July 15, 2005

Wider, Longer, Higher, Deeper

Titus 2:11-14

We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works . . . . Ephesians 2:10


Most people don't read the last chapter of a book first to find out how it ends. Reading the last chapter of Edwards's Religious Affections, though, is actually quite helpful for understanding the rest of the book. The end of the book focuses on the importance of Christian "practice" as evidence of true affections for Christ. "Scripture plainly teaches that [Christian] practice is the best evidence of the sincerity or profession of Christians," writes Edwards.


The good news is that Jesus came to save us not only from our sin but also from our sinning! "Christian practice then is the evidence that confirms and crowns a proof of godliness, of repentance, of saving faith, of having come to Christ," Edwards notes. "It is practice then that makes profession credible."


In The Last Battle, the final book in C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, a unicorn named Jewel leads the colorful cast of other characters into the new Narnia while crying out, "Come further up, come further in!" To us, this is like the invitation of Jesus himself.


Edwards concludes, "We see that in holy affection there is earnestness, action, commitment, perseverance, and holy practice because of the spiritual appetite and longing for further achievements which always are associated with true affections."

"Creator Spirit, by whose aid the world's foundations first were laid . . . . make us eternal truths receive and practice all that we believe." In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Charles Geschiere

Rev. Charles Geschiere has been a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for over 30 years. During that time, he has served churches in Illinois, Virginia, and Michigan. Currently, he is ministering to Vienna Presbyterian Church, where he has served since 2012.

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