Category Archives: 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 Church: Walking before the Lord

“This covenant [with Abraham], initiated, established, defined in promises and commands, and even guaranteed to be everlasting, by the sole sovereignty of the Lord God Almighty, is nevertheless a union of God with his people. It is the same union that comes to expression in the New Testament phrase ‘in Christ.’ This is the essence of the covenant concept, the essence of all true religion. The covenant God made with the man from Ur is the union God has established with his own in Christ Jesus, himself the epitome of covenant as the incarnate God-and-man, Immanuel. There is no more glorious concept given to men than this: God with us!” (John J. Mitchell, “Abram’s Understanding of the Lord’s Covenant,” The Westminster Theological Journal, XXXII, No. 1, November 1969, p. 48).

“The ‘walking before Je­hovah’ pictures the con­stant presence of Jeho­vah to his [Abram’s] mind as walking behind him, and supervising him. The thought of the divine approval furnish­es the motive for obedi­ence. Also the force of El-Shaddai must be no­ticed. What shapes his conduct is not the gen­eral thought of God as moral ruler, but specifi­cally the thought of El-Shaddai, who fills his life with miraculous grace.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, pp. 102–103).

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

Greetings — in Christ

saints“In Romans 16:7 Paul mentions those who ‘were in Christ be­fore me’ or ‘before I was.’ Here Paul, speaking autobiographi­cally but surely representatively of all Christians, brings into view a before and after of being ‘in Christ’ that points to a critical transition.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., By Faith, Not By Sight, p. 37).

“We may not tone down the unity of the church. This comes to expression repeat­edly in Paul (cf. 11:16-24; Eph. 2:16, 18-22; 4:2-16). But Paul is also jealous to maintain that in every in­stance where the saints are gathered together in Christ’s name in accordance with his institution, there the church of Christ is (cf. vs.5).” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 2, p. 233).