Sunday, March 04, 2012

Faith & Hope!

John Calvin said concerning the relationship of fides and spes at the end of his great chapter Inst. III, 2 and with reference to Hebrews 11:1-4 … Where there is a living faith in the Word of God, it cannot be otherwise than that faith should have hope as its inseparable companion, or rather, that it should beget and create it. If we have no hope, we can be sure that we have no faith. Those who believe, those who apprehend the truth of God with the certainty which corresponds to it, which is demanded and imparted by it, expect that God will fulfill the promises which He has spoken in truth … Waiting quietly for the Lord, hope restrains faith, preventing it from rushing forward in too great a hurry. It confirms it so that it does not waver in its trust in God’s promises or begin to doubt. It revives it so that it does not grow weary. It keeps it fixed on its final goal so that it does not give up half-way or when it is in captivity. It continually renews and reestablishes it, thus seeing to it that it continually rises up in more vital forms and perseveres to the end. -K. Barth

The Cross of Christ!

The cross involves hardship, anguish, grief, pain and finally death. But those who are set in this movement willingly undertake to bear this because it is essential to this movement that it should finally … be crossed through in this way … It is quite in order that man … should try to ward off pain and death. Even the Christian does this. In themselves and as such, pain, suffering and death are a questioning, a destruction and finally a negation of human life. The Christian especially cannot try to transform and glorify them. He cannot find any pleasure in them. He cannot desire or seek them … He cannot be a lover of death as the natural man may easily become in a strange reversal and unmasking of his pretended affirmation of life and avid desire for it. - K. Barth