The Opened Sight

by Oswald Chambers

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18 KJV)

This verse is the grandest condensation of the propaganda of a disciple of Jesus Christ in the whole of the New Testament.

The first sovereign work of grace is summed up in the words–“that they may receive remission of sins.” When a man fails in personal Christian experience, it is nearly always because he has never received anything.  The only sign that a man is saved is that he has received something from Jesus Christ. Our part as workers for God is to open men’s eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation, that is conversion–the effort of a roused human being. I do not think it is too sweeping to say that the majority of nominal Christians are of this order; their eyes are opened, but they have received nothing. Conversion is not regeneration. This is one of the neglected factors in our preaching to-day. When a man is born again, he knows that is because he has received something as a gift from Almighty God and not because of his own decision. People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation. Salvation means that we are brought to the place where we are able to receive something from God on the authority of Jesus Christ, viz., remission of sins.

Then there follows the second mighty work of grace–“and inheritance among them which are sanctified.” In sanctification the regenerated soul deliberately gives up his right to himself to Jesus Christ, and identifies himself entirely with God’s interest in other men.

3 thoughts on “The Opened Sight

  1. Our part as workers for God is to open men’s eyes that they may turn themselves from darkness to light; but that is not salvation,

    People register their vows, and sign their pledges, and determine to go through, but none of this is salvation.

    Conversion is not regeneration.

    Wow. I was just thinking about this as I was listening to “The Life of David Brainerd”. Often he wrote of the natives weeping about the darkness of their hearts and their fear of hell. Is this when Brainerd got them to sign the little card? NO! This was the just the first step. This was when he urged them to learn what they must do to be saved, to pray for a new heart, to “strive to enter through the narrow door”. Professions of faith seemed to come much later after they had received the peace, joy and love of God that comes with a new heart. And even then Brainerd watch them closely to determine as best he could if their professions were genuine.

    Sad to say, this is new to me. If only the church…

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  2. 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ ESV

    What a wonderful verse. What glory, to have a record of these words of our LORD Jesus to Paul, telling Paul why He would be sending Paul to the Gentiles.

    I am thankful for this posting, Mike. It is so good to have this verse, previously unnoticed by me, highlighted and brought to attention. First, through the telling of the gospel, the Holy Spirit opens eyes. He gives new life and eyes that can see HIM and ears that can hear HIM, enabling us to turn from darkness to light, and to turn from the power of Satan to the power of God (which we through the Spirit are able to see and know). We repent, receive forgiveness of sin. We receive His inheritance, which includes the faith by which He sanctifies us.

    Salvation is of the LORD.

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  3. Amen Mike!

    The truth is not only difficult, but impossible for sinful man to receive apart from regeneration by the Holy Spirit.

    I believe the religiousity inherent within sinful man is the very thing that Satan often uses to lure sinners into a false sense of security with false religion.

    Sadly this is also particularly true of the professing church which overflows with false converts, false pastors and false prophets.

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