by John Calvin (compiled by John H. Kromminga)
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. —Romans 16:20
But, as the promise respecting breaking the head of Satan belongs to Christ and his members in common, I therefore deny that the faithful can ever be conquered or overwhelmed by him.
They are frequently filled with consternation, but recover themselves again; they fall by the violence of his blows, but are raised up again; they are wounded, but not mortally; finally, they labor through their whole lives in such a manner as at last to obtain the victory.
This, however, is not to be restricted to each single action. For we know that, by the righteous vengeance of God, David was for a time delivered to Satan, that by his instigation he might number the people; nor is it without reason that Paul admits a hope of pardon even for those who may have been entangled in the snares of the devil.
Therefore the same Apostle shows, in another place, that the promise before cited is begun in this life, where we must engage in the conflict; and that after the termination of the conflict it will be completed. "And the God of peace," he says, "shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."
In our Head this victory, indeed, has always been complete, because the prince of this world had nothing in him; in us, who are his members, it yet appears only in part, but will be completed when we shall have put off our flesh, which makes us still subject to infirmities. —Institutes, I, xiv, xviii
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.