Author Archives: John Mahaffy

The Gift of Daily Bread

“As Israel required daily manna, so we require daily ‘bread.’ We confess that w3e are poor, weak, wanting creatures, and beseech Him who is our Maker to take care of us. We ask for ‘bread,’ as the simplest of our wants, and in that word we include all that our bodies require.” (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Matthew – Mark, page 52).

“[P]art of what it means to recognize God as our heavenly Father is to trust him for food and drink and clothing, and this petition expresses that trust in its simplest form” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 247).

“[T]he whole life of prayer must be ruled by…faith in God’s fatherhood (Matt. 7:7-12; Luke 11:9-3).” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 268).

“[We are not] confronted with a kind of naive optimism of faith which has not yet discerned the problem of history and the riddle of suffering. But everything becomes intelligible only against the background of God’s fatherhood in Christ.” (Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 268).

“[I]n its present context it [the petition, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’] can unmistakably be understood only from the new relation to God given with Christ’s coming. Just like the exhortation not ‘to take thought,’ it is as Christologically determined as the petition for the remission of sins. In both cases the basis of the petition and its answer is found in God’s fatherhood as realized in the coming of Christ.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 268).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

United with Christ

“If we view sin as a realm or sphere then the believer no longer lives in that realm or sphere. And just as it is true with reference to life in the sphere of this world that the person who has who has died ‘passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found’ (Psalm 37:36; cf. 103:16), so it is with the sphere of sin; the believer is no longer there because he has died to sin.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 213)

“Baptism ‘into Christ Jesus’ means baptism into union with Christ. . . . Christ Jesus cannot be contemplated apart from his work nor his work apart from him. Neither can one phase of his redemptive accomplishment be separated from another. Therefore union with Christ, which baptism signifies, means union with him in his death.” (Murray, p. 214)

“Undoubtedly there is process and progression in the believer’s life and this may be properly understood as progressive realization of the implications of having died and risen with Christ. But the dying and rising with Christ are not viewed as process but as definitive and decisive event and can no more be construed as continuous process than can the death and resurrection of Christ himself.” (Murray, p. 224)

“They who imagine that gratuitous righteousness is given us by him, apart from newness of life, shamefully rend Christ asunder.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, at Romans 6:1)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Your Will Be Done

“This petition does not merely express agreement with God’s decree or resignation to his will, but rather the longing that what God requires from man may be done on earth as it is in heaven. At present God’s will as expressed in his commandments is not being done on account of all that opposes God on earth. Both redemption and ethics are implied in this ‘will of God.’” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 247)

“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).

“[A frequently overlooked strand of New Testament teaching] is that not only is Christ regarded as having died for the believer but the believer is represented as as having died in Christ and as having been raised up with him to newness of life. This is the result of union with Christ. For by this union Christ is not only united to those who have been given to him but they are united with him. Hence not only did Christ die for them but they died in him and rose with him. . . .” (John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, p. 48)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Your Kingdom Come

“The kingdom of God, which was foretold and expected by the prophets, in which God would be king and his will the delight of everyone, which in origin and and character is a heavenly kingdom and already present in heaven now (Matt. 6:10)—that kingdom is now coming on earth and is near (Mark 1:15).” “[T]o the extent that the rule of God is not immediately fully realized in believers here on earth, and they on their part do not yet fully receive and enjoy the goods of that kingdom—eternal life, the vision of God, complete salvation—the kingdom is indeed still in the future. . . . But insofar as it is established here on earth by the person and works of Christ and is planted in human hearts by rebirth, faith, and repentance, that kingdom is present. . . .” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, pages 246 & 247)

“The kingdom-idea is the clearest expression of the principle that . . . everything is subservient to the glory of God. In this respect the kingdom is the most profoundly religious of all biblical conceptions.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Kingdom of God and the Church, p.102)

“This threefold office of Christ as prophet, priest, and king together with his headship over the church has vast implications for how we consider his church. Plainly, it ought to shape how we think and speak of it, how we order it, how we serve in it, and how we worship in it—for it is his church, and we must seek his will diligently and constantly in all that we do.” (Chad Van Dixhoorn, Confessing the Faith, p. 108)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

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.