Thursday, August 16, 2007

You must be born again

Perhaps someone here says, “I have given up drunkenness....” “Well,” says another, “I am very different from what I was twelve months ago. I am glad of it, I say again, as glad as when I read that this blind man’s eyes were opened. But, my dear friend, that is not the main point. “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” Morality is excellent as far as it goes, but without holiness no man shall see the Lord, and holiness far exceeds mere morality. Holiness can only be produced by a real change of heart, and that real change of heart can only come through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit which manifests itself through faith in Jesus Christ. Moral changes are commendable, and we would be the last to say a word against them; but just as silver is not gold, so morality is not holiness, and the message we have still to deliver is this, “Ye must be born again.”

So we press the question of the text home upon the conscience of everyone here because it concerns the vital point of faith in Christ. I am convinced that this question, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” is the most important question that a man can ever have to answer; this is vitally and overwhelmingly important. “I am a Churchman,” says one. “I am a Nonconformist,” says another. “I am a Calvinist,” says one. “I am an Arminian,” says another. Well now, I am not going to ask you anything about your belief on any of these points, though I know what I think is the right view concerning all of them. But I can tell you that you may go to heaven or you may go to hell either as a Churchman or as a Nonconformist, as a Calvinist or as an Arminian; but if you believe on Jesus Christ, you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of his hands. It is believing on him that is the all-important point, so I still urge each one of you to answer the question, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”

From a sermon entitled, "A Question For Thee," delivered August 9, 1874.

Photo by Peter Emmett. Some rights reserved.

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