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Not Merely the Power


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But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. —1 Corinthians 15:10

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Those that set free-will in opposition to the grace of God, that whatever good we do may not be ascribed wholly to Him, wrest these words to suit their own interpretation—as if Paul boasted, that he had by his own industry taken care that God’s grace toward him had not been misdirected. Hence they infer, that God, indeed, offers his grace, but that the right use of it is in man’s own power, and that it is in his own power to prevent its being ineffectual. I maintain, however, that these words of Paul give no support to their error, for he does not here claim anything as his own, as if he had himself, independently of God, done anything praiseworthy. What then? That he might not seem to glory to no purpose in mere words, while devoid of reality, he says, that he affirms nothing that is not openly apparent. Farther, even admitting that these words intimate, that Paul did not abuse the grace of God, and did not render it ineffectual by his negligence, I maintain, nevertheless, that there is no reason on that account, why we should divide between him and God the praise, that ought to be ascribed wholly to God, inasmuch as he confers upon us not merely the power of doing well, but also the inclination and the accomplishment.

Calvin’s Commentaries Volume XX, Commentary on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Baker Books, 2009), 2:14–15.



Posted 2020·01·03 by David Kjos
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Posted in: 1 Corinthians · Calvin’s Commentaries: 1 Corinthians · John Calvin · Sola Gratia · Soli Deo Gloria

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