“Christ is our pattern. It is first in our head, first in Christ, and then in us. He is first the Son of God by nature. We are the sons of God by adoption. He is the predestinated Son of God to save us, to be our head. We are predestined to be His members. He is the Son of God’s love. We are beloved in Him.
He is full of grace: ‘Of His fulness we receive grace for grace,’ (John 1:16). He rose and we shall rise, because He rose first. He ascended into heaven; by virtue of His ascension we shall ascend into heaven too.
He sits at the right hand of God in glory, and by virtue of His sitting we sit there together with Him in heavenly places. Whatsoever is graciously or gloriously good that is in us, it is first in our blessed and glorious Saviour.
Therefore let us look to Him, and be thankful to God for Him. When we thank God for ourselves, let us thank God first for giving Christ, who is the pattern to whom we are conformed. Let us give thanks for Him, as St Peter doth, ‘Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,’ (1 Peter 1:3).
If He had not been His Father, He would have not been ours. We cannot stand before God of ourselves, but in one that is perfect in Himself, God-man. Therefore when we bless God for grace and glory that belongs to us, let us bless Him for giving Christ, that in Him we are happy.
He conforms us in grace here and in glory hereafter, in body and soul, to our glorious Saviour. And as it is a ground of thankfulness to God for Christ, so it yields us a rule for meditation.
When we would think of anything in ourselves, let us go to our head, to Christ, in Whom we have all we have and that we hope to have. ‘Of His fulness we receive, not only grace for grace,’ but glory for glory.
Of all the glory He hath, we have answerable to Him; and surely it is a transforming meditation to think of Christ’s glory, and to see ourselves in Him; to think of grace in Christ, and of our interest in grace in Him.
We must not think of Him as an abstracted head severed from us, but think of His glory, and our glory in Him and by Him. He is glorious, and we shall be glorious likewise.”
–Richard Sibbes, “The Redemption of our Bodies,” in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 5, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet and Co.; W. Robertson, 1863), 166.