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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 143 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

4. This looking to Jesus implies that we look away from ourselves. There is to be no mixing up of quack medicines along with the great remedy. Such a course is always sure to fail. Thousands fail in just this way,--forever trying to be healed partly by their own stupid, self-willed works, as well as partly by Jesus Christ. There must be no looking to man or to any of man's doings or man's help. All dependence must be on Christ alone. As this is true in reference to pardon, so is it also in reference to sanctification. This is done by faith in Christ. It is only through and by faith that you get that divine influence which sanctifies the soul--the Spirit of God; and this in some of its forms of action was the power that healed the Hebrews in the wilderness.
 

(1). Looking to Christ implies looking away from ourselves in the sense of not relying at all on our own works for the cure desired, not even on works of faith. The looking is toward Christ alone as our all-prevalent, all-sufficient and present remedy.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 145 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

(3). So of being healed of our sins. Despairing of all help in ourselves or in any other name than Christ's, and assured there is virtue in him to work out the cure, we expect it of him and come to him to obtain it.

Several times within the last few years, when persons have come to me with the question, Can I anyhow be saved from my sins--actually saved, so as not to fall again into the same sins, and under the same temptations? I have said--Have you ever tried looking to Jesus? O yes.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 146 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

But have you expected that you should be actually saved from sin by looking to Jesus, and be filled with faith, love, and holiness? No; I did not expect that.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1853 paragraph 163 121 Lecture III. The Saviour Lifted up, and the Look of Faith ...

6. There is a wonderful and most alarming state of things in many churches abroad;--almost no Christ in their experience. It is most manifest that He holds an exceedingly small space in their hearts. So far from knowing what salvation is as a thing to be attained by simply believing in Christ, they can only give you an experience of this sort. How did you become a Christian? I just made up my mind to serve the Lord. Is that all? That's all. Do you know what it is to receive eternal life by simply looking to Jesus? Don't know as I understand that. Then you are not a Christian. Christianity, from beginning to end is received from Christ by simple faith. Thus, and only thus does the pardon of sin come to the soul, and thus only can come that peace of God, passing all understanding, which lives in the soul with faith and love. Thus sanctification comes through faith in Christ.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 12 TABLE OF CONTENTS ...

Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 514 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

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THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 515 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

Looking To Jesus
Lecture IX
June 5, 1861

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 527 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

II. Things that are implied in this looking to Jesus.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 539 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

Whenever his term bills or board bills become due, he looks to his father to pay them; that is, he depends on his father in the sense of expecting it from him.

II. I must consider some things that are implied in this looking to Jesus.

1. This looking is an active, and not a passive looking. It is not that sitting still that we sometimes see in people who profess to depend on Christ.

The connection in which this text stands is very suggestive. The games, to which allusion is here made, were anything but a state of apathy or inaction. On the contrary, they were a state of the utmost exertion.

2. But looking to Jesus, in the sense of this text, implies the looking away from everything else; shutting out the consideration of other objects of thought, and making Him the great object of thought and attention.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 541 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

4. It implies depending upon Him, while we put forth the utmost endeavors, just as in those races. Suppose a man were so situated that he was obliged to swim a river; while he might perhaps know that his own strength would not be sufficient to carry him across. Now, if he must cross, he might cast himself in and make an earnest effort to swim over; at the same time expecting divine aid in the endeavor, throwing himself upon God for support to renew and sustain his strength till he should reach the opposite shore. Here the looking to God would not be a passive looking, to be carried across without any effort of his own; but it would be a depending on Him, while we ourselves make earnest endeavor and use all our powers to the best advantage.

Now it is very plain that we are thus exhorted to look to Jesus, while we earnestly endeavor to do all our duty. But looking in the sense of this text, that is, a right looking to Jesus, implies also,

5. The renunciation of the spirit of disobedience, and the committing of ourselves to full obedience; expecting from Him all the aid of every kind, and in every degree, that we need in order that we may come up to the full measure of entire obedience.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 543 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

7. Looking to Jesus in the sense of the text implies, beyond doubt, the committing of the soul to Him, as the Bible elsewhere expresses it, "in well-doing as unto a faithful Creator;" committing ourselves to full obedience; to take up every cross, to break off from all ungodliness, and deny every worldly lust; and to live wholly to God, making this the great object of our life, and looking to Him continually for support in securing this result.

III. I will inquire a little more particularly what we are to look to Jesus for.

1. We are to look to Him as an atoning priest; as offering such a sacrifice for our sin that we may expect forgiveness for His sake and in His name. The Bible abundantly teaches that as sinners we have no way of approach to God except through the great sin-offering, which Christ has offered as our high priest.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 575 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

This book is in many respects a good one; but poor Adelaide's experience stops right where so many experiences do -- they go no farther than to a hope for the future, without realizing any present rest of soul in redemption from sin.

6. Many make a mistake in looking for peace and pardon, before repentance and faith. They are making peace and pardon the great subject of endeavor. Now peace will come without asking for; and pardon is extended of course, the moment we repent and believe. The act of pardon, or of amnesty, is already passed. God has decreed that whoever repents and believes in Jesus is forgiven; we avail ourselves of the provisions of this act or decree, whenever we repent.

Peace and pardon are things of course, that always come whenever the indispensable conditions are fulfilled. We cannot too fully understand this; the thing that we need to consider is, Christ our righteousness, Christ our life, Christ our wisdom; that all these we have in Christ; that He is our peace; that He is our pardon, our justification; that in Him we have it all; and that to acquaint ourselves with Him in these relations, is to obtain the peace and the pardon that we seek.

7. Many make the mistake of not looking to Jesus in the sense of looking away from themselves.

As I said in the beginning of this discourse, the word look in the original, implies the looking to Him solely; or looking away from other things and other objects, and looking to Him in the sense of expecting from Him alone the things that we need. It is a curious fact that there seems to be a constant tendency in the mind of man to look to self. For instance, you will find men trying to make out their own innocence; and even Christian men will often try to make out their innocence, either in a general way or in some particular matter. If they can make out that they are innocent, and do not transgress willfully they feel encouraged; and a great many seem to rely more upon the fact that they do not deserve to be punished, do not deserve to be sent to hell, than they do upon Christ. They seem bent upon establishing, in some way, either their entire innocence, or their comparative innocence. How many persons we find, who, though they think they trust in Christ, yet are most manifestly building their hope upon the fact that they have not been very ill-deserving. Indeed, many professors of religion seem to be looking in this direction for rest and repose. They dwell upon their general honesty, integrity, and sincerity, their general faithfulness in duty, perhaps their usefulness; and then again, they look at their sins, and think of them in cases where they cannot but know that they have greatly sinned; and thus dwelling on their duties or their sins, they are either greatly encouraged or discouraged. If they cannot excuse themselves, you find them dejected or cast down; but if they can satisfy themselves that their intentions were right, then they are encouraged; and after all, it would seem as if they were considering their own righteousness, at least their own innocence, rather than Jesus as their wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 579 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

11. Many look at their own weakness and infirmities rather than at Christ's strength. Many persons are given up to lamenting their own weaknesses, and infirmities, and sins; and they make them a subject of almost incessant thought. They look at themselves, -- they think of themselves, -- they take most discouraging views of themselves. They think it their duty to examine themselves; but in examining themselves in this way, they fail to look to Jesus.

They seem to lose sight of the fact that the fullness of Jesus is, in the gospel, set face to face, over against our infirmities, and sins, and weakness, and emptiness; that wherever there is a want in us, there is a supply and a sufficiency in Him. His fullness is set face to face to our emptiness; and we are expected to look to this fullness to fill our emptiness. Many persons seem to forget this. They keep their thoughts upon themselves, and their own wants; and although this fullness of Christ stands right over against their wants, waiting to be appropriated, urging its fullness upon our consideration, many are so taken up with the consideration of their own emptiness that they never look to this infinite fullness.

12. Many make the mistake of looking to Jesus in the sense of passively thinking of Him.

They think about Him; they read about Him; they hear about Him; they talk about Him, but remain inactive. They do not look in the sense of appropriating whatever they see in Him that they need. They do not take hold of the truths as fast as they see them, and make them their own. They are like a man who sees provisions before him, yet does not put forth his hand to partake of them. He may see and contemplate this fullness of provision, and yet never partake of it.

 

 


THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1861 paragraph 580 514 Lecture IX. Looking To Jesus ...

But it should be understood, that the looking to which we are exhorted in the text, is an active looking; and a looking in the sense of an earnest expectation and endeavor.

13. Many make the mistake of looking to Jesus in the sense that really involves the idea of expecting a miracle from Him.

As an illustration, let me state a fact. A Christian brother told me he had had a very bad temper, and that he was often angry. He was told to look to Jesus to subdue this temper. He was greatly grieved with it at times, and often stumbled others; and accordingly he set himself to look to Jesus to subdue it. He expected that Jesus would subdue it by some operation on him. He did not resolutely make up his mind to set the whole force of his will against it. He did not make up his mind, in the strength of the Lord that he would not be angry again. He left it to Jesus to subdue his temper, expecting Him to come and subdue it by some operation upon him, and still he grew worse and no better. Finally, he asked himself, "Why should I wait in this way? I will not wait for anything -- I will not be angry again." He came thus at last to make up his mind not to wait for Jesus to perform a miracle, but to make an honest and an earnest endeavor to resist, depending on Jesus as the occasions might arise; and then he found that he had the victory. Jesus no doubt enabled him thus to make up his mind; but mark, he never prevailed over his temper till his mind was fully settled to set the whole force of his will against it, and not to yield to the temptation to be angry.

14. Many do not look to Jesus in the sense of considering His varied relations; and hence they do not find in Him what they need in all the circumstances of life. The Bible presents Him in a great variety of relations, suited to all our necessities and all our circumstances. It presents Him as our brother, our Savior, our king, our prophet, our wisdom, our righteousness, sanctification, redemption. Do we need an advocate? He is our advocate. Do we need a mediator? He is our mediator. Do we need one to sympathize with us? He is a merciful and faithful high priest, and able to succor us when we are tempted.

Indeed, Christians need to contemplate the official relations of Christ intensely; to apprehend and appreciate them thoroughly as realities, and the fullness there is in these relations; and to settle these things as matters of conviction and persuasion of mind, till the mind rests and settles down in them, and has the fullest assurance that they are all indeed true, and that in Christ they are complete. But too many fail to appreciate their completeness in Christ; and are constantly endeavoring to be complete in themselves -- to mix up something of their own with what they have in Christ -- to patch up His righteousness; and are constantly endeavoring to save themselves by their own goodness. All these are great mistakes.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 23

This looking to Jesus implies that we look away from ourselves. There is to be no mixing up of quack medicines along with the great remedy. Such a course is always sure to fail. Thousands fail in just this way, forever trying to be healed partly by their own stupid, self-willed works, as well as partly by Jesus Christ. There must be no looking to man or to any of man's doings or man's help. All dependence must be on Christ alone. As this is true in reference to pardon, so is it also in reference to sanctification. This is done by faith in Christ. It is only through and by faith that you get that divine influence which sanctifies the soul -- the Spirit of God; and this in some of its forms of action was the power that healed the Hebrews in the wilderness.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 27

Several times within the last few years, when persons have come to me with the question, Can I anyhow be saved from my sins -- actually saved, so as not to fall again into the same sins, and under the same temptations? I have said -- Have you ever tried looking to Jesus? O yes.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 28

But have you expected that you should be actually saved from sin by looking to Jesus, and be filled with faith, love, and holiness? No; I did not expect that.

 

 


GOSPEL THEMES, SERMON 4 - The Savior Lifted Up, and the Look of Faith paragraph 49

6. There is a wonderful and most alarming state of things in many churches abroad: almost no Christ in their experience. It is most manifest that He holds an exceedingly small space in their hearts. So far from knowing what salvation is as a thing to be attained by simply believing in Christ, they can only give you an experience of this sort. How did you become a Christian? I just made up my mind to serve the Lord. Is that all? That's all. Do you know what it is to receive eternal life by simply looking to Jesus? Don't know as I understand that. Then you are not a Christian. Christianity, from beginning to end, is received from Christ by simple faith. Thus, and only thus, does the pardon of sin come to the soul, and thus only can come that peace of God, passing all understanding, which lives in the soul with faith and love. Thus sanctification comes through faith in Christ.