Monday, June 29, 2009

6/30- Unconditional Election

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

6/30- Unconditional Election

16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (II Peter 1:16,17)

Calvin: For we shall know that the moment we exceed the bounds of the Word, our course is outside the pathway and in darkness, and that there we must repeatedly wander, slip, and stumble. Let this, therefore, first of all be before our eyes: to seek any other knowledge of predestination than what the Word of God discloses is not less insane than if one should purpose to walk in a pathless waste [cf. Job 12:24], or to see in darkness. And let us not be ashamed to be ignorant of something in this matter, wherein there is a certain learned ignorance. Rather, let us willingly refrain from inquiring into a kind of knowledge, the ardent desire for which is both foolish and dangerous, nay, even deadly. (III. 21: 2)

There appeared to be three things that drove Calvin’s curiosity and writings about predestination. One we have already discussed- it clearly takes away from human ability to earn salvation and gives the glory to God; Second, Calvin saw that some had faith and others did not even though they were exposed to the same sermon and environment. How could one explain how one person’s heart was hard and another’s heart was responsive to the same message? Predestination seemed to answer that. The third reason, and really the over-arching reason for Calvin was that the Bible taught it. The Bible is God’s Word to Calvin. The Bible was not separated from the Word of God, the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, and makes the scriptures real to us through His illumination of the words to us. In the end, it is not some apologetic or some easy doctrine that should drive our theology- but God’s Word. A “cleverly invented story” (see II Peter above) will not do.

Prayer: Lord, help us to hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on your Word. Open our eyes to what you have to say about our own salvation and your plan that are there.

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