alien righteousness

“God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word.” – Calvin

Guilt – Grace – GRATITUDE

I know how difficult it is to persuade the world that God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word. The opposite persuasion which cleaves to them, being seated, as it were in their very bones and marrow, is, that whatever they do has in itself a sufficient sanction, provided it exhibits some kind of zeal for the honour of God. But since God not only regards as fruitless, but also plainly abominates, whatever we undertake from zeal to his worship, if at variance with his command, what do we gain by contrary course? The words of God are clear and distinct: “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” “In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandment of men” (1 Sam. 15:22; Matt. 15:9). Every addition to his word, especially in this matter, is a lie. Mere “will worship” (Col. 2:23)… is vanity. This is the decision, and when once the judge has decided, it is no longer time to debate.

–John Calvin

This quote was taken from D.G. Hart’s book titled, “With Reverence and Awe: Returning to the Basics of Reformed Worship” on page 81 in the chapter titled “Acceptable Worship.”

Here is the Hart’s footnote: John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Lewis Battles, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960), 4.10.11 (2:1190)

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