Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, November 21st. Today you'll learn about a man who had an encounter with Jesus and boldly told the story of his transformed life. Here's a lesson on the importance of telling it like it is. Does anyone ever look at you and wonder why you act the way you act? Why you say the things you say?
And why you think the way you think? Well, if they were to ask you, what would you say to them? Would you say, well, because I'm a Christian or because I've received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior or because God has changed my life?
Or would you be so intimidated by the fact that they would ask you that you wouldn't know what to say? Well, that's what I want to talk about in this message entitled Telling It Like It Is. And I want you to turn to a very exciting chapter in the Gospel of John, the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John. There are forty one verses and we're going to just read the first eleven, but we're going to cover them all. It is an instant in the life of Jesus that will give us some insight, I think, into a part of our Christian life that oftentimes we are much, much too quiet about. So in this ninth chapter, beginning in verse one, speaking of Jesus, And as he passed by, he saw man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?
Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned nor his parents, but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me as long as it is day. Night is coming when no man can work.
And look at this next phrase. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. You remember what he said in the Sermon on the Mount? Ye are the light of the world, knowing that he was going to the sin of the Father and that Christ in us would make us that light.
That is, at least we would be at the lanterns carrying the light. Verse six, when he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and applied the clay to his eyes and said to him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam, which is translated sin. And so he went away and washed and came back seeing the neighbors, therefore, and those who previously saw him as a beggar were saying, Is this not the one who used to sit and beg? Others were saying, This is he.
Still others were saying, No, but he's like him. He kept saying, I am the one. Therefore, they were saying to him, How then were your eyes opened? He answered, The man whose call Jesus made clay anoint in my eyes and said to me, Go to Siloam, wash. So I went away, washed, and I received my sight. And they said to him, Where is he?
He said, I don't know. Now, these are the first eleven verses to sort of get us started here in a passage of scripture that deals with something that all of us who are believers need to deal with. And that is our personal testimony.
Now, think about this. Your personal testimony is one of God's most powerful tools of leading other people to know Christ as their savior or getting them interested in the things of God. And so what I want to talk about in this message is your personal testimony. And I simply want to say in the very beginning that your personal testimony is your expression of your convictions of what God has done and is doing in your life. Your personal testimony is your expression of your conviction of what God has been doing, has done and is doing in your life.
And all of us who are believers, those who have trusted Christ as their savior, all of us have a personal testimony. All of us who have a personal testimony would have to say before the Lord Jesus Christ came into our life, we were spiritually blind. We didn't see things the way God sees them. We didn't see ourself in sin.
We didn't see ourself as rebels. We were defending our lifestyle. But when Jesus Christ, through his word, convicted us of our sin, our eyes began to open and we saw our need of Jesus Christ as our savior. We saw his crucifixion as our means of salvation and we trusted him as our personal savior. Spiritual blindness is the disease that has plagued the whole human race. And only when the light of the world who is Christ shines into the darkened heart of a lost person does that person begin to see things as they really are and see them from an eternal perspective. So all of us were one time blind, spiritually blind, separated from God. And he came into our life, gave us enough light. We trusted him as our personal savior.
What do we do? We believed him for our salvation. And as this man was physically made whole, so you and I were spiritually made whole and we began to see from God's perspective. And now we want to be what God wants us to be.
So here's what happened. Now, I say this about your testimony. Your personal testimony is your expression of your conviction of what God has done in your life and what he is presently doing. Now, let me say also that more than likely, if you begin to share your testimony and you begin to tell other people what Jesus Christ has done in your life, you're going to run into the same thing this man ran into. Which leads me to say that more than likely, as you share your personal testimony, you are going to face challenges by those who hear you.
Now, it's evident here what's happened. When somebody says, well, what is this man's personal testimony, I want you to see how simple it is. Because oftentimes we think, well, you know, I don't have a personal testimony. I didn't, I wasn't on drugs and in alcohol and all the things that a person could either wreck and ruin their life. And so we have the idea today that unless a person's lived a wicked, vile, sinful, horrendous kind of life, they don't have any testimony.
Yes, they do. Listen, far more than being able to have to say, well, you know, I lived in the bars and I did this. And I lost everything. And my life was an absolute total mess and a wreck. And one day Jesus saved me. Well, that's a wonderful testimony. We praise God for that.
But you know what? When a six year old little girl walks this aisle and she understands what it means to receive Jesus Christ as her personal savior, because her parents have trained her and taught her and read the Bible to her. And she's been to Sunday school and been to church and heard the gospel. And in her little teeny itsy bitsy little bit of pure faith, she says, yes, I do want to receive Jesus as my savior. Which is the greatest testimony in the eyes of God to be saved at six and live for Jesus all of your life?
Or let's say when that little six year old girl begins to be when she begins to be a teenager, she's 18. And she says, well, let me tell you what God did in my life when I was six years old because of the faithfulness of my parents teaching me the word of God. I began to read the scriptures and I began to understand a little bit. And when I was six, I walked down a church aisle and told my pastor that I had received Jesus as my savior or I wanted to receive Jesus Christ as my savior.
You think, well, that's no testimony. Oh, yes, it is, because it says here is the awesome power of God. Here is the power of the gospel, that it's so complex that it absolutely it just befuddles these great theologians and philosophers out there who are trying to find out what it's all about. And he has a six year old little girl who reads the word of God and it says, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. And that six year old little girl understands that Jesus loves her, that she has sinned against him.
He will forgive her and she'll be forever his child. And she says, yes, that is the awesome power of the gospel. And she does have a testimony all of her life that she did not waste her life.
She gave it to him very early. And all those years of her life, she has belonged to God. Your personal testimony is an expression of the conviction of what God has done in your life.
But there will be conflict. And notice what happened in this passage. He said, you want to know what my personal testimony is?
Here's what it is. I met this man, Jesus. He spit on the ground, put clay on my eyes, told me to go wash in the pool of Siloam.
I went wash the pool of Siloam and I've been healed ever since. Now I can see that's my personal testimony. Now, that's rather simple.
And sometimes we think if ours isn't complex and involved, we don't have one. And I can remember, you see, he didn't really know too much. For example, they said to him in verse 12, they said to him, now, where is this man?
He says, I don't even know where he is. He didn't know very much about Jesus. And the only thing he knew was that he was called Jesus. Somebody called him the Messiah. So he didn't know a whole lot about him. And he couldn't have pulled out Isaiah 53 and and said, well, let me tell you about the Messiah. And here's what he's coming to set the captives free today.
He didn't know anything about any of that. He just said, I met this man, Jesus. He spat. He clayed my eyes. He told me to go to the pool. I did what he said. Now I can see that's my personal testimony.
Well, that was enough. I mean, he stirred up the whole neighborhood and the whole community. And so what happens here here is a real conflict. And the conflict is they can't explain it. Well, the fact that they couldn't explain it. And so they wanted to deny it. Got him into real conflict.
Because here's what happened. Look in verse 13. They brought him to the Pharisees, the man who was formerly blind. Now, in those days, the Pharisees, the rabbis, you just went to them and asked them everything. If you want to make a decision about things, oftentimes you went to the rabbi. What does the rabbi think?
The rabbis have awesome influence and power among the people. And so they say, we're going to find out what this is all about. The rabbis will be able to explain what happened to this man. So they bring him to the rabbis. Now, again, therefore, the Pharisees were also asking him.
Now, look at this again. They ask him how he received his sight. And he said to them, I love this phrase. Watch this. He applied clay to my eyes. I watched and I see.
Now, look at this. He said, you will know my testimony. Six words. He applied.
I watched. I see. He says, it's just that simple. They said, no, it's too simple. Therefore, some of the Pharisees were saying, this man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath. But others were saying, how can a man who is a sinner perform such signs? And there was a division among them.
Now, look, here's what they say. The fact that he healed him on the Sabbath placed Jesus in the category of a sinner. Therefore, they said, no, he couldn't have done it. He broke the Sabbath. Therefore, he's a sinner. And a sinner does not hear from God. And therefore, he could not have done it.
Now, I want you to watch this because when we come to the end of this message, I'm going to say something that is so ultimately extremely important for every single one of you to hear. They said, we see it, but it's not true. Oh, either he is not the man or what we see is not true because our God doesn't allow for healing on the Sabbath. Therefore, this man couldn't have healed him.
But let's keep going. So, they asked him, they said in verse 17, therefore, they said, what do you say about him, about this man, since he opened your eyes? Now, look at that.
First of all, they're denying it. They're saying, but what do you say about this man now that he opens your eyes? He said, I say he's a prophet. Now, why would you think he's a prophet? Because he told me if he spit on the ground and he put clay on my eyes and he sent me to the pool of Siloam and he said, you go wash and be healed. I went and what he told me was going to happen happened. He's a prophet. He told me if I washed, I'd be healed.
I can see. That's the reason I think he's a prophet, because it happened the way he said it was going to happen. So, first of all, they said in verse 17, what do you say about him since he opened your eyes?
Then they turned right around and they said, they don't believe in this. The Jews, therefore, did not believe it of him that he had been blind and had received sight until they called the parents of the very one who had received the sight. Now, if you'll notice in verse 19, and they questioned them, saying, is this your son who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see? Now, everybody's asking how. They're not asking if he's, if he can see. They said, how?
The neighbors ask how. And they've already asked how in verse 15. They ask how in verse 16. And now here again in verse 19, then how does he see? Now, listen to what his parents said. His parents answered in verse 20, answered them and said, we know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees, we do not know. Or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him.
He's of age. He shall speak for himself. Now, why did they, why did they respond in that fashion?
Very intimidating. Look at verse 22. His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess him to be Christ, that is the Messiah, he should be put out of the synagogue. And so what I want you to see is this. Oftentimes in giving your personal testimony, when people don't understand, when you say to them, I've been born again, what do you mean by that? Well, Jesus came to my heart. What do you mean by that? I trusted Jesus as my Savior. What do you mean by that? Don't give me this religious stuff. In other words, I know you're different and you talk different, act different, you think different, you don't go the same places we do, do the same things we do.
Explain this to me. And when you say, well, here's what I did. I just believed what the Word of God said, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. And I accepted that as true and I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins and I received him as my personal Savior by faith. I asked him to come into my life and he saved me. And I've never been the same since.
Oh, no, no, wait a minute now, wait a minute. But, but, but it's got to be more truth than that. No, you know, he applied, I watched, I see. It's just that simple. You know, he died, I trusted, I'm saved. It's just that simple. And so often people will not share the wonderful work God has done in their heart because they think they've got to give them some big theological answer.
You don't have to do that. Your personal testimony is your expression of your conviction of what God has done in your life and is doing. And so there will oftentimes be conflict. Now, what is it, when we think about this conflict, we have to ask ourselves the question. And that is, what is it about this that brings conflict? Because oftentimes it will and people will, they will challenge us and they will be critical and sometimes they'll be critical of our lifestyle.
Now remember this, get this down real clearly. Many times when the unbeliever attacks your faith, it isn't really because they don't believe. It's because they have a curiosity about what's going on in your life. They're spiritually blind. They don't understand it. They hear what you say.
They can't understand what you mean by being born again any more than Nicodemus could explain it and understand it back when he talked with Jesus. And so when you talk about conversion or salvation or forgiveness and you say, well, you know, they say, well, what did you do? What did you have to do?
I didn't have to do anything. I just accepted Jesus as my Savior by faith. And so there's got to be more to it than that.
You know what they're still asking today? How? Well, now, how does this happen? You say trust again. No, no, wait a minute. How does it happen?
What did you do? The answer is still the same. It is trusting Jesus Christ as personal Savior. It is placing your trust in Jesus as the Son of God who died on the cross for your sins.
And the moment you're willing to accept him as your personal Savior, the forgiveness of your sins, you will become a child of God. But you see, oftentimes people, they will criticize us. But deep down inside, the motivation for their criticism is a deep yearning desire for you to explain. Now, how did this happen?
Tell me exactly what happened. They can't understand it. They're frustrated because they can't understand.
They get angry because they can't understand it. Don't realize spiritually they're blinded to the truth. And unless the Spirit of God brings about conviction, lifts the veil from their eyes, they never will be able to see it. And so when somebody says, I'll get saved when I please, no you won't. No, you don't get saved when you please.
You, listen, you become a child of God when the Spirit of God lifts the veil from your eyes and allows you to see the truth of your desperate need of Christ as your Savior. So oftentimes the response to people is that they are criticizers. And sometimes they deny what we say is the truth. And sometimes the problem is that they are so guilty by watching your lifestyle. You walk in your office, you don't smoke, you don't drink, you don't go to their parties. You lay a Bible on your desk or you talk about Jesus or you don't parade any of the things that you don't do and do. They just know that you go to church every time the doors are open, or at least you're talking about God and when you talk about things, you talk about how God worked in your life and you're not ashamed of it. They don't understand that.
And you know what happens? When you and I walk among men and women, no matter who they are and where they are, and we walk godly in their presence, you listen to this, you carry with you an authority. When you walk godly before men, you carry with you an authority. That authority is so powerful that it creates a sense of guilt in the lives of people around you, and that's what gets them angry. They don't like you being there. They can't explain it, they can't accuse you legitimately of this, that, and the other. There's just something about you they don't like. What they don't realize is what they don't like is something about themselves. They don't like and you remind them of something within them they don't like about themselves.
Listen to me carefully, friend. If you're one of those persons and you have some Christian friends and they irritate you, they're not really your friends at heart, and you'd just rather not be around them and they work in your office or in your school or whatever it might be or in your dorm, and you just don't like them, ask yourself the question. Is it their lifestyle? Is it that they're so sinful and wicked and vile you don't like them?
Or is it something about them that reminds you of something in yourself that deep down inside when you face the truth you know it's not right? Thank you for listening to today's podcast titled Telling It Like It Is. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-21 06:05:36 / 2023-11-21 06:14:14 / 9