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I. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence, do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable;a yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation;therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his Church;c and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;d which maketh the holy Scripture to be most necessary;e those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.f

a.Psa 19:1-3Rom 1:19-201:32 with Rom. 2:12:14-15. b. 1 Cor 1:212:13-14. c. Heb 1:1. dProv 22:19-21Isa 8:19-20Mat 4:4710Luke 1:3-4Rom 15:4. e. 2 Tim 3:152 Pet 1:19. f. Heb 1:1-2.

Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), 1.1, Of Holy Scripture

“No other sufficient cause can possibly be assigned of this propagation the gospel, but only God’s own power. Nothing else can be devised as the reason of it but this. Their was certainly some reason Here was a great and wonderful effect the most remarkable change that ever was in the face of the world of mankind since the flood; and this effect was not without some cause. Now, what other cause can be devised but only the divine power? It was not the outward strength of the instruments which were employed in it. At first, the gospel was preached only by a few fishermen, who were without power and worldly interest to support them. It was not their craft and policy that produced this wonderful effect; for they were poor illiterate men. It was not the agreeableness of the story they had to tell to the notions and principles of mankind. This was no pleasant able: a crucified God and Saviour was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness. It was not the agreeableness of their doctrines to the dispositions of men: for nothing is more contrary to the corruptions of men than the pure doctrines of the gospel. This effect therefore can have proceeded from no other cause than the power and agency of God: and if the power of God was what was exercised to cause the gospel to prevail, then the gospel is his word; for surely God does not use his almighty power to promote a mere imposture and delusion.”

-Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758)

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:8-10).

We’ve all felt the letdown. There is expectation, there is buildup, there is excitement, and then … it all falls flat. The climax we expected disappoints; or really, a quite unexpected anticlimax comes in its place, leaving us deflated and depressed.

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IMG_3868[1]“Cuan grande debe ser ese amor que produjo el bello tejido del universo, sin la ayuda de causa material alguna!  Esto proclama que es verdaderamente infinito: pues nada menos podria unir extremos tan distantes como el nada y el ser…Es por el Poder Divino que los objetos celestiales had rodado constantes en sus esferas por tantas edades, sin gastarse o salirse de su propio curso; y que los elementos tumultuosos han perseverado en su orden hasta el dia de hoy.  El preserva las alianzas de la naturaleza, pone fronteras al mar rugiente, y lo mantiene dentro de sus limites con una faja de arena.”

-Thomas Boston (1676-1732)

IMG_3868[1]“O how great must that power be, which produced the beautiful fabric of the universe, without the concurrence of any material cause! This proclaims it to be truly infinite: for nothing less could make such distant extremes as nothing and being to meet together. . . It is by the Divine Power that the heavenly bodies have constantly rolled about in their spheres for so many ages, without wearing or moving out of their proper course; and that the tumultuous elements have persisted in their order to this very day. He preserves the confederacies of nature, sets bounds to the raging sea, and keeps it within its limits by a girdle of sand.”

– Thomas Boston (1676-1732)

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

 

“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

 

 

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