False Comforts and Fear of Comforts

In his book The Religious Affections Jonathan Edwards explained how the defining feature of real religion is love for God. He defines affections, shows how some affects in a person’s life may not be from genuine affections for God, and then spends most of the book describing the characteristics of true love for God.

One of his concerns, as should be a concern for all of us, is the possibility of false comforts. It is possible to think things are great, to be optimistic about your condition, and to believe you have peace with God when there is no peace.

On the other hand, I think that some believers have heard these warnings so much that we are afraid of comforts. We are afraid of communion as a celebration because, Hello?!, we might not take it seriously (enough). These are not the only ways to mess up participation in the Lord’s Table, but they are actual misunderstandings.

What should we do? We should read all the words in Scripture. The communion cup is, for example, “a cup of blessing.” So we thank God for it. We remember God’s favor to us so we are glad in it. And, then we go on to remember that this cup is “a participation in the blood of Christ.” It is a costly cup.

“The comforts of the true saints increase awakening and caution, and a lively sense of how great a thing it is to appear before an infinitely holy, just and omniscient Judge.”

Our comforts are not in oblivion, our comforts are purchased at the cross. We have blood-love, love bought by the blood of the Lamb.

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