Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Calvin on the Christian Life

Simply brilliant. Have been reading Book 3 Chapter 7 of Calvin's Institutes. You must read at least the first two sections. See here. Battle's translation is better if you have it.

So much that is flawed with Christians is self-centredness, pride and seeking their own way of doing things, whether in the Church or in their personal and family lives. Calvin slays these pernicious weeds!

Oh that Christians were utterly God-centred, but they too frequently seek their own way. We are not our own, Calvin says again and again, and he repeats again and again we are God's, we are God's.

What one of us does not need to be constantly reminded and constantly fighting for utter devotion to God and His will, and dying to oneself in every area of our living?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Abba: God's Fatherly Love

This is from a discussion I had with some brethren that I thought might be helpful:

We have an intimate bond with our adoptive Father which is precious and wonderful, and we need to live in the light of it.

One emphasis in Calvin's Institutes which I found helpful was the importance of believing in God's fatherly love:

'By piety I mean that union of reverence and love to God which the knowledge of his benefits inspires. For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity.' (Institutes Book 1 Ch. 2 Sect. 1)

This is not to the exclusion of a godly fear. God is not our "buddy", nor do I believe a father should be. My children love me greatly and like to hug me, but they still fear me, without being in terror of me. Thus in fallibly seeking to be a Biblical Father, my children understand how one can fear God and yet love Him as Father. As men, this is one of our God-given duties.

Do we believe in the depths of our being that God is a loving Father? Do we feel it? Do we trust Him? Do we believe at all times He is looking after us, providing for us and doing what is best for us?

Do we treat Him as a judge or even capricious? We are justified and our guilt is taken away. Is our faith in our justification and adoption and the spiritual and emotional impact this ought to have what it should be? We are once-justified in Christ. We are no longer under condemnation. When we sin, we seek the forgiveness of a Father who chastises us by His Spirit; we are not seeking clemency from our Judge, Jailer and Executioner. This is the whole point of Romans 8 after the inward struggle of Romans 7:

'For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”... And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose...

'What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...

'For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

Labels: , , , , ,