What He Did For Us (Calvin)

In 1550 John Calvin wrote the preface to the Geneva Bible. His preface was titled, “Christ, the End of the Law.” This essay is a brilliant example of a robustly Christ centered interpretation of Scripture. In one section Calvin wonderfully put together a string of biblical phrases explaining what Christ has done for his people. It’s an incredibly edifying read; I hope it encourages you in the Christian faith.

He humbled himself, to exalt us;
He made himself a servant, to set us free;
He became poor, to enrich us;
He was sold, to buy us back;
A captive, to deliver us;
Condemned, to procure our pardon;
He was made a curse, that we might be blessed;
The oblation for sins, for our justification;
His face was marred, to re-beautify ours;
He died, that we might have life.

In such sort that, by him,
Hardness is softened;
Wrath appeased;
Darkness made light;
Iniquity turned into righteousness;
Weakness is made strength;
Despair is consoled;
Sin is resisted;
Shame is despised;
Fear is emboldened;
Debt is paid;
Labour is lightened;
Sorrow turned into joy;
Misfortune into blessing;
Difficulties are made easy;
Disorder made order;
Division into union;
Ignominy is ennobled;
Rebellion subjected;
Threat is threatened;
Ambush is ambushed;
Assault assailed;
Striving is overpowered;
War is warred against;
Vengeance is avenged on;
Torment tormented;
Damnation damned;
Destruction destroyed;
Hell burned up;
Death is killed;
Mortality changed to immortality.

In short, Pity has swallowed up all misery; and Goodness, all wretchedness. For all those things, which used to be the arms with which the Devil combated us, and the Sting of Death, are, to draw us forward, turned into instruments from which we can derive profit. So that we can boast with the Apostle, saying, “O Hell! “where is thy Victory? O Death! where is thy “Sting?”…

 Calvin, John. Christ the End of the Law: Being the Preface to the Geneva Bible of 1550. William Tegg, & Co., 1850, pp. 29–31.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015https://partners.faithlife.com/click.track?CID=432198&AFID=463998&nonencodedurl=https://www.logos.com/product/9445/christ-the-end-of-the-law

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