Labor to be clothed with humility

Are we uncharitable and critical of our brothers and sisters? Do we bite and devour each other and thus harm the Kingdom of God? Thomas Brooks helps us out:

 

Labor to be clothed with humility

The benefits of humility:

1. Humility renovates us

Humility makes a man peaceable among brethren, fruitful in well-doing, cheerful in suffering, and constant in holy walking (1 Pet. 5:5). Humility fits for the highest services we owe of Christ, and yet will not neglect the lowest service to the most common saint (John 13:5).

Humility can feed upon the most common dish, yet it is maintained by the choicest delicates, as Christ, God, and glory. Humility will make a man bless him that curses him, and pray for those that persecute him.

An humble heart is an habitation for God, a scholar for Christ, a companion of angels, a preserver of grace, and a fitter for glory. Humility is the nurse of our graces, the preserver of our mercies, and the great promoter of holy duties.

2. Humility cannot find three things on this side of heaven:

A. Fullness in the creature,

B. Sweetness in the sin,

C. Life in an ordinance without Christ.

3. Humility finds three things on this side of heaven:

A. The soul to be empty,

B. Christ to be full,

C. Every mercy and duty to be sweet wherein God is enjoyed.

4. Humility changes our perspective:

Humility can weep over men’s weaknesses, and joy and rejoice over their graces. Humility will make a man quiet and contented in the most common condition, and it will preserve a man from envying other men’s prosperous condition (1 Thess. 1:2-3).

Humility honors those that are strong in grace, and puts two hands under those that are weak in grace (Eph. 3:8). Humility makes a rich man richer than other men, and it makes a man judge himself the poorest among men. Humility will see much food abroad, when it can see butt little at home.

5. Humility changes our attitudes:

Ah, Christian! Though faith be the champion of grace, and love the nurse of grace, yet humility is the beautifier of grace; it casts a general glory upon all the graces in the soul. Ah! Did Christians more abound in humility, they would be less bitter, forward, and sour, and they would be more gentle, meek and sweet in their spirits and practices.

6. Humility makes us value others:

Humility will make a man have high thoughts of others and low thoughts of a man’s self; it will make a man see much glory and excellency in others, and much baseness and sinfulness in man’s self; it will make a man see others rich, and himself poor; others strong, and himself weak; others wise and himself foolish.

Humility will make a man excellent at covering others’ infirmities, and at recording their gracious services, and at delighting in their graces; it makes a man joy in the every light that outshines his own, and every wind that bows others good.

Humility is better at believing than it is at questioning other men’s happiness. I judge says an humble soul, it is well with these Christians now, but it will be far better with them hereafter. They are now upon the borders of the New Jerusalem, and it will be, but a day before they slide into Jerusalem.

A humble soul it more willing to say, Heaven is that man’s, than mine; and Christ is that Christian’s, than mine; and God is their God in covenant, than mine.

7. Humility brings peace among brethren:

Ah! Were Christians more humble, there would be less fire and more love among them than now is.

 

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 209-211.

Self-Judging: Do It More

Are we uncharitable and critical of our brothers and sisters? Do we bite and devour each other and thus harm the Kingdom of God? Thomas Brooks helps us out:

‘Judge yourselves, and you shall not be judged of the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:31). 

Judge Yourself More

Ah! Were Christians’ hearts more taken up in judging themselves and condemning themselves, they would not be so apt to judge and censure others, and to carry it sourly and bitterly towards others that differ from them.

There are no souls in the world that are so fearful to judge others as those that do most judge themselves, nor so careful to make a righteous judgment of men or things as those that are most careful to judge themselves. There are none in the world that tremble to think evil of others, to speak evil of others, or to do evil to others, as those that make it their business to judge themselves. There are none that make such sweet constructions and charitable interpretations of men and things, as those that are best and most in judging themselves.

Meditate on These:

One request I have to you that are much in judging others and little in judging yourselves, to you that are so apt and prone to judge harshly, falsely, and unrighteously, and that is, that you will every morning dwell on these scriptures:

‘Judge not, that you not be judged; for with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged; and with what measure you use, it shall be measured to you again’ (Matt. 7:1-2). 

‘Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment’ (John 7:24). 

‘Let him that does not eat judge not him that eats, for God hath received him. Why do you judge your brother? (Rom. 14:3, 10, 13). 

‘We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Let us not judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block in his brother’s way. Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will manifest the counsels of the heart, and then shall every man have praise of God’ (1 Cor. 4:5) 

‘Speak not evil one of another, brethren: he that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy (James 4:11-12). 

‘Who are you that judges another man’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls; yes, he shall be held up, for God is able to make him stand. (Rom. 14:4).

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devises, 208-209.

 

 

 

Device Against Poor and Ignorant Souls

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 4 of 4

IV. Device Against Poor and Ignorant Souls

By causing them to affect ignorance and to neglect and despise the means of knowledge:

For remedies, consider that

A. An ignorant hearts is an evil heart
B. Ignorance is the deformity of the soul
C. Ignorance makes men objects of God’s hatred and wrath
D. Ignorance is a sin that leads to all sins

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Device Against the Saints

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 3 of 4

III. Device Against the Saints

By dividing them and causing them to ‘bite and devour one another’:

For remedies, consider that

A. It is better to dwell on saints’ graces rather than on their weaknesses and infirmities
B. Love and union best promote safety and security
C. God commands and requires the saints to love one another
D. It is better to eye the things in which saints agree rather than those things wherein they differ
E. God is the God of peace, Christ the prince of peace, and the Spirit the Spirit of peace
F. It is needful for the saints to make more care and conscience of maintaining their peace with God
G. It is needful to dwell much upon the relationship and union of the people of God
H. Discord is productive of miseries
I. It is good and honorable to be the first in seeking peace and reconcilement
J. Saints should agree well together, making the Word the only touchstone and judge of their words and actions
K. Saints should be much in self-judging
L. Saints should labor to be clothed with humility

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Device Against the Learned and the Wise

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 2 of 4

II. Device Against the Learned and the Wise

By moving them to pride themselves on their parts and abilities, and to despise men of greater grace but inferior abilities:

For remedies, consider that

A. Men have nothing but what they have received, gifts as well as saving grace coming alike from Christ
B. Men’s trusting to their parts and abilities has been their utter ruin
C. You do not transcend others more in parts and abilities than you do in grace and holiness
D. Men who pride themselves on their gifts and set themselves against the saints will find that God blasts and withers their gifts

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Devices Against the Great and Honorable of the Earth

Satan’s Devices to Destroy and Ensnare All Sorts and Ranks of Men in the World. –Part 1 of 4

I. Devices Against the Great and Honorable of the Earth

1. By causing them to seek greatness, position, riches, and security:

For remedies, consider that

A. Self-seeking sets men upon sins against the Law, the Gospel, and Nature itself
B. Self-seeking exceedingly abases a man
C. The Word pronounces curses and woes against self-seekers
D. Self-seekers are self-losers and self-destroyers
E. Saints have denied self and set public good above personal advantage
F. Self hinders the sight of divine things: hence prophets and apostles, when seeking visions, were carried out of themselves

2. By causing them to act against the people of the Most High:

For remedies, consider that

A. All who have acted against the saints have been ruined by the God of the saints
B. The Scriptures show that God gives victory to His people against their enemies
C. To fight against the people of God is to fight against God Himself
D. Men of the world owe their preservation from instant ruin, under God, to the saints

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 4

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 4

7. By reminding the saint of his frequent relapses into sin formerly repented of and prayed against:

For remedies, consider that

A. Many scriptures show that such relapses have troubled saints
B. God nowhere promises that such relapses will not happen
C. The most renowned of glorified saints have, on earth, experienced such relapses
D. Relapses into enormities must be distinguished from relapses into infirmities
E. Involuntary and voluntary relapses must be distinguished
F. No experience of the soul, however deep or high, can in itself secure the soul against relapses

8. By persuading saints that their state is not good nor their graces sound :

For remedies, consider that

A. The best of Christians have been most tempted by Satan
B. All the saints temptations are sanctified to them by a hand of love
C. Temptations cannot harm the saints as long as they are resisted by them

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 3

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 3

5. By suggesting to saints that the conflict that is in them is found also in the hypocrites and profane souls:

For remedies, consider that

A. The whole frame of a believer’s soul is against sin
B. A saint conflicts against sin universally, the least sin as well as the greatest
C. The conflict in a saints is maintained for several reasons
D. The saint’s conflict is constant
E. The saint’s conflict is within the same faculties
F. The saint’s conflict is blessed, successful and prevailing

6. By suggesting to the saint who has lost joy and comfort that his state is not good:

For remedies, consider that

A. The loss of comfort is a separable adjunct from grace
B. The precious things still enjoyed are far better than the joys and comforts lost
C. The glorified saints were once in the same condition
D. The causes of joy and comfort are not always the same
E. God will restore the comforts of His people

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 2

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 2

4. By suggesting to saints that their graces are not true, but counterfeit:

For remedies, consider that

A. Grace may mean either the good will and favor of God, or the gifts of grace
B. There are differences between renewing grace and restraining grace, between sanctifying and temporary grace

1. True grace makes all glorious within and without
2. The objects of true grace are supernatural
3. True grace enables a Christian, when he is himself, to do spiritual actions with real pleasure and delight
4. True grace makes a man most careful, and most fearful of his own heart
5. Grace will work a man’s heart to love and cleave to the strictest and holiest ways and things of God, for their purity and sanctity, in the face of all dangers and hardships.
6. True grace will enable a man to step over the world’s crown, to take up Christ’s cross; to prefer the cross of Christ above the glory of this world
7. Sanctifying grace, renewing grace, puts the soul upon spiritual duties, from spiritual and intrinsic motives
8. Saving grace, renewing grace, will cause a man to follow the Lord fully in the desertion of all sin, and in the observation of all God’s precepts
9. True grace leads the soul to rest in Christ, as in his ‘summum bonum’ –chiefest good.
10. True grace will enable a soul to sit down satisfied and contented with the naked enjoyments of Christ.

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.

Satan’s Devices to Keep Saints Doubting and Questioning –Part 1

Satan’s Devices to keep saints in a sad, doubting, questioning, and uncomfortable condition. –Part 1

1. By causing saints to remember their sins more than their Savior, yea, even to forget and neglect their Savior:

For remedies, consider that

A. Though Jesus Christ has not freed believers from sin’s presence, He has freed them from its damnatory power
B. Though Jesus Christ has not freed believers from the vexing and molesting power of sin, He has freed them from the reign and dominion of sin.
C. It is needful to keep one eyes on the promise of remission of sin, and the other eye on the inward operations of sin
D. Believers’ sins have been charged to the account of Christ as debts which He has fully satisfied
E. The Lord has good reasons for allowing His people to be troubled with sinful corruptions
F. Believers must repent of their being discouraged by their sins

2. By causing saints to make false definitions of their graces:

For remedies, consider that

A. There may be true faith, even great faith, where there is no assurance
B. The Scriptures define faith other than Satan tempts the saints to define it
C. There may be true faith where there is much doubting
D. Assurance is an effect of faith, not faith itself

3. By causing saints to make false inferences from the cross actings of Providence:

For remedies, consider that

A. Many things, through contrary to our desires, are not contrary to our good
B. God’s hand may be against a man when His love and His heart are set upon him
C. Cross providences are sent by God to work some noble good for saints
D. All the strange and deep providences that believers meet with further them in their way to heaven

-Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 1652.