The Church with an Open Door

key_11334c“Just as the master possesses the key to that house, and has complete authority with respect to permitting anyone to enter or leave, and so entire authority over the house, so God will give to Eliakim a key to the house or dynasty of David. This key will be placed upon his shoulder, an expression which means that the responsibility of of the Davidic government is is to rest as a burden on Eliakim’s shoulder. The importance of the position is seen in that this same description is applied to the risen Christ in Revelation 3:7.” (E. J. Young, The Book of Isaiah, Vol. 2, p. 114).

“Christ’s authority is a surpassing fulfillment of the ‘key of David’ prophecy in Isaiah 22:20-25. What neither Eliakim nor any other saint of the Old Testament could do, Christ has done. His reliability and strength are such that one can rest on him all the weight of the redeemed people and their destiny.” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King, p. 91).

“Though the true church is a spiritually inviolable temple, it suffers presently in its physical form…. [A]t the final consummation no form of physical or spiritual suffering will harm the church because of the full manifestation of God’s presence in its midst.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, p. 294).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

God-Breathed Scripture Is Useful

breathc_2311“The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and Scripture alone is the Word of God for us…. This is the weapon God has given and, let it be remembered, Scripture, because of its sufficien­cy, is adequate to every controversy and to every challenge if we interpret and apply it aright in the richness and fullness of its counsel.” (“Reforma­tion,” Collect­ed Writings of John Murray, Vol. 1, p. 293).

The Sunday afternoon Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC focuses on 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

Only a Name?

Rv0305“Jesus calls himself ‘he who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars’ (Rev. 3:1). The seven Spirits are God’s one Spirit, who is limitless, knowing all, present everywhere, and almighty. In Revelation 5 John will see the Spirit symbolized by by the Lamb’s seven eyes, which “are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth” 5:6; cf. Zech. 3:9; 4:10). The Son of Man who sees his churches also holds their identity (stars/angels) securely in his hand. This church has underrated Jesus’ present knowledge and therefore faces a shocking awakening at his coming.” (Dennis E. Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb, p. 84).

“The essence of a church is not its programs, buildings, past achievements, reputation, institutional greatness, or formal doctrinal correctness, but its spiritual life. This life comes only through fellowship with the living Christ, and is demonstrated through the seriousness of repentance and obedience.” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King, p. 90).

From the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, continuing a sermon series on the Book of Revelation.

Butterflies, Your Bodies, and Spiritual Gifts

  • What do butterflies have to do with your bodies?
  • Why does Paul call you to be a living sacrifice?
  • What are your spiritual gifts, and how can you recognize them?

Rm1202The 101 Bible Study explores these and other questions as we study Romans 12. The study meets this Friday, 6:30 p.m., in a home near Astoria. Call 971/238-6101 for more details. You are invited. Questions are welcome!

“The basis and spring of sanctification are union with Christ, more especially union with him in the virtue of his death and the power of his resurrection.” (John Murray, The Epistle to the Ro­mans, Vol. 2, page 109).

“The way to determine our spiri­tual gifts is not to ask, ‘What is my “thing” spiritually, my spiritual specialty, that sets me apart from other believers and gives me a distinguishing niche in the church?’….The question to ask is, ‘What in the situation in which God has place me are the particular op­portunities I see for serving oth­er believers in word and deed (cf. I Peter 4:10f.)?’ ‘What are the specific needs confronting me that need to be ministered to?’ Posing and effectively re­sponding to this question will go a long way not only toward discovering but also actually using our spiritual gifts.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Perspec­tives on Pentecost, p. 53).

 

Written in God’s Book

cave_16792ac“Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:16

This evening’s Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC continues to look at what the Bible teaches us about prayer. Tonight we focus on David’s prayer found in Psalm 139.

“That power or hand of God leads David as a shepherd leads his sheep or a father his child. The place is distant, and David knows it not, yet God’ s power is leading him.” (Edward J. Young, Psalm 139: A Study in the Omniscience of God, p. 56).

“Oh! that we might turn from the superficiality of so much of present-day religious life and come once again to know God in His wondrous majesty! . . . He is God, and we are but men. Before such a God the sinner cannot stand. He has no right. Yet we know that we are sinners, and that we have offended this holy God. May we, too, pray that He will search us and know our hearts and see if there be any wicked way within us! And if such a wicked way be found, may we lean upon His own mercy, provided for us in the gift of the Son of His love, even our Lord Jesus Christ, the only One who can lead us in the way everlasting.” (Edward J. Young, Psalm 139: A Study in the Onmiscience of God, pp. 116-117).

 

 

star11c“The flaw in the Thyatirians’ growing faith and love was naïveté, a lack of discernment that took people at face value rather than putting them to the test of truth. Jesus says to the church at Thyatira, ‘I love your love, but I hate your tolerance.’” (Dennis E. Johnson, The Triumph of the Lamb, p. 80).

“Sin can always come up with excuses to do what it wants, to do what is convenient and comfortable. It may take a prophetically penetrating criticism like John’s to bring people up short. Or it may take even more: the hand of God in punishment (vv. 22–33).” (Vern S. Poythress, The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation, p. 89).

“This ‘overcoming’ occurs before the believer inherits the promises of 2:26–28, as in the letters to Tyatira and Pergamum. And this ‘conquering” of sin (so 2:4–5, 14–16, 20–24) entails being conquered by the world, since, when believers refuse to compromise with the world, they are persecuted by the world.” “It is not just how people die that proves them to be overcomers, but the whole of their Christian lives are to be characterized by ‘overcoming,’ which is a process completed at death.” (G. K. Beale, The Book of Revelation, pp. 269, 271).

 

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

The Light of God’s Face in 2018

A16year04pc“The form of Christ’s resurrection power in this world is the fellowship of his sufferings as the cross-conformed sufferings of the church (Phil. 3:10). . . . With Calvin, we must recognize that as Christ’s whole life was nothing but a sort of perpetual cross, so the Christian life in its entirety, not just certain parts, is to be a continual cross (Institutes, 3:8:1, 2). Where the church is not being conformed to Christ in suffering, it is simply not true to itself as the church; it is without glory, nor will it inherit glory. Just as the Spirit of glory came upon Jesus at his Jordan-baptism opening up before him the way of suffering obedience that led to the cross, so the same Holy Spirit, with which the church was baptized at Pentecost, points it to the path of suffering.” (Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., “The Usefulness of the Cross,” Westminster Theological Journal, 41.1 [Spring 1979]).

“The mercy-seat was a pledge of the presence of God, where he had promised to be near his people to hear their prayers. . . . [B]y the title which is here attributed to God, there is expressed his wonderful love towards men in humbling, and, so to speak, lowering himself in order to come down to them, and choose for himself a seat and habitation on the earth, that he might dwell in the midst of them.” (John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms, at Psalm 80:1).

“God, it seems, prefers an excess of boldness in prayer to an excess of caution, as long as the boldness is something more than loquacity (Ec. 5:2; Mt. 6:7). We come to Him as sons, not as applicants.” (Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150, p. 289).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC