How is Christ to be believed on?
1. We must rest upon no other thing, either in ourselves or out of ourselves, but Christ only.… They dishonour Christ to join anything in the world with him….
2. And whole Christ must be received. ‘Believing’ is nothing but a taking or receiving of Christ as a Lord and as a Saviour; as a priest, to redeem us by his blood; and Christ as a king, to govern us. We must take whole Christ. We see what manner of faith is in most men, that snatch out of Christ what they list, to serve their own turn. As he died for their sins, so they are glad of him; but as he is a lord and king to rule and govern them, so they will have none of him… But Christ, as we must rest and rely on him only, so we must receive him and believe on him wholly.
Now faith looks upon Christ as the main object of it, as it justifieth. The same faith it looks upon the whole word of God as a divine truth revealed; but for the main work of it, it looks upon Christ. Christ is the jewel that this ring of faith doth enclose; and as the ring hath the value from the jewel, so hath faith from Christ. In the main point of justification and comfort, faith lays hold upon Christ for mercy; for the distressed afflicted soul it looks first of all to comfort, and peace, and reconciliation; therefore it looks first to him that wrought it – that is, Christ. Now, the same faith that doth this, it believes all divine truths, the threatenings, and precepts, &c. Faith chooseth not its object to believe what it lists, but it carries the soul to all divine truths revealed. But when we speak of justifying faith, then Christ, and the promises, and the mercy of God in Christ, is the first thing that the soul looks unto. –Richard Sibbes in The Fountain Opened