Quotes from The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Institutes of the Christian Religion was written as an introductory textbook on the Protestant faith for those with some previous knowledge of theology and covered a broad range of theological topics from the doctrines of church and sacraments to justification by faith alone and Christian liberty. It vigorously attacked the teachings of those Calvin considered unorthodox, particularly Roman Catholicism to which Calvin says he had been "strongly devoted" before his conversion to Protestantism. The Institutes is a highly regarded reference for the system of doctrine adopted by the Reformed churches, usually called Calvinism.

Baptism is the Initiatory Sign

“Baptism is the initiatory sign by which we are admitted to the fellowship of the church, that being engrafted into Christ we may be accounted children of God.” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion 4.15.1

Baptism Serves as Our Confession Before Men

“Baptism serves as our confession before men, in as much as it is a mark by which we openly declare that we wish to be ranked among the people of God, by which we testify that we concur with all Christians in the worship of one God, and in one religion; by which, in short, we publicly assert our faith…” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion 4.15.13

Our Labour is not Wasted When Today is Better than Yesterday

“No one can travel so far that he does not make some progress each day. So let us never give up. Then we shall move forward daily in the Lord’s way. And let us never despair because of our limited success. Even though it is so much less than we would like, our labour is not wasted when today is better than yesterday!” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion

Private Vices become Public Error

“Were the judgments of mankind correct, custom would be regulated by the good. But it is often far otherwise in point of fact; for, whatever the many are seen to do, forthwith obtains the force of custom. But human affairs have scarcely ever been so happily constituted as that the better course pleased the greater number. Hence the private vices of the multitude have generally resulted in public error, or rather that common consent in vice which these worthy men would have to be law.” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion

Content that Jesus is Our King

“Thus it is that we may patiently pass through this life with its misery, hunger, cold, contempt, reproaches, and other troubles – content with this one thing: that our King [Jesus] will never leave us destitute, but will provide for our needs until, our warfare ended, we are called to triumph.” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion

The Scriptures Could not be Humanly Conceived

“As far as sacred Scripture is concerned, however much froward men try to gnaw at it, nevertheless it clearly is crammed with thoughts that could not be humanly conceived. Let each of the prophets be looked into: none will be found who does not far exceed human measure. Consequently, those for whom prophetic doctrine is tasteless ought to be thought of as lacking taste buds.” ~ Institutes of the Christian Religion