Calvin on the Pastor and Christ’s Church

John Calvin on Paul’s description of his ministry in 2 Corinthians 11:2:

Here … he gives us in his own person a lively picture of a good minister. For one alone is the bridegroom of the church – the Son of God. All ministers are the friends of the bridegroom, as the Baptist declares respecting himself (John 3:29). Hence all ought to be concerned that the fidelity of this sacred marriage remain unimpaired and inviolable. This they cannot do unless they are actuated by the dispositions of the bridegroom, so that every one of them may be as much concerned for the purity of the church as a husband is for the chastity of his wife.

Away then with coldness and indolence in this matter, for one that is cold will never be qualified for this office. Let them, however, in the meantime, take care not to pursue their own interest rather than that of Christ, that they may not intrude themselves into his place, lest while they give themselves out as his friends, they turn out to be in reality adulterers, by alluring the bride to love themselves.

Our culture is losing sight of the beauty – indeed the very comprehensibility – of this image, and in part it is the failure of the church to uphold it that is at fault. May God give us grace to show our confused, tragedy-filled world the beauty and hope of the gospel of Christ.


About Matthew J. Tuininga

Matthew J. Tuininga is the Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Posted on December 13, 2012, in Calvin. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Calvin on the Pastor and Christ’s Church.

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