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Sermon No: 37034-Spiritual blindness



Ken-Paynter/Spiritual-blindness.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: Spiritual blindness

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 18 February 2018

Topic Groups: SALVATION

Sermon synopsis: Scripture often employs the imagery of blindness to describe the spiritual condition of persons who are either unable or unwilling to perceive divine revelation.

The things of God are perceived not by observation and inquiry, but by revelation and illumination.

Matt 11:25-27 At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
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Spiritual Blindness.

Scripture often employs the imagery of blindness to describe the spiritual condition of persons who are either unable or unwilling to perceive divine revelation.

The things of God are perceived not by observation and inquiry, but by revelation and illumination.

Matt 11:25-27.

At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. All things have been committed to me by my Father.

No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Spiritual Blindness.

.

Isaiah 42:18

Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see!

Ezekiel 12:2

Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.

Jeremiah 5:21

Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.

Spiritual Blindness.

Isaiah 43:8.

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.

Isaiah 56:10.

Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep.

Isaiah 59:10.

Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.

The Messiah's ministry would be marked by opening the eyes of the spiritually blind.

Jesus came to give sight to the blind.

Isaiah 42:6-7.

I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

At the outset of his public ministry, Jesus lay claim to the messianic office by revealing that he would fulfil Isaiah's prophetic promise to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.

Luke 4:18.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind.

Jesus came to give sight to the blind.

The plight of blindness is repeatedly referred to by Isaiah, who announces to rebellious Israel that God has afflicted them and their apostate prophets, priests, and rulers with blindness.

It almost seems contradictory that Jesus came to give sight to the blind and yet He deliberately speaks in parables so that certain people would not see!!!

Spiritual Blindness is a choice.

Matthew 13:10-17.

The disciples came to him and asked, Why do you speak to the people in parables? He replied, Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.

Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

Spiritual Blindness is a choice.

Matthew 13:10-17 (continued)

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

However this calloused heart is as a result of man’s choices and not God’s.

Hearing God.

Mark 4:23-25. He who has ears to hear let him hear. Consider carefully what you hear, with the measure you use it will be given to you and even more. He who hears will be given more, he who does not hear even that which he has will be taken away.

The big problem is not a God that doesn’t speak, but people who do not listen.

Jeremiah 6:10. To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The Word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.”

Hearing God.

Zechariah 7:11-13. But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped their ears.

They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen…So the Lord Almighty was angry. When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen says the Lord Almighty

1 Samuel 15:22. Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings… as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice.

Spiritual Blindness is a choice.

God can help the unable, but not the unwilling.

Isaiah 42:16-20.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. But those who trust in idols, who say to images, You are our gods, will be turned back in utter shame. Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one in covenant with me, blind like the servant of the LORD? You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.

ARE YOU BLIND TO THE OBVIOUS??

Spiritual Blindness is a choice.

Deuteronomy 29:2-6.

Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.

Yet the LORD says, During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God.

A hard heart causes spiritual Blindness.

Ephesians 4:17-19.

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

A hard heart is a choice.

Pride hardens the heart.

Daniel 5:20,21.

But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal.

Disobedience hardens the heart.

Hebrews 3:7-12. Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.

A hard heart is a choice.

Zechariah 7:8-14.

They made their hearts as hard as flint…..

Hosea 10:12.

Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

Psalm 66:18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.

Guard your heart.

1 Peter 3:15.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.

James 4:8-10.

Purify your hearts you double minded.

Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Psalm 24:34.

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…..

Fellowship is vital to guard your heart.

Hebrews 3:13.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Causes of spiritual Blindness.

Ignorance caused by a hardening of the heart.

Ignorance is seen in the lack of admission that we are in need of a Saviour. Like the Pharisees who performed all the outward acts that demonstrated their piety but did not allow themselves to receive the truth that Christ was the promised Redeemer due to their preconceived notions of the expected Messiah; thereby, leading them to reject Jesus Christ as the true and long-awaited Messiah of Israel.

Hardness of heart is knowing the truth and deciding to remain in a sinful state or comfort zone. Many are known to be very religious attending Sunday services faithfully and as such constantly exposed to the Word of God. However, most of what they learn rarely permeates into their daily lives.

Cause of spiritual Blindness.

Spiritual blindness is divinely imposed upon the hardhearted.

Zephaniah 1:17.

I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung.

Exodus 7:3-4.

But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment

Pharaoh hardened his own heart before God acted on the choice he had made

Cause of spiritual Blindness.

Satan blinds human minds from understanding God's good news.

2 Corinthians 4:3-6.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

Hatred causes Spiritual Blindness.

Love dispels spiritual blindness.

1 John 2:8-11.

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.

Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.

But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

Even Christians can be Spiritually Blind.

a) By not making every effort to add certain virtues to their FAITH.

1 Peter 1:3-11.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

Even Christians can be Spiritually Blind.

1 Peter 1:3-11 (continued)

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Even Christians can be Spiritually Blind.

b) Luke warmness causes spiritual blindness.

Revelation 3:14-18.

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.

But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Self righteousness blinds us.

Matthew 7:1-5.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

God speaks through others when we are deaf.

God uses others to expose our sins when we are too blind to see them.

Psalm 51:1-19. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. ...

Self-righteousness.

Matthew 23:16-26.

Woe to you, blind guides! You say, If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.

You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?

You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.

You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? .......

Self-righteousness.

Matthew 23:16-26 (continued)

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices— mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel....

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Self-righteousness.

Jesus announced that he would impose judgment on self-righteous legalists, "so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind"

John 9:39-41.

The man answered, Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.

Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. To this they replied, You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us! And they threw him out.

Self-righteousness.

John 9:39-41 (continued)

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, Do you believe in the Son of Man? Who is he, sir? the man asked. Tell me so that I may believe in him. Jesus said, You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you. Then the man said, Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him.

Jesus said, For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, What? Are we blind too? Jesus said, If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Self-righteousness.

Luke 6:39.

And He spoke a parable to them: Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?

Many think that they are getting to heaven based on their good works, but those of us who have been healed of our spiritual blindness, realize that we get to heaven based on Christ’s works, by believing in Him for eternal life.

Satan’s strategy.

Satan always launches his attack against Word of God.

As To It’s Origin. It is not God-breathed. How could God breathe through some men to give a book. How could the Bible be inspired. This book was written by some men. Once a person begins doubt theorigin of the Word of God, they next begin to doubt:

The Authenticity Of The Bible. They say, probably it has many mistakes in it. They begin to pick and choose what they want to believe. They then doubt:

The Authority Of The Word Of God. After all it was written by men, and full of errors, so how could it be the authority of my life? Next they doubt:

The Power Of The Word Of God. When you doubt the origin, authenticity, authority, and power of the Word of God, you are in a dangerous condition.

Spiritual Blindness.

2 Peter 1:19-21.

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.

For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Blindness.

When a person begins to doubt the Word of God then he becomes the centre of his world.

He becomes his own authority. He has no room for God to control any part of his life. Spiritual blindness is a dangerous condition. So we live in a society today in which Humanism is a rising religion because Satan has blinded men’s eyes to the Word of God.

But Satan uses different strategies on those who are professing Christians and believe that God’s Word is divinely inspired.

As he himself masquerades as an Angel of light, he places men in pulpits who twist the Truth and preach a False Gospel .

Blind leaders.

2 Corinthians11:3-15.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. .......

For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Spiritual blindness is a choice.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…. V6 For God who said “Let the light shine out of darkness,” has made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Some reject Jesus Christ and choose their sin

John 3:19.

This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, but men preferred the darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.

Jesus came to bring us light.

John 12:46-48.

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person.

For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.

Where do go who cease to be The Lamb of God gives eyes to see In Christ we’ll walk God’s hallowed ground And see where all the rest are bound Our neighbours may not know they’re blind They think us strange yet sort of kind They fail to see as we before But by God’s grace that’s us next door They need the truth to set them free The Light of God through which to see When now to these we spread the news The truth may change their ardent views Knowledge of God is near to nought Seldom in schools is Jesus taught The worldly youth think Christ a tale Yet though they’re blind they need no Braille

Spiritual blind can’t read God’s word Without The Lord it sounds absurd But Jesus’ sheep who share His Light Have open eyes with perfect sight Without the truth man’s eyes are sealed But Jesus came that they be healed By no one else are miracles done But by the hand of Christ God’s Son The living truth is clearly seen What soon to come and all that’s been When Saul fell blind through Jesus’ Light –Act.9: 4 Twas Paul who rose with perfect sight –Act.13: 9 Change occurred as he bowed his knee –Act.9: 11 The truth of Christ was plain to see –Act.9: 18 We too when blind can join the throng –Lk.4: 18 Can serve The Lord and sing life’s song…

https://www.poemhunter.com/ michael-p-johnson/ poems

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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