Starving Doctrine

Teaching is taken here to mean profitable instruction, which tends to edification… This is the true use of Christ’s word. As, however, doctrine is sometimes in itself cold, and, as one says, when it is simply shown what is right, virtue is praised and left to starve, he adds at the same time admonition, which is, as it were, a confirmation of doctrine and incitement to it. – John Calvin, Commentary on the Epistle to the Colossians, Chapter 3 verse 16.

I love the way Calvin warns us in this.  Isn’t that what too often happens? We encounter excellent teaching, we delight in the delivery and we acknowledge the virtue of its truth, and then we walk away and fail to obey it. Virtue is praised and ignored. At least it is of some (tragic) comfort to know that this was happening in Calvin’s day as in Geneva as well as today in the West. We’re no better than they were but we not much worse either.

As I teach through chapter 3 of Colossians I am repeatedly confronted by my lack of action. I believe and “Amen!” chapters one and two but when I get to chapter three I find myself wanting. Do I really believe chapters one and two?

Print This Post Print This Post

Be the first to leave a comment. Don’t be shy.

Join the Discussion

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>