In the introductory pages to his 1672 publication, The Incomparableness of God, English puritan George Swinnock explained the relationship between the Christian’s obedience to God and his fellowship with God. It’s a short paragraph, but it’s quite rich. It’s a good Monday devotional thought.
The holiness and happiness of the rational creature consists in these two: 1) his holiness, in conformity to God; 2) his happiness, in communion with Him. And these two have a dependence on each other. They only who are like him can enjoy him. ‘If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and the truth is not in us’ (1 John 1.6). Holiness, or the image of God, is not only an indispensable condition, without which no man shall enjoy God (Heb. 12.14, John 3.3), but in addition it is an absolutely necessary disposition, without which no man can enjoy God (Col. 1.12, 2 Cor. 5). And as conformity disposes for communion, so communion increases conformity….
I especially appreciate that last sentence. The closer we are to God in fellowship with him (through Christ), the more holy we become. And the more holy we become, the more fellowship we enjoy. It’s a longer discussion, for sure, but this summary is a good one upon which to meditate.
The above quote is found on page xi of The Incomparableness of God by George Swinnock.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015