2386. The Drawings Of Divine Love

by on
Share:

No. 2386-40:529. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, August 26, 1888, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, November 11, 1894.

No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, “And they shall be all taught by God.” Every man therefore who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me. {Joh 6:44,45}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 182, “Human Inability” 175}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2386, “Drawings of Divine Love, The” 2387}
   Exposition on Joh 6:1-14 30-46 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3000, “No. 3000, or Come, and Welcome” 3001 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 6:22-59 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3192, “Soul’s Meat and Drink, The” 3193 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 6:25-51 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2606, “Choice Teaching for the Chosen” 2607 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 6:41-65 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2706, “Feeding on the Bread of Life” 2707 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 6:41-66 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3424, “Food Indeed, and Drink Indeed” 3426 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 6:41-71 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2386, “Drawings of Divine Love, The” 2387 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Joh 6:41-71 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2528, “Eating the Sacrifice” 2529 @@ "Exposition"}
    {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Joh 6:45"}

1. There is something here which troubles many seeking souls; they hear the gospel preached in this manner, “Look and live,” or, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” This comforts them, and they say to themselves, “This is a way in which we can run, we delight to be told about salvation by faith in Christ.” Eventually, they hear a discourse on our Saviour’s words, “You must be born again,” or they listen to descriptions of the inward experience of the child of God. They are taught that there must be a brokenness of heart before there can be a true binding up, there must be a stripping before there can be a clothing, there must be death before there can be resurrection; and then they say to themselves, “This, we fear, is true; but how different it is from the message we heard the other day! Are there two things equally true, — salvation by simple faith in Christ, and yet the necessity of a new heart and a right spirit?” They are equally true, and they ought to be preached with equal clarity, and equal earnestness; but I would say to every seeker, “You will find it very injurious to get worrying yourself with such difficulties as these. As a rule, you had better leave those questions for another day.” Suppose that you were puzzled concerning specific gravity, the weight of a body in water, — if you were a drowning man, I should recommend you to waive the consideration of such a subject until you were safely on shore. It is hardly the time, I think, to enter into difficult questions while you are in grave peril; and, in the same way, you may leave many theological questions until, by faith in Christ, you are saved. Then, going into his school, you may ask him to teach you these other more advanced lessons.

2. Now, for your help, I desire to say that these two doctrines of salvation by faith and the inward drawing of the Spirit of God are equally true; and unless they are proclaimed in due proportion, mischief may come from the preaching of either the one or the other. I do think that, when the preacher says only, “Believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe,” mischief may come from that imperfect declaration; for it is a one-sided form of truth, and other important truths may be forgotten, and men may get into a superficial habit of imagining that they believe when they hardly know what it is that they believe, and their faith is not the living faith of God’s elect, which works by love, purifies the soul, and sanctifies the life. On the other hand, I am quite sure that you may preach the need of inward experience, and preach it very thoroughly and continually; but if this other matter of faith is left out, you may preach some of your hearers into despair, many of them into indifference, and others of them into a kind of self-righteousness of feelings. I have met people who were certainly trusting in their feelings, and who went so far as to condemn others because they had not endured the same amount of misery, and passed through the same conviction of sin, or indulged in the same agony of despair. If the two truths are preached, we shall not stop to reconcile them; there is no need to do so, especially if they reconcile themselves to you while we preach. If the two doctrines are preached, they will act as a balance to each other; and while men hear our Saviour say, “He who believes in me has everlasting life,” they will not misunderstand what he says if they also hear as the deep bass note of that musical scale the equally divine utterance, “You must be born again.”

3. The text gives us good help on this subject. I do not believe that there are any practical difficulties in the matter at all; I say, practical difficulties, for there are philosophical difficulties. Is there any subject about which there are not philosophical difficulties? Can you not, if you think of anything, even if it is the most commonplace fact in natural history, very soon surround it with a cloud of obscurity which no one can remove? Any fool can put a stool where a wise man will trip over it; and you can soon raise a difficulty if you want to. Here is one. There is a young bull in the meadow, and there is also a sheep in the same pasture. They will both eat grass, and on the young bull that grass will turn to hair, and on the sheep it will turn to wool. How does that happen? Can you tell me? No; and I do not want to know. It may be a very interesting point for discussion; but practically there is no difficulty about it. Those who tan the leather, or those who dye the wool are not hindered in the least degree in their handicraft by the philosophical difficulty I have mentioned. So, there are philosophical difficulties about this matter of simple faith and salvation by it, and of the Spirit’s work and the necessity for it; but, practically, there is no difficulty at all, for the man who believes in Christ Jesus is born again, and every man who is born again believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. The two things come together, live together, and are perfected together.

4. However, for the help of some sincere seekers after Christ, who may be in perplexity, I will speak about this matter that troubles them. Let me read the text again: “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day. ‘It is written in the prophets.’ And they shall be all taught by God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.”

5. I. Our first observation on this text is, that THE ALL-IMPORTANT MATTER OF FAITH IS A VERY SIMPLE BUSINESS. It is mentioned here twice, and the only definition of it that is given is, coming to Christ:“ No man can come to me”; and again, in the forty-fifth verse, “Comes to me.”

6. Faith in Christ is simply and truly described as coming to him. It is not an acrobatic feat; it is simply a coming to Christ. It is not an exercise of profound mental faculties; it is coming to Christ. A child comes to his mother, a blind man comes to his home, even an animal comes to his master. Coming is a very simple action indeed; it seems to have only two things about it, one is, to come away from something, and the other is, to come to something.

7. In coming to Christ Jesus as our Saviour, we first come away from all other trusts. We leave all other confidences right behind us, and come away from them altogether. My own works? I must come away from all trust in them to Christ. My own feelings? I must come away from all reliance on them to Christ. Ceremonies, forms, rites, indeed, even such as God has given, I must come away from all confidence in them, and I must come to Jesus, quitting and leaving them all. You cannot come to Jesus and yet hold on to your old trusts; you cannot come to Jesus and still cling to your old sins. You must come away from righteous self as well as from sinful self. To go to a place, I must go from a place. If you would come to Christ, you must bid “good-bye” to your old sins, and say “farewell” to your old confidences. Are you ready to sue for a divorce between your soul and sin, between your soul and self-confidence? That is the first essential thing in coming to Christ, leaving all other trusts.

8. Then the other part of coming is, drawing near to Christ, to obtain everything we need. When we truly come to Christ, we draw near to him. We do not any longer neglect him, we do not look away from him; on the contrary, we begin to think much of him, our hopes centre in him, and having thought of him, and so having come mentally to him, we trust in him. We come to him for what he is. Is he a Saviour? We come to him so that he may save us. Does he wash away sin? We come to him so that he may wash away our sin. Does he heal spiritual diseases? We come to him so that he may heal us of our diseases. You know what is meant by coming to such and such a physician; you must in that same sense come to Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician for sin-sick souls.

9. This expression, coming to Christ, is so simple that I do not know how to make it any plainer. I am afraid that, if I were to try to explain it, I might be like Thomas Scott when he wrote his notes to Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. Going around his parish, he found a woman who had The Pilgrim’s Progress with his notes. “My good woman,” he asked, “Do you understand The Pilgrim’s Progress?” “Yes, Mr. Scott, I understand The Pilgrim’s Progress very well, and I hope that, one day, I may be able to understand your explanation of it.” I will not attempt to explain any further what coming to Christ is, lest I should not succeed any better than Mr. Scott did. It ought to be clear to everyone that coming from something, and coming to something, or someone, constitute the act of coming. Quit, then, both sin and self by determined resolve, and come to Jesus, rest in him, take him to be everything to you, and then believe that you have everlasting life, according to his declaration, “He who believes in me has everlasting life.”

10. Yet our Saviour, in close connection with this text, gives us another illustration of what faith is. Faith is coming to Christ; it is also eating or receiving Christ. A man has a piece of bread in his hand; he does not know where the wheat grew, nor in what mill it was ground, nor in what oven the bread was baked, but he knows that it is bread, and that he is hungry. Nature, especially living nature, abhors a vacuum; so the man determines to fill the vacuum in himself with that piece of bread. What does he do but eat it? You do not have to teach children how to eat. I said to a little boy, this afternoon, “Why do not you put your bread and butter in your ear?” Of course, he knew better than to act like that, so all he did was to laugh at me; and you never yet met a child who put the bread and butter in his ear; he puts it in his mouth, and eats it. So, there really is, if you would only use it, enough sense within you to understand what faith in Christ is. If you were not so ready to confound and confuse yourself, my dear friend, you might know what faith is. You tell me that it puzzles you; I think that it is you who puzzle yourself, not faith that puzzles you. When you get bread, you put it into your mouth, you eat it, and let it go down into yourself. You may not know much about the processes that are going on within you, and you do not need to know. If you do not understand anything about them, the bread will feed you just as well. Now, in that way take the Lord Jesus Christ into you spiritually, and feed on him. Say from your heart, “Lord, I live on you; I believe you to be God, I believe that you took our nature, I trust you as the Incarnate God. I believe that you suffered in the room and place and stead of guilty men; I believe that you have put away the sin of all those who trust you, and put it away for ever so that they can never be condemned. I trust you to be my Saviour, altogether and entirely my Saviour.” If you really do that, you are saved.

11. “How do I know it?” one says. Because Christ says it; is that not enough? “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” “But I have not felt any strange sensations; I have had no wonderful dreams.” What! are you asking for such signs as those? Is not Christ’s word, “He who believes in me has everlasting life,” enough for you? Lord, I believe in you; therefore, I have everlasting life; your word is enough for me.

12. That is my first point, faith is a very simple matter.

13. II. But, secondly, TO THIS FAITH MEN ARE GREATLY DISINCLINED. He who knew most about men says of them, “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him.”

14. Men are grievously disinclined to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Their unwillingness is so great that it amounts to an inability of this kind, that, just as there are none so deaf as those who will not hear, and none so blind as those who will not see, so there are none so unable as those who are unwilling, and the Saviour so puts it, “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him.”

15. But why are men so unwilling to believe in the Lord Jesus? In Christ’s lifetime on earth, their unwillingness arose partly because he was of such lowly origin. They said, “We know Joseph, and Mary, and the brothers of Jesus; how can we believe in him as the Messiah?” He was so poor, so obscure, he came from a family that was not notable in Israel as far as they knew. Besides, he came out of Nazareth, and they asked “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” He was a Galilean, and they could not look up to one who came from that despised region.

16. In addition to that, all his teaching was opposed to their proud notions. If he had come as an earthly king, to overthrow the Roman power, they might have believed in him; but, as he was, they regarded him as a root out of a dry ground. They could see nothing illustrious about the Man of sorrows, so they would not believe in him; and numbers of people, to this day, do not receive Christ because faith in him is not fashionable. True godliness is not held in high repute in the upper circles of society. Oh simpletons, to lose your souls for the sake of a little worldly grandeur! May God save us all from such insanity as that!

17. The more common reason why men are not saved by faith in Christ is, because they do not see any need of a Saviour. I know you very well, my dear Mr. Good-Enough, and my dear friend, Mr. Too-Good! You do not believe that you need any saving; you think that you have as much as you ought to have of everything that is good, and even some to give away. Oh, yes! you hope to enter heaven with all sails up. What will you do when you get there? The redeemed ones are all singing that they have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; but you will have to go up in a corner by yourself, and hold your tongue, because you did not have anything that needed to be washed, and you were yourself perfectly clean. You would not be happy in heaven, for the very glory of that blissful place is the Lamb of God, and his precious blood is the theme of continual thanksgiving. I pray God to bring you out of your miserable delusion, for it is no better than that. You are not the good man that you think you are; but you are stained with sin from head to foot, and unless you are washed in the divinely-provided bath even in the atoning blood of Jesus, you will perish in your sin.

18. But many do not come to Christ, and trust him, because they will not receive the doctrine of substitution. Christ’s dying in the sinners’ place, the Just for the unjust, to bring them to God, they will not have it, they kick at it. I assure you that you will never have rest and peace until you do accept that blessed soul-saving doctrine; for other foundation can no man lay than what is laid, even Jesus Christ the righteous, and there is no Jesus Christ to trust in except the glorious Substitute who bore our sins in his own body on the tree. Oh, that men would not be so foolish as to reject God’s plan of salvation by the vicarious atonement once offered on Calvary!

19. Many also refuse the Saviour because they are occupied with other things. They cannot come to Christ because their farm, their merchandise, their newly-married wife, or something or other, keeps them back. Oh, how long some of you have been waiting, some of you who have attended the Tabernacle, too, all the time! If anyone had said, twenty years ago, that you would be sitting in your pew an unconverted man tonight, you would not have believed it. You will hardly be sitting in that pew, an unconverted man, in twenty more years’ time; you will either be saved, or you will have gone the way of all flesh, I fear. Oh, that the day would come when there shall be no more hesitation, no more postponement, but when you would from your heart say, “I must have Christ. I will trust him!” Say even now what we have often sung, —

    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.

20. There are many more who do not exercise simple faith in Christ because they do not like the consequences of it. “Why!” one says, “if I become a believer in Christ, I shall have to give up my old ways.” You will. “If I become a follower of the Lamb, I cannot go where I go now.” Quite right; I am glad you see that; I hope that you are not such a hypocrite as to imagine that you can trust Christ to put away your past sin, and then go on living in sin as you have done. That will never do. Christ has opened a hospital for the sick; but it is so that he may heal them. He receives sinners; but not that they may remain sinners, it is that he may make saints of them, and deliver them from sin. You will never come to Christ as long as you are in love with sin; and you are so much in love with sin that you never will come at all unless omnipotent grace shall draw you. So says our Lord Jesus Christ, “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him.”

21. There are many others who cannot trust in Christ, and cannot come to him, because they wish for certain feelings or emotions. You want to experience unusual changes so that you may know that God is at work in your soul, do you? Well, I do not wonder at that desire; but please notice what is said in the forty-sixth verse, “Not that any man has seen the Father.” The work of God in the heart is not seen by the soul until first of all the soul sees Jesus Christ. You must not think that you can deal with an absolute God. Apart from Christ, you cannot approach God, and God operating on your heart, without faith in Christ, will not be the basis of any comfort for you. Whatever God may be doing in you, or may not be doing in you, is not the thing that you are to look to as the foundation of your hope. Your trust is to be in Christ’s work on the cross, and in nothing else. You shall see plenty of evidences, miracles, and signs eventually; but, to begin with, the gospel for you is, “Believe, believe, believe.” “I could believe if ——— .” Oh, yes! I see, the basis of your confidence is that “if,” not God’s Word. “Oh! sir, but I could trust God’s Word if I ——— .” Ah! that is the same thing over again. You see, it is not God’s Word that you trust; it is that rotten “if” to which you cling. Now, away with it, away with it, please. Either call God a liar, or else believe him. It must be one of the two; but do not pretend that you would believe him under certain conditions that you would like to impose. If a man said to me that he would believe me under certain conditions, I should understand at once that he did not really believe me at all, that, in fact, he could not believe me, but he would believe someone else, and perhaps trust me under cover of that other person. That would not be faith in me at all; and, please, do not deal with the Lord in such a way.

22. So, you see, dear friends, my text plainly teaches us that men are greatly disinclined to come to Jesus.

23. III. Therefore, THE OPERATIONS OF GOD ON THE SOUL ALL RUN IN THE WAY OF LEADING MEN TO COME TO JESUS. That is clear if you read the text, “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him.”

24. You see, first, the Father inclines us to come to Christ. “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught by God.’ ” What are they taught? “Every man therefore who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.” It is clear that the drift of the divine operations in the heart of man is towards Christ. The Lord draws us; but all his drawings are towards Christ. If you think that you have experienced the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and yet it does not draw you towards Christ, you have made a mistake. The Spirit always draws away from self, and away from sin, to Jesus Christ alone. If you are drawn that way, it is the Lord who draws you, for all his drawings are in that direction.

25. Then, next, the drift of all God’s teachings is this way. Whatever the Spirit of God teaches a man, the end and object of that teaching is to get him away from self, and draw him to Christ. All the teachings of affliction are intended to make us sick of self and fond of Christ. All the true teachings of the Christian ministry aim at putting down self, and exalting Christ.

26. All the drawings, and all the teachings, then, that come from God, are towards Christ. By this test you may try everything that professes to be a divine operation. If any man says, “I am the subject of the work of the Spirit of God,” and he does not exalt Christ, tell him that he is not the subject of the Spirit’s work at all. If he comes to you with some fine idea about himself, making out that he is some great one, say to yourself, “It is no part of the work of the Spirit to set up any man as a great one; his work is to take from the things of Christ, and show them to us.” The Holy Spirit dedicates himself to the glorifying of Christ, so he withers our false hopes, and gives us true hopes. He does this in order that Christ may be lifted up, and that we may be drawn to him.

27. I believe that this is the test of all kinds of preaching. Does a man come with a divine message for my soul? I will try him by this test. Does he lift up Christ? Does he draw me to trust in Christ? Does he draw me to love Christ? Does he draw me to be like Christ? Well and good; I will hear some more of what that man says; but if, Sunday after Sunday, I have to say, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him,” I say, “Good-bye, sir, other people may listen to you, but you are not the man that I want to hear.” I must have Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ first, last, Alpha, Omega, beginning, middle, end, and all through, or else I cannot believe that the teaching is from God; for the Father draws to Christ, and teaches concerning Christ.

28. Further, he makes us to hear and to learn that we may come to Christ. Come, then, my dear hearers; I think that I have brought you a little into the light now. You say that you must be the subject of a divine operation. Are you looking to Christ? Then you have had that divine operation performed on you, for it makes you look to Christ alone. “Is believing an easy thing?” one asks. It is the easiest thing in the world, it is as easy as coming, or as eating. “Well, but why is it so difficult to me?” Probably it is difficult because it is so easy. I believe that faith is a hard thing to many because it is not a hard thing. It is just like Naaman’s washing in the Jordan; if the prophet had told him to do some great thing, some difficult thing, he would have done it; but when he said nothing but “Wash, and be clean,” Naaman felt that he was too great to go to the River Jordan, and too clean to go and wash. He is a nobleman and a gentleman; is he to go and wash like any pig? Yes, he is; and only in doing so can he be cleansed, for his leprosy makes him as foul as any swine could be, and he must therefore wash if he would be clean. You, though you are the queen of morality, must trust in Christ just as a prostitute must trust in Christ; and you, young man, though you are in all things noble and excellent, must come, and believe in Christ, just as a thief must do, or else you can never come where that dying thief is who passed with Christ into Paradise. There is only one door; will you bow your head, and enter? There is only one way of salvation; will you run along it? If not, if you will put your goodness before Christ, it shall become as bad as a crime or infamy itself. May God grant that the operations of the Holy Spirit may lead you up to simple faith in Jesus!

29. IV. So, then, I finish with this fourth point. IF WE HAVE COME TO JESUS, WE NEED NOT QUESTION OUR SAFETY.

30. Christ says, “He who believes in me has everlasting life.” He who has come to Jesus is saved. You need not question your safety, for you could not have come to Christ without having been drawn to him. “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him.” You could not have come if you had not been drawn. Well, then, if you have come, you have been drawn; and if the Father has drawn you, you have come the right way. It all lies in a nutshell. If I have come to Jesus and have put my trust in him, — my nature is, in itself, so averse to this way of salvation that, if I have really and from my heart accepted it, — there must have been on my heart an operation from God to bring me into this condition. That operation could not have been badly performed, for God never works amiss or ineffectively. I am therefore, in the very fact of being brought to Christ, assured that God has been at work with me.

31. “Oh!” I have sometimes heard poor souls say, “I came to Christ, but I am afraid that I have come the wrong way.” You cannot come the wrong way. “Oh, but I heard of one who came to Christ so quickly!” Yes, and I have heard of one who came to him very slowly; but since he came, it did not so much matter how he came. When the whole world was drowned, a pair of greyhounds found shelter in the ark; I do not suppose they started very soon. But there was a pair of snails that went in with them; I wonder how soon they started. They certainly must have started a long while before the ark door was opened or the ark prepared. Come along, then, you poor crawling snails, come along! If some of you have the greyhound’s speed, come along, bound and leap to Christ; the quicker the better. But if you are a man of slow action, remember that the snails in the ark were not drowned. Though they were slow in coming in, there they were, as safely preserved as the rest of the living creatures that were with Noah. “Well” one says, “I feel as if I could only creep to Christ, with broken legs and an aching back.” Then creep to Christ, only do come to him; come in any way, leaping or limping. If you shall come, he has said, “Whoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out,” and that includes any coming in all the world if it is only a coming to him. If you trust him, you are saved. That truth ought, I think, to give some consolation to any who are troubled about their faith and about the inner life of the soul.

32. Yet again, remember that all teaching that is absolutely necessary to salvation concerns Christ. “Every man therefore who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.” If there were any right teachings that would lead you beyond Christ, — I do not know any, but if there were such, — you can do without them. The only teachings that you require are those who lead you to Christ. Let this comfort anyone who says, “I understand no theology; I am only a beginner in the study of the Word; I could not even explain the plan of salvation to another person; but I am trusting in Christ.” Well, rest satisfied with that glorious fact.

33. To close, the best sentence in the whole text, to my mind, is that with which the 44th verse finishes, “I will raise him up at the last day.” Is that not glorious? The Saviour does not merely say that he who believes is drawn to him by the Father, and that he is now saved; but he says, “I will raise him up at the last day.” It is as good as saying, “I will take that man’s case into my on hands.” He does not mention all the intervening circumstances, but he finishes up with the last victory, “I will raise him up at the last day.” “This man is a sinner, Lord.” “I will forgive him.” “He has a black heart.” “I will change it.” “He will be very fickle.” “I will keep him.” “He will be much tempted.” “I will pray for him.” “He will have many afflictions.” “I will sustain him.” “But Lord, he will die.” “I will be with him.” “But he will be buried, Lord, and laid among the worms, dust to dust.” “I will raise him up at the last day.” It is as good as saying, “I will go through with the business for the entire man”; for if he takes care of the poor body, and raises it up, depend on it that he will take care of the soul that shall be for ever with him. If this rag of a robe that I wear is even so dear to him that he will not leave it in the grave, then the man within the robe will be all right. Christ will take care of him, depend on that. He who will preserve the casket will not lose the jewel. “I will raise him up at the last day.”

34. May the Lord bring every one of you to trust in this mighty Saviour, for his great name’s sake! Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 6:41-71}

We shall read tonight part of that blessed sixth chapter of John’s Gospel, beginning at the forty-first verse.

41, 42. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he says, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

Familiarity breeds contempt. Because the Jews knew Jesus and his kindred after the flesh, therefore they would not believe that he came down from heaven. Let us beware of foolish prejudices, and let us not judge after the flesh. Why should Jesus not have come down from heaven even though these men knew his reputed father and mother?

43. Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves.

It was a muttering that was scarcely audible, but Jesus heard it, and he checked it. The Lord cannot take any delight in murmuring: “Do not murmur among yourselves.”

44. No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

You did not expect the Saviour to say just that, did you? He always speaks the truth, even though he has to lay the axe at the root of the tree of self-confidence. He does not seem to be encouraging his hearers, but rather to be repelling them. He was trying to show them the state in which they really were; they had not been drawn to himself, they were alienated from him; and they would continue to be at a distance from him unless God should intervene, and draw them to him.

45. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught by God.’ Every man therefore who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.

This was as much as to say, “The Father has never taught you. You have learned nothing from him, or you would come to me; but in your rejection of me you prove that you are strangers to the grace of God.”

46. Not that any man has seen the Father, except he who is from God, he has seen the Father.

Christ is “from God” in a very particular sense. He is not God’s creature, but God’s Son. He is of the very essence of God, and therefore he knows what God is as we never can know.

47. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life.

This is a grand saying, can you not catch the truth it reveals? Whatever deficiencies there may be in you, if you believe in Christ, you have everlasting life, — not a life which you can lose, or which will die out, but everlasting life; and we are not among those who clip the wings of that great word “everlasting.” We take this verse to mean just what it says; that is, if you believe in Christ, you have within you a life which will last for ever and ever.

48-50. I am that bread of life. Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it, and not die.

Christ is the Bread for the soul, the Bread of immortality, the Bread which will prepare a man for heaven, and sustain him until he arrives there. Oh, that we may all eat this Bread of life, and so live for ever!

51-54. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eats this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

How necessary it is to have a spiritual understanding of the Scriptures! These metaphors have a kind of cannibal meaning about them to a man who goes no further than the letter, but the spiritual man knows that the soul feeds on the doctrine of Christ’s incarnation, and drinks in the truth of Christ’s atonement. This is feeding, this is drinking, this is being nourished on Christ’s flesh and Christ’s blood.

55. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Food and wine are, after all, only shadows; they feed the shadow-life of the flesh. Christ and his precious blood are the great realities, they nourish the true life of the spirit. Blessed are those who know what it is in spirit to feed on these spiritual things!

56-58. He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he who eats me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your forefathers ate manna, and are dead: he who eats this bread shall live for ever.”

The Saviour goes over the same ground several times, there is a variety in his utterances, but in essence the meaning is the same. He wants to get it into our minds that we are to live on him; — that he, not self, he, not works, he, not our feelings, is the real food of the soul, by which that soul acquires and retains immortal life.

59, 60. He said these things in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?”

Preachers must not be astonished if they stagger their hearers when they proclaim the truth, they must not retract what they have said, nor tone it down, because So-and-so is offended by it. Truth is hard, especially to hard hearts. Every great truth is hard for a beginner in the school of Christ; but it is none the less to be taught, for what is difficult today may become delightful tomorrow or whenever we are better educated in the things of God.

61, 62. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured about it, he said to them, “Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

He who is offended at any gospel truth may expect to be even more offended, for there are higher and deeper doctrines than Jesus had then uttered. If you stagger under the elementary lessons, what will you do when you get into the grammar school of divinity, and begin to learn the loftier lessons of the truth of God? Oh, for a faith that never staggers when Christ speaks, and that believes whatever he reveals!

63. It is the Spirit who quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Do not look at them as dead words; regard them as full of life, and understand them in their living spiritual sense.

64. But there are some of you who do not believe.”

Some of Christ’s own disciples, some who had kept him company, do not believe. This was a very sad statement for Jesus to be obliged to make; but it must be made today about many professed Christians: “There are some of you who do not believe.”

64. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who should betray him.

He is not deceived by hypocrites; if we have crept into the church unworthily, he knows all about us, he knows us better than we know ourselves. Oh, that we might be very careful, watchful, jealous! May we abhor hypocrisy of every kind! It is impossible to continue in it without being detected; if it were possible we ought not to practise it; but with such an eye as what is in the Head of the Church, even Christ, we cannot deceive; therefore, let us not attempt it.

65, 66. And he said, “Therefore I said to you, that no man can come to me, unless it were given to him by my Father.” From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked with him no more.

It often happens, in the ministry of a faithful preacher, that he has to say unpleasant things, and there are some who withdraw because of his preaching of the truth. Should he break his heart when they do so? Certainly not. They did the same with his Master, they acted the same with the apostle Paul. It will be so to the end of the chapter; and, indeed it is part of our work to separate the precious and from the vile. Truth is like the fan which drives away the chaff, and leaves the wheat all the more pure. Yet it is sad to read that many of the disciples of Christ went back, and walked with him no more, because they could not endure the faithful words he spoke to them.

67, 68. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Will you also go away?” Then Simon Peter —

Who was always to the forefront, always ready to speak, “Simon, Peter” —

68-70. Answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered them, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?”

Our Lord often surprises us by the way in which he speaks; he does not say what we should have expected to hear from him, but he says something that is very startling, and even discouraging. It is the way of our Master, because he sees further than we do; and he often replies, not to the question as it lies in the words addressed to him, but to a belief in the heart behind the words. He did so here, Peter may have thought that “the twelve” were all steadfast and sincere, so Christ says to him, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?”

71. He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for it was he who should betray him, being one of the twelve.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — Rock Of Ages” 552}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Holy Spirit — Regeneration” 448}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Invitations — Come Now” 502}


Gospel, Received by Faith
552 — Rock Of Ages <7s., 6 lines.>
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
   Let me hide myself in thee!
   Let the water and the blood,
   From thy riven side which flow’d,
   Be of sin the double cure,
   Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
2 Not the labours of my hands
   Can fulfil thy law’s demands:
   Could my zeal no respite know,
   Could my tears for ever flow,
   All for sin could not atone:
   Thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring,
   Simply to thy cross I cling;
   Naked, come to thee for dress;
   Helpless, look to thee for grace;
   Foul, I to the fountain fly;
   Wash me, Saviour, or I die.
4 Whilst I draw this fleeting breath,
   When my eye-strings break in death,
   When I soar through tracks unknown,
   See thee on thy judgment-throne —
   Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
   Let me hide myself in thee.
               Augustus M. Toplady, 1776.


Holy Spirit
448 — Regeneration
1 Not all the outward forms on earth,
      Nor rites that God has given,
   Nor will of man, nor blood, nor birth,
      Can raise a soul to heaven.
2 The sovereign will of God alone
      Creates us heirs of grace;
   Born in the image of his Son,
      A new peculiar race.
3 The Spirit, like some heavenly wind,
      Blows on the sons of flesh;
   Creates a new — a heavenly mind,
      And forms the man afresh.
4 Our quicken’d souls awake and rise
      From the long sleep of death;
   On heavenly things we fix our eyes,
      And praise employs our breath.
                     Isaac Watts, 1709, a.


Gospel, Invitations
502 — Come Now <8.7.>
1 Come, poor sinners, come to Jesus,
      Weary, heavy laden, weak;
   None but Jesus Christ can ease us,
      Come ye all, his mercy seek.
2 “Come, it is his invitation;
      “Come to me,” the Saviour says,
   Why, oh why such hesitation,
      Gloomy doubts, and base delays?
3 Do you fear your own unfitness,
      Burden’d as you are with sin?
   ‘Tis the Holy Spirit’s witness;
      Christ invites you — enter in.
4 Do your sins and your distresses
      ‘Gainst this sacred record plead?
   Know that Christ most kindly blesses
      Those who feel the most their need.
5 Hear his words, so true and cheering,
      Fitted just for the distress’d;
   Dwell upon the sound endearing;
      “Mourners, I will give you rest.”
6 Stay not pondering on your sorrow,
      Turn from your own self away:
   Do not linger till tomorrow,
      Come to Christ without delay.
            William Freeman Lloyd, 1835.

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.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

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