Friday, June 15, 2007

signs of the spirit

Sams Storms writes of Jonathan Edwards ...

Humility, increasing love for Christ and his people, hunger for his Word, a joy in God for the intrinsic beauty of who he is rather than primarily for what that beauty can do for us . . . These are just a few of the dozen criteria that Edwards insists constitute the signs of the Spirit's activity in a person's life.

Any alleged religious affection or belief that does not bring us low so that Christ may be revealed and known as high is false. Edwards believed that a true grasp of the revelation of God's grace in the beauty of who Christ was and what he did will always bring us low in our own estimation and bring Christ high. Knowledge that puffs up or that breeds pride and arrogance is misguided and faulty. The affection of humility is the heartfelt desire to see Christ exalted and ourselves brought low. It is also the conviction that prevents us from constantly comparing ourselves with others because we are too busy fixing our gaze on the glory of Christ Jesus.

I also think the reason why Edwards focused so much on humility as an undeniable sign of the Spirit's presence is because it is so contrary to human nature. Nothing comes more unnaturally to us than humility. We are by nature, birth, and choice inclined to promote ourselves, regardless of what it may cost. That a person would willingly go low so that Christ might go high, if I may so speak, is a clear indication of the work of the Spirit.

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