Faith (pt. 22)

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
(Continued pt. 22)
V. FAITH WITHOUT CHARITY IS NOT FAITH,
AND CHARITY WITHOUT FAITH IS NOT CHARITY,
AND NEITHER HAS LIFE EXCEPT FROM THE LORD.

(4) Yet nothing of faith or of charity, or of the life of either, is from man, but from the Lord alone.
For we read,

That a man can receive nothing except it have been given him from heaven (John 3:27).

And Jesus said:

He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit; for apart from Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).

But this is to be understood thus, that man of himself is unable to acquire for himself any but natural faith, which is a persuasion that a thing is so because some man of authority has said so; or any but natural charity, which is an endeavor to gain favor with a view to some recompense. In such faith and charity there is what is man’s own, and as yet no life from the Lord.

Nevertheless, by means of such faith and charity man prepares himself to be a receptacle of the Lord; and so far as he prepares himself, the Lord enters, and causes his natural faith to become spiritual, likewise his charity, and thus makes both to be alive; and this is done when man goes to the Lord as the God of heaven and earth. Because man was created an image of God, he was created an abode of God; therefore the Lord says:

He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me and I will love him, and I will come unto him and make an abode with him (John 14:21, 23).

Again:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hear My voice and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with Me (Apoc. 3:20).

From all this comes the conclusion, that as man prepares himself naturally to receive the Lord, so the Lord enters and makes all that is within man inwardly spiritual, and thus alive. But on the other hand, so far as man does not prepare himself he removes the Lord from him and does everything from his own self; and what man himself does from himself has no real life in it.

(True Christian Religion 359)

To be continued…

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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. 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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