John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:41 - 8:41

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 8:41 - 8:41

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

41.We were not born of fornication. They claim no more for themselves than they did formerly, for it was the same thing with them to be Abraham’ children and to be God’ children. But they erred grievously in this respect, that they imagined that God was bound to the whole seed of Abraham. For they reason thus: “ adopted for himself the family of Abraham; therefore, since we are Abraham’ descendants, we must be the children of God.” We now see how they thought that they had holiness from the womb, because they were sprung from a holy root. In short, they maintain that they are the family of God, because they are descended from the holy fathers. In like manner, the Papists in the present day are exceedingly vain of an uninterrupted succession from the fathers. By sorceries of this description Satan deceives them, so that they separate God from his word, the Church from faith, and the kingdom of heaven from the Spirit.

Let us know, therefore, that they who have corrupted the seed of life are at the farthest remove from being the children of God, though, according to the flesh, they are not bastards, but pretend a right to the plausible title of the Church. For let them go about the bush as much as they please, still they will never avoid the discovery that the only ground of their arrogant boasting is, “ have succeeded the holy fathers; therefore, we are the Church.” And if the reply of Christ was sufficient for confuting the Jews, it is not less sufficient now for reproving the Papists. Never indeed will hypocrites cease to employ the name of God falsely, with most wicked effrontery; but those false grounds of boasting, on which they plume themselves, will never cease to appear ridiculous in the eyes of all who shall abide by the decision of Christ.