Life of Faith 9: The Ground of Faith

By Richard Sibbes

…Justification is not only a sentence of pardon, but it is also as in Roman 5:15, a title to life everlasting:

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one, much more they who receive the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by Jesus Christ.”

Where God pardons, he advances.  So if Satan shall come to shake my title, to shake this faith, assure him that Christ came to save sinners.  If he object, “your title is nothing, it is stained, being that you have so many sins and corruptions within your mortal body.”  answer him, “This just serves my faith for comfort, to show me that my title is in Christ.” my strength and ground of comfort is in him, not in myself.

See one parallel example, how David lived this life of faith in justification:

“If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, who shall stand?(Psalm 130:3)

There he pronounces death on himself unless he be acquitted, and so it is in our case.  But then comes the appeal:

“But mercy is with you, that you may be feared.”

Think on this yourself.  If a man is sound on this point, all he does is nothing.  This is all in all.  Our sanctification without this is nothing.  This is the ground of all.  Be careful of this, to look to Christ’s obedience, life, death, and sufferings, and those comforts flowing from our interest therein.

 

 


Modernized in few places by this site.

Life of Faith 8: Sinners Justified

By Richard Sibbes

We live the life of faith in justification.  This is a life of sentence that the soul lives by, peace being spoken unto it by the pardon of sin; for God by his Spirit communicates so much to the soul, giving us assurance that Christ our surety and peace-maker is raised up again.

So Ephesians 2:5 says “Even when we were dead in sins, he has given us life together with Christ, and raised us together, and made us sit in heavenly places with him.”  And why?  Because our Surety has paid our debt.  We say of a man condemned, he is a dead man until he have a pardon, which he has obtained, we turn our speech, and say, he lives.  So in justification: being united to Christ, and believing our pardon, we are said to live.  Our sins lie on him as our surety; for then, as our husband in charge, he pays all our debts.

Thus by virtue of our marriage to Christ, he discharges all our debts, and goes away with them; even as the scapegoat in the wilderness went quite away will all the sins and iniquities of the people, never to return again.  Look to our sins, the curse and wrath due them, and all is laid on him.  Look at all the good in him, that is for us; all the evil in us, look also to him for it, to have it taken away, pardoned, and not imputed.


This common domain work modernized in few places.

Life of Faith 7: Faith Throughout

By Richard Sibbes

Now we have come to the main thing intended, how we live by the faith of the Son of God.  We will not approach the depths of such a profound mystery; only I will endeavor to give you some heads, where faith principally exercises her powers and functions.

  • The life of faith is exercised in our effectual calling.
  • In the state of justification, through which comes reconciliation.
  • In a vigorous life, arising on the comfort of our justification, our being credited right with God.
  • In our sanctification; in those supplies faith finds out to make up the imperfection thereof, faith works to make itself and us more perfected.  
  • The life of faith in glorification.

We live by faith in all the several passages of this life, as we will see when we come to them.  Thus we live continually by the faith of the Son of God, and so we must live until we come to heaven.

We live the life of faith in our effectual calling.  The Spirit works it, the Spirit is God’s hand.  This makes our eyes to be bent upwards to see a better life, to see a calling, to a holy and righteous living in all things,  to see what a rich means is provided to reconcile God and man, to satisfy justice, and so to draw us in a new way and course of life, to rely on God, and look to him in all our actions.

Then the grace of union is given.  God’s Spirit works our hearts by this faith, to have first union and then communion with God.  Thus the soul being seasoned, and seeing the excellency and necessity of another life, touches Christ, and begins to live the life of faith in effectual calling; for at first we are dead and unlovely creatures, estranged from grace and gracious actions, until, in this state, Christ is discovered by the Spirit, and faith to unite us to him.

 


This common domain work modernized in few places, words in italics added by this site.