Tag Archives: 1 Corinthians 13

“The song of victory shall be yours” by Jonathan Edwards

“Here is matter of great encouragement to the saints earnestly to fight against the enemies of their souls.

The Captain of your salvation will assuredly conduct you to victory in the end. He who is able to uphold you has promised that you shall overcome, and His promise shall never fail.

Resting on that promise be faithful to your part, and ere long the song of victory shall be yours, and the crown of victory He will place, with His own hands, upon your head.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits in Ethical Writings (ed. Paul Ramsey and John E. Smith; vol. 8; The Works of Jonathan Edwards; New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1989), 349-350.

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“Look to Jesus” by Jonathan Edwards

“In all your way let your eye be to Jesus who is gone to heaven as your Forerunner.

Look to Him; behold His glory there in heaven to stir you up the more earnestly to be there.

Look to Him, and observe His example. Consider how by patient continuance in well-doing, and in patient enduring of great sufferings, He went before to heaven.

Look to Him, and trust in His mediation, in His blood, with which He has entered into the holiest of all, as the price of heaven.

Trust to His intercession in heaven before God.

Trust to His strength by His Spirit sent from heaven to enable you to press on and surmount the difficulties which are in the way to heaven.

Trust in His promises of heaven to those who love and follow Him, whom He has confirmed by entering into heaven Himself as your Head and Representative and Forerunner.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 395.

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“Heaven is a world of love” by Jonathan Edwards

“The God of love dwells in heaven. Heaven is the palace, or presence-chamber, of the Supreme Being who is both the cause and source of all holy love.

God, indeed, with respect to His essence is everywhere. He fills heaven and earth. But yet He is said on some accounts more especially to be in some places rather than others.

He was said of old to dwell in the land of Israel above all other lands, and in Jerusalem above all other cities in that land, and in the temple above all other houses in that city, and in the holy of holies above all other apartments in that temple, and on the mercy seat over the ark above all other places in the holy of holies.

But heaven is His dwelling place above all other places in the universe.

Those places in which He was said to dwell of old were all but types of this. Heaven is a part of the creation which God has built for this end, to be the place of His glorious presence.

And it is His abode forever. Here He will dwell and gloriously manifest Himself to eternity.

And this renders heaven a world of love; for God is the fountain of love, as the sun is the fountain of light.

And therefore the glorious presence of God in heaven fills heaven with love, as the sun placed in the midst of the hemisphere in a clear day fills the world with light.

The Apostle tells us that God is love, 1 John 4:8. And therefore seeing He is an infinite Being, it follows that He is an infinite fountain of love.

Seeing He is an all-sufficient Being, it follows that He is a full and overflowing and an inexhaustible fountain of love.

Seeing He is an unchangeable and eternal Being, He is an unchangeable and eternal source of love.

There even in heaven dwells that God from whom every stream of holy love, yea, every drop that is or ever was proceeds.

There dwells God the Father, and so the Son, who are united in infinitely dear and incomprehensible mutual love.

There dwells God the Father, who is the Father of mercies, and so the Father of love, who so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life [John 3:16].

There dwells Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of peace and love, who so loved the world that He shed His blood, and poured out His soul unto death for it.

There dwells the Mediator, by whom all God’s love is expressed to the saints, by whom the fruits of it have been purchased, and through whom they are communicated, and through whom love is imparted to the hearts of all the church.

There Christ dwells in both His natures, His human and divine, sitting with the Father in the same throne.

There is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of divine love, in whom the very essence of God, as it were, all flows out or is breathed forth in love, and by whose immediate influence all holy love is shed abroad in the hearts of all the church [cf. Romans 5:5].

There in heaven this fountain of love, this eternal three in one, is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it.

There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love.

There the fountain overflows in streams and rivers of love and delight, enough for all to drink at, and to swim in, yea, so as to overflow the world as it were with a deluge of love.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 369-370.

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“The gospel and envy” by Jonathan Edwards

“The gospel scheme, all of it from beginning to end, tends to the contrary of this spirit of envy. The Christian form of doctrine doth abundantly hold forth those things which militate against a spirit of envy.

The things which they teach us of God are exceedingly contrary to it.

For there we are taught how far God was from grudging us the most exceeding honor and blessedness, and how He has grudged us nothing as too much to be done for us, and nothing as too great and too good to be given us.

He hath not grudged us His only begotten Son, that which was most precious and most dear of all to Himself.

For what was dearer to God than His only begotten, dearly beloved Son? He hath not grudged us the highest honor and blessedness in union with Him.

The doctrines of the gospel teach us how far Jesus Christ was from grudging us anything which He could do for or give to us.

He did not grudge us a life spent in labor and suffering.

He did not grudge us His own precious blood.

He hath not grudged us a sitting with Him on His throne in heaven, and being partakers with Him of that heavenly kingdom and glory which the Father hath given Him, and sitting with Him on thrones judging the world, though we deserve to be had in infinite contempt and abhorrence by Him.

The Christian scheme of doctrine teaches us how Christ came into the world to deliver us from the fruits of Satan’s envy towards us.

The devil being miserable himself envied mankind that happiness which they had, and could not bear to see our first parents in their happy state in Eden, and therefore exerted himself to the utmost to ruin them, and accomplished it.

The gospel teaches how Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the devil, and deliver us from that misery into which his envy has brought us.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 224.

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“Earnestly seek humility” by Jonathan Edwards

“Let all be exhorted earnestly to seek much of an humble spirit, and to endeavor to be humble in all their behavior toward God and men. Seek for a deep and abiding sense of your comparative meanness before God and man.

Know God. Confess your nothingness and ill-desert before Him. Distrust yourself. Rely only on God. Renounce all glory except from Him. Yield yourself heartily to His will and service.

Avoid an aspiring, ambitious, ostentatious, assuming, arrogant, scornful, stubborn, willful, leveling, self-justifying behavior. And strive for more and more of the humble spirit that Christ manifested while He was on earth. Consider the many motives to such a spirit.

Humility is a most essential and distinguishing trait in all true piety.

It is the attendant of every grace, and in a peculiar manner tends to the purity of Christian feeling.

It is the ornament of the spirit.

It is the source of some of the sweetest exercises of Christian experience.

It is the most acceptable sacrifice we can offer to God.

It is the subject of the richest of His promises.

It is the spirit with which He will dwell on earth, and which He will crown with glory in heaven hereafter.

Earnestly seek, then, and diligently and prayerfully cherish a humble spirit, and God shall walk with you here below, and when a few days shall have passed, He will receive you in the honors bestowed on His people at Christ’s right hand.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 251.

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“Love the infinitely condescending God” by Jonathan Edwards

The gospel leads us to love God as an infinitely condescending God. The gospel above all things in the world holds forth the exceeding condescension of God.

No other manifestation which God ever made of Himself exhibits such condescension as the Christian revelation does.

The gospel teaches how God, who humbles Himself to behold things in heaven, stooped so low as to take an infinitely gracious notice of poor vile worms of the dust, and to concern Himself for their salvation, so as to send His only begotten Son to die for them that they might be honored and brought into eternal fellowship with Him and the perfect enjoyment of Him.

So that the love to which the Christian revelation leads us is love to God as such a condescending God, and to such exercises of love as it becomes us to exercise towards a God of such infinite condescension, which are humble acts of love.

For there is no disposition of the creature more adapted to the condescension of the Creator than humility.

The condescension of God is not properly humility; because for reasons already mentioned, humility is a perfection only of those beings which have comparative meanness.

But yet God by His infinite condescension shows His nature to be infinitely far from, and opposite to pride. And therefore God’s condescending is called His humbling Himself. Psalms 113:6, ‘Who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!’

And humility is the nearest and most proper conformity to the condescension of God that can be in a creature.

The gospel leads us to love Christ, as an humble person. Christ is one who is God-man, and so has not only condescension which is a divine perfection, but also humility which is a creature excellence.

The gospel holds forth Christ to us as one meek and lowly of heart, as the most perfect and excellent instance of humility that ever was, and one in whom were the greatest testimonies and expressions of humility in His abasement of Himself.

For He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death [Philippians 2:8]. Now the gospel leads us to love Christ as such an humble person, and therefore to love Him with such a love as is proper to be exercised towards such an one, which is an humble love.

And that the more, because the gospel leads us to love Christ not only as an humble person but a humble Savior, Lord and Head. If our Lord and Head be humble, and we love Him as such, certainly it becomes us who are His disciples and servants to be so.

For surely it does not become the servant to be prouder or less abased than his Master.

Matthew 10:24–25, ‘The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.’

John 13:13–16, ‘Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.’

Matthew 20:25–27, ‘Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.’

The gospel leads us to love Christ as a crucified Savior. He is a Savior and Lord who suffered the greatest ignominies, was put to the most ignominious death, though He was the Lord of glory.

This in many ways teaches His followers humility, and leads them to an humble love of Christ.

For by God’s sending His Son into the world to suffer such an ignominious death, He did as it were pour contempt on all that earthly glory which men are wont to be proud of, in that He gave His Son, the Head of all elect men, to appear in circumstances so far from earthly glory, circumstances of the greatest earthly ignominy.

Hereby the condescension of God appeared, and hereby Christ above all other things showed His humility, in that He was willing to be thus abased, and in thus humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

And hereby Christ our Lord and Master and Head showed His contempt of earthly glory, and those things upon which men pride themselves.

If we therefore behave ourselves as the followers of a crucified Jesus we shall walk humbly before God and men all the days of our lives.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 247-248.

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“The main business of the Christian life” by Jonathan Edwards

“Our subject exhorts us to seek a spirit of love, to grow in it more and more, and very much to abound in the works of love.

If love is so great a thing in Christianity, so essential and distinguishing, yea, the very sum of all Christian virtue, then surely those that profess themselves Christians should live in love, and abound in the works of love. For no works are so becoming as those of love.

If you call yourself a Christian, where are your works of love?

Have you abounded, and do you abound in them?

If this divine and holy principle is in you, and reigns in you, will it not appear in your life, in works of love?

Consider what deeds of love have you done?

Do you love God?

What have you done for Him, for His glory, for the advancement of His kingdom in the world?

And how much have you denied yourself to promote the Redeemer’s interest among men?

Do you love your fellowmen?

What have you done for them?

Consider your former defects in these respects, and how becoming it is in you as a Christian hereafter to abound more in deeds of love.

Do not make excuse that you have not opportunities to do anything for the glory of the God, for the interest of the Redeemer’s kingdom, and for the spiritual benefit of your neighbors.

If your heart is full of love, it will find vent and then you will find or make ways enough to express your love in deeds. When a fountain abounds in water, it will send forth streams.

Consider that as a principle of love is the main principle in the heart of a real Christian, so the labor of love is the main business of the Christian life. Let every Christian consider these things.

And may the Lord give you understanding in all things, and make you sensible what spirit it becomes you to be of, and dispose you to such an excellent, amiable, and benevolent life, as is answerable to such a spirit, that you may not love only in word and tongue, but in deed and truth.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, in Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8, Ed. Paul Ramsey (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1749/1989), 147-148.

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