December 2007


For preparation for the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, I will be meditating on Isaiah 53. This week will be dedicated to some thoughts on the Suffering Servant, Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53:1-2 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Nothing about Jesus Christ was what the Jews of the day were looking for. They desired a prince to come and rule in Jerusalem and to free them from all of their outward oppression. Little did they know that what they needed above all things was a Christ that would build a spiritual kingdom. I imagine that each one of us, if we were in the same cultural circumstances, would be highly tempted to reject King Jesus, who appeared to be anything than a king. Our king looked more like a pauper.

John Gill said that in Christ there was, “nothing that looks grand and majestic, or like a king; they [unbelieving Israel] not beholding with an eye of faith his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father; only viewing him in his outward circumstances, and so made their estimate of him; they expected the Messiah as a temporal prince, appearing in great pomp and state, to deliver them from the Roman yoke, and restore their nation to its former splendour and glory; and being disappointed herein was the true reason of their unbelief, before complained of, and why they did not desire him, who is the desire of all nations.”

Many have a wrong perception of themselves; they measure themselves by themselves. They deem themselves to be fit, for they have no disagreement with their neighbor, are baptized, diligently go to hear God’s Word, live in such a manner that no one can say anything about them, and believe that Christ is the Savior–one must thus not doubt that one will also be saved and that Christ is also his Savior. Therefore all is truly well–Christ invites and commands us, and I then wish to be obedient to the Lord in this respect. Others add to this the fact that, prior to that time, they refrain from indulging in their bosom sins, read pious books, and pray more frequently. One thus puts himself into a pious mold and peacefully attends, eating and drinking judgment to himself (II: 578).

This July Grand Rapids will overflow with Reformed Presbyterians. There will be RPs from the US, Canada, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Cyprus, and other international locations. If you have never been to an international conference it is truly a foretaste of heaven. Imagine over 1500 people singing Psalms acapella in four part harmony. It is great!

Here is the website to check it out… and of course to register! It only happens once every four years!

JG Vos was an interesting theologian. He was called the ‘people’s theologian’ because he believed that theology was for the common man; not for the ivory towers. I whole-heartily agree. He was also Christian Reformed as a child, and later became a Reformed Presbyterian, after his father began teaching at Princeton seminary (back when that meant something).

Here is his article on Christian worship. He deals with some of the objections to Psalm singing and answers them in a very pastoral and humble way. Our position on worship is not a popular one in today’s Christian milieu, which makes it all the more important to use care and a pastoral approach to dealing with these differences. If the position is biblical and offensive to some Christians; then the Scriptures should do the offending, not the messenger. I would recommend that you read it before the Lord’s Day.

Join yourself to the godly so that it may become manifest that you are one with them in your support for Christ and your opposition to the world. Remain with the true church and be diligent in attending public worship and in partaking of the Lord’s Supper. Thereby one confesses the Lord Jesus. To separate yourself from her and to remain on your own is a quiet denial of Christ and His cause. If shame and injury come upon you due to your confession, rejoice in this, for it is a small beginning of martyrdom (III: 376).

Martyn Lloyd Jones gives some great insight on what a peacemaker according to the Scriptures looks like. He stresses the fact that these qualities are not natural characteristics, but supernatural ones. These are part of what the converted man or woman look like. He challenges the Christian who does not fit into this description to examine whether he or she is even a true believer. Here is a summary of what he says:

  1. Know when NOT to speak. (James 1.19)
  2. Always view every situation in the light of the Gospel. (Ask these questions: What are the implications of the this? What about the Cause? What about the Church? What about the people who are dependent? What about the people who are right outside?)
  3. Become positive and go out of your way to look for means and methods of making peace. (Romans 12.19-21)
  4. Endeavor to diffuse peace wherever you are. (Be selfless, lovable, approachable, and not standing on your own dignity.) (Phil. 2.1-5)

Long time friend, college classmate, and fellow RP, Brett Schutt, has started a blog. He has not seen much action so go give him a hearty welcome to the world of theo-blogging.

We all know how discouraging blogging can become without many comments!

God’s Covenant of Grace

Brett is a very bright man and will prove to show a lot of insight into God’s dealings with man.

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