Wednesday, 16 January 2008

The Resolves of Edwards (1/7)

I had a good chat with a close brother from Church this evening about the Resolves of Johnathon Edwards. Edwards came up with a list of 70 guidelines for himself to follow in order to produce true holy living that depends on the help of the Holy Spirit.

I thought it would be good for me to post them gradually on my blog. Then we can be inspired by the godliness of this guy.

Edwards resolves don't act as a law. They're are not there to become a binding moral mark in order to please God. That's a road that leads to self-righteous religious pride ending in death.

They are there to help us live holy and righteous lives. We must live out what God has already done in us. Live out righteousness because we have been declared righteous.
Edwards resolves are to help us 'put to death the deeds of the body' (Rom 8v13), discipline our bodies bringing it into subjection (1 Cor 9v27), and to 'abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul' (1 Pet 2v11). If we are to take loving God seriously then we must take the war against sin seriously. We have to fight the battle against it with zeal and perseverance, expecting pain and hardship like any good soldier (2 Tim 2v3).

Here are the first 10:

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.

3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

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