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Whatever it Takes Luke 5;17-26 062407

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Whatever it Takes (Luke 5:17-26)

 

Intro:  Do you really want the church to grow? Church growth is not about money, buildings, our plans, or our dreams. It is about sinners being saved by Jesus and becoming fruit, bearing disciples of Jesus.

    The growth of any church is determined by the mindset of the people. If we have an attitude of pride, apathy, laziness, negativity or critical attitude, we will never be all that God wants us to be. The reality we must face as a church is that we are not reaching the younger generations. I am not saying we reach no young people, but I am saying that we are not reaching most or even a significant amount. 4% does not cut it. We’ve got to do better. We have got to allow God to change our mindset. We need an attitude adjustment. A wrong attitude will lead to wrong actions or activities. 

    The men who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus are an example of the right attitude leading to the right action, resulting in a great move of God – a sinner saved and healed by Jesus.

   

    Give Background.  Read Luke 5:17-26

 

Eight Realities that are Clear from the Text

·   The Atmosphere of the Scene – electric; power to heal with Jesus (17)

·   The Man’s condition – Paralyzed (18)

·   The Friends’ concern  (18-19)

·   Jesus’ power to forgive (20)

·   Jesus’ unique connection to God (21-24a)

·   Jesus’ power to forgive and His unique connection to God are confirmed by the healing of the paralyzed man (24b-25c)

·   The crowds’, that is each individual in the crowd’s, choice to reject Jesus as a blasphemer (like the religious leaders), or receive Jesus as sent by God, filled with the power of God, and uniquely connected to God (21, 26)

·   Jesus’ works of teaching, healing, and forgiving all brought glory to God through the amazement and praise of the crowd (25d-26)

All of these 8 realities are clearly taught in the passage. Of course, the focus of the passage is Jesus Christ. The story tells us something very important about who Jesus is, yet there is an application to be made of this story in the attitude and actions of the men who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus.

    I believe that in the example of these men, we are to see a picture of how believers should be burdened for the lost. We need a “whatever it takes attitude.”

 

    If we are to have a “Whatever it Takes” attitude, then …

1.       We must understand the work of leading others to Christ. We have to have an attitude of working together to win souls. With this man, it took four. Not all are saved one to one. Whether he/she be family, friend, acquaintance or foe, would that we might band ourselves together for the lost soul.

2.       We believe that there is no hope for the lost and dying, but Jesus. Whatever it takes does not mean that we get to change the message. Share the Gospel.

a.        Only Jesus has the power to save sinners

b.       Only Jesus can forgive sinners 

c.        Only Jesus can heal the entire body and soul.

3.       We don’t make excuses for others or for ourselves. Instead, we do something.

a.        That person is too Sick or That person is too Sinful

b.       I am too busy and I am too afraid.

c.        I might mess up.

d.       Don’t make excuses for others. They’re too busy, etc.

 

4.       We don’t give up when it is difficult. Instead, we go to extreme measures to make an eternal impact on some one’s life.

a.        Persistent

b.        Creative Means

c.       New Methods – bring the man through the roof was no ordinary means, yet…

ILL: Extreme Makeover “Home Edition”; John Wesley was ridiculed for preaching in the open air; so was George Whitfield. Others were scolded for preaching in the theaters of London. We may do things that men may criticize, yet if God be blessed to the saving of souls then may we take joy in the criticism of the Pharisee and scribes.

 

5.       We don’t expect someone else to bring people to Christ.  Instead, we, individually, must be concerned enough for someone else to try to win them to Jesus.

Question: How many of you would say it is your responsibility to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ? If you answer no, then you are either:

1) Lost, 2) Unlearned, 3) Deceived, or 4) Disobedient!

a.        Concern that leads to sympathy – a heart warmed by compassion.

b.       Concern that leads to apathy – a heart hardened by excuses.

c.        Concern that leads to empathy – a heart moved to action.

ILL: Pastors don’t grow churches, God grows churches and He uses all of God’s people in a church. The attitude I am talking about is one where we are all committed to God and to each other. We are all participating, serving, giving, growing, and going.

 

6.       We must live by faith. This sums up their example.

a.        They did not know for certain that they could get to Jesus. They acted in faith.

b.       They did not know for certain that Jesus would heal the man. They acted in faith.

c.        They did not know for certain that they could get through the roof.

They acted by faith.

ILL: Faith leads people to do amazing things. Example of Jerry Falwell.  

App: By faith, we can be all that God wants us to be. By faith we can do what God calls us to do. By faith, we can overcome any obstacle in our way. By faith, we can allow God to transform our mindset and attitude so we can win the lost. By faith, we can win a generation that everyone says we are going to lose.

Conclusion: Ultimately an attitude of “Whatever it Takes,” represents a person who is completely surrendered to God.

Invitation: Christian how is your faith today, how is your attitude today, are you ready to be used by God, then surrender everything to Him; Stop playing around with God; Stop playing church; Stop making excuses and start by making a commitment to put Jesus first in your life; Just think what your missing; Just think what our church is missing because we’ve allowed ourselves to get stuck in our religious ruts.

 Baptism; Church Membership; The call.

The duties that are taught us, and recommended to us, by this story.

(1.) In our applications to Christ, we must be very pressing and urgent: that is an evidence of faith, and is very pleasing to Christ and prevailing with him. They that were the friends of this sick man sought means to bring him in before Christ (Luke 5:18); and, when they were baffled in their endeavour, they did not give up their cause; but when they could not get in by the door, it was so crowded, they untiled the house, and let the poor patient down through the roof, into the midst before Jesus, Luke 5:19. In this Jesus Christ saw their faith, Luke 5:20. Now here he has taught us (and it were well if we could learn the lesson) to put the best construction upon words and actions that they will bear.

(2.) When we are sick, we should be more in care to get our sins pardoned than to get our sickness removed. Christ, in what he said to this man, taught us, when we seek to God for health, to begin with seeking to him for pardon.                                       (3.) The mercies which we have the comfort of God must have the praise of. The man departed to his own house, glorifying God, Luke 5:25. To him belong the escapes from death, and in them therefore he must be glorified. (4.) The miracles which Christ wrought were amazing to those that saw them, and we ought to glorify God in them, Luke 5:26. They said, “We have seen strange things to-day, such as we never saw before, nor our fathers before us; they are altogether new.” But they glorified God, who had sent into their country such a benefactor to it; and were filled with fear, with a reverence of God, with a jealous persuasion that this was the Messiah and that he was not treated by their nation as he ought to be, which might prove in the end the ruin of their state; perhaps they were some such thoughts as these that filled them with fear, and a concern likewise for themselves.  Matthew Henry

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