Discussion Questions on chapter 4 (=Institutes 3.9).

  1. What would you say you desire or pursue on earth that isn’t holy (you certainly do not have to share with the group)? Has the Covid 19 pandemic caused you to rethink earthly pursuits? In what ways, if any, are you more in tune with a pursuit of Christ because of our current situation (89-90)?


  1. As Christians, we are told that we mourn differently than others who do not believe (1 Thessalonians 4:13). That is, we are not without hope. How can we take strength and maintain our spirits during times of difficulty and struggle (91-92)? 


  1. There are many things in life that are attractive to us. Calvin says, in order that we do not become enchanted by these pleasures of life, we must be pulled away from them (92). In what ways has God called you away from earthly pursuits? What has your response been when you have experienced such events in your life (95)?


  1. John Calvin says on p. 96, “And so none will triumph until they’ve survived the difficulties of war and have obtained victory.” How does this show us God’s love and mercy? What understanding does Calvin want us to reach (97)?


  1. What does Calvin say is the goal of the believer (98)? In what ways can we achieve this goal (99-101)? Is it possible to fully achieve this goal (101-104)?


  1. Calvin says of believers, “so long as they live on earth, must be like sheep destined for slaughter” (105). Explain the reasoning behind this statement. What does Calvin conclude that we should be doing (108)? Do you agree or disagree?