Category Archives: reflection

Good News by a Follower of Jesus

“Matthew makes the most use of the Old Testament, both in explicit quotations and in innumerable allusions, so that it can be the first place Christian turn to for guidance on use of the Old Testament. In that capacity, it shows Christians how the old covenant promises are fulfilled in the new and how the law of Moses exercises its authority today. Thus Matthew may yet be the Gospel the church most depends upon, if not for evangelism, then at least for the task of making disciples.” “So the Gospel of Matthew doesn’t scratch every itch of curiosity, but it does tell us what we need to know to come to faith and to live for Jesus, Lord and Christ, son of Abraham and of David, the God-man who gave his life as a ransom for many by dying on the cross and rising that first Easter Sunday.” (Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew, Vol. 1, pages xiii, xv).

“Discipleship is not for the comfortable and respectable, but for those whom conventional society would rather keep at arm’s length. The Pharisees can only see their failures, but Jesus sees their need, and the fact that they acknowledge it themselves gives him the opportunity to fulfill his calling to ‘save his people from their sins’ (1:21)” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 350).

“[W]e have no reason to fear that Christ will reject sinners, to call whom he descended from his heavenly glory. . . . [P]ardon is granted to us, not to cherish our sins, but to recall us to the earnestness of a devout and holy life.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospels).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trihity Presbyterian Churrch:

The Church: A Glorious Bride

“The bride in Revelation 21:1ff. . . represents the end-time completion of the redeemed, believing community from throughout the ages, finally secured from and dangers and residing in the midst of God’s perfect, full presence. Therefore, the new Jerusalem of ch. 21 has its inaugurated existence throughout the ages in the true Israel of the OT age and the church of the NT age (the latter of which Gal. 4:21–31 and Heb. 12:22–23 testify to).” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, NIGTC, pp. 1045–1046).

“Revelation is designed not only to assure us of God’s final purposes, but also to increase our longing for him and the realization of his purposes. The sureness of that final bliss comforts the saints during times of temptation and persecution. It purifies our desires by directing them to God and his glory. And then the tawdry counterfeits of this world are seen to be what they are.” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King, p. 192).

“[A]ll who overcome the dragon, the beasts, and the harlot through humble, persevering faith are heirs of everything. The homestead they inherit is not the first heaven and earth, sin-stained and curse-infected, but the new heaven and earth in which every impurity, pain, and sorrow has ceased to be.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 307).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.

The Church: A People Who Worship

“The author represents Christ as a portion of heav­en come down to earth. In His voice we hear a heav­enly voice, not a voice of earth. . . . Note that the au­thor lays great stress on the words yet once more; the shaking is one that cannot be repeat­ed; it is the final shaking, and therefore it represents the final transformation of the whole world or universe. The author fur­ther says that this final shaking signi­fies the passing away of all things that were made and therefore can be shaken, in order that the things which cannot be shaken may re­main.” (Geer­hardus Vos, The Teaching of the Epis­tle to the Hebrews, p. 87).

“The inheritance of the promised land of the new earth is the author’s [of Hebrews] irreducible summary of what true believers will receive at the eschaton. . . . This final inheritance will be indestructible (12:27–-28) and eternal.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 145).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: A People that Build up One Another

“Christians who are already united to Christ and therefore to one another grow nearer to and more and more like Christ and correspondingly nearer to one another in his body, the church. Paul describes this with vivid imagery. Like a human body, the church is held together with joints. Only when every part is working properly does health growth take place. But where there is a wise and nurturing ministry of the Word it will happen. And it will do so almost like a youngster growing to maturity in his or her own body – which seems to ‘grow itself’: the body builds itself up in love.” (Sinclair Ferguson, Let’s Study Ephesians, pp. 113–114).

“Paul’s image of the body of Christ offers profound insights for nurture: all members are needed; gifts are for the body as a whole, and isolation is tragic; and diversity of function produces, not division, but unity (Eph. 4:11–16).” (Edmund P. Clowney, The Church, p. 138).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: A Body of Witnesses

“The single most im­portant activity of the apostles is surely that. . . of witness to Christ (e.g., John 15:27; Acts 1:8; 13:31). The apostles bear wit­ness, authorized and empowered by Christ himself, to his resur­rection as the fulfill­ment of covenant his­tory.” (Richard B. Gaf­fin, Jr., Perspectives on Pente­cost, p. 91).

“Jesus is claiming to be this unique Lord, the God and Savior of the new Israel, whom he empowers with the Spirit and commis­sions as his witnesses. Those who worship Jesus as Lord, who pray to him and serve him, bear witness that he, not the idols, is the only God and Savior. The Spirit is sent to empower us to testify to the divine glory that the Son deserves.” (Dennis B. Johnson, The Message of Acts in the History of Re­demption, p. 44).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: A Forgiven and Forgiving People

“That peculiar sight which Moses had of God (Exodus 34), was a gospel sight, a sight of God as ‘gracious,’ etc., and yet it is called his ‘back parts,’ that is but low and mean in comparison to his excellencies and perfections.” (John Owen, Overcoming Sin and Temptation, edited by Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor, p. 112).

“[God’s] full glory would accessible to the Mediator Christ but could not be seen by anyone in this sinful life. The Mediator would see that glory, but Moses was only a shadow of the true Mediator. . . . Christ is now our Mediator, and in heaven he beholds God’s face. What is there that he cannot do for us?” (S. G. De Graaf, Promise and Deliverance, Vol. 1, p. 308).

“The grace of God is love freely shown towards guilty sinners, contrary to their merit and indeed in defiance of their demerit. It is God showing goodness to persons who deserve only severity, and had no reason to expect anything but severity.” (J. I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 120).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

The Church: A Holy People in the Presence of a Holy God

“Those who are called to be partakers of God’s holi­ness must be holy them­selves; this is the recurring theme of the Pentateuchal law of holiness, echoed again in the New Testa­ment: ‘Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Lev. 11:45, etc.; cf. 1 Pet. 1: 15.). To see the Lord is the highest and most glori­ous blessing that morals can enjoy, but the beatific vision is reserved for those who are holy in heart and life.” (F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews, NICNT, pp. 364-365).

“To praise His name in­volves more than the mere repetition of the word qa­dosh [holy-jwm]. It includes deep meditation upon God and His attributes and the living of a life of humility in accordance with the pre­cepts laid down in His Word. It is, in other words, the life of faith in Jesus Christ, lived for the glory of God.” (Ed­ward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 1, p. 243).

“Sanctification has es­pecial regard to God. Even though the whole world blazes with war, we must not let go of sanctification because it is the chain which binds us in union with God. . . . No one can see God without sancti­fication since we shall only see God with eyes that have been re­newed according to his image.” (John Calvin, Com­mentary on Hebrews, at 12:14).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.