Thursday, March 3, 2016

rich store of all that is good

"And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord..." (The Apostles' Creed)

In covering the second part of the Apostles' Creed in the Institutes, Calvin explains each phrase and then gives this lyrical summary as application...  

Now since we see that the whole sum and all parts of our salvation are contained in Jesus Christ, we must beware of ascribing the tiniest portion of it to anything else.  

If we are looking for salvation, the name of Jesus alone tells us that salvation is in him (Acts 4:12).  

If we desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we will find them in his anointing.  

If we seek strength, it is in his sovereign power. 

If purity is our aim, it is set before us in his conception.  

If we would find gentleness and kindness, it is in his birth, through which he was made like us, that he might learn compassion (Heb. 5:2).  

If we ask for redemption, his passion provides it.  In his condemnation we have our absolution.  

If we want pardon from sin's curse, that gift lies in his cross.  Atonement we have in his sacrifice, and cleansing in his blood.  

Our reconciliation was effected by his descent into hell; the mortification of our flesh is in his burial, and newness of life in his resurrection. 

If we look for the heavenly inheritance, it is attested for us by his ascension.  

If we seek help and comfort and abundance of all good things, we have them in his kingdom.  

If we would safely await the judgment, we have that blessing since he is our Judge.

In sum, since the rich store of all that is good resides in him, we must draw it from him and from no other source.  

For there are those who, not content with him, shift restlessly from one hope to another; and though they continue perhaps to look mostly to him, they fail to follow the proper path because they direct some of their thoughts elsewhere.  Even so, our minds can never entertain such feelings of distrust once we have truly experienced Christ's riches.  

~ John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion: Calvin's Own Essentials Edition (1541), pp 256-57.

No comments: