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Believing on the Son of God

Believing on the Son of God

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.



JOHN ix. 35, 36.

Jesus said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God ? He
answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe
on him ?
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.



JOHN ix. 35, 36.

Jesus said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God ? He
answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe
on him ?

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 16, 2013
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BELIEVIG O THE SO OF GODBY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.JOH ix. 35, 36.Jesus said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God ? Heanswered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believeon him ?THE question of our Lord was asked of one whomlie had just delivered from blindness, but whoknew nothing of the real nature and dignity othe person who had so relieved hirn. He waspersuaded, indeed, that Jesus was a prophet ; because he thought that none but a good man andone endowed in a particular manner with heavenly gifts, could have wrought such a miracleas Christ had just performed : and he was castout by the Jews, that is, he was shut out fromtheir religious worship and church, because hetried to convince them of this truth ; and wouldnot join them in saying that Christ was a sinner.In this state Jesus sought him out, and askedhim in the words of the text, Dost thou believeon the Son of God ? The man replied, Who ishe, that I should believe on him, for I nevero 2190 SERMO XVII.heard of such a person, nor do I know where heis to be found? It was an answer of completeignorance, but of ignorance which was not wilful, nor did it proceed out of an evil heart.
 
Christ therefore teaches him more plainly thanhe was wont to do to any, except his ownpeculiar disciples. Thou hast both seen him, andit is he that talketh with thee. The instruction was well received by him to whom it wasgiven : he said directly, Lord, I believe : and intoken of his belief, he worshipped Christ immediately.Jesus said unto him, Dost thou believe on theSon of God ? It is the very question which hestill puts to the conscience of every man, and onthe answer given to it does the salvation of everyman still depend. How often also is the answerwhich our hearts would return, the very samewith that which was made by the blind man toChrist : Who is he, Lord, that I might believeon him ? It is not, indeed, generally the samekind of ignorance, it is not an honest want of instruction, accompanied with a desire to gainit ; but it is a wilful and a proud ignorance, likethat of Pharaoh when he said to Moses, Whois the Lord, that I should obey his voice tolet Israel go! I know not the Lord, neitherwill I let Israel go. And therefore it is, thatI have not taken for my text the words inSERMO XVII. 197which our Saviour replies again to the blindman : " Thou hast both seen him, and it is hethat talketh with thee ; " because Christ neverwould give such an answer to those whose ignorance is their own fault : on the contrary, theireyes are blinded that they cannot see, and all
 
deceivableness of unrighteousness, that is, allthe various seductions by which men are led toembrace evil rather than good, is allowed to bepractised by Satan against them. I purpose thento take a few cases of common characters ; andto show how many there are, who, if askedplainly, whether they believed in the Son of God ?would be forced to confess, that they had but veryimperfect ideas about him, and that they did notfully know who he was that they should believeon him.First let us see what the question means. It isplain that it means more than a mere nominalbelief, like that of a person who had learnt hiscreed by heart, and had been told in his childhood, who Christ was ; without having in afterlife thought about him at all, and yet withoutever having his old belief overthrown : so that if he should be put in mind of it, he would stillpossess it. This is just such a belief as we mighthave concerning any famous person that we haveever read of; whose name is of no concern to usin our daily living, and does not present itself toour minds ; but if we were asked concerning it,198 SERMO XVII.we should then remember what we had learnt,and say that we had no doubt of the history of it.Such a belief on the Son of God is no belief atall : because I may very well believe that CsesarAugustus was once an emperor of Rome, and yetscarcely ever think of him ; for it is of no consequence to my conduct and happiness whether heever lived or no. But to believe on Christ and notthink of him, is almost a contradiction : so muchdoes it concern us to think of him, if we believe

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