“Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”—John 9:35.
Introduction.—Miraculous cure of the man born blind—Malice and envy of the chief priests and rulers—The fear and duplicity of the parents—The honesty of the man himself—His expulsion from the synagogue—Being found of Christ, and the important question proposed: “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”
Let us consider,
I. The Question urged.
1. The question refers to Christ as the Son of God.
The appellation, Son of God, is applied in Scripture both to angels and to men Angels are so called; Job 38:7. Believers are frequently represented as such: “To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” Joh 1:12; Rom 8:14; 1Jn 3:2.
Angels are the sons of God by creation; believers so by adoption and regeneration; but Christ is the Son of God in a sense only applicable to himself. He is the Son of God, “the only-begotten of the Father,” &c. He possesses the nature of God—equality with God; has the names of God—the perfections of God; and to him creation, providence, and redemption are ascribed, as well as to the Father. While he is “the child born, and the son given,” he is the “mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace.” Col 1:15; Isa 6:5; Rom 1:4; Joh 1:18; Mat 10:16.
2. This question refers to faith in the Son of God.
“Dost thou believe,” &c. Faith in Christ is that act of the mind by which we apprehend Christ as he is revealed to us in the word of truth. It is the act of the heart or affections, by which we heart-!ly welcome him into our souls; and it is the act of the will, by which we cordially submit to him, and render cheerful obedience to his laws. Scripture abounds in metaphorical representations of this grace. It is beholding him, or looking to him; it is fleeing to him—walking in him—laying hold of him—receiving him—resting on him, &c. Observe,
3. That the question relates to our personal faith in Christ.
“Dost thou believe?” It does not relate to others, but to ourselves. It does not refer to mere information or opinion, but to faith. It does not ask in reference either to past or future, but to the present: “Dost thou believe?” &c. We shall attempt,
II. A Scriptural Solution of it.
If we believe on the Son of God, we shall,
1. Remember the means by which we we brought into this happy state.
Faith is not natural to us: by nature we are unbelievers, far from God, and strangers to his Son. An important change has taken place; eyes open to see Christ—ears opened to his word—heart opened to his truth—and the soul brought to rely upon him for eternal salvation. If we believe on the Son of God,
2. We shall experience the influence of his Spirit on our souls.
“If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” “The Spirit heareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Rom 8:9, Rom 8:16.
Besides, the acts of faith are such that we cannot perform them without being conscious of it. If we look, and hearken, and flee to Christ; if we build on him, live and walk in him, we cannot possibly be ignorant of it. If we believe on Christ,
3. We shall highly esteem and value Christ.
“To them that believe he is precious,” yes, he is the fairest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. His name will be as ointment poured forth: the soul will admire, the heart will love, and the lips magnify and exalt his name; he will be the soul’s bread, the soul’s riches, the soul’s light, the soul’s life, and the soul’s all and in all. If we believe in him,
4. We shall enjoy peace and comfort of mind.
He is the Prince of peace, the Author of peace; and his gospel is the message of peace; and his gift to all believers is the enjoyment of peace. He is our peace; and all who believe on him are justified; and, being justified, we have peace with God, &c. Anxiety, restlessness, dread, and torment are banished, and all within is comfortable, joyous, peaceable, serene, and calm. If we believe on the Son of God,
5. Our souls will burn with love both to God and man.
Faith works by love. We shall love God our Redeemer with all our hearts, and we shall love our fellow-men, and especially our fellow-saints, with pure hearts fervently. Joh 3:14, Joh 3:24; Joh 7:11, Joh 7:19 &c. If we believe on the Son of God, 6 We shall be subject to his authority.
Deny ourselves—come out of the world—overcome it by faith—take up the cross—follow him—go without the camp, bear ing his reproach—keep his holy words, and do his commandments. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
1. The text may be applied to various characters. To those who dwell in a Christian country: for without faith in the Son of God this will not avail. To general professors: for without this profession is of no use. To those zealous of gospel doctrines: for without personal faith our zeal cannot benefit. The important question is: “Dost thou believe on she Son of God?”
2. Let the Christian cultivate the evidences of his faith. Keep the signs of faith visible and bright before your eyes.
3. Let all grow in faith. Our credence should be more firm; our reliance more entire; our persuasion more confident. The grain of mustard seed must grow up to a great tree: the small cloud must spread over all the heavens: the little leaven leaven the whole lump. Let each soul say: Lord, increase my faith.
4. He that believeth not must perish. Mar 16:16; Joh 3:18.
5. In the gospel, Christ, in all his benefits, is offered to all. Invite, exhort, &c., all to come unto him and have life.