f The Wittenberg Door: Notable Quote: John Calvin

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Notable Quote: John Calvin

John Calvin (1509 – 1564) on election:

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him . . .

Ephesians 1:4

We learn also from these words, that election gives no occasion to licentiousness, or to the blasphemy of wicked men who say, "Let us live in any manner we please; for, if we have been elected, we cannotvperish." Paul tells them plainly, that they have no right to separatevholiness of life from the grace of election; for

"whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified." (Romans 8:30.)

The inference, too, which the Catharists, Celestines, and Donatistsvdrew from these words, that we may attain perfection in this life, is without foundation. This is the goal to which the whole course of ourvlife must be directed, and we shall not reach it till we have finished our course.

Where are the men who dread and avoid the doctrine of predestination as an inextricable labyrinth, who believe it to be useless and almost dangerous? No doctrine is more useful, provided it be handled in the proper and cautious manner, of which Paul gives us an example, when he presents it as an illustration of the infinite goodness of God, and employs it as an excitement to gratitude. This is the true fountain from which we must draw our knowledge of the divine mercy. If men should evade every other argument, election shuts their mouth, so that they dare not and cannot claim anything for themselves. But let us remember the purpose for which Paul reasons about predestination, lest, by reasoning with any other view, we fall into dangerous errors.

Calvin's New Testament Commentaries, Volume 11: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians

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