Amplified Bible (AMP)
4 And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had [a]scooped out an opening, they let down the [[b]thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven [you] and put away [that is, the [c]penalty is remitted, the sense of guilt removed, and you are made upright and in right standing with God].
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, holding a dialogue with themselves as they questioned in their hearts,
7 Why does this [d]Man talk like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins [[e]remove guilt, remit the penalty, and bestow righteousness instead] except God alone?
The most compelling parts of this story are these:
a) The man never asked for forgiveness;
b) The man did not have faith;
c) The friends of this man had faith;
d) He did not heal the man or forgave that man because he had faith or repented;
e) He forgave the man of his sins outside the temple/church; and
f) The greek there for ‘forgiveness’ is not only to forgive sins but to bestow righteousness.
This really throws the spanner to our understanding of forgiveness.
Now let us look at this.
24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for and expecting them, and he had invited together his relatives and his intimate friends.
25 As Peter arrived, Cornelius met him, and falling down at his feet he made obeisance and paid worshipful reverence to him.
26 But Peter raised him up, saying, Get up; I myself am also a man.
27 And as [Peter] spoke with him, he entered the house and found a large group of persons assembled;
28 And he said to them, You yourselves are aware how it is not lawful or permissible for a Jew to keep company with or to visit or [even] to come near or to speak first to anyone of another nationality, but God has shown and taught me by words that I should not call any human being common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean.
29 Therefore when I was sent for, I came without hesitation or objection or misgivings. So now I ask for what reason you sent for me.
30 And Cornelius said, This is now the fourth day since about this time I was observing the ninth hour (three o’clock in the afternoon) of prayer in my lodging place; [suddenly] a man stood before me in dazzling apparel,
31 And he said, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and harkened to, and your donations to the poor have been known and [c]preserved before God [so that He heeds and is about to help you].
32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is surnamed Peter; he is staying in the house of Simon the tanner by the seaside.
33 So at once I sent for you, and you [being a Jew] have done a kind and [d]courteous and handsome thing in coming. Now then, we are all present in the sight of God to listen to all that you have been instructed by the Lord to say.
34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,
35 But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and [e]sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].
36 You know the contents of the message which He sent to Israel, announcing the good news (Gospel) of peace by Jesus Christ, Who is Lord of all—
37 The [same] message which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism preached by John—
38 How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, [f]in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him.
39 And we are [eye and ear] witnesses of everything that He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And [yet] they put Him out of the way (murdered Him) by hanging Him on a tree;
40 But God raised Him to life on the third day and caused Him to be manifest (to be plainly seen),
41 Not by all the people but to us who were chosen (designated) beforehand by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
42 And He charged us to preach to the people and to bear solemn testimony that He is the God-appointed and God-ordained Judge of the living and the dead.
43 To Him all the prophets testify (bear witness) that everyone who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him, giving himself up to Him] receives forgiveness of sins through His name.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL who were listening to the message.
45 And the believers from among the circumcised [the Jews] who came with Peter were surprised and amazed, because the free gift of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed and poured out largely even on the Gentiles.
46 For they heard them talking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and extolling and magnifying God. Then Peter asked,
47 Can anyone forbid or refuse water for baptizing these people, seeing that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?
48 And he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). Then they begged him to stay on there for some days.
The most compelling parts of this story are these:
a) Many people argued that Cornelius was a good man and hence that was how he got saved. Look carefully. Everyone there was saved;
b) There were no sinners’ prayers made;
c) There was no repentance of sins;
d) There was no asking for forgiveness;
e) Peter got these people saved despite it being unlawful under the law of Moses to do so;
f) Everyone LISTENING not asking got saved; and
g) There was an announcement about sins forgiven!
This really throws a spanner in the works about how we perceive salvation.
We really ought to rethink our faith. The above incidents just threw a spanners in works salvation.