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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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LIGHT

There is no light, no knowledge, no wisdom, apart from God. All existence and all knowledge depend on God. If we have life, we live by Him. (Acts 17:28) If we have any knowledge, we know by Him. (Romans 11:36) We do not shed light on Him by the light we see. He is the origin, the source. If we have any measure of light, it is He who is shedding light on what we see, not we.

(John Piper, A Peculiar Glory, Crossway, 2016, p.160)

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The Cure For Spiritual Blindness

Think about comparing your heart to a dirty room that’s been shut up for years. Inside this room, there has been no light. Now inside the room there is dirt, dust, and cobwebs everywhere. Suddenly, someone comes in and turns a light on. The spiders and roaches run to hide. The cobwebs, dirt, and dust are now visible and it is evident that the room must be cleaned out. The human heart is in a similar condition. Our own dirty, rotten, fallen natures cannot be seen until the light of the Gospel shines in. Maurice Roberts explains:

“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isaiah 42:16)

[G]od says: “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not.” Now there are two kinds of blindness. One is blindness of the body and the other is blindness of the soul, spiritual blindness we call it. Now if you have blindness of the body you may not be to blame for that. I mean if you’re born blind you’re not to blame for that – it’s not your fault if you’re born blind, that’s just God’s sovereign will and nobody’s to be blamed for being born blind. But if you’re spiritually blind you are to blame for it, and sadly that’s the condition in which we’re all born. We’re all born spiritually blind. We’re all ignorant of God by nature, all ignorant of how to get to heaven by nature. Let me prove it.

Three great questions people never want to ask. Where do they come from? They don’t know – maybe ape men or some big explosion or great bang or… they don’t know, they don’t know how they came and they don’t want to enquire really. That’s the first question. The second question is: what’s life all about? Is it just getting dead drunk on a Friday night? Is that what life’s all about? They don’t know. You ask them. You ask people round about you in the street, “Why are we living in this world? What’s the point of it all?” They don’t know but they just found themselves here, like a spider that dropped from the ceiling, they don’t know why they’re here. The Bible says we’re here to glorify God. We’re here to prepare for death and eternity. Because the third great question is: where are we going? And if we don’t know the way of eternal life and the way of the gospel then we’re going to outer darkness forever.

So that’s what God means when he says, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not.” People don’t know how to get to heaven, so, because they’re spiritually blind, God tells them, “I’m going to show them.” And the way he shows them is with this book, the Bible, the gospel, the truth concerning Christ. He’s showing us here in this inspired and infallible and blessed book how we can be saved. . . .

Years and years ago there was a very clever man called Hone, that’s his surname, Mr. Hone – a very clever man – and not a Christian, and no interest in the Bible, no interest in Christ, no interest in heaven or anything like that. He was an unbeliever, a very hard man. And this is what happened to him. One day he was walking along down a street – I think it was somewhere in the south of England, or the Midlands – and he saw a cottage, a little house, and outside the cottage was sitting a little girl. What was she doing? She was reading the Bible. And his lips curled up in scorn. So he decided he would have a little conversation with this girl reading her Bible. So he said to her, “What are you doing?” “Please sir, she said, I’m reading the Bible.” “And what would you be doing that for?” he said with scorn. And she said something like this: “Sir, because my dear mother is a believer and she gets a lot of help from this book, sir, and I love reading it too, with the sunshine, coming down and sitting in the sun, I love reading this book. It’s God’s book, sir,” she said. And this man Hone was taken aback. He’d never heard anyone talk about loving the Bible, and he thought about it. And he came out of his darkness to become a believer – very famous story that – through a little girl. And you see, that’s what God does. He brings the blind, the spiritually blind, by a way that they never knew. They come to understand the secret of God, the secret of the gospel. We don’t know it by nature. Oh you can go to university and get first degrees, second degrees, third degrees, you can get a hundred degrees, but that won’t necessarily save you. Oh yes, education’s a good thing up to a point, but more important than education is to be saved, to know God, to be sure that you have God. So it’s in the Bible we get this light. This book is God’s light in man’s darkness. But it has to be more than just reading the Bible. It has to be God giving us light on it. You see, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not.” And this light has to shine in our hearts, and that’s the light of the Holy Spirit.

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