Edwards’ Resolution #1

Posted: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 in Resolutions

Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and downloadpleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

The first of Edwards’ Resolutions is one of the lengthiest and contains three resolutions in one. However, we see from the outset that the goal of these “resolves” is the glory of God. The Westminster divines echo this in the first question in the Shorter Catechism: What is the chief end of man? Answer: The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. The Heidelberg Catechism also captures this truth in its first question:

Q1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins,and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me (f) that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

But living to the glory of God does not mean that we don’t seek to live for our “own good, profit, and pleasure.” God does not want us to live in misery; nor does He want us to be uncomfortable in this life. What it does mean is that when we are walking in the Spirit of God, given to us so that we are made sincerely willing and ready to live for His glory (see Heidelberg above), then we understand that our good, our profit, our pleasure is found only as we glorify Him. This reflects Piper’s “tweaking” of the answer in question 1 of the Shorter Catechism, where he changes the conjunction and to by to read as follows: The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” From this he formulates to theme of practically all of his writings: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

So we are to recognize that our good, our profit, and our pleasure are found by glorifying God. Stated negatively, if we are not glorifying God, then we should not expect God’s blessings. So, Edwards’ concludes, we should give every moment of every day to serving God and others, regardless of the circumstances we encounter, no matter how great. We do so as we keep the cross in the frontals of our mind and the love of God in our hearts. And to accomplish this, WE NEED GOD’S GRACE to press on regardless of circumstance; to consider others before ourselves; to remember our fallenness and propensity to glorify self rather than glorify God. This is accomplished by the Spirit working in us as we saturate ourselves in His Word – as we are sanctified in truth.

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