Faith That Saves-a Divine Operation

“I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him…”For a good work we stone Thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.”…”If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not.” – John 10:30-31, 33, 37

Either our Lord was the Son of God, equal with the Father, or else He was an impostor, for He most distinctly claimed that He was the Son of God…Jesus said to the Jews, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth Me; of whom ye say that He is your God.” Then they took up stones to cast at Him because He said that He was the Son of God…To believe in Christ merely as a prophet is not saving faith. It may be a step towards salvation, and it may lead up to it; but the faith that is absolutely necessary is that belief in Him as the Son of God; and he who does not believe in the Deity of Christ has not a Saviour who can save him. The work of saving a soul is a divine operation, and no one but a divine Being can accomplish it. It is He who sitteth upon the throne who saith, “Behold, I make all things new!” There cannot be anyone except the Creator who can create; and the Creator must, in every case, be God. To save a soul, there must be a work performed which is analogous to the resurrection; but, in order to raise the dead, there must be the presence and power of God. It is one of those operations which it is not conceivable that it can be performed by an angel or by any created being. The Highest alone can accomplish it; has He not said of Himself, “I kill, and I make alive”? The power of life and death must rest with God alone. Hence, then, the work of salvation needs a power nothing less than divine. He who believes in Christ as a mere man has not believed in a person who can give him salvation; and Christ cannot accomplish the stupendous task if He be only man, for the Saviour must be God.~ C.H. Spurgeon


“Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”

Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him?” And Jesus said unto him, “Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped Him. – John 9:35-38

Now, strange to say, here is a pressed man; for I do not think that this man, whose eyes had been opened by Christ, had thought of becoming a believer in the Son of God until the Lord Jesus found him out. Before he had reached that point; indeed, before he knew that the Prophet who had opened his eyes was the Son of God, the Pharisees had cast him out of the synagogue, so that he was compelled to bear the cross for Christ although he did not then fully know Christ, and certainly had not believed upon the Son of God. Yet, in his case also, it appears that he cheerfully took up the cross which had been at the first forcibly laid upon him…This man, then, bearing Christ’s cross in a certain way, was cast out of the synagogue, and then Christ found him, and blessed him.

Observe, dear friend, where Christ began with him; for it will show us where and how the blessing usually enters. The door by which the richest of heaven’s favors must come to us is indicated by our Lord going to that door, and opening it. He said to the man, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God.” So that faith in the Son of God is the gate of benediction. Faith is that window of agate and gate of carbuncle by which the divine light of Jesus’ love comes streaming into the soul…So, in this enquiry of our Lord, we have most instructive teaching. His object, no doubt, was to bless this man by working in him saving faith, and therefore He said to him, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Do You Know the Love of Jesus?

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. – John 11:5

“Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus”-does Jesus, in a special sense, love you? Alas, many sick ones have no evidence of any special love of Jesus towards them, for they have never sought His face, nor trusted in Him. Jesus might say to them “I never knew you,” for they have turned their backs upon His blood and His cross. Answer, dear friend, to your own heart this question, “Do you love Jesus?” If so, you love Him because He first loved you. Are you trusting Him? If so, that faith of yours is the proof that He has loved you from before the foundation of the world, for faith is the token by which He plights His troth to His beloved.

If Jesus loves you, and you are sick, let all the world see how you glorify God in your sickness. Let friends and nurses see how the beloved of the Lord are cheered and comforted by Him. Let your holy resignation astonish them, and set them admiring your Beloved, who is so gracious to you that He makes you happy in pain, and joyful at the gates of the grave. If your religion is worth anything it ought to support you now, and it will compel unbelievers to see that he whom the Lord loveth is in a better case when he is sick than the ungodly when full of health and vigour.

If you do not know that Jesus loves you, you lack the brightest star that can cheer the night of sickness. I hope you will not die as you now are, and pass into another world without enjoying the love of Jesus: that would be a terrible calamity indeed. Seek His face at once, and it may be that your present sickness is a part of the way of love by which Jesus would bring you to Himself. Lord, heal all these sick ones in soul and in body. Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Let the Lord Do As He Wills

Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick…When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was. – John 11:3, 6

No doubt when Mary and Martha sent to tell Jesus they looked to see Lazarus recover as soon as the messenger reached the Master; but they were not gratified. For two days the Lord remained in the same place, and not till He knew that Lazarus was dead did He speak of going to Judea. This teaches us that Jesus may be informed of our trouble, and yet may act as if He were indifferent to it. We must not expect in every case that prayer for recovery will be answered, for if so, nobody would die who had chick or child, friend or acquaintance to pray for him. In our prayers for the lives of beloved children of God we must not forget that there is one prayer which may be crossing ours, for Jesus prays, “Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory.” We pray that they may remain with us, but when we recognize that Jesus wants them above, what can we do but admit His larger claim and say, “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt”? In our own case, we may pray the Lord to raise us up, and yet though He loves us He may permit us to grow worse and worse, and at last to die. Hezekiah had fifteen years added to his life, but we may not gain the reprieve of a single day. Never set such store by the life of any one dear to you, or even by your own life, as to be rebellious against the Lord. If you hold the life of any dear one with too tight a hand, you are making a rod for your own back; and if you love your own earthly life too well, you are making a thorny pillow for your dying bed. Children are often idols, and in such cases their too ardent lovers are idolaters. We might as well make a god of clay, and worship it, as the Hindus are said to do, as worship our fellow-creatures, for what are they but clay? Shall dust be so dear to us that we quarrel with our God about it? If our Lord leaves us to suffer, let us not repine. He must do that for us which is kindest and best, for He loves us better than we love ourselves. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Our Confidant

Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. – Psalm 62:8

“Sing a hymn to Jesus, when thy heart is faint;
Tell it all to Jesus, comfort or complaint.”

Jesus knows all about us, but it is a great relief to pour out our hearts before Him. When John the Baptist’s broken-hearted disciples saw their leader beheaded, “they took up the body, and went and told Jesus.” They could not have done better. In all trouble send a message to Jesus, and do not keep your misery to yourself. In His case there is no need of reserve, there is no fear of His treating you with cold pride, or heartless indifference, or cruel treachery. He is a confidant who never can betray us, a friend who never will refuse us.

There is this fair hope about telling Jesus, that He is sure to support us under it. If you go to Jesus, and ask, “Most gracious Lord, why am I sick? I thought I was useful while in health, and now I can do nothing; why is this?” He may be pleased to show you why, or, if not, He will make you willing to bear His will with patience without knowing why. He can bring His truth to your mind to cheer you, or strengthen your heart by His presence, or send you unexpected comforts, and give you to glory in your afflictions. “Ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

For the Good of Others

Then said Jesus unto them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe.” – John 11:14-15

Jesus loved Mary, and Martha, and Lazarus: it is a happy thing where a whole family live in the love of Jesus. They were a favoured trio, and yet, as the serpent came into Paradise, so did sorrow enter their quiet household at Bethany. Lazarus was sick. They all felt that if Jesus were there disease would flee at His presence; what then should they do but let Him know of their trial? Lazarus was near to death’s door, and so his tender sisters at once reported the fact to Jesus, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick.” Many a time since then has that same message been sent to our Lord, for in full many a case He has chosen His people in the furnace of affliction. Of the Master it is said, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” and it is, therefore, no extraordinary thing for the members to be in this matter conformed to their Head.

Oftentimes this sickness of the Lord’s loved ones is for the good of others. Lazarus was permitted to be sick and to die, that by his death and resurrection the apostles might be benefited. His sickness was “for the glory of God.” Throughout these nineteen hundred years which have succeeded Lazarus’ sickness all believers have been getting good out of it, and this afternoon we are all the better because he languished and died. The church and the world may derive immense advantage through the sorrows of good men: the careless may be awakened, the doubting may be convinced, the ungodly may be converted, the mourner may be comforted through our testimony in sickness. ~ C.H. Spurgeon