Hallowed Be Your Name

“In redemption God opens up himself to us and surrenders his inner life to our possession in a wholly unprecedented manner of which the religion of nature can have neither dream nor anticipation. It is more clearly in saving us than in creating us that God shows himself God. To taste and feel the riches of his Godhead, as freely given unto us, one must have passed not only through the abjectness and and poverty and despair of sin but through the overwhelming experience of salvation. The song of Moses and of the Lamb has in it a deeper exultation than that which the sons of God and the morning stars sang together for joy in the Creator.” (Geerhardus Vos, “The Wonderful Tree,” in Grace and Glory, p. 6)

“To honor Go’s name is to honor God himself. Thus, true prayer is God-centered. Prayer can help us center; it helps us meditate on spiritual matters. But prayer is not the same as centering or meditating. Prayer brings us to God, the Creator, the Redeemer, and the sovereign Lord.” (Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew, p. 241)

“When you come to God, says our Lord, in effect, even though you may be in desperate conditions and circumstances, it may be with some great concern on your mind and in your heart; even then, He says, stop fora moment and just recollect and realize this, that your greatest desire of all should be that this wonderful God, who has become your Father in and through Me, should be honoured, should be worshipped, should be magnified amongst the people ‘Hallowed be thy name.’” (Martin Lloyd Jones, The Sermon on the Mount, Vol. 2, p. 61)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Our Father in Heaven

“[T]he really distinctive New Testament teaching about the fatherhood of God concerns only those who have been brought into the household of faith.” (J. G. Machen, Christianity and Liberalism, p. 53)

“[T]he work of Christ the Son introduces an unprecedented state and condition of sonship, producing an unfettered intimacy with God the Father through the Son. The legal demands of the law have been met in the crucified and risen Son: the adopted sons are justified. The Spirit of the resurrected Son renews hearts with transforming and renewing filial grace: the adopted sons are sanctified. . . . By the faithful ministry of the Holy Spirit, this redemptively consummate adoption takes the sons safely and successfully through suffering unto glory.” (David B. Gardner, Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ, pages 101–102)

“We should not miss the balance in this opening to the prayer. We address God intimately as Father, but we immediately recognize his infinite greatness with the addition in heaven.” (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, p. 144)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

First Things about Prayer

“Prayer might be called the very breath of spiritual life. Where saving grace is in exercise there will be prayer. Where there is no prayer, saving grace is absent.” “When we have tasted something of the breadth and length and depth and height of the love that passeth knowledge there is a corresponding enlargement of heart and of mind, there is and establishing of confidence and and communion, there is an exploring of the riches of the covenant of grace and of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge that constrains to enlarging, ever-widening, ever-rising prayer and praise. Make every experience of his mercy the reason and ground for increased more abundant prayer.” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 3, pages 168 & 171)

“It is a wonderful blessing to know that our prayers are ‘acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (I Peter 2:5). But that is not all. God also assures us that we can have the Holy Spirit’s help in our prayers, especially when we least know what to say (Rom. 8:26). This gives us tremendous confidence. It helps us to see ‘that if we ask anything according to his will he will hear us’ (I John 5:14). (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith: A Reader’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, p. 280)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Whose Honor Are You Seeking?

“There is therefore no doubt whatsoever that Jesus uses the idea of reward as an incentive to spur his disciples toward faithfulness and perseverance in pursuit of their calling. But he stated with equal forcefulness that those who do something to show off to others have already lost their reward from God. . . . [T]his kingdom is not purely a state of happiness consisting in external blessings but includes being a child of God and having purity of heart.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 4, p. 234)

“The Christian is to live in such a way that men looking at him, and seeing the quality of his life, will glorify God. He must always remember at the same time that he is not to do things in order that he may attract attention to himself.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

“Whenever Jesus speaks of ‘your Father in heaven’ . . . he has in view the exclusive relationship between the Lord and those who will share in the bliss of the kingdom of heaven, and share in it now already.” (Herman Ridderbos The Coming of the Kingdom)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

John on the Witness Stand

“Noteworthy is the way in which all four Gospels record the preparatory ministry and proclamation of John the Baptist, in particular the contrast John draws between himself and the coming Messiah. His witness in the unit John 1:29–34 is that of the work of Jesus as ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (v. 29), and ‘the Son of God” (v. 34), climaxes and focuses in the fact that, while John has been sent to baptize with water (vv. 31, 33), Jesus is ‘the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’ (v. 33).” (Richard B. Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost, p. 14)

“‘And grace for grace.’ We get grace to reach out to another grace, each grace becoming a stepping-stone to something higher. I do not believe in our rising on the ‘stepping-stones of our dead selves.’ They are poor stones; they all lead downwards. The stepping-stones of the living Christ lead upwards; grace for grace, grace upon grace, till grace is crowned with glory.” (Charles H. Spurgeon on John 1:16)

“Right at the beginning of his Gospel John points us forward to the cross and to the significance of the cross.” (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, NICNT, p. 148)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

The Word Became Flesh

“The infinite became the finite, the eternal and supratemporal entered time and became subject to its conditions, the immutable became the mutable, the invisible became the visible, the Creator became the created, the sustainer of all became dependent, the Almighty infirm. All is summed up in the proposition, God became man.” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2, p. 132)

“The Old Testament does not contain just a few isolated messianic texts; on the contrary, the entire Old Testament dispensation with its leading persons and events, its offices and institutions, its laws and ceremonies, is a pointer to and movement towards the fulfillment in the New Testament.” (p. 243). “[W]ith this name [“Son of Man”] Jesus intends to distinguish himself from and position himself above all other humans,. This name also undoubtedly implies that he was truly human, akin not only to Israel but to all humans; yet it simultaneously expresses the fact that he occupies an utterly unique place among all humans.” (p. 250) (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3)

The Christmas Eve service at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The Children of Christmas

“It is the Spirit of adoption who produces the highest confidence that is given to men to exercise in relation to God. The people of God thereby recognize not only Christ as their Redeemer and Saviour, high priest and advocate at God’s right hand, not only the Holy Spirit as their sanctifier and advocate, not only the Father as the one who has called them into the fellowship of his Son but also as the one who has instated them in his family, and they enter into the holiest in the assurance that he, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, will own them and bless them as his own children. No approach to God partakes of comparable intimacy, confidence, and love with that of the simple, yet unspeakably eloquent, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Collecte Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2, pages 229–230)

“The covenantal gift of adoption in the Old Testament points to the Christological gift of adoption in the New Testament, when the Spirit who applied God’s filial favor to Israel corporately in the former epoch is given in full measure in the resurrected Christ Jesus in the inaugurated eschatological epoch,” (David B. Gardner, Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ, p, 160)

“But if faith regenerates us, so that we are the sons of God, and if God breathes faith into us from heaven, it plainly appears that not by possibility only, but actually–as we say–is the grace of adoption offered to us by Christ.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel of John, on John 1:12)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.