Summary: Sermon on the mental and spiritual blindness of the unbeliever
Blindness of the Mind II Cor. 4:4
INTRO.:I have met people spiritually blind who have no vision of what God can do for them or what they can do for God. I pity them. Blindness of the mind is more crippling than physical blindness.
Most people who are mentally blind don’t know it. We often wonder, "Why can’t he see what is happening?" because he really can’t see. He is a victim of what psychologists call a faulty "mind set." it means his mind is set in a certain way and cannot be changed. His condition is worse than being physically blind.
One reason it’s worse is because mental blindness often leads to spiritual blindness. A spiritually blind person can’t accept the claims of God because he "just can’t see it." this is a great obstacle for the Spirit of God to overcome.
Paul is writing about the mental/spiritual blindness that prevents folk from seeing the truth of God. This blindness is like a veil between men and God.
I. Let’s look at an Old Testament story in Exodus 34: Paul refers to it in II Cor. 3
A. Moses is on Mt. Sinai the second time.
1. He received the Law from God and broke the tablets in anger.
2. God brings him back and delivers the Law once again.
3. There Moses talks to God "face to face." Exod. 34:1-7
B. His face shines when he comes down off the mountain. Exod. 34:29-35
1. Moses bears the image of God’s glory
2. The people are afraid to be near Him. They fear the Presence of God.
3. Moses may also be embarrassed about the fading of that light. II Cor. 3:13
4. For these reasons, he veils his face from the people.
C. Paul says just as Moses veiled his face, God is veiled to those who read only the Old Testament Law. II Cor. 3:14, 15
1. Their minds are blinded to the truth.
2. The veil is only removed in Jesus.
3. Then the full glory of God’s plan is known to those who can see the Truth.
II. The unbeliever is also blind even though the Gospel is clearly preached:
A. They are victims of Satan. II Cor. 4:4
1. Jesus bears the image and glory of God even more than Moses.
2. The Gospel reveals Him and is not veiled. Something else is interfering.
3. They are blinded by obsession with this world and temporal things. Hence, the "God of this world."
4. We all know people of perfect vision who can’t see the truth because their eyes are on things of this world.
B. They are perishing and their deaths are not merely physical.
1. Getting through this life without the Gospel is like a blind man trying to cross a busy street without assistance.
2. ILLUS.: A blind man was given a guide dog through the generosity of the Lions Club. He abused the dog and it had to be taken away from him because the dog tried to lead him into traffic.
3. It’s dangerous to go through life blind. Spiritual blindness is worse. It follows you into eternity.
III. Real light is available from God. V. 6
A. It comes from God and is therefore perfect.
1. The same God Who said, "let there be light" (Gen. 1:3) makes His light shine in our hearts.
2. The unenlightened soul is like the primitive world. Gen. 1:1,2
3. In His mighty power, God created light by His spoken word. Light still comes from God’s Word.
4. We have learned to create artificial light, but only God can give light to the spirit of man.
B. Light is a revealer:
1. True light reveals the glory of God.
2. Without it, the spirit gropes in darkness, ignorant of God and His will.
3. The light is the Gospel. It makes God real and near to us.
C. This light comes through Jesus Christ. V. 6
1. God’s glory shone dimly through Moses, now brightly through Jesus. Hence the reference to "face of Christ."
2. "Media" is a popular word today. We speak of "printed media," electronic media," etc. It refers to the way in which something is transmitted.
3. Jesus is the medium through which God has communicated to us.
CONC.: in John 9 Jesus heals a man born blind and stirs up a controversy with the Pharisees. He states the reason for His coming in 9:39 and the Pharisees ask indignantly, "Are we blind?" They understood Jesus to say there is a spiritual blindness as well as physical blindness. Presently, there are more than 18 million blind and visually impaired persons in the U. S. their plight is not nearly as serious as those uncounted millions who are afflicted with blindness of the mind.