the Son and so adopting us again into God?s family. Hence the Holy Spirit does not reveal himself but Christ. The Spirit is light, and light does not reveal itself, but all other things. I may know that the Holy Spirit is working within me whenever I more clearly perceive Christ. Son-ship in Christ makes us not only individually children of God, but also members of a commonwealth. <198704>Psalm 87:4 ? ?Yea, of Zion it shall be said, This one and that one was born in her? = ?the most glorious thing to be said about them is not something pertaining to their separate history, but that they have become members, by adoption, of the city of God? (Perowne). The Psalm speaks of the adoption of nations, but it is equally true of individuals.

2. Necessity of Regeneration.

That all men without exception need to be changed in moral character is manifest, not only from Scripture passages already cited, but from the following rational considerations:

(a) Holiness, or conformity to the fundamental moral attribute of God, is the indispensable condition of securing the divine favor, of attaining peace of conscience, and of preparing the soul for the associations and employment of the blest.

Phillips Brooks seems to have taught that regeneration is merely a natural forward step in man?s development. See his Life, 2:353 ? ?The entrance into this deeper consciousness of son-ship to God and into the motive power, which it exercises, is Regeneration, the new birth, not merely with reference to time but with reference also to profoundness. Because man has something sinful to cast away in order to enter this higher life, therefore regeneration must begin with repentance. But that is an incident. It is not essential to the idea. A man simply imperfect and not sinful would still have to be born again. The presentation of sin as guilt, of release as forgiveness, of consequence as punishment, have their true meaning as the most personal expressions of man?s moral condition as always measured by, and man?s moral changes as always dependent upon, God.? Here imperfection seems to mean depraved condition as distinguished from conscious transgression; it is not regarded as sinful and it needs not to be repented of. Yet it does require regeneration. In Phillips Brooks?s creed there is no article devoted to sin. Baptism he calls ?the declaration of the universal fact of the son-ship of man to God. The Lord?s Supper is the declaration of the universal fact of man?s dependence upon God for supply of life. It is associated with the death of Jesus,

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment