Monday, April 27, 2009

Hope above present calamities

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

Chapter 10 - Similarity of Old and New Testaments

Section 17 - The hope of the godly rises above present calamities to the future life
God rarely, if ever, fulfilled the promises He made to the OT saints on earth.
But they "lifted up their hearts to God's sanctuary."
Ps 17:15; 52:8; 92:12-14, 5, 7; 55:22-23; 49:6-14; 30:5.

Section 18 - Their happy destiny contrasted with that of the wicked
The wicked may have a "pleasant felicity" but "they gradually slip into the whirlpool of death."
Prov 10:7; Ps 116:15; 34:21; 1 Sam 2:9; Ezek 28:10; Ps 69:28.

Section 19 - Job as witness of immortality
Job expected a future life, after death - Job 13:15; 19:25-27.
This wasn't a private insight just for him, but meant to instill hope in the whole church.

Section 20 - The witness of the prophets to immortality
The future resurrection hope "increased each day the brightness of its manifestation" in the OT prophets, from Gen 3:15 to Malachi 4.

Section 21 - The valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37
God meant to show that He could restore not only the nation of Israel from its exilic death on earth, but do far more in the future life, by showing a physical resurrection in Ezekiel's valley.
Isa 26:19

Section 22 - Additional passages from other prophets
...showing our hope extends beyond this life.
Isaiah 66:22-24; Dan 12:1-2.

Section 23 - Summary and conclusion: 
agreement of the Testaments on eternal life
OT saints also had Christ as "pledge of their covenant," trusting Him for blessing beyond this life.
Matt 8:11; Acts 3:25; Matt 27:52-53; Acts 15:8; Eph 1:14; Matt 22:23; Act 23:8.

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