Friday, January 26, 2007

We return, once again, to the wonderful advice from our beloved mentor and hero of the past, Jonathan Edwards. He gave advice to new converts. Another piece of advice from him to these new believers in Jesus Christ is:

"Come to the things of religion in great humility"

Edwards is profound in this statement, yet very basic. Let me take just one passage of Scripture, break it down and show you what I mean:


1 Peter 5:1-4 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

In this text, Peter gives fellow elders and shepherds in Asia Minor four pieces of advice for shepherding the flock of God:

1. The context for shepherding the flock of God (v.1)
2. The command for shepherding the flock of God (v.2a)
3. The contrasts for shepherding the flock of God (v.2b-3)
4. The crown for shepherding the flock of God (v.4)

But then Peter continues by giving a fifth point - and this is what Edwards is saying:

5. The clothes necessary for shepherding the flock of God (v.5)

1 Peter 5:5 5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Edwards is simply saying that we (all New Testament believers) must come to the things of religion with all humility.

What are "the things of religion?" These simply are the truths of Christianity. Orthodox doctrine. An accurate understanding of the clear biblical message.

There is only one thing required: HUMILITY - do you have it? There is no room for pride in the Christian life. If there is pride, there is no humility. If there is pride, then one is not living like the model Himself, Jesus Christ - who was humble.

Notice again what Peter says:

1 Peter 5:5 5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

He gives three groups here: 1) young men; 2) elders; and 3) "all of you" (everyone). There is no one excluded from this imperative. Everyone is to be clothed with HUMILITY. Come to the things of religion with humility. Christianity is NOT a prideful religion. There is nothing to be prideful about. If one is prideful, then he surely has not understood the sacrifice of the Savior and the cost at which that sacrifice came to redeem sinful men. Are you prideful in your knowledge? In your learnings? In your degrees? In your studies? In your 'reading-of-many-books'?

May God give us grace to be humble and come to the things of religion with absolute and utter humility.

0 comments:

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!