John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 1:10 - 1:10

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - Philippians 1:10 - 1:10


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10That ye may approve the things that are Here we have a definition of Christian wisdom — to know what is advantageous or expedient — not to torture the mind with empty subtleties and speculations. For the Lord does not wish that his believing people should employ themselves fruitlessly in learning what is of no profit: From this you may gather in what estimation the Sorbonnic theology ought to be held, in which you may spend your whole life, and yet not derive more of edification from it in connection with the hope of a heavenly life, or more of spiritual advantage, than from the demonstrations of Euclid. Unquestionably, although it taught nothing false, it well deserves to be execrable, on the ground that it is a pernicious profanation of spiritual doctrine. For Scripture is useful, as Paul says, in 2Ti_3:16, but there you will find nothing but cold subtleties of words.

That ye may be sincere. This is the advantage which we derive from knowledge — not that every one may artfully consult his own interests, but that we may live in pure conscience in the sight of God.

It is added — and without offense The Greek word ἀπροσκοποι is ambiguous. Chrysostom explains it in an active sense — that as he had desired that they should be pure and upright in the sight of God, so he now desires that they should lead an honorable life in the sight of men, that they may not injure their neighbors by any evil examples. This exposition I do not reject: the passive signification, however, is better suited to the context, in my opinion. For he desires wisdom for them, with this view — that they may with unwavering step go forward in their calling until the day of Christ, as on the other hand it happens through ignorance, (49) that we frequently slip our foot, stumble, and turn aside. And how many stumbling blocks Satan from time to time throws in our way, with the view of either stopping our course altogether, or impeding it, every one of us knows from his own experience.



(49) “Par ignorance et faute de prudence;” — “ ignorance and want of prudence.”