1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God,
and my own good, profit, and pleasure, 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.
I can’t do this on my own. Period.
Thus begins my study of Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions.
As great as resolutions seem, quite the timely subject considering we are now in 2010, they are worthless without the Spirit’s work through them. How arrogant would it be, after salvation accomplished by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, to assume I could achieve holiness on my own. To become like Christ, I need Christ. I need His Spirit actively working in me. Sure, there’s a place for maximum human effort (MHE). But pursuing the goal alone? No.
Holiness. God defines holiness. It describes His very nature. I am called to this standard:
But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
I am called to this holy standard for one purpose – the glory of God.
The very first question in the Westminster Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
When I read through this first resolution, my mind is drawn to a psalm of David:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
God receives the glory when I find my delight in Him. When everything else this world offers looks ugly and God looks beautiful, as He truly is, and my desire is to glorify Him, God will give me the desire of my heart – His name glorified.
Practically speaking, how can I pursue the glory of God:
“for my own good, profit, and pleasure”? To be eternally-minded, growing in understanding how to better focus my life completely on Christ, would benefit me far greater than any earthly pursuit.
“without any consideration of time”? God is outside of time. He created me. I am His slave. To use time as an excuse to ignore God and pursue my own glory would be the biggest shame. How can I, a new creature, pursue the dead creature I once was? It is out of the question.
“for the good and advantage of mankind in general”? Making much of Christ, glorifying His name above all else…isn’t that what the gospel is about?
“whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever”? Even when I’m discouraged by others, I should not let them discourage me from giving God the glory in front of them. Christ loved me; therefore, I should love others.