If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.…
Suppose a legislator, anxious to deter his subjects from crime, were to threaten confiscation of property. An individual offends and is punished. Suppose the children to tread in the steps of the father, and the legislator to have devised a method without encroaching on the principles of rectitude, by which the forfeited inheritance might be restored on easy terms, what would you think of the children if they despised the blessing and rejected the offer? And yet that was the case with the Jews, and is the case with the sinner. Perhaps you may conclude that you have obeyed this invitation because you are a professor of Christianity, but you have not unless you are a real Christian in heart and conduct.
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH HINDER SOME FROM COMING TO CHRIST.
1. Disbelief in Christ's Divine mission.
(1) But shall a man be condemned because he does not apply for salvation to one in whom he disbelieves? No, but fop disbelieving that God has commissioned that One to be a Saviour.
(2) But shall he be condemned because a certain impression is not produced upon him, and because the evidence is insufficient? Yes, if through his own culpability, which is the case where the gospel is preached in its purity and simplicity.
2. The Pharisees abstained because they were self-righteous — a reason which keeps many away still.
3. Others are deterred by the cares of the world. They have no time for it, and besides industry is a part of religion; they come to church, and what time can be spared should be spent in enjoyment.
4. Others come not because bound by the chains of criminal practice.
5. With some youth is the impediment. I will some day, but there is plenty of time.
6. With others age is the obstacle. It is now too late to change, and the meetness of declining years co-operates with mental repugnance.
II. IS WHAT MANNER. AND WITH WHAT DISPOSITIONS ARE WE TO COME.
1. With a sense of sin, its guilt and power.
2. With a conviction of our own impotence and deservedness of punishment.
3. With a desire to be saved.
4. With a faith in Christ's power and willingness to save.
5. With a determination to be obedient to Christ's commands.
III. PRACTICAL APPLICATION.
1. To sinners. Come at once.
2. To disciples. Show that you have come by fulfilling the duties you owe to Christ.
(T. Gisborne, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.