Category Archives: reflection

Whose Honor Are You Seeking?

“There is therefore no doubt whatsoever that Jesus uses the idea of reward as an incentive to spur his disciples toward faithfulness and perseverance in pursuit of their calling. But he stated with equal forcefulness that those who do something to show off to others have already lost their reward from God. . . . [T]his kingdom is not purely a state of happiness consisting in external blessings but includes being a child of God and having purity of heart.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 4, p. 234)

“The Christian is to live in such a way that men looking at him, and seeing the quality of his life, will glorify God. He must always remember at the same time that he is not to do things in order that he may attract attention to himself.” (Martyn Lloyd-Jones Studies in the Sermon on the Mount)

“Whenever Jesus speaks of ‘your Father in heaven’ . . . he has in view the exclusive relationship between the Lord and those who will share in the bliss of the kingdom of heaven, and share in it now already.” (Herman Ridderbos The Coming of the Kingdom)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

The Children of Christmas

“It is the Spirit of adoption who produces the highest confidence that is given to men to exercise in relation to God. The people of God thereby recognize not only Christ as their Redeemer and Saviour, high priest and advocate at God’s right hand, not only the Holy Spirit as their sanctifier and advocate, not only the Father as the one who has called them into the fellowship of his Son but also as the one who has instated them in his family, and they enter into the holiest in the assurance that he, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, will own them and bless them as his own children. No approach to God partakes of comparable intimacy, confidence, and love with that of the simple, yet unspeakably eloquent, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Collecte Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2, pages 229–230)

“The covenantal gift of adoption in the Old Testament points to the Christological gift of adoption in the New Testament, when the Spirit who applied God’s filial favor to Israel corporately in the former epoch is given in full measure in the resurrected Christ Jesus in the inaugurated eschatological epoch,” (David B. Gardner, Sons in the Son: The Riches and Reach of Adoption in Christ, p, 160)

“But if faith regenerates us, so that we are the sons of God, and if God breathes faith into us from heaven, it plainly appears that not by possibility only, but actually–as we say–is the grace of adoption offered to us by Christ.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospel of John, on John 1:12)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The Light of Christmas

“[W]e have the obligation to accept that revelation of God, to understand it, and to respond to it with a life consisting in knowing, serving, and loving God with all our heart and mind.” “[T]here is an illumination of the Logos (John 1:9), or of the Spirit of God, in intellect, conscience, heart, and mind of human beings, such that they can understand God’s general revelation in nature and history. . . . [T]here is an illumination of human beings who live in the light of the gospel, by the Spirit of God, such that they can recognize and know the special revelation that comes to them in Christ and more specifically in Scripture as special revelation of God.”(Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 1, p. 350)

“Testimony is a serious matter and it is required to substantiate the truth of a matter. . . . Witness establishes the truth. It does more. It commits a man. . . . John lets us see that there are those like John the Baptist who have committed themselves by their witness to Christ. But he is bold enough to think that God has committed Himself.” (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, p. 90)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

In the Beginning

“The thought of incarnation is stupendous, for it means the conjunction in one person of all that belongs to Godhead and all that belongs to manhood. . . . The Son of God was sent and came into this world of sin, of misery, and of death.” (Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2, p. 133)

“This introduction [to the Gospel of John] shows Jesus to be deity (v. 1) and that he was the creator of the cosmos in the very beginning (vv. 2–3, 10b). Verse 4 begins to show him to be the commencement of another new creation at his incarnation: he was the source of ‘life’ and the creative ‘light’ (v. 4) that ‘shines in the darkness.’ And just as the first light in Gen. 1 was not swallowed up by the darkness, so Jesus as the ‘light’ was not dimmed by the surrounding darkness (v. 5).” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 392)

“There was never a time when the Word was not. There never was a thing that did not depend on Him for its very existence. . . . John is affirming that the Word existed before creation, which makes it clear that the Word was not created. It is of the utmost importance to grasp this.” (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, NICNT, pages 73–74)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Wrapped with Love

“Holy Scripture is a hymn of praise to the goodness of the Lord; from it Scripture derives the work of creation, as well as all life and blessings for humans and animals (Ps. 8; 19; 36:5–7; 65:44; Matt. 4:45; Acts 14:17; James 1:17). It is extended over all his works (Ps. 145:9) and endures forever (Ps. 136).” “God is King; the King of kings and the Lord of lords; a King who in Christ is a Father to his subjects, and a Father who is at the same time a King over his children. Among creatures, in the world of animals, humans, and angels, all that is found in the way of care for, love toward, and protection of one by the other is a faint adumbration of of God’s providential order over the work of his hands. His absolute power and perfect love, accordingly, are the true object of the faith in providence reflected in Holy Scripture.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2, pages 213 and 593)

“To love our enemies is to live a life patterned after God. . . . [T] idea of imitating God is biblical. It is our destiny and our obligation to be conformed to the character of God.” (Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew, Vol. 1, p. 191)

“Like Jesus, his followers are to show benevolence to their enemies in order to reflect God’s benevolence which he shows to evil people. Thus, they are ‘to be complete’ or ‘perfect’ as is their Father (i.e., they are to aspire toward the end time goal of the law, which the Father perfectly reflects).” (G, K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 426)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church

Getting Even—Or Not

“His disciples must not resist one who is evil, that is, they must not (according to the rule ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’) return evil for evil. They must not counter an unfair demand of their neighbor with an equally unfair demand of their own. They must not attempt to avenge themselves on their neighbor with like conduct but rather seek to win him with love, patience, long-suffering, leniency, and a spirit of accommodation. Christ is absolutely not condemning every instance of defending one’s own rights. . . . but the rights of others as well as our own must, according to Christ, be esteemed so highly that they may not in any way be subordinated to personal vindictiveness, hatred, self-interest, to the evil tendencies of the human heart.” (Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 3, p. 161)

“Retribution is never for the purpose of placating personal revenge but for the purpose of satisfying justice. Justice is not vindictive though it is vindicatory.” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, p. 174)

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

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.