Category Archives: General

Suffering and Glory

“Hence, then, is the whole consolation of the godly, that they are associates with Christ, that hereafter they may be partakers of his glory; for we are always to bear in mind this transition from the cross to the resurrection.” (John Calvin, Commentary on 1 Peter)

How do you tell someone who’s suffering that there is more suffering to come? Peter does—but he tells you to rejoice! The Wednesday evening Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church looks at 1 Peter 4.

Murray and his mentor

“Jesus himself as the great high priest, in his finished work and in his continual high-priestly activity, is the permanent and final embodiment of the truth portrayed in the Levitical ordinances. Strictly speaking the Levitical ritual did not serve as the pattern for the work of Christ, rather, the high-priestly work of Christ provided the archetype by which the prescriptions of the Levitical law were fashioned and patterned (cf. Hebrews 9:24, 25). The Levitical were the ectypes and models drawn from the heavenly exemplar. It was for this reason that they possessed meaning and efficacy.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 151).

I’m preaching this Sunday on Matthew 5:17–20, in which Jesus tells us that he came, not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. Murray’s treatment of the passage in his Principles of Conduct is helpful indeed. Murray’s thought seems to reflect that of one of his mentors at old Princeton, Geerhardus Voa. See the latter’s The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 55–58.

When God Is with You

“The debt man’s transgres­sions incur is written down in God’s book, and must be punished. God, however, blots out or wipes out what is written down, so that it can no longer be seen and no longer is present to ac­cuse the transgressor. . . . The debt those transgres­sions incurred has been fully paid, and God’s blotting out is an act of justice and mer­cy.” (Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol 3, p. 162).

“The prophecy of new cre­ation in Isa. 43 begins with, ‘Behold, I will do something new’ (v. 19) and concludes with, ‘The people I have formed for Myself will de­clare My praise’ (v. 21). The immediate contexts of the prophecies in Isa. 43 and Isa. 65 imply a notion of res­urrection (cf. 43:21).” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 231).

The 101 Bible Study meets on Friday, October 4, 2019, in a home in the Astoria area. Call 971/238-6101 for details.

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.