Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 1,500,000 computers in over 215 countries every year at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 35 languages to about 120,000 computers each month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of spreading the Gospel to the whole world, including the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, October 5, 2014

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).


John the Baptist’s one purpose was to talk about Jesus. May we become like John. May we have one message, “Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2). We were born for that purpose: to speak about Jesus, and tell of His power to save sinful men and women.

That was the purpose of John the Baptist – to tell people Jesus had come to take away their sin. He did not say, “Behold the great Example.” He did not say, “Behold the great Teacher,” although he could have said those things about Jesus. But those were not the main things he said about Christ. The first thing John spoke of was, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” His main subject was Jesus as man’s Saviour from sin.

Spurgeon preached a hard-hitting sermon on this text in October, 1887. This was Spurgeon’s answer to those who criticized him in the “Downgrade Controversy.” It was to be the last battle of Spurgeon’s life. Other preachers were speaking of Christ as our example. They were critical of Spurgeon’s preaching on Christ – as the sinner’s substitute on the Cross. They said that Spurgeon’s message was old fashioned, a religion of Blood. They no longer wanted to hear that Christ was our Substitute for sin on the Cross. They would soon call it a “slaughterhouse religion.” I must tell you now that this sermon is adapted from Spurgeon. It was his opening answer to the theological liberals in the “Downgrade Controversy.”

Today I don’t know of any preacher who attacks the Blood sacrifice of Jesus. John MacArthur downgrades the Blood, but he doesn’t attack it. Yet there is a more subtle and hidden attack on the Cross of Christ. Instead of attacking Christ’s substitutionary death, they simply don’t mention it in their sermons. How did that happen? It happened because preachers have made sin such a small thing that they don’t even have to mention it. For instance, listen to the words of Joel Osteen. When Larry King interviewed him on TV, King asked Mr. Osteen if he used the word “sinners.” Mr. Osteen said, “I don’t use it. I never thought about it...When I get them to church I want to tell them that you can change” (Michael Horton, Ph.D., Christless Christianity, Baker Books, 2008, pp. 75, 76).

What is remarkable is that Osteen never uses the word “sinners.” What is even more striking is that he never even “thought about” it! No wonder he doesn’t preach about Jesus as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” All he preaches is, “you can change.” Suppose you could “change.” How would that remove your sins from God’s record? How would “changing” remove the sins that are already on God’s record?

It is assumed that everyone who has made a decision is already a Christian. A preacher tells people, as Osteen does, “Say this prayer with me,” or asks them to raise their hand if they want to be a Christian. Then they are assumed to be born again Christians! There is no need to preach about “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” All you have to do now is to “tell them that they can change” (ibid.), and teach them how to do it!

So we have churches where the pastor is constantly teaching lost sinners how to live better lives! No Gospel sermons are needed. Everybody is already a “Christian.” All you have to do is teach them to live the Christian life. This makes their preaching acceptable to lost sinners. All you have to do is raise your hand or say a prayer. There is no need to preach about your sin. And there is no need for preaching about “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” There is no need to tell people that they are “sinners.” There is no need to even think about sin, as Joel Osteen told Larry King in that TV interview. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that when a preacher presents the Gospel “in such a way that it is going to be easier for modern man to believe it, is a denial of the gospel. ‘The offence of the cross’ (Galatians 5:11) is gone...It is altogether wrong” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Knowing the Times, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1989, pp. 212, 214).

Evangelicals tend to remove things from their preaching to make the message more acceptable to sinners. They have been doing that for years. Dr. Lloyd-Jones said, “It is altogether wrong.” Take, for instance, the new-evangelical movie, “Left Behind,” based on Tim LaHaye’s novels about the “rapture.” I asked my friend David to see it and give me a report. David told me that there is no mention of Jesus in the film! He said that a Muslim tells people to pray to God. Someone asks him, “Which God?” The Muslim said, “to god” – as though there is no difference between Allah and the God of the Bible. This was done to make the film “politically correct.” But when you mix Allah and God, and never mention Jesus, what remains is “altogether wrong,” as Dr. Lloyd-Jones said. The “Left Behind” film David described was what Francis Schaeffer called a “Great Evangelical Disaster.” Like much of our preaching today, it watered down the Gospel, removed the idea of sin, left out the death of Jesus to pay for our sins, and I don’t think it will cause anyone to be saved! “It is altogether wrong.” It is an emasculated attempt to “teach” lost people.

But John the Baptist didn’t try to “teach” lost people to be Christians. He boldly proclaimed the Gospel to his unsaved audience.

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Oh God, I pray that Thou wilt help me preach like John for a lifetime! And may there never be a man in this pulpit who makes the Gospel “easier for modern man to believe”! May those who speak from this pulpit perpetually preach Christ Jesus as the only sacrifice for sin! May they always be like John the Baptist. May they always have their thoughts focused on Jesus’ Blood, and His atoning death upon the Cross!

During the little time I may have left on earth, I want to focus on the Lamb of God, the Saviour Jesus Christ. I will preach that there is no atonement except by substitution – and no substitute but Jesus Christ. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). Surely He “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (I Peter 2:24). Surely we were cleansed from our sins “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:19). Surely, He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). I have dedicated myself to preach those truths to the end of my life!

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Please notice several things from this great text.

I. First, John saw Jesus personally as his sacrifice for sin.

John said, “Behold the Lamb of God...” The Greek word translated “Behold” means “look” or “see.” The text could be translated – “Look! the Lamb of God” or “See! the Lamb of God...” It is an expression of surprise! Note what John said, two times in this chapter, “I knew him not” (v. 31). “I knew him not” (v. 33). Some expositors say John and Jesus had never met before. But I find that very hard to believe. I see a different meaning here. As a baby, John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb when she came near Jesus in the womb of Mary. John knew Jesus, but he did not know Him as the sin-bearer. John knew Jesus as a person, as a human being. But he did not know Jesus as the one who would take “away the sin of the world.” When John plunged Jesus under the waters of Jordan, then he heard God say, “This is my beloved Son.” That's when John knew, and was sure! Afterwards he never said, “I think this is the Lamb of God” or “This may be the Son of God.” No! After that encounter at the river Jordan John was sure. He said,

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Like John, I pray that each of you may know Jesus Himself – and that you may know Him as the one who takes away your sins! It is no use to read Sunday School books about Jesus. It will not even help you to see that striking movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” No! No! You must look upon Jesus Himself by faith. I do not preach the doctrine of Christ’s atonement as one of many theories. No – I preach it from my own experience! When I looked to Jesus as a twenty-year-old boy, He took away my sin! My sins were cleansed by Jesus’ Blood the moment I beheld Him by faith! When I looked to Jesus, I was saved, then and there! “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

II. Second, John saw Jesus as the only sacrifice for sin.

“Behold the Lamb of God...” The little Greek word is “ho.” It means “the.” The text does not say “Behold one of the Lambs of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” No! No! That’s what the blind philosophers of this world say! But they are wrong. Buddha can’t do it! Mohammed can’t do it! The Mormons can’t do it! The Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t do it! The priests can’t do it! No! No! None of them can take away your sin! Only Jesus can do it! “Behold the Lamb of God” – the one and only Lamb by which our sins can be taken away! Horatius Bonar said,

I lay my sins on Jesus,
   The spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all and frees us
   From the accursed load.
I bring my guilt to Jesus,
   To wash my crimson stains
White in His blood most precious,
   Till not a spot remains.
(“The Burden-Bearer” by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1889;
    to the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation”).

III. Third, John saw Jesus as the sacrifice of God.

He said, “Behold the Lamb of God...” God has only one Son, His only begotten Son. And the Bible says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). God gave His only Son as a sacrifice upon the Cross. If you think of it, who else but God could have provided a sacrifice for the sin of the world? God Himself must provide the sacrifice. And that sacrifice must be God’s only-begotten Son. No one else in all the universe but Jesus, the Son of God Himself, could pay the penalty for our sin. The Son of God became the substitute for sinners, paying their sin-debt on the Cross!

IV. Fourth, John saw Jesus as the one taking away our sin.

He said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The Bible says, “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Our sin was placed upon Christ, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree” – on the Cross (I Peter 2:24). And when our sins were laid on Jesus, He “sweat...as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Dr. John R. Rice said it well,

All my sins were laid on Jesus;
   On the cross my debt He paid.
Then He cried out, “It is finished!”
   Ere He in the tomb was laid.
(“Resting in His Promise” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

An old children’s hymn put it like this,

He knew how wicked we had been,
   And knew that God must punish sin;
So out of pity Jesus said,
   He’d bear the punishment instead.

The best part is that Jesus not only bore our sins, but He took them away! He is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” If you trust Jesus, you don’t need to ask, “Where is my sin?” Jesus took it away! Your sin can be removed because Jesus is “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Yet there is one more point.

V. Fifth, John saw Jesus as removing sin continually.

Praise God! He said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John does not speak in the past tense, nor in the future tense. He speaks in the present tense – “He taketh away the sin of the world.” Spurgeon said,

I have a Saviour today as fresh and full of power as if he had been crucified this very morning for my sin. He is now as able to save me as if he were on the cross [right now]. [His blood] is always flowing forth for the removal of my guilt, eternally efficacious, ceaselessly sin-cleansing...This is the truth to be looked at beyond all others – “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (C. H. Spurgeon, “Behold the Lamb of God,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 33, Pilgrim Publications, 1974, p. 573).

But you must trust the Lamb of God yourself. You must know Jesus for yourself. You must believe in Him yourself. He will surely take away your sin the moment you trust Him yourself. He will free you from the guilt of sin forever! Jesus takes away sin so that it can never again torment you. But Christ will not take away your sin until you trust Him. Throw your soul upon the Lamb of God now, this very morning! He will save you! He will save you! He will save you now! Please stand and sing hymn number 7 on your song sheet, “I Am Coming, Lord.”

I hear Thy welcome voice, That calls me, Lord to Thee
   For cleansing in Thy precious blood That flowed on Calvary.
I am coming, Lord! Coming now to Thee!
   Wash me, cleanse me in the blood That flowed on Calvary.
(“I Am Coming, Lord” by Lewis Hartsough, 1828-1919).

Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com or www.rlhsermons.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.

These sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted. You may use them without Dr. Hymers’
permission. However, all of Dr. Hymers’ video messages are copyrighted
and can only be used by permission.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: John 1:22-29.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Nor Silver Nor Gold” (by James M. Gray, 1851-1935).


THE OUTLINE OF

BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

(I Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 5:11; Isaiah 53:4; I Peter 2:24; 1:19)

I.   First, John saw Jesus personally as his sacrifice for sin,
John 1:31, 33.

II.  Second, John saw Jesus as the only sacrifice for sin, John 1:29.

III. Third, John saw Jesus as the sacrifice of God, John 3:16.

IV. Fourth, John saw Jesus as the one taking away our sin,
Isaiah 53:6; I Peter 2:24; Luke 22:44.

V.  Fifth, John saw Jesus as removing sin continually, John 1:29.