Outline - Institutes of the Christian Religion:
Book III: Receiving the Grace of Christ, its Benefits and Effects (PDF)


** PLEASE NOTE: This product is an outline/study guide for the book, not the actual book itself.

In the third book, Calvin's focus turns to the Holy Spirit, as seen through the perspective of the economy of salvation.

Most readers interested in the Institutes will be seeking to understand the distinctive theology Calvin lays out in this book, especially his doctrine of predestination (III.xxi). Nonetheless, one should note from the outline that before discussing election, Calvin considers other doctrines which are essential to evangelical thought.

In this section, Calvin famously defines faith as "a steady and certain knowledge of the divine benevolence towards us, which being founded on the gracious promise of Christ, is both revealed to our minds, and confirmed to our hearts, by the Holy Spirit." Note then that for Calvin, election is a discussion secondary to that of faith in the redemptive work of Christ.

Readers with a Lutheran background may be surprised how familiar section III.xix is - indeed his chapter "On Christian Liberty" demonstrates a striking dependence on the thought and ethos of Martin Luther.

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