Beautiful apologetic theology on the subject of baptism from Hippolytus:
“For he who comes down in faith to the laver of regeneration, and renounces the devil, and joins himself to Christ; who denies the enemy, and makes the confession that Christ is God; who puts off the bondage, and puts on the adoption,—he comes up from the baptism brilliant as the sun, flashing forth the beams of righteousness, and, which is indeed the chief thing, he returns a son of God and joint-heir with Christ. To Him be the glory and the power, together with His most holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and to all the ages of the ages. Amen.”
Psalm 76 exalts Yahweh by comparing Him to the kings and leaders of the earth. When they assemble with flashing arrows and glittering swords and spears, God overwhelms them, and triumphs over them. Asaph then says that “the wrath of man shall praise you”, which seems confusing on its own, but in context, serves as a summary of Psalm 76. All the warring, ruling, and posturing of man, all his wrath, simply serves as a foil to highlight the glory of God. The mightiest triumph of man pales in comparison to the glory of God’s judgment, and so causes more praise to be given to the Almighty God who is to be feared.
A beautiful tribute to women who embrace the high calling of motherhood:
In Psalm 75, the Church gives thanks to God by recounting his wondrous deeds. We come together to praise God by reminding each other of what He has done. We repeat the great stories of sin and salvation, so that they become the foundation of our worship. Why do we need such a foundation? Because judgment is coming. God’s verdict shakes the earth, and the boastful and the wicked will fall. All self-worship will crumble. Those who recount their own mighty deeds will be forced to drink the cup of judgment, but those who celebrate the wondrous deeds of God will simply have one more reason for praise and thanks. So as you come to worship today, fill your mind with the wondrous deeds of God.
Asaph pleads with God in Psalm 74, asking Him to remember His covenant people, knowing that God’s remembrance will lead to their salvation. Asaph knows that God is not lacking in power: He separated earth from sea, broke the heads of the sea monsters, and even controls the planets. Asaph makes sure that God doesn’t lack motivation, either: the worship of God has been disrupted and His worshipers scattered. God’s reputation before the world rests on His people, and God’s covenant promises are on the line: will God make known His presence, and enable His people to worship? As we come to worship God this morning, let us join our voices with Asaph: Arise, O God!
In Psalm 73, Asaph is confused by how God runs the world. The wicked are rich, they live in comfort, their lives are trouble-free. Maybe living a holy life is simply wasted effort after all. But when Asaph enters the sanctuary, and is lifted up to heaven in worship, he sees the world differently. He looks beyond the present into the future, and sees where sin leads. The apparent prosperity of the wicked is a trap; their feet will soon slip. In light of this vision, Asaph allows his longings to be reset so that riches and ease no longer tempt him. The only desire that brings lasting satisfaction is the desire to be near God. It is this desire that God graciously fulfills by meeting us in worship this morning.