Chapter XXI, Of Man’s Renewing

Chapter XXI. 

The converted man is renewed by God, so that he might be transferred from a state of sinfulness, into the state of original purity, justice and holiness. 


563. The renewing and the regeneration are in no respect different from each other. Both are figurative significations; the first referring to the renewal of a thing that has been old; the second to, the bringing back of sinful man to the state he formerly occupied; The latter expression is also made use of in scripture as a figure, referring to the natural birth; and as both are frequently employed in scripture, we thought proper, in this place, to say a few words about them.

564. In speaking of renewing, three things are generally referred to. Just as we do with an old building; for we say, first, that the house has been new; secondly, that it has become old and rotten; and thirdly, that it has been renewed, to the appearance it had when new.

Thus by the renewal of man three things are pointed at: viz

a. the stale of perfectness in which he had been created, which he has lost, and into which he has been renewed again;

b. the state of sin, into which he has fallen, and out of which he is to be redeemed; and

c. the state of conversion, into which he is to be brought by renewing.

565. Scripture points by the expression: renewing

a. to the state of perfectness, in which man has been created as the image of God, Col. 3, 10: “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him;” Ephes. 4, 23. 24: “be renewed in the spirit of your mind; that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

b. To the state of sin, out of which it is intended to relieve man, Rom. 6, 6: “knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin;” 1. Cor. 5, 7. 8: “purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth;” Ephes. 4, 22: “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;” Coloss. 3, 9: “put off the old man with his deeds.

c. the state of conversion: Galat. 6, 15: “In Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature;” 2 Cor. 5, 17: “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new;” Rom. 6, 4: “like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we should walk also in newness of life.

566. The renewing of man we find accordingly to be a delivering of man from his sinful state, a restoration to the state he has formerly been in; for the purpose that he might know God, put off sin from his mind and his members, and praise and serve God in true holiness. and righteousness.