Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) on the obedience of Christ

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“The obedience of Christ excels all others, because,

1. It was perfect with a sinless perfection, and so exceeds all fallen men’s obedience.

2. It was perfect with a legal perfection. It was a finished righteousness, Christ continuing perfectly obedient to the end of the time of his probation, and so it exceeded Adam’s righteousness, that he had before the fall.

3. It was a person infinitely worthy, and infinitely valued and loved of God that obeyed.

4. The works or acts [that] was required of him by the law that he was under, and that he performed, were superlatively excellent, for it was a work of the highest love to God and love to creatures, and he in this work exercised a love to both immensely excelling all others, which gave an exceeding value to the work in the eyes of the Father.

5. It was a perfectly free gift to God, and not a debt; that is, it was not what he owed in his original circumstances.

6. Never was there so great and difficult a work required of any other, as Christ performed in obedience to God.

7. Never was so much good done by any work of righteousness, both of glory to God and good to fellow creatures. In these five last things, Christ’s obedience immensely exceeds the angels.”

– Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), Miscellanies, 841

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