“The thought appears to be that it is love that carries into effect the law of God; love constitutes the fulfillment of the law. It is the motive and active principle of fulfillment. . . . If we may use the metaphor, love fills to the brim the cup which the law puts into our hands. Love is the first drop; it is the last drop; and it is all the drops in between” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, pp. 22–23).
“Christ is not only the object of faith and his glorious appearing the pole star of hope but he is also united to believers now in the bonds of mystic union. And they are united to him. Because Christ is united to believers, he is in them in the life they now live upon earth — he is formed in them the hope of glory. And because believers are now united to Christ, they are in him in the glory of his exalted state — their life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is with them where they are; they are with him where he is. A great mystery, beyond doubt. But this is what is true of Christ and his church.” (John Murray, “Structural Strands in New Testament Eschatology.” Unpublished manuscript, Westminster Theological Seminary Library, Philadelphia).
(In preparation for the Sunday afternoon Bible study on 2 Timothy 4:1–5 at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC)
What does genuine love look like? How should we relate to fellow believers? How should we deal with those outside the church? How do you react to terrible wrong? And what does genuine, unmasked love have to do with heaping coals of fire?
The 101 Bible Study meets the Friday, February 2, at 6:30 p.m. in a home in the Astoria area. Call 971/238-6101 for details.
“The essence of ungodliness is that we presume to take the place of God, to take everything into our own hands. It is faith to commit ourselves to God, to cast all our care upon him, and to vest all our interests in him. In reference to the matter in hand, the wrongdoing of which we are the victims, the way of faith is to recognize that God is judge and to leave the execution of vengeance and retribution to him.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, pp. 141–142).
“The basis and spring of sanctification are union with Christ, more especially union with him in the virtue of his death and the power of his resurrection.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 2, page 109).
“The way to determine our spiritual gifts is not to ask, ‘What is my “thing” spiritually, my spiritual specialty, that sets me apart from other believers and gives me a distinguishing niche in the church?’….The question to ask is, ‘What in the situation in which God has place me are the particular opportunities I see for serving other believers in word and deed (cf. I Peter 4:10f.)?’ ‘What are the specific needs confronting me that need to be ministered to?’ Posing and effectively responding to this question will go a long way not only toward discovering but also actually using our spiritual gifts.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost, p. 53).
Quotes used in this Friday’s 101 Bible Study on Romans 12
“If grace is conditioned in any way by human performance or by the will of man impelling to action, then grace ceases to be grace.”
“[T]here is no security in the bond of the gospel apart from perseverance. There is no such thing as continuance in the favor of God in spite of apostasy; God’s saving embrace and endurance are correlative.”
(John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 2, pages 70 & 88).
Friday evening’s 101 Bible Study in Astoria focuses on the first half of Romans 11.
“It may be safe to say that the greatest event for Christendom in the last 1500 years was the Protestant Reformation. What was the spark that lit the flame of evangelical passion? It was, by the grace of God, the discovery on the part of Luther, stricken with a sense of his estrangement from God and feeling in his inmost soul the stings of his wrath and the remorse of a terrified conscience, of the true and only way whereby a man can be just with God. To him the truth of justification by free grace through faith lifted him from the depths of the foreboding of hell to the ecstasy of peace with God and the hope of glory. If there is one thing the church needs today it is the republication with faith and passion of the presuppositions of the doctrine of justification and the reapplication of this, the article of a standing or falling Church.” (“Justification,” in Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2, p. 203).
“However epochal have been the advances made at certain periods and however great the contributions of particular men we may not suppose that theological construction ever reaches definitive finality. There is the danger of a stagnant traditionalism and we must be alert to this danger, on the one hand, as to that of discarding our historical moorings on the other. . . . As it is true that ecclesia reformata reformanda est so also is it true that theologia reformata reformanda est. When any generation is content to rely upon its theological heritage and refuses to explore for itself the riches of divine revelation, then declension is already under way and heterodoxy will be the lot of the succeeding generation. The powers of darkness are never idle and in combating error each generation must fight its own battle in exposing and correcting the same. It is light that dispels darkness and in this sphere light consists in the enrichment which each generation contributes to the stores of theological knowledge.” (“Systematic Theology,” in Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 4, pp. 7-8). (2 of 2 posts)