Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Fountain and No Other

“We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is of him. If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his anointing. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by his birth he was made like us in all respects, that he might learn to feel our pain. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; if acquittal, in his condemnation; if remission of the curse, in his cross; if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; if reconciliation, in his descent into hell; if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; if newness of life, in his resurrection; if immortality, in the same; if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; if untroubled expectation of judgment, in the power given to him to judge. In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.”

-- John Calvin, Institutes, 2.16.19.


Andrew Faris said...


I'm studying to preach Eph. 1:3-14 on Sunday night. Think I can find any use for this quote?

Andrew Faris
Someone Tell Me the Story

Garrett League said...

"if reconciliation, in his descent into hell"

Didn't know Calvin was influenced anachronistically by Joyce Meyer.

Jared said...

Garrett, are you familiar with the Apostles' Creed?

The phrase "he descended into hell" comes from the creed. I don't know what Joyce Meyer says about Jesus in hell, but Calvin's view on this idea in the Institutes is not that Jesus literally went to the place hell when he died, but that this phrase in the creed refers to "spiritual torment," a reference to Christ's receiving the full weight of God's wrath on the cross.

Our church recites the apostles' creed each Sunday, and I have actually replaced the line "He descended into hell" with "He received the wrath of God" to avoid this very misunderstanding.