John Flavel on God’s Work on You in Regeneration

By Matt Kellso

Last night I started to read “Keeping the Heart” by John Flavel. He was a Puritan who knew the depths of trials and knew what it meant to properly shepherd your heart. I mean not only did he write a book on it, that book was reprinted some 300+ years later. But I’m not writing about the book as a whole, yet. I just want to talk about something he said that struck me as part of the beauty of regeneration.

We as men (and women) became disordered and rebellious creatures at the fall of man.  This played itself out in a complete opposition to our Creator in every aspect of our lives.  John specifically calls out:

Rebellion to God as: By us acting:
The First Cause Self-dependent
The Chief Good In self-love
The Highest Lord In self-will
The Last End Self-seeking

In our nature we are a self-dependent, self-seeking people who act in our love for self and of our will for self continually.  However, one of the joys of salvation and regeneration and the abolition of this self focus.  That abolition is not some immediate elimination of self-focus.  It is something we work at through the tools that God has given us through the transformation of our hearts.  We attack these ’selfs’ with:

The Old Self: Eliminated by:
Self-dependence Faith
Self-love subjection & obedience to the will of God
Self-seeking self-denial
Self-will regeneration to the image of God

So the “soul which sin had universally depraved, is by grace restored.”

Praise God that we (who are regenerated) don’t have to continue to live a life ruined by the destructive power of a self-serving, self-focused, self-exhaulting sin nature!

For more from Matt click here.

    • mike H
    • December 23rd, 2009

    This is great thanks Matt! I especially liked the quote at the end.

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