Summary: This message looks at the shocking action of Jesus, in which he offers forgiveness for sins


* A Savior’s Most-Shocking Actions series: things Jesus did while on earth that were shocking to those around him at that time

- things he did/said went against what many thought

- his claims and actions were so shocking they eventually led to his death

* Those moments are still “shocking” and humbling today

* Shocking action #2: Jesus forgives sinners

- a natural result of shocking action #1 - Jesus reaching out to sinners (Zacchaeus)

* Background of text:

- the crisis of a paralyzed man

- the determination of his friends

- the shocking action of Jesus (v. 5)

- the response/criticism (v. 6)

* Note verse 5: the fact that Jesus would offer forgiveness to undeserving sinners is a remarkable action

* His desire is to do the same thing today (2 Peter 3:9)

* Even though this is God’s desire, each person must “reach repentance.” Today’s text focuses on how a person reaches such repentance: through faith (v. 5)

* What it takes to experience the forgiveness of God...

1. In order to experience forgiveness, we must have faith

* Verse 5: faith was what moved Christ to proclaim forgiveness

* In order to “have” faith, must know what it is = Hebrews 11:1

* Greek: “firm persuasion” - a conviction based on hearing (not seeing); they heard whatever Jesus was saying (v. 2) and were convinced he was who he said he was and would do what he said he would do

* Biblical faith occurs when we do three things...

A. Faith occurs when we are so convinced about God that we acknowledge the revelation of his truth. (“God said it. That settles it.”)

B. Faith occurs when we personally surrender our lives to God (John 1:12)

C. Faith is “seen” when our conduct is impacted by our surrender (2 Cor. 5:7)

* Forgiveness is predicated on our faith: we receive forgiveness when we acknowledge the truth from God and surrender to that truth, and to God himself

2. In order to experience forgiveness, we must have faith that Christ can forgive us

* Reality: Everyone has faith in something or someone; possessing faith is not enough - it must be placed in the right person

* Faith that finds forgiveness is found only in the one person who can forgive our sin: Jesus Christ

* Why the friends brought the man to Christ and not someone else: they believed that Christ could meet his need

- Note the difference between the perceived need (physical) vs. the real need (spiritual)

- The OT thought: physical ailment is a result of spiritual sin

* Our real need today (most basic need) is to be forgiven by our Creator because we are sinners

* What the scribes missed: faith that Christ has the authority to forgive sin (what we must believe today)

* What it means to be forgiven...

- “to send away” / a debt that is completely canceled

- What God does to our sins (past, present, and future): he sends them away; completely cancels the debt of sin

* Psalm 103:12

* Note how Jesus proved his authority to forgive sin (v. 10-12)...

3. In order to experience forgiveness, we must have faith that overcomes all obstacles

* Faith is not automatic, not does it come easily

* The faith of those in the text was strong enough to overcome big obstacles (i.e., the crowd, the roof, etc); faith meant they would do whatever it took to get to Jesus

* The biggest obstacle facing our faith today is Satan: his goal is to keep our faith on anyone/anything other than Christ

* Satan will do all he can to keep someone from turning to Christ for forgiveness

- Matthew 13:19

- 2 Corinthians 4:4

* Some think they’re too bad for forgiveness. Some think they’re too good for forgiveness. Some think they’ve done enough to earn forgiveness. (all are obstacles that must be overcome)

4. In order to experience forgiveness, we must have faith that the cross is sufficient for forgiveness

* The scribes did not see how Christ could be sufficient to forgive sin; we, too, must realize that the work of Christ on the cross is indeed sufficient

* Why the work of Christ on the cross is sufficient... (1) Man is a sinner; (2) God’s two options [require perfection from man or send a substitute to be perfect for man]; (3) the option he chose: to send Christ as our perfect substitute and sacrifice

* Romans 5:9-11

* Nothing more we can do to gain forgiveness; the sacrifice of Christ is sufficient!

* Ephesians 2:8-9

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