John 8:46, “Which of you convinceth (convicted, see page 119) Me of sin? (i.e., of the sin of lying) And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?” Often employed as the basis of an appeal to the unregenerate. They are not skeptics. They believe that Christ is the Saviour, and that His gospel is true. Why, then do they not (as they can and should) at once accept offered grace, and believe and be saved. It would be more consistent, it is urged, to give Christ the lie openly, than to believe in His mission and to continue to reject Him.
The text, however, is not addressed by Christ to sinners as sinners, but was spoken to the Jews as Jews. Jesus told them the truth. He would have liberated them from bondage. But they hated Him for His outspokenness, and rejected His Messiahship. Hence the challenge of the text. “Do not content yourselves with vulgar abuse—charging me with being a Samaritan and having a devil—but either prove that I lie, or admit my claims and receive Me.”
Christ, however, did often refer to true Faith. It is not contended that no allusions to a heaven-born and spiritual Faith are to be found in His words, but His manner of referring to this is wholly different from the way in which He demands natural Faith of the Jews as such. He never asks for it as if it were in the power of nature. He expressly says that it is found in none but His sheep (John 10:26). That it is exercised only by those that possess eternal life (John 6:47), and have been taught of the Father (John 6:45). That it is in the power of none who are not drawn by God—i.e., first quickened, and then led on as spiritually living persons to Christ (John 6:44); and that it will certainly be exercised by all that were given in covenant to Him (John 6:37).