Matthew 9:1-8 Your Sins are Forgiven

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.
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Your Sins are Forgiven vv1-2
Capernaum has become the Lord’s new hometown. Matthew records three sets of miracles that happen on each side of the Sea of Galilee. He healed a leper with only a touch. He healed the centurion’s servant without evening seeing the boy. He also healed Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. He then cast out many demons with only a word. He calmed the storm on the sea. Then He cast out many demons from two men and into the herd of swine. These miracles have shown and will continue to show His Lordship. You can see from Matthew’s arrangement of the narratives that he is building up more and more evidence to demonstrate Jesus’ divinity. Now he shows us that Jesus even deals with sin. It is one thing to heal a sickness which is only for this life. It is another thing to have the power to deal with sin which is relevant now and into eternity.
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.

Matthew 28:16-20 Make Disciples of All

Matthew 28:16-20      Make Disciples of All                                    WC McCarter



In ancient times, men who were chosen to have great authority in a king or queen’s house were often made eunuchs, that is they were castrated. One of these men, who had become the highest treasury official for the queen of Ethiopia, once traveled to Jerusalem to worship. Apparently he had become a Jewish proselyte and made a pilgrimage to worship at the Temple. On his way back to Ethiopia, the man read Isaiah’s fourth servant song, Isaiah chapter fifty-three. The Holy Spirit moved Philip to go to the man and to speak to him about the Scripture. He proclaimed the message of Jesus to the Ethiopian from that text. Because of what Philip told him in a chariot out on the road in the middle of the desert, the man believed that Jesus is Savior and Lord. He believed it in his heart, confessed it with his mouth, and was baptized that day.


This is a great illustration of someone coming to the faith. One must hear the Gospel, repent of his sins, believe that what Jesus Christ has done is enough to save him, confess Him as Lord, be immersed in the waters of Christian baptism, and abide in His Word. All of this begins, and in fact does not happen, unless someone like you tells someone else the Good News of Christ Jesus. The reason that Philip declared the Gospel message is because the Lord Jesus, on the day that He ascended back to heaven, commanded that His disciples are to go out and make more disciples. We are to multiply. That is the subject of our sermon today. Our text is what has been famously called the Great Commission.


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They Worshiped Him vv16-17

After Jesus was raised from the dead, the Jewish leaders began passing around a false story that said that Jesus’ body had been stolen. Of course, we know that this could not have happened considering the circumstances surrounding the tomb. Jesus had been raised from the dead. Many had believed the false explanation, but the eleven chose to trust Christ, and they obeyed His command to meet Him on the mountain in Galilee. Remember, Matthew often tells us that magnificent things happen on a mountain (sermon, healed great multitudes and fed 4,000, transfiguration, and now ascension). We know that all eleven disciples were obedient in that they went to the mountain, yet the group reacts in two different ways. “Some of the disciples worship Jesus at once; some were less sure how to react” (Blomberg, 430). Their doubt was hesitancy. They did not know exactly how to respond to such miraculous and glorious events.


All Authority v18

Jesus dismisses their hesitancy with His first sentence as He appears to them on the mountain. He says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” That should set aside any doubt. That should cause someone to fall down and worship. This is the climax of Matthew’s Gospel account. After all is said and done. After Christ has ministered by preaching, teaching, and healing and after He has been crucified for the sins of the world and resurrected – He now confirms that all authority over the whole universe is His. Only God can have this full authority and only God should be worshiped. Christ’s full divinity is put on display here. Let me tell you something, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” That is authority. Blessed are those who in this present life gladly and willingly bow the knee to and confess the lordship of Jesus Christ.


All the Nations v19

Because of the divine authority that the Lord Jesus maintains, He can commission His followers with the following orders. He has universal authority and His mission of redemption is universal. Therefore, He commands that His disciples “go.” They were, and we are, to go because of this authority and within this authority. An important and often forgotten part of this “commission” is the scope of the mission. The saving work of God has no limits. Maybe we often forget this part because we want to ignore it. Maybe we want to hold back because we want to box Jesus into a corner as if He is only mine or ours. No, no, no! God loves the world. Christ died for the sins of the world. That message is to go into the entire world. It is for ALL the nations without distinction. Don’t you think that the Gospel is what the raging and violent Middle East needs? Don’t you think that the Gospel is what the seemingly hopeless continent of Africa needs? Don’t you think that the Gospel is what the poor of America needs? Anything less is falling short of the glory of God. We need to help make this happen by supporting preachers, missionaries, churches, and others financially and through prayer. We also need to share the Gospel ourselves in whatever realm we find ourselves in. God gives each of us opportunities to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.


How do you make a disciple? First of all, you baptize them. Yet, for someone to be baptized they must first hear the Gospel message, believe it, repent of their sins, and confess the lordship of Christ. The crusades were not carried out by true Christians. We do not force someone to simply submit to being dunked in water. No, we preach Christ and Him crucified. If someone believes, then they are baptized. When Christ commands us to baptize new believers, He also means that we are to take the Gospel with us.


All Things that I have Commanded v20

Secondly, we are to teach them to observe (notice the word) ALL things that Jesus commanded. The eleven had received lots instruction and they were to then teach others to follow the Lord the same way. You and I have learned lots of things in our Christian lives that we are to share with others. We are to teach others about the Lord and the Scriptures. We are to teach them to trust and obey Christ.


Now notice that Jesus recorded words here do not end with a command, but with a promise. He promises that He will be with His followers to the end of the age, “always” or we could say “ALL the days.” God’s work and His story does not end with Christ’s death; it continues. It does not end with the resurrection; it continues. It does not end with the ascension, but continues into the future, even until the end of the age as we continue going into the world making disciples by baptizing and teaching them. And Jesus will be with us every step of the way, in each and every day.



Notice how, “‘All’ dominates vv. 18-20 and ties these verses together. . .” (Carson, 594).

            *ALL authority belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.

            *ALL the nations must hear the Gospel.

            *ALL the things Jesus commanded are to be taught to new disciples.

            *ALL the days is the length of time Christ will be with His followers.


(1) Trust the One that has all authority. There is no one more worthy of your trust. We are about to cast votes for the man who will lead our country for the next four years. It is an important decision to make, along with all the other offices for which we will be voting. You need to think it through and pray about it, but let me tell you something. No matter who you may think is the better choice and no matter who is elected, you better not trust them with much of anything. The One you should trust is the One who has all authority in heaven and on earth.


(2) The Gospel has the power to save people from every nation, language, class, etc.

Do not let yourself limit God’s saving work because of your prejudices.


(3) The Christian life is about learning of God, who He is and what He does.

            First of all, take the time to learn (sermons, Bible classes, devotions, reading).
            Second, teach the weaker Christians and the younger ones who are around you.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Continue Running and Fighting

1 Corinthians 9:24-27     Continue Running and Fighting     WC McCarter

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The Olympic games were the grand athletic spectacle of the ancient world as they are today. Even today, many who are not avid sports fans will tune in to see the various events of the Olympics. Athletics, culture, and pagan religion were all celebrated during the Olympic festival. The Greek festival that was second only to the Olympics was called the Isthmian games which were hosted on the Isthmus (or neck) of Corinth. This was a narrow land-bridge that connected the penisula with the mainland. On this narrow passageway was a temple for Poseidon. This was in the territory of Corinth, who was the host city. The games took place every two years, the year before and the year after the Olympics which were every four years. Of course the Romans took over these traditions, and added many of their own Caeserean cultic traditions. The Apostle Paul would have been at the games during his stay in the city. The Corinthians knew athletics well and all of the things surrounding them. They would have been genuinely proud of hosting their own festival and games which attracted people from all over the Greek world.


Contrary to popular belief, this passage is not about the Christian life in general. There are other references to athletics in the New Testament which are to promote endurance in the faith, but here we are talking about evangelism. The Apostle has just finished a lenghthy passage on his own personal sacrifice in order that the Gospel may be heard. He said that he had rights as an Apostle, but he did not claim them. He said, "For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more. . . ." Then he went on to famously state, "I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." So, you see, our main point today is to not give up evangelizing. I have a feeling that most of you can remember back to when you first became a Christian. You would have told anyone about the Lord Jesus Christ. Life was breathed into you, and you wanted to share that with others. You wanted them to be saved. You wanted them to be satisfied. You were on fire for the Lord and the church, but that fire soon began to dim. What happened?


Let's talk for a few minutes today about continuing the run and fight of Christian evangelism. Maybe the Lord will reignite a fire within us to reach others with the Good News of Christ Jesus.

Running to Win v24

One of the premier sporting events of ancient times until now was/is foot racing. There will be many competitors in each race, but only one can win, the first to cross the finish line. The Apostle encourages the Corinthians, and us by extension, to run in such a way that we may win the prize. We can discuss all sorts of things on this note. A runner must devote himself to years of training in order to even have the opportunity of competing in an event. His diet would have to be strict and healthy, his sleeping habits would have to be set in order (early to bed, early to rise), and his training would have to be rigorous and steadfast. Then that individual would have to travel a long distance to Corinth to run in an event that would last only a short window of time. It has always amazed me that people will devote hours upon hours of strict training for years upon years, travel accross the world, and compete in a one mile event that will last less than four minutes. Sprinters will compete for only a few seconds. Yet, they do it to obtain the prize. When you do this, you do it to win. A football coach once said, "You play to win the game" which is often quoted in sports today.

Obtaining a Crown v25

The phrase "temperate in all things" refers to the strict training to which an athlete submits himself. Temperance is key to athletic training. Actually, I think we can say, self-control is what makes anyone successful at what they do. You have to know your own limits and hold yourself to them. The athletes would do it win the crown. In those ancient times, the crown was for several hundred years made of celery. At some points it was made of pine twigs and leaves. Either way, though, it was simply a perishable wreath. It would not last, but would evetually rot. All of that hard work, all of those years, all of the fame would soon fade away.

The Christians race is much like the athlete's. It is a race of discipline, self-control, and sacrifice as we pursue the prize. The thing about the Christian life, though, is that there is more than one winner and we will receive an imperishable crown. Keep in mind, we are instructed to run like those who believe there is only one winner. No one competes for second place, right? We must run like that, but with the knowledge that others will obtain the prize as well. The other difference is our crown. We will not receive a fading and flimsy wreath, but a prize that will last forever; that is, eternal life in the presence of our Savior's glory.

Run and Fight v26

This verse is the Apostle's summary statement. Here is the principle. We must know what our goal is. If we do not know where the finish line is or where the opponent is standing we will never run there or hit our target. Set your eyes on the finish line. Know what you are running toward and you can keep straight on that path. If not, you will be one of those people who wander around your whole life not knowing where to go or what to do. The Scripture tells us the path to follow to reach the finish line.

Notice that another athletic metaphor is introduced in this verse. Boxing was another major sport in the Greek games. The phrase about beating the air could refer to a couple of things. First, it could refer to shadow boxing which is an important element of a boxer's training and is actually a good excercise. Yet, if you only shadow box and never get into the ring, what good will it do? You will never win the prize. Second, the phrase could refer to standing in the ring, but constantly missing your opponent. We are encouraged to both run and fight with knowledge, confidence, certainty, and in a way that we may win.

Discipline v27

Paul would not allow himself to be one who did not live the Christian life with discipline and certainty. He uses the language of an athlete when he refers to how he maintained his spiritual well-being. The word "discipline" is the word that is used for giving a punch that would leave a black eye. "Subjection" means that he made his body his slave. I'm not sure that this means that Paul literally beat himself. I believe Paul is using these strong phrases in order to show how he controls himself in the faith. An athlete may have to choose to eat some raw vegetables for a snack instead of a cupcake. A Christian may need to choose a time of prayer instead of a night out on the town. An athlete may need to drink a glass of water instead of a soda. A Christian may need to sing a hymn instead of falling to the lust of the eyes. We must know our limits. We must know our weaknesses. Paul uses one last athletic word, "disqualified," on his last point. Athletes could be found for several reasons to be disqualified. If you did not follow the strict training regiment or regulations of the games, you would not be allowed to compete, much less obtain the prize.


As I said at the beginning, this passage is link to the previous one about evagelism. It was Paul's life-mission to preach the Gospel to others. Now, you are not required to give up everything you have and drop what you are doing in order to travel the world and preach the Gospel as Paul did, but you are called to take advantage of the opportunities you are given. You do not have to be in a pulpit, but you can share the Word of God on the phone. You do not have to be on a stage, but you can share the Good News at the mall. You see, we have opportunities, but we so often do not take advantage of them. You need to reignite that fire you once had, maybe when you first came to the faith. You must be passionate about the Good News. It has saved you from this present wicked age and from the wrath to come, don't you want others to be saved?

So, what will it take?

(1) It will take you running in such a way that you may win. You have to witness in such a way that others will be enlightened to the truth.

(2) You must excercise self-control, temperance in all things. Do not do those things which will hinder others from being saved. So many Christians damage their witness by the activities that they involve themselves in, their negative attitude, and their filthy language. Control yourself both physically, emotionally, verbally, and spiritually. Take a stand. Draw the line that you will not cross.

(3) Know that your prize is eternal. We are not talking about trivial things.

(4) Know your target. Know your goal. Set your eyes on it.

(5) Finally, discipline yourself. You need to be trained in righteousness. Set your mind to Bible reading and study, prayer, heavenly things, eternal things, the good things.

Galatians 3:1-4 Continue in the Spirit

Galatians 3:1-4           Continue in the Spirit                                     WC McCarter


In recent months we have had two classes go through the study of the life of David. In that study we could not leave out the story of another man, Saul. Saul was the son of a mighty man of power, a Benjamite, a choice and handsome man, and a man who was head and shoulders taller than all the others in Israel. He was the first chosen to be king. Now if you follow his story from the beginning to the end, the two do not match up. He did not finish the way that he had begun. In the beginning he was humble. For example, he asked Samuel, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?” The Scripture says that God gave him another heart and that all sorts of powerful signs followed him when he was anointed king. He had great military victory, and he extended mercy to many. He started off well, but in the end he was ungodly. He turned away from the One who had chosen him. He disobeyed the Holy One of Israel. He grieved and blasphemed the Holy Spirit so that the Spirit left him. He turned to a witch and the power of the evil one. He told his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.” He did not finish life well. He did not continue in the Spirit.

Today I would like to talk about continuing in the Spirit as individuals and as a church. We are celebrating eight decades of worship and service in this area, but will it end or will Fort Trial continue the way she started? I want to encourage you to continue the way you started in the faith and in the Spirit. I will do so from Galatians 3:1-4. I invite you to read it with me.

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The Foolish Galatians

Let me share with you the Galatian situation for just a few minutes. First of all, Galatia was a region, so we are not simply talking about one congregation, but several in a certain area. The problems they were having were widespread. Paul had traveled through this region on his first missionary journey just some twenty years after Christ had been crucified and raised from the dead. He traveled to the area which is now part of modern Turkey to plant some churches in four major cities. A couple of years later, Paul went back through that Galatian area to strengthen the churches he had planted. Not long after that some false teachers came into the region and the Galatians were swept away in their false Gospel. “First, they undermined Paul’s apostolic credibility. Second, they demanded circumcision as a condition for salvation. Third, they required observation of all Jewish ceremonies and ritual” (MacArthur, 7). The heartbreaking fact is that many of the Galatians fell into this trap of the false teachers. They turned away from the true Gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ to a system of rules and rituals. The Apostle was shocked that those congregations would fall prey to false doctrine so easily.

Your First Love (1)

Paul uses some stern language with this group of churches, “O foolish Galatians!” What was going on there was so anti-Gospel and anti-Christ that the Apostle has the word “foolish” come to mind. It is so stunning that he asks if they have been “bewitched.” This is actually how the letter begins if you can recall 1:6-7. These Galatians were not thinking. They were caught in whatever wind of doctrine blew their way.

The Apostle says that the portrait of Christ crucified was clearly portrayed before them. Paul believed in the power of preaching. He believed that the Gospel that was proclaimed to these people allowed them to see the death of Christ in all of its glory, for all that it meant. That is why these people had become believers in the first place.

Here is the truth of the matter: Christ and Him crucified. Set your heart on Him alone. When you heard the Gospel, believed, and committed to His lordship, didn’t your heart come alive? You found forgiveness and life. He was your first love, continue in Him. Do not turn away from your first love. What you heard then is the truth and it is life. The Gospel message of Christ and Him crucified is the only way to heaven.

Faith is the Victory (2)

How did you become a Christian? Did you have to jump through a bunch of hoops? You heard the Gospel message and you believed in your mind and heart, truly in your soul that Christ had done more than enough to save you. All you did was hear. You then repented and were baptized into Christ Jesus. You had a part in all of this, but none of it was a religious work on your part, not even your baptism. You didn’t do anything but submit to His commands. You did not work, but you were worked upon. James says in 1:18 “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth. . . .” The biblical principle is that all of God’s gifts and blessings come to believers by grace through faith. Works of the law, or any law (because Americans attempt to set up there own moral laws and traditions), do not usher in the presence of the Spirit, they do not make us righteous, they do not make us perfect, and, although many may believe it, they do not force God into a box that guarantees if we do “good” then God must act a certain way in response. Only by faith that is purely by grace does God bless us with the Holy Spirit. What is the difference between Law and Gospel? “. . . the law says ‘Do this’; the gospel says ‘Christ has done it all’. The law requires works of human achievement; the gospel requires faith in Christ’s achievement” (Stott, 71). Let us be clear, on the same page, with the same mind: You and I did not receive the Spirit by any works, but by the hearing of faith. Faith is the victory.

Continuing in the Spirit (3)

Whether you received the Spirit a long time ago or in recent weeks, you must continue in Him. What does flesh mean in verse 3? The flesh is not skin and bones nor is it physical, despite our natural thinking. The flesh that the New Testament refers to is the old you. It is our old person that is rebellious and cherishes independence from any higher power whether it is parents, civil authorities, or God Himself. Romans 8:7 says, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Look over at Galatians 5:19-21. The flesh will not and in fact cannot make you perfect, but the Spirit is able and willing.

The great erroneous philosophy of Christian growth to maturity and perfection that is so prevalent in America today says that a Christian begins a new life by faith and then that individual completes the process on their own. That false teaching tells us that justification is by faith and sanctification is by working. All this does is set aside the grace of God. It nullifies the cross and the work of Christ for our redemption and righteousness. If we must complete the salvation process, then Christ has not done enough and He will not receive all of the glory. Let me assure you of one thing, Christ has done enough to save you now and for eternity.

“God helps those who help themselves” is not a verse in the Bible. The biblical principle is God helps those who cannot help themselves. We are all fallen, sinful, rebellious beings. The flesh (old person) can produce a very rigorous morality, but that only nullifies what Christ has done. It thwarts the grace of God. So the question is, are you relying on God or yourself? Galatians teaches that we rely on God in the beginning and we rely on Him for eternity. This was the issue of the first sin in the Garden. What did Satan cause Adam and Eve to do? Lust for independence. This is the great sin of mankind. You began in the Spirit. Do not think that you can now turn to something else? Do not allow yourself to fall into the vicious traps of idolatry, lust, pride, stubbornness, arrogance, or any of the like. Those who endure until the end will be saved, those who endure in the faith and continue in the Holy Spirit.

All that is Vain (4)

“Suffered” refers to all of the Galatians life experiences since they were born again. All of the wonderful things they had experienced by the power of the Spirit in their lives would be useless if they did not repent. All that they had suffered at the hands of the world would be in vain if they continue to follow the false teachers. Anything but Christ, the Spirit, and faith is vain.


Do you remember the story of the Apostle Peter? He was the one who immediately dropped his net when Jesus called him to discipleship. He was the spokesman for the group of apostles. He was the first to say, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He did great things in submission to the Lord Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit, but he also had his short-comings. He had the faith to leap out of the boat into the water to walk on it, but he soon took his eyes off Christ. He was given the supernatural insight that Jesus was the Christ, but he attempted to deter the divine plan of redemption. He was willing to fight and die for Christ in the Garden, but he later denied Him three times. Peter’s story has many ups and downs, even later into the New Testament times. At one point, Paul calls Peter out publicly for his hypocrisy. Yet, from beginning to end, Peter continues in the Spirit. When he fell short, he repented. He did not try to fix things on his own, but leaned on the Lord for strength. This is what we must do as individuals and as a church. Continue the way you started: by faith in Christ and in the power of the Spirit.

1) Christ has been portrayed to you in the preaching of many ministers in the past 80 years. That message is the truth. Do not take your eyes off of Him. Hold fast to the Gospel truth of Christ and Him crucified. Do you remember what the Apostle told the Corinthians? He said, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Do not turn away from your first love when you found the Savior.

2) Faith is the victory. Remember that you came to Christ in the beginning by faith and nothing more. You simply trusted that what He had done was enough to save from this present wicked age and from the wrath to come. Salvation is from faith to faith, faith in the beginning and faith until the end, faith and nothing but faith.

3) When you came to faith you were indwelt by the Holy Spirit of promise. He regenerated you, He has worked in you, and He has established you in the faith. Continue in Him. Follow His lead. Keep in step with the Spirit and you will be saved. But turning away will leave you vulnerable to the world and its ruler, the devil.