2141. The Question Of Questions

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No. 2141-36:229. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, April 20, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, May 4, 1890.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” {Joh 9:35}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1088, “Essence of Simplicity, The” 1079}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2141, “Question of Questions, The” 2142}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2667, “Pressed Man Yielding to Christ, A” 2668}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3008, “All Important Question, An” 3009}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3132, “Question for You, A” 3133}
   Exposition on Joh 9 1Co 10:15-11:1 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2656, “Death of Christ for His People, The” 2657 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 9:1-38 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2309, “God’s Works Made Manifest” 2310 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 9:1-38 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3032, “Fashion of This World, The” 3033 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2668, “Communion With Christ — A Baptizing Sermon” 2669 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3132, “Question for You, A” 3133 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3536, “Threefold Motto, A” 3538 @@ "Exposition"}

1. The eye of the Lord Jesus is always on his chosen, and he knows every circumstance which occurs to them. “Jesus heard that they had cast him out.” Our Lord had done too much for this man to forget about him. Where grace has performed a great work its memory lingers; as it is written, “You will have a desire for the work of your hands.” In this let us take comfort: if anything has happened to grieve us, Jesus has heard of it, and will act accordingly.

2. Our Lord sought for the outcast one. Unasked for, he had opened his eyes; unsought for, he looks after him in his hour of trouble. He was not easy to find; but our Lord is an expert at searching for his lost sheep, and he persevered until he found him. If we, at any time, should seem cast off from Christ as well as cast out by proud religionists, he will find us when we cannot find him. Blessed be his name!

3. Our Lord’s object was to do this man a real service; he had been cast out of the synagogue, and he therefore needed comfort; but it would be a grand thing to so comfort him as to lead him onward and upward in the divine life. Our Lord’s way of comforting was to ask a question which would lead to heart-searching, and suggest spiritual advance. It is not the way that you and I might take; but his ways are not our ways, neither are his thoughts our thoughts. Wisdom is justified by her methods. It is the best thing, when a man is in soul-trouble, to make him look at his own condition before God, and especially at his faith; for when he finds that he is right on the main point, this assurance will be a well-spring of comfort to him. We are sure that our Lord took the very best means to bring this man to well-grounded confidence when he said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He helped him by this question to make a considerable advance in faith; for, although the poor man had believed in Jesus up to the measure of his knowledge, his knowledge had been slight; but now he was to learn that the opener of his eyes was the Son of God. This is such faith as the person of our Lord deserves, but such as many have never rendered to him, and for lack of this they miss the great power of his grace. The man was excommunicated, and was then placed under the ban of the Jewish church; but trust in the Son of God would quickly remove from him any alarm which he might feel on that account. He who enjoys the favour of the Son of God will not tremble at the frown of the Sanhedrin.

4. Oh, that the Lord would comfort many this morning, while I press upon each one of you this one personal question, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” To young and old, to rich and poor, I shall direct this solemn enquiry. It is not a perplexing question upon an abstruse point, but a simple and urgent enquiry relating to everyone here present. It is not a profound and intricate problem — a question of free will or predestination, of postmillennial or premillennial advents; it is a practical question, pressing and present, and one that concerns every man in his every-day life, at this very moment. I wish each one of you to think now that I put my hand on your shoulder, and look you in the face, and say earnestly, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” This is not a question out of which angry controversy can possibly arise; for it has to do with yourself, and yourself only. Whatever discussion there may be will be confined within your own heart. It concerns yourself only, and it is put in the singular, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” It was asked by Jesus himself of this man: consider, then, that Jesus asks it of you also this morning, even of you, apart from your wife or friend.

5. I. I shall begin pressing home the question, by the help of the Holy Spirit, by making the remark that THE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE RAISED.

6. It must not be taken for granted that you do believe in the Son of God. “Oh, yes, I am a Christian,” one says, “I was born in a Christian country, I was taken to church while a babe, and was duly christened, and I now repeat the creed. Surely this is sufficient proof of my faith!” Or possibly you say, “My mother took me to the meeting-house before I could walk, and ever since I have never abandoned the ways of old-fashioned Nonconformity.” All this may be so, but it is not to the point. “Do you believe in the Son of God?” This is a spiritual and vital question which cannot be easily set aside. You reply, “My moral character has always been correct; in business I have always discharged my liabilities, and I have always been ready to help every charitable institution.” I am glad to hear all this. Still, it does not touch the matter now in hand; this query goes deeper than outward conduct. Hear it again — “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

7. Numbers of moral, amiable, generous, and even religious people have not believed in the Son of God. Excuse me, I cannot let you slip through in the crowd, I must lay hold upon you with a holy vehemence, that even forgets courtesy for the moment, and I must say to the best of you, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

8. Though this man had been scrupulously obedient, yet our Lord asked the question. It may be, I speak to some who say, “I have been obedient to the duties of religion at all times. Whatever I have found to be commanded by God in his Word, I have carefully carried out.” Was it not so with this man born blind? The Saviour put clay on his eyes, and told him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash off the clay, and the man did exactly as he was told. He did not go to another pool, but to the pool of Siloam; and he did not attempt to get the clay from his eyes by any other process than that of washing. He was very obedient to Christ; yet the Lord said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” No outward observances, however carefully carried out, will eliminate the need for the enquiry, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” I am afraid some of you have not been very careful in fulfilling outward ordinances, and for this you are blameworthy; but if you had been scrupulously exact, yet no outward observances, however carefully followed out, can exempt you from the question, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

9. This man, in addition, had passed through a very remarkable experience. He could say, “One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” He could never forget that long night, while a child, a youth, and a man. All those years no ray of light had ever gladdened him: to him night and day were much the same; he had sat in deep poverty all through that dreary darkness, and learned no art except that of beggary. As the cooling water touched his eyes, and washed away the clay, the sunlight streamed in on the lifelong midnight; and he saw. He had undergone all that change, and yet the Saviour said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” So, my dear hearer, you may be a very changed man, and yet you may not be a believer in the Son of God. You, my dear sister, may be a very different woman from what you used to be; and when you tell your experience, it may be very remarkable, and well worthy of being recorded in a book; and yet this question must be pressed upon you! Whatever your experience may be, do not forget self-examination. Do not say, “I never need question myself: such experience as I have had, settles my position out of hand. I am not so childish as to look within, or have a doubt about my faith. So remarkable a case as mine may not be suspected.” Do not talk like that; for if our Lord, who knew the change this man had undergone, still said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” I also must take liberty to press home, upon the most remarkable person here, the same personal enquiry — “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

10. This man, in addition to his reception of bodily sight, had exercised a degree of faith in the Lord Jesus. If you follow the chapter through, you will see that he had some kind of faith in Christ while he was blind, or he would not have gone to Siloam to wash away the clay. And when he saw, he did not doubt that Jesus had really made him whole; and he affirmed the fact. He also said, “He is a prophet.” He went still further, for he said, “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” He had believed as far as his light helped him to believe; so that the seeds of faith were in him. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ pressed him with the enquiry, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Beloved friends, you, too, may never have been troubled with scepticism; it may be, you have not even examined the basis of your faith, because you have never been tempted to suspect them. You have taken in the gospel from your youth as clearly true, and so you have believed it without being much perplexed. I am thankful that you have done so. Still, do you believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God? Is Jesus God to you? Do you trust him as able to do anything and everything for you? Is he to you “able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him?” If not, may the Lord help you to take this higher step; for, short of this, you have not received the true Christ of God. It is of very little avail to say, “Oh, yes, I believe in Christ, the noblest of examples; I believe in Christ, the most instructive of prophets”; do you believe in him also as the Sacrifice, as the Priest, the Saviour, the Salvation? And gathering all up in one, do you believe in him as the Son of God? Do you believe in the Son of God, as revealed in Holy Scripture?

11. Furthermore, this man had spoken out bravely for Christ, as you saw in the chapter which we read just now. “He spoke out like a Trojan,” one said. Say, rather, “like a Spartan.” He was clever, shrewd, sharp, and unanswerable. The learned doctors were nowhere in comparison with the blind beggar whose eyes had been opened. He stood up for the man who had given him sight, and allowed no charge to lie against him. His statements were short, but full; and his answers were themselves unanswerable. Who would have thought that a blind beggar could have formed such a logical argument as he did? Yet to this bold confessor the Saviour had to say, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Ah, my friend! as a preacher you may be able to declare the gospel very clearly to others, and you may enforce it with powerful arguments; but “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Even in your case, the question must be plied. Some of you may remember that story which is told in one of Krummacher’s books. I half forget it myself, but it was somewhat like this. The preacher had delivered a solemn discourse, and was waited on, on the following Monday, by one of his hearers, who said, “Sir, if what you said last Sunday was true, what will become of us?” Now, if he had said, “What will become of me?” the preacher would have explained still further to him the gospel, in the usual way. As it was, he parried the word “us”; but his visitor, almost unconsciously, said, “Alas, dear sir! if these things are so, what shall we do?” The Lord used that plural pronoun to the awakening of the preacher, who had not been converted, though he thought he had been. Oh, that we who speak for God may also hear the Lord speak to us! I know the good preacher, and love him very well, who, when he was himself preaching, as he had done for years, was saved through the personal application of his own sermon. He is a minister of the Church of England, but he did not know the Lord. While he was preaching, the Lord applied to his heart with power a gospel truth, which so affected him, that he spoke with the accent of conviction which is natural to the renewed man. At last a Methodist, who was in the church, shouted out, “The parson’s converted; hallelujah!” and all the people broke out with cries of praise. The preacher himself joined in the universal joy, and they sang together, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!” Oh, what a mercy it is, when the waiter at the Lord’s feast is himself fed! Should not those who are to bear the healing balm to the sick be healed themselves? I have not been ashamed to speak in my Lord’s name, nor have I blushed to defend his cause before his enemies; yet I would remember that I may have done all this, and yet I may not know the King to whom I have been a herald. Oh friends, how terrible it would be to have cast out demons in his name, and yet to be unknown by him! Therefore, we press the question, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

12. This man had gone further still; for he had suffered for Christ. He had been put out of the synagogue for bearing witness to the power of Jesus; but none the less for this, he had to hear the question, “Do you believe?” Yes, you, dear friend, may have been laughed at by your relatives for your religiousness; you may have had to quit a good job because of your determination to be honest, temperate, and pure; you may at the present moment stand under the ban of some cold-hearted church, because you have been more earnest than was desired; but much as I appreciate your fidelity, you must excuse me if I button-hole you in the Lord’s name, and say, as Christ did to this man, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” It is one thing to play the hero before our fellow men, and another to be true in the secret chamber of our own soul. You are bold in your confession, but do you really believe in the Lord Jesus? Can that bold confession be supported by your life? I hope you are not a Defender of the Faith after the manner of Henry the Eighth, who wore the title, but was by no means worthy of it. Come, my eloquent friend, do you live as you talk? Do you feel yourself as you would make me feel? “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

13. You will see, dear friends, from the run of my talk, that I am not for letting anyone here escape the personal question. My venerable friend, who has been an officer of this church longer than anyone else, will not refuse to ask himself this question. My beloved sister in Christ, who has conducted a Bible class for years, and that other who has been so useful in the Sunday Schools — neither of these will refuse to answer this searching word, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” I must dare to make enquiry of that minister. My father in Christ, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose, I must even ask of you, as I do ask of myself, “Do you, for yourself, in very deed, believe in the Son of God?”

14. So this question must be raised, and raised for everyone, because many people nowadays do not believe in the Son of God. There are many around who would be mightily offended if we denied their right to the name of Christian, who nevertheless do not know “the Son of God.” These folks admire a man who will concoct a sermon to show that they may be Christians, and not believe in Jesus as God. I shall preach no such sermon until I lose my reason; but I shall press upon this unbelieving age this vital question, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Man, if you do not believe, your faith falls short of what Christ would have you possess, and you had better take heed lest it falls short of landing you in heaven. With a Saviour less than divine you have a religion less than saving. How is it with you? Will you believe in the Son of God alone, or run with the vain multitude, who see nothing in him but a man?

15. I think every man here will say, “You need not apologize, dear sir, for asking the question, for it is one we have to ask ourselves.” Indeed, I know it is so. Who is there that lives so perfectly that he never has to examine this issue? We have heard people cry out against the hymn —

   ’Tis a point I long to know,
      Oft it causes anxious thought:
   Do I love the Lord or no?
      Am I his, or am I not?

But if a man never has an anxious thought about his state, I should have a great many anxious thoughts about him. One of our poets has well said —

   He that never doubted of his state
      He may, perhaps, he may too late.

There are so many things about us all which we need to mourn over, and these set us asking the questions, “Is my faith the faith which works by love, and purifies the soul? Do I truly believe in the Son of God?” At times we rejoice in an absolute certainty concerning our faith in Christ, and the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; but at other times we are exercised with great searchings of heart, and no question causes us greater anguish than this — “Do I believe in the Son of God?” It will be woe to us if, after all our profession, and experience, and effort, we should, after all, have no more than the name of faith, and the notion of faith, but be found devoid of its life in our souls. Yes, the enquiry of our text is a question which ought to be raised.

16. II. But, secondly, THE QUESTION CAN BE ANSWERED. I am sure it can be answered, or our Lord would not have asked it; for he was never so impractical as to go around the world asking men questions about themselves which it was not possible to answer. “Do you believe in the Son of God?” is an enquiry to which you can give the answer if you wish — “Yes” or “No.” I ask to press you to practical action on it.

17. It would be, indeed, a most unhappy thing if this question could not be answered. Suppose we were condemned to live in a state of perpetual doubt concerning our being believers in the Lord Jesus. This would involve an awakened man in a condition of constant anxiety. If I am not sure whether I am in the favour of God or not, I am in a condition of decided sorrow. I remember hearing a Christian minister say one day in company, that no man could be sure that he was saved. Then I wondered what he had to preach that was worth preaching; for, if we cannot know that we are saved, then we cannot be sure that we are at peace with God; and this is to be in jeopardy every hour. There can be no peace for the mind of the awakened man if he does not know that he is saved. It is like one at sea who is half-afraid that his ship is off course, and may soon strike a rock or quicksand, but is not quite sure whether it is so or not. The captain should take no rest until he has taken his bearings, and found out his position in reference to the dangers of the sea, and the hope of reaching the desired haven. To leave his position a moot point, would be to continue in fear, and to court danger. To leave your faith in question is to imperil a vital point. He must be sadly seared in conscience who can leave this hinge of the soul’s condition unexamined.

18. There is a possibility of knowing for certain that you believe in the Son of God. Did I say there is a possibility of it? Thousands have attained to this certainty. You can know that you believe in the Son of God as surely as you know that there is a Queen of England, or as surely as you know that you yourself exist; and this without falling into fanaticism or presumption. Many among us are so accustomed to faith in the Lord Jesus, that we could no more question the existence of faith in our own hearts, than we could dispute the fact that our hearts beat. Such assured people shirk no examination: for them, the more examination the better, for their hope has firm and deep foundations. They can give a reason for the hope that is in them. As sure as mathematical certainty is the confidence of the believer in the Lord Jesus; for we know whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that he is able to keep what we have committed to him. There are believers in our Lord Jesus who have gone on for thirty years without a doubt of their faith in him, because that faith has been in daily, happy exercise upon him. You can answer the question, “Do you believe?” because you are at this moment believing; distinctly and intensely believing. Those who reside in the light of God’s countenance, and feel the Holy Spirit within them, bearing witness with their spirits, are in no doubt concerning their possession of faith. If we feel a burning love for God, a growing hatred of sin, a struggle against the evil which is in the world, and somewhat of the likeness to Christ, we may safely infer that these fruits of faith come from the root of faith. By the work of the Holy Spirit upon life and heart we know and are sure that we have believed in Jesus as the Son of God. I hope I speak to many this morning who are enjoying assurance, and know that they have passed from death to life.

19. It is with some a matter of consciousness. How do I know that I live, breathe, stand, walk? I cannot explain to you the mode by which I arrive at certainty on this matter, but I am quite sure that I do live and breathe, and so on. Indeed, the power to question the fact implies it. So a believer may be sure that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God; and while he may not be able to give a logical proof, yet he may be none the less conscious in his own soul that it is even so; and he is correct in his assurance, for even the very power to be anxious after grace is an evidence of grace. If there is any question about whether you have been a believer or not for the last twenty years, do not fight that question out; but begin at once to believe, the Lord helping you. Turn your eye to the cross, and trust yourself entirely with Christ from this good hour, and then you will believe, and the act will shine out its own proof. Say from your heart —

   Just as I am — without one plea,
   But that thy blood was shed for me,
   And that thou bid’st me come to thee —
      Oh Lamb of God, I come!

Thus coming, you will know that you have come, and by continuing to come you will grow assured that you have come. Do not let the past be the main enquiry, but settle the immediate present. May the Holy Spirit cause the sacred fire to burn, and then you will feel the flame before long. To say, “I now believe in the Son of God,” is the best way of answering the question about your condition.

20. If you want further help to solve the question, there are marks and evidences of true faith by which you can readily test yourself. Do you enquire, “Do I believe in the Son of God?” then answer this: “Is Christ precious to you?” For to you who believe he is precious. If you love and prize him as the most precious thing on earth or heaven, you could not have this appreciation of him if you were not a believer. Tell me again, have you undergone the change called the new birth? Have you passed through a process which could be described as being brought out of darkness into marvellous light? If so, your new birth is a certain evidence of faith, for these things go together: while faith is a proof of regeneration, regeneration is also a proof that you have faith in the Son of God.

21. Again, are you obedient to Christ? for faith works by love, and purifies the soul. Is it so with you? Has sin become bitter? Do you loathe it? Has holiness become sweet? Do you follow after it? I do not ask whether you are perfect, but is the whole current of your soul towards being perfect? Can you say that if you could live entirely without sin it would be the greatest delight you could have? that absolute perfection would be heaven to you? Ah! then it shows which way your mind goes; it shows that there is a change of nature, for no unrenewed heart pines after perfect holiness. Your heart is bending towards Christ’s perfect rule and sovereignty, and I am sure that you have believed that he is the Son of God. You are resting on him with a true and living faith, if you take up his cross heartily and follow him. Again, do you love God? Do you love his people? “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.” Do you love his Word? Do you delight in his worship? Do you bow in patience before his rod, so that you take up the bitter cup and say, “Your will be done?” These things prove that you have faith in Jesus. Look well to them.

22. But supposing, after using all enquiries and tests, you still say, “Sir, this is a grave question, and requires great care. I have not settled it yet”; then follow this man in his method. When he was asked, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” he turned to the Lord, and replied with another question to the Lord Jesus. We may resort to Jesus for aid. He who had once been blind eagerly asked, “Who is he, Lord, so that I may believe in him?” Turn, then, oh enquirer, in the moment of your distress, and cry, “Lord Jesus, I beseech you teach me to know you better, so that I may have more faith in you.” Go to Jesus for faith in Jesus.

23. Moreover, there are certain great truths upon which faith feeds, and, to be sure that you have faith, you had better think of these truths. May the Lord be pleased especially to reveal himself to you, so that you may know him, and so may believe in him! Oh soul, you will not long be in any doubt if you perceive those glorious things which concern your Lord!

24. Know who he is, and what he is, and what he has done, and this will enable you to believe in him as the Son of God. As men were accustomed, when hard pressed before the courts, to say, “I appeal to Caesar,” so you appeal to Christ himself; and rest assured that in him you will find deliverance. If your faith is hidden from yourself it is not hidden from him; and if you cannot call it out by thoughts of the work of grace within, turn your mind towards your Saviour and Covenant-Head in heaven, and faith will open itself, as the cups of the flowers open to the sun. The question can be answered.

25. III. Thirdly, THE QUESTION SHOULD BE ANSWERED, AND SHOULD BE ANSWERED AT ONCE.

26. If I could, I would concentrate all your thoughts on this one investigation, which for each man so vitally concerns himself — “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Answer this from your own soul. I am no father-confessor; be father-confessors to yourselves. Let each man give his verdict at the judgment bar of his conscience. Answer also as in the presence of Christ; for, like the man in the narrative, you are in his presence now. Answer for yourself before the heart-searching, rein-trying God. Answer it to men also, for your Saviour deserves this from you. Do not be ashamed to say outright, “I do believe in the Son of God.” This fact must not be hidden away in a corner. Remember how our Lord in Holy Scripture always places open confession side by side with faith as a part of the plan of salvation. You will never find anywhere in the Word of God — He who believes and takes the Lord’s Supper shall be saved; but you do find it written, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Why does baptism take such a prominent place? Partly because it is the ordained form of public confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The passage is parallel with that other, “He who with his heart believes, and with his mouth makes confession of him, shall be saved.” What less can Christ expect than an outspoken faith, if there is any faith at all? Will you bring to him who redeemed you a cowardly faith? to him who intercedes for you a dumb faith? to him who opened your eyes a faith which dares not look your fellow men in the face? No, no; speak, and speak out, and let the world know that he who died on Calvary is to you, if not to anyone else, the Son of God. The question ought to be answered; answered before men, and answered at once. Do not delay, but hurry to keep your Lord’s command.

27. The question ought to be answered at once, because it is of first importance. If you do not believe in the Son of God, where are you? You are not alive to God, “For the just shall live by faith.” You cannot stand, for it is written, “You stand by faith.” You cannot work for God, for it is faith that works by love. Where is your justification if you have no faith? “We are justified by faith.” Where is your sanctification? Does not the Lord say, “Sanctified by faith that is in me.” Where is your salvation without faith? “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” You cannot be or do anything acceptable without faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please God.” You are in an evil case, and will soon be in a worse one unless you can say — “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and I trust him as my all in all.” He who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is under present condemnation; for “He who does not believe is condemned already.” Condemned already: and, therefore, this question must be answered immediately, unless you are content to remain under wrath, content to live unreconciled to God. While sitting here you are in danger of the wrath to come. Can you be at ease?

28. Remember, you are losing time while you are in ignorance concerning your faith. If you are not believing in Jesus you are spending your days in death, and in alienation from God. If it is a question whether you have believed in the Son of God, it is no question that you are losing comfort and happiness. If you go up and down this troubled world without a knowledge of your own salvation, without an assurance of your acceptance with God, you are losing power to honour the name of the Lord by a joyful conversion. You are in an inconsistent position, and in an inconvenient one. If you really have not believed in Jesus Christ the Son of God, you are resting short of eternal life. Meanwhile, you come up to the Lord’s house and unite affirmedly in worshipping him, while you deny him the first essential of true worship — namely, your faith in him.

29. Ah, dear friend! if you have not believed that Jesus is the Son of God, the hope that you will ever do so grows fainter every day. The longer a man lingers in any state, the more likely it is that he will continue there. When men have long been accustomed to do evil, the prophet cries over them, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?” It is an awful thing to have heard the gospel long in vain. If even the appeals of Calvary are lost on you, what remains? Gospel-hardened sinners are hardened indeed. Some of you have been unbelievers in the Lord Jesus Christ for fifty years, and, I fear, will die in unbelief; and what then? The portion for unbelievers is terrible. “If you do not believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins.” Tremendous words! “Die in your sins.” That is what will, in all probability, happen to many of you; indeed, will surely happen unless you believe in the Son of God. Come, therefore, to this question at once. Do not delay for an hour. If the answer is unsatisfactory, the case can be altered if attended to at once. He who has not as yet believed in the Son of God, may yet do so. Still time is afforded to you; do not despise the respite of mercy. Upon you shines the light of another Sabbath, longsuffering is not yet exhausted. The gospel is still preached in your ears, the day of hope is not over. The Bible is still open before you, and the gate of mercy is open also for all who will enter by faith. Therefore, please believe in the Son of God now. You may not live to see another Lord’s day; therefore snatch the present opportunity. Soon the news will come to us about you, as they have so often come about others, “He is dead,” or “She has gone.” Since eternity can be moulded by today, please arouse yourselves. Look after your faith in Jesus, for if that is right, all is well; but if that is found lacking, all is lacking.

30. IV. So I close with my fourth point, which is this: THE QUESTION MAY BE OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO US IF WE ANSWER IT.

31. “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Suppose that the question has to be answered in the negative. If you are compelled to sigh, and say, “No, no!” then so be it, and look the truth in the face. It will tend to arouse you from your carelessness, if you know where you are. One came to join the Christian church the other day who said, “While I was at my work in the parlour, this thought suddenly came to me, ‘You are an unsaved woman.’ I could not shake it off. I went down to my cooking in the kitchen, but it followed me. From the fire and from the water I seemed to hear the accusation, ‘You are an unsaved woman.’ When I went in to my meals, I could scarcely eat my food because of this choking thought. It haunted me, ‘You are an unsaved woman!’ ” It was not long before that unsaved woman sought the Lord, and became a saved woman by faith in Christ Jesus. Oh, that I might plant this idea into some minds this morning! You are an unsaved man; you do not believe in the Son of God; and therefore you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity. I would like to make the seat you sit on grow hard, and the very house to grow uncomfortable, so that you should vow, “Please God if I can only stagger home, then I will seek my bedside, and cry for mercy.” I wish you were under even greater urgency, and would entreat the Lord for mercy at once, on the spot. You would do so, I think, if you honestly answered this question, and felt that the reply must be “No.” But, supposing you are able to say “Yes,” this question will have done great service, for it will have brought you great peace. As long as you leave this matter in doubt you will be tossed about; but when it is decided, you will enter into rest. Peace, like a river, shall flow into your soul when you can say,

   I do believe, I will believe,
      That Jesus died for me;
   That on the cross he shed his blood,
      From sin to set me free.

Know that he is yours, and you will rejoice in him. You cannot obtain settled peace until you settle this question.

32. When this is done, you will try to do something for Jesus to show your gratitude for his salvation. Until I know that I am saved I shall have no heart for holy work. A wise man stays at home, and looks after his own concerns, while he feels that they are in peril; but when they are all safe, he can look out for the interests of his neighbours. When I know I am saved, and that there is nothing more for me to do in that matter, for Christ has finished it all, then I enquire what I can do for him who has done so much for me. Where is the child or the man I can talk to about my Saviour? I will go and hunt up lost ones, and tell them of a present salvation. Perhaps I have never dared to speak to my wife or to my children about eternal life; but now that I possess it, and know that I do, because I believe in the Son of God, I will begin to instruct others in this good doctrine. Yes, diligence grows out of assurance.

33. And what a help assurance will be in the time of trouble! You have a great affliction coming on; but if you can say, “I know that I believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God,” you will face it with quietness. Is it a surgical operation? You will lie still and yield yourself up to the surgeon’s knife, come life or death; and you will do it easily. Is it a cruel persecution which you have to face tomorrow? You will not be afraid; but, believing in Jesus, you will take up his cross. Are you growing old, and thinking of the time when you must die? It will not matter, for you know that you will only be going home, since you believe in the Son of God. He never lets a soul believe in him in vain. He never casts away a poor heart that trusts him. What strength your faith will give you! You will be a hero, whereas you might have been a coward. Now that you know, and are sure, that you believe in the Son of God, you will fear no evil.

34. This, I think, will fire you with holy zeal and praise. You have been saying, “I do not know how it is that I am so dull and stupid! I go to the house of God, and I do not feel the power of the Word: I am afraid I am not a Christian.” Just so. As long as you have that chilling fear in you, you will not be sensitive to the cheering truth; but when you know that you believe in the Son of God, and are sure of your salvation, your heart will beat to another tune, and the music of the upper spheres will take possession of your mind. I should not wonder if you should sing, as Toplady does —

   Yes, I to the end shall endure,
      As sure as the earnest is given;
   More happy, but not more secure,
      The glorified spirits in heaven.

35. You will begin to taste heavenly happiness when you have a sense of heavenly certainty. So being moved with gratitude, and filled with joy, the result will be a great concern for others who have not believed in the Son of God. You will look at unbelievers with sorrow and alarm. They are very wealthy, perhaps; but you will despise their gold, because it blinds their eyes. They are very clever, perhaps, but you will not worship their abilities, because the eternal light is hidden from their eyes. You will say to yourself, “They may have all their wealth, and all their cleverness, but I have the Son of God.” In having Christ, you have more than Alexander possessed when he had won the world. He could conquer the earth, but he could not win heaven; for he knew nothing about believing in the Son of God. In this respect, you have done more than an angel could do; for an angel has no lost soul to trust with the Son of God, no sin to wash away in the Saviour’s blood; but you have trusted him, and you have been washed in his blood, and you are clean. Go home and sing, my brother. Go home, and tell to your friends, that Jesus is the Son of God, and abundantly able to save. Go home, and weep some poor sinner to Jesus. Go home, and never rest until you can say to God — “Here I am, and the souls that you have given to me. We are believing in the Son of God.” Peace be with you! Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Joh 9]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Lord’s Day — Another Sabbath Is Begun” 906}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — ‘Be Not Afraid, Only Believe’ ” 550}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — The Solid Rock” 549}


Public Worship, The Lord’s Day
906 — Another Sabbath Is Begun
1 Another six days’ work is done,
   Another Sabbath is begun;
   Return, my soul, enjoy thy rest;
   Improve the day thy God has blest.
2 Come, bless the Lord, whose love assigns
   So sweet a rest to wearied minds;
   Provides an antepast of heaven,
   And gives this day the food of seven.
3 Oh that our thoughts and thanks may rise,
   As grateful incense to the skies;
   And draw from heaven that sweet repose
   Which none but he that feels it knows.
4 This heavenly calm within the breast,
   Is the dear pledge of glorious rest,
   Which for the church of God remains;
   The end of cares, the end of pains.
5 In holy duties let the day,
   In holy pleasures pass away;
   How sweet a Sabbath thus to spend,
   In hope of one that ne’er shall end!
                  Joseph Stennett, 1732, a.


Gospel, Received by Faith
550 — “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe” <6.6.4.6.6.6.4.>
1 My faith looks up to thee,
   Thou Lamb of Calvary,
      Saviour divine:
   Now hear me while I pray;
   Take all my guilt away;
   Oh let me from this day
      Be wholly thine.
2 May thy rich grace impart
   Strength to my fainting heart,
      My zeal inspire:
   As thou hast died for me,
   Oh may my love to thee
   Pure, warm, and changeless be,
      A living fire.
3 While life’s dark maze I tread,
   And griefs around me spread,
      Be thou my guide;
   Bid darkness turn to day,
   Wipe sorrow’s tears away,
   Nor let me ever stray
      From thee aside.
4 When ends life’s transient dream,
   When death’s cold sullen stream
      Shall o’er me roll,
   Blest Saviour, then in love,
   Fear and distrust remove;
   Oh bear me safe above,
      A ransom’d soul.
                     Ray Palmer, 1834.


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.

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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