Accuse everyone else!
Accuse everyone else!
I like what Calvin says in his discussion on free will (Inst. II.2.8-11), “whoever is utterly cast down and overwhelmed by the awareness of his calamity, poverty, nakedness, and disgrace has thus advanced farthest in knowledge of himself. For there is no danger of man’s depriving himself of too much so long as he learns that in God must be recouped what he himself lacks. Yet he cannot claim for himself ever so little beyond what is rightfully his without losing himself in vain confidence and without usurping God’s honor, and thus becoming guilty of monstrous sacrilege.”
And is is always good to remind ourselves of 1 Cor. 4:7, “…what do you have that you did not receive? If then, you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”
Calvin points out that “man’s nature is a perpetual factory of idols” (Inst. I.11.8). Man’s mind is so full of pride and boldness that it dares to imagine a god according to its own capacity. And that capacity reveals itself in producing statues, pictures and anything else to represent God. Yet we know that God is invisible and cannot be represented by the visible. But we persist in this production, don’t we? Calvin says that man’s mind “sluggishly plods, indeed is overwhelmed with the crassest ignorance…it conceives an unreality and an empty appearance as God” (Inst. I.11.8). He further says that “to these evils a new wickedness joins itself, that man tries to express in his work the sort of God he has inwardly conceived. Therefore, the mind begets an idol; the hand gives it birth” (Inst. I.1.8). We still see this today in our superstitious culture. [Read more…]
We must acknowledge that we have a great tendency towards false doctrine and error. Not only this, but we lust increasingly so toward the fashioning of new religious ideas. This constant pursuit of ours to change truth to suit our passions and wants is evidence that we need a Word that we cannot change and is unchangeable. Scripture written is there to keep us from error and falsehood. So stay close to the Word and receive it for what it truly is – the Word of God.
Calvin says (Inst. I.2.3) that “if religion is absent from the life of men, they are then in no wise superior to brute beasts, but are in many respects far more miserable. Subject, then, to so many forms of wickedness, they drag out their lives in ceaseless tumult and disquiet. Therefore, it is worship of God alone that renders men higher than the brutes, and through it alone they aspire to immortality.”
Ought we not to pity the unbeliever then all the more and beg God to save sinners (such as we once were)?