Category Archives: covenant

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.

Zealous Faith

flowers_14155ac“The words in question [in Ro­mans 10:5-8, quoted from Deuteronomy 30], therefore, do not find their place in a legalis­tic framework but in that of the grace which the covenant bespoke. Their import is that the things revealed for faith and life are accessible: we do not have to ascend to heaven nor go to the utmost parts of the sea to find them.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 2, p. 52).

“If we seek God sincerely, let us follow the way by which alone we can come to him. For it is better, as Augustine says, even to go limping in the right way than to run with all our might out of the way. If we would be really religious, let us remember that . . . true religion is alone that which is connect­ed with the Word of God.” (John Calvin, Commentary on Romans, at Romans 10:2).

path_15946ac“Faith is . . . a relationship to the person of Christ as he is known and comes to us in the gospel. It is faith in that Christ who means for the believer what is announced of him in the gospel; who has come into the world, who has suffered, died, risen, and who lives in heaven.” (Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theolo­gy, p. 239).

 

Quotes relevant to the October 6 101 Bible Study.

The Golden Calf–and God’s Grace

In preparing for a sermon on Exodus 32, an event of terrible idolatry, but one that proved to be the occasion for God to display his grace, I ran across the following quote:

calf_10596c“At the very outset, then, the covenant had been broken [by worshiping the golden calf]. The bond now had to be restored. . . . Although Moses served as a mediator, he could not die for his people. Only the other Mediator, Jesus Christ, could do that. Moses could do more than plead for his people. . . .  This prayer was also heard. The Lord Himself would be with them. With that the relationship was restored from the Lord’s side. “At the very outset, then, the covenant had been broken [by worshiping the golden calf]. The bond now had to be restored. . . . Although Moses served as a mediator, he could not die for his people. Only the other Mediator, Jesus Christ, could do that. Moses could do more than plead for his people. . . .  This prayer was also heard. The Lord Himself would be with them. With that the relationship was restored from the Lord’s side. Continue reading

The Blood of the Covenant

CUP_6372c“[T]he covenant of God imposed obligations also on those with whom it was made—obligations, not as conditions for entering into the covenant (for the covenant was made and based only on God’s compassion), but but as the way the people who had by grace been incorporated into the covenant henceforth had to conduct themselves (Gen. 17:1-2; Exod. 19:5-6, 8; 24:3,7…).” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 204).

“Yahweh God appeared to the men, representatives of the covenant people, as the God of beauty, majesty, glory, and life. Israel’s God did not appear as a phantom or an imagined reality. He, the eternal, invisible, holy,m and majestic one, presented himself to be seen. . . . Only in Christ, centuries later, is a a higher, fuller, revelation given of the actual presenting of God to his people.” (Gerard Van Groningen, From Creation to Consummation, p. 343).

“Before the blood could act for the benefit of the people it had to do its work with reference to Jehovah, and this could scarcely consist in aught else than to make the prerequisite expiation.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 139).

(Quotes used in the Reflection for Sunday morning’s message at Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC)