The story of the cripple man provides an illustration of TRUE conversion.
1. The person by faith comes to Jesus and is saved by grace.
Mk 2:5-12 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.”
2. Skeptics cast doubt upon the Messiah, His message, and the man.
“But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?”
3. A transformed life provides the proof of salvation and the power of God.
“But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all”
LESSON - Beware Decisionism. That’s a term that I use to describe a person who wants to go to heaven, but does not desire a transformative relationship with Jesus. Do not offer someone a watered-down Gospel presentation and a quick sinners prayer. That does not lead to true conversion OR a changed life. It just leads to frustration for the one who prays the Sinner’s Prayer and discouragement to the Christian who shares his faith but never sees life transformation in those with whom he shares. Make sure people understand that salvation is about a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ made possible by grace alone through faith. Have them count the cost of repentance and following Jesus Christ before they say a Sinners Prayer. Only then will this new convert be able to withstand the criticism of skeptics, stand, and walk with the Lord.