Penetrate the Heart

As the outward voice of man cannot at all penetrate the heart, it is in the free and sovereign determination of God to give the profitable use of the signs to whom He pleases.

Nam quod ad sacramenta in genere spectat, neque illis gratiam Dei alligamus, neque ad ea transferimus spiritus sancti officium aut virtutem, neque in ipsis locamus salutis fiduciam. Diserte enim profitemur solum Deum esse qui agit per sacramenta, et tam efficaciam spiritui sancto ferimus acceptam.


Calvin, C.R. 9:25; Ronald Wallace HT Calvin's Doctrine of Word and Sacrament, p. 170.

2nd Commandment

It seems likely that the idols in view here are not those of pagan gods (the first commandment has proscribed them from Israel's worship), but representations of Yahweh himself. That was how surrounding nations depicted their gods, but such a theology had no place in the worship of Israel because it represented a fundamental confusion of the creation with the Creator.


Far from being a help to worship, the idol sets up an insurmountable barrier to the refinement of human perception of what is spiritual.


John Mackay, Exodus, p. 344-345


Many people don't think of themselves as sinners worthy of judgment. But if you commit just three sins per day-if you are irreverent, dishonest, malicious, lustful, or covetous just three times in a day-and the great majority of us break God's law in thought or deed at least that many times in a hour! you will commit more than a thousand sins per year. If you live for seventy-five years, as many of us will, when you die you will arrive in God's court with seventy-five thousand sins to be dealt with. How would a human judge respond to a criminal with seventy-five thousand violations of the civil law? Surely he would impose the maximum penalty! God hates sin more than any human judge, and He has decreed that the "wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). How important it is, then, that we find a way to deal with our sin before appearing before God's judgment.


Richard D Phillips. Jesus the Evangelist (p. 138).

On Theonomic Postmillenialism

In thus postulating the termination of the common grace order before the consummation, Chalcedon's postmillennialism in effect attributes unfaithfulness to God, for God committed himself in his ancient covenant to maintain that order as long as the earth endures.


Meredith Kline, Comments on an Old-New Error, WTJ 41

Sacramental Presumption

When I baptise, is it as if I had the Holy Ghost up my sleeve to produce at any time? or the body and blood of the Lord to offer to whom I please? It would be sheer presumption to seek to attribute to mortal creatures what belongs to Jesus Christ.


Calvin, Sermon on Acts 1:4-5 Ronald Wallace HT Calvin's Doctrine of Word and Sacrament, p. 172.

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

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.