by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. —I John 4:10
Thus, by a pure and gratuitous love towards us, he is excited to receive us into favor. But if there is a perpetual and irreconcilable opposition between righteousness and iniquity, he cannot receive us entirely, as long as we remain sinners.
Therefore, to remove all occasion of enmity, and to reconcile us completely to himself, he abolishes all our guilt, by the expiation exhibited in the death of Christ, that we, who before were polluted and impure, may appear righteous and holy in his sight. The love of God the Father therefore precedes our reconciliation in Christ; or rather it is because he first loves, that he afterwards reconciles us to himself.
But because, till Christ relieves us by his death, we are not freed from that iniquity which deserves the indignation of God, and is accursed and condemned in his sight; we have not a complete and solid union with God, before we are united to him by Christ.
And therefore if we would assure ourselves that God is pacified and propitious to us, we must fix our eyes and hearts on Christ alone, since it is by him only that we really obtain the non-imputation of sins, the imputation of which is connected with the Divine wrath. —Institutes, II, xvi, iii
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.