Category Archives: reflection

Promises, Promises

“When our Lord in his high priestly prayer says, ‘This is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent’ (John 17:3), he is predicating of the Father the most ultimate and absolute in respect of deity that biblical language provides. . . . When we speak, therefore, of the sanctity of truth, we must recognize that underlies this concept is the sanctity of the being of God as the living and true God. He is the God of truth and all truth derives its sanctity from him.” “It is because untruth is the contradiction of the nature of God that it is wrong. Truth and untruth are antithetical because God is truth.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, pp. 124–125, 148).

“[A] fundamentally false approach to the divine law is in view and is being condemned, an approach which, through externalistic and casuistic interpretation of isolated passages resulted in the justification of frivolous oaths, oaths by heaven and earth, by Jerusalem, by one’s head, or the like. Jesus condemns such vain efforts to avoid a reckoning with God in all of one’s asservations, whether in the form of oaths or not, by the declaration that they were not to swear at all.” (Ned B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ, p. 207).

“God is awesome. Before him, all the empty words and false assurances of empty religion will melt away. Ananias and Sapphira discovered that to be the case when they promised God God one thing and then did another.” (Gordon Keddie, Ecclesiastes, p. 133).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.


“Our ultimate hope is that God is a covenantal, promise-keeping God. Marriage is a relationship based entirely on promises and public, binding oaths. The promises made between husband and wife to remain faithful, no matter what comes and to forsake all others, is a picture of God’s incredible commitment to us. It is a dim reflection of of the amazing reality that ‘neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:38–39).” (David White, God, You, & Sex: A Profound Mystery, p. 49).

“’One flesh’ certainly includes physical intimacy, but it is broader than that. It means learning both the words and the silences of the beloved. It means dreaming great dreams, but also cleaning up the kitchen. It means sharing the deep concerns of the heart and the little bumps on the toe.” (Daniel Doriani, Matthew, Vol. 1,, p. 160).

“The marriage relationship of Adam and Eve and of all their progeny appears to have been established as a kind of shadow to point to the consummated end-time relationship of God and his bridal people (cf. Isa. 54:1–6; 62:2–5; Eph. 5:29–32).” “This new name [in Revelation 21:2] is then explained in Isa. 62:3–5 to signify a new. Intimate marriage relationship between Israel and God. Therefore it is not accidental that the remainder of Rev. 21:2 addresses a marriage metaphor to explain the significance of ‘new Jerusalem”” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, pp. 41 & 676).

“When God receives the Church as His bride and rejoices at the multitude of her sons, then truly the Church is blessed.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah Vol. 3, p. 470).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Purity in Christ

“Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could, every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head [that is, ‘ultimate outcome’].” (John Owen, Overcoming Sin & Temptation, edited by Kapic and Taylor, p. 53).

“Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” (John Owen, Works 6:9)

“God did not fish around for some image to use to show his people what his love is like, and then stumble on marriage as the best one to convince them to return to him in covenant devotion. . . . No. God planned it the other way around. He placed in us at creation deep sexual emotions so that we might understand the jealousy of his love for us and the joy of jealousy for him.” (Edmund P. Clowney, How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments, p. 95).

“In Matthew 5:27–30, Christ charges that the teachers of the law put the boundaries of purity in the wrong place, at the edge of behavior, misunderstanding the law’s intent. Christ placed the boundaries squarely within the heart. That was the original intent of the law.” (Paul David Tripp, “Teens & Sex: How Should We Teach Them?” p. 19).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

Anger and Reconciliation

“The fulfillment of the law, like the fulfillment of the prophets, while presupposing and reaffirming its divine truth and authority, predicates the dawn of a new era. The law and the prophets do not produce their own fulfillment. It is the presence of Christ alone which accomplishes this end, and this fact, in the light of Matthew’s total witness to Christ, clearly involves new divine action and speech. The fulfillment of the law and the prophets represents not a mere repetition or reiteration of the old revelation, but the announcement of the appearance of the age to which the old age looked forward.” (pp. 197–198). “No hint is given of a relaxing of the authority of the law; on the contrary he indicates that the demands of God are more comprehensive and more exacting than men had supposed.” (p. 199). (Ned B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ).

“Have we sufficiently appreciated the fact that, in a sinless world there would have been no ‘against’? The essence of sin is comprehended in the word ‘against.’ Sin is first of all against God and because we are against God we are against our fellowman.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 166).

“The gospel removes an abso­lute law-gospel antithesis in the life of the believer. How so? Briefly, apart form the gospel and outside of Christ, the law is my enemy and condemns me. Why? Because God is my enemy and condemns me. But with the gospel and in Christ, united to him by faith, the law is no longer my enemy but my friend. Why Because now God is no longer my enemy but my friend, and the law, his will—the law in its moral core, as reflective of his character and of concerns eternally inherent in his own person and so of what pleases him—is now my friendly guide for life in fellowship with God.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. By Faith, Not by Sight, pages 117–118).

Quotes on the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC on Matthew 5:21–26

Fulfilling the Law and the Prophets

“Our Lord’s doctrine is the bud in which the two conceptions of a righteousness imputed and a righteousness embodied in the sanctified life of the believer still lie enclosed together.” (Geerhardus Vos, The Kingdom and the Church, p. 65).

“Jesus himself as the great high priest, in his finished work and in his continual high-priestly activity, is the permanent and final embodiment of the truth portrayed in the Levitical ordinances. Strictly speaking the Levitical ritual did not serve as the pattern for the work of Christ, rather, the high-priestly work of Christ provided the archetype by which the prescriptions of the Levitical law were fashioned and patterned (cf. Hebrews 9:24, 25). The Levitical were the ectypes and models drawn from the heavenly exemplar. It was for this reason that they possessed meaning and efficacy.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 151).

Quotes from the Reflection on an upcoming message for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Salt and Light

“Starting from Matthew 5:13, the whole Sermon on the Mount is one impressive exhortation to do ‘good works’ (Matt. 5:13), to do ‘justice’ (5:20; 6:1; 6:33), to fulfill ‘the law and the prophets’ (5:17–48; 7:15), to go through ‘the narrow gate’ and upon the ‘narrow path’ (7:13,14), to bear ‘fruit’ (7:16–20), to do the Father’s will (7:21), and to ‘hear and do’ Jesus’ words (7:24–27; cf. also Luke 6L17–49).” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 241).

“The subject of this discourse, and the aim of the discipleship which it promotes, is not so much the betterment of life on earth as the implementation of the reign of God. The goal of disciples witness is not that others emulate their way of life, or applaud their probity, but that they recognize the source of their distinctive lifestyle in ‘your Father in heaven.’” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 177).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Are You Blessed?

When is the last time you thought of suffering as a blessing?

“The kingdom neutralizes the effects of sin, but it does far more than this. It carries man to the highest level of knowledge and love and service and enjoyment of God of which he is capable, and nothing less than the attainment of this our Lord associates with the term ‘sonship.’” (Geerhardus Vos, The Kingdom and the Church, pp. 73–74).

“In them [the Beatitudes] Jesus describes the bliss of the kingdom of heaven as the inheritance of the [new] earth, as being filled with with the divine righteousness, as the seeing of God, as the manifestation of the children of God, all of these expressions pointing beyond the order of this world to the state of bliss and perfection that shall be revealed in the future world.” “Though the full realization of the of the salvation promised to the poor in spirit may be something of the future according to the rest of the Beatitudes, this nevertheless does not mean that the blessing must be conceived as something that cannot be given and received in the present.” (Herman Ridderbos, The Coming of the Kingdom, pp. 37, 78).

“When Jesus began to talk about the Kingdom, He first wanted to tell who its citizens were. . . . Grace, His favor that that forgives sin, reigns supreme in the Kingdom. The citizens of this Kingdom are those who submit in faith to His grace, who do not trust in their own wisdom or rely on their own virtues but are wholly dependent on the grace of God, accepting that grace and making no excuses for unbelief. People who live by God’s grace in such a way show that they take after their Father in heaven and resemble Him.” (S. G. De Graaf, Promise and Deliverance, Vol. 3, p. 50).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church