Open your Bible, if you will, to Mark chapter 2 and we are going to embark upon the opening twelve verses of this chapter, one of the more wonderful and memorable stories of the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus. Before we look at the account of these twelve verses, however, I want to get a little bit of a running start.
It may seem like a question with an obvious answer, but sometimes things aren't as obvious as they ought to be for some, so let me ask it anyway. What is the most distinctive benefit that Christianity has to offer the world? What is the most distinctive benefit that Christianity has to offer the world? I suppose there would be a lot of suggested answers. There are some people who think the great legacy of Christianity is a kind of morality, a kind of ethical approach to life. There are others who think that the great legacy of Christianity is that it provides a certain kind of love and sacrificial affection for people, social responsibility. Others think that it provides a kind of tranquility in life that they call peace. There are some who think that what Christianity really offers people is fulfillment in life, or sense of satisfaction, or purpose. Summing it all up, there are folks who think that Christianity's greatest benefit is to provide people a measure of religious happiness.
Well, I would agree with you that there is contained in the pages of Scripture a moral standard, an ethical standard. I agree with you that Christians are marked by love and peace and happiness. I agree with you that Christians express social responsibility based upon a higher motivation than any other people and there is amazing fulfillment, purpose and satisfaction in Christianity. But none of those is the great benefit of Christianity, those are simply by-products of the great benefit....