Jonathan Edwards and Christian Authenticity

I have spent the last week reading Jonathan Edward’s sermons. It was at times a spiritually exhilarating and humbling experience. There was much that was quotable but perhaps this quote struck me more than any other. It is striking not only because of its thrust but also given Edwards’ view of preaching. Writing on Psalm 139:23,24 he says,

‘If those who call themselves Christians, thus walked in all the paths of virtue and holiness, it would tend more to the advancement of the kingdom of Christ in the world, the conviction of sinners, and the propagation of religion amongst unbelievers, than all the sermons in the world, so long as the lives of those who are called Christians continue as they are now.’

It is a great challenge to a life of Christian authenticity. As noted in previous posts the world is looking for authenticity and we face the question as Christians whether or not they discover it in our lives. In a church culture where we are so often urged to market ourselves well, the Christian life well-lived is the way in which we will truly commend the gospel to the world.

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