcher which we will find in
both Matthew and Mark (Matt 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-5).
In all these miracles,
a common factor is that those healed had FAITH that Jesus could heal them.
They did not just stop there. They followed
their faith with ACTION.
The woman who had a
bleeding problem (Matt 9: 20-22) had faith that Jesus could heal her and
followed Him quietly in the crowd until she was able to touch the edge of
His cloak from behind Him. Her faith was that touching his cloak was enough
for her purpose.
Imagine her efforts and
strugglee to go close to
Him in the huge crowd that
cleaned of leprosy had the same faith but took a different line of action.
He squeezed through the crowd, followed Jesus and when he got the
opportunity he went and knelt before Him saying “Lord, if you are willing
you can make me clean” Matt:8:2). He demonstrated his faith
through action; called Him
Lord and stating his believe that He could heal the leprosy IF
HE IS WILLING. His Faith and Action worked and Jesus replied
willing, be clean. (Matt 8:3)
came to Jesus saying his servant was ill and paralysed and that all
he wanted was that Jesus should command that the servant be healed. He
bother coming to
his house. As a military commander (a captain of a detachment of 100
soldiers in the Roman Army),
centurion could order things to be done and they were
done instantly. By the same
said what Jesus needed to do was
“command” the healing of his servant. His faith
in the healing powers of Jesus
was so strong that he believed
could do the miraculous healing of his servant by “remote
Jesus was impressed by such strong faith and He said “Go, it will be done
just as you believe it would
Note that the centurion, even though he was a senior military officer, WENT
to Jesus. He did not just send someone to Him. (Luke in his gospel thought
the centurion sent someone, Luke 7:3-8). Even if we take Luke’s view that he
sent some Jewish elders to Jesus, the centurion had certainly followed his
faith up with ACTION.
of the miracle of calming the storm? It
on the lake of Galilee which is known for its sea-like storms. These storms
come suddenly and they could be very dangerous. Jesus was travelling on the
lake in a boat with his disciples when a storm came and nearly sank the
But He was sleeping soundly in the
storm. His disciples woke
him up and asked him to save the situation.
Surely, they should have known that with the Lord in the boat with them,
they were completely safe. That was why Jesus told them
that their faith was not enough. But He rebuked the storm and the lake became calm again
5. Next is the healing of the paralytic which is our main
focus this morning. It is a very interesting Bible story. The various
versions of the Bible and the gospels narrated the story in slightly
different ways. But Bible Commentators like Gill and Darby, are
able to help us understand it more.
We need to know the type of
houses the Jews live in at the time of Jesus, to understand this story. Most
of their houses were simple single storey buildings, with a court yard and a
flat roof which was also the ceiling. The roofs were usually made of a
mixture of mud and small stones. The low rainfall in Palestine meant that
roofs made like that would not leak.
The roofs were also
used for drying crops away from domestic animals. The owner of a house could get in and
out of his house through the front door and through a small window on the
roof, with a ladder. Visitors use only the front door, while the owners of
the house have both options.
When the paralytic man and his
four friends carrying him on his stretcher were unable to enter the house
where Jesus was, through the front door, they decided to go through the roof
Some Bible commentators believe that
the men carrying the paralytic must have removed the roof window or widened
it to enable them lower the man to the floor where Jesus was. Others believe
they created a new opening on the roof for that purpose. Whichever it was,
their ACTION was unique, bold and difficult. Imagine carrying a paralytic
who could not move any part of his body to the roof of a house and lowering
him to the floor below the roof. They most likely used ropes tied to the
four corners of the stretcher to lower the man on the stretcher down. They accomplish
this difficult ACTION because of their FAITH.
We should take note of two
things which happened when Jesus saw the paralytic man brought to Him in
that way. Firstly, He commended the man’s faith and said “SON, your sins
are forgiven” (Mark 2:3). The man came to be healed but what he got first
was the FORGIVENESS of his sins. In other words, Jesus first met the man’s
deepest need which was forgiveness, before his request for physical healing.
addressed the paralytic man as SON which showed total acceptance and
compassion. This confirms again the purpose of the Ministry of Christ. His
Ministry was for
the salvation of mankind and by that dispensation we are all the children
and the sons of God. The paralytic became a son by virtue of the covenant of
Grace and with his faith and action the man received three gifts –
FORGIVENESS, HEALING, and SON-SHIP of the Lord. He came for one thing
(healing) but got three!
Christian brothers and
sisters, there are certainly no physical paralytics here among us this
morning, but we are all more or less paralytics spiritually. We need
those precious gifts which Jesus gave the paralytic man in this story –
Forgiveness, Healing and the Son-ship of God.
Forgiveness is the greatest
need of all of us today. We need forgiveness as individuals, as families,
and as a Nation. The difficulties of our nation for many years now are
caused by our FAITHLESSNESS and lack of compassion and love for one
another. The difficulties of organizing our Nation into a modern state
and a respected one among other Nations are also largely due to our
faithlessness and lack of love and compassion for one another.
Christian brothers and sisters,
all of us here this morning have various needs that we want the Lord to
address. If we are to list those needs, they will be numerous.
Is it the need to clinch that JOB
you applied for;
The need for a PARTNER in life;
The need to enter College or
University to further your EDUCATION;
The need to build a SHELTER for
yourself and your family;
The need for a childless couple
to have CHILDREN and so on.
All these needs can be met by our Lord Jesus Christ. But there are
conditions. We must first realise that we are all sinners and we have
fallen short of the Grace
of God, and that our first need before all other needs,
is for our burden of sins to be removed. For that to happen we need to
repent from our rebellious ways, accept Christ and have Faith in Him.
Thereafter, FORGIVENESS, HEALING (that
is the fulfilment of our needs), and SON-SHIP will
May the Lord this
morning forgive our sins through our FAITH and ACTION in seeking Him. May
the Lord bless all of us abundantly.Amen!