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Good Cheer From Grace Received
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27, 1906.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE. NEWINGTON.
"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment: for she said within herself, If Imay but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; your faith has made you whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." Matthew 9:20-22.
"But as He went the people thronged Him. And a woman having an issue ofblood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed ofany, came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched Me? When all denied, Peter and they that were Him said, Master, the multitude throng You and press You, and You say, Who touched Me? And Jesus said, Somebody has touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came
trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole: go in peace."
[Other Sermons by Mr. Spurgeon, upon this Miracle, published in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, are as follows—No. 1809, Volume 30— MAY I?; No. 2018, Volume 34—CURED AT LAST and No. 2019, Volume 34—SHE WAS NOT HID.]
THE words of good cheer which our Savior spoke to this woman were not given to her while she was coming to Him, for that would have been premature. She had not avowed her desire to be healed. She had uttered no prayer. She had actually as yet sought nothing at the Savior's hands and, therefore, she had not reached the stage at which comfort is fitting. She does not appear to have required comfort in taking her first step—she was resolved upon that and she took it without fail. It is one of the most unwise things under Heaven to comfort people who do not require it. When we are dealing with enquirers, our love may bring them loss if we offer them words of cheer when they need admonition or rebuke. Any comfort which keeps a soul short of Christ is dangerous. A sinner's main business is to get to Jesus, to exercise personal faith in the personal Savior—and we have no right to a gleam of comfort until we have heartily and honestly trusted in Christ. If encouragements to believe are used as a sort of halfway house to rest in before actually believing, they are mischievously used and may ruin our souls!
This afflicted woman did not require to be cheered so soon, for she had such confidence in Christ and such a resolve to put her confidence to the test, that difficulties could not hinder her, nor crowds keep her back. The Savior was in the press—she joined the throng and with a holy boldness mixed with a sacred modesty she came behind Him, only wishing to touch His garment, or even the fringe of it—feeling persuaded that if she did but come into contact with the Lord, no matter how, she would be healed. According to her faith so was it done to her! And it was after she had been healed that our Lord spoke comfortingly to her He brought not forth the cup of cordial till the need for it had fully come. After she had touched Him and her faith had made her whole, a trial awaited her and her spirit was ready to faint—and then the tender One cheered her by saying, "Your faith has made you whole: go in peace."
It happens to many and many a heart that after it has obtained the blessing of salvation and has been healed of the disease of sin, a time of fear occurs. After it has made its confession of faith, a season of trembling follows occurring, perhaps, as a reaction from the joy of salvation, a rebound of the spirit from excessive delight. We eat the heavenly provision eagerly and it is sweet to our taste and yet, afterwards, our long hunger having weakened us, we do not digest the food with ease—and pains ensue for which medicine is required. We fear and tremble because of the greatness of the mercy received and then this word is needed—"Be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole."
We will meditate, first, upon this woman's need of comfort Secondly, upon the comfort which Jesus gave her And then, in the third place we will enter a little further into that comfort and think of the faith which Jesus Christ declared had made her whole—the faith to which He pointed her for comfort.
I. Come, then, dear Friend, and attentively consider THIS WOMAN'S NEED OF GOOD CHEER. She felt in her body that she was made whole and yet she stood in urgent need of comfort. This necessity arose from several causes.
First, she had hoped to obtain the blessing secretly, but she was found out She thought that by coming behind the Lord Jesus in the press, she would not be observed. And she anxiously desired secrecy because the peculiarity of her bodily disorder caused her to dread publicity. She aimed at gaining her end and retreating unnoticed into the multitude. Truth to tell, she stole the cure! Her touch was given in stealth, no eye resting upon her. No disciple seems to have spied her out, nor had anyone in the throng perceived the deed, or else when the Master said, "Who touched Me?" one or other of them would have pointed her out. So far she had shunned observation and even the Savior, Himself, had not seen her with His bodily eyes. But faith such as hers could not be hidden. It was not meet that such a flower should bloom unseen. She is called for and she stands discovered, the center of all eyes.
You, perhaps, dear Friend, have hoped to find salvation and to keep it a secret. You entered the House of Prayer a stranger to the things of God, but very anxious—there you sat and wept—but you tried to conceal your feelings from those who sat near you. You have gone in and out of the place of worship, seeking the Savior, but fearing to be suspected of doing so. Nobody spoke to you or, if anyone did, you evaded all the questions that were put to you, for you were as jealous of your secret as if you carried diamonds and were afraid of thieves!
Now you have believed in the Savior, or at least you hope so, but you court secrecy just as much. You have found honey and you have tried to eat it all alone—not because you grudge others eating it with you, but because you are afraid of them. You did not wish mother or father, kinsfolk or acquaintance to suspect you of being a Christian. You shrank from the blessed charge and desired to be a secret friend of Jesus—a Nicodemus, or a Joseph of Arimathea. To your great amazement you have been found out. Like Saul, you hid among the stuff, but the people have called you forth. Your love to Jesus has oozed out and is spoken of by many! Do you wonder? How can fire be hidden? Your speech has betrayed you. Your manner and spirit have revealed you as odors betray sweet flowers. And now that it is out, you feel a sinking of spirit at the notice you have attracted. Your modesty cries, "They take me for a Christian. Can I live like a Christian? Shall I be able to adorn my profession? They have discovered me in the family—my brothers and sisters see that there is a change in me. Is it a real change? Or shall I turn out to be one of those deceivers who have a name to live, and yet are dead?" Your heart fails you for fear of future backsliding and apostasy. And well it may be, for flesh is weak and the world is bewitching—and Satan is subtle and deceitful. Whatever comfort there is in our present meditation will be meant for you since it is intended for persons embarrassed by being forced out of the shade of solitude into the glare of observation—troubled because they fear that they shall not honor the holy name which is named upon them. To you who are in that condition, Jesus says, at this moment, "Be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole."
This poor woman, in addition to being found out, had been constrained to make a public personal testimony. As we have already noticed, her case was a very special one in which privacy would naturally be courted. But that privacy had been invaded—the Savior had looked for her and had demanded, "Who touched Me?" And she, all trembling and afraid, had been constrained to fall down before Him and to tell Him all the truth! Do you wonder that the excitement was too much for her? The people had been astonished as they heard of the wondrous power which had emanated from the Person of Christ, even through the fringe of His garment—and that astonishment, in a great measure, referred to her. She was the observed of all observers! Of her cure she had to make a public acknowledgment. She was equal to the task. Being brought to bay, she did her work bravely and bore full and telling testimony. Take careful note that our Lord did not
bid her be of good cheer till she had done so! She trembled before she confessed the Lord's deed of Grace which had been worked upon her, but, as soon as she had made a public avowal, her Lord said to her, "Daughter, be of good comfort."
I have known certain timid ones who have wished to unite with the Church on the sly and to make no open confession either by word of mouth or by Baptism. I have refused to be a party to the breeding of cowards, and they have lived to thank me for what seemed a harsh demand! Yet, when the confession has been made, once and for all, many brave hearts have been full of anxiety. They have confessed Christ before men—they have proclaimed what the Lord has done for their souls—and after it has been all over, they have been overwhelmed with a sense of responsibility and have said within themselves, "What great things will now be expected of me? What have I had the courage to say? Shall I be able to live up to it all?" After the bold, open confession, comes the inward shrinking! Though they are not sorry that they made the admission for, on the contrary, they would make it a thousand times over if they could glorify Christ thereby, yet they know their weakness and tremble lest they should ever behave themselves so as to prove unworthy of the cause of their Beloved Redeemer! If you, dear Friend, have just come out from the world and have newly said, "I am on the Lord's side," do not be surprised if what you have just done should, upon calm consideration, look almost like presumption. A sense of fear is natural when you see to what a service your dedication vows have bound you. At such a time Jesus will give you the comfort of the text, "Be of good cheer: your faith has made you whole." May you have Grace to receive it by faith and to drink in all its consolation!
This, however, is not quite all the reason for the woman's needing encouragement at the moment the Lord bestowed it. This woman, no doubt, had a very deep reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ She had such an esteem for Him that even His garments were thought by her to be saturated with healing energy! And now, when she found herself immediately in His Presence, she trembled and was afraid. She had come behind Him, no doubt, to a great extent out of modesty and humility as well as out of timidity. But now she finds herself face to face with the glorious Lord and He is asking her questions—and in full view of all the people she has to acknowledge her faith in Him. I hardly think that she was afraid of the people, but I do think that her faith was so reverential that she felt an awe at being found immediately in the Presence of the Lord.
Beloved Friend, you have been singing lately—
"Happy day, happy day, When Jesus washed my sins away," and you have joined in meetings where all have been filled with a sacred delight because they have met with Jesus. And I should not wonder if when you have been alone at home afterwards, and you have thought the matter over, it has seemed too gracious a thing to be really true that the Lord of Glory had lovingly communed with you! As your thoughts of Him have risen in reverential love, you have said, "Is it possible? Is it true? Am I dreaming? Has the Son of God really looked on me in love? Can it be true that He who wears the majesty of Heaven, has set His heart upon me and has come to tabernacle in my breast? This is a miracle of miracles! Is it, indeed, a fact?" You have felt pressed down by the weight of the Divine Goodness. I remember well, not only the joy I had when I found the Savior, but the horror of great darkness which fell upon me within a very short time after I had rejoiced with unspeakable joy. It was on this account I knew that I had found the Lord—I was fully assured of my salvation and full ofjoy as to my possession of His love. But then I asked, "Is it not too good to be true? Is salvation altogether of Free Grace? Is there an everlasting love of God and is it fixed on me? Am I, indeed, an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ?" The brightness of the Glory blinded my weak eyes—by floods of amazing love I was carried off my feet! Are you in such a condition? Then it is time for the Savior's gentle words to sound in your heart, "Be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole." When a reverent sense of the Lord's amazing condescension causes us to swoon at heart, He will stay us with flagons and comfort us with apples. This is a sweet melancholy which Infinite Love can soon relieve.
Perhaps the greatest reason for the trembling of the woman in the narrative lay in a sense of her faulty coming. When she looked back at the way in which she had approached the Lord, she saw a mass of faults in it—as we may well do in ours. When she had been made whole, her faith would say to her, "The blessed Lord did not deserve that you should come behind Him and touch His garment in that unbelieving fashion. See what a Savior He is! What love, what tenderness shines in His face! Why did you not openly come to Him? You crouched in the rear—why did you not look Him full in the face and crave His mercy? He would have received you freely—why did you suspect His Grace? You may have wounded Him by doubting His willingness to bless you. You should not have indulged such unbelief." After a seeker has found the Lord and has experienced salvation, he is sometimes tempted to question whether he is really a Believer in Jesus. He reasons within himself thus—"My faith is so mixed with unbelief that I am ashamed of it. Why did I come to Jesus in such a way as I did? It was well to come, but oh that I had come in a more childlike spirit and that I had done Him the justice to have a greater confidence in Him!" Do you, dear Friend, know this experience? If so, to you and to all others who are thus exercised, the comfort of our text is addressed!
Very likely conscience would charge the trembling woman with dishonest stealth in her way of getting her cure. "You felt, at the time, that you had no right to the blessing, but you snatched at it and did not ask the Savior's leave to take it! You thought that you would be healed and then run away—and none would be any the wiser—thus you robbed the Lord of His Glory. Can a blessing rest on such a way of acting?" Conscience made her tremble and, therefore, the Savior as good as said, "Daughter, do not suspect your faith, for it has made you whole and, therefore, it is good faith. However it acted, it has brought you healing—therefore do not distress yourself about its imperfections, but go in peace." He pointed her for comfort to the fact that however faulty might be the way of her coming, it had healed her and, therefore, she might well be content. Is there not also a word of cheer in this for us? If we have been renewed in heart and life, the faith by which this change was worked cannot but be good!
Perhaps, too, she might have felt that it was sadly too bold of her, a woman unclean according to the Law, to push among the throng and dare to touch the Lord, Himself. Many and many a time my heart has whispered to itself, "How could you be so bold as to trust Christ?" The devil has called it presumption and my trembling heart has feared that it might be so. One thing I know—I am certain that I am healed, even as the woman knew that the cure was worked in her! This I know, that I am not what I once was, but I am made a new creature in Christ Jesus! Yet the question will propose itself, "How can it be that you dared to dash in and seize on mercy, being such a sinner and so utterly unworthy?"
For my own part, I confess that I acted toward the Lord Jesus somewhat like a poor starving dog who saw meat in the butcher's shop and could not restrain himself from laying hold of it and running away with it! Many a butcher would chase the wretched creature and take the meat from him, but our Savior is of a nobler temper. If our Lord Jesus sees us grasp His mercy, He will never take it away from us! He says, "Him that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out." O you who are quite unfit to come to Christ and altogether unworthy of His favor, you are the very people who may come and welcome! O you who say that you have no warrant to come to Jesus, He would have you come without any warrant but His own Word which says, "Whoever will, let him come." Let your lack of inward warrant be your warrant! You are needy and sinful—let that be your passport! Come along with you and boldly grasp the covenanted mercy! It will not be theft, for Jesus has already given over Himself and all that He has to all who are willing to have Him! Have courage to take freely what the Lord freely gives—
"To sinners poor, like me and you, He says Hell 'freely give.' Come, thirsty souls, and prove it's true— Drink, and forever live!"
Yet it may be that after you have done so—and have obtained the blessing—you will fall into a fainting fit and swoon with fear because you question your right to it. Listen to a word of comfort. "Possession is nine tenths of the law," and it is all the ten tenths of the Gospel! So long as you have Christ, there is no need to ask how you got Him. Yet the trembling conscience whispers, "You had no right to believe. You are not the man who should have ventured trust in Jesus." Then you will need a cheering word and then you will have it, even as our dear Master said, "Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole." Let what Divine Grace has done for you plead your justification for having believed in Jesus! If you are, indeed, changed and renewed, question not your faith, but believe yet more—and you shall see greater things than these!
Thus I set forth the woman's need of comfort. And if anyone else is in a similar case to hers, let him look up and be of good cheer, for her feet have trodden the way of fear before him. Let him say, as Augustus Toplady did—
"If my Lord Himself reveals No other good I need! Only Christ my wounds can heal, Or silence my complaint.
He that suffered in my place Shall my Physician be— I will not be comforted Till Jesus comforts me."
II. May the Holy Spirit rest upon us while we notice THE COMFORT WHICH JESUS GAVE HER. He said to her, "Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole."
There was comfort in the loving title. To call her "Daughter" was most kind and tender. I suppose that she must have been of much the same age as our Lord and, therefore, He did not call her, "Daughter," because of her youth. When our Lord said, "Daughter," He expressed His tender consideration for her which made Him feel towards her as tenderly as a father to a child. "Sister" would have been the word if He had only meant human relationship, but, "Daughter," meant careful affection. While Jesus is our Brother, there is a sense in which He is also our Father—and He exercises towards His poor, downcast children, a father's pity and care.
Such a title must have dispelled her fears. To be so near of kin to Him who had worked a matchless cure upon her was consolation enough. Let our tried and cast-down friends rest with us concerning this matter—you have believed in Jesus and you have confessed His name and you are made whole—go your way in peace! From now on you belong to Christ and you are related to Christ as His daughter or son. Do not, therefore, question your right, since the Grace of adoption has confirmed it. If the Lord calls you His daughter, you did no wrong when you touched your Father's garment. If He avows you as His child, be not so unwise as to question the Divine declaration! Your rights and privileges are almost boundless. You may do much more than touch His garment's hem—you may lean on His breast! He gives you greater privileges than those which you have yet enjoyed, yes, favors beyond what you ask or even think! To those who believe on Him, He gives the right and privilege to become the sons of God, even to as many as believe on His name, so that all question about your right to do this or that may be ended, for He calls you His own beloved child and says, "Be of good comfort."
The main point of consolation was that she was cured. Jesus said to her, "Your faith has made you whole," which would bring her comfort in several ways, for, first, it was a great consolation that her impurity was gone. So, my Brothers and Sisters, if you have believed in Jesus, you are no longer regarded as unclean before the Lord. The blood of the Lord Jesus has removed your defilement. You are, "accepted in the Beloved." His blood, like the hyssop of which David sang, has purged you and you are clean. Do not look upon yourself as being what you are not, but know yourself to be whiter than snow in Christ Jesus. In the removal of your guilt and the renewal of your nature, the source of your defilement is destroyed! Do not, therefore, hide your face and stand afar off from God, but come boldly to the Throne of Grace, since Grace has made you meet to come. When my anxious Brother or Sister, you come before the Lord with the recollection of all your past transgressions, you may well be ashamed and confounded and feel as if you should never open your mouth any more—but know of a surety that your sins have ceased to be—they shall not be mentioned against you any more forever! God, even the God of Judgment, has blotted out the record! Humble yourself for having been a transgressor, but let a sense of perfect forgiveness embolden you in coming to your Savior!
Whatever you once were, God views you not as you were in yourself, but as what you are in Christ Jesus. When you come to His Table and feast among His family, do not hesitate to feel at home, although it cannot be denied that you once stood at the swine-trough and hungered after husks. Say within your believing heart, "Whatever I was, my Father has kissed me and put a ring on my hand and shoes on my feet. Therefore I will eat and drink as He bids me and I will not mar the music and the merriment by unbelieving lamentations. My Father rejoiced over me because He had received me safe and sound, and shall I not be glad at being thus received?" God be thanked that though you were the servants of sin, you have obeyed from the heart that form of Doctrine which was delivered unto you—and you are now brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God! Though you were once unclean, polluted and polluting, it may be said of you, "But you are washed, but you are sanctified." Perhaps your old name will stick to you as it did to Rahab the harlot and to Simon the leper—but do not feel degraded since the Lord has turned away your reproach. Hear Jesus Christ Himself say to you, "Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole."
Remember that and rejoice in His Presence. You have a right to be among His people, for your faith has made you whole—and this is the mark which all His people wear. You are a sinner, it is true, but you are a sinner saved from wrath
through Infinite Love! You are no longer a miserable sinner, so why should you call yourself so? You are a happy, blessed, forgiven child whom the Lord has taken from the dunghill and set among His princely children. Rejoice, therefore, because your faith has made you whole! Is not this a theme for boundless gratitude? Come boldly into the Church! Come boldly to the Throne of Grace for you are so cleansed by the blood of Atonement that you may come unquestioned even into the Holy of Holies! Has not Jesus said, "He that is washed is clean every whit?"
The woman was comforted by being made to see in her cure that Jesus was not angry with her Our Lord in effect said to the saved woman, "Have you been afraid that you did wrong in touching Me? Are you fearful lest I should be grieved because you did not believe enough in Me to come and face Me, but must steal behind Me? Do you suspect that I shall blame you because of the littleness of your faith? Now"—He puts it so sweetly—"do not think so, but be of good comfort: for your faith has made you whole." Though her faith dared only to touch the hem of His garment, it was evidently acceptable faith, for because of it the Lord had made her whole! It is clear that the Lord has not rejected our faith when He acknowledges and honors it. He cannot be vexed at a confidence which He has evidently rewarded!
Beloved Friend, has your faith been such that it has made you abhor sin? Has it been such that the things you once loved you now hate—and the things you once hated you now love? Has your faith made a complete change in you? Are you a new man or woman in Christ Jesus? Have you been made morally and spiritually whole? Then be sure that no wrong faith could have worked this good work in you! A faith that produces wholeness or holiness of life cannot have been a mistake! Whether in your coming to Jesus you came behind Him or before Him. Whether you touched His gracious hand or touched His garment's hem. Whether you did it secretly or did it publicly—all these enquiries are interesting, but not essential—for if a change of heart has been worked in you and you are saved, then the Lord Jesus must be pleased with you! He could not have worked a great work in you and yet be angry with you and, therefore, you need not be troubled as to the way in which you came to Him. "Be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole," is a most sweet and effectual way of lulling fears to rest!
Possibly the poor woman may have been haunted by the fear that she would suffer a relapse, but our Lord consoles her by the assurance that her faith had effectually made her whole. She had not obtained a little time of deliverance from the evil, so that it would recur again, but she was made whole. The Lord gives her a medical certificate! He sends her forth with a clean bill of health! Oh, how sweet it is when Jesus Christ gives to any of us a full assurance of complete salvation so that we are delivered from all fear of the malady's return and can walk abroad free from fear! I know that some Christians think that after Christ has fed us and given us new hearts, the old hearts may come back—and though His Grace in us is a well of water which He promises shall spring up to everlasting life, yet they think that it may dry up to the last drop. Beloved, I do not thus read the Word of God—the very opposite is clear to me in Sacred Writ! The work of God in the soul is a lasting and an everlasting work! If you are once healed by Christ, He has worked in you an effectual cure which will hold good throughout time and throughout eternity! Solomon truly said, "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever." He who has made you whole will keep you whole, for His gifts and calling are without repentance!
The comfort to the woman in the narrative was meant, as we have seen, to meet the trial occasioned by her open confession. She had been driven to reveal her secret and this, to a large extent, caused her trembling. She would rather have hidden in the crowd, but she was called to the front and made to confess Jesus before all. The Savior, in effect, says, "You need not be ashamed to tell your story for it ends well, since you are made whole. You need not be ashamed to let everybody know that your faith has healed you. What does it matter what your sickness was, if you are now recovered from it?" It will be no disgrace to us to confess our guilt if, at the same moment, we are assured of full forgiveness! It is annoying to hear persons talk flippantly of their sins before conversion as though they were proud of them. They seem to glory in them as a Greenwich pensioner might boast of his battles and his broken bones. Such things are to be mentioned with blushes and tears. Say as little as you can about those things of which you are now ashamed, and let what you say be spoken in lowliest penitence. Still, there are times when you are bound to tell out your case to the praise of the Glory of the Grace which so abounded where your sin abounded! And then you need not be afraid to tell your story, for Grace has made it end so well. Let the world know that though foully defiled, you came into contact with the Savior by simply, humbly believing in Him—and that by this simple means you are saved.
Once more, if anyone is conscious that faith has saved him, he may take to himself the good cheer of the text and use it wherever he goes, for nothing can happen to him so bad as that which has been removed.' 'Your faith has saved you," is an antidote for many ills. "I am very poor," says one. So was this woman, for she had spent all that she had upon physicians. But Jesus said to her, "Your faith has made you whole." "I am very sick," cries a friend, "I feel low and ill." But "your faith has saved you"—is not this joy enough? Oh, what a blessing it is to be saved! That you are saved is enough to set all your being ablaze with joy! I am sure that the healed woman felt rich, though she had not two pence to chink together in her pocket! She was made whole by faith and that was wealth enough for her! To be one of the Lord's saved ones is joy enough to bear up the heart under every affliction!
Do you not see that if your faith has changed your character and delivered you from the desperate plague of sin, there remains no longer any impossibility or even difficulty in the way of duty? You have been half afraid to try to teach the children in the Sunday school but, surely, since your faith has made you whole, you can teach a few little children! You have been afraid to address a score of people in a village chapel. But you need not be afraid to try if God has called you—for the faith which has made you whole can give you "a word in season." What is there that faith cannot do? Why, if my faith has had the power to drop the burden of my sin into the sepulcher of my Lord, what is there that it cannot accomplish? If, by that faith, my soul has risen from among the dead and taken her seat at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places in Christ, what shall stand in its way? If we have to force a passage through a throng of devils, we need not hesitate! And though all the world combined and stood against us, we need not fear! Our faith has made us whole—who can undo the miracle? A faith which, by Divine Grace, saves us from Hell and secures us for Heaven—what is there that it cannot accomplish? It laughs at impossibilities and marches from strength to strength in majestic serenity! Holy confidence shall win victory upon victory till, at last it shall cry, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day!" I cannot imagine a sweeter consolation than this—"Your faith has made you whole: go in peace." Endeavor to suck the honey out of it!
III. We will close this meditation by considering THE FAITH WHICH OUR LORD COMMENDED.
It made her whole. That is its best certificate of excellence! There is much to note in reference to that faith, but a few brief hints may suffice. Her faith is to be commended because it outlived a long season of discouragement She had been afflicted 12 years —think of that! Patience had indeed had its perfect work in her. But she believed in Christ for a cure and the cure came to her! So will it be with everyone who will believe in Jesus. If there could be a soul found which had been living in sin 1,200 years—if it had faith in Jesus He would make it whole! After half a century of impenitence, he that believes in Christ Jesus is saved at once. Eighty years of sin vanish in a moment when a man trusts in the great Atonement! Come, dear unconverted Friend, and cast yourself at Christ's feet at this quiet hour, for He will not cast you
The faith which healed this poor woman had survived many failures. She had been deceived by all sorts of quacks and medicine-men—and yet she had not lost the capacity for faith. It is said that she had "suffered many things of many physicians," and I can well believe it, for if you read the prescriptions of the old doctors, you will quite agree that poor humanity has suffered many things from "the faculty." The way in which the ancient doctors went to work to cure their patients much resembled that which a man would follow who was eager to kill them! Dr. Sangrado, by his bleeding and drenching, has sent many into a premature grave and, in Christ's time, if you needed to be well, the first rule was to avoid all physicians!
I will tell you the names of a few spiritual doctors to whom I beseech you not to go, for if you do, you will suffer a great deal from them, but get no good. There is one whose name is Dr. Self-Confidence, who is in partnership with a relative called Dr. Self-Righteousness. Dr. Legality and his son, Mr. Civility, are another popular pair of cheats. You will find them at home whenever you call—and they will give you bitter doses or silver-coated pills as they see fit—but you will never a be whit the better. There is a doctor about just now who was educated by the Jesuits and practices the Romeopathic system—wafers and wine and water are his specialties—to this school belong Mr. Ceremonies and Doctor Sacraments. None of these can heal a sick soul! Have nothing to do with them, but apply to the Beloved Physician, even the Lord Jesus Christ! Some of us went to most of these pretenders and gave them a long trial—and though we were disappointed in them all—yet we still were enabled to believe in Jesus Christ! Dear Friend, do the same! Though you have been disappointed everywhere else, yet go and knock at Christ's door and that faith of yours which leaps over discouragement will make you whole!
Her faith believed in simple touching. She used no ceremonies—she only believed. It was a faith which believed that she would be healed without payment She took the cure, gratis—she offered no fee. That is Gospel faith which takes Christ's forgiveness without money and without price, just as He presents it in the Gospel! Hers was a great faith, for she believed that Christ could heal her when He was occupied with healing another He was hastening to the house of Jarius to work a miracle there, and yet she believed that He could heal her on the way! Can you, dear Reader, believe in this fashion? Do you know, of a surety, that however Jesus may be now occupied, He can without difficulty at this moment pardon and save you? If you have reached so great a confidence, then give the saving touch and trust Him once and for
The poor sick soul had a faith which assured her that Christ could bless her when His back was turned. Can you also reach this point? Some of God's own children can hardly trust Him when they see the Light of His Countenance, but this woman could trust Him when His back was turned to her. I would to God that we had, each of us, such confidence in Jesus that we would not doubt, under any circumstances, His power and willingness to save all who trust Him! He must save these who rely upon Him! It is a necessity of His Nature that those who touch Him should receive healing from Him!
Trusting in Jesus is a man's best evidence that he is saved, for it is written, "He that believes in Him is not condemned." Faith has made its possessor whole, whoever he may be! And if you are resting alone in Jesus and His finished work, the life of the holy has begun in you and you may, therefore, "be of good comfort."
—Adapted from The C. H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software, 1.800.297.4307
PRAY THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL USE THIS SERMON TO BRING MANY TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST.
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