Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Knowledge of God and of Ourselves...

This evening I pulled out volume one of John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and read over chapter one of book one on "The Knowledge of God the Creator." I have always enjoyed reading Institutes of the Christian Religion and I am not sure why this classic is not pulled down from my book shelf with more regularity, as it has been a good while since I last buried my nose in it. The rich nuggets that one is able to extract from this classic is nearly unrivaled as far as Christian literature goes in my opinion!

In writing about the knowledge of God and of ourselves, John Calvin states:

It is certain that man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God's face and becomes convinced of his own unrighteousness, foulness, folly, and impurity...thus from the feeling of our own ignorance, vanity, poverty, infirmity, and - what is more - depravity and corruption, we recognize that the true light of wisdom, sound virtue, full abundance of every good, and purity of righteousness rest in the Lord alone. To this extent we are prompted by our own ills to contemplate the good things of God. Accordingly, the knowledge of ourselves not only arouses us to seek God, but also, as it were, leads us by the hand to find him.

The knowledge of God should serve to humble our pride and reveal to us our complete and utter need of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5).


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