Believe Christ, Not Satan (Sibbes)

Around the middle part of his excellent book, The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes (d. 1635) explained the great truth of how Christ is merciful and patient with us in our weakness and stumbling. Sibbes noted well that Christ has a “gracious disposition” towards those who are weak, weary, and heavily burdened (Mt. 11:28). Jesus said he will not turn away anyone who comes to him in faith (John 6:35). He is a merciful Savior! Sibbes’ counsel at this point is golden. Here’s what he said:

“In time of temptation, believe Christ rather than the devil. Believe truth from Truth itself. Listen not to a liar, an enemy, and a murderer. Since Christ is comfortably set out to us, let us not believe Satan’s representations of him. When we are troubled in conscience for our sins, Satan’s manner is then to present Christ to the afflicted soul as a most severe judge armed with justice against us. But then let us present him to our souls as offered to our view by God himself, holding out a scepter of mercy, and spreading his arms to receive us.”

Richard Sibbes, A Bruised Reed, p. 62-63.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015