Life of Faith 6 : Faith Conveys Life

By Richard Sibbes

We have seen briefly there is another life than the life of nature; and the root and spring of it is the Son of God.  Now the way of conveyance of this life is “by faith.”  A fountain is not sufficient to send forth water abroad; there must be pipes to convey it for use.  So from the heart and liver there must be arteries and veins for the maintenance of life and conveyance of blood through all the body.

Christ is the heart and liver of all spiritual life; but there must be a conveyance to bring it to us, and this is faith.  But why is faith the grace to convey life to us?

Because we are saved now out of ourselves by another.  Therefore that grace which brings us to this great good must lead us out of ourselves.  This faith does, which is the hand of the soul, to lay hold of all the graces, excellencies, and high perfections of Christ.

Because faith gives all the glory to the party whom it relies on and trusts, as in Romans 3:20.  Paul shows why works were excluded; and such a righteousness was brought in, he says, the he might be just, and the justifier of him who believes; and then he adds, “Where is boasting then? it is excluded.  By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.”  If by love it has come, or humility, patience, or anything in us, there might be some boasting; but this looks another way, lays hold upon another’s riches.  Faith acknowledges nothing to be at home;  therefore it goes to another to fetch it, which else it would not do.

Because we must be brought back to God by a contrary way than we were lost by; for the same way could never have recovered.  The serpent, we know, shook Eve’s faith in believing the threatening.  While they kept the word and feared the commandment, they kept their life; but, losing this fearing respect, they lost communion with the fountain of love.  So we fell by infidelity, and must return again by faith in the righteousness of another.

 


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

R.C. Chapmans S.O.S. 1:10

By R.C. Chapman

“Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.”  —Song of Solomon 1:10

You, Lord, are wise in heart and tender! You know, in this our ceaseless warfare, our weakness, our drooping and fainting; and are skillful to encourage our hearts and revive our spirit.

The adversary’s fiery darts are sharp and dreadful; his power is great, and His cunning deep in stirring the filth of the flesh.  You cannot, without him, reveal to us all foul things and abominations of the chambers of imagery.

The battle is hard and needs one exercised and by use become expert to hold and handle shield and handle sword and spear, to stand and hold on to fight.

Lord, Your eye is upon us!  And while we see and feel the flesh and its motions, You behold Your Church’s beauty.  Glorious her clothing!  For in You, her husband, she is made the righteousness of God.

Our debt became Yours.  You, the Son of God, made under the law, was made a curse for us, to be the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Your beauty and Your glory, You mighty God and Prince of Peace!  Are upon Your Church, and upon me, who boast of Your grace as one of Your redeemed.  Your spouse is of fair countenance; for though once cast out to the hating of her person, and from the womb disgusting and hateful, You have washed her and worked and formed her anew; so now Your eyes rest forever upon her attractiveness, her “strings of jewels and her chains of gold.”

You always take the precious from the bad.  We may confound the flesh with the Spirit; not so You.  How great soever the deformity of the flesh, You cannot forget that we love You and delight in You whom man rejects, whom the nations despise and regard with disgust and hatred.

Oh, my soul! Your Lord calls you Hephzibah, for He delights in you, rejoices over you; He admires you, folds you to His heart, holding you up for the admiration of elect angels, who see His masterpiece in His Church.

Be you of good courage, for you have come to excellent ornaments; let His praise embolden you and make you strong and patient for battle.  Only be a “worm” and “you will thresh the mountains” —Isaiah 41:15; so you will please Him who bought you with His blood and choose you to be a soldier, and who glorified by the great increase of your faith and love.

For what you have of the fruit of the Spirit, be thankful.  Yet don’t count it as your attaining of anything, but while your gratitude owns the gift already given, do not turn away from Jesus, or boast in anything, save Christ and Him crucified.  Oh, my soul! Be ever growing up into Him in all things.


Modernized in places by this site.

Life of Faith 4: He is Life

By Richard Sibbes

Why is it that we do not seek this spiritual life more? Because when the conscience is not awakened, we think there is no such thing: like Judas walking on in the state of nature, in drunkenness, sensual pleasures, covetousness, and such things, until we perish suddenly. If the conscience is awakened, then it is easy to work upon such who sees his misery and desires a remedy.  It was easy to persuade Jacob to send for corn in Egypt, when a famine was in the land of Canaan.  It is easy to persuade men hungry and thirsty to eat and drink; easy to persuade a weighed down, weary man to lay down his burden and rest.  So it’s the same with us.  If the conscience is awakened to have a sense of sin, and that intolerable wrath and eternal punishment that is due, we should and would long for this spiritual life.

I urgently ask you, let us believe there is such a life. Look at 1st Peter 1:3.  There he blesses God, “who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  No one can go to heaven unless they are born again here.  The main help is the use of the means.  This is that pool of Bethesda, at which if we lie the angel of the covenant will put us in to be healed.  Never rest then until this life has gotten into us…[never rest from seeking and looking to God, through His means, I take this to mean things such as praying and reading his word, in expectation of his mercy.]

…Christ is called life, the bread of life, tree of life, and he gives us living water to refresh our souls, not that he is so essentially bread, or a tree, but by the ability of his working in us. For God is life in himself.  Therefore he swears by it: “As I live, says the Lord, I do not desire the death of a sinner,” —Ezekiel 33:11.  Here we do not consider life so high, but this life must be derived from him principally.  It is done so naturally.  The Son is the fountain of life, because he is God, who is radically, fundamentally, and essentially life.

 


Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, Loc.53749, Kindle edition. [Language modernized in places by this site] [mine]


Life of Faith 3

Excerpts of Mercy