Distinguishing between the Spiritual Kingdom and the Political Kingdom (Calvin)

Near the end of John Calvin's excellent discussion on the freedom of conscience (Christian liberty) in the Institutes, he talks about the Christian's relationship to the state (or government).  First, Calvin firmly emphasizes Galatians 5.1 (for freedom Christ has set you free...) against Rome's unbiblical binding of the conscience with all sorts of regulations not …

The Conduct Our Master Commands (Calvin)

In 1558 John Calvin wrote a letter to Nicholas Zirkinden, a friend of his. Zirkinden had criticized Calvin for being too rigid and severe in his writing and meetings. Calvin admitted that Zirkinden had a point: I confess that I am irritable, and though this vice displeases me, I have not succeeded in curing myself …

“Running to Carry Out Your Commands” (Vermigli)

Here's a wonderful prayer by Reformer Peter Vermigli. It is based on Psalm 119:17-32. I found it the other day reading through the "Prayer" chapter of Early Protestant Spirituality. I hope you enjoy this prayer as a Monday meditation: Since our strength depends on you, O great and good God, and without your help we …

Psalm 119: The Breath of the New Heart (McCheyne)

Psalm 119 has always been one of my favorite Psalms. I love how the Psalmist talks about the beauty and power of God's word, precepts, commands, and laws. Speaking of Psalm 119, Robert Murray MCheyne called it "the breathing of the new heart" in a sermon on Romans 7:22-25. After mentioning how an unbeliever has …

That Will Only Make You A Pharisee (Willard)

Dallas Willard's "The Great Omission" is a collection of his articles and lectures that had to do with discipleship and spiritual formation. Although I don't agree with everything in it, "The Great Omission" has been a blessing to read. Here's a helpful section of it I highlighted earlier today: The genius of the moral teachings …

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