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An Habitual Bent


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Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

—Genesis 5:24

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[W]alking with God consists especially in the fixed habitual bent of the will for God, in an habitual dependence upon his power and promise, in an habitual voluntary dedication of our all to his glory, in an habitual eyeing of his precept in all we do and in an habitual complacence in his pleasure in all we suffer.

. . . walking with God implies our making progress or advances in the divine life. Walking, in the very first idea of the word, seems to suppose a progressive motion. A person that walks, though he move slowly, yet he goes forward and does not continue in one place. And so it is with those that walk with God. They go on, as the Psalmist says, ‘from strength to strength’ [Psalm 84:7] or, in the language of the Apostle Paul, ‘they pass from glory to glory, even by the Spirit of the Lord’ [2 Corinthians 3:18]. Indeed, in one sense, the divine life admits of neither increase nor decrease. When a soul is born of God, to all intents and purposes he is a child of God. And though he should live to the age of Methuselah, yet he would then be only a child of God after all. But in another sense, the divine life admits of decays and additions. Hence it is, that we find the people of God charged with backslidings and losing their first love. And hence it is that we hear of babes, young men and fathers in Christ [1 John 2:13]. And upon this account it is that the Apostle exhorts Timothy, ‘to let his progress be made known to all men.’ And what is here required of Timothy in particular, by St. Peter is enjoined on all Christians in general. ‘But grow in grace (says he) and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’

For the new creature increases in spiritual stature. And though a person can but be a new creature, yet there are some that are more conformed to the divine image than others and will after death be admitted to a greater degree of blessedness. For want of observing this distinction, even some gracious souls, that have better hearts than heads (as well as men of corrupt minds, reprobates concerning the faith) have unawares run into downright Antinomian principles, denying all growth of grace in a believer, or any marks of grace to be laid down in the scriptures of truth. From such principles and more especially from practices naturally consequent on such principles, may the Lord of all lords deliver us!

—George Whitefield, “Walking with God” in Lee Gatiss (Ed.), The Sermons of George Whitefield (Crossway, 2012), 1:69–70.



Posted 2018·11·01 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Genesis · George Whitefield · Sanctification · The Sermons of George Whitefield

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