My Dear Friend,
While being pitilessly grilled over his healing by corrupt religious leaders bent on turning him against Jesus, a man born blind retreated to this, his unassailable verbal fortress: "One thing I know!" (John 9:25).
Though a simple, uneducated man, his logic was so wise that his opponents, who were well taught and skilled debaters, could not invalidate it. Let's review what this man "knew."
He knew he was born blind and had lived with this terrible handicap for many years. He knew no one born blind had ever received sight (John 9:32). He knew a young Jewish carpenter-turned-rabbi named Jesus had recently arrived on the scene. He knew Jesus had compassionately touched his eyes with clay and ordered him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. He knew when he then washed, his eyes opened - and he could see a whole new, wonderful, colorful, world, complete with earth, sky, and many people he had never seen before! And he knew this miraculous sight had continued uninterrupted for several days before the Jewish leaders interrogated him. These things he knew.
But at the moment he was unaware of many other things. He did not know Pharisaic doctrine or the Torah with the expert precision of the scribes. He did not know Jesus had been born in Bethlehem, of a young virgin, and of David's tribe according to the Messianic prophecies. He did not know why the Pharisees and Scribes held such animus for Jesus. He did not know Jesus' primary message - the Good News that the (spiritual) kingdom of God was at hand and salvation was coming through His cross and resurrection. All these things he did not know.
Soon afterwards, however, Jesus revisited him and revealed He was his Savior and God's Son (John 9:35-38). Believing Jesus, the man was then saved by faith in the Savior. Suddenly, he experienced another kind of sight: spiritual vision! Now he could see that a whole new life lay ahead. A life of building a close personal fellowship with his Savior-Healer, studying His Word, diligently obeying it, receiving His Holy Spirit, following the Spirit's guidance, understanding his place and gifts in Christ's emerging body of believers, and fulfilling his spiritual destiny to help build God's kingdom. Oh, how happy he was. For the first time in his entire life his outlook was no longer depressing but joyous!
Additional joy came because he knew he had overcome the evil-minded religious authorities. Immediately after his miracle, they did their best to talk him out of the new life Christ had led him into. But he successfully withstood them with his simple-yet-superior logic. He knew what he knew - what he had personally experienced - and no one could make him unknow it! Oh what a lesson for us.
The same thing occurs every time a sin- or demon-bound sinner has a saving experience with our sin- and demon-defeating Savior. Their old bondage is broken. A sweet, fresh life is opened. They don't know many things yet - all Jesus' teachings and miracles, correct Christian creeds and doctrines, End-Times prophecy, church history, the ways (spiritual disciplines) of God, the plan of God for the church and Israel, and so forth. But "one thing they know!" And what is that?
They know what they have personally experienced. Like the man born blind, they, too, know they formerly lived in sin and bondage. Then a unique God-Man came along. He compassionately touched them when they read or heard the gospel, or the inspired testimony of a layman, or received the Holy Spirit's healing or exorcism ministered in Jesus' name. They know that then they went free. For the first time in their life, their old sin lost its power and appeal. They know the old chains fell off. Their conscience was suddenly clear and their mind clean. Or they know their old bodily illness or infirmity was removed and their health made whole. In one miraculous moment, their whole life leaped upward for joy, relieved and buoyed by having all these heavy soul burdens suddenly lifted. And now they, too, have received new sight, spiritual vision, and can see a bright, hopeful future ahead. But this ideal specter won't remain unchallenged for long.
Just as the Pharisees and scribes came after the man born blind to steal his great blessing and spoil the great life Jesus had given him, unbelieving friends, family members, false ministers, and those denying the new birth, the Baptism and gifts of the Spirit, or Christ's present-day miracles will come after whoever Jesus has saved, healed, delivered, or filled with the Spirit by His compassionate power. Why? They want to shut down the wonderful new life Jesus has opened up to you and blur your joyous spiritual vision with discouragement and confusion. Their opposing claims are many.
They will deny Jesus is God. They will argue new birth isn't necessary to salvation or that the Baptism with the Spirit occurred when you were water baptized. They will claim Christ's New Testament miracles were only the false claims of His overexcited followers, and God doesn't intervene in our lives or work miracles - or that, though He did in ancient times, He does not do so today. They will mock your new devotion to seeking Christ and studying His Word. They will try to dissuade you from attending prayer meetings or church gatherings faithfully. They will laugh at your adherence to biblical holiness and righteousness. They will laugh raucously when you claim Jesus is returning or dare mention the rapture of the church. They will twist Scripture until it screams to try to justify their sinfulness and condemn your godliness. Why? Unconsciously prompted by your adversary, the devil, they are bent on making you stand down from the life Christ has lifted you up to walk in. What should be your response?
"One Thing I Know!" Or, more specifically, your testimony may be one of the following:
- "I know I was a raging alcoholic, and I know I now have not the slightest desire to take a drink." "I know I was hooked on Internet pornography, and I know now I am free of any desire to feed on perverted smut." "I know I was steeped in occultism and I know I see it now for the dark, false, deceptive thing it is." "I know I was an atheist, absolutely despising Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity, which I believed had misguided the western world, and now I know that God is real, Jesus is who He claims to be, the Bible is God's absolutely true, living Word, and Christianity is the world's only trustworthy hope and guide."
- "I know I hated my parents for years and I know I understand them now and no longer resent them." "I know a terrible automobile accident left me hopelessly crippled for life and I know I can now walk and even run like a teenager." "I know I was arrogantly proud and for years disdained people without college educations or highly technical knowledge, and I know now I see myself soberly and deeply appreciate hardworking people with manual skills and little education - who bless my life with their skills and knowledge and who are greatly loved by Jesus!"
- "I know I was destroying my mind, body, and children by my drug use and I know I am free now of my former addiction - and the sinful attitudes and emotions that prompted me to turn to my addiction hoping for relief." "I know I was filled with envy at rich or successful people and I know I now see they are just like everyone else - sinners in need of a Savior - and I am peacefully content and thankful with the money and success I have."
- "I know I've hated people of a certain race all my life and now I know that that senseless, cruel bias is gone - and I see only souls, not skin, and decide issues based on facts, not demographic groups." "I know I was sure my church's sacraments and its priests' power alone could save me and absolve my sins and I know now Christ's blood alone saves us, by faith, grace, and a new birth, not by rituals, special prayers, or good works."
- "I know all my life I believed, 'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet,' and now I know Allah is not God, nor is Mohammed his prophet." "I know that for years I hated a high school friend who cruelly betrayed me and now I know I have no resentment for him (or her) but only Christ's love and goodwill to see him saved and following Jesus."
- "I know that for years I lived a spiritually dead life while attending a church that didn't call out sin, rarely taught the Bible, and had no moral or spiritual requirements for membership, and I know the church I'm attending now is filled with Spirit-led worship, constantly teaches the Bible, warns against sin, offers compassionate but righteous corrective counsel and, when necessary, exercises church discipline - and I'm living life alive, full of radiant joy, and irrepressible hope, and a growing, inner excitement about knowing Jesus more every day."
And we could go on ad infinitum describing our old condition in sin and our new condition in Christ. But this point has been abundantly made: like the man born blind, we know within ourselves - in a way no other soul could possibly know - what wonderful, compassionate changes Christ's powerful touch has made in our lives. And, like that simple yet profoundly wise man, let us never let it go. Ever!
That's one thing I know,
Dr. Greg Hinnant
GREG HINNANT MINISTRIES