17 May 2014

Is faith dependent on man?

Submitted by theshovel
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When it comes to faith…is it in some way dependent on the human…seems like God hold responsible those who do not believe the truth like saying their condemnation remains. Mark A.

Human reasoning will conclude that faith is dependent upon itself, but left to himself man goes his own way. I’m guessing that you’re referring to a statement like this in posing your question:

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36 KJV

Our religious assumptions regarding what we see as the “activity” of faith leads us to view such statements as validations, when instead they speak of what is true in the one who believes versus the one who does not. Consider the passage leading up to the above verse:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. John 3:16-21 NASB

It is all to manifest, to show forth that which comes from God. Notice how it refers to the judgment, the condemnation, itself. The condemnation is that men loved darkness rather than light. Those who believed were testimonies of the miraculous. They showed forth the work of God in the midst of the darkness.
The empty container that had been created to house the life of God is being revealed for what it is by its rejection of the only one who is its fulfillment. This rejection is the condemnation, the wrath of God that remains upon the one who does not believe. Their own blindness causes them to stumble even while they profess having great sight.


Is blindness self imposed? Is there something they can do about it?

Is blindness self imposed? First, let me say that I’ve learned to be careful not to make hard and fast rules regarding blindness as it relates to the spiritual realm. I mean, just consider how Jesus used it to describe the lack of sight in the religious world, and then he turns it around on those religious men who asked if they were blind also:
Is blindness self imposed? First, let me say that I’ve learned to be careful not to make hard and fast rules regarding blindness as it relates to the spiritual realm. I mean, just consider how Jesus used it to describe the lack of sight in the religious world, and then he turns it around on those religious men who asked if they were blind also:

And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains. John 9:39-41 NASB

Stuff like this used to leave me so confused, but only because I was trying so hard to get it all down to a science. To me, blind meant blind and couldn’t mean anything else, and so it seemed to be quite a contradiction … but I also assumed that I must be missing a key element in my understanding. So, I just let many things sit there brewing in my mind for years.

Regarding how Jesus answered these blind guides, it had everything to do with the claims they made based upon their own perception. In other words, my confusion was found in not taking the whole situation into account, which meant that I was more concerned with getting definitions nailed down and doctrines straightened out rather than I was with simply observing how Jesus cut through it all. I’ve come to see that getting doctrines straightened out and definitions nailed down described the rules by which the mind of man operates.

In this world, we have learned that blindness is a lack of physical sight. Some are born blind and therefore have no idea of what it means to see, while others lose their eyesight after having known the full-weight of what is lost. How we refer to sight and/or blindness might come across as a one-size-fits-all thing, but it is not.
The story found in John 9 has another added factor, for Jesus made sure to dispel the notion in the minds of his disciples that the man’s blindness was somehow connected to sin. You see, the disciples had asked Jesus an either/or question based upon the assumption that somebody sinned to cause the blindness. They did not even consider that sin might not have been an issue.

And so, going into the situation, the disciples would have witnessed an unfolding drama that chipped away at their false assumptions. While we might imagine that such an experience would be so cool to witness, I think that besides the amazement found in realizing that Jesus was opening the eyes of a man born blind, the disciples were experiencing something altogether different. It had to do with their assumptions about sin and righteousness and judgment. After all, the Pharisees had also assumed the man’s blindness was evidence of great sin.

In this, we can see a vast difference between the blindness of the man who got healed and the Pharisees who perceived themselves as the seeing. Was the blind man’s defect self-imposed? No. Could he do anything about it? No. But can the same questions be posed in the same way regarding that of the religiously blind? I don’t think so. It seems more applicable to say it in such a way as did Paul: IF they were to turn, they would be healed.

In other words, WE can see that if that were to happen in those who cannot see, it would be life from the dead. WE who have had our eyes opened can see that those whose eyes have been blinded are caught in many traps of their own making. For while they cannot see, they not only profess to be the seeing ones, they arrogantly set themselves up on courses that WE can see are only dead ends. WE can see that IF they could see the dead end, they would not go down that way.

thx for sharing Jim

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While this posting deserves a whole discussion in and of it's self, the thing that comes to mind for me is this:


What if the Pharisees always kept silent after Jesus responded to them simply because they felt that they couldn't respond with the “right” answer? They were stunned and were ONLY looking for a correct answer to everything so they had nothing at all to say. For if they spoke, nothing would be brought forth except that which would have made them look plain, simple and as a child. 


We can't have that can we?



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