“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)
“There have been periods of epochal contribution and advance. The reformation of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is without question the most notable. It was then that the opus magnum of Christian theology was given to the church. [Footnote: The reference is to the definitive edition of Calvin’s Christianae Religionis Institutio.] It was then that creedal formulation reached its zenith. The architectonic theologies of the Protestant churches witness to the vigour and devotion with which the study of theology had been pursued. It was the golden age of precision and formulation. The theology that does not build upon these constructions or pretends to ignore them places a premium upon retrogression dishonours the Holy Spirit by whose endowments and grace these epochal strides in understanding and presentation have been taken.” (“Systematic Theology,” in Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 4, p. 7). (1 of 2 posts)
“The fear of God which is the soul of godliness does not consist, however, in the dread which is produced by the apprehension of God’s wrath. When the reason for such dread exists, then to be destitute of it is the sign of hardened ungodliness. But the fear of God that is the basis of godliness, and in which godliness may be said to consist, is much more inclusive and determinative than the fear of God’s judgment. . . . The fear of God in which godliness consists is the fear which constrains adoration and love. It is the fear which consists in awe, reverence, honour and worship, and all of these on the highest level of exercise.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 236).
From the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.
“In late medieval Roman Catholicism, the future verdict at the final judgment was the uncertain outcome of the Christian life. In contrast the Reformers came to understand that, in effect, the verdict belonging at the end of history has been brought forward and already pronounced on believers in history, and so constitutes the certain and stable basis for the Christian life and provides unshakable confidence in the face of the final judgment.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., By Faith, Not by Sight, p. 92).
“…when the Father sent the Son it was for the purpose of dealing with sin. Nothing should be allowed to detract from that simple but profound truth. For by it we are advised that the coming of the Son of God into the world had no relevance apart from the fact of sin.” (John Murray, Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 1, p. 280).
This Friday evening’s 101 Bible Study in Astoria focuses on Romans 8:1-4. You are welcome to join us! Call or text 971/238-6101 for details.