by John Calvin
This booklet treats of the life of the Christian. Its purpose Calvin states is to, “Let us ...search Scripture to find the root principle for the reformation of our life.”. Calvin provides a framework of how the truth of our redemption in Christ should factor into how we live out our lives.
Calvin gives his purpose in writing this booklet in the first portion of chapter one. As adopted sons and daughters of God, we are to live in a way that demonstrates harmony between our obedience and God’s righteousness.
This being the case,
Calvin understood well that as sinners saved by grace we are to be ever conforming to the image of our Savior and in doing so we rely on Scripture as our guide.
The Christian Life is an immensely helpful book for reorienting our focus towards God. The allure of the world and the snares of sin have not faded since the time that Calvin wrote these words, and the practical reflections and exhortations given in the Golden Booklet are as instructive today as they were in 1550.
This is not a dense theological treatise; it is instead an accessible pastoral work written out of care for the Christian and concern for those who are influenced by his walk with the Lord.
It is unlikely that a believer will encounter a doctrine or principle of which they were not yet aware in this book, yet they will find an clear and convincing presentation of why and how we are to live for Christ in everyday life.
Reading this book carefully is a rich experience that I would highly recommend to fellow Christians.
As seen in the booklet, the journey towards spiritual growth and greater intimacy with Christ begins with focusing on God and others rather than ourselves. This is a difficult journey, to be sure, but Calvin does an excellent job of showing that the end result of this is nothing less than becoming more and more Christ-like.
While Scripture does promise blessing for obedience, pursuing Christ should remain our primary motivation for pursuing holiness.
Table of Contents
Chapter I: Life of a Christian Man. Scriptural Arguments Exhorting to it.
Chapter II: A Summary of the Christian Life. Of Self-Denial.
Chapter III: Of Bearing the Cross: One Branch of Self-Denial.
Chapter IV: Of Meditating on the Future Life.
Chapter V: How to Use the Present Life, and the Comforts of It.