"Remember that it is not hasty reading, but serious meditation on holy and heavenly truths, that makes them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the mere touching of the flower by the bee that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time on the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove to be the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian." (Thomas Brooks)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Intent of the Atonement - Jonathan Edwards
Here is an interesting thought by Jonathan Edwards on the intent and efficacy (limit) of the atonement.
"Universal redemption must be denied in the very sense of Calvinists themselves, whether predestination is acknowledged or no, if we acknowledge that Christ knows all things. For if Christ certainly knows all things to come, he certainly knew, when he died, that there were such and such men that would never be the better for his death. And therefore, it was impossible that he should die with an intent to make them (particular persons) happy. For it is a right-down contradiction [to say that] he died with an intent to make them happy, when at the same time he knew they would not be happy-Predestination or no predestination, it is all one for that. This is all that Calvinists mean when they say that Christ did not die for all, that he did not die intending and designing that such and such particular persons should be the better for it; and that is evident to a demonstration. Now Arminians, when [they] say that Christ died for all, cannot mean, with any sense, that he died for all any otherwise than to give all an opportunity to be saved; and that, Calvinists themselves never denied. He did die for all in this sense; ’tis past all contradiction."
-Jonathan Edwards , The “Miscellanies”
HT: Adam R. Christensen
My Shepherd - Psalm 23
Dead. Black. Harmful. Guilty. These are not words that describe a mere principle that worked within me, they described me. Though life coursed through my veins I was spiritually dead, and death was to be the only wage I would merit. Not simply physical death, but eternal death. Flesh was the only word that could described me. As in death my eyes were closed and lifeless, there was no light allowed to enter because I loved the darkness. Blackness permeated everything I was. Though my eyes could see, in rebellion they would not look upon light and life. All my actions, though I boasted of goodness, were done in darkness, and because of this I was harmful; harmful to myself and to those around me, and none of it was accidental or blameless. In all of it I was culpable for I had gone astray.
Broken, Injured. Restless. Fearful. Of no merit in myself and entirely for His name’s sake, He called this wandering sheep. For the first time I heard His voice and it me gave life, and light began to penetrate my soul. And though still somewhat harmful something had changed. Something old had passed away and all things were becoming new. Yet in it all I was still broken. I had injured myself and those around me, and in restlessness and fear I began to wonder if He could give me all He promised.
Guided. Nourished. Protected. Loved. From a distance I followed His voice learning that He would only lead me to places that would be for my advantage. In all His leading He began to feed my wounded soul with nourishment that could not be found from any other source. In my ignorance I would wander from time to time but He never failed to fend off the enemies of my soul with His rod, and if necessary He would even use His rod to chasten me. When my foolish legs began to wander He did not hesitate to wound them. Then in my weakness He would gather me up into His arms and keep me close and protect me from myself while I would mend. In those times I began to know Him better, and as He spoke to me using a name that was all my own, I knew I was loved.
Peace. Comfort. Fearless. Endless. My Shepherd’s name is Jesus and He restores my soul. I now lay down in peace wherever He leads me and I shall not be in want. I am comforted by His rod and staff and now long to be at my Shepherd’s side. No longer do I fear evil for He is with me. His goodness and mercy will be with me all the days of my life and my dwelling in the house of the Lord will be endless.