Storms who is a Edwards scholar and admitted that few if any of us have seen a revival like the one that Edwards went through. He said this is good and bad. Bad cause we do long to experience this. Good because of the theological messiness that this type of revial comes with.
Storms then asked, What is true Religion, what is essential to the Christian life?
The answer is found in 1 Peter 1:8
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,”
An inexpressible joy, devoted to Christ is the quintessential thing to mark true Christianity. One of the best determining factors of the presence of such religion is when suffering is present. Suffering like nothing else truly exposes the state of our soul. It is hard to be a hypocrite when you are in pain.
When faith passes through the furnace of suffering what is left?
True faith that Peter talks about in vs. 8 has three characteristics:
- Loving Jesus
- Trusting Jesus
- Enjoying Jesus
You cannot have one of these without the others. This is an all for nothing deal.
Storms then shared that what Peter ultimately invisions is a joy that human words cannot do justice or find the capacity to articulate.
This is more than just emotions that can be awakened by everything and anything. This is affections that are tied directly to the heart and one’s response to Biblical Truth.
Storms then asked a great question.
Does the reality of the intensity of these affections frighten us? If so, how do we think about heaven then?
Finally Storms pointed to the most passionate and affectionate person, Jesus. His affections were intense and full of fire and passion.
This is why we sing, “singing Truth ignites a forest fire of love, of hatred of sin, of affection for truth, of acknowledgement of power and mercy”
And every bit of it all is revolving around, Jesus!