The life of a Christian man. 33. 40. 2) “Our Savior, to teach that faith in him is a gift, not a merit, says, ‘No man can come to me, except the Father, which has sent me, draw him,’ (Joh_6:44). But so prone is our carnal nature to indulgence in sin, that, in order to curb it in every way, we must also give place to the thought that all iniquity is abomination to the Master under whom we live; that those who, by wicked lives, provoke his anger, will not escape his vengeance. The opinions of the ancient theologians on the subject of free will. 4. The opinions of philosophers. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. For though it is only when the promises are received in faith that their efficacy is manifested, still their reality and power are never extinguished by our infidelity or ingratitude. The beginning of justification. - THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD CONSPICUOUS IN THE CREATION, AND CONTINUAL … Such are they in the judgment of thy truth, but not such in regard to thy affection. As if he had said, that faith is a kind of certain and secure possession of those things which are promised to us by God; unless we prefer taking hupostasis for confidence. Calvin’s axiom that God has implanted in the human mind a concept of divinity is expressed here. CHAPTER 4. As they neither think that these proceed from the hand of the Lord, nor acknowledge them as his, or if they do so acknowledge them, never regard them as proofs of his favor, they are in no respect more instructed thereby in his mercy than brute beasts, which, according to their condition, enjoy the same liberality, and yet never look beyond it. This is the reason why Isaiah, when he would impress on the hearts of the people the certainty of faith, discourses so magnificently of the boundless power of God. As Augustine says, whatever be the engines which the devil erects against us, as he cannot gain the heart where faith dwells, he is cast out. Of the eternal election, by which God has predestined some to salvation, and others to destruction. 3. That she sinned in many respects is not to be denied; but the only fault to which I now refer is her being carried away by zeal, and not confining herself within the limits prescribed by the Word. The word is not received in faith when it merely flutters in the brain, but when it has taken deep root in the heart, and become an invincible bulwark to withstand and repel all the assaults of temptation. There is another species of fear and trembling, which, so far from impairing the security of faith, tends rather to establish it; namely, when believers, reflecting that the examples of the divine vengeance on the ungodly are a kind of beacons warning them not to provoke the wrath of God by similar wickedness keep anxious watch, or, taking a view of their own inherent wretchedness, learn their entire dependence on God, without whom they feel themselves to be fleeting and evanescent as the wind. According to the frivolous trifling of these objectors, he ought to have said, Christ indeed has life in himself, but you, as you are sinners, remain liable to death and condemnation. Let him who despises impute it to himself; let him who ascends not arrogate it to himself’ In another passage he asks, “Wherefore is it given to the one, and not to the other? THE HOLY SPIRIT AS THE BOND THAT UNITES US TO CHRIST e(a)We must now examine this question. There is no room to make excuses here. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD HAS BEEN NATURALLY IMPLANTED IN THE HUMAN MIND. In short, the malicious have nothing to carp at in this doctrine, unless they are to bring the same censure against the Apostle Paul, who specially designates the Gospel as “the word of faith” (Rom_10:8). 31. Nor when he takes occasion from the case of the Israelites to exhort, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1Co_10:12), he does not bid us waver, as if we had no security for our steadfastness: he only removes arrogance and rash confidence in our strength, telling the Gentiles not to presume because the Jews had been cast off, and they had been admitted to their place (Rom_11:20). Book 3, Chapter 2, Part B.Of faith. That they may not attempt to undermine the certainty of faith in one direction only, they attack it in another, viz., that though it be lawful for the believer, from his actual state of righteousness, to form a judgment as to the favor of God, the knowledge of final perseverance still remains in suspense. Still, however, we exclude not the power of God. In Isaiah it is said, “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isa_30:15); and in the psalm, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Corresponding to this is the passage in the Hebrews, “Ye have need of patience,” &c. (Heb_10:36). For the Spirit does not merely originate faith, but gradually increases it, until by its means he conducts us into the heavenly kingdom. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3 John CALVIN (1509 - 1564), translated by Henry BEVERIDGE (1837 - 1929) Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin… institutes of the christian religion / book third. In the same way, we cannot say that the holy patriarch Isaac was altogether void of faith, in that, after he had been similarly informed of the honor transferred to the younger son, he still continues his predilection in favor of his first-born, Esau. Very different is the language of the Apostle, “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom_8:38). Therefore, when the Lord by his promises invites us not only to enjoy the fruits of his kindness, but also to meditate upon them, he at the same time declares his love. How, it will be asked, can fear and faith dwell in the same mind? Therefore, your mind must be alternately ruled by diffidence and hope; as if we were to imagine Christ standing at a distance, and not rather dwelling in us. If fear of impending punishment was a work of faith, threatening ought not to be excluded in defining it. Blood Red Moons, Pipelines, and Revival in the Middle East, Cycles, Civil War, and a possible coup d’etat. CHAPTER 2. institutes of the christian religion book second. Objection - that religion and the belief of a Deity are the inventions of crafty politicians. Who could believe that these men, who desire to be thought the masters of the world, could be so stupid as to err thus grossly in the very first principles of religion? Thus Satan, finding the devices by which he was wont to destroy the certainty of faith too manifest to be now of any avail, is endeavoring, by indirect methods, to undermine it. Faith is the special gift of God in both ways – in purifying the mind so as to give it a relish for divine truth, and afterwards in establishing it therein. Here there is still greater necessity for the aid of hope, that we may be able to say with another prophet, “I will wait upon the Lord that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him” (Isa_8:17). 23. BOOK THIRD. 1 in Annuntiatione). Its peculiar properties. And it tends to prove the vanity of the human intellect, that it is so completely in the dark as to matters which it is of the highest importance to know. This universal belief confirmed by the examples of wicked men and Atheists. Sometimes he not only permits faith to grow languid, but even openly manifests his displeasure. Both are deserving of notice. The principal matters in this chapter are, I. It is now obvious how absurdly Peter Lombard lays down a double foundation of hope, viz., the grace of God and the merit of works (Sent. Therefore, I thus retort the argument, If you look to yourself damnation is certain: but since Christ has been communicated to you with all his benefits, so that all which is his is made yours, you become a member of him, and hence one with him. For not only does piety beget reverence to God, but the sweet attractiveness of grace inspires a man, though desponding of himself, at once with fear and admiration, making him feel his dependence on God, and submit humbly to his power. Copyright © 2021, Bible Study Tools. We may add, that an effectual power is here meant; for piety, as it has elsewhere been seen, always makes a practical application of the power of God; in particular, keeps those works in view in which he has declared himself to be a Father. Thus, faith believes that God is true; hope expects that in due season he will manifest his truth. In like manner he says to the Corinthians, “God has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2Co_1:22). They are too well caught thus to escape; for in that passage he is treating not of his individual experience, but of the blessings which all believers in common derive from faith. . The righteousness of works improperly inferred from rewards. 2-6. Sarah, in her eager desire for the promised seed, gave her maid to her husband. 2. 21. Paul seems to relate a trivial or very ordinary circumstance with regard to Abraham, when he says, that he believed that God, who had given him the promise of a blessed seed, was able also to perform it (Rom_4:21). THE THINGS SPOKEN CONCERNING CHRIST PROFIT US BY THE SECRET WORKING OF THE SPIRIT 1. Faith is the foundation on which hope rests; hope nourishes and sustains faith. Third, Definition of Faith, sec. . How They Are Interrelated CHAPTER 2. Confirmed also by the vain endeavours of the wicked to banish all fear of God from their minds. But if it is Sacrilege to charge the revelation which he has given us with falsehood, or uncertainty, or ambiguity, how can we be wrong in maintaining its certainty? By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their. The definition of it. John Calvin’s Institutes for the Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 4: How God Works in the Hearts of Men 15 Mar 2020 Michael A “Augustine compares the human will to a horse preparing to start, and God and the devil to riders. Refutation of the objection. We only mean to maintain these two points – that faith is never decided until it attain to a free promise; and that the only way in which faith reconciles us to God is by uniting us with Christ. Paul, in another passage, though not in strict propriety of speech, expresses the same thing in these words, “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Gal_5:5); that is, after embracing the testimony of the Gospel as to free love, we wait till God openly manifest what is now only an object of hope. If all its righteousnesses, when examined by the light of truth, are but as filthy rags (Isa_64:6), what must we suppose its unrighteousness to be? INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION. This doctrine confirmed by proofs from Scripture. CHAPTER 2. In addressing the Corinthians, when he tells them that faith stands not “in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God” (1Co_2:4), he is no doubt speaking of external miracles; but as the reprobate are blinded when they behold them, he also includes that internal seal of which he elsewhere makes mention. He often seems, after beginning to speak of the hope of pardon and reconciliation, to digress, and unnecessarily take a long circuitous course, describing how wonderfully God rules the fabric of heaven and earth, with the whole course of nature; and yet he introduces nothing which is not appropriate to the occasion; because unless the power of God, to which all things are possible is presented to our eye, our ears malignantly refuse admission to the word, or set no just value upon it. The saints cannot have a stronger ground for despair than to feel, that, according to present appearances, the hand of God is armed for their destruction; and yet Job thus declares the strength of his confidence: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” The truth is, that unbelief reigns not in the hearts of believers, but only assails them from without; does not wound them mortally with its darts, but annoys them, or, at the utmost, gives them a wound which can be healed. Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's seminal work on Protestant systematic theology. Here we must attend to the relation of faith to the word, and to salvation as its consequence. The nature of this must be ascertained from the word. On account of this connection and affinity Scripture sometimes confounds the two terms faith and hope. The Great Wall, the Silk Road, and is the way of the Kings of the East being prepared? In this way, it appears that the word, which is an incorruptible seed, produces fruit similar to itself. If you presume, says he, to hope for any thing without merit, it should be called not hope, but presumption. The opinions of others continued—viz. 39. If then I be a father, where is mine honor? Since the nature of faith could not be better or more clearly evinced than by the substance of the promise on which it leans as its proper foundation, and without which it immediately falls or rather vanishes away, we have derived our definition from it – a definition, however, not at all at variance with that definition, or rather description, which the Apostle accommodates to his discourse, when he says that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb_11:1). A simple external manifestation of the word ought to be amply sufficient to produce faith, did not our blindness and perverseness prevent. The ungodly court a state of lethargy that the fear of God may not annoy them; and yet the judgment of God so urges that they cannot gain their desire. The Mode Of Obtaining The Grace Of Christ,The Benefits It Confers And The Effects Resulting From It. The labyrinths of philosophers. Know ye not your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Co_13:5). Hence the Scripture, when it exhorts us to faith, bids us be at peace. They admit, that whenever we look to Christ we are furnished with full ground for hope; but as we are ever unworthy of all the blessings which are offered us in Christ, they will have us to fluctuate and hesitate in the view of our unworthiness. Hence we may judge how pernicious is the scholastic dogma, that we can have no stronger evidence of the divine favor toward us than moral conjecture, according as each individual deems himself not unworthy of it. Part A. This is invariably true, and is not inconsistent with the fact, that the large benefits which the divine liberality is constantly bestowing on the wicked are preparing them for heavier judgment. . Paul declares that those only are the sons of God who are led by his Spirit (Rom_8:14); these men would have those who are the sons of God to be led by their own, and void of the divine Spirit. When I look at it as it is in itself and of itself, the truest thing I can say of it is, that it has been reduced to nothing. Worthy Christian Books » John Calvin » Institutes of the Christian Religion » Book 2, Chapter 10. Nay, the world and the flesh insinuate the same thing. The daily benefits derived from it. This he concedes not either to the precepts or the promises of the Law, since there is nothing which can establish our faith, but that free embassy by which God reconciles the world to himself. Here, however, a question might be raised as to the view to be taken of Sarah and Rebekah, both of whom, impelled as it would seem by zeal for the faith, went beyond the limits of the word. Its peculiar properties. Here faith must be supported by the patience of hope, and fixed on the contemplation of eternity, consider that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Pe_3:8; Psa_90:4). But of what use were it to lament before him if they had no hope of solace? The Lord desires us to expect every thing from his goodness and yet these men tell us, it is presumption to rest in it. I can cry out with wonder; not discuss and demonstrate.” The whole comes to this, that Christ, when he produces faith in us by the agency of his Spirit, at the same time ingrafts us into his body, that we may become partakers of all blessings. And yet this conduct, however vicious and reprehensible, was not devoid of faith. A recapitulation of the former chapter, proving, from passages of Scriptures that the intellect and will of man are so corrupted, that no integrity, no knowledge or fear of God, can now be found in him, Section 1 and 2. In short, by constantly renovating and reviving, it is ever and anon furnishing more vigor for perseverance. O Father of mercies! In short, if we have every earthly comfort to a wish, but are uncertain whether we have the love or the hatred of God, our felicity will be cursed, and therefore miserable. What then? The definition of it. They are not alarmed by the fear of punishment, as if it were impending over them, but are rendered the more cautious of doing anything to provoke it. In what sense Paul says (Gal_3:2), that the Spirit is given by the hearing of faith, may be easily explained. 38. Here, however, we give no countenance to that most pestilential philosophy which some semi-papists are at present beginning to broach in corners. Quotations in this publication are taken from John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. 34. Again “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember thy wonders of old” (Psa_77:11). . Seeing that, by the oracles of God, sinners are enjoined to entertain the hope of salvation, let us willingly presume so far on his truth as to cast away all confidence in our works, and trusting in his mercy, venture to hope. In both, this must have been the result of faith. 36. The pious mind will always rise, and be able to say with David, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psa_23:4). Wars and Rumors of War, Yemen, and Is the end of Endless Wars? 3. Some examples are brought forward as repugnant to this view. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3. How God may be using the Corona virus to fulfill His Prophetic plan? Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3 John CALVIN (1509 - 1564), translated by Henry BEVERIDGE (1837 - 1929) Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin… It tend to establish this confidence ” “I hoped in thy word” ( Psa_119:146, Psa_119:147 ) of... 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