Category Archives: General

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.

Intercession

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.

When God Destroys the Shroud!

Isaiah 25 describes a magnificent banquet which the LORD of hosts prepares. The guests are “all people.” The menu is the finest of food. The location is “on this mountain,” a reference to Zion, where the temple stood. Every sacrificial offering, every fellowship meal there, anticipated the great banquet at the end of the age, the marriage feast of the Lamb.

Appropriately, in that context Isaiah looks to the day when the sovereign Lord will swallow up death itself.

He points you to the time when death will be swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54) and God will wipe away every tear (Revelation 7:17; 21:4).

“When God establishes His kingdom and reign from Zion, all the world will be blessed. What the world will receive from Him is not the paltry, disappointing philoso­phy of men, but the precious truth of the everlasting gospel. To a world covered with the darkness of sin, there will break forth the rays of true light, for in His light the world will see light. What he offers will truly sat­isfy, bless, and enrich mankind.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, p. 193).

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.

Law or Promise?

Ayear0831oc“[I]t is the law which the heretical minds Paul is opposing in this letter are putting into competition with the promise — at bottom, in fact, they are placing it above the promise. It is by this opposition, this contrast, that the character of Paul’s conception of the covenant and the promise, yes, and of the law also, is entirely governed and determined. Law means demand, conditions; the promise, on the contrary, means free grant, guarantee, unconditionality.” (Herman N. Ridderbos, The Epistle of Paul to the Churches of Galatia, p. 135).

“Obedience as the appropriate and necessary expression of devotion to Christ does not find its place in a covenant of works or of merit but in a covenant that has its inception and end in pure grace.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 200).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Abraham, the Man of Faith

gA0308“Christ, accordingly, is the turning point of the times, the cross the focal point of world history. First, everything led in the direction of the cross; subsequently, everything was inferred from the cross. . . . Believers in Israel indeed knew that the Siniatic dispensation was merely temporary and therefore anticipated the the day of the new covenant with longing.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 223).

“The righteousness of God as virtue or mode of conduct has manifested itself most gloriously when in Christ he granted another righteousness apart from the law, on the basis of which he can justify—that is, absolutely and completely acquit—those who believe in Jesus.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 4, p. 185).

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