Overcoming Spiritual Blindness
4 Jun 2017
Spiritual blindness is the greatest bondage there is. Spiritually blind people may have perfect physical vision, but they cannot see all that God has made available to them through His grace. On a global perspective, the biggest problem the church faces today is blindness to what Jesus Christ has done. This sightless condition affects how we live, because if we are unaware of what He did for us two thousand years ago, we will needlessly work hard for things we already have. Paul strongly preached the Gospel of Grace, and it is important to be able to distinguish between grace and religion if we are to see any results in our lives. The Law of Moses has ended, and it has been replaced by the covenant of grace. What we believe and how we believe it will govern our conscience.
- WHEN WE ARE SPIRITUALLY BLIND, THE EYES OF OUR UNDERSTANDING MUST BE OPENED.
- And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me (Acts 26:14-18).
- It is possible to see something with our physical eyes but be blind spiritually. Jesus was literally sending Paul to open the Gentiles’ eyes of understanding.
- Jesus emphasized the receiving of forgiveness, not the labor to earn it through hard work.
- But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24).
- It is important to specifically include grace in the Gospel. The Gospel means “Good News,” but there is some news in the Bible that is not good. Paul was called to preach the Gospel of Grace.
- Paul’s assignment was to open the eyes of those who were blind to God’s grace.
- Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:16-21).
- We need knowledge and wisdom of what Jesus has already made available. We receive it when we receive the revelation of who He really is. In all your getting, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7).
- If we are blind to what Jesus made available to us, we will not be able to receive it from Him. Faith is required to take it.
- My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me. Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (Hosea 4:6).
- What we do not know can destroy us. Ignorance can be very expensive.
- THE LAW BLINDS PEOPLE TO THE GRACE OF GOD; THE COVENANT OF GRACE REPLACED IT.
- But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).
- Every time the Gospel is mentioned in the New Testament, it refers to the grace of Christ.
- The devil does not want us to know about God’s favor.
- For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
- We must stop believing and living according to the law. The dispensation of the law has expired.
- Under the law, sin dominates because this is what the law intended.
- Under the law, man’s behavior was the root, and it determined whether God could bring forth fruit (Isaiah 1:19).
- Under grace, Jesus is now the root. If we believe this, we bring forth fruit and become fruit-bearers of what He did. As he is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).
- We must share the grace message with everyone. Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15).
- But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. When God speaks of a new covenant or agreement, He makes the first one obsolete, out of use. And what is obsolete, out of use and annulled because of age, is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether (Hebrews 8:6-9, KJV; Hebrews 8:13, AMPC).
- The “first covenant” mentioned in Hebrews 8:6 was the law that God gave to Moses. The current covenant of grace is one of which most churches are unaware.
- The law required the priests to make annual sacrifices for sin. It was too perfect for imperfect people to keep. Under grace, there is no more need for sacrificial animals. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all our sins, for all time.
- Under the law, the priests could never sit, because atonement for sin was continual. Under grace, Jesus has sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:11, 12) because it is finished (John 19:30).
- We are now beneficiaries of Christ’s faithfulness. Even if we are unfaithful, God’s faithfulness continues (2 Timothy 2:13).
- A life of faith is all about believing God’s Word. We must enhance our faith to take what grace has made. The Word tells us how to do this.
- We call things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17).
- We come to church to hear the Word preached. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
- THE TEN COMMANDMENTS THAT GOD GAVE MOSES WAS TO REMIND PEOPLE OF THEIR SINS.
- So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness—For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God (Hebrews 7:18, 19, AMPC).
- The law shows us what is wrong with us, but does nothing to correct it. The bringing of a better hope does correct it. The Spirit tells us how to fix whatever is wrong with us.
- Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:5-14).
- “The letter” refers to the Old Testament. We are anointed to preach the New Testament.
- “The ministration of death, written and engraven in stones” refers to the Ten Commandments carved on stone tablets. These were given not for the people to keep them, but to show them they could not keep them without God.
- Christ removes the veil over our minds and our spiritual eyes. In him we live, move, and have our being (Acts 17:28).
- This mystery is Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
- Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).
- Our conscience is the inner sense of what is right or wrong in our conduct or motives. It relates to feeling guilty about something, such as an act that we consider wrong.
- If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? (Hebrews 7:11).
- The law was given to cause us to have sin-consciousness. A continual relationship with the law causes us to maintain this consciousness. We will then be unable to receive the liberty of the covenant of grace.
- THE MOSAIC LAW REQUIRED SELF-EFFORT, BUT GRACE ONLY REQUIRES OUR FAITH IN JESUS.
- Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience…For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:9, 13, 14).
- If we are sin-conscious, our consciousness has not been perfected. Only the blood of Jesus can perfect it.
- Dead works are our efforts to do something in order to deserve good from God.
- Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).
- Sin-conscience is an evil conscience. Our faith will not work if we condemn other people. Condemnation is the root of fear.
- Satan needs fear in order to operate in our lives and destroy us.
- Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2).
- To sear something is to mark, scorch, make callous, harden, wither, parch, scar, or make it unwilling.
- A seared conscience has been scarred and marked by sin-consciousness. It has become callous and hardened to the point where it will not respond to what Jesus’ blood has made available.
- Many people have seared consciences because the church leaders have preached the law, and they themselves are blind. When the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14).
- Whenever we are tempted to feel guilty or condemned, we must remind ourselves that we are the righteousness of God. Awake to righteousness and sin not (1 Corinthians 15:34).
- No matter what we have done, no sin is greater than God’s grace. When sin abounds, grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20).
- God has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5; Hebrews 13:5).
||Genesis 3:7, 16
|2 Corinthians 4:4
||1 Timothy 4:1-3
||Hebrews 9:9, 14
|Hebrews 8:13, AMPC