06 June 2007

Yet More Jacobs Joys

Regeneration and Conversion are often confounded. The former refers to the implanting within man of new powers; and the latter to the exercise of these powers in turning from sin. In the former, the Gospel is the instrument; in the latter, both Law and Gospel. Regeneration in the proper sense is the work of God alone, in which man's will is absolutely passive. Conversion, when distinguished from Regeneration, is the impulse given the regenerated will by the Holy Spirit, and its consequent activity in turning from sin to God. (p. 165)

The greater the faith, the deeper the Repentance. Contrition is not a matter of the emotions; it is simply man's aversion to sin. (p. 165)

If Conversion refer to that which occurs in the regenerate, there is undoubtedly a concurrence of man's will, as it has been liberated and quickened with new powers by the Holy Spirit. (p. 166, 167)

[Faith] is the disposition towards God, by which man makes God the center of his life with all its thoughts and activities. God is to Faith the standard of all truth, and holiness, and right, the foundation of all being, the object of every hope and aspiration. Faith is the forsaking of all that is not God or of God, and the seeking for and cleaving to God alone. It is taking God to myself as my all, and my commending my all to God, in life, death, and eternity. (p. 169)

Faith has its intellectual side, but it is not mere assent to any doctrine or to any number of doctrines. It is essentially a matter of the heart and will. It is sinking my will into God's will; the harmonizing of my heart with God's heart. (p. 169)

We believe the doctrine, and we obey the commandment, because both doctrine and commandment rest upon the Word of God in whom we believe. Faith is a relation of person to person. (p. 170)

Faith in Christ implies, therefore, man's conviction that he is a sinner, that by nature he is beneath God's wrath, and that he is helpless and needs a Savior. It implies the acceptance of Christ, in His divine-human person, and in His various offices and works. It means that I make all that Christ is my own, and give myself over to Christ to be entirely His. (p. 171)

Faith not only has its degrees, but it also has its perils. Faith may be lost. The restored spiritual life may depart. We cannot interpret the constant warnings of the New Testament to believers in any other way. (p. 172)

God does not recall His promises, or withdraw His grace; but man casts himself outside of the sphere within which grace works. God's side of the covenant is permanent. When it is broken, it is broken by man; and when it is restored, it is restored through the reclaiming efforts of the Holy Spirit in influencing man's return to its terms. (pp. 173, 174)

The question here has to do exclusively with the ground upon which sinful man is forgiven and declared worthy of everlasting life. This is entirely what Christ is to him, and not what he is to Christ. (p. 183)

Wherever there is faith, there is love and a holy life, because wherever there is faith, there is Justification, and wherever there is Justification a holy life immediately begins. (p. 186)

It is the person and not the sins that are forgiven. When the sins are said to be forgiven, the meaning is that person is forgiven his sins. (p. 188)

Unlike Justification, Sanctification is gradual and has its degrees. The old man is more and more put off, and the new man more and more put on... The power of grace more and more subdues the remnants of natural depravity, which constantly tempt to sin. Through this struggle, the child of God constantly advances towards perfection. He works out his salvation, while God works in him. Phil. 2:12,13 (p. 191)

1 comment:

LPC said...

OK now when you get the time do something on ordo saludis, Lutheran style.