Spiritual Blindness – RTD #2

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Preached by Andrew Smellie, October 14, 2007

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http://www.newsobserver.com/news/health_science/blind/story/377134.html
Sermon based on analogy taken from the article: “Stepping Into Darkness.

This week’s Religiously Transmitted Disease is Spiritual Blindness. In 2 Peter 1:3-11, Peter writes that it’s God’s divine power that we need to fight against contracting spiritual blindness. But how can you be productive and effective if you don’t have the self-control to fix your eyes on Jesus? Like a man going blind learning how to rely on a walking cane, we must learn to rely on God through His Word. God wants to be our mentor, guiding us through the pitfalls of life. (Isaiah 43:1-8)
Corey and the Guys

Great news abounds, as OCC campus student, Corey Hopkins, made the decision to make Jesus Lord, so he could enter the Kingdom, Jesus’ body here on earth . . . God’s church! One of Corey’s friends who just started studying the Bible and who was witnessing his baptism, marveled that because of the changes Corey has made recently, it has inspired him to became a student of God’s Word as well.


“Spiritual Blindness” preached by Andrew Smellie on Sunday, October 14, 2007

Isaiah 59:1-10
• The fact is that you can become spiritually blind.
• God wants you to lean on Him, to rely on Him. (Hebrews 4:12–13)
• Sadly, people do not know that they are spiritually blind.
• Sometimes, you need to learn how to walk all over again.
• Trying to meld worldliness and godliness does not work. (Syncretism)
• God wants to be your mentor guiding you through the uncertainties of life using the Bible.

Question: How do you contract spiritual blindness?
• Sin corrupts your spiritual vision.
• God wants to reach out and help you out.
• Few want to admit where they are and get the help that they need.

Question: Are you getting the help that you need spiritually?

2 Corinthians 4:4-6
• Your pride and your guilt get you into the trap that Satan has set for you.
• You can be religious and not make Jesus Lord of your life. (2 Timothy 3:5)
• Satan wants you to focus on yourself not on God.
• Satan has blinded the world against God.
• If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, then think about how ultimately blind you were before you became a disciple of Jesus Christ.
• Satan blinds the minds of people.
• God is invisible to the untrained eye.
• Satan wants you to ignore the clues that God has left for you to prove His existence.
Question: Do you see God’s invisible, eternal qualities in the creation?
• Satan wants to blind you.
• Without God, you are not seeing the world correctly.
• Without God, you are seeing the world through the veil of worldliness. (1 John 2:16)
Question: Is the Bible your steering wheel or the spare tire of your life?
Question: What is really guiding your life?
• Spiritual blindness is a religiously transmitted disease.

1. Question: How sensitive are you to sin?
Ephesians 4:17-19
• People think that they can live a life and not be affected by sin.
• Sin separates you from God.
• If your heart is hard, then you cannot see.
• When you stop being sensitive to the sin in your life, you focus on other things and stop focusing on God.
• You live in a world where either you influence the world or the world influences you.
Question: Are you sensitive to it?
• If you are not sensitive to sin, then you become like people in the world.
Question: How sensitive are you to the sin in your life.
• When you are worldly, you start laughing at the coarse jokes that you hear in your job.
• Maybe you are tempted to be prideful, lustful, materialistic, etc.
Question: Are you sensitive to the way that the world is influencing you?

James 5:16
• In order to confess your sin, you must recognize the sin in your life.
Question: When was the last time you confessed your sin?
Question: Do your eyes go to impure things on the Internet when you are at work?
Question: Is your spiritual radar on?
Question: Have you been sensitive to the way that you got there?
Question: Were you sensitive all along?
Question: Does your schedule reflect seeking the Kingdom or have other things taken its place?
Question: Are you still able to see sin in other people and point it out to them?
Question: Are you sensitive to the sin in your life and in others?
• If not, then you are going spiritually blind and you do not even know it.

Hebrews 12:1-2
• Being sensitive to sin means having a righteous focus.
• If your eyes are not fixed on Jesus, then you got to really examine whether or not you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Question: Who are you fixing your eyes on: Jesus or the world?
Question: How is your sensitivity to sin in your life?
• If you do not have someone to guide you through the narrow road, then you are spiritually blind.
• You are what you see.

Psalm 119:37
Question: Who are you?
Question: What makes you who you are?
Question: Do you have a high sensitivity or a low sensitivity?
Question: Are you becoming more like a disciple of Jesus Christ because of your relationship with people in the Kingdom or are you becoming more like a pagan because of your relationship with the world?
Question: What is your good confession? What is your good PROFESSION?

2. Question: Is the Bible your walking cane for life?

Hebrews 5:11-14
• The Bible must be used to control your thoughts, your actions, your attitude, your mind, etc.
• The Bible must be your eyes and your ears.
Question: Do you need to learn how to walk all over again spiritually?
Question: How important do you think your walking cane is going to be in your life?
Question: Why do people in the world think that they do not need God or the Bible?
Question: Is the Bible your steering wheel or is it your spare tire?
• You need time to distinguish between good and evil by constant use!
Question: How are your quiet times going?
• God wants you to teach others how to walk as well.

Luke 6:39
Question: How can you help someone else if you are blind yourself?
Question: Can’t you be so blind to God’s mercy and God’s grace?
• The world is so blind.
• Whatever you pay attention to, that is where your heart will be. (Matthew 6:21)
• Your heart follows your attention.
Question: Where is your attention?
• Wherever you put your focus or attention is where your heart will be.
• The more you focus, the more you desire.
• Satan drags you away, wants to GET your attention so he can lead you astray.
• God is a God of miracles because miracles get people’s attention back on Him.

Hebrews 2:1
• You got to pay attention to your attention (to do what is right).
Question: How well can you use your walking cane?
• If you do not know how to use your Bible, then you are drifting away from God.
Question: How well can you use your Bible and apply it to your life?

3. Question: Who are you guiding to Jesus?

Isaiah 43:1-8
• You need God AND you need people to guide you through the trials of life.

Question: What do you need to do for God?
• God wants you to lead others to Him.
Question: Do you really see how much God loves you?
• Lead other people to God.
• God is your mentor guiding you through life.

1 Corinthians 4:15-17
• Like a father taking care of his children, Paul calls them to imitate “the Jesus in him.”
Question: What are people going to imitate about you?
• Your life and your doctrine coming together are so crucial, so you can call people to imitate you.
• Every church should look the same.
• Every Christian should look the same.
• You are imitating others to be more like Jesus.
Question: Who are you calling to imitate you to follow Jesus?
Question: Who are you saying: ‘You need to imitate me to follow Jesus’?
Question: Why do you think that you do not need to imitate others?
Question: Do you have the courage to end the cursing, coarse joking and vulgar talk coming from other people?

If you are not calling anyone to imitate you, it means you either don’t believe they need to follow Jesus or you are lacking the courage to call them to Jesus.
• It is about defending God’s honor. (It’s not about you.)
• It is time to call people to imitate you.
Question: When was the last time you challenged someone to his or her face?
Question: What do you think it means to be an ambassador of Christ?

2 Peter 1:3-11
Question: Who are you leading to Jesus?
• Do not allow the world to dictate your vision.
Question: Do you believe that God is all that you need?
Question: How can you have your eyes fixed on Jesus if you do not have self-control?
• God has given you everything that you need.

Post-baptism charge: Hit the ground running!