“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 sins 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, through which we also have the hope of immortality.
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, The Institutes of the Christian Religion (trans. Robert White; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1541/2014), 256-257.
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