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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Infinite Worthiness of God

It has been a while since I've dipped into the works of Jonathan Edwards. Not only did Edwards have an incredible mind, he managed to successfully maintain an eternal view as he lived out his life day by day, moment by moment. And the result of that was his incredible joy in God, despite whatever difficulties and trials might assail him ... and he had many!  Reading his works helps focus my mind in a similar way and weans me away from loving things less worthy.

When it comes to sin, most of us would like to soften the blow a little.  We so easily overlook our own sin, forgetting that every sin is against an infinitely holy God.  That's the biblical definition of sin, falling short, missing the mark of God's perfect holiness, which makes our need so very great and God's provision so very precious! (Rom.3:23-26)  In Desiring God, John Piper reminds us of God's view of King David's adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband.  When God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him, He didn't have Nathan tell David that marriage is inviolable, nor did he have him speak of the sanctity of human life.  Instead God said, "You have despised me." (2Sam. 12:10)  David acknowledged that truth in his penitential Psalm, "Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge." (Ps.51:1-4)

Jonathan Edwards understood that the depth of our sin is measured by the value of and our obligation to the One sinned against. He wrote:

"The crime of one being despising and casting contempt on another, is proportionably more or less heinous, as he was under greater or less obligations to obey him.  And therefore, if there be any being that we are under infinite obligations to love, and honor, and obey, the contrary towards him must be infinitely faulty."

"Our obligation to love, honor, and obey any being is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority ... But God is a being infinitely lovely, because he hath infinite excellency and beauty."

Piper suggests God need ask only 3 questions to reveal every man's guilt before Him:

1)  Was it not plain in nature that everything you had was a gift, and that you were dependent on your Maker for life and breath and everything? (Psalm 97:6; Rom.1:20)

2)  Did not the judicial sentiment in your own heart always hold other people guilty when they lacked the gratitude they should have had in response to a kindness you performed? (Rom.2:1-3)

3)  Has your life been filled with gratitude and trust toward Me in proportion to My generosity and authority?

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."  (Mark 12:30)    ... because He is infinitely worthy of that love.

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