Who Can Forgive Sins But God Only?

And again he (Jesus) entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.  And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word (Old Testament Scripture) unto them.

And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.  And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?  Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

But that ye may know that the Son of man (a title Jesus often used referring to Himself) hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.  Mark 2:1-12

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; I Timothy 2:5

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

And Sitting Down They Watched Him There

And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

And sitting down they watched him there;

And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.  And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,  And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.  If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.  The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.  And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.  The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

Matthew 27:33-54

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Sin Has Consequences

Which of the following principles governs our society today?

The way of the transgressor is hard

or

don’t be hard on the transgressor.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

The soul that sinneth, it shall die.  Ezekial 18:20a

That sin has consequences is more sure than the law of gravity.  The consequences of unforgiven sin are eternal.

…let the word of Christ dwell (take up its life) in you richly…

Soldiers of Christ, Arise

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty pow’r,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might,
With all His strength endued,
And take, to arm you for the fight,
The panoply of God;
That, having all things done,
And all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone,
And stand entire at last.

Leave no unguarded place,
No weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace,
And fortify the whole.
From strength to strength go on,
Wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the pow’rs of darkness down
And win the well-fought day.

Charles Wesley -Published 1741

Public Domain

Which Way Should I Go?

No matter where you are in your journey through life, what matters most is what direction you go next.

Paul Mahaffie – The Gospel Mission, Sioux City, IA

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: No man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

I’ve Found a Friend

I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him.
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine,
Forever and forever.

I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a friend!
He bled, He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own Self He gave me!
Naught that I have mine own I call,
I’ll hold it for the Giver,
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His, and His forever.

I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a friend!
All pow’r to Him is given,
To guard me on my onward course,
And bring me safe to heaven.
Th’ eternal glories gleam afar,
To nerve my faint endeavor;
So now to watch, to work, to war,
And then to rest forever.

I’ve found a Friend, oh, such a friend!
So kind and true and tender,
So wise a Counselor and Guide,
So mighty a Defender!
From Him who loves me now so well
What pow’r my soul can sever?
Shall life or death, shall earth or hell?
No! I am His forever.

George Stebbins 1878

Public Domain

Doctrine of the One True God

God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:24

The One True God: Who spoke all things into existence (Colossians 1:16; Isaiah 44:24), existing eternally as three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14).[1]

The one true God.

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.   I John 5:20

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3

He who spoke all things into existence.

For by him (God the Son – Jesus Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones (angelic powers), or dominions (power whether angelic or human), or principalities (holy angels), or powers (angelic beings – good or bad): all things were created by him, and for him.[2]  Colossians 1:16

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the                    heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;                    Isaiah 44:24 

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; I Timothy 2:5

God exists eternally as three persons.

And the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit) descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven (the Father), which said, Thou art my beloved Son (Jesus Christ); in thee I am well pleased.        Luke 3:22

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the                                communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.                                        II Corinthians 13:14

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

[1] Numerous Sources

[2] Definitions are from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words.

See Who Is God? article in this blog.

To What Are You Listening?

I was a seven when the nineteen sixties arrived and seventeen when they passed.  The music of that period had a profound impact on my life up to that point.  Not long after I became a Christian at the age of nineteen, I broke and threw away all the music records that I had collected and listened to up to that point in my life.

Most of the popular music of the sixties was depressing.  It was full of questions, infidelity, despair, and without any real answers to life.  It was about free love and rebellion.  Those who wrote and performed it admitted that their music was about sex and drugs and they lived it to the hilt.  Even the country music writers and performers lived it.  If you don’t believe me, watch Ken Burn’s documentary on country music’s culture, its stars and performers.  They sang about how they lived and they lived what they sang about and the end of it was tragic.

Some people, usually Christians, say that music is amoral, meaning that it does not influence behaviour one way or the other.  Personally, I have never heard an unbeliever say that.  Unbelievers know what the world’s music is about.

Even casual observation shows that music affects behaviour.  Those who indulge in sinful practices do not listen to hymns and spiritual songs while doing so.  Pagans who sacrificed children and worshipped demons did not sing hymns or psalms as they practiced these things.  On the other hand shopping centers and grocery stores often play music that relaxes and slows down the customer so that they will spend more time and money in the store.  There is sensual music and music that is violent.  Music does influence and reinforce bad behavior.

One of the characteristics of a Spirit filled Christian in Ephesians 5:19 has to do with music.  It says that a Spirit filled believer speaks to himself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in his heart to the Lord.  That description sets out a certain quality of music that is manifested in the believer by the Holy Spirit.

Is that the type of song that is in your heart?

…he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3

…let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…

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