26 August 2010

The Foundation-Graces

Jonathan Edwards, in the sermon 'Profitable Hearers of the Word':
Be most intent upon increasing the foundation-graces, such as the knowledge of God, the understanding of his Word, believing the truth of the gospel, a realizing sense of a future state of rewards and punishments. Labor to get your heart all enflamed with love to God and abased by humility and a sense of your own unworthiness. These are the foundation-graces, and as these are increased, all other graces will most certainly increase proportionably.

And all these things you must do with the utmost diligence and application of mind. The work of a Christian is compared to running, and wrestling, and fighting, and those exercises which require the greatest labor. (Works, Yale ed., 14:277)
The Christian life is earnest, strenuous effort. But it is effort flowing from 'the foundation-graces'--knowing God, understanding His Word, believing the gospel, knowing our unworthiness.

We wage warfare by knowing that the war is over. The main weapon is our peace.

Fight, fight with all your might, with the gospel.

As Paul told Timothy: '. . . wage the good warfare, having faith. . . .' (1 Tim 1:18-19)

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