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2656. The Death Of Christ For His People

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The Death Of Christ For His People

No. 2656-46:1. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, In The Winter Of 1857, By C. H. Spurgeon, At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, January 7, 1900.

He laid down his life for us. {1Jo 3:16}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2959, “God’s Love For the Saints” 2960}
   Exposition on 1Jo 3:10-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3173, “ ‘As’ and ‘So’ ” 3174 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 1Jo 3 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2488, “Christ’s Love For His Spouse” 2489 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 1Jo 3 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2509, “Sinful Made Sinless, The” 2510 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on 1Jo 3 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2959, “God’s Love For the Saints” 2960 @@ "Exposition"}

1. Come, believer, and contemplate this sublime truth, proclaimed to you like this in simple monosyllables: “He laid down his life for us.” There is not one long word in the sentence; it is all as simple as it can be; and it is simple because it is sublime. Sublimity in thought always needs simplicity in words to express itself. Little thoughts require great words to explain them; little preachers need Latin words to convey their feeble ideas, but great thoughts and great expressers of those thoughts are content with little words.

2. “He laid down his life for us.” Here there is not much on which any man can display his eloquence; here, is little room for metaphysical discussion or for deep thought; the text sets before us a simple yet sublime doctrine. What then shall I do with it? If I would speak of it profitably to myself, since I need not employ my wit to dissect it, nor my oratory to proclaim it, let me exercise my adoration to worship it; let me prostrate all my powers before the throne, and, like an angel when his work is done, and he has nowhere else to fly at his Lord’s command, let me fold the wings of my contemplation, and stand before the throne of this great truth, and meekly bow myself, and worship him who was, and is, and is to come, — the great and glorious One who “laid down his life for us.”

3. It will be good for me, in beginning my discourse, to remind you that there is no understanding the death of Christ unless we understand the person of Christ. If I were to tell you that God died for us, although I might be telling you a truth, and you might possibly not misunderstand what I meant, yet I should be at the same time uttering an error. God cannot die; it is, of course, impossible, from his very nature, that he could even for a moment cease to exist. God is incapable of suffering. It is true that we sometimes use words to express emotions on the part of God; but, then, we speak according to the manner of men. He is impassive; he cannot suffer; it is not possible for him to endure anything; much less, then, is it possible for him to suffer death. Yet we are told, in the verse from which our text is taken, “By this we perceive the love of God.” You notice that the words “of God” are inserted by the translators. They are in italics because they are not in the original. A better translation would be, “By this we perceive love.” But when we read “of God,” it might lead the ignorant to imagine that God could die; whereas, God could not. We must always understand, and constantly remember, that our Lord Jesus Christ was “very God of very God,” and that, as God, he had all the attributes of the Most High, and could not, therefore, be capable either of suffering or death. But then he was also man, “man of the substance of his mother,” man, just like ourselves, except for sin. And the Lord Jesus did not die as God; it was as man that he gave up the ghost; as man, he was nailed to the cross. As God, he was in heaven, even when his body was in the tomb; as God, he was swaying the sceptre of all worlds even when the mock sceptre of the reed was in his hand, and the imperial robe of universal monarchy was on the eternal shoulders of his Godhead when the soldier’s old purple cloak was wrapped around his manhood. He did not cease to be God, he did not lose his omnipotence, and his eternal dominion, when he became man; nor did he, as God, die or suffer; it was as man that he “laid down his life for us.”

4. Come now, my soul, and worship this man, this God. Come, believer, and behold your Saviour; come to the innermost circle of all sanctity, the circle that contains the cross of Christ, and sit down here; and, while you worship, learn three lessons from the fact, that “he laid down his life for us.” The first lesson should be, — Did he lay down his life for us? Ah! then, my brethren, how great must have been our sins that they could not have been atoned for at any other price! Secondly, did he lay down his life for us? Ah! then, beloved, how great must have been his love! He would not stop short anywhere, until life itself had been resigned. Thirdly, did he lay down his life for us? Ah! then, my soul, be of good cheer; how safe you are! If such an atonement has been offered, if such a sure satisfaction has been given to Almighty God, how secure you are! Who is he who can destroy him who has been bought with the blood of such a Redeemer?

5. I. Come, then, let me believingly meditate on the first sad fact. Did Christ lay down his life for me? Then, HOW GREAT MUST HAVE BEEN MY SINS!

6. Ah! my brethren, I will speak a little of my own experience, and in doing so I shall also be describing yours. I have seen my sins in many different ways. I saw them once by the blazing light of Sinai; and, oh! my spirit shrank within me, for my sins seemed extremely black. When the sound of the trumpet grew loud and long, and the lightning and fire flashed into my heart, I saw a very hell of iniquity within my soul, and I was ready then to curse the day that I was born, that I should have had such a heart, so vile and so deceitful. I thought that then I had seen the extreme blackness of my sin. Alas! I had not seen enough of sin to make me loathe it so as to leave it, for that conviction passed away. Sinai was only a volcano, and it was hushed to silence; and then I began to play with sin again, and loved it as much as ever.

7. I beheld another sight one day; I saw my sins by the light of heaven. I looked up, and I considered the heavens, the work of God’s fingers; I perceived the purity of God’s character written on the sunbeams, I saw his holiness inscribed on the wide world, as well as revealed in Scripture; and as I compared myself with him, I thought I saw how black I was. Oh God! I never knew the heinousness of my own guilt, until I saw the glory of your character; but now I see the brightness of your holiness, my whole soul is cast down at the thought of my sinfulness, and my great departure from the living God. I thought that, then, I had seen enough. Ah! I had seen enough to make me worship for a moment; but my gladness was as the early cloud and as the morning dew, and I went my way, and forgot what kind of man I was. When I had lost the sense of the majesty of God, I also lost the consciousness of my own guilt.

8. Then there came to me another view, and I beheld God’s lovingkindness to me; I saw how he had dandled me on the knee of Providence, — how he had carried me all my lifelong, — how he had strewn my path with plenty, and given me all things richly to enjoy. I remembered how he had been with me in the hour of trial, how he had preserved me in the day of hurricane, and kept me safe at the moment of storm. I remembered all his goodness to me; and, struck with surprise at his mercy, I looked on my sin in the light of his grace; and I said, “Oh sin, how base you are, what dire ingratitude do you reveal against a God so profoundly kind!”

9. I thought, then, surely I had seen the worst of sin, when I had laid it side by side, first with the character of God, and afterwards with his bounties. I cursed sin from my innermost heart, and thought I had seen enough of it. But, ah! my brethren, I had not. That sense of gratitude passed away, and I found myself still prone to sin, and still loving it.

10. But, oh, there came a thrice-happy, yet thrice-mournful hour! One day, in my wanderings, I heard a cry, a groan; I thought is was not a cry such as came from mortal lips, it had in it such unutterable depths of wondrous woe. I turned aside, expecting to see some great sight; and it was indeed a great sight that I saw. Lo, there, on a tree, all bleeding, hung a man. I saw the misery that made his flesh all quiver on his bones; I beheld the dark clouds come rolling down from heaven, like the chariots of misery; I saw them clothe his brow with blackness; I saw even in the thick darkness, for my eyes were opened, and I perceived that his heart was as full of the gloom and horror of grief as the sky was full of blackness. Then I seemed to look into his soul, and I saw there torrents of unutterable anguish, — wells of torment of such an awful character that mortal lip dare not sip, lest it should be burned with scalding heat. I said, “Who is this mighty sufferer? Why does he suffer like this? Has he been the greatest of all sinners, the basest of all blasphemers?” But a voice came from the excellent glory, and it said, “This is my beloved Son; but he took the sinner’s sin on himself, and he must bear its penalty.” Oh God! I thought, I never saw sin until that hour, when I saw it tear Christ’s glories from his head, — when it seemed for a moment even to withdraw the lovingkindness of God from him, — when I saw him covered with his own blood, and plunged into the uttermost depths of oceans of grief. Then I said, “Now I shall know what you are, oh sin, as I knew it never before!” Though those other sights might teach me something of the dire character of evil, yet never, until I saw the Saviour on the tree, did I understand how base a traitor man’s guilt was to man’s God.

11. Oh heir of heaven, now lift up your eye, and behold the scenes of suffering through which your Lord passed for your sake! Come in the moonlight, and stand between those olive trees; see him sweat great drops of blood. Go from that garden, and follow him to Pilate’s judgment bar. See your Master subjected to the grossest and filthiest insult; gaze on the face of spotless beauty defiled with the spittle of soldiers; see his head pierced with thorns; see his back, all shredded, and torn, and scarred, and bruised, and bleeding beneath the terrible lash. And oh Christian, see him die! Go and stand where his mother stood, and hear him say to you, “Man, behold your Saviour!” Come tonight, and stand where John stood; hear him cry, “I thirst,” and find yourself unable either to assuage his griefs or to comprehend their bitterness. Then, when you have wept there, lift your hand, and cry, “Revenge!” Bring out the traitors; where are they? And when your sins are brought out as the murderers of Christ, let no death be too painful for them; though it should involve the cutting off of right arms, or the quenching of right eyes, and putting out their light for ever; do it! For if these murderers murdered Christ, then let them die. They may die terribly, but, die, they must. Oh! that God the Holy Spirit would teach you that first lesson, my brethren, the boundless wickedness of sin, for Christ had to lay down his life before your sin could be wiped away.

12. II. Now we will come to the second point, and here we will lift up our hearts from the depths of sadness to the heights of affection. Did the Saviour lay down his life for me? We will read it now, “He laid down his life for me”; and I pray the Lord to help each of you, by faith, to read it like that, because, when we say “us,” that is dealing in generalities, — blessed generalities, it is true, — but let us, at this time, deal in specialities, and each one of us who can do so truthfully say, “He laid down his life for me.” Then, HOW GREATLY HE MUST HAVE LOVED ME!

13. Ah, Lord Jesus! I never knew your love until I understood the meaning of your death. Beloved, we, shall try again, if we can, to tell the story of our own experience, to let you see how God’s love is to be learned. Come, saint, sit down, and meditate on your creation, note how marvellously you have been formed, and all your bones fitted to each other, and see love there. Note next, that predestination which placed you where you are; for the lines have fallen to you in pleasant places, and, notwithstanding all your troubles, you have, compared with many a poor soul, “a goodly inheritance.” Note, then, the love of God displayed in the predestination that has made you what you are, and placed you where you are. Then look back, and see the lovingkindness of your Lord, as displayed to you in all your journey up until now. You are getting old, and your hair is whitening above your brow; but he has carried you all the days of old; not one good thing has failed of all that the Lord your God has promised. Recall your life story. Go back now, and look at the tapestry of your life, which God has been working every day with the golden filament of his love, and see what pictures of grace there are on it. Can you not say that Jesus has loved you? Turn your eye back, and read the ancient rolls of the everlasting covenant, and see your name among the firstborn, the elect, the Church of the living God. Say, did he not love you when he wrote your name there? Go and remember how the eternal settlements were made, and how God decreed and arranged all things so that your salvation should come to pass. Say, was there not love there?

14. Pause at the memory of your convictions; think of your conversion; remember your preservation, and how God’s grace has been working on you, in adoption, in justification, and in every item of the new covenant; and when you have summed up all these things, let me ask you this question, — Do all these things produce in you such a sense of gratitude as the one thing that I shall mention now, the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ? For, my brother, if your mind is like mine, although you will think highly enough of all these things that God has given you, you will be obliged to confess that the thought of the death of Christ on the cross swallows them all up. This I know, my brethren, I may look back, I may look forward, but whether I look back to the decrees of eternity, or look forward to the pearl-gated city, and all the splendours that God has prepared for his own beloved children, I can never see my Father’s love so beaming, in all its effulgence, as when I look at the cross of Christ, and see him die on it. I can read the love of God in the rocky letters of the eternal covenant, and in the blazing letters of heaven hereafter; but, my brethren, in those crimson lines, those lines written in blood, there is something more striking than there is anywhere else, for they say, “He laid down his life for us.” Ah, it is here that you learn love. You know the old story of Damon {a} and Pythias, — how the two friends struggled together as to which should die for the other; there was love there. But, ah! there is no comparison between Damon and Pythias, and a poor sinner and his Saviour. Christ laid down his life, his glorious life, for a poor worm; he stripped himself of all his splendours, then of all his happiness, then of his own righteousness, then of his own robes, until he was naked to his own shame; and then he laid down his life, that was all he had left, for our Saviour had not kept anything back.

15. Just think of that for a moment, he had a crown in heaven; but he laid that aside, so that you and I might wear one for ever. He had a belt of brightness — brighter than the stars, — around his loins; but he took it off, and laid it aside, so that you and I might eternally wear a belt of righteousness. He had listened to the holy songs of the cherubim and seraphim; but he left them all so that we might for ever dwell where angels sing; and then he came to earth, and he had many things, even in his poverty, which might have tended to his comfort; he laid down, first one glory, and then another, at love’s demand; at last, it came to this, he had nothing left but one poor garment, woven from the top throughout, and that was clinging to his back with blood, and he laid that down also. Then there was nothing left, he had not kept back one single thing. “There,” he might have said, “take an inventory of all I have, to the last farthing; I have given it all up for my people’s ransom.” And there was nothing left now but his own life. Oh love insatiable! could you not stay there? Though he had given up one hand to cancel sin, and the other hand to reconcile us to God; and had given up one foot so that we might have our sinful feet for ever transfixed, and nailed, and fastened, never to wander, and the other foot to be fastened to the tree so that we might have our feet at liberty to run the heavenly race; and there was nothing left but his poor heart, and he gave his heart up too, and they set it abroach with the spear, and immediately blood and water came out from there.

16. Ah, my Lord! what have I ever given to you compared to what you have given for me? Some poor things, like some rusty farthings, I have given you; but how little compared with what you have given me! Now and then, my Lord, I have given you a poor song on a poorly-tuned instrument; sometimes, my Lord, I have done a little service for you; but, alas! my fingers were so black, they spoiled what I intended to have presented to you white as snow. It is nothing I have done for you, my Lord. No, though I have been a missionary, and surrendered home and friends; no, though I have been a martyr, and given my body to be burned, I will say, in the last hour, “My Master, I have done nothing for you, after all, in comparison with what you have done for me; and yet, what more can I do? How can I show my love for you, for your love for me, so peerless, so matchless? What shall I do? I will do nothing but —

    Dissolved by thy goodness, I’ll fall to the ground,
    And weep to the praise of the mercy I’ve found.

That is all I can do, and that I must and will do.”

17. III. Now, beloved, we will change the theme, and go one note higher. We have run up the gamut a long way, and now we have just reached the height of the octave. But we have something else to get out of the text: “He laid down his life for us.” Did my Saviour lay down his life for me? Then, HOW SAFE I AM!

18. We will have no controversy tonight with those who do not see this truth; may the Lord open their blind eyes, and show it to them! That is all we will say. We, who know the gospel, see, in the fact of the death of Christ, a reason that no strength of logic can ever shake, and no power of unbelief can remove, why we should be saved. There may be men, with minds so distorted that they can conceive it possible that Christ should die for a man who afterwards is lost; I say, there may be such. I am sorry to say that there are still to be found some such people, whose brains have been so addled, in their childhood, that they cannot see that what they hold is both a preposterous falsehood and a blasphemous libel. Christ dies for a man, and then God punishes that man again; Christ suffers in a sinner’s place, and then God condemns that sinner after all! Why, my friends, I feel quite shocked in only mentioning such an awful error; and if it were not so popular as it is, I should certainly pass it by with the contempt that it deserves. The doctrine of Holy Scripture is this, that God is just, that Christ died in the place of his people, and that, since God is just, he will never punish one solitary soul of Adam’s race for whom the Saviour shed his blood. The Saviour did, indeed, in a certain sense, die for all; all men receive many a mercy through his blood, but that he was the Substitute and Surety for all men, is so inconsistent, both with reason and Scripture, that we are obliged to reject the doctrine with abhorrence. No, my soul, how shall you be punished if your Lord endured your punishment for you? Did he die for you? Oh my soul, if Jesus was not your Substitute, and did not die in your very place, then he is no Saviour for you! But, if he was your Substitute, if he suffered as your Surety, in your place, then, my soul, “Who is he who condemns?” Christ has died, yes, rather, has risen again, and sits at the right hand of God, and makes intercession for us. There stands the master-argument: Christ “laid down his life for us,” and “if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life?” If the agonies of the Saviour put our sins away, the everlasting life of the Saviour, with the merits of his death added to it, must preserve his people, even to the end.

19. This much I know, — you may hear men stammer when they say it, — but what I preach is the old Lutheran, Calvinistic, Augustinian, Pauline, Christian truth, — there is not one sin in the Book of God against anyone who believes. Our sins were numbered on the Scapegoat’s head, and there is not one sin that a believer ever did commit, that has any power to damn him, for Christ has taken the damning power out of sin, by allowing it, to speak by a bold metaphor, to damn himself, for sin did condemn him; and, inasmuch as sin condemned him, sin cannot condemn us. Oh believer, this is your security, that all your sin and guilt, all your transgressions and your iniquities, have been atoned for, and were atoned for before they were committed; so that you may come with boldness, though red with all crimes, and black with every lust, and lay your hand on that Scapegoat’s head, and when you have put your hand there, and seen that Scapegoat driven into the wilderness, you may clap your hands for joy, and say, “It is finished, sin is pardoned.”

    Here’s pardon for transgressions past,
    It matters not how black their cast;
    And oh, my soul, with wonder view,
    For sins to come, here’s pardon too!

This is all I want to know; did the Saviour die for me? Then I will not continue in sin so that grace may abound; but nothing shall stop me from glorying like this, in all the churches of the Lord Jesus, that my sins are entirely removed from me; and, in God’s sight, I may sing, as Hart sang, —

    With Christ’s spotless vesture on,
       Holy as the Holy One.

Oh marvellous death of Christ, how securely do you set the feet of God’s people on the rocks of eternal love; and how securely do you keep them there! Come, dear brethren, let us suck a little honey out of this honeycomb. Was there ever anything so luscious and so sweet to the believer’s taste as this all-glorious truth that we are complete in him; that in and through his death and merits we are accepted in the Beloved? Oh, was there ever anything more sublime than this the thought that he has already raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, far above all principalities and powers; just where he sits? Surely there is nothing more sublime than that, except it is that a master-thought stamps all these things with more than their own value, — that master-thought that, though the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, the covenant of his love shall never depart from us. “For,” says Jehovah, “I will never forget you, oh Zion”; “I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” Oh Christian, that is a firm foundation, cemented with blood, on which you may build for eternity! Ah, my soul, you need no other hope but this. Jesus, your mercy never dies; I will plead this truth when cast down with anguish, — Your mercy never dies. I will plead this when Satan hurls temptations at me, and when conscience casts the memory of my sin in my teeth; I will always plead this, and I will plead it now, —

    Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
    My beauty are, my glorious dress.

Yes, and after I die, and even when I stand before your eyes, you dread Supreme, —

    When from the dust of death I rise,
    To take my mansion in the skies,
    E’en then shall this be all my plea,
    “Jesus hath lived and died for me.”
    Bold shall I stand in that great day,
    For who aught to my charge shall lay?
    While through Christ’s blood absolved I am
    From sin’s tremendous curse and shame.

Ah, brethren, if this is your experience, you may come to the table of communion now very happily; it will not be coming to a funeral, but to a feast of gladness. “He laid down his life for us.”

{a} Damon and Pythias: Around the fourth century BC, Pythias and his friend Damon, both followers of the philosopher Pythagoras, travelled to Syracuse. Pythias was accused of plotting against the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius I. As punishment for this crime, Pythias was sentenced to death. Accepting his sentence, Pythias asked to be allowed to return home one last time, to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Not wanting to be taken for a fool, Dionysius refused, believing that once released, Pythias would flee and never return. Pythias called for Damon and asked him to take his place while he went. Dionysius agreed, on the condition that, should Pythias not return when promised, Damon would be put to death in his place. Damon agreed, and Pythias was released. Dionysius was convinced that Pythias would never return, and as the day Pythias promised to return came and went, Dionysius prepared to execute Damon. But just as the executioner was about to kill Damon, Pythias returned. Apologizing to his friend for his delay, Pythias told of how pirates had captured his ship on the passage back to Syracuse and thrown him overboard. Dionysius listened to Pythias as he described how he swam to shore and made his way back to Syracuse as quickly as possible, arriving just in the nick of time to save his friend. Dionysius was so taken with the friends’ trust and loyalty, that he freed both Damon and Pythias, and kept them on as counsel to his court. See Explorer ""

Expositions By C. H. Spurgeon {Joh 9 1Co 10:15-11:1}

We will first read about one of our Lord’s miracles, and then, since many of us will be coming to the communion table, we will read about the Lord’s supper.

9:1-3. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, “Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents:

That is, the sin of the man or of his parents was not the cause of his being blind.

3. But that the works of God should be revealed in him.

What a very blessed way of looking at evil, — as an opportunity for God to reveal the power of his works of grace by getting rid of it! I wish that everyone here would look on the evil within his own heart in this very hopeful light, and say, “There is something in me for God to conquer. There is some spiritual disease in me for the great Physician to heal. There is room in my poor soul for the Lord himself to work some miracle of mercy.”

4-7. I must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had spoken like this, he spat on the ground, and made clay from the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam,” (which is translated, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

You notice, brethren, that the disciples wanted to know how the man became blind; but Christ removed his blindness, and gave him sight. I have known a great many puzzle themselves about the origin of evil. Christ did not come to explain that mystery; he came to put an end to evil. That is an infinitely more practical object than that of speculating about how evil first entered the world, or how it entered any individual soul. He will tell you how to get rid of it.

What a blessed way of healing Christ used! He could have spoken, and the man’s eyes would have opened at once. He who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, in the first creation, could have said the same thing to this blind man, and light would at once have entered his eyes. Instead of that, he chose to use means, and the means did not appear to be very likely to accomplish the cure. Jesus covered the man’s eyes with clay, and told him to go and wash it off again. Is this the way to give him sight? Yes. Our Lord often uses means that seem to be very unlikely to accomplish his purpose, but he always uses the right means. Often, when he is going to open a man’s eyes spiritually, he first makes him feel more blind than he ever was before in all his life. A sense of deeper darkness hangs over him just before the dawn of eternal day. Perhaps, even this very hour, some words of mine, human and imperfect as they must be, may, nevertheless, have the truth in them, just as the clay was made efficacious by the spittle from the Saviour’s blessed mouth; and if so, there will be healing work accomplished among blind hearts tonight. May God grant that it may be so!

8, 9. The neighbours therefore, and those who had seen him before that he was blind, said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” Some said, “This is he”; others said, “He is like him”: but he said, “I am he.”

There is an end of all question about the matter; he says, “I am the very man.” No one knew this better than he did, and therefore he was the one to say it.

10, 11. Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He answered and said, “A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash’: and I went and washed, and I received sight.”

A very plain story, very well told. It is the story of every soul that gets the eternal light. “Christ told me to believe in him; I did believe in him; and I received the blessing.” There are not many incidents in the narrative, and there is nothing very romantic; but it is a simple and plain declaration of what Christ had done for him; and, blessed be God, just as sight was given to the blind man, Christ still gives salvation to all who trust him.

    There is life for a look at the Crucified One;
       There is life at this moment for thee;
    Then look, sinner, — look unto him, and be saved, —
       Unto him who was nail’d to the tree.
    It is not thy tears of repentance or prayers,
       But the blood that atones for the soul:
    On him, then, who shed it, believing at once,
       Thy weight of iniquities roll.
    But take, with rejoicing, from Jesus at once
       The life everlasting he gives:
    And know, with assurance, thou never canst die,
       Since Jesus, thy righteousness, lives.

12-14. Then they said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” They brought to the Pharisees him who previously was blind. And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

Oh, that he would do the same thing, in a spiritual sense, this Sabbath day! On another occasion, when he had performed a miracle on the Sabbath, and the Jews therefore sought to persecute him, and kill him, he said to them, “My Father works so far, and I work.” The Sabbath day was often Christ’s chief working day; may he make it to be so again now!

15-17. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and see.” Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath day.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such miracles?” And there was a division among them. They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about him because he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

There was no mistake about that matter in the mind of the man whom he had healed; no one but a prophet, mighty in word and deed, could have performed such a miracle as that.

18-21. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now sees, we do not know; or who has opened his eyes, we do not know: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.”

And so he did. He was one of those people who can speak for themselves; and it is greatly to be wished that many more of those who have been cured by Christ could do the same. He was a conscientious man, who, without fear of offending or any desire to curry favour, spoke out honestly what he knew, — nothing more.

22-27. His parents spoke these words, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man confessed that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” Then again they called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner.” He answered and said, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I do not know: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” Then they said to him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you did not hear: why do you want to hear it again? Will you also be his disciples?”

He was a sharp, quick-witted man, who was not to be enticed into making any rash and unguarded statements. He knew what he knew, and he stuck to that; and whenever any of you are assailed by the enemies of Christ, you will do well to imitate this man, and neither be abashed by their frowns and sneers, nor yet be too ready to cast your pearls before swine.

28. Then they reviled him, —

That is the usual way with the men of the world; when they cannot beat a man in argument, they begin to call him bad names: “They reviled him,” —

28-31. And said, “You are his disciple; but we are Moses’ disciples. We know that God spoke to Moses: as for this fellow, we do not know where he is from.” The man answered and said to them, “Why herein is a marvellous thing, that you do not know where he is from, and yet he has opened my eyes. Now we know that God does not hear sinners:

That is to say, he does not work miracles by them; he does not hear their prayers, and give them the power to open blind men’s eyes.

31-33. But if any man is a worshipper of God, and does his will, he hears him. Since the world began it was not heard that any man opened the eyes of one who was born bland. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

Christ could not have given sight to the blind man if he himself had not come from God. This was good reasoning, and it would have been convincing if the objectors had been willing to be convinced by the truth.

34. They answered and said to him, “You were altogether born in sins, and do you teach us?”

“Holy and learned people like us, Pharisees, do you presume to be our teacher?”

34-38. And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe in him?” And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and it is he who talks with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped him.

Then his cure was indeed complete. He had seen Christ spiritually as well as naturally, and fell at his feet, and worshipped him as the Son of God.

39-41. And Jesus said, “For judgment I am come into this world, so that those who do not see might see; and that those who see might be made blind.” And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin: but now you say, ‘We see’; therefore your sin remains.”

From 1 Corinthians we read:

10:15-19. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What do I say then? that the idol is anything, or what is offered in sacrifice to idols is anything?

After they had offered the beasts as sacrifices to their idols, it was the custom to sell the carcasses in the meat market. Christian men, going into the market to buy meat, and asking no questions, bought and ate portions of these sacrifices, and they did nothing wrong whatever. But there were some in the church who were very tender of conscience, and who said, “If we eat meat which has been offered to idols, by it we become partakers with the idolaters.” Paul therefore writes: —

20, 21. But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons:

It cannot be; there must be a separation between these two things. We cannot have any delight in idol worship, and yet worship the Christ of God.

21-28. You cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of demons. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. Whatever is sold in the meat market, eat that, asking no question for conscience’ sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and its fulness. If any of those who do not believe invite you to a feast, and you are disposed to go; whatever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience’ sake. But if any man says to you, “This is offered in sacrifice to idols,” do not eat for his sake who showed it, and for conscience’ sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and its fulness:

So, you see, you may eat the meat if you like, for the idol is nothing at all; but, still, if you are told that it is meat that has been offered to idols, and that by eating it you seem to join in the worship of idols, abstain from doing it, not for your own sake, but for the sake of the man who might be caused to stumble through you. This is a safe rule with regard to Christian behaviour in many other things. There may be things lawful in drink as well as in food, which a man may take without sinning; but if he knows that his example leads others astray, then let him take heed that he does not set such an example. An example which is an excuse for drunkenness is not a good one; therefore, let none of us set it before the eyes of men. If any man says to you, “This meat has been offered in sacrifice to idols,” “do not eat for his sake who showed it, and for conscience’ sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and its fulness.”

29. Conscience, I say, not your own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience?

That man may not be able to do it without injury to himself, but I may, and I have liberty to do so; but yet, as a Christian man, I am to consider his lack of power, and I am not to use my liberty lest I do harm to my brother.

30, 31. For if I by grace am a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for what I give thanks for? Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

And if anything you might do would not glorify God, do not do it.

32, 33. Give no offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, so that they may be saved.

11:1. Be followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

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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