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FAITH IN ACTION!

by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, September 24, 2011

“And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:2-5).


Jesus had just begun His Galilean ministry. Already great multitudes had come to hear Him preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick. His disciples told Him, “All men seek for thee” (Mark 1:37). He was preaching in Peter’s house. News traveled quickly, and the house was now soon packed with people. Four men attempted to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus for healing and salvation. But the crowd was so big they couldn’t get into the house. They didn’t give up. Out of love and desperation, they thought of another way. They carried him up to the top of the house. They removed the roof. Then they lowered him down where Jesus was.

“Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5).

Notice the love of these men for their paralyzed friend. They stopped at nothing to bring him to Jesus. Witness the faith of these men that stirred them to action. All of their actions spoke of their great faith in Jesus and what He would do for their friend. Theirs was a living and dynamic faith. Let this passage put to rest that there is nothing we can do to be a means of grace in a sinner’s conversion. There is much we can learn here.

I. First, in faith bring the lost to church.

These men had real living faith. They firmly believed that if their paralyzed friend was brought to Jesus, he would be healed and saved. Their faith led to vibrant action for the salvation of their friend.

The paralyzed man was brought to Jesus. He heard Jesus preach, received healing, and was converted. That’s exactly the same reason we must bring the lost into our church! They will hear Gospel preaching and have an opportunity to be converted. We must have faith that God will bless our efforts. If we have no faith that God will use us, we will have no zeal. We will fail in bringing anyone in. Faith is what will move us to bring in the lost. Faith is God’s gift to us. Let us pray for more of it.

Real faith is accompanied by real work and real action in bringing the lost to church to hear the Gospel.

“Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5).

You must not think that your attempts to bring people to church will be fruitless. If you think that, you will never win a soul! Of course, not everyone that you attempt to bring to church will come. But some will. You must pray and serve God believing that those who are among the elect will be saved when you bring them in. You must have faith that God will use you to bring people in. If you lack this faith, ask God to give you faith. If you have a measure of faith, ask God for more. And then go out to bring in the lost believing that God will use you. Expect God to help you win a soul. William Carey, the “Father of Modern Missions,” said,

“Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”

That’s what these four men did, and “Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5).

These men worked together with one mind and one accord. This is the New Testament method of working together in the local church to bring in lost souls. There were no arguments among these four men. They worked together to bring their friend to Jesus. They worked together with one mind and with one purpose. That is the New Testament method that God blesses in the conversion of the lost.

These men did the work of the ministry. It takes many of us working together in the local church to bring a soul to Christ. But in the end God must bless and “give the increase” for a soul to be converted. The apostle Paul said,

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase
       (I Corinthians 3:6). ”

We see the work these four men did when they brought their friend to Christ. One is not mentioned more than the other. In fact, the Bible does not even record their names. It took the great effort and complete cooperation of all four men to bring their friend to Christ. And so it is with us. All of us must work very hard and work together to bring in lost souls. God will reward us for our labors.

II. Second, have faith to bring in the lost in spite of difficulties.

“And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay” (Mark 2:4).

They thought, “We must bring our friend to Jesus.” It seemed impossible. The house was jam-packed, and they could not even enter the door. The crowd did not care about their friend. The crowd did not make room for them. The crowd did not care that they were having difficulties. Things appeared hopeless. But their faith overcame these problems! Faith does not give up. Faith continues on.

Spurgeon said,

It was the presence of Jesus which excited victorious courage in the four bearers of the palsied man: is not the Lord among us now? . . . Have we felt His healing power in our own souls? If so, then through door, through window, or through roof, let us, breaking through all impediments, labour to bring poor souls to Jesus (Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, Mark 2:4, September 7th, Zondervan Publishing House, 1948).

These men knew it would be hard to get their friend to Jesus. They climbed to the top of the house. They broke open the roof. They lowered their friend to Jesus.

III. Third, have faith to bring the lost to Jesus.

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:5).

This palsied man would never have been able come to Jesus if his friends had not brought him. Isn’t that true of you, too? Wasn’t there someone in your life that brought you to church to hear the Gospel? Where would you be today if not for the faith and work of that person?

“Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5).

Oh, that we might have faith like these men! Oh, may our faith and works be powerful and wonderfully used of God to bring in the lost! If you don’t have that much faith, pray to God and ask for it! That’s what the apostles did. They said to the Lord, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). Ask God to increase your faith, and He will do it!

Do you have a lost family member or friend that you can bring to church? Do you have a lost family or friend in need of hearing the Gospel? I know you have tried before and they have not come in. But have you honestly tried as hard as these men did? Do you have their same measure of faith that refuses to accept failure? May God give you this great faith. Then let nothing stop you in bringing souls in. If you feel that you don’t have this level of faith then pray for it. Think much of the love of God in Christ and His mercy toward sinners. Think of the great need of your family and friends to hear the Gospel preached. Think of their lost condition, their condemnation, and their need for conversion. Go out and bring them in! Let nothing stop you from bringing them in. Not discouragement. Not difficulties. May all of us work hard together and have this victorious faith to bring the lost in. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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THE OUTLINE OF

FAITH IN ACTION!

by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan

“Jesus saw their faith” (Mark 2:5).

(Mark 1:37)

I.   First, in faith bring the lost to church, I Corinthians 3:6.

II.  Second, have faith to bring in the lost in spite of difficulties,
Mark 2:4.

III. Third, have faith to bring the lost to Jesus, Luke 17:5.