“The prophet is not asserting that Israel’s God has just ascended the throne, but is proclaiming the far grander, truly dynamic fact that Israel’s God does reign. And a remarkable declaration this is! The gods of the heathen could neither declare the past nor predict the future. Dead idols, they had no power. Israel’s God, however, was alive and He was sovereign.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 3, pages 551–552.
“Christ is being represented as being heard in the gospel when proclaimed by the sent messengers. The implication is that Christ speaks in the gospel proclamation.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 2, p. 58).
This Friday evening I have the honour of preaching at the installation service of the Rev. Greg Hoadley as the new pastor of Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Airdrie, AB. The text is Isaiah 52:7, as it ties in with Romans 10:14. Helpful also is this excerpt from an article in Ordained Servant, June-July 2008:
“The Reformation conception of preaching is embodied in the Second Helvetic Confession: ‘The preaching of the word of God is the word of God.’ Our Lord, the incarnate Word, has identified the preaching of his ordained spokesmen with his Word: ‘He who hears you hears Me’ (Luke 10:16). Herman Hoeksema correctly insisted that the Greek of Romans 10:14 should be translated as the American Standard Version has it: ‘And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?’ as opposed to ‘Him of whom they have not heard?’ Thus it is ‘the preached Word rather than the written Word’ which is the primary means of grace. Christ is immediately present as the true Speaker in the preaching moment. ‘The implication is that Christ speaks in the gospel proclamation.’ Preaching is not speaking about Christ, but is Christ speaking.” (Gregory E. Reynolds, “God Still Speaks,” in Ordained Servant, https://opc.org/os.html?article_id=108). See link for references for quotations.
“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).