Category Archives: General

What do you plant?

How important are good works in the life of a Christian? The Sunday evening Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church looks at Galatians 6:6–10 for Paul’s answer.

“Though eternal life is a re­ward, it does not follow ei­ther that we are justified by works, or that works are meritorious of salvation. The undeserved kindness of God appears in the very act of honouring the works which his grace has en­abled us to perform, by promising to them a reward to which they are not enti­tled.” (John Calvin, Com­mentary on Galatians, at Gal. 6:8).

Why All These Names?

“Matthew is narrating the record of the new age, the new creation, launched by the coming death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And since Matthew is narrating a genealogy of Jesus, it is likely that the Gen. 5:1 reference is uppermost in mind, and that Jesus is being painted with the genealogical brush of Adam.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 389).

“[Matthew’s] purpose to present Jesus as standing squarely in the center of the historical movement or revelation and redemption becomes more and more conspicuous. . . . As Abraham’s seed and as royal son of David’s line Jesus is seen to be no isolated figure, no mere innovator, but one who can be adequately measured only in terms of what has gone before.” (Ned B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ, p. 124).

“Matthew tells us who Jesus is. Yet his nature is never separate from his work, for he is the Savior for the nations. Matthew 1:1 introduces us to the hero by stating his name and his origin. He is Jesus the Savior, Christ the anointed, the son of Abraham, hence of both pagan and Jewish lineage, he is the Son of David, the great king.” (Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew, Vol. 1, p. 5).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The Spirit Poured upon Us

“This Spirit is poured out from the height of heaven (cf. 24:21), and in a prover­bial manner similar to that employed in 29:17 Isaiah represents the change that is wrought. Just as God had poured out a spirit of deep sleep ‘upon you’ so now He pours out His Spirit ‘upon us,’ and we therefore receive the blessings that he brings.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, page 399).

“In contrast to the land’s unfruitful con­dition (Isa. 32:10–14), in the future the Spirit will come upon Israel and create abundant fertility (v. 15). However, this fertility appears to go beyond mere material abundance to include spiritual fecundity. Not only will the Spirit cre­ate literal plants, crops, and trees in the field, but also the Spirit will pro­duce spiritual fruits in the fields: ‘Jus­tice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness will abide in the fertile field’ (v. 16).” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical The­ology, p. 575).

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.

For What Is God Waiting?

This evening’s 101 Bible Study, meeting in the Astoria area, looks at Isaiah 30 and 31 for the answer. Call 971/238-6101 for details.

“God’s purpose is to show mercy, to be gracious; but until the judgment is past, He will not do this. He longs, however, to be gracious, and earnestly awaits the time when He may. Akin to this thought is the description of the Lord as longsuffering…. Whereas He waits to exhibit mercy, He also pronounces a blessing upon those who wait for the Lord, and He will close the verse with a state­ment concerning those who do abide in Him.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, pages 353–354).

“This passage refers to God in the fol­lowing manner: ‘descending,’ appar­ently from his heavenly temple, which is pointed to further by observing that it is located far away (‘a remote place’ and ‘the mountain of the Lord’); in ad­dition, God appears in ‘dense . . . smoke . . . his tongue like a consum­ing fire,’ and his breath [rûah̩ = Spirit] like an overflowing torrent . . . in the flame of a consuming fire’; and ‘the Lord will cause his voice of authority to be heard.’” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical The­ology, p. 599).

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.


Why is Job an intercessor?Job knew what it was to suffer, to be abandoned, to have what seemed proof that the Lord was furiously angry with him. His very suffering had equipped him to intercede for his friends–just as some of your suffering and trials may make you a far more effective pray-er for those around you.
But ultimately Job also is a sinner and cannot provide perfect intercession. Only the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, can properly intercede for you. The reason that Job could pray for his friends was that the Spirit of the Christ was in him.
The suffering of the Son of Man equipped him to be your perfect intercessor. There is no aspect of trial in your life which he has not probed to the depths in his own experience. There is no cup of suffering held out to you of which he has not first tasted the dregs.

“The human aspect of Christ’s work, so far as it is foreshown in the book of Job, is chiefly set forth by Job himself, in his own person, as the type of the man of sorrows, forsaken and persecuted by his friends, and abandoned apparently by God, and yet for whom the cross was the passage way to the crown, and suffering to a glorious reward, and the fruit of the travail of whose soul abounded to the blessing of others, as Job’s intercession brought healing to his three friends, and he has been a helper to the distressed from his own day to this.” (William Henry Green, The Argument of the Book of Job Unfolded, p. 216. Pub. 1874.)

The Sunday afternoon Bible Study at Trinity Presbyterian Church looks at Job 42, Job’s intercession for his friends.

The Cornerstone

“Against the background of the na­tion’s vain and misplaced confidence in false security Isaiah utters one of the greatest Messianic prophecies in his entire work. This prophecy in some respects calls to mind the situation present in chapter seven. As the un­believing Ahaz had rejected the sign proffered of the Lord, and consequent­ly the Lord Himself had given a a sign, so here, the Lord again takes action, setting in contrast to the weak founda­tions upon which Judah trusted, the true and tried Stone which alone is a foundation upon which one may rest.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, p. 284).

“Tongues are a sign against unbelievers. This can be seen… in the use of Isaiah 28:11ff. To support the char­acter of tongues as a sign…. Paul pointedly excludes a positive or evangelizing use for tongues. Prophecy, not tongues, attacts unbelievers to the gospel and serves to win them for Christ.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Perspec­tives on Pentecost, p. 104 [on Paul’s use of Isaiah 28 in 1 Corinthians 14]).

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: God’s Treasured People

What is the most awe-inspiring experience you have had? Israel had experienced much as they had been delivered from Egypt—but what God was doing at Sinai was greater. They were filled with awe and fear—but the event was wonderful. God was making them his treasured people. That is what the church today is.

“All sovereignty on earth is derivative, temporary, and limited, and in the case of abuse, more a curse than a blessing. But God is king in the absolute and true sense. The government of the universe is not democratic, not aristocratic, not republican, nor constitutional, but monarchial. To God belongs the one undivided legislative, judicial, and executive power. His sovereignty is original, eternal, unlimited, abundant in blessing. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 19:6). His royal realm is the whole of the universe. His are the heavens and the earth (Exod. 19:5). . . .” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, p. 616).

“The one great promise to Abraham is ‘I will be your God, and you and your descendants will be my people’ (Gen. 17:8 paraphrase). And this is the principle content of God’s covenant with Israel as well. God is Israel’s God, and Israel is his people (Exod. 19:6; 29:46; etc.). Israel, accordingly, receives a wide assortment of blessings, not only temporal blessings, such as the land of Canaan, fruitfulness in marriage, a long life, prosperity, plus victory over its enemies, but also spiritual and eternal blessings, such as God’s dwelling among them (Exod. 29:45; Lev. 24:12), the forgiveness of sins (Exod. 20:6; 34:7; Num. 14:18; Deut 4:31; Pss. 32; 103; etc.), sonship. . . sanctification. . . and so on.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 221).

“In Exod. 19:6 God says to Israel, ‘You shall be to me a kingdom of priests,’ which likely meant that as a whole nation they were to serve as kingly mediators of divine revelation between God and the unbelieving nations (see also Isa. 43:10-13). They were not faithful in this witnessing task. Therefore God raises up a new priest-king, Jesus, and those identified with him are a ‘kingdom of priests,’ as expressed by 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10, which clearly allude to Exod. 19:6.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 678).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.