“…others…have strained after holiness of life, but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old” Charles Spurgeon (ref#34, Sept 18th AM).
“…few people are aware how far an individual may go—not merely in an outward change of character and an external union to Christ, but in a strong resemblance to the positive and manifest evidences of the new birth—without actually possessing any of them….the soul…the will…and the heart…are all unrenewed by the Holy Spirit….It is surprising how far an outwardly moral individual may seem to progress—spiritual knowledge, eminent gifts, and even great usefulness—while yet retaining the carnal mind, the rebellious will, the unhumbled and unbroken heart….we should be perpetually beguiled into the belief that a head filled with rational, theoretical truth must necessarily be connected with some degree of divine grace in the heart… let no man be so deceived as to substitute knowledge for grace” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, May 7th).
An outward man may have occasionally slight works of the SPIRIT. The SPIRIT may be present to convict him by not convert him. “True conversion and repentance consists of a true and thorough change of the whole man, whereby not only some actions are changed, but first and chiefly the whole frame and disposition of the heart is changed. He is now set aright toward God, from evil to good, as well as from darkness to light (Eph 4:22-24)” Henry Scudder (ref#225, Oct 11th).
A characteristic of a Christian is: “He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appearing in both his words and his actions….But…his whole nature does not consent to them” J.C. Ryle (ref#222).
“The believer’s calling is to think and feel and will just what Jesus thought and felt and willed” Andrew Murray (ref#266, p154).