Don’t Come to God on Your Own Worthiness… Look First Unto Christ!

by Richard Sibbes

00000“We must take heed of coming to God in our own persons or worthiness but in all things look to God in Christ.

If we look to God as a Father we must see Him to be Christ’s Father first.
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If we see ourselves acquitted from our sins let us look at Christ risen first.
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If we think of glorification in heaven let us see Christ glorified first.

When we consider of any spiritual blessing, consider of it in Christ first.

All the promises are made to Christ.

He takes them first from God the Father and gives them to us by His Spirit.

The first fullness is in God and then He empties Himself into Christ. “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16).”

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  Richard Sibbes (or Sibbs) (1577–1635) was an English theologian. He is known as a Biblical exegete, and as a representative, with William Perkins and John Preston, of what has been called “main-line” Puritanism.

He was the author of several devotional works expressing intense religious feeling — The Saint’s Cordial (1629), The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax (1631, exegesis of Isaiah 42:3), The Soules Conflict (1635), etc.  The clerical leaders of the Feoffees, Davenport, Gouge and Sibbes, all adhered to Calvinist covenant theology, as shaped by the English theologians Perkins, Preston, William Ames, and Thomas Taylor. 

His works were much read in New England. Thomas Hooker, prominent there from 1633, was directly influenced by Sibbes, and his “espousal theology”, using marriage as a religious metaphor, draws on The Bruised Reed and Bowels Opened. Sibbes was cited by the Methodist John Wesley. The Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon studied his craft in Sibbes, Perkins and Thomas Manton. The evangelical Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote in the highest terms of his own encounter with the work of Sibbes.