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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.

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