Sweet Drops 6: Weak but His

By Richard Sibbes

Let us assure ourselves that God’s grace, even in this imperfect state, is stronger than man’s free will in the state of original perfection.[Adam] It is founded now in Christ, who, as he is the author, so he will finish, [or complete] our faith (Heb.12:2). We are under a more gracious covenant.

What some say of rooted faith,” fides radicata, that it continues, while weak faith may come to nothing” seems to be contradicted by this Scripture; for, as the strongest faith may be shaken, so the weakest, where truth is, is so far rooted that it will prevail.

Weakness with watchfulness will stand, when strength with too much confidence fails.  Weakness with acknowledgement of it, is the best place and thing for God to perfect his strength in; for consciousness of our weaknesses drive us out of ourselves to him in whom our strength lies.

From this it follows that weakness may be consistent with assurance of salvation.  The disciples, even with all their weaknesses, are bidden to rejoice that there names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).  Failings, with struggle, in growing in holiness should not weaken the peace of our being justification and assurance of salvation.  It doesn’t matter as much what weakness is in us, as what good; but how we think of them; not what our particular failings are so much as what is the thread and tenor of our lives, for Christ’s dislike for the things that are amiss in us turns not to hatred of us, our persons but to the victorious conquering of all our infirmities[weaknesses].

Some have, after struggles, wondered at the goodness of God that so little and such trembling faith should have upheld them in so great combats, when Satan had almost caught them.

And, indeed, it is to be wondered at, how much a little grace will prevail with God for acceptance, and over our enemies for victory, if the heart is upright.

such is the goodness of our sweet Savior that he delights still to show his strength in our weaknesses.

 


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, kindle, Loc. 1884, [Language modernized in places by this site [] ours.


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 6

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Manton’s Merciful Appeals

By Thomas Manton

For the other sort, who are kept from coming to trust Christ by their own fears, they are likely to say things like,

“It is true there is mercy in Christ for sinners, but Christ has not callrd me personally.”

– My brothers, what are you looking for? An audible voice to speak to you, You John, You Thomas, etc.? In the the tenderness of the gospel you are included as well as others, and why will you exclude yourselves? If God says sinners, you should reply, “I am the greatest sinner”.

“I remember it said, in John 10:3, Christ calls hi sheep by name, and leads them forth. How does Christ call them by name?”

-By speaking particularly to their case, as if he tapped them on the shoulder, and said; “Here is comfort for you.” As at a feast, when there is a dish that we set on the table , though all are free to take from it, yet we say, Here is a dish for me.”  So you should apply yourselves and take your own portion;  though it be put forward to everyone, when God directs his messengers to speak particularly to your case, that is all the calling by name you need, since prophesies are ceased, so you should say, This dish was provided for my hungry conscience, intended for me,..But they will reply,

“Sure there is no mercy for me, I am so unworthy.”

-I answer—The invitation does not look for worth, but thirst: Rev.22:17, “Let him that is thirsty come, and whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely.” You are not worthy, but you are thirsty, or else why are you groaning as you are?

-And by the way take notice of the pride that is in legal dejection.[disqualifying yourself through the law]

Men unwilling to come to Christ; would like to be worthy before they come to him; and therefore the apostle says: “For being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they didn’t subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Rom 10:3. A proud man would attempt to establish a righteousness in himself, and is reluctant to low themselves to take all from another;…

-The more the need to come to Christ; he came to call sinners. Matt.9:13. It doesn’t’ matter what you have been, but what you could be; Christ does not call us because we are holy but that we may become holy. Is it rational to say, “I am too poor to take charity, I am too dirty to take a shower?

But they have refused so many call already, and scorned God’s counsel.

-Wisdom calls scorners, Prov.1:22. “Turn you scorners; how long will you delight in scorning?” It is a mercy that you have been able to hear one more call; don’t increase your guilt that you complain about.

But I don’t know how to come to Christ.

-The blind and the lame are invited to the wedding, Matt.22, and wisdom calls fools, Prov.9:4, “Whosoever is simple”. The stray lamb is brought home on the shepherd’s shoulders, Luke 15.  Oh, that these words might be spirit and life to you!

 


Excerpt from Jude: A Practical Commentary, kindle, Loc. 238,  Common Domain, Language slightly modernized in places by this site.

Christian Love 3

By Hugh Binning


Unity in judgment is very important for the wellbeing of Christians. But Christ’s last words persuade this, that unity in love is more essential and central. [to his will]  This is the badge [or evidence] he left to his disciples.  If we cast away this unity of love because of every different understanding and opinion of mind, we disown our master, and disclaim his own given badge. [or evidence]

The apostle Paul gives a high note of commendation on love, when he speaks of it as the bond of perfection. “Above all these things”  He says, “walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.” I am sure it doesn’t have such a high place in the minds and practice of Christians now, as has in the roll of the members of the new man spoken of here.  Here it is above all.  With us it is below all, even below every understanding of doubtful truths.  An agreement in the in the formation of an idea of truth in any poor petty controversial matter of the present times, is made the badge [or evidence]  of being a true Christian, and set in the highest place above all which the apostle mentions, in the 12th verse, “a heart of compassion[or mercies], kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance.” [or longsuffering]  No, love itself is but a waiting handmaid to this mistress.

But let is consider the significance of character the apostle puts on love. It is a bond of perfection, as it were, a bundle of graces, and chain of virtues, even the very cream and flower of many graces combined.  It is the sweet result of the united force of all graces.  It is the very head and heart of the new man, which we are invited to walk in, “ above all walk in love.”  All these fore-mentioned perfections are bound and tied together, by the girdle of kind-heartedness and love.  When love is born and brought forth, it may be said Gad, for a troop comes, chorus virtutum, “a troop or company of virtues” which it leads and commands.  Love has a tender heart, for it has a “heart of mercies,” –such a compassionate and melting temper of spirit, that the misery and hardship, whether of body or spiritual, of other men, makes an impression on it.  And therefore love is the Christian sympathy which affects itself with others’ afflictions.  If others be moved, it moves itself through comfort and sympathy.  This is not only extended to physical weaknesses, sicknesses and disabilities but, most of all to weaknesses and illnesses of mind and heart, error, ignorance, darkness, falling into and giving into temptation to sin.  We are made the priest to God our Father, [as Christ’s body] (Rev.1:6) to have compassion on those who are unknowledgeable of the way of salvation, We also ourselves are beset with weakness,(Heb.5:2)  Then, love has a humble mind, “humbleness of mind,” or else it could not stoop and show love and acceptance to others seen by most as inferior, and therefore Christ exhorts above all to lowliness.  “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.”

 


Excerpt from: The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning, Kindle edition.  A Treatise of Christian Love, Ch.2 , Loc. 16395  [Language slightly modernized in places,[ ] editors]


Christian Love 4

Christian Love 2

Excepts of Mercy