Calvin – The Majesty of God

By Adam Smith

March 26th, 1538 – Easter Sunday, Geneva

My dear William,

It’s me, John Calvin.

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As I write to you now, I hear a mob at my door

An army of people calling, I can’t ignore

They want silence. They want me gone, William;

A pack packed with pitchforks and torches and clubs

Angry at truth, and calling for blood.

I came to Geneva, after your relentless pursuit

I accepted your offer and came to be absolutely firm in my conviction

To preach the gospel of Christ, and Christ alone.

But against your prediction, and depiction of this city, I’ve felt nothing but friction against the good news I bring, and now here I am threatened with eviction.

They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want a part.

They’ve put up a wall of hostility around the void in their heart

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For once in the past, an intervention divine,

when God subdued and made a teachable heart of mine

I saw in that moment all power and glory

The majesty of God revealed in the story

Of God and his people, in scripture complete

revelation of who he is and how to know him

Man creates a model of God, in one single plane

That is put in a containable box and constrained

To our weak definition, a flawed exposition

That fails to capture even a glimmer of God’s awesome composition

There are not enough words in all the languages on earth

To capture the magnitude of the glory of our God

So we need to look to the book that lays it all out

The testament of God that cries with a shout:

 

“ehyeh asher ehyeh”, “I am who I am”

 

At once, my dear William, I knew my place

Mere grass when compared up and down, face to face

With my Lord, my God, creator of all

The gap between man and God is not small

 

The ideas of men come and go,

Like chaff in the wind, when the breath of God blows

The grass withers and the flowers fall

But the word of our God endures through it all

 

So hear this truth and hear it clear:

In Jesus we know we can seek our salvation

In Jesus we see God’s complete incarnation

Indulgence and purity in his Gestation

Acquittal and pardon in his condemnation

 

In his blood we find mercy and purification

In his death we see God’s profound reconciliation

Of us and him, creator and creation

Brought from death to life not by our causation

But by his. This is God’s Grace.

 

In his rising again we see immortality

A new nationality, a guarantee

of our citizenship to heaven, free for all who believe

Therefore, since it is from him that all blessings flow out

Since through him to heaven, there’s no other route

Let us draw a full supply from this fountain, no doubt

Because in him we’re filled, there’ll never be drought.

 

This is my conviction, from which I will not part

As I’ve preached from the start there’s no counterpart

To the Gospel, no amendment to the Lord that I see revealed in the word

And if your city can’t take it, like they’ve refused to have heard,

Then I’m left with no choice, for this town needs reforming

An awakening to the dawning of the majesty of God they can know for themselves

Maybe I’m not the person for that anymore

I’ve tried my best, William, I’ve given it my all.

 

But I must leave Geneva. Tonight.

Your friend through it all, fellow soldier in the fight

John Calvin

 

 

What am I doing? Did I pen this just now?IMG_2758 (002)

Am I really going to be so easily scared out of this town?

No, Jean, No, don’t go back on your word

That’s absurd, to give into the pressure handed down

 

 

For it says don’t conform to the ways of this world

But be transformed as his grace is unfurled

Over all of us. We were brought at a price, our sin decimated,

We were consecrated and dedicated to God

To live a life for him, so it follows that:

 

We are not our own, as such our life is affected

We are not our own, our old self disconnected

From the way that it was, exchanged for the way it is now

We live for God alone, mine own life be for thou

 

We are Gods, therefore let us live and die to him

We are God’s therefore, let his wisdom ring out

Over all of our being, through every fibre of our soul

and since we are God’s, the dot’s I’ve connected

The expected response to the grace I’ve been subjected;

To him let every part of my life be directed

 

IMG_2760 (002)I came to this city with one simple aim

To represent Christ, his gospel proclaim

For Scripture is clear, we add nothing in,

We bring nothing before him to deal with our sin

Except faith in the cross of the Son of our Lord

It’s Jesus alone, all else is a fraud

In scripture we have all we need to possess

The knowledge of God, his mercy, personally addressed

To the heart of each person who seeks him

 

So I will preach tomorrow, like from when I began

Because the good news of the Gospel is far too important

To risk being forgotten and diluted

by a concoction of artisan truth, created by man

 

The ideas of men come and go,

Like chaff in the wind, when the breath of God blows

The reed withers and the flowers fall

But the word of our God endures through it all

 

Let them come at me,

Whatever may pass,

I will not fear them,

for my confidence is in glory. Not grass.

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