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March 2, 2021 12:01 am
Unlike the stereotypical notion of the Puritan who lays great moral burdens on struggling Christians, Richard Sibbes sought to warm weary hearts at the fire of Christ's love and mercy. Today, Michael Reeves considers the pastoral heart of this influential Puritan.
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The 17th century Puritan pastor Richard sibs often said in his sermons. There is more grace in Christ than there is sin in us. Richard sibs is a man we should get to know and we will next on Renewing Your Mind from the deli stereotype we mistakenly associate with the Puritans. Richard sibs was a man full of joy and grace. His sermons inspired his parishioners to follow Christ out of love and devotion, not despair. Teacher today is Dr. Michael Reagan's we can look in this lecture at Richard six Richard sibs the heavenly talks as he came to be cooled is dates if you want to know he was rough contemporary of William Shakespeare 1577 to 1635 to if that helps to worry about the dates you think about Richard since he was a man who clearly enjoyed knowing God, and so much so you read his summons today and his relish is still infectious offer Lizzie as he would speak of the living God as a life-giving warming son who he said delights to spread his beams and his influence and things to make all things fruitful, such goodness is in God as is in a fountain or in the breast that loves to ease itself of unknowing going to be such an overflowing fountain of goodness made sibs, a very attractive model of God likeness, for he said, those who are led by the Spirit of God. They have such a diffusive goodness that loves to spread itself like him.
In other words, knowing God's love sibs became loving and his understanding of who God is, transformed him into a man, a preacher and his sermons were recorded so a writer of really magnetic genealogy message was never married but is quite clear that he had a truly remarkable ability to form warm and lasting friendships. Charles Spurgeon once told his students that he loved the sort of minister whose face invites you to be their friend. So the face of what you read the sign welcome.
I'm not aware of the dog will welcome sign is exactly what you get to see on sibs Spurgeon could be describing sibs born to a wheelwright will make up in a rather obscure little village in Suffolk. A few could have expected how influential young sibs was going to be bus. It soon became clear that he was remarkably capable and he sailed through his studies at Cambridge and he became a teacher at some John's college age just 24 but it was really his abilities as a preacher that marks amount is extraordinary.
Before long he was appointed to be a lecturer lecturer is not the pasta is someone really invited into do regular preaching that role at holy Trinity church in Cambridge. We can still go there today and it's had a remarkable history itself.
Quite apart from him. A few years later he was also appointed to be a preacher graze in one of the influential London inns of Court where sibs would preach to many of the man who would become significant Puritan movers and shakers in the generation to come. A phrase sibs often repeated in this sentence was that is more grace in Christ than that is sin in us unknowing facts. He always source in his preaching to win the hearts of his listeners to Christ and this he believed was the special deity of ministers not to perform sacrifice on their behalf not to take them through some external religion. But he said ministers woo for Christ.
They open up the riches beauty are not all that is lovely and him one main end of our calling. The ministry is to lay open and unfold the unsearchable riches of Christ to dig up the mind so as to control the affections of those that belong to God, to Christ. The result was preaching that was so winsome the struggling believers began to call him.
The honey mouth sweet drop and it was said hardened sinners would deliberately avoid going to hear sibs for fear he would convert the one listener, Humphrey Mills records his experience of sibs ministry and it seems to be in fairly typical is what Mills says I was three years wounded for sentence under a sense of my corruptions which were many and I followed sermons of pursuing the means. I was constant in duties and doing looking for heaven. That way by doing and then I was so precise for outward formalities. I sense it old to be reprobates that war that had long for no shorts above. That is all that will great rough some gorgeous infections and follies bemusement here is that sibs was known for wearing an enormous great rough. You be the stakeout caller. This of lacy things.
Yet Mills says I was distracted in my mind wounded in conscience. I wept often and basically prayed earnestly but had no conflict until I heard that sweet same Dr. sibs by whose means in ministry. I was brought to peace and joy in my spirit is sweet so melting gospel sermons one my heart and refresh me much body sibs I saw I had much of God. I was confident in Christ I could overlook the world. My heart now held firm result, my desires now in 1626 sibs was appointed monster of Catherine whole Cambridge for the last decade of his life he would use his considerable influence to put trusted young Puritan preachers into church teaching posts around the country. He personally nurtured a number of key young ministers, men such as Thomas Goodwin who will meet later, John Colson, Jeremiah Burroughs, John Preston, Philip Nye, through his printed sermons. He affected countless more even affected me riches.
This wasn't the first. And I read the first. My red was John Allen but ever since the day went as a student I read sibs. The bruised reed will introduce you to that an amendment sibs I think is been my favorite and is I think the place to start is an introduction to the Puritans, John Spurgeon, the Baptist 19th century preacher said sibs never wastes your time, he scatters pearls and diamonds with both hands and reading him really is like sitting in the sunshine gets into a hospital warms it to Christ because he holds out the glory of Christ so well, let me introduce you to the bruised reed. Perhaps his most famous work is speaking into what we've looked at this culture of introspection, moral self-reliance, sibs preached a series of certain is based on the text Matthew 12 verse 20 that itself is a quotation from Isaiah 42 of bruised reed he will not break under smoldering wick he will not quench the smoking flax is in the version that sibs used, and these sermons in this series will put together as a book titled the bruised reed in the smoking flax is usually shortened today just because the bruised rate, aimed at the binding of a broken heart and they were instrumental in the conversion of at least one other major Puritan for Richard Baxter now that verse that sibs was expanding bruised reed he will not break is referring to Jesus and it is a striking feature of sibs is preaching just how Christ focused. He is, and that's no accident, because sibs sort through the eyes of his listeners from their hearts to the Savior.
For he said there are heights and depths and threats of mercy in him above all the depths of our sin and misery. How so sibs well. He said since God's love rests on Christ is well pleased with him. We may gather, he's well pleased with us, even us. If we be in Christ, using Christian confidence does not lie in the strength of our faith or performance. No Liza pony said joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity, the father loves and is pleased with the sun and as the Spirit unites us to the son, we enjoy the songs own blessed status before the father on some generic far-off distant status assignments status because God is a Trinity, Christians can have assurance and incentive simply laying moral buttons on weak and struggling Christians sibs sort to show them Christ's attractiveness so they might actually love Christ from their hearts.
From then he said Christians first toss is to warm ourselves, but the fire of his love and mercy only when Christians do that.
He said do they actually start to avoid sin haughtily. Then they stop sinning from the heart wears if the note actually brought to love Christ, then they might change their behavior, but their behavioral changes done nothing that fundamental problem of the hot. In other words, sibs believed the solution to sin was not the attempt to live without sin. The solution to sin was gospel of God's free grace, which changes hearts so that we might want Christ and begin to not want to sin as we find our eyes opened to Christ. We love him and grow in on this taste for sin is knowing it's wrong feeling its wrongness as of the bruised reed is really a clarion call is a it's a great invitation to all Christians, but is a particular clarion call for ministers to minister more like Christ not crushing the week with burdens blowing the oxygen of the gospel onto the sputtering wick of young Christian lives significantly. Sibs ends the bruised reed with a reference to Luther, who he said Kindle that file which all the world will never be able to quench I think is point A's vase, speaking to fellow Puritan ministers.
He saying even in this reforming of the Reformation. The real spirit of the Reformation can be lost and all the doubts and anxieties of medieval Roman Catholicism can come streaming in through the back door of the zealous Christian moralism that is lost sight of the grace of God, and it was to maintain this essence of the Reformation.
The sibs and Puritans like him so to, as he put it proclaim the gracious nature and office of Christ.
The right understanding of which is the spring of all service to him and comfort from him as the bruised radar authority recommend going to read it. Let me and she is one other work of sibs is is much shorter one. The bruised reed is 100 pages long, short one is a single sermon called the tender hearts which you can you can get hold of quite easily. This is a sermon. The sibs preached based on the text, two Chronicles 34 where God is said to have on said young King Josiah because his heart was 10 now the 10 to half the sermon. The link goes pretty deep into what sibs was about in his ministry. Sibs always sort to get underneath the superficial layer of his listeners behavior and deal with the design as the inclinations the affections. The things that drive behavior. The things that motivate us the sibs. This is no secondary matter. He believed that dealing with the heart would preserve one of the profound insights of the Reformation in Roman Catholicism, he would have quite external understanding of the problem of sin you've done wrong things you need to stop doing right things they think Nick must plumb deeper. There is a more radical problem we have that we desire wrongly the hearts must be changed again and again in his sermons. Sibs speaks of. Interestingly, both Catholic priests and Protestant pastas, both who whatever the professed theology act as though the root of our problem lies simply in all behavior we've done wrong things need to start doing right things. Sibs wants to plumb deeper. He knew that those outward acts of sin are simply manifestations of the inner desires of the heart, how you act, even if it shocks you is simply manifesting what you like. Deep down, and simply to change behavior without dealing with the heart would cultivate hypocrisy. The self-righteous clerk for a cold and vicious, hot sibs would note ministries that work like that simply to change the behavior without doing anything deeper would invariably cruel. Interestingly, forcing people to change against whether hearts were asked not recognizing that incapacity to change without the deep work of the Spirit in their hearts, and he saw one of hearts must be turned evil desires eclipsed by stronger ones. Christ let's see how he proclaims the love of Christ, so that we might be one to love him. He something from this sermon on Kings are size 10 to half sibs is this, he said it is not enough to have a heartbroken apartment be broken in pieces and be good for nothing so may heart be through terrorist sense of judgment and still not be like wax pliable the hearts must be broken melting tenderness of heart. He said, is brought about by an understanding of the tenderness and love that is in Christ, a soft hot is made soft by the blood of Christ, and he refers here to a mythical metal called adamantine, which is this metal simply cannot be melted unless it's stuck in blood's extraordinary mythological idea. He says this many say the abdomen cannot be melted by fire, but only by blood. I cannot tell whether this be sure no axis mythology, but I'm sure nothing will melt the hard toss of man, but the blood of Christ, the passion of our blessed Savior. When a man considers the love the goddess showed in sending his son doing such great things as he's done giving of Christ to satisfy his justice setting us free from hell. Satan, death, the consideration of all vase with the persuasion that we have an interest in this melts the hot and makes it become tend to see he saying sin is about a coldness or hardness of heart can be so hard it doesn't even feel the weight of sin on it and it might be beautiful but not delighting God for the work of the gospel is to warm our hearts to soften them towards God. So says as when things are cold.
We bring them to the fire to heat and melt. So bring.
We are cold hearts to the fire of the love of Christ can situate our sins against Christ and Christ's love towards us dwell on this. Think what great love Christ, to show done to us how little we deserved. This will make us to melt and be as pliable as wax before the sun. If thou wilt have this tender melting pot be always under the sunshine of the gospel is not a great way of putting it is beautiful visual way with words. Now couple of observations, it doesn't. Sibs capture the warmth and joy of haughty holiness here not to mere external beautiful nurse, but delighting God pleasure in him, but he's also making a very significant point that is that we are sanctified, we grow in holiness, just as we were first saved that it is through believing in Christ, we are first saved. And that is how we grow in holiness through turning to Christ as a what the Spirit does this by revealing Christ. To me this third opens my eyes to see what Christ is like, and so wins my heart towards a sincere love for God and only through the Vatican by heart be made tender towards God and so sibs believed to Corinthians 318 is the secret of sanctification to Corinthians 318 where Paul talks about Moses talking with the Lord at Mount Sinai and in the presence of the Lord. His face begins to shine with the very glory of the Lord and simply saying this is what polls talking about the as we gaze upon the Lord we are transformed into his image from glory to glory. He said the very beholding of Christ is a transforming site. We look at him with the eye of faith we are changed from glory to glory, how can we see Christ see how God hates sin that will transform us to hate it. As God does, who hates it so much he could not be expurgated with the blood of Christ sibs once said to them, the great preachers of the next generation young man if ever you would do good, you must preach the gospel and the free grace of God in Christ Jesus. Sibs meant that with every fiber of his being, for he saw the free grace of God in Christ Jesus is the means by which the hearts of sin is off first turn to God, and that same message is the means by which we continue to grow in our love for God. I didn't think I can exaggerate the importance of sibs message for today through Reformation begins in the hearts with love for Christ that can only come from the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
As Dr. Michael Reeves from his series, the English Reformation in the Puritans ugly web. Thank you for joining us today for Renewing Your Mind, and 12 messages.
Dr. Reese describes the people and events that shape the 16th and 17th centuries in England as you heard today. Dr. Reeves is an excellent storyteller. He really brings these events to life and would be glad to send you this to DVD set when you give a donation of any amount of regular ministries you can find us firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4340 3 million of the theologians and martyrs who shaped the English Reformation are unfamiliar to many today and that's unfortunate because these men really have something valuable to offer us because of their love and devotion to the gospel, so we hope you'll contact us today and request Dr. Reeves series again is titled the English Reformation and the Puritans, and for your gift of any amount will be glad to send it your way. Our web address again is Renewing Your Mind.org and her phone number is 800-435-4343. Church history is just one of several areas of study. We emphasize here at regular ministries but everything we do here centers on the passion Dr. RC Sproul had when he founded the ministry 50 years ago to awaken people to the holiness of God was speaking of church history tomorrow. Dr. Derek Thomas joins us to explore one of the best-selling books of all time.
The Pilgrim's Pride we hope you'll join us Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind