Tag Archives: God the Father

“The heartbeat of God’s entire revelation” by Herman Bavinck

“In the doctrine of the Trinity we feel the heartbeat of God’s entire revelation for the redemption of humanity. Though foreshadowed in the Old Testament, it only comes to light fully in Christ.

Religion can be satisfied with nothing less than God himself. Now in Christ God Himself comes out to us, and in the Holy Spirit He communicates Himself to us.

The work of re-creation is trinitarian through and through. From God, through God, and in God are all things.

Re-creation is one divine work from beginning to end, yet it can be described in terms of three agents: it is fully accomplished by the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion of the Holy Spirit.

A Christian’s faith life, accordingly, points back to three generative principles. ‘We know all these things,’ says article 9 of the Belgic Confession, ‘from the testimonies of holy Scripture, as well as from the operations of the persons, especially from those we feel within ourselves.’

We know ourselves to be children of the Father, redeemed by the Son, and in communion with both through the Holy Spirit. Every blessing, both spiritual and material, comes to us from the triune God.

In that name we are baptized; that name sums up our confession; that name is the source of all the blessings that come down to us; to that name we will forever bring thanksgiving and honor; in that name we find rest for our souls and peace for our conscience.

Christians have a God above them, before them, and within them. Our salvation, both in this life and in the life to come, is bound up with the doctrine of the Trinity.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation, Vol. 4, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 4: 333–334.

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Filed under Baptism, Christian Theology, Communion with God, Faith, God the Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Trinity

“A Prayer to God Before A Meal” by Matthew Henry

“Gracious God,

You are the Protector and Preserver of the whole creation.

You have nourished us throughout our lives up to the present day with sufficient food, though we are evil and unthankful.

Forgive all our sins, for by them we have forfeited Your mercies.

Restore our right standing with you in Christ Jesus.

Enable us to taste covenant love in commonplace mercies.

Give us the grace to use these mercies and all the comforts of Your creation to the glory of Christ, our great Benefactor and Redeemer.

Amen.”

–Matthew Henry, A Way to Pray: A Biblical Method for Enriching Your Prayer Life and Language by Shaping Your Words with Scripture, Ed. O. Palmer Robertson (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1710/2015), 373.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Communion with God, Jesus Christ, Matthew Henry, Prayer, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Thanksgiving, The Gospel

“Adoption in Christ” by Marcus Peter Johnson

“Jesus Christ is an inexhaustible fountain of blessing to us (Eph. 1:3; 1 Cor. 1:30). When He gives Himself to us that we might enjoy Him, He is not only our justification—the One through whom we experience the forgiveness of sins and the fellowship of His righteousness—He is also our sanctification— the One through whom we are made holy and are transformed into His image.

Yet He is the source of yet another blessing, one so amazing that it would be blasphemous to suggest if it were not true. In our union with Christ, the only begotten Son of God, we participate in what is most precious to Him: His relationship with His Father.

We are, in union with Christ, adopted into the family of God; we become the children, the sons and daughters, of the Most High God. The blessing of adoptive sonship answers another desperate need we have as sinners.

Whereas justification (a forensic benefit) addresses the guilt and condemnation that accompanies sin, and sanctification (a transformative benefit) addresses the depravity and pollution of our nature, adoptive sonship (a familial benefit) addresses our estrangement and alienation from God…

The neglect of adoption in the soteriological understanding of the church is sorely lamentable, for our participation in the sonship of Jesus Christ is indeed basic to the New Testament gospel.

From the biblical teaching on adoption, we learn that we are restored to a familial intimacy with God the Father, through which we are assured of His eternal fatherly care and provision, a love and indulgence that exceeds our imaginations.

We learn that our relationship to God is so radically changed that we go from being ‘children of wrath’ (Eph. 2:3) to His beloved sons and daughters, a relationship in which the Father vouchsafes to care for our every need.

Perhaps even more amazing, we learn that by sharing in the Son we share in His rights as the Firstborn and only begotten Son of God—we are ‘heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ’ (Rom. 8:17).

Our minds and hearts should surely stagger under the weight of this reality. It simply exceeds our comprehension.

All of this makes defining adoption concisely a rather difficult task. Nevertheless, here is my effort:

Adoption is that benefit of being united to the Son of God through which we share in His sonship with the Father, become the beloved children of God, and enjoy all the privileges and rights of being included in God’s family.

–Marcus Peter Johnson, One With Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation (Wheaton: Crossway, 2013), 145-146, 147.

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“This is surely the apex of grace” by John Murray

“By adoption the redeemed become sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty; they are introduced into and given the privileges of God’s family…

Adoption, as the term clearly implies, is an act of transfer from an alien family into the family of God Himself. This is surely the apex of grace and privilege.

We would not dare to conceive of such grace far less to claim it apart from God’s own revelation and assurance. It staggers imagination because of its amazing condescension and love.

The Spirit alone could be the seal of it in our hearts. ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God’ (1 Cor. 2:9, 10).

It is only as there is the conjunction of the witness of revelation and the inward witness of the Spirit in our hearts that we are able to scale this pinnacle of faith and say with filial confidence and love, ‘Abba Father!’…

It is the same Person who is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ in the ineffable mystery of the trinity who is the Father of believers in the mystery of His adoptive grace.

God the Father is not only the specific agent in the act of adoption; He also constitutes those who believe in Jesus’ name His own children.

Could anything disclose the marvel of adoption or certify the security of its tenure and privilege more effectively than the fact that the Father Himself, on account of whom are all things and through whom are all things, who made the captain of salvation perfect through sufferings, becomes by deed of grace the Father of the many sons whom He will bring to glory?

And that is the reason why the Captain of salvation Himself is not ashamed to call them brethren and can exult with joy unspeakable, ‘Behold I and the children whom God hath given to me’ (Heb. 2:13).”

–John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 132, 134, 140.

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Filed under Adoption, Christian Theology, God the Father, grace, Jesus Christ, John Murray, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Union with Christ

“Our love for His Son” by Mark Jones

“Believers should always remember that nothing makes us more like the Father than our love for His Son.”

–Mark Jones, Knowing Christ (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2015), 12.

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Filed under Banner of Truth, Christian Theology, Glory of Christ, God the Father, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“You have Him” by Sinclair Ferguson

“Owen’s great burden and emphasis in helping us to understand what it means to be a Christian is to say:

Through the work of the Spirit, the heavenly Father gives you to Jesus and gives Jesus to you. You have Him.

Everything you can ever lack is found in Him; all you will ever need is given to you in Him. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.’

For the Father has ‘blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.’

It is as true for the newest, weakest Christian as for the most mature believer: from the first moment of faith, we are fully, finally, irreversibly justified in Christ.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 64-65.

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“To be a Christian” by Sinclair Ferguson

“To be a Christian is, first and foremost, to belong to the triune God and to be named for Him. This is the heart and core of the privileges of the gospel.

Once we were aliens from the family of God, strangers to Christ, without desire or power to please Him. But now, through the Son whom the Father sent into the world to save us, and the Spirit who brings all the resources of Christ to us, we have come to know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

To become a Christian believer is to be brought into a reality far grander than anything we could ever have imagined. It means communion with the triune God.”

–Sinclair Ferguson, The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen (Sanford, FL: Reformation Trust, 2014), 28.

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