1974. The Suffering Saviour’s Sympathy

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No. 1974-33:409. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. {Heb 2:18}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 487, “Tempted Saviour — Our Best Succour, A” 478}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1974, “Suffering Saviour’s Sympathy, The” 1975}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2885, “Christ’s Sympathy with His People” 2886}
   Exposition on Heb 2; 3 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3217, “Earnest Warning Against Unbelief, An” 3218 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Heb 2 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2655, “Decided Ungodliness” 2656 @@ "Exposition"}

1. We are told by the apostle in the fifth chapter that one special prerequisite in a high priest was that he could have compassion on men. “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, so that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on those who are out of the way; for that he himself also is encompassed with infirmity.” You see God did not choose angels to be made high priests; because, however benevolent they might be in their wishes, they could not be sympathetic. They could not understand the particular needs and trials of the men with whom they had to deal with. Ministers who by God are made to be a flame of fire could scarcely commune familiarly with those who confess themselves to be as dust and ashes. But the high priest was one of themselves. However dignified his office, he was still a man. He was one of whom we read that he could lose his wife, that he could lose his sons. He had to eat and to drink, to be sick and to suffer, just as the rest of the people did. And all this was necessary so that he might be able to enter into their feelings and represent those feelings before God, and that he might, when speaking to them for God, not speak as a superior, looking down on them, but as one who sat by their side, “a brother born for adversity,” bone of their bone, and flesh of their flesh.

2. Now this is particularly so in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is sympathetic above all. There is no one so tender as he is. He has learned it by his sufferings; but he proves it by his continual condescension towards his suffering people. My brethren, we who preach the gospel, you who teach it in the Sunday School — you will always find your greatest power to lie in love. There is more eloquence in love than in all the words that the most clever rhetorician can ever put together. We win over men not so much by poetry and by artistic wording of sentences, as by the pouring out of a heart’s love that makes them feel that we would save them, that we would bless them, that we would, because we belong to them, regard them as brethren, and play a brother’s part, and lay ourselves out to benefit them. Now, as it should be in the under-shepherds, so it is in that Great Shepherd of the sheep. He abounds in tenderness, and though he has every other quality to make up a perfect high priest, though he is complete, and lacking in nothing, yet if I must mention one thing in which he far outshines us all, but in which we should all try to imitate him, it would be in his tender sympathy towards those who are ignorant and out of the way, and towards all those who are suffering and severely distressed.

3. It is in the spirit of brotherly sympathy that I would endeavour to preach on this occasion as the Good Spirit shall help me. May I ask my brethren whose hearts are full of joy at this hour to be praying for others who do not have that joy, and to be helping me in my endeavour now to speak words of consolation to them? May the Holy Spirit, in answer to your prayers, make every sentence to be as wine and oil for the wounds of those who are left half-dead in the King’s highway! We do not have to look far for “those who are tempted,” for they are all around us, and deserve the thoughtful regard of each one of us. Do not overlook them, my more happy brother, “considering yourself, lest you also are tempted.”

4. In my text I think I see two things very clearly. Jesus suffering: “He himself has suffered being tempted.” Jesus helping: “He is able to help those who are tempted.” And then I think I see a third thing most certainly there, namely, Jesus sought after: because in the word which is translated “help” there is a latent meaning of crying. He is able to hear the cry of those who are tempted. It is a word that means a mother’s quickness to respond to her child’s cry; and Jesus is able to respond to our cry, therefore we ought to lift up that cry when our soul is in distress. It shall be the best thing seen in this Tabernacle tonight if the third thing is seen, namely, Jesus sought after by every weary, heavy-laden spirit. Why should it not be? Come, Holy Spirit, and create in each mourner the spirit of prayer and the grace of supplication!

5. I. First, then, and to begin, here is JESUS SUFFERING.

6. I call your attention, first, to the feeling that is expressed here: “in that he himself has suffered being tempted.” Many people are tempted, but do not suffer in being tempted. When ungodly men are tempted, the bait is to their taste, and they swallow it greedily. Temptation is a pleasure for them; indeed, they sometimes tempt the devil to tempt them. They are drawn aside by their own lusts and enticed; so that temptation, instead of being suffering for them, becomes a horrible source of pleasure. But good men suffer when they are tempted, and the better they are the more they suffer. I know some children of God to whom temptation is their constant misery day and night. If it took the form of external affliction, they would bravely bear it; but it takes the form of evil suggestions and profane insinuations, which leap into their minds without their will, and though they hate them with their whole heart. These suggestions continue to annoy some dear saints whom I know, not only daily, but nightly, and that month after month. These thoughts beset them as a man may be surrounded by swarms of gnats or flies, from which he cannot get away. Such brethren are tempted, and they suffer being tempted. Our Lord Jesus Christ enters into this trying experience very fully; because his suffering through being tempted must have been much greater than any suffering that the purest-hearted believer can know, since he is more pure than any one of us.

7. It was a trying thing for the blessed Christ even to dwell here among men. He behaved himself with most condescending familiarity, but he must have been greatly sickened and saddened by what he saw in this world of sinners. They were no fit company for him, for their views of things and his were as different as possible, and they had no points of agreement in character with him. They were as much company for him as a patient may be to a surgeon; indeed, not so much as an imbecile may be to his teacher, or as a madman to his keeper: they could not come much closer until his grace changed and renewed them. Our Lord and Master had such a delicate sensitivity of soul with regard to holiness, that the sight of sin must have torn him as a naked man would be torn by thorns, and thistles, and briers. There was no callousness about his nature. He had not made himself familiar with sin by the practice of it, as many have done; neither had he so associated with those who indulge in evil as to become himself lenient towards it. We inherit the customs of our ancestors, and do not raise questions about what has been commonly done: we begin at an evil point, and start from a wrong point in morals; but it was not so with our Lord; he had no original, or inherited, or birth sin; neither did he learn evil in his upbringing. We also commit sin through a comparative ignorance of its evil, but he knew its horror: he felt within his soul the shame, the wrong, the inherent baseness of sin against a holy law and a loving God. His infinite knowledge helped him to understand and measure the heinousness and hell-deservingness of it; and hence, to be in contact with it must have been a perpetual sorrow for him. He suffered in being placed where he could be tempted.

8. When sin actually assailed him, and he asked to prove his Sonship by working a miracle to feed himself, so anticipating his Father’s providence by a hasty act of self-seeking, how he must have loathed the suggestion! When Satan asked him presumptuously to cast himself down from the temple’s pinnacle, how he must have recoiled at the horrible proposal! When the tempter hissed into his ear that abominable offer, “All these things I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me,” it must have grieved the holy heart of Jesus most intensely. He could not yield to temptation, but he suffered from it. He did not suffer from it morally, he was too pure for that; but he suffered from it mentally because of his purity. His mind was grieved, and vexed, and troubled by the temptation that he had to bear. We especially see this when we find him in the garden. There he showed his grief when he sweat as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground. In many other ways he endured such opposition from sinners against himself, such multiplied temptations, that it is said, and truly said, by the Holy Spirit in this verse; that he “suffered” being tempted.

9. Now, then, you poor creatures who can scarcely lift up your heads because of shame as you tremble at the memory of your own thoughts, come here, and meet One who suffered being tempted! He knows how you are hunted by hell-dogs, go where you may: he knows that you cannot escape the presence of the tempter, and from his own experience he enters into your feelings to the full. He gives you a flood of sympathy in these deep distresses of your spirit, as you fight against Apollyon and agonize against temptation, for he suffered being tempted.

   Exposed to wounds most deep and sore,
      The great Redeemer stood,
   While Satan’s fiery darts he bore,
      And did resist to blood.

10. Let us meditate for a while upon the fact that our Lord was tempted, tempted up to the suffering point. I must not omit to mention the particular use made here by the Spirit of that word himself. It is not only in that he suffered being tempted, but you see that he himself has suffered being tempted. That word is sometimes used to make passages emphatic. “Who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” We read again and again of Jesus Christ himself, as if to show that the matters referred to were really, truly, personally, actually his. He himself has suffered. All that there was in him, that made up himself, suffered being tempted. Survey this fact carefully. Our Lord was tempted by his circumstances, just as you are; yes, more than many of you are; for he felt the woes of poverty, and poverty at times carried to the extreme. “Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” You are sometimes tempted with the thought that you will be out of house and home before long. Where will you find a nightly shelter? Jesus can sympathise with you. He also was weary with incessant labours. “Being wearied, so he sat on the well.” Weariness has its temptations. He who is weary is hardly in the condition to correctly judge things. When we are weary, we are apt to be impatient, complaining, hasty. If you are weary, and can scarcely keep your eyelids from dropping down, remember before you quite yield to fatigue that your Lord was weary too. Once “they took him even as he was into the boat”; and I think it must mean that he was too weary to go into the boat himself, so that they took him in his absolute exhaustion, and gently laid him down, in the hinder part of the boat, placing his head upon a pillow. Do not blame yourself for feeling tired in the house of prayer, if after long watching or hard working you feel more fit for a sleep than for a sermon. I shall not blame you, certainly, for I remember how little my Lord blamed the disciples when they fell asleep in the garden during his agony. He said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”; and he never would have thought of so tender an excuse for their untender slumbers if his own flesh had not also been weak when he, too, was weary. So you see that the Lord knows from his own circumstances what are the temptations of poverty and of weariness. He himself was hungry. He himself said, “I thirst.” Everything all around him contributed to fulfil the tale of his trials. He himself was, more than us all, “a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

11. And then he himself suffered from temptations arising from men. Sadly he endured much from good men. It would seem that even his beloved mother tried him. His mother was with his brothers when we read that they were without, desiring to speak with him. Was it not at that time that they desired to take him, for they said, “He is beside himself?” The men of his own kindred thought that surely he was a man distraught, who ought to be put under restraint. “Neither did his brothers believe in him.”

12. His disciples, though he loved them so intensely, yet each one tried him. Even John, the dearest of them all, needed to ask for places at the right and the left hand of his throne for himself and his brother James. Even Peter “took him and rebuked him.” All the disciples were much of Peter’s mind when he described himself as about to be crucified and slain. Their spirit was often so worldly, so selfish, so foolish, as greatly to grieve their Lord and Leader. While he was the Servant of all, they were seeking who should have the preeminence. While he was seeking the lost, they were all for calling fire from heaven upon rebels. They spoke unadvisedly with their lips, and slandered their Master by their words. And you know how, worst of all, he had to complain in utmost bitterness of spirit, “He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.” So that from the circle of his own favoured ones he gathered more thorns than roses. He received wounds in the house of his friends, even as you may have done. Herein you see his power to exhibit sympathy with us. He suffered just as we do. He “suffered being tempted” even by the failures of those whom he loved.

   If wounded love my bosom swell,
   Deceived by those I prized so well,
   He shall his pitying aid bestow,
   Who felt on earth severer woe;
   At once betrayed, denied, or fled
   By those who shared his daily bread.

13. As for his enemies, do I need to speak about them? Did they not all tempt him? Herodians and Sadducees — the openly sceptical; Pharisees and Scribes — the professedly religious, were equally his fierce foes. Those to whom he was a benefactor took up stones again to stone him; and Jerusalem, over which he had wept, cried, “Crucify him, crucify him,” and would not rest until he was killed. Ah, Lord! none of us have such foes as you had. However cruel our adversaries, they are not so numerous or so fierce as yours. Besides, they have some reason to hate us; but of your enemies it is true that they hated you for no good reason. They could bring no true charge against him, and therefore they forged the cruellest of falsehoods, until their reproaches broke his heart. So you see how he was tempted, and how he suffered.

14. Moreover, it is a very wonderful fact — one could scarcely have imagined it — but the record is most clear — he was tempted by the devil: he was tempted by the devil. He in whom all evil is personified dared to stand foot to foot in single duel with him in whom all goodness is concentrated. The infernal fiend dared to face the incarnate God. God in our mortal flesh encountered the devil in the wilderness of temptation. How could the fiend have ventured to assail our Lord? Truly Lucifer was lifted up to the extreme of pride when he dared to confront his Lord like this. But Christ was tempted by the devil early in his public career, and again near its close he exclaimed, “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” He seemed to hear the dragon’s wings as they beat the midnight air; and he cried, “The prince of this world comes.” Calmly he added, “And has nothing in me”; yet his heart grew chilly in the hideous presence of the great adversary. It was nothing less than an agony in Gethsemane — a painful wrestling between Jesus and the powers of darkness. You who are tempted by the devil; you who are troubled by mysterious whisperings in your ear; you who, when you sing or pray, have a blasphemy suggested to you; you who even in your dreams are startled with horror at the thoughts that cross your minds, be comforted, for your Lord knows all about temptation.

15. Some of you do not understand this, and I hope you never may; but I am speaking with a purpose to others, to whom this is a life’s gloom. To you, I say, you can enter into fellowship with your Lord in his being tempted by the devil: what is incomprehensible to others is plain enough to you. Be of good cheer, for in this respect your Lord himself has suffered being tempted.

   If aught should tempt my soul to stray
   From heavenly wisdom’s narrow way,
   To fly the good I would pursue,
   Or do the sin I would not do,
   Still he, who felt temptation’s power,
   Shall guard me in that dangerous hour.

16. Once again: our Lord knew those temptations which arise out of being deserted by God. There come times to certain of us when our soul is cast down within us, when faith becomes feeble, and joy languishes, because the light of the divine countenance is withdrawn. We cannot find our God. We enter into the language of Job, “Oh that I knew where I might find him! so that I might come even to his seat.” We cry with David, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’ ” Nothing chills the marrow like an eclipse of the great Sun, whose presence makes our day. If the Lord withdraws from us, then the strong helpers faint.

   He frowns, and darkness veils the moon;
   The fainting sun grows dim at noon;
   The pillars of heaven’s starry roof
   Tremble and start at his reproof.

In this great temptation our Lord has suffered his full share. He cried, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” There was condensed into that dying cry an infinity of anguish such as we cannot conceive of. Some of us know what the surface of this Black Sea is like, but we have never descended into its utmost depths as he did; and, if we have done so, this is our comfort — that HE has been there. He has been to the very bottom of it. He has suffered being tempted even by that heaviest of all the trials which ever fall upon the sons of God. There is the fact.

17. I desire to go a step further, to comfort you upon the fruit of all this; for though our Lord suffered being tempted like this, he did not suffer in vain; for he was made perfect through his sufferings, and prepared for his solemn office of High Priest to his people. From that fact I want you to gather fruit, because our heavenly Father intends to bless you also. We cannot comfort others if we have never been comforted ourselves. I have heard — and I am sure that it is so — that there is no comforter for a widow like one who has lost her husband. Those who have had no children, and have never lost a child, may talk very kindly, but they cannot enter into a mother’s broken heart as she bows over that little coffin. If you have never known what temptations mean, you make poor work when attempting to help the tempted. Our Lord obtained a blessing from suffering temptation; and you may do the same. Brother, the Lord intends to make a man of you who shall be used like Barnabas to be a “son of consolation.” He intends to make a mother in Israel of you, my dear sister, that when you meet others who are severely cast down, you may know how to drop in a sweet word by which they shall be comforted. I think you will one day say, “It was worth while to go through that sorrow to be enabled to administer relief to that wounded heart.” Will you not comfort others when you are delivered? I am sure you will. You will be ready and expert in the sacred surgery of consolation. Therefore be content to suffer being tempted, and look for the comforting fruit which all this shall produce in you.

18. So you have seen the feeling, and the fact, and the fruit. Now, what are the inferences to be drawn from this part of the subject? I must be short with them.

19. I want you who are tempted to draw the following inferences from the suffering and temptation of the Lord Jesus: —

20. First, that temptation to sin is no sin. It is no sin to be tempted, for in him was no sin, and yet he was tempted. “He suffered being tempted,” but there was no sin in that, because there was no sin in himself. You may be horribly tempted, and yet no blame whatever may attach to you, for it is no fault of yours that you are tempted. You need not repent of what has no sin in it. If you yield to the temptation, there is sin in it; but the mere fact that you are tempted, however horrible the temptation, is no sin of yours.

21. And, in the next place, temptation does not show any displeasure on God’s part. He permitted his only-begotten Son to be tempted: he was always the Son of his love, and yet he was tried. “This is my beloved Son,” he said at his baptism; and yet the next hour that Son was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It does not even show displeasure on God’s part that he permits you to be tempted; on the contrary, it may be consistent with the clearest displays of divine favour.

22. And again, temptation really implies no doubt of your being a son of God: for the Son of God was tempted, even the unquestioned Son of the Highest. The prime model and paragon of sonship, Christ himself, was tempted. Then why not you? Temptation is a mark of sonship rather than any reflection on it.

23. Notice, next, that temptation need not lead to any evil consequences in any case. It did not in your Lord’s case lead up to sin. The Lord Jesus was as innocent in temptation and after temptation as before it, and so may we be through his grace. It is written by the beloved John concerning the man who is born by God, that “He keeps himself, and that wicked one does not touch him.”

24. Moreover, do not make it any reason for complaint that you are tempted. If your Lord was tempted, shall the disciple be above his Master, or the servant above his Lord? If the Perfect One must endure temptation, why not you? Accept it, therefore, from the Lord’s hands, and do not think it to be a disgrace or a dishonour. It did not disgrace or dishonour your Lord, and temptation will not disgrace or dishonour you. The Lord, who sends it, sends also with it a way of escape, and it will be to your honour and profit to escape by that way.

25. May the idea be far from your hearts that any temptation should lead you to despair. Jesus did not despair. Jesus triumphed, and so shall you; and therefore he cries, “In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” You are a member of his body; and when the Head wins the victory, the whole body shares the triumph. “Because I live,” he said, “you shall live also”; and so you shall: even in the poisonous atmosphere of temptation you shall be in health. Those of old overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and you shall do the same. Therefore comfort each other with these words, “He himself has suffered being tempted”; for you who have his life in you shall first suffer with him, and then reign with him.

26. That is the first part of our discourse; and it is rich with comfort, if the Spirit of God shall only apply it to the tempted heart. I feel such a poor bungler: I have ointment here, and soft linen by which to apply the healing ointment; but perhaps I have put it on too tightly, or too loosely, and if so, I may fail. Oh divine Comforter, undertake the work! It needs the pierced hand to properly apply the sacred liniment.

27. II. But now I come, secondly and briefly, to notice JESUS HELPING. Jesus suffering, is preparatory to Jesus helping.

28. Observe, then, “He is able to help those who are tempted.” In this we notice his compassion, that he should give himself up to this business of helping those who are tempted. Do you have a tempted friend living in your house? If so, you have a daily cross to carry; for when we try to comfort mourners we often become cast down ourselves; and the temptation is for us to get rid of them, or keep out of their way. Has it never occurred to any friend here to say, “That good brother, who sits in the pew near me, is rather a burden to me. I have spoken to him several times, but he is so unhappy that he drags me down. I go out of another door now to get out of his way?” So might your Lord have done to the unhappy, and to you, if he had not been your Lord; but he is such a compassionate One that he seeks out those who are cast down: he heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds. He lays himself out to help those who are tempted, and therefore he does not hide himself from them, nor pass them by on the other side. What an example is this for us! He devotes himself to this divine business of comforting all such mourners. He is Lord of all, yet makes himself the servant of the weakest. Whatever he may do with the strongest, he helps “those who are tempted.” He does not abandon the business in disgust: he does not grow cross or angry with them because they are so foolish as to give way to idle fears. He does not tell them that it is all their nerves, and that they are stupid and silly, and ought to shake themselves out of such nonsense. I have often heard people talk in that way, and I have half wished that they had felt a little twinge of depression themselves, just to put them into a more tender humour. The Lord Jesus never overdrives a lame sheep, but he sets the bone, and carries the sheep on his shoulders, so tenderly compassionate is he. Here is his compassion.

29. The text, however, deals with his fitness also. He is just the very person to help those who are tempted. I have been showing you this already. He has the right, acquired by his suffering, to enter in among sufferers, and deal with them. He is free of the company of mourners.

   When our heads are bowed with woe,
   When our bitter tears o’erflow,
   When we mourn the lost, the dear,
   Then the Son of Man is near.
   Thou our throbbing flesh hast worn,
   Thou our mortal griefs hast borne;
   Thou hast shed the human tear,
   Son of Man, to mourners dear.

30. He has the right to help those who are tempted, for they are his own, since he has bought them with his blood. The feeble, the weak, the trembling, the desponding, are his care, committed to him by God. He said, “Do not fear, little flock”; which shows that his flock is little and timid. He says, “Do not fear, little flock,” because they have great tendency to fear, and because he does not like to see them troubled like this. He has bought them, and so he has the right to help them, and preserve them to the end.

31. But he has also the disposition to help them. He obtained that tender temperament through suffering, by being tempted himself. The man that has seen affliction, when he is blessed by God, has the disposition to cheer those who are afflicted. I have heard of a lady who was out in the snow one night, and was so very cold that she cried out, “Oh, those poor people who have so little money, how little warmth they have, and how pinched they must be! I will send a hundred pounds of coal to twenty families, at the least.” But I have heard say that, when she reached her own parlour, there was a fine fire burning, and she sat there with her feet on the fender, and enjoyed an excellent tea, and she said to herself, “Well, it is not very cold, after all. I do not think that I shall send that coal; at any rate, not for the present.” The sufferer thinks of the sufferer, even as the poor help the poor. The divine wonder is that this Lord of ours, “though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor,” and now takes a delight in helping the poor. Having been tempted, he helps the tempted: his own trials make him desire to bless those who are tried.

32. And then he has the special ability. “He is able to help those who are tempted.” I know certain good brethren whom I am very pleased to see, and I am very happy in their company, when I am perfectly well; but I do not enjoy their presence when I am ill. Thank you; no, I would rather not have their visits multiplied when I am unwell. They walk heavily across the room; they have a way of leaving doors open, or banging them; and when they talk, they talk so loudly and roughly that the poor head aches, and the sick man is worried. The things they say, though they are meant to be kind, are the kind of remarks that pour vinegar into your wounds. They do not understand the condition of a sufferer, and so they say all their words the wrong way upwards. If Christians are to be comforters, they must learn the art of comforting by being themselves tried. They cannot learn it otherwise. Our Blessed Master, having lived a life of suffering, understands the condition of a sufferer so well that he knows how to make a bed for him. “What a strange thing to say!” one of my audience cries. Not at all. David says, “You will make all his bed in his sickness.” He would not have said that, if the Lord did not know how to make a bed. There is a dainty way of fluffing up a pillow, and a particular art in making up a bed when the sick man is lifted out of it; indeed, and there is a way of putting on every piece of covering, so as to make it a comfort. By this illustration we are taught that the Lord Jesus Christ knows how to deal with us in the weakness and pain of our affliction. He has become so good a Nurse, so divine a Physician, so tender a Sympathiser, because he has passed through our sorrows. “In all our affliction he was afflicted.” “Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.”

   He knows what sore temptations mean,
   For he has felt the same.

He has the qualifications for dealing with tempted ones.

33. Let me spend a minute or two in telling you his methods of helping those who are tempted. He does it in many ways, and perhaps there may be many here who know more about those ways than I do.

34. Usually he helps the tempted by giving them a sense of his sympathy. They say, “Yes, my Lord is here. He feels for me.” That is in itself no insignificant help.

35. Sometimes he helps them by suggesting to them precious truths which are the sweet antidote for the poison of sorrow. There is in the Bible a remedy exactly suited for your grief if you could only find it. Sometimes you lose the key of a drawer, and you must have it opened, and therefore you send for the locksmith, and he comes in with a large bunch of keys. Somewhere among them he has a key that will open your drawer. The Bible contains keys that will open the iron gates of your trouble, and give you freedom from your sorrow. The point is to find out the right promise; and the Spirit of God often helps us in that matter by bringing the words of the Lord Jesus to our memory. We would never have known the richness of the Word of God if it had not been that in our varied distresses the Lord has shown us how he foresaw everything, and provided for everything in the covenant of promise.

36. Sometimes the Lord helps his people by inwardly strengthening them. “Oh,” one has said, “I am under a heavy trouble, but I do not know how it is, I can bear it much better than I thought I should.” Yes, through grace, a secret divine energy is poured into the soul. We are treated, as Mr. Bunyan puts it, by secret supplies of grace imparted in a hidden manner. We are like that fire. One is throwing water on it, and yet it burns on. Behind the wall another is secretly pouring oil on the fire, so that it still keeps burning.

37. I have known the Lord to bless his people by making them very weak. The next best thing to being strong in the Lord is to be extremely weak in yourself. They go together, but sometimes they are divided in experience. It is grand to feel, “I will not struggle any more. I will give everything up, and lie passive in the Lord’s hand.” Oh, it is the sweetest feeling, I think, outside of heaven! You may think it strange for me to say so, but I believe that, as in the centre of a hurricane there is a little place where there is perfect calm, and as it is said that in the centre of the greatest fire that ever burned there is a place where no fire is raging, so there is in a deep sense of yielding up to God, in the very centre of your pain, and your grief, and your misery, and your depression, a place of perfect repose when you have once yielded yourself fully up to God. I know this to be true, even though I may not be understood.

38. In these ways he who was tempted himself helps those who are tempted.

39. III. I will close by thinking of JESUS SOUGHT AFTER. Let us seek him. Come, you weary, heavy laden, come to him who is able to help you. Do not stay away until you are a little comforted, but come in your despair. Do not wait until you have a little more faith, but come just as you are, and say to him, “Dear Lord, you have felt all this, and I lie down at your dear feet! Do help me, I beseech you!” Let these few thoughts help to bring you now in prayer, and trust, and hope, to the feet of this Great High Priest.

40. First, where else can you go? Who can help a soul like you? Come to him, then. Men are nothing: they are all miserable comforters. The cisterns are all broken: come to the fountain. Come to my Lord. Every other door is shut, but yet you may not despair, for he says, “Behold I set before you an open door.”

41. Where better can you go? Do you want to find a friend able to help you? Do you really want a comrade who can be a brother to you? To whom should you go but to your own Lord, the sympathising Son of Man? To whom better can you go? Do you say that you are downcast? Do you tell me you are afraid you are no child of God? Never mind about that. Come as a sinner if you cannot come as a saint. Do you mourn that you have no good thoughts? Come and confess your bad ones. Do you lament that you are not broken-hearted for sin, as you ought to be? Come, then, to be broken-hearted. Do you mourn that you are unspeakably bad? Then, come at your worst. It is never a good thing if you need a surgeon, to say, “My bone is broken, but I shall not have it set until it begins to mend.” Poor foolish thing! Go while it is broken. Oh perishing sinner! cry to the Saviour. Ask him now to save you. Are you of all men the worst? Then go to him who is the best. Remember he never did cast anyone out. Never yet! Never one! I have declared this everywhere, and I have said, “If Jesus Christ casts any one of you out when you come to him, please let me know; for I do not want to go up and down the country telling lies.” Again I give the challenge. If my Lord does cast out one poor soul that comes to him, let me know it, and I will give up preaching. I should not have the gall to come forward and preach Christ after that; for he himself has said it, “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out,” and he would be a false Christ if he acted contrary to his word. He cannot cast you out; why should he? “Oh, but then I am so bad.” So much the less likely is he to refuse you, for there is all the more room for his grace.

42. “I am lost,” said Mr. Whitfield’s brother to the Countess of Huntingdon. “I am delighted to hear it,” said the Countess. “Oh,” he cried, “what a dreadful thing to say!” “No,” she said, “ ‘for the Son of man is come to seek and to save those who were lost’; therefore I know he is come to save you.” Oh sinner, it would be unreasonable to despair. The more broken you are, the more ruined you are, the more vile you are in your own esteem, so much the more room is there for the display of infinite mercy and power.

43. Come, then, just as you are, saint or sinner, whoever you may be. Be finished with yourself, your good self and your bad self too, and say, “If I perish I will trust in Jesus.” Trust in Jesus, and you cannot perish. If you perish believing in Jesus, I must perish with you. I am in the same boat with you. You may be a very seasick passenger, and I may be an able-bodied seaman; but if you are drowned, I shall be too, for I cannot swim any more than you can. I depend on the seaworthiness of this vessel of free grace in which we are embarked, and we must either reach the Fair Havens together, or sink together. You and I, poor broken-down one, oh, will we not sing when we get safely to land? Will we not sing? If we once get to heaven, will we not sing aloud, and clash the high-sounding cymbals with all our might? I will contend with you concerning who shall praise God most. You say that you will. I say that I shall. Will we not vie with each other, and with all the blood-redeemed ones, to sing hallelujah to God and the Lamb? If ever such sinners as you and I get inside the gates of heaven, we will give out such shouts of holy joy and gladness as never came from angels’ throats, but can only come from the lips of sinners bought with blood.

44. May the Lord, who helps the tempted, himself bless and comfort you! Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Heb 2]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, In Heaven — ‘Touched With The Feeling Of Our Infirmities’ ” 327}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, In Heaven — Preservation By His Plea” 330}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, In Heaven — Christ’s Compassion For The Weak” 328}
The Sword And The Trowel. Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Contents for August, 1887.
Another Word concerning the Down-Grade. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Life Discipline for our Ministry.
A Student, Preacher, and Professor of Modern Times.
Avoid Cynicism.
An Evening at Costers’ Hall.
The Four Baptisms.
A Communion Meditation.
“Thay Amen and Thit Down.”
Mary Pryor.
In the Highways — A Joyous Mission Day.
Gain by Loss.
Scraps Gathered during a Visit to the Haunts of my Childhood. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Hop-pickers’ Mission Work.
Notabilia.
Notices of Books.
Notes.
Pastors’ College.
Stockwell Orphanage.
Colportage Association.
Society of Evangelists.
Stockwell Orphanage Annual Report.

Price 3d. Post-free, 4 Stamps.
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Jesus Christ, In Heaven
327 — “Touched With The Feeling Of Our Infirmities”
1 Where high the heavenly temple stands,
   The house of God not made with hands,
   A great High Priest our nature wears,
   The Patron of mankind appears.
2 He, who for men their Surety stood,
   And pour’d on earth his precious blood,
   Pursues in heaven his mighty plan,
   The Saviour and the friend of man.
3 Though now ascended up on high,
   He bends on earth a brother’s eye;
   Partaker of the human name,
   He knows the frailty of our frame.
4 Our fellow sufferer yet retains
   A fellow feeling of our pains,
   And still remembers in the skies,
   His tears, and agonies, and cries.
5 In every pang that rends the heart,
   The Man of Sorrows had a part;
   He sympathizes in our grief,
   And to the sufferer sends relief.
6 With boldness therefore at the throne,
   Let us make all our sorrows known,
   And ask the aid of heavenly power
   To help us in the evil hour.
                     Michael Bruce, 1770, a.


Jesus Christ, In Heaven
330 — Preservation By His Plea
1 There is a Shepherd kind and strong,
   Still watchful for his sheep:
   Nor shall the infernal lion rend
   Whom he vouchsafes to keep.
2 Blest Jesus, intercede for us,
   That we may fall no more;
   Oh raise us, when we prostrate lie,
   And comfort lost restore.
3 Thy secret energy impart,
   That faith may never fail;
   But under showers of fiery darts,
   That temper’d shield prevail.
                  Philip Doddridge, 1755.


Jesus Christ, In Heaven
328 — Christ’s Compassion To The Weak
1 With joy we meditate the grace
   Of our High Priest above;
   His heart is made of tenderness,
   His bowels melt with love.
2 Touch’d with a sympathy within,
   He knows our feeble frame;
   He knows what sore temptations mean,
   For he has felt the same.
3 But spotless, innocent, and pure,
   The great Redeemer stood,
   While Satan’s fiery darts he bore,
   And did resist to blood.
4 He, in the days of feeble flesh,
   Pour’d our his cries and tears,
   And in his measure feels afresh
   What every member bears.
5 Then let our humble faith address
   His mercy and his power,
   We shall obtain delivering grace
   In the distressing hour.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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