Calvin on the Great Usefulness of the Law

The Reformed Reader

Institutes of the Christian Religion, Beveridge Translation In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin talks about three parts, or uses, of the law (I.II.VII.6-12).  First, he said, the law “warns, informs, convicts, and lastly condemns, every man of his own unrighteousness. …The law is like a mirror.  In it, we contemplate our weakness….”  Second, Calvin said the law restrains people by the fear of punishment: “The law is like a halter to check the raging and otherwise limitlessly ranging lusts of the flesh.”  What did he say about the third use of the law?

“The third use of the Law (being also the principal use, and more closely connected with its proper end) has respect to believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and reigns. For although the Law is written and engraven on their hearts by the finger of God, that is, although they are so influenced and actuated…

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