The Believers Beatitude

John

The Believers Beatitude

June 10th, 1973 @ 7:30 PM

John 20:29

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
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THE BELIEVER’S BEATITUDE

W.A. Criswell

John 20:24-29

6-10-73    7:30 p.m.

 

 

On the radio you are sharing the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, and this is the pastor bringing the message entitled The Believer’s Beatitude, a blessing for us who believe. It is from a text in the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John, and we all turn to it now and read it together; John chapter 20, beginning at verse 24 and reading through verse 29. And the beatitude is found in verse 29; all of us with an open Bible.  And on the radio of the city of Dallas, if you listen with us, turn in your Bible to the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John chapter 20, beginning at verse 24 reading through verse 29. Now all of us reading it out loud together, all of us:

 

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord.  But he said unto them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Then saith He to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side, and be not faithless, but believing.

And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

[John 20:24-29]

 

And that is a beatitude especially dedicated to us, "Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they,"makarios, happy, felicitous, "lessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."   And the sermon tonight is an avowal of four things that we believe about Jesus though we have never seen Him with naked eye.

The first: we believe that He is the Son of God. "Likewise also the chief priest mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. He trusted in God; let God deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God" [Matthew 27:41-43]. We believed that He was. They mocked and ridiculed Him because He said, "I am the Son of God."  We believe it. "Blessed are they that believe, though they have not seen."  We believe Him to be what He said, the Son of God.

Somebody in ridicule and in mockery one time observed if a young girl were to come to you and say, "I am pregnant, but this child is conceived by God, by the Holy Spirit," would you believe that? That was said in mockery and scorn and sarcastic ridicule. Would you believe that? And the devout, humble answer of the man of God was this, "Yes, I would if the Child had been prophesied for thousands of years, if the conception was announced by the angel Gabriel from heaven, if when the Child was born, the angels came and announced to world that the Savior was to be found in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem.  Yes, I would believe it, if when He became of age, He spake words as never a man spake and did miracles that no man had ever done.   Yes, I would believe it, if when He was crucified, the third day He was raised from the dead.  Yes, I would believe it, if He ascended back to the throne of glory.  Yes, I would believe it, if He is coming again, openly and visibly with all the saints and the hosts of heaven."  We believe Him to be the Son of God, for He said, "I am the Son of God" [John 10:36].  

Second: we believe Him to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins; "For God hath made Him to be sin for us; Him who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" [2 Corinthians 5:21].  The subject of that sentence is God. "For God made Him to be sin for us that we might be made, by God, the righteousness of God in Him." This is something God has done through Jesus our Lord. God did it.

In the garden of Eden when our first parents sinned, God shed that blood. God slew that innocent animal. God made those coats of skin to cover the nakedness of our parents. God did it [Genesis 3:21].  On the night of the Passover when the angel judged the land of Egypt and all who were under the blood would be saved, that was something God did [Exodus 12:13, 23]. God did it! On Mount Moriah when the child Isaac asked his father, Abraham, "Here is the coal and here is the wood and here is the fire, but where is the lamb?" Abraham, the old patriarch of faith, said to young Isaac, "God will provide the lamb" [Genesis 22:6-8]!  God will do it!

In the thirty-second chapter of Exodus, Moses offered to be atonement for the people [Exodus 32:30]. In the ninth chapter of the Book of Romans, Paul offered to be atonement for the people. "I can wish myself accursed for my people, my kinsmen according to the flesh" [Romans 9:3].  There is no one worthy, able to deliver us from our sins but the Son of God. That is the dramatic meaning of that fifth chapter of the Revelation. There was in Him who sat upon the throne: there was in His hands the book of redemption sealed with seven seals:

 

And there was the voice of a strong angel saying, Who is worthy to open the book, and to break the seals?

And search was made in heaven, search was made in the earth, and search was made under the earth, and the nether world, and no one was worthy to open the book, or to look thereon.

And John burst into tears and wept much, because no one was worthy…

And one of the elders saith unto [me], Weep not: for the Lion of the tribe of Judah…hath prevailed to open the book, and to break the seals, and to look thereon.

And I turned and saw…the Lamb of God

[Revelation 5:2-6].

 

We believe Him to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. And there is salvation in none other:  "For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12].  "God hath made Him to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" [2 Corinthians 5:21].  It is something God does for us who believe in Jesus.

Third: we believe Him to be the light of life and the hope of the world; "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" [2 Corinthians 4:6]. From Him there emanates an iridescence, a glory, a light that lightens life and the whole world. Wherever the gospel is preached, there will you find the presence beneficent, benign, healing, holy, heavenly. There will you find the moving of the saving Spirit of Jesus, the light of life.

I have been around this world twice. I have been on extensive preaching missions in heathen nations. I have never been [in] a place in this earth where the gospel is preached but that there I found the church pointing to heaven. I found the school. I found the hospital. I found the orphan’s home. I found the Christian assembly. I found Christian parents and children. Wherever the message of Christ is preached, there do you find hope and blessing to the heart, the life, and the soul.

After preaching to a group of lepers one time in Africa, I stepped down out of their mud pulpit. It was a church the lepers had built with their own hands. It was made out of solid mud. The pews were mud. The pulpit was mud. The church was mud. All of it they’d made with their own hands.  And after I preached to those lepers in the pulpit, I stepped down in front of the mud pulpit. And a missionary stood up and said, "Go back up into the pulpit. The lepers want to sing for you a song." So I came back up into the pulpit and stood there. And while I stood there, the lepers all stood up, and they sang a song. Guess what it is? It was this song:

 

The great Physician now is near,

The sympathizing Jesus,

He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,

O hear the voice of Jesus.

Sweetest note in seraph song,

Sweetest name on mortal tongue.

Sweetest carol ever sung,

Jesus, blessed Jesus.

["The Great Physician"; William Hunter]

 

We believe Him to be the Light of life.

Fourth: we believe Him to be the answer to every need of the soul:

 

Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:

and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

[Matthew 11:28-30]

 

 

"Come unto Me…take My yoke upon you…I will give you rest,"  There is no need in human life that does not find its ultimate and final answer in the blessed Jesus. Look, if popularity is my goal, to be scorned and neglected is misery. If success is my goal, to fail is misery. If fame is my goal, to be unknown is misery. If money is my goal, to be poor is to be miserable. If health is my goal, to be sick is to be miserable. If liberty is my goal, to be in prison is to be miserable. If power is my goal, to be weak is to be miserable. But if Christ is my goal, to be poor, or to be sick, or to be unknown, or to be forgotten, or to be in prison makes no difference, for I can be happy in Him."Take My yoke upon you, and you will find rest for your souls."

You boys in the Junior age, when I was in your age – I was ten years old – when I was your age, right cater-cornered from us where we lived was the town marshal. We had one officer, and it was Mr. Hunt who lived cater-cornered from our house. He had a lovely wife. She had a little boy, a little boy, and she was expecting soon her second child. On a night, on a dark night, there were some men who broke into one of the stores in the little town. And the marshal found them breaking and robbing the store, and the robbers shot him.  And the next morning, when the little town awakened, they saw on the street in front of the store the town marshal lying dead in his own blood.  

They were devout members of our little Baptist church.  And on the first Wednesday night after the memorial service, and we laid the town marshal in a grave, I was seated on the pew by the side of her little boy and that sweet Christian mother. And when time came to testify, you can imagine the effect that such a testimony made upon me, a little boy.  That sweet mother stood up, by her side that little boy, soon to be the mother of a second child, she stood up and said, "Had it not been for Jesus, I don’t know what I would have done. But He has been comfort and strength and help to me. And in His love and grace, I will be strong for whatever the tomorrow shall bring."

As a little boy listening to that sweet young mother, I felt like Jesus was all the world to me also.  He is the answer to every human heart.  Whatever our trials, whatever our troubles, whatever our joy or our sorrow, whatever our affluence with its temptations, or our poverty with its necessity, whatever our age, whatever anything ever, Jesus is all the world to me.   Oh, may He be thus to you!  He is my Savior. He is my friend. He is my helper.  To Him I pray, and He sees me through.

In a moment we stand to sing our hymn of appeal. And in the balcony round, somebody you, on this lower floor, maybe a family you, or just you, and God presses the appeal to your heart, make the decision now for Christ.  And on the first note of the first stanza, come, come, come. "I have decided for Jesus, and here I am. God has spoken to me, and I’m answering with my life. This is the Lord’s will for me and mine, and here I come." Do it now. Make it now. Come now, while we stand and while we sing.

THE BELIEVER’S BEATTITUDE

Dr. W. A. Criswell

John 20:24-29

6-10-73

 

I.          We believe that He is the Son of God (Matthew 27:41-43)

A.  Would you believe?

B.  Yes, if…

      1.  His birth was prophesied

      2.  An angel announcement

      3.  He spoke words as never a man spake, wrought miracles

      4.  He was crucified and the third day raised from the dead

      5.  He ascended to heaven

      6.  He is coming again

 

II.         We believe Him to be the propitiation for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21)

A.  Something God did

      1.  In Eden, God shed the first blood

      2.  The night of Passover and judgment of Egypt

      3.  Provided a lamb for Abraham in place of Isaac (Genesis 22:6-8)

B.  No one worthy to deliver us but the Son of God (Revelation 5:2-6)

1.  Moses offered to be atonement (Exodus 32:32)

      2.  Paul offered to be atonement (Romans 9:2, 3)

      3.  There is salvation in none other (Acts 4:12, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

III.        We believe He is the Light of the World (2 Corinthians 4:6)

A.  Wherever the gospel is preached, there you will find the presence beneficent, healing, and holy

 

IV.       We believe He is the answer to every need of the soul (Matthew 11:28-30)

A.  No need that does not find its ultimate answer in Jesus