John Calvin (1509-1564) on Hebrews 10:29: Informal References

   Posted by: CalvinandCalvinism   in Hebrews 10:26 & 29

John Calvin:

1] Behold our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of glory, abased himself for a time, as says S. Paul Now if there were no more but this, that he being the fountain of life, became a moral man, and that he having dominion over the angels of heaven, took upon him the shape of a servant, yea even to shed his blood for our redemption, and in the end to suffer the curse that was due unto us (Gal 3:13): were it convenient that notwithstanding all this, he should nowadays in recompense be torn to pieces, by stinking mouths of such as name themselves Christians? For when they swear by his blood, by his death, by his wounds and by whatsoever else: is it not a crucifying of God’s son again as much as in them lies, and as a rending of him in pieces? And are not such folk worthy to be cut of from God’s Church, yea, and even from the world, and to be no more numbered in the array of creatures? Should our Lord Jesus have such reward at our hands, for his abasing and humbling of himself after that manner? (Mich 6:30) God in upbraiding his people says thus: My people, what have I done to you? I have brought you out of Egypt, I have led you up with all gentleness and loving-kindness, I have planted you as it were in my own inheritance, to the intent you should have been a vine that should have brought me forth good fruit, and I have tilled thee and manured thee: and must thou now be bitter to me, and bring forth sower fruit to choke me withal? The same belongs to us at this day. For when the son of God, who is ordained to be judge of the world (John 5:22), shall come at the last day: he may well say to us: how now Sirs? You have borne my name, you have been baptized in remembrance of me and record that I was your redeemer, I have drawn you out of the dungeons where into you were plunged, I delivered you from endless death by suffering most cruel death myself, and for the same cause I became man, and submitted myself even to the curse of GOD my father, that you might be blessed by my grace and by my means: and behold the reward that you have yielded me for all this, is that you have (after a sort) torn me in pieces and made a jestingstock of me, and the death that I suffered for you has been made a mockery among you, the blood which is the washing and cleansing of your souls has been as good as trampled under your feet, and to be short, you have taken occasion to ban and blaspheme me, as though I had been some wretched and cursed creature. When the sovereign judge shall charge us with these things, I pray you will it not be as thundering upon us, to ding us down to the bottom of hell? Yes: and yet are there very few that think upon it. Calvin, Sermons on Deuteronomy, Sermon 33, 5:11, p., 196.

2] And so in the next where it is said, It is he that has created thee and fashioned thee: it is because it is a more excellent gift, that is to wit, that God prints is mark upon us, as who should say that we should be reckoned for his children, so as he gathers us unto him, and makes us in effect new creatures; by reason whereof our sin becomes more heinous, if we deface the same again, and fall to wallowing ourselves again in the filth of uncleanness of this world, as who would say it grieved us that God had not made us brute beasts at such a time as he took us to be his children…

For we have the very pledge itself, which the Jews had not: that is to wit, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only Son of God, and is come down to us from the bosom of the Father. He has yielded us record of our adoption: the gate of paradise is now opened unto us: we may now not only call upon God as our Father, bit also call unto him with full mouth, so as we may cry “Abba Father,” for that is the word which Saint Paul uses expressly. Seeing then has discoursed himself more fully to us than to the fathers that have lived under the law: Surely our fault will be more grievous and less excusable, if we yield so poor a recompense as is spoken of here. Again, has he not purchased us to himself? If he possesses the people of old time because he brought them out of the land of Egypt: let us see how much more he has done now for us than for them. True it is that God’s redeeming of the Jews was by the power of the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ: but that thing was not yet declared unto them, they had but the figures and shadows thereof. But as now we see that the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ has been shed for our redemption, and for the purchase of our salvation. And shall we now go trample under our feet the holy blood, whereby the covenant of the spiritual kindred which God has entered into with us, is ratified and confirmed? And as touching the law, how does the Apostle speak of it in the epistle of Hebrews? As many (says he) as violated the tabernacle that was made by Moses, were not spared, their fault was unpardonable (Heb 2:3): and what shall become of us nowadays?

Is not our lewdness much more shameful? Therefore let us bear now in mind that we be God’s precious possession, to the intent that we give not ourselves over to Satan. Moreover let us understand, after what manner he has created us and fashioned us, and let us not refuse that grace: but sith [since] he has vouchsafed to reform us, let us not stain ourselves with reproach, by going about to deface the image and workmanship which he has put into us. Calvin Sermons on Deuteronomy, Sermon 179, 32:5-7, p., 1114.

3] For the faithless have no profit at all by the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather are so much the more damnable, because they reject the mean that God had ordained: and their unthankfulness shall be so much the more grievously punished, because they have trodden under foot the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was the ransom for their souls. Calvin, Sermons on Galatians, Sermon 2, 1:3-5, p., 39/27

4] …[A]nd men make us to alter our mind in less than the turning of a hand, what else betokens it, but that we willfully refuse God’s grace, as if we would shut the gate against him that he might not come in unto us? Or else, if after we have once known, that he offers us so inestimable a benefit in his Gospel, we cast it down and trample it under our feet: think we that God will suffer his grace to be so lightly esteemed and held scorn of? No. For we cannot despise the doctrine of the Gospel, but we must unhallow the blood of God’s son, which he did shed for our redemption: for the one cannot be separated from the other. Whensoever and how often soever God speaks to us, and offers us forgiveness of our sins, showing himself ready to receive us to mercy: so often is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ sprinkled upon us. All the teaching in the world cannot do us any good, except our Lord Jesus Christ be with it, to apply the shedding of his blood unto us. And if we despise the doctrine of the Gospel, it is all one as if we did spit at the holy blood of God’s son, which thing is an intolerable traitorousness. Calvin, Sermons on Galatians, Sermon 15, 3:1-3, p., 319/226.

5] Must we leave the poor church of God in the power of wolves and robbers? Must all the flock be scattered, the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ trampled under foot, and souls which he redeemed at so costly a price go to destruction, and all order be set aside, and must we still be silent and shut our eyes… Moreover let us mark that also that which is added, “That they subvert whole houses.” If one man only were misled by them, it would be too much: for mens souls ought to be precious to us seeing that our Lord Jesus Christ has esteemed so high of them, as not to spare his own life, for our salvation and redemption.” Calvin, Sermons on Titus, Sermon 7, 1:10-13, p., 1103.

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