Here are some of my favourite quotes from a Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin


Chapter 1: Scripture’s Call to Christian Living

“The goal of God’s word in us is to bring our lives into harmony and agreement with his own righteousness and so to manifest to ourselves and others our identity as his adopted children.” pg 3

“To what purpose did God pull us out of the wickedness and pollution of the world- wickedness and pollution in which we were submerged- if we allow ourselves to wallow in such wickedness and pollution for the rest of our lives.” pg 7

“It’s not right that the sanctuary in which God swells should resemble a filthy stable.” pg 8

“Truly, unless we are devoted- even addicted- to righteousness, we will faithlessly abandon our Creator and disown Him as our Savior.” pg 9

“Doctrine is rightly received when it takes possession of the entire soul and finds a dwelling place and shelter in the most intimate affections of the heart.” pg 13

“The gospel’s power ought to penetrate the innermost affections of the heart, sink down into the soul, and inspire the whole man a hundred times more than the lifeless teachings of the philosophers.” pg 13-14

“it’s not right to barter with God regarding what we will and won’t undertake from those things He has prescribed for us in His Word.” pg 15


Chapter 2: Self-denial in the Christian Life

“the plague of submitting to our own rule leads us straight to ruin, but the surest way to safety is neither to know nor to want anything on our own, but simply to follow the leading of the Lord.” pg 23

“We are God’s. Therefore, let us- in every way in all our lives- run to Him as our only proper end.” pg 23

“For that which God curses with His own mouth, He will not accompany with the help of His blessing.” pg 49

“the rule of godliness is to recognize that God’s hand is the sole judge and governor of every fortune, and because His hand is not recklessly driven to fury, it distributes to us both good and ill according to His orderly righteousness.” pg 54


Chapter 3: Bearing Our Cross is a Part of Self-Denial

“Indeed, the holiest among us know they stand by God’s grace and not by their own virtues.” pg 61

“God himself acts justly when He ordains circumstances that excite the virtue He has given to believers, so that those virtues don’t escape notice or, indeed, remain unused and waste away.” pg 65-66

“God’s kindness should cause us to reflect on and delight in His goodness. But our perverse ingratitude is such that we make His kindness a means of growing more spoiled” pg 67-68


Chapter 4: Meditating on Our Future Life

“If we remember that through death we were recalled from exile to dwell at home – indeed, our heavenly home – what can this thought produce but comfort?” pg 102

“No one has made much progress in the school of Christ who doesn’t look forward joyfully both to his death and the day of final resurrection.” pg 104

“Even if the blind and stupid desire of our flesh opposes us let us not hesitate to desire the Lord’s coming – bit with wishes alone, but with roans and sighs – as the greatest of all events.” pg 105

“The cross of Christ finally triumphs in believers’ hearts – over the devil, the flesh, sin, and the wicked- when their eyes are turned to the power of the resurrection.” pg 108


Chapter 5: How the Present Life and Its Comforts Should be Used

“We won’t go wrong in the use of God’s gifts as long as we let their use be governed by their author’s purpose in creating and designing them for us – for truly He uses them for our good, not our ruin.” pg 114

“Every work performed in obedience to one’s calling, no matter how ordinary and common, is radiant – most valuable in the eyes of the Lord.” pg 126