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Calvin's Catechism Part 1 - Faith

Creeds and Confessions of the Church

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A reformulation of the Genevan Catechism written by John Calvin.

A Dialogue between the Minister and the child.
by John Calvin

I. Faith

1. Minister. What is the chief end of human life?
Child. To know God.

2. Why do you say that?

Because He created us and placed us in this world to be glorified in us. And it is indeed right that our life, of which He Himself is the beginning, should be devoted to His glory.

3. What is the sovereign good of man?

The same thing.

4. Why do you hold that to be the sovereign good?
Because without it our condition is more miserable than that of brute-beasts.

5. Hence, then, we see that nothing worse can happen to a man than to live without God.
It is so.

6. What is the true and right knowledge of God?
When we know Him in order that we may honour Him.

7. How do we honour Him aright?
We put our reliance on Him, by serving Him in obedience to His will, by calling upon Him in all our need, seeking salvation and every good thing in Him, and acknowledging with heart and mouth that all our good proceeds from Him.

8. To consider these things in order, and explain them more fully—what is the first point?
To rely upon God.

9. How can we do that?
First by knowing Him as almighty and perfectly good.

10. Is this enough?

11. Why?
Because we are unworthy that He should show His power in helping us, or employ His goodness toward us.

12. What more then is required?
That we be certain that He loves us, and desires to be our Father, and Saviour.

13. How do we know that?
By His Word, in which He declares His mercy to us in Christ, and assures us of His love toward us.

14. Then the foundation for true reliance upon God is to know Him in Jesus Christ [John 17:3]?
That is true.

15. What then briefly is the substance of this knowledge?
It is contained in the Confession of Faith used by all Christians. It is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, because it is a summary of the true faith which has always been held in Christ’s Church, and was derived from the pure doctrine of the Apostles.

16. Recite it.

17. In order to expound this confession in detail, into how many parts do we divide it?
Into four principal parts.

18. What are they?
The first is about God the Father; the second about His Son Jesus Christ, which also includes the whole history of our redemption; the third is about the Holy Spirit; the fourth is about the Church, and the gracious gifts of God conferred on her.

19. Since there is but one God, why do you mention the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are three?
Because in the one essence of God, we have to look on the Father as the beginning and origin, and the first cause of all things; then the Son, who is Eternal Wisdom; and the Holy Spirit who is His virtue and power shed abroad over all creatures, but still perpetually resident in Himself.

20. You mean then that there is no objection to our understanding that these three persons are distinctly in one Godhead, that therefore God in not therefore divided?
Just so.

21. Now repeat the first part.
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.”

22. Why do you call Him Father?
It is with reference to Christ who is His eternal Word, begotten of Him before time, and being sent into this world was demonstrated and declared to be His Son. But since God is the Father of Jesus Christ, it follows that He is our Father also.

23. In what sense do you mean that He is Almighty?
That does not mean that He has a power which He does not exercise, but that He disposes all things by His Providence, governs the world by His will, ruling all as it seems good to Him.

24. You mean that the power of God is not idle, but consider rather that His hand is always engaged in working, so that nothing is done except through Him, with His permission and His decree.
It is so.

25. Why do you add that He is Creator of heaven and earth?
Because He has manifested Himself to us by works [Ps. 104; Rom. 1:20] we ought to seek Him in them. Our mind cannot comprehend His essence. But the world is for us like a mirror in which we may contemplate Him in so far as it is expedient for us to know Him.

26. Do you not understand by “heaven and earth” all other creatures?
Yes indeed; under these two words all are included, because they are all heavenly and earthly.

27. But why do you call God a Creator only, seeing that it is much more to uphold and preserve creatures in their state, than to have once created them?
This term does not signify that God brought His works into being at a single stroke, and then left them without a care for them. We ought rather to understand, that as the world was made by God in the beginning, so now it is preserved by Him in its estate, so that the heavens, the earth and all creatures do no continue in their being apart from this power. Besides, seeing that He holds all things in His hand, it follows that the government and lordship over them belongs to Him. Therefore, in that He is Creator of heaven and earth, it is His to rule the whole order of nature by His goodness and power and wisdom. It is He who sends rain and drought, hail, tempest and fair weather, fruitfulness and barrenness, health and sickness. In short, all things are under His command, to serve Him as it seems good to Him.

28. But what about wicked men and devils? Are they also subject to Him?
Although He does not guide them by His Holy Spirit, nevertheless He curbs them by His power, so that they cannot budge unless He permits them. He even constrains them to execute His will, although it is against their own intention and purpose.

29. What good do you derive from the knowledge of this fact?
Very Much. It would go ill with us if devils and wicked men had power to do anything in spite of the will of God. Moreover we could never be at rest in our minds if we were exposed to them in danger, but when we know that they are curbed by the will of God, so that they can do nothing without His permission, then we may rest and breathe again, for God has promised to protect and defend us.

30. Let us now come to the second part.
“And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord”, etc.

31. What briefly does it comprehend?
That we acknowledge the Son of God as our Saviour, and the means by which He has redeemed us from death, and acquired salvation.

32. What is the meaning of the name Jesus which you give to Him?
It means Saviour, and was given to Him by the angel at the command of God (Matt. 1:21).

33. Is this of more importance than if men had given it?
Oh, yes. For since God wills that He be called so, He must be so in truth.

34. What, next, is meant by the name of Christ?
By this title His office is still better expressed—for it signifies that He was appointed by the Father to be ordained King, Priest, and Prophet.

35. How do you know that?
Because according to the Scripture, anointing is used for these three things. Also, because they are attributed to Him many times.

36. But with what kind of oil was He anointed?
Not with visible oil as was used for ancient kings, priests, and prophets, but this anointing was by the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is the reality signified by that outward anointing made in time past (Isa. 61:1, Ps. 45:7).

37. But what is this Kingdom of which you speak?
It is spiritual, and consists in the Word and Spirit of God, and includes righteousness and life.

38. What of the priesthood?
It is the office and prerogative of presenting Himself before God to obtain grace and favour, and appease His wrath in offering a sacrifice which is acceptable to Him.

39. In what sense do you call Christ a Prophet?
Because on coming down into the world (Isa. 7:14) He was the sovereign messenger and ambassador of God His Father, to give full exposition of God’s will toward the world and so put an end to all prophecies and revelations (Heb. 1:2).

40. But do you derive any benefit from this?
All this is for our good. For Jesus Christ has received all these gifts in order that He may communicate them to us, and that all of us may receive out of His fullness.

41. Expound this to me more fully.
He received the Holy Spirit in full perfection with all His graces, that He may lavish them upon us and distribute them, each according to the measure and portion which the Father knows to be expedient (Eph. 4:7). Thus we may draw from Him as from a fountain all the spiritual blessings we possess.

42. What does His Kingdom minister to us?
By it, we are set at liberty in our conscience and are filled with His spiritual riches in order to live in righteousness and holiness, and we are also armed with power to overcome the devil, the flesh, and the world—the enemies of our souls.

43. What about His priesthood?
First, by means of it He is the Mediator who reconciles us to God His Father; and secondly, through Him we have access to present ourselves to God, and offer Him ourselves in sacrifice with all that belongs to us. And in this way we are companions of His priesthood.

44. There remains His Prophetic Office.
Since this office was given to the Lord Jesus to be the Master and Teacher of His own, its end is to bring us the true knowledge of the Father and of His Truth, so that we may be scholars in the household of God.

45. You would conclude, then, that the title of Christ includes three offices which God has given His Son, in order to communicate virtue and fruit to His faithful people?
That is so.

46. Why do you call Him the only Son of God, seeing that God calls us all His children?
We are children of God not by nature, but only by adoption and by grace, in that God wills to regard us as such (Eph. 1:5). But the Lord Jesus who was begotten of the substance of His Father, and is of one essence with Him, is rightly called the only Son of God (John 1:14; Heb. 1:2) for there is no other who is God’s Son by nature.

47. You mean to say, then, that this honour is proper to Him alone, and belongs to Him by nature, but is communicated to us through a gracious gift, in that we are His numbers.
That is so. Hence in regard to this communication He is called elsewhere “the First-born among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:15).

48. How is He “our Lord”?
Because He is appointed by the Father to have us under His government, to administer the Kingdom and the Lordship of God in heaven and on earth, and to be the Head of men and believers (Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18).

49. What is meant by what follows?
It declares how the Son of God was anointed by the Father to be our Saviour. That is to say, He assumed human flesh, and accomplished all things necessary to our salvation, as enunciated here.

50. What do you mean by the two clauses, “Conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary”?
That He was formed in womb of the Virgin Mary, of her proper substance, to be the seed of David, as had been foretold (Ps. 132:11), and yet that this was wrought by the miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit, without the cooperation of a man (Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:35).

51. Was it then required that He should put on our very flesh?
Yes, because it was necessary that the disobedience committed by man against God should be redressed in human nature. And moreover He could not otherwise be our Mediator to reconcile us to God His Father (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:15).

52. You say that Christ had to become man, to fulfill the office of Saviour, as in our very person.
Yes, indeed. For we must recover in Him all that we lack in ourselves, and this cannot be done in any other way.

53. But why was that effected by the Holy Spirit, and not by the work of man according to the order of nature?
As the seed of man is in itself corrupt, it was necessary that the power of the Holy Spirit should intervene in this conception, in order to preserve our Lord from all corruption, and to fill Him with holiness.

54. Thus we are shown that He who is to sanctify others was free from every stain, and from His mother’s womb He was consecrated to God in purity from the very beginning, in order that He may not be subject to the universal corruption of the human race.
So I understand it.

55. Why do you go immediately from His birth to His death, passing over the whole history of His life?
Because nothing is said here about what belongs properly to the substance of our redemption.

56. Why is it not said simply and in a word that He died while Pontius Pilate is spike of, under whom He suffered?
That is not only to make us certain of the history, but is also meant to signify that His death involved condemnation.

57. How is that?
He died to suffer the punishment due to us, and thus to deliver us from it. However, because we were guilty before the judgment of God as evil-doers, in order to represent us in person He was pleased to appear before the tribunal of an earthly judge, and to be condemned by his mouth, that we might be acquitted before the throne of the celestial Judge.

58. But Pilate pronounced Him innocent, and therefore did not condemn Him as if He were worthy of death (Matt. 27:24; Luke 23:14).
Both were involved. He was justified by the testimony of the judge, to show that He did not suffer for His own unworthiness but for ours and yet He was solemnly condemned by the sentence of the same judge, to show that He is truly our surety, receiving condemnation for us in order to acquit us from it.

59. That is well said, for if He had been a sinner He could not have suffered death for others; and yet in order that His condemnation might be our deliverance, He had to be reckoned among transgressors (Is. 53:12).
I understand so.

60. Is there greater importance in His having been crucified than if He had been put death in another way?
Yes, as Paul also shows us when he says that He hanged on a tree to take our curse upon Himself and acquit us of it (Gal. 3:13). For that kind of death was accursed of God (Deut. 21:23).

61. What? Is it not to dishonour the Lord Jesus, to say He was subjected to the curse, and that before God?
By no means, for in taking it upon Himself He abolished it, by His power, yet in such a way that He did not cease to be blessed throughout in order that He might fill us with His blessing.

62. Explain the rest.
Since death was the curse on man as a result of sin, Jesus Christ has endured it, and in enduring it overcame it. And to show that He underwent a real death, He chose to be placed in the tomb like other men.

63. But nothing seems to redound to us from this victory, since we do not cease to die.
That is no obstacle. The death of believers is nothing else than a way of entering into a better life.

64. Hence it follows that we ought no longer to dread death as if it were a fearful thing, but we should willingly follow Jesus Christ our Head and Captain, who precedes us, not in order to let us perish, but in order to save us.
That is so.

65. What is the meaning of the additional clause: “He descended into hell”?
That He not only suffered natural death, which is the separation of the body from the soul, but also that His soul was pierced with amazing anguish, which St. Peter calls the pains of death (Acts 2:24).

66. Why and how did that happen to Him?
Because He presented Himself to God in order to make satisfaction in the name of sinners, it was necessary that He should suffer fearful distress of conscience, as if He had been forsaken by God, and even as if God had become hostile to Him. It was in this extremity that He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).

67. Was His Father then opposed to Him?
No. But He had to be afflicted in this way in fulfillment of what had been foretold by Isaiah, that “he was smitten by the hand of God for our sins and wounded for our transgressions” (Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24).

68. But since He is God Himself, how could He be in such dread, as if He were forsaken by God?
We must hold that it was according to His human nature that He was in that extremity: and that in order to allow this, His Deity held itself back a little, as if concealed, that is, did not how its power.

69. How is it possible that Jesus Christ, who is the salvation of the world, should have been under such damnation?
He was not to remain under it. For though He experienced the horror we have spoken of, He was by no means oppressed by it. On the contrary, He battled with the power of hell, to break and destroy it.

70. Thus we see the difference between the torment which He suffered and that which sinners experience when God punishes them in His wrath. For what He suffered for a time in Himself is perpetual in the others, and what was only a needle to sting Him is to them a sword to deliver a mortal wound.
It is so, for Jesus Christ, even in the midst of such distress, did not cease to hope in God. But sinners whom God condemns rush into despair, defy, and even blaspheme Him.

71. May we not gather from this what fruit we receive from the death of Jesus Christ?
Yes, indeed. And, first, we see that it is a sacrifice by which He has made satisfaction for us before the judgment of God, and so has appeased the wrath of God and reconciled us to Him. Secondly, that His blood is the laver by which our souls are cleansed from all stains. Finally, that by this death our sins are effaced, so as never to be remembered before God, and thus the debt which was against us is abolished.

72. Do we not have any other benefit from it?
Yes, we do. If we are true members of Christ, our old man is crucified, our flesh is mortified, so that evil desires no longer reign in us.

73. Expound the next article.
This is: “On the third day He rose again from the dead.” By this He declared Himself the conqueror of death and sin, for by His resurrection He swallowed up death, broke the fetters of the devil, and destroyed all his powers (1 Pet. 3:22).

74. In how many ways does this resurrection benefit us?
First, by it righteousness was fully acquired for us. Secondly, it is also a sure pledge to us that we shall rise again one day in immortal glory (1 Cor. 15:20-23). Thirdly, if we truly participate in His resurrection, even now we are raised in newness of life, to serve God and to live a holy life according to His pleasure (Rom. 6:4).

75. Continue.
“He ascended into heaven.”

76. Did He ascend in such a way that He is no longer on earth?
Yes. For after He had performed all that He was enjoined by the Father, and was required for our salvation, there was no need for Him to remain on earth.

77. What benefit do we obtain from this ascension?
The benefit is twofold. For inasmuch as Jesus Christ entered heaven in our name, as He had descended for our sake, He has given us an entry, and assured us that the door, previously shut because of sin, is now open for us (Rom. 6:8-11). Secondly, He appears before the face of the Father as our Intercessor and Advocate (Heb. 7:25).

78. But did Christ in going to heaven withdraw from us, in such a way that He has now ceased to be with us?
No. On the contrary, He has promised that He will be with us to the end (Matt. 28:20).

79. Is it in bodily presence that He remains with us?
No, for it is one thing to speak of His body which was taken up into heaven, and another to speak of His power, which is spread abroad everywhere (Luke 24:51; Acts 2:33).

80. How do you understand that He “sitteth on the right hand of the Father?
It means that He has received the dominion of heaven and earth, so that He reigns and rules over all (Matt. 28:18).

81. But what is meant by “right hand”, and by “sitteth”?
It is a similitude taken from earthly princes, who are wont to place on their right hand those whom they make their lieutenants to govern in their name.

82. You do not mean anything more then than Paul when he says that Christ had been appointed Head of the Church, and raised above all principality, has secured a Name which is above every name (Eph. 1:22; 4:15; Phil. 2:9).
That is so.

83. Continue.
“From thence He will come to judge the quick and the dead.” That is to say, He will appear again from heaven in judgment, as He was seen to ascend (Acts 1:11).

84. As the judgment is not to be before the end of the world, how do you say that some men will then be alive, and thus will be dead, seeing it is appointed to al men once to die? (Heb. 9:27, 28).
Paul answers this question when he says, that those who then survive will suddenly be changed so that their corruption will be abolished, and their bodies will put on incorruption (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:17).

85. You understand then that this change will be for them like a death, for it will abolish their first nature, and raise them up in a new state.
That is it.

86. Does the fact that Christ is to come gain to judge the world bring us any consolation?
Yes, indeed. For we are certain that He will appear only for our salvation.

87. We should not then fear the last judgment, and have a horror of it?
No, since we are not to come before any other judge then He who is our Advocate, and who has taken our cause in hand to defend us.

88. Let us come now to the third part.
This is faith in the Holy Spirit.

89. What do we gain by it?
The knowledge that as God has redeemed and saved us by Jesus Christ, He will also make us partakers of this redemption and salvation, through His Holy Spirit.

90. How?
As the blood of Christ is our cleansing, the Holy Spirit must sprinkle our consciences with it that they may be cleansed (1 Pet. 1:19).

91. This requires a clearer explanation.
I mean that the Holy Spirit, while He dwells in our hearts, makes us feel the virtue of our Lord Jesus (Rom. 5:5). For He enlightens us to know His benefits; He seals and imprints them in our souls, and makes room for them in us (Eph. 1:13). He regenerates us and makes us new creatures, so that through Him we receive all the blessings and gifts which are offered to us in Jesus Christ.

92. What follows?
The fourth part, where it is said that we believe in the Catholic Church.

93. What is the Catholic Church?
The community of the faithful which God has ordained and elected to eternal life.

94. Is it necessary to believe this article?
Yes, indeed, unless we want to make the death of Christ of none effect, and all that has already been said. The fruit that proceeds from it is the Church.

95. You mean then that up to this point we have spoken of the cause and foundation of salvation, how God has received us in love through the mediation of Jesus, and has confirmed this grace in us through His Holy Spirit. But now the effect and fulfillment of all this is explained in order to give us greater certainty.
It is so.

96. In what sense do you call the Church holy?
All whom God has chosen He justifies, and reforms to holiness and innocence, that His glory may be reflected in them (Rom. 8:30). And so Jesus Christ sanctified the Church which He redeemed, that it might be glorious and without blemish (Eph. 5:25-27).

97. What is meant by the word Catholic or Universal?
It is meant to signify, that there is only one Head of the faithful, so they must all be united in one body, so that there are not several churches but one only, which is extended throughout the whole world (Eph. 4:15; 1 Cor. 12:12 and 27).

98. And what is the meaning of what follows concerning the communion of saints?
That is added to express more clearly the unity which exists among the members of the Church. Moreover by this we are given to understand, that all the benefits that the Lord gives to the Church, are for the good and salvation of every Church, because they all have communion together.

99. But is this holiness which you attribute to the Church already perfect?
Not as long as she battles in this world, for elements of imperfection always remain and will never be entirely removed, until she is united completely to Jesus Christ her Head, by whom she is sanctified.

100. Can this Church be known in any other way than by believing in her?
There is indeed the visible Church of God, for the recognition of which He has certain signs, but here we speak properly of the fellowship of those whom He has elected to salvation which cannot be seen plainly by the eye.

101. What comes next?
I believe in “the forgiveness of sins”.

102. What do you understand by this word “forgiveness”?
That God by His pure goodness forgives and pardons the sins of believers, so that they are not brought to account before His judgment, in order to be punished.

103. Hence it follows that it is not at all through our own satisfaction that we desire to have God’s pardon?
That is true; for the Lord Jesus has made payment and born the punishment. We on our part could not make any recompense to God, but may only receive pardon for all our misdeeds through the pure generosity of God.

104. Why do you insert this article after the Church?
Because no man obtains pardon for his sins without being previously incorporated into the people of God, persevering in unity and communion with the Body of Christ in such a way as to be a true member of the Church.

105. And so outside the Church there is nothing but damnation and death?
Certainly, for all those who separate themselves from the community of the faithful to form a sect on its own, have no hope of salvation so long as they are in schism.

106. What follows?
I believe in “the resurrection of the flesh and the life everlasting”.

107. Why is this article inserted?
To show us that our happiness is not situated on the earth. This serves a two-fold end. We are to learn to pass through this world as though it were a foreign country, treating lightly all earthly things and declining to set our hearts on them. Secondly, we are not to lose courage, no matter how much we fail to perceive as yet the fruit of the grace which the Lord has wrought for us in Jesus Christ, but wait patiently until the time of revelation.

108. How will this resurrection take place?
Those who were formerly dead will resume their bodies, but with another quality; that is, they will no longer be subject to death or corruption, even although their substance will remain the same. Those who will survive God will miraculously raise up through a sudden change, as it is said (1 Cor. 15:52).

109. Will this resurrection not be common to the evil and the good?
Yes indeed, but not in the same way. Some will rise to salvation and joy, others to condemnation and death (John 5:29; Matt. 25:46).

110. Why then is eternal life only spoken of here, and hell not at all?
Because nothing is set down in this summary that does not tend to the consolation of faithful consciences. It relates to us only the benefits which God performs for His servants. Accordingly no mention is made of the wicked, who are excluded from His Kingdom.

111. Since we have the foundation on which faith is laid, we should be quite able to gather from it what true faith is.
Yes, indeed, It is a sure and steadfast knowledge of the love of God toward us, according as He declares in His gospel that He is our Father and Saviour (through the mediation of Jesus Christ).

112. Can we have this by ourselves, or does it come from God?
Scripture teaches that it is the singular gift of the Holy Spirit, and experience also demonstrates it.

113. How so?
Our mind is too weak to comprehend the spiritual wisdom of God which is revealed to us by faith, and our hearts are too prone either to defiance or to a perverse confidence in ourselves or creaturely things. But the Holy Spirit enlightens us to make us capable of understanding what would otherwise be incomprehensible to us, and fortifies us in certitude, sealing and imprinting the promises of salvation on our hearts.

114. What good comes to us from this faith, when we have it?
It justifies us before God, and makes us obtain eternal life.

115. How so? Is not man justified by good works in a holy life and in conformity to God?
If any one be found so perfect, he might well be deemed righteous, but since we are all poor sinners, we must look elsewhere for a worthiness in which to make answer before the judgment of God.

116. But are all our works so reprobate that they cannot merit grace before God?
First, all that we do of ourselves, by our own nature, is vicious, and therefore cannot please God. He condemns them all.

117. You say then that before God has received us in His grace, we can nothing but sin, just as a bad tree cannot but produce bad fruit? (Matt. 7:17).
It is so. For even if our works appear beautiful outwardly, yet they are evil, since the heart, to which God looks, is perverted.

118. Hence you conclude, that we cannot by our merits anticipate God, and so induce Him to be kind to us, but on the contrary that we do nothing but provoke Him to be against us?
Yes. And therefore I say: merely through His goodness, without any regard to our works, He is pleased to accept us freely in Jesus Christ, imputing His righteousness to us, and does not impute our sins to us (Tit. 3:5-7).

119. What do you mean then by saying that a man is justified by faith?
That in believing the promises of the gospel and in receiving them in true affiance of the heart, we enter into this righteousness.

120. You mean then that as God offers righteousness to us by the gospel, so it is by faith that we receive it?

121. But after God has once received us, are the works which we do by His grace, not pleasing to Him?
Yes, they are, in that He generously accepts them, not however in virtue of their own worthiness.

122. How is that? Are they not accepted as worthy, seeing that they proceed from the Holy Spirit?
No. For there is always some weakness in them, the weakness of our flesh, through which they are defiled.

123. By what means, the, are they made acceptable?
It is by faith. That is to say, that a person is assured in his conscience that God will not examine him harshly, but covering his defects and impurities by the purity of Jesus Christ, He will regard him as perfect.

124. But can we say from this that a Christian man is justified by works after God has called him, or that through them he merits the love of God, and so obtains eternal life?
No. On the contrary, it is said that no man living will be justified in His sight (Ps. 143:2). Therefore we have to pray that He will not enter into judgment with us, nor call us to account.

125. You do not mean therefore that the good works of believers are useless?
No. For God promises to reward them fully, both in this world and in Paradise. But this comes from His gratuitous love toward us: moreover He buries all our faults, so as never to remember them.

126. But can we believe that we are justified, without doing good works?
That is impossible. For to believe in Jesus Christ is to receive Him as He has given Himself to us. He promises not only to deliver us from death and restore us to favour with God His Father, through the merit of His innocence, but also to regenerate us by His Spirit, that we may be enabled to live in holiness.

127. Faith, then, not only does not make us careless of good works, but is the root from which they are produced.
It is so, and for this reason, the doctrine of the Gospel is comprehended in these two points, faith and repentance.

128. What is repentance?
Dissatisfaction with and a hatred of evil and a love good proceeding from the fear of God, and inducing us to mortify our flesh, so that we may be governed and led by the Holy Spirit, in the service of God.

129. But this second point we have mentioned concerning the Christian life.
Yes, and we said that the true and legitimate service of God is to obey His will.

130. Why?
Because He will not be served according to our own imagination, but in the way that pleases Him.

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