by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. —Isaiah 53:8
Now, it was very necessary that our Lord Jesus should descend into the depths of the abyss before being exalted into the glory of the heavens; for if he had appeared only in his majesty, how could we today be assured that our sins were forgiven? We should indeed see the Son of God who is the fountain of life, but he would be, as it were, separated from us, and we should have nothing in common with him, nor be able to draw near him. Moreover, we should always have cause for despair, in that we are guilty of infinite faults.
And if our Lord Jesus had descended into the abyss without being raised to the heavens, where should we be then? We should be always wretched creatures, petrified with fear and in endless and ceaseless anxiety; we should be in a horrible torment, for the wrath of God would ever be upon us.
But when it is said in the first place that he was condemned, and suffered terrible pangs that we might be delivered from them, and that, having peace with God, we now know that he loves us, is favorable to us and receives us in mercy; when we know that Jesus Christ was raised on high, we can also conclude that it was to draw us to him that we might share in the glory given to him by his Father. —Sermons
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.