John the Baptist preached : “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” First, John declared that God had sent His Son into the world, that men might live through him. He taught that Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Son of God, appointed by Him to redeem mankind, and that He came into the world on purpose that He might save His people from their sins.
All our hopes spring from Christ and Him crucified. They begin with Him, and they end with Him; and whosoever believeth on Him hath everlasting life; but whosoever rejects Him by disbelieving Him, there remaineth no hope for him, but he must be lost for ever. There is but one way to heaven, and that one way is marked by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus did actually bear the sin of His people in His own body on the tree. It was lifted bodily off those whom it would have crushed for ever, and it was laid on Him. He was, indeed, the great Sin-Bearer; He who knew no sin was made sin for us, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away” — as well as takes upon himself — “the sin of the world.” Oh, blessed word, — taketh it away! Where did He take it? I will tell you: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” He took the sin of all believers away so completely that it sank into the bottom of the sea; God has cast it behind His back, and it shall not be mentioned against them any more for ever. There is no such thing now as the sin of the saints, for Christ has utterly annihilated it. He came to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins; and if He made an end of them, there is an end of them, and they are gone for ever; and those who believe in Jesus are washed white as the driven snow, and clothed in His matchless righteousness.
Follow your Master
If you have really believed in Christ, you will try to tread in His footprints. You will call him Master and Lord; He will be your Leader and Commander; and you will willingly follow where He leads, and cheerfully do what He commands. Christ has not come to give you licence to sin; but He has brought you to liberty from sin. Blessed liberty! If you do indeed thus look to Christ, follow Him at once, become His disciple, do what He bids you, feeling that it is
— “Yours not to reason why, Yours not to make reply;” —
but just to do as He commands, and believe what He teaches by the implicit faith which yields itself up entirely to Him. This is the test of real faith in Jesus, that the man is no more his own master, but takes Jesus to be his Master, and follows wherever He leads.
Abide in Him
Oh, that is the highest joy of a Christian, to live with Christ! A look of faith saves the soul because it is the beginning of a life of living with Christ for ever and ever. I am afraid that some of God’s people fail to realize this blessed living with Christ. They get a little joy, and they seem very pleased with it, but in a little time they lose it. Why is that? Because they rejoiced merely in their own joy; and when a man does that, he will soon lose it. I said that some of God’s people do not seem to understand this abiding with Jesus, but why should not we? Why need we have doubts and fears? Why need we get away from Christ? Had we but the faith He deserves, and did we believe in Him as He ought to be believed in, we might go from joy to joy, and so ascend to heaven as on a ladder of light. God give us this grace of abiding with Christ! It is to be had by those who seek it aright.
Bringing others to Christ
Lastly, the proof which these people, who had seen Christ, and followed Him, was that they went and tried to bring others to Him. They said to their kinsfolk and acquaintance, “We have found Jesus.” Ah! you have never truly found Jesus if you do not tell others about Him. You know how children act, and we ought to be children in all things before God. If a little child, in its rambles, were to find honey, and its brothers and sisters were all around, I feel certain that it would give such a cry after it had first sucked its own fingers, that all of them would soon be plunging their hands into the honey, too. It is the instinct of true children of God to desire to fetch in others to taste and see that the Lord is good, to share, in the bliss unspeakable which is already their own.
Excerpted from the sermon titled “The Baptist’s Message” (John 1:29) by CH Spurgeon dated 29 October 1899. You are encouraged to read the full text of this sermon from THE BAPTIST’S MESSAGE (spurgeongems.org)