Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Gospel According to Edwards

Being stuck at home this weekend due to 10 inches of snow, I dusted off my Works of Jonathan Edwards and reminded myself of why I love Edwards so much. Here are a few favorite quotes from his sermon Pardon for the Greatest Sinners.

"They who truly come to God for mercy, come as beggars, and not as creditors: they come for mere mercy, for sovereign grace, and not for anything that is due. "

"The whole contrivance of the way of salvation is for this end, to glorify the free grace of God. God has it on his heart from all eternity to glorify this attribute; and therefore it is, that the device of saving sinners by Christ was conceived. The greatness of divine grace appears very much in this, that God by Christ saves the greatest offenders. The greater the guilt of any sinner is, the more glorious and wonderful is the grace manifested in his pardon."

"The Redeemer is glorified, in that he proves sufficient to redeem those who are exceeding sinful, in that his blood proves sufficient to wash away the greatest guilt, in that he is able to save men to the uttermost, and in that he redeems even from the greatest misery."

"Men cannot get off from the notion, that it is for some goodness or service of their own, either done or expected to be done, that God accepts persons, and receives them into favor."

"The way to be accepted is to come-not on any such encouragement, that now you have made yourselves better, and more worthy, or not so unworthy, but- on the mere encouragement of Christ's worthiness, and God's mercy."

"Spread all your wickedness before him, and do not plead your goodness; but plead your badness, and your necessity on that account: and say as the psalmist in the text, not 'Pardon mine iniquity, for it is not so great as it was,' but 'Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.'"

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Not-Forgotten Forgetter

I'm a natural born forgetter.

Sure, I can remember the most odd and obscure things, but when it comes to what I need most to remember, it seems like I was born to forget. I'm slowly learning that the Christian life is a fight to remember. So easily I forget my need for a Savior. I forget how sinful I really am and how utterly desperate I am for the person and work of Jesus Christ on my behalf. How strongly is my flesh opposed to the gospel! It will do anything to make me forget. When I forget the gospel, I forget the ugliness of my sin and the beauty of Christ and his cross. I forget the unsurpassed worth of knowing my Lord and his unfathomable love for sinners.

It's also very easy to forget I'm not an orphan. It's so natural to live like my life is in my own hands. I run around and do things believing I have to somehow keep my life together by my own strength and wisdom. I forget I have a loving Father who has loved me from before I was born and will not stop now. I forget he accepts me not on the basis of anything I do, but on the basis of Christ and his righteousness. I forget all things, good and evil, are from his hand and are working for my good. I forget that he is my helper, my strength, and my salvation.

But in all of my forgetfulness, I have never been forgotten. Although my doubt and unbelief often hinder my view of Jesus, Jesus' view of me is never hindered and he looks upon me with nothing but tender mercy and grace. Even when I forget his love and promises, he remembers me in my low, forgetful estate and loves me with an everlasting love. There is hope for forgetters like me and it's in remembering this Savior who loves us despite all the ways in which we forget him. He is the ultimate rememberer of his mercy towards forgetters.