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BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, September 3, 2017

“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 with 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. 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).

Therefore focus on the Lamb of God, who is the Saviour Jesus Christ. There is no atonement except by substitution – and no substitute but Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “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).

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

Jesus is the Lamb of God who can take away your sin. Jesus is the Saviour. Jesus is not just some historical figure that abstractly did something thousands of years ago. Jesus is alive and you must personally reach outside of yourself by faith to Jesus. But before Jesus will save you, you must first need a Saviour. You must not need a psychologist, or a therapist, or a solution to some other problem of life, your soul within yourself must cry out for a Saviour. You must actually need your sins taken away. Notice several things from our text.

I. First, John saw Jesus personally, 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 twice 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 this is very hard to believe. There is 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, Jesus was the Lamb of God! 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, you must know Jesus Himself – and you must encounter Him as the one who takes away your sins! It is no use to read books about Jesus. It will not even help you to see that striking movie, “The Passion of the Christ.” No! That is more information. You are looking for more information to prepare the landing place for your well-analyzed experience of assurance. You are looking for assurance, not salvation. John did not say, “Behold the Lamb of God who makes you feel like you are saved.” John said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” When you trust Jesus, your sin is taken away, and whether or not you feel it or do not feel it is irrelevant. All that is relevant is Jesus. You must look upon Jesus Himself by faith. Sin is cleansed by Jesus’ Blood the moment you behold Him by faith! Look to Jesus, and be saved! “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

II. Second, John saw Jesus, 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! And you cannot do it! You cannot make it happen! You cannot earn your salvation by trying hard enough! No! 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, 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. Your sin is your fundamental problem. You have done things that you know are wrong, but their awfulness is only fully understood when you know who you have offended.

You have not only sinned against your parents, your friends, and yourself, but you have also sinned against the Almighty and Holy God. You sin in your thoughts, and words, and actions against God Himself and the penalty for this could be nothing less but infinitely severe. That is why 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! That is why you must have Jesus, the Lamb of God, and no one else.

IV. Fourth, John saw Jesus, 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 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).

If you have wandered away from God in a backslidden state, Jesus can still cleanse your sin. The Bible says,

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

The atoning power of Jesus is still working and available and necessary for you today. You must return to the Lamb of God who died for you. You must return to the Saviour who you have known and loved so well. You are the sheep who has gone astray, and when you have returned to the fold, all of Heaven will rejoice. You are a sinner saved by grace, and you must have a continual grace and forgiveness over your life. You must have the Lamb of God who continues to take away your sin. You must confess, repent, and return to Jesus. Jesus is alive. Jesus is still forgiving, and still taking away the sin of the world.

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

Some of you are strangers to Jesus. You have never trusted Jesus, but instead you have trusted something else. You have trusted the hope of a feeling of assurance. You have trusted some doctrine or fact of the Bible. You have trusted in yourself, and in your thoughts, and in your feelings. But that has not saved you. That will never save you. You are still lost. You are still hopeless. You are still unforgiven. Why should you return to the same mistakes that have not saved you? Why should you try something else when the Lamb of God is available to you? You must trust the Lamb of God. You must know Jesus for yourself. You must believe in Him yourself. He will take away your sin the moment you trust Him yourself. He will free you from the penalty of sin forever! Jesus takes away sin so that it can never again appear on God’s record against you. But Christ will not take away your sin until you trust Him.

What are you waiting for? What prevents your eternal salvation in Christ? If you are miserable, come out of your misery, and into Christ. If you are tired, come out of your restlessness and He will give you rest. If you are hopeless, trust in Christ, and He will carry you through life and all eternity. Jesus is worthy of your faith. Jesus is worthy of your trust. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who loves you and who will take away your sin. Throw yourself upon the Lamb of God! He will save you! He will save you! He will save you now!

I have a close friend who is Chinese. His name is Jack. I am going to tell you how Jack Ngann was saved by Jesus. Jack said, “Dr. Hymers continued to preach on Christ’s love. I pictured the nails going through His hands. I felt deep sorrow for what Jesus had to go through for me.

I clearly remembered the worst sin I had committed, and it proved to me that I was a dreadful sinner. As I knelt down to pray, I remembered what Mr. Matsusaka had told me. ‘Everyone here is behind your conversion.’ I leaped to Jesus. His sin-cleansing Blood washed away my sin. I was saved. Nothing seemed different to me. That miracle had happened up in Heaven, where Jesus cleansed my sins in His precious Blood.” That is what Jesus did for Jack Ngann – and He can do the same thing for you this morning. Amen!


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: 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

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

“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, his sacrifice for sin,
John 1:31, 33.

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

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

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

V.   Fifth, John saw Jesus removing sin continually, I John 1:9;
John 1:29.