Monday, November 3, 2008

Not what I used to be

by J.C. Ryle
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without
which no man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

The regenerate man is a holy man. He endeavors . . .
to live according to God's will,
to do the things that please God,
to avoid the things that God hates.

His aim and desire is to love God with heart and soul, and
mind and strength--and to love his neighbor as himself.
His wish is to be continually looking to Christ as his Example
as well as his Savior; and to show himself Christ's friend, by
obeying whatever He commands.

No doubt he is not perfect. None will tell you that sooner
than himself. He groans under the burden of indwelling
corruption cleaving to him. He finds an evil principle within
him constantly warring against grace, and trying to draw
him away from God. Yet, in spite of all short-comings,
the average bent and bias of . . .
his ways is holy;
his doings holy;
his tastes holy
and his habits holy.

In spite of all his swerving and turning aside, like a ship
going against a contrary wind, the general course of his
life is in one direction--toward God and for God. He will
generally be able to say, with old John Newton, "I am not
what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not
what I hope to be in another world. But still, I am not what
I once used to be! By the grace of God, I am what I am!"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The regenerate man is a holy man. He endeavors . . .
to live according to God's will,
to do the things that please God,
to avoid the things that God hates."


Anyone truly converted to their own religion does that AS DID PAUL IN JUDAISM WHEN HE PERSECUTED THE CHURCH ALTHOUGH HE WAS FLATLY WRONG. This is how Paul could say in Acts 23:1 "I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day" even though he had murdered many Christians while a Jew. The difference between the regenerate man and unregenerate, therefore, is not that the regenerate alone endeavor "to live according to God's will,
to do the things that please God,
to avoid the things that God hates" but rather that the regenerate alone are in a state of peace with God. It has more to do with change of status than with change of will.

Deb said...

The unregenerate person is enslaved to sin and his/her conscience is at peace with their sin, such as was Saul's while he was murdering Christians. After he was regenerate, he no longer killed Christians (ie, change in his will). And he was acutely aware AFTER regeneration of his sinfulness of his sin, calling himself the chief of all sinners and unworthy of God's grace.