Three ways to live

Which is your way?

Are you sure you are saved? Part 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vitali at 8:56 am on Monday, January 7, 2008

Before getting into debate on what it means to be saved, Edwards spends a few chapters to address Chauncy’s concern regarding emotionalism in the religion. According to Edwards, there can be no true religion without emotions. However, instead of emotions, he uses the term ‘affections’, and it is very important to understand the difference between the two.

Affections, according to Edwards, are extreme longings of the will. Emotions can often be no more than states of either euphoria or fear that are unrelated to what mind perceives as true. Affections, on the other hand, are always a fruit of what mind understands and knows.

If I correctly understand Edwards, affections are emotions that arise as a result of some kind of deep understanding of the truth. So if you feel happy on a sunny day, it is an emotion, but if you feel happy if you win a lottery, it’s an affection. If you feel angry because somebody cut into your lane, it is an emotion. If you feel angry because of somebody’s misery or misfortune, it is an affection.

To Edwards, affections are a true sign of Christian understanding; if our understanding did not affect our emotions, we didn’t really understand it. So insisting on emotionless worship and study is really pointless as it prevents the most natural expression of what we learn. Yet, while emotion is a sign of true understanding, it is not a guarantee. To outsiders, affections and emotions look alike. Only as we examine our own hearts we can understand whether we are truly saved. But more on this in my future posts.

3 Comments

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Comment by Robert Stichter

December 4, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

CHRISTIAN,WHY DO YOU GO TO CHURCH?

You say you go to church to try to learn more of “God’s Truth”? You go to learn how to be “more Christlike”? And most of you have gone to a “million” different churches to try to find the one that says it best. (Or, do you just go to make others believe you are trying to “become”?) Wouldn’t this make you be a “seeker”?
And your actions would make the Bible be lying since scripture says that no one “seeks”! It says that on one seeks. But you do seek. You make the Bible be untruthful!

Rom 3:11
11 “no one seeks for God.”

Christian, why do you make the Bible be so untruthful?

Robert Stichter
Milford, IN USA
http://www.THISgospeltoalltheworld.info
http://www.wecdusa.org

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Comment by Robert Stichter

February 22, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

Scripture tells us that no one understands. But haven’t christians understood enough to be able to accept christianity? By such understanding, haven’t they made the Bible be false?

Robert Stichter

wecdusa.org

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Comment by Vitali

February 22, 2009 @ 8:49 pm

Hi Robert,

I am not sure what you are trying to achieve with these questions? Do you honestly want to know the answer or just to trap Christianity? I guess it is the latter.

You are not the first and will not be the last. Actually, there were plenty of people like you even in the times of Jesus, trying to trap Jesus on the issue of adultery (Matthew 22) or condemnation for adultery (John 8).

My first answer to you will be that there is an answer to every ‘contradiction’ in the Bible. Some might be already known, for some we need to wait until we meet God face to face. Regarding your particular citation, a common Christian understanding of this verse is that no one understand, no one seeks God on its own. Instead, God comes in into our life and drives our desire to understand and seek him. But to get this interpretation, you need to read this verse in the context of the whole book of Romans (or at least its first four chapters). Of course, God must be already working in your heart for you to have even desire to do so.

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