Richard Sibbes: Redeemed from Ourselves

12 03 2012

Below is a wonderful quote from the English Puritan and presbyter in the Church of England, Richard Sibbes.  The following is taken from his little work Christ’s Exaltation Purchased by His Humiliation, found in Sibbes collected works Vol V pg 351.  Not only is Sibbes instructive in reminding us that we need not only be redeemed from Hell and death, but we need to be redeemed from ourselves.  Also, I found Sibbes’ “complaining to Christ” to be very helpful in terms of how we pray through such matters.  And perhaps for me, the best line of this section “No, Lord Jesus, do thine office!”  Of course the line won’t make sense unless you read the whole thing carefully, which I of course would encourage you to do!

We must know beloved that we are redeemed from ourselves;  and therefore make this use of it when we are tempted by sin:  Christ is my Lord; I am redeemed from my base lusts.  What have I to do with this anger?  what have I do to with this ambition?  I am no debtor to the flesh.  I am under Christ.  I am under grace.  He hath redeemed me from my vain conversation.  I owe it nothing but mortification and denial.  Therefore, in all solicitations of corruption, learn this lesson, fetch arguments hence.  Christ hath done great matters for me.  He lived and died, and lives for ever and ever, that is Lord of me living and dying.  There is no greater slave than he that is a slave to his own flesh and to his own lusts.  therefore when we are stirred to anything by our base nature, which must die, or else we shall never live eternal, we must kill it more and more daily; and death is the sum and accomplishment of mortification.  When we are stirred to anything, go to Christ and complain to him.  Blessed Savior, thou didst die, and rise, and revive, that though mightiest be Lord of the living and the dead.  I beseech thee, claim thine own interest in me.  Bring all into captivity to thine own Spirit.  What hath this base affection to do with me?  What have I to do with it?  I am freed from it; I am redeemed from myself.  What have I to do with myself but deny all?  I am thine altogether; therefore take thine own interest in me, possess me, fill me with thy Spirit, be all in all in me; let pride and ambition and such things have no footing in me.  It is good pouring out the soul to God to that purpose:  to complain to Christ when it is thus with us, because it is his office to rule us.  Now, Lord Jesus, do thine office.  Thy office is to be king; to rule in me.  Other lords would fain rule in me.  Pride, and lust, and base covetousness would fain rule, as the prophet saith, Isa. xxvi.13; but what hat other lords to do with me?  Thou are my Lord, and hast right to me living and dying.


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2 responses

12 03 2012
Danny

At the risk of being permanently labeled as a Christian media wonk…there’s this from Capitol Hill Baptist Chruch. Never heard of Sibbes before Dever stated tweeting about him.

http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/audio/category/sibbes/

12 03 2012
robsturdy

Dever did his Phd thesis on Sibbes, It was turned into a popular work about a decade ago and is very good. Worth a look.

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