John Calvin – Christ’s Sacrifice as Substitution

13 Dec

What, I ask you, would Christ have bestowed upon us if the penalty for our sins were still required? For when we say that he bore all our sins in his body upon the tree [1 Peter 2:24], we mean only that he bore the punishment and vengeance due for our sins. Isaiah has stated this more meaningfully when he says: “The chastisement (or correction) of our peace was upon him” [Isa. 53:5]. What is this “correction of our peace” but the penalty due sins that we would have had to pay before we could become reconciled to God–if he had not taken our place? Lo, you see plainly that Christ bore the penalty of sins to deliver his own people from them… This is why Paul writes that Christ gave himself as a ransom for us [1 Tim. 2:6]. “What is propitiation before the Lord,” asks Augustine, “but sacrifice? What is the sacrifice, but what has been offered for us in the death of Christ?”

~John Calvin~

The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, Kentucky; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) p. 657.

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