Agonizomai: Blasts From the Past<br>True Grace Distinguished from the Experience of Devils - Jonathan Edwards

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Blasts From the Past
True Grace Distinguished from the Experience of Devils - Jonathan Edwards

Here is another of what I hope will be a regular feature of this blog - sermons from our brothers in Christ who have gone on to glory. The idea was sparked by my recording of Spurgeon's Sermon No. 52 (Free Will a Slave) which was blogged here earlier. Today it is the turn of Jonathan Edwards, an 18th Century Congregational pastor. He is, perhaps, most famous for his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" or for his treatise on the human will called "Freedom of the Will" - which, despite its title, is distinctively unArminian in doctrine. Today's sermon is entitled "True Grace Distinguished from the Experience of Devils".

Before we get started, though, a few general points are worth making. Listening to sermons from prior ages has many benefits and only a few drawbacks. The benefits include:
Seeing that the Word of God never changes

Perceiving that the battles have always been against the same foe, using the same weapons and combating the same sins and heresies

Appreciating that we stand on the shoulders of giants - or that, in the grace of God, we at least owe our understanding to the faithful work of those in the same body who have gone on before us.

Being humbled by both the level of knowledge of the preachers in days gone by (despite the lack of many of our advantages in modern times) and their expectation that the hearers themselves would receive and understand something more than just cotton candy preaching.
The disadvantages are few as far as I can see.
Perhaps, there may come a danger of focusing too much on tradition - living in the past to avoid the present.

Or there might be a failure to fight the particular fights that are presented to us NOW in the providence of God, where we are.

And we should never forget that all the saints are imperfect. Nobody has a perfect corner on the whole truth. Even these now glorified saints would want us to test their spirit and be sure their words are of God.
I am content to let the listener be the judge for himself. But for now I give you this Jonathan Edwards offering as he encourages and admonishes his congregation to be sure that they have a saving faith - and tells them how to have that assurance.

True Grace Distinguished from the Experience of Devils - Jonathan Edwards


Anonymous willmania said...

So thankful for this today, as it highly encouraged both my husband & me.

2:26 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...

Jon and Rachel,

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Those old guys do make a lot of sense, don't they? And the recordings aren't bad, considering the state of technology back then :o)

If there are any other old timers you would like to hear, just drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.



6:37 pm  

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