Philip Wheeler recently wrote out some thoughts regarding the passage I preached from on Sunday, Matthew 9:1-8, the healing and forgiving of the paralyzed man. Philip's thoughts are from Mark's account, however, in the 2nd chapter. These are some really powerful thoughts. I encourage you to allow them to sink in.
Mark 2:7; Who are you to forgive sins?
In Job The Devil is named Satan. This means "Adversary". Usually people jump to the conclusion that this is a military term. It is not. It is a legal term. The defense attorney is the Advocate, the one who speaks for you. The prosecuting attorney is the Adversary, the one who speaks against you. He is your accuser. He is the one who points out your sins.
When the devil and angel appear on your shoulder, like in a movie, its not the angel telling you what you can't do, its the devil.
In Mark 6:7, Mark's version of the healing of the paralytic, the teachers of the law serve as the adversary. "Who are you to forgive sin?"
The devil is that whisper in the darkness of your heart that asks "Who are you?"
"Who are you to say you are a Christian? I know what sites you look at on the Internet."
"Who are you? I know what you call your coworker behind her back."
"Who are you? You don't give a proper tithe."
"Who are you to talk to your neighbor about Christ? You aren't a deacon, or evangelist, or missionary."
"Who are you to point out a friends error? You are not perfect yourself."
"Who are you to try to feed the hungry or clothe the needy? You are one person, you can't save them all."
"Who are you? You are just a soundguy, just a techguy, just a musician, just a nursery worker, just an usher, just a setup person, just a pastor."
"Who are you? You got distracted during the sermon today."
"Who are you? You are helpless. You are hopeless."
This is the voice of Satan, the Adversary, telling us we have to be something else before we can be a Christian. Telling us we have to be better before we can be a Christian. Telling us we are just not worth it. Telling us we are not worthy.
However, remember, Christ says "Your sins are forgiven." You are not what you do. You are not what you try to be. You are His. He doesn't say after you fix up your act you will be forgiven. He doesn't say you will be forgiven if you work at it. He says you ARE forgiven.
He encourages. He heals. He sends people to support you on your journey.
You can do it.