10 JUNE 365 Days with Calvin

Entitled by the Spirit

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18

suggested further reading: Isaiah 61

In his own person and in his ministers, Christ does not act by human authority or in a personal sense, but as one who has been sent by God to restore salvation to the church. He does nothing by the suggestion or advice of men but everything by the guidance of the Spirit of God. He declares this so that the faith of the godly may be wholly founded on the authority and power of God.

The words because he hath anointed me are added by way of explanation. Many falsely boast that they have the Spirit of God while they are destitute of his gifts, but Christ proves that he has been endowed by the anointing of the Spirit of God.

He then states the purpose for which the graces of the Spirit are bestowed upon him. These graces are given that he might preach the gospel to the poor. Hence we conclude that those who are sent by God to preach the gospel are given the necessary gifts to qualify them for so important an office.

It is, therefore, ridiculous that, under the pretense of a divine calling, men totally unfit for discharging the office should take upon themselves the name of pastor. We are expressly told that the Lord anoints his servants, because the true and efficacious preaching of the gospel, as Paul says, does not lie “in the enticing words of man’s wisdom,” but in the heavenly power of the Spirit.

for meditation: When God calls us to work for him, he promises to equip us for that work. What does it say, then, if we miserably fail at the duties that we undertake for him? Are we relying too much on our own strength and too little on the Spirit? Is this pursuit outside of his will? Let us use such failure to examine our dependence on the Spirit in all we do.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 180). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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