Enigmatic Testimony and the Spirit

Only through the revelation of the Spirit in the Messiah does the enigmatic testimony of the Old Testament come into its true light, so that the Spirit's activity is seen to have been more than merely an extension of the presence of God.

 

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p. 29

Personalities of the Human Authors

It is clear that the activity of God does not minimize the individuality of the human authors. In fact the reverse is the case, since the personalities of the human authors appear to be stamped all over the finished product.

 

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p. 27

Epochal Development and the Spirit

Paul's teaching in 2 Corinthians 3 indicates that there is an epochal development from the old to the new, precisely in terms of the ministry of the Spirit.

 

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p. 26

New life from God's hand

;new life from God's hand was a reality in the old covenant, even if it only foreshadowed the reality of participating in the resurrection life of Christ.

 

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p. 25-26

Bezalel and Oholiab

The beauty and symmetry of the work accomplished by [Bezalel and Oholiab] in the construction of the tabernacle not only gave aesthetic pleasure, but a physical pattern in the heart of the camp which served to re-establish concrete expressions of the order and glory of the Creator and his intentions for his creation.

 

Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p. 22

Christocentrism and Christotelism

For purposes of introduction, it is best to understand Christocentrism as the tenet that Christ is the central redemptive subject matter of the Old Testament, understood on its own terms, quite apart from the New Testament Scriptures. Christotelism is best understood to entail that Christ is the consummate telos of what the Old Testament Scriptures promise, namely, a crucified and resurrected Messiah.

 

Lane Tipton, Jesus in the Old Testament, No Uncertain Sound: Reformed Doctrine and Life (Kindle Locations 197-199). Reformed Forum. Kindle Edition.

Moral Shape That Salvation Takes

True, the law is not the means of justification, except in the sense that Christ has kept it for us. But its substance is the moral shape that salvation takes. It is, after all, through the gospel-gift of the Spirit that “the law” is written in the heart— not as a “covenant of works,” but as a “rule of life.” Even if we are unfamiliar with this terminology, we need to become familiar with the biblical truth it seeks to express.

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (pp. 120-121). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Epochal Increase

If one may venture an illustration from personal experience: when I was in elementary school, those were the happiest days of my life until I progressed to high school. Those days really were the happiest days of my life until I went to university. Now we are really talking about the happiest days of my life— until graduation. Then, free from classwork, exams, professors— this is freedom at last! Thus, from the perspective of the age of fulfillment, elementary school, high school, yes, even university, all seem like imprisonment with teachers as the jailers. But at the time, it was possible to find joy and pleasure in each epoch. Here, then, a fuller understanding of a prior epoch is possible only from within a later epoch. In the same way, the Old Testament believer tasted rich blessings within the context of the Mosaic administration. But by comparison with the fullness of grace in Christ, they pale into insignificance. 37 Grasp this, and we come to see that Paul does not deny that there is divine glory in the law. His language is not pejorative but comparative.

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (pp. 148-149). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Law and Grace Relative Contrast

What is intended to be seen within a comparative context should not be read in absolutist terms. The law came by Moses; grace and truth came through Christ. 26 This contrast is not absolute. Apart from other considerations, if it were, Christians would never admire the piety of the psalmist in Psalm 1: 2 (“ His delight is in the law of the Lord”) or of Psalm 119: 97 (“ Oh how I love your law”). But the truth is that Christians instinctively desire to rise to this, 27 because they recognize— at least at a subliminal level— that the law was the gracious gift of a loving Father, even if, in itself, it does not provide the power to keep   it.

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (pp. 166-167). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Reformed Diversity

...within generic Reformed theology there has always been a diversity of viewpoint on various issues. Being aware of this saves us from naïvely (but dogmatically!) saying, “The Reformed view is  .  .  .  ,” when all we are entitled to say is, “The view held by a number of Reformed writers with whom I agree is  .  .  .”!

 

Ferguson, Sinclair B.. The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance—Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters (p. 117). Crossway. Kindle Edition.