Works of Providence


Blogging the Institutes

Quotes taken from Institutes of the Christian Religion (1541 Edition) by John Calvin

Translated by Robert White

Chapter 1: The Knowledge of God

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For in ruling over mankind he so orders his providence that, although he is commonly and in every way kind and generous to all, he daily reveals his righteousness to the good whom he guides, and his judgment to the wicked. For the retribution which he metes out for sin is neither secret nor hidden.In the same way he appears as the sure protector and guardian of innocence, for through his blessing he gives prosperity to the good, assists them in time of need, relieves their suffering, remedies their misfortunes, and ever and always provides for their salvation.

Calvin answers a question I think many ask themselves at one time or another: Does God still judge sin? The response Calvin gives is an emphatic “yes!” We see it everyday when justice is served to those who have been caught in their crimes. We know it subconsciously when someone is struck down suddenly in their prime who has reveled in unrepentant immorality.We see his generosity every time we experience a joy of everyday life: the warm embrace of a loved one, the abundance of food on our table, the sturdy shelter over our heads. We feel his kindness when those who’ve been served with injustice are consoled, comforted and supported by those who’ve reached out in compassion for their plight. By providence we mean that God works His will through the everyday course of events and circumstances in the world. God is sovereign and works all things according to the counsel of His will (Eph 1:11-12). If this were not so God would cease being God. He would not then be worthy of our worship. Continue reading

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This Present Evil Age


Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)

Any Christian should be quite familiar with this well-worn text of Scripture. We’ve probably all been convicted by its strong words at one time or another during our walk with Christ. Vanity Fair has seduced its fair share of prospective pilgrims throughout history. The question I have now in my 3rd decade on the narrow path isn’t how much love I have for the world, it’s more along the line of How much hate I have for the world, and is it OK to hate the world we live in?

I think I’ve always had a fundamental distaste for the modern age in which we live. From a very young age I’ve always been fascinated with different time periods. I romanticized the various epochs in my vivid imagination growing up. I loved the eras of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and especially the medieval period in Europe. This fact was confirmed just a few days past when I visited my first Medieval fair. Good times.

I think that’s why I play video games – particularly role-playing games. I’m thoroughly enthralled at the ability to be transported to another time and place. Sometimes people ask why I still play video games at my age. My answer is simple: They take me someplace else. Continue reading

Are We Saved by Belief or by Actions?


In my last post where I related a conversation with my daughter concerning the eternal fate of atheists who persist in their belief system, I received a few respectful responses from fellow bloggers of the atheistic worldview.  I decided to place my reply in a post because the commenter asked several good questions and I thought my response was a little long for the comment section.  The gentleman takes issue with the concept of God’s judgment being based on belief rather than action.  He asks:

“Are you okay with people being judged on belief rather than actions? Are you comfortable with that? Does it seem just to you?”

My reply follows: Continue reading

Does God Send People to Hell?


It’s been several months ago, but I distinctly remember having dinner one Friday evening over at a friend’s house with his family. Another recently married couple ate with us too. They all attend a different church than we do, but our beliefs had always been very similar – at least until I embraced the doctrines of grace. The differences in our theologies had become apparent, and somewhat troublesome to them. Despite their apprehension, I proclaimed the gospel truth as I understood it in an after dinner conversation. The wife of the recently married couple sat at rapt attention as I gave a brief overview of the doctrines of Grace. At one point I made a remark about God casting the reprobate into hell, whose sins have not been washed away by the blood of Jesus. She perked up, eyes wide, mouth agape and chimed in with this gem, “God doesn’t send people to hell!” Continue reading