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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Sweet Drops 4: Deformed Yet His

By Richard Sibbes

Since Christ is set before us, let us not believe Satan’s representations of him. When we are troubled in conscience for our sins, Satan’s manner is to present Christ to the afflicted soul as a most severe judge armed with justice against us.  But then let us present him to our souls as offered to our view by God himself, holding out a scepter of mercy, and spreading his arms to receive us.

When we think of Joseph, Daniel, John the Evangelist, we frame conceptions of them with delight, as of mild and sweet persons. Much more when we think of Christ, we should conceive of him as a mirror of all meekness.  If the sweetness of all flowers were in one, how sweet must that flower be?  In Christ all perfections of mercy and love meet.  How great must that mercy be that lodges in so gracious a heart?  Whatever tenderness is scattered in husband, father, brother, head, all is but a beam from him; it is in him in the most eminent manner.  We are weak, but we are his; we are deformed, but yet carry his image upon us.  A father looks not so much at the blemishes of his child as at his own nature in him; so Christ finds matter of love from that which is his in us.  He sees his own nature in us: we are diseased but yet a part of his body.  Who has ever neglected his own body because parts were sick or weak?  None ever hated his own flesh.  Can the head forget the body?  Can Christ forget himself? We are his fullness, as he is ours.  He was love itself clothed with man’s nature, which he united so near to himself, that he might communicate his goodness more freely to us.  And he didn’t take our nature when it was at it best, but when it was abased, with all the natural and common infirmities it was subject to.

Let us then, hate all suspicious thoughts, as either cast in or cherished by that damned spirit who, as he labored to divide between the Father and the Son by jealousies, by saying, “If you are the Son of God” (Matt. 4:6), so his daily study is to divide between the Son and us by breeding false opinions in us of Christ, as if there were not such tender love in him to such as we are. It was Satan’s art from the beginning to discredit God with man, by calling God’s love into question with our first father Adam.  His success then him ready to use that weapon still.

 


Excerpt from-Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle, Loc. 1497, Common Domain, Language modernized slightly in places by this site.


Excepts of Mercy

Sweet Drops: This is 4

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Excerpts of Mercy

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Richard Baxter

The Conviction of Sin

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Hugh Binning

Christ’s Righteousness

Christian Love:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10          11           12

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John Bunyan

Merciful Appeal to Sinners

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R.C. Chapman

Meditations on the Song of Solomon:

1:1           1:4          1:5          1:6          1:7           1:8-1/2 —2/2          1:9             1:16

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Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 1

Thomas Manton’s Merciful Appeals

John Newton “Benefit of Affliction”

John Newton “Those mistakes, blemishes and faults in others”

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Richard SibbesSweet Drops:

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9

Life of Faith:

1           2          3

 

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