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Defending the Faith

These Daily Reflections supply the messages from Grace Church as daily video clips from the most recent sermons. Each day's clip will last about 10 minutes and if you watch them all, you will have reviewed morning and evening sermons from the previous Sunday.

Ministry Reflection - June 11, 2009

By This We Will Know: 1 John 2:3-6

Edwards has been bringing us systematically to the climax of what is really a sermon on true conversion. He has shown us that: A true and saving grace is rooted in the affections: Christianity is first and foremost a matter of the heart. That in saving conversion the Holy Spirit produces love, which is the holy root from which all the affections flow; not a weak love that barely moves us beyond indifference, but a strong inclination, a holy affection. That this is a foretaste of heaven – a world filled with intense love, filling the hearts of all those who dwell there from the fountain and source: God Himself. That this explains why the Lord has commanded the kind of worship He does – in singing instead of reciting, in sermons instead of reading – because it stirs and strengthens the affections. That this is what the means of grace do: they strengthen our love for God (for who He is [holy] and not merely for what He gives) because they convey to us more of the Spirit’s influence. That this love will strengthen our conviction the Bible is true because it opens our eyes to something we couldn’t see before: God’s glory. And that it will humble us, continually transform us into new creatures made in Christ’s image, give us a tender heart, a spiritually balanced life, a hunger and thirst for communion with God, the desire to obey all of God’s commandments, an undivided heart in our service to the Lord, and the desire (and therefore the ability) to endure to the end in holiness no matter what we will have to face in this world.

His final point is this: Everything God does in our hearts, all the effects of His Spirit, all conspire to do one thing: to produce the fruit of good works. This is why God saved us; this is why He gave us His Spirit. This is how others will know we are true believers: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

Not only will others know we are genuine believers by our works, but we will know it as well. We’ll consider two things in our concluding as we break ground on this last point: First, the Lord clearly tells us in His Word that our good works will show us that we are true believers. But second, we need to understand what kind of good works He is referring to – not just any good works, but those motivated by love.

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