Does anyone else hate taking eye exams? (Those with poor vision, I mean.) Especially that Snellen eye chart. We’re bound to screw up, we know that going in, yet we still read aloud with a modicum of confidence. And optometrists are so smug when they ask you to repeat a line, like that’s going to help you realize which blur read incorrectly. Your girl had 20/70, so I only ever saw the top three lines clearly (including the giant E). Yet I tried to read all eleven lines. I tell you, it’s downright embarrassing when you finally see things normally, and then notice that you thought the chart contained numbers instead of letters. I mean…I heard that was an embarrassing experience for…someone else.
Humiliating moments aside, without a Snellen chart, I would never have known how bad my vision really was. I needed a standard to measure up to, in order to see how much I needed to correct my vision.
Just like the Snellen chart is a standard for right vision, the Word of God is THE standard for right living. It is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. It is applicable in every single culture across the globe. It reveals God’s heart, and His constant desire for righteousness; and God’s constancy is what makes His Word a standard – not a suggestion. From the beginning of time, there has been a separation of right and wrong in this world, as determined by the Word of the Lord. Eve was the first to go against the Word, followed by Adam. Since then, every generation has been born into disobedience (Romans 5:12). We are born blind to God’s will for our lives, blind to the sin that surrounds and binds us. BUT PRAISE GOD! He made a way for us to be righteous through His Son Jesus (Romans 5:17-18)! What a blessing! In Christ, we have new eyes that can see sin as sin – regardless of our culture’s standards.
However, the world will not (and cannot) understand the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). Sin is normal and appropriate behavior to the world because it is blind to righteousness (2 Cor. 4:3-4). We know this because the World tells us. We know this because, “such were some of” us (1 Cor. 6:11). BUT GOD in His grace, places the seeing near the blind, so that the blind can receive their sight. Every time we preach the Gospel, we offer someone a chance to see. Come see Father God! See how He loves us! See what God requires! See how much you need Jesus!
How can anyone have the faith necessary to believe in Jesus, without hearing about Him (Romans 10:14)? Everyone isn’t watching you intently enough to see the Gospel in your life. We have to speak of a people born into sin; the Almighty God who loves everyone endlessly; the sinless Son who sacrificed Himself for the sin of the entire world; the victorious Savior who rose from the dead with all power in His hands to free the world from sin! We have to declare it! There’s no use lamenting why people continue in sin, knowing how rarely our mouths declare the goodness of God in sending Jesus (and how often our mouths complain about others).
The Gospel brings clarity to the standards of God – standards to which every man must measure up, in order to escape the wrath of God (2 Thess. 1:8-9). We can preach about a different sin every day until eternity, and never run out of sermons (and have sermons left over); yet, have no healing effect on those blinded by sin. But, when we preach Christ, the fullness of both God’s standards and God’s grace, blind eyes are opened (Isaiah 29:18). If my optometrist only lectured me about what I read incorrectly, instead of clearing up my vision so that I could see for myself where I went wrong, I would still be [near] blind today. Do you see what I’m saying? If we instruct a blind man to avoid certain obstacles, we bring him no closer to sight – which is exactly what He needs. The lost don’t need to give up certain sins, they need to be cleansed of sinful hearts that produce all manner of sinful thoughts and action. The only thing that brings sight to a blind soul is the pure light of the Gospel (John 12:46)! It is the power of God for salvation, 100 percent of the time (Romans 1:16)!
THE BOTTOM LINE: Since we know every man is accountable for how he measures up to God’s standards, since we know that the blind cannot help but to stumble in sin, since the abundance of sin around us grieves us – let us then be ever more vigilant to preach the Gospel at all times.
And, lest we forget how we found out that Jesus saves, here’s Al Green singing “Amazing Grace.”