Calvin, Institutes, Vol.3, Part 2
(... continued from part 1)
Chapter 1. 
1. The benefits of Christ made available to us by the secret 
operation of the Spirit. 
    The three divisions of this chapter are, - I. The secret 
operation of the Holy Spirit, which seals our salvation, should be 
considered first in Christ the Mediator as our Head, sec. 1 and 2. 
II. The titles given to the Holy Spirit show that we become members 
of Christ by his grace and energy, sec. 3. III. As the special 
influence of the Holy Spirit is manifested in the gift of faith, the 
former is a proper introduction to the latter, and thus prepares for 
the second chapter, sec. 4. 
1. The Holy Spirit the bond which unites us with Christ. This the 
    result of faith produced by the secret operation of the Holy 
    Spirit. This obvious from Scripture. 
2. In Christ the Mediator the gifts of the Holy Spirit are to be 
    seen in all their fulness. To what end. Why the Holy Spirit is 
    called the Spirit of the Father and the Son. 
3. Titles of the Spirit, - 1. The Spirit of adoption. 2. An earnest 
    and seal. 3. Water. 4. Life. 5. Oil and unction. 6. Fire. 7. A 
    fountain. 8. The word of God. Use of these titles. 
4. Faith being the special work of the Holy Spirit, the power and 
    efficacy of the Holy Spirit usually ascribed to it. 
    1. We must now see in what way we become possessed of the 
blessings which God has bestowed on his only-begotten Son, not for 
private use, but to enrich the poor and needy. And the first thing 
to be attended to is, that so long as we are without Christ and 
separated from him, nothing which he suffered and did for the 
salvation of the human race is of the least benefit to us. To 
communicate to us the blessings which he received from the Father, 
he must become ours and dwell in us. Accordingly, he is called our 
Head, and the first-born among many brethren, while, on the other 
hand, we are said to be ingrafted into him and clothed with him, all 
which he possesses being, as I have said, nothing to us until we 
become one with him. And although it is true that we obtain this by 
faith, yet since we see that all do not indiscriminately embrace the 
offer of Christ which is made by the gospel, the very nature of the 
case teaches us to ascend higher, and inquire into the secret 
efficacy of the Spirit, to which it is owing that we enjoy Christ 
and all his blessings. I have already treated of the eternal essence 
and divinity of the Spirit, (Book 1 chap. 13 sect. 14, 15;) let us 
at present attend to the special point, that Christ came by water 
and blood, as the Spirit testifies concerning him, that we might not 
lose the benefits of the salvation which he has purchased. For as 
there are said to be three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the 
Word, and the Spirit, so there are also three on the earth, namely, 
water, blood, and Spirit. It is not without cause that the testimony 
of the Spirit is twice mentioned, a testimony which is engraven on 
our hearts by way of seal, and thus seals the cleansing and 
sacrifice of Christ For which reason, also, Peter says, that 
believers are "elect" "through sanctification of the Spirit, unto 
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," (1 Pet. 1: 
2.) By these words he reminds us, that if the shedding of his sacred 
blood is not to be in vain, our souls must be washed in it by the 
secret cleansing of the Holy Spirit. For which reason, also, Paul, 
speaking of cleansing and purification, says, "but ye are washed, 
but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord 
Jesus and by the Spirit of our God," (1 Cor. 6: 11.) The whole comes 
to this that the Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually 
binds us to himself. Here we may refer to what was said in the last 
Book concerning his anointing. 
    2. But in order to have a clearer view of this most important 
subjects we must remember that Christ came provided with the Holy 
Spirit after a peculiar manner, namely, that he might separate us 
from the world, and unite us in the hope of an eternal inheritance. 
Hence the Spirit is called the Spirit of sanctification, because he 
quickens and cherishes us, not merely by the general energy which is 
seen in the human race, as well as other animals, but because he is 
the seed and root of heavenly life in us. Accordingly, one of the 
highest commendations which the prophets give to the kingdom of 
Christ is, that under it the Spirit would be poured out in richer 
abundance. One of the most remarkable passages is that of Joel, "It 
shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon 
all flesh," (Joel 2: 2S.) For although the prophet seems to confine 
the gifts of the Spirit to the office of prophesying, he yet 
intimates under a figure, that God will, by the illumination of his 
Spirit, provide himself with disciples who had previously been 
altogether ignorant of heavenly doctrine. Moreover, as it is for the 
sake of his Son that God bestows the Holy Spirit upon us, and yet 
has deposited him in all his fulness with the Son, to be the 
minister and dispenser of his liberality, he is called at one time 
the Spirit of the Father, at another the Spirit of the Son: "Ye are 
not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God 
dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is 
none of his," (Rom. 8: 9;) and hence he encourages us to hope for 
complete renovation: "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from 
the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall 
also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you," 
(Rom. 8: 11.) There is no inconsistency in ascribing the glory of 
those gifts to the Father, inasmuch as he is the author of them, 
and, at the same time, ascribing them to Christ, with whom they have 
been deposited, that he may bestow them on his people. Hence he 
invites all the thirsty to come unto him and drink, (John 7: 37.) 
And Paul teaches, that "unto every one of us is given grace, 
according to the measure of the gift of Christ," (Eph. 4: 7.) And we 
must remember, that the Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, not 
only inasmuch as the eternal Word of God is with the Father united 
with the Spirit, but also in respect of his office of Mediator; 
because, had he not been endued with the energy of the Spirit, he 
had come to us in vain. In this sense he is called the "last Adam," 
and said to have been sent from heaven "a quickening Spirit," (1 
Cor. 15: 45,) where Paul contrasts the special life which Christ 
breathes into his people, that they may be one with him with the 
animal life which is common even to the reprobate. In like manner, 
when he prays that believers may have "the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and the love of God," he at the same time adds, "the 
communion of the Holy Ghost," without which no man shall ever taste 
the paternal favor of God, or the benefits of Christ. Thus, also, in 
another passage he says, "The love of God is shed abroad in our 
hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us," (Rom. 5: 5.) 
    3. Here it will be proper to point out the titles which the 
Scripture bestows on the Spirit, when it treats of the commencement 
and entire renewal of our salvation. First, he is called the "Spirit 
of adoption," because he is witness to us of the free favor with 
which God the Father embraced us in his well-beloved and 
only-begotten Son, so as to become our Fathers and give us boldness 
of access to him; nays he dictates the very words, so that we can 
boldly cry, "Abba, Father." For the same reason, he is said to have 
"sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts," 
because, as pilgrims in the world, and persons in a manner dead, he 
so quickens us from above as to assure us that our salvation is safe 
in the keeping of a faithful God. Hence, also, the Spirit is said to 
be "life because of righteousness." But since it is his secret 
irrigation that makes us bud forth and produce the fruits of 
righteousness, he is repeatedly described as water. Thus in Isaiah 
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." Again, "I 
will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry 
ground." Corresponding to this are the words of our Savior, to which 
I lately referred, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and 
drink." Sometimes, indeed, he receives this name from his energy in 
cleansing and purifying, as in Ezekiel, where the Lord promises, 
"Then will I sprinkle you with clean water, and ye shall be clean." 
As those sprinkled with the Spirit are restored to the full vigor of 
life, he hence obtains the names of "Oil" and "Unction." On the 
other hand, as he is constantly employed in subduing and destroying 
the vices of our concupiscence, and inflaming our hearts with the 
love of God and piety, he hence receives the name of Fire. In fine, 
he is described to us as a Fountain, whence all heavenly riches flow 
to us; or as the Hand by which God exerts his power, because by his 
divine inspiration he so breathes divine life into us, that we are 
no longer acted upon by ourselves, but ruled by his motion and 
agency, so that everything good in us is the fruit of his grace, 
while our own endowments without him are mere darkness of mind and 
perverseness of heart. Already, indeed, it has been clearly shown, 
that until our minds are intent on the Spirit, Christ is in a manner 
unemployed, because we view him coldly without us, and so at a 
distance from us. Now we know that he is of no avail save only to 
those to whom he is a head and the first-born among the brethren, to 
those, in fine, who are clothed with him. To this union alone it is 
owing that in regard to us, the Savior has not come in vain. To this 
is to be referred that sacred marriage, by which we become bone of 
his bone, and flesh of his flesh, and so one with him, (Eph. 5: 30,) 
for it is by the Spirit alone that he unites himself to us. By the 
same grace and energy of the Spirit we become his members, so that 
he keeps us under him, and we in our turn possess him. 
    4. But as faith is his principal work, all those passages which 
express his power and operations are, in a great measure, referred 
to it, as it is, only by faith that he brings us to the light of the 
Gospel, as John teaches, that to those who believe in Christ is 
given the privilege "to become the sons of God, even to them that 
believe in his name, which were born not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God," (John 1: 12.) 
Opposing God to flesh and blood, he declares it to be a supernatural 
gift, that those who would otherwise remain in unbelief, receive 
Christ by faith. Similar to this is our Savior's reply to Peter, 
"Flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which 
is in heaven," (Matt. 16: 17.) These things I now briefly advert to, 
as I have fully considered them elsewhere. To the same effect Paul 
says to the Ephesians, "Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of 
promise," (Eph. 1: 13;) thus showing that he is the internal 
teacher, by whose agency the promise of salvation, which would 
otherwise only strike the air or our ears, penetrates into our 
minds. In like manner, he says to the Thessalonians, "God has from 
the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the 
Spirit and belief of the truth," (2 Thess. 2: 13;) by this passage 
briefly reminding us, that faith itself is produced only by the 
Spirit. This John explains more distinctly, "We know that he abideth 
in us, by the Spirit which he has given us;" again, "Hereby know we 
that we dwell in him and he in us, because he has given us of his 
Spirit," (1 John 3: 24; 4: 13.) Accordingly to make his disciples 
capable of heavenly wisdom, Christ promised them "the Spirit of 
truth, whom the world cannot receive," (John 14: 17.) And he assigns 
it to him, as his proper office, to bring to remembrance the things 
which he had verbally taught; for in vain were light offered to the 
blind, did not that Spirit of understanding open the intellectual 
eye; so that he himself may be properly termed the key by which the 
treasures of the heavenly kingdom are unlocked, and his 
illumination, the eye of the mind by which we are enabled to see: 
hence Paul so highly commends the ministry of the Spirit, (2 Cor. 3: 
6,) since teachers would cry aloud to no purpose, did not Christ, 
the internal teacher, by means of his Spirit, draw to himself those 
who are given him of the Father. Therefore, as we have said that 
salvation is perfected in the person of Christ, so, in order to make 
us partakers of it, he baptizes us "with the Holy Spirit and with 
fire," (Luke 3: 16,) enlightening us into the faith of his Gospel, 
and so regenerating us to be new creatures. Thus cleansed from all 
pollution, he dedicates us as holy temples to the Lord. 

Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 3, Part 2

(continued in part 3...)

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