John Calvin’s 6 Reasons Why We Should Evangelize | Joel Beeke

from Ligonier Ministries

There are many reasons why we must evangelize. John Calvin offers the following:

1. God commands us to do so. “We should remember that the gospel is preached not only by the command of Christ but at his urging and leading.”

2. We want to glorify God. True Christians yearn to extend God’s truth everywhere so that “God may be glorified.”

3. We want to please God. Calvin writes, “It is a sacrifice well-pleasing to God to advance the spread of the gospel.”

4. We have a duty to God. “It is very just that we should labor… to further the progress of the gospel,” Calvin says. He adds, “It is our duty to proclaim the goodness of God to every nation.”

5. We have a duty to our fellow sinners. Our compassion should be intensified by knowing that “God cannot be sincerely called upon by others than those to whom, through the preaching of the gospel, his kindness and gentle dealings have become known.”

6. We are grateful to God. We owe it to God to strive for the salvation of others; if we do not, we are behaving in a contradictory manner. Calvin says, “Nothing could be more inconsistent concerning the nature of faith than that deadness which would lead a man to disregard his brethren, and to keep the light of knowledge… in his own breast.”

This excerpt is taken from Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel Beeke.

Good Old Calvinism

by Buck Parsons

John Calvin was a churchman for all ages. He was a reformer par excellence. He was a godly pastor who equipped his people for ministry. He was a humble revolutionary. He was a loyal husband, father, and friend. But above all Calvin was a man whose mind was humbled and whose heart was mastered by the Lord God Almighty. His life’s prayer — “I offer my heart to you, O Lord, promptly and sincerely” — was an unwavering declaration of surrender to the Lord, whom he sought to love with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength.

While many Christians throughout the world may be familiar with some of Calvin’s doctrines, most are unfamiliar with the man who was so devoted to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word (Acts 6:4). Given all that the Lord accomplished in him and through him, his legacy to us is one of biblical, doctrinal, and ecclesiastical integrity. As such, we would do well to heed the words of Calvin’s friend Theodore Beza, who wrote, “Since it has pleased God that Calvin should continue to speak to us through his writings, which are so scholarly and full of godliness, it is up to future generations to go on listening to him until the end of the world, so that they might see our God as he truly is and live and reign with him for all eternity.”

Calvin’s greatness was not in his service to himself but in his surrender to God, as B.B. Warfield recognized: “Here we have the secret of Calvin’s greatness and the source of his strength unveiled to us. No man ever had a profounder sense of God than he; no man ever more unreservedly surrendered himself to the Divine direction.” This is Calvin’s greatness — his constant surrender to God.

For those of us who desire not simply to wear the five-pointed badge of Calvinism, but who desire to clothe ourselves with the fullness of the old Calvinism, let us follow Calvin’s example as we fall to our knees in constant surrender to God, living each day before the face of God, enjoying and glorifying God forever. This was Calvin’s chief desire for himself, for his congregation, and for us. In his Institutes of the Christian Religion he wrote, “As the surest source of destruction to men is to obey themselves, so the only haven of safety is to have no other will, no other wisdom, than to follow the Lord wherever he leads.”

Burk Parsons is editor of Tabletalk magazine and associate minister at Saint Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida, and is editor of the book John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology.


From Ligonier Ministries and R.C. Sproul. © Tabletalk magazine. Website: www.ligonier.org/tabletalk. Email: tabletalk@ligonier.org. Toll free: 1-800-435-4343.

Robert Godfrey-Calvin: Why He Still Matters

By. W. Robert Godfrey, Westminster Seminary California

Calvin was a great teacher, because he really knew the Bible, and because he found ways to communicate effectively what he learned.  As a teacher he was eager to lead others to a sense of certainty about the truth. He believed that the Bible was not only true and reliable and helpful, but he believed it was understandable so that people could come to a knowledge of the truth, a certain knowledge of the truth, an undoubted knowledge of the truth, so that they would not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine, but that they would know the truth and the truth would set them free.   Free from what? Free from sin, free from the devil, free from ignorance, free from the lies of false religion.  And it was with that confidence in that truth that those graduates from Geneva went forth to preach in France and often to die.  It was with that confidence that the Reformed church was able to spread throughout Europe and later the world.

Calvin still matters because the church still needs truth communicated effectively so that we might be sure that we know the truth, that we have been set free by the truth, and that we will live forever in Jesus who is the truth. John Calvin still matters because while he has many spiritual children, he remains in my judgment one of the greatest teachers the church has ever known in his balance, as well as in his insight and his passion. Time spent with John Calvin is time still well spent, and still a blessing for the church today.

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