Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. - Isaiah 45:22 NASB
As we continue to move along through selected sermons of Charles Spurgeon, we come upon yet again another under the Sovereignty And Salvation section. This particular sermon Spurgeon is addressing the fact that God is the only God, and he is preaching this truth out of Isaiah 45:22.
"Turn to Me and be saved," God says to all of us! Spurgeon notes that, "Salvation is God's greatest work;" and also, "that he is God, and that beside him there is none else" (Spurgeon, 2004. Vol. 1. 13).
Salvation is God's greatest work especially when you come to understand that the whole creative work of God had the salvation of His people in mind. Without the salvation of His peculiar people, there is no need for any creative work to begin with.
Spurgeon's outline in this sermon consists of 3 distinctives, the first of which I will deal with in this post. The first is as follows: To whom does God tell us to look for salvation? (13)
Spurgeon begins this section with the following quote:
O, does it not lower the pride of man, when we hear the Lord say, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth?" It is not, "Look to your priest, and be ye saved:" if you did, there would be another god, and beside him there would be some one else. It is not, "Look to yourself;" if so, then there would be a being who might arrogate some of the praise of salvation. But it is, "Look unto me" (13).
I love the way Spurgeon articulates the main point of this verse in Isaiah. He is absolutely right especially when he points out that if salvation was of another person or a priest then there would be another god. However, as Isaiah points out many times, not just in chapter 45, there is only One true God.
This truly poses a problem for man in that he is always attempting to find salvation in himself or in something other than God. In fact, I think man would be happy in finding salvation in literally anything other than Almighty God.
Spurgeon goes on to reinforce his point when he states, "As long as you look to yourself there is no hope for you" (14). He is 100% correct in this statement. Salvation, true biblical salvation is of God, and is by grace through faith. There is nothing we can bring to the table or produce that will merit our salvation. So it is true when Spurgeon says it that we will remain hopeless as long as we attempt to find salvation in anything other than the One true God.
Looking to God and having faith in God based on what He has revealed about Himself is the way of salvation, and God has revealed Himself fully and perfectly in His Son, Jesus Christ. The cross of Calvary upon which Jesus died is the one and only sacrifice that God has accepted as full payment for sin for those who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and God proved it when He raised His Son Jesus from the dead.
Charles Spurgeon wraps up this section with a great quote detailing the ultimate error in man's thinking as it pertains to God, and salvation, and righteousness.
O! there be men that quite misunderstand the gospel; they think that righteousness qualifies them to come to Christ; whereas sin is the only qualification for a man to come to Jesus (14).
The only requirement in order to be qualified to come to God is to be a sinner, and the good news in that regard is that we are all sinners. The one thing that each and every single person who has ever lived has in common is that we are all sinners, and because of this sin, we deserve the condemnation that we are born under, and will remain under until we place our faith in Christ.
We must come to God and to His Son on His terms. Anyone who hopes to produce enough righteousness in order to come to Christ and stand before Him justified on his own terms is greatly deceived; for he is hopeless. However, the one who recognizes that he is a sinner, and comes to God on those terms, and looks unto God, the true Author of salvation, has a hope that only God Himself can produce in an unworthy sinner.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. Spurgeon's Sermons. Volumes 1-2. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Baker Books. 2004.