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A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, SEPTEMBER 29, 1872,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest you are wearied and faint in your minds."
WHEN the Hebrew Christians were suffering dire persecution the Apostle could suggest no better support for their faith than this, "Consider Him." He bade them look to Jesus and compare their case with that of their Lord. Such contemplations would prove a sovereign balm for their distressed minds. A consideration of our Lord and Master is the best conceivable stay and support during persecution. Let us look into that fact for a few minutes. The Believer under persecution should remember that he is suffering no strange thing, but is only enduring that which fell upon his Master before him.
Should the disciple expect to be above his Lord? "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?" If they had received Christ they would have received us, but since they reject both Christ and His sayings, the followers of Christ must expect that both their persons and their doctrines will be lightly esteemed. Remember that in addition to His being our Master, Jesus is also God. Shamefully unrighteous was the opposition of mankind to God, whom by all reasons of right and justice they were bound to reverence—yet He endured with almighty patience the contradiction of sinners against Himself. A word from His lips would have withered them, but, like a sheep before her shearers, He was dumb.
One glance of His eyes of fire would have consumed their spirits, but those eyes distilled tears instead. You are but men—is it much that men should mock you? If God Himself, in the Person of His dear Son has endured the opposition of sinners, who are you, O sons of men, that you should wonder, much less should murmur when you are reviled for Jesus' sake? Remember, too, that our dear Lord and Master was perfectly innocent. It was a cruel thing that He should be opposed who had done no harm to anyone. "For which of these works do you stone Me?" He asked a plaintive question, as much as if He had said—"I have healed your sick, I have fed your hungry, I have raised your dead. And do you thus requite me! Are stones the only testimonies of your appreciation?" They called Him a drunk, yet well we know He was Temperance itself. They said He had a devil, though He was the Lord of angels. They charged Him with treason, and yet He was, Himself, the King of kings and Lord of all.
Now, Brothers and Sisters, in us there is much that is evil and when men speak evil of us falsely we may say within ourselves, "Ah, had they known me better they might have truthfully found fault with me in some other direction." You are not innocent, Beloved. Oftentimes you bring the rebuke upon yourselves and the contradiction of sinners against your religion is due to your own fault quite as well as to the world's opposition to the Truth of God which you love. Therefore if He, the Spotless One, endured, should not you endure who are so far from innocent? Should not you be willing for His sake to suffer persecution?
Remember, too, the loving mission upon which our Master came. He came into this world on purpose to save men. He had no sinister motive, nor even a secondary aim. The glory of God in the salvation of lost souls was all He lived for, and yet for all that, sinners were infuriated against Him and opposed Him with might and main. Now, the good you can confer upon them is slender enough compared with the rich gifts with which the Master's hands were laden. You come, it is true, to tell them of a Savior, but you cannot save them. You bring glad tidings of good things, but you are only tiding-bearers of the good things your Master actually brought. If they persecuted Him who gave His blood for their redemption, it is not amazing if you, who can only tell what He has done, should bear some of the reproaches that fell upon Him.
We remember, dear Friends, how bitter were the reproaches that assailed Him—how the enmity of man put forth all its cruel force. They were not content with slandering Him in life—they must hurry Him away to death. Reproach broke His heart and He was full of heaviness. Thus they tortured His soul and you have not forgotten their cruelties to Him in Pilate's Hall where the mental and physical agonies were blended. You cannot forget the nailing to the Cross and the scorn which saluted Him in the midst of His dying grief. You have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. What have you endured compared with His?
As the poet standing upon the desolate mounds of ruined Rome considering the death-throes of an empire, said, "What are our petty griefs? Let me not number mine." So may you say, "What are the sufferings of any of the saints compared with the infinite griefs of the eternal Son of God?" His was suffering, indeed. "Consider Him, lest you are weary and faint in your minds." Yet reflect, Beloved, amid all these sufferings our Lord's temper remained unruffled. He spoke strong words against hypocrisy and falsehood wherever He beheld them. He spared neither Scribe nor Pharisee, but in those stern denunciations not a single atom of personal anger was blended. He did not denounce them in resentment for their attacks upon Himself, but because they deserved to be denounced and were in themselves too vile to be tolerated. No personal animosity ever ruffled the serenity of our great Master's spirit.
Moreover, He was never moved to take the slightest revenge upon His foes—even for those who nailed Him to the Cross He had no return but the prayer, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And, as He had no vengeance against them, so they exerted no evil influence upon Him. He persevered in His lifework just as much as if He had never been opposed. Like the sun that goes on in its strength whether there are clouds to hide it or whether it shines out of the blue serene, Christ continued in His heavenward way. Coming out of His chamber full of love to His spouse like a bridegroom girded for the race He pursued His mighty journey, tarrying not till He had fulfilled His course.
Oh, how strengthening is this contemplation! Let us consider Him and reflect that by reason of His sufferings and His patience, and His forgiveness, and His perseverance He achieved a triumph over evil which was, in effect, a complete victory of righteousness over sin! If He could have been ruffled He had been defeated. If He could have been angered He had been overthrown. If He could have been stayed in His progress, then He had not been victorious. But He bore and bore and bore again—He suffered and He suffered and He suffered, still, like the anvil that replies not to the hammer— He yet wore out those hammers by His patience!
Brethren, consider this and suffer yourselves with a patience like your Master's. Consider Jesus, and push on in the allotted path of holy service just as He did. Consider Him, and look forward with expectancy to the joy of triumphing over evil, for Christ will, in you, get the victory over sin again—in you He will again be crowned with many crowns and in you, again, His cross shall become the symbol and weapon of victory!
But now I must confess I did not take this text with the view of preaching from it as it stands, but from a light which breaks out of it. We have given you an outline of what could have been said upon the text, but the thought occurred to me if the consideration of Christ is a most effectual medicine to the persecuted so as to prevent their being weary or faint in their mind, doubtless the same sacred balm would be beneficial to all other cases of spiritual distress. And as I thought of all the diseases of God's people, and like a physician tried this prescription upon them, I discovered that it was equally suitable and effectual in every case!
So I thought I would speak this Sunday morning to those souls which most need our care, namely, to those who are seeking Jesus and longing after salvation but are filled with doubts and despondencies. And I will say to them, "consider Him." I am persuaded, Beloved, if I am enabled by God's Spirit to lead any seeking soul to "consider Him," I shall also lead that soul into liberty! I believe this topic will be the opening of the prison doors to them that are bound. I feel for some of you that God has set before you, this morning, an open door which no man can shut! And my prayer shall be offered over every syllable that I utter, that God may lead you through that open door at this very moment—so that not 20 or 100, but thousands of you may find Christ and be saved with an everlasting salvation!
I know the medicine has power in it if God the Holy Spirit will but apply it. I shall now speak to the seeking sinner, taking him by the hand and appealing to him in simple but earnest language. You that seek salvation I say unto you, in the name of the living God, consider Christ Jesus, the Son of God, the only Savior of man! And do this, first, to meet your own consideration of your SIN. You are awakened enough to know that you have sinned against God. Though a little while ago sin seemed a trifle, you now know that your sin is a terrible thing, a deadly thing. And the thought
oppresses your spirit that your sin deserves the wrath of God—that it must be punished—that God would not be a just moral Governor if He were to pardon you absolutely! You know He must take vengeance upon your inventions and punish you for your iniquity.
Now I am glad that you have considered your sin and the heinousness of it, but, poor Soul, let me take you by the hand and say to you, consider Him—the Savior, Christ Jesus. For if you will think of Him you will remember that God has been just and has laid the sin of His people upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It was impossible that sin should be wiped out with no reaction from God. But He has been pleased to accept a Substitute in the Person of His only-begotten Son who could lawfully be a Substitute because He is the Head of His people and it was natural that in their fall He should take an interest as being to them what Adam was to the whole human race.
Now, the Lord need not punish you, oh Sinner, for sin, for He has punished Jesus Christ in the place of all believing sinners! He need not visit you with stripes, for the stripes due to your sin, if you believe in Jesus, were laid upon another's back—your iniquities were gathered all together in one mighty load and then placed upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ, the great Scapegoat for sin! Does not that remove distress from your mind? If you consider your sin, consider also the five wounds, consider the bloody sweat, consider the tortured Person of the Immaculate Christ who was God at the same time that He was Man, and say to your soul, "If Jesus died in your place, there is a sufficient recompense made to the injured honor of Almighty God so that He can be just and yet the Justifier of the ungodly."
But there rises in your mind this thought, "My sin has placed me in a miserable position, for I am a sinner and being a sinner I must be obnoxious to the anger of God. It is not possible that a pure God could permit me to dwell in His Presence, for He cannot look upon iniquity. How can I hope for acceptance before God when I am defiled?" Now hearken, Soul. You are a sinner, but "consider Him." Ask yourself what is Jesus Christ? I speak with reverence of His name, as our Redeemer, what is He apart from sinners? Is not His name, "Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins"? If there were no sinners, what could be the value of His name? It would be an empty sounding title without a meaning! How could He save if there were no lost ones to be saved? He could only be called a Savior by way of compliment and fancy.
Think about it, what did Jesus come from Heaven for if He had not a relation to sinners? "It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." He came for nothing if He does not find sinners and save them! And if you, and such as you, have no right to look to Jesus, then what did He come to earth for? If there is a righteous man here who has no sin, Jesus has nothing to do with you—you will perish without a Savior! But if you are a sinner, you are the kind of person that He came to save and the fact of your knowing that you are a sinner should give you comfort!
Look at the Characters of Christ—"consider Him." Is He not a Priest? And what is a priest for, but to make propitiation for the sins of the people? Is not our Lord described as a Sacrifice for sin? But to what end is there a bloody sacrifice if there is no sin to put away? Jesus is our Advocate. What says the Apostle? "If any man sin, we have an Advocate." Who needs an Advocate with God but the man who has offended? Jesus is an Intercessor, too, but who needs Him to intercede for him if he is innocent? He makes intercession for the sins of His people. You see, then, if you will consider Him, just as a poor man is necessary before there can be an almsgiver—just as a disconsolate soul is necessary before a comforter can exercise his office—so a sinner is necessary before a Savior can be what He is ordained to be!
Jesus needs your sinnership that He may exercise His sacred craft upon it! Put a surgeon down amidst men who are never sick and what is there for him to do? Tell a physician that in a certain city no one is ever ill and he will take himself off by the next train. If there were no sinners what use would a Propitiation be? Therefore as you consider Him, though your sense of sin will not vanish, your despair about it will be driven away. "Yes, but," says another, "while I have been considering my sin I have been stunned altogether by a sense of its greatness. Oh Sir, mine has not been mere verbal sin—I have committed crimson transgressions of which it were a shame to speak! I have defiled myself by actual crimes which I cannot efface from my memory."
Be it so, but I bring you my one remedy—"Consider Him." What sort of a Savior is Jesus Christ—a little Savior or a great one? Is He not the Son of God and, Himself, God? What need is there of a Divine Person to be a Propitiation for limited sin? It was the infinity of sin that required the Godhead itself to become Incarnate in order that human guilt might be put away. If you say, "I have but little sin," I tell you Christ will have nothing to do with you. He came not
from Heaven to be a physician to a pin's prick of a man's finger which will heal of itself—He is a Physician who delights to heal putrefying sores and gaping wounds and incurable diseases! And you, you great, big, devilish Sinner, you are just the sort of man that Christ delights to operate upon, for in you will He show His power, His mercy, His Grace, His Sovereignty!
There is room to display the infinity of His mercy in such a one as you are. Therefore, be not cast down, be not faint and weary in your seeking after Him, but come at once and close in with Him who is mighty to save. "Yes," says another, "but in turning over my sin I see the peculiarity of it. I believe my case is one by itself. I do not think another man could have committed the sin I have done under the circumstances and with the peculiar aggravations." Be it so. You are a unique sinner, but "consider Him," for He is a unique Savior! Was there ever such a one as Jesus? You are a terrible sinner, but His name is called Wonderful. If you are a sinner of such a class that if you are saved all the angels will throng the streets to see you come to Heaven and point at you, and say, "Behold a monstrous sinner, saved." I say, if it is so you will bring all the more glory to Christ—you will only make His name the more famous through every heavenly street!
But I tell you, however much by yourself you may be, Christ will meet you. If you have out-roared all others in the daring flights of your sin, Jesus has gone beyond you in the flights of His mercy! Though you should have gone as near the gates of Hell as possible and have imitated the devil in his worst qualities, yet the Redeemer is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him! He is a Savior, and a great one! If you can ever find such a Savior as Christ, then I will ask you to find such a sinner as yourself. But since you think you are such a unique sinner, since you must say of yourself, "Ne plus ultra," I will say the same of Jesus—there is none beyond Him. He stands alone and by Himself, and so the sinner and the Savior are well matched. Let your fears be hushed to sleep and put your trust in Him.
Now, the same precious sentence will be useful to the seeking soul if its contemplation should have taken another shape. I can well believe that some of you are grievously oppressed with the sense of the greatness of GOD. You have lived for years negligent of the God who created you and supplied your needs. But now you have been awakened and aroused to the fact that there is a God, a God whom you have despitefully entreated, whom you have shamefully disregarded— and you are shocked to find that it is so, for now you have a sense of the greatness of God—and you are afraid that He will crush you! You know the justice of God and you are sure that He must avenge the injuries you have done to His holy Law and, therefore, you go about every day with a dreadful sound in your ears, crying, "Where shall I go from His Presence, and how shall I escape from His vengeance?"
You are surrounded with God and in Him you live and move and have your being—and this everywhere present God is your enemy, for you have made Him so by your rebellions against Him! Now as a cure for all this, I have to say to you, "consider Him"—Christ Jesus. You are afraid of God because He hates sin. Your fears are based on truth! God hates sin infinitely! If there were only one grain of sin in the whole universe, He would burn it to ashes to get rid of that grain of sin for it is such a detestable thing in His sight. But now consider Christ Jesus—sin was laid on Him. If you will come now and put your trust in Jesus, you may be sure that your sin was laid on Christ and the wrath of God concerning sin was spent upon Him. The vials of Jehovah's indignation were poured upon the devoted head of the Great Shepherd of the sheep. God hates sin, but He will not hate you, for you have no sin if you believe in Jesus, seeing your sin is transferred to your Surety and laid upon Christ—you are clean.
"Ah, but," you say, "He is such a holy God, how can I approach Him?" Well, I will tell you the most blessed secret out of Heaven. It is this—you can, by faith, put on the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus and when you have it on you, you will be as holy in the sight of God as Christ is holy! Did not Jesus keep the Law? What need was there that He should? He needed not to have become a servant to His Father! He has a righteousness to spare and He gives it to us, for He is made unto us, "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." When a soul puts on the righteousness of Christ by faith, even the all-seeing eyes of God cannot see a flaw in that righteousness!
Adam in the Garden had a perfect righteousness, but then it was only a human one. You and I, when we believe in Jesus, have a perfect righteousness which is Divine—the righteousness of the Eternal Son of God Himself—and so we can come to God as if we had been perfectly innocent, and stand on terms of full familiarity with the Thrice Holy One. "Ah," says one, "there is good cheer in all this, but still, I have some dread remaining, for God is infinitely great." It is true, it is true, but I would have you, "consider Him," for remember, the God you have to do with is not God as seen on
Sinai, or rather as obscurely heard amidst the dense darkness of the trembling mountain! You have to do with God in Christ Jesus and therefore, "consider Him."
Now think for a minute. Jesus is a strong God, it is true. Do you not see Him walking the waters of the sea? But why does He pause in the midst of His wondrous march over the waves? It is to stretch out His hand and save Peter from sinking, who had said, "Lord save me, or I perish!" The strength of God shall do the same for you—as you are sinking and ready to perish—the Omnipotent God will put out His hand and snatch you from the waves of fire and deliver your soul from destruction! Consider Christ Jesus a moment as a strong God, and how He uses His strength. He walks down the streets where the sick folk lie in their beds and does He trample on them and crush out the last spark of life from those poor wretches? No, but He torches this one and an eye is opened, and He puts his finger on another and an ear is unstopped. He lays His hand on the dead and they arise!
Oh, yes, and He will do this for you. Be thankful for a mighty God, for in Christ Jesus the Omnipotence of God will only come to heal your woes. See this Omnipotent One take the loaves and the fishes in His hands and break them, and as He breaks them they multiply till all those thousands are fed out of one basket of barley loaves and small fishes—He will feed your soul with heavenly bread to the fullest! His greatness will reveal itself in supplying your great necessities and blessing you greatly. You will see it so, if you will consider Jesus—
"Till God in human flesh I see
My thoughts no comfort find.
The holy, just, and sacred Three,
Are terrors to my mind.
But if Immanuel's face appears,
My hope, my joy begins,
His name forbids my slavish fears,
His Grace forgives my sins."
So I have used the remedy thus far. I dare say I shall be a little tedious—the doctor is always tedious when he has many wounds to bind up. It may be that some soul here is saying, "You have not touched my difficulty yet. I am troubled about sin, and I am troubled about God, but still my greatest anxiety is this—I know that if I could believe, my sins would be pardoned, but I am perplexed with UNBELIEF and I am sorely distressed because of the HARDNESS OF MY HEART which will not let me repent."
Come, then, Soul, and "consider Him." First, you say, "I have little or no faith." Then "consider Him." Did Jesus ever stipulate for great faith before He healed a soul? What trembling faith He accepted in the days of His flesh! The poor leper says, "Lord if You will, You can make me clean." You can get as far as that, can't you? And Jesus Christ said, "I will, be you clean." A poor woman came into the crowd and was afraid to face the Master, so she crept behind Him and touched the hem of His garment and stole a cure, for she said, "If I may but touch the hem of His garment I shall be made whole." And Jesus did not rebuke her but said, "Your faith has made you whole, go in peace."
So Jesus Christ loves little faith! Therefore you, poor Much-Afraid, and you, Despondency, "consider Him," and His gentleness towards the timid and trembling, and let your fears be gone. But you say, "Ah, I am afraid I have no faith at all." Then, Beloved, "consider Him," and among other matters consider well how He deserves your faith. Tell me, what did Jesus ever do that you should doubt Him? He says He will save you if you will trust Him. Point to one promise He has broken. I challenge you, yes, I challenge all the world to point to one Word that ever fell from His lips and was not fulfilled! That dear and precious Savior is Truth itself! I feel I can trust Him and whenever I do not trust Him it is because I have not considered Him.
The sight of Him makes me feel that I would rush into His arms. What? Not trust Him who "bears the earth's huge pillars up?" I must trust Him! Son of God and Son of Man, I see both Your strength and Your tenderness, and I must rely upon You. I pray the man who feels that he cannot believe to consider Christ Jesus, think of Him in the Garden! Think of Him on the Cross. Will not His death suffice? Think of Him as rising from the dead and pleading before the eternal Throne—
"Venture on Him, venture wholly, Let no other trust intrude, Surely this Savior
Can do helpless sinners good."
Well, then, suppose that after all you should still say, "But I still find unbelief my trouble"? Then I ask you to remember that He was exalted on high on purpose that He might bestow the gift of faith and repentance. Even while He was here on earth, His disciples prayed, "Lord, increase our faith," and you may without doubt pray to Him to give you faith. And you, who mourn a rocky heart, you may say, "Lord, You are exalted on high to give repentance to Israel—give repentance to me!"
Jesus can touch your heart and make it tender in a moment! Only let that nail-pierced hand be laid upon your cold, petrified heart and it will become warm and instinct with heavenly life. If you look to yourself to find repentance, you will look long, but if you will look to Him, is it not written, "They shall look on Him whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his first-born"? A sight of Christ breeds repentance in the heart! Jesus looked on Peter—Peter's eyes were dry till then, but Peter saw that look and it melted Peter's heart—right through his nature it pierced like some mighty gleam of a ten-fold sun! In a moment it pierced the iceberg of his nature and dissolved his soul! One look at Jesus will melt a heart of stone. "Consider Him," then.
Come to the point. You cannot believe nor repent, but He can give you both! If you urge yourself to these, you will often make a mistake and make yourself more unbelieving and more impenitent than before. But if you go to Him for every Grace that brings you near and ask that without money—He will give you everything! He will freely bestow them upon you. If you let Him be Savior from top to bottom, from beginning to end—if you will just go to Him as helpless, lost and ruined and confide yourself entirely to Him—you shall find He will not and cannot fail you in this, the time of your need. Thus you see, considering Him gets rid of those troubles. May the Spirit of God prove it to be so!
Perhaps YOUR OWN INSIGNIFICANCE causes you to doubt. You complain and say, "I cannot think Christ would save me. I am nobody. I am mean, poor, obscure." Dear Friend, consider Jesus! Did He ever fawn at the great ones' feet? Did He preach in the royal chapel and utter there soft nothings, fit for the ears of kings and queens? You know He did not! He wore the smock-frock of the peasantry and called fishermen to be His Apostles—thus pouring contempt on princes—for, "not many great men after the flesh, not many mighty are called." He has chosen the base things of this world and the things that are not has God chosen to bring to nothing the things that are.
"Ah," says one, "but I mean I have no gift or knowledge." Then "consider Him," and let me bring Him before your eyes. I see Him standing with uplifted hands, exclaiming, "Father I thank You that You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seems good in Your sight." Does not that settle that question once and for all? I am sure it ought to do so! "Ah," says one, "but I am so unworthy." Yes, and will you tell me where Christ was accustomed to seek out the worthy ones? Did He not go and touch blind beggars' eyes who were nothing but beggars and had no recommendation but poverty?
Did He not bless those who had no claim by way of righteousness? Does mercy ever ask for merit? Does it not, on the contrary, seek for misery? If an angel of mercy hovered over this congregation, poising himself in mid air, I should know that he did not come with mercy to those of you who are good and have no sin—why should he come to insult you? But if there is a broken-hearted sinner here, I know that the angel has a gracious word for him, from the heart of Him who delights in mercy! Do not say I am a nobody, and am therefore forgotten! Christ Jesus loves nobodies! He delights to pick up those whom society throws away—the very offscouring and sweepings are His choice! Solomon built his temple of cedar, but our Lord builds His temple with the meanest woods in the forest. Any jeweler can make a precious thing of gold, but Jesus makes diamonds out of dross and crowns out of clay!
Yes, but perhaps I have not met the peculiar distress of some and so let me try again. "Ah," says one, "but I feel my POWERLESSNESS for everything that is good. I am sure if I am saved I cannot help in it." Ah, poor Fool, it is strange that ever we should think we could help the Lord to save us! Could you have helped in Creation? If you had been there, when God was making the world, would you have offered to help Him? When He said, "Let there be light," would you have rushed forward with a match and said, "Permit me to add my little spark"? It is insulting to think of such a thing! But Salvation is a greater work than Creation! Stand back, you impertinent flesh and blood! You can only hinder the great work. God does not need your help. Abase yourself and He will glorify Himself in your salvation.
"Still," says one, "I feel so feeble in everything I try to do. I tried to pray, but I could not." What did you do? "I fretted because I could not pray." Well, you prayed much better than if you had thought you had prayed, for he who
groans because he cannot pray has prayed the best prayer in the world! The poor publican did not say much, but when he smote upon his breast, even if he had not added the recorded words, he prayed! That smiting on his bosom meant the true prayer of his soul, "God be merciful to me, a sinner." "Ah," says another, "I have been trying to overcome sin lately, and I have been beaten." You shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb, but all your own warring against sin will certainly end in defeat. Let the sword of the Lord and of Gideon be laid bare and the Midianites will soon be put to the rout. But unless it is the sword of the Lord there will be no routing your foes. "Consider Him," and have hope.
"Oh, but if I have any love to Christ it is so little. If I have any faith it is almost unbelief. If I have any life it is but a flicker. How can I be saved?" Now, Soul, once and for all have done with all this talk! Your salvation is in Christ, and not in you! Do not say, "/ have little strength"—confess you have none at all and then you are nearer the truth! Do not say, "I have little life"—confess that you are dead by nature and you have hit the mark.
Do not say, "I have little virtue"—say, "All unholy and unclean, I am nothing else but sin." When you reach the bottom you cannot fall lower and that is the place where you ought to be—and Jesus will never meet you till you come to the lowest point. Your extremity is His opportunity! When you are a beggarly bankrupt and cannot pay half a farthing in the pound, then all Christ's richest treasures shall be yours! But if you have a little to add to help the Savior, just so that you may have a side glance at the Glory, He will have nothing to do with you! He wants you, but He needs nothing of yours. He wants your emptiness to fill it and He needs nothing of your own to increase His fullness.
Now I must hasten on for time fails me. Perhaps, I have some here who say, "My case lies out of your track this morning, for I am the subject of very fierce Satanic TEMPTATIONS. I have lately been met with such blasphemous thoughts and horrible suggestions that I can scarcely conceive any other human being has ever been subjected to them." Now, at once "consider Him." He was "tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." "We have a High Priest who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities." I need you to remember this and so to "consider Him." I know that if a preacher of the Gospel has had no temptations nobody ever goes to him with questions of conscience. But if a man of God has been led through great adversity and soul trouble, all the distressed and afflicted people in the neighborhood are sure to fly to him because he can sympathize with them.
Now, our dear Redeemer can sympathize with you who are tempted of the devil, for He was 40 days in the wilderness tempted of Satan, too. Go to Him. "But I am afraid of the temptations I shall have in years to come." Are you? Then "consider Him," for "He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them." What a choice word that was of His to Peter, "Satan has desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not." Oh, poor Soul, consider Jesus and remember that if all the devils in Hell were to tempt you and you had but Jesus Christ present with you, you need no more be afraid than if the dogs in the streets barked at your heels when all their teeth were drawn!
Jesus has broken the devil's teeth by the power of His intercession. Satan has power to howl at us but he cannot bite us! He worries whom he can't devour with a malicious joy, but the Lord has smitten our enemy upon the cheek bone and by one tremendous blow of His pierced hand He has broken the teeth of the Oppressor. I hear yet another cry. "Come here," says one, "I have something to whisper in your ear I can hardly tell. My trouble is about my INWARD CORRUPTION. Oh, if ever there was an unclean heart in all the world I have it! It is like some foul pond which bubbles up with putrid gas. My inmost nature is filled with all manner of filthiness and iniquity like a mud volcano which pours forth a horrid stream. Oh, Sir, my heart is abominable! A cage of unclean birds is nothing compared to it—it is a den of
Well, well, "consider Him." You remember how He came into the Temple and there were the buyers and sellers with their bullocks and sheep and doves? I have often marveled at the ease with which He drove them out. He had not even a rope with Him, but only a few small cords—and He began, straightway, to lay about Him, and oh, how they ran! Those money-grubbers, who would not have lost a shekel for their lives unless their gold and silver spilt on the ground, quickly fled while the bullocks and the sheep ran from the holy place and the doves fluttered out into the air! Let Christ come into your heart and He will soon drive out the buyers and sellers, yes, and the old dragon himself!
Remember, too, that Jesus is Creator. He made the heavens and the earth—cannot He create you anew? Is it not said, "He that sat upon the Throne said, behold I make all things new"? Consider His Omnipotent power—having given you a new heart, can He not make you completely holy? Oh, think not so continually of your sin and sinfulness and proneness
to transgression, but think of Christ, almighty to save—and whether you sink or swim cast yourself upon Him! Lost or saved, come and cling to His Cross this morning and I guarantee you not one of you shall perish, but eternal life shall be the portion of every man that rests in Him!
Still, somebody says, "I am troubled about THE THREE LAST THINGS. I am afraid of death, and I am afraid of judgment, and I am afraid of Hell." Afraid of death? Well, but if you will but trust the Son of God who died for sinners, you need never be afraid to die! Your little child, when she has run about and wearied herself and wants to sleep, is she afraid to fall asleep in Mother's arms, with her head on Mother's breast? And you, dear child of God, when you are wearied with your work, you shall go and lay your head on Jesus' bosom and fall asleep. And it shall be just as easy and just as sweet as for your little ones to sleep on your bosom.
"But I am afraid of judgment," says one. Judgment? But your judgment is past already! Your sins were judged in Christ and punished in Christ, if you believe in Him. The sins of all Believers were brought before the bar of judgment and condemned and broken on the wheel in Christ. Let us go back to that famous passage by Paul for a minute. He pictures God's chosen people standing before the Throne, and he cries, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?" Who is afraid of judgment when nobody can lay anything to his charge? And then he goes on to say, "Who is it that condemns?" None can condemn but the Judge, and who is He? It is Christ that died, and can He that died for us condemn us? Impossible! He cannot belie Himself! So you need not be afraid of judgment.
"But I am afraid of Hell," says one. Ah, and there is good cause to fear it. "Fear Him who can cast both body and soul into Hell, yes, I say unto you, fear Him." But you need not fear Hell if you trust in Jesus, for Christ has suffered the punishment of your sin and as far as you are concerned Hell is not! There are no flames of wrath for you—they spent themselves upon the Savior! When the Jew laid his sin-offering on the altar and the fire consumed it, the sinful Jew stood there and said, "That bullock stands for me." When it had all burned, he said, "My sins are burned." And when they took the ashes into an unclean place and utterly consumed them, he said, "my sin is put away. They have put it outside the camp, it is consumed."
So when we "consider Him," even our dear Lord Jesus on the Cross, we see Him there a complete Sacrifice. We see the fire of God roasting and burning Him up, consuming Him till He is utterly consumed as a Sacrifice, and there our sin was annihilated. Every Believer may know that there his sin ceased to be, for it is written, "He has finished transgression. He has made an end of sin and has brought in an everlasting righteousness."
I do not want to stop when I have such a subject as this, but I must. As I finish it shall be with this earnest prayer that every seeking sinner here may believe in Jesus at once. Oh, weary one, why do you not repose upon Him? Wanderer, you will never find rest till you come to Jesus! Seeker, vain is your seeking if you will not have my Lord! Trembler, your trembling itself is to be trembled at if it keeps you from the Cross! There is the Savior to be had without money and without price—He is preached to you. Believe Him—that is trust Him—and live forever! The Lord bless you, now, and constrain you of His mercy to do so for Jesus' sake. Amen.
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