18. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
18. Multi enim ambulant (quos saepe dicebam vobis, ac nunc etiam flens dico, inimicos esse crucis Christi:
19. Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
19. Quorum finis perditio, quorum deus venter est, et gloria in confusione ipsorum terrena cogitantes.)
20. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
20. Nostra qutem conversatio in coelis est, e quibus etiam salvatorem respectamus, Dominum Iesum Christum.
21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue al things unto himself.
21. Qui transformabit corpus nostrum humile, ut sit conforme corpori suo glorioso, secundum efficaciam, qua potest etiam sibi subiicere omnia.
It is of importance, also, to take notice of whom Paul speaks--not of open enemies, who were avowedly desirous that doctrine might be undermined--but of impostors and profligates, who trampled under foot the power of the gospel, for the sake of ambition or of their own belly. And unquestionably persons of this sort, who weaken the influence of the ministry by seeking their own interests 3, sometimes do more injury than if they openly opposed Christ. We must, therefore, by no means spare them, but must point them out with the finger, as often as there is occasion. Let them complain afterwards, as much as they choose, of our severity, provided they do not allege anything against us that it is not in our power to justify from Paul's example.
If any man is in Christ, let him be a new creature.
(2 Corinthians 5:17.) 4
where our treasure is, there is our heart also.
Christ, who is our blessedness and glory, is in heaven: let our souls, therefore, dwell with him on high. On this account he expressly calIs him Savior. Whence does salvation come to us? Christ will come to us from heaven as a Savior. Hence it were unbefitting that we should be taken up with this earth 10. This epithet, Savior, is suited to the Connection of the passage; for we are said to be in heaven in respect of our minds on this account, that it is from that source alone that the hope of salvation beams forth upon us. As the coming of Christ will be terrible to the wicked, so it rather turns away their minds from heaven than draws them thither: for they know that he will come to them as a Judge, and they shun him so far as is in their power. From these words of Paul pious minds derive the sweetest consolation, as instructing them that the coming of Christ is to be desired by them, inasmuch as it will bring salvation to them. On the other hand, it is a sure token of incredulity, when persons tremble on any mention being made of it. See the eighth chapter of the Romans. While, however, others are transported with vain desires, Paul would have believers contented with Christ alone.
Farther, we learn from this passage that nothing mean or earthly is to be conceived of as to Christ, inasmuch as Paul bids us look upward to heaven, that we may seek him. Now, those that reason with subtlety that Christ is not shut up or hid in some corner of heaven, with the view of proving that his body is everywhere, and fills heaven and earth, say indeed something that is true, but not the whole: for as it were rash and foolish to mount up beyond the heavens, and assign to Christ a station, or seat, or place of walking, in this or that region, so it is a foolish and destructive madness to draw him down from heaven by any carnal consideration, so as to seek him upon earth. Up, then, with our hearts 11, that they may be with the Lord.
But it is of importance to take notice, also, that the right and power of raising the dead, nay more, of doing everything according to his own pleasure, is assigned to the person of Christ--an encomium by which his Divine majesty is illustriously set forth. Nay, farther, we gather from this, that the world was created by him, for to
1 "Qui ont leurs affections enracines en la terre;"-- "Who have their affections rooted in the earth."
2 "Perdue et ruinee;"--"Destroyed and ruined."
3 "Ne regardans qu'a eux-mesmes et a leur proufit, font perdre toutela faueur et la force du ministere;"-- "Looking merely to themselves and their own advantage, undermine all the influence and power of the ministry."
4 Such is Calvin's rendering of the passage referred to. See Calvin on the Corinthians, vol. 2. pp. 229, 233.--Ed.
5 "Hardiment et d'vne grande asseurance;"-- "Boldly, and with great confidence."
6 "Pour esteindre et appaiser le feu des nutres;"-- "For the sake of mitigating and allaying the fire of others." Calvin's meaning appears to be, that they made it their endeavor to screen themselves as far as possible from the fiery rage of those around them.--Ed.
7 Toutes leurs inuentions et facons de faire;"-- "All their contrivances and modes of acting."
8 "Que nous soyons diuisez et separez d'auec eux;"-- "That we be divided and separated from them."
9 Politiam---a term corresponding to that employed in the original,.--Ed.
10 "Que nous soyons occupez et enueloppez en terre;"-- "That we should be occupied and entangled with the earth."
11 Sursum corda. Our Author most probably alludes to the circumstance, that this expression was wont to be made use of among Christians in ancient times, when the ordinance of the supper was about to be administered. See Calvin's Institutes, vol. 3, p. 440 -- Ed.
12 "De sa Gloire;"-- "Of his glory."
13 "Qu'il leur auoit donne en garde;"-- "What he had given to them to keep."