John Calvin: The Work in Geneva | Episode 28 | Lineage


After having to leave France,
Farel and Calvin moved and worked elsewhere. Farel came here to the Geneva area
and he had success in the villages and hamlets
that surrounded the town of Geneva, but when he came into the city,
he was initially rejected and had to leave the city. Another man who tried the work of reform here was a schoolmaster by the name of Froment,
and he had some success. Calvin also found his way to the city,
though not by design. There was a roadblock because an army was in the road,
and he had to divert and he came through Geneva. He was planning to just pass through, but the believers there implored him
to stay and assist the work of reform. And though initially reluctant,
he eventually decided to stay. [music] For nearly 30 years he labored here in Geneva. Firstly establishing a church
that adhered to the morality of the Bible, and then for the advancement
of the Reformation throughout Europe. His life as a public leader was not faultless,
nor were his doctrines free from error, but he was instrumental in advancing truths
that were of special importance, and maintaining the principles of Protestantism
against the errors of Rome. [music] Sometimes you can learn a lot about someone
by what their enemies say about them at their death. Pope Pius VI said of John Calvin, ‘The strength of that heretic Calvin consisted in this:
that money never had the slightest charm for him. ‘If I had such servants,
my dominion would extend from sea to sea.’ [music] Calvin was a compulsive, Type A personality.
He never wasted a minute. He preached five sermons a week and he wrote
a Bible commentary on virtually every book of the Bible. He also wrote countless theological articles
on a wide variety of topics. He was not lazy. Even when he was on his deathbed,
his friends urged him to refrain from his labours. He replied,
‘What, should the Lord come and find me idle?’ He lived a very modest life as well. He wasn’t paid a large salary, but by the utmost frugality
he was able to save three years annual salary that he left to his heirs when he passed away. [music] From Calvin’s life we learn
he’s a man who sent missionaries throughout Europe, he’s a man who wrote books
and sent them throughout Europe, he’s a man that had an influence
far more wider-reaching than just his church. But really he started off
just as the pastor of a church in Geneva. From small beginnings he had a great, great influence. In Luke 16 verse 10, the Bible tells us, ‘He that is faithful in that which is least
will be faithful also in that which is much.’ May we be faithful wherever God has placed us, in whatever small place
or small thing it is, that we may be faithful, should God give us greater responsibilities
or a greater sphere of influence.

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