Signs of the Spirit: An Interpretation of Jonathan Edwards' Religious Affections

Crossway, 2007 - 238 páginas
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“After a plane crash lands, the 48 survivors find themselves on an island of harsh terrain, cruel weather, and dark secrets…”

It makes for gripping television—an intense story that grabs our attention and captures our imagination—maybe because, for many of us, it’s our worst nightmare. The horror of being lost and alone, stranded in a dark, dangerous place. Not knowing where to go or what to do or who to trust. How would we survive? Like the characters on the show, we’d want ever so desperately to be found… rescued… bsaved.

You know, in a sense, every one of us is living the story of Lost. We’re all lost and alone, in an increasingly uncertain, even hostile, world. There is some good, some love, some heroism, some sacrifice. But we also sense the often overwhelming presence of evil both in us and around us. Things happen that we don’t understand and can’t explain. We struggle to survive—desperately searching for hope and purpose, meaning and direction. All the while, we are feeling more and more lost.

The good news is that the Bible tells us Jesus “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He came to rescue us from the evil around us and the evil in our own hearts, the sin that separates us from God—pride, greed, selfishness, envy, hate. These things have damaged us and the world we live in.

But “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The Bible says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). That’s what Jesus did—he laid down his life for us. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin—he took the punishment in our place. Jesus made it possible for us to be restored to a right relationship with God.

And it’s in that relationship that we find the courage and strength to face the challenges that come our way. It’s in that relationship that we find meaning and purpose and direction for this life...and hope for the life to come.

See, after his death on the cross, Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. He rose from the dead in power and glory. He triumphed over death. And before he returned to heaven, Jesus promised that he would prepare a place for all who believe in him, so they could join him there someday (John 14:2-3)! Home to heaven! “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4). No more darkness or fear. Only love and joy and peace—forever!

If you realize that you’ve been lost and you’re ready to be found, if you want to be rescued...saved, pray something like this:

Dear God,
I know it’s true—I’ve been lost in sin, wandering further and further from you. Please forgive me. I do believe that Jesus died to take my punishment and keep me from being forever lost. Help me to live my life on this earth with hope and faith and courage, as I look forward to the day you take me home to be with you! Amen.

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After realizing that (despite his oft and repeated recommendations that people read Edwards for themselves) most people simply would not persevere through Edwards' cumbersome and hefty treatise on the ... Leer comentario completo

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Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas at Dallas) has spent 40 years in ministry as a pastor, professor, and author. He was visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004, and is currently senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and the author of numerous books, including Chosen for Life, Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions, and Kept for Jesus.

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