“And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.” (Isaiah 35:8-9 (ESV)
As previously mentioned throughout this series on Jonathan Edwards, there remains a vast wealth and breadth of Edwards’ books and sermons for the edification of the believer in Christ. On such work by Edwards is a sermon entitled The Way of Holiness. It is based on Isaiah 35:8-9.
The phrase Way of Holiness in the Hebrew language refers to the believer’s journey and manner of conduct characterized by a separateness and apartness from sin and a sacredness unto God. As a believer in Christ, it is to be an object or person who is dedicated and consecrated unto serving God by a life of moral and inner purity.
What follows is an excerpt from Edwards’ sermon. The complete text, and many other of Edwards’ works, may be accessed at monergism.com.
“The nature of sin necessarily implies, misery. That soul that remains sinful must of a necessity of nature remain miserable, for it is impossible there should be any happiness where such a hateful thing as sin reigns and bears rule. Sin is the most cruel tyrant that ever ruled, seeks nothing but the misery of his subjects; as in the very keeping of God’s commands there is great reward, so in the very breaking of them there is great punishment.”
“Sin is a woeful confusion and dreadful disorder in the soul, whereby everything is put out of place, reason trampled underfoot and passion advanced in the room of it, conscience dethroned and abominable lusts reigning. As long as it is so, there will unavoidably be a dreadful confusion and perturbation in the mind; the soul will be full of worry, perplexities, uneasinesses’, storms and frights, and thus it must necessarily be to all eternity, except the Spirit of God puts all to rights. So that if it were possible that God should desire to make a wicked man happy while he is wicked, the nature of the thing would not allow of it, but it would be simply and absolutely impossible.”
“Thus I have given some reasons of the doctrine, why it must needs be that those that are not holy cannot be in the way to heaven. Many more reasons might be offered, which the time will not allow to take notice of at this time; but these alone would have been enough to certify us that none but those who are holy ever attain to a crown of glory, if God had not expressly said that without holiness no man should see the Lord.”
Soli deo Gloria!