Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Bruised Reed - 7 (chapter 10: Quench Not the Spirit)

After such a sweet series of encouragements, Richard Sibbes looks at different ways of "offending deeply against this merciful disposition of Christ" to borrow his own words in Chapter 10 of the book.
I'll simply list the titles of the small sections (these might possibly be added by the editor, but they form a short summary after all, so hopefully this will be helpful), and a short sentence to help understanding.

1) False despair of Christ' mercy - Do not fail to go to Christ thinking you won't be accepted by the merciful Saviour.
2) False hope of Christ's mercy - Do not be deceived by your own fancy imagination that Christ does not care about your unholy (unrepentant) way of life
3) Resisting Christ's mercy - Do not resist Christ's mercy by hating the light that comes from God and refusing to be handled by Him.
4) Presuming on Christ's mercy - Quench not the Holy Spirit (by continuing to live a life according to the flesh, abusing the liberty one gains from Christ).
5) Seeking another source of mercy - There's no other source of mercy but Christ, so refuse to find mercy in any other places, it is an offense to God, and you'll find none but His wrath.
6) Mistreating the heirs of mercy - Be gracious to other Christians just as Christ Himself is gracious to you.
7) Strife among the heris of mercy - Do not fight over insignificant things among the believers causing divisions.
8) Taking advantage of the bruised - Do not abuse other believers who are in need or in a sorrowful condition (more generally, in a bruised state).
9) Despising the simple means of mercy - Do not despise how the church or an individual believer is sustained and expanded (or grows into maturity) by God even if the means He uses seem very simple to you who are very sophisticated.

The last one kinda stood out for me as I didn't think about this one before.
Quotation follows:
Lastly, they carry themselves very unkindly towards Christ who stumble at his low stooping to us in his government and ordinances, that are ashaemd of the simplicity of the gospel, that count preaching foolishness. They, out of the pride of their heart, think that they may do well enough without the help of the Word and sacraments, and think Christ did not take enough dignity upon him; and therefore they will mend the matter with their own devices so that they may give beter satisfaction to flesh and blood, as in popery. What greater unthankfulness can there be than to despise any help that Christ in mercy has provided for us?
-- p. 76, The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

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