Immanuel: God with Us!

“As a natural phenomenon the virgin birth is unbelievable; only as a miracle, only when its profound meaning is recognized, can it be accepted as a fact.” (J. G. Machen, The Virgin Birth of Christ, pp. 217–218).

“While Matthew presents the quotation [Isaiah 7:14] as his own editorial comment rather than as part of the angel’s message to Joseph, he expects his reader to incorporate this scriptural authentication for Mary’s unique experience into their understanding of why Joseph changed his mind.” (R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 48).

“Christ saves, he delivers us from sins. This deliverance consists of two parts. Having made a complete atonement, he brings us a free pardon, which delivers us from condemnation to death, and reconciles us to God. Again, by the sanctifying influences of his Spirit, he frees us from the tyranny of Satan, that we may live ‘unto righteousness,’ (2 Peter 2:24).” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Gospels at Matthew 1:21).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

Why All These Names?

“Matthew is narrating the record of the new age, the new creation, launched by the coming death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And since Matthew is narrating a genealogy of Jesus, it is likely that the Gen. 5:1 reference is uppermost in mind, and that Jesus is being painted with the genealogical brush of Adam.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 389).

“[Matthew’s] purpose to present Jesus as standing squarely in the center of the historical movement or revelation and redemption becomes more and more conspicuous. . . . As Abraham’s seed and as royal son of David’s line Jesus is seen to be no isolated figure, no mere innovator, but one who can be adequately measured only in terms of what has gone before.” (Ned B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ, p. 124).

“Matthew tells us who Jesus is. Yet his nature is never separate from his work, for he is the Savior for the nations. Matthew 1:1 introduces us to the hero by stating his name and his origin. He is Jesus the Savior, Christ the anointed, the son of Abraham, hence of both pagan and Jewish lineage, he is the Son of David, the great king.” (Daniel M. Doriani, Matthew, Vol. 1, p. 5).

Quotes from the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church.

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 Comfort of God’s Glory

“The immediate context of Isa. 40:3 is a good example of how in­extricably linked Isaiah’s restora­tion prophecies are with ideas of reconciliation to and acceptance by God.” (G. K. Beale, A New Tes­tament Biblical Theology, p. 549).

“God will again appear among men. This time, how­ever, it will be an eschato­logical coming, a revelation of the glory of God that will display itself in His salva­tion.” (E. J. Young, Com­mentary on Isaiah, Vol. 3, p.30).

The next 101 Bible Study, meeting Friday, June 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the Astoria area, focuses on Isaiah 40. You are invited! Call 971/238-6101 for location.

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.