For the scripture said, Whoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.…
1. Inasmuch as our text talks of men being saved, it implies that men need saving; but if men had been as God created them, they would have needed no saving. We must not, however, throw the blame on Adam; no man was ever yet damned for Adam's sin alone. Children dying in infancy are, without doubt, saved through the atonement. But we are not children. We need not talk just now of Adam's sins. We have our own to account for.
2. Salvation means our escaping from the punishment of sin, and also from the habit of sin.
3. How may men be saved? The answer is in the text.
I. EXPLANATION. What is meant by calling upon the name of the Lord?
1. Worship. "When men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, then began men to call upon the name of the Lord," i.e., they builded altars in His name, offered sacrifice, bowed their knee, and lifted their voice. Now, whosoever is enabled by grace to worship God, in God's way, shall be saved.
2. Prayer. Elijah, when the prophets of Baal sought to get rain from their false god, said, "I will call upon God," i.e., "I will pray to God, that He may send the rain." Now, whosoever prayeth to God through Christ, with sincere prayer, shall be saved. Thou canst not pray and perish. It may be a groan, a tear, or a prayer in broken English; but if it be a prayer from the inmost heart, thou shalt be saved.
3. Trust. A man cannot call upon the name of the Lord, unless he trusts in that name, and he that trusteth in Christ, calling on His name, shall be saved.
4. Professing His name. Ananias said to Saul, "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling upon the name of the Lord." Now some of you say, "We will believe and be secret Christians." Hear this, then — "If any man be ashamed of Me," etc. What would Her Majesty think of her soldiers, if they should prefer not to wear anything that would mark them as being soldiers?
II. REFUTATION. There are some popular errors which need to be cured by refutation., viz. —
1. That a priest or a minister is absolutely necessary to assist men in salvation. The necessity of a preacher lies in telling what the way of salvation is; but his office goes no further. Neither Paul, nor an angel from heaven, can help you in salvation. We must each of us go to the fountain-head, pleading this promise.
2. That a good dream is a most splendid thing in order to save people. Rowland Hill, when a woman pleaded that she was saved because she dreamed, said, "Well, it is very nice to have good dreams when you are asleep; but I want to see how you act when you are awake; for if your conduct is not consistent in religion when you are awake. I will not give a snap of the finger for your dreams." Some people have been alarmed by dreams; but to trust to them is to trust to a shadow.
3. That a certain kind of feeling must be experienced in order to salvation. Now, the only feeling I want is that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your ecstasies and raptures to yourselves; the only feeling necessary is deep repentance and humble faith; and if you have got that you are saved.
4. That somehow or other salvation is connected with learning. Now, I would advise you to know as much as ever you can; but in regard to going to heaven, the way is so plain, that "the wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein." All you want to know is, the two things that begin with S — Sin and Saviour.
III. EXHORTATION. Believe the message. Does it seem hard to believe? Nothing is too hard for the Most High. I will use a few reasons to induce you to believe this truth. If thou callest on Christ's name thou wilt be saved.
1. Because thou art elect. That doctrine which puzzles many and frightens more, never need do so. If you call on the name of Christ you are elect.
2. Because thou art redeemed. Christ has bought thee, and paid for thee.
3. Because Christ says, "In My Father's house there are many mansions," and there is one there for you.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
WEB: For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed."