“The form of Christ’s resurrection power in this world is the fellowship of his sufferings as the cross-conformed sufferings of the church (Phil. 3:10). . . . With Calvin, we must recognize that as Christ’s whole life was nothing but a sort of perpetual cross, so the Christian life in its entirety, not just certain parts, is to be a continual cross (Institutes, 3:8:1, 2). Where the church is not being conformed to Christ in suffering, it is simply not true to itself as the church; it is without glory, nor will it inherit glory. Just as the Spirit of glory came upon Jesus at his Jordan-baptism opening up before him the way of suffering obedience that led to the cross, so the same Holy Spirit, with which the church was baptized at Pentecost, points it to the path of suffering.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “The Usefulness of the Cross,” Westminster Theological Journal, 41.1 [Spring 1979]).
“The mercy-seat was a pledge of the presence of God, where he had promised to be near his people to hear their prayers. . . . [B]y the title which is here attributed to God, there is expressed his wonderful love towards men in humbling, and, so to speak, lowering himself in order to come down to them, and choose for himself a seat and habitation on the earth, that he might dwell in the midst of them.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms, at Psalm 80:1).
“God, it seems, prefers an excess of boldness in prayer to an excess of caution, as long as the boldness is something more than loquacity (Ec. 5:2; Mt. 6:7). We come to Him as sons, not as applicants.” (Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150, p. 289).
Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC
“’All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth and sky and sea.’ To sing that line from this well-known hymn is to confess that the present praise of creation is not merely pre-eschatological, destined in the end for the silence of eternal extinction. The present creation awaits the eschatological voice it will receive when, free at last from its ‘bondage to corruption,’ it will ‘obtain the freedom of the glory of the sons of God.’ With this obtaining together with the sons of God, creation’s praise— beyond all sighing and in a manner beyond present comprehension— will heighten their enjoyment of that freedom and glory in the new creation of God. (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “What ‘Symphony of Sighs’” in Redeeming the Life of the Mind, pp. 160-161).
“The language of the Psalmist amounts to a declaration that God would not save the world by means of an ordinary kind, but would come forth himself and show that he was the author of a salvation in every respect so singular…. [M]ercy of such a wonderful, and to us, incomprehensible kind, should be celebrated by no ordinary means of praise.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms, on Psalm 98).
“The Psalms we sing now are a rehearsal, and God’s presence among his worshippers is a prelude to His appearing to the world.” (Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150, p. 353).
Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.
“Faith always connects the power of God with the word, which it does not imagine to be at a distance, but . . . possesses and retains it.” (John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Timothy).
“The origin of the believer’s faith does not lie in himself but in the calling of God, which in its irrevocable efficacy and power is life-giving and creative (Rom. 4:17; 11:29; Eph. 1:18-20; II Tim. 1:9). Yet this calling only realizes its enlivening function in the act of establishing fellowship with Christ (I Cor. 1:9), the life-giving Spirit, apart from whom there is neither life nor justification nor adoption nor sanctification nor any other saving reality. . . .” (Richard B. Gaffin, The Centrality of the Resurrection: A Study in Paul’s Soter-iology, p. 142).
Used in the Sunday afternoon Bible study on 2 Timothy 1 at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.