Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 9 September 2014
Page 3

Dirty Spectacles

Robert Johnson

Robert JohnsonI have worn eyeglasses for some time, and there is something that has always puzzled me. In my younger years (in other words, before glasses), I marveled at something that seemed to afflict many who wore them. If you looked carefully at the lenses, you could see so much filth! Dust, spots, all kinds of stuff that had to be, at the very least, distorting the image those folks were seeing. How could they not notice it?

I began wondering about whether these people could actually see, or still had their senses, to wear such dirty spectacles! Well, I wondered until I began wearing glasses, and guess what? Yes, the same thing happens to me, and at least my eye doctor tells me I can see. (The verdict on whether I still have my senses may not be quite as certain, however!) I have learned if things start to get blurry, to pull my glasses off and check them out, without them being right on my face. It’s amazing how dirty they can get from just wearing them. Once cleaned, all is clear again. Wait; let me go clean them now!

This is somewhat of a metaphor about life. How many times do we get caught up in something we know is wrong, and then, we wonder how we got there? It usually takes time, as Satan knows hitting us all at once doesn’t work. So, like dust building up on glasses, little by little temptations weaken our resistance and resolve. Over time, things may not seem as clear as they once were. Our desires get in the way and cause our view of life to be fuzzy. It can happen in imperceptible stages until we step back and look and see how bad our spiritual vision has become.

Sin stains our consciences. It can be weakened and defiled (1 Corinthians 8:7). If not corrected, it can continue to cause our spiritual vision to worsen until we become hardened by sin, defiled (Titus 1:15). How do we avoid this? How do we get back where we need to be, where we want to be?

Scripture gives us a clear vision of who we are, where we are and where we need to be. The Psalmist wrote, “In Your light we will see light” (Psalms 36:9). Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).

We need more time in the Word, more time in prayer and more time in fellowship. The more we focus on the spiritual, the clearer our vision becomes of life, of where our lives are and what we need to live as we should and in fellowship with God. “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

What kind of lenses are you wearing as you go through life? Have they been cleansed by God, or are they stained by sin? Perhaps we need to step back and see how clear things are in our lives, to clean things up, to make sure we’re in the light. “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you not recognize for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless you fail the test” (2 Corinthians 13:5).


Witnesses Prove Jesus Is God

Gary C. Hampton

            

   Gary HamptonPeople in our multicultural society speak of Jesus as simply a good man, or a prophet. God called Him His Son after John baptized him. “A voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:13-17). Peter’s suggestion of erecting tents for Moses, Elijah and Jesus led to the Father confirming, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:1-4). The Jews understood that the Father calling Jesus His Son makes Him equal with God (John 5:18)!

The writer of Hebrews penned, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:3). Vine indicates this means that Jesus was the shining forth of God’s glory and the very image of His substance. He went on to quote Psalm 45:6-7 and said the Father was calling Jesus, God.

John the Baptist’s role was to prepare the way of the Lord (John 1:23; Isaiah 40:3). Jesus understood Malachi 3:1 to refer to John (Matthew 11:7-10). The context of that passage includes Malachi 2:17, where it is seen that the Lord whose way was to be prepared was the God of Judgment. John the Baptizer let his audience know that he came to prepare the way of Jesus, the Son of God (John 1:29-34).

Paul believed Jesus was God come down to earth. Jesus existed as the very essence of God, just as He took on the very essence of a servant by becoming a man (Philippians 2:5-7; Hebrews 2:9-18). Paul’s testimony, combined with that of the Father, the writer of Hebrews and John the Baptist, clearly proves Jesus is God.


Who Is on the Throne?

Thomas Baxley

Thomas BazleyIn the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory." (Isaiah 6:1-3)

Uzziah was king of Judah for 52 years (2 Chronicles 26:3). He did what was right in the sight of God, and God blessed him and prospered him (4-15). For the better part of his reign things were going well for the nation of Judah, both materially and spiritually. However, Uzziah grew proud and was struck with leprosy (16-21). With the king dead, people, including Isaiah, wondered what was going to happen next. What kind of king would Jotham be? The correct answer is, “It doesn’t matter what kind of king Jotham or anyone else is; they are not really in charge.” Isaiah saw a vision that reminded him of that very thing. God is the One who sits on the throne, and it will never be vacant.


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