Sam Storms, Jonathan Edwards, and Religious Affections


The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

As I mentioned last Wednesday, I have been reading Sam Storms’ adaptation or interpretation of Jonathan Edwards Religious Affections.

Storms in the founder of Enjoying God Ministries in Kansas City, MO and pastors Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, OK. He is a long-term friend of John Piper and has been heavily influenced by Piper’s writing and teachings, which may be why he decided to take one of Piper’s heroes – Jonathan Edwards – and seek to “modernize” his magnum opus Religious Affections.

The book Edwards wrote outlines the differences between someone who genuinely knows Christ (having affections for Him) and someone who is not a believer.

Last week, I gave you some of what Edwards says are not real affections for the Lord. Today, I want to share with you some of those things that Edwards (through the adaptation of Storms) says are genuine evidences of salvation (or religious affections).

Signs of the Spirit#1 – “Those affections that are truly holy, are primarily founded on the liveliness of the moral excellency of divine things” (pg. 93). In other words, genuine salvation produces a love for the beauty and sweetness of God and His holiness (Ps 97-99; 119).

#2 – “Gracious affections do arise from the mind’s being enlightened, rightly and spiritually to understand or apprehend divine things” (pg. 97). In other words, genuine salvation allows the mind to comprehend the things of God (Matt 11:27; John 6:40; 12:45; I Cor 2:14; Col 1:9; I John 3:6; III John 11).

#3 – “Gracious affections are attended with evangelical humiliation” (pg. 109). In other words, genuine salvation does not lack humility (Ps 34:18; 51:17; 138:6; Prov 3:34; Isa 57:15; 66:1-2; Matt 5:3; 18:3-4).

#4 – “Another way in which gracious affections are distinguished from those that are false is that they are attended with a change of nature” (pg. 199). In other words, genuine salvation is not likened to the man without Christ; a genuine Christian has new motivations, desires, etc. (II Cor 3:18).

#5 – “True and authentic affections soften the heart and produce a tenderness of spirit and sensitivity toward sin” (pg. 127). In other words, genuine salvation hates sin.

#6 – “When genuine, gracious affections are experienced in high degree, it serves only to intensify one’s longing for more. False affections, on the other hand, rest satisfied in themselves” (pg. 135). In other words, genuine salvation gives the Christian an ability the power to reject and not rely there any longer but only on the grace of God.

#7 – “Gracious and holy affections always bear the fruit of holiness of life” (pg. 139). In other words, genuine salvation is a lifetime of pursuing holiness, because God is holy (Tit 2:14).

Be looking at the end of the month for a brief blurb on this book; it is well worth your careful consideration.


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