Contents and Chapter Sections for
Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559

Home | About | Help | Browse | Site Map | Local Search | Translation | Contact

Subjects are organized in a particularly logical sequence in the INSTITUTES.
It also answers many questions that come to Christians, questions that are not often answered elsewhere.
It has been noted that Calvin's "readiness in bringing Scripture passages to bear upon each point of argument is astonishing, and has perhaps never been surpassed." -- Introduction to Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559, McNeill, Battles), p. liv
This listing of the chapter sections is intended to aid the reader in browsing the whole work, and in finding answers.
Of course, the following bibliographies and indexes are also available.
I. Biblical References [Scripture] . . . . . 1553
II. Author and Source Index to the References in the Introduction, Text, and Footnotes . . . . . 1592
III. Subjects . . . . . 1634, and
IV. Names and Places . . . . . 1713

Volume 1

Editor's Preface . . . . . xix
Translator's Note . . . . . xxiii
Abbreviations and Symbols . . . . . xxv
Introduction . . . . . xxix
John Calvin to the Reader, 1559 . . . . . 3
Subject Matter of the Present Work . . . . . 6
Prefatory Address to King Francis I of France . . . . . 9

Book One. The Knowledge of God the Creator . . . . . 33

Chapter I. The Knowledge of God and That of Ourselves are Connected. How They are Interrelated . . . . . 35
1. Without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God
2. Without knowledge of God there is no knowledge of self
3. Man before God's majesty

Chapter II. What it is to Know God, and to What Purpose the Knowledge of Him Tends . . . . . 39
1. Piety is requisite for the knowledge of God
2. Knowledge of God involves trust and reverence

Chapter III. The Knowledge of God has Been Naturally Implanted in the Minds of men . . . . . 43
1. The character of this natural endowment
2. Religion is no arbitrary invention
3. Actual godlessness is impossible

Chapter IV. This Knowledge is Either Smothered or Corrupted, Partly by Ignorance, Partly by Malice . . . . . 47
1. Superstition
2. Conscious turning away from God
3. We are not to fashion God according to our own whim
4. Hypocrisy

Chapter V. The Knowledge of God Shines Forth in the Fashioning of the Universe and the Continuing Government of it . . . . . 51
(God manifested in his created works, 1-10)
1. The clarity of God's self-disclosure strips us of every excuse
2. The divine wisdom displayed for all to see
3. Man as the loftiest proof of divine wisdom
4. But man turns ungratefully against God
5. The confusion of creature with Creator
6. The Creator reveals his lordship over the creation
7. God's government and judgment
8. God's sovereign sway over the life of men
9. We ought not to rack our brains about God; but rather, we should contemplate him in his works
10. The purpose of this knowledge of God
(Man nevertheless, failing to know and worship him, falls into superstition and confusion, 11-12)
11. The evidence of God in creation does not profit us
12. The manifestation of God is choked by human superstition and the error of the philosophers
(Persistent in error, we are without excuse, 13-15)
13. The Holy Spirit rejects all cults contrived by men
14. The manifestation of God in nature speaks to us in vain
15. We have no excuse

Chapter VI. Scripture is Needed as Guide and Teacher for Anyone who Would Come to God the Creator . . . . . 69
1. God bestows the actual knowledge of himself upon us only in the Scriptures
(Two sorts of knowledge of God in Scripture)
2. The Word of God as Holy Scripture
3. Without Scripture we fall into error
4. Scripture can communicate to us what the revelation in the creation cannot

Chapter VII. Scripture Must be Confirmed by the Witness of the Spirit. Thus may its Authority be Established as Certain; and it is a Wicked Falsehood That its Credibility Depends on the Judgment of the Church . . . . . 74
1. Scripture has its authority from God, not from the church
2. The church is itself grounded upon Scripture
3. Augustine cannot be cited as counter evidence
4. The witness of the Holy Spirit: this is stronger than all proof
5. Scripture bears its own authentication

Chapter VIII. So far as Human Reason Goes, Sufficiently Firm Proofs are at Hand to Establish the Credibility of Scripture . . . . . 81
(The unique majesty and impressiveness, and the high antiquity, of Scripture, 1-4)
1. Scripture is superior to all human wisdom
2. Not style but content is decisive
3. The great antiquity of Scripture
4. The truthfulness of Scripture shown by Moses' example
(Refutation of objections regarding miracles and prophecy, 5-10)
5. Miracles strengthen the authority of God's messengers
6. Moses' miracles are incontestable
7. Prophecies that are fulfilled contrary to all human expectation
8. God has confirmed the prophetic words
9. The transmission of the law is to be trusted
10. God has marvelously preserved the Law and the Prophets
11. Simplicity and heavenly character and authority of the New Testament
(Consent of the church, and fidelity of the martyrs, 12-13)
12. Unvarying testimony of the church to the Scripture
13. Martyrs died firmly for Scripture doctrine

Chapter IX. Fanatics, Abandoning Scripture and Flying Over to Revelation, Cast Down all the Principles of Godliness . . . . . 93
1. The fanatics wrongly appeal to the Holy Spirit
2. The Holy Spirit is recognized in his agreement with Scripture
3. Word and Spirit belong inseparably together

Chapter X. Scripture, to Correct all Superstition, has set the True God Alone Over Against all the Gods of the Heathen . . . . . 96
1. The Scriptural doctrine of God the Creator
2. The attributes of God according to Scripture agree with those known in his creatures
3. Because the unity of God was also not unknown to the heathen, the worshipers of idols are the more inexcusable

Chapter XI. It is Unlawful to Attribute a Visible Form to God, and Generally Whoever Sets up Idols Revolts Against the True God . . . . . 99
(Scriptural argument for rejecting images in worship, 1-4)
1. We are forbidden every pictorial representation of God
2. Every figurative representation of God contradicts his being
3. Even direct signs of the divine Presence give no justification for images
4. Images and pictures are contrary to Scripture
(Pope Gregory's error in this refuted from Scripture and the fathers, 5-7)
5. Scripture judges otherwise
6. The doctors of the church, too, partly judged otherwise
7. The images of the papists are entirely inappropriate
(There would be no "uneducated" at all if the church had done its duty)
(Origin of the use of images, and consequent corruption of worship, although sculpture and painting are gifts of God, 8-16)
8. The origin of images: man's desire for a tangible deity
9. Any use of images leads to idolatry
10. Image worship in the church
11. Foolish evasions of the papists
12. The functions and limits of art
13. As long as doctrine was pure and strong, the church rejected images
14. Childish arguments for images at the Council of Nicaea (787)
15. Ridiculous misuse of Scripture texts
16. Blasphemous and shocking claims for images

Chapter XII. How God is to be so Distinguished From Idols That Perfect Honor may be Given to Him Alone . . . . . 116
1. True religion binds us to God as the one and only God
2. A distinction without a difference
3. Honoring images is dishonor to God

Chapter XIII. In Scripture, From the Creation Onward, we are Taught one Essence of God, Which Contains Three Persons . . . . . 120
(Terms used in the doctrine of the Trinity by the orthodox fathers, 1-6)
1. God's nature is immeasurable and spiritual
2. The three "Persons" in God
3. The expressions "Trinity" and "Person" aid the interpretation of Scripture and are therefore admissible
4. The church has regarded expressions like "Trinity," "Person," etc., as necessary to unmask false teachers
5. Limits and necessity of theological terms
6. The meaning of the most important conception
(The eternal deity of the Son, 7-13)
7. The deity of the Word
8. The eternity of the Word
9. The deity of Christ in the Old Testament
10. The "Angel of the Eternal God"
11. The divinity of Christ in the New Testament: witness of the apostles
12. The divinity of Christ is demonstrated in his works
13. The divinity of Christ is demonstrated by his miracles
(The eternal deity of the Spirit, 14-15)
14. The divinity of the Spirit is demonstrated in his work
15. Express testimonies for the deity of the Spirit
(Distinction and unity of the three Persons, 16-20)
16. Oneness
17. Threeness
18. Difference of Father, Son, and Spirit
19. The relationship of Father, Son, and Spirit
20. The triune God
(Refutation of anti-Trinitarian heresies, 21-29)
21. The ground of all heresy: a warning to all
22. Servetus' contention against the Trinity
23. The Son is God even as the Father
24. The name "God" in Scripture does not refer to the Father alone
25. The divine nature is common to all three Persons
26. The subordination of the incarnate Word to the Father is no counter evidence
27. Our adversaries falsely appeal to Irenaeus
28. The appeal to Tertullian also is of no avail
29. All acknowledged doctors of the church confirm the doctrine of the Trinity

Chapter XIV. Even in the Creation of the Universe and of all Things, Scripture by Unmistakable Marks Distinguishes the True God From False Gods . . . . . 159
(Creation of the world and of man, 1-2)
1. We cannot and should not go behind God's act of creation in our speculation
2. The work of the six days shows God's goodness toward men
(The angels, 3-12)
3. God is Lord over all!
(Creation and functions of angels, 4-12)
4. Also we should not indulge in speculations concerning the angels, but search out the witness of Scripture
5. The designation of the angels in Scripture
6. The angels as protectors and helpers of believers
7. Guardian angels?
8. The hierarchy, number, and form of the angels
9. The angels are not mere ideas, but actuality
10. The divine glory does not belong to the angels
11. God makes use of the angels, not for his own sake, but for ours
12. The angels must not divert us from directing our gaze to the Lord alone
(The devils in the purposes of God, 13-19)
13. Scripture forearms us against the adversary
14. The realm of wickedness
15. An irreconcilable struggle
16. The devil is a degenerate creation of God
17. The devil stands under God's power
18. Assurance of victory!
19. Devils are not thoughts, but actualities
(The spiritual lessons of Creation, 20-22)
20. Greatness and abundance of Creation
21. How should we view God's works?
22. The contemplation of God's goodness in his creation will lead us to thankfulness and trust

Chapter XV. Discussion of Human Nature as Created, of the Faculties of the Soul, of the Image of God, of Free Will, and of the Original Integrity of Man's Nature . . . . . 183
(Man's nature deformed; yet his soul bears, though almost obliterated, the image of God, 1-4)
1. Man proceeded spotless from God's hand; therefore he may not shift the blame for his sins to the Creator
2. Diversity of body and soul
3. God's image and likeness in man
4. The true nature of the image of God is to be derived from what Scripture says of its renewal through Christ
5. Manichaean error of the soul's emanation
(Opinions of the philosophers on the soul criticized in view of the fall of Adam, 6-8)
6. The soul and its faculties
7. Understanding and will as the truly fundamental faculties
8. Free choice and Adam's responsibility

Chapter XVI. God by His Power Nourishes and Maintains the World Created by Him, and Rules its Several Parts by His Providence . . . . . 197
(God's special providence asserted, against the opinions of philosophers, 1-4)
1. Creation and providence inseparably joined
2. There is no such thing as fortune or chance
3. God's providence governs all
4. The nature of providence
("General" and "special" providence)
(Doctrine of special providence supported by the evidence of Scripture, 5-7)
5. God's providence also directs the individual
6. God's providence especially relates to men
7. God's providence also regulates "natural" occurrences
(Discussion of fortune, chance, and seeming contingency in events, 8-9)
8. The doctrine of providence is no Stoic belief in fate!
9. The true causes of events are hidden to us

Chapter XVII. How we may Apply This Doctrine to our Greatest Benefit . . . . . 210
(Interpretation of divine providence with reference to the past and the future, 1-5)
1. The meaning of God's ways
2. God's rule will be observed with respect!
3. God's providence does not relieve us from responsibility
4. God's providence does not excuse us from due prudence
5. God's providence does not exculpate our wickedness
(Meditating on the ways of God in providence: the happiness of recognizing acts of providence, 6-11)
6. God's providence as solace of believers
7. God's providence in prosperity
8. Certainty about God's providence helps us in all adversities
9. No disregard of intermediate causes!
10. Without certainty about God's providence life would be unbearable
11. Certainty about God's providence puts joyous trust toward God in our hearts
(Answer to objections, 12-14)
12. On God's "repentance"
13. Scripture speaks of God's "repentance" to make allowance for our understanding
14. God firmly executes his plan

Chapter XVIII. God so Uses the Works of the Ungodly, and so Bends Their Minds to Carry out His Judgments, That He Remains Pure From Every Stain . . . . . 228
1. No mere "permission"!
2. How does God's impulse come to pass in men?
5. God's will is a unity
4. Even when God uses the deeds of the godless for his purposes, he does not suffer reproach

Book Two. The Knowledge of God the Redeemer in Christ, First Disclosed to the Fathers Under the Law, and Then to us in the Gospel . . . . . 239

Chapter I. By the Fall and Revolt of Adam the Whole Human Race was Delivered to the Curse, and Degenerated From its Original Condition; the Doctrine of Original Sin . . . . . 241
(A true knowledge of ourselves destroys self-confidence, 1-3)
1. Wrong and right knowledge of self
2. Man by nature inclines to deluded self-admiration
3. The two chief problems of self-knowledge
(Adam's sin entailed loss of man's original endowment and ruin of the whole human race, 4-7)
4. The history of the Fall shows us what sin is [Gen., ch. 3] [Genesis 3]: unfaithfulness
5. The first sin as original sin
6. Original sin does not rest upon imitation
7. The transmission of sin from one generation to another
(Original sin defined as a depravity of nature, which deserves punishment, but which is not from nature as created, 8-11)
8. The nature of original sin
9. Sin overturns the whole man
10. Sin is not our nature, but its derangement
11. "Natural" corruption of the "nature" created by God

Chapter II. Man has now Been Deprived of Freedom of Choice and Bound Over to Miserable Servitude . . . . . 255
(Perils of this topic: point of view established, 1)
(Critical discussion of opinions on free will given by philosophers and theologians, 2-9)
2. The philosophers trust in the power of the understanding
3. Thus, in spite of all, the philosophers assert freedom of the will
4. The church fathers generally show less clarity but a tendency to accept freedom of the will. What is free will?
5. Different kinds of "will" and of "freedom" in the church fathers
6. "Operating" and "co-operating" grace?
7. That man is necessarily, but without compulsion, a sinner establishes no doctrine of free will
8. Augustine's doctrine of "free will"
9. Voices of truth among the church fathers
(We must abandon all self-approbation, 10-11)
10. The doctrine of free will is always in danger of robbing God of his honor
11. True humility gives God alone the honor
(Man's natural endowments not wholly extinguished: the understanding, 12-17)
12. Supernatural gifts destroyed; natural gifts corrupted; but enough of reason remains to distinguish man from brute beasts
13. The power of the understanding with respect to earthly things and the form of the human community
14. Understanding as regards art and science
15. Science as God's gift
16. Human competence in art and science also derives from the Spirit of God
17. Summary of 12-16
(But spiritual discernment is wholly lost until we are regenerated, 18-21)
18. The limits of our understanding
19. Man's spiritual blindness shown from John 1:4-5
20. Man's knowledge of God is God's own work
21. Without the light of the Spirit, all is darkness
(Sin is distinct from ignorance [vs. Plato], but may be occasioned by delusion, 22-25)
22. The evidence of God's will that man possesses makes him inexcusable but procures for him no right knowledge
23. Judgment of good and evil is unclear, so long as it takes place arbitrarily
24. Human knowledge wholly fails as regards the First Table of the Law; as regards the Second, fails in a critical situation
25. Every day we need the Holy Spirit that we may not mistake our way
(Man's inability to will the good, 26-27)
26. The natural instinct that treats the "good" and the "acceptable" alike has nothing to do with freedom
27. Our will cannot long for the good without the Holy Spirit

Chapter III. Only Damnable Things Come Forth From Man's Corrupt Nature . . . . . 289
(Corruption of man's nature is such as to require total renewal of his mind and will, 1-5)
1. The whole man is flesh
2. Romans, ch. 3 [Romans 3], as witness for man's corruption
3. God's grace sometimes restrains where it does not cleanse
4. Uprightness is God's gift; but man's nature remains corrupted
5. Man sins of necessity, but, without compulsion
(Conversion of the will is the effect of divine grace inwardly bestowed, 6-14)
6. Men's inability to do good manifests itself above all in the work of redemption, which God does quite alone
7. It is not a case of the believer's "co-operation" with grace; the will is first actuated through grace
8. Scripture imputes to God all that is for our benefit
9. The prayers in Scripture especially show how the beginning, continuation, and end of our blessedness come from God alone
10. God's activity does not produce a possibility that we can exhaust, but an actuality to which we cannot add
11. Perseverance is exclusively God's work; it is neither a reward nor a complement of our individual act
12. Man cannot ascribe to himself even one single good work apart from God's grace
13. Augustine also recognizes no independent activity of the human will
14. Augustine does not eliminate man's will, but makes it wholly dependent upon grace

Chapter IV. How God Works in Men's Hearts . . . . . 309
(Man under Satan's control: but Scripture shows God making use of Satan in hardening the heart of the reprobate, 1-5)
1. Man stands under the devil's power, and indeed willingly
2. God, Satan, and man active in the same event
3. What does "hardness" mean?
4. Scriptural examples of how God treats the godless
5. Satan also must serve God
(God's providence overrules men's wills in external matters, 6-8)
6. In actions of themselves neither good nor bad, we are not thrown on our own
7. In each case God's dominion stands above our freedom
8. The question of "free will' does not depend on whether we can accomplish what we will, but whether we can will freely

Chapter V. Refutation of the Objections Commonly put Forward in Defense of Free Will . . . . . 316
(Answers to arguments for free will alleged on grounds of common sense, 7-5)
1. First argument: necessary sin is not sin; voluntary sin is avoidable
2. Second argument: reward and punishment lose their meaning
3. Third argument: all distinction between good and evil would be obliterated
4. Fourth argument: all exhortation would be meaningless
5. The meaning of exhortation
(Answers to arguments for free will based on interpretation of the law, promises and rebukes of Scripture, 6-11)
6. Are God's precepts "the measure of our strength"?
7. The law itself points our way to grace
8. The several kinds of the commandments clearly show that without grace we can do nothing
9. The work of conversion is not divided between God and man
10. The Biblical promises suppose (according to our opponents' view) the freedom of the will
11. The reproofs in Scripture, they further object, lose their meaning if the will be not free
(Answers to arguments based on special passages and incidents in Scripture, 12-19)
12. Deuteronomy 30:11 ff.
13. God's "waiting" upon men's action is held to suppose freedom of the will
14. Are these works then not "our" works?
15. The "works" are ours by God's gift, but God's by his prompting
16. Genesis 4:7
17. Romans 9:16; I Cor. 3:9 [1 Corinthians 3:9]
18. Ecclesiasticus 15:14-17
19. Luke 10:30

Chapter VI. Fallen Man Ought to Seek Redemption in Christ . . . . . 340
(Through the Mediator, God is seen as a gracious Father, 1-2)
1. Only the Mediator helps fallen man
2. Even the Old Covenant declared that there is no faith in the gracious God apart from the Mediator
(Christ essential to the covenant and to true faith, 3-4)
3. The faith and hope of the Old Covenant fed upon the promise
4. Faith in God is faith in Christ.

Chapter VII. The Law was Given, not to Restrain the Folk of the old Covenant Under Itself, but to Foster Hope of Salvation in Christ Until His Coming . . . . . 348
(The moral and ceremonial law significant as leading to Christ, 1-2)
1. The Mediator helps only fallen man
(We cannot fulfill the moral law, 3-5)
2. The law contains a promise
3. The law renders us inexcusable and drives us into despair
4. Nevertheless the promises in the law are not without meaning
5. The fulfillment of the law is impossible for us
(The law shows the righteousness of God, and as a mirror discloses our sinfulness, leading us to implore divine help, 6-9)
6. The severity of the law takes away from us all self-deception
7. The punitive function of the law does not diminish its worth
8. The punitive function of the law in its work upon believers and unbelievers
9. The law, as Augustine states, by accusing moves us to seek grace
(The law restrains malefactors and those who are not yet believers, 10-11)
10. The law as protection of the community from unjust men
11. The law a deterrent to those not yet regenerate
(Principally it admonishes believers and urges them on in welldoing, 12-13)
12. Even the believers have need of the law
13. Whoever wants to do away with the law entirely for the faithful, understands it falsely
(Its so-called "abrogation" has reference to the liberation of the conscience, and the discontinuance of the ancient ceremonies, 14-17)
14. To what extent has the law been abrogated for believers?
15. The law is abrogated to the extent that it no longer condemns us
16. The ceremonial law
17. "The written bond against us" is blotted out

Chapter VIII. Explanation of the Moral law (the Ten Commandments) . . . . . 367
(The written moral law a statement of the natural law, 1-2)
1. What are the Ten Commandments to us?
2. The inexorableness of the law
(We learn from it that God is our Father; that he is merciful and all-holy, and in kindness requires obedience, 3-5)
3. The severity of the law has a positive goal
4. Promises and threats
5. The sufficiency of the law
(It is to be spiritually understood and interpreted with reference to the purpose of the Lawgiver, 6-10)
6. Since the law is God's law, it makes a total claim upon us
7. Christ himself has restored the right understanding of the law
8. Ways to the right meaning
9. Commandment and prohibition
10. By its strong language, the law shocks us into greater detestation of sin
(The two Tables of the law, and the commandments rightly assigned to each, 11-12)
11. The two Tables
12. The distribution of the commandments in the two Tables
(Detailed exposition of the individual commandments, 13-50)
13. The Preface ("I am Jehovah, your God. . . . . . ")
14. "I am Jehovah your God"
15. "Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage"
16. The First Commandment
17. Spiritual worship of the invisible God
18. Threatening words in the Second Commandment
19. "Who visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children . . ."
20. Does not the visitation of the sins of the fathers upon the children run counter to God's justice?
21. "And shows mercy unto thousands . . ."
Third Commandment (sic)
22. Interpretation of the commandment
23. The oath as confession to God
24. The false oath as a desecration of God's name
25. The idle oath
26. Does not the Sermon on the Mount forbid this kind of oath?
27. The extrajudicial oath is therefore necessarily admissible
Fourth Commandment
28. General interpretation
29. The Sabbath commandment as promise
30. The seventh day
31. In Christ the promise of the Sabbath commandment is fulfilled
32. How far does the Fourth Commandment go beyond external regulation?
33. Why do we celebrate Sunday?
34. Spiritual observance of the sacred day
Fifth Commandment
35. The wide scope of this commandment
36. The demand
37. The promise
38. The threat
Sixth Commandment
39. The commandment
40. The reason for this commandment
Seventh Commandment
41. General interpretation
42. Celibacy?
43. Marriage as related to this commandment
44. Modesty and chastity
Eighth Commandment
45. General interpretation
46. This commandment obligates us to care for others' good
Ninth Commandment
47. General interpretation
48. The good reputation of our neighbor
Tenth Commandment
49. The meaning of this commandment
50. Innermost righteousness!
(Principles of the law in the light of Christ's teaching, 51-59)
51. The sum of the law
52. Why does Scripture sometimes mention only the Second Table?
55. Faith and love
54. Love of neighbor
55. Who is our neighbor?
56. "Evangelical counsels"?
57. The commandment to love our enemy is a genuine commandment
58. Distinction of mortal and venial sins invalid!
59. Every sin is a deadly sin!

Chapter IX. Christ, Although he was Known to the Jews Under the Law, was at Length Clearly Revealed Only in the Gospel . . . . . 423
(The grace of Christ anticipated and manifested, 1-2)
1. The advantage of the community of the New Covenant
2. The gospel preaches the revealed Christ
(Refutation of errors on the relation of law and gospel: intermediate position of John the Baptist, 3-5)
3. The promises are not abrogated for us
4. The opposition between law and gospel ought not to be exaggerated
5. John the Baptist

Chapter X. The Similarity of the Old and New Testaments . . . . . 428
(The covenant in the Old Testament really the same as that of the New, 1-6)
1. The question
2. Chief points of agreement
3. The Old Testament looks to the future
4. Even in the Old Covenant justification derives its validity from grace alone
5. Similar signs of the covenant
6. Refutation of an objection based on John 6:49,54
(Argument concerning the hope of eternal life, showing that the Old Testament patriarchs looked for fulfillment of the promises in the life to come, 7-14)
7. The fathers had the Word; with it they also had eternal life
8. In the Old Covenant, God gave his people fellowship with himself and thus eternal life
9. Even in the Old Covenant, God's goodness was stronger than death
10. The blessedness of the ancient people was not earthly
11. The faith of Abraham
12. The faith of Isaac and Jacob
13. The patriarchs sought for everlasting life
14. Death for the saints the entrance to life
(This argument continued with references to passages from David, Job, Ezekiel, and others, 15-22)
15. David as proclaimer of hope
16. Additional passages applicable to the future life
17. The hope of the godly rises above present calamities to the future life
18. Their happy destiny contrasted with that of the wicked
19. Job as witness of immortality
20. The witness of the prophets to immortality
21. The valley of dry bones in Ezekiel
22. Additional passages from other prophets
23. Summary and conclusion: the agreement of the Testaments on eternal life

Chapter XI. The Difference Between the two Testaments . . . . . 449
(i. The Old Testament differs from the New in five respects: representation of spiritual blessings by temporal, 1-3)
1. Stress on earthly benefits which, however, were to lead to heavenly concerns
2. The earthly promises corresponded to the childhood of the church in the Old Covenant; but were not to chain hope to earthly things
3. Physical benefits and physical punishments as types
(ii. Truth in the Old Testament conveyed by images and ceremonies, typifying Christ, 4-6)
4. The meaning of this difference
5. Childhood and manhood of the church
6. Even the great men of faith remained within the limits of the Old Covenant
(iii. The Old Testament is literal; the New, spiritual, 7-8)
7. Biblical origin and meaning of this difference
8. The difference in detail, according to II Cor., ch. 3 [2 Corinthians 3]
(iv. Bondage of the Old Testament and freedom of the New, 9-10)
9. Paul's teaching
10. Law and gospel
(v. The Old Testament has reference to one nation, the New to all nations, 11-12)
11. The wall is torn down in Christ
12. The calling of the Gentiles
(Reply to objections regarding God's justice and consistency in these differences of administration, 13-14)
13. Why, in general, the differences?
14. God's freedom to deal with all men as he wills

Chapter XII. Christ had to Become man in Order to Fulfill the Office of Mediator . . . . . 464
(Reasons why it was necessary that the Mediator should be God and should become man, 1-3)
1. Only he who was true God and true man could bridge the gulf between God and ourselves
2. The Mediator must be true God and true man
3. Only he who was true God and true man could be obedient in our stead
(Objections to this doctrine answered, 4-7)
4. The sole purpose of Christ's incarnation was our redemption
5. Would Christ have also become man if Adam had not sinned?
6. Osiander's doctrine of the image of God
7. Point-by-point refutation of Osiander

Chapter XIII. Christ Assumed the True Substance of Human Flesh . . . . . 474
(Referring to ancient heresies, Calvin answers Menno Simons, 1-2)
1. Proof of Christ's true manhood
2. Against the opponents of Christ's true manhood
(The human descent and true humanity of Christ, 3-4)
3. Christ's descent through the Virgin Mary: an absurdity exposed
4. True man -- and yet sinless! True man -- and yet eternal God!

Chapter XIV. How the two Natures of the Mediator Make one Person . . . . . 482
(Explanation of the human and divine natures in Christ, 1-3)
1. Duality and unity
2. Divinity and humanity in their relation to each other
3. The unity of the person of the Mediator
(Condemnation of the errors of Nestorius, Eutyches, and Servetus, 4-8)
4. The two natures may not be thought of as either fused or separated
5. Christ is the Son of God from everlasting
6. Christ as Son of God and Son of man
7. Servetus' flimsy counterevidence
8. Comprehensive presentation and rebuttal of Servetus' doctrine

Chapter XV. To Know the Purpose for Which Christ was Sent by the Father, and What He Conferred Upon us, we Must Look Above all at Three Things in Him: the Prophetic Office, Kingship, and Priesthood . . . . . 494
(i. Christ's saving activity threefold: first the prophetic office,
1. The need of understanding this doctrine: Scriptural passages applicable to Christ's prophetic office
2. The meaning of the prophetic office for us
(ii. The kingly office -- its spiritual character, 3-5)
3. The eternity of Christ's dominion
4. The blessing of Christ's kingly office for us
5. The spiritual nature of his kingly office: the sovereignty of Christ and of the Father
(iii. The priestly office: reconciliation and intercession, 6)

Chapter XVI. How Christ has Fulfilled the Function of Redeemer to Acquire Salvation for us. Here, Also, His Death and Resurrection are Discussed, as Well as His Ascent Into Heaven . . . . . 503
(Alienated by sin from God, who yet loved us, we are reconciled by Christ, 1-4)
1. The Redeemer
2. The awareness of God's wrath makes us thankful for his loving act in Christ
3. God's wrath against unrighteousness; his love precedes our reconciliation in Christ
4. The work of atonement derives from God's love; therefore it has not established the latter
(The effects of the obedience and death of Christ, 5-7)
5. Christ has redeemed us through his obedience, which he practiced throughout his life
(The condemnation through Pilate)
6. "Crucified"
7. "Dead and buried"
(Explanation of the doctrine of the descent into hell, 8-12)
8. "Descended into hell"
9. Christ in the nether world?
10. The "descent into hell" as an expression of the spiritual torment that Christ underwent for us
11. Defense of this explanation from Scripture passages
12. Defense of the doctrine against misunderstandings and errors
(Christ's resurrection, ascension, and heavenly session, 13-16)
13. "On the third day he rose again from the dead"
14. "Ascended into heaven"
15. "Seated at the right hand of the Father"
16. Benefits imparted to our faith by Christ's ascension
(Christ's future return in judgment, 17)
17. "From whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead"
(Concluding remarks on the Apostles' Creed and the sufficiency of Christ, 18-19)
18. The Judge is the Redeemer!
19. Christ alone in all the clauses of the Creed

Chapter XVII. Christ Rightly and Properly Said to Have Merited God's Grace and Salvation for us . . . . . 528
1. Christ's merit does not exclude God's free grace, but precedes it
2. Scripture couples God's grace and Christ's merit
3. The merit of Christ in the witness of Scripture
4. The substitution of Christ
5. Christ's death the price of our redemption
6. Christ acquired no merit for himself

Book Three. The way in Which we Receive the Grace of Christ: What Benefits Come to us From it, and What Effects Follow . . . . . 535

Chapter I. The Things Spoken Concerning Christ Profit us by the Secret Working of the Spirit . . . . . 537
1. The Holy Spirit as the bond that unites us to Christ
2. How and why Christ was endowed with the Holy Spirit
3. Titles of the Holy Spirit in Scripture
4. Faith as the work of the Spirit

Chapter II. Faith: Its Definition set Forth, and its Properties Explained . . . . . 542
(The object of faith is Christ, 1)
(Faith involves knowledge; the true doctrine obscured by the Scholastic notion of implicit faith, 2-5)
2. Faith rests upon knowledge, not upon pious ignorance
3. The Roman doctrine, of "implicit" faith is basically false
4. Even right faith is always surrounded by error and unbelief
5. "Implicit" faith as prerequisite of faith
(Relation of faith to the Word and brief definition of faith, 6-7)
6. Faith rests upon God's Word
7. Faith arises from God's promise of grace in Christ
(Various unacceptable significations of the term "faith," 8-13)
8. "Formed" and "unformed" faith
9. I Corinthians 13:2 [1 Corinthians 13:2] -- a proof of the difference between "formed" and "unformed" faith
10. What is called "unformed" faith is only an illusion of faith
11. "Faith" even among the reprobate?
12. True and false faith
13. Different meanings of the word "faith" in Scripture
(Detailed examination of what the definition of faith in paragraph 7 implies: the element of knowledge, 14-15)
14. Faith as higher knowledge
15. Faith implies certainty
(Certainty of faith in relation to fear, 16-28)
16. Certainty of faith
17. Faith in the struggle against temptation
18. The conflict in the heart of the believer
19. Even weak faith is real faith
20. The weakness and strength of faith
21. The Word of God as the shield of faith
22. Right fear
23. "Fear and trembling"
24. The indestructible certainty of faith rests upon Christ's oneness with us
25. Bernard of Clairvaux on the two aspects of faith
26. Fear of God and honor of God
27. Childlike and servile fear
28. Faith assures us not of earthly prosperity but of God's favor
(Basis of faith the free promise, given in the Word, of grace in Christ, 29-32)
29. God's promise the support of faith
30. Why faith depends solely on the promise of grace
31. The significance of the Word for faith
32. The promise of faith fulfilled in Christ
(Faith revealed in our hearts by the Spirit, 33-37)
33. The Word becomes efficacious for our faith through the Holy Spirit
34. Only the Holy Spirit leads us to Christ
35. Without the Spirit man is incapable of faith
36. Faith as a matter of the heart
37. Doubt cannot smother faith
(Refutation of Scholastic objections to this, 38-40)
38. Scholastic error concerning the assurance of faith
39. The Christian rejoices in the indwelling of the Spirit
40. The alleged uncertainty as to whether we will persevere to the end
(Relation of faith to hope and love, 41-43)
41. Faith according to Heb. 11:1 [Hebrews 11:1]
(Faith and love)
42. Faith and hope belong together
43. Faith and hope have the same foundation: God's mercy

Chapter III. Our Regeneration by Faith: Repentance . . . . . 592
(Repentance the fruit of faith: review of some errors connected with this point, 1-4)
1. Repentance as a consequence of faith
2. Repentance has its foundation in the gospel, which faith embraces
3. Mortification and vivification
4. Penance under law and under gospel
(Repentance defined: explanation of its elements, mortification of the flesh and vivification of the spirit, 5-9)
5. Definition
6. Repentance as turning to God
7. Repentance as induced by the fear of God?
8. Mortification and vivification as component parts of repentance
9. Rebirth in Christ!
(Believers experience sanctification, but not sinless perfection in this life, 10-15)
10. Believers are still sinners
11. In believers sin has lost its dominion; but it still dwells in them
12. What does "natural corruption" mean?
13. Augustine as witness to the sinfulness of believers
14. Against the illusion of perfection
15. Repentance according to II Cor. 7:11 [2 Corinthians 7:11]
(The fruits of repentance: holiness of life, confession and remission of sins; repentance is lifelong, 16-20)
16. Outward and inward repentance
17. The outward practice of penance must not become the chief thing
18. Confession of sin before God and before men
19. Repentance and forgiveness are interrelated
20. In what sense is repentance the prior condition of forgiveness?
(Sins for which there is no repentance or pardon, 21-25)
21. Repentance as God's free gift
22. Unpardonable sin
23. How the impossibility of "second repentance" is to be understood
24. Those who cannot be forgiven are those who cannot repent
25. Sham repentance and honest repentance

Chapter IV. How far From the Purity of the Gospel is all That the Sophists in Their Schools Prate About Repentance; Discussion of Confession and Satisfaction . . . . . 622
(The Scholastic doctrine of confession and contrition, with its alleged Scriptural basis, examined, 1-6)
1. The Scholastic doctrine of penance
2. The Scholastic doctrine of penance torments the conscience
3. Not the sinner's contrition, but the Lord's mercy awaits
4. Confession not enjoined: refutation of Scholastic allegorical argument from the lepers that were cleansed
5. The unbinding of Lazarus misapplied
6. Scriptural confession
(Evidence for late origin of auricular confession, 7-8)
7. Compulsory confession unknown in the ancient church
8. Chrysostom does not enjoin confession to men
(Scriptural confession of sins, public and private, 9-13)
9. Confession before God
10. Confession of sins before men
11. General confession of sin
12. Private confession in the cure of souls
13. Private confession for the removal of an offense
(The power of the keys, and absolution, 14-15)
14. Nature and value of the power of the keys
15. Summary of the Roman doctrine of confession
(Criticism of Romanist errors and injurious practices related to confession and satisfaction, 16-25)
16. The enumeration of all sins is impossible
17. The requirement of complete confession is a measureless torment
18. The pernicious effect of demanding complete confession
19. Against auricular confession
20. Baseless appeal to the power of the keys
21. The uncertainty of priestly binding and loosing
22. The difference between perverted and right use of the power of the keys
23. Perverse claims exposed
24. Summary
25. General presentation and refutation of the Roman doctrine
(The grace of Christ alone provides true satisfaction for sin and peace to the conscience, 26-27)
26. Christ has provided full satisfaction
27. The Roman doctrine deprives Christ of honor, and the conscience of every assurance
(Various distinctions and objections critically examined, 28-39)
28. Venial and mortal sins
29. Forgiveness of sins involves remission of penalty
30. Christ's unique sacrifice can alone remove both penalty and guilt
31. Misinterpretations exposed: God's judgments, penal and corrective
32. God's judgment in vengeance has a wholly different purpose from that of his judgment in chastisement: the distinction
33. Judgment of vengeance serves to punish; judgment of chastisement to improve
34. The believer undergoing God's chastisement is not to lose heart
35. The punishment of David
36. Good works as redemption of punishment
37. The woman who was a sinner
38. The Roman doctrine cannot claim the authority of the church fathers
39. The Schoolmen corrupt the teaching of the fathers

Chapter V. The Supplements That They add to Satisfactions, Namely, Indulgences and Purgatory . . . . . 670
(The erroneous doctrine of indulgences and its evil consequences, 1-5)
1. Indulgences according to Romanist doctrine, and the mischief caused by them
2. Indulgences contrary to Scripture
3. Authorities against indulgences and merits of martyrs
4. Refutation of opposing Scriptural proofs
5. Indulgences oppose the unity and the comprehensive activity of the grace of Christ
(Refutation of the doctrine of purgatory by an exposition of the Scriptural passages adduced to support it, 6-10)
6. Refutation of the doctrine of purgatory is necessary
7. Alleged proofs of purgatory from the Gospels
8. From Philippians, Revelation, and Second Maccabees
9. The crucial passage in I Cor., ch. 3 [1 Corinthians 3]
10. The appeal to the early church cannot help the Romanists

Chapter VI. The Life of the Christian man; and First, by What Arguments Scripture Urges us to it . . . . . 684
1. Plan of the treatise
2. Motives for the Christian life
3. The Christian life receives its strongest motive to God's work through the person and redemptive act of Christ
4. The Christian life is not a matter of the tongue but of the inmost heart
5. Imperfection and endeavor of the Christian life

Chapter VII. The Sum of the Christian Life: The Denial of Ourselves . . . . . 689
(The Christian philosophy of unworldliness and self-denial; we are not our own, we are God's, 1-3)
1. We are not our own masters, but belong to God
2. Self-denial through devotion to God
3. Self-renunciation according to Titus, ch. 2 [Titus 2]
(The principle of self-denial in our relations with our fellow men, 4-7)
4. Self-denial gives us the right attitude toward our fellow men
5. Self-renunciation leads to proper helpfulness toward our neighbors
6. Love of neighbor is not dependent upon manner of men but looks to God
7. The outward work of love is not sufficient, but it is intention that counts!
(The principle of self-denial in our relation to God, 8-10)
8. Self-denial toward God: devotion to his will!
9. Trust in God's blessing only
10. Self-denial helps us bear adversity

Chapter VIII. Bearing the Cross, a Part of Self-denial . . . . . 702
(We are to take up our cross, as followers of Christ, 1-2)
1. Christ's cross and ours
2. The cross leads us to perfect trust in God's power
(This is needful to teach us patience and obedience, 3-6)
3. The cross permits us to experience God's faithfulness and gives us hope for the future
4. The cross trains us to patience and obedience
5. The cross as medicine
6. The cross as fatherly chastisement
(Bearing the cross in persecution and other calamities, 7-8)
7. Suffering for righteousness' sake
8. Suffering under the cross, the Christian finds consolation in God
(The Christian meets suffering as sent by God, but with no Stoic insensibility, 9-11)
9. The Christian, unlike the Stoic, gives expression to his pain and sorrow
10. Real sorrow and real patience in conflict with each other
11. Patience according to philosophic and Christian understanding

Chapter IX. Meditation on the Future Life . . . . . 712
(By our tribulations God weans us from excessive love of this present life, 1-2)
1. The vanity of this life
2. Our tendency to leave unnoticed the vanity of this life
(A right estimate of the present life, which is transient and unsatisfying, leads us to meditate on the life to come, 3-6)
3. Gratitude for earthly life!
4. The right longing for eternal life
5. Against the fear of death!
6. The comfort prepared for believers by aspiration for the life to come

Chapter X. How we Must use the Present Life and its Helps . . . . . 719
(The good things of this life are to be enjoyed as gifts of God, 1-2)
1. Double danger: mistaken strictness and mistaken laxity
2. The main principle
(We are not to use these blessings indulgently, or to seek wealth greedily, but to serve dutifully in our calling, 3-6)
3. A look at the Giver of the gift prevents narrow-mindedness and immoderation
4. Aspiration to eternal life also determines aright our outward conduct of life
5. Frugality, earthly possessions held in trust
6. The Lord's calling a basis of our way of life

Chapter XI. Justification by Faith: First the Definition of the Word and of the Matter . . . . . 725
(Justification and regeneration, the terms defined, 1-4)
1. Place and meaning of the doctrine of "justification"
2. The concept of justification
3. Scriptural usage
4. Justification as gracious acceptance by God and as forgiveness of sins
(Refutation of Osiander's doctrine of "essential righteousness," 5-12)
5. Osiander's doctrine of essential righteousness
6. Osiander erroneously mixes forgiveness of sins with rebirth
7. The significance of faith for justification
8. Osiander's doctrine that Christ is, according to his divine nature, our righteousness
9. Justification as the work of the Mediator
10. What is the nature of our union with Christ?
11. Osiander's doctrine of the essential righteousness nullifies the certainty of salvation
12. Refutation of Osiander
(Refutation of Scholastic doctrines of good works as effective for justification, 13-20)
13. Righteousness by faith and righteousness by works
14. Likewise, the works of the regenerated can procure no justification
15. The Roman doctrine of grace and good works
16. Our justification according to the judgment of Scripture
17. Faith righteousness and law righteousness according to Paul
18. Justification not the wages of works, but a free gift
19. Through "faith alone"
20. "Works of the law"
(Sins are remitted only through the righteousness of Christ, 21-23)
21. Justification, reconciliation, forgiveness of sins
22. Scriptural proof for the close relation between justification and forgiveness of sins
23. Righteous -- not in ourselves but in Christ

Chapter XII. We Must Lift up our Minds to God's Judgment Seat That we may be Firmly Convinced of His Free Justification . . . . . 754
(Justification in the light of the majesty and perfection of God, 1-3)
1. No one is righteous before God's judgment seat
2. Righteousness before men and righteousness before God
3. Augustine and Bernard of Clairvaux as witnesses of true righteousness
(Conscience and self-criticism before God deprive us of all claim to good works and lead us to embrace God's mercy, 4-8)
4. The gravity of God's judgment puts an end to all self-deception
5. Away with all self-admiration!
6. What humility before God is
7. Christ calls sinners, not the righteous
8. Arrogance and complacency before God block our way to Christ

Chapter XIII. Two Things to be Noted in Free Justification . . . . . 763
1. Justification serves God's honor; and revelation, his justice
2. He who glories in his own righteousness robs God of his honor
3. A glance at one's own righteousness provides no peace for the conscience
4. Attention to one's own righteousness also nullifies the promises
5. Faith in God's free grace alone gives us peace of conscience and gladness in prayer

Chapter XIV. The Beginning of Justification and its Continual Progress . . . . . 768
(Man in his natural state dead in sins and in need of redemption, 1-6)
1. Four classes of men with regard to justification
2. The virtues of unbelievers are God-given
3. No true virtue without true faith
4. Without Christ there is no true holiness
5. Righteousness before God comes not from works, though ever so good, but from grace
6. Man can contribute nothing to his own righteousness
(Hypocrites and nominal Christians, under condemnation, 7-8)
7. Righteousness is a thing of the heart!
8. Person and work
(Those who are regenerated, justified by faith alone, 9-11)
9. Also, true believers do no good works of themselves
10. He who thinks he has his own righteousness misunderstands the severity of the law
11. Believers' righteousness is always faith righteousness
(Scholastic objections to justification by faith, and doctrine of the supererogatory merits of the saints examined and refuted, 12-21)
12. Evasions of opponents
13. One who speaks of "supererogatory" works misunderstands the sharpness of God's demand and the gravity of sin
14. Even the perfect fulfillment of our obligation would bring us no glory; but this also is not at all possible!
15. God is entitled to all that we are and have; hence there can be no supererogatory works
16. No trust in works and no glory in works!
17. In no respect can works serve as the cause of our holiness
18. The sight of good works, however, can strengthen faith
19. Works as fruits of the call
20. Works are God's gift and cannot become the foundation of self-confidence for believers
21. Sense in which good works are sometimes spoken of as a reason for divine benefits

Chapter XV. Boasting About the Merits of Works Destroys our Praise of God for Having Bestowed Righteousness, as Well as our Assurance of Salvation . . . . . 788
(Doctrine of human merit in justification opposed by Augustine and Bernard as well as by Scripture, 1-4)
1. False and true questioning
2. "Merit," an unscriptural and dangerous word!
3. The whole value of good works comes from God's grace
4. Defense against counter evidence
(Rejection of the substitution of man's merit for Christ's, 5-8)
5. Christ as the sole foundation, as beginner and perfecter
6. Roman theology curtails Christ's might and honor
7. Roman theology understands neither Augustine nor Scripture
8. Admonition and comfort on the basis of right doctrine

Chapter XVI. Refutation of the False Accusations by Which the Papists try to Cast Odium Upon This Doctrine . . . . . 797
1. Does the doctrine of justification do away with good works?
2. Does the doctrine of justification stifle zeal for good works?
3. God's honor and God's mercy as motives for action: subordination of works
4. The doctrine of justification as incitement to the sinful

Chapter XVII. The Agreement of the Promises of the Law and of the Gospel . . . . . 802
(Works as related to the law: the instance of Cornelius. 1-5)
1. Scholastic arguments stated and confuted
2. We cannot bring the promises of the law to fulfillment through our works
3. The promises of the law are put into effect through the gospel
4. The twofold acceptance of man before God
5. In what sense the Lord is pleased with the good works of the regenerate
(Passages that relate justification to works examined, 6-15)
6. The promises of grace of the Old Covenant as distinct from the promises of the law
7. Does not Scripture speak of the "righteousness" of the works of the law?
8. Twofold value of work before God
9. Justification by faith is the basis of works righteousness
10. Works acceptable only when sins have been pardoned
11. James against Paul?
12. The word "justify" used by James in a sense different from Paul's
13. Romans 2:13
14. What does it mean when before God believers appeal to their works?
15. Perfection of believers?

Chapter XVIII. Works Righteousness is Wrongly Inferred From Reward . . . . . 821
(Passages referring to reward do not make works the cause of salvation, 1-4)
1. What does "recompense according to works" mean?
2. Reward as "inheritance"
3. Reward as grace
4. The purpose of the promise of reward
(Answers to objections against this view, 5-10)
5. Reward rests upon forgiveness
6. On "treasures in heaven"
7. Reward for tribulation endured?
8. Justification through love
9. Matthew 19:17
10. Righteousness and unrighteousness are not comparable with each other by the same rule

Chapter XIX. Christian Freedom . . . . . 833
(Necessity of a doctrine of Christian freedom, which has three parts, the first seen in Gal., chs. 1 to 3 [Galatians 1-3])
1. Need for a right understanding of the Christian doctrine of freedom
2. Freedom from the law
5. The argument of Galatians
(The second, freedom of conscience willingly obeying without compulsion of the law, 4-6)
4. Freedom from the constraint of the law establishes the true obedience of believers
5. Freedom from constraint makes us capable of joyous obedience
6. Emancipated by grace, believers need not fear the remnants of sin
(Freedom in "things indifferent" with proofs from Romans, 7-9)
8. Freedom in the use of God's gifts for his purposes
9. Against the abuse of Christian freedom for gluttony and luxury!
(Relation of Christian freedom to the weak and to the question of offenses, 10-13)
10. Against the abuse of Christian freedom to the injury of the weak!
11. On offenses
12. On the right use of Christian freedom and the right renunciation of it
13. We must not on pretext of love of neighbor offend against God
(Freedom and conscience in relation to traditions, and to civil government, 14-16)
14. Freedom of conscience from all human law
15. The two kingdoms
16. Bondage and freedom of conscience

Volume 2

Chapter XX. Prayer, Which is the Chief Exercise of Faith, and by Which we Daily Receive God's Benefits . . . . . 850
(The nature and value of prayer, 1-3)
1. Faith and prayer
2. The necessity of prayer
3. Objection: Is prayer not superfluous? Six reasons for it
(The rules of right prayer, 4-16)
(First Rule: reverence, 4-5)
4. Devout detachment required for conversation with God
5. Against undisciplined and irreverent prayer
(The Holy Spirit aids right prayer)
(Second Rule: We pray from a sincere sense of want, and with penitence, 6-7)
6. The sense of need that excludes all unreality
7. Is prayer at times dependent upon our passing mood?
(Third Rule: We yield all confidence in ourselves and humbly plead for pardon, 8-10)
8. We come as humble suppliants for mercy
9. The plea for forgiveness of sins as the most important part of prayer
10. Reference to one's own righteousness?
(Fourth rule: We pray with confident hope, 11-14)
11. Hope and faith overcome fear
(Prayer and faith)
12. Against the denial of certainty that prayer is granted
13. God's command and promise as motive for prayer
14. Men should pray confidently, without terror but with reverential fear
(God hearkens even to defective prayers, 15-16)
15. Hearkening to perverted prayer
16. Our prayers can obtain an answer only through God's forgiveness
(The intercession of Christ, 17-20)
17. Prayer in the name of Jesus
18. The risen Christ as our intercessor
19. Christ is the only Mediator, even for the mutual intercession of believers
20. Christ is the eternal and abiding Mediator
(Rejection of erroneous doctrines of the intercession of saints, 21-27)
21. One who takes refuge in the intercession of saints robs Christ of the honor of mediation
22. Veneration of saints
23. Confused interpretations of Scripture used to support intercession of saints
24. The departed saints not engaged in earthly cares
25. Invocation of the names of the patriarchs not relevant
26. The saints have prayed as we ought to pray
27. Concluding refutation of the doctrine of intercession of saints
(Kinds of prayer: private and public, 28-30)
28. Private prayer
29. Necessity and danger of public prayer
30. Not church buildings but we ourselves are temples of God
(The use of singing, and of the spoken language, 31-33)
31. On speaking and singing in prayer
32. Church singing
33. Prayer should be in the language of the people
(The Lord's Prayer: exposition of the first three petitions, 34-42)
34. The Lord's Prayer as necessary help for us
35. Division and main content
("Our Father, who art in heaven")
36. "Our Father"
37. "Our Father": a form of address that should encourage us
38. "Our Father": a form of address that sets us in the fellowship with the brethren
39. Comparison of prayer and almsgiving
40. "Our Father . . . . . in heaven"
41. The first petition
42. The second petition
43. The third petition
(Conclusion of the first part)
(Exposition of the last three petitions, 44-47)
44. The fourth petition
45. The fifth petition
("As we forgive . . . . . ")
46. The sixth petition
47. The conclusion
(Concluding considerations: adequacy of the Lord's Prayer, with freedom to use other words, 48-49)
48. The Lord's Prayer as a binding rule
49. The Lord's Prayer does not bind us to its form of words but to its content
(Special times of prayer and undiscouraged perseverance in it, 50-52)
50. Prayer at regular times
51. Patient perseverance in prayer
52. Unheard prayers?

Chapter XXI. Eternal Election, by Which God Has Predestined Some to Salvation, Others to Destruction . . . . . 920
(Importance of the doctrine of predestination excludes both presumption and reticence in speaking of it, 1-4)
1. Necessity and beneficial effect of the doctrine of election; danger of curiosity
2. Doctrine of predestination to be sought in Scripture only
3. The second danger: anxious silence about the doctrine of election
4. The alleged peril in the doctrine dismissed
(Predestination defined and explained in relation to the Israelitish nation, and to individuals, 5-7)
5. Predestination and foreknowledge of God; the election of Israel
6. The second stage: election and reprobation of individual Israelites
7. The election of individuals as actual election
(Summary survey of the doctrine of election)

Chapter XXII. Confirmation of This Doctrine From Scriptural Testimonies . . . . . 932
(Election is not from foreknowledge of merit but is of God's sovereign purpose, 1-6)
1. Election vs. foreknowledge of merits
2. Election before creation and not associated with foreknowledge of merit
3. Elected to be holy, not because already holy
4. Romans, chs. 9 to 11 [Romans 9-11], and similar passages
5. The case of Jacob and Esau refutes the argument from works
6. Jacob's election not to earthly blessings
(Answers to opponents of this basis of election, which also is reprobation, 7-11)
7. Christ's witness concerning election
8. The church fathers, especially Augustine, on God's "foreknowledge"
9. Is not election joined to God's "foreknowledge" of man's merits in so far as free grace makes just such merits possible?
10. The universality of God's invitation and the particularity of election
11. Rejection also takes place not on the basis of works but solely according to God's will

Chapter XXIII. Refutation of the False Accusations With Which This Doctrine has Always Been Unjustly Burdened . . . . . 947
(Reprobation the concomitant of election and an act of God's will, 1-3)
1. Election -- but no reprobation?
(First objection: the doctrine of election makes God a tyrant, 2-3)
2. God's will is the rule of righteousness
3. God is just toward the reprobate
(God's justice not subject to our questioning, 4-7)
4. God's decree is also hidden in his justice
5. God's hidden decree is not to be searched out but obediently marveled at
6. Second objection: the doctrine of election takes guilt and responsibility away from man
7. God has also predestined the fall into sin
(God willed, not only permitted, Adam's fall and the rejection of the reprobate, but with justice, 8-11)
8. No distinction between God's will and God's permission!
9. Summary refutation of the second objection
10. Third objection: the doctrine of election leads to the view that God shows partiality toward persons
11. God's mercy and righteousness in predestination
(Preaching of predestination not injurious but useful, 12-14)
12. Fourth objection: the doctrine of election destroys all zeal for an upright life
13. Fifth objection: the doctrine of election makes all admonitions meaningless
14. Augustine as the pattern for the right manner of preaching divine predestination

Chapter XXIV. Election is Confirmed by God's Call; Moreover, the Wicked Bring Upon Themselves the Just Destruction to Which They are Destined . . . . . 964
(The elect are effectually called, and incorporated into the communion of Christ, 1-5)
1. The call is dependent upon election and accordingly is solely a work of grace
2. The manner of the call itself clearly indicates that it depends on grace alone
3. Faith is the work of election, but election does not depend upon faith
4. The right and wrong way to attain certainty of election
5. Election is to be understood and recognized in Christ alone
(Under Christ's protection the perseverance of the elect is secure: Scripture passages cited in objection interpreted, 6-11)
6. Christ bestows upon his own the certainty that their election is irrevocable and lasting
7. He who truly believes cannot fall away
8. General and special calling [Matt. 22:2 ff.] [Matthew 22:2]
9. The example of Judas is no counterevidence
10. The elect before their call. There is no "seed of election"
11. Not growth from seed but divine deliverance
(How God deals with the reprobate, 12-17)
12. God's administration of justice toward the reprobate
13. The preaching of the Word itself can conduce to hardness of heart
14. The cause of hardness of heart
15. Scriptural passages that seem to prove the opposite of the stated doctrine: (a) Ezek. 33:11 [Ezekiel 33:11]
16. (b) I Tim. 2:3-4, and similar passages
17. Answers to further objections

Chapter XXV. The Final Resurrection . . . . . 987
(Assertion of the doctrine of the final resurrection, 1-4)
1. Importance of and hindrances to the resurrection hope
2. Longing for union with God as motive for the hope of resurrection
3. The resurrection hoped for is that of the body: Christ's resurrection, the prototype
4. God's omnipotence as foundation of the resurrection of the body
(Objections of various classes of opponents to the doctrine refuted, 5-9)
5. Pagan denial of resurrection countered by burial rites. The error of the chiliasts
6. Resurrection of the flesh but immortality of the soul!
7. Resurrection of that body in which we have been clothed in this life
8. Significance of rites honoring the body
(The manner of resurrection)
9. The resurrection of the ungodly
(Man's life in the hereafter: eternal enjoyment of God's presence, or eternal misery in alienation from God, 10-12)
10. Everlasting blessedness
11. Disposing of superfluous questions
12. The lot of the reprobate

Book Four. The External Means or Aids by Which God Invites us Into the Society of Christ and Holds us Therein . . . . . 1009

Chapter I. The True Church with Which as Mother of All the Godly We Must Keep Unity . . . 1011
(The Holy Catholic Church, our mother, 1-4)
1. The necessity of the church
2. What is the relationship of church and creed?
3. "The communion of saints"
4. The visible church as mother of believers
(Her ministers, speaking for God, not to be despised, 5-6)
5. Education through the church, its value and its obligation
6. Meaning and limits of the ministry
(The visible church: its membership and the marks by which it is recognized, 7-9)
7. Invisible and visible church
8. The limitation of our judgment
9. The marks of the church and our application of them to judgment
(A church with these marks, however defective, is not to be forsaken: the sin of schism, 10-16)
10. Marks and authority of the church
11. The inviolable validity of the marks
12. Heeding the marks guards against capricious separation
13. Scandal in the church no occasion for leaving it
14. Paul and the needs of his congregations
15. Fellowship with wicked persons
16. The false claim of perfection comes from distorted opinion
(The imperfect holiness of the church does not justify schism, but affords occasion for the exercise within it of the forgiveness of sins, 17-22)
17. The holiness of the church
18. The example of the prophets
19. The example of Christ and of the apostles
20. Forgiveness of sins and the church
21. Lasting forgiveness for the members of the church!
22. The power of the keys
(Incidents illustrating forgiveness within the community of believers, 23-29)
23. All believers are to seek forgiveness of their sins
24. God's abundant grace to sinful believers under the Old Covenant: the Law
25. God's abundant grace to sinful believers under the Old Covenant: the Prophets
26. God's abundant grace to sinful believers under the New Covenant
27. God's abundant grace toward delinquent churches
28. Are only unconscious sins forgivable?
29. The question of "second repentance" in the ancient church

Chapter II. A Comparison of the False and the True Church . . . . . 1041
(Departure from true doctrine and worship invalidates the Roman Church's claim to be the true church, 1-6)
1. The basic distinction
2. The Roman Church and its claim
3. The false church, despite its high pretensions, shows that it does not hear God's Word
4. The church is founded upon God's Word
5. Defense against the charge of schism and heresy
6. Christ's headship the condition of unity
(The Roman Church compared with ancient Israel as to worship and jurisdiction, 7-11)
7. The condition of the Roman Church resembles that of Israel under Jeroboam
8. Despite the idolatry of the Jews, their church remained
9. The papal church corrupt and to be repudiated
10. Why we must separate from the corrupted church
11. Vestiges of the church under the papacy
12. The sound elements do not make the corrupted church a true church

Chapter III. The Doctors and Ministers of the Church, Their Election and Office . . . . . 1053
(The ministry given by God: its high and necessary junctions, 1-3)
1. Why does God need men's service?
2. The significance of the ministry for the church
3. The prestige of the preaching office in Scripture
(The Scriptural offices of the ministry described, 4-9)
4. The several sorts of officers according to Eph., ch. 4 [Ephesians 4]
5. Temporary and permanent offices
6. Apostles and pastors
7. The pastor is bound to his church
8. The designation of ministers of the Word: presbyters
9. The deacons
(The calling, authorization, and ordination of ministers, 10-16)
10. Orderly calling is requisite
11. Outer and inner call
12. Who can become a minister of the church? How this takes place
13. Who should choose ministers?
14. Human agency
15. The vote of the people
16. Ordination

Chapter IV. The Condition of the Ancient Church, and the Kind of Government in use Before the Papacy . . . . . 1068
(Historical development of the ministry; three classes of ministers: teaching and ruling presbyters: one presbyter selected to be bishop: the archbishop, 1-4)
1. Fidelity of the ancient church to the Scriptural archetype
2. The position of the bishop
3. The chief duty of bishop and presbyters
4. Archbishops and patriarchs
(Deacons and archdeacons: the administration of property and alms: minor clerics, 5-9)
5. The office of deacon
6. The use of church possessions
7. Fourfold division of revenues
8. Church treasure distributed to the poor
9. The preparatory stages of the office
(History of changes in the election and ordination of ministers: consent of the magistrates, clergy, and people in the election of bishops, 10-15)
10. Paul's directions mainly followed: consent of the people
11. Consent in episcopal elections, to the time of Theodoret
12. Balance between people and clergy
13. Clergy and political rulers
14. The procedure in ordination
15. Consecration by the metropolitan

Chapter V. The Ancient Form of Government was Completely Overthrown by the Tyranny of the Papacy . . . . . 1084
(Appointment of unqualified persons without vote of the people, 1-3)
1. Scandalous neglect of requirements for the episcopate
2. The community deprived of the right to elect its bishop
3. Neglect has led to the intervention of princes
(Abuses associated with collation to clerical benefices, 4-7)
4. Abuses in the appointment of the presbyter ("priest") and deacon
5. Ordination is travestied
6. The nature of benefices
7. Monstrous abuses
(Negligence and idleness of monks, canons, and others holding clerical office, 8-10)
8. Monks as "presbyters"
9. Beneficed and hired priests
10. Pretenses of the clerical orders
(Corruption and covetousness prevail in the ranks of bishops, pastors, and deacons, 11-19)
11. Bishops and parish priests
12. Early stages of this evil: Gregory and Bernard
13. Claim and actuality
14. The priests' moral conduct
15. The deacons
16. Distribution of church income
17. False and true splendor of the church
18. Fraudulent and honest expenditure of church funds
19. Clerical possessions and power

Chapter VI. The Primacy of the Roman see . . . . . 1102
(Refutation of assumptions regarding the primacy of Peter, 1-7)
1. The requirement of submission to Rome
2. The office of high priest of the Old Covenant cannot be cited as evidence for papal supremacy
3. Jesus' word to Peter did not establish this lordship of the church
4. Perverse claim concerning the keys
5. Honor, not power, accorded to Peter
6. The one foundation
7. The place of Peter among the apostles according to the account of Scripture
(Monarchy in the church to be accorded to Christ alone, 8-10)
8. The church can have no human head
9. Christ's headship not transferable
10. Unity in Christ, not in a human monarch
(Admission that Peter was bishop in Rome does not establish Rome's perpetual primacy, 11-13)
11. If Peter himself had had supremacy, Rome could not claim it
12. Alleged transfer of the primacy from Antioch
13. Ranking of the other patriarchates
(Peter's presence in Rome unproved, while Paul's is beyond doubt, 14-15)
14. On the sojourn of Peter in Rome
15. Slender and inconclusive evidence
(Roman Church honored but not as unifying head, 16-17)
16. The significance of the church at Rome during the earliest period
17. According to early church teaching, the unity of the church plainly required no universal bishop

Chapter VII. The Origin and Growth of the Roman Papacy Until it Raised Itself to Such a Height That the Freedom of the Church was Oppressed, and all Restraint Overthrown . . . . . 1118
(Modest position of the Roman see in early times, 1-4)
1. Position of the Roman see in the Councils of Nicaea and Ephesus
2. In the Council of Chalcedon and the Fifth of Constantinople
3. The proud titles of the later Roman bishops not yet known in the early period
4. Gregory I refused the title "Universal Bishop"
(Limitations of its authority in relation to that of emperors and metropolitans, 5-10)
5. Origin of Roman jurisdiction
6. The peculiar features of the Roman power of that time
7. Mutual admonition
8. Authority in the convening of synods
9. Use of forged documents
10. Constantine, Bishop Melchiades, and the Synod of Aries
(Attitude of fifth- and sixth-century popes: Rome vs. Constantinople, 11-16)
11. Falsification and usurpation
12. Papal power at the time of Gregory I
13. Limitations of the office under Gregory
14. Rome and Constantinople in conflict over supremacy
15. How Leo resented the recognition of Constantinople
16. Pride of John the Faster, and modesty of Gregory
(Rome's jurisdiction enhanced through relations with the usurpers Phocas and Pepin, and thereafter established to the injury of the church, 17-18)
17. The eventual establishment of the papal supremacy
18. The decay of the church until the time of Bernard of Clairvaux
(Later papal claims contrary to the principles of Gregory I and Bernard, 19-22)
19. The present-day papacy in its claims to power
20. New forgeries support extravagant claims
21. Gregory condemned what popes now affirm
22. The corruption of the present-day papacy
(Arraignment of the later papacy, 23-30)
23. Does there exist in Rome any church or bishopric at all?
24. The apostasy
25. The kingdom of Antichrist
26. The papacy jar removed from a true church order
27. The wicked behavior and the heretical teachings of the popes stand in stark contrast to their claims
28. Apostasy of John XXII
29. Moral abandonment of the popes
30. The cardinals

Chapter VIII. The Power of the Church With Respect to Articles of Faith; and how in the Papacy, With Unbridled License, the Church has Been led to Corrupt all Purity of Doctrine . . . . . 1149
(Ecclesiastical power limited by the Word of God, 1-9)
1. Task and limits of the church's doctrinal authority
2. The doctrinal authority of Moses and the priests
3. The doctrinal authority of the prophets
4. The doctrinal authority of the apostles
5. Unity and multiplicity of revelation
6. Scriptural foundation of the Word of God in the Old Covenant
7. "The Word became flesh"
8. The apostles authorized to teach what Christ commanded
9. Not even the apostles were free to go beyond the Word: much less their successors
(Rejection of claims of doctrinal infallibility apart from the Word, 10-16)
10. The Roman claim
11. The presence of Christ in his church does not annul its bond to the Word
12. The church not infallible
13. Word and Spirit belong inseparably together
14. Tradition subordinate to Scripture?
15. Contradiction in doctrinal decrees of the church
16. Feebleness of our opponents' examples

Chapter IX. Councils and Their Authority . . . . . 1166
(True authority of church councils, 1-2)
1. Two prefatory remarks
2. True and false councils
(Defects of pastors render their councils fallible, 3-7)
3. The truth can also support and assert itself in the church without and against the "pastors"
4. Defection of the pastors foretold
5. The need to judge them with discrimination
7. Example from John 11:47
(Departing from Scripture, councils have deteriorated, but even those of Nicaea and Chalcedon were defective, 8-11)
8. The validity of conciliar decisions
9. Councils against councils!
10. Human failings in the councils
11. Human fallibility in the councils
(We must not obey blind guides; decisions of later councils faulty in the light of Scripture, 12-14)
12. No blind obedience
13. The actual significance of councils for the interpretation of Scripture
14. False evaluation of conciliar decisions on the part of the Roman Church

Chapter X. The Power of Making Laws, in Which the Pope, with His Supporters, Has Exercised Upon Souls the Most Savage Tyranny and Butchery . . . . . 1179
(Church laws and traditions, and the Christian's conscience before God, 1-4)
1. The basic question
2. The Roman constitutions enslave consciences
3. The nature of conscience
4. Bondage and freedom of conscience
(Conscience in relation to human and papal laws: God the only lawgiver, 5-8)
5. The meaning of human laws for the conscience
6. The church has no right to set up independent constitutions to bind consciences
7. All arbitrary lordship is an encroachment upon God's Kingdom
8. Directions to determine which human constitutions are inadmissible
(Ecclesiastical constitutions authorizing ceremonies in worship are tyrannous, frivolous, and contrary to Scripture, 9-18)
9. The Roman constitutions are, according to the foregoing principles, to be rejected
10. The papal constitutions deny God's law
11. Roman constitutions meaningless and useless
12. Their mysteries are mockeries
13. The Roman Church constitutions, through their senseless accumulation, bring Jewish vexations upon the conscience
14. Ceremonies to show forth Christ, not to hide him
15. Corruption of ceremonies regarded as expiatory sacrifices
16. General application of common insights
17. The Roman constitutions cannot, as they assume, count as church constitutions
18. The Roman constitutions do not reach back to the apostles, or even to the "apostolic tradition"
(Accumulation of useless rites falsely called "apostolic": obligation to weak consciences, 19-22)
19. Post-apostolic accumulation of useless rites
20. Augustine interpreted
21. The decree of Acts 15:20
22. Obligation to weak brethren
(Traditions and human inventions in worship condemned in Scripture and by Christ himself, 23-26)
23. The appeal to the authority of the church contradicts the evidence of Scripture
24. Perverse worship an abomination to God
25. Refutation of Romanist counter evidence
26. Christ's warning against the leaven of the Pharisees
(Right ordering of church government and worship: decency, love, and a free conscience, 27-32)
27. Necessity of church constitutions

Chapter XI. The Jurisdiction of the Church and its Abuse as Seen in the Papacy . . . . . 1211
(Jurisdiction and discipline: the power of the keys and the civil magistracy, 1-5)
1. The basis of church jurisdiction in the power of the keys
2. The power of binding and loosing
3. Civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction
4. The church and the Christian magistrate
5. The spiritual character of ecclesiastical jurisdiction
(Abuses caused by the unwarranted assumption of power by the bishops, 6-10)
6. Administration of justice in the ancient church was not the function of an individual
7. Deterioration of jurisdiction and discipline
8. The worldly power of the bishops contradicts the meaning of this office
9. Assumption of princely powers by the bishops
10. How has this worldly power of the bishops come about?
(Inordinate and fraudulent claims of the papacy and its usurpation of worldly powers, 11-16)
11. The origin of papal world supremacy
12. The Donation of Constantine fraudulent and absurd
13. The relationship of Henry IV and Hildebrand
14. Appropriations anathematized under Gregory the Great
15. Immunities of the Roman clergy
16. Bishops subject to secular courts

Chapter XII. The Discipline of the Church: Its Chief use in Censures and Excommunication . . . . . 1229
(Discussion of power of the keys in true discipline: the ends and processes of discipline, 1-7)
1. Necessity and nature of church discipline
2. Stages of church discipline
3. Concealed and open sins
4. Light and grave sins
5. The purpose of church discipline
6. The handling of church discipline in the various cases
7. In the ancient church, discipline applied to all offenders alike
8. Severity and mildness in church discipline
9. The limits of our judgment according to church discipline
10. Excommunication is corrective
11. Against willful excess in demanding church discipline
12. Disruptive severity: Donatists and Anabaptists
13. Augustine requires discrimination in discipline
(The use and purpose of fasting, private and public: principles to be guarded in it, 14-18)
14. Public and mutual practice of penance
15. The purpose of fasting
16. Fasting and prayer
17. Fasting and the practice of penance
18. The nature of fasting
(Danger of superstition, notions of merit, and hypocrisy in fasting and the observance of Lent, 19-21)
19. Misconceptions of fasting
20. Degeneration of fasting in the history of the church
21. Depraved indulgence in seasons of fasting
(Requirement of clerical celibacy a harmful innovation, 22-28)
22. The discipline of the clergy and its degeneration
23. Priestly celibacy and its contradiction of Scripture
24. Marriage enjoined and spiritually interpreted
25. Refutation of an opposing Scriptural argument
26. The ancient church and celibacy
27. Late development of the requirement of celibacy
28. Abuses under the rule of celibacy

Chapter XIII. Vows; and How Everyone Rashly Taking Them has Miserably Entangled Himself . . . . . 1254
(The nature of vows, and prevalent errors concerning them,
1. Degeneration and dangers
2. God as the One to whom we make our vows
3. The man who makes the vow
4. Vows classified according to intention
5. Vows of future reference
6. Lawful vows in general
7. Perverse vows
(Monastic vows and the decline of monastic life, 8-10)
8. The monasticism of the ancient church
9. Augustine's description of monasticism
10. Comparison of earlier with later monasticism
(The erroneous claim of monastic perfection, 11-14)
11. Monasticism -- a state of perfection?
12. Christ's rule of life is for all Christians
13. The meaning of Matt. 19:21 [Matthew 19:21]
14. Monastic sectarianism
(Differences of ancient and monastic profession: New Testament widows and deaconesses were not nuns, 15-19)
15. The degeneration of the conduct of monks
16. Considerations against ancient monasticism
17. Monastic vows, especially the vow of chastity
18. The case of the widows in I Tim. 5:12
19. Nuns are very different
(Unlawful and superstitious vows are not binding, 20-21)
20. Are inadmissible vows binding?
21. On the breaking of monastic vows

Chapter XIV. The Sacraments . . . . . 1276
(The word "sacrament" explained: sacraments are signs of God's covenants, 1-6)
1. Definition
2. The word "sacrament"
3. Word and sign
4. The word must explain the sign
5. The sacraments as seal
6. The sacraments as signs of a covenant
(They confirm faith, not of themselves, but as agencies of the Holy Spirit and in association with the Word; and they are distinguishing marks of our profession of faith before men, 7-13)
7. The reception of the sacraments by the wicked is no evidence against their importance
8. To what extent can we speak of a confirmation of faith through the sacraments
9. The Holy Spirit in the sacraments
10. Illustration from human persuasion
11. Word and sacrament work equally in the confirming of our faith
12. Sacramental elements have value only as God's instruments
13. The word sacramentum
(They do not of themselves impart grace, but, like the Word, hold forth Christ, 14-17)
14. The error of a magical conception of the sacraments
15. Matter and sign to be distinguished
16. The sacraments have significance for us in faith in Christ
17. True office of the sacraments
(Wide application of the term to Scriptural incidents and its restriction to the ordinary sacraments of the church, 18-20)
18. Sacraments in the wider sense
19. Ordinary sacraments of the church
20. Christ promised in the Old Testament sacraments
(Sacraments of the Old Testament closely related to those of the New as foreshadowing the full manifestation of Christ, 21-26)
21. Circumcision, purifications, sacrifices, point to Christ
22. Christ more fully expressed in the Christian sacraments
23. Similarity and dissimilarity of the old and new sacraments
24. Paul's teaching on the value of circumcision
25. New Testament disparagement of Jewish ceremonies explained
26. Similarity and difference: Augustine's distinctions

Chapter XV. Baptism . . . . . 1303
(Baptism a sign of our forgiveness, of our participation in Christ's death and resurrection and also in his blessings, 1-6)
1. The meaning of baptism
2. Its virtue not in water without the Word
3. Token of cleansing for the whole of life!
4. True relation of baptism and repentance
5. Baptism as token of mortification and renewal in Christ
6. Baptism as token of our union with Christ
(The baptism of John not different from that of the apostles: its meaning symbolized to the Israelites in the exodus, 7-9)
7. John's baptism and Christian baptism
8. Disparity in personality, not in baptism
9. Prototype of baptism in the Old Covenant
(We are not by the rite of baptism set free from original sin, but by it we make confession of faith before men, 10-13)
10. Baptism, original sin, and new righteousness
11. We must strive to overcome persistent sin
12. Paul's inner struggle [Rom., ch. 7] [Romans 7]
13. Baptism as token of confession
(Baptism to be received with trust in the promise of which it is a sign, and not repeated, 14-18)
14. Sign and thing
15. Baptism as confirming faith
16. Baptism does not depend upon the merit of him who administers it
17. Baptism not invalidated by the delay of repentance
18. Paul did not rebaptize
(Objections to ceremonial accretions and to baptism by women, 19-21)
19. Erroneous and correct baptismal usage
20. Against "emergency" baptism
27. Women not permitted to baptize
22. Zipporah's circumcision of her son no precedent for baptism by women

Chapter XVI. Infant Baptism Best Accords with Christ's Institution and the Nature of the Sign . . . . . 1324
(Infant baptism, considered in relation to what it typifies, corresponds to circumcision and is authorized in the covenant with Abraham, 1-6)
1. The attack on infant baptism
2. The meaning of baptism determined
3. Baptism and circumcision
4. The difference is in externals only
5. Infants are participants in the covenant
6. Difference in the mode of confirmation only
(Christ invited and blessed little children: we should not exclude them from the sign, and the benefit, of baptism, 7-9)
7. Jesus and the children
8. The silence of Scripture on the practice of infant baptism
9. The blessing of infant baptism
(Answer to the Anabaptist argument that baptism is not to be associated with circumcision, 10-16)
10. Differences falsely alleged
11. The promises were spiritual
12. Physical and spiritual infancy
13. Abraham was father of all who believe
14. Covenant with the Jews not made void
15. The promise to be fulfilled not allegorically but literally
16. Further apparent differences between baptism and circumcision
(Answer to the argument that infants are incapable of faith, 17-20)
17. Children should also have life in Christ
18. Argument from the infancy of Christ
19. Objection: infants cannot understand preaching
20. Objection: infants are capable neither of repentance nor of faith
(Operation of the Spirit in baptized children, 21-22)
21. The child grows into an understanding of his baptism
22. This thing is a comfort for children; hence, they must not be deprived of the sign
(Infant baptism in the beginning of the church, 23-24)
23. Scriptural statements which refer to adults should not without further evidence be applied to children
24. Abraham and Isaac exemplify the difference of adults and infants
(Certain passages adduced against infant baptism interpreted: those who die unbaptized not all condemned, 25-30)
25. Reborn "of water and the Spirit"
26. Not all the unbaptized are lost
27. Jesus' baptismal words
28. Infants not referred to in Mark 16:16
29. Jesus as prototype of adult baptism
30. Baptism and Lord's Supper
(Answers to arguments of Servetus, and conclusion, 31-32)
31. Servetus' objections
32. Gratitude due for God's care of our children

Chapter XVII. The Sacred Supper of Christ, and What it Brings to us . . . . . 1359
(The Lord's Supper, with the signs of bread and wine, provides spiritual food, 1-3)
1. Sign and thing
2. Union with Christ as the special fruit of the Lord's Supper
3. The spiritual presence of Christ
(The promise sealed in the Supper as we are made partakers of Christ's flesh -- a mystery felt rather than explained, 4-7)
4. The meaning of the promise of the Lord's Supper
5. How we are partakers by faith
6. Augustine and Chrysostom on this
7. Thought and words inadequate
(This life-giving communion is brought about by the Holy Spirit, 8-10)
8. Christ makes his abode in our flesh
9. Sense in which Christ's body is life-giving
10. The presence of Christ's body in the Lord's Supper
(Relation of the outward sign and invisible reality variously misstated by the Schoolmen, and in the doctrine of transubstantiation, 11-15)
11. Signification, matter, and effect of the Sacrament
12. Spatial presence of Christ's body?
13. Error of the Schoolmen: bread mistaken for God
14. Transubstantiation
15. The actual basis of the doctrine of transubstantiation and the arguments adduced for it
(Arguments for rejection of the doctrine of the ubiquity of the body as narrowly literal, together with exposition of the spiritual view of communion with Christ in heaven, 16-31)
16. The opposing statement
17. The doctrine of our opponents cancels the true corporeality of Christ
18. The presence is known when our minds are lifted up to heaven
19. How is the presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper to be thought of?
20. The words of institution
21. The figurative interpretation of the decisive words
22. The word "is"
23. The impossibility of a purely literal interpretation
24. Defense against the reproach that our interpretation is dictated by reason
25. The word requires understanding and interpretation
26. The body of Christ is in heaven
27. The meaning of the ascension for the above-mentioned question
28. The witness of Augustine
29. On the reality of Christ's body
30. The ubiquity of Christ's body rejected
31. Christ not brought down to us; we are lifted up to him
(The true nature of the corporeal presence in which believers partake through the Spirit, 32-34)
32. Involved solutions of the mystery rejected
33. Spiritual and, hence, actual partaking of Christ; partaking of the Lord's Supper by unbelievers
34. Partaking of the Lord's Supper by unbelievers, according to Augustine
(Superstitious adoration of the elements excluded, 35-37)
35. Adoration of the elements rejected
36. Superstition and idolatry in such adoration
37. Superstitious rites with the consecrated host
(Points of special emphasis: mutual love; the accompaniment of preaching; medicine for sick souls; worthy partaking; suitable form and the frequency of administration, 38-46)
38. The Lord's Supper implies mutual love
39. The Lord's Supper cannot exist apart from the Word
40. Of unworthy partaking of the Sacrament
41. Who is "worthy"?
42. Faith and love requisite, but not perfection
43. On the proper celebration of the Lord's Supper
44. The Lord's Supper should be celebrated frequently
45. Augustine and Chrysostom on the duty of participation
46. Communicating only once a year condemned
(Withdrawal of the cup from the lay people condemned, 47-50)
47. Refutation of "communion in one kind"
48. False argument that the apostles only as "sacrificers" received the cup
49. Reception by laymen maintained to a late date
50. The words of Scripture plainly accord the cup to all

Chapter XVIII. The Papal Mass, a Sacrilege by Which Christ's Supper was not Only Profaned but Annihilated . . . . . 1429
(Rejection of the Mass as sacrilegious and as a nullification of the Lord's Supper, 1-7)
1. The Romanist doctrine
2. The Mass as blasphemy against Christ
3. The Mass as suppression of Christ's Passion
4. The argument from Mal. 1:11 [Malachi 1:11]
5. The Mass brings forgetfulness of Christ's death
6. The Mass robs us of the benefit of Christ's death
7. The Mass as nullification of the Lord's Supper
(Early practice and the rise of misconceptions, 8-11)
8. Private masses a repudiation of communion
9. The Mass not Scriptural and not primitive
10. Did the church fathers look upon the Mass as a sacrifice?
11. Church fathers deviate from the divine institution
(The idea of sacrifice in the Eucharist, and Scriptural use of the word "sacrifice;" the Mass a sacrilege, 12-18)
12. The oblation of the Old Covenant and the Lord's Supper
13. The nature of sacrifice
14. The sale of masses
15. Plato's remarks on similar pretense and delusion
16. The "thank offering" of the Christian church
17. Scriptural phrases illustrate the sacrifices of praise
18. The Mass itself, apart from its profanation, is sacrilege
(Conclusion of chapters 17 and 18: two Christian sacraments only, 19-20)
19. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only sacraments
20. The addition of sacraments not permitted

Chapter XIX. The Five Other Ceremonies, Falsely Termed Sacraments; Although Commonly Considered Sacraments Hitherto, They are Proved not to be Such, and Their Real Nature is Shown . . . . . 1448
(Five alleged sacraments, not authorized by God's Word or used in the early church, 1-3)
1. It is not merely a matter of the term "sacrament"
2. God alone can establish a sacrament
3. That the sacraments are seven in number was unknown in the ancient church
(Confirmation not a sacrament: early practice of reception after instruction should be restored, 4-13)
4. Custom of the ancient church
5. Full development and meaning of confirmation according to Romanist teaching
6. Appeal to apostolic laying on of hands is unfounded
7. Anointing with oil is a counterfeit sacrament
8. Confirmation as the devaluation of baptism
9. The doctrine of the necessity of confirmation for salvation is nonsense
10. The papists would put confirmation above baptism
11. Frivolous arguments for esteeming confirmation above baptism
12. Confirmation cannot be upheld by the practice of the ancient church
13. True confirmation
(Penance fails to answer the definition of a sacrament, 14-17)
14. The practice of penance in the ancient church
15. Penance is no sacrament
16. Why not make absolution the sacrament?
17. Baptism the sacrament of repentance
(Extreme unction rests upon a misuse of James 5:14-15 and is no sacrament, 18-21)
18. Alleged Scripture on extreme unction rejected
19. Extreme unction is no sacrament
20. Unction has no divine authorization or promise
21. The papists do not proceed at all according to James's "words of institution"
(The alleged sacrament of holy orders complicated by the seven ranks of clergy; the ceremonies of institution and functions of these criticized, 22-33)
22. One sacrament -- or seven?
23. Christ must have occupied all seven offices
24. The holders of the lower orders do not practice their office at all
25. The ceremonies of consecration, especially the tonsure
26. To cite the Nazarites and Paul is beside the point
27. Historical interpretation of the tonsure
28. "Priest" and "presbyter"
29. The ceremonies in ordaining priests
30. Christ's priesthood supersedes that of Aaron
31. Anointing belongs with the outworn ceremonies
32. The deacons
33. Sub deacons
(Erroneous claim that marriage is a sacrament from misunderstanding of Eph. 5:28 [Ephesians 5:28] and other passages: abuses connected with marriage, 34-37)
34. Marriage is no sacrament
35. They misapply Eph. 5:28 [Ephesians 5:28]
36. This confusion arises from the translation of "mystery" and their low view of marriage
37. Oppressive consequences of the Roman doctrine

Chapter XX. Civil Government . . . . . 1485
(How civil and spiritual government are related, 1-2)
1. Differences between spiritual and civil government
2. The two "governments" are not antithetical
(Necessity and divine sanction of civil government, 3-7)
3. The chief tasks and burdens of civil government
4. The magistracy is ordained by God
5. Against the "Christian" denial or rejection of magistracy
6. Magistrates should be faithful as God's deputies
7. The coercive character of magistracy does not hinder its recognition
(Forms of government, and duties of magistrates. Issues of war and taxation, 8-13)
8. The diversity of forms of government
9. Concern for both Tables of the Law
10. The magistrates' exercise of force is compatible with piety
11. On the right of the government to wage war
12. Restraint and humanity in war
13. Concerning the right of the government to levy tribute
(Public law and judicial procedures, as related to Christian duty, 14-21)
14. Old Testament law and the laws of nations
15. Moral, ceremonial, and judicial law distinguished
16. Unity and diversity of laws
17. Christians may use the law courts, but without hatred and revenge
18. The Christian's motives in litigation
19. Against the rejection of the judicial process
20. The Christian endures insults, but with amity and equity defends the public interest
21. Paul condemns a litigious spirit, but not all litigation
(Obedience, with reverence, due even unjust rulers, 22-29)
22. Deference
23. Obedience
24. Obedience is also due the unjust magistrate
25. The wicked ruler a judgment of God
26. Obedience to bad kings required in Scripture
27. The case of Nebuchadnezzar in Jer., ch. 27 [Jeremiah 27]
28. General testimonies of Scripture on the sanctity of the royal person
29. It is not the part of subjects but of God to vindicate the right
(Constitutional magistrates, however, ought to check the tyranny of kings; obedience to God comes first, 30-31)
30. When God intervenes, it is sometimes by unwitting agents
31. Constitutional defenders of the people's freedom
32. Obedience to man must not become disobedience to God


Bibliographies and Indexes . . . . . 1525

Note on the Bibliographies and Indexes


I. Editions of the Institutes and of Translations and Abridgments of it . . . . . 1527

A. Latin and French Editions of the Institutes of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries . . . . . 1527
B. Later Latin and French Editions . . . . . 1528
C. Translations . . . . . 1528
D. Abridgments . . . . . 1529
II. A Select List of Books and Studies Referred to in the Introduction and Footnotes Indexes . . . . . 1530

Indexes . . . . . 1553

I. Biblical References . . . . . 1553
II. Author and Source Index to the References in the Introduction, Text, and Footnotes . . . . . 1592
III. Subjects . . . . . 1634
IV. Names and Places . . . . . 1713
V. Hebrew Words Quoted or Alluded to in the Institutes . . . . . 1729
VI. Chief Greek Words Quoted or Alluded to in the Institutes . . . . . 1730
VII. Latin Words and Phrases Referred to in the Footnotes . . . . . 1731

Related WebLinks

*Gaussen, Louis (1790-1863), David Scott (translator), John W. Robbins (editor), God-breathed: The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, ISBN: 0940931575. Alternate title: THEOPNEUSTIA: THE PLENARY INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, 1854. Available (a previous edition), on the Puritan Hard Drive. Available (a previous edition), on Reformation Bookshelf CD #15.
"The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is the reliability of Scripture. Through the centuries, Christianity's enemies have concentrated their attacks on the inerrancy [infallibility -- compiler], the sufficiency, and the clarity of the Bible, alleging that it contains errors, is inadequate, or is in need of an interpreter. These attacks come from the Roman Catholic Church, zealots, modernists, and unbelievers of various other sorts. God has used these attacks as goads to prod Christian thinkers into defending his Word, and one of the greatest defenses of Scripture ever penned is the book you hold in your hands. Louis Gaussen was a 19th-century Swiss Reformed pastor, defrocked for his fidelity to God's Word. Christians in the 21st century will also face persecution, but they can answer their opponents using Gaussens's arguments." -- Publisher
"The turning-point of the battle between those who hold 'the faith once delivered to the saints' and their opponents lies in the true and real inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. This is the Thermopylae of Christendom. . . . In this work the author proves himself a master of holy argument. Gaussen charms us as he proclaims the Divine veracity of Scripture. His testimony is clear as a bell." -- C.H. Spurgeon
Gaussen, Louis (1790-1863), Theopneusty: or, The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures (1844)

John Calvin (author, 1509-1564), John T. McNeill (editor), Ford Lewis Battles (translator), Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion (The Library of Christian Classics), 1559 translation, 2 volumes, Kindle Edition. ISBN: 0664220282 9780664220280.
"This is the definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church. All previous editions -- in Latin, French, German, and English -- have been collated; references and notes have been verified, corrected, and expanded; and new bibliographies have been added. The translation preserves the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin's writing, but also conforms to modern English and renders heavy theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and at the same time is eminently readable. -- Publisher
"This is Calvin's benchmark text of Reformed theology. Calvin is one of the magisterial giants on which the Reformation of the Christian church stands, and this work makes the reasons for his stature abundantly clear. Trained as a lawyer before becoming a pastor and theologian Calvin is logical, thorough and relentless in pressing his viewpoints on every aspect of faith addressed in this volume. And it should be added that Calvin is relentlessly biblical. There is no point in his theology that is not thoroughly grounded in scripture. He writes as one who is also well-acquainted with the church fathers as well as the theologians of his day, drawing deeply from that well of knowledge in both building up his position and refuting the positions that he believes are held in error. I read the Battles translation and the style of Calvin's writing comes across as very readable and accessible not just to pastors, theologians and educated lay persons, but to anyone who wants to understand Christian doctrine that is firmly Biblical, which, in a nutshell, is what Reformed theology is all about. I highly commend this enduring work. It is truly a timeless gift to the church." -- Reader's Comment
Contents and Chapter Sections for Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559 (Battles translation)

John Calvin (author, 1509-1564), John McNeill (editor), Ford Lewis Battles (translator), The Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559, 2 volumes, ISBN: 0664220282 9780664220280. A Christian classic. Considered to be among the ten greatest books in the English language.
"The doctrines of covenant liberty were rediscovered in the Reformation. John Calvin went further than anyone else in defining liberty and what Christians need to do to maintain it. Includes bibliographies.
"Still considered by many to be the finest explanation and defense of the Protestant Reformation available.
"The work is divided into four books: I. The Knowledge of God the Creator, II. The Knowledge of God the Redeemer in Christ, III. The Mode of Obtaining the Grace of Christ, IV. The External Means or Helps by Which God Allures us Into Fellowship With Christ and Keeps us in it. . . . THE INSTITUTES is praised by the secular philosopher, Will Durant, as one of the ten books that shook the world." -- GCB
Calvin spent a lifetime writing and perfecting INSTITUTES OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION. His Prefatory Address makes it clear that he intended the work to be a defense of Christianity to the King of France. It is consider to be one of the greatest prefaces ever written.
Therefore, plainly stated, one of the most influential works ever published in the English language is also a defense of Christianity to leaders of State.

Indeed, this consideration makes a true king: to recognize himself a minister of God in governing his kingdom. Now, that king, who in ruling over his realm does not serve God's glory, exercises not kingly rule but brigandage. [Footnote: 'Nec iam regnum ille sed latrocinium exercet.' An echo of Augustine's famous phrase: 'When justice is taken away, what are kingdoms [[regna]] but a vast banditry [[magna latocinia]]?' City of God, IV. iv (MPL [[Migne, J.P., Patrologiae cursus completus, series Latina]], 41. 115; tr. NPNF [[A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, second series]], II. 66)]. Furthermore, he is deceived who looks for enduring prosperity in his kingdom when it is not ruled by God's scepter, that is, his Holy Word; for the heavenly oracle that proclaims that where prophecy fails the people are scattered [Prov. 29:18 (Proverbs 29:18)], cannot lie. -- John Calvin in the "Prefatory Address to King Francis I of France," The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Ford Lewis Battles translation
Contents and Chapter Sections for Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559 (Battles translation)

Pringle, William, One Hundred Aphorisms, Containing, Within a Narrow Compass, the Substance and Order of the Four Books of THE INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION

Ford Lewis Battles, and John Walchenbach, An Analysis of The Institutes of the Christian Religion of John Calvin.
"Detailed, concise, and insightful. A doctrinal summary all by itself. Over 400 pages! This brilliant analysis is highly recommended to those seeking to understand the theology of Calvin as represented in the INSTITUTES." -- GCB

John Calvin (1509-1564), Calvin's Commentaries, 22 volumes. A Christian classic.
THE EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL TO THE ROMANS is Paul's most comprehensive statement of the Gospel.
ROMANS is also the key to understanding all Scripture. It unites the various themes of the Bible.
"No doubt the Epistle next in importance to that to the Romans is this to the Hebrews." -- the translator of Calvin's Commentary on Hebrews
"I know of no man since the Apostles' days whom I value and honor more than Calvin, and whose judgment in all things, one with another, I more esteem and come nearer to." -- Richard Baxter
"Of all commentators I believe Calvin to be the most candid. . . . He was no trimmer and pruner of texts. He gave their meaning as far as he knew it." -- C.H. Spurgeon
"A large volume could not contain all that has been written in praise of Calvin's commentaries, by men of all theological persuasions. Anyone who neglects consulting Calvin is going to be the poorer for their neglect." -- Jay P. Green, Sr.
Calvin, John, Calvin's Commentaries
Complete, from the Calvin Translation Society edition.
Calvin's Commentaries

Contents and Chapter Sections for Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, 1559 (Battles translation)

E-mail: Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal at


Web Layout -- Lettermen Associates
Updated -- June 23, 2018, Lettermen Associates