In Thomas Watson’s ‘The 10 Commandments, he writes:
(1) True faith is grounded upon knowledge. Knowledge carries the torch before faith. There is a knowledge of Christ’s orient excellencies. Phil 3:8. He is made up of all love and beauty. True faith is a judicious intelligent grace, it knows whom it believes, and why it believes. Faith is seated as well in the understanding, as in the will. It has an eye to see Christ, as well as a wing to fly to him. Such therefore as are veiled in ignorance, or have only an implicit faith to believe as the church believes—have no true and genuine faith.
I have never met a man whose theology was flawless. Even the apostles had issues and they walked w Christ. We need to make the distinction between error, damning heresy and non damning heresy. None of us are saved by the knowledge we have nor are the elect held by our knowledge base, but there is something to be said of knowledge, to which I will address later in this paper.
1 John 4:7, “Everyone that loveth, knoweth God.” Phil. 1:9, “I pray that your love may abound more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment.” Rom. 10:2, “They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” Col. 3:10, “The new man, which is renewed in knowledge.” Psalm 43:3, 4, “O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill.” John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Knowledge is the key that first opens the hard heart, and enlarges the affections, and so opens the way for men into the kingdom of heaven; Luke 11:52 , “Ye have taken away the key of knowledge.”
Even Christ grew in wisdom and knowledge.
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
Matthew 11:25 – At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;
“Thus, what do we need to know: Christ as revealed through the Word by the Spirit. What we know, Today, is that we are to abide in Christ and, by His Spirit, grow.”~R. LeinoConsider the level of knowledge the elect, regenerate infant has….
Q. 153. What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?
A. That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requireth of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.
Rom 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
To consider the idea that knowledge does save is none other than the error of Gnosticism…..
However, something must be considered in the idea that upon regeneration, men are now given eyes to see spiritual things. In this, men cannot be saved unless they ascend to certain biblical facts.
For example, men are called to believe-they need to have a belief in the God of the bible, of Christ and His redemptive work (though not in lofty terms), their sin and the idea that outside of Christ’s mercy and grace they are sliding headlong into hell for eternity. They need to understand that God is 3 in 1-again, not in lofty terms. Do all of these things need to be cognitively understood before a man is converted? Possibly. Much of this is mysterious. The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 1:
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all kprincipality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Having said that, the next thing I was to show is the need for this information; I will cite some reputable men on the issue. Also, it is important to note that when the term ‘regeneration’ is used, it is in the narrow sense. Many a theologian use the term to describe the whole of the order of salvation even though ‘regeneration’ is a component of the ordo; in this paper and in the citations I provide, the term will be restricted to the singular in the ordo, i.e. Regeneration, calls of God, repentance, justification, etc.
1) election/predestination (in Christ), 2) Atonement 3) gospel call 4) inward call 5) regeneration, 6) conversion (faith & repentance), 7) justification, 8) sanctification, and 9) glorification. (Rom 8:29-30)
Men are saved by God’s power alone. By grace alone. What is the difference between regeneration and conversion? Regeneration is not conversion and conversion is not regeneration!How are men converted? Conversion happens when the person ascends to certain truths of the bible. The knowledge does not save, mind you, but it is relevant. Without it, how could a man repent if he doesn’t see his need or if man has faith, what is that faith in? The scriptures tell us, ‘unless a man repent, he will likewise perish’. Luke 13:3 and ‘He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.’ John 3:18
You may want to Google the terms assensus, fiducia and notia as this will give you an idea how this theology unwinds.
The Bible makes eternal life to consist in knowledge; sinfulness is blindness, or darkness; the transition from a state of sin to a state of holiness is a translation from darkness into light; men are said to be renewed unto knowledge, i.e., knowledge is the effect of regeneration; conversion is said to be effected by the revelation of Christ; the rejection of Him as the Son of God and Saviour of men is referred to the fact that the eyes of those who believe not are blinded by the god of this world. These Scriptural representations prove much. They prove that knowledge is essential to all holy exercises; that truth, as the object of knowledge, is of vital importance, and that error is always evil and often fatal; and that the effects of regeneration, so far as they reveal themselves in our consciousness, consist largely in the spiritual apprehension or discernment of divine things. These representations also prove that in the order of nature, knowledge, or spiritual discernment, is antecedent and causative relatively to all holy exercises of the feelings or affections. It is the spiritual apprehension of the truth that awakens love, faith, and delight; and not love that produces spiritual discernment. It was the vision Paul had of the divine glory of Christ that made him instantly and forever his worshipper and servant. The Scriptures, however, do not teach that regeneration consists exclusively in illumination, or that the cognitive faculties are exclusively the subject of the renewing power of the Spirit. It is the soul as such that is spiritually dead; and it is to the soul that a new principle of life controlling all its exercises, whether of the intellect, the sensibility, the conscience, or the will is imparted.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 16–17.
This new life, therefore, manifests itself in new views of God, of Christ, of sin, of holiness, of the world, of the gospel, and of the life to come; in short, of all those truths which God has revealed as necessary to salvation. This spiritual illumination is so important and so necessary and such an immediate effect of regeneration, that spiritual knowledge is not only represented in the Bible as the end of regeneration (Col. 3:10; 1 Tim. 2:4), but the whole of conversion (which is the effect of regeneration) is summed up in knowledge. Paul describes his conversion as consisting in Christ’s being revealed to Him (Gal. 1:16); and the Scriptures make all religion, and even eternal life, to be a form of knowledge. Paul renounced everything for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ (Phil. 3:8), and our Lord says that the knowledge of Himself and of the Father is eternal life.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 34.
While, therefore, the objects of faith as revealed in the Bible, are not truths of the reason, i.e., which the human reason can discover, or comprehend, or demonstrate, they are, nevertheless, perfectly consistent with reason.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 82.
Faith is not a blind, irrational conviction. In order to believe, we must know what we believe, and the grounds on which our faith rests
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 83.
While admitting that the truths of revelation are to be received upon the authority of God; that human reason can neither comprehend nor prove them; that a man must be converted and become as a little child before he can truly receive the doctrines of the Bible; and admitting, moreover, that these doctrines are irreconcilable with every system of philosophy, ever framed by those who refuse to be taught of God, or who were ignorant of his Word, yet it is ever to be maintained that those doctrines are unassailable; that no created intellect can prove them to be impossible or irrational.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 83.
A sixth question, included under the head of the relation of faith to knowledge is, whether knowledge is essential to faith? That is, whether a truth must be known in order to be believed? This Protestants affirm and Romanists deny.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 84.
therefore, knowledge, or the intelligent apprehension of the meaning of what is proposed, is essential to faith.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 84.
It follows from what has been said, or rather is included in it, that knowledge being essential to faith, it must be the measure of it.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 85.
1. From the very nature of faith. It includes the conviction of the truth of its object. It is an affirmation of the mind that a thing is true or trustworthy, but the mind can affirm nothing of that of which it knows nothing.
2. The Bible everywhere teaches that without knowledge there can be no faith.
3. Such is the intimate connection between faith and knowledge, that in the Scriptures the one term is often used for the other. To know Christ, is to believe upon Him. To know the truth, is intelligently and believingly to apprehend and appropriate it. Conversion is effected by knowledge.
Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 85–86.
Ergo, a man cannot be converted without a mental ascent to biblical facts.
Peter van Mastricht helps…..
In the book, A Treatise on Regeneration by P.VanMastricht, Brandon Withrow opens this exceptional treatise with an introduction; in the introduction Withrow writes:
VanMastricht writes that “in regeneration, there is not bestowed upon the elect any faith, hope, love, repentance, etc., either as to habit or act, but the power only as yet of performing these exercises is bestowed, by which the regenerate person does not actually believe or repent, but is only capacitated thereunto”. He (Vanmastricht) argues that this spiritual generation is like natural generation, in that ‘by natural generation a man receives neither the habits nor acts of reasoning, speaking, or writing, but only the power, which under proper circumstances, in due time, comes forth in act’. He uses this argument to explain those ‘who are regenerated in their mothers’ womb, or at their baptism, as Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:5), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), and Timothy (2 Tim 3:15), who nevertheless did not, till they arrived to the year of discretion, perform the actual exercises of faith and repentance (conversion). They were given the power to act, but not the actual inhabitation of those elements of conversion such as love and faith, so that they can exercise the power they were given’. By explaining that regeneration only bestows a ‘power’, but not the actual act themselves, Van Mastrichtis able to conclude that infants could be regenerated in the womb and show no evidence of their faith until years later when they actually exercise that power.
VanMastricht defines regeneration:
Regeneration conveys that power into the soul by which the person who is to be saved is enabled to receive the offer. Conversion puts forth the power received into actual exercise so that the soul actually receives the offered benefits”.
PVM continues when he says,
Regeneration confers the spiritual life in the first act only. The Spiritual life is bestowed by regeneration only in the first act (or principle), not in the second acts (or operation) understood either as habits or exercises. For as natural generation a man receives neither the habits nor acts of reasoning, speaking, writing but only the power, which under proper circumstances, in due time, comes forth in act, so also, in regeneration, there is not bestowed upon the elect any faith, hope, love, repentance, etc., either as to habit or act, but the power only as yet of performing these exercises is bestowed, by which the regenerate person does not actually believe or repent, but is only capacitated thereto”.
Wherefore the unregenerate are emphatically said to be unable either to see, as referring to the understanding, or to enter, referring to the will, into the kingdom of God (john 3:5). This power in conversion which succeeds regeneration, proper circumstances being supposed, is in due time brought into actual exercise. So that one truly regenerate may, as to both habit and act, be for a time an unbeliever, destitute of repentance and walking in sin. This appears more clear than the light of the sun in the instances of those who are regenerated in their mothers’ womb or at their baptism, as Jeremiah (Jer 1:5), John the Baptist (Luke 1:15), and Timothy (2 Tim 3:15), who nevertheless did not, till they reached the age of discretion, perform the actual exercises of faith or repentance. So that regeneration, in which the spiritual life is bestowed in the first act or principle only, differs from conversion, by which this principle of life is brought into actual exercise, not only in order of nature, but sometimes also in order of time. However, we mean not to deny here that it may be (and often is) the case that a sanctification of the Spirit, in a general sense comprehending vocation, regeneration, conversion, and sanctification properly so called, is effected at one and the same time. This seems to have been the case with the thief on the cross, converted by Christ in his last moments (Luke 23:40-44). We only mean that they may be separated as in time, and that oftentimes this is actually the case.
John brine, a Particular Baptist says:
Regeneration precedes and may be considered as foundation and spring of conversion and sanctification. For that is the principle from which both arise grace, as a principle of spiritual acts, is first communicated, and from that proceed all acts of a holy spiritual nature, both internal and external. Neither of the latter can be, until the first is wrought. And when that is effected, both the latter certainly follow. In the first, we are merely passive, in conversion and sanctification, we are active.
C. Matthew McMahon helps and cites PVM:
Peter Van Mastricht wrote a very helpful section to his Theoretico-Practica Theologia (1699) that covered regeneration. It was so popular on the subject, that even brilliant theologians such as Jonathan Edwards marked Van Mastricht’s work as better than any other book in the world besides the Bible. In this work, Van Mastricht basically taught, “that men are born again by grace alone, and that regeneration is that which makes conversion possible.” For Van Mastricht, and subsequently the Post Reformation community for which he wrote, saw regeneration as a key doctrine for understanding the complete dependence of man upon Christ and His work of redemption. Regeneration is not used in its broader sense here, but in its more refined and particular sense – this is, “that power conveyed into the soul by which the person who is to be saved is enabled to receive the offer.”3 Thus, Van Mastricht defined regeneration as, “that operation of the Holy Ghost whereby He begets in men who are elected, redeemed, and externally called, the first act or principle of spiritual life, by which they are enabled to receive the offered Redeemer, and comply with the conditions of salvation.” In this way Van Mastricht rightly stated that a person’s will is changed so he can embrace the truth presented to the mind. In explaining regeneration in this light, those converted by the power of the Holy Spirit are enabled to exercise saving acts that later may be granted. Such is the case, for example, of an infant regenerated early in its life and coming to exercised faith later on. This will hold great implications in the manner that one is saved, but not yet exercising faith
Regeneration is the term used for this spiritual change wrought upon the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit sent forth from Christ’s throne. It is absolutely necessary that regeneration takes place in order for a man to be released from his fallen and depraved state to the Kingdom of God. Christ, in John 3, rests upon the reality that man is so depraved and fallen that his spiritual birth must take place first before he ever perceives or understands of the spiritual realities of the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3, 5). In this way, the Spirit’s work is crucially important in delivering and changing the heart of these men so that they may believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. This event, that spiritual change, is impossible with men, but possible with God. Without a manifestly true change on the mind of the person by God, they cannot believe, nor experience any deep significant trust on Christ. No unregenerate man, then, can see the kingdom of God unless God wills he should see it and converts him to be able to see it. From all this, it is manifest that redemption itself proceeds on the principle that God must allow admission to His kingdom first, and to apply a spiritual principle that quickens the soul to life.
As it stands here, men are at this stage (effectual calling) simply given the ability, or regenerated, to think about the Gospel rightly. They may positively be deemed “born again,” yet, they have still not exercised faith. Those regenerated are those born of God. 1 John 3:9 states, “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” This interesting term, “born of God,” may be an allusion to what the Jews called their proselytes in Old Testament Israel – recens natos, or “men new born.” Such men are God’s workmanship created for good works (Eph. 2:10).
This concept of regeneration is essential in understanding salvation. How does regeneration work? Man is sinful, and cannot believe or perceive anything about the kingdom of God. The Spirit arrests his heart and “blows” on him and changes his heart giving birth to “spirit.” The person is then able to believe and perceive the kingdom, and does so because of the work of the Spirit. “The Spirit enables regenerated Christians to discern good from evil, or sin from holiness. He disposes the mind to accept truth and to know what the Scriptures contain. Here the Spirit aids the Christian in expounding Scripture in order to apply that Scripture to the Christian’s life and further grow in the mystical union he now has with Christ (1 Cor. 6:17). The Spirit illuminates through His indwelling presence within the individual (John 16:16; 2 Tim. 1:14; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 3:16; 1 John 4:13; Eph. 1:13).” This regeneration (or effectual call) is of God’s free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive in it. It is a physical act that powerfully infuses spiritual life into the soul. When the Holy Spirit quickens him he is enabled to answer the Gospel call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. But this is not always as instantaneous as one would think, although it can be. In other words, the response time may be longer or shorter according to God’s good pleasure in bestowing help in justifying faith (more on that later).
An important notion that Van Mastricht takes some time to develop based on the Reformed dichotomy of regeneration and faith, is that regeneration confers spiritual life in the first act only. This first act, then, is a principle, not an operation. This idea of an operation of grace, the Reformed have always defined as “habits or exercises” of grace. Manton says, “The habits of all grace are brought into the heart by regeneration.” Turretin says, “Habitual or passive conversion takes place by the infusion of supernatural habits by the Holy Spirit.”26 These habits are exercised at a later time. Thus, fallen men who are regenerated are capacitated to believe and repent, but regeneration is not believing nor repenting. Such an action will come later.
Dr. William Twisse states, “We explain efficacious grace to be an operation of God affecting the will of man, which is not moral but physical, that is immediately and really working in us to do whatsoever good we perform, determining the will to action, but yet so that it acts freely.” Dr. Thomas Ridgley, in his exposition of the Larger Catechism states, “From hence I am obliged to infer that the regenerating act, or implanting this principle of grace, which is, at least, in order of nature, antecedent to any act of grace put forth by us, is the immediate effect of the power of God, which none who speak of regeneration as a divine work pretend to deny.” Dr. Stephen Charnock mentions the difference between regeneration and conversion, “Regeneration is a spiritual change; conversion is a spiritual motion.”37 Dr. Herman Witsius defines regeneration as “that supernatural act of God whereby a new and divine life is infused into the elect person, spiritually dead, and that form an incorruptible seed of the Word of God, made fruitful by the infinite power of the Spirit.”
Rev. Samuel Hopkins states, “Let us consider the divine agency, the work of the Spirit of God, by which persons are regenerated or born of God, and which lays the only foundation for conversion or holy exercises in the subject…the divine agency and operation, which is first, and lays the foundation for all right views and exercises in the person who is the subject, is called by divines regeneration.
C. M. McMahon, How Faith Works, n.d.
Fishers catechism:Q. 14. Why called the outward means?
A. To distinguish them from faith, repentance, and other inward means; and particularly to distinguish them from the inward and powerful influences of the Holy Spirit, which are necessary to accompany the outward means in order to salvation, Zech. 4:6.Q. 15. Why called ordinary means?
A. Because they are the stated and ordinary way and method, by which Christ communicates the benefits of redemption to sinners of mankind, Rom. 10:14-18; Ezek, 37:28.
In regards to living a full life:Q. 16. Are there any extraordinary means without the word, by which Christ communicates the benefits of redemption to adult persons?
A. No; for whatever providences God may make use of, when he is beginning or carrying on his work of grace in the soul, Acts 9:3-7; yet these dispensations are always to be considered in a subserviency to the word, chap. 16:25-33, or as occasions of the Spirit’s working in concurrence with it, 2 Pet. 1:18, 19.Q. 23. Who is it that makes the reading and preachin of the word effectual to salvation?A. (THE SPIRIT OF GOD), 1 Cor. 2:11 — ” The things of God knoweth no man, but the SPIRIT of God.”Q. 24. How does he make them effectual?A. By accompanying them with his divine power upon the soul, Rom. 1:16.Q. 25. Of what is it that the Spirit of God makes the reading and preaching of the word an effectual means?
A. He makes them an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto Salvation.
Martin Llloyd Jones shows that there is a processing of information in conversion; that being a ‘gap’ or time frame where the regenerated believer processes or ponders these things before he is converted:
There are variable elements in connection with conversion, and because of these we must be very careful that we know what the essential elements are. Let me illustrate what I mean: take the time element, the time factor in conversion. Must it be sudden? Is it impossible for it to be gradual? Well, I would say that the Scripture does not teach that it must of necessity be sudden. The great thing is that it has happened, whether sudden or gradual. The time element is not one of the absolute essentials; it may have its importance, but it is not vital.
In John Gerstners work on Jonathan Edwards entitled: The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Gerstner creates a outline of Edwards’ theology on seeking, regeneration, faith and conversion. In this document, Gerstner writes:
Seeking is not meritorious but it is necessary to properly prepare men for reception of salvation.
Effectual calling, conversion and regeneration were used as virtually synonymous terms by Edwards
The mind, active in repentance, is passive in regeneration.
Conversion refers both to the passivity of the mind as well as it’s reflex action.
Repentance is an activity of the mind attributed to God alone as it’s source.
Regeneration/efficacious grace is characteristically immediate, the cause solely supernatural without the human antecedents of faith and repentance.
Physical regeneration is not the product of education or moral influence, but the direct work of the Holy Spirit.
If ever men are to be turned to God, God must turn them.
The saint is active afterward in consequence of regeneration.
If a person is utterly passive when regenerated and thoroughly active once born again.
What God produces are our own acts.
God is the only proper author and fountain.
We are, in different respects, wholly passive and wholly active.
A holy, heavenly spark is put into the soul of the Christian at conversion and God maintains it there.
This spark has influence to govern the Christian’s heart.
Efficacious grace as the gift of God is quite consistent with vigorous human activity.
Edwards sometimes describes conversion as an act, sometimes as a process.
It is the infused principle of grace which makes actions right, and not actions which make the principle right.
Faith begins in the understanding.
Faith is a rational act in the first instance.
Truth must be present to the mind before it can be illumined.
There must be that which is to be believed before it can be believed.
Doctrine is indispensable.
There must be a true object of faith before there can be a true exercise of faith.
The soul cannot be consciously united to Christ without knowing something about him.
One must know what is true about Christ to be united to Him.
Acquiescence is an assent of the soul to what it understands.
This assent is more than mere knowledge.
Unless all these aspects, understanding, inclination, and will are involved, there is no true justifying faith.
Faith is an assent of the soul, venturing one’s whole interest on Christ.
Thomas Watson says the same:
Before choosing God for our God, there must be knowledge. We must know him before we can choose him. Before anyone chooses the person he will marry, he must have some knowledge of that person; so we must know God before we can choose him for our God. “Know the God of your father.” 1 Chron 28:9. We must know God in his attributes—as glorious in holiness, rich in mercy, and faithful in promises. We must know him in his Son. As the face is represented in a looking-glass, so in Christ, as in a transparent glass, we see God’s beauty and love shine forth. This knowledge must go before choosing God. Lactantius said, “all the learning of the philosophers was without a head, because it lacked the knowledge of God.
More on regeneration and how it is entirely one sided:
21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. 22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but xfor mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before ytheir eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and fa new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to iwalk in my statutes, and ye shall jkeep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Eze 36:21–29.
Thou didst seek us when we sought Thee not; didst seek us indeed that we might seek Thee.
“Holy affections are not heat without light; but evermore arise from the information of the understanding, some spiritual instruction that the mind receives, some light or actual knowledge. The child of God is graciously affected, because he sees and understands something more of divine things than he did before, more of God or Christ, and of the glorious things exhibited in the gospel; he has some clearer and better view than he had before, when he was not affected: either he receives some understanding of divine things that is new to him; or has his former knowledge renewed after the view was decayed: 1 John 4:7, “Everyone that loveth, knoweth God.” Phil. 1:9, “I pray that your love may abound more and more in knowledge, and in all judgment.” Rom. 10:2, “They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” Col. 3:10, “The new man, which is renewed in knowledge.” Psalm 43:3, 4, “O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill.” John 6:45, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Knowledge is the key that first opens the hard heart, and enlarges the affections, and so opens the way for men into the kingdom of heaven; Luke 11:52 , “Ye have taken away the key of knowledge.”
J. Edwards-Religious Affections