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SPURGEON’S TEXT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles,
Lord’s Day Morning, November 27, 2011

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth”
(Isaiah 45:22).


I have titled this sermon “Spurgeon’s Text” because it was the verse that was preached to him when he was saved at the age of 15. He immediately began teaching Sunday School and preaching. Six years later, when he was 21, he was preaching to thousands of people, and the newspapers called him the “boy preacher.”

Not only was he saved when he heard a sermon on our text, but he also quoted from it countless times when preaching on other verses. In the 63 volumes of his collected sermons there are three where this was the main text – titled respectively, “Sovereignty and Salvation;” “Life for a Look;” and “The Life-Look.” In “The Life-Look” Spurgeon said,

It was about twenty-six years ago – twenty-six years exactly last Thursday – that I looked unto the Lord [Jesus], and found salvation, through this text. You have often heard me tell how I had been...seeking rest, and finding none, till a plain [unschooled] lay preacher among the Primitive Methodists stood up in the pulpit, and gave out this passage as his text: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” He had not much to say, thank God, for that compelled him to keep on repeating his text, and there was nothing needed – by me, at any rate – except his text. I remember how he said, “It is Christ that speaks. ‘I am in the garden [of Gethsemane] in an agony, pouring out my soul unto death; I am on the [cross], dying for sinners; look unto me! Look unto me!’ That is all you have to do. A child can look. One who is almost an idiot can look. However weak, or however poor, a man may be, he can look; and if he looks, the promise is that he shall [be saved].” Then, stopping, he pointed to where I was sitting... and he said, “That young man there looks very miserable.” I expect I did, for that is how I felt. Then he said, “There is no hope for you, young man, or any chance of getting rid of your sin, but by looking to Jesus;” and he shouted, as I think only a Primitive Methodist can, “Look! Look young man! Look now!” And I did look....I had found [deliverance from sin] in a single moment by looking to Jesus Christ (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Life-Look,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, vol. 50, Pilgrim Publications, 1978 reprint, p. 37).

The old song that Mr. Griffith just sang makes it clear who the “Lamb of God” is. Jesus is “The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). “Look to the Lamb of God.” Sing it!

Look to the Lamb of God, Look to the Lamb of God,
For He alone is able to save you, Look to the Lamb of God.
   (“Look to the Lamb of God” by H. G. Jackson, 1838-1914).

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth”
       (Isaiah 45:22).

I. First, you must look to Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.

The text says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved...” “Look” means the same as “come.” You must not look to God the Father, or come to Him, in your sinful state. Why not? Because “God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24). The New Testament says the same thing, “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). If you come to God in an unsaved state you will be consumed in the fire of His wrath. What happened to Nadab and Abihu will happen to you!

“There went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:2).

You must not look to the Holy Spirit, or come to Him, because He has no blood to wash away your sins! The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict you of the sin of not believing on Jesus. Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit,

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin...Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:8-9).

No, no – do not look to the Holy Spirit! You must look to, and come to, the crucified Saviour, now ascended and seated at God’s right hand in the Heavenly place! Look to Jesus, the Lamb of God. He alone can save you from sin! Come to Him! Look to Him! You can’t really come to a person without first looking at him, can you?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim In the light of His glory and grace.
   (“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen Howard Lemmel, 1863-1961).

Look and live, my brother, live!
   Look to Jesus now and live;
‘Tis recorded in His Word, Hallelujah!
   It is only that you look and live.
(“Look and Live” by William A. Ogden, 1841-1897).

Sing it yet again!

Look to the Lamb of God, Look to the Lamb of God,
For He alone is able to save you, Look to the Lamb of God.
   (“Look to the Lamb of God” by H. G. Jackson, 1838-1914).

There is one more place you must not look. You must not look within yourself. That’s what stopped Spurgeon before the day of his conversion. He kept trying to have the right “feeling” – rather than looking to, and coming to, Christ Himself. He kept reading Doddridge’s “Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul” and Baxter’s “Call to the Unconverted.” Spurgeon said, “I am not finding fault with [their] books; I commend them, but I find fault with myself for making so bad a use of [their] books.” Spurgeon said, “When I had read so much, and tried to feel what those good men said, there I stuck” (Spurgeon, ibid., p. 41). Young Spurgeon “tried to feel” what Doddridge and Baxter felt. It was no use. Jesus is not found in our feelings and emotions.

Last Sunday two Catholic girls who have been coming to this church told our deacon, Dr. Cagan, that they thought they were saved because they felt sorrow and cried. They were looking at their own feelings of sorrow. They mentioned Jesus, but Jesus was not the main thing they talked about. The main thing they were looking at and talking about was their own sorrow. I am telling you this morning that mere feelings of sorrow can never save you! Never! Never! Never! The pre-incarnate Christ said,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved...” (Isaiah 45:22).

Come to Jesus Christ Himself! Away with your feelings and emotions! Look to Jesus! Believe on Jesus! Come to Jesus! Look away from your feelings to the risen Saviour! Jesus said,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved...” (Isaiah 45:22).

“Look to the Lamb of God.” Sing it again!

Look to the Lamb of God, Look to the Lamb of God,
For He alone is able to save you, Look to the Lamb of God.

II. Second, you must want Jesus to save you from sin.

Jesus said, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world” (John 12:47). Again, Jesus said, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). And the pre-incarnate Jesus said,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved...” (Isaiah 45:22).

The Apostle Paul said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15). Jesus died on the Cross to pay for your sin! Jesus rose from the dead to free you from sin! Jesus shed His Blood to cleanse you from sin! Sin. Sin. Sin. “Look unto me, and be ye saved” – from sin! If you are not thinking of your sin, then Jesus has nothing for you. Jesus came, and died, and rose to save you from sin. If you are not concerned about your sin, you will not look to Jesus and be saved.

Another young woman spoke with Dr. Cagan last Sunday. She said she thought she was saved because “a heavy tightness” was taken off of her chest. My dear young woman, Jesus did not die on the Cross to take “a heavy tightness off” of your chest! Utter nonsense! I say that because I care for your soul!

A few minutes later, this same young woman told Dr. Cagan she was saved because she saw “a beam of light and knew it was Jesus.” What is that but self-deception? How did she know that “a beam of light” was Jesus? The Bible says, “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14). How does she know it was Jesus? How does she know it wasn’t Satan? I’ll tell you something else, “a tightness taken off your chest” and seeing “a light” have nothing to do with sin! Nothing whatever to do with Christ’s death in your place, to pay for your sin. Nothing whatever to do with the Blood of Christ, shed to cleanse you from all sin. Jesus is not central to her. Jesus is not important to her. Whenever we hear someone say they are saved, we want to know if there is any sin forgiven. We want to know if the Blood of Christ is there to cleanse from sin. Every other so-called “testimony” is mere foolishness! Jesus said,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved...” (Isaiah 45:22).

“Look to the Lamb of God.” Sing it again!

Look to the Lamb of God, Look to the Lamb of God,
For He alone is able to save you, Look to the Lamb of God.

III. Third, you must feel that no one but Jesus can save you from sin.

You must feel what Joseph Hart felt when he said,

None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
Can do helpless sinners good.
   (“Come, Ye Sinners” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

None but Jesus! None but Jesus – can do helpless sinners good!

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth”
       (Isaiah 45:22).

This verse does not teach universalism, that everyone will be saved in the end. Far from it! It means that God’s elect, in all nations, will look to Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, and be saved, because the text ends with these words, “for I am God, and there is none else.”

Spurgeon often quoted Mark 16:16. He preached a whole sermon on that verse on Sunday evening, October 13, 1889 (MTP, Number 2,339). Mark 16:16 ends with the words, “He that believeth not shall be damned.” If you refuse to look to Jesus, and come to Jesus, and believe on Jesus, you will be damned forever in Hell. I urge you, this very morning, to look to Jesus, come to Jesus, trust in Jesus, believe on Jesus. “None but Jesus, none but Jesus, can do helpless sinners good.” No one but Jesus can save you from eternal punishment for your sin. “Look to the Lamb of God.” Sing it once more!

Look to the Lamb of God, Look to the Lamb of God,
For He alone is able to save you, Look to the Lamb of God.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” (Isaiah 45:22).

“None but Jesus, none but Jesus, can do helpless sinners good.” Please turn to hymn number 7 on your song sheet. Let us stand and sing it.

Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched, Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you, Full of pity, love and power.
He is able, He is able, He is willing, doubt no more!
He is able, He is able, He is willing, doubt no more!

Lo! The incarnate God ascended, Pleads the merit of His blood:
Venture on Him, venture wholly, Let no other trust intrude.
None but Jesus, none but Jesus Can do helpless sinners good.
None but Jesus, none but Jesus Can do helpless sinners good.
   (“Come, Ye Sinners” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

(END OF SERMON)
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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 45:21-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Look to the Lamb of God” (by H. G. Jackson, 1838-1914).


THE OUTLINE OF

SPURGEON’S TEXT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth”
(Isaiah 45:22).

(John 1:29)

I.   First, you must look to Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity,
Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29; Leviticus 10:2; John 16:8-9.

II.  Second, you must want Jesus to save you from sin, John 12:47;
Luke 19:10; I Timothy 1:15; II Corinthians 11:14.

III. Third, you must feel that no one but Jesus can save you from sin,
Mark 16:16.