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Page 365

of separation must be drawn in church between those who are only outwardly related to the covenant through baptism and those who are placed in the covenant in an inward manner through personal regeneration and conversion to God.

Personal, experiential regeneration and conversion can be pictured as follows, by following steps 1-3:

Personal, Experiential Regerneration


1. Natural man (including those only baptized into an outward relationship to the covenant) naturally loves self, sin, world, and Satan and therefore is in a lost condition until his personal regeneration and conversion by God's grace takes place.

2. God graciously and personally regenerates His elect. He plants new spiritual life in their spiritually dead hearts, granting them His Holy Spirit to dwell in them, and working in them the inward-working graces of spiritual life.

3. The inward-working graces reveal themselves in the outwardworking fruits of spiritual life - of love towards God and others. (These reveal, on scriptural grounds, their personal conversion and saving relationship to the covenant.)

This line of distinction and judgment of whether one is outwardly or inwardly related to the covenant, saved or yet unsaved, is to be made personally between God and one's own soul based solely upon Scripture. Church officebearers or members are not to judge others, but themselves. The church's duty, in this respect, is to preach and teach the scriptural marks and fruits of God's regenerating grace. We may not subtract from, nor add to, the Godgiven scriptural marks, but we are to teach, learn, and examir ourselves by them.

 

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.

- 11 Corinthians 13:5a

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

- Matthew 7:2

 

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