601. VIII. THE REGENERATED MAN HAS A NEW WILL AND A NEW UNDERSTANDING.
The church of today knows both from the Word and from reason that a regenerated man is a renewed or new man. From the Word, by the following passages:
Make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezek. 18:31).
I will give you a new heart and a new spirit in the midst of you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh; and I will put My spirit within you (Ezek. 36:26, 27).
Henceforth know we no man after the flesh, therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:16, 17).
In these passages "a new heart" means a new will, and "a new spirit" means a new understanding; for "heart" in the Word signifies the will, and "spirit," when connected with heart, signifies the understanding. The church also knows from reason that the regenerated man has a new will and a new understanding, since these two faculties constitute man, and they are what are regenerated. Therefore every man is such as he is with respect to these two faculties, that is, he is evil whose will is evil, and still more so he whose understanding favors the evil; while the reverse is true of the good. Religion alone renews and regenerates man. Religion occupies the highest seat in the human mind, and sees beneath it the civil matters pertaining to the world; it also ascends by means of them, as the pure sap ascends through a tree to its very top, and from that height it surveys what is natural, as from a tower or mountain one surveys the plains below.