Tag Archives: John Calvin

John Calvin – The Medicine Doesn’t Feed The Disease

16 Apr

john-calvin

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? – Romans 6:1-2

Paul proceeds carefully to disprove the propounded slander. He, however, first rejects it by an indignant negative, in order to impress it on the minds of his readers, that nothing can be more inconsistent than that the grace of Christ, the repairer of our righteousness, should nourish our vices.

Who have died to sin, &c. An argument derived from what is of an opposite character. “He who sins certainly lives to sin; we have died to sin through the grace of Christ; then it is false, that what abolishes sin gives vigour to it.” The state of the case is really this,—that the faithful are never reconciled to God without the gift of regeneration; nay, we are for this end justified,—that we may afterwards serve God in holiness of life. Christ indeed does not cleanse us by his blood, nor render God propitious to us by his expiation, in any other way than by making us partakers of his Spirit, who renews us to a holy life. It would then be a most strange inversion of the work of God were sin to gather strength on account of the grace which is offered to us in Christ; for medicine is not a feeder of the disease, which it destroys.

~John Calvin~






Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 218–219.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Calvin’s Works on Logos Bible Software

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes at The Old Guys

John Calvin – Receive The Word With Meekness

11 Apr

john-calvin

21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:21

He concludes by saying how the word of life is to be received. And first, indeed, he intimates that it cannot be rightly received except it be implanted, or strike roots in us. For the expression, to receive the implanted word, ought to be thus explained, “to receive it, that it may be really implanted.” For he alludes to seed often sown on arid ground, and not received into the moist bosom of the earth; or to plants, which being cast on the ground, or laid on dead wood, soon wither. He then requires that it should be a living implanting, by which the word becomes as it were united with our heart.

He at the same time shews the way and manner of this reception, even with meekness. By this word he means humility and the readiness of a mind disposed to learn, such as Isaiah describes when he says, “On whom does my Spirit rest, except on the humble and meek?” (Isa. 57:15.) Hence it is, that so few profit in the school of God, because hardly one in a hundred renounces the stubbornness of his own spirit, and gently submits to God; but almost all are conceited and refractory. But if we desire to be the living plantation of God, we must subdue our proud hearts and be humble, and labour to become like lambs, so as to suffer ourselves to be ruled and guided by our Shepherd.

~John Calvin~






Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles – James (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 294–295.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Calvin’s Works on Logos Bible Software

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – The Force of the Truth of Scripture

7 Apr

 

john-calvinBut our hearts are more firmly grounded when we reflect that we are captivated with admiration for Scripture more by grandeur of subjects than by grace of language. For it was also not without God’s extraordinary providence that the sublime mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven came to be expressed largely in mean and lowly words, lest, if they had been adorned with more shining eloquence, the impious would scoffingly have claimed that its power is in the realm of eloquence alone. Now since such uncultivated and almost rude simplicity inspires greater reverence for itself than any eloquence, what ought one to conclude except that the force of the truth of Sacred Scripture is manifestly too powerful to need the art of words? Therefore the apostle rightly contends that the faith of the Corinthians was founded “upon God’s power, not upon human wisdom” [1 Cor. 2:5 p.] because his own preaching among them commended itself “not in persuasive words of human wisdom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of might” [ch. 2:4 p.]. For truth is cleared of all doubt when, not sustained by external props, it serves as its own support.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.8.1. p. 82.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Calvin’s Works on Logos Bible Software

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – Conviction of Scripture’s Superiority

28 Mar

1. Scripture is superior to all human wisdom
Unless this certainty, higher and stronger than any human judgment, be present, it will be vain to fortify the authority of Scripture by arguments, to establish it by common agreement of the church, or to confirm it with other helps. For unless this foundation is laid, its authority will always remain in doubt. Conversely, once we have embraced it devoutly as its dignity deserves, and have recognized it to be above the common sort of things, those arguments—not strong enough before to engraft and fix the certainty of Scripture in our minds—become very useful aids. What wonderful confirmation ensues when, with keener study, we ponder the economy of the divine wisdom, so well ordered and disposed; the completely heavenly character of its doctrine, savoring of nothing earthly; the beautiful agreement of all the parts with one another—as well as such other qualities as can gain majesty for the writings.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.8.1. p. 81-82.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Calvin’s Works on Logos Bible Software

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – Christ, Our Righteousness

6 Mar

It is necessary that Christ should come to our aid; who, being alone just, can render us just by transferring to us his own righteousness. You now see how the righteousness of faith is the righteousness of Christ. When therefore we are justified, the efficient cause is the mercy of God, the meritorious is Christ, the instrumental is the word in connection with faith. Hence faith is said to justify, because it is the instrument by which we receive Christ, in whom righteousness is conveyed to us. Having been made partakers of Christ, we ourselves are not only just, but our works also are counted just before God, and for this reason, because whatever imperfections there may be in them, are obliterated by the blood of Christ; the promises, which are conditional, are also by the same grace fulfilled to us; for God rewards our works as perfect, inasmuch as their defects are covered by free pardon.

~John Calvin~






Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 138–139.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – Eager To Be Flattered

15 Feb

There is, indeed, nothing that man’s nature seeks more eagerly than to be flattered. Accordingly, when his nature becomes aware that its gifts are highly esteemed, it tends to be unduly credulous about them.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, – ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 242-243.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – From Blindness to Sight to Humility

12 Feb

With good reason the ancient proverb strongly recommended knowledge of self to man. For if it is considered disgraceful for us not to know all that pertains to the business of human life, even more detestable is our ignorance of ourselves, by which, when making decisions in necessary matters, we miserably deceive and even blind ourselves!

But since this precept is so valuable, we ought more diligently to avoid applying it perversely. This, we observe, has happened to certain philosophers, who, while urging man to know himself, propose the goal of recognizing his own worth and excellence. And they would have him contemplate in himself nothing but what swells him with empty assurance and puffs him up with pride [Gen. 1:27].

But knowledge of ourselves lies first in considering what we were given at creation and how generously God continues his favor toward us, in order to know how great our natural excellence would be if only it had remained unblemished; yet at the same time to bear in mind that there is in us nothing of our own, but that we hold on sufferance whatever God has bestowed upon us. Hence we are ever dependent on him. Secondly, to call to mind our miserable condition after Adam’s fall; the awareness of which, when all our boasting and self-assurance are laid low, should truly humble us and overwhelm us with shame. In the beginning God fashioned us after his image [Gen. 1:27] that he might arouse our minds both to zeal for virtue and to meditation upon eternal life. Thus, in order that the great nobility of our race (which distinguishes us from brute beasts) may not be buried beneath our own dullness of wit, it behooves us to recognize that we have been endowed with reason and understanding so that, by leading a holy and upright life, we may press on to the appointed goal of blessed immortality.

(b)But that primal worthiness cannot come to mind without the sorry spectacle of our foulness and dishonor presenting itself by way of contrast, since in the person of the first man we have fallen from our original condition. From this source arise abhorrence and displeasure with ourselves, as well as true humility; and thence is kindled a new zeal to seek God, in whom each of us may recover those good things which we have utterly and completely lost.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, – ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 241-242.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – Our Only Comfort In Light Of The Law

31 Jan

But just because the iniquity and condemnation of us all is sealed by the law’s testimony, this is no reason for us to fall into despair and with despondent heart to dash to destruction. That we have indeed been condemned by the law’ judgment the apostle testifies, “that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be subject to God.” He teaches the same thing elsewhere: “god has consigned all to unbelief,” not to lose them or even to let them perish, “but that he might have mercy on all.” The Lord, therefore, with the faithfulness of his power and mercy consoles us, having warned us through the law both of our weakness and our impurity. And this is in his Christ, through whom he shows himself a kindly and propitious Father to us. For in the law he is recompensed of perfect righteousness alone, of which we are all destitute. On the other hand, he appears as a severe judge of crimes. But in Christ his countenance shines full of grace and kindness even toward poor and unworthy sinners. For he has given this wonderful example of his boundless love, by showing us his own Son, and in him has disclosed all the treasures of his mercy and goodness.

~John Calvin~






Calvin’s Catechism (1538) – Reformed Confessions of the 16th and 17th Centuries in English Translation, Vol. 1: 1523-1552 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2008), 418-419.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – When The Fewness of Believers Disturbs You

28 Jan

If God has willed this treasure of understanding to be hidden from his children, it is no wonder or absurdity that the multitude of men are so ignorant and stupid! Among the “multitude” I include even certain distinguished folk, until they become engrafted into the body of the church. Besides, Isaiah, warning that the prophetic teaching would be beyond belief, not only to foreigners but also to the Jews who wanted to be reckoned as members of the Lord’s household, at the same time adds the reason: “The arm of God will not be revealed” to all [Isa. 53:1 p.]. Whenever, then, the fewness of believers disturbs us, let the converse come to mind, that only those to whom it is given can comprehend the mysteries of God [cf. Matt. 13:11].

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.7.5. p. 81.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – The Undoubted Power and Majesty of God’s Word

17 Jan

Let this point therefore stand: that those whom the Holy Spirit has inwardly taught truly rest upon Scripture, and that Scripture indeed is self-authenticated; hence, it is not right to subject it to proof and reasoning. And the certainty it deserves with us, it attains by the testimony of the Spirit. For even if it wins reverence for itself by its own majesty, it seriously affects us only when it is sealed upon our hearts through the Spirit. Therefore, illumined by his power, we believe neither by our own nor by anyone else’s judgment that Scripture is from God; but above human judgment we affirm with utter certainty (just as if we were gazing upon the majesty of God himself) that it has flowed to us from the very mouth of God by the ministry of men. We seek no proofs, no marks of genuineness upon which our judgment may lean; but we subject our judgment and wit to it as to a thing far beyond any guesswork! This we do, not as persons accustomed to seize upon some unknown thing, which, under closer scrutiny, displeases them, but fully conscious that we hold the unassailable truth! Nor do we do this as those miserable men who habitually bind over their minds to the thralldom of superstition; but we feel that the undoubted power of his divine majesty lives and breathes there. By this power we are drawn and inflamed, knowingly and willingly, to obey him, yet also more vitally and more effectively than by mere human willing or knowing!

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.7.5. p. 80.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,116 other followers