Good of Spiritual Life vs Delight of Natural Life

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

They who suffer themselves to be regenerated, act from affection according to the precepts of faith; but they who do not suffer themselves to be regenerated, but only to be reformed, do not act from affection, but from obedience. The difference is this. They who act from affection, act from the heart, and thus from freedom, and they also do truth for the sake of truth, and good for the sake of good, and thus they exercise charity for the sake of the neighbor; but they who act from obedience do not thus act from the heart, consequently not from freedom. If they seem to themselves to act from the heart and from freedom, it is for the sake of something of self-glory which causes it to be so perceived; and they do not do truth for the sake of truth, nor good for the sake of good, but for the sake of the delight arising from this glory. Thus they do not practice charity toward the neighbor for the sake of the neighbor, but in order to be seen, and in order to be recompensed. From this it is evident who and of what quality are they who are represented by the sons of Israel, and who and of what quality are they who are represented by the Hebrew menservants.

But within the church at this day the knowledge of this distinction has been lost. The reason is that the church at this day is proclaimed and said to be from faith and not from charity; and few know what faith is; most persons believing that faith consists in knowing those things which the doctrine of the church teaches, and in being persuaded that they are true; but not that it consists in living according to them. Life according to them they call “moral life,” which they separate from the doctrine of the church, and entitle it Moral Theology. But the learned believe that faith is confidence or trust that they are saved by the Lord’s having suffered for them, and redeemed them from hell; and they say that those are saved who have this confidence; thus by faith alone. But such persons do not consider that there cannot be the confidence of faith, except with those who live a life of charity.

These are the reasons why knowledge has been lost concerning the difference between those who are in truths of faith and not in the corresponding good of life, and those who are in good of life corresponding with the truths of faith; and because this knowledge has been lost, what has now been said about those who are in truths and not in good….

(Arcana Coelestia 8987:2-4)

About mike

The Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race, an angelic heaven would be formed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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