Bulletin Edition #349 May 2017

The Christian thus learns that if he stands, God must hold him up; if he knows anything aright, God must teach him; if he walks in the way to heaven, God must first put, and afterwards keep him in it; and if he has anything, God must give it to him; and that if he does anything, God must work it in him. He now “Through the law” – that is, through his experience of its killing sentence – “is become dead to the law, that he may live unto God.” He can no longer take a killing letter for a living rule, but is deeply conscious that it is only by being “Married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:4). Thus by the presence of God going with him, he becomes separated “From all the people that are upon the face of the earth” (Ex. 33:16). – J. C. Philpot

The vital thing to understand about the blood of Christ is this: IT IS ENOUGH! Nothing else is needed to accomplish the salvation of all for whom His blood was shed. Not His blood plus my works; not His blood plus my “decision”; not His blood plus the ordinances; not His blood plus church membership; not even His blood plus my faith – His blood purchased my faith. HIS BLOOD ALONE paid the price required by His justice; and His blood alone can make a sinner clean. “By His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having OBTAINED (not made possible) eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
Donnie Bell

Down through the years there have been many men and women who have heard the Truth, and have apprehended the Truth, but who have never been apprehended by the Truth. They have “gotten hold of the Truth,” but the Truth has never “gotten hold of them!”
This is evidenced by the fact that they are able to compromise the Truth or turn away from it completely. I have seen some turn from the Truth of God to fables and commandments of men (II Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:14). Others I have seen turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness, denying the power of God and His grace in the believer’s heart (Jude 4). Still others, like Demas, I have observed going altogether back to this present, evil world (II Timothy 4:10). It would have been much better for them had they never had the privilege of hearing the Gospel, than to have heard it and turned away from it (II Peter 2:20-22).
Concerning the Truth; that is, the salvation of guilty, hell-deserving sinners by Jesus Christ, there is not the slightest doubt in my mind (and heart) but that what I believe, confess and preach (what we believe) is the Truth of Scripture. We have “gotten hold” of that Truth, and thus far, by the grace of God, have not been able to compromise or turn away from it. That is because the Truth has “gotten hold” of our souls. Christ crucified is no mere doctrine to us. HE IS OUR LIFE!
“Keep us Lord, O keep us cleaving
To Thyself, and still believing.”
Maurice Montgomery

Think of your mercies

“Reader! do you know the LORD? If so, think of your mercies, and rightly make use of them; amidst the present sinful and adulterous CHRIST-despising generation! Will you be cast down, because of the temptation, and have your soul discouraged by reason of the way? Oh! blessed be the way, however tempted it may be, if it thereby leads the soul, more frequently, more closely, to JESUS. Darkness is a mercy, if it drives me to JESUS the light. Poverty of soul is true riches, if my pinchings endear his enlargements! It is blessed to know, and blessed to feel, all spiritual wants; to make the soul more sensible, that there is no fulness, but in JESUS. LORD the SPIRIT! cause my soul then to live upon CHRIST!” -Robert Hawker

Comfort ye my people

It is the preachers’ calling and purpose to comfort and encourage the Lord’s people. Spiritual comfort can be enjoyed only when the Saviour of sinners is lifted up before them in all the fulness of His glorious accomplishments.
Courage to stand for truth in this dark and sinful world flows from the settled knowledge of peace and reconciliation with God through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Those who preach duty, obligation and self-examination must of necessity draw their hearers’ eyes from the Lord Jesus in order to focus upon themselves. Such practices can never bring comfort to the downcast pilgrim, or strength to Christ’s feeble folk.
Brethren, if we are able, in our worship together, to approach the Great Triune God and there catch a glimpse of the loveliness of the Saviour Jesus Christ who has done all things well, I know our souls will be blessed and our hearts inspired to better serve Him and adore His wonderful name.
Peter L Meney.

Invitation or alter call

The “invitation” or “altar call” at the end of a service has become such and accepted tradition in today’s religion that those who do not sing an “invitation hymn” and invite people to the front of the church to “get saved” are branded with all sorts of names and charges. It never seems to trouble religious people that this “altar call” is nowhere to be found in God’s word; that the great majority of those who “come forward” usually “go back” into indifference and worldliness; that coming to Christ is not a physical move at all but a heart commitment to the Redeemer; that the Scriptures present BAPTISM as our public confession of Christ, no “shaking the preacher’s hand;” that the gospel is a COMMAND to repent, believe, and follow the Lord in baptism, not a mere invitation. The King of kings does not invite His subjects to obey and believe Him–He commands them!
I preach to you the Word of the living God! In the preaching of His Word the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God are declared. The truth of our fall, sinfulness, and inability is clearly set forth, as is the grace and mercy of God in the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you a sinner? Confess that fact before God, not before me! Do you need mercy? Tell God you need mercy, not me! Do you believe the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer and righteousness and sin-offering for one such as you? Then settle that issue before the throne of grace, not at the front of the church! Has God spoken peace to your heart in Christ? Do you now rest in Him alone as your Lord and Saviour, your High Priest, and Mediator? Is the old man crucified with Christ, buried, and you are risen in Him a new creature? Then ask the pastor to assist you in believer’s baptism that you may declare publicly what God has done for you personally!
Henry Mahan.

How do I choose a “church”?

Greg Elmquist
With a religious meeting house on most literally every corner, how does one choose which to attend? The answer to this question will be determined by our reason for attending church in the first place. Many choose the church (I use that word very loosely) that provides the most interesting and entertaining programs for their family. Much like you might choose a health club or a sporting event. Others choose a church because it is consistent with what they have always known; the same denomination, style of services, and familiar surroundings. Really, this is no more a choice than we have in choosing a family. We are just stuck with what we have. Some choose the church closest to where they live. This is a good reason to choose a convenience store, but do we associate with a church for convenience? Many are looking for that subjective “good feeling”. They can’t put their finger on anything specific except to say, ‘I’ll know when it feels right’. This may be a good way to decide on a flavor of ice cream but does it really work in finding a church? Most, they tell us, go to the place where they know and feel comfortable with another person or persons. This sort of “fellowship” makes for a nice civic club, but is it the criteria one should use in associating with the place that is to care for their soul? Finally, many choose a church because the charismatic delivery of the preacher keeps them awake. One can not but wonder if the apostle Paul whose ‘bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible’, would have any success at all in pastoring today.

Well, the answer to the question; ‘why do I go to church?’ is inseparably linked to what I see the purpose of the church to be. If the church’s reason for existence is to serve man, then all these reasons are very valid. If, on the other hand, the true church exists to serve God and His purposes, then we best look to God’s word to see what He says about His church. Paul sums up the true church when he says to Timothy; “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”. I Tim. 3:15 We would do no violence to the word of God by paraphrasing this verse to read; the true church is the place where the living God meets with His called out ones who hold up, on firm ground, the person and work of Christ Jesus the Lord. There is only one question to ask to determine if the church I am attending is the right church. Is the Christ of scripture being fully preached, worshipped, and followed? Many men lie about our Lord by saying things of Him that are not true. Others lie about Him by not saying things that are true. If Christ is fully preached, the content of truth will be preferred over delivery, sweet and satisfying fellowship will be in Him, the joy will be incomparable to all entertainment, the consistency of scripture will be far superior to that of my past experiences, and no distance or barrier will be too great an obstacle. To get the right answer you must ask the right question. Choose carefully!

We May Speak for God

Therefore thus saith the Lord, If thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth. (Jeremiah 15:19)

Poor Jeremiah! Yet why do we say so? The weeping prophet was one of the choicest servants of God and honored by Him above many. He was hated for speaking the truth. The word which was so sweet to him was bitter to his hearers, yet he was accepted of his Lord. He was commanded to abide in his faithfulness, and then the Lord would continue to speak through him. He was to deal boldly and truthfully with men and perform the Lord’s winnowing work upon the professors of his day, and then the Lord gave him this word: “Thou shalt be as my mouth.”

What an honor! Should not every preacher, yea, every believer, covet it? For God to speak by us, what a marvel! We shall speak sure, pure truth; and we shall speak it with power. Our word shall not return void; it shall be a blessing to those who receive it, and those who refuse it shall do so at their peril. Our lips shall feed many. We shall arouse the sleeping and call the dead to life.

O dear reader, pray that it may be so with all the sent servants of our Lord.
Spurgeon (faith’s checkbook)

The Jesus Men Do Not Hate
When Christ walked upon this earth, men hated Him. Does not the cross speak loudly of how men hated the Christ? But there is a Jesus men do not hate. It is the Jesus that men believe they can control. The one whose will can be thwarted by our will. The one whom men can accept or reject. The one who cannot save unless we of our own free will allow Him to save us. Nobody hates a Jesus they can control. The problem is – that Jesus is an idol invented by men to take the place of the Lord Jesus Christ that they hate. He is the One who has sovereign control over all. The One over whom men have no control. The Lord Jesus Christ, in whose hand all men are. The One who can accept or reject us. This Jesus men hate because they see no safety in salvation being in His hands. But in reality, the only place of safety is in the hands of the sovereign Christ.
pastor Todd Nibert

God is not trying or attempting to save everybody that will let Him! God Almighty, in sovereign grace, saves whom He wills on PURPOSE. God does not make salvation “possible.” God makes salvation “certain.” Redemption in Christ has never been a thing of “possibility.” Redemption in Christ has always been “according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
David Eddmenson

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