Christ is the Hope of the Church

August 15, 2012

Our staff just finished a summer study of the Rev. Dr. Richard Sibbes’ most famous work, The Bruised Reed. Dr. Sibbes was an Anglican priest and remained one for his entire life. Though his collected works fill seven volumes, The Bruised Reed is undoubtedly his most recognized book. The Bruised Reed has influenced such notable preachers and theologians as John Owen, J.C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, and more recently John Stott, Martin Lloyd-Jones and J.I. Packer. Tim Keller cites The Bruised Reed as foundational for ministry and requires minsters in training at Redeemer to study the book.

For our study we broke the book down into bite-sized pieces and added reflection questions for each segment of reading.  You can find a .pdf of the book, reading plan and questions on our website for your personal or staff or small group use.  Following is a final thought from Sibbes addressing the hope of the church.

If we look to the present state of the church of Christ, it is as Daniel in the midst of lions, as a lily amongst the thorns, as a ship not only tossed but almost covered with waves. It is so low that the enemies think they have buried Christ, with respect to his gospel, in the grave, and there they think to keep him from rising. But as Christ rose in his person, so he will roll away all the stones and rise again in his church. How little support has the church and cause of Christ at this day! How strong a conspiracy is against it! The spirit of antichrist is now lifted up and marches furiously. Things seem to hang on a small and invisible thread. But our comfort is that Christ lives and reigns, and stands on Mount Zion in defense of those who stand for him (Rev. 14:1); and when states and kingdoms shall dash one against another Christ will have care of his own children and cause, seeing there is nothing else in the world that he much esteems. At this very time the delivery of his church and the ruin of his enemies are in progress. We see nothing in motion till Christ has done his work, and then we shall see that the Lord reigns.