Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) was a preacher, theologian, and philosopher of the 18th century. Edwards is widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian, and one of America’s greatest reformed preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This work is the substance of two of Edwards’ earliest printed lectures in 1738. Edwards was endeavoring to respond to encroaching Arminianism in his Northampton congregation, as well as an abiding antinomianism in the colonies since the days of Anne Hutchinson. This classic book demonstrates Edwards’ lucid reasoning and solid Reformed and Biblical approach to the crucial issue of salvation. Edwards follows Scripture showing that Christ is the center of the Gospel, and the doctrine of justification the centerpiece of evangelism.
Edwards covers the intricacies of how believers are made righteous only through Christ’s merits, and that this justifying righteousness is equally imputed to all elect believers. This is accomplished by the condition of faith as an instrument. He demonstrates clearly the unscriptural nature of Arminianism and Antinomianism, both being destructive to the true Gospel of Christ.
Edwards says, “Christians should strive after an increase of knowledge, and no one should content themselves without some clear and distinct understanding in this point. But we should believe in the general, according to the clear and abundant revelations of God’s word, that it is none of our own excellency, virtue, or righteousness, that is the ground of our being received from a state of condemnation into a state of acceptance in God’s sight, but only Jesus Christ, and his righteousness and worthiness, received by faith. This I think to be of great importance.”
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