2163. Emmanuel — The Light Of Life

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No. 2163-36:493. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Morning, September 14, 1890, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such us was in her vexation, when at the first he highly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterwards more grievously afflicted her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, the light has shone on them. {Isa 9:1,2}

Since in this case the 1881 English Revised Version is much to be preferred, we will now read it: —

But there shall be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made it glorious, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light: those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, the light has shone on them. {ERV Isa 9:1,2}

1. When Judah was in severe distress, the sign that she should be delivered was Emmanuel. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.” {Isa 7:14} When no other ray of comfort could be found, light came from the promise of the wondrous birth of him whose name is “God with us.” God alone would be the deliverer of Judah when attacked by stronger two enemies. God would be with them, and he gave them as a pledge a vision of that time when, in very deed, God would dwell among men, and wear their nature in the person of The Virgin Born.

2. It is noteworthy that the clearest promises of the Messiah have been given in the darkest hours of history. If the prophets had been silent upon the Coming One before, they always speak out in the cloudy and dark day; for the Spirit made them know well that the coming of God in human flesh is the lone star of the world’s night. It was so in the beginning, when our first parents had sinned, and were doomed to leave the Paradise of delights. It was not right that rebels should be dwellers in the garden of the Lord, they must go out to till the ground from where they were taken; but before they went, there fell upon their ear the prophecy of the Deliverer who would be born: “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.” How bright shone that one promise amid the surrounding gloom! The earliest believers found in this hope of the coming Conqueror of the serpent a solace amid their labour and sorrow. When Israel was in Egypt, when they were in the most severe bondage, and when many plagues had been inflicted on Pharaoh, apparently without success; for he did not know the Lord, neither would he let his people go; then Israel saw the Messiah set before her as the Paschal lamb, whose blood sprinkled on the lintel and the two side-posts secured the chosen from the avenger of blood. The type is marvellously clear, and the times were marvellously dark. It seemed as if the Lord would make the consolation to abound even as the tribulation abounded.

3. I will not multiply examples; but I will quote three examples from the prophetic books which now lie open before us. In Isaiah you read that glorious prophecy: “Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation: he who believes shall not make haste.” {Isa 28:16} When was that given? It was pronounced when the foundation of society in Israel was rotten with iniquity, and when its corner-stone was oppression. Read from verse fourteen: “Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men, who rule these people who are in Jerusalem. Because you have said ‘We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we are in agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come to us: for we have made lies our refuge, and we have hidden ourselves under falsehood.’ ” {Isa 28:14,15} So, when lies and falsehoods ruled the hour, the Lord proclaims the blessed truth that the Messiah would come and would be a sure foundation for believers. Next, look into Jeremiah: “ ‘Behold, the days come,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name by which he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ ” {Jer 23:5,6} When was this clear testimony given? Read the former verses of the chapter, and see that the pastors were destroying and scattering the sheep of Jehovah’s pasture. So when the people of the Lord found their worst enemies where they ought to have received friendly care, then they were promised happier days through the coming of the divine Son of David. I will only further detain you while we glance at Ezekiel, where the Lord says, “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.” {Eze 34:23} When did this cheering promise come concerning that great Shepherd of the sheep? It came when Israel is described like this: “And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became food for all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yes, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and no one searched or sought after them.” So you see that, in each case, when things were at their worst, the Lord Jesus was the one well of consolation in a desert of sorrows.

   Midst darkest shades, if he appear,
      Our dawning has begun;
   He is our soul’s bright morning star,
      And he our rising sun.

In the worst times we are to preach Christ, and to look to Christ. In Jesus there is a remedy for the direst of diseases, and a rescue from the darkest of despairs. Ahaz, as the chapter tells us, was in great danger, for he was attacked by two kings, each one stronger than himself; but the Lord promised him deliverance, and commanded him to choose a sign either in the heights, or in the depths. This, under a hypocritical pretence, he refused to do; and therefore the Lord chose as his own sign the appearance of the heavenly Deliverer, who would be God, and yet born of a woman. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.” He was to eat butter and honey, like other children in that land of milk and honey, and yet he was to be the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. We see here Godhead in union with manhood. We behold Jesus as a man “of the substance of his mother,” and yet “God over all, blessed for ever.” Surely this God-appointed sign was both in the depth and in the height above: the Man of sorrows, the Son of the Highest. This vision was the light of the age of Ahaz. It is God’s comfort to troubled hearts in all the ages; it is God’s sign of grace to us this morning. The best hope of sinners and the great joy of saints is the incarnate Lord, Emmanuel, God with us. May he be your joy and mine even today. It is he who is the great light of the people who dwell in the land of the shadow of death: if any among you are in that dreary land, may he be light and life to you! He alone could make the darkness of Zebulun and Naphtali to disappear in a blaze of glory: he can do the same for those who sorrow at this hour.

4. Now, if I may have your patient attention, I shall, as I am enabled, illustrate this fact by the context. Scripture best explains Scripture, just as diamond cuts diamond. The Word of God carries its own keys for all its locks. It is profitable to study Scripture, not in fragments, but in connected paragraphs. It is good to see the glory of a star, but better to behold the whole constellation in which it shines. When I have dwelt upon the context, I shall, in the second place, press home certain joyful truths connected with the subject.

5. I. There is to be a light breaking in upon the sons of men who sit in darkness, and this light is to be found only in the incarnate God. Let me ILLUSTRATE THIS FACT BY THE CONTEXT.

6. I must carry you back to Isa 7:14. The sign of coming light is Jesus. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel.” In Judah’s trouble, the Virgin Born was God’s sign that he would deliver, and that speedily; for in less time than it would take such a child to reach years of knowledge, both Judah’s royal adversaries would be gone. The sign was good for Ahaz; but it is better by far for us. Behold the incarnate Son of God born of Mary at Bethlehem; what can this intend for us but grace? If the Lord had meant to destroy us, he would not have assumed our nature. If he had not been moved with mighty love for a guilty race, he would never have taken upon himself their flesh and blood. It is a miracle of miracles that the Infinite should become an infant; that he who is pure spirit, and fills all things, should be wrapped in swaddling-bands, and cradled in a manger. He did not take on him the nature of angels, though that would have been a tremendous stoop from Deity, but he descended even lower; for he took on him the seed of Abraham. “He was made in all things like his brethren”; though “he did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” It is not in the power of human lips to speak all the comfort which this one sign contains. If any troubled soul will look believingly at God in human flesh, he must take heart. If he looks believingly, his comfort will come very speedily. The birth of Jesus is the proof of the good will of God towards men: I am unable to conceive of a better proof. He would not have come here to be born among men, to live among them, suffer and to die for them, if he had been slow to pardon, or unwilling to save. Oh despairing soul, does not Emmanuel, God with us, make it hard to doubt the mercy of the Lord?

7. We have comfort in the fact that our Lord was truly man. He whom we worship became one with us in nature. He was born as other children are born, except that his mother was a virgin. He was fed as other children were fed, upon curds and honey, the food of a pastoral country. He had to be developed, as for his natural powers, even as other little ones. He grew up from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, passing through all the stages of human weakness, even as we have done; and he was obedient to his parents, even as other children should be. He is, therefore, really and truly a man; and this fact is a bright particular star for sinners’ eyes. Come to Jesus, all you who languish under terror and dread because of the majesty of Deity; for here you see how compassionate he is, how sympathetic he can be, yes, how near of kin he has become. He is God; but he is God with us. He is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, a brother born for adversity; and here the most trembling may be at rest. God in our nature is a grand prophecy of salvation and bliss for us. Why has he come down to us except that we may come up to him? Why has he taken our nature in its sorrow, except that we may be made partakers of the divine nature in righteousness and holiness? He comes down, not to thrust us lower, but to lift us to heights of perfection and glory. That Jesus is man and yet God, is full of hope and joy for us who believe in him. I do not feel as if I needed to enlarge upon this glorious truth with words alone. Oh, that the Holy Spirit would convey to each one of my hearers the light which shines from the star of incarnation! Oh, that at this moment the people who walk in darkness may see in the incarnate God a great light, and perceive in him the prophecy and assurance of all good things! Not long shall evil oppress the believer; for in Christ Jesus God is with us; and if God is for us, who can be against us?

   Oh joy! there sitteth in our flesh,
      Upon a throne of light,
   One of a human mother born,
      In perfect Godhead bright!
   For ever God, for ever man,
      My Jesus shall endure;
   And fix’d on him, my hope remains
      Eternally secure.

8. Further on we see our Lord Jesus as the holdfast of the soul in time of darkness. See in Isa 8:8 the whole country overwhelmed by the fierce armies of the Assyrians, as when a land is submerged beneath a flood. Then you read — “And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of your land, oh Emmanuel.” The one hope that remained for Judah was that her country was Emmanuel’s land. There Emmanuel would be born, there he would labour, and there he would die. He was by eternal covenant the King of that land, and no Assyrian could keep him from his throne. Whatever the enemy might do, the land was still “your land, oh Emmanuel!” If, my dear friend, you are a believer in Christ, you belong to him, and you always were his by sovereign right, even when the enemy held you in possession. The devil had set his mark upon you, so that you might be for ever his branded slave; but he had no legal right to you, for Emmanuel had redeemed you, and he claimed you as his own. Had we known, we might exultingly have gloried over you, “Your soul, oh Emmanuel!” The Father gave you to Jesus, and Jesus himself bought you with his blood; and, though you did not know it, he had the title-deeds of you, and would not lose his inheritance. Herein lay your hope when all other hope was gone. Herein is your hope now. If you belong to Jesus, he will have you. If he bought you with his blood, he will not shed that blood in vain. If on the cross he bore your sin, he will not permit you to bear it, and so to make void his sacrifice. If you belong to him he will deliver you, even as David snatched the lamb of his flock from the jaw of the lion and the paw of the bear. Oh sinner, this is the great hope we have for you: if you were given of old to Jesus he will rescue you from the hand of the enemy. This, also, is your own hope: if you believe in Jesus you belong to Jesus; if you trust him, he has redeemed you with a price, and will also redeem you with power. If you cast your guilty soul at his dear feet, and take him to be your own Saviour, you are not your own, but bought with a price; and sooner shall heaven and earth pass away than one whom Jesus calls his own shall be left to perish. “Having loved his own, he loved them to the end.” Emmanuel, God with us, is strong to rescue his own out of the enemy’s hand.

9. Further on in the chapter we learn that Jesus is our star of hope as for the destruction of the enemy. The foes of God’s people shall be surely vanquished and destroyed because of Emmanuel. Note well, in Isa 8:9,10, how it is stated twice, like an exultant taunt: “Gird yourselves, and you shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and you shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for Emmanuel.” Our version translates the word into “God with us,” but it is “Emmanuel.” In him, even in our Lord Jesus Christ, dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and he has brought all that Godhead to bear upon the overthrow of the foes of his people. Let the powers of darkness consult and plot as they may, they can never destroy the Lord’s redeemed. Lo! I see councils of evil spirits: they sit down in Pandemonium, {a} and conspire to ruin a soul redeemed by blood. They put their heads together, they use a cunning deep as hell: they are eager to destroy the soul that rests in Jesus. In vain are their devices, for the incarnate God is embodied wisdom. Now see them: they rise from the council table, they put on their harness; their arrows are dipped in malice, and their bows are strong to shoot afar. Each foul spirit takes his sword, his sharp sword, that will cut a soul to the centre, and kill it with despair; but their weapons shall all fail. If we flee to Jesus, who is God with us, no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper. His name Emmanuel is the terror of the hosts of hell. God with us means confusion to our foes. As the death of death, and hell’s destruction, our Emmanuel cries to the legions of the pit, “Gird yourselves, and you shall be broken in pieces. Gird yourselves, and you shall be broken in pieces!” Let us take courage and defy the legions of darkness. Let us charge them with this war-cry, “God is with us.” Emmanuel, who has espoused our cause, is God himself, almighty to save: the enemies of our souls shall be trodden under his feet, and he shall bruise Satan even under our feet shortly. Satan from the first hated God in our nature, for man was exalted beyond the angel; and his pride could not endure this. The Lord Jesus is as the star Wormwood to our spiritual adversaries, rousing their fiercest hate, and foreboding their certain overthrow.

10. Further on we find the Lord Jesus as the morning light after a night of darkness. The last verses of the eighth chapter picture a horrible state of wretchedness and despair: “And they shall pass through it, hard pressed and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look to the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” {Isa 8:21,22} But see what a change awaits them! Read the fine translation of the 1881 English Revised Version: “But there shall be no gloom for her who was in anguish.” What a marvellous light from the midst of a dreadful darkness! It is an astounding change, such as only God with us could accomplish. Many of you know nothing about the miseries described in those verses; but there are some here who have traversed that terrible wilderness; and I am going to speak to them. I know where you are this morning: you are being driven as captives into the land of despair, and for the last few months you have been tramping along a painful road, “hard pressed and hungry.” You are severely stressed, and your soul finds no food of comfort, but is ready to faint and die. You fret yourself: your heart is wearing away with care, and grief, and hopelessness. In the bitterness of your soul you are ready to curse the day of your birth. The captive Israelites cursed their king who had led them into their defeat and bondage; in the fury of their agony, they even cursed God and longed to die. It may be that your heart is in such a ferment of grief that you do not know what you think, but are like a man at his wits’ end. Those who led you into sin are bitterly remembered; and as you think upon God you are troubled. This is a dreadful case for a soul to be in, and it involves a world of sin and misery. You look up, but the heavens are as brass above your head; your prayers appear to be shut out from God’s ear; you look around you on the earth, and behold “trouble and darkness, and dimness of anguish”; your every hope is slain, and your heart is torn asunder with remorse and dread. Every hour you seem to be hurried by an irresistible power into greater darkness, yes, even into the eternal midnight. In such a case no one can give you comfort except Emmanuel, God with us. Only God, espousing your cause, and bearing your sin, can possibly save you. See, he comes for your salvation! Behold, he has come to seek and to save those who were lost. God has come down from heaven, and veiled himself in our flesh, so that he might be able to save to the uttermost. He can save the chief of sinners: he can save you. Come to Jesus, you who have gone the furthest into transgression, you who sit down in despondency, you who shut yourselves up in the iron cage of despair. For such as you there shines this star of the first magnitude. Jesus has appeared to save, and he is God and man in one person: man so that he may feel our woes, God so that he may help us out of them. No minister can save you, no priest can save you — you know this very well; but here is one who is able to save to the uttermost, for he is God as well as man. The great God is good at a dead lift; {b} when everything else has failed, the lever of omnipotence can lift a world of sin. Jesus is almighty to save! What in itself is impossibility is possible with God. Sin which nothing else can remove is blotted out by the blood of Emmanuel. Emmanuel, our Saviour, is God with us; and God with us means difficulty removed, and a perfect work accomplished. But I fail to tell you in words. Oh, that the light itself would shine into your souls, so that those of you who have as yet no hope may see a great light, and may from now on be of good courage!

11. Once more, dear friends, we learn from what follows our text, that the reign of Jesus is the star of the golden future. He came to Galilee of the Gentiles, and made that country glorious, which had been brought into contempt. That corner of Palestine had very often borne the brunt of invasion, and had felt more than any other region the edge of the keen Assyrian sword. They were at first troubled when the Assyrian was bought off with a thousand talents of silver; but they were more heavily afflicted when Tiglathpileser carried them all away to Assyria. {2Ki 15:29} It was a wretched land, with a mixed population, despised by the purer nation of the Jews; but that very country became glorious with the presence of the incarnate God. It was there that all manner of diseases were healed; there the seas were stilled, and the multitudes were fed; it was there that the Lord Jesus found his disciples, and there he met the whole company of his followers whom he had risen from the dead. That first land to be invaded by the enemy was made to be the headquarters of the army of salvation: this very Zebulun and Naphtali, which had been so downtrodden and despised, was made the scene of the mighty works of the Son of God. Even so, at this day his gracious presence is the day-spring of our joy.

12. If Christ comes to you, my dear hearer, as God with us, then your joy shall be great; for you shall rejoice as with the joy of harvest, and as those are glad who divide the spoil. Is it not so? Many of us can bear our witness that there is no joy like what Jesus brings. Here read and interpret Isa 9:3.

13. Then your enemy shall be defeated, as in the day of Midian. Gideon was, in his dream, compared to a barley cake, which struck the tent of Midian, so that it lay flat. He and his few heroes, with their pitchers and their trumpets, stood and shouted, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” and Midian melted away before them. So it shall be with our sins, and doubts, and fears, if we believe in Jesus, the incarnate God; they shall vanish like the mists of the morning. The Lord Jesus will break the yoke of our burden, and the rod of our oppressor, as in the day of Midian. Be of good courage, you who are in bondage to fierce and cruel adversaries; for in the name of Jesus, who is God with us, you shall destroy them. You see this in the fourth verse. Please follow me as I dwell on each verse.

14. When Jesus comes, you shall have eternal peace; for his battle is the end of battles. “All the armour of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall even be for burning, as fuel for fire.” This is the rendering of the 1881 English Revised Version; and it is good. The Prince of peace wars against war, and destroys it. What a glorious day is that in which the Lord breaks the bow and cuts the spear asunder, and burns the chariot in the fire! I think I see it now. My sins, which were the weapons of my foes, the Lord piles in heaps. What mountains of prey! But see! he brings the firebrand of his love from the altar of his sacrifice, and he sets fire to the gigantic pile. See how they blaze! They are utterly consumed for ever. The enemy has now no weapon that he can use against my soul. The incarnate God has broken the power of the adversary, for the sting of death is sin, and he has made an end of that. So he has destroyed the war which raged in our souls, and now he reigns as Prince of peace, and we have peace in him.

15. It is now that the Lord Jesus becomes glorious in our eyes; and he whose name is Emmanuel is now crowned in our heart with many crowns, and honoured with many titles. What a list of glories we have here! What a burst of song it makes when we sing of the Messiah: “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!” {Isa 9:6} Each word sounds like a salvo {c} of artillery. It is all very well to hear players on instruments and sweet singers rehearse these words in Handel’s Messiah; but to believe them, and experience them in your own soul, is far better. When every fear and every hope, and every power and every passion of our nature fills the orchestra of our heart, and all unite in one inward song to the glorious Emmanuel, what music it is! He is to us the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and much more than words can tell. Only get Christ Jesus into your soul, as the incarnate God, and he will set up a government within your nature which shall bring you peace, and righteousness, and joy, and eternal glory. He will so reign over you that your happiness shall know no bound; but you shall climb from grace to grace, from joy to joy, from peace to peace, yes, from heaven to the highest heaven. This all along shall be your most divine comfort, that Jesus is both God and man, even God with us.

16. So I have very briefly skimmed over the context. Had we time and grace, what a wealth of thought might be drawn from these inexhaustible mines!

17. II. But now, secondly, I want to PRESS HOME CERTAIN TRUTHS CONNECTED WITH MY THEME. Come, Holy Spirit, to help the preacher! Come, divine Comforter, to troubled hearts, and give them rest in Emmanuel!

18. Emmanuel is a grand word. “God with us” means more than tongue can tell. It means enmity removed on our part, and justice vindicated on God’s part. It means the whole Godhead engaged on our side, resolved to bless us.

19. But you say to me, “Who is this? Are you sure that Emmanuel is Jesus of Nazareth?” Yes, Jesus is Emmanuel. Will you turn to Matthew and read, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, "God with us."’ ” {Mt 1:21-23} Do you see this? They call his name Jesus to fulfil the prophecy that they should call his name Emmanuel! Surely it is an unusual fulfilment. It can only be accounted for by the fact that the Holy Spirit regards the name “Jesus” as being tantamount to the name “Emmanuel.” The Saviour is God with us. Jesus, a Saviour, is, in the Hebrew, Joshua, or Jehoshua, that is, Jehovah saving. The sense is the same as that of Emmanuel, or “God with us,” or for us; since “God for us” is sure to save us. The two names are the same in essential meaning. If God has come to save, then God is with us; if God himself is our salvation, then God is on our side; and if the child born of the virgin is indeed the Lord of glory, then God is our friend. Strong Son of God! Immortal Love! We have not seen your face; but we can trust your power, and rest on your love. Your very birth brings hope; but as for your death, when you bore our sins in your own body on the tree, this is the fulfilment of all our desires, in the cancelling of sin, the removal of wrath, and the securing of eternal life. Yes, Jesus is God with us.

20. Perhaps you wish to know a little more of the incident in the text which exhibits Jesus as the great light. We have spoken of Zebulun and Naphtali: were those regions really benefited by the coming of the Lord Jesus? Just look a little further on in Matthew: “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came and lived in Capernaum, which is on the sea-coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Naphtali: so that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, ‘The land of Zabulon, and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people who sat in darkness saw a great light; and to those who sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.’ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ” {Mt 4:12-17} Yes, beloved, our Lord made his home in the darkest parts. He looked around and saw no country so ignorant, no country so sorrowful, as Galilee of the Gentiles, and therefore he went there, and lifted it up to heaven by priceless privileges! His ministry of repentance and faith was in itself a glorious light; but he did many mighty works to confirm it. Why, all around the whole country was full of sick folk whom he had restored. You could not go half a mile without meeting a blind man who told of how Jesus had restored his sight, or a sick woman who had been raised up from the fever, or some paralytic who had been made whole. That country must have been glad indeed. Multitudes would never forget how they heard him by the sea. They said, “What sermons he preached! He made our hearts dance for joy; and then he fed us, and we ate barley loaves and little fish until we were filled. He is a wonderful prophet, and this is a wonderful country; once dark enough, but now enlightened by his presence.” Beloved, I pray that Jesus may come to you if you are in the dark today, and work miracles for you, feed you, and teach you, and make you glad, so that, though you were the most unhappy of beings, you may become the happiest of mortal men. Galilee, plundered, despoiled, despised, eventually became glorious because of him who is Emmanuel. This is a happy omen for you, dear friends: if you have been the most sorrowful of beings, the Lord Jesus may come at once to you and make you rejoice with great joy. Jesus rescues from contempt, from ignorance, from misery, from despair, and reveals himself as “God with us.”

21. We will turn back to where we opened our Bibles at the first, and there we learn that, to be God with us, Jesus must be accepted by us. He cannot be with us if we will not have him. Hear how the prophet words it: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” As a child he was born, as a son he was given. He comes to us in two ways — in his human nature, born; in his divine nature, given. But I want you to see that all the sweetness and light that can come to you through him, must come by your laying both your hands upon him, and taking him to be your own. Here is one hand, “To us a child is born”; here is the other, “To us a son is given.” Do you ask, “What are those two hands?” I received a note from one of my hearers, who pleads, “Tell me, sir, what faith is; tell me what you mean by believing and trusting.” My dear friend, I am always telling you that, and I intend to keep on always telling you as long as I have a tongue to move. By a daring act of appropriation take Jesus to be yours, and say with me — oh, that we could all say it in one great shout! — “TO US A CHILD IS BORN, TO US A SON IS GIVEN.” God gives him, we take him. He is born, we take him up in our arms, and feel ready to cry, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” He is a Son given. Shall we not accept this gift of gifts, and love him because he has first loved us? To believe is to take freely what God gives freely. It is the simplest thing that can be. I could not explain to you what to drink is; but I will put this glass to my lips, and actually perform the action. Now you see what it is. The water is put to the lip, it is allowed to flow into the mouth and down the throat, and so it is drunk. Take Christ just so. Up to the very lip of your reception he flows; open the mouth of your soul, and take him into yourself. “May I?” you say. May you? You are threatened with damnation if you do not; for this is one side of the gospel message, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; he who does not believe shall be damned.” A man may certainly do what involves him in condemnation if he does not do it. That awful threatening is one of the most powerful bits of gospel that I know of: it drives while the promise draws. If you want Christ, you may have him. If you desire to have God with you, he waits to be gracious to you. If you wish for Emmanuel, behold him in Jesus, your Lord.

22. “Oh, but I wish I had some sign that I might be sure!” What sign do you want beyond the gift of God, the birth of Jesus? Away with demands which are wild and insincere. The Word of God tells you to believe and live. The moment you believe in Jesus he is yours. Say, then, this morning, “To us a child is born, to us a son is given,” and say it with fulness of delight.

23. Be sure that you go on with the verse to the end — “and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” If Christ is your Saviour he must be your King.

   But know, nor of the terms complain,
   Where Jesus comes he comes to reign:
   To reign, and with no partial sway;
   Lusts must be slain that disobey.

The moment we really believe in Jesus as our salvation we fall before him, and call him Master and Lord. We serve when he saves. He has redeemed us to himself, and we acknowledge that we are his. A generous man once bought a slave girl. She was put up on the block for auction, and he pitied her and purchased her; but when he had bought her he said to her, “I have bought you to set you free. There are your papers, you are a free woman.” The grateful creature fell at his feet and cried, “I will never leave you; if you have made me free I will be your servant as long as you live, and serve you better than any slave could do.” This is how we feel towards Jesus. He sets us free from the dominion of Satan, and then, since we need a ruler, we say, “And the government shall be upon his shoulder.” We are glad to be ruled by “Emmanuel, God with us.” This also is a door of hope for us. That Jesus shall be the monarch of our hearts is our very great joy. To us he shall be always “Wonderful.” When we think of him, or speak about him, it shall be with reverent awe. When we need advice and comfort, we will resort to him, for he shall be our Counsellor. When we need strength, we will look to him as our Mighty God. Born again by his Spirit, we will be his children, and he shall be the Everlasting Father. Full of joy and rest, we will call him Prince of Peace.

24. Are you willing to have Christ to govern you? Will you spend your lives in praising him? You are willing to have Christ to pardon you, but we cannot divide him, and therefore you must also have him to sanctify you. You must not take the crown from his head; but accept him as the monarch of your soul. If you would have his hand to help you, you must obey the sceptre which it grasps. Blessed Emmanuel, we are very glad to obey you! In you our darkness ends, and from the shadow of death we rise to the light of life. It is salvation to be obedient to you. It is the end of gloom for her who was in anguish to bow herself before you. May God the Holy Spirit take from the things of Christ and show them to us, and then we shall all cry —

   Go worship at Emmanuel’s feet!
   See in his face what wonders meet!
   Earth is too narrow to express
   His worth, his grace, his righteousness.
[Portions Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Isa 7:10-16 8:5-8,19-9:7]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Deity and Incarnation — Praise To The Redeemer” 251}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Deity and Incarnation — Jesus The Son Of Man” 260}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Deity and Incarnation — The Angels’ Song” 256}


{a} Pandemonium: The abode of all the demons; a place represented by Milton as the capital of Hell, containing the council-chamber of the Evil Spirits. OED.
{b} Dead lift: The pull of a horse, etc., exerting his utmost strength at a dead weight beyond his power to move. OED.
{c} Salvo: A salute consisting in the simultaneous discharge of artillery or other firearms. OED.

The Sword And The Trowel. Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Contents for September, 1890.
The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Wanted — a Paul.
London in the Past — Tyndale on the Embankment.
Crowded Round the Door.
The College-men at Westwood.
“The End of the Sea.”
The Alabaster Box.
Our Foreigners’ Fête.
A White Bird.
A Shock of Corn fully Ripe.
Prayer and Providence: a Story of a Wreck.
“Straight from the Rock.”
Assailing the Centre.
Drives at Menton. By C. H. Spurgeon.
The Answer.
Pessimism.
“No Surrender!”
Mr. Frank Smith at Peckham Rye.
Notices of Books.
Notes.
Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Pastors’ College Missionary Association.
Stockwell Orphanage.
Colportage Association.
Society of Evangelists.

Price 3d. Post free, 4 Stamps.
Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


Jesus Christ, Deity and Incarnation
251 — Praise To The Redeemer <8.7.4.>
1 Mighty God! while angels bless thee,
   May an infant lisp thy name?
   Lord of men, as well as angels,
   Thou art every creature’s theme.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
2 Lord of every land and nation,
   Ancient of eternal days!
   Sounded through the wide creation
   Be thy just and lawful praise.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
3 For the grandeur of thy nature,
   Grand beyond a seraph’s thought;
   For created works of power,
   Works with skill and kindness wrought.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
4 For thy providence, that governs
   Through thine empire’s wide domain,
   Wings an angel, guides a sparrow;
   Blessed by thy gentle reign.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
5 But thy rich, thy free redemption,
   Dark through brightness all along:
   Thought is poor, and poor expression
   Who dare sing that awful song?
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
6 Brightness of the Father’s glory,
   Shall thy praise unutter’d lie?
   Fly, my tongue, such guilty silence!
   Sing the Lord who came to die.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
7 Did archangels sing thy coming?
   Did the shepherds learn their lays?
   Shame would cover me ungrateful,
   Should my tongue refuse to praise.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
8 From the highest throne in glory,
   To the cross of deepest woe;
   All to ransom guilty captives:
   Flow, my praise, for ever flow.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
9 Go, return, immortal Saviour!
   Leave thy footstool, take thy throne;
   Thence return, and reign for ever,
   Be the kingdom all thy own.
      Hallelujah,
   Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen.
                  Robert Robinson, 1774.


Jesus Christ, Deity and Incarnation
260 — Jesus The Son Of Man
1 It is my sweetest comfort, Lord,
   And will for ever be,
   To muse upon the gracious truth
   Of thy humanity.
2 Oh joy! there sitteth in our flesh,
   Upon a throne of light,
   One of a human mother born,
   In perfect Godhead bright!
3 Though earth’s foundations should be moved,
   Down to their lowest deep;
   Though all the trembling universe
   Into destruction sweep;
4 For ever God, for ever man,
   My Jesus shall endure;
   And fix’d on him, my hope remains
   Eternally secure.
                     Edward Caswall, 1858.


Jesus Christ, Deity and Incarnation
256 — The Angels’ Song <7s.>
1 Hark, the herald angels sing,
   Glory to the new born King,
   “Peace on earth, and mercy mild;
   God and sinners reconciled.”
2 Joyful, all ye nations rise,
   Join the triumph of the skies;
   Hail the Heaven born Prince of Peace
   Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
3 Veil’d in flesh the Godhead see;
   Hail the incarnate Deity!
   Pleased as man with men to appear,
   Jesus our Immanuel here.
4 Mild he lays his glory by;
   Born, that men no more might die;
   Born to raise the sons of earth;
   Born, to give them second birth.
5 Come, Desire of Nations, come!
   Fix in us thy humble home;
   Rise, the woman’s promised Seed,
   Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
6 Glory to the new born King!
   Let us all the anthem sing,
   “Peace on earth, and mercy mild;
   God and sinners reconciled.”
                     Charles Wesley, 1739.

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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