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Chapter 13. The Cause of Good Works

So that the cause of good works we confess to be, not our free will, but the Spirit of the Lord Jesus who, dwelling in our hearts by true faith, brings forth such good works as God has prepared for us to walk into. For this we most boldly affirm, that blasphemy it is to say that Christ Jesus abides in the hearts of such as in whom there is no spirit of sanctification.8181Eph. 2:10; Phil 2:13; John 15:5; Rom. 8:9. And therefore we fear not to affirm that murderers, oppressors, cruel persecutors, adulterers, whoremongers, filthy persons, idolaters, drunkards, thieves, and all workers of iniquity, have neither true faith, neither any portion of the spirit of sanctification, which proceeds from the Lord Jesus, so long as obstinately they continue in their wickedness.

For how soon that ever the Spirit of the Lord Jesus (which God's elect children receive by true faith) takes possession in the heart of any man, so soon does he regenerate and renew the same man; so that he begins to hate that which before he loved, and begins to love that which before he hated. And from thence comes that continual battle which is betwixt the flesh and the spirit in God's children; while the flesh and natural man (according to their own corruption) lust for things pleasing and delectable unto the self, grudge in adversity, are lifted up in prosperity, and at every moment are prone and ready to offend the Majesty of God.8282Rom. 7:15-25; Gal. 5:17. But the Spirit of God, which gives witnessing to our spirit, that we are the sons of God,8383Rom. 8:16. makes us to resist filthy pleasures, and to groan in God's presence for deliverance from this bondage of corruption;8484Rom. 7:24; 8:22. and finally, to triumph over sin that it reign not in our mortal bodies.8585Rom. 6:12.

This battle have not the carnal men, being destitute of God's Spirit; but [they] do follow and obey sin with greediness, and without repentance, even as the devil and their corrupt lusts do prick them. But the sons of God (as before is said) do fight against sin, do sob and mourn, when they perceive themselves tempted to iniquity; and if they fall, they rise again with earnest and unfeigned repentance.86862 Tim. 2:26. And these things they do not by their own power, but the power of the Lord Jesus, without whom they were able to do nothing.8787John 15:5.

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