Tag: John Calvin

John Calvin on the Gospel-Centered Life

Portrait of John Calvin (1509-64), French theologian and reformer (oil on canvas)It’s easy to forget that we’re not the first generation to see the importance of keeping the gospel central. Almost 500 years ago, John Calvin wrote of how the gospel should motivate us to holiness. Don’t just read these points, meditate on them deeply. Look up the Scripture references, and humbly seek to live as who you are in Christ.

1. Since God has shown himself to be our Father, we are guilty of gross ingratitude if we do not behave as his children (Mal. 1:6; Eph. 5:1; 1 John 3:1).

2. Since Christ has cleansed us by the washing of his blood, and has granted us his cleansing through baptism, we would be wrong to sully ourselves again with filth (Eph. 5:26; Heb. 10:10; 1 Cor. 6:11; 1 Pet. 1:15, 19).

3. Since he has joined us to himself and grafted us into his body, we must beware of polluting ourselves in any way, seeing that we are his members (1 Cor. 6:15; John 15:3; Eph. 5:23).

4. Since he who is our Head has ascended into heaven, we must free ourselves of all earthly desires, and yearn with all our heart for the life above (Col. 3:1-2).

5. Since the Holy Spirit has consecrated us as God’s temples, we must strive to see God glorified in us, and to keep ourselves from uncleanness (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16).

6. Since our soul and body are destined for immortality in the kingdom of God, and for the incorruptible crown of his glory, we must endeavor to preserve soul and body spotless until the day of the Lord (1 Thess. 5:23).

These are sound and proper foundations on which we may safely build our lives. Nothing like them will be found in any of the philosophers, who never rise higher than the natural dignity of man whenever their theme is human duty.

(Excerpt from The Institutes of Christian Religion)