Salvation cannot be bought. Forgiveness is gracious, unearned. You cannot bargain with God for it. Forgiveness begins with God, not with you.
Yet, God works in you, and as he forgives, he changes you. Salvation is all of God, yet there is no salvation without trust in God. You are to work our your own salvation because God works in you both to will and to do, Philippians 2:12,13. Just as Hebrews has strong warning passages, not to deny the perseverance of the saints, but rather to encourage them in perseverance, so your forgiving is part of your covenantal life before God. Thus, in this prayer, God forgives as you do. There is an inseparable connection between God forgiving you and your forgiving your brothers, Matthew 18:35.
“The purpose and meaning of the gospel is unmistakable. Again and again it represents the relation of man to God as that of a debtor to his creditor. . . . Sin places man in the position of one who must pay, give satisfaction.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 214).
(Continuing our study of the Lord’s Prayer this evening at Trinity Presbyterian Church.)
Do you bow your head and pray before a meal? That is an excellent habit–though it sometimes becomes a mere habit. What does it mean to ask God for daily bread? We are looking at that part of the Lord’s Prayer this evening at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
“[I]n its present context it [the petition, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’] can unmistakably be understood only from the new relation to God given with Christ’s coming. Just like the exhortation not ‘to take thought,’ it is as Christologically determined as the petition for the remission of sins. In both cases the basis of the petition and its answer is found in God’s fatherhood as realized in the coming of Christ. (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 268).
“This petition does not merely express agreement with God’s decree or resignation to his will, but rather the longing that what God requires from man may be done on earth as it is in heaven. At present God’s will as expressed in his commandments is not being done on account of all that opposes God on earth. Both redemption and ethics are implied in this ‘will of God.’” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 247).
“The kingdom-idea is the clearest expression of the principle that . . . everything is subservient to the glory of God. In this respect the kingdom is the most profoundly religious of all biblical conceptions.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Kingdom of God and the Church, p.102).
In this evening’s Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church we continue to look at the Lord’s Prayer. (On the small book from which the quote comes, see Advice from Ned B. Stonehouse.)
“By the ‘name’ of God we mean all those attributes under which He is revealed to us, — His power, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth. By asking that they may be ‘hallowed,’ we mean that they may be made known and glorified. The glory of God is the first thing that God’s children should desire. It is the object of one of our Lord’s own prayers: ‘Father, glorify they name.’ (John xii, 28) It is the purpose for which the world was created. It is the end for which the saints are called and converted. It is the chief thing we should seek, that ‘God in all things may be glorified.’ ( I Peter iv. 11).” (J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, at Matthew 6:9).
Ryle might have added, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q&A 1).
“When you come to God, says our Lord, in effect, even though you may be in desperate conditions and circumstances, it may be with some great concern on your mind and in your heart; even then, He says, stop for a moment and just recollect and realize this, that your greatest desire of all should be that this wonderful God, who has become your Father in and through Me, should be honoured, should be worshipped, should be magnified amongst the people ‘Hallowed be thy name.'” (Martin Lloyd Jones, The Sermon on the Mount, Vol. 2, p. 61).
(For tonight’s study on the Lord’s Prayer at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.)
“The God who transcends time guides the entire course of history because he not only stands as sovereign over its beginning and end, but is also in its midst, invisibly guiding it.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, p. 613).
“The seven trumpets of God, like those at Jericho, have gone before the ark of his covenant and shattered all resistance to the establishment of his dominion in the earth.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 154).
From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.
In the Wednesday evening Bible study and prayer time at Trinity OPC, we are in what is proving to be a long series on what the Bible teaches us about prayer. This evening we look at Daniel 6. Despite the king’s decree forbidding prayer to anyone except him for a month, Daniel not only prays, he opens his window towards Jerusalem to pray, and is thrown into the den of lions as a result.
What is God teaching us about prayer? What is he teaching us about his own character and his own work?
The curse of wild beasts is the penalty for covenant infidelity (Deut. 32:24). What Daniel experienced is the common experience of all Israel, which has been devoured by Babylon and swallowed up. With the restoration of Daniel, however, one sees a glimmer of hope that perhaps all Israel also will experience rest-oration. One man, devoured by the pit, and then returning from there, personifies all the saints–given over to death by fearsome forces, then against all hope being restored and seeing their enemies vanquished instead. One man is needed, who is in reality what Daniel is only in symbol. We need one morally perfect, blemish-free man who really does die on behalf of his people, who really is brought back from Sheol, and in so doing destroys the real enemy–the pit itself. Amen, come, Lord Jesus! George M. Schwab, Hope in the Midst of a Hostile World, p. 92, © 2006. Pub. by P&R Publishing.
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