The Prayers of J.Calvin – Jeremiah Lectures (5)

JCalvinPic1The next prayer of John Calvin that we post follows his fourth lecture on the prophecy of Jeremiah, covering chap.1:18-19 and chap.2:1-5. But before posting the prayer, once again we quote from a portion of his lecture. In connection with vss.1-2 of chap.2 of Jeremiah, Calvin has these wonderful things to say about the steadfastness of God’s covenant love for His wayward people:

Now this is a remarkable passage; for God shews that his covenant, though perfidiously violated by the Jews, was yet firm and immutable: for though not all who derive their descent according to the flesh from Abraham, are true and legitimate Israelites, yet God ever remains true, and his calling, as Paul says, is without repentance (Rom.x1. 29) We may therefore learn this from the Prophet’s words, – that God was not content with one Prophet, but continued his favour, inasmuch as he would not render void his covenant. The Jews indeed had impiously departed from the covenant, and a vast number had deservedly perished, having been wholly repudiated; yet God designed really to shew that his grace depends not on the inconstancy of men, as Paul says in another place, for it would then presently fail (Rom.iii. 4;) and that were all men false and perfidious, God would yet remain true and fixed in his purpose. This we learn from the Prophet’s words, when it is said, that God remembered the people on account of the kindness of their youth (71).

And then this beautiful prayer follows:

Grant, Almighty God, that as thou continuest at this day, both morning and evening, to invite us to thyself, and assiduously exhortest us to repent, and testifiest that thou art ready to be reconciled to us, provided we flee to thy mercy, – O grant, that we may not close our ears and reject this thy great kindness, but that remembering thy gratuitous election, the chief of all favours thou hast been pleased to shew us, we may strive so to devote ourselves to thee, that thy name may be glorified through our whole life: and should it be that we at any time turn aside from thee, may we quickly return to the right way, and become submissive to thy holy admonitions, that it may thus appear that we have been so chosen by thee and called as to desire to continue in the hope of that salvation, to which thou invitest us, and which is prepared for us in heaven, through Christ our Lord. – Amen (76).

The Wonder of Grace: Jesus in the Manger

StandardBearerFrom “The Christmas Message to Joseph”, the meditation based on Matt.1:18-24 and written by Rev.Ron Van Overloop (Grace PRC), published in the December 15, 2014 Standard Bearer:

The wonder of grace is that He is ‘Jesus,’ that is, ‘Jehovah salvation’ (21). ‘Jehovah salvation’ means that He will accomplish the work to ‘save His people from their sins.’ To save means that He delivers them from the greatest evil – there is nothing worse than my sin and my sinfulness. And provides us with the greatest good – a sweet relationship with God Himself.

This marvelous and gracious work of salvation He will accomplish for ‘His people.’ He saves, but He does not save all – only His people, that is, those given Him of His Father before the foundation of the world (John 17:2). He will do all that is necessary to earn salvation – earning both forgiveness and righteousness. He will work that salvation in them, and He will keep them in that salvation.

That Jesus saves His people from their sins explains the manger and the cross, for He stood in their place, bearing the penalty of their sin. Their violations of the most high majesty of God made it necessary that He bear the penalty for all of their sin.

The great joy of Christmas is the fact that He came precisely to deal with the reality of our sin. Christmas is realizing that God humbled Himself to become complete man because the sins of His people required that. Payment had to be made and He became man just to do so.

…May we see the baby in the manger and worship Him with renewed faith. Let us receive the good tidings of great joy and give glory to God in the highest! (123-24).