I would like to begin today’s message by asking you a very simple question or so it seems at face value, yet one that maybe one of your most difficult and ongoing questions that you will ever have to answer.
Who are You?
If you are asked that question could you describe with a high degree of certitude exactly who you are?
Your name is symbolic
If I say my name is Wray to the average person on the street…
If you tell them your job
That is just what you do and many times it has nothing to do with who you are
If we tell our age, this doesn’t correlate with
ASK AGAIN: Who are you?
If I asked you to write it down
I submit that we do not fully know who that person is
What would you get right?
What would you get wrong?
What would you omit?
Would all the positive aspects be correct and true?
Would you catch all the negative ones?
What if we compared that to how others see us?
How do others see us?
By our actions
How does God see us?
By our actions and heart
What does a little child know about themselves?
They lack the insight and understanding that they will gain over the decades of living life
How does a spiritually immature person see themselves?
In much the same way they lack the insight and understanding that they will gain over the decades of being in the church.
The Path from Blindness to Sight
The way we were
Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
Isaiah 59:8 The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.
Isaiah 59:9 Therefore justice is far from us, Nor does righteousness overtake us; We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
Isaiah 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind, And we grope as if we had no eyes; We stumble at noonday as at twilight; We are as dead men in desolate places.
Mark 8:22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.
Mark 8:23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.
Mark 8:24 And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.”
Mark 8:25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.
We see that there are varying degrees of blindness
Jesus Christ could have healed him all at once, as He did the others, but He is making a point, what is it?
Happens in Steps: Light, fuzzy images, clarity, see as God does
The lesson is that our path from blindness to perfect sight is a process – this is the spiritual maturation process
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Mirror dimly… example of looking in a mirror without the light on
black smudge from work, jelly from breakfast, etc?
The fact of the matter is that you will miss these imperfections
What does a blind man see in the mirror? What is the condition of your garments? Are you wearing linen? Are you naked?
He goes on: Now I know in part [who we really are], but then I shall know just as I also am known.
So when the question is asked, “Who Are You?” here is the answer
Also, here is the direction and goal: but then I shall know just as I also am known.
When we look ourselves in the mirror, we must realize that we do not see ourselves clearly and what we do see is a spiritually immature person. These analogies (in :11-12) imply that we are not at the point we should be.
Our direction is to see ourselves as God sees us
He sees the good and the bad
We are not completely aware of who we are
For the eye to see
1. Light – cave; Darkness in a cave
2. Interpretive mechanism – brain
Spiritually speaking we need the same things:
Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
Law, testimonies, His ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, word, ordinances, and knowledge
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.“
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
It is by this spirit that we transform from what we were to what we are to become:
Ephesians 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
Ephesians 4:23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
Ephesians 4:24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
So when we look into the mirror we see the reflection of Character and nature of God; Word of God
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
This conversion process which, with God’s help through the power of the holy spirit, is the transforming of our human nature into a Godly one.
It is the changing from who you were to who you should be….
So, WHO ARE YOU?
You are someone along this timeline.
You were here, but as you learned and overcame you moved to here
But this still means that you need to move to here
Here is a key to WHO YOU ARE:
As a man thinks….
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
We are the sum of our thoughts
Because thoughts lead to actions. And if we consistently choose right ones over wrong ones then we build holy righteous character.
our actions reflect the inside
Our actions should be ones of love towards God and man
James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
James 1:20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Do we choose to be: Holy or profane/carnal
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
2 Corinthians 6:18 “I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
What is God Showing You?
What trial are you going through now and what is it that God is trying to show you?
Well…WHO ARE YOU?
We have a great responsibility to look for God in us, to make sure that we are growing in his nature. Of course the flip side of that is that we have a greater responsibility to remove those things which are not godly to search them out and root them out with His help
Why is this an issue today?
Not so long term
Condition in the end
Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
Revelation 3:15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
Revelation 3:16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Revelation 3:17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
1 Corinthians 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.
1 Corinthians 11:29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
The Corinthians took the Passover in a very unworthy manner, but that is not to say that we have to commit the same egregious sins to keep it in a manner that is less than what God would expect from us.
We cannot afford to let the Passover become a time that is just another day in the calendar. We cannot let it lose is deep meaning and the reason that we memorialize it.