The Church: A Holy People in the Presence of a Holy God

“Those who are called to be partakers of God’s holi­ness must be holy them­selves; this is the recurring theme of the Pentateuchal law of holiness, echoed again in the New Testa­ment: ‘Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Lev. 11:45, etc.; cf. 1 Pet. 1: 15.). To see the Lord is the highest and most glori­ous blessing that morals can enjoy, but the beatific vision is reserved for those who are holy in heart and life.” (F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, NICNT, pp. 364-365).

“To praise His name in­volves more than the mere repetition of the word qa­dosh [holy-jwm]. It includes deep meditation upon God and His attributes and the living of a life of humility in accordance with the pre­cepts laid down in His Word. It is, in other words, the life of faith in Jesus Christ, lived for the glory of God.” (Ed­ward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 243).

“Sanctification has es­pecial regard to God. Even though the whole world blazes with war, we must not let go of sanctification because it is the chain which binds us in union with God. . . . No one can see God without sancti­fication since we shall only see God with eyes that have been re­newed according to his image.” (John Calvin, Com­mentary on Hebrews, at 12:14).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: Baptized into Christ and His Body

“The first thing that baptism points to and validates is God’s gospel. To the person being baptized, and to all who witness or experience the event, or to all who even consider the symbol, baptism testifies to tot he truth of an enduring promise which God himself made, which he continues to proclaim, and which he continues to honour: it is the promise of redemption for all who trust in Christ alone for their righteousness.” (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith, p. 366).

“Baptism is most basically and universally—just as circumcision was—about the works and the righteousness of Another, and not about the righteousness of ourselves. The enduring importance of baptism rests in what it always says about God and his gospel, and not what it sometimes says about the person who is baptized.” (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith, p. 367).

“As surely as Christ rose from the dead so surely shall we walk in newness of life.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 1, p. 216).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Your God Will Come!

What does it mean when your God comes? Is it something to dread? Something to rejoice in? Isaiah 34 & 35 both speak of God coming.

“[T]he physical and spiritual curses of the fall are starting to be taken away by Jesus. The healings were signs of the inbreaking new creation, which were not the complete healing of peo­ple’s bodies, since they would still die due to effects of the fall. Nevertheless, these wonders foreshadowed Jesus’ own complete healing in resurrection and the time when his followers will be completely healed.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical The­ology, p. 569).

The next 101 Bible Study, meeting Friday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Astoria area, focuses on Isaiah 34 & 35. You are invited! Call 971/238-6101 for location.

Faith Working Through Love

“The gospel removes an abso­lute law-gospel antithesis in the life of the believer. How so? Briefly, apart form the gospel and outside of Christ, the law is my enemy and condemns me. Why? Because God is my enemy and condemns me. But with the gospel and in Christ, united to him by faith, the law is no longer my enemy but my friend. Why Because now God is no longer my enemy but my friend, and the law, his will—the law in its moral core, as reflective of his character and of concerns eternally inherent in his own person and so of what pleases him—is now my friendly guide for life in fellowship with God.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. By Faith, Not by Sight, pages 117–118).

Galatians 5:1–15 is the passage we are looking at in the Sunday afternoon Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The Church of the Risen Savior

What is the significance of the resurrection for Jesus, himself? What does it matter to the church and to those who believe in him? When is your resurrection? This week’s reflection deals with those questions.

“The resurrection of Jesus is just as thoroughly messianic and adamic as are his sufferings and death. His resurrection is as equally representative and vicarious as his death. Believers no longer live to themselves but to the Christ, ‘who for their sake died and was raised’ II Cor. 5:15.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., The Centrality of the Resurrection, p. 66).

“The death of Christ is not an end in itself. It is subordinate to a great purpose that can be achieved only through resurrection. . . . To be a Saviour, Christ had to pass through resurrection. It was an integral part of the experience and task assigned to him in the economy of redemption. The resurrection power exercised by the Father in the raising of Jesus, and the resurrection power with which, in virtue of that fact, Jesus is endowed are necessary facts in the plan of salvation. But if so, there needed to be death. For without death resurrection has neither existence nor meaning.” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 4, p. 88).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church of the Donkey-Riding King

“He knew that the time had come when He was to die for sinners on the cross. His work as the great Prophet, so far as His earthly ministry was concerned, was almost finished and completed. His work as the sacrifice for sin and substitute for sinners, remained to be accomplished. Before giving Himself up as a sacrifice, He desired to draw the attention of the whole Jewish nation to Himself. The Lamb of God was about to be slain. The great sin-offering was about to be killed. It was meet that the eyes of all Israel should be fixed on Him.” (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke, pages 309–310).

“Whether men praise Christ or no he will, and shall, and must be praised (v. 40): If these should hold their peace, and not speak the praises of the Messiah’s kingdom, the stones would immediately cry out, rather than that Christ should not be praised. This was, in effect, literally fulfilled, when, upon men’s reviling Christ upon the cross, instead of praising him, and his own disciples’ sinking into a profound silence, the earth did quake and the rocks rent.” (Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, at Matthew 19:40).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Spirit Poured upon Us

“This Spirit is poured out from the height of heaven (cf. 24:21), and in a prover­bial manner similar to that employed in 29:17 Isaiah represents the change that is wrought. Just as God had poured out a spirit of deep sleep ‘upon you’ so now He pours out His Spirit ‘upon us,’ and we therefore receive the blessings that he brings.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, page 399).

“In contrast to the land’s unfruitful con­dition (Isa. 32:10–14), in the future the Spirit will come upon Israel and create abundant fertility (v. 15). However, this fertility appears to go beyond mere material abundance to include spiritual fecundity. Not only will the Spirit cre­ate literal plants, crops, and trees in the field, but also the Spirit will pro­duce spiritual fruits in the fields: ‘Jus­tice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness will abide in the fertile field’ (v. 16).” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical The­ology, p. 575).

The next 101 Bible Study, meeting Friday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Astoria area, focuses on Isaiah 34 & 35. You are invited! Call 971/238-6101 for location.