fetch
Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church | SermonAudio.com
members, click to sign in..


4,596 active users!!Bandwidth
SATURDAY
DEC 27, 2014
Home
NewsSITE
Events & Blogs
New Audio & Video
BroadcastersNew Stuff!
Local Church Finder
Live Webcasts
Sermons by Bible
Sermons by Topic
Sermons by Speaker
Sermons by Date
Staff Picks
CommentsALL -36 min
Top Sermons
VideosPDFs
Daily Log
PhotosNew Stuff!
Stores
Online Bible
Hymnal
Daily Reading
About | 6 Days Left!
Submit Sermon
Members Only

More + Podcast + Codes
•  Apple iTunes | Video
Sermon Browser Info | Demo
Newest Widget | Demo
Our Picks | Info | Demo
Latest Blog | Info | Demo
Single Sermon | Info
To embed a single sermon,
use the "Email & Share" button.
Mobile Apps | Info
Enjoy sermons from this broadcaster
on a variety of mobile devices.
MyChurch: merrion
Church Apps | Info
Creating your own Church App is
as simple as turning ON the option.
Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church
Rev. Paul Thompson  |  Belfast, Northern Ireland
Email Us!Our Website
Our Blog
Blog
Post+
Search
  
Filter By

Pictures of Christ by John Murray.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 02, 2011
Posted by: Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church | more..

The question of the propriety of pictorial representations of the Saviour is one that merits examination. It must be granted that the worship of Christ is central in our holy faith, and the thought of the Saviour must in every instance be accompanied with that reverence which belongs to his worship. We cannot think of him without the apprehension of the majesty that is his. If we do not entertain the sense of his majesty, then we are guilty of impiety and we dishonor him.

It will also be granted that the only purpose that could properly be served by a pictorial representation is that it would convey to us some thought or lesson representing him, consonant with truth and promotive of worship. Hence the question is inescapable: is a pictorial representation a legitimate way of conveying truth regarding him and of contributing to the worship which this truth should evoke?

We are all aware of the influence exerted on the mind and heart by pictures. Pictures are powerful media of communication. How suggestive they are for good or for evil and all the more so when accompanied by the comment of the spoken or written word! It is futile, therefore, to deny the influence exerted upon mind and heart by a picture of Christ. And if such is legitimate, the influence exerted should be one constraining to worship and adoration. To claim any lower aim as that served by a picture of the Saviour would be contradiction of the place which he must occupy in thought, affection, and honour.

The plea for the propriety of pictures of Christ is based on the fact that he was truly man, that he had a human body, that he was visible in his human nature to the physical senses, and that a picture assists us to take in the stupendous reality of his incarnation, in a word, that he was made in the likeness of men and was found in fashion as a man.

Our Lord had a true body. He could have been photographed. A portrait could have been made of him and, if a good portrait, it would have reproduced his likeness.

Without doubt the disciples in the days of his flesh had a vivid mental image of Jesus' appearance and they could not but have retained that recollection to the end of their days. They could never have entertained the thought of him as he had sojourned with them without something of that mental image and they could not have entertained it without adoration and worship. The very features which they remembered would have been part and parcel of their conception of him and reminiscent of what he had been to them in his humiliation and in the glory of his resurrection appearance. Much more might be said regarding the significance for the disciples of Jesus' physical features.

Jesus is also glorified in the body and that body is visible. It will also become visible to us at his glorious appearing "he will be seen the second time without sin by those who look for him unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28).

What then are we to say of pictures of Christ? First of all, it must be said that we have no data whatsoever on the basis of which to make a pictorial representation; we have no descriptions of his physical features which would enable even the most accomplished artist to make an approximate portrait. In view of the profound influence exerted by a picture, especially on the minds of young people, we should perceive the peril involved in a portrayal for which there is no warrant, a portrayal which is the creation of pure imagination. It may help to point up the folly to ask: what would be the reaction of a disciple, who had actually seen the Lord in the days of his flesh, to a portrait which would be the work of imagination on the part of one who had never seen the Saviour? We can readily detect what his recoil would be.

No impression we have of Jesus should be created without the proper revelatory data, and every impression, every thought, should evoke worship. Hence, since we possess no revelatory data for a picture or portrait in the proper sense of the term, we are precluded from making one or using any that have been made.

Secondly, pictures of Christ are in principle a violation of the second commandment. A picture of Christ, if it serves any useful purpose, must evoke some thought or feeling respecting him and, in view of what he is, this thought or feeling will be worshipful. We cannot avoid making the picture a medium of worship. But since the materials for this medium of worship are not derived from the only revelation we possess respecting Jesus, namely, Scripture, the worship is constrained by a creation of the human mind that has no revelatory warrant. This is will worship. For the principle of the second commandment is that we are to worship God only in ways prescribed and authorized by him. It is a grievous sin to have worship constrained by a human figment, and that is what a picture of the Saviour involves.

Thirdly, the second commandment forbids bowing down to an image or likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. A picture of the Saviour purports to be a representation or likeness of him who is now in heaven or, at least, of him when he sojourned upon the earth. It is plainly forbidden, therefore, to bow down in worship before such a representation or likeness. This exposes the iniquity involved in the practice of exhibiting pictorial representations of the Saviour in places of worship. When we worship before a picture of our Lord, whether it be in the form of a mural, or on canvas, or in stained glass, we are doing what the second commandment expressly forbids. This is rendered all the more apparent when we bear in mind that the only reason why a picture of him should be exhibited in a place is the supposition that it contributes to the worship of him who is our Lord. The practice only demonstrates how insensitive we readily become to the commandments of God and to the inroads of idolatry. May the Churches of Christ be awake to the deceptive expedients by which the archenemy ever seeks to corrupt the worship of the Saviour.

In summary, what is at stake in this question is the unique place which Jesus Christ as the God-man occupies in our faith and worship and the unique place which the Scripture occupies as the only revelation, the only medium of communication, respecting him whom we worship as Lord and Saviour. The incarnate Word and the written Word are correlative. We dare not use other media of impression or of sentiment but those of his institution and prescription. Every thought and impression of him should evoke worship. We worship him with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God. To use a likeness of Christ as an aid to worship is forbidden by the second commandment as much in his case as in that of the Father and Spirit.

Reprinted from Reformed Herald, February 1961.

Go to The Westminster Presbyterian home page
John Murray
Professor John Murray (1898-1975), a native of Scotland, studied at Princeton Theological Seminary under J. Gresham Machen and Geerhardus Vos.

Category:  Practical living

permalink | post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »
Text feature this blog entry

     PAST BLOG ENTRIES     

Six short rules for Christians
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2011
Posted by: Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church | more..
Six Short Rules for Young Christians (By Brownlow North) "A Most Godly Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ..." Never neglect daily private prayer; and when you pray, remember that God is present, and that He hears your prayers. (Hebrews....
[ abbreviated | read entire ]
permalink | post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »


Apostasy and Ecclesiastical Separation Denominationalism or Sectarianism
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2011
Posted by: Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church | more..
Listen to this excellent treatment of the subject of separation. Dr Barrett presents this needed doctrine in its biblical context, dealing with issues such as, 'From whom should we separate?', 'what is an apostate?' etc. Many will agree that there...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]
permalink | post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »


Dealing With Pride, Discouragement.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011
Posted by: Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church | more..
Dealing With Pride, Discouragement and Coping With Criticism. By Dr. Joel Beeke. Dr Joel Beeke has produced some excellent guidelines and ways in which we can handle discouragment as it comes our way. We will also be posting Dr. Beeke's excellent...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]
permalink | post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »


How to profit our devotional reading from the puritans.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Posted by: Mount Merrion Free Presbyterian Church | more..
Profiting from the Puritans for Devotional Reading By Dr. Joel Beeke Puritan literature has been a major resource for my devotional reading for thirty-five years. I believe there is no group of writers in church history that can feed our minds...
[ abbreviated | read entire ]

Dr. Joel Beeke's Feb 2010 Visit
On Lord's Day 14th February Mount Merrion welcomed Dr. Joel Beeke as our Guest Preacher. Over 250...

permalink | post new | clone this | rss feed | blog top »



The City of God Abideth
Dr. James M. Phillips
Bloom Where You Are Planted

Dr. James M Phillips
Sunday - AM
Discover The Word Ministry
Play! | MP4 | RSS

Who Shall Stand
Mark Pannell

Shawn Reynolds
Faithful is He to Call AND Do

Grace Particular Baptist
Sunday Service
Transcript!Play! | MP3

Blog 12/22/14
I'll Be Home for Christmas

New York Gospel Mission
merry chr­istm­as! hol­iday fest­iv­it­ies are in full swing...

Sponsor:
Top 10 Puritan Hard Drive Reviews

Wash­er, Beeke, Bauch­am, Benn­ett, Brown, Price, McM­ah­on, Johns­on, Dild­ay, Menc­ar­ow...
www.puritandownloads.com/bl..

Sermon:
The Life of CH Spurgeon
Jonathan Hunt

SPONSOR | 500+

SPONSOR





                   
Man's practices are the best indexes of his principles. ... Stephen Charnock

City: Las Vegas, NV
Gospel of John
Cities | Local | Personal
MOBILE
iPhone + iPad
Church App New!
Android New!
Church App New!
Kindle + Nook New!
BlackBerry
Windows Mobile, Nokia
Chromecast TV
ROKU TV
Pebble Smartwatch
Kindle Reader


HELP
Knowledgebase
Broadcasters
Listeners
Q&A
Uploading Sermons
Uploading Videos
Webcasting
Tips & Tricks
YouTube Screencasts

FOLLOW
Weekly Newsletter
Staff Picks Feed
Site Notices New!
RSS | Twitter | Facebook
SERVICES | ALL
Local Church Finder | Info
MP3 Play & Download
Mobile Apps
Podcasting
Video Support
Live Webcasting
Transcription Service
Business Cards
SOLO | MINI Sites
Domain Redirect
Favorites
QR Codes
24x7 Radio Stream

INTEGRATION
Sermon Browser
HTML Codes
WordPress
Twitter
Facebook
Logos | e-Sword
SOAP API

BATCH
Transfer Agent
Protected Podcasts
Upload via Email
Auto-Upload Sermons
Auto-Blog Import
Picasa | FTP | Dropbox
ABOUT US
SermonAudio.com is the largest library of audio sermons from conservative churches and ministries worldwide. All broadcasters must adhere to the Articles of Faith.

Our Services | Testimonials
Broadcast With Us!
Support Us
Advertising | Local Ads
CONTACT
info@sermonaudio.com
Copyright © 2014 SermonAudio.com.