Sometimes you run out of room or time in your Lord’s Day sermon, and so “Monday Morning Pulpit” is a chance to expand upon or reinforce ideas you didn’t have a chance to finish during the sermon.
Doing some last minute sermon prep the other week brought me to this gem in Herman Ridderbos’ The Coming of the Kingdom. It was incredibly helpful to recast some of the homiletical language from the sermon in the kingdom language that Ridderbos so helpfully draws out from the text:
…in John’s [the Baptist] and Jesus’ preaching the coming and break-through of the kingdom are put in the foreground, and not the state of things at the time of fulfillment. This tremendous dynamic of the divine coming which sets the world of the angels in motion (Matt. 1; Luke 2); fills the devil’s empire with alarm (Matt 4:3ff; Mark 1:24; Matt 12:29); yes, even causes Satan to fall from heaven (Luke 10:18), permeates and transmits itself in everything and in all who are touched by it. For the coming of the kingdom is the initial stage of the great drama of the history of the end. It throws man and the world into a crisis.
Ridderbos reflects on “how much Christ, the law, the Spirit, and love constitute a unity may appear from a comparison of the following parallel pronouncements.” I found his insights illuminating, and tried to reconstruct some of what he shows below.
||For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything,
||but only faith working through love.
||For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision
||but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule [= canon], peace and mercy be upon them,
|1 Corinthians 7:19
||For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision,
||but keeping the commandments of God.
||For we are the real circumcision
||Who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh
The true “[S]pirituality” that the New Covenant in Christ produces is the work of love as it keeps the commandments of God born out of regeneration in the Spirit.
Paul: An Outline of His Theology p. 285ff.