A Treatise concerning the Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards is an excellent book for helping with self-examination.
Edwards lived in the time of the First Great Awakening in America (1725-50) and saw revival on a great scale. In God’s providence, America’s foremost theologian was on hand to witness and analyse these events. He saw many lives changed but also he saw many spiritual still-births which came to nothing Hosea 13:13. He analysed the true and the counterfeit in religion and the result is The Religious Affections.
This book teases apart what is purely natural from what is purely spiritual – what is uniquely from the Spirit of God. There are many things in religion which arise simply from our own natural psychology, which the Holy Spirit may use, and which men and the devil may abuse. Edwards searches for those marks of grace which can be attributed only to the Spirit of God. In this way, one can determine whether or not anyone is born again of the Spirit of God Jn 3:6. Thus Edwards helps us with the Christian duty of self-examination: ‘Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?’ 2Cor 13:5.
Let Jonathan Edwards guide you into this wonderful world of the Holy Spirit’s new creation in the heart of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
‘If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new’ 2Cor 5:17.