In the Old Testament, the Lord wrote His moral law on tables of stone (Deut. 4:13). He planned that His law should also be written on the hearts of the people. But the Israelites were content to regard it simply as an external code and their observance a matter of surface obedience. God did not plan that His law should be regarded as such. He wanted to give His children the experience of a new heart “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Eze. 36:26), but they were happy with only an external religion.
Under the new covenant in the NT, people’s hearts and minds are changed (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 5:17). People do good, not by their own power, but because Christ dwells in their hearts, living out His life in them “and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Believers are born of the Spirit and bear the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22, 23). The Holy Spirit, is the one who energizes the Christian life in the believers, gives them the strength to live the victorious life and overcome the devil.
This change can be done only by God’s power. “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). God provides the stimulus for the believer’s initial determination to accept salvation and gives the power to make that decision effective. This does not mean that he is completely passive but that God provides the desire to be saved, enable him to make the decision to attain salvation, and supplies him with the energy to make the decision effective so that salvation is accomplished. Thus, redemption is a cooperative work between God and man, with God furnishing all the needful powers for man’s use.
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In His service,
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