After mentioning signs that prove nothing about your conversion (see my previous post), Edwards finally moves onto twelve “true signs”. Today I mention the first two.
1) True believers should experience a new supernatural inward sensation on their mind that is entirely different from anything they experienced before. The main reasoning for this comes from the fact that a true believer is a spiritual (as opposed to physical) man, his life is united to the Spirit of God, who lives in him. Physical man can also be affected by the Spirit, but there is no union and no regenerative work.
I must admit it’s a bit difficult to understand exactly what Edwards means here. Basically, Edwards says that the Spirit can you give you a dream or vision, but these prove nothing if they don’t lead to some supernatural affection (of the love or fear of God) following it. Or you might somehow develop a strong affection for God, but if it is pure natural, e.g. the outcome of a long thought process, it proves nothing. It’s only when the supernatural experience of the Spirit’s work (a vision or a scripture coming to mind) as well as its effect on the mind (stronger love and affection), one can be sure that he is truly saved.
2) True believer loves all things God for themselves, not because of potential benefits these can provide to him. A person can love God because of the favor and love that God shows him. But true Christians don’t see first that God loves them and then see that he is lovely, but exactly the opposite.
Another way to put it, what do we love more? Christ or our experience of him?