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2606. Choice Teaching For The Chosen

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No. 2606-45:37. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, October 21, 1883, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, January 22, 1899.

It is written in the prophets, “And they shall be all taught by God.” Therefore every man who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me. {Joh 6:45}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2386, “Drawings of Divine Love, The” 2387}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2606, “Choice Teaching for the Chosen” 2607}
   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"}

1. I suppose that you never noticed any great literary excellence in Bradshaw’s Railway Guide. “No,” you say, “fine writing would be very much out of place in such a book as that; it is meant to be a plain direction to travellers. When we consult it, we do not wish to be entertained, we want to be guided concerning the best and quickest route to our desired destination.” Well, that is the kind of sermon I am going to try to preach, one which, I trust, shall be a guide to heaven for some who hear it, or who may afterwards read it; I long, above all things, that through my words many may find rest and peace in Jesus Christ our Lord.

2. Notice, dear friends, what our Saviour was aiming at in this discourse. The Jews had been murmuring at him; certain followers of the scribes and Pharisees, who always opposed him, had been whispering among themselves, and finding fault with him. Our Lord did not condescend to come down to their level, and parley with them. They pretended that their difficulty was that he was well known among them, that he was the son of Joseph the carpenter, and that they knew his mother, and his brothers and sisters. Our Lord does not appear to answer them immediately, but he takes quite a different tack. He says, “Do not murmur among yourselves about this matter. Do not imagine for a moment that I am disappointed because you do not believe in me, and do not suppose that your unbelief will at all frustrate my Father’s purpose or surprise him. You may reject me if you are determined to do so; but your folly and sin will make no difference to anyone except yourselves. On your own head shall be the guilt of your own blood. I knew that you would not believe in me; I quite expected that you would not receive me, for ‘No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him: and I will raise him up on the last day.’ ” And, beloved, in a similar way, when we are pleading with you that you should believe in Christ, we must weep over you as Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and we may say, as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “We were gentle among you, even as a mother cherishes her children”; but when you come to this terrible decision, that you reject Christ, and will not have him to reign over you, then we fall back on the eternal purposes of God, and we tell you that you have not received either the electing love of God or the effective working of the Holy Spirit, and you are left to perish in your sins.

3. To the ungodly and the unspiritual, this may sound like rather harsh language; but should not men be treated with some measure of harshness if they spurn the Christ who is set before them, and in their unbelief wickedly reject him? True love is all the more loving because it is outspoken, and sometimes seems even severe. There is a spurious kind of love current, nowadays, which consists in saying, “Ah, yes! you are all right, and I am all right; you say, ‘No,’ and I say, ‘Yes’; but, no doubt, we are both equally correct. You are black, and I am white; or I am black, and you are white; but, in these days, black is white, and white is no colour at all. Let us make things smooth and pleasant all around; you praise me, and I will praise you. It does not really matter what you believe, or what you think, we shall all be right at last,” That kind of talk, or the preaching which comes practically to the same point, is infernal cruelty to immortal souls; I dare not use a milder term to describe it. It may be extolled as charity, but there is no charity in it. It is a shameful selfishness which, for the sake of ease and popular favour, cries, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace”; and seduces men to their own destruction, playing to them merry tunes when, all the while, they are dancing down to death and to hell. Our Lord Jesus Christ was not a preacher of that kind. When men refused him, he flashed the red light of truth in their faces, and made them know that, if they rejected him, they rejected their only hope for mercy, and if they turned against his grace, it was because they did not know its power, and were not under its influence. He taught these people, who murmured at him, that they never would believe in him unless the Father taught them. He plainly declared that the Father would teach all his own, and that, if those who were listening to him did not come to him, it would prove that the Father had not taught them, that they were not God’s chosen, and, therefore, they would perish in their carnal and guilty ignorance of Christ.

4. Now coming to the text, I shall ask you to notice, first, the promise of the Father’s teaching of his own people:“ It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught by God.’ ” Then, secondly, we shall examine the teaching itself:“ They shall be all taught by God”; and, thirdly, we shall consider the grand result of the teaching:“ Therefore every man who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.”

5. I. To begin, then, there is, in the text, THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER’S TEACHING OF HIS OWN PEOPLE.

6. Christ says, concerning this promise, “It is written in the prophets.” I greatly admire that sentence because, if there ever was anyone in this world who might have spoken on his own authority, without quoting Scripture, it was our Lord Jesus Christ. “In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,” and, therefore, all his sayings are the utterances of Omnipotence; and he often, when on the earth, made use of that great double Amen, “Truly, truly, I say to you.” Yet this Divine Teacher, who spoke as never a man spoke, continually quoted from the Old Testament, and supported his own teachings by quotations from “the law and the prophets,” and the psalmists and other inspired writers. In this case, addressing himself to the Jews, he says, “It is written in the prophets.” The tendency, nowadays, even among preachers, is to depreciate and dishonour Holy Scripture; I am often saddened as I find how many are criticizing one part or another of the Sacred Word. To my heart, there is nothing more authoritative or more conclusive than this little sentence, “It is written.” If God’s message to men is written, that is enough for me; and my great concern shall be to find out what that message really is. Every man must have infallibility somewhere, Some find it in the Pope; but I frankly confess that I have never seen the slightest sign of it there. Some find it in what they call “the church.” I am sure I do not know in which church to look for it, for all of them seem to me to be very, very fallible. I find infallibility in the inspired Word of God. Here is a harbour where I can drop down my anchor, feeling certain that it will hold. Here is a place where I can find sure footing; and, by the grace of God, from this confidence I shall never be moved. “It is written in the prophets,” is quite enough for me; I trust, beloved, that it is also sufficient for all of you.

7. So that we may learn the lesson that our Lord intended to teach, let us look at the words which he quoted. He said, “It is written in the prophets”; and, truly, the passage or its equivalent may be found in more places than I shall be able to refer to now; but will you kindly look first to the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah, at the thirteenth verse? Ah! I see the eyes of you Bible-lovers flash, and I think I hear you say, “Fifty-fourth of Isaiah? Why, of course, that follows just after the fifty-third of Isaiah!” Precisely so; and that fifty-third of Isaiah, as you well know, is all about Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice. There we have the full-length portrait of the bleeding Substitute: “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.” Many of you know by heart that blessed chapter, so full of the doctrine of God laying on Christ the sin of his people, and of Christ bearing all their iniquities, so that they might be free for ever. Well, immediately after that great central truth of the Christian faith, comes this fifty-fourth chapter: “Sing, oh barren, you who did not bear; break out into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child”: for there is no better place for anyone to sing than at the foot of the cross, gazing by faith at the crucified Saviour. Oh earth, with all your barrenness; oh heart of steel, with all your hardness; “break out into singing,” for there is heavenly joy, and there is the promise of heaven itself in the death of him who lived, and loved, and died for us!

8. Further on in the fifty-fourth chapter comes this thirteenth verse, from which our Saviour quoted: “And all your children shall be taught by the Lord; and great shall be the peace of your children.” This is a promise to the Lord’s own people. The teaching of Scripture is that Christ died for his chosen: “Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it,” God’s promise, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord,” is made to his own church, and to all who are the children of that church, namely, all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. All God’s chosen, all whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, all whom Christ has redeemed by his blood, shall be, each according to his measure, in due time taught by the Lord.

9. That is the meaning of the promise as we get it in Isaiah’s prophecy; first, it follows the doctrine of substitution; and, next, it is made to God’s chosen people.

10. Now will you turn over a few pages in your Bible, and read what is written in the thirty-first chapter of the prophecy of Jeremiah, beginning at the thirty-first verse? “ ‘Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their forefathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ says the Lord: ‘but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days,’ says the Lord, ‘I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord": for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ says the Lord: ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.’ ” So, you see, this promise is joined with other blessings of the new covenant. Notice that, when our Saviour quoted the prophecy, he began with the word “and.” Now, as a general rule, when you make a quotation, you do not begin with “and.” That is a copulative conjunction which joins one sentence to another; yet our Lord begins with an “and,” as if to hint that there was a great deal going before it of which he could not fully speak on just then. There is “an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure,” which God has made with Christ Jesus his Son on our behalf; and all who were represented by Christ became, by virtue of their union with him, partakers in all the blessings of that covenant. Our side of it has been fulfilled by Christ our Representative; he has done the Father’s will perfectly, and he has been able to say concerning the part entrusted to him, “It is finished.” The side of the covenant which has yet to be fulfilled is God the Father’s portion, and that runs like this, “I will, and they shall”; — “I will be their God, and they shall be my people. I will put my fear in their hearts, so that they shall not depart from me. I will instruct them so that they shall not need to have anyone to say to them, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” What a wonderful promise this is! It is perfectly unconditional, and freely made by the Father concerning all his chosen.

11. As it stands in these two prophecies, as our Saviour quotes it, it is a promise made to each individual of the chosen seed:“ They shall be all taught by God.” Then there shall not be one true child of God who shall not be taken into the Lord’s school, and be taught and trained by the Divine Father. Perhaps someone asks the very important question, “Do I belong to that blessed number?” Let me reply by making another enquiry, “Have you been truly taught by the Lord?” If so, you belong to the chosen company. If you have not been taught by the Lord, I cannot tell whether you are his, or not; none of us can climb to heaven, and unroll the eternal parchments, to tell whose name is written there; and until there is some open and, overt evidence of your being the Lord’s I cannot declare that you are. But by this test you shall know it; if you have been taught by the Lord, you are one of his children, you are in the covenant of grace, and you shall have your full share of every good thing which the Lord has laid up there for his own.

12. That, then, is the promise of the Father’s teaching.

13. II. Now, in the second place, let us briefly examine THE TEACHING ITSELF: “They shall be all taught by God.”

14. I want you to notice, first, that this teaching is, practically, the same thing as God’s drawing. Let me read the previous verse: “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him. And they shall be all taught by God.” The way in which God draws men to Christ is not merely by persuasion, but by instruction. The Father does not draw us to Christ by a force which is contrary to our nature and will; we are not stocks and stones, and he does not treat us as if we were. We are rational, responsible, free agents, and he deals with us as such, never snapping even the finest strings in the instrument of human nature, as far as it is human nature. So, when he draws men, he draws them by teaching them.

15. I will show you how the Lord does this. He first teaches the poor soul what a great sinner he is, and that makes him look for a great Saviour. He teaches that poor sinner the impossibility of his being saved by his own works, and that makes him look for the works of someone else. He teaches that poor sinner that he has authorized Christ to stand in his place, and, by his life and death, to meet all the law’s demands on that sinner’s behalf; and the poor sinner says, “Why, that is exactly what I need!” So, while the Lord teaches him, he is really drawing him; and, in the same way, there ought to be a great deal of teaching in all our attempts to draw men to Christ, — I mean, in our efforts to be the instruments of drawing them. If I stand here, and simply shout, “Believe, Believe, Believe,” I cannot expect that any good and lasting result will come from my shouting; I must tell people what they are to believe. I may try to persuade men to do this and to do that, and there may be great force in the persuasion; but, unless they understand the reason for my pleading, little will come from it. God’s way of working should be our way of working, and he draws men by teaching them; observe that very carefully.

16. Now notice what kind of teaching is promised here. It is divine teaching. “All your children shall be taught by the Lord.” “They shall be all taught by God.” No other kind of teaching will ever save the soul. My dear hearer, you may listen to the best preacher who ever lived; but, unless God shall apply the truth to your heart, you will not receive it. You may study the best books on theology as long as you like; but, unless God, the Holy Spirit, shall give you the keys of this treasure-house, you will never get at its precious things, and secure them as your own. Means are to be used, — as I will show you in a minute or two, — but you must not trust in the means; you must not even rely on the best study that you can give to the Word of God itself as the sure means of your knowing the truth. Over and above all that, you need the instruction and illumination of the Holy Spirit: “He shall teach you all things.” But, unless you have his teaching, you cannot and you will not know the truth, I would like, if I could, to unlearn everything concerning the things of God, that I have taught myself; I desire with all my heart that all I know may be what I have learned from the Spirit of God; and, dear soul, if ever you are to come to Christ, you will have to unlearn a great deal that you have been teaching yourself, for nothing will be of any real worth to you, in the matter of your eternal salvation but what the Holy Spirit himself shall write on your heart, and teach you. So, the promise of the text concerns divine teaching.

17. Yet, notice also, that it is teaching through the usual means: “Therefore every man who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.” “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Though my hearing will not save me; yet, ordinarily, it is the channel by which God’s Spirit works to the saving of the soul. Though my reading of the Scripture will not, in and of itself, save me; yet it is the usual way by which God enlightens the understanding through the Holy Spirit. Please never neglect the means of grace; but, at the same time, never get into the condition that some are in who feel quite happy as long as they have been to a place of worship on a Sabbath day, and who return home, and go to bed, just as if they had done all their duty for the day, and had no need of anything further. They are like men who go to market, but do not buy anything; or like people who go into a field, but do not work in it; they are quite satisfied with having been to the market or the field. It must not be so with you, dear hearers; if you want to find Christ, if you want to go to heaven when you die, never be satisfied with merely hearing the Word; but pray God the Holy Spirit that, through the hearing, you may be taught by the Lord.

18. The most blessed thing about this divine teaching is that it is effective teaching. If you are taught by the ablest divine, you may still learn nothing; but if you are taught by God, you will really know what you do learn. If he teaches you what your sin really is, you will know it, perhaps even to despair. If he teaches you the meaning of the law, you will know it as you lie at the foot of Sinai trembling; and if he teaches you the fulness of Christ, you will know that, and you will rejoice that he is just such a Christ as you need. Men are sure to learn whatever God teaches them by his Holy Spirit. There shall not be one who shall pass through his school, and still remain a fool. Though they were all fools when they entered it, yet, before they leave it, they shall be so instructed concerning the way of holiness that they shall not err in it. My heart continues praying even while I am preaching, “Lord, teach me”; and then it adds, “and, Lord, teach these people, too. Come, and be their instructor; for what can they know unless you teach them?”

19. III. So I shall conclude with this last point: THE GRAND RESULT OF THIS TEACHING. We have read the promise of the teaching; we have thought over what kind of teaching it is; now let us enquire, — What is the result of it? “Therefore every man who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.”

20. Some men say that they have been taught by God, and then they go on to prove that what they know is of their own inventing. Our Lord’s test concerning his disciples is, “By their fruits you shall know them”; and this is the fruit, — every man who has heard the Word, and who has been taught by the Father, comes to Christ. Therefore, if any man preaches what does not lead you to Christ, do not listen to it, for evidently he has not been taught by God; and, if you find in any book teaching which makes you think less of Christ than you did before, burn the book. It will do you no good, and it may do you a great deal of mischief. All sound teaching leads to Christ; for if, when the Father himself is the Teacher, the consummation of our scholarship is that we come to Christ; surely, when we poor creatures are the teachers, we must be even more bound to begin and end with Christ crucified. You were asking me just now whether you had been taught by the Father, you wanted to know whether you were one of his children; well, here is the test, have you come to Christ? If so, you have been taught by God. Coming to Christ is a very simple thing; it is the easiest thing in all the world; yet no man ever performed it until God the Father instructed him and taught him that sacred art. To wash in the Jordan was a very simple thing, yet at first proud Naaman would not do it, but he turned away in a rage. To believe in Jesus is a very simple thing; little children have believed in him, people who have scarcely been intellectually above an idiot have, nevertheless, been able to believe in Jesus; and yet, with all its simplicity, men never exercise it until they have been taught by the Father. I suppose it is because faith is so easy that they despise it. Naaman’s servants said to him, “If the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’ ” And it is only when the Divine Spirit humbles the heart, and makes the man feel that he must stoop to anything as long as he may only be saved, that, at last, he goes down to wash in the Jordan according to the saying of the man of God, or to believe in Jesus Christ according to the command of the gospel.

21. You are taught by the Lord, my dear hearer, if you believe in Jesus Christ, that is, if you come and trust him; and, if you do not trust Christ, you may be a Doctor of Divinity, but you have never been taught by the Lord. He is not to you “very God of very God,” your one and only Saviour. It you do not trust Christ, you are a stranger to the divine light; that assuredly must be the case. You cannot be right in the rest, unless you are trusting in him; but, if you are truly believing in him, then you are taught by the Lord. It is very wonderful how God brings his people to this point of trusting Jesus. I heard a little story, which might have fit very well into my morning sermon, but it was told to me after I had finished my discourse, so I will repeat it to you now. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1745, “Abijah or, Some Good Thing Towards The Lord” 1746} In a London courtyard there was a little girl who had been to Sunday School, and who had found Christ as her Saviour; she heard that there was a poor woman lying very ill, and all alone, up two flights of stairs, so the child went up to the room, just pushed the door open, but did not show herself, and said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” A nurse came in the afternoon, to attend to the poor creature, and she brought in a city missionary to see the woman, for she talked so strangely, the nurse thought. When the good man came in, the woman said, “I am so happy, I am believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am saved. An angel came to the door, and I heard him speak, and he said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved,’ and I did believe in him, and I am saved.” It was not an angel at all, it was that little girl; but it did not matter in the least who said it, for it was just as true whether an angel or a child spoke the words. I long that God should lead you, my dear friend, to feel, “It does not matter how the gospel comes to me; for if it is true, I believe it, and I accept the Christ whom it makes known to me.” Some of you probably think that, if an angel were to come flying through the Tabernacle, and were to land just beside your seat, and say to you, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved,” you would believe at once; but it would not make any difference in your believing, would it? It is just the same message as I, who am indeed in the scriptural sense one of the angels of the churches, put before you. You do not mind who brings the letter that is full of good news. I never trouble to send out to enquire the colour of the postman’s hair; if he brings me a letter, I take it, and read its contents; and you need not stop to ask whether the message comes to you by an angel, or a babe, or a minister, or whoever it is, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved”; and, if you do believe in him, then I know that the Father taught you, I am persuaded that you are one of God’s elect, and I can turn around and say to you, “Yes, though I have not read the secret roll of the redeemed, if you believe in Christ, your name is there”; for there never was a soul yet that came to Christ unless the Father drew him; and the Father never drew one by mistake, and he never will do so. This is the blessed consummation of all God’s teaching, that the taught ones come to Christ.

22. But notice, before I close, that the Lord says, “Therefore every man who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me.” He does not merely come once, but he keeps on coming. Do not make any mistake about faith in Christ, as if it were one single act, and then were done with. The faith that saves the soul is an all-the-day faith and an every-day faith. If you believe in Christ, your faith must be of the kind that believes today, tomorrow, and for ever. If you say, “I believe that I believed in Christ twenty years ago, and therefore I am saved”; I do not believe anything of the kind. Unless you still believe, you never truly believed in Christ Jesus, for the faith that God works in the soul is a continual faith. It has its ups and downs; sometimes, like the moon, it is eclipsed; but it comes out of the darkness again, and shines as brightly as ever. And, further, if you ever really believed in Christ, you believe in him now. “To whom coming,” says the apostle; not, “having once come to Christ, we now run from him”; but “to whom coming,” always coming, always trusting, always believing. And why is this? Because we are always being taught by the Father. I trusted Christ when I knew comparatively little about God’s Word; and I confess that I still know only a very little of its boundless height, and depth, and length, and breadth; but I believe that, as I grow to know more and more, I shall trust more. If that is not the result of your knowledge, it is not the knowledge that the Holy Spirit gives you. It is the knowledge that puffs up; if it were the Holy Spirit’s teaching, you would rely more and more on Christ, and rest more entirely on him. I pray for you, my dearly beloved fellow church members, that you and I may be taught by God until we grow less and less, and come to be nothing at all in our own esteem, until we vanish away into Christ, and Christ becomes more than our necessary food, our life, our joy, our All-in-all.

23. Everyone who is taught by the Father, in proportion as he is so taught, comes nearer and nearer to Christ, until he comes perfectly to Christ in the glory yet to be revealed. Oh blessed Master, we are still coming to you, every day we are coming nearer to you; your Spirit is making us more like you, and making us long more for you! Your Father is creating in us more and more of a hungering and thirsting after you. Though we are very lame, and sadly limp, yet still we are coming to you. We can only feebly fly, yet still we are flying towards you; and we expect that, when you shall appear, and sit on the great white throne, you will recognise that we are coming to you, and you yourself will say to us, “Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We are coming, Lord, to you; come to us yourself; yes, come quickly; even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen and Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 6:25-51}

These people had crossed the Sea of Galilee, and gone to Capernaum, “seeking for Jesus.” It seemed a very hopeful sign that they should be willing to make such efforts to find Christ, but see how the Lord Jesus himself regarded it.

25, 26. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves, and were filled.

What very plain talk this is! Our Lord does not try to gain popularity by the concealment of truth, but he tells these people to their faces, “You are only following me because of what you get out of me”; “Oh!” some worldly-wise man would have said, “that is a very imprudent speech; it will drive the people away.” Just so; and Christ seemed to say, on more than one occasion, “If people will be driven away by the truth, let them be driven away.” John the Baptist had declared that Christ had his fan in his hand, and that he would thoroughly purge his floor; and if that floor is to be purged, there must be a driving away of the chaff. Our Lord’s example should teach us to speak in his name nothing less and nothing more than the truth in all love and kindness.

So after pointing out the true motive which made the people seek him, our Saviour uttered a very exceptional paradox: —

27. Do not labour for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give to you: for God the Father has set his seal on him.”

Is it not strange that Christ says, “Do not labour for the very thing which you cannot get without labouring for it,” and then he says, “Labour for what you cannot get by labouring for it?” He virtually tells us that it is so, by adding the words, “which the Son of man shall give to you,” plainly proving that it does not come as the result of human labour, but as the free gift of the Son of God. He who is wise will spell out the meaning of the paradox; but he who is blind will stumble over the letter of it, and not discern the spiritual interpretation.

28. Then they said to him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”

“We want to do the best works, the noblest works, the most acceptable works in all the world; tell us what we should do in order to perform a Godlike work.”

29. Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, —

“The highest and best work which you can accomplish is” —

29. That you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Faith is the noblest of the graces; it is the very essence of true worship; it contains within itself the seeds of all excellence; and the man who believes in Christ has done what is more pleasing to God than anything else in all the world.

30, 31. Therefore they said to him, “What sign do you show then, that we may see, and believe you? What do you work? Our forefathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

Do you see the drift of their talk? They are still looking for the loaves and fishes; and, therefore, whatever Christ may say, they turn the discourse around that way. If they can get something from Christ to eat, they will believe in him; what grovelling, earth-bound creatures they were!

32, 33. Then Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.”

“The best and noblest bread, — the bread which has Deity in it, — the bread which can feed your souls, and sustain you with everlasting life, ‘the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.’ ”

34. Then they said to him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”

They said this, not knowing what they said, and not understanding what he meant. Bread for the body was all that they wanted; their cry was, “Give us bread, and we are content”; they had no spiritual appetite for Christ, “the bread of God.”

35, 36. And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life: whoever comes to me shall never hunger; and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you, that you also have seen me, and do not believe.

These were the very people whom he had fed on the other side of the sea; yet they were craving for more. That kind of bread cannot satisfy their hunger for long. They had not received him as their Saviour, otherwise they would have been well satisfied with him, and would have asked for nothing more.

37-39. All whom the Father gives to me shall come to me; and whoever comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the Father’s will who has sent me, that of all whom he has given to me I should lose no one, but should raise him up again on the last day.

Christ will not lose one whom the Father gave him, indeed, nor any part of one. He will not lose the body of any one of his people any more than he will lose the soul of one.

40. And this is the will of him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Christ will never have finished his work on believers until he has raised their bodies from the grave, and glorified them like his own resurrection body. He will never cease from the work which he has begun on any one of his people until he has laid the top-stone in the glorious perfections of heaven; and this truth is the joy of our hearts even now.

41. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.”

They muttered, murmured, whispered, growled among themselves at this saying of Christ.

42. 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?’ ”

This is just the way with men, they judge by outward appearances; and if the gospel comes to them as a thing beloved by poor men, if it is preached with much eloquence, if the service is without the attractions of sweet music or of gaudy attire, immediately they say there can be nothing in it. Oh blind bats, when God veils himself in human flesh, can it be otherwise?

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

“I never thought you would believe in me; I never imagined that I should win your confidence.”

44. No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him. —

“You are not drawn to me; therefore it is clear that you are not the subjects of divine grace. You think you are judging me, but in doing so you are really judging and condemning yourselves.” Whenever men sit in judgment on the gospel, they soon let us know what kind of spirit possesses them. It is not Christ who is on trial, it is they themselves; and when they rail at him, they only prove that the grace of the Father has never drawn them to him: “No man can come to me, unless the Father who has sent me draws him”: —

44-46. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be all taught by God.’ Therefore every man who has heard, and has learned from the Father, comes to me. Not that any man has seen the Father, except he who is from God, he has seen the Father.

“Do not suppose that, even when you are taught by God, you will know the Father as I know him, or see him as I have seen him.” That divine glance at Deity is not for us.

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

This was how our Lord spoke straight to the face of those who had derided him, and said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?” With the strongest affirmation which he was in the habit of using, he says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life.”

48-51. 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. 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.”

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Names and Titles — Ambassador” 369}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Holy Spirit — The Spirit’s Work Requested” 459}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Work of Grace as a Whole — All Due To Grace” 235}

New Book By Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon,

Uniform with A Carillon of Bells.

Just published. Cloth, gilt. Price 1s. 6d.

“A Cluster of Camphire”;

Or, Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls.

Press Notices.

“A companion volume to A Carillon of Bells, written not long ago by the same writer. Sweet and encouraging, helpful and precious thoughts are most happily expressed here. May they be the means of cheering many sorrowing ones!” — The Gospel Magazine.

“This beautiful little book consists of ‘words of cheer and comfort for sick and sorrowful souls.’ Mrs. Spurgeon is well able to speak these words, and, alas! there are always many waiting to hear them. The book abounds in sweet, precious thoughts that will win for it a welcome among the class for whom it is especially intended.” — The Primitive Methodist.

“This little book, which is written in the tender, chaste style which Mrs. Spurgeon has made her own, should have a large sale. It is especially suited to be read by or to invalids. The contents consist of meditations on such portions of Scripture as may be supposed to give comfort in times of trouble. Since the sad are many, there is ample scope for the ministry of this little book.” — The Watford Observer.

“The subtitle of this neatly got-up little work is ‘Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls.’ Mrs. Spurgeon has herself known sickness and suffering, and she writes here with much sweetness to those who are in similar experiences. In turns of expression and mould of thought one often catches the ring of her husband’s voice; but her words of comfort and solace are assuredly none the worse for that. The little book will doubtless be welcome at many a bedside.” — The Christian World.

London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and from all Booksellers.

Jesus Christ, Names and Titles
369 — Ambassador
1 Jesus, commission’d from above,
   Descends to men below,
   And shows from whence the springs of love
   In endless currents flow.
2 He, whom the boundless heaven adores,
   Whom angels long to see,
   Quitted with joy those blissful shores,
   Ambassador to me!
3 To me, a worm, a sinful clod,
   A rebel all forlorn:
   A foe, a traitor, to my God,
   And of a traitor born.
4 To me, who never sought his grace,
   Who mock’d his sacred word:
   Who never knew or loved his face,
   But all his will abhorr’d
5 To me, who could not even praise
   When his kind heart I knew,
   But sought a thousand devious ways
   Rather than find the true:
6 Yet this redeeming Angel came
   So vile a worm to bless;
   He took with gladness all my blame,
   And gave his righteousness.
7 Oh that my languid heart might glow
   With ardour all divine!
   And, for more love than seraphs know,
   Like burning seraphs shine!
                     Ambrose Serle, 1786.

Holy Spirit
459 — The Spirit’s Work Requested <7s.>
1 Holy Spirit, from on high,
   Bend on us a pitying eye;
   Animate the drooping heart,
   Bid the power of sin depart.
2 Light up every dark recess
   Of our heart’s ungodliness;
   Show us every devious way,
   Where our steps have gone astray.
3 Teach us with repentant grief
   Humbly to implore relief,
   Then the Saviour’s blood reveal
   All our deep disease to heal.
4 Other groundwork should we lay,
   Sweep those empty hopes away;
   Make us feel that Christ alone
   Can for human guilt atone.
5 May we daily grow in grace,
   And pursue the heavenly race,
   Train’d in wisdom, led by love,
   Till we reach our rest above.
            William Hiley Bathurst, 1831.

The Work of Grace as a Whole
235 — All Due To Grace
1 All that I was, my sin, my guilt,
   My death, was all mine own;
   All that I am, I owe to thee,
   My gracious God alone.
2 The evil of my former state
   Was mine, and only mine;
   The good in which I now rejoice
   Is thine, and only thine.
3 The darkness of my former state,
   The bondage — all was mine;
   The light of life in which I walk,
   The liberty — is thine.
4 Thy grace that made me feel my sin
   It taught me to believe;
   Then, in believing, peace I found,
   And now I live, I live.
5 All that I am, e’en here on earth,
   All that I hope to be,
   When Jesus comes and glory dawns,
   I owe it, Lord, to thee.
                     Horatius Bonar, 1856.

Spurgeon Sermons

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

Terms of Use

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

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