17. That no one can from himself do any good that is really good, is taught by the Lord in John:
A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27).
He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
"He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit," means that all good is from the Lord; "fruit" means what is good. "Without Me ye can do nothing," means that no man can from himself do anything. Those who believe in the Lord, and from Him do what is good, are called
Sons of light (John 12:36; Luke 16:8);
Sons of the bridechamber (Mark 2:19);
Sons of the resurrection (Luke 20:36);
Sons of God (Luke 20:36; John 1:12);
Born of God (John 1:13);
It is said that they shall see God (Matt. 5:8);
That the Lord will make His abode with them (John 14:23);
That they have the faith of God (Mark 11:22);
That their works are done from God (John 3:21).
These things are all summed up in the following words:
As many as received Him, to them gave He power [potestas] to be sons of God, to them that believe in His name; who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).
To "believe in the name of the Son of God," is to believe the Word and to live according to it; "the will of the flesh," is what is proper to man's will, which in itself is evil; "the will of man," is what is proper to his understanding, which in itself is falsity from evil; those "born of" these, are those who will and act, and also think and speak, from what is proper to themselves; those "born of God," are those who do all this from the Lord. In short: that which is from man is not good; but that which is good is from the Lord.