Monday 19 October 2009

Spiritual Sight,Saving Faith and the Single Eye

Spiritual Sight and Saving Faith
Let's return to Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus to further comprehend the principle of Spiritual Sight and its effect on every area of our Christian lives. After telling Nicodemus that he could neither see nor enter the kingdom without spiritual birth and spiritual sight, Jesus directed his attention to the entrance of the kingdom. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).
The Son of Man must be lifted up in the same manner as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. In Numbers 21:6-9, we read how God sent fiery serpents into the camp of Israel because of their rebellion. Many were bitten and died. Israel repented and asked Moses to pray to Yahweh to remove the serpents. Moses prayed and God answered, "Make you a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard: and it shall happen, that everyone, who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live (21:8) Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He "made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived" (Numbers 21:9 NKJV).
In comparing John 3:14-15 with Numbers 21:6-9, we see that looking and believing are the same thing. The act of looking at the Old Testament bronze serpent prefigured New Covenant belief in Christ. In this instance, seeing is believing. Brilliantly assessing the problem healed no one. A different seeing was required, the kind of seeing that the Lord spoke of when He said, "They shall look upon me whom they have pierced . . ." (Zechariah 12:10).
How critical is this seeing?
Paul wrote to the Galatian believers who were returning to the bondage of law-keeping, "Foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you not to obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly set forth among you as crucified?" (Galatians 3:1). The New Living Translation reads, "You used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ's death as clearly as though I had shown you a signboard with a picture of Christ dying on the cross." The Galatian believers had lost sight of the lifted up Christ. They used to see but now they had lost faith and were returning to blind legalism. We cannot be drawn unto Christ and made whole unless He is lifted up and seen. When I, George, was growing up as a child I heard the story of Jesus every Sunday, but I did not truly see Him. He was little more than a cutout on a flannel graph or a story in an old leather-bound book. This Sunday school knowledge of Him did not keep me from setting out on a life of alcohol, drugs and every other vice imaginable. One day the Father revealed His Son to me by His Spirit! I saw my true condition upon the backdrop of His glory. I felt like Isaiah must have felt after seeing the Lord high and lifted up, "Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips." Why this new perspective? "My eyes have seen the King." (Isaiah 6: 1-5). When he saw who Jesus really was, that rough fisherman Peter responded, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord" (Luke 5:8).
Religious people made sure I knew I was a sinner. That didn't bring the grace I needed to change. Nothing short of seeing Jesus lifted up, by the Spirit, could reprove me of sin and nothing but being drawn to Him by that same Spirit could deliver me from sin's dominion. Everyone who truly looks on Him will be drawn to Him. He is himself the transforming power, or as one brother so graphically put it, "Jesus is the Change Agent." He is the resurrection and the Life! Christ has been made unto us redemption but He has also been made our sanctification ( 1 Corinthians 1:30). We are changed, from glory to glory as we with open faces continue to behold His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Both the forgiveness of sins and the power to live righteously begin with spiritual sight...George Davis & Michael Clark


The Way of Release Norman P. Grubb (the single eye}

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" - 2 Corinthians 4:7.The illustration that settled me into seeing my proper place as a human was the discovery that several times in the Scriptures we are called "vessels." A vessel is there only to contain. It does not become what it contains. The cup does not become the coffee, nor the coffee the cup. That ray of light shot into me. In other words, God was saying, "Stop fussing about your human self, where you fail and where you need improvement. Drop that whole false idea. Vessels don't improve, they just contain. Now turn your attention away from what you are as a vessel - or think you should be. With a single eye, turn your full attention on Me, the One the vessel contains." That was enough to move me on to my crisis leap - into the reality of Galatians 2:20, which is now my favorite verse of Scripture: "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."This was the first revelation of the Spirit (and it has to be revealed by the Spirit) that I am just the container. It was the beginning of what has never left me since and has so greatly expanded.- Yes, I Am Norman Grubb

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