No Comparison

In Monday’s reading of the Institutes, 1.9.3 – 1.11.1, two statements stood out to me.

The first one, in 1.9.3, is to me somewhat of a summary statement to what Calvin has been talking about in the previous readings regarding the Word and the Holy Spirit.

For the Lord has so knit together the certainty of his word and his Spirit, that our minds are duly imbued with reverence for the word when the Spirit shining upon it enables us there to behold the face of God; and, on the other hand, we embrace the Spirit with no danger of delusion when we recognize him in his image, that is, his word.”

The Word and the Holy Spirit are not in opposition to one another. God speaks to us in and through His Word, revealing Himself, His Son and His will.  His Holy Spirit enlightens the eyes of our understanding so that His Son is glorified and that we might know, be taught and led in God’s will.

The second statement has to do with idols. It comes from 1.11.1.

” … God makes no comparison between images, as if one were more, and another less befitting; he rejects, without exception, all shapes and pictures, and other symbols by which the superstitious imagine they can bring him near to them.”

Calvin elaborates on the subject of idols in Tuesday’s reading, 1.11.2  – 1.11.6, when he says that it is absurd to think that the God who “fills all space” can be represented by a “bit of paltry wood, stone, or gold.” (1.11.2) To make an idol that supposedly represents God is “indecorous fiction”, detestable and an insult to His majesty. (1.11.4) To do so diminishes “reverential fear” of the Lord and “encourages error.”

We must, therefore, understand what the Bible’s teaching is regarding this matter of idols, understand “how prone our nature is to idolatry” (1.11.3) and guard ourselves from all such vain worship.

Our worship must be of the God of the Bible as He is revealed there, without any vain image or representation whatsoever.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, Missional Living, Prayer, Reformation, Reformed Theology, Uncategorized

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