“Holiness, as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it, appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature; which brought an inexpressable purity, brightness, peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul. In other words, it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers; enjoying a sweet calm, and the gently vivifying beams of the sun. The soul of a true Christian, as I then wrote my meditations, appeared like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the year; low and humble on the ground, opening its bosom to receive the pleasant beams of the sun’s glory; rejoicing, as it were, in a calm rapture; diffusing around a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and lovingly, in the midst of other flowers round about; all in like manner opening their bosoms to drink in the light of the sun. There was no part of creature-holiness that I had so great a sense of its lovliness, as humility, brokenness of heart, and poverty of spirit; and there was nothing that I so earnestly longed for. My heart panted after this – to lie low before God, as in the dust; that I might be nothing, and that God might be all, that I might become as a little child.” – Jonathan Edwards
Today is my birthday. I turned 21 today. As I have been out around the town with my little brother and such I have had a lot of things crossing my mind. This lengthly quote from Jonathan Edwards has been ever present.
I want to live a life that reflects holiness. I am sure all Christians are the same way though…at least those who are truly regenerate and call themselves Christians. Many people have never had an encounter with a holy God that has made them realize that they are sinners and led them to truly repent of their sins. To many people, the saying of a short prayer of “God, I believe in You and I receive You” is all that they have ever heard told them as the way of salvation. But there was never a significant change in the desires and the life. These are very important if one wishes to show the fruit of the Spirit in their life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 HCSB)
Too many so-called Christians don’t exibit this fruit and yet we still call them Christians as if one can be saved and not show any sign thereof.
Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:15-20 HCSB)
The word “prophets” in this verse is the Greek word ψευδοπροφήτης (psyoo-dop-rof-ay’-tace). A pseudo-prophet. A false professor. We will know those who are false by the way that they act. By the fruit that they bear.
A desire for holiness is not just what I want for myself, though. I wish that the whole church would have the same desire. That every professing Christian would exibit the fruit of the Spirit.
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12 HCSB emphasis mine)
We are called to work out our salvation. We are called to do something. And the only way we can do that is by being made able to do so by regeneration of the Holy Spirit. By being born from above, as John 3 states.
Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 HCSB)
My prayer for everyone today is that we would have a desire similar to Jonathan Edwards’ for a peace and serenity that comes with holiness. I pray that we would learn the importance of quiet meditation (which I will speak on in the near future). I pray that we would all grow in the grace of God and learn more about Him every day.