John Calvin

John Calvin

John Calvin (1509-64) was a French Protestant lawyer, reformer and theologian born in Picardy. He broke with the Catholic church around 1530.

Calvin’s growing sympathy for the Reformation movement led him to flee Paris in 1533 to Basil, Switzerland for fear of persecution from the Church. In Switzerland he began to reform the church of Geneva, at the request of the evangelist, William Farel.

An extremely rational thinker, his early writings reveal affinities with both Martin Luther and Erasmus.

His extensive commentaries on the New Testament and to some degree the Old Testament were highly influential to the development of Protestantism. As a reformer, he remains a leading figure in that diverse (some might say fractured) movement.

Calvin’s authority was practically uncontested during his final years, and he enjoyed an international reputation as a reformer distinct from Martin Luther.[62] Initially, Luther and Calvin had mutual respect for each other. However, a doctrinal conflict had developed between Luther and Zurich reformer Huldrych Zwingli on the interpretation of the eucharist. Calvin’s opinion on the issue forced Luther to place him in Zwingli’s camp.¹

Learned, literate, and theologically imaginative, works like his Institutes exhibit the complex theological scholarship and discursive style characteristic of his era.


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Calvin and others
The Reformation Wall in Geneva. From left: Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One comment


    John Calvin advocated the doctrine, perseverance of the saints, commonly referred to as, once in grace always in grace or once saved always saved. This teaching is embraced by many today, but is it supported by Scripture?


    Galatians 5:1-4 It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
    therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery……4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified; by law; you have fallen from grace.

    The apostle Paul is addressing Christians, he tells them to stand firm. Paul tells certain Christians that they have fallen from grace. You cannot be severed from Christ if you were never in Christ or part of the body of Christ.


    Luke 8:13 Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and then fall away.

    Jesus said they believed and then fell away. Was Jesus confused?

    Matthew 24:9-13 ….10 At that time many will fall away….12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one endures to the end , he will be saved.

    Jesus said many will fall away. You cannot fall away unless you are, first, a believer.

    John 15:1-6 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away…..6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

    Jesus was taking about those that were in Him. Some were thrown away and burned. That is not supporting the the doctrine of, once saved always saved.

    Revelation 3:1-4 “To the angel of the church of Sardis write…..But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

    Jesus addressed this letter to the church at Sardis, they were Christians. Jesus said those who overcame would not have their names erased from the book of life; obviously those Christians with soiled garments who did not overcome, will have their names erased.


    1 Timothy 4:1-3 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

    The Holy Spirit says some will fall from the faith.


    Hebrews 6: 4-6 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    The writer of Hebrews clearly states Christians can fall away.
    One popular argument is that those who fall away were never saved in the first place.
    1. They had the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit. False Christians do not have the Holy Spirit.
    2. If they were never saved, they would have no need to be renewed. You cannot speak of renewing something that never existed

    Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

    Only blood bought Christians can fall away. Unbelievers cannot fall away, they are already lost.

    2 Peter 2:20-21 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have know the way of righteousness, than having know it, to turn away from the holy commandments handed on to them.

    Jesus did not teach, once saved always saved. The writer of Hebrews was not an advocate of , once saved always saved. The apostle Peter did not believe in, once saved always saved. None of the apostles proclaimed the doctrine of, once saved always saved.——— JOHN CALVIN taught, once saved always saved. WHO ARE YOU GOING TO TRUST?

    (All Scripture quotes from:NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)



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