Must Read Classic
"God knoweth we have nothing of ourselves, therefore in the covenant of grace he requireth no more than he giveth, and giveth what he requireth, and accepteth what he giveth." - Richard Sibbes
A central theme of The Bruised Reed is to provide comfort and assurance to flickering lights in Christ. Those who think they have, at last, lost favor with God will do well for their soul to meditate on the contents of this book. It is a great source of encouragement. Sibbes applies the healing balm of the gospel to those who lack assurance and are struggling with sin. Yet, in a masterful stroke, he does this without giving false assurance to hypocrites, that is, false believers. Like a good Reformed Puritan, he looks for that assurance, not in man, but in the unchanging character of God ... a God who is always faithful to His promises. A God who will never give up on His own until Christ is fully formed in them. â€œThe victory lies not with us, but with Christ, who has taken on him both to conquer for us and to conquer in us. The victory lies neither in our own strength to get it, nor in our enemiesâ€™ strength to defeat it. If it lay with us, we might justly fear. But Christ will maintain his own government in us and take our part against our corruptions.â€ Yet this does not lead to passivity since the Spirit uses the means of his commands and imperatives to work sanctificaiton in us. If you knew there would be a good harvest, would you then throw down the plow? â€œChrist at length will fulfill his purpose in us, and faith rests assured of it, and this assurance is very operative, stirring us up to join with Christ in his purposes.â€ Sibbesâ€™s discussion of assurance throughout The Bruised Reed is filled with penetrating insights true practical spirituality. It is ...
One of the key elements of this excellent work is that it is saturated with the gospel from cover to cover. Apart from the grace of God in Christ there is no hope for the sinner.God reveals himself to us in the cross of Christ. This is where we see both Godâ€™s love mingled perfectly with his wrath/justice/holiness. Our relationship with this holy God is only by means of what he has accomplished for us in Christ. Then our intimacy with God deepens and we grow in holiness through our union with Christ giving us a deeper understanding and experience of the gospel â€” in other words, by becoming more and more captured by Godâ€™s love for us in Christ.
Throughout Sibbes continually points us to the good news of what God has done for us in the finished work of Christ, making clear that the gospel is the foundation of Christian spiritual benefits. â€œWhat a support to our faith is this, that God the Father, the party offended by our sins, is so well pleased with the work of redemption! And what a comfort is this, that, seeing Godâ€™s love rests on Christ, as well pleased in him, we may gather that he is as well pleased with us, if we be in Christ!â€
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