Oh, how different is the path of Christian maturity pointed out by Edwards and the path most Christians walk today. There is a kind of cavalier attitude toward our security today. There is little trembling. Little vigilance and earnestness and caution and watchfulness over our souls. There is a kind of casual, slack, careless attitude toward the possibility that we might make shipwreck of our faith and fail to lay hold on eternal life. We have the notion that security is a kind of mechanical, automatic thing. We prayed once to receive Jesus. We are safe and there is not place for “working our your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). That is not what Edwards sees in the Bible.
Therefore he pleads with his people, and I plead with you, to “keep the presence of God.” It is not automatic. Edwards’ text is 2 Chronicles 15:1-2 which contains the words, “The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” Since we do not want God to forsake us, we must be watchful over our souls lest we forsake him. It is true that God will never forsake his own children. But the proof that we are his children is that he works in us the vigilance not to forsake him. God’s not forsaking us is the work he does in us to keep us from forsaking him (Philippians 2:12-13).
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