Sunday, May 27, 2012

More on the Necessity of Regeneration


The Necessity of Regeneration

"…therefore he cannot favorably look upon an unrighteous person, so that this necessity is not founded only in the command of God that we be renewed, but in the very nature of the thing, because God, in regard of his holiness, cannot converse with an impure creature. God must change his nature, or the sinner’s nature must be changed. There can be no friendly communion between the two of different natures without the change of one into the likeness of the other. Wolves and sheep, darkness and light, can never agree. God cannot love a sinner as a sinner, because he hates impurity by a necessity of nature as well as a choice of will. It is impossible for him to love it as to cease to be holy.

This change cannot be then on God’s part; it therefore must be on man’s part. It must therefore be by grace, whereby the sinner may be made fit for converse with God, since God cannot embrace a sinner in his dearest affections without a quality in the sinner suitable to himself. All converse is founded upon a likeness in nature and disposition; it is by grace only that the sinner in made capable of converse with God."

~~Stephen Charnock
The Works of Stephen Charnock,

Volume 3, p. 23

8 comments:

Ma said...

God, in regard of his holiness, cannot converse with an impure creature

Something was pointed out to me about this idea recently. God went looking for Adam and Eve in the garden after they sinned...and conversed with them.

Gregg said...

Excellent thought. I will spend some time working through this. However, my initial thoughts are these. First, God created the universe and everything in it through the 2nd person of the Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Second, we know that God is a Spirit and is non corporeal, and has no body, it probably was not God who walked through the garden in the cool of the day, but God through the pre-incarnate 2nd member of the God head who does have form and shape.

Third, I would think that it was Jesus Christ in a pre-incarnate form that "sought and conversed with Adam and Eve." This would be consistent with the rest of Scripture, even though it hadn't been written yet nor had the mystery of the Trinity been revealed at that point (as far as we know.)

Fourth, it appears from Scripture that the only way God "converses" or has intercourse with fallen man is through the 2nd member of the Godhead, Jesus Christ.

Fifth, I also don't have a problem with God conversing with Adam at that time directly since Genesis is the book of beginnings and God revealed His will, knowledge, purpose, workings, and information incrementally.

Summary, I think God did seek Adam and Eve in the garden after the fall but in a form that Adam could recognize, converse with, and relate to which would be a pre-incarnate form of Jesus Christ rather than a formless, shapeless, invisible non-corporal Spirit.

These are just preliminary thoughts based on reading your comment this morning,but I will work through this. Your comment was insightful, though-provoking, and good. Thank you.

Ma said...

Good points, Gregg and I will think on these myself.

I do agree that God (the Father) IS spirit and would have no visible body.

(Col 1:15 for example).

Mike said...

"Regneration" sounds like we're being "Reg-ner-ated" or sauteed, right after being sliced and diced...

Hey, if you can bring the heat about "saints and singers", I can bring it too!!! :-)

Love ya, brother. Great post!

Lynn Proctor said...

only by His wonderful grace indeed :)

Pat Donovan said...

God always interacts with manin the pre incarnate form or a christoffeny, hope I spelled that right, and each time He or the Lord does some thing to cover there sins, in the case of adam and eve there was an animal sacrifice, and covering made from animal skins.

Pat Donovan said...

I just want to add that its through Christ alone that any covering could be made or applied, and that this animal sacrificed pointed to the only sacrifise that is ever lasting, hat of course is the sacrifice of Christ.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Great thought Gregg, will have to have a quiet sit down and think this over,

Yvonne.