Forgiveness is Forever
“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?” (Luke 5:23)
Jesus posed this question to the religious leaders who were incensed that Jesus had said to a paralytic man, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” They thought, “how dare he… only God can forgive sin!”
Which was, I believe, Jesus’ point. Jesus is God, and He has the power not only to heal, but to also forgive sin!
Healing requires faith (Mark 6:5), and the success is immediately evident.
Forgiveness of sin requires faith (Luke 5:20), but the success isn’t immediately evident. Or, is it?
I believe it is, because saving faith will produce new life in the person who has been forgiven. Galatians 5 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit of God living is us is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).
Perhaps a follow-up question should be “Which is better, to be forgiven, or to be healed?”
To me that’s easy… physical healing is only temporary. Even Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead, eventually died again. No matter how great the healing, eventually we will all shed this physical body.
But forgiveness… forgiveness is forever.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
We can change the world, one life at a time…