Category Archives: General


water_15944c“This church needs an injection of Christ’s resurrection power, since they are in the worst condition of all the churches in the letters.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, p. 302).

“Jesus’ knock is not that of a homeless traveler, standing outside the locked door of a human heart, seeking shelter. Rather, he is the master of the house, and he will burst through the door in in sovereign judgment (James 5:9).” (Dennis E. Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb, pages 92–93).

(Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.)

Only a Name?

Rv0305“Jesus calls himself ‘he who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars’ (Rev. 3:1). The seven Spirits are God’s one Spirit, who is limitless, knowing all, present everywhere, and almighty. In Revelation 5 John will see the Spirit symbolized by by the Lamb’s seven eyes, which “are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth” 5:6; cf. Zech. 3:9; 4:10). The Son of Man who sees his churches also holds their identity (stars/angels) securely in his hand. This church has underrated Jesus’ present knowledge and therefore faces a shocking awakening at his coming.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 84).

“The essence of a church is not its programs, buildings, past achievements, reputation, institutional greatness, or formal doctrinal correctness, but its spiritual life. This life comes only through fellowship with the living Christ, and is demonstrated through the seriousness of repentance and obedience.” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King, p. 90).

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, continuing a sermon series on the Book of Revelation.

star11c“The flaw in the Thyatirians’ growing faith and love was naïveté, a lack of discernment that took people at face value rather than putting them to the test of truth. Jesus says to the church at Thyatira, ‘I love your love, but I hate your tolerance.’” (Dennis E. Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb, p. 80).

“Sin can always come up with excuses to do what it wants, to do what is convenient and comfortable. It may take a prophetically penetrating criticism like John’s to bring people up short. Or it may take even more: the hand of God in punishment (vv. 22–33).” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation, p. 89).

“This ‘overcoming’ occurs before the believer inherits the promises of 2:26–28, as in the letters to Tyatira and Pergamum. And this ‘conquering” of sin (so 2:4–5, 14–16, 20–24) entails being conquered by the world, since, when believers refuse to compromise with the world, they are persecuted by the world.” “It is not just how people die that proves them to be overcomers, but the whole of their Christian lives are to be characterized by ‘overcoming,’ which is a process completed at death.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, pp. 269, 271).


Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

Quality Workmanship

pursue_3623c“The focal point is what God’s servant is called on to do. But in the midst of this statement is interjected the truth that God alone gives re­pentance and brings people to knowledge of the truth….” (George W. Knight III, NIGTC, The Pastoral Epistles, p. 427).


The Sunday afternoon Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church is on 2 Timothy 2.

Giving from Willing Hearts

cheer_4276cp“The tabernacle, then, represented not merely symbolically the indwelling of God among Israel, but actually contained it. . . . [T]he holy place, no less than the holy of holies, is the place which Jehovah owns alone. At the same time, it must be maintained that the people are received into God’s house as his guests. . . . In the ideal covenant-fellowship, here portrayed, the divine factor is the all-controlling one. Man appears as admitted into, adjusted to, subordinated to, the life of God. Biblical piety is God-centered.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, pp. 170-171).

“Through their offerings, the people would show their desire to have God dwell in their midst and their longing for the still more wonderful and intimate fellowship that God would bestow upon them when the promised Redeemer came. The people brought their offerings willingly, moved by the Spirit of the Lord. They wanted their offerings to show that they had finished with the sin they had just committed. The Lord was pleased to dwell in their midst—not in the form of a golden calf but in the tabernacle.” (S. G. DeGraaf, Promise and Deliverance, Vol. 1, p. 312).


Quotes used in the Reflection posted at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.

Being God’s Inheritance

Ex3409“Jesus did not come into the world for us: we came into the world for him. We must not lightly skim over these words. . . . The decree for the God-man occurred as part of God’s original eternal plan and was foundational to his appointment of Christ as Redeemer and his selection of a people for himself: all things, including his people, were created for him (Col. 1:16).” (Mark Jones, Knowing Christ, p. 9).

“Paul reaffirms the absolute ‘self-existence’ of the eternal Son and declares him to be the Creator and Preserver of all things. The emphatic ‘HE IS’ recalls Christ’s majestic claim, ‘Before Abraham was I AM’ [John 8:58].” (Geoffrey Wilson, Colossians and Philemon: A Digest of Reformed Comment, on Colossians 1:16).

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

More than Conquerors

Rm0836How does the suffering that we experience in this present evil age fit with the triumph that we have as we are united by faith with the risen, exalted Christ? In Romans 8:18 Paul counts the present sufferings not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us. But in Romans 8:36-39 it is precisely in our present sufferings that Paul affirms that we are more than conquerors.

Paul quotes Psalm 44:22 to describe our situation. What could be less triumphant than a sheep about to be slaughtered. The Psalm is the cry of people who feel abandoned by God. Yet it is in that context that Paul points you to God’s love in Christ. That love focuses on the cross, but includes the care you continue to receive from the exalted Christ.

It sounds paradoxical, but it is precisely as sheep about to be slaughtered that we are more than conquerors.

“He is the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. If, then, we are through him united to God, we may be assured of the immutable and unfailing kindness of God towards us. . . . [Paul] declares that the fountain of love is in the Father, and af­firms that it flows to us from Christ.” (John Calvin, Com­mentary on the Epistle to the Romans, at Romans 8:39).

(The 101 Bible Study meets this Friday, July 21)