The principal design of preaching the Gospel is, that men may be reconciled to God, and this is accomplished by the unconditional pardon of sins; as Paul also informs us, when he calls the Gospel, on this account, the ministry of reconciliation, (2 Cor. 5:18.) Many other things, undoubtedly, are contained in the Gospel, but the principal object which God intends to accomplish by it is, to receive men into favour by not imputing their sins. If, therefore, we wish to show that we are faithful ministers of the Gospel, we must give our most earnest attention to this subject; for the chief point of difference between the Gospel and heathen philosophy lies in this, that the Gospel makes the salvation of men to consist in the forgiveness of sins through free grace. This is the source of the other blessings which God bestows, such as, that God enlightens and regenerates us by his Spirit, that he forms us anew to his image, that he arms us with unshaken firmness against the world and Satan. Thus the whole doctrine of godliness, and the spiritual building of the Church, rests on this foundation, that God, having acquitted us from all sins, adopts us to be his children by free grace.
John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel according to John, trans. William Pringle (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 2.271. (HT: Chris Gordon)
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- Resources On The Controversy Over “Final Salvation Through Works”
- William Perkins: Both Justification And Salvation Are Through Faith Alone
- Calvin On Salvation By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone.
- Calvin On Luke 2:10: God Invites All Indiscriminately To Salvation
- Calvin: The Unmerited Love Of God Is The Source Of Our Salvation
- Calvin Resource Page