Thursday, January 28, 2010

In Support of Scripture

Today's cup of joe is a new one for me.  It is a Kona blend from Coffee People's Coffee.  It is a bold coffee that I am really enjoying.

Calvin makes two arguments in support of Scripture this morning.  The first is in regard to the witness of the Spirit which is stronger than any logical proof that can be presented.  He explains that we must honestly study Scripture and when we do we will be transformed and we shall have the will to follow God.  He writes, "Yes, if we turn pure eyes and upright senses toward it, the majesty of God will immediately come to view, subdue our bold rejection, and compel us to obey."  It is only after you have been truly transformed by the Spirit that you will recognize that the Scriptures are the Word of God.  "For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men's hearts beore it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit."  He concludes this section with "...until he illumines their minds, they ever waver among many doubts!"

Calvin did not think it to be right to subject Scripture to proof and reasoning.  It is self-authenticating and must be believed by faith.  That faith comes to us through the Holy Spirit.  Calvin's faith was obviously strong when he wrote, "Therefore, illumined by his power, we believe neither by our own nor by anyone else's judgment that Scripture is from God; but above human judgment we affirm with utter certainty (just as if we were gazing upon the majesty of God himself) that it has flowed to us from the very mouth of God by the ministry of men."  Yesterday I wrote about the singular message of Scripture and there is only one logical explanation of how so many people over so many years could write together as they did - it is because God has spoken through them.

You may have debated with people about Scripture before.  I have heard many people tell me that it can't be trusted because it was humans who wrote it, or we don't have the originals, or errors were made in copying and translating, or even a grand conspiracy where the church changed every copy of every NT Scripture to give a different message.  Calvin dealt with some of these issues too, and responded with words of encouragement, "Whenever, then, the fewness of believers disturbs us, let the converse come to mind, that only those to whom it is given can comprehend the mysteries of God."

Calvin reminds us of Jesus' explanation of the parable of the sower.  In it he said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them."  We have been given this unique privilege of faith which allows us to believe not only that Christ is our Redeemer, but also in God's message to us which he shows us in his Word.  Praise be to God!

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