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Seekers Touching Christ

Some of us have ourselves been healed, and therefore speak from assured experience. One man I know was secretly bowed down with despondency and depression of an unusual sort—his life had been spent at the very gates of hell because of a great sorrow of heart when he was a youth; yet, in a moment, he was lifted into perfect peace by simply looking to him who was crucified upon the cross. That one form of healing is typical of others; for all other evils are overcome in the same manner. Jesus can heal you of your pride; he can deliver you from anger; he can cure you of sluggishness; he can purge you from envy, from lasciviousness, from malice, from gluttony, from every form of spiritual malady. And this he can do, not by the torturing process of penance, or the exhausting labors of superstitious performance, or the fiery ordeals of suffering; but the method is simply a word from him, and a look from you, and all is done. You have only to trust in Jesus and you are saved; made a new creature in an instant; set on your feet again to start a new life with a new power within you which shall conquer sin. We who bear this testimony claim to be believed. We are not liars. Not even for God’s honor would we palm a pious fraud upon you. We have felt in ourselves the healing power of Christ. We have seen it, and see it every day, in the cases of others, in persons of all ranks, and of all ages. All who have obeyed the word of Jesus have been made new creatures by his power. It is not one or two of us that bear this witness; there are hundreds of thousands who certify to the self-same fact; and not ministers alone, but other professions and callings. There are tradesmen, there are gentlemen, there are working men, there are persons high and low, who could say, “We too are witnesses that Christ can heal the soul.”

Here, then, is the marvel—that those who know this do not immediately throng to Christ to obtain the self-same blessing. The behaviour of those of whom we read in the Gospels was a rational one. They heard that Christ had healed many, and their practical logic was, “Let us be healed too!” Where is he? Let us reach him. Are there crowds about him? Let us jostle one another, let us force our way into the mass until we touch him, and feel the healing virtue flowing from him. But now men seem to have taken leave of their reason. They know that the blessing is available, an eternal blessing not to be weighed with gold, nor compared with diamonds; and yet they turn their backs upon it! Selfishness usually attracts men to places where good things are to be gained; but here is the best thing of all—the possession of a sound soul, the gaining of a new nature which will enable a man to share eternal glory with angels of light—which is freely available, yet man, being untrue to himself, does not even let a right-minded selfishness govern him, turns away from the fountain of all goodness and goes into the wilderness to perish of eternal thirst.

The gospel is preached to you, and God has not sent it with the intention that after you have heard it you should seek mercy and not find it. God does not tantalize, he does not mock the sons of men. He asks you to come to him. Repent and believe, and you shall be saved. If you come with a broken heart, trusting in Christ, there is no possibility that he will reject you; otherwise he would not have sent the gospel to you. There is nothing that so delights Jesus Christ as to save sinners. We never find that Jesus was in a huff because the people pressed about him to touch him. No, it gave him divine pleasure to give out his healing power. You who are in a trade are never happier than when business is brisk; and my Lord Jesus, who follows the trade of soul-winning, is never happier than when his great business is moving on rapidly. What pleasure it gives a physician when at last he brings a person through a severe illness into health! I think the medical profession must be one of the happiest engagements in the world when a man is skillful in it. Our Lord Jesus feels a most divine pleasure as he bends over a broken heart and binds it up. It is the very heaven of Christ’s soul to be doing good to the sons of men. You misjudge him if you think he wants to be argued with and persuaded to have mercy; he gives it as freely as the sun pours out light, as the heavens drop with dew and as clouds yield their rain. It is his honor to bless sinners; it makes him a name, and an everlasting sign that shall never be removed.

I know that I, too, once belied him; when I felt my sins to be a great burden I said within myself, “I will go to Jesus, but perhaps he will reject me.” I thought I had much to feel and to do to make myself ready for him, and I therefore did this and that, but the more I did the worse I became. I was like the woman who spent her money on physicians and did not get better, but rather grew worse. I fully understood that there was life in a look at Christ, that all I needed to do was simply to trust, to come as I was and put my case into his dear pierced hands, and leave it there, yet I still did not think it could be so; it seemed so simple—how could it be true? Was that all? I thought when I came to him he would say to me, “Sinner, you have rejected me so long, you have mocked me by saying prayers which you did not feel; you have been a hypocrite and joined with God’s people in singing my praises when you did not praise me in your heart.” I thought he would chide me and bring ten thousand sins to my remembrance. Instead of that, it took only a word, and it was all done. I looked to him, the burden was gone. I could have sung, “Hosanna! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, with pardon in his right hand and acceptance in his left, with abundant blessings to the least deserving of the sons of men.” Now, I have to tell you that Jesus Christ still has the same ability to save as he had when he walked on earth. He ever lives to make intercession for sinners. He is therefore able to save those who come to him; and it is still true that he who comes will not be cast out. There has never been an instance of a man who trusted Christ and perished, and there never shall be an instance.

Do not delay in trusting Christ. Do not entertain a hope that it will ever be easier to trust Jesus than it is now. Do not think that you will ever be in a better state for coming to him than you are in now. The best state in all the world for washing is to be filthy; the best state in all the world to obtain help from a physician is to be terribly sick; the best state for asking for alms is to be a beggar. Do not try to patch up those rags, nor to improve your character, nor to make yourself better before you come to Christ. Come in all your poverty and vileness, just as you are, and say to him, “My Lord and my God, you have suffered as a man for all the sins of all those who trust you: I trust you; accept me, give me peace and joy.”

And tell the world, I ask you, whether he accepts you or not. If he casts you away, you will be the very first—then let us know about it; but if he receives you, you will be only one among ten thousand who have been accepted—then publish it so that our faith may be confirmed.

Never be content with merely coming close to Christ. When there is a gracious season in a church, and people are converted, many others rest satisfied because they have been in the congregation where works of mercy have been performed. It is dreadful to reflect that there are in our churches men and women who are perfectly satisfied with having spent Sunday in a place of worship. Now, suppose a man has leprosy and he goes to the place where Jesus is: he sees the people thronging to get near, and he joins the press; he pushes on for a certain length of time, and then he returns home perfectly content because he has joined the crowd. The next day the great Master is dispensing healing virtue right and left, and this same man joins the throng, and once more elbows himself tolerably near to the Saviour, and then retires. “Well,” he says, “I got into the crowd; I pressed and squeezed, and made my way, and so I was in the way, perhaps I might have got a blessing.” Now that would be precisely similar to the condition of hundreds and thousands of people who go to a place of worship on Sunday. There is the gospel; they come to hear it; they come next Sunday, there is the gospel again; they listen to it, and they go their way each time. “Fool!” you say to the man with leprosy, “Why, you did nothing; getting into the crowd was nothing; if you did not touch the Lord who dispensed the healing, you lost all your time; and besides, you incurred responsibility because you got near to him, and yet for not putting out your hand to touch him, you lost the opportunity.” It is the same for you good people, who go where Jesus Christ is faithfully preached. You come and go, and come and go continually; and what fools you are, what gross fools, to get into the throng and to be satisfied with that, and never touch Christ! Tell me of your church-goings and your chapel-goings! They are not a morsel of use to you unless you touch the Saviour through them.

I must caution you not to be content with touching those who are healed. There are many in the crowd who, having touched the Master, clapped their hands and said, “Glory be to God, my withered arm is restored,” “My eyes are opened,” “My dropsy has vanished,” “My palsy is gone.” One after another they praise God for his great wonders; and sometimes their friends who were sick would go away with them and say, “What a mercy! Let us go home together.” They would hear all about it, and talk about it, and tell it to others; but all the while, though they rejoiced in the good that was done to others, and sympathized in it, they never touched Jesus for themselves. Noah’s carpenters built the ark, but were all drowned. Oh, I beseech you, do not be satisfied with talking about revivals, and hearing about conversions; get an interest in them. Let nothing content any one of us but actual spiritual contact with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us never sleep or slumber until we have really looked to that great sacrifice which God has lifted up for the sins of men. Let us not think of Christ as another man’s Saviour, but be passionately in earnest till we get him for our own.

A young man once said to me, “I want to know what I must do to be saved.” I reminded of that verse,

‘A guilty, weak, and helpless worm, On Thy kind arms I fall.’

He said, “Sir, I cannot fall.” “Oh,” I said, “You do not understand me. I do not mean a fall which demands any strength in you; I mean a fall caused by the absence of all strength.” It is to tumble down into Christ’s arms because you cannot stand upright. Faint into the arms of Christ; that is faith. Just give up doing, give up depending upon anything that you are, or do, or ever hope to be, and depend upon the complete merits, and finished work, and precious blood of Jesus Christ. If you do this you are saved.

Anything of your own doing spoils it all. You must not have a jot or a tittle of your own; you must give up relying upon your prayers, your tears, your baptism, your repentance, and even your faith itself. Your reliance is to be on nothing but that which is in Jesus Christ. Those dear hands, those blessed feet, are ensigns of his love—look to them. That bleeding, martyred, murdered person is the grand display of the heart of the ever blessed God. Look to it. Look to the Saviour’s pangs, griefs and groans. These are punishments for human sin. This is God’s wrath spending itself on Christ instead of spending itself on the believer. Believe in Jesus, and it is certain that he suffered this for you. Trust in him to save you, and you are saved.

Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). Advice for Seekers (pp. 5–8). Logos Bible Software. (Public Domain)

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If I remember correctly, the beginning paragraph is about Spurgeon's own conversion.

The Spurgeon Library | The Lesson of the Snowstorm: Spurgeon’s Conversion

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