by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. —Isaiah 53:5
But all the same, the Prophet shows that without the wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is nothing but death in us and that we must certainly look to him for healing. So when we want to partake of the fruit that the death and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ brings us, let us understand that the many vices rooted in our nature are so many wounds and mortal sicknesses, even though they may not be apparent.
If a man thinks he is healthy because he cannot see his sickness, he must be quite out of his mind. Our illnesses may be the more deadly when they are secret. Now besides our deep-rooted sins, there are faults that we commit every day, and which show clearly enough that our nature is perverse and accursed and that we are all perverted. Since then there is in us nothing but spiritual infection and leprosy and that we are corrupt in our iniquities, what shall we do? What remedy is there?
Shall we go seek help from the angels in Paradise? Alas! they can do nothing for us. No, we must come to our Lord Jesus Christ, who was willing to be disfigured from the top of his head even to the sole of his feet and was a mass of wounds, flogged with many stripes and crowned with thorns, nailed and fastened to the cross and pierced through the side.
This is how we are healed; here is our true medicine, with which we must be content, and which we must embrace whole-heartedly, knowing that otherwise we can never have inward peace but must always be tormented and tortured to the extreme, unless Jesus Christ comforts us and appeases God's wrath against us.
When we are certain of that, we have cause to sing his praises, instead of being capable of nothing but trembling and confusion. This, in brief, is what we have to remember from these words of the Prophet. —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.