The spirit of charity is one of humility (1 Corinthians 13:4-5) that:
Though God’s attributes don’t include humbleness, Christ on earth showed humility. He became human (the worm of the dust), lived as a servant, and remained obedient unto death on the cross (Philippians 2:6-8). His behavior should kindle our love for Him; and lead to us following His examples of humble love, and our contempt for all earthly glory (Matthew 10:24-25, 20:25-28; John 13:13-16).
Carefully examine yourself (Habakkuk 2:4, James 4:6). Our original nature is arrogant, which God detests and punishes (1 Timothy 3:6; Proverbs 16:5, 6:16, 29:23; 2Samuel 22:28; Isaiah 23:9).
Earnestly strive to have a humble, gentle, and loving spirit (1 Peter 3:4). This is the spirit of Christ on earth. Such spirit of charity will lead to getting His rich promises and the crown of glory in heaven.
Summary of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards:
We may leave our evil path for awhile. But like a dog returning to its vomit, we tend to return to what was bad for us (Proverbs 26:11).
For awhile, we may become religious: Seek salvation, like Israelites searching for John the Baptist; grieve for our mistakes, like Saul’s bitter weep (1 Samuel 24:17, 26:21) and Ahab’s fasting (1 Kings 21:27); believe in Christ’s words (John 2:23-25); leave everything to follow Christ, like the disciple Judas (Matthew 19:27); or have affection for God (Matthew 13:20-21; Galatians 4:11, 15-16), like the Israelites committing to follow God’s command (Exodus 15:1-19; Deuteronomy 5:27, 29).
Like the Israelites, we can experience God’s majesty, as at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:16-18, Exodus 32); numerous miracles (Exodus 13:21-22, 16:14-17, 32:8; Joshua 10:13; Luke 16:31); God’s judgment and punishments (Numbers 11:3, 16:41, 16:31, 21:6, 21:1); and God’s blessings (Deuteronomy 32:13-16, Isaiah 26:10).
Pain and suffering can bring us to God (Isaiah 1:5, Proverbs 27:22), but after our misery has subsided, our love for God may disappear quickly (Hosea 6:4).
We may behave well because of our love for worldly interest, honor, our children etc. But while we may be good in one area, our wickedness shows up in another.
Our original nature is corrupt and is the slave of sin (John 8:23, 34; Romans 7:14; Jeremiah 17:9, 13:23). Unless our nature is changed, our resolution to do good is built on sand (Matthew 7:26). We will return to our filth, gratifying our lust (2 Peter 2:20-22).
Without a change in nature, there is no sure foundation for our goodness. We may become worse than before (Mark 4:17, 1 John 2:19, Hebrews 10:38, Luke 14:29-30, Ezekiel 18:24).
By ourselves, we cannot change our nature (John 3:4). We need God to give us a new heart and make us holy.
With our sinful nature changed by God, we will have a new understanding; new conviction; and a new appetite for God’s word and imitating God’s character by doing just and holy things.
Summarized from a Jonathan Edwards sermon:
God plans (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Corinthians 14:33) just as He tells us to plan (Proverbs 4:26, 1 Corinthians 14:40). Without planning, we will drift and waste our lives (Ephesians 5:15-17).
Let’s see how Nehemiah made God-inspired plans for a better future:
1. God put an intense desire in Nehemiah’s heart. He prayed for God’s favor and asked for success (Nehemiah 1:4, 11). If we don’t know what to do, ask God what He wants us to do (James 1:5). He will show us.
2. Prepare for an opportunity and wait for the right time. Planning is demanding (Proverbs 13:16). Nehemiah prepared for at least four months before asking the king for help (Nehemiah 2:1). Ask for help (James 4:2). Let others say no. Don't say it for them.
3. Expect and admit fear. For the first time, Nehemiah looked very sad before the king. During his time, causing the king to be upset could lead to death. Nehemiah was very afraid (Nehemiah 2:1-2). Courage is not without fear. Nehemiah admitted his fear, but he didn’t let fear stop him.
4. Make it easy for others to understand you. Nehemiah started wisely by showing his loyalty to the king and appealed to what the king could understand: respect for ancestors (Nehemiah 2:2-4).
5. Set a clear target (Nehemiah 2:5) and act prudently. If we aim at nothing, we hit nothing. Don’t worry if your goal is too high. Let God bail us out. Such goals can honor God. Then act prudently, one step at a time. Haste makes waste.
6. Set a deadline (Nehemiah 2:6). Typically, a goal without a deadline is just an empty wish.
7. Nehemiah anticipated barriers and calculated the cost accordingly (Nehemiah 2:7-8, Proverbs 27:12, Luke 14:27-28). He put together detailed protections and provisions he needed to build. Then he honestly expressed his specific wishes to the king.
8. Trust God to meet our needs, and give God the credit (Nehemiah 2:7-8). Only God could change the king’s heart (Proverbs 21:1).
God won’t do what we can do, such as planning and doing what’s under our control. And we can’t do what only God can provide.
We should strive to live according to God’s will (James 4:15). And if God doesn’t accomplish our plans (Proverbs 16:1), always trust His love and sovereignty.
Summary of a sermon by Rick Warren:
Pray continually, keeping a running conversation with God. Tell Him whatever He puts in your mind and do not give up. God likes it (Ephesians 6:18, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 1:6).
Follow the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer as you pray throughout the day (Psalm 119:164, Matthew 6:9-13).
First thing in the morning, think about our loving and powerful heavenly Father and pray with gratitude (Matthew 6:9, 1 Corinthians 4:7).
At breakfast, honor and adore God’s name in prayer (Matthew 6:9, Psalm 145:2). God’s names reflect His character: Abba means loving; El Dia, all-knowing; Jehovah Rapha, healing; El Shaddai, almighty; Jehovah-jireh, provider; Jehovah-shalom, peace; and Jehovah Tsidkenu, provider of our righteousness.
Our prayers depend on our knowledge of God. Knowing God more brings us less worry, more confidence, and a better understanding of ourselves (Psalm 9:10). So reflect on God’s attributes.
Later in the morning, pray for what matters most: God’s purpose and plan for your life (Matthew 6:10). Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, His plans and purposes. God will provide everything else (Matthew 6:33).
At lunch, pray for everything you need for that day (Matthew 6:11), not tomorrow. Experience God daily and trust in His provision. Just ask. Nothing is off-limits. We have not because we ask not. Let God decide whether to give (John 14:13). Also, pray for what others need (1 Samuel 12:23). Trust God and don’t be anxious (2 Peter 1:3, Philippians 4:6-7).
By mid-afternoon, it’s likely we have done something wrong. Pray for forgiveness and hold no guilt (Psalm 32:5). Forgive others and give up your resentment (Matthew 6:12).
By dinner, especially if we get tired, we make mistakes. Ask God to help you make wise decisions (Matthew 6:13). We cannot prevent bad thoughts, but we shouldn’t entertain them. Avoid watching bad stuff (Psalm 101:3). We can endure and overcome all temptations because God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).
By late evening, prayerfully acknowledge that God has all the kingdom, power, and glory (Matthew 6:13). He is in control. He and His family will win in the end.
Anyway, pray continually. It even will add hours to our day (Proverbs 10:27).
Summary of a sermon by Rick Warren:
Every dream needs support. True success is never a one-person show, and every dream will have opposition. Opportunity and opposition go together. Many people oppose change, especially when it threatens their unfair advantages.
Let’s learn how Nehemiah enlisted support for the dream God put in his heart to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Nehemiah’s methods to enlist support:
As we can see, his vision had been transferred to many. "Let us start building,” they said (Nehemiah 2:18). After 90 years of ruin, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days!
Don’t worry. Commit your dream to God and trust Him (Psalm 37:5, Proverbs 16:3, 1 Peter 5:7). Focus on others’ needs. Attempt great things for Him and expect great things from Him.
Summary of a sermon by Rick Warren:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzVR8-Cvl3M starting at 14 minutes
Since John the Baptist, the good news of the kingdom of God has been preached, and many are “forcing their way into it” (Luke 16:16).
John the Baptist was the forerunner, paving the road and preparing the people for Christ (Matthew 4:17, 11:11; Luke 1:17) and for the disciples (Matthew 10:7). Then, like the morning star before the sun, John diminished (John 3:30), and many wanted to enter the kingdom of God, including Pharisees and Sadducees, tax collectors, and soldiers (Matthew 3:7, Luke 3:12-14). The kingdom of God has been forcefully advancing (Matthew 11:12).
Many desire to enter the kingdom of God and run away from their misery and from hell (Luke 10:42, Psalm 27:4). Once the opportunity to enter is gone, those remaining will not be spared from God’s wrath. No one can comprehend the power of God’s anger, so press earnestly, firmly, and steadily to try to get in.
The path to get in is difficult to find (Matthew 7:14, Luke 13:24). Like searching for the hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:1-5), we must use our utmost energy (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Such desires depend on God giving our hearts the resolution.
“To press” implies there will be barriers, opposition, and difficulty along the way. And devils will continue to distract and discourage us. But with God’s given earnest spirit, we can press on (Philippians 3:10-11). Look up to God and repent. God’s mercy is sufficient to enable us to enter His kingdom (Acts 8:22, 2 Timothy 2:25, Jonah 3:8-9).
Be willing to sacrifice everything for His kingdom. Crucify our possessions, pride, and worldly wishes for the sake of your soul and salvation (Galatians 5:24; Luke 3:19; Matthew 14:3, 19:16-22). Forget your accomplishments. If we want to reminisce, we should reflect on our past mistakes (Jeremiah 2:23). Forge ahead for our salvation (Philippians 3:13-14).
Persevere to the end. Don’t arouse God’s anger (1 Corinthians 10:22, Ezekiel 22:14). Since no one knows when He will return, use this time to press on towards the kingdom of God.
A summary of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards:
施洗约翰是先锋. 他为基督（马太福音 4:17、11:11; 路加福音 1:17）和门徒（马太福音 10:7）铺平道路, 做好准备。然后，约翰就像太阳出来之前的晨星一样消失了（约翰福音 3:30），而许多人因为他的事工想要进入神的国，包括法利赛人、撒都该人、税吏和士兵（马太福音 3:7，路加福音 3:12-14）。上帝的国一直在大力地推进（马太福音 11:12）。
许多人迫切渴望进入上帝的国，逃离苦难和地狱（路加福音 10:42，诗篇 27:4）。因为一旦进去的机会消失，剩下的人不会免于上帝的忿怒。没有人理解上帝愤怒的力量。所以要认真、坚定、稳定地努力进去。
进上帝之国的路很难找（马太福音7:14，路加福音13:24）. 要用最大的力量去寻找（传道书 9:10）像在搜索隐藏的宝藏（箴言 2:1-5）一样。 只有上帝将决心赐下，才会有这样的渴望。
努力意味着一路上定会有障碍、反对和困难。魔鬼会继续阻碍和分散我们的注意力。但凭着上帝所赐的恳切精神，要奋力前行（腓立比书 3:10-11）。 仰望上帝并悔改，祂的怜悯足以使我们进入上帝的国（使徒行传 8:22、2 提摩太后书 2:25、约拿书 3:8-9）。
要愿意为上帝的国牺牲一切。为了灵魂和救恩，将个人的财产、今生的骄傲、世俗的愿望都钉在十字架上（加拉太书 5:24; 路加福音 3:19; 马太福音 14:3，19:16-22）。 忘记过去的成就。如果我们想回忆往事，请记住过去的错误（耶利米书 2:23）。为了救恩向前迈进（腓立比书 3:13-14）。
竭尽全力坚持到底。 不要惹怒上帝（哥林多前书 10:22，以西结书 22:14）。 无人知道主何时再来，那就趁着今天向上帝的国度奋进吧。
Let’s understand some of Christ’s diverse characteristics.
Christ obeys, yet is equal to, the Father. All things depend on Christ, yet Christ is reliant on the Father (Luke 22:41; John 14:21, 15:10, 10:18; Hebrews 5:8; Philippians 2:8; Matthew 27:43; 1 Peter 2:23).
Christ has infinite glory, majesty, and absolute sovereignty; He is worthy to have all the good, yet He descended on earth to live humbly, gently, and calmly; to serve the weak, lowly, and despicable; to patiently endure terrible suffering and humiliation; and to die on the cross (Proverbs 30:4; Job 11:8; James 2:5; 1 Corinthians 1:28, 5:7; Colossians 1:16-18, 3:11; Matthew 19:14, 11:29, 21:4-5, 11:29, 8:3, 26:39, 42; Philippians 2:6; John 5:23; Hebrews 1:6, 8, 6:15; Psalm 45:3, 22:14; John 5:17; 1 Peter 2:20-24; and Isaiah 53:7).
Christ was born in a manger to poor parents and submitted to them for 30 years. He was born via the Holy Spirit, with power over Satan, as our Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the bright Morning Star (Luke 2:24, 1:35; Leviticus 5:7; Isaiah 9:6; Numbers 24:17; Revelation 22:16).
Christ had no place to sleep, with his livelihood supported by female followers, yet He had power over nature, walking on water, calming the sea, casting demons to pigs, curing sickness, and raising the dead, with a voice from heaven proclaiming Him to be the beloved Son of the Father (Luke 9:58, 8:3; John 2:11; Job 9:8; Psalm 65:7, 107:29, 89:8-9; Matthew 17:1-3, 5; 2 Peter 1:16-17).
Christ was treated as a criminal, delivered to His enemies, and forsaken by the Father and everyone, yet He gained complete victory and was exalted in the highest, with His name above all names, and received praises and glory from millions of angels (John 19:15; Luke 22:53, 23:34; Isaiah 53:10; Acts 2:23, 3:17, 2:36-37; Revelation 14:1, 5:9-12; Philippians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:14-15).
At the last judgment, our merciful Christ will appear as the bridegroom to the church, inheriting the Kingdom with them forever. Yet earth and heaven will tremble before our just Christ (Revelation 20:11, Psalm 85:10, Romans 3:25-26).
We should desire no other savior than Christ, who gently and humbly knocks at our door, waiting to invite us into the Father’s house; uniting us with God; to be our friend; defending us; to give us joy, rest and water of life; and to be exalted with us in His glory (Revelation 3:20, 22:16-17; Proverbs 8:4, 9:1-6; Isaiah 55:1-3, 31:4; John 17:21-24, 17:13, 20:17, 17:26-27; Matthew 11:28-30, 26:29; Luke 22:30; Galatians 4:4-6).
Summarized from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards:
基督顺服天父，却与父神同等。 凡事都靠基督, 但祂完全依赖父神（路加福音 22:41；约翰福音 14:21, 15:10, 10:18；希伯来书 5:8；腓立比书 2： 8；马太福音 27:43；彼得前书 2:23）。
基督拥有无限的荣耀、威严和绝对的主权，配得一切美好；祂却降临人间， 谦卑、温柔、平静地生活， 服侍软弱的、卑微的和被人鄙视的人，耐心地忍受可怕的痛苦和屈辱，最后死在十字架上（箴言 30:4；约伯记 11:8；雅各书 2:5；哥林多前书 1:28, 5:7；歌罗西书 1:16-18, 3:11；马太福音 19:14, 11:29, 21:4 -5, 11:29, 8:3, 26:39, 42；腓立比书 2:6；约翰福音 5:23；希伯来书 1:6, 8, 6:15；诗篇 45:3, 22:14；约翰福音 5： 17；彼得前书 2:20-24；以赛亚书 53:7）。
基督出身贫寒，生在马槽里，顺服在地上的父母三十年；然而，祂是从圣灵而生，有胜过撒旦的能力，是我们的策士、全能的神、永在的父和明亮的晨星（路加福音 2:24、1:35；利未记 5:7；以赛亚书 9 :6；民数记 24:17；启示录 22:16）。
在地上基督没有枕头的地方，依靠女信徒的支持维持生计；却拥有超自然的能力，在水面上行走，使大海平静，将鬼魔赶到猪身上，治愈疾病，使死人复活，天上有声音宣告祂是天父的爱子（路加福音 9:58, 8:3 ；约翰福音 2:11；约伯记 9:8；诗篇 65:7、107:29、89:8-9；马太福音 17:1-3、5；彼得后书 1:16-17）。
基督被视为罪犯，被交给仇敌，也被天父和所有人离弃；却获得完全的胜利，被尊为至高，赐给超乎万有的名，从千万的天使那里得到赞美和荣耀（约翰福音 19:15；路加福音 22:53, 23:34；以赛亚书 53:10；使徒行传 2:23 , 3:17, 2:36-37；启示录 14:1, 5:9-12；腓立比书 2:8-9；歌罗西书 2:14-15)。
在最后的审判中，完全慈悲的基督将以新郎的身份出现在教会面前，与教会一同承受国度直到永远。然而，天地都将在全然公义的基督面前颤抖（启示录 20:11，诗篇 85:10，罗马书 3:25-26）。
除了基督，不应该渴望任何别的救主。 祂温柔谦卑地敲我们的门，等待着邀请我们进入天父的家，使我们与上帝合而为一。祂要做我们的朋友，保护我们，赐下欢乐、安息和生命之水；祂要与我们一同在祂的荣耀中被高举（启示录 3:20, 22:16-17; 箴言 8:4, 9:1-6; 以赛亚书 55:1-3, 31:4; 约翰福音 17:21-24、17:13、20:17、17:26-27；马太福音 11:28-30、26:29；路加福音 22:30；加拉太书 4:4-6）。
Examine your faith. Have you cast off duties, particularly difficult ones (Job 27:10), been swallowed up by worldly interest, developed inordinate affection for money or sensual enjoyment (Luke 14:26, 1 John 3:9), or shifted off the responsibility of doing what is right?
Earnestly watch, pray, and strive to be in His grace and not to fall into temptation. In light of your weakness and your powerful enemies, ask God to help us stand firm, particularly in times of trial (Acts 14:22, 11:23, 13:43; Luke 21:34, 36; Ephesians 6:13-14). Seek deeper roots (Ephesians 3:16-17) and bear fruit (2 King 19:30, Joshua 13:5-7).
But many of us are like uncultivated ground, full of seeds and roots of thorns (Matthew 13:7, 22) that have never been plowed.
The thorns grow spontaneously. Our worldly hearts—inordinate affections towards worldly pleasure (lust of the flesh), profits (lust of the eyes), and honor (pride of life)—choke off the words of God, so fruit cannot grow (Jeremiah 4:3, 1 John 2:15, 1 John 2:16, Mark 4:18-19, Luke 8:14).
After the fall, hearts bring forth such thorns (Genesis 3:17-18). Intense worldly concern, affection and pursuits naturally grow. We focus on being superior to others, greed over gain, and carnal pleasures. Not knowing any better happiness, we pursue worldly things above all else. They become the idol we worship.
Unfortunately, such naturally and spontaneously growing thorns are useless (Psalm 4:6), bearing no fruit (Isaiah 55:2, Jeremiah 17:11, Job 20:15), and ending in death (Romans 6:21). Furthermore, such pernicious growth wounds the soul, brings no peace nor rest (Ecclesiastes 5:12), and causes intense conflicts and pain among people (James 4:1, Micah 7:4, 2 Samuel 23:6-7).
Our uncultivated ground needs to be plowed to create good soil (Matthew 13:7, Jeremiah 4:3). Conviction of our sins and repentance can break up our hardened hearts. See the vile nature of sin against God’s glory. Be convinced of the vanity of the world to break us from them. Deny ourselves and renounce our self-righteousness to kill the thorns. Then the seed of the gospel can flourish and bear abundant fruits.
Summary of sermons by Jonathan Edwards:
当察验我们的信仰，省察自己是否放弃了职责, 例如那些特别困难的职责（约伯记 27:10），是否被世俗兴趣所吞噬，是否对金钱或肉体上的享受过分依恋（路加福音 14:26，约翰壹书 3:9）或者逃避做正確事情的責任？
真诚地儆醒, 祷告，努力进入上帝的恩典中，不要陷入迷惑。鉴于自己的软弱和强大的敌人，我们当祈求神帮助站立得稳，尤其是在受试炼的时候（使徒行传 14:22, 11:23, 13:43；路加福音 21:34, 36；以弗所书 6:13-14 ）。向下扎更深的根基（以弗所书 3:16-17），向上结出佳美的果实（列王纪下19:30，约书亚记 13:5-7）。
但许多人的心就像荒地，满了荆棘的种子和杂根（马太福音 13:7, 22），从来没有被翻耕过。
荆棘会自发地生长蔓延。我们属世的心钟情于世俗的享乐（肉体的情欲）、个人的利益（眼目的情欲）和自己的尊荣（生命的骄傲）。这些都是窒息上帝話语的荆棘，因此果实不能生长（耶利米书 4:3，约翰壹书 2:15-16，马可福音 4:18-19，路加福音 8:14）。
不幸的是这种自然生长的荆棘毫无用处（诗篇 4:6），不会结出任何果实（以赛亚书 55:2，耶利米书 17:11，约伯记 20:15），最后只有以死亡告终（罗马书 6:21）。此外，这种有害的生长伤害人的灵魂，使他没有平安，不得休息（传道书 5:12），并且在人与人之间造成激烈的冲突和痛苦（雅各书 4:1，弥迦书 7:4，撒母耳记 23:6-7）。
未开垦的土地需要靠耕种变成良好的土壤（马太福音 13:7，耶利米书 4:3）。类似的，只有通过认罪悔改才能粉碎我们刚硬的心。让我们为上帝所憎恨的罪深感内疚，看清它们敌对上帝荣耀的邪恶本质，识破世界的虚荣，摆脱它的辖制. 舍弃自己，弃绝自以为义，摧毁心里的荆棘，这样福音的种子才能发旺生长，结出丰硕的果实。
Many seek wisdom, but our wisdom cannot lead us to God. Our redemption depends entirely on Him, so that no one can boast (1 Corinthians 1:29-31). Instead, God is glorified in our dependence.
First, the redeemed absolutely depend on God; He is the source of all the good in the redeemed.
Redemption is from God. The Father gave us Christ and has accepted Christ’s life for ours. God is not obligated to redeem us; He could have rejected us like He did the fallen angels. Our redemption is God’s grace, a gift that we cannot repay.
Our faith in God is also from God (Ephesians 2:8). God gives us wisdom to know Him. We are considered good and holy before God because of God. (1 Corinthians 1:29-31).
We are reborn, like being raised from the dead, through the redemption (Ephesians 1:19, 2:10, 5:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are given the Holy Spirit, as promise by the Father, enabling Christ to be in us (1 Corinthians 1:29-31). With the Holy Spirit in us, rivers of living water will flow from us. The Holy Spirit also serves as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (Galatians 3:13-14; Luke 24:49; Ephesians 1:13; John 4:14, 7:38-39; Revelation 2:1; 2 Corinthians 1:22).
We are preserved and protected by God (1 Peter 1:5). We are sufficient because of God (2 Corinthians 4:7). He is not just the source of all that is good, but the medium through whom we receive it.
Through Christ, our mediator provided by Father, we receive our redemption (Hebrews 7:27, 9:26), and we are reborn, becoming good (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 8:6). God is not just the purchaser, He also has paid the price with the ultimate sacrifice.
Not just the source of all good and the medium to get them, God is the good itself.
Everything good that sustains us and brings us joy—such as food, health, etc.—is in God. All that is good within us—the excellency of our soul, our divine nature, our holiness, and our happiness—comes from God, who resides in us as the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4, Hebrews 12:10).
Second, God is glorified in the work of our redemption. The more we depend on God, the more we see God and God’s glory. We see God’s greatness and our nothingness.
So, we must rely on God alone for our redemption. Trust Him absolutely. Praise and exalt God alone. Ascribe all glory to God.
Summary of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards.
许多人寻求智慧，但人的智慧无法将他引到上帝那里。救赎完全取决于上帝， 因此没有人可以自夸。 相反地，上帝从我们的倚赖而得荣耀 (哥林多前书 1:29-31)。
人对上帝的信心也来自祂（以弗所书2：8）。上帝赐人智慧来认识祂。因为上帝，我们在祂面前被认为是良善和圣洁的 (哥林多前书 1:29-31）。
我们籍着救赎得以重生，就像从死里复活一样（以弗所书 1:19、2:10、5:24；哥林多后书 5:17）。
我们被赐予圣灵，就是天父所应许的圣灵，使基督能在我们里面（哥林多前书 1:29-31）。有了圣灵在里面，活水的江河就会从中流出。圣灵也作为凭据，保证将要发生的事（加拉太书 3:13-14；路加福音 24:49；以弗所书 1:13；约翰福音 4:14,7:38-39；启示录 2:1；哥林多后书 1:22）。
我们籍着父神所提供的中保基督得到救赎（希伯来书 7:27, 9:26），重生成为良善的人（哥林多后书 5:21, 哥林多前书 8:6）。上帝不只是买主，祂也付出最终的牺牲作为代价。
Our sovereign God decides to whom He wants to give mercy. For example, He picked Isaac over Ishmael. He hardened Pharaoh. He chose Jacob over Esau before the twins were born. God bestows or denies as He pleases (Romans 9:9-18).
His divine will and pleasure also determine the salvation of humans. For those rejected by God, He withholds His Spirit from them, leaving them in their own ways. Christ ignored the rich and intelligent, such as the knowledgeable and religious Pharisees. Though they had seen His miracles and heard His teachings, they hardened their hearts to Him. God was obligated to keep His word and condemn them.
Those elected to be saved go to the Father through Christ. They may be wicked, but their salvation does not compromise His words, holiness, majesty, truth, justice, goodness, mercy, and faithfulness. Through Christ, Father can save the greatest sinners without approving their wickedness.
Father bestows salvation to the poor and foolish, the corrupted tax collectors, the prostitutes, the criminal next to Christ on the cross, and some hearing Christ’s teachings only once (Romans 9:23, 1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
God chose to give the Jews the opportunities of His grace, leaving to perish gentiles, like the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. But when the Jews rejected the Messiah, Father replaced them with other nations (Deuteronomy 7:7, Malachi 1:2-3).
So, for those saved, be humble and praise God. Out of His sovereign pleasure, He chose them before they were born. One’s salvation and righteousness depend on His will and sovereignty (Deuteronomy 32:39, Psalm 115:3, Daniel 4:34-35, Matthew 11:25, 1 Corinthians 1:29-31, 6:9,11).
But don’t count on God’s mercy and continue to sin. Beware that salvation is not under our control, though Father is bound by His word that anyone can go to Him through Christ (Hebrews6:13-20, 3:15). On the other hand, don’t be discouraged because of your wickedness. God can bestow salvation to the worst without compromising any of His attributes.
God designs creation to glorify Himself and manifest His glory in all His characteristics, including His holiness, wisdom, mercy, justice, and sovereignty. It pleases God to exercise His sovereignty and bestow salvation. Glorifying Himself in our salvation pleases Him greatly.
Summary of a sermon by Jonathan Edwards
那些被拣选得救的人藉着基督到父神那里去。虽然他们可能是邪恶的，但他们的救恩并没有妥协上帝的话语、祂的圣洁、威严、真理、公义、良善、怜悯和信实。藉着基督，天父可以拯救最大的罪人而无需认可他们的邪恶。天父将救恩赐给贫穷愚拙之人、腐败的税吏、被人蔑视的妓女、十字架上钉在基督旁边的罪犯以及有些只听过一次基督教导的人（罗马书 9：23，哥林多前书 1：26-31）。
所以，对于那些得救的人，要心存谦卑，敬拜赞美上帝。 上帝出于至高无上的喜悦，在出生之前已经选择了他们。 一个人的救恩和公义取决于祂的旨意和主宰。（申命记 32：39; 诗篇 115：3; 但以理书 4：34-35; 马太福音 11：25; 哥林多前书 1：29-31，6：9,11）。
但不要指望上帝的怜悯而继续犯罪。救恩不在我们的控制之下, 虽然天父受自己话语约束, 任何人都可以藉着基督进到祂那里（希伯来书 6:13-20, 3:15）。