Sunday, December 28, 2008

The right use of knowledge

Sound learning is not to be squandered on personal pride and promotion. This is an inordinate use of knowledge. Sound learning is to be used for the glory of the majestic God, that others may see and admire his glory in Jesus. This is to be done by setting forward clear views of the truth so that God's Word is received for what it is.

A true commitment to orthodoxy is intended to thrive in the atmosphere of faith and love, and it will do so when others are served by the teaching of the gospel. When Richard Baxter was commended for his writers he responded by saying that he was only a pen in God's hand, and what praise was due to a pen?

Calvin's words exemplify this commitment:
"God has filled my mind with zeal to spread his Kingdom and to further the public good. I am also duly clear in my own conscience, and have God and the angels to witness, that since I undertook the office of teacher in the church, I have had no other purpose than to benefit the church by maintaining the pure doctrine of godliness."
John Calvin, To the Reader (1559), Institutes of the Christian Religion
"Perhaps the duty of those who have received from God fuller light than others is to help simple folk at this point, and as it were to lend them a hand, in order to guide them and help them to find the sum of what God meant to teach us in his Word."
John Calvin, Subject Matter of the Present Work (from the French edition of 1560), Institutes of the Christian Religion

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