Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.
My early instruction as a Christian took place in church circles which were highly dispensational. Study and preaching from Revelation had more to do with talking about the rapture and wondering who the anti-Christ was than it did with actually studying the words themselves. I've long wanted to read Revelation with open eyes. I have a copy of the book Revelation Verse By Verse, by Grant Osborne, and I'm hoping to study more closely what Revelation teaches. Revelation has a lot to say about worship:
Worship takes place in virtually every chapter and becomes the unifying center of the action. It is the natural response to God's absolute sovereignty and Christ's atoning sacrifice. The worship scenes elevate readers into the very presence of God and lift them above elements to the Almighty Lord. In fact, there is an antithetical element, for readers are asked to choose between worship of the Triune Godhead and the false trinity . . . The well known challenge says it well -- who is on the throne of your life? There is serious idolatry in the Western world today; there is a god-shelf in our homes, and it can contain anything we choose to put above God in our lives -- even good things like our checkbook, our possessions, our family and our comfort, or our security. God and the Lamb are alone worthy of worship (4:11; 5:9). In fact, the best way to persevere and be a victor is to live a life of worship.
Earlier this year, I purchased and read with great enjoyment Sarah Ivill's wonderful book written to help laypersons to better think Biblically and live covenantally. I appreciated the richness of the theological teaching and the practical application throughout the book. Here is one sampling from the second chapter to chew on:
The Westminster Larger Catechism explains in answer 4 that “the Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation.” Let’s unpack this answer a little bit to better understand how the Scriptures reveal themselves to be God’s Word.
First, the Bible reveals itself to be God’s word by its “majesty and purity.” Since God Himself is majestic, greater than all other names, His word is also majestic, greater than all other words. The psalmist says, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18). God’s word is also pure. The psalmist tells us, The words of the LORD are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times. (Ps. 12:6) And, “the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps. 19:8). Second, the Bible reveals itself to “be the Word of God…by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God.” Jesus told the Jews, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). It is Christ who is the climax of the covenant story and who is testified about on every page of the Bible. As the Covenant King who comes extending grace and mercy, as well as the Covenant Servant to perfectly obey what God’s people failed to obey and die a cursed death in their place, He holds the covenant story together as the hero of it all.
Ivill, Sarah. (2018) The Covenantal Life: Appreciating the Beauty of Theology and Community (Kindle Locations 378-392). Reformation Heritage Books.
There were more quotes that I wanted to share in my review of Why Can't We Be Friends? last week than space would allow. Therefore, here is one that I omitted on how our identity is found in our Elder Brother, Jesus.
The best-intentioned biological brothers could not possibly fulfill the vocation of keeping one another to this degree. But Jesus claims that position—the keeper of Israel, the keeper of his church; he has kept us in the Father’s name and hasn’t lost even one whom the Father has given him (see John 17:12). Psalm 121 shows us that Jesus can do this because he is the keeper of our souls. Charles Spurgeon remarks, “Soul-keeping is the soul of keeping. If the soul can be kept, all is kept.” While Cain resented his brotherly responsibility to care for Abel, Jesus graciously assumes this office, “fulfilling it in person.” He does this through suffering. To be our Elder Brother, Jesus assumed flesh and blood so that he could truly guard and preserve us from eternal death by living the life that we could not live and dying the death that we all deserved. Cain took Abel’s life because he was jealous of the Father’s affection for him. Jesus gave his own life so that we could share in the Father’s name and in eternal communion with him. This is the beautiful story of brotherhood.