Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Christ comes out of love to us, welcome him into your heart

Richard Sibbes continues to explore the relationship between Christ and people as he concludes the fifth sermon of Bowels Opened. Christ is shown to be knocking at the door of the church, but not all welcome Christ. In some cases Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts but we don't open to him (Matt 25:41). Such people may want some distant connection to Christ, they "entertain him in the outward room, the brain; they know a little of Christ, but, in the heart, the secret room, he must not come there to rule."

Let us hear his word
 "For the entertaining of his word is the welcoming of himself, as it is, Col. 3:16. 'Let the word of God dwell plentifully in you.' And, Let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith,' Eph. 3:17. Compare those places; let the word dwell plenteously in you by wisdom, and let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith. For then does Christ dwell in the heart, when the truth dwells in us. Therefore, what entertainment we give to his truth, we give to himself."
Not all welcome the word of God, they do not welcome Christ.
"...for the motions of his Spirit, who are there at this time, who thus live in the church under the ministry, who cannot say that God thereby has smote their hearts, those hard rocks, again and again, and awakened their consciences, partly with corrections public and personal, and partly with benefits? Yet notwithstanding, what little way is given to Christ! Many are indifferent and lukewarm... let us strive to hold Christ, to entertain him. Let him have the best room in our souls, to dwell in our hearts. Let us give up the keys to him... to let him rule as the husband rules in his family, and a king in his kingdom. People resists because they know if they open to the Spirit of God, he will turn them out of their fool's paradise... they repel the sweet motions of the Spirit of Christ, and pull away his graces, building bulwarks against Christ, as lusts, strange imaginations, and resolutions, 2 Cor. 10:3-5."
What is the loss is there if we welcome Christ? Only gain!
"He comes with all grace. His goodness is a communicative, diffusive goodness. He comes to spread his treasures, to enrich the heart with all grace and strength, to bear all afflictions, to encounter all dangers, to bring peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Spirit. He comes, indeed, to make our hearts, as it were, a heaven.... to empty his goodness into our hearts. As a breast that desires to empty itself when it is full; so this fountain has the fulness of a fountain, which strives to empty his goodness into our souls. He comes out of love to us.... If we have not comfort presently when we desire it, let us attend upon Christ, as he has attended upon us, for when he comes, he comes with advantage... The longer we wait, he comes with the more abundant grace and comfort in the end, and shows himself rich, and bountiful to them that wait upon him, Isa. 40 etc."
He comes out of love to us! Not to employ us, not to enslave us, not to destroy us - but in love to be the church's husband. Why would we not welcome him?

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