Of sickness and forgiveness of sins

fish-378286_640Mark 2:7: “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Sickness

Jesus asked: which one is easier, to say your sins are forgiven or to say rise up and walk (Mark 2:1-12)? What do you think? I think it is to heal the sin. Healing is about expression of God’s power, while for forgiveness of sin, there is the need to deal with God’s holiness standard.

Sin is an affront to the holiness of God, which is at the core of who he is. He has to bend over double to forgive sin. And it is not sin if it is not against God. Sickness is merely a symptom of sin, which is the root. It is easier to cut the branch than to uproot the whole tree.

Sickness is an expression of limited expression of life while death is cessation of life, and therefore sickness is a limited expression of death, a reduction in ultimate functionality affecting the spheres human existence.

That is clear because with the way God ordered things in the beginning, sickness was not part of the equation. His way is nothing less than perfection (Proverbs 18:30). That means sickness is an aberration.

One way to live above sickness is to not accept it. Do not say it is the way it happens to people, do not say that look at Timothy, he had a problem with his stomach (1Timothy 5:23), look at Paul he had another issue.

This is your body not Paul’s not Timothy’s. The bible says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 3:16), that we have God dwelling in our body, that the same spirit which raised Jesus will quicken our body (Romans 8:11). That quickening experience can be our present continuous experience as a Christians, it is then we can fulfil all we can on this earth.

Sickness in the New Testament is attached to not being able to discern the body of the Lord according to Paul (1Corinthians 11:23-30).  That means once we fully recognise that we are parts of the body of Christ and that he nourishes and cherishes that body (Ephesians 5:23-32), so we should constantly experience rejuvenation in our body.

Know that stress and worry, fear, lack of forgiveness, guilt, are issues of emotion that affect our health. What is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) if not to take us above those corrupting natural human tendencies? What is prayer if not an avenue to share in God’s emotion, confidence, grace and power and his rest and experience rejuvenation in our body? What is prayer if not an opportunity to engage with the Holy Spirit in an intimate way, to experience his purifying fire burning off any germ, illness or growth?

Peter said that times of refreshing will come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19). And Jesus said that men’s heart will fail them for fear from looking at the bad events that will be coming on the earth (Luke 21:26). And what do you think will happen when you set your heart on God? Instead of fear, like Caleb, you will say: I am as strong today at eighty years of age as I was at the age of forty (Joshua 14:6-11).

The presence of God has effect on our spirit, soul and body (1Thessalonians 5:23). For our spirit it is its natural habitat, for the soul, it is the unseen influence, for the body, it gets it quickening shot from there.

Forgiveness of sin

Only God can forgive sin (because sin is primarily against his holiness), so those people speaking in the focus verse were correct about that. So the fact is that the man they were looking at forgave sin meant he was God. Jesus is God.

And when he hung on the cross and said: “father forgive them because they do no know what they doing, as one of his final words,” that became what his blood cries out for us. Remember that the blood of Jesus, which is a living entity, speaks better things than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).

The blood of Abel, murdered in cold blood in the field by his brother, God said, cried to him from the ground, for vengeance (Genesis 4:1-10). The blood of Jesus, crying better things, cries restoration of the killers. He hung there because of us. So in a sense we killed him (our sins killed him) and he asked forgiveness for us not retribution against us.

Now there is a blanket offer of forgiveness. The bible says that now under the new covenant of the blood of Jesus we have the opportunity to be cleansed from everything that we could not be cleansed in time past (Acts 13:38-39).

It does not matter what it is, the blood of Jesus covered it and speaks restoration. It does not matter what is lost to sin in time, relationship, energy, health, the blood of Jesus speaks restoration.

Because of the blood of Jesus, God looks at us as if he looks at Jesus. Now God is for us, he is with us and not against us. We get to become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2Corinthians 5:21).  We experience a change in spiritual identity because of Jesus. We get to be born again, start a new life as new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17).

We may not be different in physical look but we are different in spiritual look and outlook. We were dead in trespasses and sin but now made alive in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:1-6).

The forgiveness of sin that we have is on the account of Jesus; that is why the whole idea of penance is an insult to the blood of Jesus.  It is either the blood takes care of the issue of sin totally or not at all, because God does not do something in half measure. And he was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not levelling our sin against us.

The blood cleanses us, declare us free from the entanglement of sin and now we can serve God with a clear conscience, purged of dead works through the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14). We do not look to ourselves, otherwise we would feel condemned (Romans 8:1) but we look to the blood of Jesus through which we are justified.

There is no way we would pay for our own sin. If we do not come to Jesus we forever carry the burden.  Jesus said that those who are heavy-laden (for example, in the area of guilt) should come to him and he will give them rest (Matthew 11:28-30) as nothing agitates more than sin, or the guilt of it.

Adam and Eve would have much to say about it. When they sinned they ran from God, they could not freely associate with him anymore (Genesis 3). But now in Jesus we can come to God without sin consciousness. Jesus takes care of it, we just receive the free gift of forgiveness of sin (Romans 5:15-18).

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