INTRO: I am probably what could be called a visual learner. And I think that probably most of learn and retain that which we are able to see much better than that which we hear. What we see makes a deep impression on our minds. So, our eyes are very important to us ... and to the learning process. It is the nature of our eyes and their immediate impact on our brains which calls for our being careful with our eyes. We want to wear eye protection when we are working in certain jobs. But this needs to be taken a bit further. Eye protection of a different sort is very important to us ... this eye protection has to do with what we permit our eyes to see! I cannot help but wonder if, from a practical standpoint, this may be one of the psalmists most important prayers!
I OUR EYES WILL SEE!
A. Just point your eyes in any direction, and they will see!
1. this is an amazing thing about this faculty - eyes cannot help but see
2. Prov 20:12 with Ps 139:14
B. Since our eyes will see, there must be some discipline
1. Mt 6:22,23 - clearly, the Lord challenges us to discipline our eyes!
2. our eyes are one means by which things beautiful or ugly (in a moral sense) my enter our minds - and make an impression
II THE EYE PROBLEM...
A. 1 Jno 2:16 states the problem very well - the lust of the eyes
1. is it inevitable that our eyes should cause lust?
2. of course not - if our eyes are disciplined
B. Eve illustrates this problem
1. Gen 3:4-6 - ...it was pleasant to the eyes...
2. all three of the problems of which John wrote are here! - and the problem is not unique to Eve
C. The sons of God had this problem
1. Gen 6:1-5 - ...the sons of God saw the daughters of men...
2. the only explanation which makes any sense at all is that the righteous lineage of Seth began to marry people of worldly roots and emphasis - and sin began to proliferate to the extent that it repented the Lord that had made man
D. Achan of Ai fame had this problem
1. Josh 7:21 - When I saw...then I coveted...
2. his coveting resulted in the defeat of Israel! but coveting is a very real result of undisciplined seeing
3. Ex 20:17a - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors house...
4. Prov 23:5 - Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?
5. do our eyes tell us, You just must have that...?
E. And David certain illustrates the problem
1. 2 Sam 11:2-5 - ...he saw a woman washing herself...
2. his eyes saw, and his heart desired ... and thus began what must be the most tragic, memorable episode in his life
3. thus began an episode which would affect him throughout his life
4. he would know the tragedy of seeing vanities!
5. Mt 5:27-29 (remember Ex 20:17 also reminds, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife)
III I HAVE NO DOUBT WE NEED TO PRAY FOR HELP WITH OUR EYES
A. Consider Isa 33:15-17
1. who shall dwell on high? whose eyes shall see the king in his beauty?
2. answer: He that...shutteth his eyes from seeing evil
3. it is critical that we discipline our eyes - that we refuse to see that which may be hurtful, harmful
B. And the psalmist prayed, Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity
1. he knew the need - his own experiences had made the need very real
2. he also knew that he had to have help beyond his own power
3. appropriately, he prayed to God for this help
C. Having prayed, there must also be resolve
1. Job 31:1 - I made a covenant with mine eyes...
2. in scripture a covenant is a most solemn agreement
3. prayer for assistance is vital - but prayer in the absence of this covenant will be of little help
D. And there must be the positive objective
1. Heb 12:2 - Looking unto Jesus...
2. who we are as redeemed people must ever be on our minds
3. Jesus, our Ideal, must be an every present reality day by day ... moment by moment ... event by event
CLOSE: There are things to which our eyes should never be exposed. There are things which our eyes of understanding should never contemplate. But ours is a shameless world, and it is so difficult not to be exposed. So, yes, we need Gods help in turning our eyes away from destructive vanity.
Cecil A. Hutson
19 December 2004
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)