by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and he baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. —Acts 2:38
When they ask us what faith we had for many years after our baptism, in order to show that our baptism was vain, since baptism is not sanctified to us except by the word of promise received in faith—to this inquiry we answer, that being blind and unbelieving for a long time, we did not embrace the promise which had been given us in baptism, yet that the promise itself, as it was from God, always remained steady, firm, and true.
Though all men were false, yet God ceases not to be true; though all men were lost, yet Christ remains a Saviour. We confess, therefore, that during that time we received no advantages whatever from baptism because we totally neglected the promise offered to us in it, without which baptism is nothing.
Now since by the grace of God we have begun to repent, we accuse our blindness and hardness of heart for our long ingratitude to his great goodness; yet we believe that the promise itself never expired, but, on the contrary, we reason in the following manner:
—By baptism God promises remission of sins, and will certainly fulfill the promise to all believers; that promise was offered to us in baptism; let us, therefore, embrace it by faith; it was long dormant by reason of our unbelief; now, then, let us receive it by faith. —Institutes, IV, xv, xvii
John Calvin was the premier theologian of the Reformation, but also a pious and godly Christian pastor who endeavored throughout his life to point men and women to Christ. We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for permission to use John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart as our daily devotional for 2013 on the OPC Web site. You can currently obtain a printed copy of that book from Reformation Heritage Books.
Dr. Joel Beeke, who is editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, has this to say:
"Calvin shows us the piety of a Reformed theologian who speaks from the heart. Having tasted the goodness and grace of God in Jesus Christ, he pursued piety by seeking to know and do God’s will every day. He communed with Christ, practicing repentance, self-denial, and cross-bearing. Moreover, his theology worked itself out in heart-felt, Christ-honoring piety. The selections of this devotional bear this out, and hopefully will be used by God to direct pious hearts in our own day."
These devotional readings from John Calvin were compiled by John H. Kromminga. Be sure to read his "Introduction" to John Calvin's Thine Is My Heart.