2145. Scriptural Salvation

by on
Share:

No. 2145-36:277. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, May 18, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” {Ro 10:11}

1. The shepherd on the hill is most of all anxious about his sheep: he cares for his cottage, he trains the honeysuckle around his porch, sows flowers outside his door, and digs his little plot of garden ground; but, since he is a shepherd, his chief thought follows his flock, and especially any of the sheep that are wandering, or the lambs that are tender. Even so I feel that my main business is the saving of souls. I may fitly preach to you upon any scriptural subject, and I may minister to the delight of the family of the redeemed, and lead them into the deep things of God; but my principal business must always be watching for souls. This one thing I do.

2. When a city is to be supplied for a siege, it will be good for those who attend to the commissariat {a} to lay in a proportion of everything that is necessary for human comfort, and even a measure of certain luxuries; but it will be of first importance to bring in great quantities of grain. The necessities of life must be the chief provision. These we place in storehouses by tons, whereas in other articles pounds may suffice: if there is a failure of bread, what will the people do? For this reason, I feel I must preach over and over again the plain gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. While I would withhold nothing that may minister to edification, to comfort, to growth, or to the perfecting of the saints; yet, first and foremost in abundance, even to overflowing, I must gather for you the bread of life, and present Christ crucified as the sinner’s only hope. Faith must be urged upon you; for without it there is no salvation. Paul, in this case, was acting on this safe principle, as he always did; for he is speaking of salvation in the plainest terms. His heart’s desire and prayer for Israel was, that they might be saved, and he proved the truth of that desire by presenting what would save them: he sticks with faith in Christ, and hammers on that nail to fasten it securely.

3. I. I shall begin my sermon this morning by reminding you that, HERE IS AN OLD-FASHIONED WAY OF PROOF: “The Scripture says.” In this enlightened age little is made of Scripture; the tendency is to undermine men’s faith in the Bible, and persuade them to rest on something else. It is not so with us, just as it certainly was not so with Paul. He enforced and substantiated his teaching by declaring, “The Scripture says.”

4. In this he follows the manner of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Though quite able to speak of himself, our Lord continually referred to Holy Scripture. His first public sermon was based on the Book of the prophet Isaiah. All along to the very end he was always quoting the Old Testament. So did his apostles. One is struck with their continual reference to Moses and the prophets. While they set the truth in a fresh light, they fell back continually upon the old revelation. “As says the Scripture,” “According to the Scriptures” — these are phrases constantly repeated. Paul declared that he spent his life “witnessing both to small and great, saying nothing other than what the prophets and Moses said should come.”

5. Evidently they regarded the statements of Scripture as conclusive. They took counsel based on the Scriptures, and so they ended the matter. “It is written,” was to them proof positive and indisputable. “Thus says the Lord,” was the final word: enough for their mind and heart, enough for their conscience and understanding. To go beyond Scripture did not occur to the first teachers of our faith: they heard the Oracle of divine testimony, and bowed their heads in reverence. So it ought to be with us: we have erred from the faith, and we shall pierce ourselves through with many sorrows, unless we feel that if the Scripture says it, it is even so. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,” and therefore they did not speak erroneously, nor even dubiously.

6. In the passage before us we have an example of inspiration endorsing inspiration, and building on it. Paul wrote by the direction of the Holy Spirit; he himself was a fully inspired man, and he had no lack of original speech; yet he falls back on the Scripture. He calls the Old Testament to bear witness to the doctrine of the New, and in the same act expresses the agreement of the New with the Old. How far have they diverged from the Christian spirit, who begin to question the authenticity and authority of the books of Moses and the prophets! Brethren, had Paul been without inspiration, he was so great a saint and so eminent a confessor, that his reverence for the Old Testament would have been a lesson to us; but since we believe this epistle to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit, we are bound, as by divine law, to treat the ancient Scriptures as the great apostle treated them, namely, with absolute deference, regarding them as the sure Word of the Lord. To us it does not matter what critics may say to shake faith in Holy Writ; their efforts will be all in vain if we are intimate with the Author of these books, and by his Holy Spirit possess a personal sense of his truth, his wisdom, and his faithfulness. After God has spoken, it little concerns us what the wise men of the world may have to say. They have always spoken against the Word of the Lord; but they have always spoken in vain, and so they will speak, even to the world’s end.

7. Paul, in saying here, “For the Scripture says,” is referring, I think, to the general sense of Scripture, rather than to any one passage. There are several texts from which it may be gathered that believers shall not be put to shame; such as, “They looked to him, and were enlightened: and their faces were not ashamed.” But if the apostle is referring to any one passage of the Old Testament, he is not quoting it verbatim, but he is expounding it, and giving its general sense. Assuming that he refers to Isa 28:16, I am glad of the lesson which he affords us in a kind of instructive criticism. When the Spirit of God himself deals with inspired Scripture, we can gather from his example how we may deal with it. It is best as far as possible to quote the very words of Scripture, lest we should err; but we have permission here to quote the clear and evident sense, and we are allowed to regard that sense as equally authoritative with the exact words. Paul quotes, if he quotes at all, from the Septuagint translation rather than from the Hebrew, thus sanctioning a translation. Let us read the words in Isa 28:16. “Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a firm foundation: he who believes shall not make haste.’ ” You see at once the difference between the text as Paul gives it to us, and the original Hebrew.

8. Observe, first, that under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul reads the passage in its largest sense. The original text is, “He who believes”; but Paul makes it, “Whoever believes.” That is the true meaning. “He who believes,” means any “he” who believes; and to make this fact clear, Paul says, “Whoever believes.” We ought to take the promises of Holy Scripture in their widest possible application. When we find a passage distinctly referring to one person only, we are allowed to remember that no Scripture is exhausted by one fulfilment. You, being like that person, and in similar circumstances to him, may quote the promise as made to you; for it is intended for the whole class of people of whom that one person is the representative. “He who believes,” is in Paul’s judgment, indeed, in the judgment of the Holy Spirit, tantamount to “Whoever believes.” A promise made by man will legally be interpreted in its narrowest sense; but a promise made by God may always be taken in its widest sense, since God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and his ways than our ways. Everything it will honestly bear, you may pile upon the back of a divine promise. God loves to see faith taking him at his word, and he will do for it very abundantly above what we ask or even think.

9. Next, note that Paul reads the verse with the context. In the Hebrew it is, “He who believes”; but Paul reads it, “Whoever believes in him.” Did he do right to supply the “in him?” Certainly, since he gives the sense of the quotation as it stands in the prophet. I said before that Paul is not quoting verbatim et literatim, he intends to give the sense of the passage; and, therefore, paraphrases it so as to remind you of its context. “In him” is necessary to a perfect quotation of the passage as it stands. Let us read again: “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation: he who believes” — evidently it is, “He who believes” in this foundation “shall not make haste.” That foundation is not “it,” but “him”; for it refers to Christ. Expressions separated from what comes before them, and follows after them, may not express the writer’s mind; and, therefore, when we quote from Holy Scripture we should endeavour not merely to give the words which are actually in the text, but to add such words as duly represent the context. This lesson is worth learning.

10. Once more, the apostle gives us the true and plain meaning of the text. He leaves the metaphor which was suitable for Isaiah, but might have been misunderstood by the Romans, and he gives the sense intended by Isaiah in plainer language. The prophet said, “He who believes shall not make haste.” That “making haste,” means being flustered and alarmed, and so being led to run from the foundation. Such a person fled in haste because he was ashamed of his hope. Paul puts aside the drapery of the metaphor to let the uncovered sense stand out boldly. He expounds the Scripture under infallible guidance, and gives its meaning to us in this form, “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.”

11. The true sense of the passage our apostle uses by way of argument: he enforces the promise of the gospel by the teaching of the prophet. Dear friend, when you go to win souls, go with a clear understanding of the Scriptures, and then quote those Scriptures frequently, if you would have power over the minds of men. Do not think to convince sinners by your own fine phrases, but use the words which the Holy Spirit teaches. If you want to bring souls to faith in Christ, remember that faith is created by the Word; for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The more of the true sense of the Word of God we can compress into our exhortations, the more likely shall we be to succeed in our gracious intent. This is Paul’s mode of argument, “the Scripture says”; and we know no better.

12. II. And now, secondly, we have before us A SIMPLE STATEMENT OF THE WAY OF SALVATION: “The Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.’ ” The way of salvation is to believe in Christ, whom God has laid in Zion for a foundation.

13. What is believing in him? It is trusting in him. The language is not “Believe him,” — such belief is a part of faith, but not the whole thing. We believe everything which the Lord Jesus has taught, but we must go a step further, and trust him. It is not even enough to believe in him, as being the Son of God, and the anointed of the Lord; but we must believe in him, just as in the building (for that is the figure used by Isaiah) the builder takes his stone and lays it on the foundation. There it rests with all its weight, there it remains. The faith that saves is not believing certain truths, nor even believing that Jesus is a Saviour; but it is resting on him, depending on him, lying with all your weight on Christ as the foundation of your hope. Believe that he can save you; believe that he will save you; at any rate leave the whole matter of your salvation with him in unquestioning confidence. Depend on him without fear as for your present and eternal salvation. This is the faith which saves the soul.

14. Notice, next, that this faith is believing in a Person: “He who believes in” — it? No! In “HIM.” Our faith is not based on a doctrine, or a ceremony, or an experience; but on “Him!” Our Lord Jesus Christ is God; he is also man: he is the appointed and anointed Saviour. In his death, he is the propitiation for sin; in his resurrection, he is the justification of his people; and in his intercession, he is the eternal guarantee of their preservation. Believe “in him.” Our faith fixes herself upon the Person of the Lord Jesus as seen in his sufferings, his offices, and his achievements. “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.”

15. The text refers to the truth of the trusting. The apostle does not say, “Whoever believes in him with full assurance, or with a high degree of confidence, shall not be ashamed.” No; it is not the measure of our faith, but the sincerity of our faith which is the great question. If we believe in him at all, we shall not be ashamed. Our faith may be very trembling, and this will cause us sorrow; but a trembling faith will save. The greater your faith, the more comforting for you; but if your faith is small as a grain of mustard seed, it will save you. If your faith can only touch the hem of the Saviour’s garment behind him, it will heal your soul; for “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” Is there not blessed comfort about this assurance?

16. Observe, again, that all depends on the presence of this trusting, and not upon the age of it. “He who believes in him”: this relates to the immediate present. Perhaps the truster has only believed in Jesus during the last five minutes. Very well, he believes in him, and he shall not be ashamed. Some of us are glad to remember that we were built on the sure foundation more than forty years ago. But the length of years during which we have believed does not enter into the essence of the matter: believers are saved whether their faith has lasted through half a century or half-an-hour. “Whoever believes in him,” takes in the convert of this morning as well as the hero of a thousand fights. My newly-believing friend, I am sorry you have put off faith for so long; but, still, I am very glad that you have believed at all; for your faith shall not be put to shame.

17. One other remark needs to be made before I leave this point. Note the soleness of the object of faith. “Whoever believes on him.” Nothing else is mentioned in connection with the Lord Jesus, who is the sole foundation. It is not written, “He who believes in Jesus nine parts out of ten, and in himself for the other tenth.” No! “Whoever believes in him” — in him alone. Jesus will never be a part Saviour. We must not rest in part upon what we hope to do in the future, nor in part upon the efficacy of an outward ceremony. No! The faith must be “in him.” Both feet must be on the Rock of Ages. The whole stone must rest on the foundation. Take Christ to be the sole Saviour of your soul. I saw written at the foot of a Cross in France, “SPES UNICA” — Jesus is the lone hope of men. There is only one star in your sky, sinner, and that star is the Star of Bethlehem! There is only one light for the tempest-tossed mariner on the stormy sea of conviction of sin, and that light is the Pharos {b} of the Cross. Look there! Look there! Only there; “For the Scripture says, Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.”

18. Now if any soul here perishes, it will not be my fault. However feebly I may preach this morning, I shall go home satisfied that I have set before you enough for your salvation, if you are willing and obedient. I have most plainly set before you the way of salvation. What more can I do? I can bring the horse to water, but I cannot make him drink; I can set the water of life before you, but I can do no more if you turn away from it. If you accept the Lord Jesus and believe in him, you shall not be ashamed; but if you put him far from you, you will die in your sins, and your blood will be on your own heads.

19. III. So I pass on to the third point: THE GLORIOUS PROMISE TO THOSE WHO OBEY THE GOSPEL. “The Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.’ ”

20. Take the Hebrew form of it first: “shall not make haste.” When a man builds his hope upon the Lord Christ, he is not driven into worry and hurry. He quietly walks with God, and does not hurry through fear. They say that the floods are coming, that the winds are howling, that the rains are descending: he who trusts in a refuge of lies may well make haste to flee; but he who has built his house on the rock, quietly answers, “The flood is coming; I supposed it would. The rains are falling; I expected that they would. The winds are blowing; I was forewarned about the tempest, and I am prepared for it by being on the rock!” His house will stand. He will never be ashamed of its foundation. In patience he possesses his soul.

   Calm ’mid the bewildering cry;
      Confident of victory.

21. The Holy Spirit’s reading of the Holy Spirit’s Word in the Old Testament is, “He shall not be ashamed,” and this means that he shall not be ashamed at any time by discovering that he has been deluded. Men are ashamed when their hopes fail. If a man has an expectation of eternal life, and suddenly he sees his hope smashed to pieces, is he not ashamed? If on his death-bed his confidence should turn out to be based on a falsehood, how ashamed he will be! He will then say, “I am ashamed to think I did not take more care. I am ashamed that I followed my own judgment instead of God’s Word.” They shall lie down in sorrow who find their hope to be as a spider’s web. It will be an awful thing in our last moments, when we most need comfort, to be driven to despair by the wreck of our confidence. If any of you are trusting in your gold, it will turn out to be a poor confidence when you are called upon to leave all earthly things. I have heard of one who, on his death-bed, laid bags of money on his heart; but he was forced to lay them away, and cry, “These will not do! These will not do!” It will be a sorry business if we have been trusting in our good character, our charity, our patriotism, our courage, or our honesty, and when we come to die shall be made to feel that these cannot satisfy the claims of divine justice, or give us a passport to the skies. How sad to see robes turn to rags, and beauty into corruption! How wretched to regard one’s self as covered with a garment fit for Christ’s great wedding feast, and then to wake up a from a dream and find one’s self naked? You will never have this vexation of spirit if you take Christ Jesus to be your confidence. So far from being ashamed, you will boast in the crucified Saviour; yes, you will vow with Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

22. Furthermore, dear friends, he who believes in Christ shall not be ashamed to acknowledge his faith. This is a sharp saying, and it cuts like a razor. I wish it would make a great gash in cowardly spirits. “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” Some think they believe in Christ, and yet they are ashamed to admit their faith in the Lord’s appointed way; or, indeed, in any way. If they are in ungodly company, they do with their faith as they do with their dog when a friend comes in: they say, “Lie down, sir.” Because it is inconvenient to be known to be a believer, they treat the Lord Christ as they would treat a dog. Some of you have never made a confession of your Lord: what will become of you? “Oh,” you say, “do not say such harsh things!” I do not say them out of my own head: let me read the passage to you from verse ten: “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.’ ” What is the meaning of the whole passage? I cannot shut my eyes to the truth, that it speaks of confessing Christ, and declares that he who really believes in him will not be ashamed of it. If you, my hearer, are ashamed of your Lord, your faith is not real; or, to say the least of it, you have good reason to suspect that it is not. If you are ashamed, you are an unbeliever; for, “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” The Christian’s song is —

   I’m not ashamed to own my Lord,
      Or to defend his cause;
   Maintain the honour of his Word,
      The glory of his cross.

23. For my own part, I have often said, and I cannot help repeating it yet again —

   E’er since by faith I saw the stream
      His flowing wounds supply,
   Redeeming love has been my theme,
      And shall be till I die.

I am not ashamed of my hope; I love to state it, to glory in it, and to make it widely known. I heard of a “modern-thought” minister of some repute, that a person asked him, “Sir, what is your theory of the atonement?” He replied, “My dear sir, I have never told that to any living person, although I have been a preacher for years, and I am not going to commit myself now.” He seemed to think that this was rather a wise thing. My course runs in the opposite direction: I believe in the vicarious sacrifice of Christ, and I am not ashamed of the old-fashioned doctrine. “He loved me, and gave himself for me”; why should I be ashamed to admit it? I will not believe anything that I dare not preach. I have a grave suspicion that it will go badly at last with the man who has one faith for the public and another for himself. We should be ashamed at being ashamed of Christ and his truth.

24. Still, this is not all the meaning of our text: the believer shall have no reason to be ashamed. Let me try to illustrate this assertion.

25. We shall not be ashamed because our faith is proved to be unreasonable. When a man is convinced of believing an absurdity, he is ashamed. But there is nothing unreasonable in the truth 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.” I will not say that reason teaches this grand fact; for reason could not reach so high. This truth is above reason, but it is not contrary to reason. When you get some idea of the infinite goodness and justice of God, it will not seem unreasonable that he should be willing to forgive sinners, nor unreasonable that he should devise a way by which he can do this without injury to his moral government. There is a sweet reasonableness in the provision of a Substitute for guilty men, and a still sweeter reasonableness in the salvation of those who believe in the Lamb of God. In fact, the gospel system is so blessedly reasonable, that when it comes home to the enlightened understanding it carries the mind by storm. I have seen love at first sight with many a man who, for the first time, has heard how God is “just, and the justifier of him who believes in Jesus.” It has seemed so Godlike a method, that the man has accepted it at once; it bore its proof in its face.

26. Next, we are not ashamed because our faith has been disproved; for it has never been disproved. No man has been able to prove that the Son of God was not here on earth, and that he did not die on the Cross, the “just for the unjust, to bring us to God.” The resurrection has never been disproved, nor the ascension, nor the descent of the Holy Spirit. Nothing has overthrown apostolic testimony. To object to a statement is not to disprove it. To make it a matter of coarse jest is not to disprove it. The apostles and their companions bore public witness; and died because of their solemn conviction of the truth of their testimony. They were simple men, who could not have invented the gospel story even if they wanted to; and they were good men, who would not have invented it even if they could. Until men can prove that there was no Christ, and no propitiation for sin, we shall not be ashamed to believe in him.

27. We shall never be ashamed of believing in Jesus, because by experience we shall find it to be unsatisfactory to our conscience. No, no. We are more than content with the basis of our trust in this respect. Well do I remember when I first gripped the thought that Jesus suffered in my room and place, and that I, looking to him, was saved. I felt a peace like a river, ever-flowing, ever-deepening, ever-widening. My former trouble had arisen from the question — How could God, as a righteous judge, pass by my violation of his holy law? Sin is not to be viewed as a personal offence to God, as a Being, but a rebellion against his laws as the Judge of all the earth, who must do right. How could he wink at sin? How could he treat the guilty as the innocent? When I saw that he did not wink at sin, but that Jesus came to vindicate the divine law by suffering in our place, I rested with all confidence on that blessed fact. My heart said, “It is enough,” and today it cries, “It is enough.” My conscience has never raised a question about the security furnished by the ransom of the Lord Jesus. My heart remains perfectly at ease now she knows that “He himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” If the nature of God had not required an atonement for sin, the conscience of the sinner might have needed it. The righteous apprehension of conscience concerning the wrath to come demands a vindication of the law. Because we have this vindication in Christ we are not ashamed.

28. We are not ashamed of the gospel of salvation by faith in Christ because it proves inoperative on our lives. I remember the witty Sidney Smith, who by mistake passed as a clergyman, managed to come into collision with the Methodists, and he charged them with so much preaching faith that good works were at a discount. Surely he never heard Mr. Wesley. I venture to say that the Methodists produced more good works than Mr. Smith’s preaching ever did. If any say to us, “This faith of yours detracts you from trusting in works”; we answer, “It does; but it does not detract us from practising them.” Faith is the mother of holiness and the nurse of virtue. The lives of the Puritans who taught the gospel of faith in Christ were infinitely preferable to the lives of those Cavaliers who believed in human merit. The fact is, that men who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have even been ridiculed for being too righteous, and rated for a kind of moroseness of morality; but history has never afforded the least support to the charge that they were indifferent to morality. Indifferent to morality? We never knew what holiness was until we believed in Jesus. We had no aspirations after purity until we were saved by him. The spiritual effect of faith in Jesus is of the noblest. Oh, that we could display more of it!

29. We are not ashamed to challenge investigation as to the philanthropic effect of faith in the gospel. If anyone should sneer, and say, “You believers think yourselves saved, and so you are comfortably unconcerned as to what becomes of others.” I should answer, “What a lie!” We love the souls of men, and we have proved it in our ministry, and in our incessant efforts to save them. We have gone with breaking heart and bowed head because certain of our hearers remain in unbelief. I can appeal to you all, that my ministry has been full of earnest expostulations, affectionate appeals, and tearful entreaties. God is our witness how truly we can say, our heart’s desire and prayer to God for others is, that they may be saved. We are not ashamed to say that the ministry of those who only believe in Christ, and who know assuredly that they are saved by grace, has about it, as a rule, a greater power to win souls than the ministry of those who preach other gospels. We say no more, lest we become fools in glorying. We are not ashamed of our hope for this particular reason.

30. We are never ashamed of it, again, as to its operation on others. When I look back through my life, having preached nothing in this place but faith in Christ as the way of salvation, I can, without any effort of memory, remember many drunkards made sober, prostitutes made chaste, lovers of pleasure made lovers of God. Many have been reclaimed from among the poorest and most degraded, and some from the rich and vicious. We have seen what faith in God has done by lifting them from the level of selfishness to the heights of grace. If we had to go down into the worst slum of London we would not wish for anything better to preach than Christ crucified; and if we had to visit the most carefree hells of the West-end, we would not wish for any theme more powerful than the Cross of our Lord Jesus. “Believe and live” is still a charm most potent. We have no reason to be ashamed of what the truth of God has done in ages past, and is doing even to this day.

31. I will tell you when we should be ashamed of our hope, and that would be if we saw it repudiated by dying saints. It is all very well to be a believer when you are young, and in health, and can go about your business; but how will it fare with men and women, when they are called to go upstairs and suffer, and never to come down again until carried to their long home? How does the gospel serve them when they know that they cannot live another week? What is the condition of believers on the brink of the grave? Those who believe in Jesus are calm and happy; frequently they are exultant, and the bed can scarcely hold them because of their supreme joy in the prospect of being with their Lord. I am not telling you idle tales, brothers and sisters. Many of you know that I speak the truth; for it is of your own relatives that I am speaking now. Our people die well. We have no occasion to be ashamed. Tested by the dying of our fellow believers, we are not ashamed of the gospel.

32. We might be ashamed, once more, if we could be outbidden in our prospects by some other system. What form of religion offers more to the believer than the system of grace and simple faith in Jesus? Nowhere in the world, that I know of, is there any other system of religion which promises sure salvation to its followers. The Roman Catholic system does not at all provide for present and everlasting salvation. What does it provide for? For your getting out of purgatory in due time, and no more. When I was in the Church of St. John Lateran, at Rome, I read a request for prayer for the repose of the soul of his Eminence, Cardinal Wiseman. Now Cardinal Wiseman was a great man, a prince of the church, but yet he is somewhere in the other world, where he is not in repose: so this request indicates. There must be a very poor outlook for an ordinary Catholic. For my part I would give up so cheerless a hope, and become a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and go to heaven. “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” When the best Catholic finds himself in purgatory he will be ashamed, and will say, “Oh, that I had taken to the way of trust in the all-sufficient merit of the Lord Jesus; for then I should have been covered with his righteousness, and should have been with him where he is.” Beloved friends, our rivals do not outbid us. Our gospel brings immediate pardon for every sin, a gracious change of nature, the regeneration of the heart, and the preservation of the soul to Christ’s eternal kingdom and glory. Hallelujah!

33. IV. I am finished, when I say to you, lastly, that in my text we see A WIDE DOOR OF HOPE FOR THE SEEKER. Read that word, “whoever,” whoever, whoever. I must keep on ringing that silver bell. It rings in the thirteenth verse — “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It rings in the text — “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.”

34. No secret decree has ever been made to exclude any soul that believes in him. God has not spoken in secret in a dark place of the earth, and said, “Such a man may believe in Christ, and yet he shall be lost.” Do not be afraid of this; for it is impossible.

35. No measure of sin in your past life can deprive you of this promise. “Whoever believes in him,” though he had been a murderer, or a thief, or a drunkard, or an adulterer, or a liar, or a blasphemer, shall find his faith removing his sins through the blood of Jesus, and renewing his heart by the Holy Spirit. “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” One says, “I shall always be ashamed that I have so greatly transgressed.” Yes, I know; but still you shall be so perfectly pardoned that your sin shall be blotted out, and you shall not remember the shame of your youth.

36. “But I do not feel as I ought,” one says. You shall feel properly if you will believe in him. You shall not be excluded from the promise through any lack of sensitivity. It is not said, “Whoever believes in him and is sensitive to a high degree shall be saved.” No: “Whoever believes in him.” You ought to be sensitive, you ought to be tender, you ought to be grieved for sin, and you shall be if you believe in him. If you believe in Jesus, he will give you true repentance and deep self-abhorrence; but you must come to Jesus for these things, and not try to find them in your own depraved hearts. Nothing limits this “whoever”: “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.”

37. “Alas,” one cries, “I have a strong besetting sin, I have a hot temper, or fierce lusts, or a desperate thirst for drink.” Yes, I know; but if you believe in him you shall not be ashamed; for these shall be conquered and destroyed. You shall be helped to fight against them until you get a complete victory, and so you shall never be ashamed.

38. “Ah,” one says, “but I once made a profession, and I have gone back.” Yes; but, “whoever” does not exclude the wanderer. Backsliding is a great and bitter evil, but he who believes is justified from every sin. “Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Come, then, with your heaped-up sins and be unburdened. Come, though seven demons dwell within you: come to have them driven out, and yourself made white in the blood of the Lamb. Come, for you shall not be ashamed. Let no man stand back and say, “I dare not come.” Remember, the word of the Saviour, “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” “In no wise,” that is, for no possible reason. “Oh, but my birth was shameful.” I may be speaking to one who is illegitimate. This is no barrier; for children of shame may be made heirs of glory. The Lord rejects no one, however uneducated, coarse, or dull they may be. Neither does nationality offer hindrance. Whether you are an Englishman or a Chinaman, there is no difference. White, black, brown, red, or blue, still the promise stands, “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” There is no distinction as for rank, name, class, or reputation. “Oh, but look at my profession.” I am sorry if it is a bad profession: get out of it, and do something honest; but whatever you may be by trade, come to Jesus and believe in him; for, “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” “Alas, I am too old!” another says. What are you? Two hundred? “No, not so old as that.” Then, you are under age as yet. Never mind how old you are; “Whoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” If you have one foot in the grave, faith may put both feet on the Rock of Ages. You are still on praying ground and pleading terms with God, therefore come to Jesus; for he has said, “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out.” Come with your little faith, and your trembling hope, and believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall not be ashamed.

39. Lastly, in that day when the earth and heaven shall melt, and nothing shall be seen but Christ on the throne, judging all the earth, those who have not believed in him will be ashamed. They will have no excuse to offer: they have none even now. They will then be ashamed that they did not take the counsel of their godly friends, and heed the pleadings of their minister. They will be ashamed to think how they put off thoughts of Christ, and lingered until they found themselves in hell. The face of the Lord Jesus will be terrible for unbelievers to the nth degree. One young person, in great trouble of soul, said to me the other day, “When I am lost, I shall always see your face; it will accuse and condemn me.” She will not be lost. Dear girl, I trust she will soon find peace with God through Jesus Christ. It will be terrible for those who refuse the gospel even to remember its preacher; but infinitely more so to see the face of him who bled and died, and loved to the uttermost. Oh, to think, “I would not have him! I would not be saved by him! I preferred to trust in myself, or not to think at all, and now here I am.” Assuredly, the flames of hell will be more tolerable than a sight of his face. The bitterest wail of Tophet is this — “Hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne!” You sinners seek his face, whose wrath you cannot bear. May God help you to seek it now. Before you leave this house may you seek it and find it. He says, “Seek my face.” May God the Holy Spirit lead you to obey the call. Amen.

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Ro 10]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Lord’s Day — Welcome, Sweet Day Of Rest” 907}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 118” 118}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Stated — The Gospel Worthy Of All Acceptation” 531}


{a} Commissariat: Any non-military department or organization for the supply of provisions. OED.
{b} Pharos: The name of an island off Alexandria, on which stood a famous tower lighthouse, built by Ptolemy Philadelphus: hence the lighthouse itself. OED.

Public Worship, The Lord’s Day
907 — Welcome, Sweet Day Of Rest
1 Welcome, sweet day of rest,
      That saw the Lord arise:
   Welcome to this reviving breast,
      And these rejoicing eyes!
2 The King himself comes near,
      And feasts his saints today;
   Here we may sit and see him here,
      And love, and praise, and pray.
3 One day amidst the place
      Where my dear God hath been,
   Is sweeter than ten thousand days
      Of pleasurable sin.
4 My willing soul would stay
      In such a frame as this,
   And sit and sing herself away
      To everlasting bliss.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.


Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 118 (Song 1) <7s.>
1 To Jehovah hymn the lay,
   Ever shall his love endure
   Oh let grateful Israel say,
   Stands his love for ever sure.
2 Oh let Aaron’s house reply,
   Evermore his love shall last:
   All, who fear him, shout and cry,
   Stands his love for ever fast.
3 On the everliving name,
   In distress on JAH I cried:
   JAH to my deliverance came,
   And my prison open’d wide.
4 See Jehovah near me stand!
   What from mortal shall I dread?
   See Jehovah lift the hand!
   Victor on my foes I tread.
5 Hark! the voice of joy and song
   Echoes from the faithful seed;
   By his right hand firm and strong
   He hath done a mighty deed.
6 High Jehovah’s hand is raised
   By the conquest he hath won:
   Be Jehovah’s right hand praised!
   He a mighty deed hath done.
                     Richard Mant, 1824.


Psalm 118 (Song 2)
1 Behold the sure foundation stone
   Which God in Zion lays,
   To build our heavenly hopes upon,
   And his eternal praise.
2 Chosen of God, to sinners dear,
   And saints adore the name;
   They trust their whole salvation here,
   Nor shall thy suffer shame.
3 The foolish builders, scribe and priest,
   Reject it with disdain;
   Yet on this rock the church shall rest,
   And envy rage in vain.
4 What though the gates of hell withstood,
   Yet must this building rise:
   ‘Tis thine own work, Almighty God,
   And wondrous in our eyes.
                     Isaac Watts, 1719.


Psalm 118 (Song 3) <7s.>
1 Thee, Jehovah, will I bless;
   Thou didst my request allow:
   Thee my Saviour I confess,
   Author of my health are thou.
2 Lo, the stone, which once aside
   By the builders’ hands was thrown,
   See it now the buildings pride,
   See it now the corner stone!
3 Lo, we hail Jehovah’s deed,
   Strange and wondrous in our eyes!
   Lo, the day our God hath made!
   Bid the voice of gladness rise.
4 Save, Hosanna! Lord, I pray!
   Save, Hosanna; God of might:
   Lord, for us thy power display;
   Lord, on us thy favour light!
5 He, Jehovah, is our Lord;
   He, our God, on us hath shined:
   Bind the sacrifice with cord,
   To the horned altar bind.
6 Thee I bless, my God and King!
   Thee, my God and King, I hail!
   Hallelujah, shout and sing!
   Never shall his goodness fail.
                     Richard Mant, 1824.


Gospel, Stated
531 — The Gospel Worthy Of All Acceptation
1 Jesus, th’ eternal Son of God,
      Whom seraphim obey,
   The bosom of the Father leaves,
      And enters human clay.
2 Into our sinful world he comes,
      Messenger of grace,
   And on the bloody tree expires,
      A victim in our place.
3 Transgressors of the deepest stain
      In him salvation find:
   His blood removes the foulest guilt,
      His Spirit heals the mind.
4 That Jesus saves from sin and hell,
      Is truth divinely sure;
   And on this rock our faith may rest
      Immovably secure.
5 Oh let these tidings be received
      With universal joy,
   And let the high angelic praise
      Our tuneful powers employ!
6 “Glory to God who gave his Son
      To bear our shame and pain;
   Hence peace on earth, and grace to men,
      In endless blessings reign.”
                        Thomas Gibbons, 1769.

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.

Newsletter

Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390