One Certain Truth

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Ephesians 1:3-14

From the Reformer

Nothing is more earnestly attempted by Satan than to lead us either to doubt or to despise the gospel. Paul therefore furnishes us with two shields, by which we may repel both temptations. In opposition to every doubt, let us learn to bring forward this testimony, that the gospel is not only certain truth, which cannot deceive, but is, by way of eminence, the word of truth, as if, strictly speaking, there were no truth but itself. If the temptation be to contempt or dislike of the gospel, let us remember that its power and efficacy have been manifested in bringing to us salvation. The apostle had formerly declared that “it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth,” (Rm 1:16;) but here he expresses more, for he reminds the Ephesians that, having been made partakers of salvation, they had learned this by their own experience. Unhappy [are] they who weary themselves, as the world generally does, in wandering through many winding paths, neglecting the gospel, and pleasing themselves with wild romances—”ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” (2Tm 3:7) or to find life! But happy [are] they who have embraced the gospel, and whose attachment to it is steadfast; for this, beyond all doubt, is truth and life.

—John Calvin, Commentary on Ephesians (1:13)

Pulling It Together

The Scripture says that one is exceptionally happy, even overjoyed, when s/he hears the gospel truth. Still, there are many who hear the gospel and yet do not hear it as truth. They are unhappy souls, perhaps not yet knowing the depth of their despair, who hear and yet do not hear. One must hear the news and at the same time hear that it is good. It is only the power of salvation for those who hear and believe.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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