Tom Scott - 22/09/2013
Date: September 23
Around the world we see the forces of evil working hard to win a battle against a superior force.† Sunday morning, there were reports of a church in Pakistan that was bombed by Islamic terrorists.† Here in Indianapolis, we had a police officer gunned down in the line of duty.† Saturday night, I spent some time with the Crane family who are still grieving the loss of their son and granddaughter who were murdered for a couple of game systems.† Paul said that we would battle with these forces of evil just like Jesus did during his ministry.† In the message Sunday, I talked about the need for the church to be a place of forgiveness.† People need to see the church as a place where they can come and experience the forgiveness of sins, which can only come from God.† Here are five questions for us to use in reflecting upon the message.
1.† In Luke chapter five, we find four friends bringing a man on a mat to Jesus because they believe he has the ability to heal the man.† They would climb up on the roof and lower their friend down through the tiles so that he could meet Jesus.† What these men did was very courageous; they went out on a limb to ensure that their friend got the help he needed.† Has there ever been a time when you went the extra mile to help out a friend in need?
2.† Jesus was teaching in the house, which might have belonged to Peter.† As Jesus is teaching, he has a packed house all around him.† The people there are†wanting Jesus to heal them and the†religious leaders that are there, want to trap him in some false statement.† What kind of pressure do you think Jesus was under as this story unfolds and have you ever faced a situation like this?
3.† When Jesus saw the faith of the men who lowered their buddy down through the hole in the ceiling, he told the man on the mat that his sins had been forgiven.† This sent shock waves through the crowd as they whispered, concerned about his ability to forgive sins.† Only God can forgive sins and here is this teaching that is claiming that power.† How do you think you would have responded had you been in that room as Jesus spoke these words of forgiveness?
4.† The church should be a place of forgiveness.† In order for that to occur, I suggested that we need to keep three things in mind.† The first thing we need to remember is that Jesus has forgiven us.††First Corinthians 6:9-11 was used to remind us that we have all sinned at some point in our lives, but Jesus can forgive us.† Before we can share the message of forgiveness with others, we have to claim that for ourselves.† Are there times when you wrestle with God’s ability to forgive you for the sins, which you have committed in your life?
5.† The second item that we need to remember is that we need to bring others to Jesus so that they can be forgiven.† These four friends brought the man on the mat.† In John chapter four, we read that the Samaritan woman brought her town to Jesus at the well.† Today it is our turn.† We need to have that same passion and courage to bring others to Jesus so that they can receive forgiveness for their sins?† Who will we bring to Jesus this week?
The third item that I mentioned was celebrating when people receive forgiveness.† It is exciting to see when people come to Jesus and are set free from their sins.† We should celebrate that.† That is what I am looking forward to as we prepare for church this coming week.† Let’s pray that God will open some doors this week so that we can share with others this powerful message.† Have a great week in the Lord.† This coming Lord’s Day, we will look at one more message from Luke chapter five.† Levi will be chosen as one of Jesus’ disciples.† It’s a great story that still speaks to us today.
Introduction: Once again Jesus is teaching the people in the town of Capernaum.† As Jesus is talking, four men lower their friend down so that he can be healed by the rabbi.† Jesus offers this man forgiveness of sins, which strikes the crowd as odd because only God can take away our sins.† This morning we will look at how the church can be a place of forgiveness for those who are in need of Godís grace.
I.††††††††††††††††††† Jesus was dealing with a packed house.
A.†††† They were sitting everywhere.† †††††††††††††††Luke 8:19
B.†††† They were tearing up the roof.† †††††††††††††††Mark 2:4
II.†††††††††††††††† Jesus was dealing with a hostile crowd.
A.† The man was forgiven of his sins.† ††††††††††John 8:11
B.†††† The man was told to get up and go home.† ††Matthew 12:9-10
III.†††††††††††††† The church should be a place where people find forgiveness.
A.†††† We need to remember Jesus has forgiven us.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
B.†††† We need to bring others to Jesus so that they can be forgiven. ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††John 4:29
C.†††† We need to celebrate when people are forgiven.† Luke 15:7
Conclusion: †There are thousands of people who live around this church today who need to hear this message.† They need the forgiveness of sins, which can only come from God.† Jesus is sending us out into the world with this message of forgiveness.† We can impact lives for God by bringing people to Jesus who need forgiveness.† Who will we bring to Jesus this week?
Key Thought: We can help people find forgiveness through Godís grace