14 NOVEMBER 365 Days with Calvin

Instructed in Righteousness

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

suggested further reading: Matthew 15:1–9

If we regulate our lives by the instructions contained in Holy Scripture, we will be justified. But the doctrine of men is but folly and an abomination to God. So it is not without cause that Paul says Scripture is given for instruction in righteousness.

He says that to be good divines, we must live holy lives. The Word of God is not given to teach us how to be eloquent and subtle, but to reform our lives so that the world may know we are servants of God. If we wish to know whether a person is profiting by the gospel, examine his life. A man may know how to talk and may make a fair profession of godliness, yet his life reveals that he does not live in accordance with the written Word of God.

Paul tells us that we must make the Word of God our counselor so that we may walk aright and form our lives by it. Thus, he says, “the man of God may be perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:17). So we must be instructed in righteousness and reject the invention of men, for God is not pleased with that. Men wish to serve God according to their own notions and bring their own works into account, but God will not allow that.

Seeing such impudent boldness in men that they cannot keep themselves within the bounds that God has set for them, Paul points out the disease so that it may be healed. He says that, if we have the Word of God in our hearts, we shall be upright in life and equipped unto all good works.

for meditation: Righteousness is defined by God. The only way to learn righteousness is to listen to God’s Word rather than the ideas of men. We are constantly surmising what would be the right thing to do or say without consulting Scripture. This should not be so. We must bring the Word to bear on everything we do and let it show us what righteousness is. How can you practice this today?[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 337). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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