Friday, May 15, 2009

Look straight toward Him

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
Section 1 - The object of faith is Christ
If we don't keep the law, we are condemned.
We can't keep the law, so we can't look to ourselves.
Christ has provided the only means of redemption for us.
Faith is more than just assenting to the historical record of the Gospels.
We must believe not just in God, generically, but in the Mediator, Jesus.
1 Tim 6:16; John 8:12; 14:6; Luke 10:22; 1 Cor 2:2; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor 4:6; John 17:3; Heb 1:3; 1 Peter 1:21.

Sections 2-5 - Faith involves knowledge; this truth obscured by "implicit faith"
Section 2 - Faith rests upon knowledge, not upon pious ignorance
Faith doesn't trust blindly, or submit its judgment to the church.
Rom 10:9-10

Section 3 - The Roman doctrine of "implicit faith" is basically false
There is no use tempering ignorance with "humility" and calling it faith.
Faith isn't honoring the church, but knowing God and His Son.
Understanding is joined with faith.

Section 4 - Even right faith is always surrounded by error and unbelief
We DO have an implicit faith, since our knowledge is imperfect and flawed.
"Unbelief is always mixed with faith."
We DO need humility in our knowledge and disagreements with others.
Phil 3:15; Rom 12:3.

Section 5 - "Implicit" faith as prerequisite of faith
There is also a teachable, beginning-to-believe that isn't yet faith.
John 2:23; 4:42, 50, 53.
This is different from apathetic ignorance disguised as implicit faith.

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