Equal Dependence


It’s time for Tuesdays with Edwards!

In this post Edwards shows how Christians are dependent on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for their salvation.

Our dependence is equally upon each in this affair: the Father appoints and provides the Redeemer, and himself accepts the price and grants the thing purchased; the Son is the Redeemer by offering up himself, and is the price; and the Holy Ghost immediately communicates to us the thing purchased by communicating himself, and he is the thing purchased. The sum of all that Christ purchased for man was the Holy Ghost. Galatians 3:13–14, he was “made a curse for us… that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” What Christ purchased for us, was that we have communion with God in his good, which consists in partaking of the Holy Ghost, as we have shown. All the blessedness of the redeemed consists in their partaking of Christ’s fullness, which consists in partaking of that Spirit which is given not by measure unto him. The oil that is poured on the head of the church runs down to the members of his body and to the skirts of his garment (Psalms 133:2). Christ purchased for us that we should have the favor of God and might enjoy his love; but this love is the Holy Ghost. Christ purchased for us true spiritual excellency, grace and holiness, the sum of which is love to God, which is but only the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the heart. Christ purchased for us spiritual joy and comfort, which is in a participation of God’s joy and happiness; which joy and happiness is the Holy Ghost, as we have shown. The Holy Ghost is the sum of all good things. Good things and the Holy Spirit are synonymous expressions in Scripture. Matthew 7:11, “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” The sum of all spiritual good which the saints have in this world is that spring of living water within them, which we read of, John 4:10–15; and those rivers of living water flowing out of them, which we read of, John 7:38–39, which we are there told means the Holy Ghost. And the sum of all happiness in the other world is that river of water of life which proceeds out of the throne of God and the Lamb, which we read of, Revelation 22:1, which is the river of God’s pleasures and is the Holy Ghost; and therefore the sum of the gospel invitation is to come and take the water of life (Revelation 22:17). The Holy Ghost is the purchased possession and inheritance of the saints, as appears, because that little of it which the saints have in this world is said to be the earnest of that purchased inheritance (Ephesians 1:14, 2
Corinthians 1:22 and 2 Corinthians 5:5). ‘Tis an earnest of that which we are to have a fullness of hereafter. The Holy Ghost is the great subject of all gospel promises, and therefore is called the Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13). This is called the promise of the Father (Luke 24:49, and the like in other places). If the Holy Ghost be a comprehension of all good things promised in the gospel, we may easily see the force of the Apostle’s arguing, Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” So that ’tis God of whom our good is purchased, and ’tis God that purchases it, and ’tis God also that is the thing purchased. Thus all our good things are of God, and through God, and in God; as Romans 11:36, “For of him, and through him, and to him” (or “in him,” as εις is rendered, 1
Corinthians 8:6) “are all things: to whom be glory forever.” All our good is of God the Father; ’tis all through God the Son; and all is in the Holy Ghost, as he is himself all our good. God is himself the portion and purchased inheritance of his people. Thus God is the Alpha and the Omega in this affair of redemption.

Jonathan Edwards, “Essay on the Trinity” in Writings on the Trinity, Grace and Faith, ed. Sang Hyun Lee, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 21 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002). 136-137.

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