I’ve been reading through John Calvin’s magnum opus on the Christian faith lately, a piece of writing (whether people realize it or not nowadays) that has been one the biggest influences on the theological thinking of the evangelical Protestant church. I just wanted to share some choice quotes I have found recently and thought they might be encouraging to you.

“Whoever then heeds such teachers as hold us back with thought only of our good traits will not advance in self-knowledge, but will be plunged into the worst ignorance.”

“Here then is what God requires us to seek in examining ourselves: it requires the kind of knowledge that will strip us of all confidence in our own ability, deprive us of all occasion for boasting, and lead us to submission.”

“Nothing pleases man more than the sort of alluring talk that tickles the pride that itches in his very marrow. Therefore in nearly every age when anyone publicly extolled human nature in most favorable terms, he was listened to with applause.”

“… But it does nothing but delight in its own sweetness; indeed, it so deceives as to drive those who assent to it into utter ruin.”

John Calvin, Book 2, Chapter 1 of the Institutes, pgs. 242-43

“If there is no good in us, if man is wholly sin from head to foot, if he is not even allowed to test how far the power of the will can be effective – how could anyone possibly parcel out the credit for good works between God and man?”

“Whoever is utterly cast down and overwhelmed by the awareness of his calamity, poverty, nakedness, and disgrace has thus advanced farthest in knowledge of himself.”

“If it is the devil’s word that exalts man in himself, let us give no place to it unless we want to take advice from our enemy.”

“We should not rely on any opinion of our own strength, however small it is, if we want God to be favorable toward us, Who ‘opposes the proud but gives grace to the meek.’ [James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5]”

“These [passages] testify that no one is permitted to receive God’s blessings unless he is consumed with the aware of his own poverty [before Him].” (My insertions for clarification)

John Calvin, Book 2, Chapter 2 of the Institutes, pgs. 267-68

If you want to get this, the best version is the one edited by John T. McNeill which you can buy here: http://www.monergismbooks.com/Institute … 16211.html . An amazing gift to the church!