The Expulsive Power of a New Affection

Bryan Chapell, my friend, my former professor and current President at Covenant Seminary, is today’s guest blogger. Below is an excerpt from chapter 6 of his book, Holiness by Grace. The full devotional may be read here at Covenant’s website, where Dr. Chapell posts daily readings to encourage believers to live all of life in light of the gospel. This is from a post entitled, “Out with the Old, In with the New, but Only by Grace.” 

“The human will is engaged in spiritual warfare, but it is not human willpower that defeats the forces of Satan. Rather it is the supernatural process by which the Spirit transforms our desires by what the great Scottish pastor Thomas Chalmers called “the expulsive power of a new affection.” The Spirit renews and cleanses our desires, creating within us a consuming, overwhelming, compelling love for God and an appetite for a closer and more mature relationship with him. This appetite overwhelms and drives out unhealthy previous appetites. Then, as the forces of evil come and we need the weapons (means) of grace that Paul has described, we willingly take up our arms with the confidence that God has provided everything we need to do what he requires.”

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