Calvin on Hosea 1:10, on the Papists divorcing themselves from God

We see that the Papists swell with this pride at this day. To excuse all their errors, they set up against us this shield, “Christ promised to be with his own to the end of the world. Can the spouse desert his Church? Can the Son of God, who is the eternal Truth of the Father, fail in his faithfulness?” The Papists magnificently extol the faithfulness of Christ, that they may bind him to themselves: but at the same time, they consider not that they are covenant-breakers; they consider not that they are manifestly the enemies of God; they consider not that they have divorced themselves from him.


John Calvin Commentary on Hosea 1:10

Baptism and Forgiveness

Surely, forasmuch as the blood of Christ is the only means whereby our sins are washed away, and as it was once shed to this end, so the Holy Ghost, by the sprinkling thereof through faith, doth make us clean continually. This honour cannot be translated unto the sign of water, without doing open injury to Christ and the Holy Ghost; and experience doth teach how earnestly men be bent upon this superstition. Therefore, many godly men, lest they put confidence in the outward sign, do overmuch extenuate the force of baptism. But they must keep a measure, that the sacraments may be kept within their bounds, lest they darken the glory of Christ; and yet they may not want their force and use.

Wherefore, we must hold this, first, that it is God alone who washeth us from our sins by the blood of his Son; and to the end this washing may be effectual in us, he worketh by the hidden power of his Spirit. Therefore, when the question is concerning remission of sins, we must seek no other author thereof but the heavenly Father, we must imagine no other material cause but the blood of Christ; and when we be come to the formal cause, the Holy Ghost is the chief.


we must again beware that we tie not the grace of God to the sacraments; for the external administration of baptism profiteth nothing, save only where it pleaseth God it shall.


John Calvin, Commentary on Acts 22:16

No Word, No Faith

Take away the Word, then, and there will be no faith left.


Calvin, Inst. 3:2:6

An Execrable Idol

It makes little difference, at least in this respect, whether you hold the existence of one God, or a plurality of gods, since, in both cases alike, by departing from the true God, you have nothing left but an execrable idol.


Calvin. Institutes 1:4:3

Undisciplined Thinking

Thought incapable of considering abstract propositions or their mutual relations should not be confused with tolerance and freedom of mind, much less with inspired genius. Inexact, undisciplined thinking has all the defects of poetry without its merits.


G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 68

On the 2nd Commandment

Nothing created can serve to represent him, not even in the whole range of the created order, from top to bottom, and even in the realms of the mythopoeic creatures, in the heavens above and in the waters below the earth, because Yahweh has made every thing and every being.... They must worship him as he is, not as they can envision him or would like him to be.


Durham, J. I. (1998). Exodus (Vol. 3, p. 286). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

God's Glorious Mystery

Given that there are opposing laws at work, laws that inhere in two different “kinds” of reality—God’s and creation’s—which themselves are unified by way of the one person of (the Son of) God, any proper attempt at explaining that union will result in paradox. This is as it should be, and it highlights for us the glorious mystery that just is God with us.


Scott Oliphint (2011-11-02). God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God (Kindle Locations 5391-5393). Crossway.

Gifts as Provisional Expressions

The purpose of those remarks is not to depreciate spiritual gifts or promote a cavalier treatment of them, but to set them in a balanced perspective. To sum up again: the gift of the Spirit, shared by all believers, is the eschatological essence of the new covenant, the fulfillment of the Father's promise, the down payment and firstfruits of resurrected life. The gifts of the Spirit, while particular expressions of this life, are provisional expressions. Necessitated by, bound up with, and shaped by the conditions that make up "the form of this world which] is passing away" (1 Cor. 7:31), they are themselves transient (the point of 1 Cor. 13:8-10). The balance intended here may be difficult to grasp and maintain, but it is crucial.


On the 2nd Commandment

The second commandment concerns the ordinances of worship, or the way in which God will be worshipped, which it is fit that he himself should have the appointing of.


Our religious worship must be governed by the power of faith, not by the power of imagination.


Matthew Henry, Commentary on the whole Bible, p. 124