From the book: Sermon on the Mount. Vol. 5

sermons.gif (3201 bytes)

Sermon on the Mount, #52
Go to the book

THE LIGHT OF THE BODY

SERMON #132

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! MAT 6:22-24.

The hymn, "Break Thou the Bread of Life," concludes with the beautiful thought, "Show me the truth concealed within Thy Word, And in Thy Book revealed I see the Lord." It is by faith that we see; spiritual sight is strictly the sight of faith.

Our text must be seen in the context of the verses before it. We studied MAT 6:19-21 in the previous message, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The proper use of our earthly goods can be used for laying up treasures in heaven.

It seems so strange, until we see how the Lord has laid this out in His Word, to think that the material goods which He gives us can be used for laying up treasures in heaven. Now He tells us we may do this with a single eye, which means the eye is single if it is focused on the right object.

Jesus is speaking of spiritual light in contrast to natural light. The eye is the organ by which light enters, and so it is in a spiritual sense. What is our eye fixed upon? How do we use these material goods? Our eye must be fixed upon those heavenly treasures; then everything we have is dedicated to that one thing, i.e., the treasures in heaven.

Jesus said, "if therefore thine eye be single." That word single means, "Pure; simple; incorrupt; unbiased; the straightest course; sincere; sound; having clear vision of divine truth." So, our eye is not clouded by the things of this world, things of mammon, or things of money; if our eye is clear, it is fixed on the right things. Now we need to examine if our eye is single and pure and not corrupted with the things of this world.

If our eye is single, our vision will be sound, having a clear insight into divine truth with God's glory as our single objective. The Lord's Prayer so precisely teaches us this truth. The very first petition is "Hallowed be thy name." The first, uppermost desire of our heart and object of our eye of faith must be to glorify God's name. PRO 30:5-6 says, "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."

When our eye falls upon the Word of God, it must be upon the pure Word of God; we may not compromise the Word, we may not pollute it with human reasoning because every Word of God is pure, and we must not add to it. It is so important that we have our eye only on the glory of God; we are to see in His Word that God is to be glorified in every aspect of our lives.

If our eye is single, Christ is the sole object of our faith and affections; our affections are not set on things below, on things of time and sense. The Lord gives great riches to many of His people, but their affections are not set upon them. Abraham and Isaac both were very rich in cattle, gold, and material goods, but their hearts were not set on these things. When Abraham was called upon to put his all on the altar, he was able to take his precious son, Isaac, and put him on the altar of sacrifice because it was according to the Word which God had spoken to his soul. Everything must be subordinated to Christ; that is where our eye must be fixed.

"Keep your eye on the ball" is a common expression; no person could be a successful ball player if his attention is diverted from the ball. Think about this. If you want to be a successful ballplayer, you must watch the ball or it will be beyond your reach before you know it. So it is in having our eye fixed on Christ; we cannot let our eye wander.

A man was telling us how to cross a stream by walking on a very narrow log. To do it, you must fix your eye on an object across the stream; as you watch the object, you hold your balance and walk across. If you get half way and look at the rolling water beneath you, you will wind up in the turmoil of those waters. The rolling water is like the trials and temptations of this life.

If our eye is fixed on Christ, we cannot be watching all the things going on underneath us. Our eye is fixed upon only one objective: the faith we have in Christ; our eye is not fixed on earthly things.

Look at the context of our text; the verses following our text to the end of the chapter all deal with how our hearts should not be set upon earthly things, but rather how we should trust the Lord. He will provide for the body and every necessity of life. Therefore, our heart must not be set upon those things; we are to fix our eye on Christ.

If our soul longs after righteousness, the eye that is fixed upon Christ will be filled with light. JOH 8:12 says, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." When we have to make a decision, the first question we should ask is: What would Christ do in such a case? Any decision we have to make must be made seeking to follow Christ's example because He must be the main focus of our lives.

We are to look unto Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. HEB 12:3 says, "For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." When our eye is fixed upon the object of our faith, when we have the singleness of eye, then we will follow Him and walk in Him. Jesus said, "...he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

Jesus also gives us the contrast, i.e., "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." If we follow Him, we will not walk in darkness, but if we do not follow His footsteps, in the way of the cross, crucifying the old man of sin, then we will walk in darkness. If we attempt to walk with Christ while our eye is on the flesh, we have diseased eyes. If the eye is diseased we may have double vision, or it may be blurred, or cloudy causing us to stumble and fall.

The eye is single, not because it sees only one thing, but because it looks in one direction. This means that we look in the direction of Christ. This deals with a principle of moral regards, not of intellect. We must understand the moral of what Christ is saying; we need more than just the intellect of it.

This principle marks one passion which presses all others into subjection. Every evil passion of our heart must be pressed into subjection to the passion to walk in the footsteps of Christ. Every desire of our heart that comes against this principle must be brought into subjection. This brings spiritual warfare within our heart. We desire to walk in the footsteps of Christ, but the old man of sin sticks up his ugly head tempting us to walk after the things that please the flesh.

Scriptures often use setting out to sea as an illustration of our spiritual life. As a navigator setting out to sea, we must set our compass on our eternal destination which is Christ.

So many people have their compass set on heaven; it isn't set on Christ. Christ is not their example; their main desire is to escape hell, and they want to go to heaven to escape hell. They don't understand what it is to want to be Christlike where their whole life must be conformed to the blessed image of Christ. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren," ROM 8:29.

A navigator cannot allow the luxury of one place, or the gain of another, to detain him. His compass is set for one certain harbor, and he doesn't let his ship stray from the set course. If he does, he will miss his port. This is the way it is with you and me; there are so many things to lure us astray. The flesh lures us here and there, but if our eye is single, it will be looking on Christ. He will become the entire object of our desire wherein we will walk and follow in His footsteps. This is what is meant by singleness of eye.

The singleness of eye does not mean a person sees only one thing. He sees the heaven above and the depths over which he rides, but his eye, as the navigator's compass, is set on the object of his faith. When we single out Christ as the object of our salvation, our faith, and the center of everything, we see that heaven is the reward. We see the depths of corruption from which Christ saves us, but our eye is fixed on the blessed Redeemer; we are God-seekers, not heaven-seekers. There is a great distinction between those two.

We may well see the heavens above and depths over which we ride, but our eye, as the navigator's compass by which he steers his course, is on the desired haven. The Word of God is the compass which keeps us on course to our desired haven--to be with Christ.

The single eye aims at one object. David said in PSA 27:1, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" That Light is the object upon which we must keep our eye. Jesus said, "...I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life," JOH 8:12. David said the Lord was his Light and salvation; Christ was his salvation.

In the next two verses David demonstrates the blessedness of this singleness of eye. "When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident," PSA 27:2-3. Why did David have such victory over all his enemies? Why couldn't they prevail against him? David's eye was fixed on that light of the Lord which kept his enemies at bay.

Oh, beloved, how often we have fighting and fears within our heart and our arch enemy, old Satan, comes against us. He wants to instill bitterness in our heart and get our eye off Christ. When Christ was wounded for our transgressions, He was reviled, but He didn't revile again. When our hearts and minds are centered on Christ, we see this host of Satan encamped against us, but if our eye is on the light, we shall not fear. "...though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident."

In the next verse, David attributes this blessed sense of security to his singleness of eye. PSA 27:4 says, "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple." David shows us the singleness of his eye; he has one desire. He doesn't have mixed emotions or feelings about what he wants; he knows what he wants. He didn't say he wants to escape hell, or go to heaven when he dies; he wants to see the beauty of the Lord. He wants the nearness and fellowship of the Lord, living in the Lord's favor, with the Lord's blessing while he is yet living. He would not allow his eye to be taken off that blessed light. He would not look at his enemies and shake with fear. His eye was single.

Martha was a dear, loving child of God; she loved Jesus dearly, but Jesus rebuked Martha for being cumbered about many things, and He commended Mary for her singleness of eye in LUK 10:40-42. "But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus. She wasn't so busy about serving, she needed to be served. Her soul was being served at the feet of Christ. Her remorse over her sin made her wipe His feet with the hairs of her head and wash His feet with her tears. That good part was not to be taken from her because she was not busy with everyday things. She left the routine things to take advantage of the opportunity to be with Jesus. Her actions showed where her values lay. She had a single eye.

We can have our eye taken off our course by serving while thinking we are doing God's service. See what Jesus said in JOH 16:2, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." The Lord will rebuke us for being cumbered by so many things because when we take our eye off the light, we walk in darkness.

The Apostle Paul taught this same principle in PHI 3:13-14, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Paul had his eye fixed on the object of his faith; he had a singleness of eye, fixed only on one thing, which was "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." He let everything that had happened stay behind him so he could press forward.

Our text says, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." This fullness of light is an emblem of knowledge. We need to see the promise that goes with it. If the eye is single, the whole body, i.e., the church, will be full of light. We also see this in 2CO 4:6, "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

The knowledge of Jesus is still the center, the object of our desires. Through the knowledge of Jesus Christ the whole body, i.e., the church of Jesus Christ, is filled with light. The glory of God is the central desire of the heart; the glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Peter shows how our attitude toward our brother reflects this light and its contrast in 2PE 1:3-4, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue [It is through the knowledge of Christ that we are called unto glory and virtue.]: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

It is through knowledge of Christ that we have the singleness of eye. When we have a single eye, fixed on the blessed Redeemer, we are delivered from the things of this world, thereby escaping its corruption. This is what Jesus is speaking about here. We are not to set our hearts upon the things of this world. We should not have our hearts set upon some treasures we have stacked up in this world.

As was pointed out in the previous sermon, those treasures are much more than money; anything, outside of Christ, in this life that becomes dear to us is building up treasures in this world. Take notice; it is through the knowledge of Christ that our hearts, minds, and bodies may escape the corruption that is in this world through lust.

Much in the Scriptures tell about righteousness, but now we are told about Godliness which pertains to the first table of the law, i.e., loving God above all, with all our hearts, souls, and minds. When everything in our being is dissolved in love for God, that is Godliness. This Scripture also talks about the second table of the law, i.e., our attitude toward our brother. We are to add brotherly kindness to Godliness.

2PE 1:5-9 continues, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. [These are the fruits of having our eye fixed on Christ because we are walking with a Godly spirit.] For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

Our text says, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." If these things be in us and abound, the whole body is full of light, and we will have a bountiful knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you see the contrast?

2PE 2:22 speaks of those who have failed of the grace of God. "But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." Why? The eye of those who knew Christ and back slide have strayed away from Him because their eye has been taken off the object of their faith; they are no longer filled with the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are admonished in HEB 12:14-15: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." It is so precious to see how the singleness of eye brings such light, holiness, and virtue in the church.

We are admonished to be steadfast in this knowledge in 2PE 3:17- 18, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." We must have the singleness of eye and keep our mind and heart fixed on the object of our faith that we may go forward. Don't forget Satan is out there as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. If we waver and lose our steadfastness, we will fall just as the person who looks down into the rolling stream beneath the log instead of keeping his eye on the objective on the other side. We might make it half way across but when we take our eye off from Christ, we will find ourselves wallowing in the mire.

In a natural sense, when we are walking in the light, the eye is the means whereby we see obstacles and avoid falling. When we are walking, the eye is that which keeps us from falling over objects; if we have light, we may walk over or around the object or we may stop.

Light is as essential as the eye to see. Vision is the result of a two-fold agency, i.e., we may have twenty/twenty vision and still not be able to see anything until God gives us light. There is another aspect we must consider. The eyes are subject to disease; by nature of the fall the unregenerate eyes, our eyes, are intolerant to light. JOH 3:19-20 tells us, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." Do you see the contrast? If our eye is evil, our body is filled with darkness, and we do not walk in the light because our eye cannot tolerate it; we walk away from the light because we do not have the Godliness Peter spoke of in 2PE 1:3-9.

JOH 3:21 continues, "But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." Every one of God's people will come to a point where they want to have their deeds revealed in the light. Why? If there is a sin within them, they want to be purged from it.

Our text says, "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" What is the king of darkness? It is an evil heart. Satan loves to dwell in darkness. If our eye is evil, it is not tolerant of light, and we have no desire to be purged from our sin. Therefore, we will walk in darkness.

The eye of the hypocrite is like the eye of a hawk. Let's analyze this because we must be on guard. The hawk is an unclean bird which flies upward while his eye is looking downward at his prey. He is ready to descend upon it at any opportunity. That is the heart of the hypocrite; they want to keep going up, but their eye is looking for something they can feed upon below. Their heart is still set upon the world; it is not segregated from the world. The heart of a hypocrite is like an open sepulcher, white on the outside, but the inside is filled with dead men's bones.

Is our eye still fixed on things below while we are trying to mount upward? Are we heaven-seekers, or is our eye focused on Christ and not on the things of this earth?

The Christian soars higher and higher like a lark, forgetting those things that are beneath. That is so blessed when we get into the rest of this chapter. We do not take thought for the things of tomorrow; we trust our Father for that.

MAT 6:29-31 says, "And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" Then MAT 6:33 concludes, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Every man's conscience is the spiritual eye through which God gives light as his deputy to police the man's actions. Think of how often the light or the spiritual eye of our conscience speaks to us. Do we override our conscience? If one acts in good faith before the court of conscience, it is the place of practical judgment. Our conscience is a place of judgment when it checks us; therefore, it is so important that we adhere to it. In 2CO 1:12 we read, "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward."

Our conscience is such a blessed guide; it is a compass to keep us on course, and it is a spiritual light within our soul. It is a blessed thing when we have a good testimony in the court of our conscience when "...by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world," that we are in good standing in our attitudes, actions, and brotherly love before the Lord.

The eye of faith is enlightened by a good conscience; it is through a good conscience that our eye of faith is truly fixed on Christ. See this in 1TI 1:19, "Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck." When we do not have a good conscience, we make a shipwreck of our faith. It is in overriding our conscience that our faith becomes a disaster. 1TI 3:9 says, "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience." Faith and conscience work hand in hand; to have true, saving faith, it must be in a good conscience which is a spiritual eye to guide us and keep us on course.

HEB 10:22 says, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Faith is harbored and lodged in a good conscience. If we go against our conscience or mar it, we make shipwreck of our faith. That is a tremendous thought; it is so precious to understand that the Lord looks at the court of conscience.

Our conscience is a light to guide us in our thoughts and actions. If our eye is single, our body is full of light, and we will have an active conscience. Our conscience is very tender and sensitive before the Lord. It is God's deputy to guard us from Satan and evil.

ROM 9:1 says, "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost." What a spiritual eye we have in our conscience where we have the witness of the Holy Ghost. If we walk in a good conscience, our body is filled with light. How often do we overrule our conscience? Do we make shipwreck of our faith? That is so important.

When temptation assaults and inclines us to evil action, conscience is God's law written in our heart. See the nations that have never heard of God; they have a conscience, and it's the law of God written upon their hearts. Overruling one's conscience creates havoc in one's life.

I talked to a missionary who told me about a place in Indonesia where he was working. He said abstaining from adultery and all of the principles of the last six commandments (which pertain to our attitude toward our fellow man) were a part of their lives. Those people were more conscientious than the average person who went to church all their lives. They had never heard the Word of God, but they would never steal from each other or commit adultery. Not only that, but the punishments were very severe if they did. The law within their heart was their conscience and became the law of their land.

ROM 2:13-15 says, "(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)." We do not realize what a precious thing a tender conscience is. We mar it when we come against it.

Let's look at an example. If you put two magnets together, positive to positive, or turn them positive to negative, you will notice they either pull right together, or with that same force they push themselves apart. This illustrates the restraining power of the Holy Spirit in the conscience against sin spoken of in GAL 5:17, "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." This word cannot comes from the Greek word Me which means "God forbid." This same Greek word is translated as the word not in MAT 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged," and in MAT 6:8, "Be not ye therefore like unto them..." In both these instances it also means, "God forbid!"

In like manner when the Holy Spirit comes with His restraint, there is a power there that we must obey, or forcefully overcome as He speaks to us through our conscience. He puts His deputy to work to tell us, "No, you are not to do that." Do we overrule it? If we do, we make shipwreck of our faith. It is like the push or pull of the magnets. Do we use the admonition to be attracted to the Lord, or do we push away from Him?

When temptation prevails upon us, our conscience not only resists; it causes regrets, and upbraids us after the commission of something we ought not to have done. Our conscience convicts us and tells us we are guilty, guilty, guilty. As a small child, the Lord taught me to heed my conscience. I had done some things I shouldn't have, and my conscience kept me awake all night. It bothered me so that I had violated my conscience. That is regret, but it taught me the wisdom of listening to my conscience. We have the upbraiding of the conscience after the commission of a sin. Our conscience is God's deputy all our lives if we do not overrule it so often that it becomes deadened.

Now be careful. JOH 8:9 teaches us, "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." The Pharisees and the scribes were standing up with the attitude, "I am holier than thou," condemning a woman guilty of a capital crime after they caught her in the act of adultery. However, when the Lord put just a little light into their conscience, they were convicted by their conscience, and they fled. When our conscience convicts us, we should flee to the Lord, not away from Him. We should come falling on our face before Him, asking for a pardon, for the balm of Gilead that would heal our wound.

When occasion for doing good is offered, conscience encourages it. Our conscience is the light of the body; a spiritual eye that by a natural instinct in our heart encourages everything that is God honoring. Our conscience is our personal deputy of the Lord dwelling in us naturally to guide our course. 2CO 4:2 says, "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." We can be dishonest in a manner where no man knows of it; that is hidden dishonesty. The ugly monster, "I," can be very crafty, designing, and secretive, even to handling the Word of God deceitfully, but a good conscience will not tolerate such behavior.

I was visiting a pastor in another city whom I rebuked very severely for handling the Word of God deceitfully. When I returned home, my conscience smote me for my rebuke. Had I shown the respect he deserved because he held the office of pastor of a church? I struggled before the Lord; the pastor was His servant. I had charged him with dishonesty and using the Word of God to deceive souls. Then the Lord showed me with this verse that I had not done the reproving in a hidden way of dishonesty, but had reproved the pastor's dishonesty. It set my soul free. I had commended his conscience in the sight of God, but I was so concerned that I might have offended the Lord because of the office the pastor held.

After doing good, the conscience defends, approves and applauds the action. In the above incident, the Lord not only approved, but He commended me in my conscience. The Lord gave me such joy in seeing that I had done His pleasure. 1TI 1:5 says, "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." Everything is to be right up front, nothing two-faced about it; faith is to be genuine and forthright.

The conscience may abuse its office when the eye is evil. We need to think about this carefully. Our text says in MAT 6:23, "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee [your conscience] be darkness, how great is that darkness!" An evil eye causes the conscience,the light in us, to be darkened; it no longer speaks the truth, and then we live in a terrible darkness.

Conscience may become perverted by false principles, prejudice against the truth, dangerous error, or evil practices. 1TI 4:1-2 tells of a darkened conscience, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron." You see now how the conscience is darkened in those who have departed from the faith to teach Satan's doctrines becoming seducing spirits. The Lord is telling us that if our conscience, the light within us, becomes darkened, it becomes such a terrible, fallen condition. What a prey of Satan!

Those who hate God's ordained way are left over to the darkness of their own deceitful heart. Those who are not willing to submit to God's ordained principles come against their conscience; they resist the Lord. ROM 1:21 teaches us, "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." There is foolishness in the hearts of these men when they know God, but they come against their conscience so it becomes seared as if by a hot iron. They are rebellious and filled with fretting.

A darkened conscience does error in its notion of the truth. After the conscience has been darkened, people do wrong while thinking it is right. ROM 1:28 says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient." A reprobate mind is one devoid of sound judgment; with a seared conscience they believe they are doing right. Today we see sodomy as an accepted way of life, men with men, women with women, and they defend it as a right; that is called freedom of choice! They have a reprobate mind, a darkened conscience; some people claim a right to choose to slay the fruit of their own womb. People with a seared, darkened conscience profess they know God, but in their walk of life they deny Him by being evil and hateful, disobedient, and void of good judgment to every good work.

Those who have a seared conscience are well described in 2TH 2:10-12, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

The greatest misery and calamity that can befall us is to have our conscience depraved and corrupted. In TIT 1:15-16 we read, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

A single eye is not only fixed upon avoiding the consequences of sin, but it is focused on avoiding sin itself. Heaven and hell are preached so often today; it is the strong delusion God has sent "that they should believe a lie." They do not preach repentance! They preach "peace, peace" through the blood of the cross to those who have "pleasure in unrighteousness"; they preach carnal Christianity without repentance. All these heaven- seekers want to escape hell, but they love sin.

Christ should be preached as our example, "For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord," ROM 6:10-11. ROM 8:10 says, "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

We need to see what it means to hate sin, "...that it might appear sin...that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful," ROM 7:13. A single eye is not focused on escaping hell while loving sin; it sees sin as sinful. ROM 13:5 says, "Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." We are not to just flee God's wrath, the consequences of sin, but for the sake of our conscience, we must hate and turn from sin.

A single eye gives light to see God's dealings in providence rendering a childlike trust which is the source of perfect peace. See the message in ISA 26:2-4, "Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. [Who is the righteous nation? It is the one that keeps the truth.] Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength."

A single eye sees all we receive as from God's hand; this focus delivers the heart from all bitterness against the instrument God uses to bring about that providence. This was the experience expressed by the apostle in ACT 24:16, "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." Everything is tried in our court of conscience. ACT 23:1, "And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day." The exercise of faith results in a good conscience.

When our eye is single we are willing to suffer wrong, and take it patiently because that is acceptable with God. With a single eye and a good conscience, we are willing to suffer any wrong for His name's sake. We must show thankfulness for the wrongs Christ suffered, and we must be willing to follow in His footsteps. 1PE 2:19-20 says, "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. [Our conscience is such a blessed light; it is our spiritual eye which dwells within our soul.] For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." Our conscience is a single eye fixed upon Christ with gratitude for what He has suffered for us; it fills the body with light.

Christ was unjustly condemned before the bar of justice, condemned to die. Before the court of God's justice, Jesus was condemned to die for our sins. He took it patiently. Taking wrongful suffering patiently is acceptable to God. It is very important that we understand how our conscience is our spiritual eye. We ask that the Lord will be with us, guide us, and give us that deputy who is faithful to our soul. Amen.


These on-lines sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a book ministry and a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.

We pray this sermon has been a blessing to those who read it. If you share this sermon with a friend, please let us know. Thank you.

FEEDBACK