Monday, July 6, 2009

Looking upon ourselves without flattery

Calvin's Institutes (1559)
Book 3 of 4 - How We Receive the Grace of Christ

Chapter 12 - Convinced you are justified
Sections 4-8 - Embracing God's mercy, upon self-examination
4. The awakened conscience realizes God's mercy is the only safe haven.
5. We have to examine ourselves without flattery or self-love - Prov 21:2; 16:2. We must take into account our depravity - Job 25:6; 15:16; 14:4; 9:20; Isa 53:6; 1 Pet 5:5; James 4:6; Prov 3:34.
6. We have to be humble, which means by definition not thinking we have anything in ourselves to commend ourselves - Ps 18:27; Zeph 3:11-12. For God to lift you up, your heart must be contrite - Isa 66:2; 57:15.
7. The publican praying in the temple was justified, was sincere, because he acknowledged his sin - Luke 18:13-14; Isa 61:1-3; Matt 11:28; 9:13.
8. Arrogance and complacency before God block our way to Christ. We try to take credit for God's grace in our own works. Bernard says this is like a wall saying it made the sun that comes through the window, which sun the wall blocks! "We will never have enough confidence in Him unless we become deeply distrustly of ourselves."

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