Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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look upon Christ with all his benefits

"The third particular is, That it's the duty of all Gods Children to know and believe this fullness in Christ for them, and to look upon Christ with all his benefits as for them: Now faith thus fixed on Christ hath these either ingredient or concomitant acts and effects.

1. There is a knowledge and a sound discovery of this sufficiency in Christ; You see here knowing and believing put together; Ignorance of this Point that all in Christ is for the believer breedeth much despondency, and takes off the wheels of thy Chariots: They look upon Christ as a Fountain sealed up, as a garden enclosed, They apprehend it's not for every godly person to go and drink of this fountain,* unless attaining to such an high measure of grace; Whereas a true knowledge of the end and use of Christ would quickly dispel all such black thoughts.

2. To believe doth imply a relying and resting of the soul upon this fullness;* Christ with his righteousness is the center of his heart; He trusts and puts his whole confidence in it; He need go out no further to seek, here is enough, he fears no breaking, no shaking, as long as Christ will last and endure, so long shall he; As a man that treads on the firm ground, he fears not as he that walks on slippery Ice; Thus the godly man leanest on a firm foundation, but he that trusted in his own righteousness or works, melts as Ice before the Sun.

3. There is a full satisfaction of the soul in this believing; So that it removeth all cares and fears, Have I enough or no? Is it sufficient to carry me out?* He is therefore said to save to the uttermost, Heb. 5. and it's called The riches of grace by Christ, the unsearchable riches; He therefore that believed in Christ thus as sent of God, he may say, Return O my soul into thy Rest, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee; what can satisfy if a Christ with all his benefits cannot; yea, if a godly man were to desire a way for to put him out of all doubts between God and his soul, what better way could he require then this.

4. In believing there is a receiving, and a participation of all that Christ hath,* and hence receiving and believing is put for one another; It's also metaphorically expressed by eating and drinking, Joh 6. That as by those actions we receive meat, and it becometh our very substance, so it is here, by believing in him Christ is made ours, even all that he hath is ours; Thus by Faith we are said to be branches partaking of the fatnesse of the Olive, Rom. 11. Oh then how excellent is this act of Faith, which is the hand to put on all the glorious robes of Christ upon our soul; It being not enough to know there is a Christ so qualified unless he become ours.

5. This believing works an holy confidence and boldness at the Throne of grace; It makes our prayers and duties full of fervency and alacrity, Eph.* 3.12. We come with boldness through Faith; We see the Scepter is held out, and so we may readily enter in, and Heb. 4.16. Let us come with boldness to the Throne of grace; Oh how much should the broken hearted sinner live in the Meditation of these things, God opens the way by his grace, and thou shuttest it by thy unbelief; Through Christ the way to heaven is made a broad way, and thy doubtings make it narrow: When Christ cals Peter to come to him, though upon the waters, it's not presumption but disobedience if Peter refuse?

6. This is accompanied with large and vast thoughts of Christ;* This file their hearts and mouths with Christ, as you see the Apostle Paul in every verse almost affectionately mentioning him, Phil. 3. with what disdain doth he renounce and throw away all things in comparison of Christ, The excellency of the knowledge of Christ, and at another time, He would know nothing but Christ crucified, 1 Cor. 2.2. He that doth thus believe in Christ so manifested, cannot but have his soul and all within him taken up this way; Though there be many speak of Christ, and talk of Christ, yet none hath him indeed; and none do truly esteem him but such persons as these; Is then Christ dearer and closer to thy heart then all earthly comforts and delights? Canst thou say, the thoughts of Christ are sweet, the meditations about him are my meat and drink all the day long, this is precious.

Lastly, This purifieth the heart, and makes us an holy, heavenly people;*If we be risen with Christ, we set our affections on things above, Col. 3.1, 2. and he that hath this hope purifieth himself as God is pure, 1 Joh. 3.3. Act. 15 9. As the Sun brings heat and light where it is, so where faith is it makes the heat active and operative, as Heb. 11. This is the beholding of God as in a glass, whereby we are transformed into his Image from grace to grace; Believing gets spiritual strength, even as eating and drinking does bodily; therefore while you abate in your faith you do not only lose your comfort but your spiritual strength. If you cease to believe, not only doubts and fears but even lusts and sins will prevail over you; thus you see what it is to believe in Christ thus manifested' Sermons 35 Anthony Burgess

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