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Perfect Love Casts Out Fear

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Introduction

Are you broken or healed?

There's a lot of confusion in the church today regarding brokenness.
We all love the word broken
We are all just broken and shattered into pieces
All of us sharing this collective brokenness
We love to talk about how broken we are and yet I think the confusion lies in the difference between brokenness and humility
I think we'd all agree that while we are broken in our sin, we desire to be healed not to remain broken
While I am still having my own difficulties and you have yours with sin, I don't consider myself broken in the sense that I have to go round acknowledging all the time my brokenness.
Instead, with humility, I talk about the healing that is taking place in my life how God has healed me from my brokenness, for God has in fact healed me from many of the ways I was broken.
The great hymn “I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind but now I see.”
So the message today is simply titled “I Once Was Blind”
Once we were all blind men sitting by the roadside begging, but what are we now?
Let’s raise in the honor of the reading of God’s Word
Luke 18:35–43 ESV
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Have Mercy on Me!

When we are struggling, we want mercy
When we are deep in times of great trouble, where the water is well over our heads and we can barely see the surface, we cry out for mercy.
Maybe some of you have walked through times of others’ great crisis.
There was a young lady back in 1995 named Katie Fisher, 17, who had Burkitt’s lymphoma, a fast-growing malignancy.
She was selling a lamb to raise some money.
The auctioneer, Roger Wilson, told the crowd about her difficult position.
The standard price per pound was $2. By the time the bidding was over they had sold the lamb for $11.50/lb.
Then, in an even more amazing act of mercy, the buyer gave the lamb back to Katie.
The crowd chanted “Re-sell! Re-sell!”
They sold that little lamb 36 times, raising more than $16,000.
Isn’t that awesome?!
Don’t we all have times in our lives where we need that kind of mercy and relief?! That kind of loving mercy?
Many of you have come to know Jesus and experienced that kind of mercy after hitting a very low place.
The sad truth about Katie Fisher
After that great wash of money came in to help pay for her medical expenses, she passed away some months later.
She found mercy, but not healing.
I believe that is why Jesus asks the man what he wants him to do.
The man is crying out in desperation for Mercy!
He needs relief!
He is tired of begging for scraps and coins!
Like the prodigal son, he gets tired of eating slop when Jesus can give him so much more.
What does he want? Mercy
But Jesus asks him an important question: “What do you want me to do for you?”
What Mercy do you seek?
It is important for us to define what mercy we seek.
What relief are you looking for?
The man defines mercy with healing
“Lord, let me recover my sight.” That is the mercy I seek.
I am tired of being blind, I want to see.
It affected every part of his life.
It was how he was known.
It forced his begging career.
It likely created distance from those he would like to befriend.
What does this mercy You seek look like?
Do you want relief from pain, from struggle, from addiction, from shame, from fear?!
Do you want forgiveness?
Do you want to be healed?
Jesus offers both forgiveness and healing, but only healing takes away your blindness!
There are two important theological terms having to do with salvation, the saving of a soul.
Justification and Sanctification
Justification is being made legally right in God’s court.
God, by command, acquits us of our guilt before Him.
We are given a right standing with God.
It is the moment of reconciliation with God.
Sanctification is the continual action of God making a man righteous.
After He acquits us of our guilt, He then sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us towards righteousness.
This is the healing of salvation.
What if Jesus gave this man forgiveness for the sin that made him blind (if there was such sin), but didn’t remove the blindness?
It was the healing he sought, but it came through faith and forgiveness.
He doesn’t want to be forgiven and not healed, his goal is the healing.
Who would want to be forgiven but not healed?
Some folks love their sin and confuse the healing process.
Do you want God not to be angry about your sin?
Some folks just want Jesus to be ok with their sin.
I’m forgiven!
Look at my pile of sin and Jesus has forgiven all of it!
Is that really what you want?
Do you want Him to make your sin acceptable? He won’t! He can’t!
Jesus’ offer to mankind comes as a mandatory bundle not a buffet!
There is no Jesus buffet!
You can’t select forgiveness without accepting the holiness.
You can’t have the fried chicken without taking the all you can eat salad bar!
Listen, to Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV) — 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
He gives out the mercy and forgiveness with the intent to make you holy!
You are justified, he says, but your sin is not!
You are sanctified, or made holy, but your sin is not!
Sin is the disease and your faith in Jesus is the Cure!
James MacDonald says in our upcoming men study “If...you need god to redeem your regrets and restore what sin has stolen from you, this is going to be awesome!”
Sin steals from you!
It erodes all of your relationships over time!
It will take your pride, your position, your employment, your money, your family!
John 10:10 (ESV) — 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
1 Peter 5:8–11 (ESV) — 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Don’t give a place to the Devil and sin!
Faith Delivers
He believes that Jesus can give him sight
That faith brings sight
Faith Delivers
Look at verse 42 with me “And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”
Let me give you my more wooden translation: And Jesus said to him: “Recover your sight; this faith of yours has delivered you.”
You see the Greek term “sesoken” translated as made well is actually a term meaning deliverance.
He was made well, no doubt...he could see.
But he could see because he had been delivered from his blindness.
Your faith may bring about healing, but only if you are delivered from your sin!
You don’t want the shame; deliverance comes from an end to your sin.
You don’t want the financial burdens, then let Jesus deliver you from sin.
You don’t want to be addicted anymore, then let Jesus deliver you from sin.
In one sense Mercy brings healing
But the healing is the result of deliverance...from something.
Jesus didn’t just give him sight, he delivered him from blindness.
Can you see the difference?
The man does not want to be blind anymore, for him that means he needs sight.
Why do you need forgiveness? Because you don’t want to sin anymore.
That is the formula of faith.
What Should Mercy Cause in Us?
Two new things spring up in the man
He begins to follow Jesus
He doesn’t run around using his sight for his own pleasure, but instead he follows Jesus.
He understands that wherever Jesus is, he wants to be.
Whatever Jesus does, he wants to do.
He has changed his course.
No more begging! Just following.
The second thing is he begins to praise God
This was not likely on his agenda much before.
He probably felt wronged by God for making him blind.
It is hard to praise God in the valley. It can be done, but it takes a great deal of faith.
But when God does something for you, you need to respond with praise.
Every Sunday we long to hear the praises of God’s people for what He has done.
Has that been your response?
Have you been washed in the blood of Jesus and as a result faithfully followed Him and praised Him at every step?
Have you rewarded God’s mercy with service or selfish pursuits?
Are you too busy to give God glory for what He is continuing to do for you?
Never presume on the mercies of God.
Final Thoughts
And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
It is the change in each of us that causes others to praise God.
The same crowd that had told him to be quite earlier are now praising God on his behalf.
Your testimony before men matters.
Just because you have freedom doesn’t mean you should use it in ways that dishonor God.
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable.
If you have not confessed your sinfulness and need of a savior to God, today could be your day of redemption.
Jesus left His throne in heaven at the command of the Father, came down and was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life for the sole purpose of offering himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, your sin, taking our well-deserved punishment by suffering the agony and humiliation of the cross, dying, and being buried. He then conquered death and hell by rising from the dead, an act that showed God the Father’s approval of His sacrifice, and now offers that payment for all who will confess and believe.
I encourage you to confess your sinfulness to God and ask Jesus to save you from your sins as the rest of us worship God almighty in the way the Holy Spirit leads this morning.
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