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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Sampler

"Some, on the pretext of this freedom {Christian freedom}, shake off all obedience toward God and break out into unbridled license. Others disdain it, thinking that it takes away all moderation, order, and choice of things. What should we do here, hedged about with such perplexities? Shall we say good-by to Christian freedom, thus cutting off occasion for such dangers? But, as we have said, unless this freedom be comprehended, neither Christ nor gospel truth, nor inner peace of soul, can be rightly known." Calvin's Institutes, Book III, Chapter XIX, section 1. This caused me to reflect, as I have so often reflected during the course of reading The Institutes, that Calvin is much more balanced than the caricature of him which is most popular suggests. It also reminded me of what I heard Doug Wilson say many times during my three years in Moscow, Idaho: that there is a ditch on each side of the road.

"Let us labor to grow 'from glory to glory,' though we lose in other ways. What is lost and parted with in the world is well lost if it is for the gain of any grace, because grace is glory. It is a good sickness if it increases patience and humility. It is a good loss if it makes us grow less worldly-minded and more humble. Everything else is vanity in comparison. And that grace that we get by their loss is well gained. Grace is glory; and the more we grow in grace, the more we grow in glory." "Glorious Freedom," Richard Sibbes, p. 161. As Sibbes says elsewhere, "Grace is glory begun; glory is grace perfected."

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