The Wisdom of God

You are invited to come to Christ, heartily to close with him, and trust in him for salvation. And if you do so, you shall have the benefit of all, as much as if the whole had been contrived for you alone. God has already contrived everything that is needful for your salvation. And there is nothing wanting but your consent. Since God has taken this matter of the redemption of sinners into his own hand, he has made thorough work of it. He has not left it for you to finish. Satisfaction is already made, righteousness is already wrought out, death and hell are already conquered. The Redeemer has already taken possession of glory, and keeps it in his hands to bestow on them who come to him. There were many difficulties in the way, but they are all removed. The Savior has already triumphed over all, and is at the right hand of God, to give eternal life to his people.

Salvation is already brought to your door and the Savior stands, knocks, and calls that you would open to him, that he might bring it in to you. There remains nothing but your consent. All the difficulty now remaining is with your own heart. If you perish now, it must be wholly at your door. It must be because you would not come to Christ that you might have life, and because you virtually choose death rather than life. Pro. 8:36, “He that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” — All that is now required of you is that your heart should close with Christ as a Savior. Here consider,

I. That the wisdom of God has so contrived, that he has forestalled all your objections. If you make objections against Christ and the way of salvation, they must be all unreasonable. You cannot reasonably object that your sins are of such a nature, that God’s honor will not allow of your pardon. It is true God insists upon his own honor. He is a God that will be honored, and his majesty shall be vindicated. And when sinners cast contempt upon him, his honor may be repaired by the punishment of sin without the sinner’s suffering, how great soever the sin be. Herein the wisdom of this way appears, that there is a sufficiency for the greatest and most heinous transgressors.

You cannot object that God the Father will not be willing to accept you, for the Mediator’s sake, for he has chosen his own Son to be a mediator, to cut off any such objections. So you may be sure that God will receive you if you go to him, through Christ. — You cannot object that God the Father has not given sufficient assurance of salvation to believers. For the principal things, those which would have been most difficult to believe, are already fulfilled. God has already given his Son to die for us. This, before it was accomplished, was much more strange, and difficult to believe, than that he should give eternal life to sinners after Christ died for them. Rom. 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things.”

There is no room to doubt but that if we accept of Christ, God will give eternal life. For he has given it already into the hands of our Savior for us. He has entrusted him with the whole affair. He has given all things into his hands, that he might give eternal life to as many as should come to him. The Father has appointed him who died for believers, to be their judge, to have the whole determination of the matter, and the disposal of the reward, in his own hand. And you cannot doubt but that Christ will be willing to bestow eternal life on them for whom he purchased it. For if he is not willing to bestow it, surely he never would have died to purchase it. Who can think that Christ would be so desirous of sinners being saved, as to undergo so much for it, and not be willing to let them have it, when he had obtained it for them. — Consider,

II. The wisdom of God has contrived that there should be in the person of the Savior all manner of attractives to draw us to him. He has in him all possible excellency. He is possessed of all the beauty and glory of the God-head. — So that there can be no manner of excellency, nor degree of excellency that we can devise, but what is in the person of the Savior. — But yet so redundant has the wisdom of God been, in providing attractives in order that we should come to Christ, it has so ordered that there should also be all human excellencies in him. If there be anything attractive in this consideration, that Christ is one in our own nature, one of us, this is true of Christ. He is not only in the divine, but in the human nature. He is truly a man, and has all possible human excellencies. He was of a most excellent spirit, wise and holy, condescending and meek, and of a lowly, benign, and benevolent disposition. Again,

The wisdom of God has chosen a person of great love to sinners, and who should show that love in the most endearing manner possible. What more condescending love can there be, than the love of a divine person to such worms in the dust? What greater love can there be, than dying love? And what more endearing expression of love, than dying for the beloved? And the wisdom of God has so contrived, that Christ shall sustain that office which should most tend to endear him to us, and draw us to him: the office of a redeemer, a redeemer from eternal misery, and the purchaser of all happiness.

And if all this be not enough to draw us, the wisdom of God has ordered more. It has provided us a Savior that should offer himself to us in the most endearing relation. He offers to receive us as friends. To receive us to an union to himself, to become our spiritual husband and portion forever. — And the wisdom of God has provided us a Savior that woos in a manner that has the greatest tendency to win our hearts. His word is most attractive. He stands at our door and knocks. He does not merely command us to receive him, but he condescends to apply himself to us in a more endearing manner. He entreats and beseeches us in his word and by his messengers.

III. The wisdom of God has contrived that there should be all manner of attractives in the benefits that Christ offers you. There are not only the excellencies of the person of Christ to draw you to him, but the desirable benefits he offers. Here is what is most suitable to the cravings of the human nature. Men when distressed and burdened, long for ease and rest. Here it is offered to us in Christ. “Come unto me”, says he, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.” — Men when in fear of danger, long for safety. Here it is provided for us in Christ. God promises that he will become a shield and buckler, a strong rock and high tower to those that trust in him. — Those that mourn need comfort. Christ tells us that “he came to comfort those that mourn,” Isa. 61:2. — The blind need to have their eyes opened. The light is sweet to men. Christ offers to anoint our eyes with eye salve that we may see glorious light. He will be our sun, and the light of God’s countenance. — What is more dear to men than life? Christ has purchased for men, that they should live forever. Psa. 21:4, “He asked life of thee and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.” — How greatly is a crown prized and admired by the children of men! And Christ offers this — not a corruptible crown, but an incorruptible and far more glorious crown than any worn by earthly kings; a crown of glory, the luster of which shall never fade, nor decay; with an everlasting kingdom. — Do men love pleasures? Here are pleasures forevermore. What could there be more to draw our hearts to Jesus Christ, and to make us willing to accept of him for our Savior, with all his unspeakable benefits?

The full sermon: The Wisdom of God, Displayed in the Way of Salvation by Jonathan Edwards