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Doctrine Is Not An Affair of the Tongue

Few books have helped me in my Christian walk like John Calvin’s Institutes. Here is a very brief sample of what I read this morning.


On the Life of a Christian Man

Ever since God exhibited himself to us as a Father, we must be convicted of extreme ingratitude if we do not in turn exhibit ourselves as his sons.

Ever since Christ purified us by the laver of his blood, and communicated this purification by baptism, it would ill become us to be defiled with new pollution.

Ever since he ingrafted us into his body, we, who are his members, should anxiously beware of contracting any stain or taint.

Ever since he who is our head ascended to heaven, it is befitting in us to withdraw our affections from the earth, and with our whole soul aspire to heaven.

Ever since the Holy Spirit dedicated us as temples to the Lord, we should make it our endeavour to show forth the glory of God, and guard against being profaned by the defilement of sin.

Ever since our soul and body were destined to heavenly incorruptibility and an unfading crown, we should honestly strive to keep them pure and uncorrupted against the day of the Lord.

Doctrine is not an affair of the tongue, but of the life; is not apprehended by the intellect and memory merely, like other branches of learning; but it is received only when it possesses the whole soul, and finds its seat and habitation in the inmost recesses of the heart. Institutes, Book Three, Chapter VI.

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