Sunday, December 17, 2006

Calvin on Scripture

II Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

I believe that the Purpose Driven Movement truly fails to understand or apply this passage in their ministry efforts and the reason I believe that is because they are driven to please the unbeliever rather than edify the faithful. But don't take my word for it, turn back the pages of time and hear what John Calvin had to say about it.

"When we consider that there is nothing but sin and wickedness in us, we must learn to be displeased with ourselves, and serve God fervently, with a pure heart: this is the doctrine contained in the Holy Scripture, We must understand the meaning of St. Paul, when he saith to reprove; that is, if we would be well instructed in the school of God, we must confess ourselves guilty; we must be pricked to the heart; we must be reproved for our faults. When the Word of God is rightly expounded, the faithful are not only edified, but if an unbeliever come into the church and hear the doctrine of God he is reproved and judged. By this we understand that although the unbeliever may be wrapped in darkness, and pleased with his own ignorance, yet when God so enlightened him that he seeth the misery and wickedness in which he hath lived, when he seeth his deplorable situation, while giving ear to the Word of God, he perceived the heavens open, as it were, and that man was not made for this life only, but to be exalted to a higher station. Thus unbelievers are convicted.

And to make it more clear, St. Paul addeth the secrets of the heart are then disclosed; for we know while the Word of God is buried, no man taketh heed to himself; our hearts are in darkness. What then must we do? We must apply the Word of God to our use, and be awakened out of sleep: we must no more forget God, nor the salvation of our own souls; we must search the very depth of our hearts, and examine our whole lives; that we may be ashamed of our filthiness, and become our own judges, to avoid the condemnation that is ready at the hand of God."
Excerpt taken from a sermon delivered by John Calvin (1509-1564) called "The Proper Use of Scripture" which was transcribed from the book Great Expository Sermons compiled by Faris D. Whitesell, copyright 1964 By Fleming H. Revell Company: Westwood, New Jersey

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