MAN’S THOUGHTS VERSUS GOD’S THOUGHTS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, January 30, 2011

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).


Please keep your Bible open to those verses. This sermon is adapted from “Man’s Thoughts and God’s Thoughts,” as given by C. H. Spurgeon on Lord’s Day morning, February 18th, 1866 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England.

The text speaks of thoughts. It mentions the thoughts of man. Then it speaks of the thoughts of God. If you are beginning to think about God, eternity and sin it may not be long before you are converted. But if you don’t think deeply about these things this text will not give you any comfort. It is my duty to pray that God will lead you to think about these eternal things the way God thinks about them. Please stand and read the text aloud.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

You may be seated.

In that text we have two persons thinking – man and God. As a result, we have man’s thoughts and God’s thoughts. God’s thoughts are said to be “higher” than man’s thoughts. If you ever expect to become a real Christian, you must be enlightened to think as God thinks. May the Spirit of God give you that illumination!

This morning I want to speak to those of you who have been thinking about eternal things, especially thoughts about your need to have your sins pardoned. So far you have had your own thoughts, and these thoughts are troubling you and misleading you. I will contrast your thoughts with God’s thoughts. I hope that this sermon will help you get ahold of God’s thoughts by faith, that you may be drawn to Christ, because Christ alone can pardon your sin.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I. First, compare your thoughts about the possibility of having your sin pardoned with God’s thoughts about it.

Today very few people think they need to have their sin pardoned. The average person is so ignorant of God’s thoughts that he thinks he doesn’t need to be pardoned at all. But if you think that way, your thoughts are not God’s thoughts. Twice in the Bible God said that He “will by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18). The Apostle James said,

“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

Now, then, let me ask you, have you kept the “whole law” of God? Have you lived a perfectly holy life in the sight of God? You may say, “No one can do that.” Ah, you are dodging! You are shifting the blame to others. I did not ask you what others have done. I said, “Have you kept the ‘whole law’ of God?” And, if you have not, then the Bible says, you are “guilty of all” (James 2:10). And God has said that He “will be no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7). In other words, you are in trouble with God!

I hope and pray that you will stop thinking man’s thoughts. Man thinks he is not guilty. But that is not what God thinks. God thinks,

“Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

Yet there may be someone here this morning who is thinking just the opposite. You may be thinking, “God will never pardon me because I have deliberately committed sin. I knew what was right, but I chose to sin. Like a child that has been burned, I intentionally and recklessly stuck my finger in the fire again. I had no real motive for sinning, except my incorrigible love of evil. I have sinned without excuse. God will not pardon me because I deliberately committed sin.” This too is the way man thinks. But it is not what God thinks! God says,

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

That’s what God thinks!

But, another person says, “My sins have been repeated. I have sinned again and again. How can God forgive me for sinning over and over again? There is no hope for me.” I must say, again, that these are man’s thoughts – not the thoughts of God. It is certain that your sins are as many as the grains of sand on the beach. Through your life of 18 or more years, you have committed countless acts of sin. But God sent Christ so all your sins could be pardoned. The sins of a lifetime can be blotted out in a moment with His Blood! Joseph Hart said it well,

The moment a sinner believes,
   And trusts in his crucified God,
His pardon at once he receives,
   Redemption in full through His blood.
(“The Moment a Sinner Believes” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

Again, there may be someone here who says, “I do not have a sufficient sense of guilt. I am not convicted of my sin enough to be pardoned.” You have felt some sense of your guilt. But you feel that your heart is still too hard. This, again, is the thought of man. But it is not what God thinks. God doesn't say, “I will have nothing to do with that sinner because he doesn’t have enough conviction of sin.” No, no! God says,

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye...without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).

The ground of salvation is not how much conviction you have. The ground of salvation is Jesus Christ Himself. Come to Him “without money and without price.” It is not your feelings or convictions that will save you. It is Jesus Christ Himself! When He died on the Cross He said,

“It is finished” (John 19:30).

Come to Jesus, “without money and without price,” and He will pardon your sins. You must not try to add any of your feelings, because your feelings cannot save you, or even help to save you. When Christ died on the Cross He said,

“It is finished.”

Jesus accomplished everything you need to be pardoned on the Cross! Come to Jesus as you are, and you will receive all the benefits of the finished work of Christ. Our text is true, “My thoughts are not your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). Stand and read the text once more.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

You may be seated.

II. Second, compare your thoughts about receiving pardon for your sins with God’s thoughts about it.

Some of you think that the idea of simply trusting Jesus, and being pardoned for your sin instantly, is too simple to be safe. Too simple to be safe? You want salvation to be complicated and difficult to understand. That is your thought. But it is not what God thinks! The Word of God simply says,

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”
      (Acts 16:31).

Is that too simple to be safe? Trust Christ and live! Do not reject the Gospel because it is simple! Trust Christ and you shall be saved now! Come to the Saviour. Rest upon Him, and all your sins are gone, pardoned and cleansed by His everlasting Blood! The Word of God says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned” (John 3:18). Jesus said,

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

Yet some of you think, “It is too good to be true.” I myself thought that for a very long time. But that thought was my thought. It was not what God thought. Someone said to an old Christian, “Is it not surprising that God should forgive such sins as mine?” “No,” the old woman said, “It is not surprising, it is just like God to do that.” It is just the way God is! This is the God of the Bible, who gave His only begotten Son to die in your place on the Cross, so that you could be pardoned, your sins covered and cleansed by the Blood of Jesus! This is the God who falls upon the neck of the sinner, and rejoices because he has been saved! The Apostle Paul said,

“God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8-9).

“Why does it seem so hard, then?” someone asks. It is because the Gospel is so simple that your twisted, wicked heart will not simply believe it, and rest in Jesus. I never knew a man who rested in Jesus till he was led to feel he could not do anything else. When a man feels he cannot do anything else to be saved, he may say in his heart, “Since I cannot save myself, I will therefore let Jesus save me.” May God pump you dry of your self-sufficiency, and then the stream of eternal mercy will come flowing down to you through the silver pipe of Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and you shall be pardoned, and rejoice, and live! No one ever made this more plain than Dr. John R. Rice, when he wrote those words that Mr. Griffith sang a moment ago,

We have a story of love past all measure.
   We tell how sinners forgiven can be.
There is free pardon, for Jesus has suffered,
   And made atonement on Calvary’s tree.
Oh, what a fountain of mercy is flowing,
   Down from the crucified Saviour of men.
Precious the blood that He shed to redeem us,
   Grace and forgiveness for all of our sin.

Now God is satisfied, justice completed,
   Mercy and truth in Christ unite as one.
Now for the sinner God offers His pardon,
   Life and salvation through Jesus His Son.
Oh, what a fountain of mercy is flowing,
   Down from the crucified Saviour of men.
Precious the blood that He shed to redeem us,
   Grace and forgiveness for all of our sin.
(“Oh, What a Fountain!” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

Will you come to Jesus and be saved from punishment for your sin? Will you come to the Saviour? He will cover your sins and cleanse them from God’s record books. We pray that God will draw you to Jesus for cleansing in His precious Blood! Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers’ sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

You may email Dr. Hymers at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net, (Click Here)
or you may write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Isaiah 55:1-9.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Oh, What a Fountain!” (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).


THE OUTLINE OF

MAN’S THOUGHTS VERSUS GOD’S THOUGHTS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I.   First, compare your thoughts about the possibility of having
your sin pardoned with God’s thoughts about it, Exodus 34:7;
Numbers 14:18; James 2:10; Isaiah 1:18; 55:1; John 19:30.

II.  Second, compare your thoughts about receiving pardon for your
sins with God’s thoughts about it, Acts 16:31; John 3:18;
John 6:37; Romans 5:8-9.