21 January 2016

The Converted Man


[T]he converted man has a new end in his thoughts, and a new way in his endeavors, and therefore his heart and life are new. Before, his carnal self was his end; and his pleasure and worldly profits, and credit were his way; and now God and everlasting glory are his end; and Christ, and the Spirit, and Word, and ordinances, holiness to God, and righteousness, and mercy to men, these are his way. Before, self was the chief ruler; to which the matters of God and conscience must stoop and give place. And now God in Christ, by the Spirit, Word, and ministry, is that chief ruler, to whom both self and all the matters of self must give place. So that this is not a change in one, or two, or twenty points, but in the whole soul, and in the very end and bent of the conversation. A man may step out of one path into another, and yet have his face the same way, and be still going towards the same place. But it is another matter to turn quite back again, and take his journey the contrary way, to a contrary place. So it is here: a man may turn from drunkenness to thriftiness, and forsake his good fellowship, and other gross disgraceful sins, and set upon some duties of religion, and yet be still going to the same end as before, intending his carnal self above all, and giving it still the government of his soul. But, when he is converted, this self is denied and taken down, and God is set up, and his face is turned the contrary way; and he that before was addicted to himself, and lived to himself, is now by sanctification devoted to God, and lives unto God.

— Richard Baxter, A Call to the Unconverted

Further Reading
Actively Seeking Holiness
So You Call Yourself a Christian
The Cross and the World

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