He Saved Us … By The Washing Of Regeneration And Renewal Of the Holy Spirit

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Titus 3:5

The spring and fountain of all the pollutions of sin flow from the depraved nature of man’s faculties. This should fill us with shame. Consider rightly the vanity, darkness, and ignorance of the mind, the perverseness and stubbornness of the will, and the disorder of the affections. This depravity has given our nature its leprosy and proneness to foolish imaginations and vanities, his aversion to spirituality and communion with God, his proneness to things sensual and evil, without being deeply affected with shame? Now, our whole evil frame was cured by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit in the renovation of our nature. He gave us a new understanding, a new heart, new affections, and renewed the whole soul into the image of God. He does this by the washing of regeneration and the restoring of the image of God unto our souls. This work is the cause of our holiness. Our minds, hearts, and affections are renewed by the Holy Spirit, and he cleanses us from all spiritual and habitual pollution. If we would be further cleansed from our sins, we must labor after and endevour to grow in this revovation of our natures by the Spirit. The more we have of his saving light in our minds, of his heavenly love in our wills and affections, and of constant readiness unto obedience in our hearts, the more pure we become. He purifies us by strengthing our souls in grace. Having given us the principle of purity in regeneration, he now acts in us the duties of obedience in opposition to sin. By the special application of the blood of Christ, the Holy Spirit becomes the efficient cause of the purging of our souls from all the defilements of sin. – John Owen, Works, III:436–438

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