Saturday, December 26, 2009

John Calvin: Our faith takes hold upon Christ for justification and sanctification

John Calvin explains that we obtain justification and sanctification by our faith that lays hold upon Christ:

Christ was given to us by God’s generosity, to be grasped and possessed by us in faith. By partaking of him, we principally receive a double grace: namely, that being reconciled to God through Christ’s blamelessness, we may have in heaven instead of a Judge a gracious Father; and secondly, that sanctified by Christ’s spirit we may cultivate blamelessness and purity of life. Of regeneration, indeed, the second of these gifts, I have said what seemed sufficient. (John Calvin, Institutes, III:11:1)

... to be justified means something different from being made new creatures. (John Calvin, Institutes, III:11:6)

... the grace of justification is not separated from regeneration, although they are things distinct. But because it is very well known by experience that the traces of sin always remain in the righteous, their justification must be very different from reformation into newness of life [cf. Romans 6:4]. (John Calvin, Institutes, III:11:11)

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