R.C. Chapmans S.O.S. 2.4-5

By R.C. Chapman

 

Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.   Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.” (Song of Solomon 2:4-5)

Have you been left, O my soul, to your own will, and the way of your own wisdom, could you ever have known Jesus or desired to know Him? It was the Spirit of God who led you, opening your eyes, convincing your conscience, drawing you to Christ, whose grace He showed you and caused you to believe.

Lord Jesus, Your grace is true grace.  In You, my soul makes her boast; and while You gird Yourself, and make me sit down in Your house of wine, a sweet sadness steals over my spirit.  I was at one time in darkness, one time an alien and enemy, before Your love was set on me and my name was in Your book.

These solemn memories do not mar my joys; they are needed so long as I live in this earthly house, to give me richer communion with Your love!

O Crowned King, Jesus of Nazereth, the mighty and glorious One, who made Yourself of no reputation, You rule me with Your Almighty love.  For if Your sceptor was not a sceptor of grace You could indeed, by a word destroy me; but You could not win my heart.

Now You show me Your wounds, and say: “Peace to you.” You hold me with the cords of Your love.  Lord, You open to me the gates of glory, bringing me into Your banqueting house, to sustain and cheer me on my way; and the wine of Your house fills me with longing for those things which are above.

My soul surveys Your glory, O King of Zion, Beloved One, and altogether lovely! I sit down with You on Your throne, sin, death, the law, hell, and the world under my feet.  Your fullness satisfies me.  In You I see the Father’s heart; He is Your God and my God; Your Father and my Father.  Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.

Lord, You sit down with me at Your own table, delighting Yourself in my soul’s afffections to You and admirtion of You, and my song and triumph of faith.  Your love to me is my soul’s strength and joy; it engages You to take up spear and shield against my enemies, draw me to my hiding place, and lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  In the light of Your love I see my foes, hate their baits, and avoid their snares.

To idols I say,”Depart, my soul is the temple of my Lord.”

Lord Jesus, You have said, “Behold I come quickly (Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20).  O keep Your word! Even so, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, and let my soul, with Your gathered saints, without enemies to frustrate us, rest in Your presence, and be filled with Your glory, and feast forever in Your love.

 

 


Modernized in places by this Site.

Life of Faith 15: Reasons for Growing in Holiness

By Richard Sibbes

 

With justification of necessity comes sanctification.  What will stop God’s mercy?  His anger for sin committed; in that case, he would deny his Spirit.  With reconciliation also comes the Spirit: as in Ephesians 1:13, the apostle says, “In whom also, after you believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”  Now the Spirit once given, is the seed of all graces.

Whoever is justified, has the Spirit of Christ: (Romans 8:9) “And if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Christ.”  Having the Spirit of Christ, faith goes and gets all strength from Christ.  Samson’s strength was in his locks; a Christian’s strength is in Christ.  This the devil knows well, and therefore labors especially to weaken faith, and draw us from strength.

Christ says, “Without me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5); and St. Paul affirms, that he “can do all things through Christ who strengthens him,” (Philippians 4:13).  The Spirit gives strength.

As by Christ and his Spirit we have strength, so by his Spirit we have strong convincing reasons to work strength from reason.  Why does a Christian carry himself in a holy just life answering his profession?  Oh, he says, “I have great reason; Christ has loved me, and given himself for me; and shouldn’t I give myself to him, deny my lusts, and live to him?”  for, indeed, the foundation of all Christian obedience is laid by faith in Christ.  So when a man looks to heaven, he has a reason to abstain from all pitfalls and hindrances of his safe and comfortable passage; to magnify the riches of Christ’s love, which has provided for him such an inheritance, and to live accordingly.

So when he looks to the pardon of sins past, he sees reason to hate them more and more, to strive against them in time to come, and to love Christ more, who has pardoned them.  And when he looks to God’s free love in Christ, he sees reason to be inflamed with divine love, to admire the riches of grace, and to be thankful.

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.

Life of Faith 14: Christ Justifies and Sanctifies Us

By Richard Sibbes

 

The life of faith in sanctification, springs from these grounds:

Faith lays hold on Christ, as God offers him.  How is this?  See 1st Corinthians 1:30—”Because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”  God gives Christ, not only for justification, but also for sanctification: and therefore faith must apprehend him.

Faith receives him as whole Christ in all his offices; not as a priest to save only, but as a king to rule; as a wife receives her husband, to be ruled and governed by him.

Again, Christ came not only to take away the guilt of sin, but the dominion of sin also.  He came as John speaks, to destroy the whole work of the devil; as it is said in Ephesians 5:25-27—” …as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect.” Christ purges his church not only from the guilt of sin, but also from the meddling and polluting of itself in the world with filthy things.  So in Romans 8:3, the apostle shows, that “God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh;  that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” He came as well by water as by the blood.  Therefore faith puts him on, not only by justification, but also in sanctification.  

 

 

 

 


This common domain work’s language has been modernized in places by this site.

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.