Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sunk Down Dumb?

Calvin commenting perceptively and powerfully on 2 Tim. 1:7: 
God governs his ministers by the spirit of power that is the opposite of the spirit of fearfulness. It follows from this that they should not relapse into laziness but should rouse themselves in great assurance and eager activity and display in visible results the Spirit’s power. . . . Here his special concern is with ministers, and he exhorts them in the person of Timothy to rouse themselves to active deeds of valour: for the Lord does not wish them to perform their office coldly and without vigor, but to press on powerfully relying on the efficacy of the Spirit.  
From this we learn that none of us possesses in himself the loftiness of spirit and unshaken confidence needed in the exercise of our ministry; we must be endued with new power from on high. The hindrances are so many and so great that no human courage can be adequate to overcome them. Thus it is God who equips us with the Spirit of power. For those who otherwise show great strength immediately fall when they are not sustained by the power of the Spirit of God. 
Second, we infer that those who are timid and weak like slaves so that, when need arises, they do not dare take any action for the defense of the truth, are not governed by the Spirit who rules over the servants of Christ. Thus it follows that very few of those who are called ministers of Christ today give any sign of being genuine. For how often is there to be found among them one who relies on the power of the Spirit and confidently sets at nought all the powers in high places that range themselves against Christ? Do not most, nearly all, care more for their own interests and their own leisure? Do they not sink down dumb as soon as any trouble breaks out? The result is that in their ministry there appears none of the majesty of God.
 —John Calvin, The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians and the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (eds., Torrance, David W., and Torrance, Thomas F; trans. Smail, T. A.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 294-295.

1 comment:

Scott Polender said...

Wow. The Courage to Be Protestant again.

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