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The Spirit & the Word


It is a great indication of the hubris of men that the Roman Catholic religion avers that the authority of Scripture has been given it by ecclesiastical decree. Calvin, of course, agrees with me:

John PiperNot the Church but the Spirit Confirms the Word
As John Calvin pondered the basis of our confidence in the gospel, he was dismayed that the Roman Catholic Church made the authority of the Word dependent on the authority of the church:
John CalvinA most pernicious error widely prevails that Scripture has only so much weight as is conceded to it by the consent of the church. As if the eternal and inviolable truth of God depended upon the decision of men! [John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Westminster Press, 1960), 1:75 (I.vii.1).]
   How then shall we know for sure that the gospel is the word of God? How shall we be sure, not the just that these things happened, but that the biblical meaning given to the great events of the gospel is the true meaning—God’s meaning? Calvin continues:
The testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not then find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit therefore who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrated into our hearts to persuade us that the faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded . . . because until he illumines their minds, they ever waver among many doubts! [Ibid. 79 (I.vii.4).]
—John Piper, God Is the Gospel (Crossway, 2005), 78–79.


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Posted  in: Bibliology · God Is the Gospel · John Calvin · John Piper · Papism · Soteriology & the Gospel
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