Blog 57: 2.6.3 - 2.7.1
More Christ-centered hermeneutics from Calvin: in short, that what is seen in the New is promised in the Old; that by covenant (mentioned five times in section 2.6.3 alone) God administers salvation by one means - "the hope of all the godly has ever reposed in Christ alone" (2.6.3); that "apart from Christ the saving knowledge of God does not stand" (2.6.4); "from the beginning of the world he ... set before the elect that they should look unto him and put their trust in him" (2.6.4); "God is comprehended in Christ alone" (2.6.4). No matter how much we may talk about God, all talk of him outside of his revelation to us in Christ (as in Islam) is idolatry. The addition of the law four hundred years after the death of Abraham (citing Gal. 3:17) did not annul the principle of grace operating under the Abrahamic covenant; rather "it was as if he were sent to renew it" (2.7.1). No "renewal of a covenant of works under a Mosaic covenant" for Calvin but rather, a continuation of the one gracious administration of the covenant established with Abraham and fulfilled in Jesus Christ; the sacrifices serving as "types," foreshadowing the coming Mediator.
And it is here that Calvin introduces us to one of his tell-tale signatures: God has "accommodated himself to our little measure lest our minds be overwhelmed by the immensity of his glory" (2.6.4). What we know of God we know only in part, only to the extent to which he has revealed himself. And even that revelation is just so much "baby-talk" and we must always remember that it is so.
In Christ alone .... is Calvin's theme in these pages. We do well to heed his certainty.