I thought I’d write an entry for the coming New Year (and maybe I will), but I thought that it would be better to let a godly man from the past speak relevantly to us today. His name is Jonathan Edwards and he was 21 years old when he wrote what came to be called, “the Resolutions.” In these 70 Resolutions spanning a period of about two years he records his eagerness to live a life for God in increasing sanctification and righteousness; not a righteousness of his own, but one coming from the Lord.
The quality of this work at such a young age shows how theologically deep and rich was the commitment of the youth in those days to please the Lord and do His bidding through the proclamation of the Gospel and living completely dependent of Him. How tragic the reality of our generation is today.
Without further ado, I leave you with The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards and with his response to a letter by a young recent convert to Christ, commonly known as “Advice to Young Converts,” which is more of a pastoral than moralistic letter, including large portions of Scripture in which Edwards advises her not to let her religion grow cold, but rather to increase the fire through the Word of God.
“Advice to Young Converts”: http://cmunki.net/articles/Advice_to_Young_Converts.htm
There is a booklet available for purchase which includes both the Resolutions and Advice to Young Converts which includes a description of each:
“Nichols opens with a brief introduction to Edwards’ historical context, the events of his life, and a brief note on the two texts themselves. “Resolutions” paints a picture of a young minister whose strength and trust lie in his God, not in the piece of paper documenting his graduation from seminary. He desires not just the ‘good’ in life, but the ‘best,’ which he roots in happiness found only in God.The final document in this little booklet is the oft-printed “Advice to Young Converts,” a response to a letter from a young woman in a nearby parish. Judging from Edwards’ opening comments, she has inquired about Christian conduct, and in true form Edwards responds by speaking to her heart. He begins by warning her against her religion growing cold (this letter was written in the midst of the first Great Awakening of 1740-7142) and cautions her to seek the same grace from God that she sought during conversion. Edwards includes large swaths of Scripture in his letter, rendering the tone of the letter pastoral rather than moralistic. No wonder Miss Hatheway treasured this letter, ensuring its survival to this day.”
May we seek to live in ever increasing righteousness and holiness this coming year, as we are commanded to by Christ (Matthew 5:48). But let us live with the understanding that we can never claim any credit for our righteousness, but that we must live thanking the Lord because His righteousness has made us righteous.
Happy New Year!
— Truth War Today 2011 —