Beauty and glory
God is so holy that even the sinless angels cover their faces and feet in his presence. The Father does everything for the glory of his beloved Son. In all of our spirituality we should draw near to the Father through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.
These were some of the truths proclaimed at ‘The beauty and glory of the Father’ conference, sponsored by Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan (audio recordings at www.sermonaudio.com).
Nearly 500 people listened as God the Father was revealed through the preaching of the Scriptures. Dr Jerry Bilkes traced the vivid image of God calling ‘my son out of Egypt’ (Hosea 11:1) from ancient Israel to our lives in Christ.
Dr Derek Thomas pressed upon our hearts the knowledge of the Holy One as revealed in Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6). On Friday, Bartel Elshout led us to exult that all things from creation to redemption revolve around the Father’s love for his Son, taking as his text John 3:35.
Burk Parsons showed us the beauty of tough love in the Father’s discipline of his children, from Hebrews 12:4-13, and Ryan McGraw challenged us to shape all our piety with the tri-personal character of our God, as seen in Ephesians 2:18.
During breakout sessions, Dr David Murray drew out implications from God’s fatherhood for biblical counselling, Rev. Parsons spoke of the Father’s glory in Christ’s prayer (John 17), Paul Smalley drew from Richard Sibbes’ teaching on the mercy and faithfulness of the Father (2 Cor. 1:3,18) and Dr William VanDoodewaard taught on our heavenly Father in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7).
On Friday night, Dr Joel Beeke gloried in our adoption by God and opened up practical applications from it (1 John 3:1-3). On Saturday morning, Dr. VanDoodewaard preached on the Father’s merciful gift of regeneration (1 Peter 1:3-5). To close, Dr Thomas gave us a rich meditation on seeing the Father in the face of Jesus (John 14:9).
Reformation Heritage Books anticipates publishing the talks in book form, for the August 2013 conference on ‘The beauty and glory of Christian living’.