The Wonderful Exchange Through Christ

In Nigel Westhead’s article, “Adoption in the Thought of John Calvin,” he lists this wonderful exchange as part and parcel of adoption. The substance of this exchange is best seen in Calvin’s own words in discussing the fruits of the Lord’s Supper:

This is the wonderful exchange which, out of his measureless benevolence, he has made with us; that, becoming Son of man with us, he has made us sons of God with him; that , by his descent to earth, he has prepared an ascent to heaven for us; that, by taking on our mortality, he has conferred his immortality upon us; that, accepting our weakness, he has strengthened us by his power; that, receiving our poverty unto himself, he has transferred his wealth to us; that, taking the weight of our iniquity upon himself (which oppressed us), he has clothed us with his righteousness.

Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion, Institutes IV, xvii, 2–3. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.

This is the wonderful exchange that the believer enjoys as part of being an adopted child of God.



  1. Do you find that Calvin’s view of the Lord’s Supper here challenges your Baptist view of the sacrament being merely a memorial. Since he frames this view of exchange specifically in the Eucharist, it would seem that Calvin would be very unsympathetic to the idea that nothing really happens in the Lord’s Supper. If this exchange, based on the Incarnation, is real, something more must be happening than memorial.