Calvin's Institutes Chapter 15 (721-754)

July 23, 2020

This is a helpful chapter probing what was during Calvin's time (in my opinion) a much more relevant issue. I am not saying it isn't relevant today. It will always be so until Jesus returns. I believe Calvin strikes to the heart of the matter when he says:

We observe how careful Paul was to avoid burdening consciences, to the point where he did not dare bind them to a single duty. And justly so, for he well understood that to lay necessity on consciences in matters which God had left to their free choice was to deal them a mortal wound. by contrast, we would be hard put to it to count the number of constitutions which they [the lawgivers] impose on men being necessary for salvation. Among such constitutions are some most difficult to keep, and if taken all together they are so numerous as to be impossible. (722)

At first I felt like Calvin slightly overstated the case when he said "to the point where he did not dare to bind them to a single duty." It seems to me that Paul did in fact speak to the conscience. However, if I understand Calvin correctly (after thinking a little more), I think he is talking about the matter of Salvation, and in that perspective I agree to his point here.

The Church has no teacher but Christ

Sometimes as a read, I experience a moment of worship, and as I read these following words, I experienced a moment of worship as I considered Christ as my teacher:

Christ has spoken so as to leave nothing else for others to say. He, I say again, must speak, and none but he. Let all the world be silent, let Christ alone be obeyed and all others ignored. (726)

Spirit, church and word

I appreciate the quote from Chrysostom that Calvin includes on page 735:

What Chrysostom says is thus worth noting: 'Many glory in the Spirit but those who add things of their own lay false claim to him. Just as Christ testified that he did not speak of himself but that his teaching came from the law and the prophets, so we should not believe anything purporting to be from the Spirit but not contained in the gospel. For as Christ is the fulfilment [sic] of the law and the prophets, so the Spirit is the fulfilment [sic] of the gospel.

Stopping Here

I had more to share, but this is all I have time for. Looking forward to reading other's report.

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