Life of Faith 8: He Justifies Us Daily

By Richard Sibbes

As we sin daily, so Zech.13.1, “There is a fountain daily running, to wash away sin and uncleanness.” Therefore for our daily sinning, we must continually run and bathe our souls in this blood, apply the comforts of his sufferings, intercession, and obedience unto us.  St. John teaches us this much; He says, “If any man sin, we have as advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world,”  1st John 2.1.  If we sin daily, he justifies the sinner daily:  He came to save sinners: therefore, when sin stirs us up to run from God, we should run to him.  Faith says, “There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8.1.  Why?

My sin was condemned in Christ, and a condemned person has no voice.  Christ came to destroy sin, and condemned sin in the flesh.  Our sins were crucified with him, and are now all condemned sins, if we will go to Christ, who has borne all our iniquities, as the prophet Isaiah excellently shows.  Therefore St. Paul triumphantly demands the question, “Who will lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God who justifies, who is he that condemns?  “It is Christ who died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall then separate us from the love of Christ?  Romans 8.38,31. 

So in our daily sins you see we have use of these things, to have, upon our confession, a daily pardon of course taken out everyday.  Thus God would not have us sink.  So long as there is matter of guilt in us, God will have a way to cleanse our souls, and renew our comforts.  Everyday we run into new debts, and everyday in the Lord’s prayer we are taught to ask pardon, and to run to God, to have the book crossed out with his blood.

Every day a Christian must eye the brazen serpent, I mean the Lord Jesus, signified thereby; he must sprinkle his heart with the blood if Christ, that the destroying angel may pass him in the day of wrath, as the Israelites then did.

This is it to live by faith; every day to sue out our pardon; to look to our advocate and surety, who has paid our debts, and cancelled that obligation against us, contrary to us, as the apostle speaks, daily to wash in that ever-running fountain. “Christ is a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec,” Ps.  110.4.  Though the act be past, he remains the same still.  What puts down our courage, strikes us with terror and fear, but our sins?  Oh but why is this brazen serpent lifted, but to wash away our daily frailties and failings,so as whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life? John 3.14-15. 

Christian Love 17: If God so Loved Us

By Hugh Binning

I may briefly reduce the chief persuading motive to this so needed an so yearned for grace into three or four heads.  All things within and without persuade to it, but especially the right consideration of the love of God in Christ, the wise and the impartial reflection on ourselves, the consideration of our brethren whom we are commanded to love, and the thorough inspection into the nature and use of the grace itself.

In consideration of the first, as soul might argue itself into a complacency with it and thus persuade itself, “He who doesn’t love, doesn’t know God, for God is love,” 1st John 4:8.  And since he who has known and believed the love that God has for us, must certainly dwell in love, since these two have such a strait unbreakable connection, then, as I would not declare to all my atheism and my ignorance of God, I will study to love my brethren.  And that I may love them, I will give myself to the search of God’s love, which is the place, locus inventionis, then I may find out the strongest and most effective way to persuade my mind, and to compel my heart to Christian affection.

First then, when I consider that so glorious and great a Majesty, so high and holy an One, self sufficient and all sufficient, who needs not go abroad to seek delight, because all happiness and delight is enclosed within his own bosom, can yet love a creature, yes and even be reconciled to so sinful a creature, which he might crush as easily as speak a word, that he can place his delight on so unworthy and base an object, O! how much more should I a poor and very bad creature, love my fellow creature, often times better than myself, and for the most part, not much worse?

There is an infinite distance and disproportion between God and man, yet he came over all to love man.  What difficulty should I have then to place my affection on my equal at worst, and often better?  There cannot be any proportional distance between the highest and lowest, between the richest and poorest, between the most wise and the most ignorant, between the most gracious and the most ungodly, as there is between the infinite God and a finite angel.  Should the mutual infirmities and failings of Christians, be an insuperable and impassable gulf, as between heaven and hell, that none can pass over by a bridge of love to either? “If God so loved us,” should not we love one another?  1st John 4:11.  And besides, when I consider that God has not loved me only, but my brethren who were worthy of hatred, with an everlasting love, and passed over all that was in them, and has spread his robe over their nakedness, and made it a time of love, which was a time of hating, how can I withhold my affection where God has bestowed his?  Are they not infinitely more unworthy of his than mine?  That my love come together with God’s on the same persons, is it not enough?

 


This common domain work modernized in few places by this site.

R.C. Chapman’s S.O.S. 1:13

“A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me: He shall lie all night betwixt my breast.” —Song of Solomon 1:13

My Soul! Is the night season wearisome! Art thou like a sick man, full of tossings to and fro, because of sin that dwelleth in thee, and because of longing to behold thy Lord face to face?

Thou art not of the night nor of darkness, but of the children of light and of the day; and made meet to be partaker of their inheritance. Be content awhile, my soul—let thy longing be tempered with patience—remember that wert thou this moment with Jesus thou wouldest still be longing for His glorious appearing and the gathering of the Church, His brethren and thine unto Him! The darkness of guilt would indeed be utterly removed from thee didst thou quit thou house of clay; but the mystery of God would not be finished—thou wouldest still be looking for the manifestation of the sons of God, their appearing with the Lord in glory.

He knoweth the thoughts of His heart towards thee, and means thee nothing but kindness—the kindness of eternal love and wisdom infinite! Trust Him, then—fight the good fight of faith, and count not thy life dear to thee, if only Thou mayest finish thy course with joy—be jealous of thy Lord’s good name—grieve not His Spirit—keep thy heart and conscience clean and pure by the blood of sprinkling, and as thou dost daily listen to the voice of thy beloved Lord, and do His will, He will surely make thy heart glad with His words.

He will abide in thee and cause thee to abide in His love; if He prove thee with manifold temptations for a season, as thou needest, He will cause thee to rejoice and glory in infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon thee. Nor shall thy joy be carnal, of thy boasting presumptuous! For thy shout of triumph shall proceed from a humble, contrite spirit, and the steadfastness of faith.  Thou shalt worship within the vail with Jesus, thy Forerunner and Royal High Priest; and, holding the balances of faith, shalt call afflictions light, because thou dost weigh them against things eternal and unseen: so shall thou cheer thy heart and beguile the night watches, thy Lord giving thee songs in the darkness.

And these things thou knowest, not by hearing of the ear alone; thou hast tasted and handled them; but count not thyself to have already attained anything, nor esteem thyself already perfect—it shall be thy wisdom and perfection, if forgetting the things that are behind, thou reach after things before thee, and press toward the mark for the prize; that thou mayest know thy Lord Jesus, whose love passeth knowledge and whose riches are unsearchable.