Friday, May 22, 2009

Violently slain

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 3 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 3 - Our Regeneration by Faith: Repentance

Sections 5-9 - Repentance defined
Section 5 - Definition
Faith and repentance are different things; repentance requires faith.
Repentance is a "turning of our life to God."
Matt 3:2; 1 Sam 7:2-3; Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20; Rom 6:4.

Section 6 - Repentance as turning to God
This means a change of the inner soul, not just external deeds.
Ezek 18:31; Deut 6:5; 10:12; 30:2, 6, 10; Jer 24:7; Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:1, 3-4; James 1:8; Isa 58:6.

Section 7 - Repentance as induced by the fear of God
We hate sin and fear God's judgment of it.
Jer 4:4; Acts 17:30-31; Deut 29:19ff; 2 Cor 7:10.
"If we were not sharply pricked [by fear of judgment], the slothfulness of our flesh could not be corrected."

Section 8 - Mortification and vivification as component parts of repentance.
"Cease to do evil; learn to do good" - Isa 1:16-17.
This involves denying ourselves, as we are all "hostility against God."
This is hard! We must be "violently slain... brought to nought."
The Spirit plants "new thoughts and feelings" in us to seek righteousness.

Section 9 - Rebirth in Christ!
Repentance is essentially regeneration - 2 Cor 3:18; Eph 4:23-4; Col 3:10.
"This restoration does not take place in one moment," but is a process.
We are to repent and seek conformity to God's image throughout life.

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