FOUND BY JESUS, AND FINDING JESUS Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Why not kneel down, and say, "Dear God, please let me find Jesus by your Holy Spirit; and bring me to know him today as my own Savior!"
I am certain, that Philip realized that he might claim the Messiah for himself.
One of the things that every man, who wants to be saved, must do is to make sure of his right to come and take the Savior.
The question that puzzles many is, "Can I have the Savior?"-“Can a person like me really be saved?”
My dear friends, every sinner in the world is permitted to come and trust in Jesus if he wants to do so.
Jesus told the crowd, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
"But," someone may ask, "Will Jesus have me?"
That is not the question; the question is, "Will you have Jesus?"
He says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
It is you who casts out the Savior, not the Savior who casts you out.
The bolt to the door is on the inside; it is you who have bolted it, and it is you who must undo the bolt, and invite the Savior to enter your heart.
He is willing to come in, and wherever there is a soul that wants him, he comes at once;
Therefore, do not raise any quibbling questions about whether a sinner may come to Christ, or not.
Doesn’t Jesus, himself, ask us to come?
He told us to preach the gospel to every creature, and then He added to our great commission, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Philip accepted Jesus as the Messiah and his Savior.
Someone might ask, "What can I do to find Jesus?"
Well, what you have to do is this, accept him.
If you were sick, and with the doctor, and he says he has just the medicine you need, you would not say, "No thanks, I think I’ll pass on the medicine, and wait to see If I will get better on my own.”
You know very well that you would take the medicine, and you would look on the bottle to see what dosage you’re to take and when to take it.
What you do with medicine is simply take it.
"But I cannot make that medicine work to make me better,” you say.
Who said you could?
All you have to do is to take it.
You have to do the same thing with Jesus; take him, accept him, receive him.
Remember the twelfth verse of this chapter out of which our text is taken: "As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
That is it, you see, receive him, and believe on his name.
"But surely I have to do some good works," you say.
Without a doubt, you will do good works after you have received Jesus; but as for being saved, you are to do no good works, but simply receive Jesus.
"Oh, but I must lead a holy life!” you say.
Yes, and you will lead a holy life after you have received Christ; but in order to lead a holy life you must have a new heart, and to get a new heart, you have to receive Christ.
He will change you, he will restore you, and he will make you a new creature in himself.
What you have to do is to receive him, and to believe on his name.
I hope that I am speaking to someone this evening who understands what I am saying.
But I’m afraid they will not believe, even though I state the truth as plainly as it can be preached.
Did you know that you can hold a candle right against a blind man's eyes, yet he will not see even then?
The Holy Spirit must open your eyes so that you can see what it means to receive Christ, or else you will not understand what you are to do.
You are not to give anything to Christ, but instead, you are to take all you need from him.
You are not to bring anything to Christ, but instead, you are to come to him just as you are, and he will bring to you everything that you need.
Then, when you have accepted him by the simple act of faith, you will say along with Philip, "We have found Jesus."
That’s the way a new believer may describe his experience, and a very good one, too: "We have found Jesus."
II. But now, secondly, what is THE HOLY GHOST'S DESCRIPTION?
I will read to you some of our text again; here it is: "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip."
Jesus finds Philip before Philip finds Jesus; Philip finds Jesus because Jesus has found Philip.
Now, notice, that this verse describes a previous work by Jesus; it came before Philip's own finding.
Jesus went into Galilee to find Philip.
My friends, I recollect very well that, after I had found the Lord, I did not know anything about God’s grace.
I had heard them mention grace during the preaching; but I didn’t understand what it was--I was only nine.
I think at the time I would have been very puzzled about the doctrine of election if anybody had spoken to me about it, which they didn’t.
But I was sitting down, one day, and thinking about what God had done for me.
I knew that my sins were forgiven, and I knew that I was accepted in Christ, and I knew that I had a new heart, and then, in one moment the revelation came to me, "All this is the work of God."
The instant I saw the truth, I said to myself, "Yes, that is a fact, and God should be glorified for it! But why has Jesus done this for me?"
I knew that there was nothing good in me before the Lord had so mercifully saved my soul, so I thought, "This is the result of God’s grace; it can’t be anything else."
Then I understood that God acts on us first and that it is God's will and God's eternal purpose, that we are saved, and therefore He must have the glory for it.
What a revelation it was for me!
I saw that it was all by grace; and I think that anybody who has been brought to find the Savior, and who prayerfully studies the reasons for his salvation, can see the same truth that the Lord revealed to me.
Because first of all, you began to think about God and Jesus more often?
But, who was it that made you so thoughtful?
You would never have found Jesus if you had not become thoughtful, instead of happy-go-lucky and indifferent.
Who made you think about the things of God?
What was the influence that caused you to feel that you must think about eternity, and heaven, and hell?
For sure, it was God the Holy Ghost going forth, in the name of Jesus Christ, and dealing with you in mercy.
Only then, did you have a sense of your need and of your sinfulness.
There was a time when you didn’t feel that way, so who was it that made you aware of such things?
Where do you think that repentance, and that sorrow for sin, and that desire for Jesus, came from?
Did all of that grow out of your own fallen human nature?
No; believe me when I say, it was Jesus who sowed the good seed in your heart, and he was the One who made you feel your need for Him.
Next, when you read the Bible, you understood it.
You understood that Jesus was the only Savior; you saw that He was able to meet your needs, and you understood the plan of salvation.
Who made you understand it?
I know that it is simple enough for a child to understand; but no one ever does understand spiritual things except by the action of the Spirit of God.
It was the Holy Spirit who gave you the spiritual power by which you were able to grasp the simple truth concerning the way of salvation.
Then you began to pray.
I have already spoken about that.
But who taught you to pray?
And why did you begin to cry and ask, "God be merciful to me, I know I am a sinner!"
You could feel the groaning of your spirit, and the anguish in your heart, as you cried to God!
Who gave you that anguish?
Who broke you all to pieces, and made every broken bone cry out for mercy?
Who could it be but Jesus who did such a mightily work in your soul by the power of the Holy Spirit?
And when you yielded yourself to Christ, and when you believed in Jesus, and found salvation, where did that faith come from?
Isn’t it always the work of the Spirit of God?
Isn’t faith the gift of God, and wasn’t it in your case?
Once, when I was a little child, I thought I saw a needle moving across the checker board; and I should have been wondering who made the needle move like it did.
But I was old enough to understand that somebody was moving a magnet underneath the board, and the needle was following the magnet which I couldn’t see.
In the same way the Lord, with his mighty magnet of grace, is often at work in the hearts of men, but we think that their desire for God, and their faith in Jesus, comes entirely from them.
In a sense, the desire and the faith are their own; but there is a divine force that is at work upon them, producing these results.
It is Jesus finding Philip, though Philip does not know it.
Philip thinks that he is finding Jesus, but behind the veil, it is Jesus finding Philip.
My friends, I think this was a very delightful work for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice how it is put: "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip."