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What Calvin Says About the Church

Calvin's contemporary, the German Reformer Martin Luther, once wrote:

"I believe that there is on earth, through the whole wide world, no more than one holy, common, Christian church, which is nothing else than the congregation, or the assembly of the saints, i.e., the pious, believing men on earth, which is gathered, preserved, and ruled by the Holy Ghost, and daily increased by means of the sacraments and the Word of God" (cited in J.J. Davis, Handbook Of Basic Bible Texts, p. 103).

With this synoptic statement the Geneva Reformer would fully concur. Calvin loved the church; she is the bride of Christ, the apple of God's eye. And he burned with a true zeal for her purification, reconstruction, and good health. In his Commentary on Galatians 5: 12, Calvin writes, "my love of the church and my anxiety about her interests carry me away into a sort of ecstasy, so that I can think of nothing else."