John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 3:4 - 3:4

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 3:4 - 3:4


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4.How can a man be born when he is old? Though the form of expression which Christ employed was not contained in the Law and the prophets, yet as renewal is frequently mentioned in Scripture, and is one of the first principles of faith, it is evident how imperfectly skilled the Scribes at that time were in the reading of the Scriptures. It certainly was not one man only who was to blame for not knowing what was meant by the grace of regeneration; but as almost all devoted their attention to useless subtleties, what was of chief importance in the doctrine of piety was disregarded. Popery exhibits to us, at the present day, an instance of the same kind in her Theologians. For while they weary out their whole life with profound speculations, as to all that strictly relates to the worship of God, to the confident hope of our salvation, or to the exercises of religion, they know no more on these subjects than a cobbler or a cowherd knows about the course of the stars; and, what is more, taking delight in foreign mysteries, they openly despise the true doctrine of Scripture as unworthy of the elevated rank which belongs to them as teachers. We need not wonder, therefore, to find here that Nicodemus stumbles at a straw; for it is a just vengeance of God, that they who think themselves the highest and most excellent teachers, and in whose estimation the ordinary simplicity of doctrine is vile and despicable, stand amazed at small matters.