Wednesday, August 5, 2015

HOW TO PREVENT BLINDNESS

Stop blindness signpost.
 © Sri Lanka Eye Foundation
Have you ever met a Christian who seemed to have no patience at all?

Or, how about a Christian whose only conversation was about someone else?

Maybe you've met someone who claimed to be a Christian, but they left you wondering where any kind of love might fit into their life. 


Of course you have.
We all have.

In fact, if you are anything like me or other humans, you have even represented one or more of the negative traits mentioned above.

Those outside the pale of God's Kingdom look at us in that condition and find reason to disbelieve. While that is not an excuse that will do them any good when standing before the Lord, we have to remember that Jesus and Paul both said we are not to be the cause of someone's stumbling.

The question is not why we are like that, for we all know that our humanity plays a bigger part in our spiritual life than we desire.

The question is why does our humanity continue to play such a large part of our spiritual life?

Why is it that there are so many Christians who have walked with the Lord for years—maybe even decades—whose only claim to their faith is that they "accepted Jesus?" The only evidence of that faith is that they carry their Bible to church with them on Sundays?

"My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (James 3:10b)

Our passage in Second Peter tells us that we are to add things to our faith that would put these negative traits of the flesh out of the limelight. He goes on to write that if we have those traits in our life, we will never stumble in our walk with the Lord.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (2 Peter 1:8-10)
NEVER FALL? Never? Are you sure?

"Nobody's perfect. Everyone sins everyday"—or so the excuses fly whenever Matthew 5:48 or something similar is mentioned.

It seems that many Christians have an absolute fear of becoming like Jesus, even though He is preached as the pattern for how we should live (Eph. 4:12-15).
{But that is a side note, not the main purpose of this article.}

Verse 8 tells us that if the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love are added to our faith in such a way that they "abound," then we will be fruitful in the "knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

But, if we lack these things, we are blind, myopic, and forgetful.

Interesting, no?

It is our responsibility to add these things to our faith, and if we don't, then our blindness is our own fault.

Then Peter writes in verse 10 that we have a responsibility to "make our calling and election sure."

Oh, the doctrines that are built upon this verse! {Again, not for this article}

The most important aspect of this passage is the emphasis upon the results of following or not following the advice given. There are either benefits or consequences of your personal endeavor with this passage.

Unfortunately, in today's climate of emphasizing one truth over another from the Bible, it is easy to overlook such a simple admonition as "add."

It has become much easier for the flesh to acknowledge that "It is finished!" leaving the 'effort' aspect out of the equation.

However, the Bible is filled with this dichotomy of God's omnipotence calling upon man's impotence. I dealt with this apparent paradox previously.

Peter began this section with
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (2 Pet. 1:3)
Emphasizing that we have been given "all things" necessary to live this life for God.

He ends this section with warning us about what happens if we do not apply our effort to utilizing this grace.

For me, I desire to be neither unfruitful and barren, nor do I want to be blinded by forgetfulness. Rather, I am willing to make the effort to make my "calling and election sure."

What about you?

Will you poke the person next to you who may be sleeping their way through this life and say, "Hey! Wake up! Get a move on!"

Will you shake yourself from the dust of demon doctrine and wake up to the beauty of pressing "...toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."? (Phil. 3:14)

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