Calvin: The Church

“By the name of church is designated the whole body of mankind scattered throughout the world, who profess to worship one God and Christ, who by baptism are initiated into the faith; by partaking of the Lord’s Supper profess unity in true doctrine and charity, agree in holding the word of the Lord, and observe the ministry which Christ has appointed for the preaching of it.”

-John Calvin

Calvin: Under Your Command

Grant, Almighty God,
that as You have showed to us by evidences
so remarkable that all things are under Your command,
and that we, who live in this world through Your favor,
are as nothing, for You could reduce us to nothing
in a moment—

O grant that,
being conscious of Your power,
we may reverently fear Your hand and be wholly devoted
to Your glory.

And as You kindly offer Yourself to us as a father,
may we be drawn by this kindness and surrender
ourselves wholly to You by a willing obedience,
and never labor for anything through life
but to glorify Your name, as You have redeemed us
through Your only begotten Son, that so we may also
enjoy through Him that eternal inheritance
that is laid up for us in heaven. Amen.

-John Calvin, prayer on Amos 8:13–9:6, Lifting Up Our Hearts: 150 Selected Prayers by John Calvin, Edited by Justin Benge, Reformation Heritage Books, 2012.

Calvin: Six Ways Prayer Grows Us

In the Institutes, Calvin suggests six ways prayer
contributes to our growth in Christ:

1. It inflames our hearts with the desire to seek, love, and serve God;

2. It trains us to expose the secrets and desires of our hearts to God;

3. It promotes gratitude;

4. It leads to meditation on God’s kindness as a result of His having answered our prayers;

5. It produces even greater joy in those things that we have obtained through prayer; and

6. Finally, it serves as a personal confirmation of God’s providence.

-John Calvin, Institutes, 3.20.3.

Calvin: The Christian Life

“The Christian ought, indeed, to be so trained and disposed as to consider, that during his whole life he has to do with God. For this reason, as he will bring all things to the disposal and estimate of God, so he will religiously direct his whole mind to Him. For he who has learned to look to God in everything he does, is at the same time diverted from all vain thoughts.”

-John Calvin

Calvin: Sanctification

“We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for Him and die for Him. We are God’s: let His wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward Him as our only lawful goal.”

-John Calvin

Calvin: Salvation

“Christ given to us by the kindness of God is apprehended and possessed by faith, by means of which we obtain in particular a twofold benefit; first, being reconciled by the righteousness of Christ, God becomes, instead of a judge, an indulgent Father; and, secondly, being sanctified by His Spirit, we aspire to integrity and purity of life.”

-John Calvin

Calvin: Original Sin

“Original sin, then, may be defined a hereditary corruption and depravity of our nature, extending to all the parts of the soul, which first makes us obnoxious to the wrath of God, and then produces in us works which in Scripture are termed works of the flesh…. For our nature is not only utterly devoid of goodness, but so prolific in all kinds of evil, that it can never be idle.”

-John Calvin

Calvin: The Holy Spirit

“That Spirit is not a patron of murder, adultery, drunkenness, pride, contention, avarice, and fraud, but the author of love, chastity, sobriety, modesty, peace, moderation, and truth…. To Christians the Spirit of the Lord is not a turbulent phantom, which they themselves have produced by dreaming, or received ready-made by others; but they religiously seek the knowledge of Him from Scripture.”

-John Calvin