Tag Archives: Calvin’s Commentaries

John Calvin – Ample Ground for Joy

2 Mar

[4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. – Philippians 4:4]

Hence he enjoins it upon them, that, amidst circumstances of hostility and disturbance, they should nevertheless rejoice in the Lord, as assuredly these spiritual consolations, by means of which the Lord refreshes and gladdens us, ought then most of all to show their efficacy when the whole world tempts us to despair. Let us, however, in connection with the circumstances of the times, consider what efficacy there must have been in this word uttered by the mouth of Paul, who might have had special occasion of sorrow For if they are appalled by persecutions, or imprisonments, or exile, or death, here is the Apostle setting himself forward, who, amidst imprisonments, in the very heat of persecution, and in fine, amidst apprehensions of death, is not merely himself joyful, but even stirs up others to joy. The sum, then, is this—that come what may, believers, having the Lord standing on their side, have amply sufficient ground of joy.

~John Calvin~


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

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John Calvin – Freely Receive, Freely Give

1 Mar

[And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8]

The reason why God does us good is — not that every one may keep to himself what he has received, but that there may be a mutual participation among us, according as necessity may require.

~John Calvin~


Calvin’s Commentaries – 2 Corinthians (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Psalm 2 Corinthians 9:8

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John Calvin – Follow God, Not Your Heart

21 Feb

[3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
4 Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds
– Psalm 141:3-4]

For the two things stand connected the being silent, and the being free from the charge of evil thoughts. It is very possible that although he observed silence, he had many ungodly thoughts, and these are worse than vain words. We have simply alluded in passing to this foolish notion, as what may convince the reader of the possibility of persons running away with a word torn from its connection, and overlooking the scope of the writer. In committing himself to the guidance of God, both as to thoughts and words, David acknowledges the need of the influence of the Spirit for the regulation of his tongue and of his mind, particularly when tempted to be exasperated by the insolence of opposition. If, on the one hand, the tongue be liable to slip and too fast of utterance, unless continually watched and guarded by God; on the other, there are disorderly affections of an inward kind which require to be restrained. What a busy workshop is the heart of man, and what a host of devices is there manufactured every moment! If God do not watch over our heart and tongue, there will confessedly be no bounds to words and thoughts of a sinful kind, — so rare a gift of the Spirit is moderation in language.

~John Calvin~


Calvin’s Commentaries – Psalms (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Psalm 141:3-4.

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John Calvin – What Do You See at the Cross?

8 Feb

[There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. – John 19:18]

As if the severity of the punishment had not been sufficient of itself, he is hanged in the midst between two robbers, as if he not only had deserved to be classed with other robbers, but had been the most wicked and the most detestable of them all. We ought always to remember, that the wicked executioners of Christ did nothing but what had been determined by the hand and purpose of God; for God did not surrender his Son to their lawless passions, but determined that, according to his own will and good pleasure, he should be offered as a sacrifice. And if there were the best reasons for the purpose of God in all those things which he determined that his Son should suffer, we ought to consider, on the one hand, the dreadful weight of his wrath against sin, and, on the other hand, his infinite goodness towards us. In no other way could our guilt be removed than by the Son of God becoming a curse for us. We see him driven out into an accursed place, as if he had been polluted by a mass of all sorts of crimes, that there he might appear to be accursed before God and men. Assuredly we are prodigiously stupid, if we do not plainly see in this mirror with what abhorrence God regards sin; and we are harder than stones, if we do not tremble at such a judgment as this.

When, on the other hand, God declares that our salvation was so dear to him, that he did not spare his only- begotten Son, what abundant goodness and what astonishing grace do we here behold! Whoever, then, takes a just view of the causes of the death of Christ, together with the advantage which it yields to us, will not, like the Greeks, regard the doctrlne of the cross as foolishness, nor, like the Jews, will he regard it as an offense, (1 Corinthians 1: 23,) but rather as an invaluable token and pledge of the power, and wisdom, and righteousness, and goodness of God.

~John Calvin~







Calvin’s Commentaries – John (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on John 19:18.

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John Calvin – The Certainty of Future Happiness

17 Jan

The full certainty of future happiness rests on the revelation of God’s love to us in Christ, which He makes in the gospel.

~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 – The Church as the Orchestra of God’s Goodness

5 Jan

The whole world is a theatre for the display of the divine goodness, wisdom, justice, and power, but the Church is the orchestra, as it were—the most conspicuous part of it; and the nearer the approaches are that God makes to us, the more intimate and condescending the communication of his benefits, the more attentively are we called to consider them.

~John Calvin~



Calvin’s Commentaries – Psalms (Spokane, WA; Olive Tree Bible Software; http://www.olivetree.com) Commentary on Psalm 135:13.

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John Calvin – Romans 3:24

9 Sep

Since there remains nothing for men, as to themselves, but to perish, being smitten by the just judgment of God, they are to be justified freely through his mercy; for Christ comes to the aid of this misery, and communicates himself to believers, so that they find in him alone all those things in which they are wanting. There is, perhaps, no passage in the whole Scripture which illustrates in a more striking manner the efficacy of his righteousness; for it shows that God’s mercy is the efficient cause, that Christ with his blood is the meritorious cause, that the formal or the instrumental cause is faith in the word, and that moreover, the final cause is the glory of the divine justice and goodness.

~John Calvin~




Calvin’s Commentaries (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Excerpted from his commentary on Romans 3:24.

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John Calvin – The Odor of Christ’s Grace

6 Sep

For we know that the spirit of regeneration and also all graces are bestowed on us through Christ; and then it is certain, that as nothing can proceed from us absolutely perfect, nothing can be acceptable to God without that pardon which we obtain through Christ. Thus it comes, that our works, performed by the odor of Christ’s grace, emit a sweet fragrance in God’s presence, while otherwise they would have a fetid smell.

~John Calvin~




Calvin’s Commentaries (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Excerpted from his commentary on Hebrews 13:21.

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John Calvin – That I May Open My Mouth

17 Jun

EPHESIANS 6:18b-20:
To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Fear hinders us from preaching Christ openly and fearlessly, while the absence of all restraint and disguise in confessing Christ is demanded from his ministers. Paul does not ask for himself the powers of an acute debater, or, I should rather say, of a dexterous sophist, that he might shield himself from his enemies by false pretences. It is, that I may open my mouth, to make a clear and strong confession; for when the mouth is half shut, the sounds which it utters are doubtful and confused. To open the mouth, therefore, is to speak with perfect freedom, without the smallest dread.

~John Calvin~



Calvin’s Commentaries – Commentary on Ephesians 6. http://www.olivetree.com. Ebook.

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John Calvin – On God’s Passion For His Glory

20 May

God cannot bear with seeing his glory appropriated by the creature in even the smallest degree, so intolerable to him is the sacrilegious arrogance of those who, by praising themselves, obscure his glory as far as they can.

~John Calvin~



John Calvin’s Commentaries: Commentary on Psalm 9:1-3 (Edinburgh, Scotland; Calvin Translational Society) Olive Tree Bible. eBook.

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