Commitment!

“Our ultimate hope is that God is a covenantal, promise-keeping God. Marriage is a relationship based entirely on promises and public, binding oaths. The promises made between husband and wife to remain faithful, no matter what comes and to forsake all others, is a picture of God’s incredible commitment to us. It is a dim reflection of of the amazing reality that ‘neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38–39).” (David White, God, You, & Sex: A Profound Mystery, p. 49).

“’One flesh’ certainly includes physical intimacy, but it is broader than that. It means learning both the words and the silences of the beloved. It means dreaming great dreams, but also cleaning up the kitchen. It means sharing the deep concerns of the heart and the little bumps on the toe.” (Daniel Doriani, Matthew, Vol. 1,, p. 160).

“The marriage relationship of Adam and Eve and of all their progeny appears to have been established as a kind of shadow to point to the consummated end-time relationship of God and his bridal people (cf. Isa. 54:1–6; 62:2–5; Eph. 5:29–32).” “This new name [in Revelation 21:2] is then explained in Isa. 62:3–5 to signify a new. Intimate marriage relationship between Israel and God. Therefore it is not accidental that the remainder of Rev. 21:2 addresses a marriage metaphor to explain the significance of ‘new Jerusalem”” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, pp. 41 & 676).

“When God receives the Church as His bride and rejoices at the multitude of her sons, then truly the Church is blessed.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah Vol. 3, p. 470).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Purity in Christ

“Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head [that is, ‘ultimate outcome’].” (John Owen, Overcoming Sin & Temptation, edited by Kapic and Taylor, p. 53).

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” (John Owen, Works 6:9)

“God did not fish around for some image to use to show his people what his love is like, and then stumble on marriage as the best one to convince them to return to him in covenant devotion. . . . No. God planned it the other way around. He placed in us at creation deep sexual emotions so that we might understand the jealousy of his love for us and the joy of jealousy for him.” (Edmund P. Clowney, How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments, p. 95).

“In Matthew 5:27–30, Christ charges that the teachers of the law put the boundaries of purity in the wrong place, at the edge of behavior, misunderstanding the law’s intent. Christ placed the boundaries squarely within the heart. That was the original intent of the law.” (Paul David Tripp, “Teens & Sex: How Should We Teach Them?” p. 19).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

Anger and Reconciliation

“The fulfillment of the law, like the fulfillment of the prophets, while presupposing and reaffirming its divine truth and authority, predicates the dawn of a new era. The law and the prophets do not produce their own fulfillment. It is the presence of Christ alone which accomplishes this end, and this fact, in the light of Matthew’s total witness to Christ, clearly involves new divine action and speech. The fulfillment of the law and the prophets represents not a mere repetition or reiteration of the old revelation, but the announcement of the appearance of the age to which the old age looked forward.” (pp. 197–198). “No hint is given of a relaxing of the authority of the law; on the contrary he indicates that the demands of God are more comprehensive and more exacting than men had supposed.” (p. 199). (Ned B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ).

“Have we sufficiently appreciated the fact that, in a sinless world there would have been no ‘against’? The essence of sin is comprehended in the word ‘against.’ Sin is first of all against God and because we are against God we are against our fellowman.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 166).

“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).

Quotes on the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC on Matthew 5:21–26

Suffering and Glory

“Hence, then, is the whole consolation of the godly, that they are associates with Christ, that hereafter they may be partakers of his glory; for we are always to bear in mind this transition from the cross to the resurrection.” (John Calvin, Commentary on 1 Peter)

How do you tell someone who’s suffering that there is more suffering to come? Peter does—but he tells you to rejoice! The Wednesday evening Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church looks at 1 Peter 4.

Fulfilling the Law and the Prophets

“Our Lord’s doctrine is the bud in which the two conceptions of a righteousness imputed and a righteousness embodied in the sanctified life of the believer still lie enclosed together.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Kingdom and the Church, p. 65).

“Jesus himself as the great high priest, in his finished work and in his continual high-priestly activity, is the permanent and final embodiment of the truth portrayed in the Levitical ordinances. Strictly speaking the Levitical ritual did not serve as the pattern for the work of Christ, rather, the high-priestly work of Christ provided the archetype by which the prescriptions of the Levitical law were fashioned and patterned (cf. Hebrews 9:24, 25). The Levitical were the ectypes and models drawn from the heavenly exemplar. It was for this reason that they possessed meaning and efficacy.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 151).

Quotes from the Reflection on an upcoming message for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Murray and his mentor

“Jesus himself as the great high priest, in his finished work and in his continual high-priestly activity, is the permanent and final embodiment of the truth portrayed in the Levitical ordinances. Strictly speaking the Levitical ritual did not serve as the pattern for the work of Christ, rather, the high-priestly work of Christ provided the archetype by which the prescriptions of the Levitical law were fashioned and patterned (cf. Hebrews 9:24, 25). The Levitical were the ectypes and models drawn from the heavenly exemplar. It was for this reason that they possessed meaning and efficacy.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 151).

I’m preaching this Sunday on Matthew 5:17–20, in which Jesus tells us that he came, not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. Murray’s treatment of the passage in his Principles of Conduct is helpful indeed. Murray’s thought seems to reflect that of one of his mentors at old Princeton, Geerhardus Voa. See the latter’s The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 55–58.

Salt and Light

“Starting from Matthew 5:13, the whole Sermon on the Mount is one impressive exhortation to do ‘good works’ (Matt. 5:13), to do ‘justice’ (5:20; 6:1; 6:33), to fulfill ‘the law and the prophets’ (5:17–48; 7:15), to go through ‘the narrow gate’ and upon the ‘narrow path’ (7:13,14), to bear ‘fruit’ (7:16–20), to do the Father’s will (7:21), and to ‘hear and do’ Jesus’ words (7:24–27; cf. also Luke 6L17–49).” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 241).

“The subject of this discourse, and the aim of the discipleship which it promotes, is not so much the betterment of life on earth as the implementation of the reign of God. The goal of disciples witness is not that others emulate their way of life, or applaud their probity, but that they recognize the source of their distinctive lifestyle in ‘your Father in heaven.’” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 177).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church