Thursday, May 21, 2009

Being sure, by the Spirit

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 3 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 2 - Faith: Its Definition Set Forth, & Properties Explained

Sections 38-40 - Refutation of Scholastic objections
Section 38 - Scholastic error concerning the assurance of faith
They say we discern the grace of God to us by moral evaluation of ourselves.
Faith is based on " a simple and free promise," not on a moral condition meriting grace.
They distort Ecclesiastes 9:1-2. These verses mean to say that we can't tell God's blessing and judgment by physical prosperity or curse. They don't mean to say we can't tell what we deserve from God.

Section 39 - The Christian rejoices in the indwelling of the Spirit
They say we presume rashly to know God's will.
But the Spirit has shown us His will - 1 Cor 2:12; Rom 8:9, 11, 14, 16.
They "devise a Christianity that does not require the Spirit of Christ."
They think it humility to be unsure if we have the Spirit.
The Word says differently.
2 Cor Cor 13:15; 1 John 3:24; 4:13; Isa 44:3; Joel 2:28; John 14:17.

Section 40 - The alleged uncertainty as to whether we will persevere to the end
Rom 8:38-39 gives us assurance of our perseverance.
The warning of 1 Cor 10:12 is given to keep us humble (1 Peter 5:6),
not take away our certainty.
It is not arrogant to be sure of our salvation; 
it suppresses God's goodness to us to feign humble uncertainty about it.

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