Religious Faith vs. Faith in
the Gospel Power
of the Water and the Spirit
< Matthew 9:1-17 >
“So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came
to His own city.Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying
on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic,
‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.’ And at once
some of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This Man blasphemes!’
But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil
in your hearts?For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven
you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’?But that you may know that the
Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins’—then He said to the
paralytic, ‘Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.’And he
arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it,
they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named
Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’
So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the
table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners
came and sat down with Him and His disciples.And when the Pharisees
saw it, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your Teacher eat with
tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard that, He said to them,
‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are
sick.But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’
For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.’
Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, ‘Why do we and the
Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus
said to them, ‘Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as
the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom
will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.No one puts
a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls
away from the garment, and the tear is made worse.Nor do they put
new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine
is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine
into new wineskins, and both are preserved.’”
How Should We Lead Our Lives of Faith?
How should we lead our lives of faith? Should we do
so by placing our faith in our own thoughts? Or should we place
our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? These are the
questions that I would to address in today’s teaching.
What we need to realize here is that those who are
faithful only to their thoughts are no more than religious practitioners.
So when Jesus was on this earth, the Pharisees, being such religionists,
also attacked Him and His disciples over ritualistic issues. The
disciples of John the Baptist also questioned Jesus in doubt, “Why
is it that we fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”
Unfortunately, most Christians still remain as such
religious practitioners. In contrast, what Jesus really wants us
to pursue is absolutely different from it. As is manifested in the
first part of today’s Scripture passage, Jesus is the true God who
can give us the remission of sin. Hence, He could say to the paralytic,
“Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
Which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,”
or to say, “Arise and walk”? Both would have been easy for our Lord,
but they are likewise difficult for us. Everyone and every creature
may say such things, but fundamentally speaking, no man has such
power. All these things were impossible to be done by creatures,
but only by our Lord.
What could someone who seems to be religiously pious
do to blot out his sins? All that he can do is give prayers of repentance,
and resolve himself to never sin again; beyond these, there is nothing
that he can do. But Jesus wants to give us the remission of sin
that is in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. All that He really
wants us is for us to have faith in Him and in the gospel of the
water and the Spirit.
Though today’s Scripture passage, Our Lord teaches
us the difference between our faith in the gospel of the water and
the Spirit and mere religions. When we believe in the Lord as our
Savior, should we be filled with our faith in the Word of God, or
should we be filled with religious doctrines? The Lord God is telling
us to choose one.
Religious Christians Must Deny Their Thoughts
and Believe in God’s Word of Power
Our faith in the gospel Truth of the water and the
Spirit is fundamentally different from man-made, ritualistic and
doctrinal faith. Our true faith in the righteousness of God and
the faith of the worldly religions are not the same. Placing our
faith in the Word of God is to look toward what God has done for
us, to follow it, and to believe in it with our hearts; in contrast,
placing one’s faith in the religious doctrines of this world is
to make an object of one’s devotion on his own and to trust in it
according to his own thoughts. But such religious faith is not the
faith that believes according to the Word of God.
To be faithful to the worldly religions is to be faithful
to one’s own thoughts. Therefore, if anyone who had been faithful
to the religions of the world wants to believe with his hearts in
the gospel of the water and the Spirit, through which Jesus has
saved us, then he must first deny his own thoughts. This is because
God’s gospel of the water and the Spirit is different from the doctrines
made of one’s own thoughts. Because of such people who follow and
believe in the Jesus based on the false doctrines of their own making,
countless people are dying spiritually.
God is teaching us that when we believe in the Lord
as our Savior, we must do so by placing our faith in the gospel
Word of the water and the Spirit, for this gospel Word of the water
and the Spirit is the very Word of God. Here, we must make a clear
choice between two; whether we would believe in Jesus as our Savior
based on our own thoughts, or based on the gospel of the water and
the Spirit that is made of the Word of God. God is clearly telling
us that it is based on the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit
that we must believe in Jesus.
My fellow believers, the faith of the religiously
devoted is fundamentally different from the faith of those whose
devotion is based on their faith in the gospel of the water and
When we read the same account of the paralytic in
the Gospel according to Mark (Mark 2:1-12), it is written that when
Jesus preached the Word in a house, so many people had gathered
together around Him that there was no longer room to admit them,
not even near the door. To this packed house four men brought a
paralytic on a bed, but they could not come near Him because of
the crowd. But instead of give up their attempt, they uncovered
the roof of the house, and they lowered the bed on which the paralytic
was lying to Jesus. In other words, because the place was filled
with so many people and the paralytic and his four friends could
not even set a foot inside, they had to take special steps to approach
Jesus, or otherwise they would not have been able to take the paralytic
in bed to Jesus.
Like this, when we come before God, we can meet Him
only if we take special steps; that is, by placing our faith in
the Word of God. We must believe in the Word of God, that Jesus
came to this earth and has blotted out all the sins of mankind through
the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If we truly have this faith
in the salvation of God, that He has saved us from our sins once
for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then we can
indeed be freed from all our sins. Whoever believes in this true
gospel can become one of God’s own people. It is only when we are
filled with our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit
that we can go and stand before the majestic presence of our Lord.
Only then can we come before the Lord and praise Him, and only then
can our hearts be filled with thankfulness.
My fellow believers, when you come before God, you
may think that it is most important to approach Him with some kind
of merits of your own or with your utmost sincerity. But that is
not the case. That is just your own thought. On the contrary, we
must cast aside the beliefs of our own thoughts, and we must believe
only according to the Truth written in the Word of God.
Let us imagine here for a moment that Christians are
standing in two lines, and that on one line stand those who believe
in Jesus based on their own thoughts, and on the other line are
those who believe in the Word of the water and the Spirit, which
is our salvation. On which of these two lines should you stand?
If you stand on the line of the religionists, you will lead your
lives following only your own thoughts. It will then become impossible
for you to meet Jesus Christ, who has come by the gospel of the
water and the Spirit.
Why? Because such religionists are faithful to only
their own thoughts and are devoted to only their own emotions. As
the Apostles warned, still many Christians desire to make a good
showing in their flesh (Galatians 6:12). It is because they have
no interest in the Truth about the gospel of the water and the Spirit,
nor in how God has completely blotted out their sins, but they are
only faithful to their own pious devotion. But no matter how people
devote themselves in their own thoughts, they still remain far too
insufficient to come and stand before the presence of God. This
is why those religious Christians cannot properly meet Jesus the
true Savior. When someone is devoted to only his own religious piety,
he pays no attention to the Truth of salvation, the gospel Truth
of the water and the Spirit, and instead ends up devoting himself
to his own thoughts, emotions, and dedication.
But those who are well aware of their insufficiencies
seek first the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and grab
it by faith when they hear it by any chance. Such people can be
saved from all their sins by placing their faith in this Truth,
and give thanks to God for the Truth of salvation that He has fulfilled.
Our remission of sin does not depend on what and how
we do with our acts of the flesh. On the contrary, it lies in our
faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, we,
the saved, pay far more attention to the fact that Jesus has saved
us from our sins once for all with the gospel of the water and the
Spirit, and we have faith in this. Those who have confidence in
the Word of God can reach an even more profound understanding of
the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit by faith. It is only
by faith in Jesus Christ who has saved us through the gospel Word
of the water and the Spirit that we can receive the remission of
our sins and stand before God. We can then come to swim in the ocean
of God’s grace and live blessed lives.
The Lord Was Needed Only to the Sinners Facing
My fellow believers, our Lord did not come to save
from sin those who believe in their own thoughts. He said, “Those
who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.But
go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’
For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Whom did our Lord say He came to call? He said that
He did not come to call the self-styled righteous ones, but sinners.
Who, then, are sinners before God? They are the descendants of Adam
who had left God and who had been bound in sin. Our Lord did not
come to call the righteous. This is because there is none who is
righteous for himself (Romans 3:10). And, it is right that our Lord
came to this world to save the sinful, to make them sinless, and
to turn them into God’s own children.
What Jesus is saying to the Pharisees in today’s Scripture
passage is to cast aside their own thoughts, come before Him, and
believe in His Word. But since these Pharisees came before Jesus
with their own thoughts filled with their own emotion, it was not
to call such people that our Lord came. Our Lord did not come to
save from sin those who are superficially upright and hypocritical,
but He came to save those who are poor in spirit, who are honest
and frank enough to confess themselves to be sinners, who are saddened
by and mourn over their sins, and who listen to the gospel Word
of the water and the Spirit and believe in it.
Our Lord came to this world to save sinners from all
their sins and iniquities. Everyone’s insufficiencies are eventually
revealed, for he commits transgressions everyday as he lives in
this world. It is to call such people and to deliver them from all
their sins as well, that our Lord came. Our Lord, in other words,
came to deliver sinners from all their sins and iniquities by giving
the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. We need to realize
here that our Lord was not interested in the Pharisees and scribes
who were devoted to their own faith made of their own thoughts.
Therefore, when we come before the presence of God,
we must place our faith in the gospel Word of the water and the
Spirit. The gospel of the water and the Spirit tells us that the
Lord has delivered us from all our sins by being baptized by John
and crucified, and shedding His blood on the Cross. And it tells
us that the Lord will come to take away those of us who believe
in this gospel, and that He has prepared the Kingdom of Heaven for
us. For our Lord told us that He has blotted out all our sins with
the gospel of the water and the Spirit, He has set the law of salvation
for the entire mankind to be saved, so that no one may come before
God without faith in this gospel. We must first realize and believe
which gospel God has given us, what faith He wants from us, and
how much of our sins He has blotted out.
We Must Forsake Our Own Will and Instead Believe
in the God’s Truth of Power
As you gather together to worship God and hear His
Word, do not be misled to think that you can somehow please God
if you swear yourselves on your own will to serve Jesus well and
to never commit sin again. For you to try to please Jesus on your
own is to be ignorant of yourselves and to flaunt your own determination.
If this is how your lives of faith have been until now, then you
had not known the faith that Jesus really wants from all of you.
Our Lord said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”
Having compassion for us, He was baptized by John the Baptist to
take upon all the sins that we commit in our entire lifetime, and
indeed bore all our sins. Just as the Lord had healed the paralytic
from his affliction with His Word of power all at once, He has healed
us from all our sins once for all with the gospel power of the water
and the Spirit.
Given the fact that our God wants us to believe in
the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and be saved from our
sins, it is not fitting to the will of God for people to worship
Jesus with the devotion of their own determination that is based
on their own thoughts. Can any paralytic walk just because he has
an extremely strong will to do so? My fellow believers, although
such determination and will are commendable, what we must actually
do is know ourselves before God, come humbly before His presence,
believe in His gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and thereby
draw His compassion. We must believe that God has blotted out all
our sins with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and we
must become His children by this faith. If we do not believe in
the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the gospel of God, and instead
come before Him with the faith of our own will, saying, “Lord, this
is what I will do for you,” then we will end up just confused, believing
in our own thoughts, and becoming completely irrelevant to the Lord.
By placing our faith in the gospel Word of the water
and the Spirit, we must have full confidence in our salvation. We
must be filled with this faith that believes in the gospel Word
telling you that God has blotted out all our sins. To be so, we
should not be making doctrines for God based on our own thoughts
and minds, nor should we come before Jesus by placing our faith
in such man-made doctrines. If we are faithful to only our own thoughts,
our devotion will wither away in time, and in the end, we will die
not knowing the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
My fellow believers, it is only when you and I have
strong faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we can
really have true fellowship with Him. Today’s Scripture passage
is telling us to believe in the power of the Word of our Lord that
healed the paralytic. Isn’t this what God is saying to us? If your
faith is not one that believes wholly in the gospel of the water
and the Spirit, you will end up dying in sin.
Many people are prone to believe the Word of God through
their own understandings and perspectives, and this has been the
origin of the prevailing Christian doctrines and teachings. So when
they read the Word of God, they only draw moral lessons, saying,
“Oh, so this is what I should be striving to emulate.” They even
have confidence in their salvation upon such man-made doctrines
and teachings. But they are actually burying the Truth of the Bible
under confusion with their own carnal thoughts. Such faith is a
fallacious product of their own thinking.
In contrast, the Bible never says that such man-made
doctrines are where our true salvation is based. We must now realize
how Jesus has blotted out all our sins, and we must recognize this
power. Aren’t we the kind of people who commit personal sins until
the very day we die? Yes, we are. However, our Lord is speaking
to us of the salvation that has washed away, with His gospel Word
of the water and the Spirit, all the sins that we commit until we
die. This Word of the water and the Spirit is the Word of God that
brings the whole remission of sin to us.
This is why, my dear fellow believers, we must place
our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit when we come
before our Lord. We should not come before His presence only with
religious faith, nor be filled with such religious teachings, but
just as the Bible tells us to be filled with the Spirit, we must
saturate ourselves with the Word of the Holy Spirit.
My fellow believers, what is it that our minds should
be captured by? Should we be enthralled by our own religious devotion?
Or should we be captivated by the gospel of the water and the Spirit,
the gospel with which God has saved us all? Shouldn’t we be mesmerized
by this Word of salvation? God is telling us that He has blotted
out all your sins. We must be devoted to the good work of spreading
the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and it is for this work
that we must run. Which faith should captivate us? Where our minds
belong is critically important here.
Do you or do not you commit sin until the day you
die? Of course you do. Do you realize this clearly, beyond any doubt?
If you know that you are no more than piles of sin, then by faith,
you can receive your salvation through the gospel of the water and
the Spirit. And if you know that Jesus has saved you from all your
sins with the water and the Spirit, then you have now reached the
way of perfect salvation, and you will therefore enter the Kingdom
Many people do not know that they are bound to sin
until the day they day. In fact, it is because too many people do
not realize this that so few are seeking the Truth, or otherwise
they would all have looked for the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
So put differently, this means that those who do not know the gospel
of the water and the Spirit are of those who do not realize, even
until their life is extinguished, that they are sinners who commit
all kinds of iniquities.
Some people climb up a mountain to pray, and in their
prayers they promise, “God, I will never sin again.” There are so
many people who pray every night, making a fresh determination not
to commit any sin again. Take a look at all the religions of this
world. The founders and leaders of all these religions only teach
their follower to live virtuously. But how can such piles of sin
ever live virtuously? It is because they do not realize that they
are simply incapable of living in this way, and that they are living
in all these lies and hypocrisy. They do not know that everyone
is no more than an insufficient human being who sins all the time.
And because they do not know this truth, they are trying so hard
to live virtuously and yet are in fact living only hypocritically,
and defrauding their followers in the process.
But everyone, my fellow believers, commits sin until
the day he dies. The fragility of human will is just like cycling
up a hill. When you step on the pedals, you climb up the hill, but
the very moment you get exhausted and stop pedaling, you end up
sliding back and falling down. Such is the will of man. No matter
how one resolves himself to never sin again, swears by it, bites
his tongue, writes out his determination with his own blood, gives
his prayers of repentance, trusts in Jesus, and vows his allegiance
to Him, everything is futile in the end, for he is bound to sin.
Didn’t Peter and the other disciples resolve not to
sleep when the Lord said them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful,
even to death. Stay here and watch with Me”?(Matthew 26:38)
But what happened? They all fell asleep. One may determine himself
to never sleep again, and put match sticks on his eyelids to keep
his eyes open, but he will still fall asleep even as his eyes are
open. Hence, the Lord, who knew the weakness of our flesh so well,
said to His disciples, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the
flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).
One may resolve himself to never sin again with his
tongue, and he may even tie his tongue with a rubber band, but he
is still bound to sin with both his tongue and heart. Everyone sins
with his heart, and the Bible says that such sins we commit with
our hearts are the same ones as we commit with our flesh. We humans
are to continue sinning until the very day we day, until the very
moment we take in our last breath. This is the fundamental human
nature. You should know yourselves.
You may then wonder, “What should I then do?” The
solution is simple: You should seek mercy from God and believe in
the gospel power of the water and the Spirit. Put differently, you
should confess to God as the following: “God, I am a man who is
bound to sin until the day I die. Teach me how You have saved me
from my sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Help me
to have faith in this Truth and to be born again.” This is how you
should ask for God’s help. This is what you must all do.
There is a saying, “A drowning man will catch at even
a straw.” If you really admit yourselves as such desperate beings,
then you should surely grab the gospel of the water and the Spirit
with your whole hearts. You must first admit your sinfulness, and
then listen carefully to what God said about our remission of sin.
You, too, will then be told, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are
forgiven you,” while you listen to the hidden meanings of today’s
Scripture passage, because how God healed the paralytic actually
speaks about your own remission of sin. By thus believing in this
way, you must be filled with the joy of salvation. You must be full
with the joy of faith.
We Must Know Full with the Power of the Gospel
by Knowing and Believing in It
My fellow Christians, paralytics are sound in their
minds, but they cannot move as their hearts desire. Just like this,
those among us who have sin in their hearts cannot overcome the
power of sin, and as a result they are incapable of not committing
sin. We humans are imperfect sinners who cannot do as our hearts
desire. Our own hearts’ lust for sin is something that is beyond
our control. Anyone who has sin cannot live virtuously no matter
how much he wants to, and when his circumstances or someone provokes
him, he cannot help but sin. This is why the Bible tells us that
everyone is like the paralytic in today’s passage.
Therefore, we must believe that God Himself took upon
our sins of the world once for all by being baptized by John, and
has washed them all away. We must be delivered from our sins by
believing in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit with all
our hearts. Our Lord shouldered the sins of the world by being baptized,
carried them to the Cross, and paid off all their wages.
We must be full with this faith. We must be full with
our faith and belief in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We must believe in what God has done for us, in the Word of God
telling us that God Himself was baptized and shed His blood for
us and has thereby blotted out all our sins. Only then can our hearts
have everlasting life by faith, and only then can our souls be brought
to life. We should not be filled with religious doctrines or our
What God first demands from us is to be filled with
faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. He wants our hearts
to follow the gospel of the water and the Spirit faithfully with
our whole hearts. Even if you are insufficient and weak in your
acts, and even if you have nothing to boast of, when you are filled
with your faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you can
please God, and you can also bring true salvation to others.
Do you know what those who are filled with only their
own religious emotion say to the born-again believers? They say,
“You are blasphemous! Who do you think you are, you arrogant blasphemers?
Do you have no sin? Who are you to say so? Are you God, that you
claim to have no sin?”
When those who are filled with religious emotion look
at those who are truly born again of the water and the Spirit, they
think there is something wrong with the born-again, even though
there is nothing biblically unsound in the faith of the born-again.
Their assessment could not be further from the truth. On the contrary,
it is these people, who make judgments without knowing the gospel
of the water and the Spirit, who are mistaken.
Such people say to the believers in the gospel of
the water and the Spirit, “Who are you to speak of the remission
of sin to us?” When a paralytic was brought to Jesus, Jesus immediately
said to him, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” something that was utterly
shocking. You may have no idea just how often Jesus said words that
infuriated those filled with religion. For the religionists, what
Jesus said was too radical. So those full of their own religion
thought, “Wow! You are crazy! Are you God? Only God can forgive
sin, and so who are you to forgive sin?”
In complete contrast, my fellow believers, those who
are filled with the gospel of the water and the Spirit say to Jesus,
“Lord, You are My Savior, the Christ, and the Son of the living
God. You are the Creator who made the whole universe. You are God
Himself. And you are the Savior of mankind who came to save me from
my sins. You came to this earth incarnated in the flesh of man,
accepted all the sins of us mankind by being baptized, was crucified
and shed Your blood, rose from the dead again in three days, and
has thereby saved me perfectly from all my sins. You are the One
who came to this earth, lived for 33 years, and has saved me from
the sins of the world. But you are fundamentally God Himself.”
When those who are full with the gospel of the water
and the Spirit see this Jesus, they see no flaw whatsoever, and
they accept His love of salvation into their hearts. But when those
who are only filled religious doctrines and teachings see Jesus,
on the other hand, He appears as the head of all heretics.
But how were the paralytic and his four friends? Did
they not come before the presence of the Lord by placing their faith
in Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior? They indeed did so. They
truthfully believed in Jesus as God Himself. So, when Jesus said,
“Your sins are forgiven; rise and walk,” the paralytic indeed rose
up and walked. When so many countless people were surrounding Jesus,
it was only the paralytic and his four friends who actually brought
their real problem of sin to Jesus and got it resolved by believing
in Him with all their hearts.
My fellow believers, those who are religiously filled
do believe in Jesus in their attempt to keep their morals and ethics,
but they consider His essence to be only human. To such people,
Jesus is merely one of the great sages in the world history. So
they do not entrust Him with their intractable problem of sin, nor
can they get it resolved. This is because they do not believe in
Jesus as God.
But those who are filled with the gospel of the water
and the Spirit believe, “Jesus is God Himself, and He is the Savior
of mankind. So if I come before Him, my soul’s problem of sin will
be resolved. All the sins that I have committed and will ever commit
until the day I die will be solved away, and I will be remitted
from all of them. The curses of my flesh will then also depart from
me. My Lord will solve away all my problems. He will bless me.”
It was because the paralytic and his friends had this faith that
they brought him to Jesus.
My fellow believers, as you have come into the Christian
faith, do not rely the fullness of your own religious emotion. This
is only to believe in a worldly religion, not to have true faith.
To truly believe in the Lord is first of all to get your problem
of sin resolved. When you have sin, you can be resolved from this
problem of sin only when you lay down this problem before Jesus,
and when you have the other problems of the flesh, you can also
be resolved from these problems only when you lay them down before
Jesus. None other than this is the true faith that believes in the
gospel of the water and the Spirit. By placing your faith in Jesus
as your Savior, you can be resolved from all your problems. For
us to believe in Jesus, in other words, is to place our faith in
the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus is fundamentally God
Himself, and when we pray to this Lord, He will hear us and answer
us. Our faith lies in the Truth that the Lord, by being baptized
in the Jordan River and shedding His blood on the Cross, took care
of all our sins, all our shame, and all our curses.
My dear fellow believers, as you carry on with your
lives of faith, I admonish each and every one of you to place your
faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. I ask you all to
be filled with faith in this gospel. I hope that each of you would
be filled with the Holy Spirit by believing in the gospel of the
water and the Spirit. It is my sincerest desire for all of you that
you would truly be filled with this faith.
Though this cannot be achieved with our acts, we can
still be full with the Spirit by faith, for we can be filled with
our faith that has saved us through the gospel of the water and
the Spirit. It is written in the Hymnbook, “♪I cannot tell
thee whence it came, ♪this peace is in my breast; But this
I know, there fills my soul, ♪A strange and tranquil rest.”
We can be full with faith wherever we are, even if we are in a washroom,
for our Lord has blotted out all our sins with His baptism and blood.
We are truly grateful for this.
My fellow believers, how the worldly people view you
is not the problem here, but what Jesus said to you is what is important.
The Lord has told you that He loves you, that He has blotted out
all your sins, that you are God’s children, that He will be with
you until the end of the world, and that He will bless you all.
To keep these things that God has said to you in your hearts and
to believe in them is to the true fullness of faith.
Are you only leading religious lives, where you are
compelled to go to church just because another Sunday has come around,
where you offer some alms, sing a few hymns, pretend to be holy,
go through all the ritualistic formalities, greet the congregation,
and then turn around and come back home? To live this kind of religious
life and to be faithful to religious formalism are not the faith
that Jesus wants from you. You must be filled with your faith in
the gospel Truth of the water and the Spirit. Your lives of faith
must be faithful to the Word of God first of all.
My dear fellow saints, we must become the ones who
are filled with our faith in the Word of God. You must be full with
the Word of God. In the hearts of those who are filled with the
gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, there is the invincible
conviction that the Lord has blotted out all their sins and that
He indeed loves them. No matter where they are and what they are
doing, those who are filled with faith in the Word of God are trouble-free.
But for those who are not filled with such faith but only with religious
doctrines, their faith is all futile, no matter what they do.
Those who believe in our Lord, cherish Him the most,
and are pleased by Him are the ones who come before the presence
of God by believing in the Word of the Lord with their hearts. It
is such people of faith in whom God is pleased. And it is to such
people whom God gives the blessing of salvation and all other blessings
as well. To these people, God gives faith upon their faith, and
blessings upon their blessings. Do you not also want to become like
them? How, then, should we live our lives of faith? We must be filled
with the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit while living our
lives of faith.
This is the message of today’s Scripture passage.
Even if we didn’t discuss the passage verse by verse, we know and
believe that it was because the paralytic was full with faith that
he got the problem of all his sins resolved.
What about you? Are you not also like this paralytic?
Do you not have the problem of sin? Have you been remitted from
all your sins in your hearts? Do you believe that the Lord has blotted
out all your sins with the gospel of the water and the Spirit? To
believe in this, my fellow believers, is the true faith, and none
other than this is your salvation. Are you filled with the Word
of the Lord, who loves you? This is the very fullness of the Holy
Spirit. We must always keep it in our hearts and believe in it as
we carry on with our lives.
While I cannot do much on my own, I still believe
in the Word of the Lord with all my heart. So it is my hope and
prayer that you would also believe with all your hearts, to be filled
with faith, to be blessed for your faith, to cast aside the fullness
of religious formalism, and to instead have the fullness of faith
in the Word of God.
to read more sermons on the Gospel of Matthew? Please
click the banner below to get your free book on the Gospel of
Jesus blotted out not only the paralytic’s sins, but
He also healed him from the infliction of his flesh. What does this
tell us? It tells us that those who have received the remission
of sin in spirit are also blessed in body by our Lord.
All parents love their children. Who would hate his
own children and curse them? Jesus, who has saved us and made us
His own children, loves us beyond description. If we really believe
in our God, let us then all believe that our God loves us and blesses
in His time, for He has saved us from our sins with the gospel of
the water and the Spirit. Now is the time for you to have this faith
in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit, and to solve away
the problem of all your sins
It is my hope and prayer that you would all live the
rest of your lives by faith, by having full faith in the gospel
of salvation, and to escape from the religions of this world.