The Holy One of God

And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

Mark 1:21-28

Mark started his account by saying, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” After 24 verses, for the first time, someone testified on Jesus’ identity. . . and it comes from a demon! And it is not just they happen to know that He is indeed the Son of God, they are very certain for they called Him “the Holy One of God.” To make it vividly clear, the demons are shaking for they are talking to the Only Son of God.

What is the reason behind their fear? Because Jesus taught at the synagogue with authority. Why is it important? Because as Mark shows us who Jesus is by Jesus showing us Himself displaying his authority. When Jesus speaks, there is no footnote (“You have heard that it was said” see Sermon on the Mount). His words are counted as true with no opposition and astonishment from the crowd. He is heralding His own kingdom. He is preaching something they have never heard of. He is proclaiming a message that will topple the lies the demons have built. Jesus exposes the business of the demons by announcing the agenda of His kingdom. It is, at this time, to show the authority of the Son of God. They fear Him because of the authority He has in judgment for they thought He will destroy them. No wonder they fear Him. Jesus, the Son of God is Judge!

On the other hand, the crowd is astonished. It is their first time to hear the gospel of the kingdom of God. He is beyond comparison when he teach. His theology is not from someone else. In his sermon, they never heard “according to rabbi. . .” this and that. It is the very definition of “mind blown” that even the scribes looked like silly grade schoolers compared to this esteemed Teacher. If the demons shivered because their lies are exposed, the crowd is astonished because it is their first time to hear the truth! The Son of God made God’s power visible that even the demons listened to Him (and were terrified). Jesus, the Son of God is a Savior.

Now, I would like to give a difference between the response of the crowd and the demons. One one hand, the demons know exactly who Jesus is and it terrifies them; on the other, the crowd, who barely know Christ were astonished by Him. Their knowledge of Jesus Christ made the whole lot of difference in responding to His authority. The demons are reminded of their hopelessness against a Righteous Judge, the crowd is rekindled in their hope of a Savior..

This pericope somehow gave a clear recollection of my childhood memories watching “The Lion King.” There was a scene when the hyenas (Shenzi, Banzai and Ed) were discussing that they are in the bottom of the food chain because Mufasa, the King of the Land, banished them from entering the Pride Rock territory. Scar, the jealous brother of Mufasa, overheard the conversation and was insulted by hyenas that Scar is not as terrifying as Mufasa. Everytime they utter the name Mufasa they are tingling with fear unlike of Scar’s. The utterance of Mufasa’s name brings fear to the hyenas and hope to the pride (group of lion).

The Lion King (1994)

Like the film, the utterance of Jesus showed the glorious picture of who He is: Savior and Judge! The crowd is amazed for what a Savior He is, and the demons were terrified by what a Righteous Judge He is.


			

Books not for Sale

This entry is not possible without the help of my best friend, John Paul Arceno (JP), who is now studying at SBTS. Also, my gratitude to Indiana Balikbayan Box for their committed service amidst of this ongoing pandemic.

Last year, I have decided to have focus on my personal study. For years, my interest toward Puritanism heightened for two reasons: (1) to avoid the danger to dichotomize doctrine and devotion which, for me, Puritans greatly portrayed that those two must go together; and (2) their passion to preach the gospel of Christ as the central message of their public ministries. So, I have decided to amass my book fund for this year to pursue and to satisfy my curiosity. I consider this point of my life and pastorate ministry, my pastoral formation.

Without further ado, here’s my list:

The Puritan Paperbacks

Missing in the list are both John Owen’s Searching our Hearts in Difficult Times and Thomas Watson’s The Lord’s Supper

November 2019, I saw a post from the Banner of Truth regarding their sale. Guess what? The 55-book set work of some of the known Puritans. I do not know how can I procure this set. All I know is that I need to secure a copy and take advantage of the sale. But the Lord mysteriously led me to a different way. It was a blessing to meet Linus Kyle de Guzman whom God used for me to acquire this Scotland-fresh copies. I am currently 18/55 in this set and trying to include in my schedule writing a book review. Click here.

Reformed Dogmatics (vols. 1-4)

Finally ^_^

I already have this copy way back 2013 but I sold my set last 2016 because I needed the money to buy the resources that I need for my masteral thesis. Though I only read 2 chapters from this four-volume resource that time. *I hope I can finish this before the Lord calls me home*

Puritan Theology and Meet the Puritans

I didn’t expect this to be thick

As mentioned earlier, my interest with (the Puritans) their being is a sine qua non to my perceived pastoral formation. Puritan Theology provides the connection between doctrine and devotion; Meet the Puritans provides a biography and book reviews of around 100 puritans listed in the book. And, oh, how I am loving Christian biographies lately.

More Joel Beeke!

Dr. Joel Beeke, President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, is perhaps the most prominent figure in the growing interest on the Puritans for the last 15 years.

  • Reformed Preaching and Pulpit Aflame will be the books I will add to my preaching book arsenal. It is always good to read solid theological preaching books especially as a pastor, I am called for this specific task—the proclamation of the Word! For my top 10 preaching books, click here.

Others

  • Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman – what we believe defines us. This book tackles congregationalism, the ordinances, church membership and more.

From this point, these are the books Muntinlupa Baptist Church procured as we, by God’s grace, strive to strengthen our church membership, church discipline, evangelism and gospel focus on years to come.

If Tracts Were This Thick, Certainly

During the 19th century, religious tracts were long theological discourses and I consider this Greg Gilbert trilogy to be that (tract) one. It may not even fit the current Protestant criteria of tract but the message is definitely evangelistic. This is how it should be. Imagine preaching the trustworthiness of the Holy Scripture; the fullness of Jesus’ deity and humanity; and the gospel–God the Righteous Creator, man the sinner, Jesus Christ the Savior, the Kingdom of God established through His Son and the gospel that propels godly living. Just wow!

Building Healthy Churches

Picture in your mind the bride of Christ, the church to be healthy. The being of the church is often neglected because of the “great” demand of the church’s doing. Soon it will be sour, toxic and unhealthy. We, Muntinlupa Baptist Church, strive to be healthy. Remember, God’s church, God’s way.

Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and Study Guides

If building healthy churches is the envisioned picture, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church is the implementation. I am so excited!

The front cover of the book together with the guides is a puzzle. I just find it amusing.

Understanding Church Basics

New Christians are to be educated about the basics of ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church). This is an exciting class, isn’t it?

It’s Sale, Grab the Opportunity

Missing here is the God–Is He Out There. The book arrived when JP already shipped the package.

When I bought this set, the series was composed of 8 books but 9Marks have added two more on this series. Honestly, I still don’t know how can I include this on our church curriculum. For the meantime, just enjoy reading it. Missing here are: Relationships: How Do I Make Things Right and Service: How Do I Give Back.

The Rest of 9Marks

We, church leadership and me, want to learn more on the practical areas of the church without compromising theology. We desire in the leadership to learn more about church membership, congregationalism, and handling the church finances. The only way is to constantly study. Thanks to Dr. Blair Waddell for recommending Don’t Fire Your Church Members: The Case for Congregationalism.

Why Bother Writing This?

I bother writing this because reading is an important discipline for me. The Apostle Paul himself even before nearing the appointed time of his departure asked his young protege to “bring. . . the books, especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers whose library stocked around 12,000 volumes commented on this passage, “He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read.” Also, in the same epistle, the apostle encouraged the young pastor to “be diligent. . . [so that] he accurately handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and that means to exert incomparable effort as a workman. A pastor is to work hard at study to know and preach the word of truth.

Also, I bother writing this because I am a pastor who doesn’t know a thing about pastoring a local church. Upon saying this, I certainly have no appetite on the current pragmatism that is lurking in churches right now just to be knowledgeable on doing church. I prefer reading materials that elevate solid biblical theology and conversing with pastor-friends who have the same appetite–these are wonderful means of grace. They say it’s a flaw not to be relevant, trendy, and boring. Perhaps, it’s my wonderful flaw. Flaw that I’m willing to boast because this is where God’s grace lavish.

Faithfulness is expected and endurance is needed in this long pastoral journey. I hope this can be a source of encouragement to my fellow learners.

Top 10 Preaching Books

I am a preaching teacher in our SEE (Seminary Education by Extension). I make sure that the students know the theology of preaching. And by doing that, I included in course syllabus my recommended readings (some are ongoing but I am loving it already) that I find beneficial to the making of a preacher. Here’s my list:

  1. Lloyd-Jones, Martyn. Preaching and Preachers. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011.
  2. Piper, John. The Supremacy of God in Preaching. 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2015.
  3. Stott, John. Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2017.
  4. Piper, John. Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018.
  5. Keller, Timothy. Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 2015.
  6. Pasquarello, Michael. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Theology of a Preaching Life. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017. (ongoing)
  7. Lawson, Steve. The Kind of Preaching that God Blesses. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013.
  8. Willimon, William. Integrative Preaching: The Pulpit at the Center. Nashvile, TN: Abingdon, 1981.
  9. Chapell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon. 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018.
  10. MacArthur, John. The Shepherd as Preacher: Delivering God’s Word with Passion and Power. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2015. (ongoing)

Yet to read Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God’s Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People by Joel Beeke. Until then, these are the 10 books that shape my theology in preaching.

Faces of Goliath

The “Trend”

If Goliath will join today’s cosplay, he has a lot of personas available to choose from. He can go as depression, financial crisis, family struggles, and this latest pandemic—COVID-19. Perhaps, this me-centered approach in hermeneutics has been rampant for years whether in pulpit, Sunday school, Christian literature, and sermon exhortations. This methodology of reading and applying the Holy Scriptures is labeled as “spiritualizing” or “over-spiritualization.” I know this will call a lot of controversies regarding the validity of applying this famous biblical text but isn’t it that main objective of all the narratives in the Scripture such as this is to display the power, majesty and glory of God?

In over-spiritualization, we tend to replace the historical characters into trendy relevant applications and give no justice for the abused figure. In hermeneutics, we need to grasp the literary meaning of the text. The literary meaning of the text is the intended meaning of the author and shaped by the context, historical background, grammar and word meanings. Therefore, this product of our imagination through “spiritualizing” is not based on the text nor the intended meaning of the Spirit of God. Fanciful but not accurate. Meaning, we are not facing a Goliath! It was David who faced Goliath, not me nor you. And in fact, the narrative is not about David either but the mighty warrior who fights for His people—God. In this case, Goliath should be understood literally—tall, mighty, and a champion. I remember a popular statement that is so famous that it is impossible for a 21st century Christian to miss it: “Sometimes God puts a Goliath in your life, for you to find the David within you.” Sounds appealing, right? But not so. Goliath is not our Goliath of problems, hurdles, obstacles, challenges or even this pandemic. Goliath is feared by Israelites (1 Samuel 17:11), he is literally wearing weights of our time for his helmet and armor alone weighs five thousand shekels (1 Samuel 17:5), and if we are living back then we would surely shake our knees with his gallant shout (1 Samuel 17:8 cf. 17:11).

The Proposal

Perhaps, we should read the text in a proper way. A God-focused and God-exalting way of reading the text. To read it as the Ultimate Champion who makes Goliath looked like a dwarf because this narrative is not about our personal breakthrough and victory but God’s victory for His people and for his name sake.

My Reminder to Myself

So, the next time I read this story, I am reminded that I am not little like David facing Goliath of fears with a sling and 5 smooth stones (prayer, tithes, evangelistic, discipling and honoring my pastor: an allegory of another topic) but God who fights for his people, worthy of worship among his people, the One who will provide another king for his people, and ultimately the God of Israel who reigns over all.


The Great Gain of Godliness

In The Great Gain of Godliness, Thomas Watson navigates his classic through exposition of Malachi 3:16-18. This heart-piercing sermon calls Christians to be holy in times of general defection for this is the Christian’s honor of which God is greatly pleased.

The book is divided into two parts. On the first part, he warns the Christians to be aware of how our hearts are too much linked to the world. It is in unconscious engagement of a Christian to the world leads him to be like of the world. In holiness, Watson proposes the act from which God’s people should do to be preserved from this adulterated generation—the fear of God. For him, fear is the leading grace, the first seed God sows in the heart because it is an indispensable duty incumbent on Christians to be fearers of God. This is the character of a godly Christian.

On the second part of the book, the celebrated puritan shows the good effects of godliness. I like how Watson remained God-centered even in this outline. He states that there is no greater reward in godliness than Christ owning his people. God deals with his own as his sons. Even at risk for their own life, God purposes it to lavish his grace to perfect his sons as his gathered jewel (which signifies treasure). Watson compares the godly saints as God’s jewels for their sparkling quality, scarcity, price, and adorning qualities. The godly saints are God’s glory (Isa. 46:13), a royal diadem in the hand of thy God (Isa. 62:3).

It is remarkable to witness the zeal of Thomas Watson’s piety. He approached the text by intentionally hammering the necessity of the fear of God, the disaster by lacking it, and the test if one has it. As I am writing this, I am reminded during this unexpected pandemic, the Lord calls me to godliness.

NOTE: I do not intend to give a detailed summary of the book that might risk educational compromise.

For quotations from the book, click here.

10 Quotes from The Great Gain of Godliness

I’ve listed my ten (10) favorite quotes from The Great Gain of Godliness by Thomas Watson. This quote-machine puritan has packed a lot of weighty statements that greatly shows the limitedness of this entry.

Here’s some:

  1. “The fear of God is mixed with hope. One would think fear would destroy hope, but it cherishes it. Fear is to hope as the oil to the lamp, it keeps it burning; the more we fear God’s justice, the more we may hope in his mercy.” (15)
  2. “There must be an excess of sin where there the fear of God is lacking to restrain it. The water must overflow where there are no banks to keep it.” (20)
  3. “Every sin is founded in ignorance, as the schoolmen say. If only men knew God in his immense glory, they would be swallowed up with divine amazement.” (20)
  4. “The fear of God will make a man afraid of his own heart.” (49)
  5. “Our thoughts of God must be operative and efficacious, leaving our hearts in a better tune. The thoughts of God’s faithfulness must make us confide in him; the thoughts of God’s holiness must make us conform to him. This is the right thinking on God when it is influential, leaving us in a more heavenly frame.” (91)
  6. “The best duties of the righteous could not endure God’s scales of justice, but God will display the trophies of his mercy. Free grace accepts what justice might condemn.” (96)
  7. “If God records our services, then let us record his mercies; let us have our book of remembrance. A Christian should keep two books always beside him; one to write his sins in, that he may be humble; the other to write his mercies in, that he may be thankful.” (108)
  8. “If God says to us, “You are mine,” he will take us up to himself at death. Death breaks the union between the body and the soul, but perfects the union between God and the soul. This is the emphasis of heaven’s glory, to be with God. What is the joy of the blessed but to have a clear, transparent sight of God, and to be in the sweet and soft embraces of his love forever? This has made the saints desire death, as the bride her wedding day.” (123-124)
  9. “In that day the saints’ love will be perfect. Love is the queen of the graces, it outlives all other graces. In this life our love to God is lukewarm and sometimes frozen. A believer weeps that he can love God no more: but at the day of death when God makes up his jewels, then the saints love will be seraphic. . . They shall love him superlatively and without defect; they shall be made up of love. Oh, blessed day of death! When God shall make up his jewels, the saints’ graces shall shine forth in their meridian splendour.” (138)
  10. “I know not a greater rock of support for a fainting Christian than this; God will abate the severity of the law; though we come short in our duty, he will not fail us of his mercy, but will spare us as a father spares his son.” (149)

For book review, click here.

Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

After a year of being a Christian, Jonathan Edwards became conscious on the direction of his faith in Christ and prompted to write “Resolutions” to live a life in godliness and to check his heart on a daily basis. George Claghorn writes that the ultimate intention of the “Resolutions” was to “produce a soul fit for eternity with God. . . adjured himself to study the Scriptures, pray steadfastly; Jesus to be trusted as Lord; God was present, personal, and primary.”[1]

So, for the benefit of others, I would like to share Jonathan Edwards’ “Resolutions” to keep our spiritual priorities before us; and to serve as guidelines for self-examination. May this reflect our desire to focus on living the Christian life for God’s glory.

70 Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards:[2]

  1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
  2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new invention and contrivance to promote the aforementioned things.
  3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
  4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
  5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
  6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
  7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
  8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile 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.
  9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
  10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
  11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don’t hinder.
  12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
  13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
  14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
  15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger to irrational beings.
  16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
  17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
  18. Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
  19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
  20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
  21. Resolved, never to do anything, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
  22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
  23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
  24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
  25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
  26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
  27. Resolved, never willfully to omit anything, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
  28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
  29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
  30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
  31. Resolved, never to say anything at all against anybody, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
  32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that in Prov. 20:6, “A faithful man who can find?” may not be partly fulfilled in me.
  33. Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining, establishing and preserving peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
  34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
  35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
  36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
  37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, what sin I have committed, and wherein I have denied myself: also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.
  38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
  39. Resolved, never to do anything that I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or no; except I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
  40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
  41. Resolved, to ask myself at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly in any respect have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
  42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
  43. Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s, agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
  44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. Jan.12, 1723.
  45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12-13, 1723.
  46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eve: and to be especially careful of it, with respect to any of our family.
  47. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented, easy, compassionate, generous, humble, meek, modest, submissive, obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable, even, patient, moderate, forgiving, sincere temper; and to do at all times what such a temper would lead me to. Examine strictly every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.
  48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or no; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
  49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
  50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
  51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
  52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
  53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
  54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
  55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
  56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
  57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether ~ have done my duty, and resolve to do it; and let it be just as providence orders it, I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty and my sin. June 9, and July 13, 1723.
  58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.
  59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 2, and July 13.
  60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4 and 13, 1723.
  61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
  62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty; and then according to Eph. 6:6-8, do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man; “knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.” June 25 and July 13, 1723.
  63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. Jan. 14 and July 3, 1723.
  64. Resolved, when I find those “groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those “breakings of soul for the longing it hath,” of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be wear’, of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
  65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and everything, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton’s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26 and Aug. 10, 1723.
  66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
  67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what good I have got by them, and what I might have got by them.
  68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23 and August 10, 1723.
  69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. Aug. 11, 1723.
  70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

[1] George S. Claghorn, “Introduction,” Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 16, Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Claghorn (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), 742-743.

[2] Adapted from Steven J. Lawson’s book. Steven J. Lawson, “Appendix,” The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008), 157-161.

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