Integrity Matters

About two weeks ago I mentioned in a post that our life is crazy and that my posting on the Institutes was probably going to become inconsistent and irregular. Well, our lives and schedules continue as they have been all semester. And, as predicted, I have not posted on The Institutes since then, nor have I read much of Calvin’s book.

I was able to read Chapter 15 this week, though. It was pretty heavy reading.

In this chapter, Calvin discusses the creation of man. In it he addresses the original state in which man was created, our faculties, conscience (that part of us that is able to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong), the image and likeness of God (which is spiritual and internal), free will and intellect, and original righteousness.

With respect to man having been created in the image and likeness of God, Calvin says,

… by this term (“the image of God”) is denoted the integrity with which Adam was endued when his intellect was clear, his affections subordinated to reason, all his senses duly regulated, and when he truly ascribed all his excellence to the admirable gifts of his Maker.” (1.15.3)

But sin entered the world and our human nature through Adam and man descended into a “miserable condition”. (1.15.1)

It cannot be doubted that when Adam lost his first estate he became alienated from God. Wherefore, although we grant that the image of God was not utterly effaced and destroyed in him, it was, however, so corrupted, that any thing which remains is fearful deformity; and, therefore, our deliverance begins with that renovation which we obtain in Christ, who is, therefore, called the Second Adam, beause He restores us to true and substantial integrity.”

Calvin declares that we are restored to this original integrity through “the richer measure of grace (that is) bestowed in regeneration, … that the end of regeneration is to form us anew in the image of God.” (1.15.4)

When we are made new, we are “so renewed as to bear the image of God in knowledge, purity, righteousness, and true holiness”, the “original integrity” that we lost when sin entered the world through Adam. (Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24) (1.15.4)

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“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

I Corinthians 1:30

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