Tag: Blind

Spiritual Amnesia

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

If you don’t practice spiritual virtues now, you’ll forget their significance later.

Physical nearsightedness and mental amnesia both are unwanted conditions. Nearsightedness (myopia) causes people’s eyes to focus the parallel rays of light in front of the retina. They can clearly see things right in front of them, but the farther out they look, the more out of focus objects become.

Amnesia, of course, is memory loss. Sometimes it’s selective, but usually it’s total—everything prior to a certain time or incident. It often causes people to forget their name, their family, and everything about their identity and background.

Those two impairments should be even less welcome on the spiritual level. Professed believers who are unfruitful become spiritually nearsighted. They focus on temporal fads and passing earthly fashions. By the time they try to look ahead to eternity, it is so out of focus for them that they can’t see it.

Those with spiritual amnesia, because they see no increase of spiritual virtue in their lives, forget they were supposed to be saved from their sinful lifestyles. They don’t remember the spiritual “purification” (catharsis) that should have occurred in their lives—a reference to a deep internal purging or cleansing.

If you are not diligently pursuing spiritual virtue and moral excellence, you will have a very fuzzy view of your true condition. You may connect an outward action or emotional experience with the time you professed Christ, but you will not have a sense of assurance. Commentator Richard Bauckham explained it this way: “The ‘knowledge of Jesus Christ’ [v. 8], received at conversion, came as illumination to those who were blind in their pagan ignorance (2 Cor. 4:4), but Christians who do not carry through the moral implications of this knowledge have effectively become blind to it again.”

Regarding 1 Peter 1:5-9, it all comes down to this: if you are seeing your life grow in moral virtue, you have proof of salvation and a reason for assurance. If you are not seeing your life grow in virtue, you have no proof of salvation and no reason for assurance. Be diligent to avoid spiritual myopia and amnesia in your life.

by John MacArthur

 

Blinded By “Seeing”

Vance Havner Imageby Vance Havner

For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. John 9:39

This terrifying pronouncement ought to jolt some complacent souls today. It grows out of that dramatic incident in which the Pharisees, religious, separated, praying Bible scholars, called Jesus a sinner, while a poor blind man, just healed, eagerly and immediately believed on Him as the Son of God. The application does not end in John. Churchmen, deacons, trustees, even ministers, who say, “We see,” have failed to know Jesus when He passed by in the day of their visitation, while some poor sinner who knew no theology has gladly cried, “I believe.” The possibilities in the meaning of this verse are alarming and could cause consternation in some well-ordered church on Sunday morning were some man of the street to get saved to the disgust, maybe, of a chief elder.

Beware that you are not blinded by your “sight,” saying, “I see,” while “your sin remaineth.”

by Vance Havner