“Union with Christ in his death and resurrection is the element of union which Paul most extensively expounds…if we are united to Christ, then we are united to him at all points of his activity on our behalf. We share in his death (we were baptized into his death), in his resurrection (we are resurrected with Christ), in his ascension (we have been raised with him), in his heavenly session (we sit with him in heavenly places, so that our life is hidden with Christ in God), and we will share in his promised return (when Christ, who is our life, appears, we also will appear with him in glory) (Rom. 6:14; Col. 2:11-12; 3:1-3).
This, then, is the foundation of sanctification in Reformed theology. It is rooted, not in humanity and their achievement of holiness or sanctification, but in what God has done in Christ, and for us in union with him. Rather than view Christians first and foremost in the microcosmic context of their own progress, the Reformed doctrine first of all sets them in the macrocosm of God’s activity in redemptive history. It is seeing oneself in this context that enables the individual Christian to grow in true holiness.”
– Dr. Sinclair Ferguson
12. Of the Creation
We believe that the Father, by the Word, that is, by his Son, has created of nothing, the heaven, the earth, and all creatures, as it seemed good unto him, giving unto every creature its being, shape, form, and several offices to serve its Creator. That he does also still uphold and govern them by his eternal providence, and infinite power, for the service of mankind, to the end that man may serve his God. He also created the angels good, to be his messengers and to serve his elect; some of whom are fallen from that excellency, in which God created them, into everlasting perdition; and the others have, by the grace of God, remained steadfast and continued in their primitive state. The devils and evil spirits are so depraved, that they are enemies of God and every good thing, to the utmost of their power, as murderers, watching to ruin the Church and every member thereof, and by their wicked stratagems to destroy all; and are, therefore, by their own wickedness, adjudged to eternal damnation, daily expecting their horrible torments. Therefore we reject and abhor the error of the Sadducees, who deny the existence of spirits and angels: and also that of the Manichees, who assert that the devils have their origin of themselves, and that they are wicked of their own nature, without having been corrupted.
Ted Donnelly’s handling of biblical teaching is always marked by faithfulness, insight, wisdom and warmth. All of these qualities abound in this splendid exposition of Simon Peter’s life and ministry. It provides the rare combination of helpful, and at times, searching, instruction with the genuine Christian pleasure of discovering more about the grace of Jesus Christ.’ — SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON
‘In his consideration of Peter the Disciple, Ted Donnelly helps us to see the omnipotent and manifold grace of God at work, fashioning the rough-hewn Galilean fisherman into a polished instrument in the hands of the Master. In the contemplation of Peter the Preacher we are helped to see those principles which validate and illustrate the centrality of preaching in the purpose of God, and to consider the kind of preaching owned of God to the accomplishment of his saving purposes. Finally, in the examination of the biblical witness to Peter the Pastor we are led to consider what is involved in being a shepherd after God’s own heart.’ — ALBERT N. MARTIN
The Apostle Peter was a major New Testament personality—a vivid, complex and well-rounded character. His leadership was decisive in the history of the church, and his teaching remains profound and compellingly up-to-date. So why is it that he has been undervalued by evangelicals for so long?
Christians, and Christian leaders in particular, can learn much from this man. Ted Donnelly’s portrait of the Apostle Peter lets us see him from three distinct angles. Firstly we see him discovering what it means to follow Jesus as a disciple. Then we see him as a powerful preacher, from whom we can learn important lessons about communicating the gospel to others. Lastly, we view him as a faithful pastor and observe what it is to be a true shepherd of the people of God.