Here now, the seventh and final installment from A. W. Pink’s Exposition of the Gospel of John:
From what has been said, it will be evident that when God told Moses to make a serpent of brass, fix it upon a pole, and bid the bitten Israelites look on it and they should live, that He was preaching to them the Gospel of His grace. We would now point out seven things which these Israelites were not bidden to do.
7. They were not told to look at their wounds. Some think they need to be more occupied with the work of examining their own wicked hearts in order to promote that degree of repentance which they deem a necessary qualification for salvation. But as well attempt to produce heat by looking at the snow, or light by peering into the darkness, as seek salvation by looking to self for it. To be occupied with myself is only to be taken up with that which God has condemned, and which already has the sentence of death written upon it. But, it may be asked, “Ought I not to have that godly sorrow which worketh repentance before I trust in Christ?” Certainly not. You cannot have a godly sorrow till you are a godly person, and you cannot be a godly person until you have submitted yourself to God and obeyed Him by believing in Christ. Faith is the beginning of all godliness.
It’s always nice to close with some good old-fashioned assurance. Our old man has died, and our sin has been nailed to the tree, in the form of Christ — just like the serpent that Moses lifted up.