610. To the foregoing this shall be added, that man's regeneration is not effected in a moment, but gradually, from the beginning to the end of his life in the world, and is afterward continued and perfected. And because man is reformed by conflicts with the victories over the evils of his flesh, the Son of man says to each one of the seven churches, that he will give gifts to him that overcometh; as to the church of Ephesus:
To him that overcometh I give to eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7);
to the church of Smyrna:
He that overcometh shall not be hurt in the second death (Rev. 2:11);
to the church in Pergamos:
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna (Rev. 2:17);
to the church in Thyatira:
He that overcometh, to him will I give power over the nations (Rev. 2:26);
to the church in Sardis:
He that overcometh shall be clothed in white garments (Rev. 3:5);
to the church in Philadelphia:
He that overcometh I will make him a pillar in the temple of God (Rev. 3:12);
and to the church of the Laodiceans:
He that overcometh I will give to him to sit with Me in My throne (Rev. 3:21).
Finally it may be added that so far as man is regenerated, or so far as regeneration is perfected in him, so far he attributes nothing of good and truth, that is, of charity and faith, to him self, but to the Lord only; for the truths which he gradually acquires teach this clearly.