Sermon 3222. 'The Lamb of God'
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1910.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 20, 1870.
"Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29.
[Two other Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon upon the same text are #1987, Volume 33-"BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD" and #2646, Volume 45-THE BAPTIST'S MESSAGE.]
BEFORE we plunge into our main subject, it is necessary to notice what is implied in our text, which is that "the world" waslost through sin and that all mankind had become guilty before God. You, therefore, my dear Hearer, are one of those who arethus guilty. Though you may never have broken the laws of your country, nor even the rules of propriety. Though you may beboth amiable and admirable in your general deportment, yet, for all this, as "there is none righteous, no, not one," you,also, are included among the unrighteous! It matters not what religious professions you may have made, or what outward formsof godliness you may have observed-unless you have a better righteousness than your own, you are a lost sinner! I believethere is now present a Brother who, when he was first convicted of sin, tried hard to make himself a better man under themistaken idea that this was the way of salvation. And when, one Sabbath night, he heard me say that all the reforms you couldever make upon your old nature would be useless as to the matter of salvation, but that, "you must be born-again," he feltvery angry and made a vow that he would never be found listening to me again! Yet here he is, rejoicing that the Lord hastaught him to see himself as a lost, ruined sinner and to put his heart's trust in Jesus Christ, the sinner's Savior!
It is very likely that if I had time to explain to you, my Hearer, the fullness of your sin and the utter ruin of your naturalstate, you, also, would grow angry. You would have no cause to be angry, for all that I could say would fall far short ofthe truth about your real condition in the sight of God! And it is most solemnly important for you to know that however highyou may stand in the ranks of merely moral men, you are a lost soul and a condemned soul, as long as you remain without livingfaith in the Lord Jesus Christ! If you are angry with the minister of the Gospel who tells you this Truth of God, you areas foolish as a certain Brahmin whom I have heard of. His religion consisted chiefly in not eating any animal food or destroyingany kind of life. The missionary told him that it was impossible for him to carry out such a "religion" as that, "for," hesaid, "in every drop of water that you drink, you swallow thousands of animals and so destroy vast quantities of animal life."Then he put a drop of water out of the cup from which the Brahmin had been drinking, under his microscope and so convincedhim of the truth of what he had said. When the Brahmin saw the creatures moving in the water, instead of abandoning his falsetheory, he grew very angry and dashed the microscope upon the ground! He was not angry, you see, with the fact, but with thatwhich revealed the fact/Like the lazy housemaid who said she was quite sure that she always kept the rooms clean but, it wasthe nasty sun that would shine in and make everything look so dusty! The fault is not in the Gospel which we preach-so youshould not be angry with it, or with us- the fault is in yourselves, in your own hearts and lives, and if you do not liketo be told the truth about sin, it is a sure sign that your heart is not right in the sight of God! It is still true that"everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
Well then, with that Truth of God taken for granted-that you, whom I am now addressing, have sinned and are, therefore, underGod's condemnation unless you are trusting in Christ-we now come directly to our text. We shall take it not merely as thoughJohn the Baptist were speaking it, but as we may now use it from our point of view. It appears to me to be the whole Gospelin a very brief form. You may sometimes write much in a very few words and here you have an epitome of the whole Gospel ofGod in these few syllables-"Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the
world." I am going to ask and try to answer three questions. First, what is to be beheld Secondly, what is to be done Andthirdly, why should we do this
I. First, then WHAT IS TO BE BEHELD?
The text mentions a Lamb, by which is meant a sacrifice. Under the Jewish Law, those who had offended brought sacrifices andoffered them to God. These sacrifices were representations of our Lord Jesus Christ who is, "the Lamb of God." Listen, mydear Hearer, and I will tell you the Gospel in a few sentences. As God is just, it is inevitable that sin should be punished.If He would pardon you, how can this be righteously accomplished? Only thus-Jesus Christ, His Son, came to earth and stoodin the place of all those who believe on Him and God accepted Him as the substitutionary Sacrifice for all those who put theirtrust in Him. Under the Jewish Law, the lamb was put to death that the man might not be put to death and, in like manner,Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, suffered the pangs of death by crucifixion and the greater agony of the wrath of God thatwe might not suffer the pangs of Hell and the eternal wrath which is due to sin. There is no other way of salvation underHeaven but this! God cannot relax His Justice and He will by no means clear the guilty. But He laid upon Christ the full punishmentthat was due to sin and smote Him as though He had been the actual offender, and now, turning round to you, He tells you thatif you trust in Jesus, the merits of His great atoning Sacrifice shall be imputed to you and you shall live forever in Glorybecause Jesus died upon the Cross of Calvary. If any of you would have your sins forgiven, and so enjoy peace with God, youmust look by faith to that Sacrifice which was offered upon Calvary and keep your eyes of faith fixed there-and sooner orlater you will certainly receive the blessings of peace into your souls!
But the text not only mentions a Lamb, it says, "Behold the Lamb of God," and I draw your special attention to that expression.It is not merely a Sacrifice to which you are to look, but the Sacrifice that God has appointed and ordained to be the oneand only Sacrifice for sin! This is an all-important point. "The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all...It pleasedthe Lord to bruise Him, He has put Him to grief." If Christ had not been sent of God to be the Savior of sinners, our faithwould have had no firm foundation to rest upon. But as God Himself has set forth Christ to be the Propitiation for human guilt,then He cannot reject the sinner who accepts that Propitiation! I need not raise any questions as to whether Christ's Atonementis sufficient, for God says that it is and as He is satisfied with the Sacrifice offered by His only-begotten and well-belovedSon, surely the most troubled conscience may be equally satisfied with it! Your offense, my Friend, was committed againstGod. If, then, God is content with what Christ has done on your behalf, and so is willing to pardon you, surely you need notenquire any further, but with gratitude you should at once accept the reconciliation which Christ has made! It is "the Lambof God" whom I have to bid you, "behold." It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died on Calvary, "the Just for the unjust,that He might bring us to God." It was God who appointed Him to die as the Substitute for sinners. It was God who acceptedthis Sacrifice when He died and now, Jehovah, Himself, speaking from His Throne of Glory, says to the sinner, "Believe onMy Son whom I have set forth as the Propitiation for human sin. Trust in Him and you shall be eternally saved."
Still further, to bring out the full force of the text, notice the next words, "Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away thesin of the world." When Jesus Christ was put into our place, our sin was laid upon Him and sin, like anything else, cannotbe in two places at one time. If, then, I, being a Believer in Jesus, know that all my sin was laid upon Christ, it necessarilyfollows that I have no sin left upon me! It has become Christ's burden. He has taken it away from me. "Yes," you say, "butthen the sin is still on Christ." Ah, but my Hearers, if our Lord Jesus Christ, "Himself bore our sins in His own body upon the tree," He there endured all the punishment that was due to us, or an equivalent for it, and those sins were by thatmeans put away-that is to say, they ceased to be-so they do not exist any longer! All my indebtedness to God was transferredto Christ and He paid all my debts! Then where are my debts now? Why, there are none! They are all gone forever. This is whatChrist does for everyone who truly trusts in Him-He takes that man's sins absolutely out of existence so that they cease tobe! Christ has accomplished the great work described to Daniel by the angel Gabriel-He has finished the transgression, madean end of sins-what a strong expression that is!-made reconciliation for iniquity and brought in everlasting righteousness!How gloriously He has put sin right away for all who believe in Him! "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removedour transgressions from us." Of all sinners in the whole world who believe in Jesus Christ, it may be truly said that alltheir sins are gone past all recall-God has cast them into the depths of the Red Sea of the Savior's blood and they shallnot be remembered against them any more forever! It is thus that the Lamb of God takes or bears away sin!
But whose sin does He take away?. The text says, "the sin of the world." By this expression I believe is intended the sinnot only of the Jews, but of Jews and Gentiles, alike-the sin not only of a few sinners, but of all sinners in the whole
world who come to Jesus and put their trust in Him! He has so taken away "the sin of the world" that every sinner in the worldwho will come to Him and trust in Him, shall have all his sins put away forever! Whether he is Greek or Jew, circumcised oruncircumcised, Barbarian or Scythian, bond or free, if he truly believes in Jesus, it is certain that Christ took all hissins away. Whether he was born 1800 years ago, or whether he shall be born in the ages that are yet to come, does not makeany difference to this fact-Christ has borne his sins if he trusts in Jesus as his own Savior. This is the sign and tokenby which he may assuredly know that he has a saving and eternal interest in the precious blood of Jesus-"He that believeson Him is not condemned." The gate of Divine Grace is set very wide open in our text-if it were not, some poor sinners wouldbe afraid to enter! "Oh," asks one, "is this mercy for me? Is it for me?" Well, Friend, I will ask you a question-will youtrust Christ? Will you come to Him this very moment and take the mercy that He freely presents to all who will accept it?If so, I am sure that it is yours-as sure as I am that it is mine!
Possibly someone has come in here tonight hoping to hear something new, but I have nothing new to tell, nor do I wish everto have anything more new than this-"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Or this, "God so loved the world thatHe gave His only-begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." When Dr. Judsonwent home to America from Burma, there was a large congregation gathered together and they requested the returned missionary,the veteran of so many years of service, to address the assembly. He stood up and simply told the story that I have againtold you tonight-the story of Christ suffering in the place of sinners and of Christ saving all who trust Him. Then he satdown and one who sat next to him said to him, "I am afraid the friends are rather disappointed-they expected to hear somethinginteresting from you." He said, "I have spoken to them to the best of my ability upon the most interesting subject in thewhole world! What could I have done better than that?" "Yes," said the other, "but after having been so long abroad, theythought that you would tell them some interesting story. They did not think you would come all the way from Burma just totell them only that." The missionary then rose and said, "I should like to go home feeling that although I have come all theway from Burma, I do not know anything that I can tell you that I think is half as good for you to hear, or half as interesting,as the story of the love of Christ in dying to save sinners."
The good doctor was right and I feel just as he did-that there is nothing so interesting as the story of the Cross! You needto hear it, you who are already saved. And you need to hear it, you who are not yet saved! You musthear it, for there is nohope of salvation for you except as faith shall come to you by hearing-and especially hearing that portion of the Word ofGod which deals most closely with the Cross of Christ!
One night, a dissolving-view lecture upon the Holy Land was being given and, as the audience, sitting in darkness, lookedat a picture of Jerusalem, they were startled by a voice asking, "Where is Calvary?" Ah, and that is the question that manyof you need to ask-"Where is Calvary?" There must you turn your eyes where, between the two thieves, your Savior died. Ifyou really look to Him as He dies there for guilty sinners, you are saved! And then whatever else you do not know, you knowenough to save you, for you are wise unto eternal life! May the Lord graciously make you thus wise through the effectual workingof His ever-blessed Spirit! So then, God in human flesh, the Divinely-appointed Sacrifice for human guilt, "the Lamb of God,"is what you are bid, in our text, to "behold."
II. But now, secondly, WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
How are we to have a part and lot in that great Sacrifice which Christ offered on Calvary? The answer of the text is, "Behold"-thatis, look to " the Lamb of God"-
"There is life in a look at the Crucified One!"
"Behold the Lamb of God" means believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, trust in Him as your Savior, accept God's Revelation concerningHim and rely upon Him to save you. This is the way of salvation!
Notice how opposed this is to the idea that we are critically to understand the Doctrines of the Gospel before we can be saved.How many persons there are who want to know this and to understand that! They come to us and say, "Here are two texts thatdo not seem, to us, to square with one another, and there are those two Doctrines of Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibilitywhich do not appear to be consistent with each other. Must we understand all the mysteries before we can be saved?" O foolishpeople! They remind me of one who is shipwrecked and who, as the lifeboat comes up to the sinking ship, or to the spar uponwhich he is floating, says to the captain, "Before I can get on board that lifeboat, I want to know the exact number of planksthere are in it. And I really do not think that knowing that would content me-I would also like to know how many rivets andbolts there are in the boat. And I also need to know what is the theory of the operation of the oars upon the waves and howit is that boats are propelled." If a man ever did talk thus, I
am pretty sure that the captain of the lifeboat would exclaim, "What a fool that man is! He is in danger of drowning, yethe talks like this! Come into the boat at once, or we must leave you to perish!" And I also feel that you unconverted sinnershave no business to set yourselves up as critics of the Word of God! There is something much simpler than that for you todo-and the text bids you do it-"Behold the Lamb of God." Do not sit down to manufacture difficulties- "believe on the LordJesus Christ, and you shall be saved." There are various ways of using a piece of bread. One man may take it and employ itin rubbing out the pencil marks which he has made upon a sheet of paper. Another man may take it to an analyst and ask himto see how much alum the baker may have put into it. But the really hungry man-the one who gets the most good out of the pieceof bread-eats it! And that is what I recommend you to do with the Gos-pel-not begin to turn it about this way and that, notask all manner of questions concerning it-but feed upon it! And the way to feed upon it is to accept it, believe it and especiallyto put your trust in Jesus Christ, who is the very Essence of the Gospel!
"Behold the Lamb of God," says the text-then that command is opposed to the question that troubles so many- whether they areelect or not!That is like wanting to read Hebrew before one has learned to speak English! Such people are not content to learnthe A B C, the elements, the rudiments of the Gospel, first-they first want to know the Gospel's classics, or mathematics,or metaphysics-but that cannot be! During the recent hard frosts I have struck up an acquaintance with a little friend who,I am afraid, may desert me, by-and-by, but our friendship has been exceedingly pleasant to each of us thus far. On the littlebalcony outside my study windows, I observed a robin frequently coming, so I took an opportunity, one morning, to put somecrumbs there and I have done the same thing every morning since. And my little feathered friend comes close up to the windowframe and picks up the crumbs. And I do not perceive that he has any difficulty about whether the crumbs were laid there forhim, or whether I had any electing love towards him in my heart. There were the crumbs-he needed them and he picked them upand ate them! And I can tell you that in doing so, he exactly fulfilled my purpose in putting the crumbs there! I thoughtthat he acted very wisely and I think that if a poor sinner wants mercy-and he sees that there is mercy to be had-he had betternot pause to ask, "Did God decree me to have it?" But go on and take it and he will then find that in doing so, he is fulfillingGod's decree! My little robin friend is very wise in his way, for he has called a friend of his to join him at the feast onthe balcony. How he did it, I do not know, but he managed to tell a blackbird all about the crumbs-and he brought him lastFriday morning to see them for himself. The blackbird was rather shy at first, and stood for a while on the iron bar of thebalcony. But after looking in at the study window, he happened down and neither he nor the robin asked whether it was my purposethat the blackbird should have any of the crumbs! But there were the crumbs and they were both hungry, so they came and fedtogether. So, if any of you find Jesus Christ for yourselves and you know some poor soul who needs Him, do not begin askingwhether it is God's purpose or decree that he, also, should find the Savior-go and invite him to come to Jesus and then bothof you come to the Savior together-and then, just as the robin and blackbird exactly fulfilled my purpose in throwing outthe crumbs, so, when you and your friend come to Christ, you will rejoice to find that you have, both of you, fulfilled theeternal purpose of the Divine Decree of the great heart of God! It is not your business to look into the book of God's secretpurposes, but to look to Christ, or, as our text puts it, to, "behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world."
Ah, but this beholding of the Lamb of God is a thing to which men cannot readily be brought! I know many whose consciencesare truly awakened and who see themselves as sinners in the sight of God, but instead of beholding the Lamb of God, they arecontinually beholding themselves! I do not think that they have any confidence in their own righteousness, but they are afraidthat they do not feel their guilt as much as they ought. They think that they are not yet sufficiently awakened, sufficientlyhumbled, sufficiently penitent and so on, and thus they fix their eyes upon themselves in the hope of getting peace with God!Suppose that yesterday or the day before, you had felt very cold and, therefore, you had gone outside your house and fixedyour gaze upon the ice and the snow-do you think that sight would have warmed you? Now you know you would have been gettingcolder all the time! Suppose you are very poor and you studiously fix your mind's eye upon your empty pocket-do you thinkthat will enrich you? Or imagine that you have had an accident and that one of your bones is broken-if you think very seriouslyof that broken bone, do you think that your consideration will mend it? Yet some sinners seem to imagine that salvation cancome to them through their consideration of their lost and ruined condition! My dear unconverted Hearers, you are lost whetheryou know it or not! Take that fact for granted. If you would be saved, look not at yourselves, but "behold the Lamb of God."He has been sent by His Father to be the Savior of sinners and it is by trust in Him that peace and pardon will come to you!I pray you not to suppose, for a single moment that your repentance, your tears, or your softened heart can prepare you forChrist! Do not come to Chr-
ist because you have a tender heart, but come to Christ to geta tender heart! Do not come to Him because you are fit to come,but because you need to be made fit! And remember that-
"All the fitness He requires Is to feel your need of Him. This He gives you -'Tis the Spirit's rising beam!" Give up lookingat yourself and "behold the Lamb of God."
Let me also, dear Friend, warn you against the notion that your prayers can save you apart from beholding Christ I believethat it is both the duty and the privilege of every living soul to pray-but that the first command to a sinner is to pray,I deny! There first command is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." And when you have done that, you will soon get to praying.I think it is stated in McCheyne's life, that after an earnest sermon, he found a man under deep concern of soul. And aftersaying a word or two to him, he said, "I cannot stay longer with you, myself, but there is one of my elders who will praywith you." The elder did so and he prayed in so fervent a fashion that it was remarked that he seemed to be like Jacob wrestlingwith the Angel until he prevailed. The man afterwards came to see Mr. McCheyne and said to him, "I am very thankful that Iwas at your Church that night. I feel very happy and I believe I am saved." "Well," said Mc-Cheyne, "what makes you feel sohappy?" "Oh," he said, "I have great faith in that good man's prayers." McCheyne at once said, "My Friend, I am afraid thatgood man's prayers will ruin you! If that is where you are putting your confidence, you are utterly mistaken." He was quiteright. And your own prayers will be just such an obstacle in your way if you trust to them instead of trusting to Christ!"I know I pray," says one, "and I am very earnest in prayer." Well, I am glad of that as far as it goes, but if you have notsomething better to trust to than your own prayers, your prayers will ruin you- for the look of faith is not to be given toprayer, but to Christ! Our text says, "Behold the Lamb of God." I have told you what that means-look by faith to the Sacrificethat Christ made for sinners on the Cross at Calvary-but if you look to anything else for salvation, you will not find it!Even your prayers, apart from faith in Christ, will not save you from everlasting destruction! O Sinner, get away from everythingelse and come to Christ-
"None but Jesus, none but Jesus, Can do helpless sinners good!" This great Truth of God, that believingis the Divinely-appointedmeans of salvation, may be illustrated by the old
story of the children of Israel and the serpent of brass. [Other Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon upon this subject, are as follows-#153,Volume 3-THE MYSTERIES OF THE BRONZE SERPENT; #285, Volume 5-MAN'S RUIN AND GOD'S REMEDY and #1500, Volume 25-NUMBER 1500-OR,LIFTING UP THE
BRONZE SERPENT.] You have heard it scores of times, yet I beg you
to listen to it once more! When the people were bitten by the fiery serpents in the wilderness, they were commanded to lookat the serpent of brass that was lifted upon a pole-and whoever looked, lived. They had nothing to do but look! Moses liftedup the serpent and pointed to it and cried, "Look! Look! Look! And be healed." Possibly there were some who said they werebitten too badly to look. Well, if they could not or did not look, they would die. They might think it was a proof of theirhumility to say, "We are too sick to be cured," but if they did so, they would die whether they were humble or not! O my Hearer,do not be lost through a mock humility which is really abominable pride! You are not too great a sinner to be saved! I willventure to say that you will dishonor Christ if you ever think such a thing! So let not that sinful thought destroy you!
There may have been others who said, "We shall not look to the bronze serpent for we have only got a mere scratch-it willsoon be gone." But you know a poison scratch means death and if your sin were only a scratch (it is much more than that) itwould mean eternal damnation for you! So look to Jesus, I implore you, just as you are! Look now! Look and live!
Perhaps there was one who said, "My father had a famous recipe for serpent bites. It was given to him by a celebrated doctorin Egypt, so we will mix up the proper ingredients and so get cured." Well, if any who were bitten were to act and speak likethat, they would all die-the deadly venom would certainly destroy them, whatever ointments they might use! A look at the bronzeserpent gave life, but the refusal to look brought death.
There may have been some fine gentlemen there who had imbibed skeptical notions during their life in Egypt. They were so cleverthat they thought they knew a great deal more than the Lord's servant to whom God had specially revealed the only effectualremedy, so they turned on their heels and said, "Such a remedy as this is utterly ridiculous! It is not according to the lawsof physics that the mere looking at a piece of brass can heal people of the bites of snakes!" So they perished. Notwithstandingall their learning and wit, notwithstanding their jeers at the Divinely-appointed remedy,
they perished. And nobody in the whole camp was healed except those who were simple enough and wise enough to take God atHis word. Then, though they were terribly bitten, though their blood was set on fire by the poison and though some of themwere in a truly desperate state-when they just looked at the bronze serpent-in a moment their blood again flowed healthilythrough their veins and their strength returned to them in all its former vigor! And, dear Friends, there shall be no soulsaved in the whole world except by looking to the crucified Christ of Calvary! All trust in christening, (or even in Baptism),in confirmation, in sacraments, in ceremonies, in priests, popes and relics-are all lies-but as long as God's Word remainstrue, he who looks by faith to Christ, alone, must and shall be eternally saved! Oh, how can I utter this Truth of God soas to make it plainer, or how shall I plead with you so as to bring you all to trust in Christ? I cannot do this, but I praythe Holy Spirit to do it, for He can-and then you will believe in Jesus and so receive everlasting life!
III. I must not detain you longer, as our time has fled. Otherwise I was to have answered a third question, WHY SHOULD WETHUS LOOK?
The answer would have been that God has appointed this as the only way of salvation, that those who obey the command of thetext will obtain immediate salvation and that, being saved, they shall have joy and peace in believing! But you who neglector refuse to "behold the Lamb of God" must, without doubt, everlastingly perish! Of His infinite mercy, may God graciouslygrant that none whom I am now addressing may refuse to believe in Jesus, but may everyone look to Him and live-live now, andlive forever!
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: JOHN 1:1-34.
Verse 1. In the beginning was the Word. Christ the Word has existed from all eternity! He is the Eternal Son of the EternalFather. He is really what Melchisedec was metaphorically, "having neither beginning of days, nor end of life." "In the beginningwas the Word."
I. And the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was as truly God as the Father was God, and as the Spirit wasGod. "These Three are One," and have always been One. "Very God of very God" is that Jesus whom we trust, love and adore!
2-5. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it notThe light of Christ shone many times amid the darkness that enshrouded the world before His coming to live here in the flesh,yet comparatively few recognized that light and rejoiced in it. Christ's light shines more brightly now, but the dark, benightedsoul of man perceives not the brightness of our spiritual Lord until the Holy Spirit works the mighty miracle of Regenerationand so gives sight to those who have been blind.
6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. What a descent it is from, "The Word of God," to the "man sent fromGod, whose name was John." Jesus Himself said concerning John, "Among them that are born of women there has not risen a greaterthan John the Baptist." Yet, from the greatest of Prophets, what a climb it is to get up to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John."
7-9. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through Him might believe. He was not that Light,but was sent to bear witness of that Light That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.Johncould not do that-he could only bear witness to Christ, the true Light, who alone is able to illuminate, in a larger or lesserdegree, "every man that comes into the world."
10. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him and the world knew Him not Oh, what terrible estrangement sin has causedbetween God and man! What dreadful ignorance sin has created in the human mind! The world was made by Christ, yet "the worldknew Him not."
II. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not To those who were chosen as "His own" out of all the nations upon theearth, to those to whom He was especially promised of old, to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob-to these Jesus came,yet they "received Him not."
12. But-This is a blessed, "But." Though Christ's own nation, the Jews, as a whole "received Him not," there was "a remnantaccording to the election of Grace," there were some who received Him. "But"-
12. As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. How camethose persons to receive Him when others rejected Him? There must have been some great change
worked in them to make them different from the rest of their countrymen. And truly there was, for these were twice-born men-
13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God [See Sermon #2259,
Volume 38-THE SIMPLICITY AND SUBLIMITY OF SALVATION.] So that those
who receive Christ, those who truly believe on Christ, are people who have been born, as others have notbeen born, by a newbirth from Heaven-a supernatural birth, so that they are a people set apart by themselves as those who have been created twice-firstas human beings just like others, and then as new creatures in Christ Jesus!
14-18. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of theFather), full of Grace and Truth. John bore witness of Him and cried, saying, This was He of whom I spoke, He that came afterme ispreferred before me: for He was before me. And ofHis fullness have we all received, and
THE TREASURY OF THE SAINTS-Read/download both sermons, free of charge, at http://www.spurgeongems.orgQ for the Law was givenby Moses, but
Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father,He has declared Him.There is no way of knowing God and being reconciled to God except as we receive Jesus Christ, His Son,into our hearts and learn of Him all that He delights to reveal to us concerning His Father through the Holy Spirit's teaching.
19-23. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you? Andhe confessed, and denied not but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then, Are you Elijah? And he said,I am not. Are you that Prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, who are you, that we may give an answer to themthat sent us? What say you of yourself? He said, I am the voice-Not the Word, but "the voice" by which the Word was to bemade known-"I am the voice"-
23-27. Of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the lord, as said the Prophet Isaiah. And they which weresent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why do you baptize, then, if you are not that Christ, norElijah, neither that Prophet? John answered them saying, I baptize with water: but there stands One among you, whom you knownot. He it is, who coming after me ispreferred before me, whose shoe laces I am not worthy to unloose.See the true humilityof this faithful servant of Christ! He does not dream of putting His own name side by side with his Master's. The unloosingof shoe laces was work for a slave to do, but if we are privileged to perform this work for Christ, it will make us as kingsbefore Him! To do anythingfor Christ-to have even a menial's place in His palace is better than being an emperor among men!May we have the portion of those who are not ashamed to unloose the laces of Christ's shoes!
28-31. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordon, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming untohim, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes a way the sin of the world. This is He of whom I said, After me comes aMan which is preferred before me: for He was before me. And I knew Him not-"When first I saw
31-34. But that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bore record, saying,I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptizewith water, the same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He whichbaptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Since John's time, many others haveborne similar testimony. We, also, have received Him and rejoice to say that He has baptized us with the Holy Spirit. Allthat John said of Him is true-and much more than John said is also true. He is the Lamb of God who has taken upon Himselfthe sin of all who believe in Him and, therefore, He is able to save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. Oh,that all men would receive the testimony concerning Him which we find in this blessed Book-and which we delight to repeatin His name!
[See Sermons #858, Volume 15-THE FULLNESS OF JESUS THE TREASURY OF SAINTS and #1169, Volume 20-THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST.]