The Comfort of Faith in God’s Power

Faith is comforted twice over in relation to God’s power. First, because it knows that he has ample ability to do good. Thus, in order to further the salvation of believers he puts forth his hand to rule and govern all things; heaven and earth are his possession and domain, and every creature depends on his goodwill. Faith is comforted in the second place because it finds ample assurance in his protection, since whatever might do harm is subject to his will, and the devil and his devices are restrained as by a curb. Everything, in short, which might impede our salvation is subject to his control.

– John Calvin

It is only our own slackness that hinders us from remaining steadfast in God’s Word and that prevents us from getting the upper hand at all times over all temptations.

– John Calvin, Sermons on Ephesians

A man will never be fit to declare God’s will to other men, unless he himself learns daily.

– John Calvin, Sermons on Ephesians

Calvin Study Group in Bacolod

Last night I attended a study group started by some friends who are members of a local Christian Reformed Church (Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church). Atty. Jerry Basiao was the study group leader. They were studying John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. I thought to myself, “Isn’t this something? Who would have thought that in such a small country as the Philippines, and in a relatively small city like Bacolod City, there would be a study group on John Calvin’s Institutes!” Someone stepped to the front and began reading a portion of ch. 1 of the Institutes on the knowledge of God and the knowledge of self. Then Atty. Basiao took over, explained a bit, and began addressing questions to the other members. Then came the fun part: We began sharing inputs, asking questions, offering our interpretations of what Calvin probably meant – it was fun! There were serious moments too, as when Elder Godfrey Serfino (an elder of Ebenezer) asked the group, How do we apply the things we’ve learned to the life of the church? (We were a mixed group actually: some Reformed, some Baptist; we even had a walk-in visitor from Pontevedra whose denominational affiliation we knew nothing about). The session lasted around 2 hours, after which we closed in prayer. Atty. Basiao encouraged each one of us to get our own copy of the Institutes. A couple of members began inspecting the books of John Calvin which the group reader (Bryan I think his name was) brought with him.  We all had an enjoyable time. What a way to spend Phlippine Independence Day!