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RESOLVED

RESOLVED, never to do anything, whether in soul or body — but what tends to the glory of God.

 

RESOLVED, never to lose one moment of time — but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

 

RESOLVED, never to do anything, which I would be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

 

RESOLVED, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

 

These are a few of Jonathan Edwards’ 70 Resolutions penned as a nineteen year old in 1722. Edwards is most well known for being one of the figureheads of the First Great Awakening, president of Princeton, and the preacher of one of the most famous sermons in history, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Edwards was a brilliant man, but had some wonky theology in some places. That being said, what do you think of such resolutions? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you’ll resolve to read your Bible more this year. Maybe you’ll resolve to come to church more, or come to Sunday School, or become a member. Maybe evangelize more. Do you keep them? Do you break them? Does it matter? Let’s look at a few from Jonathan Edwards, and see how they stand up to Scripture.

 

RESOLVED, never to do anything, whether in soul or body — but what tends to the glory of God.

 

Sounds good, right? 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That is the Christian response to the grace we have received through the shed blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Is this resolution Good News, though? What if I do something that doesn’t glorify God? Will I be cast into a deep despair? If I resolve to do something and fail, what will become of my spiritual state? May we look to the perfect One who always glorifies His Father, none other than the Lord Jesus. If we are RESOLVED to look to Christ, He will, through the Holy Spirit, sanctify us more and more, so that we will be able to “tend to the glory of God.”

 

RESOLVED, never to lose one moment of time — but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.

 

I’m glad Jonathan Edwards didn’t have an iPhone at nineteen. I’m sure he redeemed the time better that we do today, but to never lose “one moment” is a lofty goal for the descendants of Adam. Praise the Lord, that Jesus Christ never lost “one moment of time” on behalf of every person who would ever trust in Him and His finished work. May we be RESOLVED to rest in the Lord Jesus, who wasted not a single second.

 

RESOLVED, never to do anything, which I would be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

 

Don’t be afraid dear Christian. You have an Advocate with the Father. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2) Mortification of sin is the entirety of the Christian life. The Holy Spirit regenerates us and we begin the battle against sin empowered by the One who never sinned, our Lord Jesus. What will I be doing in the last hour of my life? I will certainly be sinning. Will I be glorifying God to the level He deserves? No. Will I be loving my neighbor as myself? Not even close. Yes, I want to mortify sin, but I can dwell on my union with Christ, given to me be grace alone through faith alone. May we be RESOLVED to rightly fear God as sons and daughters, but not be afraid of the God who “gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

 

RESOLVED, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

 

You will die someday. You will meet your Maker. You will meet Him in all of His holiness. If you are in Christ, you will meet Him shielded in the cleft of the Rock, as Moses was. (Exodus 33) Or, if you are not in Christ, you will meet Him with all of His holy wrath aimed directly at you in all of your wretchedness. Christian, your death will separate you from the effects of sin. Non-Christian, your death will magnify the effects of your sin. Christian, be RESOLVED to know that you are hidden in the cleft of the Rock, and that nothing can separate you from the love of the Father.

 

What was the point of this article? I’m not sure I made the point, but I’m trying to show you that resolutions are fine and dandy in the right context, with the right attitude. Were these few examples from Jonathan Edwards fine desires? Of course. What Christian doesn’t want to eliminate sin, glorify God, and remember one’s own mortality? Are you RESOLVED to read more, serve more, worship more? Great, I want you and I to do those things more together. What we don’t want to do is pile more and more laws upon our own shoulders and the shoulders of others. We want to use the law lawfully. (1 Timothy 1:8) For the lost, the law is to bring despair so that they will look to the only Lawkeeper, the Lord Jesus. For the Christian, despair is gone, the penalty has been paid, and you are free to use the law lawfully, as a guide, no longer as a means to earn favor, but as a means to show appreciation to the Savior who bought you with His own precious blood.

 

May we have one resolution this New Year.

 

RESOLVED, to look to Christ, the Author and Perfecter of Faith.

 

And how that plays out in your life will be different for everyone as we are all at different stages of sanctification. Come gather with us this Sunday morning at 11am at Bass Chapel so we can be RESOLVED to look to Christ, together.

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