Author Archives: John Mahaffy

The Church: A People Who Worship

“The author represents Christ as a portion of heav­en come down to earth. In His voice we hear a heav­enly voice, not a voice of earth. . . . Note that the au­thor lays great stress on the words yet once more; the shaking is one that cannot be repeat­ed; it is the final shaking, and therefore it represents the final transformation of the whole world or universe. The author fur­ther says that this final shaking signi­fies the passing away of all things that were made and therefore can be shaken, in order that the things which cannot be shaken may re­main.” (Geer­hardus Vos, The Teaching of the Epis­tle to the Hebrews, p. 87).

“The inheritance of the promised land of the new earth is the author’s [of Hebrews] irreducible summary of what true believers will receive at the eschaton. . . . This final inheritance will be indestructible (12:27–-28) and eternal.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 145).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: A People that Build up One Another

“Christians who are already united to Christ and therefore to one another grow nearer to and more and more like Christ and correspondingly nearer to one another in his body, the church. Paul describes this with vivid imagery. Like a human body, the church is held together with joints. Only when every part is working properly does health growth take place. But where there is a wise and nurturing ministry of the Word it will happen. And it will do so almost like a youngster growing to maturity in his or her own body – which seems to ‘grow itself’: the body builds itself up in love.” (Sinclair Ferguson, Let’s Study Ephesians, pp. 113–114).

“Paul’s image of the body of Christ offers profound insights for nurture: all members are needed; gifts are for the body as a whole, and isolation is tragic; and diversity of function produces, not division, but unity (Eph. 4:11–16).” (Edmund P. Clowney, The Church, p. 138).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Gift of Life!

“Read through Hezekiah’s song of praise carefully. The fragility of life comes out clearly. But this song also deals with redemption–the redemption that deals first of all with forgiveness. ‘Thou by th love hast brought me back from the pit of destruc­tion; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thee.’ (38:17 NEB). Now Hezekiah can af­firm life again–in the service of the Lord, living a life full of salvation!” (C. Vanderwaal, Search the Scriptures, Vol. 5, p. 36).

“The mercy of God would not be re­moved during Hezekiah’s lifetime. Thus the chapter closes on a note that reveals the goodness of God. Yet the enemy is on the horizon. The power of Mesopotamia, the representative of the worldwide kingdom of man, is growing stronger and stronger and at the appointed time will strike against the little kingdom of Judah. . . . What about the future fortunes of the people of God? What ultimate comfort can be given to ‘my people’? The answer to these questions is reserved for the chapters that follow.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, p. 539).

The next 101 Bible Study, meeting Friday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Astoria area, focuses on Isaiah 40. You are invited! Call 971/238-6101 for location.

The Church: A Body of Witnesses

“The single most im­portant activity of the apostles is surely that. . . of witness to Christ (e.g., John 15:27; Acts 1:8; 13:31). The apostles bear wit­ness, authorized and empowered by Christ himself, to his resur­rection as the fulfill­ment of covenant his­tory.” (Richard B. Gaf­fin, Jr., Perspectives on Pente­cost, p. 91).

“Jesus is claiming to be this unique Lord, the God and Savior of the new Israel, whom he empowers with the Spirit and commis­sions as his witnesses. Those who worship Jesus as Lord, who pray to him and serve him, bear witness that he, not the idols, is the only God and Savior. The Spirit is sent to empower us to testify to the divine glory that the Son deserves.” (Dennis B. Johnson, The Message of Acts in the History of Re­demption, p. 44).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Why Is God Gracious?

“Hezekiah made an appeal to the honor of the Lord in His grace toward His people. He wrestled in faith, and his prayer came before the Lord’s throne. He was the intercessor for his people. As such he was a type of he Christ, who is always interceding on behalf of his people. Through the Christ, this spirit of prayer was in Hezekiah,and for the sake of the Christ, the Lord heard.” (S. G. De Graaf, Promise and Deliverance, Vol. 2, p. 375).

“Surrounded by poetry on ei­ther side, Isaiah 36–39 is a narrative bridge that links chapters 1–35 with 40–66. Isaiah previously proclaimed that God would judge Is­rael’s enemies and save those who trust him. Can God be trusted to do this? In chapters 36–39, God acts concretely in history to res­cue his people from attack, answering this question in the affirmative. This section also provides the context for chapters 40–55 as Isaiah tells Hezekiah that the na­tion is doomed to exile in Babylon.” (Drew Hunter, Isa­iah: A 12 Week Study, page 51).

The next 101 Bible Study, meeting Friday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Astoria area, focuses on Isaiah 40. You are invited! Call 971/238-6101 for location.

The Church: A Forgiven and Forgiving People

“That peculiar sight which Moses had of God (Exodus 34), was a gospel sight, a sight of God as ‘gracious,’ etc., and yet it is called his ‘back parts,’ that is but low and mean in comparison to his excellencies and perfections.” (John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation, edited by Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor, p. 112).

“[God’s] full glory would accessible to the Mediator Christ but could not be seen by anyone in this sinful life. The Mediator would see that glory, but Moses was only a shadow of the true Mediator. . . . Christ is now our Mediator, and in heaven he beholds God’s face. What is there that he cannot do for us?” (S. G. De Graaf, Promise and Deliverance, Vol. 1, p. 308).

“The grace of God is love freely shown towards guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit. It is God showing goodness to persons who deserve only severity, and had no reason to expect anything but severity.” (J. I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 120).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: A Holy People in the Presence of a Holy God

“Those who are called to be partakers of God’s holi­ness must be holy them­selves; this is the recurring theme of the Pentateuchal law of holiness, echoed again in the New Testa­ment: ‘Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Lev. 11:45, etc.; cf. 1 Pet. 1: 15.). To see the Lord is the highest and most glori­ous blessing that morals can enjoy, but the beatific vision is reserved for those who are holy in heart and life.” (F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, NICNT, pp. 364-365).

“To praise His name in­volves more than the mere repetition of the word qa­dosh [holy-jwm]. It includes deep meditation upon God and His attributes and the living of a life of humility in accordance with the pre­cepts laid down in His Word. It is, in other words, the life of faith in Jesus Christ, lived for the glory of God.” (Ed­ward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 243).

“Sanctification has es­pecial regard to God. Even though the whole world blazes with war, we must not let go of sanctification because it is the chain which binds us in union with God. . . . No one can see God without sancti­fication since we shall only see God with eyes that have been re­newed according to his image.” (John Calvin, Com­mentary on Hebrews, at 12:14).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.