Calvin on Psalm 1

25 Apr


Three quotes from Calvin.


“…they are blessed who apply their hearts to the pursuit of heavenly wisdom; whereas the profane despisers of God, although for a time they may reckon themselves happy, shall at length have a most miserable end.”

“Blessed is the man”

“The meaning of the Psalmist, as I have stated above, is, that it shall be always well with God’s devout servants, whose constant endeavour it is to make progress in the study of his law.”


“he (the psalmist) teaches us how impossible it is for any one to apply his mind to meditation upon God’s laws who has not first withdrawn and separated himself from the society of the ungodly.”

Falls TightropeAs Christians we are striving to complete a complex balancing act of living in the world but not being of the world.

Seeking to be simultaneously separate and participant yet so often we fail on both accounts.

How easy it is to begin to use the command to be different (1Peter 1:16) as an excuse to retreat into a holy huddle or that we are to be witnesses and part of our society (Mark 16:15) as an excuse to allow the pollution of the world to seep into our lives. We avoid building real relationships for witnessing with unbelievers whilst we can create a direct effluent pipeline into our minds through the TV we watch, websites we visit, books we read, music we listen to or conversations we take part in.

sewageWe are called not to be separate from people, our Saviour ate and drank with tax collectors and prostitutes (Matthew 9:10), we are called to a much more revolutionary separation; holy and separate from the ideas, philosophy and attitudes of the world around us.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Ultimately Christ was the only one who obeyed these commands perfectly. He minstered amongst those who realised their own depravity (Matthew 9:12) yet lived a sinless life (John 8:46, John 18:38). His perfect sacrifice on the cross is the only means for salvation and only he can help us to strive to live our lives in the world but not of the world.


One Response to “Calvin on Psalm 1”

  1. wellwateredgarden April 25, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    Well said … all the prophets of old were ‘in the world but not of it.’

    We too must be in the world but yet separate enough from it so as to not become influenced by it. Tough, but not impossible.

    Jesus said, “Do not LET your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” – John 14:1.

    We decide what we are going to be influenced by, and we can trust God that when our hearts are turned to Him He will protect our relationship and preserve us even in the midst of bad influence.

    Sort of like a carpenter on a big project. He is not influenced by the plumbers and electricians, he simply considers the blueprints that apply to his work, even though he is surrounded by other trades.

    The way I see it, anyway …

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