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English: Richard Sibbes (1577-1635)

English: Richard Sibbes (1577-1635) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Sibbes on the relationship between justification and sanctification:

[T]hose are misled, that make Christ to be only righteousness to us, and not sanctification, except by imputation: whereas it is a great part of our happiness to be under such a Lord, who was not only born for us, and given unto us, but ‘hath the government likewise upon his shoulders,’ Isa ix. 6,7, that is our Sanctifier as well as our Saviour, our Saviour as well as the effectual power of his Spirit from the power of sin, as by the merit of his death from the guilt thereof; so that this,

1, Be remembered, that the first and chief ground of our comfort is, that Christ as a priest offered himself as a sacrifice to his Father for us. Thence it is that Christ hath right to govern us, thence it is that he giveth us his Spirit as our guide to lead us home.

2. In the course of our life, after that we are in state of grace, and be overtaken with any sin, we must remember to have recourse first unto Christ’s mercy to pardon us, and then to the promise of his Spirit to govern us.

3. And when we feel ourselves cold in affection and duty, it is the best way to warm ourselves at this fire of his love and mercy in giving himself for us.

4. Again, remember this, that Christ, as he ruleth us, so it is by a spirit of love from a sense of his love, whereby his commandments are easy to us. He leadeth us by his free Spirit, a Spirit of liberty: his subjects are voluntaries. The constraint that he layeth upon his subjects is that of love: he draweth us with the cords of love sweetly. Yet remember withal that he draweth us strongly by a Spirit of power, for it is not sufficient that we have motives and encouragements to love and obey Christ from that love of his, whereby he gave himself for us to justify us; but Christ’s Spirit must likewise subdue our hearts, and sanctify them to love him, without which all motives would be ineffectual.

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