Monday, 6 October 2008

In Christ...

A Christian is an impregnable person. He is a person that never can be conquered. Emmanuel became man to make the church and every Christian to be one with him. Christ's nature is out of danger of all that is hurtful. The sun shall not shine, the wind shall not blow, to the church's hurt. For the church's Head ruleth over all things and hath all things in subjection. Therefore let all the enemies consult together, this king and that power, there is a counsel in heaven which will disturb and dash all their counsels. Emmanuel in heaven laugheth them to scorn.

Richard Sibbes

As I'm sure you all know I love Richard Sibbes (have you read the Bruised Reed yet?). I was reminded of this quote once again by the struggles of an acquaintance.It's one of my faves.

Sibbes here reminds me a little of Torah and Numbers in particular. Nothing could prevent God from delivering his people, not the many enemies without nor the people delivered. Just so, nothing can prevent Christ from fully redeeming his church. He has already done it in fact and if we are in Christ, we have nothing to fear from what may be done to us or even from ourselves and our own weaknesses. Even the enemy of self is under his subjugation. For those of us bleeding out from self-inflicted wounds it is powerful to remember that he controls all things and works them together for the good of his people. Of course this turns our normal perception on it's head for it means that when evil comes there is ultimately goodness hidden in the evil which we receive by Christ. All our sufferings are good, even those self-inflicted ones. Evil then is turned in on itself by the power of the crucified and risen Christ.

Of course we are not safe from evil because we are special, get things right, or feel the right way, but because we are in Christ. We are weak and we fail and pain comes, but Christ has succeeded even when we feel like utter failures. Christ is victorious even when we feel like we have been completely conquered by others' cruelty or our weaknesses. No suffering harms us in Christ. In Christ. No two sweeter words may comfort us in trial. All the promises of God find their yes in Christ. That is why it is through him we utter our amen to God-for his glory.

Ultimately it is all about him and his glory, glory revealed in suffering, Christ's and ours. This is why God upholds us-for Christ's sake and for the glory of his Name. Not because one day we would "pay him back" and be a good return investment. No from beginning to end, salvation is of God and he alone. That is why we may rest so securely in it, That is why we can laugh with God to the scorn of his enemies (and our old man is certainly one of them) and not fear what they may or may not do. He will do what he has set out to accomplish, and he has set out to make us his own sons, at one with him. These sufferings are his way of making it happen.

And finally when we are revealed as the sons of God and with Christ in his glory we will see just how powerful our God is. On that day I'm sure we'll laugh at how foolish we were to cower fearfully in the impenetrable fortress that is Christ-which even now we reside in.

Anyway that is where my mind has been wandering lately.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Char! Bruised Reed is a wonderful work, full of encouragement and sound truths. I haven't read it in a while, but your post has prompted me to pick it up and enjoy it again.

Thanks for the reminders that 1) we are NOT specially blessed because of who we are or what we do but solely because of who we are IN CHRIST and 2) the truth that even the Adversary is under the reign of Christ...wonderful! Thank you!


Char said...

Hey T.C. Thanks for the comment! I told you I liked those puritans. :)

I can't comment on your blog because I don't have a wordpress account.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post.

I completely forgot about reading the Bruised Reed and started a couple of other books.

Must remember to read that next.

James Gibbons said...

Your blog is a treat, Char. I like the way you write. But recently, more an more, I like the things you write. This is my favorite John Newton hymn. Thought it fit this post.

1. When Satan appears
To stop up our path,
And fill us with fears,
We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us,
Though oft he has tried ,
The heart-cheering promise,
The Lord will provide.

2. He tells us we're weak,
Our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek
We ne'er shall obtain;
But when such suggestions
Our spirits have tried,
This answers all questions,
The Lord will provide.

3. No strength of our own,
Or goodness we claim;
Yet since we have known
The Saviour's great name,
In this, our strong tower,
For safety we hide,
The Lord is our power,
The Lord will provide.

4. Should life sink apace,
And death be in view,
This word of His grace
Shall comfort us through;
No fearing or doubting,
With Christ on our side,
Through faith we'll die shouting,
The Lord will provide.

mem said...

Hey, hope things are well. Liked the post. I will send a note when I can—not tonight as I am tired and cranky and feel like dishing out some pain. Beating up on children hasn't helped lately. Maybe you should send the hellions down here or something

Char said...

Thanks for posting the hymn James. I love Olney hymns! You in turn have reminded me of another Puritan quote I love...

mem said...

I am mostly ungrouchified. We'll see how that lasts. Beating on a poor Michigan State team helped.

And taking Saturday and today off, basically.

Hope your weekend went well...I have been enjoying Ezekiel lately. I shall have to pick up the Bruised Reed again soon, too.