“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him, everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Paul did not lay his hands on the crippled man at Lystra to heal him. The faith to be healed came from just listening to Paul preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and when he simply responded to the apostle’s command to stand up, he was healed. While what Paul preached to the man was not recorded for us, we do have one of Paul’s sermons recorded word for word for us by the Holy Spirit in the preceding chapter (Acts 13:16–41). And the highlight or climax of that sermon is found in today’s Scripture.
Now, listen carefully to this: the power of the gospel that Paul preached to the crippled man is found in the forgiveness of all your sins for “everyone who believes.” There is no other qualification for being forgiven of all your sins. The old covenant was based on justification by works (obedience to the Ten Commandments). You had to perform to be forgiven. But the new covenant of grace is based entirely on justification by faith (believing in Jesus Christ). Can you see the radical difference? The demand is no longer on you but on Christ. This is the good news: all who believe in Jesus receive the forgiveness of all their sins and are justified from all things! Good news? Hallelujah! There is no better news than this!
We have experienced this time and again in our church services. As people are sitting in the service and hearing the gospel of grace and Jesus’ finished work being preached, healing miracles break forth!
This has happened not just in our church services, but also in other places. One of my dear friends, Marcel Gaasenbeek, shared with me a wonderful healing miracle that took place in his car as he was driving to Romania with a few friends. Marcel is a pastor of a dynamic grace church in Holland, and on this particular day, he was on his way to Romania for a preaching engagement. He was listening to one of my sermons in his car, something that he did often.
Lulled by the monotony of the long drive, one of Marcel’s friends dozed off in the backseat. This friend had been involved in a jet ski accident some years ago, and since then he often suffered sharp pains in his back. Somehow, through the fog of sleep, he heard me preach this: “Jesus has already healed you and the devil is the one giving you lying symptoms in your body.” He said “Amen!” in his heart, agreeing that Jesus had already healed him by taking his sin and bearing his sicknesses and pains on the cross. At that moment, he felt the power of God go through him, and he was completely healed! All the pain in his back was gone!
That’s the power of hearing and hearing the gospel of Jesus. That’s how faith comes! The more of Jesus you hear, the more of His grace you receive. The more revelation you get of His finished work, the more you will receive an impartation of faith for any situation, even the seemingly impossible ones!