Resolved: To Know and Own My Sinfulness

Friday is for Heart Songs

“Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if there were none as grotesque as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.” (Jonathan Edwards)

Jonathan Edwards wrote a series of “resolutions for life” between the years of 1722-23, seventy in all. The first 21 were written in one sitting in 1722. The resolution above is number 8 in that list. The spirit of Edwards 8th resolution is almost completely out of sync with our culture but it is nevertheless wise and biblical. Jesus makes just that point in a parable in Luke 7:41-43.

41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he [Jesus] said to him, “You have judged rightly.” (ESV)

We love more and better when we know the depth of what we are forgiven. We love less when we forget the greatness of what has been given in the gospel of Christ.

“Lord Jesus, would you help me to see my sin
with a clarity that drives my heart
to a renewed and deeper joy in you. Don’t let my heart grow cold or
forgetful of the greatness of what you have done for me
in dying and rising for me.  Amen.” 

2 thoughts on “Resolved: To Know and Own My Sinfulness

  1. Love any quotes from Jonathan Edwards….This so reminds me of Paul’s lament…”What I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Rom 7:15 NKJV)

    I don’t know how many Christians that have told me that they just can not stop sinning. This really discourages them. Just as Paul said, the things that they do not want to do they end up doing but what they want to do, they do not do. Does this sound familiar?

    All believers are in this same situation and we may find ourselves thinking these same thoughts. It’s a daily struggle. Walking with God on a daily basis is a battle because the old nature is still alive but there is actually good news in this. The very fact that we know it’s wrong is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in us. Those who are without Christ are without the Holy Spirit and those in the world have no such conviction. It is business as usual. But for believers, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. To be aware that we are sinning and acknowledge our struggle with sin is wonderful because at least you want to do what is good, even if you don’t always do it.

    Then I realize that sanctification is a lifelong process. Growing in holiness takes time…a lifetime and we will never completely reach it this side of heaven. Even though we are not yet holy, God sees us a holy. Why? I thank God through Jesus Christ that His righteousness is imputed to us. Take stock of your life. Look back a few months or years ago and you will likely see that you have grown. We are not sinless but we sin less! We are not yet totally sanctified, but we are positionally justified by Christ, so even though I do not practice what I want, at least I hate the sin. To recognize that fact should make us thankful that God has sent His Spirit to enable us to recognize sin and ask for forgiveness. I love the pithy statement of the late Adrian Rogers: “Holiness is not the way to Jesus, Jesus is the way to holiness.”

    Great blog friend.


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