Archive for July, 2009

Here’s another great quote from Calvin’s The Necessity of Reforming the Church. Man is declared righteous and fit for heaven apart from the works of the law. He is declared righteous only by Christ’s merit.

…we maintain, that of what description soever any man’s works may be, he is regarded as righteous before God simply on the footing of gratuitous mercy; because God, without any respect to works, freely adopts him in Christ, by imputing the righteousness of Christ to him, as if it were his own. This we call the righteousness of faith: that is, when a man, made void and empty of all confidence in works, feels convinced that the only ground of his acceptance with God is a righteousness which is wanting to himself, and is borrowed from Christ.”

– John Calvin, (The Necessity of Reforming the Church)

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A new friend of mine recommended that I read Calvin’s “The Necessity of Reforming the Church”. So, I am slowing going through it, reading and re-reading. Honestly it’s been a while since I picked up something that is so weighty, thus I see my need to retrain my attention span (or maybe it’s just that I’m reading at 12:30 AM). Anyway, there are some great quotes, and though I haven’t gotten too far into his appeal, I have been encouraged and am delighting in the doctrines of grace; the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just thought I’d share a paragraph or two with you all… It really does produce a humble heart, thankfulness, and assurance which leads to true worship unto God.

Now, the knowledge of our salvation presents three different stages. First, we must begin with a sense of individual wretchedness, filling us with despondency as if we were spiritually dead. This effect is produced when the original and hereditary depravity of our nature is set before us as the source of all evil  a depravity which begets in us distrust, rebellion against God, pride, avarice, lust, and all kinds of evil concupiscence; and making us averse to all rectitude and justice, [it] holds us captive under the yoke of sin; and when, moreover, each individual, on the disclosure of his own sins, feeling confounded at his turpitude, is forced to be dissatisfied with himself, and to account himself and all that he has of his own as less than nothing; then, on the other hand, conscience (being cited to the bar of God) becomes sensible of the curse under which it lies, and, as if it had received a warning of eternal death, learns to tremble at the divine anger. This, I say, is the first stage in the way to salvation, when the sinner, overwhelmed and prostrated, despairs of all carnal aid, yet does not harden himself against the justice of God, or become stupidly callous, but, trembling and anxious, groans in agony, and sighs for relief.

From this he should rise to the second stage. This he does when, animated by the knowledge of Christ, he again begins to breathe. For to one humbled in the manner in which we have described, no other course remains but to turn to Christ, that through his interposition he may be delivered from misery. But the only man who thus seeks salvation in Christ is the man who is aware of the extent of his power: that is, acknowledges him as the only priest who reconciles us to the Father, and his death as the only sacrifice by which sin is expiated, the divine justice satisfied, and a true and perfect righteousness acquired; who, in fine, does not divide the work between himself and Christ, but acknowledges it to be by mere gratuitous favor that he is justified in the sight of God. From this stage also he must rise to the third, when instructed in the grace of Christ, and in the fruits of his death and resurrection, he rests in him with firm and solid confidence, feeling assured that Christ is so completely his own, that he possesses in him righteousness and life.”

Chew on that a few times. Praise be to Him who has overcome!

This morning I was reading from Bob Kauflin’s book Worship Matters and I came across this wonderful quote by John Piper on the the ever-existing, always-perfect God. So here ya go…

From all eternity the ever-existing, never-becoming, always-perfect God has known Himself and loved what He knows. He has eternally seen His beauty and savored what He sees. His understanding of his own reality is flawless and His exuberance in enjoying it is infinite. He has no needs, for He has no imperfections. He has no inclinations to evil because He has no deficiencies that could tempt Him to do wrong. He is therefore the holiest and happiest being that is or can be conceived…. To share the experience – the experience of knowing and enjoying His glory- is the reason God created the world.”

– John Piper

I praise God that He has redeemed me to learn of His greatness. I await the day when hope becomes reality and my eyes will see and my mind will conceive His glory. I await the day when sin and its deception are done away with as I behold the glory of the LORD.

Holy, holy, holy!

Though the darkness hide Thee,

Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;

Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,

Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.

– Reginald Heber

Oh that my eyes would see; that my mind would taste of the perfect nature of the triune God. You are Holy; perfect in power, love, and purity. Oh that I would know you LORD.

Amen.

The hope of a future life maintains itself, and dares to exult and glory, because the foundations on which we stand rest on the glory of God. For, according to the Apostle, though the faithful are now wanderers and pilgrims on earth, yet their confidence raises them so far above the heavens as to make them cherish in their bossoms, with calmness and tranquillity, the hope of their future inheritance.”

– John Calvin