Afraid? Or Not Afraid?

proverbs_8480c“The fear of God which is the soul of godliness does not consist, however, in the dread which is produced by the apprehension of God’s wrath. When the reason for such dread exists, then to be destitute of it is the sign of hardened ungodliness. But the fear of God that is the basis of godliness, and in which godliness may be said to consist, is much more inclusive and determinative than the fear of God’s judgment. . . . The fear of God in which godliness consists is the fear which constrains adoration and love. It is the fear which consists in awe, reverence, honour and worship, and all of these on the highest level of exercise.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 236).

From the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.

Where Your Heart Is

lake_14400ac“[T]he love that fulfills the law, the love on which the law and the prophets hang, the love that blesses them who curse us and prays for them who despitefully use us, the love patterned after the perfection of the Father in heaven, is the love that is generated, fostered, maintained, and perfected in the realm of the Spirit. The powers of this realm are regnant in believers because they have been made alive together with Christ and raised up together and made to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus (cf. Ephesians 2:5,6), and these powers are regnant because the Spirit of the Lord is regnant.” John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 227).

(From the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC)

All Things for Good

shore_15700cp (1)[Consistent Christianity recognizes, even in the face of dreadful reality,] “the will and hand of an almighty God, who is also a merciful Father. While Calvinism does not offer a solution, it invites us humans to rest in him who lives in unapproachable light, whose judgments are unsearchable, and whose paths beyond tracing out.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, p. 395).

 

For the 101 Bible Study in Astoria this evening.

The Spirit Prays for You

Rm0827“The grace of the Spirit’s ministry is that even when Christians are too weak to formulate prayer, he effects the Father’s determination to gather his children into his arms and engage them in his purposes.” (Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p. 189).

 

For this evening’s study on Romans 8 at the 101 Bible Study.

 

The confession of a skeptic

john_10174C“In this confession of Thomas, however personally it is formulated, the Fourth Gospel reaches its its climax and returns to the starting point in the Prologue: the coming and work of Jesus the Christ, the Word that was from the beginning with God and was God has become flesh and has dwelled among us.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Gospel of John: A Theological Commentary, p. 648).

“The resurrection must be history to be relevant to us. God came into our history and wrought with the exceeding greatness of his power, and, because Jesus now lives in the realm constituted by this resurrection power, in the glory his resurrection inaugurated and the ascension completed, proclamation is not in word only but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, and faith rests not upon the wisdom of men but on the power of God.” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 1, p. 336).

In preparation for the Wednesday evening Bible study and prayer time at Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.

 

 

To Tell the Truth

water_15493ac“’What is truth?’ said Pilate. The irony of his question is that truth, ‘the truth,’ stood before him. . . . Pilate’s question is inescapable and none is more basic. If the question is to be oriented properly it must, first of all, take the form, ‘What is the truth?’ Our Lord’s answer to Thomas, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6) points the direction in which we are to find the answer.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 123).

Included in the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.

Honest to God

potter_3257c“We must. . . employ ourselves earnestly and unfeignedly that we may be able to confess that the bread we eat comes to us from God’s hand, and that we are sustained by his goodness, as by a father who gives a portion ot his children. . . . Let us labor to do good with the little we have, and to succor such as have need.” (John Calvin, Sermons on Ephesians, at 4:28).

“Because Jesus so spoke of his person and work, and defended Mary, his words have placed care for the poor at the heart of Christian devotion. . . . His words imply that we may do for the least of his brothers what we would do for him. He receives our devotion to the poor as we care for them in extravagance, pouring out on them what we wish we could pour out for him.” (Edmund P. Clowney, How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments, p. 118).

Quotes related to the reflection on Sunday morning’s message at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.