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Page 182


 

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

- II Timothy 2:25

No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

- John 6:44

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

- Philippians 2:13

 


  • Passive - Not active; influenced by an active power


  • Is man active in conversion? What is the source of this activity? To assist with answering these questions, read the following quotation from Rev. Kersten:

    "Regeneration expresses itself in an actual conversion, 'The will thus renewed ... becomes itself active.' Therefore the Word of God often speaks of man's turning and repenting. This does not mean that natural man with his own faculties can repent and convert himself, but that the regenerated person with the renewed faculties of the soul, while depending upon the Holy Spirit, becomes active in repentance and conversion."

    - Reformed Dogmatics
    Volume II, p. 391

    Conversion includes both true repentance and faith. Repentance has been described; faith is examined in the following chapter - Chapter 15.

    Both true repentance and faith are the fruits of the Holy Spirit's gracious, saving work in the hearts of His children. God the Holy Spirit is the Author of conversion, which is begun by His gracious regenerating power and continued by His gracious illuminating and sanctifying influences.

    The Holy Spirit works conversion through the means of His Word. Both law and gospel function together; they are inseparable, but yet serve distinct roles. God generally works repentance by means of the law and faith by means of the gospel. The following texts are examples of this truth.

    THE HOLY SPIRIT WORKS CONVERSION THROUGH GOD'S WORD

    Repentance - by means of the law

    The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul

    - Psalm 19:7a

    Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    - Romans 3:20

    Faith - by means of the gospel

    But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

    - Romans 10:16-17

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.

    - Ephesians 1:13

    While regeneration is purely a one-sided work of God in which man is entirely passive, conversion is not. In conversion, the regenerated person's old nature fights against the Holy Spirit's work; but his new nature agrees and cooperates with the Holy Spirit. The renewed person most deeply desires that which God desires; his new nature wills that which God wills. The following texts speak of this truth.

    Thy people shall be willing in the day of Thy power.

    - Psalm 110:3a

    The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.

    - Matthew 26:41b

    For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    - Romans 8:5-6

    And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

    - Ephesians 4:24

    For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.

    - Romans 7:22

    And I will delight myself in Thy commandments, which I have loved.

    O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

    - Psalm 119:47,97


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