Skip to main content

Calvin on the Holy Spirit and Scripture

John Calvin writes concerning the sufficiency and trustworthiness of God's Word towards the beginning of Book One of his Institutes.  In 1.9.2 (Book One, Chapter 9, paragraph 2) he writes how "The Holy Spirit is recognized in his agreement with Scripture":

"...we ought zealously to apply ourselves both to read and to hearken to Scripture if indeed we want to receive any gain and benefit from the Spirit of God--even as Peter praises the zeal of those who were attentive to the prophetic teaching, which nevertheless could be seen to have given up its place after the light of the gospel dawned [II Peter 1:19]. But on the contrary, if any spirit, passing over the the wisdom of God's Word, foists another doctrine upon us, he justly deserves to be suspected of vanity and lying [Gal. 1:6-9]. What then? Since 'Satan disguises himself as an angel of light' [II Cor. 11:14], what authority will the Spirit have among us, unless he be discerned by a most certain mark? And he is very clearly pointed out to us by the voice of the Lord: except that these miserable folk willingly prefer to wander to their doom, while they seek the Spirit from themselves rather than from him. Yet, indeed, they contend that it is not worthy of the Spirit of God, to whom all things ought to be subject, himself to be subject to Scripture. As if, indeed, this were ignominy for the Holy Spirit to be everywhere equal and in conformity with himself, to agree with himself in all things, and to vary nothing! To be sure, if the Spirit were judged by the world of men, or of angels, or of anything else, then one would have to regard him as degraded, or if you like, reduced to bondage; but when he is compared with himself, when he considered in himself, who will on this account say that injustice is done him?  Nevertheless, he is thus put to a test, I confess, but a test by which it pleased him to establish his majesty among us.  He ought to be sufficient for us as soon as he penetrates into us. But lest under his sign the spirit of Satan should creep in, he would have us recognize him in his own image, which he has stamped upon the Scriptures.  He is the Author of the Scriptures: he cannot vary and differ from himself. Hence he must ever remain just as he once revealed himself there. This is no affront to him, unless perchance we consider it honorable for him to decline or degenerate from himself." (Emphasis mine) Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin (McNeill ed.) pages 94-95

Compare Calvin's words with this short video clip.

Still interested?  Subscribe to Reformation 21 as they blog through the Westminster Confession of Faith. Chapter 1.1 of the Confession, addressing the sufficiency of Scripture, begins here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Election or Not, We Are United

I've probably lost my ever-loving mind posting on such an issue.

This has been, for many, a very contentious and discouraging election season. Families have been at odds, friends find themselves in pitched battles with one another and Facebook comments between Christians have seen an exceeding number of exclamation points and angry face emoticons.
However, regardless of the vote you cast and for whom, we should not be divided as friends, families and fellow Christians. Let me make my case by laying out four categories of voters (there are probably more, but work with me). These categories, in my view, are legitimate reasons to cast your vote (or not) for whoever you think you should cast your vote for.
If that is the case, Christian charity (patience, grace, love) compels us to understand one another.
It is an opportunity to listen to one another with humility. We may disagree, but that disagreement should not be a barrier in our relationship (or, even worse, destroy them).

I wi…

My Teachers

Ephesians 4:11-14

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (ESV)

In the last couple of months, I've heard of the death of a couple of influential professors. The tributes I read reminded me of how God has blessed His church with these men. I began to think about the teachers and professors who have influenced me.

And then I read a post recently from someone who graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS). What he wrote about WTS was foreign to me. He admitted it was based on "his experience" but it was full of char…

Rhythm and Rest

I was captivated by the election returns in November.

When I got home Tuesday night, November 8, I predicted to my family that the election would be over by 10pm, with the winner declared and a concession speech given no later than 11:00. I assumed Mrs. Clinton had it in the bag.

Ha!  I'm an idiot.

By 11:00pm my wife was in bed, my 17 year old daughter was fast asleep and my 14 year old daughter had fallen asleep on the couch (trying to stay up with me).  I couldn't peel myself away from the coverage.

As the night eased into the early morning hours, the rhythm of the night was favoring Donald Trump. I was captured. I had to see how it ended.

After watching Donald Trump give his first speech as President-elect I climbed into bed around 2:40 early that Wednesday morning. I'm 54 years old. I haven't seen 2:40am (on purpose) in years!

The day of work on Wednesday wouldn't wait.
I was up at 6:30.

I tackled the day in a fairly sluggish way.

The wacked out rhythm of elec…