Friday, December 23, 2016

The Vision (12.23.16): Calvin on Great Joy

Image:  CRBC outreach at Epworth Manor Apartments, Louisa, Virginia (12.21.16)

Note:  Devotion taken from John Calvin’s commentary on Luke 2:8-14.

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

The angel opens his discourse by saying that he announces great joy; and next assigns the ground or matter of joy, that a Savior is born. These words show us first, that until men have peace with God, and are reconciled to him through the grace of Christ, all the joy that they experience is deceitful, and of short duration. Ungodly men frequently indulge in frantic and intoxicating mirth; but if there be none to make peace between them and God, the hidden stings of conscience must produce fearful torment. Besides, to whatever extent they may flatter themselves in luxurious indulgence; their own lusts are so many tormentors. The commencement of solid joy is, to perceive the fatherly love of God toward us, which alone gives tranquility to our minds.  And this “joy,” in which, Paul tells us, “the kingdom of God” consists is “in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). By calling it great joy, he shows us, not only that we ought, above all things, to rejoice in the salvation brought us by Christ, but that this blessing is so great and boundless, as fully to compensate for all the pains, distresses, and anxieties of the present life. Let us learn to be so delighted with Christ alone, that the perception of his grace may overcome and at great length remove from us, all the distresses of the flesh.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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