Sep 30, 2011

2 Corinthians 2:14, 16b - Robert Hawker

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned… But we have the mind of Christ.” [2 Corinthians 2:14, 16b]

In prosecuting this enquiry, I need not go over a large field, on a point already known and understood; that by the new birth, or regeneration of the soul, a total change is wrought on the renewed mind. I shall for once, consider this as granted; and that, what the Apostle saith elsewhere, my Reader is already convinced of. For if any man be in CHRIST, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new, 2 Corinthians 5:17. But while this great truth is, and must be, most fully allowed, by every regenerated child of GOD, it is not so well understood, as the importance of the subject renders it necessary, that this new creature is wholly in the spirit, and not in the body. It is our spiritual part, which at regeneration is awakened, and brought forth into life, from the death of sin; and not our bodily part. The natural man, as Paul here calls our bodies, is not renewed, neither made capable of receiving the things of the SPIRIT of GOD, more than before. This is a grand point, to be well and thoroughly understood, by the renewed man, And there is another like it, namely, that while the gracious act, wrought by GOD the HOLY GHOST, in regeneration, is confined wholly to the spiritual part of every child of GOD, and leaves the body, for the present life, in the same state as before, of an unrenewed nature; this one act of GOD the SPIRIT is a perfect and complete act, and makes the spirit of the happy receiver of this unspeakable mercy, as holy as it will ever be, in time, or eternity. When this blessed work of regeneration is wrought, it imparts all that is essential to life and holiness, in CHRIST. The act is but once done, and it is completely done. There can be no defect in it, for it is the SPIRIT that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. All that are regenerated are alike regenerated: similar to the analogy in nature. Infants, when born in nature, and born perfect in all their parts, are born no more. And the child in grace hath no after addition to its Being. The spiritual life, into which it is brought, can receive no after being, or addition. Growth in grace, there will be, as there is a growth in nature; but the life itself, the spiritual being, and the well-being, deriving, as it doth its whole, from such a source as GOD the HOLY GHOST, is but once done, and done for ever.

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