Monday, February 11, 2019

Quotes of Note

Each Monday, we share quotes we found encouraging, convicting, thought-provoking, or all of the above.


For my Pentateuch class, we're reading a book called Who Shall Ascend to the Mountain of the Lord? by Michael Morales. It is a biblical theology on Leviticus. I have read other books from this series, and they were excellent.

In the second chapter of the book, Morales, in the context of discussing the seventh day of creation,  emphasizes that humans were created in the image of God for the purpose of being in the presence of God:
The human being is regarded as God's counterpart on earth, the "You" who is addressed by God, and the "I" who is responsible to God. Until this wonder sets in deeply, that the Potter has crafted a vessel with whom he can interact and engage relationally, understanding the image of God will be limited to the goings on of the first six days. Humanity, nevertheless, is not the culmination of creation, but rather humanity in the Sabbath day communion with God. This engagement with the divine is what -- and what alone -- can fulfill the purpose and potential for the image of God, not merely as a keeper of the lower creation, but as a lover of the fathomless Uncreated; in this way and for this purpose the image of God itself becomes the wonder of creation. In short, humanity was created for the heavenward gaze, the human soul for a life of prayer.


This quote is from Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson. When we think about the term "holiness" or "holy," it is often described as "to be separate from" or "to be cut off from." But Ferguson asks whether we are beginning at the wrong place. These definitions are from the point of view of the creature and sinner, which may not give the entire picture.
Any description we give of what God is like in himself - in technical terms, describing his 'attributes' - must meet a simple test. For anything to be true of God as he is in himself it must be true quite apart from his work in creation, quite apart from our experience or even the existence of angels, archangels, cherubim and seraphim. It must be true of God simply as he always existed in the eternal Trinity. But in that case, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had no 'attribute' that involved separation...
What then is God's holiness? What do we mean when we say 'Holy Father' and 'Holy Son' and 'Holy Spirit' and 'Holy Trinity'?
We mean the perfectly pure devotion of each of these three persons to the other two. We mean the attribute in the Trinity that corresponds to the ancient words that describe marriage: 'forsaking all others, and cleaving only unto thee'  - absolute, permanent, exclusive, pure, irreversible, and fully expressed devotion. (pages 1-2)


Here's how Graeme Goldsworthy summarizes his study tracing the theme of "Son of God" (which is not the same as "God the Son") through the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelation:
As Son of God, [Jesus] is the new Adam, the new Israel, the new humanity. All the promises of God made to his people are fulfilled in Jesus: he is the new creation, the new Promised land, the new Jerusalem, the new temple, and the new people of God. Thus, his resurrection signals the fact that he is the Son of God (Romans 1:3-4) by demonstrating that he fulfills the promises of the Old Testament (Acts 13:32-33). Jesus as the Son of God defines our salvation as part and parcel of the renewal of all things: the new heaven and earth. Jesus as the Son of God, declared to be so by his resurrection, shows that our salvation is not merely the saving of our soul but the redemption of our whole being—body, mind, and soul—through our own resurrection. Jesus as the Son of God, by his death and resurrection, was putting the whole universe back together from the futility to which is has been subjected because of the human rebellion against the Creator (Romans 8:19-23). The consummation of this total regeneration is described in the book of Revelation as resurrection and the new heaven and earth. The dwelling place of God with his people is envisaged as a new Jerusalem let down from heaven to the new earth. The coming again of Jesus, our resurrection, and the renewal of all things is our certain expectation based on the fact that Jesus is the Son of God.
From The Son of God and the New Creation.

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