the Spirit-and-fire baptism, eventually realized at Pentecost, to be
one of blessing rather than destruction for the messianic people, the
Messiah himself must first become identified with them as their
representative sin-bearer (the point of Jesus being baptized by John,
from which John recoils, cf. Matt. 3:14) and be endowed with the
Spirit, in order to bear away the wrath and condemnation of God their
sins deserve. If they are to receive the Spirit as a gift and
blessing, then he must receive the Spirit for the task of removing
the curse on them.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Perspectives on
Pentecost, pp. 15–16).
“Just as Israel was led by Moses and had to go through the Red Sea at the exodus, and just as second-generation Israel had to do the same thing at the Jordan River under Joshua’s leadership, as a replayed second exodus, so again, now that Israel’s restoration is immanent through Jesus, true Israelites must identify with the water and the Jordan and their prophetic leader in order to begin true restoration. . . . Thus the blessing/cursing sign of the Red Sea likely carries over to Jesus’s baptism by John (where the Spirit descended on Jesus). . . .” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 814).
Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC
How important are good works in the life of a Christian? The Sunday evening Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church looks at Galatians 6:6–10 for Paul’s answer.
eternal life is a reward, it does not follow either that we
are justified by works, or that works are meritorious of salvation.
The undeserved kindness of God appears in the very act of honouring
the works which his grace has enabled us to perform, by
promising to them a reward to which they are not entitled.”
(John Calvin, Commentary on Galatians, at Gal. 6:8).
role is provisional and preparatory, his call to repentance is
anticipatory (cf. v. 4; 7:27f.); therefore his ministry in its
entirety is set under the sign of water baptism. In contrast, Jesus
is the fulfillment; therefore his ministry taken as a whole consists
in the reality of baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Richard
B. Gaffin, Jr., Perspectives on Pentecost,
the Baptist appears here as the herald of the King. He preaches the
baptism of repentance unto the forgiveness of sins. Repentance is
always a turning away from sin–especially the sin of trusting in
oneself–in order to surrender to God’s grace. Hence repentance is
by faith and unto faith.” (S. G. De Graaf, Promise and
Deliverance, Vol. 3, p. 181).
repentance is not a matter of words and ritual, but of a real change
of life.” (R. t. France, The Gospel of Matthew,
Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church
is the tension set up by the entrance of the new Son of David into a
land where a king of the Jews already ruled that forms the background
of, and provides the continuity in, Matthew’s birth narrative.”
(Ned B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ,
final episode relates the return from Egypt to ‘the land of Israel,’
and explains why, instead of settling in the region of his birth in
Judea, he came to dwell in Nazareth of Galilee. That Jesus was a
Galilean is of course not without great meaning for the understanding
of the rest of the life and ministry of Christ.” (Ned B.
Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ, p.
“[T]he connotations of the derogatory term ‘Nazorean’ . . . captured just what some of the prophets had predicted — a Messiah who came from the wrong place, and and who did not conform to the expectations of Jewish tradition, and who as a result would not be accepted by his people.” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, NICNT, p. 95).“[T]he connotations of the derogatory term ‘Nazorean’ . . . captured just what some of the prophets had predicted — a Messiah who came from the wrong place, and and who did not conform to the expectations of Jewish tradition, and who as a result would not be accepted by his people.” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, NICNT, p. 95).
Quotes from this week”s Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian church.
How does God identify himself, and why is that important? The 101 Bible Study meeting on August 23 looks to Isaiah 41 for answers.
emphasis on water and trees had also been found in the account of
Eden in Genesis 3. Through the entrance of sin into the
world, however, the garden was forfeited, and man entered a world
where thorns and thistles would grow and he would labor by the
sweat of his brow. In picturing the future age of blessing, the
eschatalogical period when restoration will occur, Isaiah uses
the combined figures of water and trees. It is as though a bit of
heaven had come down to earth; and, indeed, those who one day
will be blessed of these rivers and these trees are in the heavenlies
in Christ Jesus.” (E. J. Young, Commentary
Vol. 3, p.95).
verse [Isaiah 41:22] illustrates the true nature of Christian
apologetics. Falsehood is here placed upon the defensive; it is
commanded in the name of the God of Israel to defend its cause
and to out its justification for existence. There are
difficulties in the acceptance of Christianity, but the Christian
need not be expected to answer every difficulty. Rather, he must
challenge the very right of unbelief to a hearing. The cause of God
is best defended by means of a challenging offensive such as is here
offered.” (E. J. Young, Commentary
Vol. 3, p.98).
goes to Egypt, the primeval place of God’s people’s enslavement and
perennial sign of the need for deliverance caused by human sin, so
that he may be called out from there to an exodus ordeal of
wilderness testing, leading to salvation for sinners, not only in
Israel but also in all nations.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., in
Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views,
beginning of the Decalogue (‘I am the Lord,
your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, the house of
slavery’) comes to stand on a firm foundation when God the Father led
our King Jesus out of Egypt” (Jakob van Bruggen, Matteüs:
Het evangelie voor Israël,
p. 54, quoted by Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., in Biblical
Hermeneutics: Five Views, p.
also there is no doubt, but that God in his wonderful providence
intended that his Son should come forth from Egypt, that he might be
a redeemer to the faithful; and thus he shows that a true, real, and
perfect deliverance was at length effected, when the promised
Redeemer appeared. It was then the full nativity of the Church, when
Christ came forth from Egypt to redeem his Church.” (John
Calvin, Commentary on Hosea
Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church
“[W]hat really led the magi to the feet of Jesus was not astrological calculation, but the prophecies of God’s Word—the prophecies which spread abroad throughout the East the expectation of a Messianic king.” (J. Gresham Machen, The Virgin Birth of Christ, pp. 227–228).
story of the homage of the magi is thus not only a demonstration of
the fulfillment of the messianic prophecy of Mic 5:2 but also a
multilayered study of the fulfillment of scriptural models in the
coming of Jesus, with royal, messianic motifs at the heart of these
models.” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew,
scribes had more and better information than the Magi did, but the
Magi acted on what they knew. They traveled to see the baby king….
They brought the most expensive gifts they could find. When they
arrived, they worshiped, then gave gifts. They knew little, but they
acted on what little they knew.” (Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew,
Vol. 1, p. 34).
From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.