He Bought for Us Our Bibles and Our Sabbaths.

He Bought for Us Our Bibles and Our Sabbaths.

Last week I was stuck in an airport waiting to see my family, and was given a sweet gift: I got to read a sermon on John 15:5 from Jonathan Edwards. It is entitled, Christ Jesus the Original and Fountain of All Spiritual Life and Nourishment, written in 1726.

An Edwards sermon on Jesus is one of my favorite things to read. Few things do more to lift my eyes, expand my imagination (as well as my vocabulary), and point to the beauty of Jesus like Edwards’ words.  I am grateful for them. They take my travel-wearied heart strings and make them sing again.

Enjoy this paragraph from Edwards sermon on John 15:5 :

 

Christ is the author of spiritual blessings, these two ways:

(1) As he procures it by his mediation. All that we receive of spiritual good, he has bought and paid down his blood for. These blessings which he distributes amongst men, are not what he has for nothing, but what he has given an infinite price for. All are the fruits of his obedience and his death. He has bought for us our Bibles and our sabbaths; the ministers of his Word and the ordinances of worship are his purchase. He has bought for us sanctification and the knowledge of God, and faith in himself and divine love; he has bought for us peace of conscience, spiritual joy and consolation, and a hope of glory, and likewise the actual enjoyment and possession of a crown of glory.

He not only bought them by his obedience and death, but he now procures them by his daily intercession. John 14:16–17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever: even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.”

Edwards, J. (1726). Christ Jesus the Original and Fountain of All Spritual Life and Nourishment. In W. H. Kimnach (Ed.), Jonathan Edwards Sermons (Jn 15:5). New Haven, CT: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

 

 

Baxter: He can deliver.

Baxter: He can deliver.

He can deliver me from myself

and the noise I’ve welcomed into my life.

He can bring stillness and give abiding.

He delights in his children—in who you are more

than what you could ever do for him

or have done against him.

And he does it because of his steadfast love.

Oh – that we would know it!

That the love of God would quiet our hearts

and cure us from the addiction to movement,

the want of approval

and the fear of quiet.

– RIchard Baxter (1615-1691)

Edwards on Abiding in Christ

Edwards on Abiding in Christ

I’ve been spending time meditating on / researching John 13-17, and came across a sermon from Edwards on John 15:5. In the application section he gives six motives for Abiding in Christ, which I have put below. I encourage you to take some time and let your heart be refreshed as you think about Christ, the fountain of all spiritual life and joy.
_____

There are six Motives that Christ in the context makes use of, to persuade his disciples to abide in him:

1. Because without him, they cannot bear fruit. We can do no good work, exert no holy actions, nor do anything that is acceptable to God, as in the 4th and 5th verses.

2. If we don’t abide in him, we shall be cut off, and shall be gathered up and burnt as dry and barren branches, as in the 6th verse. Therefore, if we are desirous of escaping the fire, let us abide in Christ.

3. Abiding in Christ is the only way to have our prayers heard and answered. And if we do so, whatsoever we ask shall be granted, [as] in the 7th verse.

4. By so doing, we shall glorify God, as in the 8th verse; which implies that by deserting him, we shall do what will be greatly to his dishonor. None so dishonor God as false professors, those that make a profession of Christ and in time of temptation fall away.

5. Christ has loved us, and thereby has laid under great obligations to abide in him. By departing from him, we shall be guilty of the basest ingratitude and abuse of his love, as in the 9th verse.

6. If we abide in Christ, we shall continue in his love. Christ engages to us, that if we are constant to him, he will be so to us, and that there is nothing but our inconstancy and our forsaking him that will separate us from his love, as v. 10.

 

 

Edwards, J. (1726). Christ Jesus the Original and Fountain of All Spritual Life and Nourishment. In W. H. Kimnach (Ed.), Jonathan Edwards Sermons (Jn 15:5). New Haven, CT: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

Determining your Identity: Merton on Self-Knowledge

Determining your Identity: Merton on Self-Knowledge

I cam across this quote in college, and it has stayed with me each year as I think about the changing seasons and choices life brings. IN a recent staff discussion, I put it before our team and asked them to think through what type of person they want to be in five years – not what accomplishments or goals they want to attain- but the type of character they want to have. When we discussed our answers in light of the quote below, it was a call to prayer that we would sow toward the thing we are living for – and that the fruit of the Spirit would come out in our lives as we are made more like Jesus in our actions and reactions, our loves and our thoughts.

 

If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better answer he has, the more of a person he is.

(Thomas Merton, as quoted from Basil Penington’s Thomas Merton: Brother Monk)

Psalm 62 & the patient silence.

Psalm 62 & the patient silence.

A few weeks ago I preached on Psalm 62, and this gem came from the research and didn’t make it into the manuscript – so, here it is:

No eloquence in the world is half so full of meaning as the patient silence of a child of God. It is an eminent work of grace to bring down the will and subdue the affections to such a degree, that the whole mind lies before the Lord like the sea beneath the wind, ready to be moved by every breath of His mouth. We cannot too often hear the toll of that great bell only; let it ring the death knell of all carnal reliances, and lead us to cast ourselves on the bare arm of God. Our meditative soul should hear the echo of God’s voice again and again. What He speaks once in revelation, we should be always hearing. Creation and Providence are evermore echoing the voice of God. [C. A. Briggs]

 

 

Psalm 131: what we can do, and what we may do.

Psalm 131: what we can do, and what we may do.

I’ve spent time in Psalm 131 this summer, studying and meditating as I prepped a message. This quote put me on my heels, and it came from a comiled commentary, so I’m unsure who exactly to attribute it to. Enjoy, nonetheless, and maybe read twice.

 

“One of the things that can only be learned through the experiences of life is what we can do, and what we may do. Putting wise limits upon our undertakings and our spheres is one of the most important and anxious things that we have to do. And one of the chief modern sins is attempting too much, and not being willing to keep ourselves strictly within the limits of what we can do really well. The young man thinks he can do anything and everything, and it may often be the consequence that he does nothing really well.”

They have the courage to work. They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.

They have the courage to work. They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.

I don’t like the man who doesn’t sleep, says God.
Sleep is the friend of man.
Sleep is the friend of God.
Sleep is perhaps the most beautiful thing I have created,
and I myself rested on the seventh day.
He whose heart is pure, sleeps, And he who sleeps has a pure heart.
That is the great secret of being as indefatigable as a child,
of having that strength in legs that a child has.
Those new legs, those new souls,
And to begin afresh every morning, ever new.
Like young hope, new hope.
But they tell me that there are men
Who work well and sleep badly.
Who don’t sleep. What a lack of confidence in me.

I pity them. I have it against them. A little, they don’t trust me.
Like the child who innocently lies in her mother’s arms, thus they do
not lie
Innocently in the arms of my Providence.
They have the courage to work. They haven’t enough virtue to be idle.
To stretch out. To rest. To sleep.
Poor people, they don’t know what is good.
They look after their business very well during the day.

But they haven’t enough confidence in me to let me look after it during the night.
As if I wasn’t capable of looking after it during one night.
He who doesn’t sleep is unfaithful to Hope.
And it is the greatest infidelity.

 

 

Charles Peguy, Basic Verities [New York: Pantheon Books, 1934] 209-11.  // found in the end notes from Eugene Peterson’s Answering God.

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