Thursday, 28 February 2008

The Resolves of Edwards (7/7)

The concluding resolutions:
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; "knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord." June 25 and July 13, 1723.

63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. Jan.14' and July '3' 1723.

64. Resolved, when I find those "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those "breakings of soul for the longing it hath," of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear', of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton's 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.

70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

One happy Edwards fan:

'Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake.'

Friday, 22 February 2008

Why is sin evil?

Over the last week I've been considering the seriousness of my sin and why sin is SO evil. Hopkins reminded me today that we need to be constantly re-evaluating God's holiness in comparison to our sin so that we can see the insignificance of being human.

'Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?' (Psalm 144v3).
I've come to the conclusion that sin is evil because it lies to us by explaining that committing evil is better than knowing God. It obscures understanding of what is worthy. Sin deceives by proclaiming that it is worthy of praise and worship...and the human without Gods spirit has so much faith in that lie. Sin exclaims that it can give hope, life, happiness and the answers but instead gives a life of deception and misery. Sin must be hated because it wants God off the throne and humanity to bow and praise it.

Sin has tricked us all! It's stolen the joy and peace of knowing God. It ruins families and society. It corrupts governments but most of all induces God's perfect anger. Sin is transgression of the law. It's crossing the line that God has made. When we cross that line we are stating two things: 1)God you are a liar, 2)Sin you are telling the truth. We perceive sin to be good for us. It's crazy! Sin has turned the world up-side-down, and so the apostles tried to turn it back the right way up.

The frightening thing is we do not commit sin from the outside.What I mean is that sin comes from within. It's taken us hostage. Sin happens when a person is enticed by his own desires. When that desire has conceived sin is born. Fresh and ready to grow up, mature, dominate and corrupt all our motives, our thoughts and our actions. It makes the best things we do to look like bloody rags. It breeds, it's contagious. The more we sin the more we love to sin. And the more we love to sin the more we hate God. Sin is a King who has already won the heart.

Sin even uses good to produce evil: 'The commandment, which was to bring life, found to bring death. For sin taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me'-Romans 7v9+10. The Law of God is perfect, it's used to bring us to Christ by the Spirit (Gal 3v24). The law is also used as a catalyst for more evil by sin (Rom 5v20).

Looking at the effects of sin is scary. We are filthy- covered in sin. Thank God for Jesus!

''Come now, let us reason together', says the Lord, 'Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool''. Isaiah 1v18.

'If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.' 1 John 2v1

A prayer: Jesus. Thank you so much for free forgiveness. Thank you that even though we were you enemies you chose to love us. Help us to hate sin with passion, to realise it's full effects and to cleanse ourselves from sin as we walk in Christ. Increase our knowledge of you as our Holy God. Humble us and destroy our pride. Through Jesus. Amen

Books on sin and how to fight it:

The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The Resolves of Edwards (6/7)

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.

54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.

58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May27, and July 13, 1723.

59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July ii, and July 13.

60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Friday, 15 February 2008

He works

Be encouraged:

'I knew at that moment that I didn’t have to think longer about having the right feeling of repentance or not, because I first had to believe. So I felt relieved: I didn’t have ‘to be’ something. And that moment I realized that I should not wait any longer to believe, I could and should do it at that moment! I was in the train, so I couldn’t say it loudly but my heart said: ‘Yes, I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that He has died also for my all my sin (although I can’t remember all of them and can’t repent the way I should).’ I thought it was so difficult but in reality it was so easy!! It is such a grace that Jesus has also died for me, such an unworthy person! It is too great for full understanding! I’m so glad I don’t have to be somebody or to have something before coming to Christ, because I can’t fulfil any requirements. It is all God’s grace, also my belief, because in myself I would never belief and never never come to Christ. Now I see that my unbelief was the problem in my whole life of praying, reading the Bible and visiting the church. I never believed really that I also could be saved. I always thought it was for others: older people, wearing dark clothes and being very serious all the day. So it was unbelief that withhold me from coming to Jesus and now I believe that this unbelief is a big sin, because it neglects God’s offer of his Son to save people. I now believe!! It feels really like I was blind and now I see! I thank God for His grace (because He gave me this belief) and pray also for a better understanding of all my sin so that I can convert to Christ and understand more the greatness of His saving.'

I received this email from a friend the other week. She has been brought up in a church that teaches 'hyper-calvinism'-an over-emphasis on the sovereignty of God and an under-emphasis on the human's responsibility.

Hyper-calvinistic doctrine leads to no evangelism: 'God will fill the church when he wants, on his own' they say. Many hyper-calvinists aren't sure about being saved. They don't know for certain, only 7 out of 700 people take communion in the church that my friend goes to.

Hyper-calvinists also put a big emphasis on sin to the exclusion of rejoicing in the righteousness that Christ has purchased for us. This makes a joy-less Christian who claims that they are too unworthy for God to forgiven them. That's blasphemous. 'Where sin abounded grace abounded all the more'. God's grace will always be larger than our sin!!

I was brought up in a moderately hyper-calvinistic church and the doctrine is still affecting a few older members of my family today. It's the work of the devil. The devil always works in half truths. He always mingles truth with error so the error is hard to spot.

I was really encouraged by this email. God is good! He’s still saving people today. All the wicked doctrine in the world can’t hold our God back from doing what He wants!

‘His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation…
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have you done?’’ Daniel 4v34, 35

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


I love this video.

I had to watch it many times to grasp the fullness of it. God is glorified through the afflictions of life. God is glorious when persecution comes. God is glorious when He removes every temporal blessing- it's then we realise that every spiritual blessing is our in Jesus. The Lord gives and takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord; He is our strength and portion forever!

Heresy is a thief that steals our joy. We have to hate heresy.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

The Resolves of Edwards (5/7)

More insights from our mortally dead and spiritually alive friend:

41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.

42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.

43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.

44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.

45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.

46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.

47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.

49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.

50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.

Monday, 4 February 2008

What I love about UCCF

There are several things I love about UCCF, this being the most recent addition.

This is another. I'm also terribly excited about this.

I've recently just applied for this, to work within Canterbury Christ Church CU or Kent CU starting in September- I really value your prayers.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Perseverance of the Saints

'All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.'- Jesus from John 6v37-39

'I am persuaded that neither life nor death, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor death, nor any other created thing, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'- Paul from Romans 8v38-39

'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.'-Peter from 1 Peter 1v3-5

'The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable'-Paul from Romans 11v29

'In our first paradise in Eden there was a way to go out but no way to go in again. But as for the heavenly paradise, there is a way to go in, but not a way to go out.'- Richard Baxter

'I do not know how some people, who believe that a Christian can fall from grace, manage to be happy. It must be a very commendable thing in them to be able to get through a day without despair. If I did not believe in the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, I think I should be of all men most miserable, because I should lack any ground of comfort.'- Charles Spurgeon

'Though Christians be not kept altogether from falling, yet they are kept from falling altogether.'- William Secker.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Sustained only by grace

Recently my spiritual life has been up and down. Sometimes it gets very down even though outwardly I seem ok. It's too easy to turn up at Christian events and been seen doing all the right things even when you're heart is weak. A fake Christianity is easy to deploy because fake Christianity is religion-it's just doing stuff.

I'm not saying that I've lost my salvation, no. I'm saying that throughout this week I've been very consious of the enemys attacks from every angle. He's been tricking me and I've bought into a few of those lies. I've been left wounded, hurt and bleeding. As a result I lost my joy, peace, assurance, and purpose. I think God brings us to this place to humble us and show who is in control. He wants to re-affirm that without Him there is no purpose. Life is vanity without God. The most precious things that God has taught me came as an alloy with spiritual pain.

I know for a fact that if my salvation was down to me I would be deep in sin by now. At present I feel God holding onto me as a child who is about to run out into the road and get knocked dead by a stream of traffic. Actually He's holding us all If we're saved, we just don't realise it.

Thank God that He brings us to our knees (even if it hurts) so that we can grow, mature and rejoice afresh in Him.