Components of Repentance According To Calvin

Here is something I put together based on Calvin’s Institutes and A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes.

Mortification of the flesh through a true knowledge and hatred of sin (Is 1:16) is the prelude and companion to vivification of the spirit (Is 1:17)–arising from rebirth, and living to God–which are the two parts of repentance.

Specifically, vivification is:

“the desire to live in a holy and devoted manner, a desire arising from rebirth; as if it were said that man dies to himself that he may begin to live to God.”

–John Calvin, Institutes, (III.iii.3)

And its three components:

  1. Participation in Christ unto righteousness
  2. Spirit-governed life
  3. Doing good works

–Joel Beeke, A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes, pg 297-298

Obviously whole books are written on these things, but if you’re unfamiliar and come across them, at least you’ll hopefully have a framework, if you should happen to remember this. I’ve got it in Evernote and will re-read about it more widely in these books as necessary (cuz I won’t reember all of it) while living it out.

You can easily find the Beveridge translation of the Institutes of the Institutes for free online in many different formats.

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