The First Phase in Our Being Generated Anew Is Called “Reformation”; It Has to Do with Our Intellect. The Second Phase Is Called “Regeneration”; It Has to Do with Our Will and Then Our Intellect (Continued)

It is important to know that the capacity to lift the intellect even to a level of understanding possessed by the angels in heaven has been created as a part of every human being, the evil as well as the good. In fact every devil in hell retains this ability, since all those who are in hell existed as human beings [in the physical world]. I have often been shown through living experience that this is the case.

Nonetheless, the reason the devils in hell are insane rather than intelligent in spiritual matters is that they will what is evil and not what is good. Knowing and understanding truths is repulsive to them, because truths favor what is good and oppose what is evil.

These points also make it clear that the first step in our being generated anew is to receive truths in our intellect. The second step is to intend to put those truths into practice; eventually it takes the form of actually putting them into practice.

No one can justifiably be called a “reformed” person solely on the basis of his or her knowledge of truth. By lifting our intellect above the love that resides in our will, we are all capable of grasping those truths, saying them, teaching them, and preaching them. A truly reformed person is someone who desires the truth because it is true. This desire attaches itself to our will, and if it persists, forges a partnership between our will and our intellect. Then our regeneration begins. (Later sections will deal with how our regeneration proceeds and is perfected after that.)

from True Christianity, Section 589

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