Sound Doctrine - Titus 2:1

The Great Physician

Bryan Matthew Dockens


"Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.' And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, 'This Man blasphemes!' But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, 'Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins' - then He said to the paralytic, 'Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.' And he arose and departed to his house. Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men" (Matthew 9:2-8).

As is evident from the preceding passage, the physical healing accomplished in miracles was hardly the point of performing such signs and wonders. The purpose was to demonstrate to the witnesses a deeper spiritual truth. The deeper truth is that Christ "has power... to forgive sins".

In this and many other instances Jesus caused the lame to walk. This was done to prove He is capable of providing a new walk to those who have been crippled by sin: "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

On so many occasions Jesus caused the blind to see (Matthew 9:27-30; 20:29-34; Mark 8:22-25; John 9:1-7). He opened their eyes that those who have been blinded by iniquity (2 Corinthians 4:3-4) might have the eyes of their understanding enlightened (Ephesians 1:18), desiring that we "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).

More than once Jesus raised the dead to life again (Luke 6:12-15; 8:49- 55; John 11:38-44). In doing so, He proved that those who will die to sin, being buried in baptism, shall be raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12).

Truly, "Jesus of Nazareth... went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38). He still does!


Four Thieves Of The Crucifixion

Gary Puryear


The thief who regretted (John 12:6). Oh the advantages Judas had! He had been selected by Jesus to be an apostle, was entrusted by his peers with the position of treasurer, and observed many of the Lord's miracles (Matthew 11:5). It was this Judas who betrayed the Lord for money. His betrayal turned to regret (Matthew 27:3), but rather than look forward to forgiveness, he only looked back and hanged himself. True repentance means more than feeling sorry for a wrong. It is the desire to change and do better (2 Corinthians 7:10).

The thief who was replaced. It was customary to release a prisoner at the Passover. Thus Pilate offered the crowd either Jesus or Barabbas. They requested the notorious murderer and robber released rather than Jesus (Matthew 27:15-16). Barabbas had someone else, Jesus, take his punishment for him. Barabbas could say that Jesus died in his place. Of course, we can say it, too (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)!

The thief who rebelled. At first both thieves crucified with Christ spoke against Him (Matthew 27:41-44), but only one kept on doing it (Luke 23:39). This thief remained impenitent because he forgot God, ignored death at hand, and justly deserved what he was receiving (Luke 23:40- 41). This man died in a state of rebellion in spite of the rebuke and repentance of the other thief and a Savior close at hand.

The thief who repented. This thief had a change of heart (Luke 23:40-43). In his agony he looked to the Savior and admitted his sinfulness and Jesus' innocence (Luke 23:41-42). His repentance did not bring escape from death but did bring relief and fellowship with Jesus in the next life (Luke 23:43). He did what the Lord asked him to do, and in that sense he is an example to us.

All of us are represented by one of these thieves. Have you let Jesus down? Have you allowed Jesus to take your place? Are you rebellious? Have you repented? Which are you?


Sodium

Author Unknown

Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in combined form; it always links itself to another element. Chlorine, on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives bleach its offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined, the result is sodium chloride - common table salt - a substance to preserve meat and bring out its flavor.

Love and truth can be like sodium and chloride. Love without truth is flighty, sometimes blind, willing to combine with various doctrines. On the other hand, truth by itself can be offensive. Spoken without love, it can turn people away from the gospel.

When faith and love are combined in an individual or a church, then we have what Jesus called "the salt of the earth", and we're able to preserve and bring out the beauty of our faith.

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