There are a couple of things that are claimed to be impossible for us to perform. It has been said that it is impossible to tickle yourself. It has also been said that it is impossible to move your leg in a clockwise circle and simultaneously draw a “6.” And it is also impossible to completely close your nose and say “Mmmmmm” at the same time for longer than 15seconds. After a couple of attempts, these might become possible. But in the previous lesson, entitled “107 – The Power of Sin”, we learnt that we are born as slaves to sin and therefore all that we ever can do is sin. There might be outward obedience, but never obedience from the heart. It is impossible for us to change our hearts. No matter how much we try, a slave of sin can never obey the Word of God. The good news is that the Bible teaches us that there is salvation from the slavery of sin (Romans 5:21).
1. Why are Jesus’ miracles recorded in the Bible?
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the _______, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
2. What was the main lesson Jesus taught through His miracles?
Mark 2:10-11 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to _____ ____, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
NOTE: Jesus healed people of their diseases and did many miracles when people exercised faith in the creative power of His Word. Jesus helped them in the things which they could see, and so inspired them to have confidence in His Word regarding things which they could not see – leading them to believe in His power to forgive sins. When Jesus forgives our sins, then we have life through His name.
3. What was Jesus’ mission?
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their _____
NOTE: Jesus came to save people from their sins and free His people from the bondage of sin. From the simple Bible account of how Jesus healed the sick, we can learn something about how to believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins. When Christ commanded the paralytic to walk, the paralytic could have waited for a sign or a feeling. But no, the paralytic believed the Word of Christ, believed that he was healed, and he made the effort at once. He willed to walk, and he did walk. He acted on the Word of Christ, and God gave the power. He was made whole. We might be able to walk, but there is a problem that all of humanity has in common at birth: We are all born as slaves to sin. We cannot take away our past sins, we cannot change our hearts and we cannot follow God’s Word. But Christ healed the paralytic in order to teach us how He will save us from the bondage of sin.
4. How does Jesus want to save us from the slavery of sin?
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be ______ ______, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
NOTE: We are born into this world as slaves to sin. Christ says when we are born again we will be part of His kingdom. Only those who are free from sin will enter His kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9). Thus it becomes easy to understand that those who are born again are free from sin. They do not serve sin.
5. What will we receive when we are born again?
Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new _____ also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
NOTE: When we are born again we will receive a new heart. God makes it clear that this heart will cause us to obey the Word of the Lord. We will be free from sin and we will be able to do what is right.
Romans 5:20-21 But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through ________________ unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
NOTE: We will receive a heart where grace reigns, and not sin. Grace will abound even more than sin, because there is much more power in grace than there is in sin. Since grace comes from God and sin comes from Satan, it becomes easy to understand that grace has much more power over sin just as God has much more power over Satan. In the previous lesson, “107 – The Power of Sin”, we learnt that there is power in sin to reign over man, and hold him under its dominion. And just as certainly is there power in grace to reign over sin, and hold man under the dominion of grace against all the power of sin. If the reign of sin was absolute, then the reign of grace will be absolute also. And that is why it is necessary to first understand the absolute power of sin, so that we can then understand the absolute power of grace. To all that are born again, God promises to provide a new heart that will be free from sin, and will serve righteousness only, as before they were free from righteousness and served sin only. Where sin gave no freedom, God gives freedom. And thus righteousness will only reign as long as we submit ourselves to God’s Word and live by every Word that proceeds out of God’s mouth.
6. How can we receive this new life from God?
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the _______ of God, which liveth and abideth for ever
NOTE: In the same way that the blind man received sight from Jesus, we will receive a new heart from God. Just as God’s Word told the paralytic to walk, so God’s Word has promised to give a new heart. If we believe the promise – believe that He will give us a new heart that is free from sin – God supplies the fact. We will receive the new heart, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it. This is what we learnt in lessons “102 – What is Faith?” and “103 – Living by Faith”. By exercising faith in God’s Word, He will create in us a new heart. We should not wait to feel or see that we have this new heart, but say, “I believe it; it is so, not because I feel it, but because God has promised.”
7. What is the Word that we need to believe if we want this new heart?
Romans 5:8-10 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ _______ for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
NOTE: The only way for us to be free from the slavery of sin, is to die. Christ, however, wants us alive. And so in the greatest demonstration of love that the universe has ever seen, the Creator offered up His life for the creature. To all those who accept this sacrifice, His blood redeems from sin. Those who accept this sacrifice therefore no longer belong to sin, but they belong to Christ. This is why Christ can forgive sin. What is the meaning of forgive? The word “forgive” is composed of “for” and “give,” or “give for”. To forgive is simply to give for. Christ can forgive sin, because He gave for sin. What did Christ give for sin? He gave His righteous life for sin. When Christ forgives, He gives righteousness for sin. Those who accept Christ’s death in their place experience forgiveness. Christ takes our sinful life, which He died for, and He gives us His righteous life in return. That is why the Bible teaches the following:
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but _______ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
NOTE: It does not say, “I want to be crucified with Christ.” It does not say, “I wish I were crucified with Christ, that He might live in me.” It does say, “I am crucified with Christ.” And now it is Christ that will live in us when we live by every Word that proceeds out of God’s mouth. In a previous lesson, “105 – In His Image”, we saw that living by faith in God’s Word will reflect God’s character in us. This is the purpose of our existence.
Romans 6:3-4, 6 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be ____________, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
NOTE: Those who exercise faith in this Word will no longer sin, because they are dead to sin (Romans 6:11). They cannot live in something that they are dead to, but will reflect the character of Christ, because they are alive to righteousness. As long as faith is exercised in God’s Word, Christ lives in us. Christ’s life and death thus not only gives pardon for the past, but it also gives power for the future. Christ’s thus dwells in His people through the exceedingly great and precious promises in His Word and His people become partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)
8. What happens when a person accepts and believes this promise from God?
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a _____ creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
NOTE: God’s Word has creative power. God’s creative Word creates a new creature. The things that they hated, they now will love. The things that they loved, they will now hate. That is why the gospel is the power of God (Romans 1:16). Psalm 33:9, “For he spake, and it was done.” Thus it was in creation. And thus it was in redemption. Just as God created the whole world from nothing, so He creates righteousness in a person where there is no righteousness at all. And so He is the same yesterday and today and forever. Always He is the Creator. And always He does all things by His Word only. And always He can do all things by His Word, because it is the very characteristic of the Word of God that it possesses creative power to fulfil itself.
All of us are born as helpless slaves of sin that do not reflect God’s glory. It is impossible for us to change our hearts. Why? Sin has supreme, sovereign, and absolute power over our lives. God can save us from the absolute power of sin. Christ came to teach us that, through His creative Word, He can replace the absolute power of sin with the absolute power of grace. Christ taught that the gift which God promises us, we must believe that we do receive it, and it is ours. It is not so because we feel it or see it, but because God promised it. God has promised to give us a new heart that will obey His Word. Just as God created the world from nothing, so God will create a new heart in us: by His Word. When we accept Christ’s sacrifice for us, then our sinful hearts are crucified with Christ, and Christ lives His righteous life in us by faith in His Word. It will be just as easy to do right under the reign of grace, as it was to do wrong under the reign of sin. The same power is used in both creation and redemption: God’s creative Word.
Are you willing to accept Christ’s death for you, and exercise faith in His Word so that He can live His righteous life in you?