IX Believe Christ, Not Satan
Since Christ is thus 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.
A. How Should we Think of Christ
1. We should conceive of him as a mirror of all meekness.
2. Let us therefore abhor all suspicious thoughts, . .
B. When Christ Seems to be an Enemy
1. `But for all this, I feel not Christ so to me,’ says the smoking flax, `but rather the clean contrary. He seems to be an enemy to me. I see and feel evidences of his just displeasure: Christ may act the part of an enemy a little while, as Joseph did, but it is to make way for acting his own part of mercy in a more seasonable time. He cannot restrain his bowels of mercy long.
2. He cannot deny himself, he cannot but discharge the office his Father has laid upon him. We see here the Father has undertaken that he shall not `quench the smoking flax’, and Christ has also undertaken to represent us to the Father, appearing before him for us until he presents us blameless before him (John 17:6,11). The Father has given us to Christ, and Christ gives us back again to the Father.
C. When Doubt Assails Us.
`This would be good comfort,’ says one, `if I were but as smoking flax.’
1. If you are not so much as smoking flax, then why do you not renounce your interest in Christ, and disclaim the covenant of grace? This you dare not do.
2. In this appears Christ’s care to you, that he has given you a heart in some degree sensitive. He might have given you up to hardness, security and profaneness of heart, of all spiritual judgments the greatest. . . . (Psa. 10:17).
3. If God should bring us into such a dark condition as that we should see no light from himself or the creature, . . .Isa. 50:10 Isa. 53:5.
4. The sighs of a bruised heart carry in them a report, both of our affection to Christ, and of his care to us. The eyes of our souls cannot be towards him unless he has cast a gracious look upon us first. The least love we have to him is but a reflection of his love first shining upon us.
5. Whatever may be wished for in an all sufficient comforter is all to be found in Christ:
a. Authority from the Father. All power was given to him (Matt. 28:18).
b. Strength in himself. His name is `The mighty God’ (Isa. 9:6).
c. Wisdom, and that from his own experience, how and when to help (Heb. 2:18).
d. Willingness, as being bone of our bones and flesh of our flesh (Gen. 2:23; Eph. 5:30).