What Is Believing in Christ?

Jonathan Edwards preached “What Is Believing in Christ?” to his congregation of three hundred Native Americans in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The sermon on Mark 16:15–16 is characteristic of Edwards’ pastoral sensitivity to his Stockbridge congregation. The sermon is divided into two parts, 1. What it means to believe in Jesus Christ, and 2. How believing in Jesus Christ will save you.

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Christ the Spiritual Sun

Jonathan Edwards preached “Christ the Spiritual Sun” in May 1739. It was based on Malachi 4:1–2. The doctrine of the sermon was “that the same spiritual Sun, whose beams are most comfortable and beneficial to believers, will burn and destroy unbelievers.” Edwards unpacked the sermon in four heads, showing that Christ was the spiritual Sun of the world; showing what might be represented by the beams of the Sun; showing how the beams of the Sun will be most pleasant and profitable to believers; and how these same beams will destroy the wicked.

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Jesus Christ: The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Originally preached in April 1738, Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Jesus Christ: The Same Yesterday, To-day, and Forever” expounds Hebrews 13:6. Edwards draws out the doctrine that Jesus Christ is the same now that he ever has been and ever will be. Specifically, Christ is unchangeable in his divinity, in his office as Mediator, and his blood is as sufficient now as when it ran warm from his wounds, and so the covenants of redemption and grace stand forever. In light of the stability of Christ’s person and work for us, he is therefore fit to be our surety. While our profession of faith may wax and wane, Christ has not changed. The Jesus who invites you to come to him is he who accepts you. In the end Christ’s love is as strong now as it was when he went to the cross.

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Safety, Fullness, and Sweet Refreshment, to be Found in Christ

This week the East of Eden crew examine Jonathan Edwards’ sermon “Safety, Fullness, and Sweet Refreshment, to be Found in Christ” based upon Isaiah 32:2. In this sermon Edwards unpacks the types of a man who provides cover from the wind, of a river in a dry land, and a great rock that casts a shadow in a weary land. Each of these point to some facet of Christ’s person and work of redemption. Christ Jesus provides a foundation of peace and safety for those who live in fear and danger. He provides satisfaction and full contentment for the needy and thirsty soul. Our Lord also provides quiet and sweet refreshment for him who is weary. All in all this is a deeply comforting sermon.

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The Pure in Heart Blessed

In 1730 Jonathan Edward preached a sermon on Matthew 5:8 in which he gave consideration to the redemptive blessing which God bestows upon the pure in heart, namely, an all satisfying sight of God Himself.

In this typical substantive fashion, Jonathan Edwards undergirds his sermon on Matthew 5:8, “The Pure in Heart Blessed,” with a rich array of biblical, systematic and experiential theological elements. He deals specifically with what theologians have called the “beatific vision” and the great reward that the believer receives in a sight of God Himself. Edwards distinguishes between the natural and the spiritual sight. This sermon has a strong eschatological focus to it, placing it among the best of Edwards’ sermons on glory.

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The Character of Paul an Example to Christians

In February 1740, at the heat of the first Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards preached The Character of Paul an Example to Christians. In this sermon on Philippians 3:11 Edwards unpacked Paul’s exhortation to “Follow my example.” Edwards set the apostle’s words in the redemptive context of Philippians 3 and called his hearers to be steadfast in pursuing Christ, His righteousness and the final salvation of their souls in the same manner as that of the apostle Paul.

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