Monday, March 16, 2009

Strange and Monstrous

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559)
Book 2 - God the Redeemer
Chapter 3
Only Damnable Things Come from Man's Corrupt Nature

Sections 6-14 Conversion of the will is of divine grace

Section 9 - Scripture's prayers show our blessedness comes from God alone
1 Kings 8:58; Ps 119:36; 51:10; 86:11; 119:133.
Our hearts are drawn to disobey, and are corrected by God to obey.
Our pride is strange and monstrous.
We can do nothing good without Him.
John 15:4-5; Matt 15:13; Phil 2:13; 1 Cor 12:6.

Section 10 - God doesn't make a possibility we can exhaust,
but an actuality to which we cannot add
God's grace doesn't give us a chance to be good, but makes us good.
Ezek 11:19-20; 36:27; John 6:44-45.
We can't claim to have found righteousness ourselves.

Section 11 - Perseverance is exclusively God's work;
it is neither a reward nor a complement of our individual act
We do not co-operate on our own merit with God's grace;
He begins a work in us, and we continue it.

Section 12 - Man cannot ascribe to himself even one single good work apart from God's grace
1 Cor 15:10 can't be used to say we work as equal partners with grace.
It means God's grace causes our labor.
Bernard: "Draw me, however unwilling, to make me willing;
draw me, slow-footed, to make me run."
Augustine: "Grace anticipates unwilling man that he may will."
Ps 59:10a; Ps 23:6.

Section 13 - Augustine also recognizes no independent activity of the human will
The Holy Spirit graciously moves our will to will the good.

Section 14 - Augustine does not eliminate man's will,
but makes it wholly dependent upon grace
"The human will does not obtain grace by freedom, but obtains freedom by grace."

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