Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Great Knowledge Alone Can Never Save

This is why I read Jonathan Edwards:
Whatever clear notions a man may have of the attributes of God, and doctrine of the trinity; the nature of the two covenants, the economy of the persons of the trinity, and the part which each person has in the affair of man's redemption; if he can discourse never so excellently of the offices of Christ, and the way of salvation by him, and the admirable methods of divine wisdom; and the harmony of the various attributes of God in that way; if he can talk never so clearly and exactly of the method of the justification of a sinner, and of the nature of conversion, and the operations of the Spirit of God, in applying the redemption of Christ; giving good distinctions, happily solving difficulties, and answering objections; in a manner tending greatly to the enlightening the ignorant, to the edification of the church of God, and the conviction of gainsayers; and the great increase of light in the world: if he has more knowledge of this sort than hundreds of true saints, of an ordinary education, and most divines; yet all is no certain evidence of any degree of saving grace in the heart.
—Jonathan Edwards, Sermons and Discourses 1743–1758 (vol. 25 in the Works of Jonathan Edwards; ed. Wilson H. Kimnack; New Haven: Yale University, 2006), 616.