14 March 2012

Calvin on Psalm 19:13

     Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
        let them not have dominion over me!
    Then I shall be blameless,
        and innocent of great transgression.
(Psalm 19:13 ESV) 

It is to be observed, that while he calls himself the servant of   God, he nevertheless acknowledges that he had need of the bridle, lest he should arrogantly and rebelliously break forth in transgressing the law of God. Being regenerated by the Spirit of God, he groaned, it is true, under the burden of his sins; but he knew, on the other hand, how great is the rebellion of the flesh, and how much we are inclined to forgetfulness of God, from which proceed contempt of his majesty and all impiety. Now, if David, who had made so much progress in the fear   of God, was not beyond the danger of transgressing, how shall the carnal and unrenewed man, in whom innumerable lusts exercise dominion,  be able to restrain and govern himself by his own free will? Let us   learn, then, even although the unruliness of our wayward flesh has been   already subdued by the denial of ourselves, to walk in fear and trembling; for unless God restrain us, our hearts will violently boil with a proud and insolent contempt of God. This sense is confirmed by the reason added immediately after, that they may not have dominion over me. By these words he expressly declares, that unless God assist   him, he will not only be unable to resist, but will be wholly brought under the dominion of the worst vices. This passage, therefore, teaches us not only that all mankind are naturally enslaved to sin, but that   the faithful themselves would become the bond-slaves of sin also, if   God did not unceasingly watch over them to guide them in the path of holiness, and to strengthen them for persevering in it.

Calvin, John; Beveridge, Henry; Anderson, James; King, John; Bingham, Charles William; Pringle, John; Myers, Thomas; Owen, John; Pringle, William (2011-11-15). Complete Commentaries (With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Locations 94679-94688). Kindle Edition.

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