John 6:47
Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life.
Sermons
A Man Cannot Come to Christ Unassisted by the Holy SpiritDr. Guthrie.John 6:41-51
Coming to ChristJ. E. Good.John 6:41-51
Conviction by the Holy Spirit Necessary to ConversionC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:41-51
Divine Light Necessary to Our SalvationToplady.John 6:41-51
Divine Teaching NecessaryArchdeacon Hare.John 6:41-51
Four Enigmas SolvedT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 6:41-51
Human InabilityC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:41-51
Murmuring a Great SinT. Brook.John 6:41-51
Murmuring a Hydra-Headed SinT. Brooks.John 6:41-51
Reason and FaithPascal.John 6:41-51
Taught of GodS. Barnard.John 6:41-51
The Character of FaithPreacher's AnalystJohn 6:41-51
The Christian Now Drawn to Christ, and Hereafter to be RaW. Jay.John 6:41-51
The Christian Taught of GodC. Bradley, M. A.John 6:41-51
The Drawing of the FatherR. Besser, D. D., Theophylact.John 6:41-51
The Teachings of God OpenedJohn 6:41-51
Things to be RememberedBp. Ryle.John 6:41-51
Weighty TruthsBishop Ryle.John 6:41-51
Why Men Cannot Come to ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:41-51
Believing Must be on Christ OnlyS. Charnock.John 6:47-58
Certain Salvation by BelievingC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
Christ Alone is the Bread of LifeC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
Christ the Bread of LifeRalph Robinson.John 6:47-58
Christ the Chosen Food of Earnest ChristiansC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
Christ the True Food and Drink of BelieversRalph Robinson.John 6:47-58
Eating Christ's FleshW. Brock, D. D.John 6:47-58
Everlasting LifeW. Jay.John 6:47-58
Everlasting LifeW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 6:47-58
Faith in Christ Must be PersonalJ. Spencer.John 6:47-58
Faith, Though Weak, Saves the SoulH. Muller.John 6:47-58
How Christ is to be Fed UponRalph Robinson.John 6:47-58
Meat and Drink IndeedR. Tuck, B. A.John 6:47-58
Meat and Drink IndeedBp. Beveridge.John 6:47-58
Meat and Drink IndeedJ. Flavel.John 6:47-58
No Life Without Feeding Upon ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
The Blood of Christ Our Only HopeJohn 6:47-58
The Bread of LifeJ. Irons.John 6:47-58
The Bread of LifePreacher's AnalystJohn 6:47-58
The Bread of Life and MannaW. Baxendale.John 6:47-58
The Food of the SoulBp. Ryle.John 6:47-58
The Food of the SoulJ. M. Ludlow, D. D.John 6:47-58
The Food that Gives LifeA. Maclaren, D. D.John 6:47-58
The Food that Jesus Gave to His OwnW. Arnot, D. D.John 6:47-58
The Meat and Drink of the New NatureC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
The Vital Relation to ChristJ. A. Beith, D. D.John 6:47-58
Truly Eating the Flesh of JesusC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
We Must Feed Upon ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 6:47-58
We Must Feed Upon Christ for OurselvesSword and Trowel.John 6:47-58
We have to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to God, first for giving and sending his Son to be our Saviour, and then for guiding us unto his Son, in order that in fellowship with him we may experience the blessings of salvation. For in these two ways does the Father furnish us with a complete display of his love; in these two ways does he completely secure our highest good.

I. THE DRAWING OF THE SOUL BY THE FATHER.

1. The soul needs to be divinely drawn. And this because:

(1) By reason of sin it is estranged from God, is far from God, is even at enmity with God.

(2) There are other attractions, very powerful, and such as men are wont to yield to, which draw man's nature in an opposite direction. "The world, the flesh, and the devil" have great power; and in the case of very many exert that power efficaciously to keep the soul from God, and even to increase the distance by which it is so separated.

2. The instrumentalities, or spiritual forces, by which the Father draws human souls to Christ.

(1) The presentation of truth adapted to man's intelligence. The next verse brings this agency before us in explicit statement: "They shall be all taught of God."

(2) The utterance of moral authority addressing the conscience. Passion and interest may draw men from Christ; duty, with a mighty imperative, bids them approach their Lord and Saviour.

(3) Love appeals to the heart of man with mystic power.

"The moon may draw the sea;
The cloud may stoop from heaven, and take the shape,
With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape."
The attraction of Christ's character and life, of his gracious language, and above all of his sacrifice upon the cross, is the mightiest moral force the world has ever felt. "I," said he, "if I am lifted up, will draw all men unto myself." Thus in many ways, adapted by his own wisdom to the nature and circumstances of men, is the Father drawing men unto Christ.

3. The manner in which the Father draws the soul unto himself.

(1) This attraction is not of a physical, mechanical, forcible kind. Such compulsion would be out of all character, would not harmonize with man's moral freedom. And, indeed, it would not be the drawing of the soul.

(2) It is a moral, spiritual attraction, in accordance with the nature both of him who draws and of those who are drawn. The Holy Spirit of God is the power to whom we owe the action of those moral constraints which are the chief and most beneficent factors in the moral life of mankind.

(3) Mighty though this drawing be, it is for the most part gentle and gradual. Its influence is not always at once apparent; it becomes manifest with the growth of experience and the lapse of time. It is continuous, lasting in the case of many from childhood to old age.

(4) The power and efficacy of this agency is not to be disputed. The Father calls, and the child answers. The magnetism is exercised, and the soul flies to the attracting power. The light shines, and the eye turns towards the welcome ray.

II. THE COMING OF THE SOUL TO CHRIST.

1. There is an indispensable condition without which no soul can come to Christ. Christ must first come to the soul. The gospel must be preached, and must be received, for it is the Divine call, which alone can authorize the approach of sinful man to the Holy One and Just.

2. The soul's method in coming. It is easy enough to understand how when Jesus was on earth men came to him; they came actually, bodily, locally. Yet the principle of approach is ever the same; for our Lord said indifferently," Come unto me," and "Believe on me." The coming of the bodily form was useless apart from spiritual approach, sympathy, and trust. As it is the soul which the Father draws, so it is the soul which, being drawn, finds itself near the Saviour and in fellowship with him.

3. The soul's purpose in coming. It is impelled by conscious need of the Redeemer, as the Prophet, the Priest, the King, divinely appointed. It hopes to find in him that fall satisfaction which, sought elsewhere, is sought in vain.

4. The soul's experience in coming.

(1) There is welcome and acceptance; for he who comes is never, in any wise, cast out.

(2) There is a perfect response to the desire and need. The hungry is fed, the thirsty finds the water of life, the weary meets with rest, and the man who longs to serve has revealed to him the law and rule of consecration.

(3) There is the eternal abiding; for the soul that comes to Jesus neither leaves him, nor is left by him.

5. The soul's obligation in coming.

(1) Gratefully to acknowledge the infinite mercy by which this attractive influence has been exercised, and to which the fellowship with Christ is due.

(2) Diligently to act as the Father's agent in bringing other souls to Jesus. We can trace the Divine power in the human agency which was employed to lead us to the Saviour. The same God can still use the same means to the same result. - T.







He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.
I. THE BLESSING, "everlasting life." Everlasting life was never proposed in the schools of philosophy to the faith of man, or urged as a principle or motive to holiness. Those who taught were not sure of it themselves. What does it mean? We may take three views of it.

1. It is opposed to eternal death. Eternal death does not mean annihilation or destruction of being, bat of well-being, of happiness and of hope. So eternal life is not mere existence, but complete well-being.

2. It is distinguished from natural life: is a state of freedom from all possible evil, and the possession of all possible good.

3. Its complete spirituality. The people of God are now quickened and made alive. They have spiritual appetites, senses, powers, passions. They can perform spiritual exercises. But it doth not yet appear what we shall be.

II. THE OWNER OF THIS BLESSING. "He that believeth on Me."

1. The object of this faith — the Lord Jesus. How surprised would you be did Paul, or Peter, or James express themselves in this way I But they well knew that salvation was not in them. Thus they preached not themselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.

2. Its nature. Belief is the giving assent to a declaration as true. But credence in itself is much like knowledge. We may know a thing, and not possess it, or pursue it. Faith always operates towards Christ as its object in a Way of trust and dependence, and in a way of application too.

III. THE SEASON OF POSSESSION — now. Not he shall have, but he "hath." The believer has everlasting life —

1. As his aim. The mariner has the port in his eye from the day he sails till he enters the desired haven. So is it with the Christian.

2. In promise. "In my Father's house," etc.; "When He who is our life," etc.

3. In trust. And who is the trustee? The Lord Jesus, our Forerunner. He is gone to take possession.

4. In participation. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." But Christians have this Spirit, and by this Spirit is the Christian sealed to the day of redemption.

5. When are Christians peculiarly indulged with these anticipations?(1) When they are alone. "When I remember Thee on my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches."(2) In the sanctuary services. "A day in Thy courts is better than a thousand."(3) In trouble. God acts upon the principle of the truest friendship, He is most near in the time of trouble.(4) In death.

IV. THE GROUND OF THEIR CONFIDENCE. The fulness of their assurance: "Verily, verily, I say unto you," etc. Here it is truth itself that speaks; and yet Christ employs a double asseveration, so that we may learn —

1. The duty of belief, " O fools, and slow of heart to believe:"

2. The importance of our having the full assurance of understanding, and the full assurance of faith, to establish our hearts with grace.

(W. Jay.)

As the eye seeks for no other light than that of the sun, and joins no candles with it to dishonour the sufficiency of its beams, so no created thing must be joined with Christ as an object of faith. Who would join the weakness of a bulrush with the strength of a rock for his protection! Who would fetch water from a muddy pond to make a pure fountain in his garden more pleasant! Address yourselves only to Him to find a medicine for your miseries and comfort in your troubles,

(S. Charnock.)

One walking with me observed, with some emphasis, "I do not believe as you do. I am an Agnostic." "Oh," I said to him. "Yes. That is a Greek word, is it not? The Latin word, I think, is ignoramus." He did not like it at all. Yet I only translated his language from Greek to Latin. These are queer waters to get into, when all your philosophy brings you is the confession that you know nothing, and the stolidity which enables you to glory in your ignorance. As for those of us who rest in Jesus, we know and have believed something; for we have been taught eternal verities by Him who cannot lie. Our Master was not wont to say, "It may be," or "It may not be"; but He had an authoritative style, and testified, "Verily, verily, I say unto you." Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of what He hath taught us shall cease to be the creed of our souls. We feel safe in this assurance; but should we quit it, we should expect soon to find ourselves in troubled waters.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

In Gideon's camp every soldier had his own pitcher; among Solomon's men of valour every man wore his own sword; the five wise virgins had every one oil in her own lamp. Whosoever will go to God must have a faith of his own; it must be "Thy faith hath saved thee."

(J. Spencer.)

Faith is the eye by which we look to Jesus. A dim-sighted eye is still an eye; a weeping eye is still an eye. Faith is the hand with which we lay hold of Jesus. A trembling hand is still a hand. And he is a believer, whoso heart within him trembles when he touches the hem of the Saviour's garment that he may be healed. Faith is the tongue by which we taste how good the Lord is. A feverish tongue. And even then we may believe, when we are without the smallest portion of comfort; for our faith is founded, not upon feelings, but upon the promises of God. Faith is the foot by which we go to Jesus. A lame foot is still a foot. He who comes slowly, nevertheless comes.

(H. Muller.)

I. IN CHRIST'S PURCHASE.

II. IN GOD'S PROMISE.

III. IN THE FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT. Conclusions:

1. The exclusiveness of the gospel. Without faith in Christ there is no salvation for any sinner.

2. The charity of the gospel. With faith there is salvation for all.

(W. H. Van Doren, D. D.)

I am that Bread of Life
I. THE STAFF OF LIFE.

1. Christ is the life.

2. Where Christ is unknown there can be no life.

(1)Heathenism is death.

(2)Unbelief.

(3)Formalism.

3. This life is worth everything and is to be obtained for nothing.

4. This life supports, not by talking about it, believing in statements concerning it, but by having and enjoying it.

II. The staff of life is USED ONLY BY FAITH. Faith —

1. Receives.

2. Handles.

3. Tastes.

4. Digests.

5. Enjoys.

6. Grows thereby.

III. PARTICIPATION IN IT IS THE PRIVILEGE OF THE LORD'S FAMILY. It is household bread.

1. The ungodly are self-excluded.

2. The qualification is the robe of righteousness, worn only by the Lord's children.

3. The children participate through —

(1)The Word;

(2)the sacrament.

(J. Irons.)

Preacher's Analyst.
I. A REPRESENTATION OF OUR SAVIOUR.

1. Life is more valuable than all beside.

2. The Scripture represents religion as life.

3. How many people look like life, having the form of godliness without the power.

4. The relation of Christ to this life. Bread which —

(1)nourishes;

(2)is corn bruised: so Christ was bruised for our iniquities;

(3)must be eaten, or is nothing to us: so Christ is nothing till applied.

II. THE MEANS OF DERIVING THIS BENEFIT: coming to Christ and believing on Him. This reminds us —

1. That Christ is accessible.

2. That faith is not mere sentiment, but a principle of life.

3. Faith is not an isolated but a continuous act.

III. THE HAPPINESS HIS FOLLOWERS SHALL ENJOY.

1. They shall never thirst for the world. Worldly men desire nothing else.

2. They shall not hunger or thirst in vain. The new creature has wants and appetites, but ample provision is made for their complete satisfaction.

3. They will not hunger or thirst always. "I shall be satisfied," etc.Application: The subject is a standard by which we may estimate —

1. Christ.

2. Our faith.

3. The Christian.

(Preacher's Analyst.)

The analogy between Christ and corporal meat stands in these three particulars:

1. Sustentation. Corporal meat is for the preservation of the natural life. The natural life is maintained by meat, through the concurrence of God's blessing. It is pabulum vitae. Hence bread, under which all other provision is comprehended, is called the staff of life (Isaiah 3:1). Keep the strongest man from meat but a few days, and the life will extinguish and go out (1 Samuel 30:12). Jesus Christ is the maintainer and preserver of the spiritual life. As He give it at first, so He upholds it. It is by continual influences from Him that the life is kept from expiring. If He withdraw His influx never so little, the soul is at the giving up of the ghost, even half-dead.

2. Vegetation. Corporal meat is good for growth. It is by meat that the body is brought from infancy to childhood, from childhood to youth, from youth to a perfect man. Jesus Christ is He that carries on a Christian from infancy to perfection. All the soul's growth and increase is from Christ. So the apostle, "From Him the whole body having nourishment ministered," etc. (Colossians 2:19), The branches live and increase by virtue of the sap which is derived from the root. Christians grow by virtue of the sap which is to them derived from Jesus Christ. Every part grows by Christ.

3. Reparation. Meat is a repairer of nature's decays. When by some violent sickness the spirits are consumed, the body wasted, the strength lost, meat, fitly and seasonably taken, helps, through the Divine blessing, to recall all again: "his spirit came to him again " (1 Samuel 30:12). Jesus Christ is the repairer of the soul's decays. Sometimes a believer, through the neglect of his duty, through surfeiting upon sin, brings spiritual languishings upon himself; his strength is decayed, his vigour is abated, his pulse beats very weakly, he can scarcely creep in the ways of God. In such a case Jesus Christ recovers him, repairs his breaches, and renews his strength, as in former times, The Psalmist speaks of this: "He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake" (Psalm 23:3). The saints have every day experience of this restoring virtue of Christ.

(Ralph Robinson.)

Some have tried to stay their hunger by the narcotics of scepticism, and others have endeavoured to get eat through the drugs of fatalism. Many stave off hunger by indifference, like the bears in winter, who are not hungry, because they are asleep. But depend upon it the only way to meet hunger is to get bread, and the only way to meet your soul's want is to get Christ, in whom there is enough and to spare, but nowhere else.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Your fathers did eat manna
The Palestine Exploration Society, when they came to Tel Hum (Capernaum), found what they believed to be the synagogue in which Jesus delivered His discourse. In turning over the stones, it was with peculiarly sacred feelings that they found a large block with a pot of manna engraved on its face. Every synagogue had its symbol — one a lamb, another a candlestick, and this, the pot of manna. We .can see Jesus in His synagogue pointing with His finger to this device over the main entrance, and saying, " Our fathers did eat manna," etc.

(W. Baxendale.)

If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever
When alone with Christ, it was heaven below; and in the prayer-meetings, when God's people were warm at heart, how you delighted to unite with them! The preaching was marrow and fatness to you. You did not mind walking a long way on a wet night to hear about your Lord and Master then. It may be there was no cushion to the seat, or you had to stand in the aisle. You did not mind that. You are getting wonderfully dainty now; you cannot hear the poor preacher whose voice was once like music to you. You cannot enjoy the things of God as once you did. Whose fault is that? The kitchen is the same, and the food the same: the appetite has gone, I fear. How ravenous I was after God's Word! how I would wake early in the morning to read those books that are full of the deep things of God! I wanted none of your nonsensical novels, nor your weekly tales, for which some of you pine, like children for sugarsticks. Then one fed on manna that came from heaven, on Christ Himself. Those were good times in which everything was delightful.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Few passages have been so wrested as this. Men have turned meat into poison.

I. WHAT THESE VERSES DO NOT MEAN.

1. Literal eating and drinking, or partaking of the Lord's Supper. We may eat that, and yet not partake of Him. For —(1) A literal eating and drinking would have been revolting to the Jews and contradictory to their law.(2) To take this literal view would be to interpose a bodily act between the soul and salvation, for which there is no precedent in Scripture.(3) It would involve most blasphemous and profane consequences. It would shut out from heaven the penitent thief, and admit to heaven thousands of godless communicants.

2. This view arises from man's morbid habit of paltry and carnal sense on Scriptural expressions. Men dislike that which makes the state of the heart the principal thing.

II. WHAT THEY DO MEAN.

1. "Flesh and blood " means Christ's sacrifice.

2. "Eating and drinking" means reception of Christ's sacrifice.

III. THE PRACTICAL LESSONS THEY SUGGEST.

1. That faith in Christ's atonement is necessary to salvation.

2. That faith in the atonement unites us to the Saviour and entitles us to the highest privileges.

3. That faith In the atonement is —

(1)A personal act;

(2)a daily act;

(3)a conscious act.

(Bp. Ryle.)

I. In Christ alone can we have any CERTAIN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE.

1. Soul hungers for the knowledge which pertains to its nature and its relation to its Creator and destiny.

2. Christ is the Truth, and satisfies this hunger.

II. Christ is the food of the soul, because He alone SATISFIES OUR MORAL NATURES.

1. Them is a sense in which every man hungers after righteousness. We seek to relieve our troubled consciences —

(1)By extenuating our faults;

(2)by forgetting them;

(3)by seeking pardon through priests.

2. But there is no satisfaction but in Christ. He sustains —

(1)By justifying grace;

(2)by positive holiness.

III. Christ is the bread of life in that from Him we have the HOPE OF THE LIFE EVERLASTING.

1. No human speculation regarding the future, however pleasing, can kindle real hope.

2. Christ hath brought life and immortality to light, and is "in us the hope of glory."

(J. M. Ludlow, D. D.)

1. To finish His work was bread to Himself; His work finished is bread to His people.

2. His words were startling but necessary. The rock must be laid down although superficial disciples may stumble, for it is the foundation of the true disciples' faith and hope.

3. The Lord's Supper is not the subject here. Both sacraments are omitted in John, but he records the fundamental doctrines on which they rest. In the conversation with Nicodemus we have the ground of the one; here the ground of the other. Wanting Christ's sacrifice for sin the Supper would have contained nothing for us, and wanting faith in Christ crucified, we can get nothing from the sacrament.

4. Hunger centres naturally in human souls, and men have attempted to satisfy it —

(1)With the good things of this life;

(2)with the inanities of self-righteousness. In the text Christ shows the satisfaction of this hunger. We have —

I. ON THE PART OF CHRIST —

1. His incarnation: the Son as Man. Not man, a man, a son of man. Neither a son of man nor a Son of God could be our Saviour. The one is near, but has no power; the other has power, but is not near. The Incarnation combines nearness with power to save.

2. His sacrifice. The Incarnation could not save us. Without shedding of blood is no remission. Christ converged all the testimonies from Abel's sacrifice to His last passover on Himself, the Lamb of God.

II. ON THE PART OF CHRISTIANS. They believe and live. Although it is a spiritual and not a material food, it is a real supply of a real hunger. The soul's hunger for righteousness and peace and God is a greater thing than bodily hunger, and must have a corresponding supply. This is found by the believer. Christ's incarnation brings God near to Him, and His sacrifice brings peace and righteousness. The believer thus has the life of God in Christ. This life is —

1. Present.

2. Everlasting.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)

I. HE PRESSES THE GREAT DUTY OF CLOSING WITH HIM WHICH HE HAD ALREADY SET BEFORE THEM.

1. This He did by representing to them the danger to which they would expose themselves if they declined (ver. 53).

2. By directly announcing the blessings which are to be obtained by obedience (vers. 54, 55). To partake of Christ by faith secures —

(1)"Eternal life";

(2)the resurrection of the last day.

II. HE STATES AND ILLUSTRATES THE RELATION IN WHICH, WHEN THEY CLOSE WITH HIM BY FAITH, HE STANDS TO BELIEVING MEN.

1. It is a mutual indwelling of believers in Christ and of Christ in them (ver. 56).

2. It is a relation of the same kind as subsists between Christ and the Father (ver. 57).

3. It is a relation, the certain effects of which is life for evermore (ver. 58).

(J. A. Beith, D. D.)

Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man
I. THE MEANING OF THE TEXT.

1. The Romanist holds that it refers to a participation of Christ's body in the sacrament. But it cannot mean that; for —(1)The Lord's Supper had not been instituted, and as Christ refers to a present duty and privilege, He could not refer to something that did not then exist.(2) Judas partook of the Lord's Supper; had he eternal life?(3) The dying thief did not partake of the Lord's Supper, but he had eternal life.

2. The true meaning. Christ had said many things about bread, about Himself as the true bread, and about their eating Him as this bread; and in ver: 51 He declares that this bread and His flesh are one and the same thing. Let us, then, try to understand —(1) What bread means. In ver. 35 belief, not literal participation, is the process by which we become partakers of everlasting life. But belief presupposes the existence of something to be believed. Then what is there in Christ that I am to believe? Why, that He is the bread of life. It follows that by "bread" we are to understand truth, and by eating reception of that truth. The bread of life, then, is the doctrine of life — the revelation made by Him who "hath abolished death," etc. This is confirmed by the fact —

(a)That the Old Testament speaks of doctrine as meat and drink: "Wisdom hath killed her beast and she crieth, Come and eat of my bread, and drink of the wine," etc.; and nothing was more common among the Jews than the representation of doctrine under this form. How natural, then, that the greatest Jewish teachers should have used this familiar figure to signify "I am the doctrine of life."

(b)In ver. 63 Christ fully meets the difficulty; and that He was correctly understood is seen by ver. 68.Note, then —

(a)That if bread means doctrine, then flesh means doctrine;

(b)that I am not confounding Christ's doctrines with Himself, but expounding them. It is one of the great doctrines of this book, and let those who deny Christ's Divinity look to it, that He is evermore the subject of His own discourse. You might as well take the light out of the sun, and call it the sun still, as take Christ out of His teaching and call it His teaching still. Christ and His doctrine are the same: "I am the truth."(2) What eating and drinking mean.

(a)A sense of need — appetite.

(b)Activity towards some appropriate object for the supply of that need.

(c)Enjoyment in the use of the object.

(d)Resultant strength. This is eating and drinking literally.Spiritually, meat and drink are before us in the form of doctrine.

(i.)There is hungering and thirsting after it.

(ii.)There is action toward Christ to get that need supplied: what He commands we obey; what He promises we expect; what He offers we accept.

(iii.)Then there is delight in Christ.

(iv.)Finally, spiritual strength: temptation is resisted, trial endured, work done for God and man; and the evidence of a man's living on Christ is his living for Christ.

II. Let me ENFORCE THE SENTIMENT OF THE TEXT.

1. There is a lesson of obligation. You have heard of Christ, His incarnation, death, resurrection, etc. What has come out of the hearing? Hunger and thirst? You feel uneasy often, and fear. I want that uneasiness and fear to develop into a sense of spiritual need. Let this stimulate action towards Christ; then joy in Christ; then doing what Christ enjoins and avoiding what Christ forbids.

2. A lesson of privilege.

(1)The believer dwells in Christ; hence his safety.

(2)Christ dwells in him; hence his honour.

(3)Hence the believer's satisfaction "shall never hunger or thirst."

(4)To crown it all, "eternal life." Life is the fullest capacity for enjoyment; then what must eternal life be?

(W. Brock, D. D.)

I. WHAT IS MEANT BY EATING THE FLESH AND DRINKING THE BLOOD OF CHRIST?

1. What is necessary to it?(1) We must believe in the reality of Christ; not that He was a myth, but that He was very God incarnate, who lived, died, and rose again, and is now in His proper personality, sitting at the right hand of God, from whence He will come to be our Judge.(2) We must believe in the death of Christ, "blood," not as an example, but as the expiation of sin, a propitiation through faith in His blood.

2. What is this act?(1) Appropriation. A man not only believes that bread is proper food, he takes it. So we cannot feed on Christ until we make Him our own, and for our individual selves: for we cannot eat for anybody else.(2) Receiving into oneself. Bread is taken not to be laid aside or exhibited. Every one must do this from the empress to the pauper: so the poorest and the richest must receive Christ by faith.(3) Assimilation. Faith is to the soul what the gastric juices are to the body; and so Christ by faith is taken up into the understanding and heart, and becomes part of the renewed man. He becomes our life.

3. Remarks to set this forth in a clearer manner.(1) Christ is as needful to the soul as bread is to the body.(2) Meat and drink do really satisfy. The supply of Christ is as real as the need of Him.(3) A hungry man is not appeased by talking about feeding, but by eating. So Christ beckons you to a banquet not to look on, but to feast.(4) In healthy eating there is a relish.(5) Eating times as to the body come several times a day, so take care that you partake of Christ often. Do not live on old experiences.(6) It is well to have set times for eating. People are not likely to flourish who have no regular meals. So there should be appointed times for communion with Christ.(7) The flesh and blood of Christ are foods suitable for all conditions, for babes in Christ as well as old men, for sick Christians and healthy.

II. WHAT ARE THE VIRTUES OF THIS EATING AND DRINKING?

1. Life is essential (ver. 53). If you have no life in you you have nothing that is good. The sinner is dead, and there is no life to be "developed" and "educated" in him. Any good that may come to him must be by impartation, and it can never come to him but by eating the flesh, etc. Convictions of sin are of no use, nor ordinances, nor profession, nor morality. This is vital (ver. 54) for soul and body.

2. Substantial. "Meat indeed," etc. The Jewish feasting was a mere shadow: so is pleasure, etc.

3. It produces union (ver. 56).

(1)To live in Christ is the peace of justification.

(2)For Christ to live in us is the peace of sanctification.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. WHAT CHRIST MUST BE TO US. Our meat and drink, our everything.

1. The doctrine of God incarnate must be the food of our soul.

2. We must feed on Christ's sufferings.

3. This meat is not intended to be looked at, but to feed upon by the heart's belief.

4. By this means the believer realizes union with Christ.

II. WHAT IS BOUND UP IN THIS EATING AND DRINKING?

1. He who has not so eaten and drank has no spiritual life at all.

2. All who have received Jesus in this manner have eternal life.

3. They have efficient nourishment and satisfaction.

4. Christ dwells in them and is their strength.

5. They live in Christ and are secure.

III. WHAT REFLECTIONS ARISE OUT OF THIS TRUTH? If I have a life that feeds on Christ!

1. What a wonderful life it must be!

2. How strong it must be!

3. How immortal it must be! —

4. How it must develop!

5. What company he that is fed must keep.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. HOW CAN THE LORD JESUS GIVE US HIS FLESH TO EAT?

1. In all Christ said He realized that the body is not the man. He was always seeking to win the soul's faith which would be the man's life. We have bodies; we are souls.

2. Since we are spirits there is fitting food for us, and Christ warns us off from fleshly ideas by saying, "It is the Spirit that quickeneth." Christ is the soul's food in His humanity, character, example, sacrifice, spiritual communions.

3. Nothing else can satisfy like this. Every receptive faculty of our soul can live on that incarnate life and renew strength. "I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me."

4. Christ is the food of the soul in that He provides and adapts God for man.(1) "In" God "we live, and move, and have our being."(2) But man has failed to live in God. "God is not in all his thoughts." Our souls have lost their home food, preferring to it "the husks which the swine do eat."(3) But God graciously offers Himself to us in Christ Jesus.

II. HOW CAN WE BE SAID TO EAT THE FLESH OF THE LORD JESUS. We are obliged to speak of spiritual powers in language only worthy to represent the bodily powers.

1. There is a soul eye which receives the impression of the beauties of the Divine handiwork. The physical eye sees all things alike.

2. The soul ear can catch Divine harmonies to which the physical ear is deaf.

3. The hand of the soul gives all the meaning to what is done by the physical hand.

4. Christ only extended this when He represented the soul as having a mouth and a faculty of digestion. Eating and drinking is a going out of ourselves to lay hold of something outside ourselves that it may become part of ourselves. Men do not live on themselves. Only God being an all-sufficient Spirit can do that. The relation of the soul to outside food we call eating and drinking, believing, thinking, loving, communing. "Man does not live by bread alone."We eat the flesh of Jesus —

1. By the appropriations of faith. Whatever we believe we take into ourselves.

2. By the cherishing of thoughts; by meditations on the perfections of Christ.

3. By the communings of love. We know how two lovely souls in close fellowship nourish in one another all that is lovely, pure, and good.Conclusion:

1. What a dignity our Lord has put on the most ordinary acts of life.

2. Lest we should lose this sacredness out of our common eating and drinking, Christ has set apart one eating time peculiar to Himself.

(R. Tuck, B. A.)

I. WHAT IS HERE UNDERSTOOD BY FLESH AND BLOOD?

1. Not as the Capernaites did, in a carnal sense, but in a spiritual.

2. As symbolizing the effects of His body broken and His blood shed, or the merits of His death and passion, as

(1)The pardon of sin by His merit (Matthew 26:28).

(2)The purification of our hearts by His Spirit.

3. The glorification of our souls in His presence (John 17:24).

II. IN WHAT SENSE ARE THEY SAID TO BE MEAT AND DRINK?

1. Is the body preserved in health by meat and drink?

2. Made strong?

3. Kept in life?

4. Refreshed? So is the soul by the merits of Christ.

III. How is it called meat INDEED, and drink INDEED?

1. Negatively. Not as if Christ's body was really meat for the body, nor as if His body and blood were substantially turned into real meat and drink, nor as if He referred to any corporeal eating of Himself in the sacraments, as the Papists hold, basing transubstantiation on this text; not considering(1) That He speaks not of a sacramental, but of a spiritual eating, as appears

(a)in that the sacrament was not ordained (John 6:4; John 7:2).

(b)In that he that eateth not of this bread shall die (ver. 53), whereas Every one that eateth it shall live (vers. 51, 54, 56).(2) Suppose the Sacrament referred to it, it would not import any transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but rather the transubstantiation of the body and blood of Christ into bread and wine.

2. Positively; because it really, and not only in show, does that for the soul which food does for the body (see chap. John 15:1). Nay, in some sense, Christ is more really our meat than bread can be.(1) He nourishes our souls, this only our bodies.(2) He so nourishes us that we shall be for ever satisfied (ver. 35), this not.(3) Bodily food so preserves our lives that sometimes it destroys them; but never so Christ.(4) Food preserves but our natural, Christ nourishes us to an eternal life (vers. 51, 58).USES.

1. (ver. 27).

2. Do not only labour for it, but feed upon it —

(1)Believingly (ver. 35).

(2)Thankfully.

(Bp. Beveridge.)

I. THE RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF CHRIST AND MEAT AND DRINK.

1. Both are necessary, the one for the soul, the other for the body.

2. Both are sweet and desirable to the hungry and thirsty.

3. Both have to undergo an alteration before they actually nourish. Corn has to be ground, and Christ had to suffer.

4. Both have a natural union with us.

5. Both must be frequently partaken of.

II. THE TRANSCENDENT EXCELLENCY OF CHRIST'S FLESH AND BLOOD.

1. They were assumed into the nearest union with the second Person in the Holy Trinity.

2. They were offered up to God as the great sacrifice for our sins and purchase of our peace (Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 5:2).

3. They are the great medium of conveyance of all blessings and mercies to believers (Colossians 1:14-19).USES.

1. Of information.

(1)See here the love of the Saviour.

(2)Learn hence a ground of content in the lowest condition.

(3)Learn the necessity of faith. What is a feast to him who cannot taste it?

(4)How excellent are gospel ordinances which set Christ forth.

2. Of exhortation.

(1)Come with hungry appetites.

(2)Feed heartily on Christ.

(J. Flavel.)

I. THE FOOD. Familiarity with these words and mental indolence have dulled our sense of their strangeness. However unintelligible to their hearers, they must have been felt in putting forth strange claims. On any other lips they would have been felt to have been absurd and blasphemous. Upon Christ's lips they are that or something very wonderful. He presents the food of the soul in two forms.

1. He proposes Himself. "He that eateth Me."(1) Here you come across the great characteristic of Christianity, that it is all in the personal Christ. The great note is, "I bear witness of Myself."(2) He sets Himself forth here as the sufficient nourishment for my whole nature.(a) Do I want truth of any kind except mere physical or mathematical truth? I get it here, social, ethical, spiritual, religious. He is Wisdom: He is Truth.(b) Does my heart want nourishing with the selected elixir of love? His love is the only food for the hungry heart which does not bring bitterness or turn to ashes.(c) Does my will want for its strength some law known to be good and deeply loved. I must go to the Master, and in His loving personality find the authority which sways, and by swaying emancipates the human will.(3) He proposes Himself as the food for the whole world. If He is enough for me He is enough for all, and comes in living contact with all the generations right on to the end of time.

2. He offers His flesh and blood; His earthly life and violent death. It is not enough to speak in general terms of the personal Christ as being the food of the spirit. We must feed upon the dying Christ, and lay hold of His sacrifice, and realize that His shed blood transfused in mystical fashion into the veins of our spirits is there the throbbing source of life which circulates through the whole of the inmost being.

II. THE ACT OF EATING THIS FOOD. The metaphysical language is familiar in many applications. We speak of tasting sorrow, eating bitter bread, feeding on love.

1. This participation is effected by faith.(1) "He that cometh... believeth." By the simple act of trust in Him. You may be beside Him for a thousand years, and if there is no faith there is no union. You may be separated from Him, as we are, in time by nineteen centuries; in condition, by the difference between mortality and glory; in distance, by all the measureless space between the footstool and the throne; and if there go from your heart an electric wire, howsoever slender and fragile, you are knit to Him and derive into your heart the fulness of His cleansing power.(2) This trust is the activity of the whole nature, for faith has in it intellect, affection, and will.

2. The original expression is employed to describe the act of eating by ruminating animals; a leisurely and pleasurable partaking; an act slow and meditative and repeated, which dwells upon Him. The reason why so many Christians are such poor weaklings is because they do not thus feed on Christ. The cheap tripper cannot take in the beauty of the landscape. You cannot know any man in a hurried interview, so in these hurrying days how few of us ruminate about Christ.

3. Our Lord here uses a grammatical form which indicates the continual persistance of this meditative faith. Yesterday's portion will not stay to-day's hunger.

III. THE CONSEQUENT LIFE.

1. Separate from Christ we are dead. We may live the life of animals, an intellectual life, a life of desires and hopes and fears, a moral life; but the true life of man is not in these. It is only that which comes by union with and derivation from God.

2. Bread nourishes life, 'this bread communicates life. The indwelling Christ is the source of life to me.

3. This spiritual life in the present has, as its necessary consequence, a future completion. If Christ is in my heart the life He brings can never stop its regenerative and transforming activities until it has influenced the whole of my nature to the very circumference (ver. 54).

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Why should we be hungering and thirsting, when Christ has given us His flesh to be meat indeed, and His blood to be drink indeed? Why should we be hanging down our heads like bulrushes to-day, when the Lord loves us, and would have His joy to he in us, that our joy may be full? Why are we so dispirited by our infirmities, when we know that Jehovah is our strength and our song, He also has become our salvation? I tell you, brethren, we do not possess our possessions. We are like an Israelite who should say, "Yes, those terraces of land are mine. Those vineyards and olives and figs and pomegranates are mine. Those fields of wheat and barley are mine; yet I am starving." Why do you not drink the blood of the grapes? He answers, "I can scarcely tell you why, but so it is — I walk through the vineyards, and I admire the clusters, but I never taste them. I gather the harvest, and I thrash it on the barn-floor; but I never grind it into corn, nor comfort my heart with a morsel of bread." Surely this is wretched work I Is it not folly carried to an extreme? I trust the children of God will not copy this madness. Let our prayer be that we may use and enjoy to the utmost all that the Lord has given us in His grace.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

You know the modern theory that there are germs alike in all men which only need developing. This is a philosophical notion, but it is not God's way of putting it. He says, "No life in you." No, not an atom of true life. The sinner is dead, and in him is no life whatever. If ever there is to be any good thing come into him it will have to come into him; it must be an importation, and it can never come into him except in connection with his eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

It is recorded of Samuel Pearce, a useful and much blessed minister at Birmingham, that, at the time of his conversion, having read Doddridge's "Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul," he took up the idea suggested in that book, and resolved formally to dedicate himself to the Lord. He drew up a covenant accordingly, and to make it more solemn and binding he signed it with blood drawn from his own body. But afterwards, failing in his vows, he was plunged into great distress. Driven therefore into a more complete examination of his motives, he was led to see that he had been relying too much on his own strength; and, carrying the blood-signed covenant to the top of his father's house, he tore it into pieces and scattered it to the winds, and resolved henceforth to depend upon the peace-making and peace-keeping blood of Christ.

In respect of that typical meat which the Jews had lately spoken of (ver. 31), "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert," etc., our Saviour tells them that is but typical bread, but His flesh is bread indeed; it is the real substance, of which that was but a mere type and shadow. Thus for explication. The observation is this.

1. That the Lord Jesus Christ is really and truly the food and meat of believers. Flesh is here put for the whole person of Christ. Jesus Christ, as lie is held out in the Scriptures, is the true, real, and very meat of believing Christians; Christ, as He is propounded in the gospel, dead, broken, crucified. Christ, in all His perfection, completeness, fulness, is meat indeed to a true believer. It is the very scope of this sermon, from ver. 27 to 59, in which this truth is inculcated over and over again, and all objections answered which the carnal reason and unbelief of man's heart can make against it. All other food, in respect of this, is but "cibi tantummodo umbra et vana imago," as Cameron saith. As natural life, in respect of the spiritual, is but a shadow of life; so the meat that is appointed for the natural life, if compared with the meat of the spiritual life, is but a very image of meat. Christ's flesh is real meat.

2. The blood of Jesus Christ is drink indeed. Blood is here put for the whole person, as flesh was. And it is rather His blood is drink than that He is drink; because the great efficacy of all Christ did lies principally in His blood (Hebrews 9:22). And in the same respects as His flesh is said to be meat indeed, His blood is said to be drink indeed. And those three things which concur to the act of eating His flesh concur also to this act of drinking His blood, the mystical union, saving faith, the ordinances.

(Ralph Robinson.)

1. In the ordinances. These are the conduits. Jesus Christ hath instituted and appointed His ordinances to be the means of carrying His nourishing virtue to the soul. The ordinances are the dishes of gold upon which this heavenly meat is brought. Prayer, reading, preaching, meditation, holy conference, the sacrament; in these Christ presents Himself to the soul. He that forsakes these can expect no feeding from Christ. "In this mountain will the Lord of hosts make a feast of fat things." etc. (Isaiah 25:6). The feast is made in the mountain of God's house, and the ordinances are the dishes on which this meat is set and the knives by which it is carved out to the soul.

2. Saving lively faith. This is the instrument. What the hand and mouth and stomach are in the corporal eating that is faith in this spiritual eating. Faith is the hand that takes this meat, the mouth that eats it, and the stomach that digests it. Yea, faith is as the veins and arteries that do disperse and carry this nourishment to every power of the soul. This is abundantly cleared in this very chapter (ver. 35), "He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; he that believeth in Me shall never thirst." "Cometh" is expounded by "believeth." Eating and drinking are here put for believing. Crede et manducasti. He that believes eats, and he that eats not it is because he believes not; Hic edere est credere.

(Ralph Robinson.)

Dr. Bonar, in his "Memoir of M'Cheyne," says of him: "He seems invariably to have applied for his personal benefit what he gave out to his people. We have already noticed how he used to feed on the Word, not in order to prepare himself for the people, but for personal edification. To do so was a fundamental rule with him; and all pastors will feel that, if they are to prosper in their own souls, they must so use the Word — sternly refusing to admit the idea of feeding others until satiated them- selves. And for similar ends it is needful that we let the truth we hear preached sink down into our own souls. We, as well as our people, must drink in the falling showers. Mr. M'Cheyne did so. It is common to find him speaking thus: "July 31, Sabbath afternoon — on Judas betraying Christ; much more tenderness than ever I felt before. Oh, that I might abide in the bosom of Him who washed Judas' feet, and dipped His hand in the same dish with him, and warned him, and grieved over him — that I might catch the infection of His love, of His tenderness, so wonderful, so unfathomable!'"

(Sword and Trowel.)

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