Christ Preparing our Hearts 10

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

You can count on it that it is very difficult to come to heaven, but the way to destruction is broad and easy. Take it to heart that you have a deceitful heart with you, a wicked devil close to you, and snares and hindrances around and before you.

A blind person would not make it in the world very long at all without help and helps. That is also true of all other people as well. Jesus spoke of the blind leading the blind and they both fell in the ditch. But of course He was speaking of a spiritual blindness which includes a spiritual deception as well. Those who are blind are fully human beings, but they lack one sense that helps people in and through the world. They cannot see the world as it is. They cannot see curbs and pot holes and construction ditches. They cannot see that they are walking to the edge of a bluff. But imagine a blind person who deceived himself into thinking that he could see. That is what happens with people who are dead in sin and yet think of themselves as alive. These are people who are spiritually blind and yet think they have spiritual sight. Blindness can be overcome, but as long as a person is deceived into thinking that he can see there is no hope for that person. As long as a person that is blind to spiritual things does not see that Christ must reveal truth to him or her, there is no hope for that person.

Galatians 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

James 1:26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.

In the verses above we see some of the great deception that humanity has to deal with. The world is constantly telling us that we are something and how great our self-esteem should be, yet it is opposed to the Scriptures which tell us that if we think we are something when we are nothing we deceive ourselves. The context of Galatians 6:3 is certainly a spiritual context, but we can simply note that it is very possible to deceive ourselves by thinking too highly of what we think our attainments might be. A person can think of self as quite spiritual and yet the reality is that the person is an unbeliever and still in bondage to self and sin.

The passage above from the book of James is quite powerful and should shred the hopes of many as to their religion. Many, many people think that they are religious, but they are quite deceived about the true nature of their religion. The true nature of Christianity has to do with the centrality of the glory of God and the hearts of men that He has changed so that they may live for His glory and be instruments of His glory. He does this by grace alone. But many think of Christianity as being essentially doctrinal, so if they have solid doctrine and an intellectual grasp of it they think they are converted. Others think of Christianity as moral, so they follow a certain morality and are quite content in thinking that they are solid Christians. But James teaches us something different throughout the book. Christianity has its essence in the heart and a person that does not control the tongue is not a person who has a new heart. A person can claim to believe, but a new heart and new life are necessary to validate that claim.

The person that thinks that Christianity is doctrine alone or moral alone is something like a blind person let out in the wilderness who thinks that s/he can see. The blind person in the wilderness must be convinced that s/he is blind in order to be led into the truth. Christ alone is the perfect Guide and the One who can lead people to the Father. People are greatly deceived who think that their doctrine or their morality can lead them to the Father or heaven. Following the way of doctrine is easy for the intellectual person, but repenting of all hope in the intellect is not. Following the way of external and public morality is easy for a strong-willed person or a proud person, but having Christ teach us that we have no self-righteousness and that even our good works are as filthy rags is not. While it is so hard for people to grasp in our day, but religion apart from Christ is very deceptive. Religion with a little of Christ is quite deceptive. It is also true that religion that uses the name of Christ a lot can be quite deceptive if not more deceptive than the rest. We must have the true Christ teach our hearts and take us in our spiritual blindness by our hands and lead us to truth and Himself. All else is deception.

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