April 2015 New Horizons

The Trinity and Christ’s Resurrection

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The Trinity and Christ’s Resurrection

Most of us appreciate the sun. We enjoy its warmth as the flowers bloom in spring and turn their faces toward it, as to a faithful and life-giving benefactor. Yet the sun often serves as a backdrop to our day. We do not often actively meditate on how necessary it is to sustain our lives and how greatly it proclaims God’s glory to us (Ps. 19:4–6). One of my fellow elders at First OPC in Sunnyvale, California, is a solar physicist. He spends a great deal of his time studying the glory of the sun, and, as a faithful believer in Christ, he strives to do so to the glory of his Creator. He sees wonders in this part of God’s creation that few of us are aware of, even though we all enjoy its benefits. So it is with the doctrine of the Trinity for most Christians. God’s triunity ties together all of the strands of the gospel in the person and work of Jesus Christ, including his resurrection. The Trinity is the tapestry into which the doctrines of the New Testament are woven, and without which our ... Read more

Truth As It Is in Jesus

After describing the ungodly in Ephesians 4:17–19, the apostle Paul suddenly exclaims in verse 20, “But you have not so learned Christ.” Then in the subsequent verses he vividly describes the tremendous contrast between believers and unbelievers. The ungodly walk in sinful and wicked lusts, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, and being alienated from the life of God, because of ignorance and the blindness of their heart. Those who learn Christ should live differently. The doctrine of Christ in Scripture teaches us to renounce the sinful desires and inclinations of our fallen nature. If our lives are not different, we have not learned Christ. Knowing Christ means putting to death our sin. God reproves the fleeting knowledge of the gospel that vainly fills many people whom the Holy Spirit has not made alive. Knowledge of Christ that does not produce dying to sin and godly living is neither true nor sincere. Knowledge of doctrine that does not produce godliness ... Read more

Church Membership and Participation in the Lord’s Supper

You may wonder why we in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church believe that a person must be a member in good standing in a Bible-believing, evangelical church before he or she may partake of the Lord’s Supper. That’s a good question, and one that I’ve been asked many times. Our practice strikes many people as new and unusual because the more common practice in North American churches is to leave the decision whether to participate up to each individual. Why then do we require people to be members in a local church before they may come to the Lord’s Table? In a nutshell, we believe that is what God requires. That may seem to be a bold claim, so let me try briefly to defend it. If this answer is a bit long, I apologize, but a good question deserves a good answer. Christians and the Local Church First of all, consider that membership in a local church is a necessary part of scriptural Christian living. In Hebrews 13:17, God commands, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping ... Read more