(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 13

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13. Particulars from Formula Concordiae, Concerning the fruits of faith.
(a) That a difference is to be observed between the works of the Law, and the works of the Spirit, and that the works which a regenerate person performs with a free and willing mind are not works of the Law, but works of the Spirit, which are the fruits of faith; because they who are born again are not under the Law, but under grace (pp. 589, 590, 721, 722). (b) That good works are the fruits of repentance (p. 12). (c) That the regenerate receive by faith a new life, new affections, and new works, and that these are from faith in repentance (p. 134). (d) That man after conversion and justification begins to be renewed in his mind, and at length in his understanding, and that then his will is not inactive in performing daily exercises of repentance (pp. 582, 673, 700). (e) That we ought to repent as well on account of original sin, as on account of actual sins (p. 321; Appendix, p. 159). (f) That repentance with Christians continues until death, because they have to wrestle with the remains of sin in the flesh throughout life (p. 327). (g) That we must enter upon, and advance more and more in the practice of the Law of the Decalogue (pp. 85, 86). (h) That the regenerate, although delivered from the curse of the Law, ought nevertheless still to exercise themselves in the Divine Law (p. 718). (i) That the regenerate are not without the Law, though not under the Law, for they live according to the Law of the Lord (p. 722). (k) That the Law ought to be considered by the regenerate as a rule of religion (pp. 596, 717; Appendix, p. 156). (l) That the regenerate do good works; not by compulsion, but spontaneously and freely, as though they had received no command, had heard of no threats, and expected no reward (pp. 596, 701). (m) That with them faith is always occupied in some good work, and he who does not thus perform good works, is destitute of true faith, for where there is faith, there are good works (p. 701). (n) That charity and good fruits follow faith and regeneration (pp. 121, 122, 171, 188, 692). (o) Faith and works agree well together, and are inseparably connected; but faith alone lays hold of the blessing without works, and yet it is not alone; hence it is that faith without works is dead (pp. 692, 693). (p) That after man is justified by faith, his faith being then true and alive is operative by charity, for good works always follow justifying faith, and are most certainly discovered with it; thus faith is never alone, but is always accompanied by hope and charity (p. 586). (y) We confess that where good works do not follow faith, in such case it is a false and not a true faith (p. 336). (r) That it is as impossible to separate good works from faith, as heat and light from fire (p. 701). (s) That as the old Adam is always inherent in our very nature, the regenerate have continual need of admonition, doctrine, threatenings, and even of chastisements of the Law, for they are reproved and corrected by the Holy Spirit through the Law (pp. 719, 720, 721). (t) That the regenerate must wrestle with the old Adam, and that the flesh must be kept under by exhortations, threatenings, and stripes, because renovation of life by faith is only begun in the present life (pp. 595, 596, 724). (u) That there remains a perpetual wrestling between the flesh and the spirit, in the elect and truly regenerate (pp. 675, 679). (z) That the reason why Christ promises remission of sins to good works, is, because they follow reconciliation, and also because good fruits must necessarily follow, and because they are the signs of the promise(pp. 116, 117). (y) That saving faith is not in those who have not charity, for charity is the fruit which certainly and necessarily follows true faith (p. 688). (z) That good works are necessary on many accounts, but not as a meritorious cause (pp. 11, 17, 64, 95, 133, 589, 590, 702; Appendix, p. 172). (aa) That a regenerate person ought to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, by the new powers and gifts which he has received, but in a certain way (pp. 582, 583, 674, 675; Appendix, p. 144). (bb) In the Confession of the Churches in the Low Countries, which was received in the Synod of Dort, we read as follows: "Holy faith cannot be inactive in man, for it is a faith working by charity; and works, which proceed from a good root of faith, are good and acceptable before God, like fruits of a good tree; for we are bound by God to good works, but not God to us, inasmuch as it is God that doeth them in us."


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