Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Divine and Supernatural Light - Jonathan Edwards

This sermon was preached in New England in 1734. It was applicable then, it was informative to strike at heresies in the early church, and it is still applicable today re: the doctrine of regeneration and anonymous Christianity.
(On Jesus' statement to Peter, Matt 16.17)
"Thou art an happy man, that thou art not ignorant of this, that I am Christ, the Son of the Living God. Thou art distinguishingly happy." This thought - that we are able to know that Jesus is Who He says He is, only because of the grace of God, should make us happy. We have hope in this!
"But in the renewing and sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost, those things are wrought in the soul that are above nature, and of which there is nothing of the like kind in the soul by nature, and they are caused to exist in the soul habitually, and according to such a stated constitution or law, that lays such a foundation for exercises in a continued course, as is called a principle of nature." Or in other words: these revelations about Christ are not innate in us (special revelation, not general revelation) - they are given to the ones He has chosen to give them to through the Holy Spirit.
"But this spiritual light that I am speaking of, it reveals no new doctrine, it suggests no new proposition to the mind, it teaches no new thing of God, or Christ, or another world, not taught in the Bible, but only gives a due apprehension of those things that are taught in the Word of God." So, if anyone comes to you saying they have a "word from the Lord" and groundings for that truth cannot be found within the inerrant Word of God - you can dismiss it - because the Spirit will not work contrary to the Truth found in Scripture.
"He doesn't merely rationally believe that God is glorious, but he has a sense of the gloriousness of God in his heart." There is a difference between saying "I believe in Jesus" and having salvation. Satan believes there is a man named Jesus, he believes there is God - no way Satan is going to Heaven. Some evangelists will say "some people go to hell by the length of a ruler" - meaning a lot of people "know" Jesus, but not all those who know KNOW.
Ps 119.18 and 25.14 are good examples of this Edwardian thought. Romans 1 too.
So what...
"This doctrine may lead us to reflect on the goodness of God, that has so ordered it, that a saving evidence of the truth of the gospel is such, as is attainable by persons of mean capacities, and advantages, as well as those that are of the greatest parts and learning." This would help defeat gnosticism in the early church era. And I'm glad that I don't have to comprehend everything Jonathan Edwards ever wrote in order to go to heaven. God saved me not due to anything I could comprehend, but for His glory alone.

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