Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trying to make ourselves immortal

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ
Chapter 9 - Meditation on the future life
1. God counters our tendency to focus on this world, with trials and misery, which teach us the vanity of this life.
2. "We undertake all things as if we were establishing immortality for ourselves on earth," but our lives are like vapor and smoke - Ps 102:3; 102:11.
3. Avoiding worldliness shouldn't lead to hating the world; we must be thankful. These gifts give us a foretaste of glory.
4. Ecc 4:2-7 is right, that there isn't much to celebrate about this life, in itself. But we ought to compare it to the future blessedness, and long for the latter - 2 Cor 5:6; Phil 1:23-4; Rom 14:8. The negative of this life is largely our bondage to sin.
5. We ought not fear death, but long for resurrection - 2 Cor 5:2-3; Titus 2:13; 2 Tim 4:8; Luke 21:28.
6. If we keep a heavenly perspective (Rev 7:17; Isa 25:8), we can endure much trial (Rom 8:36). Isa 66:24; Matt 25:41; Mark 9:43, 46; Rev 21:8; 2 Thess 1:6-7; Ps 73:2-3, 17.

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