Summary: The testimonies are not physical but spiritual... the Spirit and the water and the blood. This sermon talks about the spiritual testimonies.
I think today is the day that we all need to get our eyes checked. If I look a little overweight you need to get your eyes checked because I am in shape; that shape just happens to be round. Optometrists say that you should get them checked once a year as general maintenance and even more so the more you age. You only have one set of eyes, so caring for them is very important if you prefer to see the world around you instead of going blind. Our eyesight is one of a kind and irreplaceable with today’s technology. However, now we have the technology to help those blind from birth. They found something very interesting when replacing the cornea of people blind from birth. We all know that most motor and sensory skills are learned in the very early years of life. We learn to reach, grab, walk, and even see when we are very young. One professor wrote about his studies into these transplants. “Thanks to cornea transplants, people who had been blind from birth would suddenly have functional use of their eyes. Nevertheless, success was rare. Referring to one young boy, "the world does not appear to the patient as filled with the gifts of intelligible light, color, and shape upon awakening from surgery," Zajoc observes. Light and eyes were not enough to grant the patient sight. "The light of day beckoned, but no light of mind replied within the boy’s anxious, open eyes."”
Another man, Dr. Moreau explains what Zajoc means. Moreau says, “While surgery gave the patient the “power to see,” “the employment of this power, which as a whole constitutes the act of seeing, still has to be acquired from the beginning.” What he means is that just giving them the physical capability to see doesn’t give them eye sight; they also need to understand how to use that eyesight. We need two pieces in our bodies to be able to see; our eyes to bring in light and our brain to interpret it. Since a blind person’s brain has never had to interpret the sight of the eyes, they must learn from scratch how to see. This is very similar to our spiritual eye sight; our ability to see things the way God sees them. Most, if not all of us, understand what it means to be able to see the world around us with our physical eyes but many of us do not apply our spiritual sight at all. When we have accepted Christ and been baptized in His name, our soul is cleaned up from the sin it has wallowed in and it is restored to new. Once restored, the way we see the world and sin changes. It becomes painfully obvious to us how bad off we really were and how much sin was in our lives. We can now see the destructive nature of sin. Yet, we do not see these instantly. Our spiritual eyes have yet to function up to this point. Just like those born blind, we must learn to use our spiritual eyesight from scratch.
When we accept Christ, we aim to take on His attributes of love and peace. We must also aim to see the world around us and even people the way He sees them. 1 John 5:1-12 speaks about this very subject. John doesn’t speak about eyesight in these verses and yet he does speak about the way we view different parts of our relationship with Christ. Specifically, John comments on the commands of God, our faith, and the evidence proving who Christ said he was. John let’s us know that it is time we opened our spiritual eyes and saw the world around us for what it is. Today is that day you see the right way to view life. The first category is how we feel about God’s commands.
Burdensome Commands – Needing a Right Heart
I am not sure whether John had felt this way or maybe the people he wrote to needed to hear this but He says something out of the blue that strikes me as incredibly important. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” Did you catch that last little piece? We have already covered the living with God makes us a child of God part. We have already covered the idea that we have to obey His commands. John then states that God’s commands are not burdensome. John makes a specific point to note that God’s commands may seem tough to swallow but they are not. How? Most likely He is referring to the demands of God’s commands verses the demands of sin. These two are opposed and if we aren’t living in one, we are living in the other. Sin continually wants and needs. It always desires more than anyone wants to give and once down that path it is unforgiving in its penalties. God’s commands however are actually much nicer. Although sometimes hard to obey, they are forgiving and God gives grace to cover up our failures.