Saturday, July 13, 2013

John Calvin's 504th Birthday

Note: First, to my regular readers, let me apologize for not writing much lately. I know I have only written once in the past couple of months, and that is because I have been very busy with several big changes for my family. I have been called to an associate pastor position at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Blacksburg, VA, which is a huge blessing and answer to prayer. That, however, has meant I have been very busy. The biggest factor has been studying for my licensure and ordination exams for the PCA. To make a long story short, I have been studying a lot since May, and I took the first round of exams a few weeks ago. To give you an idea of how demanding they were, it took me about fifty hours to do four exams (so about a week because of breaks, interruptions, etc.). Anyway, I just want you all to know I am not ignoring you and have not decided to stop writing. I have just been very busy. Unfortunately, I will continue to be busy until the end of this month when I take the second round of exams. I will write when I can, though.

Now, to the point of this post--Calvin's birthday. The actual birthday was three days ago--July 10--but I had forgotten about it until I read a great Joe Carter blog post: 9 Things You Should Know about John Calvin. I do not think Calvin would mind, though. In fact, he would probably be just fine with me forgetting about him. He would much rather us praise God than write things that praise him. That being said, I cannot let the day go by without sharing some of my favorite quotes from Calvin. Just know that in these quotes we should not praise the genius of the man but the Maker that endowed him with that genius, i.e. not praise the gift to the Church (Calvin) but the Giver of the gift (God).
"However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts." ~ Commentary on Ephesians 3

"For prayer was not ordained that we should be haughtily puffed up before God, or greatly esteem anything of ours, but that, having confessed our guilt, we should deplore our distresses before Him, as children unburden their troubles on their parents." The Institutes of Christian Religion

"We ought to bear in mind, that our happiness consists in this, that his hand is stretched forth to govern us, that we live under his shadow, and that his providence keeps watch and ward over our welfare. Although, therefore, we have abundance of all temporal good things, yet let us be assured that we cannot be truly happy unless God vouchsafe to reckon us among the number of his flock. Besides, we then only attribute to God the office of a Shepherd with due and rightful honor, when we are persuaded that his providence alone is sufficient to supply all our necessities. As those who enjoy the greatest abundance of outward good things are empty and famished if God is not their shepherd; so it is beyond all doubt that those whom he has taken under his charge shall not want a full abundance of all good things." Commentary on Psalm 23

"Man’s mind is like a store of idolatry and superstition; so much so that if a man believes his own mind it is certain that he will forsake God and forge some idol in his own brain." The Institutes of Christian Religion

"In one word, those who are bound by the yoke of the law are like servants who have certain tasks daily assigned them by their masters. Such servants think that nought has been done; and they dare not come into the presence of their masters until the exact amount of labour has been performed. But sons who are treated in a more candid and liberal manner by their parents, hesitate not to offer them works that are only begun or half finished, or even with something faulty in them, trusting that their obedience and readiness of mind will be accepted, although the performance be less exact than was wished." Of Christian Liberty

"Joy and thanksgiving expressed in prayer and praise according to the Word of God are the heart of the Church’s worship." Worship

"For God’s will is so much the highest rule of righteousness that whatever He wills, by the very fact that He wills it, must be considered righteous. When, therefore, one asks why God has so willed one is seeking something greater and higher than God’s will, which cannot be found." Institutes of Christian Religion
By the way, if you want a good biography of Calvin, I would suggest either this one by Piper or this one by McGrath. Also, you can read his Institutes and all his commentaries online for free thanks to CCEL.

By His Grace,

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