Jonathan Edwards

Love for God: Pure or False

The Religious Affections
By Jonathan Edwards

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from the pen of the 18th-century Puritan pastor, Jonathan Edwards. Here he contrasts a pure love of God with one that comes from selfish interest.

When we have a spiritual love for God, we do not first see what He can do for us and then see that He is lovely; instead, we first see that God is lovely, and then we see how much He loves us. Our hearts are entirely won by the sight of Christ’s glorious excellence. Our love’s root is in God Himself, and self-love has a hand in our love only secondarily. In contrast, false love begins with the self, and any appreciation of God’s nature is secondary, dependent on the satisfaction of self-interest. When we truly love God, however, this love is the deepest foundation of our lives; all of our other concerns are built on it, and self-love acts only as a servant to our heart’s most basic love. Selfish people, on the other hand, always have themselves at the deepest level of their being, and they try to build on God as the superstructure that rests on this foundation. Even their acknowledgment of God’s glory depends on their private interest.

—Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS, abridged and updated by Ellyn Sanna (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, 1999), page 131. ISBN 1-57748-525-4. You can also find the entire book at www.ccel.org/e/edwards/affections/religious_affections.html.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Edwards goes on to talk about the proper place of gratitude in our love for God, specifically grace-filled gratitude. He also answers the objection that his argument seems to contradict the truth of 1 John 4:19; “We love him, because he first loved us.” He says, “God’s love for His people is the deepest foundation of their love for Him, just as it is the foundation of their regeneration and the whole of their redemption.” Read more Edwards.


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below. 

Edwards on Delighting in God

The Religious Affections
By Jonathan Edwards

DELIGHT IN GOD (BECAUSE HE IS GOD)
True saints center their attention on Christ, and His beauty transcends all others; His delight is the source of all other delight; He in Himself is the best among ten thousand and altogether lovely. These saints delight in the way of salvation through Christ, because it demonstrates God’s perfection and wonder; they enjoy holiness, wholeness, while they take no pleasure in sin; God’s love is a sweet taste in their mouths, regardless of whether their own interest are met or not. They rejoice over all that Christ has done for them, but that is not the deepest root of their joy. No, they delight merely because God is God, and only then does their delight spill over onto all God’s works, including their own salvation.

—Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS (Uhrichsville, Ohio: Barbour Publishing, 1999), page 136. ISBN 1-57748-525-4. You can also find the entire book at http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/affections/religious_affections.html.


CHIPS THOUGHTS

He is considered by many to be one of the greatest preachers in American history. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is from a book by Jonathan Edwards. His topic here is the beauty of Christ, the beauty of the gospel of grace. I hope the connection to biblical Christian worship is obvious.

[Here is some additional biographical material on Edwards: http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/edwards.html]


To find out more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.