If conversion be a quickening of one that is dead in sin, then fallen man hath no free-will to do good. This is proved from Ephesians 2:1, "You hath He quickened who were dead." He doth not say half dead, as the man was that fell among thieves (Luke 10:30), but wholly dead, as to spiritual life. There is no manner of good in us (Romans 7:18). And "we are not sufficient of ourselves to think" a good thought till Christ quickens us (2 Corinthians 3:5). "Without Him we can do nothing" (John 15:5). From Him is our fruit found (Hosea 14:8), both the bud of good desires, the blossom of good purposes, and the fruit of good actions. Aaron's rod (a dry stick without a root) is a fit emblem; it budded, blossomed, and brought forth almonds; this was not done by any inward principle or power of nature, but it was solely and wholly the work of God. So Ezekiel's dry bones were made to live; nothing of that life was from themselves, but all from God. Thus it is in this spiritual life; we can contribute nothing by which to dispose ourselves to will that which is truly good; we cannot so much as call Christ Lord, but by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). If there be no life, but through union with Christ, then till we be engrafted into that blessed and bleeding vine we cannot bring forth fruit unto God. And it is not any natural power or principle in us that can engraft us into Christ, for faith is the engrafting grace, and that is "the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8), the grace by which the just live (Habakkuk 2:4), and by which Christ dwells in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17). Till then we are dead, and have no free-will to good.

Topics: Church Bulletin Articles
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