Resolved for Renewed Glory

Scriptures: Psalms 51:10 ; Luke 15:17 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; 1 John 1:9
by Jacob Abshire on January 25, 2024

In our walk with God, there are moments when our spiritual fervor wanes and our resolutions falter. It is common. We are finite people with limited energies and changing emotions. Falling short is inevitable, but renewed glory is accessible.

In his third resolution, Jonathan Edwards resolves to return to a steadfast commitment to glorifying God after acknowledging his human frailty. He recognizes the weakness of the body, but also the glorious invitation to repent of sin by the quickening power of God.

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.

Jonathan Edwards

Human Frailty and the Glory of God

Edwards did not question the possibility of falling into sin, he anticipated it, “If ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions.” He also acknowledged that sin weakens the resolve to righteousness. Falling short and growing dull go hand-in-hand. Together, they promote spiritual lethargy, particularly when it comes to commitments to godliness. The more sin abounds the more sluggish the saint becomes.

Spiritual dullness proves the necessity for divine help. As we falter, the glory of God stands as a beacon, calling us back to the path of righteousness. King David cried out during a time of relapse, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10). In our bleakest moments, when the fire of passion seems to almost be extinguished, the luminous rays of God’s glory illuminate the heart and lead us back on the track of godliness.

Spiritual Awakening and the Glory of God

God is the spiritual alarm clock for the sleeping saint. Edwards acknowledged this. He resolved “to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.” The final clause in this resolution highlights the work of God in stirring the sinner to his senses and out of his slumber. As the Prodigal Son “came to himself” and returned to the father, so should the drifting saint (Lk. 15:17).

God, in His infinite mercy, does not forsake us in our spiritual stupor but lovingly convicts us and brings us to our senses for an opportunity of renewal. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). Repentance, because it is the work of God in us through faith, glorifies God and magnifies His mercy positioning us for renewed commitment.

Renewed Commitment and the Glory of God

As with most of his resolutions, Edwards begins with the word, “Resolved.” In this case, it is an emphatic pronouncement of his determination to live in continual repentance and realignment with God’s will. Moments of human weakness punctuate the Christian life, yet we are defined by God’s grace in a renewed commitment. Edwards was unwavering in his pursuit of this.

However, a renewed commitment was not an end in itself. Edwards made it clear from the beginning that his resolutions terminated with the glory of God. This one was no exception to that rule. A renewed commitment, since it is preempted by God’s awaking grace and fueled by God’s sustaining power, puts His glory on display. 

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Though you may lapse, resolve for renewed glory.

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