Sermon 2386. The Drawings Of Divine Love
A SERMON INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1894.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, AUGUST 26, 1888.
"No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written inthe Prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard, and has learned of the Father, comesunto Me." John 6:44,45.
THERE is something here which troubles many seeking souls. They hear the Gospel preached in this manner, "Look and live,"or, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." This comforts them and they say to themselves, "This is away in which we can run. We delight to be told of salvation by faith in Christ." By-and-by, they hear a discourse upon ourSavior's Words, "You must be born again," or they listen to descriptions of the inward experience of a child of God. Theyare taught that there must be a brokenness of heart before there can be a true binding up. There must be a stripping beforethere can be a clothing. There must be death before there can be resurrection and then they say to themselves, "This, we fear,is true. But how different it is from the message we heard the other day! Are there two things equally true-salvation by simplefaith in Christ-and yet the necessity of a new heart and a right spirit?"
They are equally true, and they ought to be preached with equal clearness, and equal earnestness! But I would say to everyseeker, "You will find it very injurious to get worrying yourself with such difficulties as these. As a rule, you had betterleave those questions for another day." Suppose that you were puzzled concerning specific gravity, the weight of a body inwater? if you were a drowning man, I would recommend you to waive the consideration of such a subject till you were safelyon shore! It is hardly the time, I think, to enter into difficult disquisitions while you are in grave peril. And, in likemanner, you may leave many theological questions until, by faith in Christ, you are saved. Then, going into His school, youmay ask Him to teach you these other more advanced lessons.
Now, for your help, I desire to say that these two doctrines of Salvation by Faith and the Inward Drawing of the Spirit ofGod are equally true and, unless they are proclaimed in due proportion, mischief may come from the preaching of either theone, or the other. I think that when the preacher only says, "Believe, believe, believe, believe, believe, believe," mischiefmay come of that imperfect declaration, for it is a one-sided form of the Truth of God, and other important Truths of Godmay be forgotten, and men may get into a superficial habit of imagining that they believe when they hardly know what it isthat they believe-and their faith is not the living faith of God's elect which works by love, purifies the soul and sanctifiesthe life!
On the other hand, I am quite sure that you may preach the need of inward experience and preach it very thoroughly and continually.But if this other matter of faith is left out, you may preach some of your hearers into despair, many of them into indifferenceand others of them into a kind of self-righteousness of feelings! I have met with persons who were certainly trusting in theirfeelings and who went so far as to condemn others because they had not endured the same amount of misery and passed throughthe same conviction of sin, or indulged in the same agony of despair. Truths of God are preached, we shall not stop to reconcilethem-there is no need to do so, especially if they reconcile themselves to you while we preach! If the two doctrines are preached,they will act as a balance, the one to the other, and while men hear our Savior say, "He that believes on Me has everlastinglife," they will not misunderstand what He says if they also hear as the deep bass note of that musical scale the equallyDivine utterance, "You must be born again."
The text gives us good help upon this subject. I do not believe that there are any practical difficulties in the matter atall. I say, practical difficulties, for there are philosophical difficulties. Is there any subject about which there are notphi-
losophical difficulties? Can you not, if you think of anything-be it the most commonplace fact in natural history, very soonsurround it with a cloud of obscurity which nobody can remove? A fool can set a stool where a wise man will tumble over itand you can soon raise a difficulty if you want to. Here is one. There is a bullock in the meadow and there is also a sheepin the same pasture. They will both eat grass and on the bullock that grass will turn to hair, and on the sheep it will turnto wool. How come? Can you tell me? No, and I do not want to know. It may be a very interesting point for discussion, but,practically there is no difficulty about it. Those who tan the leather, or those who dye the wool are not hindered in theleast degree in their handicraft by the philosophical difficulty I have mentioned! So, there are philosophical difficultiesabout this matter of simple faith and salvation by it, and of the Spirit's work and the necessity for it, but, practically,there is no difficulty at all, for the man who believes in Christ Jesus is born again! And every man who is born again believesin the Lord Jesus Christ! The two things come together, live together and are perfected together!
However, for the help of some sincere seekers after Christ who may be in perplexity, I will speak about this matter that troublesthem. Let me read the text again-"No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws him: and I will raise him upat the last day. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard,and has learned of the Father, comes unto Me."
I. Our first observation upon this text is that THE ALL-IMPORTANT MATTER OF FAITH IS A VERY SIMPLE BUSINESS. Twice is it mentionedhere, and the only definition of it that is given is coming to Christ-"No man can come to Me." And, again, in the 45th verse,"Comes unto Me."
Faith in Christ is simply and truly described as coming to Him. It is not an acrobatic feat-it is simply a coming to Christ.It is not an exercise of profound mental faculties-it is coming to Christ. A child comes to his mother. A blind man comesto his home. Even an animal comes to his master. Coming is a very simple action, indeed. It seems to have only two thingsabout it. One is, to come away from something, and the other is, to come to something.
In coming to Christ Jesus as our Savior, we first come away from all other trusts. We leave all other confidences right behindus and come away from them altogether. My own works? I must come away from all trust in them, to Christ! My own feelings?I must come away from all reliance upon them, to Christ! Ceremonies, forms, rites, yes, even such as God has given, I mustcome away from all confidence in them and I must come to Jesus, quitting and leaving them all! You cannot come to Jesus andyet hold on to your old trusts. You cannot come to Jesus and yet cling to your old sins. You must come away from righteousself as well as from sinful self. To go to a place, I must go from a place. If you would come to Christ, you must bid, "good-bye,"to your old sins and say, "farewell," to your old confidences. Are you ready to sue for a divorce between your soul and sin,between your soul and self-confidence? That is the first essential thing in coming to Christ-leaving all other trusts.
Then the other part of coming is drawing near to Christ to obtain everything we need. When we truly come to Christ, we drawnear to Him. We do not any longer neglect Him, we do not look away from Him-on the contrary, we begin to think much of Him,our hopes center in Him and, having thought of Him, and so having come mentally to Him, we trust in Him. We come to Him forwhat He is. Is He a Savior? We come to Him that He may save us! Does He wash away sin? We come to Him that He may wash awayour sin! Does He heal spiritual diseases? We come to Him that He may heal us of our diseases! You know what is meant by comingto such and such a physician. You must, in that same sense, come to Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician, for sin-sick souls.
This expression, coming to Christ, is so simple that I do not know how to make it any plainer. I am afraid that if I wereto try to explain it, I might be like Thomas Scott when he wrote his notes to Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Going round hisparish, he found a woman who had The Pilgrim's Progress with his notes. "My good woman," he asked, "do you understand ThePilgrim's Progress?" "Yes, Scott, I understand The Pilgrim's Progress very well and I hope that, one day, I may be able tounderstand your explanation of it." I will not attempt to explain any further what coming to Christ is, lest I should notsucceed any better than Mr. Scott did! It ought to be clear to everybody that coming from something, and coming to something,or someone, constitute the act of coming. Quit, then, both sin and self by determined resolve, and come to Jesus-rest in Him,take Him to be everything to you-and then believe that you have everlasting life, according to His declaration, "He that believeson Me has everlasting life."
Yet our Savior does, in close connection with this text, give us another illustration of what faith is. Faith is coming toChrist. It is also eating or receiving Christ. A man has a piece of bread in his hand. He does not know where the wheat
grew, nor in what mill it was ground, nor in what oven the bread was baked, but he knows that it is bread and that he is hungry.Nature, especially living nature, abhors a vacuum, so the man determines to fill the vacuum within with that piece of bread!What does he do, but eat it? You do not have to teach children how to eat. I said to a little boy this afternoon, "Why don'tyou put your bread and butter in your ear?" Of course, he knew better than to act like that, so all he did was to laugh atme! And you never yet met with a child who took to putting the bread and butter in his ear-he puts it in his mouth and eatsit. So, there really is, if you would but use it, sense enough within you to understand what faith in Christ is. If you werenot so ready to confound and confuse yourself, my dear Friend, you might know what faith is!
You tell me that it puzzles you. I think that it is you that puzzles yourself, not faith that puzzles you. When you get bread,you put it into your mouth, you eat it and let it go down into yourself. You may not know much about the processes that aregoing on within you and you need not want to know. If you do not understand anything about them, the bread will feed you justas well. Now, in that way take the Lord Jesus Christ into you, spiritually, and feed upon Him. Say from your heart, "Lord,I live upon You. I believe You to be God. I believe that You did take our nature. I trust You as the Incarnate God. I believethat You did suffer in the place of guilty men. I believe that You have put away the sin of all those who trust You, and putit away forever so that they can never be condemned. I trust You to be my Savior, altogether and solely my Savior." If youreally do that, you are saved.
"How do I know it?" says one. Because Christ says it-is not that enough? "He that believes on Me has everlasting life." "ButI have not felt any strange sensations! I have had no wonderful dreams." What? Are you asking for such signs as those? Isnot Christ's Word, "He that believes on Me has everlasting life," enough for you? Lord, I believe on You. Therefore, I haveeverlasting life. Your Word is enough for me!
That is my first point, faith is a very simple matter.
II. But, secondly, TO THIS FAITH MEN ARE GREATLY DISINCLINED. He who knew most about men says of them, "No man can come toMe, except the Father who sent Me draws him."
Men are grievously disinclined to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Their unwillingness is so great that it amounts to aninability of this sort, that, as there are none so deaf as those that will not hear, and none so blind as those that willnot see, so there are none so unable as those who are unwilling! And the Savior thus puts it, "No man can come to Me, exceptthe Father who sent me draws him."
But why are men so unwilling to believe in the Lord Jesus? In Christ's lifetime on earth, their unwillingness arose partlybecause He was of such lowly origin. They said, "We know Joseph, and Mary, and the brethren of Jesus. How can we believe inHim as the Messiah?" He was so poor, so obscure, He came of a family that was not notable in Israel as far as they knew. Besides,He came out of Nazareth and they asked, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" He was a Galilean and they could not lookup to one who came from that despised region.
In addition to that, all His teaching was opposed to their proud notions. If He had come as an earthly king, to overthrowthe Roman power, they might have believed in Him, but, as He was, they regarded Him as a root out of a dry ground. They couldsee nothing illustrious about the Man of Sorrows, so they would not believe in Him. And numbers of people, to this day, donot receive Christ because faith in Him is not fashionable. True godliness is not held in high repute in the upper circlesof society. O simpletons, to lose your souls for the sake of a little worldly grandeur! God save us all from such insanityas that!
The more common reason why men are not saved by faith in Christ is because they do not see any need of a Savior. I know youvery well, my dear Mr. Good-Enough, and my dear Friend, Mr. Too-Good! You do not believe that you need saving-you think thatyou have as much as you ought to have of everything that is good, and even some to give away! Oh, yes, you hope to enter Heavenwith all sails up. What will you do when you get there? The redeemed ones are all singing that they have washed their robesand made them white in the blood of the Lamb. But you will have to go up in a corner, by yourself, and hold your tongue, becauseyou had not anything that needed to be washed and you were, yourself, perfectly clean! You would not be happy in Heaven, forthe very Glory of that blissful place is the Lamb of God and His precious blood is the theme of continual thanksgiving! Ipray God to bring you out of your miserable delusion, for it is no better than that. You are not the good man that you thinkyou are-you are stained with sin from head to foot-and unless you are washed in the Divinely-provided bath, even in the atoningblood of Jesus, you will perish in your sin!
But many do not come to Christ and trust Him because they will not receive the doctrine of Substitution. Christ's dying inthe sinners' place, the Just for the unjust, to bring them to God, they will not have-they kick at it! I assure you that youwill never have rest and peace till you accept that blessed soul-saving doctrine, for other foundation can no man lay thanthat which is laid, even Jesus Christ the Righteous, and there is no Jesus Christ to trust in except the glorious Substitutewho bore our sins in His own body on the tree! Oh, that men would not be so foolish as to reject God's plan of salvation bythe vicarious Atonement once offered on Calvary!
Many also refuse the Savior because they are occupied with other things. They cannot come to Christ because their farm, theirmerchandise, their newly-married wife, or something or other, keeps them back. Oh, how long some of you have been waiting-someof you who have attended the Tabernacle, too, all the time! If anybody had said, 20 years ago, that you would be sitting inyour pew an unconverted man, tonight, you were not willing to have believed it! You will probably be sitting in that pew,an unconverted man, in 20 more years' time, I fear-you will either be saved, or you will have gone the way of all flesh! Oh,that the day would come when there shall be no more hesitation, no more postponement, but when you would, from your heart,say, "I must have Christ. I will trust Him!" Say even now what we have often sung-
"I do believe, I will believe, That Jesus died for me! That on the Cross He shed His blood, From sin to set me free."
There are many more who do not exercise simple faith in Christ because they do not like the consequences of it. "Why," saysone, "if I become a Believer in Christ, I shall have to give up my old ways." You will. "If I become a follower of the Lamb,I cannot go where I now go." Quite right! I am glad you see that. I hope that you are not such a hypocrite as to imagine thatyou can trust Christ to put away your past sin and then go on living in sin as you have done. That will never do! Christ hasopened a hospital for the sick, but it is that He may heal them! He receives sinners, but not that they may remain sinners-itis that He may make saints of them and deliver them from sin! You will never come to Christ as long as you are in love withsin. And you are so much in love with sin that you never will come at all except Omnipotent Grace shall draw you! And so saysour Lord Jesus Christ, "No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws
There are many others who cannot trust in Christ and cannot come to Him because they wish for certain feelings or emotions.You want to experience amazing changes that you may know that God is at work in your soul, do you? Well, I do not wonder atthat desire, but please notice what is said in the 46th verse, "Not that any man has seen the Father." The work of God inthe heart is not seen by the soul until, first of all, the soul sees Jesus Christ! You must not think that you can deal withan absolute God. Apart from Christ, you cannot approach God, and God operating upon your heart, without faith in Christ, willnot be the ground of any comfort to you. Whatever God may be doing in you, or may not be doing in you, is not the thing thatyou are to look to as the foundation of your hope! Your trust is to be in Christ's work on the Cross, and in nothing else!You shall see plenty of evidences, miracles and signs, by-and-by, but, to begin with, the
Gospel for you is, "Believe, believe, believe." "I could believe if_." Oh, yes! I see, the ground of your confidence is
that, "if," not God's Word. "Oh, Sir, but I could trust God's Word if I_." Ah, that is the same thing, over again!
You see, it is not God's Word that you trust-it is that rotten, "if," to which you cling! Now, away with it, away with it,I pray you! Either call God a liar, or else believe Him. It must be one of the two! But do not pretend that you would believeHim under certain conditions that you would like to impose. If a man said to me that he would believe me under certain conditions,I would understand at once that he did not really believe me at all. That, in fact, he could not believe me, but he wouldbelieve somebody else, and perhaps trust me under cover of that other person. That would not be faith in me at all and, Ipray you, deal not with the Lord in such a fashion!
So, you see, dear Friends, my text plainly teaches us that men are greatly disinclined to come to Jesus.
III. Therefore, THE OPERATIONS OF GOD ON THE SOUL ALL RUN IN THE WAY OF LEADING MEN TO
COME TO JESUS. That is clear if you read the text, "No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws
You see, first, the Father inclines us to come to Christ. "It is written in the Prophets, 'And they shall all be taught byGod.'" What are they taught? "Therefore, everyone who has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto Me." It is
clear that the drift of the Divine operations in the heart of man is towards Christ. The Lord draws us, but all His drawingsare towards Christ. If you think that you have experienced the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart, and yet it does notdraw you towards Christ, you have made a mistake. The Spirit always draws away from self and away from sin, to Jesus Christ,alone! If you are drawn that way, it is the Lord who draws you, for all His drawings are in that direction.
Then, next, the drift of all God's teachings is this way. Whatever the Spirit of God teaches a man, the end and objectiveof that teaching is to get him away from self and draw him to Christ. All the teachings of affliction are intended to makeus sick of self and fond of Christ. All the true teachings of the Christian ministry aim at putting down self and exaltingChrist!
All the drawings and all the teachings, then, that come from God, are towards Christ. By this test you may try everythingthat professes to be a Divine operation. If any man says, "I am the subject of the work of the Spirit of God," and he doesnot exalt Christ, tell him that he is not the subject of the Spirit's work at all. If he comes to you with some fine ideaabout himself, making out that he is some great one, say to yourself, "It is no part of the work of the Spirit to set up anyman as a great one. His work is to take of the things of Christ and show them to us." The Holy Spirit addicts Himself to theglorifying of Christ, so He withers our false hopes and gives us true hopes! He does this in order that Christ may be liftedup and that we may be drawn to Him.
I believe that this is the test of all kinds of preaching. Does a man come with a Divine message to my soul? I will try himby this test. Does he lift up Christ? Does he draw me to trust in Christ? Does he draw me to love Christ? Does he draw meto be like Christ? Well and good! I will hear some more of what that man says, but if, Sunday after Sunday, I have to say,"They have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid Him," I say, "Good-bye, Sir, other people may listen toyou, but you are not the man that I want to hear." I must have Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ first, last, Alpha,Omega, beginning, middle, end and all through, or else I cannot believe that the teaching is of God, for the Father drawsto Christ and teaches concerning Christ.
Further, He makes us to hear and to learn that we may come to Christ. Come, then, my dear Hearers! I think that I have nowbrought you a little into the Light of God. You say that you must be the subject of a Divine operation. Are you looking toChrist? Then you have had that Divine operation performed upon you, for it makes you look to Christ, alone! "Is believingan easy thing?" asks one. It is the easiest thing in the world! It is as easy as coming, or as eating. "Well, but why is itso difficult for me?" Probably it is difficult because it is so easy. I believe that faith is a hard thing to many becauseit is not a hard thing. It is just like Naaman's washing in the Jordan-if the Prophet had bid him do some great thing, somedifficult thing, he would have done it. But when he said nothing but, "Wash, and be clean," Naaman felt that he was too greatto go to the River Jordan and too clean to go and wash. He is a nobleman and a gentleman-is he to go and wash like any pig?
Yes, he is, and only so can he be cleansed, for his leprosy makes him as foul as any swine could be and he must, therefore,wash if he would be clean! You, though you are the queen of morality, must trust in Christ just as a harlot must trust inChrist! And you, young man, though you are, in all things, noble and excellent, you must come and believe in Christ just asa thief must do, or else you can never come where that dying thief, is, who passed with Christ into Paradise! There is butone door-will you bow your head and enter? There is only one way of salvation-will you run along it? If not, if you will putyour goodness before Christ, it shall become as bad as a crime or infamy, itself! God grant that the operations of the HolySpirit may lead you up to simple faith in Jesus!
IV. So, then, I finish with this fourth point. IF WE HAVE COME TO JESUS, WE NEED NOT QUESTION OUR
SAFETY. Christ says, "He that believes on Me has everlasting life." He who has come to Jesus is saved! You need not questionyour safety, for you could not have come to Christ without having been drawn to Him. "No man can come to Me, except the Fatherwho sent Me draws him." You could not have come if you had not been drawn! Well, then, if you have come, you have been drawn,and if the Father has drawn you, you have come the right way! It all lies in a nutshell. If I have come to Jesus and haveput my trust in Him-my nature is, in itself, so averse to this way of salvation that, if I have really and from my heart acceptedit-there must have been upon my heart an operation from God to bring me into this condition! That operation could not havebeen badly performed, for God never works amiss or ineffectually. I am, therefore, in the very fact of being brought to Christ,assured that God has been at work with me!
"Oh!" I have sometimes heard poor souls say, "I came to Christ, but I am afraid that I have come the wrong way." You cannotcome the wrong way. "Oh, but I heard of one who came to Christ so quickly!" Yes, and I have heard of one who came to Him veryslowly. But as he came, it did not so much matter how he came! When the whole world was drowned, a pair of greyhounds foundshelter in the ark. I do not suppose they started very early. But there was a pair of snails that went in with them-I wonderhow soon they started? They certainly must have started a long while before the ark door was opened or the ark prepared. Comealong, then, you poor crawling snails, come along! If some of you have the greyhound's speed, come along, bound and leap toChrist-the quicker the better! But if you are a man of slow action, remember that the snails in the ark were not drowned.Though they were slow in coming in, there they were, as safely preserved as the rest of the living creatures that were withNoah. "Well" says one, "I feel as if I could only creep to Christ with broken legs and an aching back." Then creep to Christ,only come to Him! Come anyway-leaping or limping. If you shall come, He has said, "Him that comes to Me , I will in no wisecast out," and that includes any coming in all the world if it is but a coming to Him. If you trust Him, you are saved! ThatTruth of God ought, I think, to give some consolation to any who are troubled about their faith and about the inner life ofthe soul.
Yet again, remember that all teaching that is absolutely necessary to salvation concerns Christ. "Therefore, everyone whohas heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto Me." If there were any right teachings that would lead you beyond Christ-Ido not know any, but if there were such-you can do without them. The only teachings that you need are those that lead youto Christ. Let this comfort anyone who says, "I understand no theology. I am only a beginner in the study of the Word. I couldnot even explain the plan of salvation to another person, but I am trusting in Christ." Well, rest satisfied with that gloriousfact!
To close, the best sentence in the whole text, to my mind, is that with which the 44TH verse finishes, "I will raise him upat the last day." Is not that glorious? The Savior does not merely say that he that believes is drawn to Him by the Fatherand that he is now saved, but He says, "I will raise him up at the last day." It is as good as saying, "I will take that man'scase into My own hands." He does not mention all the intervening circumstance, but He finishes up with the last victory, "Iwill raise him up at the last day." "This man is a sinner, Lord." "I will forgive him." "He has a black heart." "I will changeit." "He will be very fickle." "I will keep him." "He will be much tempted." "I will pray for him." "He will have many afflictions.""I will sustain him." "But Lord, he will die." "I will be with him." "But he will be buried, Lord, and laid among the worms,dust to dust." "I will raise him up at the last day."
It is as good as saying, "I will go through with the business for the whole of the man," for if He takes care of the poorbody, and raises it up, depend upon it that He will take care of the soul that shall be forever with Him! If this rag of arobe that I wear is yet so dear to Him that He will not leave it in the grave, then the man within the robe will be all right!Christ will take care of him, depend upon that! He who will preserve the casket will not lose the jewel. "I will raise himup at the last day."
The Lord bring every one of you to trust in this mighty Savior, for His great name's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: John 6:41-71.
We shall read, tonight, part of that blessed sixth chapter of John's Gospel, beginning at the 41st verse.
Verses 41, 42. The Jews then murmured at Him because He said, I am the bread which came down from Heaven. And they said, Isnot this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, I came down from Heaven?Familiarity breeds contempt. Because the Jews knew Jesus and His kindred after the flesh, therefore they would not believethat He came down from Heaven. Let us beware of foolish prejudices and let us not judge after the flesh. Why should Jesusnot have come down from Heaven even though these men knew His reputed father and mother?
43. Jesus, therefore, answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. It was a murmuring that was scarcely audible,but Jesus heard it and He checked it. The Lord cannot take any delight in murmuring. "Murmur not among yourselves."
44. No man can come to Me, except the Father who sent Me draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day. You did not expectthe Savior to say just that, did you? He always speaks the Truth of God, even though He has to lay the axe at
the root of the tree of self-confidence. He does not seem to be encouraging His hearers, but rather to be repelling them.He was trying to show them the state in which they really were. They had not been drawn to Himself. They were alienated fromHim and they would continue to be at a distance from Him unless God should interpose and draw them to
45. It is written in the Prophets, 'And they shall be all taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard, and has learnedof the Father, comes unto Me. This was as much as to say, "The Father has never taught you. You have learned nothing fromHim, or you would come to Me. And in your rejection of Me, you prove that you are strangers to the Grace
46. Not that any man has seen the Father, save He which is of God, He has seen the Father. Christ is "of God" in a very peculiarsense. He is not God's creature, but God's Son. He is of the very essence of God and, therefore, He knows what God is as wenever can know.
47. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believes on Me has everlasting life. This is a grand saying! Can you not catchthe Truth of God it reveals? Whatever deficiencies there may be in you, if you believe on Christ, you have everlasting life-nota life which you can lose, or which will die out, but everlasting life! And we are not among those who clip the wings of thatgreat word, "everlasting." We take this verse to mean just what it says-that is, if you believe on Christ, you have withinyou a life which will last forever and ever!
48-50. I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes downfrom Heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. Christ is the Bread for the soul, the Bread of immortality, the Breadwhich will fit a man for Heaven and sustain him till he arrives there. Oh, that we may all eat of this Bread of Life, andso live forever!
51-54. I am the living bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the breadthat I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying,How can this Man give us His flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the fleshof the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood has eternal life;and I will raise him up at the last day. How necessary it is to have a spiritual understanding of the Scriptures! These metaphorshave a sort of cannibal meaning about them to a man who goes no further than the letter. But the spiritual man knows thatthe soul feeds upon the doctrine of Christ's Incarnation and drinks in the truth of Christ's Atonement. This is feeding, thisis drinking-this is being nourished upon Christ's flesh and Christ's blood!
55. For My flesh is meat, indeed, and My blood is drink, indeed. Meat and wine are, after all, only shadows-they feed theshadow-life of the flesh. Christ and His precious blood are the great realities-they nourish the true life of the spirit.Blessed are they who know what it is in spirit to feed upon these spiritual things!
56-58. He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, dwells in Me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I liveby the Father: so he that eats Me, even he shall live by Me. This is that bread which came down from Heaven: not as your fathersdid eat manna, and are dead: He that eats of this bread shall live forever. The Savior goes over the same ground several times.There is a variety in His utterances, but in essence, the meaning is the same. He wants to get it into our minds that we areto live upon Him-that He, not self, He, not works, He, not our feelings-is the real food of the soul, by which that soul acquiresand retains immortal life.
59, 60. These things said He in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of His disciples, when they had heardthis, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? Preachers must not be astonished if they stagger their hearers when theyproclaim the Truth of God! They must not retract what they have said, nor tone it down because so-and-so is offended by it!Truth is hard, especially to hard hearts. Every great Truth is hard to a beginner in the school of Christ- but it is, nonethe less, to be taught, for that which is difficult, today, may become delightful, tomorrow, or whenever we are better educatedin the things of God!
61, 62. When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Does this offend you? What and ifyou shall see the Son of Man ascend up where He was before? He that is offended at any Gospel Truth may expect to be stillmore offended, for there are higher and deeper doctrines than Jesus had then uttered. If you stagger under the elementarylessons, what will you do when you get into the grammar school of Divinity, and begin to learn the loftier
lessons of the Truths of God? Oh, for a faith that never staggers when Christ speaks, and that believes whatever He reveals!
63. It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and theyare life. Do not look at them as dead words! Regard them as full of life and understand them in their living spiritual sense.
64. But there are some of you that believe not. Some of Christ's own disciples, some who had kept Him company- believed not!This was a very sad statement for Jesus to be obliged to make, but it must be made today about many professed Christians-"Thereare some of you that believe not."
64. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. He is not deceived by hypocrites.If we have crept into the Church unworthily, He knows all about us. He knows us better than we know ourselves! Oh, that wemight be very careful, watchful, jealous! May we abhor hypocrisy of every sort! It is impossible to continue in it withoutbeing detected, but if it were possible, we ought not to practice it, but with such an eye as that which is in the Head ofthe Church, even Christ, we cannot deceive-therefore, let us not attempt it.
65, 66. And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father.From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him. It often happens, in the ministry of a faithfulpreacher, that he has to say unpleasant things. And there are some who withdraw because of his preaching of the Truth of God.Should he break his heart when they do so? Certainly not! They did the same with his Master. They acted the same with theApostle Paul. It will be so to the end of the chapter and, indeed, it is part of our work to separate between the preciousand the vile. Truth is like the fan which drives away the chaff and leaves the wheat the more pure. Yet it is sad to readthat many of the disciples of Christ went back and walked no more with Him because they could not endure the faithful WordsHe spoke to them.
67, 68. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you, also, go away? Then Simon Peter-Who was always to the front, ever readyto speak, "Simon Peter"-
68-70. Answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you arethat Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? OurLord often surprises us by the way in which He speaks. He does not say what we would have expected to hear from Him, but Hesays something that is very startling and even discouraging! It is the way of our Master, because He sees further than wedo-and He often replies, not to the question as it lies in the words addressed to Him-but to a belief in the heart at theback of the words. He did so here. Peter may have thought that "the twelve" were all steadfast and sincere, so Christ saysto him, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
71. He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve.