Faithlife Sermons

God Helps the Helpless

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Jesus Goes To the Sick and Hurting

Jesus goes to a man who had been ill for 38 years. There were several there that were sick, but Jesus went to the one who had been sick for 38 years. The question we must ask is why did He pick this guy. Could it possibly be that this man was hopeless and unable to help himself?
This is indicated by his answer that he had no one to help him in the water. This man had probably been coming to this pool for years only to find that the healing that he wanted, he could not get because there was no one there to help him. This must have been very frustrating and discouraging. This man had no hope in getting well with the existing situation.

We are like this man when it comes to our spiritual condition

We are sin sick and there is no one that can help us from our sickness. There are two elements of our sickness: original sin and total depravity.
John, Volumes 1 & 2 Man’s Spiritual Inability

Two doctrines that deal with this problem are original sin and total depravity. Original sin is not an event but a condition. The Bible teaches that our first parents fell into sin and that as a result the human race was corrupted. One result is that men and women in their fallen state are not able to believe God’s Word. Paul explains, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). What is true of our intellect is true also of our will. Romans 8:7–8 says, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Note that the Scripture states not merely that sinful men and women will not or do not understand spiritual things, submit to God, or please God. More than that, the Bible asserts that in our fallen state we cannot do so. This is the state of original sin in which we were all born. Psalm 51:5 says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (NIV). Original sin means that we are sinners not because we have sinned, but because our first parents made us sinners, our nature having been corrupted by their rebellion.

This is the spiritual condition depicted by these people at the pool of Bethesda. Just as they were physically disabled, we are spiritually disabled. But, one might ask, how much are we affected by sin? What is the extent of our corruption? The answer is given by the doctrine of total depravity. The Bible teaches that sin has corrupted us thoroughly, comprehensively, and totally. This does not mean that there is nothing good about us, or that we are as bad as we might be. We could always be worse! Rather, it affirms the Bible’s teaching that there is no human faculty that is not fatally corrupted by sin.

Jesus is the only One that can heal us of our spiritual disease.

Do You Want To Get Well?

Jesus asks the man if he wanted to get well. This seems like a rhetorical question, however it is deeper than one may think. Jesus is asking a man that has no hope. Perhaps he has gotten used to being paralyzed and comfortable with his lifestyle. If he got well he would probably have to go to work to provide for his family. He would no longer be able to rely on the generosity of others for his food. He would have to work for it.
Another aspect is that he would have to have hope in order to receive the blessing.

Jesus asks us the same question when it comes to our sin.

He asks us if we want to get well. One would think that they would want to get out of the grip that sin has in their lives, but they have gotten comfortable in their sin. They do not want to change because they enjoy where they are in their sin.
Many people fail to come to faith in Jesus Christ because they love their sin more than they love the Lord.
19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” John 3:19-21
This is what makes salvation so difficult. People want the blessings of Christ without giving up the sinfulness of life. They have one foot in the world and one foot in the church. Christ desires and demands all of you. If you want healing, you must repent of your sin and trust in Jesus for forgiveness of sin and salvation.

Healing Requires Faith

When the man gave Jesus an excuse as to why he couldn’t get well, Jesus told the man to pick up his matt and walk. This man had not walked in thirty eight years. Can you imagine what is going through this mans mind when Jesus told him to do this. He could have come up with 100 excuses. “I don’t know how, I don’t think I can, It will rake me some time, I don’t have any one to catch me if I fall, What if I try and I can’t, people will just laugh at me.”
This man trusted Jesus when He said pick up your matt and go home. The Bible says IMMEDIATELY the man got up and walked.

Jesus calls us into the impossible.

When it comes to the forgiveness of sins we come to a crisis of belief. When we asses our sin it is natural to question if Jesus is able to forgive us of our sins. this is because we don’t think we can forgive ourselves. It requires faith to realize that what Jesus did on the cross is enough to pay for any sin we have ever committed or will ever commit.
Jesus also calls us into ministries that are bigger than we think. He will always call us into something outside our comfort zone. We can either come up with excuses as to why we can’t or be like this man and IMMEDIATELY step out in faith and do the calling He calls us to.

Staying Well Requires Personal Holiness

Jesus approached this man after he was healed and told him not to sin anymore or something worse would happen. This man could have recieved the physical blessing of Jesus and went back to his old sinful way of life. Jesus warned him that if he did, something worse would happen. That is that he would end up in hell.
Many people when they “ask Jesus into their heart” return to their old way of life. They fail to repent of their sin and fall back into it. They have had an emotional experience and not a conversion. When a person is saved they are converted. Does this mean that they will not ever sin again? No! But what it does mean is that they follow Jesus through the disciplines of the faith.
Staying well is not just a matter of winging it. You must be intentional in following Jesus. You must spend time in His word daily, pray daily, serve , fast, meditate, and give. There are many other things that you can do to maintain spiritual health. Richard Foster does one of the most comprehensive books on this subject.
1. Meditation
3. Prayer
4. Fasting
5. Study
6. Simplicity
7. Solitude
8. Submission
9. Service
10. Confession
11. Worship
12. Guidance
13. Celebration
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