Monday, 2 January 2012

Calvin's Institutes - Book 1, ch. 2

What it is to know god and the result of this knowledge.

In Ch. 2 Calvin says that only those who love and revere God will have true knowledge of Him:
"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."
How true that is. We will cling so tightly to the slenderest of threads rather than surrender completely to God.

For Calvin, knowledge of God necessarily involves trust and reverence:

If we know that God: We will:

· Governs all things

· Confide in Him

· Trust his faithfulness

· Is the source of every blessing

· Trust His care in any difficulty or need

· Is good and merciful

· Rest in God with supreme confidence

· Has all authority as both Father and Lord

· Love and revere Him

· Aim to glorify Him

· Obey His commands

· Is a just judge who will severely punish all sin

· Restrain ourselves for fear of provoking His anger

· Embrace God as much for His justice as for His mercy

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