Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The pivotal point

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

Chapter 14 - The beginning and progress of justification
Sections 7-8 - Hypocrites and nominal believers condemned
7. They both have "impurity of conscience," "have not yet been reconciled to God," and "their hearts teem with impurities."
8. God hates the sacrifices of the wicked, when hypocrites try to win his favor with works - Isa 1:13-16; Prov 15:8. Faith must be the foundation, then works build upon that - Gen 4:4; Acts 15:9.

Sections 9-11 - The regenerate are justified by faith alone
9. Even in believers, our every action is mixed with sin - Ecc 7:20.
10. Just one sin removes any previous righteousness we had - Ezek 18:24; James 2:10.
11. Even a believer's righteousness only deserves condemnation. The "pivotal point of our disputation" with Rome is that we are justified by faith alone, not by faith and works considered together. - Rom 4:3; Eph 2:8-9; Hab 2:4.

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