Two Journeys Ministry
In-Depth Biblical Content by Pastor Andy Davis

Jesus Has the Authority to Forgive Our Sins (Mark Sermon 8)

Series: Mark

Jesus Has the Authority to Forgive Our Sins (Mark Sermon 8)

February 27, 2022 | Andrew Davis
Mark 2:1-12
Miracles

In this passage, we learn that Jesus has the power to forgive our sins and also to heal all our diseases. In Heaven we will realize Jesus’ great power and amazing love!

             

-TRANSCRIPT-

Turn in your Bibles to Mark 2, we continue our study in Mark's Gospel with verses 1 through 12. During the Civil War, on the night of August 31, 1861, Private William Scott of Vermont was found sleeping on sentry duty, a very, very serious crime during wartime. The Union Army was determined to make an example of him, and they court martialed him, he was found guilty and he was sentenced to be executed by firing squad on September 9. One man had the power to overturn that ruling, that verdict from the court martial, and that was President Abraham Lincoln.

He found out about Private Scott, looked into his case, and intervened. He pardoned him and spared his life and returned him to his unit at the last minute.  He had the authority to do that because the Constitution in Article II, Section 2 confers staggering powers to the president of the United States. It designates the president commander in chief of all the armed services. Also in that same paragraph, it gives the president the power to grant pardons for offenses against the United States. That's an amazing power, isn't it? The power to pardon, the power to grant forgiveness. Now, the Constitution somewhat limits the president in that power. For example, he cannot pardon crimes that haven't been committed yet. That makes sense because then that would overturn the laws of our country. As a matter of fact, there's lots of interesting constitutional questions about this separation of powers and the executive and legislative and judicial, and giving the president this kind of power makes some of those things murky.

But in our text today, we're going to see someone who has infinitely greater power to forgive than the president of the United States, for in it Jesus Christ looks at a sinner and declares him instantly and completely forgiven of all of his sins, past, present, and future. He has the authority to do that. He has the right, the power to do that.  Jesus arises the question of his authority, and He does a mighty miracle to prove that He has the authority on earth to forgive sins. That's what we're going to study in the text today. For all eternity, heaven and hell will be populated by human beings, a vast multitude of people in each, in heaven and in hell. One thing will be common to all those people, every one of them, both in heaven and in hell. Both the inhabitants of heaven and the inhabitants of hell will have been sinners on earth, for Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The infinite difference between the sinners in heaven and those in hell is this one thing: the forgiveness of sins. The sinners in heaven will be forgiven sinners, and the sinners in hell will be unforgiven sinners.

Now, in this amazing account that we're looking at, we learn that Jesus, the savior of the world, has the authority, the power to forgive sins. He also has the power to heal all of our diseases. When He is done saving us and when we are in our eternally glorious home in heaven, only then will we realize how great is Jesus's power, how amazing his love. I believe this is one of the most important miracle accounts in the Bible, in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, because it directly links the miracle Jesus does to our greatest need; it directly links it right in the text to the forgiveness of sins because the central need that we have is not healthy bodies, but forgiven souls.

The Population of the Sick

We begin this account with the population of the sick. Look at verses 1 and 2. "A few days later, when Jesus had again entered Capernaum, the people heard that He had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and He preached the word to them." So the context, Jesus has begun his ministry in earnest. His healing ministry has begun. Many people have heard about it. Jesus healed a leper at the very end of Mark 1 and commanded him not to tell anyone, because already this thing is ramping up and everybody's hearing about his healing ministry. However, the man disobeyed, went out and told everyone everywhere, and Mark 1:45 says, "As a result, Jesus could no longer enter town openly, but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to Him from everywhere." Jesus then subsequently returned to his home base for his ministry, Capernaum. Huge crowds came to Him, it says. The desperation brought on by disease and death pressed people to come from everywhere to Jesus for these healings. People put absolute top priority on their health.  You hear that slogan sometimes, “If you have your health, you have everything.” I think what they probably mean is something opposite. If you don't have your health, you really have nothing. It makes sense. What good is a delicious meal to a man who's in agony and will vomit up everything he eats because he can't keep it down? What good is a skillful musician playing a beautiful piece of music to a woman that's suffering from internal almost unspeakable pain day after day? What good is a mansion or a box of gold coins to parents whose son is dying? People knew this, and  they came in huge numbers for these healings.

Because Jesus preferred, it seems, normally to heal one at a time and maybe even through personal touch, there's a massive bottleneck at the door. It’s hard to get in. Jesus immediately in his ministry, as He always does, resets their priorities by proclaiming the word to them in verse 2. This is the centerpiece of his ministry, the proclamation of the gospel. Physical health is of little value if you are an unforgiven sinner. You are under the wrath of God. That's the greatest problem you have, not your health. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Jesus knew that. He knew the true needs of the people. So He's not there to heal every disease and sickness among the people all the time so that people would never get sick again. He's not there to raise every dead person so that they would never die again, not at that point. Jesus has come into the world to address our sin problem, to save us from our sins, and his top priority therefore every day was the preaching of the word.

The Persistence of Faith

We see now the persistence of faith in the next part of the account. Look at verses 3 and 4. "Some men came, bringing to Him a paralytic carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus, and after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on." This is a remarkable story. This is a picture of genuine friendship. We're introduced to five men here, four of them in good health, but one of them is paralyzed. The paralysis may be caused by a disease or by an injury. Perhaps the paralyzed man had a spinal cord injury, maybe fell from a tree or cliff or was thrown by a horse. Maybe he had a disease, some kind of viral or bacterial infection or neurological disorder. Maybe he had a brain trauma. We have no idea.

The four healthy friends are giving a clear display of true friendship. Though they are able to walk, their friend is not, and they care about that. It matters to them that though they're healthy, their friend is not, and they want to help him. They want to do whatever it takes to get him healed. The five of them, it seems, have heard the reports of what this man Jesus can do, and they believe them. Their faith is activated by these testimonies, by these reports. They came, no doubt about it, believing that Jesus could heal their friend. So they carry this man on a pallet, maybe a wooden frame with some leather straps, something like that, and they bring him to Jesus. But when they arrive, they have some massive obstacles to their faith. They are immediately met with that bottleneck I talked about. The crowd is jammed up in the house, they cannot get to Him.  They can't see Jesus, they can't hear his teachings. They cannot get their friend near to Him. In Luke's Gospel account of this story, the friends tried to get in through the crowd, but other sick people are just as determined that they would see Jesus and they're not letting this guy through. But their faith will not be deterred. They're not going to give up.

The essence of faith is being a spiritual beggar, of knowing you don't have inside yourself the resources to solve this problem and that God does. God has everything that you could ever need or want. That God can do anything, that's the essence of faith. These friends have true faith. If they turn and walk away, their friend will never be healed. They know that.  This is it, so they don't give up. True faith overcomes obstacles, as we see so beautifully in Romans 8:37, "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." A world conquering faith. They're going to overcome obstacles, so they take extraordinary steps. One of them has an idea. “I’ve got a thought here. I know what we could do. We could climb up on the roof.” The roofs back then were flat and you could go out on them, maybe eat a meal or pray or something like that, that kind of a roof. So they're going to climb up and they're going to, as the Greek says, literally, “unroof the roof.” They're going to unroof the roof. They climb up the stairs and they kind of triangulate and calculate where Jesus probably is, and they start unroofing the roof. They start digging through it. 

Now, this is remarkable. I'm thinking about it from Jesus's point of view. I've led a lot of Bible studies, I've had some distractions I've had to deal with before, but I've never had pieces of the roof falling down.  They're digging through and pieces are coming down. Now, I've thought about this and I'm thinking, it's a big opening. I mean, think about it. They don't want to lower him down feet first, that will not work. So they got to open this up big, and this process must have taken a while.  I'm thinking, Jesus probably put a hold on much of what was going on while this whole thing is happening. I find it interesting that Jesus takes their faith where it's at. He doesn't stop them. Well, why would He stop him? Their digging wasn't necessary. Jesus could heal from a great distance.  The Roman centurion has a paralyzed servant lying at home, and he said, "You don't need to come under my roof, but just say the word and my servant will be healed." Jesus heals him from a distance. He healed the royal official's son from a distance. So why didn't He stop them? He accepted what they were doing and let them do it. So they finished their digging project and they lower the man down on ropes, right in front of Jesus. Now we see the power of Jesus the judge. "When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.'"

The Power of the Judge

So the text says Jesus sees their faith. There are two possibilities. Either He saw the fruit of their faith, because James says faith without works is dead, so you can tell the faith by the works, “by the fruit you'll know them,” and he can see the fruit. It's just so obvious. There's clear evidence the friends believe Jesus can heal, no doubt about it. But also, the text gives clear indication that Jesus can read people's minds and hearts. Look at verse 8, "Jesus read the minds and hearts of his enemies."  I don't think it's either/or, it's both/and. He knew their hearts, that their hearts believed, and He could see the evidence, the fruit of their faith. But more importantly, I think, theologically more importantly, Jesus saw his faith, and by that I mean the paralyzed man's faith. The text doesn't overtly say that. It just makes it collective, He saw their faith, but Jesus declares to the paralyzed man, "Your sins are forgiven." Jesus speaks to this man the greatest single blessing any of us sinners could ever receive, the forgiveness of sins, full forgiveness, past, present, and future.

We know from other texts, from other books of the Bible, that forgiveness of sins equals justification. It's the same thing, and it comes by faith in Christ alone, and no one can believe on behalf of another person. Jesus's friends' faith cannot save his soul from sin. Now, our faith can position unforgiven sinners to a place where they can hear the gospel and trust in Christ. We can do many things, missionaries can, by faith,  go to certain places and bring the gospel and proclaim and do many things by faith. But we can't do the final, most important step, giving someone spiritual life that they be born again. We can't do that. That's beyond our power. But our faith can position an unforgiven sinner to the place where they can hear and believe. This man had faith for himself. He had faith for himself, and this is essential. Parents can't believe for their unbelieving children. Wives can't believe for their unbelieving husbands. Friends cannot believe for their unbelieving friends. We have a role to play, but it's limited. We need to play that role, but ultimately the individual has to believe. And he did, because Jesus said,  in Matthew's account, so beautifully, “Jesus looks at him and says, ‘Take heart, son. Your sins are forgiven.’” Now, I find this amazing. Just freeze frame right there. Jesus has done nothing for him physically, nothing, but He's done everything for him. If He didn't heal him physically, He still would've given him a gift of infinite value. He's given him a ticket to heaven, and we know in the fullness of time, that will mean full physical healing too. We also know this: this man was a sinner. He had violated the laws of God, for we all have done that. Jesus was saying, "Take heart, son. I will pay your debt for you with my own blood. I'll pay your price for you, so take heart." That's what He was saying.

The Poison of Unbelief

Next in the text, we see the poison of unbelief. "Some teachers of the law were sitting there thinking to themselves, why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And Jesus's enemies are constantly there from that point on.  The teachers of law, some translations say scribes, they're responsible for copying the scriptures physically. They didn't have printing presses back then, all the things we have today to copy books, et cetera, so they just had to do it by hand. They also had the responsibility of teaching the word of God to the people. They, as Jesus would say, sat in Moses's seat, and so they taught the word of God. Beyond this, they made religious rulings for the people on religious matters. So they're going to be with Jesus constantly, keeping an eye on Him, a suspicious eye, because they already are finding reasons to condemn Him. They are opposed to Him, and now they feel they have one. They're so poisoned by their unbelief, they're so blinded by their unbelief, they're unable to act. Much as the paralyzed man is physically unable to act, so their unbelief poisons them, and so they accuse Jesus of blasphemy.

Now, to blaspheme is to speak words against God. It's a speaking sin, blasphemy. It would be to take the name of the Lord in vain, or to say false doctrine about the Lord, something like that. It's one of the most serious sins that a Jewish person could commit. Even higher than those everyday forms of blasphemy, however, would be to arrogate to yourself deity, to claim things for yourself that only God could do. That's the blasphemy of which  Jesus will be accused. That's what the high priest and the Sanhedrin are going to hang around Jesus's neck at his trial, blasphemy. That's their charge. Who can forgive sins but God alone?

Now, obviously, any human being has a right, even the responsibility, to forgive sins committed by others against us, right? If someone strikes you on the right cheek, but then later comes back and says heartily, "Please forgive me," we're under obligations to say, "I forgive you." But this paralyzed man had, as far as we know, no prior connection with Jesus at all. He didn't sin directly against Jesus in that sense at all. Jesus is effectively going up to a complete stranger and saying, "All your sins of your life are forgiven." Now, at that point, what these teachers of law, these scribes were saying actually is true. Only God has the power to do that. But they never thought that Jesus actually was God in the flesh. That didn't enter their minds that it actually could be true. They were just right in that limited sense. We see the proof of Jesus' authority in verse 8, "Immediately, Jesus knew in his spirit that this is what they were thinking in their hearts, and He said to them, 'Why are you thinking these things?'" So he reads their minds. These scribes did not speak out their opposition, but Jesus could read their minds immediately. He knew what they were thinking, and He challenged their assumption. "Why are you thinking these things? Shouldn't you consider the evidence that's already overwhelming that I actually am who John the Baptist said I was, the Son of God, who God himself said I was at my baptism?"

The Proof of Jesus’ Authority

They don't consider it, so Jesus puts a test before them. It's an interesting test. Verse 9, "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat, and walk'?" So I took it, I'm a literalist. So I'm like, “All right, well, which is easier? How many syllables? Your sins are forgiven, rise and walk.” Look, the point is, it is really easy to say the words. The question is, is there any power behind the words? If I went into Duke Hospital where paralyzed people were being treated, and I went from room to room and said, "Rise and walk," and I'm who I am, and the outcome is what I expect. You all know what would happen, I would be arrested shortly, because nothing would be happening and I don't have that power. Only God could heal a paralyzed man like that. In the same way, if I were to go up to a total stranger, somebody I've never met, and just looked at them, read their mind and their heart, and said, "Your sins, all of them past, present and future, are forgiven," it's the same thing. I have no power. I have no authority to make that statement. Only God has that power. The issue is authority, it's power. Jesus then proves his authority, his power by the miracle. Verses 10 through 12, "But you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. He said to the paralytic, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat, and go home.' He got up, took up his mat, and walked out in full view of them all."

How beautiful is this? This stunning miracle, the greatest gift that the human race has ever received, that Jesus came from heaven to earth with this power to look on sinners like you and me and tell us our sins are forgiven. The miracle is enacted. It happens, as we've always said, effortlessly, completely, instantly. These are Jesus's healings. It's the way it always is. So the man gets up. There's no convalescence, there's no atrophied muscles that need to be built up over time, none of that. He's just healed. He picks up the mat that his four friends used to carry him in there and carries it out. This time the crowd got out of the way, I guess. It's easy to get out, hard to get in. 

The Reaction

This miracle, it says, was done in full view of them all. Look at the reaction, verse 12, "This amazed everyone, and they praised God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this.'"  Well, that's the account. What are some lessons, spiritual lessons we can draw from this? First of all, our greatest need is the forgiveness of sins. When I was in college in campus ministry, we had a booklet that we read called, “The Tyranny of the Urgent.” It was written by Charles Hummel, and it gives us a sense of the priority structure. It says that most of the urgent things that we're after all the time really are not truly eternally significant.  The things that scream and clamor for our attention are temporal. That includes the pain signals different parts of our body give to our brain. They may seem urgent and eternally significant, but they really aren't, not when compared to this issue of the forgiveness of sins. Jesus understands the true priority structure, that the health of our souls through the forgiveness of sins is infinitely more important than the health of our bodies right now, the temporal health of our bodies. Satan came after Job on this issue. You remember the second phase of Job's sufferings was sickness, and Satan said, "Now we're really going to get serious. Now, I acknowledge that he handled very well the loss of all of his property and even his children, but if You take away his health, he will curse You to your face." That's Job 2, 4, and 5. We tend to think kind of like that.

In Jesus's days also, we see this kind of urgency. Nothing was more vital than the healing of the body, so people thought. You look at the attitude, the demeanor of sick people, like parents that are bringing their sick children to Jesus. They're desperate for the healing. Jairus, for example, threw himself down before Jesus and begged Him to come down before his daughter dies. The Syrophoenician woman's going to be the same way. She is absolutely focused on one thing, the healing of her daughter. The royal official in John 4 is the same way. Jesus wants to talk about, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you'll never believe." The royal official's answer is, "Sir, come down before my child dies," absolute focused on one thing, healing, “Heal my son.”

So are we. But in Jesus's priority structure, the soul's need is infinitely more significant than the body, and He's going to make this plain later in Mark 8: 36- 37. He says, "What good would it be for a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his soul? Or what could a man give in exchange for his soul?" The needs of the body are secondary to this one central issue, the salvation of our souls through the forgiveness of sins. If our bodies are perfectly healthy, but if our souls are saturated in unforgiven sin, what good is it? What would it profit us?

At some point, our bodies are going to get old and we're going to die.  Hebrews 9:27 says, "It is appointed to each one of us to die and after that to face judgment." What good would it be for you to be in the gym day after day, exercising, watching what you eat, you got an excellent BMI, you got all of these things going on for you, and then you die and go to hell? What good would that be?

Conversely, if your sins are forgiven through faith in Christ, the present circumstances of your body are what Paul would call light and momentary issues, no matter how dire. Listen to what Paul says, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, "Therefore we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away." You may think you’re looking pretty good today. No you're not, you're wasting away. You just don't know it yet. But outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we're being renewed day by day, "for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal."

Now, this doesn't mean that sick people shouldn't seek to get well, shouldn't seek to get healthy. Jesus did many physical healings. If He didn't care about the health of the body, why would He do that? He did care. It's just a priority structure. There's an infinite gap between the one and the other. There's actually much provision for concern for the body. Jesus is going to say on judgment day, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I needed clothes and you clothed me." Jesus is going to talk about actual physical ministry done to people's bodies. Or James 2:15-16, it says, "Suppose a brother, a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing for his physical needs, what good is it?" Clearly, James wants those physical needs met by faith. Faith needs to move out in that direction. Later in James 5, he says, "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to anoint him with oil and pray over him in the name of the Lord, and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well. The Lord will raise him up." So no, no, it's not like we don't care about sickness, that we don't seek and pray and yearn for it. The clear priority structure is this: the needs of the soul are infinitely greater than the needs of the body. When Jesus forgave the sins of that paralyzed man, He gave him the keys to heaven itself.

Forgiveness of Sins is by Faith in Christ Alone

I think it's important for us as Christians to personalize this moment, find yourself as that paralyzed man, feel Jesus looking at you with a look of love on his face and saying to you, "Take heart, son, daughter, your sins are forgiven." Galatians 2:20, Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the body. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me." Not "us." "Us" is true, but Paul didn't say that in Galatians 2:20, he said "me." We have the right to look in and see Jesus looking at us in the midst of all of our sins, and because of our faith in Him, saying, "Take heart. Your sins are forgiven. Your sins are forgiven." Now, if that's true, whatever else is going on in your life, you have reason for joy today. You have reasons for joy and for delight today. You have reasons to take heart and to be encouraged today. "Take heart" means be encouraged. This is grounds for permanent contentment, that your sins are forgiven, all of them past, present, and future. So if you're a Christian, that's true. If you're not a Christian, I just beg you to flee to Christ today while you can, because no matter how well things are going in your life, no matter how prosperous or how healthy you feel, you don't know how long you have, and the greatest issue that there could ever be is still hanging over your head. You're still under the wrath of God. So flee to Christ while you can. It's not hard. The thief on the cross, all he had to do is say, "Remember me when you come in your kingdom." To know that Jesus is a coming king and that He died for sins, that's all it takes. Find forgiveness. Find forgiveness in Christ, and that forgiveness of sins is by faith in Christ alone, that's all.

The paralyzed man, what could he do? What could he do? I mean, he is not saved by works. Just like the thief on the cross, he couldn't do anything. It's just simple faith. Unlike the president with his presidential pardon, Jesus actually can forgive future sins, all of your sin, because Jesus knows better than any of us, partial forgiveness or forgiveness of 90% of your sins will not do you any good on Judgment Day. In that beautiful hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul,” it speaks of a comprehensive forgiveness. "My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought. My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul. Not the part, but the whole." And so take heart, rejoice.

The fundamental concept here is that Jesus has the authority to do this. In John 5, He talks about that. John 5:22-23 says, "The father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the son, that all may honor the son, even as they honor the father." All authority in heaven and earth comes from almighty God, the creator of all things. All authority in heaven and earth emanates from Him, that the right to do this comes from God. And Jesus says in John 5, "The father has given to me the authority to judge." John 5:27, "The father has given Him authority to judge because He is the son of man." If He has the authority to judge, He has the authority to look at you and tell you, "Your sins are forgiven." He has that authority because He said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me." In the future, Matthew 25 says, "When the son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with Him, He will sit on his throne in heavenly glory and all the nations will be gathered before Him. And he will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." That's the power and authority Jesus has. He is the judge of all the earth. When He says your sins are forgiven, they are. So take heart. Take heart, rejoice. Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice.” Even if you're sick, even if your body's hurting, even if you're wracked with pain, you're dying even, none of that ultimately matters if your sins are forgiven through faith in Christ.

However, isn't it good news to know that part of your salvation package is the total comprehensive healing of the body? Aren't you looking forward to that? The resurrection body will be glorious. There'll be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. Revelation 22:1-3 says, "The angels showed me the river of the water of life flowing clear as crystal from the throne of God and of the lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. And on each side of the river stood the tree of life bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse." 100% health. What about your body? Well, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 says, "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sewn is perishable. It is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness. It is raised in power. It is sown a natural body. It is raised a spiritual body." So your present body that you brought to church today, or that brought you, I don't know, whatever, that body, when it becomes a corpse, it will be sown in the ground. It is described perishable, dishonored, weak and natural, but the resurrection body will be imperishable. That means unable to die. It will be glorious, it will be powerful, and it will be spiritual. And in that glorious body, you'll spend all eternity. So take heart, son and daughter, your sins are forgiven.

One final word before I pray. This is a phenomenal story to memorize for evangelism. It's 12 verses long. If you were to memorize this story, I have used this literally dozens of times on airplanes and other places. First of all, it's interesting. The unroofing of the roof is interesting. People are interested in the story, and it gets you quickly to what? The key issue, forgiveness of sins. You'll be able to look someone in the eye and say, "Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Do you know that Jesus actually has the power to forgive sins?" Memorize the story, or just give the gist of it. Just get it right, please, though. If you're going to go gist and not memorization, get it right. But then ask somebody, "Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Jesus has the power to do it."

Close with me in prayer. Lord, thank You for this incredible account and thank You for the power of this story. We thank You for how it's true and how Jesus did this actual miracle and He actually did forgive that man's sins, and that man actually is with Jesus in paradise now. We thank You, O Lord, for the power of the gospel. I thank You for each of my brothers and sisters in Christ that are here, who have already received the gift of full forgiveness through faith in Christ. I pray for any that have been here today, who came in as yet unbelievers, who would hear and believe while there's still time, so that they might receive the gift of the forgiveness of sins. In Jesus's name, amen.

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