John Calvin. 
Institutes of the Christian Religion. 
Book Third. 
The mode of obtaining the grace of Christ. The benefits it confers, 
and the effects resulting from it. 
1.  The benefits of Christ made available to us by the secret 
    operation of the Spirit. 

2.  Of faith. The definition of it. Its peculiar properties. 

3.  Regeneration by faith. Of repentance. 

4.  Penitence, as explained in the sophistical jargon of the 
    Schoolmen, widely different from the purity required by the 
    Gospel. Of confession and satisfaction. 

5.  Of the modes of supplementing satisfaction, viz., indulgences 
    and purgatory. 

6. The life of a Christian man. Scriptural arguments exhorting to 

7. A summary of the Christian life. Of self-denial.5 

8. Of bearing the cross - One branch of self-denial. 

9. Of meditating on the future life. 

10. How to use the present life, and the comforts of it. 

11. Of justification by Faith. Both the name and the reality 

12. Necessity of contemplating the judgment-seat of God, in order 
    to be seriously convinced of the doctrine of gratuitous 

13. Two things to be observed in gratuitous justification. 

14. The beginning of justification. In what sense progressive. 

15. The boasted merit of works subversive both of the glory of 
    God, in bestowing righteousness, and of the certainty of 

16. Refutation of the calumnies by which it is attempted to 
    throw odium on this doctrine. 

17. The promises of the Law and the Gospel reconciled. 

18. The righteousness of works improperly inferred from rewards. 

19. Of Christian Liberty 

20. Of prayer--a perpetual exercise of faith. The daily 
    benefits derived from it. 

21. Of the eternal election, by which God has predestinated 
    some to salvation, and others to destruction. 

22. This doctrine confirmed by proofs from Scripture. 

23. Refutation of the calumnies by which this doctrine is 
    always unjustly assailed. 

24. Election confirmed by the calling of God. The reprobate 
    bring upon themselves the righteous destruction to which 
    they are doomed. 

25. Of the last resurrection. 
    The two former Books treated of God the Creator and Redeemer. 
This Book, which contains a full exposition of the Third Part of the 
Apostles' Creed, treats of the mode of procuring the grace of 
Christ, the benefits which we derive and the effects which follow 
from it, or of the operations of the Holy Spirit in regard to our 

    The subject is comprehended under seven principal heads, which 
almost all point to the same end, namely, the doctrine of faith. 

    I.   As it is by the secret and special operation of the Holy 
         Spirit that we enjoy Christ and all his benefits, the 
         First Chapter treats of this operation, which is the 
         foundation of faith, new life, and all holy exercises. 

    II.  Faith being, as it were, the hand by which we embrace 
         Christ the Redeemer, offered to us by the Holy Spirit, 
         Faith is fully considered in the Second Chapter. 

    III. In further explanation of Saving Faith, and the benefits 
         derived from it, it is mentioned that true repentance always 
         flows from true faith. The doctrine of Repentance is 
         considered generally in the Third Chapter, Popish Repentance 
         in the Fourth Chapter, Indulgences and Purgatory in the 
         Fifth Chapter. Chapters Sixth to Tenth are devoted to a 
         special consideration of the different parts of true 
         Repentance, viz., mortification of the flesh, and 
         quickening of the Spirit. 

    IV.  More clearly to show the utility of this Faith, and the 
         effects resulting from it, the doctrine of Justification 
         by Faith is explained in the Eleventh Chapter, and certain 
         questions connected with it explained from the Twelfth to 
         the Eighteenth Chapter. Christian liberty a kind of 
         accessory to Justification, is considered in the 
         Nineteenth Chapter. 

    V.   The Twentieth Chapter is devoted to Prayer, the principal 
         exercise of faith, and, as it were, the medium or 
         instrument through which we daily procure blessings from 

    VI.  As all do not indiscriminately embrace the fellowship of 
         Christ offered in the Gospel, but those only whom the Lord 
         favors with the effectual and special grace of his Spirit, 
         lest any should impugn this arrangement, Chapters twenty-
         first to twenty-fourth are occupied with a necessary and 
         apposite discussion of the subject of Election. 

.    VII. Lastly, As the hard warfare which the Christian is obliged 
         constantly to wage may have the effect of disheartening him, 
         it is shown how it may be alleviated by meditating on the 
         final resurrection. Hence the subject of the Resurrection 
         is considered in the twenty-fifth Chapter. 

Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 3, Part 1

(continued in part 2...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-04: cvin3-01.txt