John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Sermons
A Saving MessageJohn 1:29
Christ Bearing the Sins of the WorldJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 1:29
Christ the Lamb and the LionR. Clerke, D. D.John 1:29
Christ the Passover LambC. E. Luthardt, D. D.John 1:29
Christ the Preacher's ThemeH. O. Mackey.John 1:29
Christ's Work not Frustrated by His RejectionBp. Ryle.John 1:29
Forgiveness of Sins Through the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ is a Blessing Which it is the Glory of God to RevealT. Slatterie.John 1:29
Free Trade with Heaven Established by ChristJ. C. Jones, D. D.John 1:29
Israel's MessiahT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 1:29
Jesus the Propitiation for SinC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:29
John's Call for AttentionJ. A. Seiss, D. D.John 1:29
Objections MetT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 1:29
Praise of Christ the Lamb of GodF. E. Turner.John 1:29
The Atonement and the ScripturesJohn 1:29
The Baptist's MessageC. H. Spurgeon.John 1:29
The Death of Christ the Preacher's ThemeH. O. Mackey.John 1:29
The Excellency of the Christian, AtonementJ. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.John 1:29
The Great MessageA. B. Groshart, D. D., Bishop Ryle.John 1:29
The Great RemedyJohn 1:29
The Great Work of Christ, and the Great Work of the PreacherD. Thomas, D. D.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodJ. Beith, D. D.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodNewman Hall, LL. B.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodNewman Hall, LL. B.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodJ. Cumming, D. D.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodR. S. Brooke, M. A.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodMoses Stuart.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodStanley Leathes, B. D.John 1:29
The Lamb of GodJ. A. Alexander, D. D.John 1:29
The Lamb of God Which Taketh Away the Sin of the WorldBp. Beveridge.John 1:29
The Lamb of God, the Great AtonementJohn Newton John 1:29
The Message for SinnersC. H. Spurgeon., C. H. Spurgeon.John 1:29
The Sacrificial Lamb of the MohammedansS. S. TimesJohn 1:29
The Sin of the WorldR. W. Dale, M. A.John 1:29
The Value of Christ's SacrificeJ. C. Jones, D. D.John 1:29
The Work of Christ, and of His DisciplesU. R. Thomas.John 1:29
The World's Sin-BearerAlexander MaclarenJohn 1:29
We Must Look to ChristD. L. Moody.John 1:29
When our Lord Jesus came into this world, he did not come as one isolated from the race he designed to save. He condescended to take his place - the most honourable place - in a long and illustrious succession. He superseded the last prophet of the old dispensation; he commissioned the first prophets of the new. The herald and forerunner of our Lord perfectly comprehended his own relation to his Master, and felt it a dignity to occupy a position of Divine appointment, although a position of inferiority, in respect to him. The query put to John by the leaders of the Jewish Church at Jerusalem was natural and proper; it was evidence of the interest which John's mission was exciting in the land; and it gave the Baptist an opportunity of both declaring himself and witnessing to his Lord.

I. JOHN'S DISCLAIMER. No doubt there was an expectation, general and eager, of One who, in accordance with Hebrew prophecy, should be the Deliverer and Ruler of God's people Israel. From varying motives - in some cases with spiritual yearning, in other cases with political expectation - the Jews turned anxiously towards every personage of distinction and influence who arose among the people. Thus they turned to John, whose character was austere and inflexible as that of a Hebrew seer, and whose popular power was manifest from the multitude of his adherents and admirers. In these circumstances, John's first duty was to give an unequivocal answer to the inquiry of the Jews. This inquiry was pointed and particular. Was John Elias, again visiting the people who revered him as one of their holiest and mightiest saints? There was something in his appearance, his habits, his speech, that suggested this possibility. Or was he "the prophet," less definitely designated? Or could it be that he was none other than the Messiah? The times were ripe for the advent of the promised Deliverer; John evidently possessed a spiritual authority, a popular power, such as Israel had not seen for many a generation. To every such inquiry John had only one answer: "I am not." In this disclaimer we recognize both the intelligence and the candour of the forerunner. A weak mind might have been overpowered by interest so profound and widespread. A self-seeking and ambitious mind might have taken advantage of such an opportunity to assert a personal authority and to climb to the throne of power. John was superior to such temptations. Though greater than others born of women, he did not aspire to a position for which God had not destined him. In fact, he was too great to wish to be aught but the herald and the servant of him who was to come.

II. JOHN'S CLAIM. A just and admirable modesty was not, indeed never is, inconsistent with a due assertion of position and duties assigned by God. He who knows what God has sent him into the world to do, will neither depreciate his own work nor envy another's. The claim made by John was very remarkable. He affirmed himself to be:

1. A fulfilment of prophecy. The circumstances of his birth and education, taken in conjunction with certain declarations of Old Testament Scripture, must have suggested to John that he held a place in the revealed counsels of eternal wisdom.

2. A voice. Often had God spoken to Israel. In John he spake yet again. To him it was given to utter by human lips the thoughts of the Divine mind. Not that this was mechanical function; John's whole soul was inflamed with the grandeur and the burning necessity of that message of repentance which he was called upon to deliver to his fellow countrymen. Nothing but the conviction that his voice was the expression of Divine thought, that he was summoning men in God's Name to a higher life of righteousness and faith, could have animated him to discharge his ministry with such amazing boldness. Nor could any other conviction have overcome the difficulty he must at first have felt in publicly witnessing that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ.

3. A herald, and one preparing the way of a great Successor. It was his to make straight the Lord's way. It was his to announce the Messiah's approach, and to direct the attention of Israel to the coming in lowly guise of Israel's King. It was his. to subside into comparative insignificance, to withdraw from publicity, in order that he might make room for One whose presence would bring the realization of the brightest hopes and the most fervent prayers. It was his to administer the humbler baptism with water - the symbol of a better baptism to be conferred by Christ, even that with the Holy Spirit.

APPLICATION.

1. Learn the completeness and harmony of the Divine plan. The revelation of God proceeds upon an order which may be recognized both by the intellect and by the heart of man. The wisdom of the Eternal arranges that all preparation shall be made for the appearance of the world's Saviour; the morning star heralds the rising of the Sun of Righteousness. God's ways in grace are as regular and as orderly as his ways in providence.

2. Learn the dignity and preciousness of Immanuel. One so honourable as the Baptist yet deemed himself unworthy to serve the meek and lowly . Jesus - to act as his meanest attendant. Lowly was his attitude, and reverent his words, when the Son of God drew near. Surely he, who was so regarded and so heralded, demands our homage and deserves our love. - T.







Behold the Lamb of God!
I. THE SAVIOUR'S WORK IN THE SALVATION OF MEN.

1. He taketh away the sin of the world. The father says, "Save the family"; the citizen, "Save the town"; the patriot, "Save the country"; Christ, "Save the world " — and not merely says, but accomplishes.

2. His qualification for the work; the "Lamb of God," innocent, pure, spotless; the "Son of Man"; the "Son of God." The head of humanity and the heart of God were in the great sacrifice.

3. His constant watching. Christ asks men to follow what they seek. Not one follower is unnoticed.

4. His ready welcome. The noble gathering up of the Gospel is in the golden word "Come." It is not the mere sentimental emotion roused by a Sunday service that He seeks, but the coming and believing in Him.

5. His intimate knowledge of the character of any that may come. Christ reveals to men their ideals. Peter. Nathaniel.

II. THE DISCIPLES' WORK IN THE SALVATION OF MEN.

1. Manifestation of humility in the presence of Christ. "I am not worthy."

2. Manifest perseverance. Men scarcely listen; but John repeats his direction. The humble man is not changeful, not persistent.

3. Exquisite naturalness. Andrew thought of his brother: a rather obscure man brings Peter to Christ.

(U. R. Thomas.)

I. THE TRUE MESSENGER.

1. One who sees Jesus for himself (ver. 33), The true herald of Jesus is like John.

(1)He is on the look-out for is Lord s appearing.

(2)He rejoices to preach Jesus, as One whom he has seen and known, and still hopes to see.

(3)He preaches Him as come, and as coming.

2. He calls upon men to see Jesus.

(1)Plainly and confidently.

(2)Continually and solely (ver 35).

(3)Earnestly and emphatically.

3. He leads his own followers to Jesus (ver. 37).

(1)He had enough force to induce men to be his followers.

(2)Enough humility to induce his followers to leave him for Jesus.

(3)Enough grace to make him rejoice that it was so (2 Corinthians 4:5).

4. He loses himself in Jesus.

(1)He sees the necessity of this (John 3:43).

(2)The propriety of this (John 3:29).

II. THE TRUE MESSAGE. John's word was brief, but emphatic. He declared Jesus to be —

1. Sent and ordained "of God."

2. The one real, Divinely appointed sacrifice for sin — "the Lamb of God."

3. The only remover of human guilt — " which taketh away the sin of the world."

4. Set forth as the object of faiths" Behold the Lamb." He exhorted his hearers to look at him with that look which saves. The end of all ministries and ordinances is to bring men to look to Jesus. Both John, who ran before, and we, who run after, must point in the same direction.

III. THE TRUE RECEPTION OF THAT MESSAGE. The conduct of John's disciples shows that our true wisdom concerning .gospel testimony is —

1. To believe it, and so to acknowledge Jesus as our sin-removing sacrifice.

2. To follow Jesus (ver, 37).

3. To follow Jesus, even if we be alone. These were the vanguard of the vast hosts who have since followed Jesus. They knew not what suffering it might involve, but went first and foremost.

4. To abide with Jesus (ver 39).

5. To go forth and tell others of Jesus (vers. 40, 41).Conclusion: Here is —

1. A lesson for those who preach. John's sermon was short, but full of Jesus, and effectual for soul-winning. Imitate him.

2. An example for those who have believed.

3. A gospel for those who hitherto have not known the Saviour.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

John's prior life was Divinely ordered for this evangelical apprehension of Jesus. Born of the lineage of Levi, he renounced all priestly heritage and claim, and even attendance at the Temple; and thus was lifted above the class interests and sordid motives which might have swayed him toward the worldly and temporal expectations of the Messiah, and disentangled himself from the meshes of rabbinical tradition. By his seclusion, the direct reading of the Old Testament, and his communion with God, his perception would be farther cleared to discern the spiritual nature of the kingdom of Christ and the innermost case and necessity of that kingdom — redemption by sacrifice. Notice —

I. The TENDERNESS of the message.

1. A Lamb — symbol of sweetness, innocence, harmlessness, patience; an idea peculiarly grateful to hearts pierced with sin and worn weak by the anguish of self-accusation.

2. An idea the opposite of the "wolf" element in man — oppres-sion, injustice, self-seeking, revenge.

3. The first death was a murder. Lamb-like virtues have never been admired.

II. The PREPARATION of the message. The all but universal hope of the Jews was of a warring, conquering King. How fitting that the disappointment should be broken by the proclamation of a Lamb! By His very peacefulness and harmlessness many would be prepared to surrender their misconceptions.

III. The SIGNIFICANCE Of the message.

1. The Divine appointment of the Lamb.

2. His atoning character, as foreshadowed by the prophets.

3. The redemption through His blood.

IV. The DEFINITENESS of the message. The "sin" of the world taken away from every one who will accept Him for a Saviour.

V. The PECULIARITY of the message. What an antithesis to other kings, whose path has been reddened with blood, and who have come and gone without the slightest benefit to the race. Christ comes to deliver and bless.

VI. The BREADTH of the message. "The world." not Jews merely.

(A. B. Groshart, D. D.)

I. THE PECULIAR NAME WHICH THE BAPTIST GIVES TO CHRIST. The Lamb of God. Let us serve Him faithfully as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teaching as our Prophet. Let us walk diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming Redeemer of body as well as soul. But above all, let us prize Him as our Sacrifice, and rest our whole weight on His death as an atonement for sin. Let His blood be more precious in our eyes every year we live.

II. THE PECULIAR WORK WHICH THE BAPTIST DESCRIBES JESUS AS DOING.

1. Christ is a Saviour; not a conqueror, a philosopher, a moralist.

2. A complete Saviour; not merely makes vague proclamations of pardon and mercy, but takes away sin.

3. An almighty and universal Saviour. He died not for Jews only, or a few persons, but all mankind.

(1)His work on the cross was more than enough to make satisfaction for the sins of all.

(2)His blood was precious enough to wash away all guilt.

(3)But the efficiency of Christ's atonement is for those only who believe.

4. A perpetual and unwearied Saviour "taketh." He is daily doing this.

III. THE PECULIAR OFFICE WHICH THE BAPTIST ATTRIBUTES TO CHRIST.

1. This baptism is not the baptism of water.

(1)It does not consist either of dipping or sprinkling.

(2)It does not belong exclusively to infants or adults.

(3)It cannot be given to any minister or layman of whatever church.

(4)It is a baptism which the Head of the Church keeps wholly in His own hands.It consists of the implanting of grace into the inward man. It is the same thing with the new birth. It is a baptism, not of the body, but of the heart. It is a baptism which the penitent thief received, though neither dipped nor sprinkled by the hand of man. It is a baptism which Ananias and Sapphira did not receive, though admitted into church-communion by apostolic men.

(Bishop Ryle.)

I. JOHN'S PROCLAMATION OF THE MESSIAH.

1. His person identified (ver. 30).

2. His calling declared (ver. 20).(1) Divine in its appointment. The Lamb chosen, provided, sent by, and consecrated and belonging to God.(2) Saving in its character: to realize and fulfil all that had been foreshadowed by the paschal lamb, the lamb for burnt-offering, and the suffering Servant of Jehovah.(3) World-wide in its destination: not for Israel alone, or believers simply, but for humanity at large (John 3:16; John 12:32; 1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 2:6.; 4:10). Upon the ground of Christ's expiation, a bona fide offer of forgiveness is made to the world (Ephesians 1:7).

3. His dignity announced.

(1)His higher being (ver. 15).

(2)His loftier calling.

(3)His nobler name.

II. JOHN'S KNOWLEDGE OF MESSIAH.

1. When it originated. At the Baptism (ver. 33). Prior to this John may have had surmises, hopes, expectations, but not certain knowledge; neither have we without the Father's testimony, to which also Christ (John 5:37), John (1 John 5:9, 11), and Peter (2 John 1:16) appeal.

2. Whence it proceeded. From the Spirit. It was no deduction or conclusion of His own. From the same source proceeds all spiritual understanding of Christ or His truth (John 14:26; John 16:13-15; 1 John 2:20, 27; 1 John 5:20; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14).

3. On what it rested.(1) An open heaven. As in ancient times, to Jacob (Genesis 28:12), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:1), Daniel (Daniel 10:5-6), and afterwards to Stephen (Acts 7:5, 6), Paul (2 Corinthians 12:4), John (Revelation 4:1). This a symbolic representation. The heavens had opened, that God's Son might come forth, and that Christ's brethren might enter in: for the outflow of grace to men, and for the entrance of men to glory.(2) A descended Spirit. Of this the dove an emblem. The permanent endowment of Jesus with the fulness of the Spirit convinced the Baptist.Lessons:

1. The twofold character of Christ's salvation.

(1)The removal of sin.

(2)The implantation of a new life by the Spirit.

2. The twofold condition of receiving Christ's salvation.

(1)Repentance, symbolized by baptism.

(2)Faith upheld in beholding the Lamb of God.

3. The twofold qualification for preaching Christ's salvation.

(1)A knowledge of Christ.

(2)An acquaintance with self.

4. The twofold evidence that Christ is the Son of God.

(1)He can open heaven by removing sin.

(2)He can qualify for heaven by imparting the Spirit.

(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

I. THE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH. The Lamb of God was the original and universal sacrifice. The early worshippers were instructed to offer a lamb. A lamb was the morning and evening sacrifice. Isaiah lift. has reference to it. John pointed to the substance, of which these were shadows: Jesus in all His humiliation, down to the moment of His expiring cry. To this believers of previous dispensations looked forward. John would hays the faith of his hearers to coincide with that of Abel, Abraham, and the Old Testament saints. The way of life has never varied. Never has a soul been saved, never will a soul be saved, but by the Lamb of God.

II. THE DUTY TO WHICH JOHN SUMMONED HIS HEARERS.

1. To receive the tidings he conveyed to them. No event had ever occurred like this. Man's attention in every age is imperatively called to this. It is the great central truth on which all history hangs. If rightly received, the message must tell on the entire character.

2. To banish from them whatever might oppose the reception of the message. The Jews had much to do in this way. The natural operation of the heart is to establish a righteousness of its own. Men depend on good character, station in the Church, the use of means. But we must be made to lose confidence in any such hope.

3. To rest positively on Christ.

III. THE PARTIES CALLED TO THIS DUTY.

1. Generally all men, in every condition, of every character.

2. Those who thirst, and are conscious that they need a resting place, an object on which to bestow their affections, to satisfy their hearts.

3. Those who are pierced by God's arrows of conviction.

(J. Beith, D. D.)

I. THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE VICTIM. Gentleness and innocence are suggested by lambs generally. Besides this, the lamb selected for sacrifice was to be without blemish. And Jesus was gentle. "He did not cry," etc. This was not the gentleness of weakness, for He calmed the storm and raised the dead. He was "without spot" — "holy, harmless, undefiled."

II. THE DEATH OF THE VICTIM. The lamb was slain in sacrifice. So the death of Christ was the chief feature of His life — predicted, prominent in His own mind, the chief feature of the gospels and epistles.

III. SALVATION IS CONNECTED WITH THE DEATH OF THE VICTIM. Ancient prophecy spoke of Him as "wounded for our transgressions." He Himself said, "As Moses lifted up," etc. The apostles proclaimed salvation through His death.

IV. CONSIDER WHAT, AS SAVIOUR, HE DOES.

1. He takes away the guilt and penalty of sin. It was not the guilt of separate sins that the Lamb of God expiated. It was sin itself.

2. He takes away the power of sin. He destroys sin itself.

V. THIS HE DOES FOR ALL MANKIND. The whole world needed salvation, and we may infer that the supply is co-extensive with the want. As He commands the gospel to be preached to every creature, there must be a gospel for every creature; and those who do not actually obtain salvation fail only "because of unbelief."

(Newman Hall, LL. B.)

I. THE SAVIOUR DESIGNATED "The Lamb of God."

II. HIS WORK DESCRIBED, "Taketh away the sin of the world."

III. FAITH ENJOINED. "Behold the Lamb of God."

IV. DUTY URGED.

1. Let the careless and impenitent behold Him.

2. Let those who are trusting in their own merits behold Him.

3. Let penitent sinners behold Him.

4. Let Christians, for their habitual comfort and strength, behold Him.

(Newman Hall, LL. B.)

We must admit two postulates.

1. That the world and all its inhabitants are sinners.

2. That there is a Saviour who takes away the sin of the world. Let me direct your attention to —

I. THE BEING HERE MENTIONED. The Israelites found that the forgiveness of their sins was connected in some way with the sacrificial offerings, and therefore came too generally to suppose that there was some inherent virtue in the victims. They were pleased with the shadow instead of looking to the substance. The Baptist broke in upon this lifeless form of things, and, pointing to Christ, said, "Behold," etc. All types are now to merge in the Antitype. The communion bears something of the same relation as the morning and evening and passover lambs bore to Christ. Beware, then, of the mistake of the Jews.

1. In pointing to the Lamb of God, John conveys an important lesson to us. Men expect forgiveness either from the goodness of God or their own good works. Look not on these refuges of lies. Behold the only Being who taketh away sins.

2. Christ is called the Lamb.of God, because appointed by God and accepted by God.

II. THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF HIS FUNCTIONS.

1. He endured the Cross, not to raise the Jewish nation to a temporal sovereignty, nor to enrich mankind with wealth and pleasure, nor to acquaint the minds of the inquisitive with philosophy and science. Had that been so, He had been acceptable to Jews, politicians, and philosophers. But by taking away sin, the very ends sought for are most thoroughly achieved. Take away that, and you take away the world's darkness and the world's misery.

2. There are two great evils which sin has entailed.(1) It has brought us under condemnation, taken away our title to heaven, and left us outcasts.(2) It has subjected us so to its ascendency and power, that every affection and appetite is the minister of sin, and we are disqualified for the joys of heaven. To save us, therefore, Christ takes away the guilt and condemnation, and also the power and pollution of sin.

3. The salvation is universally offered, on the condition of faith.

III. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORDS "BEHOLD," etc. We may suppose the Baptist addressing himself to —

1. Angels. As ye wing your flight on errands of mercy, ye do behold Him; for into these things the angels desire to look.

2. Fallen angels. Beheld the issue of your evil efforts, the promised bruiser of the serpent's head!

3. Sinners. Turn from trusting in your useless efforts. Why will ye die!

4. Ye people of God, behold the author of that joy and peace with which your hearts are filled.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

I. A POINTING TO CHRIST. We can imagine these words spoken in heaven, and angels desiring to look into them. We can imagine them spoken in hell. and devils "beholding Him, but not nigh." But, alas! on earth how few point or look. The rich man points to his wealth, the young man to his pleasures, the Pharisee to himself; but those who belong to Christ point to Him.

II. A NAME OF CHRIST.

1. Open your Bibles, and you will see this name above every other. View Him —

(1)In the patriarchal days; in the sacrifice of Abel.

(2)Under the law, as the Paschal Lamb.

(3)In Psalm 23.

(4)In Isaiah 53.

(5)In the gospels.

(6)In the epistles (1 Peter 1:19).

(7)In the Apocalypse.

2. He was God's Lamb because —

(1)God's property was in Him. He was God's Son, Servant, Angel, Prophet, Messenger.

(2)God's Name was in Him.

(3)God's love was in Him.

(4)God's power was in Him.

III. A WORK OF CHRIST. He takes our sins away.

1. From the sinner's heart.

2. From God's Book.

3. From God's bar.

4. From God's sight.

5. To His cross.

6. To His grave.

(R. S. Brooke, M. A.)

1. John had urged the duty of repentance. Now when Jesus made His appearance, John discloses the great object to be accomplished by Him — viz., the pardon of sin. For this mere repentance is insufficient, for it can never remove the penalty of a broken law. It only prepares the penitent to avoid transgression in the future by inspiring a sorrow for and a hatred of sin; so John did not tell the Jews that they would be forgiven because of their repentance; but urged it as an indispensable condition of securing Christ's blessing. When he had done this, he bade them behold the Saviour.

2. The term "Lamb" —(1) Has respect to disposition and character, and is significant of innocence, meekness, and unresisting submission (Isaiah 53:7). But there were, doubtless, many others to whom the term could be applied besides Christ. But this did not make them saviours from sin. Had Jesus been only a lamb in this sense, He might have been thus qualified for a teacher. But would not John have added something indicative of his Teacher's office? To choose a lamb for illustration, and to mean by "taking away the sin of the world" the influence of sagacious instruction, is utterly confusing and unintelligible; and then, if Christ saves by His instruction, why was not Paul called a saviour of men?(2) But the term has respect to an atoning sacrifice, by which pardon of sin is secured. And it would be very natural for John, as a Jew, familiar with the Mosaic offerings, and with their application in Isaiah lift., to use the term in this sense. The same idea was familiar to Paul (1 Corinthians 5:7), Peter (1 Peter 1:18-19; cf. Exodus 12:5), and John (Revelation 5:8-14).

3. Jesus is the Lamb of God. This cannot be a mere term of excellence, like "mountains of God," but either the Lamb who belongs to, or is provided by, God. The former would make an inept and frigid meaning; for John is showing the relation in which Christ stands to man. The latter, therefore, is the meaning. Every Jew had to provide and present as a sin-offering a lamb without spot or blemish. What each had done for himself, God now does for all men.(1) Christ takes away sin. The Hebrews employed the phrase as meaning to bear the punishment or consequences of sin, or to expiate sin, or to forgive it. Either of the first two meanings will answer well here (1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 5:29). So Christ takes away sin by removing its condemning and soul-destroying power. The Greek verb means first to lift up and then to raise up and remove, as one lifts a burden and conveys it away. And so Christ took the burden of our sins, and this load He carried away.(2) He takes away the sin of the world. Other conditions are required besides His expiatory death. The sinner must be penitent, and behold the Lamb with the eye of faith. This done, salvation is as wide as the world of men; and so the proffer is universal.

(Moses Stuart.)

I. THE OBJECT WHICH WAS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. The abolition of the world's sin: a most desirable object. Were any one to offer to take away the world's sorrow, or its toil and trouble, or its care, what a benefactor he would be. But how much more when the Son of God comes from heaven and suffers to take away its sin. Because the sting and bitterness is nothing but that. But we are led aside from the truth by the consideration of second causes and immediate results, and so forget the nature of sin and disregard the Baptist's invitation. And yet sin is the universal curse, and those who are unacquainted with sorrow are sinful; and sin unrepented of will bring the bitterest sorrow. The need, then, of the abolition of sin is —

1. Universal.

2. The greatest of our needs. Other needs man can remedy; but no man can help his brother here.

3. The most pressing.

4. In proportion we do not feel this, our sin is the greater.

II. THE MEANS ORDAINED FOR ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT. Such a need in God's. universe could not be without a remedy. This was provided in the Lamb of God, which expression looks back to Isaiah 53. and Genesis 22. Christ was the Lamb of God in being God's appointed sacrifice, and the sacrifice offered by God. He was the federal head of our race, the one Being in whom our race was gathered up, who took upon Himself the penalty of sin. His great qualification for this was his sinlessness. Two conclusions —

1. That if Christ was the Lamb of God He must have been an adequate provision for dealing with the world's sin.

2. That He must have been the exclusive sacrifice for sin. There was no other means appointed by God; there can be no other means devised by man.

III. THE METHOD OF APPLYING THESE MEANS.

1. Christ takes away the punishment of sift — sin with all its accidents and qualities.

2. Christ destroys the power of sin in the heart.

3. You cannot get rid of sin by resolutions or efforts, but only by faith in Him. There is in us a sinful will which prompts to sin. We cannot get rid of that by thwarting or discipling our sinful will. We can only do it by taking cognizance of a higher will in Christ. And as we believe in Him we submit to His will, and become inspired with a fresh will which prompts to good and not to evil.

(Stanley Leathes, B. D.)

1. How long our first parents remained innocent is not revealed; but we scarcely read of their fall before we read also of their restoration. The gates of Paradise are hardly closed before the altar of atonement is erected at the entrance. The flame of the Cherubic sword is blended with the flame of the consuming sacrifice. The promise of salvation was sealed by blood, not of bears and lions, but of oxen, sheep, and lambs. Blood being put for life, the lesson taught was(1) that man was a sinner, and that sin must be punished;(2) that sin might be forgiven and the sinner saved. The offerer placed his hands upon the victim and confessed his sin, thereby symbolically transferring his guilt.

2. But how can sin be transferred to a dumb animal (Hebrews 10:4)? And yet the voice of the whole dispensation cries "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." How shall these discordant sounds be tempered into unison? Only by looking beyond the sacrifice to another which it represents. In Christ these seeming contradictions are reconciled. That which was pleasing in the sight of God for His sake, was abhorrent when considered apart from Him. The faith of old believers, therefore, was the same as ours, only darkened by the symbols which the Antitype has now abolished.

3. We cannot tell how far the doctrine of atonement was maintained without corruption in the age immediately preceding the Advent. The great mass of the people had undoubtedly lost sight of it; but others certainly felt their lost and wretched state, and looked with a prospective faith to the coming and dying of the Lamb of God. Their hopes were naturally stimulated by the Baptist. But he did satisfy them being a preacher of righteousness — not a sacrifice for sin. But having strengthened their sense of guilt and need of expiation by the preaching of the law, John led them to the altar and pointed to the Lamb of God.

4. Two to whom these words were addressed followed Jesus — a sufficient proof that they were waiting for Him, and prepared for His reception. But in what did their preparation consist? Not in personal merit; they were sinners. Not in superior wisdom; they were fishermen. In one point, it is true, they were peculiarly enlightened, and in that consisted their peculiar preparation to receive the Saviour. They knew that they were lost, and that He alone could save them; so that when their former master said, Ò Behold the Lamb of God," they followed Him at once. And so it has been ever since. In all cases the same preparation is necessary, a sense of need and a conviction of the Saviour's being able to supply it.

5. This doctrine lies at the basis of all efforts for the reformation

(1)of the individual,

(2)of the community.

(J. A. Alexander, D. D.)

I. SIN, WHICH IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW, JUSTLY EXPOSES THE OFFENDER TO THE PUNISHMENT OF DEATH. God created man upright; made him subject to law; encouraged his obedience by promises, and threatened disobedience with the penalty of death. Man transgressed: all men have transgressed; so the condemnation rests upon all.

II. THE GRACIOUS GOD, THOUGH JUSTLY OFFENDED BY THE SINS OF MEN, HAS IN MERCY MADE PROVISION FOR THE RESTORATION OF ALL WHO REPENT AND BELIEVE. That death may be abolished, sin must be removed. Sin has been atoned for, and therefore can he removed by the sacrifice of Christ. It is removed by a penitent trust in that sacrifice.

III. TO THE FAITH OF BELIEVERS THE DIVINE PROVISION WAS EXHIBITED IN THE TYPE AND PROPHECIES OF THE OLD TESTAMENT (Leviticus 16.; Isaiah 53.). In the former one victim was slain to represent the death of Christ; the other went away alive to represent Christ as living again after having borne our sins.

IV. ALL THESE TYPES AND PROPHECIES WERE FULFILLED BY THE ATONING DEATH AND TRIUMPHANT RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD.

V. THROUGH THE SACRIFICE AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, SINNERS OF ALL CONDITIONS ARE ENTITLED TO THE BLESSINGS OF REDEMPTION. Consider —

1. The influence of these truths upon the mind (Romans 5:1-5).

2. The encouragement hereby given to the returning sinner.

3. The madness of expecting salvation in any other way.

(T. Slatterie.)

I. WHO IS THIS LAMB OF GOD. Christ Jesus typified by the paschal lamb; which was —

1. Without spot (Hebrews 9:14).

2. Separated the tenth day.

3. Killed.

4. The blood sprinkled on the post so that the destroying angel might pass over (1 Peter 1:2; Hebrews 10:22).

5. Boasted with fire.

6. It expiated sin typically, Christ really (1 John 2:2).

7. It was meek and patient in all its sufferings: so Christ (Isaiah 53:7).

II. WHAT SIN DOTH HE TAKE AWAY?

1. Original (Romans 5:19).

2. Actual (Ephesians 1:7).

3. Habitual (Acts 3:26).

III. HOW DOTH CHRIST TAKE AWAY SIN?

1. He became man (John 1:14).

2. In the human nature He assumed He suffered death (Philippians 2:8).

3. The human nature in Him dying, by that death He expiated the sins of human persons (Isaiah 53:5-6).

4. By this means He took our sins away from us, Himself becoming our sin-offering (2 Corinthians 5:21).

5. And so He takes away whatever in sin is prejudicial to us; as —

(1)The guilt.

(2)The curse (Galatians 3:13).

(3)The strength of sin.USE. Behold this Lamb of God.

1. In the manger.

2. In the temple.

3. In the garden.

4. In the judgment-hall.

5. Upon the cross.

6. Ascending.

7. Now at the right hand of God.

(Bp. Beveridge.)

I. THE GREAT WORK OF CHRIST. Sin always implies the existence of taw, knowledge of law, capability of obeying law, and actual departure from law. Christ came to take sin away.

1. This work is of all works most difficult. In some respects it is impossible. Its fact cannot be taken away, nor its memory, nor its influence; but its painful consciousness, its controlling power, its polluting influences, and its dawning consequences can. But this transcends all human power. Senators, sages, poets, priests have tried and failed. Christ alone can do it, and has done it.

2. This work is of all works the most indispensable, Sin is the foundation of all man's suffering, physical, political, social, religious. The work required is to dry up this fountain. Sin must be taken away from our literature, governments, institutions, hearts, before the world can be saved. This is the great work of Christ.

II. THE GREAT WORK OF THE PREACHER. To point to the Lamb of God. This designation suggests —

1. Sinlessness.

2. Sacrifice. Christ's was voluntary, all-sufficient, exemplary.

3. Divinity. Christ was God's messenger and atoner. The preacher's work, therefore, is not to deal in controversies or speculations. The world wants a Saviour, not a system or a creed.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

I. Christ excels in the NATURE OF THE VICTIM.

1. The faultlessness of the Saviour. According to Judaism the lamb of sacrifice must be a year old, and without a blemish. Thus Jesus went through the four seasons — the spring, summer, autumn, winter of existence, without receiving or inflicting injury. Without blemish in the inward life, without spot in the outward character. Many are without spot to men, but are conscious of being full of spots unto God. Jesus was without spot to God.

2. His Divine appointment. According to Judaism, the lamb of sacrifice was separated from the flock days before it was slain. And Jesus was marked out from the foundation of the world.(1) This verse teaches us that a Lamb slain is the central idea of creation and that in this light the universe was planned. The idea of sacrifice is the scarlet thread that stretches from eternity to eternity. God sprinkled the door posts of creation with blood when He framed them.(2) The Lamb slain is also the centre of the Divine nature. Sacrifice is the deepest principle of God Himself. Christ was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world. In eternity the Father anointed the Son to be a priest and a sacrifice with the consecrating oil of the Holy Ghost. The Gospel does not create this principle, it only reveals it. God purchased His Church with His own blood.

3. His Divine nature. The Lamb of God is partaker of the nature of God. According to Judaism, the sacrificial lamb was to be brought up on the farm of the offerer: for this reason that it must cost some thought and pains, and consequently be something united to him by a tie of affection. And Jesus was a Lamb which God reared upon His own farm. "I was by Him as one brought up with Him"; according to the Chaldee paraphrase. "I was nursed at His side." But He was not only "of God." He was God. This it was that imparted efficacy to His sufferings.

II. It excels in THE EFFICACY OF THE WORK. The Jewish sacrifices brought sin to remembrance; Christ's sacrifice took it away.

1. Look at Christ as bearing the sin of the world. But to bear it He must go under it. In the Old Testament to forgive means literally to carry. "Who is a God like unto Thee that pardoneth (lit. beareth) iniquity?" Other Gods pardoned. Jehovah carried sin; under the Old Testament in respect of covenant, under the New through Incarnation and imputation.

2. Christ bore sin away. "Christ hath wholly purchased us from the curse of the law" (Welsh translation). How? By fully paying.

3. Christ bore it away once for ever. The Jewish sacrifices had to be repeated; but Christ cancelled it once for all.

III. It excels in the AREA OF ITS INFLUENCE. The Jewish sacrifices availed for one nation only. Christ's sacrifice is intended for the benefit of the world.

1. Sin, not sins; sin in its root, its deepest, bitterest nature.

2. The sin of the world. When the Great Western Railway was first made in South Wales, it was constructed on the broad-gauge principle; but the directors years afterwards judged it expedient to convert it from the broad gauge into the narrow gauge. In the history of the way of salvation, however, the contrary process was observed, — the narrow gauge under the Old Testament, and the broad gauge under the New.

3. All the sin of all the world. According to Judaism, a sacrifice was not left for all sins, such as adultery, murder, Sabbath desecration — sins committed with a high hand. Whoever was found guilty of these was to be "cut off from among his people." But the sacrifice of Christ covers all, not a single sin excepted.

(J. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.)

It has been said that the view of Christ's work here put into the Baptist's mouth could not have been entertained by him because —

I. The pre-Christian times were not acquainted with the idea of a suffering Saviour. But this idea is not foreign to the Old Testament, with which the Baptist may be presumed to have had some acquaintance.

II. The disciples of Jesus were incapable of understanding this idea (Matthew 16:22). But though not understood by, the idea cannot be shown to have been strange to them; while, even if it was, that would not prove it to have been strange to John, who was reared as a prophet.

III. The idea which was only at a later period in the Christian Church fully developed could hardly have been anticipated by individual reflection. But the Baptist refers to Divine inspiration as the source of his knowledge (ver. 23).

IV. The Baptist expected a theocratic and not a suffering Messiah (Matthew 11:3). But John's doubts were occasioned, not by Christ's sufferings, but by His delay in asserting His Messianic dignity. Besides, it is not safe to argue from the thoughts of a prisoner to the views of the same individual at liberty.

(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

In that simple "Behold," we have the highest and crowning direction for the right reception of the Christ. It was a look that betrayed the whole world into sin and condemnation, and it is a look that again unites men with their proper Lord, and recovers them from their guilt and misery. But it must be an earnest look — a look of faith, — a look of appreciative confidence — a look which transfers the whole trust and affection of the heart to the object on which it rests, — a look which draws after it the entire wish and desire of the soul. Such a look Andrew had, when he rushed in search of his brother Simon, saying, "We have found the Messias!" Such a look Philip had, when he went to Nathanael exclaiming, "We have found Him, of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets, did write!" (vers. 41-45). And such a look, my brethren, is in the power of every one of us this day. Oh the blessedness of our privileges!

(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)

The Passover was close at hand (John 2:13). We know its significance, and what a fundamental importance the deliverance from Egypt had for the history of Israel as well as for its knowledge of salvation. This fact stands so alone that only the day of the new salvation is to be compared with it, and the latter again has such a fitting type in no fact of the Old Testament history as it has in the former. Now the Baptist knew that the time of the final closing salvation had dawned, and that Jesus was the one bringing it. Why should he not, above all, compare this salvation and Him who brought it with that first typical redemption of Israel? Then, however, that Lamb was the means of sparing the nation. For its sake destruction passed over the people. Thus now will Jesus be the means of sparing.

(C. E. Luthardt, D. D.)

Doth not St. John call Christ "a Lion"? (Revelation 5:5). Why then doth the Baptist call Him a Lamb? The lion and the lamb, the prophet Isaiah tells us, shall both "dwell together in the days of Christ": but may they both be together in the Person of Christ? not only in one place together, but also in one case together? Different respects may tie discordant titles unto one subject. His courage against Satan, whom He conquered, His patience among men, whom He suffered, declared there was met in one Messias the stoutness of a lion, and the meekness of a lamb. St. Bernard's distinction so determines it; He rose like a lion, but he suffered like a lamb.

(R. Clerke, D. D.)

The other day I saw a contrivance to judge a man's strength by the power of his breath — you breathe into the machine, and by the weight you lift will be accurately estimated the power of your lungs. And Jesus Christ keeps the stars floating by the power of His breath just as children keep bubbles on a summer eve; He breathes and the planets swim as feathers in a breeze; but He who upholds the stars with His word, who bears with ease the burden of ten thousand worlds, bends and staggers under the weight of your sins. " The Lord hath made the iniquity of us all to meet on Him." Sin came from all directions; a multitude of sins from our own neighbourhood went that day on a pilgrimage to Mount Calvary; iniquity poured in from all quarters, and fell in terrible cataracts on the devoted head of the patient victim. "He was wounded for our transgressions," etc.

(J. Cynddylan Jones, D. D.)

A gentleman travelling in Norway went to see the church in a certain town. Looking up at its tower he was surprised to see the carved figure of a lamb near the top. He inquired why it was placed in that position, and was told that when the church was being built a workman fell from the high scaffold. His fellows saw him fall, and horror-stricken rushed down expecting to find him dashed to pieces. But to their surprise and joy he was almost unhurt. How had he escaped? & flock of sheep was passing by the church at the moment of his fall, and he fell amongst them and right on the top of a lamb. The lamb was crushed to death, but the man was saved. And the lamb was carved on the tower at the height from which he fell to commemorate his escape. Shall we then not give the highest place of honour to the Lamb of God who was crushed beneath our load.

(F. E. Turner.)

How can one atone for thousands? asked the North American Indians of the missionary Brainerd. The missionary solved their difficulty by showing that one sovereign is worth two hundred and forty pence — one gold coin being equal in value to many copper ones, the difference in the metal making a difference in the value. Similarly the sufferings of one God-man are a sufficient propitiation for the sins of millions of mere men, the difference in the rank constituting a difference in the worth.

(J. C. Jones, D. D.)How weighty must be the blood of the Lamb, by whom the world was made, to turn the scale when weighed against the world!

( Augustine.)

I am aware the objection is often made, that "if Christ taketh away the sin of the world, and yet the vast majority of men die in their sins and are lost, Christ's work for many was wrought in vain." I see no force in this. I think we might as well argue, that because sin came into the world and marred creation, creation was in vain. We are not talking of the works of men, but of the eternal Word, and we must be content to see much in His works that we do not entirely understand. Though multitudes are lost, I have no doubt the last day will prove that nothing that Christ did for them was in vain.

(Bp. Ryle.)

S. S. Times.
It is noticeable that although modern Islam rejects the idea of the sacrifice of Christ, the custom of sacrifice is still commanded; as, for instance, for certain offences during the Pilgrimage. Something approaching to the Jewish Day of Atonement is thus described by an American missionary in India: "On a great day with the Mohammedans of Calcutta they offered their yearly sacrifice, the atonement for sin. A lamb or a kid without spot or blemish is taken to the priest or moulvie; the person who presents the offering lays his hands on the animal's head, saying: 'For my head I give thine.' Then he touches the ears, the mouth, the eyes, etc., of the sacrifice, still repeating: ' For my ears, thy ears; for my mouth, thy mouth; for my eyes, thy eyes; ' and so on till he has mentioned all that he has to say. Then he exclaims: 'For my life, thy life;' and as he pronounces these words the priest plunges a knife into the kid's heart, and pronounces an absolution for the sinner. Is not this a strange custom, showing that the Mohammedan also acknowledges the necessity of an atonement, and without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin?"

(S. S. Times.)

In one of the old-fashioned mansions in the United States there is still to be seen a brass-bound clock upon the staircase. landing with the hands fixed at the minute and hour when Washington died. The grandfather of the present owner was a pall-bearer at the funeral of the great republican, and set the hands where they have ever since remained. Even so the preacher's finger must ever point the multitude to Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

(H. O. Mackey.)

Among those who visited Dr. Carey, the great Baptist missionary, in his last illness was Alexander Duff, the Scotch missionary. On one occasion he spent some time talking chiefly about Carey's missionary life, until the dying man whispered "Pray." Duff knelt down and prayed, and then said "good.bye." As he passed from the room, he thought he heard a feeble voice pronouncing his name, and turning, found that he was recalled. He stepped back accordingly, and this is what he heard, spoken with a gracious solemnity: "Mr. Duff, you have been speaking about Dr. Carey, Dr. Carey: when I am gone say nothing about Dr. Carey — speak about Dr. Carey's Saviour." Duff went away rebuked and awed, with a lesson in his heart that he never forgot.

(H. O. Mackey.)

When I was in Belfast I knew a doctor who had a friend, a leading surgeon there, and he told me that the surgeon's custom was, before performing any operation, to say to the patient, "Take a good look at the wound, and then fix your eyes on me, and don't take them off till I get through." I thought at the time that was a good illustration. Sinner, take a good look at the wound tonight, and then fix your eyes on Christ, and do not take them off. It is better to look at the remedy than at the wound. See what a poor wretched sinner you are, and then look at the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. He died for the ungodly and the sinner. Say "I'll take Him," and may God help you to lift your eye to the Man on Calvary. And as the Israelites looked upon the serpent and were healed, so may you look and live to-night.

(D. L. Moody.).

When our Lord was thus set forth by John, it is well to note the special character under which He was declared. John knew much of the Lord Jesus, and could have pictured Him in many lights and characters. He might especially have pointed Him out as the great moral example, the founder of a higher form of life, the great teacher of holiness and love; yet this did not strike the Baptist as the head and front of our Lord's character, but he proclaimed Him as one who had come into the world to be the great sacrifice for sin. Lifting up his hand and pointing to Jesus, he cried, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." He did not say, "Behold the great Exemplar;" no doubt he would have said that in due season. He did not even say, "Behold the king and leader of a new dispensation; " that fact he would by no means have denied, but would have gloried in it. Still, the first point that he dwells upon, and that which wins his enthusiasm is, "Behold the Lamb of God." John the Baptist views Him as the propitiation for sin, and so he cries, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!"

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

It is told of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, that when about to preach in the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, in 1857, he went down a short time before the service to arrange where the platform should be placed, and whilst trying the various positions he cried aloud, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world! "A man was at that time at work in the Palace, who heard the text spoken under such unusual circumstances. It went with power to his heart, convinced him of sin, and led him to the sin-atoning Lamb, in whom he found forgiveness, peace, and joy.

A Socinian preacher once said to Mr. Newton, "Sir, I have collated every word in the Hebrew Scriptures seventeen times; and it is very strange if the doctrine of atonement which you hold should not have been found by me." Mr. Newton replied, "I am not surprised at this; I once went to light my candle with the extinguisher on it. Prejudices from education, learning, etc., often form an extinguisher. It is not enough that you bring the candle; you must remove the extinguisher."

Hannah More relates that Dr. Johnson, on his death-bed, was in great distress of mind. Not being comforted by ordinary conversation, he desired to see a minister. Mr. Winstanley was named, and the doctor requested him to be sent for. Mr. Winstanley did not come, but wrote to the doctor as follows: — "Sir, — I beg to acknowledge the honour of your note, and am very sorry that the state of my health prevents my compliance with your request. I can easily conceive what would be the subject of your inquiry. I can conceive that on the near approach of death what you once considered mere peccadilloes have risen into mountains of guilt, on whichsoever side you look you see only positive transgression, defective obedience; and hence in self-despair are eagerly inquiring, 'What must I do to be saved?' I say to you in the language of the Baptist, 'Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!'" When this was read to the doctor he anxiously asked, "Does he say so?" The consequence was that he was brought to the renunciation of himself and a simple reliance on Jesus as his Saviour.

Under the Old Testament no free trade was carried on between heaven and earth, no unrestricted commerce, for the duty was so high — a lamb being taken from one farm, a bullock from another, a heifer from the third, a goat from the fourth, and fowls from the poor, to pay the imposed duty; but the sacrifice once offered on Calvary for the sin of the world has, I am glad to tell you, established Free Trade for ever.

(J. C. Jones, D. D.)

John Wesley, preaching to an audience of scholars and noblemen, used the "generation of vipers" text, and flung denunciation right and left. "That sermon should have been preached at Newgate," said a displeased courtier. "No," said the fearless apostle, my text there would have been, "Behold the Lamb of God," etc.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)A young telegraph operator was anxious about his soul. After a sleepless night he went to his duties; while restless and absorbed in the thought of being a sinner he heard the click of his instrument, and with great astonishment and emotion spelt out this message: — "From H—, Windermere, to J— B—, Warkworth. 'Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world'; in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins." This was sent as an answer to a letter from a young man who also was seeking peace. It acted as a double blessing, showing to both operator and receiver the way of salvation.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I think John the Baptist in this text speaks about sin as we think of a terrible epidemic from which individual men suffer, and which we are accustomed to speak of as that by which we are all affected. The symptoms may vary in individual cases; the course of the disease may sometimes be more or less rapid; and there may be great differences in the pain which it inflicts on different men. When we speak of the cholera or some malignant fever, we regard those who suffer from it as smitten down by some terrible power which travels from house to house, and involves all its victims in one common peril; that some poison is in the blood of those who suffer; that they are all wrestling with the same ghastly enemy; and that they are all in danger of the same doom. Now it is thus that John the Baptist thougtht of sin. What we describe as the accidental lapses of individual men were to him the symptoms and the result of something vaster and more dreadful; the sins of individual men were to him only the revelations of an evil energy which had taken possession of the race. There was a great confederacy into which all men had entered, consciously or unconsciously — a confederacy against the authority of God, and against the eternal law of righteousness. Different men break different commandments; their individual transgressions vary according to their circumstances, their training, or their temper. But no man stands apart — no man refuses to share in the great revolt against the majesty of heaven. Where there is not a profligate, reckless disobedience, there is indifference to the Divine authority — an indifference which is just as fatal, and involves a separation from God as positive as it he had been an active antagonist to it. This is a common sin. This is a sin in which we are all sharers, and in which we still share if we are not redeemed, and constitutes an essential moral element and characteristic spirit of the world, but it finds expression in infinitely various ways. Now, I can imagine some of you saying — Did He take away the sin of the world? What signs are there that He has done it? Sin is here still. There is no solitary country the world over that is redeemed from it. It stains this century, as it has stained every century that has gone by. Will you consider it as guilt — guilt which one does recognize, and which fills the heart with terror, with dark and gloomy anticipations of the lust penalty with which it must be visited. Well, millions upon millions who have appealed to Christ will tell you that its guilt has been taken away. Or will you consider sin as involving the terrible necessity of the separation of the soul from God. This is one of its worst and most malignant effects. We see, as the result of our sin, that we are driven away from that Divine presence — that our sin comes between us and the favour of Heaven — and we find that we cannot break through it, and speak to God face to face. God is holy, and by the necessity of His nature shrinks from contact with sin. Well, Christ has taken sin away even in that sense. If sin is no longer a dominant power in this world, there is something here that is stronger than it; there is the liberty into which we can enter through Christ Jesus our Lord. He has taken it away as the authority by which we were controlled, and through Him we are able to enter into the fullest freedom, and to keep God's commandments. I admit that sin has not disappeared from the world, but God has done His part towards causing it to disappear. He can give eternal life, but He cannot receive it for us; we must receive it. All He could do to take away our sin He has actually done; and we ought to rejoice with great exulting joy in the redemption that is wrought for us through Christ Jesus our Lord. Now there are two or three considerations I wish to impress upon you before I close, suggested by this subject.

1. In the first place, in this work of the Lord we are all deeply concerned.

2. Again, that which He has done excludes altogether the plea that you are helplessly under the power of sin.

3. Again this takes away the excuse for persisting in sin.

4. If you remain under the power of sin, it is by your own choice. All sin is, no doubt, the result of choice.

5. Finally, the truth that we have been considering excludes all hope that if we fail to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour that we shall ever obtain God's mercy and eternal life.

(R. W. Dale, M. A.)

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