2070. Christ’s Connection With Sinners The Source Of His Glory

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No. 2070-35:85. A Sermon Delivered By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, February 17, 1889.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. {Isa 53:12}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 458, “Friend of Sinners, The” 449}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1385, “Jesus Interceding for Transgressors” 1376}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2070, “Christ’s Connection with Sinners the Source of His Glory” 2071}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3279, “Ever This Our War Cry — Victory, Victory!” 3281}
   Exposition on Ex 29:38-46 Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3458, “Redeeming the Unclean” 3460 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 53; 55:1-7 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2534, “Greatest Gift in Time or Eternity, The” 2535 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2290, “God’s Unspeakable Gift” 2291 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2499, “Christopathy” 2500 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2827, “Redeemer Described by Himself, The” 2828 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2840, “Laying the Hand on the Sacrifice” 2841 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3436, “Christ Glorified” 3438 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 38 Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2911, “Cases of Conscience” 2912 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ro 6 Isa 53 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3347, “Things to be Remembered” 3349 @@ "Exposition"}

1. We may regard this verse as a kind of covenant made between the everlasting God, the infinite Jehovah, on the one part, and our great Representative, Mediator, and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, on the other part. The incarnate God is to be bruised and wounded; he is to pour out his soul to death, and by a travail of soul he is to bear the sin of many; and then his ultimate reward is to be, that God will divide him a portion with the great, and he himself shall divide the spoil with the strong. Notice the double reward, and joyfully distinguish between the two divisions — what Jehovah makes for him, and what he makes himself. Our champion, like another David, is to confront and conquer the great enemy of the Lord’s people, and then he is to have his reward. Unlike David, he is to pour out his soul, and die in the conflict, and then he is to receive a glorious portion from the Father, and he is also himself to seize upon the spoil of the vanquished foe.

2. At this moment, our Lord Jesus is enjoying the reward which his Father has allotted to him: — “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great.” He is despised and rejected no more. Who dares to dishonour so surpassing a majesty? See how the whole host of heaven adores him! All the pomp of glory is displayed around him. To him the cherubim and seraphim continually cry, in their ceaseless worship and undivided adoration. The twenty-four elders, representing the ancient and the present church, cast their crowns at his feet; and the myriads of the redeemed, whose robes are washed in his blood, pour out their love, and life, at his feet. He has his portion with the great; no one is so great as he. He is not only King, but King-Maker, for he has made his humblest followers priests and kings to God, and his royalty is multiplied in each of them. How much his Father honours him, it is not for my tongue to tell you; and, if it were possible for me to tell it in words, yet the inner meaning could never be grasped by such narrow hearts as ours. He has infinite glory from the great Father God. He lives for ever, King of kings and Lord of lords, and all hallelujahs come up before him. Imagination cannot reach the height of his immeasurable majesty and felicity.

3. And why these honours? What has he done to merit these immeasurable glories? The answer is that he has done these four things: “he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

4. In addition to what his Father gives him, it is worthy of contemplation that our Lord has taken, in his life conflict, great spoils with his own hands. “He shall divide the spoil with the strong.” He has spoiled sin, death, and hell; each one the vanquisher of our race, the spoiler of the entire world. He has overcome these three, and in each case has led captivity captive. What must be the spoils of such victories? All the processions of triumph that ever went up the Sacra Via to the Capitol of Rome we may dismiss as empty pageants; all the glories of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece, are blots of the cruel past, which sicken us to remember. These led liberty captive; but when he ascended on high, he led captivity captive. Jesus blesses all by his victories, and curses no one. He spoiled no man of his goods: he only brought death on death, destruction on the destroyer, and captivity upon captivity. In all his spoils men are gainers; and, therefore, when the incarnate God divides the spoil with the strong, all his people may joyfully shout without the reservation of a sigh for the conquered and the spoiled. That was a rich triumph, and the spoils he won are spoils that enrich myriads of believers today, and shall enrich them throughout all the ages that are to come.

5. And why these spoils? What has he done? These trophies — where were they won? What was the conflict? Here is the answer: “Because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

6. It is a strange fact that I am going to declare, but it is not less true than strange: according to our text the extraordinary glories of Christ, as Saviour, have all been earned by his connection with human sin. He has gotten his most illustrious splendour, his brightest jewels, his most divine crowns, out of coming into contact with this poor fallen race. What is man? What are all men? Nothings, nobodies. This great globe itself — what is it in connection with the vast creation of God? One grain of the sweepings of dust behind the door. The small dust of the balance bears a larger proportion to the eternal hills than this little globe to the great worlds which speak to us across the midnight sky. Yet all those glittering worlds that we can see with the telescope bear an extremely minute proportion to the illimitable fields of divine creation. Yet, we do not know that anywhere Christ ever came into contact with sin, except upon this little ball. We have no revelation of any other redemption. This obscure planet is faith’s great marvel! How shall we comprehend that here the eternal Deity took the nature of a man, and here suffered in the sinner’s place “the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God?” All the eyes of all the angels turn this way. This mystery is too great for them. They cannot grasp its full meaning, but desire to look into it. We do not know, that anywhere in all the vast creation of God, there has ever been seen the like of this matchless, unparalleled deed of grace — that the Son of God, in mighty love, should come down to earth, and come into contact with human sin, so that he might put it away. No one imagines that our Lord has often suffered. No, he has been incarnate once, and has been sacrificed only once. “Once in the end of the world he has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” And this for guilty men! I am overwhelmed. I would gladly sit down in silence, and give way to adoring wonder.

7. May the Holy Spirit himself now aid me, for my need is great! I am going to speak about these four things, very briefly. I have nothing of my own to say about them. I only want to place them before you as much as I can in their naked simplicity: there is a beauty in them which needs no describing, which would be degraded by any adornment of human speech. Here are four flints out of which you may strike sparks of divine fire, if you are only willing to see their brightness. These four things that Jesus did, the four reasons why he is crowned with such superlative honour, are connected with you, if you only have faith to perceive the connection — so connected that they will save you, will even make you partake in the glory which has come from them.

8. I. The first source of the Mediator’s glory is, that he, out of his love for guilty men, has POURED OUT HIS SOUL TO DEATH.

9. Remember that the penalty of sin is death. “The soul that sins, it shall die.” “For in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” As God made us we should not have died. There is about man when he is in connection with God no reason or room for death; but as soon as man touched evil, he was separated from God, and he took into his veins the poison which brings death with it, and all its train of woes. Jesus Christ, our substitute, when he poured out his soul to death, was bearing the penalty that is due to sin. This is taught in the Bible: in fact, it is the chief theme of Holy Scripture. Whenever sin was to be put away, it was by the sacrifice of a life. All through the Jewish law it stands conspicuous that, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.” God has so impressed this truth upon humanity that you can scarcely go into any nation, however benighted, but there is connected with their religion the idea of sacrifice, and therefore the idea of the offering of a life on account of a broken law. Now, the Lord Jesus came into such connection with men that he bore the death-penalty which guilty men had incurred.

10. Note the expression: “he has poured out his soul to death.” It is deliberate. “He has poured out his soul.” It is a libation presented with thought and care; not the mere spilling of his blood, but the resolute, determinate pouring out of his whole life to its last drop — the pouring it out to death. Now, Christ’s resolve to die for you and for me was not that of a brave soldier, who rushes up to the cannon’s mouth in a moment of excitement; but he was practically pouring out his life from the day when his public ministry began, if not before. He was always dying by living at such a rate that his zeal consumed him — “The zeal of your house has eaten me up.” Deliberately, and as it were drop by drop, he was letting his soul fall upon the ground, until at length, upon the tree of doom, he emptied it all out, and cried, “It is finished,” and gave up the ghost. Then “he poured out his soul to death.”

11. Just as it was deliberate, so it was most real and true. I urge you do not think of Christ as pouring out his soul, as though the outpouring was a kind of sentiment of self-denial; as though it made him spend a kind of ecstatic life in dreamland, and suffer only in thought, intent, and sympathy. My Lord suffered as you suffer, only more keenly; for he had never injured his body or soul by any act of excess, so as to take off the edge from his sensitivity. His was the pouring out of a whole soul in all the phases of suffering into which perfect souls can pass. He felt the horror of sin as we who have sinned could not feel it, and the sight of evil afflicted him much more than it does the purest among us. His was real suffering, real poverty, real weariness; and when he came to his last agony, his bloody sweat was no fiction, his extreme sorrow to death was no dream. When the scourges fell upon his shoulders it was true pain that he suffered; and the nails, and the spear, and the sponge, and the vinegar — these tell of a real passion — a death such as probably you and I shall never know. Certainly we shall never experience that pouring out of his soul to death which was unique to Jesus, in which he went far beyond martyrs in their most extreme griefs. There were points of anguish about his death which were for himself, and for himself alone. “He has poured out his soul to death,” in grief most weighty — so weighty that it can never be fully weighed in any scales of mortal sympathy.

12. And he did this, remember, voluntarily. If I were to die for any one of you, what would it amount to except that I paid the debt of nature a little sooner than I must ultimately have paid it? for we must all die, sooner or later. But the Christ did not need to die at all, as far as he himself was personally concerned. There was no reason within himself why he should go to the cross to lay down his life. He yielded himself up, a willing sacrifice for our sins. Herein lies much of the preciousness of his propitiation to you and to me. Love, love immeasurable, led the immortal Lord to die for man. Let us think it over, and melt into loving gratitude. A death endured out of pure love; a death which was altogether unnecessary on his own account, and indeed a superfluous act, except that it behoved him to suffer so that he might fulfil his office of a Saviour, and bring us near to God; this is a matter which should set our heart on fire with fervent gratitude to the Lord who loved us to the death.

13. “He has poured out his soul to death.” I will say no more about it, except that you see how complete it was. Jesus gave poor sinners everything. His every faculty was laid out for them. To his last rag he was stripped upon the cross. No part of his body or of his soul was kept back from being made a sacrifice. The last drop, as I said before, was poured out until the cup was drained. He made no reserve: he did not keep back even his innermost self: “He has poured out his soul to death.”

14. Consider these two truths together. He is the Lord God Almighty, before whom the hosts of angels bow with joy; yet on that cross he pours out his soul to death; and he does it, not because of anything that is in him that renders it necessary, but for your sakes, and for mine — for the salvation of all those who put their trust in him. Put your trust in him, then, without reserve. Pour out your souls in full trust, even as he poured out his soul to death. Come, and rest in him, and then see the reason why he is crowned with majesty. His death for your sins is the reason why he divides the spoils with the strong. He has his portion with the great because he “died, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God.” This, which brought him so much shame, has now brought him all his glory. Come, and trust him! Come, and trust him completely! Come, and trust him now!

15. II. Secondly, and somewhat briefly. It appears in the text, that our Lord did not only bear the penalty due to sinners, but HE WAS NUMBERED WITH SINNERS. “He was numbered with the transgressors.”

16. There is a touch of nearness to the sinner about this which there is not in the first clause. He bears death for the sinner; but you could not suppose, if you had not read it, that he would be written in the sinners’ register. He was not, and could not, be a sinner; but yet it is written, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” Oh sinner, see how close Jesus comes to you! Is there a census taken of sinners? Then, in that census, the name of Jesus is written down. “He was numbered with the transgressors.” He never was a transgressor: it was impossible that he could be. It would be blasphemy to say that the Son of God ever was a transgressor against his Father’s laws. In him was no sin in any sense, or shape, or form. His spotless birth, his perfect nature, his holy life, all make him “separate from sinners.” How, then, was he numbered with the transgressors? This makes it all the more marvellous, because it is so painful to a man who is pure, to be numbered with the impure. What would any woman with a delicate purity of mind think, if she were numbered with the prostitutes? What would any honest man among us think if he were numbered with thieves? But that would be nothing compared with the holy Lord Jesus being numbered with the transgressors; and yet he submitted to this for our sakes. I said that he could not be a transgressor; but we are not like him in this. Any one of us could be either unjust or dishonest; for, alas! sin dwells in us, and the possibilities of its still greater development; but Jesus was clean in nature, and pure in heart, and therefore he could never be tainted with evil; and yet the inspired prophet says, “He was numbered with the transgressors.” This was a stoop, indeed! This was coming down to where the sinner lay, and bowing over him to lift him up.

17. Our Lord Jesus was numbered with the transgressors, first, by the tongue of slander. They called him a drunken man and a wine-bibber: they even called him Beelzebub. That was sharp enough for him to bear, whom all the angels greet as “Holy, holy, holy!” Accused of blasphemy, sedition, and so forth, he had enough to bear from evil lips. Nothing was too vile to be cast upon him by those who said, “Let him be crucified.” Reproach never spared the spotless one; but spent its utmost venom on him. Like the Psalmist, he was the song of the drunkard. The very thieves who were crucified with him reviled him.

18. He was numbered with the transgressors in the earthly courts of justice. He stood at the bar as a common felon, though he was judge of all. Though they could not find witnesses, whose testimony agreed, yet they condemned him. Though Pilate had to say, “Why, what evil has he done?” yet he was taken out with two malefactors, so that he might die side by side with them; and then, we are told by the evangelist, the Scripture was fulfilled — “He was numbered with the transgressors.” {Mr 15:28}

19. To go a little further, our Lord Jesus Christ, on earth, was treated, in the providence of God, as transgressors are treated. Transgression sometimes brings on men poverty, sickness, reproach, and desertion; and Jesus Christ had to take his share of all these with sinful men. No wind was tempered for this shorn lamb. No winter’s frost was spared, no night dews dried to comfort his secret agonies.

   Cold mountains and the midnight air
   Witnessed the fervour of his prayer.

20. All things in this world that are so keen and terrible to man, because man has become so guilty, were just as keen and terrible to him. The sun shone on him until his tongue was dried up like a potsherd, and cleaved to his jaws, and he cried, “I thirst.” The nails that pierced him tore his tender flesh as they would have torn that of the sinful. Fever parched him until his tongue cleaved to his jaws. There was no softening of the laws of nature for this man, because he had never offended; but he had to stand as a sinner where we sinners stand, to suffer from the common laws of a sin-cursed world, though he was not and could not be a sinner. “In him was no sin”; yet he was numbered with the transgressors.

21. And look, my brethren. Oh, that I may know how to speak properly on it! The Holy God treated him as if he were one of us: “it pleased the Father to bruise him; he has put him to grief.” God not only turned his back on transgressors, but he turned his back upon his Son, who was numbered with them. God never can forsake the perfectly innocent, yet he who was perfectly innocent said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Sinking and anguish of spirit, even to soul-death, cannot come to a man who is numbered with the perfectly righteous. It was because Jesus voluntarily put himself into the sinner’s place that he had to bear the sinner’s doom; and, he being numbered with the transgressors, the justice which strikes sin struck him, the frown that falls on sin fell on him, the darkness which comes over human sin gathered in sevenfold night around his sacred brow. In the day of the Lord’s anger, “He was numbered with the transgressors.”

22. Since this is the reason why he is now exalted, it seems to me that you and I ought to feel a mixture of grief and joy at this time to think that the Lord Jesus would condescend to put his name down with transgressors. You know what a transgressor is, do you not? One who has done wrong; one who has broken laws; one who has gone beyond bounds and committed evil. Well, Jesus Christ says, “Father, that I might save these transgressors, put my name down among them.” It was necessary that it should be so, that he, standing in their place, might lift them into his place, transferring his righteousness to them, as he took their sin upon himself. I could weep as I tell you that “He was numbered with the transgressors.” I cannot preach. This theme baffles me altogether. I wish that you would look into it for yourselves. Never mind my words. Think of my Lord, and of these two things: “He has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors.”

23. III. That leads me to the third matter by which the Lord Jesus Christ has won his victories, and earned the reward of God. It is this: “HE BORE THE SIN OF MANY.”

24. Now, do not think that these words are mine, and therefore object to them. Deliberately observe that these are the words of the Holy Spirit. “He bore the sin”: “He bore the sin of many.” They criticize us for saying that he bore the chastisement of sin. We shall say it none the less plainly; but we shall go much further, and insist upon it that, literally, Jesus bore the sin of man. Otherwise, why did he die? Why did he die at all? “He was man,” you say, “and, therefore, he died.” There was no reason why the Christ should die because he was a man, for, being born without the taint of sin, and having lived a spotless life, and having never violated the law of God, there could be no justice in Christ’s dying at all, if there was not some reason for it apart from himself. It is an act of injustice that Jesus should be permitted to die at all, unless there can be found a reason apart from his own personal conduct. If death is the consequence of sin, there being no sin in Christ, the consequence could not follow without the cause. You tell me that by wicked hands he was crucified: it was so, and yet the Scripture assures us that this was by the determinate purpose and foreknowledge of God. How could this have been had our Lord had no connection with sin? It was not of necessity that he should die because he was a man. He might have been taken to heaven in a chariot of fire; or it might have been said of him, as of Enoch, “He was not, for God took him.” If the rough Elijah ascended to heaven, how much more the gentle, tender, perfect, absolutely perfect, Christ, might have been expected to do so! There was no reason, then, in his personal nature, why he should die.

25. “He died,” one said, “as an example.” But, my dear friends, I do not see that. In his life he is an example to us through and through, and so he is in his death. If we need to die, it is an example to us that we should die as bravely, as patiently, as believingly as he did; but we are not bound to die at all unless God requires it of us. Indeed, we are bound to shun death if it can virtuously be avoided. Self-preservation is a law of nature; and for any man to voluntarily give himself up to die without some grand purpose would not be justifiable. It is only because there is a law that we must die that we may judge ourselves permitted to volunteer to die. The Saviour does not set us an example in a sphere into which we cannot enter. In that case he goes beyond us altogether, and treads the wine-press alone. He is a Being whom we cannot follow in the higher walks in which he is both God and man. In his great voluntary self-surrender to death, the Son of God stoops from a position which we, who are mortal because of sin, have never held.

26. “Well,” you say, “but Jesus Christ died as an exhibition of divine love.” This is true in a certain sense, but from another point of view, of all the things I have ever heard, this seems to me to be the most monstrous statement that could be made. That Jesus Christ, dying because of our sins, is a wonderful example of divine love, I do know, admit, and glory in; but that Christ’s dying was an example of divine love, if he did not die because he bore our sins, I entirely deny. There is no exhibition of divine love in the death of Christ if it is not for our sins; but an exhibition of a very different kind. The death of the perfect Son of God, per se, and without its great object, does not exhibit love, but the opposite. What? Does God put to death his only-begotten Son, the perfectly pure and holy being? Is this the finale of a life of obedience? Well, then, I see no love in God at all. It seems to me to be the opposite of love that it should be so. Apart from sin-bearing the statement that Jesus needs to die the death of the cross to show us that his Father is full of love is sheer nonsense; but if he died in our room and place, then the gift of Jesus Christ by the Father is undoubtedly a glorious example of divine love. Behold, and wonder, that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is love, if you please; but not the mere fact that the Son of God should be put to death. That would be a thing altogether unaccountable, not to be justified, but to be looked upon as a horrible mystery never to be explained — that the blessed Son of God should die — if we did not receive this full and complete explanation, “He bore the sin of many.”

27. If our Lord’s bearing our sin for us is not the gospel, I have no gospel to preach. Brethren, I have fooled you these thirty-five years, if this is not the gospel. I am a lost man, if this is not the gospel; for I have no hope beneath the canopy of heaven, neither in time nor in eternity, except only in this belief, that Jesus, in my place, bore both my punishment and sin.

28. If our Lord did so bear our sin we have a firm and joyful confidence. God would not accept a substitute in our place, and then punish us. If Jesus suffered in my place, I shall not suffer. If another has gone to prison and to death for me I shall not go there. If the axe has fallen on the neck of him who took my place, justice is satisfied, the law is vindicated, I am free, happy, joyful, grateful, and therefore bound for ever to serve him who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not know how you look upon this doctrine, but it seems to me to be something worth telling everywhere. I would like to make every wind bear it on its wings, and every wave waft it on its crest. There is a just and righteous way to forgive sin, by Jesus bearing the death-penalty in the sinners’ place, so that whoever believes in him, should be justified from all things, from which the law could not deliver him.

29. Now, these three things — that he poured out his soul to death, and so bore the sinner’s penalty; that he was numbered with the transgressors, and so stood side by side with sinners; and, next, that he actually bore their sin, and so came into a wonderful contact with sin, which did not defile him, but which enabled him to put away the sin which defiled men — these three things are the reasons for the glory of our Lord Jesus. God, for these three things, and one more, makes him to divide the spoil with the strong, and divides him a portion with the great.

30. IV. The last thing is this: “HE MADE INTERCESSION FOR THE TRANSGRESSORS.”

31. You see all along, Christ gets his glory by standing side by side with guilty men. It is a curious mine to get gold out of. I will not venture to say what Augustine, in a burst of enthusiasm, once uttered. When speaking of Adam’s fall, and then describing all the glory that comes to God out of the salvation of the guilty, that holy man could not help using the unguarded expression, “Beata culpa!” “Happy fault!” Yet, though I would not say so much as that, I see that out of this dunghill of sin Christ has brought this diamond of his glory by our salvation. If there had been no sinners, there could not have been a Saviour. If no sin, no pouring out of the soul to death; and if no pouring out of the soul to death, no dividing a portion with the great. If there had been no guilt, there would have been no act of expiation. In the wondrous act of expiation by our great Substitute, the Godhead is more gloriously revealed than in all the creations and providences of the divine power and wisdom.

   Sin, which strove that love to quell,
      Woke yet more its wondrous blaze;
   Eden, Bethlehem, Calvary, tell,
      More than all beside, his praise.

In the person of his dying Son, bleeding for human guilt, the Lord God has focused the splendour of his infinity. If you would see God, you must look to Calvary. God in Christ Jesus — this is God indeed. God in Christ Jesus bearing sin and putting it away — here you see what a God can do in boundless love. “God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

32. But this is the finale of it. He makes intercession for the transgressors. Who among us will take up the part of the guilty? Who will plead for the guilty? I know, in certain cases, the lawyer will sell his tongue to the most polluted; but if a man were perfectly pure, you would not find him saying a word in defence of the guilty; would you? So far as the man was guilty he could not be defended. Unless there were a fear of too severe a punishment, no one would take his part; and even in that case, the offender is viewed as so far deserving that he is not guilty enough for so heavy a penalty. For the guilty we could not plead, so as to deny or extenuate evil. A just man would plead for innocent people who might be falsely accused; but our Lord made intercession for transgressors. When he was here on earth how tender he was with transgressors! Women who were sinners came around him, and he never told them to go away. She who was taken in adultery, oh, how he dealt with her! When Peter was about to deny him, he said, “I have prayed for you, so that your faith does not fail.” Those nights out there on the cold mountains were not spent for himself, but for sinners. He bore on his heart the names of guilty men. He was always pleading their cause, and when he came to die he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what are they doing.” He took their part, you see. He would exonerate them if he could. I dare say that he has often prayed like that for you. When you have been despising religion, and saying vile things about your Lord, he has said, “Ah, poor soul! It is like the ravings of a man in a fever, who does not know what he is talking about. He does not know what he is saying. Father, forgive him.”

33. Our blessed Lord pleaded like this when he was here; and now that he has gone up there he is still pleading for the same people. Though we cannot see through that veil which hides the invisible from us, yet the eye of faith, I hope, is strong enough to see that he is at the Father’s side at this moment making intercession for transgressors. I do not picture him up there as using entreaties or pleading to an agony. Oh, no! With authority he intercedes, for he has finished the work, and he claims the reward. I do not even picture him as using words. Those are the poor tools with which men plead with men; but the death which our Lord endured for the guilty is pleading with the Father. The death of Christ is a well-spring of delight to God. The Father thinks of what Jesus has suffered in vindication of the law, even of his obedience to death; and that thought has power with the Judge of all the earth. In effect, the wounds of Jesus perpetually bleed. Still his cries of the great Sacrifice come up into his Father’s ear. The Godhead, delighted to bless, is charmed to find the way of blessing men always open through the fact that the propitiation has been made, the sin has been put away.

34. I cannot continue longer, for strength and time fail me. Only it does seem to me so delightful to think that Jesus pleads for sinners. If you see him die, he is dying for sinners. If you see him with his name written down in a register, that register is the sinners’ census book: his name is written there so that he may be in a position advantageous for sinners. If you see him pleading now that he is risen, he is the advocate for sinners. Did you ever read this text in the Bible: “If any man does not sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous?” No, you never did! But I will tell you what you do read there: “If any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” “If any man sins.” Is there anyone here who never sinned? Then there is no Christ for you. He never did anything for you, and never will. Are you guilty? Do you feel it? Do you confess it? Do you acknowledge it? Christ is for you. If a doctor were to set up in the town, he would never think of sending out a circular in such terms as these: “Henry Smith, M.D., invites healthy people to call on him, for he is proficient in the healing art.” There will be no business for “Henry Smith, M.D.,” among the healthy folks, let him be as learned as he may. And if he is known as an eminent physician, he does not need to intimate that sick people are welcome to call on him; for the very fact that he is a physician means that he seeks practice, and lives to serve the sick. My Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saving power, cannot save those who do not need saving. If they have no sin he cannot cleanse them from it. Can he? What, then, have some of you to do with the Saviour? You are very good, respectable people, who have never done anything wrong in all your lives; what is Jesus to you? Of course, you go your own way, and take care of yourselves, and scorn the idea of being beholden to free grace. Alas! this is folly. How foolish you are to think you are such characters! for you are nothing of the kind. If you look within, your heart is as foul as a black chimney that has never been swept. Our hearts are wells of defilement. Oh, that you could see this, and renounce your false righteousness! If you will not, there is nothing in Jesus for you. He derives his glory from sinners, not from self-conceited folks like you. But, you guilty ones, who will admit and confess your guilt, may cheerfully remember that those four things which Jesus did, he did in connection with sinners, and it is because he did them in connection with sinners that he is today crowned with glory and honour and majesty.

35. Jesus Christ does not shrink from sinners. What then? Oh you sinners, do not shrink from him! If Jesus does not shrink from sinners — (let me say it again) — you sinners, do not shrink from him. If we were to go today to some of those unhappy parts of the world in the north of Europe (it makes one’s blood curdle to think that there are such places), where poor decaying lepers are made to live alone, and if these poor creatures came our way, we should wish them every blessing, and should desire for them every comfort; but while we were expressing our kind wishes we should be gradually edging away, and leaving a distance between ourselves and their horrible pollution. That is not the way in which Jesus acts towards sinners: he draws near, and never sets a hedge between himself and them. You need not undergo a quarantine before you may enter the port of salvation by Christ. Over there is a filthy leprous sinner, as full of filth as an egg is full of food, but Jesus comes right up to him, and lays his hand on him, and says, “I will; be clean.” Jesus never keeps at a distance from the sinner.

36. But suppose this poor leper began to run away from him. It would be natural that he should, but would also be very foolish. No, poor creature, stop your running! Stay at Jesus’ feet! Look to him! Trust him! Touch his garment and be healed! Oh my dear hearers, in this pulpit I seem to stand a long way off from you and talk to you from afar, but my heart is with you. I wish I knew how to persuade you to come to Jesus. I would use some loving logic, that I have not yet hit upon. How heartily would I entreat you to trust the Son of God, made flesh, bleeding and dying for guilty men! If you will trust him, he will not deceive you, but you shall be saved, and saved at once and for ever.

37. And, oh you who love him and know him, will you learn one lesson, and then I will send you home? Just as Jesus does not shrink from sinners, do not shrink from them yourselves. You are not so pure and holy as he was, and yet he came into the world to save sinners. Go into the world to seek them. Be in earnest after sinners. You become so good, some of you, that there is no living with you. You forget the dunghills where you grew, and imagine yourselves to be angels, but you are nothing of the kind. God has made something of you, and now you are too respectable to look after those who are no worse than you were once. If a man sins, you do not speak to him, lest you should be disgraced by his company. What pride! A man is known to be a drunkard, and there are some even of you who are teetotallers, who would not talk with such, but leave them until they are improved, and then you would speak to them. You will do them good if they come to you for it, but you will not go to them: you cannot bring your souls to handle the wound while it bleeds, and touch the filthy while they are foul. Some are too fine and fastidious to look after roughs. But I venture to say to the rough, the ragged, the graceless, the godless, that they are more likely to get a blessing than the self-righteous. I believe that there is more likelihood of converting a downright out-and-out sinner than of reaching the consciences of your very nice, neat, hypocritical people. Do not, therefore, shrink from sinners, for Jesus did not; and just as from them he won his brightest trophies, even so may you. Do not be ashamed, even if, by talking with sinners, you should come to be taken for one of them, for your Lord himself “was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Let it be your vocation, as a man redeemed by blood, to be “the sinners’ friend,” henceforth and for ever. May God help you to do so!

38. Oh my beloved, may God send a blessing upon us at this hour. Pray for it. Pray for it. Lord, send it, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Isa 53]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Names and Titles — Surety” 406}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — The Solid Rock” 549}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death — The Cleansing Fountain” 288}

Letter From Mr. Spurgeon

Dear Friends, — With great pleasure I have prepared this sermon upon that truth which lies at the heart of the Christian faith. The denial of the substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord is the renunciation of Christianity. Without atonement by the death of the Saviour there is no gospel. I do not conceive “substitution” to be an explanation of the atonement, but to be of the very essence of it. Those of us who have received the Lord Jesus as our expiation and righteousness know what divine power dwells in that precious truth.

In a few days I hope to be on my way home: indeed I may be so when this sermon is published. I crave a kindly remembrance in the prayers of the faithful. May there be years of useful preaching and fruitful hearing in store for preacher and readers!

                         Yours, in Christ Jesus,
                         C. H. Spurgeon.
Mentone, February 11, 1889.

“The New Theology”

One of the most prominent preachers of the so-called “New Theology” has recently given fresh currency to the old Jewish idea that Isaiah 53 applies to the prophet Jeremiah! The following Sermons by C. H. Spurgeon, all upon various verses of this chapter, show what he thought about the matter: —

{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1075, “A Root out of a Dry Ground” 1066}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1099, “The Man of Sorrows” 1090}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3033, “Why Christ Is Not Esteemed” 3034}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2499, “Christopathy” 2500}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 834, “The Universal Remedy” 825}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1068, “A Simple Remedy” 1059}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2000, “Healing by the Stripes of Jesus” 2001}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2887, “A Dire Disease Strangely Cured” 2888}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 694, “Sin Laid on Jesus” 685}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 925, “Individual Sin Laid on Jesus” 916}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1543, “The Sheep before the Shearers” 1543}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 173, “The Death of Christ” 166}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 561, “Expiation” 552}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2186, “Our Expectation” 2187}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2963, “Unmitigated Prosperity” 2964}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 458, “The Friend of Sinners” 449}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1385, “Jesus Interceding for Transgressors” 1376}
{See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2070, “Christ’s Connection with Sinners the Source of his glory.” 2071}


Jesus Christ, Names and Titles
406 — Surety <7s.>
1 Christ exalted is our song,
   Hymn’d by all the blood bought throng;
   To his throne our shouts shall rise,
   God with us by sacred ties.
2 Shout, believer, to thy God,
   He hath once the winepress trod;
   Peace procured by blood divine,
   Cancell’d all thy sins and mine.
3 Here thy bleeding wounds are heal’d,
   Sin condemn’d, and pardon seal’d;
   Grace her empire still maintains;
   Love without a rival reigns.
4 In thy Surety thou art free,
   His dear hands were pierced for thee;
   With his spotless vesture on,
   Holy as the Holy One.
5 Oh the heights and depths of grace!
   Shining with meridian blaze;
   Here the sacred records show
   Sinners black, but comely too.
6 Saints dejected, cease to mourn,
   Faith shall soon to vision turn;
   Ye the kingdom shall obtain,
   And with Christ exalted reign.
                           John Kent, 1803.


Gospel, Received by Faith
549 — The Solid Rock
1 My hope is built on nothing less
   Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
   I dare not trust the sweetest frame;
   But wholly lean on Jesus’ name:
      On Christ the solid rock I stand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
2 When darkness veils his lovely face,
   I rest on his unchanging grace;
   In every high and stormy gale,
   My anchor holds within the veil:
      On Christ the solid rock I stand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
3 His oath, his covenant, and his blood,
   Support me in the sinking flood;
   When all around my soul gives way,
   He then is all my hope and stay:
      On Christ the solid rock I stand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
4 When the last awful trump shall sound,
   On may I then in him be found,
   Dress’d in his righteousness alone,
   Faultless to stand before the throne:
      On Christ the solid rock I stand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
                     Edward Mote, 1825, a.


Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death
288 — The Cleansing Fountain
1 There is a fountain fill’d with blood,
   Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
   And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
   Lose all their guilty stains.
2 The dying thief rejoiced to see
   That fountain in his day;
   Oh may I there, though vile as he,
   Wash all my sins away!
3 Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
   Shall never lose its power,
   Till all the ransom’d church of God
   Be saved to sin no more.
4 E’er since by faith I saw the stream
   Thy flowing wounds supply,
   Redeeming love has been my theme,
   And shall be till I die.
5 Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
   I’ll sing thy power to save,
   When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
   Lies silent in the grave.
                     William Cowper, 1779.

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).

Terms of Use

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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