Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleBelieve Ye That I Am Able To Do This?
Bible TextMatthew 9:27-30
Synopsis With the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Listen.
Series Sincere Questions
Article Type Sermon Notes
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc
Audio HI-FI Listen: Believe Ye That I Am Able To Do This? (32 kbps)
Audio CD Quality Listen: Believe Ye That I Am Able To Do This? (128 kbps)
Length 46 min.

Series: Questions

Title: Believe Ye That I Am Able to Do This?

Text: Matthew 9: 27-30

Date: July 10, 2014

Place: SGBC, New Jersey


Here is another question God asked to sinners.  God our Savior asked two blind men, “Believe ye that I am able to do this?”


Proposition: With the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


I. FIRST, THE BLIND MEN—The actions of these men is worthy of imitation by all who would be saved from our sins, even for the believer seeking Christ to save us from trial or obstacle or any temporal or spiritual thing.


The Followed Christ


First, notice, they came to Christ himself—Matthew 9: 27: And when Jesus departed thence two blind men followed him. Before this, Christ had been to a well-known person’s house where he healed a woman.  Verse 26 says, “And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. 27: And when Jesus departed thence two blind men followed him.”


Christ had come near to these men and caused them to hear what Christ had done and was able to do. 


Romans 10: 17: Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.


It is God alone who gives spiritual life and faith and repentance.  It is God alone who draws his people to Christ. God gives life and faith through the hearing of the faithfulness of Christ. If you can come to Christ it will be because Christ has first come to you. He must receive all the glory! Now, Christ has come near to each one here with the gospel. Each of us has heard the good news. Now, will you do as these men did and come to Christ, believing he is able to meet your need? 


They Came Crying


Secondly, notice how they came to Christ—v27:…followed him, crying.  “Crying” means they came to Christ in earnest, humbly pleading with Christ, begging with sincere, urgent desire for Christ. 


These men knew they had a desperate need that only Christ could meet. Sinner, do you realize you have a need? Spiritual blindness and sin and judgment and eternity are things to take seriously. You will die and meet God in judgment. God will, by no means, clear the guilty.  You will face eternity somewhere. These are not small matters, not things to wink at, not things to put out of your mind or be indifferent about. These are things to be in earnest about! Are you? These men proved it by letting nothing stop them from getting to Christ.


Matthew 11:12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.


They Came Perseveringly


Notice, also, they came perseveringly—v28: And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him. Put yourself in their shoes. These men were in total darkness.  To follow Christ they had to diligently listen to his footsteps, stay close to him. Even when he entered the house, they came in where he was.  They did so because they hungered and thirsted after Christ because only he could meet their need.


Sinner, has God given you this hunger and thirst for Christ? Christ is the only one who can present you to God without fault and without blame?  There is no other way we can come to God but through faith in Christ! Diligently seek Christ now!


They Honored Christ


Also, notice these men’s petition—v27: Thou Son of David. They honored Christ. They confessed Jesus to be God’s promised Messiah, the true King who shall save his people from our sins.


Those who truly come to Christ come honoring Christ. Honoring him as the Head and Representative of all God’s elect; honoring him as the only one who fulfilled the law on our behalf; honoring him for laying down his life in our room and stead; honoring him for faithfully calling us and quickening us; honoring him for keeping us and providing all that we need in this life; honoring him for being all our salvation in every way.

When the heart is persuaded that Christ is All then there will be much honor given to Christ.


They Sought Mercy


Also, in their petition notice they sought mercy—v27: have mercy on us. Where God has created a new heart there will be no more vain ideas that we deserve anything from God—we don’t!  We come as condemned criminals appealing to our sovereign Judge for pardon which only he can give because he satifisfied his own justice for his people. We come like beggars in the street, who have nothing and need all to be given us by his free mercy.


So we see how these men sought Christ: these men followed Christ himself, they came earnestly, perseveringly, honoring Christ, asking mercy at his hand.


Illustration: Thirsty—the wedding. No water. My mom put out water. Folks nearly knocked her down getting to the water. That is how true, God-given faith seeks Christ.


II. SECONDLY, THE QUESTION—V28: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? 


The Necessity of Faith


The first part of the question concerns their faith—Believe YE.  Does it seem odd to you that after the way these men came to Christ, crying for mercy, that Christ would ask them this question? Why did he? Here are three reasons. One, a sinner outwardly can do a lot of things which appear like genuine faith.  But the important thing is: in your HEART do you believe Christ is able to do this?  Also, Christ knows the heart; but he will have YOU to confess your heart to him.  Third reason is, it is not a question of whether others close to you believe—do YOU believe on Christ?


God-given heart-faith in Christ is essential to salvation.


Hebrews 3:18: And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19: So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief….4:2: For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it….6: Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7:…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts….11: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief


Christ himself said,


Mark 16:16: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.


John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


Those are the words of the Savior himself.  Will we reject the word of Christ himself?  Faith in Christ is essential to salvation.


 Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Let’s look to Abraham so see if faith is essential to salvation and why. Here was a guilty sinner who never had the law of God given on Mt. Sinai, who was 100 years old, whose wife was beyond the age of child bearing.  Yet, God promised Abraham he would be an heir of righteousness and the father of all who believe.  God promised Sarah would have a child at the appointed time and through Isaac the Messiah would be born. God promised in Christ, Abraham and all the elect of God out of every nation, would be saved through faith in Christ. God gave Abraham faith and he saw Christ’s day and Abraham believed God. Why was Abraham’s faith so essential?


Romans 4: 13: For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14: For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:


That is why faith is essential: if a man is made an heir by his law-keeping then faith is made void, God’s promise in Christ is no longer effectual, then Christ is dead in vain.


Romans 4: 16: Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to ALL the seed.


That is why faith is a necessity: that it might be by grace, that God’s salvation might be sure to all God’s elect.


Romans 4: 16: not to that only which is of the law


The elect Jews where the only ones who were under the law given at Mt. Sinai.


Romans 4: 16:…but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham;


The elect Gentiles, as was Abraham, were never under the law of Mt. Sinai.  Salvation cannot be by the law, because Gentiles never were under the law. But through faith all God’s elect—Jew and Gentile—shall be saved.  Therefore Abraham, as God promised…


Romans 4: 16: who is the father of us all, 17: (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18: Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.


That is what faith does: faith believes the word of God. Faith considers nothing else, no matter how it may appear to be contrary to the promise of God.


Romans 4: 19: And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;


There is another reason faith is necessary: faith gives all the glory to God. Now here is the definition of faith:


Romans 4: 21: And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22: And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.


Now, sinner, hear what God says next.  Why did he show us the necessity of faith? Why did God show us how Abraham was made righteous through faith in Christ?  Here is why:


Romans 4: 23: Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.


Illust: When the telegraph was first invented, men laid a cable in the Atlantic Ocean between the US and England.  Through that cable men on one side could communicate with men on the other side.  Faith is like that capable.  Faith is the gift given by God to those he has regenerated—(Ephesians 2: 8-9) By faith we are linked to Christ from whom we receive all blessings God has to give his people. For these reasons, faith in Christ—you believing on Christ—is essential.


The Object of Faith is Christ


The next part of the question concerns the object of true faith—Mt 9: 28: Believe ye that I AM ABLE…? 


With a confession that Christ is able is the confession that “the sinner is not able.” Due to man’s pride and ignorance, due to most being brought up to believe this, most believe that in addition to faith, salvation is by man’s works, ceremonies, church activities, etc. Most are taught part law, part grace, that Christ is there to make up for where they fail.


Salvation must be all of grace, all of Christ, all through faith in Christ because we have no ability to give ourselves spiritual life, no ability to give ourselves faith and repentance, no ability to purge our sins and make ourselves the righteousness of God, no ability to persevere in faith, no ability take our next breath or bat our eye. We have no ability to provide one thing—spiritual or temporal—except God give it


John 6:63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.


Until God teach us effectually in our heart, sinners go about claiming to believe on Christ while trying to establish their own righteousness, trying to ascend up to heaven or descend into the deep, going great distances and making great sacrifices. Men think they must have some great experience in the heights or in the depths before they can believe on Christ.

Romans 10: 6: But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7: Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  


That is what sinners do by their works, by looking for some great experience.


Romans 10: 8: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


Christ asked these men only one question: Believe ye that I AM ABLE to do this? Sinner, believe ye that Jesus Christ is able: able to be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God on behalf of his people—on your behalf?; able to be a perfect righteousness for his people—for you?; able to cleanse all the sins of all his people by himself—your sins?; able to satisfy God and perfect forever his people by his one offering on the cross—even you; able to sanctify, yea, that Christ in you is that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord?—that he is your sanctification?; able to keep that which ye commit unto him until the day he brings you home?; able to provide all your need in this life seeing as how he already gave his own life for his people? To believe that God hath raised him from the dead is to believe that Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher of faith, my only acceptance with God and that I am complete in him, apart from any works that I have done.


Faith Believes Christ is Able to Do All Things Necessary for our Salvation


Then there was a very pointed aspect of Christ question: V28: Believe ye that I am able TO DO THIS?


It was not enough to say, “Do you believe.”  Folks have faith—“Gotta have faith.” Folks believe there is a God, the devils do too and tremble. Folks believe that historically there was a man named Jesus. But that is not true, saving faith. So it was not enough to merely say, “Believe ye.”


Nor was it not enough to say, “Believe ye that I am able.”  Many believe Christ is able to do a lot of things who do not believe Christ is sovereign in every aspect of salvation.  So it was not even enough to ask, “Believe ye that Christ is able.”


These men had a specific need so Christ asks them specifically, “Believe ye that I am able TO DO THIS?” It is when you get specific in the various points of salvation that a sinner manifests whether he really believes Christ or not!  Do you believe God is able to choose whom he will and pass by whom he will that salvation might be by grace and not of works? Do you believe Christ is able to give spiritual life apart from any work done by us? Do you believe Christ is able to fulfill all the law, apart from us? Do you beliee Christ is able to make us holy by being formed in us so that we are meet for heaven apart from any work done by us?


Believer, this applies to us in temporal things as well as spiritual. For example, you have some sin which troubles you, you need Christ to give you repentance and strength to turn from it—“Believe ye that Christ is able TO DO THIS?”


For example, you are with a group of friends who are doing things not honoring to Christ.  You need Christ to strengthen you so can stand for him and adorn the doctrine of Christ—“Believe ye Christ is able TO DO THIS?” 


When we get ready for a new building, we will need what I have been trusting Christ to do from day one—for Christ to provide his people with income, faith and generous hearts--“Believe ye Christ is able TO DO THIS?” I tell you he is able!


Only Faith Sees Christ’s Glory


We must believe on Christ for every specific aspect of salvation and for every specific aspect of our lives. When we believe Christ is able to meet each specific need then we behold Christ meeting each specific need. But when we do not believe, we do not get to see Christ’s glory in meeting that need.


For example, the sinner who does not believe that Christ is his righteousness, who looks to his so-called law-keeping in addition to his so-called faith—does not behold “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all who believe.”


For example, at the edge of Canaan, those who would not believe Christ was able to deliver them, died in the wilderness never beholding Christ’s ability to do it. But Caleb and Joshua did!


If these two blind men had not believed Christ was able specifically to give them sight they would have remained blind.


When Christ was among his own countrymen,


Matthew 13: 58: And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.


Mark 6: 5: And he could there do no mighty work,…


Be sure to understand: It is not that Christ cannot do as he pleases.  But Christ will not manifest his glory in his ability unto us until he makes us give him all the glory by giving us faith in him. 


So Christ gave these blind men the faith to believe that Christ was able to do this. Christ had already given them something far greater within—spiritual life and spiritual sight and faith in him.  Christ is now simply bringing them to confess what he has already worked in them. Likewise, Christ works faith in his children then he draws the confession of faith out of us. And because true faith gives him the glory, saying, “yes Lord” therefore true faith sees the glory of God in Christ Jesus.


John 11: 40: Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?


III. SO LASTLY, IT WAS BECAUSE CHRIST FIRST GAVE THEM THE FAITH TO BELIEVE THAT CHRIST WAS INDEED ABLE TO GIVE THEM PHYSICAL SIGHT, THAT THEY GAVE THIS ANSWER—V28:…They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29: Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30: And their eyes were opened;


For the true believer that which Christ works in us outwardly is the result of what Christ has worked in us inwardly. Faith in Christ’s sovereign ability to do this was in their heart—so with the mouth they made confession, “Yea, Lord.” So what Christ did outwardly for them was according to what Christ had already done inwardly for them—“according to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened.”


When God teaches us that we need Christ to perform every specific aspect of our salvation, God gives us faith to believe Christ is able to perform every specific aspect of our salvation. Most of which Christ has already done for us by the time he brings us to confess we believe he is able to do this.

Sinner, you need Christ to perform every specific point of salvation for you, “Do you believe Christ is able to do this?” If you do, he has already done it.  Then Christ speaks into the heart of faith saying, “According to your faith, be it unto you.” And you are saved.


Sinner, you need Christ to make you alive. “Believe ye that Christ is able TO DO THIS?” If you do, he has already done it. He speaks into the heart of faith saying, According to your faith, be it unto you. And you are alive.


Sinner, you need Christ to make you a new creation in righteousness and holiness. “Believe ye that Christ is able TO DO THIS?” If so, he has already done it. Then Christ speaks into the heart he has made new saying, “According to your faith, be it unto you.” And you are righteous and holy in Christ because Christ has been formed in you.


Sinner, you need Christ to make you willing in the day of his power. “Believe ye that Christ is able TO DO THIS?” If so, he has already done it. Then Christ speaks into your heart saying, “According to your faith, be it unto you.” Then you find yourself willing because Christ has made you willing.


God-given faith believes in the heart and confesses with the mouth, “Yes, Lord, I believe you are able to make me the righteousness of God in you and save me from my sins.”  Then Christ says, “According to your faith, be it unto you.” Then Christ gives you rejoicing to know you have been made the righteousness of God in him because Christ has already done the work both for you and in you.


Now here is the question to go home with.  Whether you are a sinner just coming to Christ or whether you are believer facing some need that only Christ can meet: