Paraphrasing Jonathan Edwards’ Tests for True Affections

Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? This goes beyond being saved and having the Spirit dwelling in you. Are you walking in the Spirit? (Ephesians 5:18)

Do you have I Corinthians 13 love? The question is not about loving someone when it is convenient or a love that fluctuates. It is a never-failing love (I Corinthians 13:8).

Do you have a deepening commitment to the holiness of God? Someone who is growing in their commitment to God’s holiness is becoming holy like God (I Peter 1:16).

Is there a growing knowledge of God’s character? Knowledge produces zeal or godly affections (Romans 10:2). We are all – or should be – theologians!

Does the Gospel convict you? True religious affections are grounded in the conviction of the historical truth of the gospel, not subjective reasoning or imagination. The Gospel will convict you as you preach it to yourself.

Are you humbled by your own sin? This is someone who has a deep awareness of personal insufficiency as a result of sin – often called “evangelical humiliation.”

Is your character being changed? The question is not, “Are you different now than you were when you got saved.” The question is, “Is your character different now than a year ago.” Affections produced maturing character. True religious affections produce conversions that change one’s character.

Do you have the gentle temperament of Jesus? This is the gentleness that didn’t turn away children and welcomes the unlovely and sinners into fellowship with Him. A Christlike gentleness signifies true religious affections.

Do you have a soft heart? True religious affections are marked by tenderness instead of hardheartedness. Soft hearts are receptive to preaching, reading the Bible, etc. Hard hearts hear truth and make excuses, postpone obedience, etc.

Is there spiritual balance and proportion in your life? In other words, you don’t just love certain types of people. You aren’t discriminate in the laws you obey. You are stable in all things. You are consistent.

Are you hungry for God? Someone that doesn’t have godly affections gets satisfied and doesn’t hunger any longer in life. He is not curious for God. He finds food in the world too often. As true religious affections increase, so will a longing for spiritual matters.

Would others say you have godly affections? Poll your family or closest friends on this one.

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