Tag Archives: Calvin’s Commentaries

John Calvin – The Medicine Doesn’t Feed The Disease

16 Apr

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What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? – Romans 6:1-2

Paul proceeds carefully to disprove the propounded slander. He, however, first rejects it by an indignant negative, in order to impress it on the minds of his readers, that nothing can be more inconsistent than that the grace of Christ, the repairer of our righteousness, should nourish our vices.

Who have died to sin, &c. An argument derived from what is of an opposite character. “He who sins certainly lives to sin; we have died to sin through the grace of Christ; then it is false, that what abolishes sin gives vigour to it.” The state of the case is really this,—that the faithful are never reconciled to God without the gift of regeneration; nay, we are for this end justified,—that we may afterwards serve God in holiness of life. Christ indeed does not cleanse us by his blood, nor render God propitious to us by his expiation, in any other way than by making us partakers of his Spirit, who renews us to a holy life. It would then be a most strange inversion of the work of God were sin to gather strength on account of the grace which is offered to us in Christ; for medicine is not a feeder of the disease, which it destroys.

~John Calvin~






Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 218–219.

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John Calvin – Receive The Word With Meekness

11 Apr

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21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:21

He concludes by saying how the word of life is to be received. And first, indeed, he intimates that it cannot be rightly received except it be implanted, or strike roots in us. For the expression, to receive the implanted word, ought to be thus explained, “to receive it, that it may be really implanted.” For he alludes to seed often sown on arid ground, and not received into the moist bosom of the earth; or to plants, which being cast on the ground, or laid on dead wood, soon wither. He then requires that it should be a living implanting, by which the word becomes as it were united with our heart.

He at the same time shews the way and manner of this reception, even with meekness. By this word he means humility and the readiness of a mind disposed to learn, such as Isaiah describes when he says, “On whom does my Spirit rest, except on the humble and meek?” (Isa. 57:15.) Hence it is, that so few profit in the school of God, because hardly one in a hundred renounces the stubbornness of his own spirit, and gently submits to God; but almost all are conceited and refractory. But if we desire to be the living plantation of God, we must subdue our proud hearts and be humble, and labour to become like lambs, so as to suffer ourselves to be ruled and guided by our Shepherd.

~John Calvin~






Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles – James (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 294–295.

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John Calvin – Christ, Our Righteousness

6 Mar

It is necessary that Christ should come to our aid; who, being alone just, can render us just by transferring to us his own righteousness. You now see how the righteousness of faith is the righteousness of Christ. When therefore we are justified, the efficient cause is the mercy of God, the meritorious is Christ, the instrumental is the word in connection with faith. Hence faith is said to justify, because it is the instrument by which we receive Christ, in whom righteousness is conveyed to us. Having been made partakers of Christ, we ourselves are not only just, but our works also are counted just before God, and for this reason, because whatever imperfections there may be in them, are obliterated by the blood of Christ; the promises, which are conditional, are also by the same grace fulfilled to us; for God rewards our works as perfect, inasmuch as their defects are covered by free pardon.

~John Calvin~






Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 138–139.

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John Calvin – Doctrine and the Fear of God

1 Aug

No man can rightly handle the doctrine of godliness, unless the fear of God reign and bear the chief sway in him.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – Acts (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software; 2010) Vol. 2, p. 312. Commentary on Acts 23:1

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John Calvin – Standing on the Word of God

31 May

Let us know, as faith can be grounded nowhere else than in the Word of the Lord, so we must only stand to the testimony thereof in all controversies.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – Acts (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Acts 17:1-4

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John Calvin – Repentance Unto Life

4 Feb

18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life. – Acts 11:18

Whosoever will rightly profit in the gospel, let him put off the old man, and think upon newness of life, (Ephesians 4:22;) that done, let him know for a certainty that he is not called in vain unto repentance, but that there is salvation prepared for him in Christ. So shall it come to pass, that the hope and assurance of salvation shall rest upon the free mercy of God alone, and that the forgiveness of sins shall, notwithstanding, be no cause of sluggish security.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – Acts (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Acts 8:2

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John Calvin – Against the Stoic

30 Nov

2 Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. – Acts 8:2

Surely that man which denieth that we ought to rejoice over the gifts of God is more like a block than a man; therefore, we may no less lawfully sorrow when they be taken away. And lest I pass the compass of this present place, Paul doth not altogether forbid men mourning, when any of their friends are taken away by death, but he would have a difference between them and the unbelievers; because hope ought to be to them a comfort and a remedy against impatience. For the beginning of death caused us to sorrow for good causes; but because we know that we have life restored to us in Christ, we have that which is sufficient to appease our sorrow.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – Acts (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Acts 8:2

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John Calvin – Introducing the Book of Acts

21 Jul

Those things which Luke sets before us in this place to be learned are not only great, but also of rare profit; for, first, in that he shows that the Spirit of God was sent unto the apostles, he does not only prove that Christ was faithful (and true) in keeping his promise made unto his apostles; but also he certifies to us, that he is always mindful of his, and a perpetual governor of his Church, because the Holy Spirit did descend from heaven to this end; whereby we learn that the distance of place does in no way hinder Christ from being present with those that be his at all times. Now, here is most lively painted out the beginning of Christ’s kingdom, and as it were the renewing of the world; for although the Son of God had gathered together, by his preaching, a certain Church, before such time as he departed out of the world, yet, nevertheless, that was the best form of the Church which began then, when as the apostles, having new power given them from above, began to preach that that only Shepherd did both die and also rise again, that through his conduct all those which were dispersed, far and wide, (upon the face of the whole earth,) might be gathered unto one sheepfold. Here is, therefore, set down both the beginning and also the increasing of the Church of Christ after his ascension, whereby he was declared to be King both of heaven and earth.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – Acts (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Introduction to the Commentary on Acts. [Some older words rendered clearer]

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John Calvin – The Armor of God

14 Jun

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. – Ephesians 6:10-11

Put on the whole armor. God has furnished us with various defensive weapons, provided we do not indolently refuse what is offered. But we are almost all chargeable with carelessness and hesitation in using the offered grace; just as if a soldier, about to meet the enemy, should take his helmet, and neglect his shield. To correct this security, or, we should rather say, this indolence, Paul borrows a comparison from the military art, and bids us put on the whole armor of God. We ought to be prepared on all sides, so as to want nothing. The Lord offers to us arms for repelling every kind of attack. It remains for us to apply them to use, and not leave them hanging on the wall. To quicken our vigilance, he reminds us that we must not only engage in open warfare, but that we have a crafty and insidious foe to encounter, who frequently lies in ambush; for such is the import of the apostle’s phrase, the wiles of the devil.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – Ephesians (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Ephesians 1:3.

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John Calvin – God’s Gift

29 Mar

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23

It may however be hence inferred with certainty, that our salvation is altogether through the grace and mere beneficence of God. He might indeed have used other words — that the wages of righteousness is eternal life; and then the two clauses would correspond: but he knew that it is through God’s gift we obtain it, and not through our own merits; and that it is not one or a single gift; for being clothed with the righteousness of the Son, we are reconciled to God, and we are by the power of the Spirit renewed unto holiness. And he adds, in Christ Jesus, and for this reason, that he might call us away from every conceit respecting our own worthiness.

~John Calvin~


Calvin’s Commentaries – Romans (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Romans 6:23.

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