Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The heart steeped in the poison of sin

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 2 - God the Redeemer

Chapter 5 - Refuting objections that defend free will

Sections 12-19 - Answers to objections from Scripture
Section 12 - Deuteronomy 30:11ff
"This is commandment is not far off, but it is near you, so that you can do it."
The NT clarifies that this speaks of the Gospel, not just the Law (Rom 10:8).
Just a few verses earlier - Deut 30:6 - he said God has to circumcise us for us to love Him.

Section 13 - God's 'waiting' upon men's action is held to suppose freedom of the will.
"I shall go to My place, unil they lay it upon their hearts to seek My face" - Hosea 5:15.
This doesn't mean we can do good or evil on our own.
Only that God may withdraw His revelation for a time to show our helplessness without His grace.

Section 14 - Are these works then not "our" works?
Isn't it inconsistent to credit sin in us to us and good in us to God?
No, because the Spirit must first restrain our will before we can do any good.

Section 15 - The "works" are ours by God's gift, but God's by His prompting
We actually will the good, but can only do so with His help.

Section 16 - Genesis 4:7
"If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
Just because God tells Cain he SHOULD  rule over his sin,
doesn't mean that Cain CAN rule over his sin.

Section 17 - Romans 9:16; 1 Cor 3:9
"So it depends not upon him who wills or upon him who runs but upon God who shows mercy" (Rom 9:16).
This doesn't mean we have some contribution in willing or running.
Titus 3:4-5.

"We are God's co-workers" (1 Cor 3:9).
"Not because they bring anything of themselves, but because God uses their work afterhe has rendred them capable of it..."

Section 18 - Ecclesiasticus 15:14-17 - [apocrypha!]
No, we don't reject this author completely.
Yes, at creation we had the power to choose good or evil.
But we lost it through our own fault.

Section 19 - Luke 10:30
Our state is compared to the traveler, "half-dead."
I contest the allegory. Man is wholly dead, spiritually.
Eph 2:5; 5:14; John 5:25.

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