07 March 2013

John Calvin on the Spirit and the Word

For the Lord has so knit together the certainty of his word and his Spirit, that our minds are duly imbued with reverence for the word when the Spirit shining upon it enables us there to behold the face of God; and, on the other hand, we embrace the Spirit with no danger of delusion when we recognise him in his image, that is, in his word. Thus, indeed, it is. God did not produce his word before men for the sake of sudden display, intending to abolish it the moment the Spirit should arrive; but he employed the same Spirit, by whose agency he had administered the word, to complete his work by the efficacious confirmation of the word. In this way Christ explained to the two disciples (Luke 24:27), not that they were to reject the Scriptures and trust to their own wisdom, but that they were to understand the Scriptures. In like manner, when Paul says to the Thessalonians, “Quench not the Spirit,” he does not carry them aloft to empty speculation apart from the word; he immediately adds, “Despise not prophesying,” (1 Thess. 5:19, 20). By this, doubtless, he intimates that the light of the Spirit is quenched the moment prophesying fall into contempt. How is this answered by those swelling enthusiasts, in whose idea the only true illumination consists, in carelessly laying aside, and bidding adieu to the Word of God, while, with no less confidence than folly, they fasten upon any dreaming notion which may have casually sprung up in their minds? Surely a very different sobriety becomes the children of God. As they feel that without the Spirit of God they are utterly devoid of the light of truth, so they are not ignorant that the word is the instrument by which the illumination of the Spirit is dispensed. They know of no other Spirit than the one who dwelt and spake in the apostles—the Spirit by whose oracles they are daily invited to the hearing of the word.

– John Calvin, Institutes, 1.9.3

Further Reading
The Authority of the Apostles
The Word Made . . . for Television?
Even the Demons Believe

2 comments:

  1. I was wondering why John Calvin's real name of Jehan Cauvin isn't used? He was French.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "...so they are not ignorant that the word is the instrument by which the illumination of the Spirit is dispensed."

    Indeed, Calvin is so right and how vastly different this truth is from nowadays leavenjellycal foolishness of: "I FELT ON MY HEART..." which is nothing else but a doorway for satan to fool and deceive and also de facto denial of Sola Scriptura?

    ~ Despeville

    ReplyDelete

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