Bulletin Edition #348 May 2017

Looking unto Him

I’m sure that some who lived in the days of our Lord’s visitation to earth, and many who heard the gospel from the apostles and the faithful preachers who followed them, could tell you the exact day when they met the risen Redeemer and bowed to His sovereign rule. I have never felt that it was important for a person to be able to tell WHEN he was saved, but rather that he be able NOW to state that he has experienced repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; that NOW he is looking to Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King; that NOW he is resting in His righteousness and effectual sin-offering.

Too often men and women like to establish a time of conversion and some sort of experience, in order to have something to look back upon for comfort and assurance. But this is dangerous! We are not to look to anything nor anything but Christ for our hope, our assurance, and our comfort. Paul said something about, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before” and “looking unto the Lord Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

Most of us came through the confusion, errors, and false professions of modern fundamentalism, and had so much to unlearn and so many false foundations which had to be destroyed, that it is difficult to set an exact hour when our eyes were turned totally from our idols of religion to our living Lord; or when our hearts were weaned from the pride of our religious works and professions and brought to REST IN HIM ALONE! This is the unaided work of the Spirit of God and the Word of God. And this is the living union which shall never be dissolved.
H.T. Mahan

Substitution

2 Corinthians 5:21

Pastor Gene Harmon — Rescue Baptist Church — Rescue, California

Substitution is not a take it or leave it gospel. Substitution is the

gospel! As the God-man, Jesus Christ walked on this earth in perfect

obedience to the will of God the Father, establishing a perfect

righteousness for his chosen people. As the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ

satisfied the holy justice of God for his elect by laying down his life

for them. As God’s risen, glorified, exalted King, Jesus Christ now

lives to give eternal life to all who were given to him by God the

Father (John 17:1-3). Jesus Christ is the sinner’s only hope, who has

already entered within the veil, there to appear in the presence of God

for those he purchased with his own precious blood. Flee to him for

refuge, and lay hold upon the only sure hope for sinners (Hebrews 6:17 -

20).

election

It is striking how the holy truth of election was woven into the common

speech of the early church. When Paul greets the Thessalonians, he

writes,” Knowing brethren beloved your ELECTION of God” (I Thess. 1:4).

Peter begins his epistle with, “ELECT according to the foreknowledge of

God;” and when he closes the same letter he says,” The church that is at

Babylon, ELECTED together with you, saluteth you.” John writes, “The

elder unto the ELECT lady,” and closes the letter with, “The children of

my ELECT sister greet thee.”

It was not at all awkward for election to come out even in these

greetings and good-byes. Why? Because election was not merely a doctrine

which they believed the Bible taught, but they worshipped the God of

election. Election tells us God is God! and election tells us that

salvation is all of grace. This was doctrine that not only a few of the

more mature believers believed, but it was woven into the ways and woof

of the thinking of the early church. It was the first thing Annanias

told Paul about: “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee” (Acts 22:14).

Remember this; you cannot separate election and God himself. He is the

God of election. The early church knew this, and the church of the 20th

century knows it also!

Pastor Todd Nibert

THE MESSAGE OF OLD

Many religious organizations proudly advertise their services as

“contemporary”. Their true message is, “we deal with topics that are

relevant for today’s world.” These religious organizations unashamedly

proclaim, “Tell us what you want, and that’s what you’ll get. We will

meet your needs”. This tactic is nothing more than an attempt to be all

things to all men in order that the masses might be drawn in. These

congregations major on issues that are actually nothing more than

current events. They sing songs that are designed to glorify the flesh

with words that exalt man. Preaching the Gospel has been replaced with

“share time” to fill the need for so-called “spiritual growth.” After

all the necessary programs have been strategically laid out to meet the

criteria of their supposed spiritual needs, these organizations then

provide every sort of entertainment and bodily exercise humanly

possible. With million dollar budgets, these religious “works-shops” do

whatever is necessary to meet the bottom line. That Christ’s honor and

truth are being disregarded; that men’s souls are being merchandised

means nothing to them! Obviously, men have been left to their own

fleshly desires and the blindness of their unregenerate heart.

In the church of the Lord Jesus, oh how different is the case. The issue

is not some current event. The believer must hear the truth of Him who

changes not. He is not satisfied unless he hears the message of the

sovereign, ruling, reigning God who has everlastingly loved a particular

people in Christ. The saint of God thrives on the message, the “psalms,

hymns and spiritual songs” exalting their heavenly Father, the very God

who has chosen a people in Christ “before the foundation of the world,”

that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love. The

believer subsists on the declaration of the beloved Son who, as the

Surety of the sheep, has lived in righteousness before God’s law on

behalf of all that the Father has given Him. Herald again the glorious

message, which is without controversy — the message of God, manifest in

the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the

Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. The

regenerate sinner needs to be told again and again how Christ put away

his guilt by divinely being made to be sin for him. To the one who has

been made to know something of his true need, the message of how the

Lord Jesus Christ died under the wrath and judgment of God’s holy law

for His sheep, that they might be made the righteousness of God in Him,

never grows old. Rehearse again in the saint’s ears these eternal

truths, truths that when received are rejoiced in as if they had never

been heard before. Justification by Christ’s imputed righteousness,

propitiation by His blood, and freedom from condemnation for those

blessed ones found in Christ, that is the message that changes not, the

message that is the life-sustenance of the renewed man.

Marvin Stalnaker.

PAUL, CALLED

1 Cor. 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the

will of God . . .

The Apostle Paul never forgot, nor tried to hide the truth of what he

was made of. He recounted his self-righteous, God-hating past (1 Tim

1:13) and acknowledged his present sinfulness, crying, O wretched man

that I am (Rom. 7:24)! He did not pretend to be something he was not,

considering himself to be less than the least of all saints and unworthy

to be called an Apostle (Eph. 3:8, 1 Cor. 15:9). His only claim to any

authority or favor whatsoever is that he was called (divinely selected

and appointed) in grace, by God Himself.

The text also reveals that God didn’t allow Paul to become an Apostle,

it being Paul’s will to become one. It was by the will of God, that he

came to this place. The last thing Saul of Tarsus wanted was to be a

servant of God and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, until God opened his

eyes. Likewise it is by God’s will that sinners are divinely selected

and appointed to be saints by the grace of God (Rom. 1:7). The last

thing I ever wanted to do was submit to God’s will and way of salvation

by the Person and work of Christ, but like the man of authority in Matt.

8:9, God said to this man, Come and I came.

Paul declared his own calling to be a “pattern” of those who should

thereafter believe. We cannot forget nor hide our shameful past as

hateful enemies of the God Who made us, nor can we deny our ever-present

wretchedness and unworthiness to be called by the gracious God Whose law

we have broken and Whose Son we have slain. Nevertheless, He hath called

us and His gracious calling is to life and glory in Christ. All that is

worth mentioning about me can be traced back to His calling me out of

darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

I did not choose Christ, nor make a decision of any kind for Him, nor

have I ever done anything good, nor ever shall. I am simply Chris,

called and I have no reason nor desire to ever be anything else.

Chris Cunningham.

” ‘TIS not that I did choose Thee,

For, Lord, that could not be,

This heart would still refuse Thee.

But Thou hast chosen me.

My heart owns none before Thee:

For Thy rich grace I thirst:

This knowing, if I love Thee,

Thou must have loved me first.”

Josiah Condor

Election!

Redemption!

Calling!

Justification!

Preservation!

From Octavius Winslow’s, “The Divine Attributes

Entwining Around the Tempted and Trembling Believer”

The doctrine of God’s eternal, sovereign, and

unconditional election of a people; his redemption

of them by the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ;

his particular and effectual calling of them by the

Eternal Spirit; their complete pardon and justification,

and their preservation to eternal glory; these are

God’s truths, and not to be rejected. They come

from God, and, when received in the heart, they

lead to God; they have their origin in him, and to

him they draw the soul.

Precious truths!

How they abase the sinner!

How they exalt the dear Redeemer!

How they glorify God!

How they empty, humble, and sanctify the soul!

Doctrinal preachers

by J. C. Philpot

Some people cannot understand why the doctrinal preachers of our day

should not be as highly esteemed and as greatly blessed as the doctrinal

preachers of the last century. They do not see the wide difference

between receiving the truth at first hand and at second hand. When

Toplady preached election, and Whitefield urged the new birth, they

preached what their souls had received directly and immediately from

God. It was not with them a second or third running, but the pure blood

of the grape. Their souls had drunk of the wine of the kingdom; and,

like the apostles on the day of Pentecost, they preached under its

influence. Peter preaching Christ’s resurrection at Jerusalem;

Athanasius contending for the Trinity at Alexandria; Luther declaring

justification by Christ’s righteousness at Wittenberg; Knox thundering

against Popery at St. Andrews; Whitefield pouring out his very soul in

enforcing the new birth in Moorfields; Toplady urging election at Orange

Street Chapel–all preached with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven.

Many ministers now preach just the same truths; but are they equally

blessed? No! Why not? Because they have not received them in the same

way, nor do they preach them under the same power and influence. Their

thunders are mimic thunders; their preaching is rather acting than

preaching. Some one asked to see the sword of Scanderbeg, a celebrated

warrior against the Turks, which was preserved in a museum. “Why,”

exclaimed he, “there is nothing remarkable in this sword.” “No,” was the

reply; “but you should have seen the arm which wielded it.” So the

doctrines of justification, as preached by Luther, and of the new birth,

as urged by Whitefield, may be stated by any white-cravated youth, with

a few hairs on his chin. It may be the sword of Scanderbeg; but where is

the hand that made it drunk with the blood of the slain? The secret of

all preaching and of all writing is the power of the Holy Spirit; and if

that be denied, the tongue and pen are both those of the stage-actor!

Comments are closed.