Weekly Roundup: 2019.05.13
Kevin DeYoung on the Canons of Dort and the gift of faith, Dale Ralph Davis on the Spirit and His work in understanding Scripture, Sinclair Ferguson on how to mortify sin, and John Calvin on how the Spirit irradiates/illuminates the human mind to see the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Canons of Dort and the Gift of Faith | Kevin DeYoung | TGC
In scenario one, your father comes home from work on your 16th birthday and announces he has a surprise for you. He takes you to the local car dealership and points to a brand new, sporty convertible. He tells you the car is yours if you want it. He’s paid for it and signed all the papers. All you have to do is grab the keys, hop in the car, and drive your shiny new vehicle off the lot. That’s quite a gift: a pricey convertible for free, if you decide you want it.
Here’s another scenario. You are lying unconscious on a hospital bed. You don’t know where you are, who you are, or what is going on. You should be dead. In fact, the doctor pronounced you dead a minute ago, but now your heart is beating. The hospital staff pumped blood into your veins when you had bled out from a massive laceration on your leg. That’s quite a gift: someone else’s blood for free, put into you when you had no ability to ask for it, resist it, or receive it.
Begging: The Place to Start | Dale Ralph Davis | The Master’s Seminary
An article about our arrogance when we fail to ask the Spirit for help. Davis quotes John Owen:
For a man solemnly to undertake the interpretation of any portion of Scripture without invocation of God, to be taught and instructed by his Spirit, is a high provocation of him; nor shall I expect the discovery of truth from any one who thus proudly engages in work so much above his ability.
How to Mortify Sin | Sinclair Ferguson | Ligonier Ministries
My friend — a younger minister — sat down with me at the end of a conference in his church and said: “Before we retire tonight, just take me through the steps that are involved in helping someone mortify sin.” We sat talking about this for a little longer and then went to bed, hopefully he was feeling as blessed as I did by our conversation. I still wonder whether he was asking his question as a pastor or simply for himself — or both.
For more articles saved over the years, see my Evernote collection.
This quote from Calvin nicely couples with the articles by DeYoung and Davis, as cited above. After quoting 1 Cor 2:11, Matt 16:17, 1 Cor 2:14, Rom 11:34, 1 Cor 2:10, and John 6:44-46, Calvin then writes:
Therefore, as we cannot possibly come to Christ unless drawn by the Spirit, so when we are drawn we are both in mind and spirit exalted far above our own understanding. For the soul, when illumined by him, receives as it were a new eye, enabling it to contemplate heavenly mysteries, by the splendor of which it was previously dazzled. And thus, indeed, it is only when the human intellect is irradiated with the light of the Holy Spirit that it begins to have a taste of those things which pertain to the kingdom of God; previously it was too stupid and senseless to have any relish for them. Hence our Savior, when clearly declaring the mysteries of the kingdom to the two disciples, makes no impression till he opens their minds to understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:27, 45). Hence also, though had taught the apostles with his own divine lips, it was still necessary to send the Spirit of truth to instill in their minds the same doctrine which they had heard with their ears. The word is, in regard to those to whom it is preached, like the sun which shines upon all, but it is of no use to the blind. In this manner we are all naturally blind; and hence the word cannot penetrate our mind unless the Spirit, that internal teacher, by his enlightening power make an entrance for it.
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book Third, Chapter 2, Section 34