Many Want Christ on Their Own Terms

To forsake all for Christ, to hate father and mother, yes, a man’s own life for Him, ‘This is a hard saying’ (Luke 14:26). Some will do much—but they will not have that religion which will save them. They never come to be entirely devoted to Christ, nor to be fully resigned to Him. They must have the sweet sin; they mean to do themselves no harm; they have secret exceptions for life, liberty, or estate. Many take Christ thus, and never consider His self-denying terms, nor count the cost; and this error in the foundation mars all, and ruins them forever (Luke 14:28-33). ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Some Give Birth with More Pangs, and Some with Fewer

It is hard to prescribe a just measure of humiliation. It is the same in the new birth as in the natural. Some give birth with more pangs, and some with fewer. But would you like to know when you are bruised enough? When your spirit is so troubled that you are willing to let go those lusts which brought in the greatest income of pleasure and delight. When not only is sin discarded but you are disgusted with it, then you have been bruised enough. The medicine is strong enough when it has purged out the disease. The soul is bruised enough when the love of sin is purged out. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 227

Bringing a Man from Nature to Grace

Ungodly spirits, ignorant of God’s ways in bringing his children to heaven, censure broken hearted Christians as miserable persons, whereas God is doing a gracious, good work with them. It is no easy matter to bring a man from nature to grace, and from grace to glory, so unyielding and intractable are our hearts. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Bruising is Required Before Conversion

This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God bruises us by one cross or other, and then we `begin to think’, and come home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke 15:17). It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the judge.

Again, this bruising makes us set a high price upon Christ. Then the gospel becomes the gospel indeed; then the fig leaves of morality will do us no good. And it makes us more thankful, and, from thankfulness, more fruitful in our lives; for what makes many so cold and barren, but that bruising for sin never endeared God’s grace to them?

Likewise this dealing of God establishes us the more in his ways, having had knocks and bruisings in our own ways. This is often the cause of relapses and apostasy, because men never smarted for sin at the first; they were not long enough under the lash of the law. Hence this inferior work of the Spirit in bringing down high thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5) is necessary before conversion. And, for the most part, the Holy Spirit, to further the work of conviction, joins with it some affliction, which, when sanctified, has a healing and purging power. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

The Trinity and Our Redemption

See here, for our comfort, a sweet agreement of all three persons: the Father gives a commission to Christ; the Spirit furnishes and sanctifies to it, and Christ himself executes the office of a Mediator. Our redemption is founded upon the joint agreement of all three persons of the Trinity. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ was God’s Servant in our Salvation

Christ was God’s servant in the greatest piece of service that ever was, a chosen and a choice servant who did and suffered all by commission from the Father. In this we may see the sweet love of God to us, in that he counts the work of our salvation by Christ his greatest service, and in that he will put his only beloved Son to that service. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Dwell Upon the Love of Christ

“O saints, do but let your thoughts dwell upon the love of Christ, who passed by angels and thought of you, who was wounded that, out of his wounds, the balm of Gilead might come to heal you; who leaped into the sea of his Father’s wrath, to save you from drowning.”  The Great Gain of Godliness

Sinners Desire Christ Only for Shelter

Sinners desire Christ only for shelter. The Hebrews never chose their judges except when they were in some imminent danger. Godless persons never look for Christ except at death, when they are in danger of hell. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 53

Every Man is Bound in Fetters

Every man is by is bound in fetters. A man that is in fetters, if you use arguments, and persuade him to go, is that sufficient? There must be a breaking of his fetters, and setting him free, before he can walk. So it is with every natural man; he is fettered with corruption; now the Lord by converting grace must file off his fetters, nay, give him legs to run too, or he can never obtain salvation. “All Things for Good” pg. 113

A Dark Prison for a King’s Palace

Will not anyone be willing to exchange a dark prison for a king’s palace? Will he not exchange his brass for gold? You who become godly change for the better: you change your pride for humility, your uncleanness for holiness. You change a lust that will damn you for a Christ who will save you. If men were not besotted, if their fall had not knocked their brains out, they would see that is it the most rational thing in the world to become godly. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 201