2560. Universal Fatherhood, A Lie!

by on

No. 2560-44:121. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, February 1, 1883, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, March 13, 1898.

I speak what I have seen with my Father: and you do what you have seen with your father. {Joh 8:38}

1. These were the words of Christ to those who surrounded him with angry eyes and cruel tongues. Our Lord declared that he had been with his Father before he spoke with those wicked Jews; and indeed he had been, for he was with the Father before the worlds were formed. He saw all that the Father did, and he helped in doing it: “Without him was not anything made that was made.” He was the Father’s eternal delight. The relationship of father and son among man implies that one exists before the other, but it is not so implied in the relationship of the eternal Father and Son. We do not know how to explain this great mystery, for the terms Father and Son are only the nearest approximation that can be given to our poor understandings of the relationship which exists between them. Yet the Father is eternal and the Son is eternal, — the Son is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. Our Lord had an existence before he was born by Mary, — he had an everlasting existence; his goings were from of old, even from eternity. Though he is to us the Child born, and the Son given, yet he is equally “the Everlasting Father,” who was and is and always shall be one with the eternal God.

2. We learn, from what Christ said, that he knows all the Father’s mind. He understands the very essence of the Godhead, he is acquainted with the purposes that are kept secret from men and angels. As God, he knows what none of us can know until the day shall declare it, there is nothing in the Father’s heart that is hidden from him. As the Son of man, he did not know all things; for he grew up as a child, and increased in knowledge; and he said, “Of that day and that hour no man knows, no, not the angels who are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” But as Divine, he is acquainted with all the Father’s heart, and mind, and will, and desire, and purpose, and plan. The very heart of God is read by his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who dwells in it, and is one with him.

3. We ought to be very grateful that the Son of God has come into the world, and told us all that we need to know concerning the Father. “I speak,” he says, “what I have seen with my Father.” First he saw it all with such an eye as no one else has, and then he came here, and spoke of it all, or as much of it as it was possible and wise for man to receive. Let us rejoice in the preaching of Christ, because he testified what he had seen. What he said, was no theory, no guess-work; he revealed fact, and what he has told us concerning God is stamped with the solemn seal of infallible truth, for Christ cannot err or make mistakes, he has told us what he has seen, and testified what he has known. Oh, for grace to receive his witness! He who receives it shall live for ever; he who rejects it shall die the death that never dies.

4. Then, underlying this fact follows another very consolatory thought, — that, if Christ’s teaching is indeed the revelation of what he has seen with the Father, then we are quite certain, since God is never inconsistent with himself, that there is nothing in the secret purpose and design of God which is contrary to the gospel which Christ has revealed. When I read, therefore, “Whoever wills, let him take the water of life freely,” I need not fear lest any doctrine of election or predestination will be in conflict with that invitation. If I hear Christ say, “He who believes in me has everlasting life,” I may be quite sure that it is so. There is nothing in the sealed Book of the Divine Decrees that is contrary to the open Book of Divine Revelation. There is no passage in the mysterious roll of destiny that, rightly understood, can conflict in any degree with any part of the Volume which the Spirit of God has given us. This ought to make us very glad. I may sit down, and pore over the tremendous mysteries of fixed fate, foreknowledge, predestination, and the like, until I confuse my mind, and make my spirit heavy with a thousand gloomy thoughts about things I cannot understand; but what a mercy it is to say, “He has said it; ‘He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.’ ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ ” It cannot be that God is keeping back in his mind something that is contrary to what he has spoken: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” I rejoice to know that neither has Christ seen wrongly, nor is there anything which he has seen which would conflict with what he has said to us.

5. I want you, dear friends, to look at the text, and to notice two or three things that come out, as it were, incidentally. The first is, that the doctrine of the universal fatherhood of God is a lie. That is clear enough from this passage: “I speak what I have seen with my Father: and you do what you have seen with your father.” Then, there are two fathers, and there are two sets of children; there is a Father whom Christ calls, “My Father”; and there is another father whom he calls, in speaking to the Jews who hated him, “your father.” The prayer beginning, “Our Father, who is in heaven,” was never meant to be used by everyone; in the mouth of the ungodly, it is altogether out of place, for God is not their Father. “You must be born again” before you can be the children of God. The scriptural statement is clear and distinct: “As many as received him, he gave power to them to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in his name.” We are constantly spoken of as being begotten again, regenerated, and adopted by God, all of which is a farce and a nullity if men are by creation, and by their first natural birth, the children of God. It is not so: “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked one.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God”; and the distinction is placed between “us” who have received this “manner of love,” and the multitude who are still the seed of the wicked one. This truth needs to be proclaimed very forcibly; and the axe must be laid to the root of that deadly upas tree {a} of universal fatherhood, for all manner of mischief will result if unconverted men are led to believe that they are already the sons of God. They are not so until they have been divinely translated out of the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.

6. Another fact that is incidentally taught to us here is, that there is a devil. A great many of the devil’s servants are so disrespectful to their lord that they even deny his existence; and the devil himself is so self-denying in this respect that he denies his own existence, and motivates other people to do the same. Men squeezed the Lord’s prayer very hard when they made it read, “Deliver us from evil,” for it is pretty clear that it ought to be, “Deliver us from the evil one.” There is a distinct enunciation of a great master-power of evil, a dread personality, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conduct in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” until grace brought us out from that terrible state. Those who have started on the road to heaven know that there is a devil, for they have had many an evil thought that did not come from themselves or from their fellow men, — strange, dark, mysterious thoughts, which have rushed on them from the infernal regions and nowhere else; and those who have stood foot to foot with Apollyon, as Christian did, know very well that he is neither a myth nor a dream, but an awful and powerful adversary, from whom may God deliver us from day to day! Even his errand boys, his imps, are terrible enough, for Paul was hard pressed when he was vexed by a messenger of Satan, who buffeted him. But as for Satan himself, when he comes to fight with a soul, woe to that man unless he has the almighty power of God to enable him to bear up in the day of battle! Our Lord Jesus Christ here speaks of Satan as being just as real as the Father is: “I speak what I have seen with my Father: and you do what you have seen with your father.” Then he says, in the 44th verse, “You are of your father the devil, and you will do the lusts of your father.” I quite expect, one of these days, to meet a man who will tell me that I have neither eyes, nor ears, nor head, nor body, nor soul, nor anything else. Sometimes I have said to myself, “Surely, the course of doubting can go no further; men have reached the uttermost absurdity of unbelief.” But, brethren, we know, to our joy, that there is a Father in heaven, — the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and, sometimes, we also know to our terror that there is another father of another family, against whom we fight in full assurance of victory, rejoicing that “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under our feet shortly.”

7. Still, those are not the main truths I want to bring out of the text; let them be set aside to be thought about, but for now think of this truth, — that nature is the root of character. That is the doctrine taught in this text, — that conduct is the result of nature, for Christ says, “I speak what I have seen with my Father”; and to his enemies he says, “You do what you have seen with your father.” A child talks according to his nature. Does he have good training at home? Does he live with godly parents? Hear him prattle, and you will soon find out where he came from. Listen to another child, who has lived in very different circumstances, one who has been brought up amid evil of every kind; as you hear him talk, you learn from what kind of family he came. It is the real nature of a person which produces the conversation and the conduct. It is not good actions that make a good man; it is the good man who does the good actions. It is not the sweet apples that make the tree sweet, but it is the sweetness of the sap, the excellence of the tree, which produces the good apples. So, you see, there is a great deal more to be done than to alter your talk and your actions; our very nature has to be changed. That is the truth I want to bring out before I close my discourse.

8. I. Notice, first, that OUR BLESSED LORD PROVED HIS OWN PARENTAGE BY WHAT HE SAID: “I speak what I have seen with my Father.”

9. Though I cannot put my thoughts into words as I would like, it seems so beautiful to me that our Lord Jesus Christ should be called the Holy Child Jesus, and that all his life-teaching should be, as it were, a child telling what he has seen at home. You have sometimes heard a pretty little guileless child telling out all that she has seen while with her father and mother, and disclosing even the innermost secrets of the family with naivete and sweetness; and you have, perhaps, laughed heartily as you have seen how everything has been laid bare by that little talker’s tongue. Now transfer that idea, on a sublime scale, to Christ. He comes, as the Holy Child Jesus, not to tell us of the grandeur of God, but as though he condescends to take on himself our child-nature in its immaturity, he tells us, as a child, what he has seen with the Father. It is such a blessed way of letting us know the secrets of God’s heart for the Only-Begotten, the Well-Beloved, to come and tell to us, who are made by grace the younger members of the family, all that he has seen with the Father.

10. When we listen to Christ, we say at once that he speaks to us words of love. “Never a man spoke like this Man.” He was tenderness itself. He spoke so winsomely, and his words were so full of affection, that “the common people heard him gladly”; yes, and even the tax collectors and sinners drew near to him to hear him. The first words of hope they ever heard fell from his dear lips. The teachers of the law were chilly and cold, and they froze up every thought of joy in the poor sinner’s soul; but the words of Christ were warm with brotherly affection, for he spoke of what he had seen with the Father. What had he seen with the Father but love, — love unutterable, love illimitable, love that endures for ever, for “God is love?”

11. Yet Christ also spoke words of justice. God is not so much love that any true attribute which ought to be found in a perfect character is absent, and therefore God is just. True Christianity is never dubious about the justice of God. The Lord abhors sin, he cannot endure it; he “will by no means clear the guilty.” The tone of the chapter I have read to you seems severe; so it should be when spoken to hypocrites like those scribes and Pharisees. Do you expect God to treat them with anything but severity? When our Lord Jesus Christ declares that the wicked shall be cast into hell, “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched,” when he says, “These shall go away into everlasting punishment,” you see the sternness of divine justice. Turn back to the Old Testament, and see whether this is not just the Jehovah who was the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; the righteous God who burned up Sodom and Gomorrah, and destroyed Pharaoh and his hosts in the Red Sea. I confess that I have been as ready to tremble at the words of Jesus as at the tempest, fire, and smoke of Sinai’s burning hill, for love, when it speaks terrible things, makes them more awful because of love. Nothing causes the darkness of the tempest to stand out so terribly as that one bright flash of lightning that makes it afterwards seem darker than before; and when, in the gentle words of Christ, we see the gleam of God’s wondrous love, we feel confounded before the terror of many of his warnings, because he speaks what he has seen with his Father; he keeps back nothing. He proclaims the God of love, but he proclaims that God who shall come, and shall not keep silence, and who shall judge the nations in righteousness, and strike the wicked with a rod of iron.

12. Yet notice always about our blessed Master this trait in the character of his speech, that he always speaks words of truth. To Christ’s sermons there need never be appended any list of errata. He has neither left anything out, nor left anything in by mistake. Nearly two millennia have tried and tested the teachings of Jesus, and perhaps this century, with all its unbelief, does the character of Christ more honour than any century that has gone before it; and certainly the influence of Christ is felt today in places of which people little dream. I heard one say that, when our soldiers in the fight in Egypt stopped to put water to the lips of the thirsty enemies whom a century ago our troops would have slain at once, it was because the Christ was shadowing them! They felt his influence, though possibly most of them were not Christians at all. Everywhere the Christ is putting down barbarism in some form or other, and helping to amend the character of men; they are girded by him though they have not known him. He has never had to alter or to revise his teaching, though our explanation of the teaching has had to be corrected. There have been prophets and teachers, not sent by God, who, to establish a system of doctrine, or a sect or denomination, have had to keep back or to exaggerate something or other; but it was not so with Christ, he spoke the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for he had been with the Father, and as a child he told what he had seen in the Father’s house.

13. So I might keep on bringing out various points about our Lord’s teaching, but I will only mention one other, and that is, the supreme holiness of the words of Christ. Jesus Christ, with all his gentleness and love, never tolerates sin. That narrative in this chapter, in which he said to the adulteress, “Neither do I condemn you,” has never made any other woman commit adultery; and it has never helped a single conscience to find delight in unhallowed lust. No; the brightness of that glorious tenderness is as the shining of the terrible crystal. It is so pure in its tenderness that, while it is gentle with the sinner — and may we always be so! — yet it is all the more severe with the sin from its very gentleness. Christ never helps us to be selfish, or to excuse ourselves, or to be hypocritical, covering up our sin with a cloak of godliness. No; but his teaching is pure, transparent righteousness from beginning to end, and we feel as if we could bow down before him, and worship him with the very same adoration with which the cherubim and seraphim greet the Father, and say to Christ, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God and Saviour, our very hearts worship you!” The teaching of Jesus is holy because he speaks the things which he has seen with his Father.

14. II. Now I go to my second point, which is that, like their Lord, CHRIST’S PEOPLE SHOULD ALSO DISPLAY THEIR PARENTAGE. They should speak what they have seen with their Father; and, brothers and sisters, you and I are not the children of God if it is not so with us. We begin to suspect the parentage of any who have no resemblance to their reputed parents, — no family trait or feature whatever; and certainly, in spiritual things, he who is in no respect like Christ, may begin to suspect that he is not a true-born child of God, but merely bears the name, and has not come by supernatural descent from the Most High.

15. Notice, first, that children of God have in a measure the nature of their Father. We are not full-grown yet, some of us are very tiny babes; and it is not always easy to detect the father’s likeness in his infant. That likeness comes out as the child grows, and as the man appears; we are struck, sometimes, with the similarity between father and son, though we could scarcely trace it while the boy was very little. It is so with us in relationship to our Heavenly Father; in regeneration, the nature of God is imparted to us; — not, of course, that high and incommunicable essence of the Godhead which belongs to God alone, but the character and disposition of God become ours. Did not the apostle Peter write, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us to glory and virtue: by which are given to us very great and precious promises: so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust?” The Spirit of God, in regeneration, creates in man a third principle which, I believe, was not there before. He is only body and soul until this miracle is performed, but then he becomes body, soul, and spirit; he rises into a higher sphere, and enters into another world, into which he could not have come before. “The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “The first man Adam was made a living soul”; and we are made in his likeness. “The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit” and when we, by being born again, receive his likeness: then we participate in that quickening, and rise into the nature and image of God. There is a “living and incorruptible seed, which lives and endures for ever,” and which becomes our life in that day when, by the power of the Spirit of the eternal God, we are “begotten again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” This is a deep mystery, and blessed are those who need not merely talk about it, because every day they know its power. Now, where there is the nature of God, there will be a likeness to God; and you and I must have a measure of likeness to our great Father, or else it cannot be right for us to say that we are born by him.

16. Next, the children of God, when they are in a right state of heart, live with their Father. If you send your children away to school, and they never come home to see you, they may grow up with very little of your characteristics, for they are apt to be impressed by those where they live. Those who are born by God live with God. Moses said, “Lord, you have been our dwelling-place in all generations”; and the apostle John wrote, “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” It is our delight to go to our Father, and to speak with him. We dwell in God, even as Christ said to his disciples, “Remain in me, and I in you.” You cannot live with a man without growing more or less like him; and, certainly, no child of God can live with God, and contemplate the person and character of Christ so as to remain in him, without becoming changed into his image, “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

17. Children have a natural gift of imitation; so, God’s children imitate their Father. Paul’s words in Ephesians should read, “Be imitators of God, as dear children.” {Eph 5:1} It is very curious to see how children will imitate their parents. Was there ever a preacher whose boy did not stand on a chair, and try to preach? Was there ever a man who laid bricks, or used a saw, who has not caught his children doing the same kind of thing? Was there ever a girl who did not seem to know what she would come to in being a nurse of little children, and therefore naturally took to nursing a doll? It is the habit of children to imitate; they cannot help it. Well now, if we are the children of God, and if we dwell with God, the instinct of imitation will certainly reveal itself, and we shall try to be doing, in our small way, those deeds of kindness and love, those acts of righteousness and holiness, which God is doing; and it will be said of us in our measure, “You do what you have seen with your Father.”

18. Then, in addition, God’s children tell what they hear. There is, in a child, the instinct always to tell what he hears. I am afraid that I have not lost that instinct myself, though I am no longer a child; I never like to be entrusted with anyone’s secrets, and I generally give people notice that, if they want them published abroad, they have only to share them with me. It stops me from being bothered with a lot of things that will be sure to get known without my telling them. Children cannot keep a secret; it is no use to tell them to do so. If there is any family secret at all, the children must not only be put to bed at night, but they must be kept in bed all day, for “little pitchers have large ears,” and they also have a great gift of running over. Children tell just the very thing that you do not want them to say, and say it just at the very time when you would rather not have it said. So, the children of God must tell what they have seen of their Father. As soon as they have ever heard of the great Father’s love, something makes them want to run out of doors, and find someone to whom they can say, “Did you ever hear this wonderful story?” Perhaps that “someone” has no sympathy with them; but he is bound to hear what they have to say; and then off they go to someone else to ask whether he ever heard this good news. Though they may be ridiculed and laughed at, yet these dear children of God will keep telling the blessed story. The more a man has learned of Christ, the more, I believe, he will want to tell the endless and untellable story of what he has seen with the Father. I have known some professedly Christian people who hardly like to be spoken to about the things of God; but it ought not to be so. Let the dear children talk about their Lord as much as they ever like, — at the street corners, if they please, or at the dinner table. Anywhere and everywhere, a good word for God ought never to be out of season. Surely, there is no place where a word about the precious Saviour will be out of order. What if we do sometimes cast pearls before swine? We have so many of them that we can afford to let the wretched creatures munch one or two; and if they do turn again, and rend us, we can endure even this in the hope that, afterwards, they may be sorry for it, and God may rend and renew their hearts. Therefore, do not be bashful, you who know the Lord, but say with emphasis, “I must speak what I have seen with my Father.”

19. III. Now I have to finish on the gloomy side of the subject, namely, that THE DEVIL’S FAMILY PARTAKE OF THE DEVIL’S NATURE, and they are sure to speak what they have seen with their father.

20. For example, there are some who are very spiteful, and speak with enmity, especially regarding Christian people. They cannot bear them, they never have a good word for them. They denounce their motives, if they cannot find fault with their actions. I do not wonder that they do so, because their father did so a long while ago. One of his names is, “the accuser of the brethren”; and it was said to him of old, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.” There is always that enmity, and we expect to see it, so we are not surprised; but we are grieved for any of you who, by your speech, betray your hatred for the people of God, and so reveal the fact that you are children of Satan. One said, “I would like to kill all Christians. I hate them, I cannot endure them, especially if they are very earnest; I would have such fellows hung.” Did not one say, the other day, of a certain minister, that he wished he had been killed in the accident? Yes, he did; and that is the feeling that some have toward those who are true Christians. What did the Jews say concerning Paul? “Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.” That is the way the devil’s children still talk; for they hear it at home with their father. Did Satan ever have a good word for our Father? No; then he will never have a good word for his children. When, sometimes, he has spoken a true word, he has tried, with fiendish malice, to undermine the cause of Christ by praising it; but you remember how Paul and Silas would not let the devil praise them, they immediately silenced his mouth. The highest compliment the devil can pay to virtue, is to hate it. It is the unconscious homage that evil must pay to goodness to loathe it, even as Satan loathes all that is good and right.

21. Besides this, the devil’s children frequently speak untruths. There are some who lie in trade, and some who lie in jest; they call them “white lies.” If this is the case with anyone here, do not deceive yourself, my friend. You know who was a liar from the beginning, and the father of lies; and those who cannot or will not speak the truth, are the children of that ancient liar, and they will have to go home to their father one of these days. They are not the children of God, for God’s children abhor a lie. When their word is once given, they will stand by it even to their own loss. If you are not true, you have not been with the great Father of truth, and you must have learned falsehood from the great father of lies.

22. There are some, too, who are wickedly proud, — proud of their person, proud of the rags they wear, proud of their abilities, proud of their position, proud of their ancestors, proud of I do not know what, — too haughty almost to come near a commonplace person. Yes, they learned that from their father, for Lucifer is the very prince of pride. “By that sin the angels fell,” and those who are like the fallen angels live in that sin. I beseech you, fling away all pride; may God help you soon to be rid of it altogether!

23. Then there is another trait which is common enough in many people, and that is, self-will. They are not going to be ruled and governed, and tied to their mother’s apron-strings; they will have their own way. If they suffer for it, they will do as they like, and be their own master. Yes, and they learned that from their father, for that is the way he talked of old. “Better,” he said, “to reign in hell than serve in heaven,” according to Milton; and Milton has only put into words the spirit of that fallen one. He is rebellious, he cannot endure authority, he will not yield to God; the word “obey” is one which he cannot tolerate. Oh, let those who are living in disobedience to God, in utter carelessness, as lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, — self-seekers who never give a thought to what they owe to their Creator and their Lord, — let them understand that all this betrays whose children they are, and where they were brought up. Does anyone get angry at my speech, and say, “I will hear no more of it?” That is like your father, too. And do you gnash your teeth, and bite your tongues? That is like your father, too: “You do what you have seen with your father.”

24. What shall be the conclusion of my discourse? Why, my dear friends, that it is of very little use for you to try and change your outward character, and your language, and so forth, first. What you need is for your nature to be changed. When the fountain is made sweet, the streams will be sweet; but, until the source is sweetened, what comes out of it will still be impure. “You must be born again.” Do you ask, “How can that be?” Well, there is a very wonderful connection between being born again and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Read the third chapter of John’s Gospel, and notice how our Lord not only said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again,” but he also said, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: so that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Believe in Christ, and you are born again. That act of faith is an indication that the new birth has taken place. The moment that God gives you the grace to trust yourself with Christ, he has also renewed your nature; that act of trusting in Christ is like the first snowdrop that tells us that spring is near. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you are a new man in Christ. Then live with your Father, and go out and tell all that you have seen with your Father, and may God bless you, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

{a} Upas: An evergreen tree in the family Moraceae, native to south-eastern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka east to southern China, the Philippines and Fiji; closely related species also occur in eastern Africa. It produces a highly poisonous latex, known in Java as “Upas,” from the Javanese word for "poison". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upas

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 8:12-45}

12, 13. Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, “I am the light of the world: he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The Pharisees —

These wasps were always stinging him; when he drove them away once, they quickly returned to attack him again: “The Pharisees” —

13-15. Therefore said to him, “You bear record of yourself; your record is not true.” Jesus answered and said to them; “Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you cannot tell where I come from, and where am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no man.

He did not come for that purpose the first time; he will come, a second time, to judge all mankind.

16. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father who sent me.

You see, brethren, how our Lord Jesus claimed to be God, for he put himself here in such a connection with God as would be quite inconsistent for any mere man. This is what Paul meant when he said that Christ “did not think it to be robbery to be equal with God,” he thought it was not a prize to be grasped, for it was already his.

17, 18. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one who bears witness of myself, and the Father that sent me bears witness of me.”

He did that by the miracles which Christ performed; and they proved that he was indeed sent by God.

19. Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You neither know me, nor my Father: if you had known me, you should have known my Father also.”

They thought they knew his reputed father Joseph; they thought they also knew all about Christ, the carpenter’s Son; but there is more in Christ than carnal eyes can ever see. There is more in Christ than the most enlightened understanding, if it is only natural understanding, can ever perceive. These blind bats, the Pharisees, neither knew Christ nor the Father. If they had known him, they would have known the Father, for Christ is “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.”

20. Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

Like our Lord, every child of God is immortal until his work is done. This ought to divest us of every kind of fear. The enemy cannot lay hands on a Christian until his Lord wills it; and when his hour has come, then it does not behove the child of God to resist the Father’s will.

21. Then Jesus said again to them, “I go my way, and you shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: where I go, you cannot come.”

Oh, what a terrible sentence is that! I pray that the Lord may never say that to any of us, “Where I go, you cannot come.” That would be the death — knell of all our hopes, and would make our life one long banishment. Blessed be his name, we who have sought him, and have found him, know that we shall not die in our sins; and where he has gone, we shall also go.

22, 23. Then the Jews said, “Will he kill himself? because he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” And he said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above:

You are of a grovelling nature; your thoughts rise out of the abyss where every evil dwells.

23, 24. You are from this world; I am not from this world. Therefore I said to you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you do not believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins.”

If you have no faith in Christ as the Son of God, “you shall die in your sins.” What an awful thing it will be to die in your sins! What grave-clothes for your eternal burial! What a robe of fire in which to lie down for your long sleep, and then to find no sleep because of it! “You shall die in your sins.” I should like this short, stern sentence to ring in the ears of every unbeliever. This is not my word, but Christ’s own word, — the word of the most loving and tender Saviour: “If you do not believe that I am he, you shall die in your sins.”

25-29. Then they said to him, “Who are you?” And Jesus says, to them, “Even the same that I said to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you: but he who sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you shall know that I am he, and that I do nothing by myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things. And he who sent me is with me:

This made Christ’s life so calm, so deeply joyful amid all its sorrow. “He who sent me is with me.” Servant of God, can you say the same? If so, it is your joy, your confidence your strength. God grant that each one of us may experience that blessed presence of our Lord!

29. The Father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that please him.”

Christ could truly say that. Oh, that it might be true of us, too!

30, 31. As he spoke these words, many believed in him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed;

“If you became my disciples because of what I said, will you believe what I shall yet say? Are you prepared to take in still further revelations, and to receive whatever I shall teach you? If so, ‘then you are my disciples indeed’ ”

32. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Some who heard this message of our Lord caught at it; they were always on the watch for anything to criticize and contradict, and therefore —

33, 34. They answered him, “We are Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man. How can you say, ‘You shall be made free?’ ” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, ‘Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.’

Or, “the slave of sin.” There is the test of your position; if you do the devil’s dirty work, you are his servant. If you delight in sin then you can hear your fetters clank if the ears of your conscience are only open: “Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.”

35-37. And the servant does not remain in the house for ever: but the Son remains for ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. I know that you are Abraham’s seed;

“I know what a boast you make of that.”

37-39. But you seek to kill me, because, my word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with my Father: and you do what you have seen with your father.” They answered and said to him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus had admitted that, as a matter of temporal descent; but he denied it as a matter of real fact.

39-45. Jesus says to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I have heard from God: Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to him, “We are not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded and came from God; neither did I come by myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and you will do the lusts of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not remain in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me.”

May he never have to say this to any of us!

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 15” 15}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Desires After Holiness — Holiness Desired” 653}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Life on Earth — His Divine Example” 262}

Spirit of the Psalms
Psalm 15
1 Lord, I would dwell with thee,
      On thy most holy hill:
   Oh shed thy grace abroad in me,
      To mould me to thy will.
2 Thy gate of pearl stands wide
      For those who walk upright;
   But those who basely turn aside
      Thou chasest from thy sight.
3 Oh tame my tongue to peace,
      And tune my heart to love;
   From all reproaches may I cease,
      Made harmless as a dove.
4 The vile, though proudly great,
      No flatterer find in me;
   I count thy saints of poor estate
      Far nobler company.
5 Faithful, but meekly kind;
      Gentle, yet boldly true;
   I would possess the perfect mind
      Which in my Lord I view.
6 But, Lord, these graces all
      Thy Spirit’s work must be:
   To thee, through Jesus’ blood I call,
      Create them all in me.
                  Charles H. Spurgeon, 1866.

The Christian, Desires After Holiness
653 — Holiness Desired
1 Lord, I desire to live as one
      Who bears a blood bought name,
   As one who fears but grieving thee,
      And knows no other shame.
2 As one by whom thy walk below
      Should never be forgot;
   As one who fain would keep apart
      From all thou lovest not.
3 I want to live as one who knows
      Thy fellowship of love;
   As one whose eyes can pierce beyond
      The pearl built gates above.
4 As one who daily speaks to thee,
      And hears thy voice divine
   With depth of tenderness declare,
      “Beloved! thou art mine.”
                  Charitie Lees Smith, 1861.

Jesus Christ, Life on Earth
262 — His Divine Example
1 My dear Redeemer and my Lord,
   I read my duty in thy Word;
   But in thy life the law appears
   Drawn out in living characters.
2 Such was thy truth, and such thy zeal,
   Such deference to thy Father’s will,
   Such love, and meekness so divine,
   I would transcribe and make them mine.
3 Cold mountains and the midnight air
   Witness’d the fervour of thy prayer;
   The desert thy temptation knew,
   Thy conflict and thy victory too.
4 Be thou my pattern; make me bear
   More of thy gracious image here;
   Then God the Judge shall own my name
   Amongst the followers of the Lamb.
                        Isaac Watts, 1709.

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