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The Word is a special means for sanctification … God’s Word does not only work sanctification by means of continual exhortation by which the soul is inclined towards obedience by the very voice of God. It also works sanctification through a continual dialogue with God Himself while hearing, reading, and meditating upon His Word as the believer seeks to regulate his life by means of the Word. In addition to this the soul will be more exercised in faith and will become more established in the truth by virtue of its consistent use of God’s Word. Faith then gives birth to love, and love in turn to sanctification. Yes, the soul is led further in this way into the mysteries of God’s Word and perceives many matters which it previously was not able to discern. Every new acquaintance with spiritual mysteries, however, as well as each mystery itself, has a sanctifying influence. Those who are remiss in reading and lax in acquainting themselves with God’s Word will be deprived to a considerable degree of these blessed fruits.

The Christian’s Reasonable Service by Wilhemus A’Brakel The Necessity of Scripture p.74

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Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Nineteenth Topic: The Sacraments – Twenty-Fifth Question: Communion Under Both Kinds – Ought both symbols of the Eucharist to be administered according to the command of God to each and every adult believer? Or is the use of the cup to be forbidden to the people? The former we affirm; the latter we deny against the Romanists.

The Eucharistical cup was instituted by Christ as a symbol of the threefold mystical cup which is represented to us in the sacrament: (1) of the cup of the sufferings of Christ (cf. Mt. 26:39), of which it is a memorial in the wine which is poured out, (2) of the cup of grace and consolation, of which it is a seal in the cup which is extended to be drunk (cf. Ps. 16:5; 23:5); (3) of the cup of praise and of the giving of thanks, of which it is a testimony in the use of the cup, which we take with praise and thanksgiving (cf. Ps. 116:13) and which on that account, like the Passover cup, is rightly called "the cup of praise." Not without great sacrilege and a dangerous diminishing of the consolation of the pious is the communion of it taken away from the Christian people against the express command of Christ.

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From these statements of the inspired word [e.g.God turning the hearts of them men of Israel against Rehoboam], and from similar passages which it would take too long to quote in full, it is, I think, sufficiently clear that God works in the hearts of men to incline their wills whithersoever He wills, whether to good deeds according to His mercy, or to evil after their own deserts; His own judgment being sometimes manifest, sometimes secret, but always righteous. This ought to be the fixed and immoveable conviction of your heart, that there is no unrighteousness with God. (Augustine)

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Calvin on Piety

Piety has a family ring about it (devotion to one’s father being its most common human expression). Alongside it in sheer frequency of use Calvin employs another family to describe the Christian life: adoptio – adoptive sonship. … Piety is an expression of adoption – reverence for God, living with a single eye to his glory. This is what the children of God are called to do and to be. Sinclair Ferguson, Some Pastors and Teachers p. 68

True piety consists rather in a pure and true zeal which loves God altogether as Father, and reveres him truly as Lord, embraces his justice and dreads to offend him more than to die. Calvin’s French Catechism of 1537

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"God is so great that according to his eternal purposes … no sin can frustrate the Lord of his purpose. … Almighty God in his eternal purpose of election and salvation actually rides high and sinlessly on the sins of his saints having dealt with them by precious blood and by the fire – the purging fire of the Holy Spirit … The sinners are transformed into instruments of his holy will."

(William Still)

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This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift!

A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill."

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

(Isaiah 30:15-18)

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Psalm 31:13-16

… For I hear the whispering of many— terror on every side!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant …

Source: Calvin quoted by Spurgeon, Treasury of the Psalms

We also see that while they mangled his reputation, they did it in such a manner as that they covered their wickedness under the appearance of grave and considerate procedure, in consulting among themselves to destroy him as a man who no longer ought to be tolerated on the earth. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that his mind was wounded, as we have just seen, by so many and so sharp temptations.

Make thy face to shine upon thy servant. We have said formerly, and we shall see in many instances hereafter, that this form of speech is taken from the common apprehension of men, who think that God regards them not, unless he really show his care of them by its effects. According to the judgment of sense, afflictions hide his countenance, just as clouds obscure the brightness of the sun. David therefore supplicates that God, by affording him immediate assistance, would make it evident to him that he enjoyed his grace and favor, which it is not very easy to discern amidst the darkness of afflictions.

Now, God is said to lift the light of his countenance upon us in two ways; either when he opens his eyes to take care of our affairs, or when he shows to us his favor. These two things are indeed inseparable, or rather, the one depends upon the other. But by the first mode of speech, we, according to our carnal conceptions, attribute to God a mutability which, properly speaking, does not belong to him: whereas the second form of speech indicates, that our own eyes, rather than the eyes of God, are shut or heavy when he seems to have no regard to our afflictions. By the word preserve David explains what he meant by the former expression; but as there was at that time no way of safety apparent to him, he encourages himself to hope for it by setting before him the goodness of God.

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