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A sermon by the Rev. Bryan Peters on Acts 14:1-18.

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IMG_0285The following quote will strike our death-insulated, secular, consumerist age as morbid if not cruel. But as death is inescapable, we would do well to learn from a wiser generation and all the more because their eyes were better trained to behold the great beyond. They realized that death was but the gateway into realms of everlasting happiness for the blessed and of misery for the damned. We could use a good ice-water dousing; and frankly, so could our over-stimulated children.

“Children, ’tis your Dawning time. It may be your Dying time…Go unto the Burying-places; There you will see many a Grave shorter than yourselves…Yea, you may be at play one hour; dead, dead the next.”

Cotton Mather (1663 – 1728)

 

Exo 32:1, “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we [know] not what is become of him.”

“Hence we may understand that hypocrites so fear God as that religion vanishes from their hearts, unless there be some task-master (exactor) standing by them to keep them in the path of duty.”

-John Calvin

 

 

“Jesus Christ is like the white of an egg, tasteless in the world’s mouth.”

-Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661)

Secondly, propitiation is not a turning of the wrath of God into love. The propitiation of the divine wrath, effected in the expiatory work of Christ, is the provision of God’s eternal and unchangeable love, so that through the propitiation of his own wrath that love may realize its purpose in a way that is consonant with and to the glory of the dictates of his holiness. It is one thing to say that the wrathful God is made loving. That would be entirely false. It is another thing to say the wrathful God is loving. That is profoundly true. But it is also true that the wrath by which he is wrathful is propitiated through the cross. This propitiation is the fruit of the divine love that provided it. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10). The propitiation is the ground upon which the divine love operates and the channel through which it flows in achieving its end.”

-John Murray, Redemption Accomplished & Applied

“The thing above all else to be remembered is that, according to all the Gospels – Synoptics no less than John, Mark no less than Matthew and Luke – Jesus was a supernatural Person. On that view it was inevitable that an atmosphere of mystery should envelop Him. It would be unnatural to expect that the career of such a Person should unfold itself smoothly and transparently, that there should be no riddles, no problems, no apparent contradictions. And a certain amount of secrecy might also reasonably be expected. The privacy of the supernatural, its tendency to withdraw from the glare of public exposure must be taken into account. . . [even] from a purely literary point of view, is it not likely that Mark, writing the life of such a Person, should have taken pains to introduce something of the chiaroscuro in which the supernatural is [accustomed] to veil itself?”

-Geerhardus Vos, The Self-Disclosure of Jesus, p. 69

 

 

Q. 38.43. What is the difference between believers seeing God here, and their seeing him there? Here they have only a sight, as it were, of his back parts: but there they shall see his face, Rev 22:4; it is but a passing view they can have of him here, but there they shall eternally, without interruption, feed the eyes of their souls upon him, Ps 17:15: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

-James Fisher, Fisher’s Catechism (1753)

 

 

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