2 When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. 2 Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven." 6 But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, 7 “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” 8 Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts?9 Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? 10 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11 “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 12 And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!” Mark 2:1-12.
I often hear these statements from students, “I cannot wait to grow up!” or “I cannot wait to receive my license and graduate!” We all face milestones in our lives, whether that is your first steps, bike ride or college graduation. What does a growing faith look like? Is growing in our faith just a class, memorizing scripture, or church attendance? To have faith in God we must STOP having faith in our own power.
What does growing faith look like?
Growing faith is active (v. 3-4) "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:17
The four men cared about their friend. They cared more about a person than a building. Jesus did not come to establish a building of people who look, smell and act like each other. He came to set the captives free ! Faith is moving from knowing facts to trusting a person.
Growing faith is believing (v. 5) "Without faith it is impossible to please God" Hebrews 11:6.
Jesus “saw their faith.” Too many people live as practical atheists. They recognize God, even call themselves Christians, but their lifestyle screams that God does not exist. Faith is moving from knowing to doing. They are intimately connected. A growing faith grows from impersonal to personal. It is placing all of who you are into all of who God is. It is surrendering our all into the hands of Jesus.
Growing faith is visible (8-12)
The four men refused to give up hope for their friend! We need to reach out to the world and not get so focused upon ourselves. What you and I do with our life REVEALS who or what we put our faith in. Are we known for our undying and unrelenting faith? Does your faith cost you anything?
God wants to build our faith. The greater the faith, the greater the relationship!