Blog 160: 3.24.6 - 3.24.11

Stephen Nichols

Calvin ended yesterday's reading by lodging election squarely "in Christ alone."  Now he develops how this grounds, roots, and anchors--pick any metaphor your prefer--our assurance.  Way back when I was working on my dissertation, tackling Edwards on assurance, I remember reading these passages in Calvin and my marginalia leaves no doubt that I was roaming around here back then.  Assurance is such a fundamental, basic piece to living fully and richly in Christ.  In the currents of American evangelical culture, with its stress on the decision, many I'm afraid can be paralyzed here.  Did I really believe in my heart of hearts.  Maybe it, the walking forward, didn't take.  How refreshing this old path marked off by Calvin can be.  Once we understand election, once we understand faith (see 3.24.3), and once we understand Christ and his work, we then can appreciate and possess assurance.  Then Calvin the pastor brings it home in 3.24.6., after a litany of biblical texts expressing Christ's work of keeping us :

 "What did Christ wish to have us to learn from this but to trust that we shall ever remain safe  because we have been made his once for all?"

In our day of seemingly numberless uncertainties, this one remains.  And this is the one that matters most.