As proud and carnal as ever!
(Thomas Watson, "A Divine Cordial" 1663)
Grace changes the heart!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corin. 5:17
The true Christian has a great change wrought. Not a change
of the faculties—but of the tendencies. He is altered from what
he was before. His body is the same—but not his mind. Oh
what a metamorphosis does grace make!
There is a change wrought in the UNDERSTANDING. Before,
there was ignorance—but now there is light. The first work of
God in the creation of the world was light—likewise it is in the
new creation. He now says, "I once was blind—but now I see!"
(John 9:25). He sees such evil in sin, and excellency in the ways
of God—as he never saw before! It is a marvelous light, because
it is more penetrating. Other light may shine upon the face—but
this light shines into the heart, and enlightens the conscience
(2 Cor. 4:6).
There is a change wrought in the WILL. The will, which before
opposed Christ—now embraces Him. The will, which was an iron
sinew against Christ—is now like melting wax, and readily receives
the stamp and impression of the Holy Spirit. The will now moves
heavenward—and carries all the affections along with it. The will
now says, "Lord, what will you have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). Before,
the will kept Christ out; now, it keeps sin out! Oh what a happy
change is wrought here!
There is a change wrought in the CONDUCT. He who is saved,
walks directly contrary to what he did before. He once walked
in envy and malice—now he walks in love! He once walked in
pride—now he walks in humility. In the heart there is a new
birth—and in the life there is a new conduct.
Thus we see what a mighty change grace makes.
How far are they from salvation, who never had any change!
They are the same today—as they were forty or fifty years ago.
They are as proud and carnal as ever! They have had no
change in their heart. Let not them think to leap out of the
harlot's lap (the world) into Abraham's bosom! They must
either have a gracious change while they live—or a cursed
change when they die!
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Be sure to listen to week's featured AUDIO sermon by
William Plumer on "Contentment" (48 minutes long).