The More One Excels in Holiness, the Farther He Feels from Perfect Righteousness

“The more eminently that any one excels in holiness, the farther he feels himself from perfect righteousness, and the more clearly he perceives that he can trust nothing but the mercy of God alone. Hence it appears, that those are grossly mistaken who conceive that the pardon of sin is necessary ONLY to the beginning of righteousness. As believers are every day involved in many faults, it will profit them nothing that they have once entered the way of righteousness, unless the same grace which brought them into it accompany them to the last step of life.” ~ Commenting on Ps 32:1

The Blindness of Men who Oppose God

“It is a horrible blindness, indeed, when a mortal man is not ashamed to oppose himself to God; but to such a pitch of madness does Satan carry those who set a higher value on their own ambition than on the truth of God. Meanwhile, it is our duty to cherish such a reverence for the word of God as shall extinguish all the splendour of the world, and scatter its vain pretensions; for miserable would be our condition, if our salvation depended on the will of princes, and far too unsteady would our faith be, if it were to stand or fall according to their pleasure.” ~ Commenting on John 7:48

Everywhere We Meet with Stumbling Blocks

“You have still to take courage for the future, for though the assaults are not so rude as those we have witnessed, the devil has many ways of turning aside the children of God from the right path, were it but the bad examples with which we are surrounded on all sides. Several are fickle, some altogether profane; some become lukewarm, others are fond of luxury, and others again give themselves up to a dissolute manner of life. In a word, everywhere we meet with stumbling blocks  For that reason, you have the more need to be ever on the watch, and to fortify yourself, so that you may be, as it were, a mirror to bring back to the good way those who are in train to stray from it.” ~ Calvin, in a letter to the Comtesse De Seninghen, written from Geneva, August 28, 1563.

Perseverance is the Gift of God

Therefore, while we all labour naturally under the same disease, those only recover health to whom the Lord is pleased to put forth his healing hand. The others whom, in just judgement, he passes over, pine and rot away till they are consumed. And this is the only reason why some persevere to the end, and others, after beginning their course, fall away. Perseverance is the gift of God, which he does not lavish promiscuously on all, but imparts to whom he pleases. If it is asked how the difference arises – why some steadily persevere, and others prove deficient in steadfastness, we can give no other reason than that the Lord, by his mighty power, strengthens and sustains the former, so that they perish not, while he does not furnish the same assistance to the latter, but leaves them to be monuments of instability. ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.5.3