Posts by Dr. David Murray

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Why does God give us so many pictures of believing in Jesus? Why not just some philosophical treatise on faith, or some systematic theology of faith? Why illustrations? And why so many? First, because faith is so hard . Unbelief comes naturally to us; faith is unnatural. Faith is so hard it has to...
“Parting is such sweet sorrow." This is one of William Shakespeare’s most oft-quoted lines. What few realize is that it was uttered in the context of Juliet saying goodnight to Romeo “till it be tomorrow.” The sorrow of that parting was sweetened by the knowledge that...
Some opponents of Reformed theology argue that the doctrine of election produces unfeeling and fatalistic preachers: “If God has already chosen who will believe, what’s the point in preaching passionate and persuasive evangelistic sermons?” However, although that’s (usually...
Shakespeare wrote that each person’s history is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The Christian view of personal and world history is quite a contrast; we believe God ordained it, organizes it, and moves it towards a meaningful, definite, and...
If you could live anywhere where would you live? We know God’s answer to that question: a tent (that’s His second choice) and a human body (that’s His first choice). In the Old Testament He chose to live in a tent (Ex. 25:8) and in the New Testament He chose flesh and blood (John...
If you could choose a symbol of your life from nature, something that would describe and define you, what would you choose? A mountain – to portray your reliability? A rose – to convey your beauty? A stallion – to impress with your strength? An orange tree – to remind of...
A few weeks ago, I was stunned by the beautiful vineyards that filled the Vineland area of the Niagara region in Ontario. So much time, so much money, and so much effort must have been poured into these vines in order to produce the innumerable rich and juicy grape clusters. Beautiful fields full...
The Heidelberg Catechism’s answer to question 94, “What does God enjoin in the first commandment?” contains eleven verbs, eleven “doing” words...
A local millionaire is leaving on a round-the-world yacht race and he’s looking for trustees to manage his estate for a year while he’s sailing the seven seas. “Trustees Wanted” says the headline of his advertisement in the local newspaper. Read some of the smaller print and...
Grand Rapids, 1840. Freida heaves water up from a deep well to carry home for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. A long line of others wait for their turn. The village Alderman catches up with her as she begins her long walk home and asks her: “What do you think about the new well, Freida?...
When we think about forgiveness, we usually think about three areas for which we need forgiveness: our thoughts, our words, and our actions. And each of these three areas can be viewed in terms of sins of commission and sins of omission, what we have done and what we have not done, and so on.
Very few of us would like to be President. However, most of us, at least some of the time, would like to be involved with the President. We’d like to be able to share in his decision-making, to have some input and influence, to be in a position and possess the power to affect outcomes, and...
In a sermon entitled “ The Pleasantness of Religion ,” Jonathan Edwards draws the following doctrine from Proverbs 24:13-14: “It would be worth the while to be religious if it were only for the pleasantness of it.”...
Have you ever woken up in an unfamiliar bed and wondered, "Where am I?" You probably then looked around for some clues until you gradually realized from your surroundings where you were. Have you ever woken up and wondered, “Where am I spiritually?” If so, you probably also...
"He is not so happy as he may be, who has not the pleasure of making others so, and of seeing them put into a happy condition by his means, which is the highest pleasure of a good and great mind." John Tillotson...
In the first post in this series , I sought to set out six different categories of Christian unity. They were as follows: 1. Spiritual unity 2. Doctrinal unity 3. Practical unity
The idea of Christian unity has been so perverted over the years by liberal Christianity that there is considerable confusion about what it means, both inside and outside the church. Another sad consequence is that those who are orthodox have overreacted to these abuses by rarely speaking about it...
What makes God so happy? Three times we are told that our God is “blessed forever” (Rom. 1:25; 9:5; 2 Cor. 11:31). But what makes Him so happy? Well, I’m sure there are many contributing factors. For example, being perfectly holy must be a great source of happiness. The absence of...
Christian leaders face many difficult, daunting, demanding, and, sometimes, dangerous situations – both outside the church and inside the church. That’s why the military model of leadership is used so commonly in Scripture. And yet the vast majority of us are cowards. We avoid danger...
How would you like to learn theology while you sleep? Or, at least, from your sleep? It’s quite remarkable how much God actually teaches us through sleep. For example: 1. God reminds us we are merely creatures...
Why study shadows when we have the Son? That’s a question I’m often asked when I’m trying to promote more reading of the Old Testament. The question is usually focused specifically upon typology. Why study the types when we have the anti-type? It’s a valid question and if...
Was Jesus God in the womb? Was Jesus God in the tomb? You probably answered
“Do you have any tips on things that might be helpful in teaching through the Old Testament, or potential pitfalls?” That’s the question I was recently asked via email and I thought it might be profitable to share the answer here. 1. Focus on the Original Message...
We live in days when God’s law is often regarded as humanity’s greatest enemy. We’re not surprised when an unbelieving world longs to burst God’s “bands” and cast away His “cords” in the unbridled pursuit of “liberty” (Ps. 2:3). What is...
Since coming to America over six years ago my family has continued our Scottish tradition of singing our way through the Scottish Metrical Psalms at family worship. We sing four verses at a time and when we get to the end of the Psalms we simply start all over again. It's one of the ways we...
Is Noah’s ark a type of the cross? Is it a prophetic picture of what Christ did on Calvary? People often scoff at the idea, and perhaps even mock preachers who make typological connections by highlighting that just as the ark was made of wood, so the cross was made of wood. The critics are...
In his Review of Ecclesiastical History , John Newton provides a glimpse for us into his Christ-centered view of the Old Testament. To summarize Newton’s teaching:...