“WHEN JESUS saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven. I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2: 5; 11, 12).
In the last week’s edition, we learnt that sin is a master. Yes, it is a master of the worldly masters; sin is no respecter of any person or race. It controls the rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. The grievous disease of the world is not bodily but spiritual. Nonetheless, the world considers HIV AIDS, Cancer, Ebola, Malaria and others as the greatest ailments of humanity. And this is a fact, but may not be true.
Now, the underlying cause of many diseases of the human body can be traced to the disease of the human soul. That was what the Lord Jesus Christ dealt with when He healed the paralyzed man of his paralysis as we read in the above scriptural verse. Christ first healed the man of the disease of the soul – sin, which resulted in the healing of the disease of the body – paralysis. This clearly shows that the paralysis the man suffered had spiritual root – sin.
Unfortunately, this approach to healing is alien and inapplicable to modern science. Secular science does not recognize the reality of the disease of the soul to deal with it. This may be the reason science is unable to completely eradicate diseases of the body from the society. I thank God for science by which various drugs, medicines and sophisticated equipment have been manufactured for the treatment of diseases of the body.
However, we can see that the more strides science makes in finding medical solutions to diseases, the more new complicated diseases emerge throughout the world even in the technologically advanced and developed nations. In fact, many of the diseases are beyond medical diagnoses and treatment. Now, does this mean science has failed? By no means! How can science be a failure since by it many lives are saved daily?
However, the truth is: so long as the devil, the author of sin and his cohorts are in the world, diseases will always be present in the world. If you will be fair-minded and free from religious prejudice, you can clearly see that many diseases are caused and rooted in man’s acts of lawlessness or wrongdoing which is termed as sin. And these evil acts men and women do are influenced by malevolent spiritual forces.
Now, the diseases of the body and soul will always be in the world until the end of the age, when the eternal King of kings, Jesus Christ, will judge the world in righteousness, save people who believed in Him and destroy the devil, the author of sin and all wickedness, and restore a new heaven and earth in which righteousness reigns (2 Peter 3: 13).
Currently, however, Jesus Christ is breaking the power of the disease of the soul – sin in the lives of those who believe in Him, and setting them free. He heals by the power of His sinless blood. And until Christ returns, farmers, fishermen, lawyers, architects, medical practitioners, journalists and others who have gladly responded to the call of God to preach the death and resurrection of Christ, will proclaim the message of salvation to everyone throughout the world.
We do this by the Spirit of Christ, and with the understanding that man cannot by his self-effort release himself from the slavery of sin. He may try to but will fail. The apostle Paul found himself in this situation before he believed in Jesus Christ and was set free. His letters of encouragement, warning, instruction and testimony of Jesus Christ to Christians tell it all. To the Romans, he wrote:
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” (Romans 7: 18- 20, ESV).
Now, the only way to be set free from the slavery of sin to slavery of righteousness is to believe in Jesus Christ and commit to the teaching of His Word. Scripture further says, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6: 17-18).
We are truly slaves of righteousness if we abide in the Word of Christ, continue in it, meditate in it and obey it. In John 8: 30- 35, Jesus Christ said when we continue or abide in His Word, we will know the truth, that is, the truth of the gospel, what His death, burial and resurrection accomplished for us, and the truth will set us free from the bondage of sin. And freedom from the slavery of sin leads to slavery of righteousness.
FROM James Quansah, Kumasi