Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

John 1:29

THE BAPTIST'S MESSAGE!

Sep 21, 1947 am


"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

     In the case before us the preacher was a notable man, and his theme more notable still.  John the Baptist preaches Jesus. We have here a model for every minister of Christ.

I. THE TRUE MESSENGER.

  1. He is one who sees Jesus for himself (33)
    1. He rejoices to preach Jesus as One whom he himself has seen and known, and still hopes to see.
    2. He preaches Him as come, and as coming.
  2. He calls upon men to see Jesus.  "Behold the Lamb of God."
    1. This he does plainly and confidently.
    2. This he does continually: It is his one message.  John preached the same "sermon" again the next day after (35).
  3. He leads His own followers to Jesus.
    John's disciples heard John speak, and followed Jesus (37).
    1. He had enough force to induce men to be his followers.
    2. He had enough humility to induce his followers to leave him for Jesus. 
      This is the glory of John the Baptist.
    3. He had enough grace to make him rejoice that it was so.
    4. Our speech should make men go beyond ourselves to Christ.
      "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" (II Cor. 4:5).
    5. He loses himself in Jesus.
      He sees the necessity of this.  "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

II. THE TRUE MESSAGE.
     John's word was brief, but emphatic.

  1. He declared Jesus to be sent and ordained of God.
  2. He declared Him to be the one real, Devine appointed sacrifice for sin, "the Lamb".
  3. He declared Him to be the only remover of human guilt, "which taketh away".

III. THE TRUE RECEPTION OF THAT MESSAGE.

  1. To believe it, and so acknowledge Jesus as our sin-removing sacrifice,
  2. To follow Jesus (37).
  3. To follow Jesus, even if we be alone.
  4. To abide with Jesus (30).
  5. To go forth and tell others of Jesus (40-41)

     In 1857, C.H. Spurgeon was testing the acoustic properties of the building in which he was to speak, the Crystal Palace, and he shouted, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."  A workman on the building heard the words and they were a shot in the heart to him.  He told years later on his death bed that this made him become a Christian.

     Notice how simple the means, how grand the result!  John simply declared, "Behold the Lamb of God." Here is no vehement appeal, no angry rebuke, o feverish, would -be impressive urging; it is a simple, earnest declaration of God's truth, the Gospel, the will of God, as revealed in the Person and work of Christ.