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2534. The Greatest Gift In Time Or Eternity

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No. 2534-43:433. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, April 20, 1884, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, September 12, 1897.

Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call on him while he is near. {Isa 55:4-6}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2534, “Greatest Gift in Time or Eternity, The” 2535}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2787, “Christ’s Triple Character” 2788}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3370, “Our Leader Through the Darkness” 3372}
   Exposition on Isa 53; 55:1-7 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2534, “Greatest Gift in Time or Eternity, The” 2535 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55 Jer 30:1-11 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3419, “God the Husband of His People” 3421 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55:1-4 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3471, “Three Hours Of Darkness, The” 3473 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2278, “Feeding on the Word” 2279 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2581, “Perfection in Christ” 2582 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2797, “Need and Nature of Conversion, The” 2798 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2954, “Big Gates Wide Open, The” 2955 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Isa 55 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3299, “Ho! Ho!” 3301 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 138 Isa 55:1-11 Ro 8:28-39 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3422, “Call to the Depressed, A” 3424 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 23 Isa 55 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2886, “Restless! Peaceless!” 2887 @@ "Exposition"}
    {See Spurgeon_SermonTexts "Isa 55:5"}

1. We meet together here with two objects; first, there is the preacher’s object, that is, to present and to proclaim the blessings of the covenant of grace. It is my duty, and it is my delight, to stand here and cry, “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Then, there is the object of the hearers; oh, that everyone here were heartily in pursuit of it! Indeed, what is even better, I wish that everyone here might attain this object, for it is that you may feed on the blessed covenant provisions mentioned in our text. If there is water, my brethren, let us drink it. If there is wine and milk, let us be satisfied with it. Let us pray that every soul in this place may even now delight itself in fatness.

2. You who have already partaken of the provisions of the covenant, receive them again; come once more to the table which the Lord’s grace has so richly spread. You have a daily hunger; let that hunger be again appeased. Your appetite grows if you are in good spiritual health; come, then, and let the appetite be satisfied again. If you do so, it will grow again, and again, you will want even more of the same heavenly food, for you will still hunger — blessedly hunger — after the royal dainties which the Lord has so bountifully provided for you. And oh, that some here, who have never feasted on the luxuries of true godliness, might get a taste of them while I am talking about them! It is my intention to speak very plainly, — not to try to say anything of my own, but just to use my Master’s words, explaining them, and making them as clear as I can, so that all who run may read, and yet speaking of them so earnestly that those who read may immediately run. Why do we come to our places of worship? What is the object of our Sunday gatherings? Surely not merely to hear a man talk, and then to go away and ourselves talk about that talk. But this is a place of heavenly business, where something real is to be done, where men are to be lifted into a higher life, and where those who as yet have not been quickened may come and receive that life. I pray that some may receive it this very hour. Time is flying; death is near; eternity is close at hand. It is time that we should be in earnest about these things if we have trifled so far; it is time that we should come to a right and wise decision, and partake of what God has so graciously provided.

3. Without any further preface, I ask you to notice that the three verses of my text speak of a divine gift, a divine promise, and a divine exhortation; these will be the three divisions of my subject.

4. I. First, here is, A DIVINE GIFT: “Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” We are not now talking about payments or about deservings; the gospel and all that it brings must be regarded as a gift. Men correctly say that there is nothing freer than a gift; and, truly, there is nothing freer than the free gift of God. What is that divine gift of which our text speaks?

5. Well, first, the Father has given his Son. The words I have just spoken are very simple, but there is an infinite meaning in them. So great is sin, so tremendous is evil as to be unfathomable; so great is the ruin which sin has brought on us, that it is truly indescribable; and equally great, yes, even greater is the remedy for the evil. He who made all things, and who fills all things, did not wish that we should perish, and therefore he must give a redemption price to ransom us out of bondage, he must provide a sacrifice to take away our guilt; and to do this, he gave his Son. He had only one, his Well-Beloved, equal with himself, and one with himself in all things. Yet he gave us his Son; what if I say he gave us himself? That also is true, for there is such a mysterious unity between the Father and the Son that, in giving the Son, the Father gave us himself. Oh, listen, then, you who are lost in sin, and seem to be helpless! Must there not be hope for you when such a gift as this is given? Not simply, notice that, a gift of grace, or a gift of love, or a gift of power, but the gift of the Godhead’s own self, the gift of all there is in him of whom we read, “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” “Behold,” says the Father, “I have given HIM.” When Isaiah wrote those words, they could not be read quite as clearly as you and I can read them; for now, holding up this Scripture to the light of the cross, and reading it by the lamps of those five wounds, I can see a marvellous meaning in it: “I have given him.” Yes, the Father has given a redemption for the bondslave; he has given a sacrifice for the guilty; he has given his Son. The words in which I speak of this great fact are very simple, and they may seem very poverty-stricken, but the truth itself is such as made the angels stand in amazement; all heaven was bewildered with wonder that ever God, the Infinite, should give his Son for poor, sinful, dying worms like ourselves. It seemed too much to give, — the infinitely holy God to die for guilty sinners, the everlasting and eternal Son of God to suffer so that his feeble, finite creatures might not perish.

6. And if it is a wonder that God the Father should give his Son, it is an equal wonder that the Son consented to be given. The Father said, “I have given him”; yet it is equally true of the Son, “He loved me, and gave himself for me.” The Father’s gift was no violation of the will of the Son; but the Son said, “Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do your will, oh my God: yes, your law is within my heart.” Oh, to think that ever Jesus should give himself for you and for me! To take our nature, to descend from heaven to the manger, was a great stoop; but to take our sin, to come down from the throne of glory to the cross of Calvary, was an even greater proof of his condescending love.

7. Oh, think of this beloved! He so completely gave himself that he gave to us his deity and his humanity, his soul and his body, his life and his death; and though he is now risen from the dead, he still gives himself to us, for he has never recalled the gift he once bestowed; and this is the very glory of his gift that he is still ours by a constant gift of himself to us. Clutch at this blessed truth, you despairing ones! God has given his Son, and the Son has given himself; and if, by an act of faith, you trust him, he is at once yours, and he is yours for ever. What more can you possibly want?

8. In this fourth verse, we have also the purposes of this gift affirmed. “I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” First, Christ is given for a Witness; what does that mean?

9. Surely, Christ is given, first, to show us what God is. If you want to know what God is, study the life of Christ, for Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” In Christ, the Godhead shines as it were through a merciful medium, so that the excessive glory of the Deity is toned down to meet the weakness of our poor minds, lest we should be blinded by the ineffable splendour. God in human flesh is a witness to human flesh of what God is.

10. Next, Christ is a Witness in this sense, — that he bears his testimony to us concerning the Father’s will, the Father’s love, and the Father’s grace. He declares what he has seen in secret of the Father’s purposes of mercy; so that, what he testifies, he does not speak of himself, but what he has seen with the Father, that he declares to us. He is the Witness of what God is, and of what God has done for us. His name is part of the everlasting covenant in many ways, — as the Surety of it, and as a Partner in it, but also as a Witness to it. He bears witness to us that, in his person, God has entered into covenant with men, saying to them, “Inasmuch as you have broken the first covenant of works, and now cannot possibly keep it, I have made another and a better covenant. Christ has undertaken to magnify my law, and to satisfy my justice, and I have undertaken to save all those whom I have given to him.” And Jesus bears witness that it is so; he is himself the pledge and seal of the covenant. I am so glad that I do not have to talk with an invisible, impalpable God, who has never been seen by man; it seems too much for one, veiled in human flesh, to be able to speak with the unseen Jehovah, the God who is a Spirit; but I can speak to the man Christ Jesus, I feel now that I have a Mediator, one of a thousand, who can lay his hand on both parties of the covenant because he belongs to both of us, and is both God and man. My heart rejoices as I behold God in human flesh, the witness for God to the people. Oh poor sinners, be glad, be glad; God has given his dear Son to bear witness to you that he wishes that you should be saved, that he is able to save you without a violation of his justice, that he is willing to save you, and willing to save you now, if you will only trust his Son!

11. Our text also tells us that the Father gives Christ, not only as a Witness, but as a Leader and a Commander. That is just what we want. Men in any country where they are greatly oppressed sigh for a leader. “Grant a leader bold and brave,” is the prayer that has gone up from many a downtrodden nation. Well, the Lord has appointed his Son to be a Leader and a Commander, and if we will only yield to him, to be led by him, to be commanded by him, he will lead us safely, he will lead us on to victory and to conquest, and heaven itself shall be ours in due time. He who puts himself under this Leader shall go out conquering and to conquer, he shall war against his sin, and win the day. He shall fight against the devil, and overcome him by the blood of the Lamb. He shall do battle with death itself, and be more than a conqueror over the last enemy. I wish that, as I speak, some of you would say, “Christ is given as a Leader and a Commander, therefore we will enlist under his banner. Henceforth, the Son of David, the Son of God, shall be both Leader and Commander for us.” Happy, happy, happy day, for you and for all of whom that shall be true!

12. Now notice who are the people so favoured. To whom is the Lord Jesus given as a Witness and a Leader and Commander? Twice we are told that it is to the people: “A witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.” I have known some people to sneer at “the common people.” Ah, yes, but it was the common people who heard Christ gladly, and it is for the people that he died! “I,” says God, “have exalted one chosen out of the people.” The Lord Jesus Christ is the Christ of common people. If any of you are so high and mighty that you must go to heaven fashionably, you will be lost; the unfashionable way to heaven, by trusting in Jesus Christ, is the only one that will take you there. He is the people’s Witness, the people’s Leader, the people’s Commander.

13. That means, does it not, that he is the Leader and Commander of a great host, not merely of a select few? Perhaps you have read about us poor Calvinists, what a wretched, miserable sect we are, how we are always trying to keep salvation to ourselves, and how we believe that only a very few will ever be saved! Put all that down among the lies that our enemies tell about us; it is not true, and it never was true, for there are no people under heaven who are more anxious that all men should be saved than we are who believe that, nevertheless, the Lord has a people whom he will save. Our hearts, we trust, are full of love for men, despite all that is said about us. It is my hope that the Lord Jesus Christ will save so many that, at the last, those who are lost will bear no greater proportion to the whole mass of mankind than do the people in prison to the multitudes that are outside of it in any well-ordered state. “There will have to be a great change,” says someone, “to bring that about.” Yes, there will be a great change; there are glorious times yet to come, notwithstanding all that tends to the contrary. There is a day to dawn when the Lord Jesus shall be acknowledged as King of kings, and Lord of lords, and “he shall reign for ever and ever,” and the overwhelming multitudes of his redeemed shall prove that he is not the Witness and Leader and Commander to a miserable few, a mere handful; but that he is Witness and Leader and Commander to the people. In all things he shall have the preeminence.

14. “To the people.” Then, surely, that means all kinds of people? It does; our Lord is a Leader and Commander to all classes and conditions of men. Kings may follow him if they wish; and peasants and paupers do follow him in great multitudes. He is willing to receive the lost and the low, the poorest of the poor; he is willing to lift up the most sunken. “Whoever wills,” he says, “let him take the water of life freely.” He is a Leader and a Commander to the people; then follow him, my friend, obey him. You never thought of doing so before, but may God’s grace move you to say, “If he is a Leader and Commander to the people, I am one of them, and I will go with him. He shall be my Leader and my Commander.” If it is really so with you, glory shall be yours. Christ will bring you to glory, and you shall bring glory to his name for ever and ever as you bless and praise him who has saved you by his grace.

15. So much, then, on the divine gift; God has given his own Son to be a Saviour to men, and Christ has given himself to be a Witness, and Leader, and Commander; oh, that none of us may refuse him, but may all accept him as God’s gift to us!

16. II. The second thing in our text is, A DIVINE PROMISE, made to this Leader and Commander.

17. It is, first, a promise to call those whom he does not know: “Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know.” That must be a strange nation, must it not, which Christ does not know? There will be people on the last day to whom Christ will say, “I never knew you”; and there are such people now, whom Christ has never known in this sense. He never spoke with them, he never heard their voice in prayer, he never heard their hearts cry to him, he never had anything to do with them, he never knew them by mutual acquaintance. And there are nations of this kind of people; I might almost say that there is a nation of this kind in London whom Christ does not know, millions with whom he has had no dealings at all. They never come near his courts, they do not recognise his day, they scarcely even know his name. What a promise this is to Christ: “You shall call a nation that you do not know!” The people are so far sunk in sin that it seems as if Christ himself never knew them. Did you ever cross the threshold of a house — or if not of a whole house, perhaps of one room, — where there was a number of people crowded together in poverty and misery? Drunkenness was there, vice was there, filth was there. Perhaps you were the first visitor who ever went there on an errand of mercy, and you said to yourself, “What a dreadful place this is! Surely, the blessed Saviour has never been here, there is no trace of his footprints here.” I think it is a most blessed thing that the Father should say to Christ, “You shall call this kind of people.” Such degraded and sinful men and women as these are yet to be called, and yet to be saved. Oh, be of good courage, you who try to labour in the very worst parts of London, — or, for that matter, in the worst parts of Africa, or wherever you may go! The people may seem to be so far gone in sin and degradation that even the great Lover of souls does not know them, yet the promise is that he shall call them, — and call them effectively, and they shall come to him

18. The next part of the promise declares that Christ is to make those who do not know him to run: “and nations that did not know you shall run to you.” People who did not know anything about Christ, and who did not want to know about him, shall, suddenly, hear of him, and they shall run to him. I have often noticed that, when such people do come to Christ, they always run to him. I hope that some of you, who have been hearing me for many years, will yet come to Christ though you have long kept away from him; but if you do, it will be with you pretty much as it was with the snail that got into the ark. I think he must have started very early to be able to get in before the door was shut, for he travelled so slowly; and you hearers of the gospel, who have grown accustomed to it, are as slow in coming to Christ as some boys are when they are going to school. But when a man has never heard the gospel, and at last someone has induced him to come in, and sit in the aisle, or in a back seat, it is all so new to him that he begins talking to himself about it, “Christ died for the guilty? I have only to trust him, and my sins shall be pardoned, and I shall be saved?” He leaps at the idea; it is the very thing he wants, and he grasps it at once. He is saved in a moment, and he rejoices with a joy unspeakable in the Christ whom he has found in the space of half-an-hour, while others have for years been hearing in vain the glad tidings of salvation. “Nations that did not know you shall run to you.”

19. Do you notice how God talks here? He speaks like a God. Who is this that says, “They shall?” Someone asks, “Man has a free will, has he not?” Yes, and God has a free will, too; and when these two come into conflict, it is God’s free will that wins the day. Man will do what God wills that man shall do; the will of the Eternal shall get the victory over the poor transient human will. When I come to preach in this pulpit, I do not say to myself, “Perhaps someone will make himself willing to be saved”; but I think to myself, “I shall have a picked congregation to listen to my Master’s message; the Lord will pick them out, and bring the right people to hear his Word, and when I preach it, his Word shall not return to him void. Those whom he has determined to bless shall be blessed, whatever the devil himself may try to do to the contrary; God will have his way, and storm their hearts, and carry all before him.” “Well, but,” asks someone, “do you believe in man’s free will?” Yes, I do, as much as you do, and perhaps more; but I also believe in God’s eternal purpose, and in God’s all-conquering will, so that, without violating the will of man, he can still have his own way, and he can make this promise true to Christ, “Nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the Lord your God.”

20. Now, lastly, on this point, here is a divine promise to exert an exceptional motive power. What is it that makes people run to Christ? The text tells us: “Nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the Lord your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you.” A glorified Christ makes men run to him; when Christ is glorified in your hearts, dear friends, you will run to him. The Son of God, to whom you have been an enemy, nevertheless, out of mighty love, came here, lived, and laboured, and died, giving his whole life away so that the ungodly might be saved through him. Not to gain anything for himself, but out of sheer pity and abounding love, he passed under his Father’s rod, he sweat as it were great drops of blood, he suffered anguish even to death for men’s redemption. And it was the Son of God who did this, — God over all blessed for ever. Having died, he was buried, he rose again, and now all power is given to him in heaven and on earth, “Therefore he is able also to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him, since he lives for ever to make intercession for them.” He can save the drunkard, the swearer, the profligate, the eighty-year-old sinner steeped up to the neck in filthiness and vice. He is able, with a word, to deliver the most corrupt from the power of sin; he can make the most abandoned pure, and chaste, and clean. Through his precious blood, he can save them from all the guilt of their sin, and all the power of their sin, and all the penalty of their sin, indeed, and, ultimately, from the very existence of their sin, so that even those who were all black from head to foot shall be “without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Oh, that the Holy Spirit would, with one glorious ray, light up the cross until you could all see it! Oh, for one beam of light to let the sin-bitten see the bronze serpent lifted high! There is life in a look at Christ. Oh friends, I wish that you would all believe this as I say it, for I would say it, not only with my lips, but with my heart! It is the best news that ever mortals told; yes, even angels from their glory never descended to earth with a message so sweet as this, — Christ is lifted high to be a great Saviour of great sinners; help is laid on One who is mighty. He sits on the throne above so that he may reign over sinners; he holds the sceptre of all worlds, so that he may stretch it out in mercy towards the guiltiest of the guilty. Only trust him, fall at his feet in penitence, confess your transgression, ask to be delivered from it, for this is God’s promise to his Son, that you and others like you shall come to him, and, coming to him, shall be drawn by the fact that he is such a glorious Christ, so adapted to your need in every way. May God give us grace to properly present a glorified Christ, then we shall soon have saved sinners who have been made to run to him!

21. III. And now, finally, the last verse of the text furnishes A DIVINE EXHORTATION: “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.”

22. Notice the connection between verses five and six: “Nations that did not know you shall run to you.” There is the absolute, unconditional promise; and then the very next verse says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found.” There is the unlimited exhortation to men, so that an exhortation to men is not inconsistent with the strongest doctrine of grace. Yes, more, the decree of God in no sense renders the effort of man unnecessary. “Nations shall run to you,” says the Father to his Son; and when he has said that, he turns around to the nations, and he says to them, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.” Salvation is free, and it is the gift of God’s grace; but oh, my hearer, you must seek it, you must call on God for it; and I would, in God’s name, stir you up to seek him now, and call on him now! Before you go to your bed, seek him who is ready to be found, call on him who is waiting to hear.

23. Notice, that there is put here a plea of a very encouraging kind: “Seek the Lord while he may be found,” that is the gospel day. “Call on him while he is near,” that is mercy’s day. I believe that, in such a congregation as this, when the gospel is being earnestly preached, there is a kind of propitious interval allowed to men. There is in grace, as well as in the matter of making a fortune, a “tide” which must be “taken at the flood,” and I think that there is a flood-tide just now for some of you. Listen to the music of the waters: “He may be found.” It is not true that Christ has gone away, and shut the door of mercy: “He may be found.” “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him.” He is not far off, he has not gone away, and shut the door behind him, and declared that he will never hear prayer again. “Call on him while he is near.” He is very near you just now; he is pleading with you. He has been blessing your neighbour; he has, by his grace, called one who sits in the same pew with you. “Call on him while he is near.”

24. There is also a warning, as well as an encouragement, in these words: “While he is near.” While mercy’s sun has not yet set, while yet the twelve hours of the day are not all counted out, — I mean, the day of the Lord’s longsuffering mercy, — please seek him for there is a day coming when you shall seek in vain, when you shall knock in vain, when once the Master of the house has risen up, and shut the door. That is clearly implied in our text: “Seek the Lord while he may be found.” There will come a time when he cannot be found; — I do not believe such a time is ever reached in this life; or, if so, very rarely; — but this life is very frail, and may end at any moment. Therefore, while it lasts, seek the Lord; for when this life is once over, you can never find him. I, at least, will have no complicity in that atrocious treason against God’s Word which leads men to believe that they may perhaps seek and find him in another state. I believe that, of all falsehoods that ever were preached: this is the most dangerous, and likely to do the most harm to men’s souls. It is very popular, I know; but what do I care about that? God’s servant is not to preach smooth things, but true things. This is what we have to preach, and we dare not go an inch beyond it, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe” — shall have another chance in a future state? Not so said the lips of perfect love and mercy, the lips of Christ himself; he said, “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe shall be damned.” There it stands in his Word, and there is nothing after it; there is no hope — smaller or “larger” — offered to any man who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Reject the Son of God, and what hope can there be for you? “How shall we escape if we neglect so a great salvation?” God incarnate bleeds and dies, and yet you will not be saved by him; then what can become of you? What must await you but “a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation?” He who will not have God himself to save him has deliberately committed spiritual suicide, and his blood must be on his own head. Therefore, please, heed the message of the text, “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near.” Make sure work of it, and do it at once. Trust Jesus; trust him entirely; trust him fully. Leave your sin, leave your self-righteousness, leave it all; give yourself up to Christ to be made holy, to be taught to do his will, and to be his servant all your days. Then, blessed be his name, he will save you, for God gave him on purpose so that he might do so, and he will, and the will of the Lord shall be done in you. Amen and Amen.

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Isa 53; 55:1-7}

53:1. Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed!

It is no new thing for gospel ministers to be disappointed. Even Isaiah; the most evangelical of all the prophets, who might well be placed at the head of the College of Preachers, feels compelled to say, in the name of all that sacred brotherhood, “Who has believed our report?” The report was a very plain one, a very earnest one, and very full of noble matter. Men ought to have believed it, but they did not, and they never will unless God’s arm is revealed, for faith is the product of Omnipotence, and men never believe in Christ until God stretches out his arm. Where was the difficulty of believing the report about Christ? Isaiah tells us about him, and as we listen, we understand why so many do not believe in him.

2. For he shall grow up before him —

That is, the Messiah shall grow up before God —

2. As a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor beauty; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

When Christ came, he was very lovely to those who could judge spiritual beauty. In form and beauty, he was unrivalled, but not to carnal men; they said, “Where is his royal splendour? Where is the majesty of his kingdom?” As they looked at the carpenter’s Son, they said, “Where are his riches?” They heard him say that he had nowhere to lay his head, and they despised such a Messiah. As he spoke in simple parables to the people, they asked, “Where is his wisdom?” So, to carnal eyes, the Saviour had “no form nor beauty.”

3. He is despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him.

Oh, how sad it is that the Son of the Most High God, when he condescended to wear our nature, received such base treatment as this from the hands of men! How equally sad is it that his glorious and ever-blessed gospel should still be the object of contempt to multitudes of men! They will not have it; they will have their own philosophy, — their own falsehoods, rather let us say, — but they despise Christ, and they do not esteem his gospel.

4. Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: —

Listen, you sad ones, you sorrowful ones! Let this sweet note charm you into joy: “He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.”

4. Yet we —

We, for whom he was the Substitute, for whom he smarted: “Yet we” —

4, 5. Esteemed him stricken, struck by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Wonderful medicine! Marvellous healing! Where shall we find the like. The Physician drinks the bitter draught, and so cures the patient; whoever heard of such a wonder as this? The Physician is put to death, and that great sacrifice heals the patient; whoever heard of such a thing as this before? The whole gospel in a nutshell lies in this verse: “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Now comes another wonderful verse, such as Luther was accustomed to call “a little Bible.” It begins with “all” and it ends with “all”

6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

There is your only hope of eternal life, sinner. You are among the “all” who went astray; if you are a believer in Christ, you will be found among the “all” whose iniquities were laid on him, and carried away by him.

7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he does not open his mouth.

Oh, the majesty of his silence! Never was eloquence equal to this: “He did not open his mouth.”

8. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: he was stricken for the transgression of my people.

They ought to have been stricken; their transgressions deserved the heavy blows of the rod of God’s wrath; yet, “he was stricken for the transgression of my people.”

9. And he made his grave with the wicked, —

He was crucified between two malefactors.

9. And with the rich in his death; —

He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

9. Because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

For that very reason he was qualified to bear our sin; because he had no sin of his own, therefore he could bear ours, and he did bear ours, and died, “the Just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God.”

10. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Do not be afraid, then, about the kingdom of Christ. Its interests are safe enough, for they are in his hands, and God has given the promise that his pleasure shall prosper there.

11. He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:

His death-pangs were our birth-pangs; and Christ shall see the results of his soul-anguish, and “shall be satisfied.”

11. By his knowledge —

Or, “by the knowledge of him,” —

11. Shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

There is no meaning at all in this chapter if it does not teach that Christ did take on himself the sin of his people, and did suffer in their room and place and stead. Let whoever will object to this doctrine, it is the gospel, the very heart and marrow of it; and there is nothing that can make a heavy heart glad until it sees sin removed by the death of Christ: “He shall bear their iniquities.”

12. Therefore I will divide with him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death:

He not only died, but he poured out his very soul to death.

12. And he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

We shall do well also to read part of the 55th chapter of Isaiah after this 53rd; the one is an admirable preparation for the other

55:1. Ho, everyone who thirsts; come to the waters, —

To the waters which flowed from that struck Rock of which we have been reading.

1-3. And he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread? And your labour for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come to me:

See, the way of salvation is through Ear-gate. We must hear the gospel, for it is not what we are to do, but what we are to receive that will save us; and we must come to God to hear it before we can receive it. “Faith comes by hearing.” Give a very earnest ear, then, to the preaching of the gospel of Christ: “Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” Again the Lord says, “Incline your ear, and come to me.”

3. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Someone says, “I can understand God making a covenant with David; but will he make a covenant with me?” Yes, and after the same sure tenor, too: “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” God will promise to bless you, and save you, and keep you, and present you in glory in the day of Christ’s appearing; and this shall be a covenant which shall never be broken. Though all other things are changed, yet that covenant shall stand secure for ever. It will fill you with joy when you understand that such a covenant as this is made with you; and you will say, as David did, “Although my house is not so with God; yet he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure.” Oh, what a blessing it is to have a share in this covenant!

4. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.

“I have given him”; that is, David’s greater Son, the true David, “I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.”

5. Behold, you —

That is, Jesus, the Son of David: “Behold, you” —

5-7. Shall call a nation that you do not know, and nations that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you. Seek the LORD while he may be found, call on him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Oh, that many may put this blessed promise to the test even now, for Christ’s sake! Amen,

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “God the Father, Attributes of God — Goodness Of God” 199}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — Christ And His Righteousness” 554}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God — ‘My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His’ ” 660}
 The Sword and the Trowel
 Table of Contents, September, 1897.
 “The Question Oak” at “Westwood” C. H. Spurgeon’s Impromptu Answers to Students’ Questions. (Continued)
 Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon’s Work-room. “Personal Notes” on a Text. The Lesson of the Lawns. By S. S.
 The Pastor’s Page. By Thomas Spurgeon. Illustrated Review of Dr. Wilson’s Eye-gate: or, Native Art in the Evangelization of China.
 “Seest thou this Woman?” A Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, delivered in 1856.
 Dr. John Owen and Richard Davis. By R. Shindler.
 The By-ways and By-gones of Life. By H. T. S. IX. — On Consecrated Ground.
 Indian Incidents and Illustrations. By Robert Spurgeon. XII. — Even Mohammedans Believe.
 “Our Own Men” and their Work. Pastor J. H. Cooper (with portrait). By Alfred Bird.
 “These Thirty Years.” By V. J. Charlesworth.
 Christians and Mohammedans. By Dr. Churcher.
 The Hop-pickers’ Mission. — A Reminder. By J. B.
 Notices of Books.
 Notes. — Official Notice concerning THE STANDARD OF “LIFE” of C. H. Spurgeon. Pastor Thomas Spurgeon’s 41st. Birthday. College. Orphanage. Colportage. Baptisms at Metropolitan Tabernacle and Haddon Hall.
 Lists of Contributions.

 Price, 3d.; post free, 4d.
 London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.

God the Father, Attributes of God
199 — Goodness Of God
1 Ye humble souls, approach your God
   With songs of sacred praise,
   For he is good, immensely good,
   And kind are all his ways.
2 All nature owns his guardian care,
   In him we live and move;
   But nobler benefits declare
   The wonders of his love.
3 He gave his Son, his only Son,
   To ransom rebel worms;
   ‘Tis here he makes his goodness known
   In its diviner forms.
4 To this dear refuge, Lord, we come;
   ‘Tis here our hope relies:
   A safe defence, a peaceful home,
   When storms of trouble rise.
5 Thine eye beholds with kind regard
   The soul that thrusts in thee;
   Their humble hope thou wilt reward
   With bliss divinely free.
6 Great God, to thy almighty love,
   What honours shall we raise?
   Not all the raptured songs above
   Can render equal praise.
                           Anne Steele, 1760.

Gospel, Received by Faith
554 — Christ And His Righteousness
1 No more, my God, I boast no more
   Of all the duties I have done;
   I quit the hopes I held before,
   To trust the merits of thy Son.
2 Now for the love I bear his name,
   What was my gain I count my loss;
   My former pride I call my shame,
   And nail my glory to his cross.
3 Yes, and I must and will esteem
   All things but loss for Jesus’ sake:
   Oh may my soul be found in him,
   And of his righteousness partake!
4 The best obedience of my hands
   Dares not appear before thy throne:
   But faith can answer thy demands,
   By pleading what my Lord has done.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

The Christian, Dedication To God
660 — “My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His”
1 When I had wander’d from his fold,
      His love the wanderer sought;
   When slave like into bondage sold,
      His blood my freedom bought.
2 Therefore that life, by him redeem’d,
      Is his through all its days;
   And as with blessings it hath teem’d,
      So let it teem with praise.
3 For I am his, and he is mine,
      The God whom I adore!
   My Father, Saviour, Comforter,
      Now and for evermore.
4 When sunk in sorrow, I despair’d,
      And changed my hopes for fears,
   He bore my griefs, my burden shared,
      And wiped away my tears.
5 Therefore the joy by him restored,
      To him by right belongs:
   And to my gracious loving Lord,
      I’ll sing through life my songs:
6 For I am his, and his is mine,
      The God whom I adore!
   My Father, Saviour, Comforter,
      Now and for evermore!
                     John S. B. Monsell, 1863.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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