Sunday, October 8, 2017, 8:55 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Power of The Cross.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Isaiah 43:8-13 (NASB).
Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes,
And the deaf, even though they have ears.
All the nations have gathered together
So that the peoples may be assembled.
Who among them can declare this
And proclaim to us the former things?
Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified,
Or let them hear and say, “It is true.”
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
“I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
“It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And I am God.
“Even from eternity I am He,
And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?”
Eyes and Ears
People who are blind, for the most part, have physical eyes. They just can’t see out of them, because their eyes are defective in some way. The same is true with those who are deaf. They have ears, but they just can’t hear out of them, because their ears are malfunctioning. Yet, this is not talking about the physically deaf and blind, but concerning the spiritually deaf and blind. It isn’t that they can’t see (have understanding) or that they can’t hear (perceive and learn), but it is that they choose not to (Ro. 1:18-32). Their spiritual eyes and ears are defective (malfunctioning) because of willful sin and/or stubborn rebellion against God. Yet, sadly enough, some of these deaf and blind claim to know God and/or to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives.
In other words, these deaf and blind have knowledge of God and/or of his Word and/or they have heard some form of the gospel preached with their physical ears. Some of them have even grown up in the gatherings of the church, i.e. they have attended church gatherings possibly from birth to adulthood. They, if they have confessed Christ as Savior, may even be in possession of a Bible, or of multiple Bibles, and they are quite free to read it, at will. Some of them may even have Bible college or seminary degrees, and a few of them may even be pastors and elders of local congregations. You don’t have to be ignorant of God to be blind. Some of the blind have massive Biblical (head) knowledge. They just have never applied it to their hearts.
So, this is the difference between the blind and the one seeing, or the deaf and the one hearing. The one has the knowledge, but lets it go in one ear and out the other, or else he uses that knowledge strictly for intellectual purposes. The other, the one seeing and/or hearing, has no more advantage than the blind and the deaf. He just does what the Word says, instead of walking away from the mirror, forgetting what he looks like (Jas. 1:22-25). Our God is not satisfied with us merely knowing his Word, but he requires that we obey his Word by doing what it says. His salvation for us is not just so we can be forgiven our sins and have the hope of eternity with God in heaven, but he died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He saved us not just out of the punishment of sin, but out of addiction to sin.
This is a call of God to assemble all the deaf and blind (spiritually), who have ears to hear but don’t listen, and who have eyes to see but do not receive. The call is to examine their idolatrous ways and to account for them and for their idols (the gods of men). What good are they? Are they able to save, bring healing and deliverance, or bring perfect peace, fulfillment and joy everlasting? Are they able to lead and guide in the ways of God, and in his righteousness? Or, are they useless, but more than useless, but do they, instead, bring you down, trap you, steal your joy, lead you into sin, ruin your life, and destroy your relationships with others? And, lead you to hell?
So many people, including Christians (or professing Christians) are led down a path of self-destruction or complacency, regarding spiritual matters, because they are following after their own fleshly desires, and because they are followers of humans rather than, or over and above being followers of God. So, their itching ears want to hear messages which tell them that all they have to do is just accept Jesus’ forgiveness of their sins, and now they are guaranteed heaven when they die, and their spiritual maturity is wholly in the hands of God, and they have nothing to do with it at all. Nothing is required of them – no repentance, obedience or submission to Christ Jesus.
So, what good is salvation to them then? If we are not saved out of slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, then we aren’t really saved, because we are still dead in sins, walking according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit. For, the Bible teaches that if we walk (in lifestyle, in practice) in sin, we don’t have the promise of heaven when we die, but a fearful expectation of judgment and of eternity in hell, no matter what prayers we prayed to receive Christ and his forgiveness of our sins (See: Lu. 9:23-26; Ro. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9). So, don’t be fooled! Don’t listen to those liars and deceivers who are telling you that God requires nothing of you other than to accept Jesus’ forgiveness of your sins, and who say that heaven is guaranteed you, no matter what. Read God’s Word, and believe and follow the truth!! Your life and eternity depend on it!
No Other God
Our God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – the creator of the universe and all living things, is the one and only true God. His written Word can be found in the Bible (Genesis to Revelation). This is where we will find truth and righteousness and God’s plan for our lives and his purposes and will for each one of us. Though there are godly men and women in this world who are teaching the truth, as best as they understand it, there are many more who are teaching outright lies, half-truths (lies) or who are twisting the truth (lies) to their own advantage, but to your demise. It may sound good, especially to itching ears, but it isn’t good, and so we must be very discerning so that we don’t get trapped and tripped up by such deceptions.
There is no savior (rescuer) besides the one true God. No drugs, alcohol, TV shows, movies, recreation, games, sports, automobiles, houses, lands, possessions, fame, or fortune, and no human being dead or alive can save you from hell and bring you into God’s wonderful kingdom. They will never fulfill the deep longings of your soul, which God put within you for him alone, but they will leave you empty, dissatisfied, unfulfilled, always craving more and more, hoping the next time will bring you happiness, but more times than not these idols only kill and destroy, ruin entire households, lead people to suicide, and ultimately end up leading people straight to the pit of hell.
And, not only is our God our only true savior, but his salvation is also not what many like to present it to be. Jesus came to deliver us out of addiction to sin, not to forgive the sin and then to do nothing to rescue us. Although it is only through faith in Jesus Christ, and not of ourselves, that we receive such a great salvation, the salvation we receive is freedom from bondage to sin and freedom to walk in Christ’s righteousness. So, to truly believe in Jesus, it involves death to sin and living to his righteousness, only not in our own power and strength, but in the power and strength of God’s Spirit now living within us. God’s grace to us is not him just forgiving our sin while we go on in sin. That is not grace! His grace instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. Now, THAT IS GRACE!
Power of The Cross
Once in darkness now in light
Once blind now you see
Once a sinner now a saint
Once bound now free.
That’s the power of the cross
See the chains fall…