Calvin on repentance

My love/hate relationship with Calvin continues. Here’s some more of the stuff I love –

Accordingly, we must strive toward repentance itself, devote ourselves to it throughout life, and pursue it to the very end if we would abide in Christ. For he came to call sinners, but it was to repentance [cf. Matt 9.13]. He was sent to bless the unworthy, but in order that every one may turn from his wickedness [Acts 3:26; cf. ch 5:31]. Scripture is full of such testimonies. For this reason, when God offers forgiveness of sins, he usually requires repentance of us in turn, implying that his mercy ought to be a cause for men to repent.

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Therefore, I think he has profited greatly who has learned to be very much displeased with himself, not so as to stick fast in this mire and progress no farther, but rather to hasten to God and yearn for him in order that, having been grafted into the life and death of Christ, he may give attention to continual repentance. Truly, they who are held by a real loathing of sin cannot do otherwise. For no one ever hates sin unless he has previously been seized with a love of righteousness.

Why I love Calvin…

I’ll be honest – most of the time I have very little idea what he is on about. But now and then I’ll find 2 or 3 sentences of pure gold!

From the other side we see that God, while not ceasing to love his children, is wondrously angry towards them; not because he is disposed of himself to hate them, but because he would frighten them by the feeling of his wrath in order to humble their fleshly pride, shake off their sluggishness, and arouse them to repentance. Therefore, at the same time they conceive him to be at once angry and merciful toward them, or toward their sins. For they unfeignedly pray that his wrath be averted, while with tranquil confidence they nevertheless flee to him for refuge.

Wisdom from Calvin

My exploration of the blogosphere in the last few days have lead me to discover the nasty side of life and the blogging world. I stumbled across some pages of people from the UK who harshly slander people across the world (by name) with very little truth or justification from what I can tell. It saddens me that these men profess faith in God, yet openly criticise anyone who suggests that the bible is God’s authority, in one post comparing a minister in a Sydney church to the taliban and a rabid dog.

As I sit and wonder what it would take to convince them of the truth of the bible, something I have recently read from Calvin comes to mind –

“But those who wish to prove to unbelievers that scripture is the Word of God are acting foolishly, for only by faith can this be known.”

And so I pray for these unbelievers, that God will give them faith that will lead them to truth, and that the truth they learn will set them free.