In this short chapter Calvin considers what knowledge would have been possible of God as our creator if Adam had never fallen. Later in the book he turns to the knowledge of God as our redeemer, but for now he considers the truths Adam would have understood about God, namely:
- That God formed and sustained the created order
- He rules the human race by his sovereign judgement
- He is the cause of all wisdom, truth, power and justice in the world
- That we owe everything to his paternal care
Calvin also describes the results of this knowledge in an individual:
- Causes us to worship
- Seek everything in him and in none but him
- Learn to expect and ask all things of him
- Teach us piety – the union of reverence and love of God
- Thankfully ascribe whatever we receive
- Submit to him in voluntary obedience
- Yield up our whole self in truth and sincerity
So in summary, what are the effects this knowledge should have on us? Firstly, to teach us reverence and fear, and secondly to ask every good thing from him and then ascribe it to him.
- True knowledge of God is never purely theoretical, it should firstly transform the mind and then the life.
- In all my learning am I becoming puffed up or toned up? Are the truths I am learning having an effect on my life?
- Is my life yielded up completely to him? If not, the problem is my shallow understanding of God – seek more of him and a godly life must inevitably follow
“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory” 2 Corinthians 3.18
Father, expand our understanding of who you are. As the arid farmland is brought to life by the receiving of water, so we too are changed by a deeper understanding of you. We cannot remain the same once you open our eyes to begin to understand you. Show us more of your glory and transform hearts as we meditate on your character.