Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

Jonathan Edwards: 5 Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God


1. “When the operation is such as to raise their esteem of that Jesus who was born of the Virgin, and was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem; and seems more to confirm and establish their minds in the truth of what the gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Savior of men; it is a sure sign that it is from the Spirit of God.”

2. “When the Spirit that is at work operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, which lies in encouraging and establishing sin and cherishing men’s worldy lusts; this is a sure sign that it is a true, and not a false spirit.”

3. “The spirit that operates in such a manner as to cause in men a greater regard to the Holy Scriptures, and establishes them more in their truth and divinity is certainly the Spirit of God.”

4. “Another rule to judge of spirits may be drawn from those compellations given to the opposite spirits, in the last words of the 6th verse, “The spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” These words exhibit the two opposite characters of the Spirit of God, and other spirits that counterfeit his operations. And therefore, if by observing the manner of the operation of a spirit that is at work among a people, we see that it operates as a spirit of truth, leading persons to truth, convincing them of those things that are true, we may safely determine that it is a right and true spirit.”

     “For instance, if we observe that the spirit at work makes men more sensible than they used to be, that there is a God, and that he is a great and a sin-hating God: that life is short, and very uncertain; and that there is another world; that they have immortal souls, and must give account of themselves to God, that they are exceeding sinful by nature and practice; that they are helpless in themselves; and confirms them in other things that are agreeable to some sound doctrine; the spirit that works thus operates as a spirit of truth; he represents things as they truly are.”

5. “If the spirit that is at work among a people operates as a spirit of love to God and man, it is a sure sign that it is the Spirit of God.”

“Thus I have spoken particularly to the several marks the apostle gives us of a work of the true Spirit. There are some of these things which the devil would no do if he could: thus he would not awaken the conscience, and make men sensible of  their miserable state by reason of sin, and sensible of their great need of a Savior; and he would not confirm men in the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of sinners, or raise men’s value and esteem of him: he would not beget in men’s minds an opinion of the necessity, usefulness, and truth o the Holy Scriptures, or incline them to make much use of them; nor would he show men the truth in things that concern their soul’s interest; to undeceive them and lead them out of darkness into light, and give them a view of things as they really are. And there are other things the devil neither can nor will do; he will not give men a spirit of divine love, or Christian humility and poverty of spirit; nor could he if he would. He cannot give those things he has not himself: these things are as contrary as possible to his nature. And therefore when there is an extraordinary influence or operation appearing on the minds of a people, if these things are found in it we are safe in determining that it is the work of God, whatever other circumstances it may be attended with, whatever instruments are used, whatever methods are taken to promote it; whatever means a sovereign God, whose judgments are a great deep, employs to carry it on; and whatever motion there may be of the animal spirits, whatever effects may be wrought on men’s bodies. These marks that the apostle has given us are sufficient to stand alone, and support themselves. They plainly show the finger of God, and are sufficient to outweigh a thousand such little objections, as many make from oddities, irregularities, errors in conduct, and the delusions and scandals of some professors.”

 

Jonathan Edwards: Religious Affections


This quote from Jonathan Edwards displays the efficacy of Spirit wrought affections through regeneration and union with Christ:

“The reason of it appears from this, that gracious affections do arise from those operations and influences which are spiritual, and that the inward principle form whence they flow, is something divine, a communication of God, a participation of the divine nature, Christ living in the heart, the Holy Spirit dwelling there, in union with the faculties of the soul, as an internal vital principle, exerting his own proper nature, in the exercise of those faculties. This is sufficient to show us why true grace should have such activity, power and efficacy.”