Blog 29: 1.14.12 - 1.14.18

Justin Taylor

Section 12 concludes Calvin's discussion of angels with the plea--certainly relevant today!--that unless we see the angels as leading us to God, we are being misled in our understanding.

In sections 13-19 Calvin will now look at what Scripture teaches about fallen angels.

If we care about God's glory and Christ's kingdom and our salvation, we will fight with all our strength against these armies of adversaries within the empire of wickedness (sections 14-15). All that we learn about demons in Scripture is designed for the purpose of (1) arousing us to take precaution against the enemy's methods and (2) equipping us with the weapons to vanquish our foes (section 13).

What is the nature of the demons and how did they get that way (section 16)? Calvin summarizes: "they were when first created angels of God, but by degeneration they ruined themselves, and became the instruments of ruin for others." Why doesn't Scripture tell us more? Because it really doesn't have anything to do with us and the Holy Spirit didn't see fit "to feed our curiosity with empty histories to no effect." What is important to know is that fact that Satan "can do nothing unless God wills and assents to it" (section 17). Satan and his minions can do many things to attack us but they can never vanquish, crush, overwhelm, or conquer us (section 18).

We may be distressed, but we will recover. We may receive blows, but we will rise. We may be wounded, but we will live. In fact, Calvin says, we will toil this way throughout our lives until at last we obtain the victory. As we fight the good fight, let us call upon God for help, since only he "can supply us with counsel and strength, courage and armor."