by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. —John 13:18
"I know whom I have chosen." This very circumstance, that they will persevere, he ascribes to their election; for the virtue of men, being frail, would tremble at every' breeze, and would be laid down by the feeblest stroke, if the Lord did not uphold it by his hand. But as he governs those whom he has elected, all the engines which Satan can employ will not prevent them from persevering to the end with unshaken firmness.
And not only does he ascribe to election their perseverance, but likewise the commencement of their piety. Whence does it arise that one man, rather than another, devotes himself to the word of God? It is because he was elected. Again, whence does it arise that this man makes progress, and continues to lead a good and holy life, but because the purpose of God is unchangeable, to complete the work which was begun by his hand?
In short, this is the source of the distinction between the children of God and unbelievers, that the former are drawn to salvation by the Spirit of adoption, while the latter are hurried to destruction by their flesh, which is under no restraint. Otherwise Christ might have said, "I know what kind of person each of you will be."
But that they may not claim anything for themselves, but on the contrary may acknowledge that by the grace of God alone, and not by their own virtue, they differ from Judas, he places before them that election by free grace on which they are founded. Let us, therefore, learn that every part of our salvation depends on election. —Commentaries
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.