Friday, January 23, 2009

Things charismatics dream up

Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
Book One - the Knowledge of God the Creator
Chapter 9 - Fanatics, abandoning Scripture and flying over to revelation, cast down all the principles of godliness
Section 1 - The fanatics wrongly appeal to the Holy Spirit
Fanatics leave the Word to find another way to God.
They say they are following the Spirit.
But the Spirit and Word are joined (Isaiah 59:21).
Paul had visions (2 Cor 12:2) but still pointed Timothy to the Word for direction (1 Tim 4:13; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
Jesus sent the Spirit to lead them into the truth found in the Word (John 16:13).

Section 2 - The Holy Spirit is recognized in his agreement with Scripture
We need a standard to discern the truth of the Spirit speaking to us, for Satan disguises himself to us as a lying spirit (Gal 1:6-9; 2 Cor 11:14).
It is fine to test the Spirit against the Word, for He wrote it!
The prophets speaking by the Spirit in the early church were less certain that the Word we have (2 Peter 1:19).

Section 3 - Word and Spirit belong inseparably together
When Paul says the letter kills but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor 3:6) he contrasts the Old Covenant without Christ with the New Covenant with Christ; he does not mean to contrast the Bible and the Spirit.
Only when reverently in the Word does the Spirit show forth in power.
The Spirit confirms and illumines the truth in the Word we read.
"Fanatics... seize upon whatever they may have conceived while snoring."

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