(LF) - Teachings about Life for the New Jerusalem: Drawn from the Ten Commandments

LF 24

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24. i. If a man wills and does goods before he shuns evils as sins, the goods are not good. This is because, as already said, he is not in the Lord before he does so. For example: if a man gives to the poor, renders aid to the needy, contributes to places of worship and to hospitals, renders good service to the church, his country, and his fellow-citizens, teaches the Gospel and makes converts, does justice in his judgments, acts with sincerity in business, and with uprightness in his works; and yet makes no account of evils as being sins, such as fraud, adultery, hatred, blasphemy, and other like evils, then he can do only such goods as are evil within, because he does them from himself and not from the Lord, and therefore self is in them and not the Lord, and the goods in which is a man's self are all defiled with his evils, and have regard to himself and the world. And yet these very deeds that have just been enumerated are inwardly good if the man shuns evils as sins (such as fraud, adultery, hatred, blasphemy, and other like evils), because in this case he does them from the Lord, and they are said to be "wrought in God" (John 3:19-21).


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