Five Hundred Years Ago

John Calvin was born July 10, 1509 (d. 1564). That is nearly 500 years ago! No one in the history of the Church, since the New Testament itself, has been so influential! It is worth remembering him and what he was able to accomplish for the Lord. There will be no pilgrimages to his grave, however, since he wanted to be buried in an unmarked grave, which remains unknown.

What did Calvin accomplish? He was the first to truly systematize the Reformation faith. The Institutes, to this day, are read with profit. They are a monumental piece of work that no Christian should neglect in his reading.

Until Calvin’s commentaries, there was only Chrysostom. But Calvin outstripped the¬†former to become the father of modern commentaries.

In his day, Calvin was known for his preaching more than his theological treatises. His sermons were translated into all sorts of languages. Unfortunately, most of them are lost.

Calvin believed in foreign missions and sent men out to Brazil.

His letters, representing a formidable amount of effort put into counseling men all over the world (some royalty of the time), are extremely informative.

His academy in Geneva became the key gathering center for great leaders of the church, who studied there and then carried the truth to other countries.

His ability to make and keep close friendships is noteworthy. Today, many who respect and find help from his writings, are still devoted to him.

He suffered from many illnesses, spitting blood and dragging one leg. At the end he preached from a canvas folding chair. His commentaries were often dictated from bed.

This great man should be remembered most of all for His devotion to the Word of God and the God of the Word. His symbol—so appropriate to his life—was a heart on fire for God!

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