“We live by grace” by Richard Sibbes

“Grace appears to us in Christ, ‘The grace of God had appeared,’ Titus 2:11. Christ is called grace. He is the grace of God invested and clothed with man’s nature. When Christ appeared, the grace and mercy and love of God appeared.

Then again it is victorious, shining to victory over all that is contrary. For, alas! Beloved, what would become of us if there were not grace above sin, and mercy above misery, and power in Christ Jesus above all the power in Satan and death!

And then they have a testimony of all that belong to God; for they have their eyes opened to behold this glory, and by beholding are transformed from glory to glory.

The several attributes of God shine upon several occasions: They have as it were several theatres whereon to discover their glory:

In creation there was power most of all.

In governing the world, wise providence.

In hell, justice in punishing sinners.

But now to man in a lapsed estate, what attribute shines most, and is most glorious? Oh it is mercy and free grace!

If grace and mercy were hidden, our state being as it is since the fall, what were all other attributes but matter of terror? To think of the wisdom, and power, and justice of God would add aggravations. He is the more wise and powerful to take revenge on us.

Grace is the glorious attribute whereby God doth as it were set Himself to triumph over the greatest ill that can be, over sin. That that is worse than the devil himself cannot prevail over His grace.

There is a greater height and depth and breadth, there are greater dimensions in love and mercy in Christ, than there is in our sins and miseries. And all this is gloriously discovered in the gospel.

Do you wonder then why the grace of God hath found such enemies as it hath done always, especially in popery, where they mingle their works with grace? For the opposite heart of man being in a frame of enmity to God, sets itself most against that that God will be glorified in.

Therefore we should labour to vindicate nothing so much as grace. We have a dangerous encroaching sect risen up, enemies to the grace of God, that palliate and cover their plot cunningly and closely, but they set nature against grace.

Let us vindicate grace upon all occasions; for we live by grace, and we must die by grace, and stand at the day of judgment by grace; not in our own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ, being found in Him.”

–Richard Sibbes, “The Excellency of the Gospel Above the Law,” in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 4 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1863), 240–241.

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Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, grace, Jesus Christ, Law, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Richard Sibbes, The Gospel

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