Calvin’s Institutes – 2.16.13 – Our salvation may be thus divided between the death and the resurrection of Christ

Calvin writes about the significance of the resurrection for salvation. His statements take into account the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning death, which deals with our sin. Then he explains the benefits of His resurrection. Conferring upon people righteousness and new life.

This is part of my series on Calvin’s Institutes.


Next follows the resurrection from the dead, without which all that has hitherto been said would be defective. For seeing that in the cross, death, and burial of Christ, nothing but weakness appears, faith must go beyond all these, in order that it may be provided with full strength.

Hence, although in his death we have an effectual completion of salvation, because by it we are reconciled to God, satisfaction is given to his justice, the curse is removed, and the penalty paid; still it is not by his death, but by his resurrection, that we are said to be begotten again to a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3); because, as he, by rising again, became victorious over death, so the victory of our faith consists only in his resurrection.

The nature of it is better expressed in the words of Paul, “Who (Christ) was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification,” (Rom. 4:25); as if he had said, By his death sin was taken away, by his resurrection righteousness was renewed and restored. For how could he by dying have freed us from death, if he had yielded to its power? how could he have obtained the victory for us, if he had fallen in the contest?

Our salvation may be thus divided between the death and the resurrection of Christ: by the former sin was abolished and death annihilated; by the latter righteousness was restored and life revived, the power and efficacy of the former being still bestowed upon us by means of the latter. (Calvin, Instit. 2.16.13)


Its great to see how the resurrection is given credit for aspects of our salvation. Calvin’s theology seems to be founded upon Paul’s statements in Romans 6, where Paul says believers are united in Christ’s death and resurrection. Christ resurrection confers upon us new spiritual life and enables his people to serve in righteousness.

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