C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
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38. The Sinner's Surrender To His Preserver.

I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? - Job 7:20.

Job could defend himself before men, but he used another tone when bowing before the Lord: there he cried,"I have sinned." The words would suit any afflicted saint; for, indeed, they were uttered by such an one; but they may also be used by the penitent sinner, and we will on this occasion direct them to that use.

1. A CONFESSION. "I have sinned."

In words this is no more than a hypocrite, nay, a Judas, might say. Do not many call themselves "miserable sinners" who are indeed despicable mockers? Yet seeing Job's heart was right his confession was accepted.

1. It was very brief, but yet very full. It was more full in its generality than if he had descended to particulars. We may use it as a summary of our life: "I have sinned." What else is certain in my whole career? This is most sure and undeniable.

2. It was personal. I have sinned, whatever others may have done.

3. It was to the Lord. He addresses the confession not to his fellowman but to the Preserver of men.

4. It was a confession wrought by the Spirit. See verse 18, where he ascribes his grief to the visitation of God.

5. It was sincere. No complimentary talk, or matter of ritualistic form, or passing acknowledgment. His heart cried,"I have sinned;" and he meant it.

6. It was feeling. He was cut to the quick by it. Read the whole chapter. This one fact, "I have sinned;' is enough to brand the soul with the mark of Cain, and burn it with the flames of hell.

7. It was a believing confession. Mingled with much unbelief Job still had faith in God's power to pardon. An unbelieving confession may increase sin.

II. AN INQUIRY. "What shall I do unto thee?"

In this question we see,

1. His willingness to do anything, whatever the Lord might demand, thus proving his earnestness.

2. His bewilderment: he could not tell what to offer, or where to turn; yet something must be done.

3. His surrender at discretion. He makes no conditions, he only begs to know the Lord's terms.

4. The inquiry may be answered negatively.

o What can I do to escape thee? Thou art all around me.

o Can past obedience atone? Alas! As I look back I am unable to find anything in my life but sin.

o Can I bring a sacrifice? Would grief, fasting, long prayers, ceremonies, or self-denial avail? I know they would not.

5. It may be answered evangelically:

o Confess the sin."If we confess our sins," etc.

o Renounce it. By his grace we can"cease to do evil and learn to do well."

o Obey the message of peace: believe in the Lord Jesus and live.

III. A TITLE. "O thou preserver of men!"

Observer of men, therefore aware of my case, my misery, my confession, my desire for pardon, my utter helplessness.

Preserver of men.

By his infinite long-suffering refraining from punishment.

By daily bounties of supply, keeping the ungrateful alive.

By the plan of salvation, delivering men from going down into the pit, snatching the brands from the burning.

By daily grace, preventing the backsliding and apostasy of believers. We must view the way and character of God in Christ if we would find comfort; and from his gracious habit of preserving men we infer that he will preserve us, guilty though we be. Address upon the point in hand,

The impenitent, urging them to confession.

The unconcerned, moving them to enquire,"What must we do to be saved?"

The ungrateful, exhibiting the preserving goodness of God as a motive for love to him.

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