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New Hope Christian Fellowship

Acquiring Spiritual Sight

ACQUIRING SPIRITUAL SIGHT

INTRODUCTION

            I’d like to begin out time together in God’s Word by relating a true story to you about a man who has the ability to give man sight.  C. P. Hia, a writer for RBC Ministries relates the following story in the May 20th 2009 devotion of Our Daily Bread:

Sanduk Ruit is a Nepalese doctor who has used his scalpel, microscope, and simplified cataract surgery technique to give sight to almost 70,000 people over the past 23 years. The poorest patients who visit his nonprofit eye center in Katmandu pay with just their gratitude.[1]

BACKGROUND

            The apostle John wrote his gospel to validate through many witnesses that Jesus is the Messiah sent by God to save those who would believe in His name and abide in Him.  In the process, he also points out the attitude and behavior of those who chose not to believe in Christ.  One of the specific aspects of Jesus’ ministry was to give sight to those who were physically blind.  Additionally, Jesus gave spiritual sight to those who believed in His claim to be the Son of God.  John 9 relates a wonderful example of how God draws people to Himself through Christ.  The first 34 verses relate the experiences of a man who had been physically healed by Jesus.  Though the miracle he experienced was questioned by everyone to the point of the man being verbally persecuted, the man’s resolve did not change in regards to what Jesus had done for him.  Because of his testimony for Christ, the man was put out of the synagogue (Vs. 34).  This leads us into our text for today.  If you have your Bibles with you, turn with me to John 9:35-41.

SCRIPTURE:            John 9:35-41

PRAYER

CTS:   How can one receive spiritual sight?

Spiritual sight is acquired by:

I.          GOD’S INITIATIVE (VV. 35-38)

Explanation

The First 34 verses of Chapter 9 demonstrate how God begins to draw someone to Christ.  Jesus gave attention to the man that the works of God may be carried out in the man’s life (Vs. 3).  This man has gone through much.  At this point and time, he has been cast out of the synagogue, being cut off from any affiliation with his people.  I am sure he felt loneliness.  Putting it another way, he had been rejected by this world because of his testimony for Christ.

Verse 35 gives some indication as to how God cares for those who are willing to take a stand for their faith in Christ.  It tells us that after the man had been cast out of the synagogue; Jesus came looking for him (Vs. 35).  He did not go looking for Jesus.  Jesus had a reason for seeking this man out.  It was His intention to give this man a sight he had not experienced yet, an eternal one.  As verse 35 indicates, Jesus asked the man if he believed in the Son of Man.  We can see here that man is not the initiator of faith in God.  Romans 3:10-12 relates the idea that man, in and of himself, does not desire a relationship with God.  Man desires to please himself alone.  This takes away from the human concept that man is the one who determines whether he wants to know God or not.  If God initiates salvation, God is the One who preserves it.

Verse 36 reveals the attitude of the man’s heart.  He wants to know who the Son of Man is so that he can properly believe in Him.  The man desires the spiritual sight Jesus is offering him.  Jesus doesn’t withhold the answer.  He tells the man that he has already seen Him and it is the same one whom the man is talking to (Vs. 37).  The man now had a clear understanding of who he was suppose to believe in.

Verse 38 provides the proper response of the man’s new found knowledge.  He said “I believe.”  Upon his confession of faith, the man worshipped Jesus.  It is important to note the significance of this man’s actions.  No other man or angel has been worshipped.  When people have tried to do so in scripture, they were rebuked by the individual and told to worship God alone.  This was not the case with Jesus.  Jesus did not rebuke or refuse the man’s efforts.

Illustration

            Acts 10:1-5, 24-26, 44-46 – Here we see how a lost Gentile was attempting to worship God without having a relationship with Christ.  Though he did not know Christ personally, he had the desire to know Him.  God provided the way for Cornelius to know Him, and Cornelius responded.

Application

            The point of application for you and me is to understand and remember that there is nothing you and I can do to establish our relationship with God outside of doing so through Christ.  God is the initiator of such a relationship.

 

II.        YOUR BEING BLIND (VV. 39-41)

Explanation

            Verse 39 reveals the reason everyone should recognize their spiritual blindness and acknowledge the need for the sight Jesus offers.  Jesus relates that His coming enables judgment to take place.  He is not addressing that He came to judge, but that a clearness of judgment is made by the coming of Jesus.  In other words, those who hear and believe in Jesus will receive spiritual sight.  Those who reject Jesus will actually remain in a blinded state.

            In response to Jesus’ statement in verse 39, the Pharisees ask if they are blind (Vs. 40).  Jesus reveals the sinfulness of their disposition.  He tells them that if they were blind, they would have no sin.  In other words, if they recognized they were blind in their sin and acknowledged the forgiveness they could experience through believing in Christ, their sinful state could be changed to a sinless one before the eyes of God.  However, based upon their attitude, words, and actions, the Pharisees thought they could see, and, therefore, had no need for Christ’s healing of their blind state.  The result is that there is no forgiveness for their sins.

Illustration

      2 Corinthians 4:3-6 – Paul asserts the fact that the gospel of Christ is veiled to those who are perishing, who have been blinded by the god of this world.  In other words, for the Jews of Jesus’ day, their belief was righteousness came by obeying the law, a way of living that was impossible.

      The reality was that judgment upon the return of Christ would be unmistakable.  Those who have the sight God offers in Christ would receive eternal life with God forever.  Those who reject Christ will be spiritually blind and spend eternity away from God forever.

 

Application

            The point of application for you and me is to be encouraged by God’s promise to those who have spiritual sight.  If you don't, choose to acknowledge your blindness according to God’s word, and ask for the healing only Christ can offer.  Today is the day of salvation for those who are blind.

 

Conclusion

            As we have seen in the text of study this morning, God came to, offered, and ultimately enabled change in a man’s life.  The entire chapter demonstrates how God began to work in a man’s life physically, and then, when the man was cast out by his own, came to the man, offering him eternal life.  Based upon the change enabled by God in the man’s life, he was ready and willing to believe in Christ.

            God offers you the same opportunity to have a loving relationship with Him.  Such a relationship is initiated by Him, not you.  He offers salvation to everyone who recognizes they are blind in their sins.  Scripture teaches us that every person born into this world is separated from God due to sin in their lives (Romans 3:10-12).  If you have recognized your blindness, come to Jesus today and receive eternal sight.  Those who don’t believe in what Christ has done for them remain in their blind sinful state.  Such people think they see or are righteous without Christ, but they are mistaken.  God desires to establish a personal relationship with everyone, but due to the sinful influence and affluence of this world, most will reject the eternal sight God offers.  Choose to allow Him into your heart today.

 


REFERENCES

 Romans 3:10-12 (New American Standard Bible)

 10as it is written, "(A)THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." (Quote from Psalm 14:1-3)

 

Acts 10:1-5, 24-26, 44-46 (New American Standard Bible)

 1Now there was a man at (A)Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was (B)called the Italian [a]cohort, 2a devout man and (C)one who feared God with all his household, and (D)gave many [b]alms to the Jewish people and prayed to God continually.   3About (E)the [c]ninth hour of the day he clearly saw (F)in a vision (G)an angel of God who had just come in and said to him, "Cornelius!"  4And (H)fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, "What is it, Lord?" And he said to him, "Your prayers and [d]alms (I)have ascended (J)as a memorial before God.   5"Now dispatch some men to (K)Joppa and send for a man named Simon, who is also called Peter;

 24On the following day he entered (A)Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.  25When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and (B)worshiped him.  26But Peter raised him up, saying, "(C)Stand up; I too am just a man."

44While Peter was still speaking these words, (A)the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.  45(B)All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been (C)poured out on the Gentiles also.

 

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (New American Standard Bible)

 3And even if our (A)gospel is (B)veiled, it is veiled to (C)those who are perishing,  4in whose case (D)the god of (E)this world has (F)blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the (G)light of the gospel of the (H)glory of Christ, who is the (I)image of God.  5For we (J)do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake.  6For God, who said, "(K)Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has (L)shone in our hearts to give the (M)Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

 


ACQUIRING SPIRITUAL SIGHT

INTRODUCTION:   RBC MINISTRIES (WRITER C. P. HIA)

BACKGROUND THOUGHT:  CHRIST HEALED; THE BLIND DID NOT LIKE IT

SCRIPTURE: JOHN 9:35-41

CTS:   HOW CAN ONE RECEIVE SPIRITUAL SIGHT?

sPIRITUAL SIGHT IS ACQUIRED BY:

I.   GOD’S INITIATIVE (VV. 35-38)

  • EXPLANATION:  MAN IS AN OUTCAST; JESUS COMES LOOKING
    • JESUS OFFERS SALVATION (VV 35, 37)
    • THE MAN RESPECTFULLY RESPONDS (VV 36, 38)
  • ILLUSTRATION:     ACTS 10:1-5, 24-26, 44-46 (GOD COMES TO CORNELIUS)
  • APPLICATION:   TRUST GOD WITH YOUR LIFE

II.  YOUR BEING BLIND (VV. 39-41)

  • EXPLANATION:      THE COMING OF JESUS BROUGHT CLARITY (VS. 39A)
    • THOSE WHO ARE BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT (39B)
    • THOSE WHO SEE REMAIN IN SIN (39C)
    • PHARISEES ENLIGHTENED TO THEIR SIGHT (VV. 40-41)
  • ILLUSTRATION:     2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-6
  • APPLICATION:        GOD’S GIVEN YOU SIGHT / YOU NEED SIGHT

IV.   CONCLUSION:   

  • HAVE YOU RECEIVED SIGHT?
    • IF YOU’RE BLIND, YOU CAN; IF YOU CAN SEE, YOU CAN’T



[1] http://www.rbc.org/devotionals/our-daily-bread/2009/05/20/devotion.aspx

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