Monday, May 10, 2010

Apostles' Creed Wrap-Up

Calvin continues his discussion of the Apostles' Creed in the writings we read today.  We are promised in Scripture that Christ will come again.  When he does, he will come in physical form.  Calvin writes, "For he will come down from heaven in the same visible form in which he was seen to ascend" (Acts 1:11, Matthew 24:30).  It is at this time when we are told that Christ will "separate the lambs from the goats, the elect from the reprobate" (Calvin's words about Matthew 25:31-33).  "No one - living or dead - shall escape his judgment."  Interestingly, Calvin notes that there are some "old writers" who were in doubt over the meaning of "living or dead".  He does not explain what the confusion was, but declares that the Apostles' Creed coincides with the meaning of Scripture.

We have comfort in the fact that Christ is the Judge because He is also the Redeemer.  "Hence arises a wonderful consolation: that we perceive judgment to be in the hands of him who has already destined us to share with him the honor of judging [cf. Matthew 19:28]!"  Later Calvin writes, "For if the apostle dares exclaim that with Christ interceding for us there is no one who can come forth to condemn us [Romans 8:34,33], it is much more true, then, that Christ as Intercessor will not condemn those whom he has received into his charge and protection."

Calvin explains that he used the words of the Apostles' Creed and more importantly the order of it because this Creed shows in just a few words all the main points of redemption.  It shows "point by point the things in Christ that we ought to heed."

Our entire salvation rests in Christ alone.  Salvation comes from nowhere else.  Calvin goes through a litany of the gifts we have received from Christ.

Our salvation - of Christ
Our gifts of the Spirit - in His annointing
Our strength - in His dominion
Our purity - in His conception
Our gentleness - in His birth
Our redemption - in His passion
Our acquittal - in His condemnation
Our remission of the curse - in His cross
Our satisfaction - in His sacrifice
Our purification - in His blood
Our reconciliation - in His descent into hell
Our mortification of the flesh - in His tomb
Our newness of life - in His resurrection
Our immortality - in the same
Our inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom - in His entrance into heaven
Our protection, security, abundant supply of all blessings - in His Kingdom
Our untroubled expectation of judgment - in the power given to Him to judge

Calvin tells us to "drink our fill from this fountain" because there is abundant goodness in Him.  Some seek salvation outside of Christ, and they will never find it.  We must turn only to Christ for our salvation.

Tomorrow's reading: 2.17.1-2.17.6

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