Monday, March 16, 2009

John Calvin on Christ's Obedience

In the Institutes, Calvin  takes up the question why did God have to become man. In answering this question, he makes the following remarks (which are found in Book 2.12.3) about the quality of Christ's obedience, which seem to indicate that Christ had to actively and passively obey. Now, I am well aware of the fact that Calvin does not use the language of active and passive obedience, but in this citation it is difficult to understand Calvin in any other categories. Calvin writes (emphasis mine):
The second requirement of our reconciliation with God was this: that man, who by his disobedience had become lost, should by way of remedy counter it with obedience, satisfy God's judgment, and pay the penalties for sin. Accordingly, our Lord come forth as true man and took the person and the name of Adam in order to take Adam's place in obeying the Father, to present our flesh as the price of satisfaction to God's righteous judgment, and, in the same flesh, to pay the penalty that we had deserved. In short, since neither as God alone could he feel death, nor as man alone could he overcome it, he coupled human nature with divine that to atone for sin he might submit the weakness of the one to death; and that, wrestling with death by the power of the other nature, he might win victory for us.

1 comment:

  1. Jesus keeps the fast that Adam didn't keep.


Before posting please read our Comment Policy here.

Think hard about this: the world is watching!