Persecution in Calvin’s world

Romans 8:36 includes a very unexpected quote, amid the triumphant language of some of the prior verses:

Rom 8:36, “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.'”

When I thought about the many thousands of Christians being persecuted and put to death in countries all across the world, this verse still rings true today. However, when thinking about the context of the Protestant Reformation, and the capital punishment that they saw and heard about on a regular basis, this regular death toll taught them experiential lessons about the depravity of man and false salvation. Without wanting to fall into the fallacy ad antiquitam (because it is old it is better), the theology of the Reformers was fleshed out in a gritty context where living for Jesus had a price. To see a paper I wrote on the 67 named martyrs from Geneva who were executed in France and other places for the gospel, please consider “Calvin’s Evangelistic Zeal as Exemplified in Crespin’s Martyrology” (available @

Rev 12:11, “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death”

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