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Daily Devotional

May 17

Thine Is My Heart: Devotional Readings from the Writings of John Calvin

by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)

Bible Text:

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, —Ephesians 1:13

Devotional:

Paul asserts that the Ephesians were "sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." This shows that there is an eternal teacher, by whose agency the promise of our salvation, which otherwise would only strike the air, penetrates into our minds. Similar also is his remark, that the Thessalonians were "chosen by God through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of truth." By this connection he briefly suggests that faith itself proceeds only from the Spirit.

John expresses this in plainer terms: "We know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." Again, "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit." Therefore Christ promised to send to his disciples "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive," that they might be capable of attaining heavenly wisdom. He ascribes to him the peculiar office of suggesting to their minds all the oral instructions which he had given them. For in vain would the light present itself to the blind, unless the Spirit of understanding would open their mental eyes; so that he may be justly called the key with which the treasures of the kingdom are unlocked to us; and his illumination constitutes our mental eyes to behold them.

It is therefore that Paul so highly commends the ministry of the Spirit; because the instructions of preachers would produce no benefit, did not Christ himself, the internal teacher, by his Spirit, draw to him those who were given him by the Father. Therefore, as we have stated, that complete salvation is found in the person of Christ, so, to make us partakers of it, he "baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and with fire," enlightening us unto the faith of his Gospel, regenerating us so that we become new creatures, and purging us from profane impurities, consecrates us as holy temples to God. —Institutes, III, i, iv


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.

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