Hodge On Every-Member Ministry (Ephesians 4:12)

V. 12. Having mentioned the officers Christ gave his church, the apostle states the end for which this gift was conferred—it was πρὸς τὸν καταρτισμὸν τῶν ἁγίων, εἰς ἔργον διακονίας, εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τοῦ σώματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, for the perfecting of the saints, . . . Continue reading →

Beza On The Threefold Division Of The Law

The law of the Lord our God that was handed down to His people through Moses is partly ethical, partly sacrificial, and partly political.3 The ethical portion shows in what way each person must be disposed of both toward God most of . . . Continue reading →

Of Conventions, Prayers, And Church

The Importance Of Distinguishing Sacred And Secular

HARMEET-DHILLON

Both the opening and closing of last night’s events are a good argument for doing away with public, shared prayers in such events. It’s not that delegates to political conventions should not pray. They should. It’s not that candidates should not pray. They should. It’s not that voters should not pray. They should. It is dubious, however, whether it is appropriate to open a common, secular, assembly with prayer. To whom are we praying? In whose name? What are we praying? As a Christian minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America I am not free to offer prayers to God that he has not authorized. I am not free to pray to any other deity than the Triune God of Scripture, to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not authorized to approach God in any other name than the name of Jesus. It is not a matter of bigotry. It is a matter of truth, eternal life, and salvation. Jesus was raised from the dead. He is the truth (John 14:6). There are not multiple ways to God. Religion is not multifaceted expression of a common religious experience. It is revealed by God to us. Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (21d): Be Not Surprised By Fiery Trials (1 Peter 4:12–19)

refiners-fire

We live in the season or epoch (καιρὸς) of redemptive history, after the ascension and before the return of Christ, in which, from time to time, we face both informal and formal persecution for the sake of Christ. When Peter’s words might be understood to say, “For this is the season for judgment (κρίμα) to begin (ἄρξασθαι) from (ἀπὸ) God’s house…”. As Johnson notes, this is the pattern in Malachi. We might see also the whole history of national Israel from the beginning of the national covenant to its dissolution in the exile. The Lord repeatedly entered into judgment with his people and he began with them before he commissioned his (then) national people to commence holy war against the surrounding nations. These judgments were acts of purification of his people, which gets us back to the language of vs.12 above. The fire upon God’s house (following Johnson) is the fire of purification, of sanctification through suffering. Continue reading →

When A Society Turns To Skepticism

No amount of force, or gun-control legislation, is going to fix a society where there is no longer a sense that we have law rooted in truth, which every citizen, in every station of life, respects and takes seriously. —Star Parker