Matthew 9:1-8 Your Sins are Forgiven WC McCarter
The forgiveness of sins is a distinctive of Christianity. No other belief-system on earth offers atonement for sin. Other religions may all have a concept of the after-life (for example Buddhism teaches that one ceases to exist, Islam teaches that men are taken to a paradise where they receive 72 virgins, Mormonism teaches that godly men become gods of their own worlds, and the list goes on), but only Christianity offers a true heaven where we will dwell with God forever. Christianity also explains why things are the way that they are (people have sinned against a holy God), and Christianity offers atonement for those sins. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into the world and taken our sin upon Himself that we may become the righteousness of God. We are told exactly how one is saved from this present wicked age and the wrath to come: put your faith in the One that the Father has sent, Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
In today’s sermon text, Matthew, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, recounts one of the few recorded descriptions of Jesus declaring someone’s sins forgiven. Now remember, Matthew told us in chapter one what the angel said to Joseph. The messenger said, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” This was Jesus’ mission on earth. This is why the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Let us take a look into the narrative of Matthew 9:1-8.
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
Your Sins are Forgiven vv1-2
This is the famous story of the men who lowered their friend through the roof. Matthew does not give us that detail as he retells the story. He is focused on one point: Jesus’ authority and power to forgive men their sins. This is an important passage. If the Messiah cannot forgive sin, if He does not have that authority, then He is merely human and can save no one.
What was it that prompted Jesus to intercede in this man’s life? Faith is what God requires. Faith is what God desires from us. He wants us to trust Him, that what He has done is enough to save us now and forever. We are challenged everyday to trust our self, our spouse, a friend, this world, a career, or to trust God Almighty. He offers the better promises and who can fulfill what they have said? We are forced to put our trust in a presidential candidate as if he can save us and our country. Let me say this, God has already proven His worth. He has shown His love.
Why Do You Think Evil vv3-5
Blasphemy is a great sin. It was then and it is now. Then, according to their law, the blasphemer could be stoned to death for this grievous sin. Only God can forgive sins because ultimately all sin is committed against His holiness. To declare someone forgiven of all their sins is to stand in the place of God. To claim the authority to forgive sins is to claim to be God. Of course, the scribes look at this man, Jesus, and see nothing divine about Him. If that is the case, then what He has said is blasphemous. So, you see, Jesus is claiming to be God.
In His divinity, Jesus knows the hearts of men. He knows what is inside of individuals. He knew that the scribes thought evil within themselves, just as He had seen into the hearts of the other men and found faith.
Which is easier to say? “His opponents said nothing, but the answer was obvious: both things are equally impossible for men and both are equally possible for God” (MacArthur, 54). You see, Jesus can both heal the effects of sin and sin itself.
But That You May Know vv6-7
Jesus does not even have to finish His sentence with words to prove His authority. He displays His divine authority and power by healing the man. He does so with only a spoken command.
They Marveled and Glorified God v8
On this occasion, the crowds to not plot against the Lord or cry out, “Crucify Him!” No, this time they marvel (which may have a sense of fear in it) and they glorify God.
This miracle was unmistakable and undeniable. It also proved Jesus’ claim.
There are two ways to respond to Christ’s offer of the forgiveness of sins:
1) Reject the offer as blasphemous and respond with evil
2) Recognize the offer as truth and respond with faith.
Your sins can be forgiven! If you have already committed to Christ, then you live forgiven.
If you never have yielded to His call, you still can even today.If you have sinned since becoming a Christian, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness if you genuinely confess those sins to Him.