The great reformer, theologian, and pastor, John Calvin wrote a massive work called Institutes of the Christian Religion. I am working my way through it with a small, but growing, group of men at the moment. It is much easier to tackle a work of such magnitude when others are tackling with you. I may, from time to time (and indeed, already have), share some of Calvin’s extraordinary work with you on this blog.
Calvin writes of sin that it’s root can be found in “unfaithfulness” (2.2.4). This is interesting, as the common expression of the root of sin, the very cause and foundation of sin, is usually pride. He quotes Augustine as saying as much; “pride was the beginning of all evils.” He then moves on to stating that , since Eve was deceived to contravene God’s command, then “disobedience was the beginning of the fall.” And then he says the following; that “the first man revolted from God’s authority,” not only because of Satan’s deception, but also because he was “contemptuous of truth.” He rejected what God had clearly and authoritatively said. “And surely” writes Calvin, ” once we hold God’s Word in contempt, we shake off all reverence for him.” Continue reading
Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century revivalist, sat down at age 17 and penned 21 resolutions by which he would live his life. He later added to this list until, by his death, he had 70 resolutions. Edwards didn’t casually make New Year’s resolutions with an expectation of eventually breaking them. Each week he did a self-check. He regularly summed up how he was doing and sought God’s help in the process.
This list is organised by subheadings and categories and as such is not in the normal order as listed here.
Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.
Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
Overall Life Mission1
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
Posted in Church History, Doctrine, Faith, Life Application, Prayer, Reflection, Spiritual Growth
Tagged Assurance, Bible, discipline, faith, holiness, moral accountability, Relationships, Sin, stewardship, truth
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The Christian is in a battle and the chief enemy is sin. Sin is deceptive and employs some of the most subtle and harsh strategies against its opponent. In my last few posts I examined specific strategies that will help the believer in the war on sin. In my first post (the war on sin) I examined crucial starting points for this battle: a right view of sin, the need for genuine salvation, and a battle plan. After establishing this, the second post deals with the first strategy in this war, and that is Recognising Sin. The recognition of sin is crucial because sin will disguise itself and deceive us. The second strategy we noted was Replacing Sin. This strategy calls for an active pursuit of righteousness thus causing it crowd out evil in our lives (see Col. 3:5-11). Then we looked at the next strategy which is Refusing Sin. Continue reading